Friday, May 30, 2014

Out and About with my Sisters

Sister Weekend in New Orleans!

Sarah, Gin and I look forward to enjoying the culture of one of the world's most fascinating cities this weekend. The best part is, its right in our own back yard.  Steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and beyond, New Orleans is home to a truly unique melting pot of culture, food and music.
And, we plan to enjoy a bit of all of it.

We look forward to touring the National World War II Museum,
shopping in the French Quarter,
eating beignets at Cafe Du Monde,
 enjoying the sights and sounds around Jackson Square,
feeling the breeze from the Mighty Mississippi River,
just enjoying the peace of our hotel room.
 We will end our trip by traveling up the Old River Road to view plantation homes existing since before the Civil War.

I will share pictures and memories with you next week.

In the meantime just know there will be lots of talking, laughing and loving going on with these Lazenby sisters during the next few days.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Never to Busy to Hodgepodge

My goodness, when did I have time to work?

Life is good when you can choose your busyness!  However, it sometimes interferes with alters one's on-going routine and plans.  Therefore and henceforth, I am more than a week late in posting a blog post.  But, thank you Joyce for always giving us an opportunity to join in with other busy bloggers as we can.
So, come join us for

1. What news story are you following right now?

The conflict in the Ukraine.  We have very special and long-time friends who are serving as missionaries there.  They tell us that they are not near the current conflict and we are praying they will be able to remain there in safety.  As the Lord brings them to your mind, please pray for Mike and Linda Ray.

2. What's the last thing you wanted but didn't get?

A steak at Outback last Thursday evening.

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there...when you're invited to a cookout what is the one side dish you hope is on the menu?

Hubby and I were traveling this past weekend and we stopped for a hamburger on the way home.  It was the first we have had in a long time and Dairy Queen makes a delicious one.  Since I don't eat them very often, I really don't have a favorite place.

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

That is an interesting question and interesting that you would ask it at this particular time.  Hubby and I were discussing this only last weekend as we spent time together in the car.  I have come to realize that my life prior to this time revolved around my family.  Not necessarily with time because we do not live near either one of our children, but more so with thought, consideration and involvement.  The Lord has taken me on quite a journey the last several months and as a result, I am seeing these priorities change.  My interest in and desire to remain involved has not changed, but perhaps it is the sense of "needing" that has changed.  My priority now is to consciously seek the Lord everyday and allow Him to orchestrate my involvement and "control" all those relationships.  My focus is now becoming more heavenward than ever before.  Some of that could be my approaching 70th birthday, for I know that this place is not my home.

5. What's a favorite memory with your grandparents?

I only knew my two grandmothers, who were so very different.  My mother's mother lived with us until her death when I was nine.  She was perhaps the most perfect person I will ever know.  She was married to a minister and the mother of ten children, my mother being the youngest.  She lost her husband when my mother was very young, so essentially reared the younger children alone.  She was quiet but a lady of tremendous strength.  She was a perfect example of a Christian lady!

My most vivid memory of Mama is playing with her long black hair, then snuggling up close to her while she read us story after story.  Oh if I could be more like her!

I was not as close to my paternal grandmother even though she spent several months at a time in our home.  My most vivid memory of her is insisting I wear one of her shawls over a sleeveless dress on a date one night.  I declined! She was precious and also a fine Christian lady.  I am grateful for the influence of both these loving grandmothers.

6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

I think at this point in my life I would give myself a 7.  Any homemaker has to do multitasking to some extent but as you grow older, you find that you have several unintentional balls in the air.  I will start something, then think of something else that needs to be done, and then that reminds me of something else, and on it goes until I eventually remember what I started out to do. 

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

Not as drastic as they have been in the past few months.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

A young lady we have seen grow from early childhood to early womanhood will be getting married in a couple weeks.  She and her siblings have been home-schooled by their beautiful and talented mother whom I featured on one of my Beauty Without Within Thursdays.

Brittnay asked if I would do her makeup for the wedding, and I am honored to do that for her.  So, Tuesday morning we had a practice session.  She looked radiant and I believe she was pleased with the AFTER.  What do you think?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why We Keep Going Back

 A few weeks ago while we were in Indiana, we made our customary trek into the land of the Amish and Mennonite in Shipshewana.

Shipshewana is a bustling little village with quaint shop-lined streets, specialty retailers and home-style dining.

We enjoyed some of the home-style dining in a converted old home called the Breadbox.

 We also enjoyed sampling some of the dozens of locally made jellies.
 Shipshewana is a great place to shop for handcrafted items, baked goods, cheeses and all sorts of interesting things inside picturesque turn of-the-century storefronts.
One such place was the cute and stuffed-to-the-brim Lasting Impressions Gift Shoppe.  While I shopped, Dick visited with one of the shop owners and learned all sorts of interesting things about the business.
 When we left, she sent us a couple little shops down the street to introduce ourselves to her co-owner who runs another shared business.  I think she found our southern drawl worth sharing around.
We saw this large colorful stained glass window in this shop and wished we had a place to hang it.
Dick also found this sign and suggested it might be applicable.  I wasn't sure whether that was a compliment or not.  LOL

Outside the Breadbox was this trellis over an outdoor eating area.
Upon closer examination, we realized it was actually four different vines which had wrapped themselves around the four corner posts.

