Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

I so enjoy hearing from you...so leave me a comment; it'll make my day!

Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dance Walking Fitness Ben Aaron. Time to Dance Walk Baby

The remodel continues...more decisions to be made, but it's looking fab! In the meantime, check out this video. I hope dance walking catches on--what a hoot!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Words of Wisdom from Shel Silverstein

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts.

Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.

Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be!

~Shel Silverstein ~

Sneaking on-line in the midst of the remodel chaos to share this great bit of advice from the great Shel Silverstein. This appeared on my Facebook page via Calming Your Inner Storm. 
All things are possible to him that believes...

P.S. Linda O'Connell, turn on your speakers...the music is for you! (And other romantics!)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Woman I Know in Saudi Arabia

I know...I'm supposed to be incommunicado. Shhhh, don't tell, but I had to sneak on to tell you about something quite incredible. There's this woman I know...she's actually a very good friend and neighbor to my sister in law. We've met several times at family gatherings. Janine is the nicest person; just the type of gal you want to sit next to at a party where you don't know anybody. She has a sweet smile and is so interested in everyone around her. Well anyway, my hubby texted me to tell me that Janine has gone off to Saudi Arabia to teach English for a year; and that she has a fascinating blog describing this mid-life adventure. If you want a first hand view of what it might be like to be a woman in Saudi, you really need to visit her blog. I'm giving you the link to one of my favorite posts. And I bet she'd love to hear from you...it must be very lonely there for her; so far from family.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More White Touches

I ran into Big Lots yesterday after an afternoon doctor's appt. I like to shop after visiting the doctor.I guess it's retail therapy after medical therapy. I dunno.  I know lots of people who thumb their noses at Big Lots and stores like them. I'm not one of them. There are times that it doesn't matter if you spend $20 for something or $100 for something slightly better. Nobody notices. So I spent $20 on some sheer white panels to go with my white walls in the family room and dining room. The result is just beautiful.

 Just the simple, romantic, gossamer feeling I wanted.

Forgive the uncropped picture. I'm sure you're so impressed with the electrical socket. I'm too busy right now to mess with photo editing. Our kitchen remodel is scheduled to start this weekend. I need to move everything out of the cupboards asap. And all of my seedlings are begging to be transplanted. About 200 of them. They're crying, "Oh please, please, please...we need more room, we need more soil, help us!"

So why am I putting up new curtains right now? Creative Avoidance.

I'm gonna be incommunicado for a few days during the remodel/transplant extravaganza. I'll peek in on you all, but probably won't leave any comments. (If hubby catches me on my laptop when we're this busy, he's sure to confiscate it!) Bye for now...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frugal Luxury...10 tips for Thrift/Consignment Store Shopping

I've been shopping thrift and consignment stores for years. I don't have to anymore-I can afford brand new things; but I like thrift shopping. Today I found this stunning linen/lace shirt from Coldwater Creek for around 10 bucks. Oh yeah! Love those crisp white blouses!

The lace is exquisite.

The embroidery is sweet.

Classic, simple, a little romantic.

Shopping thrift stores is nothing like going to the mall. You have to think a little bit differently. Here are some tips for successful thrift-store shopping.

1. Be open-minded. Most thrift store merchandise is one-of-a-kind, so you may not find what you intended to buy that day. But you may just find something else that is fabulous. Today I was looking for a little white cardigan. There wasn't a single one in the shop. Instead of becoming frustrated with what I could not find, I broadened my search.

2. Because of this, look at everything in your size.

3. Don't buy anything you don't absolutely love. Just because the prices are cheap, resist the urge to load up on a bunch of stuff that you probably won't wear. If you do, you're likely to box it up and send it back to Goodwill next year.

4. Spend a little more for quality. I'd rather spend $10 on one beautiful garment than the same amount on 4 marginal pieces. You get what you pay for, even when thrifting.

5. T-shirts are tough. People wear the daylights out of t-shirts. Thrift store t-shirts are often faded, pulled out of shape, pilled, and stained. Brand new t-shirts are relatively inexpensive. Use your 'new clothes' money for nice new t-shirts to put under your thrifted cardigans, blazers, and hoodies.

6. If the shop is filthy and the merchandise smells...go elsewhere. You deserve a nice shopping experience. There are plenty of great shops that demand clean, quality clothing.

7.  Go to the mall for ideas. Make a list of things you'd like. Then scout around thrift stores for similar items. It's important that you do this. For awhile I spent so much time in thrift stores that I totally lost touch with current fashions being shown in department stores!

8. When someone compliments a thrifted outfit you are wearing, if they ask where you got it...be honest. Tell them about that great consignment store you've found. It's not shameful to buy second hand things if you need and love them. In fact, there are so many reasons to thrift-ship; it's environmentally friendly, supports local businesses, and saves you money while increasing your ability to have a great wardrobe--just to name a few.

