Three Things (Tidbits & Treasures)

#1  "Bon Voyage, Jessica!"

This is Jessica.  She has been so helpful to me for over a year and is moving away to a home near the ocean.  Because she took care of so many "business-type" aspects for me at Colors By Laurie, it really expanded my creative time.  I painted a sailboat for her because she loves them, and it represents her new adventures now that she is out of high school.  I will truly miss her, and thank God for her.  "Bon Voyage, thank you, Jess!"


(I will have more to say about this painting in a Watercolor Journal post and it may become a print available to purchase.)

#2  "Life Partners"

Ron/Julie Long, Don/Ann Sweetnam, Doug/Debi Wilson, Greg/Diane Roehr, Ric/Kathy Lebrecht, and our leaders, Ray/Barb Brown

Ron/Julie Long, Don/Ann Sweetnam, Doug/Debi Wilson, Greg/Diane Roehr, Ric/Kathy Lebrecht, and our leaders, Ray/Barb Brown

I have so much to say about Gary's memorial service, but for now, I couldn't wait to post these photos of some very dear friends.  This group from La Crescenta Baptist Church, was such a huge part of our life when we were first married and having our babies.  What a joy it was to see most of them together again. 


Roehrs, Don and Chris Carlson, Lebrechts

Roehrs, Don and Chris Carlson, Lebrechts

We were so involved with each other outside of Sunday mornings, working on each other's homes and gardens, making Christmas gifts, beach days, and play-dates for the kids.  There were so many spiritually significant times too, as we learned God's plan for our lives and helped each other root out sin and grow together.  I love this group of people and hope we can do a better job of staying in touch.  It meant so much to me that they were able to come. I love them all!

#3 Relaxing With My Friend


I'm still adjusting to being a widow, and there has been much to do.  Paperwork, and decisions have been the norm here, since Gary's service.  I had scheduled a get-a-way with my friend, Christy, months ago for a couple of days this week.  With all the busyness, it comes at a good time, and thankfully, we'll be going up to the Central Coast, where we had gone with our husbands back in 2004. 






We have had little time to talk over the last few years, and I'm so happy we have time to catch up.

I was just here 10 days ago with the family, and it seems so soon to be back, but my friend and I are having a wonderful time. 




It was so funny today, when going in shops how often I found myself saying, "Gary would have loved this (thing)."  I don't know anyone who could "out-shop" him. 

I love thinking about Gary in this place.  It will always be a precious memory for me. 

Truly Comforting...

"...the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore, comfort one another with these words." 

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

Tidbits & Treasures 02/18/14

I Peter 1:11

I Peter 1:11

Two words…

I was reading my Bible this week and ran across a note I’d written in the margin.   It says, “Cup & Glory.”    It’s from the book, “The Cup and The Glory” by Greg Harris.  The ‘cup’ of suffering is linked to the ‘glories’ to come, and this theme is traced through the Scriptures.  Dr. Harris was motivated to study this subject as a result of his own suffering.  I have jotted these two words multiple times over the years next to verses containing this theme.  Contrary to popular belief, it seems that the path to glory is laced with suffering, but the benefits are amazing.

He introduces his book like this.  “What follows are some of the lessons He (God) taught me from this, some of which I was most reluctant and slow to learn.  They are not necessarily for everyone, but rather are intended for those who are presently struggling with suffering in some area in their life, especially the painful perplexity of why God would allow them to experience such depths of misery, when we know He could remedy it whenever He wanted.  Hopefully, it will offer new insight into the graciousness of God as He lovingly uses suffering to draw us nearer to Him and to conform us closer to the image of Christ.”  Pg. 18

 “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

"A Fine Romance"  Susan's diary of her visit to the English Countryside. 

"A Fine Romance"  Susan's diary of her visit to the English Countryside. 

Inspired by Susan

Let me introduce you to one of my artistic inspirations, Susan Branch.  We both share a love of being home, hand-crafted art, journaling, and watercolor painting.  We both came to the craft late (well, I came back after a lengthy break).  Maybe you’ll have fun exploring her website if you like creative ideas, and ways to make your home cozy and beautiful.  She has great, simple recipes too.  Her blog is loaded with great photos, illustrations, and vignettes of life on Martha’s Vineyard Island.

