Monday, June 27, 2011

Thoughts For A Sunday Evening

My DH is asleep on the sofa; I'm glad he's able to sleep because he can get some relief from the pain and discomfort of shingles.  What an odd name for a medical condition that is essentially adult chicken pox.  As I wrote in my previous post, it's been a rough week, and next week will probably be rougher.  He'll still have the pain and discomfort of shingles, combined with the pain and discomfort of recuperating from surgery.  But we saw a rainbow here this evening, and I always think that's a good omen.  God is with us.

I enjoyed my mother-son time today so much, I just had to write about it.  It was an ordinary Sunday, except that my husband felt so bad.  But since our son is working as a dorm resident advisor for both summer school sessions, he comes home every Sunday to do his laundry, mow the lawn and /or help with other chores around the house, stock up on any grocery items he may need, and eat dinner with us.  Now, I'd prefer he didn't mow the lawn on Sunday, and I feel bad about it, but that's the only day of the week that he is always off-duty in the dorm; and we pay him to mow, so it helps him with his finances. We haven't had any rain here this week, so we decided not to mow.  The grass is already starting to look stressed , and we didn't want to make things worse.  After our son left to go back to school, we got a little bit of rain -- hence, the rainbow.

We always enjoy seeing our son on his Sunday visits, and sometimes we go to Greensboro on Saturdays and take him to lunch.  When we see him , he usually has funny stories to tell us about his job, or what he and his friends have been doing, or just campus life in general.  But today, he was just extra considerate and helpful, and I appreciated it so much.  His presence and demeanor just meant a lot to me because I've been so worried about DH this week.  I love ya' son :-)

Now, I'm trying to be positive about this upcoming week and the surgery.  I believe in the power of prayer and the promise of the rainbow.  So I'll be praying.  And I'll be thinking about the upcoming things that DH and I are looking forward to doing.  Like watching the Tour De France (starts Friday, July 1st), which we do every summer.  I like the cycling okay, but I'm really all about the gorgeous scenery.  And then, the last Harry Potter movie opens in about three weeks.  And hopefully, we'll still be able to take our annual trip to the mountains of western North Carolina the last weekend in July.  Positive thoughts, things to look forward to.  This really helps me because ya know what?  I'm a worrier, a born worrier.  It's all my Mom's fault -- I inherited it from her.  She knows it's true :)

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps today of its strength." A. J. Cronin

"Be, therefore, not anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will be anxious for the things of itself." The Bible

Wishing you all a lovely, worry-free week.

Denise

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

My husband called me from work on Tuesday right after lunch to tell me he had injured his arm lifting weights during his lunchtime workout, and that I needed to come take him to the doctor.  I drove right over and picked him up, and I could tell he was really stressed out.  I just kept quiet for a while and then finally asked him how it happened.  He was doing arm curls and as he was lowering the barbell, he felt three pops in his right arm, and it started swelling almost immediately.  We drove to the emergency care walk-in clinic that is part of the doctor's practice we go to.  The doctor who saw him said he thought it was a torn muscle, not a torn tendon, as my husband feared, and that it would probably heal on its own.  But, to be on the safe side, the doctor went ahead and scheduled an appointment for him at the orthopedic surgeon's office for the following day.  Even though my husband is right-handed and his car is a manual transmission, he still said he was fine to drive to work on Wednesday.  He called me after the appointment at the surgeon's to say that the doctor on Tuesday had been mistaken; he has a ruptured bicep tendon which will require surgery.  So the surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28th.  He will be in a cast for several weeks, and was told it would probably be three months before his arm is mostly back to normal.  That was a bummer.

Then Tuesday night, the same night he injured his arm, he got out of the shower and said he gotten bitten really badly by mosquitoes when we walked our dog that evening.  He showed me the red welts on his back, around one side and on his stomach.  I'd never seen mosquito bites like those, but I didn't know what else to think.  Then Wednesday and Thursday, he said the bites were really uncomfortable and could I please get him something at the pharmacy for bug bites.  So I did.  Then my Mom called this afternoon, and I told her I was pretty sure he has poison ivy, but we couldn't figure out how he got it.  And she said, "Sounds like shingles".  Yikes!  So we dashed back over to the convenient care clinic, and sure enough, he has shingles.  No wonder he was so uncomfortable.  I'm not sure if this will cause the surgeon to postpone his surgery or not; we'll know more on Monday.  When it rains, it pours.  I feel really bad for him :(

