Sunday, November 27, 2016

mystery vase

Wandering through small towns as we love to do,
small and large shops antique or junque shops draw us in.
We stop at a corner shop; it looks large, but old, old.
No pretty cracked plates or pitchers in the windows.
We walk the dusty aisles, floor boards creaking under our feet.
Lots of old equipment it looks to me through the dim light … maybe a farmer
would know it. Of course we make our way through it all to the back.
You just never know what you might find.
Something catches my eye in a dark corner table loaded with stuff.
No price of course. I offer 50 cents. Probably generous.
And I have used it over and over.
I call it my character vase. 
Squatty and a bit wide. Perfect.
I used it with a TJ's amazing 3.99 bouquet at our Thanksgiving 
table (with some of our own late garden gerber blooms added).
Can you guess what it is?

Joining with Mosaic Monday.

Monday, November 21, 2016

mixing seasons

I wish I had been in reach of my camera at our last book club.
These few taken after it was over will have to give you a glimpse into enchantment.
Our hostess outdid herself in setting a table that was a wonder to gaze upon.
I soaked in every detail. The book, Finding Jupiter, had a winter theme,
and Christmas too, so she combined that with autumn in a subtle, brilliant way.
There were many little things on the table that were significant to the 
story--some we got right away and others she explained to us.

What I appreciated was how she expressed how much she loved preparing the table.
(We all brought the food--such as scones, sweet bread, muffins, cheese, etc.)
I love going to casual get togethers at friends' homes, but I also
like feeling honored when someone prepares in a very special way.
 And our hostess did just that on a beautiful, late fall morning.
Sun streamed in the windows, reflecting the warm colors of autumn
leaves, and danced on the glittered objects on the table.
All while we drank tea and discussed our book.
We all left feeling like "we'd been somewhere."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

a rare hodgepodge wednesday

1. Share one of your happy thoughts here: Looking forward to the holidays after a long hot summer and election season. Family coming, friend gatherings, and quiet moments at home … all 
are things to be happy about.

2. There's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap, if you want happiness for a day, go fishing." What say you? It doesn't take much to make me happy: a walk in the woods … a ride over back roads … a bike ride … playing with my grands!
3. Where do you go to decompress from the world around you? 
Water does it--lake or ocean, or the mountains.  Even home--with a cup of tea and a good book.

4. What song never fails to make you happy? It's hard to choose. Music is soothing and 
often brings joy, but what popped into my head immediately 
was the 2013 Ph*rrell Williams "Happy." 
It's a real "perker upper."

5. Today is National Fast Food Day.What's the last fast food you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of happy meal what would it include? Fast food has it's place, 
I suppose and possibly our most recent may have been a Chick-fil-a piece of chicken 
on a recent road trip. My own happy meal would include an apple, cheese, nuts, olives, 
a piece of very dark chocolate and a bottle of water.
6. In a few sentences tell us why you blog: I started blogging to give me an outlet for 
writing and expressing some thoughts after my father died 11 years ago. 
I love both photography and writing so it was a good combination for both. 
What I didn't realize initially how I'd come to appreciate the community 
that you find with other bloggers. 
7. List seven things you're especially grateful for today: 
Each and every day I'm thankful for my relationship with God and His daily grace; 
my gentle, very tall husband; the heritage of my family,
 the internet to keep in close touch with friends and family; 
my loving boys; grandchildren; and our freedom.

8. Your own random thought: 
Relief has come with cooler weather finally arriving. 
Some rain would be wonderful, but meanwhile the early
darkness settling in calls for candles and coziness. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

getting under my skin

 A few of my nursing school friends were getting married right after college graduation,
as was I. Apparently we wanted a tan for our weddings.
So during lunchtime we'd run up to the roof of our Manhattan 12-floor dorm,
slather on baby oil and "lay out" for 45 minutes. Ouch!
As I grew up there was at least once or twice a year
when we would be "down the shore," as we called it, or
in my midwestern days, at Michigan sand dunes,
always without sunscreen. We didn't know better back then.
Now I'm reaping the results of a few bad burns.

When my father got skin cancer I realized I needed to be cautious and
wear sun screen. I could already see sunspots appearing on my
skin, which is so much like his. An uncle of mine died of a misdiagnosed
melanoma. Others I knew either survived or died from melanomas.
I began to fear melanoma.
(I now spend most of my time in the shade.)

Then my mother got an ocular melanoma (thankfully she did well). 
I began going to the dermatologist for a full body check once a year.
The Gardener, who has olive skin, had some basal cell cancer spots removed.
A year ago I had my annual skin check. I have lots of spots and 
most of them are OK. My doctor was just finishing when she said,"What's this?"
pointing to the tiniest freckle near my knee. 
"Oh that's only a freckle," I replied.
She insisted on taking a slice of it. Before long I received the phone call.
Not quite what the dreaded phone call, but close enough.
I went back for surgery. Thankfully the margins were clear.
Six months later I went for another check to be sure it still looked good.

I share this in case you might be someone who
 should think about going for a skin check.
A tiny freckle that I would have passed over as nothing
is what really "woke me up."

Saturday, November 05, 2016

time out

A little time out from a relentless political season
 to look back at simpler times.
I'm thinking our moms were clever to give us this bedspread shade
for a picnic in our sunny yard. Remember those
sticks that raised clotheslines high? 
Here we are with our Alaskan cousins 
who we only saw once every four years.

If this was a clearer photo I'd zoom in and see what my mom
fixed us for lunch. I do see bowls, so my guess is soup,
even in the summer. My mom was a soup queen, year round.
Lastly, some color. It's in full bloom now as seen on
our neighboring street on the right.
Photo on the left was taken by our son
 on the Blue Ridge Parkway a few weeks ago.
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