Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday - dear friend!

I’ve heard it said, “You don’t choose your friends they choose you.”

Hmmm. Maybe? I don’t exactly believe it! I think God plays a huge role in who comes into our lives. And, because I don’t believe in coincidence or chance meetings, then I don’t believe there is necessarily a “choosing” on anyone’s part.

I do believe we are all created for friendships. I think we all long for support and encouragement from those who know us well. I, for one, am not likely to turn to Facebook when I want to share my joy over some accomplishment, or if I’m seeking comfort if a loved one is ill or dying. You also won’t find me searching out a casual business colleague to help with a gut wrenching personal decision.

I’ve also come to realize there are many depths of friendships and many reasons we become friends with another person. I believe some friends enter our lives for a “season”. When the season has passed, they fade away. I don’t believe this means we have failed at the friendship, but it was only meant to be transitory. These transitory friendships can be intense, necessary and worth cultivating and treasuring just as I would a long-lasting friendship of the heart. I know I couldn’t survive without them. These transitory friendships get us through a particular “time” and for that I am grateful. The transitory friends I’ve met along my journey have brought great joy and insight into my life.

However, the friendships of my heart are my real friends. They have stuck by me through the years. They have watched me soar and seen me fail. They know my mood swings and my family history. No matter how many months or miles come between us, the friendships endure. Our cumulative years of shared history maintain our connection. This connection steadily pushes us together on the same journey. With my “heart friendships” there have been so many years of tireless talk that we now speak in shorthand to each other. We don’t necessarily keep up on the daily details of our lives, but we know each other’s headlines. We count on each other and we keep what’s worth keeping and we blow away the rest.

I want a friend who really knows me – my history and dreams, my joys and griefs, my hopes and fears. I want someone to help guide me through uncertain and sometimes choppy waters. Even greater than all this, I want someone who knows me even better than I know myself. I want someone that can check for my own self-deception. Someone that will challenge me, support and encourage me to dream, even when I want to give up. Someone that will call me to account – and I have confidence that they are doing it with my best interest at heart.

I long for a friendship with someone who knows me so well that their life will also impact and influence my life. “As iron sharpens iron, so on man (woman) sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

What the heck? You are probably wondering what brought all this on! Why all the talk of friendships? Well, today is the birthday of my very best long-time friend, RT. She is my “friend of the heart” and the things I have written above describe her to a T!

She would be the first to disagree with the “heart friend” title (she’s very humble) and she would most certainly disagree that she is a good friend! And yet…I can state those two things emphatically!

RT and I met at college in 1972. For most of the first few months she was there I “knew” who she was. However, once she moved across the hall from me…I got to know her. She was painfully quiet, but something stirred in my heart to really know who she was behind her cool, calm demeanor. I felt the Lord speaking to my heart during my quiet time that I should get to know her. REALLY, LORD? HER?

Once I decided to open my heart…I was drawn to her…her athleticism, her sweet smile and her tender heart. I noted that she loved to sing and there is always a song on her lips. She can take a lot of kidding, but be prepared to receive in kind! She has a great sense of humor (able to laugh at herself) and loves to hug on people (beware if you don’t like someone in your personal space!) She is very passionate on “certain topics” (and we don’t always agree! Don't even talk to her about Facebook!) She hates injustice of any kind!

Most importantly, I learned she didn’t (and still doesn’t) like to be the center of attention…or for that matter have any of the spotlight on her! If it was her day to have to speak in class…be prepared for throw up! She considers herself a “background” person, but she is so much more than that.

At any gathering you will find RT sitting close by “someone” and getting to know them one-on-one. You’ll notice that she is leaning into the conversation to hear every word. RT picks up on small nuances...the things not being said. She is listening with a keen ear and hearing what is said via her heart. The Lord has given her a spirit of discernment. RT has great compassion and at any moment her heart can expand to the size of Texas! You might also find tears welling up in her eyes as you speak to her because she has such empathy for others.

She loves young people…children. I think my own children used to secretly wish “something would happen to us” so they could go live with her. HA! (As with all children they never really thought that through! She is way stricter than I am!!!) But…she loved my children as if they were her own. She fussed and prayed over their hurts and cares. To this day she is one of their biggest supporters and will pray for any need they may have at the drop of an “email”!

During the darkest time in my life she was my lifeline. She prayed for me, encouraged me and never left me. We were miles apart, but she was there via telephone, email and snail mail. She was my window out of my darkness.

The Lord must have seen how different we were. He is probably still laughing at our strange and wonderful friendship. Only He could have brought us together and only He can sustain a friendship that in an earthly-sense, should have died a quick and painless death once we went our separate way. But…we have prevailed! The Lord has taught us much about ourselves and about each other through this friendship, and I believe there is so much more to learn.

“And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel. Psalm 84:5 (The Message)

Her life has become a road I travel, and I travel this road with joy and with pain…but no regret. We know we can count on each other…and what we share is an irresistible impulse to keep going on this road together. The Lord has blessed us both with different lives and burdens, but we share those burdens as we travel this road. The Lord has called us to have HIS heart and to continue to love each other…many, many years to come.

