Random thoughts from the weekend...

Garage Sale treasures of the week:

  • 2 wooden sconces (a total steal, I would have paid three times the price asked)

  • a 70s glass serving dish with lid (green with flowers)

  • 4 older issues of Handyman Magazine (for a certain boy I know who thinks these are the most awesome reading material)

  • a Pampered Chef Cheese Grinder (wrapped and sealed, new, in the box) for a dollar! A dollar!!

  • a Miles Davis CD and a Duke Ellington CD for a quarter each

And now a very important PSA: If you are going to have a garage sale, please spare your visitors from the sight of a-n-y used (even slightly) mens underthings. Does anyone really expect to sell old tightie-whities? Come on. Be real.

Went to the Zoo on Saturday…along with 75% of the rest of Nashville! The weather was cool and the breeze was divine and apparently everyone had the same idea we did.

Three years ago I had the pleasure of accompanying my husband to a regional meeting for his company that took place in Angola, Indiana at Potawatomi Inn on the Pokagon State Park. One of the highlights of our stay was a day trip over to a large Amish community in Shipshewana for a museum tour, lunch and shopping. Our luncheon took place in the home of an Amish family (imagine feeding 32 people at your dining table!). The surroundings were simple and minimalist and the meal was one of the most wonderful I’ve ever enjoyed. I don’t recall everything the lady of the home served but what I remember most was the fresh corn (cut off the cob in the morning and slow cooked with fresh churned butter and cream,) and the salad.

The salad. I’ve been on a quest to recreate the salad ever since that day. Instead of being a layered presentation it was more like a casserole. Sorta. I can’t describe it. The lettuce was shredded in narrow strips and all the other classic salad ingredients were finely chopped. Tomatoes, cheese, carrots, cucumber, onion, ham, pecans, and boiled egg. The buttermilk dressing was stirred in so that it generously covered everything. (I know this isn’t sounding appetizing…but it really was.) It was chilled and easy to eat, since there were no huge chucks of lettuce.

Previously, I had always made salad with torn lettuces (no knife bruising) and had I not been a guest, I might have never tried chopped lettuce. But it was really good. Salad that’s easy to eat…go figure.

Visiting the this home was one of the top ten defining experiences of my life. The calm. The lack of clutter. The love and respect that was obvious from the children (who ranged in age from adult to 6 years old). The simplicity. It was such a beautiful thing to be a guest in that home and to learn about the community directly from Ruby and Daniel and their children. I will treasure that day forever—not just the food but everything about it.

In other news, made a couple of Crafty Achievements this weekend too…finished the boys towel holders (one for each of my guys) and this little decorative hanger for my kitchen. The towel holders are mini-chalboards with a wooden initial attached. (I painted them white.) I discovered this idea in a very old Pottery Barn catalog--only their set was personalized with a paint pen and showed the whole name. I like the initials better.

Both boards (chalkboard, paint, brush, initial, wood glue and hanger) cost me less than a fifth of what Pottery Barn was selling them for. (Patting self on the back.) Gotta love that. Found the little decorative hanger plaque in the clearance bin at Michaels for $2. It was in poor shape…until I added paper! See what a little paper can do! Love paper!! Paper makes life pretty. Hee.

Here’s a picture I took at the zoo of a prickly weed with the prettiest purple flowers. (Click on it to see the full effect.) Ever wonder why weeds are the heartiest plants around?

Finally, I’ve been considering lately the difference in perfection and excellence. Perfection is usually unattainable. Excellence is not. Seeking perfection will often leave you disappointed and empty, especially if you don’t find it. Seeking excellence will give you a deep sense of accomplishment and appreciation, no matter what the outcome.

From Titus 3
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds
of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating
one another.

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,

he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of
his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy

whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our

so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become
heirs having the hope of eternal life.

This is a trustworthy saying. And
I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be
careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent
and profitable for everyone.

May all your weeds be pretty and your salads be tasty.

Happy Monday.


TracieClaiborne said...

Hey you!
Very insightful comment about excellence vs. perfectionism.
I'll have to remember that.
Oh and the salad sounds yummy!
I'm on a big salad kick right now.

amberley said...

i love those towel holders!

sabrina said...

We almost went to the zoo but wasn't motivated enough, hate to hear it was so crowded.

That purple flower is a thistle
Eyore eats them.

BonnieRose said...

love your banner quote.. I just blogged about that quote the other day, in my post, WHY I WRITE.. it's a great one.. ! hugs

EquineSpirit said...

Love your blog and the "may all your weeds be pretty" quote! Great post!

Tonia said...

Thanks for the inspiring post.

Mimi said...

A dollar, no way? You rock!

Great paper coverage. Pretty is as pretty does, and you do pretty very well!