Friday, September 30, 2011

It is Good To Remember

One of the most oft quoted words in the Bible is the word "remember." It brought to mind this post which I beg to share with you once again...may you never forget how great the love the Father has for the sons and daughters of God...

 How Could I Forget Thee

     "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child 
she has borne? Though she may forget you, I will not forget thee. See, I have 
engraved you on the palms of my hand." Isaiah 49:15-16

     No mother would ever forget her child, for once conceived, a mother's children are hers forever. Yet the Lord makes it clear that His love for us exceeds that of a mother for her child. How can it be? And yet, He tells us again that no man can fathom the depth and heighth and breadth of the magnificent love He holds in His being for each of us. It is a love that defies description. A love that extends beyond all measure. It runs so deep that it forever scarred the hands of the One who gave Himself up for us. Even Isaiah who gave us these beautiful words could not have imagined the terrible price it would cost Christ to "engrave" us on the palm of His hand.
   Every mother alive would shudder to think of those selfsame nails piercing the hands of any of her children, yet that is precisely what happened to the Only Begotten Son of God. And it was love that compelled Him to go to that cross. Love for for you and for me.
   I began this Mother's Day by being thankful for my own Momma and her many sacrifices of love that have enabled me to become the woman I am today. It was she who rejoiced with me over the impending arrival of each little one; it was she who came at every birth and tenderly taught me how to love and care for my babes; and it was she who has supported and championed me at every turn of my life as a mother. I owe her so much.
   My heart is also filled to overflowing as I consider the treasure of the three sons and one daughter who have afforded me the priceless treasure of being a mother. There are no words to express the joy I hold in my heart for them.
    Yet it is to the Lord Himself that I owe the greatest debt and the one debt that can never ever be repaid. For it is He who has given me and those I love life and breath and everything else. They and I are engraved on the palm of His hands. Those beautiful nail-scarred hands. It is simply too much to comprehend.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Few Funnies

    Last weekend while in Atlanta a man asked me if I was a television star. I was afraid he thought I was Phyllis Diller. He was also with his wife so I knew it could not be the worst pick-up line ever. And besides, who picks up 60-year-old women anyway.

    I do not wear my glasses in the shower. It is why in a hotel bathroom, I thought I grabbed the shampoo but it was the body lotion. Both were the same color. I figured it out when it sat like a blob on my head. No worries. I reached out and grabbed the right bottle.

     The Husband does not wear his glasses in the shower either. He got the shampoo right, but mixed up the conditioner with the body lotion. He wondered later why his hair was so greasy. But it did hide the gray. Maybe he's onto something here.

     I walked into a store the other day with Little One. A nice young woman looked at me and said, "I love the dress that your little ???? (I could see her mentally working out the math) has on. "Granddaughter," I quickly supplied. She smiled and said, "Thanks, you really never know these days."
    Then I laughed to myself. She was thinking about in-vitro babies, I was thinking about those children who were once known as "change of life" babies. Not that I had one. A change of life baby, that is. 'Cause I am a certified pro with the other.

     The dog is the only person I now allow in the bathroom when I am taking a bath. He watches me with great curiosity. I understand.

     My young male physical therapist told me that I was really funny for an older woman. Do you think I should be insulted? I just laughed. And then I told him I might punch him when he wasn't looking. I meant it.

     My dermatologist asked me if I wanted some "filler" for my smile lines. I told her nicely, "No thank you." She offered me a good price. I still said, "No thank you." When she asked once more later on I started in on my lecture about aging gracefully. She tried to raise her eyebrow at me, but she had used too much Botox. I think I made a point, when I pulled up my eyebrow for her to demonstrate what it is supposed to look like. She didn't ask any more.

    I am getting gray hairs around my temples. This makes me a genetic anomaly in my family. My mother is eight-two and isn't yet gray. I am not getting any filler or Botox, but I don't have any qualms whatsoever about coloring my hair. Did you know that you could buy hair crayons? In the meantime, I may give the old Crayolas a try.

Have fun, do good things and don't forget to smile, really smile along the way. Oh, and laugh out loud more than every once in a while. It helps.




