December 21, 2012

CHRISTmas

Merry Christmas to you!

Whew!  Are you as crazy busy as I am?  It's 1:09AM, here, and I am sitting up, waiting for candy to harden so that I can add it to the gift baskets that my husband is taking to his coworkers.  Exhausted. 

It seems like the past two weeks have been a blur.  We've run, run, run... trying to get presents bought, wrapped and under a decorated tree.  I have to admit, I have four trees in my house.  I have a problem.  Every time I find a tree at a yard sale, I think it should go home with me.  Oh, well.  My yard sale addiction should be addressed in a separate post.  Its. that. bad. 
Several days ago, when my husband got home from work, we ran into town to see Santa.  We were throwing hair bows in, and tying a tutu on as we were stumbling into the mall. 
You see, in addition to my Christmas tree addiction, I have an addiction to Santa Claus pictures.  I have pictures framed of my daughter visiting Santa every year from birth.  It. must. happen. 

So, after all of the hustle and bustle, we came face to face with Santa.  Sweet, chunky monkey Santa.
And my child refused to sit in his lap.  As a matter of fact, as soon as we walked into the photo area, she screamed like we were sending her home with him, and never returning.

It was bad. 

I have to confess.  In that moment, I was so overwhelmed.  All I could think about was not getting a picture of her and Santa.  My foot was tapping.  My lips were puckered.  Eyes dilating.  Patience leaving my body.

My sweet husband said, "I'll get it."  But, he couldn't have pried her away to save his life.  

In that moment, as I looked on, and my child was pleading not to have to sit on Santa's lap, it dawned on me... memories are being made.  Don't take a picture that she'll look back on and hate every time she sees it.  What's the point in having a picture of something that everyone remembers as a bad moment?

So, we joined in.  That sweet Santa Claus was so patient with us.... I can't believe his chair didn't go to the ground... 

And, as I look at these pictures, I am reminded that it's not about the lights, or the trees... the ornaments, or the candy... it's not about Santa, tutus or hair bows...

It really boils down to one little baby....
One little baby who left the perfection of heaven to come to a dingy, dirty earth and save the world.... 

It was a strange way to save the world, but it is what God chose.... 
Christmas is about salvation....
...Jesus
...Love
...Forgiveness
...Sacrifice
...Selflessness

It's about so many things... so many things that rarely even make our "To Do" list. 
I'm reminded of these things (at 1:30AM, mind you)....

So, with Jesus on my mind and in my heart -
 I wish you a Merry Christ filled CHRISTmas!
Blessings to you, and glory and honor to HIM! 
((Hugs))
Heather

December 13, 2012

Glimpses of The Christ-mas Season at Gramma's House~




[I may not have time for REAL POSTS..Check in daily for new scenes -Have a wonderful, Christ filled, Joyful time with your loved ones. We expect to have almost all of our Children and Grands with us on the 23rd so Inspiration should find me   as we enjoy  new ways of celebrating Christmas for Two ]

 
 
 
 Designer: Vicky Dickert  Photos: jwh

December 07, 2012

Gramma is Never Too Old To Learn-

Can you believe I am still into pre Christmas cleaning at our house? Finally, I got to the PANTRY PROJECT.  It wasn't unbearable but I knew how long it had been neglected and it bothered me. 
Pantry clean and organize is not a major chore..it just needs to be done and I was quite proud of myself reaching the halfway mark..finishing one side-half way to the goal line.
I knew I had accomplished something as I tossed those now full trash bags into the garbage outside-the bags weighed "a ton"...or so it seemed.
You ask why?  The why is because I discovered quite a few cans of outdated food items..the 'best used by' or the 'Sell by" dates were 'history'. I was quite pleased with myself, knowing I could trust what's on my pantry shelves.

C Is for Christmas~

Yes, 'C' is for Christmas/Christmastime and Christmas is first about  Christ.

I love sharing what's important and fun  as well as inspirational to me during the Christmas season. Linger just a moment or two...the list is 'short and sweet.'
  • Candle light & Christmas Eve candlelight Service
  • Christmas lights..the small clear ones
  • Blue lights in my windows [a reminder of the star of Bethlehem]
  • Jingle Bells..the sound of
  • Carols...Christmas Carols  & Caroling [O Holy Night, Winter Wonderland, Silent Night ]
  • Hot Apple Cider & familiar goodies we have every year
  • Family together
  • Gathering with  people who are dear to us
  • Fire in the fireplace
That's All, folks...No, we don't need to add presents/gifts to make the list complete, only the 'presence' of loved ones!

Please add your own Christmas list by way of a Comment then join us as we share  our C thoughts   at  http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com

December 01, 2012

More Thankfulness..~

How could I forget to post this [another] Thankful Note  earlier when we were all sharing our daily thoughts as we moved into the official season of Giving Thanks? I hope you can still benefit from it  now as we dive into This Glorious Season of Celebrating Christ otherwise known as Christmastime.

