Sunday, April 29, 2012

"There is nothing more natural, or beautiful, than fresh flowers.  They are juicy, succulent pieces of living art."  ~Lisa Vanderpump

I agree with Lisa.  The Dogwood picture, above, was captured by my sister on Friday evening.
The remaining pictures were captured at flower beds belonging to my daughters.

 God's artistry and design continually amazes me.

Each flower is totally unique and offers it's own beauty and fragrance...

Wouldn't you agree with Lisa, that flowers are "succulent pieces of living art?"


...including these pretty little Buttercups wildly growing by the side of a country road.

"Slow down and enjoy life.  It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast-you also miss the sense of where you are going and why."   ~  Eddie Cantor

"God puts each fresh morning, each new chance of life, into our hands as a gift."

I hope you had some beauty in your weekend!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

I read something recently that has stayed with me ever since.  It was in the  book "The Art of a Fresh Start" by Glenna Salsbury.  I would like to share  what she wrote about her father;

"My father spent most of his career as a life insurance agent in central Illinois.  He was a born salesman.  He could visit with farmers, bankers, insurance company presidents and the local postmaster with equal ease and aplomb.

Also, he was a born philosopher.  Our family lived on top of a hill that overlooked the Illinois River Valley.  As a young adult my favorite moments were spent in a lawn chair perched in the grass, sipping a freshly brewed mug of coffee, musing about life with this congenial patriarch.  He had insights about the big picture that continue to influence my life.

One Saturday night, under a full moon, with crickets chirping and fireflies twinkling, I asked my dad what his purpose in life was.  I was having some philosophical struggles of my own about then.  He laughed gently at my seriousness, but his response was heartfelt.  "My goal is simple.  Each day I want to make people glad they saw me."

That was it, plain and simple.  His focus wasn't selling insurance policies, it was lighting up peoples' lives.  He even had a standing offer to any Illinois State Police officer.  "If you recognize my license plate and stop me, I will buy you a cup of coffee and a steak dinner, anytime, day or night."

What a profound and yet so simple purpose in life..."making people glad they saw me."
Everyone wants to know that they make a difference.
One area I pray that this simple purpose will show itself in my life, is with the precious little ones that surround me on a weekly basis.

One thing that I know for sure, is that this could be said about the guy on these two pictures.  His grandchildren would undoubtedly claim that they are thrilled every single time they see him,(their grandpa). 
And, they are sad to have him leave them after being with them.  This little guy copies his moves and is thrilled when they are dressed alike.

"Each day I want to make people glad that they saw me"... Think if we lived this way.  Think if we treated our family, children, and grandchildren with that type of purpose in our day...think what a difference that would make in daily life.

From their early years, until now...we as grandparents are creating memories and teaching by example. Life is going by so quickly, as you can see from this early picture, and the little ones are growing up right before our eyes.  What a challenge...what a blessing!

I am thankful this evening for the books I am privileged to read that challenge me and get me to think, and also, for the many people in my life that... I am happy, to see as often as possible.

Thanks to Glenna Salsbury for her profound little book.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

When you are a little person and you live in a rather metropolitan setting, an afternoon visit to a farm in the country just happens to be an exciting adventure.  When the farm is set up especially for little people, it is even more memorable.

She was so interested in everything she saw, starting with the cows that she spotted on her walk in the long driveway.

You could almost see her little wheels turning as she stood looking at these chickens.  How could we explain to her that the red thing was the chicken's comb?

The tiny chicks were also intriquing to her.

This friendly goat stood proudly in the pen watching our every move.
What an attractive way to deal with chin hairs.  Might give those who deal with that curse, an idea as to how to handle those pesty hairs:)  Each time the wind blew through the barn, the clump of dark hair blew in the breeze.  It still makes me smile when I remember it.

Can you remember the first time you spotted a peacock?  She stared for a long time at the uniquely colored bird.

When she came to the field with the horses, she strained to see through the fence.  So much so infact, that her mother was concerned that her head would get stuck in the rails.

It was a fun afternoon for our little granddaughter, and for those of us who were with her and loved watching her enthusiasm.


Hopefully, she will experience more farm events in her life.  I believe kids learn so much by spending time with nature and animals.  I know I did in my life.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


On Sunday afternoon, I attended a colorful bridal shower, for a dear family friend.  Our middle daughter is privileged to be a bridesmaid in this wedding, but because she lives so far away, she was unable to attend.  It was a cold, wet afternoon, and one felt instantly better when walking into the room where the shower was held, by all the bright yellow decorations.  Sunflowers always lift my spirits.

The beautiful future bride (on the right) and her lovely sister.

My good friend, and mother-of-the-bride is in the aqua jacket.  Here she is surrounded by her mother and sisters.  I have known this family for many years, and I know what a special heritage this bride-to-be has.  It was a blessing for me to see how they all worked together to make the shower a special occasion.
One of the ways that this shower was unique, was that they requested the gifts come unwrapped.  The unwrapped gifts were set on a long table and bright yellow tags identified who gave each gift.   One could easily view the gifts.

