Archive for 2016


Maizie’s Musings: Road Trip…


The mom person wouldn’t let me on her laptop last week. She even took it with her while she was gone for a long time just to make sure I didn’t type anything on it.

I don’t know why. She’s just weird.

Because of her weirdness, I was forced to wait until now to tell you about my road trip in the thing with the round paws. We were in it for a really long time and the mom and dad person went with me. I had fun looking out the windows, but the mom and dad person wouldn’t open the top thing so I could put my head out and really survey everything.

Because of their lack of cooperation, I took a long nap out of sheer boredom. But a couple of times the mom and dad person gave me treats from a bag they got from people hanging out a window. Shhhh….don’t tell the animal doctor.


Log Rhythms: Favorite Online Vendors…


While the hubby and the rest of the family have worked on the more skilled and engineered part of the cabin, I have been spending a lot of time finding various fixtures and features for the cabin. Because of my varied work history, I am a rather savvy Internet shopper.

I can take one look at a site and tell if I’m about to be scammed. I have little patience for slow loading sites with few filters and no way to compare items. If a site doesn’t post the item prices, I’m irritated by such Internet snobbiness!

Today I’m noting some of my favorites and why I love them. Here are my “idea sites”:

  • For just giving me ideas on everything “cabin,” I love It’s the architectural version of Pinterest, but also allows you to shop for things seen in various photos. Some of the lighting for the cabin is, indeed, coming from The app is also easy to use!
  • is great for figuring out what is typical of a particular style. I am in love with the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired arts and craftsman style. So, when I want to know what would have typical in the arts and craftsman era, I go to this site for learning what was typical of the style. You can do that with just about any “retro” theme there. The prices are high, but if you want the replicated real deal, this is the site.
  • is also expensive. But similar to, I often find the one and only thing I can’t live without there.


Often I don’t know the proper search term for the item I want. By using the sites above, I often learn the term. This happened just yesterday when I learned that I was hunting for a barn light without a goose neck. Yes, I’m serious. I would never have known that otherwise!

For the cheapest price, I highly recommend these sites:

  • has: lighting, plumbing, HVAC, cabinetry, hardware, decor, flooring and appliances. I just recently joined’s loyalty program and I am already at the Silver level. This gives me a 1.5% discount on lighting, a 5% discount on non-lighting items, $ 25 towards two-day shipping (even though standard shipping is free after spending $49), and $ 25 off my next purchase. I’m 40% of the way to their next level and it was pretty effortless. Build’s sister sites, and are also worth visiting.
  • – Everyone is familiar with Lowe’s, but their programs and web site are also worth the time. If you already know what you want, you can easily research and compare features and get things shipped to your building site, home or nearest store reasonably. Also, if the closest store doesn’t have the entire number you need, you can easily find how many are in other nearby stores. While this number isn’t always accurate, it keeps you from putting fruitless mileage on your car.


Lowe’s 5% off credit card program has been worth the hassle of another card. It often makes Lowe’s the cheapest. If you join the MyLowes program, Lowe’s will keep a record of everything you purchase there.  Thus, it’s easy to find the brand name and color of what you purchased 5 years ago. It’s your “home improvement brain.”

  • has more than faucets–they feature all kinds of lighting and anything needed for a kitchen or bath. With free shipping on anything over $ 99, it’s easy to save a bundle. Like many online sites, your builder may be able to secure bigger discounts at and they often suggest calling them for the best price.


For specific items, I like:

  • is just for floor register covers. Who knew? While not a glamorous site, one can easily find odd sizes and decorative register covers at reasonable prices.
  • allows me to find unusual colors and patterns I never knew existed. However, when serious about buying, I recommend visiting the marble/granite place of your choice and inspecting the slabs personally.
  • will step you through building semi-custom cabinets in a user-friendly way. If nothing else, it’s smart to check their prices and to find styles and colors you like.


These two sites are my mega-search engine faves and they are no surprise to most:

  •! After installing the Amazon button in my browser bar, Amazon automatically searches for the very same item on its site as I’m investigating that item elsewhere and pops up its price on my current screen with no effort! They have “won” quite a few of my purchases since I’m a fan of their Prime program with 2 day free shipping and beat the price of their online competitors. If the price is the same, I just “X” out of their small bar. But honestly? It’s so small that it’s not usually in my way.


