Monday, April 27, 2015

Having Fun With Farmhouse Style Finds

One thing that I like about my job as an antique dealer is finding cool stuff that I can incorporate into my home.  It is so much fun!  Over the past few months, I have collected a few farmhouse style things that I have added to the recent remodel in our guest bedroom.  

The cowboy hat was a few dollars at a farm sale...

...and these child size cowboy boots were seven dollars at a little junk shop.  My friend had the stool for sale in her space at the shop - and it is chippy black paint (love.....) - and it goes nicely with the other things in the room.  I actually use it as a side table next to the bed, but thought it would make a nice photo prop.  :)

The primitive stave bucket (below) was six dollars at a cool garage sale.  LOVE the worn wood patina and the warmth of the metal strapping that holds the wood slats together. 

I cut some flowers from the yard and added them to a vintage mason jar...a one dollar garage sale find.

Not everything comes with a "few dollars" price tag.  The two chairs below were a full price splurge, but I HAD to have them.  The child's chair was made at the turn of the century and came from a local estate.  The larger chair is by far one of my favorite finds.  It has a nice driftwood color, old nails and the neatest details - of which I will have to share another time as it is all covered up right now.

Another fun thing to collect are old books.  This one is from the early 1900's.  I love books that have black covers and spines with gold writing and details.  Ohhh...the details of long ago.  

And they make for a good read!

Till next time.....


PS:  Thank you for the sweet comments left on my previous post.  ((hugs, hugs, hugs))

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

So tonight I sit in pause, thinking, mulling over a few things in my head.  Why?  Well, because, I lost a precious sister in Christ.  Her name was, and still is, Sonja.  Today was her service.  Some of my most near and dear friends were at the service.  We were there to celebrate Sonja’s life. Her precious life.

Over my years of blogging, I have spoken how God is the master weaver of life.  He intertwines friendships in such a way that there is a connective reason for such a crossover of the threads in our life.  He has a plan. 

Be it incomprehensible at first, but a realization of the whys later on.  One thread at a time.  One friendship at a time…and step after step after step, thread after thread after thread, the masterpiece comes together.  The realization of the beauty of the piece is displayed in a way that each thread has a name, a reason, a purpose.  The humans, who are the threads, may not at first notice the importance of the such thread, but if you pay attention, each thread has a name – a reason, a soul – and those threads all become the shroud of life.   Sonja was one of those threads in my life.

Maybe I am losing you, my reader, by now.  Should you venture on and not finish what I have to say, that is ok.  I am a believer and my purpose here is not to offend any of those who are not.  But should you continue to read on, then that is just wonderful.  I am honored.

As I grow older, my mortality is becoming heightened.  I am 54, however I have lost so many loved ones who are so much younger – and older – than I.  My sensitivity to death was elevated when I lost my oldest son, Jordan, and then, after that, death became more fragile to me.  My heart just breaks when I lose a dear friend or family member.  But then, my grief is shortened when I know that they did not die, but are still living and have met Jesus in person.  Life is forever.

Today I attended a celebration of life for my friend Sonja.  Sonja was one of those women who had such strength, such a faith in God, and such a will to want to live, though she knew that only a miracle would allow her such continuance on this earth.  And God decided to take her home instead.

Sonja was 81 years young.  Not an old 81, but one of someone who seemed a lot younger than her physical years.  She was not only a sister in Christ, but a wife, a grandmother, a sister and a friend to many.  She was an inspiration to many, including myself, and had the most impeccably beautiful home – one of my favorite homes in our community.  Her tenacity and get it done attitude was reflective in her home and garden.  Over the years, I have admired her will, her collections, her home and her faith.

Her death made me think of so many things.  I drove past her house the other day and had to pull over for a pause.  I sat and stared at her amazing iconic cottage home.  I thought about the flowers out front, the wonderful shutters that she had recently painted a French blue and then about everything else that embodied her and her home…her husband, especially, and how he would endure her passing onto Heaven.  Their faith in God is strong, so knowing that makes everything a little more bearable.

And with this, I am so grateful to have known Sonja and to have had her in my earthly life, though I did not get to know her as much as the other friends in our circle.  She was there for me when I was at my lowest point in life, and I will cherish her friendship and Godly sisterhood. 

Sometimes there are things in life that rock your world really hard and to make you stop dead in your tracks and to think about the short time on earth that we really do have.  Today was one of those days. Knowing that the promise of life for an eternity does take the sting of death more bearable.  The promise of life, forever, to all of those who believe in Jesus and to accept him as our Lord and Savior, makes leaving this earth, our temporary home a lot easier.  I know that Sonja slipped from her earthly body and into the arms of Jesus.  No more pain, but a life eternal in exchange for the few years she had on earth.

Life is fragile.  A vapor.  Really.  It really is.

It is only saying so long for now……
Till we hear the trumpets sound...
Till we see the clouds part and the lion run
in the sky.
And hallelujah….!!!
Scoop us into the arms of our Lord.
Life lives on.
And Forever.

So long for now.....

The beauty of faith is never to really have to say goodbye...but for now, it is just a "see ya later!"  

A smile in my heart for Sonja...and happy for her for making a full circle of life.  So happy for you, sister. thanks for being such a precious friend.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Making Do With Leftovers

I hope that you and yours had a lovely Easter.  Yesterday was the day that I made a brown sugar glazed spiral ham, scalloped potatoes, steamed asparagus, a mandarin orange green salad and a jello salad with cool whip and cottage cheese.  I wasn't able to serve dinner at our home because I have been sick with a cold, so I delivered a large platter of food to my sweet son and his girlfriend.  I would have much rather had a lovely meal at our table, but sparing loved ones from illness was a better option.  

Today, a container of leftover ham, potatoes and a bag of baby greens sat on a shelf in the fridge.   I didn't want to just reheat the leftovers (but that would have been fine with my husband), so I decided to make a little creation.  I guess I've been watching too many episodes of "Chopped" on the Food Network Channel.  The things you can squeeze in when down for the count......

I took a portion of the scalloped potatoes and made them into a mash, adding some flour and eggs.  I placed a large spoonful in hot vegetable oil and smashed the top down a bit, making the mixture into a potato pancake.  I cooked each side until brown and then drained on a paper towel.

Extra ham was diced up into small pieces, as was one peeled Granny Smith apple, and then sauteed in a small amount of vegetable oil and two tablespoons of butter.  Once softened and heated, I drizzled a little bit of Vermont Maple Syrup over the hot mixture.

Some Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese was diced into small bites.  I then plated the warm pancake first and topped with the greens.  On the greens I added the warm ham and apple mixture and sprinkled with the cheddar cheese.  The finishing touch was a small drizzle of Raspberry Vinaigrette.  The combination of the warmth of the pancake, the crispness of the greens and then the savory bits of ham, apple and maple syrup were delightful.  I liked the contrast of the raspberry dressing, but perhaps maybe a warm apple butter drizzle might be nice and with a dollup of sour cream.

I lit a candle to honor Jesus for his sacrifices for us and also for our loved ones who are no longer here to celebrate special days and memorable moments in life.  

Peace and love to all......