Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beautiful Autumn....

Dear Autumn,

May  I say that you are very much appreciated this year?  Your gifts of comfortable days and cool nights are such a joy after being shut up in the house because of Summer's offerings of unbearable heat!  You've come with much-needed rain, and you're beginning to dress the trees in lovely attire.

I know that you're no where near finished with your presents...or your presence!  It is my hope that you will visit with us for many weeks to come, before Old Man Winter arrives with his frosty attitudes.  Oh! Don't get me wrong...I love him, but he can be a bit over-bearing in his personality traits. I'm blessed that he doesn't stick around for too long. I haven't got the patience for him that I once had.

Spring will be visiting in her due time, also. She's always welcome, though she can be a bit of a bluster at times.  I think she must be related to Mr. Winter, as she occaisionally brings too much of something, but never too many blossoms! 

Well, let's not focus on that right now. YOU are here...and oh, so welcome! I will leave all others out of sight and out of mind for the time-being, and I'll focus completely upon your being here!  The time we spend together in the out of doors is precious to me. Those gentle breezes are so refreshing, even on the warmest of sunny days. I will treasure every moment of your visit, drinking in the clear air, the sound of crisp leaves, and the taste of every harvest fruit and vegetable that came along with you.  Please know that I don't like to play favorites, but for now, that's exactly what I'm doing!

I look forward to the reminder of your time here, so please don't hurry away! We've much to do together, so stay around awhile, if you will. There's plenty of time later for the others.

Autumn, I LOVE you!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, Monday...

My goodness~ I don't know where the time has gone!  It's been a few days now since I've done any blogging. What's been keeping me from this little spot?  Read on, and I'll let you know.

I've been doing  a little Fall decorating.....rummaging through the garage for my berry vines, gourds, pumpkins, leaves and Autumn flowers. There are touches in the living room, the kitchen, the sunroom and the half-bath.  Somehow, even though the weather is still hovering in the upper 80's, it feels cozier in the house. I took part in a primitive decorating site's Fall ornament exchange, and was blessed with some bowl fillers (now in my wooden bowl), a couple of fabric crows, a large calico acorn and a little black cat. It was fun making, sending and receiving these little Fall touches to put around the house. 

We'll be doing a Christmas 'ornie' exchange well as a secret Santa exchange.  What a fun group this bunch of ladies is!  I've already started my ornaments for Christmas. I'll share photos of them after they've been received by the girls. I don't want to ruin the surprise!

Aside from making some of the ornaments, I've been working on a lot of cards. My friend loves them and asked me if I'd share her table at her church's craft sale in early Dec. So, I'm working hard to do those. Since I'm trying to make some of my Christmas gifts too, I've got to keep at it.

At the beginning of the weekend, after four mornings of rain, I got the shutters out of the garage. Those babies have been standing around for years, awaiting a bolt of some sort of creative lightening to strike me. Well, without having that bolt hit me, I've decided to clean,sand and paint them in a 'distressed' manner, and I'll hang them on the wall, each side of the two windows in the kitchen. (The windows look into the sunroom)  I think I'll paint them black, and scuff 'em up really that they look as old and used as they really are.  "Why don't I put them up as they are?" you might ask. Well, I would, because they are perfect the way they are except  they are white, and so are my kitchen walls. Therefore they must be painted. Knowing me, they will be painted red over the black, and then scuffed up.... let's see how well I know myself~

I've been whining to myself that I should have gone back to my home town this month...only 900 miles from way.  My daughter had surgery the other day for removal of a pilonidal cyst.  These are nasty buggers that attach and grow on the tailbone. The are quite painful, as are the 'boil like eruptions' on the buttock that signifies that there might be a cyst inside.  Anyway, I knew from my son's surgery for the same ailment many years ago, that it's really not a big deal surgery, and that her sister was planning to care for her. So, I didn't go. Then I got the 'guilts', thinking, 'What kind of Mom doesn't go to her daughter when she's having surgery?"  One who's been socked with extra expenses this year, and who is living on limited budget...that's who.  Still, the guilts.

As it turns out, it was probably a good thing we didn't head for New York. The van decided, out of the blue, that it didn't want to start on Friday afternoon. Our beloved friend and mechanic came by after work to look at it, and after an hour and a half of dismantling the panels under the dashboard inside the van, he was finally able to get to the faulty part.  Since he had to work on Saturday, he towed it to his shop, and we've been carless ever since. Well...until said friend/mechanic came by last night with his own car for a loaner. We are blessed with great friends!

