Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


40 Things Money Can’t Buy

It’s been another busy week. As I am finally settling down to relax, my mind shifts to my surroundings and I think of all the money I have spent on ‘stuff’. Stuff that really has no other purpose than to make my home feel aesthetically pleasing.

I look around and realize that most of the “stuff” I have I don’t need. I can live without the mirror in the hall, I don’t have to have a picture/photo on every wall. I really don’t need all these trinkets/knickknacks on every shelf. I don’t even need the shelf.

No Money

This made me think of things that I don’t spend money on and how much joy I have by NOT spending money on “stuff”.

  1. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.
  2. Listening to the leaves blow on the trees
  3. Seeing “The Kid” smile
  4. Spending time with my mom and dad
  5. Listening to dad tell a funny story
  6. Listening to mom talk about her siblings
  7. Laughing with my sister
  8. Listening to music with my brother
  9. Seeing a beautiful sunset
  10. Having a great conversation with one of my cousins
  11. Learning something new
  12. Spending time in prayer
  13. Watching my great nephew play with his Papaw
  14. Watching the ducks/geese play at our local park
  15. Sharing a meal with a loved one
  16. Accomplishing a task  
  17. Helping my neighbor with a chore
  18. Opening up the windows and doors on a beautiful spring day
  19. The smell of a freshly cut lawn
  20. Watching the success of my niece and nephew
  21. Listening to my Mom’s siblings sing from old recordings
  22. Hearing a great sermon preached
  23. Taking a long hot shower
  24. Going through old photos
  25. Singing, even though I sound terrible
  26. Dancing in the kitchen with “the Kid”
  27. Making my mom laugh
  28. A good night’s rest
  29. A good day’s work
  30. People watching
  31. Making my “To-do” lists for the week
  32. Quiet time to reflect
  33. Taking a drive…..Yes, I know I spent money on the gas.
  34. Taking photos on my drive
  35. Taking a walk
  36. Writing a blog
  37. Seeing my family having fun and making memories
  38. Getting organized
  39. Listening to music
  40. Being surrounded by God’s creations.

As I write this, my house is open, the sun is shining through. I hear cyclist on the bike path, children playing on my street. A soft cool breeze is blowing through the house. I smell someone grilling out for the first time this year. I also smell one of my neighbors baking a cake or cookies. I hear “The Kid” laughing in his room while he plays an on-line game.

I have heard a great sermon and listened to some great music. I have made mom laugh today. I have achieved a few tasks and now off to fix food for my loved ones.

Could my day be any better?  I don’t think so. And I didn’t spend a penny. I have had a full enriched, joyful day. The best part, it’s not over yet.

How do you find your joy without spending any money?


Guest Writer: Jennifer-Christmas Time Is Here

Photo by:

Photo by:

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year.

If you grew up in the 70’s, you probably recognize those lyrics from the beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas movie.  This simple song by Vince Guaraldi melts my heart every time I hear it.  It is not so much the little cartoon (though it is a great story of the true meaning of Christmas) that makes me wax nostalgic, but just the memories of a simpler time.

I have always been a pretty simple person.  I prefer Vanilla ice cream over Razzle Dazzle Berry Crunch.  I have worn the same fragrance for 10+ years.  I still have the comforter that my mom bought me in high school.  I use Ivory soap.  You get the drift.

The sound of those Peanuts kids singing the sweet Christmas song takes me back to when Christmas was just Christmas, not the fast-paced hoopla it is today. Our holiday was not jam-packed with extravagant parties, excessive shopping, and over-the-top decorating that began even before the Thanksgiving turkey left the table!  The song always brings to mind my own little family, my huge extended family, my church.  All those traditions we just called Christmas and did them out of love for Jesus and each other.

Photo by:

Photo by:

My mom and dad did a fabulous job of “Keeping Christ in Christmas” even before it became a thing!  Not one gift was ever opened on Christmas morning until Dad read Luke 2.  We had one Christmas record that contained only carols.  No “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” was ever heralded in our home! The entire holiday revolved around praising Jesus and helping others to do the same.  In a very real way it mimicked the very first Christmas where the angels, shepherds, and wise men worshiped Christ, the newborn king!  I am so grateful to my parents for instilling in me, that simple approach to this time of year.

I have so many other memories of Christmas, yet the simple ones remain my favorite.  My Aunt Brenda’s pumpkin cookies, Aunt Jane’s old fashioned decorations, Grandma Sherman’s house every Christmas Eve.  I can still hear the laughter, smell the ham, and feel the excitement of seeing all my cousins!  Christmas Eve was definitely crazy and loud, yet still quaint and…simple. The Christmas story was always read. A Charlie Brown Christmas was always watched by some of the kids.  Lots of hugs and “I love you’s” exchanged.  Lots and lots of simple happiness and cheer. Just the way I like it.

