Sunday, February 7, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ February 7, 2016

Joining in the fun with Like Mother, Like Daughter.

{Pretty}

After a few days of murk and gloom, the sunshine is even more welcome than usual, don't you think?  The evening light in our dining area one day last week was especially bright and warm.



And today there was rosy sunlight against ominous clouds as the sun began to set.



{Happy}

Hannah turned 19 on Thursday!  Her birthday dinner request?  KFC and Fazoli's breadsticks!



{Real}

My $2.50-on-clearance amaryllis bulbs were not exemplary this year.  They didn't get very tall, but they did seem to put all their energy into producing enormous blooms. . . which are pretty bedraggled. Alas. At least they are a shot of color, very much needed at this time of year.





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Sunday, January 31, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ January 31, 2016



It was suggested that for this week's {phfr} on Like Mother, Like Daughter that we all share pictures of our bookshelves.  The bookshelves in this house are the best and most abundant we've ever had.  Take a look~

There are books in every room of our house except the bathrooms.  A room without books is like a body without a soul. :)  This bookcase is in the dining area and houses the remains of our non-fiction collection from our homeschooling days and few fiction books that didn't fit on their designated bookshelf.  The rest were either gifts given directly to the girls or were later absorbed into their collections.  The purple notebooks at the bottom right are used to keep my classes for The Potter's School organized, at least the things that aren't kept on my computer.



These built-ins in the living room are why book storage is not a struggle in this house. I'm so thankful for these bookcases that are both sturdy and handsome! They house my non-fiction collection, favorite picture books, Hannah's overflow of both fiction and non-fiction, and our small collection of CD's and DVD's.



In a little hallway off the living room is this little bookcase I picked up for $40 several years ago.  Either it or the hallway needs to change color, and I think it will be the hallway . . . soon, I hope.  I keep the remains of our homeschooling fiction collection here.  Again, each girl had her own collection of fiction, so these are mine or were not claimed by anyone in particular.  I'm glad to still have some children's books available for grandchildren. 


In a cupboard in the craft/laundry room stashed with the emergency candles and bolts of muslin and batting are my cookbooks.  There was no place for them in the kitchen, so I put them here nearby.  Yes, we have three generations of BHG cookbooks!  The oldest and newest belonged to my in-laws; the middle edition was a wedding gift to Dave and me.


I forgot to take pictures of my craft and sewing books, alas!

This sweet bookcase is from my in-laws.  I don't know anything about its origin or age, but I know it's old.  Besides a few photo albums and scrapbooks, I keep my "household" books here~ books about decorating, gardening, brewing, architecture, and the philosophy of homekeeping, one of my favorite topics!



This bookrack sits on my desk and holds my TBR pile.  The book on the left is my commonplace book, and the book of Psalms and prayer book, which is barely visible, get (almost) daily use.



I believe my father-in-law made this plain but sturdy bookcase, which resides in our bedroom.  It holds his Grove's Dictionary of Music from the 1950's and my fiction collection.  The blue and white Madonna and Child on the middle shelf was made by Dave's grandfather, Luman Kelsey.  


My favorite bookends ($12 from Kirkland's ages ago) hold more TBR books (except The Teacher's Funeral, which I have read [and laughed over!] numerous times.  I'm not sure why it's in this spot, actually . . .).

That's piece of leftover slate from the floor that we use as a coaster.  Very handy!

This bookcase is in Dave's office.  It actually began life as my father-in-law's music rack, but Dave, primarily a theologian and teacher and secondarily a musician, is using it for his books.  The shelves were made to hold sheet music, not books, so they are bowing under the weight, but it does the job for now.

                  Sorry for the bad lighting.  I couldn't get into the office to take pictures until after dark. :(                     

Dave also has hundreds of volumes on his e-reader.  I am not personally fond of such devices, but I was thankful for his when it was time to move!  I don't use e-readers, but I do listen to audio books and have quite a collection in my Audible library.

Not shown~ Hannah's hundreds of books in her room.  Besides one two-shelf and one three-shelf bookcase, she has stacks of crates, mostly the kind sold at Michael's, for her books.  And of course, Elizabeth took her books with her when she got married.

So there you have it~ our family library!



Sunday, January 24, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ January 24, 2016

It's time for {phfr} and my weekly post!

{Pretty}

Last week I showed the paperwhites just beginning to open.  Here are they are again in their full glory:


Aren't they beautiful?  And nary a flop-over.  First time ever that I haven't had to prop them up.

