Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Sundries - Edition 37

Gramma's Guys

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred,
and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit,
become a child again at Christmas-time.” 
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wishing you a . . .

May this day bring you much joy!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Finds

It's getting closer to Christmas.
How are you doing?

It's been a calm Christmas season for me. I cut back on the decorating and the shopping and spent more time focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. I've had more time to enjoy the things I have chosen to do. Today I'm sharing a few things that have delighted me this season. First up, this little cute jar with it's metal holder. Couldn't pass it up when I saw it at the flea market! 

I found my favorite Cordial Cherries! I only buy them at Christmas, so they remain special. I also have a special way of eating them. First I take a small bite being careful not to get the cherry and savor the sweet, creamy fondant and chocolate.  Next, I pop the whole thing in my mouth and enjoy the cherry!!  Yum!! 

I found myself absolutely in awe of this man's photography. This is Arkansas nature photographer, Tim Ernst. Each year in December he presents a slideshow of images that he has included in his latest photography book. This year his book, Arkansas Nightscapes, features only night photography. My mom, dad, sister, and I attended one of his slideshows. The images include the milky way, the moon, stars, comets, shadows, color, and light. They were absolutely breathtaking! In the slide show he also included several time-lapse videos of those night skies. One in particular made the whole room gasp. He had captured a falling star that burst right above a rock formation!  Of course, I had to have his latest book. That's my book he's signing! We had a delightful evening that filled our hearts with gratitude for the beauty that God has given us even in the darkest night!

One more thing that made me happy this week. After the slideshow we stopped by the Saline County Courthouse to see their lights. It makes me so happy that there is still a Nativity scene sitting on the courthouse lawn!

My week has been full of peace and joy!
I hope the same can be said of your's!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Be Still 52 - Week 27

This has been the toughest Be Still 52 prompt yet:  tallish, a bit of a sway, and a message. My biggest problem was the tallish!  I've been thinking and looking around for two weeks and nothing inspired me. Today I was determined!  I'm two weeks behind and I must find something.

Nature is what draws me. I'm not a flower, pretty vase, dainty teacup kind of person. So, to start this gathering I grabbed my garden clippers and tramped around the edge of the woods looking for something with a sway. I found a couple of things, blue berries and limbs from my wisteria bush.  I also found these pine cone looking seed pods. Wikipedia tells me they are from an Alder bush which "is the common name of a genus of flowering plants (Alnus) belonging to the birch family Betulaceae. Alder bushes provide food for numerous butterflies and moths. That's nice to know! I'll make sure Mr. H doesn't cut them down!

Back to the photography. I first put them in a textured tall vase, but that just didn't seem to fit. I walked back to my craft room looking for some twine to wrap around the vase when I happened to look up and spotted this vintage thread spool on top of my bookshelf.  Now, that was more like it!  It's been sitting there all this time!  I just needed to look up!  I added some homespun fabric and took looks of pictures. Wound up with three that I like!   Letting out a big sigh here! I'm glad this one is done!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Sundries - Edition 36

"Fog is rain that whispers."
~ Olivia Dresher

Friday, December 12, 2014

Found: Over Four Million Lights

I hear a piano made from bamboo playing.  I hear children laughing.  I hear babies crying.  I hear Christmas carols.  I hear jingle bells.  I hear a train engine chugging and the ringing of it's bell.   I hear the tread of hundreds of feet along the pathways.  I hear excited voices.  I hear waterfalls.

I see millions of lights on bells,  stars,  elves,  candy canes,  gingerbread men,  snowmen,  snowflakes,  trees,  Santa,  reindeer,  a sleigh,  flowers,  piano,  grapevine balls,  butterflies,  candles,  and a train engine.  I see children running excitedly through the lit pathways.  I see a big full moon.  I see the lights reflecting in the Koi Pond.  I see Christmas everywhere.

