Monday, November 29, 2010

Kaboodling! Wish-A-Day Giveaway!

Do you Kaboodle? I do, because I think it's fun!  Do you even know about Kaboodle?  It's a site that lets you save your favorite shopping items from your favorite shopping places into one central place. You can make styleboards grouping items that you love into a beautiful display for your blog (see one I did back in July here) or to share with friends on Kaboodle. I know, it sounds like something that you simply don't have time for and I agree I haven't spent a tremendous amount of time there myself but it's a great place to put your Wish List for birthdays and Christmas or ideas for gifts for others on your list. It's also a great place to save those home decorating ideas or items that you would ordinarily bookmark. Say you're redoing a room, you can add individual items that you've found from a variety of online shops and then pull them together into a styleboard to see if it all works together...the same thing with fashion too!

If you have a shop on Etsy or ArtFire, you can Kaboodle your own items into Kaboodle and share them with a whole new audience! Sounds good, doesn't it?

Right now is a great time to check it out because from now until Christmas Eve, they will be having a Wish-A-Day Giveaway and it's very simply to enter.  You simply Kaboodle something from the featured store each day before 11:59p.m. and you will be entered to win daily prizes and will also be entered into the Kaboodle $5000 grand prize drawing. So go to Kaboodle, sign up at Kaboodle, get your Add to Kaboodle button and start Kaboodling...it's fun! You'll see...go now... do it...you could win!

See how nice I am...I should get paid for this, which I do not...but I just love my Graceful readers so much, I can't keep a good thing a secret from you...even if it means my odds to win are less! ♥

Love and Blessings,
Vicki

Friday, November 26, 2010

Seasons


Spending time thinking about seasons of the year. Here are some of my musings...


Each time it rolls around, I know that autumn is the season I love best. The crisp cool mornings that fade into sunny, lukewarm days with cerulean skies.The amazing landscape painted with colors that sparkle and glow in the sun. As the days become cooler and breezier, my heart is stirred as the leaves perform their vivid ballet: twirling and floating and lifting on the breeze until they gently alight upon the ground and then, perhaps, get swept up again! Praises and thanksgiving fill my thoughts and I am excited by the anticipation of the Advent season! 





How quickly I turn my back on the orange and golden hues of autumn. My senses suddenly overwhelmed with shades of red and green and silver bells, appearing everywhere; fragrances of evergreens; and Christmas music filling the air! My heart feels as if it will burst with joy. Yes, this is my one true love: the season of my Savior's birth! 








Then all too soon Christmas has come and gone and then winter winds begin to howl and the earth is dormant and gray skies are prevalent. Slowly, I surrender to the charms of cozy fires, warm down comforters, ice skating and hot cocoa. My breath is taken away each time I see the starkly beautiful bones of naked trees, where bright, red cardinals serenade me with their songs, against a silvery sky. 




But the charm wears thin and soon, my heart is broken by winter's seemingly endless, cold, gray days and absence of healing light. How cruel its icy fingers feel as they grasp and try to hold on to me, but my love for this icy season has grown cold and longs for something new.





When all seems lost, the icy winds release their grip and are calmed and the rebirth of the earth begins and my fickle heart whispers, "Yes! I love spring the very best of all!"  My heart feels light and dances and sings with each new bud that forms and blooms.  My hands tenderly caress the warm soil as I gently set new plants among the old. Birds chatter endlessly as they ready their nests. This love is not without its pain, as I remember the wretched slaughter of the innocent Lamb, but love overcomes the grave and my spirit is renewed.



Then all too quickly, the passion of my spring romance matures. The long, hot summer days with sunlight glimmering through the lush and verdant leaves of giant oak trees, seduces me into remembering my first and truest love. The sun moves high into the sky.  My feet, bare in the grass, my face warmed by the sun, recall to me, my  innocent, childhood days of carefree play and walks down dusty, dirt roads with wild blackberries growing along the way. 




