Sunday, November 30, 2008

We're Engaged!

My oldest son, fresh from gunnery school at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, proposed to his beautiful girlfriend, Mallory, over the weekend, and she said yes! 

At first, he was only going to get her ring from her grandpa and maybe propose next weekend.  But once he had the ring in his pocket, he couldn't stand it.  Within the hour he had proposed.

He put the ring in a box of bullets and asked her to hand him one for his gun.  When she opened the box she saw the ring and he popped the question.  Pretty fitting for a hardcore Army guy.

Her ring belonged to her great-grandmother and is quite stunning.  But on Mallory's delicate hand, the ring is just right.  I'd be afraid of losing it myself.  That's why when we got married, I opted for plain gold bands.  Not just any band though.  It's the widest one available.  I wanted people to know we were married!    

So, I'm going to be getting a new daughter!  I'm very excited about our growing family, and she's all I could have asked for...and more.  Way to go Garrett!  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Making Do Instead of Buying New

I'm doing the Make Do & Mend Challenge, so when I decided to get new kitchen curtains, I looked to what I already had.

The last pair I had were red gingham check; very cute.  I moved them to my studio out in the little house where they still look cute though a little faded. 

During the summer, I like to have the kitchen windows bare, but come winter I like to cozy up the house and put up curtains.  This cut up pair in the floor was what I had when we first built the house.  I absolute love this fabric.  It's so 30's-40's looking; the period I was trying to make my kitchen look like. 

I guess I got tired of the curtains, so I cut them up for chair cushions.  They aren't finished yet.  I laid one on the white chair in the photo, but I think it's too small for the chair.  I'll have to add a ruffle or something all around the edges to make it larger.  Oh boy, another project! I'll do those after I finish painting all the chairs white and red; one down and five to go.

I was this......close to looking in Penney's or Country Curtains for new curtains when I remembered that I wanted to take the Make Do & Mend Challenge.  As soon as I can figure out how, I'm going to put a badge on my blog about it.

So I went through my fabric and came across these leftovers and think I have enough to make curtains.  I still have the three original valances to use.  I also have about ten 100% cotton antique sheets I bought at a garage sale for $1 each.  I'll probably cut one up to make panels or tiers for the long window over there on the other side of the highchair and trim it in some of the rose fabric.  I'll let you know how they turn out.  And don't hyperventilate about the antique sheet.  I'll cut up one that already has holes in it.  That probably means the "new" curtains won't last too long, but that's okay.  By that time I will have turned them into pillowcases or something else!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Hour, This Day

I'm sitting at the dining room table making a yarn ball out of some yellow tangled yarn.  I'm the only one at home this morning.  I have no music playing, but there are plenty of sights and sounds around me.  I can hear the quiet dull thud of the jars of grape juice in their hot water bath, I see the lovely patterns made by the sun as it shines through the front door and parlour windows, I hear the crackle of the fire burning in the wood stove, and I can see my wellies waiting to be slipped on before hanging out the laundry; even though it's only forty-something degrees outside.

Who needs music when I can hear the many soothing sounds of home?  Not me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Stove

Susan, this post is for you.  You were wondering about my stove.  Well, like everything else in our house, it has a story.  

I knew I wanted an old style stove for my new, old house when we built eighteen years ago.  I thought about a wood burning type stove, but the reproductions were so expensive.

I found a new stove that cost $1500 just like the old one I eventually bought, and it was a piece of junk.  The bottom drawer wouldn't even pull out right.  It was very light weight too.

I found this one in a used appliance store for $150.  It was owned by a little old lady who only cooked oatmeal on Sundays.  Not really. I love it and have had to have very little work done on it.  The door on the left is a deep drawer.  I had wanted two ovens but figured I'd better go ahead and snatch it up.  Who knows when I'd find another one at that or any price.

See the towel handing on the door handle?  That and another one was sent to me by my good friend Katy.  She hand-embroidered both of them.  I love them, Katy!  Thanks so much.

