Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So This Is Christmas

And what have I done?
Another year's over
And a new one's just begun.

And so this is Christmas
I hope you had fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young.

A very merry Christmas
And a happy new year!
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.*

I'm grateful for this year past with all its blessings and its trials and looking with hope to the coming year.  Jesus came that we may all find our everlasting hope in Him.  I pray that each of you may know Him and His peace through this season and all those to come.  Merry, blessed Christmas and Joyful New Year!

So This Is Christmas, John Lennon, slightly modified

Monday, December 17, 2012


It's just two days later. Two days after the event that should have stopped the world. She, my oldest granddaughter*, is about to sing on stage at church for the second time in her young life.

I keep remembering Thursday afternoon, how she and I practiced her song, watching other kids perform the same one via youtube videos.

Thursday night, how I woke up all through the night feeling afflicted with worry for the coming grandson. "Why? Why can't I stop worrying about the child," I asked Him in the wee, bleak hours.

Friday morning when she rearranged the nativity, leaving Jesus alone in the manger, turning away the momma and daddy and shepherd and wise men. At my inquiry, she told me that they were all watching the tv. Two hours later, I heard the news.

The news that should have stopped the world.

I have not the vocabulary to express the pain and grief I feel. I'll borrow Leonard Cohen's "it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah." Mine is a broken hallelujah.

With deep gratitude to these who can compose themselves, I share:

Advent: Prepare, Jay Kim "Our words do little good and our greatest efforts to comfort fall so far short. But we must give what we can. We must send our love and pray our prayers, from up close and afar, because this is what we have to give and to not give it would be to coalesce into the destructive powers of apathy."

Anger, grief, and love. Feelings (not thoughts!) on a tragedy, Margaret Felice "I love you, amazing, broken world, and lament that I cannot love you back into wholeness."

The Truth About Sandy Hook: Where Is God When Bad Things Happen?, Ann Voskamp "Could we sit in hushed silence, hold hands in this vigil, hang together in this suffering solidarity? What if we wordlessly groaned this prayer that Cain would stop killing Abel, that Rachel wouldn’t refuse comfort, Rachel in Ramah, weeping for her children here no more."

When Parents Have Nightmares, Lisa-Jo Baker "We are the Sunday morning, eyes still swollen from weeping people."

It's Sunday morning
and this baby is supposed to sing
and I am prickly with my old fear.

What if something happens to her?

It has required my vigilance, my obedience, my reliance on everything He is in order to push through these last two days.

His presence.
His strength.
His promise of the peace that is to come.

There was an interlude on the way to the church when she, out of the blue, decided that she didn't want to be on stage. At this, I had to call her momma. Her momma had to be the strength in that moment, convincing the baby that she did, in fact, want to be on stage, and convincing the meemee that everything would, in fact, be okay.

It is some deep part of me that wishes the world could stop, would stop, even if but for a moment. I want the world to look at Newtown, to see every baby's face, to hear every hero's name. If but only for a moment, I wish that every one of us could carry, would carry, the unimaginable burden of grief felt by those left behind.

But the world does not stop, cannot stop.

And so this child,
she leads me on.


*I am grateful for both of my granddaughters and my coming grandson and for all the ways that I am blessed and taught by each of them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Who watched it ~
that 80's tv series with all the ...
I'm totally kidding. 
This has nothing to do with any tv show!
This one's about this dress. 
Well, mostly.

So I'm gonna go out in the pond here and guess that those who were with me when I found this dress probably thought I was some kind of fashion quack.

It's been around since probably before the Dynasty (tv series) era and it has its share of flaws.

For instance, the print's not properly matched at the seams.  Therefore, I couldn't wear it in a high-lighted scenario.  Like to the grocery store, just for instance.

But hey!  Just look at the print, would'ya!
This is a veritable duck empire dress!

Anyhow, seein's how I was going to the annual Bargain Box Christmas dinner, it only made sense to wear some of my finest finds.  My dress was the customary dollar.  So were my shoes.  And every bit of my jewelry (costume, btw) was thrifted but, as our jewelry gets priced more fair-market-like, and as I've collected it over the years, I'm not quite sure how that part adds up.

But I do know that I spent a load less than retail and that...
that's what I'm talkin' about, jack!


The annual Bargain Box Christmas dinner is the one time of year that we can get all* of our volunteers into one space at one time.  Our service through this ministry is for His glory alone...

It just so happens that being a part of this ministry also makes us happy, happy, happy.

That's my youngest girl there, front and center.
A friend wisely noted that she's carrying a member of our next generation of volunteers.
For a good story about that, see A Son Is Coming.

One last picture and,
while I could say one thousand words about this,
I'll just say

Faith, family, and facial hair.**

*These are but a few of the 75 plus volunteers who serve.
**Duck Dynasty.  Okay, maybe this had a little somethin' to do with a tv show.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Clearance Rack

Or Christmas ornament. 
This could have gone either way.

