Monday, August 29, 2011

Savoring Summer Mornings

Ahhh...picture a sixty degree August morning, with a slight breeze and low humidity. Coffee in hand, I'm sitting on the screened porch watching the hummingbirds sip nectar. Sunlight is filtering through my ferns.  Rowdy dog is snoozing at my feet. Bright sunflowers, zinnas, morning glories and petunias are blooming nearby.

What a peaceful way to begin a Monday! I'll get around to my daily routine in a little while. Right now I want to enjoy this gift for a bit longer.

Useful Notion: Take every opportunity you can to savor life as it comes to you. The little things are sometimes the most important.

Life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be. - Grandma Moses 


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Christmas in Dixie -- A Craft Hope Project

I spent nearly all day Friday making Christmas stockings. Yep, in August. Nope, I don't usually work that far in advance. This is something very special. My friend Lori Ragland sent me a link to Craft Hope, an organization that spreads kindness through donated handmade items.

Their current project, Christmas in Dixie, will deliver holiday decorations to 12,000 families who lost everything during the spring tornadoes and floods. Volunteers from all over are stitching up cheerful stockings; others who don't sew are sending donations to buy lights and ornaments to be packaged with them.

These truly are useful remnants, and what fun I had pulling fabrics and trims from my stash to design them!  My Christmas spirit has arrived early, and I'm glad that these gifts will bring smiles and happiness to those families who've had a difficult year. I have a few more to create, then I'll ship them off to Hoover, Alabama later this week.

If you'd like to help, the deadline to send stockings is September 23, 2011. Click on the icons for more information at the Craft Hope website and Christmas in Dixie's Facebook page.  

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore Roosevelt


Monday, August 15, 2011

Anniversary, 'Maters, Odds and Ends

This week Jerold and I are celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary.  We've had a happy life together since we walked down the aisle at Riverside Baptist Church on a hot August night in 1973.  Always best friends and partners, we'd love to be together for 40 or 50 more. To quote Kenny Rogers, “As long as it's ok, I'll stay with you...through the years.”


We have 'maters—lots of them. Earlier this summer, it didn't seem like they were going to do well. It was too wet to plant, so we got them out late. They didn't grow quickly. They took their own sweet time coming in. The deer and rabbits have been snacking on them. Now after a few weeks of offering up two or three per plant, they all decided to ripen at once. So today I'm making salsa and a big mess in my kitchen.


After the past six weeks of hot ninety and one hundred degree highs, we have a few days of blissfully cooler temperatures and lower humidity. On Sunday, I took my book to the screened porch and enjoyed a nice breeze while the laundry dried on the clothesline and Rowdy dog snored in the corner. 
Zinnas are happy flowers, don't you think? All they need is sunshine, water, and a little weeding. I wish I'd planted an acre of them!
What a peaceful August evening at dusk: a full moon is rising behind the trees, stars begin to twinkle in a clear navy blue sky, bats swoop down to catch mosquitoes, crickets are chirping, and cool air is flowing through the screen door. To me, this is simply life at its best.

You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
--Max Ehrmann


Monday, August 8, 2011

Grape Jelly and Rearranging Furniture

Saturday morning I painted one wall of my sewing room a delicious purple color called grape jelly. It is an absolutely perfect match for two small wall hangings and is a shade lighter than my office chair. The contrast with the white trim and cabinets makes the room sparkle. I actually enjoy painting and doing only one wall took no time at all.

I moved all the furniture to the other side of the room to give me space to work, so when I was finished, naturally I felt compelled to rearrange the layout. Moving furniture must be a woman thing; it definitely runs in my family. I remember helping my mama move stuff all the time. I mean, if you're moving something anyway to clean behind it or whatever, you might as well see how it looks on the other wall. At least that's our logic.

My sewing tables were custom made by my sweet husband, Jerold. All three are painted white and have ruled cutting mats on top. The cutting table is counter height with rollers, so I can move it easily when I lay out patterns. The other two are desk height and used for my machines and laptop. White cabinets along one wall hold fabric, books, and notions. 

I love this happy creative room; it makes me smile! Everything's picked up, put away, and ready for me to play. All I have left to do is hang my design wall board. But wait, I wonder how the window wall would look in grape jelly? Hmm, I do have enough paint left...

Useful Notion: Design a space somewhere in your home that's just for you. It could be a room or just a corner. Use your favorite colors, some special d├ęcor, then retreat there often to relax.

At our house, we always turned on the light to go to the bathroom at night. Our furniture was moved so often that we thought it walked around on its own!” 
– Author Unknown


Monday, August 1, 2011

You Can't Find Happiness With GPS

Many people say they are searching for happiness, trying to find something or someone to make them happy. Some find it easily while others never quite get their fingers on their elusive dream.

I believe happiness is one of those qualities that lives within a person. It's waiting to surface when we stop thinking so much about getting it. When you follow your dreams with steady purpose, happiness becomes part of your journey.
Take a moment every day to breathe and reflect on your surroundings. You'll surely find something that makes you smile. It can be as simple as a colorful flower, a sweet smile, a quiet sunrise, a decadent piece of chocolate, or a clean house. Focus on it and enjoy the experience...that's happiness! Even in life's bad situations, tapping into pleasant memories can help lift you up.

The pursuit of happiness is part of our lives. You need to cultivate it from within. People or things don't necessarily make you happy, although I have to say they do help. It's the feelings they trigger inside you that cause joy. To really find happiness, sometimes you have to get lost in something you love instead of staying on the path.

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise man grows it under his feet." 
~James Openheim



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