Saturday, October 31, 2009

8 Things


Sort of a joke around our house is my “need” to become friends with people I encounter regularly.  When we “stop at the store” the kids will ask if we are really just stopping or if I’m going to have a relationship while I’m in there. 

I met my friend Charlotte several years ago.  She works in the deli at the grocery where I shop every Sunday night of my life barring illness or out of town trips.  Charlotte has quite a following- much because she gives out cookies to the kids, but also because she takes care of her regulars.   Often she sees me in the produce section before I get back to her and by the time I get there, she already has my standing order waiting- a pound of Private Selection mesquite turkey cut on number 3.  

We’ve always chatted- Charlotte is a chatter just like me- and our Sunday night visits have resulted in my knowing some very interesting facts about Charlotte. 

1.  She has over 200 pen pals.  Has had for years and years.  She limits “pals” now, only taking on a new one if they are her “birthday twin” (having the exact same birthday) but she made an exception and took on my youngest daughter for a while, she being way more faithful than my daughter.

2.  Charlotte was reunited with a man who was her teenage sweetheart , and married him several years ago. They each seem to try to outdo the other in doing thoughtful things for each other. 

3.  Charlotte has never driven, and one of the things she loves so much about Tony is that he is such a cheerful and obliging chauffeur. 

4.  Charlotte and Tony like to travel.  Not to just anywhere though- they target certain places.  Like any town named Charlotte or Louisville, and there are way more of those than I ever dreamed.  They’ve been to Hell, Purgatory, and Perdition.  Last week they went to a town in Mississippi to see a cemetery that Charlotte had read about where someone had built a small playhouse on their daughter’s grave.  She has had her hair cut at Floyd’s barber shop in Mayberry, NC.

5.  When they travel, Charlotte gets her picture made in front of the post office of every town they stop in. 

6.  Charlotte buys a Christmas gift for every single one of her pen pals and for every single one of her favorite customers, and usually has them all wrapped long before Thanksgiving.

7.  Her brother died of AIDS years ago, and she has heard that there is a square on the AIDS quilt in his memory, and she dreams of getting to see it.

8.  Charlotte and Tony spent weeks recently making a Monopoly game for our family using family pictures on the board and money.

Charlotte had a birthday recently.  She has asked many times if we could get together for lunch sometime, so I finally got myself in gear, and took her out today for her birthday.  Of course, her chauffeur came along!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

Loving these colors for fall

And isn’t this great fun?!

Oh my, I have a love affair with paper dolls.  Aren’t these wonderful?!

Anybody tried this?  I think I must!

Great idea for an invitation.

Add this to the list of things I would make if I sewed.

I made one of these tonight! Very easy, very fun.

This picture just cracks me up!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Music Monday

I love this video because it shows a lot of footage of Lyle as a baby and as a child and of his parents. Of course, there are also shots of he and his girlfriend.........

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Edit, Add, Appreciate


Edit-  On top of Sunday nights being a historically blue point in my week,  I’ve just come back from dropping S back off at college.   I get so so excited when my kids are coming home for the weekend.  I think of it all week long, planning what to cook to send back with them,  thinking of all the things I want to hear about, and it’s all I can do to not sit on the porch waiting (which I actually did this week!!).   DH is usually the one to bring them home, and I get the sad job of taking them back.  This is my second year of doing this, and I STILL feel sad all the way back home.  Will that ever change?  Next year I won’t even have one of them to ride back with me as K will be gone too.  I’d like to find a cure for those Sunday night blues.

Add-  My sweet sweet sister-in-law and her equally sweet daughter came for a visit from Ohio yesterday.  For the greater part of their childhood, she was the chord that held DH’s  fragile life together.  Now that they are adults and even though we don’t see her nearly enough, she remains his anchor.  I am grateful beyond words for her, and for her whole precious family.  Why, oh why,  do we go so long without seeing them?  We need to add in some Ohio time soon.

