Tuesday, December 30, 2008

There's No Place Like Home...

The dim light from our small laundry room lamp casts its glow across my mother's face and sends shadows skittering across the room.

As I glance up at her from where I am sitting, the thought that has been throbbing through my heart all day rises once again to my thoughts.

There really is no place like home.

Elizabeth is engrossed in a new book; her curly head bent low to catch the dark stamp of words printed across the soft flutter of pages; her hair, soft and golden and fine, is smooth against her cheek.

I love to watch her face as she reads, her lips moving silently to the rythm of the neatly woven story; her face contorting frequently into a vast mix of facial movements--first a frown of worry, then a twist of excitement, and last a gleeful bounce and joyful outloud chuckle as the story turns to a happier note.

There really is no place like home.

Sarah is in the kitchen, enveloped in the nut brown sweater I bought for her several years ago. The whir of the beater winds its way down the hall to my ears, teasing me with thoughts of the delightful something she is making in the kitchen.

There really is no place like home.

My Daddy, though not with us now, can be felt just the same. I can picture him sitting in the family room at my grandparent's house, surrounded by a variety of musty antiques, where he is resting after a hard day's worth of work. The weather and car trouble has kept him from home...but our thoughts travel the miles between us and wrap around him with good-night hugs.

There really is no place like home.

Sometimes I wonder why I have been so blessed. My family isn't rich...we don't own all of the latest gadgets and gizmos...sometimes it even seems as if we've seen more than our fair share of hardships in life. But sometimes, it isn't what you own that measures up what you have. It's more than that.

It's the roof over my head, and my lovable, teasing sisters, and the set of parents that love me more than life itself.

It's the rain on the windowpane. It's the whisper of the wind through our woods. It's the stars shining down on our very own bit of Earth. It's all of the things that I am sometimes too busy to look up at and notice.

And when I remember all of these things...I realize that I'm one of the very richest people on earth.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Gift for You...

Debbie Reynolds

How would you like to find this life-size Debbie Reynolds
doll under your tree on Christmas morning?
Doesn't it look life-like?

Hey, wait...that isn't a doll! That is Debbie Reynolds! *chuckle*

Elizabeth Taylor

I'd love to have Elizabeth over for Christmas! Doesn't she look glamorous surrounded by all of the fancy new gadgets she "received" for Christmas?

Vintage Plymouth Advertisements...

Aren't these vintage Plymouth advertisements adorable? I stumbled across them the other day and had to share them with you! They really knew how to sell a product back then. Norman Rockwell's drawings...Christmas gatherings...all add up to perfectly marvelous advertisements!

Merry Christmas...

songs I sing's very first Christmas!

Christ was born in the first century,
yet he belongs to all centuries.

He was born a Jew, yet He belongs to all races.
He was born in Bethlehem, yet He belongs to all countries.

George W. Truett

* * * * * * * * * *

From my home to yours....
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Yes, Virginia...

Though my family chooses to focus on celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmastime instead of that jolly old elf, this most-famous newspaper article has always piqued my interest and thrilled me to the tips of my toes. Every word is perfectly stated, every thought profound. I hope you enjoy reading it--for the very first time or the hundredth--as much as I always have.

New York, Sept. 21, 1897.

Dear Editor: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says "If you see it in The Sun, it's so."
Please tell me the truth: is there a Santa Claus?

Virgina O'Hanlon

The editor's reply:

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world around him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills this world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas, Shirley...

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six.
Mother took me to see him in a department store
and he asked for my autograph."

Shirley Temple

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Blog Awards...

I've been away from home since last Thursday, as we three girls went with Mama into town for her scheduled surgery. It was a painful procedure, and it seems like she'll have quite a bit of recovering to do, but we are fervently praying that this will clear up the health issue she's suffered through the last several years!

I discovered that I hadn't yet posted the two awards three sweet young ladies gave to here they are! Thank you so much Clare, Laura, and Carla! Your kindness and sweet sentiments mean so much to me...

I know so many of my favorite blogs have been nominated for these awards if I overlook yours or give you a duplicate of one you already have...know I mean the best! ☺

I nominate:

The qualifications for this award:
You give this award to five bloggers who:

1.Inspire you
2.Make you smile and laugh
3.Give amazing information
4.Are a great read
5.Have an amazing design
6. And any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

Rules of the award are as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing! ***if you don’t have 5 that’s okay.***
3. Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
4. Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

I nominate:

Much love!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Something There...

