Thursday, June 30, 2011

Simply A Cloud That Cried Wolf

The simple pleasures party at A Collection of This and That has been on a little hiatus.  I’ve really missed it, too. Funny how you don’t realize how much you’ll miss something until it’s gone.

This week’s simple pleasure is kind of like that.

If you read here much, you know that this blogger is in the middle of a severe drought. It has gone way beyond dry grass and dead flowers.  The roots are showing on the river banks, and the piney stick trees are orange. 

The whole ordeal has turned us into a bunch of sky watchers.  We walk outside craning our necks like owls and do the freeze if we think we hear a distant rumble.

I think it can… I think it can…

But time after time, the little rumble that could has turned out to be the thunder who cried wolf.  Not exactly the story that we had in mind, folks.

And so it was with less than hopeful expectation that I watched the clouds teasing over our house the other day.  I can get a little pouty when hope cries wolf; I admit it. But when the trees started swaying and those rumbles became boomers, I stepped outside to capture the evidence.

 Just in case…

Then I plopped right down on the porch to wait.

And I waited…
And I waited…

And do you know what happened?


So I put the shiny red Kodak into protective custody and drank it all in.  And if the neighbors just happened to see a little Gene Kelly action going on? Well... that might have been me, too.  

And I thought about the decades that I have spent pretty much nonchalant on the subject of rain. How many times, I thought, have showers fallen in their season without so much as a whisper of thanks?  

I guess sometimes it takes a season without them to remedy that. 

So thank you for your prayers, blogging friends. 
Enjoying the fruit of them was this week’s simple pleasure.

Taking my grateful self to Dayle's place.
Join me for more
 Simple Pleasures

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This Little Light of Mine

Just another little project to report from the garage sale rejects which managed to meander back into the house at the beginning of the month.

Because it's the end of the month you see, and as you might recall, I promised the Man of the House that I would  use 'em or lose 'em by then. I showed this little beauty in that last post.

It's the top half of a lantern post that I've had in my attic since the mid 80s. I got it for the walk in our first home. Of course, I didn't take into consideration that it might involve a major electrical installation beyond our pay grade...

It procrastinated in that attic until we moved to our second home, There, it rusted for the next decade, its final humiliation being rejection at the recent garage sale.

I can't imagine why ...

I had a notion that it could still be useful 
so I took it apart and cut out all the electrical guts.

And then took it apart some more. The glass, as you probably know, just pulls right out.  Then I primed it and painted it Heirloom White.  I had to cover some (now) useless holes in the top with some wooden pegs but actually think that gives it a bit more character.

As you might have noticed in that second photo, the base was a hot mess. Fortunately, that stone flecky paint covers a multitude of sins.

I'm currently using it on my kitchen table for the holiday week.
I decoupaged the candle appropriately.

And  I made a set of coasters to match since I have that little decoupage a coaster addiction...

Anyway, that's another one down.

Once the holiday is over, I think  I'm going to move it to the top of the china cabinet in the dining room for a while and use it for a little vignette inspiration there. I might even schlep it to a party or two. In the meantime, I'll be sharing this little light of mine with Vanessa  and Heather for Inspiration Friday.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Keeping it all bottled up

This is the Cherokee Rose, the state flower of Georgia. It’s a beautiful climber that likes to spill over the fences.  I would love to say that I took this picture in my lawn, but I didn’t. I took these shots during my recent visit to the local botanical gardens.

There's a legend of the Cherokee Rose

The rose, they say, sprouted up along the infamous Trail of Tears in remembrance of grieving mothers. The white petals were made from their tears, and the center from gold taken from Cherokee lands. Seven leaves on each stem stand for the seven Cherokee clans.

It's a sweet little story, but in the end that's all it is, a story.

Maybe it's just me, but I've never thought that legend was very flattering to the god it manufactured.  He seems like a bit of a mocker to me. What kind of a god takes the sorrow of your spirit and scatters it abroad for trail decoration?  I mean, seriously... Who wants to leave behind a trail of tears?    I would hate to think that generations behind me could ever point to my walk of faith and  say, “Yep. That’s where Debbie cried her way through life.”

