Friday, April 21, 2017


tulips next-door to The Brown Bungalow

Oh my goodness, have I got news to report to you today! It's been so exciting around here, which is why my blogging has been infrequent and relatively brief. 

But this week the time came to share the latest with my public, beginning with our immediate family, then my co-workers, and also you, my readers.

Yesterday I called a Staff Meeting in the basement of The Brown Bungalow, emphasizing that attendance was mandatory. Mrs Berniece Mertz offered to make brownies and fill a punch bowl for the occasion, although she had no idea why the meeting had been called. But I asked her to not go to the effort. We would have serious work to do immediately after The Announcement and refreshments would just slow us down.

my Staff and friends
Once everyone had collected on top of the sewing tables in the lower level of The Brown Bungalow and I could get their undivided attention (no easy feat with some of these characters!), I cleared my throat and told them that our days at The Brown Bungalow were nearing an end. 

Poor Mandy Sue, terribly sensitive as she is, nearly passed out, fearing they were all being laid off and would shortly find themselves jobless and homeless. Mrs. Berniece Mertz, who has been around the block a few times in her life patted the hand of the younger one in a reassuring manner, urging her to not fear the worst until they had heard me out.

Unruffled, I paused until that little scene had settled down and continued with what I had to say.

The time has come for Grandad and me to relocate away from our mountain home in Whistlestop to a near-beach resort that will put us in closer proximity to our multitude of grandchildren, none of whom live any closer than 1,457.5 miles (give or take a quarter of a mile), and some of them live another 431.9 miles beyond that!

We are moving to a location that can more easily and inexpensively accommodate the visits of all those grandchildren (and their parents, of course), as well as all of our staff.....

And with that clarification I was suddenly deafened with (to quote Surfer Girl) the giggles and squeals of my staff. My control of the meeting was lost thereafter. 

Jumping up and down, high-fiving each other with delighted laughter -- not a one was disappointed to realize we are all going to take leave of the land of freezing snow blizzards and short summers to a place of palm trees, ocean waves, and sandals! Yes, we are moving to the Land of Flip Flops!!

Eventually I was able to make myself heard and could explain the course of action we needed to take next. I rather dreaded this part because I knew they all wanted to pick the choicest seats in my Ford to make the trip. But due to the large number of our staff and the myriad of other items that will need to go in the car, none of them can travel in that manner.

Practicality usually wins out with me and in this circumstance especially. All of the staff will need to be packed away so they can travel via moving boxes.  So although that pronouncement damped their spirits a bit, Mandy Sue did herself proud by presenting herself at the front of the line to get packed away.

She asked me to draw the shape of her little rag doll body on the packing paper, and then she carefully placed herself on top of it and submitted to the gentle folding of paper all around her and got tucked into the moving box. 

Mandy Sue submits to the packing paper

With her winning spirit of cooperation, the remaining members did the same. Not everybody could fit in the same box, but true to my spirit of compulsive organization, their names have been listed on a spread sheet so I know the box number of each doll and can retrieve them easily at the other end of this move. 

(you understand, of course, that at times I take liberties with the truth for the sake of literary fun .. I know which boxes contain dolls and I'll just leave it at that -smile)

some of the packed boxes
Amid the Internet research of available properties, email correspondence with our realtors on both ends of this venture, a house-hunting trip, and communications with family and friends, the boxes will gradually get assembled in an orderly fashion. 

There is also a hefty amount of purging and preserving. We dispose of the unnecessary and keep the precious -- which is no easy task. 

In my teen years, before one of my family's cross country moves, I wanted to take my stack of teen magazines. The Cook on Fifth Street taught me the diligence of taking only what is needed and not waste our money to move items of no value. She suggested  directed me to clip out the articles I wanted to preserve and throw away the rest of the magazines. It was a good lesson that has served me well.

entry hall of The Brown Bungalow
Our current home is not on the market as we have some details to work out first. We are hopeful this can be a house-to-house move. 

Because I have many demands on my time during this season of change, I want my readers to know my blog posts will probably be infrequent. I will read your blogs as time allows and make comments when I can.

At the other end of things I plan to reappear and share pictures of the changes that have taken place. 

Fare thee well for now.

