Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Holidays!

From left to right: my husband Jamie, daughter Audra, daughter Alicia, son Allen and me

We have been blessed to have all of our kids home. Allen is home from Boston where he has been working with City Year as he rethinks his college plans. He has been trying to figure out what college to transfer to for the fall. Meanwhile, Audra is a senior and is exploring her options for college choices for the upcoming year as well. Alicia is a sophomore. I also am not sure where The Lord will take me as far as schools in the fall. Life is unknown right now. I thank God that it is not unknown to Him.

Living by the seat of my pants while learning to trust usual. The lesson never ends!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

May the gift of Jesus be felt by you this season.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What to do with an old book

I've been busying myself making Scandinavian Woven Stars.  
My first attempt.

My second star. 
They are intended to be Christmas gifts for my wonderful TAs in the library in Fairport.
They each took me about two hours to make.
I like the second one better than the first.

If you are interested in making one yourself, go to an antique shop, 
buy yourself an old book,
And then go to this tutorial.
Have fun!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Enjoy This Year's Christmas Video!

My husband is the production manager at a small company that makes professional videos. The company has made a number of local commercials, training videos for companies, documentaries, etc.  They have done work for Xerox, Aldi, International Food Network, and Gould Pumps to name a few. In fact, Xerox even sent them to France and Germany to create videos for their international division.

Every year they create a Christmas video for the amusement of their family, friends, and clients.   So here is this year's video.

Just for the record, my husband is the shorter of the two Animal Kontrol guys and the one who flings himself into the tree.

Oh yeah...I almost forgot. One of the very important jobs my husband has (along with everyone else who works for LaBarge) is to spot inconsistencies and other mistakes during video work. In this year's video....they created one on purpose. See if you can spot it.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Learning to Listen and Wait

I have been trying to wait on the Lord and listen to where He is directing me. It is not always easy to hear what he is saying. I've had times in my life where a message has come to me loud and clear. Unfortunately, I have not always heeded that message. Other times I need to be still and wait and listen. I think there are even times when His voice is never clear and we simply need to pray, use our best judgement and then trust. I'm trying to do better. I was waiting for direction for the next rock to help me across the stream of life.

Penfield central schools called me and wondered if I would do a LT sub position for them. I couldn't just say yes because it overlapped with the assignment I am currently doing. They were willing to consider holding the position for me if they didn't find anyone to fill it. Would the next rock say "Penfield?"  On Friday before Thanksgiving, Penfield called again to inform me that they had found a LT sub to fill the position. No...that would not be the next rock.

In the small city where I live, I am in a position to travel south, east or west to any of the rural districts in those areas. I think several of them would be great to work at...but some of them make me a little leery. My sister in law informed me about an immediate opening in a rural district near her. It is about a 45 minute commute down country roads. I admit that I wasn't very thrilled. Is this what the Lord wanted? Would the next rock be this particular district?  I really wrestled with this one. I almost didn't apply. I really didn't want to work there. What kind of faith did I have if I wasn't even willing to apply? What if God was sending me there and I wasn't being willing to go? I applied...and waited. I got called for an interview. I went. I interviewed. I walked out of that school really feeling like I did not want to work there. I just didn't feel comfortable with this district. Was this the message? My gut feeling? I had some legitimate concerns. I discussed it with Jamie to see what he thought. He had the same reservations about me working for this particular district. I finally decided that if I was offered the job, I would turn it down, but I wanted peace that this was what I really should do because I still wasn't sure. Was I just being a snob after working for two very reputable districts in the Rochester area?

An answer came today. My principal came to me and asked me if I would stay on at MB to allow the woman I am subbing for to extend her leave by a month and a half.  I said yes and I feel peace knowing that is the rock I will step on next. It still isn't permanent...but somehow I know this is right.

Friday, November 28, 2014

I am Famous, Just in Case You Didn't Know

It has become a tradition that "Aunt Priscilla" makes turkey soup the day after Thanksgiving. Since we also had ham yesterday, my husband convinced me that I should make the potato pea and ham soup that I am famous for, besides the traditional turkey soup. Yes...I am famous, in case you don't know. (Said with a smile of amusement) Here's the story behind the soup.

