Saturday, July 20, 2024

Small Things - 07.20.24

"Life is not, for most of us, a pageant of splendor, but is made up of many small things, rather like an old fashioned piecework quilt. No two people have the same, but we all have our own, whether it be listening to Beethoven's fifth with a beloved friend, or seeing a neighbor at the back door with a basket of white dahlias. Or after a long, hard day, having the family say, "That was a good supper."


In no particular order, here are six things that inspired me this week

Ophelia Wilde has some of the most beautiful playlists. I especially love listening to them while I'm reading.

2. I just recently discovered Roxanna's blog, A Quaint Life.  I have several recipes bookmarked that I want to try, like this Homemade Limoncello, Sicilian Potato Salad and Garlic Focaccia Bread. I plan on spending more time perusing her offerings. You should, too! You can also find her on You Tube!

3.  I just love Claire! I first discovered her on Instagram, but more recently have spent some time sifting through the wealth of information and resources she has available at her blog, Becoming Traditional, including this Ultimate Pantry List

4. I bookmarked this recipes for Chocolate Ginger Cookies this week! I'm adding it to my Christmas baking list.

5. I've been making what my grandmother referred to as Preacher Cookies for years now, but these Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies look delicious! I might have to give them a try!

I came across these seasonal verses this week and I just love them.  I think I'm going to type them up and keep them in my Bible.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Retro Rewind - .01

I had so much fun reminiscing in my Wayback Wednesday post last week, that I decided to expand on that idea with Retro Rewind! While I love talking about old movies and sitcoms from the 60's and 70's, there is so much more from that era that I think would be fun to discuss, like memories of some of my favorite foods and snacks, my favorite toys, restaurants and trends. If you didn't grow up in the late 60's and 70's, perhaps your parents or grandparent's did and you'll learn a little about what life was like for them. And if you did grow up in that era, I hope these posts will take you on a little trap down memory lane. So, let's jump right in, shall we?

Pillsbury's Funny Face Drink Mix
As a child I absolutely loved Funny Face Drink Mix. My personal favorite was Goofy Grape, but I also liked Freckle Face Strawberry and Choo Choo Cherry. I recall liking Kool Aid, as well, but I was drawn to the cute characters of the Funny Face drinks. Do you remember Funny Face Drink Mix, and if so, what was your favorite flavor? 

Here's a link to a commercial from the 1960's.

Kresge's Dime Store
I have so many fond memories of Friday evenings with my family, which often found us at Richland Plaza Mall (now owned by the local school district). We would often eat dinner at Pancho's Mexican Buffet, which had the best refriend beans I have ever tasted, and the sopapilla's, oh my! And then after dinner we would usually walk over to one of my favorite stores, Kresge's Dime Store. In my memories of that time I got .50 a week for allowance, which in a 5-10 store went pretty far. It wasn't until I was an adult that I discovered that Kresge's went on to become K-Mart, which oddly, I never cared for as much. The store we shopped was in a mall, so there wouldn't have been a stop light on the corner, but I do recall the storefront looking very much like the one in this image. 

School House Rock
Aw, School House Rock! Who would have believed that watching a simple cartoon short in the early years of my childhood would help me ace my senior government final, but it's true. A few of my favorites were Unpack Your Adjectives, Conjunction Junction and Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here (can you tell I loved English Grammar?). And then there was the one that helped me ace my exam, The Preamble of The Constitution

There's a playlist on You Tube that claims to have all the videos, I didn't peruse it too closely so I'm not sure if they are all included, or not, but there are a number of them.  And if you love School House Rock you can purchase them on DVD from Amazon. (ASSOCIATE LINK).

And with that, I think I'll wrap this first edition up! I hope you've enjoyed reminiscing with me! If you had a favorite store from your childhood or a favorite School House Rock song, I'd love to hear! Share in the comments! 

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Monday, July 15, 2024

A Life With Time To Live

 I want days without a schedule
to keep. Hours left open
for unplanned adventures.
Moments of true stillness.
I want a life outside of our busy 
schedule . . . a life with time to live.


Headed to the lake today. See you soon!

Friday, July 12, 2024

A Rule of Life - Abiding

“A good rule can set us free to be our true and best selves. It is a working document, a kind of spiritual budget, not carved in stone but subject to regular review and revision. 
It should support us, but never constrict us.”


