May 2010 Archives

Memorial Day Music


Quote for today


"The splendor of the rose and the whitness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it's scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its lovliness."

-------------------St. Therese of Lisieux

A little Daisy music for today


Fine Art Friday


Still under the weather, so I'll do a quick FAF, all about DAISIES, since that was yesterday's theme and Smock's favorite flower.


Vase with Daisies and Poppies

Vincent Van Gogh

Not enough daisies in the last one? I didn't think so either, so here's another to look at:


Vase of Flowers

Vincent Van Gogh

And, finally, one in the spirit of the afghan I made.


Daisy (Blue on Blue)
Andy Warhol

Hope your holiday weekend is a good one! I'll be painting scenery and eating hot dogs with my sisterfriend and family part of the time. It oughta be fun!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, Beautiful Thursday

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I am under the weather today, so I'll not take a lot of time for a story about my beautiful thing. I'll tell you more later. But I did want to show you my beautiful thing for the week--and afghan that I made for my sweet niece Zoe for Christmas. (Don't worry, she never reads her aunt's blog, so it'll stay secret.) I am so very proud of this one. I think it is beyond CUTE, just like Zoe herself.

Daisy Afghan

Here's a picture of it draped across a chair--more "true to life" if you will.

Daisy Afghan

Happy Thursday, ya'll!

smock's southernism of the day


when faced with a person of limited intelligence, you are dealing with a person who doesn't have the sense God gave a billy goat.*

*bless their lil' ol' heart.

Pretty Pattern Tuesday



Just look at him! Begging to be crocheted up and handed to a kid. BEGGING. There really is no end to the lovely patterns.

Should you want to answer his call for creation, the pattern is here.

This is a really pretty scarf!

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This is called the Mirror Lake Scarf, and I think it is beautiful. It's from the Caron company, and their version is crocheted in their absolutely yummy Naturally Caron Spa brand yarn, which is 75% acrylic, 25% bamboo. It is lovely to pet, and the microdenier acrylic makes it easier care than some of the "natural" yarns are.

This would be a good pattern for someone wanting to try out crocheting and joining motifs--it only takes 8 to makes the scarf, then you put a pretty border around it.


You can find the pattern here. And look around Caron's website. They have several nice things out there.

MamaT's Monday Daybook



For Today, May 24, 2010

Outside my window... it's windy, which, I suppose, keeps it from sweltering this early in the a.m. It's humid and hot. But lots of pretty sunshine.

I am thinking... about all the work I have to do. The house WAS in pretty good shape at the start of last week. The key word being "was". Now it looks a wreck and I've got to start bringing back some order.

I am thankful for... my husband, who doesn't expect me to cook every night. Last night what he really wanted for supper was scrambled eggs and toast. How did I get this lucky????? (Plus I got luckier--he cooked it!)

From the kitchen... nothing, based on the contents of my refrigerator. I've got to make out a menu plan for this week and then a grocery list. We've got plenty of frozen meat, but NOTHING to go with. I think tonight will be grilled pork chops and roasted cauliflower. Especially if I don't make it to the store first.

I'm am wearing... Khaki shorts, orange flowery polo, sensible sandals for working in,

I am creating... mailing packages of granny squares for my Ravelry swap. I have 5 more packages going out today. Woo hoo!

I am going... no where out of the ordinary this week. Yayayayayay! Regular errands, but no where else, really. I'm looking forward to it. Well, I will be if I can make this place less crazy.

I am reading... So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger. I should finish it tonight. I wish I could write prose the way he does.

I am hoping... to get my Latin flash cards made. Yes, I'm taking Latin. And no, it's not easy to make an old brain remember new things.

I am hearing... the Texas Tornados sing "Hey Baby, Que Paso". Love. Love. Love.

Around the house... Order from chaos. (Wish me luck.) Yard work. Help PapaC organize his stuff so he can get it off the kitchen table. (Wish me luck x 2.)

One of my favorite things... is my pink stapler. Isn't it weird how such a small thing can bring happiness to an ordinary day. It didn't cost much more than the boring black one and it is so silly that it makes me smile every time I use it.

