Sunday, June 30, 2013

All Is Not Lost... YET.

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Don't forget that tomorrow (Monday - 7/1), Google Reader will be going away.  If that is where you read this or other blogs, you'll be out of luck.  TODAY is the last day to grab your Google Reader list, and transfer it elsewhere so that you don't miss any posts from your favorite blogs.

I'm not really sure what's going to happen to that nice little box of 143 "Google Friend Connect" friends over there in my sidebar.  Perhaps it will self-destruct at 12:01a.m. on July 1.  We'll see.

I hope you'll stick with me to find out... and by stick with me, I mean... following me in any other way, shape, or form -- and if you'll look in my sidebar, you'll see that there are many.

Thanks for hanging in there, and following along -- come what may.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sunflowers & Sweet Tea

Blogging is an interesting hobby in that it's a really unique way to connect with people that you may never actually meet.  I have "met" some sweet, sweet girlfriends and we comment and/or e-mail random comments (or sometimes long conversations) back and forth to each other as if we've known one another all our lives.

Case in point?  Beki Hastings. If you don't already know her, she is the fabulous talent behind The Rusted Chain Jewelry!  And folks, she is the real deal.  She is genuine, sweet, and loves the Lord -- AND, I just found out about something AMAZING that she did.

She had a dream.  She wrote a book.  It's a photo-based coffee table book called Sunflowers & Sweet Tea, and I asked Beki if I could tell you about it.  It's a beautiful mix of Beki's photography and really thoughtful sentiments.  She gave me a sneak-peek, and I've got to tell you, I was blown away.  First of all, if you love mid-western, down-home kind of photography, Beki is your girl.  The photographs in the book are simple and beautiful.  Each photo has a sentiment displayed with it.  Some are brief, and others are longer, contemplative streams of thought shared from Beki's heart.

Beki says this: "You can turn to any page on any given day and get something from it.  It's meant to be slowly savored.  Pick it up when you need a smile."

I hope you'll check out Sunflowers & Sweet Tea by Beki Hastings.  Tell her Sally sent you!  Oh, and by the way... the first 100 books sold come with a beautiful sunflower necklace from The Rusted Chain.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

$1.50 on a Good Day

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It was coupon day in the floral section of my grocery store.  You know, carts full of marked down flowers? That is -- regular priced flowers w/ great mark-down coupons on them.  In the case of these lovely pink blooms: $4.50 -$3.00 coupon = $1.50.  SOLD!  Not a thing wrong with them.  If they are past their prime, then I don't even want to think what that makes me.  Yeah, let's not even go there.

And now, for your visual enjoyment... I give you... my bargain of the day!

I've already gotten my money's worth!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lessons Learned in the Garden (& LMM giveaway info!)

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Down on my hands and knees in the garden, I thought, what a PAIN this is!  Weeding.  These stupid things keep coming back.  Why can't I pull them ONCE, and that's it?  Life would be so much simpler.

And then, I thought of God as the gardener.  My life the garden, and the weeds, well... is there any doubt what the weeds represent?  Yup.  Sin.  Goofs.  Do-overs.  Doubt.  And I'll bet God (in my human-minded limitation of him) thinks, "Why can't I teach her ONCE, and that's it?  Her life would be so much simpler." Even though I sometimes mess up BIG, I'm confident that God never once thinks of me (his creation) as "stupid" -- the way I think of the weeds.  Because, you know.... He's GOD, and... I'm his creation.

And then I spotted this beautiful Asiatic Lily.  Filled with pollen.  Hmmmm, what would the pollen represent? -- and what about those extra little filaments of spider webbing strung with more pollen...?  What do you think?

Do you ever find life-analogies in the garden? -- or is it just me, trying to find anything to think about but the weeds?

Well, HERE'S something nice to think about... a GIVEAWAY over at Lemonade Makin' Mama's blog. She's giving away this amazing necklace from Noonday.  You can CLICK on over to her blog to get more info, and you can read the Noonday story HERE.)  Check it out!

{The random winner will be announced @ Lemonade Makin' Mama on Friday, June 28th!}

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Recap 6.24

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My sweet hubby and I are 2 years and 2 weeks apart in age.  Last weekend we enjoyed an in-between birthday celebration for both of us with my family.  Also Father's Day.  That's usually how we roll in June.  With three households, and eleven family members (five being kids), sometimes it's all we can do to all get together for that one occasion!

This weekend was quieter with just our family.  We headed out to the flea market on Saturday morning.  My hubby takes a different route every time we head there -- which would explain why, for the longest time, I didn't know how to get there!  But, he's taken the cornfield route several times now... and I love it.  Doesn't it just cool you off looking at that field of green?  I still haven't learned this route, though.  I'm always too busy looking at the beautiful scenery along the way.

