Monday, January 31, 2011

Music Monday

This song just keeps playing in my head!  I do love that Amos Lee!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nourished, Loved, Enriched

That’s how I feel tonight after this sweet weekend.  I generally do not get any sort of seasonal funk, but this year the long string of cold and grey days with dirty snow to accompany them have just left me feeling a little listless. But yesterday, oh yesterday!  It was divine!Winter Sunshine at Fairlands Valley Park







Seeing and cooking for my kids and their banter at the table, soaking in the beautiful strains of Verdi and Mendelssohn and Dvorak’s The New World with a dear friend at my side, all framed by a full day of sunshine and bird singing and throwing off the winter coat for a jacket……..It was good soothing medicine that soaked in and settled me and gave me the courage to face the weeks left of wintery weather.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why wisdom eludes me!

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.

Doug Larson

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Link Love

Well, you can guess where this is headed! Really cool tiny houses AGAIN! First one I’ve found with a dishwasher AND a full size stove. Sold! And each of my kids can have one for visits and the last one can be for a friend I look after. Seriously, these are great little houses with a lot packed into their 500 sq feet.

Loving these bracelets! Am I too old? Tell the truth. Would my kids roll their eyes? I just really like them a lot. (The bracelets, that is. I LOVE my kids.)

These are pretty and look pretty easy!

A beautiful and poignant read.

Oh! Nella turned one, and what a great party she had!

Once again, I bring you food on a stick. Just drawn to it!

Oh, how very fun it would be to make these for a gathering!

This is a fun idea. More fun I guess if you are having a baby.

Warning on this one: you could waste spend a whole lot of time here dreaming up fun vacations with really cool lodging!

If I can’t be snowbound….


Then bring on some Summer!  Not like August Summer, but like late June/early Julyish.  I want to see fireflies, eat homegrown tomatoes every day, sit on my porch in the evening and catch up with my neighbors, drive with the windows down, and spend my Tuesday afternoons at the farmer’s market.

What are you longing for about Summer on these grey winter days?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Music Monday

Try not to bob your head when you listen to this one!


It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Stephanie Nielson as I mention it often.  I am an even bigger fan after watching this video.  BEFORE YOU CLICK THAT LINK-  Be sure you have a tissue and some time.  The first part is a video made by the Mormon church but when that is finished, there is a wonderful message that she shared at a conference about Beauty.   She totally reframes it for me, and I find her even more beautiful than ever.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Six Word Saturday


Perfect day for Hungarian Mushroom Soup!

Recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook can be found here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Nice Quote

The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.    Barbara Kingsolver

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Link Love

Birds 14x14 -White Linen Pillow cover

Isn’t this pillow adorable?  It can be found right here!

Love this light fixture too.

I’ve always been sucker for a good fort, so you know I think this is a great idea!

Isn’t this color dreamy?!

Wish I had seen this idea before Christmas.

Grateful for Edie, who even in adversity continues to bring me around to the truth.

I love the word posters in this nursery!

Are these cute, or what?  I miss having little girls lunches to fix and put surprises in!

Watch this.  You have to.  You’ll love it!

Monday, January 17, 2011

What my parents never taught me…

Last week at my book group, we discussed our experiences with racism as children .  I had never really thought about it much before, but said then that I have absolutely no remembrance of my parents ever once having made any differentiation between myself and people of color.  Our subdivision was close to the THE subdivision of the first suburban blacks in my town.  We rode the same school bus, even passing the house each day of a young Cassius Clay.  I went all the way through 12th grade with those kids.  We attended the same birthday parties and Girl Scout troop meetings.  And this was 1962, only two years past the day that Ruby Bridges stepped into a school in New Orleans and went one whole year of school in a classroom of one.  We lived, or at least I did, in some sort of bubble where I just did not really know that there was any other way. When my favorite local amusement park began allowing blacks,  some of our close  neighbor children weren’t allowed to go with us any  more and my parents said that that was silly, and we went on.  My only remembrance of Dr. King’s assassination was that school was closed, and only years later did I learn that that was not out of respect, but out of fear that there would be trouble.

I think it’s fairly notable that the only conversations I can actually remember were when my mother told me that  “colored people” preferred to be called Negroes.  Years later, the tables turned and it was I telling my mother that Negroes preferred to be called Blacks. What makes this all notable is that my parents were both raised in families where racisim was a part of their southern upbringing.  I don’t know that their families held any great hatred of blacks, but they did still buy into the predominant southern culture of names and assumptions that continue to perpetuate racism. 

I’m not sure how it is that my parents, steeped in their family traditions, made the decision to walk a new path.   Whatever it was, I wonder now if even then God had already begun to weave a beautiful chord into the fabric of who we were, knowing that in a twinkling of God’s eye, they would have three black grandchildren; I would have three black children.  We never know what we might be blessed with, if our hearts are open.  I’m grateful for my parents for many things, but their open hearts and minds opened doors for all of us.