A few plans for the rest of the week: STAY HOME. Don't make any more plans, except for plans for the Memorial Day weekend--a long weekend for PapaC. That will be fab. I hope over the weekend we can do some painting. If I get it taped off, he'll get out the paint.

Words I'm pondering "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...


Yeah, ya'll come over for tea, and I'm sure I'll look JUST like this. Oh, I wish.

Happy Monday, ya'll!

Monday Music

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Here's a happy lil tune and dance for your Monday morning. I can't get enough She and Him these days, although anything Zooey Deschanel I'm all over. My little Camila loves this tune and video. I'll hit 'publish' now so she can view...

Music for your Monday


It's Monday. It's humid. I have a LOT of work to do. What do we need? We need GREAT accordian music. And no, in MamaT's world that is most definitely NOT an oxymoron.

Here's the great Flaco Jimenez, playing and singing "Ojitos Negros".

Then we'll move up toward Cajun country and listen to the fabulosity that is Jo-EL Sonnier doing "Sugar Bee". Awesome, indeed.

Happy Toe-tapping, accordion-listening Monday!

iffin' you're a might worried about something, you could say that
you're as nervous as a frog on a busy road.

Quote for today:


Fyodor Dostoevsky in The Brothers Karamazov:

"Brothers, love is a teacher, but a hard one to obtain: learning to love is hard and we pay dearly for it. It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship, for it is not just for a moment that we must learn to love, but forever."

an oddie but a goodie?

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first of all, no, this is not one of the smocklings. smockdaddy brought this little gem (?) called a head snuggler to my attention. i mean, we all know how sad it is to see our little ones' heads flopping around on road trips. i'm thinking about getting one for greer rose, but i just can't quite seem to wrap my head around it. __insert raspberry here__ and then read more about the product here at yoyomama.

Happy Anniversay, PapaC!

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Here's to another 31!

I love you!

"Shield Your Joyous Ones"


Just finished reading an old post on Gretchen Rubin's blog The Happiness Project. I am actually quite taken with the idea of a Happiness Project, having walked through the dark and hard places over the past bit of time.

Part of the Happiness Project is to develop your own set of "commandments"--things that you think about and live by on a very personal basis. They are the things you need to do to be that happier person.

And no, they don't conflict with the Big 10, nor or they meant to take the place of those higher laws. They are meant to help us pinpoint the actions and attitudes that keep us from being happier--the roadblocks we put in our own way. What is most interesting to me is to see the evolution of Ms. Rubin's commandments over time. She has some that last, others that she finds need to be tweaked or restated or just replaced as life goes along and she thinks about them more.

This quote comes from one of her commandments for herself that later disappears, or is melded into another one. But it struck me as being very important. You can read her blog entry about it here, and I wish you would.

The quote comes from a prayer attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo:

Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ;
rest your weary ones; bless your dying ones;
soothe your suffering ones; pity your afflicted ones;
shield your joyous ones.
And all for your love's sake.

She then goes on to talk about those joyous ones.

It's a post full of food for thought. We live in a time where it is far more socially acceptable to be cynical, sarcastic, world-weary and jaded than it is to be joyous. Those people who are joyous or enthusiastic become the butts of jokes or looked down upon as "simple" or simply "not very bright". The enthusiasts are looked on with, oh I don't know, pity for lack of a better word. Or their enthusiasm is just seen as a character trait--"that's just the way they are". No props given to them for being happy, heaven forbid!

And I know this is true because I have been one of the awful people who are doing the looking down upon. God help me. It's an area I have chosen to work hard on over the last few years. I was so surprised to read someone else's thinking about this!

Over the past year or so, I have made an effort to lose the cynicism, ditch the sarcasm. I have tried hard to become one of those "enthusiasts". I have quit trying to dry up the tears when joy overwhelms me at mass--I'm learning to live with the fact that I'm always going to be "that lady who cries" and not worry about it. I don't care if the hobby I LOVE is an old fashiony one that most people couldn't spare the time for--because they are too busy to love something like that. I am no longer apologizing for liking what I like and doing what I do. And if that makes me silly, well, then, I'm silly.

