Saturday, November 27, 2010

Swan Song

Where were you?Were you lost in the crowds tracking down the elusive Flat Screen TV when you shoulda been bird hunting at Winnie & Tulula's?

All I can say shoulda been there!

You're in luck though. The Christmas Open House continues through Saturday November 27th. There's still time to capture a swan or ostrich for your trophy room...if you hurry!

(Sorry y'all...Odette has already flown the coop!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cannot Say Enough

For the privilege to say grace, for Your saving grace and for my Graycie...I say thank you Lord.

For the joy in my life, for the joyful sound in my heart and for my Joey...I say thank you Lord.

For the beauty around me, for the beauty within us and for my Bella...I say thank you Lord.

For Genesis I, for generations to come and for my Jennifer...I say thank you Lord.

For my daily bread, for the breadbasket of America and for cornbread dressing...I say thank you Lord.

For my family, Your favor and friendships...I say thank you Lord.

(photo courtesy of David)
My cup runneth over.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Goodness gracious y'all...I'm busier than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs! Spent yesterday (will be going back today) at Winnie & Tulula's prepping for the big Christmas Open House...Angels In America. (subliminal message #1...this Friday, November 26) I'm here to report it's official...all the Tulula Heads, including Don, Miguel and Cat Daddy. are now Texasfied and glitterfied. I'd be willing to bet we'll all be finding glitter in places I won't mention ('cause I'm such a lady) for a year!

Y'all...the shoppes are beautiful...if I don't mind saying so myself...and I don't! (subliminal message #2...5-9pm) While the Head Mistress is looking the other way, I thought I would give y'all a sneak peek! Ready?
Sorry...that's from last year! (subliminal message #3...also on Saturday from 10 am-5pm) is this one...although Jenn and Bella will be there taking donations for Pennies For Preemies. (subliminal message op with the Bella Baby) Jenn has the button up on her blog now if you are interested in making a donation to this worthwhile cause.
Good grief y'all...I must have gotten into the wrong folder. Sorry Debra...I'm not trying to be mean by showing cute sheep! (subliminal message #5...this stuff won't last long)
I think I've figured out the problem. I must have gotten into David's photos (subliminal message #6...the guy is a gifted photographer) from last year 'cause he sure took a bunch of good ones!
No-0-0...this isn't one of his. I remember taking this one 'cause I was in such a hurry I forgot to straighten the sweaters that had been touched for the 1000th time! Now where on earth did I put those photos I took yesterday?

Oh I remember!

(subliminal message #7...SQUIRREL!!!)

They are still in my camera waiting to be downloaded...silly me! Guess you'll just have to make plans to join us for the festivities Friday evening beginning at 5:00 p.m. and don't forget...dinner will be available in The Bistro. (subliminal message 903-677-6868 for reservations) Bring your appetite...and your checkbooks! (Nothing subliminal about it...get yourself on down to see me!)
I'm such a little stinker...ain't I?
Did I mention French Vanilla will be guest vendors? Yeah...I kinda thought that would get your attention!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Food For Thought

I know y'all have your meal planned for Thursday, but whatcha got planned for Friday after a big day of shopping? Turkey Tetrazzini complete with another set of dirty dishes sound good to you? How about a big ol' cornbread dressing sandwich washed down with a little Pepto? Yummy! You could go ahead now and make reservations at The Bistro for a special four course meal prepared by Chef Jeff by just picking up the phone and dialing 903-677-6868. It's up to you....Filet Mignon or warmed up green bean casserole....Chilean sea bass or turkey surprise. Which is it gonna be?

I strongly recommend the call or face the consequences!

