Thursday, October 13, 2011

View in blue and pink and orange

As promised . . . some photos of our recently finished master suite. If you look hard enough, you will find some blue accents mixed in!

view from doorway

How'd he sneak in?

his + hers = ours


Part III view, next blog:  "What is behind these two doors?"

enter pink and orange

'tis the season to replace pinks and purples (oh how I will miss those blooms) with

mr. blue jeans

 lovely view over yonder

A new season

I hope this season finds you . . . . . . satisfied. Yup. That's a good word.

Chasing fun and fashion. Running after prize and possession. Seeking praise and popularity. All are fleeting. And none will deliver true satisfaction.

These words are lifted from 107 chapter of the Psalms:
      "For He satisfies the longing soul."

Bloggy friend, I pray that you know the One who satisfies, Jesus Christ.

If you ever want to chat about your relationship with God, or pumpkins and blue accents, my email is always open as is my front door! (

This is me, a little frizzy but enjoying the changing colors. This is me, the sorta brown sparrow, finding my delight and passion in pointing others to the Source of Life and Satisfaction. 

Thanks for poppin' in,

Monday, September 5, 2011

View in Blue

It is Labor Day afternoon. I have called off laboring for the rest of it. I hope you were able to prop your feet up and take a break too.

this morning's project

I have kicked around this garage sale find for a number of years. I was just about ready to pass it along to Goodwill.

Enter. wildflower blue.

And voila . . . finished project six hours later gracing my Gathering Room table. Perfect. Do you have a piece that is wicker or metal or wood that you are holding on to but don't just love? Go for it. (Paint from Walmart.)

it doesn't have to be perfect

(Funny, I just said that to Danae this morning as we were scurrying around getting ready for lunch company.)

Another garage sale find this summer (sorry I forgot to get the before pic). I chose the $4 chair because it was light weight and simple in design. The fabric on the seat was a stained beige.

Enter coworker and friend Donna who graciously shared some of her upholstery material. It was my first job of re-covering. I was happy with how it turned out. But it is not perfect. #1 - puckered corners. #2 - after studying it, I realized I put the material on upside down.

Donna gave me plenty of material to use and I could have easily taken it off and started over. I decided to leave it as is.

The chair sits beautifully in the empty corner of my office at work. A chair that reminds me that life doesn't have to be perfect to be enjoyed. And light bulb moment, I don't have to try to be perfect either. Whew!

and while i'm here

The view from my office desk. The Lord has given me a great place to work at Baptist Church Planters.

And because I need the reminder, this is posted above my doorway. . .

(View in blue to be continued next blog: master bedroom suite is FINISHED!)

To all my bloggy friends, may you bring beauty to those you love and where you live. Even puckered, upside down, less-than-perfect kind of beauty. Not the kind of beauty found in the lipstick tube - but the beauty of shared warm brownies baked in love from your kitchen, or the sweet homemade touches in your home, or your gentle spirit of serving, or a caring touch to someone who aches, or a kind word softly spoken. 

Break's up. Time to practice what I preach. Tomorrow our Gathering Room welcomes back my Bible study ladies. Lemon Blueberry Bread up next.

Sweet September!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Silence is Golden

My blog may have been silent. Life has not.

Hiya! It's time for a momentary break. I invite you to pull up a perch and enjoy a quiet moment with me. (If you have your volume turned up on your computer you might catch some soft melodic strains.)


 After three tries it is the paint color we chose for our new bedroom suite. And it does live up to its name. I debated about putting the picture up since it didn't really photograph well. It is not a bit "minty" in color as it shows. The color doesn't shout, it whispers "I'm a soft place to land." We are getting anxious to land soon!

skinny cow

Every evening it shows up! Seriously yummilicious! 100 calories of pure chocolate pleasure! My husband sees me heading to the freezer each night for "the box." He has taken to calling me skinny. Not a wonder I'm in love with it:-)

flag waving

Our Inn has enjoyed a variety of company. And I enjoyed adding some patriotic touches to welcome our guests.

garage sale find
 nutrition in a pan

 yes, still trying

calm waters

Annually our family packs up and heads to Camp Patmos on Kelley's Island for a week. I figure that in my 53 years, I've landed on that island 38 summers. It is our "home away from home." Refreshment for the soul. A place to soak up the presence of God. Because life is not always calm, or always happy.

patmos view

If we stay trusting in the Lord, the Songbook (Psalm 125:1 to be exact) says we are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken. The mountain stands - in all kinds of weather, through all the seasons - yet remains unshaken.

