Monday, January 26, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook - January 26, 2009


Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, and beautiful blue skies! With the threat of incoming winter weather, I'm enjoying this beautiful day as much as possible!

what a blessed life I have!

my sweet friends

On the menu tonight is pasta in white wine & clam sauce with fresh asparagus.

All black. Black blouse, black pants, black shoes...yikes...kind of depressing!

a space to be creative! We're working on a little studio area for my husband and me.

to visit blogs through the One World ~ One Heart giveaway. It's wonderful!

a novel by Homer Hickam

that we'll get all our furniture moved out of our bedroom this week so that the workers can get started on refinishing our hardwood floors on Friday!

Antonio Vivaldi: 12 Sonatas Op.2 for Violin (Sonata in D major) performed by Walter Reiter

all is as quiet as a mouse (the way we like it!)

My Burpee Seed clock that hangs in my laundry room (see previous posts on Laundry Room Remodel)

Art class on Thursday, moving furniture in preparation for floor refinishing and work, work, work at Sewanee


They're thinking "Isn't it time for Spring yet?!?!" And I'm replying, "Oh, how I wish!" They LOVE to go outside and play at our nearby park, chasing tennis balls and playing with neighborhood children. All of us are dreaming of Spring...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Heavenly Sunlight

Walking in sunlight all of my journey,
Over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, I’ll never forsake thee—
Promise divine that never can fail.

Heavenly sunlight! Heavenly sunlight!
Flooding my soul with glory divine;
Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine!

Have a beautiful Sunday enjoying God's beauty and Grace.

Hymn written by Henry J. Zelley, 1899
Photo courtesy of

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sisterhood Award

Teri, a dear blogging friend with a gorgeous blog, beautiful family, cute-as-a-button puppies, and a tremendous faith, honored me with a very special Sisterhood Award. I'm truly touched! Click on the link below to visit'll be so blessed!

Teri @ Boosalis Bloggle
Thanks so much, Teri, for thinking of me!

Here are the rules for the recipients:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 8 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I have have several dear friends to whom I'd love to pass along this award! They are (drum roll please):

Please take a few moments to visit these lovely ladies and their wonderful blogs. You'll see exactly why they deserve this award!!

May you be blessed with such sweet friends as I have!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One World - One Heart 2009

The winner of my OWOH giveaway is Marie of GAVE THAT. Congratulations, Marie! Just contact me before Monday, February 16th to claim this prize! THANK YOU to EVERYONE who took the time to visit my blog and enter!

For the first time, I'm taking part in One World ~ One Heart, and I'm so excited! Hosted by Lisa, this is a special give away meant to help unite bloggers from all over the world. Each participant announces a special giveaway, and all one has to do to be entered to win is to leave a comment on THAT post! How easy is that?! I've had a ball visiting all the participants sites!

Here's how it works:

My give away is open to anyone who has a blog! Leave a comment on my OWOH post, and on February 12th, I'll draw a winner and announce it on my blog. I will also contact the winner directly, so please be sure to leave an email address or a link to your blog so that I may get in touch with you.

If you'd like more information on One Heart ~ One World, click on the world image above.

My giveaway is an assortment of beautiful note cards and postcards that you can use in your own art projects or in the more traditional way...snail mail?! :-) Here's what you'll get:

  • 2 postcards/artcards of Street Corner with Carriage and Crowd, 1888 by Childe Hassam (1859 - 1935). The original was oil on wood (actually a cigar box cover).
  • 2 postcards/artcards of Landscape, 1891 by Maurice Denis (French) (1870 - 1943). Original was oil on canvas.
  • 1 postcard/artcard of In the Pasture, 1883 by Julien Dupre (French) (1851-1910). Original was oil on canvas.
  • 2 notcard with envelopes of The Annunciation, 1897 by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (English) (1883 - 1898). Original was etching and engraving on chine coll'e.
  • 2 small "itty bitty Greetings, cards with envelopes. Black and white photos of children.
  • A few other surprises I'll include in the packet :-)

Have fun with this!! I look forward to meeting all of you!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Laundry Room Remodel REVISITED

It's been a couple of months since we finished our laundry room remodel after the disastrous water leak flooded it and two other areas (not to mention running down our dining room walls). We've had ample opportunity to use it and figure out what we like, what we need to rearrange, and what we don't need. I've made a few adjustments, but I still haven't hung those darn curtains or painted the back door! It's been too cold to drag out the paint, and I've rather enjoyed the light in the room from not having curtains up. I've decided that whatever I do put on the windows need to be light and airy to allow in as much natural light as possible. Anyway, here are the latest pictures of the room. I do need help with a couple of things, so I hope those who read this will offer some advice!  To see photos of the room before we moved in the stuff, click HERE.