I had better get back to my stitching or I'll still be making Christmas ornaments in April! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Why is it that when something is working well they have to mess around with things?  Facebook members, including myself, are in an uproar over the new changes.  There are things that can be done to change a few things back, but it's often more complicated than learning the new stuff, which is very complicated. 

I'm rather bewildered when they do these things...and apparently, I'm not alone in that.  I guess they've never heard, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."    Ah well...I'll either muddle my way through changing back, or learn to live with the new things.  There's not much sense in complaining about it, although I did send FB a nice note in their feedback box.  I believe they are getting a lot of those notes, some not so nice, considering what I saw on our recent news program. Until Facebook understands that people are fed up with all this change they do continually, they will lose some large numbers of members, I'm hearing.

Well, it is what it is....and sometimes we make our own problems.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over...

Yesterday I went to Sunday School and Church, as usual, but it wasn't a usual day there.  Our preacher and his wife are away on vacation and a young man from our congregation filled the pulpit. Let me back up a bit...
First, Bob was at the podium to open the service with a song, "I've Got So Much To Thank You For." It was the perfect message, and meant so much to all of us, because Bob had suffered a stroke early this year. The man we had known as full of life and energy, had been laid low in  a long period of weakness and recuperation. There he stood, with his vibrant personality slowed just a bit, but singing and sharing how he'd been brought back to his new self.  This is where the tears filled my eyes.

We went on to sing a hymn..."Marvelous Grace of Jesus". I'd been singing it all day the day before. It's a hymn that speaks loudly to my soul. I am so grateful for God's gracious gifts to me, things undeserved and so abundant. Again, my eyes filled as my heart felt the appreciation for this God who loves me so much, and proves it moment by moment.  The next hymn was "I Need Thee Every Hour". Oh yes,  I do! He doesn't need me....but without God, I would be lost. I would be stumbling through the darkness, making wrong decisions, turning in wrong directions. How do I know this?  Because, in my younger years, I did just that.
Then the choir sang their medley, "Sheltered in the Arms of God/Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."  Comfort...knowing that God Almighty shelters a mother hen shelters her chicks beneath her wing, and knowing that I don't have to struggle through life without protection and strength. I can lean on Him through everything that life brings.  Special music from two soloists brought, "I Can't Even Walk Without You Holding My Hand"  and "God's Grace". By this time, my cup was running over!

But God was not finished blessing me. The sermon was special and spoke directly to me. The altar call was given, and during the last hymn, "Just As I Am" , I prayed...right where I stood, once again aware that I didn't need to do anything to have this fantastic relationship with God. All I had to do was to open myself to the work He'd already done at the Cross. 'Gratitude' doesn't begin to  describe what I knew at that moment. Suddenly I found myself lifting the names of those I love before God, and asking Him pour His grace out upon them, whereever they were at that very moment.

Since I believe God hears our prayers and answers them, I knew He wouldn't fail. He has proved over and over in my life, that He cannot fail.  Later in the day, I found out just how He'd been answering.
I will share that with you, but... that will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, let me just say that my cup runneth over....

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Change In the Weather?

Hallelujah!  It actually feels like Fall today! I awoke to 62deg, and it's not to rise above 68 today. Quite a change from the 87 deg humidity yesterday. We won't see much sun today, according to the weather channel, but that's ok.  There's a cloud cover, no rain, and a nice, soft, cool wind. It's all fine with me!

I wonder, though, how long this will last. It could be a long Fall where we enjoy the colored leaves, which are only just beginning here and there.  We might be lucky and go into December in shirt sleeves, as we did one year since I've lived here.  (Actually, at that time, I remember being disappointed because the weather wasn't helping me to feel like Christmas!)  I rather like Fall, so if she wants to stick around awhile, I'd be very happy. The gardens are in need of settling before Winter comes, I'd like to see them get done. And there are lots of other projects too!  One of the first I'd like to see tackled is the clean out of the garage. That, however, might be wishful thinking!

My husband has some work to do in the Preacher's yard.  Since they are away right now, it would be a good time for him to go. He doesn't get much work done when people are around because they always talk to him while he could be working. He was raised to stop and look at people when they are speaking to him, so he cannot work and talk at the same time.  Today would be a great day for his tasks there. This is comfortable weather for him.

Whether we see a long Autumn or a short one, whether we see this change as the real beginning of Fall or a tease, it is delightful to feel the drop in temperatures! We must take what we are given, and that is what we'll do.  It is so easy to accept this with gratitude!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


While I was running errands this morning, I popped into the Hobby Lobby craft store to see if there was any garland made mostly of fall-colored berries. I found some, and then walked to the other side of the store to the scrapbooking department. Those who know me will not be surprised at that statement. If I'm within 5 miles of a scrapbooking department, I'll make a bee-line for it.

