Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tears, and More Tears

Yesterday Hubby and I attended a funeral that closely affected a friend of ours. Although we only slightly knew the deceased, we went for the sake of our friend, because we knew he would be devastated, and he was. I was so glad we could be there and give him a hug and cry with him tears of sympathy and concern.

At the funeral we met several friends with whom we have close ties. We all used to be a group-- I called us "The Fellowship Group"-- that met together once a week for worship, prayer, and, well, fellowship. We continued meeting for several years, through several morphings of the meetings; at one point they became "The Barn," because other people came and we needed to use the larger venue of our shop building that looks like a barn. Eventually, our lives all took off in different directions, and we pretty much ended up scattered and have had minimal contact since with some of them.

But seeing everyone yesterday, I realized the bonds we forged then are still strong. We felt like the best of family, reuniting. We all met after the funeral at Mickey D's, and sat and caught up on each other's lives for a couple of hours. It was SO good, and led to us planning a New Year's Eve party at our house with everyone.

On the way home from that impromptu get-together, I wept tears of joy and grief both. Joy, for the friendship and comraderie and spiritual strength I feel when we meet together with Christian brothers and sisters; Grief, because I realized how much I missed that. It's been at least two years since we've all been together in the same place.

The funny thing is, just that morning I had been praying, and talking to God about how I miss that kind of close fellowship. We just haven't had that kind of support since The Barn broke up. And the same day, God answers. I wept again, tears of -- of.... whatever they are when you realize once again that God is listening and answering, that He really does care.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chocolate Box Assortment #3

Sad news: I had to take AntiqueMommy out of my list of blogs in my sidebar because she is gone from the internet. Gone! Her site got hacked one too many times and she took the whole thing down. I am disappointed, because she was one of my favorites, and I will miss her.

This item probably deserves a whole post on its own, but DrummerDude Bought A House! A friend of ours called us shortly after JD and LovelyDaughter went on their honeymoon and told us of a house for sale cheap. Long story short, DrummerDude jumped on it. Twist to the story: he's not going to live in it himself right away; rather, he's going to rent it to his big sister and her husband. So we've all been busy painting and cleaning and planning; in fact, that's the plan for later today--to go to the house and do some more painting.

GuitarGeek found a website called Typealyzer. You enter the address of a blog and it returns results telling you what personality type the author of that blog is (or at least what personality style they are writing in.) It was fascinating. Here is my result:

GuitarGeek thought that summed me up pretty well, especially the second paragraph. What's even more fascinating is this: Out of curiosity, I typed in my favorite blogs, and almost all of them, with a few exceptions, were this:

It looks like I'm drawn to people with the same basic personality as me-- The "-SFP" part-- but extroverted-- "E".

(Note to Ornery's Wife and Carrie: What do you think? Your blogs came up ESFP. Do you agree with that assessment? I'm curious.)

I know I talked about leftovers yesterday, but the odd thing is, we don't have leftovers after Thanksgiving, besides leftover pie. It occurred to me yesterday that I sort of miss the (very) old days, where my mom and dad and brother and I went to Grandma and Grandpa's for a traditional turkey Thanksgiving meal, and then came home loaded down with leftover turkey and dressing and gravy. Grandma always divided up the leftover food between the families.

This year a dear friend has blessed us with ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal: turkey, ham (which we already ate--yum), potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. As much as I love ham and verenike, I still love me some turkey and dressing, so I am very much looking forward to our own Thanksgiving Day here at home.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I love leftovers after a holiday. I'm really good-- if I do say so myself-- at re-energizing leftover food. I think of it as having pre-made ingredients to make other things out of.

Unless it's pumpkin pie. But pie is good enough on its own. It doesn't need to be morphed into anything else.

For our noon meal today, we had leftover soup from Wednesday night-- ham, collard greens, spinach, potatoes, lots of pepper-- warm and hearty, pumpkin pie left from yesterday, and fresh whole wheat bread. Good and nourishing, and a reminder that God gives us our daily bread-- and his mercies are new every morning, they are not leftovers.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Makeover Continues

Well, I got my ears pierced yesterday. And I got my hair cut. See?

It's a great haircut, because what you see is me in my jammies and I haven't even combed my hair yet this morning. And it looks pretty good, don't ya think?

And the earrings-- that's a long story. I had my ears pierced back when I was oh, thirteen, in the dark ages of the seventies, when ear piercing was done in a doctor's office for a fee. My girlfriend did it for me with a needle and a potato.

(Pause for shock and disbelief.)

Unsurprisingly, my ears got red and crusty and I had a long red streak down my neck. I'm a little surprised I survived. The piercings didn't.

So yesterday's ear piercing was a Big Event. (Done at Claire's for free with purchase of earrings. Times have changed, no?)

And you'll notice I chose to go a little radical right off the bat, with an unusual placement of a first piercing. Why? Um. There's this little dimple in my ear lobe that just begged to have a little sparkly stud put in it, and I thought, Why Not?

I'm (very) slow to jump, but when I do, I do it a little different.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More Grief... And Hope

This week our family has been reading about the Holodomor. If you're like me, you've never heard of it before, but now I'm kind of wondering why we didn't learn about it in school.

Oh wait. I know why. When I was in jr high, the curriculum went through a revision, and we did not have "History" we had "Social Studies." I'm still not sure what the difference is, but I think it meant we only studied events in history that furthered the agenda of the textbook writers or the people who paid them. And even then, we never actually made it to the end of the book, which is where the stuff that happened in the 20th century would have been told.

Anyway. This is not a rant about public school curriculum, although that does sound like fun.

I want to share what I learned about the Holodomor, which was a tragedy that happened in the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. The Soviet government came in and confiscated all the food, even searching houses and pockets. There is the story of one woman who was found with a small handful of wheat in her pocket and was sent off to Siberia and never heard from again.

Thousands of people starved to death. Whole villages were wiped out from hunger and sickness.

There was one village where a man proposed to his fellow villagers that they sow their fields more thinly than usual, and save the extra wheat to live on. They did that, and he set up a village "dining hall," where everyone in the village got at least a bowl of thin soup every day. He himself went around to the houses daily, checking to see how everyone was doing, giving the weakest ones a little extra food. Thanks to him, the village survived, while all around them people in other villages were dropping like flies. He was a hero.

And then when spring came, one of the survivors reported him to the Regime, and he was shipped off to Siberia, never to return.

It still causes the adrenaline to rise in me. It makes me so angry and frustrated. What kind of person would be so ungrateful as to betray the one who saved their life?

And then-- what kind of government would starve their people into submission?

And what kind of people would defend and support that kind of government?

What kind of God would allow that kind of government?

But then, in the midst of my questions, I remember other stories. Stories like the one handed down through my husband's people, of the Mennonites in the Ukraine where they had lived for over a hundred years. Fifty years before the Holodomor, the Mennonites were told by the government to either Russian-ize or get out. Many of them got out, including the forbears of my husband's family line, emigrating to the United States and Canada. The ones who stayed became very wealthy, buying up cheap everything the ones who left couldn't take with them.

Later, many of those left also, moving to the United States, Mexico, and Brazil.

Shortly after, the government crackdown came. A few years ago, Hubby's parents took a trip to Ukraine to visit the places where their families came from. The villages were completely gone, and they only found maybe half a dozen people who remembered the Mennonites. They had been wiped out.

So is there a moral? Perhaps this: God had his eye on those people and preserved the ones who listened.

Why did all the rest who weren't Mennonites have to die? I have no idea. Why does God save some and not others? I don't know. Can we ever know? We can't see the whole story.

Last night Swede came over to show us some scary things he was learning about our situation here in America and in the world. All about wicked people in power, people we've never heard of, power behind the power; and the economy crashing, and terrible things happening. If it's all true, we are in trouble, and we had some pretty heated discussion last night, trying to figure out how to think, what to plan, what to do.

