It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


One of the reasons I love quilts and quilting is the colors.  I love colors and the effects you can achieve by combining different combinations; I'm fascinated with color.  But I realized that it is also the shapes that intrigue me.  It doesn't matter if the shapes are by themselves or in combinations.  I find myself looking at shapes and then mentally arranging them together; the same thing with colors.  Sometimes I see a pattern somewhere and think, that would make a great quilt design (if I only had the time to take my thoughts and put them into fabric!).

On my weekend trip I made several pictures that aren't really appealing or anything special.  But they have shapes in them and I know that is what led my hand to the camera.  So I share these shapes here:

The octagonal window and spokes caught my eye first.  After I looked at the picture I also saw the lines of the fence, building, and roof.  Plus the two small square windows.  Lots of shapes here!

This is part of the dam that forms Lake 'O the Pines. The lake is so low that it gave me a good view of this feature of the dam and these shapes formed by the opening. As I was leaving I saw the road to get down behind the dam but didn't take time to explore it. Next time I will as I am now wondering how this thing works. I'm sure it would be interesting to see the water flowing through this opening from the other side; however, I think there has to be a gate mechanism somewhere that closes the opening when the lake rises otherwise there would be thrill seekers trying to "ride the falls". I was reminded of the Ross Barnet Reservoir in Jackson as I drove across the spillway.
These circle hoops were scattered all around the entrance drive into the convention center in Longview. I'm not sure what they represent but I thought they were interesting and fun to look at!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Sunset in the rear view mirror

Bentley and I are on a little dog show road trip.  We left town on time but traffic delays put us over an  hour behind schedule, ugh! I opted to stay on the interstate rather than take my usual route through some rural areas and small towns; not sure why but the afternoon had already turned into evening and I was ready to just get where I was going.  We were on the road at sunset, still an hour or so away from our hotel.  I-20 is a fairly enjoyable drive, for an interstate any way, and I was just trying not to think about the delay and still enjoy the drive.

Imagine my pleasure when I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw the big, red sun slipping down through some clouds.  I realized that the delay had given me an opportunity I would have missed if we had been on time.  I watched the sun set in the rear view mirror (yes, I was watching the traffic and the road ahead, too!).  

As the sun set and the colors of the sky changed I thought about how many times I've tried to photograph a sunrise or sunset.  I never can get the camera set up quick enough, and the colors are always gone.  They change quickly and then vanish.  Trying to photograph a sunset is like trying to catch the wind, you just can't.  It seems that the lense of the camera never catches all the brillance of the colors.  Even so, there's always another sunset to watch on another day.  I wonder if you could capture the essence of the sunset in a picture would you enjoy the next one as much?

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of sight to see the sunset.  And for the promise of sunrise to come and another day tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

P.S. to the Nandina Berries post

As I was doing the last post I kept thinking that I had a third picture of the nandina berries' progression.  After searching through files and checking both camera cards I finally decided that I did not and published the post.  Tonight the picture just jumped out at me, so here it is:

This was in early July, don't they look good?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nandina Berries

Last year there were no nandina berries, none.  It wasn't due to birds munching on them or little fingers pulling them off; it was the heat and the drought of last year's dreadful summer.  This year, thankfully, is different.  We have had rain and only a few days of excessive heat although it is hot enough now. 

In April the nandina bushes put forth quite a few berry stalks. 
By mid-May the crop was looking good. 
So far I think we will have berries for Thanksgiving this year.  The birds had a few; however, Jaydon is old enough to understand that if he pulls the little green berries (they are so tempting, I know) we will not have red berries at Thanksgiving so quite a few have stayed on the stalks.

So, why do I write about green nandina berries?  This morning while I sat outside with the dogs enjoying that first wake-up cup of coffee I could see the berries in the pre-dawn light.  I realized that it is already almost the end of July.  Soon football camps start, followed by pre-season games.  Ah, the wonderful sound of a football game on the television!  Then comes cooler weather, pumpkins on the porch after a trip to the pumpkin patch, the Quilt Festival, and then family gathered around the Thanksgiving table.  By then the little green berries will be red and beautiful as we start the Holiday Season. Seeing the little green berries reminds me of the season to come and that I look forward to the fall season even though it is only July!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

How did that happen

I'm fairly tech smart; not as smart as some but way ahead of many!  I don't have a fancy phone, just one that goes ring ring and text text.  As much as I would love to have a new phone I know that if I did I would spend way too much time messing around with it because that is what I do with the computer.  I spend way too much time piddling around, wasting time and I love it!  I also have a Zune and a Kindle and an aging laptop.  You know, gadgets and gizmos! I finally gave in to temptation; however, and bought a netbook.  My justification for the purchase was that I could take it to school or when I traveled and have access to my e-mail and the internet.  I ordered it off Amazon and it was quickly delivered to my door (magic, huh) and my credit card charged, too!

But when it arrived I realized that if I wasn't careful I would get way too wrapped up in getting it set up and spend too many hours messing with it. I managed to not spend too much time working on it but realized last week that if I was going to take it to the Reliant Show I needed to buy Microsoft Office and get my e-mail set up.  

