My Two Bluebirds...

Did you know that Eastern Bluebird babies grow up, leave the nest, and then some actually return to the nest to help the parents take care of the next wave of hatchlings?

I didn't know that. But the fact reminds me of both my girls.

They've grown up, left the nest, and yet have stationed themselves nearby (and in Hannah's case, has physically returned to the "nest" for a short time) in order to help the family thrive and flourish.

Believe me, I know how rare and wonderful that is. I am overwhelmed by God's goodness in it. I was thinking yesterday, how that in my fondest dreams I dreamed when these girls were babies, I couldn't have imagined the sweetness we share today. The togetherness. The sense of friendship and respect and the sense that we are now working together to achieve certain goals.

It's the grace of God, pure and simple. I did nothing so wise or so right as to deserve the sort of relationship our whole family shares together. We absolutely enjoy just hanging out.

Those bluebird-daughters of mine and their bluebird-husbands are contributing to the welfare of their younger siblings (and their parents) in spiritually enduring, substantial ways...and by this, they contribute to the well being of an entire church.

My best prayer for you, daughters of mine, is that God gives you bluebirds of your own. Only then can you possibly know the blessing you are to me!

What's New...In Pictures

BIG NEWS, friends...Hannah (my daughter, who is expecting our first grandbaby) is two weeks further along than we thought!

::cheers, confetti::

Sooooo...Grandaddy and I are thinking we could even have a "Thanksgiving Baby" - it's possible!  At any rate, our little Timothy Paul is a big 'un.  I've finally been able to feel him kick!  For the loooooongest time, every single time I would put my hand on Hannah's belly, he would get completely still.

Every.  Time.

It actually got a little weird - it seemed like he knew his Nana wanted very, very badly to feel him moving, and so he decided to play Mean Grandson Tricks.  But we've been able to outsmart him a few times, now.

Hannah came up with a brilliant idea for a bedskirt for her crib.  We've looked and looked at what is out there in the stores, and nothing was "right".  Hannah isn't interested in a "theme" for the nursery, nor does she want anything saccharin sweet - she wants to go with a vintage look for her baby's room.  Every bedskirt we have seen was either too thin, too cutesy, or themed.

(By the way, we've come to the conclusion that the best way to go is to find a twin sized "regular" bedskirt that you really love, and just modify it...or, of course, sew your own.)

This past Saturday, she pulled out all the burlap I have - the color is a deep chocolate brown, and the texture is so rustic and charming.  She arranged and rearranged it, and voila....the perfect bedskirt for her crib!  It looks amazing.  The girl is a gifted designer, able to fabricate what she needs with the materials she finds.

Notice the velvet bear...he is so cute, and so vintage-looking!

Here is our latest antique store aquisition...

The excitement around here is...well, it is extremely sweet.  Lovin' life...I'm just lovin' my life.

It so rocks to be me.

A Lifetime of Love

Come with me, on a warm night in late September, to the Bower's Farm...

As you approach the farmhouse, you see them in the distance, and you stop and smile...already getting misty-eyed...

Barron and Linda is their 50th wedding anniversary.  That is the dress she wore 50 years ago!

Let's go find a seat on the beautiful, undulating flagstone porch...there's plenty of chairs, spilling out onto the lawn beyond - there's going to be plenty of guests!

Pastor Tim welcomes everyone, and officiates the anniversary ceremony...

At the close, the whole family, Barron, Linda, children, and grandchildren gather to sing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" together with all their guests...
"All Because Two People Fell In Love!"

Now, it's time to head to the famous barn, for dinner and plenty of dancing to tunes from the 50's and 60's!  (Seeing my own parents dancing together to "Unchained Melody" was a definite highlight of the evening...)

I hope you enjoyed getting to "go with me" to the celebration last night.  Thanks for hanging in there with me as we served punch together, and helped clean up afterwards!  If you are anything like me, you are kinda tired today...

But wasn't it worth it?

Fifty years.  Imagine that.  Congratulations, Barron and Linda and family!

Preparing for the Party Tonight

...a 50th anniversary party!

Two of our dear friends, members of our church, leaders who serve faithfully and with continuity, are celebrating 50 years of married life this night.  The party starts in only a couple of hours...

So, as you can imagine, it has been a busy day for many of us in Harvest.  And now it is time for me to put on my party dress, pack my apron (since I think I am "Punch Lady") and remember to take all of you along with me, via digital camera. 

