Monday, March 5, 2018

Today is Daddy's birthday

Birthdays in our family are celebrated for days, even months. We're so glad we were born. Smile. We just love celebrating. It's not uncommon for us to sing to ourselves or direct the "choir" as it sings to us.
This is the last time we celebrated Dad's birthday in Florida. 2007. I made cupcakes and served them on a Pineapple pedestal with ice cream.We do love cake and ice cream--smile.

Daddy's favorite version of the birthday song with names available for changing as occasion stipulates:

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to Daddy
Happy Birthday
God Bless You
Happy Birthday to Daddy

Click to read my witness to Daddy:  

Witness to the life of Norman S. Chattin

Witness for Norman Chattin, delivered January 5, 2018 at the Celebration of Life Service, Westminster Canterbury, Richmond, VA

On behalf of my mother and myself, thank you all for joining us to celebrate my Daddy’s life.  Daddy always said, “Funerals are for the living,” and we are honored and comforted by your presence.  

Pray with me please: Lord let the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts together today be acceptable in thy sight oh Lord my strength and my redeemer. amen

Faith Family Education
My brother David and I grew up in a LOT of houses, but in only one home. That was the one with tomatoes growing in the back yard, our pictures on the wall, and plenty of food in the kitchen.
We heard that education is a top priority. “There are 3 things no one can ever take away from you. Your faith, your family, and your education.”
As for the education part—getting a library card in our family was almost as big of a deal as getting a driver’s license.

Off to camp and beyond
When I was eight, my library card led me to a book about sleep-away summer camp. There was this kid who went to camp and made all kinds of new friends and had great adventures and wow, I was convinced that I needed to go to summer camp and began writing away for applications.
After eliminating all the camps that would only take 9-year olds I came upon Camp Kittamaqund—a Girl Scout camp in North Thumberland County that would take 8-year-olds if they had completed the third grade.
Score! I had found my summer camp. I begged and pleaded and Mom and Daddy scraped up the money and I was going away to camp for 14 days.
As we packed me up with all the required and suggested items, Daddy would look in on me and say, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to…you can always change your mind.” I’d say okay, and quickly reassure him that I REALLY wanted to go.
The day they dropped me off, Daddy said, “You can always come home, if you want to come home for any reason, you just have them call and I’ll come get you.” I promised him I would call if I didn’t want to stay.
The first day of camp we had mail delivery. I was the only camper who got mail that first day and it came from Daddy. He said he missed me and don’t forget he’d come get me anytime I wanted to come home.
Every mail call after that I got a letter from Daddy, and not only Daddy, but from mom, aunts and cousins and neighbors and church members. He gave everyone my address and I received mail and canteen money and bookmarks and funny papers and homemade cookies.
I had a blast. I never once thought about going home until it was time to go home. When my parents arrived I ran gleefully into my their arms—covered in mud and grinning from ear to ear.
I went away to some type of summer camp every year after that until I finished high school. Every time I left Daddy told me all I had to do was have them call and he’d come get me. And while I was gone, he wrote to me every day.

         Off to College
When it was time to leave for college-- Daddy once again said I could change my mind at any point and stay home ( even though I was going to “the family school” --there was always community college)—and once again told me he would come get me any time. While I was at Randolph-Macon, he wrote to me at least once a week and often more. Whenever I called home from school and he answered the phone the first thing out of his mouth was, “do you need me to come get you?”
I was fearless in the world because I knew I could always go home. There were times that I did go home, more than once, without judgement or blame.
That was the foundation of my education about faith and family.