When Jamie and I were on our honeymoon, we stayed at bed and breakfast places in Vermont and New Hampshire.  We had a fall wedding, so it was really a perfect place to go. We were wandering around Stowe, VT and went into a little country store. We immediately were tantalized by an amazing smell. It was coming from the deli section of this store....a potato soup with some ham and peas in it. It tasted amazing! We wanted the recipe. The lady in the store would not give it to us. It was her secret which she wasn't about to share with anyone. Jamie guessed at the predominate spices and the lady said, "Yeah...okay that's in it," but wouldn't give more information.

We went home and decided to try to figure out how to make that soup on our own. We came up with one that was pretty darned close. A couple of years later, I decided to mail it in to Country Magazine. This was all before the internet, mind you. I never heard a thing from the editors of the magazine and eventually pretty much forgot all about sending it in. Years passed. We had at least two children and moved to a different part of town. One day, the phone rang and it was a lady congratulating me on the publication of my soup recipe. She had been reading her Country Extra Magazine and noticed that one of the recipes had been submitted by woman named Priscilla B______ of  Cdga, NY. She was so excited to see a recipe from someone in her town that she told her husband. He promptly got the phone book out and said he'd find out where I lived just for fun. It turned out that I lived on the same road as them! We were living on a country road at the time and they lived about two miles down the road from us. I still had never heard anything from the magazine and no longer even subscribed to it. I had to call up the magazine and ask for a back issue (March 1999).

Now, years later, you can google my name and add potato soup to the google search and it's all over the place. Looking at the published recipe is somewhat amusing because, while it is basically my recipe...I never really measure anything. I never have. The recipe has exact measurements throughout. I also changed how I create the thick and creamy milk base. I no longer use milk. Instead, I use heavy cream...which vastly improves it. More calories and higher fat, but I've never been one to worry too much about it. Everything in moderation. So, here is a link to my famous soup. Unfortunately many of the links have my first name spelled wrong and there are even some sites that refer to it as being "potatoe" soup. I can assure you, that I have never put any toes in it. was also published in a book called "The Best of Country Cooking 2000." (I think that was the year.)  So there you have it, and now you can say, "I knew her when...."

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Merry Chri......I mean, Happy Thanksgiving!

We made it to Jamie's brother's house in Pennsylvania last night without incident. No snow or any traffic trouble. This morning we awoke to falling heavy snow. It has accumulated about a half a foot...the heavy, wet kind.  Here is Cody (my nephew) snow blowing the driveway. He is 14 years old.
It is smelling good here. Kevin cooked the turkey already so that tomorrow he can bake the ham and everything else will be cooking too. The pie that Cody helped me make is baking in the oven. I always wanted kids who liked hanging with me in the kitchen and cooking too. It sounded like such a bonding thing to do.  It turns out that my own kids aren't very interested. Cody was nice company though.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Step Here

My life has become a faith walk...I suppose that is the way it ought to be. I keep picturing the crossing of a stream. The Lord just keeps showing me where to step next. The rock I'm stepping on now says, "Martha Brown Middle School" on it. I'm not sure what the next rock will say.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Hope you read this

I just discovered this essay that my 19 year old son wrote.
Please read, and enjoy. I'm very proud of him.

Come to think of it, he is referring to an experience that happened the time I dropped him off at camp, which I blogged about here:

He was actually 12 at the time.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I like my new job

For those of you who don't know...and actually care (all 2 of you), I got a job at Fairport Central School District. It is another LT sub position for librarian, this time at a middle school.  I've been there a week and really like it.
I've got two full time library TAs and they are just awesome. Here is the welcome sign they had up at the circulation desk when I walked in on the first morning. They are both so friendly and helpful.  Really, everyone I've met there has been really great so far!
The regular librarian is out on maternity leave and plans to come back after Christmas break, so it'll be a short stint, but I'm happy to be working in my field.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Food for thought from Epictetus

Practice then from the start to say to every harsh impression, "You are an impression, and not at all the thing you appear to be." Then examine it and test it by these rules you have, and firstly, and chiefly, by this: whether the impression has to do with the things that are up to us, or those that are not; and if it has to do with the things that are not up to us, be ready to reply, "It is nothing to me." A quote from Eptictetus.