Whew, was it ever busy at the flea market!  The parking lot was full, with people everywhere selling their trash, treasures, and everything in between.  I saw lots of blue canning jars, but none that spoke to my heart. (*wink)  For some reason this week, many vendors had the canning jars filled with buttons or marbles.  Perhaps getting rid of two things with one sale?  Perhaps a way to charge more for the jars?  I saw a nice big jar, and was looking it over when the merchant said he'd "give" me that and two smaller jars for $12.  You know what?  I think I like the thrill of the chase a little more than that.  I declined.  There was nothing special about the jars, really.  My hubby just laughed.  I think maybe he was a little proud of me for not going for that "deal" too easily.  I'm sure he wasn't laughing because he thinks I'm quirky!  (Sometime, I'll have to tell you about the little "trend" that I've noticed in shopping at the Flea Market w/ my hubby.)

Saturday afternoon, we had the nicest thing happen... My hubby was outside grilling corn-on-the-cob, and our neighbor came over and said he'd like to mow our yard -- in appreciation for all of the days that our son drove his son to school.  It wasn't a big deal for my son to do that.  He was headed in that direction anyways.  But, let me tell you... it was a BIG DEAL for our neighbor to mow our yard, as it was a HOT day!  And then, when we thought he was done, he came back with his blower, and cleared all the grass off the driveway and patio!  How nice is THAT?

On Sunday, we enjoyed some delicious steaks, our favorite potatoes, lots of fresh fruit, and apple pie for the birthday "boy."  It was another beautiful day, and my hubby and I ended up sneaking away for a drive in the country.

We ended up nowhere in particular, enjoying everything in general along the way.  A lovely afternoon!

How about you?  What were you up to this weekend?

Friday, June 21, 2013


What's the best blog comment you've ever received?  I've been blessed to have some really nice people follow (or stumble upon) my blog and leave kind words.  My friend Karianne has a special folder in her e-mail reserved for just such comments.  She opens that folder, and reads the comments when she needs a little pick-me-up.  Not a bad idea really.  Kind words are like balm to the soul.

The other day, some of Vee's friends stopped by to see my most recent note card collection.  Many of them left comments.  One in particular struck me:

"I felt like I was just invited over for a visit, seeing little glimpses inside your home and outside in your garden."

What a lovely thing to say!

Truth be told, I don't have a lot of lofty goals for this blog.  It began because I love to write and take pictures -- and I love to share both.  I just want my blog to be a reflection of who I am, and what I believe.  Of the people I love and the things I like.  I love sharing the daily details -- you know, the stuff we would talk about if you stopped by for tea -- okay, or coffee.  Because I would totally make coffee for you while I drank tea -- you know, if that was your preference.

So, stop by any time!

"Stay is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary."
~ Louisa May Alcott

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

What's Up? 6.20

I haven't done a "What's Up?" post in couple of weeks, so let's get caught up.  I believe these are called Vanilla Butterfly Daisies.  I never dreamed that these would return this year.  I think I have a lot to learn about daisies!  We just bought this plant last year, and it didn't really thrive.  As blooms died, I dead-headed the plant.  Right?  Wrong?  You tell me.  All of a sudden, I was left with NOTHING.  It was a sad state of affairs.

I was looking for a daisy that would be as prolific around the yard as Black-Eyed Susans seem to be around here.  [The birds have transplanted them, and I find them growing everywhere.  Lucky I love them!]  I thought how nice it would be to have bright "splashes" of white around the yard -- as much as the Black-Eyed Susan's golden yellow.  It's only been one year -- so it's hard to tell if this Daisy will eventually become so at home here that we will have to "divide" to conquer.  Here's hopin'.

In the meantime, here it comes, and the question remains.
Daisies -- Deadhead?  or no?  [I'll try to remember to take a picture for you when it's actually OPEN.]

I can't wait to see these Torch Lilies open.  It's always fun to see the transformation they go through!

I'm not sure what these yellow flowers are.  Anyone know?  I'm pretty sure they snuck in the back door with other plants that were gifted to us.  It's always a nice surprise to have things like this pop up in the yard!

And Hydrangeas!  How I love them.  Several years back, my dad shared a few plants with us.  They grew, and we soon had lots of shoots to transplant around the yard.  For some reason, they like our yard.