 I remember endless games of  hide and seek, played until twilight settled on the land. I hear children playing as I once played, their laughter echoing across the lake. How I love days spent in guiltless pleasures with screened porch suppers, barbecues, lazily floating in the pool and all the freedoms from four walls that summer brings. As the summer days linger on, I begin to grow just a bit weary of this, my first, true love. Summer's endless heat begins to stifle me and hold me a bit too close with no respite.  I begin to wonder if I should betray this best, true love of mine and, of course,  I know that I will.



Eventually, I feel that first, faint hint of crispness in the morning air and notice the shadows lengthening as the sun slides lower in the sky. Summer hangs on and I truly hate to bid it farewell, but autumn beckons me and once again I heed its call. The jealous sun, sinks lower still and I wave goodbye and waltz away with my new, true love with leaves of orange and gold that glisten in the brilliant cerulean sky.


Fingerprint Friday - Bright Spot in a Gray Day

There is no Fingerprint Friday linkup this week but wanted to share a Fingerprint of God, anyway! Hoping you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend!





Sunday, November 21, 2010

Silent Sunday - Give Thanks to the Lord

SILENT  SUNDAY:  None of my own words will appear on Silent Sunday, a Bible verse or an interesting quote and one or more photographs will be all you will find here on Silent Sunday.  Every girl needs to keep her mouth shut sometime and we all need to be still and know that He is God. 



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Change is Good

It's time to change things up again because change is good...sometimes anyway.  I was wandering around over at my new friend's website yesterday: The Pioneer Woman.  You really should check it out...she's a hoot! She had ten rules of blogging listed and they were great rules. I read every one. Many I had already discovered from two years of blogging but one stood out to me and I realized why blogging has become more of a chore for me and less of something that I love and look forward to everyday. I have forced myself into a box. I have set up too many fixed features and have quit letting the words flow from the heart. I have been lost...but now I am found. No more Favorites of the Week on Mondays...primarily because I  usually don't have time each week to do the Favorites and secondly because I forget them and have to rush and put them together and then it's just not coming from the heart and becomes a chore. No more Wednesday Worship. I will definitely have posts that are are solely about God and worshiping him, but I don't want to do it because I must, I want to do it because my heart is full of love for Him...that's the best reason and it might be on any day of the week and anytime of the the day! I love, love, love participating in Fingerprint Friday, so I will  keep doing that and Silent Sunday too, because I truly do believe that I should have one day a week when I keep my mouth shut and Sunday seems like a good time because God said we should rest and I think God is a whole lot smarter than I am and I would like to have one day a week when I impart His brilliance instead of my own rambling craziness.  So there you have it: that is the big change! Not that big really...just a little different, just a little tweak! Will I still have favorites and post them here on occasion? As that controversial, little lady from Alaska would say, "Ya betcha!"  I'm am simply not going to force myself to do it each week. In fact, I might not do it each month, but if I see something I really, really love, I will definitely let you know about it. 

Okay, well, that was quite freeing and I will wager a bet that because I can now simply write about the random things that pop up in my brain, I will be writing a lot more or at least on a lot more days!  I hope so anyway because I love it and I love all of my graceful readers who pop over here and read what I have to say, even though on some days  it might not amount to a hill of beans.

I have to run now...busy day with errands and work to do but I'll be back, maybe tonight or maybe tomorrow, but I will be back.  Until then, I send you...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Silent Sunday - Psalm 30

SILENT  SUNDAY:  None of my own words will appear on Silent Sunday, a Bible verse or an interesting quote and one or more photographs will be all you will find here on Silent Sunday.  Every girl needs to keep her mouth shut sometime and we all need to be still and know that He is God. 





Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day and Remembering My Mom Repost



I've never repeated an old post before but I didn't want Veteran's Day to go by without thanking all those who have and are serving our country in the military and I didn't want the four year anniversary of my mother's leaving the earth to go unacknowledged. I don't have time to write anything new because I just started a new job, so I decided to repeat this post.  Hope you don't mind too much. There is one change. I now have a grand nephew in the Army, who recently served in Iraq and is now stationed at Ft. Hood. I have added his photo to the post!   

I wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of those who are serving and have served our nation in the armed services. My dad was a Marine and my uncle was an Air Force pilot (WWII) and my nephew is currently serving in the Army. There were quite a number of other military men and two women in my family's history.

My mother was very patriotic. She loved movies about WWII. I think she watched Kelly's Heroes about a hundred times. She was raising two little girls while my dad was off serving our country. She was only about 24 at the time. Times were tough but she scrimped and saved and did her part to help the war effort. Mom was a song writer and in 1945 she sang one of her songs on a radio show called "That's My Tune" on WGST in Atlanta. The song she chose was "My Bill, USMC." Part of it goes like this, "My Bill, USMC, though he gets his mail as Sgt. William. He's Bill, sweet as can be, the year that he's been gone seems like a million. He writes me every night...." Sounds kind of corny but a lot of what they were writing in the 40's sounds corny to us now. Anyway, it has a beautiful melody and I'm partial to it since it was about my dad. He literally did write her every night. I have all of the letters. They are tied up in ribbons and stashed in my dad's "foot locker" that was issued by the Marine Corps. It holds all of my mom's poetry, her songs and other odds and ends of hers and my dad's that came to me as the official family historian.

Anyway, I guess you wonder why I'm spending so much time writing about my mother, who was not a veteran, on a day that is set aside to honor veterans. Veteran's Day was always special to my mom. When I was a little girl, we would watch old patriotic movies together and she would tell me about how she felt when she heard the news about Pearl Harbor being attacked, about all the things that were rationed, how difficult it was to have her husband so far away for so long, the different projects to support the troops and buying war bonds. It was a time when women had to step up to the plate and do things they were not accustomed to doing. She taught me that serving this country and protecting our freedom is an honor and a duty.

So, for me Veteran's Day is not only about the brave veterans who have died serving our country and those who were willing to put their lives on the line for our freedom, but also the women and men who supported them back home and especially my mom.

Veteran's Day holds an even more important place in my heart because ironically and appropriately Veteran's Day, 2006, was the day my mom left this world. Mom, thanks for teaching me how important it is to care about our country and the men and women who serve it.


Grand Nephew PFC Richard Krauss,  Currently Serving in the U.S. Army


My Dad, Marine WWII





Cousin Dot, Waves WWII


Uncle George, Air Force Pilot, WWII
Grandfather George, Georgia National Guard, Border Patrol, Fort Bliss, TX 1916

Great Uncle John, Navy, WWI

Last But Not Least, My Mom circa 1944









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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Favorites of the Week - Signs, Signs, Signs and more Signs

Each week will choose favorites for my Favorites of the Week (FOTW) page.  It might be one favorite or it could be 28. The item(s)  will be featured on the Home page on Monday or Tuesday and will remain on my FOTW page until the following Monday. Hope you enjoy. I'm sure these shopkeepers would love for you to visit their stores and see their other great items! ♥


This week my favorites of the week are signs!  Yes, all kinds of signs and all appropriate for the season or for giving.

Table Manners Dinner Rules Sign -  Typography Word Art in Black
One of my very favorite sign makers on Etsy is Barn Owl Primitives! Her
signs are completely handpainted and distressed a bit for that lovely vintage look
that we all love so much.  This is one of my favs: Table Manners Dinner Rules $75.
If you hurry quick, you can enter her giveaway on Facebook here.

Baseball Typography Word Art Sign  - Take Me Out to the Ball Game - This is the Perfect Coaches Gift
Also from Barn Owl Primitives is Baseball Typography $75.
Have baseball fans in the family? This sign would be a great addition to a family or game room or man cave.  If you are thinking of a sign for Christmas,
 please note that orders must be in by November 14th!




