Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Kitty In The Window

Around our house my sweetheart and I like to think we are in charge but we know the truth. It's really Miss Savannah! She captured my heart one day as a friend and I walked past the window of a kitty rescue shelter. She was curled up asleep in a wicker basket in the window. She was exactly the kind of kitty I had hoped to find. I tapped lightly on the window. She woke up and came close to see what I was doing. I ran my fingers up and down the glass and she stood tall on her hind legs and tried to 'catch' my fingers through the glass. Time seemed to stand still and we played together longer than I realized. I didn't know how mezmerized she and I were with each other until my friend said, "You two are dancing through the window!" And we were! My friend and I continued on to our destination. Later, when I could think and talk of nothing else besides the kitty in the window, my friend urged me to go back and 'meet' her and learn more about her. I did - and the rest is history. She came home with me and we have been best friends ever since. She has a sweet personality but there's no doubt who is the boss around here. She spends much of her day napping or laying in the sun (when we have sun!). We never know where we will find her around the house. Perhaps in the very chair we want to sit in. . .Taking a lazy bath in the sun. . .Or on top of the pillows on our bed.Go away, I'm trying to sleep!OK, I give up - you win! What do you want?It's so nice to have a warm, snuggly friend around the house.

Monday, January 28, 2008

On A Wintry Monday Morning

It's a cold, snow-y winter day here. My 5-year-old grandson, Mr. G., was supposed to arrive this morning to spend three days with us while his mommy and daddy attended an out-of-town conference. Following several phone calls this morning our son, Mr. J., called to say that they were not going to travel over the hazardous, snow-packed mountain passes - they cancelled their plans. A few minutes later a tear-y Mr. G. called to talk to me (I think maybe he was hoping I could talk his mom and dad into changing their mind!). We both said we were disappointed but, after a promise that I would talk to Grandpa and see when we could pick him up and bring him here to stay after the weather settles down, he seemed to feel a teeny, tiny bit better. So, my plans have changed for the next few days and I will accomplish some much-needed tasks that would have been put off until another time.

So, today I decided to share a recent gift from a dear friend of mine. She and her hubby were in Victoria, British Columbia recently. While staying at The Empress Hotel she bought a special gift to bring back to me. It is a treasure! The gift bag is wonderful.
In the bag was this beautiful box.

A look inside the box revealed this gorgeous gift.

A wonderful surprise from a very dear friend. I think it's time for a cup of tea. What a treat on a winter day.

I've been tagged to share 4 Things About Me by Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor . Here is what I'm supposed to share:

1. Sound of Music
2. Sleepless in Seattle
3. The American President
4. You've Got Mail

1. Everett, Washington
2. Bend, Oregon

3. San Francisco, California
4. Astoria, Oregon

1. Martha Stewart
2. Home Decorating/Improvement

3. Quick Fix Meals With Robin Miller
4. Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee

1. Mexico
2. Canada
3. Williamsburg, Virginia
4. St. Simons Island, Georgia

1. Beth (my dear friend from college days)
2. Betty (my former boss and now kindred-spirit friend)
3. My sweet daughter
4. My wonderful son
1. Chocolate
2. Ice cream
3. French toast
4. Beef (pot roast)
1. Someplace warm
2. Baja, Mexico (Orphanage/school/clinic)

3. Oaxaca, Mexico (Orphanage/ministry outreach to villages)
4. Any place with my sweetheart, my children and their families

1. Spending time with my grandchildren
2. Meeting new friends
3. Getting my home organized
4. Labor Day Weekend camping with sweetheart's siblings/spouses
4. Mimi

Now you know a few more things about me that you didn't know before. A chance to get better acquainted.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Granny Goes To Tea

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging . . .
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46:1-3

Years ago every neighborhood had at least one woman who could be depended on in time of trouble. She was always available to “sit up” with the sick, and minister to the needs of her neighbors. She seemed to know where she was needed, quietly serving and expecting nothing in return. Such is the granny of this story.

The pastor met Granny on the street one morning and asked, “Where are you off to today, Granny?” “I’m going to see poor widow Wilson,” replied Granny. “She is sort of poorly and I may be able to help. While I’m there, I’ll just stay for a cup of tea to cheer her a little.”

The pastor knew the circumstances in the Wilson home. “I’m glad you are calling on Mrs. Wilson,” he smiled, “and I’m sure you can be of help, but it’s very little tea I think you will be getting there.”

Granny’s eyes twinkled as she reached into her pocket and took out a tea bag. From the other pocket she fetched a few well-wrapped cookies. The pastor thought to himself, “Now isn’t that just like Granny?”

And it is just like our Lord. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus invites us to come and dine, and we can be assured that He will bring the food! Some may say, “I have nothing to offer Him.” But any time we come to Him in prayer or in His word, we can be guaranteed of a feast.

A little snail was climbing a cherry tree in the early spring when the tree was in full bloom. A friendly rabbit hopped by and told the snail, “I don’t know why you are climbing that big cherry tree; there’s no fruit up there.” The snail replied, “There will be when I get there.”

You may not see how the Lord can answer your problems or bring you peace of mind, but be assured that if you go to Him, the help will be there by the time you get there. You may be slow in coming to Him, but be of good cheer – help is waiting there for you.

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1

From "Hope For Heaven & Help For Here and Now" -
Published by The Sonshine Society, Lynnwood, WA
Art Print "Tea and Iris" by T. Chiu

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Spoon Full

Thank you to each of you who offered suggestions about my dining room hutch that is filled with yellow depression glass. I am looking and checking out the possibilities. I'll show you what I find.

In the box of treasures recently found in my attic were a few old spoons. I love old silver pieces, especially silverware. I love the detail and the beauty that was crafted into it. You can imagine how happy I was to find them. They were tarnished and needed care but the pictures taken before they were polished showed the detail best.

Spoons. I love old spoons. I love the front. . . And the back.They are all wonderful spoons but one is my favorite. My great-great-grandmother Sarah's spoon. You can see her name gracefully engraved on the handle.Sarah's daughter was my mother's grandmother who we lovingly called Nanny. She lived next door to my grandma and I spent many hours in Nanny's house when I was a little girl - especially in her kitchen. I loved to sit at her kitchen table and talk to her as she worked. As long as I can remember Nanny had a 'spooner' on her table, full of teaspoons. Somehow - I don't remember how - it became mine. I have treasured it and guarded it carefully through the years. So it was only right that I put these lovely old spoons in Nanny's spooner. Especially Sarah's spoon.With the old spoons I added two very special little spoons that were in the attic treasure box. Spoons that bring back so many precious memories. Memories of my babies. Now grown. Gifts from special friends to our dear new babies. Perhaps someday they will be precious treasures to my great-great-granddaughter!There is room for more spoons in the old spooner. A reason to find more beautiful old pieces. I will find them. Here and there. One or two at a time. And when I find them they will join the other spoons in my spooner full of memories.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Adding a second post today to share the wonderful news! Mr. R.'s white cells are on the rise. A few days ago they began to show a slight increase and yesterday they took a leap! He is beginning to rebuild immunity. That's what we prayed for. That's what's happening. He contracted an infection in his blood from bacteria in an IV line but his antibiotics - and now his body - are fighting it. He is having a good day. We pray for more ahead of him. Thank you to each of you who have been praying. Continued prayers are needed until he is back in full health again. But we see God's hand at work in him. To God be the glory - great things He hath done!

Color Splash

There have been such wonderful comments about my new dishes and my yellow glass collection. Rhondi at Rose Colored Glasses suggested that I paint the back of the hutch to better showcase my yellow glass and the pieces of new china I will add there.I've thought about that for a long time and I haven't been sure what color would be right. It would be easy to overpower the gentleness of the yellow glass but just the right color would make it 'pop'. I've thought of wallpaper or fabric on the back but I haven't been able to visualize anything that takes my fancy. I've thought of glazing or antiquing the hutch a bit. If I do I will follow Tracey's directions. I love what she does.What do you think? I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Should I add some 'doo-dads' or other things? Or, should I just keep it simple - yellow glass and new yellow rose dishes?I decorate with blues, yellows and whites. The wall to the left of the hutch is soft yellow. That is the back wall of the dining room that goes into the kitchen. Most of the wall in the dining room is filled with the sliding glass doors. Not much of the yellow shows in there. The wall to the right becomes the fireplace wall in the living room. The color of this wall and the living room is Martha Stewart's 'Tortilla', a gentle and soft taupe. I'm open to adding a new color, if it's the right one. You know what this means, don't you? Work. More work. I don't mind. I know I'll love it!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Coming Soon!

