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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Growing Season??

Some of you who have been following my blog for a while might remember that I like to work in the yard, and I have a rose garden. If not, you can check this post to see some of my spring blooms
Roses are arguably the prettiest-best smelling flowers you can have. They have been considered a symbol of love since ancient times. Every man knows that come Anniversary, Valentines, Birthday, & Mother's Day... You can't go wrong with roses. Over they past few years I've learned something else about them, a beautiful rose bush doesn't just happen, they require a lot of work (unless you get the Knockout roses with the little single layer of petals). In order to have the big beautiful jumbo roses, you have to spray them with soapy Dawn dish soapy water, give them regular water, mulch, fertilize, weed, prune, give them fungicide, stuff to kill the bugs, and to get rid of the dreaded black spots. I don't mind all of the work because it gives me a bit of fresh air, and when they bloom they are so stunning. (I took the pictures I've posted this evening)

Everyone knows that roses bloom during the spring, but most people aren't aware that if they are tended properly they will bloom again in the summer, and they will bloom for the final time in the fall. The fall blooms are often even better than the spring ones, because if your roses bloom in the fall it is because they have been well cared for, and are without disease. The cooler weather also preserves the blooms and makes them last longer, where the spring and summer will continue to get warmer which causes the petals to "sweat" and get limp and die faster. This evening I decided to trim off the spent blooms on my bushes so they will be able to bloom one more time before the first frost.

I have had a lot on my mind this evening, and felt that I just had to get outside to think and pray for a while. Our entire church family got an e-mail today letting us know that our minister is going to step aside for an undetermined length of time to deal with some personal issues. I know that God put our family in this church 2 years ago because He has had a plan for us to be really active and reach out in this group. It is a small church, where we all know each other, so when one person succeeds we all celebrate, and when one is hurting we all hurt along with them. I guess I got it from my dad, but I'm one of those people who just has to get outdoors when something is really troubling me. I know that God is everywhere, but sometimes I just feel His presence better when I am outside. As I was clipping off bits of disease, spots, and dead blooms I felt the Lord speaking to me. I felt like He was showing me that my life is like a rose bush, and in order for me to continue to grow He has to tend to me constantly. There are a lot of times when we feel like one thing after another is being "pruned" out of our life, but I was reminded that there is a reason. Just as I know that if I don't prune my rose bushes they will not make roses and the branches will eventually dry up and cause the whole plant to die; God has to take people and things in and out of my life in order for me to continue to grow. We thought we were getting to adopt a baby girl this summer, but the birth mother changed her mind shortly before she was born. My class that I teach at the college was cut the day before the first class this fall. My mom and I quit doing art at the college (I've been painting up there for 6 years) because of some ongoing negativity that wouldn't quit. Right now I'm feeling quite "pruned," but I'm ready to bloom again.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Computer Glasses & The Red River Rivalry

Earlier today I was helping Mom clean and red0 my old bedroom from the storage room that it has been since Jon and I got married, back to a respectable bedroom that anyone would feel comfortable spending the night in. When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a pair of Hello Kitty slightly rose tinted computer glasses (they don't have any kind of prescription or magnification). I got them at the Sanrio Store in San Francisco 10 years ago. When I went to the National Science Fair with my high school science project... I know I'm a nerd, but I'm not ashamed to admit it, pluse it's paid off in more ways than one. It's funny I found them today because just a couple days ago I was telling my Mom I think I need to do something because since I had Lasiks on my eyes 6 years ago my eyes are really sensitive to light (I don't leave the house without my sunglasses!) and the computer screen is a killer. So tonight I'm actually wearing them for the first time ever, and WOW! I can't tell you what a difference they make. My eyes feel soothed and relaxed. They just take away the white glare & make it feel more like I'm reading from a book :)
I'm sharing this little bit of information because I'm sure I can't be the only one who has issues with the glare from the computer. I'm all about taking preventive measures to preserve my vision, hearing, skin, & whatever else needs a bit of TLC. One of the things I learned in my 4 medical school classes that I had to take as part of my master's degree is this... An ounce of prevention is worth at least 10 pounds of cure. You can take that one to the bank my friends!