And I would 200 times rather hang around with someone who rescues cats or collects coins, or paints china or DOES ANYTHING enthusiastically, than hang around with the cynical hipsters of the day. Maybe more than 200 times. Maybe 1000 times. Maybe a million times.

You see, I think that the cynicism and sarcasm are a shield. A way to keep from getting hurt. If you don't become enthusiastic about anything, you won't fail at anything. You won't accidentally pick the "wrong thing" the "uncool thing" to be enthusiastic about and run the risk of not being "in".

And I don't want to do that anymore.

But the other thing Rubin says in her blog post is absolutely true. We miss what effort it takes for the joyous to BE joyous. We act like it is "easy" for them--and therefore discount the very real effort it takes to be the enthusiastic, joyous person. It's hard. And, I think, it is virtuous.

Oh, my. Dearest Lord, help me be one of your joyous ones. Then shield me.

Happy Wednesday, ya'll!

Oh, LaMa!

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This little pattern is a must see! A crocheted (with crochet thread, so it's a little tough, but still) beaded bracelet for summer. I thought of you when I saw it.

And I think maybe we need to try this at Craft Circle in June. Whatta ya think? I've never done any crochet with beads and this seems like a good first try.

Pretty Pattern Tuesday



This drives me crazy. There is NO END to the afghans I want to make. And there's not ENOUGH TIME in this whole world to do them all. This beauty, which, by the way, would look beyond fabulous in my house, is a modern rendition of a patchworky afghan. I LOVE IT. I WANT IT!

You can find the pattern here, for free and everything. You might have to register, but it's free and so worth it if you're a yarnie like LaMa and I.

As LaMa would say, "Le sigh."

On to work on my WIPs instead.

smock's monday music


this song is featured at the very end of one of my top ten fave movies, the professional (original title, léon), which happens to feature gary oldman as stansfield, his greatest performance as a villain. tidbit of trivia: during the scene when stansfield 'interrogates' mathilda's father, played by michael badalucco, oldman smells the father, and gets extremely physically close to him. according to badalucco, he had no idea that oldman was going to smell him, nor that he was going to get as close as he did. badalucco says that in the film, his look of discomfort during the scene is completely genuine, as he felt decidedly intimidated by oldman, and the physical proximity between the two made him very nervous. the good news is that this video has nothing else to do with the movie and is quite beautiful and melancholic.

another little tidbit that i came across...
Sting (from a 1993 promotional interview): "I wanted to write about a card player, a gambler who gambles not to win but to try and figure out something; to figure out some kind of mystical logic in luck, or chance; some kind of scientific, almost religious law. So this guy's a philosopher, he's not playing for respect and he's not playing for money, he's just trying to figure out the law - there has to be some logic to it. He's a poker player so it's not easy for him to express his emotions, in fact he doesn't express anything, he has a mask, and it's just one mask and it never changes."

LaMa's Monday Daybook

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Outside my window...
rain, rain, rain. It's a lovely warm rain, though, and got me out of putting the towels on the line and watering so I'm a fan.

I am thinking... it feels later than it is.

I am thankful for... my camera. It was a surprise gift a couple of years ago; I'm still enamored with it.

From the kitchen... stir-fry with homemade General Tso sauce that I could drink by itself, I love it so. Our dinners are lunch-food and lunches dinner-food, so at dinner-time (lunch, right?) we had samichs.

I'm am wearing... big, floppy, green mesh shorts that belong to my husband and a blue tee with clouds on it. It was an at-home day....

I am creating
... I just finished a knitted cotton tank for my lil tot, but it turned out too wonky at the arm holes. LE SIGH. Tonight I will rip and fix it. Last week the sewing machine was tackled and I managed some jammie pants for her with this super duper, easy p pattern.

I am going... nowhere! The kids will be down in a few hours and I'll be going to Netflix with my man and Coconut Bliss ice cream. Oh yes.

I am reading... Allllmost done with 2666, which got very page-turny in the second half. It seems like a book Smock would really dig. We're about to start The Tale of Despereaux with the boys. I've never read it, it'll be fun to have it be a first for all.

I am hoping... that I can fix the tank with minimal pain.

I am hearing... the little one with keys. Has there ever been a toddler that didn't adore a ring of keys? Methinks no.

