Sunday, October 31, 2010


 . . . perfect love casts out fear.
~I John 4:18~

Fear believes there is never enough.
Love believes there is plenty for everyone.

Fear believes the worst about people and situations.
Love believes the best about people and situations.

Fear believes there is only one right answer.
Love believes there are many ways to understand something.

Fear believes you have to change others through manipulation and coercion to get what you want.
Love believes real change comes from the heart, starting with your own heart.

Fear believes the damage is done.
Love believes healing can happen.

Fear believes I must do everything with my own strength.
Love believes there is a Higher Power that wants to help me.

Fear believes people are disposable commodities.
Love believes people are sacred.

Fear believes in proving your own superiority over others.
Love believes in honoring the greatness in others.

Fear believes no one is listening and no one cares.
Love believes in prayer.
~Candy Paull~

Friday, October 29, 2010

Priceless Pumpkin

One lunch size brown paper bag.
plus poster paints and brushes,
plus one 4 year old,
plus a mother's memories.

Of all my Halloween decorations, this one remains my favorite twenty one years later.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cans Can Feed

I mentioned previously that the Dallas Arboretum is one of my favorite places in the city. 
Another favorite is NorthPark Center.
I feel a little guilty admitting that a shopping mall holds such a spot of honor, but it is so much more than a place to shop.
For me, it holds so many memories.  Good memories.
It is a place that my mother and I giggled like school girls.
It is where I would meet my sister when she was a buyer for Neiman Marcus.
It is where I spent hours working a phone bank to raise funds and sell season tickets for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
It is where I, and so many others, picked up packets for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
It is where I pushed a stroller in an attempt to entertain my young son, and assure myself there were people in the world taller than 3 feet with real vocabularies.
It is where that same son first sat on Santa's knee.
It is where I will go in a few weeks and still see the timeless holiday decorations that once filled his eyes with amazement and wonder.
It is a place filled not only with stores, but also wonderful artwork, landscaped gardens and inspiration in many forms.
It is so much more than a shopping mall.

NorthPark constantly gives back to the community, hosting various fundraisers and exhibits throughout the year.
I just happened to be there recently and observe Canstruction, the most unique food drive in the world.
Canstruction is an annual competition of giant structures built completely with canned food.  Competing teams are led by architects and engineers.  Competitions are held throughout the country.  This local competition is organized by the Society for Design Administration, working in tandem with the American Institute of Architects.
This was the 14th annual local competition and featured 23 structures.

Don't Let Hunger Drag-on by Corgan Associates, Inc.
Approximately 6,000 cans

Some sculptures incorporated bags of  beans or packets of soup mix for just the right texture or color.

We Can Turn Hunger Around by Perkins + Will
Approximately 2025 cans

Close up of turntable.  The black color was achieved with plastic lids.

I-CAN-dy by FKP Architects
Approxiimately 3225 cans

Pairing Up to End Hunger by Alliance Architects
Approximately 1182 cans

Due to strong sunlight, I was unable to take a good photograph of the opposite side of the ark.  That side featured pairs of small plastic animals marching up the plank of the ark.

I was able to capture a photograph of the cute couple at the ark's bow!

Souper Bowl by HDR Architects
Approxiimately 5860 cans

A most appropriate sculpture, since the metroplex will be hosting the NFL Super Bowl in January 2011.
Notice it is resting on green turf to resemble a football field.
You can also, just barely, see a spoon handle emerging from the bowl on the opposite side.

Extinguish Hunger by VAI Architects
Approximately 2120 cans

Blowing Away Hunger by Paige-Southerland-Paige
Approximately 4020 cans

Following the competition and exhibit, all food is donated to the North Texas Food Bank.
What was a delightful exhibit and feast for the eyes of many, will become desperately needed nourishment for many bodies.
As I looked at the vast amount of food, I was reminded how very blessed I am.
While my life is not perfect, and some days are difficult, I have never known hunger.
I pray that someday that can be true for all.

Until then, I am thankful for non-profits such as Canstruction, all the teams of architects and engineers that contributed their time and talent, and a shopping mall that is a favorite spot for more reasons than shopping.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Now all glory to God,
who is able, through his mighty power at work within us,
to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
~Ephesians 3:20~

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Houses

I recently spent a delightful day strolling the grounds of the Dallas Arboretum.  It is truly one of my favorite spots in the city!

