Ladies Christmas Brunch

Every year on the first Saturday in December our church women’s fellowship puts on a ladies brunch with food, music, quilts to give away and a program. The men of the church do the serving and clean up – isn’t that a spectacular idea? Last year the weather was so bad and it was snowing heavily when we were leaving – the men cleaned snow off the cars, started them to get warm and then drove them to the front door for us to step into and drive away. Really a nice gesture, don’t you think?

I took two guests – Ihla in the red jacket who goes to our church and Marlene in the black and white who is the activity director at Concord Care Center. (This is not a very good picture but it is what it is!)

Table decorations – clever!

And this favor which is two Hershey nuggets taped together on the bottom and scripture in a tiny print with a red string for a bookmark – VERY clever.

The program was so very interesting and was delivered by Julienne Friday, a professor at Waldorf College in Forest City, 12 miles north of Garner – also where Becky lives. She makes Renaissance string instruments.

This is called a psaltry.

It is played with a small bow with horsehair strings. She was giving a children’s sermon one time during a televised service and telling the kids about the instrument – explaining that the letter strings were on one side and the sharps and flats on the opposite side. She posed the question to the kids: “what’s the most important string?” A little boy piped up immediately “the G string!” And of course it was all caught on TV – hahaha!

It was an excellent program and I’m sorry Becky wasn’t there because she would have appreciated the instruments.

I stopped at Marline’s house on the way home to see her dog Finn. Quite a few years ago I worked with a transport team who drove dogs from kill shelters in the south to Minneapolis where rescues and fosters had agreed to take the dogs and find homes for them. One of the dogs I transported in my car was Finn – my friends, Al and Ginny, were also on this transport and took my picture with Finn. I fell in love with him! But dogs cannot be removed from transport and I had 5 dogs at that time. So Finn left my van and traveled to a rescue in Mpls. where he was adopted out twice and returned because he was WILD! He’d come from a mill, had never had any freedom and his adoptive families just didn’t want to work with him. It was easier to return him. I happened to find out and I was frantic to find him a home – a permanent home. I walked into the bank where Marline was working at the time and as I told her the story she said, “We’ll go get him!”

Do you have those times when you just hang your head in awe and think – this was a God moment? THIS was one of those times. Marline’s husband Robert arranged to go get him, paid a steep price to the rescue who had already failed twice, and drove home with Finn. As they came into Garner, Bob told Finn he’d never have to leave again- he was home forever!

I have goosebumps and watery eyes just thinking about this story. It’s my pleasure to introduce you all to Finn –

Isn’t he just the cutest dog? I took so many pictures and this is all I have to show you because he was a blur – ha!

And that my best story for today. We’re watching the Wisconsin/Ohio State game!


59 thoughts on “Ladies Christmas Brunch

  1. Jo in Wyoming

    What a great story about Finn.
    Hooray to the guys for being so thoughtful to you all at this time of year. I think that is beautiful.

  2. Diane in Maryland

    A wonderful story of love for the Christmas season! Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Dee Dee Peterson

    Finn looks like he has found the perfect home. The favors are very clever. Sounds like a great day!

  4. Nikki in Tx

    Finn is lucky dog to have had you in his corner, & it would be a Godwink if you asked me.
    Things have been hectic & crazy of late, more on that later.
    Still 2 projects to get bound for gifts, binding not my favorite.
    Tree trimmers for electric did such a good job have hired them to do some other work for me, excited to get it done as have wanted & needed it done for a long time.
    Cannot believe Christmas so close, I have done NO decorating & since not hosting this year may not do any as don’t feel like getting in attic.
    How wonderful that the men of the church show the women such appreciation.
    If I don’t post a comment again before the holidays, Merry Christmas to All!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki – I, too, am not going to the attic and dragging out everything for 2 weeks! I am not having any company this Christmas and I just don’t think I have the energy to do it. Tree trimmers are pretty great guys to hire, aren’t they? My only complaint is that they dig up my yard/grass so badly and it takes a long time to get it nice again. I’m wondering why your life has been so hectic lately. I dislike binding, too, and my red and white snowball #12 isn’t making much progress. Since I can’t sleep at night or at least the first half, I guess I’ll sew. Take it easy on yourself, Nikki!

