Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Tablescape

We were teased in Nova Scotia, last week.  It got up as high as 30C one day.  However, this week, it is back to reality.  Even  though the calendar tells us it is spring, we need mother nature to agree.  This table is in celebration of what we know is just around the corner.  


As I was setting this table, I was undecided as to some type of decoration for the center of the smallest plate.  I was thinking about a possible bird nest, plant pot, etc.  On a quick trip to the thrift store with mom, I happened upon these sweet little espresso cups.  Perfect!  A quick little nest in each one and the table was complete.  


These charger plates are new this spring from my favorite Home Hardware store.  Are you tired of seeing the white plates yet?  I don't know what I would do without them.  


Don't bird nests just say spring!



Pussy willow are out!  Have you picked any this year?  I got these ones last week.  The white lanterns are also from Home Hardware.

TIP:  Pussy willow branches will last for years.  I filled a mason jar with bird seed and then poked a hand full of pussy willow branches down in the seeds.  Tie a ribbon, or raffia around the jar and you have a lovely spring decoration!!


I made dozens of these eggs last year from the Dollar store colored plastic eggs.  I love them.  If you would like to make some, read these DIRECTIONS.


Out come my little chickens again.  You saw them last year on my FIRST EVER tablescape.  It was my Easter table.  


Nicole and I waited several days for the buds to finally open on my Amaryllis.  I told her once they opened she could shoot the table.  Well...with her camera.  ;)  They sure were worth waiting for!


Wishing you a spring time full of fresh starts, and new life!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!   2Cor 5:17  NIV

Photography courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.  

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Last week I took my garden nippers and had a visit with my Forsythia bush in the front yard.  I love to bring branches in and force them into blooming.  Because of our unusually mild winter I wasn't sure they would bloom.  You see, I had Forsythia blossoms in mid-December this year.  That may not seem weird to some of you, but it truly is to me.  It only took a few days for me to see the buds begin and a week until these cheerful blooms arrived.  

Forcing tricks the branches into believing it is time to bloom.  You bring the branches into the warmth of your home and put them in water.  Now place the container in a sunny spot, sit back and watch the miracle of new life. 

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "The fever left her..."

These past twelve days I have been recovering from what was supposed to be a “minor” surgery to remove the “hardware” from a previous surgery just below my knee. It had done its job after five years, and would be in the way of a future knee replacement, so I was very grateful to have it arranged while my husband was off work for the week. All was going as expected for the first couple days until I awakened early in the morning of day three and discovered I was shivering uncontrollably – I had a high fever! So, at 6AM, my husband took me to the ER and after X-rays and blood work, the doctor concluded I had a post-surgery wound infection. Following two types of IV antibiotics, I was sent home with a prescription for ten days of antibiotics and an order to return the next morning for more IV antibiotics. By the time I returned home I was miserable, exhausted, had no appetite and no energy. I was so disappointed that an infection could set me back so far when really my leg was pain-free and not the big problem!

On Tuesday of this past week, I was finally able to open my Bible and actually read something and feel I was absorbing worthwhile nourishment for my weary soul. The Lord reminded me of a story which only comprises seven verses in the whole of Scripture and they are found in three different books – Matthew, Mark, and Luke. As I studied this little account it was very interesting to see how each author told basically the same story but with slightly varied wording and perspectives. All three men were disciples of Jesus and heard and saw first-hand the ministry of this man who claimed to be the Messiah, the promised Saviour of all who would believe in Him.

“As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So He went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.” (Mark 1:29-30, NIV)

Prior to this event, Jesus had recently called the first of His disciples and He was teaching in the temple. While there, they and many others had witnessed Jesus cast an evil spirit out of a man with an authority they had never seen before. This created quite a buzz and news spread quickly about this man who “gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him.” (1:27-28)

Then Jesus entered the privacy of Simon’s home (he was later called Peter) and we learn his mother-in-law was very ill. Luke, a physician, refers to it as a “high fever”, so she really was drained of all energy, appetite, and no doubt shivering uncontrollably. In those days, such a fever could quickly lead to death without the modern medical interventions we have today, especially in developed areas of our world. I’m so grateful for the medical team which so quickly diagnosed and treated my high fever and infection!

I love the way Jesus responded to their request to help her! First, He saw her (Matthew 8:14). Jesus always sees when we are suffering and in need of help. Nothing escapes His view and He is always there for us.

Secondly, He touched her on the hand and helped her up. Jesus knew the comfort that comes from physical contact. It communicates, “I care about you and I am here to help in whatever way I can.” The gentle hand on my shoulder as the nurse prepared me for administering those stinging IV antibiotics, the kindness and helpful gestures of the X-ray technicians, and the handshake and eye contact of the ER doctor all helped to ease my discomfort and anxiety.

