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Monday, December 1, 2008

How Long 'Til Christmas?

Yikes!

Well, obviously, Thanksgiving was late this year and that always throws me off. Even so, we did get the tree constructed and lights hung. John wanted to stop at this stage — you know, the "just toss them on there" stage and call it good. That's because of the five rolls of working lights packed away, only one was working when they were unpacked. What happens to those things?! We made a dash for Wal*Mart at 8:30 Saturday evening, which left us with not a lick of energy left for the job, hence the fright you see here.



Course you know, slave driver that I am, John finished up the job late Sunday afternoon. Then he helped with ornaments, too.



Sis had left a message about picking up things today if I had them ready. Hmmmmm... Anyway, that meant my scurrying about this morning to get as much out the door as possible. I won't miss the naked man, but I will certainly miss this picture of my niece.











Sis brought yummy cookies and we did all sit down to enjoy them over some piping hot and strong coffee.





Last evening, thanks to a wonderful post that Miss Sandy of Quill Cottage wrote, we participated in an Advent activity (?)...having never done it, I'm not sure what to call it other than wonderful. We had such a nice, quiet time reading the scriptures Miss Sandy provided and lighting the candle. We don't have much of an Advent wreath yet, but what we did have worked.



Looking forward to sharing this wonderful season with all of you — have a great first day of December!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Entering Advent

(Imagine a straw advent wreath with a red plaid ribbon.)

“Betwixt us and God there is no between.” ~Julian of Norwich

...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
~Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)

Excellent Article on Entering Advent

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Giving Thanks List

Following Leah's good example, I'm putting my list into a blog post so that I'll know what I shared and it will be here to find. Thanks, Leah!

My Giving Thanks List

1. The Love of God
2. The gift of a wonderful husband
3. A family that includes parents, a grandmother, a daughter, a son, a daughter-in-law, two delightful grands, a sister, two nieces, and all of John's family, too...
4. The privilege of voting
5. A warm bed
6. Chipping away at a task really does work
7. Skillful doctors
8. Quiet, rainy Saturdays
9. Quiet, rainy Sundays
10. Waiting on the Lord
11. For all those who have served in the armed forces
12. Sunny Days and Moonlit Nights
13. Heating Oil
14. Pets, especially cats...
15. Sweet little surprises
16. Hot coffee
17. hobbies
18. Good advice
19. Fun
20. gum
21. Fresh air
22. Leisurely Saturday mornings
23. Enough
24. pumpkin frost
25. The first snow
26. Helpers
27. Laughter
28. Plenty
29. New fallen snow
30. You! ♥

Friday, November 28, 2008

An After Thanksgiving Picture Story






Gotta get busy as we're doing it all over again at six tonight!

Hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and enjoy those leftovers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!



Been saving this beautiful Thanksgiving card from Kari to wish you Happy Thanksgiving by...it says it all. Many blessings to you and yours on this Thanksgiving Day! I am richly blessed by your friendships.

To everyone else...Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A New Winner



Nancy of My Crafty Little Page is the new winner! Thanks, Nancy! I have your addy and I'll send it along today.

God bless those who are making preparations for Thanksgiving. I know how crazy busy you all are! Speaking of which...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So here's my table all set and ready for tomorrow...

(Imagine a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Table.)

What? You don't believe me?! Shoot! Since Martha started labeling all her photos, I just can't get away with these tricks anymore.

Okay, so here's my table with its painter cloths as tablecloths, the gold and silver chargers, the nametags, and the runner created from a four yard length of cheap cloth. Oh, and those are my 67 cent pumpkins.





Did you happen to notice the napkins? I've driven myself crazy looking for napkins and finally settled on these...cheapo!

No, we don't have a table that large. John was able to create a surface using quarter inch luan plywood; he even rounded the corners. It's going to be very nice having the family all seated together at one large table.

Wishing you lots of fun as you bake, cook, and clean your way through Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Time Keeps Slipping Away

Thanksgiving is coming in just two days. Two?!! I think I'll just keel over now. Time is definitely running out and I'm beginning to run around like the proverbial chicken with her head cut off. Now that really is an unfortunate simile given the holiday. ;>

Let's see, the silver has been cleaned.


Its case has been fixed.



The painter cloths that I'll be using for tablecloths are in the washer. (Yes, I did make those drapes and they came out great. I may become the painter cloth queen if I keep coming up with things to do with them.)

