Help or Wait?

Help or Wait?


What do you tend to do?


If you see someone struggling do you  wait for them to ask for help, or do you jump in and help them right away?


Do you hold the door for someone struggling with the grocery cart, or do you stand behind them and wait for them to turn around and open it with their butt?


Do you open the door for the person with the cane/walker or do you wait patiently (or impatiently) behind them for them to do it themselves?


Do you help someone lift something heavy into/out of their vehicle or wait for them to call for help?


I tend to jump in and help – mainly because I don’t like just standing doing nothing.


Even though I know that the person with the cane/walker CAN open the door, why can’t I help them?


What if the person normally can do the activity but for some reason on a certain day they are really struggling with it – due to a temporary injury or illness?    You know they are capable of doing it, but for some reason on that day, they are really struggling.  Do you help out or let them be?


I’ve always wanted to do this… here is a survey for you to take!  Why not, right?


I’m just curious.


I think more people should err on the side of helping and offering to help than ignoring or “minding their own business.”  If everyone was more helpful and considerate, this world would be a much better place.





Winter Flood – (almost) finished project

I keep forgetting to share what the finished bedroom and bathroom look like since the winter flood at my mothers.



First they put some insulation in the walls.  That made a HUGE difference!!



Insulation in the bathroom too!  Maybe she won’t have any pipes freeze anymore.  AND they replaced that rotted piece of flooring.




Fresh drywall around!



Drywall on the closet too!



Then the bathroom vanity cabinet was set into place.  


OOPS!  We discovered this when I went to paint. They didn’t replace the tiles on the lower portion where they drywall was removed.

The workers finished their job and it became my job to paint.   I did have a little bit of help but mostly I did all the painting.



The “below the chair rail” portion is a tan/yellowy color.  Matches some of the flowers in the wallpaper.



The bathroom is  a nice blue.   The same sink was re-purposed back into the bathroom as before.  This was a cost saving measure.




The closet is now blue as well.  A “feature” wall.  



The baseboards and chair rail are another shade of tan/yellow – a lighter shade.  

See that heat duct cover??   My mother said that is what makes her happiest of all!  That duct (in her closet) has not had a cover on it since the room was added on to the house in the 70’s.  LOL!!  I won “daughter of the year” for that one!



Carpet is here, but they couldn’t install it because of the bathroom vinyl not being down…. several phone calls and a visit to Home Depot later, they came the next day and did install it.



Getting things back in order.  There is now a sitting area in front of the window.  A bird feeder will be moved over there eventually for bird watching enjoyment.



The bed stayed in the same place, but the large wardrobe is now “featured” on the feature wall.



Closet is getting put back together.  Yeah… the plaster job is still a bit questionable but it is a closet, we’ve moved on.  There ends up being 2 levels of hanging rods.  The upper one with a curved corner to go the length of both walls.




Brother #1 gets the vinyl laid in the bathroom with a “marble” door sill.



The sink gets some fresh backsplash, again thanks to brother #1.

A mirror is still needed in the bathroom.  A few other tweeks on location of the TV and computer printer still have to be decided but all in all, it looks good and fresh and new!

College Tour #12

I have just completed college tour #12….  I think it was my 12th one… if not it is pretty close to that many.


Daughter #1 toured:  Baldwin-Wallace twice, Otterbein twice (I think), Ashland, Mount Union, and Wooster.   I might be missing another one in there, it is hard to remember that far back…. 2009-2010.

Daughter #2 toured:  Otterbein twice, and Ohio Wesleyan (sort of tour)

Daughter #3 toured:  Baldwin-Wallace and Mount Union.


I might be missing a tour or 2 from daughter #1.   She was all about the college tours even though we both knew she would end up at BW.


I am the mom on the college tour that already knows the answers to my questions but asks it anyways for the benefit of the others.  I know the things to ask like:


co-ed by floor or room?

campus security?  late night escorts?

laundry free or swipe card?

money on your swipe card good only at snack bars or in the bookstore?

visitation hours in the dorms?

printing – a certain number of pages free or is there a cost?

IT department free computer help?  both PC and Apple?

meal plan options?  by the swipe or by the piece?

campus wide wifi?

Those are just some that I may or may not have asked today on our tour of Mount Union.


Our visit with the admissions person was short because:

  1.  we didn’t have any questions because I’ve done this before (and done it there) and pretty much know the routine.
  2. we already knew that MU doesn’t have the program she has decided to be interested in, but we kept the tour on the schedule anyways because, why not?


