Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2011.
All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution is prohibited without prior written consent.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Come On In!


This post is part of the Bloggy Tour of Homes Tour - Organized by BooMama.  I found out about this tour through our own Xangite, p8indme, and you can tour more homes on either's site.


"The road to a friend's house is never long."

~Danish Proverb

"One hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, how big my house was, or what kind of car I drove.  But the world may be a little bit better, because I was important in the life of a child."

~Forest Witcraft

"Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."

~Proverb 24:3-4, New King James Bible


We purchased our home only four months ago, and it is still a work in progress.  We still have boxes of stuff in the closets, and in every room, there are unfinished projects.  But we love to have friends and family come to visit.  They often remark, while sitting at my table, that it feels like home.  That makes my day!

So, come on in, the door is open, and if you have a while, we can drink some coffee or tea, and chat a while.

In the cool of the Spring, I sat on this porch and watched the clouds, and neighborhood kids fly by.  The flowers are Sarah's project, and they are just beginning to bloom. 

The flag is a constant.  I am very patriotic, and fly my flag daily in honor of my grandfather, my brother in law, and all the other soldiers who serve our country, so I can sleep safely at night.  I can't wait until this fall, when I can return to the porch to contemplate nature and other deep thoughts, but right now the outdoor thermometor reads 98 degrees, and it's too hot to be outside, so COME IN!

Yes, the welcome mat is well worn, and dirty.  I guess that means we enjoy many guests.  the grass on the porch also says I am too busy to sweep.  Oh well, at least I can say that the welcome mat does its' job well!

As per the rules, here's the first 'required' photo.  Eventually this door will be brick red, in order to better welcome our guests.  I bought paint yesterday, but it may take a while before I get to it.  The knocker, through which the wreath ribbon is threaded, was a gift from my son, Jotham.  I don't know whether you can make it out, but it is a lion's head. My son is a great fan of Narnia and Aslan.

When the weather is nice, my front door is usually open like this.  I love to be able to see out into the street, and to present a welcoming sight for any guests.  I do lock the glass door, though.

Since the weather is pretty warm, go ahead and close the door.  Helps my A/C cool the place!  The sign over the door reads "Blessings", and that is my prayer for anyone who crosses the threshold.

Toss your keys in the basket or the bowl by the door...

Here is where I break from the rules, and instead of showing you the unfinished sheetrock in my family room, I will show you the library.  Technically, my family spends more time in this room than the family room anyway.  We homeschool, and this is where my kids do their school work, update their Xangas and MySpaces, and IM with their friends. Networked computers help me grade papers and retrieve files digitally.  I love it.  It's the next best thing to wireless networking -- which I enjoy on my laptop!

My husband built the bookshelves, and they are un-stained.  We will be staining them someday.  It's on the to-do list.  The fireplace is one of two, and I can't wait to light a fire, and put up Thanksgiving and then Christmas decorations.

The walls I did myself.  They are a faux finish of "October" (orange) and "Autumn" (gold) and look better in person than the camera allows.  When I was painting them one afternoon, my neighbors across the street thought the room was on fire.  It was really funny.  The hardwood floors were stained by my husband Larry and my daughter Sarah.  She had brown feet for weeks afterwards.  It was a riot.  But now they are beautiful!  Between these chairs is a basked with more books.  It's where I read my Bible, and pray, read my magazines, and talk with the kids when they are in a chatty mood.  These chairs are also the favorite perch of my three cats, who were strangely absent when I pulled out the camera.  Let me brush the cushion off, before you sit down, so you won't leave with cat hair on your backside.

No, I am not neurotic about knowing the time, but I do love clocks.  The library is my clock room.  This little table holds a TV/VCR Combo, perfect for educational videos, and in the summer, it doubles as a Playstation / XBox location.  (One of three in a house of five teenagers.)

One of the required photos for this tour was a shot of where I do my blogging.  My desk, built by my husband, sits in the corner of my kitchen.  I am surrounded by four dry erase calendars, to help me keep track of stuff for the mortgage company I work for, the publisher I work for, our church's youth outreach and our household stuff.  Above my laptop is a huge whiteboard where I post pics of my kids, and write important notes and phone messages.  I have twelve different colors of dry erase markers, because I am a very visual and creative person, and need lots of space and color to write/think things out.