Wonderful news to share with y'all tonight. Peg is mending beautifully AND the test results came back NEGATIVE! Praise God!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Different Purple Heart

Bella asked me to do this post. She wanted me to let y'all know...this is gonna be a long one. In fact, it may even be a series. We got a lot to say and don't want to lose you before we even get started. I know y'alls world doesn't stop with her, but mine did March 12, 2008. Because of the circumstances leading up to her birth, I feel she has an important message to share and I'm the designated typist. If you see any misspelled words or dangling participles...blame Bella..'kay?Most of y'all who read my blog know the circumstances surrounding Bella's birth. Jenn developed Preeclampsia in February and after three weeks in the hospital, buying Bella more time, complications set in. Her OB/GYN made the decision to deliver Bella by C-section at 23 weeks, 4 days. Bella came into the world (with her tiny legs kicking) measuring 10" in length and weighing 15 oz. Prior to the delivery, Jenn and Roby had been advised her chances of survival were slim if any. She hadn't reached the point of viability which meant a decision had to made as to whether to place Bella on the ventilator and it had to be made by Roby and Jenn. At 24 weeks, preemies are automatically placed on one. They were advised that if they chose not to, it might be their only chance to hold her. (The survival rate for babies born under 23 weeks is less than 10%) Jennifer as a child of God, believed that she would hold her baby one day and they chose to intubate Bella. I'm about to get technical on y'all, so don't stop reading please....these numbers are important.

The number of premature births in America are on the rise. A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks. Anything less than 37 weeks is considered preterm. 70% are delivered between 34 and 36 weeks; 12% at 32 and 33; 10% at 28 and 31; 6% at less than 28. Even at 37 weeks, there can be complications and the babies are placed in NICU. The survival rate is even more staggering....40% chance at 24 weeks increasing with each week until 90% at 28 weeks. The medical advances over the last 40 years has been phenomenal, but the numbers demonstrate why every precious day that can be bought for these babies is critical.

Bella was born a micro-preemie which is a baby born under 26 weeks and weighing less than 1 3/4 pounds. The complications that can arise for these babies are a mile long beginning with lung problems, eye surgery and the list goes on and on. These babies haven't had time, as Jenn put it, to finish cooking.

Delivering these micro-preemies even by C-Section is a risk with possible brain damage as a result...through no fault of the doctor. Imagine if you will how tiny they are...then picture in your mind how tiny the lines are that are inserted into them and the risks to the lungs. It takes a skillful hand and a lot of prayer. The odds are not in their favor, but God is.

Here's the gist of it y'all. November is National Premature Awareness month and purple designated as the official color. Bella is asking y'all to help. If you visit the March of Dimes web page, you can read all the statistics, advancements, and ways to help.
I'm showing y'all these photos of Bella while she was in her glass castle to make a point. For five months, Jenn and Roby called Baylor Hospital NICU home. They traveled back and forth daily to be with her and to learn how to care for her.
The constant tug on their hearts would sometimes be more than they could handle, but they did it. Think of those who are out there right now with their babies in hospitals close to where you live. Not only are they watching their baby fight to live, but they share a bond with the other parents there whose baby may or may not live. There is the constant noise of alarms, monitors, doctors, nurses, but very little crying. These babies do not cry early on. The reason maybe the intubators or that their lungs aren't developed enough. The only crying heard is usually that of the families.
Bella was blessed with God's favor. Her only major complication was a heart defect, PDA, which required surgery. She'll have the scar to remind her of how much God loves her always.
Imagine the heart ache of going to the hospital day in and day out and never getting to touch, much less hold, your baby. These tiny babies are so fragile with absolutely no fat under their skin, they bruise from the slightest touch.
Jenn and Roby were fortunate. They brought Bella home in August with just an oxygen tank. I say just...she had to be on oxygen all the time as well as an apnea monitor.

I'm digressing here for just a moment to mention again...these babies have virtually no fat. I'm going to ask you again to picture changing a diaper and not being sure if it's a girl or a boy. The hospital staff sometimes forgets that things like this are important for the new parents to know. Without that layer of fat, things don't look exactly right. The babies literally have no bottom....just a back. If that is confusing, I'll try to explain it in a future post.
Jenn knows she has been blessed and has constantly prayed to God about what she can do to repay this blessing. He has placed in her heart the need to help those parents who are in those NICUs. After much more praying and soul searching, she has decided to try and start a special program that she has named Pennies For Preemies. With the donations she receives, she plans on using the money to help parents who will be spending Christmas at Baylor Hospital with their premature babies.
We plan on the kickoff to be at Winnie & Tulula's Angels in America Christmas Open House next Friday, November 26th. She'll have a can that pennies can be dropped into or you can contact her for more information about donating. I'm going to be doing more posts on this because I truly believe it is a worthy cause and also because I love my daughter with all my heart.