We like MU.  It is a lovely campus.   I like the self contained campus feel.   I liked it when I toured it with daughter #1.  It wasn’t the college for daughter #1 and it won’t be the college for daughter #3.  It just doesn’t have the programs they were/are interested in.  However, there is still hope for daughter #4.


We will be touring Ohio Northern in March.  I have a feeling that is where she will end up.  Mainly because of the program offerings.  Hey, at least it is a college I haven’t toured yet.  Always nice to go someplace different.  I hope they feed us, the cafeteria is always a good test of the quality of the college.     😉





Lust, Love, or Commitment?

I’ve been on a “thoughts on love” theme these last couple days with Valentine’s Day on the horizon.


So, why not:  Lust, Love, or Commitment?


LUST  – an intense desire – purely physical, it has no lasting effect

That is how most (all?) relationships start out, don’t you think.  You see someone that seems attractive to you and you are attracted to them.  That is lust.  That is NOT “love at first sight.”  Not real love.

Lust can last for a few weeks or maybe even longer but generally if something happens you don’t like, or they do something that bothers you, that is the end of the relationship.  There is no deep emotional connection that keeps you together.

The lust relationship is purely physical.


What if… you work through that irritation?  What if… you decide that you can live with certain issues…. well… then I think we are moving towards love.


LOVE  – a profoundly tender, passionate affection

In my humble opinion, true love, real love, actual love takes time to develop fully.

I think that you can be attracted to someone at first sight  but is that love?  Have you spent any time together.  Do you know what the other likes?  Do you know anything about them?  Maybe they have quirks that will iritate you.  Love is something you grow in to.


People fall  in love.  What does that mean?   To me that means, you are investing in someone and making them be a priority in your life.  You want to spend time with them, learn all about them, be their BFF, depend on them, have them be dependent upon you.  There will be phyisical attraction, but much more… profoundly more… there will be an emotional attraction, a spiritual attraction.


Then how do you fall out of love?    If you can fall out of love as quickly as you “fell” into love, then most likely it wasn’t really love… it was just lust that you mislabeled.  It isn’t quite as romantic to say to someone:  “I lust you.”  

Love will hold you all night when you are grieving over a lost pet, parent, or job.  Love will drop everything to help you with a broken down car.  Love will sit up with you in the hospital with a kidney stone or a liver cyst.  Love puts the other person first.



I think this is where society and movies have misled us greatly.    What they portray as “love” is really just lust – because at the slightest obstacle the relationship ends.  They make it seem that only YOU matter and if something bothers you or makes you uncomfortable, you should flee the relationship instead of working on it.   Once again egocentricness has become the norm.  However, if you decide it is worth it to not run away, to focus not on yourself and what you need, but on what the other person needs and what you can do as a couple then you are working towards….


COMMITMENT  – a pledge, a promise, an obligation


Commitment is love, but deeper.  Commitment is when you have made a decision to stay together, to deliberately love even with the feelings of lust and/or love are not constantly present.  Commitment is deciding to work through the tough times… to hang in there because the history you have together and the future you could have together is better and more important than any passing anger or frustration.   Commitment means that when you think about your future, it only involves each other and there is no other version in your dreams.  Commitment is hard.  You have to live through the ugly – deliberately staying even when everyone else in society says you should go.

Therein is one of the biggest problems with society these days.  We have become too much of a throw-away society.  We have disposable diapers because reusing cloth ones was too much work (BTW, all 4 of my kids wore cloth ones).  We buy bottled water because putting water in washable bottles is too much work (guilty there).  We buy plastic plates, and cups, and silverware because loading the dishes in the dishwasher is too much work  – so we send it all to a landfill that we don’t have to see and acknowledge the damage to our environment (not this household).   We use paper napkins because putting cloth ones into the washing machine with the dish towels is too much work (have you seen the amount of laundry I do?  I have no problem with cloth napkins).


We have issues with our marriage/relationship and we decide that it is OK to just throw them out and move on.  No reason to work on it, no matter that years may have been invested.  Society says it is fine.  Society has enabled this with the creation of all the dating websites.   I realize that sometimes, there are truly valid reasons for leaving someone – infidelity & violence being a couple reasons – but just because they leave their socks on the floor, or click their teeth when they chew, or forget to flush the toilet sometimes (just to name a few)… those kinds of things are NOT valid reasons (in my humble opinion).  Even when they add up.


It is then that the conscious decision of commitment must come into play.  The decision to value the relationship and the person over the inconvenience/irritant.  To decide together to overlook some things and to work together on fixing other things.


OH… that hard word:  COMMUNICATION.


