Monday, December 26, 2011

Recipe for Curing Grumpiness

I'm reading several books about the Great Depression to arm myself with knowledge just in case we find ourselves in another one soon. The latest read is called Little Heathens, Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish.

There are recipes included and plenty of tips on how to make do with practically nothing. There's also good advice on how to rid yourself of grumpiness. I always did something similar with my own children which was when they were being grouchy, I had them go look in the mirror and smile until it became real. They always returned with a good attitude after that. Works every time. I've used it a few times on myself. Here's what the author says is her Grandma's recipe for grumpiness.

"Along with Grandpa, Grandma provided the solid, practical commonsense guidance in the lives of us children. She took the development of our character seriously and insisted that we improve ourselves. One of her more important observations was that it was impolite and unacceptable to visit your ill temper on those around you. If you wake up feeling at odds with the world, direct your attention outside of yourself, see what the world requires of you, and then get busy. The chances are that in a very short while, your grumpiness will soon be displaced by a feeling of goodwill. Her understanding of the psychology of moods was so keen that years later when I read the following passage from William James, I felt as though I'd encountered a soulmate of my grandmother's":

The voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, and act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. To feel brave, act as if we were brave, use all our will to that end, and courage will very likely replace fear. If we act as if from some better feeling, the bad feeling soon folds its tent like an Arab and silently steals away.

Good advice from William James AND Grandma.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Around the House-Part 4, Final Installment, Maybe

As I was shooting all these photos, I realized that I like hardware and furniture with swirly things. Every dark piece of furniture, either cherry or mahogany, has flourishes on it.

And yes, that label on the bookcase, 270 CHURCH HISTORY, is a Dewey Decimal System number. I admit it...I have my non-fiction books arranged in that system. I had the greatest fun organizing it, too. I'm a book nerd and order freak of a high order! I'm not ashamed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making Cookies with Nana

We planned a special night last night for the grandchildren. It was their parents' eleventh wedding anniversary, so I said I'd keep the twins while their Pappy took the boys to see the lights about town.

This was the scene after the boys returned. Darcie stayed with me and helped with the girls. She's holding Piper here. There's no way I could have taken care of both of the twins at the same time. I don't know how moms of multiples do it without help.

Scout helped me make iced sugar cookies. From her casual repose in the Bumbo, she tells me what to add and when. I guess the stress was too much for her, because she fell asleep in the middle of the recipe. I had to finish by myself. Good thing I've made these cookies before, or I wouldn't have known what to do!

P.S. Wasn't it smart of Laurel and me to have children about the same time? That way, Darcie doesn't have to grow up as an only child (she has four grown older siblings) and her boys get to have a sort of big sister. Yes, we're brilliant that way.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sweetness Doubled

Seriously, can you believe how sweet these two babies are? I'm so in love with them. We're all still in awe that they're girls (after four boys in the same family) AND that we were blessed with TWO!

This beautiful photo was taken by our friend Molly Cook. Check out her Facebook page or here: She's one talented lady! She also made the adorable hats for the girls. One has an S for Scout. The other has a P for Piper.

The little cocoons were made by my talented sister-in-law, Sharon.

So which is cuter, my dining room (referring back to my last post) or these two little sweeties? I'm just joshing. There's no contest.

Dining Room Love

You can probably tell that I LOVE our house! For a few years after building it, I would pull into the driveway, stop, sigh, and say, "It's so cute!" Much eyerolling from four children would begin.

I know you don't get tired of looking at my house, so here's some photos of just the dining room.

I love how that wax cascades over the side of the candlestick. Lavender from my good friend Charlotte.

Pewter in the early morning sun.

A corner of a long mirror hanging above the double windows at the end of the room. Got it at a yard sale for $30.

Sunlight reflecting off my new Spode Italian dishes. They were a gift to my husband for 35 years of service to his company. Wasn't it sweet of him to let me pick the gift?

Curtain rod from Pottery Barn. I love the weight of the wooden finial. I also love the bullseye corner block and the fluted window trim.

Next time I'm showing you my new granddaughters. They may be as cute as my dining room! You judge.