Fixed. Firm. Stable. My faith has been tested in recent weeks. Perhaps yours has been too. Trusting yields restfulness. There is room on the mountain for you! I'll scooch over. I welcome your company.

Wishing you calm waters, steadfast hearts, and sweet summer desserts!



Thursday, June 2, 2011


No Vacancy

All the rooms at our Bed & Breakfast were filled this past weekend. Since this was a first for us, here are a few reflections.

In no particular order. . . 

I love the 18 white towels I bought at Kohls. *Note to self - buy more hand towels. We ran out before the laundry could cycle.

My crockpot might become my new best friend. I borrowed my sister's cookbook and found about twenty recipes. Since I don't consider myself to be a great cook, it would help to expand my menus.

There are a lot of nice people in the world. We have made some wonderful new friends. We traveled to the Philippines without leaving our family room.

Coffee anyone? Coffee? Coffee? Coffee?

A heartbeat closer.

While I was dicing up veggies a recent conversation came to mind. In  discussing our B&B, a question was posed. "Since this is a 'no-charge' venture, isn't this going to get kind of expensive for you guys?"

And then . . . I hear Dad's words, "God keeps the books." (Dad is now enjoying the glories of Heaven.) While making up the beds and readying for guests, I feel close to Dad. He was known for sharing what he had. And Mom is known for serving people well. Esteemed qualities for an Innkeeper. 

Spring into action.

A friend reminded me that it was only last summer that I was sharing the idea of running a B & B with our "empty nest upstairs." I wonder if she didn't secretly wonder if it was a 1) crazy idea  2) dud idea  or 3) never get off the ground idea.

A peek into my heart reveals 1), 2), and 3). If God can take a plain ole' sparrow's crazy idea, keep it from dudding out and bring it to reality - imagine what He can do for you. Or what He is already doing for you.

I'm not sure how many of you ever dreamed of being an Innkeeper.  But whatever season of life you're in, I know that God wants to astonish you with something really incredible and fulfilling in your life. Dream a-little. Pray even bigger for God to use you. And then pay attention to that small stirring of hope and vision deep down inside.

We are all created in the image of God. With all my heart I believe our lives are meant to brim and overflow with creativity. In thousands of different ways.  


You are always welcome.

Thanks for stopping in to the Inn for a chat today.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

If I May?

April showers . . . bring more showers? The calendar page has turned to May, leaving April behind with its record-breaking most rainy drippiness ever tracked in our area.

Enter sparrow with a bright yellow umbrella. (Every little sparrow likes a good puddle. The puddles have turned to ponds.) Keeping the rain galoshes handy.

If I may: Showers bring Flowers

These were the $5 flowers I picked up for our Bed & Breakfast guests in April. I didn't want to double the price to get double the flowers. The photo doesn't do the stems in the water justice. Who knew the color and shape of tulip stems were as beautiful as the flower?

If I may: Destuffanize

Or maybe it is destufficate, or destuffify? Either way, I tackled more stuff - my scarf drawer today and was able to let go of six scarves. For those who don't see me often, I wear a scarf almost every day from fall to early spring. I have a LOT of scarves. Anyone have a great way to store them? When I design our new closet that is coming, I'd love to have a better system.

If I may: Friendship

This wasn't much of a lunch, but it would be great fun to share the morsels with you. I imagine all our conversations. Sharing challenges, reviewing milestones, breaking into laughter, rehearsing the beauty of what God is doing in our lives. You are welcome to my lunch table anytime! I've welcomed old and new friends to our kitchen these past weeks.

If I may: Noble Yearnings

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."  ~ Helen Keller

I love it that God has created each one of us to live a life that overflows with rich purpose. May your adventures be noble, whether great or small.

For me, I'm workin' on the small. And it's so much fun!

If I may: Wish you a sunny month!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Randomness

There is a lot of March Madness going on at our house. College basketball games - 64 to 32 to 16 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1 reigning champion team. Got the picture? Games and more games. It is fun, to a point :0)

What fills your month of March? I share some of our randomness:

1) We made a new friend from New Jersey. Lisa, a professional Deaf interpreter, came and stayed a weekend in our B & B while working on a project for the Deaf at Baptist Church Planters. Her reservation? Tumbleweed.