Why Because a portion of your purchases go to your favorite charity just by shopping on their site! May I suggest that you select Compassion Counseling Center as your charity? But you have to go to the site in order for this to happen, so make sure you do!

  • On I type in “cheapest price on xxx” (as detailed as I can be) and Google pops up (on the right side of my screen) the cheapest prices on the net. Plus, the search results allow me to discover even more sites to consider.


The hubby (quite the bargain shopper himself) signed up for a Discover card so we could get their rebates on everything we buy and through September 30th, that goes up to 5% back! So wherever I can use a Discover card, I’m also getting 5% back on top of the discounts above! Let’s just say we’re making a lot of purchases via Discover right now.

In my mother’s day, I would have worn out multiple pairs of sneakers and used a lot of gas looking for this stuff; now, it’s a keystroke away. Is it time-consuming? Oh, heck yes. (I don’t just search these sites–I have others!) The savings are significant–One site sold an item for $ 419. With loyalty discounts, it was $ 370. Amazon popped up with its’ price at $ 286! I used Discover and saved a total of $ 147.30 with free two-day shipping in just a few short minutes!

Now I’m using my sneakers on my treadmill from being an Internet couch potato. 😉


Word of the Week: interpellate

Dictionary --Word of the Week

Good morning, Word Nerds! Last week’s WOW (Word of the Week) was infrangible. The father-in-law chimed in with his definition that it means “unbreakable or indivisible.” He also noted that it was a much shorter definition than last week’s! 🙂

Merriam-Webster Online says that infrangible means:

  1. not capable of being broken or separated into parts

  2. not to be infringed or violated

Can I just have the vocabulary my father-in-law has forgotten????

This week’s WOW is interpellate. Here are my guesses for interpellate:

interpellate (in-tər-ˈpe-ˌlāt, in-ˈtər-pə-ˌlāt) 1. legal matters that are between appellate courts 2. the space between pellets 3. interstellar appellate courts 4. the mental process in which a person connects two distinctly different ideas and synthesizes them into a new idea

What’s your guess for interpellate? Submit a comment below this post! Thank you for “playing.”

Wednesday’s Post: Phase III

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Log Rhythms: Delivery Delays…

Interior of Great Room as of 8/9/16

We are on the verge of something long-awaited: The outside is almost complete! When this occurs, the rest of the Solitude cabin interior construction is up to our family to complete.

I’m thankful that I belong to a family with two important qualities: a great amateur skill set and a hard work ethic. Thus, the skillful will be guiding those of us (myself included) with fewer construction skills in the months ahead. What we may lack in skill, we make up for with determination and a willingness to learn and work hard.

What does all of that translate to? A lot of financial savings! So yes, I’m very grateful for the sacrifices our family makes to assist us in completing this cabin.

There’s only one “wrinkle” to this plan.

Delivery of materials.

Despite how hard the hubby has been trying to get materials to Solitude, he has been thwarted at just about every turn by the folks and companies entrusted with delivering them.


Word of the Week: infrangible

Dictionary --Word of the Week

Good Morning, Word Nerds! Last week’s WOW (Word of the Week) was imprimatur. The father-in-law continues to impress with his vast vocabulary and guessed that the definition was:  acceptance of a translation or document (especially Roman Catholic) by a bishop or higher authority so that it is permissible for use by the masses of the laity and others. It agrees with accepted doctrine and teaching, It is the signing of the work on the opening pages in testimony of its acceptability.

Let’s see if Merriam-Webster agrees: official approval. I give points for brevity and the father-in-law points for thoroughness!

This week’s WOW is infrangible. I feel like I should know the definition for this word and probably, at one time, I did! (Oh, the joys of aging!) Here are my rather clueless guesses for it:

infrangible: (in-ˈfran-jə-bəl) 1. a fragile intangible 2. not applicable to France 3. the unintelligible early morning utterings of Fran

What’s your guess for infrangible? Outdo the father-in-law. I double dog dare you. Post a comment below this post with your guess for infrangible!

Wednesday’s Post: How many builders does it take to stain a cabin gray?

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Maizie’s Musings: Hopping Invader…


A lot of trespassers come into my yard and I call them trespassers for a reason–I have NOT given them permission to be in my yard. My yard is supposed to be my sunning and shading area. A girl has to get her rays, even if she is covered in fur!

