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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bridesmaid Luncheon

We are looking forward to a wedding in our family!  My niece, Rebecca, is taking the big step with her love, Nathan.  He made a sweet beach proposal when he went along with my sister's family on a vacation back in the summer.

She was quite surprised and seemed swept off her feet.  He is a nice young man and we are all excited for the young couple!

I recently hosted a luncheon for her and her bridesmaids.  We had a lovely afternoon.  The girls are all such sweet young women.  I felt honored to have them visit our home.  Here are some shots of the afternoon we shared together...

I used seasonal items to decorate.  The centerpiece on my main dining table was a tray filled by a stoneware pitcher of sunflowers with English ivy woven through piles of various types of pumpkins.  I also wove burlap ribbon through the pumpkins and ivy.
It was all very fall-ish, natural, and low-key.  

The Blue Willow plates were perched atop silk place mats which were the same shade of tan as the burlap to continue with the neutral background but added just a hint of shimmer to the table.  I used simple brown swirl napkins that I'd crafted and wooden napkin rings.
Blue Willow and Burlap - simple with a country flair

On the small, round table adjacent to the island, I had a similar look with a basket full of porcelain pumpkins, the chicken salt/pepper shaker, and burlap ribbon.
The menu was simple as well - chicken and rice casserole, tossed green salad, frozen cherry/pineapple salad, yeast rolls that were shaped like pumpkins. (Thanks KariAnne at Thistlewood Farms!)

We all enjoyed sharing stories and laughing and learning about Becca's plans for the wedding.

When all the young women left (Yes, Brenda, I'm counting you as a young woman, too!), I certainly felt blessed to have been able to share my afternoon and our home and pray that my niece, Becca has many similar opportunities in her future!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The View from Here

In our daily lives the view changes from time to time depending upon where we are and at what stage of life we dwell.  Sometimes we are all hustle-bustle and the view seems to be taillights and traffic signs.

 Sometimes we are covered up with tasks and the view seems to be one stack after another of things-to-do.  We all tend to think our lives are hectic and wish we could slow down at some point or another.

When I left work one day this week, I got a reminder to do just that.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Everybody Goes to School!

For the first time this year, all of our granddaughters are going off to school!  How did they get so big?  It seems like only yesterday we were holding them swaddled in a blanket and they fit right on our forearms!

Lillie is off to first grade.  She is excited about being with the friends she made last year in kindergarten.  She is just too grown up!

Cassie is off to Kindergarten.  She is excited and glad to be with friends she made last year in PreK.
She was also excited to ride the bus home!

Evie is excited about going off to PreK.  She wants to be just as big as her older sister and looks forward to all the interesting things ahead.
Here she is posed at the entrance to her school on the first day!

Lydia is also going to PreK.  She, too, thinks she is just as grown-up as her big sister.
Here she is decked out in her favorite color and sporting her favorite TV character on her first day!

Lillie entered the world of first grade this year.  She is an old pro at school by now and was looking forward to seeing her friends.
Here she is with all her school supplies headed off for her first full day as a first-grader!

Where did the time go?  They are just getting too big too fast!  We are all excited for them to go off to school, too, though and learn all the things there are to know.  We wouldn't have it any other way!

Grandparent's Day!

Lillie and Lydia's school recently hosted grandparent's day.  Mike and I joined in on the fun.  The Pre-K crowd shared lunch with their visitors in the most important part of the school campus - the playground!
We had a time of food and fellowship at a teeny-tiny little picnic table.  For a few minutes I wondered if Grand B was going to be able to stand up after sitting so low to the ground.  There was also some time for showing off the finer parts of the grounds.  You know, places like the swings...

I think there was a little competition going on here to see if Grand B could push higher than the neighboring little boy's grandpa.  Then, we had to go check out the jungle-gym and the slides...

After this luncheon and play time ended, we waited a few minutes and shared food in the cafeteria with Lillie.  That first-grade crowd is a whole lot more mature and we sat at the cafeteria tables with them.  I think Lillie had fun sitting between Daddy Mike and a little fellow in her class.  At one point, I would have sworn she was sitting between TWO first-grade boys!  First, they were hiding her Little Debbie snack.  Then, they were teasing her about something else.  Both boys got an elbow or two poked at them by Lillie at one point or another.  Boys!