{Happy}

I also showed you my new workspace last week, but I am so happy with it that I'm sharing it again from a different angle.


I've struggled with this room ever since we moved here a year and a half ago, even to the point of wishing we could remove it from the house.  It was built for growing things in, such as the vegetables my father-in-law grew, but we do not plan to attempt anything beyond houseplants.  With the little sitting area we had before, the room felt redundant and pointless.  We already have two sitting areas and a third . . . well, all we used this room for was to walk through to get to the bedrooms.  

It started to shape up when we had it painted last fall, and things really began to happen when we put the paintings up.  So much better!  A couple weeks ago, we moved the futon to Dave's office, which made space for this table.  And now when I walk through here, I catch myself thinking how pretty a space it is~ the sunshine, the plants, the paintings, my "desk."  I'd call that a success!

{Fun}ny

My granddaughters playing in the best puddle ever with their Daddy.  It's across the (quiet, secluded) street from their house.  It looks like they are having a great time!







This was during a warm spell last week.  Now they have eighteen inches of snow from that massive storm that hit the east coast!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ January 17, 2016

Jumping in at the last minute~ again!~ with Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr}. . .

{Pretty} and {Happy}

I bought some bulbs, paperwhite and amaryllis, on clearance after Christmas; the paperwhites are just now opening.  I prefer to have my bulbs blooming in January than in December.  I find that Christmas preparations keep things bright and cheery all on their own, but January needs a boost.  The amaryllis seems slow out of the gate this year, but if it wants to bloom in February, I won't complain.


The thermometer was registering at 15 to 17 degrees.  Brrrrr!

The pond is frozen over and the fairly substantial dusting of snow we had overnight makes it look like an untrampled field, but the ice is not yet thick enough to walk on!




One more {pretty} and {happy} to show you~

We are still rearranging furniture and hanging pictures after we had several rooms painted last October.  We moved the futon that was in the conservatory to Dave's office.  We decided having a double bed in there just made it too crowded, but we still wanted the room to double as a guest room.  I dithered and hemmed and hawed about what to put in the futon's place.  Another sofa?  Not that we really need yet another place to sit. . . Hardly anyone ever sat on the futon as it was.  A cabinet of some sort?  Maybe, but it would have to possess a lot of personality and presence to not be swallowed up by the size of the room.  A desk for me?  I've never, ever had a desk in all of the time we've been married, but I just wasn't sure I wanted one.

So we visited a local furniture store and looked at everything they had.  I had a sense that when we found the right thing, it would jump out at us and knock us down.  But . . . it wasn't happening.  We saw several things that would work, but nothing definitive was showing itself.  Until, that is, we walked past some of the clearance items at the back of the store.  There was this table there with a scratch, but it wasn't anything my magic marker wouldn't cover well enough.  It was marked at $199.  I saw the possibilities of this table.  There were two matching chairs nearby, so I asked if they were included in the price.  When the salesmen said yes, suddenly all three pieces jumped out at me and knocked me down.  I knew this was it!  It's amazing how much potential the right price brings out.  So we brought the set home today, and with a little more rearranging of furniture, it is happily installed.  See, see??

I must tidy up the cords underneath . . .
The original price was $749 for the table and six chairs.  Where the other four chairs are I know not, but I didn't want them anyway.  I still have some thinking and rearranging of the items on top to do, but this is a start, and I think this general set-up will prove functional and aesthetically pleasing.  Plus, it can serve as overflow seating for large gatherings.  *Plus* we still have enough money leftover to get the living room couch reupholstered. Win-win-win!

{Funny}

Yesterday, Dave and I went to the campus of Washington University in St. Louis to view an exhibit of the paintings of Winston Churchill.  We really enjoyed it!  Churchill taught himself to paint and eventually earned a diploma from the Royal Academy.  Once, a painting he entered in an amateur competition was mistaken by a judge to be done by a professional.  After we had seen everything in that exhibit, we visited the permanent collection, and amidst an Edvard Munch (so-so), a Sir Joshua Reynolds (really fine!), and a completely pointless Man Ray mobile was this:



The description on the wall says it's a 2012 lithograph by American artist Nicole Eisenman.  It's titled "Tea Party," but Dave and I thought it was funny because it looks like Martin Luther and Winston Churchill talking with Death!  We have no idea what the point of it is and there was no description beyond the artist, year, medium, and title.



