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,

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 ~

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~

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!




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