Personalized Name Frame in Black and White Alphabet Letter Photos (Custom Framed/Matted 10x20)
Personalized Name Custom Framed in Black $85.00
How about your name, special word or house numbers "written" in photographs of architectural details that resemble numbers and letters of the alphabet.  The creativity of people never ceases to amaze me. This is simply brilliant! What a wonderful gift idea! Prints are available framed and unframed. I hope you will visit Java Jane Designs and see all of the lovely possibilities for creating a very special keepsake for you or someone special in your life!  Think special anniversary, birth announcement, house warming...so many possibilities! If you would like to order something for Christmas, you must do so by December 10th. So make your plans now and get those orders into Jane.


The Difference is in the Detail...Carved Personalized Family Name Sign 7 x 20
Carved Personalized Wedding Sign $30.00
Signs of a Daydreamer offers fabulous signs that are carved with a router,or maybe the proper word is engraved since some of these signs look like engraved wedding invitations! After routing, the signs are hand painted and distressed. Scott, the daydreamer artist, has been making these signs since 1981 and has the experience and talent to create a beautiful and unique sign just for you and perfect for any occasion. Scott also has many fun signs in stock, so be sure to visit his shop! While you are there you must check out this fabulous Shabby Chalkboard and Magnetic Message Center!
If you are wanting a customized sign from Scott for Christmas, be sure to order it by December 5, 2010, to be sure you can get it by Christmas!
Heart and Flowers Framed Bible Verse Board Psalm 31/24
Hearts and Flowers Framed Bible Verse Board $28.00
If you know me, you know I LOVE folk art and that includes folk art signs, like this lovely little hand painted sign with words from Psalm 31 and a gorgeous decorative  border! Jennifer's shop, Mulberry Lane Folk Art, is a favorite of mine where you will not only find other charming signs but bird houses, game boards and a variety of other folk art crafts.  Jennifer does custom work too. Be sure to contact her to find out the last date to order to receive custom orders by Christmas.



dance with joy handmade tile
Dance with Joy Handmade Tile $11.00
How about a tiny, tile sign? That's right, this sign and the others in
in Tile Smile are tiny handmade tiles. I love the beautiful, yet subtle colors of these kiln fired pieces. Many different words and phrases to choose from or have your own custom, one of a kind piece made just for you.  Hurry to get your order in, in time for Christmas gift giving!

I hope you will visit all of these talented vendors on Etsy. Wish I had more time to feature more today. But you can do your own sign search and see what else is available. 


I leave you with this blast from the past...I know, I know but I simply couldn't resist!!! Warning, a couple of the first signs are a bit risque but after that they're just funny! 


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Silent Sunday - LOVE

SILENT  SUNDAY:  None of my own words will appear on Silent Sunday, a Bible verse or an interesting quote and one or more photographs will be all you will find here on Silent Sunday.  Every girl needs to keep her mouth shut sometime and we all need to be still and know that He is God. 





Friday, November 5, 2010

Fingerprint Friday - Memories

Fingerprint Friday was started by Beki, at The Rusted Chain. It was inspired by the song by Steven Curtis Chapman that contains the line..."when I look at you, I can see the fingerprints of God." To participate and/or visit all of the blogs that do, go to the Fingerprint Friday Post on Beki's blog and follow the instructions.

Taken right after we first brought Baby home from Dr. Dan's Sept 2004
She had a mouth full of rotten teeth, a vaginal prolapse and breast cancer.
She had probably been in a puppy breeder farm.
Dr. Dan fixed her all up over a period of weeks.


After her first professional grooming.

Baby Elish b. circa 1995 - d. October 12, 2010
The sweetest dog I ever had.
Never a minute's worth of trouble to anyone.
From abused and neglected to loved and cherished princess.
It was definitely a joy for us to love you.
We'll see you on the Rainbow Bridge.


"We long for an affection that is altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the form of canine attachment." ~ George Eliot


You were a precious Fingerprint of God!


Will do a longer post of Baby's story one day soon.