Gingham at Five-Thirty

And, here it is, y’all! The new blog is up and running. Check it out HERE.

There are still a LOT of glitches, so I’m very slowly working through those. Like… setting an image to be used when pinning the post to Pinterest. I have no clue about that one. I don’t want to have a picture in every post (especially since I’m posting daily), so I need an image that will work for everything (blog name/logo). But, the one that comes up can’t be “fetched”, whenever I try to use it.

Anyway, there’s the link, and the heads-up about the site being under some construction. Enjoy! Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Or, give me suggestions/advice/tutorials (could really use some tutorials on making things work on the computer… :-))/etc.

More later!


Coming Soon…

Hello, all!

I am in the midst of launching an all-new blog! It will be centered around the subject of hospitality… Where to begin, what to cook, how to prepare, and all that fun stuff. You’ll even find fun DIY crafts, games, and decor (if I get my act together… :-))!

I’ll post a link just as soon as we decide on a name for the site…

Stay tuned!

My Weird Wardrobe

NOTE TO READER: This post is a compilation of facts about my sense of style. None of the following information is intended as an authoritative statement of “truth”, and by that I mean: This is not a guide book with standards that must be adhered to in order to accomplish perfect modesty/style/holiness. It is merely a glimpse into my personal choices.

As a sequel to my post entitled “Thoughts on Weirdness”, I would like to touch on the topic of my weird wardrobe. If you have read the afore mentioned post, you have an idea of why I like to be weird, and what I mean by that. One of the most visible ways in which this weirdness manifests itself is my choices in style.

To begin, I would like to state bluntly that I love to dress modestly and like a woman. It is not a sign of an oppressive father (which mine is not), a heavy-handed pastor (which mine is not), or even a lack of self-assurance/self-esteem/confidence, or what-have-you. I do, honestly, thoroughly enjoy dressing within my “weirdness”.

Also, I will say this upfront: Modesty is a word that is cherished and frowned upon, misunderstood and idolized, over-analysed and sometimes helpful.

Rather than going into a lengthy sermon-esque explanation of what I consider modest, I will simply give an overview of what it means (practically) day-to-day in our household.

Two of the foundational questions that I ask myself on this subject are, “Why do I dress like this?” and, perhaps an even more poignant question, “Who am I dressing for?”. To avoid yet another sermon-esque rabbit trail, I will focus only on the latter question. This question, I find, is incredibly helpful in maintaining an appropriate wardrobe – and, even in critiquing individual outfits before leaving the room.

For example:

It’s raining outside, and it’s a chilly morning. I sit up in bed, put my glasses on, yawn, and begin to contemplate my tasks for the day. But, I’m cold. Finding myself back under the quilts, bending my poor glasses by plopping my head back into my unusually inviting pillow, I tell myself not to fall asleep. In an attempt to begin chipping away at my tasks while under the covers, I start with the first goal: dress myself. I sigh of relief when I realize that I have nowhere to be all day. The pressure is off. But, realizing that this sigh was also related to the fact that I am drifting into dreams, I muster up the tiniest bit of motivation to keep me conscious. So, I have nowhere to be. Great. And no outside chores! Gotta love brothers. Therefore, I can conclude that I neither have to dress nicely for town or visiting, nor in old clothes for dirty chores.

Where does that leave me? I begin thinking through my wardrobe as I pull the quilts up around my face. I’m definitely leaning toward something comfortable. Reluctantly, I cross pajamas of the list of possibilities. No PJs, no old rags, no tidy town clothes. Perhaps that comfy old dress with the missing button. Not glamorous, but definitely comfortable. It doesn’t really fit… it’s probably 2 sizes too big. And, the color is atrocious on me. But, it’s comfy.

Once out of bed, and into my dress, I check my outfit with all my usual rules-of-thumb for overall modesty. Sitting in a chair doesn’t even begin to reveal knees. Doing a toe-touch doesn’t reveal undergarments or anything else inappropriate. No shoulders or back are showing around the sleeves. Everything seems to fall in to place effortlessly.

Now, consider the conclusion. I have chosen an outfit that, by my “law”, is perfectly acceptable. But, who am I dressing for? Nobody wants to see me wearing that old potato sack. My complexion when wearing it resembles that of a dead man. The answer: I’m dressing solely for myself. My “legal requirements” were met, but not really with the right spirit. A pair of smelly old sweats might have done just as well.

I will now change the scenario just a bit, to illustrate another common fault of mine.

Preparing to leave my room, wearing my comfy potato sack, I hear a familiar engine. How could I have forgotten? I must be the guys coming to help on the fence repairs. I scramble for my camera and boots, only to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Shocking! I run back into the closet and search for something… cute. My eyes land on a go-to favorite, so I assemble the outfit, redress, and apply a healthy amount of mascara. I throw my hair into a messy bun, since I don’t have much time to spend on it. I take the next 10 minutes making the messy bun cuter. I grab some earrings, and run out the door.