It isn't that I needed anything, but there is a magnetic draw to the papers and pens and stick 'em and decorative stickers. So, I checked the papers...and I thumbed through a thick pad of papers called 'Country Side'.  It wasn't on sale...and I never but one of those blocks of tempting papers unless they are at least 40% off. The full price of $19.00 is way too much, especially since I've got a room full of stuff to use up.  You'll be happy to know that I stuck to my resolve and didn't fold.  Well, mostly.  There was one sheet of 12x12" paper in that pad that I wanted, and since I'm not the type to pull it free from the binding and pretend I found it on the rack for 59 cents, I looked once more to the racks of papers just in case a similar paper might be sold individually. Luck was with me. I found one that was quite similar...certainly it would serve my purposes.

I had to have it. Those of you who have this same disease of scrapbooking and love of papers will understand.  It evoked a strong being covered with chickens and roosters.  You see, my uncle had chickens when I was a grade schooler. They were kept in a pen behind my Grandmother's house where my aunt and uncle lived at the time.  One day, I was invited to help Uncle Ros when he went to feed the chickens. It was the first and last time I did it.  Those hungry feathered fiends came at me as if they were going to chew me up for dinner, rather than the corn I was trying to sprinkle across the pen.  They pecked at my feet and I froze up, pulling my arms around me and standing stone still, screaming.  Uncle Ros took the corn and let me out of the pen, all the while finding great amusement in my fearful encounter. He could tell me all day long that those birds weren't going to hurt me, and I wasn't going to hear of it, unless I was on the outside looking in!

Another story came to mind, too.  That was when my Grandfather took me outside to witness the butchering of another chicken. He caught the hen, wrung her neck, and chopped the head off with his hatchet. The chicken jumped down off the tree stump, took off at a dead run, while I chased it, asking Grampa how the chicken could see where 'he' was going when his head was off.  The hen had run itself under Gramp's shed...and that's where it stayed until he crawled under there and grabbed the feet to bring it out.

I wasn't afraid of that couldn't see me or my feet... so it wasn't likely to try to devour me. We sure made a meal of it, though!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Ordinary Day....

It was an ordinary day. It was bright and sunny.  I was at my desk at work, and I was wishing not to be. ordinary day until the phone rang a few minutes after 9am.  My husband didn't say 'Hello, Love' as he usually did. He had an unfamiliar sound to his voice, and he said, "A plane just crashed into a building!"  After a moment, he calmed down enough to tell me that a plane had just hit one of the Twin Towers in NY city, 120 miles west of where I sat.  Moments later he said, "Oh my Lord! Something's happening!" and then he told me that a second plane had hit the other tower. 

I had no idea what was happening, as he was watching the television at home that morning. We got a call over the mobile radio from one of our drivers who was listening to reports on the news. It was then that we turned on the tiny tv set in the kitchen area of our office, trying to watch through the snowy screen to find out what on earth was going on.

Our boss/owner of the home heating oil terminal where I worked came in 'powered up.'  He was a guy who was always full of energy, but that morning, he was frantic. He determined that we should all be on our guard that day because if it was a terrorist attack,  they might target fuel depots. We were instructed that we should be aware of anything out of the ordinary.  I'm not precisely sure what would have tipped us off as to something being 'out of the ordinary', but we were to report it to him any suspicious persons should appear on location. 

We listened to the radio. We tried to watch bits through the poor reception on the little TV. We really didn't know the magnitude of things, or the devastation until we went home that night to watch our own sets.  Our hearts were broken as we watched. Our lives were being changed before our very eyes. Our country and our safe and secure lives as we knew them, wereunder attack. What would this mean for our future?

As time went on, some of us came to realize that we had lost friends or at least, someone we knew.  I discovered that a girl from a neighboring village who I'd known twenty years before when she was in college, was aboard flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania. She'd been an attorney who lived in New Jersey, who boarded the plane in complete confidence that she'd be at her desired destination  that afternoon. Just an ordinary day for her....until she braced herself for the crash. 

Sept 11, 2001...just an ordinary day....until.....!  Where were you? What were you doing on that not so ordinary day?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

And The Heavens Weep

The Heavens weep, the thunder claps
The lightening flashes...
But not here.
We are in a drought situation
As is usual for Summer.

While waters rise in the North
And fires rage in the Southwest...
We wait...and pray.
We pray for rain
We pray for Texas
We pray for the flooded ones.

The Heavens weep
The Earth drinks and overflows
The Earth rumbles
The Ocean roars

I am still...and peaceful
Though I don't understand
All the reasons for all the devestations
I am secure because I know
That God is still in control.