Jimmy Stewart

"I learned never to empty the well of my writing,
but always to stop when there was still
something there in the deep part of the well,
and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it."

Ernest Hemingway

A Blog Award...

Charmaine of Beautiful Things to Share was kind enough to give me this blogger award! The concept behind the award being that the blog creators have shown an uncanny knack for seeing silver linings and making the best of bad situations (i.e., lemonade from lemons).

Thank you so much Charmaine for your sweet comments and support! Visit Charmaine's site to discover some of the lovely and inspirational items she delights in posting.

Rules: Name ten sites that reflect this silver linings philosophy.

Below are my ten choices...they continually inspire me and brighten up my day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Shadow of a Doubt...

"We're not just an uncle and a niece.
It's something else. I know you. I know you don't tell people a lot of things. I don't either. I have a feeling that inside you there's something nobody knows about... something secret and wonderful. I'll find it out."

Teresa Wright simply sparkles as young
"Charlie" in the 1943 film Shadow of a Doubt.

Considered by Alfred Hitchcock to be his best work, Shadow's plot centers around the quirky Newton family, who lead quiet lives in a quiet little town. When Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten)--beloved brother and idolized uncle--comes to visit, no one in the family seems to sense the underlying cloud of mystery that surrounds his life.

"Uncle Charlie"--one of Joseph Cotten's most brilliant roles.

But when detectives come snooping around the house, stating that they have reason to believe that the elusive serial killer, The Merry Widow Murderer, may be the Newton's own beloved uncle, young Charlie is unwillingly drawn into the mystery on a race against time to discover the truth behind her uncle's past.

"Shadow" is delightful and entertaining, a smoothly flowing film that will keep you on your toes. Hitchcock loved the idea of introducing crime to a small town, and he does so here with precise perfection.

The first time that the opening scenes flashed across our television screen, I knew this would be one film that I could watch again and again. Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright are brilliant as uncle and niece, and Hume Cronyn's delectable role as Herbie Hawkins was also his film debut.

The plot centers around a fine dance of suspense and intrigue, and young Charlie's recurring question...could there be more to her beloved uncle than she originally thought?

Teresa Wright's costumes are absolutely lovely...and I can only wish that we had a stately old library just like the one in the film in our small town. If you haven't yet seen, Shadow of a Doubt, you really need to find a copy. I highly recommend it!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fashion Vintage: Winter Wear...

Inspired by the winter weather, I hunted down some good old vintage fashion flair to help keep me warm on these icy cold nights. There's nothing quite so nice as inspiring cold weather attire to put one in the mood for the holidays!

So whether you imagine yourself skating in the park, window shopping with good friends, or heading out to that glamorous holiday bash in one of these delightful ensembles...hang on to your hats! They're simply delicious!








Thursday, November 27, 2008


"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more."

Melodie Beatty

* * * * * * * * * *
Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another Meme...

Carla tagged me for this meme...

The Rules:

1. Copy the questions and post the answers on your blog.
2. Tag four people and let them know that they've been tagged.
3. Let the person who tagged you know you've posted the meme.

1. What are your nicknames?

Ooh...really too many to count! Lets see...Em, Emmy, EmEm, M&M, and Annie (don't ask), among others, and one extra-special, classically-ridiculous nickname my Daddy dubbed me with...which shall remain...a secret. ☺

2. What TV game show or reality show would you like to be on?

I don't think I would ever care to be on a game or reality show. But I have always wished that I could star as an extra or a bit part on some of my favorite classic television shows. Can't you just see me in the background...that girl jumping up and down and wildly waving her arms because she actually made it onto I Love Lucy??

*sigh* Born too late...

3. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?

I don't believe I've ever bought myself a movie. All of the movies I own were given to me.

4. What is your favorite scent?

I love how the earth smells right before it rains, with the tension and crackling of lightning filling the air; the smell of tomato plants and brand-new yarn; warm cookies baking on a cold night; Elizabeth's fluffy little head of curls right after a shower; and walnut & vanilla cream body spray. Mmm!!

5. If you had one million dollars to spend only on yourself, what would you spend it on?

I have always longed to travel, so I know that is one thing that I would love to spend the money on, but I would also love to buy a zillion lovely, vintage books, old movie magazines, and all sorts of vintage clothes.