I’d rather leave a legacy of laughter, of songs of praise and shouts of joy.

But here's the thing:

There have been tears, lots of them in fact, and most of my tears have been kind of important to me.  While I don’t want to be remembered by them, I still would like to know that they were remembered. 

I don't think I'm alone here, either. In fact, I think that sometimes  the one thing that keeps us wallowing in our sadness over something that we can not change is the fear that somehow drying our eyes and moving forward means that our tears will be like our sins, tossed into the sea of forgetfulness...

You know, like they  never mattered at all. To anyone.

And so we're tempted to haul them around with us. At best, like a sticky note; at worst, like an idol.

I'm so glad that the God of Truth is nothing like the god of legend. He has a completely different take on this matter of remembrance.

Psalm 56:8

For one, He takes account of our wandering, a word which properly means to wander in exile... you know, like a displaced person. If you've ever been spiritually displaced, you can understand why the word is also translated lamentation.

And what's more, He puts our tears in His bottle. Now, I'm unsure whether He has a personal tear storage unit marked Debbie or one big huge bottle where my tears mingle with your tears. (I kind of hope it's the second one. I'm sort of a mingler by nature.)

All I know is that once shed, those tears belong to Him. He saves them. What's more, He records them, each and every drop, in His book.

He knows the whole story, folks. In truth, He knows it better than we do.
We can trust Him to remember and move on.

...and He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
                                                                                                             ~ Job 8:21

Comments are off, but
I'm still sharing this here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In sickness and in health...

If you read my blog post a few days ago, you might recall that the husband and I have always managed to do a little something for our anniversary. We've run the gamut, from dinners out to dinners in, from fancy meals to picnics for two. Yes indeed, for richer or for poorer, we hadn't missed a year.

Until this year.

You see, not too long after I posted our plans, I began to swoon with a different type of dizziness than the one I felt on that other June day.  I tagged it a combination of excitement and low blood sugar and decided to remedy it in the usual way (you know... ice cream...)  and leave in the morning refreshed and rested. 

Only I didn't wake refreshed and rested.

I woke with heavy head and full blown something-or-other.  By 10:00, it was obvious that I wasn't going to rally, and the plans were cancelled. While he rearranged work schedules and headed home, I lounged on the sofa feeling sorry for myself and watching the Casey Anthony trial.

As if I weren't nauseated enough...

Just for the record, no matter how vociferously you address a television screen, prosecuting attorneys do not heed your advice in cross examination.

But I digress...

I've been sort of weak- eyed for the past few days and am only now feeling the ability or desire to peek at  a flashy computer screen. It may take me a while to get caught up.

We're still planning to celebrate our day, even though we'll be late to our own party.  (Kind of ironic when you consider that I started my last post confessing neurotic punctuality, isn't it?

Man plans. God laughs...

And so I'm leaving the timing in His capable hands and resting. Lest you think chivalry is dead, though, think again. The anniversary wasn't a complete bust.

You see, Sir Lotsa Hair knows me very well. 
 He knows that I'm a hopeless romantic...

But he also knows that I'm a tightwad...

And he knows that for much less than the cost of a single arranged bouquet, he can buy a bucket 'O  flowers at the farmer's market.

   And spread the anniversary love all over the house.

So that's exactly what we did.

If you haven't introduced your husband
to the Bargain Bucket Bouquet,
 I highly recommend it.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

For Better Or For Worse

Have I mentioned that I'm neurotically early?   It's true. I have huge anxiety about arriving late to any function. I'm the kind of gal who rushes around the house like a screaming banshee to get some place, only to arrive so early that I have to sit  hide in the car for 30 minutes to avoid that conspicuous feeling of being the first to arrive.

Can anyone relate?

I only mention this to explain my conspicuous earliness for this post. You see, tomorrow, not today, we'll be celebrating our  anniversary.  Yep. Twenty seven years ago tomorrow, Sir Lotsa Hair took this talkative woman to be his lawfully wedded wife.

