3/31/11

One life - a little gleam of time between two eternities. - Thomas Carlyle


Definition: Gleam - A brightness in a person's eyes taken as a sign of a particular emotion

What puts a gleam in your eye? What are the "little things" that leave you with a smile, a tear of joy, a feeling that something has touched your heart? Here are some of the things that put a gleam in my eye....
  • The laughter of my grandchildren as they play
  • A small little hand reaching down to pick that first flower of spring and then handing it to me
  • A child's smile
  • The look in my husband's eyes when he watches me
  • The smile of a loved one who hasn't seen you in a while
  • A blessing from an old southern gospel song
  • A card in the mail from my sister
  • A quick note or phone call from a dear friend
  • The suns rays as they burst through the cloudy sky
  • An eagle as it soars through the sky proud and free
  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • A hand holding mine
  • A hug
  • The words "Good job!"
  • Driving through the country side with my window down and music blasting
  • A good bargain
  • My mom staying all night and telling me she loves me at bedtime
  • Memories of my daddy
  • Just being silly with my family
  • My children and their family coming to visit
  • The smell of a new baby doll
  • The sounds of the birds on a quiet summer day
  • The ocean
  • The rain on the roof
  • The first butterfly of the season
  • Going barefoot through the grass
Any time life gets to you and you start feeling overwhelmed, just stop and ponder on the things that bring a gleam to your eye. I guarantee it will be a great pick me up.
3/30/11

Come on, get happy.....


When my two year old granddaughter doesn't get as much attention as she thinks she should get, she drops her head and mumbles "I so sad." Very pathetic. So somebody picks her up and says "What's the matter, sweetheart?" Her head bounces up, her smile gets big and bright and she says "I not sad anymore. I happy."

Oh, to be able to bring ourselves out of the blues that easy. I have noticed that if I get tired or a little down, if my day is not going exactly how I want, I have a tendency to get "so sad". I have come up with some little tricks I use that make me "not sad anymore" and boost my spirits. I thought I'd share some of them with you. They are some good little pick-me-ups.

1. Stop and fix yourself a cup of hot chocolate. Take a 5 minute break and look out your window while you slowly sip on it.

2. Take a bubble bath. Let Calgon take you away. Soak in a tub of steaming bubbles to ease the aches and pains. Light a candle and grab a good book or that new magazine you have been wanting to read.

3. Go to http://www.youtube.com/ and search for one of your favorite upbeat songs and crank it up and sing along or get up and dance to it. This will not only improve your mindset but will count as exercise.

4. Give yourself a manicure. Be daring. Find some bright pinks or ruby reds. Currently, mine are lavendar. I have some pale yellow, a copper, a silver, and a light blue hidden among my normal light pinks and tans. All guaranteed to bring a smile to my face. I love typing and glancing down and seeing my "wild" nails. At least they are wild for a grandmother of 5.

5.  Rearrange something in your decor. Maybe move a knick-knack to a new area or simply reorganize a whole design setting. Just changing what you look at every day can be a mood booster.

6. Quote an uplifting bible verse.

7. Sing a silly song from your childhood: "This old man" or "My Mother Sent me to the Store".

8. Wash your hands really good and apply some of your favorite smelling lotion. It's strange, but if my hands feel good; I feel good.

9. Grab your binoculars and scour the trees to do a little bird watching.

10. Just breathe. Stand up, stretch your arms to the ceiling. Take a deep breath and relax for a couple of minutes and then get back to the task at hand.


3/29/11

Tuesday Teasers

Back in the heart-throb days of my teenage years, I had many teen idols. Some were singers; some were actors. Some were a little of both. I thought it would be fun to post 10 of my favorite ones I remember from way back when and see who can remember them. You can leave it as a comment or email me at brendakeefere@comcast.net. I would be curious to see who you remember.

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


 #6


#7

#8


#9


#10

3/28/11

My weekend....

Thanks to everyone for the anniversary wishes yesterday. We had the best day together. Even with the dreary rain. It rained the day we got married so it brought back fond memories. He surprised me late Saturday night with a beautiful soft yellow and white sweater and then took me to get my new Donna Sharp purse yesterday at The Maples Tree. We had a romantic dinner together in a cozy restaurant and even got to sit in front of the fireplace that was burning. It was an awesome day (of course, we ended up at Walmart before the day was out.) Here is my purse...


