If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Done With It!

After Saturday's snowfall, I'm done with winter.  I'm tired of grey days - grey skies, grey trees, grey-brown ground, grey weather.  I'm ready for some green.

I'm ready for flowers.  I'm ready for steadily warm days.

I know, I know.  We hardly had any real winter weather at all this year.  I think I only had frost on the windshield a few more than a hand-full of mornings.  But, I'm done with winter.  

I erased the Let it Snow message Sunday morning and began searching for inspiration to replace it.  I looked for something more spring-like.  

I liked the oval shape of this design and decided to do my best to replicate it so I could leave the sentiment up for a while.  So, this one isn't really all that springy but it is positive and that is something I really need to be reminded of these days, it seems.


For one of my other chalkboards, I decided to go all-out-spring.  I wanted it to be simple but I also wanted it to be seasonal.  I found this design online and decided to give it a spin.  I just rolled with a simple piece of white chalk and began to draw free-hand.  It suits me fine but I've decided that before the next time I start with my inspirations, I think I will get a yardstick or a ruler and do a bit of measuring and marking to be more precise.

With this one, I figured the cute little eggs at the bottom would be easy to erase and replace with some sketched tulips or daisies after we celebrate Easter and won't require a radical re-do for me.  So, two chalkboards springed up and one left to go!


I also dug around and found my little grapevine wreaths that have the pastel eggs attached and hung them on the back doors.  Of course, my pinecone garland is still swagged over the French doors coming into the kitchen.  So, right now I've got a bit of a mixed seasonal message, I guess.  I'll get there sometime this week even though the weather is predicted to still be a bit chilly.  Now that we have sprung forward with the time change, I'll have a bit of time in the afternoon to do some chores in the daylight and maybe I can transfer over to full-blown springtime decor!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Sad Day

Well, yesterday was a sad day in our household.

We had to bid goodbye to an old friend.

We had been served well.

After all, that friend had only been a part of our lives for thirty-plus years.

Yet, when I set it atop the mate and pushed down on the center spot like I have countless thousand times before...

My finger just pushed straight through the trendy avocado center.

Sadness abounds.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Good Morning!

After a week where temperatures had reached the seventy-degree mark, this is what we woke up to this morning.
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

While March is designated as Women's History Month, today is officially International Women's Day.  I first learned of International Women's Day by reading Maria Shriver's The Sunday Paper.  I've always loved the quote which she started off the day on Sunday: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

I've never been one to take my privileges and opportunities for granted.  My father was really a part of the Women's Movement years ago and probably never realized it - or intended it, either, for that matter.  He was just doing his best to try to raise strong women who could take care of themselves - and he and my mother certainly did.  

I will always hear my Daddy telling me that I could do anything those boys could do when it came to farm work.  He encouraged me to work hard and participate in agricultural endeavors in 4-H when that was not really the norm.  Oh, I did do a bit of sewing and canning for the state fair but our greatest efforts and best showing as young girls was in the livestock arena.  We trained our heifers to lead and joined the guys out there in the show ring parading our best and competing for top honors.  At that time there were very few girls involved in that aspect of 4-H which was mostly dominated by guys.  I think I was the first girl on a dairy judging team in our county as well.  

Now, Daddy didn't want me to forget I was feminine or to forget that there were times when lady-like behavior was most acceptable, but he told us that the true mark of a lady was if she could stand hip-deep in mud and manure and thirty minutes later look and smell like a rose...and that we were forced to do quite often.  

Later, when my life was at a crossroad, Daddy again was my strongest encourager.  I listened to him lift me up time and time again telling me, "You can do this," when I was working full-time, going to school at night full-time, and trying to keep up with a couple of teenagers as a newly-single-mother.  So, I guess without even knowing it, Daddy was a lot like Harry T. Burn.  Only, instead of listening to his mother, he was encouraging his daughter.

Now, let me make it perfectly clear, I have never struggled the way many women have.  I've never lived in poverty.  I may have been like the one out of three women Shriver focused upon with her 2014 Report - on the  brink.  I remember not knowing if I was going to have enough gas to get to work on Friday when I didn't get paid till Monday and that sort of thing but I could have asked for help and any number of people would have been glad to lend a hand.  In those times, I truly was on the brink like some of the women spotlighted in the video She's The One - if something had broken or I'd been in a car wreck, I would have been in a mess.  I was fortunate and feel like I was being looked after by a divine being, though.  