I've had several requests to show a place setting of my new dishes. I plan to do that soon. As soon as I have some new linens to show you. For quite a few years I've had just one set of dishes - plain white - and my table linens have focused most on blues. . .Combinations of blue and yellow. . .And either side of the wonderful bright placemats that were a recent gift from a dear friend.
Or -
While they might be OK - I could make do - they just aren't right. My new treasures need something different. So, I'm off to find just the right background for these special pieces. I'll show you. Soon. I promise.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How Can I Keep From Singing?

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

Song: "How Can I Keep From Singing Your Praise"
by Chris Tomlin

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Roses In Winter

Have you ever had one of those days where you just have a feeling about something? A few days ago I stopped at the Goodwill in a neighboring community. I wanted to look for a set of dishes.

Just before Christmas my sweetheart, my dear little mother and I were in a Goodwill about an hour south of home when I spied some wonderful old dishes. I really wanted to bring them home but we were in a bit of a rush to meet a deadline soon afterward, the lines were long and I wasn't sure I should spend the money with Christmas purchases still to be made. So I left them there! Later that evening as we drove toward home I was sure I had made a mistake. I wanted those dishes. I knew exactly where I would keep them. I knew just how I would use them. I thought about them so much that I nearly drove all the way back to that store the next morning to see if they were still there. But I didn't. Since then I haven't been able to get them out of my mind. And I decided that the next time I found a set of dishes that I really loved - at a good price - I wouldn't hesitate.

So, the other day as I drove toward the Goodwill close to home I had this 'feeling'. Some of my blog friends seem to find dishes all the time that are just perfect. I felt sure I would find some, too, if I kept looking. The parking lot was full - oh, no! I was sure they were all in search of dishes. Most of the shopping carts were taken but I found one and headed straight to the dish aisle. As I rounded the corner I could not believe my eyes. Viola! A set of dishes that must have been put there just for me!! I was in love. Instantly. They couldn't have been more perfect for me. The price was great. I quickly put them into my cart. I browsed through the store a bit longer but found nothing else I wanted. As I made my way to the checkstand three different ladies stopped me to admire and exclaim over my find. One of them told me to find her and let her know if I changed my mind. She would buy them. No way was I going to change my mind. When I got to the checkstand and gave the cashier my Goodwill Club Card nearly $5.00 was discounted off the already-low price.! Here is what I found.

7 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 8 soup bowls, 6 cups and saucers, 2 extra saucers, a serving bowl, a platter and a darling sugar bowl and creamer. With yellow roses! My favorite!
Wonderful dinner and salad plates. . .Cute little bowls. . .Cups and saucers. . .A serving bowl. . .Platter. . .And a sweet sugar bowl and creamer.I don't know anything about these dishes - except that I love them. There is no pattern or manufacturer. But that doesn't matter to me.

I collect yellow depression glass and old yellow pottery. They will be gorgeous together. Some of my yellow glass is in a vintage corner hutch in the dining room. I think some of my new dishes will go in the hutch with the yellow glass. Maybe. I don't know. (I have things to do with my hutch - it's still a work in progress.) Now I need to shop for the table linens I can visualize with these dishes. When I find them you will see them - and these dishes. It will be beautiful! And worth waiting for.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Favorite Pot Roast

From time to time some of my blog friends share their favorite recipes. Last Sunday I didn't go to church because I was still slightly under the weather from the flu. Since I was home all morning I decided to make something special for lunch. On Sundays we usually have our main meal fairly soon after church and then eat a lighter meal in the evening. My dear little mother spends most Sundays with us. It's a good time to relax and enjoy time together before the week takes off again. I looked through my recipes and found one that we have not had for a l-o-n-g time. My dear mom gave it to me. I thought I would share it with you since it is a very simple but delicious recipe.