She is walking a path I don't know that I would be able to with grace, fierce determination and a grateful heart.

I always end my prayers with the request that I be allowed to live until I see my children grown. Watching her and her faithfulness to God while walking through fire tells me, He heard my cry.
I am thankful for my God whose eye is always on the sparrow.

I am linking this to Debra's VIF and Lynn's A "Give Thanks" Party.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sadly I'm doing a second post this evening to once again ask for your help in lifting up someone we all dearly love. Theresa's mother-in-law has now gone home to our Father's house. I don't know if I can find the words to express my sadness for the family at their many of you have a way of expressing things more beautifully than me, but I love Theresa so much, I wanted to try. Pray that through their sorrow, joy will be found for she is now seeing all the things we long to see.

I know I don't have to ask you take the time to go and offer Theresa a word or two of comfort...I know y'all too well. You're already on your way over there, perhaps before you even finish reading this post and that is how it should be. Theresa is a blessing to us all.

Keep Theresa, Cruz, their children and all the family in your prayers tonight for a safe journey as they travel to Brownsville and for strength in the coming days. Losing a parent is extremely difficult, but especially when it comes so close to a holiday.

Again, all I ask is you leave your name in the comment section to let SweetT know prayers are going up. Thank you.

I'm closing this post with a poem I read last year at French Larkspur's lovely blog. It was around this same time and it touched me so deeply having lost my own daddy around Thanksgiving so many years ago. With Tracey's kind permission, I'm reprinting it for the Cano family and all others who have experienced similar losses. God bless you all.

I'm Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year

I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below;
With the tiny lights, like Heaven's stars
Reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular,
Please wipe away that tear;
Because I'm spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
That people hold so dear;
But the sounds of any music can't compare
With the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you
The joy their voices bring;
It is beyond description
To hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart,
But it's only for a while
That we will be apart.

I'll ask Him to light your spirit
As I tell him of your love,
So please pray for one another
As you lift your eyes above.
I can't tell you of the splendor
or the peace here in this place.
Can you imagine Christmas
With our Savior...face to face?

Please let your hearts be joyful
And let your spirit sing,
I'm spending Christmas in Heaven
And I'm walking with the King.

Thanks Giving!

On behalf of Peg and her amazing family, I want to say thank you for all the prayers. God couldn't help but hear us with so many talking at once. Looking at your names in the comment section makes me so proud to be a part of a web community where faith in a living God is the uniting silken thread.

Janet said all went well during surgery and things are looking promising. So well in fact...Peg's home as of today! Would you believe she's already craving a hamburger, feeling bored and working that signature orange lipstick? Keep praying as they wait for the lab results and as she mends. It's my understanding, Peg is planning quite the Bra Burning Party! Praise God. I know I've been scarce the past few days and I hope y'all bear with me. It's that time of year where glitter and an occasional swear word are my middle names. The Tulula Heads, along with the Head Tulula, are getting things ready for another fantastic Christmas Open House. The theme this year is Angels In America and my mind is running amok with all the possibilities! So much so, I can't seem to stay focused on just one project. Can I get a "Squirrel" to that?

I'll be giving y'all all the 411 in a later post, but I would also like to mention Jenn will be launching her "Pennies For Preemies" at the open house. After she and Roby were so blessed with Bella, she has felt a pressing conviction to give back. This will be the beginning of a dream she hopes to see grow and take wing. I'm planning a special post to explain what God has laid out for her. In the meantime, please keep her in your prayers.

Angels in America...and they are walking among us!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Phillippians 4:6-7

There are people we meet in life who have a way of creeping into our hearts and becoming so embedded there, we cease to think of them as just friends, but as family. Tonight I'm thinking of just such a rowdy group who are so dear to me, that if I didn't have a family, I would beg them to adopt me.