(I'm going backwards on my weekend, but I wanted to share my Saturday as well.) The day started off with my Olan Mills Portrait session for our church directory. I have been dragging my heels and basically kicking and screaming all the way because I detest having my picture made. The last one I had done by a professional photographer was my twins first birthday (around Christmas). I was having pics made of the babies and they suggested I sit in one of them. Their Godparents bought it and it still hangs over their bed 32 years later. But I hated it. But this guy Saturday was awesome. I actually for one time in my life liked my picture. Of course, all I ordered was the one free 8 x 10 because my family knows what I look like and I wouldn't give my picture out to anybody else. But without sounding conceited, it did turn out well.

I got a great bargain when I went shopping Saturday thanks to my wonderful niece Amy in Parkersburg. It went like this....

I thought I needed a new tablecloth so I posted on my blog what I was thinking of doing.

My niece, Amy, saw it and called me the next day all excited. Kohl's was having a 40% off sales on their plaid tablecloths! Plan A - go to Kohl's after portrait setting was launched into action.
Saturday, I made a trip to Kohl's. Went to the one I THOUGHT I wanted based on what I saw on-line. I didn't like it. Was walking away disappointed when I went down the next aisle and found one I loved. It's hard to find the 102" length and they had it in that length. It was regularly $29.99 on sale for $17.99. I snatched it up. Walked straight to the checkout. The girl rang it up and said, "That will be $13.08." WHAT?? It turned out that it fell into one of their sales categories that day that gave 35% off the lowest price, making the actual cost before tax.....$11.99! Since I had a short supply of SSC (Saturday shopping cash), I had went in with my mind believing I was going to find what I wanted at a price I was willing to pay. God is so good. He is in everything we do. You know how I am about faith and I approach everything in my life with "in faith believing". Just one more example that FAITH does come through in all areas of our life. My daughter dropped me at the door and I popped out of the car with "I'm just going to run in and get a tablecloth and be right back." It's the little things I have faith in that never cease to amaze me when they come true.

Thank you, Amy, for looking out for your Aunt B!  With new rugs from Walmart for $5.00 each and some springy items setting around my house, I have now turned my kitchen from this....

 to this.....

Hope everybody has a wonderful week!


3/27/11

I'm on "day"cation today....

I am writing this a day early so it can post first thing Sunday. By the time you read this, I will be well into my "day"cation. In honor of our 30th wedding anniversary, hubby and I are spending the entire day together with no family, no friends, no home phone, no cell phones. Just us.

I've had an exhausting week and he has kept the home fires going while I've been busy. I am so blessed to have such a supportive spouse of anything I want to do. We are both ready for a well earned break.

I don't know what the day will bring but after 30 years with this man, I know he will make it special.

Happy anniversary to my wonderful sweet hubby of 30 years.

Here we are a few years ago on a boat in Panama City heading out to Shell Island.


Below is the same vacation...getting ready to go in Pineapple Willie's to eat ribs and chicken on the pier and watch the sun set over the gulf. One of many wonderful memories. That is my sister, Rachel and my brother-in-law, Dale, on the left of the photo. It was the first vacation the four of us ever took together once all the children were married and moved out. We had an awesome trip. Allen was a little sunburned but we still had a great time.


3/26/11

Knowing when to stop....


Do you ever have times in your life where you seem to be going full speed ahead every waking moment? Well, I do. Sometimes I feel like a freight train barrelling down the tracks of the wide open spaces. I've had one of those weeks this week. Go, go, go. I'm involved in quite a few projects right now...family stuff, church stuff and job stuff. Thanks to some organizing skills a client taught me, I'm still able to juggle all the balls. But sometimes, I just have to make myself take a break. I have to have a talk with my brain and tell it to be kind to my body and unwind a little bit. This has been one of those weeks. When I'm working on a project, I take every moment of it very seriously and feel responsible for anything that doesn't go right. Which means, I usually try to stay on top of things as much as possible. Thanks to a high energy level (sometimes borderline hyper, thanks to lots of chocolate) I'm able to accomplish what I need to. A friend told me the other day that I was like the Engergizer Bunny...EverReady.

While all of this is true, I do thank God that He reminds me I'm only human and I need to take a break and slow down. So after a crazy, hectic week, hubby and I are taking a break tomorrow and going to Gatlinburg and over in the mountains for the day. I am just going to relax and enjoy my day.
3/25/11

One single dandelion.....



Today I'm linking to Jeremiah 29:11. Be sure and pay a visit and join the fun.



I was looking out my window yesterday and noticed one single dandelion popped up in the yard next door. Its brilliant yellow a deep contrast to the crisp green grass. What made it even more amazing is he had just mowed earlier that day and the grass was neat and trim. But there, standing alone, was that one small dandelion.

