Monday, December 31, 2012

A Little Snow, a Little Fire, and a Whole Lot of Smokin' Going On

An eventful weekend in Nashville...
If snowflakes and smoke were indicators,
we were in for an interesting weekend.
Almost to my daughter's house, we get a call,
"Lit a candle....Christy in flames...come quickly."
You can imagine the thoughts that went from, "Christy"  to "come quickly."
In half a second,
a mama's mind can't help but go there.
My baby girl's disappointment was more that
she "had everything perfect" and was "looking forward to showing us."
This mama was more concerned for her baby's safety.
It is amazing how things can change in a flash!
Charlie, our GRANDdog was scared to death,
it was snowing and I HAD TO DRIVE,
which scared my husband to death!
In the end, we got a little snow, a little fire,
and a Whole LOT of smoke.
We were still able to enjoy a weekend with family, see the lights at Opryland
through the eyes of our grandchid,
and got to see the house that was "perfect."
It really was...
Flocked tree of blue and bronze.
A closer look-sparkly blue star and garland with blue and silver berries.
I love the reflection of lights among the "snow"
covered branches and the bird.
Blue and white,
one of my favorite combinations.
A glittered white tree in a cloche.
Great vintage frame and chalkboard paint.
Sweet little nothings were scattered through out the house...
an evergreen branch here and there,
a snow covered church,
a ball of yarn,
pine cones,
hand-made coasters...
and vintage ornaments hanging from a burlap bow.
Maybe this photos of the room,
makes up for my being in the photo before:)
Their bedroom is my favorite.
The snow-covered church with brush trees
has a vintage look but were found
at T.J. Maxx a couple of Christmas' ago.
I love birds!
Old bottles and balls, were just little notions
that added to the perfectly displayed Christmas
decor of my daughter and son-in-law's home.
Oh, it could have been so much worse!
Thank you Lord, that you give us beauty for ashes.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

One Last Christmas Tablescape

Not much decor for this chick this year.
I enjoyed a sit-down dinner at my brother and SIL's home.
Her place-setting included my Christmas china of choice-
Historical Georgia Plates.
A black tablecloth and red chargers made the transferware POP!
Cute little stockings made great napkin holders.
A centerpiece for the main table with a red hurricane,
A stone fireplace,
My mama's depression glass pitcher,
An old kerosene lantern,
Having a wonderful Christmas time!
See ya next year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Second Row, Piano Side: Christmas Eve

This is the second year without Mama and Daddy.
As the week of Christmas drew near,
I was filled with a holy reverence and Presence
as if God Himself had wrapped me in His light and love.

I heard a gentle whisper in my ear,
"I AM God With Us-Emanuel."
That gentle whisper has become a
voice that lingers with me, and
the tears or grief have been replaced with tears of joy
from memories of Christmas' past.
Christmas Eve for the "Second Row, Piano Side"family
was anything but boring.
We spent the evening with some of our cousins.
Our night of celebration somewhat resembled
the Fourth of July.
Days before, Mama would cross the bridge into South Carolina
to buy firecrackers and sparklers.
The boys enjoyed throwing the "poppers, " and 
listening to the girls scream.
We lit sparklers, blue, red and green,
until every box was gone.
After dinner, we went riding around
"to see the Christmas lights."
We looked for the same decorated homes year after year
and checked the sky for Rudoph's bright and shiny nose.
We had our very own Santa living right next door.
Of course, we didn't know that he lived next door
until years later.
While we were out seeing the sights of Christmas,
Santa was busy unpacking boxes,
putting together bikes and a swingset or
whatever the big wish was for the year decade.
(The "biggies" didn't happen often and I wonder today
if the neighbors didn't have something to
do with it.)
A few minutes later our neighbors would visit
to see what Santa had brought.
Daddy would then read the Christmas story
and we'd gather 'round the piano
and sing carols.
This year, similar to Christmas' past,
we enjoyed the music of the season,
(as well as a little "I'm a Believer" and "Play That Funky Music.")
laughed and sang along
as my brother led.
The future generation follows close behind.
Sarah, my niece is learning to play,
and my great nephews,
already have "real" guitars of their own.
Parker has a blue one!
And Uncle Bruce made sure that
my big boy got to play along.
My Connor man was so excited!
Next year, big boy, next year!
It was all about the little ones as it is
year after year.
The little ones look up to the big boys
with awe and amazement.
Traditions, though different, remain
and we will continue to pass on the legacy of love
to the next generation.
(We are a music family.  I'm gonna name drop here at bit...
Dave Haywood with Lady Antebellem is my first cousin's, son.
Dave's grandfather and my mom are brother and sister.
Back in the day, his dad and my brother and other cousins
got together around the old pop belly stove and played their guitars and sang.)
Merry Christmas!
May God Bless You This Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sentimental and Vintage Ornaments