  5. Rhoda Ebersole

    That is a wonderful story about Finn. Your church women’s luncheon sounded superb.
    Our chief women’s organizer moved to Utah 😩

    You look terrific
    Merry Christmas

  6. Kathy

    O I love the story about Finn, So happy he has a forever home and just in time for Christmas, He is beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing

  7. the other Angie

    Mary, it was all so wonderful, but Finn! Think of all the things that had to happen for Finn to find his forever family and his perfect home and it was no accident that you were right in the middle of all that. Those things always amaze me – and I always think “That was a God thing!” . Makes me smile! Have a very good week!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      The other Angie – oh, believe me, I think of it often – it’s got His hand all over it!

  8. Pat Smith

    I found the table decorations so clever that I took a screen shot of them in case I’m ever on the decorating committee at our church. The story about Finn was wonderful. I used to volunteer in the cat room at our shelter in Stowe, VT. One cat was so wild that I had to wear leather gloves to the elbow to take her to the play room so I could clean her kennel. I kept agonizing over the fact that no one would ever adopt such a cat. But, one day a man came in, walked up to her cage, and instead of the usual snarls, she rolled on the floor and made purring sounds. That man adopted her, so you never know. When we got up to 4 cats, my husband said I’d have to participate in some other way since I couldn’t seem to leave the cats at the shelter for others to adopt.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat – oh that is exactly why I would never volunteer at the shelter – it just wouldn’t be safe! Finn has such energy, even now! He is a great dog!

  9. Launa

    Your game score is close, Mary. Quite a few college games today.
    So good to see you visiting Finn in his forever home!
    Did some sewing as the younger retired kids cut our tree this morning just before a snow started falling here in Idaho. Tomorrow we decorate. This tree has the best fragrance!
    Thanks for the pictures today!

  10. Linda from Oconomowoc

    Yes, go WISCONSIN!!!

    I have tears in my eyes from your Finn story.
    Yes, God does create miracles all the time. We just have to open our hearts and minds to see it.

  11. Charlotte S

    I love Finn’s story too. I love those table decorations and the favors also. We had our Christmas luncheon yesterday. It used to be for seniors only but they opened it to all adults. Our table decorations were very pretty but I didn’t take a picture. I love the idea of giving away quilts but I think there are only a couple of quilters in our church. The luncheon committee go to different businesses that donate gift cards (mostly restaurants but some were for car washes). My husband won a card to a local fish restaurant (one of my favorites). It was fun…great food, prizes, fellowship, singing and the Christmas message. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  12. Claire

    What a lovely story of the adoption of Finn, he looks such a beautiful boy and it is wonderful that he has finally found his forever home. Is he a groodle?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Claire – I have to admit I do not know what a Groodle is – something with poodle, I assume. I don’t think we’ll ever know his parentage because of his sketchy past.

      1. Jeanne H

        Finn is adorable! I wish I could run my hands over him to check his bone structure. Since you said he was from a mill, he could be just about anything, but he reminds me of a Bearded Collie. The AKC photos are, of course, of the breed in show coat, but some people keep the dog’s coat short since they may not want to have to groom daily. DH and I had a Beardie for over 10 years, and still miss him even now, 10 years later.

        I wonder what a groodle is too! LOL

        Good luck to everyone in the run-up to Xmas, and getting all of their planned projects done.

        Merry Christmas to all! : )

  13. Kim J LeMere

    Finn looks like he loves his forever home, isn’t his face just loveable? On Wisconsin!! I love that the men of the church give you ladies the royal treatment and how considerate to go and warm up the cars, bravo to them all. Our daughter will be here for Christmas so I must do some decorating but I don’t think the tree is on the list. We are going to see all the holiday lights at Cheekwood our botanical garden and then to our zoo for the Chinese lantern festival display. Plenty of lights for us all.

  14. Kathy Hanson

    Each time you write your blog it is better than the last one! As everyone says, your story about Fin is so priceless – ,many thanks to the gentleman who has given him a forever home! You have such an interesting life and are so compassionate! You are “one in a million” and all of us are so happy to call you FRIEND!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Hanson – oh my goodness, Kathy, thank you! I have such a love of animals and dogs and cats in particular. If I could have managed it, Finn would have come home with me BUT he has the perfect family who treasure him and will love him all his life!