So I'm heading to Atlanta to meet him there for our annual celebration. In twenty-seven years of marriage, we've had years of plenty and years of want, but through it all, we've always managed to do something special to celebrate.

If you do the math, you'll calculate that I got married in 1984, smack dab between Diana and Fergie.

Which means that I had  a Big Fat 80s Wedding

I wore a big old 80s  princess dress complete with pouf sleeves and ruffled lace. My veil was attached to a ring of fresh flowers. (I'm pretty sure Fergie stole that idea from me, but I've never been able to prove it.)

My bridesmaids were bedecked in magenta taffeta,

...bless their hearts.

They had the pouf thing going on as well, and long trains which swished around at the altar and .... um....bustled up for the reception.

Which was outside
In June
In Georgia
At High Noon.

Yeah, I'm not sure what I was thinking either, but I had always wanted an outdoor reception, and the Duchess was all about making dreams come true.

They did.

When I think back on that day, I'm pretty sure I would change some things. It would be a little smaller, and a little cooler, and hopefully a little less itchy.

But even though I'll concede that those magenta frocks might be candidates for the movie 27 Dresses, and  the outdoor reception might not have been the wisest choice, I still think that was all pretty special.

And even though that skinny boy has wrinkles around his twinkles and a little gray in his lotsa hair, I still think he's pretty special, too.

So what about about you?
Is there anything you would change about your special day?

Monday, June 20, 2011

So put on your menopanties and deal with it...

I realize that I’ve been hit and miss in blogland lately. There are several good reasons for that, but probably the main one is that somewhere between turning 49 and turning  49 ½,  I’ve become one big ball of raging hormone.

It’s true.

Between outside temperatures of 100 degrees and my flaming hormones, I have a personal heat index of 212.  I know this because I’m prone to boil over and spew water at any random minute.

If I could put two cohesive thoughts together, I would try to pound them out. Of course that would put my keyboard in the same sorry shape as the rest of my computer.

I feel sorry for my daughters.

I’d probably feel sorry for Sir Lotsa Hair  too if he weren’t so infuriating.  Just for the record, reaching for an imaginary Men-o-Manual and flipping through imaginary pages is not comic relief.  His best bet is probably a clean getaway.

He uses that convenient little thing called business travel.
I use that convenient little thing called a cell phone.

Wok wok wok wok wokkkkkkkk……..

I ranted for 15 minutes last week before I realized that he had been in a dead zone the entire time.

It made me irrationally weepy.

It doesn’t help that all my friends are around the same age and going through the same thing. In the case of mischievous hormones, misery does not love company. Good grief, it’s like being in the seventh grade all over again. We need a few 59 year old menograduates in our circle to ease us over the hill. Too bad they all alienated us ten years ago.

Just sayin’….

Now folks, I think I could handle this out-of-body irrational weepy/ranty adventure if this pausing thing weren’t playing such havoc with my personal appearance as well.

Mainly, it’s a hair thing.  For one thing, it’s flat and limp. I live in the south and came of age in the 80s so I like a little poof on the roof.  Hormone hair does not poof. It just hangs like an unattractive piece of yellow embroidery thread.

My stylist once told me to keep wet hair in a towel for a spell before taking it down. It’ll confuse the roots, she says, and create the desired roof poof.   For years, this little trick has worked like a charm. Of course, that was before the aforementioned roof became so uncontrollably hot.

These days, it just creates a steam room and roots which are not only confused but irritated to boot. I wouldn’t recommend it. Besides, it’s not working anymore anyway. That’s because hormone hairs are not only thinner and finer, they are fewer.

It’s true. I read it on the internet.

That’s not to say that they are falling out. Man hair falls out. From what I can gather, hormone hair just retires to sunnier climes on the Chin Peninsula.  It all starts innocently enough with an early retiree or two. The next thing you know, Snowbirds are nesting all over your face.

OK, I'm being a little dramatic. They're not all over the face…

They certainly aren’t nesting in the eyebrow zone. Instead, there are clear signs of mutiny on the golden arches. Since I’m blond, I never had an impressive set of eyebrows to begin with, but I always had enough. Nowadays, all I see is sparse undergrowth covered by a few gray comb- overs.