Today I am sharing a post I originally wrote back in 2022, in which I discussed my personal Rule of Life. This is something that I began around that time, but since January I've fallen out of routine.  Recently, however, I've had a desire to revisit the spiritual practices and to be more intentional about structuring my life around them. And with that,  over the next few weeks I'll share the practices that I observe, and just a note, I have NEVER practice all of them at the same time! What you'll read will seem like a lot because it is a lot. The reason for this is because I am a person who thrives on variety, so I like to have a lot of choices. I might also suffer from a hefty case of FOMO when it comes to anything spiritual in nature, I want to try all-the-things, and being familiar with a number of disciplines and a variety of ways in which to observe them solves that. I get to experience a little bit of everything and decide what works and what doesn't, which I will elaborate more on in this post, so lets get too it.

To begin with, it helps you have an understanding of whatl a Rule of Life is. The following is paraphrased from the Rule of Life Workbook.

"A rule of life is a schedule and set of practices and relational rhythms that help us create space in our lives to be with Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what Jesus did—to live “the abundant life” that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10. It is important to note that it is a "rule" (singular), not "rules" (plural), and therefore it is not a list of requirements or regulations for one to follow, but rather a standard by which one may choose to live. A rule of life aligns us with the kingdom, and with our deepest passions and priorities. It’s been said that we achieve inner peace when our schedule is aligned with our values. A rule of life is simply a tool to that end. Rather than a rigid, legalistic to-do list, it’s a life-giving structure for freedom, growth, and joy. The word "rule" is actually derived from the Latin word regula, meaning "trellis". So in the same way that a vine needs a trellis, we need a rule as a support structure to organize our life around “abiding in the vine,” (John 15:1-8) as Jesus imagined."

There is no right or wrong way to develop a rule. There are best practices, but as we are each created uniquely with different temperaments and gifts, there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach.  It can be as simple or as elaborate you as you want.  The best advice I can give is to consider your temperament, giftedness, season of life, level of spiritual growth, and above all, to start small. Even as I share my personal rule, there are some aspects of it that I have not fully integrated yet. Some things are easier, and some take more effort, as it will be for all of us, and that's ok. It is also ever changing, and it will grow and change with you. You may find that while something sounds good on paper, that it isn't flowing as you thought it would. In that case, it might be wise to stick with it for awhile and see if it becomes easier. If you were to develop your own rule, you will most likely find that over time you will want to make adjustments.  But there may also be times when a certain component just isn't working and you need to ditch it all together and try something new. If any part of your rule ever begins to feel forced and is becomes something that you do rather than flowing from who you are, that's a sure sign that you need to rethink it. Yes, some things are going to be harder than others and take more effort, but at some point as you grow, it should flow, and the "effort" should become less.

So let's begin to break this down, and again (I feel like a broken record), this is my personal rule based upon my interests and preferences. I hope you enjoy reading through it and perhaps are inspired by it, but please note if you were to just take this and try to copy and paste it into your life, it probably won't work out as well for you. :)

The first spiritual practice we are going to discuss is ABIDING

Webster's 1828 Dictionary define's the word abide this way;

1. To rest, or dwell. (Genesis 29:19)

2. To tarry or stay for a short time. (Genesis 24:55)

3. To continue permanently or in the same state; to be firm and immovable. (Psalms 119:90)

4. To remain, to continue.  (Acts 27:31. Ecclesiastes 8:15)

The word "abide" is found 76 times throughout the Bible, the most familiar of which is John 15:4, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."

So what exactly does it mean to abide? Let's take a look at what Dallas Willard has to say on the subject.

“The first and most basic thing we can and must do is to keep God before our minds... This is the fundamental secret of caring for our souls. Our part in thus practicing the presence of God is to direct and redirect our minds constantly to Him. In the early time of our 'practicing' we may well be challenged by our burdensome habits of dwelling on things less than God. But these are habits—not the law of gravity—and can be broken. A new, grace-filled habit will replace the former ones as we take intentional steps toward keeping God before us. Soon our minds will return to God as the needle of a compass constantly returns to the north. If God is the great longing of our souls, He will become the pole star of our inward beings.”


This quote inspires me every time I read it! To think of my mind constantly and naturally returning to center, God, and for my heart to so long for Him that He becomes my pole star. This is one of the reasons why I have issues with the idea of a "quiet time"/"slot and a spot". For me, spending time with/abiding with Jesus is less about a small percentage of my day that I set aside for Him, and more about a lifestyle lived continuously in His presence. I'm sure you're thinking, "But no one thinks about Jesus 24/7." and I get that. But it's not enough, for me at least, to wake up and crack open my bible, say a prayer and then go on with my day often in complete forgetfulness of everything I just read, which was often the case when I operated on the daily quiet time model.

So as I was considering what I want "abiding" to look like in my life, I decided that what would help me would be to have constant reminders in place, both on a daily, weekly and even quarterly and annual basis. Here are some of my ideas, and again, there is no way I can do all of this all the time. That would set me up for failure from the get-go.

Abiding Daily 
- I abide daily by setting aside time for Silence and Solitude.
I set aside 10-15 minutes of my morning, usually first thing, to sitting in silence and making myself open to hear from God. I begin with a few minutes of breath prayer, YH - breathe In,  WH - breathe out, and then move into silence. Some days I hear from Him and it is obvious, others I may not think I received anything. But it very often in those cases that later in the day or the week something will come up in a conversation and I realize that very thing came to mind during my time of silence. The Holy Spirit was preparing me. 

To learn more about breath prayer, here are a few links;
- Breathing Yah Weh - Richard Rohr

- I read Psalm 91 and Psalm 16 every-single-day. These two Psalms are what I refer to as "My Life Psalms" given to me by the Holy Spirit on two different occasions in my life that was undeniable. I'm working on memorizing both of them, but that has never been my strong suit. Not an excuse, and I am training!

- I spend time in the word, usually through an online sermon or if I'm in a hurry, from The Bible App, every day.

- I read my affirmation cards, daily. This is a practice that I developed after listening to the series, Winning the War In Your Mind by Craig Groeschel. 

- I observe the Daily Office. This alone needs to be a separate post, but for now I'll just provide you with a few links to give you a general idea. It's basically set times (I have alarms set on my phone) that I set aside each day to pray. I love this, but if I'm being honest, it's an area I'm struggling in. It's not so much the habit, but with the prayer itself. I have times set aside for more specific prayer so I'd like for these prayers to be simpler, the same, perhaps? There purpose serves more as being that compass that always returns me to center than for the prayer itself. That being said, I find the prayers designated for these times (which can be found across the internet and in The Book of Common Prayer), to be beautiful.

Abiding Weekly
- I abide weekly by observing the Eucharist (Lord's Supper) and the Stations of the Cross, on Friday afternoon. This is a practice that I've fallen out of step with but still very much desire to continue.  I've made it a goal to return to it during Advent and as such I'll write a more detailed post around that time. However, if you're interested now, I'll provide a few links.

- I observe a Sabbath day of rest every Saturday and partially on Sunday.

- I attend church every Sunday. 

- I do a Weekly Examen.
Since I'm really just trying to highlight things today, once again I'll go into this in more detail in a separate post.  But for now you can learn more about the Weekly Examen, here.

Abiding Quarterly or Seasonally
There are several ways that I abide quarterly, or more appropriately, seasonally. 

- I set aside the day of the Equinox (Spring / Autumn), and the Solstice (Winter / Summer) as special, with traditions and rituals that bless and celebrate each one. In the past I have kept monthly Phenology wheels, but it's been a few years since I have kept one. I'm thinking of starting up again in September.

- I observe The Ember Days.
I've written on this before, but I will elaborate on it more in an upcoming post in early September. For now, if you want to know more, the link above will get you started.

- I set aside one weekend per quarter for a retreat at home.
This is another practice that could use some dedication to seeing it through. Though I have done this periodically, I tend to be more devoted to it during autumn and winter. Perhaps its because I observe it around the time of the changing of the seasons, and since the autumn equinox and winter solstice are my favorites. I have more traditions and things that I enjoy doing during these times.  This indicates that I need to look at establishing traditions for spring and summer. 

Abiding Annually
- The primary way that I abide continuously throughout the year is by the observance of The Year of the Lord, or The Liturgical Year, which begins at Advent and ends in Ordinary Time. I have this listed as annual because it follows a full yearly rotation, but the various feast days fill my life weekly.

- I set aside a special night every year, usually in the week between Christmas and the New Year for "Tabula Rasa: A Clean Slate", which is something I learned about from Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. It's a special time when I reflect on the year that has passed and the one to come. I set or review my goals, which is now my rule. I print out my calendars for the upcoming year and organize my planner, making note of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It's one of my favorite observances and I look forward to it every year. Traditionally I will make a circle of twelve candles, one for each month in the year, with a larger candle in the middle to represent the coming year. At the end of the observance I light each one, slowly, and pray over each of the coming months and finally over the year as a whole. This is also when I proclaim my "word of the year", which I alway know ahead of time, but from this day and going forward I begin intentionally living into it. My word for 2022, is Yearn.

- I set aside a night or a weekend each year to get alone by myself.
Of all the elements of my rule, this is the one that I have yet to execute, but this year I'm going to sincerely try to make it happen, maybe late summer/early autumn? I'll have to think on this a little more, I might even just go away for the day but be back in time to sleep at home. Call me crazy, but I don't like paying for hotels, all that $$$, just to sleep! I'd rather camp, but I'm also not going camping by myself! So as you can see, this one is going to require a little thought. 

Things I'd Like To Add

Learn more about Centering Prayer and Welcoming Prayer and incorporate it.

Another thing I want to study and perhaps work into my calendar are the Jewish Holy Days.

Abiding is actually one of the easiest elements of the rule for me. I thrive on worship and love learning more and more about the Bible and becoming more like Christ, so this element flows pretty naturally for me. Other than tweaking a few things here and there and incorporating and in some cases reincorporating some of the practices into my routine, I feel confident in this area more than some of others, which I'll be sharing more about in the days to come. At some point I'll break each practice down even further and discuss specific resources that I use, so if you're interested I hope you'll continue to show up here and join me!

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Wayback Wednesday: A Tribute to Classic Television
- Famous Female Commercial Icons From the 60's and 70's

I've been thinking a lot about the television shows of my childhood. Growing up in the 60's, I recall when we got our first colored television set. I was probably about six or seven years old, and I remember with fondness my mother's excitement when she told me that the next day we would be able to watch our favorite television shows in color because a new t.v. set was going to be delivered! Color breathed new life into the characters and stories we had already come to love. For my mother that was soap opera's, her favorites being As The World Turns and The Guiding Light. And speaking of, did you know that As The World Turns aired on radio and television from 1956 to 2010? That's 54 years, and The Guiding Light aired from 1952 to 2009, 57 years! I'm pretty sure there was never a prime time show with that kind of staying power!

As a young bride in the 80's I watched soap operas for a short time. But in the end it was old movies and sitcoms that really captured my heart and still do to this day. With that, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorites with you, here, in a series of posts I am fondly dubbing . . . Wayback Wednesday : A Tribute To Classic Television from the 50's, 60's and 70's. Every week, or so, I'll discuss one of my favorite old movies or a sitcom that I grew up on, many of which we still enjoy as a family today. In addition, since many of my fondest television memories also includes the commercials from that era, I thought it might be fun to revisit some of the products and memorable advertising campaigns that were popular then, as well, which is where we'll begin today.

I think you'll agree that commercials these days are not what they used to be. Largely monopolized by pharmaceutical and insurance companies, they reflect the society we have become. Gone are the days when our biggest worry was how to make a good cup of coffee or leave our bathtub sparkling clean. These days we're in search of the latest pill for our ills and if that doesn't work, maybe we should look over that life insurance policy again? Modern day marketing campaigns, while laughable at first, quickly go sour, Flo caught my attention for awhile, but lately the old gal is beginning to wear on me. But when I think back to commercials from the  60's and 70's I recall that watching them was almost as entertaining as the shows themselves, and there were a few female commerical icons that I remember with fondness. They were the faces of products that depicted every day life in small town America. So join me for a few minutes as we take a little step back to a time not so long ago, and reacquaint ourselves with a few of them.

Do you remember?

 Josephine the Plumber / Comet Cleanser
"Gets out stains when other leading cleansers can't!"

The friendly household pitchwoman, Josephine, was the face of Comet Cleanser in the 60's and 70's, and no one could pull off a "side by side comparison" better than her, sprinkling and scrubbing Comet against any number of "other leading cleansers".

Jane Wither's career began as a child, with one of her most notable roles being the spoiled, obnoxious, doll-ripping, bicycle-riding brat who terrorizes sweet Shirley Temple in Twentieth Century-Fox's Bright Eyes (1934). huggable, brunette-banged Jane was fun, rambunctious and full of kinetic energy--a scrappy little tomboy who could take on any boy at any time, which won her the leading role in close to 50 B-level films back in the day, such as,  Ginger (1935), and Johnny Doughboy (1942), among others.

It was TV, however, that would turn Jane into a wealthy woman as a friendly household pitchwoman. Her decades-long job as the dress-downed Josephine the Plumber pushing Comet cleanser made her one popular gal. Here you can watch her in one of those ads, where Rosie is selling a young Robby Bensen on the superior performance of super-stain removing Comet!

 Mrs. Olson - Folger's Coffee
"Mountain grown, it's the richest coffee there is!"

No one came to the aide of hapless young housewives who struggled to make a decent cup of coffee better than Mrs. Olson. With her sweet Swedish accent, Mrs. Olson saved many a marriage, so long as the her protege always remembered to use Mountain Grown Folger's Coffee!

Portrayed by Virginia Christine, she worked in radio while attending the University of California, and was trained for a theatrical career by Fritz Field, whom she married in 1940. She appeared in films such as Edge of Darkness (1943), High Noon (1952) and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). But her greatest fame came in the 1960's when she started her 21-year stint as the matronly "Mrs. Olson", offering words of comfort to young married couples while pouring them a cup of Folger's Coffee. You'll find her here, serving up comfort with coffee to a distraught young wife.

 Madge the Manicurist - Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid
"You're soaking in it!"

Probably the most memorable from my childhood, is Madge, portrayed by actress Jan Milner. The campaign ad, which featured a manicurist who worked at Salon East Beauty Parlor, soaked her customers fingernails in Palmolive dishwashing liquid, advising her clients, "Palmolive softens your hands while you do the dishes".  The campaign ran from 1966 to 1992, and was televised in other countries, as well. In France (where Madge was "Françoise"),Germany, Switzerland, and Austria (in all three as "Tilly"),and in Finland (as "Marissa").

Miner was a well established radio and film actress. She had featured roles in the dramatic radio anthology, Radio City Playhouse, and appeared on television in shows such as, Boston Blackie and Casey, Crime Photographer. But she became an icon to TV viewers as Madge, the wisecracking manicurist. You can catch Madge in action in this clip, from 1981.

There were a few other notable ad campaigns featuring women, such as;

 Rosie the Waitress - Bounty Paper Towels 
"Bounty, the quicker picker upper!"

Portrayed by Nancy Walker (also of Mary Tyler Moore/Rhoda fame, where she was cast as Rhoda's mother.) She's pitching Bounty, here.

But no compilation would be complete if I didn't include

 Cora, The Maxwell House Lady
"Good to the last drop!"

Portrayed by legendary Margaret Hamilton, who frightened me to bits as a child, not as The Wicked Witch of the West, but oddly enough, as Elmira Gulch. I would watch that movie end to end in my childhood days, with the exception of one scene, Elmira Gulch on her bicycle. I had nightmares about that woman riding down my street and stuffing me in her basket and whisking me away.  Isn't it funny, the things that frighten us as a child? To be honest when I watch it now, I think it was the music and image combined that frightened me. Who really knows?

Sweet Miss Cora however, showcased Margaret in a much sweeter light.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed reminiscing with me today, and if you liked this post, I'll be back next week with some iconic men of the 60's and 70's, who memorably pitched their wares and secured a place in our hearts! 

Monday, July 8, 2024

Sunday Kind of Love


"All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer, one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of memories in their going, one of those summers which, which in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world."

Anne's House of Dreams

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Small Things - July 6, 2024

"Life is not, for most of us, a pageant of splendor, but is made up of many small things, rather like an old fashioned piecework quilt. No two people have the same, but we all have our own, whether it be listening to Beethoven's fifth with a beloved friend, or seeing a neighbor at the back door with a basket of white dahlias. Or after a long, hard day, having the family say, "That was a good supper."


In no particular order, here are six small things that inspired me this week.

1. I recently discovered Substack, I even made one, actually I made four. I'm not really sure what happened, **SIGH**, I only want one. At any rate, once I get that sorted out I may try it out. I'm thinking one post a week? I'm not really sure. At any rate, I discovered the most wonderful account there, Begin In Wonder. His focus is primarily on children's literature, so many wonderful posts! It's one of the first times I've paid for a subscription, and at only $5 a month is it worth every penny. It gives me so much joy!

We've been subscribing to Frndly TV for a couple of years now. At $9.99 a month it has the best mix of content that we enjoy, which is typically sitcoms from the 50's and 60's. Shows like Andy Griffeth, Leave it To Beaver, we rarely watch anything main stream. But recently they added a new channel, MeToons, which has many of the classic cartoons from my childhood, like The Flinstones, The Jetsons, The Tom and Jerry Show, Merry Melodies, Wacky Races. But it also has a few that I have not seen in decades, such as, The Underdog Show, The Peter Potamus Show, Atom Ant, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Top Cat and the Woody Woodpecker Show. I'm just a big kid at heart, and watching some of these takes me back to all the Saturday mornings of my childhood. If you like vintage television, I highly recommend Frndly TV.

3. Loving this reel from @wearethehomemakers. I want to expand my summer/patriotic decor for next summer. Lots of inspirations here! I also have a TON of inspiration save on my Patriotic Holidays Pinterest board.

I was excited to find that the UK edition of Country Living magazine (which is SO much better than the American publication), is included as part of my Kindle Unlimited subscription. That makes the cost of paying for Kindle Unlimited practially pay for itself as each month's publication is $9.99. I was happy to pay for it, but when you're looking for ways to reduce spending, this works well for me. I realize not everyone likes reading books or magazines digitally, and I prefer an actual copy in my hand, too. But digital media is a good way to reduce clutter, especially magazines, and often much cheaper. I've also found that reading them on my iPad makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Now, if they would just include The Simple Things magazine, I'd really be set! Also, if you happen to like Victoria magazine, it's included with Kindle Unlimited, too. 

This year my daughter and I have a summer obsession with Sonic Cherry Limeades! We've had 14 in the past month! One of my friends suggested the Cherry Lime-ade packets you can get from the store, which is a water additive, and I tried it. But unfortunately my body does not respond well to any kind of artificial sweetener, they give me horrible stomach cramps/nausea. We've been ordering them through the app which makes them 1/2 price, but at the rate we're going, even at $1.50 that can quickly add up.  I read that they are made with Sprite, maraschino cherry syrup and lime juice, so we may try our hand at it and see what we think! We'll just need to buy a big bag of Sonic ice! 

Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of going to the drive-in movie theater with my mom and dad. One of my earliest movie memories is Thoroughly Modern Millie starring Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore. I LOVED it as child, and have not seen it since.  So when it came back to my memory I looked it up on Amazon, and it is available on DVD. But . . . one thing I've discovered as a I get older is that often my childhood memories do not live up to my adult expectations, so I'm going to check it out first. Internet Archives is not my favorite way of watching movies online, but just in case I don't like it anymore, I'm happy to have found it. 

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend, my friends! I'll see you back here on Monday!

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Fun Fourth of July Playlists for Your Celebrations

I just love perusing You Tube for fun seasonal playlists, and I found a few this week I wanted to share! I like having these playing in the background throughout the day as we're busy with preparations for our celebration, or visiting with friends! Maybe you'll find one to enjoy!

I hope you all have safe and enjoyable day celebrating our great country! I'll see you again soon!

Monday, July 1, 2024

Welcome, July!

 "July, with its days of blue skies and time that seemingly stands still, 
holds a special place in my heart." 


Friday, June 28, 2024

Two Free Printables

Recently someone commented and said there were looking for a poster with the poem that I have featured in my right side bar, Home Is Where I Belong.  This was a poem that I found YEARS ago, probably around twenty, to be honest. I fell in love with it then and I love it still. That being said, I couldn't find it anywhere, especially not as a poster, so I decided to make my own.  I also have a similar poster I made some time ago, You Are Welcome In This House, and so I've decided to share both of them. I hope you will enjoy them!

You can find the link for this one, here.

 And the link for this one is, here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Summer Bingo Challenge - Visit A Small Town


Yesterday I marked the first square off of my Summer Bingo Challenge, Visit A Small Town.

My husband had arranged to pick up an item he purchased on FB Marketplace around 3:00 p.m. in Roanoke, so we decided to make a day of it and take the long road through Rocky Mount, Virginia.

Rocky Mount is just a little over an hour's drive from our front door, so it was the perfect day trip. I chose Rocky Mount because a few weeks back they had a festival, Vintage Market Roots that was co-hosted by a couple of vintage/antique shops there. But alas, it fell on my daughter's birthday weekend, and as that was not something she would have enjoyed, I made a note of the two shops that were hosting and decided to visit them another time. The description on the flyer sounded like they would have things much to my liking, but alas, I was a bit underwhelmed. There were definitely a few pieces that I liked, but it was a pricey and the biggest turn off was that the owner of one of the shops was, well, a bit smug, so that was a real put-off for me. But, aside from my disappointment with the shops themselves, I found the town completely delightful!

The picture at the top is of this post is Trinity Episcopal Church. I am not sure what it is that draws me to Episcopal Church buildings, but I can typically spot them from a mile away. They seem to often have similar architecture and brightly colored doors. I just love them!

This building was another favorite, and yes, It did actually used to be a Coca Cola Bottling Plant, but more recently housed a cafe which appears to have been closed for some time now. It's hard for me to imagine why something else hasn't taken up residence because it is just such a cute building! But I'm glad to see that in spite of it appearing to have sat empty for some time now, they've done a good job with the upkeep of the property.  It makes me sad when so many of these beautiful buildings just rot away.

A few things that I learned about Rocky Mount.

It is located in Franklin County, which is considered The Moonshine Capital of the World. There is apparently a Moonshine Musuem, though we didn't visit, but I liked this little town so much I'm already considering a second visit in autumn, so maybe then.

They are big on music and local bands, which I LOVE! Rocky Mount is considered the gateway to The Crooked Road which is a 333-mile-long driving trail that connects 10 major venues and over 50 affiliate venues that preserve and promote traditional Appalachian old time and bluegrass music. Being reminded of this today is inspiring me to plan for a few more summer road trips and visiting some of the venues that are featured on their website.

They have an event every weekend in June, River of Lights, which I so wish I had found out about sooner. You tube down a section of a river with lights strung overhead in the trees, which to me, sounds simply enchanting! Definitely putting this on the list for next summer.

We had such a wonderful time in Rocky Mount, and like I said, I'm already planning to go back in autumn. Just the drive there will be breathtaking that time of year! One of the things I love best about living in Virginia is that within a few hours drive in almost any direction you arrive at another small quaint town just full of wonderful things to discover. I'm glad that while what initially brought me to Rocky Mount turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, the town itself offered more than enough to make up for it. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend spending at least a couple of hours exploring Rocky Mount! 

So what about you, what are some things on your summer bucket list, have you been inspired by my summer bingo challenge, and if so, what things have you marked off so far?
Whether you've made your own list or you're trying to get that first bingo, I'd love to hear about your plans and adventures, so be sure to share in the comments!

Monday, June 24, 2024

Beautiful Things

As we hurry along on life's journey today
With the joy and the sorrow it brings,
And never a thought what we pass on the way
Let us look for the beautiful things.

There is music that's free, that will surely beguile 
'Tis the song of the bird as he sings.
And the sun-kissed breeze makes us linger awhile
Just to look for the beautiful things.

Let us close our eyes to the faults of a friend 
Drop them deep in oblivion's springs,
As we travel along to life's golden end 
We can always find beautiful things.


Saturday, June 22, 2024

Small Things - The First Saturday of Summer / 2024

"Life is not, for most of us, a pageant of splendor, but is made up of many small things, rather like an old fashioned piecework quilt. No two people have the same, but we all have our own, whether it be listening to Beethoven's fifth with a beloved friend, or seeing a neighbor at the back door with a basket of white dahlias. Or after a long, hard day, having the family say, "That was a good supper."


In no particular order, here are six SMALL THINGS that have saved me this week.

1. This book, *The Art of Mindful Gardening: Sowing the Seeds of Meditation  by Ark Redwood. One of the things I am practicing in this season is single-tasking, so I was thrilled when I read this in the introduction;

"The art of being mindful is simple really. It lies in the practice of being in the present moment, and attempting to hold that attention to whatever you are doing, gently bringing the mind back to the present whenever it starts to wander (which it inevitably does!)"

Ark Redwood is the head gardener at Chalice Well, one of Britians most sacred gardens (I hope to visit it one day!). In this book, the author guides you through the changing seasons, drawing upon years of practical gardening experience and meditation. The author is a practicing Zen Buddhist, but I am comfortable enough in my own faith that it is not a problem for me. Read at your own discretion.

2. Finding this gem on You Tube for free, Tammy and the Millionaire. It was a short lived TV series in the late 60's based off the Tammy movies, that originated with Debbie Reynolds and also starred Sandra Dee. Debbie Watson reprises the role in this film, which is a conglomaration of the few episodes that aired before it was canceled. I really like Debbie Watson, and found another movie, as well, The Cool Ones, which I will probably check out soon. She was also in a TV series, Karen, and there are a few episodes of it, though I wish there were more! Here's are the links to the first episode, which is in two parts, Part 1, Part 2. The thing that really excited me about this, are the original commercials!

3. And if taking a trip through memory lane is your thing, you might enjoy this You Tube channel, America Before. Here's a description of what you'll find;

"Welcome to 'America Before,' a captivating journey into the heart of nostalgic Americana, spanning from the 1950s to the 1980s. Our channel is a treasure trove of memories, dedicated to reliving the golden eras of American history. Dive into a world where classic cars ruled the streets, rock 'n' roll and disco beats set the rhythm of life, and iconic TV shows and movies defined a generation. Explore the cultural, technological, and social revolutions that shaped modern America. From vintage fashion to retro gadgets, 'America Before' brings the past alive, offering a nostalgic escape and a deeper understanding of the decades that significantly influenced today's America."

I subscribe to several channels with this sort of theme, and enjoy watching a few episodes from time to time before I go to bed. 

4. Watching campy beach movies with my family. Have Prime Video? Here are a few selections we've enjoyed, Bikini Beach, Beach Blanket Bingo,

5. This recipe for coffee flavored ice cream, and the best part, you don't need an ice cream maker!

6. This post, from @megangilger


The sparkle on the water. The rush of that first dip of wildness. The full to the brim. The skinny dip. The smell of bonfire. The ache. The relief. The reward. The feeling of being alive. The smell of tomatoes. The hanging towel on the deck rail. The sand in the car. The nostalgia. The reunions. The floating cosmos. The dirt road. The deep breathe. Being weightless for only a moment . . . being held by the lake.

Love in this season!"

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Friday, June 21, 2024

Welcome, to Summer!

An old farmhouse along a county backroad on a recent Sunday drive.

Welcome, to summer!

 “Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.”


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Ordinary Days of Small Things
Summer Bingo Challenge

Well my friends, it's mid-June and summer will officially arrive this coming Friday, June 21 at 11:31 p.m. (Eastern Time). To be honest, it's a little hard for me to wrap my mind around that, we are nearing the half way mark of the year!

You may remember from my last post that my husband and I had our first experience with Covid back in late April, which is part of the reason for my absence.  It is taking me a l-o-n-g time to fully recover, and some of the symptoms are still lingering (clogged ears, vertigo), which has made concentrating a bit challenging. It also put a major cramp on getting our garden in for the year along with some other outdoor projects we had on the docket. I think I've spent more time working outdoors than inside the house this spring, which is honestly not like me.  My husband enjoys working outdoors and has always done most of the work, but since we were late to the game this year, I've been pitching in and helping where I can. My focus has been primarily on planting and tending to the garden and some landscaping projects. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few pictures I posted recently, and if not, I'm sure I'll be sharing some of them here, too.

With all this busyness, I realized that if we are not intentional, summer is going to slip by us before we know it and we might miss out some fun seasonal activities and traditions. Though we still have a LOT of work to do, for me, it's important to keep a balance between work and play. I get burned out quickly if I don't set aside time to engage in more leisurely activities. To aide me in this, I decided to create a fun Summer Bingo Challenge. In each square I listed an activity that I would like to be intentional about doing over the summer season, with the goal being if not to achieve a blackout, to at least score a couple of bingos. Then, come September, I can look back at all the happy memories we made together!

I thought it might be fun to share it hear with you, and so I created another copy with a few blank spaces for you to be able to write in your own ideas. You can find the link here. If you need some inspiration, just click on the image of my personal copy at the top of this post and you'll be able to see what I included in mine. If you find that some of the activities that I've included add too much going and doing to your already busy schedule, you can choose others that you can do at home. In the end the goal isn't even about getting a bingo, but about being intentional with how we spend our time in this season, and I know for me, having it written down where I can see it is half the plan to getting there!

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends! I'll be back soon (and yes, we WILL get caught up on Betsy Tacy, and I do apologize for the delay, between being sick and catching up, there just hasn't been much time!)