One time, a friend from church stopped by to drop off his daughter.  He wondered aloud at our secret to having nice hydrangeas.  I was embarrassed to tell him that we basically ignore them.  I've mentioned before that our garden philosophy is "survival of the fittest."  We don't baby anything too much.  Initially, we put "grow through" plant support circles around each plant.  That has been a tremendous help in supporting the plant.  In the fall, we trim the plants back to 12-18 inches.  That's it for the TLC around here.

This guy.... should have throat issues by now.  He sang ALL. DAY. LONG. yesterday!  And then, when I went out to take pictures, he perched on the neighbor's roof as if to say, "Yep.  It was me.  What're you going to do about it?"  Have I ever mentioned that I have a "Birds" ringtone for my incoming texts?  Yeah.  It was a confusing day.

But back to the garden... Look at all of the apples!  Again, we do nothing to baby these trees.  There are no pesticides used.  Mostly the trees are a fruity screen between us and our backyard neighbors.  We've had a few apples here and there.  Nothing wonderful.  No bumper crop.  But hello?  Look at all of those apples!  When you stand under the trees and look up, it's apples, apples, apples!

So, what's up at your house?  Don't you love an ever-changing yard?

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Note Card Party 6.19

It's a beautiful, sunny, CHILLY morning here in NEOhio.  A lovely day for Vee's friends to visit!  Welcome.  I look forward to following along and seeing what you have to share for Vee's Note Card Party.  Here are my submissions.  True to form (it's freakish the way this happens every time!), I have one vertical shot in with three horizontals.  Two of the shots are taken around the house, another out in the garden, and one in Mom & Dad's garden.  As always, each photo is linked to it's original post in case you'd like to click back to do some reading.

I'm headed to Mom's to have some scrapbooking time together, but I'll be back later to visit, and always enjoy hearing what you have to say about the photos I share.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tie a String Around Your Finger...

Did you ever do that to help you remember something?  I can't say that I ever remember actually doing it, but sometimes even the mental imagery of tying that string around your finger can help you remember something... I think.  Or not.  I forget.

Anyways... I just wanted you to REMEMBER that [from all reports] Google Reader will be going away at the end of this month.  If you're like me, you've already figured out a new place to receive all your blog subscriptions for reading!

You can see all the ways to follow my blog over there --> in the right sidebar.

So, it's like the end of a school year... Please don't forget about me over the summer!!! {Will you sign my yearbook?}

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Not My Mama's Blue

This is a story about a girl who lived in a blue house.  Well, no.  The outside wasn't painted blue, but inside... the predominant color was blue.  I was that girl, and blue wasn't my favorite color. 

When I had children of my own, they often asked, "Gramma, what's your favorite color?"  Of course, her answer was "BLUE,"  -- naturally, the color that showed most in her decorating choices!

But my favorite color was green, and I swore (to myself) that my home would never be blue.  And then... we moved into a home with blue carpeting  -- in the KITCHEN no less.  First of all, really?  In the kitchen?  and then... really?  BLUE?  I was doomed, because nowhere was it written into our budget that we would be replacing kitchen flooring any time soon.

I fought it.  Really I did.  It has always been my style to have sort of a multi-colored kitchen.  I loved neutral floors and walls, and curtains with many colors to compliment my multi-colored kitchen accessories.  All of this made it easy to change out accessories on a whim.  My plan didn't include anything blue.  Really.  For the longest time.

You know how sometimes, the fight just goes out of you and you decide to embrace something?  Yeah.  Well... I bought some blue towels.  Then some blue pot-holders.  Then I found a pretty melamine plate at Target.  It had a beautiful shade of blue[did I just say that?] for background and included GREEN leaves and YELLOW lemons (really the reason I bought it).  You know what?  All of a sudden there seemed to be a little more of a cohesive feeling in the room.

Then there was the day I discovered blue canning jars. {Read HERE.}  The color struck a chord in me.  For the longest time, I wasn't sure what it was about that color.  Just lately, I happened to think it's because it reminds me of the beautiful shades of seaglass that we used to find on the shores of Lake Erie when our family attended Family Camp in Dunkirk, New York.

Whatever the reason, I'm hooked.  And if you read THIS POST, you know I'm particular about the jars, and don't just buy every one I see.  I don't know that my eye (or brain) is all that discerning.  Truthfully, I don't have a clue.  It's usually my heart that makes the decision.

Just the other day, my daughter said, "Mom, I think you are actually giving in to the BLUE!"
And, it's possible that she might be right.

All I know is this: This is not my mama's blue.
{There's a bit more of a turquoise about it, I think.}

One thing I like to put in canning jars of any color?  Seed packets.  Empty ones, or ones your still dreaming of planting.  Either kind work!  *wink

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