What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tuesday 4 Questions about Me?



It's time again for Tuesday 4 in memory of Toni Taddeo, our founder.

Let's talk about you this week.

1. How are you unique or different from your friends or family? How typical are you?

Well, the first thing that set me apart from my family was that I was "the little redhead"... see below:  
I know you've probably seen these pictures before in some of my previous posts, but I always say "A picture is worth a thousand words".  I was the only one of my siblings to inherit the red hair from our father...which, by the time this picture was taken, his hair had already turned to a very dark auburn, and eventually a handsome snowy white (below).  My hair is still somewhere between a rather faded auburn and lots of white streaks suddenly appearing here and there.

This was the last official family portrait in 2005 before my mother died in 2006:
In my genealogical research I believe I finally discovered that the red hair gene came from my father's mother's father's side of the family.  My grandmother was adopted as an infant, and so we never knew her birth parentage until I did the DNA test and figured things out through Ancestry. com last year.  

Besides the red hair, which you would be amazed at how much that becomes a major part of your identity...when I meet people I grew up with who haven't seen me in a long while, the first question they often ask me is "What happened to your red hair?" Anyway, besides that "claim to fame", I am often told that my sister and I look like twins. We both know that isn't true...she was the cute, petite brunette, and I was the tall, freckled redhead.  But somehow over the years we have melded together and have many same expressions and features. We often end up wearing the same colors and/or similar outfits to a gathering when we live two hours apart and never consult each other about what to wear. And we like a lot of the same things...a tea party, singing in the church choir...and family gatherings.  But she has the green thumb in the family and my talents tend to be more about photography and writing to you all.    

2. How do you spend your spare time? books, hobbies, visiting, tv etc.
I probably answered that above...writing, photography, family and church activities and singing in the choir, and reading.  Lately hubby and I have enjoyed watching Murdoch Mysteries together, and prior to that the Midsomer Murders.  When we run out of those series to watch we will have to find another interesting and "fun" series to watch.  Or else he'll go back to just watching sports and I'll have to occupy my time elsewhere, like reading a good book or writing to you.  In the summertime we spend the majority of our day indoors because it is too hot outside to do much besides our daily early morning walk and evening walk and occasional rides in the country.   When "fall" finally arrives here in Florida, we enjoy being outdoors a lot more.  I am very much looking forward to fall.

3. What was high school like for you?  
Well, I was very thankful to live in a very small town and go to a very small school, where everyone knew everyone and most of us grew up together the whole 12 years of school. I had a lot of friends and had many opportunities to participate in school activities like cheerleading, acting in school plays, singing in the chorus, participating in the FHA (Future Homemakers of America), and just generally having a good time!!  I wasn't the greatest student academically, mainly because I was too busy with all these other activities and so I didn't apply myself like I should have.  My father once asked me why I couldn't make straight "A's" like my cousin, and I said "Because I'm too busy enjoying everything else in school".  I wasn't that interested in going to college, but I did go to the community college for one year where I met my husband, and the rest is history...

4. This question has multiple parts:

a. Handbag: designer style or any will do?  I only change bags seasonally... and for church I may change to a more dressy style to match my shoes/outfit if I am in the mood or have time to do so.  I once had a tapestry bag that I carried for almost 20 years because it was that good. It was handmade by a sweet little old lady, and it held everything I needed for work and to carry a bank bag to the bank each day incognito, and it was washable...and it went with everything. I loved that bag, and only gave it up because the lining finally ripped and became unrepairable.  I still have it in my closet, however.  I really loved that bag. Maybe I will go find it and take a picture of it...
Those of you who know how much I love tea parties and pretty hats will see why I loved this bag so much.

b. Pajamas or night gown? This link will tell you about my favorite nightgown.  You will have to read that whole post to get to the part about the nightgown...and I'm still wearing that same gown. I have others, but I just like that one best.

c. Shoes: sturdy or pretty ? Comfy is more the word I would choose.  I wear Skechers most all of the time, even on Sunday, as I have a pair that are more like a black leather flat, except of course they have rubber soles and are very comfy, and they look fine with my black slacks. If I decide to wear a dress, then I have a couple of pairs of low heeled dress shoes, one navy, and one black. I occasionally wear sandals, but only if the outfit requires it. I really am not a sandals kind of person, even if I DO live in Florida!

d. Home decor: classic, modern, farm house style, traditional?  You've seen pictures of my house/furnishings before.  I would call it classic traditional shabby chic farmhouse hand me down style. How's that?  Nothing modern except the TV.

e. Movies: feel good, drama, romance, action?  Not really into movies that much anymore. I prefer old classic movies that actually have some real actors and actresses in them. I do like drama, romance  action, and funny movies. I loved Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, etc., etc.  Actors from that era.  I often feel like I was born too late.  Most everything I really love came from way back when. I guess I'm just an old fashioned girl.

