Category Archives: 9 TV & Movies/Books & Entertainment

The days grow short

A meandering post…

The grandbebes.

Oh, it’s a long long while
From May to December
But the days grow short
When you reach September

I refused to loosen my grasp on summer, as if it would cause it to remain. And we have had an unusually warm and dry Autumn, temperatures soaring daily in bright sunshiny days regularly, so it has been easy to pretend.

Hunter catches and runs in the touchdown!

But the colorful-Colorado drive to the mountains a couple of weeks ago, yellow and orang-ish Aspen leaves tumbling and floating down the higher in elevation we got, the season changed for me. *snap* Just like that. I guess it really is fall.

When the autumn weather
Turns leaves to flame
One hasn’t got time
For the waiting game

sept 30 near allenspark, co
On our way to the top. Near Allenspark.

Oh, the days dwindle down
To a precious few…

Our niece Lori”s place in Estes Park. She always has a room for us.

This Season

The days are shorter, the evenings are cooler. The grass is greener, enjoying the break from relentless summer heat. The garden has gone wild, producing madly, somehow knowing the end is in sight. Cool-season crops, planted in August’s warmth, are deliriously happy this year. Radishes, lettuce, kale and arugula can be seen dancing in the moonlight.  With a little love and occasional cover, who knows? Maybe we’ll harvest for the Thanksgiving table? It doesn’t have to be the end {yet} of the gardening year. But it’s close.

I brought in a shopping bag full of tomatoes, zucchini and peppers three days ago…


Guess what?

If I were a garden vegetable, I would be a tomato plant. Of course I would. Search this blog for the word, “tomato” and you’ll see why.  The homegrown tomato is my all-time favorite, for no flavor like them can be purchased anywhere. They arrive all spring green and exciting on bushy-leafed plants and then become blood-red and juicier over time. Like we do.

Aging actually defines and colors who we are, what we bring to the proverbial table.

But the September and October tomato isn’t as flashy as the summer tomato.  The fruit is smaller, even as the numbers increase. Nearing the end, the tomato creates a veritable flurry of flowers-to-fruit, propagating itself for posterity. It’s like it is saying, “I won’t be around forever, these days are getting awfully short and I’m losing sunlight, but I’ll make sure to leave you with plenty to enjoy and seed for the future.”

It isn’t about being maudlin or morose, but I know things now I didn’t know 20 years ago. I know “the days dwindle down.” I recall my irrepressible youth. I couldn’t see the end of the blue-sky, sunny-summer days ahead and even though we always heard “We’re never promised tomorrow,” being young also makes you certain tomorrow will always be there.

Like my annual tomato plants, we have a certain number of days, the seasons set and measurable with some variations.  We have a limited supply of sunshine and rain. And then our days are gone. And we hope we will have produced life-giving, good fruit and plenty of it and have left extraordinary children and grandchildren to make the world better for the future.

I’m somewhere past the middle

Where am I now, September? October? I’m somewhere in the middle, over half my days are gone. I need to kick it into high gear, for goodness’ sake! :)

It has taken me the wisdom of the years I have lived to understand so many things and, wow, I have much left to learn. But so many seasons have come and gone and the people planted in my life’s garden to begin with are the ones still to tend, you know? Many wonderful friends and acquaintances pass by and we enjoy the love, the meals, but my people remain for me. Along the way, every possible distraction, possible (probable) offenses and seductive “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities beckon. New things and flashy adventure present and they are wonderful, but the home garden is where the best nourishment remains even as, and especially as, the days grow shorter.

Over half my days are gone, but the ones that remain are bushel-baskets full of sage advice, wisdom, love (oh the love), nurture, insight into the future (I’m further along – I can see things ahead you may not yet have seen, my sweets); there’s discernment I can share and prophetic words I am anointed to speak and though the fruit on my vines is not the flashy, all-knowing fruit of my youth, I bear prolifically now, enough for my household and those who need refuge. Come one, come all…

So spend your days wisely, the endless supply you seem to have now.  And feast on the days your most important people have to spend on you, receiving the grace of years humbly and gratefully.

And these few precious days
I’ll spend with you
These precious days
I’ll spend with you

My favorite version of September Song

(lyrics above) by Willie Nelson. Naturally!

Thought-Collage Thursday // A Bountiful Bunch of Dis-jointed Reflections

I don’t even know what that title means.