See the tiny checkerboard area next to the floor where your foot hits?  That area is called something.  I just can't remember what it is.  Anyway, I stenciled that checkerboard around the base of my cabinets.  I could only do about three feet at a time before all the blood rushed to my head!  The only way I could paint it was upside down.

The little copper teapot on the stovetop was bought for me by my husband for our third wedding anniversary in San Francisco.  It has a blue delft handle and lid knob.  The grease container was one my Mama had when she first started keeping house in the fifties.  It didn't have a knob on top, so she cut off a small section of corncob, stuck a screw through it, and bolted it to the top of the thing.  It's now been on there for several years and is holding up fine.

So there you have it; the story of my second hand stove.  Someday I hope to write a book about building this house.  There are so many stories to tell. 

 One of my favorites is when the children used my clawfoot tub for a pirate ship.  It, along with many other bathroom fixtures, was sitting in the backyard at our other house waiting to be put into the new one.  They filled it up with water, climbed into large plastic buckets, and sailed away for parts unknown.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Garden Addition?

The photo on the left is my herb garden where I hope to do the wine bottle project.  Details below.                                                                                                                                                           

This is a garden at the manor house where we stayed in Williamsburg; Powhatan Plantation.  The gardener had outlined this herb garden in upside-down wine bottles.  

I thought that was such a clever idea, and one I could do in my herb garden.  So I'll start saving my bottles and should have enough by Christmas.  Kidding!  I'll put the word out and have all my kith and kin collecting too.  Except that most of my family are teetotalers, so I'll have to ask my kith!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Lure of the Garden

My garden all is overblown with roses,
My spirit all is overblown with rhyme,
As like a drunken honeybee I waver
From house to garden and again to house
And, undetermined which delight to favour
On verse and rose alternately carouse.
                         Vita Sackville-West-a sonnet

I really understand her feeling about wanting to be outside, and as soon as she is, she wants to be back inside.  There's so much to do and delight in, it's hard to pick sometimes!

Here's another poem fragment from The Land by Sackville-West:  
'She walks among the loveliness she made,
Between the apple blossom and the water-
She walks among the patterned pied brocade,
Each flower her son and every tree her daughter.'

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I CAN Go Home Again

This is the view from my parents' front yard looking down the road toward my grandparents' farm.  I grew up across the road from their house which is the last building on the left.  The barn is the red-roofed building. 

I spent my childhood running through these pastures and climbing these trees.  We moved up on the hill when I was a freshman in high school.  

When I think of coming home, this is what I see in my mind.  This is the barn in which I spent so many hours reading curled up in the hay.  I also attempted to spend the night in it when I was about ten.  I had a hard time convincing Mama to let me.  About midnight, Daddy climbed up the ladder and said I needed to come home.  Mama was afraid somebody would get me.  

I can't remember if I argued with him or not.  Knowing me, I probably did.  I wasn't scared, and I really wanted to stay. 

As we were walking home, in the northern sky we saw the most incredible display of colored lights.  That was the one and only time I've ever see the northern lights.  It's one of the best memories of my childhood made even better by sharing it with my daddy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Sweet Girl

I don't know what in the world those white dots are in two of the photos.  I'm new to this digital stuff, so I don't have a clue.
Darcie and I spent a quiet day at home.  I really miss going to church though.  Both of us only got about four hours of sleep Saturday night.  She had another 'episode' with her back hurting and heartburn.  She was also throwing up. 

She had surgery over two months ago for a ruptured appendix.  The amount of infection was very severe.  The doctors cleaned her up but said she may have some long-lasting effects from the surgery.

Apparently, she can't handle foods high in fat such as ice cream or cheddar cheese.  She has an attack every time she eats these foods.  Her pediatrician said it's because fat foods don't go through the intestines as rapidly as healthier foods and hang around giving heartburn, etc.