Camera is in purse, "locked and loaded", ready to shoot some fun pictures...

...see you at The Bower's Barn!

A picture from Sarah's wedding reception this past March - as she shared a private moment with her grandparents...The Point Is - you can barely, sort of see the big blue barn, trimmed in red, in the back ground, behind the horse stable...a beautiful post-and-beam constructed barn, a perfect (and very sought after!) location for any celebration.

(Have I said lately how much I love church life??)

A Mind At The Mercy of Its Associations

What do these three images have in common?

A geometry triangle

Candy Corn...  (this picture is from the blog Organize Your Stuff  Now - check it out when you can, you'll enjoy it!)

and lastly, this ~

American Eagle men's jeans.

Yeah.  Tell me what these three images have in common.  Nothing, right?  There is no common link between these images in anyone's mind....except my youngest son's mind.

I was reviewing some Geometry with him the other day, prepping him for the ACT.  Halfway through, I could tell I'd lost his I paused, and sure enough he looked straight at me and said, "Mom...I need new clothes."

So I asked.  I shouldn't have.  But I asked.

"Please tell me, how did you get from Geometry to Clothes?"

He became embarrassed, and hemmed and haw'ed and finally confessed:

"I was paying attention, I promise!  But the triangle made me think of candy corn, and candy corn made me think of Halloween, and Halloween made me think of fall, and fall made me think of colder weather, and colder weather made me realize I don't have any fall or winter clothes that fit anymoreAnd I really want some new American Eagle jeans."

Not.  Even.  Kidding you.  That is what the boy said, word for word.  I just sat there, with my mouth hanging open, unable to say anything.

What must it be like, to live inside his head, every day?  Most importantly, where does he get it?

Which reminds me, I need to paint my toenails today.

500th Post Party - Blogs I Love

In celebration of my 500th post (can you believe it?) and well over a thousand profile views, I decided I'd share a few of my best kept secrets with you...some of my favorite blogs (besides the blogs of our Harvest members, which will always, always be my truly favorite blogs...I'm partial like that).

Don't you just love a good blog?  A blogger who takes great pictures, writes reasonably well, and posts pretty much every day about things that interest me is hard to find, and when I find her, I keep her. 

And today, I want to share her.  Trust me, you'll want to hug and kiss me for introducing you to some of these amazing blogs and the women behind them!

First, my daughter Sarah and her artist-husband Jonathan have a new blog - please visit and leave some love behind!  And if you ever want to commission a portrait or painting, I promise you, this young man is the man to call on.  His art is gaining recognition all over this area - carried in exclusive design stores.

Next,you will love "My French Country Home".  Yes, she is French, and yes, she really does live in a beautiful estate-home in France.  This blog will take you away on vacation, every time.

Hmmmmm.  Which one to share next?  This really does feel like I am sharing some of my best kept secrets...

Melissa over at The Inspired Room is an all-time fav of mine...

inspired room

She is also a pastor's wife, and the most gracious blogger I know!

Oh, and Trina over at A Country Farmhouse is a-mazing.  She's expecting twins soon, and her Oregon Farmhouse is the prettiest thing, inside and out, you've ever seen.

Flower Patch Farmgirl writes beautifully about the miracle of adoption, and all things home and hearth.  Her wit will leave you smiling...this is a blog you truly savor and enjoy.

Last of all, you cannot believe the chicken coop over at The Fancy Farmgirl.  Seriously.  It is the most beautiful chicken coop you have ever laid your wondering eyes on, I promise.  ("What to my wondering eyes did appear?  A chicken coop with a chandelier!")

Pinky swear.  It.  Has.  A.  Chandelier.  Visit this blog - you'll like it.

Come back and tell me what you think - 'cause I think, if you haven't discovered these great blogs yet, I've just made your day!

Spinach Lasagna - the Easy Way

First, pour a little spaghetti sauce in the bottom of your baking dish, followed by three lasagna noodles (uncooked!), followed by a generous smearing of ricotta cheese and two fistfuls of mozerella, sprinkled evenly, followed by a layer of (fresh!) spinach.

repeat with your next layer of three lasagna noodles...

followed by smearing all the ricotta cheese you want on top of the noodles, followed by as much mozerella as you want.  Usually, after this step, I sprinkle some coarse salt and a couple pinches of Italian herbs...

followed by some spagetti sauce, preferably fresh...then more spinach, then more get the idea.  Add as many layers as your dish (and your tummy) can hold...