This one, though, is about the jacket, the one that's hung in my closet for more than its six months' allowance.

It was time to make some clearance so I may as well have worn it at least once.  You know, to get my dollar's worth.


I wonder if anybody ever wonders about these absurd "poses."  I certainly do!  But out of the average 173 photo attempts per post, I just have to settle on the one where I look most like a human and it doesn't appear as if the sun has just made earth-fall.


Anyhow, you can see it, right?  How if you wadded this up into a ball, you could hang it on the tree?  Maybe not my tree but if you happen to be in the right place at the right time this week, you could certainly grab at least the jacket for hangin' on yours! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Something Weird This Way Comes...

...and it's not this sweater...
...but it might be me trying to convince you that it's not this sweater!
How does this happen?!
You have a couple of g'babies
and suddenly there's no such thing
as an ugly Christmas sweater?!
Suddenly, you're diggin' those digs?
What's next?
Purses with actual purpose?
Kitchen aprons, perhaps?
Oh, for the love...
For the love of g'babies, yes.
Weird or not, whatever makes 'em smile.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lady In Waiting

I was telling the truth about not having to have anything they were selling this weekend but I went out in that mess anyway!  Not for purchasing but for perusal. 
I spent most of the day going from place to place just looking*, just enjoying being out and about, without agenda, without a schedule.
HOWever, there was one** little thing on my 'if I just happen to come across...' list that might have initiated a purchase had I found it.  As some of you know, I have a peculiar proclivity for "hairy jumpers," as can be seen here and here.  I might, on a bad hair day, surmise that no-one but me still thinks they're groovy as they're no longer to be found in the usual places.
I know, though, that I was really just meant to wait for it.  Wait. for. it.

Because when I walked into you know where, it happened that in just these last few days, some sweet lady had discarded her kritter ~ the reason for which I cannot fathom ~ but I have given it a new home, am thinking about naming it. 
You know how I know the thing was meant for me?  Just look at how it accompanies my sweater. (As if one had waited for the other for all its existence.)  That's an Izod sweater.  Izod was pretty iconic when I was a teen and prone to pining but have you seen the price of those things lately?!  I've waited.  I've waited more than 25 years and, at last, I own a gator thingy sweater...that I purchased for $1.  Add to it, the $5 flurry (admittedly, hefty hefty hefty for thrifting), my $1 jeans, my $2 boots... I came out smellin' like a ... well, like a $9 rock star.
But total truth be told***, none of this is what this is really about.  See, I have things to say at The Bending Tree but I'm having a remarkably difficult time finding the right words, constructing them in ways that even I can understand.  It matters to me - the balance between these short and shallows and the ones I really need to lay down.  My working at it hasn't worked, however, and so I'm waiting for it now.  He is faithful to me, always, so I'll get it when it's good. 
And as long as I'm waiting, I may as well tell you what I know for now.  Whether it's hip or hideous.
*I did do the g'babies Christmas gift thing.
**My eye is Ever-Watchful for the leather pants.
***Wouldn't be total truth without * & **.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hello Kitty!

yes, there's a picture of a kitty!


I brought this sweet little sweater home like some folks would bring home, say, a stray kitty.  It was soft and cuddly and I just wanted to hold it and hug it and... of my daughters told me that wearing it, however, was out of the question.

I mean, heaven forbid someone think
I'd joined this bunch of weirdos.
The easy solution - for me, anyway - was to turn that kitty inside out but it left me with an unusual problem:  exposed tags.
As it turns out, however, some of my odd habits ~ such as saving things that have no fore-seeable purpose, such as iron-on patches, for instance ~ have reasonable payoffs. 
Like here, for instance:

I had "before" pictures but I don't just take bad pictures.  I lose pictures.

Anyhow, thank goodness!  Possible catostrophe averted!!  Nothin' but normalcy up in here!!!
By the way, meet my cat. 

He was a stray and
who wouldn't wanna take him home?!
And hold him and hug him...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Third's A Charm

First, it was an ashtray.
 Then, somebody turned it into a candle.
For weeks after finding it, I considered attaching this little dish
but the proportions just weren't right.
 Then I found this little saucer.

 Pretty sure this is what was always meant to be.

Total cost:  >$2

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Day I Dyed

This first....thing was headed to the bailer*.  I (naturally) failed to take a picture which aptly highlights how gross it looked.  You may fairly make out the fade in the armpits, presumably the result of industrial strength deodorant w/bleach.  
Trust me, those stains are much more obvious than this picture conveys.
I was happy, though, to pay the usual $1 for it.
It's Eileen Fisher.
The closest comparison I can find online is upwards of $125.
So for an additional $3, the cost of a box of dye, the fade/stains are gone and I have something that nobody else has!
It went from very washed out grey to more like denim.

Having gained so much confidence from this first success, I decided that since I hadn't yet found my perfect pair of $1 jeans in the latest IT color, I could just create them.