[November 21,2012] This is the moment on the day before the official day of THANKSGIVING [when I pause before jumping head first into CHRISTMAS] and catch my breath, visually take in all that is around me and ask the Holy Spirit again to 'create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit' and a THANKFUL HEART. We do need reminders don't we? I do for sure. satan [ no capital S for satan] would destroy and erase all thankfulness from my being..but he cannot. To God be the Glory!
  • Faith -Family-Friends-Flowers: Our cup runs over
  • I am full of thankfulness for so much.. We are definitely not rich. We do not have money. But honestly even as satan tries to remind me of the luxuries I cannot access, the trips we cannot take, the sights we will never see, the luxuries we cannot share with one another ...I resist.  There is truly nothing material that we have need for.  We have enough..indeed most often more than enough.  My parents would look at our lives and think how 'rich' we are. I must admit I often feel that too.
  • In our home, our lives we have contentment. ..our days are not filled with strife, conflict or dissension. I think we best describe that as PEACE. We have that. For that God gets the praise..because the 'enemy' would not choose peace for us.

December First ~ It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

The 9ft. plus tree is 99.5% finished in the living room and I am waiting for my helper to show up with the stamina, height and basic skills for  getting the lights strung, secured and uniform circling the front porch roof line. So far all the strings I have pulled from the storage box are testing positive when plugged in.  Wish me luck with that!

and ...our "JOY TO THE WORLD" banner [w spotlight] will get in place while I have the additional pair of hands.  Ted's handcrafted Nativity silhouette [w spotlight] is already in place. The banner and the nativity [ NOEL] are our choices to make a statement to onlookers . We want to be clear about WHAT WE ARE CELEBRATING during this season of festivities and decorations and lights. Make no mistake Jesus Christ is THE REASON FOR THIS SEASON. 


Everything else is just frivolous, frosting on the cake and fun with all the good things like Sharing, Giving, Caring for those who cannot care for themselves. 

November 22, 2012

A Thankful Note~

Thanksgiving Day at the Harrison House in South Alabama-5 a.m. when the alarm sounded-It was painful. I went straight to the kitchen to set the oven & turn on the flame to perk the coffee. Yes, I said "perk" the coffee. I am back to perking coffee again. At this early hour I was having serious self doubting moments-doubting my sanity for setting this plan in motion and doubting my physical ability to get it done.  No, I am not THE COOK today. I'm only a 'contributor'..preparing two  simple dishes to pitch in with the others at our [newest] daughter in law's Thanksgiving gathering .  She and our [oldest] son have only been married a year and it was her choice to have everyone for this feast of food day.

At almost 7 a.m. I smell the southern cornbread dressing  in my oven since 5:30 a.m. I'm wondering if I can possibly wait for Brunch with part of our family around 10-10:30.

I know my blog readers/followers are working with a list, a schedule with 'things to do' and 'places to be' so I will keep this early Turkey Day post short and sweet.

For those who may be wondering how we are managing to be Thankful in this season of Thankfulness...relax, that is not an issue.

I cannot be less than thankful...after all I serve a Savior who died for me and that same God placed a sweetheart for life  alongside me who has faithfully without wavering devoted himself to me and our children  for more than 53 years. 
For many years as I pray I ask God to keep my heart tender..and thankful. I truly believe If I have that tender, thankful heart  the Holy spirit will always be able to reach me breaking through any self imposed distance or coldness I might be dealing with. 
For this special day I pray for each of you much joy, many loved ones around you and a heart full of peace, compassion and thankfulness.  Enjoy-Let's not  waste a minute of this day God has given us.

                                          Looking Forward ~
Jonell

November 12, 2012

What Does H O M E Feel Like?

This weekend I had a long and wonderful telephone conversation with a dear, special lady from my PHS Class of 1959.  It was sweet and thoughtful of her to call, inquiring about our personal situation, as we deal with a significant health issue.
After Bonnie and I talked for an easy half hour- I  began to think about my feelings  about GOING HOME. 



  • My south Georgia cousins are now scattered, not many actually live in the area I now refer to as Home Some long for connection and contact; Others don't seem to have the same need
  • My 'back Home' is rural south Georgia.
  • Home is recognizing twists and turns in the country roads, recalling who lived there & things that happened here.
  • Home feels like Good memories, Sad Memories and snapshots in time all filed away in our personal memory banks
  • Home feels like being remembered
  • Home feels like being accepted, Valued, Appreciated, even Treasured
  • Home feels like a good fit
  • Home has an open door..another rocker on the porch . an extra plate set at the table -and a bed that can be readied for unexpected company
  • Home is  conversations that begin with "Remember when?"
  • Home feels like "Us"...
  • Home: the ultimate Group Hug

High School Class Reunion [s]


PHS left front view of bldg prior to
recent Renovation
 My Patterson High School Class of 1959 gathers at this time each year in south Georgia.
It's been  on our calendars annually since our really big 50th Reunion in 2009. My husband and I were unable to make it this year. The random thoughts below traversed through my even more random mental files after a long telephone conversation with Bonnie who called, knowing we were no shows because of the significant health issue enveloping our lives just now.
Our high school class is unique. Many of the fifty-two graduates have remained or returned to that rural area of south Georgia. Others like myself, had lost contact or only a few reconnect visits over the span of 50 years. Since our big 50th reunion affair we gather each fall and typically about 27-29 of us show up. [We've lost 8 or 10 of the group.]
The showing up is not the unique quality of the class of '59.

