Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Hero

Every woman in this video is a hero in my book, but my own personal hero is my niece Lisa whose gorgeous picture is close to the end. She is with the Columbus, Ohio group and in the first Columbus picture she is the furthest to the left, in the middle in the next, and furthest to the right on the last one. She is an amazing mom to three wonderful children. I get tired even thinking about her day to day life, but she holds it all together with such grace.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

8 Things

8 Things I could use less of
1. Meetings! Some are necessary, some are highly productive, and some are fun.....but those are few and far between.
2. Stuff- We have 3 kids, 2 adults, and 2 dogs living in a space designed for 2 and some stuff needs to go. We're choking on it all.
3. Worries about my kids and their future.
4. White- as in white kitchen floor, white kitchen cabinets. Only a woman who had never been a homeowner or a parent would have picked out white flooring for a room in a shotgun house that not only has to be walked on to get to any other room, but that is totally visible to all when you walk in the front door.
5. Less emails and more snail mail
6. Art and scrapbooking stuff and more time to actually use it
7. Dog hair- the bane of my existance
8. Late late night internet surfing and blog updating!

Friday, May 29, 2009


How could I have omitted this one?!!

MOST Romantic scene ever

And Another

Second most romantic scene, my favorite movie ever.
I also wanted to find the final scene from The Story of Us, but couldn't find it on youtube, but it would be number 3.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

I am endebted to my friend Kevin for bringing AwkwardFamilyPhotos to my attention. It ranks right up there with Cake Wrecks for me!
To contrast that, here is something truly beautiful.
I don't know how I didn't find the Secret Society of List Addicts before, but it has become near and dear to my heart.
This is a great concept. If only there were more than one offering for Louisville. But, there IS one offering for Louisville.
And also on the list theme, here's an awesome site.
I'd love to think I would ever actually do this. She makes it look so easy, and it is so so sweet!
Some nice photography suggestions.
And speaking of photography, a couple of weeks ago the folks at Shutter Sisters were raving about Aurora, and Aurora was offering a 7 day free trial. I fell in love with using it. Give it a 7 day try!
Love love love this wall!!
And finally, hop on over to a site that is new to me, but will be one of my new favs. They have a great pen giveaway about to happen, so get on over and comment.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Missionary Mary

I am endebted to my friend Cindy for introducing me to Missionary Mary Proctor. Last week Cindy and her son were in Tallahassee and had the opportunity to go to visit her and see her artwork. (Stacks and stacks of it, most of it done on doors.)

These are a couple of my favorites. They're great, aren't they?!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Music Monday

The first time I watched this I was so touched with the unguarded simple fun these girls have and wish they could keep that forever.

Edit, Add, and Appreciate

I stumbled upon Graceful Creative this weekend and have enjoyed reading from the archives.
One of the things I found there was the Sunday habit of reflecting on Edit, Add, and Appreciate. It is explained in this way:
Edit one thing: material objects, bad habits, negative thoughts, or activities that don't reflect who you are as a person. It doesn't have to be a physical thing; Sometimes bad habits and negative thoughts are more detrimental than physical clutter.
Add something: bring in something or reinvent one thing in your life- thoughs, habits, clothing, objects. Add something that will help you be a better person. And yes, sometimes a new pair of jeans can help.
Appreciate somebody or something that is already in your life. Hug your children and tell them how special they are. Call your spouse, just because. Be extra polite to the guy who makes your latte. Frame that piece of art.
Feel free to hop on and join us on Sundays.
Edit one thing: Somewhere over this past very busy week, I told myself it was okay to go over my limit on drinking pop. Just a little consolation prize to myself has turned into full blown debauchery in no time flat. I feel yucky, I don't sleep well, I'm embarrassed that I can't/don't do better. For everyone's sake, tomorrow needs to be judgement day for me and Dr. Pepper. I will replace all but two of my Dr. Peppers tomorrow with water, cold and sweet.
Add something: I am adding back into my schedule some time to write snail mail letters and cards. Thirty years ago, I set aside every Sunday evening to write letters- long and heartfelt- to several college age fellows. I wrote little notes of love and concern to people who were on my mind. In the simple act of faithful correspondence with others, I knew my self better. I would like to add that tradition back in, altered a bit now for an older woman with three teens and a husband and two demanding dogs.
Appreciate: Yesterday we went to my son's college to bring him home for the summer after his freshman year. My husband decided to make this trip a learning experience. He mapped out the scenic/non-freeway route and decided that my youngest (who has barely driven around the block a few times) was going to drive that route with him. She was excited and flattered that he thought she could to it, but she was scared too. It took them four hours to our two that it took my middle child and I to drive on the freeway, but that gift of his time and his confidence in her was monumental for her. She made it. Yes, she had to pull over often to let the long long line of cars impatiently driving behind her go around, but she stayed the course. So, for the trip back, he decrees that the middle child will drive back on the freeway- and she has only driven on the freeway once ever. He was very brave to ride with either of them on these maiden voyages, but I have every confidence that when they are teaching their own teens to drive, they will recount the day their dad "forced" them to stretch and grow. I admire him for the courage to be the passenger on these trips, for his kind and calm demeanor as he coached them through, and for the wisdom to know that the time was right.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Waiting On An Angel - Ben Harper Cover

