Monday, December 31, 2007

Just wanted to pop in with a message to all my wonderful new "Bloggy Friends". I wish each of you a very happy, healthy and Blessed New Year. I have so enjoyed the friendships I've made since I came aboard in November and I am looking forward to 2008 and getting to know ya'll better! Dave and I are just spending a quiet evening at home tonight and probably watch the big ball drop on tv. Whatever your plans are for the Eve, have fun and be safe.

Love and Hugs to each of you,


Here's how it works:

Link to the person who tagged you. Peggy @ Hidden Haven Homestead

Post the rules on your blog.

Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.

Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Random Facts About Hope:

1) I use to live next door to the White House. Well, not exactly. I went to D.C. with another girl to work for the government when I was about 19. We lived on 16th street and could see the top of the White House from our apartment building. I lived in that area for 7 years before coming back to the hills.

2) I was born at my Aunt's house..not a hospital. I was the youngest of 6 children and my mother had them all at home. She was older by the time I came along and must have had a few complications because with me she had a doctor and not a midwife. She refused to go to the hospital so the doctor asked her to please try to get closer to the hospital at least which is how I came to be born in Tennessee instead of VA.

3) I am a smoker (insert condemnations here). I have Chantix tucked away in a drawer. Hopefully I'll get up the courage to take them in this new year and quit. We'll see how that goes.

4) I would love to be a writer. I have so many true and interesting stories inside my head that I would like to share with others but it doesn't seem to flow from my mind, through my arm to my hand, and onto paper! I can't seem to collect my thoughts as well as I get older!!

5) Speaking of old....I turned 60 in September. I find myself wondering where all those years went!! My mind still feels young but my body keeps arguing with my mind!!

6) I was very shy growing up. If somebody even spoke to me I would hide behind my mother. As a result I would let people run over me in a sense. I was like that until I had my daughter. When that mother bear instinct took over I got over the shyness fast.

7) I have a fear of flying. I flew one time when I was about 21 in a small plane. We flew over DC into Maryland. I was enjoying it until an engine went out and smoke started coming from it. A friend of ours was the pilot and must have been a good one. He landed us safely even though we bounced down the runway!! Now I get this crazy feeling in the pit of my stomach if I even watch a plane taking off from the airport!!

Ok, Peggy, I did it. Now tagging 7 others might be a problem. All the people on my list have either already been tagged or are out of town!! lol But I'll try!

I tag:
1) Sue @ Country Pleasures
2) Brenda @ Country Romance
3) Tiff @ Folded Gingham
4) Karen@ Kindred Haven
5) Pea @ PEA's Corner
6) Christie @ Serenity Now
7) Carolyn

Saturday, December 29, 2007

This Old House

I have been asked by several people about my old house and the style of it. Yesterday Brenda at Country Romance came by for a visit and asked about it so I thought I would share a few more pictures. (Brenda loves this part of the country is still working on hubby because we want to be neighbors, right Brenda? :)

From what info we have been able to gather, this little area we live in was once a farm and was later divided into parcels and sold off and streets built in different directions later. We aren't really sure but it would explain why we have a farmhouse in the middle of town, or the original owners of the house just liked the farmhouse style of house. Who know?

I have many before pictures of the house which I had developed and no longer have on my computer. Hopefully I will have a scanner soon and can show you, then you can appreciate all our hard work more! :) I do have some thumbnail size pics that I loaded back to the computer but you have to have really good eyes to see them!! I think you can get an idea though. This little picture was taken from the back of the house before any repairs began:

before pic

The roof had about 4 layers of shingles stacked on top of each other. When all those came off there were the original tin shingles. They were in bad shape and couldn't be a roof anyway, so all of it was torn off and replaced with a metal roof. Then my crafty neighbor, Wayne, that you hear a lot about and see so much of his handiwork in my home, built me this cabinet made from old barnwood. If you look closely you will see that some of the old tins from our roof were preserved and are now part of the cabinet doors!!

