“Joy Cometh In The Morning”

September 27, 2008 at 3:23 pm (Musings..., Scripture References)

This post is an answer to my darling daughter’s blog about the word “but”…  check it out.  On the blogroll on this page, Amanda Joy’s blog link is listed. 

Me and Darling Amanda -- 1984

Me and Darling Amanda -- 1984

My middle name is Joy too!!  I was named Melodye for music and Joy for the verse “Pain endureth for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b  (I was born in the morning!)

As I have encouraged Amanda and other young people, I realize there is such a high expectation on 20-somethings that wasn’t there when I was in my 20’s.  They feel as if their life is full of… everything but joy!

I did a word search for “Joy” on www.biblegateway.com and 240 references came up.  I found a few for this post — we don’t have a choice, we are commanded to be joyful! 

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10b

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”  Job 8:21

“Be joyful always.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16

“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”  Jeremiah 31:13

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  Romans 12:12

“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.  Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete.”  John 16:24

I could go on and on!!  The difficult thing about life is maintaining our joy through troubled times and stress.  We often tell ourselves our problems are too small for us to be sorrowful, so we feel guilt on top of the sadness! 

Am I being simplistic? Perhaps.  But, there are many complicated circumstances in life and maintaining joy, while not always easy, CAN be simple.  It’s all in your attitude, darling!! 

I remember something Carmen said at a concert.  He said he asked a guy how he was doing, and the guy said, “Okay, under the circumstances.”  Carmen said, “Why don’t you get out from under those circumstances!”

I have had times of incredible sadness and have felt that I would never experience joy again, but God is faithful, his mercies are new every morning and joy does come in the morning!!

We must look to the “author and finisher of our faith” for our joy.  True joy comes from the inside of our beings and are not a result of circumstances!!


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The Mozart Effect and My 49-Year-Old Brain

September 26, 2008 at 11:06 pm (Musings...)

I have taken piano lessons since I was 8.  I learned to play by ear when I was 18.  When I developed MS in 1990, one of the first things that was affected was my piano playing.  In 1996 I started to accompany our high school choir (at that time 100 students, now it is 190-220 students, 100 boys!).  One of my neurologists theorizes that I re-taught myself how to play the piano because there are many pathways from the brain and when one is blocked, sometimes you can find another one.

All that to say this 🙂   I have charted chords for songs for at least 30 years.  In the past 8 years, though I haven’t done much.  My “reason” (darling Amanda) was at college reading books and running up library fines!!!  I sometimes figure out a song for kids at school who want to sing solos. (Tab charts on the Internet are wonderful, but not all songs have a tab!) It has been a long time since I have charted a song for… me!!

Gone Away,” a song written by Curtis Mayfield and Donny Hathaway and covered in 1970 by Roberta Flack is also covered by Queen Latifah on her “Travelin’ Light” CD.  I found myself singing at the top of my lungs to that song and realized that I wanted to play it… alas… no chords, no book, no nothing. 

I spent yesterday figuring out the chords… I almost have it.  Now I am practicing it for… myself!!  No concert, no performance, but I have had a fabulous time using that part of my brain that has gone unused for some time and for a long time not for my own musical pleasure!  It is in the key of Eb with a few augmented chords (thanks Amanda!!) along the way.

If I took an IQ test today, I would be smarter than I was yesterday!  I always told my kids I knew their IQ and mine and I was WAAAAYYY smarter than they were.  That was usually in conjunction with the statement “I own the air you breathe!”  But I digress…

I am also busy painting and designing.  Pictures will come when I have a project completed!!

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My Sewing Journey

September 22, 2008 at 12:33 pm (Memories, Sewing Projects)

I have talked to you about my decorative painting journey, but have said little about my sewing journey.  I have been sewing for 39 years!!  The first thing I made was a quilt, using scraps of fabric my mother had in her material box. 

My First Sewing Project... 1969

My First Sewing Project... 1969

I made an Easter Dress and hat (without using a stiffener — the hat flopped) when I was 12.  When I was 13 or 14 I made a purple jumpsuit (Donny Osmond’s favorite color was purple).  There was a zipper that went the whole way up the front of it.  I made all of Amanda’s formal/prom gowns.  I’m not sure if she really liked that, but it saved us money and I could get an exact fit.
Lately, I’ve decided that I am NOT sewing for sewing’s sake.  I am taking harder, more unusual patterns and making them projects.  My new favorite website is www.decadesofstyle.com .  The following jacket was made from a pattern from the website.


