Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

A Merry Heart– A Visit with Mr. Rogers

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

I didn’t grow up with Mr. Rogers, and my kids didn’t either– no cable– but every time I’ve seen him I’ve wished we had! What a kind man and great teacher. Before you watch the video, let me tell you a story shared by a dear friend of mine:

 He was a superior human being. I’ll always remember being his busboy at The Plaza Hotel. He was running a meeting for PBS execs, and when I brought over more butter for their bread, he stopped what he was doing, turned around to make eye contact with me and said, “Thank you for the butter.” HIS VOICE saying thank you for the butter. Priceless. So kind.

This is a flashback clip of a young boy visiting Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, then the boy all grown up surprising Mr. Rogers at his TV Hall of Fame induction. I know sometimes I can’t take 11 minutes to watch a video and maybe you can’t either– so here are the highlights:

3:00 They sing together. (Cuteness overload!)

5:32 the Awards ceremony begins

7:40 Mr. Rogers’ message. This is the heart of it. FAME is a 4-letter word.


A Merry Heart– “As We Age…”

I’m the youngest among my husband’s brother, sister, and in-laws; and we have all passed the 50-mark, so a popular conversation is “as we age…” We bemoan the challenges and gripe about doctors that begin sentences with that dreaded phrase!

I just found Mary Maxwell and I believe she might be a new favorite. She is reading the opening prayer at a home health agency’s banquet. But be sure to keep listening– the first minute and a half sound like a regular prayer, then she gets very funny.

She has a blog, Laughing with Mary Maxwell, on a larger blog about long-term caregivers. If you are in that season of life, I would imagine she would have some great insight!

In the meantime, enjoy… and if you aren’t quite there yet, wait just a while. It’ll get here quicker than you can imagine!


A Merry Heart– July 14

A merry heart is good medicine…
Proverbs 17:22

I couldn’t quit smiling while I was watching this sweet video.

“It’s a beautiful world we live in. You forget about all the crises going on everywhere when you see that miracle of life in front of you!”

Let’s be careful not to be distracted by the problems around us, but to keep our eyes open to see the beauty all around us!


A Merry Heart– July 7

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

If you’ve not met Tim Hawkins, you are missing out! He’s sort of the Weird Al of Christian comedy… here is his take of the sweet love song “Hey There, Delilah.” (from the viewpoint of Samson)

(If you’d like to see the original, here it is.)


A Merry Heart– Independence Day Edition

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

I know it’s only June 30, but American Independence Day will be here this Thursday, so I wanted to help you get in the mood with a little fireworks display.

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A Merry Heart– June 23

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

If you are involved in education in any way– and probably even if you’re not– you know one of the buzz-words of the year is BULLYING. Cypress Ranch, a school in the suburbs of Houston made this “lip dub” video featuring many, many of their students and organizations. It’s a very positive message, and really well done!

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A Merry Heart– June 16 (Fathers’ Day Edition)

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

Happy Fathers’ Day! I’m so thankful for all our wonderful dads!

I love this picture of Mr X and our kids!



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A Merry Heart– June 9

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

Searching “inspiration” on Youtube, this video featuring Derek Redmond at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics was suggested. It’s my favorite Olympic scene ever. We have all been in Derek’s shoes– where we just couldn’t take another step without the support of our Heavenly Father, and loving earthly friends; may we also find ways to be Derek’s father, and lift those who can’t make the journey alone.


A Merry Heart– June 2

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

Auntie Em has been working in the garden during every spare minute. School will be out in one more week, and I’m looking forward to being able to write a bit more– in the meantime, let me share my garden with you! It makes my heart merry; hopefully it will do the same for yours!

Some pretty flowers– black and blue salvia (spreads by underground roots, so if you have good soil, be vigilant about keeping it in its place!) and giant iris. I love blue in the garden!

In the garden- black and blue   image

Easter lilies that waited till Mother’s Day to bloom– but when they did, it was pretty spectacular! And I was inspired by Pinterest to make a shade pot– I love the way it turned out.

In the garden-- Easter lilies In the garden- shade pot

Mr X moved a baker’s rack that was holding junk in a junk room/extra bedroom, and I straightened up the front porch. I also made a sun pot and gave a hibiscus a buddy.

image image

I cleaned up a front bed after buying some time planting potatoes, and am halfway to having it done. I’m putting a few things in the front, then laying newspaper and mulching. Don’t the hydrangeas look happy?

In the garden- hydrangeas image image image

But the veggie garden has been taking up most of my time. Before long it will be brutally hot outside and I want to get as much as possible done before that. We have planted asparagus, corn, beans, lettuce, and herbs in existing flower beds around the house.

In the garden - veggies in the flower bed image

But because we have all this dirt, and one of my rules is Be Frugal, I started talking about expanding. Mr X took the ball and ran with it, mowing and bagging leaves, raking them up for mulch. He built a beautiful sturdy trellis and walkways with treated lumber, and we’ve added a lot of space to plant. It’s not all planted yet but the newspaper and leaves are killing the grass, making a wonderful topsoil that will be great when it does get planted.

New garden bed image New garden bed image




A Merry Heart– May 12– Mother’s Day Edition

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

Happy Mother’s Day! Here are 2 funny but true depictions of a mom’s life by Anita Renfroe. Enjoy!


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