Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hotel to Nowhere

We live in an area that is steeped in history. It has more interesting historical factors then two Super Bowls. Where my husband grew up, there were Indian mounds where he and his brother found all kinds of arrow heads.

But back in the 1800's the railroad came to town. And this hotel was built to accommodate many wealthy Northerners whose desire was to escape the frigid winters.

Let me tell you, this is one magnificent building.

Built by Railroad owner, Henry B. Plant, The Tampa Bay Hotel was in a class of it's own. Henry Plant built several hotels along his railroad line. This one may be the only one that has survived.

The hotel was financed by Plant personally, not investors, at a cost of $2,500,000 and an additional $500,000 was spent for furnishings. It took two years to build, covered six acres and was one-quarter mile long. The 511 rooms were the first in Florida to be electrified.

The grounds of the Hotel spanned 150 acres. The amenities included an 9-hole golf course, flower conservatory, tennis courts, croquet courts, boathouse, hunting and fishing grounds, stables, racetrack, kennels, exposition hall with Florida products on view, casino with 2000 seat auditorium, heated indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, spa facilities and card rooms, totaling 21 buildings in all. Not a bad winter destination :-)

There were many celebrated guests of the hotel, most noteably Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt headquartered his Rough Riders at the hotel before deploying to Cuba.

The hotel closed after Henry B. Plant died, but the city eventually bought it from his heirs. It now houses a University, but the building still stands in all of its magnificent beauty.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Words to Live By

                                                            The Lord will lighten my darkness.
                                                           --2 SAMUEL 22:29

A Christian may for many days together see neither sun nor star, neither light in God's countenance, nor light in his own heart, though even at that time God darts some beams through those clouds upon the soul; the soul again by a spirit of faith sees some light through those thickest clouds, enough to keep it from utter despair, though not to settle it in peace. In this dark condition, if they do as St. Paul and his company did, cast an anchor even in the dark night of temptation, and pray still for day, God will appear, and all shall clear up, we shall see light without and light within; the day-star will arise in their hearts.

~Richard Sibbes

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Little Red Schoolhouse

This is one of my favorite places. I think every town has a little red school house, but this one is special.
That's because my dear hubby and all of his siblings attended this little red school house :-)

Can't you just picture them doing a fire drill, kids pouring out of the building, charging down these steps. I imagine it was a day to remember (poor teachers)!

And of course playing out in the field, or eating lunch on the grass.

There was a huge controversy when the road was going to be widened. The county wanted to move the school, but there was almost an uprising over this issue. The school has since been placed on the National Historical Registry, so it may now rest in peace.

Sometimes it's hard to let go of the past. We tend to hang on to memories that shaped us. Most of the times they are good memories, but there are times when they are not. My childhood was shattered when my parents divorced. Yet my hubby and his siblings lived in Camelot. Even as they have aged they still maintain good relations and communication. It's been said siblings are the longest lasting relationships we have in this life. We know them from birth til death. Whether good or bad, our memories are laced with growing up among those who know us best. Sitting around the dining room table, the laughter and tears are marked by family heritage.

They are a precious treasure.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Words to Live By

"If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land -
you will be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail."

Isaiah 58:10-11

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Free Books


  Are you aware of Project Gutenberg?

Project Gutenberg offers over 50,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.

They carry high quality ebooks: Their ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. They digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers.
No fee or registration is required, but if you find Project Gutenberg useful they ask for a small donation to continue to provide quality reading for free.

Over 100,000 free ebooks are available though affiliates. Sounds like the place for great reading!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Anchor Man

"Now this is the commandment, the statues and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it. that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statures and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. " Deuteronomy 6: 1-2

Recently I listened to a message on the radio as I was driving. It was about the Anchor Man. The more I listened to this program, I was hearing about my Anchor Man.

My admiration goes beyond understanding. I've seen this walked out in the life of my own Anchor Man. A man of integrity and honesty and faithfulness.

God always has His men. He always has a remnant of faithful men who love God and are anchored on Jesus Christ.

An Anchor man is a man who will have no other gods before them.

Men who will not make graven images. They love the Lord their God with all of their heart, soul and mind.

Men who will not take the Lord's name in vain.

Men who are motivated to work, but not so much that they won't take one day of rest.

Men who honor their fathers and mothers, and help care for them.

Men who will not murder or have murderous thoughts.

Men who will not steal things, whether it is possessions or someone's character.

Men who will not bear false witness.

Men who are a one-woman man.

Men who do not covet but are content and thankful for the blessings God has given them.

I am thankful for the covenant relationship I have with my Anchor Man. I have been blessed to learn from this man who places Christ first in his life every single day.

And today I am wishing my Anchor Man a Happy Birthday!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Words to Live By

I praise you,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written,
every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts,
O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

If I would count them,
they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Psalm 139: 14-18

Friday, August 12, 2016

Welcome to Pemberley

Do you love to read? Does a good book take you to a different place and time? I used to read a lot when I was young. Reading was a friend that I could take with me everywhere and absorb my mind with adventure.

In the last few years I have fallen in love with the stories of Jane Austen. I met the Bennett family when my daughter brought home the 2005 video of Pride and Prejudice. What a story. I had to have more. So I bought the book. Not just the Pride and Prejudice book, but the whole collection of Jane Austen works.
And then there are these links that just fuels the fire :-)

Republic of Pemberly
Jane Austen Today

And be sure to read this post - Elizabeth's Love for Darcy."

