Sometimes a Question is Not a Question

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“You all right?”

Every new person that Josie, my English neighbour,  introduced me to asked me that question. Some asked with kindness, some with curiosity, and some with sternness.

At the end of the week, Josie invited my two children (4 and 5 years old) and I to come over for tea. “You all right?” she asked after opening the door to us.

“Josie,” I blurted out, “Why does everyone keep asking me if I am okay? Is it that obvious I’m miserable?”

The surprised look on Josie’s face showed me that I either said something wrong or that she misunderstood me.

“Oh, no, lovey! ‘You all right?’ is just something we say when greeting people. It’s not an invitation to talk about your feelings.

“Oh.” I mumbled as my face turned red. Not only had I let on how miserable I was feeling, I also misunderstood everyone’s intent.

Clearly this question provoked a very different metal image  for me than it did for the people in the British village of Levington. The meaning I attached to it was strongly influenced by my experiences in America. I am so glad that I talked to Josie so that my misunderstanding was cleared up.

We moved to England December 1988. The nearly five years we lived there are highlights in my life. But the first months were hard ones. We moved there in the winter (SAD kicked in), right before Christmas, away from my family, into a village (where it takes time, sometimes years, to get to know your neighbours). And since I didn’t work outside the home, I didn’t have a built-in social network. Thankfully Josie and her family (Robbie is her son) soon became family to us.

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Rolls and Buns: A Communication Mishap Figuring Out the Real Meaning of Humane Society

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Pie Record – 55 Pies in 52 Weeks

1. Raspberry Freeze Pie
2. Derby Pie
3. Apple Pie
4. Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
5. Strawberry Yogurt Pie
6. Toll House Pie
7. Tamale Pie
8. Turtle Pecan Pie
9. GF, DF Apple Crumble
10. Upside Down Apple Pie

Creative Endeavors – 55 in 52 Weeks

1. Planted Spring boxes.
2. Played Scrabble in Spanish.
3. Created Salt Clay Crosses.
4. Making Mother's Day gifts for the ladies in our church.
5. Copied 2 cards at a card party.
6. Wrote rough draft.
7. Cut a hardback book into a Kindle cover
8. Boiled cans of sweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche twice.
9. & 10. Met 2 more times to make Mother's Day gifts for church ladies.
11. Hemmed pants - Hey, it involved a thread & needle.
12. Sewed a lime green felt piggy bank. Filling it with quarters. This is for Women' s Retreat 2015.
13. Made Chai ice cream & ginger cookies for India DInner Fundraiser. (Thanks, Gillian.)
14. Researched & prepped initial dragonfly project for CM at work. (Thanks Trudy for doing the rest!)
15. Built a table (with my daughter).
16. Decoupaged the table.
17. Assembled candy bar with specialized wrappers.
18. Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
19. Decorated my daughter's Christmas Tree
20. Decorated a wreath
21. Made thumbprint snowman ornaments
22. Decorated my Christmas tree
23. Cooked up bottles of fudge and butterscotch sauce
24. Created a melted crayon picture
25. Baked Earl Grey Cookies
26. Created Sharpie art on my white mug
27. Made a candle in a tea cup
28. Whipped up some cream cheese mints
29. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Russian Morning #24.
30. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Masala Chai.
31. Baked Lemon Marshmallow cookies
32. Put together a mini teacup pincushion
33. Hand-tied a no-sew fleece baby blanket
34. Decoupaged eyeballs to bottom of glass
35. Glued together a teacup birdfeeder.
36. Designed a diaper bag name tag holder (for nursery at church).
37. Hand tied a no sew fleece baby blanket
38. Weaved 4 ribbon book markers
39. Made another teacup candle
40. Designed and helped assemble magnets for the Women's Annual Tea
41. Sewed 7 teabags for Earl Grey Tea
42. Chalkboard lids for cute jars

Book Record – 55 Books in 52 Weeks

1. Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey
2. Acts of Love: The Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah
3. Plan B by Anne Lamott
4. The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by A.B.C. Whipple
5. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
6. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
7. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
8. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
9. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Tiner
10.The Quest for Character by Charles Swindoll
11. Masters of Mystery: 56 Short Stories of Mystery, Intrigue, & Suspense (by different authors)
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
14. Secrets of the Vine for Women: Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Wilkinson
15. Out of Solitude by Henri Nouwen
16. Wholly Sanctified by A.B. Simpson
17. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
18. Teaching Kids Authentic Worship: How to Keep Them Close to God for LIFE by Kathleen Chapman
19. A Shorter Life of Christ by Donald Guthrie
20. Whole Prayer: Speaking and Listening to God by Walter Wangerin Jr.
21. Carpe Mañana by Leonard Sweet
22. Sadako and the Thousand Paper cranes by Eleanor Coerr
23. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
24. In His Steps by Chalres Sheldon
25. Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit Written & Compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen
26. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
In My Father's House by Corrie ten Boom with C. C. Carlson
27. Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging by Brennan Manning
28. The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik
29. In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado
30. Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler
31. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
32. Unleashing Your Potential: Discovering Your God-Given Opportunities for Ministry by Frank Tillapaugh
33. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
34. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
35. The Telling by Ursella Le Guin (library)
36. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (library)
37. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (library)
38. Traveling Light by Max Lucado
39. Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
40. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhug h
41. The Accused by Nancy Rue
42. Daniel Boone: Wilderness Scout, A story of the greatest frontiersman by Stewart Edward White
43. Seven Guides to Effective Prayer by Colin Whittaker
44. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R. Taylor
45. The Magnitude of Prayer by Kermit R. Olsen
46. Prayer Changes Things by Charles L. Allen
47. How to Make Prayer Exciting! by Bill & Pam Malone
48. If God Already Knows, Why Pray? by Douglas F. Kelly
49. Praying Together by Rosalind Rinker

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Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington

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