Slowing down to say, “Thank you” . . .

Still packing here and counting the days until we say our final goodbye to our old house . . .   But I learned a long time ago that it's always important to say, "thank you".   You kind and faithful readers are in my thoughts and prayers today.   ... Keep Reading...

DISAPPEARING DOILIES: Packing away Yesterday’s treasures

Still packing here and preparing for adventure!   The past couple of days I've spent a lot of time sorting and packing vintage linens. LOTS of vintage linens. If you've spent much time here at My Place, you know I love vintage linens!   Every time I thought I'd gathered up the last one, I'd find another . . . and another. I had no idea I used so many little vintage beauties in my "everyday" decorating, but I do!  Do you?     Little touches of Yesteryear tucked in around the house add such nice warmth and softness.     I wonder how many I can sneak into my Adventure housing (aka travel trailer) to enjoy while we build our Finally Farmhouse?   What about you? Do you ... Keep Reading...

One step closer to ADVENTURE

Will someone please tell me how it's the middle of November already?   Happy Monday to all, by the way. I don't tell you enough, but I really appreciate you stopping by! I know your time could be spent elsewhere, so I'm honored you want to spend a few minutes at My Place. I hope by now you know you are ALWAYS welcome.   As you know if you're a regular here, last week was one of "critical timing" at our house. Everything had to hit *just right* if we're going to stay on schedule to move out of our old house and into our new temporary quarters at Wild Rose Farm by the end of the month.     Monday began with a rental delivery and lots of trench digging. Thanks, Renaissance ... Keep Reading...

Paying tribute . . .

 trib·ute an act, statement, or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration   Two days ago, on a cloudy and cooler-than-usual November day in south Texas, a veteran was laid to rest.   Following a service led by his two brothers-in-law (Renaissance Man being one of them), family and friends drove down country roads from the church to the cemetery. Cars moved to the shoulder, stopping in respect as the funeral procession passed.     At the graveside, the flag-draped casket was moved into place as family and friends watched.   Three uniformed grandsons stood at attention. Two Marines and one Navy sailor. All in only their second decade of life. Each one struggling to hold back ... Keep Reading...

Adventure on the Horizon!

Since our big, beautiful old house in town is selling, we began the search for a house to rent while we prepare to build our Finally Farmhouse.   We found one potentially viable house.   One.   Super tiny (we'd still need to rent storage) and only three blocks from our present house—rather than closer to the farm where we'll be overseeing construction—it was not a very good option.   And so we've decided to be adventuresome.   After living in over 3000 square feet of classic, high-ceilinged gorgeousness for more than a decade, we'll soon be moving directly to the farm and living in this baby.     Some say building a house is one of the hardest things a couple can do ... Keep Reading...

Taking a chance …

"Just one sandwich, it's that good."   That was the mindset of Don and Dolores Dissman in 1971 when they walked into Citizens National Bank in Austin, Texas. They wanted a loan to open a sandwich shop offering ONE kind of sandwich. Seriously? Just ONE?   With today's compulsion for variety—and lots of it!—that's almost unheard of.   Their special offering, patterned after a muffuletta sandwich, featured a variety of meats and cheeses plus black olives on fresh, toasted bread. They called their sandwich "The Original".     The Dissmans believed they had a winning product, and so they took a chance and pitched their idea to someone who (hopefully) would also believe.   The loan ... Keep Reading...

Goodbye Letter to My Old House

My dear old house,   It's time for us to part ways. (Sniff) Yes, I asked for this, but still . . .   I'm really going to miss you.   When we first met 11 years ago, I thought we'd be together "'til death do us part". After a few months, I thought death might come sooner rather than later as day after day my sweet husband and I shed blood, sweat, and tears to bring you back to life. It was really hard work.   You were worth it!   Honestly, thanks to my Renaissance Man, you were a dream come true. I'd long wanted to restore an old house, and heaven knows you needed some help. With your sagging porch, three-foot-wide hole in the entry floor, and layers of peeling and painted-over wallpaper, you ... Keep Reading...

25th Anniversary Disappointment . . . and Surprise

I'll tell you the surprise first:  The couple celebrating their 25th anniversary are in their 90s.     The disappointment was that they'd planned to celebrate out of town with family, but a recent hospital stay and the resulting move to assisted living kept them in town. Their church family stepped in and planned a celebration . . . because this couple is a blessing to so many—and the least we could do is bless them!   After church last Sunday, they entered a basic "fellowship hall" quickly transformed to bring sparkles to their eyes.     Several ladies created the delicious food with the idea of "old school" bridal shower in mind.     I created the ... Keep Reading...