In the back yard yesterday 1

In the back yard yesterday

Except, I do have thoughts. That is why – this blog.  But sometimes life is careening with such force and speed, the thoughts, the observations and ideas – well, they just zoom on by and I can only retain the barest interpretation of them.

Such is this week.


I get so romantic about the autumnal  season

In the back yard yesterday 2

Also the back yard yesterday. No kidding – I got to see all these colors including that Colorado blue sky!

I go out in the cool breeze of night and watch the leaves drifting down and start composing silly poetry in my head like this:

When the breeze picks up and the leaves fall down

And the Jack ‘O Lanterns are scowling all around town…

There is actually much more, and maybe one day I’ll share it with the grandbebes, but I’m no poet. I know it.  ;) So for today, we’ll leave it here. Bet you’re wondering what was going to happen, aren’t you?

In the back yard yesterday 3

Which leads me to this question: Would Dr. Seuss be able to find a publisher these days? I mean – he just made up words to make them rhyme.

See how random things just barrel through?


The song of the month: Autumn Leaves {of course}

I love the song. I first loved the song, as a child, when I heard Roger Williams piano version (my Grandma gave me his album). To find it had actual words, not that many years ago, was a bonus. It was originally in French (1945), and all the greats have recorded it. Jo Stafford (one of my favs) was first, but then Edith Piaf (who did both an English and a French version), Diana Krall (she makes all songs amazing), Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton – they all have recorded it. Eva Cassidy, too.

In the back yard yesterday malakai not wanting to pose

Kai did not want to model

And I have spent the entire month of October singing it and plunking around on the keyboard playing it. Rocky told me to come to his office and he’d play the guitar and mix my voice (read: tune me up and make me sound good) in his studio. But who has time for that? Neither he nor I.


I get more wordy and gooey each autumn

I have been blogging since 2006, so you’d think by now I wouldn’t have a clue what all I have said. But I always do recall, each fall, that I get a little more, shall we say, descriptive, come autumn. I become quite melancholy and overcome with passion for the season.

i feel like


  • I ponder autumn red, quote Marilyn Monroe and dissertate on being a woman in the autumn of her life. {{see here}}
  • In “Delicious Autumn,” I quote George Eliot and tumble head-over-heels into a sensory love affair with nostalgia – the sights, the smells, the tastes, the feels, the sounds of youth faded…while visiting my parents. Haha. {{see it here}}
  • I’ve often written about October being orange. But in looking back, I do also pay my respects to the reds of October. This one is an homage to red, to “a fully florid, cherry, sanguine scarlet.  A puce, a rufescent russet,  a bloody, blushing, gushing, infrared hot pink mixed with flaming chestnut and rubies and gleaming copper, all at once…shimmering and iridescent fuchsia, yet dense and heavy garnet, a ruby…bittersweet in both color and the evoking of raw autumn melancholy.” And etc! :)  {{see it here}}
  • Two years ago this very day, {{THIS}} was happening. The grandbebes and a little weather forecast.  I remember that light, those leaves…

kids in leaves 2012 10 23

Oh, there are many more fall, autumn, October posts. Some November, too. And miles of words down roads of the romance of the season. But I’ll let this part go with those few examples.


I voted.

Oh how I love getting to vote in the convenient  location of my home. And mailing it in…wait, did I remember to mail it? I will say that I wish I could change one of my amendment-issue votes because I researched a bit more later and I think I may have been…*w*r*o*n*g*!??

That is (1) highly unusual, and (2) growth for me…to think that I maybe/might have been/possibly was/super-small chance that I was ever-so-slightly wrong, but instead of demanding a fresh ballot, I’m just going with the flow. It is what it is. And really, in light of SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE VOTING WRONG ALL THE TIME, this one minor issue is of little consequence.  Just kidding…about other people’s votes. Maybe.

So now, if all the political ads would kindly remove themselves from my presence. Thank-you very much.


Loved her book!

Oh, and I won’t tell you how I voted. No. You couldn’t guess if you tried because I am an independent. Do not try to fence me in!

BUT if she wants to hire me for her campaign, “Carly Fiorina for President!”  On women, 53% of voters: “We are not a special-interest, single-issue constituency. We are half the country.”


I was in the country the other day

In the back yard yesterday 5

The burning bushes are on fire!

The cows were mooing and a tractor was motoring by. The smell of manure was in the air and a pretty gray cat with grass-green eyes came by to say hi {totally unaware that I am not a cat person, apparently}.  The sun was sweet and you could see miles of mountains from there. And even though life was happening all around and “town” was just 3 miles away, it was quiet. So quiet. I think I was made for the country.