6. What is one place you've visited, can't forget and want to go back to?

Truthfully, in my whole life I haven't ever traveled far from home. A few trips to nearby states to visit family, one trip to one town in Georgia (but we basically lived in our hotel room, so that doesn't count), and two trips to Nags Head, North Carolina. My dream travels have been much more exciting...! I'd love to travel to so many places...I have a running list! I'd also love to be able to meet a few of these, here, here, and here!

7. Do you trust easily?

Yes, though I've grown out of it a bit as I've grown older. I've discovered how hard it can be to have a naturally trusting nature; it's easy to get hurt because of it.

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?

A bit of both. I'm probably both extremes. Anyone can tell you that I tend to way over-think and analyze things at times, but I can also be very spontaneous!

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?

Certainly. I doubt there will ever be a time in anyone's life where there isn't some small unhappiness that lingers somewhere nearby. The key is to trust in God and keep focusing on every small bit of joy in your life.

10. What is your favorite fruit?

I don't really have a favorite fruit. I love nectarines, clementines, grapes...etc., etc., etc.

11. What websites do you visit daily?

I don't visit all of these everyday, but quite often...A Banner of Crimson, I Have Loved the Rain, Starlight Musings, Those Northern Skies, and S&S Forums. I'm always on the search for new favorites, too!

12. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?

Baskin-Robbins Mocha Cappuccino Blast. Oh, so heavenly! But just because I'm addicted does not mean that I can/do purchase it. I need to be saving for more lasting items in my life...more's the pity.

13. What's the last song that got stuck in your head?

Elvis Presley's, In the Ghetto. Haunting, soulful, and oh-so-lovely! This song always makes me cry, especially at the...And his Mama cries...As her young man dies...bit.

14. What is your favorite thing to wear?

Something classic..something that makes me feel lovely and wonderful.

15. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?


16. What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?

I would try to see if the owner was someone nearby...then I suppose I would give it to my mom for groceries.

17. What items couldn't you be without during the day?

Dreams, my family, books, and my imagination.

18. What should you be doing right now?

Scrubbing up the kitchen post-cherry pie baking.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Elizabeth Taylor

"So much to do, so little done, such things to be."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Meme...

The Editrix tagged me for an interesting new meme on books....

The rules are as follows:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences
5. Tag five people.

1. Pick up the nearest book? Hmm...this one was a bit perplexing. I always have far too many books scattered everywhere around me. I finally decided to close my eyes and jab a finger! I ended up with Beverly Cleary's classic 1958 novel, The Luckiest Girl. It has the most delicious cover!

2. 122...123.

3. The fifth sentence is..."A chocolate malt," answered Shelley.

4. It was then that Shelley saw Katie and her mother sitting on stools eating ice-cream sodas. Katie was slowly spooning the ice cream out of the bottom of her soda. Dejection showed in the way she sat on the stool, the way she put the spoon in her mouth and pulled it out again half-full of ice cream.

5. Now, to tag five. Don't feel obligated...that's for sure! If it looks fun, post it. If not....

Clare (I Have Loved the Rain)
Emma & Johanna (A Banner of Crimson)
Carla (Starlight Musings)
Laura (Actually Laura)
Sarah (Romantic History)

A Bit More About "Thursday's Child"...

I wanted to make sure to write a little bit more about my post, "Thursday's Child." Sometimes I'm so involved in my own thoughts, I forget that not everyone can peek inside my head and see exactly what I meant by something I wrote or said. And I just couldn't have you miss out on "Thursday's" neatness! *wink*

When I was very small, my grandmother would sit me her knee and recite the poem that I posted in "Thursday's" blog post. That memory has always stuck with me and even now, I still carry a special fondness for this anonymously written poem. It dates way back, and was often used to teach children the order of the weekdays.

So, remembering all of this, I decided to find out what day of the week I was born on. Which, of course, was a Thursday...hence the title of my blog post. I also looked up the day of the week some of my favorite stars were born on.

So, each of the stars are represented for the actual day of the week they were born on. Isn't it funny how some of them matched up coincidentally with perfect traits they carried?

You wouldn't believe how hard it was to find a vintage movie star who was born on a Friday!

Anyways, just thought I would elaborate a bit! A lot of thought went behind it all, don't ya' know? *smile*


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thursday's Child...

Paul Newman
January 26, 1925

Monday's child is fair of face.

Grace Kelly
November 12, 1929

Tuesday's child is full of grace.

