Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thrift and Dollar Store Decorating for Fall

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • She is like the merchant's ships, she bringeth her food (and other things!) from afar
  • She looketh well to the ways of her household
  • ...all of her household are clothed with scarlet
I'll admit it, when I first started seeing posts around the blogosphere about fall decorating back at the first of September, I was aghast. We were still experiencing temperatures in the high 90's, with the heat index in the triple digits! Who could even think fall under those circumstances? Last week I finally made a dollar store purchase or two and pulled out some things I already had, and did some tentative seasonal decorating--just in time for a cold front! We had one whole day where the temps didn't climb into the 90's, and where I actually thought about pulling out a long sleeved shirt to wear. Not to worry, it was back to normal today, but it sure did feel good for a day or two, and it did get me at least thinking about up coming holidays and events!
So far on the porch all I've done is change out my wreath for this thrifty fall wreath I made last year from dollar store decorations and a repurposed grapevine wreath.
For indoors, I started this centerpiece--made from a charger I already had--which I'm sure came from the dollar store--and two new Dollar Tree purchases--the glass vase and bag of dried thingies, $1 each--total cost so far, $2.



It's not quite done--I had originally planned to fill the vase with the dried goodies, mixed with a few pine cones from the woods or the side of the road, but when I spread these out on the charger while I decided which to put in the vase first, I liked the look of it, so I decided to leave them around the outside.

I want to add a candle inside the glass, but so far I haven't found one tall enough that I like, so for now, I'm enjoying it this way.


The other thing I did in the "dining room"--which is the end of our eat-in kitchen--is fill one of my vintage jars with nuts, and the other one with a fall pick and some silk leaves--all dollar store purchases from years past.

And this one is filled with old buttons, all different shapes, sizes, and colors. These were leftovers from my grandmother's sewing table, and range from really vintage buttons from the 50's and 60's to more modern ones that were cut off of shirts when they were discarded.


So far that's all of the fall decorating I've done--our "cold front" has just about passed, and we're back in the heat, but I have some mums I need to repot, and I forsee a pumpkin to sit beside them on the porch later in the month. Eventually fall will arrive in the south!


Until next time...



This post is linked to:

Vintage Thingie Thursday at Coloradolady
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Fall Get Together Party and Decorating Your Home at It's a Blog Party
31 Days of Autumn Bliss at the Inspired Room

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday--A Visitor to the Garden

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • ...with her hands she planteth...

Well, I actually have been planting this past week--I started a raised bed garden and we planted a couple of blueberry bushes and another couple of blackberry vines.

So far, all I have to show for it is dirt and baby plants, so I thought I'd share another of the plants from my mother's patio. This is a New Zealand spinach plant--although it's edible, just like regular leaf spinach, it actually makes a vine. It kept trying to take over it's neighbors, so she wrapped it around it's one pot and it twines all around on itself. We ate some last week as part of a salad, it tastes very similar to leaf spinach.

And did you notice the "visitor"--the green lizard right in the middle? We love to watch these little guys chase each other up and down the patio railings, or sun themselves and push out their pretty pink "purses" under their throats.

Hopefully by next week I'll have a few pictures of my own yard and garden, as I try little by little to rescue it from years of us not being at home long enough to really do anything with it.

This post is linked to:

Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer

Say "Cheese" at It's a Blog Party

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday--Cypress Vine

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • ...with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard
One of the things I like about being at home is having the time and the space for plants and flowers. It's been so hot since I've been here that I haven't gotten anything started for myself--it's bit late for summer hardy plants, and still too hot for fall varieties--but I can still enjoy the pretty things growing wild and and in other people's yards!



This beautiful overgrown muddle is on the beds in my parent's back yard. There's a cement bird-bath hiding somewhere in the middle, but we haven't been able to see it for weeks. Technically cypress vine is an annual, but it reseeds and comes back up, whether you want it to or not! This flower bed has been cleaned out down to bare dirt twice this year, but it's grows back in spite of their best efforts to keep it somewhat at bay.