My desktop is unusually clean today, but I have my cup of honey green-tea, and I am ready to write!

My kitchen is decorated in Coca-Cola memorabilia.  I posted a while back about the fact that I don't drink Coke - but love the new Coke Blak.  Above my calendars I have coke tins and post cards, matchbooks and marbles.  In this shadow box I also have several mini Coke bottles, one from Israel, and two that were bottled in 1912.  The Coke in them has turned to an oily black sludge.  (The white box you see is a very loud alarm.  It only sounds when we accidently type the wrong code into the system.  It would scare away any would be bad guys, though.  And probably leave them deaf for several days.)

This counter, opposite my desk holds all the bills and mail.  In the cabinets and drawers are all my school books, my notebooks, paper, pencils, post-its and such.  In the red frame above the light switch are several hand-written receipts for Coca-Cola delivery.  The oldest dates back to September of 1938, where the charge for a case of Coca-Cola totaled 80¢.

The rest of the kitchen is pretty normal, with touches of Coca-Cola througout.  Yes, those are dirty dishes in my sink.  But they will get washed today.  In fact, we run the dishwasher twice a day, and still, dishes in the sink are unavoidable.  One of the by-products of a house full of hungry teenagers.  I wouldn't trade full sink for an empty house, though.

Here's the stove, and the one-cup coffe/tea maker.  My cup is on the counter, now.  Waiting for my daughter to finish making her coffee, so I can have anothe cup of tea.  Would you like a cup?

This counter leads on back around to my desk.  The two rooms you've seen so far are where I spend the majority of my days.  I used to have a tiny kitchen, and in the family room we set up four computers, the dining room table a couch and a tv.  We didn't really have room to move without bumping into each other.  This house is such a blessing.  I am grateful.

The last room on the tour is my master bedroom.  It is huge, and I love it as well.  The bed is situated on the red accent wall, and the other three walls are gold.  If you don't have one of those space age foam matress toppers, I highly recommend it.  I don't wake up feeling so old in the mornings since we bought ours.  This room has two seating areas.  The recliner faces the television, and on the opposite wall is a black iron chandelier I made from a pot rack and tealight lanterns.  It looks really cool with candles lit.  I plan to put a black iron bistro set under it, so we can have an occasional romantic dinner behind closed doors. 

On the wall opposite the bed is this huge clock.  It measures 2 1/2 foot square.  It sets itself by radio control, and tells us the temperature and humidity.  It is supposed to be a patio clock, but the black iron went so well with my bistro set idea, that I couldn't resist.  Besides, I never have to wake up at night and wonder what time it is.  I can see this clock in the dark without my glasses.  This spring, when daylight savings time kicked in, I stayed up until 2:00 am to see this clock "spring forward".  The hands moved of their own accord -  from 2 o'clock, forward to 3 o'clock.  It took a full fifteen minutes.  I wonder how long it will take it to "fall back".

Well, I am so glad you came to visit.  I am sorry I have talked more than listened.  Why don't you grab your coffe, and we'll have a seat.  You can talk for a while, and I'll listen.  And if you have to leave, then please come back soon!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Tribute to My Dad


"There's something like a fine gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself."    

~John Gregory Brown, Author

"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope." 

~Bill Cosby, Comedian

"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." 

~Anne Sexton, Author


Today, my father celebrated forty years working for the same company.  Forty years of showing up for work every day, working hard for those he loved, doing a good job with a good attitude and I never once heard him complain.

My Dad Leonard (where I get my middle name 'Len')

My dad and mom divorced when I was in third grade, so he wasn't always there when I came home.  But he was always there.  He worked hard and provided for us.  My sister and I always knew he loved us, and wanted the best for us. 

I have good memories of my father when I was growing up.  He is a really funny man.  When I think back on the little things, they always make me smile:

When I was young I remember he pulled up to a stopsign at the corner of Tuxedo Blvd. and Madison Ave.  He opened his door, and closed it again, and being curious as always, I asked him "Why did you do that?"  He convinced me that the letters on the stopsign meant "STop...OPen your door...and close it."  I still think of that day when we drive past that corner.

Whenever we asked Dad where he got something he always said, "At the getting place."

