Thursday, August 21, 2014

That '70s Table

I mentioned a few days ago that my family was having an anniversary celebration this week. 
We're celebrating our arrival in Georgia 40 years ago today.

August 21, 1974.

We thought it would be fun to celebrate by creating a 
1974 themed table. 

We're calling it...

Of course, since 1974 was smack dab in the middle of a recession, we didn't want to spend too much money on it. I set myself a goal of staying within a $10.00 budget.  Everything on the table was either hoarded, thrifted, borrowed, or crafted.

We started with these thrifted salad plates in harvest gold and avocado green... with just the tiniest pop of orange thrown in.   Then, we added dinner plates and chargers already living in the dish closet.

The harvest gold tablecloth  belonged to my  mother-in-law.
It matched perfectly because, apparently,  there was really only one shade of harvest gold. 

The thrft store stemware was dirt cheap. 
because avocado green glasses aren't much  in demand these days.

Gee, I wonder why...

and the flatware was borrowed from a friend of mine. 
It's from her Great Wedding Adventure of 1974.

The rest of the table was filled with icons of 1974.

Like mellow mushrooms. 

Little tidbit: The Mellow Mushroom pizza place is having their 40th anniversary this week, too. The first one opened right around the corner from the husband's house in Atlanta forty years ago yesterday. Cool, huh?

Our little mushroom isn't very mellow at all. 

The happy little pitcher belonged to my grandmother.
 She had a whole set of canisters to match it,  but we couldn't find them.  

 So we used a harvest gold fondue pot for the centerpiece instead.  

What could be more iconic of 1974 than a fondue pot?

Maybe these two crafty staples of the era...

I cannibalized an unloved thrift store plant holder to make those napkin rings.  

And yes, I do realize that they wouldn't have stuffed 
 two different napkins in there in  1974.

Maybe they should have.

I think a little napkin bling kinda jazzes up That '70s Table.

Of course, the Sunshine On My Shoulders helped a little too. 

And that's the way it is, 
Thursday, August 21, 2014.

The day we celebrated with an anniversary table. 

Maybe it doesn't rise to the level of a 
 beautiful one... 

But it sure was  fun!

Happy Anniversary 
from our table to yours!

Sharing with the Porch People
for Tablescape Thursday

Monday, August 18, 2014

The journey of a thousand miles

... began with a single step.


My family is celebrating a milestone this week. It's an anniversary of sorts, and if all goes well, I'm planning to include you in the celebration. It's an anniversary forty years in the making.

40 years...

That would take us back to  1974. 

... the year Hammerin' Hank broke Babe Ruth's home run record.

and Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. 

 Post- it notes were invented that year too.

And some missing White House tapes contributed to the resignation
of an American president.

Things that make you go hmmmm... 

The speed limit across the nation was lowered to this glacial speed in 1974, too.

Just in time for my parents to pick up stakes 
and take the family on a journey of a thousand miles,
all the way from our home in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts
 to a land flowing with biscuits and honey.

It was a one way adventure.

Yes folks, forty years ago today, my parents packed up the wood paneled station wagon, hitched up the trusty travel trailer, loaded up  four kids and two cats, and headed out to our new home in Georgia.   

It took us three and a half days to make that thousand mile journey.  Sure, we could have done it faster, much, much faster in fact.  In the years that followed, we managed to whittle it down to about 22 hours, 21 if nobody drank coffee. 

Like that was going to happen in our family... 

That trip was longer for a variety of reasons.

For one thing, we were at the mercy of the moving company.  North American Van Lines wasn't scheduled to deliver all the house schtuff  until  August 20th, and Mom and Dad wanted it to arrive before we did.

Chaos control, I imagine.

I did mention the four kids and two cats, right?
And that one of the kids was blond and... me?

Then, of course, there was the other reason for the snail's pace, the one that in retrospect was probably the real one.

Those four kids weren't exactly thrilled about the move, 

Especially this one. She was scared.

I'm pretty sure the cats weren't too happy, either. Somewhere around Virginia, Muffy  tried to make a run for it. She would've made it, too, had Dad not caught her by the scruff of the neck.  I laid aside all plans of my own escape after that and deployed the pout option instead.

It didn't work. Dad just kept driving. Somewhere around South Carolina, I finally decided that we were, indeed, moving to Georgia.

And that we did.