By Jennifer Michael

I am so glad Cousin Jennifer has decided to write another post for us. Thank you Jennifer for being a guest writer. I enjoy your perspective and writing skills. Can’t wait till the next one.

Leave your comments to let Jennifer know how much you have enjoyed her post. Let her know you want more.

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Wanting To Help, But Can’t?

free hugsSomething on my heart.

Have you ever been in the position that you know you can’t help someone or comfort someone in need. Especially when your heart is breaking for that loved one(s)? The past month or so has been that for me.

My heart aches that so many of my loved ones are hurting and there is nothing in my power to help or comfort them. Which breaks my heart even more.

As you already know I am a control freak and I want to help others. Not being able to assist them in anyway makes me feel like I have failed them in in some way or that I am a bad cousin, friend, Aunt, sister, daughter and/or mother.

I don’t like seeing loved ones (anyone) suffer or struggle. It truly saddens me to the core that they have to go through the pain. I realize they have their own support. But I’m not helping. I am not contributing in the help.

How do I help someone when there’s nothing you can say or do to help take away the pain?

Here is what I have concluded. There is something you can do to help. It may not be cleaning their home, or even being that should to cry on. You can be there with your love and support.

  1. Make that phone call. Let them know you are just checking in. Sometimes that opens the door for a conversation that needs to be set free.
  2. Text them and let them know you are thinking of them.
  3. Send an e-mail. An e-mail allows the other person a chance to open up and share when they can’t actually talk about the struggle.
  4. Send a card (handwritten). Take the time to write down your love and concern you have for them and make sure you open that line of communication. Sometimes just knowing that someone is in your corner is enough to get them through the day.
  5. When/if they reach out to you….listen to them. They NEED to talk. It doesn’t matter what the content is, LISTEN. They NEED you to listen.
  6. Be there. Just be present for them.
  7. Hug them, sometimes a hug breaks down the barrier. Hug them till they stop hugging you. Let them hold on for dear life if needed.
  8. Prayer is something you can do to help comfort them in a way no one else can. God is the only one that has the power to bring peace to a hurting soul.

Your actions do not have to be large gestures, just your love. I know the above do not sound like a lot of help. But, I have been informed by others that sometimes the smallest act of kindness/love is the greatest help. Supporting hurting individuals is tough because it never seems to be enough. You just being there for them is enough.


Adventure: Dog Show

Photo by: Mother of Necessity

Photo by: Mother of Necessity

My family knows I’m a homebody. I usually don’t go to a lot of outings where there is a crowd of people. So when I got an invite from a cousin to go to dog show and help her, I even surprised myself and said “yes”.

I am not an animal person. Don’t get me wrong, I like most pets but I just don’t have that passion for the fur babies.

My cousin, Betty came to pick me up. I see that Betty is holding her Shih Tzu, Lucy. I opened the car door and there setting in my seat is a Shih Tzu name Rosey.  I picked her up, got in the car and held her in my arms for the drive. What a sweet puppy she was, not wiggling around or even wanting out of my arms.

Betty and I chatted during the drive and she found out that I wasn’t an animal person. I think I freaked her out for a minute or two. I bet Betty was thinking: what did I just do, inviting her to come help me when she doesn’t even care.

"Rosey" Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

“Rosey” Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

Betty was awesome. We talked about what I needed to do in order to show Rosey around the ring. She gave me some insight on what to expect since I had never attended a show before.

We talked about Betty being a volunteer at a rescue for Shish Tzu’s.  She sure does love this breed. Betty is very passionate about her babies. I can’t blame her. They are awful cute.

We make it to the fair grounds and unload the car. To see both of us holding dogs and trying to get things out of the car was a site. It reminded me of the old black and white comedies, like Abbott and Costello.

We finally get things in order and Betty begins to groom (primp) the dogs. Rosey did not like this part. Lucy was great. Lucy liked all the primping and attention.

"Lucy" Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

“Lucy” Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

We had a few minutes before things got started so I set back and began people/dog watching. These folks take things very seriously. I can see how dog shows can become a career. Everyone was engrossed in the pets. Grooming, practicing commands, and practicing the walk in the ring. It’s all very time consuming and takes a lot of patience.

This show was for the UKC (United Kennel Club). This is where the dog is judged and given points based on their placement in the show. It’s a big deal for all involved.

"Ribbon Table" Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

“Ribbon Table” Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

It’s our turn for best in breed. Since I have never done anything like this, I make Betty go first so I can mimic her showing Lucy. Betty and Lucy did so well. Now it’s my turn. I take Rosey around the ring. I think I did pretty well for the first time out.