9. Of course you'll launder anything you purchase before you wear it. So think twice about buying dry-clean only items.

10. Don't forget the accessories! Oh my gosh...did you know that you can buy a beautiful designer scarf for just a few dollars at the consignment store...about one tenth the cost of department stores? The same goes for jewelry and purses.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Simply White

I'm painting everything white. Well, almost everything. Benjamin Moore dove white OC-17.(It's the shade of white most recommended by great architects.) Once upon a time I hated white walls. That's when I lived in apartments or houses that were painted with cheap contractor's sprayed-on-as-thin-as-you-can-get-it...flat, dull white. That's not really white. White is creamy, elegant, simple, rich, and shadow-playing. It's clean and lovely. Nature paints with white...

And so do I. 
(I'll post the pictures when the remodel's done.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

We Are the Easter People

In my last post I left you standing on Golgotha with Mary, gazing upon a crucified Jesus. Let us continue on with Mary [Magdalene] to the tomb...

But Mary remained standing outside the tomb sobbing. As she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they said to her, Woman, why are you sobbing? She told them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.
On saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you crying so? For whom are you looking?  Supposing that it was the gardener, she replied, Sir, if you carried Him away from here, tell me where you have put Him, and I will take Him away. Jesus said to her, Mary! Turning around she said to Him in Hebrew, Rabboni!, which means Teacher or Master.
Jesus said to her, Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brethren and tell them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.

John 20: 11-17

Dear Friends,

My Easter wish for you is that just as it happened for Mary on that very first Easter morning, so will Jesus appear to you; and that as He speaks your name as only He can, you will find the answers you are looking for. Happy Easter my friends! He Lives!

"Do Not Abandon Yourselves to Despair...We Are the Easter People, and Hallelujah is Our Song!"

Pope John Paul II


Sunday, April 1, 2012


My 36 year-old son Sam called me this week. He lives in Las Vegas.
"Hi Mom," he greeted me brightly.
"Hi Sam, how are you doing?" I asked.
"Well OK now. I was in the hospital for a couple of days last week. Turns out I had pneumonia. But I'm feeling better now."
Chills ran up and down my spine.
"Hospital! Last week! Why didn't you call me?"
"It wasn't life threatening and I didn't want to worry you." he responded.

Fellow mothers, I know that I needn't write another word to describe to you how I felt. You know. Not worry! Doesn't he know that I worry more when I don't hear from him  than when I do hear from him, even if the news is troubling?

Mothers need to know things. If the news is good, we want to know. If the news is bad, we MUST know.  Even if there is nothing we can physically do to change a situation, we MUST know. Even if it breaks our heart, we MUST know. There is no way to spare a mother from worry or anguish over her child's pain. Not knowing is the worst.

Perhaps this is why I was so moved this week in church; to the point of tears, as I listened to a song called Pieta; sung by our choir. The song was inspired by Michaleangelo's sculpture of the same name. It is a depiction of Mary, sitting at the base of Golgotha, cradling the crucified Jesus in her arms.

The crucifixion story rightly centers upon the agony of Jesus. But somehow this week I've found added dimension to the story as I think about how Mary must have suffered for her son. And how terrible must Jesus have felt to see his mother weeping at the foot of his cross? Just read this little excerpt from John:

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, "Woman, behold thy son!" Then saith he to the disciple, "Behold thy mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.   John 19: 25-27

Shortly after this, Jesus died. In his dying moments he saw to it that his mother was looked after.

And Mary stood by him to the end. We mothers totally understand Mary. We know that she could not leave. No matter how gruesome it was to see her son tortured, no matter how humiliating to see him hung naked on that cross, no matter how helpless she felt as she watched him labor to breathe his last breath...no matter---she would stay. 

Here at the cross we see the price of love. It cost Jesus his life. It cost Mary her son.

Dear friend, I beg you to walk up Golgotha's hill and stand near the cross, right there, next to Mary. See him in agony. Listen to his gracious words. Look into his anguished eyes. See what his love cost him...his love for you and  me.

Pieta by Michaelangelo (pieta, in Italian is translated 'pity')

Lyrics to Pieta
by Joseph M. Martin

(If your volume is up, you'll hear this lovely song playing on my blog.)
In the shadow of a manger, by a candle’s dancing flame, tender Mary holds her baby, and she breathes His holy name. “Jesus rest your weary head, close your weeping eyes.” As evening falls, she starts to sing a lullaby. “Lulay, lulay, peace be yours tonight.”

In the shadow of the temple, in a place so far from home, Mary sees her child of wonder, and she marvels how He’s grown. “Jesus rest your weary head, and think on gentle things.” With loving arms she holds her Savior and she sings, “Lulay, lulay, peace be yours tonight.”

In the shadow of Golgotha, underneath a darkened sky, Mary gently cradles Jesus. Through her tears she says goodbye. “Jesus rest your weary head. Your work on earth is done. And as the darkness falls, she whispers to her son, “Lulay, lulay, peace be yours tonight.”



Today is Palm Sunday. The message we heard in church today was how quickly circumstances can change. On Sunday they were crying "Hosanna" and on Friday, just 5 days later, some of the same people  were crying "Crucify him!"  What fickle, reckless creatures we are. How gracious that Jesus understands us! 

Our pastor closed with these words...

"In the cross we see the extent of the evil that people are capable of [to crucify an innocent, holy man]...and we see the extent of the love that God is capable of [to forgive our worst offences]."

I marvel at His grace.



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