'Your House is Like H O M E'

I know you are reading this post title with a quizzical expression and asking "What does that mean?"  It's coming. I will explain...stay with me.

A young blogger friend  notes that her blog is all about "making your house a Home."  I carefully and lovingly try to leave just the right decorative touches around the Harrison House calling upon every ounce of creativity in me to do so.  On more than one occassion someone has at the end of the 'free house tour' exclaimed "I love your house" and the last part of that expression is "It is soo Comfortable."  Another has said "It's like turning the pages of Southern Living Magazine."
After some consideration on my part I  came to the conclusion that these are great responses to my creative efforts. It's  "A Good Thing"..[Martha Stewart]
This weekend I took note of yet another very unique and heartfelt expression after yet another Harrison House Tour.
We were truly blessed to host three Troy University students in our home for lunch on Saturday. Two of the young ladies are International students from China and the third an all American southern girl.
As I took care of  last minute things for our lunch outdoors on the deck, the girls were free to wander and check out our home.  After a quick unsupervised look around the petite 24 yr. old graduate student [who looks like a 15 yr old ] joined me in the kitchen and in her bubbling youthful enthusiastic way shared with me : "I just love your house-it is like  HOME."

Now, how totally priceless is that! She was not trying to be 'cute.'  I asked if I could share her thoughts on Like Gramma's House and asked permission to post pictures.I knew the University students  would likely be surprised  this 71 year old  would be a blogger and gave them a little background on my blog motivation etc.
"I just love your house-it is like  HOME."

Post Script: After the perfect compliment I think it's a good place to stop-another HOME post will follow shortly


Jonell~


November 11, 2012

Lunch in Brundidge - Precious New Friends ~

  My husband and I won the "Lucky You" award today! We  had these three young students for lunch  and the weather was just too perrrrrrfect to waste indoors. We settled around one table outside on the deck.
No Applause please ~ it was soooooo easy. Just grabbed some 'unmatched' and too small tablecloths from my stash, overlapped to pretend they were the perfect size-pulled down one of my favorite teapots [ western Kentucky/Hawesville ] The flower bed alongside the patio conveniently provided an abundance of yellow and purple blooms to fill that teapot then all we had to do was fan away the 'natural beauties' [insects] ..carpenter Bees and something that was harmless but looked a bit like yellow jackets.  Nooooo problem, don't panic, they were only interested in the pollen laden blooms,not us.
Nothing more  needed for decor after laying out the multiple colors of Fiesta dishes. Our meal was simple- the "crowd size" recipe of homemade Chili, [some for the freezer] homemade cornbread- a little fresh green salad and ended the meal with a homemade Pecan Chess Pie topped with [fresh!] whipped creme. [You can applaud now-I made two so there's a spare on hand to share with someone.]
Our three new friends were Troy University students -one American/southerner & two Chinese. Kolby the American student provided transportation and helped when I had trouble communicating clearly with our precious  guests from China.
One of the girls..I think it was Liao came bouncing in the Kitchen after doing the "free house tour" and in that bubbly vivacious adorable way she has delivered her opinion of our house. She said "I really like your house-it feels like a HOME."
Liao, thank
you sweetheart-that was a priceless compliment and I will treasure it. That is after all what we decorators, designers, stagers, bloggers and Moms are trying to do isn't it- Make our house a Home~I found myself wishing I had a better 'ear' for their language-it makes me feel badly thinking that they may have not understood things I tried to communicate. I have much room for improvement.

November 05, 2012

Just for the Record: Let's Swing for the Trees

Grab A  Warm Drink-Pull Up A Chair- Let's Talk


Disclosure:  This post may include TMI [too much information] and be of interest only to Loved Ones & Dear Friends who actually are 'loved ones' also.  I am not offended if you choose to move to another  room to finish your Coffee/tea  [scroll down to another conversation].

My Silver Fox started a new chapter of his life back in the spring, this year 2012. It began with continuing to notice weight loss and  that was not in the beginning chalked up as a bad thing.[a total of 33-38 lbs] He became aware of  issues with swallowing, called this to the attention of his VA doctors perhaps in April. That initiated testing..one test next month, another test a few weeks later,etc. I think it was June [while Ted was still drowsy from anesthesia] I sat in a small waiting room and had the doctor who had done his procedure tell me what she found was cancer..at the base of the Esophagus.