To say that there is something innately wrong with this scenario (or even, necessarily, with the first) would be a dreadful overstatement. However, I believe they do the job of illustrating my point. In this second scenario, I am no longer dressing for my personal comfort. I am likely dressing for the young men/man that just drove up, and for myself, since I want the attention or the confidence that I look cute.

Is it wrong to look cute? No. Do I make sure I’m wearing flattering clothes when someone is coming over? Yes. I just have to check my motives, and make sure that I’m dressing primarily for Christ and Daddy – not that hunk-of-a-friend down the road. 🙂

And, as long as I’m talking about style, here are some points to remember (specifically for all you fellow homeschoolers out there!):

Stand up straight!

Walk with confidence!

Be beautiful.

I have my own sense of style, and get to explore it, change it, enjoy it as much as I like. I simply have some standards that help me shape that style. It’s not oppressive. It’s not unpleasant (I have a TON of fun with it). It’s definitely weird.

Thoughts on Weirdness

Yes, I know, it’s been an age and a half since I sat down to post anything. I won’t go so far as to apologize, since I have never promised regularity, but I will, at least, try to give a decent post now. 🙂

The title of this post, for some, may inspire thoughts of various and sundry topics. For me, however, it is relatively specific. “Weird” is a word that I often use to describe not only me, but my entire life.

Now, to begin, I must put at rest any lingering shades of negativity associated with the word “weird”. If I say that I’m weird, I am not stating that I am socially unacceptable, awkward, or any other such adjectives. I am declaring a different, and rather broader fact than that. To the majority of the world, I and my life are weird.

Braving the risk of becoming monotonous, I’ll use the word yet again:

What makes me weird?

That is an excellent question. There are a host of reasons why I am considered unusual. At the core of it all, lies the fact that I am an unashamed Christian. Not only that, but I am an unashamed Christian with strong convictions. What’s more still, is that I’m not afraid to let people know this. In fact, I want them to know it. If they can’t tell immediately that I am what I just described, then I should probably be concerned.

My beliefs, my faith, define me – not the other way around. I could be described as any number of things: a musician, a teacher, a farmer, etc. But, these are not what make me who I am. These are not primarily what make me weird.

Being part of a Christian family, unafraid to stick out in a crowd due to convictions, has been an amazing ride. The journey has been carefully created and guided by our Lord, and for that, I am indescribably thankful.

Now you see a glimpse of what I am referring to when I describe myself, our family, our church, our life, as weird. I may now proceed to post about one small area of life in which our weirdness openly manifests itself.

And more…

The following is awesomeness. Just sayin’.


Hey. I know I haven’t posted in… let’s just say “awhile”. And, at the moment, I’m not going to spend time compiling a wordy update, or anything of the kind. I just want to post some videos – mostly for my own reference.

This first one is of Tony Rice, playing/singing Shadows. I LOVE his voice! If you are a male vocalist in bluegrass, try to sing like this. 🙂

Yeah, I know: The HAIR! But, good music, all the same. 🙂

And, here is Mark O’Connor playing something like Orange Blossom Special. This one is long, tedious, but good for my students to see. Yes, there is only one fiddle making those sounds, and yes, he’s intentionally playing all those notes. Sadly, though, I doubt if my students will recognize the theme song played in the middle… 😉

And you thought the hair was bad in the last one. Ha Ha Ha! Gotcha.


Yesterday, a group of friends took me to Nashville for the day, just for fun. And, was it ever fun! The idea was to do this on my birthday… but, I was sick on my birthday, and our desired destination closed temporarily on our back-up date. So, we ended up going exactly one month after my birthday. 🙂

Where was this desired destination? None other than the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Yippee! I had such a blast.

After a quick stop at Starbucks… (at which we found this parked next to us…)

Picture for the guys #1

Picture for the guys #1

… we headed straight to the Hall of Fame. Upon arrival, we learned that there was a tour getting ready to  leave for Studio B – so we went! SO COOL!

An unintentionally almost artsy picture! :)

An unintentionally almost artsy picture! 🙂

Picture one of some of the greats - room one in Studio B

Picture #1 of some of the greats – room #1 in Studio B


More of the greats...

More of the greats…


For Laura... The Everly Brothers

For Laura… The Everly Brothers

Jim Reeves!

Jim Reeves!

Elvis and the Jordonaires!

Elvis and the Jordonaires!


Eddy Arnold - so many greats!

Eddy Arnold – so many greats!

I could post so many more pictures of the studio! It was so amazing to stand there, where all those greats did their work, and see the very instruments and machines that they used!

Yes, this post is filled with an unusual amount of exclamation points. 🙂

Instead of posting all 150-ish pictures that I took, I’ll just post this one of us girls in “the sweet spot” in Studio B. This was the best spot, acoustically, in the studio for the lead singers. Again, SO COOL!

Us girls in the Sweet Spot!

Us girls in the Sweet Spot!

And, perhaps there will be more to come. I really need to end now, and I didn’t even get to the pictures of the museum! Ahh.

More later, y’all!