It's so pretty up close, though, with it's pretty red star-shaped flowers and it's feathery fern-like leaves. The flowers open in the mornings, and close against the afternoon heat. It's hardy in the heat, even with temperatures in and near the triple digits, and will stay until really cold weather hits (if it ever does!).

And it not only attracts several kinds of butterflies, but hummingbirds as well, although it was the wrong time of day to catch them at it.

I can't wait to have some growing in my yard!
This post is linked to:
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer
Until next time...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kol Nidre--2010

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • She openth her mouth with wisdom, and in her mouth is the law of kindness

This post was originally published on October 8, 2008. This year Kol Nidre is tonight, September 17th.

Tonight is Kol Nidre, the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, historically the most holy day in the Biblical calendar. It's one of the Lord's appointed times--a sabbath of solemn rest; a day of fasting; a holy convocation, or gathering; and a day of offering up of sacrifice.

Jewish and Messianic people everywhere meet tonight to say the Kol Nidre prayer, which means "all vows". Traditionally, on this night you are released from all personal vows you made to the Lord in the past year. It also begins the 25 hour Yom Kippur fast.

As a believer, Yom Kippur is another chance for me to pause and remember that Yeshua Ha'mashiach, Jesus the Messiah, has made atonement once and for all for all of my sins.

Prophetically, it's in the portion of the Biblical year that has not yet been fulfilled, along with the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah, or Rosh Hoshana) just past, and the Feast of Tabernacles or booths (Sukkot), which begins next Wednesday night.

Here is a link to a You-Tube video of a cantor saying the Kol Nidre prayers.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to Blogging, Day 3--My Favorite Titles

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness

For Day 3 of Back to Blogging, hosted by the SITS Girls community, and sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances, our task is to republish a post with a title that we especially like--whether it's funny or creative or sentimental. Looking back at past archives, my favorite titles by far are:
(click on the title to read the posts)

My Husband Likes Crunch Peanut Butter

Merry Chrisamerry

Very Bad, Awful, Aggravating-but-Ultimately-Good Day at Walmart

Walmart--the Good, the Bad and the (not) Ugly

Where, Oh Where Can She Be?

I'm so glad I decided to participate in this event, I've had a good time reading some of my older posts. Yes, some are truthfully cringe-worthy, but some make me sit up straighter and say "Wow, I wrote that?"

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to Blogging, Day 2

For Day 2 of Back to Blogging, hosted by the SITS Girls community, and sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances, our task is to republish a post that we wish more people had read, and why it's important to us.

I have a lot of posts in that category, most all of my more serious posts. I often feel when I write these that I'm pouring out my heart and soul, but in many cases I get few, if any responses to these kinds of posts.
My most recent "I-wish-people-would-read-this-one" is below:

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • She looketh well to the ways of her household...
  • She eateth not the bread of idleness...

This has been a busy week, and I am, once again, behind on my Bible in 90 Days reading. Surprise!

One thing I've realized along the way, though, is that the Lord speaks to me through His word every week, and then I get some reinforcement from elsewhere--something may come up in conversation, or I may read something some place else. This week we made a trip back to the Explorations in Antiquity Center, where the settings of the Bible are brought to life, and once again, I had much food for thought.


Part of the exhibit in the garden area includes these representations of ancient altars; the one on the left is rough and crude-looking, and the one on the right is much lovelier and more refined in appearance. The rough looking one is patterned after the Israelite altars, and the smooth, pretty one is patterned after a Canaanite altar. At first glance it doesn't seem to make much sense--Canaanite society was fairly primitive, and Israel was, after all, led directly by the Lord. wouldn't it stand to reason that the Lord would instruct them in building a more attractive altar?


I got so excited when I saw these again this past week--because it hasn't been long ago that I read the Lord's instructions to Israel through Moses--the altar they built was to be of unhewn stone--stone of God's creation, not man's design. The object of worship is not to be the altar...


...but God Himself.


How many times have we done what was right in our own eyes--just as Israel did during the time of the Judges...



...instead of following after the Lord's instruction?

Did he not tell Moses to be sure to build the tabernacle according the pattern that He showed him?

Did He not tell Saul that to obey is better than sacrifice?

