Monday, April 22, 2013

About to BUST!

Things around here are about to BUST! That's what it seems like to me in the spring - the buds are all on the verge of opening completely and color, scent, and JOY are about to flow forth!



Also, around the yard there are other signs of life...
Robin on a nest

Dove nest on the basketball goal

Doves don't build very sturdy nests! 

A deciduous Azalea

White lilac - YUM!!!

There is something about the renewal of spring that helps to heal all the pains of the past. I am trying to focus on the grace and artistry of this season while praying for physical and spiritual healing for those around the world who have been suffering this past week. My prayers go out to the people of Boston, West, Texas, and China. 

"April cold with dropping rain
Willows and lilacs brings again,
The whistle of returning birds,
And trumpet-lowing of the herds.
The scarlet maple-keys betray
What potent blood hath modest May;
What fiery force the earth renews,
The wealth of forms, the flush of hues;
Joy shed in rosy waves abroad
Flows from the heart of Love, the Lord."

an excerpt from "May-Day" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Parents' Wildflower Garden

Spring has finally arrived in TENNESSEE! It was slow coming but we have been blessed with some amazing  sunny days mixed with a few April showers. My mother and father have a garden in the side yard which is dedicated to wildflowers that grow in our area. Both  are in their eighties and have been lifelong gardeners.Things change rapidly there and every few days something new is in bloom.  These pictures were taken last week and I'm sure these beauties have already faded and been replaced with other blooms. Enjoy...

Lenten Rose (Hellebores)

A place to sit and enjoy the garden

Pink and white Lenten Rose

Woods Poppy

I will try to go by and see what is blooming this week and take a few pictures to share. I hope that things are BLOOMING wherever you are! Thank you for stopping by for a visit.

"Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you , not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you - you of little faith." Luke 12:27,28.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Guest Artist: Gale Hinton

Sometimes in life things are MEANT TO BE! Such is the case with my friendship with Gale.

It is such a privilege to introduce you to my friend, Gale Hinton , mural artist (please click on the link to see her website).  Several years ago she was commissioned to paint at my brother's home and dental office. She has many murals around town, and I was familiar with her work but really had no idea the SCOPE of what she did. At that time she had an assistant who worked for her and she had quit without notice. Her schedule is very frantic and she was in need of someone to do some of the background, "fill-in" painting so that she can come in and work her MAGIC.  My sister-in-law innocently said, "You should call my sister-in-law. She paints." That was it... She called me that night and I went to paint with her the next day. We have been great friends ever since! I worked for her for several years and occasionally help out if she has a really big job, but most importantly I have become an honorary member of her family. She graciously takes me along on her family vacations and I have also become good friends with her children and their families. There are some times in life that you KNOW God has placed someone in your life who will influence you and make an impact forevermore. She is an AMAZINGLY TALENTED artist who can paint a whole school in a week or create a beautiful canvas in a few hours. The speed at which she works, the long hours and busy schedule make everyone think of the Energizer Bunny- she keeps going and going. She now paints all over the country and has been featured in many glowing reviews. Here is one called "Your Stories" by Abby Ham. There is a very short ad at the beginning but it will be so worth your time to watch it. She regularly donates her talents to great causes and here, here, and here.  There is a great article in The Knoxville News Sentinel about her painting in our local schools. I can't begin to mention all of the honors and credits she has received through the years, but I will leave you with a few pictures from our latest time we painted together. All artwork in these photos is by Gale.

I love the way she has signed this mural and it sums her her life - a life lived wisely and with joy!

Thank you for everything you do for me Gale and I love you!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


While I was taking pictures on Easter Sunday of our family lunch I realized I haven't done a "TaDaaah" for my Bullseye Blanket by Brittany Tyler. It has not been blocked and desperately needs to be, but I'm showing it (and using it!) anyway. I have  to say I am IN LOVE with this blanket for several reasons... One being, it is the FIRST blanket I have FINISHED and that is such an accomplishment for me! I really never thought I would make something this large and I'm really pleased as punch. Secondly, I love the colors. It's a tricky thing picking colors for a project like this. It involves so much work that you really want to get it right. I stayed fairly true to the pallette that Brittany used since that is what drew me to it in the first place. Lastly, the yarn is very soft and not too heavy. I love a warm blanket and sit under one year round (hubs loves to crank up the air conditioner in the summer, ugh), but I can't stand a heavy wool blanket. I used Cascade 220 Superwash Wool because it will be used and I really wanted to be able to wash and dry it easily. It is an affordable verion of wool so that also helped. I haven't actually washed it yet so we will see...

Here are a few more pictures and a few snaps from Easter.

Yes, we had a fire at Easter. No warm spring here!

My contribution to lunch was green beans, mashed potatoes, and sweet tea.

Sis in law brought broccolli casserole and cheesy pineapple casserole,YUM

Pork tenderloin with cranberry glaze, Honeybaked Ham, and deviled eggs.

T's parents on the left and mine on the right

A mix of candy, crochet and handpainted eggs

Watching basketball after lunch

I am so thankful that both of our families live here in town (and they really LIKE each other) and so we are able to spend the Holidays together without traveling. We were missing a few LOVED ones this year, but we will have many future Easters to share.

I hope you had a blessed Easter!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

One of my favorite blogs to read is Alisa Burke. She has a regular posting called "Exploring We Will Go".  They live in the Pacific Northwest and have some AMAZING places to visit with visually stunning scenery. We may not have the ocean but we are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Come exploring with me and see if you don't agree.

Good Friday

T and I went on a hike in my Smoky Mountains. It was freezing cold with a little snow left on the ground from last week. The air was crisp and damp with heavy clouds above. We decided to walk as far as we wanted and then eat lunch... and pray for no rain. Off we went.

 There were a few others willing to brave the cold for such a dreamy walk. Here are a few photos along the way. This is known as the waterfall hike and you will see why.

Right past the parking lot is this stunning cascade


First, and largest waterfall

My hubby and Me, wearing one of my cuddly cowls from the last post.

Naturally formed heart in a fallen tree
Moss grows on fallen trees.


From the other side of the trail water cascades from the mountain

Sculptural bark

Moss on the mountainside

Rock overhangs

The first wildflower of the spring. I think it's called Bloodroot.

YEAH!!! We walked for 2 hours, ate our lunch, and it didn't rain until the minute we got back to the car.
This is the first time either one of us had been on this particular hike but it won't be our last. It is literally 10 minutes from our cabin in Townsend and I think this is the most AMAZING place. It is a gradual slope and follows the Middle Prong of the Little River so it will be very pleasant any time of year.

I hope you've had a wonderful Easter Break wherever you are and were able to ponder the meaning of the season.

He is Risen!   He is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter!