Sunday, July 29, 2012

still standing

I couldn't help but snap a few pictures of some glorious old houses in a small Pennsylvania town.
Some larger than others, all old, but all wonderful to my eyes.
Interesting porches seem to be a theme; they were certainly needed in the days 
before air conditioning. (These houses probably still don't have central air.)

      A feast for my eyes, taken through the car window, on a cloudy day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

fit for a queen

I just got in from a family wedding out of town. Nothing could be more refreshing today than to spend a couple of hours catching up with friends as they celebrated the beginning of the "countdown to my birth day." (aside: sometimes I think birth days should be celebrated by the mothers; one time I even sent a card to my mom in that regard.) One friend, called Robin on this blog, had just returned from five weeks mostly in England and brought some Stuff (capital "S").

We ate very special, oversized cookies (made to be broken into perfect pie-shaped pieces) in a beautiful tin celebrating the queen's jubilee. We each had a royal napkin. And Robin remembered us all with a treat of Marks and Spencer organic fair trade tea.

I even calorie-splurged with a cold dark chocolate drink on this over 100 degree day ... I think my first of such deliciousness! (thanks LG!) I felt sort of like a queen. But most of all, it was just such a treat to be with dear friends. It's so much fun to grow older together.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Believe it or not, I won a talent contest when I was newly 17, telling the story of "Prinderella and the Cince." I stood sideways in rags or a princess gown, depending on parts of the story, interchanging consonants and acting out the punctuation. Strangely enough I can still say much of the story from memory.

Little One, now four, is into all things princess right now. It seems, at least when I'm with her, that her favorite thing is acting out the stories. Some days it's Cinderella, and other days its Rapunzel.

Of course Prinderella Cinderella always brings back memories of those long ago days. When I showed her this picture her eyes widened a bit.

The last time we babysat she was already in princess attire and ran upstairs to get the "glass slippers.""I promise, Grandma, we'll only tell it two times." (Not that I was complaining, but we have done as many as six reviews of the tale at one sitting.) And after all, this grandma gets to be: prince, gairy fodmother, stegly upsisters, the princes' courier, and sometimes mouse turned into coachman. Phew! It can be exhausting! But such a reward when the glass slipper fits! We're all smiles and twinkles in eyes!
(look how her feet have grown in a year!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

repeat performance

I do seem drawn to patterns, or repeats. I love to photograph a row of chairs, 
or that kind of thing. So here are my notecards for this month. All mosaics I 
made for past posts, and all sort of "repeats" of the same image. 
Spruced up a bit to make them a bit more like notecards.
I think they would be fun cards to write a note on.
My,  even in these you can see a trend in colors I favor! I guess I can't help myself!

You will enjoy a visit to Vee's A Haven for Vee  to view other sets of photo notecards.

Friday, July 13, 2012

summer crepes

The hotter it gets here in summer, it seems the more vibrantly the crepe myrtles bloom. 
At least they like the heat. I was struck by this scene outside the facility 
where my mother lives. Crepes are nicely framing the gazebo in a lovely pink!

Connecting to Pink Saturdays at How Sweet the Sound.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


 As I lay on the stretcher, my surgeon stopped by to say hello and give me a "here we go." A scrub cap was jauntily perched on his head, and his blue scrubs were partially covered by a bright yellow rubber apron. He held two bottles of Coke and showed off his way of using the two bottles against each other to pop the lids off. A cool spray hit my face from the fizz.

When we returned to Africa for a summer, emergency surgery was not in our plans. But here I was ... my appendix apparently was acting up. Since I needed a hysterectomy, I asked him to add that to the surgery. "Two for one, or something like that." Only one recovery. But definitely faith-stretching.

There is a whole lot more to this story that I won't go into, but top in my memory is the word "peace." I was not too sick to be fearful of surgery in a small African (city) clinic ... not knowing what to expect or how my recovery would go. We had knocked on the door of the American embassy late the night before and "dashed" someone a case of coke to type and cross match my blood so we could line up potential donors if I needed blood. An older nurse among our colleagues there was going to assist the surgeon, and watch out for me afterwards. We were as ready as we could be in a rush. To this day I remember so very clearly the peace that filled me as they wheeled me under the big lights in a sterile-looking "operating theatre." I had the greatest sense of my heavenly Father carrying me in His arms to my surgery. And staying the whole time.

This week marks 25 years since that momentous experience. Tears still come when I think about the peace I felt. I often share it with friends when they go for surgery. It was tangible. It was real. It was truth.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

one tomato, two tomato ....

 The abundance of tomatoes in our kitchen was amazing when I walked in from work tonight. 
Each day the Gardener harvests more. We give them away, eat them, cook them, 
and enjoy them. I think it is our best crop ever. These photos were taken at dusk. 
They are so cheery!
See Mary's Little Red House for more Monday Mosaics!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

tip top toes

True confession: I've never had a pedicure. I'm behind the times. And I'm not even sure when it all got so popular. I was given a manicure gift once, and my nails stayed pretty for about a day and a half.  (Most nurses are too practical to get manicures.) I know girls go for "pedi's and mani's" as a sort of girl bonding thing, and this week my time arrived. A friend who lives in Europe, after being here a month, was heading back. Three of us decided to get pedicures before going out to to a little farewell dinner together.

I was overwhelmed by the chemical "scent" when I first entered, but soon got used to it. When the staff learned it was to my first pedicure, collectively, their mouths hung open. Really. I was much chattered about in Vietnamese. Picking the nail color was a challenge. When I went to the chair, I got the guy, the water was way too hot at first, and the remote for the chair massage thingee  kept falling on the floor. But after I settled in, I actually started to enjoy it. (I'll take a foot rub any day!) We talked and talked and laughed.
They gave me blue paper flip flops since I was wearing sandals, and I shuffled out of the shop when we were finished. Awkward. I had meant to try and find some flips at the dollar store. And when I looked for some to show off my fancy toes the next day, I realized there may be a reason I no longer wear them. I used to practically live in them. The reason is a thing called "aging."
My piggies may look a tad more fashionable than when I do my own toenails, but the jury's still out about whether I would have a second one. It is a fun thing to do with others, but its a bit pricey for me. Later we huddled in the parking lot trying to get a shot of our feet, laughing as we tried to keep our balance, while keeping our clothes out of the way and getting a good group "toe" photo. Since I told the flip-flop tale, you can guess which feet are mine, but if you hadn't heard that, as a reader of this blog, would you have been able to guess my feet by the nail color?

Sunday, July 01, 2012


America:  home of the free, because of the brave.

On this record-breaking day of heat, I'm joining Mary's Little Red House for Monday Mosaics.
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