Mrs. B’s Favorite Pot Roast

6 lb. beef roast
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ cup vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 large onion
1 #2 ½ can (about 3 1/2 cups) sliced tomatoes
8 small carrots
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup water
Sprinkle beef with flour, coating all sides. (I used a small venison roast.) Brown in oil.

Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper as it browns. Add oregano, vinegar, lemon (I used bottled juice.) and tomatoes. (I used home-canned tomatoes.) Cover pot tightly and let simmer over low heat. Turn roast occasionally. Cook 3 ½ hours.Add onion and carrots. (I added potatoes.) Cover and simmer 1 hour longer or till beef is tender and vegetables are done. Add bouillon mixed with water, if more liquid is needed. (I added a package of brown gravy mix and about 1 1/2 cups of water.) Thicken gravy, if needed. (See the carrot floating in the gravy?)Good in electric skillet.It was a hit - definitely a favorite. My dear mother asked me for the recipe! She lost hers several years ago. You just never know who will ask for your recipes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Very Special Day

For 36 Years!

Thirty six years ago today my sweetheart and I stood before God, our friends and family and pledged our love to each other - forever. Would I do it over again? No question - I would not hesitate to say "I do" to the love of my life. I can't imagine life without him. He is a gentle, loving man who loves me beyond understanding. I have been blessed - we have been blessed. Life has been an adventure. Together.

I love you, my sweetheart. You are truly 'the wind beneath my wings.'

Edited to add: My sweetheart gave me a very special gift this morning. It is a treasure to my heart. He knew I admired it. He picked it out himself. I collect Willow Tree people and angels. It's a small, beginning collection. Today he added the piece that will always be at the top of my favorites - Promise: Hold dear the promise of love. It is on the top of the dresser in our room where we can see it and always remember this special gift from this special man on this special day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Special Birthday Wish

Happy birthday to our dear daughter-in-law. We love you dearly, Mrs. K. and we are so thankful God brought you into our family. We can't imagine life without you and the gentle ways you add grace to our lives. You give poise and balance to our lives when things seem unstable and unsteady. Knowing you are there with your love and support means so much to us. You have weathered some pretty tough storms and remained strong. We have seen God at work in you and through you - it is a beautiful thing!

Thank you for loving our son and for making his life complete. You have given us beautiful grandsons - for that we thank you. Our hearts are filled with gratitude as we watch you raise them to know and love Jesus and to be men of strong faith and good character. Your home is a place of joy and refuge - you have made it so. Words cannot express the value of your ministry and special caring touch in the lives of the people around you. We appreciate you! We love you. Thank you for loving us.

Lovingly God gave us
Children of our own
Wanting us to raise them
Till they were on their own.

Somehow with our children grown
And walking out the door
Little did we realize
What more God had in store.

For one day our son found you
And you became his wife
Pledging your devotion
As you started wedded life.

God had also chosen you
Quite certain that you'd be
Another member we would have
Inside our family.

Granted some have daughters-in-law
But this is not our view
For to us you are a daughter
And we thank God for you.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Complete Restoration

You will know that God's power is very great for us who believe.
Ephesians 1:19

God loves to decorate. God has to decorate. Let Him live long enough in a heart, and that heart will begin to change. Portraits of hurt will be replaced by landscapes of grace. Walls of anger will be demolished and shaky foundations restored. God can no more leave a life unchanged than a mother can leave her child's tear untouched. . . .

This might explain some of the discomfort in your life. Remodeling of the heart is not always pleasant. We don't object when the Carpenter adds a few shelves, but He's been known to gut the entire west wing. He has such high aspirations for you. God envisions a complete restoration. He won't stop until He is finished. . . He wants you to be just like Jesus.

From "Just Like Jesus"
By Max Lucado

Photo from

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Treasures From The Attic

Yesterday I shared about the treasures that recently came down from the attic and I said I would share pictures soon. Several friends stopped by to say they were eager to see what I found. This is just the beginning. There are two more tubs that I have 'peeked' into. I can't wait to get back to them.