Dad always had several decks of cards around his apartment.  We played lots of Spades and Canasta.  I remember one deck of cards that was HUGE!  Another was very tiny.  He had decks with his initials on the backs, a deck where the cards were circles, and another where the cards were triangles.  He had so many strange decks, and we loved to play with them.  Last week I was shopping and I found three decks of cards.  One was shaped like a surfboard, one like a lighthouse, and one like a Tiki.  My husband gave me a weird look when I put them in the shopping cart, but I had to have them.  They reminded me of Dad.

We still play cards when we get together.  Some things never change.

My dad could stack 25 quarters on his elbow, and flip them all into his hand.

He could squirt water through his hands and hit my sister and I anywhere in the swimming pool.

Dad always rode a motorcycle when I was young.  I remember when he had a cast on his leg, wrapped it in plastic bread bags and rode his motorcycle to work in the snow.

My dad loved to take the boat out to the lake and go fishing.  I remember one summer we went out and spent hours catching catfish.  Another time we went frog-gigging.  (If you're a city-folk you might have to google that term.  Here's a tutorial.)  And one day I still remember.  We spent the day on the lake in the boat.  My sister and I finally talked Dad into letting us swim, though we didn't have our suits.  We jumped over the side of the boat in our t-shirts and cut-offs, and splashed and laughed.  It was so much fun.  At some point late in the day, the boat wouldn't start back up, and we had to paddle to shore.  Then we had to walk around the lake, in the dark, to the place where our truck and trailer were parked.  As our flashlights lit the way, the air was cool, and we were freezing in our wet clothes, but we had a great time.

I remember waking up with my sister on a saturday morning at dad's apartment and making scrambled eggs for the three of us.  I don't remember if the eggs were even edible or not, but Dad always seemed to enjoy them.

When I was very small, I remember spending many late nights at the bowling alley.  Dad bowled on a league, and my sister and I were his cheerleaders.  I can remember several times when he would bowl strike after strike, and come very close to a perfect 300 score.  I know he bowled a perfect game more than once, but what I remember was the anticipation.  I would close my eyes, hold my breath and cross my fingers hoping for another strike.  Later, when I returned to one of those bowling alleys as an adult, I felt strangely nostalgic.  It was like going home.

I remember the day I got married at nineteen.  Both of my dads walked me down the aisle.  I was so nervous, but what I remember most about that moment is that I could feel them both shaking on either side of me, and both of them had something in their eyes.

Not to long ago, my sister and I got to take a trip to Galveston with my Dad.  We left behind the husbands and the kids, and it was just the three of us.  It was like old times.  We walked along the beach, drove all over the island, ate delicious seafood, and laughed and laughed.  I don't think I will ever forget that day, and how special it made me feel for us to have him all to ourselves. 

Dad and my Sister

Daddy and Me

I really wish I could be with my father to celebrate his 40 year anniversary with the company today.  I am really very proud of him, though, and thankful to call him "Dad!"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Excuse Me, Is Your Name Nick?


"Of all eloquence, the nickname is the most concise.  Of all arguments, the most unanswerable."         

~William Hazlitt, British essayist. (1778-1830)

"Chance is a nickname of Providence."         

 ~Chamfort, French playwright. (1741-1794)

"My feet ain't got nothing to do with my nickname, but when folks get it in their heads that a feller's got big feet, soon the feet start looking big."         

 ~Leroy 'Satchel' Paige, American Baseball Pitching Legend (1906-1982) 


Just for fun, I think I will post in response to DoWhaChaDo89's challenge.


I wonder what nicknames you all have, or gave to other people...How and why did you pick their nickname or get your nickname?


Proverbs 22:1 says "A good name is more desired than great riches."  Do you think that God has a special nickname for you...what would it be?


Ah, nicknames. 

 Those silly little terms of endearment that say "Funny face, I love you." 

When I hear the nicknames others use for their spouses, or children, I often think they sound funny.  For instance, our pastor calls his wife "Honeybun".  I guess it fits her, but it sounds a little odd to hear her called by that name.  However, when I hear my nicknames, or use nicknames for my kids, they are sentimental, charming, and make me feel warm and fuzzy all over.  :-)  I suppose that warm fuzzy feelining is why people use nicknames for their loved ones.

