Monday, February 28, 2011

Poor Mr. Snowman And Other Thoughts

My sweetheart and I traveled to Washington State on Friday to attend the district conference for our church. The conference was great and we had a wonderful time with friends old and new. I had hoped to walk around the beautiful conference center and bring back some photos but that part of the Pacific Northwest had more snow than we did at home and it was cold. Bitterly cold. The sidewalks had been cleared and de-iced but the side paths through the forest and along the shores of the lake were covered with snow. I decided not to venture very far into the cold or off the cleared-off sidewalks. Our room in the lodge had a lovely view of the lake so I wandered outside just a bit to capture the afternoon sunshine on the lake.


Someone braved the snow and ice and walked down to the dock. They left footprints all the way.


Do you see what I see? A yellow slide. My favorite color – but, no, I was not tempted to get closer. And I certainly didn’t think of giving it a try. No, not me!


Someone had built a seven-foot-tall snowamn near the sidewalk leading to the chapel. The weather was taking its toll and he seemed very tired.


My sweetheart decided to go over and keep him company!


Just before we left the conference center to head home we stopped to say farewell to our new friend. We were sure we wouldn’t see him again. At least no any time soon! He was so tired and we felt bad to leave him there all alone.


Once there was a snowman,
Who stood outside the door,
He wished that he could come inside,
And run about the floor.
He wished that he could warm himself,
Beside the fire, so red,
He wished that he could climb
Upon the big white bed.

So he called to the North Wind,
"Come and help me, pray,
For I'm completely frozen,
Standing here all day."
So the North Wind came along,
And blew him in the door,
And now there nothing left,
But a puddle on the floor!
-author unknown-

I’m home again – safe and warm – and grateful for the time away. Time to refresh my soul and spend time with friends. Old friends, new friends. Real friends. Snow friends.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Simple Truth


The Lord has shown you what is good.
He has told you what he requires of you.
You must treat people fairly.
You must love others faithfully.
And you must be very careful to live
the way your God wants you to.

Micah 6:8
(New International Reader’s Version)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heading Out

Vintage Luggage

My sweetheart and I are heading out of town today. We will be travelling north to represent our church at the annual District Conference. We'll be home tomorrow evening – if we don’t stop at too many antique and thrift stores on the way home! We are looking forward to time away from the routines of daily life but, more than that, to the friendships new and old we will enjoy. The conference center is in a beautiful part of Washington State and I hope to sneak away a bit to get some photos around the conference center on the shores of a beautiful lake.

A Story To Live By

Celebrate - Lacy Slip

(This story was shared by my friend, Mrs. J., at her birthday tea last Sunday. It touched my heart and I wanted to share it with you. You may need a tissue or two!)


My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. ‘This,’ he said, ‘is not a slip. This is lingerie.’ He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. ‘Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion.’ He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me. ‘Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you’re alive is a special occasion.’

I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister’s family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn’t seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special. I’m still thinking about his words, and they’ve changed my life.

I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.

I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not ‘saving’ anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event – such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out twenty eight dollars and forty-nine cents for one small bag of groceries without wincing.

I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends.

‘Someday’ and ‘one of these days’ are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I’m not sure what my sister would have done had she known that she wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted.

It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them.

I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is. . .a gift from God.

Written by Ann Wells in the Los Angeles Times

Celebrate Each Day

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tea With Friends


Last Sunday afternoon I joined a dear friend and a group of her friends to celebrate her birthday tea at a cute, little teahouse near my home. My friend is a special lady. She has touched the hearts of many people throughout our area. She is a lady who makes a difference in the life of everyone she meets. I love the way she treats her friends – she treats us as if each of us are the only people in the world. She never fails to express her thanks for even the tiniest things we do. She sends hundreds of cards each year to express her love, her prayer support, her gratitude, her belief in us and so much more. Every year my friend, Mrs. J., gives herself a birthday party. She wants to celebrate her birthday with her friends so she gives a party and invites us! And every year her invitation says, ‘No presents, please. Your presence is all I need.’ And every year we ignore that request!


The tables were set with beautiful teacups and place cards were on each table so we could find our place.


Hats adorned the chairs – one for each of us! Mine was a lovely, big, bright green hat but soon a friend said my hat was her favorite color and when I admired her small, navy blue cloche we decided to trade.


The chairs were painted in bright colors, with such fun patterns and designs.



The little teahouse was ‘decked out’ for a party. And what a party it was!


After time to get acquainted around our tables Mrs. J. led us in two games. Fun games! Good talk! Then our food and the tea began to arrive. Pretty plates of fruit and cheese were just the beginning. Each of us chose a tea for ourselves and soon little pots of tea were enjoyed and shared. And then – the piece-de-resistance! Red velvet cake! And ice cream. Complete with candles blown out by Mrs. J. What a fun birthday celebration. A grown-up party to remember.


The tea house was enchanting. Beautiful things were everywhere. This tea set captured my heart.


And dolls. Everywhere! Big dolls, small dolls – all such pretty dolls.


Everywhere we turned there were pretty things to enjoy.





Birthday parties for little girls are a special part of The Dollhouse Tea Room. Near the front door you will find a dress-up room. (This is only part of the room.) What fun!


There is a playroom for the children with things to do, things to play with, books to read and a wonderful makeup center.


The owner and staff of the tea room were wonderful. Absolutely delightful! They treated each of us as if we were their only customer. I hope to plan a gathering of friends to join me here sometime in the future. If you would like to see more – or if you would like information to schedule tea – you can see their website here. You won’t regret it – you will be glad you did.


Monday, February 21, 2011

You Know You Are Loved. . .

When your sweetheart is power washing the patio to clean winter away and you look out the patio door and see this!


D & A – our initials. Written in what winter left behind.

Do I feel special? You bet I do!

(You should have seen the big smile on his face when he looked over and realized I had discovered it!)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Sparrow 2

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for Heaven and Home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

'Let not your heart be troubled,'
His tender words I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
But one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted,
Whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
When hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
From care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Sparrow Scripture

Song: ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’
Words and music by Civilla D. Martin

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Morning Scenes

The moon slowly sinking away over rooftops nearby. . .


The texture of frost on the hot tub. . .


Leftover leaves and reflections in a little birdbath. . .


And then – a big robin hopped by and flew to the top of the neighbor’s tree!


I think it’s safe to say – Spring is on its way!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day


On Valentine’s Day,
I think about
all the people
who to me are dear.
About how much they add
joy to my life
whenever they are near.
I think about
how special
they truly are,
And I am grateful for them,
even though they may be
near or far.

Have a special
Valentine’s Day!

With a grateful heart,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

God’s Quiet Stream

Quiet Stream

I will take special notice of the good things when they come. I will fix my mind on what is pure and lovely and upright. . .I will not worry but keep on producing a life that is a blessing for You and others. Let me take time often to come drink from Your quiet stream. I thank You for it.

He leads me beside quiet waters.
Psalm 23:2b

Quotation by Anita Corrine Donihue
From ‘Whispers of Blessing’

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Very Special Day


Today is a day to celebrate! It’s a very special day – it’s the day my dear, little mother is eighty-eight years old. She is proud to arrive at this point in her life so I know she won’t mind me telling you her age.

I have been very blessed to have a mother who loves me dearly and doesn’t hesitate to tell me. But most of all, she loves the her Heavenly Father. She still teaches two Bible Studies in her home each week. She is involved in the lives of quite a few people and she often prays with and counsels women on the phone. I tease her that I almost have to make an appointment to see her!

Today she wants to do some thrifting and tonight we will enjoy a family dinner in her honor. You may remember that my dear mother has not been well and I am so happy to share her good news with you. She is feeling better and gradually regaining strength. This week we learned that her vision has improved enough that she can drive again. Her ophthalmologist is pleased with her healing from cataract surgery and he isn’t sure whether or not she will need the other eye ‘done’. She is waiting for new lenses and will see if the other eye is affecting her or if she is improved enough that she doesn’t need to have another surgery. We are thanking God for His touch on her.

Here’s a little song I’ll sing to my dear, little mother today. It’s a song I learned in Sunday School and I love the wishes it conveys. I sing it to her every year.

A happy birthday to you,
A happy birthday to you.
Every day of the year
May you find Jesus near.
A happy birthday to you,
A happy birthday to you
And the best year you’ve ever had.

What more could I wish for her? I am blessed. And grateful. So grateful.

With a grateful heart,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A True Friend


A true friend
Warms you with her presence,
Trusts you with her secrets,
Remembers you in her prayers.

The sun is shining, my home is quiet and I am treasuring the memories of the past couple of days - reliving and savoring precious time spent with a sweet friend that will stay close to my heart forever! Words can’t convey what happened when two blog friends met face-to-face and spent time together, sharing their hearts and the things we each hold dear. Many people don’t understand the bonds of friendship that are possible in the world of blog but you and I know deep inside that there is nothing quite like it. We can become friends who talk and share our lives and homes and thoughts – friends who help carry the load when it becomes too much to bear alone – friends who listen and laugh and love us even when others might shake their heads and walk away – friends who recognize and value each other for who we are and treasure the things that touch our heart – friends who believe in us, trust us and want only the best for us. That’s all possible here in this wonderful world of blog. And it has been true for me!

I shared here that my sweet friend Jane from Tickleberry Farm was coming to my home. An overnight stay, thrifting and time spent talking, sharing and laughing together were what we dreamed possible. And it all happened just that way! Our time together began on Monday afternoon - within moments of her arrival we were hugging and smiling and loving every moment of just being together. In no time at all we knew this was no small thing. No once-in-a-lifetime meeting. We knew we were kindred spirits – friends of the heart – and we had a sense that God had brought us together. Two sisters in His love who share so much in common and whose lives will never be the same again because He allowed us these hours together.