Cabinet with old tins

I've mentioned before how hard it is to get a direct picture of our house, especially the front, without being in a helicopter!! This one was taken back in the fall. Notice the original stone wall along the street in front:

front of house fall

It is equally hard to get a good picture of the porch which is really big but looks so much smaller in the pics. This one I took today and you can see that our Christmas decor still hasn't come down. As you can see, the sun is shining so purty here today after several days of rain. It is casting shadows of the bannisters draped with garland onto the porch floor. That's Tobi, my sweet old dog, basking in the sun...her favorite thing to do. See the sign hanging at the far end above the porch? It says, "SIT LONG...TALK MUCH", which is exactly what I do when the weather is warm.

front porch

This is the AFTER picture of the back of the house and of course my beautiful mountain in the foreground. We added a big den and also a bathroom upstairs. The building on the left is our garage:

back of house

Just to show you how close we are to town, this picture was taken from the end of our driveway looking toward our little town.

looking toward town

We have lots of neighbors within "spittin' distance". Shucks, if you are a good spitter you can spit from one end of town to the other!!

I hope you've enjoyed another tour, well mini-tour. I'm off now to search out a spot for Brenda when she gets here :). There are still lots of old houses just waiting for some love and attention!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Around the county

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day here, up near 60 degrees. DH and I took advantage of it and went for a ride. Even in winter, with no foliage, there is beauty. We laughed about collecting "blog fodder"(feed)! We live right on the edge of our small town but less than 5 or 10 minutes away we have some beautiful mountains and farmland. I've showed you here that I can walk out on my front porch and see the mountains but I thought you might enjoy more views.

You will notice that one of my favorite things to photograph is old barns.


This picture is an old swinging bridge which once led to the old house across the creek. There is a door on the bridge. I don't get it!! Maybe to keep people from crossing when it started to get run down??


This creek always looks so inviting to wade across in summer but not in the winter! Brrr!


Old country stores like this are almost completely a thing of the past.


An old mill dam. It is flowing good right now but during the dry summer we had it only had a little trickle of water.


I never tire of looking at the mountains especially when the sun is just on their peaks.


Another old barn on the hillside.


There are a lot of hillside farms in the area. The cows in the distance look like black specks.


I love how the clouds make shadows on the mountains.


I've mentioned to you before how it saddens me to see old houses long ago abandoned. Notice the outhouse in this picture. I think I've mentioned those before too!


Here's another swinging bridge with a door!! Painted red??? I think this one might be privately owned. All the swinging bridges around here use to be state maintained but they are becoming a thing of the past too.


Here are two favorites old barn AND a corn crib! If you notice, there are mountains in the background of just about every photo!


An old tractor inside:


The only remains of an old homestead:


This one is a beauty!


A house nestled in this little valley:


This is Dave's shadow puppet of a duck...but no shadow!! :o He's a nut!


Back home again to our little town which you can see was also built on a hillside :)


We enjoyed our ride and hope you enjoyed it too. Dave says he will be happy to give private tours (for a fee, of course) if anyone is interested!! The shadow duck show will be included in the fee.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Handmade Christmas

I wanted to share a few handmade treasures that I got for Christmas. If you will look on my very first post here, you will see my outhouse painting that I love. I think I was so nervous about jumping into the blog world that I forgot to give credit for it. My very talented neighbor, Wayne, is the artist who did that painting and others that I'll share with you later. What I want to show you today are the two handpainted Christmas ornaments he made for me.

For some reason Blogger has been chopping off my pictures on the right and I can't seem to fix it. So I'm making all my pictures smaller but you can click on each one to enlarge them. The pictures don't do these justice. The detail on them is amazing!

snowman ornie from Wayne

snowman ornie 2

handpainted ornie from Wayne

handpainted ornie 2

My sister-in-law and friend, Shirley, gave me a handmade gift too. She didn't make this herself but she sure has a good eye when it comes to pleasing me! :)
Shirley is a talented artist also and has showed me a couple of beautiful paintings she has done. I have hinted for one but she didn't offer to share!! Just kidding, Shirley. Seriously though, you need to do more painting!! :)

window shutter from Shirley

Ain't that cute?? The little prim star was already on the base of the planter. I had a small barn star that I got for free while on vacation so I added that and a little greenery. I would like to put a little bird's nest in there too.