It got me to thinking about the life of a dandelion. They have a short lifespan and can turn from the pretty yellow to the white "blowing" ones overnight. They regenerate themselves by changing to the white and letting their seeds be redistributed. They have a very deep taproot that is hard to remove and lawn fanatics lament about the invasive dandelions and invest small fortunes to keep their yards free.

So to sum up what I found out about the dandelion. It is not very well received. While some plot and plan to do away with it, it's seeds still live on and it grows stronger and more powerful with time.

Is that not like our Lord? Though Jesus had earthly friends, He basically walked alone. While some despised Him and plotted against Him, they were not able to completely destroy him. Though they pierced His side and crucified Him. He arose. Isaiah 11:1 says And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

God has planted the seeds with the crucifixion of His beloved Son. Evil cannot destroy it. Hatred can not wipe it out. It is like the dandelion that continues to see rebirth over and over again. The love of God is a deep root that replenishes each of us with the seeds of His love, mercy and grace.
3/24/11

What a wonderful thought......

Authorities have not confirmed if a tornado is responsible for the damage to homes and downed power lines in the Greenback community.



I was just watching the news and seeing all the destruction in Greenback, TN from the tornado last night. They have determined it was an F3. There is a lot of devastation, but a lot of wonderful stories from the survivors of miracles that befell them last night.

But this one scene showed a church that had been hit real bad. He show some of the congregation looking at the destruction and one elderly lady took one look around and said "God is still God."

How blessed to have that type of attitude in the face of destruction. God is still God. I'm going to have to do a plaque or something with that on it. I love it. It is going to be my new mantra.
3/23/11

A Beth Moore Moment....

If you love Beth Moore, you will love this one. It is one of my favorite stories she tells.

3/22/11

Things that remind me of my grandmothers......

I strive to be a good grandmother. I want my grandchildren to look back on the years with a fondness and deep abiding love. I want them to know and enjoy the simple things in life. I want to be one of their "Remember when" moments when they grow older. I loved both of my grandmothers so much and miss them dearly. There are times when certain things just make me remember them with such clarity that it is like they have never left. One passed away 38 years ago and one 23 years ago. But certain items just take me back to those special days and times that I shared with them. Here are some of the things that make me think of one or both of them......

Dove Soap
Cashmere Bouquet bath powder in the plastic tub with a puff
Scotch Lad Ice Cream
Peppermint sticks
Pennies
Chocolate fudge
Crochet Doilies
Quilts
Bibles
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup Cake
Pound Cake
Fried Chicken
Ice Tea
Handkerchiefs
Aprons
Rook Card Game
Rummy
Rugs
Gomer Pyle
Swivel Rockers
Bolsters (1 long pillow)
Chiffarobes
Picture Chests
Mantel Clocks
African Violets

Each one of those items evokes many memories of love, laughter and good times. I hope I can leave a legacy of love for my grandchildren like my precious grandmothers left for me.
3/21/11

A family affair....

(Be sure and check out the new pages I've added. See the Home line at the top of the page)

Yesterday was my oldest grandchild's birthday party. We had a fabulous time. At one point in the evening, I was just watching and listening and I thought about how blessed I am that both of my children married into good families who share the same values we do. My family gets along so well with the in-law families that we tend to mesh into one huge family. In twelve years of marriage for both my children, there has never been any bickering, arguing over who gets what holiday, no "one-upmanship" with the grandchildren. We all work together to insure each side gets to honor their family traditions. I'm very blessed. I tried to get that elusive photo of all five grandchildren. It didn't happen. With it being so beautiful outside, I couldn't get them all to land in one place at one time so I just went around happily snapping photos and took what I could get.

Garret, Shelby, Caleb


Caleb and Colby

 Garret & Shelby

My twins, Diana and Chris with Alexis (my children do NOT look at all like twins, do they?)

Shelby and Alexis

Alexis

Garret and Caleb

My son his boys

Shelby and her Aunt Jamie, my daughter-in-law. Looks like an intense conversation.

Chris and Colby

Caleb...picture a big ball, three young boys running and a HUGE mud hole....'nuf said?

3/20/11

Welcome, Spring. We've missed you.



Happy first day of spring! It's going to be a glorious day. Sunday School and church this morning. Then this evening we are going to our grandson's birthday party; which means I'll get to spend some good time with all the family. I'm going to try to remember to get pictures of all five grandchildren, but sometimes that is easier said than done.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I brought out the capri pants and wore one of my new pair of flip flops. We went shopping at Turkey Creek in Knoxville. We did a lot of outdoor walking from shop to shop instead of driving to each new location. It was awesome. I got my little Welcome Spring sign at Target
for $2.99. I love it. I always try to have something new for each season or holiday on my front door. Friday, hubby and I were out driving around and on the way home, we stopped by the lake. It looks like they are starting to let the lake level rise to summer pool. Believe it or not, we saw 3 women in bathing suits walking down to the swimming area with their towels....I do believe that is called "rushing it a little." The swimming area doesn't even have water in it yet. There were a lot of picnic-ers out on Friday.


