Saturday, September 22, 2012

~Oh, For the Love of Ironstone~

Every once in a while, I like to get out and do some treasure hunting.  Antique stores, thrift stores, whatever. Sometimes I find something, sometimes I don't.  It's good therapy. :)  The other day I stopped by a local secondhand store to browse.  I hadn't been there in a really long time as there's usually not too much I can find there.  Yesterday, I went to the Habitat store while my dog was being groomed.  A good way to kill time, right?  Well, I found some treasures in both places!  Plus, I got them at really good prices.  Double bonus!

 One of my most treasured collections involves ironstone.  I love the color and the crazing.  I especially love the "Virginia Rose" type pattern from Homer Laughlin but, since they are hard to find, I look for any pieces that are similar in design.

 I found these pieces when I was out treasure hunting.  I'm in love and I'm ecstatic.  My, oh my!  Ironstone reminds me so much of farmhouse kitchens.  If it could be a comfort food, this would fit in that category.  That's what it does for me.  It makes my heart go pitter-patter.

I found an unmarked platter. I already have several.  But who's counting?  This ironstone bowl has K.T.&K. Stone China on the bottom.  It's heavy and solid with scalloped edges and lots of crazing.  I already have a monstrous ironstone bowl that is about 15 inches across but it's hard to know what to do with one so large.  This one is a tad smaller at about 11 inches.  Perfect!

This is a stack of eight Homer Laughlin plates.  I almost did the happy dance at the Habitat store when I saw them in the glass case!  Not one, not two but eight plates!!  I was so excited that I almost forgot to do some bargaining.  What was I thinking?!?!?

They were marked $20 for the set and, at first, I thought something might be wrong with a few of the plates.  When the lady took them out for me to look at, she almost apologized for the discoloration and said they were rather worn.  Also, since they had been sitting for a while, she dropped the price to $15.  I almost choked!!  Poor lady.  She must have thought I had lost my mind at wanting to take something in such sad condition.  But I pulled myself together, put on my "look of contemplation" and said I'd take them. Be still my heart!!

Today, I started pulling out some of my fall decorations.  Finally.  The temps here are still in the 90s and it's hard to start decorating for Autumn even though I am SO ready for it in my heart!  It's my most favorite season of the year.

The stark contrast of the ironstone against the reds, browns and dark oranges of autumn is so lovely, don't you think?

I got these rustic-appearing apples at HL last year.  I think I'll use them in my new bowl to display on the dining table.

I cleared away the faux garlands to see what the display would look like, but I rather like my bowl being nestled in the fall colors.  I think I'll put some of them back on the table.

The new platter and plates are in my display cabinet now.  Several of my ironstone pitchers are still on the fireplace mantel where they will stay for a while longer.  If you're interested, you can read more about my ironstone collection here.

I'm sharing my simple love of ironstone with Elaine over at Sunny Simple Life.  Now I need to get busy and start decorating for Autumn!!


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Note:  I forgot to mention that one thing I am looking for to add to my ironstone collection is possibly a small soup tureen or something like a canister with a lid to store the hot chocolate mix I add to my morning coffee.  So, if you see one and YOU don't want it, I'd be pleased as punch if you'd give me a heads up about it ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

~Wee Little Bubba~

Last Friday, my youngest daughter went in to the hospital to give birth to our newest grandchild.  Big sister and brother were staying with us and they were absolutely giddy knowing that baby brother would be joining their family very soon.  Late in the evening, we were able to take them to see Little Bubba.

 It was so fun to watch their expressions as they entered Mama's room and wondering what was going through their minds when seeing little brother for the first time.  Of course, he wasn't anything close to what they were expecting. :)  Probably more like shock and awe at such a tiny little bundle.

 Here he is!!  All 8 pounds and 2 ounces at 20 inches long.  Believe it or not, he is the smallest of their brood.  I'm sure Mama was glad!  Want to get a closer look?

 Isn't he beautiful?  He came out looking so perfect.  He looks alot like his big brother when he was born but there's alot more dark hair underneath that little cap.

 Big sister couldn't wait to touch his soft skin and I know she was SO anxious to hold him as we didn't have to ask her twice about that.

 Even though little brother wasn't quite what he was expecting, Bubba was ready to hold him and to love on him as well.  He is only three years old and is just as loving and doting as big sister...but maybe not for as long.