Reposting from last Monday's Music Monday because I lost the video off the post.....and because I love to hear her sing, and sing this song.

Perfect Strangers Pipe Dreams

I miss Balki and Larry! I quit watching tv all together right after they were cancelled. (But not really because of that!)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

8 Things I've learned to live without

8 Things I've Learned to Live Without
1. Paper napkins. We stopped using paper napkins over 10 years ago. I keep a decent stash of cloth napkins stocked by picking up a few at the thrift store when some of the ones we've been using are starting to look a little worse for the wear. They then move on to be rags. I don't give any huge preference to any color or design, but much prefer a nice heavy cotton blend. They wash up easy, and are fun to hang on the line.
2. Paper towels- Paper towels didn't go out quite as fast as the napkins. I truly loved the convenience of paper towels. I now keep a huge stack of white bar cloths which are nice big durable rags, and they can do just about everything a paper towel could do except take up space in the trash can.
3. TV- Another thing that we ditched about 11 years ago. Once we started eating our meals together as a community, there really never is time to watch anything on tv anyway. When the kids came to our family, we thought we'd wait until they asked for tv, and they never have! Don't get me wrong- we have a tv. If we want to bad enough, we can hook it up and get actual pictures on a couple of stations. The girls watch CD's of old tv shows and lots of movies on the VCR portion.
4. Swiffer cloths to use on my floor. A stack of white wash cloths work just fine!
5. Sleep- Not smart, I know, but see number 6.
6. Quiet time alone- I've had to learn to find little patches of this where I can. Most often that means I'm sitting at the computer until way too late.
7. Cologne- If you know me now, it's hard to believe, but I used to have a HUGE weakness for good cologne. I could alter my mood just by deciding what to spray on for the day ahead.
8. My youth- I begrudge this one a bit. Not that my youth is anything I would ever want to re-visit. I just want to look and feel a little younger right now. Today in the drive-thru at White Castle, the sweet young man taking the money gave me back part of what I paid saying that he had just taken off the senior discount. Some instinct that has not gotten the bulletin that I look and act and feel older these days rises up in me and makes me want to refuse the White Castle offer, just push that change right back to the boy. I miss two good knees, ordered thoughts, and a measure of self-confidence lost along the way!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

Who wouldn't love this little birdhouse?!!

Of course this caught my eye because of my love of re-purposed suitcases.

On my very long list of things I'd like to make someday...

Lucky little Wren! Wonder if she'd like a roommate?

IF I truly got a deep hunger for rhubarb, and IF my friend Carrie wasn't around to satisfy that with her amazing rhubarb sauce she makes for angel food cake, then I MIGHT go to the trouble of making these......

Nice little story, and it says it's been checked and found to be true.

Loving this "Always" ring......