Finish off with parmesan cheese

Now, the next step is the most important...actually, the next two steps.  Are you ready?

Pour a bit of water into the edges and corners of your lasagna (under a cup)

and seal it tightly with a couple layers of foil.  Bake in a 350 degree oven till done, about an hour, if I remember correctly, and if I don't, I'll come back and edit this.  ::smile::

Sorry for the lack of precision in ingredient amounts, but I just don't know what precisely to tell you.  Eyeball it - you know what a good lasagna looks probably make a better lasagna than I do, but I doubt you make one easier than this! 

Before I leave you on this sunny-in-east-Tennessee, first-day-of-fall Tuesday, I have to tell you what sort of Tuesday it is...

It's a Martin Denny sort of Tuesday.  And I hope to help start a return to the sheer enjoyment and preservation of vinyl music...the sound of really old music on really old records played on a really old (50's) record player is a happy thing.  A very happy thing.  I love it so much better than my CD's and my Zen MP3, though it is a really nice, recent model. This kind of music is part of our unique lifestyle here at the cottage, paying homage to our preference for all things old and simple...dinner is always accompanied by the scratchy, low tech sound of records, playing Ella Fitzgerald or Nat King Cole...or Martin Denny.  Picking these gems up for fifty cents is better than frugal...this is artistic living.

Just want to leave you with some gratuitous beauty for your brain...eye candy...whatever you want to call it ~

End of summer gerbera daisies, planted in our vintage (our neighbor estimated it to be from the 60's era, because it was his daughter's when she was small, then went to another neighbor, then came here)  radio flyer wagon, along with some ornamental grasses for texture...

The lettuce is sprouting nicely - two kinds - it will be ready when the weather cools off.  When it is nice and full I'll share pictures of our cold crops and a finished salad or two!

Blessings on your Tuesday...we are having record heat here today!

A Happy Sort of Monday

Happy Monday, everyone...I am praying for every pair of eyes that land on this blog today, that you'd know the very personalized, sacrificial love of God for you!  How He loves you.

How about this, for the beginning of my Monday ~

A package!  What is it, what is it?

What it is, what it is!  Twig crayons...lllllllllove.  Love.  These.

  Yes, it is sideways, but I love this angle best.  A colorful start to the week, no?

It's a James Taylor kind of day.

I really do have deeper thoughts than these, but I'll have to save them for another post.  I've been pondering the "oughts" of God.  I've been pondering how that, on one hand, legalists get all their "oughts" in the wrong places....and on the other hand, other believers think there shouldn't be any sense of duty or obligation to our lives, because that isn't grace.

Both are wrong.  Which means I've been wrong, many many times, because I've had my head in both places before.  I might get my head in one of either extreme is so easy to be wrong.

(please take note, how easy that was for me to admit...friend, you were born wrong, and it should never be a big honking deal for you  to own that.  You should always be changing your mind in something...because I promise, your thinking is off, somewhere, somehow, right now!)

So at some point I want to think onto this screen, about the gentle "oughts" of God.  How do I know they are gentle?

Because gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit - a manifestation of who God is.  All He is, is holy, and all He does, is from love, and all His expectations have a  gentleness to them.  He is altogether loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, and gentle, and in control of His every thought and action, and in control of my life.

Enjoy your Monday.  I'm thinking that if you keep your heart in a position of receptivity, if you will but discern it, God has a "surprise package" for you today!     

Small Is The New Big

I said I'd elaborate.

I could use many sources, but a brand new source came across my desk yesterday - the latest issue of New Old House. (which, by the way, features the home of my favorite design couple, Steve and Brooke Giannetti. Steve is an architect-artist, Brooke is an interior designer, and their personal design style is exactly what I love. But that is beside the point...)

Inside this great magazine is a whole article dedicated to small being the new big. Here are a few quotes...

"We've changed from...conspicuous excess to careful consideration..."

"Now lean is the new luxury. To build lean means adapting our assumptions of what we want and need, to homes that are smaller, smarter, and simpler."

"While enthusiastic about buildling a new old house, (our clients) no longer come to us with a wish list that includes 7,000 square feet, a commercial range, and a soaking tub."

"We are sick of oversized McMansion houses and the budget required to build and maintain them. Today the most frequently requested house size is 2,500 square feet. Architects can design a perfectly comfortable, functional home within such limits."