Thirdly, He spoke to the fever and commanded it to leave the woman (Luke 4:39). There is ultimate authority in the name of Jesus and we can exercise that power as we pray for those who are ill and suffering. I’m so thankful for the dozens of caring friends and family who are continuing to pray, in Jesus’ name, for my healing.

Luke records her healing was immediate and she “at once” got up and waited on them, probably preparing a meal. I’m twelve days out and still unable to put a meal on the table! So, there’s no doubt in my mind of the miraculous and instantaneous healing Jesus performed that day. He still has that power today and though He often allows our healing to take much longer, or not at all, I take great comfort in the fact that He sees me, touches me, and speaks with authority into my daily circumstances! I’m trusting that He knows best and will use whatever I go through to demonstrate His power, glory, and divine plan.

Until next Sunday,

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring

Happy Spring from Take Six

The Christmas wreath is a thing of the past season.  The wooden snowman that I hung on it for the winter has long since been packed away.  Spring has officially sprung!!

While driving last spring I spotted this idea on the doorstep of a gorgeous old home in our city.  They had the exact cast iron urns that I do.  I promptly made a quick trip to the Dollarama.  I am sure you are shocked.  ;)  Frequent readers will know that I LOVE that store.  I bought 6 stems of pussy willows, and 3 bundles of white tulips. I cut the tulips into individual stocks, and poked them into the soil in a circle.  Then I poked 3 pussy willow stems into the center of each urn.  That's it.  I was finished.  You can not get much easier than that! 

It is the simplicity of this decoration that is so pleasing to my eye.

Pussy Willows

Author Unknown

There are willow pussies
Clad in furry goods,
And a robin singing
In the maple woods.
There's a springing crocus,
And a budding larch,
Who'd ever think the Springtime
Came along in March.

Wild Wednesday
Made by Me
Feathered Nest Friday
Inspiration Friday
Show and Tell Friday
Home Sweet Home
Potpourri Friday
Saturday Night Special
Seasonal Sunday
Creative Me
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Beautiful and wise..." Part 2

Last week we began exploring the Biblical story of Abigail, a very beautiful and intelligent woman who was married to a very ugly-tempered and foolish man – sounds almost like a fairy tale, but not so. She suddenly found herself in a precarious situation that required wisdom…the kind of wisdom that comes from the mind and heart of God.

Upon hearing the arrogant and insulting response of Nabal, Abigail’s husband, to David’s legitimate request of compensation for the protection he and his soldiers had provided, David reacted impulsively and with no thought of the consequences. “Put on your swords!” he instructed four hundred of his warriors.[i] Immediately they headed out to destroy Nabal and his men.

I find it rather ironic that one of Nabal’s servants, who had heard of David’s plot, came running to the wife of his master. He obviously knew she would listen. I can hear the panic in his voice as he hurried to tell her, “Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”[ii]

I love Abigail’s response: she “lost no time”.[iii] A wise person knows when to act quickly and decisively. She prepared a very generous supply of food and wine, had it loaded on donkeys and sent her servants off to meet David’s entourage. “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.”[iv] Scripture carefully points out that she didn’t tell her husband any of this. She knew he would flatly refuse and order her to stop. But Abigail wisely concluded that her action may divert a disaster. Showing great courage, she rode her donkey into a mountain ravine to meet David, a man bent on revenge.

Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame.” David was in great danger of committing an act that would define his future and Abigail knew this. She could have chosen to stand up to this rapidly rising leader, give him a piece of her mind and set him straight. The temptation to speak her mind in the absence of her hot-headed husband could have been present. But I believe Abigail knew she was facing a future king and he was about to make a monumental error in judgment. She did have something to say and David needed to listen to the voice of wisdom.

Instead, Abigail “quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground…Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name – his name is Fool, and folly goes with him…let this gift…be given to the men who follow you. Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live…and when the Lord has brought my master success, remember your servant.”[v] Abigail’s humble response echoes King Solomon’s advice in Ecclesiastes 9:17-18, “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war but one sinner destroys much good.”

And it worked! David immediately saw the error of his ways and completely changed his attitude. He said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord…who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.[vi] He then accepted her gift and sent her home with a blessing.

Abigail’s wisdom didn’t stop there. A wise person also knows when to show restraint and choose the right time to speak up. Upon returning home, she found her husband partying and drunk. She wisely waited until morning to inform Nabal of all she had done. As she did, this evil man suffered heart failure and died within ten days. When David heard the news he praised God for keeping him from committing sin and said God “brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.”[vii]

Furthermore, Abigail’s wisdom saved her from becoming a helpless and defenseless widow. David honoured Abigail by marrying her. She became the wife of Israel’s greatest king who was even known as a man after God’s own heart.[viii]

I like to think that Abigail was a woman who knew the heart of God! He is the source of true beauty and wisdom!
Until next Sunday,

[i] I Samuel 25:13 (NIV)
[ii] V.17
[iii] V.18
[iv] V.19
[v] V.23-31
[vi] V.32-33
[vii] V.39
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DIY 3-Layer Plate

A couple years ago, I purchased two of these April Cornell salad plates on clearance at HomeSense.   You have seen what I did with one of them,  right HERE.  This winter I found two of the matching dinner plates at a thrift store.   

