Monday, September 30, 2013

October is Upon Us!

    "Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."

~Elizabeth Lawrence


~by Joseph Pullman Porter
Crispy air and azure skies,
High above, a white cloud flies,
Bright as newly fallen snow.
Oh the joy to those who know October!

Colors bright on bush and tree.
Over the weedy swamp, we see
A veil of purple and brown and gold.
Thy beauty words have never told. October!

Scolding sparrows on the lawn,
Rabbits frisking home at dawn,
Pheasants midst the sheaves of grain,
All in harmony acclaim, October!

Brown earth freshly turned by plow,
Apples shine on bended bough,
Bins o'erflowed with oats and wheat,
And satisfaction reigns complete. October!

Radiant joy is everywhere.
Spirits in tune to the spicy air,
Thrill in the glory of each day.
Life's worth living when we say, October!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Faux "Dried" Hydrangeas

I just love the look of hydrangeas after they are dried...
...intermingled with the other colors of fall decor.

I'm sad to say I don't have any hydrangeas in my own yard :( 
So, I was hoping to find a good friend to give me some of their dried blooms.
I even thought about driving through the neighborhood and whenever I spotted one,
go up to the door and ask if I could have their dried blooms.

I chickened out.

Well, I wasn't going to beg. I felt pretty sure that I could find some realistic silk ones.
So, I went looking at Michael's and Hobby Lobby thinking they would....WRONG.
 I was so disappointed when I didn't find I got to thinking....hmmm...
...I wonder if I could make my own?

It started out as an experiment and I am pretty happy with the outcome.
Here's what I did.

Here's the before photo...just your typical, run-of-the-mill cheap Walmart hydrangea bush.

I had this great burn the tips and shrivel the petals a bit with a lighter... know, the kind you light the grill with.

Be careful not to let too much of it burn...and it will...quickly!
Here's the, hold, burn,, hold, burn, blow...
(my hand and fingertip is still recovering from all the clicking and holding)

After you get them all "dried" looking, it's time to add the next step...brown spray paint.

Spray paint lightly using short spurts...
...covering enough to dull the colors and add to the dry appearance.

That's all there is to it! 

Whatcha think?

I think they look pretty good...maybe not quite as lovely as the real thing but, hey....
...when all else fails...a girl's gotta improvise!!

Look how pretty they are with the other fall colors...I love the contrast.

I just LOVE getting ready for fall!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nobody's Home

I'm re-posting this from my archives today and sharing with Roses of Inspiration.

A couple of weeks ago, as I was out for a drive in the country, I noticed this empty house. There was just something about it that grabbed my attention the moment I saw it. There wasn't any place to pull off and the road didn't have much traffic. I made sure no one was coming behind me, stopped in my lane of the road, snapped a couple of pictures and went on my way.

After I returned home, I uploaded my photos on to my laptop like I always do and started to edit them. When I got to this one, I immediately began wondering why this lovely house was sitting quick glance will tell you that nobody lived there and evidently hadn't for quite some time.

As I sat there, it dawned on me...when a home becomes empty, it's just a house. And then I got to thinking, isn't that kind of like what our lives are like before we give our hearts to Christ? Or maybe we accepted Him once and due to a situation or circumstances lost our faith and rejected Him. It's sad to say that there are many people who are alive physically—they walk, talk, breathe, speak, eat—but they seem dead inside. Do you know anyone like that? Most of us have encountered them at one time or another...sometimes daily. It might be that clerk who checked you out at the grocery store or the the young man who handed your food to you at the drive-thru window at McDonald's. It could be a friend or a co-worker you have known for many years. It might even be a member of your church that you see every week. What about a beloved family member? They may feel so hopeless—like they are just existing—with no joy to be found in them. It's like the empty seems nobody's home.

Then one day, praise be to God, through divine intervention, Jesus passed by and He was invited in! My, how things have changed...and nothing will ever be the same again!

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. 
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.     
Ephesians 3:17

Once we make the decision to put our faith in Christ, He dwells in our hearts...He makes it His home. Keeping this faith alive is something that we need to work on daily—through prayer, spending time in His word and keeping a close relationship with a body of believers. After all, we want Him to move in permanently, don't we?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, 
I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
 Revelation 3:20 

This is a beautiful song that I first heard years ago at a Women of Faith Conference.
It is also my prayer...everyday.

May you be at home with Jesus this week!

Farmer's Market Delights

I just love all of the beautiful colors at a farmer's market, don't you?
Here are some pretty pinks from the Southwest Farmer's Market in Hillsville, VA.

We make a trip there every time we visit our cabin in Fancy Gap.

There, you will you find a bounty of home grown produce in every color of the rainbow.
This is just the pink stuff!

Look at these lovely Angel's Wing begonias in different stages of blooming.

Do you see the shadow of that little bug on the back side of the petal?

There's one on this one too :)

Aren't they gorgeous?

There were also many beautiful mums...

