Saturday, May 18, 2013


Yes, I know I didn't finish the April challenge. It's because the Sister's Weekend "challenge" and the gotta-make-a-bridal-fascinator "challenge" and the gotta-make-a-bridal-bouquet "challenge" got in the way. Nuff said.

Yesterday I had a conversation that .... disturbed me? challenged me? Caused me to stop and count my blessings. The conversation was with someone that used to be in my life daily and now our lives hardly ever touch each other ... we haven't spoken in about a year.

The conversation went something like this:
"How is everybody down there doing?"
(me) "We're all doing just fine. No complaints."
"Did you hear about Henry passing away."
(me) "Yes, I heard about Henry. I'm so sorry. I know how close you were to him."
"Yeah, he didn't live that long after Susie died."
(me)"Susie died?! Oh, gosh. I'm so sorry. I didn't hear that Susie died. That's just awful."
"Yeah and now Mary Lou is gone, too."
(me) "Mary Lou?! Mary Lou passed away?! Oh, I'm so sorry. Ya'll were friends for so long. It must be hard on you. I'm so sorry."

As I said, the conversation made me stop and think. We can't any of us tell the day or time of our leaving and we don't always get to say goodbye. What that says to me is that we must celebrate the blessings in our life. And we must celebrate the loved ones in our life every. single. day.

So today, I'm gonna say I love you to all those people in my family and all those people who have come into my life, touching it and changing it. I'm so very thankful for all of you. And for those of you that I don't know yet, but who are reading this, may God reveal to you all the blessings that surround you.

On a completely different note, here are a few pictures from Sister's Weekend 2013 in Galveston, Texas. It was truly a celebration of sister-love.

This is a picture of all of us wearing the watches DH bought for us.

This is an early morning walk on the beach for four of us ... with coffee in hand.

I promise it's coffee!! We just laugh a lot when we're together. Yet another reason to be thankful ... the sound of sister's laughing.

Have a very blessed weekend.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Photo Challenge - Under

UNDER - okay this was a hard subject for me. At first all I could think of was underwear and there's absolutely NO WAY I was going there.

Soooooo, I thought and I thought and I thought some more. Finally, I searched google for a hint and now I have two unders for you.

UNDER the cedar trees. We have several cedar trees on our property. I don't mind those on the back acreage because they're not a bother, but the two close to the house are a problem.

Cedar trees will drink all the available water they can, little gluttons, and will slow down the growth of anything else.  And they don't let anything grow under them. So getting rid of these two giant hogs is really important now that we've added a few desirable trees to the yard.

UNDER construction.

We're in a constant state of flux here at my house. If we're not installing hardwood floors, we're removing a window and replacing it with a door ... or removing a bathtub and replacing it with a jacuzzi ... or building a carport ... or adding a porch ... or re-siding the house ... or putting on a new roof. Yep! They know us by name at Home Depot and Lowe's and all the discount construction places around.

But someday ... someday we'll be finished.

After we install a lower deck ... a fire pit ... a greenhouse ... a rose arbor ... a pool ... you get the idea!

BTW - My google search took me to a book by Louisa May Alcott called Under the Lilacs. It sounded so interesting, I bought it for my kindle. Love me some Louisa May Alcott.

HA! I guess that's three UNDERs for today! I did better than I thought I would. Have a fab-u-lous Thursday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April Photo Challenge - Three

THREE - This will be a short one today and more serious than usual.

 My thoughts of three are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

I've understood who the Father is since I was a small child attending Indian Creek Baptist Church in Mineral Wells, Texas.

I came to understand who the Son is when I was a young teenager attending The First Baptist Church of Hurst, Texas.

But I didn't really understand (not that I will ever completely understand) who the Holy Spirit is until I participated in a Bible study at First United Methodist Church in Voorheesville, NY. The study guide was Catherine Marshall's book The Helper ... her name for the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps you know who Catherine Marshall was, but for those of you who don't, her husband was the famous Scottish preacher who became Chaplain of the United States Senate in 1946. His life is depicted in the film A Man Called Peter. Catherine wrote the lovely novel Christy based on her mother's life (it later became a TV series).

In reading Christy I learned the meaning of 1 Cor. 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (emphasis added)

By reading The Helper, I came to understand more about the Holy Spirit ... the Helper ... and the part He plays in the Holy Trinity.

Blessings upon you this day.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Photo Challenge - Yellow

Okay, now I'm embarrassed. I got my subject days confused.
Since I covered Sharing yesterday, today I'll talk about YELLOW.

What does the word mean to me? Sunny, happy, shining.

My favorite yellow things?

Yellow golf shirts ... I have more than one because they make me feel so cheerful.

Daisies. They last a long time in a cut flower arrangement and they just keep looking so fresh.

Roses. Though I'm fond of pink roses, yellow roses are my favorites.  I usually grow Earthkind roses and there just aren't any truly yellow Earthkind roses, so currently my roses are various shades of pink. However, I ran across a list of Texas Superstar Plants which are selected by Texas A&M as being superstars in the Texas landscape and I found something called Grandma's Yellow Rose. Soooo, Mother's Day is coming?!? Hint, hint, hint. Maybe Mom needs, REALLY needs a yellow rosebush ... or two.