Music Monday

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Six Words Saturday

Come on up to the house!

(Thanks to Tom Waits and Sarah Jarosz for the soundtrack for my day.)

Eight Things


Eight things I’d love to order from etsy tonight…

A tiny house of course…….

Any of these, though it’s no secret that this one would be my first choice….

A pair of these for my sweet friend’s baby Abigail who should arrive this week.

I like the whole nestled thing with this

Oh, I LOVE this

I want this hat by the time Odie has his birthday, and I want him to behave himself and wear it.  All day.  Fat chance.

Love this tiny finger labyrinth

And too many lovely things here to pick just one.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Letting Go/Holding On


All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.  Henry Ellis

S went back to school today after a nice long holiday break, the last chick to leave the nest from the holidays.  She dropped me off at work this morning and I cried all the way up the elevator, like I had just dropped her off at daycare for the first time!  It’s bed time, and I haven’t been able to make myself go in and turn the lights out in their room.

I’m 3 years into this being a college mom thing, and it doesn’t get any easier.  I’m fine when they are gone…….once I get my balance back.    I guess I am just trying to find the art of living!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Link Love

I am a sucker for spices.  I love them.  Have a whole cabinet devoted to them.  They’re alphabetized.   So, of course I’d love to place a big order here and I’d like to be the owner of this shop and of course I found this whole post titillating. And this made my heart skip a beat!

For my next birthday, I think I would like a roast vegetable cake.  Not really.  Well, maybe.  With desert to follow. Like, maybe this rainbow cake.

My cousin Julie has just started her own business.  Have a look.  And while we’re looking at cute little treats, how about these?!!  And I can think of all kinds of fun ideas using this concept. Adorable!


Resistance is futile


Who on earth could resist these sweet sweet faces? Let’s help Nella make a big splash for her first birthday.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Music Monday

Love this song, love this little photo shoot of Stephanie and fam.


This being the first Sunday after Epiphany, many churches set aside today to look at baptism- that of our Lord, and their own.  It brings to mind my own.  Both of them.  And I thought of this journal entry from a couple of years ago.

Stumbling into the Steadfast 1/19/08

On Sunday Cindy invited folks to share their baptism stories as sort of an interactive part of the sermon. All of the stories were of people's own recollections of their baptisms. In other words, Baptist baptisms. Non infant baptisms. I've had one of each, but didn't choose to share either story. I thought about my adult baptism at Deer Park and the lunch that Joy Lee Foley had afterwards for my parents and all of my friends. But on this particular day, it's that first baptism that touches my heart as I think of it. I, of course, have no memory of it myself but have plenty of pictures of it and a tiny pink New Testament signed by the pastor who baptized me to prove that it happened. My parents look very confident and happy in the pictures. I look very clueless. But it mattered. The people of my little church took very seriously the vows they made to me that day, as did my parents. For the second baptism, I had a decision to make and an aisle to walk and a life to surrender. For the first one, I just had to show up. The members of that little church made promises to me that day- and 50 years later I can say that they have kept every one. I have been loved and prayed for and clucked over all my life by the people of Clifton Heights Methodist and later Fern Creek United Methodist. I may have not attended Fern Creek for over 30 years, but they will forever claim me (I hope) and I will forever call it home.

I like to think that that infant baptism “took”, and not because I as a baby understood what it meant, but because the people who loved me did.  And that second baptism was, in the end, my own response to the first.  Thanks be to God for them both.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Six Word Saturday


Odie grieves my return to work

(yes, that’s my gown he has in his bed!)



                  edie's turquoise kitchenSol 

One week into this new year, and here is my word for 2011 popping right up- Smaller.  Today, I’m thinking about all that has happened since I began this blog two years ago today.  It actually started before the blog, but grew dramatically with my discovery of and love for blogs.  Before I blogged or had facebook, I was a member of some “boards” on AOL.  I made friends on the AOL Pug Board that I think will be friends for life.   Early on I remember when one of the regular posters on the board mentioned not feeling well, and then when they sort of disappeared from the board, folks all offered up what tidbits they had picked up about her and it was enough to figure out where she lived and someone scoped out a phone number so that we could check on her.   We have loved each other through losses of our doggies and our spouses and even one very beloved member of the group.  When my Herbie died this fall, those folks lit candles and held us in their hearts, and even pitched in to send us a beautiful candle to remember him by.  Several years ago when I wrote out funeral instructions, I put on the list of things that needed to be done to please let the folks on the pug board know.  The world grew smaller and dearer when I became involved with these friends.