Sunday, January 10, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ January 10, 2016

Joining the gang at Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr}~

{Pretty} and {Real}

We had our first significant snowfall Friday night/Saturday morning, which made the birds flock to our feeders.  I counted eight male cardinals and, I think, eight corresponding females yesterday morning.

The most I could get in one shot was five.

The males jockeyed for position all day.  They were pretty ruthless about it and totally lacked chivalry.  They chased the females away with the same ferocity as they chased each other.



Males and females alike positively ganged up on birds of other species.

"This purple finch has got to go!"



Those who didn't come out on top resorted to eating from the ground.




I think this striking orange cardinal is a male.  I've never seen one this color before!



Non-cardinal birds enjoyed our other bird feeder.


Watching birds at the bird feeder seems idyllic on the surface, but their complete lack of concern for each other, even their mates, reminded me again of the reality of the Fall.  "Go ahead and starve," they said to each other.  "This is my food!"  I've known some people who hold idealistic views of nature and the nobility of the animal spirit, but they are wrong, and it's because of sin that nature is bloody and merciless.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ January 3, 2016


Happy second Sunday after Christmas!  I love it that there are two Sundays in the Christmas season this year.  That means lots of time to sing Christmas hymns. :)

I'm going to share a montage of Christmas photos without a lot of explanation and without trying to divide them into {phfr} categories.  Each has a bit of all of them.

Our tree at home

Dave, Hannah, and I enjoyed Christmas together at home~




I later realized that all the pictures I took of Hannah are with her in her pajamas, and
since I don't think she'd appreciate me plastering my blog with those pictures, I'm just
sharing one rather discreet one.  We gave her a coloring book for grown-ups and she
loved it!
Our church's nave on Christmas morning.  Beautiful!

We spent almost a week in West Virginia with Elizabeth and her family.  So much fun!

Verity is 16 months old!

Guess who?


Elizabeth, Verity, Arane, and Justin


Story time



Is there a child alive who doesn't like to have a ride in a laundry basket? lol

Arane is three and a half.  I'm not sure when that happened . . .


We took so many group photos because in almost all of them, one or both
of the kids were wiggling and therefore blurry.  We were lucky to get even
one of  picture with us all relatively in focus!

Verity wasn't sure what to think of the pop! from our Christmas crackers, but
she enjoyed the crown.


A portable doll bed I made for Verity

This picture is of my mother-in-law, Sylvia, and her hot-off-the-presses book of poetry.  She has written poetry for most of her adult life, and some friends and family gathered 400 of them (more or less) into a professionally designed and produced book.  Here she is on Christmas Eve with her brand-spankin' new copy.



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Sunday, December 20, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ December 20, 2015

So sorry to have disappeared last week!  A relative, for whom Dave and I are the sole caregivers, went to the hospital with pneumonia.  Thanks to modern medicine and God's mercy, the illness was quickly subdued and all is well again.

{Pretty}

In this post, I showed you the conservatory we had painted in October, but I haven't yet showed you the completed "gallery" of paintings by Dave's grandmother, Dorothea Storey Kelsey.  Besides three in the living room, we gathered all her paintings in our possession into this one space, and I love it.

The wall color has more creamy yellow undertones than shows
in this photo.  It looks great with all the wood frames.

 The cellist in the middle is Dave's father, Carleton Spotts, who was the cello professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia for 34 years.  The three portraits on the right are of Dorothea, her husband Luman, and their daughter (Dave's mother) Sylvia.  The portrait over the organ is also of Luman.  I am very pleased with how this turned out and I am finally beginning to like this room. :)

{Happy}

We had a gathering at our house for friends this past Friday.  Yes, it was a Christmas party, but in a university town, if you want to have a Christmas party, you have to do it before everyone scatters for Christmas break, even if it means having it in Advent.  Last year we had not yet gotten to know anyone well enough to even have a party, so we are happy that we've built more connections and made more friends in the intervening year.  A true blessing.





 


{Funny}

Spotted on a recent Christmas shopping excursion:



But they're plastic?????????

{Real}

After many weeks of atypical dry weather, the rains finally came . . . and came . . . and came some more.  The pond level has been higher only once in my memory.  The water apparently got high enough to dislodge a volleyball that has been floating randomly around the pond for over a year.  How and when it got there we know not, but there it floats.  One day recently it almost got near enough to the shore to be fished out. Almost. Alas.





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