There’s Valuable and Then There’s Irreplaceable

         

          When my husband and I were newlyweds, one of our first homes (i.e. places to live) was a little rented abode (I would call it a cottage but honestly it wasn’t that picturesque), which had electricity but little else.  It had no running water and we heated it with a wood stove.  Our 2-B, 0-BA, house did not even have an outhouse.  With the help of my brother, that was built later and, when it came to temperatures of -40 below zero F, we quickly learned that a styrofoam seat atop the wood single-holer was a great luxury.

           Now, 30 years later, we live in a 4-B, 2 1/2 BA home.  In a sense, the kind of houses we’ve lived in has nothing to do with my topic for this blog except to point out that along the way I have discovered that some of my most valuable material possessions have little to do with price or market value.  

          After furnishing our various homes with everything from Garage Sale to brand new, and after raising three rambunctious boys, I’ve learned that broken antique plates, stained carpeting, broken vintage plate glass windows, and various other ruined “pricey” items, have never devastated me.  But, over these many years, there are certain  that I would be genuinely upset (i.e. freaked out) about if anything were to happen to them.  To list a few:

          * My kitchen scissors – Break a piece of my dinnerware and I merely blink.  But, if someone dares to borrow my kitchen scissors and fails to return them to the proper drawer…I   can   not   function.  I don’t even remember when I first got them; as far as I know, I’ve had them my entire marriage, maybe before.   I use those scissors   all   the   time.  They are one of my irreplaceables.

          * Another is a good nail brush.  Yes.  A nail brush.  For scrubbing toes and fingernails.  The one I had was wonderful.   I don’t remember how long I owned my beloved nail brush.  But one day, I finally had to throw it out after nearly all the bristles had either broken off or fallen out.  Little did I realize how hard it would be to find a replacement.  Seriously.  Aren’t nail brushes common?  I thought they were.  Until I started searching for another one.  Maybe I just didn’t know where to look.  I searched what I thought would be obvious places, like Bath & Body and the Dollar Store, with no luck.  I hunted for over a year and was without one until only recently when I found a wood nail brush with I-don’t-know-what-kind-of-bristles…at a little antiques shop in Amana, Iowa.  (BTW, the brush is new.)  Paid $2.50 for it.  It is now one of my invaluables. 

          *  My Melaleuca Vanilla Bean Sun Shades Lip Balm.     Do.   Not.   Touch.   It.  Actually, I mean them –  I have two – keep one on a little tray in my bathroom and another in my purse.  (I don’t even know the monetary price because my dear sister keeps me supplied.)  But, I come unglued when I misplace that little stick of lip stuff.  …Oh, Nancy, I am so sorry!  I just did a web search and discovered a tube of that is $14.99!  Are you serious?  That really is pricey!  And, it’s one of my irreplaceables.

          * My aluminum hair clips.  I’ve had them since I was a teenager…which was a while ago.  Okay.  I’ll give you a hint.  I suspect I’ve had them since Buddy Holly was alive.  I still use them.  Daily.   Have you ever noticed that some products just aren’t made with the same quality as they were years ago?  My hair clips fit that category.  Trust me, I’ve looked for new ones.  When I travel, I take crappy newer clips because I don’t want to take the chance of losing my good ones.  Monetary value – likely far less than five dollars – but to me, my retro aluminum hair clips are irreplaceable.

          Naturally, this is only a partial list.  Now that I think about it, it might not be a bad idea to make a complete list and take photos, and store the info in a fireproof strong box.  For insurance purposes, of course.

          What are some of your Irreplaceables?

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A Summer Decor/4th ofJuly Find

Lately I’ve been receiving prods to create a blog on decorating.  I think it would be fun – and I just might do it.  But, whether or not that happens, I just have to share this wonderful 4th-of-July/summer decor find, fresh from my morning’s excursion to Goodwill  (which was a self-granted reward for going to the gym two days in a row). 

It’s a 45-year old edition of America the Beautiful – In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Great red cover!  Glittery gold lettering!  And a star!  Very 4th of July-ish, don’t you think? 