Then I discovered blogs, and I became “friends” with so many bright and interesting women.  If you get around much in the blog world, there are certain women that pretty much everyone knows and loves.  I, like so many, was heartsick and prayed and participated in craft actions when precious Stephanie and her husband were in a horrible plane crash, and have followed closely as she has walked her long and hard road to recovery.  Her world became a part of mine.

When little Sol crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I felt like I had lost a friend.  

When Kelle poured out her heart in Nella’s birth story, we became friends, and I am in love with that beautiful little girl and her delightful mom and family. My world got smaller as I drew them into my heart.

Then there is Allison- as beautiful and talented and young as I would love to be, and right here in my own hometown.  We shop at the same farmer’s market, like a lot of the same things, both have a keen eye for beauty, and we would have never met had it not been for the blog world.

Dear friends in real life- Beth, Donna, and Suzanne who share their glimpses of their daily lives.

And tonight I’m especially thinking of Edie.  I’m not sure how long we’ve been “friends” but long enough to watch her kids grow up a good bit, watch her house be transformed over and over, find  great spiritual kinship with her,  and to start to feel like family with her.  I have come to hold her in even higher esteem and love in these last couple of weeks following the tragic loss of her home and everything she owned in a house fire.  Her blog is called Life in Grace, and she indeed has walked with grace, quite literally through the fire.   I made a promise to pray for her daily each day during January, and have taken that promise seriously.  And I am happy to celebrate her- her beauty and spirit and her talent- as she celebrates her birthday.    The blogging world has stretched out its arms to surround her in love.  The world just got smaller, more tender.  Happy Birthday, my beautiful mentor and friend.

The blogging world is yet another way I am embracing my desire- smaller.  Big as this world seems, we are all so much alike, our worlds really do overlap. 

So, happy birthday sweet Edie!  And happy blogoversary to me, one grateful girl for this surprise community.

Friday, January 7, 2011



Tonight while continuing to look for our family Christmas book that has not been seen since last Christmas, I stumbled upon a box of memories.  The girls and I laughed at some of the letters they had written to us from camp and at some of the essays they wrote in 2nd and 3rd grade.  Deeper into the box, I found an envelope that took my breath and sent me on a fast trip back in time.  Enclosed in the envelope were a number of snapshots of my oldest friend and I from tap dance classes at 5 to us walking out of high school graduation together, of Girl Scouts and swimming lessons, and of her wedding day.  When I was five years old my family moved into a new house, and right across the street lived Sandy and her house full of sisters and brothers.      She took me to her country club to swim and drink Brown Cows.  I took her camping with our family once and when rain came into the tent and got on her fuzzy slippers she cried, “Those didn’t just cost pennies, they cost dollars.”  We went every year of school together from 1st to 12th. 

Sandy joined the Marines after high school and traveled the world, becoming a Russian linguist.  She was very bright and very beautiful, and she prospered wherever she went.  She married, and she and her husband had big interesting careers and they had a daughter, and we managed to keep our friendship alive over the years. 

On a Thursday in September of 2002 a package arrived with a fun note, some old photos, and a beautiful dress for each of my girls that she had made.  On the day that the dresses arrived, my girls endured with minimal eye rolling my puling out the old Fern Creek High School yearbook once again and showing them Sandy, voted Best Dressed- telling them again that  she had made every item of clothes herself.  The next day as I was ironing the dresses  I got the call that she had been killed the day before- struck by lightening as she was judging an agility course with her beloved golden retrievers in Maine.

Sandy was my idol from the get-go. Woven into every significant occasion of my life, there is Sandy. As we got older, Sandy moved out into the world and did big things and I stayed rooted in Louisville.  But as she moved about and did interesting things, my world got bigger because of her. In March when she had visited last, it was fun to swap stories of my small urban neighborhood and her big open spaces in Maine. She encouraged me that I could survive raising girls through teen years. We both admired the grey in each other’s hair, thinking it not so bad after all.  We both cried that day when we said good-bye and hugged each other long and hard.  At the time, my tears were of joy for the great gift of enduring friendship.

I put the envelope with the note and the pictures away that day,  finding them almost too painful to even look at.  Tonight when I found them again, I was in a better place to be able to look at them with love and joy, to remember things like our camping trip when we were 18 and didn’t know the first thing about camping and thus pitched our tent on a gravel area, so that sleeping on the floor of the tent was nearly unbearable.   Of us as Rainbow Girls, dressed in formals every Saturday afternoon.  Making her a champagne bottle costume out of chicken wire and green plastic for the Calendar Girl contest.  How we dressed her little brother Stephen up in our dress up clothes when he was a little boy.  Tap dancing classes with Miss Rose Marie.  The sit-upons and campfire stew of our Girl Scout years.

