Monday, August 14, 2017

Renovating 101

Let me begin by saying that sheetrock dust is evil. It lands in the strangest of places and lurks in tiniest of corners. If it was a germ, it would take over the world in no time. No vaccination could stop it.  Sheetrock dust is resistant to the powerful suction of the best vacuum and the continuous back and forth action of vigorous mopping. Sweep it up you say?  Forget about it! It just dances around in the air while finding a new place to adhere to. I bet under a microscope, it has suction cup tentacles.

I say all this while eating a cup of Blue Bell Cookie Two Step ice cream.  I am rewarding myself for  laying down sheets of brown butcher paper on the floors and covering more furniture with painters cloth.  All in anticipation of the disaster that will commence again tomorrow morning. By the way, the ice cream is delicious.

So what's up at the farmhouse? I wish I could tell you that Mr. Still Woods has decided that I need a larger closet and we are beginning a renovation job to give me the closet of my dreams.
Hmm..which one shall I choose?
Actually, our project is not that grand! We are closing in a door and moving it to another location.  That's it.  Nothing major, but it is causing a huge amount of mess.  It also required moving a large library unit...which necessitated moving power boxes...which necessitated the removal of more sheetrock...which brings me back around to the reason I am eating ice cream!

I'll keep you posted on the progress!
Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Encouraging Scripture for Back to School


Many of the students along the Mississippi Gulf Coast began school this week and the remainder will start next week. There will be plenty of excitement mingled with the fear of the unknown.  As a psychometrist and counselor in various school settings, I saw it all the time.  The age of the student is irrelevant.  Whether it is an elementary student or student bound for college, there is often some amount of apprehension.
An extremely polite kindergartner once told me, "Thank you for inviting me, but I don't think I will be back"! Loved his forthrightness!  I sought out the little fellow the next school day, knowing that his hopes of staying home would be crushed and he might need a little encouragement.  On the other end of the spectrum, don't forget our college bound students who need a good dose of encouragement before setting off into the big world of college.  I remember being scared to death when I first set foot on the campus of my alma mater, Mississippi State University! What about you?
Encouragement...we all need it.  I draw so much encouragement from God's word.  Many families start each new year with a theme scripture verse.  My good friend Lisa has a theme hymn to begin a new year.  What about an encouraging scripture verse for the new school year?  I can think of no better way to begin the adventure of a new school year than with words of encouragement from the Lord.  May I suggest a few for you to consider?

Proverbs 18:10 
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Psalm 16:8  
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With Him at my right hand, 
I will not be shaken.

Psalm 55:22  
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; 
He will never let the righteous be shaken.

2 Timothy 1:7  
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, 
love and self-discipline.  
(Great for a shy child)

Proverbs 3: 5-6  
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.  

Ephesians 4:32.  
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, 
just as in Christ God forgave you.
(Great for conflict with friends)

Isaiah 40:31  
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings 
like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.

Philippians 4:13  
I can do all things through Christ because he strengthens me.  (ICB)

Do you have a theme scripture verse for the school year?  Would you be willing to share it with all of us? Please leave me a comment with your family's favorite Bible verse.  If you don't, I hope you will consider spending some time with your family this weekend deciding on your theme verse for the school year.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful new school year!
Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Sad Goodbye

It's funny how a furry creature, weighing just a tad more than 8 pounds, can steal your heart and hold it captive.  Our little Luke Bailey did just that...
If you follow my blog, you may remember seeing the post,  Puppy Love .  It was all about the new fellow in my life. To make a long story short, my husband was content with our two labs, but I fell instantly in love with this little boy.
He was one of two puppies from my sister's maltipoo's litter.  I would visit whenever I could just to hold him. After hearing my husband's objections, I stopped talking about it and quietly began a Facebook campaign.  You know....if I get so many likes, this little cutie gets to live with me? It worked!

Luke always thought he was as big as our labs.  Whenever it would thunder, Luke would bark furiously until I had our labs safe and sound in our garage.  He would round them up and usher them to the door connecting to our garage.  He looked quite smitten with himself after finishing this very important job.  I think the under bite helped with the smitten look!
Luke was also extremely proud of his potty abilities! When he came back in, he would often run around the coffee table as fast as he could, barking as he went.  It was always hilarious to see his antics!

He also loved to play Canasta and would often distract the other players by his sheer cuteness.  The truth is he just liked to be held and was most content in someone's arms.
Just like his human mom, he was fond of a good book. I must tell you that he was quite a ham! He loved to sit still and pose for photos.  I think he knew what we were doing. After all, he had his own Facebook page with lots of followers!
He loved to sneak his way into pictures.  I shooed him away several times while I was taking the photos for my blog post about the Reading Room.  Look closely and you'll see my little pal sitting in the photo!
Luke was also an avid Mississippi State fan.  In fact, during one disastrous game, a friend messaged me and asked if Luke had on his Mississippi State jersey.  I told him that Luke did not.  I was told to get it on him ASAP.  I did and we won! After that, Luke always wore his jersey on game day. Hail State!
Luke wasn't great at  gardening, but he did like to supervise. He loved to be around us, no matter what we were doing.  I love his smile in this photo!
Luke was brave and adventurous....maybe a little too brave for his size.  This past May, Luke decided to take an Underdog worthy leap from our front porch so he could follow the labs.  I was at church cooking for our Senior Adult banquet.  My husband said that he noticed Luke favoring his right leg.  By the time I got home later that night, Luke was acting a little funny and didn't move much. I took him out before bedtime and he hobbled off to his favorite spot under the big oaks and walked around to the back of the house.  I brought him in and he slept without any issues through the night, but by the next morning, we knew something was terribly wrong. 

We spent an early Saturday morning at our vets. It appeared that Luke had injured his back. He was placed on kennel rest and given steroids and pain medication.  I was told to carry him outside to potty, as he was not allowed to walk.  Poor Luke looked so sad and confused.  We followed all the rules and he had a very quiet day.  We took him out right before bedtime and put him in his kennel beside our bed.  By 2:30 am, he was panting heavily and was paralyzed from his mid back down.  We rushed immediately to the animal emergency hospital near us. We were told that the prognosis was extremely poor because the paralysis set in so quickly.  In the wee hours of the morning, we lost our sweet Luke Bailey.  He was only 4 years old. 
We brought him home and buried him near the garden, not far from his favorite trees. He'd like our choice of resting places.  He was all about those trees! Our big labs came and sniffed the white box that held our little Luke. They sat nearby and watched as my husband dug and dug in the pouring rain. It was if they knew...and I'm sure they did.

It's odd, but I expect to see Luke in his favorite places...in the kitchen while I'm making coffee in the morning...in his basket by the fireplace...sitting under my feet as I write this blog post...hiding from me under the dining room table when he knows that I am about to leave the house...waiting not so patiently by the dinner table until we were finished eating...at night in his bed in our bedroom.

Cynthia Rylant wrote the beautiful book, Dog Heaven. As a counselor, I often read Dog Heaven to children after the loss of a beloved pet.  There is one particular drawing I love.  It depicts dogs  frolicking around in heaven while a man hides behind a tree, watching with a smile on his face.  The children always exclaimed that the man was God and He was looking out for their pet.  It is my favorite page of the book.  I imagine when Luke arrived in heaven, he trotted right over and informed God what his duties were going to be in heaven.  Our sweet boy was bossy!
We are thankful for the short time we had with Luke.  He brought so much joy to our lives and is greatly missed.  I once read that some things just fill your heart without trying.  Our little Luke Bailey did just that...
Dedicated to the wonderful memory of Luke Bailey