Thursday, June 30, 2011

Farewell, my friends.

The online community that I have been a part of for the last 6 years, is shutting down forever tonight.  This is the post that I wrote as my farewell to my friends on The Porch.  A friend mentioned that I really needed to copy it and keep it someplace.  And seeing as I hadn't blogged in quite some time, and blogging was first encouraged to me by one of the gals I am so honored to call friend, I felt it fitting to leave my post here. 

To Mitford:

"Well, my glass of tea is empty. The ice in my glass has long since been melted and the sweat on the sides of the glass has been neatly dabbed up by my napkin. My dessert plate has a few crumbs remaining from some delicious concoction that someone brought. The sun is setting, and the crickets are starting to sing their song. The fireflies will be making their appearance shortly. I need to make my departure before the mosquitoes come out to play though.

This place has been a beautiful adventure. I have enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you. With me, I take little snippets of days gone by. Little tales of fun and adventure. Empty places in my heart of friends that we have lost along the way. Memories of children growing, grandbabies born, dreams, trips, meetings, drama, and vacations. Decorations, invitations, recipes, prayers. Birthday wishes. I take with me encouragement, and praise, and little discussions about everything...whether it be about what we are wearing for the day, or politics. I have enjoyed it all.

I love each of you, and hope to see you on the other side of the hedge when the porch light goes out. If I don't....
“May your days be many and your troubles be few. May all God's blessings descend upon you. May peace be within you, may your heart be strong. May you find what you're seeking wherever you roam.”

*Jenny rises slowly from her rocking creaks softly. She shakes the wrinkles and dessert crumbs from her floral skirt and puts her flip flops back on her feet. She blows kisses to everyone around her and looks around one last time to the porch that she has spent so many hours and held so many treasured moments. She steps down off the porch and walks briskly over to the hedge, the path going through it made fresh by a few friends that have gone on ahead of her. She hears a few voices on the other side and knows that she will be welcomed there.

She glances back over her shoulder, one last time...tears in her eyes and waves to her friends, young and old, who have all been brought together for a moment in time by a few books, but mostly by God. She dashes through the hedge....and voices are heard through the other side..."HEEEEY!" "HIIIII" "Applesofgold is here, everyone!!!!"

Her rocking chair remains empty on the porch. Her tea glass and dessert plate remain, as reminders of a delightful time spent with people she calls family.*"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What do you do...

What do you do, when the weather is fantastic....but your husband took your car because his vehicle is at the Car Spa getting a new transmission?

You grab your easel, your brushes, and your paints and head to the empty driveway.
 Don't forget your painter's beret, smock, and your imagination. 
 Something about painting out in the sunshine and fresh air makes the experience better.  She had more than one car slow down in front of the house to observe her talent. 
 The wind made painting a little tricky.  We figured out that putting one leg of the easel in side the legs of the stool, it wouldn't flip.  A stroke of genius with a couple of pieces of velcro kept the canvas on the easel instead of flying away in the breeze.  Remind me to ask an artist how they deal with wind while painting outside?
I love her work.  She's keeping this one.  She has given away so many of her paintings, I'm so glad she decided to keep this one for herself.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I don't think I have ever tasted anything better than carrots fresh from the garden. Except for maybe snowpeas.  Or Cabbage.  I dearly adore gardening year round here in The Swamp.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Birthday Do-over.

Since the Big Apple was sick on her birthday, I scoped out a place to take her this weekend that would TOTALLY make up for the fact that her birthday was a bust. 

I scored.

 The family piled in the van and headed to Folsom, LA to the Global Wildlife Center.  I had heard of this place on several different occasions but wanted to wait until The Little Apple was a little older to go.  Nothing like being stuck on a 2 hour long safari ride with a crabby baby. But this turned out to be the perfect age for her to go, as she was thrilled by every animal she saw. 

 When you go, you purchase your tickets, and of course animal food.  Eben chose the family bucket...which turned out to be an enormous amount of food...but we quickly found out why we needed that much food.
There was an enormous amount of animals.

Most of them would eat right out of the cup.  Some ate neatly out of your hands. 
 And some, of the animals, they open their mouths wide, and you just pour the food right in.  That was The Little Apple's preferred method for feeding animals. She was so good at it.  She learned to shake the cup until an animal walked over to her and opened wide.  Then she'd pour it in.    At other times, the Little Apple liked to toss the food and yell "Mardi Gras!!!!!!!" I wonder where she learned that?

 The Big Apple, being the typical Daddy's Girl that she is,  hung out with her Daddy most of the ride, which explains my lack of pictures of her, as I was managing the Other Apples (mainly making sure The Little Apple didn't hop out of the wagon and try to ride a zebra!)
 But the Big Apple kept the wagon train driver busy with her questions about the various animals.  My favorite question of the day "How big is giraffe poop?"

Unfortunately, we weren't able to get up close to the giraffes....which created some tears on the part of the Big Apple.  The giraffes were more interested in the private jeeps that are available for tours instead of the big wagon train.  

I have to admit, I had a lot more fun on this trip than I anticipated, and was glad that we all went together on a weekend rather than a weekday without Eben along.  The Big Apple declared the day "Almost as good as Disney World."  I think that's a pretty big statement. 

It was a very nice Birthday Do-Over.