Wednesday, January 18, 2012


 The squirrels on this crazy Island are pertinacious!

1. holding tenaciously to a purpose; course of action, or opinion; resolute
2. stubborn or obstinate
3. extremely or objectionably persistent

Not to long ago Liza and I were sitting in what was then our dinning room, pouring over the intricacies of 2nd grade reading, when one of these critters spied us through the window.

Our presence made him very uncomfortable, and he let us know. I don't know if he felt threatened, or was just having a bad day.

He seriously screamed so loud, and so long, that we couldn't ignore him. I found him to be very objectionable persistent. We finally went out and scared him away. I can be pertinacious too!

Saturday I was at the hardware store, and overheard a customer ask if they had a squirrel proof bird feeder. "Oh no" she laughed out loud, "those don't exist around here!".
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Courageous high heels at the auto parts store

On this new year I revealed my word for 2012.


I don't have much.
Although I believe that God could supernaturally send one tiny pinch of courage my way, and I could instantaneously be filled to overflowing, and then conquer the universe, I don't believe that that is the way He will give me courage.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. II Timothy 1:7
He has really already given it, I just have to take it, accept it, believe Him for it, and wear it. Here is where the rub is for me.

I wear courage the way a man wears high heels.

It isn't comfortable for me.
So I don't.

The only reason women can wear high heels,
 is because they want to.

Think about it......

Okay, I just googled men in heels, and apparently SOME men like to wear them.....but lets go with the assumption that most men don't.
I am sure they don't for a number of reasons, both social and environmental, but I bet the number one reason, practically speaking, is that they aren't comfortable wearing them. If they wanted to wear them, they could, if they practised. If they put them on, and gradually increased the height, maybe just a little bit everyday, until they didn't feel quite so awkward, and then when they were ready, they could try them out in public. Just a quick run to the auto parts store perhaps, would get them over the hump. Before you knew it they would be sporting platforms and studlettos every where they went.

Okay enough of that analogy

Here's the thing, I can pick out times in my life when I was courageous. Most of those times came in the face of extreme adversity. When the going gets tough the tough get going you might think? No, I don't think that was the case. When I have been faced with really hard circumstances.....well, that's when I have leaned in a bit closer to my Savior. I wanted, no I needed ,to hear His voice, and lets be honest people, when we snuggle a bit deeper into His embrace, His courage (and whatever else we might need) is a bit more, shall we say, accessible. When I am not on my knees, seeking Him, desperate for His help, thirsting for His streams of living water, well then I am not recognising my need for Him, and I am living in my own strength.

When I am not seeing my need for HIM, then I am living in my own strength.

what, you didn't hear that??

When I am not seeing my need for HIM, then I am living in my own strength.

I call it COASTING.

So then, the number one answer my friends, to this need I see in myself for courage, lies in my recognising my constant need for Him, even when times are a bit less stressful, coasting times if you will.

Number two answer perhaps, is that I need to try it on, like those high heels. I need to push myself to exercise the art of wearing courage, just a little bit at a time. Perhaps with practise courage will become comfortable on me....or perhaps it will become second nature when I get used to wearing it, or used to letting God put it on me.
Is there anything you need to be more courageous about, some area where fear is holding you back from doing or being what God is calling you to? Could you try on some courage today, practise wearing it a bit, take it out in public? I bet a quick run to the auto parts store would do the trick.

The Lettered Cottage
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kartwrights in Brazil

Last Monday Our son Kartwright left for a month long mission in Brazil with a group of Impact 360 students. Please pray for him and his fellow students as they spread the good news of Jesus. Friday we were able to skype with him, and he looks and sounds terrific. I am so excited about all the Lord is teaching him, and doing in and through him. This video just shows a small tidbit of what he is involved in. He is the big guy in the baseball cap playing Jonah.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SOAP noodle soup

Home made laundry soap is all the talk lately, have you noticed? So much so, that it is as if those who are not making their own, are somehow irresponsible. I began to feel guilty every time I bought a big jugO'Tide (I know, I have guilt issues),and I caved to blog pressure. So I went a googling, and found a laundry soap recipe, and went for it.

There were only 3 ingredients, how hard could that be?? All 3 were at my local Publix super! The recipe said after all was said and done, each load would only cost 1 cent! That sounded GREAT to me, and I specifically chose a recipe that made only one gallon, because I knew I didn't have containers to put several gallons into, or a space to store them.

The Fels Naptha was easy to grate, and then I measured out, and poured into the water, both the washing soda  and Borax. Easy peesie lemon squeezie I thought. As I stirred my soap soup I grinned as the thrill of victory set in, and I planned the blog post where I would tell you all what a happy and successful home maker I am.