Just incase any of you have been living underneath a rock this weekend is The Big One, The Queen Mother of All College Football Rivalry Games, The REDRIVER SHOOTOUT. I will not be attending the game, but we plan to go check out the Texas State Fair to do the obvious... eat a Fletcher's Corn Dog & get a bag of the most beautiful, pink, fluffy, delicious cotton candy. We will be watching the game on TV. I used to go every year, but after a Texas fan sitting above me in the box seat on the OU side poured an entire bottle of coke on me at the last game that we paid $400 per ticket to get to stand through, and not hear because the speakers at the ancient Cotton Bowl stink, I can honestly say I'm very happy to watch it on TV. But, it is a game that every OU or Texas fan should go to once in their life. The atmosphere is complete insanity! It's 74 year old grandmothers cussing the ref from the stands, mouthing back & forth at the other team, it's the only time of the year when parents will let their kids hollar stuff like "Texas SUCKS!," a total sea of half Crimson & burnt orange, not to mention the fair is going on all around you. So if you're into college football, pull up a chair, and make sure to yell "Boomer Sooner!"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Little Update

A crazy abstract I did for fun!

I really enjoyed doing this colorful flowery picture. I was inspired by the Vera Bradley Hope Garden pattern. I don't know where I'm going to hang it, but I'll figure it out.

These New Burger King Blueberry Biscuits are delicious. They're just $1. You have to give them a try.

Jon and I are watching the 3rd season of The Footballers Wives. We just thought the first 2 seasons were crazy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A little Bit of This & a dash of That

Earlier this week I went to a little store here in town called Ellis Pottery, (which carries a lot of seasonal decorations and plants) and in their hot house area they had several of these little baby pineapple plants. Luckily I had my little camera. I couldn't help myself I thought they were the cutest things! If only it would stay healthy and little forever, I'd bring it home and call it my pet pineapple.
Some little scarecrow friends.

Pink with sprinkles donut ornament, which used to be my favorite when I was little.

Today was the launch of the latest Vera Bradley prints, and we have a little store here in Texarkana called Fan-Fare Gifts that has a really fun launch party with drinks, refreshments, door prizes, & free gifts (yes free gifts I got a coin pouch & a wristlet in the new pattern Versailles) on the day the new bags are released. During the last release I won a desk set and a photo album, and this time my Mom won a free tote of her choice in any of the new patterns. Seriously we never win anything, so how cool is it that we've both won now? My Mom was about to step on a cricket earlier today, and this lady told her, don't do that! If you see a cricket you're going to get money tomorrow or something good so she didn't step on it, and what do ya know... she wins the Fan-Fare drawing, and tomorrow she gets to go pick out her tote. We have laughed and joked about it all day, because that woman was so serious she says she saw a cricket and won the lotto the next day, and now her family is going to the Bahamas for Christmas. I'm not superstitious (I have 2 black cats for crying out loud), but ... I hope our old friend Jiminy Cricket is enjoying his little cricket life! I believe in Shop & Tell as long as you have a picture to go with it, so here is my new mini laptop case in Buttercup that my computer is happily snuggled down into while I'm typing this blog.

Tonight Jon and I went over to Mom's and watched Princess Kaiulani on her big screen (Dad was at the hospital working of delivering his 3rd baby for the day, otherwise he would have watched it with us). I thought it was really good. Of course I love all of the beautiful costumes, the love story, and the scenery.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Groceries

Sometimes the best way to discover something new and delicious is to check out someone else's shopping cart. About a week ago I was wandering the aisles of Wal-mart when I ran into an old friend from school. As we were talking I couldn't help but notice that she had at least 10 of these Jamba Juice Smoothie mixes. I asked her if they were any good, and she said they were and they keep her from eating junk when she wants a bit of a snack. All you do is dump the bag of mix in the blender and add a cup of apple juice. Super simple, super healthy, and super tasting! Not to mention it is a lot cheaper than my old McDonald's Smoothie addiction, as long as I don't end up killing my red 6 year old kitchen aid blender the world will be a happy place :)
Another friend, who happens to be a doctor herself, told me that she was recommended Fiber One bars by her gastroenterologist because they taste good, and most people would rather eat one of these a day than drink Metamucil or take fiber pills with a ton of water. Check, Check, and Check... Her GI doc is a genius! Just think of it as a candy bar that you are required to eat! Your 50s is not when you want to start thinking about getting enough fiber, if you start young you can prevent a whole lot of hurt later on. Plus fiber fills you up, and helps you slim down.