Daddy also always impressed upon me the importance of voting.  He reminded me that our country is strong because of the  power of the vote and I should not take that privilege for granted.  He told me that if I wasn't going to be able to go to the polls on election day that there is always the opportunity to vote early.  He reminded me that lots of people had given their lives to provide me we the chance to vote and not to take that lightly.  

On this International Women's Day, I also would like to remind folks - especially women, not to take our situation lightly.  Here in The United States, women are fortunate.  We enjoy many opportunities.  While, we still live in a man's world for the most part due to the fact that there are far more men who out-earn us and out-power us in the corporate and political world, we are fortunate here.  So, let's not forget folks like Elizabeth Avery Meriwether, Lide E. Meriwether, and Anne Dallas Dudley.  Check out the Tennessee Virtual Archive for more information about these women.  There are also more materials online and a museum in Seneca Falls, New York which celebrates Women's Rights that is owned and operated as a part of the National Park Service.  Visit the Tennessee Woman's Suffrage Monument at Centennial Park in Nashville to learn more, as well.

I may like the opening quote because I think it gives me permission to misbehave at times.  I do strongly believe that it is those people - both men and women - who don't do the ordinary that we remember and respect.  So, on International Women's Day, why not honor a strong woman you admire and respect?  I am!

My Mother

My Mother-In-Law


My Daughter, Bridgette

My Daughter-In-Love, Jessica

My Daughter-In-Love, Bonnie

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Collector In The Family

One of our granddaughters has become a Numismatist.

Well, a couple of them are collectors, but one simply wants to collect so that she can take it to the book fair and buy books!

Lydia, on the other hand, has really taken an interest in collecting the different coins which represent our National Parks.  These quarters are not to be confused with the State Quarters which were issued several years back.  (Even though Mike and I did have the two intermingled at one time until we were corrected by our Family Numismatist.

We had a phone conversation with the Family Numismatist Lydia the other night.  She set us straight on what we should be looking at in regard to the quarters.  She asked us if we would look at any quarters we might have to see if we had some that she had not already collected.

I asked her for a list and this is what we got:
She also informed me that she had a few duplicates.  I laughed and asked her what she meant by that and she explained, "I have two or three quarters that are the same.  That is what duplicate means."

Mike and I are pleased that she is thorough and that she is so smart and that she has a broad vocabulary.  We chuckle at the fact that she feels she needs to explain things to us.  Well, for example...

I was completely oblivious to the fact that there was a new series of quarters - the National Park series.  I thought she was simply collecting the state quarters that were minted before she was even born.  So, she explained to me that there is a difference.

Please notice that there is wording engraved around the image at the center of each quarter.  Mike gathered together several dollars worth of quarters that he had collected during the past week or so and we sorted through them looking for Lydia's state quarters.

We noticed that only a handful of them had state information on them and the others had the traditional eagle on the obverse side of George Washington's head.  We also noticed that Mike had collected a few duplicates.

Bridgette says Lydia will get her quarters out and study them and comment on what is featured on each quarter.  Then, I recalled that Lydia had mentioned that she would hang on to her duplicates and might share them with her sisters.  So, Mike and I gave her a call to see if she wanted us to contribute to the duplicate stash as well as save for her own collection.

During our conversation, I mentioned that Mike and I were struggling to see what state each coin represented.  I told Lydia that we had both put on reading glasses.  I mentioned that Mike had tried out two different pairs of reading glasses.  I also mentioned that he moved a lamp and held the quarter right under the light to get the best view he could of the quarter.  It was a bit of a struggle for us.

Lydia explained that we needed to, "Look just to the left of the picture.  The name of the state is right there on the left," she said.  I told her that we knew where the state name could be found.  That was not the problem, the problem is the size of the word on the coin.  Our old eyes could not see such little print!

Lydia just giggled and told us we might need to get us a magnifying glass!  We figured out a work-around - take a picture of the coin and zoom in on it to more clearly see the wording.

We now have a couple of plastic bags which have quarters in them.  One is labeled: Lydia's and the other is: Duplicates.  We are glad to gather them for Lydia's collection but I don't think Mike and I will compete for the title of Family Numismatist!