Around the house... we set a picnic table up in the backyard yesterday. Costco had huge, heavy, metal-bottom ones with lifetime guarantees that were not resistible. Jeff is off this week and changed out the light fixture in the hall today and scraped off and replaced the caulking-whathaveyou around the potty. I've been doing laundry and went to the post office. Exciting.

One of my favorite things... is that MamaT likes watching the breakaway kids at church. We're sitting with her from now on.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I promised I'd walk to the park tomorrow with Jake so that he can try out his new skateboard. Wednesday we're leaving for a little road trip down to Bastrop State Park. It's in the Piney Woods, about 30 minutes east of Austin. We're renting a little cabin there that I used to visit as a kid. Cannot wait. The children are way more relaxed about the whole thing than I.

Words I'm pondering: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 is tacked to my desk because I need to marinate my mind in it daily: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing
... This is a Kandinsky that I saved to post for Fine Art Friday. I didn't get a chance then, so here's a bit of fine art and color on rainy Monday.


Happy rest of Monday!

MamaT's Monday Daybook

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For Today, May 17, 2010

Outside my window... it is a gorgeous day! Too bad, in a way, since my obligations today will keep me sitting in the house working on my "desk work". I do have to run to Office Max this morning, so I will enjoy it then. And I think I will move my computer over to my table so I can work and look out the window at the same time. Yeah, that's an idea!

I am thinking... about how my procrastination got me into this spot, and what I need to mend my ways. It's a hard habit to break. I've always suffered from it to some degree, but in the past 2 years (I think as a stress reaction, kind of) it has gotten markedly worse. It has to change. Has to.

I am thankful for... my washer and dryer. I usually don't mind doing laundry. Because of the season of my life, I am no longer doing as many loads of laundry. I can treat it as a once a week chore, so it has a nice completion to it at the end of the day. That's something that Smock and LaMa can't relate to, but I like it!

From the kitchen... Grilled salmon for supper tonight. Tomorrow I am making a new pasta salad recipe to take to my "girls' night" - gingered spaghetti salad. Chicken, peppers, edamame, onions, spaghetti, fresh ginger, asian dressing. Yummy sounding! The rest of the week is unknown until I sit down to make my menu out. And that might be tomorrow.

I'm am wearing... Blue capris, white t with big old flowers on it, fit flops (how I love these shoes), dangly earrings that are too dressy for my outfit, but I don't care, perfume.

I am creating... washcloths for gifts for my reading group for Christmas. I'm trying to make at least 2 for each friend, so that's a lot of work. Fortunately they don't take very long. I'll have 'em done by December. But when you're trying to make a bunch of Christmas, you've got to work hard all year 'round.

I am going... to Parish Council meeting on Thursday night (hence all the desk work). That's about it for this week.

I am reading... Goodbye to a River by John Graves STILL

I am hoping... to find a cute anniversary card for my beloved PapaC. 31 years this Wednesday, ya'll!

I am hearing... my dog Sassy barking at a lizard up in the tree. Like that's going to make him come down.

Around the house... decision on paint color for bedroom, now that we have the new comforter I have had my eye on. I'll have to take a pillow to Sherwin Williams, but even at that, I think paint chips are a guess.

One of my favorite things... is watching the kids at church. Especially the breakaway ones that head down the aisle. I know their parents are embarrassed and all that. From my perspective I wish I could tell the parents to be less worried and more relaxed--those kids'll get it. They really will.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Church financial statements. Celebrate our anniversary. Finish the border on Zoe's Christmas afghan. Start weaving in the ends of same afghan. Mail first 6 sets of granny squares for my swap. (Yay, nearly 1/3 done!) Pick up afghan I didn't pick up last week.

Words I'm pondering "Do not distress yourself so much at being so frequently at war with your wretched nature; heaven is worth all these battles. Perhaps they will shortly come to an end and you will achieve a complete victory. After all they will pass, and rest will be eternal. Be at peace and let your humility always be mingled with confidence." ------------Fr. J.P. de Caussade, SJ Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Beautiful red tulips

Pretty red tulips in one of my mom's brown pitchers. Very nice.

Happy Monday, ya'll!

