Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 It's Thanksgiving week and I know everyone is as "busy as a bee" just as I am.  But, got to make time to answer the questions that our Joyce faithfully comes up with week in and week out.  A happy Thanksgiving Hodgepodge.......................

1. Besides U.S. Thanksgiving, it's also National Game and Puzzle Week...what game have you played most recently, and who were you with? Have you worked a puzzle of any kind in the past week?
Well, now that would be easy..........Candyland about a month ago with one or both of the Grans, I can't remember.  I do know that neither of them have really grasped what losing is all about and it's just so cute to watch them when they have to move backwards.  They do know that isn't the direction they need to be going to win and thus, it is most unsettling for them.
No, can't remember when the last time was that I worked a puzzle.

2. What is one place you were thankful for this year?

I have thought about how thankful I have been to call this house "home" the past 33 years.  As we prepare to move from this house  into our new house my heart is filled with all kinds of emotions.  This is the house our children were raised in, the house where many, many family affairs have taken place and where Hubby has sweat blood and tears to keep the outside "picture perfect."  As I look forward to our new house, I'll always have cherished memories of this house and I look forward to the memories we will begin making in our new house.
3. Take a nap, watch football, go for an after dinner walk, or hit the stores...which ONE is on your must-do list for Thanksgiving day? For those of you playing along who aren't in the US, answer as it relates to any big holiday meal.

Well, none of these.  We will have our meal at noon and then around mid-afternoon we have friends, that we haven't seen in a couple of years, stopping by to enjoy some dessert with us and take out to see our new house.  The Princess will stay with us while her parents hit the stores later that day.
4. Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite home cooked meal?

I'm not sure if you are talking about the food or a particular holiday.  But, a meal would be grilled pork tenders, patio beans, potato casserole and congealed salad.  That is like the "standard meal" around here.  My family loves it and I figure that's a win win situation for me and for them.  I'm quite the pro at grilling pork tenders.
5. What product from an infomercial would you most like to own?

I haven't seen any infomercials in forever but one I remember from way back was the Chia Pet.  I would like to watch the grass, or whatever it is that resembles the hair on the pet, grow.  I remember the jingle most of all, "Chi, chi, chia."  I often see the "As Seen on TV" products at Wal-Mart but I never stop to check them out.  I'm out of the loop as to what it popular now.

6. Christmas shopping? Have you begun? Finished? Will you shop on Black Friday? How do you feel about stores opening on Thanksgiving Day? What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?

My Christmas shopping is done, boxed and waiting to be wrapped.  NO I will not shop on Black Friday, don't know that I ever have. I think all businesses should be closed the entire day on Thanksgiving like they use to be.  I hate it for the employees that work in retail but the almighty $$$ rules and stores opening later in the day on Thanksgiving has proven profitable so it will not likely ever be any other way.  I would say that 90% of my shopping this year was done via the internet.  In past years probably 75%.  It's the best thing since sliced bread!

7. What are you most grateful for that adds beauty to your everyday life?

Oh, my goodness, makeup!!!  I can probably count on 2 hands the days that I have not worn makeup since I started wearing it.  It is just a part of my morning and I am not one who has one bit of color with a naked face.  I'm grateful for all makeup but especially blush and lipstick.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

We are all so proud of our Sadie Robertson who won the hearts of so many this season on DWTS.  For a young gal that had no dance experience to come in #2 in a competition such as this is quite amazing.  She has made us all so proud here in NE Louisiana. And, there is no doubt that her little light shined in a big way into the hearts of Mark, the judges and those who watched.  I'm sure it's just the beginning of great things for Sadie!

Blessings to all for a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Letters of Thanksgiving

