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Monday, October 31, 2011

Honored to be in Artful Blogging Magazine

I think the title of this post says it all...
I am so unbelievably honored to be featured
in the new issue of Artful Blogging Magazine,
on newsstands this week.

For those who might not be familiar with how it all works,
those of us who are selected to contribute 
write our own article and our own photographs
and / or artwork are featured.

I was blessed to be given eight pages in the current issue
of this gorgeous publication ( one of my faves! )
to share some of my innermost thoughts about blogging,
and to open up a bit about how it has forever changed me
and enriched my life beyond measure.

It is a joy and an honor, but a bittersweet one, too...
I sent the completed article off to the editor
only 4 short days before my mother entered the hospital
for the very last time.

She never got to read it, she didn't even get to see a rough draft.
I think of the tears of joy she would have shed over seeing
that two of my photos even made the front cover!

But still I know....she sees. She knows. 
She's smiling down, so very, very proud.

So to Artful Blogging,
I say thank you so very much.

To the readers and friends of this blog,
I treasure you beyond words.

And to my dear mama...
as I said in the dedication of a book
I once wrote for her...

" For Mama...I learned to read
and write
and draw
and dream
on your lap...
I love you."

If you like anything at all about me
or this blog, thank the lady in the photo above.
She's the reason.

I hope you'll grab the issue,
as I'm pleased as I can be to be featured alongside
some pretty impressive company...
my friends Tricia of A Rosy Note,
Tracey of French Larkspur
and Mary of Urban Farmgirl.
Congrats, ladies!

For those who can't locate the issue in their area,
I plan on offering it in a giveaway
in the days ahead.

Have a wonderful week!

linking with

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One Week

One week
since I last posted.

Time flies.

 I wish I could report that I've been engaged in
some manner of
thrilling adventures and escapades,
but the truth is...

I've been reading.
Yep, reading.

Well, not  just  reading, as I work a full-time job.
But the bulk of my free time 
has been spent on my new 3G Kindle, 
a most thoughtful birthday gift from a dear friend.

Been taking in the classics
and some old favorites.

But mostly, been spending time immersed in
spiritual reading. The scriptures mainly, seeking answers,
guidance and peace.

Just slowing down and indulging in a bit of "me" time.
No crime in that, right?

Maybe I'll see you all again before another week passes.
Maybe not.
That's the beauty of my life these days.

My terms. 
Blogging without obligation.

Realizing that life is way too short and precious
to ever do otherwise again.

Happy Week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Madonna of the Barn

 The fact that we even have  barns cracks me up.
We are not rural folk by any stretch of the imagination,
although the Mr. sometimes fancies himself to be.

I fancy myself 10 pounds thinner,
so it all evens out.

 We have three long, rectangular chicken-type barns,
although one of them looks to have harbored goats in another lifetime.

The barn closest to the road has been dubbed the "wasp and cat poop barn",
as it has produced a never ending stream of pesky wasps all Summer long,
and a feral cat seems to like to make her "deposits" inside.

One day, with a lot of patience and elbow grease, this will
be the future Man Cave.

 Our middle barn is actually a semi-gutted barn which serves as
a three-car garage.
Outside of this barn is where my beautiful barn Madonna resides,
alongside an assortment of rusty old farm implements and fire wood.

She just "fits" out here, her delicately weathered patina
blending seamlessly alongside her rustic companions.

 Our third barn is also the infamous storage barn y'all have been
given glimpses inside of in posts past.
Truth be told, it's the mother of all storage units, and I'm still
holding out hope that a barn sale of some sort can take place here,
perhaps next Spring. 

I had hoped to do this in the Fall, like now
but then...well, readers of this blog know what happened.

Is she not lovely?
She gets more and more beautiful with age.

Speaking of...
not the beautiful part, but the age thing.
I endured celebrated another birthday yesterday, and to all those 
amazing Facebook friends who wished me a happy one, thank you!

And to all of you lovely folk who still
operate under the misconception that
I'm much more of a Spring chicken than I actually am,
far be it from me to burst your bubble.  ;-)

Off to face the day.
Hopes yours is blessed and joyful!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yo Mama...

Everybody thinks that their mother is, or was, beautiful.
We're just hard wired that way,
to believe that our mom's are the fairest of the fair.