  15. Carrolyn v.

    What a wonderful post, Mary! Full of fun ideas for groups, decorating ideas, your G string story and of course, your Finn story. We are now pet less after over 30 years each of having multiple pets. We really would like another but would once again be so restricted. Severe family allergies would prevent fun visitors…and we wouldn’t be able to do our day activities without one of us being home. Soooooooo…..Alas……no more.

  16. Carolyn Boutilier

    How nice the gentlemen take over the church luncheon. Thank you for sharing the story of Finn. He is one lucky dog to have a forever home. Glad you are feeling better and getting out for the Christmas festivities.
    All my Christmas decorations are up but like you say it is tough getting them out of our storage shed and from upstairs. I do it for our granddaughter but this year she is sharing an apartment and is finishing her last year of college. love all your pictures.
    Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA

  17. Earlene in Arizona

    Mary, You look beautiful! And thank you for sharing your lovely table decorating and favors. Fin. Is a wondrtful treasure
    You made my day!

  18. Diane Bauer

    I arrived back in Colorado shortly after 9 pm tonight— long day in the car nets me a day to unpack the car and go retrieve the dogs. I can’t wait to see them!! Jenica would prefer I leave them with her this week. I think not!!!!
    What a story Finn has!! I, too, had tears in my eyes! Yes, God moment, for sure! I have a friend in Boston who does transfers. She, too, often wants to just take them home!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane – I’m so glad you made it home! Wow, that was a long day of driving, wasn’t it? And no course Jen cannot have the doggies for another week! I wish I could be a little mouse in the corner when they see you!

  19. Caryn Goulden

    Mary, thank you for a lovely blog post today. The story of Finn brought tears. Yes, it was a God moment.

  20. Susan B.

    The story about Finn is wonderful! I love the way you put your love for animals into action protecting them and finding them homes.

  21. Lois Ann Johnson

    Mary: I loved your story about Finn, the dog no one wanted. I usually adopt “rescue” dogs and my last one came from a shelter. She (Bailey) had been in two different homes; she had no training or discipline that I could see, and she was already two years old. She is a pit bull terrier, probably another strike against her. I adopted her in July and I can see a remarkable change in her already. She is still pretty wild, but she is learning manners and how to listen to me. She is also a very lovable little girl. Bailey is in her “forever home” now! Our first Christmas together.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lois Ann – thank you for not giving up on Bailey! She will be your best friend forever and she deserves nothing less!

  22. Susan

    Finn certainly had some angels watching over him, welcome home, Finn. Sorry about the Badgers, but what a year!

  23. Kathy in western NY

    Mary – you just continue to amaze me with all with your wonderful stories in your life. Love knowing the men of your church show kindness and serve the food and last year brought the cars for the ladies to get into to keep them safe. You look so festive and cheerful and nothing like enjoying good food at a church gathering.
    Thank you for bringing hope into that poor dogs horrible beginning and helping Finn find the love and compassion deserved. Bless Al and Ginny for giving him a chance to live in a forever home. You deserve to be St Mary …right up there with St Francis. Our children’s pageant is this morning at church and I love it for all the meaning and involvement from everyone. I take the whole season in with awe and wonder just like the little children. Just find a nice evergreen wreath Mary and hang it up to savor all the joys you have and bring to us.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in NY – just want to clarify one thing in case the parties read this. Al and a Ginny were driving on the transport but it’s Bob and Marline who gave Finn his wonderful life. And now my friends Al and a Ginny have moved to South Carolina to live closer to their son – and enjoy the warmer weather! Finn ‘s story should be all dogs’ story! Oh how I wish I could guide more dogs to a perfect home like Finn has! Bob and Marline are good people through and through.

      1. Diane in Maryland

        I just bet that Bob and Marline think they are the lucky ones to be blessed with Finn!

  24. Deb Harrison

    Best wishes to Connie after the new year!!! Loved the Ladies party at your church, the decorations and especially the little favors and the chance to see a handmade stringed instrument. Finn’s story had me in tears!

