Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Next Day. . .

(Continued from here)

I went back to the store where we stopped first the day before. The day before we three girls browsed and admired but we didn’t buy anything. Near the front window of the store I had spied a set of Christmas dishes – exactly what I have been looking for over the past couple of years. You may remember that I live on Holly Street and we feature holly in our Christmas decorations. My holly decor had spilled over into the kitchen and dining room with nice linens, candleholders and serving dishes. But no holly china! The dishes I found were encircled with holly. Not a garish pattern, just simple and nice. The price was very reasonable but I was very aware of the big sign on the front window that advertised everything half off the following day. Right then and there I knew I had to get up early the next morning, drive to this store and be there when the doors opened – I needed to own these dishes! As we walked out of the store my cousin spotted the cutest little teapot with holly on it. In my mind I added that to my list for the next morning’s excursion.

Saturday seemed to dawn earlier than usual but I was up, dressed and ready to hit the road! My cousin wanted to be my ‘accomplice’ so I picked her up and headed for the freeway. We had such fun plotting and planning and dreaming and thinking of the fun we would have if we were the first ones in the door. Oh, but we weren’t! As I turned the corner into the parking lot it was obvious that half of Portland had the same idea – there was a line waiting at the door. Not to be discouraged, I parked and we joined the line. And, while in the line, we ‘cooked up’ a plan – as soon as we got through the door I would head straight to the corner to get the dishes and, if they were still there, I would stand guard. My cousin would grab a shopping cart if there were any left, she would stop and pick up the darling teapot and come back to the corner where we would carefully place the Christmas china in the cart. It worked! Everything went like clockwork – and it was obvious that we weren’t the only ones who had spied out the territory the day before. People were running toward furniture, grabbing lamps, taking framed pictures off the wall, loading their arms with clothing. It really was amazing!


My ‘new’ Christmas dishes will add something special to the holiday season. There are eight dinner plates, eight little plates that can be used as saucers or dessert plates and eight cups. . .


Salt and pepper shakers. . .


And a spoon rest.


And the little teapot? Don’t you think it’s just the cutest?


But it’s not just a teapot – it’s a teapot, a creamer and a sugar bowl!


I think I’m beginning to have visions of sugarplums holly dancing in my head! This may be one holiday season that I’ll be ready early – very early. No doubt about that.

(And won’t I have fun snooping around thrift stores and HomeGoods and Marshall's and Target and. . . for more pieces to add to my table?)

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Finds and Treasures

Last Friday my cousin, my dear little mother and I spent the day together doing what we love to do – spending time together and enjoying an activity somewhere close to home. One of my dear mother’s neighbors was having a garage sale so that was our first stop. We enjoyed seeing and chatting with the neighbors again. I was very delighted to find a couple of things there. I love this framed picture with the little piece of broken pottery included. (It was hard to get a good picture – it’s hanging straight but it was hard to get this shot because the kitchen counter was in my way to get a straight shot! And you can see me!).


I hung my new artwork under a small picture that has a similar theme.


I was excited to find odds and ends of old silverware - a bargain at fifty cents for all.



Then we were off to a nearby suburb to shop at some of our favorite thrift shops and a consignment shop and enjoy lunch together. We left the first shop empty-handed but with plans to go back early today when everything in the store would be half price! I had my eye on a couple of things and hoped they would be there when my cousin and I arrive first thing the next morning! (More about that excursion tomorrow) Just a bit later we spent quite a bit of time at three adjoining shops that were established to raise funds to care for needy children. We spent a lot of time seeing it all. I found more treasures to add to my ‘stash’ in the car. A cute little ‘girly’ sleeper and a sweet, little handmade, hand-smocked dress (on the dollar rack!) for little Miss H.



I was thrilled to find a pretty tea cozy that will be just right for teatime with friends. Here’s one side. . .


And the other.


After a stop for lunch and a good visit together we were ready to go again! Next came a big, new Goodwill where there were a lot of things waiting for us to see. I found a two books I have wanted for quite some time and a nice, yellow pillow for my home. You know I love yellow and have touches of it in nearly every room of my house. This pillow found its way to my bed but I’m sure it will wander around until the perfect place is found.


We are doing some work in our bedroom and the yellow pillow is a sweet touch that picks up color from the quilt on our bed.