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Rescuer

    Becoming a book rescuer has turned out to be one of the most pleasurable side benefits of my current financial venture. When I opened my booth in the antique mall and began attending garage sales and estate sales in search of the elusive bargain that could be refurbished or repurposed or polished for resale, I had little idea that books would feature so prominently in my scheme of things. Antiques at a bargain price might be relatively hard to come by, but books are not. Fortunately, I have come across several bona fide treasures. Some were in the "free to a good home" stack, others cost me 50 cents or perhaps a dollar, and I certainly don't think I have paid more than two or three dollars for any of the gems I have mined.
    Here are a few of my treasures that I hope will find a good home in someone else's house where, if given the opportunity, they will be sure to be appreciated by yet another generation of readers.
     When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne. The particular copy that I have was published in 1945 and was the 236th printing of the book, a sure sign that this little volume was much beloved from the day that it first appeared in 1924. If you look at the cover very carefully, you can spot a slightly pudgy bear that looks just guessed...none other that our treasured Pooh. There he is in all his primal glory, long before the folks at Disney transformed him into an animated success. I venture to say that Pooh's charm began when he was but a figment in the heart and mind of one very gifted A.A. Milne. I certainly appreciate Mr. Disney's role in providing seemingly endless entertainment for children, however I am confident that children and adults alike loved Christopher Robin and Pooh when much of their story was simply left to the wonder and the power of imagination.

    It appears that I am drawn to children's books with strong illustrations. I stumbled across a relatively rare Little Golden Book from 1948, The New Baby, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin, another noted artist and illustrator. Here is a copy of the artwork adorning the title page of the book along with pictures of the babies who grace the delightful end papers. It is also interesting to see how much has changed in families as they welcome new babies into the home in this day and time as compared to 1948!
The NEW BABY, Vintage Little Golden Book, Eloise Wilkin, 'J' Edition, 1948
The NEW BABY, Vintage Little Golden Book, Eloise Wilkin, 'J' Edition, 1948

   I have always loved the artist, Tasha Tudor, and was thrilled to note when I picked up a fine red linen bound copy of the timeworn classic Little Women, that she had been the illustrator. Her whimsical drawings bring new life to this much beloved story. This particular volume has proven to be quite scarce, and it appears I have uncovered a true find. I am fortunate that this book looks as though it has barely been read and is in pristine condition. The next young reader may not readily appreciate the tender beauty of Tudor's illustrations, but like most readers before her, she is sure to ponder which of the March sisters she might be most like: Meg, Amy, Beth, or Jo. Me? I am a Jo girl through and through!
     Last, but not least, I happened upon a delightful copy of Robert Louise Stevenson's, A Child's Garden of Verses, illustrated by Eulalie.
 A Child's Garden of Verses, Illustrations by Eulalie  ---by Robert Louis Stevenson
The characterizations immediately brought a smile to my face. I understand now why Eulalie's work is highly prized and why her name has endured. The poem below is another one that my dear grandmother, Lou Lou (see the post Standing in Awe) taught us as children. My sisters and cousins and I can still recite it from memory. Unfortunately, I am not quite sure that I can really part with this book; it just might have to find a spot in my personal collection where I can share the joy with Little One and Little Two!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Definitely Not A Sucker

   I'll take supporter over sucker any day. By implication, a sucker is someone who is easily deceived or taken advantage of in situations from which others benefit. No doubt, I have been a sucker. But not this time around. I gladly buy the following products or services because doing so constitutes a form of support I readily endorse. So here are a few of my favorites. Love 'em or don't bother. It's your choice. Just know that I am not a sucker...I like what I get for my money along with the mission behind the product!
My first pair of Tom's
If you can't find a store that carries Tom's in your area, you can buy them
online: They give you a flag, a sticker and a shoe storage bag when you
buy your Tom's. It's like going to the dentist and getting a prize when you leave!
     I do love the premise behind Tom's (you buy a pair and they give away a pair to a child in need), and if you don't have a pair of these ultra-comfortable shoes, you need to march right out and get some. They remind me of the espadrilles I wore in the seventies. Some folks think that they are ugly. I personally believe that they constitute a form of retro-utilitarian-chic. Besides, I am too old to buy shoes that don't feel good on my feet. Been there and done that. No Jimmy Choos for me. I'll admit that Tom's are a bit pricey for the construction at $50 plus, but put them on your feet, and they soon feel like the bedroom slippers you used to scrounge around in during the high school years. 'Cept now you are cool. If you see me around town, chances are that I'll be sporting my new black plaid Toms with a touch of red. Of course they go great with my mom, no, make that "grandmother" jeans!