But before I did that I tackled another project.  I had set up a g-mail address to use just for dog stuff and for the steward's club correspondence.  But honestly, the g-mail format was driving me crazy and I just did not want to mess with it.  So I printed up instructions on how to bring the g-mail through Outlook.  The instructions were great and in just a minute or two it was done.  I felt like the Queen of Internet!  Feeling real good about that I tackled getting Microsoft onto the new netbook and in sync with my addresses.

I used Amazon again (cheapest deal I could find) but first mistake was that I chose to download instead of getting the key.  I knew full well that the netbook was preloaded and all I needed was the key.  As soon as I clicked "download" I realized what I had done.  What was I thinking?  Three hours to download and it was already after 9:30 p.m.  I was afraid to try to stop it so, I stayed up late that night.  

Download worked and I got the little wizard to come up to complete the profile.   Should have been easy but after several attempts I gave up and went to bed.  Next morning I tried again, still no luck.  I kept getting an error message that said to contact my service provider.  I had to move on to other things but kept thinking about the steps that I followed and why it wasn't working.  I loaded up the netbook anyway and headed to Houston thinking that it would be an excellent project to work on in the hotel.  

Now here's what I can't figure out:  when I turned the computer on and tried to open Outlook, guess opened right up.  Everything was just fine, not sure what the problem had been but somehow Outlook fixed itself.  I just had to set up the instructions to send/receive e-mail through AT&T.   I went to AT&T's support site and looked up their instructions about setting up e-mail.  Since I didn't have a printer I took notes and then went back to Outlook.  I entered everything just the way I did the times before and to my amazement, it worked!  How did that happen?

To conclude this long story I felt so confident that I set up the g-mail account on the netbook, too.  Success, well almost.  I missed dinner with some of the stewards because I was stuck in internet land and then the internet service in the hotel was intermittent so I couldn't do too much in the way of setting up other things on the netbook.  Just as well, I didn't want to miss any other dinners!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Not Just An Expression

I have a supply of sayings that I use frequently.  One is (and this is figuratively), "I'm going to pinch your head off".  This is used when I'm mad at someone I love, like children or pets.  Another is "Haste Makes Waste".  This is usually used in the context of sewing when I try to rush or take a shortcut I know I shouldn't.  

I also use the phrase "Your sins will always find you out".  Yes, you can imagine the context that is used in and yes, it is true!  Until today I just thought that was a saying.  But, it is from the Bible!  How did I find this out?  I have a little devotional book that I like to take outside and read after I get home, weather and time permitting.  This is a habit formed from having dogs and wanting to sit outside with them when I get home.  Imagine my surprise when I opened up the book and there was today's verse,

Be sure your sin will find you out 
Numbers 32:23

Friday, July 6, 2012

Iced Tea

I don't know why I haven't added this to my list of simple things that I love, but I realized that iced tea belongs way up on the list!  I love iced tea!  And, let's face it - it is a simple thing.  I don't care if it is sweet or un-sweet, flavored or un-flavored.  Just no "diet" tea, please.  I've loved tea from the time I was a baby and suspect that I was given sweet tea in a bottle (yes, parents did things like that when I was small.  They put Kool-Aid in bottles, too!). Mostly now I use the Cold Brew bags and lately have been making the decaf variety which tastes the same as the regular.  Years ago I made sun tea and it was so refreshing on a hot afternoon! 

I remember my grandmother making tea and how beautiful it would look with the morning sun shining through the glass pitcher.  Every morning as she began to wash the breakfast dishes she would boil water for that day's tea.  She did not drink tea, but everyone else did.  She would always make one pitcher but if a lot of family was present then she made another, smaller pitcher, too.  The tea was made with well water; my father always claimed that it was the best water in the world (except when the red Mississippi rust/dirt slipped into the pipes, yuk!) and I'm sure that contributed to the beauty of the tea as well as the taste.  When I was there she would let me count out the tea bags and open them.  Mamaw would put the sugar in the bottom of the pitcher and pour the boiling water over the sugar and the tea bags. To keep the pitcher from cracking she would put a long metal cooking spoon in the pitcher before she poured the water in.  I would be allowed to stir the tea with the spoon to dissolve the sugar.  The tea would darken into a beautiful reddish-golden color while it swirled gently in the pitcher. 

Ice for the tea didn't come out of ice trays when a lot of family was present.  One of the men would go to the ice house (not a convenience store as we know them today locally) and bring home a block of ice in an ice chest.  Just before we ate a meal one of the men would go to the utility room with an ice pick and chip out a chunk of ice and then put it in a large wooden bread bowl and break it into chips. A block of ice would usually last about two days. I remember going along on an ice run once or twice but the big dark ice house was scary and the big burly men working there also scared me.  I would usually decline the offer to go!

Yes, let's add ice tea to the list of small, simple joys of life!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July 4th, 2012

On both of my trips to New England I couldn't help but notice that the flag was flying everywhere.  On homes, businesses, in parks and by the Atlantic ocean, everywhere you looked there was Old Glory!  Wow, that's showing patriotism right where it started!

What is about the colors of red, white, and blue that give you a stand up and cheer feeling?  Our church had a patriotic pops concert last night and the energy that came from the audience and participants was amazing!  There is just something about celebrating our Freedom and our great nation that brings people together.

Thank you God for blessing America.  Please guide us that we may serve you and honor you as a nation.