Then, this morning I opened up the morning prayers from the Divine Hours and this is what I read: (with my thoughts in red)

The Midday Psalm
I Will Sing Praises to the God of Jacob

We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks,* calling upon your Name and declaring all your wonderful deeds. "I will appoint a time," says God;* (is this YOUR time then?) "I will judge with equity. (of course-- when you judge it will be RIGHT) Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking,*(that's exactly what it feels like) I will make its pillars fast. (Really? You will hold us steady?) I will say to the boasters, 'Boast no more,'* and to the wicked, 'Do not toss your horns; Do not toss your horns so high,* nor speak with a proud neck.' " (What a relief; you will say this to evil people who want to take more power) For judgment is neither from the east nor from the west,* nor yet from the wilderness or the mountains. It is God who judges;* he puts down one and lifts up another. (You mean I can trust that God is setting up leaders and putting them down?) For in the LORD's hand there is a cup, full of spiced and foaming wine, which he pours out,* and all the wicked of the earth shall drink and drain the dregs. (the WICKED-- does this mean the righteous will be spared?) But I will rejoice for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.* He shall break off all the horns of the wicked; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted. (Somehow, the wicked WILL be taken out of power, and the righteous WILL be taken care of.)
Psalm 75

The Refrain

I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel. (Thank you, thank you, God, for showing this to me today. It's exactly what I needed.)
Psalm 16:7

What encourages me as much as the psalm itself is realizing that God cares enough about me to somehow manage that the very thing I need to hear today was prepared for me a long time before today.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Grief Not My Own

I heard some bad news yesterday. Even though it was very old news, it was new news to me, and therefore just as shocking.

Several years ago, at a garage sale, I bought a old video compilation of various ice skating performances, including one or two by gold-medal-winning skating couple Sergei Grinkov and Katia (Ekaterina) Gordeeva. Have you heard of them?

We loved watching their perfomances over and over, she so tiny (at 5'1") and he so tall (5'11"). A lot of their moves involved him holding her, swinging her around, picking her up. They began skating together when she was 10 and he was 14. Eventually, they fell in love, and got married. It was the most beautiful, storybook romance, and we took that young Russian couple into our hearts. We felt like we knew them, we admired them, we sighed with joy over their romance and their talent, their young love.

Then, yesterday, I learned that Sergei died unexpectedly in 1997 of heart disease-- at 27 years of age-- leaving a 24-year-old widow and a tiny daughter.

The news hit me really hard. It's so sad, so tragic. So unfair. LovelyDaughter and I both cried as if it happened yesterday, because, for us it did.

The nice thing, however, about old news, is that you don't have to wait ten years to find out what happens next. This morning we went looking, and got to hear "the rest of the story."

Happily, Katia is now married again, in fact, has been for six years already, to another gold-medal-winning skater. Together they had another child. We got to watch a couple of newer videos of Katia and her new husband, Ilia, skating together, and of Katia and her two daughters skating together.

I'm glad there is still happiness. Katia was not left a bereaved, lonely widow forever. Her daughter is not completely fatherless. And yet... Still...

Hubby says he feels sorry for Sergei. He had to leave his happy life. He could no longer care for his daughter, and his wife was given to another.

It's good that sad endings can have happy new beginnings, but.... still...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's hear it for internal organs

We had a great conference over the weekend. A team of students from a ministry school in Redding, California came to teach us about a new style of evangelism.

The idea is to go on a "treasure hunt." You ask God for "clues," and then you go out and follow the clues till you find a person, whom you strike up a conversation with, usually by asking them if you can pray for them. If they agree, often God does something for them, like healing them of some condition on the spot, and often the person will give their heart to Christ, if they never have, or decide to return to Him if they have.

By clues, I mean a list of thing to look for. For example, LovelyDaughter and JD were in a group where collectively they ended up with a list that included, among other things, "Menards," "gray building," "fiber optic angel," and "Amber." They went to Menards, which is a big gray building, and looked around till, looky there, they saw a sign that resembled a fiber optic angel. They stood near the sign, and an employee came up to ask them if they needed help, and lo, and behold, her name tag said "Amber." The team was able to pray with her for some real concerns she had, and also pray for her back which she had problems with from an injury.

The stories we heard over the weekend of the team's experiences using this method were absolutely amazing, even more so than this story.

But I confess that Hubby and I did not participate. We went to the meeting, and we totally chickened out. Let me put it another way: I freaked out.

Yes. I did.