Lucy takes first place and Rosey takes second. Not too shabby.

The second round for best in breed for companion class. I am watching others show their dogs and I realize I did something wrong in the first round. I had Rosey on my right side not my left. I know a rookie mistake. The rule is to always have the animal between you and the judge. I did not know this rule. But I do now.

Rosy took first place and Lucy came in second this time around.

The third and final round was for best in show for the companion class. This is where all the small dogs are judged at one time to determine the best overall. Poor Rosey and I didn’t make the cut on this one. But Lucy and Betty did. They finish third in the Best in Show Companion class.

Not too bad for a rookie never showing a dog or even attending a show before. I hope I got all those classes and best of’s correct. If not, I apologize to the UKC folks.

I have gained a new respect for dog owner’s, they are so proud and committed to their pets. This was a great new experience for me and I had a blast. I would do it again.

If you want to check out or donate to the help Shih Tzu rescues, please click on the links below.

Facebook Page:

Instagram Page:  Sass_Rescue


"Rosey" Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

“Rosey” Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

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Music Monday: David Paul Sherman

David 2013

I want to introduce my Cousin David. David, his brother and mon/dad lived next door to my family till we were all grown. It was great having 2 extra brothers, even though they teased my sister and me to death. Wonderful memories growing up next door to your cousins.

Davis is a pastor and a singer/songwriter. He is doing some great things preaching in his new church and sharing his love for music.

He has some beautiful lyrics about his family and the rest of us. I thought I should do a shameless plug for him and share what he is doing.

He performs all over the state of Ohio and usually records his music in Tennessee. He was written songs that have been sung by Alabama, Charlie Pride, Barbara Fairchild and a few more. David has shared a stage with some of the greats such as Ricky Skaggs and Loretta Lynn. Not too shabby for a boy raised in a small town from Ohio.

Love you David and so proud to call you my cousin.

I hope you enjoy and I’m sure he would love for you to check out his music. Just click on the link below and you can listen for free.

Reverbnation page:  You will need to join (free) to listen to his music. Well worth the effort.

Follow David on his Facebook page.                                                                Facebook page:


Guest Writer: Cousin Jennifer

I thought I would try something a little different by asking one of my cousins to write a blog post.

Introducing Cousin Jennifer. She is a beautiful and entertaining writer.

When I wrote about my “Amazing” cousins a couple of months ago, I mentioned Jennifer. She is the cousin that has struggled the past two years with brain tumors and 2 brain surgeries in one year. Jennifer is still on her road to a full recovery but is doing great. She is working again and discussing going back to school to finish her nursing degree. Jennifer is amazing and so resilient.

I know you will enjoy this post. I sure did.

Please leave comments if you want more of Jennifer’s insights and writings. I know I do.

dictionay thesearus

 They Call Me Loquacious*  By: Jennifer

I was always a curious child.  I talked too much.  Asked tons of questions.

This usually caused my teacher, mother, father, babysitter, or playmate to roll their eyes more than a few times per day.  I could tell when I had crossed the line, but it rarely stopped me.

My mom was daily singing the old song “You Talk Too Much” by Joe Jones. I have always wondered why that seemed to be her favorite song. Weird.

I like to think it was a passion for knowledge and not just the “gift of gab” that prompted me to manipulate every conversation.  If I didn’t understand, I asked.  If I didn’t agree, I let you know.  If you started a discussion on any topic I would add my expertise.  I thought you wanted it, you brought it up!

I have been told that I am a “plethora of useless knowledge.”  I tend to disagree with the useless part. Why isn’t it useful to know that a scorpion sting can cause pancreatitis?  Won’t you avoid scorpions now?

Didn’t you always want to know there are over 13,000 forks, knives, and spoons in the White House?  Wait, is that 13,000 each, or combined? Facts like that could help explain our national deficit!

Who doesn’t find it fascinating that 1000 birds a year die from smashing into windows?  Speaking of birds, did you know the owl is the only bird that can see the color blue? Blue used to be my favorite color, now it’s green.

Don’t you feel smarter now that you know all that? I’m only trying to help.

People always ask how I know so many silly facts.  I read…a lot.  I also have the ability to remember what I’ve read on the back of the Cheerio’s box 2 years ago.  Just don’t ask me to remember what I need at Target if I forget my list!

Each of us will be remembered for some quirky thing we do. I will be thought of every time you open a bottle of Snapple. Oh, you weren’t aware there is a trivia factoid on the inside of each cap? Well, I did.

You should sit beside me on a plane, at jury duty, or stand with me in line at the store. I don’t really mind if you’re a stranger. It’s actually better! You’re a blank canvas for my ramblings, and you never avoid me since you don’t know just how much I like to talk. Strangers are my favorite kind of people. No, old friends who know how I am and yet still choose to spend time with me, they are definitely my favorite.


