Saturday, February 26, 2011

Last Call!

Spring is almost upon us!  For me, the "unofficial" start of spring is March 1st, no matter what the weather does after that.  Very soon we won't have a "hankering" for chili ... or stew ... or soups ...  Let's have that last cup (or two) of hot chocolate while we will still enjoy it, before putting winter and its accompaniments to bed.

Winter, I'm ready to love you and leave you!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens ...
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Off to fix that last cup of hot cocoa,

Image:  Arvind Balaraman /
<p><a href="">Image: Arvind Balaraman /</a></p>

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal (with a little effort)

I don't have a new camera as yet, but here is a snap of the latest issue of Victoria (I really enjoyed it) and a book by Emelie Tolley.  I have her Pansies book as well.  The little hankie (if we could see it) has bows and flowers on it in colors that harmonize with the vignette.  The depression glass cup and saucer are a gift from my sister-in-law.  The cutglass bowl and glass clock were my mother's, as well as the little "gold" heart dish that holds some earrings.  The long necklace belonged to my grandmother.  It is long enough to be looped into a knot if desired.

Here's a thought I'd like to share: 

When you get to the end of your
tie a knot in it and hang on!

I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Psalm 104:33

Thank you, Father God, for giving me so many reasons to sing,

I'm linking this post to Kathy at A Delightsome Life:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Being Hyacinth Bucket

Do you know Hyacinth Bucket, pronounced "Bouquet"?  I hope so because, well, she’s a hoot.  Hyacinth is the main character of the 90s BBC comedy Keeping Up Appearances.  I fell in love with that show the first time I saw it on PBS.  My son and daughter-in-law have since gifted me with the DVDs so that I can watch an episode whenever.

Hyacinth is the eldest of four sisters and is married to lovable, long-suffering Richard.  Each episode is about the attempted realization of some desire Hyacinth has for a fuller life, intertwined with the antics of her sisters and the common sense of her neighbors.  Her home is immaculate, she dresses impeccably, and more proper etiquette was never practiced by anyone (almost). 

Wonderfully played by actress Patricia Routledge, I’ve come to enjoy this marvelous character as much for her perfect homemaking as for her follies and foibles.  In fact, one day I must have been relating something about the show and mentioned to my younger brother that I wished I were just like Hyacinth.  He teasingly, yet seriously responded, “You are Hyacinth!”  Of course, I was referring to her adept presentation of her home and person, but I knew he was referring to her personality.  At first I thought he might have been teasing me about my pride that sometimes raises its ugly head.

Shortly after that, however, we were in his car heading out on an errand and I warned him to watch out for another car that was off in the distance.  And then it dawned on me!  My brother was absolutely right!  I am Hyacinth!  More often than I care to admit.  Dare I say it?  I’m bossy!  And a control freak!  Oh dear.  Well, at home and with family I am.  The real me that the world at large doesn’t see.  I suppose it’s because I can get away with it at home, and my loving family tolerates it.

Disastrous as some of her outcomes may be, however, Hyacinth is a leader.  That's good because we need leaders, or much that needs doing wouldn't be done.  But I think Hyacinth is also a prime example of a worrier.  She worries about what people think of her and her family; she worries she's not good enough; and she worries about keeping her world and her family safe.  And all that worry makes her the ultimate control freak.

As I get older, time and experience have helped me to worry less about what people think about me and being "good enough," although once in awhile those types of worries will still try to emerge.  These days my worries are mostly for the well-being and safety of my extended family, friends, neighbors, and myself.  But as I said here, I do my best to turn those worries over to God ASAP.

And I pray I can be a little less like Hyacinth is portrayed (especially when I'm a passenger in a car!), holding my tongue, and always remembering to give even the little daily concerns and frustrations of life into His care.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough
trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:33,34

Enjoying a rare Snow Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Little Shop Talk


I've been in somewhat of a quandary lately trying to decide which direction this blog should go.  What with working a somewhat intense fulltime job, I'm discovering I don't have as much time and energy as I'd like to work on posts.

I've read that a blog should fit into a specific niche (is that being redundant?), but I can see that I won't have enough material to continue for long unless I do more than publish my backstories and my tips for overcoming negative thinking.  I will need to diversify!

In the past I only read a few blogs, but now that I'm researching what's out there, I'm amazed at all the fabulous blogs.  There's no end!  (Notice on my sidebar I've added links to many of the sites I've been enjoying.)    

I've asked myself what are my favorite things/blogs:  decorating/interior design; knitting, crochet, and other crafts; china and dishes, especially tea things; vintage items and family heirlooms; books; Victoria magazine; writing; living simply and chicly; some light gardening; positive thinking/happiness; blogs from the United Kingdom, especially England and Scotland; and inspirational blogs that exalt Jesus.

Therefore, before long I hope to make future posts more eclectic, especially once I get a camera that takes close-ups.  So if you've found my blog (and that isn't easy!) and you enjoy my sermonettes or backstories, please keep checking back.  If you want to review tips to overcome negative thinking, please check the sidebar, and I'll occasionally expound on that topic.  And if you want to see what else I've a mind to share about, check back and let's see how this blog develops!

I feel so humbled and honored that you are stopping by.  You hold a special place in my heart and in my prayers.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5,6

May God bless and keep you,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Got Peppermint?

Hard candy, that is.  Or spearmint hard candy? 

I ask that because I've changed many a bad, frustrated, or fretful mood of mine at work by popping a peppermint or spearmint candy.  It may sound preposterous, but immediately my mind turns to the flavor and feel of the candy and for fifteen or twenty minutes, I enjoy a "little break" that refreshes me and almost without fail improves my mood. 

I don't know if any hard candy will do, but I suspect the flavor needs to be strong to do the trick.  Plus, if it were something too sweet or mild, I'd indulge too often (and that wouldn't be good!).

I actually schedule spearmint/peppermint breaks for about forty minutes before my lunch break and forty minutes before quitting time because I've learned those hours at the office seem the longest and most difficult to me.  By the time the piece of candy has disappeared there are just twenty minutes or so left of the morning or afternoon.  I normally have just the two candies a day, although if I desperately need a perk earlier, I'll indulge in an extra.

We wouldn't want to overdue it, so if one has a big weakness for hard candies (or bad teeth!), better ignore this tip.  But it really does give me a lift.

I don't keep a dish at work filled with the candies, but one certainly could add that to her desk.  For a long time I had a dish of peppermints on my coffeetable at home.  But after discovering twenty or so candies under my couch after "the kitties" came to live with me, I now keep some in a covered dish that is actually an antique hair receiver (with a hole in the lid). 

I think mint is supposed to be calming, but perhaps lemon or cinnamon would be nice as well.  When I was little, I remember my grandmother used to like hard candies called Michigan mints.  They were azure blue, and oblong instead of round.  I haven't seen any for years, though.

I use the enjoyment of a strong-flavored hard candy as another one of my tools to interrupt negative thoughts!  Nice and easy, too!

How sweet are your words to my taste,
   sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

Stay safe and warm,