Thursday, November 29, 2012



Celebrating the life of my Grandmother who
went to heaven four years ago this today....

"I miss you Grams.  Thank you so much for all you did for me...especially for your wise counsel and giving heart.  I love you!"
Busy days that include holiday decorating can sometimes leave you breathless, but the weather is so gorgeous here in Oklahoma I decided to make Thursday my errand day anyway.  Yesterday I spent most of the day decking the halls (windows, walls and doors) of our La Chaumière de Briarwood and I fell into my warm, cozy bed absolutely exhausted late last night.  I'll be sharing more pics of my home soon!
Thank you to Miss Noreen of LIFE BLESSINGS for the amazing book I recently won on her GIVEAWAY!  On December 28th I'm scheduled for surgery on both my hands (Carpel Tunnel) and the down time after Christmas will give me a change to read it.  I can't wait.  Thank you, friend!  I hope you will all visit her precious, inspiring and uplifting blog.  It's wonderful!

Blessings as you go about your day today!

Love to you...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Dear Friends...

It isn't often I offer up two posting in one day...but there is a need out there and I promised my sweet friend, Lorena from ROSE CHIC FRIENDS, I would spread the word to those of you who stop by.

Lorena has a HUGE HEART and feels deeply for our American Friends who have been left devastated by the East Coast destruction caused by SANDY.  Lorena has a wonderful contact person, Indra, who is in a position to personally help those who are still suffering and would be grateful for any help you can give.  There are still enormous needs waiting to be met...clothes, shoes, food, home goods, supplies and just the basic life necessitates are in short supply...

And without a doubt, money.

I understand these are tough days and we've all been affected by the spiraling down of the economy. Still if you are able to help in any way, Lorena and Indra would be so grateful.  If possible will you consider helping those in need?  You can visit Lorena HERE where you can read even more.

Blessings to you as we begin our Christmas celebrations.

Love to you~


Ever since we returned from our little getaway it seems I've been busy as ever.  I've had Fall decor to pack up for another year, shop orders to fill and of course the decking of the halls inside our La Chaumière de Briarwood for Christmas has been a priority!  Such fun!
I'm super excited because my sweet Miss K is coming over this weekend to help me with the final touches.  I promised her when she was here a few days ago I'd  help her make Stocking Sachet Ornaments and Hangers!  Can't WAIT to see what my favorite little girl comes up with.  She loves BRIGHT COLORS and LOTSAH GLITTER....  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

(I'll be SURE to share with you HER CREATIONS!  :)
 I, on the other hand, LOVE WHITE!  But then you probably all know that by now! 
 Soft white vintage linens and sweet cottons trimmed with aging laces just make my heart SING!
I'm still crushin' on this sweet Sepia Santa image!
 Remember last summer when my Miss K and I went to Tennessee to visit my sister?  Well...while I was there I found this AMAZING metal Christmas Stocking at an antique mall in her town.  It was only a few bucks and I loved that it was made from reproduced vintage style ceiling tiles!
 I brush painted it with my favorite cottage white paint (Behr/Home Depot) and that was it!
Not sure WHAT I'm going to do with it yet...I may give it one more light coat or two...I'd like it a bit more WHITE!

OK...I'm off for today.  Much to do and I don't want to get behind!

Love to you...

Monday, November 26, 2012



My Mr. AGPMan is off work today and tomorrow and now that he's OUT OF SCHOOL guess what he's going to be helping his wifey do?

(It's getting back to NORMAL around here!)

Yep...Christmas decor is going up and I'm so excited!  Everything is different this year so we are in for some big changes!  The wall the cabinet you see below was opened up earlier this year and we installed wood flooring throughout our downstairs.  Not sure HOW everything is going to come out, but I'm going to find out very soon!

Lots of bins to haul down from the attic and even more from our outbuilding in the back!  Each year I gift my children with treasures I no longer use so hopefully lots of pretty things will be created this year...

As soon as I have everything in place I'll be sharing more.  I'm thinking you all are doing the very same thing as I am this week!

Let the fun and celebration begin!

Love to you...

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Last week while on our little holiday getaway, while seated in a small restaurant, my Mr. AGPMan and I witnessed an obviously homeless man walk through the door begging for bread.  Just by looking at him it was clear to see he had many problems...none the least of was that he was hungry, had no money and certainly had no place to lay his head.

I watched him as he walked up to the counter and was told to have a seat by a kind member of the waitstaff.  My eyes stared at him as he sat down at the far end of a row of benches to await a call that his meal was ready.  I was sure he'd been there before.

The restaurant seemed to both know and expect him.

Immediately the room started buzzing with sound.  You know...the quiet, muffled chatter one doesn't intend for anyone else to hear?  Only problem was we were all saying the same thing...  The man smelled and he was filthy and  no one wanted to sit by him.  Given his appearance it was easy to understand why.  His hair was matted and his hands and fingernails were caked with dirt and grime.  No doubt it had been a long, long time since he'd bathed.  His clothes were tattered and his deeply lined face was thin, heavily tanned and drawn.  He looked like death.