I wasn't quite right on that count, but hey! 
I still have something that definitely nobody else has and it still only cost me $4!

Overall, I'm pleased with all of the results.
It was worth the extra money (for dye) just to prove that
we can change things
and that
the end may not be the end, after all.

And as long as we're talking about dying, here's one about rising up: 
Why I Believe In God

And another one about dying:
Dead's Dead, Baby

*at the Bargain Box, when we receive clothes that are beyond (ordinary) repair, we send them off to be bailed and shipped to third-world countries, where the material is broken down and made over completely into something new.

So again, assume not that it is the end,
but possibly the time for something new.

For the cardigan, I used, denim.
For the jeans, I mixed a little bit of navy blue into a full pack of scarlet.
My idea was to "prove" I did the work by the stains on my fingers but alas!  You cannot see that because I cannot take a picture for squiddly.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

How Bad Can I Be...

when a g'baby is watching my every move?!?

Breaking Bad

Biker bad, I mean. 
With my boots, I mean. 
I'm breaking [out the boots] bad. 
I don't care how hot it still is. 
It's the middle of October, people!

You may note, however ~
Because it is still hot as all get-out, I'm pretty sure that before the day was over, I was smelling bad.

Monday, October 15, 2012

That's Hot...

...but that's because it's like 80 gazillion* degrees outside and still I've commenced the layering.

It's fall, y'all!  It's boooooot season.

So chances are that - regardless of the balmy Florida temps - I'll be any day now trading out the open toes for my favorite footwear of the whole year long.


*Yes, it's only 80-something.  And I love 80-something. 
But "80-something" just wouldn't have gone with this ensemble.

Monday, September 24, 2012

An Exact Copy

I so dig this dress.

Not just because it cost me $1,

Or because it's one of the least complicated wardrobe events I've had all year,

But mainly because it looks exactly like a dress that I'd pinned just the day before I found it.

Okay.  So maybe it's not exactly like it but it is awfully close ... okay, close enough to make me happy ... to a dress featured by my favorite fashion blogger.*

And so it made sense to deliberately copy her poses too.

  Obviously, I'm even better at this when I'm doing it on purpose.

And I've never come closer, I think, than right here:
It's nearly an exact copy!
Right?  Right? 
*Kendi's at

Sunday, September 9, 2012

HI-LOng Time Coming

I bought this skirt more than a year ago and, believe it or not, before the black polka-dot skirt thing and before the high-low thing too.  (At least before EVERYbody was doing it!)

The second I saw it, I knew that when the time was right, I would wear it backwards.  (I bought it at the end of a season.)

But as the right time was obviously approaching, and then here, and then passing me by, it was all too clear that Just Backwards wasn't going to cut it.

So I cut it first and then I wore it backwards!

All but the shoes came from the Bargain Box.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day...

As I was figuring this out the night before, my family told me I was funny-looking ~ which is fine.  It usually means I'm at least headed in the direction I want.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


too preppy for my skirt,

too preppy for my skirt,

so preppy that...
well, you get the idea.

You'd think I'd be pointing out my mixed prints - my animal and floral prints, specifically - since I've been trying for six months to get the nerve to do it!
But alas!  I must recognize my sweet thrift shop friends here who, on spotting me with that skirt in hand, proclaimed that I would not wear it.  I believe there was something about the skirt's genre' not quite aligning with my style aesthetic. 

So to y'all I express my thanks now.  I may never have left the house this way had I not sensed some sort of challenge!

As long as I'm thanking people, I should mention my sweet husband who, every time he's asked to take these ridiculous photos, though one of his eyebrows is twitching and his exhalations are just slightly more audible, he does this for me.

And the explanation for that is over at Synchro-Intimacy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pinned At Last!

After all these months and months of pinning wardrobe inspirations, I finally interpreted one!

I must plan strategically and well in advance of Sunday morning or I will go to church in jeans - which is okay, of course.  I would just rather be dressing "on purpose" for church.

photo source: spiritedroute.blogspot
via pinterest
So, on this particular morning, as I was about to don my previously arranged attire, I remembered the pin and the skirt - the $1 skirt that was in my truck in the "I'm never going to wear this so return it to the thrift shop" bag - and lickety-split, I was not so much dressed as I was pinned!

P.S. I don't copy poses on purpose.  If you've seen previous posts, you know that posing is a skill I lack and if I ever "match" a reference pose, it's a total fluke!

Here's an example.
And here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Cinderella Dress

You're darn tootin', I huge-ified these pictures.
I'm quite proud to have re-fashioned this little ditty
from a much plainer and ill-fitting version.

The dress and the shirt had been in my closet for more than their fair amount of time.
I tried to place the dress in a better home
while we were preparing for the fashion show but
it was very oddly cut and was clearly going to fit
only the person for whom it was made... I made myself that person!

And went to a wedding with my very own Prince Charming!

To note - the dress and the shirt (and the sweater) were each $1.
The thread was a gift from a friend.