Back -- notice the intricate seaming

Back -- notice the intricate seaming

My next project is a blouse from Decades of Style.  Hopefully I will finish it before Amanda’s concert in November.  But, I have painting to do too, laundry, work… “my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wife to kill, and Guilder to frame for it… I’m swamped!”  (Quote is from The Princess Bride — I don’t have a wife and I’m not killing anyone!!)

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Driving at Midnight and The Very Best of Deep Purple

September 20, 2008 at 8:23 pm (Musings...)

Yesterday my darling husband and I drove to Emily and Matt’s wedding in Maryland…  We drove home from the wedding too… 

Having already listened to our CD of Lynyrd Skynyrd on the trip down, and due to the fact that I FORGOT the Steely Dan CD, we were searching through the collection in my car for music to drive home to. 

Yes, I found The Very Best of Deep Purple in my collection.  At 12:19 a.m., I was rocking out to Deep Purple as I drove on the PA turnpike.  Okay, okay, “rocking out” is probably too strong of a term to use.  Let’s just say my eyes stayed open and on the road as I was listening to the great guitarists, vocalist and keyboard/organist.  He probably was playing a “Hammond B-3” that was synthasized!  I had forgotten what a great band they were.  I drove part of the way home (I can drive in the dark if I don’t have to make any left turns and the highway is clearly marked 🙂   )  We also drove home to Beyonce’s B-day and Chaka Khan — Epiphany, The Best of…    Amanda pointed out to me what an wide range of music I enjoy listening to.  I am so lucky to have been exposed to GREAT music as I was growing up!!! 

We got home 2:17 a.m.  A good time was had by all.  Thank you Emily and Matt for inviting us to your very special day!

Me and Amanda 9-19-08

Me and Amanda 9-19-08

Danny and me dancing to "Unforgettable"

Danny and me dancing

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Spanish Bar Recipe and Graham Cracker Memory

September 19, 2008 at 12:46 pm (Memories, Recipes)

A few weeks ago I picked up a “Spanish Bar” at my local supermarket.  My mom used to get them for us and memories flooded my mind.  I also decided to try an find a recipe to make the bar.  Most of the recipes called for applesauce and I didn’t have any on hand.  The one I found actually tastes almost exactly like the Spanish bar of my memory.

Spanish Bar Cake

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Combine brown sugar, raisins, water shortening, spices and boil together for 5 minutes.  Let cool.  Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and soda.  Combine both mixtures and pour into a greased and parchment paper-lined 9x5x3 inch pan.  Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes or until done.  Cool and split into two layers.  Frost with butter-cream frosting or cream cheese frosting.

Another memory came to my mind… My mom was the best mom in the world.  She always made extra icing and we would eat graham crackers with icing in the middle of them.  What a great memory!!!!

Susie, Dad, Debbie, Mom, Esther and Me

Susie, Dad, Debbie, Mom, Esther and Me

… notice Mom’s hair on the right side of her neck… we’re not sure where it went!!  She was probably so busy making sure we looked good for our picture…  🙂

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Too Much Time To Think…

September 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm (Decorative Painting, Musings...)

These are my random thoughts at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday… 

Too much information is not a good thing.  I have until yesterday resisted the impulse to look up “glioma” on the Internet.  Well, I succumbed to my inner curiousity and looked.  I shouldn’t have.  Suffice it to say I understand why my doctor is taking this one step at a time with me…  Scary stuff can happen and may happen.

I have a Decades of Style Pattern  http://www.decadesofstyle.com/ that I want to make into a pretty pink blouse using a old well-worn drape that drapes so well. 

I have about three ideas for painting designs swirling around in my head.  I don’t have the energy or drive to put them to paper.  I hope they stay swirling around until I write them down.

My own design -- Telemark

My own design -- Telemark

I read with interest darling Sacha’s list of 100 things to do before she dies.  I started to think… 100 things is too many but what DO I want to do??  That is a good question — for so long my personal drive and success were directly tied to my children’s.  I think I have finally let go to the point that I can have my own goals.  Hopefully… (Brent, if you read this, don’t screw up!!)  So what do I want to do??  I quite frankly do not know.  I am going to give this some serious thought!!  It is tough for me to think of a goal that isn’t tied to my kids somehow… 

Amanda Me and Brent

Amanda Me and Brent

When I come up with a list, I will surely share with you and cyberworld!!

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The Secret to a Happy Marriage —- Earplugs!

September 15, 2008 at 10:29 am (Musings...)

Danny and Melodye

Danny and Melodye

I have been married to my darling hubby for 28 years.  He is a late-night person who likes to watch old movies early into the morning then come to bed.  Like I have said before, I watch the O’Reilly Factor and then go to bed at 9:30 or so. 

