this took me a long time

Hold your breath, we are diving into a photo dump this morning!

Do you remember our cat, Peninsula? We got her at Petsmart this summer in Brunswick, GA and she almost died on us. Well, here she is, healthy and bright but NOT affectionate, which frustrates us all except Sarah (Penny LOVESSSSS Sarah). We want to pet her, but she reacts to any motion toward her, by fleeing like she thinks we are about to hurt her in unspeakable ways. Look at her face! Who wouldn’t want to snuggle this sweet kitten?

This is the prettiest tree on our street. Quite obviously.

I walk almost every day, my goal is 10,000 or more steps. I love to listen to a good podcast while I walk, wearing my husband’s AirPods. I am particular though, and sometimes end up spending most of my walk trying to find one that will hold my interest, rather than actually hearing one. Sometimes I resort to my favorite music, because it’s dependable.

One day I came home with a nice branchy-branch. Why? Because Joanna and I saw the neatest thing; someone took a branch like this and hung it upside down from the ceiling and turned it into a mobile with feathers hung on strings all over it. I plan to do the same, only not just feathers, other things too. I will show you the end result.

I’ve been reading a lot. I am working through every Newbery winner and honor book, and also reading other books as well. Two books I can HIGHLY recommend that I’ve read lately are Dancing With the Octopus, and Golem Girl. If you purchase Golem Girl, (which you truly should) do so in hardcover, as it is interspersed with the author’s own drawings, and some personal photographs as well. Take the time to read the descriptions of the books on amazon, and maybe you’ll find that you enjoy the stories, they really captured my interest and inspired me (both are memoirs, which is my favorite genre).

I wasn’t going to purchase a puzzle unless I found the perfect one. This was it!!!

Another walking selfie. πŸ™‚

I look this happy because I just got done with my walk (walking is a big boost to my spirits).

When I say “Rich, I’m on a walk, I’m going to the Red Barn and back” this is what I mean. Isn’t it the most lovely barn? It’s always quiet, like no one uses it anymore. The tractor is parked and little trees are growing up around it. Some of the doors are open, revealing dusty rooms with untouched tools, boxes, tins, and so on. I wonder about it.

I’m always after that allusive apple; the one that reminds me of the “wild” ones that grew up the road past my Grandparent’s farm house. The one that is crispy and cool, juicy and sweet-tart. So, when I walk past another old apple tree and see its fruit all over the ground beneath, I take a couple and eat them. They are apples that could never be sold in the store, with lumps and bruises and worm holes. But I know how to eat them, it’s rather fun actually, like a challenge, exciting, you just don’t know when you will bite the wrong spot.

Any-who, the little one was perfect, the bigger one was mealy. No one likes a mealy apple.

Jacob and Brittnee made dinner last week, like three nights in a row; they made beef and broccoli over rice, beef stew, and this chicken parmesan. I am a very blessed woman, in fact, this morning David came in my room with a poached egg for me, served over a slice of avocado, with bacon and a sauce on top. I could cry……….

My brother Dave sent me this pic from our parent’s house; it’s me as a young teenager, in my bedroom hugging a cat, whose name escapes us now. Behind me is my “Me Poster”, a poster paper that I glued pictures on that I liked, until the whole thing was as full as could be, a most wonderful collage of “me”, I still have it, it’s under my bed as I write…..

The crocheted blanket was made by my Great Grandma and I still have it, too.

The two photos that I have tacked to the wall; one is of me as a dumpling-baby grinning my face off, and the other one is me and my brother David together on Mom’s bed, looking cute and happy and my arm is around him.

Cat posters, too.

It’s so satisfying to know that the things I love (joy that makes a smile huge, cats, siblings, homemade things, photos) haven’t changed over the years.

*favorite kombucha from Trader Joe’s, the flavor is perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. “Living in Gratitude” fall edition.

Autumn is a most dazzling, almost too bright, time of year!!!!!

It rained and rained all day yesterday but today the sun is shining just like this again, so now the air isn’t dry and dirty anymore, it’s fresh and clean and wholesome. As soon as I am done here I’m fleeing for the outdoors. Seth wants to show me that the stream is full again.

I was on the porch and found my charming daughter under the bushes, reading with a clock next to her (she must have been on a schedule) and her head upon a backpack and stuffed rabbit.