And on a hot day I want the area underneath the huge leafy things to be reserved for laying down and napping. Unfortunately, these trespassers have not gotten that message!

I tolerate the winged invaders because they now know, thanks to me, that they are not welcome in the huge leafy things or on my patio. They largely fly away when I enter my yard.

And I put up with the tiny crawling things, largely because I can swat them with my tail and paws and even use my jaws of death to take care of them, permanently.

But, I’ve learned to be wary of one invader–they get from place to place by hopping. If you ask me, hopping is a lot of work to just get from place to another. Especially when they don’t seem to cover much territory in one hop.

These slimy-looking creatures with ugly skin (I never trust anything without fur, including the mom person) just weird me out. At least the mom person’s skin is pretty much one color, although I’ve noticed that she is now putting brown spots on her skin. I’ve never seen her do it, so she must be getting this done when she goes in the thing with the four round paws.

But these hopping guys are a variety of really ugly colors. (Yes, I’ve already established that I can see colors, because I’m one special canine.) One day I decided they were hopping way too slowly to get out of my way and so I decided to nudge them farther out of my path.

This was a huge (yuge???) mistake. That vile thing squirted this really disgusting stuff in my face. It made me scrunch up my face, which is so unbecoming for a magnificent creature like myself. And I then had to find some vertical surface where I could get this awful stuff off of me.

The mom person doesn’t seem to like it much if I use the inside vertical surfaces to get this stuff off my fur and face. I don’t know why. She’s just weird.

She isn’t too thrilled if I use the porch sitting structures, either. What’s a girl supposed to do??? I usually resort to the rough textured vertical stuff outside, including the leafy things.

I saw yet another one this morning, right beside my entrance onto the porch! What audacity!

Thankfully, if I keep my distance, but just edge closer to his back side, he eventually hops away. It takes forever, but at least he eventually leaves.

Do they make a shock collar for the hopping things? If so, I think the mom person should get one immediately. Guarding the yard is way too much work in this heat.

Monday’s Post: One person has already guessed the WOW this week

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Log Rhythms: Joanna and Mom…

Last Wednesday I talked about going to First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas. Thanks to numerous web sites telling me what might be available there for the cabin, I felt it was a must.

The hubby and I went last Sunday to find a unique laundry sink for the cabin. If nothing else, I wanted see if Canton might have one at a better price than what I was finding online.

It hit me about a month ago that there was very little about our cabin laundry room that would make it “stand out” from the other rooms in the cabin. I think I can safely say that I have ideas up in my head or already in place in the cabin to make several areas “fun for the eye.”

I already have some stories I want to recount for folks who visit the cabin as our guests. We do plan to rent the cabin when not in family use and I plan to put these stories in a photo album filled with the pics we have taken as we have built and furnished the cabin.


Word of the Week: imprimatur

Dictionary --Word of the Week

Howdy, Word Nerds! Last week’s WOW (Word of the Week) was haplology. Merriam-Webster Online says that the definition for haplology is: contraction of a word by omission of one or more similar sounds or syllables (as inmineralogy for hypothetical mineralology orˈprä-blē for probably).

Since I’m a “probly” kind of person (Is that a midwestern thing???), it’s good to know why I do it!

This week’s WOW is imprimatur. My guesses for it are as follows:

imprimatur (im-prə-ˈmä-tu̇r) 1. an imprint amateur 2. a person knowledgeable about primitive art 3. a connoisseur of impressive food

What’s your guess for imprimatur? Let me know by submitting a comment below this post.

Wednesday’s Post: The Joanna Gaines effect

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Slow Reader Friday: Be Still…


Last night the eldest called and reported that, for a rather monumental birthday soon, he is going camping…alone. Yes, totally alone. Why? Because when looking at Jesus’ example, he noted that He often went away from the crowds and spent time in solitude. The eldest thinks he needs to do the same to find a better, closer relationship with the Lord.

Be still, my heart! An answered prayer, for sure. So, it is probably not coincidence at all that the MIP July 2016 Book Club Selection is entitled Be Still by Jane Vennard.

As I’ve mentioned before in my spring 2016 posts, God doesn’t usually speak when we are distracted. In 21st century America we are constantly distracted, except maybe when we’re asleep. And unfortunately for us, it’s often difficult to experience God while asleep, unless we have prophetic dreams like those described in the Bible.