Some of the collection of old blocks I have. If you look closely, you can see the puppy teeth marks where Molly took a special liking to the letter "S."
My antique wash board, rug beater, my old Raggedy Ann doll, and our inherited collection of marbles in the old Ball jar.
A look from near the doorway. Help me! How can I hide the cord to the clock?!
My little yellow wooden rabbit I bought for a dollar at a yard sale. I just fell in love with him! Right beside my bouquet of buttons in their thread spool "vase."
My dancing frog lamp, bird house, and garden teapot.One of my favorite things: my Burpee Seed clock. It actually reveals the time to plant your seeds!A closeup of an old reproduction tin.A cross stitch made by a dear friend and one of my favorite birdhouses.
Another view of my collectibles.

Out the window...what type of curtains should I hang?
A couple of old pieces of needlework & cross stitch that I've found over the years. I haven't figured out where to hang the little cross stitch piece. For now, it just sits among some of my clutter.A closer view of my cross stitch piece. I'm not sure the age. Found it in the back of an old second hand store in Eastern Kentucky.
My collection of buttons.
An old painted picnic basket and another Raggedy Ann doll sit on top of my cabinets.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

A few snowflakes swirl through the air on this overcast morning on their slow, meandering journey to the ground. It melts soon after landing at its destination. A squirrel is busying himself by scurrying up and down the tree outside my window. I'm not sure what he's finding on the ground and carrying up and away to his home, somewhere among the branches, but he is quite a workaholic! I know he's taking advantage of the clear ground before another snow makes food harder to find.

about tomorrow's historic events and, while I did not vote for Mr. Obama, how I hope all the best for him and great success as a president. He and his beautiful family will be in my prayers. I am thinking how proud I am that our country has, in so many ways, pushed aside racial prejudices, and I have great hope for the future!

my wonderful husband who shows me every day in so many ways that he loves me.

absolutely NOTHING is in the works for dinner! I awakened so late that I didn't have time to do any preparations for our dinner tonight. Perhaps after the comment above, my dear husband will want to take me out for dinner at a nice restaurant!

brown slacks, a v-neck beige sweater, my favorite pair of brown mules. I adore the winter cape I wore today...beige and brown leopard print!

aprons out of vintage material in my spare time. I'm working on creating my own room that will house my creative projects, my sewing machine, a fainting couch where I can own space!

to lunch with friends tomorrow.

Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah

that I'll get to see at least a portion of the inauguration of our new president tomorrow.

Classical music on NPR

I've been in a decluttering mood. I cleaned out several drawers in our kitchen, and I'm anxious to move on to the desk drawers and our filing cabinet sometime this week! Closet reorganization is coming up soon!

is the beautiful fine porcelain rose bowl my mother-in-law bought me for Christmas the first year DH and I were married. It sits on the coffee table in my living room, and I love it!

More organizing, more planning of the baby's nursery, an abstract art class, and a date night with my husband.

How beautiful is the winter light ...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Scripture: Releasing the Past & Looking Forward

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

~Philippians 3:12-14

Today in church, our minister read the preceding verse. His message was on forgiving ourselves for things in our past, but not necessarily forgetting those things lest we make the same mistakes again. He said that we must forgive our past sins in order to look to the future, in order to grow spiritually. We all have things in our past which are difficult to let go, but until we can do so, we may be hindering ourselves in our walk with God. We may ask God to forgive us, but do we really forgive ourselves? Until we can, we may never be able to move forward toward the goal of a closer relationship with Him, a closer walk in faith.

My goal for this year is to examine those things for which I've never been able to just let go. This week, during the first month of a new year, is a good time to begin this journey of letting go of the past. As simple as it sounds, that is one of the hardest things for some of us to do. But it's time. We all should take the time to look back, remember, let go, and move forward. I am ready to release the past and replace it with God's love and mercy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It was so Cold

The horses on the carousel refused to budge.
Notes of music froze and
shattered with prismatic finality...
The mimes couldn't change their expressions.
When a bread truck overturned and
baguettes were suspended in mid-air
pigeons were afraid to leave their roosts for the feast.