So today…Happy Birthday, RT! I am thankful that He planned our friendship from the very beginning…

“Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” Proverbs 27:9 (The Message)

God bless you, my friend! (And if you know RT...tell her how she has blessed your life! We don't live forever, you know!)

I love you, RT!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boots & Bustiers - McKinney Texas

The Annual Boots & Bustier benefiting the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure will be this Sunday, April 25th from 5pm-8pm.  The even is being held at Pat Lobb Toyota of McKinney  (3350 South Central Expressway - McKinney, TX 75070)

If you live in the Metroplex area and you are interested in being part of this great event please call
Kathy and Dennis Chambliss at 972-562-5601.  They would LOVE to have you be part of this event (or you can always donate if you can't make it to the shin-dig!!!)

The party attire is Cowboy Chic (Black or PINK tie optional!)

Live music will be provided by the Black Prairie Band and there will be plenty of wonderful foods and fine wines.  There is also a Silent Auction (consisting of about 50 items), raffles and so much more.

Tickets are $25 or a Table of 8 for $175.00.

Make your checks payable to :Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure and mail to:
Dennis Chambliss
6841 Virginia Pkwy. Ste 103
Box 127
McKinney, TX 75071
(Include your email address with your payment.)
But's so late now, just call and invite yourself to the party!!!

Till tomorrow,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Grapevine, Texas

Saturday morning Miss Janice and I headed out to Grapevine, TX for a little adventure. Specifically, we were headed to Red Shed Antiques for their Saturday Sale.  Miss Janice mapped out an estate sale stop on our way, and we found several neighborhood wide garage sales in Flower Mound.

A cancer diagnosis led Michele McKechnie to follow her bliss and dream up her "Red Shed" concept. For Michele's full story check it out here: The Dallas Morning News.
  Currently the Riverside Travel Gallery and the Red Shed Cottage Chic Antiques reside at the same address: 317 Church St., Grapevine; 817-310-6006
You can check out the website:  Red Shed Cottage Chic Antiques
Or follow via the blog:  Red Shed Antiques Blog

It was misty and overcast for most of Saturday, but I didn't notice any shortage of people roaming around Grapevine.
The furniture was laid out in the yard and all about the garden.
There were many beautiful handmade items...
as well as items purchased here and there on many shopping trips.
These large wall plaques were sold while I was in the store.
I loved the look of these small doors hung over the windows.
Very airy and interesting.
I thought these pockets were adorable...
very sweet!
There were several items made from old piano rolls.
My personal favorite was this wall hanging.
I also loved these old sewing machine drawers covered with sheet music.
We both purchased items at the Red Shed...the whole place was a visual treat!  To see even more pictures, be sure and check out their blog!
Next we headed to "Fancy This" and small garden shop. The courtyard was inviting.
I loved this flower "bed"!
Inside the small shop were loads of "metal" flowers.  Most of these were from the Round Top Collection.
The shop was soooo full of goodies I made the round three times just to be sure I saw it all!
Love the bluebonnets...this looks like any bar ditch in Texas!
We ate lunch at Off the Vine.  Be sure to get the French Dip...absolutely great food (and service).
There were many interesting sites and "weird" finds in Grapevine. 
I believe this is the fist time I've ever seen a "skooky" (my granddaughters word for spooky) red bird.  He just is too strange to hang near a Christmas tree!  He won't be coming to my house!
Elvis was hanging out in a back hall at the Arts and Craft Show.
And there were available men just waiting for you to come and sit a spell and have a little chat with them.
My favorite item of the day was this crocheted cake.  Who'd have thought?  I'm just not sure WHY you would want to crochet a chocolate cake?
I found many treasures in Grapevine on Saturday...all in all a successful adventure. side bar.  Sunday I went with my daughters to Trade Days in McKinney, TX.
Couldn't resist sharing this "homemade" camper and front grill.
Someone made this special...just for this truck and trailer unit.
This was obviously a special project to someone!

Well, I'm sure I'll be back to sewing this week.  Emily will come for dinner tonight so we can rip all the fabric from the couch cushions.  They are next on my list to complete!
Till next time,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

Psalm 21:2 (New Living Translation)
For you have given him his heart’s desire;
you have withheld nothing he requested.
Selah ("stop and listen")

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bluebonnet Time in Texas

Today we'll take a break from all the hard work on Emily's house to drive some of the roads of Texas.
 This is my favorite time of year in Texas! (I do love all the seasons here...even the heat!) 
I remember when I lived in Alberta and Ontario...I would dream of springtime in Texas.
The Bluebonnet is the official state flower of Texas and it grows like a weed here ( is a weed!)
The Bluebonnets in this picture grow in my back yard. 
The last few years the Bluebonnets in my front and back yard were so thick I was not able to walk in the yard. I would look out front and see people sitting in my yard having their picture made among my flowers (some even brought their dogs!)  It was beautiful...but have them come back each year you have to let them go to seed.  UGH! The neighbors didn't take too kindly to my wild, weedy yard.

