Sunday, September 28, 2008

A great man

He was so awesomely good looking. Every woman of my generation was in love with him, and every man wanted to be him. But his inner beauty was even greater than his external appearance. He was a good man, humble, and generous to an extent most of us can never know. It is hard to accept that he is gone, but all who saw his memorable performances will be grateful for the memories. Deepest sympathy to his wife, Joanne Woodward, to his children and other family members, and to all others who knew him and loved him.
This photo appeared on a number of internet sites. I was unable to determine it's origin. If anyone can tell me the source, I will gladly give credit where credit is due.
Joanie 9/28/2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Working toward a simpler life

I have been visiting Emily at Remodeling This Life and her latest entry really hit home with me. For years I have been a collector -- samplers (see earlier post), miniature churches, church birdhouses, musical instruments, old church hymnals, cherubs, musical angel figurines, vases, rose dishes, books, teddy bears, and just about anything else that appealed to me at yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops, antiques stores, plus things that I cherish because they belonged to my parents or grandparents. Some of my little churches are shown below:

Last year, when I turned 70, I had a horrible thought -- in ten more years I'd be 80 and I'd still have to cope with all this "stuff." Ten years might seem to be a long time if you're young, but time seems to pass more quickly the more we age. Here are some of my musical angels and nativity scenes:
So this year I have begun to work seriously on "downsizing." It helps that a Goodwill opened here recently. Yes, it's a great place to find neat "stuff," but I don't go there unless I also take a donation. So far I have donated a few samplers, needlework kits, other vintage linens, crocheted items, a good number of books, a tablecloth, some clothing, teddy bears, and dishes. I f you walked into my house you wouldn't think anything was gone because there are still a lot of things in the house, and more must -- and will -- go.

The nativity scene below is a favorite because Cliff made it. The nativities, angels, and the church scene below are only displayed at Christmas; during the rest of the year there is other "stuff" on the shelves. (You can glimpse some of my rose dishes to the left of the photo and a dulcimer on the right.)

For a while I thought I'd make a little money selling some things on eBay, and I started collecting boxes to ship things in. Now I have a big pile of boxes to get rid of also!

There are still many things I treasure too much to give away -- my favorite books, old books that belonged to my parents, my musical instruments (well, maybe I could part with one or two), old family photos and mementos, Dad's paintings. But if I get rid of the "stuff" that I never use, that fills cabinets and closets or sits around gathering dust, I will have more time to enjoy the things I love, like my organ, below, the painting over it by my Dad, the little girl figurine Daddy bought at an auction years ago, and a sampler (shown in a previous post). I bought the chandelier lamp on eBay, painted it white, and found replacements for missing prisms.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Flower Arranging

Almost two weeks have passed since my last entry. It has been a busy time and somewhat stressful. Now my camera is having intermittent problems. Who was it said "it's always something"? Anyway, thought I'd share some photos of arrangements from recent meetings of my garden club.
The first two photos are arrangements by an ikebana instructor who spoke at one of our recent garden club meetings. Aren't they stunning?

Several times a year we make arrangements in bud vases to take to a local nursing home. The next picture is one of those arrangements:

The next three arrangements are by club members. Each month we have a judging of arrangements entered. I was a member for a year before I had the nerve to even submit an arrangement. Now arranging flowers is one of my favorite activities.

I have learned so much from the talented ladies in the club. But the best thing of all is how nice they are and how much fun it is to get together. Besides our monthly meetings, we get together for lunch occasionally and go on field trips to plant nurseries, notable gardens, and other places of interest.
I also want to say a word of thanks to all the lovely people who have visited Blue Mountain Home and left such nice comments.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rembering all of those whose lives were taken by terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
And for all of those who risked their lives trying to save the victims, these words from "America the Beautiful":
"O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Embroidered samplers

I have collected embroidered samplers for many years, and have made a few myself. To be honest about it, I have too many. Some, in fact, still await framing. I have begun sorting and donating things I've collected over the years, but there are some I treasure too much to part with.

Here are a few of my most treasured:

The first is a sampler made by my paternal grandmother, Ida, who died two months before I was born. My parents passed it on to me. My father made the walnut frame. It is one of the most frequently encountered phrases used on samplers of that era.

This sweet little sampler was a gift from my sister in 1980. I love it. The linen looks stained in this photo, but it isn't.

I love this embroidery of the prayer of St Francis. It hangs in our music room.

This is my goal, to "grow lovely" as I grow old.

This one, another gift from my sister, also hangs in the music room.

I made this from a counted cross-stitch kit, but adapted it in honor of my maternal grandmother who always said that I sewed "with a red-hot needle and a burning thread." Notice the name on the sewing machine stand is "White," which was her maiden name as well as a sewing machine brand.

This was a lucky find. I've never seen another like it.

I love white-on-white samplers. This one is in the dining room.

I made this probably 30 or more years ago from a Better Homes and Gardens kit. It pairs various herbs with the types of meats they enhance. Wish I'd had the forethought to date it.

I love this sweet sampler. What is more precious than "home" and all it encompasses.

May God bless all of our homes.