God created us with Tears for times such as this. And he place a medical professional who identified herself as a follower of Christ in that little space to comfort me. She reassured me 'it was going to be allright.' I knew that.  No I didn't need staff clergy  ...I knew where to take my fears, my heartbreaking my doubts..Inside "I cry out." satan would defeat me..if he could. For several weeks I was aware [in the most fearful doubting moments] that satan would have me defeated by those fears, questions and uncertainties.

 I shared that need with Pray-ers. God's word promises ...He will not leave me. He does not promise to take the storms out of our lives but He does walk with me through..to the other side. and His Mercy endures forever.
  • In the beginning : Discussion regarding> Surgery, Chemo, Radiation. I struggled with a little book in hand to understand & organize the information. As I recall we had several conversations with  medical professionals before someone finally said: "Stage 4" [Quietly exit here if it's TMI]

November 01, 2012

Halloween-Fall-Thanksgiving & Christmastime

My dear friend  Heather just confessed to her Christmas Addiction on facebook. She bared her soul and admitted she may need a little help-maybe a support group. It's November 1st and she wants to haul out the Christmas trees and start decking the halls!  Just stop it y'all [facebook posters] with encouraging her.  I am old, getting older, sentimental and loving the Christmas scene, sights and sounds -more with time, not less. I am also, vulnerable as an old lady and can be easily influenced by you young, smart, creative, energetic types. Have mercy! Don't tempt me. I do not have the energy to start climbing that ladder to the attic just yet...maybe need some super duper vitamin infusion first.

OOkay...I have taken a break, am breathing normally-have decided I can defend myself girls so here goes-this is my take on this Halloween - Fall - Thanksgiving - Christmastime DECORATING DILEMMA. Be kind now and listen [ or read, actually] politely the way your Mama taught you.[regarding your elders].

I also struggle with this contagious fervor from east Texas. I definitely, absolutely love the FALL Y'ALL...would use the word AUTUMN more often but it's hard to rhyme. I had no trouble playing along with Heather to get my Fall thing in gear for our online OPEN HOUSE. [for you slow learners..check her blog http://stringtownhome.blogspot.com  you can still find it.  I do love the season changing into it's fabulous colors even if we here in south Alabama do get short changed in that respect. YOU KNOW I'm loving this theme - I have a large BOWL FILLED WITH FALL LEAVES in my living room. [ you can laugh or smirk- I will never know ].
Now here's the REVEAL...remember-be kind.  When you were stretching the dollar store cob webs, flying bats & such..I was politely, ever so quietly IGNORING HALLOWEEN. True- I just pretended it was not happening.  {here is a space for laughter] Today November 1st I have no tub full of CANDY to dispose of and no messy 500 calorie cupcakes to pass out to the neighbors. I STILL HAVE MY FALL Y'ALL.

Henceforth- we  glide uneventfully toward THANKSGIVING..and all the while I, just like you have VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMSDANCING IN MY HEAD...get the picture.?  Yes, I shop all year long in my favorite flea markets & antique shops  for very, very VINTAGE ornaments..shoring up the inventory of all white,gold and silver or replacing those broken last season. 
Some years I am smart enough to have some fall deco that can hang around and have Christmas worked into without having to do the huge take down and put up. 

NEXT:  I have my problems too.  While I cannot wait to have that 9ft plus tree done and flip the switch..there's a catch.  I DON'T WANT TO TAKE IT DOWN AFTER CHRISTMAS.  While Heather's hubby doesn't know what he might find [Christmas] all over the house when he comes back from his hunting trip in this pre thanksgivng space...My husband just prays after December 26th that he will be surprised when he walks in and find NOTHING  decorated., all signs of Christmastime gone. Did I mention that we have small trees all over the house. I will share Christmas Decor Pictures just as soon as it is decent to do so. Get in line! 

Thanks Heather & Company for your inspiring facebook conversation  - I jumped into your fb exchange and when the post began to look like a 'book' I decided to publish it for Like Gramma's House Readers/Followers  instead.  If you are new to LGH I hope you can linger for a while on the front porch, the backyard swing or maybe settle in on the new white bench next to the deck, perhaps snuggle up w a cup of coffee or grab a favorite tea and enjoy -and catch up with recent posts and the quiet, small town life we share in south Alabama.

Looking Forward,
Jonell

October 31, 2012

Life, Linens. Love & Such~

Use Today. Use the cloth napkins. Use the good manners, the good dishes.  Say the 'I love yous.'  Share the sweet compliments.  Share Jesus Christ.

