Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Thank you Rhondi for faithfully hosting Thankful Thursday each week!

Edited to add: I loved Julie's comment "we'll all be voting with prayers attached!" Me too Julie...Me too!

I am so thankful for the privilege to vote! I hope each of you who are eligible will do just that! Vote your conscious, and vote with a view to our country's future!

Thankfully, Chris

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Glorious Gourds!

I am a lover of all gourds! These bright, bumpy and oddly shaped beauties that announce Autumn are everywhere right now. The grocery store has them in netted bags in the produce section and the Farmer's Market and road-side stands have large, colorful displays. But my very favorites, the bottle and pear or kettle gourds have been scarce.

I grew them myself a couple of years ago, and it seems that I'll have to do that again! I love the way the look in fall decor. They are also useful for crafting projects like bird houses and rustic bowls. Click HERE to see some examples of crafts & HERE for interesting gourd facts.

The most glorious "natural" presentation of these gourds I have ever seen are in Mary Carol Garrity's home. (Mary Carol is the founder of Nell Hill's in Atchison, KS) The photos below were taken at a fall tour of her home tour.

Too late for me this year, but just wait until I plant my garden next spring! I'm going to have gourds coming out of my ears!

Enjoy! Chris

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday!

I am so thankful for my daughter!

My daughter Melissa truly is the "apple of my eye". I am so privileged to have this wonderful woman as my daughter!
  • My daughter loves her mom (and step-dad). Hardly a day goes by that I don't hear "love you Mom".

  • My daughter loves her Lord. She is involved in the children's & women's ministries at our church, and serves willingly and faithfully.

  • My daughter, is close to each of her cousins. From the one who is a couple of years older to the youngest who is 20-some years younger, each one thinks they are her favorite!

  • My daughter works hard. At age 33 she went back to school to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. This year, she is student teaching, and is loving it.

  • My daughter is a fabulous baker! (Which is good since I don't really like to bake!) From our traditional Christmas brioche, shaped like Santa, to her granny's pie crust & date-nut pinwheel cookies, we can always count on her for something yummy.

  • Did I mention she loves her mom? *Ü*

Darling girl, from the first moment I saw you, I have been in awe of the gift you have been in my life! You are the perfect child for me. I hope someday you will be able to say that I was the "perfect mom for you!"

Thank you, and I love you, Mom

I'd also like to thank Rhondi at Rose Colored Glasses for hosting Thankful Thursday each week!



Sunday, October 19, 2008

I may have to hack off a branch of the family tree!

Now that I have your attention...

It's been all about family photos & scrapbooking around here for a couple of days. My sister Jennifer is the Scrapbook Queen, of our family at least.

When my mom passed away, all the old photos went to Jen to organize & journal. She is very good at this job, but as the youngest sibling, she did not have the privilege of knowing some of the older relatives that I did, since I am 16 years her senior. As a result, we have been spending a couple of days trying to identify as many of the unmarked photos as possible. This task has included removing photos that were glued to the black paper pages of some very old scrapbooks, since they are not acid free, etc. We were able it find names & dates on a few, which helped immensely.

Then there were the surprises! The next 3 photos in particular!

I know if these children are part of my family, they were much more lively than they appear this photo!

Perhaps this was a photo of my Grandpa and his classmates & teacher??

This stern looking woman was most certainly my Great-Great Grandma!

When we finally worked them free from the paper, guess what we found?

They are POSTCARDS? There is writing on a couple of them, and one shows that someone at least learned math!

Are these faces of family members? Did photographers create postcards for their clients to send to far-off relatives? If anyone knows whether they did this, please let me know! Or, are they interlopers in our family albums? Just images that were used by a post card printer?

I know my mother put them in the album. I also know she had a wicked sense of humor! Why do I have the feeling that she is chuckling at me right now? Well good one Mom, if this was one of your jokes...but I'll top that! I am going to have these blow up and hang them in my family gallery!

I'd like you all to meet my great-great...cousins, Merle, Stella & Ike. Then there is my Great Uncle George, who had a long & distinguished career as the headmaster of Dutch Crossing School! Lastly, my Great Grandma, Viroca Ravina, who is 1/2 Mohican Indian (this describes my real maternal great-grandma, by the way) in front of the home where she lived.

So I guess I'll keep 'em! What do you think?

Cheers! Chris

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thankful Thursday

So...I began thinking about what I would share for my Thankful Thursday post. I thought, "Hmmm, I don't know what to write about."

Then, as soon as that thought entered my mind and was recognized, I thought "What is wrong with you? You have blessings beyond measure, and you're struggling to write something?" Conviction comes swiftly sometimes!

I have SO MUCH to be thankful for! How can I not recognize it?

  • I am thankful for a God who loves me, provides for me and loves me despite my ungrateful, sinful nature!
  • I am thankful that I have a husband who loves me and has provided security (as secure as one can be in these times) for us and our home.
  • I am thankful for my daughter who is a godly young woman, intent on leading children to a better future.
  • I am thankful to live in the USA.
  • I have a home "in the country" that I love.
  • I am thankful for a job that helps to sustain us.
  • I am thankful for each of my siblings who bring a special joy into my life.
  • I am thankful for my church, pastor, and church family who all lift me up and help me live life to its fullest.
  • I am thankful to Rhondi for providing an opportunity to share my thankfulness each week
  • I am grateful for all these blessings and so many more!

Thankfully, Chris


Friday, October 10, 2008

A Sweet Secret Pal!

I belong to a couple of interior design forum-bulletin board-chat thing-ies... One in particular is really fun because we are allowed to post about "off-topic" subjects. Families, good and bad days, health, almost nothing is off limits. As result, there have been real friendships formed and several meet-ups among the members.

Another great thing has been the Christmas ornament exchanges and Secret Pals! I just got a package from my secret pal, and I had to share my loot!

The mug is great! It says, "Lord, if you can't make me skinny, make all my friends fat!" (Maybe, please, make us all skinny?)

There are two Halloween Dish Towels. Each one comes with a cookie cutter (1 pumpkin, 1 ghost) & the towel has a cookie recipe to go with the cookie cutter. Too cute!

And look at the wonderful frame with a picture of the Northern California girls meet-up! I love this so much! It is sitting on my desk where I can see it everyday!

Do you have a secret pal? If not, why not choose someone and anonymously send cards and little gifts for a month or two. Or why not a whole year? I am a secret pal & have a secret pal. There is much joy and blessing in both!

Secret Pal, I haven't figured you out yet...but you are the BEST, whoever you are!

Cheers! Chris

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Rhondi, thank you once again for hosting Thankful Thursday and giving me the opportunity to reflect on how blessed I am! Please visit Rose Colored Glasses, Rhondi's gorgeous blog, and Thankful Thursday to see all who are participating!

Check out the floppy...this photo is sure outdated!

I am so thankful for my job!

I have what some might call a Dream Job. I write proposals for a large Electronic Manufacturing Company. That in itself, can be not-so-dreamy. We are a global company, so I occasionally have conference calls at hours when I would rather be sleeping. There are often unreasonable deadlines and the stress associated with them. Then there are the customers who toss out a Request for Proposal the week before Christmas. They are on vacation so they lose no "working time". You (the proposal team) on the other hand, are the only people in your company to be working that week. :o(

I will admit to being less than thrilled about my job during the aforementioned challenges.


  • I am able to work from home. That is huge. If I need to do laundry, start supper, take 15 to water the garden, I can!

  • I am well paid. My company has never missed a quarterly bonus payout, and my merit increases have been good!

  • I love the people I work with! My manager & I have known and worked with one another for years. We have both survived several company acquisitions and continued to have jobs in the new companies. My co-workers are also friends, although we rarely see each other face to face.