Appreciate-  Tuesday marks the end of another Farmer’s Market year.  My admiration for the farmers who bring such goodness to that market just grows and grows.   Theirs is hard and honest labor, and the slightest variations of weather can completely set them back.   I am grateful for the life lessons that they, in their resilience, have taught me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Eight Things

I’ve mostly been absent this week because I’ve been enjoying my evenings around my fire bowl.  The crackle and the smells have brought back some good memories- so today’s 8 things are 8 fires I have made memories around.

1.  Camping as a child- my mother could throw down a mighty fine meal cooked over the fire.

2.  Hayrides at Mr. Stoltz’ farm as a youth.   When I look now at the size of that farm, I realize that he must have just gone in circles to go as long as he did before we got to the campfire, but we never noticed. 

3.  The campfire at Camp Shanituk, my Girl Scout camp.  It was there we could put our hand crafted situpons to good use, and make those foil packets of campfire stew!

4.  Burning the Christmas tree every New Years Eve at Suzanne’s house.

5.  Church retreat at Camp Kavanaugh.   This one is full of traditions.  It follows the talent show.  Earle always goes ahead and gets it ready and has it blazing.  No one ever remembers to look for marshmallow sticks in they daylight so there is a lot of blind searching in the dark for those.  The adults always try to get away with singing Pass It On and KumByYah, just to mortify the kids.

6.  The barrels spewing fire at the haymarket at night when we would go down to pick out a Christmas tree.

7.  Of course,  Camp Loucon.

8.  And now in my own backyard.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

Orange rind votives

A table or a mantle of these for the dark fall nights, or the Thanksgiving table would be nice.

And one or two (or seven or eight) of these just about any time would be nice.

Oh my! Does this wall spark my interest!

Love love love the vintage bathing suits, especially for a beach house!

While it would be a pretty small collection at our house, this would be fun to have/do.

Ackkkkkkkkk- I love this so much! When my girls were 7 and 8 we came out on Valentines Day to a wonderful huge colorful heart on the sidewalk and a message from our very thoughtful friends Kate and Paul, and I bet they never ever forget that day.

I’m not saying my age, but if I were to pick up this idea this year on my November birthday , I’d be celebrating well into the new year……..

I loved having puppet and finger puppet shows as a child. This looks easy (hah) and fun!

Gotta box? Here are some very fun Halloween costume ideas….

I predict that there may be a bit of booing going on around my neighborhood sometime soon……

Oh, I wish I had done this 10 years ago!

Sorry to give you such an overload, but I couldn’t figure out what to cut. One final thing- I’ve been a blog lover for a very long time, and have followed some of the better known blogs (including Julie’s from Julie and Julia). One that I loved was Stpehanie’s because I love to read about other people’s lives especially other moms. I was following this one when this sweet family went through a horrible ordeal and am watching this amazing woman re-craft a life. It’s worth taking a few moments to have a look. Be sure to watch the video linked in the article.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday


So, tomorrow is the day!  The release date for Lyle’s latest. 

You can hear a sampling of each song here

Monday morning


Half Life - Stephen Levine

We walk through half our life
as if it were a fever dream
barely touching the ground
our eyes half open
our heart half closed.
Not half knowing who we are
we watch the ghost of us drift
from room to room
through friends and lovers
never quite as real as advertised.
Not saying half we mean
or meaning half we say
we dream ourselves
from birth to birth
seeking some true self.
Until the fever breaks
and the heart can not abide
a moment longer
as the rest of us awakens,
summoned from the dream,
not half caring for anything but love.
~ Stephen Levine ~
(Breaking the Drought)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

In case you want to make some of the felted acorns for me to enjoy, here’s a great little tutorial.

Oh, I always loved scavenger hunts! Here we have an indoor and an outdoor list. Have fun!

Enjoyed this list. What would you add?

Thought this made for a cool house…

I did sun prints as a child and have loved them ever since. This is a fun twist.

Look at the amazing detail included in this tender story.

Isn’t this beautiful?!