Then I remembered the laundry, and I quickly set off to get it done. Soon after the first load went in, my trusty front loader started singing warning signals that something wasn't right. She was literally spewing water out the front of the machine where the soap dispenser was housed. The bottom drawer, full of beach towels, had already filled with water, and there was about an inch on the floor. We have been in this house for less than 4 months, and this is the second time we have flooded the laundry room. We aren't going to talk about the, we aren't...I said no!
Pride goes before the fall I often quote, and I and my soap soup were falling hard! I called out to my resident handy man, and after shop vac-ing my mess, he set out to find the problem. Apparently my machine was rejecting the water, because her pipes were blocked.
Now in an effort to fully disclose, I must add that there was a broken piece of plastic lodged in her parts, acting as a sort of dam, where the soap had coagulated preventing the water from flowing into the washer, as opposed to into the laundry room (how's that for a run-on sentance Mrs. Rawls?). The soap was however the real culprit, who knows how long the piece of plastic had been hanging out comfortably in the bowels of the white Samsung.

I went back to the beginning and read in the recipe that I was supposed to wait 24 hours before using the soap. The next morning I had a gallon of what could have been mistaken as lard! I scraped it into a larger pot, added 2 gallons of water, and heated it up. The recipe said it should look like noodle soup, and it did. 24 hours later it was jello, hard jello. I added another gallon of water, heated it up, noodle soup again. In case you have lost count, we now have 4 gallons of soap soup, in a pot, on my stove. 24 hours later.......noodle soup, 4 gallons of soap noodle soup.

Easy peesie lemon squeezie.

Anybody need some laundry soap??

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Giant snow balls,muffin tops,COURAGE??

I have been missing in action in blog land since just before we moved. Life was being lived. In an effort to have some record of what's been happening, if for no one but myself, I am going to quickly recap the last two months.

The move from Georgia, to Florida, was uneventful other than the extra two days that it took! Everything arrived in one piece save a pottery bowl, and a few glasses. The unpacking and settling in took longer than I ever imagined.....and that is when the Holidays took over my life like a giant rolling snowball, and I could not stop its rhythm long enough to hang a picture or organise a drawer.

November marked my 47th's just a number ladies. It can not define me any more than my growing muffin top, or the ever deepening wrinkles on my brow. Lets just agree though that growing old is pretty much yucky.....I don't care what they tell you, don't believe them, it's yucky. Going to the cheesecake factory to "celebrate" with my family was pretty much heaven though, we had a wonderful time over indulging, and said muffin top came in handy to pad me as they rolled me back out to my car afterwords.

Thanksgiving wasn't long after that, and again we over indulged. This time at the home of my sweet niece Ellie Mae (Ellen) and her hubby, and two precious boys. It was fun to reconnect with my family and see all the growing babies. I took nary a photo as I forgot my camera. I was disappointed, but took the opportunity to just be in the moment for a change, instead of documenting it as usual. There was more food than you would need to feed an army, and I ate more than my share! We then had the privilege of caring for two year old Clairebell for the weekend.

One week later we sent Kartwright back to school, and delivered the girls to Hilton Head for an extended play date with their grandparents and flew off to Cancun Mexico to celebrate 25 years of wedded bliss and jump start our next 25 with a bang! The sun was warm, the water was aqua, the sand was white, and the company was my FAVORITE! Again, the food was plentiful, and we partook, plentifully! The Mexican waiters liked to call it a booofet (buffet), always made me smile, and at our favorite restaurant, each night was a different theme. Our goal was relaxation, and Cancun did not disappoint!

We returned to the bustle of Christmas in the states, and it was palpable when we landed in the Miami airport. We had two weeks to get ready for the big day, so the pressure was on. Internet shopping was my new go to plan. So, the girls were retrieved, the college boy returned, my parents joined the fun, and son number one and his beautiful family were able to come for Christmas dinner! Somehow most of the pictures were hung, and errant boxes were banished to the garage and everything came together. Jesus was worshipped, His Birthday was aptly celebrated, and once, lots of it.

And, now we come to New Years. I LOVE new beginnings, fresh starts, clean slates, try agains.
So, see ya 2011, you were great! We learned a lot, and with each disappointment came a surprise right around the corner. We said good bye to our third son, not forever, but he is grown now, and the hormonal scales  have tipped quite sharply toward estrogen. Our house of boys has become feminised, and Michael stands alone as protector....aka spider killer. We welcomed a new sweet bundle of boyness with the arrival of Grandbaby Ryder in August, and all of us relocated further south, have new work, and fresh beginnings. My one word for the year 'Kind' was used often, and practised even more, but stands still very far from perfected. It will be an on going resolution for our home, and added to the list of one words.

I have been ruminating on my one word for 2012. My problem comes not in thinking of a possibility, but of narrowing down many, to just one, and the narrowing has come to this.


 I have heard much talk about the lack of need for resolutions this season....not needed? Perhaps not, but I think they can prove useful. Resolutions can be a starting point, a rendezvous of ideas that join and help make things happen. Just a tiny jump start to the beginning of something big. Big ideas have to start somewhere, and they also require a measure of courage.

It is a word just for me, very personal, and yet many may be brushed by it's afterglow I suppose. I need it, I must practise it, pray for it, encourage it, nurture it, and possess it, and maybe just maybe my little word can be the start of something big as well!

Have you picked a word yet??
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