So we're taking steps to increase the good bacteria in her intestines and keeping her away from the fatty foods.  This hasn't been too hard as she is loathe to experience another night like last night.  I served cheese grits for Sunday dinner (among other things) which is one of  her favorite foods, and she declined!  Smart girl!

Here are the grandkids and Darcie playing ball with Pee Paw in the front yard of my parents' house.  They had such a good time playing in the leaves and with him.  He's always been such a fun Daddy and now Pee Paw.  

The great news is that I get to go back up there in two weeks.  I'm taking Gayle to the Atlanta airport to fly out to Oklahoma and help Garrett drive home.  He'll be finished with gunnery school.  Yeah!  And since they only live two hours north of the airport, we'll go up the weekend before and stay a few days.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Here we are hugging up to Thomas Jefferson.  I bought a few Christmas presents in the shop behind us.  It's a Scotland-Ireland store.  I could have spend some big bucks in there.

Remember on our trip I told Laurel that I was discontent?  Well, it's getting worse.  This is more than my annual fall melancholy.  I'm going through some internal changes; spiritual not physical.  I don't know where God is taking all this.  I'm just trying to be still so I can hear what He's telling me.  No, I don't think God talks audibly anymore.  But if I'm fretting and not staying in his Word and praying, it'll take me a lot longer to figure this out.  I don't want to "kick against the goads" as Paul says.

The 29-day giving thing stirred up something in me.  I like giving things away that are hard.  I'll post later on that whole experience.  I keep decluttering the house, and it just keeps coming and coming.  And I really don't think my house is very cluttered.  I think I'm just being convicted about having too much; more than we need.  It's sucking the life out of me.  I spend way too much time going through mail, catalogues, e-mails, etc.  I want my life to be meaningful and to make a difference in this world.  Doing those types of things isn't benefitting anyone; me included.  

I don't feel called to go on foreign soil as a missionary.  I  feel called to homeschool my youngest child, to be a godly example for my children and grandchildren, to be an older woman in the church and teach younger women to love their children and husbands, and to be a prayer warrior for our world to be a better place.  But I feel very much hindered by the superfluous stuff in my life.

Anyone out there ever felt the same way?  How did you solve it, or are you still working on it?  Any words of wisdom are welcome.  Help!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bringing Home the Goods and Cleaning up the Mess

We got home last night a little after midnight from our week away.  So today is unpacking day with a little piddling thrown in for good measure.

This is a corner of my kitchen.  It was actually clean when I got home even though one grown son and my husband had been home alone for a week.   Said son had a friend stay overnight, so this morning I made them waffles, sausages, and coffee.  The rest of the mess is stuff from the trip that needs to be put away.

See the box behind the glasses?  That has twelve pints of homemade applesauce in it sent home with me by my Mama.   I'll put that up on the top shelf with my green beans and pumpkin.  She also canned some for my married son and his wife and Laurel's family.  Mama deserves a whole separate blog entry, so more about her later.  We left their house last night and I talked to her for two hours this morning.  We obviously  didn't get our visit out!

I found several Christmas presents on the trip.  We were afraid we were going to have to tie the children to the top of the van to get all our junk home.  Just kidding!!!  We also bought several big bags of North Georgia apples.  We're just going to eat ours since Mama made us the applesauce.  I won't have to put any up this fall. 

What I need to do is get the muscadines out of the freezer from LAST summer and make jam.  Gayle (husband) said the deer he killed would be ready to be picked up on Friday from the processor's place so "make room for it in the freezer".  Easier said than done!  Our freezer is like the woman's oil in the Bible; it never runs dry.  We eat and eat out of it, and it never seems to empty.  I guess that's a good thing.

Since finishing the 29-days of giving, I want to continue in the same spirit of giving and make it a lifechange.  So maybe I could make food for people who need it.  In our church, someone is always having a baby.  New moms always need an extra meal.  Yes, that's what I'll do.  That will be a good form of denial for me since cooking isn't one of my most favorite things to do.  Not that I don't like it.  I just wouldn't pick it from a list of fun things to do.