The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Very Own Book!

Dear Ones,

Don't you just love receiving mail?

                          No! I'm not talking about e~mail. . .

                                                            No! I'm not talking about face book. . .

What I'm talking about is receiving real  p a p e r  mail!

Like this. . .

I sent off for this. .  . 

                                    It's a book.
                                                                 My very own book!


See. . .

Come closer for a look at the title. . .

On Crooked Creek. . .

                                      My very own book!

While looking at some possible new designs for On Crooked Creek, I happened upon a page from
             The Cutest Blog On The Block
                                                                 that said Print Your Blog Book.
And that's just what I did!

While I love blogging about my decor, dishes, make~overs, table tops, vignettes. . . the real reason I blog is for my creative writing outlet! I love writing about my family and life's experiences, in general!

With my birthday being in December and the 'end ~of ~year' reflections, I began to think about what I am really leaving as heritage to my son. He won't want my dishes nor my many collectibles, but he might enjoy reading some of my thoughts about the life and happenings On Crooked Creek. In his childhood we would spend hours pouring over family albums. This was a way to bridge the gap when "Mr. Ed's" military career would call him on unaccompanied business. Something Bill enjoyed then. . . and still enjoys today!  So. . .  having all my first year blogs published into book form seemed like a great way to preserve for prosperity our unique journey. Of course, our son would prefer to remain anonymous. . .oops!

Front Cover ~
The photo I chose was sunflowers grown by "Mr. Ed", just for me, On Crooked Creek. The sunflower patch is located in our backyard against the privacy fence. The view from the patio door ~ breathtakingly beautiful!

Dedication Page ~
The first page of my blog book is the Dedication Page. . .

On Crooked Creek. . .
From lurker ~ to blogger, oh what a joyful
experience these past five months have
been in my life! What began as an
outlet for my creative writings has brought
about wonderful new friendships ~ through
memes and comments ~ from some of the
finest ladies with which I've had the
opportunity to correspond.

Table of Contents~
Begins with my very first post and goes through my Christmas post. Thirty post in all! A total of 197 pages include not only my post, but all of the wonderful comments from all of you in blog land that visited On Crooked Creek this past year.

Back Cover ~
Once again, the handiwork of "Mr. Ed's" labors. This time the flower bed at the entrance to our home On Crooked Creek. Showcasing all of my favorites . . .dusty miller, french lavender and bronze mums. . .in full bloom!

The place of honor for my first book is among those of the famous Mary Carol Garrity's Nell Hill books that inspire me with my own home decor. Invaluable references.

Great coffee table reading books for quiet times. . . 
On Crooked Creek.

Book Review ~
?) Am I pleased with the outcome of my first book?
    YES! I certainly am!
?) Will I publish another blog book in the future?
     No doubt in my mind there will continue to be sequel publications!
?) Will I make changes in the future publications?
     That is a possibility. Already I'm thinking of improvements:
     *) Adding more photos. . .
         (Sidebar items didn't print to pages.)
     *) Blogs I Follow. . .
          (Would have been nice to have had my initial list to compare
             with an additional listings.)
     *) Profile Page. . .
          ( I would have preferred that included in this publication.)

To print your very own book is, truly, very simple.

*) Click the icon Print Your Blog Book

Now you're ready to begin!

You have the choice of:
+) Cover  (designs and hardback or soft cover.)
+) Images
+) Number and Order of Post
+) Comments

You can:
#) Edit your book
#) Add / Remove comments

Once you type in your blog name and Print My Blog it is just a few short weeks until the arrival of your published blog book! Amazing!

Life is sometimes. . .difficult.
I feel truly blessed that God has brought each and everyone who reads On Crooked Creek into my life. You have blessed my life by making it a more enjoyable journey.

 On Crooked Creek will be joining Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday. For amazing inspiration be sure to visit all the lovely table top decor the ladies have prepared for your viewing pleasure!

 Until next time. . .

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tied To Apron Strings. . .

Dear Ones,
I have a special place in my heart for aprons. . . 

Seems I remember my Moma hurriedly coming in the house from working in her beauty shop. Tying her apron strings around her slender waist was the outward sign that she was about to prepare our evening meal. Just that sight alone invoked in me the comfort and warmth of her love.

My Moma owned and operated her own business when it wasn't the popular thing for a homemaker to do. Carmen's Beauty Shop was attached to the East side of our kitchen and dining room with it's own private entrance. As soon as her last customer of the day had paid and driven away. . .Moma would begin our evening meal. My job was to set the table, pour the drinks, and keep the dishes washed as she placed them in the sink.

Moma had Southern influence in her upbringing. She once told me, "Good Southern manners flowed through her veins." As soon as she dished up the last course of the meal. . .off came the apron. I don't ever remember seeing her wear her apron to the table.