     These two women, Gwen and Suzanne, are unbelievably passionate about adoption, and if you have never heard of the organization, 147 Million Orphans, you can read all about their calling here: They sell super soft t-shirts and great clutches and tote bags and so much more on their website. And everything is for this fabulous cause: helping orphans. I personally know one of the women (Gwen Oatsvall) who is behind this movement which started with a little seed that has quickly grown into a giant oak tree. Her personal testimony and ministry of love are amazing, and I am honored to count her and her husband, Scott, as my friends. I gladly support anything that Gwen and Suzanne put their hand to...I respect the vision that God has called them to that much. And besides, who doesn't love that great little clutch?!
147 Clutch Bag147 Red Mayvall BagTil They Are All Fed Bracelet

    Who wouldn't want to help a woman in Africa create a sustainable business by buying one of her handmade scarves. And they are lovely, to boot! Take a look at the vision behind the non-profit fashionABLE here: You can start your Christmas shopping now and give a gift that is not only practical, but also carries with it a specific purpose and fulfillment of vision. Each scarf also comes with a handwritten note from the woman who made it and includes her name.
Etanesh Blue Grey

So why not give something this year that has a purpose and meaning? Trust me when I say that it will take gift-giving to a new level to know that you are blessing someone with your purchase (and not just the recipient of your gift!) And besides, all of the above purchases are guaranteed to warm your heart, as well! It's totally a win-win!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time for Some Comfort Food

   Comfort food. We know what it is and how it tastes. When we are hurting or sad or just need a touch of home, we reach for it. Your comfort food might not be my comfort food, but both of our comfort foods have a common denominator: they are designed to make us feel better. One of these selfsame foods in our family is a very humble baked spaghetti. It is not difficult to make, and you will certainly will not find this recipe gracing the pages of any gourmet magazine, but that's not the intention. This is not elevated cuisine. It's not meant to impress. In the the South we call it down-home food. It takes you back to your roots or brings a touch of familarity and comfort to your palate.
   My momma introduced our clan to baked spaghetti, and I have been making it for my family on a regular basis and taking it to people who have had surgery or a death in the family or welcomed a new baby or just moved into the neighborhood. It never fails to elicit the same response. Nice. Delicious. Welcome. Familiar. Family friendly. If that's not the essence of comfort food, I don't know what is.
   Here goes this super easy dish:
          1 sweet onion, finely chopped
          2 Tbsp butter
          3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
          1.5 pounds of lean ground beef
          salt and pepper to taste
          (basil and oregano may also be added according to taste)
          2 jars of chunky Ragu or similar tomato sauce (you can make your own if you prefer)
          1 small can tomato paste
          1 small can chopped black olives
          2 Tbsp brown sugar
          1 pound vermicelli
          4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
          (mushrooms are an optional addition)

In a large pan, saute the chopped onion until almost translucent; add garlic and continue sauteing for a minute or two. Add ground beef. Brown the beef thoroughly and drain off any excess fat. Salt and pepper to taste; add additional herbs if desired. After draining, add 2 jars of Ragu Chunky tomato sauce and the small can of tomato paste. Add up to 2-3 Tbsp of brown sugar and the small can of chopped black olives. Simmer while preparing pasta. Cook 1 pound of vermicelli al dente and drain well. In a large deep dish (the deeper the better) layer tiny amount of sauce to coat the bottom of the dish, then 1/2 of the pasta followed by 1/2 of the sauce and then 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat: pasta, sauce, cheese. May be frozen at this point or refrigerated for up to one day until ready to cook. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Deliver and wait for the phone call. A effusive thank you and a recipe request are a given with this dish. Easy. Delicious. Classic comfort food.

 image courtesy of Dexie Wharton
P. S. In our house, we eat this dish in "spaghetti sandwiches": white or whole wheat bread slathered with the ingredients of the casserole! No need for french bread in our home! Simply add a salad or fresh fruit and voila, you will have a happy family! 


