Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday antique demijohn find

Last Friday I showed you some antique demijohns I've collected over the last year.  Since they are currently quite a popular collectible, many places charge quite a pretty penny for them. But if you happen to not mind shopping in the not quite so chic antiques stores,  the kind that are more of an antique/junk store or those in little out of the way towns that aren't so popular for antiquing, then you just may happen upon a bargain.  Finding a bargain is part of the fun of the hunt!

So let me tell you about this large demijohn that I recently found, embossed with the year 1933 on its bottom. (The year made me wonder what this demijohn was originally used for as prohibition was from 1920-1933 and most demijohns were used for wine or beer production.)  This demijohn was actually found in quite a trendy antique mall, but this poor guy was in sad shape.  Because of that, it was on sale.  

When I first saw it, it had the bottom half of it's wicker jacket torn off, and old brown tape wrapped around the neck of the bottle, trying to hold one side of a metal and wood handle on it.  It was filthy dirty.  I took it home and didn't even think of taking a photo of it before I started cleaning it up.  
 Some people love the texture of the wicker left on the demijohn, even if it's a bit raggedy, but in most cases I prefer the beauty of the old glass, so the first step I took was cutting off the remaining old wicker.  Next was taking off the old tape.   Then I gave it a good bath in hot water and Dawn dish soap in the bathtub. 
With the tape off, I tried to think of a way to attach the old handle on the side where the glass hole it attaches through was broken.  When I couldn't, I decided to take the handle off.
So this large old demijohn is perfectly imperfect in my book.  Sometimes that's what you have to be willing to accept if you want to pay a bargain price.
There's a bit of humidity inside the bottle in these photos.  The glass itself is actually clear and in great condition.  I'm picturing it at Christmas holding some branches with ornaments.

It's Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a SAFE and BLESSED weekend!


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Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Willing Healer, when nothing and no one else can help your inner pain...

Sometimes a memory blindsides me, taking me down an unexpected bunny trail I wasn't planning on taking and didn't really want to go down.

I was taking a nice, relaxing hot bubble bath.  The last thing I decided to do before getting out of the tub was to grab the pedicure tool, that looks a bit like a miniature cheese grater, and to use it on any callouses trying to develop on my feet.  That's when the memory hit.  I remembered walking into Mama's house and there she was, sitting in her favorite chair and using the same type of pedicure tool, not on the tough skin on the heels of her feet, but she was scraping it on the tender skin on her palms and finger tips.

For years Mama had been tormented by bouts of insufferable itching on her hands.  It would keep her up at night and torment her during the day.  It wasn't constant, but it was frequent.  When it happened nothing seemed to work to make it stop.  She had mentioned it to the doctor and he, of course, had examined her for any external skin conditions.  There were none.  No medicinal side effects were found either.  Mama told me, "The doctor probably thinks I'm crazy."

It was remembering what she had said that sent me down the bunny trail.  I was nine years old.  It was dark and I was in the car with daddy going to see Mama in the mental hospital.  Mama was in deep suicidal depression and had committed herself to the hospital for the well being of us kids.  What I wasn't aware of back then was Daddy's part in all of this, or the fact that soon after Mama got out of the hospital he would leave us for the other woman he was having an affair with while Mama was there. All I remember about the visit with Mama that night is the bright starkness of the room at the hospital and the darkness of the evening outside.  I don't remember anything about my actual visit with Mama, what she looked like, how she acted.  But, all those years later when I saw Mama scraping the flesh on her hands, trying to get rid of the horrible itching, I wondered if the itching in Mama's hands was some sort of nerve reaction to the shock treatments she had had on her brain.  If it was, nothing external was going to make it stop.

Mama's time in the hospital, what she had gone though to get her there and what she went through while she was there, the trouble between her and Daddy, it was something we didn't revisit or talk about.  Once Mama was home and Daddy left us, our life became about coping with the reality of the present.  Mama got off of the incapacitating meds they had put her on in hospital, got a job, and went about the business of providing for us and taking care of us to the best of her ability.  But, like the invisibly lasting effects of the shock treatments on Mama's nervous system, there were invisible effects on everyone in our family from the dysfunction of our past, Mama's breakdown, and the breakup of our parent's marriage.  And every single one of us, in one way or another, tried to scratch the itch caused by that trauma using some external means.  Drugs, alcohol, relationships, achievement, each one of the seven of us tried coping in our own unique way.  

A pedicure tool is never meant to be used on the tender skin of your palms or fingertips.  Mama's way of coping with an internal itch using an external tool only created more problems as the skin on her hands became sore and raw. Likewise, nothing external any of us tried could cure the inner pain our family had suffered.  Many of us ending up raw and bleeding from the external means we used to try to cope with our inner turmoil.  But, by the grace of God, one by one by one He began to help us come to the realization of the hopelessness of trying to find inner healing apart from the Healer.  Some of us had to reach the depths of the pit before acknowledging that our seeking for relief apart from Him only succeeded in creating more pain.  Yet, even in the depths of that self-dug pit, He was there waiting to lift us out and set us back on the solid rock.  

They say that God never wastes our wounds and I believe that with my whole heart.  I don't think I would ever have come to know God in intimate friendship if I hadn't been made so keenly aware of my utter and complete brokenness apart from Him. He has shown me repeatedly that nothing external and no one apart from Him could go back in time and help walk that little girl through the pain of her past into the wholeness of her present.  What is true for me is true for you, too.  No external means, not the things that are obviously self-destructive or the things that appear to be harmless and maybe even good, things like education, success, achievement, or relationships, can sooth the itch caused by our inner damage.  Sooner or later, we've got to come to the end of our self and our manmade coping mechanisms, and seek the Only One who can reach and heal the root cause of our itch, of our pain.  I've found Him to be a very willing Healer and I believe you will, too.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beauty in common things...