We all enjoyed sharing time together that day.  I think the expression in the picture below describes more than just the sensation of swinging.  We all feel that way when we get the chance to share time together and giggle and laugh!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall in the Air

Fall is in the air and it was all around my daughter's small town recently.  They had a Cruise-In and celebrated the change of seasons.  The town's parks and recreation committee sponsored an antique car show and mini-festival.  One of the ways they heralded the coming fall season was by having a scarecrow contest.  I think Bridgette's entry was pretty cute.

She is wearing the signature colors of Bridgette's cottage business and even has curly hair similar to hers.  I think she is even holding a hoop right off the embroidery machine.  This must be the fall mascot for Goody Stuff!

I really like that little one in the pink shirt on the right, there, don't you?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dress-Up Days

One of the granddaughter's schools recently had a week of dress-up days to celebrate homecoming or something like that.  I remember those times - we had pajama day, tie-dye day, patriotic day.  Well, this year, is the year of the rednecks - thanks to our friends with the Dynasty (and I'm not talking about that long cancelled night-time soap opera TV program.  So, here are one set of the grands and their version of being red, red, rednecks...
They look like a rough-in' it kind of crew don't they?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The View

As I was leaving one of my schools this week to move on to another school, I pulled out onto a country road thinking that I would get to my next stop and have time to spare.  I was jubilant that I was running right on schedule for a change and not thirty minutes... or an hour... or two... behind.  For a change, my heart wasn't pounding and I wasn't wondering how on earth I would get all the items on my day's agenda completed and get ready for the next day.  Then, all of a sudden, the view in front of me changed...
...and so did my day.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Don't you love it when you have a serious conversation with somebody and they really seem to listen to what you have to say?  I had one of those experiences over the weekend.

My conversation partner took me quite seriously and seemed to digest every word.  He carefully listened and reacted with feeling.

Sometimes he seemed to doubt what I was saying and gave me this, "Are you kidding me?" look.

Sometimes I got that, "I'm not so sure about that," look from him.

Then, there was more listening and rapt attention...

Sometimes a bit of deep thought was required...

I think this was the, "You are so goofy!"  look...

And, the "Give me a break, I can't believe that," look...

Along with the,"My goodness you are so right," look.

For the most part, he took it all in and listened intently to every word.  I can't wait till we have another session!
Love you little Harris!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Make way for...

For quite some time we've been clearing a path and making way for a baby.  It is almost like that old rhyme that we used to taunt one another with when we were kids:

You've got a g-i-r-l-friend...
You've got a g-i-r-l-friend...


First comes love...

Then comes marriage...

Then comes Bryan and Jessica with a baby carriage...

Well, almost like that anyway.  There were a few stops in between.  Like graduations, new jobs, a new house...at any rate, we have been making way for a new baby for several months!

First there was construction...Bryan completed their bonus room to make a space for his 'man things.'  I'm sure you can imagine...mounted deer heads, mounted ducks in flight, mounted fish...  Then, an accent wall was painted in the emptied room.

Next, a baby bed was assembled.  

Then, a dresser was bought, cleaned up, and positioned just so.  
Then, a book case...and some books...and some other decor.  

Since Jessica was on bed-rest for the last days of her pregnancy, I pitched in to help out a little bit.  Jessica and I had been shopping a week or so before the doctor mandated bed-rest, and she selected a sweet navy and white checked fabric.  I added an accent of navy ribbon and some pleats to create the bed skirt for the bed.
Carrying the same concept over to the windows, I stitched up two full curtain panels, trimming them with the same navy grossgrain ribbon accent.  The curtains have enough fullness and are lined with an old a time-softened sheet.  

Bryan added some accents as well.  A (shower gift) pencil sketch of a little cowboy riding a spring horse is framed out in barn wood.  A shelf holds some well-loved toys from when he was a little boy.  More of his and Jessica's old toys and gifts from friends and family are perched on the book case and around the room.  (Jessica and I did notice that most of his old toys are perched on the highest shelves and the books are on the lower ones.  I wonder if Bryan is encouraging a scholarly demeanor or if he is protecting his own treasures...)