It's my day off and Santa is about to make a delivery-
a new sofa.
When my kids moved away,
I got rid of the sectional that covered my entire
SMALL SPACE living area.
My daughter has it figured.
We've had 5 sofas in the past 8 years- (LOL)
all of which were second-handers
and weren't the most comfortable.
I brought home another about 2 weeks ago
because the last one broke the weekend of Thanksgiving
(Thank God!)
It smells like the bed of an animal
and would probably be just right for a huge dog.
That did it! 
My husband said, "This has got to go!"
On the outside, I'm saying,
"We just can't do that right now,"
On the inside, I'm jumping up and down.
That's why the new sofa.
So while I waited for Santa,
I trimmed the last tree.
It's only special to me
because it's filled with special memories
of my son's childhood
and a few vintage ornaments thrown in.
I added the ribbon to fill in the holes.
My baby boy made this when he was only 3 years old
and a student a Sister's Baptist Church Kindergarten.
A great idea to do with your children.
A jar lid- $0
A piece of lace- $0 or 25 cents depending on where you shop
A piece of a paper and some markers-$1 (at the Dollar Store) 
Your little one's thumbprint and a memory that will last a lifetime-PRICELESS!
Hallmark ornaments of
baseball heros.
(Yes, my son loves baseball.
Our vacations were spent at a ball field
in Little League tournaments.)
He played college ball all four years.
Yes, we are proud!
No sacrifices there!
We loved every minute of it!
One of four vintage ornaments
that I got for $1.50.
A GA Bulldog, of course!
Another vintage love-
a Toy Soldier among other
throw-aways from a friend.
My GRANDbaby (1 year old)
will be here day after tomorrow!
He can take down the whole tree,
I don't care!
Just to know that
he'll be "Home for Christmas."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Second Row, Piano Side: The Church Christmas Plays

Growing up on the Second Row, Piano Side,
afforded me many opportunities to see
the making of a great Christmas production year after year
up close and personal.
When I say production, I'm talking Lights, Camera, Action!
My mom wrote a play that was produced year after year
on the front lawn of our church.
Many months before the stage was set,
Mama and her many assistants
assembled together
actors and actresses with speaking parts
to record parts on a reel to reel recorder.
I'm talking movie reel!
The voices were familiar and the parts were the same
year after year.
I was always a "little" angel in the play,
(who got her tail tore up nightly
at rehearsal.)
Yeah, some angel, huh?

The part never did fit quite right:)
I dreamed of being Mary.
Although I never got to play the BIG part,
I was center stage on my own platform.
Hearing the words, night after night,
I recited the story of our Savior's birth.
I wrapped my baby Jesus in swaddling clothes
and laid him in a cardboard box manger.

Everything was in unison as each part
was played out on the front lawn of
Sandersville First Church of the Nazarene.

Each person had a role to fill-
Mary, Joseph, The Choir of Angels,
the Shepherds, the Wise Men,
the Innkeeper, and even the live animals.
(Mary even came to the stable riding on a stubborn mule one year!)
The story was real to this little girl
on the Second Row, Piano Side.

I sang the sweet carols daily
and anticipated nightly rehearsals
the week before Christmas.
The night finally arrived
as everyone in the community
came to witness 
the greatest story ever told.
Only it wasn't just a story.
It was a presentation of the birth of our Redeemer, our Savior,
Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God,
Emanuel-God with us.
The Wise Men followed a star.
My journey to Jesus has been a mix of twists and turns.
I asked Jesus into my heart as pure and innocent
5 year old.
As Daddy gave the invitation,
I tugged on mama's dress and asked if I could go forward.
I view that day in living color.
When I was 12 years old, I came home
from camp horrified that this sweet Jesus
that I had come to know as a baby
would return and take some people away and leave others.
Separation from my family was enough to turn me around.
For years I literally walked this journey with much fear and trembling.
This Christmas I am experiencing the birth of the Messiah
I've been thinking about this story...
Mary and Joseph saw the Glory of God (The LIGHT)
as an angel appeared to them.
The Wise Men followed a STAR-another great manifestation of LIGHT.
The Shepherds were awakened by a GREAT LIGHT as the Glory of the Lord
shone 'round about them and
angels proclaimed "good tidings of great joy."
As a little girl, my daughter sang about that LIGHT... 
"I see a star, a bright and shining star
See way, up there it is so very far.
Where it goes, I wonder who will know
How it twinkles, how it glitters
How it lights the night.
How it twinkles, how it glitters
How it lights the night."
Hoping that this Star that WHO appeared one night long ago,
will appear to you today bringing HIS LIGHT to you this Christmas.
From My Heart to Yours,
Merry Christmas:)
BTW, the tree above with the STAR???
It is filled with old ornaments
from my baby boy's (he's 27)
Stay tuned for the trimming of the tree.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Toddler