 This is Poppa, my Mr. Bill.  She can't take her eyes off of him, can she?  Little Bubba...not Poppa. :)

Big sister is the most loving and doting child I have ever seen.  She was that way with her first brother and she will be even more so with this one now that she is older.  The next day, when I brought the kids to the hospital, I had to go buy some groceries.  Mama said that big sister held him for the longest time.  She's only four years old!!  She is going to be such a big helper as Mama has her hands full.

I had taken pictures of them giving kisses to Little Bubba but they didn't turn out very well.  Darn!!  But I'm sure that I'll be able to get one or two taken in the days ahead.

My heart is overflowing with thankfulness at God's care and protection in the life of this little one.  Words cannot adequately express the joy I feel in my heart.  Little Bubba is a very good baby right now adjusting to his new surroundings and Mama is slowly regaining her strength.  I think I'll check with her to see if I need to bring over a meal tonight.  And I might even have to cuddle and snuggle with our newest grandchild...if sister and brother will let me. ;)

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

~Unexpected Blessings~

Wow.  I am truly humbled and thankful for each and every response that was made regarding my last post.  From your tips on taking baby steps in getting my house uncluttered; to sharing your daily organizational and cleaning routines; to cheering me on..."you can do it!";to giving me website recommendations for cleaning and organizing ( and; to recommended book reading (One Thousand Gifts); to understanding my physical and emotional obstacles; to your willingness to be reach out when I need someone to talk to or lean on; and to, most importantly, your thoughts and prayers!  It is true that some of the sweetest friendships have come about through blogging and I am finding that out firsthand.  I am touched deeply by those of you who are wanting to reach out and become a true friend.  I am blessed.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My middle daughter called me unexpectedly at the end of last week and wanted to bring her two boys over to help me with any kind of cleaning project.  Who can resist an offer like that?  I  was caught off guard but I thought a good place to start would be my laundry room.  It had become quite the junk room having anything and everything thrown in there, in a jumble and quite the mess.  So everything was brought in to the living room.  I mean EVERY thing!!  We had a trash sack....or two.  Empty boxes were brought from the attic: boxes for organizing the things that I wanted to keep and boxes for items to be taken to Goodwill.  And this what we ended up with...

See?  Most everything was taken out.  Side note:  This cabinet between the washer/dryer and freezer was built by my sweet son-in-law several years ago.  There are doors to be mounted but I haven't finished painting them.  Yep, they've been sitting for several years waiting for me to finish painting, distressing and crackling.  Sigh...  Anyway, All the items I'm keeping are back on the shelves and labeled.  There's a reason why the stuff is still in boxes but that's for another post. :)  This little cleaning project would have taken me the better part of several days if I had tackled it on my own.  Thank you, my middle child, for your willingness to come and help me.

These were my unexpected blessings from this last week.  Now, I may not have got much cleaning and uncluttering done over the last several months, but I have been busy working on some sewing projects and I want to show you what I've been doing.

 It involves some of this...lots of soft yarn.

 I love these colors...Bone and Country Blue.

 The next project involves a whole lot of these fabrics.  I am SO in love with these fabric patterns!  Western prints that I got from local stores and also online.

 I cut up a whole lot of little squares to make a lot of bigger squares that look something like the one shown above.

 And then another project that involves some lightweight denim, corduroy and drapery fabric.  Again, the theme is Western.

Look closely and you can see what these fabrics are being used for.   Hint, hint ;)

Three projects.  One common theme.  For one very little person.  The last one isn't quite done yet but I've got to hurry!  Several months ago, I announced that my youngest daughter is expecting her thrid child and the time is now here.  She is going into the hospital tomorrow to have him brought into the world....our grandbaby #6!!  And big sister and brother will be staying with us for the next couple of days.  What a blessed time!!  I ask that you especially pray for my daughter and for the new grandson tomorrow.  And for the medical group who will help bring him into the world.  Once I get some pictures, I'll share with you our new little bundle of joy.  And, of course, I'll also share with you the completed projects that are made for him.

I have much to be thankful for in the unexpected AND expected blessings that He is bestowing upon me.  God is so good.  I pray your day, and weekend, are filled with unexpected blessings.  Those that come when we least expect it or when we think we least deserve it.  They are the best, don't you think?