As I sat there on my bench waiting for our name to be called my gaze became obvious to my hubby and he cautioned me to be careful with my stare.  Still...I couldn't look away.  I was taken in by the man's piercing blue eyes and couldn't help but wonder WHAT had happened to him to make his life become what it was...

Surely he was no older than I~

Mental problems?

As quickly as the man entered the diner he exited out the same door just as fast.  This time with a small bag of breakfast food in hand and a cup of hot, steaming coffee.  I wondered where he was going and how would he spend his day.  Did he have other beggar friends?  And, at the end of the day, where would he rest?

When night fell I lathered up under a hot shower happy to wash away the cares of another day.  I was more than content to crawl in-between warm blankets and looked forward to a good nights sleep.  But as I laid there in my comfy bed, rest would not come.  My mind returned over and over again to the beggar-man and as I remembered his deeply wrinkled face I was overcome with God's grace and the mercy-filled blessings He had given me...

The next day I awoke to a beautiful sun-drenched morning.

Thanksgiving Day had come.

The day brought to me a more than comfortable life. 
A life with good jobs and wonderful friends.
A lovely home.  Happy, prosperous children.  Health.
A faith-filled heart and as a bonus
a table spread before me with amazing food.

Much to be thankful for. 

I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and no doubt, before it's over, I'll make many more.  I know the line that separates the best of us from the worst of us is certainly a narrow one.   All the more reason to walk carefully through our days, being careful as to not fall prey to the idea we are better than another...

That day I asked God to help me even more to stop judging others by what my eyes see and to ask instead how my own heart can help the suffering, wounded and poor...

Aren't we all beggars in need of some kind of bread?


Blessings to you as the Christmas Season begins~

Love to you...

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Just had to pop in today and say hello!  We are back from our holiday vacation and although we had a wonderful time it's sooooo good to be home! 

There's no place like home.

No place.

Looking forward to the start of the Christmas Season and sharing with you lots of goodies and ideas for 2012!


Saturday, November 17, 2012


Dear Friends...

I just read that our friend, CeeKay, at
Thinkin' of Home 
is in the hospital.   She's been fighting Ovarian Cancer for several years now and is very ill.

Many of our blogging friends (such amazing ladies!!!) have pulled together and are working towards raising money for CeeKay and her family to visit Disneyland.  If you would like to contribute
you can visit
Marty and At A Stroll Thru Life
Laura at Decor to Adore.

Together we can make this happen!
Thank you  soooo much!

Now...on a personal note...    

I'm going to be away for a few days and won't return to the blogging world until after Thanksgiving.  After 18 straight months of schooling I'm excited about spending some much needed downtime with my beloved and sharing the week with family members I haven't seen in a long time.  I'm almost too excited to speak type...

Before I go I just want to tell you all Happy Thanksgiving!  May your holiday be blessed with great food, the warmth of great friends, the love of family and the peace of God.

Wishing you good things.

Only good things.

Blessings and love to you...

and Family

Friday, November 16, 2012


 I am happy to announce we have a WINNER of my





Congrats to Deanna!!!  She has a sweet, sweet blog and I hope you'll pay her a visit soon!  Please send me your mailing address Deanna so I can get your pretties off to you!

 Thank you all for joining in the fun.  I'll be having at least one more giveaway before Christmas so stay tuned for more!


On a personal note...

For those of you who have followed the Saga of my hubby returning to school, well...


He finished his ethics class with flying colors and has finally earned his degree in Computer Science.  Eighteen months of grueling work has finally come to an end.  I'm so grateful this day has finally arrived.   He did it.  HE DID IT!

Blessings and love to you...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


 Over the past few months I've collected over three dozen petite picture frames from our local thrift stores and today I'm giving you a sneak peek at their transformation!  Just a handful...but boy are they sweet...
 I never pay much for old mini frames...fifty cents to one dollar is about my speed and if I can snag them on half-off day, well then, all the bettah!!!!
I love it that this one still has the original JCPenney tag.  You can't see it in the picture but the original price was .39.  WOW!  I'm guessing this one came from the mid 1960's or so!
This one is the newest of the bunch.  Not my favorite, but I loved it more after it was painted!
 My favorite are the older frames that are ornate in design.  Most are made of pot-metal and sometimes an early resin.  This one is just gorgeous to me!
 Here it is with a picture of my paternal Grandma Bethel with her big sister.  I made copies of my old prints and love it that you can cut~cut~cut~away without worry of ruining a vintage or antique original!
 Love this frame even though it's newer...probably from the 80's.  I remember selling some like this in hunter green back when I owned my own store.
This frame is also from the 50's or 60's.  I paid a quarter for this one because it was missing the back.  Since I plan on hanging them all on my Christmas Tree this year it didn't matter to me if it had a back or not.  I made a new one out of cardboard.  This picture is also of my Grandma Bethel...she's in the front on the right.  I think my Miss K really favors her (but maybe it's just me!)...
Here is my handsome father back in 1955!  He was in the Navy and this is what he looked like when he met and married my mother.  Swoooon....  This sweet little frame was actually a mirror so I had to use a plastic sheet for a cover!
My maternal Grandparents, my Grandpa Philip and my Gramma Bertie.  Both of these photos were taken in 1945.  My grandmother had this picture taken at the request of my grandfather while away serving in the Army Air Corp.  He said he wanted to show all the young boys what a beautiful mature woman looked like.  She was 29 years old in the photo...  The frame holding her photograph came from Hobby Lobby!  It was $2 after the 50% store sale!
  Here's what I did to get the look...

