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Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, and Flowers

Miracles are all around us; if we slow down and pay attention, we will see them everywhere.

Hi friends,

Happy Monday.   My tablescape  this week is simple and I am inviting spring to come along.

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I have used my yellow plates and the salad plates with butterflies, birds, dragonflies and flowers.  I am trying to hurry spring along a bit.

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IMG_5179.JPGI have enjoyed these blue hydrangeas and yellow vintage buttons on my table all week.

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These plates are by Royal Doulton.  The salad plates are called Exotic Garden.

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The flatware and crystal is about 40 years old.

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Mother left me this beautiful pitcher.

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These little bowls match the plates perfectly.

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Lord, I never want to take your miraculous works for granted.  Help me see the holiness of the ordinary in each day.

Thank you friends for your visit today.

                                        Dianne

Bob’s Birthday

“I believe that the first test of a great man is his humility.  I don’t mean by humility, doubt of his power.  But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man, and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.” –John Ruskin

Hi Friends,

Today is my Beloved’s birthday.  I like this definition by John Ruskin.  Bob is a very Godly man so I feel that he believes his talent and accomplishments are gifts from God; therein lies his humility.  Seeing the divine in every other person can only be done through the eyes of God.  Most of the time he is endlessly, foolishly and incredibly merciful…most of the time. (ha)  And don’t we all need people like Bob in our lives who show us that kind of mercy.

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This is the relaxed man I know and love.  He is at one of the barns at Hickory Nut Gap, just a mile down the road.  I just love this picture.

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He always has a story to tell and people are always attracted to his wit and ability to tell a great story.

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Here we are at the Pumpkin Patch last fall enjoying an ice cream treat.

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This is about nine years ago. We had been to a Christmas church social. 

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Here we are recently freezing to death at a regatta.

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Bob is a construction/financial consultant.  He still works but much of his work can be done at his computer from home.  He still travels one week out of the month. He teaches Sunday School when he is needed to fill in.  Bob is a wonderful husband. He encourages me in my endeavors and he is always there to hold my hand and comfort me.  I admire his intellect and his love of history and most of all his unwavering faith. He is a gift from God.  

Bob is a loving husband, father, and grandfather.  By Ruskin’s definition, Bob is a great man. By my definition, he is an even GREATer man! Happy Birthday Bob.

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Happy Birthday Bob

Dianne

 

 

Our Asian Influence and Friend Influence

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Hi Friends,

It is very cold again here this morning with a “freeze warning” in effect.  My iris and other perennials are budding,  including my peonies.   I am like a policeman every day out assessing the situation.  I have very little to share from my garden so I am heading in another direction.

In my younger years, I had an affinity for some of the Asian pieces that were often offered in stores like Rich’s of Atlanta or Lord and Taylor. Bob and I have a few pieces we like a lot.  The Chinaman has a story very close to my heart.  I have used these pieces in my tablescape.

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Large Chinese cloisonne vase filled with flowers that compliment this special vase.  I expect to make a pasta dish with pork, mushrooms and other special ingredients.  Publix was offering samples and Bob and I both loved the mix of flavors.

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A pair of candlesticks go well with these pieces.

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Very delicate workmanship creates a piece to be enjoyed for many years. 

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I have used my everyday china and pasta bowls to go with this setting.  Most of the time these jars set on top of a chest in the bedroom.

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The ewer pitcher is a companion piece to the vase.

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Oh, how I love the old Chinaman with his Chinese goose.  My friend, Brenda Bridges left this for me about forty years ago.  Brenda battled breast cancer for 10 years.  During that period of time, Brenda and I spent lots of time together.  We made a trip to Atlanta during this time.  She wanted my assistance in choosing an item she was looking for.  While on this trip, she bought this Chinaman and,  of course, I insisted she buy it.  It was one of those pieces locked in a glass encasement.  

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The lace tablecloth adds a sense of elegance to an informal table.

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Brenda lived fully knowing her time was short.  She shared her unwavering faith with me.   She was one of the bravest, most generous people I have ever known.  A few weeks after her passing, her Mother called and said she and her husband would like to come over.  They delivered the Chinaman with a note from Brenda telling me she loved me and she hoped I would have a wonderful life.     I guess that probably tells you something about this special person.  The Chinaman has had a special place in my home since that day.  