About 10-15 years ago my husband said one night as he slipped into bed and under the sheets fresh from laundry day: "Fresh linens feel sooooo good" I thought in that moment  if reasonably possible I would change the linens on our bed every day..Oftentimes after that when time was not an issue I would make  fresh linens a twice weekly event.
The last time we bought new linens was 6 years ago and the choices we made were the most expensive good quality we actually could find & afford at the time.  That was a good choice. I still don't need to go linen shopping. We did discover that all cotton is not the same. We've noticed one or two sets of sheets have that smooth yet crisp fresh feel of cotton ..like the shirts and blouses we buy now that are truly no iron [nothing like the old fabric]
Recently my husband began to lose his hair after starting chemo treatments and mentioned being aware of hair  on his Pillow every morning. After that I change the pillow cases every day. It gives me pleasure to do that for him. Scripture does teach us we are to serve "one another."  This is not a sacrifice. It's a joy!

I repeat: Use the day. Use the Good dishes. Use the time. Share the thoughts. Share the expressions of Love-the words, the touch. And the most loving expression also includes backing off - a gift of time and space not pressing to own every moment, every thought.

Feel free to leave your own thoughts by way of COMMENTS below.

Looking Forward,
Jonell

October 27, 2012

Life Is Not Always A Party But We Still Celebrate

While "life is not always a party', we can always find something to celebrate.

We celebrate Life, breath and the gift of Salvation and Eternity with a God of Great Love. If you are not on the 'same page' with us then just humor me and tag along, you may stumble across something of value or at least encouragement if not enlightenment.
In the middle of the storms of life...No, He doesn't always cancel the storm but He always hangs in there with us while we get through to the other side. Always,you may ask? Yes, Always.
No He does not always respond with "money in the mailbox' or exact color and size but he shows up in His time, with answers that fit and meet the need as He sees it. He has that right. He is God. He is Sovereign. I submit to that and ask Him to honor that submission. O the stories of how He has honored that submission in our lives.
I celebrate forgiveness. He has forgiven and we know according to scripture He forgives then forgets. I can't do that. Sometimes I reach back so far and dredge up remembrances [already forgiven] and satan would defeat, discourage me with those. He would-but he is not in control of this Child of the King.

October 19, 2012

The Great Outdoors- Everything Tastes Better

A simple meal, even your favorite sandwich with chips/fries and a cold drink will taste better with the backdrop of nature or a beautiful garden area.
All it takes is an extra 15 minutes to grab a tray-a colorful plate and napkin [ cloth ] and invite your sweetheart to join you.  The first time [without guests] you do this he may be caught a bit off guard and be wondering 'what's up' with this?  Make it a habit on beautiful weather days and he will begin to see it for what it is- a loving gesture that says "I want to spend time with you." 
I think you will find yourselves lingering longer over your ordinary meal..making another sweet memory.
By the way- you don't have to have a sweetheart to do this..grab a friend. That works too.

                                              

Looking Forward ~
Jonell


Candle Light & Good Will Connections -



I have a challenge for you today.  What does candle light and your local Salvation Army and Good Will Stores have in common? {I'm thinking the photo gave it away}
Answer: From my recent life experience it's the smart place to go first for replenishing your supply of candles for a 'whoopdeedoo superduper' price.  {Brag,Brag}
Yes, I love Candles-until they have all burned down [some say "up"] and I have to shop for replacement inventory just prior to the Thanksgiving-Christmastime season. I have good taste..an eye for quality, shapes & the right colors but it's the checkout at the register step that puts a cloud in my day. I do so hope you have access to GW and SA stores with a big inventory.
All it took to make my day this trip was two 3 in x 9 in light green never used beauties for a neat and tidy $1.00 total/not each. {There, now you know Gramma is a cheapskate}
I notice so many smart young bloggers  focus on frugality, making their dollars stretch as they put their best effort into Making their Houses Homes.  Some are frugal of necessity and others convicted about making the best use of  God's provision. Good for you! I have done this so much of my life that even during times when I have [for a short time] the ready cash ..I can't do it.  Old habits can be hard to break-in this case we could say "good habits." { a personal editorial }
~Chasing a Rabbit for a bit:  As I grow older I have found I no longer need [need] many things. When I weaken and head into the antiques, collectibles, flea markets I often leave w/o a purchase but a good time was had by all. Other days I will mentally designate an amount,usually $20. and give myself permission to be a Spendthrift for a Day..It's like a party y'all. I mean it-I do not need nor do I have space for continuing to collect the zillions of things I luvvvvvv but I can justify a very small piece of pottery that fits into the palm of my hand or a real find that has to be displayed IF I AM WILLING TO SWAP OUT another 'good thing' on display. Another option is to stash a few things in the attic and swap out some of them SEASONALLY...like the great old jars I bring down in December-January to fill with Christmas Candies. Note: There's no charge for all this free advice.

Looking Forward~
Jonell

October 13, 2012

It's Gumbo Weather

Hi, everyone!  It's that time of year again - football games, pumpkins, hay rides, and that coooool fall weather.  It's the time when stew and soup sound good... or in the south, gumbo!

