Saturday, August 2, 2014

102 Interesting and Not So Interesting Things About Me....

101 Interesting and Not so Interesting Things You May or May Not Know About Me:

  1. I read the printed newspaper every day while I eat my breakfast.
  2. Breakfast always includes 2 scrambled eggs and orange juice
  3. I taught myself to type on a manual typewriter with a 1950's textbook. 
  4. I am addicted to Rice Krispie Treats
  5. I've lived in Durham all my life except for one year in Chapel Hill and 2 weeks in Greenville, NC 
  6. I went to ECU for 2 weeks. 
  7. I like Marshmallow Peeps best if they are just a little dried out.
  8. I floss my teeth every night-I mean EVERY night.
  9. I was born with a heart defect-bicuspid aortic valve
  10. I taught aerobics for over 20 years
  11. I once met a real hero - Jesse Owens, and I have his autograph.
  12. I worked as a "Steerette" at Golden Corral in high school.
  13. I was kissed by Buddy Hackett while working as a Steerette at Golden Corral in high school.
  14. I've always pulled for NC State-NEVER any other team.
  15. I was saved in 1973 at a Billy Graham Crusade in Carter Finley Stadium.
  16. I almost choked to death in a swing set accident when very young.
  17. I fell in the bathtub and split my chin when I was 3.
  18. I got chicken pox when I was 26.
  19. My first dog was named Shep, my second dog was named Shep.
  20. My favorite color is orange- the happy color.
  21. I am an introvert.
  22. I like to speak in front of people and most of the time it doesn't make me nervous. 
  23. I am fiercely loyal to my family and friends and expect them to be loyal to me.
  24. My favorite Bible passage is Job 19:25-27
  25. My favorite book of the Bible is 1 Thessalonians. Jesus IS coming back!
  26. My favorite hymn is Be Thou My Vision.
  27. My favorite Bible character is Rahab.
  28. I can live without meat but not without bread and pasta.
  29. My favorite book series as an adult is the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. 
  30. My favorite book series as a child was the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. 
  31. I don't watch much TV but when I do I watch old TV shows and House Hunters. 
  32. My favorite movie is You've Got Mail. 
  33. I cried everyday for the first half of 1st grade. Poor Mrs. Moore. 
  34. Both elementary schools I attended no longer stand - Hillandale was torn down and a new one built,  and Bragtown 6th Grade Center burned down. 
  35. I've had foot surgery my right foot, knee surgery on my right knee, and 2 cortisone injections in my right elbow.  
  36. I have a bowl of cereal every night before bed. Usually Raisin Bran. 
  37. I am very schedule/routine oriented and don't like quick changes or surprises.  I just  don't like change. 
  38. I've had the same hairdresser for 25 years. 
  39. My favorite place to visit is Israel-I've been there twice.
  40. I was on the Dance Team in high school. 
  41. Unmade beds drive me crazy, I make the bed EVERY day.
  42. I like my music loud!
  43. Coke not Pepsi. But not very often.
  44. I don't like or drink coffee AT ALL.
  45. I drink cold, unsweet, decaf tea. ( I know, why bother!)
  46. I climbed Mount Sinai in Egypt.
  47. I slept on the floor of a bus through the country of Jordan-I was sick.
  48. I was baptized in the Jordan River in Israel.
  49. I've been to the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. 
  50. I've sailed on the Sea of Galilee. 
  51. I stood at the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem.
  52. I swam in the Dead Sea. Yes, you really do float.
  53. I've been to Mount Rushmore.
  54. I've seen the Badlands.
  55. I'm still friends with my first best friend and we attend the same Bible Study every Monday night. 
  56. I love LeSeur Small Early Peas. Yep, it's true.
  57. I can't sit still for long. 
  58. I love yellow sweetheart roses.
  59. But I also like daisies. "The happy flower".
  60. My family drove across the US to North Dakota when I was in the 6th grade, in a 70's Buick Electra 225 -3 men in the front seat, 3 women in the back seat. 
  61. I still keep in touch with a pen pal from 1977- She became my friend. I was in her wedding and she was in mine. 
  62. My first plane ride was when I was 19. I flew to New York to meet my pen pal. (see #61)
  63. Spiders don't bother me but insects that hop do. 
  64. Frogs gross me out. 
  65. I always pause and say "awwww" when I see a bunny rabbit. 
  66. My thumb is not green.
  67. There were 4 girls with the name Robin in my 4th grade class.
  68. I don't play any musical instrument. My mother tried to teach me to play the piano but...(see #57).
  69. Asymmetry bothers me.  
  70. The first election I voted in, I voted for Ronald Reagan.  I would do it again. 
  71. Southpoint Mall is my happy place. So is Harris Teeter. 
  72. The older I get, the more I like birds. (outside birds, not inside in a cage)
  73. Thunderstorms and lightening still frighten me. 
  74. I have a pink tool box. It has a roll of duct tape in it. Of course. 
  75. The hardest thing I have ever done is start a new job after 24 years at my old one. 
  76. The movie "Brian's Song" still makes me sob. "Marley and Me" comes a close second on  the sob scale. Don't even ask me about "Hochi". 
  77. I drove a '74 Yellow Chevy Vega my senior year of High School. 
  78. My favorite subject in school was Social Studies/History. 
  79. I. cannot. do. Math. 
  80. I am an organ donor. Aren't you?
  81. My first trip to Washington, DC was in 2006. I was 42 years old. 
  82. One of my biggest "pet peeves" is paying at the pump to get gas and then having to go inside to get the receipt.
  83. It bugs me when someone is nice to me one day and then acts like they don't know me the next.
  84. "Fake" people and "hiney-kissers" bug me. 
  85. If I could have a "do over", I would not have wasted so much time on things that don't matter and spent more time pursuing God's calling for me.  
  86. I rode a camel. Twice. 
  87. I've never been on a horse.
  88. I get out of sorts when my house is out of sorts.
  89. Tick bites always result in a doctor's visit. 
  90. I am normally not a "cryer".  I have a friend that teasingly calls me "Hard-Hearted Hannah"
  91. I am a side-sleeper. 
  92. I once had burgundy hair.
  93. I held 4 jobs at one time-1 full time and 3 part time. 3 of those jobs required me to wear a leotard and tights. Of course I was single at the time. 
  94. I was the "baby" of the family growing up.
  95. I always said I would never have my wedding in the summer. I got married on August 29, 1987. Never say never.
  96. I took dance lessons for 5 years but switched to gymnastics because I wanted to be the next Olga Korbut. I quit gymnastics and took figure skating lessons because I wanted to be the next Dorothy Hamill. Turns out, I became neither. 
  97. My husband is the "BigEyeCrappieman" but I've never cooked Crappie.
  98. I'm married to Rod.
  99. I'm mother to Caitlin.
  100. I'm mother-in-law to Bradley.
  101.  Anytime you come by my house, you are likely to find a pile of clothes on the extra bed waiting to be folded. 
  102. I will soon have Open Heart Surgery to replace my Aortic Valve. Asking for prayers from all my family and friends!