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Thursday, September 6, 2012


I've been missing from action for a while, haven't I?  August was somewhat of hectic month even though it was SO extremely hot and dry that you really didn't want to do do a blog post.  Or two.  :)

But, truth be known, I've been in a slump for a while.  A good long while.  Normally, I'm not one to open up about those things you'd just rather not talk about but I'm at a place now where I think that I need to open up a bit.  Not only to help myself but maybe help someone else reading this can also relate.  So, can we sit and have a chat?
Our living room where we invited guests to sit and chat with us.
Oh, before I get started...the pictures I am sharing were taken shortly after we built our home in '06.  I wanted to have a bed and breakfast and we were going to use part of our home to do so.  These photos were used on my website.  You'll see the connection in a bit, I promise.  Anyway, a few years ago, I had major back surgery that really set me back physically.  Shortly after that, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.  So, I closed the bed and breakfast.

As a result, my physical health has been making a gradual and steady decline.  Plus, the prescription pain meds was causing some unwanted side effects.  Sleeping long hours, no energy and constant pain prevented me from getting out and about (not even going to church!).  I have become quite the recluse.  There has been no desire to cook, garden, craft, scrapbook and even cleaning house have taken a back seat.  My 'get up and go' and got up and gone. :/ 

Along with the physical decline, my mental, emotional and spiritual well being have all suffered as well.  I have to admit that I deal with depression from time to time.  No suicidal tendencies, but just not enjoying life.  I refuse to take medication for it because I already deal with adverse side effects from the other medications I take.

My farmhouse country kitchen!
Several months ago, I realized that wishing and hoping that I would get better wasn't going to make it happen and wallowing in self-pity wasn't helping either!  It has taken me this long to finally admit that I was allowing the devil to win the battle and I needed to get back on track.  My God is big and, with His help, I can overcome these obstacles.  That's the first step.  It was time to pull myself up by my boot straps (or as others would say...put on my big girl panties) and do something about it. 
The Dining Room where breakfast was served to our guests and chatting that would last for hours.
Little baby steps are taking place.  I have joined a gym to use the heated pool for gentle exercising.  I recently started going to a nutritionist who has gotten me started on vitamins/minerals such as magnesium and Coq10 to deal with the pain.  Several months ago, I started decreasing some of the pain meds and am almost at the point now to start decreasing some more.  Our plan is to get me back on track with the use of the vitamins/minerals, good nutrition and weight loss.  Goodness knows, I haven't been eating like I should and it's amazing how the body suffers when there is a deficiency.
Now, I'm sure you're scratching your head and wondering what all this has to do with the photos I'm sharing.  It's not just because I am wanting to do a little mini-house tour.  I love being able to show you our home as God has blessed us immensely.  No, I'm sharing with you because this is what my home USED to look like. Beautiful and uncluttered rooms. 

The Playroom ~ decorated with vintage childhood toys and books
When there's no energy and no desire to keeping your home looking like this, it becomes cluttered, unkempt and really dusty! I am embarrassed to admit it but that's what has happened.  I have forgotten how to do housecleaning in an orderly fashion without wearing myself out. Seriously. Some of the medication side effects are fatigue, memory loss and brain fog but I think a good part of it is because I am so overwhelmed about where to start and what to do.
The Keepsake Room ~ decorated with memories of Grandma and Grandpa
I remember reading a blog post some time back about a book that gave tips on simple, organized housecleaning. You know, something along the lines of the embroidered teatowels. Monday is for..., Tuesday.... and so on. Anyone remember the name of the book orsomething along that line?

You know the commercial about the medical alert thingy where the lady says "help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"? That's me. I've fallen into a deep hole and I'm needing help on knowing how to get out.

My life has become discombobulated.  I want to be able to sit out on my porch swing and enjoy the blessings that God has given me and to enjoy the life that I have.  And this is why I wanted to have this chat.  I could use your help.  First and foremost, I covet your prayers.  I need prayer warriors to lift me up and help me stay focused.  Secondly, with the brain fog and memory loss, I've forgotten (or thrown out the window!) alot of what I know about housecleaning, organization, nutrition, etc.   I need help in getting the light, way back in the recesses of my fogged brain, to come back on and for me to say, "oh duh!"

You, my blogging friends, are such a blessing to me and I so enjoy your friendships.  Thank you for being part of my little blogging world.  I pray you have a wonderful day!~

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