Thought I'd share my favorite go to gumbo recipe...

It's so tasty!

Enjoy!

 

((http://stringtownhome.blogspot.com))

October 10, 2012

Even Pecan Trees Need Pruning ~

You guessed it- We've been sitting, rocking on the front porch again, pondering the natural outdoors and life in general. I guess it's an old folks thing.  Let's blame it on that today.


Our neighbor's pecan tree is the subject of my rambling observations this morning. First it was planted strategically- between the curb and the sidewalk which in our little town gives city management the right to call it yours if it is to their advantage.  You know how that works [she adds with a cynical slip of a smile].
That tree has been there a long time. How do I know? Well,  I would just guess but actually I asked my husband, someone more knowledgeable about these things.  Mrs. N 's pecan tree is not very pretty. The shape is unbalanced-more large branches on one side than the other. As you look toward the top which is quite tall you see what I call 'spindly' branches. That's not all. Many of the branches are gnarly, twisted and ugly b/c they broke off of their own accord perhaps due to a strong wind or even too much weight from a year with heavy pecan crop. This falls under the heading of 'self pruning' according to my 'source.'  He says: "If you don't take care of them and prune judiciously -They prune themselves."
This year will not be a good pecan crop so one would assume the tree gets "a rest" not having to support the heavy pecans. 
Driving through an area like Southwest Georgia you see expansive fields  filled with Pecan Groves...you will note that generally you are looking at healthy trees,  uniform shapes  and seldom see the ugly sight of unkempt, neglected trees.
FINALLY.. to my analogy of the Christian and the Pecan Tree: 
In the life of a Christian one can expect according to Scripture and looking back at a long life, regular fine tuning, shaping and molding along with years of Great Harvest & Abundance. 
We,as Christians since we were young, have seen many pot holes & detours along the way-Consequence of Choices, false starts, stumbling & falling.  We have been the recipient of events that can only be labeled MIRACLES straight from the hand of God, times of material abundance, Joys, Blessings, and the off seasons of heartbreak, Serious & on going Health issues, ungodly life choices and the difficult Challenges of career, education, work and parenting.
-My husband has often reminded me: "God chastens His Children..whom He loves and that in itself is a reassurance of his personal Salvation experience." [tph]
With all that in mind: "Thank God for pruning, trimming, shaping and the strong winds of life that are a part of the loving chastening and nurturing of a Sovereign, Loving and All knowing God. 
 -We submit to His pruning, molding and shaping...and ask Him to honor that submission. We want to be  those beautiful, healthy, balanced, productive trees. You know we don't even have to remember when and how the tree should be trimmed and pruned. God is Good- still.

Scripture References: Hebrews 12:6 and II Timothy 3:16

October 08, 2012

Some Days Life is A Walk in the Park ~

There are days when I just need the outdoors, the fresh air in one of my favorite spots in our Home and Yarden.  That could be reserved seating, front porch or front row view from the covered deck with Butterfly bushes hugging the deck rail.
It might also be the view from my Wisteria Arbor with seating for two max-just recently finished by my silver fox. The wisteria had a 5 year head start-planted in place just waiting for the structure to magically appear. 
Yes some days I really need the solitude. A time to soak in the outdoors-feel the gentle breezes made to order for me and this moment in time. 
There must be loved ones praying for me-a good restful sleep last night. I needed that.
A now and again breeze feels like the softest most loving hug- more gentle than the drifting snow white clouds that bring with them nothing more invasive than perceived shapes of earthly creatures like rabbits, elephants or teddy bears with a clear blue, blue sky as a backdrop.
The gifts from My Heavenly Father are truly free..and far better than the biggest elaborate surprise party-perfection and purity and goodness that can't really be photographed, painted or described with mere words.
Yes, today is a Fresh Air day-Try wrapping that up with pretty paper and gold ribbons.

October shares the luscious yellow blooms just as so
much else is dead or drying. [Casscia, Peanut tree,
Raintree- whatever you call it]

October 02, 2012

Pretty Dishes are for Using~

A place of honor-
2011 Christmas morning Brunch


Pretty Dishes- they make me feel good. Even the most
ordinary of meals is measureably more enjoyable when
it's presented on pretty dishes. This small assortment
came my way "being in the right place/right time." I am
still searching for a few additional cups/saucers and a
replacement sugar bowl


I do not have vast or complete
collections of any dishes -perhaps
this is why my small displays are
little treasures to me. None of my
collectibles are 'on hold' saving for
a special day, ocassion or person.
The memories are made in the using
of our pretties.


My mother had no material things to
pass along to me- I think this is why
I find joy in even a few pretty dishes
etc. as I aquired them over the years
living in 7 states. With few exceptions
I can recall the stories-where I found
them and often how much or little I
paid or if it were a gift.