Friday, September 9, 2011


We have a new patio!  I've been hoping to have it constructed for the last three years, since our sunroom was finished.  It fits in the square between the west wall of the sunroom and the back wall of the house, and it measures 16 ft x 20 ft. It should be said here that my wonderful husband was the brunt of many a joke because with every trailer-load of furniture that he brought from New York state to South Carolina, he loaded a layer of brick beneath the items. About 3,000 bricks made it from there to here over the year he went back and forth.

Now you might wonder why he brought bricks here. Well, it's because he and I had salvaged them from a house that was going to be torn down and relandscaped. These bricks spent their former life as a patio at the place, and they were free to us for the pulling out and carrying away. We worked together for hours doing that job, loading them into the back of his dump truck, and unloading those at our house.  Sweat equity, I guess, you might call it. There were many more left behind at that place, but we'd reached the end of our energy.

 He'd built our patio at the old house, and now he's laid this one down. The differences between the two areas is great. The old one was 16x16 ft, and was laid in soft, sandy soil. It was much easier to level, as the sandy loam was easier to move. This clay had to be chiseled away with a small pick ax, clods pounded into powder and moved with a hand-trowel, brick by brick.  In our NY back yard,  there were many huge trees, which shaded him as he worked. Here, there isn't a large tree anywhere in the yard (thank you Mr. Builder!) He worked out there in the hot sun, even though I begged him to work early in the morning, before the sun came around to the work site. (He ended up with a pale X on his back, where the sun had burned through his T-shirt and around his suspenders!) 

One more difference that must be mentioned is this: we'll actually get to put our outside furniture on the patio, and sit on it!  We didn't get to use our old one, due to the fact that we had a couple of granddaughters living with us and the patio was constantly covered with ride on toys and play equipment! 

Since the patio is on the south and west, it'll be too hot to use it in the summertime, unless we go an extra mile (and expense) of building a trellis over it. But, the in the Spring and Fall,  it should be perfect. The Spring breezes come up from the southwest, and it will be delightful at that time of year. The Fall sees very little in the way of wind, unless there's a storm brewing, in which case we wouldn't sit out there anyway.  I forsee that we will use it a lot during those two seasons, especially if we are desiring a little more privacy than we are afforded on the front porch.

I am pleased as punch about this project being accomplished. I truly do a 'happy dance' every time I go out of the back door. I so appreciate all the work that Mike put into this, from the gathering of the brick to the finished product.  He truly is a keeper!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September Song...

This month has started off beautifully. Our weather has cooled by just a few degrees, but it's most pleasant to sit on the porch and remain as comfortable as I was a few moments before while in the house.

My daughter came for the weekend...without her husband and two grade-school daughters. I always miss the family members who don't come, but I treasure the alone- time with my daughter.  Generally we try to  catch up on some scrapbooking together, but this time we chose to make some greeting cards.  Erinne, who is usually a very creative gal,  was having some difficulties coming up with any ideas for her cards. She 'stole' some of my design ideas, which wasn't a problem for me.  It kicked her into gear, and she began to come up with a few of her own originals. 

It's such fun to spend time crafting with my daughter.  We put on the cd player, with soothing music, and we just let the creativity flow.  Both of us have always loved music of any sort, and crafting too, in many mediums. We sing, we talk, we share, we joke, we laugh, we get serious, we sometimes cry. In a word, we commune...and all in all, it's a good time.

We've noticed on each of our 'alone-time' visits that time goes so fast. It is our one complaint. There is never enough time to do all that we want to or time enough to say everything we want to say. We cherish these times as they come too infrequently and are all too short.  Family is important to us. I enjoy my time with each of the girls, whenever we get together, one on one. Gatherings are looked forward to, as well, but sometimes it's nice to have just one conversation at a time, catching up with each other's lives and concerns. I'm glad my oldest two are within two hours of me, affording us the opportunity to get together when their work schedule permits it. It is my hope that my NY daughters will one day move here, offering us the chance to visit more frequently.

This weekend will have to hold me until next time. There will be  a few trips, I'm sure, before the holidays...and then Christmas will bring the eldest girls and their families to join my mother, brother, my husband and I, here at our home. I'm reminded of an old song lyric.."And the days dwindle down, to a precious few...September, November...and these few days, I'll spend with you. These precious days I'll spend with you."

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Yes, dear readers...I know.  I didn't tell you that I'd be absent...and certainly NOT for this near-week period.  Please rest assured that I'll be writing again on Monday..or at latest, Tuesday.  My daughter hasn't been here since Christmas, and we're 'playing' and talking, and otherwise using our time together, so I know you'll all be forgiving!

See you soon....