In the heat of the afternoon on August 21st, we finally arrived.  We stopped off at Dad's office, where the secretary offered us a Co-Cola and told us how she had once been crowned Miss Savannah.

I thought she talked kinda  funny.
I'm pretty sure she thought we talked funny, too.

Then we headed to see the new house.  True to plan, all that harvest gold and avocado green schtuff  had arrived and was waiting in its proper rooms. We had about ten minutes to tour the place before we were sent unpacking.

By suppertime, we were completely finished because that's the way the Duchess rolls. We didn't have any food in the house so we celebrated our first night in Georgia with a meal at the Tastee Freez.


Let's make that one a yee haw instead.

And that, folks, is how Debbie became a Georgia Peach. Not that it happened overnight, of course.  This is the south, after all.  Things move along at a nice, slow drawl around here.  We take our time.  Eventually, though, I not only liked this place but  truly loved it,  and every bit of southern fried Dixie that went along with it, from grits to gravy.

It is home. 

And now, it has been home for forty years. 

40 years....

Don't you think it's time I learned to make sweet tea?

Yeah, I think so too. 

Where were you in '74?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Those Cotton Pickin' Dog Days of Summer

I was planning to share a little project I've been working on this morning. It's a chair that was put on the To Do list way back in February.  Taking procrastination to whole new levels, I have finally finished it in August. 

OK, strike that. I have almost finished it in August. I hope to have it finished by September.

... 2016

At the risk of letting this post get all sidetracked about the terrible horrible very bad no good chair project, I'll just say that I had an unfortunate piping incident yesterday, brought about by an even more unfortunate sewing machine event.


What was left for me to do but toss up my hands and take a drive?  I'm so glad I did because guess what I discovered...

Autumn  is actually on the way! 

No, really. Even down south in the Land O' Cotton, we're seeing signs that the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner.


Cotton blossoms

They're everywhere, folks.  

And since those cotton pickin' blossoms only last a few days, I'm thanking God for that unfortunate piping incident. Had I been in the house with my nose staple-gunned to the sewing machine, I might have missed this field entirely.

What could be prettier than a cotton blossom field under a cotton candy sky?

Nothing much.
Except maybe a full throttle field of cotton.

Which will be coming soon enough folks. 
After all, if the cotton blossom comes, can cotton season be far behind?

No, I think not. 

I can practically taste the pumpkin lattes now.

So I'm taking the rest of the day off, which kind of means I'm taking the rest of the week off,
and I'm off to find more evidence that the most wonderful time of the year is just around the bend. 

Are you seeing any signs of fall in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Because He Rocks, That's Why

So guess what Sir Lotsa Hair brought home
 from his business travel last week...

Porch rockers. 

Really nice ones, too,
 from Cracker Barrel.  

 There's only one thing I like better than a Cracker Barrel rocker, and that's a practically new Cracker Barrel rocker  being sold for half the cost of a brand new one.

The man knows how to ring my bell.

Of course, when you're looking for a bargain, you can't be Miss Picky.  
These were stained, and I wanted white ones
 for the newly redone front porch. 

But that was nothing a paint brush and four hands couldn't solve .

Then, I threw on some sunflowers. 

Yes, I realize that sunflowers are kind of summery.

But I checked the calendar and the thermometer,
 and the three of us came to a consensus.  

It's still summer.

Plus, I already had those pillows.

 They go with the rest of  stuff on the porch. 

Plus, sunflowers will take me well into September without looking stupid out there. That gives me time to work on the fall porch between now and fall...

... which isn't here yet. Just thought I would say that one more time. 

And now, at least one side of the newly painted front porch 
doesn't look quite so nekkid. 

One side down, one to go. 

So that's what I did this past weekend.
 How about you?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Spilling Some Dirt

Remember last Sunday when I posted about the 
Word-of-the-Day Thought Collecting Adventure?

Well, even if you don't, I did. 

I had a notion when I typed that one up that I might come back here every day last week with a different word of the day from Philippians 4:8, just in case someone out there in blog land wanted to adventure along with me.

I have lots of blog related notions like that.  You can see how well they work out. 

So, anyway, I didn't do that. What stopped me was my oddball need to do everything properly and in order. I got all tongue- tied trying to summarize the first word on the list into a blog post slightly shorter than War and Peace, and I couldn't do it.  I started yakking away about whatsoever things are true, and  I babbled my way into a blog corner.