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Standing in Awe

Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

Source: via Robyn on Pinterest

   I am the beneficiary of many timeless and enduring gifts from my beloved grandmother, Lou Lou, not the least of which is a deep appreciation for poetry. As grandchildren we learned of the beauty and power of rhyme at her knee as she taught us poems she had committed to memory. The lovely images above call to mind one of her all-time favorites, Joyce Kilmer's Trees. When I recited this work at her funeral, I looked out in the audience to see my sisters, cousins, and other family members whispering the words with me. She had taught us every one.

I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,         5
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.  10
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Lou Lou, this one's for you...

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Love Gift

    The Husband gave me a wonderful gift for our anniversary. He took me to see Yo-Yo Ma. Live and in person. As the evening approached, I was so giddy I was like a child in a candy store. It was everything I had thought it would be. Arguably the best cellist in the world, Yo-Yo Ma brings my favorite instrument to life, and he does it with passion, exuberance and a joy that is contagious. So after convincing The Husband that, for me, seeing Yo-Yo Ma was the equivalent of the Masters, the Final Four and the Super Bowl all rolled into one-- an analogy he completely understood, off we went. Since he would rather be at a football game or a rock concert, I know that this was a true gift of love. Here's to Yo-Yo Ma and a magical evening I will never forget.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Celebration of Life

    I've only ever lived my adult life in the South so I cannot comment on other parts of the country, but I know that down here when something happens of a difficult nature, the women head to the kitchen. I don't know if cooking helps to relieve stress or to soothe a troubled or grieving heart, but from the looks of my kitchen it would appear so.
   A dear friend of mine is burying her beloved daddy today. She lost her mother to cancer when she was a young woman just a little over twenty so she and her dad have always been exceptionally close. He later remarried an especially lovely lady from Nashville and in the course of their thirty-eight year marriage her children and grandchildren have become his. So what was once a small family (my friend and her brother) has become a much larger family through the joining of the two families.
   So on the one hand, it's a good thing the cooks got busy. Just two days ago, I sent out word about the funeral plans and the fact that a few of us would be serving a light lunch to the family between the funeral service here in Nashville and the burial in a small town about an hour South of us.
    Apparently women in the South don't understand the meaning of the word "light lunch." My refrigerator looks like a sagging hippopotamus. Crammed into this standard 1980's two-door side-by-side model (I am still waiting on my stainless steel upgrade) are the following: One giant bowl of homemade chicken salad, thirty-five pimento cheese sandwiches, 2 pounds of barbecue; baked beans, spinach dip, tortilla roll up sandwiches, 2 bowls of fruit, enough chicken tenders to feed a small army of children, one large Caesar salad, a bowl of pasta salad, 2 dozen deviled eggs, 2 gallons of fruit tea, and a large ham. Not to be outdone, the kitchen table is laden with four cakes, two pans of brownies, a loaf of poppy seed bread, 3 dozen homemade rolls, buns, assorted breads, tortilla chips, potato chips, and just about any other kind of chip known to man. Oh, and under the table I have stacked up the bottled water, the soft drinks, and the bottled juices that friends also brought over.
     Like I said, this is supposed to be a light lunch. And I still have to get it all in my car and take it over to the house where the family will gather. I think I better get started now. It will probably take me the better part of an hour, but, oh no, I forgot that first I need to clean out my car. At least my refrigerator will look cleaned out when this is over.
    Don't you think this is one reason the Lord says, "It is better to go to a house of mourning that a house of rejoicing?" At least in the South, it is. You never come away hungry, that's for sure! You cry, you laugh, you remember, and you eat. It's a perfect way to celebrate the life of a loved one whom you know is dancing in heaven today!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Time to Laugh...

It's a good day to laugh, but then again, it's always a good day to laugh. Sometimes if you don't laugh, you might have to cry or scream. It's not one of those days (and we've all had 'em), but it is one of those days when I feel the need to lighten up the cyberworld with a little levity. Plus I think most of these kids are gonna kill their Mothers when they grow up. I don't blame them one bit. But I am definitely smiling today.