First I primed all the frames with Zinsser Primer.  Then I spray painted them all white!  After they were completely dry I wiped them down with Annie Sloan's Dark Wax and then quickly wiped it off.  Too yellowy for you?  Put some alcohol on a soft cloth and gently wipe over the surface.  This will leave your paint in tact, but remove the hazy yellow you sometimes see.  Don't leave it on too long or press too hard or all your paint will come off or wrinkle up! :(

Can't wait to put up our Christmas Tree this year!  I'm going for a new look and I'm excited to get started...

Don't forget the deadline to enter my FREE PILLOW GIVEAWAY ends tomorrow!  Check it out HERE if you are interested.  SOMEBODY is going to win SOMETHING FUN!

Hope your Wednesday is fab!  Sharing today with 
The Brambleberry Cottage for
Love to you...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Ten years ago my life changed forever.  On November 13, 2002 my oldest child became a daddy and I became a Nana.  I didn't realize it then, but our Miss K coming into the world would ultimately change everything I ever believed about Grand-parenting and my capacity to love...
Our Miss K means more to me than any other little girl in the whole-wide-world..
 She makes me laugh and cry and gives me so much love...
She has blessed me from day one...
There is nothing I wouldn't do for her...
Happy Birthday #10 to my beautiful, beautiful grandgirl, Miss K.  Seems like just yesterday you were born...  Where have the years gone?

God has GREAT THINGS in store for you...  I can't wait to see just where His blessings lead you.

I love you most and I'm so very proud of you!

Love, Nana


Blessings as you celebrate life with those you love.

Love to you...

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Can you feel it coming?  Life is changing.  For me, the dry, sunny days of autumn are starting to wane and the northerly wind is beginning to sweep down the Oklahoma plane.  The branches on our trees are going bare and the emerald green grasses of summer have fallen asleep under a leaf blanket of harvest gold and nut brown.

The flowers are closing up while our furry friends burrow their way into the warm nests they prepared weeks before. is changing again.

We pull our coats close and curl up indoors.  We look forward to bundling up, warm steaming cups of coffee, tea and cocoa in our hands...  Time to conserve our strength for winter is coming.  Part of the natural cycle of the seasons to slow down and do less~shed the old and familiar and let go...

That is exactly what my hubby and I are doing.

My Mr. AGPMan's college education couldn't have been completed at a more fitting time.

God appointed.

On Thursday my guy will attend his last college class and I can already feel the rhythm of our lives returning to normal.  This morning I watched as the once familiar smile returned to his slightly older looking face...  He's tired.  I'm tired.  But, at peace.  Together we are excited about letting go of our dried, shriveled up cares and willingly invite the Oklahoma wind to blow them all away.

Indeed life is changing.

Today I'm grateful for God's grace.  His mercy.  And for giving us the strength to meander through the changing seasons of life while allowing us the chance to weather the unexpected storms.

Yes, life is changing.  But it's good.

So good.

Blessings and love to you... 

Thursday, November 8, 2012


 My Mr. AGPMan's family came to America from Sweden and settled in a small Nebraska town.  My guy was raised in the tiny town of Gothenburg and over the years I have loved learning about his ancestors and the customs and traditions once celebrated by his family. 
 In Sweden, a century ago or so, spices were a luxury the commoner rarely enjoyed...except of course, during the Christmas Season.  It was at that time that people saved their finest produce and costliest ingredients for the most special, end of the year celebration.
 Saffron, cardamom, and ginger.  Cocoa, vanilla pods, cloves and cinnamon.  Their baking was done with fine -ground white flour, braided into saffron buns or rolled out for gingerbread.

Sounds delish, right?
Baking ingredients were carefully measured out from ornate tins and glass jars. 
Their houses and tiny villages were filled up with the smells from exotic places one could only hope to see and flavors connected solely with the holiday time of the year.
One thing on my to-do-list this year is to bake a something different for my family during the holidays~

Something never before tried~

Something special from, say,  

 Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden!

  How fun will that be?  I mean~I know my hubster, children and Miss  K LOVE special treats...spicy cakes, buttermilk spice muffins, etc.  But, just maybe this year I'll just try baking a braided coffee-cake ring for filled with bits or orange and lemon rind, sweet raisins, cinnamon and ginger....hmmmm...

Probably won't add the Saffron...Wikipedia says this:

 Because each flower's (Crocus) stigmas need to be collected by hand and there are only a few per flower, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.

Off to ponder.  And plan. 

Love to you~

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