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shameka F's Admiration Society

Shameka has been diligently working on her Senior 100, a sort of scrapbook of important things to know and remember as she leaves high school that Brown requires of their seniors. As a part of that, she asked me to write about three things about her that I admire. They are as follows:

1. Shameka has an old soul. Part of that comes from a heavy load of responsibility as a child, but part of comes just from who she is down deep inside. Since she was 9 I've known that she could run this house if she had to. She has a way better understanding of people and how they work than most teenagers. She has endured adolescence, but mostly just wants to be an adult. She very capably manages friendships with small children and senior adults and everyone in between. She has a deep wisdom that serves her well.
2. Shameka is frugal. Quite possibly she has crossed the line between thrifty and tight. She is the best money manager in the house and for that reason I try to stay on her good side. This is the child who will take care of Shawn and I as we grow old.
3. Shameka is completely comfortable in her skin. Maybe it's because we don't watch tv, but she has not bought a media description of what beauty is. She is so NOT worried about how she dresses or wears her hair or if she will blend in. Out of my memories of a teen life where I did not fit in particulary, I at times have tried to push her to "conform". Am I CRAZY??? I have this gorgeous daughter who likes who she is and how she looks and how she lives in this world. Who am I to question her out of fear for her of being shunned and belittled as I was was a teen? I am just so glad and so honored that she chose me to be her friend!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Music Monday

I seriously do not know why this girl hasn't become a huge star. I could listen to her forever. I first heard her after Super Bowl a couple of years ago when she had won a song writing contest in conjunction with the SB. This song is a Ben Harper cover. Head on over to youtube and check out some of her other songs. Kina Grannis is her name, and you can get Message from your Heart on iTunes.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Earth Day, Jeff Street Style

The Jeff Street tradition is to celebrate Earth Day with an outdoor worship service and a picnic. Years ago we began celebrating a few weeks after the actual Earth Day in order to ensure better weather for the outdoor activities. But some years, it's still just too cool or too wet, and such was the case today. No worries. The kids just spread their blankets anyway and worship from the blanket.
A rousing version of "An Unclouded Day"

This Earth Day service was made even more special as we just had a roof full of solar panels installed, donated by Kentuckiana Interfaith Power and Light. This is a photo thanks to send to those generous folks.


After a presentation on mountaintop removal, the kids made signs about how they felt about it all. This is Amos' response when asked what he would like to do with the sign he made.


(My fantasy- a sleeping porch)
No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap.
Carrie Snow

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Kendra

8 Things I Hope for Kendra for her 18th year
1. That she will learn to listen for her own quiet voice deep inside her.
2. That she will learn to trust her heart and her judgement.
3. That she she will sense God's presence with her as close as her own breath.
4. That her Senior Project will be something she loves so much that it won't feel like work.
5. That I will work harder to help her find and be a part of a youth group.
6. That she will survive Shameka's leaving in the fall, and that she will endure my sadness when Shameka leaves in the fall.
7. That she and Herbie can continue their special bond for as long as possible.
8. That she has a great 17th birthday today.
Happy Birthday sweet girl. I love you

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just a little project on the side.....

Just getting this up and running. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

Check out Fallon's fun blog and her sweet pillows and other fun things at her Etsy shop.
Always fun ideas at The Idea Room
These Good Jars are a Good idea, huh?
Some fun with shadows here and here
So, what mother in her right mind would give a SLUMBER PARTY with all this sugar? Probably the most fun mom on the block.
I was a big note passer in junior high. We learned to take a ball point pen apart, wrap a note around the cartridge, reassemble the pen, and then say, "Please Mrs. Thomas. Sandy needs to borrow an ink pen." So you know I love this very fun secret message!
And finally, a little shout out to young women with big hearts and strong voices- Kara (especially her post on 5/9/09) and my amazing and dearly loved niece Sara.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Winky Vs Willow