From It Was So Cold
by Whitman McGowan
Paris, February 1986

Photos courtesy of
Nina - &

Monday, January 12, 2009

Simple Woman's Day Book - January 12, 2009


My window is to the back of an old stone building on campus. It overlooks a winding path that leads to Abbo's Alley. The trees are bare and leaves are scattered on the ground making it brown and amber in color. From here, I can see fallen trees that have been allowed to remain and an occasional patch of green where evergreens and ivy keep their year-round color. The sky overhead is gray and mournful.

...that I am excited to start this day book journey.

I AM THANKFUL FOR family and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am thankful that I have a job to go to when so many others do not. I know I'm fortunate.

...dinner for the evening: chicken in wild mushroom gravy in the crock-pot

I AM WEARING pinstriped pants, beige sweater, simple jewelry

...a waiting journal for our baby that we will soon adopt

I AM GOING the dentist this afternoon and then to the grocery store for the week's supplies

Charity's Children - Lois Carter Kelly

I AM HOPING finish the final adoption papers this week and schedule our home visit

...Vivaldi playing softly on my computer speakers and the soft hum of the space heater beside my desk

...our cats have found various napping places, as the colder weather brings them inside and they refuse to go out! They usually enjoy places near the floor vents or curled up on one of our benches or chairs (the ones with cozy pillows are their favorites)

ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS the writing cabinet my husband gave me that sits on my Queen Anne writing table. It stores all of my personalized stationery, stamps, labels and other writing supplies. I adore it.

...include an art class with my husband on abstract art (a step away from our usual traditional art interests), dinner with friends, and me finishing a writing project on which I've been working


This morning, I'm missing my mother. She's been staying with my brother in coastal NC for six months, and I haven't been able to spend much time with her. I miss her visits to my home and us spending time together doing crafty projects around the house.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tea Time is Anytime! Anywhere!

I love teapots!! I've always loved teapots. I love teacups and saucers and tea cozies and teaspoons and books about tea and tea accoutrements of all kind...any kind! I use them in decorating, so I have them in my kitchen, my dining room, my living room, a bedroom...even in my laundry room! I love adding to my collection. I have old ones and new ones. I have big ones and small ones. Thought I'd share a few of them with you here. I'd love to hear from others about how they use teapots in their decor!

One of the antique teapots in my collection.

Another old one that I use with my Haviland China

Johnson Brothers Old English Castles Collection

How's this for a little whimsy?! My Alice in Wonderland teapot set. Cute, cute, cute!

Department 56's Hickory Dickory Dock Set. Love it!

All white collection with individual creamers: kitty, cow, duck and bunny

This one has cute birdhouses and gardening images on it with little clay pots on the lid!

Vintage teapot (sitting next to some of my bone dishes)

This antique teapot sits in my livingroom on the mantle with a few of my favorite books.

Vintage teapot given to me by my Aunt Vivian

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dreaming Spring

This, the first Monday morning of the New Year, is a foggy one here on the mountain. As I sit typing at my computer and looking out my window at the Sewanee fog, I am listening to Vivaldi and the call of crows so loudly in the woods outside my window that they risk drowning out the sounds of the music. I am taking a very short break from my hectic day; there is always so much to accomplish in our busy office! But what a magnificent backdrop of beauty we all are fortunate to share while we work! Even at its coldest, Sewanee is a magnificent site to see. Over the last century-and-a-half, many things have been written about the beauty of this place. One such work is by a Mississippi-born alumni of the University, William Alexander Percy, who later went on to accomplish much fame with his writing.

The University recently produced a special printing of Percy’s work entitled Sewanee. The piece was first written for the Sewanee Review and was later incorporated as a chapter in the poet’s autobiography, Lanterns on the Levee, published in 1941. The work became a best seller.