Why dispose of something that has been good.  Why dispose of something that has the potential to be good again.  Work at making it good again.  It can be good again, it is still good, just different.  So you aren’t passionately making out on the couch watching Ben-Hur (though that could be fun)… that doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.


Love is like the ocean… the feelings ebb and flow… if you jump out when the feelings ebb and run for the road, you may miss out on the wonderful treasures you can find in the sand and then miss the exciting ride when the flow washes back in and lifts you up again.




You can find all kinds of cool stuff on the internet.  This chart/graphic is a good one.     🙂



I wasn’t sure where to input it in the text, so it is just here at the end for your enjoyment.




First Love?

Here is a question for you.  Did you marry your first love?  Do you remember your first love?  Should one marry their first love?


Here is a great article about Dating/Getting Married in College.  I love this woman’s blog.  She has great insight.  I could probably end right here, but I’ll share some thoughts too.


Did you marry your first love?

I did not.  We talked about it though.  However, that is not how things turned out.


By FIRST LOVE, I mean the person that you truly had an “adult” relationship with.  You shared hopes, dreams, and thought about the future.  NOT those high school infatuations that lasted 2 weeks, or those college “romances” that basically were to just fill time.  Or even those college “boyfriends” that were really just great friends that you did stuff with.  I’m NOT talking about your prom date who you thought you loved but you haven’t talked to in 15 years.  I’m NOT talking about the “bad boy” phase you went through that you knew wasn’t ever going to last but was “fun” at the time.


I’m talking about someone that saw you at your worse and saw you at your best.  Shared time and heartache with you.  Someone that you deeply cared about (LOVED) and seriously considered marriage material.


I did not marry my first love (not the college boy I was infatuated with when I was a senior in high school, not the boys I dated in Brasil that filled my time, not the great Christian men that are dear friends from college) but the one when I really thought I was in love.   I think of him fondly still and we are friends.  HINT:  It is best to be friends first so if the love relationship fails, you at least still have the good friend.  The details of why it didn’t work out, are immaterial,  that is not the way God meant for us to go.


Should you marry your first love?  MAYBE!


If he is a good Christian man/woman (I’m assuming you want that) and is your best friend – marry him, keep him around.  If you enjoy being together doing mundane things – not just the fun date nights – like raking leaves, or coloring Easter eggs with your baby sisters, or shaving the dog, or moving you to a new apartment, or car shopping, or house painting – marry him, keep him around.    If you can share your hopes, dreams, and goals for life with them. If you can work together to determine what those hopes, dreams and goals might be and how they can include each other…. If when you think about the future you only see that person and can’t imagine life without them…. this is the one that you LOVE and should marry.


If that is all true, then BY ALL MEANS MARRY THEM!  If you have caught a good “fish” why would you throw it back in hopes of catching something better.  As a friend told me this week.  If you have caught a “lobster” why would you throw it back for the “catfish?”


Do you remember your first love?

I already stated that I do.  I don’t know how much, if any he remembers of those days.  But I hold that relationship and time in a special place in my heart.  It was a growing time for me and helped form who am I am and helped me to move on to my 2nd love.   We are still in contact and we both have beautiful families and wonderful spouses we wouldn’t trade for the world.  If things had been different, might we have gotten married?  Who knows, we were young and both had a lot of growing to do.


I did marry my second love.    It was a different kind of love.  Thanks to the things I learned from the others, I knew what I wanted.  I knew what I could “settle” for.  I was prepared to make a life.    So, maybe he really was my first love… the first love that was forever.


What about marrying young?


Did you read that article I linked?  Yeah… go back and read it… ALL of it.


I’m OK with marrying young.

Waiting till you have enough money to support a spouse, or buy a house, or have a good job, or blah, blah, blah.  Is just that – blah, blah, blah.  You don’t need that.  You need each other.  It is OK to be poor.  You work harder to make ends meet, you depend on each other more, you grow together and deepen your relationship.


If you found a good one – don’t let them go.  Is it going to be easy?  Maybe, maybe not.  So what.  That is what you have each other for.  You might have to drive an old Honda for a while.  You might be closely aquainted with all the flavors of hamburger helper.   You might have to make your valentines from constuction paper you “borrow” from the Sunday School classroom.    Will you be making memories that you will talk about and think about in your older years.  Will you look back with fondness on the one bedroom apartment with the Murphy bed?  YES!  Will you look back with fondness on that same apartment with the disgusting bathroom in serious disrepair?  Well… you will remember it but not with fondness, but it will still be a memory that you share.


I’m OK with marrying older.