Back at home
I didn’t always learn from books either. I learned from people.
We like to say our family didn’t bring home stray animals, we brought home stray people.
 Over the years there were
·         kids from the Methodist Children’s Home,
·         younger family members starting out or returning from their personal journeys,
·         college presidents,
·         missionaries from Africa and India,
·         itinerant Christian actors from the covenant players
·         pregnant teenagers,
·         a traveling salesman from India who worked for a Hong Kong tailoring company,
·         lonely folks who had experienced loss,
·         wives escaping unhappy homes,
·         Vietnamese war refugees,
·         ministers thinking of joining the ministry or questioning if they should say in the ministry,
·         my grandmothers would come for a week or more,
·         couples wanting to be married,
·         various district superintendents,
·         even the Bishop once,
·         and as my brother and I got older we added to the mix by bringing home
·         foreign exchange students (Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Holland, Canada and Buffalo, NY—which could have been as far away as France all things considered),
·         roommates,
·         fraternity brothers,
·         girlfriends,
·         boyfriends,
·         and my Mom’s personal favorite—the 6 member rock band I brought home one night (turns out one of them was the grandson of a United Methodist minister that Daddy knew…)

Daddy had a way with people and it spread into all our lives. He was a good preacher, but he was a great pastoral minister. He wasn’t one of those “scripture shouters.” He found a way to relate to folks that made them feel comfortable and accepted.

No one's perfect
Of course there were things he couldn’t do, and he was usually the first to tell you about them—
As he would say, he could not carry a tune in a bucket. That didn’t stop him from cheerfully singing along on family drives or in church (without a mike). He liked to say he knew all the words to two songs, “Pine Tree” and “Amen.” Those lyrics, in case you hadn’t guessed, were exactly the same as the title of the songs.
He couldn’t read a map and had no sense of direction.
He wasn’t an athlete, the only game he ever taught us was roll-a-bat which is a little like baseball but requires a lot less skill.
He wasn’t a carpenter or a mechanic.
And—he could not tell a joke. He loved jokes and always wanted to hear them but when he would start telling one he’d begin laughing so much that he’d miss the punchline.

Many Gifts
But he COULD get things done. . There was always an “ease” with the way Daddy did things.
He could have you volunteering for a task and halfway finished before you realized you were doing it. And by the time you did finish, you felt better about yourself than you ever imagined.
He could get in and out of places when others could not—Back when hospitals had super strict visiting hours my Daddy could get in and out any time.
Stores or restaurants that had closed would somehow let him in anyway.
He could visit anyone in jail and, on occasion could get an inmate released in time for Christmas with his family.
He found scholarships for students, spots in nursing homes, jobs for executives or waitresses and he always knew where to get the best hot dog in town.
Remember that Vietnamese refugee family I mentioned? After our church had sponsored the family and helped get them settled in a home Daddy worked unceasingly to find one of their sons who was not with his parents when Hanoi fell. He found him, got him out of a camp in California and brought him to Virginia. The joy on their faces when they were reunited was indescribable.
Daddy loved to garden. Every home he ever lived in had flowers in the front yard and tomato plants in the back. He even grew flowers and tomatoes right here at Westminster in the resident gardens.
Yes, there were things he couldn’t do, but he was magnificent with what he could do. 

Faith and family and education.
He had priorities, he lived those priorities, and he did with ease, with joy, and with grace.

I'll keep going
I know there is a heaven,. I know my Daddy is there.

I don’t know a lot about it. I don't exactly know how to get there.

I am certain however, that if I find myself struggling, Daddy will come get me.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Cleaning rubber stamps and so much more

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. 

Meet the Absorber:

I was tooling around online and saw a product sold by a popular stamp and die cut company that looked awesome. It's an absorbent cloth that will clean the ink off of a rubber stamp in one swipe.

Their price seemed a bit high without knowing it worked so I checked out some product reviews and learned that everyone who uses it loves it.

In the process of checking around I learned that the cloth is not something invented for rubber stamping--it's been around for some time for use with car washing and other chores.

Enjoy the Absorber: 
Store your Absorber cloths in zip close bag.
Keep them moist to be ready for use. If they do
dry out, Just moisten them again. Rinse them out
occasionally--the one in my hand is clean but
stained. I love the way they wipe ink off my hands
when I am stamping. I wipe ink pads too and prevent
smears from getting on my hands then paper.

I found it on Amazon in a larger size for a smaller price. I cut mine up into smaller pieces and shared with my artsy friends and also with my Sir Henry for use in the tool shed. Everybody loves it!