Friends, you are important in my life.  God certainly knew what He was doing in giving us people to support us and love us during difficult times and also our happier moments. I thank you for indulging me as I told the Brenda and Chinaman story.  

                            Dianne

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Gardens

“In searching for my Mother’s garden, I found my own.”..Alice Walker

Hi Friends,

I have recently been trying to go through more of Mother’s pictures and she had made lots of photos of her flowers and gardens.   Mother really had a green thumb but she worked very hard and loved loved her flowers.

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This is the house Mother and Dad lived in more than sixty years.

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These flowers covered the front bank in front of our house.  Mother called it Thrift.  People would stop at our house and ask to take pictures.  On Sunday afternoons it would be a steady line of cars slowing down with visitors taking photos.  I am so glad I found this picture as my memories of this are very vivid but there would be no way to describe this.  She had a row of tulips planted above the thrift.

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A little example of her rose garden.  She had many colors of peony roses.  She had one very unusual variety that I transplanted to my garden.  I hope it blooms this year.

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I don’t have any idea how many forsythia she had.  Very beautiful and early bloomers.

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Climbing pink roses on the back porch.

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Peach blossoms…several peach trees on their property.

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Her photos amazed me.  She only had an old Kodak camera or Polaroid.  Many of these pictures were done with a Polaroid.

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She had unbelievable vegetable gardens.  She always planted sunflowers in her vegetable garden.

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Our neighbors had this beautiful two story house you can see in this picture.

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She loved her amaryllis.  These do not grow outside here because it is too cold.  She kept them in the basement and brought them upstairs when they were ready to bloom. She kept them year after year.

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She had blooming cactus everywhere.  Many were hung in the trees.

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Dogwood grew wild on our farm.

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She wanted a closeup.  Like Mother, like daughter.

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This is a small part of our backyard.  Susie liked to greet us.  Family and friends alike always used the back door!  Thank you for traveling with me down memory lane.

                                  Dianne

 

 

I believe Spring has arrived!

Hi Friends:

Two weeks ago Bob and I drove to Gainesville, Georgia, for a Regatta.  I took these first four photos on our way.  We just about froze with temps in low 40’s and wind blowing on Lake Lanier.  But ……it is looking a whole lot more like Spring here.  I am sharing some photos of my flowers in bloom and some of the places I visit often.  I go to the stables with Maddie for her riding lessons.  I do so to help my daughter but it is wonderful therapy for me.

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Spring flowers blooming………

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I love how beautiful the forsyth looks behind this trimmed hedge.

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My helleborus are amazing.  I have five of these.  They start blooming in mid winter and will bloom for a long time.

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Beautiful color overflowing behind my fence.

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This is such an interesting botanical that I transplanted from Mothers.  I have no idea what it is called.  I always cover it with pine straw during the winter months trying to protect it.  It is one of my first bloomers. She made sure I took it while she was still living at home.  Very, very special to me!

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Bob has our lawn looking fabulous.  He is the standard bearer for our community.

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Our weeping cherry …..we lost its mate.  Love it and so do the birds.  They are building a nest in it.

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This building in North Asheville captured my attention while I was at Barry’s house.  I could imagine refurbishing this and making a wonderful “She Shed”.  I love it just the way it is however.

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We have arrived at the stables!

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I believe she is a “horse whisperer”.  These horses look so calm around her.  Her instructor calls her “a natural” around the horses.  She loves the grooming, feeding and work at the barn as much as the riding.

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These pictures reflect a lot of my lifestyle every week.  This is Lake Julian.  Sometimes I don’t believe I am grateful enough to see these scenes every week.  

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This is Ella and Maddie.  They met at the stables.  Her Dad told me that Ella said to him: “I am going to make that girl my friend!” Did she ever!  I will wait after the lesson just so they can play. I want the world to be more like Ella and Maddie. 

I want to be more like Jesus.  “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  “Love one another.”  It is  huge in the list of commands that Jesus provided for us so we might enjoy the abundant life He has planned for us.  Praise be to God.

                               Dianne