One thing I found brought such joy! I have needed a new teakettle and have been looking for awhile to find just the right one. I had shopped online, in stores and catalogs and had only seen one that I could visualize in my kitchen. As I was walking through the store looking at the house wares, a lady walked toward me with a beautiful blue teakettle in her hand. My heart did a little flip as I thought ‘that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for’. I kept shopping but that blue teakettle was on my mind and I wished I could find another just like it. As I stood in line for the cashier I looked over at a nearby shelf and what do you think I saw there? Yes, you guessed it – the blue teakettle! A quick step to the side and it was in my hands. Checking inside and out I found that it was nearly new so it went straight into my basket and now it sits proudly on top of my stove! Did I tell you it is Le Creuset? For six ninety-nine.


We had such fun together and we found some wonderful new things but most of all the time we spent together again was the most precious treasure of all.

There’s more to share. The next day. . . (to be continued)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Solid Rock

P6016420If you work these words into your life,
you are like a smart carpenter
who built his house on solid rock.
Rain poured down, the river flooded,
a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house.
It was fixed to the rock.
Matthew 7:24-25
(The Message)

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Song: 'The Solid Rock'
Words by Ed­ward Mote
Music by Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry

Friday, July 23, 2010

Back in Business

Now Open Sign

I’m back in business again. My computer came home from the hospital late this afternoon and, like any patient returning home, it is being treated like royalty! All is well and everyone is happy again. Well, maybe not – I don’t think the rude software folks who entered uninvited are happy that my door is locked and they are not welcome here! I have several ‘interesting’ new icons on my desktop that should help me scan often and, hopefully, prevent a return of ‘the enemy’.

Today my dear, little mother,my cousin and I had such fun checking out some favorite thrift shops and a consignment shop. I found a few wonderful things that I can’t wait to show you. I’ll get some photos and you will see them soon – real soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Down For The Count

I'm here - really, truly I am! Over the past few weeks I've been aware that my desktop computer was having some issues. My knowledge of the inner workings of computers is limited and I didn't know what to do about it but suspected I might need professional help. Several times lately my computer has been 'taken over' by a program that says it has checked my computer and it is infected - would I like to correct it? If I said yes I was immediately taken to a website where I found I would have to pay for more than one program that would, supposedly, fix the problems and all would be well once again. If I said no, it wouldn't let me into any of my programs, check emails or get online.

I was able to find a solution the first time or two so I could get back in business but the problems continued and got worse and worse as time passed. Yesterday it all came to an end! My computer is frozen - locked up - and the only possible solution was to take it in for repair to have the 'junk' cleaned off. I was on the phone with a technician with my internet provider several times through the day. He was wonderful and helped me install a program (malware) to rid my computer of the junky stuff and attempts from malicious software programs that tried to take over, get my credit card number and then produce no results. He called them 'scareware'. It scared me, alright! When it appeared that the problem went deeper than what we could handle over the phone he suggested repair. So, that's where I went first thing today - my computer is in the hospital for a few days. In the meantime I'm using my laptop so I can keep checking in with you to see what you have to share.

Don't give up on me - I'll be back in full swing soon. If you have emailed me over the past couple of weeks, or have left comments on my blog, please be patient with me. I will get back to you. You can make comments and email me now and I'll be able to connect with you while on my laptop.

Have I learned anything from this situation so far? Yes! Back up your important documents and be sure you have a good antivirus program that includes protection from spyware and malicious sites. Another lesson learned: make sure that important email addresses are stored with my internet provider (which most of them are) and that I have my favorite sites bookmarked on the laptop!

I have things to share with you and I will share them soon. I'm not going to let a little thing like a computer stop me!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I've been away for a few days and will try to catch up with you soon. In the middle of my busy summer God surprised me with a visit from my very dear friend from college days. She's the girlfriend who, with her hubby, joined my sweetheart and I in San Francisco last summer. While we were thrilled to spend time together again, her visit was overshadowed with sadness. She came to Oregon for the memorial service of a dear friend from days long ago – they were the kind of friends who, though they didn’t see each often, always seemed to pick up where they had left off the last time. I met both of them when we attended the same small college. I felt so honored to attend the service this last weekend with my friend and to be included with her in the family group. The memorial service was one of the most beautiful I’ve attended – a real tribute to a life that seemed to end too soon but one that made such a difference in the lives of those around her. And so, over the last few days my time has been spent with my dear friend. Routine things of life were set aside and we both treasured the chance to deepen our friendship more than ever. She has returned home and my house just doesn’t seem the same without her.