  25. Dianne Cook

    Oh Mary, what a wonderful lunch you had. And a lovely story about Finn. We are now enjoying our third rescue dog, who is now six. The last two lived to be fifteen and thirteen. All have been very active larger dogs, but have learned to live with us and as we are now retired, can spend lots of time with the. They make each day happier. Good to hsee you out and about again.

  26. sheryl harrison

    i love your story about finn. it makes me sad when people make a commitment, things don’t work out, but instead of figuring it out a solution to avoid the problem or working with the dog, they either return the dog or let the problem continue.

  27. Joyce from NY

    What wonderful stories you told us today about the church luncheon & Finn. You are such a kind lady.

  28. Sue

    Love the story about Finn- also love the cat on the counter- that’s where mine are usually found!

  29. Ellie

    What a lovely post this morning and finishing with the best news! The story of Finn would be a lovely children’s story! Rescues are the best!

  30. Sharon Lowy

    What an amazing dog. Finn is beautiful and I am so glad he has a forever home.💕

  31. Marie Fibelstad

    Our dog KC (white lab) was adopted from People for Pets in Spencer 14 years ago and they told us we were the 3rd family to adopt her, 2 others returned her but we didn’t find out why, until a few months later KC had a seizure and we knew then, but we loved her never even thought of returning her, she was our girl.
    Had tears when read your Flinn story, great people to take a chance on him.
    Enjoy your animal pictures and stories and of course the quilting projects. Marie from IA

  32. Vickie Lemonds

    You look so good, Mary, and wearing real clothes! Gosh, what a nice recovery you had from your knee replacement. You look wonderful and the luncheon looked liked fun. Finn is adorable and who couldn’t love that face? You saved a life, so proud of all the nice things you do.

  33. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    What a wonderful day you had!!! Food, friendship, quilts and DOGS!!!!!!❤️❤️ My kind of day for sure.

  34. Vickie Lemonds in NC

    You look wonderful, Mary, and so soon after your surgery. Clever table adornments and the Finn story was very heartwarming. Thanks to you and your kindness, Finn is loved and has a home. You do so much good in this world, Mary. Such an inspiration to us all!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Vickie in NC – thank you for the unique Christmas card! It’s nearly frameable – so nice of you!

  35. Marian Stever

    The Ladies Luncheon looked to be so much fun. Glad the weather wasn’t awful on that day. We have below zero coming up this week!!!! The FINN STORY was just great. He looks to be a great addition to their family. He looks cuddly when not moving!!! Now back to finishing a table quilt before Christmas! Good to hear you are making good progress with your knee replacement!

  36. Vickie Devore

    Love reading about your life so much. So happy for Finn and love the “hershey bars turned into an open bible”!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing

  37. Sunflower from Michigan

    I loved your story about Finn also. It reminds me of my daughters rescue dog, Bowser. You put a picture of Bowser on the blog a while back when he was sitting In The lawn chair, remember? He’s such a beautiful dog and is a blessing in her life.
    I was looking for something in my sewing fabric cupboard this week and realized I have more UFO’s that I forgot about! Oh, dear. This challenge has been helpful. Take care, you are looking great, Mary.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sunflower – YES! Of course I remember Bowser – I long for more stories like Finn and Bowser so more homeless dogs get forever homes!

  38. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

    Blessings to you for keeping up on Finn and finding him the perfect home!! He just needed some patience and love. Our neighbors are like that. They have rescued some great little guys.
    We got our Christmas tree today. My dad’s hobby was growing Christmas trees and he was a member of the New York State Christmas tree growers. My siblings and I learned a lot about hard work, earning money, and being compassionate from pruning, planting, and selling the trees from our porch.
    Boo hiss to On Wisconsin!! The Buckeyes came through for just fine:) Good for them!!
    The church luncheon sounded perfect and the decorations were really neat.
    You are a true blue good person, Mary, even if you were rooting agains the Bucks!!

  39. Marilyn Holder

    Love your story about Finn, so glad he found a forever home. Had a Christmas gathering with my yoga group at the home of a big-hearted woman. Her rescue dog came running to greet me, very polite and knows a few tricks…a lovely morning.

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