So now I hope you will check out what others are sharing today as well on Tuesday 4.  

Personal Note: I want to thank all of you for your kind comments on my yesterday's post regarding our kids w/Covid.  Last evening was kind of scary. They both had been coughing so much all day that they finally decided to go to the Emergency Room.  My sweet DIL has pneumonia in addition to the Covid. However, they were eligible to receive the new Monoclonal Antibody Treatment.  They each had the infusion last night, and were able to go home around 9:30.  They finally were also given other prescriptions that should help them recover.  Why their Doctor couldn't have ordered this sooner I do not understand, but I am very thankful they went last night and were taken care of.  This virus is really running rampant in our area, and every day we are hearing of more people with it and many have died. I was at my PT this morning, and a man came in to tell the therapists that his mother would not be coming back for therapy anymore because she died from Covid yesterday.  It was just heartbreaking.  We thank the good Lord for sparing our kids and we trust they will continue to heal and get stronger day by day, but prayers are still much appreciated.  Thank you so very much.  I haven't been able to get around to reading everyone's posts because we've been doing a lot of other extra things to help take care of their needs without actually being able to be there with them. I am just so thankful we live close enough to be able to do these things for them.  God is with us.  God bless you all, and hug your family while you can.  Things can happen so fast, which sadly several of our friends here have already had to experience.  

Monday, August 30, 2021

Monday Praise

 Yesterday's sermon by our Pastor about prayer was right on...from Luke 11:1-13.  I think you will enjoy it...but first you'll have to listen to the Praise Team singing "We'll Soon Be Done with Troubles and Trials"

"Some of these days I'm going home where no sorrows ever come,
We'll soon be done with troubles and trials.
Safe from heartache pain and care we shall all that glory share.
Then I'm gonna sit down beside my Jesus, sit down and rest a little while

We'll soon be done with troubles and trials
Yes in that home on the other side
Shake glad hands with the elders, tell my kindred good morning
Sit down beside my Jesus, sit down and rest a little while.

I shall behold His blessed face, I shall feel His matchless grace
We'll soon be done with troubles and trials
Oh what peace and joy sublime in that home of love divine.
Then I'm gonna sit down beside my Jesus, sit down and rest a little while

We'll soon be done with troubles and trials
Yes in that home on the other side
Shake glad hands with the elders, tell my kindred good morning
Sit down beside my Jesus, sit down and rest a little while

We'll soon be done with troubles and trials
Yes in that home on the other side
Shake glad hands with the elders, tell my kindred good morning
Sit down beside my Jesus, Sit down beside my Jesus
Sit down beside my Jesus, and rest a little while
Sit down and rest a little while, little while.

The part that struck me most about the Luke 11 passage was this:

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 
10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

I have not been on Blogger much this past week, and only a few of you know the reason why. But I feel thankful and blessed so much right now that I want to share with you what has been going on.  
Our Son Benton and his wife Rose (picture taken last fall).

Saturday was our oldest son's 50th birthday! We had planned to have a wonderful family celebration for him on Friday because of their scheduling, etc.,  and family and friends were to come from quite a distance to honor his birthday.  Well, last Sunday our sweet Rose developed a fever and started having a cough and sinus issues. Yes, she tested positive for Covid. The next day Benton came down with the same symptoms, and therefore of course they had to close their business and stay home all week. Needless to say, the birthday party was cancelled until further notice. Thankfully my hubby and I had not been with them for over a week prior to when they got sick, and of course we have stayed away from them all week. We have, however, been cooking some meals, picking up groceries, etc., and delivering them to their front door. Of course they didn't open the door until we were way out of the way.