Even my artsy friends like the fabulous Lynn Barwald called to find out how she could get more. She hadn't used it in studio at all but in her kitchen!

This thing picks up tons of water if there's a spill. It wipes any wet or damp surface clean and shiny--like cars, counters, ovens, faucets, etc.  I've watched it pick up surface level ink, grime, water spots and all kinds of liquid spills.

This one is currently priced at $8.79 on Amazon. If you keep the entire 27" by 17" for yourself, you won't need another one with in the next few years. My fees from Amazon never, ever effect your purchase price.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

This is a test, only a test

I'm testing to see how posts go up from my  phone. If I like this it will certainly curtail my wordiness.

In June I began Bible Journaling. What a joy this has been. My earliest entries are not on my phone, so here is my latest.

Romans 14:1-12

I use the Common Lectionary as the basis for my journaling and the workshop that I teach on the topic.

This came from the lectionary for September 17th. One of my favorite sayings is, who am I to judge?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Labels and Signs

This is a great eyeliner, however,
I haven't noticed my "sexy" boosted.
My sexiness hasn't increased either.
My husband and I have enjoyed spotting and interpreting signs and labels over the last 15 years. Funny, I never thought of it as "a thing" for us until I started writing this post. Cool, something else we enjoy doing together.

Eyeliner is fabulous. I've been wearing it since I sold Mary Kay back in 1982. Back then, the liquid eyeliner fad of the '60s had disappeared and the most common eyeliner wearing people were punk rockers and heavy metal bands. David Bowie and Boy George were also fans of eyeliner--do they fit in those groups?

So, the smart folks at Mary Kay taught their Beauty Consultants and thereby their customers to use a tiny bit of liquid eyeliner at the very base of the lashes to add fullness. This little tip really does make lashes look fuller and it helped sell liquid eyeliner during the dry spell.

Today liquid eyeliner is popular again. I love the cool dramatic looks I see on women. 

Sadly, my 55-year old eyes do not not look good, much less sexy, with dramatic eyeliner. It only emphasizes the crepe skin and droopy lids. 

Even if I weren't in Slipper Camp this year, the eyeliner issue would not be worrying me in any way. Slipper Camp is just an added boost to my self-confidence and appreciation of my own beauty.

The Slipper Camp philosophy of living fully in each moment has heightened my awareness of signs and labels. So "sexy booster" eyeliner is amusing partly because of it's grammatical snafu and partly because I've never had my sexy boosted. Should I get a refund?

Slipper Camp: A kinder, gentler boot camp designed to promote living well every moment.
Camp Motto: Being kind to yourself makes you strong.
Checkout my personal progress and all the tasks on (search key word slipper camp)

Follow along with the  Slipper camp tasks on the Live Safe, Live Well Facebook Page:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My return to camp

I finished my first 2017 Slipper Camp Workout: 
"Printing out at least three great photos from 2017 and putting them in prominent places." 

In February 2016 I attended what we call "Art Camp" again.
This photo is from a walk with my dearest friends Lynn & Jill.
I digitally created a fun photo keepsake for them in Oct. 2016.
Now the photo is on the magnet board above my monitor. 
This Polaroid of Owen was already up. (Bonus for me--smile.) Interesting to note: Owen goes directly to that photo and makes a comment every time he comes in our house.

Owen is my grandson by way of my God-daughter Brittany. 

October 2016-- weekend in a cabin with my friend Nanette.
We hadn't seen each other in over 7 years.
Thanks to Slipper Camp exercise one I see this photo every day.
My dresser top looks like inspiration for another exercise, right?

I had my first birthday party in several years in 2016. The photo now happily resides on our fridge door.

Slipper Camp: A kinder, gentler boot camp designed to promote living well every moment.
Camp Motto: Being kind to yourself makes you strong.
Checkout my personal progress and all the tasks on (search key word slipper camp)

Follow along with the  Slipper camp tasks on the Live Safe, Live Well Facebook Page: