Friday, October 26, 2012

Great Scarecrow Adventure of 2012

For the past two years, I've given you a tour of the stuffed shirts in my hometown.   

While some of the previous scarecrows have made a reappearance, some of them have a different look this year. This year, folks were given another option for inspiration. 
They could choose to decorate with their personal heroes. 

You've already seen Susan B. Scarecrow,
 the female voter.

Here are a few more new ones that you haven't seen. 

It wasn't difficult for the newlywed niece to choose the hero for the bank. 
She just looked across the breakfast table. 

It's Lt. McNephew, her favorite American soldier. 

The bank next door had a different idea. 
 They decided to go with a little school spirit.

And speaking of school spirit, here's a teacher.  

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like sitting up straight and paying attention? 

This one's kind of tongue in cheek since it's for a local timber buyer. 

It's a tree hugger. 

A reader from the local library. 

And one of my favorite ones of all.

A survivor. 

And that's about all I've got this morning.
 I'll just end with this little gal in front of a local florist.  

I'm not exactly sure what hero she represents.

So I have chosen to name her Debbie,
the meandering motormouth. 


Scarecrow  on Wheels

Sharing with  Seasonal Sunday

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How Luncheon Ladies Break the Fast

If you want to hear God chuckle, tell him your plans. 

You may recall that I made that grand statement last week, just after yakking abroad my plans to get my groove back. I had barely begun to shake the groove thing, when it hit me.

I'm still not sure exactly what it was, actually. I was fine one minute, and then the next I was lying on the sofa with a acute case of the pathetics.   

I wasn't chuckling. 

I wasn't up chuckling either, although it would have probably  made me feel better.  Instead, I just had a really pitiful case of fever, chills, and general, all around, Mack truck disease. For three days, I existed on weak tea and dry toast because nothing, absolutely nothing was appetizing.

That's how I know I was sick, you see.

You know that whole debate over whether it's starve a cold and feed a fever... or feed a cold and starve a fever?  Yeah, well, I don't engage in that debate. Around here, it's feed a cold and feed a fever.

Feed a headache and feed a heartache. 
If I can make it mushy enough, I'll feed a toothache, too.

I like to eat.

You can imagine how relieved I was when the Mack truck finally pulled out of town and took the train that hit me with it. Thankfully, I was ready to resume eating on Saturday.

Thankfully... because we had a gathering of our Luncheon Club on Saturday,
 hosted by the Farm Sister.   

Instead of her trademark blue table decor, 
she wanted to go completely autumnal.

She decided to borrow this china from her daugther, the newlywed niece.

Pearl Platinum, by Lenox

While she was at it, she borrowed her flatware.

Melon Bud, by Gorham. 

And the table runner? That belongs to the niece as well.  

I think I need a married daughter...
 if for no other reason than the tablescaping...

The centerpiece was her own idea, though, 
as was the rustic iron pumpkin that she filled with fall flowers.  

But now, the actual arranging was compliments of  her daughter as well.  

Pretty, huh?

 Everything else actually does belong to the hostess.
 We've used this Cambria stemware before. 

Napkin rings were a recent find at Pier One. 

I forgot to ask where she got the leafy place card holders.

And there you have it,
 how this luncheon lady broke the fast. 

Luncheon Club won't meet again until our yearly Progressive Nibbling in December. Those are the plans anyway.

Of course, far be it from me to make any plans. 

I'm glad to be (finally) rejoining the creative ladies at 
Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish! party.
Also linking to Tablescape Thursday if all goes as planned. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Susan B. Scarecrow and the Little Pink Box

No, this isn't my yearly tour of the straw folks in my home town. I do plan to give that tour later in the week, but this morning, I'm just going to give you one little peek.

Then, I'm going to yak about it. 

You see, the tour is a little different this year. Usually, the scarecrows represent the individual businesses or their owners. This year, however, they represent their personal heroes.

This one sits outside the bakery of a friend of mine. 
Can you tell what it is? 

It's Susan B. Scarecrow, 
the female voter. 

I thought it was a clever idea, especially coming from a small business owner who just happens to be female herself.

Just in case you haven't noticed, we're in the homestretch of another election cycle here in America. In a little over a week, those of us who haven't done so already (and maybe some who have) will head to the polls to choose the next leader of the free world. Daunting task, when you think about it.

And just in case you haven't noticed, there's one voting block that  is more coveted than any other one this year.  It's the woman's vote. It's true, ladies. They want us. They really, really want us.  We are woman. Hear us roar.

I'd love to take that as a compliment, but I can share just a bit of my heart with you?

I wish they wouldn't. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad they both want my vote. I'm glad they think it's valuable.  I just wish they wouldn't consider me to be part of a block. 