Lettering at the top of our stairway landing

Titles of Guest Rooms 

2) Remember the emptied closet? The next phase has officially begun. Clear the drywall dust. Chuck has been busy! (I love this handyman!!)

The Making of a New Master Bedroom

3) I tried out a new recipe yesterday for lunch for my Bible study ladies. Introducing Crab Quiche. I think the gals were being honest when they said they liked it and wanted the recipe. I served it with my own simple version of spinach salad (spinach, mandarin oranges, red onion slices and pecans with a light raspberry vinaigrette). The sweet finish: Banana Split Cake. If you're reading - Paula, Judy, Kim, Dee Dee, and Michelle - you're the best!!

Fresh from the Oven

Green Goodness

4) I made an official executive decision in our household. The scales have been put away. Out of sight. Probably not out of mind. Enough said on the subject. Maybe ever.


Do you find it easy sometimes to lose your aim in life? I do. 

I was reminded just this past week of this phrase from the book of Philippians.

This one thing I do. Words penned by Paul. Singleness of purpose.

What was Paul's one thing?  To become more and more like Jesus.

Time is flying. If we are keeping up at all with the world news, there is an urgency about the hour. We can't afford to be like the hare in the Tortoise and the Hare fable, in which the hare took a nap in the race.

Wake up. Game on. Focus. Perspective.

Applies to more than good college basketball!

With a spring in my wing!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Place for Everything

Project this past week during snowstorm.

From this...

to this.

(Danae was our helper and is saving Scruffy from elimination!)

Part II on Guest House renovation begins. We are moving our master bedroom from upstairs to downstairs. The closet has to go. All the stuff had to either find a new home in our house or head out in boxes to Goodwill.

In the sorting through I found a garage sale purchase from last summer. A 50 cent antique-looking porcelain tray. I like the shape, size and color. I love the four little silver feet it sits on.

Make-up gets a make-over!

From this cluttered pile...

to this pretty display.

Mission accomplished.
1) I saved the elegant tray.
2) I gave my hard-working make-up a "lift."

Cut in to another mission, less fun and a lot less easy. My healthy eating 12 goals for 2011. I made January's goal five days early.

February's goal?

Although there were days I soared, there were too many day-flights grounded.

A nice way to say Sparrow crashed.

Back to the title, A Place for Everything.

Even a place in life for missed goals. Something to do with adjusting perspective. Learning in failing. Keeping on.

I'm so glad today that God's love is not dependent on my succeeding on Goal. Or on clean closets. Or on this or that or what or which.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." (Jeremiah 31:3)   

Did you catch the period at the end of that verse? Nothing in all our to-do lists can earn us God's love. So says the King of Kings. It's all in the Bible.

Like many of you, to create order and beauty in my home, I have an ongoing quest for finding a place for everything. I also am on a lifelong quest to get everything in my life in its rightful place.

The first quest is optional. The second quest is high-priority important. 

Lacing up Sparrow's 8.5 sneakers. Walking my way right into March. We've got a Goal to catch. Or not?

Chirp! Chirp! (will see)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dots & The Affair of Two Hearts

Take two small bottles of puff paint - I used pink and brown.

Dot the wooden letters. Let dry. Place them in a homemade stand made by hubster. The letters I bought at Pat Catans.

Buy some dotted scrapbooking paper for place settings. (Great bargain at .25 each.)

Fill small bags with M&Ms. Tie with place cards, also dotted with pink and brown puff paint, and coordinating ribbon.

Check seating diagram. Set table.

Voila! My simple tablescape for the Baptist Church Planters' Staff 2nd Annual Reuben Luncheon at our house.

Hubster was Chef for the day.

His Reubens

His Raspberry and Apricot Foldovers

It was a lotta dots and a lotta fun!

Fast forward two days later... Wayne & Wings for the men of our church at our house. No dots. Just lots of good food and friends in the company of John Wayne television.

Chuck asked me in the middle of this busy week what we might like to plan for Valentine's Day.

chirp. chirp. thinking...

Right now tuna fish (white tuna only) sandwiches sound pretty romantic.

Whatever the menu our two hearts decide on, I'm over-the-top-grateful this Valentine's Day for a husband who has the same passion for sharing our home with others.

To salvage my reputation in the lack of a candlelight dinner, here's the mini-card I made for my husband that I'll place on his pillow come February 14th.

Ahem - back to the tuna. What's on your menu?

Love is in the air,