After Wednesday, I drove Mr. FM to work on Thursday, because I could tell he wasn't really up to driving, and didn't need to be using that arm any more than necessary.  I had planned to do a post for Pink Saturday and maybe Seasonal Sundays, but I have done nothing on my blog this week at all until today.  Just too tired and stressed.  I already have a table planned for July 4th, but I don't know if I'll get to do it or not.  I can take pictures of the table, but Mr. Forest Manor's pictures turn out a lot better than mine.  I'll be busy tomorrow because our son comes home from school on Sundays.  Anyway, I'm sorry if I sound like Charlie Brown's school teacher "Wok wok wokwok wokwok".  Just wanted to say I hope I'll be able to collect my wits (a brief enough task most days)  :-) and put a post together with some sort of pics in a week or so.  Please keep us in your thoughts!

Denise  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Celebrating The Fathers in My Life

Mothers are probably the first parent to make an impression in a child's memory.  A mother's face is the one an infant sees in the wee hours of the morning for those two a.m. feedings and the numerous diaper changes, and just holding them when they cry and no one is really sure what's wrong.  But the importance of fathers in our lives should never be overlooked.  They have such an impact on forming our character.  Just as a mother is necessary for the things she gives to her child, so, too, is a father.  Sometimes for unavoidable reasons, one parent winds up having to be both mother and father to a child, and oftentimes they do a wonderful job.  But I am so thankful that our son has had two parents in his life, because I freely admit, I could not have raised our son to be the young man that he is without the help and partnership of his father, my husband.  My husband had a good role model in his father, and again, that is one of the most important roles of being a father -- teaching your sons how to be good citizens, good husbands and good fathers.

So I would like to take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to my father, to my father-in-law, and to Mr. Forest Manor, my wonderful husband.  Our son has had three good male examples to follow in his life, and all have contributed to molding him into the person he is and the person he will become in the future.  My father and my husband's father worked very hard to provide for their families.  Because of them, we were able to grow up in a nice home; enjoy good family times, learn the value of hard work and honesty; and receive a good education.  We were taken to church so that we could learn about God, and for this, my husband and I are thankful.  I have heard it said that the two most important things a parent can give their child is roots and wings.  Our parents gave us both.

But we mustn't forget the little things that really made a difference in our lives.  My father taught me to love and appreciate animals and what they add to our lives.  We always had pets growing up -- dogs, gerbils, a cat, and even horses.  The times he wasn't working or going to school, he was spending with family.  My father-in-law also loves animals.  My husband and his brother had dogs when they were growing up, and my father-in-law still talks about them.  He is also an avid bird watcher, and can identify so many different kinds of birds, that he has inspired me to be interested in them too.  He also taught his sons the importance of hard work and putting family first.  Our fathers were good enough to attend our son's piano recitals and in later years, his school band concerts and marching band performances.  In my opinion, grandparents are to be highly commended for their patience and dedication in sitting through what can often be long performances.  Whether it was our nieces' cheer leading performances, dance recitals, our nephews' little league games, or our son's scout ceremonies and music recitals/concerts, they were always there.  We can never thank you enough for all you have done and continue to do for us.

And to my husband and the father of our son, I thank you with all my heart.  The example you set for our son always makes my heart swell with pride.  You hiked and camped and slept in tents with our son when he was a young scout.  When he was in high school, you taught merit badge classes in his scout troop, again setting an example by giving of yourself to benefit all the boys in our troop.  And through four years of high school marching band and concert band, you attended concerts and football games and took pictures and made videos of the performances.  You posted pictures online to share with all the other band parents.  You taught our son how to work with tools when the two of you finished a room in our basement; you taught him how to do basic maintenance on his car, and you taught him the importance of getting a good education.  And you taught, by example, the importance of respecting others.

Happy Father's Day to my Daddy, to my very nice father-in-law, and to my wonderful husband!  I love you all!