So, those verses our Pastor preached upon yesterday really hit home with me.  If a son asks for bread, would you give him a stone...or if he asks for a fish, would you give him a serpent? Or if he asks for an egg, would you give him a scorpion?    I am sure you would all agree with me in responding "Of course not!"  We would do anything within our power to help our kids and relieve their suffering in any way possible.  If we could take their pain away and take it ourselves, we would.  But thankfully God has not asked us to do exactly that.  What He does ask us to do is Ask, Seek, and Knock...."A.S.K."  Ask God and it will be opened to you...Seek God and you will find...Knock on the door of God's heart, and it will be opened to you.  

That is what we've been doing this week...asking, seeking, and knocking...praying for healing for our kids.  It's been a rough week for them...and last night Benton was very concerned for Rose as she just didn't seem to be getting better. He was planning to take her to the hospital today if she wasn't significantly improved.  (BTW, when you test positive for Covid, they just send you home to fend for yourselves.  They had to call their doctor, and she told them what OTC medicines to take...no prescriptions were given or offered...just fight your way through this, and if you can't breathe, go to the emergency room, which is full, and our hospital is full, etc., etc.)  So when I heard that, my "asking, seeking, knocking" on heaven's door was turned up a notch.  I spent a rather restless night, and every time I couldn't sleep, I was praying for Rose to be better today.  Of course I prayed for Benton too, but he seemed to be getting stronger while she was not.  

So you can imagine my joy and elation and thankfulness when I called them this morning and Rose actually answered the phone, and she almost sounded like her "old self".  Still sounds like someone with a bad cold, but she sounded stronger, and she even giggled when I told her how happy I was to hear her voice this morning.  My heart is overflowing with thanksgiving and praise.  God heard my prayers and I do believe He has answered them.  I do believe they will continue to regain strength from here on out.

"In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears."
Psalm 18:6

For those of you who knew about this, I want to thank you for your prayers on their behalf.  And for those who are just now learning of this, prayers are still needed.  They still have a ways to go before they are ready to get back to work. They have a business to run, and everyday they are closed they are losing money.  Thankfully they had two women they know who are vendors in their store, and they volunteered to open the store on Friday and Saturday so they could hopefully make some sales.  And praise God, they made enough on those two days to actually cover what they probably would have made if they had been open all week!  God is so good.  This week is another issue, but again, I believe God is going to take care of them. He knows their needs and He knows exactly how to provide whatever they need.  Our God is an awesome God, and we are blessed and so very very thankful.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of this.  You are all a blessing to me. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday Foto Friends~"Word-Full Friday"

Let the Word of God speak for itself...and also for me.

"24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught."
Proverbs 3:24-26

"You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You."
Isaiah 26:3

Good Night Friends.
Sleep in Peace.
God is still in control.
No. Matter. What.


Monday, August 23, 2021

"Monday Monday..."

 Who remembers that song by the Mamas and the Papas?  "Monday Monday...so good to me...Monday Morning it was all I hoped it would be..."

Step back in time with me to 1966 and the Ed Sullivan Show, with Mama Cass and the rest of the group and sing along...(and if you let this video go on to the next one, "California Dreamin" will come up next...can't forget that song either!)

This was a fun little walk down memory lane from my teen years...it just popped up in my brain because it's Monday morning and I know I need to write something...so this is what you get today. LOL. Actually, this Monday morning may not be so wonderful for many people who are suffering from the various storms and crises of this past weekend...you are very much in our thoughts and prayers... more about that later...

Nothing too exciting to share from my neck of the woods. It's been so hot lately that we spend most of our time indoors, trying to stay cool. We did take a little ride on Saturday morning down to the town where we used to live in the Ocala National Forest.  One of our favorite places to to stop is the boat ramp park on Big Lake Kerr.  Two reasons, the view is always beautiful, and they have a clean public restroom! LOL.  Here are a few pictures from our visit to the lake (not the restroom! )

Just a peaceful Saturday morning, out fishing on the lake!

It really was a beautiful day...not a cloud in the sky, and the lake was calm and smooth as glass...

until this big boat came flying in, leaving quite a wake in its path...

But not even that could distract this honeybee from having his breakfast on this lovely wildflower along the shore:

Love to see these busy pollinators out doing what they do best:

Just so long as he doesn't mistake ME for a flower! LOL.

The waters of Lake Kerr are pretty clean and clear, so clear I could see these fish swimming about...