When I married, my mother~in~law would place her apron around her middle tied high, and begin the task of preparing a noon meal for harvest hands. Many, are the memories I have of those labored hours my first Summer of marriage. No air conditioning. I don't remember a fan. . .only the hot breezes coming from the windows.

Mary would hum as she went about her tasks. She was, truly, her happiest when she was doing anything for her family. Having only sons, she wasn't always sure how to ask for my help. Kindness flowed from her being. I took the role of asking,"Would you like for me to peel the potatoes?" In time, she'd begin to tell me what was needed of me. Some of our happiest times were spent at the kitchen sink. She'd wash the dishes, I'd dry and put the dishes away. During those visits, I learned the history of her family. . .my new family!

I remember during our engagement asking my dear future husband, Ed, "Why does your mother always take a nap after she fixes a family meal?" That Summer, not only did I have the answer to my question. . .I took the guest room bed for my nap!

Oddly, the comfort factor from my Moma's apron wasn't felt in the same way as my mother~in~law's apron. Moma's was familiar, my mother~in~law's was unfamiliar. The warmth of their love was equally felt in both their presence!

Blue floral apron belonged to my Mother~in~law, Mary.
Green floral apron belonged to my Moma, Carmen.
The plaid apron belongs to me and is worn in the Spring!

I feel so privileged to have aprons from both my Moma and my mother ~in ~law! They hang together, side ~ by ~ side, in a place of honor on the lower level of our home. One of my aprons hangs with theirs. A pleasant reminder of days gone by and the love that we shared. One could say. . . I'm tied to apron strings!

Below is an e~mailing that I received from my daughter~in~law's Aunt Cheryl. A farm wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher.

The Apron
Remember making an apron in Home EC? Read below:

The History of 'APRONS'
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use
of Grandma's apron was to
protect the dress
underneath because she
only had a few. It was also
because it was easier to
wash aprons than dresses
and aprons used less
material. But along with
that , it served as a
potholder for removing
hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying
children's tears, and on
occasion was even used
for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop,
the apron was used for
carrying eggs, fussy
chicks, and sometimes
half~hatched eggs to be
finished in the warming

When company came,
those aprons were ideal
hiding places for shy
kids. .

And when the weather
was cold Grandma
wrapped it around her

Those big old aprons
wiped many a perspiring
bent over the hot wood

Chips and kindling wood
were brought into the
kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried
all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been
shelled, it carried out the

In the fall, the apron was
used to bring in apples
that had fallen from the

When unexpected
company drove up the
road, it was surprising
how much furniture that
old apron could dust in a
matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready,
Grandma walked out onto
the porch, waved her
apron, and the men folk
knew it was time to come
in from the fields to

It will be a long time
before someone invents
something that will replace
that 'old~time apron' that
served so many

Send this to those who
would know (and love) the
story about Grandma's


Grandma used to set her
hot baked apple pies on
the window sill to cool.
Her granddaughters set
theirs on the window sill
to thaw.

They would go crazy
now trying to figure out
how many germs were
on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught
anything from an apron ~
but love. . .

On Crooked Creek will be joining our hostess, Tam @The Gypsys Corner for Three or More Tuesday. You can visit with all the participants at .

Also, linking with Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday. Be sure to visit these lovely vignettes for ideas in your own home decor.

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Breakfast On Crooked Creek!

One of my favorite tablescape color combinations is black and white ~ classic!

On Crooked Creek will be joining our gracious hostess, Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Please stop by for a visit and view what the ladies have prepared for you to inspire your own home decor.

Today I'm using my Coventry Fine Porcelain dinnerware accented by black and white botanical toile runner and place mats for our Breakfast On Crooked Creek!

I chose to use plain white, linen napkins folded and tied with a 2 inch wide black on black checked satin ribbons with a short fat bow.

Stacking the all white dinnerware high begins with a fluted dinner plate, leaf embossed salad / dessert plate, Mary Carol Christmas plate, a second leaf embossed saucer, finishing off with a fluted bowl.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to purchase these Mary Carol Christmas dessert plates. I adore the black and white wreath and the delicate black vine edging. Just that touch of elegance needed to break the monotony in this setting!

Clear bubble glass stemware, at the head of the place setting, will serve as our water goblet. White bud vases hold a beaded cream napkin ring tucked inside and two cream hued faux columbines.

In keeping with the introduction of cream hued accessories, a pair of whimisical rabbits join us this morning for Breakfast On Crooked Creek.  Replicas for their real counterparts that often entertain "Mr.Ed", Maurice and I as we observe their antics through the patio doors. 

Hefty, clan iron 'pair of hares' found during a recent vacation at Heartland Antique Mall in Lebanon, Missouri continues our cream hued theme.