...and maybe a few other things to bring back some memories from your childhood.
Do you remember eating any of these candies as a kid? I sure do.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dollar Tree Pumpkins

 I have to admit it. I am jealous...
...jealous of all you bloggers out there that are all decked out for fall.
I'm ashamed to say that my fall decor storage bins have not even made in from the garage.

So...this morning as I was out doing my weekly Friday shopping, I needed some sweet pickles.
Sweet pickles? Yes, sweet pickles.
So I stopped in the Dollar Tree where they have the BEST sweet pickles.
And I bet you can't guess how much they cost??? Anybody?
Yes...only ONE DOLLAR...imagine that! 

Anyway, who can walk into the Dollar Tree and just get what they went in after? 
So I thought I'd look around a bit and so I ambled over to the fall decorations...
...and saw pretty much what I was expecting.
Usually, their fall decor items are kind of tacky leave something to be desired.
But then my eyes gazed upon these pretties.

I thought to myself..."really??"

They are made from a resin of some sort and they come in three different shapes.
Of course I had to get all three. After all, they were much?
O N E   D O L L A R   each!

I got so excited about them I almost forgot my pickles! 

So...after getting them home, I sat them out on the deck...
 scattered a few leaves around them... out my camera...

...and took a few shots of them.

And then I brought them in and played around with them a bit.

I'm not quite sure yet exactly where I will be putting them...
...but I do feel like I have at least gotten a start on my fall decorating now!

Yay, me!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I'd rather have Jesus...

“If you give your soul up to anything earthly, whether it be the wealth, or the honours, or the pleasures of this world, you might as well hunt after the mirage of the desert or try to collect the mists of the morning, or to store up for yourself the clouds of the sky, for all these things are passing away.”

~Charles H. Spurgeon

Click on the video for one of my favorite songs, "I'd Rather Have Jesus"

I pray you are bestowed with a wealth of the Lord's riches this week!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


September. I love this month. I used to love it for different reasons than I do now. When I was a kid, I loved it because it was "back to school" month and the month of my birthday. These days, school starts in August most places and when you get to be my age, you don't get quite as excited about your birthday anymore. I love it now because it is the month that ushers in my favorite season...fall. I mean, I'm very grateful the Lord has given me another year but I don't need anything more than a mirror to remind myself how old mature I am getting.

And as I think back about starting back to school when I was a little girl, an image comes to mind of something I haven't seen for years. I was reminded of this over the weekend as I was photographing the beautiful goldenrod that is currently taking over the country sides. How many of my more "mature" friends ever used one of these in first or second grade?

And speaking of goldenrod, it is just so beautiful and I never even realized it until this year. I love it that as I have gotten...ehem...more mature, I have come to appreciate the beauty in the simplest things.

I was blessed with the opportunity to go out last weekend to a lovely nature preserve in Fancy Gap, near our cabin. The hubs was napping after mowing the grass (that was nearly mid-calf in height, which wore him out a bit) so I drove a few miles down the road to where it was located. It was a perfect and breezy with bright blue skies and puffy clouds.

The area is called Devil's Den because of some old and treacherous caves that can be explored.
 I actually hesitate calling it anything remotely related to the devil...
...because it is a heavenly place to be sure. 

The preserve consists of 280 aces of private unspoiled land on the crest of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, with a beautiful view overlooking the North Carolina Piedmont. Here is Wikipedia's definition of escarpment: An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that occurs from erosion or faulting and separates two relatively level areas of differing elevations. learn something new everyday!

On top of it lies this lovely slice of heaven. There is a bench planted  in the ground (so as not to tumble over and fall down over the drop off) to sit and enjoy the beautiful view. I sat there quite a while just breathing in all of the glory of this place. All I could hear was the breeze gently blowing which sounded a lot like God telling me how much He loved me.

The preserve also includes birding and wildlife nature trails,
and this lovely meadow where the tall grasses had just recently been mowed and baled. 
There's just something I love about hay bales.

I walked and walked, all around the perimeter...
...the tell-tale images of left-overs from the summer were so evident. 

I normally don't like Japanese beetles at all...
...but these guys took my eye as I was struck by their lovely iridescent coverings. 
What do you suppose they are doing....hmm?

Strolling along a little further and as I gazed down the hillside, I spotted the old homestead that was built back in the 1880's. The first and only other time I had been here, the old house was off limits to the public and there was a fence of some sort built around it. Today I was able to walk right down to it and gaze into the windows....

...if only they hadn't been boarded up.

Can you just imagine the stories this old house could tell if it could talk?

I could have stayed there for hours...not another soul did I see except for some butterflies and a couple of lovely gold finches who flew away before I could get a shot with my camera...but I don't think they actually count as souls, do they?

It was time to head back before my hubby thought I had gotten kidnapped or something so back down the road to the cabin I went. Before I could make it home, the goldenrod had beckoned me once again. I couldn't resist getting another few photos.

Aha...I see someone else likes goldenrod too!

It was a splendid way to spend an afternoon in September! 

I leave you with this lovely poem.


by Helen Hunt Jackson

The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
the grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

‘T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.

I hope you go out and enjoy your September this weekend!

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