Sunday, April 23, 2017

Everything...Including the Kitchen Sink

We usually use the word 'but' when we are referring to the kitchen sink.
I can tell you that this idiom has rolled off my tongue many times over the years.

It is Sunday afternoon and I have just finished washing a few dirty dishes by hand.
It is a dreary, rainy day but even the view of the soggy backyard delighted me as I ponder about...
...the kitchen sink.

Does that ever happen to you?
Something sparks a memory or an idea and you know just have to go write it down or you'll forget.
As I filled the sink with the warm, soapy water and began washing the few dishes,
I realized for maybe the first time how enjoyable it actually was.

Am I losing my mind or what??

Oh no...don't even think about asking me to give up my dishwasher.
I waited almost half my life to be blessed with one and I'm not turning loose of it now!
Seriously, I can't even tell you why this feeling came over me all of a sudden.

Here of late, the window over the kitchen sink and the kitchen sink, itself, has been in my thoughts.
I am referring to this in general terms, not necessarily just about mine here at home.
It may have been triggered by this post by Roxy a couple of weeks ago.
She talked about washing dishes and how her kitchen sink and the window above
was her secret place where she prays, thinks and plans her day.
If you haven't read it or aren't familiar with Roxy, you may want to go read it.

Her post got me to reminiscing about when I was a little girl (and also as a big girl)...
and the feeling of comfort I would get when I'd see even the shape of Mom's head,
let alone her face, through the kitchen window as I'd be walking up the sidewalk
coming home from school every day.
There she'd be every afternoon, standing at the kitchen sink as she was preparing dinner.
(actually, it was called supper at my house)
I could count on it.
When I think of the kitchen sink, it represents so many things.
It was my first bathtub, even though I don't remember it...

...but pictures don't lie :)

 The kitchen sink would later become a place where three sisters (at times all five of us)
would stand and harmonize to "The Tennessee Waltz" or a favorite Lennon Sisters ballad...
while one washed, one dried and the other(s) put the dishes away.

It represents a broken ring finger where a couple of teenage girls got a little too rambunctious
as they were cleaning up after supper one summer evening.
Flinging one drop of water led to another and another, then to a half a glass...
...and the fight was on!
A trip to the emergency room and a few hours later, the verdict was in...broken.
Dear sister Barbara had to do my dishes for the next six weeks!
I had lost the battle but won the war :)

Years later after I had moved far away from home,
I can close my eyes and I still see the scene playing in my mind...
we'd be coming home for a visit and almost without fail,
there was that same familiar shadow behind the glass as we pulled into the driveway.

The memories are priceless to me.
Thank you again, Roxy for this lovely post of yours.
I think these sudden thoughts about the kitchen sink have been reinforced by some recent ponderings.
We have actually been making progress towards planning the farmhouse in Tennessee.
I am currently working on a document for our builder, detailing what we want in our home.
Can you believe it?
Here are a few ideas that we're looking at...

We'll see...they can be very expensive.
To say I'm getting excited would be an understatement.
All things in God's perfect timing.
So as I stood there this afternoon with my hands in that warm, soapy water,
I realized that the kitchen sink represented a lot of different things to me.
It isn't just a receptacle that holds water or a place to peel potatoes.

All of a sudden my kitchen sink is overflowing with many things...
sometimes it's dirty dishes, other times it's sweet memories from days gone by.

What does your kitchen sink hold?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Beautiful Box of Loveliness

Yes, it's that time again!

It's that time. . .