I usually have a couple of Dollarama candle holders in my "stash", just in know.   A girl has to be prepared.  ;)

The first thing I did was find the middle of two of the plates. 

I glued the candle holders onto the bottom of the plates (while the plates were upside down).  I always forget about taking pictures each step of the way.  At this stage, my little project could have been complete and I would have had two beautiful raised cake plates.

However, I decided to keep going, since I had another plate that matched.  I now have a 3 layer sweet plate, or a sweet 3 layer plate ;)  that cost me about $8.  I think my bunny is hoping for carrots on that plate.  But anyone who knows me, knows the snack will be MUCH sweeter!! 

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Beautiful and wise..."

I’ve met many beautiful women over the years – I mean physically attractive, stunningly gorgeous, and just downright pretty. They are the kind that make you look in the mirror and wonder, “What happened to me?” or “How can I be more like her?” I’ve also met several women who are both beautiful and intelligent. Still others are beautiful, intelligent, and extremely talented. All women no matter how physically attractive they are have special worth and significance to their Creator. There is one quality, however, which is more desirable than beauty, intelligence, and talent. It is a quality we are instructed in Scripture to seek after, to ask God for, and to treasure – wisdom. This is an attribute which makes any woman who possesses it the most beautiful of all. In case you think I have anything against physical beauty, I don’t, but there are many ways to define beauty in a woman.

In James 1:5 we read, “If any of you lacks wisdom he (she) should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (her).” Later in chapter 3:13,17-18 it says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him (her) show it by his (her) good life, by deeds done by the humility that comes from wisdom…the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”

That’s the kind of woman I want to become! But it doesn’t come easily, as many of you know. This kind of wisdom comes through years of trial and error, successes and failures, tears and laughter, broken-heartedness and joy, disagreements and reconciliation, harsh words and kindness, stubbornness and a willingness to learn. And isn’t it reassuring to know we’re not left on this earth to figure it out alone?

I read the story of a woman this week that I hadn’t paid much attention to before. Maybe because it’s not the kind of narrative that you would tell to an audience of children, which is whom I have spent so much of my life devoted to teaching. So, it was refreshing to come across the life of a woman who embodied so many of the qualities the apostle James talked about. Her story is found in I Samuel 25.

Abigail is described as being “an intelligent and beautiful woman” (NIV), “a woman of good understanding” (AMP), “sensible” (CEV), of “beautiful countenance” (Darby), “discerning” (ESV), “beautiful in appearance” (NASB), “wise” (NIRV), and “of fair form” (YLT). WOW! What husband would not rise up and call her “blessed”!?[i]But nothing could be farther from the truth. Her husband had no idea what a gem he had. In fact, the Bible’s description of him couldn’t be more opposite – “surly and mean in his dealings” (NIV), “hard and evil in doings” (YLT), “crude” (NLT), “harsh” (NASB), “bad-tempered” (GNT), and “rough” (CEV). To top it all off, his name was “Nabal” which means “fool”. It’s not clear whether this was his actual given name (can you imagine tagging your son with such a name?) or perhaps that’s how he had become known – a nickname of sorts. And yet Abigail stuck with him. Likely, as most woman of her time and culture, she had no choice. I’m not suggesting for one moment that a woman remain in any relationship that endangers her physical health and well-being (or that of her children), but Abigail shows how a woman can be in a difficult relationship or situation and exercise great wisdom and poise while retaining her sense of dignity and self-worth.

Shearing sheep in Scotland
To summarize the story, Nabal was a wealthy property owner who owned thousands of goats and sheep. As was common in those days during shearing time, his hired men were often protected from animal predators and thieves by warriors who took it upon themselves to perform such duty without pay. As a sign of appreciation and courtesy, the landowner would normally compensate them by providing whatever he could for their needs.[ii] So, when David (who eventually became king) and his warriors had completed this task for Nabal and his men, he sent word to Nabal asking for “whatever you can find for them.”[iii]

What was Nabal’s response? “Who is this David...this son of Jesse?...Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”[iv] How selfish, demeaning, and thankless was that!

Well, I’m sorry to leave you wondering what happened next and how Abigail wisely handled the impending crisis, but it will just have to wait until next week…(I used to tease children with this story-telling tactic and delight in hearing their woeful, “Ooohhh, do we have to?”)

