Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Reruns- New Blog

I've got my summer blog up and running. I've titled it Tokens. Lots of memories here and some old favorites. Please bookmark me at: Tokens

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fresh Is Stale

I'm getting really tired of my blog lately. I don't like the layout or the design or the colors. I don't even like the name.
I suppose I'm notorious for changing backgrounds and for having more blogs than one crazy women should ever attempt to have. Yet, all the others are pretty much dormant...

I have decided that starting July 5th, I will create a side blog that is merely the best of my other blogs combined. I'll select one of my favorite posts from the other four and start a scrapbook of sorts- mainly less personal stuff- but a mix of humor and sentiment.

I figure this will get me through most of the summer (without losing my thimble full of followers)- and in early September I hope to start something better- a new blog that I've spent time considering, designing and being faithful to on a regular basis.

Check back here next week for the new blog address if you're interested. Until then, I'll be scrubbing the toilet, hoeing the garden and mowing the yard- and wracking my brain for a great name and design. Thanks to all my wonderful followers. I appreciate the comments!

Have a great 4th of July! God Bless America.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The First Day Of Summer

Even if no one had told me that it's the first day of summer, I think I still might have guessed. There's something in the air. A dusty breeze of fresh hay and rain clouds- a puff of honeysuckle and the chirp of new born birds.

There is a type of quiet that lays on the land. It is green and gorged- bursting with secret gardens and tangled forest- impregnated with fragrant bouquets and skies as blue as cornflowers.

Summer seems to be satisfied- proud to be the reigning season. As though she knows her control is short-lived. That autumn will eventually swallow her up completely and she will rest in a dormant grave.

But for now there is celebration and triumph- giddiness and giggles- freedom and frolic- as the landscape unfolds into a masterpiece.

The pond is thick with fat grasses and lean cattails- popping with hungry fish and sparking with dragonflies. The garden spot spits out plump plants that hang with blooms. The night sky opens up like a black velvet hole, scattered with glitter. And fireflies beat like tiny glowing hearts in the nearby fields.

I touch the clover with bare feet- dig my toes into dew covered grass- lift my eyes to the treetops- and breathe deeply all that is Summer.

Clouds threaten rain today- roll like gray cotton- and hover like indigo tents stuffed with raindrops. Lightning stabs the sky and I run for cover.
"Copyright by Martin Liebermann / zeitspuren"

This is a good day- this first day of Summer. It is sweet and real and soft with life.

And I celebrate all that it brings me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Picking Priorities

I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers for my sister Jewel. Thank you. She had a four hour surgery on Friday and the outcome is not what we had hoped for. But at least the doctors believe there was no cancer- just severe infection in her colon that had to be removed. She seems to be resting more comfortably now and the pain level has decreased a little more each day. Your comments helped get me through the emotional weariness of the situation and I know your prayers will help the healing process. I love you all.

When family situations like a serious illness occur, it makes us all put things into better perspective. We draw closer to our family members- think about our own lives- review our personal fears- and consider changes in our lifestyles and habits.

I know I have been more critical of my food choices lately- not only for weight loss- but for the pure health factor. What am I putting into my body- and what are the effects?
I hate the thought of growing old, but I know it would be a more pleasurable process if I am healthy and strong for the rest of my life.

These times also make us appreciate our siblings, our spouses, and our parents. I had an opportunity to spend the weekend with my sister-in laws, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew. Afterward, I felt so loved and so relaxed and so thankful for new memories. It made me realize that these days are important. We cannot get them back. God does not want us to spend all our time working and separating ourselves from those that care about us. Family interaction helps us grow in both gratitude and faith. And I do know I am blessed with a wonderful family that makes me happy.

And as I sit here worrying about bills and money and other problems, I try my best to put myself in my sister's shoes and I know she would trade her situation for mine any day. It's all a matter of perspective and we all simply need to be reminded once in awhile what is most important.