Saturday, July 19, 2014


You've probably heard the old saying, "When you come to the end of your rope,  tie a knot and hang on."  I guess this saying is supposed to inspire and encourage you to keep going, or hang on because help is on the way, or whatever trouble or frustration you are having will get better, eventually. 
Well, sometimes I am at the point on the "rope" that I don't even want to tie a knot. I may be at the end of my rope and have no energy or motivation to tie the knot. I might be angry, tired, bitter, scared, frustrated, bewildered, doubtful, emotional, disraught, etc. etc. etc. I might be so full of self-pity that I just want to keep sliding downward into the abyss.
I don't want to tie a knot, talk about it, hear advice about it, read my Bible, or even pray about it. I wouldn't even know what to pray even if I felt like praying.
So what am I to do? Well, sometimes there is nothing I can do. Nothing but leave it in the hands of God. He knows all about my "rope". He knows when I don't want to hang on. He knows when I am too weak and too weary to tie a knot. And He knows when I don't know how to pray or what to pray  or even want to pray. 
He doesn't get mad at me or turn His back on me. It's in the broken times that His presence is even closer to me. I may not feel it or see it, but He's there. His comfort is there even when I choose to deny it. And His Word reassures me that in my weakness and when I don't know how or what to pray, "the Spirit himself intercedes for (me) with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26)
I may not want to tie a knot, but God is quite capable of tying the knot, with or without my cooperation. For that I am grateful.

