Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm just a little black rain cloud

 Let's review, shall we?

First it was the mysterious picture eating blogger bacteria.
Then, it was Della the Demon Possessed Laptop and her amazing whirly swirly circlet...
And then, some careless logger managed to black out power in a ten mile radius.
And then, a random act of senseless incompetence played peek- a- boo with the internet for an entire weekend.

Did I mention that after that particular adventure,
 the husband's office computer simply gave up the ghost?

I didn't?
It did.

Did I mention that Della still whirly swirls on a regular basis?

I didn't?
She does.

And then, of course, there's the air conditioner. I haven't mentioned the misadventures of the upstairs heat pump, either. I was planning to keep that tidbit to myself so as not to earn the title Blog Jonah and get tossed out of the blogger boat.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I have another technological failure to report.

Rest in peace,  shiny red Kodak.
To my credit, I didn't cry.

She had been a bit finicky of late so I'm not completely surprised. The "before" shots of the closet left a bit to be desired as did some pictures that I felt the need to take en route.  When she literally did a fade to black as I was snapping,  I kind of suspected what I would see when I uploaded.  A new battery didn't help. The old girl is apparently done.

Worn slap to death, I imagine.

Therefore, although I did indeed finish the closet reorganization, the "after" shots will have to wait...
Unless you want to squint your way through pictures that look like this.

I didn't think so.

Musta been da debil.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Attack of the Innie Monster

I have confessed before that I’m a confirmed innie.  I like my schtuff squirreled away behind a curtain, door, or screen. If I can stick it in a box behind the curtain, door, or screen, all the better.

Some call it organization.
I call it a stronghold.

That’s because no matter how hard I try, there are certain spaces in my house that get overcome by the Innie Monster.   The Queen Mother of all spaces is the walk- in closet in my den.    I've yakked about it before.

It's supposed to look like this

According to the Duchess, I developed innie infatuation at an early age.  She would send me upstairs to swab the deck, and I would shuffle it instead. I would shuffle it from the floor to the closet. When the closet was full, I invented under-the-bed storage.  

Because mothers can’t be trusted, she loves to rat me out about the most notorious innie incident in Debbie Land.

You see, the Duchess was one of those mothers who encouraged playtime, and generally speaking, she had a high tolerance for toy clutter. She drew the line when clutter became a mess.  

One day,  she ventured into my room to discover one such mess.  

It wasn’t just any old mess, either. Growing up in our house, there were two kinds of messes. There were regular messes, and then there were filthy messes. When the Duchess whipped out the "filthy mess", you knew that you had best skedaddle to your room to do something about it.

I skedaddled.

I shuffled that filthy mess into the closet  and under the bed, and then, because I was obviously too young to understand the whole timing concept, I ran right back downstairs for inspection. 

To say that I failed to pass muster is an understatement.

As legend has it, the Duchess entered the room to discover a bed turned hovercraft and a bulging closet door.  I got the two- syllable scolding complete with the traditional Duchess salutation.

Honestly, Deb-rah! 
 I  don’t know what got into you to make such a 
filthy mess.

And this time, she stood guard as I slinked my way back into the closet to make method out of madness. That's how she heard me muttering.  

Musta been da debil...
Musssta been da debil..

Apparently, I was in there pondering the answer to her rhetorical question.  I stepped out to give it to her.

Musta been da debil 
that made me make such a mess of my room…
But the Lord’s in me now,
 ‘cause I’m pickin’ it up.

And though I still had to clean my filthy mess that day, she decided right then and there that no further scolding was necessary. 

Sharon Sharing God could make a wonderful devotional out of that one. As for me, I’m off on another tangent completely.

You see,  there’s a reason for this ramble this morning, and it’s this:

Her Majesty the Den Closet

  Yet again,
 I’ve managed to make a filthy mess.

Musta been the debil...

But the Lord’s in me now, ‘cause I’m cleaning it up.

I’ve challenged myself to post an after picture post. Feel free to stop by later and keep me honest.

Can anyone relate at all? Do you have a certain spot in your house that’s a magnet for the Innie Monster?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

At the Table of Grace

I wasn't completely sure that I was going to show a table this week, but then I kept playing with that vignette that I was working on last week and kind of fell in love with it. Thanks for all your suggestions by the way.

It hopped back and forth from side table to mantel. Then, I had a notion to bring it to the dining room while the girls were home for an Easter weekend table.

Here it is.

Actually, that's not my dining room table. It will eventually make its way there, but I'm just not a solo act.  Unfortunately, the Duchess is housebound with a knee injury.  I had no choice but to load up my stemware, and linens, and dishes, and accessories and play with dishes at her house.

