Thursday, April 30, 2009

Merit Badges

If you could give yourself a Merit Badge for Excellence Award this week, which would it be:

1. Reading

2. Gardening

3. Friendship

4. Nurse

5. Home Interior

6. Patience

7. Motherhood

8. Hostess

9. Seamstress

10. Writing

11. Painting

12. Something else?

***Tell us why you should receive this award, then go ahead and award it to yourself. Draw it on a blank sheet of paper and hang it on your refrigerator.


How does this photo make you feel? What is your first thought?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Boy, was I surprised this morning when I scrolled down my Blogroll and saw myself smiling back at me!! You could have knocked me over with a feather!!!!!!!!!

Kathryn (remember she wrote Tender Graces?) had me featured on her blog. I couldn't believe it!! I'm the last person I would have imagined being written about.

Now, everyone, go over there and look at me!! What a sweet thing for Kathryn to do. I've found over the last several months just what a sweetheart she is.

Click here to go to TENDER GRACES.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Abby's Update

Several days ago I posted a piece on Tileena and Matt's little schnauzer, Abby. She is almost 5 months old.

A couple of weeks ago, without warning, Abby became unable to walk. She was totally immobile and depressed. The vet recommended cortisone shots.
I'm happy to report that on this Sunday she was getting around on three legs. Our son, Matt, called last night (Monday) to tell us she is now using four legs! She's getting better a little at a time and should be herself before long.
Thanks to all of you who sent up prayers on her behalf. Many of you wrote to Tileena with your best wishes and we appreciate you kind words.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tender Graces - A Review

The literary world has discovered a gifted writer....

Today I finished reading "Tender Graces" by Kathryn Magendie. Many of you know Kathryn and are followers of her blog.
I didn't realize just how gifted she really is until I read her new book!
How did I love it? Let me count the ways:
1. Poetic
2. Imaginative
3. Clever
4. Unique
5. Exciting
6. Haunting
7. It made me laugh/it made me cry
8. It's one I'll never forget

The story is beautifully written, haunting, profound, and develops the characters in a way that makes the reader feel personally connected. It should be in Oprah's book club. I hope she reads it!

I fell in love with Virginia Kate and Rebekha, and wanted never to let them go when the story ended. In fact, my eyes were stinging with tears.

Kathryn, you have written a fantastic novel. Good ones are hard to find, but yours did not disappoint. You're one of the best authors I've come across in years. I anticipate you writing more Virginia Kate stories and I'll be the first in line at the bookstore!

Dear readers, don't miss this book. I think you're going to love it.

Congratulations, Kathryn!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty!

Daughter Becka, has caught the blogging bug and is publishing a site for cat lovers like herself. It's going to be filled with critical health information and her own real-life stories and photos.

She recently had a life-threatening issue with her dear furry friend, Carson, and tells the reader about it in her first post. It is, all at once, heart-wrenching, beautifully written, and informational.

Personally, I have already gained valuable information from her article, that may someday save my cat's life.

If you love your cat, I know you're going to love her site.

Visit Becka at A Moment's Paws and say "welcome to the community."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sweet Dreams

I absolutely love white. It gives me the feeling of open space and serenity.

***What colors and style would you have in your dream bedroom?

Pleasant dreams!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Rising

Our little valley is coming alive! The cherry trees in our orchard are filled with blossoms and remind me of this poem:

And Spring arose on the garden fair,

Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;

And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast

rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Springtime Rhubarb

What says springtime any better than a good stand of rhubarb? Our rhubard has come up and looks healthy and yummy. I'll cut the ruby red stems into small pieces and freeze them for moist summer cakes and tangy/sweet winter pies.

Rhubarb Cake

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cup diced rhubarb


1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

Cream sugar, butter, egg, and salt. Stir in buttermilk, soda, vanilla, and flour. Add rhubarb and beat well. Pour into well-greased 9 x 13" cake pan. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Hollyhock Dolls

When I was a little girl, many of our neighbors grew Hollyhocks around their homes. My next door neighbor grew pink ones and red ones close to her kitchen door. She grew many other beautiful plants, too, but I remember this one in particular, because she showed me how to make dolls out of them.