They are still too small to have to worry about being caught by a fisherman, so I hope they enjoy their freedom to swim wherever they please...

Back on land I managed to "capture" this dragonfly while he rested on the grass...

And I guess that was all the pictures I managed to get!  Oh, until we took our walk later in the day at our usual walking place, and I saw this lovely hawk up in the tree:

Not sure if he is a Red Shouldered Hawk or a Red Tailed Hawk, and actually there were two of them in the tree when we first arrived, but the other one flew away as soon as he saw us. This one stayed put and kept a hawk-eye on us!  They were both quite large! I am glad that I am also "quite large", so they won't come preying upon me!

I know that all of us who have been watching the news this past weekend have been heart broken for the good people left behind in Afghanistan.  Our prayers are with them for their safety and peace and safe deliverance from the evil forces that are there seeking to destroy those who are believers in Christ, as well as anyone who has supported or assisted the American government. May God cover them with His strong arm of protection and shelter them in His mighty wings. Psalm 34 is a favorite Psalm of mine. The following verses in particular stand out to me this morning as I pray for the people of Afghanistan:

Psalm 34: 15-22
"15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned."

I am also praying for the people in Tennessee who have had such a horrible flood over the past few days...many have lost their lives, homes, and livelihood, and there are still quite a few people missing. Also many have suffered from the flooding in upstate NY this past week, and now many are enduring heavy rains and flooding from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Henri along the north east coast and further inland.  May God be merciful to them and lift them up out of the floodwaters to safety.  Also praying for the many who are truly suffering from Covid right now, and there are many here in our area. Sadly our hospital is full of patients and even sadder,  I understand our funeral homes are full as well...that is a very sobering thought.

I am quite humbled as I contemplate all these who are suffering so much in our land and around the world. My heart goes out to them, and I wish there was more that I could do. I am not financially able to help, and not physically able to go and do any kind of rescuing...but I know WHO is able to do all of the above, and the best thing I can do is pray. Yesterday our pastor delivered a wonderful sermon from the book of Isaiah, chapter 38, about  King Hezekiah's prayer and healing from the Lord.  You can listen to the sermon here on this video.  This message was one of hope and faith that God does hear our prayers and yes, He does answer our prayers!  I hope you will enjoy this message...as well as the Praise Team singing "Through it All" at the beginning of the video.

Through It All
by Andre Crouch

"I've had many tears and sorrows
I've had questions for tomorrow
There's been times I didn't know right from wrong
But in every situation
God gave blessed consolation
That my trials come to only make me strong

Through it all, through it all
I've learned to trust in Jesus
I've learned to trust in God
Through it all, through it all
I've learned to depend upon his word

I've been to lots of places
And I've seen a lot of faces
There’ve been times I felt so all alone
But in my lonely hours
Yes, those precious lonely hours
Jesus let me know that I was his own

Through it all, through it all
I've learned to trust in Jesus
I've learned to trust in God
Through it all, through it all
I've learned to depend upon his word

I thank God for the mountains
And I thank him for the valleys
I thank him for the storms He brought me through
For if I'd never had a problem
I wouldn’t know that He could solve them
I'd never know what faith in God could do

Through it all, through it all
I've learned to trust in Jesus
I've learned to trust in God
Through it all, through it all
I've learned to depend upon his word"

So, I hope this "Monday Monday" will be a good day for you.  May the Lord lift you up out of any deep waters in which you may be treading, trying to keep your head above water today. May He deliver you safely to the shore and take care of your every need.  

Friday, August 20, 2021

My "Wild" Life in Review - Friday Foto Friends UPDATED

 Here it is late Friday afternoon, and I still don't have any new pictures to share with you for this week that you haven't already seen.  It's been too hot to go out and do much outside so we've been keeping cool inside and really not doing much of anything that we don't absolutely have to do! So, that being said, I've got nothing new to share with you. So I thought I might go back and find an old post that you might enjoy seeing again...or perhaps you haven't seen it at all before! 

This post was originally written  back in October of 2016, while we were still living in our house in the woods.  We left there exactly two years ago to move to our current home on Still Waters Pond, where life is a bit "quieter" and not quite as "wild" as before.

So here is the original post from October 2016..."My Wild Life in Review".... I hope you will enjoy this again!

