Monday, December 2, 2019

Mary Margaret Lollar

My mother, left, and my grandmother, right
Christmas, 2012

My beautiful grandmother Margaret Lollar (I called her Big Mama) went home to heaven yesterday.  I've never been able to imagine a world without her in it.

She was 99 years old.

Big Mama will be greatly missed.  She was a part of the Greatest Generation: She was an amazing woman.  But I am comforted in knowing that my number one advocate is in God's presence.  

Please keep my mom in your prayers as she lost her only brother in August.  Also, Shelley has taken it particularly hard, and she has final exams this week.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Sunday, December 1, 2019

First Sunday of Advent 2019: Easy Paperwhites

Happy December, My Lovelies!  Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and this year I will feature easy activities each Sunday during the Advent Season.  I need easy this year as Shanley Belle's wedding is scheduled early in 2020.  I want to apologize for posting this late, but the Tales of the Traveling Tote post went live early this morning.

Today's easy craft is planting paperwhites.  Y'all, I admit I'd never done this before!  Our church hosted a class for planting your own paperwhites and making your own advent wreath, so I decided to try my hand at planting paperwhites. 

During the Season of Advent, we are joyfully and hopefully waiting for the birth of Jesus.  But waiting is hard!  Planting paperwhite bulbs when Advent begins is a visual lesson of new birth.  They should bloom in 4-5 weeks during the Christmas season.

This is what you'll need for the project:

paper white bulb(s)
gravel (I used one cup per cube)
small glass container(s) (I used 3.4" square glass vases)


Fill the bottom of your vessel with around one inch of gravel.  Place the bulbs in the gravel so they are relatively stable.  Place the remaining gravel around the bulbs to stabilize them even more, but do not cover them.  Fill container with water until it reaches the bottom of the bulb. Add water daily as needed (to the bottom of the bulb).

I placed the bulbs on our breakfast room table because it's the sunniest spot in our home.  They will bloom more quickly in a sunny spot.

You can barely see the waterline.

"You also must be patient.  Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near."
James 5:8

If you don't have time to get the supplies, Terrain has beautiful paperwhites in a variety of containers, like the ones planted in a metal urn, above.  

2 In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.

3 Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations
    and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.

5 Come, descendants of Jacob,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Isaiah 2:1-5

Until next time...

Christmas blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tales of the Traveling Tote December 1, 2019: Chicago and Lake Martin

Happy December, My Lovelies!  Time for yet another edition of the Tales of the Traveling Tote. This past quarter, I didn't travel much.  We're planning a wedding, and our niece has been living with us this semester as she's completing a clinical rotation here in Birmingham.  It has been fun having Molly around, and Shelley has been in heaven having her older cousin here!

We did squeeze-in a trip to Chicago.  I wanted to see the Cubs play in Wrigley Field, and I wanted to attend The Impressionist Pastel exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.

We saw the Cubs defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-1 on September 14th. It was a beautiful day for baseball!  I wish I had more photos, but I took a lot of videos instead.

I love this statue of Harry Caray depicted leading the Cubbies' fans in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.

The view from our seats right behind the Cubbies' dugout.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the Art Institute's The Impressionist Pastel exhibit.  I don't have any pastels, and I never use that medium, so it interested me to see these studies used for paintings.  Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas were featured.

I also have a new favorite not part of the exhibit:

John Singer Sargent
"Madame Paul Escudier (Louise Lefevre)"
oil on canvas

We have spent several weekends at Lake Martin this fall.

La Countess de Monet loves visiting Lake Martin
This is outside the carriage barn at Russell Crossroads

One gorgeous weekend in November, we went to Russell Crossroads because the girls wanted to go trail riding.  Below are a few photos from the Crossroads area including the barn.

View of Spring House restaurant, the number one restaurant in the State of Alabama, from the barn
We enjoyed a quail dinner there during the weekend.

Shelley riding Joker

Molly riding Yella Fella

I love draft horses, and the barn has five of them.  These two are Clydesdales.  

Below are photos of the little town square at Russell Crossroads featuring Catherine's Market.  If you've ever been to Modica Market at Seaside, it's very similar only better!

La Countess de Monet and I have been busy at home planning a wedding :D
The first few weeks of 2020 will be very busy for us!  I am hoping to perhaps take a couple of quick trips before the wedding.

As usual, we're hosting a very lovely giveaway this quarter!  Check it out!

Sweet Emily at The French Hutch is hosting the giveaway.  Use the links below to visit all the other ladies because I bet their posts will be much more exciting than mine (haha)!

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

I hope you all have a wonderful Advent Season.  Please be sure to read my Advent posts every Sunday, and my First Sunday of Advent post will be live this evening.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill