Thursday, November 28, 2013

But for the grace of God...

I'm more than a little surprised to find myself not uncomfortably stuffed tonight.  It's Thanksgiving, right?  The one day a year we have tables of food and eat until we can't move, right?  We had the food, believe me, but I don't have one picture to show you.  We had it all, though.  Turkey, ham, dressing, gravy, green beans, zipper peas (my favorite!), Brussels sprouts, sweet potato souffle, corn, potato salad, pumpkin and sweet potato pies, chocolate and pumpkin cheesecakes, brownies, banana pudding, you name it, we probably had it or my mama could have whipped it up for you right quick.  I had a small plate and didn't even finish that and I brought my dessert home for later.  It may be because I'm sick with a sore throat/cold, I don't know, but I just didn't feel like being a pig today.  Thanksgiving is not about the food anyway, although we always have a feast.  It's about being grateful for what you have and who you have.  I am grateful for so many things in my life.  One of those things is this sweet baby girl right here.  

I regard every single thing as a gift from God, even if it's just a good parking spot at work.  And even if it's something I don't like, and that's tough.  I try to see it as a lesson I need to be taught, a trial or weakness I need to overcome.  I posted this on Facebook yesterday and it pretty much sums it all up.

I am thankful for a God who loved me so much, He couldn't let me go; I'm thankful for my husband who loves me, seeks God in all things and is my absolute ROCK; I'm thankful for my parents who gave me life and for their continuing health; I'm thankful for my sister who is also my dearest friend; I'm thankful for my brother-in-law who couldn't be more of a brother to me if he was my flesh and blood; I'm thankful for a job that I love, finally; I'm thankful for my family and my friends who love me even at my most unlovable and I'm thankful that in three weeks from Saturday, my beloved, sweet, adorable Larry will be sitting in his leather recliner!!

Ami gave me this framed Peace on Earth world map today.  I absolutely love it.  We are so fortunate, so blessed, to live in this big, plentiful, beautiful country, where we can take a day (or two!) off work and gobble 'till we wobble, where we can spend the weekend buying Christmas gifts for our loved ones and come home each day to our warm, cozy homes.  We are the minority.  Tonight, let's give thanks for being put right here, right now, and let's DO something about it.  As we head into the Christmas season, my challenge to you is to try to find someone you can help, someone whose life you can make a little brighter.  It's easier than you think.

Let our hearts overflow with thanksgiving.  (Colossians 2:7)

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Last March, my friend, Brandy, mentioned getting an issue of Taproot magazine in the mail and since then, she's mentioned it a few times and has really enjoyed it.  I've ordered a few toys for Christmas from Nova Natural in the past week or so and I decided I'd give Taproot a try.  I chose Issue #2: Paths simply because I liked the cover and I've been through it several times this weekend and I'm still reading it.  
I love it!  They're on Issue #7 now so I have some catching up to do!  And there's a 2014 calendar, too!

From the magazine's About page, Taproot is a quarterly, seasonal, subtly-themed collection of stories, poems, photography, recipes, arts and crafts that entertain, educate and inspire its readers to spend more time connected to themselves, the earth and each other.  I just love that!

The Paths issue has so much to absorb and consider!  I'll be reading it a month, I'm sure.  From having a family cow and sometimes school not being the best place for a child to get the best education to sweet little canning labels and birthing babies the natural way.  I've always been enamored with The Farm, the caravan that brought them all there, the peaceful, self-sufficient way they've lived there for over forty years and the gentle way they bring babies into the world.  I'm really studying that story, Brandy!  ;)

I think my favorite thing about the whole magazine experience has been Phoebe Wahl's Wandering Through The Seasons watercolor prints.  I'm going to find a pretty frame and display them in our home with the changing of the seasons.  They are so beautiful!  And the sweet little rosy-cheeked family looks a lot like Brandy, Mike, Willow and Roan.  Phoebe needs to paint some more and add a wee baby girl to the family since Laurel Mae is here now.  :)

Taproot is not a traditional magazine.  It has no advertising, it's beautiful cover to cover and there's no silly filler content.  Every word is deep, thought-provoking and inspiring.

Paths are one part free will, one part fate.  (Meredith Winn)

Friday, November 22, 2013

A little catch up...

Only one blog post so far this month?  And the month's nearly gone, too.  

It absolutely can't go too fast for me, though!  Larry will be HOME in 27 days!!  I am so ready.  This house is so ready.  I finished my to-do list months ago and these last days seem to be dragging for me.  Believe it or not, I don't do well with waiting.  I never once considered the last 25 years as "waiting".  I have always looked at it as it was, we just lived our life a little differently than most.  But these past few weeks have been brutal.  I'm ready for it to be ovah.  For good and forever. 

So, the list is done and most of my Christmas shopping is done, too.  I've had packages arriving all week and it's been exciting to see them every day!  I'm planning on spending next Friday (called Black Friday by millions, SLACK Friday by me) in my yoga pants surrounded by Christmas decorations and tufts of kitty hair.  Larry and I are going to get a tree when he gets home but everything else will be out and sparkly.  

I have never shopped on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  I think I may have gone with Mama and Aunt Gloria to the Macon Mall once in 1980 but since I was 13 at the time, that don't count.  I just hate the thought of it.  And, to be honest, the older I get, the more I hate shopping in general.  I didn't used to be that way, though.  I was a compulsive shopper when I was younger and I bought things for the sake of buying things, trying to fill a void in my life.  A void that will finally be filled for good and forever on December 21st!  I racked up quite the credit card debt, too.  Thank God that is all behind me, the compulsion and the debt.  Now what makes me happy is figuring out a way I can reuse this or make do with that.  Ami just did that very same thing this week, using the Christmas tree from her and Brian's first married Christmas together.  That little tree had been in storage, nearly forgotten, for years and now this year, it has new life and new lights!  I was so impressed and proud of her and I can't wait to see it all gussied up.

For several years now, I've bought the majority of my Christmas presents from local businesses or at least hardworking Americans.  I try very hard these days not to buy anything that was made in China.  If you don't think that's difficult, just try it sometime.  We are so dependent on China that it's disgusting and scary at the same time.  They and their cheap plastic crap pretty much own us and that makes me sad.

I've gotten most of my gifts for my family from Etsy shops this year, along with a few things from eBay sellers and some toys from Nova Natural and Magic Cabin.  

One of my very favorite Etsy shops is AuntSistersPicks, from Springfield, Tennessee.  They have so many cool vintage things (Pyrex and Fisher Price, squeee!) and their prices are very reasonable, too!  And if you want to sell me your vintage sheets and pillowcases, just take a picture of 'em hanging on a clothesline in the sunshine.  Yep.  Works every time.

They have some really ugly Christmas sweaters for sale right now, too.  :)

Threaded From Heaven made Lizzie a baby Butterbean doll last year for Christmas.  Courtenay Christian makes all kinds of handmade cloth dolls and sweet little girl dresses, too.  And she's right here in Georgia, in Suwanee.  I swannee.

I discovered go dotty go today while searching for felt Christmas tree garland.  I ordered several feet of this one.  I just love it!

Before you go spend all day next Friday at the mall or Walmart or Target or wherever, just sit down for an hour and give Etsy a look.  I promise you, you will find the most perfect gifts!  It'll make you feel good, too, knowing you're buying American, your money is staying right here in your country, you are helping to feed and clothe an American family and you're also buying gifts that are unique, some even one-of-a-kind, and are not cookie-cutter cut over there in China.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Exploring Rose Hill

Yesterday, we enjoyed a day walking among the graves at historic Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon.  Rose Hill is old, established in 1840 and it's huge, 65 acres, nestled on the north side of Macon, right next to the Ocmulgee River.  Our photography group saw but a bit of it.  We will be back!