And this! Can you tell I have a soft spot for leaf garlands?!

Love these tender paintings by Kat Hannah

Check out this fun story about my friends Suzanne and Joe.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Music Monday

Carla Gover is a Kentucky treasure, and I never tire of her music. The first time I heard Apples in June it made me weep, and it has never failed to do so in the times I've heard it since.

Music Monday #2

The Urban Goatwalker is an open mic coffee house that happens on the second Saturday night of every month at our church. We run a van to pick up folks from all of the local homeless shelters, and we have quite a following of community folks. Homemade deserts and fresh coffee are served by servers to folks seated at candlelit tables and you never really know at any given table who is homeless, who has mental illness, who lives down the street, who drove in from the suburbs. Can't tell from the stage much either. For those few hours each month we are all just one big happy group. Watch this one all the way through and you will spot all three of my kids- 1 performer and 2 kitchen workers/servers.

Edit, Add, Appreciate

Edit- I can’t think of one thing I would change about this weekend. I could wish it had lasted longer, but had it been longer, things might have started to decline a bit. I could wish I had felt better, but had I felt better, I would have cooked all weekend and been busy doing things that kept me from just hanging out with my kids. I wouldn’t change a thing- it was that dear to me.

Add- The added bonus of this weekend was a more extended family gathering with my sister’s family. There was a moment when I was sitting at the table watching my big kids and her big kids and my mom all watching a youtube video and it just made me so so so happy!

Appreciate- I am so enjoying watching my kids as their sibling relationships are “growing” and changing. I sometimes wish they kept in closer touch, but it was clear that they are still very deeply connected. I was especially appreciative of the individual attention C took the time to give each of the girls. They have what I always thought would be cool- a big brother- and he takes his responsibility very seriously!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

8 Things


8 Things you can count on happening when we’re all together

1. K will relate most every topic in some way to a movie she’s seen.

2. We will all discuss our latest itune acquisitions.

3. We will all discuss the latest viral videos we’ve seen.

4. We will have some discussion about American politics- sometimes branching out into the larger world.

5. We will have some discussion about news “oddities” of late, some little semi-Natl Inquirer type thing

6. We will all poke fun at ourselves and at each other.

7. At least one family funny story will be repeated, and we’ll laugh as though it just happened, and we’ve told the same stories for years.

8. No dinner is complete until we’ve talked about something so gross or so personal that someone will finally say, “it wouldn’t be dinner without some discussion of (insert gross or personal info)." Welcome Home!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Link Love


This is such an amazing idea!  Keep an eye out for their next project if you are a crafter!

Here’s a cool art project.  Wish it were here!

To the embarrassment of my children, I am quite the small talker with strangers.  This is a great article that affirms my gift of gab.

Lovin this candy corn bunting!

Got the jars, got the tissue paper, can’t find the mod podge……

And ANOTHER thing I could do with those tiny jars, and aren’t they just the cutest?!

Try NOT to smile, just try, when you watch this……

I love crowns, and these in particular strike my fancy

These candies have been popping up on several of the sites I frequent and I love them!  I have heard that it takes a bit of practice to get them shiny and smooth, but aren’t they adorable?!!

Oh, I’d love a big bowl of felted acorns!  Or a small bowl.  Or a couple…..

Hard though it may be to believe, I actually have a home management notebook.  I put it together in…….like 1999.  Not a current bit of info in that thing!  But it’s still such a good idea.  At the time I had it, I had young kids and if anything had happened to me, all the info about everything was in one spot.  It’s still there actually.  It’s just that we no longer need a pediatrician or a babysitter or many of the things noted there.  Here are some nice  templates though if you’re interested.