As you go through your day, please take time to think of your loved ones and let them know in some small way that they are appreciated. Plan to spend some time together soon.

When you plan your meals for this week, consider what you are feeding your body and try to make wiser choices. I know from experience that it is easier said than done, but eventually it will get easier to do.

And, lastly- don't forget to feed your soul...With thankfulness, prayer and generosity.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dreams Interrupted

I was hoping to share my dreaming with you a little longer, but sometimes it can be pretty depressing- seeing all those cool and wonderful things that are beyond your reach. Besides that, my internet connection makes it a day-long process just to get pictures posted. And what's a dream without the pictures, right?

But thanks for letting me share my vision with you. I've never been one to want a matchy-matched house of furniture or rooms from House Beautiful magazine. I just want a place that is different and quirky and full of creativity- splashed with color and salvaged items and textures that reek of comfort- lots of art and lots of nature and a place that says, "Welcome".


My older sister Jewel is having major surgery tomorrow and I'm asking all of you who know The Big Guy Upstairs to please put a little prayer in for her. She's one of those gals who would give you the shirt off her back- after she washed it and ironed it -and added a big kettle of homemade soup and lemon bars to it!

Long ago I started out by writing a little piece called "Ponderings By The Poolside". After she read that, she kept pushing me to write more. It eventually turned into "Porch Ponderings" and became a weekly column in the local newspaper (for the 4 months I stuck it out in that crazy place!)
 She has always been my biggest fan. She has encouraged me to keep writing- and playing with my art - and following through with my daily blogging.

We sisters get together for Sister Weekend every year, and this May we all knew that Jewel was not feeling like herself. The spark, the smile, the adventurous spirit was missing. She thought it was a simple bladder infection, but it has become a more serious situation that will entail fairly invasive surgery to her colon. She's been in the hospital and on morphine for over a week now.

Her surgery is scheduled for tomorrow -and it is also her birthday.
Happy Birthday Jewel! I'll be there when you open your eyes and smile that sweet smile for us again.
I love you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Subconscious Decorating Part 1

Sometimes when I can't sleep, I close my eyes drift away.
If I just let my imagination take over, I find myself creating a new place.
Somewhere in that limbo between wakefulness and sleep, I build my dream home...

I drive through the woods down a winding gravel road. I can smell the pine trees and hints of honeysuckle. The sky is baby blue with puffs of white clouds. It's a perfect 70 degrees with a slight breeze. I can hear the birds singing in the treetops. There are plump, wild blackberries arching over the roadside and I pass a patch of wild roses, their sweetness filling the car for a moment.

Around the final bend and past the gate- the crunch of gravel smooths into a silent sound of tires on asphalt- a driveway bordered by a green manicured lawn- and before me stands my dream house. Two things stand out most. It's red -and it's full of wonderful windows.

I find the big brass key and twist in in the lock. A familiar click opens the front door and sunshine pours into the entryway. The floor is irregular slate tiles and to the right is a white hall tree with hidden shoe storage. There's a row of odd shaped hooks for hats and jackets- and there's a vintage shawl draped over one.

To the left is a small area with large windows. There's a homemade desk with a computer station and the window shades are old school maps that pull down to block the sun.

On the wall is an antique clock and some hand painted signs. All my office supplies are in baskets or salvaged containers and there's a row of old globes on a shelf above the windows. My desk chair is a painted find from Goodwill- with new wheels and a flour sack seat cushion to make it more comfortable during a long day of blogging. Three old galvanized funnels hang over the desk as pendant lights.

Straight ahead is the living room. Soft with cushy chairs, a coffee table- and big art.

The windows look out on the woods. There's a rustic brick fireplace and shaggy rugs.

A door on the left leads to the screened in porch. There's a feather bed with crisp white sheets that smell like lilacs. And a silly little bathing area...

I step into the doorway on the right instead- entering the kitchen. It's flooded with sunlight and fresh baked cinnamon rolls fill the air. In my dream it looks something like this:

Oh, my...I'm getting sorta sleepy now.... (Yawn...)