Their tips - if you want to get in on this new-old aesthetic of smaller is better -

1. Think Smaller. Simply put - less square footage.
2. Get rid of "trophy rooms", such as game rooms, media rooms, and grand foyers. They are, at heart, only for show, and that sort of motive does not meet the true emotional needs of a person.
3. Scrap quirky roofs, curves, and corners in the roof and interior design. Complexity is out. Simplicity is in. And I quote, "A house embellished merely to add interest or curb appeal has a major design flaw, one that substitutes window dressing for real design skill. Traditional styles are simple. They have their own beauty and elegance, and they don't need to be gussied up with excess."

A house is built to meet the physical and emotional needs of a family. A family or home owner who has an emotional need to exhibit their social status, will find he or she can only buy or build for themselves a "McMansion"...they feel driven, after all, to meet this dysfunctional emotional need.

There are lots of definitions of "McMansion" floating around out there. To me, a McMansion is not just a "big house". I love me a big house. I could live in a huge house, and it not be a "McMansion" all depends on my motive, design taste, and the honest-to-goodness, every day use of the space. See, here's the thing - my every day life, lived honestly and true to my calling, needs more space. Every room in this house gets used many times a day, every day. More rooms, bigger rooms would be a good thing...a very good thing. The way we live (thirteen for dinner last Saturday, nine today - hospitality goes on here, to people outside our immediate family, as well as our family, every single day. That's the honest truth) the way we live would justify quite a large home.

But we use what we have, to its utter, exuberant limit.

A McMansion is a large space that houses small, inward lives. A McMansion is a home that does not regard human scale - everything is big, most of the public spaces are cavernous. A McMansion is a home that is all out of proportion to the honest, every day use of the space - whole rooms go unused for days (sometimes weeks or months) at a time.

A McMansion supports a lifestyle that the owners want to portray - not the lives they actually live. Big, pretty boxes, full of the props to a life no one really lives - these homes become McMansions because families don't love each other with simple, daily grace, and hospitality is not a way of life. Very little is shared, beyond the occasional party thrown as exhibition.

A McMansion wants you to admire it. A home wants you to take shelter within its cozy rooms, whether they be large or small.

I've seen it coming for years - small is the new big. Get in on this design isn't going anywhere. It is here to stay.

To My Friends, With Love...

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy,
like art, like love.  It has no survival value;
rather, it is one of those things that give value
to survival.

~ C.S. Lewis

Thursday - Saying 'Bye to Summer

The view outside my front door today...Thursday is a bit moody...

Good morning, Miss Thursday!  I see you are a moody sort of day, being that you are a little overcast, but with a hint of sunshine to come?  I'm sure of this - there's never been a Thursday like you, and never will be again.  You are your own day, standing out on the calendar in all your glory.  Thursday, September 16th, 2010.  You'll never knock on my door again.  I want to get to know you.  What special things do you have in store?

The first thing you said to me, while I was still in my pajamas, was this:  "Time to say goodbye to summer."  I'm a little confused, since our temperatures are getting upwards of ninety degrees, but okay.  Whatever you say, Thursday.

So I said goodbye to one of my best crepe myrtles...but not to the canoe.  I will not say goodbye to the canoe until November.  Fall is actually mine and Tim's favorite time to get the boat out.  Cracks me up...we have a boat - Atchley style.  Simple.  Sweet.  You should see it upside down and on top of the Barbie Jeep (my husband's red Geo Tracker convertible).  A hoot n' hilarious sight.

 But enough about me.  I'm thinking you are a "great" Thursday!  So, since you are a moody-great Thursday, it's Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como, and more...

...all on one divine, vintage (1959) LP.  Is that a smile I see, Miss Thursday?  Toe tapping?  I think so!  Here, let me pour you a cuppa caramel macchiato coffee.  And take a look at my new favorite magazine.

Hmmmm.  Now you are saying that actually, what you really meant this morning was to tell me to celebrate the changing of the season.  Revel in the last heat wave I'm likely to see until next May.  Take note of the scattered, few bright orange leaves on that crepe myrtle, because soon, that bush will be ablaze - and I'll enjoy that almost as much as the magenta flowers.  You're telling me to chop up the very, very last of the jalepenos and tomatoes and make a fine salsa.