The china still needs washing; the house still needs cleaning; the baking still needs doing; and I'm sure that I'm forgetting something. Oh, but I didn't forget the turkey as that's been thawing since Saturday. Yes, of course, in the refrigerator!

Speaking of time running out...CurtissAnn, where are you? If this winner doesn't come forward by seven tonight EST, I'll be drawing another name. Joy, your package is on its way!

Hoping that this evening I'll be able to sit down, put my feet up, and have the time to enjoy a relaxing moment. Hope that you all do, too!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Winners!


Now what? You never know what I'm going to have that man up to next. Poor guy was up and down the ladder so many times getting that hornet nest in just the right spot.



He even had to take a nap.


(Oh yes! We made sure that nobody was home.)


He had just enough energy to play "The Hand." :D

Congratulations to Joy of Books and Life and to CurtissAnn who doesn't yet have a blog. Ladies, please get in touch via my email addy located in my profile with all pertinent information and I'll send your sweet smelling prizes right along. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Oh, thought you'd like to see where that nest landed in the end...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Psalm 136:26

My Personal Bible

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cabinet Painting After All

All this talk of painting cabinets and don't you know I had to go and paint one. As for the kitchen cabinets, not at this time.

This cabinet was a gift from dear friends who were married around 1940. They purchased a dining room set about that time and this is the only piece left. They gave me the buffet, the table, the chairs, and this. I had no idea what to do with the gift as I found the set too dark and too big. The buffet was dispatched as quickly as I could. Now I see all sorts of them on gals' blogs beautifully painted and looking fantastic. The table broke and went on its way. All the chairs, save for one, did as well. So this is all that remains. In its original state it was a deep, deep brown. What you see here represents my sister's and my feeble attempts to do something, anything, that would make it more presentable. I haven't liked it much either. So last night I decided to tame down the panels.








From what I'm seeing in these pictures...pictures reveal things in clearer ways sometimes...it's going to get some more taming down. Perhaps once January comes, it'll get the ale or the poppy treatment. (See earlier in the week's post on painting kitchen cabinets.) In the meantime, I'll tame this down one more time, then trace the words "Give" on the left side and "Thanks" on the right side. Look for it in a future post.

Are you all crazy busy with Thanksgiving plans? I've shopped twice this week. Why doesn't Wal*Mart carry everything one could need? I had to visit Shaw's to purchase those small white onions that my family loves. This morning finds me making place cards. It's so much easier when each person knows where s/he is sitting.

Don't forget Karen's A Christmas Fair tomorrow! I've been busily planning that, too.

Have a great Thursday!

Edited to Add: Found a font that I liked, printed it off, traced it on the cabinet, and painted over the top of the tracing. I like the "give." Hate the "thanks." Sigh. If the river wasn't so cold, I'd consider pitching myself off the bridge. There's always more paint. %/ Sigh.





Edited to Add AGAIN: Friday, November 21, 2008 @ 10 am...

And the saga continues...

Last night, I was wailing explaining about my dilemma. John, bless his heart, came to the rescue.



I couldn't understand what had gone wrong, but now see that I was not faithful to the font. I had struck off on my own. There's a lesson here somewhere!



At last, some success!



Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions. Next time, I will follow them! For a while, I thought that I might paint the word "up" instead.

Best wishes to A Woman Who Is who happens to be in the throes of this right now. :D Hope that she blogs about it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How You Live

How You Live

Wake up to the sunlight
With your windows open
Don't hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress
Use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
Have what you want
But want what you have
And don't spend your life lookin' back

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
Cuz it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

So go to the ballgames
And go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children
Dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night
Don't run from the truth
'Cause you can't get away
Just face it and you'll be okay

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

Oh wherever you are and wherever you've been
Now is the time to begin

So give to the needy
And pray for the grieving
E'en when you don't think that you can
'Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
Make peace with God and make peace with yourself
'Cause in the end there's nobody else

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
'Cause you won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

~Point of Grace

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mother Makes the Front Page



Yesterday afternoon, while visiting with my mother and grandmother over a cup of Crème brûlée coffee (delicious!), my mother asked, "Did you know that your mother made the front page?" (My mother often speaks of herself in the third person.) Well, no. No, I had not. John dug out the paper from the recycling bin this morning. I hope that we can be forgiven for having missed it.

Apparently, last Veteran's Day (a week ago) filled with honors and activities finally got her the acclaim that she so well deserves. She's been following my dad around for years so I find it amusing that she makes the photo and he, who is obviously seated to her right behind all those who are standing, does not. Geeze, I hope that he wasn't on his keister during the flag review. :D

Oh, can't see the picture so well? *Here's* a much better look.

Edited to Add: Hahahaha, I just noticed the camera in her hand...she holds it like a teacup. Hahahahahaha...Mom, did you know that your daughter laughs at how you hold a camera?

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Thank you to everyone who left a comment yesterday. I received good advice and lots of helpful tips. If you are considering a kitchen cabinet painting job, you might want to check them out.

Oh, I am waiting...I'll do a good scrubbing and perhaps give Lovella's and Jan's ideas a go. And a collective cheer was heard across Blogland...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Projects

My head is just spinning. Perhaps it's ADD or some malady that strikes women of a certain age. Whatever it is, I know that I am restless and fidgety as if I need to get completely involved in something. There are a number of projects at hand, which I'd like to discuss this morning with you.

First up are my kitchen cabinets. I'd like to paint them and have been thinking about it for weeks. This week, it seems most urgent that they get done because I am hosting the family for Thanksgiving next week. NEXT WEEK! Do you think that I could possibly have decided to do this at a worse time? Please talk me out of it; John almost has. They've been this way for 14 years and it's looking pretty tired; I'd feel so good about having them freshly painted. It's just that one thing leads to another and the wallpaper would need to be refreshed since I can not afford to have tile or beadboard installed and then...




I'm still pondering colors. I like both these colors from Maine Cottage...







(As I have provided, at no benefit to me whatsover, a perpetual link to Maine Cottage, I feel perfectly justified in sharing these pictures. If you don't like it, don't look.)

Next are drapes for the front picture window. I got this brainstorm from visiting Dawn at The Feathered Nest just one too many times. Yesterday, while shopping at Lowe's, I picked up the painter's cloths and I'm so excited about the possibilities.



For another thing, we're pretty sure that the upstairs rooms should be closed off to save on heat this year. That will mean that the front room will become our winter bedroom so we'll need those drapes for this window.



The next project is the ongoing one of packing up my sister's things. This is where I really miss an old blogging buddy who would often comment, "WHAT? Those things would be on the front lawn by now!"














The above bedroom is the future home of my sewing, craft room. May it be so, Lord!

This all reminds me of the old joke about the little boy who finds a dust ball under the bed and reports to his mother that somebody's either coming or going. In our case, it's both!

Well, I'd better get started on something. It's not as if I don't have plenty to do!

Enjoy a wonderful Monday and a wonderful week, too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fractals



Fractal: frac·tal
Pronunciation: \ˈfrak-təl\
Function: noun
Etymology: French fractale, from Latin fractus broken, uneven (past participle of frangere to break) + French -ale -al (noun suffix)
Date: 1975
: any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size
— fractal adjective




Some years ago, I attended a seminar where a mathematician was the featured speaker. I so wish that I remembered his name because he gave a presentation that has remained with me. The gist of it was that NOTHING in this universe is unplanned and EVERYTHING has a pattern. Patterns signify that a designer is at work.




He said that if one splatters paint on a wall, even the splotches of paint, which appear absolutely random, will, if magnified, reveal a pattern. He showed us photographs of such instances. It was pretty incredible information for this mathematically challenged gal and is reminiscent of a discussion on fractals, photographs of which you are seeing here.



The discussion of fractals features prominently in the book The Shack. Each person's life is represented as a fractal — broken, but beautiful and something that God Himself is busily working out on our behalf.

Mackenzie, my purposes are not for my comfort, or yours. My purposes are always and only an expression of love. I purpose to work life out of death, to bring freedom out of brokenness and turn darkness into light. What you see as chaos, I see as a fractal. All things must unfold... ~Papa



It's the most profoundly comforting thought. What colors are your life? What needs working through? Where are the broken places? Allow Him in, lean on Him, rest in His great love for you.

Photo Source: Google Images and I make no apology.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Gift from Miss Sandy



This delightful little package arrived in the mail yesterday long after my feeble brain had forgotten that it was on its way. I tell you, there is something to be said for memory loss!

Miss Sandy @ Quill Cottage had a giveaway recently and, though I didn't win the big prize, I, along with all the other commenters, won this dear prize. Each one is lovely and unique. You can see for yourselves by checking out Dawn's and Vickie's.

I'm treasuring mine in a special way by using it to take note of all the sweet or funny things that John shares with me every day. It should be filled in no time.



Thank you so much, Miss Sandy! This blessed me all to pieces.

Happy Saturday, Dear Ones!