October 01, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays~ ?

Somewhere in my far recesses of my mind- [long term memory] I seem to recall a song with the words,"rainy days and Mondays get me down."  Is that true? I think so-anyway today in south Alabama is both a Rainy Day and it's Monday..guess what? It's not getting me down at all. I love it.
The Monday part is a no brainer. So what, it's a Monday! In our real world it's another day given to us by the God we serve.
Then as to the Rainy Days part, that gives me pause to ask the question [ rhetorical ] ''What do you do with a totally earth soaking Rainy Day?
Alright since I told you it's a rhetorical question I will respond. Generally I love rainy days. Sometimes the rain is inconvenient but I still can usually find a moment to be loving it.  Notice I left myself a way out there with the "usually."  There are times like when an unmerciful downpour catches you driving and that can truly be intense if not dangerous. Those are not exactly 'to love' experiences. That said I still love rainy days. What better way to start that day with than grabbing the favorite coffee mug or cup of your favorite tea and retreating to the front porch to perch in your spot/chair,swing, whatever and take it all in. That would include not only the visual,the sights but the rainy day sound too. Alone or with a loved one-either/or works.  If you tire of taking bird and bloom inventory then let's move to the deck or patio setting-with cover of course. Our patio does not have cover so our second choice is the deck. There we have the back yard view that includes the freshly washed by the rain trees-some the neighbors to the back of us share b/c of their strategic location near our back fence. From this vantage point we get to do a running commentary on the little squirrels that flit from tree to tree or do the 'walking the fence' routine, sometimes chasing each other. It's mid morning so there are no trash or garbage truck noises. Kids of driving age are in school so we don't have heavy traffic to and from the ball park-a good time to pick up and continue with that book or light reading from the country living magazine or the little freebie mag that has all the country bumpkin  or blond jokes...the devotional material or the word games left unfinished.
I must mention-This is the perfect morning [or afternoon] to put on a pot of homemade soup.  Our 'Soup of the Day' at the moment is Potato Soup-my version and that shows up with slight variations from one time to the next. If you're a southern Alabama, or south Georgia family you might get homemade cornbread accompanying that 'made with love' bowl of soup.
When there's a break in the rain I find it convenient to check facebook or email just to confirm that somebody I love is thinking about us today. It's super rewarding when I find and am reminded they are praying for us.
So in response to the question 'whatddaya do with a totally earth soaking rainy day?'..Let it rain, people-let it rain. God is still running this show and He knows what we really need.
Loving My South Georgia Roots

Enjoy!

Jonell

September 25, 2012

Ahhhh Creation-

Ahhhhhhhhh CREATION -the view from our front porch as the birds who awakened before us greet us as we enjoy our first cup of coffee this morning...And especially from the deck where neighbors in the distance even share their fall with us. How can one created by God ignore His beautiful world made for us to live out our earthly lives on-I've noticed when parents do not seem to need or appreciate God's creation-children don't seem to have any need or appreciation for it. If I am ever disabled please Lord don't allow me to be closed up inside brick,mortar and wood walls-roll me outside to continue to enjoy that GARDEN you landscaped for us.
 
My prayer this day is: "Holy spirit fill me with so much of You that there is no room for ugliness, fear, envy or self satisfied smugness and mere self gratification..but more room for YOU FATHER and OTHERS.Joy,Joy!

 




September 24, 2012

WELCOME TO HARVEST TOUR OF HOMES~


Welcome Friends, Blog Followers & Readers~ A big thank you to  Heather Graham  at Stringtownhome Blog for hosting this, her first Harvest Tour of Homes.

http://stringtownhome.net

 While I personally am a red,white,black & navy girl, when I think of fall I do think COLOR. I generally cannot wear the fall colors but I sure can enjoy splashing them all over my world. It's all about God's Creation, Nature, Seasons changing, Harvest of crops. As we get our first warning that Fall is coming -even in south Alabama we begin to see clues around the end of August and early September...I begin to drop a hint now and then about searching the roadsides, wooded areas and roadside parks for natural beauties left for me. I get excited over strewn branches, mosses, lichen, and of course acorns and  gnarly branches of almost any specimen.

Ordinary pinecones are worth gathering  where ever I find them however; I do prefer uniform shapes and healthy firm cones like those scattered over my cousin's yard in south Georgia.  She was amused and wondered if we did not have pine trees in south Alabama.
You have been waiting long enough. It's time to put out the OPEN HOUSE sign.  Welcome to the Harrison House, South Alabama. 

Come on in-We've been expecting you.


Let's begin with the front porch.  Look to the right side as you
walk up the steps.  It's time to pull out the truly antique tho'
not perfect handmade quilt-showing the lining as to topside.
The colorful fall fabric is simply a large leftover piece of fabric
I save for moments such as this. It cost near to nothing-there
was enough to snip one end and wrap over the out of season
chair cushions..nothing permanent-just temporarily wrapped for
this season's tour. 

