Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fall Girl

In Washington, it seems the grass turns from brown to green in the blinking of an eye, or just a shower of droplets.  Today we had rain for the first time in weeks (months?)...I think weeks.  It seems like an eternity.  Yet, for the first time since we moved here, I find myself favoring flip flops instead of boots and the weather clouds covering me, feel less like a blanket than they did last year. 

In other words, I'm confused.  I am fall girl...winter girl.  I play Christmas music year 'round.  I yearn to decorate with orange more than any person I know.  Who likes orange anyway?  Unloved color. 

Anyhow, I wish I was wearing these instead of these right now.  Why oh why can't I?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Little Bit of Perfection

I can't help myself...when the stylings of Gossip Girl go wonderfully right.

Setting Sights on the Past

Some look back at the summer with wistful eyes, longing for a time come and gone, passing from the senses and into the pages of memory.  When the air crispens the leaves and petals and colors drip from their ends, the leaves sigh, and I exhale along with them.  Energies unfurl, slackening against the chill of closing year.  Is eventuality winter white?  Are our hay days behind us in the sweet smell of warm growth, parted and packed until we use it up?

Flora Thompson is on my mind.  Little Laura and her recollections

What does tomorrow hold and how will my memories feel, rolling around the hearts and heads of my grandchildren?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Precious Lord



Back in 1932, I was a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago's south side. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn't want to go; Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child, but a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis . I kissed Nettie goodbye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back.  I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope....Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was "Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.'"

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that same night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart. For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn't want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis . Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially one friend.   The following Saturday evening he took me up to Maloney's Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows.  I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.

Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody. Once in my head they just seemed to fall into place: 'Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn, through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light, take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.'

The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

- - - -Tommy Dorsey

For those too young to know who he is, Tommy Dorsey was a well-known band leader in the 1930's and 40's.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Changing with the Leaves

I am so excited the leaves are changing, falling, the weather has turned grey and cold, and the stores are shelving fire logs.  The only thing I'm not so pleased about is that autumn home decor is at the highest prices of the season and I'm eager to decorate.  Ha! 
Some not too pricey fall wishes...
I can't wait to see what comes out as the season progresses!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

On Digesting Stories

"...I thought I had finished reading [a short story] - but it keeps on coming back, seeping into how I see things, sharmpening the way I hear a difference between what people are saying and what they are feeling.  It's as if a room I know well had suddenly acquired a new window."

From the introduction of The Victoria Reader: A Treasury of Timeless Stories

Monday, August 16, 2010

My 200th Post and...

...a reccomendation for all ladies reading my blog to check out these wonderful Etsy stores run by Kelli of There's No Place Like Home.

I really love her handiwork and placed an order for some bookmarks and a card...and I'm sure there will be more orders in the future.  I really, really love her style!  So cute!

Some of my favorites from her shops:

Dream On

"So we dream on. Thus we invent our lives. We give ourselves a sainted mother, we make our father a hero; and someone’s older brother and someone’s older sister – they become our heroes too. We invent what we love and what we fear. There is always a brave lost brother – and a little lost sister, too. We dream on and on: the best hotel, the perfect family, the resort life. And our dreams escape us almost as vividly as we can imagine them… That’s what happens, like it or not. And because that’s what happens, this is what we need: we need a good, smart bear… Coach Bob knew it all along: you’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows."

— John Irving (The Hotel New Hampshire)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wristing for Layered Bracelets

I saw this pic over at Haute Design and can't get it out of my head.  I must find multiple strands of pearl  and tennis bracelets (not all identical) and watch with crystals.  Genius layering...

Living a Quiet Life

I had a birthday last week, and while I don't put much stock in the ticking of time, the turning of calendar pages, I do like a good gift. I treasure the thoughtfulness of presents and the reminders they become after their tradition-tethered hand-off.

But then, there are things, and the thinking on of things, and the searching out of things.  For this girl, that means lists: wish lists, grocery lists, to-read lists, and so on.  All of these lists get a bit consuming.  Instead of proclaiming decisiveness, they are divisive.

As the days (years...) pass, for me, less becomes more.  The less I fill up my head and my body, my heart and spirit become voluptuous with life and love.  It is counterintuitive, but a steadfast stillness and dedication brings me so much more than I thought it could.  When restlessness comes upon me I find rest in Him, which is a daily dedication: a parting of the pages, a parting of lips, a parting of  my spirit from my flesh.  Peeling back upon itself like the shedding of snakeskin, until I see a hollow thing that looks somewhat like me lying on the floor before me.  Still like me, but without all this blessed life.


1 Thessalonians 4: 11-12

"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Roses

It is a perfectly grey Sunday and the morning light is filtered through a low haze, casting a cool glow on me as I drink tea from one of our new cups, while reading an old issue of Victoria magazine, and am comforted by verses from the book of Romans and the scent of a pumpkin candle; my happy eyes catching glimpses of my sweet birthday bouquet. Heaven on earth!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pink for Fall

I happen to think the color pink is made for year-round wear, and what I love so much about Lilly Pulitzer is that they believe that too!  Afterall, if nature can bring on the pink when it's chilly outside, why shouldn't I?

This new "Gloria" sweater from Lilly rocks my little pink world.  Stripes?  YES!  Cable-knit?  YES!  It woudln't have occurred to me to pair it with a blue striped oxford shirt, but I like it, I really do.  Preppy stripes can never be overkill.  Well, maybe.....  Ha!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"You're an athletic girl.  I'm more of a horseback-riding, wall-climbing, yoga-doing type of girl."

~ Mia Thermopolis, The Princess Diaries

Thinking About Food

I wonder sometimes about food, why some people crave cinnamon buns (Number's Man) while others prefer a tofu scramble (me).  The Cinnamon Bunners cannot believe that the Tofu Scramblers actually want to eat fermented soy & veggies, thinking that they don't actually want it - that they do it for reasons other than taste.  The Tofu Scramblers can't believe that the Cinnamon Bunners would rather have something sugary less filling, that leaves them either with a stomach ache or hungry 2 hours later.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes I love to have a cinnamon bun, but nine times out of ten, I'll take the tofu scramble...particularly if it includes sun dried tomatoes and green onions.  Mmmm....

When I meet God, that is one of my top 5 questions.  Petty, I know...but it nags at me with fair consistency.  Haha!

Happy Sunday!


1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.