Eva Marie Saint
July 4, 1924

Wednesday's child is full of woe.

Marlon Brando
April 3, 1924

Thursday's child has far to go.

Karl Malden
March 22, 1912

Friday's child is loving and giving.

Elizabeth Taylor
February 27, 1932

Saturday's child works hard for a living,

Teresa Wright

October 27, 1918

But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Interview...

In a little more than a week from today, I will be trying to make my way through a maze of buildings on a rather large college campus. Building 245 will be the one I have been searching for.

If I do perhaps, chance to find it, butterflies will be fluttering in my stomach, as I wait, impatiently, for the elevator to take me to the second floor. The pleasant-voiced woman on the other end of the telephone instructed me to ask anyone on the floor to direct me to her office..."They'll be sure to point you in the right direction." But what will I do when I finally make my way there?

I've been instructed to bring a writing sample. A research paper that will show my abilities in that area. The essay won't really be that important. The opportunity will mostly be based on our interview.

As I take my seat, my mouth will be as dry as a bone and my mind will have gone completely blank. I will keep trying to remind myself that there will be other chances; other days. But it really does very little to quiet the questioning thoughts running through my mind. What will she say? Even more importantly...what will I say??

I know that I won't be able to help staring down at the shoes I am wearing...which, as a side note, will hopefully be Sarah's best black heels. I always seem to stare at my shoes when I'm nervous.

I will try to keep my hands folded in my lap as she rearranges the papers on her desk, but when I am not looking, my left hand will sneak up to twist around and around one of the earrings I am wearing. I clench it tightly with my other hand, but up it sneaks again. It's a losing battle.

I try to remind myself that a twenty minute interview isn't very long at all...but, I also know that, for me, one who has always tended to be painfully shy, it will seem like an eternity.

I have been so blessed to have been offered this opportunity. So...I will try to keep my concentration on those feelings of joy and fear, humility and blessedness that continue to sweep over me.

That, and a remembrance that when God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Isn't it terrible?

Here I was, all set to devote an entire post to the fact that I am disappointed for the very first time in my blog. Oh, I had some wonderfully legitimate reasons devoted to the topic...about how plain and insignificant and utterly un-wonderful my blog is. I hit some strong points in there for sure. Such as feeling sorry for myself about not having followers, not having readers....not having, not having, not having.

You might see a few changes around here, but I'm definitely not going to jump ship as I was all set to do...that is, before I remembered to focus on myself and not on everyone (or should I say everyone's blogs) around me.

I may not have exceptional photography to showcase, I may not be the funniest girl on the block...I may not even really have anything worthwhile to say. But when I really stop to think about it, I didn't start my blog with any of these things in mind. Maybe that's why I feel as if I lost that spark that kept me loving to write here. Maybe in all of my striving or hoping to be something that I am not...I lost the bit that was most important.

I once wrote that, "Someday I'll realize that my life, no matter how small, has meant something. That the things that I felt, and thought, and experienced, weren't small, insignificant things to be forgotten, but all took a part in the making of...well, me...and they thereby have a right to be remembered."

And suddenly I feel ashamed. I've let certain thoughts and feelings crowd in where they shouldn't have been. I took something that was fun and loveable and turned it into something stressful and disappointing. I let these unhealthy thoughts not only run away with my feelings towards my blog, but also other, more important things about myself.

I'm hoping that I've learned something from the younger me. Sometimes I get so focused on the here and now or the maybe and when, that I forget to focus on what really matters. As much as I want certain things to be certain ways in my life, I can never help matters along by grouching about them.

So...I suppose this post really didn't have any purpose at all. I suppose I just needed to hear the tapping of the keys and the sigh of my heart as I place my feet back on the path I've chosen to travel. It isn't always fun, and sometimes it is just downright satisfying to be a grump every once in awhile. But that isn't who I am. I know that with God right here, holding me between His fingertips, I can follow this path wherever it may lead.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Letter of a Marine...

I'm sure by now you can tell how much I love letters. Old letters, new letters, war letters, love letters, everyday letters. Letters that make me laugh; letters that make me cry; letters that poke me beneath the ribs with their honesty or cause me to shiver with their resonant truth.

Letters sometimes provide you with such profound insight into the depths of the human soul. The short letter below, written by a young man fighting in Vietnam to his aunt back home, captures some unspeakable beauty in his humble thoughts that struck a chord in my own heart.

