Sunday, September 30, 2007


It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a wonderful day . . . oh well, I could sing along with Mr. Rogers all day; I always liked that man. But today! Well TODAY is my wonderful baby girl, precious Sarah - it is her FIRST ANNIVERSARY of wedded bliss. I am sitting here laughing at myself because each time I typed out wedded it came out weeded. Perhaps the first year is a weeding out. LOL. The song you are listening to was the song that played after they were pronounced and started to walk out to the guests. It was PARTY TIME. I tell you, this family enjoys to part-a-y! And this was a great reason!!

Sarah is the first of my three children to marry. Her wedding was a very marvelous, very informal affair. It was set outside with close to 100 folks watching, laughing, crying and just being there for Sarah and Jason. After their "I Do's" were said and they were pronounced man and wife, they released butterflies in remembrance of their family members who have passed away and were watching from above. Now that was a special moment!

This past year has seen them both learning how to live together, work together, eat food that was prepared without recipe cards or complete ingredients, having their first Christmas together, all the "firsts" that happen.

I love my son in law, he is my third son. Jason is a quiet man, much like my Luscious Larry . . . and he does have a tendency to want to make Sarah happy. Which makes everyone here on the Hill happy. He is the ying to her yang. He is quiet, she is bubbly. I wish so many many many many more happy years that God will bless them with.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More Simple Joys

Do you remember the song from Mary Poppins "feed The Birds?" I have that song in my head sometimes when I am replenishing my feeders. I also think of that pigeon lady from Home Alone 2 who stands still and allows the birds to flock all around her while she feeds them. I had my husband make a stand outside our computer room window that we have added several bid feeders to. We can also view it from our living room, while sitting down to read or view the television. Actually, the birds put on a better show than network or cable could think of at times! It is quite relaxing to watch the various birds come and fill themselves up, glorious goldfinches, titmouse, indigo buntings, cardinals, chickadees, rose breasted grosbeak ~ oh the variety I would have never noticed in my own yard were it not for the feeders!!

The other day while I went outside to breathe deeply the scent of impending fall, I went out to the back garden. Now looking totally overgrown and neglected, I spied a few squash that somehow had eluded Larry's eagle eyes. Toughened by age and not really good enough to cook, Once gathered, planning to shuck them on the compost pile, I thought of something I haven't done in a while.

I cut holes in them, circles large enough for a bird to land on - I scooped out the pulp, saving the seed as my Granny taught me for next year. Once cleaned out, I threaded ribbon through them, filled them with seed and brought them to the feeder.

What a delight it has been for me to observe the birds sitting on the cross arms of the feeder, checking out their new entree.

I particularly like to watch the ground birds the robins, who have mostly flown further south now, or the doves, with their sweet cooing sounds, gobble up the seed that has fallen to the earth. The big crows and starlings are too large to fit the feeders, my squash feeders or the store bought feeders. They also scour the ground for seed.

I have also used in the past bell peppers as feeders, grapefruit, oranges - anything that can be scooped out and leave room for the seed. Another great idea for a bird feeder is to gather a big sunflower head and hang it for the birds to feast on!

As the weather gets cooler and the birds have a harder time finding berries, I often take pine cones and pour some honey on them and roll them about seed for a coating, as well as a dollop of peanut butter and seed. Yummy treats for our feathered friends.
You see, it doesn't take much to amuse me or entertain me. i choose to find beauty and joy in simple things.

"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them." (Matthew 6:26)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Silent Auction is a Win Win

The Silent Auction for Ava Grace has concluded. The invoices has been sent, payments are arriving, everyone seems thrilled with the results. We were able to raise more than

I would like to take this time to thank everyone involved with this wonderful undertaking. And I would also like to mention that monetary donations can still be made at:

Ava Grace Donations

Email this address and you will be directed as to where to send the checks or money orders. You may also
go directly to your paypal account and use the same address.

Thank you my friends!

Alphabet Studio
Angel and The Crow
BB Junction
Bird in The Hand Primitives
Bone Head Studios
Carol Haberly
Carole's Country Store
Catiean & Co
Cathy Nash
Chickadee Primitives
Christine LeFever
CLC Dolls
Country Stitches
Countryfolk Keepsakes
CrabbyGabby Dolls
Crickets in The Corn
Deerfield Farmhouse
Deja Dolls
Diane Allison-Stroud
Dogpatch Primitives
Faerie Dust Dreams
Freedom Valley Farm
Frostings and Sparkles
Glory Bee Primitives
Gritty Arts Studios
Honeysuckle Lane
Humble Origins
Iva's Creations
JoJoCrow Primitives
Jus B'cuz Primitives
Kim's Beaded Creations
KM Primitives
Krimson Bee
Lil Creek Fixins
Little Ol' Me
Lion & Lamb Studio
Momma's Goodies
Monahan Papers
Mustard Seed Originals
Nannys Cottage
New England Primitives
North Dixie Designs
Old Glory Woolen Co
On A Wing and Prayer
Pea Picker's Primitives
Pear Tree Primitives
PieCake Primitives
Prim and Proper Folks
Prim Creek
Prims by Kim
Raven's Haven
Rolling River Prims
Rosey Posey Confections
Salt Fork Ridge
Scaredy Kat Folkheart
Sepia Art Studio
Soft in the Head
Sylvia Anderson
Symple Tymes
Tendere Arts Studio
TFC Folk Art
The Blackberry Briar
The Magpie Nest
The Vintage Rooster
Vermont Harvest Bears and Primitives
Vintage Primitives
Vintage Whimsy and Folk Art Originals
Whispers of Inspiration

Monday, September 24, 2007

Simple Joys

This is my favorite time of year. The temps are cooling down, colors start to get vibrant . . . I just had to share with you this image above from one of my shrubs. I am not sure what the proper botanical name is - I dug it up out of the woods in the back forty - we always call it a Strawberry Plant. At this time of year, this shrub gets FULL of fuzzy looking - almost chenille looking red buttons. Overnight, they POP open to reveal the deep red berries that all the birds find irresistible! I don't know how I missed seeing this until today. Taking a break to stretch my legs, I wandered around the yard and first found a neat birdnest in the hedging in my front yard. I snapped a pic here:

I wondered how many baby birds hatched there this past season? How many nests will they come back and create?

I also wanted to share with you something that I have neglected for a few days. You know how crazed I have been with the auction for Ava Grace? I will post more about that later this week as I am still knee deep in emails. I just needed to take a break for myself for a few minutes to appreciate the beauty of this day. Okay, here's what else I have to share.

I participated in two wonderful swaps recently. Two that have made my days so much sweeter!

The first one came from Christine Rohloff! Hi Christine!!!! Christine and I were swap bud in a dolly quilt. I sent mine off and I received hers. Here it is!

I know you cannot read her LOVELY writing on it, so I will let you know here that it says:
Dear Friend,
accept this quilt
for friendships sake
for happy times
of old and late
Remember Me

The colors are perfect for me - Chris and I share a lot of the same interests, one of them obviously being quilting. Thanks Christine for making me a most memorable swap. I could never forget you!

Now, for the second swap. Well, this was entirely different and even as much fun!
I joined in a blog swap for vintage story books.

We were supposed to find one or more neat old books with our swap partner in mind and then create a bookmark for them to slip in the book. My partner was Cathy Nash - an extremely talented gal - you can go here to see what I mean!

Cathy sent me THREE delicious books; one that was HANDWRITTEN and illustrated by the young author! I don't know how she could bear to part with that find. She also made two bookmarks that she deftly used her artistic skills on (I have one pictured because the other is in a book I am reading at work). She captured the persona of my beloved bassett hound, Duke, on one of the bookmarks. As if that wasn't enough, Cathy also enclosed a lovely paper angel ornament that she made.

Ahh, it is the simplest things that bring me joy! Thank you for sharing them with me!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Food for Thought

You know, I hate to post a forward as I am doing now, but I couldn't help reading this and thinking of Ava Grace and every other child/person who is judged by their appearance. Thank you for visiting here today; I am auction sitting . . .

There was a blind girl who hated her self because she was blind.
She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her.
She told her boyfriend, " If I could only see the world, I will marry you."

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her ,"Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'
The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes.
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift

Today before you say an unkind word -
Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life -
Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children -
Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep -
Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive -
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job -
Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Two Days Left!

Hey Friends,
There are only TWO DAYS left for the silent auction for Ava Grace! Please click over there and BID, BID, BID!!!!

So many wonderful and caring women have created and donated their labor of love
for this beautiful little child. Won't you come and bid or give a donation?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Women In Art

Hi everyone;
someone emailed me this link and I HAD to share this with you!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Unique Personality Test

I got this in an email from a great pal this morning. I was still have my first cup of Mother's Milk, uh, I mean coffee and took it. The answers were fairly profound. I am not superstitious about the emails that come in and say you will get good luck by sending this out to x amount of folks and as a rule, I don't fwd them . . . still, I enjoyed this one and decided to share it as a flight of fancy for you. It actually nailed me pretty darn good as in where my values are.

Go here:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Some other favorites from the auction

I can't list ALL my pictures here . . . wish that I could. Here are a few more of the lovelies that speak volumes to me.

By Mica of Gar-boodles

Countryfolk Keepsakes

Scaredy Kat Kreations

Click here to see these and many more!

Each item is so well made with lots of love, helping to defray the costs of the many surgeries needed by Ava Grace!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Silent Auction is Speaking LOUD and CLEAR

The silent auction for Ava Grace started today and the bids are coming in fast and furious. Please treat yourself to some of the goodies there. Click on Ava Grace's sweet smiling face and she will take you there!
God richly bless all of you!!

I have felt like a little guinea pig on a wheel in a cage trying to keep up with all the bids. Of course, I have had some help, but still, it is mind boggling! Thank you ALL for contributing and bidding! But it ain't over til the fat lady sings. I sing on Saturday night, Sept 22 after 9 pm. Plenty of time to go and look at some of the wonderful offerings - great gifts, decorations and oh my, for such a lovely little girl, our Ava Grace!

Be sure to stop by and take a peek: www.

Here are a few wonderful things to entice you:

From Cindy Ciampa of CLC Dolls. This lady has tremendous talent!

this is from nancy Gerber of Atticbabys. Her work is also phenomenal!

Megan of Magpiefeathers created this wee baby bear!

I can't pick a favorite! With over 80 items, it is sure hard to choose! I will pop in and share more this week - if I can keep up with the bidding!
Thanks everyone - help me keep my fingers limber! BID!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Word Play

Word Play?

Every nook and cranny of this wonderful country has its own dialect and words that are uniquely indigenous to a state, region, county, perhaps even a a small community.
When I was in college I majored in English. Now, you can tell right quickly after reading some of my blogs, emails or newsletter, that I was never good at grammar. But I love words. I like how some feel in my head, moving into my mouth, rolling off my tongue and resound to my ears when spoken. Some words are just FUN to say. Some words need to be reserved for just that right moment or occasion. Some words have become so overdone, they become trite and meaningless. These words of course, are the buzz words of the current generation that by the time we adults catch on, have become antiquated.

Where I live we have our own small vocabulary that is not necessarily unique to my town. However, after speaking with friends all over the nation, I have realized that not all folks understand English according this North Carolinian. So here now we have a short list of words and phrases that take on a different meaning where I live.

Carry - while the rest of y'all are bringing a covered dish to a function, we here CARRY something "I will carry my squash casserole to the reunion."
Tote - can be interchanged with carry
Sack- a bag to carry things in.
ill - you may consider this word to mean sick. To us it means bad mood, as in "I'm so ill, I can't even stand my own self!"
Curious- While you may consider this word to connote nosey, we know that it means people are strange! Nosey people are Nosey! "Those Blevins have always been considered right curious"
Ugly - now this one has the usual meaning as being hard on the eyes - y'all know what I mean when I say "That child was born in the ugly tree and on the way down she hit every branch" Now, it also means someone is insensitive or acting badly, such as "That was just an ugly thing to say (or do)."
Be Smart - Every good little child around these parts hear these two words every day. It means behave yourself. "Now Johnny, I want you to be smart and stop acting ugly"
Poor - not only is this word used to describe poverty such as "They are so poor they don't have a pot nor window to throw it out of" it is also used to describe a condition of appearance, as in looking sick "She still looks right poor, and she had that surgery 6 months ago."
Might would or Might should means you ought to consider doing something. It is generally a response to a question put to you. As in, "You might should ask your husband if they think that is a good idea." To which the other person would respond, "I might would"(NOTE: I have been told by folks that they could recognize a person from NC just from these two phrases!)

Of course, there are sayings that are just fun to interject in conversation - if you have a hard time believing what someone is saying you can always add the disclaimer, "Well now, that dog don't hunt"

Now y'all now by now that I love my Daddy and Momma. My Daddy is a plethora of odd sayings to suit each and every situation and circumstance. For instance, yesterday when my daughter's car broke down, she called me hysterically and I ran to where she was to wait with her for the tow truck to arrive. My Daddy also arrived and when asked where we were going to carry the car to we told him. He was not pleased, as he doesn't care for that particular mechanic. After telling us what a sorry, curious thief this person is, Daddy added that he would like to "Kick him so hard in the backside that he would need wings to fly back down to earth". We didn't have the tow truck driver tote the car to him.

I would love to hear about some colloquial expressions where you are from. Heckfire, shoot! We can come up with our own blog vocabulary.

And as a postscript: Everyone associates Teddy Roosevelt with the word "bully" but who else would say that today?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ooh I like FUN!!!!

And this is fun. Just found this on Amy's site (Abundant Curiosities)Thanks Amy!! I really needed to unload my mind from website madness for just a bit and indulge in frivolous fun.