I don't usually quote Greek philosophers, but in my Bible commentary today it referred briefly to the teachings of Eptictetus. It said no more, so I needed to check out who he was using Wikipedia. It was mentioned that Paul's teachings to the Romans about obeying what the law said really should have been very familiar to them since many of them had heard and followed the teachings of Eptictetus. "Who is this guy?" I I looked him up.

Basically, what the quote is saying is that there are external factors that we cannot control in our lives. We cannot control how others act, when and to what society we are born, the government that rules us, etc....but we can control our internal attitudes and thus, how we react to the external. Paul says we have the law of God written on our hearts. We KNOW his laws; how He wants us to act. What He wants us to do. The question is whether or not we will choose to obey Him outwardly (and inwardly too).

I have been struggling with who I am and who others perceive me to be. It has been a struggle for me for awhile lately and cumulated with more thinking due to a recent event.  Am I really a good person? Am I someone people react positively towards? Can they see God in me?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Becoming a Minimalist

Becoming a minimalist is looking more and more appealing  to me all the time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 Greenland.

There is no other reason for my adding "in Greenland" other than I just love  The Princess Bride.

I am unemployed and trying to listen to the voice of God. The voice of truth and trusting in Him. That has been a battle for me lately. I forget to be thankful, to remember that God's got my back, and that I really have enough and that He has a plan and that I can trust Him.

This week, I attended the funeral of the sister of a dear friend of mine. It was an unusual situation. Hard to explain, so I won't bother. I'm trying to remember to be faithful in prayer for her family.

I also learned of a tragic accident that took place in the life of Susana, the woman who is the writer of this blog. The accident happened on July 31, but I didn't read of it until Monday evening when I decided to catch up on my blog reading. My heart is aching for her. Please keep her and her precious family in prayer at this time.

Yesterday I subbed at the school I left in June. One of the librarian's babies was sick. It was so good to be back there. It felt like I never left. was very cool to know almost all of the kids' names and have them know me.  I had missed them! I had a good day and I loved seeing all of my former colleagues. It was also a good feeling knowing that they seemed genuinely glad to see me too.

I really want to be employed as a school librarian again. It is hard wanting something that seems out of reach at the moment. Trying to count my blessings and use my time off wisely.

Friday, September 05, 2014

One Final West End Creamery Picture

My iPad is limited in what it will allow me to do. Here is one more picture from our trip that it refused to add to my last post.
All three girls in the rocking chair.

Trip to Boston

My son is living in Boston for the year. He is now a part of City Year. I'm sure he will be learning a lot. It's hard with him being so far away. He's growing up! Meanwhile, my daughter Audra is a senior this year and has expressed interest in visiting Gordon College, in Wenham, Massachusetts. So, what were we to do but plan a road trip?
Friday morning we had a lovely tour of the campus. I wish I had a more impressive photo to show you. I also wish that we could have brought Allen along, but he had to work .
Later that evening, we went to Allen's apartment and took him out to dinner in the city of Boston. We ended up at an Irish pub where the food was outstanding. I ordered Guinness stew. I did not take a picture of it. (I said that for the benefit of my sisters)
The next day we met up with Allen in central Boston and explored the city. We visited Captain Jackson's Historical Chocolate Shop, which I highly recommend. I took lousy pictures all day because I didn't think to remember to and also because it was sunny and I really couldn't see the display all that well.
Here is a really bad one of Allen at Quincy Market.
Our visit ended all too soon and we headed back to Rochester around noon on Sunday, but we didn't leave Massachusetts without stopping and visiting The West End Creamery and Family Farm. I grew up with Becky, who owns it with her husband Greg. We had not seen one another in about 30 years or more.  It was fun to see her and catch up. If you are ever in the area, I would definitely plan a visit there. They have done a wonderful job establishing a business and the ice cream is delicious.