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:3,4 

Monday, June 30, 2014


     Sometimes, things just don't go my way. And I can get slightly "out of sorts". I like my life neatly planned out, scheduled, on time, without drama, and mosquito free. But life is rarely like that. Especially the mosquito free part.

     I have a favorite comic strip I read every morning. (Yes, I read the printed paper every morning.)  It's called "Mutts". And one day, one of the characters said he was feeling "sort of unhappy, sort of unsatisfied, sort of unsure, sort of queasy, sort of ..... Out of sorts!"  Day to day life is not easy and can make us feel out of sorts. Life changes quickly, rarely goes as planned, is rushed, full of heavy traffic, and most of the time, full of drama and mosquitos. Life requires a lot of flexibility and I admit, flexible is not something I'm always good at being.

     The past year has been full of change. I turned 50. I changed jobs after 24 years at my old one. I received some unsettling news. I've been disappointed and wounded by some I should be able to trust. The beginning of menopause has crept in.  Change, has been the only constant in my life over the past year. It has been an "out of sorts" kind of year.

     Thankfully, while life is full of change and surprise, we serve a God who is sure and steadfast. He himself declares "I the LORD do not change." (Malachi 3:6)  God is unchanging, good, trustworthy, faithful, wise, and sovereign. When everything else is spinning OUT of control, God is always IN control. Nothing catches Him by surprise and He is never "out of sorts".  Life can knock us out of our seat, but God is always on His throne. 

     When life gets "out of sorts", I can go to the throne of grace, to God Himself.  There I rest secure in His mighty hands, trusting Him and knowing that whatever happens, God knows me, God sees me, and God loves me.  He's waiting for me to call on Him, leave my burdens with Him and find peace and mercy in this "out of sorts" world.  I will find help in my time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

     And, at the throne of grace, there are no mosquitos.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Bird Feeder, My Obsession


For Mother's Day, my brother and his wife gave my mom a bird feeder. And, I really, really liked it. I wanted one. For MYself, for MY yard, for MY birds. But I didn't feel like we had the extra money to spend on a bird feeder and stealing my mother's new bird feeder wasn't an option.  So, I went for a few weeks without the bird feeder.

You know how your mind works when you want something? My mind did a lot of talking to me.  "If only I had the bird feeder I could feed the birds." "The bird feeder really doesn't cost that much, just buy it!" "It would look so nice in my yard and I would SO enjoy watching the birds!"  On and on it went. The more I thought of it, the more I wanted it. It occupied my mind, It became an obsession.

Recently, Rod and I went to Lowe's and lo and behold, there IT was. THE bird feeder. We were there for an electrical cord and we came out with the cord and THE bird feeder. And some seed.  And some light bulbs. Now, my life would be complete. I finally had MY bird feeder. When we got home, Rod drove the shepherd's hook into the ground and with great ceremony, THE bird feeder was hung onto the hook. MY bird feeder, to feed MY birds, strategically placed in MY yard so I could see it from MY swing, on MY deck. Life was good, complete.

Only, it really wasn't any better or different than before I had the Bird Feeder.  Or maybe I should say, any more complete. Just because I had finally acquired THE Bird Feeder, circumstances in my life had not changed. (Except that now the birds had more to eat.)  As I sat on the swing, gazing at MY Bird Feeder, I realized that the bird feeder didn't change any of my circumstances or life's issues. I wasn't any more content having THE bird feeder in my yard.

Life is like that. We want THINGS. And we believe that THINGS will fix what's wrong, missing or incomplete and make us happy and content. That's what the world wants us to think.  If we just had that new car, that bigger house, that perfect mate, the perfect job, nicer clothes, a pretty bird feeder etc.. We can get preoccupied with our wants. Our "wants" can become an obsession and then they become our idol. And our idols take us away from loving The Lord "will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might". (Deut 6:5)  A dangerous thing, things are! Materialism will never satisfy. And we can never fill the empty places with things. We can't make happiness with things. Only God satisfies. Only God can fill what's missing and "complete" us. Our fulfillment can only come from our relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Our joy can only come from knowing the certainty of our future IN Christ. Our obsession should be God and God alone.