Now that is what I call


Go here and play with words!! Sometimes there is nothing better than playing to rest the mind!

Where were you?

God Bless America! Fly your Flags today, proudly!
Listen, reflect, pray.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Wow! My folks celebrated their anniversary yesterday. SIXTY ONE YEARS! Married to the same person, day in, day out, good times, bad times, three kids . . . wow!
My folks met in 1945 and married in 1946. The war was over, Daddy just back from Europe. While in the service to his country, he left a gawky teen and returned a man. He landed on the beaches of Normandy and was involved in many of the European Theater including the Battle of the Bulge. When he returned home to the states, he was stationed in New Jersey waiting to go home. Well sir, he met my Mother through one of her old classmates who was home from WWII and that was all it took. My Dad had seen the picture of my mother (above) in his friends billfold. My Daddy used to kid him, I'm going to take that gal away from you. You can figure out that they met and my Dad kept his word!

They eloped, breaking my Grandmother's heart! But Grandma came around to really love my Daddy and was proud to call him her son. That generation seemed to be in a hurry for more than marriage. I think that they were in a hurry to make up for the years lost to the war.

There is something about this particular generation that fascinates us today. They grew up in the depression, rallied around the flag against the Axis of terror, fought the Cold War, and spoiled their children T-totally rotten! Well, I can't say my folks spoiled me; I am a middle child after all! But like the rest of their peers, they envisioned a better life for their children than what they had.
I remember when we got our first TV. wow, I got to watch the Mickey Mouse Club and Sky King and Ramar of the Jungle! See, there I go rambling; this isn't about ME, it is about my folks!

My folks have always had an extraordinary love in my eyes. Daddy has always been the quintessential Southern Gentleman, never forgetting his good manners. He has always given my Mom flowers, candy and jewelry throughout their years together. He still opens the car door for her and pulls out her chair. Whenever a lady enters the room, he stands up. My Mom has spent her life being devoted to this man she choose for her husband. Their backgrounds couldn't have been more different!

My Mom was born and raised in Staten Island, New York,in a house built in the 1780's! She was born into an old family rich in the heritage of this nation.
My Daddy was born and raised in Spray, NC, dirt poor, always hungry, looking for a good time or to get into a scrapping! Can you imagine my Mother's thoughts as she moved into her new residence where there was NO electric, No indoor plumbing, and where she had to go outside and catch her own chicken dinner?! Well, youth will do anything for love . . . then and now!

They survived, their love has flourished, they raised their own family, took care of their own parents as they aged. Their backgrounds may have been so very separate but they were both raised to work hard, their word was their bond, and above all, they honored their parents. They have passed this onto my siblings and myself. I am so thankful to have had these two marvels as my parents. I tell them all the time that even if they weren't my parents I would enjoy their company. I like them as much as I love them.
Happy anniversary, folks. I wish we could all have another 61 years together!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

September's Song

So now comes September and she is singing her song. I love fall and relish the promise of cooler days and evenings. I have lived all over the country in my life. North, South, East and West. I spent a good bit of the time in states that really didn't have leaves that changed color; they just kind of dropped , leaving the trees suddenly naked without so much as a petticoat of orange, yellow, brown, red and green. I remember when my children were very small and we were living in Orlando. I was So homesick - and I missed the very smell of autumn. We had a fireplace but who really needs a fireplace in Orlando?! So lonely was I for my family and my favorite season, that I had the kids gather up every stick in the yard and from the neighborhood. It became a treasure hunt of sorts. They had their little wagon and brought home a bumper crop of twigs & small branches. I crumpled up newspaper, turned the thermostat on frigedaire cold and started a fire. Now mind you, it was near November and it was over 80 degrees. Once the fire was roaring good, I had the kids go outside to smell an honest to goodness fireplace fire. It didn't last long. But they still remember that, the hot cocoa I made them and how all our neighbors always thought me a bit odd. Oh yes, those folks knew me well. That crazy woman that throws un birthday parties for the neighborhood kids because it is someone's birthday somewhere.

So now comes September. Soon, Luscious Larry and I will take the short drive to Lovers Leap and Mabry Mill (which is pictured above) in Virginia. It is a glorious drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway. We will go and visit friends in Roanoke and take a picnic lunch.

Friday nights mean high school football. Even though our birds have left the nest, there is something still exciting about high school football. Nothing is better than hot dogs from the concession stand. We live in a small town, so we know most of the families. We make the rounds of the schools in our county and in the surrounding Virginia counties too, since my dear husband is a Virginian and played football in school.

So now comes September. She is singing her song. She is sharing her beauty, her fragrance, her promises, her memories and it is heady.

Galatians 6:9 -And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season, we shall reap, if we faint not.