Denise   

Friday, June 17, 2011

Springtime Pinks on Campus

I'm linking this post to Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.  Thank you, Beverly, for hosting this party every week!  These are a few photos from this Spring when we took our son back to college after his Spring Break.  The university was established in 1891; I love the look of the older buildings and the landscaping is really pretty as well.  There were also daffodils blooming the day we were there, but since this is Pink Saturday, I didn't include them in this post.  You can see the daffodils, along with other pictures of the campus in a previous post I did HERE.


A pretty pink tulip magnolia tree at the corner of a building.


This street is lined with a mix of tulip magnolia trees and Japanese cherry trees.




There is a tree with pink blossoms at the far right of this photo.  I can't remember if this was another cherry tree, or a Judas tree.  Judas trees are called red bud trees in our area, but the name is misleading.  The flowers are not red; they're a beautiful pinkish purple color.  They're one of my favorite trees.  Below are more pictures of the Japanese cherry trees.








The blossoms are such a pale pink they almost look white.  Thanks for visiting and Happy Pink Saturday to you!

Denise 

Monday, June 13, 2011

The King's English

"The Americans and the English -- Two peoples separated by a common language."  George Bernard Shaw


On Thursday of last week, I spent the day with a very nice British family who are moving here from England in August.  The wife will be coming to work at the company where my husband works; she's being re-located here from their British facility to work on a project in the States.  They don't have their U.S. driver's license yet, so I was asked if I would be interested in driving the husband, wife, and their ten year-old daughter to tour some of our local schools and meet with teachers, principals, etc. I would also show them where some of the different residential neighborhoods are, along with bus stops, grocery shopping, etc.  Now, I'm not a real estate agent, so I was not going to be officially showing them houses, just giving them an idea of where the neighborhoods are in relation to elementary schools and shopping and so forth.  So I said I'd be happy to drive them around town, but I was a bit nervous about it.  I can walk and chew gum at the same time with no problem.  But driving whilst (throwing in a little British-speak there) trying to point out different items of interest and talk to three people, I get a little distracted, to say the least.  I just hope I didn't scare ten years off their lives with my driving.

I've been to England once, for a week, eleven years ago.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there, so I was looking forward to the opportunity to talk and compare notes with this family.  We had a fun time, managed to see a large part of the town, and tour two schools.  This was actually our last week of school here, so it was rather difficult to even get appointments for the tours.

As I said, it really was fun to compare notes on the similarities and the differences between here and across the pond.  We talked about food, houses, cars, schools, shopping, movies and TV shows.  I admit I was disappointed to find that they are not Harry Potter fans.  Maybe they've been just saturated with it over there; I don't know.  But as my good friend from Mt. Airy said to me, "I'm not a fan of the Andy Griffith show, either".  Andy Griffith is a native son of North Carolina who grew up in the small town of Mt. Airy.  His TV town, Mayberry, is actually based on the real town of Mt. Airy.  Oh well, maybe she has a point there.  But back to our British family, we did talk about classic British comedies like "Keeping Up Appearances", "Are You Being Served?", and "The Black Adder" with Rowan Atkinson (one of our personal favorites).  Then we discussed the American TV shows that they watch.  They like "Frazier", "House", "Bones", and the new "Hawaii Five-O".

But the thing I probably had the most fun with was comparing the language differences.   Oh I know we both speak English, but it's not quite the same English.  And I don't mean the accents. In America, the part of the car that you lift to get to your engine is the hood; in England, it's the bonnet.  In England, what men normally wear to work are trousers; in America, they wear pants.  But oftentimes, pictures are more eloquent than words.  For example, over there this is a wheelie bin...

...over here, it's a trash can (with wheels).  Over there this is...

dust bin or rubbish bin.  Over here, it's a waste basket.  In the The King's English these would be...


...petrol prices. In Yanks' English, they're highway robbery gasoline prices.  But seriously folks, as much as we bemoan our fuel prices at the moment (and I do my share of bemoaning), they told me that they are still paying much more in England than we are in the United States.  This next one I got a kick out of; here it's the Dollar General, or the Dollar Tree, or just the Dollar Store.  Across the pond, it's...


...the Pound Store, or the 99 Pence Store, where you can get any item for a little less than a pound.  Then, we have...


...traffic circles in the States; in the U.K., they have roundabouts :)  In Britain, these are called trainers...

...in the States, they're running shoes, or tennis shoes, or sneakers.  And last, but not least, in the King's English...