A {Country Baby} came to see me.


Sawyer with Guini and Gemma

Two of them in fact, with their parents. Sawyer and Wryder were here visiting from Holyoke. That is country. The term Country Baby comes from one of my fav old movies, Baby Boom, with Diane Keaton. Do you remember that movie? I think that is a good movie to watch near the end of October.


Arsenic and Old Lace

arsenic cary grant

And always-always-always try to view Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace near Halloween. Because. Cary Grant. He is hilarious in it and scary-good-looking!

It s such a great old black and white flick!


I miss my mom over there in Hoosier-land.

me and mom oct 6

I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to tell you a million little details about my time in NW Indiana recently (in Chicago-land). It was so windy the last day there, but I held on to my mamala for dear life. In this photo I was thinking, “Oh I love her and I will miss her.” And I was so right. On both counts.


Since the Cardinals did not make the World Series, we are for the Kansas City Royals.


Got it? OK!

I love baseball. I miss my dad, too, because we watched a lot of baseball while I was there. But he can’t take seeing his teams lose, so we missed some great comebacks. Oh, pops.  ;) Cardinals forever, anyway!


I threw caution to the wind and listed my Jeanie-green ornate, Baroque, Italianate, solid wood, custom-built green coffee table on Craigslist.


I think I am changing my mind. Because, I mean – even the paint was custom-mixed for ME, to match a sliver of a piece of one of the grandbebe’s art pieces. I don’t know if I can let it go?



A thought about relationships…

Tara brought me a bouquet of flowers just before my birthday, more than 2 weeks ago. It was a huge bouquet of purple lilies, hydrangea, lavender statice, various mums and Gerber daisies.  Stormie brought me a big mums-filled bouquet a couple of days later, as seen on the coffee table, above (those fall mums will go on forever!).

purple bouquet, day 17

At day 17, the purple bouquet from Tara – a third of its original size, yet still lovely.

I have never been one of those women who needs her husband to bring her flowers, though I enjoy the surprise of them, like anyone. I get joy from growing things in the ground.

But both of these bouquets made me so happy and are still bringing me a smiles, light, bright joyful remembrances of warm thoughts and pure love shown towards me.

And while a fresh bouquet is glorious, people often throw the whole thing away when a few of the buds begin to age or drop. But you miss something when you do that. There is still so much beauty there. Yes, the “fussier” parts of the bouquet are long gone. But in just the minute or so it takes me daily to tend to the arrangement, to remove drooping leaves or a dead-headed flower, then to snip the ends and add fresh water, in less than a minute, I have revived the bouquet. It looks a little different each time, some of the filler going away, but its beauty remains and I get to enjoy them much longer.

It is the same with the people we love and the relationships that mean something. Even if things are different now than they once were, a love or friendship worth having is worth tending regularly.

You could just let it go to waste, throwing away wilting expectations and brushing off the dust of disappointment. But you could also decide to spend just a few minutes tending and repairing, loving and caring. And in a very short time you might be made glad by the beauty of it again. Maybe it won’t look like what it once did, as busy and full, but that is OK, too, I think.

Love with all you’ve got while you can.


There are so many leaves falling in this post, you may have to rake now.

I shall bring this to  close (I’m a preacher’s daughter and that’s what they all say), but of course, you NEED an autumn quote, yes? Then this, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Life starts all over again, when it gets crisp in the fall.” Remember, I told you? October is the new January!

life starts again

Happy Autumn and Magical Thursday to you!

See? Too many words! I just cannot stop myself…


Movies I have to see

Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me // In theaters October 24, 2014

I love Glen Campbell, people. LOVE him. He is leaving us, one memory at a time, suffering the ravages of that awful thief: Alzheimer’s Disease. I missed his “Good-bye Tour,” but heard it was amazing. Now I’ll get to see it closer up than I could have. And it will be so amazing and it will make me sad.

The Judge // In theaters October 10, 2014

The cast, my friends – THE CAST! Story seems engaging and these actors, all together in one movie? MUST SEE!  {Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, Billy Bob Thornton, among others} 

And I can’t believe I am saying this: Left Behind // In theaters October 3, 2014

IF I can get my mom to go along (she has only been to one movie since she joined a church as a young girl in the 1950s and they told her movies were baaaaaaaad – but she misses them)!