Jane came to my community to pick up her ‘new baby’, a wonderful sixties-vintage, little trailer that she will make all her own and take wherever her heart desires. And I had the incredible privilege of being with her when she ‘met’ her new little one. Jane and I drove a short distance from my home to where this sweet, little treasure waited. And we got more than we bargained for. The dear young people who met us and did business with Jane were the sweetest people who not only did the business needed – they invited us into their big, gorgeous, historical home for tea. And, oh, what a cup of tea it was. We were among friends and there was such pleasure in those moments. As Jane drove down the long drive to their home we could see her ‘Baby Jane’ and as we parked nearby I had the awesome privilege of seeing my friend’s joy in that moment of a dream fulfilled. There were a few tears, many smiles and much laughter. I told her it felt like watching a dear friend give birth! I was so privileged to be part of those moments.

And then – Jane’s dear hubby, Rocky, who was in the area for business, came to help get things ready to roll. A careful drive back to my home and soon my sweetheart arrived to meet these dear, new friends and enjoy time together over dinner. This was almost more than my heart could contain. For me to meet Jane was a thrill, but for my sweetheart to meet and treasure her and her hubby was almost more than I dreamed possible.

Rocky had to return to his hotel where he was staying but Jane spent the night here so we could have more time together before she had to head home again. Yesterday morning we sat and talked and shared our hearts together – and then we spent a wonderful, fun-filled morning out and about on a thrifting excursion! After lunch together we returned to my home and soon went to visit my dear, little mother. What fun we had as my dear mother gave Jane a tour of her little cottage home.

Time went by all too fast and the hours we had eagerly anticipated quickly became a memory – a memory that I cherish. I thank God for the gift of this very special friend. We will see each other again. We know we will. We’re already making plans!

With A Grateful Heart,

(Some of you asked me to be sure and take a lot of photos. You will notice that there are no photos today except the beautiful teacups I ‘borrowed’ from Google Images and the photo of Baby Jane that Jane recently shared on her blog. I chose to honor Jane’s desire for privacy and her security and that of her family in the world of blog. And I didn’t feel it would be right for me to share photos of Baby Jane until she was able to share her with the world – that is hers to tell. It’s her story. I hope you will check her blog in the next few days so you can enjoy the sweetness of this cute, little vintage trailer and watch the progress as this new baby grows and becomes something very special.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Over The Moon


I am over the moon excited! Someone special is coming to my house today!!!! My dear blog friend, Jane, from Tickleberry Farm will be close by my home to pick up her new, little vintage trailer (read about it here). She is coming today and she will spend the night in my home. We plan to talk a mile a minute and hope to do a wee bit of thrifting before she leaves for home tomorrow afternoon. We will finally see each other – and hug in person – and talk face-to-face. Be still, my heart!

And there is an unexpected, special bonus: Jane’s hubby will be in the area on business. My sweetheart and I will get to meet him, too. He will join us for dinner –what a treat! The two guys have common interests and they will be busy talking ‘guy’ talk, I’m sure, while we girls enjoy a good visit. We four had planned a few vacation days together with our travel trailers on the Oregon Coast last summer but our plans were changed by work schedules and family needs. Now we finally get to be together for a bit. Maybe we will even make new plans for that trip to the coast!

If you haven’t visited Jane at the Farm, please be sure to stop by to see her lovely home and read about her doings. I’m sure you will enjoy every bit of what you see.

With A Grateful Heart,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Am So Glad That Jesus Loves Me

Jesus Loves Even Me
I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.

Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song through eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”

Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;
Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem;
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;
Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

Song: ‘Jesus Loves Even Me’
Words and music by Phillip P. Bliss

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pinch Me, Please!

I think I’m dreaming. Would you pinch me, please, and see if I’m awake? I’m in a bit of shock, you see. A couple of days ago, during an afternoon visit with my dear friend, Mrs. B., she surprised me with a gift that I could hardly believe! I am – suddenly! – the owner of something I admired a few months ago. Do you remember when my yellow depression glass was on display at Historic Deepwood Estate, the gorgeous, Victorian estate not far from my home? You can read about it here. As I entered the first room at the top of the stairs on the second floor I’m sure what I saw took my breath away! I didn’t know who owned the gorgeous china that was displayed with some of my yellow glass. But I LOVED it the moment I saw it.


Even though the signs around the room said, ‘Please do not touch’ I just couldn’t help myself. Don’t tell anyone – I picked up a piece or two, gently held it and looked at every detail and then I turned it over to see if I could find the maker and the pattern. SPODE! I decided right then and there to keep my eyes open for pieces like this when I was out and about. I hoped someone would have some pieces in their garage sale (and not know what they had!) – or that I would find it in one of my antiquing/thrifting excursions.


Where is this gorgeous china now? That was my surprise. It is at my home – on display in the corner hutch in my dining room!




Yes, it’s mine! Mine? Yes, mine! I can hardly believe it. It’s not on loan - I don’t have to return it after awhile. I can use it when I want to or stand and look at it whenever I want to. And I have plans to use it soon. Real soon.

Pinch me. Please! Pinch me to see if I’m dreaming. If I am, please don’t let me wake up!

(You can see my hutch before these gorgeous dishes were added here.)