Each table in the room, chose a person at their table to be the "bride".  Each table was given rolls of toilet paper and were to create a bridal gown for the chosen person.  It was so much fun to watch each of the groups of people, busy at work designing for their "bride".  Here is the future bride's neice in her designer fashion, including a bouquet of fresh lilies-of-the-valley.  I like how they braided the toilet paper for the headpiece.  She was presented to everyone and we all applauded her and all the other "brides".

Here is another bridal designer fashion.  The future bride's cousin models this style.  This just might give you all an idea, if you are getting married in the next year:)  It certainly would be a cost effective wedding gown, but you would have to pray that it would not rain on your wedding day.
It was a fun way to add an artistic touch to the bridal shower.

The centerpieces were put together by individual bridesmaids, and had to do with different aspects of homemaking.  The centerpieces were the gifts to the bride-to-be, to use in her home.  The centerpieces consisted of ;
Baking table,
Gardening table,
Sewing table,
Desk top supplies table, and so on...
Since our daughter was absent, I did her centerpiece for the "laundry table", pictured above.

A few months ago, I visited one of the blogs that I really enjoy, "", where a lady named Aunt Ruthie offers many great ideas for one's home.  She did a blog post on her homemade laundry soap.  She got the recipe from another blog, "" where a lady named Maryjane highly recommended it.  I read both reviews from these skilled ladies, and still was not convinced that I was interested.  But, one day I decided that if these two gifted ladies gave this recipe such a high recommendation, I would give it a try.  I made the easy recipe and have been using it ever since.  It is easy, inexpensive, without lots of chemicals, and smells so fresh.  All of this to say, that is what I made and put in this glass cannister from Walmart.  I added a plastic yellow scoop and decorated the front of the cannister with blue sticker letters from Michaels, and a flower sticker to add pizazz.  All the bride has to do is add a scoop of detergent to her laundry loads.

The detergent lasts a long time.  I will share the recipe with you today, just in case you are interested.  I do recommend that you visit the two blogs(listed on my sidebar of favorite blogs), where it comes from also.  I did make a revision, via Pinterest suggestions on this recipe.  I found that it works better for me.

Recipe for detergent;

3 bars of Castile, Zote, or Fels Naptha bar soap(grated)  For this I personally use the Castile bars of soap because they are white)  I grate them with my hand held cheese grater(it looks like feta cheese)

one four pound box of Borax soap

one four pound box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

one four pound box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

I add 2-3.5 containers of Oxi Clean powder.  I add this because like some of the Pinterest readers, I find it keeps my wash whiter, and it is my preference.

Put all ingredients in a big container and stir until totally blended.  Store in a covered container and use 2 heaping tablespoons per load.  Our oldest daughter found an old white agate pot with a lid, at a thrift store for me, and that is where I store my laundry.  I feel a bit like a pioneer woman when I do my laundry:)

All of these products can be purchased at your local supermarket or Walmart stores.

Like the both bloggers recommend, I add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to every rinse cycle.  It does not leave any vinegar smell whatsoever.  This step adds a natural softness to each load of laundry.
The detergent is only a few cents per load of laundry.  It is quick and easy to make.  It smells so fresh and sweet, and it really gets the laundry clean.  I am sold on this recipe, after using it for three months. 
It makes a nice gift for others too.

Also in my centerpiece box, I added clothes pins in an old canning jar, homemade spot remover in a bright yellow plastic spray container, all in a aqua and white plastic box from Michaels, and yellow tissue. The colors of the future bride's kitchen.

It was a memorable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  I look forward to the June wedding. 

I thought you might like if I shared it with you today.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A morning spent in Chocolate World with three little ones and their grandpa proved to be so much fun.  Almost as good as Disney World in their minds, especially since they've never been to Disney.

A dream come true...chocolate everywhere!

Waiting in line for the experience of working in a child's version of the chocolate factory assembly line.  Do you think the adults that work in the real factory stand at the front door in such real anticipation, before work each morning?
The more they watched, the more the anticipation was building.

It was with wide eyed wonder, that this little one watched the real chocolate kisses falling out of the machine.  One can almost hear her thinking, "can this really be true?"

Sadly, they had to put their filled containers of kisses back on to the assembly line.  What a disappointment for each of them!  Did the people at the factory really need their chocolate kisses, like the lady said?

A fun way to spend time together, and the best part was that the tour was free.

Thanks so much for stopping by tonight.
Hope you had some enjoyable moments this weekend and maybe a few pieces of chocolate to carry you through it:)


Thursday, April 19, 2012

It is a little runt of a tree that is located outside our front door. Since I don't use the front door entrance very often, I only catch glimpses of the tree infrequently.  The last few months I have looked out the front window and thought to myself, "what a scraggly, ugly tree it was".  I determined to have it removed this Spring.  It never grew, it's branches seemed stunted from growth, and it was at a bad location. Quite honestly, it was an eye sore for me.  Last evening, I was working on my porch, and these pretty little flowers caught my eye, on the very tree I had discarded in my mind. 

I went and got my camera and took these pictures.  I thought of all the times I looked out and saw only dark, crooked limbs, and stunted growth of the little tree.  I thought of all the annoying thoughts I had of why it was planted where it was.   Oh, it is still all those things to me, but the difference now, was that I saw green growth, and an abundance of tiny white, delicately made, fragrant flowers, and seemingly the transformation had taken place overnight. Beauty had taken over the ugliness.  I studied each of the tiny flowers and the intricate design of the blossoms. 

What a good lesson for me.  Sometimes, we see only the ugliness, or uselessness of what our eyes take in.  Sometimes the most annoying situations can change over time and we find ourselves seeing the beauty and the intricate qualities of someone.  We don't realize what usefulness lies within that very object or person.  Sometimes those changes take place over years and sometimes seemingly overnight, like this flowering tree.

Just a very little something from me today.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another day has come to a close, with a breathtaking sunset. 

This pretty little flower will be in the mail to...

...the owner  of the blog, "corners of my life".
Congratulations to the dear lady who owns this interesting and creative blog. 
Hopefully you enjoy wearing this pink peony pin with your summer outfits.

You will certainly fit in with many others, since flowers are everywhere in the spring fashions.
You can find these multi colored flowers on shirts and on headbands, for all ages.

You can wear them to do whatever you consider fun, like eating an ice cream sundae...


...or taking a deep sleep(my neice's precious little girl).
Flowers just add a touch of beauty to everything.

Thanks for all your kind comments to Jackie, regarding her artistry and creativity.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I have always been a supporter of reading.   We tried to instill the love of reading to our girls, and to teach them the value of books and learning.  Recently, I was given the book "Charlie, the Ranch Dog" written by Rea Drummond and illustrated by Diane deGroat.  I look forward to reading it to my grandchildren on their next visit.

This is one of the most treasured photos of when my girls were little.  One day I went into their shared bedroom and found my middle daughter reading to her little sister. The smallest one is actually absorbed in the story.  I remember that they did not even realize that I was in the room.  Oh, the special memories that we hold in our hearts.

At an early age my daughter started reading to her daughter.  That does my heart good, to see that being carried on to the next generation.

It also blesses me to see their grandpa reading to them, as he so often does.  I hope to keep the book industry alive, even with the popular Kindle on the market.
I think for children, the books and the pictures are effective learning tools, and helped to teach them so much.

Have you read any book recently, that you just could not put down?

The day is almost over, and I am off to start a new book.  I will let you know if I recommend it when I have completed it. 

Thanks for stopping by.
Tomorrow we will choose a winner for the pretty flower pin.


Friday, April 13, 2012

She was the cutest little girl.  She always showed her artistic side, even when playing as a child.  She baked cupcakes and made cards.  She is my neice and now she is all grown up, a wife and mother.  Aside from all her many duties in those roles, she also is continuing on in her artistic skills.  Today, I am sharing just a few of her latest creations.  I share these because everytime I wear one of her flowers, I get asked, as to wear I purchased it?  She gave me permission to show you some of her work.

Every flower is made with a pin and a clip on the back, making it easy to wear on clothing, clip in your hair, on a necklace, on a package, or wherever you need a dash of color and pizazz.

This black and white flower would add a nice touch to any white outfit.  Add a pair of black sandels and you are good to go.

Bright colors are what is shown everywhere this summer.

Think how this bright colored flower could jazz up a simple cardigan or denium shirt and a pair of jeans.

She adds so many special details to each piece.

Another popular summer color this year.


I picture this lovely flower on a black tee shirt paired with white jeans, and maybe a pair of bright blue flip flops.  Or it could dress up your little black dress for an important event.  After all, this is one of summer's hottest colors in 2012.  Shop in your closet and just add a touch of color to what you already have.  That is my philosopy.

Yes, she even makes these pretty flowered headbands. 
Her website is...    You might want to visit and see more of her work.

Black and white is always a wearable combination.

She takes old picture frames, paints them, adds her flowers, and some cork.  Perfect way to dress up a wall and share messages with those in your home.


Generously, she offered to give away this flower. 

 Just leave a comment on my blog for Jackie, telling her that you like her creations.

We will draw a name on Tuesday evening.

You will be able to spice up some of your summer outfits with this lovely peony. I think it would look good on a white top, or a denium jacket, and a pair of black capris, or whateve you choose.  I wish you could see it in person.  This picture does not do it justice.

I thought you would enjoy seeing her flowers.  Thanks for stopping by.


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