Here is Becky and me on the rocking chair.
Audra and Sarah (we brought her along to visit Gordon too), enjoy ice cream.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I loved our trip

Here is the lovely view from little whiteface last week.
Stag Brook Falls at the bottom of Whiteface Mountain.
Martha and I at the top of Mount Jo.
At a coffee shop in Lake Placid that overlooks Mirror Lake.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

I love summer

This summer has been wonderful and I don't want it to end! I love not having to plan lessons and not feeling stressed about being prepared for classes. I love the sunshine and the freedom. I love nature and the lake near my house.

There are only a few more weeks left. The Adirondacks will be visited  this weekend. Looking forward to taking Martha there. It will be wonderful.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Goodbye DeWitt

I only have 4 more days working at DeWitt Road Elementary School. I have loved it there. No job in sight for me for the fall.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May Day Boost

I'm a little late posting this but got this bouquet of flowers for May Day from some students! It was the boost that I needed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Boat Houses on Icy Canandaigua Lake

Mom and Aunt Margie

This wasn't the picture I was going to post here, but I found it in my files and decided to do it. This was just taken in December.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Her Ride Arrived

The other night while my mother sat at the dinner table, she asked my sister and brother-in-law if someone would be coming to take her home.  Her dementia had been increasing during the last week and my sister tried to tell her that she would be staying there for the night (she has lived with them for the last 3 1/2 years.)  It turned out that this time she was right.  The Lord came in the early hours of yesterday and personally ushered her home.
(Welcome home, Mom-I love you)

I hadn't realized how similar my post was to my sister's.  For a more complete story click here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Staying Away From Edges

It was a cold day...but not as cold as it has been. It has come to my attention that I have not been living a very balanced life and I'm going to try to better. I've been on break this week, but went into into school Friday to do a little work. I was a bit stressed out. I was greeted by C, an older black man who is a custodian at my school. I have also discovered that he is a Christian. He immediately could tell that I was a bit stressed. He told me to trust The Lord...that The Lord has everything in his control and that The Lord has a plan.  He told me that he would pray for me. He also mentioned getting exercise and eating right. Ummmm. How did he know?
I felt such a release of tension. C is right. I need to trust The Lord. I have been giving the enemy a foothold. Today, my devotional was perfect....naturally it was on the same theme that The Lord has been whispering to me for months. If you ever read Jesus Calling then you know that it talked about the pitfall of self pity. It is a pit that is deep and once you are in there, it is hard to get out of it. It is best to stay away from its edges, which crumble easily.  If you get too near the edge, down you go. The enemy knows that this time of year is especially hard for me and he loves reminding me of sad things that have happened in the past and about people that I have loved and lost. I get too close to the edge and WHOOOSH! Down I go. I need to hold onto The Lord and the lifeline that He is. I need to hold onto His truth.
With that in mind, I went for a wonderful walk from my house to Canandaigua Lake. (Only about 2 miles) I walked all along the edge of it in Kershaw Park and then on the pier. This year the lake froze end to end. It only does that about once every 7 years or so. I missed my opportunity to actually walk out onto it earlier this week when it was still about -4. It is probably still pretty solid in the center...but was thawing on the edges. I wasn't about to test it. It was good for me to get out in the sunshine. Jesus, sunshine, exercise and watching that I don't eat the wrong things....those are good things.

Oh...and staying away from edges!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Caldecott Contender Peruse and Reading to Self in the Library

 I finally am posting.  I am enjoying my job as a librarian at an elementary school.  All week the kids have been perusing Caldecott contenders. Each student got a chance to vote for what they thought would be a winner.  After voting, students got a chance to "read to self" which is what the students in these pictures are doing.

Which one will win? No one knows for sure, but favorites at our school included Mr Wuffles, written and illustrated by David Wiesner, and The Matchbox Diary written by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline.
On Monday, the winners of this award and others will be announced by the American Library Association.