And didn't Israel turn their backs on the ways of the Lord over and over again, whether out of

rebellion...

or disobedience...

or ignorance?


I wonder how many times I've built an altar of my own design

or offered up fire of my own making

or ignored clear instruction out of my own rebellion,

or disobedience,

or ignorance?


Monday is a travel day for me, I'm taking our son home to begin the fall semester of college, and moving most of our personal and household goods back to our house in Louisiana. Changes are coming, and I don't know what the future holds for me. It's often tempting to offer up sacrifices of my own making, and then wonder why the Lord doesn't seem impressed with them.

Many years ago I was getting ready to speak at a Women's Ministry event and I was really seeking the Lord--I wanted to really wow them with something really new and fresh and different. And as I was praying one day I felt the Lord speak distinctly into my heart--"Why should I give you something new when you aren't walking in obedience to the things I've already told you?"

Ouch.

I really hope that once I get moved and unpacked and settled in that I have take the time to get caught up on my Bible in 90 Days program. But even if I don't catch up with program, I want to continue to read straight through the Bible from front to back. Doing so has blessed me so much, and I find that the Lord speaks to my heart and my life to my needs every week, no matter where I'm reading--it always seems to be at just the right place.

Until next time...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to Blogging--The First Post I Wrote

As a new member of the SITS (Secrets in the Sauce) Girls community, I've decided to participate in Back to Blogging this week, designed to get everyone back in the habit of regular blogging and commenting. One lucky blogger will win a fabulous Electrolux washer and dryer in teal blue (nicknamed Thelma and Louise!), sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.

Task one of our week-long event is to re-publish our first post so we could see how our blog has evolved. My first post was the full text of the virtuous woman passage from Proverbs 31, so I'm going to re-publish the first post I actually wrote, originally published October 2, 2008.

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? Her price is far above rubies

I don't remember exactly when I first discovered the virtuous woman found in Proverbs 31. I do remember how taken I was with the qualities and virtues extoled by the writer of these scriptures. The whole passage reads like poetry to me---"Who can find a virtuous woman? Her price is far above rubies...the heart of her husband safely trusts in her...she is like the merchants' ships, she brings her food from afar...she girds herself and strengthens her arms...she considers a field, and buys it, with her own hands she plants a vineyard..she is not afraid of the snow for her household, for they are clothed with scarlet...she stretches out her arm to the poor and needy..her clothing is tapestry and purple...she opens her mouth with wisdom and kindness...she looks well to the ways of her household...her children rise up and call her blessed, and her husband praises her...give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her".

A beautiful passage of scripture, one that has been the subject of many Mother's Day sermons and Women's Ministry devotionals. One that has no doubt been the source of both inspiration and guilt for many woman through the ages. One that is the topic of many books, as well as websites and blogs. So, you may ask, why another one?

That's a good question.

Like I stated earlier, I can't remember when I first started reading about the virtuous woman. Trying to imitate her. Loving her. Hating her. Feeling guilty about all of the ways that I fell short. But as I started really reading and studying, I found so much there that I hope will bring insight and blessing both to my life and I hope to yours.

Having a website/blog of this sort is a new endeavor for me. There is so much that I want to discuss and share that it seems overwhelming and exciting at the same time.

New content will be added quickly, so please check back often. If you would like to subscribe through a feeder or become a "follower", please see the sidebar.

Thanks and God Bless You,

Charlene


I wonder how I got so off-track of my original goals? I've done some of what I set out to do, but missed the mark and gotten distracted on too much. Interesting to see where this week-long re-evalution takes me!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Giveaway at Secrets of a Southern Kitchen

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • She is like merchant's ships, she bringeth her food from afar

Did you know that I have a food blog where I post recipes and occasional product and restaurant reviews?

I'm having a giveaway this week, sponsored by Romano's Macaroni Grill through MyBlogSpark. Be sure to pop on over and enter, you could win a prize package of a pasta bowl, expandable tongs, and one of the new Macaroni Grill frozen meals for two. I got to try the Grilled Chicken Florentine and it was delicious. As a matter of fact, we'll probably be having it again this week.

Be sure and click over and check it out!

