Saturday, July 31, 2010

Live in the Moment

Father Tim said, "I believe if I were charged with having a goal, it would be to live without fretting––to live more fully in the moment, not always huffing about as I've done in recent years ... to live humbly––and appreciatively––with whatever God furnishes. Yes, that would be my goal." (from Light From Heaven by Jan Karon).

I need to hear this today and every day!

Reposted from July 2008; connecting to Chari's Happy to Design for Sunday Favorites.

Friday, July 30, 2010

the day I added one to my age

1. Eldest son pushed these into my hands.

2. And first thing in the morning, Little One sends a sweet f-cebo-k greeting
(with her mama's help,  I'm sure) !

3. Lydia Grace always thinks of me
when she sees Blue and White, and
collects all year long ...  :-)

4. And someone (whose name begins with "G") 
listened to my wish list (lower item).

5. Dear friends, packing to move, gave up precious time to spend an evening with us.
She made blueberry tea, and I got to choose the pizza toppings: mushrooms and
black olives--and ground beef (a nod to the gentlemen in the group).

6. I found this at my door!  

7. And today I'm thinking on this: ". . . All the days ordained for me were written in your 
book before one of them came to be. How precious are your thoughts, oh God! 
How vast is the sum of them!" 
(Ps. 139)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

in the pink

I have a mental picture of my grandmother, as a young bride during difficult times, trudging up to the dime store to purchase some pretty dishes. I don't think they cost much, otherwise they would not be called "depression glass." When I was a teenager I was privileged to receive my grandmother's old cedar hope chest, and inside was her large set of depression glass. It was really a dessert set with no glasses or cups, but lots of interesting serving pieces.

Eventually I found mugs, large plates and bowls at kmart and finally had something that looked OK to drink from. But I always hoped, in the back of my mind, to eventually find teacups. Over the years I've never found just the right ones ... until last week.

You know how it is ... there they were, just there calling me from a little town near the NC/GA border. I didn't have the saucers with me, and I've learned there are different colors of pink depression glass,
 ...but I was pretty sure so went on and bought them, the price was sooo good!

Brought them home and the color was a perfect match, as was the design. Quite possibly they were meant to be together!  Now I'm wondering about the story behind these cups. How did they get separated from the rest of their family of dishes? And how were they purchased, and what was the home like where they were used? My mind can really go on things like this!

Now, anybody for tea?

Can you determine which pink piece is not "real" depression glass ?

Joining Susan's Between Naps on the Porch  for Tablescape Thursday.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Something that always amazes me, makes me pause, wonder, relish, enjoy ... are crepe myrtles.
They seem their most vibrant when the weather is the hot, hot, hottest.

How can they stand so tall and regal, so full of life and blooms, when everything else 
withers and dies without regular watering?

I like to think to think of them as a graceful "compensation package" for us having
 to endure our hot summers here in the south.  :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

cabin fare

Al fresco dining at its best. 

Three meals a day on a wonderful porch with a great view of a sparkling lake. 
We loved the colorful tablecloth, and do you see my paper-towel-napkins-with-a-flare?

All part of our "R and R" last week in the mountains. Nothing could be finer!

Go to Between Naps on the Porch if you'd like to see more "tablescapes on thursdays." It's her 100th.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

small town windows

These windows in the little village of Telico Plains captivated me last week when we wandered across  some winding roads and beautiful mountain views into Tennessee.

Monday, July 19, 2010

birthday beans

My friend Christiana has been gifted with the gift of giving. For one thing, the past three summers she has invited us to use her family's cottage in the south west corner of our state. We were there again last week and when we walked in the door I was "flabbergasted" at what was waiting for us.

Last winter she read on my blog that I like to create stews and soups and often throw in a can of beans. So she had this idea that she would give me a big basket of beans (and some soup) for my birthday. She was set on the Pr*gresso brand because I had mentioned I only used this more expensive brand because it was on sale. So Christiana, in her true fashion, was intent and being sure these beans were that brand. She even went to GW to find the perfect basket to place them in, then decorated it all with a big red bow.

Christiana's story about going to WM to find the beans is so funny; she really needs to start her own blog.  $250 later she left the massive store quite frustrated, not having found the beans she wanted. But she tells the story much better.

Looks like we'll be eating some beans in the coming months. Thanks my friend. And I love the basket!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


  • I could get a new set of dishes at least once a month. I love dishes and I know I'm not alone in this.
  • I like to set a pretty table, and I know I'm not the only one who likes this.
  • I love to take pictures and to look at them. I'm not the only one.
  • I love pretty flowers, pretty food, and good recipes. Does anyone else?
  • I like to change the furniture around and fix things up around the house. Not alone on this one.
  • I find it fun to shop charity shops for bargains and delights. Who else likes this?
  • Family is important to me. Am I alone?
  • I have been called nostalgic. I like history and old things, and how they help me remember the past and to know who I am. And I'm not the only one.
  • I like to see God in everyday life. And I know I'm not alone on this one either.
So, in case I ever wonder if I am unique or something, the "blogging world" answers that for me. We who blog are alike in many ways, and by reading blogs, we find that out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

more from the off-highway lunch stop

When we detoured for lunch into Beaufort, SC, we enjoyed seeing some lovely old homes, 
such as this is a "B and B" on the water front.

I love the 2nd floor porch on the side of this yellow house.

A one-room-wide house (sorry, taken through a car window).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

off highway lunch

We detoured to a quaint touristy town when we were traveling south awhile ago. We stumbled upon a small cafe for lunch, and since we were lunching early, we almost had the place to ourselves. It was quiet.

In time, more folks arrived, and as I looked around I realized most were around our age group--certainly all were over 40. Then the music came on. Oldies. And with the "oldies" you can't keep away the memories.

It became "one of those moments," as I realized that we, all strangers eating at separate tables, had become connected by music. Music that played on the radio when big things were happening in our young lives. Anyone around my age will understand. I'm glad the Gardener and I went to college together, for when a old 60's song comes on we just have to look at each other to know we are remembering the same thing. Such fun, those "oldies." And such fun growing older together.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rose-Colored Glasses

The first time I remember experiencing rose colored glasses was looking out on the formal garden at Windsor Castle. I must have picked up some cheap sunglasses somewhere in London and put them on when we walked out on the balcony to view the garden. I still remember its exquisite beauty. But when I took the glasses off, I was appalled at the difference. For the garden was still lovely, but had lost its vivid luster and gleam.

The other day, driving along while admiring the beauty of the fall colors, I pulled an old pair of sunglasses out of the glove compartment. The leaves on the trees instantly turned to a brilliant gold and orange and red. The beauty was almost breathtaking, but not so when I pulled the glasses down my nose and looked above them. I was reminded of rose colored glasses and the phrase "looking at the world through rose colored glasses."

So I decided to do some research. Google of course. Every mention of the phrase, of which there aren't many, has sort of negative connotations. For instance, one article said parents tend to view their children through rose colored glasses, and they should wake up and realize their kids aren't all that great. I found references to the expression being viewed as "a cheerful optimistic" view of the world; and some "unfortunate people never take their glasses off." The phrase goes back at least 150 years when "it is first recorded in 'Tom Brown at Oxford': 'Oxford was a sort of Utopia to the Captain. He continued to behold towers, and quadrangles, and chapels through rose-colored glasses.'" (From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson.)

Maybe rose colored glasses show us a bit of what heaven will be like. But if we always "wear rose colored glasses," we may not pay attention to our messed up world, or see things that need to be cared for or dealt with. Nonetheless, a little more optimism might not hurt any of us. And I'm thinking that with  the world-view a relationship with God provides, the world should be viewed with rose-colored glasses. For, as my five-year-old niece recently told me, "All that God made is very good." No matter what difficulties occur in life, we know all is allowed by God and touched by His hand.

I'll keep those rose colored glasses in the glove compartment. When I enjoy the view of life they give me, I'll be reminded that all that God made is very good.

Photo by A.S. My good friend is moving to Austria next month and this will be the view out her window. 
Text reposted from four years ago. 

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

book brunch

Brunch inside "Boniface's" cool house on a hot day is a pleasant way to spend a summer morning.
 We read Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller and had record attendance.

The food, served on Boniface's grandmother's beautiful china, was superb 
and her table was lovely.

The book is deeply personal and affected each of us in different ways.
We shared some of those ways with each other during our lively discussion.

Quote: "A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, 
should you lose it,  your life would hardly be worth living." (xviii)

(to answer questions re. food above: almond/blueberry scones, and spinach quiche.)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

shoulder taps

Yesterday as I got ready for work I thought about a young friend whose baby is due this month. I wondered when in the month she was due, and I wondered if I'd be working and could care for this second son as I did the first. It turns out that just at the time she came into my thoughts, she was actually arriving at the hospital. It was such a joy to help her feed her baby, bathe him, and get him going in life.

Last week I came across some photos of us in rather hilarious outfits: the Gardener in a too-short wildly flowered red shirt (not his style) and me in a flowered "moo-moo." We had arrived in an African country and our luggage hadn't followed us. When it's so very hot you need a change of clothes and this is what our older colleagues came up with from their closet. The odd thing is that we hadn't thought of these people or the experience in a long time. But the very same day I found the photos, the Gardener met up with their son visiting from California. He grew up in that African house, and we knew him apart from his parents. We hadn't seen him in years, but here he was, an old friend, right in front of our eyes.  The very same day I found the photos.

Lately I've been noticing a lot of these little "coincidences." They seem to infiltrate my days. I may be making more of them than I should, but I like to observe details and connect dots. Since I believe God ordains each of my days, I don't believe these are truly coincidences, and they may even have a purpose ... beyond any that I can figure out. Because they show me God through out my day, I envision them as little taps on my shoulder. "I'm here." Anyone who believes in a Creator knows that He's "into details." 

Sunday, July 04, 2010

red, white and blue

My assignment was to bring dessert and roasted red potato salad to a 3rd of July picnic. I wanted a patriotic-looking dessert. That's where the "wonders of blogging" comes in. Earlier this week I saw a wonderful dessert on Leann's blog, The Old Parsonage. I realized, as she indicated, that this could be adapted to make it even more colorful. So I made it and it worked beautifully! In fact, I'm making it for our bookclub brunch this week!  I changed it by simply using strawberry pie filling and tossing some fresh blueberries here and there. (Even though the frosting made it sweet enough for me, the Gardener, being a man, thought ice cream or at least whip cream or cool whip would have made a nice addition. Doesn't that sound like a man?)  Check out the recipe here. Thanks, Leann!

See Little Red House for other mosaics for Monday.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Patience! The Tea Will Come

Years ago we used to make sun tea--sitting a glass bottle out on the deck all day. I prefer a much cooler method now ... I just sit a pitcher out on the countertop for 6-10 hours (no water boiling, just cool water and teabags). Our favorite right now is blueberry "patience" tea.  I usually add a little sweetener and stick it in the frig after a few hours on the counter. Recipe: 5-6 blueberry herbal tea bags (such a celestial seasonings) and a large pitcher of water. It is sooo refreshing on a hot day! Pretty too.
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