Come on over to Stephanie's and check it out!
I do believe I'm going to need to do some rearranging in my cupboards...
...I seem to be running out of space to put my teacups!
I just may have to pay a visit to Pinterest for some inspirational ideas :)
This was my 4th exchange and once again I have 'met' a couple of very lovely ladies.
First off, I will show you what I gifted my exchange partner with. 
I sent my package to Cindy who blogs at none other than Creations by Cindy.
And what a sweetheart she is!
I had such fun picking and choosing what I would send her.
Cindy is an avid deer hunter and loves all things deer but I learned something as I was shopping.
Do you know that it is very difficult to find a dainty teacup with a deer on it?
Oh there tons of mugs out there but teacups, not so much.
And then wouldn't you know I got so excited that I forgot to take photos of what I sent her.
So I went online, found the items I had purchased and copied photos of them.
 Here is her lovely and very springy Lenox teacup that I chose.
There is a bee, a butterfly, a dragonfly, some pretty flowers...but no deer...
and of course a few other pretties for her tea party :)
I found out that Cindy just LOVES caramel when I was snooping reading her blog
so since I couldn't find a deer teacup I decided to focus on the caramel.
The great thing is, you can just about find caramel anything!
 So I went back and revisited the shelves where I had previously picked up these goodies...

Too bad I couldn't find any caramel tea although surely it must exist.
And now it's true confession time...
I was so tempted by the salted caramel biscotti that I got myself a box too.
Oh my....just let me tell you...they are SO DELICIOUS!
 Now on to my box of lovelies....and what a box of lovelies it was!
Even on the outside!

I was so excited as I dug into this beautiful package from Lea at CiCi's Corner.

Oh. My. Word.
I think it has to be one of the most beautiful teacups I've ever seen!

At first glance, I thought it was white and silver but upon further examination,
I realized it was an oh-so-delicate pink!

I don't know exactly how long our photo shoot went on...probably too long...

...but I just couldn't seem to capture all of her pink and silver gorgeousness!

The photographer in me kept snapping and snapping away...I just couldn't help myself.

My package was just filled with so many beautiful things.
I must say that dear Lea has exquisite taste!

There were heavenly smelling lavender soaps, an adorable box of fragrant drawer sachets
and sweet springy napkins...

...some lovely note cards by Vera...

...yummy tea, a beautiful fruity glass tray, a little bit of sweet and salty...
(now, how did she know that cheese straws are one of my favorite things??)

...and of course, CHOCOLATE!
Now tell me, have you ever seen such adorable Easter candy wrappers?

And not only were they the cutest things, they were also delicious.
I have yet been able to throw away one of those darling papers!

Yes, I'd say I was overjoyed with my box of goodies!
Thank you again, sure know how to make a girl feel special :)

And then right after I put my camera down, I opened the cookies.
They were oh so buttery and delicious...

...and you know I had to take a few more pics of my little tea party for one :)

What a beautiful box of lovelies, wouldn't you say?
I just can't even imagine the work that goes into putting together these exchanges, can you?
Thank you once again, lovely Stephanie, for helping to spread so much joy and the love of Jesus.
You are truly a blessing to me and to so many others all over the world...
God bless you for all you do!
 Hugs to all,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Thank You Jesus

They seem to be popping up everywhere in my neck of the woods.

In fact, this one literally is in my neck of the woods...a.k.a my front yard.
I first heard the story (through one ear as I was preparing dinner) on our local news channel one evening,
saying to myself what a nice thing it was for this young man to do.
I didn't think much more about it until I started noticing these cheery, bright yellow signs.
Before long, they started showing up on front lawns all over the place.

This one is in my next door neighbor's yard.
I copied the link from our local news station's interview with him and you can read it here.
What started out as just the placement of a few homemade signs,
has become a nation wide Thank You Jesus Movement.
What a dedicated and inspiring young man Lucas is!
Like I mentioned, whenever I am out and about I see the signs everywhere.
Over the weekend, I took my camera with the zoom lens to see how many I could snap.
There were many more than I could actually capture due to obstacles and such,
but here are just a few.

(mine again)
I actually purchased my sign at one of our local Living Free Ministries Thrift Store.
The stores are a part of a wonderful ministry for the restoration of drug and alcohol addicted men.
They sell the signs for $2 more than the website does and the extra $$ helps to support the ministry.
Any one who knows me probably also knows that a ministry such as this is very close to my heart.
And I thank Jesus every day for what He has done and is doing in Aaron's life!
Easter is the perfect time of the year to thank Jesus for what He's done for us.
If it wasn't for Him dying on that cruel cross, we wouldn't even have a savior to thank, period.
Here's a song I hope you enjoy, simply titled "Thank You Jesus".