My last endorsement for this post is True Lemon, True Lime, & True Orange. Seriously, this stuff tastes delicious. You don't have to worry with cutting up lemons to put in your tea or water. I'm not a big fan of the liquid lemon juice, but this is not like that. This is crystallized lemon and it tastes fresh like the real thing!

I'd love to hear any of your recommendations!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Love Like No Other

Tonight we watched the movie Letters to Juliet. It was a really cute chick flick about how real love never ends. Everyone wants to find true love that ends happily ever after, but when we search for that in another person we will always find something lacking.

In November Jon and I will be married for 6 years, and I love him more now than I did on our wedding day. However, there are times when I let him down, and there are times when he disappoints me. There are times when even though he is only inches away from me, I feel alone. There are times when one of us is tired, and not in the mood to talk. There are times when we just don't understand each other. Sometimes we don't want to go to the same places or do the same things. This is something that we have to learn to accept, and work through. Even the best human love stories require a lot of upkeep. We set our hearts on finding someone that will love us so much that they literally can't get enough of us, but there is only One place you'll find that kind of devotion.

Jesus has left His spirit on this earth, and He is right there with each and every one of us all the time. He is with me everywhere I go, He knows me better than anyone else, and He still loves me. He's always there waiting for me to communicate with Him. It doesn't matter what time of the day or night it is, He's always there to listen to me, and give me encouragement, comfort, direction, peace, and wisdom. I know that there are a lot of skeptics and atheists out there, and the best explanation I can give is not my own words, but C.S. Lewis. Somehow he was able to articulate my own feelings and faith. "I believe in Christianity just as I believe the sun has risen (on a very cloudy day). Not because I can see it, but by it I see everything else." I can't actually see Jesus, but without Him I can't see beyond myself. To go through life, and never experience His love... well you've never really Lived. He has done more, and wants to continue to do more for each of us, than anyone ever could. I met Him as an 8 year old girl, and since that time He has been the one true constant in my life. He is my anchor. I have been hurt many times, and I've been through some dark places that no one else even knows about, but He has been there with me, and He has never stopped loving me.

On Monday our church began a new ladies Bible Study by Beth Moore called Stepping Up about the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). Just so you know, I've spent my whole life going to church, and had no idea what the Psalms of Ascent were, and already I have learned so much. One of the challenges is to find some time everyday if you are physically able to get down physically on your face to pray. It doesn't have to be very long, and if you aren't physically able to get down, then lay your head down on a table. In Beth Moore's words, "In God's economy, the way Up is to get down." He wants to continuously take us to another level in our relationship with Him. No one in their right mind thinks, "Hey, I would just like for things to go down the tubes a bit, and I know things would be better, but I don't want that." If we aren't moving Up with Him then we are missing out.

A few nights ago I was feeling so sad. There are things that just haven't worked out the way I had hoped. There are relationships in my life that are negative, and no matter what I try they just don't seem to work out better. I miss my sister so much, and I'm still not used to her being so far away. Jon was sound asleep, and I felt like I was all alone with my troubles. Finally I realized it wasn't going to get any better as long as I was dwelling on these things. I spent over 30 minutes crying and praying on the bathroom floor (so I wouldn't wake Jon up & I had close access to the toilet paper to blow my nose). When I'd gotten it all out, I felt such peace. I felt God telling me that these things that were bothering me are only temporary, and He has great things beyond my greatest hopes in store for me. I had the best night's sleep in a long time after that.

According to the little blog counter I am averaging almost 200 views per post right now, and I don't even know who all of those could be. I feel like God has challenged me to open up about what He is doing with me. This is my life, I don't have it all figured out, but I know the One who has "plans to give me a great future and hope" Jeremiah 29:11.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The News from Team Trammell

I love Fall! Fresh cool breezes, crunchy leaves, pumpkins, roasting marshmallows at night in the fire pit, candy corn. Maybe I love fall so much because I'm a Halloween baby (it cracks me up when I'm checking out somewhere and the cashier asks to see my driver's license & then says, "Did you know your Birthday's on Halloween?"... Seriously this happens pretty often, and I always say, "Yeah, it's great," but for some reason the inner smart allec wants to say something like, "No??? Really?!?!"). Anyways, I've been doing everything in my power to will the season to change. I don't like summer in Texas, it's hot, it's humid, oh and did I say it's HOT? So a couple days ago I put my fall wreath on the door and changed out my yard flag to one with Labradors & Ducks. My Mom gave me a very early 27th Birthday Present so I could start getting some use out of it, it's a new beautiful quilt for Fall & Winter to put on our bed. I am so in love with the thing, I almost asked Jon if we could sleep in the guest bedroom the first night after I put it on so we wouldn't mess it up. I didn't actually ask, but I thought about it.