You know MY Bird Feeder?  It's lovely and the SQUIRRELS love the bird seed!!! I must say they are pretty fat, happy, and content!

Monday, June 16, 2014


Some people like to create beautiful pictures out of puzzle pieces. For some it is a way to relax, others like the challenge. For me, the challenge comes from sitting still long enough to hunt for the right pieces that fit together without going totally bonkers!

puzzle is a funny thing. A box full of pieces.  A bunch of seemingly meaningless pieces that fit together to create "something". When you dump the pieces out of the box onto the table, it's hard to see the "something" (unless you study the cover of the box). And if one piece doesn't belong, it can ruin the whole picture. And drive you bonkers.

People can be like puzzle pieces. And sometimes we can feel like we are in the wrong box. When in the right "box", we fit together nicely with others, working together, playing together, worshipping together, enjoying each other, creating a beautiful masterpiece. But sometimes we just feel like we are in the wrong box. Nothing wrong with the piece, we just don't fit. We just don't seem to interlock with the others.

Thankfully, God can take the wrong pieces and place them where they belong. And he can create a masterpiece. We may feel like we don't fit. We may feel out of place. We may feel lonely. But with God, we always "fit".

Imagine how Rahab must have felt when she first came out of Jericho. The walls came down and "The Prostitute" (now former) moved into God's family. How strange their ways must have seemed to her. How lonely she must have felt at first. How out of place.  A Gentile among the Israelites. Surely she felt (even though she believed in the One, True God) that she didn't "fit". But God, in His faithfulness and love, took "Rahab the Prostitute" and placed her in His family and she became part of the beautiful puzzle. Part of the beautiful masterpiece.  So much so, that she became a part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Remember Rahab and the Puzzle Piece the next time you feel like you don't "fit".   The next time you feel like you are in the wrong box. The next time you feel out of place or lonely. Remember you are special to God and you are His masterpiece, thought of before time, created for something special. In God's puzzle, you always fit. You are never in the wrong box.

"But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day." Joshua 6:25

"For we are God's masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Sunday, January 27, 2013

High Expectations, Fair Weather Fans, and Jesus

This year, Rod and I decided to buy season tickets to the NC State basketball games. Being "empty-nesters", with the exception of Izzie, it was something we thought we would do together for fun and date nights. With the success of last season, after several "dry" years, expectations were high for this season's team. With talents like Calvin Leslie, Lorenzo Brown, Richard Howell and the others, Rod, me, and other fans were expecting a fantastic year!
It has been a good season so far with its ups and downs. We've won some and we've lost some. We've beaten both Duke and UNC but the season has not been all that some fans had hoped for, even though the Wolfpack has done very well. Some fans' expectations, while maybe unreasonable, have not been met, or so they think. And frankly, some fans have been very ugly, disgustingly ugly. Over the last week, I have read some sad, mean comments and tweets on social media. While I've had some  disappointment over some games that we lost when we thought we should have won, I have been shocked at how ugly and vile and hurtful the comments have been. They love the Pack when they win and then turn on them when they lose. To me, they are not true fans AT ALL.  But sadly they do represent today's "win all or else" culture. 
As I was thinking about these so called fans and their comments and tweets, Jesus came to mind. I thought about how many "fans" Jesus had while he traveled from place to place, healing the sick, the blind, the lame, raising the dead and expelling demons. Many people loved him until He didn't meet their  "expectations". He wasn't the one they had hoped for. He wasn't the kind of King they thought had been promised. When Jesus died, there were only three people at the foot of the cross-His mother Mary, John the Beloved disciple, and his follower Mary. Where were all of the others? Where had they gone? Why weren't they there to defend him, to support him, to cry out for him? They turned their backs on Him. Can you imagine what would have been said if facebook and twitter existed back in Jesus' time? I can only fathom what horrible things the people would have written. If Jesus, the Savior of the World, God Almighty Himself, had people turn on Him, why should the Pack expect anything less?? Why would we, Jesus' followers today, expect any less suffering?
Jesus told His disciples they would have trouble in this world but He had overcome the world. He
would have the final victory. He promised His Holy Spirit to help them and He promised that he would return one day and their grief would turn to joy.
I've enjoyed going to the games and cheering for Calvin, Zoe, Richard, Scott, Rodney, TJ and the others.  But in life, basketball is of the least importance. One day this world will not exist as we know it and all they we've worked for and acquired in this world will be gone. I don't believe there will be a basketball court in heaven.  What will last is what we've done for Jesus. That is what matters.
My hope for the NC State basketball players is that they will not read the rude comments of others. My hope is that they will not base their worth on how they play basketball and how many games they win or lose. My hope for them is that they will not put their hope for the future on an NBA career or on endorsements they receive.
My hope for them is that they know and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. That they know through faith in Jesus, they will have eternal life. I pray for them that they will know this world is temporary and only what is done for Christ will last. One day, they will stand all alone before God without a basketball in their hands, without cheerleaders cheering, without fans yelling, without the pep band playing and without their Coach instructing from the sidelines. It will be only them and they will be judged only according to God's holiness, not by the comments and opinions of others. And in Christ, they have nothing to fear. Victory will be theirs! That will be the greatest "W".