This one came out on September 5th. Anyone seen it? Should I? The Identical

It does have Ray Liotta and a RECORD PLAYER!

Let me know. What else should I see???

Know what’s lovely?

Just some of life’s goodness, odds and ends and blessings. A list.


Ruby red grapefruit, all tart and tangy thrown into a bowl of brilliant, sweet, red watermelon for breakfast. Juicy, cold and delish! They make good bowl-fellows.



Grand-girlies and bubbles. Or hopping into the pool and out again. Jump-jump-jumping on the trampoline. Swinging up in the air so high. Music and singing and more bubbles and chasing. Hair trains. Hair trains are wonderful.

hair-train (noun) // lining up like train cars to fix each others hair, first one direction, then the next; best when Nonna gets in on the action

lovely little grands


Frozen with the grand-girls, too. Because they sing every song, with heart and soul. And if you haven’t seen Frozen yet, don’t watch it with Amelie. She likes to tell what’s about to happen before it happens. She does it to be nice, so you’re not surprised.  :)


After dark trampoline jumping and singing the Frozen songs {again and again} at the top of your lungs. I hope the neighbors thought this was as great as I did.



10 o’clock pm water-bottle bowling.

lovely water bottle bowling

Here is how:

  1. Get 10 water bottles and remove the labels.
  2. Use food coloring to create various colors.
  3. Throw a glow stick into the bottle and screw the lid back on very tightly.  We used the glow-bracelets, which weren’t very bright. But I think glow sticks would probably be better.
  4. Arrange bottles in a “pyramid” shape. 1 bottle, then, 2, then 3, then 4. You know how bowling pins are arranged, right?
  5. Get a ball (we used a wooden croquet ball) for rolling.

Each player gets three rolls to knock them all down and keeps a tally of their own points (10 points per bottle down, a little math thrown in for good measure) and must show a little grace to a certain impetuous 4-year old {Amelie Belle} who may or may not choose to overhand throw the wooden balls with gusto, thereby winning every game with colorful, glowing water bottles scattered in her wake.

My camera couldn’t capture the prismatic fun after dark, but it was. Later the remnants, multi-hued water bottles, sparkled a reminder on a rainy afternoon:

lovely rainy remnants


And tomatoes from the garden. It may be mid-August, but I am still utterly undone each time I cut in to one and taste this magnificent tang and sweet and depth and power of all of the summer rains and warm sunshine right there on my tongue. These garden tomatoes don’t even remotely seem related to the red things you buy in grocery stores or the anemic, transparent slices on a fast food sandwich. Not remotely the same.

These? These are all of heaven laser-beamed into a small fruit, the reward of a little sweat and patience, some love and desire culminating in the blood-red taste of life. The tomato.

lovely tomato

You knew I had to mention the tomato, right? Because they are lovely!

lovely eva


Finally? You know what is really lovely? {{*** Y O U ***}}! Thank-you, my children, my friends, my familia – anyone who happens by, for reading through my silly lists and observations and indulging my zeal for my grandchildren and tomatoes. These are such small, inconsequential things to discuss in light of the horrendous crimes being committed against children around the world, the wars and rumors of wars, the complete dishonor/disdain against life and the Creator of life. But these simple things remind me of Him, anyway.

God, help us. Make us grateful and make us see the injustices and take action against them, for the love of the simple and abundant life You have allowed us. God, show us how...

Whitehouse Withdrawals

There will be no whitewash in the White House.
Richard Milhous Nixon Statement on the Watergate affair, 17 Apr.

I must confess, I have been on a political-White House-West Wing-Washington DC-campaigning-democratic-republican TV show kick! Netflix has three incredible shows available right now. And I am just finishing up my third series this year.


Gah! I love them. But for different reasons.

House of Cards

house of cards

First, I watched House of Cards. 2013-2014. It is disturbing on so many levels. Ay-yi-yi. The very first scene was just terrible and a perfect introduction to the whole show, but I could not look away. It’s a political drama (though I might characterize it as more of a thriller, honestly) starring Kevin Spacey as a power-mongering, manipulative, controlling politician with a wife to match played by Robin Wright. These characters pretty much want to make you flee America and renounce your citizenship.

It is so awful and so good. Oh my. If you’re queasy or very anti-R-ratings, this is not the show for you.

