Glad Game #16 ~ Add a Sister, and Magnifying Glass

Silly pic…I’m either getting braver, or sleep-deprived😉

Here we are, another Friday…which, as well as signaling the holiday weekend (USA), usually means a table of Glad Game players!  If you’re new here, the Glad Game originated with Pollyanna, star of that great classic book about the girl who unfailingly found something to be glad about—thankful for—in life’s less than perfect situations.  So, here’s my list.

a) I’m thankful I have a magnifying glass.  I bought it ages ago…figuring I’d need it “Someday”, and Someday’s definitely arrived🙂  It’s not too scratched, as I keep it in a plastic sandwich bag.  I don’t know what surprises me more:  that “normal” print/font size seems so small—or that I got old and sufficiently impaired to notice it, frown, squint, and dig out the magnifying glass!  Oh well.

b) Thankful the ‘stomach issue’ is improved…I think it’s yet another “ageing deal” (our systems become more delicate, sensitive to “abuse”) which definitely puts The Face on me (scowl).  For crying to Pete, I should be able to eat Doritos and Queso Dip all night long if I want to… no??  Anyway, I’m trying to eat smaller, more frequent “meals”.  Good thing I had a surplus of unsweetened applesauce—it was like manna for a few days there🙂

c)  I’m beyond glad and grateful to have a new gal pal!  We met on the blogs back in 2011, but just recently connected on Facebook—she was so glad to see me, which made my heart dance!  But wait, there’s MORE!  Apparently her computer died, and she could hardly manage any contact with the outside world through usual means…so I emailed our mutual friend to get a USPS address for her, thinking to send her a note (translation: novelette); our friend happily obliged—and gave me a phone number too. 

Imagine my delight when I called her and discovered how similar we are—like me, she’s a talker who doesn’t come up for air!  So now God has made good on His promise:  the Bible says He’ll give us ‘double for our trouble’*, restore what ‘the locusts devoured’**.  Thus, the 2 sisters I’ve lost to “estrangement”—have now been replaced with like-minded “faith-sisters”.  It was a good day…color me blessed

d) Thankful to get the month’s bills paid…some people hate paying bills, so it’s one more proof I’m crazy, because I sincerely enjoy it.  There’s that rush of accomplishment…and confirmation that I’m a “responsible adult” (you’d have to know the backstory to appreciate that, which I’m not sharing today)🙂

e) However, I will give you some backstory to my next “grateful”.  If you’ve read the novel, The Cider House Rules, by John Irving, you may remember that the protagonist, “Homer”, was an orphan raised in an orphanage by the director, “Dr Larch”, and a couple nurses.  Being older than the other children he was not successfully adopted, but happily grew up there and followed the rule that he “be of use” (a worthy goal for everyone).  That phrase stuck with me after reading the book (also made into a movie). 

Though I was undeniably forced to be of use to my family, growing up, I don’t recall believing anything I did—then, or later in life—was particularly worthy or notable.

So, it’s kind of an odd blessing that blogging seems to have given me a purpose of sorts.  I view myself as having been “called” to be an “Encourager”, which gives me great satisfaction.  That’s the long answer to why I was praying with tearful thanksgiving the other night, telling God I appreciate that He would see fit to make me “of use” in this worldwide niche.

f) On that note, I’ll wrap things up by reminding my reader-family how thankful I am for all of you.  It’s not about stats, for me—but rather that many of you allow me into your lives (and hearts) through your writing, and the curious connection of the Comment boxes.  I hold you all close in my prayers each day…wanting only the best for each of you, and your families.

g) Lord God, I’m immeasurably grateful You’ve brought me through another week…without me completely losing my mind, though the stresses of this crazy season have not abated.  You keep me in the palm of Your hand, gently gripped by Your grace—and that is sufficient for all my needs. 

I choose to trust You, and to stand tall and bold as I proclaim Your goodness here—and I believe You’ll make your Presence real to these dear people who visit my world…bless them in miraculous ways ~ Amen.

Alright-y then, y’all have a good weekend!!🙂 Rhen

*Job 42:10, “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” New King James Version

**Joel 2:25, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…” King James Bible

Full Disclosure:  The Cider House Rules is a work of fiction which deals with the subject of abortion, among others.

Bedelia’s Iron Grip

Prompt: IRON

Bedelia had kept an iron grip on herself, once she’d called Father James to accept his invitation to the Meet & Greet…though, little good it had done to stop her nerves from taking flight.