  And while I'm making salsa, you recommend that I have a glass of wine, and propose a toast to the Summer of Grace.  Oh, and water that red lantana, you say.  It's looking a bit bedraggled.  Maybe plant a gorgeous orange mum in that basket, you say?

Coffee does wonders for you, Miss Thursday.

 Rambo-beenie says to tell Miss Thursday that it seems like a day to crunch on tortilla chips and chase the pocket parrot around the room.  Bad Beenie!

Well, I'm off to see what unfolds on this One Special Thursday - and I don't mean laundry.

Quotable Quotes

“Life’s short and we never have enough time for gladdening the hearts of those who travel the way with us. O, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.”


Thoughts on the Poor and Needy

my dining room table, a completely unstyled photo, after a day of school today.  this picture represents fabulous wealth...the well fed puppy on the chair, the laptop, the school books, the knitting that sits, casually waiting for the fact that I am so rich I have spare moments to do something creative...

I'm haunted by Ann Voskamp's observations, from her brief trip to Guatemala with Compassion International.  She visited families in the ghettos and slums of that country, a country still reeling from its recent mudslides.

Every day I sweep and cook and straighten with my steam mop and my all natural cleaners and my clean rags that match my kitchen, I'm thinking of a mother in Guatemala I have never met.  Vicariously I visited this mother, through Ann's blog, and the visit changed me.

Utterly impoverished mothers want clean homes, too.  They want all the same things I want, and they work harder than I do, with fewer tools, to accomplish far less.

And some can chalk it all up to an absence of capitalism, and still sleep at night, without doing one thing about the poverty they have seen on their big flat screen TV.

After her visit with this particular family, Ann felt compelled to tell the Guatemalan mother, "You are a good housekeeper", and upon translation, the mother began to weep.

And I've never gotten over it.

and these came in the mail this morning...God has a sense of irony, too.

How do you fight a mudslide?  How do you cherish all the home keeping hopes and dreams that all mothers have in a place that menaces your soul, day in and day out, with its filth and stench and poverty?  Somehow, this mother kept her shack as clean as she could keep it...noticeably different than the shacks that surrounded hers.

And she needed the same affirmation that I need...she needed to be told that her ordinary work did not go unnoticed.

So here I am, in my climate controlled home, blogging to the scent of spiced pumpkin and the music of Acker Bilk.  Feeling absolutely tiny.  My spirituality pales to that of a simple woman, fending off the mud, daily wiping the grime of the ghetto off of her home and her family.

I'm thankful for every blessing I've been given.

I spent some time early this morning getting to know this particular Tuesday, and it is an Acker Bilk sort of Tuesday.  Really.  It is.  See for yourself.

Given.  Given, given, given.  I have not earned a single thing.  This is what irks me about conservative talk much as I wholeheartedly agree with the conservative philosophy of hard work, and no government entitlement programs.  At one time, I took in a steady, almost daily diet of talk radio, and it made me arrogant and hard inside.  It made me intellectually bright, and proudly skeptical, complete with the strong suspicion that anyone who is poor deserves to be.  It is their own fault.  They haven't worked hard enough to earn the American Dream.

If we take this logic to its inevitable conclusion, then the last and the next heart-wrenching event in your life, Mr. Rush-Fan, is entirely your fault.

Because you deserve hell.  Cut and dried.  There is only One of whom it was declared, "I find no fault in Him" - all your hard work and good intentions mean not one thing....all your righteousness comes from Him, along with every blessing you have under God's sun.

Transitioning the foyer from summer to fall...this means getting the sheaves of Harvest Wheat back out.  I desperately want and need "Harvest" to be more than a time of year to me. 

I'm done with so-called Christianity that is so full of its own self righteousness, that it can't identify itself with the poor and needy.  Yeah, even when they deserve to be poor and needy.  But for the grace of God, there go I.

It is almost time again for cider and fires in the firepit, for S'mores and bonfires in the country with gobs of friends and soup and sweaters.  I am living a dreamy, fabulously wealthy life that I do not deserve.  Do you deserve the lifestyle you have earned for yourself, or do you enjoy the blessings you have been given?   



Good morning, Monday!  You look gorgeous...I am so glad to meet you.  There's never been a day quite like you, and never will be.  You are completely unique, and I think I love you already.  Your sunlight is dreamy.  What other joys do you hold for us today?