Thus, we need silence. And because of the many distractions we now have, one of the few ways we can encourage and “grow our silent time” is to go on retreat. Vennard’s book explains both why this is important and how to create prayer retreats that focus on being still and being quiet.

We Americans are uncomfortable with silence, as a rule. We are so accustomed to noise that we no longer even notice it. Right now, as I type this with the TV, radio and music off, I can still hear 5 sounds! I can hear my ceiling fan both rattling (because it needs to be tightened up!) and whirring and I can hear the AC and the gentle clatter of me typing on my keyboard. And my breathing sometimes makes a sound, probably because my allergies are acting up!

Where I am typing is also close to a road. So, it wouldn’t be unusual to hear outdoor noises, such as a car going by (as it just did!) and roofer noises from the neighbor getting a new roof!

Thus, when we go to a remote place, and we switch off the phone and just sit, we often start fidgeting. Even if we manage to sit still, we often want to manipulate God’s communication with us. Of course, this is foolish! And if you are anything like me, you assume that God can only communicate by talking to us through our thoughts. In reality I have learned, in the last year, that God can give me sensations and visions and that ALL of that is Him communicating.

How do I know that it’s God communicating and not just me or some evil entity talking? (I get asked this a lot!) Practice. More than likely if you’ve never experienced God communicating, He’ll give you a little “taste” of that unseen world by answering a heartfelt question or giving you a sensation or a vision that you KNOW just can’t be anyone else other than God. The first time it happened to me it DEFINITELY did not sound like something that came from head! It even involved this blog and yes, I blogged about the experience.

After that experience I just got crazy excited to have more of that in my life–it’s freaking awesome! Enter Heartpaths and the reason why I read Be Still and other recommended books from Year 1 of this 3-year program.

Did I know that studying prayer was going to lead to more “revelations” from God? No. But since we are to communicate with God via prayer, it makes sense that He would communicate back this way. However, we Americans like to dominate “the prayer conversation” and not allow God to enter into that conversation–it’s more like a soliloquy for most of us!

I thought that there were only a few ways to pray. Wrong! Having studied and practiced a handful of them now, I’m learning to recognize “God thoughts” from “MaryAnn thoughts.”

Vennard not only discusses why we need contemplation in our lives, but also how to design retreats that encourage contemplation and teach various prayer techniques. In addition she outlines designing retreats so that people have breaks periodically, avoiding the typical problems associated with such retreats, and promoting them successfully.

Vennard begins the book with an enticing story about a church that began with two people simply wanting to start a centering prayer group in their church and how that small group became a whole new ministry that completely transformed the church. At one point there was even a rift between two groups of church members and they “prayed their way” through that rift and became a cohesive unit again through simply seeking the Lord.

Be Still makes me want to give such a gift to my own congregation and normally, I would charge forth, confident that I could do this all by myself. What hubris!

But after a year of reading, praying and experiencing God’s communication, I now prefer to spend a considerable amount of time praying with my minister and others on how best to bring this to my church and to have as many people involved in planning it as possible. I welcome suggestions by others who may be more knowledgeable than I.

I think a prayer, contemplation and silence revolution is on the way. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, if you ask me. Want to join the revolution? Let me know by posting a comment below or sending me an email here. Then get busy and read Be Still🙂

Monday’s Post: What is the definition of the WOW?

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Log Rhythms: Canton-bury Tales…

Canton First Monday overhead view

All of what you see is one big flea market! Yes, all of it.

Ever since I moved to Texas in the early ’90s, I’ve heard of a small town in east Texas that is spoken of in awed and hushed tones by my gal pals: Canton.

What’s is so speacial about Canton? First Monday Trade Days.

What is First Monday Trade Days? (Yes, it’s singular. It’s Texas. Texans are proud of things that don’t make sense anywhere else in the country.)

It’s a flea market to end all flea markets. It’s open just once a month for the four days preceding the first Monday of each month. There are over 100 acres of stuff. Yes, 100 acres of stuff. You name it–it’s probably in Canton each month.

There are a staggering number of massive buildings and outdoor shelters where vendors have permanent booths, but there are also an equally massive number of open spaces where people can simply pick a booth space and offer their wares whenever they wish.

I’m about to reveal a deep, dark secret. It’s shameful. I’ve lived in Texas for over 24 years and I’ve never been to Canton. (I just lost some gal pal friendships. Not. Kidding.)