This sweet girl is Winky. In August when my heart was broken, I was certain that what I needed was a puppy. I knew that a puppy would not take the place of all the things I had lost, but I also knew it would be something to focus my love and attention on, and something that would love me back. One cloudy day, Cheryl and I went to the dog pound to find me a puppy. It was overwhelming. Dogs, dogs, dogs, and the barking was deafening. We went back and forth and up and down, and narrowed it down to a few, then narrowed down to a couple. Winky, so named for her endearing wink, had a yellow tag on her name tag meaning that she had been there too long and would be put down that week. Her little bio sketch said that she was about 6 months old, was as big as she was going to get, never barked, and liked to play in the baby pool. What's not to love about that? Cheryl chose Winky when I could not decide. We took her out to the yard to visit with her a bit to see if we were a good fit, and she was just lovely. When we went in to fill out our adoption papers I learned that she had been picked up off the street on the same day my dad had died, and I knew she was meant to be ours and that she was going to be good medicine for me.
She took to us quite well and had no trouble relaxing in her new home. Somehow over the first few days without even realizing it was happening, she became Shameka's dog. I renamed her Willow, a more suitable name for such a sweet genteel girl. We did notice the big paws, we did notice the excess skin waiting to be filled, we did notice that she did in fact bark and barked a lot........and Willow took on a whole new persona...
She barked, she grew, she hates water and won't even go out in the rain unless we put an umbrella over her. Even at her "puppy" size, she was tall enough to stand up to the counter and serve herself whatever she might find, assuming it was for her. Things like bread and fruit soon turned to dishwater and a rack of ribs. We got smarter in the kitchen, but she seemed to outwit us in the rest of the house. I mean, who knew she would like retainers so much (has eaten 2 of those, one for each girl)? Or Shawn's glasses, crunched beyond recognition? Kendra's library book? Or last nights' snack......Shameka's cell phone...

One thing to note; she did and does indeed take my mind off the other cares of the world as I am constantly trying to stay one step ahead of her path of destruction.
***** Who the heck knows why some of these words are blue and underlined, but I'm way too tired to care.*******

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No one has to know.....

How very very easy these are to make! Don't skip the ganache- it's the one thing not out of a box or pouch! And use semi-sweet chocolate or it would be too too sweet. Head right over to Bakerella for the recipe.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

You MUST read this post from my sweet friend Suzanne.

Saturday, May 9, 2009



Of course, everything about this made me weepy yesterday- the song, the boy, the girl, the prom. All so sweet.

8 Things

8 Things I learned from my mother
1. To be steadfast, as evidenced by her 60 years of marriage and over 50 years as a part of the same church family.
2. To find every opportunitiy to celebrate something.
3. Living a life of service is not optional. Whether it be neighborhood organizing, church committee work, PTA, or any other organization we were tied to, my mother modeled to me that we have a responsibility to give back.
4. That everyone should be treated fairly and kindly. I don't remember ever hearing my mother say one derogatory thing about someone with a different color of skin or background.
5. How to throw down a bereavement meal.
6. To call when you get there. No matter where we are going, if it's out of Louisville, we have always been admonished to "call when you get there."
7. The importance of a family meal time.
8. That God loves me.

Friday, May 8, 2009


. . . Into the church of their fathers,
the place they had all felt the call,
the old home church
where thousands of hands had pressed
on the bowed heads of new preacher boys,
of sun-reddened young men called by the Lord,
called from the cotton fields to preach the Word.
They had felt the hands,
these old preachers,
felt those blunt-fingered, work-hardened hands,
felt them like a blessing,
like an offering,
like a burden. . . .
And now the old preachers come to lay their hands
on the head of a new kind of preacher,
a preacher from the seminary,
a preacher who studied the Bible in Greek and Hebrew,
who knew about religions they never heard of,
who knew about computers
and memory banks full of sermons
and many other modern things.
A new kind of preacher,and yet,
a preacher who still would feel on her head
the hands like a commandment
from all the preachers and deacons who ever were.
(James Autry, “Ordination,” from Life After Mississippi)
On Tuesday night I had the honor of sitting on the Ordination Council for a dear friend who has presented himself for Ordination by our church. It was a tender and holy time, begun by Cindy's reading of the poem above. We were indeed there to affirm and love a new kind of preacher, a person who in another time or another church might not have ever been a candidate for ordination.
This type of ordination by a local church with a council and so on is not a part of my faith tradition, but I have come to love the tender process of helping a loved one frame up their faith story. This friend has a story of brokenness and redemption and full out grace, and we all felt honored to sit in that hushed circle as he pieced it all together for us.
At the beginning of the gathering we had each given a word as an offering to him; words like peace and joy and audacity and subversion. I liked audacity, although it was not the word I offered. My heart kept being filled with the thoughts of people who have never been invited to sit at that table as a candidate for ordination, either because of their race or gender or sexual orientation or a myriad of other unspoken exclusions. People who are ministers in every sense of the word, people who have not the strength or audacity to push their way there.
My friend will be ordained- not one of us had any hesitation in recommending him. It will be a day of great celebration. His ordination is the product of not only his audacity but of the church who calls him, and I believe God will dance in joy as we lay our hands upon his head.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