Paths and planting beds throughout the grounds are lined with over 40,000 pumpkins and decorative gourds, during the Great Pumpkin Festival.

There are pumpkins here,


and everywhere!

In some places, the pumpkins and gourds fill the entire planting beds.

In other places, they become the plants! 
Surely you are familiar with pumpkin flowers, aren't you?

But, the main attraction is the Storybook Pumpkin Village!

Four walk-through houses are constructed completely of pumpkins and gourds.

I adored the green window trim on this little house!

Each house was unique,

and truly a work of art!

The Arboretum is not the only place to find delightful pumpkin houses, though!

This adorable little pumpkin house recently arrived by mail.
I am thinking it might actually have a slight advantage over those at the Arboretum.

The roof opens, and a drawer slides out to reveal yummy chocolates!

Nothing better than a day filled with pumpkin houses!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pity Party and Pansy Planting

Thank you so much for the all the warm and fuzzy birthday greetings and wishes!  They truly lifted my spirits and and carried me through some discouraging days.  Results from my recent CT scans were not what we hoped.  More appointments and tests will be conducted next week.  I held a pity party for myself for a few days, but now it is time to move on to . . . .

pansy planting!
Currently, we are having slightly above-normal daytime temperatures that still climb into the low's 80's.  The general rule of thumb is that pansies should not be planted until daytime temperatures are consistently under 80 degrees.  However, these little flowers just always make me smile!  Smiles were needed, so pansies were planted.
So far, so good.
They seem to be enjoying our sunny days and cooler nights, and not minding a few extra degrees of warmth.
The tulip bulbs are also puchased and in the refrigerator chilling.
I love fall gardening!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Birthday Blessings

Photograph recently taken at Dallas Arboretum

When we start counting flowers,
we cease counting weeds;
When we start counting blessings,
we cease counting needs;
When we start counting laughter,
we cease counting tears;
When we count happy memories,
we cease counting years.
~Barbara Kunz Loots~

Today I count my blessings for fifty six years of life.
The last year has not been the most easy or healthy.  However, it probably brought more blessings than might have been realized otherwise.  I have learned to be more patient and more understanding.  Waiting in doctor offices can do that.  Seeing people in even more pain and discomfort in hospitals can do that, too.
I have realized how truly blessed I am.
I have a husband who has driven me to countless medical appointments, held my hand, calmed my fears, and dried my tears.  I have a son who knows when I need a hug and a box of Sprinkles cupcakes.
My mailbox has been flooded with cards and sweet notes.  Special packages appear on my doorstep.  Beautiful floral arrangements have been delivered and brightened my day.
Heart touching comments have been left here, even though I have been unable to post as often I want. 
God has planted me in a beautiful garden of family and friends, that continues to bloom and grow.
To each of you, I am most grateful and count you as my best birthday blessing and gift.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sparkly Pumpkins, Part II

I could not stop with just one sparkly pumpkin. 

Now, I have a whole centerpiece of sparkly pumpkins!

As often happens with glitter, a little (or a lot!) was also stuck to me.
I decided to think of it as magical fairy dust and danced off to the local Texas Department of Public Safety office.  You may recall, from an earlier post, my concern about failing the vision test for my driver's license renewal.
With a little bit of magic, a bundle of good wishes from faithful friends and kind readers, and a whole lot of God's grace, I passed!
It is a small step on my road to recovery, but a big step on helping me still feel somewhat nomal.  While I still cannot drive too many places, I will at least be prepared for the day when I can!

If you wish to make sparkly pumpkins of your own, my inspiration came from here.
I used artificial pumpkins and gourds with MS Fine Glitter in Fire Opal and Copper.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Believe in yourself, your neighbors, your work, your ultimate attainment of more complete happiness.
It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in Autumn.
~B. C. Forbes~

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sparkly Pumpkin To Go

Make a sparkly pumpkin.

Add brown krinkle paper to a bright orange take out container.

Gently nestle sparkly pumpkin inside.

Add a bow, and it is one sparkly pumpkin to go!
Sent to a friend, along with wishes for all things good!

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