Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thanks to Carmen of for tagging me for this self reflective game. You are supposed to share your middle name with the world of bloggers and then use those letters as a sort of acronym which describes you. I think I have that correct. Here goes.

My middle name is DENISE.

D= Darlin' This is to say that I am a DARLIN' person to my Darlin' hubby, Luscious Larry. He very rarely says my name out
loud, preferring to call me Darlin' or Baby in his most delicious Southern Drawl. There are many benefits being married to a fella who is mushy. Like getting all sorts of un birthday or un anniversary flowers or cards or even love letters in the mail. So, I guess I am not only his Darlin; but he is mine. My Daddy used to sing a song to my Mom called, Nobody's Darlin but Mine. I love that song. Oh well, rambling again. Slap me someone. let's continue . . .

E= Einstein, I am not

N= Never Say Never,. I have wanted to throw the towel in a few times on circumstances and people, but, I just cannot give up. I have a tendency to be stubborn about never saying never.

I= Intellectual; When I was in college I fancied myself an intellectual. I could wax poetically on just about anything because I thought I knew it all. Naturally I was young and callow and was too ignorant to know better. I don't really think about being intellectual these days; mostly finding intellectual conversations boring and pointless. I think raising children gave me brain damage. If they didn't, eating fast food did.

S= Smiles. I just love to smile. I enjoy my life and it shows.

E= Excellence. I am not a perfectionist but I do appreciate excellence and strive for it daily in my personal life and thoughts. I figure God gave us the very best He had as far as excellence goes through His Son and I need to follow that direction in all areas. Also, although it may sound like a conundrum, I think there is a big difference between perfectionism and excellence. Who after all is perfectbut we can all attain excellence in at least one area of our life. Even if it means that you are excellent at keeping your mouth shut. I am still working on that one.

Okay, I am supposed to tag folks for this one. Hmmmmm. Let's see who I can come up with to use their noodle.

I will tag:
Karin of Countryfolk Keepsakes
Jackie Plain n Simple
Robin of Bird in Hand Primitives
Amy of Abundant Curiosities
Jeannene of Love Conquers All

If any of these fine friends have already been tagged, I apologize; first names I thought of.

Now you must:

Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Monday, August 27, 2007

How far can Fall be?

August. A month named after Julius's grandnephew Augustus. It also connotes grand, honorable, worthy and other such terms.

Well, in my own definition of August is certainly not grand, lordly, or revered. Think on it. As a child, August meant it was almost time to go back to school. Back "in the day" as my children say, school started after Labor Day. Once the crops were harvested, the fields plowed up for winter months and were fallow, it was time to settle back into book learning. So August meant the end of barefoot days to me. It also is always the hottest month of the year! Yikes! The older I get the less I like heat. I generate enough of my own these days!!!!

Each season has its chores. Knowing when to do them is something of an art. I know what needs to be done to prepare for each season around here. But sometimes it is good to just take some time and enjoy the waning and waxing of the seasons.

We are just about to enter into Fall. Hard to imagine that with all the record breaking temperatures we have had in this month. I was surprised at the grape ivy growing over one of the woodpiles. I have always heard that as the days grow longer so does the ivy. Don't know if that is true, but, it has a country charm to it. And that ivy certainly has started to take a life of it's own. Soon, however, I will gather it up and make another wreath out of it, combining some of my artemesia,
beebalm, sweet annie and other dried flowers from this summer.

We had a visitor last evening. The blasted ground hog has reproduced. This little fella was wallowing in the grass, having a good time. I was outside with my camera and his little rolling around caught the corner of my eye. I started to approach him and he stopped dead in his tracks and froze. I snapped this image and then he ran away faster than I could take pics. Hubby doesn't have the heart to be a hunter. He was standing outside with his rifle and said, no, too young. Can't kill a baby. As if getting rid of an adult is easier??? Well, they are cute in a rodent sort of way. And after all, they have already eaten all of our veggies this year anyway. Sigh. Next year, I will have a groundhog proof garden. That is my new mantra.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Small Pleasures

I mentioned in the previous post that I had found a few small planters. I thought I would share them with you. They are imperfect, have no real monetary value - but then, dear readers, the better you know me, the more you will realize that I have never been impressed by what others deem as monetary values, in fact, I have never been one to be motivated by money. But that will be a different post, a horse of a different color so to speak.
Anyway, here are my prized little trophys.