As I eagerly anticipate Christmas with my children,
I am filled with excitement.
To experience the joy of Christmas
through the eyes of a toddler,
will be more than my heart can contain.
His busy little hands are touching everything.
He toddles awhile until he realizes that
he can move faster on all fours.
He is a sweet boy.
He reaches for the lights on the tree,
touches ever so softly
and then off to another adventure he goes-
like Mommy's kitchen cabinets
with pots and pans and spoons-
better than a real "live" set of drums.
His room His dad's old room is all ready for his arrival.
My mama's ceramic tree now finds a place
among my Christmas treasures and will one day
find it's place among my children's treasures.
Mr. Vintage Santa will welcome him.
A couple of years ago while shopping with my DIL,
I spotted Mr. Santa.
He was out of my $5 budget.
I said, "No, thank you."
To my surprise, he was under the tree
Christmas morning.
He will be Connor's one day for sure.
Today was the first time in months that I have been pickin'.
I was so excited to snag these vintage coasters
for a whoppin' 25 cents
and a vintage card decoupaged to a little cardboard basket
  for 25 cents.
Both were waiting for me at the local Salavation Army.
As happy I am that I will have the joy
of holding my sweet boy and watching
him teeter about from room to room,
I am saddened that some will not have this pleasure.
The horrific tragedy that had not escaped the
families in Connecticut
will mark Christmas for us all.
As I look at my baby,
I wonder what his and my future grandchildren's
world will be like.
I can only trust the One who came to earth
so that He may sympathize with our pain,
that He may identify with our weakness,
and that He may comfort us as we mourn.
Jesus...Emanuel..God with us.
As He now holds those children in his arms,
may their mommies and daddies,
teachers and friends,
feel His embrace as they face the lonely painful days ahead.
As we hold our children,
may we remember to pray for those who can't.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hometown Christmas: An Open Door, A Christmas Tree and a Sleigh Full of Presents

Nothing says, "Welcome to our hometown," better than an Open Door..
or maybe
a new door with a vintage look,
decorated with "Silver Bells."
I love this little shop.
It is filled with all kinds of eye candy.
A mantle decorated with evergreens,
dim lighting,
galvanized buckets to hold two Charlie Brown Christmas trees,
ribbon, bulbs, and bows
make me feel like
"Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire."
"Oh, Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches."
Al Woods of Warthen Lane Interiors
knows how to fill those branches.
The checked and burlap ribbon gives it that
Farmhouse look
that I LOVE!
However, it wouldn't be Christmas without
 a little glitter and glow.
An antique sleigh is filled with gifts and ready for
"Children all nestled and snug in their beds, while
 visions of sugar plums dance in their heads."
Nothing like the songs and stories of Christmas
 to put me in the mood for some
hometown shopping.
Hope you'll join me,



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hometown Christmas: Big Bulb Lights and The Gazebo

Nothing like the feel of home.
I have been working out of town for the past month. 
I love my job and the people in this small community are
just good down- home folks.
They have a pretty little town and it is all ready for Christmas.
But I must confess, I miss my small town.
The Gazebo stands in the center of our hometown square.
Familiar decorations from Christmas pasts
line the street lights.
A Christmas tree with big bulb lights stands
in the middle of it all.
Love these!
The Lite-a-Lite Tree Ceremony, hosted
by the local Pilot Club
is the kick-off for the Hometown Holiday events.
Before the busyness of the season,
we pause just a moment to
remember those we love and
those we have loved and lost.
The county courthouse is a great backdrop
for it all.
 In our hometown local businesses are open on Christmas Eve
and music plays in the air, 
"while shoppers rush home
 with their presents."
It's sad that we are busy running back and forth to the larger
cities for bigger and better gifts.
I still like to shop at home
and you won't get that
warm, hometown feel at Walmart.
I'm glad I remember more simple times.
I'm glad I still live in a Mom and Pop kind of town.
Merry Christmas from my hometown to yours,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hometown Christmas: The Country Buffet

The Shepherds, a Southern Gospel group from
my hometown, have a new single out.
Hometown Christmas
It's one of my favorites.
Thought I'd share some photos from my hometown.
I will post the words to this Christmas song
in upcoming posts.

Mama's kind of cooking at
The Country Buffet
on the square in
Sandersville, GA.
We eat there after church most Sundays.
Macaroni Salad
Pasta Salad
Potato Salad
Green Pea Salad
in addition to a
Tossed Salad Bar
Green Beans
Butter beans (you may call them Lima Beans)
Cream Corn
Cream Potatoes (the REAL thang)
Rice and Gravy
Squash Casserole
Sweet Potato Souffle
Fried Chicken (THE BEST)
Roast Beef
Fried Fat Back (only in the South)
Fried Pork Chops
Thin and Crispy Lace Cornbread
Apple or Peach Cobbler
Chocolate Delight
Cake (a different one every week)
Home baked cookies(Sometimes)
Ice Cream (Always)
Lunch Served Daily
The old rusty bike is a permanent stay.
It's basket is filled with all kinds of goodies
depending on the season.
The owners, Neil and Penny Pittman
have a love affair with antiques.
They love auctions and are especially fond of
old pottery.
They have a special way of displaying small town
history inside the store.
My friend, Olive of Olive Out photographed and blogged about
 The Pittman's Sleigh last Christmas.
They have a catering business, as well and
are famous in our neck of the woods.
Even Honey Boo-Boo showed up one Saturday. 
In our Hometown we always say,
"Merry Christmas."
From the Country Buffet.
More of my Hometown to follow.
Find this plate at Geo. Quarters
along with other great Christmas gifts.
Today I purchased "A Dog Named Munson"
and a Mint Spruce Bean Pod candle.
My home smells like Christmas.