Though not openly sharing my beliefs regarding heaven and eternity, something in this young soldier's sentiments causes me to nod my head in agreement every time and reminds me to strive every day to change the world, albeit in some small, humble way. I hope it touches your heart as much as it has touched mine.

I can't help makes me cry every time.

* * * * * * * * * *
Marion Lee ("Sandy") Kempner, a former Peace Corps volunteer from Galveston, Texas, was sent to Vietnam in July 1966 to serve with the marines. Writing to his great-aunt Mrs. Louis "Fannie" Adoue on October 20, 1966, Kempner addresses the subject of immortality after a seemingly trivial incident.

Dear Aunt Fannie,

This morning, my platoon and I were finishing up a three-day patrol. Struggling over steep hills covered with hedgerows, trees, and generally impenetrable jungle, one of my men turned to me and pointed a hand, filled with cuts and scratches, at a rather distinguished-looking plant with soft red flowers waving gaily in the downpour (which had been going on ever since the patrol began) and said, "That is the first plant I have seen today which didn't have thorns on it." I immediately thought of you.

The plant, and the hill upon which it grew, was also representative of Vietnam. It is a country of thorns and cuts, of guns and marauding, of little hope and of great failure. Yet in the midst of it all, a beautiful thought, gesture, and even person can arise among it waving bravely at the death that pours down upon it. Some day this hill will be burned by napalm, and the red flower will crackle up and die among the thorns. So what was the use of it living and being a beauty among the beasts, if it must, in the end, die because of them, and with them? This is a question which is answered by Gertrude Stein's "A rose is a rose is a rose." You are what you are what you are. Whether you believe in God, fate, or the crumbling cookie, elements are so mixed in a being that make him what he is; his salvation from the thorns around him lies in the fact that he existed at all, in his very own personality. There once was a time when the Jewish idea of heaven and hell was the thoughts and opinions people had of you after you died. But what if the plant was on an isolated hill and was never seen by anyone? That is like the question of whether the falling tree makes a sound in the forest primeval when no one is there to hear it. It makes a sound, and the plant was beautiful and the thought was kind, and the person was humane, and distinguished and brave, not merely because other people recognized it as such, but because it is, and it is, and it is.

The flower will always live in the memory of a tired, wet Marine, and thus has achieved a sort of immortality. But even if we had never gone on that hill, it would still be a distinguished, soft, red, thornless flower growing among the cutting, scratching plants, and that in itself is its own reward.


Less than three weeks after writing this letter, Sandy Kempner was disarming a mine near Tien Phu when one of his men accidentally tripped another mine. Kempner, though seriously injured by the explosion, ordered that the other wounded man be treated first. Kempner was finally placed in a medevac to be taken to the hospital, but he died en route. He was twenty-four years old.
~excerpt from Letters of a Nation
By Andrew Carroll


"Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty."

Doris Day

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day...


Sarah, Mama, Elizabeth and I, just made it to our little white township building to cast our votes for 2008's Presidential election!

Our little gray car broke down on my mother as she was headed to a doctors appointment in town...which is about an hour and fifteen minutes from our home. I was so disappointed that I would most likely not be taking part in one of the most important rituals of American history. But...Mama arrived home just in time! We three girls ran out to the car, me, with a plate of dinner in my hand for Mama.

I don't know about you...but as I cast my vote, shivers raced up and down my spine. How fortunate we are to live in a free nation where we can live out our lives to our choosing, read what we desire to read, speak the thoughts that we wish to express. As alien as it seems, do we remember the many, many people in other nations who aren't blessed enough to have these same rights that we often take for granted? Do we remember the people who have fought and died that our country may stand thus today with its liberties and freedom?

I am keenly disappointed in my heart by the fact that--unless a miracle happens--the candidate that I voted for isn't going to win. I suppose I need to remember that as disappointing as that will be to me, and as unfortunate as it will be for our great country, life will go on. It always does. Whether or not God is acknowledged or respected in the hearts of our nations leaders...God will still reign.

"Sometimes one pays most
for the things one gets for nothing"

Albert Einstein

Thursday, October 23, 2008

If You Can Dream...

Audrey Hepburn

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master...


For my own dear Sarah...

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run--
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

~Rudyard Kipling (1865)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dr. Fear...

Poor Sarah has been in so much pain recently from three stubborn wisdom teeth that had been insisting on coming in. They still were beneath her gum, but in such a short time, had already started to misalign her front teeth.

