fashion fave/red

alphabet of thanks, “R”

Now this one might seem silly.

Today I am thankful for the color RED.

And why is that you ask?

I don’t know. I just like the color red. I like wearing it, decorating with it, and eating it.

The wearing:

I love a red sweater. I mean you can pair it with anything and it gives it a flash of sophistication. Like this:

Or you put it with jeans and you get this:

fashion fave/red

(By the way, I pinned this three times!)

fashion fave red blazer

Pair it with black pants and you get a sophisticated look, like this:

Then there’s the decorating. How adorable is this?

decorating/red and white

 

But I really love red and aqua together.

red and aqua decorating

 

Our cabin is red and white. The bunkhouse is red and white. I don’t like red walls though or too much red. But as an accent color, it’s work with everything. It’s kind of like the new “black”.

And then there’s food. This next example might be a stretch but stay with me. I love apple pie. And apples are red, right? Doesn’t that count?apple pie

 

I like anything that tastes like hot cinnamon.

hot tamales candy

There is another reason, the most important one, why color red appeals to me. To learn about that, you’ll have to read my alphabet of thanks, “W”.

God bless and have a good day.

 

peaceful

an alphabet of thanks, “Q”

 peaceful

Today I am thankful for quiet.

Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean lack of noise. We can be quiet within even when it’s noisy around us. But for this post, I’m referring to quiet as the lack of noise. I’m not one of those people who need someone around all the time. I don’t mind being alone especially when I can have quiet time. I find I listen and think better when it’s quiet.

Religious leaders from all faiths have extolled the importance of quiet for meditation. In Christian vernacular, quiet times refer to the times we set aside to read our Bibles and pray.  Although I still read and study my Bible, there seem to be more and more times I remain quiet and just listen. Every once in awhile I like some extended time of total quiet, when even my own voice is not allowed to break the silence.

quiet

There has been considerable research about noise and stress and the conclusion has been that noise is a huge stress factor. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Life was simply quieter a hundred years ago.

Of course, in our own home, we can turn off the noise if we choose. We just seldom choose. But complete quiet is hard to get used to.

Most of us are uncomfortable with quiet. There are reasons for our uneasiness with quiet.

When we are quiet, the chatter in our head seems to get louder and that’s when our demons can come to haunt us. We are faced with our fears and insecurities. It’s hard to hide from ourselves when our minds aren’t bombarded, when we aren’t thinking about that next thing on our list.

That doesn’t scare me like it used to. I’m learning to be comfortable with the “quieter” version of me.

 

Most of us are going to go through a period of quietness before we leave this earth.  Due to the infirmities that accompany old age, we will have no choice.  Being comfortable with “quiet” and being unafraid to face ourselves now will prepare us for those times when we will have nothing but our thoughts. I hope this doesn’t sound maudlin but the truth is unless our lives are “interrupted”, we are going to experience old age. If we want to be a serene, contented elderly person, we need to become a serene contented person now.

The future always begins with the present.

Don’t be afraid of being quiet or being alone. Learn to be a friend to yourself. I think all of us would do well to incorporate real quiet in our lives.

We are approaching the busiest few weeks of the year. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “I’ll incorporate quiet later. Certainly, not now.”

But I would suggest that now is the best time. If ever we need to take some time for quiet, it is during this season.  You might be surprised how taking some to be quiet and reflect might actually energize you.

peaceful

God bless and have a quiet day.

paper mache figurines

an alphabet of thanks “P”

There are no options (see yesterday’s post) to pick from for the letter “P”. I’ve had this one settled on since the beginning. It’s PINTEREST.

Here’s how my descent into the Pinterest “abyss” began. It was October, 2011, when my daughter remarked, “Hey, mom.  I’ve found this neat website I think you might enjoy. It’s called Pinterest. Here, let me show you.” She pulled up the site n my computer and showed me how it worked.

“Hmmm”, I said. “I don’t know if it’s something I would like but I’ll give it a try”.

It was downhill after that.

I plunged into Pinterest “hell” almost immediately.

I was hooked.

I pinned non-stop for days. I needed an intervention but none was forthcoming. I had to go cold turkey. It was hard but after a few days, I was back to normal. I have slowed down since then but I’m still somewhat obsessed.

Why do I like Pinterest?  For one thing, by paying close attention to what I was pinning, I realized that my true decorating style was not reflected in my home. I learned that I love white with touches of black. I love yellow-green paired with pale seafoam blue. When it came time to redecorate some bedrooms, I didn’t have to think at all.  When it came to the living room and dining room, it was also easy. Lots of black and white.

Pinterest has brought me back to the things I love. I love DIY projects but had gotten away from it for awhile.

