Monday, May 6, 2024

Captions on Life


Kane's Furniture Store

In With the New, Out With the Old

You may have to lean in closer to your screen to understand what this picture is. We were furniture shopping last week when we saw this dining set (I guess that's what it's called) that would have been perfect for us if we had the space for it. It's a bicycle table with two stools. The table was pretty narrow, so seating two more plates on the opposite side might have been tight. It's very clever!

Ethan Allen ~ 1984

We were shopping to replace two pieces of furniture that are in remarkably good condition ("excellent" would be a better word), albeit "dated." 

Harvest Gold recliner ~ 1980-something

We are celebrating our second anniversary this month and just now dealing with furniture issues stemming from the marriage of two households. Most of my furniture was sold prior to selling my house. These two pieces are Gary's and have served him well over the years. 

The recliner is where I sit to watch TV (and nap). It does not have any electric knobs or handles to recline, just "leg power" but it's very comfortable.

The couch is beautiful, like a piece of art (as was the 2002 Ford Thunderbird we traded in for a small Ford truck). It's hard to release such attractive possessions but at our age and with the square footage of our home, practicality has to be the determining factor.

new furniture

We (actually Gary) did advance research on-line before driving to one of the several furniture stores here in town. We thought we wanted one of those largish, L-shaped couches in white or ivory, but to shorten the story, we were not satisfied when we saw it in-person. 

Then this light tan love seat caught our attention. It's got two seats with the middle console, and we bought TWO of them. (yes!) Two pieces of furniture instead of one really big piece, which provides more flexibility.

We have the old furniture listed on-line with no responses at all, thus far. We have tried consignment with no success. Of course there is always the option of donating.

Orchid from Mary and Tony;
Gardenia cuttings

A Pleasant Surprise

Patti across the street has a gorgeous Gardenia bush just outside the door to her lanai. She gave us some cuttings. With a scent surely from Heaven itself, I walked back to our house wishing we had such a bush. 

our first Gardenia 

But then to my delight, the very next day we realized we have two Gardenia bushes alongside the walk to our front door! Gary planted them over a year ago and one of them popped open a flower for us! We had forgot what they were!

Sylvester Palm (center)

High Maintenance

Having lived more of my years in states with no tropical plants, I am learning how to cohabitate with palm trees. Lovely and graceful, but like some people, they are "high maintenance." When they are short, keeping them trimmed is a job but not especially dangerous. When they reach greater heights, they need to be managed or they look unkept and almost like they're dying.

Gary enjoys trimming everything outdoors but after that unforeseen fall from a ladder last Spring while working on a palm tree, we're having to hire younger, more agile people to do the task for us. 

I love trees but it seems a house with just bushes might be the wiser choice for retirees....

Reality Check

sign in a hardware store

Today I won't share more car show pictures (we stopped in at two of them this past weekend) but I did snap this sign at one of the venues. Need I say more?

Another item under "Reality Check" -- are any of my readers still getting mail for your middle-aged children? I've lived in 3 houses since my three children left home to be self-sufficient adults (the last one left in 1997) and yet I still get mail for them. It's nothing worth passing on to them, just junk. But really? Postage is costly.


We're seeing the stories on TV about scammers and/or Artificial Intelligence posing as grandchildren trying to trick grandparents into sending money. 

Special Occasions

Mother's Day is this weekend. I'm sharing some especially good pictures of my mother here.

Mama in about 1998
with  our Cocker Spaniels

She will be celebrating her 99th birthday this weekend in addition to Mother's Day. We don't have a party planned but I'm sure my sister and those family members who live nearby will not allow the occasion to go by unnoticed. (I hope to visit her later this year)

Mama on an especially good hair day

I've sent her some small gifts for the fun of opening them up. It's hard to shop for those in nursing homes when their material needs are minimal. 

Maggie, one of Sister's pups

Sister and those of her family who live close to our mother have made sure she gets plenty of visits, which is what she enjoys the most (along with anything chocolate). There are THREE Basset Hounds in our family who stop in at the nursing home fairly often. You can see how well that goes over!

there's nothing like a warm puppy!

It's been just about 52 years since circumstances of life (i.e. my late husband's career) have allowed me to live in the same town (or even the same state!) as my mother, so keeping in touch with phone calls (when her hearing was good) and frequent letters, along with occasional in-person visits, have kept our relationship alive. 

My mother has been good to me and Sister, and was a faithful, attentive wife to my daddy. Her marriage taught me the basics of how to relate to a husband, how to raise children, keep a clean house, and to serve the Lord. She is the one who taught me my life-long love of sewing and how to sing alto. One of my treasured special memories of her was hearing her play the piano as I left the house to walk to school. A favorite of hers was the hymn, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross."

Concluding With Encouragement

Still thinking of motherhood, I want us all to remember that although the greeting card industry wants us to label them with sainthood, they (including myself) are just people. Humans who face all the weaknesses and temptations of life simply cannot get it right all the time. Sometimes we mess up out of inexperience, sheer ignorance and sometimes out of deliberate selfishness, fear, and even anger. That describes all of us, whichever gender and calling on life. 

Guilt hounds most people, but perhaps mothers most of all. We pour ourselves into little people who then grow up to be --- well, fill in the blank there. Sometimes it's good and sometimes not so much. 

I guess what I'm saying here is that we need to be forgiving of mothers (and everybody, actually), because life is tough and none of us get it right all of the time. Applying the Golden Rule, if we want to be forgiven, we need to forgive and move forward as wiser and more gentle people for the experiences. 

"All My Children" November 2021
3 adults with their spouses
11 grandchildren

Until next time, grace and peace.


  1. Good thoughts Barbara, for sure, if we could go back knowing what we know now, we'd likely all do things a tad differently. Wishing you a good Mother's Day weekend!!!

  2. That bike table is very creative and perfect for you two - if it was smaller! :)
    Gardenia's are so pretty. Glad you have some of your own!
    Your new furniture looks very nice and comfortable too.
    Good words on Mothers.

  3. Speaking of spammers, we watched a really good movie last night, The Beekeepers; very good movie that deals with scammers scamming folks and the 'Beekeeper' being a government entity. I think Gary would really like it. It really makes one think.

    I want one of those L couches too...and neither of us can agree on a couch. I don't know why he is worried, he never sits on it anyways, LOL. Wishing you beautiful Mother's Day my friend.


Proceeding to Father's Day

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