Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Of Googley Friends and Blogadoons

So apparently, Blog Land is about to experience some version of the movie Brigadoon. 

You know the one. It's where Gene Kelly happens upon a mystical land which appears only one day every 100 years. After that, it just disappears into the mist as everyone sleeps.

(If you have never seen it, go rent it now. 
I'll wait...)

Good, huh?

And apparently, our little Blogadoon will happen this very night.  Kinda creepy to my way of thinking...   I don't know about the rest of you, but I have an oddball urge to sit up and watch my home page to see what happens. I mean, will it happen all at once, or will blogs just start fading off the page, one by one? Will I be able to hear the  little blogpipers, but not be able to see them?

That's the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night, people.

However it all goes down, there's one thing I know. Tomorrow,  I will no longer be able to hop up and down my semi-trusty blogger homepage to visit favorite blogs. To a right brained blonde who requires a map from the den to the kitchen, that's very frustrating.

I don't do change well.
I multi task even worse.

I've seen a lot of blogs sharing the best way for folks to follow them in the event of a Blogadoon Disaster, but this post isn't about following me; it's about how I plan to keep following you.

You see, as much as I enjoy blogging, it was reading the thoughts and ideas of others that drew me into this whole fairy tale to begin with. Simply put, I like you and don't want to lose you to the mist.  

Here's my plan:

From what I can tell, Blogspot blogs will not be affected as yet. I checked all my blogs, and the majority are Blogspot  anyway. That being the case, I still plan to use my blogger homepage as my base of operations. It's just simpler that way.  

I did make sure to sign up for Linky Followers and have followed any Blogadoon who has offered up that option. I did not do Linky Followers for Blogspot blogs because I'm going to keep following you the way I always have...for now. I also put a section on my sideboard for blogs who aren't Googley Friends to see if it's easier to follow that way.  (Of course, I'm really lame about updating that side board over there so we'll have to see how that goes...)

Anyway, that's what I am planning to do  unless someone gives me a better plan.
Dancing between Blogger and Linky
will probably not work for me.
I'll get lost. I just know it.

So tell me...

How are you planning to keep up with the blogs you follow
 when the mist rises on Blogadoon

In other news, my keyboard has arrived! Of course, I don't have a husband home to install it so it will have to wait until Friday.  Please don't suggest that I do it myself. I don't install keyboards; I just baptize them.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lunching With The Ladies

Believe it or not, my new keyboard has yet to arrive. Good grief, folks, I could have walked to New Delhi by this time. 

But here's an update on the Luncheon Club adventure that I mentioned last week and a few pictures to go with it.  In full disclosure, I didn't take these pictures the day of the luncheon. I reset the table the next day. 

That's why the flowers look a little wilted. 
I felt the oddball need to point that out.   
Picture them fresher, OK?

As I mentioned last week, we've been doing luncheon club for about two years now.  We get together every few months, usually during a school break. That's because our group includes two friends who are still teaching full time.  Last week was winter break around these parts, even though it felt much more like spring. 

I wanted my luncheon to feel like spring too.  

My china pattern is Shenendoah by Noritake.  I chose it because of those pink roses, and I've been dressing her in rosey pink for 28 years. 

She's pretty in pink... 

However, I have already done a pink themed table for luncheon club, and I wanted to do something different. Since my theme color this year is yellow, I decided to try her out on a backdrop of the butter yellow I found near the rim. 

See it?

It wasn't as easy I had assumed. Every single napkin I owned just looked blah with the ivory and butter yellow. I was just about to retreat back to pink comfort zone when I decided to go with quirky cotton casual for a pop of color. I made these reversible ones in green and pink the night before the luncheon.  

'Cause what I need around here is one more set of napkins...

I borrowed those silver napkin rings from the Farm Sister. Aside from that, the only thing I had to mooch was a set of sherbet glasses from the Duchess. 

The rest of the crystal is my own
 Moonspun by Lenox. 

Place cards were set in silver baskets 
that I found in the wedding section of Hobby Lobby.    

 I'm planning to reuse them for my Easter table,
but for now they are just spring baskets. 

As far as the actual luncheon is concerned, this is how we roll:  

Guests always arrive together. In fact, they carpool when it's my turn since I live 30 country miles from the rest of them. They are greeted with a table dressed however the hostess wants to dress it... 

...even if she's not planning to use every piece of creative dishery. 
When you're dealing with friends, you can do whatever you want. 

Then, guests retreat to the living room to turn on their chatterboxes while the hostess removes overkill and gets it ready for the first course.  

Ours was a spring salad with
 toasted pecans, craisons, feta, and mandarin oranges. 

I had a little orange theme going with the rest of the meal. We had marmalade chicken and chilled asparagus with THIS honey balsamic vinaigrette.

For the chicken, I basically use THIS  this recipe, but this time I improved it by adapting a recipe from Singing With Birds. I marinated the chicken all morning in 2 cups of Sprite Zero, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, and 2 cloves of garlic. 

I will forever more fix it this way.  Really... yum. Sorry, but we ate all the pictorial evidence. 

Since we're a bunch of weight watching 50 somethings, 
we  had a WW recipe for dessert called orange fluff. 

As of this writing, no one has reported ptomaine or nausea. 
They even requested recipes. 

We lingered as usual until late into the afternoon and have already planned our next luncheon club adventure for spring break in April.  

So anyway, that's all I have to say about that. I'm still waiting for my keyboard to arrive and make this blog life a little bit easier. If you don't see my flower cart around as much,  please know that it's not for lack of desire. 

Computer willing, I'll be sharing with the The Porch People
I'm kind of odd about not posting at a party if I can't mingle, though,
 and Winky is a poor mingler.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Four Simple Rules for Having a Luncheon Club

I'm kind of busy this week. 
You see, we're having our luncheon club on Friday, 
and it's my turn to be hostess.

That means that I not only get to play with dishes for real live people...
which is fun for me, 
but I also  have to cook for said people... 
which is not.  

Need I remind you that I'm a C+ cook at best? Sir Lotsa Hair didn't marry me for my culinary skill, folks. He married me for the witty repartee. That's why  I'm busy; I'm auditioning recipes. I really like the ladies in my luncheon club and don't want to poison or nauseate them. 

And so, rather than try to dazzle you with that aforementioned repartee, I thought I would drag a portion of the original post about our luncheon club out of the echo chamber. 

Just in case you're wondering why a C+ cook 
would form a luncheon club to begin with...

You see...

Years ago, the husband and I joined three other couples to form a dinner club. It was budget friendly fun for a group of couples trying to grow families. Once a month, we met at one home while our children shared babysitters at another one. Our husbands played along as the wives planned dinners by theme and divided up the meal preparation among us. 

It was great fun. 

Then our friends moved away and life got busier.  There isn’t always time for dinner clubs in the carpooling years you know...

But here I am, perched on the edge of that empty nest and in the need of a new adventure. Fortunately, several of my friends feel the same way. We tried to get the husbands on board, but not all of them were willing. Well, of course…

So we ditched the party poopers and formed a luncheon club instead. We think that will be more fun anyway. We can be full out girly without navigating through a mine field of snickering testosterone

We’re  I'm just goofy enough to make up rules. 
They are pretty simple, but here they are:

1. Luncheons are No Capri Zones.  This means we can't default to the go-to uniform of a south Georgia  soccer mom. Requested dress is a skirt or casual dress. 

2. Please come to the front door. Back door friends might be best, but not at luncheon club.  

3. This is a luncheon and not a tour of homes. Don’t meander off the common path unless invited. This allows the hostess to focus on the luncheon and not that other stuff that women are  prone to stress over… you know what I mean…

4. Plan to stay, and have fun. 

So there you have it.  In the two years since we've been lunching together, we have had  everything from formal luncheons to garden parties. At Christmas we do a progressive nibbling from house to house.

I think the key to the success of it, though, is the lunching ladies themselves. We picked a mix of friends who aren't at all about impressing one another; we're about enjoying and encouraging one another.  

And that playing with dishes part is kind of fun too.

Obviously, I won't be sharing with the porch people this week, but I do hope to have pictures of our latest adventure by the weekend and a (hopefully) computer to post them, too.

So what about you?
 Have you ever been part of a luncheon or dinner club?
Would you like to join one?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Holy Big Shots, Batman!

You may have noticed that I like to overuse that literary device called hyperbole. You know... using intentional exaggeration to drive home a point.  I've done it about 4,278 times on here.  I write that way because I speak that way. Hyperbole is the favorite verbal toy of the drama queen.

In fact, my family would say that I'm never satisfied with hyperbole. No, I tend to use what's called gross hyperbole. That's 'cause I like things big. Really, really big.

Big words. Big laugh. Big hair. Big love.

That brings me to my treasure this week... which I actually found last week. I was yakking about it when I  baptized Della in the Coffee River.

My class is in between units, you see, and so we're doing a little seasonal camping in the concept of love. In no big surprise, we spent last Sunday in the oft- quoted chapter of love, 1 Corinthians 13.