My Victorian grandmother once told me, that when she was a child, she didn't have many toys to play with so she and her siblings would make 'hollyhock dolls'--I've always loved them since. I think I"ll grow some hollyhocks for myself this summer.

I don't have a picture of a 'hollyhock doll' of my own, so I'm including one I found on the Internet. Isn't it sweet?

***Have you ever made 'hollyhock dolls' or had any experience with them?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Abby's Update

Our son Matt called today to say that Abby moved her leg this afternoon. We are so happy and thankful for all of your prayers on her behalf.

Tileena has posted Abby's story on her website. I know she would love to hear from all of you. Please go over to her place for a nice visit with Tileena and little Abby.

Thanks again sweet friends.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Prayer Request For Abby

Abby is just a little over four months old. She is a beautiful, black, baby mini-schnauzer and has the sweetest, most loving personality you could ever imagine. She is the fur baby of Tileena and Matt.

Saturday evening, after a day of playing, she suddenly lost all motion on her right side and is now paralyzed and in very serious condition. The doctor is giving her cortisone shots in the hopes they can restore her health.
We would like to have her get a full recovery back to her happy, loving, little self, so I am asking for your prayers on her behalf and the behalf of Tileena and Matt.
I appreciate all of you so much and the prayers you have offered in the past for my family. You are some of the best "prayer partners" I have ever had.
Thank you dear friends.

Spring Is Popping Out All Over

The signs of spring are everywhere! Golden daffodils, tulips, irises,
and the cherry plum tree are in full bloom. Our dogwoods and lilacs have buds that will open in a couple of weeks.

Robins and mourning doves perch in the nearby trees, and along with scores of Western Wild Canaries, come to our feeder. Yesterday we had our first sighting of a hummingbird.

The bird feeder hangs from a tree limb about 30 feet from our sliding glass door, so Jim and I have a perfect view of the Canaries and a variety of other birds as they feed, almost constantly, throughout the day. We feel as though we are living in a wildlife preserve and loving every minute of it.

We are also privileged to have squirrels gather below the feeder to pick up the sunflower seeds the birds have rummaged through and that have fallen to the ground.

What a wonderful time of year, full of life and the promise of continuity.

***What special thing have you observed in your yard today?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Flower Giveaway

Linda over at Emily Dickinson's Garden is giving away a beautifully designed bouquet of flowers from a well-known floral retailer. Entering is easy-- just leave a comment on her blog.

Linda's blog is interesting, inspiring, and unique. I urge everyone to visit. Or better yet, become one of her followers!

Thank you, Linda, for hosting such a gorgeous giveaway!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Feeling The Joy Of Spring

Can't you feel the joy of spring in these lines of Shelley's poetry......

The joy, the triumph, the delight, the madness,
The boundless, overflowing bursting gladness,
The vaporous exaltation not to be confined!
Ha! Ha! the animation of delight
Which wraps me, like an atmosphere of light
And bears me as a cloud is borne by its own wind.

(Prometheus Unbound, IV, 319-324)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Song For A Fifth Child

I've been feeling a little sad for the last few days; today I figured out's my empty nest.

Lea from Lea and Her Mustangs reminded me of this poem yesterday. I wish I had read it more often while I was raising my six children.

Song for a Fifth Child
by- Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Meant To Do My Work Today

I Meant To Do My Work Today
by- Richard Le Gallienne

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand--
So what could I do but laugh and go?


The Pashmina shawl/scarf giveaway is over and we have a winner.

First, I want to thank all of you who left comments and entered. I always love hearing from you.

So, let us not waste another moment in announcing the winner. She is Janna from Something She Wrote.

Let's all go over to her place and congratulate her on her gorgeous win!

Congratulations, Janna! Please send me your address, so I can get the package in the mail.

And thanks again to all who entered. There will be another drawing shortly.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I am so excited today, because tomorrow is the day for my giveaway!

In keeping with the Spring season, I am giving away a beautiful, new, luxurious, Pashmina shawl/scarf in a pastel color.

Be sure to enter.

Rules are very simple:

~1 comment=1 entry

Good luck!!


