Morning Coffee

Well Good Morning!  I've gotten nostalgic for 'the old days' when neighboring women got together for a cup of coffee (and a much needed rest break) after a round of morning chores.

Years ago, when I was a fairly young mom, there were a group of us who gathered at my house each weekday morning.  It was a small town and our kids all attended the same elementary school just three blocks from my home.  Everyone dropped their kids off and rushed over to my house for coffee and some good old conversation.  It didn't last long, perhaps an hour. There was a group of about six of us.  Two worked, three attended classes and the last girl was a stay at home mom.  We led such busy lives,  but oh that hour of conversation and coffee and laughter just set us up for the day somehow.  Now and then I'll recall something funny that happened or was said and find myself chuckling even now over it.  

I did a sort of repeat of those days when I'd run up to Granny's to have coffee on John's work mornings.  I am so glad I spent that time with her in those latter years.  I so enjoyed those mornings on her front porch  or snugged around the kitchen table with the heater making the room cozy on cold mornings.  The conversation ranged as widely as it did in my children's elementary years when my friends and I met for coffee.

Granny had usually been up quite a few hours already when I arrived at her home.  Even in her younger years, when she worked hard outdoors most mornings, Granny started her day with housework and then   stopped for coffee and a break before she started work outdoors...Don't remember that Grandmama ever stopped for coffee mid-morning, but then she was a late to bed, late to rise sort.  Not lazy, by any means!  But where Granny got up around 5a.m. or so each morning and started her work before daybreak then headed off to bed about 9p.m., Grandmama often didn't rise until 9a.m. and worked well into the evening, not stopping to relax until about the time Granny was going off to bed.  Grandmama was prone to stay up a bit past midnight.  Different strokes, right?

What prompted this nostalgia was an advertisement in one of my vintage magazines about "Morning Coffee" and there sat a group of women over a kitchen table, chattering away...Yep, it made me want to recapture those days all over again.

Well here I am in the middle of nowhere, and there you all are scattered all across the continent and a bit beyond...but why not have a bit of morning coffee and chat a little while?

I am typically up before 7a.m.  I so enjoy these summer mornings, with the light coming in the windows.  I love this photo I took one morning.  I'd left the kitchen for a few moments and when I returned I saw this lovely  bit of light falling on the counter top.
I have to tell you that this little scene occurred right in the midst of a tough spot.  I had been a little unhappy with my home...It seemed every where I looked all I could see were the things that needed to be repaired, renewed, or that were just never going to be right no matter what we did.  This scene tugged hard at my heart and it was a turning point all over again for me.  Suddenly I was so deeply grateful for my home and it's beauty all over again.  Isn't it funny how the simplest things can turn the tide of your thoughts?  Sunlight on vintage canisters and a towel Rhonda made for me years ago did it this time. 

Speaking of light...have you noticed?  It's getting dark these days along about 8:45p.  John is forever telling me how he hates to see the darkness creeping back but it never has bothered me so much.  He says that he can't wait to get to heaven where it will be daylight all the time...I don't know about that.  I've never thought about it but I've noted that we all seem to have our own ideal of what heaven will be like.  Mine has flowers and lovely natural scenes...and probably a kitchen with sunlight streaming in the window sort of  like that photo above, lol.

Given a choice, I'd rather spend a sunny morning in the kitchen than any other room of the house.  I am sure that has everything to do with the fact that the kitchen and three of the windows in that room face east.  Years ago, when she was very little, Katie assured me that one day she meant to have a yellow bedroom that faced east, "So I can wake up when the sun comes in my window..."  I suspect that sentiment has died out for the time being but it might return.   I don't believe I've ever lived in a home with an east facing bedroom, but I think I'd appreciate it a great deal, especially now that I don't have to crawl out of bed every single morning at 5:30a.m.

Did I tell you I broke my camera?  It was the one Katie gave me last autumn when we were visiting them for the day.  I was in the kitchen the other day, planning to take pictures of a Leftover Makeover.  I shoved the camera into my shorts pocket.  Those pockets are a bit shallow, but not that shallow.  I turned to do something and the camera fell onto the rug in front of the stove.  No big deal fall, didn't make much noise, but the battery cover popped open...and wouldn't close.  It seems I lost a minute bit of plastic on the catch and that was that.  I thought about using duct tape to hold it closed, after all I do live in the country and we really do use duct tape to fix a lot of things, lol.  However, I did manage to get a photo or two with the case forced closed.    Not ideal, but it worked.

This week I picked up my old camera, the Kodak that John surprised me with one afternoon.  I never felt fully comfortable with that camera but I used it because it was a gift and I wanted to please John.  It didn't take bad photos but the user's manual (online only) was useless and I never really understood the settings and such.  Lo and behold it seems that learning to use the camera Katie had given me taught me a few things.  I started pushing buttons and clicking menus on the Kodak and I discovered a whole world of settings I could use to adjust photos to suit light conditions and type of photo wanted.  Well it seems that little Kodak has quite a few tricks all it's own.  It's like having a new camera now I've got all this experience (ha!).

I worked on a couple of projects this past week.  I grabbed paints cans one afternoon and went out on the front porch to work.  It had been threatening rain for days and I finally couldn't stand waiting any longer.  I worked on the tray that I'd been wanting to refinish forever.  I'll put up current pictures here but won't highlight this project in its own post until I am able to refine the work.  I've had my share of trials with it but still, the difference between before and after is pretty major.

I bought this tray because it was unusual in size and shape and I loved the lacy edge. But the more I looked at it with it's gold and white and brassy tones, the less I liked it.  I tucked it away in the shed about three years ago and there it stayed.

So this year, as I thought about doing something new to the front porch, I decided that I'd like to replace the old window frame I've had there for several years with something more decorative.  It occurred to me that if I still had this tray I could do something with it.  It wasn't until Katie moved her things in May that I could finally get to the back part of the shed to search for this piece. I honestly wasn't sure I'd even kept it, but I found it.

I contacted Manuela to ask her opinion on types of paint I might use after explaining to her how I wanted to use it.  She was very helpful, naturally.  Manuela is always full of good advice.

I spray painted the whole tray white to begin with, then used outdoor quality acrylic to more or less paint the flowers in the same places (I'd lightly traced the general shapes with pencil).  I thought it looked fine but wanted a pretty border color to make that lacy looking edge stand out.  Here's where I messed up.  I did the edge and it looked just fine.  THEN I painted the window frame which was lying on the floor (the tray was up higher, and red paint spray drifted UP, sigh.  So I touched up the white, which over-sprayed on the red, then did the red which over-sprayed on the white and about then I realized I'd best STOP or forever regret the mess made.  Here's where I am at present with this project.


It doesn't look bad, and I don't expect perfection but I will be trying to right a few wrongs here before I am finally done.  I was really trying to use what I have on hand, and the red paint is some I picked up off clearance rack.  I think it's called Cherry and it's either Krylon or Rustoleum.  I find those two paint brands are pretty much the best around and stick with those almost exclusively for any painting I do.

Football pre-season began this past weekend and you've not seen a happier man than my husband who went around crowing about football being on and thanking me umpteen times for his Christmas gift of two years ago (the satellite package that included local channels).  We pay far too much for the satellite in both our opinions but for five or six months a year it makes for one very happy husband.  And honestly I benefited too because I get to see GPB and the PBS productions, which I sorely missed all these years we were without local channels.

With the sound of football on the television it's entirely possible to get psyched for autumn, I think.  We took the long drive home Saturday from synagogue (an hour drive just the same but along a different route than usual) and we both exclaimed over the sight of sweet gum trees that were really changing color! I mean they were already dressed for autumn, not just sporting a few leaves as my trees here are.  The weather is NOT cooperating at the moment.  It was 103F yesterday, but that is normal for this time of year and the highest temps we've had all summer long, so no complaints over that.  But I have to share that the other day I was running water in the kitchen and the tank on the pump had emptied and I called to John to come feel how very cold the water was from the ground level.  Brrr!  That temperature has already decreased whether or not the surface temps have.

But I shall be quiet now, because a few friends who live in regions where that four letter word falls (s**w) on a routine basis get very antsy when I mention that autumn might be earlier than usual this year.  But here we are: pre-season football, school starting, natural signs.  The year progresses doesn't it?

I have been feeling much better overall, not just physically but mentally.  I really was a sad sack all of  May, June and July this year.  Perhaps Karla had it more right than not when she spoke of debridement.  I looked up the term and discovered medically speaking wounds, ulcers and burns are often debrided to hasten the healing process.   That is not to say that the procedure itself isn't painful because it is and I can vouch that I find it has been so.  Now that my focus is not on my misery, I find it far easier to be grateful once more for the many many blessings I have in my life.

Well I've chatted my hour or so away.  The day awaits.  I surely have enjoyed this early morning chat with you.  Stop by again soon!


Melanie said...

Good morning, Terri! I know it is probably late for you, but I've only been up an hour. And yes, I have my coffee by my side. I am not a morning person...I do not rise early naturally. Like your grandmama, I rise later but work late into the night and don't go to bed until at least midnight. All those years I worked outside the home when I had to get up at 6 am, nearly killed me, lol.

Your painted tray is really pretty; love the red! What will you do with it - use it on the porch somehow?

My son gave me his "old" DSLR camera but 1) I still have to buy a lens for it, and they're expensive so I'm saving up, and 2) I have no idea how to use it! So for now, I'm still using my point-and-shoot.

Have a lovely day!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Your tray is looking very cute! I really like the cherry red rim - so cheerful!

The kitchen photo is beautiful!

Personally I can't believe football is on tv already!'s starting to thunder. Can't wait for fall. Maybe we'll have nicer weather.

Tammy said...

I got a chuckle about your friends who deal with the "s" word - I am one of those, and I'm worried about the coming winter, to be sure, what with all the cool temps and moisture we've had this summer. I vote for an early and very long autumn season for us all. LOL.
LOVE the tray! I just saw the outdoor acrylic paint the other day and wondered how well it holds up to weather extremes.
As for cameras, I have a couple - a Nikon that is terrible. Most usually I need to put it on a tripod to get clear photos. Then a little point and shoot I keep in my purse. It's several years old and has been dropped so many times I'm surprised it still works. My cell phone takes decent photos, so that is always an option if I need it.

Rhonda Sue said...

Hello, the painted tray is wonderful, so cheerful looking.
Yes Manuela is sweet and so good to give advice when asked.

I am glad that old towel was part of what cheered you up.

Karla Neese said...

I enjoy these times for coffee so much, Terri! I feel like it's a growing friendship getting to know you better.

I'm so glad to hear you are doing better. I too am in a much better spot. I had been going through some depression and then a bout of the old anxiety issues this past week. But God is so faithful to help me push through it and refocus my eyes on Him instead of "me" and all the stuff around me that isn't perfect the way I'd like.

Next time I'll bring the cookies!

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