I am not an extrovert, and the idea of walking up to a stranger in cold blood, for any reason, even a cool Holy Spirit treasure hunt, just absolutely freaked me. I have had too many experiences of having to knock on doors to hand out tracts and fliers or try to sell stuff. So, I panicked, and Hubby did too wasn't too fond of the idea either, so we compromised by... taking a nap in the van.

I know. So terribly spiritual and evangelistic.

We felt so condemned the rest of the day, mostly-- well, completely-- from our own selves for losing courage and not at least giving it a try. Even if it's not our style or personality, we could have tried.

It's a really good thing that the bible says that we are a BODY. Even a gall bladder or a spleen has some use, though never seen or heard. And nobody complains that they're not an eye or a mouth, or something more noticeable, right?

In spite of that knowledge, I still feel a wee bit guilty. Steve Chandler says that we should not use what we are or are not as an excuse. He says we can be anything we want to be. And yet, if his word and the bible disagree, I think I know which one I should listen to.

Sunday night during prayer time I told God I would try to learn to be more outgoing if that's what He wanted. But He has to help me!

So now I'm interested in finding my own style of reaching out to people. Yesterday I had to run errands, picking up various things at various stores, and I made it my goal to smile and say a friendly word--like, HI; notice the singular form here--to every sales person. That felt like a major accomplishment. If I never have the courage to do more, at least I have tried to show God's love in a very small way.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Chocolate Box #2

I spent two days this week pretty much incapacitated by an annoying, miserable headache/nausea combo. One evening LovelyDaughter rubbed my neck and shoulders for me, which completely amazed me by how much it helped the headache. The next night I went to sleep with a warmed grain thingie on my neck--a cloth bag full of some sort of millet or rice or something, and all sorts of comforting-smelling herbs--which was very, very comforting, and put me to sleep like a baby, and the next day I woke up and the headache was only a memory.

I've been doing much better these days, aside from that headache. I've been taking something called "Malic Acid with magnesium" which also has B vitamins, 5HTP, St. John's Wort, and some other herbs. With it I take calcium and potassium, and I really believe the combination is helping my fibromyalgia symptoms. And for some odd reason, it's been helping Hubby too.

This week I made a cloth grocery bag-- the first of several (one down, eleven to go), so that I can stop bringing home so many plastic and paper bags when I buy groceries. Maybe one of these days I'll get a picture for you. I'm pretty pleased with my effort, especially since I used half a yard of Walmart clearance fabric, which means I can make two for about $1.50. Compare to $20 if I buy them pre-made. Pretty cool, I say.

Our church is having special meetings all this weekend, so I'll be busy on the worship team, starting tonight.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where Have I Been? Who Am I? What's My Name?

I haven't been around lately, I know, but I can't remember why not. I just know that for two days now I have been fighting a miserable headache, the kind that makes one nauseous. I have taken every headache remedy I have available, and also nausea remedy, and I am still miserable.

I had a lot of great things to say, but I can't remember them. So I think I must wait till the headache leaves, going back to its lair, where it will bide its time for another month.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More of the Same (Don't look if it bothers you)

I spent the day yesterday grieving. Not because "my candidate" did not win the election.


But because I suddenly realized that I'd been living in a bubble, and the country that I grew up believing that we were-- the one I'd learned about in the history books-- does not exist anymore. We are not a conservative, God-fearing nation. We are liberal, godless, and foundationless.

I should have realized this sooner. Somehow I was under the delusion that there was still a chance that our nation would return to the moral foundations, the right and wrong, of the bible.

I now know that somewhere along the line, we have become a country that doesn't give a rip what the bible says is right or wrong. After all, among all the choices in the world, why should we use the BIBLE as our standard?

There IS a right and wrong--I think the new terms are "politically correct" and "politically incorrect"-- but I can't figure out what it's based on. Does anybody have a copy of the new moral code handbook handy?

But after I got done grieving for what is lost, I actually felt better.

Because, you know, now whatever happens will just be what is to be expected. Legal abortion?* Why not? That doesn't mean any person must have an abortion, just because it's legal. Gay marriages? So? In a way, this IS the logical progression of our Bill of Rights. We are just expanding our rights. And legality doesn't necessarily mean "right" or "recommended."