I feel joy and delight.  I feel awe.  I feel amazement.  I feel Christmas!

Where did I find such beautiful Christmas Lights?
Garvan Woodland Gardens 
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Linking with Kim Klassen's Friday Finds

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Sundries - Edition 35

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
~ Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, December 5, 2014

Finding Christmas

Needing to get out after several days at home over Thanksgiving, I decided to go by my favorite antique/flea market. Now, I know Christmas has been in the stores since before Halloween, but I choose to ignore that. I pretty much refuse to go near the Christmas section of stores until after Thanksgiving. I can't ignore the Christmas music that has been playing for weeks, but that doesn't bother me. I could listen to Christmas music all year long and in fact I have played Christmas songs in the summer before!  Anyway, back to the story. As I walked through the doors I was greeted by a wonderful display of Christmas, old and new. Honestly, I couldn't stop smiling!

There were trees and ornaments and snowmen and Santas. I really liked this rather tall statue of Santa and the children until I looked at his eyes...what eyes? Where are the pupils in his eyes?  With all the details in his beard, why are his eyes blank? The more you look at him, he gets rather spooky!

This aluminum tree brought back many memories. We had one for several years. They were the rage in the late 50's till the early 60's. The tree assembled in about 15 minutes. Then you added the balls and garland; no lights as they might short circuit against the aluminum!  Our tree was illuminated with a rotating color wheel which was placed at the base. No lights!! I could not live with that! My tree has around 200 little lights on in and I carefully wrap and place them along each branch. I love a tree full of multi-colored lights!

 I found this advertisement from the Sears Christmas book in 1963.

"Whether you decorate with blue or red balls . . . or use the tree without ornaments - this exquisite tree is sure to be the talk of your neighborhood. High luster aluminum gives a dazzling brilliance. Shimmery silvery branches are swirled and tapered to a handsome realistic fullness. It's really durable . . . needles are glued and mechanically locked on. Fireproof . . . you can use it year after year."

I can remember thinking we were so modern to have an aluminum tree! My mom still has our old tree and for nostalgic purposes put it up last year!  Makes me feel a little old to realize they're antique and are found in several museums.  Museums? That makes me feel ancient!

Notice the heart-shaped little ornament on the right?  Yes, this is the booth where I found the ornament garland I used in the pictures for my last post

This week I found a little Christmas that put a smile on my face and delight in my heart.

I hope you're finding delight in this special season!

Linked with Kim Klassan's 
Friday Finds

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This Christmas . . .

It's hard to believe we're already into one of the fastest paced months of the year. A month that is filled with a whirlwind of Each year I get to the end of December, look back, and wonder where did the month go. I'm already shaking my head and thinking, can it be the third already?

Although I've always enjoyed the Christmas season, when I look back I don't feel like I've celebrated the true meaning of Christmas. I don't feel like I've spend time just being in the moment or savoring the sights, sounds, and flavors that go along with this holiday. I want this year to be different, so I sat down and wrote my hopes for this Christmas.

This Christmas...

I will pray

I will journal
I will breathe

I will slow down
I will be of good cheer
I will enjoy simple things

I will remember traditions
I will treasure our family times
I will believe in Christmas magic

I will give thanks for daily blessings
I will ponder the birth of the Christ Child
I will capture Christmas through photography
I will listen to bells, choirs, and Christmas hymns


I'm trying something different this Christmas season. I've joined Journal Your Christmas 2014 with Shimelle Laine. It's similar to a December Daily, but this project primarily focuses on journaling, not photography or scrapbooking.  Shimelle sends a daily journaling prompt and a photo prompt, but the focus for me is the journaling. I don't think I could ever complete a December Daily, but this is simpler. You'll probably see some of my thoughts here, although I will not be posting daily. That's just a little too much work.

I encourage you to take time this December to slow down and enjoy this special season.

