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Archive for October 2013

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collect . woodland nostalgia


When the kids and I took this trip to our farm earlier this year, they began a mission to create some kind of natural history “exhibit.” It’s possible “exhibit” was one of their reading class “amazing words” and thus produced a keen interest in it’s meaning. I can’t really remember, but they set about scavenging the spring walks for items to include in the exhibit. They even scoped out a newly cleaned out (but ancient) barn to house the exhibit. I’m sure when we return to the property later this fall, more work will be done on the project, but meanwhile, their idea has been fermenting in my brain ever since.

I love the idea of exhibit specimens. Those random, but highly detailed objects that seem to catalog and document one thing or another. They are closely akin to collections, which I also love, and I’m sure they are the ultimate reflection of the truly obsessive pack-rat spirit.

Since I tend to have one of those obsessive pack-rat spirits, I seem to have acquired a huge trove of “specimens”. A recent weeding through of my parents’ attic confirmed that these pack-rat tendencies go way back. In fact, to this day, I firmly believe that anything created or acquired prior to 1980 should be kept as sacred. Further, my role as serial collector extends to all manner of ephemera found here and there.

The specimens…

1. Oyster shell gathered from Long Beach, Mississippi

2. Buffalo wooden nickel — printed on back with “Southern Trailer Dist., Inc. – Recreational Vehicles Pas Road Biloxi”
I can’t be sure, but I believe it’s circa sometime in the early 1980s

3. The youngest baby deer in a 3-sibling set of porcelain figures

4. 39¢ Indian Corn U.S. stamp dated 2006

5. Blue Jay feather discovered this spring in our back yard

What do YOU collect? And, if you have any of these same treasures among your specimens, I hope you’ll let me know.


Smarty Pants & Other Name Calling [printable]


It’s nearing the end of the first nine weeks of school for my kids, and we’re having a great year so far. Reports will be coming out in a few weeks, and I’m so proud of them no matter how the marks come out. But, at this point in the school year, October’s Fall break is looking better and better, and getting up early each day for reading, writing and arithmetic is getting harder and harder. It’s made me want to give a little extra encouragement to my gang and say, “You can do it!” Kids and grown-ups alike shine when they get an extra vote of confidence. So, a few weeks ago I put together some printable tags to help me do a little name calling… Smarty Pants, Sunshine, Rock Star, etc. They are the perfect way to slip some encouragement into a lunchbox or back pack. And, being called a “Smarty Pants” is just as fun for those OVER eight years old! Click to download, and I hope you enjoy the chance to do some name-calling of your own.


photo essay . In Full Bloom


I love the clarity of the light this time of year. Sunny afternoons so often produce such saturated color. The Sasanqua Camellia on the corner of our house is in full bloom now. Back in the spring, I wrestled with it (in some gravity-defying ladder acrobatics) to prune down branches that were above the roof. Now those limbs are filled with pink blossoms in varies stages of exposing their yellow centers. Even the spent and wind-blown petals on the walk surrounding the trunk seem alive with fuchsia and hot pink. Enjoy a glimpse, and I hope your Monday is filled with bloom…

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Welcome October + Printable Calendar


“Listen the wind is rising
and the air is wild with Leaves.
We have had our summer evenings:
Now for OCTOBER eves!”
~ Humbert Wolfe
{poet 1885-1940} 

October is here! It’s one of my favorite months of the year because (among other reasons) in Mississippi, we finally begin to enjoy the cooler mornings and evenings of Fall! We had that coolness this weekend, and the air was indeed “wild with leaves!” My kids and I enjoyed changing out potted plants for autumn foliage and filling the house with our Fall decorations. We purchased an abundance of tiny pumpkins and gourds to spread across our table, and we even watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” in celebration.

I’ve been wanting to do some pretty artwork for marking time as we turn the seasons to Fall, so on Friday evening I did a few little watercolor illustrations. I’ve put some of them together for this printable October calendar. I hope you’ll enjoy it as you begin the season of pumpkins! Punch a hole and tie a ribbon to hang it just as is, OR trim it apart for a date reminder to slip in a favorite notebook. You can even clip the “Fall for you…” image as a sweet message to pass along and brighten someone’s day! Just click the image to DOWNLOAD, and enjoy a few glimpses of this weekend’s Fall handiwork!

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