~What one beautiful thing have you experienced today?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Flowers Have Special Meaning

As a child, flowers were a big part of my life. My mother, grandmother, and neighbors always had flowers planted in every spare spot, they could find, in their yards. So in Spring and Summer, my childhood was awash in vibrant color. Flowers grew in abundance, bees buzzed, June Bugs hummed, and beautiful birds, of every color, sang in this virtual Garden of Eden.

Each Spring, my family and I, would make our annual pilgrimage to Knoxville to join a host of other flower enthusiasts at the Iris Gardens. We would walk along pebble paths to gaze at the large variety of colors and jot down the names of new ones. One summer we even traveled into North Carolina to the majestic Biltmore Estate and Gardens to view their gorgeous dahlias.

My first self-employment venture was the job of selling fresh cut flowers in front of our house. I don't remember, now, the variety of flowers I sold, but I do remember the joy of sitting up a little flower stand and making money from my grandmother's flower garden--with her permission, of course.

My grandmother was an expert gardener and grew every flower, tree, and vegetable she could get her hands on. Gardening was her love and hobby, as it was with many housewives of her time.

We wore flowers on important occasions. I remember the ladies in my family wearing big corsages of orange chrysanthemums to the University of Tennessee football games. We would dress up for games back then. Women wore fur coats, hats, high heels, and gloves. Men would wear nice slacks, a wool sports coat or overcoat, a wool/felt fedora hat, and leather gloves. It was always a very special event.

On Easter, we ladies (young and old) wore beautiful, big white or purple orchids to church, pinned to our finest outfit. And on Mother's Day, we wore carnations or roses--red if your mother was alive or white if she had passed away. Each flower had meaning in those days: the white or pink petals of the dogwoods represented the Crucifixion of Christ and the white Easter Lily represented the Resurrection; the daisy denoted innocence and a lover's promise of "I'll never tell"; the orchid sent the message of refinement and was the most beautiful of all exotic flowers; dark red roses stood for mourning; rosebuds signified youth and were given as gifts to young girls or sent as gifts to the mothers of new-born babies; wearing a striped carnation said "I am missing you" and of course, the common four leaf clover meant good luck. Black roses should NEVER be touched or given, because they signaled death. They were also very rare.

When I was young, a woman was not only judged by how white her washing was, as it hung on the clothes line in the yard, but also by her ability to grow beautiful flowers and vegetables. I think it must have represented (to her neighbors, anyway) her feminine nurturing abilities.

Flowers have long been associated with various holidays and the colors of flowers with emotion and messages. Below I've mentioned flower colors and their meanings.

Yellow - Happiness, Enthusiasm, Friendship, Jealousy, Treachery, Pride, Success and Luxury

Orange - Satisfaction of attaining success and strengthened love

Violet - Hope, Generosity, Faithfulness, Modesty, Passion, Humility

Red - Passion, Love, Admiration, Courage, Desire, Constancy, Youth, Respect

Green - Feeling of joy and optimism

White - Pious, Purity, Heavenly, Sincere feeling, Innocence, Silence

Lavender - Feminism, Grace, elegance

Pink - Delicate, Grace, Gentle, Confidence, Admiration

~Do you have a "childhood" memory of flowers?


Today is our daughter Linda's birthday.

Jim and I spent a wonderful early birthday with Linda and her family on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Linda, your dad and I can't be with you today, but you will be in our thoughts.

Hope your birthday is full of fun
From the second it starts
Till the second it's done
Mom and Dad

Friday, April 10, 2009

An Easter Game

Let's do an Easter Fill-In The Blanks. Here goes......

1. This weekend I'm looking forward to________

2. On Easter I will___________

3. My favorite Easter candy is__________

4. My favorite Easter outfit is___________

5. My favorite Easter dish is____________

6. On Easter, Jesus____________

7. I am thankful for____________

8. When I was a child___________

9. My favorite Easter memory is___________

10. My favorite Easter song is___________

Copy and paste your answers to my COMMENTS. Feel free to post it on your blog with a link back to mine.

Thanks for playing along. HAPPY EASTER!!

Don't forget the April 15th Pashmina Shawl/Scarf Giveaway.
~1 comment = 1 entry

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

Jim and I just returned home from visiting family members in Spokane, Washington.

While I was there, daughter Linda offered me a chocolate eclair--creme on the inside, chocolate on the top, which I ate with gusto. I had not eaten one in years and had forgotten just how delicious they are.