Dream come true: Farm Wedding in Amish Country

Picking up where I left you . . . (asking if there's a farmhouse in my future)   Yesterday was The Day. Really.   After two-and-a-half years of trying to sell a big ol' house in a little ol' town, our beautiful home built in 1907 is about to meet its fourth caretakers—and Renaissance Man and I are finally going to build our farmhouse.   Buyer #1 YAY!   Six weeks from now, the woman (and her husband) whose heart beats like mine for old houses will be the next owner of the Witt-Turner House. It's a farm-themed dream come true. Thanks to all of you who've wished us well and pulled for us—and Buyer #1. It means a lot!   But there's another farm-themed dream come true I got to experience recently, ... Keep Reading...

Is there a farmhouse in my future—finally?

After two-and-a-half years, today just may be The Day.   So began my update to you last Friday. (I never sent it.)   If you're a regular friend here, you know Renaissance Man and I live in a wonderful old house in a small town in East Tennessee. It's a house we rescued and restored, transforming it from an uninhabitable eyesore to a welcoming, arms-open part of our community. I told you the entire story.   Two-and-a-half years ago, we put a For Sale sign in the yard. It was time to upsize faith by downsizing life. I believed we were being obedient by refocusing. We had too many unused "treasures".   Where your treasure is, there your heart is also...   And the update ... Keep Reading...

Celebrating 22 years of something old, something new—and not a bride in sight

How was your weekend?   Around My Place it was busy, exhausting, satisfying. Did I say it was exhausting?  It's the same every year at our church's Yard Sale for Missions—and this was the 22nd year!   Saturday started very early. When Renaissance Man and I pulled up to the church at 5:45 AM, others were already there, scurrying around doing their tasks in the dark.  We parked and began our own.   Eventually we all started gathering inside for a short time of final announcements and (most important) prayer for the events of the day, dedicating ourselves and our work to God.   We are blessed to have high school and college students to help with the final set-up (and take-down!) of the shops, ... Keep Reading...

Caramel Apple Craze

Happy Friday to all!   Have you ever made caramel apples? Until this week, I had not ... but now I'm a pro. Just kidding!   Tomorrow is the 22nd annual Yard Sale for Missions at our church, and it is a BIG deal, raising $20,000-$30,000 for local and global missions. Our congregation is not large, but it's filled with very dedicated members, and for the past three evenings I've hung out in the church kitchen with several of them making caramel apples.   Community members have been pre-ordering these babies for weeks!   Here's a quick peek at the process...   Tomorrow starts before the crack of dawn with set-up and prayer time—then it's "off ... Keep Reading...

MOOD SWING: Summer to Fall

Finally... The first day of Fall!   Hello, old friend! I've looked forward to your return for a whole year.   I'm beginning to feel the mood swing coming on. Summer's sunflowers are moving out . . .     and warmth and texture are moving in!     The metamorphosis of seasons is upon us!   At this time of year, some people like to decorate with the traditional:  vibrant colors of red, orange, gold, and brown ... pumpkins, gourds, and colored leaves ... corn stalks, bales of hay, and chrysanthemums. While I sometimes do that, too, Fall decorating for me often includes ... ... Keep Reading...

Breaking the silence

When it's quiet here at My (virtual) Place, it's almost always noisy at My (in real life) Place.   It's been quiet here for quite awhile. I've really missed you.   At home it's been crazy-noisy, ridiculously yo-yo-ish, and an emotional roller coaster. It's been a long time since I've experienced a period so chock-full of travel on top of Life... and it's not over yet.   Through it all, I've been a student. Sometimes intentional. Sometimes by necessity; almost unwillingly.   Learn to walk slowly through the crowd. When you truly understand God's abundance, there is no good reason to be in a hurry. Summit Leadership Foundation newsletter   Since April we've celebrated several birthdays, ... Keep Reading...

ONE WOMAN’S IMPACT: Pat Summitt (1952-2016)

It is what it is. But, it will be what you make it. Pat Summitt Legendary Lady Vols basketball coach University of Tennessee   Pat Summitt, the "winningest" coach in NCAA Division I basketball history, died today—two weeks short of her 65th birthday.   This post is not about sports.   If you're interested in women's basketball, you already know Pat Summitt "by the numbers". They're very impressive. She was impressive, and flags fly at half-staff today here in Tennessee in celebration of her life and legacy.   There is, however, one number associated with Coach Summitt that gets my ultimate respect:   100% of her student athletes graduated from college.   She set the bar high for ... Keep Reading...

When Grown Men Cry

The first time I visited Alex's home, he had built only its block walls, but I was impressed by his choice of location:   a bluff overlooking Hope Mountain— in gratitude for what Hope did in his life.   Our group prayed with Alex, asking God to bless the house he was building—and the home that would one day be created there.     The next time Renaissance Man saw Alex, he learned of his engagement to Adriana (not her real name), and called me with the good news. You see, unlike Alex, Adriana has a rich heritage of family.   When their wedding day finally arrived, our missionary friend and Alex were tasked with picking up Adriana's parents. Before Adriana's father would leave his home, he ... Keep Reading...