This is the view from my Sunday school teachers back yard. Isn't it beautiful. Nothing says spring like trees starting to show their true colors. I hope you have a beautiful first day of Spring.




3/19/11

One perfect day....

I lost both of my grandfather's at a young age. Grandpa Garretson passed away when I was barely 2 1/2 and Papaw Eden when I was around 5. I don't remember Grandpa Garretson at all, but I do remember a few rare and cherished memories of Papaw Eden. As we get older, we can remember little snippets of time...a touch, a smell, a taste of the past. For some reason, one day stands out in my mind and lives on in my memory.

It was summertime. The windows were all open to let in what little bit of air was stirring. Mommy and Mamaw were in the kitchen cooking. I'm not sure what they were making, but from most of my memories growing up, there was probably chicken being cut up to fry in the old iron skillet, green beans fresh from a garden that has been strung earlier that day and a fresh pitcher of ice tea (sweet, of course). I'm sure Mom had a cake already made, probably chocolate or spice, and peaches cut up in the fridge.

I remember vividly that Daddy and Papaw were in the living room watching wrestling on the old black and white TV. One thing I do remember about Papaw is he loved watching wrestling. I remember going in the living room and them being excited about the match. I remember climbing on Papaw's lap for a few minutes, then jumping down to run back outside. Our tan and white beagle, Lady, would be lazing in the shade of the old oak tree or stretched out in the sun on the front porch.

I remember racing and playing in the yard with Rachel and Jack (Andy wasn't born yet). I remember us hollering in through the screen in the bedroom window. I don't know what we were hollering about, but I remember us doing that. I remember Daddy's smile when I ran back in the house. I remember running through the living room, into the kitchen and back out the back door. I remember Mom yelling out the window to "quit letting the screen door slam". I remember the table holding salt & pepper and a plastic butter dish. I remember a fly swatter laying on top the Fridge for all those nasty flies that we let in by running in and out the doors.

But most of all, I remember love. I remember laughter. And I remember Papaw. Even though I did not get to have him for long, what time I had with him was precious. It's perfect days like that day that makes for the fondest memories.

Take a walk down your memory lane and see what images you can recall. As you do, listen to the song by Wynonna Judd. It was so much like my life growing up that I can't listen to it without it bringing tears to my eyes and memories to my heart.
3/18/11

Beautiful weather...




I'm linking up to Fantatic Friday at Jeremiah 29:11.

On Thursday, it got up in the mid-70's. I changed into my blue jean shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops and headed out back to explore. Here are some of the things I found...

My weeping willow "Prince Will" is starting to look very grand in his regal leaves draping down.


The Bradford pears in the neighborhood are really starting to fill out.


My neighbor planted this yellow bush last year and it is blooming beautifully. I always call this a switch bush because Mom had one and that is where she went to get her switched. She'd peel off the flowers and lay it on the end table and we knew to behave. I don't remember her using it, just the threat was enough to keep us in line. 


My little tea rose bush is starting to be very green. It should be a great year for my tea roses. 


I love the little wild violets that grow every spring. they make me know warm weather is around the corner. 


One of my favorite places to relax in the spring and summer. A good book, a lemonade and the shade of the willow. 


They are still letting water out of the lake so the river is still higher than normal. It goes up and down every day, but it has stayed high for over a week now. This is the view down river.


This is the view up river. 


Hope you enjoyed your spring walk with me. 
3/17/11

My little leprechaun...

Twelve years ago today, God blessed us with a our very first grandchild, Christian Garret. It has been such a joy watching this child grow. I have always been filled with wonder at his wit, his humor, his compassion, his intelligence. He is very precious to me and I love him with every beat of my heart. As he gets older, he stills loves to come to Mamaw's house. We get to talk about his plans; his dreams. Recently, I made the comment that I dreaded the day when he got to the point where he wouldn't want to stay all night with Mamaw any more. He said "Are you kidding me? I can't wait till I turn 16 and get my own car. I'm going to come over all the time." He's at that don't hug or kiss me in public stage, but when I tuck him in at night when he visits, I still get my kiss and hug before lights out. He has owned a piece of my heart from the moment I first held him and he will always own it. Happy birthday to my dear, sweet Garret.