The West Wing

west wing

Then, there is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed, The West Wing (1999-2006). It’s 7 seasons of looking into the lives of the west wing staffers at the white house. It got almost 200 nominations for awards over the years and won almost 100. The characters are so well developed you feel like you know them and can respect them even when your opinion differs.  I actually learned a lot from this show about the ways our government works – things I should have been learning in school, but somehow didn’t.

It’s a great show and even though it started in 1999 and technology has advanced rapidly since, they somehow managed to create a very timeless setting, with contemporary story-lines and ongoing issues that face us. If you’re an intelligent, thinking American citizen, you’ll like this show and your belief in democracy will be strengthened.

Final episode, final season, you cannot help it, “Bravo! Bravo” Really good!



Finally, I am just about to finish the 3rd season of Scandal (2012-ongoing) starring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a “fixer.” She runs a crisis management firm and Washington DC is portrayed as a very (very) naughty place. And wow-oh-wow. Tantalizing. Engaging. Seductive. Even though it is network fare, I’d say it deserves an R rating, too.

A few of the characters are pretty cartoonish and obvious and the story moves so quickly that character development is choppy and contrived at times with flashbacks, flash forwards and maybe even a few flash sideways. :) Just kidding. But regardless, very compelling watching. Olivia Pope is quite cool wearing white and the show sucks you in, naughtiness or not.

Sigh, now what? I am going to go on presidential withdrawals.

I may have to resort to watching one of my favorite Washington-presidential type movies:

  • Mr Smith Goes to Washington 1939. So idealistic. And I still believe we can be, contrary to what the current TV series portray. I want to believe Jimmy Stewart exists and can bring our great country together for the good of the people – yes, we the people! Oh say can you seeeeeee?
  • Dave 1993. Idealistic again. And romantic. How one good-hearted citizen can change the course of a presidency when the top dog is a sorry _____. Plus cute and romantic.
  • The American President 1995. This movie may have sort of been the precursor for The West Wing? Did I hear that somewhere? It’s smart. It’s well cast. It’s thoughtful. I enjoy it.

President Andrew Shepherd: What I did tonight was not about political gain.

Leon Kodak: Yes sir. But it can be, sir. What you did tonight was very Presidential.

President Andrew Shepherd: Leon, somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor’s working the night shift at Libyan Intelligence Headquarters. He’s going about doing his job… because he has no idea, in about an hour he’s going to die in a massive explosion. He’s just going about his job, because he has no idea that about an hour ago I gave an order to have him killed. You’ve just seen me do the least Presidential thing I do.

What am I going to do, people???

What am I going to do?

Thought Collage Thursday // Mix Tape

Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield

I am enthused about a book right now.

rob sheffield every tape tells a story

The Back Cover:

Mix tapes: Stick one into a deck and you’re  transported to another time in your life. For Rob Sheffield, author of Turn Around Bright Eyes that time was one of miraculous love and unbearable grief. A time that spanned seven years, it started when he met the girl of his dreams, and ended when he watched her die in his arms.

Using the listings of fifteen of his favorite mix tapes, Rob shows that the power of music to build a bridge between people is stronger than death. You’ll read these words, perhaps surprisingly, with joy in your heart and a song in your head—the one that comes to mind when you think of the love of your life.

You can’t get the book at the library right now. Because some one else has it.  ;)

He is a lots-of-fun-words {funnier observations} kind of writer, so highly quotable.  I melted to the floor when I saw that he used “epiphanic” twice (so far, I am not done reading yet) because no one I know {except me, see here in 2010 and here in 2008} uses that word (is it a word? WordPress does not think so…) and I was SO happy. I mean – I am a blogging-Nonna, a plain ol’ person. He is a BEST-SELLING AUTHOR! And we used the same word. Yeah-I am getting carried away.

But suffice it to say I love his words and the way he stacks them and strings them and draws me right into sound of the life he describes. And his words about music and song, emotion and relationship, and just life, really – ohmygoodness! LOVE.

Some of the mixes he shares, I am like, “Oh yes – best music ever.” Others, I have no idea and nor would I, as, whilst he was living and listening and loving it, I was this very serious pastor’s wife with very small children’s whose ears would had to have been covered to listen to it. A lot of 90s rock, alternative, f-word stuff.  But, ya know. Still loving the story!

rob sheffield i'm a mix tape

One Amazon reviewer  of this book spoke of people who had never made a mix tape for some one, people for whom music is just background noise. He referenced them as  people having no soul. I am inclined to agree.