Music for your Monday

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Ok, so this MIGHT be the weirdest thing you listen to today. Jethro Tull performing Bach's Double Violin Concerto. This video comes from 1985--a performance at the live concert celebrating J.S.Bach's 300th birthday: Bach Rock at International Congress Centrum Berlin, Germany.

Quote for today:


Colour is the key. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with its many chords. The artist is the hand that, by touching this or that key, sets the soul vibrating automatically.

-----------------Wassily Kandinsky

Fine Art Friday

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Dame in Krinolinen
Wassily Kandinsky

I am a fiend for color. Nothing worse than plain old vanilla. While I am not a huge fan of Kandinsky's more famous geometric-y abstracts (too cold for me), I do love his more impressionistic stuff. Don't the ladies almost look like ghosts from the past or something?

Anyway, look for some color in your life today. Don't settle for 100% plain vanilla. (Or 100% licorice if you usually wear all black!)

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Thursday, Beautiful Thursday


Saturday is my little Jacob's seventh birthday; also our anniversary of parenthood. May 15th marks a totally new chapter for us, as different characters almost. Each of my children's birthdays are so very special and choke me up every time, but his hits especially hard. I love that it usually falls Mother's Day week. I love who he is and the time in our lives that he was sent to us. He makes me laugh daily, he endlessly impresses me. He couldn't be a better big brother. I miss him when he's sleeping. Jake is my side-kick and very often my hero. He showed me first what the strongest love I've ever felt feels like, Mother Love. I'm indescribably blessed to be his mama.

AND SO, my entry for beautiful Thursday is this photo taken on the day we met, in honor of Jake's big day.


Feliz Cumple, Bubs!

Thursday, Beautiful Thursday

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I have shown you pictures of my friend Susan's beautiful craft room. Setting up my craft room has been an ongoing project--one undertaken with no small amount of guilty feelings. It seems like such a luxury, and I guess I have more than a little distrust of those things I find luxurious for myself.

I have thought long and hard about this issue--it has been such a worry to me. But I have come to think that it is OK for me to have my little haven. For years any extra room we had was dedicated to homeschooling and all its paraphenalia. Plus scouting. Plus church stuff. Plus toy space for the McKid's things. Plus. Plus. Plus.

This is a new season of life for me. One that LaMa and the Smock can't even see from where they are. I am no longer responsible, on a daily basis, for the care, feeding, teaching, raising of young 'uns. In some senses, this is almost unbearably sad to me. It was something that I really enjoyed!!!

But in all normal cases, it is a season that is bound to come to an end. Kids grow up. They become independent. And that is how it is supposed to be. And I think that maybe my hesitance about the "luxury" of my craft room is, in a way, a stumbling block toward my moving forward joyfully into this new season of my life.

And there is joy here, you know. It is liberating, in its own way, to be able to care for PapaC for awhile. In those years of heavy-duty parenting, my care for him was often put on the back burner--along with any care for myself. And it is wonderful to watch my kids start their own lives and make progress there. To see the Zman and TBC start making their lives together. To see Suz and the McKid buy their first home and start settling in there.

So, I am using the development of my craft room as an act of faith--that there are good, fun, beautiful, creative times still ahead for me. And that I can enjoy them in a pretty space.

Well, that was a long way around to get to a picture, wasn't it?

I told you when I posted pictures of Susan's room that my own would be far less cohesive. I like odd little things. I like, as my friend Jo would say, "bits and bobs." And where I can, I like to save things to use for storage etc. So, here's the corner of my desk--the corner where I store my desk supplies. It doesn't look like Susan's, does it? But it looks just like ME. A lot random. A little odd.

My holders of supplies

My pencils and pens are in the creamer from my grandmother's dish set. My rubber band ball sits in a silver plated small goblet given to me by my friend Jo. The rulers and scissors sit in a funky shaped tin box that sat in my mother's bathroom all my childhood years. The other two things are things my mother bought, and packed away, just because "they're so pretty".

Anyway, I see this little vignette all the time I am sitting at my desk. And it is beautiful to me. And it makes me happy. And it was, in its own way, inspiration for the rest of my room.

Have a beautiful Thursday, ya'll!