But as the Apostle Paul said in scripture, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable." So to have massive legal freedom is not necessarily bad. But then we have a huge moral responsibility to use our freedom for good, not evil.

Now when something I consider evil happens in government, I won't take it personally. It's just the natural outcome of a "free" country. I won't like it, I'll still pray about it. But I won't be devastated. Because what else can you expect?

It sort of reminds me of the story of the children of Israel when they all moved to Egypt to join up with Joseph during the famine. As long as Joseph was ruler, they lived in favor and blessing and they multiplied greatly. Then, years later, a generation grew up that didn't know Joseph, and the Israelites lost favor and became slaves.

I feel like I'm living among a generation that doesn't know "Joseph," the country that we have always been that stood for freedom, independence, godliness, and personal responsibility. The country that spawned pioneers, inventors, explorers, statesmen, missionaries. The new generation doesn't know, and doesn't really care, that we've fallen far from the moral tree. This is a new day, a new generation, with new philosophies and new religions. (And when I say "generation" I don't mean that as necessarily an age-related term. I mean that idealogically.)

And yet.

I found I DO have something in common with the new breed after all. What is it they--and I-- really want? They want what's best for the country, for their families, for the poor and oppressed. They want the right to pursue happiness, whatever it looks like to them. They and I may disagree, and sometimes sharply, about the way to make that happen, but bottom line, we all want to live well and prosper.

So maybe I still belong here after all.

Last night's reading from The Divine Hours (Phyllis Tickle) put things in perspective for me:

Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause;
you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

“You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory;
how long will you worship dumb idols and run after false gods?”

Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful;
when I call upon the LORD, he will hear me.

Tremble, then, and do not sin;
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
Offer the appointed sacrifices and put your trust in the LORD.

Many are saying, “Oh, that we might see better times!”

Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.
You have put gladness in my heart,
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep;
for only you, LORD,make me dwell in safety.

~Psalm 4

*Please go read this post regarding the subject of the human-ness of humans.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fear Writ Large

I am afraid.

I am afraid that the country we began as is now finished. The country that our founding fathers worked so hard to create. The country that so many men gave their lives for.

I am afraid that the freedoms that were so hard-won are now so easily lost. There will be freedom, yes, of a sort. Freedom to abort babies. Freedom to marry one of your own sex. Those kinds of freedoms. Freedom to have your health care paid for-- out of your own taxes.

But there will be other freedoms lost. Freedom to keep your own hard-earned money. Freedom to choose to give it away. Freedom to own a gun and use it. Freedom to run your business the best way you see fit. Freedom to run your family the way you deem best.

I fear that the freedom we have won is the freedom from responsibility. The government will now take over the job of providing for our families, and doing it by punishing the hard-working and the big businesses who help create our economy. The government will take over the job of giving to the poor, thereby absolving individuals of the need to show charity.

I fear that the freedom we've lost is the freedom to be independent and run our own lives. Will we lose our greatest asset, from the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? And our other great freedom, from the Bill of Rights: The right to keep and bear arms?

I guess these freedoms I will miss are only for people who want to be responsible and independent and God-fearing.

I am afraid that now the country will be all about people who want to remain children: dependents who have no responsiblities, social or financial or moral, because Big Brother does it all for them.

Check that: there will be one big responsibility. Obeying all the myriad rules and regulations that will now govern us as irresponsible children.

I am very afraid.

I hope, hope, hope that my fears are unfounded.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Chocolate Box: Assortment 1

I'm starting a new "series" here on my blog that I'm going to call my "Chocolate Box." Just imagine opening a box of chocolates and seeing various assorted bite-sized candies. Well, that's what this post is: various assorted bites. Any time I have miscellaneous bits I want to talk about, they're going to get put into my "box of chocolates." Welcome to the first collection.


The whole family except MB3 got to vote today, and he was feeling pretty miffed. He turns 18 in January, so he has to wait a while for his first presidential election. However, DrummerDude was thrilled because he did get to vote for the first time today.