Of course, you might not notice that..

I probably wouldn’t  notice it all either were it not for my illuminated 10X magnifying mirror. That’s where the irrational part comes in. It was pretty irrational to buy the thing, but since the eyesight was the first thing to go, it seemed a good idea at the time.

Deep breath.

Oh, there’s more, but I just checked the word count and have grossly exceeded my limit. I’ll have to talk about my leg hair and dry skin another day.  At least now you know how the husband feels. Wok wokwokwok wokkkkkkk…

I hope someone can relate.
If not, it’s going to make me irrationally weepy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Praying Pines

I saw this pine tree along my country commute today.

Does he look like he's praying to you? 
He did to me.

I'm pretty sure I know  
exactly  how he feels.

We're in a serious drought, you see.
It's gone way beyond wilted flowers
 and dry grass.

What once was wetlands
 is now dry gulch. 

And the Georgia pines aren't doing so well...

There are solitary sufferers...

And entire  piney stick forests.

Broken branches hanging by a thread

 and ones left to grow on their own
drying up along the way.

It's amazing how much a literal drought is like a spiritual one, isn't it?

To be honest, it's getting kind of scary around here. I tend to be a 'fraidy cat with a vivid imagination, after all. Between the poor economy and these dust bowl days, I could imagine myself a character from The Grapes of Wrath with very little encouragement. 

But  God has not given me a spirit of fear. God has given me a quiet reminder in the forest instead.

And so, I make like the pine tree,
and I bow.

Would you please intercede for the southeast, and ask God for the mercy of rain? 

And for me today:

Let my teaching fall like rain 
and my words descend like dew,
 like showers on new grass, 
like abundant rain on tender grass. 

I will praise the Word of the LORD
Oh, praise the greatness of the LORD.
Deuteronomy 32:2-4

 Comments are off

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dining in the Pink

This week, I have two very similar tables,
 both inspired by surprises from my husband.

You see, a few months ago, he came home from business travel 
and handed me a box full of this:

Two place settings of his mother's china.
It's Charnwood by Wedgewood.

He said that he thought it would make me smile.
(It did.) 

I knew immediately that I wanted to set it up in an explosion of  pink azaleas, 
and that's exactly what we did.
Unfortunately, that was also the week that my computer went on the fritz,
and I never posted this.

(Yes, I know there's a crooked candle. I still like the picture.)

We didn't do any creative layering with other dishes this time.
 Sometimes, I think a set of beautiful china 
ought to just stand alone
 the way it was intended,
don't you?

Especially when there are so many pretty pieces.

In addition to the place settings, 
she sent along this vegetable bowl for good measure. 

Since her china is rimmed in gold and not platinum, we decided to emphasize the gold on this table. 

We used gold chargers.

And this set of stainless. 

And a coffee pot for no other reason than it had a gold rim.

Everything else was crystal or glass.

The fostoria belongs to the Duchess
(By the way, so do the azaleas.)

These napkin rings are mine.
 I found these napkins for half off at a local store.
They compliment these dishes on one side
 and reverse to a festive stripe.

The crystal is my Moonspun by Lenox

So that was the first table...

But last week, the husband brought home another little gift,
a bouquet of pink  lilies from the farmer's market.
Flowers make me smile, too.
He's a pretty good guy, that man I married.

So the girls and I decided to set another pink table with just  a few differences.

First, this one was on the inside not the outside.
It's 100 degrees out there, people...

The coffee pot was replaced with stacked cups.
The candles were a deeper pink,
and the candlesticks were brass instead of glass.

  I found those sticks in my recent attic purge.
I had hoarded them to paint them, but I'm glad I didn't now.

The Moonspun was changed to this vintage cut crystal that belongs to my sister.
I liked it better with the napkin rings.

And there you have it.
Proof that I can set a table just like his mother.
Now if I could only learn to cook like her...

 Inside or outside, I think this china is so beautiful that it would grace any table.
Many thanks to my mother-in-law  for sharing some pieces with me.

Sharing with Pink Saturday
and  Tablescape Thursday


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