Now far be it from me to talk smack about anyone elses mama,
but I'm pretty sure that my mama ranks waaaay up there.

 Not just your garden variety pretty, 
but movie star beautiful.

And my goodness, her brothers, my uncles, confirm that she was
the hottest catch in all of Dallas back in the day.

I came upon this priceless stash of photos this past month,
as I was sorting through her belongings...what a find!

 My mom and her mop-top,
tow-headed little brother.
What a darling pair!

 Sweet, smiling eyes.
She had those until the very end.

It's been a month since she passed,
and the stages of grief still sneak up on me in random order,
at often inopportune times.

Still, I know she is with me.
My beautiful, beautiful mama is right here...

...forever in my heart.

linking with

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Inside Story ( Revisited )

** originally posted a year ago this month. resonating with me quite a bit again lately **

I have dimpled thighs.

And some gray hairs.

My teeth would be a whole lot whiter

if I drank less Diet Coke.

And you know what else?

I have a pooch.

No, not a dog, although I do have two of those.

No, I have a tummy pooch.
No washboard abs on this girl.
Not anymore, anyway.

I am imperfect.


Less than ideal.

But you know what else?

I am more than the sum of my parts.
My imperfect parts, that is.

I may be imperfect, but I am perfectly so.

Perfectly Imperfect.

Just like my well-loved French pitcher, there is a beauty to my scars. 
My blemishes.
My signs of age.

A nobility to those wiry gray hairs,
and those crinkles now appearing
to frame my eyes and mouth.

As a woman, I struggle as to whether to
embrace or erase
these changes.

The culture as well as the cult of youth encourages us to wish away
that which has been hard earned.

"How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth..."
{John Milton}

And yet, I know.
Oh yes, I most certainly do know...

That the measure of my worth

as a woman

and as a child of God

lies not in what the eye can see

but rather in what is hidden away from view.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; 
it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
 {Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry}

Love yourselves, imperfections and all.
Just as God does.

"So we do not lose heart. 
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day."
{2 Corinthians 4:16}

Unapologetically, occasionally re-posting gems from the archives...because
I've been doing some spiritual and emotional house cleaning.
Blog breaks are good. Essential, even.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Twice a Year...

Every Spring, Every Fall,
I have the absolute pleasure of visiting with 
and photographing my gorgeous friend
Christie Connelly's space at
Sommerfeld Place in Warrenton.

 My beautiful, talented friend shies away
from fanfare and self-promotion,
so I am always thrilled to sing her praises.

Shoot, I landed in the issue before last of  
Romantic Country Magazine
with two photos I snapped from her space...

 This past month, I was fortunate enough
to pay sweet Christie a visit,
so here are the fruits of our photography,
and Christie's amazing vision.

Just beautiful, 
love you Christie!

Wishing everyone a blessed week!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Psalm

"So we, Your people 
and sheep of Your pasture, 
will give You thanks forever;


We will show forth Your praise 
to all generations."
Psalm 79:13

Giving thanks for 
hidden blessings.

{ photos taken here at Zapp Hall }

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pull up a chair...

Or rather, just sit yourself down.
There's certainly enough chairs for a
small confab of sorts.

I don't wanna talk about grief
or worry or anything heavy today.

I want mindless and brain numbing.

Let's talk Dancing With the Stars!

I have never, ever felt the Derek Hough love,
so I'm pretty meh about Ricki Lake.
I think if J.R. Martinez doesn't win the whole thing, 
it'll be a crime.

Although Carson Kressley certainly does bring the fun factor!
Who are your faves?

For those of you going "who?" and "whaaaaa?",
just pop on over to the next blog. I won't be offended.

Let's talk pet therapy.

The past couple of weeks, I've signed on
to volunteer some time each week to pop by
the local SPCA to give the fur babies some TLC.
It's my way of working through the gr....that word I wasn't going to say.

The Mr. tagged along with me on one of these trips,
so I thought you'd enjoy seeing the avowed cat hater in action.

Yeah, this last pic just screams  anti- feline hostility.
Cat hater, my butt.

And just one more thing.

I'm keeping the lid on a happy secret I have to share soon.
It's just a little something, nothing earth shattering, 
but something nice I'll be able to
share in a couple or three weeks.

More Warrenton photos coming soon,
wishing you the happiest of weeks!

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