I started making a "visual journal" today, and I'm really excited about it. I bought a small padded hardcover blank book that has lines on every other page. I'm decorating the pages a bit like a scrapbook, with decorative paper, stencils, and cut-outs from catalogs. I'm going to use it as a place to write lists (like, what I'm thankful for, goals, stuff I like), and good quotations, and prayers (either mine, or from prayer books), and witty stuff that GuitarGeek says, and maybe even jokes. I want it to be inspiring to write in, and inspiring to read later.

This post by the gal at Conversion Diary makes me want to go to Adoration, even though I'm not a catholic. And if you're not catholic you have no idea what Adoration even is, just like me before I read her blog. But it sounds like a wonderful idea: sitting quietly in worship and prayer, listening for God to speak to our heart. I think everyone, protestants and catholics alike, would benefit from that.

This is how I will sleep tonight, not yet knowing the results of the election:

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit; for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth. Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings.

In fact, that is how I will sleep every night after, no matter who wins.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm ready to tackle life again

I had a great weekend. Friday Hubby suddenly said to me, "How would you like to go visit B and D tomorrow?"

And I was like, "Sure!"

B and D live in Kansas City (a four hour drive) and are two of my favorite relatives, so YES, and I was flabbergasted that Hubby thought of it himself. He's a real homebody; he likes to be home, and usually when he's away, he's just marking time till he can come back again.

I made arrangements, and Saturday morning, after we spent almost two hours doing some chores we really needed to have done before we left, we took off in our cute little sports car.

We stopped in BigCity for dinner, eating at IHOP, which we've never done before. We are usually die hard Runza fans. A little later we stopped for ice cream at a tiny town off the interstate, and found a quiet spot with a view to sit with the top down and eat our sundae cones.

By four-ish we arrived at B and D's house and proceeded to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk. Oh-- and we also talked. And by the way, they made us the BEST hamburgers.

Sunday morning we played hooky (didn't go to church) but instead took B and D out for brunch. I felt so relaxed and free. By the time my cousin and her husband and son came to visit I was rather (read: very) sleepy, so I'm afraid I missed out on some of the conversation. (darn.)

And then we hopped in our cute car with the top down to come home.

We just happened to time our visit for the most beautiful day of fall so far. The weather was balmy, the color in the trees was vividly gorgeous. Plus we watched gas prices falling as we drove. The lowest we saw was $1.93. $1.93!! That's, like, less than half what it's been. It made the trip even more restful knowing we weren't selling our souls to do it.

After it got dark we stopped at a little obscure restaurant in a truck stop that turned out to have a very quiet, homey atmosphere, and everything tasted SO GOOD. It was really nice.

At home, we walked in on the boys eating supper, and the kitchen was still reasonably clean, the boys didn't look like they had gone hungry fending for themselves, and they'd even left me a chocolate chip cookie out of the ones I made for them right before I left. It was definitely a good day!

It's funny, because just last week I had been complaining to God that I was feeling trapped. With gas prices so high, we hadn't been going ANYWHERE. I mean it. Only to church on Sundays (ninety miles roundtrip), and then only on the days we were on worship team. We stayed home the other Sundays to save fuel. We were skipping worship team practice on Tuesday nights for the same reason, and I was buying my groceries in our little town four miles away, instead of driving a little further for the selection like I often do. And of course, no sho-o-o-o-pping. (our code word for all day shopping marathons.)

And then, with the guys' work schedule, I had to be home all day to make sure I had a noon meal ready for them, and then supper after work, and that didn't leave much time to go anywhere anyway.

So I told God that I needed SOMETHING- a break, a chance to get out- but I would try to be content until our circumstances eased.

And then! Hubby had this great idea out of the blue.

Ha. God is good.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Have a Winner!

Well, it was fun to run this bloggy giveaway drawing and to showcase LovelyDaughter's great handmade jewelry.

I had 103 entries, and gave me this:

Comment 95 was this:

This is what she won:

So congratulations, elsie. I know you will enjoy your beautiful necklace.

For the rest of you, you are still welcome to buy something from RoseGoneWild. Check out her little preview over there in my sidebar.

Thank you so much, from me and LovelyDaughter, to everyone who entered, and for all the great feedback on her stuff.