I brought the inspiration too.
It was inspired by the book
 One Thousand Gifts

It's a table of  gratitude...

And  grace.

That's not a place card.
The grace of God is the centerpiece
of the Easter table.

The rest is just decoration.

The floral salad plates are mine.
I found them at  TJ Maxx. 

I was planning to use some other blue plates to sandwich between the white when the Sister offered up with these perfect turquoise ones. She bought them at the local grocery store.  

This is why I love a group project, folks. So much better than what I had planned.

Brown ruffly placemats.
They're supposed to look like nests.

The sister gets credit for that too.
The flatware?  It belongs to The Duchess

The stemware belongs to me. It's Aurora Blue by Denby and has been a fixture in this house since the Great Wedding Adventure of '84. 

I love the sunshine on those napkin rings. It makes them look like a sea of glass. They belong to the Duchess. I think she got them at Bed Bath and Beyond.

The cross stitched napkins are mine, though. They're a treasure made by my grandmother. It's actually a butterfly. You can't tell when it's scooched up like that.

Eggs painted blue
to match the ones on  the book.

There's absolutely no reason for this shot other than the fact
 that I thought it looked cool with the egg in the glass.

Brown candle sticks from Willow House belong to me.

But those turquoise blossom votives belong to the Sister.

That slick-eared bunny doesn't belong at all.

The Sister stuck it there to see how long it would take me to notice. Then she stood there with the exact same pose and expression. She's such a twerp.

Growing up, her nickname was Thumper.

He got the thump.

That about sums it up. It was definitely a shared effort
and creative therapy
 for a stir crazy Duchess.

The table in the sunlight...

And by candlelight

And even though it was set it for my family,
won't you join us too?

You're always welcome
at the
The Table of Grace

I'll be sharing this for Tablescape Thursday
and for Seasonal Sundays
at The Tablescaper

Monday, April 18, 2011

We are here! We are here!

I'm feeling a bit like the little Who from the dust speck at the end of Horton's nose today.

Remember him? 

It was one of my favorite movies growning up.  Of course, as an adult I realize that it was full of hidden meaning and political message, but as a kid I just wanted to save the little pink dust speck from the evil boilers.

There's no deep political agenda behind my post today, by the way. I'm just feeling like a little Who in Whoville dealing with a Grinch who stole my communication.

First, a nearby oops from a logging crew did some creative rearrangment on power lines. Homes in a ten mile radius were left in a blackout which lasted half a day and half a night. I had to go to Starbucks to save my sanity.

It was barely restored a day when some random act of senseless incompetence caused another system wide failure. This one affected internet access only. Seriously?  

At first, I didn't even realize it was down.  I had a life to live and a luncheon to attend. It wasn't until I returned from my six hour gab fest with visible friends that I discovered I was cut off from the invisible ones in blogland.

And me with pictures, too...

Our access was finally restored sometime late yesterday so here I am on Monday morning quite a bit behind. Eventually, I'll get caught up, but I wanted to take just a minute to thank you for the wonderful comments on my most recent post. I am sincerely overwhelmed, and I will be visiting friends old and new as life allows.

That pesky life. Always getting in the way of blog time...

Several of you asked how the relationship started between Sir Lotsa Hair and the Unsinkable Old Lady. Rather than answer individually, I thought I would just share it here.

Honestly, it was just a friendship that found him.

Years ago, he was teaching college kids in a room by the back door of the church. Because he’s compulsively early and college kids are compulsively late, he was alone in the quiet room when the grey haired ladies started arriving.

That’s how he heard the sound of one of them struggling to open the door.

Because his mom didn’t raise an oaf either, he stepped out to hold it for her. While he was holding it, another lady showed up...
                                 and then another...
                                                  and another....
                                                          and well, you get the picture.

He says to this day that he might never have realized the heaviness of that door or the sweetness of those women had it not been for that single event. As I said, it was just something God gave him. 

At first, he would just listen for the door. Then, he started standing in the hallway.  Pretty soon, he discovered it was easier to wait outside. From that perch of course,  he could see how they struggled to get up the steps. The older they got, the greater the struggle, and the closer to the curb he went.

When you're strolling with ninety year women who like to chat, you can't help but become friends.

In the years since, we’ve lost almost every one of those sweet old ladies, including the one who started it all. The ones who remain are generally driven to church and dropped on the other side by the elevator.