You see, when  I look at that picture  up there, I can't help but wonder if that's exactly what the political world sees when they look at me -- a brainless prop all schtuffed with fluff -- a female, with no individual thoughts or personal passions outside that little pink box.  

Maybe I'm the cheese who stands alone here, but I just don't find that flattering.  I don't think it's empowering either.  

It probably wouldn't bother me so much if that little pink box weren't so, well... little. It seems to hold about three issues, and there isn't  even room for those issues to stretch out a bit.  As I said, it's a very small box.

I'm not saying that I don't care about those issues. I do. I actually have an opinion about all of them.  No big surprise there... I have an opinion about everything. It's just that I don't care about them to the exclusion of others.

Unless there's a mouse in the house, I consider myself to be a pretty strong woman.  I was raised by a strong woman, and I worked hard to raise two strong women as well. We pay attention to what's going on around us. We watch the news and read the editorials.  We have opinions about things like energy and the environment; education and national defense. We know what's going on in the Middle East.

We also pay the bills.  We care about the economy and the national debt.

If those things don't fit inside the little pink box, maybe we need a bigger box.

Or maybe... just maybe... we don't need the little pink box at all.

And speaking of boxes. Time to step down off of this soapy one and get back to cleaning toilets.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

So what about you? Are the traditional women's issues the most important ones to you? Or do you like to expand the little pink box.?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Of Blog Apparitions and Stuffed Shirts

So it looks like I'm turning into a blog apparition.

I disappeared... and then I reappeared... and then I disappeared yet again, making only random flower cart hauntings here and there in blog land.

Sorry about that. 

I honestly didn't mean to skip another week.  It's just that I had two major distractions in the home place. They were good distractions, though, since they were close encounters of the daughter kind. Not only did Miss Whimsy come home for her fall college break, but The Practical One flew in from DC for a week as well.

Yes indeed, my blog space may have been empty, but my cup was full.

My days were full too, but believe it or not, I don't have a single picture to show for it. I seriously need to get my groove back. 

So instead of pictures from the Great Daughter Adventure, I decided to jump start my blog engines (yet again...) by joining the Note Card Party at A Haven for Vee.  That's where we dust off four pictures from the archives which could be made into note cards.

They don't have to have a theme, but I'm a themey little blog apparition so mine generally do. In celebration of the season, I chose scarecrows. For the past two years, I've given a tour of the scarecrows decorating the business district of my home town. It was difficult to choose four favorites, but I gave it a whirl.

You might recognize this one from my header. 
He guarded the local gift shop.  

This one sat out in front of a book store

A starving artist at the art gallery

And even a Scare Mayor at City Hall

And that's all I have this morning. Thanks once again to those of you who have stuck with me through my unexpected little life detour the past few months. I plan to get back in the blog swing now.

Of course, you know what "they" say, 
If you want to hear God chuckle, tell Him your plans...   . 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Finishing What I Started

So here's something that you might not have noticed about me.
But then again, maybe you have... 

I'm the world's worst finisher. 

It's true. It seems that no matter what I do, I have the tendency to leave some little detail unfinished. I like to call it my signature style. My family just calls it my annoying little habit.

Take this closet for example.

This is the closet that I was painting the day I got the terrible horrible very bad no good news. If you look closely, you will note that the wall color is blue.

The wall color of the adjacent (master) bedroom, however?   It's green.  It. has been green since the turn of the century. The other closets in the room were painted white, but this little space was never given a paint job.  

It was never given a purpose either.

I have come to realize in my vintage years that closets are a lot like people. If they don't have a purpose, they can become a hot mess. Oh, it might look like an orderly mess, but it's a mess nonetheless.

This little nook was taking on jobs that it just wasn't called to handle. For one thing, it was housing dishes. Now folks, this closet is off a bedroom on the second story of the house. Does that sound like a logical place to store dishes? Why no, it doesn't. Yet there they are.

No matter how much a little bedroom nook might want to be a dish cupboard, that's just not what it was designed to be.

So I pulled every single thing out of that confused little closet and  either purged it or moved it. Then, I gave it a clean shade of Heirloom white. 

Better already...

Then, I painted every thing I was bringing into the space the same clean white.  I just think it looks less junky that way.

Then, I gave it a purpose much better suited to it.

You see, my ironing board hangs from the back of that door.  Sorry  Donna Reed, but I like to iron as needed, and I like to do so in the bedroom where the clothes are.  I also like to mend in the bedroom. Unfortunately, my sewing supplies have always lived downstairs.

Near the kitchen. 
You know, where the dishes are supposed to be. 

Isn't this a much better set up?  

No, it's not a whole sewing room, but I'm not a whole seamstress, either. It works for me. I wish I had done it years ago.

Drawers for supplies and fabric. 

A space for everything

Some hooks for mending.