So today, I'm going to do something entirely different. I'm going to jump to the end of the list instead.  I'm going to yak about the last part of the Word-A-Day Thought Collecting Adventure.

... If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, 
think on  these things. 

If anything is excellent...

Now folks, as wonderful as it would be to drift away on daydreams of fettuccine alfredo,  we all know that's not the kind of excellence Paul had in mind here. The (Greek) word in question speaks of moral excellence. It carries the idea of rising up from the dirt, of things which are above the grime that is our fallen world.   That's why some versions translate it virtue instead.

...If anything is virtuous or praiseworthy, think on those things. 

In other words, keep your head out of the gutter, people.

Why do you think I warned you to stay away from Walmart? One need only spend a pair of minutes  hours in the checkout line next to the trash magazines to get a headful of dirt without even trying.  If that fails to drag you down, all you need to do is log on to MSN.

 It never ceases to amaze me what that bunch deems newsworthy.

It isn't newsworthy. 
  What's more, it isn't praiseworthy, either.

It must get some serious clicking traffic, though, or they wouldn't keep putting it up there. Obviously, a whole lot of folks like to fill up their think tanks with what amounts to  nothing more than dirt.

May I offer you a better option? 

A slightly different take on the dirty novel.

 Earlier in the summer, I was sent a copy of this book by a blog friend of mine, who just happens to be married to the author.

  Tell me what you think, she said. 

So I did.

And then, I told what I thought.
And now, I'm telling you.

Folks, this book is praiseworthy.

However, I must warn you:  Don't expect to read it and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  If you're looking for a book that makes you feel all excellent and praiseworthy, you might need to look someplace else.  You won't find it there. Don't expect to read it and leave without a broken heart, either. 

This book gets down in the dirt. It takes you to the slums and prisons of Brazil and forces you to look inside them at the children (yes, I said children) who live there, children (yes, I said children) who know exactly two ways of life, drug running and sex trafficking.  That's the bad news. The good news is that the author doesn't go there empty handed. He brings along the transforming love of Jesus Christ. 

I would tell you what happens next,
but I wouldn't want to rob you of the chance to read it for yourself.

As far as I can recall, I've never endorsed a book on this blog.  I don't know if I'll ever do it again, either. I'm pretty careful about the things I endorse. I can like something or even love something, but to give it an endorsement is a much bigger deal to me. To endorse something means I have put my name behind it.  I don't do that lightly, but I'm doing that this morning.

I'm Debbie, and I approved this message.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Except maybe this: 
In case you missed all the other clickable links I've inserted in this post, 
here's one more:

Dirty Faith

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

There Was An Old Blogger Who Swallowed A Fly

I don't know whyyyyy, she swallowed the fly.
 Perhaps she'll die.

Well, actually, I do know. I know exactly why we swallowed the fly.  It all started because the Little House in the Piney Stick Forest was in dire need of a new roof.  We've been well aware of that need for a while now. We're just a cash-as-you-go kind of family, and we have been saving for the big day.

Which finally arrived.

Yes, folks. The time had finally come to put away the umbrellas in the master bedroom and get on the waiting list for the best roofer in town.  Sir Lotsa Hair was pretty well over the moon.

But wait...

Before we could get that fancy schmancy new roof, we (that would be he) decided that any and all iffy siding living beneath that roof  would need to be replaced as well.

Now folks, I hadn't really noticed the iffy siding all that much. As houses go, I'm more of an innie.  I notice stuff like ugly carpet on the stairs or furniture left over  from the set of Full House.

We took a stroll around the place, though, and I had to admit that the man was right.  There were really no ifs about it,  some of that siding needed to go.

And that's how the whole thing started.   I don't even remember exactly when it started. It seems like a hundred years have passed since the first truckload of noise arrived in the Piney Stick Forest.
All I know is that it started, and it started with a bang. 

And a bang. And a bang.  And. A. Bang. 

For two full weeks and a day,  I was living in the Bat Cave. 

No matter where I turned, there they were, banging away.  They banged on the back. They banged on the front. They banged all around the dormers.  When they  finished, the Little House in the Piney Stick Forest bore a striking resemblance to a patch work quilt.

That's when we decided to paint it.