All but The Unsinkable One. She’s determined to continue as is her custom,  and he is equally determined to let her. Personally, I think he just has a crush.

And that's how the whole thing started.

By the way, if you're thinking that Sir Lotsa Hair is on the giving end of that relationship, and the ladies are on the receiving end, you would be wrong. According to him, it's just the opposite. You see, while we women like to bemoan the lack of gentlemen in our society today, he feels the same about the lack of gracious ladies.  The fact that she lets him walk her in is his simple pleasure.

Food for thought, ladies, food for thought. That's all for today.

Comments are off for this post

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Simple Rendezvous

I probably shouldn’t have intruded on the moment. It was Sunday morning and a church parking lot after all. It was neither the time nor place for paparazzi. But there I was, sitting in the car trying to finish up my lesson, and there was the shiny red Kodak, loitering on the seat next to me.

You might have done it too.

I glanced up for a moment, and I could tell by his face that she was coming. It just seemed Providential that I capture the rendezvous.

 They meet there every week, the lady and the dark haired man. I’m just not always there to watch it. It would be simple enough to do since she’s such a creature of habit. At precisely the same time each week, she drives past the church, turns into the empty parking lot behind it, takes a w-i-d-e loop, and heads back to park her car in the outgoing direction.

And the dark haired man always waits.

Then he crosses the street and helps her out of the car.

And they stroll together, an odd couple if I’ve ever seen one. He carries the purse and the bible and bridges the height gap as best as he can to steady the arm. She carries the cane and chats as they go.

I used to think that he helped her because she was old, and I used to think that was the reason she let him. She’s turning 99 this week, after all. The unsinkable old lady was born the day the Titanic went down.

Not long ago, though, I realized that I was wrong.

You see,  I was sitting in my car another Sunday morning when she arrived to an empty sidewalk.  There wasn't a dark haired man in sight.

She glanced around and waited...
She whipped out a little compact for a touchup,
and waited some more.

When she finally started to get out of the car, I jumped out of mine and offered to help her.
The Duchess didn’t raise an oaf, you know...

To my surprise, she refused the offer. Oh, she was polite about it, but she straightened to her full height and assured me that she was perfectly fine.

But then she saw the dark haired man giant-stepping across the lawn.
And folks,
 in a move that would have made Scarlett proud,
that antique belle simultaneously wilted and glowed.
 Really, it was amazing.
I've got to learn how to do it.

And she called out,
“Why there’s ma fray~end.”

And she handed him the purse
 and the Bible,
 and she lifted her arm,
and off they stolled across the street.

And that’s when I finally understood.  It wasn’t help that she wanted at all; it was good old-fashioned chivalry.  You see, my offer just made her feel old. His offer makes her feel like a lady.  

And that's my story for this week. In case you haven't figured it out by now, Sir Lotsa Hair is the Man of the House. Capturing his weekly rendezvous is this week's simple pleasure.

Sharing with ma fray~end Dayle at
Join us for more simple pleasures.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don't quit your day job...


It all started because I wanted to do a simple little table top.  You see, I had that new book, One Thousand Gifts, and I had an empty nest. I thought it might be nice to copy the nest on the cover and display them together.


I also found these pretty blue ceramic thingies at Cracker Barrel. I had it in my head to pile them in that treasure box that I've yakked about along with the word grace. (Well, actually, I had it in my head to tile out the word eucharisteo, but it didn't fit.

So I chose grace.

And I wanted to put them on the side table near my prayer chair. In my head, it was going to look wonderful.

On the table, it just looked blah.
Clearly not enough stuff for the space.

So I added a plant.  I'm pretty sure something either taller or shorter would have been better, but this happens to be the only plant alive here right now.

It still looked blah, and just too dark. This is not the look I'm going for.

 I thought maybe an old window behind it would help.

It's still just too dark to me.
 I thought maybe it needed more blue so I changed out the grace thingie.

Fixed the letters and tried another plant holder.
I don't like this one any better than the first one.  

Then I flew this little bird to the top because I'm a remedial table topper and was trying to have more blue and more height.

Tried it with just the bird on the box.
Didn't like that either.

Folks, no matter what I did, I just didn't like it. I'm so disappointed because I really do think the concept was a good one and would be nice for the Easter season.

I have dinked with this stupid thing for a day and a half because I'm too stubborn to quit. I moved it to the foyer and even the half bath. I moved it to the kitchen on the baker's rack. I didn't like it there well enough to move out all my new red accessories.

I was (and am) so frustrated that I lined it all up on the fireplace with some more blue stuff.  I sort of  like it against the white, but that presents yets another problem.