Quote for today:


"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it"


Pretty Pattern Tuesday


I don't really have a pattern to link to today, because it is just a simple granny square. It's done with 3 dc groups, no ch between groups on the side, 2 ch for the corners.

I am in a group on Ravelry that is swapping these little beauties so that we can all end up with a totally random group of squares to make into an afghan.

I think they would also make super fun placemats and a table runner, don't you?

Here are my first 15. They are addictive to make. So pretty. So easy.


My pretties!

Happy Tuesday, ya'll!

Monday Afternoon Music


Monday Morning Music


Makes me cry, every time.

MamaT's Monday Daybook

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For Today, May 10, 2010

Outside my window... it is gray and cloudy and looks like it might rain. Hmmmm. I am enjoying this time where I don't have to turn the a/c on, but I do like my sunshine!

I am thinking... about my beautiful daughter in law's birthday this week, and what I should get her for a present. She is the easiest of my family to buy for--she likes all pretty things and is not a high maintenance "only this kind of stuff will do" kind of girl.

I am thankful for... all the work I got done last week so that when I walk through this house (in a few minutes) making my to do list for the week, it won't be quite so long!

From the kitchen... something with the defrosted ground meat I have in my refrigerator. I was going to make crockpot spaghetti, but decided I shouldn't have to cook on Mother's Day. It's too much food for just PapaC and I, so I think I'll grill up turkeyburger patties so we can have them for suppers and lunches this week. I'm also going to make some soup, just because I love soup all year round and don't want to stop making it just 'cause it's spring.

I'm am wearing... Black capris, pink t shirt, my good working sandals, tiny flip flop earrings (a gift from a friend!) and perfume.

I am creating... the last 2 squares for Zoe's Christmas afghan, and the start of 100 (yes, you read that right!) 4 round granny squares for a crochet swap I am participating in.

I am going... to Craft Circle at church tonight. Yay!! I'm also going to the library to straighten up what I owe to them so I can check out audio books. Think about those 100 squares!

I am reading... Goodbye to a River by John Graves (which I didn't read much last week. I've got to get moving on it. This is a complete ditto from last week!

I am hoping... that I can get my desk work done this week. If I could do that, I would be in a good place going forward.

I am hearing... airplanes flying over the house. Lots of them. What's up with that. I am also hearing my washing machine going--it has a squeak that I can't get rid of so it sounds like I'm perpetually killing mice or something.

Around the house... I need to go get the thing that you scratch up wallpaper with before you spray on glue dissolver. One thing I'd like to do this week is take down a wallpaper border that is oh so tightly stuck atop bedroom walls. It was cute when Zman was Zboy. Now, not so much!

One of my favorite things... is Juicy Fruit gum. Just love it.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Pay bills, personal and church. Craft Circle. Pick up quilt from lady who backed and quilted the top I took her--the last of my grandfather's and great grandmother's quilts DONE. Expensive? Yes. Worth every penny. Let's see. Clean and laundry. YARD WORK. I just don't want to do it the same day that all the professional yard work guys are here on the street working. Vanity, thy name is Terry.

Words I'm pondering "The note of prudent calculation so prominent in the sayings of other wise men is conspicuously absent from Jesus' teaching." Louis Cassels

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

2010 BAMCAL May

This is one of the May squares I did for my block of the month crochet along. The colors on the picture are terrible--they are dusty pink and white in real life. But the square itself is pretty!

Happy Monday, ya'll!

From The Summa Mamas to You!



Hope it's a dreamy day for all our mama friends!

Friday afternoon lagniappe


Maybe the most romantic song I've ever heard. Ya'll have a good weekend now, y'hear!

Fine Art Friday


LaMa's entry for FAF made me think of one of my favorite illustrators, E. H. Shepard, and his illustraions for the classic (children's?) book, The Wind in the Willows. I put a question mark by children's, because I think it is profitably read by EVERYONE, and if you haven't read it lately, you should get it, make yourself a little snack, and sit down and READ.

Shepard captured the essence of Grahame's "little people" very well, don't you think?