Of course, whatever  Paul writes to the Corinthians, The Church of the Hot Mess, he writes to address a problem.  Since we can't really understand the solution presented in chapter 13 without understanding the problem in chapter 12, we started there.

So what was the big problem?

It's what my niece calls greedy gift grabbing. Believe it or not,  they were fighting over spiritual gifts.  Why? Well, for the same reason that we fight over them today, of course. They wanted the power attached to them.

They figured the bigger the gift, the bigger the role, and the bigger the role, the greater the power. They wanted to be holy big shots.  Can we relate?

So after  Paul explains that all gifts belong to the same Spirit...
And that all gifts are given to benefit the whole body...
And that one gift does not make for a bigger shot than another gift...

He stops.

And in  I Corinthians 12:31 he says this,

But desire the greater gift. 

Wait.... so there is one gift that's greater than the rest?  Apparently so.  In fact, since that word for greater actually means more powerful,  he says that there is one gift that's more powerful than all the others.  If we're going to lust after gifts, he says, lust after that one.  Then, he continues.

And now, I will show you the more excellent way. 

And that's where I found the treasure. I almost glazed over the word excellent, but I'm glad I didn't. Just guess what Greek word is used for the term excellent here...

Wait for it...

It's  Hyperbole!

That just jazzed me.  Right there in His inspired Word, God literally uses hyperbole. Since he stuck that modifier in there... more excellent... I'll take some scriptural liberty and say that it's not plain old hyperbole either; it's gross hyperbole.  I love God. He's such a Drama King.  I think He would give me permission to paraphrase it this way:

Of all the gifts we could crave, one of them is a gazillion times more powerful than all the rest.

Is it faith, wisdom, or knowledge? 
Healing, miracle working, or prophecy? 
No. No. And No again. 

It's love. 

Not being loved, mind you, but giving it.   

Oh, it's easy to believe that being on the receiving end of love is a great gift. We humans are nothing if not all about ourselves after all, but that's not where the power lies. The power lies in really and truly loving others the way that God loves us, even when... especially when...  the loving isn't easy.  

The rest of that famous chapter tells us exactly how to do it.

Loving with patience when the person is difficult
Loving with kindness that feels the pain
Choosing love when our flesh wants to envy
Choosing silence when our flesh wants to boast
Choosing love over self...

And the list goes on.

So there you have it. God's little treasure in one big word.  If we want to be holy big shots, we need only do one thing: Turn on the hyperbolic power of love.

Yeah, I know... well, of course..

Comments off as usual for Sunday

Friday, February 17, 2012

Of Della, Demons, and Dying Divas

So the report from the computer doctor wasn't all bad. Della isn't terminal after all. I did, however, manage to short circuit half of her memory and her keyboard in the unfortunate coffee incident. This means that  Della is not only menopausal, but senile and mute as well.

Don't drink and blog people. Don't drink and blog.

I'm currently awaiting parts to arrive by mail so Mr. Scottish Thrift can play doctor. In the interim, he has kindly offered the use of a small silver contraption which he calls a computer. I call it a timely reminder that Della the demon possessed laptop wasn't so bad after all. I've named him Winky, in honor of the Popeye face I use to read his tiny screen.

In other news, Whitney Houston has passed away.
Just thought I should mention that for my Siberian friends.

Now folks, in the two years that I've been blogging, I have pretty much stayed away from posts of opinion. (Walmart lamentations not withstanding...) I don't voice my opinion because I'm a neurotic people pleaser who really doesn't want to be known as Pot Stirrer on Wheels.

But sometimes... sometimes... I just can't hold my tongue. 
Today is such a day.
 I'm sorry in advance if this is less than people pleasing.

Let me say up front that I'm a huge respecter of talent. I also understand that the death of certain public figures can bring sadness in the hearts of fans. Even though she hasn't made a public appearance in years, I'll still feel blue when my favorite actress and singer passes away.

I get it.

What I don't get is how folks trade simple admiration for a gift well used into fanaticism. What I don't get is the obsession with celebrity to the point of idolatry.  

Yes, I know Whitney isn't to blame.  I also know that  she isn't the first star on the receiving end of overkill, and she won't be the last. I'm too young to remember Marilyn Monroe, but I do remember Elvis Presley and  Michael Jackson.

This isn't about them. It's about us. 

For whatever reason, Whitney Houston was not only given an incredible gift, she was also allowed to shine in the spot light because of it.  Was she talented? Without a doubt. Was she more talented than the average good singer? Yeah, probably so. (Although more fame doesn't necessarily mean more talent.)