Miss Austen's life continues to remain surreptitious. Her sister burned all of her letters after Jane died. So we will never really know what was lying deep in her heart. But you can be sure, she knew about love, and the intricacies of a tangled web relationship that has survived through the years.

"Her thoughts were all fixed on that one spot of Pemberley House, whichever it might be, where Mr. Darcy then was. She longed to know what at that moment was passing in his mind; in what manner he thought of her, and whether, in defiance of every thing, she was still dear to him."

Enjoy your weekend! And take time to get lost in a good book :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Romantic stories

I love Jane Austen's weaving of love stories from the 1700's. I could read Pride and Prejudice over and over, and probably never tire of reading about Elizabeth and Darcy.

As I checked out at one of my favorite thrift stores I noticed a box filled with music CD's placed on the counter. There are no sleeve covering, so I guess that is why they were giving them away. I could take up to 10 CD's, so I picked out some that I thought I might be familiar with.

I thought I would pop them into the CD player in the car and decide whether I would keep them or pass them on.

They sat on the kitchen counter, waiting patiently for me in a zippy bag, until one day I threw the bag into my purse and took them with me.

I popped them into the CD player one at a time. The first few were not very appealing to me, so I would fast forward them, and then pop it out and plug another one into the player. That is until this one that captured me.

I don't know what it was about the CD, but I was swooning. Maybe it was the old show tunes, or maybe it was just the rendition. My Mom always liked the music from the theater and movies. But when these started, I was lost.

"Climb Every Mountain" from the Sound of Music. " Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma. "Over the Rainbow" from Wizard of Oz. "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. "The Impossible Dream" from Man of LaMancha. "You'll Never Walk Alone"........... I mean they just went on, and on.

The familiarity of the tunes wooed me. They were romantic stories set to music. It was such a pleasant ride, I was singing and swooning. I never did make it through the other 7 CD's!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Words to Live By

Arise and go down to the potters house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.

Then I went down to the potters house, and behold he was working at the wheel.

And the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he made it over, reworking it into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to make it.

Then the word of the Lord came to me:

O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? says the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.

At one time I will suddenly speak concerning a nation or kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it;

And if the people of that nation concerning which I have spoken turn from their evil, I will relent and reverse My decision concerning the evil that I thought to do to them.

At another time I will suddenly speak concerning a nation or kingdom, that I will build up and plant it;

And if they do evil in My sight, obeying not My voice, then I will regret and reverse My decision concerning the good with which I said I would benefit them.

Jeremiah 18:2-10

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Let the games begin

In February of 2010 most of the world, watched the Winter Olympics held in Vancouver. Through the years, there have been so many wonderful stories and also many tragedies. I am always amazed at the discipline and perseverance of these athletes. It feels like we all stand behind them, as though we were the ones actually taking part in the sport.

And so it was for the Women's Figure Skating competition. Did you watch it? So many talented young women took to the ice to perform their Free Skate. The beauty and grace of each skater surely captured their audiences. But the whole world held it's breath when Joannie Rochette started her routine. Skating just four days after the sudden death of her mother, Joannie skated her heart out. Was it perfect? In the eyes of the world, Joannie skated the performance of her lifetime. She blew a kiss heavenward when she finished.

And those judges? Were they perfect?? For many years, past judging has been deeply criticized for being unfair with Soviet blocks giving high marks for skating performances that were lacking. But that night the judges made up for the injustices they have contended with in the past. Canada was proud to honor Joannie Rochette as the Bronze metal winner.

(picture courtesy Getty Images)

The world applauded Joannie and was proud of her determination and fortitude.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Infinity Dream Tag

There is a young friend of mine who is an aspiring author. She is bright, beautiful and a lovely young lady. Her goal is to memorize the Bible. Isn't that a wonderful goal to have?

She has started a blog, and you can find Katherine at Song Beyond Silence. On a recent blog post she was tagged and opened questions for others to answer. So I thought I would take up her challenge here.

Katherine's Questions
  1. What’s your favorite kind of cold drink?   My favorite beverage has always been sweet Iced Tea.
  2. If you were given a day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?  I would spend the whole day with a good friend.
  3. Do you enjoy being home alone? I do enjoy being home alone. As a writer I have found this to be the best way to write.
  4. What is one subject or issue that you are passionate about? I'm passionate about health. We can take years to destroy the body God gave us. If there is a way to stay healthy, I research and seek out ways to do it naturally. 
  5. Is there a country or city you really want to visit? I have always wanted to visit New Zealand.
  6. Who are some people (living or dead) who inspire you? Elisabeth Elliot is a woman I always admired. Her depth of love for God was evident in every avenue she used to communicate.
  7. What are your thoughts on roller coasters? Not!
  8. If you were going to plan the perfect dinner party for yourself and your best friends, where would it be and what would you eat?  I love having people into my home. And I love Italian food, so it would be lasagna, pizza and any kind of pasta.
  9. Describe yourself in three words. Honest, shy, insecure.
  10. Do you have a favorite verse or passage from the Bible? Hebrews 13:5
  11.  What is one song or book you like that no one has ever heard of? "These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901".  I was completely taken by this story of life of American pioneers.
Can you answer these tag questions?