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fun Day at the Camp

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • ...with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard

My folks live in the country, and when I'm home, I live right next door. But they have a getaway spot, too, on a piece of land that came down through my dad's family, that we call "the camp". We live in the country, 5 minutes from our small town, but the camp is in the boondocks. When my parents first moved a travel trailer in, it was so dark at night it was downright spooky. For a girl raised in the country, I do like my conveniences. Later on they added another small trailer as a "guest cottage". What with our traveling around with my husband's job the last few years, we haven't gotten to use it much, but one day last week we got to take a day trip to the camp, my parents, my sister, and my husband and I. (me?)

My parents have worked hard to clear up years of benign neglect around what used to be an old home place. (I swear that for years I thought everyone called it "the old Camel place", and I never could understand why it was called that--imagine my surprise when I found out it was really "the old Campbell place"--as in, a family named Campbell used to live there. It really makes a lot more sense that way, but it will always be the old Camel place in my mind.

This pretty piece is new this last year, near the grand entrance to the camp. Actually, this is the grand entrance, isn't it pretty? This old wheelbarrow used to be in my front yard, but during my travel years it became a hotbed of carpenter ant activity so my husband emptied it and it sat out behind our garage until my mother brought it up to the camp and replanted it. Isn't it pretty and rustic? I love it.

This is one of the first little vignettes mom made made when they first started working at "the old Camel place". The back drop is some old wooden gates with a collection of odd bits and pieces of old metal that they've found as they've worked and cleared.

My camera started giving out (low batteries) so I didn't get a good close-up of everything, but there are all kinds of lovely rusted things...

...like this old piece that my dad says is part of a "fire dog" that sat in a fireplace to keep the logs from rolling out onto the floor.

This is an old planter. If you click the picture to see it up close, you can see the little spiky things on the front wheel that made the indents in the dirt, then the seeds dropped out of the bucket-looking thing, and the smaller flat wheel on the back smoothed the dirt back over.

I think this is part of a breaking plow, used to break up fallow (unplowed) ground.


This is another old plow they found. There's another piece to it that yoked over the horses and was attached to this part by a piece of chain.

And then some slightly newer "found treasure", a metal framed headboard used as a backdrop for more flowers.

We had such a good time just laughing and talking and "visiting". Daddy grilled some yummy hamburgers, sausage, and hotdogs, and we stayed till way later than we intended. There is just something about getting outside of our normal surroundings that helps everyone to relax, and this place is so off the beaten path that it's especially quiet and peaceful.

How about it, do you or your family have a camp in the woods? A beach cottage, or mountain retreat? Where is your place of retreat? Getting away with family, no matter where the location, works for me.

This post is linked to:
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer
Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family
Vintage Thingie Thursday at the ColoradoLady
Finer Things Friday at The Finer Things in Life

Until next time...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blogging Through the Bible in 90 Days--Day 64

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • She looketh well to the ways of her household...
  • She eateth not the bread of idleness...
  • She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness

Wow, am I ever behind.

So much so that it's doubtful at this point that I'll be able to finish with the Blogging Through the Bible group. And I'm disappointed--with myself more than anything else, because I know that I could have done it if I had just set my priorities in order every single day.

Amy from Mom's toolbox used a scripture from today's reading where Israel is rebuked for depending on her large number of soldiers--just as we often depend on our own strengths and talents to get us where we want to go. I find myself doing that a lot just lately--trying in myself to do things, and failing miserably, because I'm not first depending on Him. Most of us have a bad habit of trying to do things ourselves, and then asking for help only as a last, desperate, measure to avoid certain failure. I've been doing that, only I seem to be falling flat on my face instead of doing those graceful pirouettes that I think I am oh-so-capable of.

This week is a busy one for me--more traveling, some packing and unpacking and repacking to do, a busy busy few days, then traveling again--and finally, attempting to settle in and pick up the pieces of the life I left behind in my small hometown. Something I look forward to and dread at the same time.

This time, though, I want to remember to depend on the Lord first--not my own (puny) strengths.

Praying that your soldiers will be few, that you will turn to Him as a first, instead of last, resort.

Until next time...

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