But folks, that's where it ends. Whitney Houston  was an entertainer.  She didn't contribute more (or less) to our society or our nation than millions of people who walk among us every day.  Yet to hear the media, one would think that we had lost a national leader. The flag will even be flown at half staff in her home state.


Have we completely forgotten the significance of a flag at half staff? It's a symbol that we are a nation in mourning, not that we have lost a pop star.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't recognize the death of Whitney Houston. Play her music.  Lament her loss. Remember her gift. If it blessed you at all, then thank the God who gave it to her, but really folks, our culture needs to get a grip on the whole idolatry thing.

Because that whole idolatry thing? It really has a grip on us.

Of course, that's just my opinion on the matter. What's yours?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don't Cry Over Spilled Coffee

So riddle me this:

What do you get when you cross an already demon possessed laptop named Della with a spilled cup  mug full of very strong coffee? 

Answer:  A very sick Della. 

She's currently in Intensive Computer Care at the local computer hospital. Maybe they'll cure everything else that ails her as well....

Just trying to look at that mug half full, folks.  The giant sucking sound you hear is the sound of my new furniture being pushed back yet another month. That makes estimated date of arrival somewhere around December 2023.

Posting this from the husband's office computer lest anyone think I've been hurled off a cliff or something.

'Cause I'm sure you missed me, right?

Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. Well, I missed you anyway.

Comments off 
I mean, really,
aside from "Bless your heart",
what is there to say?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This isn't the table I planned to show this week. I was going to feature the one that sits on my kitchen during the Valentine season. It's red, white, and black.

But then, I got inspired by my blog friend Susan at My Place to Yours, and that inspiration turned into this little table instead.

I'm calling it Sealed With A Kiss

Through Susan, I've learned about a wonderful Christian organization which rescues children from the streets of Brazil. Hope Unlimited for Children. If reading their blog, The Least of These doesn't move your heart, nothing will.

This table is inspired by their current mission. You see, the Brazilian Valentine or Day of Love is later this spring, and they would like the young girls at the home to receive some Valentine love from across the globe. The mission is simple. All you have to do is pick up a Valentine Card this week, and send some lovin'  across the miles.

(clickity click)

So this table is all about sending a little love. 
 It all started with this napkin folded like an envelope...

and sealed with a kiss.

The kiss gave me the direction for a third color for the table. Well, actually the husband gave me the direction. He suggested using silver chargers to mimic the foil wrapping of the candy kiss.

  I'm sure he would be thrilled to  know that I yakked that abroad on the world wide web.  

Dishes were kept simple. I sandwiched some plain red luncheon plates ( K-Mart...last year) between two layers of Italian Countryside.

I used my shiny Act I flatware to go along with it. Yes, I know I use that a lot. I happen to like it.

Red stemware was stuffed with a polka dot napkin that I borrowed from The Duchess. They serve no useful purpose beyond table decoration.

Hugs and kisses are all over this table. 
Sherbet dishes were filled with them.

And tied with them...
And placed on a silver dessert charger for good measure.

I used the hugs and kisses blocks that I made last week for a centerpiece. I set them on this silver pedestal. Don't you think it brings to mind an unwrapped kiss wrapper? Please say yes...

More kisses wrapped in a silver heart.

And there you have it.

Won't you consider sending some love this Valentine week? All you have to do is pick up a card and send it along.

And of course, seal it with a kiss.

I'm sharing this, as usual, with The Porch People. I'm also sharing at  Follow Friday at Finding the Inspiring, and the Valentine Party at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie along with Seasonal Sunday

Such a party girl, I am this week.

Editing to add THIS LINK to making the envelope napkin fold
per Sandie's request

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blossom Inspection

Can you stand another post about my Japanese magnolia? You know the one, the one which started to bloom about a week ago, just days before an arctic blast blew through the area. (Yes, I realize that those of you in the northern climes would hardly call  29 degrees an arctic blast, but to this Georgia hot house flower, it is.)

To the magnolia blossoming after weeks of  70 degree weather, it is too. 

That's why I was discouraged when the weather man predicted temperatures below the freezing point. I brought some branches into the house and hoped for the best, but there was really nothing left to do but wait.

 When the sun rose that arctic morning,  I headed to the window for blossom inspection.

And do you know what I saw? 

Buds and blooms, exactly as they had been the day before. Yep. Miss Maggie was in the pink. I called it The Great Magnolia Miracle.