What was my mother thinking? M-I-C-K-E-Y  M-O-U-S-E???

Source: via Rhonda on Pinterest

I actually think my parents find this pose attractive

Guilty as charged...

I can't wait for the day when I can pick my OWN outfits...

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

Mom, you forgot the product...

I mean a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do...

If I close my eyes I can pretend they didn't put this thing on my head...

Source: via Sharon on Pinterest

Baby on the right: "My expression says it all..."

Source: via Amber on Pinterest

"Hmmmm, do you feel better now?"

                                       "I caught are smiling...I just know it."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thank You

   I didn't know them personally. I didn't know their names, where they lived, or what they enjoyed doing in their spare time. I don't know if they had families or best friends or a dog who ran to greet them at the end of a long day. I don't know who wept yesterday or who weeps today once again to mourn their loss.  But I know that scores upon scores of real men and women entered those buildings that were burning on September 11 and many of them knew without a doubt even then that the odds were against them.
    Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and times like these empower seemingly ordinary men and women to undertake the extraordinarily heroic. It is a documented phenomenon that occurs on battlefields. Who of us knew the battlefield would come to the Twin Towers in New York City, America's own backyard on a beautiful fall day in early September ten years ago? Who knew that what was heretofore unfathomable would become a terrible reality and one that haunts us to this day.
    The scripture teaches us that "greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his brother." There are many observations, many lessons, and many stories that have emerged from this latest day of infamy to burn itself into the psyche of America. Yet none strikes deeper than the story of the first responders who climbed up and up and up into those buildings that would all too quickly become their tombs, their final resting place.
      There are no words to touch this. Words just aren't enough to soothe a loss so great in the face of an even greater horror that imploded and reverberated around us. So I pray for the men, women, and children these heroes left behind. I pray that the grief these families will feel on this ten-year anniversary of 9/11 will not overwhelm any of them to the point of despair. I will pray for healing tears and a healing touch and for the healing for a wound that seems beyond the scope of most of us to understand, much less comprehend. But I will not forget. I will not forget.
    So one woman in a house in Tennessee hundred of miles from where the sacrifices of many were made will get out of her bed and get down on her knees to say thank you for the lives of those who gave their all that day. Your sacrifice gives us hope and we honor you.
9/11 Memorial 2

photos  from

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coming Full Circle

    I am not a native of Nashville. I consider myself a Florida girl through and through even though I was actually born in Louisiana. However, because I grew up in a small town, I appreciate the cycle of continuity that accompanies a small-town lifestyle. Generations attend the same church. People live next door to each other in houses that have been passed down and children of children end up playing side by side much as their parents did. There are drawbacks of living in a small town, but the blessings are many.
   Nashville, on the other hand is far from a small town. We are well over a million and a half if you count what they call the "bedroom communities", i.e., the suburban communities where people who work in the downtown area drive home to sleep at night. Nashville is a city on the cusp of change. But despite its rapid growth and big-city amenities, I am comforted that some things don't seem to change much...or at least, one very important thing.
Preschool MDO Logo    I picked up Little One from her first day of Preschool/Mother's Day Out at St. B's today. Twenty-five years ago, I was parking in the same parking lot and walking down the same stairs to pick The Daughter up. Today it was her daughter. I turned around, and in the blink of an eye I am now the grandmother and not the mother. I got a big gulp in my throat when I rounded the corner and saw the classrooms lining the hallway. The Director of the PreSchool is the same lovely lady whom I am honored to count as a friend. I even knew several of the young mothers (one is a much loved former student of mine). I imagine that Little One will sing some of the same praise songs, learn the same scriptures, and celebrate the Holy Days in much the same way. I also have little doubt that she will be surrounded by the love and faithfulness of God in her time at St. B's, just as her mother was.