If by some chance you notice the shaw wrapped around my bed post it is not there for decoration, I've discovered it is the best way to keep my shoulers & arms warm while I read at night before getting under the covers.
Tonight we watched the new movie Killers. I wasn't really expecting much, but I ended up really enjoying it. It was really cute, and Ashton Kutcher is always funny. It is going on my list of shows that I will watch again. You know how some shows are good, but once is enough, and some you could watch over and over... I've got to watch it again to pick up on some of the funnies.

I gave myself a pedicure tonight & painted my toenails a neon pink called Pink Voltage by China Glaze. I can't tell you how awesome that stuff is, it goes on so smooth and dries super fast! I'm not saying I'll never have another "professional" pedicure, but I really have an issue with giving someone $25 to sit there and hurt me, and talk about me in some other language to the person sitting right beside them... Before I go back to the Pedi Parlor I need to learn how to say "Fine talk all you want, because after the torture you've put me through I don't exactly like you that much either!" in Mandarin.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bye Bye Top Braces!!!

I got this round of braces on in February, and although it hasn't been a very long time I'm glad to have them off! I have a clear retainer that I'm supposed to wear all the time for the first 6 months, then I can go to wearing it at night. When I was a teenager I probably wouldn't have listened & just started wearing it at night (yeah that's how I got into this mess in the 1st place!). But I've had 10 birthday cakes since that last time, and since yours truly had to pay for this set of braces myself, you can bet I am following Dr. Shambarger's orders to the letter! It's still going to be a month or two until I can get the ones on the bottom taken off, but that's alright because they really aren't that noticeable. I'm having a Happy Day, and I hope You are too!

Sir Winston is just a little vain... everytime I get out a Camera here he comes, so I just held the little fellow up & took a picture with him! :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I hope you "LOVE" this 1 of 6 pictures I finished this week. As usual they are all about COLOR!

This was a week for finishing paintings. I think I'm a bit of an experimentalist when it comes to art. I will use almost any medium, and I'll give any technique a try. I don't know what that says about me, and I guess I don't really care.

For you Vera Bradley fans, you should know what this is... Puccini is in my top 20 favorite Vera Bradley Fabrics ;) I have 4 other Vera inspired pictures that aren't far from being finished. I did this oil painting with my palette knife, and thanks to the swirly designs in the ribbon around the bouquet I decided to get swirly with my signature.I got a bit colorful with this acrylic of some of the churches I saw in Santa Fe, NM this summer.

I'm so glad Fall is on it's way! I like to call this abstract "Turkey & Dressing" because these are the colors you see when it's time to be Thankful.

I had a little fun doing these pink flowers with navy, they look a lot more textured in real life. I've got another pretty big, really awesome abstract that I'm working on, I'm doing some Serta Sheep for Jon's Mattress Store, and I have a million other ideas in my head. Every night right before I fall asleep I get another "Ah HA!"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Embroidered Linen Hand Towels

I'm just as bad as the next person when it comes to monograms. Most of the time, if you stick a T on it, I'm going to want it. I was given these 2 pairs of beautiful monogrammed linen tea towels as wedding presents when Jon and I got married.
Since then, I've picked up some at different times from Secret Garden Embroidery at First Monday in Canton. They are always coming up with new ones. Sometimes I get a pair, and sometimes I just get one. There is something so old fashioned and elegant about them.