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
 In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

NC State defeats Duke 01/12/2013
Lorenzo Brown (#2) and Robin

Monday, November 12, 2012


On August 16, 2011, our sweet, 14 year old Jack Russell, Little Ann passed away.  When she left us, Rod and I were devastated. Our daughter Caitlin had recently married and with the loss of Little Ann, we became "complete" empty-nesters. I vowed at that time I would NEVER have another dog. I felt that we were at the age that we didn't need to be tied down to a dog and frankly, the last year of Little Ann's life with Cushings Disease left us (especially me) weary.
Never say Never-

Izzie Belle, 6 weeks old and barely 3 pounds, came into our family on January 21, 2012 despite my reservations and protests. She is the half-sister of Caitlin and Bradley's dog Ellie (same dad, different mother). Izzie's dad's name is Taz..short for Tasmanian Devil. I think you get the picture. Her energy level is 10x that of what our sweet, calm, Little Ann's was. One morning, Izzie had all the toilet paper off the roll, the toilet scrub brush out of its holder and a container of Clorox wipes out of the bathroom is 5 seconds flat. She cried all night the first week and I was one exhausted new mother. January 21 will forever be etched in my mind. Before Izzie, life was free and easy! My thoughts after Izzie were - "I'm too old for this! I don't want to stand in the yard in my housecoat and rain boots at 5:30 in the morning coaxing a puppy on a leash to pee and poo. What have I done??" (On the positive side, I can tell you exactly what time the newspaper carrier comes by and I bought myself the most adorable new rain boots!) Before Izzie, all of our socks were intact. Now we are lucky to find our socks. Before Izzie, the floors were neat, now there are more toys on the floor than a house with a 2 year old. None of our toilet paper holders have a roll on them. Any paper product, shoe, and piece of clothing is fair game. Instead of the exotic trip Rod and I talked about for our 25th anniversary, our present to each other was a fence around the backyard. (Hey the 25th is "Silver"!) But during those exasperating first 6 months, a funny thing happened. Izzie stole my heart. I think every woman has the need to nurture and I am no exception. With Caitlin grown and married, Izzie filled that need. She became our baby. Rod and I were smitten. At this point I can't imagine life without Izzie. I love that warm little body next to me! I love that sweet face with eyes full of expression. I love those kisses! Her energy level is high, her desire to love and please is higher. I miss her when I am not with her. When she deserves scolding, all she has to do is look at me with those eyes and I melt. (No wonder our excellent vet, Dr. Sabrina Grinstead, at Eno Animal Hospital, tells us we are more like grandparents than parents.) I think after having an older dog, we forgot how fun a puppy can be. It can be a lot of work, but love is work and isn't it always worth it?

I have the tendency for selfishness. It is a fault I must continuously surrender to the Holy Spirit. I believe God knows my tendency and sent Izzie to help me out. It is almost impossible to be selfish when you have a little dog so sweet and dependent on you. In the beginning God created animals. He doesn't waste any of His creation, it's all for a purpose. I am quite certain, Izzie's creation was for me.