Perched atop a stack of vintage suitcases and a road atlas seemed to be the perfect spot for it.  

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And I will read it.

 

 

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CRITICAL NEED FOR PRAYER!

 

 

At this very moment, there is a critical need for prayer for the safety of our troops in Afghanistan.  Whether or not you feel we should be there is not the issue.  God is waiting for us to cry out to Him for HIS intervention.  He knows what needs to happen and it needs to happen now!   We must turn to Him.  Immediately!  Lives are literally depending on our response.

A Must Read

 

 

“Bruchko” – This is one of my all-time, lifetime favorite books.  The true story of what happens when a sold-out-to-God teenage boy – a nerd – heads into the South American jungles to find an elusive and murderous indigenous tribe. 

 

Author:  Bruce Olson      Publisher: Creation House

 

You’re welcome.    (I know you’ll like it so I’m just sayin’…)

 

NOTE added Auguest 1 3, 2009:   I have never heard anything but raves about this book.    See Larry’s comment!  🙂 

 

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Savoring Summer

 

 

 

It feels as if it’s been two years since we’ve had summer.  Last June ushered in devastating floods here in Iowa and the remainder of the summer was swallowed up in coping with crises.  Though Cedar Rapids is far from a full recovery, God has smiled on our area by granting lovely summer weather…perfect for growing corn. 

 

 

 

 

And perfect for those of us – like me – who savor summer.  I love summer!  The top photo is a shot of one of my favorite roads for walking at sunrise. 

 

Day’s end is equally captivating, with glittering fireflies and breathtaking sunsets.  

 

    

 

I cannot thank God enough for granting us these lovely days.  Every single one is a gift.  If  I could, I would hug summer.  I’m doing my best by cherishing every moment.  And tenderly touching summer’s beauty.

 

Oh Lord, thank you for thinking up Hollyhocks!

Oh Lord, thank you for thinking up Hollyhocks!

 

In a world so fraught with strife and pain, these are the things which center me. 

 

God is still with us.  He is still Love.  My prayer is that may you see Him today, too.

 

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Six-day Riddle Solved

 

Though I flew home Monday, I’ve still been flying by the seat of my pants since we arrived.  I am not yet unpacked.  But, there are priorities, after all, so here’s the solution  to the Six-day Riddle (good guesses, by the way):

 

The photo was taken in Embera Drua, located on the Upper Chagres River in the Panama rainforest.  We reached the village by motorized canoe. 

 

 

 

 

I was captivated by the accounts of Miguel Flaco, the botanical doctor, who described the medicinal properties of local vegetation.  

 

 

 

In the mystery photo, Miguel shows the scars left by the bite of a venomous Bushmaster snake, the largest pit viper in the world (which reaches a length of from eight to twelve feet).   When asked if I could photograph his scars, he obliged by hastily picking a leaf  to display which type of plant saved his life.  Look how far apart those fang marks are!  

 

 

 

He said that normally a medicine is made from the plant but he was alone when the snake attacked so all he had time to do was pluck leaves and eat them before he passed out from the poison.  (Added: He also noted that the leaf is shaped like a heart…apparently a clue as to its healing properties.)

 

Needless to say, it was the trip of a lifetime.  I could post dozens of photos, and pages of copy about the amazing adventure, which I took in the summer of 2005.  It was in the Embera village where I had my first taste of Tilapia (fish), prepared by the local women.  Delicious! 

 

 

 It is perfectly okay to laugh at this photo.  Everyday in the Panama rainforest was a bad hair day for me.  Never had my tresses experienced such humidity.  Donning the cap was the only way to prevent a mega-fro, which, as you can see, was escaping anyway. 

 

Okay, enough.  Riddle solved.

 

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Six-day Riddle

 

 

As I wrote in my last post, I’ll be traveling for the next several days.  So, I thought I’d leave you with a riddle to work on til I get back around the 2nd. 

 

I took this photo.  It’s untouched.  It’s the real deal.  Where is it?  What is it? 

 

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