This little lady makes me smile. She is so very demure and oh so sweet.

Who could resist this little birdie? Her tail is broken, her wings need cleaning, but when I saw her, I felt like I was 6 years old, laying on the floor, coloring in my golden books when Mom wasn't looking.

I think this one is my very favorite. Now, y'all, I love animals. I have two dogs and two cats and if my piggy bank could afford it, I would have some more. Actually I am working on acquiring more animals, more in line of the livestock kind, but that too is another post on another day! Look at these doggies. Their googlie eyes are enchanting and bring to mind one of my favorite Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales, The Tinder Box.

******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******
Now for some fun. I like fun. I always have maintained that when the fun stops, I stop. I found this quiz on another blog (thanks Andi) and thought I would share it here!
You Need Some Green in Your Life

Green will make you feel alive, renewed, and balanced.
And with a little green, you will project an aura of peacefulness and harmony.
If you want stability, you've got to get a little green in your life!

For extra punch: Combine green with blue or purple

The downside of green: It can promote jealousy in yourself or others

The consequences of more green in your life:

You will be drawn to a new life path
You will feel free to pursue new ideas and interests, no matter how strange
You will be released from the demands and concerns of others

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A few of My favorite Things

From Pennsylvania Amish Country

A few weeks back when I went to Pennsyvlania, I found some really neat things. They are pictured above. I found a neat hooked chair pad -
I figure it is from the 20-s or 30's; I think of all the hours someone took finding just the right shade from their rag bag to make this inviting cushion to sit up0n at the dining room table. At $9.00 it was a gotta get it right now buy; there is more than that amount in the wool by today's standard! I enjoy hooking; mainly work it in the winter months, when I can sit with the frame in my lap and just hook away.

This old wooden stirrup was on a table for $1.00 ! Now, don't get excited thinking that I ride horses. Nope, but I can sure see this as a napkin holder on my kitchen table!

Now this last picture is nothing really old or valuable. I just have a thing for baskets of any kind. I love this little thing. I am thinking of making a doll and some little clothes for her and filling this little wicker hamper with it.

I found a few other little items that I really love to collect; they are little planters. I will post pics of them soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate

You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gathering Acorns

All it takes is a seed. When the plant grows it sends out more seed. It is called survival. I garden. I garden a lot! I save my seeds each year and gather more from friends near and far. When I sow the seeds, I mark where I put them and when they produce, I name each plant. My Granny always told me to talk to my garden and name each species. That way they would never die.

In March of this past year, my dear friends at The Humble Arts decided to work on getting together some angel dolls for a dear baby that was born in February. If you have read this blog in the past, you know that baby is Ava Grace. The members at HARTS fell in love with her winsome smile. A seed was sown.

Over the next few months we tried to figure out how to get a charitable auction on ebay without getting them pulled. It is a shame that because of the dishonesty of a few folks out there, that the ones who really have a need get hurt. During this time, another family suffered unimaginable and unspeakable grief. The daughter of a precious sister artist developed a horrid disease, MDS, and the artist world read daily of Brianna's valiant struggle for life through Iva's journal. Brianna's death rocked our world. Loving sisters who wanted more than anything to ease the family grief, decided to get into action. Sylvia Anderson and a few others started a silent auction in order to raise money to help with the over the top medical bills the family incurred during Brianna's hospital stay. They were able to raise over $18,000! Another seed was sown.

I spoke with Sylvia at great length last week- I needed to pick her brain about how they did their silent auction. Graciously, she shared a wealth of information - the things she learned to do and how she would do it over again. Another seed was sown.

This past week in response to emails that have covered the globe, we are getting response that is nothing short of phenomenal. To date we have gathered close to 60 artisans willing to donate one or more of their creations for the benefit of Ava Grace's silent auction. The auction will be held Sept 16-22, 2007. We are in the process of creating a separate webpage strictly for this event.