Wind in the Willows

Oh, yeah. Shepard is justly famous for illustrating another children's classic:

E. H. Shepard Pooh and Piglet

Story has it that Shepard came to resent Pooh, because he felt that it overshadowed his other work. But Milne liked his illustrations so much that he cut Shepard into the royalties, no small thing for an illustrator.

The man is genius. Sheer genius.

Happy Friday, ya'll. Go out and read some good children's literature, even if you don't have a kid to read it to!

Fine Art Friday

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On this fine Friday I thought I'd share this beautiful piece created by my man for his design class. He made a book in which each page is a different design and texture. I'm happy the semester's nearly over so I can keep it for my very own.


This one is my favorite:


¡Viernes feliz!

Thursday, Beautiful Thursday

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I have been working on more organizing, more cleaning out of stuff, and to THAT it appears there is no end. But when I was working on my craft room, I looked down from dusting the top of the bookcases and saw this. So pretty.

My Beautiful African Violets #1

Isn't it pretty how it looks like the leaves are stretching toward the light coming in through the shutters? Aren't those transparent purple flowers just lovely? My African violets are a constant surprise to me. #1 that I didn't kill them, #2 that they actually flourish and #3......well, it's a story.

A long time ago, the Smock led a group that did the St. Catherine of Siena Gifts and Talents workshop. It was an amazing experience, and I personally think she should do it again. After the formal workshop was over, a handful of us continued to meet on a monthly basis. We each took turns doing a little presentation for the meeting, or inviting someone in to do a little presentation.

When it was her turn for a talk, our friend Grace brought in little glass jars full of water with 1 African violet leaf stuck in it. She gave us each one. One leaf in a jar! Then she told us that this was an experiment in faith. If you put the bottle in a sunny-ish spot, keep the water filled up, and don't let it dry out, it will sprout roots. After the bottle is pretty much filled with roots, you can transplant that one little leaf into a pot with potting soil, and it will turn into a little plant. Keep that plant watered sufficiently, and it will grow into a big plant. And finally, finally the plant will sprout beautiful purple flowers.

She likened all of this to our life in faith. There is a time to grow roots. Times we need to be transplanted. Times to grow. And times to flower.

I took my little leaf home and put it in my kitchen window; I never thought it would work. I usually kill off plants.

But I wanted this to work. Grace was moving away, and I saw it as a way to keep in touch with her spiritually, if not physically. So, I added water. Transplanted it. Watered it when it started drooping.

And lo and behold! It grew. And grew. And grew.

And I've learned another lesson. When you get big enough, sometimes things have to be divided. Taking my heart in my hands, because I so didn't want to kill my plant, I divided the plant into two parts and replanted. And behold, they still grow! Can you see the two pots?

My Beatiful African Violets #2

And every day when I see these, I think of Grace and say a little prayer for her. And thank her for the lesson she taught me with one bottle and one leaf.

Have a beautiful day, my friends!

smock's southernism of the day


iffin' you think someone's not got their facts straight, you might say:
you're barkin' up the wrong tree and sniffin' in the wrong hole.

MamaT has just realized....

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.....that she is channeling the Smock today. When I got dressed I put on BLACK shorts, a BLACK shirt and an Avon watch.

But I'm wearing angel earrings that she would never wear. Sigh of relief. At least I maintain some shred of individuality.

Yummy Pattern Tuesday

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Pears! Are these not the scrummiest? They've been in my queue over at Rav for a while, my couch looks forward to the day they finally rest upon it.


The pattern isn't free, but it's pretty reasonable. Here 'tis.


Pretty Pattern Tuesday



Aren't these pretty! I absolutely LOVE crocheted cotton washcloths. I have a stack in my bathroom and I use them to wash my face with. The ribbing gives just the right amount of "scrub" to my face without being too harsh. These lovelies are from the Lion Brand Yarn website, and the pattern is here.

I also love to use crocheted cloths in my kitchen as well. I have a friend at church who knits me a new dishcloth every Christmas, and I use it faithfully. But the crocheted ones stay a little tighter over the year--the knit is much softer and drapier.

Be sure to use cotton yarn for these. Wet acrylic is just nasty (and I say that as an acrylic yarn lover!).