When I was a little girl my Sunday School teacher was a wonderful, creative lady. She and my dear mother worked together to make sure our spiritual education was strong and complete. But they also wanted to let us have fun while we worked hard learning Scripture verses, learning to be faithful in our attendance and learning to give of ourselves and our money. They printed out pretend dollars for us to earn so we could save and 'buy' prizes. I will never forget the Sunday that we walked into the basement room where we met and found it filled with many treasures waiting to reward our efforts. Some of the prizes had been donated by a lady who had a wonderful gift shop in town. We worked hard and saved our Sunday School dollars until the day arrived when we could spend them. The person with the most dollars could choose first. I was number three! I had worked hard with a special prize in mind and for weeks I had hoped that no one else would take what I had my eye on. I was disappointed to be third because I just knew the two girls ahead of me would take what I wanted so I planned what I would take if that should happen. Would you believe they didn't want what I had my heart set on? When it was my turn I marched to the front of the room and carefully picked up the precious prize my young heart so desperately desired. It was a little, old oil lamp - not new by any stretch of the imagination all those years ago. You can understand why I treasure this little lamp so much and why through the years since that Sunday I have carefully guarded it and cherished it. When I found it again yesterday it was nearly as exciting as the day so long ago when it became mine.
I had forgotten about an Avon milkglass soap dish I have had for a long time. I don't even remember where I got it, but I like it. I don't have a bathroom to put it in. Well, I have a bathroom - actually two! It doesn't fit in the bathroom off the laundry room and garage. That's my sweetheart's bathroom and it is decorated in 'man' things. And it doesn't go in our small main bathroom that is decorated in a coastal theme. We have hopes and dreams of adding on to our house someday. When we do, there will be a master bathroom in the plans and I will have a place for this one. For now it is in my laundry room window. I would like to put something on it. I don't know what it will be yet. Any ideas?Here's what the top looks like.

When our children were quite young we bought an old farmhouse that had suddenly been surrounded by new homes. It was a wonderful, old house with lots of character and personality. There was a lot of work to be done and we carefully, lovingly worked hard at updating and remodeling. One of the things I loved so much about the house was its wrap-around front and side porch. One day our daughter was playing near the porch when she discovered something just under the side steps. She was very small so she squeezed under the steps and came out with this old bottle. I treasure it because she found it!

Another Avon milkglass soap dish that I like. The soaps were in it when I found it yesterday. Yellow roses are my favorite so it's understandable that I should have yellow rose soaps. This one is in the laundry room window, too, waiting for that new bathroom to be built.

When our daughter was a little girl she had a hard time keeping secrets about birthday and Christmas gifts. In her excitement she would try so hard but she usually let something slip that gave it away. More than twenty years ago she planned and shopped for her Christmas gift to me and that time she kept it quiet. On Christmas morning she handed her gift to me and with eyes as big as saucers and a smile that is etched on my heart she watched as I opened the gift she had chosen for me. When she told me where she got it I nearly cried because of her thoughtfulness and creativity. One of the ladies in our church sold 'House of Lloyd' gifts. Our daughter asked her if she had anything I would like for a certain amount of money. They carefully (and sneakily) got together and our daughter purchased something very special that I have treasured from that Christmas Day on. When I unwrapped this treasure from the attic yesterday it was as if our little girl were standing here again, asking "Do you like it, Mom?" You bet I do! Always and forever!

We lived in the southern part of our state for a few years when our children were in the early grades of school. After we moved back to this area - near my parents - my dear mother took our children Christmas shopping each year so they could buy their gifts for my sweetheart and me. She took them one at a time and made a special day of it, including lunch out with Grandma. One year our son bought this special gift for me. He was so proud of it. He put a lot of heart into it - that's what makes it so special. There was a delicate ribbon and little dried flowers around her neck. I will put a ribbon around her neck. Maybe flowers, too. Last Spring I wanted to put her in my living room but didn't know where she was. Now I know!

This is the only treasure in the tub I emptied yesterday that was damaged. Maybe it should have been wrapped better, or maybe the paper shifted in transport up and down the stairs. Whatever happened, I feel sad. Her ear was chipped. Maybe someone who works with ceramics could fix it. Maybe there's something else I could do to it. Do you have any suggestions?

There are more treasures to share and stories to tell soon. Until then I'll look at each one, hold it and remember the dear people who have such a special place in my heart. They are what makes each piece such a treasure. The 'things' might disappear but the people will always stay in my heart no matter what happens or where I go.