Technically, we had always intended to paint it.  We'd just entertained the goofy notion of a do-it-yourself touch up job.  When we surveyed the damage, though, even the Scottish MacHusband knew it was time to chunk down more change and call in the professionals.

In for a penny, in for a pound of flesh.

Fortunately, the bangers were in cahoots with some painters so we didn't have to wait very long. The sawdust had barely begun to blow away when they arrived and started to paint.

They painted. And they painted.
And they Painted.

Now in fairness to the painters, their job wasn't nearly so much of a noisy one... unless you count the sound of their chatter. They were a talkative team,  and when they weren't talking, they were singing. In their heads, I'm pretty sure they sounded just like George Strait.

It didn't really bother me, though. The real painter imposition was more of a visual one... as in,  I never knew where they were going to pop up.  No matter where I looked, there was a belt-less backside looking back at me.

I've seen London. I've seen France. I've seen painters' under pants.

All told, the Great Paint Project took nearly a month to complete. I guess that's not really so long when you consider that they had to drag the place into an entirely new century. In the end, the ecru trim turned white, the green shutters turned black, and the mossy siding? It's now a very light shade of the 2014 color of the year.

And then... finally...  they came.

You know, the guys whose project started the ball rolling. After all that money and all that time, it seemed rather fitting to go out with a bang.

Pretend you don't see the scraggly bushes. 
We decided to let the home wreckers trample all over them before we gave them a trim.

I'm pleased to say that they did a bang up job, too.

They banged on the back.
They banged on the front. 
They banged on the perch of the Proverbs 25 husband 

They banged. And they banged.
And. They. Banged.

It took them five full days to complete the roof, which is pretty fast when you consider the number of breaks they had to take just to endure the south Georgia sauna they were working in.

And then, it was quiet.
For a day.

But after these guys came and went
and then came and went again,

It really was very, very, quiet

And it was finished.

Well, kinda finished.

Did you notice the bare and boring front porch?
Admit it. You did.

When it was all said and done, we (that would be mostly I) decided that the old wicker porch furniture just wasn't going to cut it on the new front porch.  It was 25 years old, after all, and apparently, no matter how hard you try to paint green wicker furniture white, it really just doesn't want to cooperate.

Now, I'm on the hunt for the perfect porch rockers.
And then, a swing, I think.

I don't know whyyyyyy, she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she'll die...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Just For The Record...

... it's very difficult to Philippians 4:8 your way through Walmart. 

So said your friendly neighborhood blogger  nonblogger recently.   At the risk of stating the obvious, I was referring to this passage of scripture:

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, 
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on those things. 

At the risk of stating yet more of the obvious, I'll go ahead and spill it that I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Maybe you figured that out.  It has been quite a while since I posted regularly, and most of my recent posts don't exactly call to mind the words,  Rejoice in the Lord always.  (Also found in Philippians 4, by the way.)

The reasons for my recent trip to funky town can remain unyakked  for now.  As reasons go, they look a little bit more like excuses, anyway.

The truth? Things haven't been completely bad around here. Yes, we've had some major hurdles. The Duchess had her final surgery, and the hospital is just not fun. She's home, though, and  getting stronger every day.  A mom on the mend qualifies as good stuff, not bad stuff, doesn't it?

Yeah, I think so too.

There has been other good stuff as well.  We're basically  finished with not one, not two,  but three big house projects, projects for which we have waited a long, long, time.  On top of that,  Sir Lotsa Hair and I enjoyed an epic anniversary adventure thirty years in the making. 

So no. I don't really have a stuff problem.  
What I have is a fluff problem. 

As in the fluff  between my ears.  My problem, you see, is that I think way too much. 

Don't let the hair color fool you, folks, I'm actually quite the thinker. My thoughts are my constant companions. I wake up in the morning ready to think, and when I try to fall asleep at night, it's the thinking that gets in the way.    

You wouldn't believe the thinks  I can think. 
(Then again, maybe you would.) 

Maybe you believe me because you're a thinker too.  Maybe you're even more than a thinker.  Maybe you're a fellow ruminant.

Maybe you understand this scenario:

It's morning. The birds are singing, and the sun is shining. You jump crawl  out of bed ready to face the day. It's is a brand new morning, you say. Today is the day to start something different. Today, I'm climbing out of this stupid Think Tank.

And then, you turn on the news.
Or maybe you sit down at the computer.
Or get a phone call from just the right  wrong  person.
Or you take a trip to Walmart... 