These cloths are great little presents for showers and housewarmings. They take little time to make, but wrapped around beauteous soap or funky kitchen tools--they look FAB.

And it's a GREAT way to increase your skills with a small proect. Easy to tote, quick to finish!

Happy Tuesday, ya'll!

smock's monday thingie

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Outside my window... i see the scary neighborhood freakazoid wearing a cowboy hat and cheap flip flops. he totally gives me the icks.

I am thinking... it would be nice if he would just move away. for good this time.

I am thankful for... security systems and the second amendment.

From the kitchen... teeheehee.

I'm am wearing... black shorts; gray shirt; black sandals.

I am creating... avon invoices just as soon as i get off this entry.

I am going... to women at the well a noche.

I am reading... just this morning finished the heights by peter hedges. awe. some.

I am hoping... that it doesn't storm.

I am hearing... children playing.

Around the house... yeah . . . not today.

One of my favorite things... is waiting for me at la madeliene's.

A few plans for the rest of the week: getting avon orders together and catching up on end-of-the-year school stuff.

Words I'm pondering "Money isn't everything" because i have to pay a small ransom to get my car out of the shop.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... of my eldest (14 yrs.) and my youngest (6 mos.).

MamaT's Monday Daybook



For Today, May 3, 2010 (WHAT? It's MAY? Are you SERIOUS?)

Outside my window... is a gorgeous day. A dove is sitting on my planter. So pretty. This is my favorite time of year. Well, once my allergies die down a bit.

I am thinking... about what Heaven will be like, and hoping that I get there.

I am thankful for... the past weekend. It was a stay at home, quiet and lazy weekend. I think I needed that. I spent a lot of time watching sports with PapaC (go Rangers!) and we did our own little mini-marathon of taped Criminal Minds episodes. I crocheted a lot, finishing one afghan, and making good progress on the squares for Zoe's Christmas afghan.

From the kitchen... grilled chicken and sausage (leftovers) plus steamed veggies. For Wednesday, something new, that will be better than the soup I made for last night. It was TERRIBLE, and it's been a long time since I cooked anything that we just didn't eat. Fortunately, I had baked banana nut bread for dessert and that made everything better. Probably sloppy joes one night. Tuna casserole of some sort another. Pork stir fry.

I'm am wearing... Shorts. Purple t-shirt. Pink flips. Groovy earrings. Perfume. Kind of a plain old day, because I'm going to be home all day.

I am creating... ORDER in this house. I failed at my task last week!

I am going... to do research for a World History class I'm teaching my nephew next fall so that I can put the book list together and his mom can start looking for the books at 1/2 Price Books. I would look for her, but, well, you KNOW my addiction to the place. Better I stay out.

I am reading... Goodbye to a River by John Graves (which I didn't read much last week. I've got to get moving on it.

I am hoping... that I can get my budget work done for our household today or tomorrow.

I am hearing... Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. How I love Pandora!

Around the house... I need to do all the things I DIDN'T do last week. Plus all this week's tasks. If I don't make an effort to catch up, I'll drown and be on an episode of Hoarders on TLC. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but STILL.

One of my favorite things... is wasting a weekend every once in awhile, just like I did this past weekend.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I have no plans yet. I've still got to sit down and look at my calendar and see what's up.

Words I'm pondering "By hoping in the unconditional Love of God, calling upon His unconditional mercy, remaining open to His unconditionally loving grace, and journeying with the Holy Spirit, we all have more than a chance; we all have the assurance that God will do everything and seize every opportunity to bring us (frequently despite ourselves) right into the midst of His heart."

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J. Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life

Here is picture thought I am sharing... just because I like it.


Lydia Crocheting in the Garden at Marly

Mary Cassatt

Music for your Monday


Toe-tapping bluegrass gospel for you Monday. This one is Vince Gill along with the Del McCoury Band. They are singing Crying Holy (Unto the Lord).

And yes ma'am, I do believe that when I get to Heaven there will not only be classical and chant and beautiful hymnody, there will also be glorious gospel and bluegrass--pouring out of hearts and fingers that have loved their Lord and have sung of him so well! You can't listen to this, or to Hallelujah! I'm Ready and not believe that.

Happy Monday, ya'll!



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