August 21

Tribute To Art & Betty


Betty & Me – 1976 Bicentennial Celebration

Art and Betty lived next door to my parents’ first home.  When I was born, the house was too small, so we moved; but the friendship continued, and Art and Betty became an important part of my life.  Betty was a remarkable woman.  She often invited me to spend the night, and it was my favorite thing to do.  One of the reasons…we would have Bible study.  Most kids probably wouldn’t get jazzed up over spending the night with an older couple so they could have Bible study, but they would if they got to do it with Betty.  Betty only had an 8th grade education, but the only way you would know was if she told you.  She was a scholar in the truest sense of the word.  She was inquisitive, intellegent, generous and a great listener.  She did not merely teach me, she wanted to learn from me because she respected everyone’s thoughts, even a little girl’s.  We would read something from the Bible and then discuss it.  Betty taught me to talk about things and consider what the answer could be and then what new questions that possible answer would cause and what the answers to those questions may be and on and on and on.  Betty was an expansive thinker, and she taught me to ask questions and always keep an open mind

At Betty’s House

(This was a big deal for me because I wasn’t allowed to answer the phone, but Betty let me “pretend” and took a picture.)

Betty loved to talk on the phone and “share” (as she liked to put it).  Betty was never mean-spirited.  She was truly tickled by people and what they did.  Being naturally inquisitive and an excellent storyteller meant Betty was fun to talk with and catch up on the latest “happenings.” 

Betty & Olivia – 1990

Betty was a good cook.  She also wasn’t afraid to try something new.  She was the first person I knew that made exotic dishes like Turkey Tetrazzini and Soft-shelled Tacos.

Art & Olivia – 1990

Art was always good for comic-relief.  Betty and I would be discussing challenging theological concepts, and Art would come in to see if we would like a Greek dance and then dance around the kitchen.  I loved it!  How could you not appreciate the appearance of a traveling Greek dancer!

I gave Art a chuckle or two.  One of his favorites happened when I was very young.  I was looking out their front door and Art asked me what I was looking at.  I pointed at the snow covered tree branches and said, “Snow snakes.”  Up until the last time I saw Art, he would always ask me, “Seen any snow snakes lately?”

Both Art and Betty passed away years ago, but from time to time this year, I like to remember the special people in my life.  I still see Art and Betty’s daughter (my “adopted” sister) every month at my book club.  Treasured memories past and present.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 2 Comments

August 20

A Charmed Life


I love all things aristocratic, so I was instantly drawn to A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth’s Castle, by Liza Campbell.  Liza was the last child to be born in Cawdor Castle, the locale of Shakepeare’s Macbeth.  This is the story of a family, particularly Liza’s father, the twenty-fifth Thane of Cawdor, who eventually destroys himself, his family and his family’s legacy.  Fascinating, sad, honest and humorous, Liza captures it all.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 1 Comment

August 19

What Dreams May Come


What do heaven and hell look like?  This imaginative movie shows you both.  For me, the true magic of this film is in the textural settings and scenery because reflected through them, you can see the deep emotion and true actions of the characters.  The use of flashbacks emphasize the little moments in life that often carry the major meaning.  This is a story of life, death, love and a journey of the human heart.  Beautiful and moving.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 1 Comment

August 18

Glass Vase = Reverse Paint Vase



FreshStyle (Summer 2011 – Southern Lady Special) – Pg 27 (Color Wonder)



Glass vase

Glass paint

Rubbing alcohol

Drying rack (I used a cookie rack)

Plastic bag (something to catch paint drips)

1.  Clean the vase and rinse the inside with rubbing alcohol.  Allow to dry.


2.  Pour paint into the bottle and shake it around.  I found it helpful to tamp the vase on a folded towel to move the paint around.


3.  Allow excess paint to drip out.  I found the Martha Stewart paint thick, so I didn’t have any drip out.  Allow to dry.  The glass paint needs to cure for 21 days. 

4.  Isn’t it lovely!  A fun, easy way to make a cute home décor accent.

Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 2 Comments

August 17

Saint Guinefort


Next Tuesday, August 22, is the feast day of Saint Guinefort.  Who is Saint Guinefort and why am I writing about him on Wednesday, the day reserved for all things Greyhound?  Let me tell you…

Saint Guinefort was a 13th-century Greyhound from France.  After miracles were reported at his grave, he received local veneration.  Although St. Guinefort was never recognized by the Catholic Church, the cult of St. Guinefort persisted until the 1930’s.

Guinefort belonged to a knight who lived in a castle near Lyon, France.  One day, the knight went hunting, leaving his infant son in the care of Guinefort.  When he returned, he found the nursery in chaos – the cot was overturned, the child was nowhere to be seen and Guinefort greeted his master with bloody jaws.  Believing Guinefort had devoured his son, the knight drew his sword and killed the dog.  He then heard a child crying.  He turned over the cot and found his son lying there, safe and sound, along with the body of a viper.  Guinefort had killed the snake and saved the child.  Realizing the mistake, the family dropped the dog down a well, covered it with stones and planted trees around it, setting up a shrine for Guinefort.  Guinefort became recognised by the local peasants as a saint for the protection of infants.

This story is actually a variation of one of the world’s most well traveled tales and is based on a story from India called The Brahmin and the Mongoose.  The story tells of the rash killing of a faithful animal and warns against hasty action.  There is a similar Welsh legend, Llewellyn and his dog Gellert.

An interesting part of the legend of Saint Guinefort is that a Dominican friar, Stephen of Bourbon, related the story in 1240 in the work, De Supersticione.  He tells the tale of Guinefort and says, “We went to this place, we called together all the people on the estate, and we preached against everything that had been said.  We had the dead dog disinterred, and the sacred wood cut down and burnt, along with the remains of the dog. And had an edict passed by the lords of the estate, warning that anyone going thenceforth to that place for any such reason would be liable to have his possessions seized and then sold.”