So, just a few days ago, she went in for surgery to have all three removed. She was required to have an IV and be put under during the procedure, which I'm sure was a blessing in disguise!

She is still in a lot of pain, and quite a bit loopy from the medication she is on, but I know she will soon be as good as new again. I can't help teasing her about the "chipmunk cheeks" she has acquired from swelling in the area where the procedure occured! ☺

Sarah didn't realize that her surgeon's last name was Dr. Fear until she had arrived home after the first consultation with him. We all couldn't help laughing...

His partner...? Dr. Hitchcock. Now, what it the likelihood of that?!?

I think I would have been a bit hesitant...wouldn't you? ☺

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Never Thought...

Funny Face (1957)

"I never thought I'd land in pictures with a face like mine."

Audrey Hepburn

Sometimes You Never Grow Too Old...

I can't really remember the first time I stumbled upon Winnie Foster, but I do remember wishing that I could weave a story as beautifully as Natalie Babbitt did with this one. Her words are mesmerizing and pull you in as the plot unfolds. By the end of the book, you can only wish there was more to this beautiful story...

Sometimes you never grow too old for those few special childhood fairytales.

Without further ado, an excerpt...

The first week of August hangs at the top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are the strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.

One day at that time, not so very long ago, three things happened and at first there appeared to be no connection between them...

Tuck Everlasting
By Natalie Babbitt

Friday, October 10, 2008

One Fine Day...

Pier Angeli

The spicy, vivid tone of Autumn is in the air. As my feet trace a well-worn path along our red dirt road, studded with the shapes of mismatched stones, I can only marvel at the beauty God has created. My breath catches in my throat, as the wind softly whispers through the pale, golden-y yellow of leaves that again cap the fine, slender trunks of the young trees that sporadically dot the countryside.

Fall has come once again.

I can't understand how anyone can dislike the quiet serenity that seems to come hand in hand with it. When I think of fall, I think of deep books, intricate knitting projects, pumpkins, apple cider, and pies...among so many other things.

It seems refreshing in some small way to pull out the cooler weather wardrobe you have stored away--the well-worn purple jacket you've worn since you were eleven, the new bolero you've only worn once or twice, the obstinate mate to a pair of shoes that actually has laces. It's sweetly sorrowful to pull on for one last time that lovely summer piece of clothing you had such fun in one day.

Nights are cool, and, as usual, Autumn's fingerprint seems especially icy on my spine. My mint-green down blanket has been stored away in my closet over the summer, and is beginning to look mighty fine indeed. Nothing like a down blanket or three to keep you snug as a bug.

It has been a tough year. I know--and have to believe--that one day soon good times will be peeking around the corner at me again. In some ways, though it is hard to explain, I am as thankful for the difficult times as I am the light-hearted ones. In some unspeakable way, trying times have always drawn the hearts of people closer together, and it has done no less in my own life.

So, yes...this is a fine day, because I am alive and well, with a roof over my head, my God in my heart, and a family that unflinchingly cares for me. One fine day builds upon the next, until they become as a string of fine, dewy pearls in my memory.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Six Random Things...

Carla tagged me for this ever-so-random meme.
Here are six random items about myself...what are a few items from your life?
* * * * * * * * *

1. Ice cream, especially Breyer's, is my very favorite-est of desserts.

2. I prefer quite large purses/bags to small ones. That way I can stuff them full of all of the items I just might need. You never know when a situation will arise when you'll be able to work through three books, a knitting project or two, or maybe an essay. ☺

3. I prefer even numbers to odd.

4. I have extra small fingernails. I always looked forward to the day when I would finally have "grown-up" nails like my Mom's...but it's never happened. *sigh*

5. I've always had such a wide variety of interests. Some of my "hope-to-be's" over the years have been: a gymnast, singer, astronomer, writer, nurse, musical therapist, pianist, etc., etc., etc. To tell you the truth, most of these are still on my list!

6. Geology is my favorite college class.

You are supposed to tag several other people for this meme, but just about everyone I could think of has already been tagged by one person or another, so...if you think this meme looks interesting, feel free to try it on your own blog! Consider yourself "officially" tagged! ☺

Friday, October 3, 2008

Vintage Movie Magazines...