Thank you, Shirley and Wayne. I will treasure these gifts!!

Since I don't have any real talent myself, it's so good to have family and friends who are talented and creative.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Well, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! We had our gathering last night and had a wonderful time with family and friends. The kids had a ball opening their gifts with wrapping paper flying in all directions!! I'm so proud of them. They get a lot for Christmas but they are always appreciative of anything they get. I tried to teach my kids to always be grateful and they have passed it along to their kids!! It makes Granny's heart smile! :)

We were finally able to get the whole gang together for a photo op and the only place we could all fit was on the porch!! Brrrr!!

The Family 2007

Dave's Mommy was here wearing her red Mrs. Santa hat. Ain't she cute???


We also had surprise visitors all the way from New Jersey!! My sister-in-law, Mary, and my niece, Kaycie. You may recall here when I talked about Kaycie making me the snowman gift that I treasure. She is a beautiful young lady now, all grown up!! Mary is not only family but one of my oldest (sorry Mary!) and dearest friends. I miss her so much since she went back to NJ but I just know that someday she'll come back to these hills where she belongs!! :)

Mary and Kaycie 2007

As usual when we get together there was lots and lots of good food. I meant to take a picture of the buffet after it was all set up but we were all hungry and I forgot!! An after-picture wouldn't have been a pretty sight! lol

I was so tired last night after everybody went home but it was a good kind of tired. You know, the kind where you worked hard to make the evening all happen but at the end of it you have some precious memories to tuck away in your heart.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


waiting for friends


Saturday, December 22, 2007

More favorite finds

A few posts back I shared with you some of our junkin on vacation finds. Now, I know it is almost Christmas and I should be sharing Christmasy things but I was beginning to get nostalgic overload! And besides, I didn't show you all my good junkin' finds yet!! Here's a couple more that were very cheap and I love them.

First, this little banner that says, Home Hearth and Country. I love that! The little primitive looking stars are hand stitched. And I love the patriotic colors too. I think it was 50 cents.

flag banner

Actually now that I look at it, the little banner does look Christmasy!!

Then there's this beautiful wicker bed tray that I fell in love with. We found it at a tag sale in the mountains of Vermont. There were four very nice ladies doing the sale together and since we bought so much :)) they gave us some great bargains!! I was almost afraid to ask the lady with the bed tray how much she wanted for it and when she told me 2 bucks....well I had that thing in the car so fast it made her head spin!! Two dollars for this:

wicker bed tray

I have a little fantasy about this bed tray: I'm lying in bed on Christmas morning all cozy and warm and my DH comes into the room carrying this cute little tray. I can see the steam rising and then I see that he has made me biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and country ham with a side of homemade apple butter!! And of course a big piping hot cup of coffee (or hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows, depending on my mood!) in my favorite Christmas mug:

hot chocolate in Christmas mug sized

There is a red checkered placemat and a matching cloth napkin held by a snowman napkin holder!! Oh yes, and I see a nice vase with a poinsetta in it. Then he tells me just to stay in bed, watch tv and take it easy and he will clean the whole house and get it all ready for Christmas AND cook the food! Hey, if you're gonna dream, dream big!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kids say the darndest things..

I was visiting yesterday with Judy over at Anybody Home and reading her post on visiting her mother at the nursing home. I left her a comment about how children and old people are so much alike. It also got me to thinking about an encounter I had with a little "princess" on Halloween.

Back in the spring I decided to make a little arrangement on my old church bench on the front porch:

spring porch bench

Dave had found a little pair of yellow rain boots that he thought my granddaughter could wear, but she has a purple pair (her favorite color) that she loves. And besides, I had just the thing in mind that I wanted to do with these yellow boots!! Somewhere online, maybe a blog but I can't remember, I had seen just one little rain boot with flowers in it. I just thought it looked soooo cute and I decided to do this flower arrangement with both boots! I had some thrifted flowers that I added and put them on my bench. I liked it!