A Sign

I’ve been reading about the Israelites’ great EXIT from Egypt.  Moses was hand-picked by God to lead His people out of their slavery and into the Promised Land.  He had his doubts and fears about this great task.  “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”  Exodus 3:11

God answered, “But I will be with you, and this shall be a sign for you, that I have sent you…when you have brought the people out of Egypt you shall serve God on the mountain.” Exodus 3:12 

Moses had the assurance that he would encounter the presence of God, and THAT would be the sign that God had sent him.  After that, he was to lead the people in worship.  That’s all he needed to know…God would be with him and He was, leading, providing, and interacting with them all through the wilderness.  I want to live like that.  Believe, trust, obey, see God at work, and worship. 

Looking twin bed on left, Gary's Hospital bed with special air mattress. on right.  The lump at the footboard is the pump.

Looking twin bed on left, Gary's Hospital bed with special air mattress. on right.  The lump at the footboard is the pump.

Medical Air Mattress…a solution for dementia patients and their spouses.

3 years ago, when Gary began to be much more sedentary he developed some bed (pressure) sores on his heels.  At first I didn’t know what they were, but basically they looked like big blisters.  This happens when the body isn’t moving enough and one part is pressing down on the bed for too long.  The blood doesn’t circulate there, and a sore can develop.  It can happen really quickly.  It’s even worse when there’s weight loss and less padding on the bones, so the pressure is greater.  This can be a huge problem, and it is not uncommon for dementia patients to die from systemic infections, that start with a pressure sore.  So, I began setting my alarm at 2 hour intervals during the night so I could get up and roll him over.  As you can imagine, this was exhausting and I began to do research to see if there was a better way to keep him protected.  Well, I found the most amazing thing!  I know some of my readers are caring for a loved one and will want to know about this.  It’s a circulating air mattress.  It has 15 channels of air, and a small motor which deflates and inflates these channels in sequence.  You can set the timing and duration.  It’s a twin sized mattress that fits his hospital bed (in fact is designed for hospital use) but for the first 18 months, I had it next to my twin mattress on our King box springs.  You never would have known it was not a regular King sized bed.  Now I have my twin bed pushed up to Gary’s hospital bed.  But the mattress has been chugging along, pumping air, 24/7 giving us both a good night’s sleep for about 3 years.  Pretty cool, huh!  Now that Gary has lost so much weight we have begun to change his position again when in a recliner chair, but in bed, his mattress keeps his skin from getting damaged.  It was about $1500, but if you already HAVE the pressure sores I think Medicare will cover some or all of the cost with a Doctor’s order.  I got ours after the sores were healed, but it was a very good investment and I think it has really saved Gary much pain and misery.  There are lots of choices, but here’s the one we got:  Good Night Zzzzzzzz……

For more info on adapting your home to care for a loved HERE

Tidbits & Treasures

"Tidbits & Treasures" are some things I just really, really want you to know about! It's a collection of fun, important, newsy, stuff that don't justify an entire blog, but I want to pass on to you this Thanksgiving.  Enjoy! 

Gary shares a "tidbit" of his own.

Gary shares a "tidbit" of his own.


"Yet I am continually with you; You have taken hold of my right hand.  With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory.  Psalm 73:23-24 

I've had this verse on a sticky note in my daily calendar for a week.  I've been thinking how  God is with Gary constantly.  He is holding his hand.  He has been caring for him all along, and when the time comes, God will bring Gary to his side in Heaven.  Comforting to think about.

Thanksgiving Proclamations

On October 3, 1789, President George Washington, Proclaimed Nov. 26th as the National Day of Thanksgiving. 

"Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks..."

On October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln made his own Thanksgiving Proclamation. Here are the last few sentences...

"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."  Click HERE to read the whole thing. 

Our Thanksgiving Day 

We used to have big groups in our home every year.  Everyone brought part of the meal, Sarah and April made the decorations, and helped with getting the table ready.  I made the Cranberry Velvet, and Martha Stewart's Turkey and Dressing.  Gary busied himself with getting the carving knife sharpened, or bringing in the banquet table from the garage, and gathering the chairs from the different rooms.  My favorite part of the day was when he began the meal by thanking God for His many blessings and kindnesses to us.  I am not hosting this year.  Gary's needs have become too great, but I did make the Cranberry sauce, and will bring the mashed sweet potatoes to our daughter's home.  I'm looking forward to the whole thing.  May your Thanksgiving Day be sweet and filled with joy and gratefulness to God. 

Christmas Shopping Ideas


Priced at $10-$15 our greeting card sets make a thoughtful gift or stocking stuffer.

Our Secret Garden Fine Art Prints are $45.

Personalized Monograms and Architectural Portraits can be ordered for $150.