Not only do Sarah and I love watching our favorite old films together, we also enjoy reading vintage movie magazines we've had the fun of hunting down in antique shops or online. I love to scour the musty, yellowed pages for outfits I'd like to copy someday, or to laugh at the funny vintage ads that seem so unbelievable by modern standards. Even in something as "wordly" as a movie magazine, it is so refreshing to see how often good standards and morals rule the pages.

I thought you might enjoy catching a glimpse of some of the adorable stars that graced the covers of these classic magazines I stumbled across today. Which ones are your favorites?

Always lovely, Grace Kelly. Isn't her outfit the cutest?

Norma Talmadge

Myrna Loy and Asta

Beautiful Elizabeth Taylor

Loretta Young

Promo for the 1951 film, Father's Little Dividend

Peary's Perspective...

It seems almost an impossibility to me how anyone can look forward to living their life out in the same place and doing the same things that their fathers and grandfathers did before them. Today as I think of what the world is and that I have my life before me, nothing seems impossible. I wish that as in the story books, some fairy might place the mirror of life before me and tell me to look at whatever scene I wished. Yet if it could be so, I can hardly say but I should close my eyes and refuse to look. How many have wished and wondered about the mysterious future as I do, and yet if the curtain were permitted to be drawn aside, would shrink from doing it for fear of gazing upon rugged rocks and yawning graves, in place of the velvety paths they wished for.

Robert E. Peary, explorer, to his mother on his twentieth birthday;

May 6, 1876

~excerpt from Letters of a Nation--By Andrew Carroll

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goodbye, Paul...

"Yes, his eyes were that blue and beautiful. ...His legacy as a humanitarian for children around the world is unmatchable. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Joanne and the family."

~Eva Marie Saint

* * * * * * * * *

Paul Newman died today. He was one of the last surviving actors that I consider truly great. His piercing blue eyes and loveable cocky attitude endeared him to generations. Portraying characters such as Ari Ben Canaan, Ben Quick, Rocky, or Billy the Kid, he made each one come alive with his brilliant acting.

We will never be able to forget him. He will be greatly missed.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Thurday-ish Night...

I have oodles of work to finish for school, but I am still sitting here in front of the computer, with my feet tucked up beneath me, enjoying this quiet moment to myself for all I am worth.

My head aches, my throat hurts, and my feet are cold, but inside I am so content. Even the most miserable of colds couldn't snatch that away from me right now. God's peace resides in my heart and the whole world seems an open book just waiting to be read.

It feels scribble something for myself for once, instead of writing something to be scrutinized by the biased college professor, who believes that under no circumstances should "life" be capitalized, when I know that sometimes it must. Not that I'm complaining mind you, as I really, truly love my college work, but...if you love to write, you'll know exactly what I mean. It's as if I have stumbled across of a piece of myself again after misplacing it for far too long. Just like those stubborn shoes or stray knitting needles I can never seem to find at the moment I need them most. You don't know how good it feels!

My sore throat seems to know that there is a container of delicious, chocolate-peanut butter ice cream in the freezer. I just might have some as I curl up on the couch.

And I believe I'll find an extra pair of socks for these icy toes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Will Never Forget...

Seven years ago today an immeasurable tragedy occured.
Families were torn apart--lives were shattered and forever more changed.

We have not forgotten; we will not forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fashion Flops...

Here are a few funny vintage fashions I wouldn't want to be caught in! Whether done purely in fun, as a sign of the fashion of the times, or just an over-the-top still makes you think twice about what you decide to put on for the day!
Anne Francis

I love quirky vintage photos, but this one is just a
little too strange for my taste.
I don't know why, but it seems just a bit creepy to me to have a
pair of live birds sitting on your earrings.

Whoever came up with the idea for this photo session, shot right past that cute mark
in my opinion. And what's up with her bangs??

Lucille Ball

Lucille looks glamorous, but what's with the wrap...and dare I say muff?
How big can you get? I think after wearing this for an
hour or two you'd have a serious neck ache...not
to even mention the people running away in fright down the sidewalk.

Now tell me the truth. If you saw that sashaying down the sidewalk, wouldn't you be frightened??


Coat on...

Coat off.

Why would she take off the coat but leave that hideous hat
(dare I call it that) on her head?
It just isn't flattering.

Jobyna Ralston

Being a curly-haired girl myself, I can only
wonder why they didn't tell this poor girl that she
should never brush her hair.
The hat does nothing to de-emphasize the fact that she looks
as if she just stuck her finger in a lightsocket.

I'm feeling you, sister, I'm feeling you.