The wrought iron tray houses a trio of Party~Lite elevated glass votive candle holders. Cream hued beaded garland lines the tray to lighten and reflect light.

Tied to sheer white organza ribbons, crystal prisms hang from the overhead chandelier . Cream hued beaded napkin rings encircle each candlestick and are topped with ivory silk shades. 

A one~of~a~kind find from Iron Star Antiques and Home Decor in Fort Scott, Kansas is this oval,  crown tray. It's burnished bronze finish mimics the Traditional chandelier. Wrought iron qualities give it a stately presence in this table setting.

Breakfast On Crooked Creek!

French Toast
Crisply Fried Bacon
Orange Segments
Orange Juice

While "Mr. Ed" prefers Maple Praline 100% Natural Syrup on his French Toast, I prefer some type of fruit preserves. This morning On Crooked Creek, I chose Harry and David's Seedless Blackberry Preserves.

Our orange juice and freshly brewed100% Columbian Eight O'clock Coffee have been poured. All is ready for us to enjoy a leisurely Saturday morning Breakfast On Crooked Creek.

On Crooked Creek there's only one thing left to do. At every meal, we give thanks. . .

Morning Prayer
God of light,
Spirit of compassion,

You open up
the morning skies
again before us.
You breathe in us
the breath of life.

Be our guide
in this new day.
Be present with
and in us.

Heal us.
Lift us.
Stir us.
Gift us.

Let us be a blessing
and a reflection of You.


Deborah Cooper

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Haste Makes Waste!

My maternal grandmother always used sayings when trying to bring about needed change in my childhood behavior. Haste makes waste!

I blew it!

Trying to do a photo shoot close to our scheduled dinner hour didn't convey my best effort. It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you for NOT pointing out my short comings on my Isn't It Romantic? post.

Grandmother was correct ~ haste makes waste!

Your kind comments towards the Aqua (blue) dinner plates prompted me to do a bit more research. On Crooked Creek, I spent two hours of "Mr. Ed's" day sleeper time quietly searching Homer Laughlin China on the Internet. Nearing desertion, I stumbled upon a site where I learned the history of my dinnerware.

The hue, turquoise blue, is one of four color choices of this casual line of dinnerware. Epicure was designed by Don Schreckengost and introduced in January 1955. Snow White, Dawn Pink, Turquoise Blue and Charcoal Gray were the four color glazes available on the sixteen piece set retailing at $7.95. Pieces made in the Epicure line included: the creamer, sugar bowl with lid, coffee pot, covered vegetable, round vegetable bowl 8", large platter, pickle, sauce boat, ladle, salt pepper shakers, individual covered casserole, dinner plate 10", salad plate 8", bread butter plate 6", coffee cup and saucer, coupe soup 8" and cereal bowl.

Iron Star Antiques and Home Decor Shop in Fort Scott, Kansas is one of my frequent stops when I take monthly visits to see my Dad. My first glimpse of the Homer Laughlin Epicure Turquoise Blue 10" dinner plates was in the early Spring of 2010. I was smitten! The original six were purchased for $12.00.

Gizmo's Flea Market is operated by a co~worker of "Mr. Ed's" in El Dorado, Kansas. On a rainy Spring Day, I acquired the two saucers and seven bowls at the purchase price of $5.00. Gold Crown Lifetime China Company in Alliance, Ohio actually commissioned Homer Laughlin China Company to make the Epicure to compliment and extend their serving pieces. Amazing ~ I just thought they'd make a stunning compliment to my dinner plates!

Departing On Crooked Creek this past Saturday, "Mr. Ed" and I ventured to our nearby Paramount Antique Mall and The Flying Moose Antique Mall. "Mr. Ed" came home empty~handed. Thinking it was a total day lost for both of us, walking down the next to the last aisle, I stopped short! My heart leaped! Could it be? I, ever so carefully picked up the dish, turned it over and YES ~ Homer Laughlin USA.! The price. . . 17 pieces for $15.00! Four dinner plates 10", four cereal bowls, four saucers, three cups, sugar bowl with lid. . . and they now reside On Crooked Creek!

The hunt will continue On Crooked Creek as my hopes for a complete service for eight becomes closer to a reality.

During a recent stop at our local Thrift Shop to drop off donated items, I happened upon these lovely aqua hued Colonial Candles for $.25 a piece! The original price would have been $15.00.

The following photos are meant to make amends for my former haste On Crooked Creek. Knowing that while we are facing harsh winter weather, it is my wish that you will find refreshment in the hope that Spring is close at hand. Take time to relax, renew and calm your Spirit. 

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creek is joining our hostess, Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday. WoW! Inspiration abounds. . .stop by and see these lovely ideas for your home decor!