... chips, in American English, french fries; in America...


... chips, in Britain, crisps.  So it's easy to see why people can get confused when travelling in another country, even when you, technically, speak the same language.  I really enjoyed my day with the Brits; they were very polite and had a good sense of humor.  I wish them all the best in making this transition to a new country.

Cheers!

Denise





Friday, June 10, 2011

Our David Austin Roses

Our rose bush has a short bloom period; when we purchased it at the garden center three years ago, we were told that it would repeat bloom into early fall.  We've never been able to get it to bloom but the one time in Spring every year, and that's all until the next year.  But its beautiful flowers and the rich, haunting fragrance it bears make up for the brief bloom time.  At certain times of the day, the scent wafts across the air, and then we experience the sensation of real, old rose magic.

My husband found this book for me several years ago on the bargain table at the bookstore, and I treasure it for the beautiful photographs, as well as the information it contains.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Where Do I Keep It All?

This will probably be one of my shorter posts:)  I am sharing a few of the places I store my dishes, accessories, and tablescaping "stuff".  The other places are still a work in progress, and will have to wait until next year.  The posts I've seen so far are really amazing.  I was feeling guilty about having a lot of stuff, but now I feel much better!  I don't have so much "stuff" after all;) 

Many of our nicer things we actually received as wedding gifts when we got married 24 years ago, and over the years our families have given us some wonderful linens and heirloom pieces.  But in the winter of 2010, I really got the tablescaping bug.  I discovered some of your wonderful blogs online, and I looked at them for many months before I tried to set up my own blog.  My husband offered to help me set one up, but still I put it off.  Then this winter, I decided to take the plunge.  Mr. Forest Manor and I had some "animated discussions" as he likes to call them, because I wanted to understand how to do everything on the blog (the technical and creative aspects) immediately.  He works with computers every day all day at his job, and I am no stranger to them myself.  I've been typing since I was 12 years old, and worked with computer applications in my previous jobs.  But actually, neither of us had ever blogged before, and so the initial setup and design was the most difficult part.

Anyway, I digress.  I actually started buying odds and ends for tablescaping over a year ago (before I had my own blog), and guess where I stored most of them?  You guessed it -- I stored them in the bags they came in.  How ingenious, right?  Well, last fall, we inherited another china cabinet of sorts, a corner cupboard that I really love!  A new storage place that looks so much better than department store bags and boxes.  Plus during that time, I was slowly making a place for those new items in some of our existing storage spots.  After all, I had no idea we would be getting a nice corner cupboard, and even I couldn't leave things in bags forever.

So, I'll start with the corner cupboard.  In the top section are four place settings of Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles, along with some silver pieces, pink goblets, crystal coasters and a candy dish.









In the bottom section are some odds and ends:  more serving pieces for the Bavarian china, silverware caddies, and a few silver pieces.




In this plastic storage bin are my Easter decorations .




This under-the-bed storage bin has wheels, and it fits perfectly under our beds. I have three of these where I store a set of Bavarian china (I think 10 place settings) plus a lot of serving pieces.  These will be for my son when he gets his own home.  Also stored in these containers are some Christmas dishes, glasses, Lenox white plates and Butterfly Meadow plates.





Below is the china cabinet in our Dining Room.  The top section holds 12 place settings of our Royal Doulton china, plus the serving pieces.  It also holds most of our crystal stemware, and a few other odds and ends.







The bottom section holds several cake plates, some silver pieces, glass luncheon plates, crystal serving pieces like pickle dishes, relish dishes, etc., and a few Christmas pieces.






And finally, this chest holds most of my linens, but not all.  I don't have nearly as many as a lot of people do.  The chest belonged to my grandparents.



Place mats and napkins.



Table cloths and table runners.



Decorative kitchen towels, tea towels (holiday) and some miscellaneous linens.



I store our everyday dishes in the kitchen cabinets, with a few of the pretty pieces on the counter top.  Extra dishes and cooking utensils, picnic supplies, etc. are stored in cupboards in the basement.  I also store candles, votive holders, and bobeches in  a dresser in our spare bedroom. 

I'm linking to Seasonal Sundays hosted by The Tablescaper.  She's having a party called "Where Do You Keep It All, Part 2".  Thanks for visiting!

Denise 
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