So you decide.  Are the legends of Saint Guinefort and Gellert folk tales based on an old motif or could these be true tales of loyalty, duty and bravery?  Regardless, Freedom, Casper and Nikki are celebrating the Feast of St. Guinefort on August 22 and want a special treat.  They believe.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 4 Comments

August 16

4 Faves – Friends Version 8.0


August’s 4 Faves all come from my friends.  Check out what they like.

This week’s 4 Faves all come from Carrie, author of Tales and Tails.  The beautiful model…that’s Bunny.


Thirty-One Gifts

Carrie loves Thirty-One bags because they come in a WIDE variety of sizes, shapes and colors for a variety of uses.  PLUS, you can personalize them!  

“I have a lunch bag for school with my name on it, so nobody has to wonder who it belongs to, a bag for our dog stuff that we often carry with us, and a bag for our nursing home visits.  It just makes it easier to not have to pack and unpack everything.  I like being able to have everything coordinated and pretty.”


Moleskine® Notebooks

Here’s what Carrie says about this favorite, “Moleskine® notebooks have been made based on an old design.  I love the quality that goes into them, the pocket in the back, the elastic closure, and the fact that it makes me feel like a real writer when I write in it.”

Check out the beautiful colors they come in…not just your basic black.


I was thrilled when Carrie mentioned Fiestaware.  I’ve been wanting to replace my very chipped plates for a while now but couldn’t find anything I liked.  I had forgotten all about Fiestaware!  I think Carrie says it all:

“Fiestaware is like a party for your table.  I like being able to mix and match the colors based on the holiday, mood or whatever.  There’s something about it that seems both old-fashioned and modern at the same time.  I can see why a lot of people collect it, although I just have it for general use.  I love that you can keep adding pieces, and that you can dress it up or down on your table.”

Harry Potter

“The Harry Potter books are sort of an era of my life, and I’ve heard a lot of people say that.  They have such a broad appeal for all audiences, and while they follow the rule of good triumphing over evil in the end, they also show that nothing worth fighting for comes without a price.  The stories indulge that secret longing in all of us that we are really something more, deep down inside, that’s something special and unique.  They let you believe in magic for a little while, and escape the drudgery of the muggle world.  I think the stories will be classics from our time that people will be reading for years to come.”

Beautifully described, Carrie.  You’ve captured the magic of “story.”

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 5 Comments

August 15

Make Art a Part…Week 1



This week, I read through the section on “perception.”  Kaitlyn asks, “What is your overall perception of art?”  I would say that my overall perception of art is joy.  The joy of looking at something that is a physical expression of the human soul and heart.  When I’m around fine art, I have to admit that I’m intimidated by it, but I love it too.  The intimidation comes from my feeling that I should understand it on an intellectual basis; the love comes from the beauty and the challenge of looking at a piece of art.  I feel most comfortable about art when I’m looking at it by myself, or I’m with someone that likes to talk about it without the belief that there is a definitive “right” answer to its interpretation.  That said, I do love to learn about art.  One of the most enjoyable “learning” experiences I ever had about art was Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting.  Sister Wendy Beckett combines astonishing knowledge with astonishing passion about art and is able to translate it to her viewer.  If you think art is “beyond” you, give Sister Wendy a try.

If you’d like to watch an enjoyable movie about people’s perception of art, consider watching Framed which aired on Masterpiece Contemporary.

This week’s creation exercise was paper crafting.  I made these cute envelopes and gift cards.

Wondering what the picture at the beginning of this post is about?  Depends on your perception…it’s a goblet or two people about to kiss.  What do you see?

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 4 Comments

August 14

Creative Space Organization (Part 2)


Unfortunately, a broken fuel pump on my vehicle caused my plans to change this weekend.  The day didn’t go to waste though.  I FINALLY installed my closet system…well, sort of.  I’m notorious for thinking through an organizational project and then purchasing the wrong things.  For instance, see those nice long 70″ shelf bracket supports…I initially purchase 48″ shelf bracket supports!  I’ve learned to buy the bare minimum and add from there.

I’m thinking I’ll add three more shelves.  I’ll only add one at a time because as stated above, I’m horrible with this particular step in the planning process.  I also add a few more totes.

If you recall my original post on this project.  The closet isn’t the only area that needs attention.  I do believe it is an important part though.  Not only will it be my primary storage area, it will help me set limits on what I can have and keep and that’s very important for a little hoarder like me.  A big improvement over what I started with, wouldn’t you say!

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 1 Comment

August 13

Sink Reflections


This is one of the best books on cleaning and organizing that I know.  Why?  Because it really helped me.  Marla, aka The FlyLady, takes you baby step by baby step through the process of cleaning and organizing your home.  This was the book that made the difference for me.  I don’t work the plan perfectly, but the plan keeps me on track.  Following the steps in this book makes dealing with the clutter and chaos in your home do-able.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 4 Comments

August 12

Sunset Boulevard


Sunset Boulevard is described as a noir-comic classic, but it is recognized as so much more.  It is a film of depth, desperation, pathos and richness.  Set in 1950’s Hollywood, the story revolves around the iconic Norma Desmond, played by Gloria Swanson, an aging star of the silent film era who is looking to make a comeback, and her reluctant young lover played by William Holden.  Sunset Boulevard takes a look at the Hollywood movie machine, youth, stardom and tragic romance all set in a black comedy.  Sunset Boulevard is perfection in film.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 4 Comments