I took over a hundred pictures.  If you'd like to see them all, they're in my Facebook album.

Here's a group shot we took just before we went in.

Ami brought me my old Shaun Cassidy doll and I was so happy to have him!  She found him tucked away somewhere with her childhood things.  I thought for sure he was long lost to that faraway place that toys go.  I was so happy to have him that I asked him to go with us on the photo walk.  He was delighted! 

This grave tugged at my heart.  A baby girl born on my birthday and named Virginia.  There are way too many babies out there.  :(

 Those November colors made a beautiful background for all of our photos!

"Just a brown dog"

Sad story.  Lieutenant Bobby was a little brown terrier who belonged to Captain D. C. Harris and was his constant companion.  He was the official mascot of the 121st Blue Bonnet Infantry of the Georgia National Guard.  President Calvin Coolidge gave Bobby an official commission as lieutenant for his faithful attendance in training classes at Fort Benning.  He wore a tiny sword on his leather harness and he led many parades with Captain Harris.  The captain was visiting friends in a downtown hotel and Lt. Bobby fell down the elevator shaft and was killed.  He was buried there at Rose Hill with full military honors and when Captain Harris died, he was buried right next to him.

Here's a picture of Bobby in life.  Sweet boy.

An old weathered Bible left on a grave

Such beautiful detail out there.  They sure don't make graves like they used to.

For some reason, I was extremely emotional yesterday.  Not sure if it was the location and the stark realization that every grave represents a life that was lived, a real live person who walked on this earth and loved and laughed and cried and danced and felt the rain on his or her face or if it was the ever awareness that in just forty short days, my husband will be home with me, finally.  And we'll have a life to live and love and laugh and cry.  Or maybe it was a little bit of both.  This graffiti, however inappropriate in a cemetery, spoke to me and it made me cry.   Life IS temporary.  It is fleeting.  It is here today and gone tomorrow.  But love.  Love is forever.  It was in the leaves flying around in the breeze yesterday, it was in the sun shining down on us as we visited those long gone.

It was in this precious girl who died one month short of her 13th birthday of peritonitis, now an easily cured inflammation in the inner wall of the abdomen.  A two-week round of antibiotics probably would have done the trick for Little Martha Ellis but in 1896, such treatment was in its early, early stages.  Her monument and grave show the love that her parents, brothers and sisters had for her.  They adored her.  Her grave reads, "She was love personified and her memory is a sweet solace by day and pleasant dreams by night to Mamma, Papa, brothers and sisters.  We will meet again in the sweet bye and bye."  Ami and Brian had met Little Martha before and had fallen in love with her immediately.  They have gone to visit her in every season of the year.  Some people say she was the inspiration for The Allman Brothers' song, "Little Martha" from their Eat A Peach album, as they used to hang out a lot at Rose Hill.  They were drawn to her, too.  Today, she's a part of Southern rock folklore and is visited and loved by Allman Brothers' fans far and wide.  She has not been forgotten.  Her love goes on.  I know Mamma and Papa are so proud of their girl.

 Love was even in the trees yesterday.  This one especially.  :)

We had lunch at The Rookery downtown.  It was busy, loud and delicious.  I got the Allman Burger, local grown beef, swiss cheese and 'shrooms, of course!  It was very, very good. 

After lunch, we went back to Rose Hill for Round Two.  We had to go say hey to Duane and Berry.

And catch some of that gorgeous late afternoon sun!


After we walked this bridge on the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, we were ready to head for home.

Another wonderful day!  Today, I'm pretty much paying for all that walking in bad shoes.  I have GOT to get some good walking shoes!  My heels are even swollen today.  What??  So Tabbie Hoffman and I are taking it easy today, doing some very light housework and washing up some flannel shirts I've gathered for Larry.  It looks really good to have man stuff hanging in the closet!