As I reflect on this Holy Week leading up to Resurrection Sunday,
I pray that I never take for granted, not for one single moment, that Jesus gave His life for me.
I am taking this opportunity to wish you all a most blessed Easter week.
Company's a comin' and I've got tons to do before their arrival Thursday evening.
If I don't get around to visit, I'll catch up as I can :)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The grass is always greener on the other side of the Hodgepodge

In just a matter of a few days, the world around me sprang into life, I kid you not. 
We have had some wonderful rain showers over the past few days and that's all it took.
Those glorious brilliant greens could once again be seen dotting the drab, colorless woods.

As the morning sun filtered through the trees, 
it was as though those tiny new leaves had become luminescent.

And how thrilling that the killer frosts of a couple of weeks ago didn't zap the dogwoods!

Spring just wouldn't be spring without them!

So enough of me trying to convince you that spring has finally sprung...
let's get on with the subject at hand...Joyce's Hodgepodge...
grab button for From this Side of the Pond
...where she asks the questions and we write the answers.


1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what's the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Wow...this one's easy. I am sure the Lawn & Garden folks would rate it a 1...maybe a 2. But like we talked about on last week's hodgepodge, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. You see, they built our home right smack dab in the middle of the woods and that also means on hard, rocky red clay as well and soil (if you want to call it that) is really non-existent. Plus it's mostly shaded and grass loves sunshine, right? Long story short, our yard has only patchy areas of grass to mow and this makes my Jim a happy man. 

I call our type of landscaping "rustic"—it's a better word than bedraggled or unkempt— with layers of old leaves blown year after year around the perimeter as a mulch, huge tree roots that protrude from the ground, woody overgrown shrubbery, a lush green carpet of moss instead of grass and other such lovelies that cover the ground, mostly in the spring. No manicured lawn here and I must admit, I'm quite fond of our low maintenance yard.

This photo was taken a couple of years ago when the azaleas were nicely blooming.
At the present, they are in dire need of pruning which will come later on.

As far as gardening goes in this yard, it's all about pots and planters...above ground. Yesterday I was at our local Food Lion (grocery store) and they had just gotten in a supply of beautiful, healthy ferns and hanging baskets. I jumped on them in a heartbeat...the ferns were $3 cheaper than what I had seen at Lowe's just a day before. I bought four of them for the porch and two different colors of hanging geraniums. I still need to get the rest of my bedding and tomato plants...hopefully within the next week or so I will get them all settled in the pots. 

2. "Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there."~Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

Gee, I think it could have dual meanings. It can be taken literally, meaning that every garden has weeds and we all know they were not planted there. But I am thinking there is a hidden possibly sometimes we get more than what we bargained for when we purchase a plant and some other seed was dropped into the soil by accident maybe...a happy accident! I think that digging even deeper (hey...a PUN!) one could even find other hidden meanings and I have probably missed the one most obvious to some of you!

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Oh word that encapsulates many things...LOVE. Every gift that He gives us—the wondrous beauty of creation, His grace and mercy, peace that passes all understanding, every good and perfect thing He gives us is because of the love He has for us, His children. I could go on and on but there aren't enough ways to express it.

4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I would probably be talking non-stop. You may just have to slap me.

5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed Susan...which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

Yes, I do love the color yellow...sunflowers are one of my very favorites with black-eyed Susans running a close second. I don't have yellow as a prominent color in my house on purpose but the paint on my living room/dining room walls very much have a yellowish cast most of the time. It's actually a beige-ish color in reality. I have none in my wardrobe either. For some reason I never have felt comfortable wearing it on my body...thinking that it was like I was wearing a big sign that said "LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!" And of course I love it in vases of flowers from my hubs that are currently on my dining room table. :)

6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Yes . :D

7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you'll carry out this month.

Oh joy, oh Tennessee bunch will be here for Easter! We are looking forward to a fun weekend with all of the family together. I'm not sure if the younger grands are still into Easter egg hunts but that might be on the agenda if the weather cooperates.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am already exhausted just thinking about what all I have to do before they get here!! Oh, and that one blade of grass? I'll get Jim right on it! :)
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