There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Big Hunks of meat and the Sunday Social Whirl

Sunday's are lonely around here.  I do have my husband and am eternally grateful for the blessing of his presence in my life.  But Sunday is still the loneliest day of my week.

When my kids were home and growing up I tried hard to make Sunday, the only day of the week that they had their father's undivided attention, a special day for all involved.  When they were young we took day trips to various parks, historical sites, and attractions within a reasonable driving distance from our farm.  On many an occasion we hired a man to milk for Doug so that we didn't even have to hurry home for chores and milking. As they got older we would have the occasional party on Sunday and invite friends and their families over for the afternoon.

Sunday's were filled with bonfires, cookouts, group rosaries, and time in the pool.  The past few summers I tried to celebrate like this more and more often because they were leaving in droves and I experienced a certain urgency to build memories that they could take with them wherever they went.  I recall a particular Sunday after church when I invited a family that we had come to be friends with saying, "We're having big hunks of meat and a bonfire later with the rosary."  Now this family is mostly populated by girls so the idea of big hunks of meat on the grill might not be a draw for them but for my kids, being boys, it was always reason for some fun.

Now that we have moved away there is no reason for me to provide "big hunks of meat" and there is no more "Sunday Social Whirl" but memories of those days stay with me even here.  Memories of little kids and water, a trampoline, and a sandbox speak of warm days and muggy evenings.  The smell of wood smoke conjures up the rise and fall of young voices praying the comforting words of the Rosary wafting toward heaven along with the sparks of a bonfire.  Hotdogs, hamburgers, and salt potatoes remind me of evenings sitting out on the porch chatting with family and friends as the sun goes down behind the barn.  Face time chats with family and friends give back the sounds of young squeals in the pool, squirming little bodies slick with sun screen, and fireworks viewed while rocking little ones sated from a day of fun.

I am thankful for all of the memories made and grateful to all the friends who populate those memories. Little did I know that I would be the one getting such benefits from a gift for my kids.

The Simple Woman's Day Book 28 July 2014


Outside my window...it is really hazy! The weather people are calling for hot and muggy today with thunderstorms all day.  I am happy to take that since they are also calling for drastically cooler temperatures for the rest of the week.

I am thinking...about rocking chairs and holding babies!

I am thankful...for fresh vegetables, farmer's markets, and a husband who is willing to take to there!

From the kitchen...there will be BLT's for supper.  It is too warm to make much else.  Thank you Jesus for a man who is as easy going as my man.

I am reading...Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

I am hearing...the AC trying to keep the house cool, the ice maker in the refrigerator dumping out its next load, and an airplane taking off from the airport nearby.

One of my favorite things...learning something new.  

A few plans for the rest of the week...work, lots of work! Later when Doug gets home I plan on going to Anderson to pick up my sewing machine!!!!!  I have orders to fill, gardens to tend (if it really gets cooler), a mother to care for, and a husband to love.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
These guys were sitting here enjoying their book in the garden of a historic home that we visited yesterday.  I love coming around the corner and finding surprises like this.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pinterest and being addicted.

 I love to learn new things especially when it comes to my art. I like to make things for less and I love it when they are fun.  This pattern that I found on Pinterest is one of those things.

These little baskets are fast, easy, and cute when they are done.  They are made from the legs of old jeans and less than a fat quarter of fabric for the lining.

I'm thinking about making some to add color to the bathroom and my sewing room.  

When I get done I think I will get back on Pinterest and look for new ideas.

Monday, July 21, 2014

My little corner of the world

They ladies at this blog that I read, Pink Chalk Studio are doing a series called Where I Sew.  I am not a designer, pattern maker or fabric line producer so I don't feel qualified to link to their series but I do sew, an awful lot.  
When I work there needs to be a lot of light, music, and mess in order for me to be properly inspired.  When we moved south I chose this corner of my parent's living room as the perfect place to set up.  Most of the day there is plenty of light coming in the two large windows that flank my space.  Recently Doug got me the remnant of vinyl flooring to use as a mat for my chair and to make it easier to clean up when I have been doing a lot of cutting or embroidery.  That saves getting the vacuum out every day.  
My work consists mainly of making baby items for family members, aprons and bags for sale, and quilts for anyone who is willing to have me make one.  Don't be deceived by how neat it is now.  When I get going there is usually a plethora of fabric draped everywhere and some kind of upbeat music blaring on the CD player.

The Simple Woman's Daybook 21 July 2014


Outside my window...it is dark and raining is falling with a vengeance.  I have come to the conclusion that, weather-wise, the South does nothing by halves.  If it is going to be hot then it is hot! and humid.  If it is going to rain it won't be just a light sprinkle.  Kind of like New York in the winter.  Why just have snow flurries when it is more fun to pile it up by the foot.

I am thinking...about the relationship between environment and upbringing.

I am thankful for...a loving and patient man who can forgive me even when I cannot forgive myself.

From the kitchen...there will be no cooking today.  It is Monday and there is leftover lasagna.  Between cleaning and laundry there will be no time for any cooking.

I am reading...the last few pages of C S Lewis' A Grief Observed.  I get so much from that book every time I read it.

I am hearing...the rain falling on the roof, Doug snoring softly in his chair, and the slick, wet sound of the trucks going by on the highway.

One of my favorite things...wide open spaces both indoors and out.

A few plans for the rest of the week...no plans. I have ceased to make plans since there is nothing that I can plan on.  I will be here all day, every day.  