I think I am going to light a candle, even in the morning sunshine, to celebrate you, Ms. Monday Morning!  You certainly rate at least a little Pumpkin Spice scented've already been such a blessing, and it isn't even 9 o'clock yet!

How about a little vintage music?  You seem like a Tony Bennett sort of Monday.  Happy.  Classic.  Yes, even though we just met, I can tell exactly what kind of Monday you are!  Tony it is...

I put away my summer blue mugs, and put these out, over the weekend.  It was a few hours of fall nesting.  Perfect for an almost-autumn Monday Morning.  Would you like some coffee in one of these...

...or would you prefer some hot tea in one of these antique peach lustre-ware, depression era glass cups?  (A gift from my Hannah...she found an amazing deal on a whole set of four.  These are typically quite expensive.  But don't let that worry you, Monday.  I trust you.  I'd be happy to pour your coffee or tea in one of these fall-colored beauties!)

The Lord has been good, in allowing me to make friends with such a delightful Monday Morning.  You are something else, and I look forward to getting to know you, finding out all you have in store for me!  What do you say, let's get this party started...

Can It Be?

(including the above pic for no other reason but that I love the outfit...I'm so copying it, this fall) 

Can it be that this weekend is....over?  Already?  Can it be that it is 10:58 on a Sunday night, and tomorrow is Monday morning?

The weekend began Friday afternoon, Hannah, Sarah, and Jonathan in tow, with a short drive to look at a house up for sale, in town.  This house is an adorable bungalow complete with large, open porch and big columns.  Inside are hardwood floors, doors with the original hardware, built in book cases and window seats.  Big rooms, high 10-foot ceilings.  White paint everywhere.  Bright and airy.  

But the exterior of this house is in need of every sort of work.  New roof.  Siding.  Paint.  Windows.  Structural issues.  You name it, this house needs it.  Inside, it needs a whole new kitchen, from the floors up.

A dream to be sure.  My Tim and I could purchase this house and renovate it, true to the style.  If we could sell our current house, this one would be neither out of our price range, nor out of the range of our ability.

But it is out of our range of priority, in this season.  Life is about so much more than finally having that architecturally authentic and interesting home I've always wanted.  Believe me, I have to remind myself.  However, it is always such fun to look.

Then there was our church's ladies' meeting on Saturday.  Oh.  My. 

Law, these women are such fun.  They are twelve ways of sweet and bushels of delight to my soul.  How we laughed, around that lunch table, the tang of basil and tomatoes and olive oil on our tongues.  The glass trifle bowl piled brimful with fresh berries, graciously provided by our hostess (along with lunch!) was pure art - I wish I had brought my camera.

Then there was our college team's football game.  Our team lost, but I still won - any girl who gets to host 13 people for dinner and a game, all hooting and hollering, who gets to sit and listen to daughters and their husbands, sons and their girlfriends, sons and their friends (and those friends' girlfriends) is a blessed and highly favored girl.*

Then there was church...we baptized the sweetest little boy, which was a dream come true for his grandmother, who did the baptizing. 

Pastor Tim, having a very grown up talk with a boy wanting to be baptized...

His young footprints, wet in the carpet, making a path back through the center of the church amongst smiling faces and clapping hands...those soaked barefoot prints were a sight for these eyes.  Oh, the water-logged foot-trails we've made this summer, from the baptismal tank to the back of the church!  It has been The Summer of The Baptism.  May it be so next summer, next week, and forever.

Then, there was time with family - my brother in law's birthday party.  A sweet ending to an equally sweet weekend.  Looking at my sister is like looking in a mirror on a really fantastic hair day.  (She got all the hair genes in the family...not fair.  So not fair.)  She and I both have had people we don't know, but who the other knows, approach us and tell us " have to be her have the same mannerisms, the same laugh, and look so much alike!"

Sometimes I wonder if we are one soul in two bodies.  But then again, we are just enough different, I know it can't be that.  Believe it or not, she's sassier than I.  She don't take no crap, and does not suffer fools or liars or social snobs.  Heaven help the people who have ever done me wrong - if they happen to cross paths with my sister, they'd best turn and look for someplace to hide.  She might tell them where to go and how to get there.

Can't tell you how heartwarming and comforting it is to have a sister like that.  She's every kind of beautiful to me.

The weekend is over, and I have been flawlessly cared for by a mighty God.

Okay.  I think I'm done.  I still don't believe the weekend is over!


*that would be case you were wondering who the Blessed Girl might be...