My sweetheart and I planned to drive a ways south last evening to the beautiful new home of our son, daughter-in-law and three precious grandsons. Just over a week ago they moved into the home that was built for them. We were delighted to have a tour of the finished house shortly before moving day. Because of my sweetheart’s work schedule we weren’t able to go last night but plans are in place to go later this week. I can’t wait to see how my lovely daughter-in-law has begun to decorate their wonderful new home. Please come inside and take a tour with me.


Please step inside. The entryway is just the beginning – there is so much to see!


The beautiful wood and iron work on the staircase immediately draws our eyes up toward the rooms above.


Through a door just to the left of the staircase we enter the gorgeous formal dining room. It is such a sunny day and the room is filled with a lot of sunlight, making photos of the room nearly impossible. But there will be another day to look at the room – let’s just look out the side window. The view is wonderful.


Straight ahead we get a peek into the new kitchen.


Let’s go in and see more.


Looking across the island from the sink, to the right, you can look back into the dining room.


I love the way the sun and shadows play across the room. (The door on the left opens into a nice pantry.)


The kitchen opens into the great room – and it is a great room!


The view from the windows is wonderful – hillsides filled with trees and homes below.


Between the great room windows and the kitchen, double doors leading to a huge deck let in more light.



Once we step outside onto the deck it’s not hard to see that this is a place to relax – and enjoy the view. There’s my sweetheart and our son. I hear them talking about the backyard below and the retainer wall that needs to be built. No matter, let's just enjoy the view – in the distance we can see the mountains. I feel like singing ‘On A Clear Day You Can See Forever’!



From the we can see Mt. Jefferson today.


Back inside, let’s head upstairs.



The laundry room is big and open – upstairs, right where most of the laundry ‘happens’.



Nearby we see bedrooms that will be home to three active young boys.


Oh, there’s my sweetheart and my son again – they are checking things out to be sure everything is ready for the boys!


The sun is so bright in our youngest grandson’s room that I can’t get a good photo. This is the view from his door into the hallway.


The Master Bedroom is at the end of the hall.


Look who’s here – wonder what my guys are discussing now?


As we walk into the Master Bathroom the shower is on the left and the whirlpool garden tub straight ahead. (I’m already thinking about the next time I stay with the boys for a few days. Hmmm. . .wonderful if I’ll be able to spend some time in this tub?)


Near the door, double sinks - and mirrors waiting to be hung. The door on the left of this photo leads into a huge walk-in closet.


Back downstairs, just off the Great Room, stairs lead to the full daylight basement below.


Wow! What a great place for the boys to play, enjoy family fun together and spend time with friends!


The door on the right side of the photo above opens into a full bathroom. (There's another mirror waiting to be hung.)


At the far end of the big room downstairs is a bedroom – the guest room. I think I’d like to be a guest and stay there often! Or, when my sweetheart and I decide we need to move to other quarters, maybe we can live downstairs! I told our son that I won’t mind if his sweet wife serves our meals downstairs when we get too old to climb the stairs to eat with them. Wonder why he didn’t say anything? Just smiled. He must have thought I was joking!


Just outside the double doors lead from the big room to a patio under the deck above and a big yard - waiting for lawn and some young boys to play there.




There they are again – I think they are working on a plan!


Another view of the mountains – from the back yard.


Looking up at the house from the back gives a totally different perspective.


Let’s go back upstairs and take one last look around inside. When we get to the top of the stairs. . .


We’ll walk back through the entryway and go outside. Please close the door behind you.


I have to take one more look down the street to see the mountain before we go.


Thank you for joining me for the tour of our kids’ beautiful new home. God did some very wonderful things to give them this place of sanctuary for their family and to share as they bless others with His gift to them. They plan to use their new home to minister to people who need a quiet place to land. Many of their friends minister in small, sometimes difficult, places. Our son and daughter-in-law want to make the downstairs guestroom and big family room available for times of rest, quiet and relaxation to them. And to other people God brings them into their lives. Kind of like an unofficial Bed &Breakfast. I’m thinking maybe I’d like to ‘hide’ away there often, too – but would that really be a place for quiet and rest? Not when there are three special young boys who would want to jump climb on my bed and share moments of my life. Oh, what a way to go! It might just be what this grandma needs!