I'm joining the beautiful Layla at The Lettered Cottage for her mantel party. Visit Layla to see dozens of beautiful mantelscapes!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
After I'd just written a post about my bathroom, the events of this morning conspired to prevent me from taking a shower. Nothing was wrong, really; I just wasn't able to bathe before I needed to be dressed and out and about. I'd taken a shower yesterday morning; I wasn't disgustingly dirty or stinky. I just wasn't freshly clean.
By midday I felt sticky and itchy. Oh, how I wanted to smell fresh and soapy. I longed for my skin to feel smooth and satiny. I coveted a deep breath of the aroma of freshly-laundered towel. I was cranky.
So I took myself off to my nice, big, clean shower. I stood under the steady stream of steaming hot water. I lathered up lavishly with my lovely body wash. All was right with my world again. "Boy, I'm thankful for a good shower," I thought to myself.
And then it hit me: the ugly truth, right square between the eyes. Actually, I'm not at all thankful for a good shower. To tell the truth, I rarely give it a second thought. Only on a day when I was prevented from having it at the usual time did I stop to realize that it's a blessing.
How many, I wondered, how many busy mothers just like me would love to be able to bathe once a week? Even once a month?? How many would give nearly anything to stand in a shower of clean, hot water? How many would consider it the height of indulgence to wash their bodies with the soap I use every day?
I am struck by the fact that this everyday blessing which I take so lightly is actually a great luxury. I think wryly to myself that there's nothing wrong with me that a flood or fire wouldn't cure. And then I wince at the knowledge that there are many who have endured flood or fire or even worse, while I sit here securely in my nice snug house.
Thanksgiving? Dear God, what would I have left if I were to lose all the things for which I never stop to give thanks? I think I must begin my prayer of thanksgiving with one of confession.
I want my perspective to change. I need my perspective to change. Dear God, I confess my poor attitude, my thankless heart, my ungrateful spirit. Change me, Lord. Please.
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Psalm 51: 1-2; 10-12
How about you? Are you, like me, grateful for another chance to be grateful?
Monday, November 15, 2010
The holiday season is upon us, and that means that many of us will be guests in other people's homes. Many of us like to show our gratitude to our hosts and hostesses in some way. Money can be tight this time of year, though, and many traditional "hostess gifts" are pretty pricey. So how can you say "thank you" in a special way without breaking the bank or breaking your neck?
- A homemade food item that the hostess can use later (not something to be shared at the party). Examples: a batch of muffins for the next day's breakfast, a loaf of bread (click here for the world's best pumpkin bread recipe), a sampling of your family's favorite treats. By all means tie a festive ribbon on your gift and write a short note telling your hostess how much you appreciate being included in the party.
- A small seasonal decoration, such as an ornament for the hostess's Christmas tree or a pair of beautiful candles--something small that can be put to use very easily. If you want to give a little larger gift, try tying a seasonal decoration to the top of a food gift.
- A small potted plant or a bouquet of flowers already in a vase. Your hostess doesn't need to leave her guests to go hunt for a vase, so present plants or flowers in ready-to-use form. You can find nice plants for less than $5.00 at grocery floral departments or home improvement stores. Wrap the plastic pot in gift wrap or kraft paper, tie with a bow, and you've got a nice gift. Or make a weathered pot (directions here) to put your plant in. As for flowers, buy a bouquet of all one kind of flower for just a few dollars and arrange them in a thrift-store vase (cheap) or a jar wrapped in burlap (even cheaper--directions here). With plants, add a little moss on top of the dirt to make the plant look like it came from a florist. With flowers, cut the long stems off so that just the blooms are visible above the vase.
- A small, usable item such as a pretty stopper for a wine bottle, a bottle opener, or a package of paper napkins. Beverage napkins are some of my favorite things, and I often find them for less than $2 at TJMaxx and Tuesday Morning.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Things have changed, haven't they? The rooms that were once small and used only for that private business have become real rooms to us--places where we're happy to spend time. Sometimes the only private time we get is in the bathroom!
Here's a look at our master bathroom. My husband's end of the room:
A glance at the water closet:
A few little details:
There is one really special thing about our bathroom I'd like to show you. See the tub at my husband's end of the bathroom? The artwork above the tub is pretty special to me:
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Eternal Father, strong to save,Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,Who bids the mighty ocean deepIts own appointed limits keep;O hear us when we cry to TheeFor those in peril on the sea.O Christ, whose voice the waters heard,And hushed their raging at Thy word,Who walkedst on the foaming deep,And calm amid the storm didst sleep;O hear us when we cry to Thee,For those in peril on the sea.O Holy Spirit, who didst broodUpon the waters dark and rude,And bid their angry tumult cease,And give for wild confusion peace;O hear us, when we cry to TheeFor those in peril on the sea.O Trinity of love and pow'r,Thy children shield in danger's hour;From rock and tempest, fire and foe,Protect them, wheresoe'er they go:Thus evermore shall rise to TheeGlad hymns of praise from land and sea.William Whiting
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
- I googled "image Christmas ornament," found an image I liked, printed it out, and then enlarged it. I traced that image onto a piece of red felt and cut it out to make an applique'. My red felt was a little too bright for me, so I wiped some stain onto the felt to tone it down a bit.
- I cut an oval out of the center of my felt ornament, then taped a scrap of gold ribbon to the back of the applique'.
- I used fabric glue to attach the applique' to the pillow.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010