I also called the sister.  She was very happy for me and said that she hoped the blossoms survived.


Now, normally, I love the word hope, but when used in reference to a pre-dubbed miracle, it makes me cranky.  She told me to keep watching the flowers. If they were going to die, she said, they would start to wilt and fall to the ground within the next few days.

So I watched.
And I watched, and I watched, and I watched...

And do you know what happened?

Absolutely nothing.

The buds never turned brown.

The blossoms never wilted.

And nothing fell to the ground

I'll bet you think this is a post about hope and optimism, don't you?
Well, it isn't.

It's a post about growth.

You see, there's a funny thing about Miss Maggie... To someone who doesn't know any better, she still looks pretty snazzy. She may be bald in some places, but she's showy in others. She just has one major problem; she has stopped growing.   

When I say that she looks exactly the way she did before the big chill, I do mean exactly.   

The buds are still buds...
The semi-blooms are still semi- bloomed...
And not a single one has come to full flower. 

That's not the way it was supposed to be.

That's not the way it's supposed to be in the life of a Believer, either, but all too often, that's the way it is. Oh, we've got some buds and blooms, maybe just enough to cover the bald spots, but if the truth be told, we haven't seen any real growth in a long, long time. 

Maybe we were hit with a big chill of our own. 
Maybe, we just got complacent. 

Whatever the reason, there we sit. Oh, we're not dead. We're still alive; we've simply stopped growing.  We're camped out in that deceptive state of semi-blossom along the Pilgrim's Path. What's worse? We're perfectly content to stay there.  We're safely secured to the branch, after all.

How much better is it supposed to get?

Tell me, when was the last time you did a little blossom inspection?

Comments are off on Sundays

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dotting the ( i ) Yi Yi

Have I mentioned that I'm a list maker? Well, I am. At any given time, you'll find anywhere from two to twenty lists of good intention lying around this joint.  I have lists on the refrigerator, lists by the door, lists on the computer, lists in my Bible, lists in my purse...

resolution lists, project lists, repair lists, grocery lists, 
fried lists, boiled lists, list gumbo...

Yep, I'm the worlds greatest list maker. The problem is that I'm also the world's worst list keeper. Half the time, I can't even keep up with the list itself. That's why I have twenty. Ten of them are restarts.

Exhibit A would be the 101 list lurking over there on my side board. I made the list and the commitment when I first started this blog.  It was a list of 101 items taking up space in the Innie Paradises of my home. I committed to either use, repair, restore, repurpose, recycle, or retail them in 101 days.

The deadline was 44 days ago, and no, I didn't finish.  While I am pretty proud of the things that I did accomplish, there are still 10 items remaining.

 I have made a new list:  10 Things to Deal With in Ten Years. 

I think it's doable.

The Duchess, the Farm Sister, and I have a little list game that we like to play together. At the beginning of every month, we create a list of projects or things that we plan to accomplish by the end of it. At the end of the month, we gather again to keep each other accountable.

The Duchess usually puts about 25 projects on her monthly list, and she generally conquers them all. The sister has more of a cultivated list. She gives a great deal of thought to her items and selects precisely what she can and will accomplish.  She's organized like that. I think it comes with age.  By the way, have I mentioned that she's 51... and I'm not?  

I never finish my monthly list. Really, in all the years that we have been playing the list game, I have always managed to come up at least one accomplishment short.

So much for accountability.

Today is the first of February, and we're gathering to go over the lists. As usual, I'm not finished. Personally, I think I should get extra credit for the little valentine blocks I made on Monday and the coffee filter wreath I made   started on Tuesday. Unfortunately, in List Land there is no reward for random acts of senseless crafting.

Most of my items had to do with moving The Practical One to Washington DC, but I did accomplish a few things beyond that.

Whipped up some yellow pillow covers for the porch 
and planted a bunch of yellow pansies

I was only responsible for planting them, people.
The list said nothing whatsoever about making them grow. 

I deep cleaned the kitchen, including all cabinets, the pantry, 
and The Big Black Thunk.  

Here's that after shot I promised

And here's the mirror that was on the list as well. 
You can't tell in this picture, but it has a pale  yellow glaze. 

There were a several other items completed, but I have neither the pictures nor the time to take them. Did I mention that today is February 1st, Deadline Day?

So you can see why my Valentine tablescape will have to wait until later in the week. I've considered posting my upcoming list for February. You know... to keep me accountable. Think it will work?

What about you?
Are you a list maker?
And what's more...
Are you a list finisher?
Any tips for finishing a list?


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