I guess it all started when I was just learning to talk.  I was the first grandchild, and couldn't say "Grandma" or "Me-Maw", so I decided to call my maternal-grandmother "Mimi".  Ten grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren later, she is "Mimi" to just about all of them.

When each of my kids were born, I remember making a special effort to choose names that met certain criteria.  Among other things, I wanted names that were not easily shortened into nicknames, like "Willie", or "Sissy", or "Ginny".  Not sure why that was important, but I think I considered my kids names as very important, and didn't want someone else to call them by names I didn't like.  We ended up choosing Sarah Jesica, Jotham Samuel and Jericho Elisabeth - with strict instructions that they were not to be called Jessie, Sammy, Jeri or Lizzy.  :-)

Boy was I naive!  Grandma, (my Mom) found cute mutations for all three of my kid's names in a matter of days.  Now that they are teenagers, it's nice that only grandma calls them by their special name, whether it's "SaraJes", "Joth", or "Jer".

You know, my mom is really good at this nickname thing.  She used to call me "Tunafish", and "Sassafrass" when I was growing up.  As the grandkids grew, I heard nicknames from my childhood revived --- like "Suggie-Mouse" (sugar mouse), "Sunshine", "Sassy", "Susie-Q" and "Morning Glory".  Funny how those words can still bring a smile to my heart.

Larry and I don't have cute pet names for each other.  We call each other "Honey", and "Sweetie" occasionally.  But that doesn't mean that our home and our lives aren't filled with quirky, sweet names.  My nineteen year old daughter, Sarah, is the only one that still calls me "Mommie".  Jotham calls me "Mom", and Jericho calls me "Mama".  When he and I were dating, Sarah called Larry "Pretend-Daddy".  Now he's the only "Dad" for all three of the kids, and sometimes "Larry the Cucumber" or "Larry Boy" (Veggie Tales) and "Larry the Cable Guy" (Because he works for a cable company.)  Most of you know me as "TaunaLen".

My youngest, Jericho, has more nicknames that any of us.  Her friends call her "Jazzy", "Jaz" "Jeri", "J", "Babe", "Ska", "Krazy", "Jer", "Squirt", "Shorty" and "Monkey".  When she was little, Larry used to call her "Jeri-choo".  Jotham, he called "Joe-Thumb" and we still call him "Joth" along with "Jot"and "Jo".

A few years ago, at camp, someone came up with a nickname for the whole Scroggins family.  We spend a lot of time working as a team in our Youth Outreach, so this person decided to refer to each of us Scroggins as an individual "Scroggi" (sounds like scraw-guy).  That didn't last forever, but at camp, Jotham is still the "Scrog-guy" and Jericho is now the "Scrog-girl".

Sarah works at a restaurant where they wear name-tags.  Just for fun, they are always changing what's written on them.  On any given day, you can go in and find her being called "Destiny", "Sugar", "Maradonna" (during the World Cup), "Shawn" or "Amber".  Around here she's knows as "SaraJes", "Cera", or "Sarie".

When I was eleven, my baby brother Derek was born. (known as "Sunshine" and "D" to my mom - "Bradford" to they guys on the job)  We were pretty close growing up, and still are, for that matter.  When Derek was about four, there was a particular little girl that was his best friend.  She had an older brother, my age.  When Derek heard her call her older brother "Bubba" he picked up on it.  When he started calling me "Bubba" we thought it was cute.  And now, twenty-five years later, it still slips out in conversation when he's not paying attention.  

Now I am sure that for many people, the nickname "Bubba" brings to mind a flannel-shirted, red-suspendered, snaggle-toothed trucker with a beer belly, and a tobacco stained grin.  But when I hear it, I go back to the eighties, and my baby brother thinks I am the coolest big sister around.

Does God have a nickname for me?  I am sure He does.  Though I can't decide what it might be.  I do know that He often reminds me -- "Child, you are 'Mine'."  That 'nickname' means a whole lot to me.

I hope I am not the only one who does this.  Now and then, when I am in that place between awake and asleep I hear my mother's voice calling me like when I was a child.  Usually I hear "Tauna", as she calls, like I'm running late for the school bus, or forgot to do the dishes.  Only occasionally, I hear her say, "Come on "Sassafrass" let's go..."

What nickname do you hear?  

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