I’m b-a-a-a—a-ck.

I’ve had some Pinterest “fails” though, especially with some of the recipes.

Also, I love the photographs and the artwork. There really isn’t anything about Pinterest that I don’t like except its addicting lure.

I ask everyone I meet, “Are you on Pinterest?” If they say no, I explain it to them.  Oh, no, I’m sending someone else over the edge.  I should be ashamed.

I’m not, though. It’s a lot of fun.

So let me share a few projects from the past. I love this piece. It’s pallet boards, painted sconces, and Dollar Tree flowers.

bedroom sconces

 

This table was red. I painted it aqua and attached silver aluminum to the edge. The legs and the vases on the lower shelf are painted in Rustoleum 2x, Chrome. The flowers are a wall decal.upstairs hallway table

Here’s a close-up.

paper maiche figurines

 

These are some paper mache figures I made a number of years ago. Homemade Christmas decorations are some of my favorite things I like to do.

I’m sure all my followers have checked out Pinterest. If you haven’t, give it a try.  Here’s my Christmas board if you want to check it out.

options

an alphabet of thanks “O”

Option one over option two. We even have toilet paper options.

Choice

I don’t like playing guessing games with life.

I like concrete answers.

I like people who are open. I don’t like people who have an agenda; you never know where you stand with them.

I like to organize-things, my schedule, my life. I don’t like chaos. I could write volumes about each of these but I’m going to settle on “OPTIONS” because “options” is really just another word for “choices”.

And I’m a big believer that we all have choices about most things in our life.

We’ve updated our big old farmhouse over many years. I had a general idea where I was headed. I wanted to ditch the heavy, wood-grained look and go for something crisper. I have made a lot of painting color choices.  At one point, I had nine, nine, samples of white paint. I never realized there were so many different whites.

Painting the furniture, however, was a no-brainer. I had studied decorating websites and magazines for months and months and when the time came to decide, it all just kind of fell into place. I am fairly confident in my decorating abilities as it is one of my passions. It’s been my experience that when we’re passionate about something we’re usually good at it. I feel like I make good decorating choices. At least most of the time.

I have a cousin who is passionate about cooking and she’s a wonderful cook. I’m not passionate about cooking-enough said about my culinary skills.

But when it comes to people, our options are crucial. Things are just things but people can hurt us and they can be hurt.

For example, relationships can be damaged forever if we choose the wrong words.

Sometimes there are more options than the obvious but they usually only show up after we’ve let some time-lapse.

Many decisions can sit on the back burner for a while.

Often situations resolve themselves if we let them sit and simmer. That’s the wonderful thing about options. We even have options about our choices!

The holiday season is fast approaching. We are faced with all kinds of options, what to buy, what to bake, what to wear. It’s relatively easy to see these options. But we have options about everything. So let’s choose:

  • politeness over rudeness
  • kindness over meanness
  • love over hate
  • tolerance over injustice
  • helpfulness over selfishness
  • giving over taking
  • generosity over stinginess
  • initiation over laziness
  • courage over fear
  • respect over disdain

If we remember we have options, life can become so much easier.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

naivete

An alphabet of thanks “N”

(In case you’re doing the math, these posts are one day off. This should really be posting on the 14th. But “D” and “E” posted the same day because I didn’t wait for one of those posts to update before I turned off my computer, and I didn’t catch it till the next day. Just sayin’)

Today I’m thankful for my naiveté.

naivete

My family is always kidding me about how naïve I am about some things. For example, if a family member tells me something outlandish, (like there’s such a thing as a Michigan peacock) I’m very apt to believe them because of course, they wouldn’t lie. I easily fall for practical jokes, therefore, people love to pick on me.

The first definition for naïve in the dictionary is “inexperienced”. That’s not me, though.  I’ve experienced enough of life to know its reality.

Another definition is “youthful”. Young people are generally considered naïve. Young people generally trust and believe in people. Young people believe in possibilities. Think, I’ll take this definition.

I trust and believe in people, to my detriment at times. I often walk into situations where I can’t win no matter what because I always believe people can change. I’m naïve enough to believe most people like me. I’m always surprised when people don’t play fair. I guess I really am naïve.

But that’s o.k. I rather be the one picked on than the one that does the picking. I’d rather be easy to play a joke on than so unfriendly and distant that no one would dare. I rather be naïve and see the wonder of life, than so jaded I can only see the ugly.

I’ll admit it. I’m naïve. I’m naïve enough to believe that God still performs miracles. I’m naïve enough to believe that my prayers really matter. I’m naïve enough to believe that God is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can do, that I am who God says I am, and that I can handle anything God allows in my life. Call me naïve want. I call myself smart.

God bless and have a good day.

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