I'm talking about the Jones family. Some of you may know Janet, Sport or Mo, but if you've been truly blessed, you've met the matriarch of this wonderful family, Peg. Peg is THE true renegade, from her orange nail polish (with matching lipstick,naturally!) to her unique sense of style ( and oh what style!). She and George would have been perfect candidates for a reality show (if there had been such a thing) when they were busy raising their raucous family. In fact...I don't know if a camera crew would have been able to keep up. I'm not kidding. Their station wagon stories alone would fill three books...all non-fiction 'cause this is the stuff legends are made of.

I met Mo and Janet at Canton long before Sweet Talk Sweet, Rubbish or HEAP was more than a glimmer in their eyes. Those two, along with Peg, were maxi-shoppers with a passion for the unique and an eye for anything deserving to be made into art. Shortly after meeting them, the girls got a booth behind me inside the Civic Center. I counted the days until Canton rolled around, waiting for the stories they would share with me about growing up in the 60's with Peg and George for parents. I sat enthralled while hearing them talk of their childhood peppered with tales of discipline, road trips, and a love of Christ. Their faith was evident without ever having to say a word.

Meeting Peg for the first time reaffirmed everything I had learned about them. She has instilled in them a love for God, family and country while at the same time teaching them that being a woman is anything but a liability and that an imagination (and hard work) could carry them to the moon and back. Even at 80 (hope telling that little tidbit doesn't get me in trouble), she still walks the walk and talks the talk!

~I have become a marvel to many, for You are my strong refuge. Psalms 71:7~

I'm telling y'all this because today when I opened my mailbox, I saw an email with the word "mom" and the sender's name Janet. I felt myself stop breathing and for just a moment, I couldn't...didn't want it. I won't share all the email except these four words. Peg has breast cancer. Tough words to type...harder words to say. Would be even harder if it were anyone but Peg. She fought and won the battle with cancer twenty years ago. She is what she is. An unashamedly, Godly, scrappy woman who is facing this without fear, knowing it is in God's mighty hands and that her faith will sustain her. She has complete trust in her doctor, but an even greater trust in her saviour.

~Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Psalms 84:5~

I'm not sure exactly how to word this, but I'm asking tonight that you join me in prayers for this magnificent family. As prayer warriors, let's send them our strength and love to lift them up during this difficult time. Her surgery is scheduled for Monday at 12:30 p.m. and prayers for wisdom and skill for the medical staff are asked for as well. (She still has the same doctor that performed her surgery twenty years ago!) Specifically pray that the lymph nodes are unaffected. Peg is a remarkable woman who is handling this with calm and grace while walking in God's calm and grace. Pray with her that He will be glorified!

~Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord JE-HO'VAH is everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:4~

In Janet's words, ".....what is perfect for her in His eyes is perfect for all of us."

~For He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways. Psalms 91:11~

I ask only that you list your name in the comments section, letting the family know you will be keeping them in your prayers or click onto Janet's link to let her know personally. Thank you so much.

I love all you crazy Joneses more than you will ever know.

Monday, November 8, 2010

That's Just Crazy Talk

In the South, the question isn't whether there are crazy, I mean eccentric folks in the family...that's a given. The only real question is which side's prouder of 'em! Can y'all guess which it is at the Casita de Trash?It's been said there's a thin line separating insanity from genius. Y'all...he may be walking a tight rope here...
on the ledge of evil genius!
Anyone up for a game of Crazy 8's? Seating is now available!
Hmm...I think I see some guys in white jackets hiding in the shrubs muttering something about "certifiable"!
Crazy you ask? a fox!

(What can I say...I'm the one who puts him on the front porch for all the neighbors to see!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

WANTED: One StraitJacket...Size XL

He's at it again folks!

Somebody stop him!

Chair dancing!

Spring Fever!

Man overboard!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Top Of The Heap!

If you're looking for a heap o'fun...look no further!

I suggest you make plans to attend...unless you'd rather get into a heap o'trouble instead!