It's a good time to bring out the vibrant green Fiesta. It's not the expensive discontinued color-those are too costly for my taste.  The pretty luncheon napkins are a flea market find-Naturally!
 I hope you can see that "Oh I love it Lantern" toward the back-yep, you guessed it HALF PRICE at an area 'farm & tractor store." It's lined inside the glass panels with a very small chicken wire.



The BURLAP table cloth is from one of my
Burlap Bag Bargains in Plains,Ga. with a
little square of 'so old it's ragged" antique
quilt, Fresh Rosemary from my bed and the
fiesta plate is topped with old cafe dishes
of the early 1900's

More photos below - Scroll Down
Please visit the host for this  
 HARVEST TOUR OF HOMES-
Heather Graham











Tour of Homes-The Kitchen


The Kitchen is O P E N








 
Again Using what you have-Naturally
Dried Garlic blooms and Yellow onions
The rooster Bookend is actually a
[cast iron] Door Stop.





 
What do I love most? The whole thing, of
course!! The early 1900's scales started out
at the Harrison house as a $20. find in north
Arkansas in the mid 1970's-magically became
"like new" again  2011 for $50. restoration /
I had to wait for just the right JANUARY SALE
to be willing to hand over 50%  off price for that
BEEEEEEEEUTIFUL ROOSTER.




 
My sweetheart built the simple/primitive pie
safe/shelving; Our middle son gave me the
crock churn in the '70s when he was an indus-
trious hard working high school student. This
sets between the kitchen & breakfast room.





 
Not much of a decorating idea for you here-
I just wanted to share my WON-DER-FUL
old hanging scales with you. oops missed the
top-not the first time I have done that.
Yes they actually work





*For a picture of THE STOVE just below and to the left of the hangin scales>look to your right-the side bar and SCROLL DOWN-can't miss it. The RESTORATION of that  stove that moved with us from S.E Tx. is indeed a chapter in our LOVE STORY-it was purely a labor of unselfish love on the part of my sweetheart.

STRINGTOWN HOME
Also sharing At
Homa Style
"No Orange Autumn Decor"

Tour of Homes-






This back door welcome began with a very old
almost falling apart wooden ice cream churn-
added some gourds,pine cones.lotus pods &
freshly cut vines-And that says Fall...or
Welcome-whatever you want it to say!




 
 
 

 
 
Behind the freshly cut mucadine vines is what
"Looks like" driftwood"..it was dragged from
along QUICKSAND CREEK, NEWTON, TX.
and came with us when we moved. Sometimes
it graces a large table forming the base for
a centerpiece with things like gourds, pumpkins
The round wrought iron pc is a Grits Mill.
It also came with us from the S.E. Texas farm.




 
 
This table also made the move from Texas with us 2006-My sweetheart built it from boards that
came from the farmhouse kitchen floor original 1906 construction. She said: "No, whatever you
do DO NOT trash those boards." So he turned them into this primitive treasure and also a small
kitchen table we now have on a porch. The hardware holding the kitchen towel from an antique GENTLEMAN'S CHIFFEROBE [free standing multi use closet for the man of the house]


Fall Tour of Homes -Yarden Spot for Any Season~

Let's Park Here



 

Pop builds the benches-I gather the pretties, spread the natural

ROCK RUG & roll the palm tree stump into place..

Done!


This Harvest Tour of Homes

Is Hosted by:
Heather
 
 

Join the Party

"No Orange Autumn Decor"


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Fall Tour of Homes -Yep That's a Coffee Pot


Now folks..THAT'S a Coffee Pot!  Another era-It's filled with'
natural dried materials I had on hand - [No the table is not set-
I'm using the deck outdoor space for putting together things
to show off for you]  Super Easy - use what you have.
Please join us at Stringtown Home's
HARVEST TOUR OF HOMES
Hosted by Heather Graham
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Fall Tour of Homes -Don't throw those WINDOWS away~

My followers and readers all know after primitive my next love is old windows,
old doors-archictectural pieces that have had a life. This $15 dollar window
[minus glass panes] is to me a work of art. The muscadine vines are ready to be
clipped and nothing more than a handful of those fresh vines woven through-
Less is More ladies!  The same vines are used in my black wall basket beside
our front door-the basket is a staple-what you see in it changes with the seasons.

Join us for the Party
STRINGTOWN HOME
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September 23, 2012

Fall Tour of Homes -


I Repeat: Ladies, use what you have on hand. One of our
children salvaged this wooden keg in perrrrrrrrrfect condition
for Mom- first I snipped some branches and mmm "I like that."
Then I noticed the grasses on one side of the yard needed
to be harvested..jackpot! Perrrfect Again! I think that's a keeper.
It sets on one of the step ups to the deck..Yard work and a bit
of   blogging- two jobs at once.
Join the Party!

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