So, if you love songs, if there is a tune for every person, place or thing in your life, nearby or loosely associated, a melodic memory groove in any way, shape or form and if you have indeed made or been the recipient of a mix tape: READ Rob Sheffield’s book!!!

rob sheffield when we die

I wish I could have these very business cards.  They are at and are a variety of cassette images on one side, and the back is fashioned to look just like the enclosure card! They call them, “I made you a mix tape.” LOVE!

I wish I were a singer or managing singers or some wildly important industry-type or something fabulous like that so having these would totally make sense! I. Love. Them!

i made you a mixtape


Answer: Because a song stays with you, cutting a path to remembrance  deep in your heart and soul in a way you will never forget.

[Hum Jeopardy song here…]

Question: Why did God communicate His very important message to the children of Israel through Moses and Aaron by song?

Deuteronomy 32 //  Moses…spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day…They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.”


Would you even be surprised to know…

  • That I have cassette-tape gift wrap on hand for special occasions?
  • That I still make mix tapes all the time via Youtube and Spotify??? It is so much easier now to go to YouTube and make a playlist of Patridge Family songs {don’t judge me} or even a Motown mix, or Billie Holiday. As kids, making a mix tape meant listening to the radio and waiting until you heard the song you loved coming on, then pushing record as fast as possible. It also meant that if your mom came in and said to clean your room while you were recording – you’d forever hear that, too.
  • That 1974 is one of my all-time favorite years for music (because I was in love with love and love runs as a certain theme through the top 100 that year, as it does most years) and coincidentally is the same year I got my first cassette recorder? Oh. blessed cassettes, how I loved thee. Before that, I was using a miniature reel-to-reel. Yes, they had those in the olden days.
  • That I have an entire folder in my laptop pictures file devoted to images of old cassettes and that I have 32 drafts of songs I plan to write about on this very blog and have used said images for those posts?

bill withers

Probably not a bit surprised, are you? Reading this Rob Sheffield book has just confirmed to me that my zealous love of song and ability to recall every detail of the circumstance during which the song became important to my very existence is, well, maybe not normal, but certainly…acceptable.

And now, of course, I just put together a little mixed tape for you. I call it 1974, which was a very good year!

I am sure I will add to it, but for now, it has 53 songs for a nice 3 hour and 9 minute listening experience.

What? You don’t have Spotify yet? RUN, don’t walk – go get it. It’s like having all of iTunes available to you – for FREE!

#tbt Throw back Thursday

Me (and my little brother, Tim) in 1974, of course.

Tim and me in 1974
Worship Leading-also a mix tape

And while we’re on the topic – it occurs to me that putting together a worship set for a Sunday morning service is sort of putting together a mix tape experience, right? A little Matt Redman, a little Chris Tomlin, some Hillsong and a good dose of Jesus Culture. Bam!

And what the heck – family is a mix-tape, too, right?

If, as Wikipedia describes it, a mix tape is a name given to a compilation of songs recorded onto any audio format, then, I count my family. They are my song of life and they are most certainly an audio-audible, boisterously loud-with-the-sounds-of-living lovely recording.

mi familia - easter

Yes, if love is a mix tape, then family is a mix tape, too and the titles and artists are as follows: my Dave;Tara and Dp, Hunter and Malakai; Stephanie and Tris, Gavin, Guini and Gemma May; Tredessa and Ryan and baby Evangeline; Rocky and Jovan, Averi, Amelie Belle and baby Bailey; Stormie; my parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles and grandparents and  great-nieces and great-nephews and all the people I came from and all those who are still to be –  we are a pretty amazing mix, I think.  :)

It’s Thursday. I love Thursdays.

Estes Park at Lori's off the deck

I will be exactly where this picture was taken, oh yes!

We have made it people – the pool is up for the season and another weekend is in sight! I shall be in Estes Park for three days with some of the most fantastically beautiful women on the planet (5 friends, 1 niece, 2 great-nieces and a sister-in-law). I hope I soak in a little bit of each them and come home a more wonderful person than ever. It could happen.  :)

Seen on Pinterest

And very good advice. You are enough. Not just because I say so – but because God made you so uniquely, wonderfully, creatively and awesomely in His very image. That HAS to be good. So, kick insecurity to the curb!


Happy Thursday, everybody!



Two words

Fashion. Show.

foam fashion sign

cutting the fashion show sign
This was a few weeks ago. When we discovered we could cut insulation foam with a jigsaw, a JIGSAW, people. We have usually used various knives and of course the foam-cutting melting things (the pointy craft-store type, and the men’s tool-shop-knife type).