Music Monday really late

I've been captivated by Amy and the Beckoning of Lovely since 080808, and you bet I want my two bucks to give her wings! Check out the original event of 080808 as well as 090909 at

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Edit, Add, Appreciate

sr nite 1

Edit-  Thursday night was Senior Night for the volleyball team.  The tradition is for the senior’s parents to escort their daughter out onto the floor where she is greeted by the principal, her coach, and the rest of the team.   Last year, just as DH and I were about to step out onto the floor with S, I had this keen awareness that we were standing at the top of a sliding board, and that graduation was at the bottom- and out we stepped.  It seemed like only weeks later that we were watching her accept her diploma.  That said, this walk across that floor was all the more bittersweet for us as we stood and seemed to push K and then slid in behind her for the ride.  This year I know enough to really pay attention to these days, these moments.    This morning in church K had been asked to share about someone who has taught her something, and she chose to talk about me.  It was as precious as a moment could be.  She was gracious enough to not mention any of the horrible things I’ve taught her!   I have wanted for years to have these words painted on one of my walls-  “The days are long but the years are short. “ May I be fully present for these days.

Add-  We popped corn over the fire bowl tonight!  That’s going to be added into a regular rotation!  Brought back memories of having popped corn in the fireplace growing up, and over campfires. 

Appreciate-  Today was World Communion Sunday and it was such great joy to hear stories from folks in my church family about special communion services they have been a part of all around the world, and for different members to bring to the table some memento from that time.   I appreciated the visible reminders of hands held around the world. 

Tell the truth…..


So, I found this picture at the thrift store today.   Or it found me.  Anyway, it brought back this huge sweet memory of a picture by the same artist that used to hang in my Aunt Betty’s dining room.  I loved that picture and her home, and just the sight of this picture made me feel loved and happy and back in Aunt Betty’s house.  It followed me home.   So, my question is- is it just too cheesy for my kitchen?  I’m sure it will not evoke a special warm memory for everyone!  I was surprised, but K and DH gave it thumbs up. 


Saturday, October 3, 2009

8 Things Worth Remembering From This Week

1. Underneath the brightest of full moons, K and I had our own Mid Autumn Moon Festival observance by eating moon pies and talking of people we are thankful for. The list was long and star-studded, with many of you on the list!

2. Ah, that fire bowl! I had wanted one for over a year, and I have not been disappointed. After having used it several times this week I’m catching on to how to lay a fire that will be warm and will snap and pop and smell good, and that will go out after an hour or so. The first one continued to burn long after I came inside! I’ve had good chats with DH, lots of good time for thinking and dreaming and praying, and tonight K and I even roasted marshmallows. So worth the wait.

3. DH picked me up from work a couple of days this week in his convertible. There are generally only about 11 days per year that I care a thing about riding with the top down, and they all pretty much happen in the fall. I prefer to ride in it at night and among trees where the occasional leaf falls into my lap.

4. Butternut squash. DH has always been the winter squash cook around here, and I don’t even care how much butter or pure maple syrup he must be using. Divine. And what a nice week of overlaps at the farmer’s market- the same meal with the butternut squash also included a huge pan of roasted cherry tomatoes, orange and red peppers, onions, shallots. The summer garden blending into fall.

5. I hate Wednesdays. It's a day of meetings at work, and hump day of course, and just is not my favorite day of the week. This Wednesday however, before the work day even started, I had the sweetest text from my son just saying he hoped my Wednesday went okay and that he loved me. It totally changed my outlook on the day!

6. K had her senior night this week, a volleyball tradition. They make a big deal over the seniors including calling out their names and having the parents walk them out across the gym floor. Dear friends showed up to cheer her on. She got flowers. Team dinner afterwards. A great night for all of us.

7. My hibiscus plants are putting on one grand finale this week. They were so beautiful as I walked out the door the other day for work that I clipped three huge blooms and took them to work. They showed off all day long and got lots of attention, and when I returned to work the next day they had vanished, leaving only their stems behind.

8. I clearly have a love affair with fall! I am my best self in spring and fall. I pretty much missed last fall, having fallen into a deep hole that I didn’t crawl out of until mid-winter. I think that makes this fall all the more wonderful. I am so aware of God’s big extravagant love and tender care for me.