Do You Pray? Where I Was On September 11, 2001

Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, I attended a Founders Day chapel service at the Christian liberal arts college where my husband was an administrator. It was while there that I learned of the terrorist attacks against my country -- and the incomprehensible loss of precious lives.  I did what many of you did:  I grieved ... and I prayed.  In the evening, I returned to the church for an impromptu prayer service. Rather than cancel classes as did so many institutions of higher learning, I was proud that the administration and faculty understood that students needed them MOST at that time; not for teaching a curriculum, but for teaching Life. Their students were young and confused, hurting and angry.  They needed help working through ... Keep Reading...

Say Cheese!

Last week I had so much fun using sunflowers in my tablescape that I decided to strrrrretch out Summer one more week and use them again. Next week I'll turn my thoughts to Fall decorating, but for now, I hope you'll enjoy one final punch of summer color! These plates were my inspiration ...    and these fabulous sunflowers and zinnias were blooming in the yard. So I pulled out a favorite heavy blue damask tablecloth and started playing -- and this is what happened ...     I used items that are available in my Etsy and eBay shops -- a versatile set of creamy-white dishes, vintage cobalt glass salad plates, and the slightly smaller cheese plates.   Then came my clear glasses with ... Keep Reading...

Rest for the Weary: A Labor Day Thank You

  To all men and women who labor to make our world a better place, Thank You! There is no job so small that, when done with charity and a smile, it cannot have a positive impact on others. Today I dedicate this post to my sweet husband whose life work brings much satisfaction ... and much stress.  To clear his mind on the occasions when he finds himself at home, he heads outside to "play in the dirt."  (I much prefer to play in the dishes and linens, but I love using his living treasures in my tablescapes!) As written by Elizabeth von Arnim in her 1898 book Elizabeth and her German Garden, "After all, if you work all day in God's sunshine, when evening comes you are pleasantly tired and ready for rest and not much inclined ... Keep Reading...