If you haven’t found a good one, that is OK.  However, in my humble opinion, the further you get from college and those saturated times of boys/girls available, the harder it will be to find someone.  Just ask the millions of people using or eHarmony.  If you do not have a social outlet for meeting others, then it will be very hard.  Church groups don’t always have young adults like they used to.  Bars…. why??   Still, all my thoughts hold true… when you find a good one.  Keep him/her in the boat.     🙂


I guess my main point is….


Why can’t your FIRST LOVE  be your LAST LOVE?









Do It Myself

You don’t have to do it yourself… be it painting, cleaning, cooking, organizing, soul searching, or living.

It is OK to do things with someone else. You hire someone to replace your carpet. You let your brother do the bathroom tile grout instead of doing it yourself. You organize yarn with your sister.

You share dreams and hopes and soul searching with your BFF (or significant other) – in fact it is good to do that together.  When you share life with someone, you grow together, you nurture each other, you are not showing weakness to be dependent on someone, you are showing trust and love and strength,  by dealing with things together.

My oldest daughter used to say that all the time “do it myself” (she mostly said that when she was a preschooler).  That is great if you are making toast.  Not so practical when you are living life.

I think our society has become too egocentric and everyone thinks they have to do it all themselves.  WRONG!

Why shouldn’t you do things with people?  You SHOULD!  Life is about relationships.  When we are in relationship with others, we are growing, learning, and loving.  We are meant to be in relationships – both with friends and lovers (who should be your friend too!).
Working together towards common goals – be they silly things like: cleaning the garage or painting a room – or serious things like: where to live or surviving a family crisis – bonds you and strengthens your relationship.

Take a moment and be thankful that you don’t have to “do it yourself” and reflect on all the people in your life that love you, support you, help you, depend on you, encourage you… the people that you are in relationship with that have become part of your heart.  Pull those people close to you (either actually, physically or metaphorically by staying in touch with them) and don’t let them go.

Winter Flood Recap

I have been meaning to post about the mess/flood/remodel at my mother’s but we got caught up in the death of Aunt Liz and then all the work that goes into the repairs that I just haven’t taken the time.


Let me catch you up.


Sunday, December 27… time to shower and get ready for church.. but NOOOOOOOO!  The shower is now a waterfall into the bathroom and then on into the bedroom carpet.


Since that was the day of my Open House, I did not head over there till evening.  In the meantime, my brother came and they sucked some of the water out with the shop vac.  He put a pond pump in with a long hose to send the water out the window, BUT… remember it was raining… and the rain was coming in nicely into the basement sump hole.  Which is connected to the bathroom piping/sewer because the laundry water exits that same way… so… everytime the sump pump would kick on to pump the rain water out, it would bubble up in the shower and waterfall into the room.  It turns out that there was a clog in the pipe preventing the water from getting to the curb.    (more on that later)   Since the water couldn’t exit the house the way it was supposed to, it came up through the shower drain… and then poured back through the floor to the basment and back to the sump hole where the pump tried to pump it out again… vicious cycle.


Here are some photos of the initial day/damage.


Look at that water waterfall over the sill.



pond pump attempts to keep ahead of the water


the walls are definitely wet and the wallpaper a loss


the shop vac  didn’t help much because we couldn’t lift it to pour it out the window


the water wicked its way into the bedroom


and under the metal filing cabinet


and over towards the steps


and even into the closet


this is what it was doing underneath the bedroom in the crawl space… raining!


when we removed the filing cabinet, we discovered this antique dust and…


some carpet in its original color and lots of other treasures


The clean up crew was hired and they came in and removed the carpet and wall board and tile and everything else that was wet.  We removed most of the furniture and placed it strategically throughout the house (mostly on the sun porch).    They then set up large fans and drying devices that had to run constantly for 4-5 days.



Carpet, lower portion of the wallboard, and insulation has been removed.  Drying device set up.



More wallboard removed around toward the steps


and around the closet


toilet waiting patiently in the middle of the room


even some wallboard off on the inside of the closet


bathroom has basically been gutted


there used to be a sink and linen cupboard here


UH-OH!  This explains why the water was raining into the crawl space!


They removed a huge amount of debris.

The clean up crew was very good.  They did an excellent job of the removal and preparing the room for the next step of putting it back together.


In the meantime… the sewer was found to be clogged with roots and the yard had to be dug up and new pipe/tile had to be placed so that everything works properly.    I haven’t taken a photo, but there is a “lovely” mound of dirt on the side of her house now.  I told mom to just plant flowers on it and call it a garden.   LOL!     🙂


See next post for the remodeling.