That being said, it seems that as we get older, we need more sleep .  Danny has been coming to bed earlier, before I am completely asleep and he snores!!  Loudly!!  I found myself a little bitter about the fact that more times than not, he was happily asleep, snoring and I was staring at the ceiling, jumping at the particularly loud ones!!

The solution is simple, really.  Earplugs.  I stole an orange pair from my hubby’s drawer by his ammunition for his guns.  These apparently work when one shoots a gun too!!

They work like a charm!! Dan can sleep, snoring happily, and I can fall asleep because the earplugs drown out the scariest, loudest of the snores!!  I would have never used these when my kids were little, but now I don’t need to listen for any noises at night!!  {{Yay!!}} 

Happiness is a set of earplugs 🙂

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The Plow Truck and Answered Prayer

September 12, 2008 at 7:46 pm (Musings..., Scripture References)



The Plow Truck

“You do not have because you do not ask God.”  James 4:2b

You may think you know where this post is going, but you don’t!!

Like all families, we play “car tag” when a car is getting repaired.  My son travels 44 miles one way to college.  I have to go 9 miles one way to work.  Brent’s wheel bearing was going bad and until it got to the repair shop, he took my car (an old lady Subaru station wagon) to school and I took his car (a cool, tinted windows Honda Accord) to work.

On Wednesday his car went into the repair shop.  No problem.  Brent had school, I didn’t have work.  Thursday, the car was still in the repair shop.  No problem.  Brent didn’t have school, I had work. 

Friday…  Brent had school, I had work.  The third vehicle in our stable is the above-pictured plow truck.  Obviously Brent cannot drive it to school — maximum speed on it is 40 mph.  I COULD drive it to school, park very, very far away… 

Problem was, I had to go into the art studio Friday (today), in our little town of Ebensburg, PA.  This requires parallel parking…   My darling hubby assured me over the phone Thursday evening that I could do that…

About 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening and our mechanic hadn’t called to say Brent’s car was fixed.  I started to panic.  Then James 4:2 came to my mind.

I sincerely, literally got on my knees and said, “Lord, you KNOW what our circumstances are tomorrow.  You KNOW that I CANNOT parallel-park the plow truck!  I HAVE to go to the art studio.  Please help me!!”

The hardest part then was “resting” in the assurance that the Lord heard my cry… 45 minutes later Tom called, Brent’s car was finished.


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I DO NOT Spend 24/7 in my Bathrobe {{Honestly!!}}

September 10, 2008 at 12:41 pm (Musings...)

Brent’s darling girlfriend, Kayla came over last night about 7:30 or so.  I was in my bathrobe.  I realized that, each time Kayla comes in the evening, I am either in my bathrobe or pajamas.  She probably thinks I LIVE in my pajamas!! (I’m being sarcastic, she doesn’t… I hope). 

The truth is, after about 5:30 or so in the evening, I put on my pajamas.  I am not a party animal.  I fall asleep between 9:30 and 10:00 each night.  I cease to function at about 8:30 p.m.  A perfect evening for me is to stay home, watch The O’Reilly Factor and go to bed.  I don’t need excitement after 3:00 p.m. or so.  I’m 49! 

When my kids were young and I had to cut myself in a million pieces to get them where they needed to be, a common question for me to ask was, “Do I have to go anywhere tonight?”  If the answer was, “No,” I put on my pajamas. 

That doesn’t mean I’m a boring person who has a unfulfilling life.  The fullness of my life just ends at about 6:00 p.m. or so!  P.J’s are also more comfortable because the bottoms have an elastic waist.

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Homer’s Legacy

September 9, 2008 at 6:05 pm (Memories, Musings...)

My Daddy, Homer Richard Gay, will be 69 on the 24th of September.  He made an apple pie today and brought me a piece to enjoy.  Daddy grew up with us — he and Mom were married at 18 and 16 years old.   He taught me and Sue, my sister to sing in harmony with him when we were two and three years old.  I have a vivid memory of Daddy in charge of three of us girls, taping his banjo playing on a reel-to-reel tape.  On the tape is his banjo playing and my sister, Debbie, saying “Cappy has to go out, Daddy, Cappy has to go out!”  Cappy was our puppy and Cappy probably had an accident inside while Dad was playing and taping.  He was very persistent as he learned things.  I inherited that sometimes annoying gene. 

I got to thinking about how legacies are passed down, good and bad.  This is a GOOD legacy…  A few pictures to prove my point!!

Dad, Sue and Me -- probably 1972

Dad, Sue and Me -- probably 1972

Amanda, my Dad and Cousin Frank

Amanda, Daddy and Cousin Frank - 2006

Brent, My dad, Papap and Cousin Frank

Brent, Daddy and Cousin Frank (AGAIN!)-2007

…A Good Time Was Had By All!!…

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