Contained within is a beautiful description of Sewanee and all her beauty through the seasons. I share it with you below:

“In winter there is a powder of snow; the pines sag like ladies in ermine, and the other trees are glassy and given to creaking. Later, arbutus is under the dead leaves where they have drifted, but unless you look for it betimes, you’ll find instead puffs of ghost caught under the higher trees, and that’s dogwood, and puffs of the saddest color in the world that’s tender, too, and that’s redbud, which some say is pink and some purple and some give up but simply must write a poem about. The rest of the flowers you shouldn’t believe in if I told you, so I’ll tell you: anemones and hepaticas and blood-root that troop under the cliffs, always together, too ethereal to mix with reds and yellow or even pinks, and violets everywhere, in armies. The gray and purple and blue sort you’ll credit, but not the tiny yellow ones with the bronze throats, nor the jack-rabbit ones with royal purple ears and faces of pale lavender that stare without a bit of violet modesty. If you’ve seen azalea – and miscalled it wild honeysuckle, probably – you still don’t know what it is unless you’ve seen it here, with its incredible range of color from white through shell pink to deep coral (and now and then a tuft of orange that doesn’t match anything else in the whole woods), and its perfume actually dangerous, so pagan it is. After it you’d better hunt for a calacanthus with brown petals (what else likes its petal brown?) and a little melancholy in its scent, to sober you. We call our bluets “innocence,” for that’s what they are. They troop near the iris, which when coarsened by gardens some call fleur-de-lis, and others, who care nothing about names, flags. Our orchids we try to make respectable by christening them “lady-slippers,” but they still look as if they had been designed by D.H. Lawrence – only rose and canary colored.

After Orion has set – in other words, when the most fragile and delicate and wistful things have abandoned loveliness for fructifying – the laurel, rank and magnificent for all its tender pink, starts hanging bouquets as big as hydrangeas on its innumerable bushes. But on moonlight nights there’s no use trying to say it isn’t a glory and a madness! And so the summer starts – summer, when we’re not seraph-eyed enough to see flowers even if there were any. In the fall, when our souls return, a little worse off, a little snivelly, there are foggy wisps of asters whose quality only a spider would hint at aloud, and in the streams where the iris forgathered there are parnassia, the snowdrop’s only kin. Mountain-folk alone have seen their virginal processions, ankle-deep in water, among scarlet leaves, each holding a round green shield and carrying at the end of a spear, no thicker than a broomstraw, a single pale green star. Last, chilly and inaccessible and sorrowful, in the damp of the woods, come the gentians, sea-blue and hushed."

So is the beauty and procession of colors and seasons here on the mountain. Is it any wonder Percy’s book was a best seller? So lovely are his choice of words, and they leave me longing for spring and its fine display…for the fields of daffodils, tiny crocus, the scent of honeysuckle and fresh, soft earth as I walk through Abbo’s Alley. Today, I am content with the dark silhouettes of bare trees vaguely visible through the haunting fog, but in my heart is a longing for the time when the mountain comes alive again after its long winter sleep.

If you are interested in reading more of Percy’s work, the LSU press reprinted Lanterns on the Levee in 2006, ISBN-13: 978-8071-0072-1. Percy also published five books of poetry, listed below:

  • Sappho in Levkas, and Other Poems. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1915

  • In April Once, and Other Poems. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1920

  • Enzio’s Kingdom, and Other Poems. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1930

  • Selected Poems. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1930

  • Collected Poems. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1943

May you stay warm this cool January day, and may your dreams of spring soon come true!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Gathering Rosebuds...

Today, as a new year begins, I am reminded of an old poem by Robert Herrick:

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying..."
I can't believe 2009 is here already. It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming the new millennium, and nearly a decade has passed since! Time really does fly!

That is why I have made a promise to myself: to enjoy every moment, find pleasures in the simplest of things, and cherish the simple act of living. I have always been aware of finding joy in the simple things, and today I recommit to that idea. I simply love the idea of going through life gathering "rosebuds," those moments that are to be cherished always. I don't want to become so busy in my every day life that I forget to look for pleasure in the small and simple things. I also want to recommit to making time for the things I love the most but sometimes take a "backseat" when the hustle and bustle of life gets a bit hectic: my painting, my crafts, journaling and quite time for prayer and meditation. Those things help me center, and they're important.

May the Lord bless you greatly in 2009, and may you make the time for those things that mean the most to you. May you enjoy "gathering your own rosebuds."
Happy New Year,
Top Photo: John William Waterhouse, 1909