 The branches had grown and been trained to interweave and cover the trellis overhead creating an indistinguishable union.
Over the years, the vines have grown and separated the original wooden frame.
You can see where the branches have been trimmed from time to time in order to control the growth and to keep the branches healthy.
 As I looked at this entertangling of vines and branches, I couldn't help think of the scripture found in John 15.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper.  Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit....
I am the vine; you are the branches.  The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.  (HCSB)
I'm sure that vine is producing beautiful, healthy blooms that provide color and shade for visitors there now.
I pray that my life will be fruitful as well because I can do nothing without my True Vine.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Things About May and Twigs

Can it honestly be the middle of May already?
Yes, time passes so very quickly these days, and as Joyce wrote,
Wednesdays roll around mighty fast.  I always look forward to joining her and other ladies all across our country for

So, click on the link above after reading my blog, of course, and see what others have to say.

1. It's still May, right? When were you last in the middle of something that might be described as mayhem?

Last fall we and friends went to the Texas Fair.  This is no ordinary fair, mind you, so we got there early in order to enjoy some of the exhibits and in time to see the Japanese Lantern display right about dusk.  When we came out it was dark and the press of humanity had entered the grounds.  I. DO. NOT. enjoy this at all and we left in short order.

2. When did you last feel dismayed?

How to handle difficult situations in the right manner can be disconcerting to me and recently, I was dismayed with how others handled a situation in which we were all involved.

3. What's a food combination you like, but other people may find strange?

Sunday evening I roasted veggies consisting of brussel sprouts, red potatoes and zucchini.  They were delicious and we had plenty left.  So, on Monday I put them in the Ninja and made soup.  My mother taught me that left-overs make the best soups.

4. "It is never too late to be what you might have been." Do you think that's true? Why or why not?

Yes and no.  I believe that an opportunity lost may be impossible to recapture and these experiences help mold us into who are or will become.  Sometimes we can't go back and re-do or un-do things that have affected us.  On the other hand, I do think that often life offers us opportunities to overcome obstacles that might have held us down at one time.

As a Christian, I believe when we come to know Christ as our Savior, we become new creatures and the old is passed away.  And since our Creator is the only one Who knows what we were meant to be, then all things are possible for those who are called according to His purpose.
5. US News and World Report listed the best historic destinations in the US as follows-Washington D.C, Philadelphia PA, Williamsburg VA, Charleston SC, Boston MA, Richmnd VA, Savannah, GA, Santa Fe NM, Yellowstone, San Antonio TX, San Francisco CA, New Orleans LA, and Charlottesville VA.

Of those listed how many have you seen in person? Which two sites on the list would you most like to see in person?

I have seen Washington D.C, Williamsburg, VA, Charleston SC, Savannah, GA, Santa Fe NM, San Antonio TX, San Francisco CA and New Orleans, LA

Since there are only two that I haven't seen, Philadelphia and Charlottesville would be my logical choices; however, I would most like to revisit Santa Fe.  We have been there many times, and I just never tire of that part of the country.

6. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you had to participate in a single fitness activity for the next half hour, which activity would you choose?

Water Jogging
7. What did you like best about the city, town, or neighborhood where you grew up?

The acceptance of everyone.  Older adults were called Aunt and Uncle and the kids were like brothers and sisters.  Small town USA in the 50's and 60's were unlike any other time or place.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

While we were visiting family in Granger, IN, I heard about a Twig House Sculpture at nearby Fernwood Botanical Gardens & Nature Preserve in Niles, Michigan.  Hubby and I decided this would be a fun excursion. 
The sculpture was done by Patrick Dougherty.  An interesting video of how he does his sculptures can be seen HERE
 One of my favorite aspects were the shadows.
 Hubby enjoyed playing peek-a-boo for my camera.
 We look forward to returning to Fernwood for another season when there will be more flowers, but this was a very enjoyable trip.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Southern Garden Home Garden Tour

Last weekend we had almost 1000 people visiting our little corner of the world.

As most of you know, I live in the Garden Home section (Middleton Place) of Twelve Oaks, a gated community in Shreveport, Louisiana.  This past weekend, the garden/yard of one of our neighbors was featured in the
Le Tour des Jardins Garden Tour,
sponsored by 

Joyce's small garden was one of six beautiful private gardens throughout our area featured in this popular annual event.
Since you couldn't be here, let me share it with you.
 Joyce inherited the garden design and basic plantings from the original home owner which is planned to maximize every inch of this small space.  She has however, taken his design and added her own personal and feminine touches to make it her own.
 Sasanquas, Japanese maples, colorful annuals, and roses abound in this Twelve Oaks garden surrounded by a unique, antique fence.
   The walkway to the backyard, guarded by a custom-made iron gate, holds its own intrigue and anticipation.
Are you ready to step inside a private world in this beautiful garden?
 The rustic wooden door opens onto a surprise waterfall and koi pond surrounded by an outdoor patio with a fireplace and kitchen.
 While shooting these pictures, Joyce pointed out her friend who has built a nest in the fence vine and was willing to pose perfectly for me.
 On the opposite end of the yard from the pond is this bamboo fence.
Behind this unique bamboo wall, guarded by a draping Japanese Maple, is hidden the gardening/tool/compost area as well as the air conditioning unit.

 Now, let me show you the relaxing and inviting patio and outdoor kitchen as seen from the side door.

Joyce has incorporated colors from inside her lovely home as well as those in her garden to tie in the large outdoor sitting area and kitchen.
Because of the varying weather and mosquitoes in the south, Joyce has the option of leaving the patio open, closing it off with a mosquito curtain or closing the rustic windowed doors.

There is no question why this beautiful and inviting southern garden was included on this prestigious garden tour.
Thank you Joyce, for sharing it with us.