I currently have two Gold Coast Junipers in my front yard and I'm thinking of adding more because (1) they don't mind the heat and/or drought (2) grasshoppers won't eat them and (3) they keep color in the garden all year round. 

Have a very sunny-yellow Tuesday.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April Photo Challenge - Share

Obviously I don't know the proper way to schedule my posts because Sunday's post didn't go until this morning. Oh, well! (Google search ... how do I schedule my posts?) I'll check that out later.

SHARE - I asked DH about the word share and he said the first thing that came to his mind was the way that he and I share with each other. Okay, I know this sort of thing just gags some people, but when we come to the last cracker (chip, cookie, morsel, whatever) of a meal or snack, we always share the last one. (I know ... aaaahhh isn't that just too sweet!)  He gives me half and he takes half. We share our concerns about everything ... kids, weather, health, family, the state of society, whatever. We share funny thoughts (we laugh a LOT). There's a constant flow of sharing back and forth, off and on all day. I guess that's the blessing that comes with a good marriage.

MY first thought of sharing had to do with a couple of kids we "adopted" through the church. They're both in South America and both in financially needy situations. Roberto is a small child and has some serious birth defects. But he has the sunniest smile you can imagine. Dayana is a teenager and very curious about the Americans who adopted her. We received a letter from her on Friday, so she was uppermost in my mind when I considered the subject of sharing.

Don't you just love that she decorated her letter with little colored flowers all over it! I did that sort of thing in the ninth grade also. And she sent us a full page of flowers she had colored. I just love that.

She's like a sponge wanting to soak up all the details our  "typical American" lives. I got such a kick out of her letter because in one paragraph she mentions that she plays soccer and wants to be a great soccer star when she grows up. Two paragraphs later she wants to become an international chef when she grows up. Gotta love the open-wide ambitions of an enthusiastic teenager.

I remember being a sponge at that age. Absorbing interesting words, non-southern accents, more sophisticated habits, and ... last but not least ... Glamour Magazine's Do and Don't fashion advice! 

Anyway, in giving her a glimpse of our lives (including some of my favorite recipes for her to try out), I guess you could say we're sharing our hearts. But make no mistake - the gift we give her is small compared to the gift of joy we receive in reading her letters.

As Martha would say, "Sharing. It's a good thing!"

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April Photo Challenge - Outside

Word of the day is OUTSIDE. What this immediately brings to my mind is sailing. DH and I love to sail.

We have a daysailer called Rising Sun which we sailed for several years, launching her at the local lake. This was an interesting purchase. DH saw the ad in the newspaper, but when we went to look at her, we could tell she hadn't been sailed in a long time. Since we'd have to clean her up and paint her, DH asked the owner to knock off $50.00 from the asking price and instead, he decided to cut the asking price in half! When we went to pick her up, we had an enjoyable chat with the owner trading sailing horror stories for about an hour. He's a very interesting fellow who has written several books and is a consultant to Dr. Phil and has some great stories. However, when it came time to pay him for the boat, he wouldn't take the full amount. He would only let us pay $5.00. What a surprise!! I guess he knew fellow sailors when he saw them. We did clean her up and enjoyed sailing her for several years. We still have her ... just in case we want to sail at a different lake.

A couple of years ago, DH bought on ebay a Dolphin in San Diego called Delphinidae. Although her owner had refurbished her completely (including all the bright work and a brand new motor) he'd never sailed her. So after our purchase, we drove to the coast and while we prepped her for the move to Texas, we actually slept on her for several days  - she sleeps 5 (thin) people. DH and I are both a little super-sized, so sleeping on the boat was ... interesting. But it was an adventure neither of us would have missed.

Now Delphindae lives in a slip on a lake about 20 minutes from our house. We can sail her at least three seasons of the year. And -- Texas being Texas -- she's occasionally fun in the winter also. As a matter of fact, Billie, DH and I went sailing on New Years Day 2012. It was a little crisp, but fun, fun, fun.  

DH and I are currently working on a project (we hope to finish this year) which will give us a porch on three sides of our house. My hope is that someday soon, OUTSIDE will also mean sitting on my back porch with a glass of iced tea.

Now that's what I'm looking forward to!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April Photo Challenge - Chore

CHORE is the word of the day. Although DH and I made a list of chores this morning, we've only completed a few. Better a little than none at all, huh?

Have you ever heard of a SHE. It's a Sidetracked Home Executive and I'm a gen-u-ine member. Which means I work a little, play a little, work a little, play a little. That's why I'm only partially done with my list-o-things-to-do.

But, during my down time I've managed to complete two mini footstools. HA! Ran across this tutorial for a "bottle cap" footstool on Pinterest this week and thought I would try it.  It was calling out to me ... I couldn't resist ... I just HAD to make some mini footstools.

The thing I found interesting about her method was that she turns the cap open side UP, fills it with cotton and covers that with fabric. That gives you a solid base on which to add legs. Very clever!

So here is my do-it-instead-of-completing-your-chores photo. I don't think these are ready for my etsy shop yet (because if you lift the skirts, they're pretty ugly), but maybe I'm on the right track.

BTW - I used diet coke caps for my stools and I took the fabric from my giant scrap jar. Doesn't take much fabric for this little baby, but it's kinda cute, huh?!