But, yes – an electric jigsaw has now been added to the repertoire. It totally cuts nice, crisp edges – if the jig-saw person pays attention. Mine did pretty darn well!

I was having fun with the negative space. It’s the little things.

fashion sign from foam

Now-my friend, Pearl is the QUEEN of turning insulation foam into works of art. I keep telling her she should write a book. Pearl can make anything out of foam. I hounded her plenty in the making of this display! I only wish now I had made it bigger, but it is 8-foot wide, total, and about 30-32″ tall…something like this from a certain poster, which may or may not have an informative website…as the inspiration:

The Deets, or How to cut a negative-space sign from insulation foam:

I used this image above and enlarged it on Publisher to my desired size, printing a pale “draft” copy. I Scotch-taped the letters together and used carbon paper to draw the outlines onto the 2″ insulation foam.

Leave the plastic coating on while you cut to protect the foam a little. You can peel it off when you’re done cutting.

cutting the foam

I acquired a man with a jigsaw (my husband), who was highly suspicious of the whole project and wasn’t sure it would work. (It did).

After cutting, peel off the plastic coating to paint, latex only (not spray paint, it will melt the foam) or not if you’re covering it, anyway. Use very fine sandpaper or a nail file to smooth edges and then finish as desired – a very lightweight, but massive-looking display!

Since then it may or may not have gotten a very thick covering of gold glitter and may find itself suspended above a display table in the lobby at The Armory Performing Arts Center on May 1st. (It did. And it will).

Boldly Authentic Fashion Show poster
And – I only had time for these two words today!  :)

Dear David Cassidy,

That’s right. I am in my fifties and writing a fan letter like I’m 11. What of it???

Happy Birthday, David Cassidy, oh love of my young life, increasingly admired the world over, outrageously talented, perpetually youthful and darling boy of the 70s-set

david cassidy dot com 1


Happy Birthday, David Cassidy.

I always remember your birthday. It doesn’t matter that I am getting {way} older (I have a huge family and  9 grandbebes now, David Cassidy!) and that somehow – you are having birthdays, but still not getting older (at least not where I have you in my memories). But I always remember.

I may or may not have mentioned you on this very blog a time or two. Or thirteen. Whatever.

How are you, birthday boy? You doing ok? You doing better?

Because I don’t like seeing mug shots of you on seedy websites. I don’t like thinking about the pain of life that caused you to turn on yourself, or hearing you’re making choices that could be disastrous for you and others. Not at all. You are better than that. That isn’t you – that isn’t what you were born to do or to be.

And I am not just saying that because I am some raving-lunatic fan who thinks she owns you and can tell you what to do. That’s not me. I am actually rather sensible. And I only visit a few times a year, just to check in. Like on April 12th.

I am just saying it because you were born with a gift and you worked to build a platform and you should be very careful with that. Don’t give anyone a reason to trivialize the good you have done in your life, who you really are.

You are beloved and adored and have a long-lasting fan base (like me) and you still have so much talent to share, songs to sing, smiles for heart-melting. You have influence and admiration. You still have the power to make an impact.

So be very careful, David Cassidy. Be very careful with all you have worked for and with all that was divinely bestowed and guard your heart with gusto. Take advantage of support and any help that is offered.

Then be David Cassidy. Because everybody LOVES him!

And, David Cassidy? You are invited to any of our family functions anytime. Bring your guitar and we will all sing along (my kids have twice surprised me with a song of yours – best gifts ever!**).  Anytime, really!

Have a happy birthday, David Cassidy, a really happy, joy-filled, sweet-peace and satisfaction kind of day. You were born the hero in a wonderful lyric-and-melody-filled story (Psalm 119.13-16). It is treasure. Guard it and share it. Happy Day, David Cassidy.  :)

Singing along since September of 1970, {Jeanie}.

I know it is silly. But I still love me some David Cassidy!

**My kids: & because I taught them good music!


Thought Collage Thursday // crumbs from dimly-lit corners

I’m behind on my reading.  So what’s new?

I tried to join The Empty Shelf Challenge the week between Christmas and New Years. I made myself this handy little chart and started reading like a mad woman (for me, anyway). But I’ve lost some steam. Also, I m actually reading almost everything on Kindle and I am not falling in love with digital reading. I could always fall asleep reading, but I think the light is messing with my melatonin.