"Ever since we moved to the Ocala National Forest almost five years ago, we have encountered many kinds of wildlife...oftentimes right here in our own front yard...and sometimes as we travel around the area "in search of" anything worthy of our notice...and to feed my "photography bug".   A few years ago my dear brother gave me a digital camera because I was the last one in the universe to still be using a film camera, and he happened to have an old Kodak EasyShare Z650 with a neat little attached zoom lens sitting in his cabinet, (he worked for Kodak) and when he gave that to me it opened up a whole new world!

So, for my Friday Foto Friends, here is a little bit of my "wild life" from just this past week.

We'll start out with our resident "Little Bear", who has been walking through our yard frequently over the past couple of months.  He started out looking much more scraggly and skinny than these pictures taken this afternoon. It appears that he is starting to fatten up as he prepares for winter.  Little Bear is probably just a year or two old, and apparently is an "orphan" bear, out on his own.  Our yard connects to the forest, and we discovered very soon after moving here that the bears claimed our yard as a part of their trail to the woods.  Click HERE for a previous post about our bears.

 I love how Little Bear stopped and posed for us before leaving the yard.  This picture makes him look a lot larger than he is, but it is definitely the same "Little Bear" as above.  He stopped and sniffed the air for a minute or two...trying to figure out where the noise was coming from...(we were INSIDE the house taking these pictures, I can assure you)
 Bye Bye Little Bear!

We also have a wildlife "night camera" that takes pictures of animals walking through our yard at night.  This is a bobcat prowling around.  We often also get pictures of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, deer, and of course, the bears...

If you've kept up with any previous posts recently, you've already seen my deer...but here they were one evening this week...the fawns have really grown up and no longer have any spots.  I've enjoyed watching their antics this past summer.  I pray they and their mother all make it through hunting season, which will be starting soon....(sorry to add a sad thought in the midst of this, but that is the reality of life in the big woods)

Now, this next batch of pictures I must admit was not taken in our yard or neighborhood.  However, we were invited to go play golf (that's another story that I'll explain later) with some friends yesterday, and the golf course proved to be a nature wonderland for me with my camera. (I don't play golf...so guess what I did?)  

Here is a critter that I have been trying to capture on camera for a long time.  This is a Fox Squirrel. (Click HERE for more info on this )  They live in the pine and oak woodlands around the forest, but are rapidly becoming almost extinct because of so much development.  I've seen some along the road near where we live, but by the time we can stop the car and get the camera focused, they are long gone. So you can imagine my joy and excitement as not one, but several fox squirrels showed up to watch us play!  Apparently people feed them and so they don't seem to be too afraid to come near.

When he ran up the tree he spread out on the limb like this and pretended we couldn't see him...

They were so much fun to watch...my friends had to keep reminding me that we had to keep moving on to the next hole on the fairway...

I did actually try to putt when we got to each hole, but I didn't attempt any long shots. We would have spent too much time trying to find the golf balls...

Here's the rest of our group. They were the serious golfers...
I was just along for the ride, and after a while my friend even trusted me to drive the golf cart, which was another first for me:

Well, back to the "Wild Life"....when we got to the 14th hole, (yes, I can't believe we actually played 18 holes...), there was some other interesting "wild life" to keep me entertained while the rest of them tried to hit the golf balls:

Out of the woods came this whole flock of wild turkeys:

 This one was looking at me with a rather disgusted look...and I think someone must have told her that Thanksgiving is coming in a few weeks...
So on that note, I will end this wild tale...and remind us that we ought always to be thankful!  I am very thankful for our home, for the wonderful creatures God has created and that we are privileged to enjoy, and also for good friends and family who brighten our lives and encourage us to step out on the "wild side" and try something new...

In the book of Philippians, chapter 4 verses 4-7, we are given the "secret of the peace of God" (according to the heading in my Bible)

"Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men.
The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication, 
with Thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus."

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Tuesday 4: Wedding Questions and Memories

Tuesday 4: Weddings

Thanks for joining in. Note from Annie: "I hope you find them fun to do and if you have any ideas for questions please let me know in comments here or on my personal blog, Cottage by the Sea."

This week let's talk about engagements and marriage okay?  Well, since yesterday was our 52nd Anniversary, and I already wrote about that HERE, I might as well tell you how it all began!

1. If you are married would you share how your husband proposed to you? How long were you engaged before you got married? If you aren't married, what would be ideal for you?
  See my answers below...