Seth being a stinker and putting his brother David’s new birthday hat on his head. “Mom take a picture and send it to Dave”. (Dave was in another room of the house) Dave was also in a bad mood and didn’t react the way we expected, “I don’t care” is what he said……

The other day I found the pretzels open in the pantry and I said “Seth, go put clothespins on this so it’s shut”. He turned around to do what I said and I got back to searching for whatever it was I was trying to find, and then two days later I sat down on the porch and ……. saw…….that he had indeed completed the task…..but not the way I expected. I’m still laughing about it.

So, this area in my bathroom was bothering me to no end. Finally I decided to DO SOMETHING about it, instead of just being bothered. So Jacob and I went to a furniture consignment shop and found a little cabinet….

(I told you this was going to be an exhausting post)

The stack of towels AND the seasonal clothes fit in this! I was so pleased.

I am so pleased. Look at my little things! I love my perfume collection, the doilies picked up from thrifting adventures, the books, and the covered glass dish which holds costume jewelry and used to be my husband’s grandmother’s…. (and will someday be either Grace’s or Sarah’s)

Let us end the post the way we began, with another photo of Penny the kitten. (the furniture belongs to the pets, too). Ethan plays us music every day and Seth has been shooting nerf guns on the daily.

A happy Wednesday to you, and you, and you, and guess what?

You are loved. Greatly.


17 thoughts on “this took me a long time

    • I’m so glad you liked it. It was more exhausting to put it together than to read it, I suppose. I had trouble getting my photos to load. hugs!! PS, I had a hot green tea w/cream today from Starbucks (not a matcha) and it was good!

  1. You are loved too, Shanda, by your family, the Lord, and by us, the ones who read your blog and wish we could visit with you in person.

  2. YOUR FALL IS STUNNING!!! So beautiful. Thank you for posting pics of it. I do so love all things ‘Autumn’.

    Loved this entire post. πŸ™‚

    The first thing I noticed was how healthy the new cat looks. I can’t believe she won’t let you pet her. She does look incredibly snuggly.

    You look beautiful. 10,000 steps a day out in nature to the beautiful red barn agreed with you. I have been trying to get at least 10,000 steps a day lately, too.

    I LOVE the new furniture piece in your bathroom. It looks like it was meant to be there. I also love that you knew who you were, even as a teenager. This makes my heart ache for personal reasons, but happy at the same time that you had such a loving, supportive upbringing and have in turn given your own children such a healthy, happy, loving home.

    I laughed out loud, then smiled, then my heart warmed at Seth’s awesomely wicked sense of humor, and all of the wonderful food made for you, Sarah’s reading spot in the bushes with the clock …etc., etc., etc. I so enjoy your blog posts. They are so incredibly full of so much goodness. You do such a good job of presenting them.


  3. I too so enjoy reading your blog posts! I was just thinking this morning about how I missed your posts, and then got to see this wonderful post :). So awesome to be served breakfast! A small act of kindness that speaks volumes.

  4. I love your bloggy,long,picture filled posts. I love thrift stores,and I love books. Right now I am collecting children’s books. For the grand loves one day. Or other loves I may meet on my journey. ❀ I love taking walks,they help clear my head,and I just feel so much better. It is my time to talk to the Lord,and admire His wonderful creation. I’ve never tried kombucha.. looking forward to seeing this stick,and feather, and misc creation. It sounds most intriguing!

    • I have so many children’s picture books from raising my seven, and I still buy one now and then. I really miss reading them out loud to the kids and was happy when Sarah brought one for me to read the other day. It sounds like we have some great things in common, most especially the Lord. So we are sisters. πŸ™‚

  5. DELIGHTFUL!!!!!! All of it. You have not changed at all from the teen years! I love that you still have the poster under your bed! I loved Sarah under the bush and seeing the red barn and hearing your description of the wild apples, did you eat the ant too?! Anyway I loved it all and it felt like I had a visit with you!

    • I might have eaten it. LOL. I’ll show you the poster sometime. It needs repair. :(. I didn’t value it through the years like I should have but I’m sure I can fix it and hang it up again. love you Josie.

  6. This was thoughtfully worded with witt and wisdom. I loved reading all of it, especially Seth’s clothespin pretzels hanging on the clothes line!πŸ₯¨πŸ€£πŸ₯°

    To God be the Glory my friendπŸ’›πŸ™πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

  7. A delightful visit Shanda. I like the new space in the bathroom. Useful and pretty! It must be wonderful to have other cooks around. I am slowly working with the kids on this.

  8. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts too. And I LOVE that dry sink you got for your bathroom (I believe it is a dry sink… my grandparents had one and it looks similar.). Penny got so big since I first saw her in Jekyll and am so glad she is healthy!! Love you! πŸ’™

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