This weekend I got the 3 below. All together I now have 15 of them, which is a pretty good collection. The one with the pink flowers and the one with the pineapple were on sale because they were trying to clear out their spring and summer stuff to make room for the new Fall and Christmas ones. The bottom Christmas one was featured in Southern Living either last Christmas or the one before. They are machine washable, but you can't put them in the dryer. I use them as decoration in my bathroom, but beware the wrath would come down strong on any who dared to actually wipe their hands on them. I remember when I was little I used to think my Mom was crazy for having pretty towels and things that were just for decoration, but now I think I get it. I want to have pretty things to look at, and it isn't like there is an endless cheap supply of them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's going on

I'm back up at the college painting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I can't tell you how awesome it is to actually have a place I can go paint, and not have to worry about having to get everything put away so we can eat at the dinner table. It's also great to see my old painting buddies. We all feed off of one another, and give each other ideas. I have so much stuff to paint, I don't know how I'll ever finish it all.
Over the past two months our Zipper cat has wormed his way into becoming a full time resident of our bed. Now that he is three years old he's calmed down, and has actually become a very good sleeping buddy. He just gets still, and most of the time we don't know he's in here.
I have been doing a devotional by Beth Moore called 90 days with Jesus the One and Only. It is so good, and has been right on target with the things that are going on in my life right now. I have really come to understand the scriptures in a different perspective from what I had as a child or a teenager. Stories I've read over and over through the years are so much more meaningful. It's true, God's Word is living, and it is always fresh.
Last night I read the story in Luke 2:42-50 of the time Mary and Joseph thought they had lost Jesus as a child, and when they found Him three days later He was in the Temple. Don't you know that as parents Mary and Joseph were panicked! This wasn't just a 20 minute separation in a shopping mall. We're talking about 3 whole days in the city of Jerusalem with tens of thousands of people coming in and out from surrounding villages to observe Passover. I'm sure they understood things the way we do now. The first 48 hours after a child goes missing is crucial, after that the chances of finding them alive go way down. Imagine their relief followed quickly by frustration, when they finally looked around the Temple, and found Him sitting amongst the teachers, listening, and making wise comments. At this point Mary and Joseph had probably given up hope of ever finding Him. He was only a 12 year old boy. He could have been taken and made into a slave, murdered, or any number of things. Like any other mother who had just lived her worst nightmare, Mary confronted Jesus basically saying, "How could You cause us such grief? We have looked everywhere for You?" His response was, "Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?" The scripture goes on to say that Mary was confused, and didn't really comprehend what He meant, but it stayed in her heart, and she pondered it often. Even though she had taken part in the miracle of His birth, not even Mary was able to fully comprehend who her son was.
There are times when I pray, and The Lord doesn't always make sense to me. It's times like this that I have to have faith, and trust that He will show me His plan in time. It is such a blessing to go through something that makes "no sense" at the time, and to later be able to look back, and see God had a great plan all along.
I remember as an 18 year old girl, I was so ready to leave Texarkana, and go off to college at OU. Somehow, I came upon one road block after another. I had been accepted to every college I had applied to, but when it came down to getting a room and a schedule, nothing worked out right. Also my grandfather who had been living with us passed away, and me and my entire family were so grieved. Finally I decided to just stay here for a semester, then I would go. Of course, I was frustrated, and thought "All of my friends have gone off to school, and now this is the worst mistake of my life." I thought I'd leave at Christmas, but transferring between fall and spring and finding a place to live in Norman is next to impossible. So I ended up here that spring, and that is when I met Jon. I know now without a doubt in my mind that I was right where I was supposed to be.
I know quite a few people that have laughed, and looked down on me for staying here. It doesn't matter to me because I learned that you get as much out of your college education as you put into it, and it really doesn't matter what "brand" of stamp is on your diploma because the text books are the same almost everywhere you go. I learned as much or more here at Texarkana College and Texas A&M-Texarkana as I would have anywhere else. I scored in the top 5% on the LSAT, I'm saying that not to brag, but to make a point that it doesn't matter where you go to school, but what you learn while you're there that counts. God made me realized that law school wasn't the path for me (another story all together). I ended up getting my Masters degree through the University of Oklahoma in Interprofessional Health and Human Services (basically hospital administration). From there I have taught Administrative Procedures for the
Allied Health Continuing Education department at Texarkana College.
My life isn't anywhere near finished making twists and turns that I don't understand, but I want my life to be about Him, and so I will continue to trust Him because He sees the Big picture when all I can see is what's in my immediate surroundings. I don't think I'm perfect, or better than anyone else. I have really botched things up at times, and I still do. There are things I've said and done that I would give anything if I could take them back. I find myself having to apologize and ask forgiveness from God and other people all the time. The One thing that matters is that no matter what I have said, done, or thought He is always there to forgive me, and guide me if I just call upon Him.
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