P.S. Yes, this is all true, even though I have shared it with whimsey.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Manifestations of Spring

pink Hyacinths from Walmart

Unlike some Easter weekends we've had through the years, this time we were blessed with abundant sunshine and the kind of warmth that makes you want to wear sandals and buy flowers.

Well okay, I admit it. I wore socks with my sandals and jeans. It was still on the cool side.

Columbines and Hosta

We also bought more Columbines... they did so well for us at our last house, but the four years we've been at The Brown Bungalow our state bloom has faltered, sadly. Each year we try a new location. Maybe this setting under the bay window will satisfy their requirements.

We paired them with Hosta, a plant I've wanted to try for years.

a hardy little bud has appeared

I am so pleased to report that on this Easter weekend, Veronica Speedwell has come out of what looked to be certain death to bud once again. She had me scared but I guess she just needed a little more time. Apparently she wanted to be a sermon illustration.

Former Farmer gave her to me four years ago and although she protested a bit with the relocation from the Midwest to Colorado's Front Range, she has shown off her purple flowers every year before summer's end.

a re-run photo of the thrift store Easter center piece
I shared this delight just a few days ago as we were preparing for Easter. It really made the dining table decor just pop!

dishes from Walmart and the thrift store
I've said before that I like to shop at thrift stores. I buy the occasional skirt or cardigan there, but the real treasures (for me) are jewels for my home. This yellow bowl is one of them. Actually I have a set of six of these buttercup delights. They cheer me just to look at them, and doesn't the white dinner plate from the Pioneer Woman collection at Walmart just set it off? The placemats are from Kohl's and the napkins came from Sister a couple of birthdays ago.

The chocolate bunny -- I have to tell you a funny little story about him. When Beloved bit off the ears of his bunny, he (Beloved) suddenly became deaf! He could not hear a thing I was saying to him! Such a jokester!!

the table adorned with my dear guests
Everybody held still and nobody blinked while I took this obligatory snapshot before they began to eat. 

The menu was light because on holidays we need to share the kids with other family members who prepare a much larger dinner. Blessedly, this has worked out well for all of us.  Our menu was an Asian Pear Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette dressing, deviled eggs, crescent rolls, ice water, and chocolate bunnies. 

visitors in Sister's yard

Before I close this out, you need to see other signs of spring that have appeared in Sister's yard.  Obviously that's Peter Rabbit to the right of center. This other fellow was the topic of a family round robin of emails, trying to figure out just who or what he was.

posing for the camera
The first thought was he might be a badger who had traveled down from Wisconsin.

"What are you lookin' at?!"

But the final consensus among those who know such things was that he's a ground hog.  If he was indeed from Wisconsin, then Sister concluded that the grass must be greener in Illinois, hence his appearance in her yard!
* * * * *

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Prayer for You

May the story of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection 
be real to you today and every day.

He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!

Friday, April 14, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Easter

While it is a challenge to find much home decor for the real meaning of Easter, the bunnies and eggs are everywhere.

I didn't think I had much in the way of Easter decorations, but as it turns out, there's enough here to do a little tour for my readers.

Of course no seasonal decorating is complete in my house without the inclusion of stuffed animals...

... including lambs, which have a special symbolism for believers in the true meaning of Easter.

Alabaster eggs are my favorite kind of eggs because they can be used year after year and I don't have to dye them!

This delightful basket full of eggs was a thrifty find at the second-hand store a few weeks ago.

Whimsey is a fun part of it all with our 'elf door' now sitting on the fireplace mantel. The Christmas elves are busy at the North Pole, so the bunnies are renting the space right now.

This is a good opportunity to unpack the quilted spring table runners, and change our the floral arrangements from the austerity of winter to the bright colors of April.

I never did find it in myself to pack away the pencil tree in the dining room after Christmas. In January it was decorated with snow people, in February it was covered with red felt hearts, and now it's got felt eggs and egg people.

The felt eggs, by the way, were an impulse purchase at the Home Goods store (next door to TJ Maxx). We have a new one in our town, so I like to show my support by shopping there!

The pantry door has its own wreath of white tulips. Speaking of the pantry, what is your kitchen serving for Easter Sunday? Or are you braving the crowds and eating out?

Those of our kids who live in town will be over for a light lunch after church before they hop over to an Easter Egg hunt at another family home later in the day.

I hope your entire Easter weekend is full of significance with what our Lord has done for us with His death, burial, and resurrection.