2. Did you receive an engagement ring? Would you show us or describe it for us?  See answer to both #1 and #2 below:

We met at the Community College we were both attending.  I was a freshman and he was finishing his sophomore year.  We had been dating for about 4 months when  one evening we were on our way to a basketball game at the community college we both attended. I noticed that his shirt pocket had something in it that looked like a box. So all the way to the game I kept teasing him and asking him what was in his pocket, but he kept saying you'll have to wait and see. But I could not wait and I kept reaching for his shirt pocket while he was trying to drive the car.  So finally, instead of possibly having a wreck, he very wisely decided to pull off the side of the road right there on the highway. He pulled out the little box and gave it to me, and I opened it, and there in the dim lights of the dashboard of the car I saw what appeared to be a very beautiful little diamond ring.  I tried it on and it fit perfectly. I asked, "Does this mean what I think it means?" And he said yes it does...and of course we kissed and I was so excited and he was kind of like, "well, I've done it now..."... Anyway, he told me a little story about how when his father proposed to his mother, they didn't have much money. His dad was in the Army and about to be shipped overseas for WWII.  He gave her a little ring that wasn't really a real diamond ring, but it was all he could do at the time with a promise to do better later.  He further explained to me that because he was still in college and so was I, he really couldn't afford a real diamond ring at that time, but this was a promise for something better in the future just like what his father did with his mother.  Of course, I was thrilled all the same, and couldn't wait to tell the world that we were engaged.  However, when we finally got to the basketball game, I was able to get a better look at the ring in the light, and all of a sudden I realized that one of the tiny little "diamonds" on the ring was loose, and almost immediately it fell out into my lap.  Of course, I scooped it up and never said a word to my dear betrothed.  As soon as I got home I found some glue and glued the little stone back into the setting and never said a word .

The next day he came over to talk to my parents and ask for my hand in marriage.  My parents were elated and my mother wanted to see the ring right away.  I proudly put out my hand and showed it to her, and I could tell that she could tell what the real story was, but she wisely didn't say a word but happily congratulated us and we began talking about when we would get married.  I later told her the little story about the ring, and she told me to wear it proudly and be very happy, which I was.   I never told her or my beloved that I had to keep replacing that little stone several times before we were actually married.  However, when we decided to shop for our real wedding bands, we both agreed that we would just get plain gold bands at that time as that was all we could afford. And the little "diamond ring" set became a lovely souvenir of our engagement period.  

Years later hubby gave me this lovely braided gold band to add to the wedding band, and then before his mother passed away, she told me that she wanted me to have her diamond ring that she had had custom reset from her real diamond wedding rings after my father in law passed away, because she remembered the promise that was made to me years ago and she knew that we just never ever had the means to buy a "real diamond ring". 
There was always something else that we needed so much more.

So I love to wear it when we are dressed up for something special, but I am very happy to have my regular gold bands to wear all the time, and I never take them off.
Oh, back to question #1, how long were we engaged before we were married?  Well, let's see. We were engaged in January of 1969 and married on August 16, 1969.  So about 8 months.

3. What kind of wedding did you have? Was it big or small, formal, informal, religious or justice of the peace. Inquiring minds want to know!

Our wedding was medium sized, I would say. Maybe about 75 people attended. It was what I would call semi-formal, an afternoon wedding, at the church where I grew up. Our reception was in the church fellowship hall, with cake and punch and nuts and mints. 

Mr. and Mrs. John F. Steiner

My Daddy and me, walking down the aisle.

This is our wedding party:

And here are the parents and grandparents who were living at the time:

4.Was there a honeymoon? Where did you go, how long did you stay?
Yes, we had a short honeymoon to Daytona Beach. We stayed two nights I think, at the Americano Beach Lodge.  Then we moved to our very own apartment, and John started back back to college about a week later to complete his senior year, and I went to work at an insurance company as an accounting clerk. And the rest is history....52 years and counting, three sons, two sweet daughters in law, one handsome grandson and many wonderful memories.  We thank the Lord for His goodness and grace and love. We are blessed beyond measure.

Thanks again for participating!

Thank you, Annie, for coming up with these questions.  It's fun to learn about our friends! So now, go check out other people's answers at Tuesday 4.  Have a blessed and wonderful day!