And just for fun, some framed pages of Sew Beautiful magazine.
Miss Whimsy happened to be a model in that issue when she was a baby.

I have a few more finishing touches to go but as you might expect, 
I'm still not finished.


And that's all for me. I have some Baby Cheeks and Sugar Lips to attend to before the day is done.  You see, a certain Man of the House is coming home today. He's been out of town all week enjoying the blessing of  work.  That's right folks, the recent chapter in the Life of Sir Lotsa Hair did indeed end with a new job as many of you suspected. I guess you could say that He has found a whole new purpose too, one perfectly suited to his design.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Story of the Vanishing Blogger

I was upstairs painting in the closet when it all began.

I was interrupted by the telephone, and when I answered it, it was the Man of the House.  He was  calling from his cell phone and explained that he was actually walking up the stairs as he spoke, but he hadn't wanted to startle me.

I startle easily you know...

In fact, as I've confessed time and time again, my panic button is generally set on automatic. Fear and anxiety are my besties, and I don't go anywhere without them. I'm loyal like that. Therefore, when the Traveling Man walks through the door on a Tuesday afternoon when he is supposed to be in Florida,  I do not assume that he's passing through to share glad tidings of great joy.

He wasn't.

He's a man of few words so he just blurted it out. The entire outside sales force of his company had just been eliminated. In case you missed it, that's a fancy way of saying that he lost his job, effective immediately.

Friends, I could literally feel my reaction. It started as a churning way down in the pit of my stomach and worked its way up to my chest, and my throat, and my head. It was an overwhelming feeling.

And do you know what that feeling was?

It was peace.

No, really... I'm as shocked as you are. I mean, I teach  peace. I sing  peace. I pray peace. I like to talk it up a lot, too. That afternoon, though, I... we... did something altogether different.

We chose peace.

I'd love to take credit for the choice, but in all sincerity, I might have reached for my bag of fear had it not been for the man I married. Before I could move an inch, he sat me down, took both of my hands in his, and explained that we had a conscious decision to make.  As he saw it, we had three choices.  

 We could count the numbers.  

Let's face it folks, the numbers stink. 23 million people out there who earnestly want to work are looking for jobs right now. 68 people from his company alone had joined the ranks that day, all with the same skill set, too. On top of that, we're no spring chickens. He's 51 years old. No, the numbers aren't so good. We agreed not to count them.    

We could count on the world.

The world is all too eager for us to count on it, after all. All signs point to it becoming more eager by the minute, too.  Immediately after the unfortunate conference call, his phone began buzzing with calls from (former) colleagues, brainstorming and networking and just plain commiserating to the point of  noise.   (Actually, he used the word cacophony. He may be a man of few words, but they all seem to be worth ten dollars. It's annoying, but I digress...)

And then, it happened.

The still, small, voice cut through all that cacophony, and it said, "Do you trust Me?"

And there it was, the third choice. Trust, it seems, is just like peace. We teach about it. We sing about  it. We pray about it, and we love to talk it up. Then, life gets very real and it's a time for choosing. 

One thing these over-the-hill Bible teachers know, though, is that God never has allowed himself to be among our choices. If we choose Him, we choose Him alone.

So he reached over and turned off his phone.

And for the rest of his trip home, he just listened to God.

If we could count on anything, he decided, it was God alone. After all, we had been through this before, and He had been faithful.

For the next three days, he did absolutely nothing related to the job situation. We told very, very few people about it and asked them to respect our decision not to play this thing out on the public stage. It's not that we were ashamed. We weren't and aren't. We just felt called to silence. (I'm sure you can imagine how difficult that was for me.)  I'm a yakker, after all, and I love to tell a story.

But here's the thing:

Sometimes, God has a story to tell through you, and sometimes... sometimes... He has a story to tell to you. This was one of those times.

I couldn't have yakked it abroad if I wanted to, though, because within 24 hours, he had to return his blackberry and computer. He adopted Della the Demon Possessed Laptop as his own for the job search since beating the pavement has been replaced with banging the keyboard.

And that's where I've been this past month and why you haven't seen my flower cart meandering about in Blog Land. Oh, I tried,  but it just didn't work to invade his space.  Besides that, we worked nonstop on some projects around here to keep ourselves busy.

After all, 2012 was dubbed the year of Finding the Sunshine, wherever, whenever, and however God sends it. If God chose to send me a handy man around the house, who am I to argue?

Now folks, I don't know what happens when you jump off a blog cliff. I don't know if anyone will even bother to read this post. I decided to write it anyway, though, and try to explain my vanishing act as well as I could.

As to the end of the story? 

I'll leave that to your imaginations. The fact that I'm here today ought to say something.

Well that, and the fact that I serve a mighty God, one who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. How do you think this story ends?


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