    However, all of this continuity is more than just a coincidental blessing. It is, for me, the living fulfillment of scripture. In Psalm 78 we are exhorted:
We will not hide them from their descendants; 
   we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
   his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
   and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
   to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
   even the children yet to be born,
   and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God...
  This is what I will keep in mind as I pray for Little One and for her precious teachers in this Christ-centered place. I am forever grateful to St. B's for the love, the mercy, and the truth of the Gospel that were lived out before The Daughter when she was but a little girl. And I rejoice that Little One will likewise be the recipient of that selfsame love, mercy and truth.
   I am honored to see the faithfulness of God as it is coming full circle in my life. With the help, guidance, and tutelage of many, The Husband and I made it a priority that all of our children, including The Daughter, were taught the marvelous deeds of the Lord, and now I am getting to see what the scripture refers to as children yet to the born, the next generation, including our precious Little One, being steeped in the same life-giving Truth.
     To God be the Glory, great things He hath done...

Here are some pictures of Little One today!
At home, all ready to go. I love my lunchbox! Can you tell?!

Ready, Set, Go! I am playing in the gym at St. B's before school starts!

Sitting on the same steps where The Daughter once sat!
Little One and her mommy look so much alike!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day!

     The Daughter-in-Law and Son have come down with the throw-up bug. Could there be anything worse than having a throw-up bug on a holiday while you also have to take care of a baby who doesn't understand that her parents are sick? No worries. Nonna and Pappy have jumped on our horses and ridden to the rescue.
   In spite of the fact that we feel very sorry for the parents, we are having the best little play-date imaginable with one very adorable Little Two. She is now officially cruising so we have been watching her navigate and pull up on various pieces of furniture in the family room. She is still at the cautious stage, but I doubt that will last for long. She has also wasted a lot of energy trying to corner our Cavalier, Wilson, but so far he is only playing mouse to her cat which makes her laugh all the more.
   Thankfully, we have successfully worn her out and she is now down and out for the count. Don't tell anyone, but Pappy and Nonna are about to be down and out for the count, as well!
Here is Miss Cuteness herself!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

'Tis the Season of Compromise

    The season officially opened on Thursday evening. For all of you neophytes, I am talking about the College Football Season. I don't know about where you live, but it has become a cult of sorts in my neck of the woods. This in no small part is due to the fact that I have lived the past thirty years in a largely male dominated household. One very athletic husband. Three very athletic sons. One very athletic daughter. One about-as-far-as-you-can-get-from-an athlete mother. No one told me that my fall schedule would revolve around football games. My husband played baseball in college so I can understand his obsession with baseball, baseball parks, and of course, the World Series. It is, after all, America's pastime. But football? I should have known.
365@VU: 81 - Vanderbilt football team holds first Spring practice in full pads at the John Rich practice facility.
    In our early married lives we could have easily qualified for food stamps. I was finishing school and The Husband was earning minimum wage in a family company. We barely had two nickels to rub together. We owned one car and we kept it parked most of the time. He took the bus to work (because we could not afford the parking downtown), and I walked to the neighborhood grocery store.  I brought my groceries home in one of those little metal carts you see the elderly toting around. I was so not cool. I guess we were energy efficient even then; our carbon footprint was practically minuscule. We spent virtually no money because we didn't have any to spend. But we somehow managed to have football season tickets every year to the Vanderbilt football games. Even then we had our priorities straight.
Auburn Marching Band during halftime of the BCS National Championship Game
We sent two of our sons to the school that won the National Championship last year, so of course
The Husband and one of the sons just had to go to the game...
     Things haven't changed much. The husband still has season tickets, but I decided to bow out after watching my beloved Commodores make it to just three bowl games in forty years. On hot humid days when the temperature at kick-off is right at 100 degrees, I prefer my air-conditioning. Turns out The Husband does, too. So here we sit on the inaugural College Game Day of the 2011-2012 season. We watched last year's National Championship Team, Auburn, pull out a last minute win to keep from totally embarrassing themselves. We are now flipping channels between the LSU vs Oregon game and our Commodores who actually might win their opening game. Life is good. I have adjusted to the fact that fall in my household is a season of compromise. We go to movies on Sunday afternoons instead of Saturday nights. We hang out on Saturday night with other couples who like to watch football. The men stay glued to the set and the wives talk. It's the way things go in the South. But The Husband knows that this wife is making these sacrifices with something specific in's called Ireland. And it's calling our name. The two of us will hopefully be heading there sometime after football season is over. The Husband has learned the art of compromise. It makes for a good marriage and some very nice trips. So while we sit together in the family room, he is watching the games and I am conducting a little research on, you guessed it, the Emerald Isle.