Glass As Art

Here is the picture, as promised...

Didn't she do a great job, for her very first stained glass project, ever??

Oh, and the vintage-style phone is one of my favorite finds of the summer.  I found it at an antique shop in Oak Ridge for thirteen dollars and change.  At the Pottery Barn, right this moment, these phones are sixty or seventy dollars.

Going back to stained glass as art, you too can have a Sarah Howe Original...for a price.  Sarah's dream is to find her own artistic niche - and maybe stained glass is it!

Long Day

For some reason, in my head I'm hearing the song "This Long Day Is Over" sung by Norah Jones.  Maybe because this day has seemed a bit long...I've been feeling a little under the weather.  Nothing to do with yesterday's funnel cake sticks, mind you.  This is all allergy, inner ear, sinus, sleepy, foggy, sore throat gar-bahge.

::she brightens::

But my daughter Sarah made me a beautiful, framed stained-glass piece.  It is her first stained glass project, and it turned out well, and I am the proud owner of the gift!  The colors are all the soft, quiet tones I am so absorbed with in this season of my life...white, tone-on-tone, aqua blue, amber colors...Sarah created a bird on a branch, all in stained glass.  It sits on my kitchen windowsill, and fascinates me, because it looks one way when the sun streams through it, another way when it is dark outside, and still yet another way when it is daylight, but no direct sun.  I was going to take a picture of it for you, but when I went to boot up my camera, it is slap out of juice.


Add that to my list of things to do tomorrow:  bake an apple crumble, do all my regular Thursday chores, lecture on satire for our home school, oversee assignments in said school, knit some more on the scarf I'm working on, go get batteries, take pictures for my blog.

Which reminds me, you'll be excited to know (??!) I'm close to mastering f-stops.

::cheers, confetti::

Which is another reason I need batteries, and add that to my list of things to do tomorrow:  fiddle around with aperture and f-stops some more.  Tomorrow.  For now, this Long Day is Over.

Long Day Is Over
by Nora Jones

Feeling tired
By the fire
The long day is over

The wind is gone
Asleep at dawn
The embers burn on

With no reprise
The sun will rise
The long day is over

Being Bad Never Tasted So Good

If you like funnel cake, run, don't walk, to your local Burger King.  For real. 

So I went out this evening, all by myself.  I ended up being bad.  Very bad.  Not only did I shop (for other people's birthdays, so its okay) I decided to run through the BK drive-thru for a coffee, and spied an advertisement for this:

 Funnel Cake Sticks.  Gentle reader, I did something completely out of character. 

I ordered them.

And ate every.  single.  one.

::hand on heart, eyes rolling in an only slightly exaggerated expression of complete bliss::

Ssssssseriously.  So, so good.  I sat there in my car, and quite nearly hugged myself in gluten-ous, sugar-fied, deep-fried joy.  I was being bad, and I was loving it.  All that gluten and sugar, deep fried, just because I can.  Don't hate on me for it. 

I'll be walking my three miles in the morning.

As I drove home, on a dangerous carb high, I noticed the driver behind me was...shall we say "unhappy" with the speed I was driving.  He was all over my back bumper.  He tail-gated my backside all the way up Schaad road.  Suddenly, I saw the traffic light just ahead, and a (again, completely uncharacteristic) thought hit me.  Maybe...just maybe...this traffic light would change at just the perfect moment.  I slowed down even more.

I saw my chance for vengeance.

The deep fried funnel sticks made me do it, I swear.

I timed it perfectly.  The light did change from green to yellow, and I hit the gas...and the guy behind me could not make it.  This intersection happens to be monitored by Big Brother and his camera, so running a red light is costly and the tail-gating truck knew it.  He had to slam on his brakes.

I threw my head back in glee....and heard an evil laugh come rolling out of me!  It sounded sort of like "muuuaaaahahahaha..."

I have got to get me some more funnel cake sticks.  They make me sassy.

Upon my arrival home, I did my best to put on an innocent face.  Then, I just blurted it out as I came in the door - "I found the most yummy thing in God's earth for only one dollar seventy-nine cents!"

My man took one look at me, surveying me up and down as he is wont to do - we haven't stayed married for twenty-four years for no reason - and said, crisply ~

"I can see.  What's that all over your skirt?"

It was powdered sugar.  Lots of it. 

I was bad.  And I think I will be bad again someday.