Then Halloween came and I still had this spring display on the bench. I had several little goblins visit that night for candy and I always take time to talk to each one, telling them how scary they are or how much I like their original costume. One little girl in particular made a lasting impression! My doorbell rang (again!) When I opened the door there stood a cute little blond haired princess (around 4 years old) with big blue eyes, dressed in a beautiful white glittery dress with a big smile on her face and her goody bag held out to me. Her daddy had accompanied her but was standing back a ways and letting her do her own talking. I could see he was beaming with pride when he looked at his little girl. Here is the conversation that ensued:

"Trick or Treat!!" "Well, hello there, Little Princess!" I said. It was at this point that she spied the yellow rainboots/ flower pot! "What a beautiful dress you have on!" "Yes, I know!" she replied, still looking at the boots. "And you are such a beautiful Little Princess!" I said. "Yes, I know!" was the reply again, looking at me but still glancing at the boots out of the corner of her eyes. At this point her daddy said, "Tell the lady which princess you are." "I am Princess Fiona." she told me as she twisted from side to side making the glitter sparkle in the light. I said, "But you're not green, and you certainly are more beautiful than Princess Fiona!" "I know!" she said once more very matter-of-factly.

I proceeded to put a big handful of candy in the bag she was holding out to me, but she was all the while looking toward the boots. She started to walk away then just as suddenly stopped and pointed at my masterpiece and exclaimed, "That just looks silly! You're suppose to wear boots in the rain, not put flowers in them!" Her red-faced father who had just minutes ago looked at her with such pride now looked like he wanted to sink through the porch floor and kept saying, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!" I was laughing the whole time and saying, "Oh, don't worry about it, I have a granddaughter who's always been very outspoken!!" Then to his little girl he said, "Now you're the silly here. You didn't even say, thank you, to the nice lady." She stopped at the end of the porch and looked back at me with her eyes lowered and said, "I'm sorry, Ma'am. Thank you for my candy!"

As the two of them walked on out the street I could hear her Daddy talking in a low voice to her and her reply, in a very loud voice, was, "I'm sorry, Daddy, but it really did look silly!!" I'm still laughing!!!

Kids and old people...they tend to say exactly what's on their minds!! Who knows, maybe someday when the Little Princess grows up she will learn to appreciate "Shabby Chic" decor! :)

rain boots bouquet sized

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This just in...

I just received another award from Lib over at Private Paradise!


I have to admit, it took me a while on this one for the meaning to get through all the fog in my head, but now I understand it: "I, too, heart your blog"! At least I think I'm right on this. If not, please correct me.

Lib, thank you so much for another great honor. I feel the same about your blog but more so about you personally as I told you earlier today in my comment to you.

A Lesson About Raisins

My mother was, well not exactly a woman of few words, but a woman of strange words, to me at least! For instance, when she was amazed by something she would say, "Well, I wish to may never see the back of my neck!", or "Well, 'pon my word and honor!" Growing up with my mother and knowing her the way I did, I always got the gist of what she was saying even if the words made no sense to me. If I was doing something I wasn't suppose to she would sling out a verbal threat to me as she went about her work, "You better behave or I'll take a keen willer limb to you!" I knew full well what that meant and had felt the brunt of it many times!!

My mother was full of advice for us kids too, like, "You better eat that food. There's little children acrosst the waters starving to death!" Now being a somewhat rebellious child and not a lover of food at that time, I would think to myself, "Well, give them my food 'cause I don't want it!" I was never allowed to backtalk or to even voice things I thought but it sure didn't stop me from thinking them!

One piece of advice my mother gave me has forever been embedded in my mind. I don't remember the whys or wherefores of the conversation or even if we were having a conversation that day but her words to me were, "Don't ever get above your raisin'." You know how sometimes when you hear someone say something you instantly get a mental image? (Sometimes one you wish you'd never seen and could just as instantly erase?) The image I saw when I heard those profound words was RAISINS. Yes, good old Sunmaid, dried in the sun from grapes, raisins! What did it mean to "get above your raisins"??? It wasn't until I was almost grown that I understood what she was saying to me. Don't ever forget where you came from and never look down on those less fortunate than you.