I had to remove the picture that usually lives there because it clashed. Now, I have a huge gaping white hole behind it. I could put a mirror behind it, but the one that fits is brass. I don't think that would look very good, and no... I'm not willing to paint it for the sake of a seasonal mantel.

So there's the whole ugly mess.
If anyone can fix what ails it, I would truly appreciate the advice.

Clearly, I'm not linking to any parties.
I do have some pride, you know.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Practically Grown

You may have noticed that I rarely if ever post on Sundays. I basically set my Sundays apart to  rest from almost everything, even blogging. Besides, I'm too busy grazing around the family table to waddle to the computer.

But sometimes, a date is so ingrained in the calendar that it practically demands a yakabout even if it does fall on Sunday. Sometimes, a date is practically impossible to ignore.

Today is such a day. Care to guess why?

It's April 10th, one of my favorite days of the year. It marks the anniversary of the day that I began The Great Mommy Adventure, the birthday of my first born daughter, The Practical One.

The Practical One was born 22 years ago on a Monday afternoon. Outside, the rains were driving and the winds were raging.  We could have named her Stormy Gale, had that kind of a name passed muster with the Duchess.

 It didn't.

It didn't matter anyway, because I was completely oblivious to what was going on outside. From where I sat, there was nothing but sunshine. The girl has been lighting up my life ever since. 

We call her The Practical One because she has always been a bit on the serious side. She was given the grace gifts of intellect and compassion...

...a listening heart and a helpful spirit...

And in this mom's unbiased opinon, a great loveliness as well.

I thought she might use her gift of intellect to provide for Good Old Mom in her old age, and I mentioned as much to God.  I suggested a geriatric dentist... or maybe a plastic surgeon.

But noooo.

She's getting a degree in psychology.
Maybe she'll become a therapist.

I report. You decide.

So Happy Birthday to my very Practical Daughter.
 No matter what you grow up to be,
 you will always, always be my little girl.

Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel  them all.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

~Proverbs 31:29-30 NASB

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's Simply a Woman's Perogative... change her mind.

Isn't that what they say? I hope so because I'm exercising that right today.

Have you ever written a post and known even as you're writing it that it's not what you're supposed to be writing that day?

Maybe it's just the timing...
Or that you can't quite get the words from the heart to the fingers...
Or maybe there's just another story to tell or picture to post that day.

That's how I have felt all day. Thursday, you see, is Simple Pleasures day. That's the day that I slow down and focus on the still, small, something that gave me pleasure during the week.

I thought that I had mine.

Even as I typed it out, though, I kept thinking about this other silly thing, and this nagging voice kept telling me that this other silly thing was supposed to be my simple pleasure. I argued back because it just seemed too simple for a yakabout.

Yeah, I know. Isn't that the whole point?

So I changed my mind.
And I submit to you this week's simple pleasure.

It's my kitchen window. 
Really... that's it.

It has made me smile all week, and I don't know why. There's nothing blooming out there right now. A month or so ago, that green that you see was a burst of pink magnolia. I didn't bother to yak it out then. Today, it's just a leafy green branch.  The lawn isn't particularly pretty, either. In fact, if you look closely, you can see debris from our recent wind storm. And it is not yet green underneath.

But for some reason that window has given me a case of the the grins. I even dragged the husband in the room and pointed it out. Don't worry. He didn't get it either.

I'm the kind of person who loves to hide behind curtains and blinds. I'm private and phobic and always a little afraid of a Peeping Tom. Why Tom would want to peep at me is anyone's guess, but I remain shadowed behind blinds anyway.  Can I confess that it seems to be getting worse with age?

But last week when I washed those windows, I left the trusty blinds up for a while. Every time I walked in the kitchen and saw those unfiltered branches against the blue sky, .it just plain made me happy. Sometimes, I just stood there and sighed.

Maybe it was the little  playhouse hidden behind those leaves.

 Can  you see it?

That's the Little House in the Piney Stick Woods where my own Laura and Mary whiled away their childhood.

I used to stand at that very sink and watch them when they didn't know it...

...back before I started hiding from Tom.

I have enjoyed the unfiltered kitchen window so much that, except at night, I've left those blinds up all week.  I even opened the blinds in the rest of the back windows, too.  The front is still well filtered, but one of these days, I'm going to lift them as well, Tom or no Tom.

So that's it.
Lifting my blinds is this week's very simple pleasure.
Sharing with Dayle at A Collection of This and That
for the Simple Pleasure Party.

Project Simple Pleasures2


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