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
I saw this old plantation house yesterday.  This is to me the epitome of gracious living and entertaining.  I am totally enamoured with the porches and balconies.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I have a friend

I have a friend, 
a sister,
confidant, prayer warrior.
My friend and I have never met,
but we know each other well.
We're not the same,
but we are just alike.

She loves and supports me, 
sympathizes and prays for me, 
rejoices and laughs at all the little things in life.

Someday, Donna, we will get together.
I hope this side of eternity.
But until then we will always be friends.
Just wanted you to know
you are loved.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Road trip

Friday I rented a car, packed it up and took a road trip to North Carolina to see my daughter-in-law, Melissa, my grand sons and my youngest Matthew.  My faithful dog hopped into the car with me, curled up on the back seat and slept the whole 5 hour trip!

What a pleasure to spend all of Saturday with these two young men.  Layn and I kissed, hugged, and snuggled to our hearts delight!  There was a lot of laughing and horsing around too.  How good God has been to add this little man to our lives and our family.

Time was also spent with Matthew.  I got to get lots of hugs from him, maybe enough to carry me to the next visit...naw, not possible.  After being with my family for the whole day I left my faithful hound in the capable and loving hands of Melissa and drove off into the setting sun to return to my life.

Thanks Melissa and Ian for taking Ariel.  I love you both.

The Simple Woman's Day Book 14 July 2014


Outside my window...the sun has made an appearance in all its splendor and brightness.  Without even consulting the weather forecast I can tell that it is going to be another hot and muggy day.  I think I may be getting the hang of this southern climate.

I am thinking...about the way the God orders things.  Today I plan on being particularly thankful for all the blessings he bestows on me. 

I am thankful for...family that is not only willing but happy to help each other.  My son Jason and his family remain in NY so he can have surgery.  What a blessing that they can spend extended time with Ian, Melissa and the boys and MK.  I am thankful as well that the grandkids get to spend extra time with each other.

From the kitchen...there is a refrigerator full of leftovers that should get us through until Wednesday.  

I am going...to get a mountain of laundry under control before I settle down to tackling sewing projects.  

I am reading...C S Lewis' A Grief Observed.  I have felt compelled lately to reread this old favorite.  

I am hoping...to clear all of the current UFO's off my sewing list this week.  I have a smocked dress to put together, a Frozen dress to finish, a special project for Layn to finish and ship out, and a wedding gift to work on.  That should keep me busy and out of trouble for the next few days.

I am hearing...the neighbor's truck starting up so he can leave for work, an airplane taxiing down the runway at the airport, and the Cardinals calling to each other in the side yard.

Around the house...it is too quiet.  Now that Ariel has left there is no one chasing squirrels around the back yard or yipping to get into the house so she can take her morning nap.  My mother rarely speaks and if she does it is far too quiet to hear.  This disease has robbed her of the ability to carry on a conversation.  I often think about those family members that don't speak or carry grudges and pray that they are not deprived of final apologies by something as cruel as this disease that afflicts my mother.

One of my favorite things...spending a Sunday exploring as we did yesterday.  I had to return the rental car and since we were so far out we decided to do a little exploring.  We visited an old covered bridge, the ruins of an old textile mill and the ancient dam the provided water power for that mill, and another very ancient stone bridge that used to carry all the traffic between Greenville and Ashville.

A few plans for the rest of the week...include spending time with extended family via the internet and building a home here with the man that God has abundantly blessed me with.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
In our travels yesterday we came upon this shrine to the Blessed Mother and the Infant of Prague.  It stood off in the back of a field surrounded by a wrought iron fence.  The shrine is dedicated to the Vietnamese martyrs.  What a beautiful thing to find around the bend and to spend a few minutes admiring.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Simple Woman's Day Book 7 July 2014


Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly and it has already warmed things up into the upper 70's.  It is still relatively dry out which is a refreshing change from the high humidity of the past few weeks.  

I am thinking...about changes.  This is our last week with my dog, Ariel.  We got her for companionship for me and as a distraction for my mother.  Little did we know that, rather than my mother enjoying Ariel's company and perhaps coming out of herself and paying attention to her, mom would take to teasing Ariel which is causing a problem.  A person with dementia is difficult to teach since she cannot remember anything from one moment to the next.  It is also wrong to lock the dog up every time my mother is up and walking around.  So, I will drive to North Carolina and meet with my daughter-in-law who will take Ariel back to the farm to live there.  

I am thankful...for my son and daughter-in-law who are loving and generous enough to take on another pet which they really do not need.

From the kitchen...I hope to take advantage of another cooler day to make scalloped potatoes and ham for Doug's supper.  

I am hearing...the neighbors emerging from their respective houses to go to work and begin another Monday. Ariel is on duty by the fence growling as each car passes the house.  I will miss her way of saying, "This is my place and I am on duty. Don't mess with me!"

One of my favorite things...a new scenic attraction that we discovered on Saturday.  It is called Stump House Tunnel and it is one of the neatest things I have scene. Sure wish my boys had been with us they would have had a great time.

A few plans for the rest of the week...I am hoping to get a lot of sewing done so I don't feel guilty about being away for the weekend.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Doug and mom walking back into the tunnel.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

My dad was a very patriotic guy.  His love for this country was only out done by his love for his family and his God.  It grieved him terribly to witness the imminent demise of the land that he loved.  The increasing prevalence of ungodly and immoral ideas and institutions that have infected this country cut him as deeply as would the loss of faith in God by any of his children.  It was faith in God and belief in his sovereignty over all that built this nation and it is the loss of this faith and belief that has rung the death knell of all that my father held dear.

Today my husband and I will salute the flag that daddy loved, raise it high above the home that he founded and pray both for him and the land that he loved so much.