To Be Continued...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Proper Mowing Attire

I'm pretty sure that most of you don't even think about the outfit you wear while mowing the yard- but, hey- I didn't either-until my sister Linda described her "mowing outfit" to me in great detail. It seems that somewhere along the line- in her many yard sale adventures or junking escapades- she happened upon a tube top.

Yes. I said tube top. And a pink striped one at that.

Now, I've been known to make my share of fashion mistakes, but it's pretty much a fact in better circles of society that tube tops are just not acceptable. If you're thin, they make you boobless. If you're shapely, they make you saggy. If you're fat, they make you look like the Epcot ball in a tube sock.

Linda says that she resembles a beach ball. A beach ball riding a lawnmower. And probably smoking a cigarette and chugging a beer at the same time. It's the National Inquirer's dream photo, for sure.

So, today is my day to mow and I've spent the last hour trying to select a tasteful outfit to mow the yard in. Usually it's old jeans and a too-big tee shirt- worn Nikes and a pony tail. But now Linda has me second-guessing my choices in mowing attire.

Being that it will get near 100 degrees today, I've opted out on the long jeans, but am considering a faded pair of Capris. Except that they are a little snug and cause a double muffin top that cannot even be hidden beneath a boy scout tent. Swim suit tops, halters- and yes- even tube tops are out of the question. Why? Because I'm 55, lily white, and have age spots the size of Australia on my shoulders. Not to mention the elbow wings that catch the breeze like a para sail once in awhile...

I do believe it's about time for some fashionista to design a special line of mowing clothes. Something attractive, but sensible- conservative, but breathable- loose, but not like a parachute. Something like a tube top.
But not.

And footwear? We need a light weight airy shoe that will be safe if we have to step off the mower to move the patio furniture- and something that will cover our toes so they won't still be green at the family reunion in July.

I'm stressing here. Because apparently I do not own a suitable "mowing outfit". I'm almost sick and jealous of Linda and her beach ball blouse... as she putters along in the hot sun... getting waves and honks from strangers...developing absolute zero tan lines...taking the age factor and simply tossing it from the equation...getting the job done with not one iota of concern about her fashion choices...

Hummmmm...You know- I think I saw I really cute tube top at Goodwill yesterday. I just might have time to run there before the day starts heating up!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Coat Closet

The other night I was watching an old black and white movie and there was a scene where a woman was wearing a long fur coat. I was suddenly transported to another time and place.

The place was the hall closet of my childhood home. A small,dark space with a naked bulb and a floor carpeted with musty shoes. And I was seven or eight years old again.

The clothes that hung in that closet smelled of time and mothballs and most were rarely worn. The closet was actually a hideaway for Mom's canister vacuum- a greenish metal cylinder that sounded like a freight train. I can still see her pulling on the long hose and rolling it out for an afternoon of domestic chores.

And even though she hadn't worn it in years, there on the wooden pole hung my mother's fur coat. A shiny, brown, once-elegant and expensive mink that Mom wore in her younger days. A coat that I saw her wear in old photos- (her smile happier than any I had witnessed while she mopped or washed dishes.)

Sometimes I would open the little wooden door to the hall closet and pet Mom's coat. Slightly balding and a bit dusty, it still held that magic of a beautiful mother whose life was different before giving birth to nine children. The coat symbolized dreams that were now faded- days that were now gone- years that hung forgotten in the closet of her heart.
I would stretch my arm up into the coat- and rub the red satin lining that stayed cool and smooth in the darkness. It was a peaceful and soothing feeling to pretend that I was my mother and that coat belonged to me.

Inside that hallway also hung my dad's navy uniform, a black wool set of itchy pants and pull over top that once held medals and pins- awards that had long ago been plucked off and put away for safe keeping. The bell bottom pants had two rows of a dozen buttons and it stretched our imagination to the limits wondering how Dad could possibly have worn something so small.