  1. Talking or tending to talk much or freely; talkative; chattering; babbling
  2. Characterized by excessive talk; wordy

(Thank you to my cousin, Shelly, for asking me to be a guest blogger today! This was just as much fun as talking!)


Country Adventure: Site Seeing With Cousins

We had some family come from out of state for the family reunion. My cousin and his wife (I will refer to them as G for my cousin and T for his wife) came from Texas. She had never been to Ohio, let alone this little part that I live in.

While talking with T and G at the reunion, I was telling T about all the farms we have, a covered bridge and a reservoir all within a 20 minute drive from the reunion site.  She seemed so interested in all of this that I invited them to do some country site seeing the next day.

This is our little adventure:

G and T were staying at my sister’s house, which is out in the country and is beautiful. I drove to my sister’s house and they are ready to go. We load up in my car and headed to town because I needed some gas for the drive. They were so gracious and paid for my gas.  There’s some of that southern hospitality. We grabbed a couple drinks and were on our way.

The first stop was the covered bridge. T was so excited, she had never seen one before. On the drive to the bridge there were lot of corn and soy bean fields.  The corn was standing over 6 feet tall and the beans about waist high. All fully grown and green for miles. G was telling her that she will always see on one side of the road there will be corn and the other side will be beans. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s how things are done in Ohio.

As we round the corner there sets this red covered bridge. I swear I heard a gasp come for T’s mouth. I couldn’t stop the car fast enough for her to get out and explore. She grabbed her phone and camera and started taking pictures within a few feet of the car. She was snapping pictures before I got out of the car.  I should also let you know that T is a photographer. (A great photographer too). We spent about 40 minutes just taking pictures and exploring the covered bridge and its surroundings.

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge 

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge







The next stop was Ohio Caverns. Ohio Caverns is a popular tourist attraction. I had to drive through my home town in order to get to Ohio Caverns. T took more photos of barns, fields and whatever caught her attention along the way.

Just outside the city limits is a John Deere dealership. It’s where our local farmers can buy a new tractors and such. T had not seen anything like this. All the new tractors lined up and shiny. I stopped and we took some pictures.

John Deere Combines

John Deere Combines

The drive to the caverns is beautiful. All farm land, hills and trees for miles. The cavern sets on a large hill and overlooks the farms and trees. The caverns offer a large shelter house to hold family functions or just a picnic.

The land the caverns sets on has over 50 different types of trees. Which you can take a tour of. Many different flowers and rocks that have fossils in them to explore. Just beautiful.

We didn’t do the tour of the caverns but did wander the grounds for a while.  We went into the gift shop to look around. G and T decided to get some souvenirs for the grandkids.

If you’re ever in Ohio, you need to visit Ohio Caverns. It’s open year around and is just breath taking in the fall when the leaves change.

Ohio Caverns: flowers and rocks

Ohio Caverns: lowers and rocks

OC Sign

OC Sign

Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns






On our way to the reservoir. I showed T a barn quilt. This is a barn or business that has a patchwork art on the barn/building. These patches are painted, they can be on wood or metal. The patchwork is to embrace what the farm or business is about. These may look like your everyday quilt patch or they are designed by the owner and placed on the building.

There are over 80 barn quilts in my county alone and there is a tour too.

She found many more of the barn quilts when they visited Berlin Ohio (Holmes County).

Barn Quilt

Barn Quilt

We arrived at the reservoir, called Buck Creek Reservoir. It’s a large body of water that has camp grounds, cabin rentals, fishing, a beach and a marina.

We stopped at the marina to take some pictures of the water and boats. To my surprise I see T taking pictures of the wild flowers and weeds growing near the water. I asked her…with all this water and tress, why are you taking pictures of weeds? Her response was “we don’t have things like this growing in Texas.”

We drove around the reservoir, stopped a few times and visited the beach. Then headed back to my sister’s home, stopping a few more times along the way to take pictures of more barn quilts and a couple of old churches.

Buck Creek

Buck Creek

Buck Creek

Buck Creek

Bird at Buck Creek

Bird at Buck Creek

We spent about 5 hours just driving around and visiting a few locations. I had great time showing them some things they had not seen before. I can’t wait for them to come back, I have more ideas for the next adventure.

I have to say, on my drive back home I had a grin on my face. I also realized I have taken my little state for granted. All those wild flowers that grow along the side of the rode, beside the corn/bean fields are unique and special.

Seeing red barns everywhere is also special, not all states have red barns. Especially ones that have a barn quilt on them.

Watching someone discover something new is exciting. Thank you G and T for helping me remember why the state of Ohio is so special to me.

Tell me what is special about your home state.