This is my patio...covered in wisteria. Don't you love seeing a Christmas flower (the red Poinsettia) in among the spring flowers?
Close up of bluebonnets.
Bluebonnets grow along roadsides and in bar ditches throughout the state.
As you drive along the highways you will see cars stopped along the road anywhere there is a Bluebonnet patch.  This is a Texas of your children (grandchildren) sitting in the bluebonnets.

And these are the sweetest of all grandchildren!

For those of you close enough to take a little drive, you can go to the Texas Wildflower Alert and find where the best flowers are currently blooming.  Our long drought, combined with an exceptionally cold winter and El Nino rains has created one of the best wildflower years in a long while.  Don't miss it!
Hope you enjoyed traveling the roads of Texas with me! We'll go again soon when the Indian Paintbrush, Mexican Hat, and the Indian Blankets start to bloom. It's beautiful!!
Till tomorrow, when I return to do more work on Emily's house!

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Curtains

Last fall I bought this one embroidered drapery panel at Canton.  I bought it from the "linens by the pound" guy and I think it cost me about $1.00.  I dug through all the linens for a long time...but could only find ONE panel!
Emily was with me as we searched, so I told her I would make her new curtains from this one panel.
I already had this piece of brown upholstery weight fabric in my stash. 
I began by ripping out the hem at the bottom.
I reworked the bottom to look exactly like the top so I could cut the panel in half.
I cut the panel in half and serged the edges of the panel and the lining. I stitched the brown upholstery piece to the bottom of each panel.
The girls got the drapery rod hung up...
then got the panels up.
Here is the finished project.
Emily liked them closed so she can see the design.
Emily's going to use the shades underneath, but I'll dress them up with fabric and ribbon.
Much more sewing still to come!!! (I still have the couch cushions to re-cover!)
Till tomorrow...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Main Bath

Sewing is coming along nicely for the main bathroom.  We worked again tonight unpacking the rest of the kitchen.  My husband, however, had to work on the shower head in the main bathroom.  Seems Emily had already broken it off (in the wall)!  He had to cut it out of the wall and replace the broken parts.  So, while he worked on that, we worked in the kitchen.  He was able to get the old pieces off (hack saw) and get the part replaced and put the new shower head on.  Emily's happy...that means she can move back to using the main bathroom.  And, with that repair, we could hang the shower curtain.

Emily wanted a "western" style curtain she'd seen in a magazine.  Only problem - the price in the magazine was over $100.  Considering she just bought her "new" house, she didn't want to spend that much money on a lowly shower curtain.  Instead we went shopping and found fabric she liked (and on sale.)
Her choice was a blue/green upholstery weight fabric for the main part of the curtain and a tooled "leather look" for the accent piece on top and bottom.  She did buy some decorative trim, but I lost my mind when I started sewing the curtain together and I did not remember her purchase.

Hence...I made miles of piping to add as decorative trim.

Now, the only reason I decided to make the trim was because the curtain looked so plain when I sewed the side panels on to the main body of the curtain. That decision created a whole new "problem"...more on that later.
First...a reminder of the bathroom before.  Emily decided the color in the bathroom was good (the old homeowners had just painted in here.)  She took the mirror down to paint, and decided to paint the vanity and will paint the cupboard.
The vinyl trim around the bottom of the vanity was removed first.  Peter will replace that with a nice piece of molding.  And, of course all the drawers and doors had to be removed and painted.  Emily chose the same blue that her dresser and vanity are painted.
As you can see from the very top of this picture...I'm going to also wax and buff this cabinet.
Stay off the wall!
Ohhh...gotta work it in before it starts to dry dark.
Again, if you're going to wax your piece, stay with long strokes and follow the grain.
Same thing with the door and drawer fronts. Layer the wax one layer at a time until it's as dark as you like.

Completed vanity!  The darke handles look good on the light blue background.
Now...back to the shower curtain. Grommets were added along the top edge so it could hang with the curtain liner.

This picture depicts a more true color of the curtain.
NOW...can you see that pretty decorative piping going through the middle of the side panel...with the cute buttons right above the piping?  When I decided I didn't like how "plain" the panels looked sewn together I started ripping out the seam I had sewn earlier.  During that 'ripping' process, the fabric ripped right across this portion of the panel.  YIKES!  I didn't have enough fabric for another full panel! What to do?
Plan the decorative piping across this piece and add the western buttons along the top of the piping.
Luckily...Emily thought it was cute!
Here is the completed curtain.  I scalloped the bottom just to give it a little more feminine look and feel.

Of course, there is still much to be done (sewing wise.) I have curtains to finish for the window and the bottom part of the built in cabinet! (Emily also has to paint the cabinet so I can wax it too.)

Progress is being made...but it feels slow right now.  More sewing to do this weekend, which will give Emily more time to finish unpacking the rest of her boxes.

Till tomorrow...