She discovered a black and white knit tunic and a pair of black slacks which needed no ironing, in the back of her closet, and studied them—they’d have to serve, as she’d had no reason to purchase new clothes since she couldn’t recall when.

Peering at face and hair in the mirror, she shuddered at the ferocious frump staring back at her and nearly called the priest again, to cancel—on any other day, she scarcely noticed her looks.

Finding a near-empty can of old hairspray beneath the sink, she misted then pushed at her coif repeatedly, one way and another till it appeared (and felt like) a tarnished helmet…and her cream foundation began to trickle “bisque” perspiration.

As Father James’ car pulled up, she drew a deep breath and reminded herself she was only obliged to go this once…she hadn’t signed a legally binding five-year contract, for heaven’s sake.

The priest greeted her with effusive cheer, and shaking her hand, he chuckled merrily, saying, “My, you have a firm clasp…to match your iron backbone, no doubt; do relax, Miss Cornell, Saint Barnabas’ folk are warm and friendly…I’m not tossing you in the lion’s den!”

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations,  2020 ~ All rights reserved.

What to Do, Bedelia?

Photo: Rhen’s home


Bedelia shook her head slowly over the written invitation, pursing her lips; Saturdays she watered her houseplants…she could hardly leave them to their own dry devices while she went off to a Catholic ‘social’.

She tossed the note card aside as her paranoia spun out: Meet and Greet’ …probably trendy code for ‘group therapy’!

If indeed crazy, dysfunctional, she was entitled to remain contentedly so; and anyway, she had nothing appropriate to wear, having given up dressing to successfully impress…a good twenty-odd years ago.

Putting dishes in the sink to wash, her eyes meandered to the gray envelope again; surely it was some kind of trick…who was this stranger that the insistent Father James wanted to introduce to her?

It couldn’t possibly be a man; but she had zero interest in meeting a lonely woman, either…held captive and forced to listen to gallbladder complaints, or nagged to join the choir or flower committee…while holding a plastic cup of sickly sweet punch.

Her plants had been recommended as “therapeutic” by the grocery’s floral department manager—she wiped her hands on a blue-striped cloth, and consulted the green friends in their terracotta pots: “perhaps I could water you a day early…and call Father James…maybe”.

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Aid for Stress: Wit! (ha’sonnet)

Stress and distress

Current normal

Prayers relentless

For miracle

Teargas hazy

Cities crazy

But wit won’t quit!

Now, I have good news for the scaredy-cats (myself included) regarding the WP change to Block formatting.  Your sometimes-fearless-leader, Moi, experimented in the wee hours this a.m.—by opening a test blog to see what would happen. 

While it’s true the formatting for the old classic editor is gone—you can take a deep breath, and learn step by step how to access the features you’re accustomed to from within the Blocks.  Just set your mind on “positive” and give yourself plenty of rested and relaxed time—be patient with yourself, and you can DO this!

I accomplished the basics within a few hours and successfully posted a post—don’t groan!  It was in the middle of the night, for Pete’s sake!  You just have to employ the old hunt and click skills, “experiment” until you find your way to what you need. 

I have utmost confidence in all of you.  We may be “old old-school” dogs, but we’re nothing if not intrepid!  Now, suit up with your adult undies and go conquer the Block!!

If I don’t get to your posts until tomorrow…well, I do have to sleep sometime😉  God bless us, every one ~ Rhen

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Leadership Application


Please answer or make a check-mark for each question.

1-Can you skirt the truth with ease?

2-Normal issues with greed, lust, arrogance, tirades?

3-Can you dominate conversations?

4-Do you view yourself as #1, “special”, with

Uniquely extraordinary intellect?

5-Are you opinionated, believe you’re always right?

6-Do you feel a sense of entitlement?

7-Can you be openly critical, vocally judgmental?

8-Are you savvy about social media, tweeting?

9-Can you occupy spotlight’s full circumference?  

10-Are you immune to mockery, and also advice?

11-Can you feel at home living First Class?


Very good, then—I think you’ll like your grand office, and the spacious house, of course!

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Wee Noggin of Wine (Limerick)

Apostle Paul repented of sins, vice

Turned to preaching the Lord, giving advice

Told Timothy to take wee noggin of wine

To settle his stomach*, make it feel fine…

Since just munching grapes, oddly, didn’t suffice

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

*Apostle Paul to Timothy:“No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” 1 Tim 5:23, New King James Version

Glad Game #11 ~ No-Excuses O’Mercy😉

Hello Glad-Gamers!  Happily we’ve made it to another weekend, the world still turning despite life’s vagaries.  For the benefit of new visitors, the Glad Game originated in the classic children’s book, Pollyanna—about the girl who wisely learned early to look for the positive in any less-than situation (or person) and be “glad”. 

I discovered, “better late than never”, that gratitude is key to maintaining soul’s contentment.  So, here’s my list this week.

a) Spurred on by inspiring followers, I decided it was time to “get physical” with my partner, “O’Mercy” (treadmill, pictured above).  It’s manual, can’t be too dangerous…and due to space constraints it’s parked in the living room, partially beneath the “blessed” dining table.  I realized last night that, if needed, I can briefly rest my butt against the table edge.  Gratitude🙂

b) And I’m thankful to have thought ahead and ordered a super fan (it even matches the black treadmill).  This was divine inspiration, as my primary complaint regarding physical exercise is sweating—“ladies don’t sweat, they glow”, so the saying goes…but I sweat, and it’s icky.  So I’ll crank up the fan as I walk my way to better health…if not a svelte new figure🙂

c) Grateful also for the Public Utility Dept’s free calendar.  Pretty ones adorn the walls, this one’s plain/practical, where I’ll record each day’s time ‘communing’ with O’Mercy—minutes, maybe step count.  Last night was Day 1…the clock said 9:20 pm, I figured I could go 10 minutes.  Hah!  I managed 5—better than zero.  Perhaps I’ll do 5 min/day for a few days, till the old-bod recovers from shock🙂 

According to saved calendar, I purchased O’Mercy in September 2014…uh-huh…it was Full Moon, and I was gung-ho for 10 days before the novelty wore off.  I did 20-30 min/day, sweating like a farm animal—a fair cardio workout.  That was 6 years ago, I think I’ll take a more reasonable approach this time.

d) FYI, there will be NO discussion of dieting at this juncture.  The idea is not to kill myself all at once🙂   Last night I ate like there’d be no Tomorrow…who knows?

e) Although the “zoom” meeting on Wednesday failed, I’m thankful the facilitator had a back-up plan, i.e., 3-way conference phone call.  I’ve owned 2 Lenovo laptops with microphone issues:  they say they have internal microphones…perhaps it’s “operator failure” (nothing I attempted to tweak helped one iota).  Easily frustrated and discouraged, I frowned the rest of the day.

However, the third party (not facilitator) also experienced difficulty (she had audio, no video), so I didn’t feel entirely like a tech-osaurus–and we did accomplish the meeting’s purpose.  Stress/irritability aside, I’m glad and grateful.  I may order an external microphone…in case life requires more zooming while we all await Corona’s end.

f) I’m a happy-thankful-camper to have checked off “laundry done”, and “grocery trip without incident”…and I remain pleased with furniture rearrangement, though I forget I’ve moved certain things.  The plus side:  more steps accumulated as I backtrack…if I walk while pondering!

g) Beyond grateful…I recalled where I’d squirreled away an adapter plug, for use with new fan and extension cord.

h) Greatly thankful for intermittent rain showers…a nearby homeowner lights frequent bonfires in his yard…smoke fills up my apartment.  I’m grateful for sympathetic email replies from local Fire District person.  Difficulty breathing is distressing.

i) I’m enjoying an Amazon Prime trial, for speedier free-shipping and Prime Video.  This is a mixed blessing, as I’m a movie addict…which limits hours for such things as sleeping.  I multi-task, but it’s still time-consuming to scroll through movie menu for something worth watching.  So this may prove a “temporary thankful”.

j) As always, I’m more than grateful for God’s abundant considerations and provision—which include my blog family.  I think of, pray for you each day/night…particularly when I’m cooking/baking, wishing you could come over and feast!  Maybe someday in the “sweet by and by”.  For now, remember I’m holding you in my heart—and appreciate your thoughts throughout the week.

May God bless you hugely with His protection, provision and Presence of Peace, as we continue moving through this troubled season which “came to pass, not to stay!” 

Take courage, be of good cheer ~  Love, Auntie L💝

Text & photos: ©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Eyes On You!

This photo comes from my friend, Deb.  Humor compelled her to fill up the shrubbery’s holes with “eyes”😉

Eyes on neighborhood

We see your masks, lack thereof

How close your walking

With nearest and dearest, or

One you’ve never spoken to

Don’t be paranoid

Eyes aren’t mandate “enforcers”

Lighten up, we’re friends!

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.