The piece which set the tone for the nursery turned out to be a quilt that came from Jessica's grandmother.  
Heirloom Quilt
I love the colors and fabrics in it.  The look is so masculine - like scraps and pieces of men's shirts.  There are rich plaids and strong stripes.  It truly pulls together the browns, reds, and blues of the decor in the room.  
Now, baby has his own space!  I think he is the best addition of all, though, don't you?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Remnants, Scraps, and a sore toe

If you see me hobbling a little bit, it isn't all because I'm old and decrepit.  It might be because I was hanging my new project.

I researched and studied and thought and planned.  Then, I sketched and pondered.  Finally, I jumped in and tackled it.

I had a remnant of fabric that I'd picked up a couple of years while back and was hoarding it had it tucked away till I decided upon just the right project.  It is a beautiful linen piece with soft greys, tans, and blues - my favorite combination.

One day when my daughter-in-law, Jessica, and I were on a quest to find fabric for their nursery, I saw the same print is shades of brown and cream.  I was inspired to finally use this tucked away fabric to create a Roman Shade for our guest bathroom window.

As soon as I got home, I dug out my treasure and set to work.  It was almost too short for the project I envisioned but I made it work out.  I think the price tag said I'd paid almost four dollars for it!

While in the midst of crafting the shade using a couple of the tutorials I'd found online, I stumbled across discovered a unique shade which looked like it had a contrasting valence incorporated.  Again, I was inspired and took a scrap of fabric I had left over from a pillow project.

Using my serger, I roll-hemmed the edges of the scrap and stitched it to the remnant.  Then, I used a piece of the Goodwill-purchased bargain time-softened, inexpensive, second-hand sheet I had left over from crafting curtains for my grandson's new bedroom to line my shade.

Stephen was persuaded to cut the ends off some quarter-inch dowel rods I'd picked up at Hobby Lobby.  So, I slid them into the channels I created in the lining fabric.  Because I wasn't able to find any white cording to use for raising and lowering the Roman shade and because I am impatient and wanted to get done, I found a pair of white shoe-strings that would work.  Voila!

I hinted and waited and asked and waited until finally I decided to tackle hanging the curtain rod and the shade myself.  So, with my little step-ladder perched in the tub, screws, anchors, and a drill set on the window sill, I climbed and grunted and stretched to get it hung.

At one point I decided that I needed a hammer to bang gently tap the anchor into the hole I'd drilled.  So, off to my supply closet I trekked.  (Why is it that I seem to think I need a hammer for most every project I take on?)  I whacked and banged gently tapped the plastic anchor till it was wedged into the hole and attached the bracket with the screw.

Yes, there was some mumbling involved as well.

Then, I carefully leaned the hammer onto the window sill and scooted my ladder just a wee bit...

...just enough to bump the hammer and send it crashing down to land right in the middle of my shiny, red-lacquered, left big toe.

Yes, there was a shout, some loud mumbling, and a couple of tears shed.

It will take a bit of tweaking and I'm still in search of some white cording to replace the shoe strings but all-in-all, I'm satisfied with my creation from a remnant and a scrap.

Cheap tension rod and a vintage Battenburg trimmed valence
Roman shade crafted from linen with love

So, don't judge when you see me wearing flip-flops in October and hobbling along like a little old granny-woman.  There is more to that vision than appears at first glance.


I've always heard that things happen in good time.  I often wonder whose good time?

You see, I have a timeline that I want to meet.  I have a schedule.  I plan out my projects and fit them into my schedule.

My parents used to remind me when I was younger and was waiting on something I'd prayed for that my timeline and God's timeline might be just a little bit different.

It seemed that my Daddy's five minutes were always a lot longer than my five minutes.

My Mama's minutes seemed different than mine when she would tell me, "Just a minute."

I think the same held true when my children were growing up.  Their timeline seemed to have a different clock ticking than mine did.

Now I'm noticing that my husband's timeline seems just a bit off from mine as well.

When he wants my help with something, his clock seems to tick at a feverish pace.

Yet, when I want his help with something, his clock seems to slowly tick like those slow-motions replays in a ball game.

Why is that?