Plus, I am also currently reading 6 books (never, ever one at a time, seriously), but I am a little bit uncommitted.

Every year I swear I’ll complete the reading of 52 books. Every year I am wrong.

empty shelf book challenge

My top three so far: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (on a 3rd read-through because I need it and I’m in a club) and Becoming Myself by Staci Eldredge.

I should be through the 13th book by now…How are you doing on reading in 2014? Will you make your goals? Do you think I will? Be nice.

Life is a Mixtape by Handz on Etsy

How much do you think I love this? Yep. That much. The whole shop is filled with the cutest prints! Click above to go see!

etsy by handz
The red-back hymnal gets noticed

I have a hymnal collection and I loooooooooove it and really the only hymnal glaringly missing, the one I probably should own,  is the red-backed hymnal I grew up with. It’s actually the one I can still name song and page number to, but I got rid of the ones I had a few years ago…because I needed some distance. But I am ready to embrace a copy now.  Especially now that it has gone and been honored on TBN’s presentation Of the Southern Gospel Music Guild’s annual Harmony Honors, which was hosted by Jason Crabb, the other night.

red back church of god hymnal

This year the Harmony Honors recognized Pathway Press as publisher of the classic “Red Back” Church Hymnal, used by thousands of churches across the South for over sixty years. Generations of gospel groups have dipped into the depths of the old “Red Back” hymnal for classic quartet and convention songs…

One day, I may even be able to come to page 333 (“Ill Fly Away”) without cringing. One day.


Ombre hair is beautiful. But the ends should be lighter. The roots, darker. It should be like this:

three examples of ombre hair

Not this!  And NO – this is NOT me!!! But, it will be soon if something doesn’t happen…

growing out the gray

Time to re-color, but dang-it – I cannot get the dark stuff out I used last summer!

I started going dark brown around Christmas of 2012 and got really bold with it last June. I did this extremely deep black-brown and loved it, twice.  But since, I have re-colored with brown, medium brown and light brown and I have tried color-stripper on it twice. That stuff stinks to high heaven – like rotten eggs for a week! Yuck. Just by the sheer torture I have put it through, my hair has faded some, but not all the way.

I am ready to go back to something lighter that will, *ahem, not be so highly contrasted with some certain, shall we call them, silvery strands that wish to take over my head?  What in the world?  Wigs may be my only, true hope…


This is one pretty mannequin, huh?    Wig, $33.99 {source}

I swear the stores are full of Joey Buttafucco pants right now

That cannot be coming back, can it?  Lord, help us all!

joey buttafuco oants 2014

jogger pants charlotte russe

They are being paired with cropped tops so you can get the full effect and that isn’t going to make anybody’s butt look bigger.  Nooooo….just keep telling yourself that.

You had no idea what an artist I am, did you?

draw something

Wanna play Draw Something with me?

#tbt Throw-Back Thursday

This is my Grandpa and Grandma Allison and their little brood, circa 1944 or 45. I wish I’d seen this when my kids were little, I’d have tried to replicate it-you know I would have. I also had 4 daughters and one son.

Left to right, Grandpa is holding Aunt Judy, Aunt Helen was the oldest sister in the middle back, Aunt Pat near Grandpa, my mom near Grandma. Uncle Cab was on Grandma’s lap. My mamala is about 5 in this picture and I can so see the sweet gentle spirit she still possesses.

Grandma and Grandpa, also known as the epic, life-long lovers, Opal & Everett (click here), have gone on to heaven now. I don’t know, in the history of mankind, if there has been a man who loved his wife like my grandpa loved his. He adored her all the way to the end. I come from love, deep love.

My treasured Aunt Helen passed away over 20 years ago, much too young. Uncle Cab died a year and a half ago, the nicest man.

Here is my mom with her first granddaughter. Tara was about 6 or 8 months old. My raving-beauty mom was 41.

Norma Jean and Tara Jean
Norma Jean and Tara Jean – two of my life’s most important, most admired women.

I am sick

I don’t feeeeeeel good today. Weak, shaky, nauseous…But I think Dairy Queen could help?

You can change the world on Thursday

People think that you have to do something huge, like go to Africa and build a school, but you can make a small change in a day. If you change Wednesday, then you change Thursday. Pretty soon it’s a week, then a month, then a year. It’s bite-size, as opposed to feeling like you have to turn your life inside out to make changes.  -Hoda Kotb

Go, make the world a better place! Let’s meet back here next Thursday.  :)