Just discovered Farmer Julie tonight and I am in love with her sweet little flower pots. If one is good, 7 are better, right? Here's her etsy shop.
I think I want one of these little zen gardens on my desk! And is this gorgeous or what?!! Mr. McGregors Daughter has a lovely garden, and a really good looking rain barrel. I have been eyeing rain barrels lately.
Now, I love tie dye as much as the next person my age, but this is really taking it to a whole new level, don't you think?
Maybe if I had some of these perky stickers, I'd be more tempted to do a little snail mailing. I think I could make some cute ones here, if only I could figure out how you get text into them once you save them. I'd be happy for a bit of a tutorial on that please.
Some fun ideas with paper plates for kids here. (When I was growing up my cousin worked in a paper plate factory. She was able to bring us stacks and stacks of misprints. I always loved to go through the stacks when we would get a new batch just to look at all of the people whose faces were just a tad off the side of their heads or their names were misspelled. )
And speaking of fun for kids......I know my friends who are grandmothers will be all over this little treat.
It's been at least a few weeks since I've brought any Cake Wrecks to the Wednesday list, so here's a little dose of the fun over there.
And why doesn't someone in Louisville come up with something cool and fun like this? Why not me?!
That's all folks!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Music Monday

This song has just captivated me this week. I think it's because I want to be a young beautiful girl in Oslo with a voice as clear as a bell singing a song at the greeengrocer!
I have a little toy piano that sounds like hers in my living room, a treasure carried from childhood, blue as a robins egg with bright colored keys and a dancing couple etched on the top. Maybe I'll strike up a tune on it tonight and pretend to be Marit.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What we Want- or thought we wanted

Last week I posted a poem by Linda Pastan, a writer I do not know anything about, but whose poem about leaving home touched a tender spot in me. This weekend, another of her poems fell across my lap and I feel again that she has written somethng just for me.
What we Want
Linda Pastan
What we want
Is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names-
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there,
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

8 Things that brought me joy today

1. These sweet flowers. For some reason, I think they are called Wood Phlox, but I'm hoping my friend Donna can positively identify it. I don't deserve them, but they show up each year.

2. The many many times I caught Kendra looking at her hand today. Considering the other two don't ever wear their rings, it makes me happy to see her get some enjoyment out of it before she gives it up too.

3. I took Cheryl to the doctor today and on the way home the subject of prom came up. She told me all about her prom. She said she wore a "can can" under her dress, which I guess must be some kind of a big slip or hoop or something, because she said every time she sat down the dress would rise up and she would have to bat it down. We both got a kick out of that image. Hey, I was a square dancer as a child. I understand about those slips.

4. I got a hibiscus today! Last year we planted one that had been sent to me when my father died and it did so so well in the spot where we had it that I just have to try it again in the same spot.

5. My next door neighbor cut all of our front yards this morning. It was looking mighty unruly, and today looks so green and gives the illusion that we actually have grass, when in fact it's all pretty much just one big weed patch.

6. My mother told me a great story this afternoon. She has been watching the coverage of the Kentucky Oaks all day on tv in anticipation of the big race. There was an interview late this afternoon of a young man whose family throws a big celebrity party each year, and Mother called my Aunt Elaine to ask her if she thought that the boy was wearing lipstick. They chatted a bit and Mother went back to the tv.......only to discover that after all the wait and buildup, she and Aunt Elaine had talked through the whole race and they had missed it!

7. A ride through the Highlands found all kinds of folks already out early this evening. I passed a bar where they had set up a cornhole set and there were two teams competing. They even had team sh irts. And they were daggone serious about their cornhole playing. For some reason, the whole scene was sweet to me- the team shirts, the game boards set up just inches from Bardstown Road, the seriousness of their game.

8. Someone brought a Derby Pie into Kendra's work today, and she had never had it. She liked it so much that she asked the man if she could please take home a slice for her parents. I guess they were touched by that and sent home over half a pie. You have not becuase your daughter asks not.

BTW- The girls over at Shutter Sisters recommended this photo editing program called Aurora. I'm day 7 of my 7 day trial and I have loved having it. The picture at the top was after some enhancement and this is the original. It's by far the easiest photo editing program I've used.