Each letter I have received this week has touched my heart with the compassion and overwhelming desire to help one less fortunate. These ladies know a Mother's Heart, they believe in paying forward and in doing so, they are sowing good seed in their own lives. It is not being done to get something back. But that is how life's circle goes . . . the sower sows, the harvest comes in true to what is sown, and then the sower reaps.

Mark your calendars for Sept 16-22. Sow from your heart. Sow generously.

An oak tree grows from one acorn. How many acorns are on one oak tree?

Ecclesiastes 3

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Healing Garden

We all know that time spent in the garden is relaxing, nurturing the senses. I have neglected my poor garden for the past few weeks ~ first by taking off to Pennsy for that brief respite, only to be followed by this wretched. I am feeling much better today; still wobbly on my feet. I craved the fresh scent of outdoors. The air is thick and heavy. No promise, no hint of rain anywhere in the near future.

As I walked around the garden and yard, I realized just how lonely my flowers were for my touch. Evidence of neglect is everywhere. Grass that I could never get to grow in my yard crops up all around my flowers. Despite the lack of any real substansive rain in the past few weeks, my darlings have put on a valiant show of color and survival.
The oregano should have been pinched back to sweeten the leaves; instead I have the lovely flowers which are as fragrant as the leaves! Here you can see some bouncing bette (soapwort) setting its seed. When it dries a bit longer, I will harvest those seeds to be sure! I only recently found out that the true name of the plant is in the soapwort family. My Granny always called her Bouncing Bette. As I walked around the yard, I noticed with some surprise that the walnut tree is setting its fruit. Why I should be surprised, I have no clue, as it is the right time of year. I just don't know what has happened to the time? I feel sometimes like the Mad Hatter in the Alice in Wonderland movie "Time, Time, Who has the time?"

I used to have several black walnut trees, most removed because of the toxins they project into the soil. Not very good for most veggie gardens. Being a prim lover, I have used black walnuts to make paste and stain. I must admit it is not my favorite to use. The squirrels hereaways bounce on the branches to drop the walnuts. A taste treat for the winter months?

Now here is a charming bit of overgrown beauty! There is some Bouncing Bette, Chives, Autumn Joy Sedum, all being crowded out by fledgling paradise tree shoot, grass stalks and the lovely but invasive morning glory.

This okra plant shows that it is in the mallow family by its lovely bloom. That dratted ground hog has discovered the hidden veggies within my flower beds. Until next season, I am resigned to the fact that he is growing fat off my produce. Next year, fat varmit, you will be trapped and moved somewhere else!!

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dog Days?.

This week has been a mixed bag. First of all, let me get in my comment about the HEAT.
Here in my little corner of the Piedmont Triad, we were breaking records with temps over the 100 mark. My house doesn't have central air or heat. We cool in the summer with ceiling fans and a window unit. This week it has kept us at a slow bake. Our temperature gauge on the deck remained steady at 102 for most of the week. Now I know why I really dislike August. The Dog Days of Summer. Yuck.
If I had felt better I would have sat in my backyard with the sprinkler on. Unfortunately I have been under the weather with the summer cruds as my kids used to say.
Back on the mend, I can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel. Drink your Orange Juice dear readers, Lots of it. Take your Garlic, Vit C and Echineachea at first sign of the summer cold.

I can always find a bright side and my heart has been so warmed by the response we are already receiving to the Blog started for Ava Grace, our littlest angel. The Humble Artists have been bandying back and forth since March on what we could do in way of an auction to help her out. After some requests to help out, we decided to open this benefit up to anyone who wants to help out. Thank you, dear hearts, for getting the word out there about this little one who needs some extra wind beneath her wings.
You can click on the little angel on this blog and it will bring you to Ava Grace's blog spot. We are planning our auction to be on Sept 16-22. I am looking forward to speaking with Sylvia Anderson who helped organize the Brianna auction so recently. I am so proud of the people in this nation who carry their heart in their wallets for less fortunate yet deserving souls. Bless each one. And I believe He will.

I have been tagged by good friend Cookie to receive and pass on another award - the You're a Doll award. How neat, since we all seem so fixated on dolls!
I will go ahead an nominate a few folks that have touched my heart with their giving nature so recently.
Doreen of Vermont Harvest Bears
Pam of Soft in the Head
Lana of Honeysuckle Lane
Frannie of Freedom Valley Farm
Karen of Sew Primitive

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Who, ME???