On the trip back home, I ask Jim to stop at a large grocery store, so I could buy another eclair at their bakery. I sat in the passenger seat, eating it, while Jim, who doesn't care for alot of sugar, drove. Yum-eee! What a heavenly treat!!

Eclairs have become one of my new "guilty pleasure."

~What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Simple

This morning, I read an article about a 115 year old woman. She said that simple things keep her going.

So...I started thinking, "What keeps me going?"

1. A intimate relationship with God.
2. Giving and receiving love.
3. Serenity.
4. My books.
5. Something sweet everyday!

***What simple things keep you going?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Emily Dickinson's Gardens

A couple of weeks ago while visiting my daughter, Linda, I was introduced to the book "Emily Dickinson's Gardens, A celebration of a poet and gardener" by Marta McDowell. I returned home and quickly ordered a copy of my own from

Yesterday, I spent almost the entire day reading this inspiring book. It made me want to go outside and start digging in the soil. It also reminded me of the plants I have on my property, many of them given to me by my children on various occasions. There's the fragrant purple Lilac that stands near the street and a sweet smelling Mock Orange that sits next to the house and climbs toward the roof. In our front yard, stands a pink dogwood (I had two, but sadly one died last year) and a gorgeous pink peony (a gift from my husband); in my backyard garden there's a Chrysler Imperial Rose bush--all of these were gifts of love at special times in my life, each one a sacred treasure.

My own little piece of Eden has many plants and an orchard which will soon be in full bloom. There will be Bing cherries, Royal Anne cherries, plums, apricots, cherry plums, pears, several varieties of apples, Concord grapes, peaches, and pawpaws. Shade will be provided by ancient English Walnut and Filbert trees. There are also blackberries, raspberries and red rhubarb.

The book also reminded me of my backyard Serenity Garden and the solace I find there each day throughout the summer months.

Today is sunny and warm--a day that gives added meaning to "Emily Dickinson's Gardens" and the joy we find in the color, fragrance, and beauty of summer.

Linda has created a wonderful blog for gardeners at Emily Dickinson's Garden. I encourage everyone to go there to explore Dickinson's poetry, plants, and the joys of gardening.
~Which flower is your favorite?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Key To Success

We've all heard the saying...."a little less talk and a little more action."

~What is your secret key to success?~

Friday, April 3, 2009

Play Along

I think you'll enjoy this new meme that's going around the blogs. I hope you'll play along and leave your answers under my comments.

1) Current candle scent: Huckleberry

2) What I am currently reading: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

3) Newest music I added to my playlist: Fried Green Tomatoes Soundtrack

4) The last movie I watched: The Secret Life of Bees

5) Something yummy I made this month: BBQ Ribs

6) The last place I ate out: The Rusty Moose in Spokane, WA.

7) Something that made me cry this week: Baby Catherine's accident

8) Someone who made me laugh this week: Becka

9) Something I look forward to this month: Going to Spokane

10) Something I am thankful for: Baby Catherine's Recovery

11) Something I want to remember about this month: Easter

12) A special occasion this month: Linda's birthday

Don't forget the Pashmina giveaway on April 15.
Rules are simple:

~1 Comment = 1 Entry

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday's Question

Another giveaway!

In keeping with the Spring season, I am giving away a beautiful, new, luxurious, Pashmina shawl/scarf in a pastel color. This scarf has a value of $99.99 and up.

The drawing will take place on April 15. Be sure to enter often.

Rules are very simple:

~Answer today's question.
~1 comment=1 entry

Good luck!!

You may also want to visit my EBay store which is featured in the right hand column.

Today's question:
***How do you deal with difficult people? Do you ignore them, argue back, leave the room, listen patiently, or something else? What works best?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pashmina Giveaway Starts Today

Another giveaway starts today. In keeping with the Spring season, I am giving away a beautiful, new, luxurious, Pashmina shawl/scarf in a pastel color. This scarf has a value of $99.99 and up. The drawing will take place on April 15. Be sure to enter often.

Rules are very simple:
~1 entry per comment.

Good luck!!

You may also want to visit my EBay store which is featured in the right hand column.

Today's question:
***What are your favorite Spring colors?