Tip of the Day #TraderJoes

Since I can’t muster the motivation to write real blog posts but I do occasionally have moments where I think, “Other people need to know this!” Here is your tip of the day…

Trader Joe’s has the best, cheapest, and not-too-sappy greeting cards, especially for weddings. AND! They are only 99 cents!! When I find one I like I buy 5 ’cause you know people are always havin’ birthdays & babies.



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Tip of the day

Have you ever reached your paper towel-wrapped hand down into the depths of the garbage disposal to try to dislodge some of the foul-smelling sludge? Ugh. Well I discovered today that an old bottle brush & the cleanser of your choice make for an excellent garbage disposal cleaner.

You’re welcome.


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The REAL happily ever after

“The entire revelation of the Bible shows us the love story of a universal couple. That is…the Triune God…is joined in marriage to the created, redeemed, regenerated, transformed, and glorified tripartite man…who ultimately constitutes the church, the expression of God. In the eternity that is without end, by the divine, eternal, and surpassingly glorious life, they will live a life that is the mingling of God and man as one spirit, a life that is superexcellent and that overflows with blessings and joy.
Rev. 22:17, footnote 1
The Holy Bible Recovery version

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12 Reasons Trains Are Better Than Planes

1. Check-in takes 5 minutes. Except for if it’s a small station than it may only take 2. And check the Amtrak app – if your train is running late it gives you a few more minutes to sleep or visit your family.
Disclaimer: If your train is leaving out of L.A., Chicago, or New York you probably want to give yourself more time. But you probably knew that already.

2. Two pieces of carry-on baggage. Free. And Amtrak’s definition of a carry-on bag is a 50-lb suitcase. Also, unlimited personal items.

3. Arrival takes 5 minutes. Ok, if 2 50-lb suitcases in addition to myriad personal items wasn’t enough and you had to check a couple additional bags, then it might take 10 minutes to get your bag.

4. Stations are usually located in easily accessible areas with plenty of parking. Yes, you may have to weave your way around some transient individuals…but no hurriedly hugging your auntie goodbye while the airport security guard mean mugs you and decides you have crossed the ephemeral line into “parking.”


5. Vistas of America. While I do love me an aerial view of the cities twinkling lights, nothing beats sweeping views of the good ‘ol U S of A. Mountains, lakes, pastures, coasts, and trailer parks – the train catches ’em all. And definitely more of the former than the latter. Reminds me that there is still plenty of wide open green space in our beautiful country.



6. Decent food. Seriously! While I might not spring for it in coach, meals are included with the sleeper car accommodations. So obviously I had to order the most expensive thing on the menu with all of its accoutrements. Steak is still delicious!🙂

7. You can walk around during take-off and departure.. That’s right folks. No feeling strapped down. And no seatbelts to speak of.

8. Free coffee and water. Again, this is only for sleeper car passengers. But it was right there! Free, hot (or cold), and plentiful.

9. Conversation abounds. Train people like to chat. There is no lack of chitt-chattery on the train. Granted, the mean age of the passengers was 60, but there was something seriously pleasant about being around a bunch of folks who had worked hard on the art of conversation.

10. Privacy abounds. If you happen to be one who enjoys his/her peace and quiet, the beauty of your sleeper room allows for tranquil reading/napping/vista-watching.

11. Naps.. That’s right, not only do you have enough room to nap, they also give you a pillow and a blanket! Like real blankets that cover your feet! Naps are no longer an elusive, neck-kinking dream!

12. It supports local business. Ok, so I’m not sure this is actually true. But I feel like riding the train is like giving your dollar to the little guy, the mom-and-pop. Not the money-grabbing, every-little-thing-upcharging, how-far-can-we-push-passengers airlines. Trains feel like someone out there wants you to enjoy the trip. Like the corporate office doesn’t want to mess with the good things about travel that have lasted so long. I may be waxing a little nostalgic as I am about to get called to the Parlour Car for my last meal on the Coast Starlight. But this is one gal who wants to see the trains keep rolling on.



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Better late than Never

Here we are on day 5 and I have yet to post anything!! Well here’s a recap for posterity:
Day 1: arrive in San Francisco – lunch at Ferry Building & watching Uncle David play steel guitar at the Cheese Board in Berkley.

Day 2: Run Golden Gate Park, drive to Salinas & Rehearsal Dinner!

Day 3: Robert goes kayaking with Grandad!, sweet hair appt with Lynn, and Spencer James’ WEDDING! (Sidebar: so glad I got to see these 2 lovely people get married.)

Day 4: Flensjes breakfast, lunch in Monterey, and all aboard Amtrak to Washington.

All in all it has been lovely, sweet, and restful. I’m especially diggin’ this train ride. It’s basically an excuse to sit, do nothing, and watch scenery. Like a land-locked cruise. Woke up early this morning to views of the sun rising in Mt. Shasta and her little sister Shastanita.

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Almost home!

I almost made it through the trip with a blog post every day, but since it was late and I am one of today’s 2 drivers, I opted for sleep last night. Yesterday took us from Chicago to Champaign, IL. Champaign holds the University of Illinois, at least one really good frozen yogurt place, and more wonderful saints.

I got to see a sister I hadn’t seen in awhile and was telling her about my ongoing struggle to spend quality time with the Lord in the morning. I appreciated her simple answer,

Just ask the Lord about it.

She made it sound so simple and I was reminded that it really is so easy! He really wants to spend the time with us, so He’s happy to help us figure out how to spend time with Him.

Leaving our wonderful hospitality. So sad we didn’t get a picture with them!

University of Illinois:





Today we took the long way home. Robert and I took 3 students back through Cincinnati to pick up the now- repaired church van and drop off our rental. The silver lining to this was one last stop at Graeter’s! The location we found through yelp had Jim, the world’s friendliest manager.




AND my only state border pic the whole trip….


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Finally Pizza!

Why am I always doing these posts rushed at 1130 pm? I always have the best intentions….

Today was a great wrap-up of our time here. I was really surprised at how much I love Chicago!! We had a sweet time of fellowship with Jim Reetzke who touched the ministry of Witness Lee back in the 1950’s and was in the first meeting of the Church in Los Angeles. It was wonderful to hear the history. Got to visit Chicago Bibles & Books which was awesome. Look forward to getting more biographies from them once I finish the two I picked up.

Then off to the Billy Graham museum in Wheaton, IL followed by The Bean and…drum roll please….Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza! (Secretly, that may have been everyone’s reason for visiting Chicago).

And now the photo roll:

Billy Graham Museum:

Downtown Chicago:





Sadly, no pics of the pizza (although if you search #2013MidwestBlending there must be some). But here is Alessa acting for us what we all felt on the inside after we were done:


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