The next thing you know, up comes the cud, and you start to chew.
And you chew. And you chew. And. You. Chew.

Until you have chewed yourself into a hot mess.    
 Can anyone relate? 

Please say yes. I really don't want to be the only cow in Blogland. 

A week or so ago, I decided that I had had a bellyful. .Life is just too short to waste on rumination, and besides, it wasn't making anything better. It was making everything worse. It was around this time that I got the same piece of advice from both a visible and an invisible blog friend.  

Focus on Philippians 4:8, 
they said.  

Now folks, that is really sound advice for a more sound-minded person. Need I remind you, though, that I am a hot thinking mess these days? Frankly, I needed something more concrete than that, something a bit blonder maybe.. something cut into bite-sized pieces.  

So that's exactly what I did.  
I cut it into bite-sized pieces.

I took that passage and diced it into individual words, words like finally... which more rightly means from now on.

From now on, folks,... think on these things. 

See? It's getting better already.

And then, there's the word think.  Some versions translate it meditate,  which is better I suppose. Still, it's not as good as the tasty Greek morsel that Paul used. That word means to reckon, to calculate, to count up.  It carries the notion of adding things together. You know, almost like a building a collection

Kind of puts a whole new spin on the phrase collecting your thoughts, doesn't it? 

It did  for me, anyway. Reading it that way turned Paul's good advice into a concrete, thought collecting mission.  Why, you might even go so far as to call it an adventure. 

So that's exactly what I called it.  

I dubbed it Debbie's Word- Of -The- Day Thought Collecting Adventure.  Then, since everybody knows that an adventure is  more fun when you share it with others, I invited friends and family to come along with me.

Every day for eight days, we focused on just one of the remaining words in Philippians 4:8. Then, we collected thoughts to go along with that one word only.

We started at the beginning of course. 
Whatsoever things are true...

Sir Lotsa Hair collected his thoughts from the road. The Farm Sister collected hers at the farm. The Duchess collected them too, even though her she can't go anywhere at all. Miss Whimsy and I collected them together.

And throughout the day, we shared those collected thoughts, one with another. We sent texts. We sent emails. Some thoughts were so good they deserved an entire conversation.

Over coffee.

Because it's a well known fact that good thoughts are made even better when shared over coffee.

By the end of the week, I had a pretty impressive collection of positive thoughts living inside this head of mine, thoughts that were true, and honorable, and right, and lovely. 

You wouldn't believe the thinks I could think. 
(But then again, maybe you would.) 

Maybe you're a Philippians 4:8 thinker too. Maybe you're something even better. Maybe you're a Philippians 4:8 thought collector.

But maybe, you're not, not right now anyway.  Maybe you're a struggling ruminant like me just trying to make it through the day, one troubling thought at a time. If so, may I suggest that you grab some friends and family and give the Word-A-Day Thought Collecting Adventure a whirl?

What do you have to lose?

Just take it one day at a time, one word at a time, and you, too, can be a Philippians 4:8 thought collector.  One word of caution, though:  You might find it goes a little easier to collect positive thoughts if you just steer clear of Walmart.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Just stopping by the blog this afternoon with a little update
 in the form of praise and thanksgiving

After my previous two posts, some of you might be wondering if I've flown over the cuckoo's nest or something.  
Well, I haven't. 
Not completely anyway. 

I have been doing a lot of  flying  though. 
Mostly, I've been flying back and forth to one of 
these places. 

That's a hospital, in case you can't tell, and no, I was not the patient. That would be the Duchess, who recently  had what we hope will be her final surgery for a long time.

 Wooo. Hoooo!

In full disclosure, that's not a photo of the hospital where we had our recent adventure. I just added that picture for a little blog bling. In all our coming and going, I never did get around to taking a picture of the place for posterity.

I did, however, whip out the shiny red Kodak just in time to get a pre- surgery portrait.  You know... for posterity. She wasn't all that happy about the photo shoot, but she agreed to smile on one condition:

Deb-rah, she said. 
I had better not see a picture of my face 
wearing a jiffy pop hat
sprawled all over the world wide web. 

Don't worry, Mom....

You won't. 

I'm nothing if not obedient.

And that's all I have time for tonight.  We're all hoping that sooner rather than later, she will be fully recovered and things will finally be back to normal in Mayberry.

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