With all that being said, I want to share with you where I came from. I grew up in a holler, or "hollow" for those of you that don't speak hillbilly. I've often joked to other people that we had to pipe in sunshine which wasn't that far from the truth. The only direct sunlight we got was for a short period around noon when the sun was straight overhead. About the only modern conveniences we had were running water, electricity and a radio which brought us the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night and how we looked forward to that!! We had no bathroom, just the little brown shack out back. We took baths in a big washtub behind the Warm Morning stove. I've shared with you here about my feed sack clothes. My mother washed every Monday on a wringer washing machine and we hung clothes on lines strung all over the holler! Tuesday we ironed all day. The chores for these two days were written in stone by my mother. It never varied. One of my chores, also written in stone, came after all the clothes were washed and strung on the lines. I had to empty the still hot, sudsy water from the washer into a bucket and with an old broom scrub down the outhouse from top to bottom. I think we must have had the cleanest outhouse in all the surrounding mother would make sure of it!

In today's society we would have been considered poor, underpriviledged, deprived. But I now know we were rich in so many ways. Our house (and outhouse) was always very clean, we crawled between fresh smelling sheets every night to sleep, had lots of handmade-by-my-mother quilts to cover us against the cold in the winter. How I'd like to go back (now that I love to eat) and taste those wonderful homemade meals we for a king!

I now live in a nice (old) house with many modern conveniences that I'm very thankful for, especially a bathroom! :0) I'm also thankful that I had parents who took care of all my needs, not my wants. I'm especially thankful for the piece of advice given to me by my mother so long ago, "Don't ever get above your raisin'.", very much akin to the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Back in the spring Dave took me to see the little house in the holler again. The house itself still looks about the same but the once cleared land around it is now almost completely overgrown. At one time there was even a sawmill on up the road past our house and big trucks went in and out hauling the logs to different places. Now the road is almost invisible and totally impassable. But this holler is still a big part of my humble beginnings where I learned many valuable life lessons, one that I have stored away in my heart and tried to base my life on: "Don't ever get above your raisin'."

old home place

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More Awards

The awards just keep coming!! This one I actually received from 3 people, Gram, Karen and Lib:


Thank you, ladies, for thinking of me and making me feel like a part of your blogging community.

And this one I got today from Lib:


Thank you, Lib, for this honor, but you are the real treasure!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I got an Award!!

I'm so excited!! Today I have had 3 firsts, my first tag game, my first time of posting twice in one day and AWARD!!

Grams over at! has so generously given me this "blogging with a purpose" award. Here is the award:


and here is what Gram had to say about me:

Hope at Second Time Around is a so sweet and always has a uplifting comment she writes to give you that much need lift for the day!!

Now I ask nice is that??? Gram, I am just so honored that you thought of me and felt me worthy of this award. Thank you so much. And the kind words you wrote about me....well... right back at you Lady!!

Christmas Hoopla

Rhonda at Farmhouse Style has tagged me, my very first tag by the way, to play the Hoopla game. I'm not sure I know what I'm doing but here are the rules she listed:

Here is how to play:
1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas.

2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word. I suppose that refers to the 'M'eme list.

3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.

4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible.

Okay, here goes my list:

1) I DON'T like shopping! I don't like the crowds in stores this time of year, the crying kids who are tired and just need to be home in bed!

2) I like the IDEA of the season. I have images in my head of Christmas, peaceful scenes of houses all decorated and lit up waiting for family and guests, carolers singing outside. In my mind all that just magically happens. Then the reality of dragging out all those decorations and sorting through them and arranging sets in. Lots of work. I have images of shopping too. Snowy streets with people all bundled up, arms full of packages, smiling and speaking to each other as they go. Then reality sets in again and I find myself in the middle of Walmart....nuff said!! lol

3) As a child I wanted so much to believe in Santa. I wanted all those wonderful presents he would bring especially dolls, I always wanted dolls. Then one magical night it happened! Santa came by my house riding high up on the back seat of a convertible!! You can imagine my excitement...Santa...Convertible...I had never seen either one before! A car with no top!! Shoot, I had only seen a couple of cars in my lifetime, period!! In our little town we walked to visit friends and neighbors and to the store and to church. If we had to go farther away we went by bus! The best part of it all was when Santa handed me a baby doll of my very own that I immediately named Billy!