In this day of facebook, it’s not all that hard to stay connected to old friends, or to re-connect.  Our connection was forged of mostly snail mail letters, and occasional visits when she was in town. 

So, I’m feeling kind of sappy tonight with a box of old treasures in my lap and a heart full of happy memories of little girls- my own, and of little girl me and my little friend Sandy.  


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday Link Love

a string of positivity no. 8

I think I need a String of Positivity in my office for the new year!

I’ve mentioned before- getting to sleep is often a battle for me, and I have to use little “visualizations” at times to get there. One of my favorites is to imagine myself being pulled along in a horse drawn sled in the dark. So, you can imagine that this destination sounds like a fun night.

Several of her top ten have made it into the rotation in our meal plan. Those brown butter and sea salt rice krispy treats are amazing!

I admit it. I’m a TED Head. Never heard one I didn’t learn something from! So, other TED heads will love this. Good to keep handy. Maybe someday I’ll give a TED talk!

Lucky Sara’s mom!

I find seeing other folks Before and After pictures inspiring. Not inspiring enough so far to do anything, but still very inspiring.

This blog never fails to make me laugh out loud. Peruse some of their entries on a gray day!

Cute idea!

I love these women, and they make me feel brave enough to try all kinds of things. This is simple, and really really good!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Power to the Grand Mothers, and may I be one

Calling All Grand Mothers

We have to live

or we
will die
in the same

old ways.

I call on all Grand Mothers
on the planet
to rise
and take your place
in the leadership
of the world

Come out
of the kitchen
out of the
out of the
beauty parlors
out of the

Step forward
& assume
the role
for which
you were
To lead humanity
to health, happiness
& sanity.

I call on
all the
Grand Mothers
of Earth
& every person
who possesses
the Grand Mother
of respect for
protection of
the young
to rise
& lead.
The life of
our species
on it.

& I call on all men
of Earth
to gracefully

stand aside
& let them
(let us)
do so.

From the book Hard Times Require Furious Dancing. Copyright 2010 by Alice Walker

Monday, January 3, 2011

Music Monday

Haven’t put up any Kina Grannis in a while. I just don’t know why she hasn’t become wildly popular! This is a cover of a song I’ve been loving this week. (Those are her beautiful sisters with her.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Going Guerrilla in 2011

My friend Anne told a great story in church the other day. She started a long time ago the practice of paying for the car behind her in drive-thrus. That week, at a McDonalds in a more upscale neighborhood than she normally frequents, she paid the tab for herself and the next in line. The girl said the other car had only ordered a couple of coffees so it wasn’t a huge amount. She pulled away and on into the adjoining shopping center lot. A glance in the rearview mirror, and she was pretty sure the truck she had just paid for was following her. She thought it might be coincidence, so she went behind the store, and when the truck followed she knew she was indeed being followed, and decided to just go ahead and meet the driver head-on and turned back in his direction. A man got out and came to her window and said, “I’d just like to know why the hell you just paid for my coffee.” She explained that she just does that from time to time, just for fun. He shook his head and said, “Well, that’s the nicest damn thing I ever heard” and got back in his car. We all got a kick out of the story, and we all fell a little more in love with Anne than we already were.

After having heard her story, and then in the same week reading this and this, I knew what one of my new years goals was going to be- to look for every opportunity to do something extravagant and anonymous that I could find. And I don’t just mean buying something for someone or leaving money for them somewhere, although I hope that I am able to do more of that too. I can’t count the times that something has shown up at our house or in our mailbox that was just what we needed and we will never know who it was who took such good care of us. I like what Kindness Girl has to say about what often holds us back.

Over time I realized that kindness came in all forms and I didn’t have to be rich to spread love and joy in the world. Tiny notes left in books at the library, a long conversation with an elderly man in the supermarket, a cold drink for a bum on the street, all of it energized my soul in a way nothing else did or could. There is no selfless good deed but it doesn’t really matter, the world needs it all… I have been on both ends of kindness and decided this was the work of my life. When I looked back, kindness had been calling me all along.

I’ve mentioned before that my youngest and I had a little secret project for a while of leaving little pieces of art in public restrooms- just little painted notes of love. It was a really neat thing for a mom and daughter to do together. If you need ideas, Kindness Girl has a bunch of great ones, or you can look at this list to see if it sparks anything in you. Don’t forget art! What a gift to leave a work of art for someone to find! My friend Suzanne’s church does this cool laundry thing. I’d love to hear some of the things you’ve done or heard about. If guerrilla is defined as a member of an irregular group of armed forces, I’m armed and ready to join the platoon of some of the most creative and generous folks I know.

Six Word Saturday

I’ve Got a Feeling about 2011

So, I’m keeping my eyes open to watch for the unexpected.