I was just today nominated for a Nice Matters award by a special friend, Dixie Redmond! I had to laugh out loud and wipe off the monitor in front of me because for the past several days I have been pretty out of it with a horrible summer cold. I had a high fever and being the Pollyanna that I am deep inside, I figured the best thing to come out of that experience is that whenever I get a fever, I get the best dreams! I mean they are VIVID and colorful and I am always wanting to remember each detail. so, an occasional fever is okay.
However, when I was awake and moaning and in general being a miserable person, I began to fantasize about some of my clients that get on my nerves to the point that I would love to throttle them while they are reclining in the shampoo bowl. Not nice to think, but whatever it takes to entertain a sick, fevered mind. Then to get back online and read where I have been tagged for being nice, well, I am humbled and thank you Dixie, I now have another dose of guilt. No problem, I have enough room on my hips to slather on another pound or two!!

So, I am supposed to nominate others that go the extra mile in the nice department? I have met so many many wonderful folks online and through blogging, that it would be difficult to cram them all in. However, here they are: (drum roll please)

Karin of Countryfolk Keepsakes
Karen of Rolling River Primitives
Cathy of Hazelruthe, cuz she is always a friend in need, indeed
Nutmeg Megan, special little sis!
Nena of Nannys Cottage!
Sharon of the Greeneyez

I tried to add a few more, but for some reason, I am not able to get them here; suffice to say, these gals have been there for me and nice when it mattered the most. There are so many others that have been more than kind to me, and for that, I keep them in my happy thoughts and prayers! I am so very thankful to know the gals above and to know that they have enriched my life.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

More flowers and Weeds

The sun is coming out big and bright this morning - the beginnings of the dog days of summer are approaching. With camera in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other, I decided to share some of these beauties with you, dear reader. Most of my veggie garden is finished for the year - quite a disappoint-
ment for us this year due to the
dry days. We have recently been getting some of the wet stuff, I keep reminding myself not to complain about it being too little too late. The hard freeze we had over Easter destroyed too many of the blueberry blooms as well as the blackberries. We are thankful to have any for our enjoyment. The ones still on the vine and bush we are leaving for the birds to feast on. Soon, we will turn the ground over and start our fall garden of greens.

During our trip this past weekend to Lancaster County, everything looked so lush, green and like a majestic jigsaw puzzle. Not that many miles away at Gettysburg, we noticed brown, dead grass - obviously not enough rain there either. While we were in Pennsy, there were a few nights of torrential rain with localized flash floods. The days were clear, low humidity and I am certain that the farmers in the area were praising God for the rain.

Psalms 92 1 & 2 : Good to give thanks to Jehovah, And to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High, 2 To declare in the morning Thy kindness, And Thy faithfulness in the nights

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

All Country Roads lead home

Just back in from a trip that was far too short! Hubs and I took my dear Daddy up to Amish Country! He wanted to see in person the buggys, horses, farms, the plain people.

Our sensories were in overload, our taste buds delighted by the regional foods - the weather even cooperated with us! We did a quick tour of Gettysburg for my dear husband - we did see some of the main battlefields, just not enough time to do justice to the hallowed history that is in Central Pa!
I lived in Pennsy many years ago for a few years. I loved it then, and even though things have changed through the wheels of progress, one thing has remained the same. The people of Pennsylvania are still in my top five of friendly folks. In fact, probably in the top three. I have never met a person from Pennsy that I didn't like. Their easy going disposition and helpfulness show that they really are genuinely caring folks. I would move back to there in a heartbeat. Now that's saying something for this southern gal!
The farmlands were breathtaking to me. Daddy and I talked about how it is a 23 hour a day job. The trees were heavy with apples, the vines with grapes and the produce stands promised many delicious offerings fresh from the fields.
I got to see some gorgeous Amish handmade quilts. Goodness, what beauty! I didn't take any pictures inside the stores as they request no pics to be taken. Shucks! Some lovely, lovely handwork. I felt humbled by it, almost ashamed to say that I quilt!

Thank you Pennsylvania for your hospitality, industrious ways, lovely landscapes and the generous way you share with the world your history, beauty and serenity.