4) My parents weren't big on Christmas so if we even had a tree it was up to us kids to do it all. One of my favorite memories is going back in the woods in the holler where we lived to cut a tree. One of my older sisters was married by this time and her husband was along with us 3 girls to help cut the tree. Being a newly wed of 3 months, she was trying to still look "cool" around her husband. We had some snow still on the ground and a lot of muck and mud. She wore very inappropriate shoes for this journey and stepped in a big pile of mud, deep mud, losing her shoe in the process. We never could recover that shoe even though her prince came to the rescue, digging in the mud to find it! My other sister and I had to let her hold around our shoulders and hop all the way back home while my brother-in-law carried the tree. She cried because she lost her shoe and her "cool" in front of her new husband, and because we laughed at her. But what are mean little sisters for??

5) My favorite Christmas movie is It's a Wonderful Life. I have seen it too many times to count. One of the parts that always makes me cry is when the whole town opens their hearts to give and help George Bailey.

6) I love the magic that Christmas seems to bring that we don't have at other times of the year but should.

7) I love Celtic Christmas music. There is something so soothing to me about this music. I suspect there might be Scottish blood in me but I haven't been able to prove it yet. I told my DH that and he said he was Irish and that's why he didn't like the music!! lol

8) I use to collect snow globes. My first and favorite was one Dave bought me. It had a little house nestled in some pine trees and of course snow all around. When we downsized to a small apartment we had to store these. When we brought them out of storage my favorite little snow globe was little water, no snow. I was so upset that I sold all the rest of them at a yardsale!

9) There is a sadness in me when I see houses with absolutely no signs of Christmas. There are several old, seemingly abandoned, houses on our street being left to fall down. They look so empty and cold. But it's much worse when the houses are actually occupied and still have this look about them.

10) I love the sights and smells of things that say Christmas to me, like candy canes, oranges, apples, tangerines, creme drops, cakes and pies baking and snow cream...yummm..heavenly taste of snow cream!

11) My grandmother, Mammy, was and still is so very dear to my heart. I remember when we would visit her or she came to visit us at Christmas her greeting to us was "Christmas Gift!" That's what she would say. I never knew or questioned was just something she had always done.

12) When I was 5 years old my brother, Dewey, turned 18 and had to go into the Army (draft was enforced then). I loved him dearly and followed him always, even into the woods to cut logs...I had to go too. This time I couldn't follow and I didn't understand why he had to go away. I was so lost without him and the only connection we had were his letters that Mommy would read to us all, and we hung on every word. Then one night in December, by the magic of Christmas, he was the brother, a man I hardly recognized, standing proud and tall in his uniform, so very handsome. How our hearts rejoiced to see him. Not long ago, he went away again, this time to be with the Lord, but this time I know in my heart that I will see him again.

I pray that God will watch over and bless all our soldiers who are away from home this Christmas fighting for our freedom and their families who won't get to be with them except in spirit.

This was much harder than I thought it would be!! Thanks, Rhonda for inviting me to play my first cyber tag game!
Okay, now I tag Lib, Peggy and Karen if ya'll haven't done it already!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Reason for the Season

nativity sized

I am by nature a big cut-up and goofball. I've always been the clown. But I do have a serious side.

I come before you now, all my wonderful, new bloggy friends that I grow more fond of with each post or comment, my old and dear friends and my wonderful family and precious grandchildren, to all who tune in to my little blog, to tell you about the Greatest Gift I've ever received...the gift of Salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. He has been the Constant in my life no matter how far I've wandered off the straight and narrow or how much I've failed Him. He is right there by my side and loves me unconditionally.

