Although I'm often surprised by the top reader favorites for the year.  Most of these are some of my personal favorite home decor posts, too.      The old adage, "time flies when you're having fun" is so true.  2017 went by in a blink!  It was a much better year in so many ways!  In spite of a few major disappointments, we have been rejoicing in God's goodness and provision throughout the year and feel so very blessed. The end of the year is a good time to look back and see just how blessed we are. I pour my heart and life into this blog so it's fun to discover the posts you … [Read more...]

  I'm in a magazine! Would somebody pinch me?!     You'll want to run out, right now, and get the special edition of Country Sampler's Christmas Decorating magazine. My local supermarket actually has it at the check stand.  I pass it every time I go to the store. Even the cashier was excited for me.     I've always wondered how people got to be in a magazine. In my case, it started with an email from the editor. She wanted to know if she could use a couple of photos from last year's Christmas projects... my nautical Christmas tree and the cute … [Read more...]

  When I came across this character quote I immediately identified with it. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved."  - Helen Keller It might not seem helpful, nor is it pleasant to go through a patch of trying circumstances.  But somewhere in the midst, it does help me to know that something good will come of these trials.  That I will be a better person because of it. At the very least I believe I will be more compassionate of others suffering through … [Read more...]

  "Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful; For beauty is God's handwriting -- a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, And thank God for it as a cup of His blessing." - Ralph Waldo Emerson   Have you taken time to go for a walk? Not the kind where you try to see how quickly you can get the miles in. But, the kind where you try to see how much beauty you can take in. I dare you to play "I Spy" with your walking partner.     I think Emerson had it right. Beauty is God's handwriting.   Just look at … [Read more...]

  An Extraordinary Day! is a place of joy and inspiration. Some days, the inspiration is as much for me, as it is for you. Sometimes we just need a ray of hope.   The golden hour is the time when I prefer to take a walk. It's the time when I can get the best photos.  Or at least I make the attempt. Not many, but when they happen they are dramatic thanks to the lovely light. Isn't this white Echinacea stunning in the light?   As long as there is sunshine and flowers...there is hope. and then again... Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers. Robert … [Read more...]

Patience.   Most of us don't have enough, let alone some to spare.     I don't talk much about patience.  Mostly because I'm an impatient person and I have this crazy idea that if I don't talk about, or don't ask for more, it will be a non issue. When I read this quote: "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson I realized that nature is always in wait. When the earth's temperature is warm enough, plants emerge from their winter hiding places and seeds sprout. As the days shorten and temperatures drop, the life-giving nutrients reverse … [Read more...]

This has been one of those weeks.... where you realize that you are totally not in control and at the same time, grateful God is in control.     If you'd like a 5x7 print of this photo & here...and save it as you would any photo.   So...when this quote from C.S. Lewis came across my path it certainly gave me pause: Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny. ― C.S. Lewis The sun drops in the sky, the air begins to cool, and the lighting is exquisite.  That's how it was this evening when we left the house for a walk, with plans to … [Read more...]

Whether you need a smile.... Or permission to indulge in a tiny cake piled high with frosting... It's good to know: Wasn't that fun?   I saw this quote on Facebook this week Once you lick the frosting off a cupcake it becomes a muffin. And muffins are healthy. You're welcome! and couldn't resist creating a 5x7 printable for you.  All you need to do is right click on the image and choose save as, and you can save it to your desktop and you'll be able to print it or have your favorite photo shop print it for you. Everyone seems to love cupcakes!  So the next time you serve cupcakes, print this off, … [Read more...]

This week I came across this quote:     The true genius lies not in doing the extraordinary things, but in doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well. ~ Major General Louis H. Wilson   When I came across this quote I truly felt that it spoke of my heart.  Not that I am any genius.  Far from it.   But, I truly believe that every day  we can do very ordinary things in an ordinary, ho hum kind of way, or we can do those ordinary things extraordinarily well. As much as I can....I will seek to do the later.   How about you? What is it that 'makes' you will go the … [Read more...]

Poppy was feeling rather patriotic here.     She wasn't sure which was more important, looking pretty though hardly able to keep her eyes open on the snazziest of chairs, or making her furness comfy on a matelasse cushion.     I think the sleepiness and a soft cushion won out.  We can all identify, yes?     How did you spend your Fourth of July?    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   Catch up on all that's Extraordinary...   this week at … [Read more...]

  Recently I went for an early morning walk up the hill to the nearby school.  There, I have a lovely view of the town and countryside.  It's really quite beautiful.  This particular day there was an ethereal cloud hanging low in the valley.  The sun was shining high on the hillside as I stumbled upon these lovely daisies glistening with the morning dew.   In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. Khalil Gibran Though I am not a fan of Gibran's theology...these words speak truth.  We all … [Read more...]

 Happy Summer!! Summer officially rolled in to town at 1:04 EDT Friday morning.  Fortunately or unfortunately it was still dark here, so I was unable to see the sun at its most northern exposure at that hour. This First Day of Summer did not disappoint!  It was bright and sunny and warm.  The perfect summer day!  The only thing that would make it Endless Pool in my backyard.  A girl can dream....right? When the weather heats up, most of us don't want to be cranking up the oven or leaning over a steaming pot on the stove.  And sure...there is that thing called air conditioning.  But, if … [Read more...]

As the temperatures rise and the summer sun shines brightly.... what's one flavor that is cool and refreshing? Lemon!   Enjoy this extraordinary round up of lemon beverages and delectable lemon delights sure to make your taste buds dance.    Thirteen...Wow!  All kinds of extraordinary lemony goodness!  1.  Mini Frozen Lemonade Pies from What's Cooking in the Burbs  2.  Orange Lemon Shake-ups from Love Grows Wild  3.  Summer Citrus Shandy from Lemon Tree Dwelling  4.  Strawberry Lemonade Frosted Cupcakes from Oh Mrs. Tucker  5.  Lemon Poppyseed Muffin in a Mug from Cranberry … [Read more...]

Mason or Ball Jars are a quintessential summer favorite of mine. As I was cruising this week's Monday Funday Link Party, I noticed there were several terrific jar ideas. Here is a round up... Mason Jars 7 Ways!   Starting at the top left and going counter clockwise here's our fabulous line-up: Posed Perfection: Patriotic Fruit Ice Cubes Shaken Together Life: {create this} mason jar BBQ sauce ~ Fathers’ Day gift Joy is at Home: DIY Travel Mason Jar Tutorial {5 minutes start to finish}! Clean and Scentsible:  Cherry Lemonade Raspberry Slushie Love Grows Wild: How to Make Mason Jar Soap … [Read more...]

The Lord is the one who is going ahead of you. He will be with you. He won’t abandon you or leave you. So don’t be afraid or terrified.   Deuteronomy 31:8, God's Word Translation If you would like a free downloadable print, click here, and save it to your computer. Print on your printer or have the image printed by your favorite photo printing service ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   Catch up on all that's Extraordinary... this week at An Extraordinary Day:     Here are this week's … [Read more...]

Wow!  Talk about a fast change in the weather. Two days ago I set up a space in the basement to work where it's cool, because it was in the high 80's.  And today, I don't think we got past 45 degrees and there are winds gusting up to 30 mph.  Oh, and there's a freeze alert tonight too!!  I know, it's May and anything goes, but I am so ready for just plain spring.  Summer can take her time.  I just want to relish in a bit of spring.  I want to enjoy the Rhododendrons, the Iris, and the Cornus Kousa Dogwoods for more than a day.  How about you? Having said all that.  My level of discomfort is nothing compared … [Read more...]

I am so very excited to join in the FUN tonight at MONDAY FUNDAY!   For six weeks I'll be tagging along with the extraordinary ladies that regularly host this inspiring link party. Because I know that some of my readers are not bloggers and may not be familiar with blog or link parties, I just want to give you a brief intro into what my excitement is all about. Several times a week you pop by and enjoy my latest project or inspiration. Thank you!!  How would you like to see 10 or 100 or 300 more ideas?  Sounds like fun?  Yes?  There will be everything from DIY to recipes to home-keeping tips to … [Read more...]