  • I have been with the company long enough to have 7-1/2 weeks of vacation accrued!

In these rough financial times, I am so lucky and thankful to be employed by a stable company. I wouldn't be surprised if we are in for a few bumps in the road. But whatever comes along, I have been blessed!

Thankfully, Chris


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fall Decor

Finally, I have really started decorating for Fall. Until today, the only thing showing a hint of fall was the wreath on the door.

This morning a hung my pheasant feather wreath. I love this so much. It was made for me by my girlfriend. In the spot where the wreath is hanging there is usually a big, heavy mirror. The very substantial bolt that holds the mirror was showing, so I quickly made the glittery "BOO!" sign to at least camouflage it a bit.

Next, I made an arrangement with a small pumpkin, some yard gatherings, and decorative potpourri in my cloche. I think it turned out pretty well.

I need to set out my pumpkin collection, and get out the remaining Halloween items. Then this weekend, it's the front porch!

Cheers! Chris

Monday, October 6, 2008

Winter Garden in Progress

My sister worked like a slave for two days in my garden and flower beds! There is a lot to show you, but I'll concentrate on the winter vegetable garden for today.

The picture that I teased you with on Thursday was taken after the remnants of last year's garden were plowed under & raked smooth. The straw will keep the mud & weeds to a minimum. What you weren't shown was the stack of plastic tubs below. These are the intergal part of the new garden!

We not only have to fence the garden because of deer & jack rabbits, but we have an ongoing battle with pocket gophers! I nearly cried when I saw a tomato plant full of little green tomatoes laying on the ground, its roots munched away! Have you ever seen Caddy Shack? The little devils really are that devious, and they drive you to behave like Bill Murray pretty quickly! These "planting tubs" are a more sane way (instead of dynamite) to deter them from making a meal of my veggies!

When I read about this technique in my MaryJane's Farm magazine, it seemed to be just the thing for us to try this fall. The article says that this method avoids a couple of the problems that growing in tubs present; soil compaction & and soggy roots. Oh, don't forget the gophers...

First, we placed 3 bricks in the bottom of the tub, then covered them with hog fence & hardware cloth. The watering tube made of pvc pipe was inserted in the corner. A hole was drilled in the side of the tub at the same level as the bricks to prevent overwatering. Since the the tub is not watered from above soil, but through the tube into the bottom of the tub, it wicks water up into the soil and there is no compaction! Brilliant, I think! We'll see how it works...

We then planted the tubs with a few winter veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, swiss chard, brussels sprouts. There are currently too many plants in each tub, but more tubs are on their way & we'll be moving some of them in the next couple of days.

If this method works for us, I can see the whole garden planted in tubs next spring!

Neener, neener, neener, pocket gophers! *Ü*

Enjoy! Chris

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I know, I know... I am supposed to be taking a break! But just couldn't miss Thankful Thursday!

Thank you Rhondi for continuing to host this special event! Please check out the Thankful Thursday blog for a list of participants!

Today I am so thankful for my sister!

(Actually I am thankful for all four of my siblings!)

As I mentioned in the previous post, she is visiting and working very hard to help me get my winter garden in! Oh, and she pulled the weeds in my daylily bed too! This would never get done so quickly or efficiently without her!

Here's a sneak peek at what we've been up to...

Enjoy! Chris

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Taking a Short Break!

I am up and at 'em early this morning. I have a very busy day planned!

Yesterday's Sunrise

My sister Sallee is the most accomplished gardener in our family. Her husband is also quite the garden whiz. He grows the most gorgeous dinner plate sized dahlias you have ever seen! Sallee has come to visit us for a few days to help me get my winter garden in. How's that for a great sister?

We are trying something new this year. I will be taking photos as we progress over the next couple of days so I can show you all what that "something" is.

I won't be around until the weekend. But be sure to come back to see the garden. I think this is the most clever thing I have seen in a long time...

Have a great couple of days! Chris