I'm also linking with Be still 52, where our prompt this week was square, top down, two sides.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 30

This post wraps up my 30 Days of Gratitude postings. I have been changed this month. I have been more content, peaceful, and joyful as I've contemplated the beauty of nature. As the quote says

"It is not joy that makes us grateful, it's gratitude that makes us joyful."  ~ David Steindle-Rast

I am grateful as I wander this earth for the many beauties I see in nature and I am grateful that when I share them here, you visit. I am grateful for each one of you. Words can never express how you have touched my life in so many ways!  Thank you for sticking with my posting every day this month! Thank you for your comments that always make me smile! Thank you for being in my circle of friends!

"New beauty meets us at every step in all our wanderings."
~ John Muir

Saturday, November 29, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 29

I am grateful for rain that refreshes the earth.

"Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head
With silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sin you a lullaby."
~ Langston Hughes

Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 28

I am grateful for the land we have; our little piece of earth
 which I can walk across over and over again
and find something of nature that is amazing. 

"I spent the summer traveling;
I got halfway across my backyard."
~ Louis Agassiz

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give Thanks! 30 Days of Gratitude - Day 27

I am grateful for this special day set aside to give thanks for God's abundance.

"For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
How profound your thoughts!"
Psalm 92:4-5

Wishing you a very special Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 26

I am grateful to have eyes that see the beauty of the world.

"The eye encompasses the beauty of the whole world."
~Leonardo a Vinci

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 25

I am grateful for summer days.
It's a little harder for me to be grateful for summer,
but I try really hard.
I do love summer roses!

"It was June, and the world smelled of roses.
The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."
~ Maud Hart Lovelace

Monday, November 24, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 24

I am grateful of the softness of spring.

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sunday, November 23, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 23

I am grateful for winter, very grateful!

"How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose,
if there were not winter in your year!"
~ Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1861)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 22

I am grateful for autumn.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it...and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
~ George Elliott

Friday, November 21, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 21

I am grateful for early morning walks that lead to beautiful surprises.

"An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, November 20, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 20

I am grateful for the things I see as I look down.

"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."
~ Henry David thoreau

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 19

I am grateful for much light.

"There is a strong shadow where there is much light."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 18

I am grateful for the incredible beauty of the ordinary.

"Looking at everything as if for the first time
reveals the commonplace to be utterly incredible,
if only we can be alive to the newness of it."
~ Ruth Bernhard

Monday, November 17, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 17

I am grateful for colors and shapes.

"I found I could say things with color and shapes
that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Sundries and 30 Days of Gratitude - Day 16

I am grateful for the great lights.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
To him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
Who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
Who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
Who made the great lights -
His love endures forever.
The sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
The moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-9, 26

Saturday, November 15, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 15

I am grateful for the amazing ocean where my family vacationed this summer.

"Our memories of the ocean will linger on,
long after our footprints in the sand are gone.
~ Author Unknown

Friday, November 14, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 14, Friday Finds, and Be Still 52

I am grateful for gorgeous sunsets that end beautiful days!

"Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.
~ Rabindranath Tagore (Stray Birds)

Today is also Friday which means Friday Finds hosted by Kim Klassen. This week as I was cleaning out that every growing folder of clipped recipes, I came across this little baking leaflet, New Fashioned Old-Fashioned Recipes sponsored by Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and published in 1953. Reading the forward in the leaflet gives the reason for the "new fashioned" recipes.

"To get extra light and tender, moist and delicious baked goods every time took real skill, grandmother's leavening was provided by Baking Soda and sour milk, with it's variable acidity. This new way calls for Baking Soda and vinegar. The use of this new method is dependable."

Since the Be Still 52 (also hosted by Kim) exercise this week used eggs and butter, I decided this leaflet would be my focus with eggs and butter are in the background. Since the leaflet was published the year I was born, I added my little tin cake pan that was part of a baking set I played with as a child.

Have a lovely weekend!

fridayfindsbutton                                                      beyondlayers