I don't know what else was in that closet because nothing mattered except the past of my parents- of that odd, bittersweet twinge of loving sadness that crept through my veins as I stood with one arm in Mom's mink coat.

I can still feel that worn brass door knob in my hand- hear the sound of the pull chain light- smell the dampness of old leather shoes twisted in mildewed corners.

And I can still see my mom and dad- him as a dashing and handsome sailor- her as a blushing young bride... in a very special coat.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hole In One



Today is National Donut Day!!!!

It's very difficult for me to avoid celebrating today. Because today is donut day!


It's a day long tribute to those delicious calorie-laden breakfast bombs that make you want to lick your fingers and collapse into a food coma until the sugar rush wears off.

It's a day to honor sweet glazes, rainbow sprinkles, jelly fillings, Bavarian creams, whipped up fluff, and pudding perfection.

It's a day to be thankful to all those bakers who rise at the crack of dawn to knead that yeasty dough into works of culinary art, not to mention terrific tummy treats.

I believe that a road trip is not complete without a stiff white box of a dozen assorted donuts, a cup of hot coffee, a cardboard carton of cold milk, and a handful of napkins. Easy to eat, filling, and right within most budgets. What's not to love?

What other food would we accept with a giant hole in the middle? If we were served hamburgers, steaks or chicken with the center missing, I know massive riots would occur. We would demand that the hole be filled!

But donuts are so delectable and so sweet that we accept their faults- we adore them with their finger-holding holes and their stuffed insides- with no questions asked. We love their quirky missing middle !

I've had my share of donuts, and believe me, I've never met one I didn't like. From homemade to gourmet, donuts are universally well-loved and millions are consumed each year. And approximately 111,000 by policemen alone!


So, as you start your morning, please honor the beloved favorite for dunkin' and devouring! Celebrate Donut Day!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

And So It Begins...

I could hardly let the month of June arrive without somehow placing words on paper that portray my pleasure over summer's arrival. It has been a cool and rainy spring, scattered with storms and floods, so I treasure even more these soft mornings that smell like sweet air and buzz with the sounds of birds. I have finally shed that winter cloak, unveiled my sleeping heart, and risen to feel the wonder of this season. Thank you, God.

I had a wonderful time with the family over the holiday weekend. Two of my sister-in-laws and a brother-in-law, plus my kids and two grand kids, (and four dogs)- all gathered at the cabin for rustic relaxation and a time of laughter and good food.They say that a crowded cabin is worth more than an empty castle- and I agree. What we lacked for privacy and elbow room, we gained in bonding and making new memories.

The air was thick with honeysuckle and pine, a constant fire in the rock pit gave off smokey perfume, and stars hung heavy in the night sky like a shroud of jewels. There was the clang of horseshoes being tossed, the muffled pop of croquet balls being sent across the lawn, and the gentle music of a guitar strumming. It was the first song of summer- and what an orchestra it was!

The kids took turns blackening marshmallows over the flames, eating bags of salty chips, and riding on the four-wheeler to explore the woods. We did tick checks, bug spraying, and even chased a large black snake from the whiffle ball field.
By days end, we were hot, tired, but full of exuberance for another day ahead. Time usually passes slowly down there, but this weekend it sped so fast that I hardly had time to catch my breath.

Home again, I spend hours washing damp towels, muddy shoes, and luggage full of campfire smells. I stored away uneaten hotdogs, crumbles of stale chips, and hauled three trash bags to the dumpster. I took a long hot bath, conditioned my hair, and sat in a comfortable chair in front of the TV. I sighed with relief that the weekend was over, but somewhere in my heart, I yearned to go back.

So, summer begins.
Pulls us along on this mighty train of humid days and firefly nights, of pink perfumes and
turquoise skies. Blackberries ripen in the sun, farmers mow their hay, hummingbirds tweet among the scarlet's time for bare feet, iced tea, a good book and a head of dreams...

Welcome, Summer.
I have always loved you.