Constantly Aware is an old song that has always meant a lot to me. "Constantly aware that He is everywhere". I see Him... in the beauty of nature all around me. I see Him in the faces of my sweet grandchildren. I see Him in Jenny's hands as she signs silent praises to Him. I see Him in my son, the policeman, who tries to always be so stern but can be brought to his knees when touched by a Christmas play. I see Him in the friends who have come into my life. I hear Him... in the laughter, the voices of those I love. I hear Him in the voice of my dear son-in-law as he asks the blessing over our food and never fails, just before the amen, to add, "I love You, Lord!", and my heart agrees.

At times He does things for me to touch my old, sometimes hardened-by-life heart, like painting this beautiful picture for me as I sit alone on my back porch, and I smile..

sky view from back porch

How can I not thank Him for all these blessings? How can I not thank Him and praise Him, especially in this joyous season, for all He has done for me and for my undeserved gift of eternal life.

"Thank you, Lord, for giving me peace in my life and especially the peace in my heart! Peace that is beyond all understanding! I love You, Lord!"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Junkin on the road

I was talking to my niece, Sarah, and her husband a while back about their vacation, where they went, what all they did, etc. Her husband looked at me and said, "Can you imagine somebody going on vacation and going to every thrift store, Goodwill and junk place they can find??" Sarah and I just looked at each other and cracked up!! She said, "I come by it honestly from my Aunt Hopie!"
Dave and I went on vacation this past summer, traveling by car from VA to Maine, which had been a long time dream of mine. Just go where the wind takes you, stop when you want, move on when you're ready. Sounds fun and romantic, right? Wonderful dream, right? What I didn't picture in this dream was moving in and out of different motels, loading and unloading LOTS of luggage and having to rearrange the car each time to accommodate all the little "extras" we picked up here and there!! Keep in mind, too, that on this journey we took my Rav4, just a little bigger than a Volkswagen!! :)
We saw many beautiful sights along the way between motels and junk stores, but we found ourselves looking for home....the mountains, the small towns and friendly people! What should have been a 2 week vacation turned out to be only one week. We did make it all the way into Maine, then we clicked our heels together in unison and said, "There's no place like home...there's no place like home!" and headed back to the hills of Virginia. That little Rav was packed so tight with all our found treasures that there wasn't a spot big enough to stick a needle in there!! We did pass up a few bargains that we just couldn't fit into the car like a beautiful old Victrola in excellent condition and very CHEAP!! Leaving that one behind broke Dave's heart. Later on I will share some of the pics I took of the interesting sights we saw but right now I'm going to show you just a few of my favorite things that we found.
This cute little cloth settin' hen :)
green chicken
This old crock with a don't see many of them. The flower arrangement that I put in it came from Goodwill in PA for 25 cents. It has little bunches of green and red berries that I love. At a little flea market in Vermont I bought an old metal frog for arranging flowers. I put it in the crock and used my 25 cent flowers in it.
table arrangement 1
Since it is Christmas time I just added some bigger red berries to make it look more festive:
table arrangement
I love bringing new life to old things....the Second Time Around....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rainy day

When I walked outside this morning the sky was full of rolling gray clouds and it was raining.

gray sky

I try never to complain about days like this because our summer was so dry. Our grass was so dry it crunched under your feet when you walked on it. We still have patches that look like this:

dry grass

but lately God is blessing us with much needed rain. It has been very warm here this week so the birds have been fluttering around and singing and our grass is turning green again!!

green grass

The mountain in front of my house looks beautiful to me even in the foggy rain.

rainy mountain

It never ceases to amaze me when I walk out on my front porch and look up at it. What is even more amazing is that I don't see all those electric wires either until I take a picture, then there they are!! I seem to just block them out and look beyond. They are a necessary eye sore so please try to look beyond and see what I see! Some people have to travel for miles to see this view that I can look at any time and I'm very thankful.

I'm just staying in today where it's nice and cozy and do a few much needed chores around here. I hope you all have a wonderful day.