So, until next Sunday,


P.S. For those who read my blog last week you may be interested in knowing they recently caught 3 coyotes in our community. Unfortunately, they had to be put down due to their physical condition and habituation to humans.

[i] Proverbs 31:28
[ii] Charles Swindoll, Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives, 2005, page 134
[iii] I Samuel 25:8 (NIV)
[iv] I Samuel 25:10-11 (NIV)

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Farewell to Winter

Some tablescapers have jumped into spring mode already.  But I live in Nova Scotia, and it will be a month or more before it feels anything close to spring here.  I thought a woodland tablescape would be a good way to say farewell to winter.  Not too wintery, but definitely " outdoorsy".  


Woodland Tablescape


I never get tired of nature, and the natural look.  I am always amazed when I look at items from nature.  I truly marvel at how God created them.


This beautiful nest is our link from Winter to Spring!


I bought this quilted table runner many (at least 15) years ago.  I always use it somewhere in my home during the wintertime.  It looks so warm and cozy.



Birch bark place cards keep with the natural theme.  My son collected these pieces for me from our winter wood pile.



These felt napkin rings look so warm and cozy.  Just like the quilted table runner.  I bought them for .33ea in an after Christmas clearance at our local grocery store.  I just love a great deal!


Nicole captured such beauty in this pheasant feather against the birch logs.  We have a male pheasant that lives in and around our back yard.  He has three females that he diligently tries to keep control of...poor guy!! ;0)


These soup mugs are perfect for holding one of my favorite home made soup recipes.  A great meal on a day when the winds of March are blowing.  During the month of February, Paula shared with us, here at Take Six, a new soup recipe each Friday.  If you missed them, you can find them HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!  ;0)


My son found the antler sheds in our back yard.  As you can tell, I just piled everything in the middle of the table.  A centerpiece doesn't have to always be flowers and candles.  Use whatever you would like, to be a focal point for your meal.  



I picked up these gorgeous metal pine cone candle holders at a clearance sale last summer.  They were either 50 or 70 percent off!  I loved them the minute I saw them and could not leave them there.  


"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."
                -  Henry Van Dyke

All photos courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "I heard but now I see..."

When was the last time the reality of something you heard become more up-close and personal? For me, it was this past Thursday. We Nova Scotians have become more aware in the past few years of the presence and encroaching prevalence of the Eastern Coyote in our urban areas. They have been spotted in our community, even within a few metres of a local elementary school, and about three weeks ago I was awakened with what I later realized was their distinctive high-pitched yelping and rather frenzied yip-yapping – they sounded close! On Thursday evening our neighbor called to warn us that just three doors down Natural Resources personnel had set traps in a backyard where coyotes had been seen. I’m thinking it may be a while before I go walking alone on our very popular streets and trails! These animals are becoming more comfortable, and sometimes aggressive, around heavily populated areas and so it is a little unnerving and of concern given the amount of children, and adults, who walk back and forth each day. I certainly hope I don’t see one too close!

I was reading a passage this week in the book of Job and one verse popped out at me like never before. If you’re familiar with the dreadful adversities, grief, and tragedy that came upon this once wealthy man you also may know that at the end of his time of trial he spoke very honestly with God. He said, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted…Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Then this is the verse – “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”[i] Job had heard of God, knew God in a personal way, and trusted in God. However, it was through the agony of suffering and feeling God was so far away that he actually began to see God in all His might and infinite knowledge. He saw God up-close and personal. Through the book of Job we gain a better understanding of God’s ways and how He orchestrates the every day events of our lives. We benefit greatly from the telling of his story.

Our son and niece near Ross Farm, Nova Scotia
Psalm 78:1-7 says, “O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from of old – things we have heard and known, things our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done... so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands.”

Deborah knew the importance of telling her people how God had won a great victory for them over the Canaanites. She did so in a poetic song as was very common among the Israelites. As she praised the Lord, she also described in great detail how Sisera’s chariots and army were swept away by a great rush of water and recounted the gruesome facts of how Sisera himself met his end[ii]. Deborah made sure her people heard of God’s intervention, not only in sending the flood, but “the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water. The mountains quaked before… the God of Israel.”[iii] As she sang, the people heard her praise for all those who willingly volunteered to fight, her reprimands for those who shrunk back from active duty, her blessing upon Jael for defeating Sisera, and her plea to God to continue defending them against their enemies.

Deborah knew that if the Israelites were to see God, they needed to continually hear of His mighty acts of deliverance. As a Christian I also have the responsibility to tell others what I have heard and seen of God so their experience with God can be more up-close and personal. It goes both ways – as I hear from believers around the world, like you, my faith in God goes beyond just hearing to actually seeing God in fresh new ways!

Until next Sunday,


[i] Job 42:2-4
[ii] Judges 5:24-27
[iii] Judges 5:4-5

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