All photos from

Friday, September 2, 2011

Prayer and the Nature of a Friendship

Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

I am praying for a friend today. 
We have been friends a long time. 
Thirty-three years to be exact. 
That's a lot of water over and under the bridge and so many memories.
She has been there through it all. 
We raised our babies together. 
We cried together. Laughed together and even screamed together. 
We saw our daughters get married and my sons, too. 
Now we are playing with granddaughters.
We buried a best friend. That was really really hard.
In the course of our friendship, I have been a great friend, a terrible friend, and a so-so friend.
I wish that weren't true, but it is.
I love my friend deeply, but I don't always tell her so.  I am rectifying that today.  
I love you, Boo and always will. 
The good news is that since we both love Jesus we will "always" be friends!

I am also very thankful that His grace is enough. For friendship. For life. Forever.

Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Librarian's Daughter

   From the time that I was a little girl, I have been captivated by words. Thus as a child it was only natural that I devoured books the way that some children devour sweets. I can thank my mother, a highly regarded librarian or media specialist as she likes to be called, for this life-long love affair of mine. Her influence upon me in this regard has been both pervasive and enduring.  I am descended from a long line of bibliophiles. My grandmother, Louise Brooks Rushing, was a much revered English teacher and her mother, my great-grandmother, was a founder of the original Study Club in her hometown. The home my great-grandmother grew up in later became the location for the city library of Opp, Alabama. So...reading books and collecting books are in my genes.
   However, even I have had to admit...I have enough books. There are books in nearly every room in my house. We collect bookshelves around here the same way that some people collect china. I even had books piled up under my bed for a while. About six months ago I decided it was time to begin purging. After giving lots of books away to Goodwill, I found myself becoming acquainted once again with our local McKay's bookstore. You take your old books to McKay's, trade them in, and they will either give you cash or store credit. I tried the money route, but you only get about half or less of what you would get if you take store credit. It's a racket. They sucker you back in every time. So, I am taking back my old books and getting store credit so I guessed it, buy more books. Something is wrong with this picture.
   Fast forward to my antique mall booth. Since I was getting seriously side-tracked in my recovery plan for my addiction, I knew I had to take drastic measures. Gasp. I am now willing to share some of my antique and well-loved vintage books with discriminating buyers. Don't worry, I am not getting rid of anything that I really treasure, but I am offering some lovely books for you fellow bibliophiles. Here's a look at some of the goodies I recently added to my booth at the Harpeth Antique Mall!

   This Big Golden Book of Poetry is highly sought after for its lovely and whimsical illustrations by Gertrude Elliott. Since the 1969 edition is very difficult to find this copy has a hefty price tag, but I have been assured that the right buyer will snap it up.
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 I don't remember this particular book, but lots of people seem to love it, which is why it is in high demand. This 1967 edition has sweet illustrations by Marjorie Cooper.  Trust me when I say that this is a steal (it's in excellent condition)!
Snow-White and Rose-Red

This is a little Scholastic 1967 paperback copy of Jack and the Beanstalk with hilarious illustrations.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Apparently the humble Little Golden Book is hot in vintage book circles. And who doesn't love a little Peter Pan?  I have a good selection of vintage Golden Books available. Come browse through to find your favorite!
Peter Pan by Walt Disney - 1989 - Vintage (Little Golden Book) hardcover

I am not about to foist my opinions on the Crusades on you; I am simply offering this 1942 edition of Harold Lamb's The Crusades: Iron Men and Saints.
This is an older edition of Huckleberry Finn from 1965 that has delightful inside cover illustrations
Huckleberry Finn Whitman Classics Librar

And this is by no means all that I have! There's a copy of The Ides of March (First Edition) by Thornton Wilder,  a beautiful copy of the Waverly Novels (Volume 8) by Sir Walter Scott with original engravings intact and much, much more! Stop by to see the rest. You won't be sorry!