(edited with Kim Klassen's Monday texture)
 Just a simple autumn still life featuring two of my favorite things, an ironstone pitcher and a transferware bowl.

 (edited with plumbe preset)
Every autumn I think about how I'd love to have have some brown transferware dishes, but I already  own more sets of dishes than I need.  This bowl and the brown transferware cup and saucer I used in last week's still life are all of the brown transferware that I own.

(edited with plumbe preset)
My favorite things to collect are antique objects that were used in homemaking in bygone days.  Ironstone bowls and pitchers, transferware dishes, breadboards, interesting old bottles and demijohns.  I am drawn to the beauty in these common items.
(edited with Kim Klassen's Monday texture)
Are you a collector?  What are your favorite things to collect?

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Seeing God in my daily life...

If I don't see God in the everyday of my real life,  I tend to bow down to the anxiety, worry, fear, negativity, hopelessness and despair that permeates social media, the news, the culture around me.   Or I bow down to the lie that a skinnier me, more stuff, or becoming more well known will satisfy my soul. But He is God with us, not just when Jesus, God in the flesh, walked this earth physically, but in the here and now of my everyday.  I just have to choose to see Him, to recognize and acknowledge His work in my life.  

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-an especially sweet time of prayer
-texting with all three of our girls throughout the day
-a fun dinner out to celebrate the birthdays of our Truelife Espanol pastor and his wife

-God's provision for everything we need
-foggy mornings
-a beautiful sunny afternoon
-healthy eating
-two new books in the mail

-writing time
-going on a walk with a friend from church
-free rhubarb to put in the freezer
-my youngest grandson and a sweet little boy from church
 spending the evening at our house and having fun playing together

-the first day of autumn
-beautiful photos of Paris from our youngest daughter
-funny texts about our youngest grandson's potty attempts
-praying with others
-seeing our church growing in reaching out to others
-sweet time of worship together

-Friday date day-staying home and relaxing together
-cold enough weather to have a fire in the fireplace
-a fun evening with friends filled with laughter
-staying up too late watching a favorite show with my hubs

-going to my oldest grandson's football game, (he made a touchdown!)
-a beautiful day for a long walk
-my girl texting me how much she loves France

-God sending us wonderful prayer support
-a restful afternoon

gratefully yours,

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A tender, responsive heart...

A couple of months ago my friend from church read Ezekiel 11:19 at our weekly prayer time.  I found the wording in the New Living Translation to be especially impactful. When I got home, I added it to my list of verses that I have turned into prayers that I use during my devotional time.  "Father, I ask for myself and my loved ones that we will not have stony and stubborn hearts but that our hearts will be tender and responsive to You, Your Word and Your Spirit.  In Jesus' Name. Amen"  It occurred to me that if our hearts are tender and responsive to God, then all the other things we may pray for a person, that they would be saved, that they would walk in obedience to God, that they would walk in God's will, would happen naturally.  A heart that is tender and responsive to God is naturally yielded and obedient to Him and His ways.

Since then, day after day I have been praying this simple prayer, praying it over myself, our family and loved ones, and our church family.  What surprised me was how God began to work in my own heart in such a tangible way.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, September 25th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Friday Faves...More Simple Autumn Decor

Happy first day of Autumn!
Last week I showed you my simple autumn decor in my entry way and living room,
and promised you a peek into my dining room, kitchen and nook this week.

My dining room may be my favorite room in the house.
It's so spacious and open and light!
I'm so glad we turned our small off the kitchen family room into a large dining room.
It's what works best for our family and lifestyle.

I've collected these demijohns at various antiques stores over the past year.
I found a huge demijohn at the antique store marked 1933 the other day, 
that I'll show you soon.
Some velvet pumpkins in an antique brown transferware bowl are a simple autumn touch
 added to this wooden tray from Homegoods.

I moved the white pumpkin I had on top of the dish cabinet in my dining room,
(see photo of dining room above) into the wooden pedestal bowl on my mantel,
and put a light colored orange squash and a light green squash on top of the dish cabinet instead.

I filled the antique ironstone pitcher that I bought when we were on vacation with wheat
 that I bought at the grocery store years ago and have used every autumn since.

 Nothing much has changed in the shiplapped part of our dining room,
(on the left of the side of the room when facing the table). 

Although a new copper pot from France joined the antique one made in the U.S.A. 
on the wall next to the shelves.
It was another Homegoods find.
This post is not a Homegoods ad, but if they wanted me to do one, I'm their gal.
I love that place!

We're still saving money for new countertops and cabinet refinishing/painting in our kitchen.
I'm wavering between having the cabinets sanded down and stained a grayish color
 or having them painted white. 
I'd love for anyone who has done either to solid oak cabinets to share your experience in the comments.

Some fall foliage tucked inside my antique French canning jar is my simple ode to autumn by my kitchen sink.

In our cozy little sitting nook, the red pouf foot rest is a recent purchase from Homesence in Canada.
My hubs was thrilled to cart it around in the car while we were on vacation!  (not!)
But, now he loves having it by his chair.

I attempted a little chalkboard art on the wall in the nook. 
I wrote things I'm thankful for in this season around the words Autumn blessings.

Thanks for popping in for part two of my simple autumn decor!

 It's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a safe and BLESSED weekend!


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