I often wonder if I could ever possibly be thankful enough for all of God's blessings in my life.  I've thought more about it this year than ever before.  I imagine a lot of that has to do with age.  I hope I have many, many more years on this earth but most of all I hope that while I'm here I will have a grateful heart and let those I love know just how much they mean to me.  So, today I felt compelled to write some letters of Thanksgiving...........
Dear Heavenly Father - First and foremost, you make every day worth living.  I know that this world is not my home because I am yours and one day I will be in heaven with you.  So, no matter what comes my way, I rest assured in my salvation through your grace. My heart is overwhelmed when I think of the mountain top experiences I have enjoyed because of you and for you carrying me through the darkest valleys of my life.  You are my all in all!
Dear Hubby - I don't even know where to a mere 13 year old I knew that you were the "one" for me. Thanks for being my Prince Charming, my provider, my protector, my steady force and my confidant. Thanks for sticking with me when I've been less than what I should have been. Thanks for being the best Dad our kids could have asked for and for loving us to a fault.  You are the best Poppa our Grans could ever desire.  And, most of all thanks for loving me through "thick and thin" and I look forward to "doing life" with you the rest of our days.
Dear Brandon - I cannot even describe to you how my heart felt when you were placed in my arms a little over 38 years ago.  I dreamed of being a Mother and you more than fulfilled that desire.  I love your tender heart and how you still end each phone conversation with "love you Mom."  There's hardly a week that goes by that someone does not stop me and tell me what a fine young man you are. I am blessed watching you as a husband and daddy and you make me proud as you desire to be the man God intended for you to be.
Dear Bridget - As I carried you I dreamed of having a daughter and that dream came true a little over 35 years ago.  You have been a delight!  I love sharing laughter with you as so much of what we laugh about no one else would even find funny. ~big smile~ I love your spunk and determination.  You are the best Mom to our little man and I know you have made a difference in so many lives of the children you have taught these past 13 years.  You are the cream in my cookies!
Dear Windy - I am so, so thankful for our relationship as MIL and DIL.  I'm thankful the Lord chose you to be my son's wife.  You have accepted and loved me in spite of my crazy ways. ~big grin~ You are wise beyond your years and I marvel at your outlook on things.  You are such a good Mom to our Princess and have such a desire for her to grow and become all that the Lord has for her. You are a blessing to all the kids that are fortunate to call you "teacher." And, you make the absolute prettiest pregnant Mom-to-Be!!
Dear Clint - I would have never in a million years dreamed my daughter would have married a good ole' Oklahoma cowboy.  But, you have added a flair to our family for sure!  Thanks for being such a hard worker and provider for your family.  And, thanks for always being so willing to share Bridget and Clancy with us. That means more than you know. I love the way you love that little man of yours and the look in your eye when you speak of him.  And, I am so, so thankful that your last promotion brought you all a much closer distance to us. And, thanks for loving me!
Dear Clancy and Hanna Beth - You two are the "icing on my cake."  You both make make my heart nearly burst when you call my name and give me a big hug.  You are delight with a capitol "D."  I pray daily for God's hedge of protection over you and that His hand will guide all the days of your lives. CiCi loves you to the moon and back!
Dear Daddy -  Where in the world would we be without each other these past 6 years?  We've been through the fire for sure and there were plenty of times that I wasn't quite sure that either of us would survive.  We have tested each others patience but we always knew who was in control.  I'm thankful for your Godly wisdom that still blesses me today and for the lives you transformed during your 50+ years of ministry.  I am blessed to call you "Daddy."
Dear Extended Family - I am so sorry that many miles separate us and likely always will.  I wish that we could share this Thanksgiving together.  But, even though the miles may separate us, always know that you are never far from my thoughts and are always in my heart. 
Dear Friends - your friendship is such a special part of my life and I cannot imagine life without you. You help to double my joy and divide my grief.

I wish for each of you a special Thanksgiving week and may you be reminded of all your blessings, great and small.  May all of our hearts be extra grateful!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Fragments - House Progress

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It's Friday and I think there are only 4 more Fridays until Christmas.  How can that be?  What a fast year this has been!  But, for this Friday I'm going to share a few fragments of my week and they are all related to the progress of our new house.

We have been dealing with some really cold weather this past week and it has slowed up the brick laying at the new house.  The sheet rock finisher was to start last Friday and, due to the cold weather, had to wait until Monday and then had had to figure out how to get some heat into the house.  He has managed to work but the brick layers missed 2-3 days.

The sheet rock finisher is shown in the top pictures and once again, this is no easy job.  They work a lot with both of their hands up over their head and it makes me tired just watching him.  But, he sure seems to really enjoy what he does and his work is a reflection of it.
In the bottom two pictures the carpenters are putting in the louver at the top of the eave on one end of the house.  Now, the brick layers can do the brick work around it.  You can get a good view of the brick here too.
 The outside doors, except for the front door, were installed this week.  The one on the right goes out onto our covered porch and has the short fractional window to match all the other windows across the back of the house.  Our front door is due to arrive next Tuesday and I can hardly wait for it to be installed.  It is a beautiful oil rubbed bronze metal door with side lights and a transom.  It weighs about 700 pounds.  Don't worry, I'll post pictures as soon as it is installed.

 The spa tub for our Master Bedroom was installed this week.  We are both looking forward to using this on those days that we need rejuvenating. ~that's most days~  It is not near as deep as some and we opted not to have the wide frame as it will make stepping in and out a whole lot easier. ~we're not as young as we use to be~  The big window above the tub will be covered with a Plantation Shutter.
The above pictures show our choices for our various tiles and flooring. The tiles for the backsplashes in the extra baths are not shown. We are still a good ways away from any of this being done but I can hardly wait to see it all come together.

It became apparent as soon as we started building that record keeping was going to be of utmost importance.  So, I devised a method that has worked very well for us and whenever we need to refer back to a bid or other information, we know exactly where to look. Of course, the files are alpabetical. ~did you ever doubt that~ chuckle~  In addition to the above items, we have a spiral bound notebook that is our "bible."  It has notes on almost any and everything to do with the house and it goes with us any time we are doing something in regards to the house.  If we should loose that notebook, it would be almost disastrous, thus we keep a most watchful eye over it. ~smile~

Construction began on June 12th, so we are about 5 1/2 months into this and probably have about 3-4 more months.  It has gone very well and neither Hubby nor I have pulled our hair out. We look forward to this time next year when we will be enjoying our new abode.

A happy weekend to you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday, another Hodgepodge and somehow Joyce finds the time to come up with great questions.  And, all the while, she is planning a wedding that will be happening in less than 2 months.  I think we could call her "Super Woman!"
1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?
In recent years I have seen so many I love stricken with such serious health issues and many have died as a result.  It has made me so grateful for the good health that I enjoy and have often taken for granted. And, I have never had to worry about where my next meal was going to come from and I'm truly grateful for that as well.  And, the list could go on and on.........a husband that loves me and shows me that love in his actions, words and deeds every day. I am blessed!

2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?
I would have to say that I love brown, it is a great color for me and I am so glad that it has made a "come back" in recent years.  I'm not sure about my favorite shade, maybe a chocolate brown.  I don't have any brown in my home decor  so guess it would be a brown, cowl neck, sort of sweater-like, tunic top.

3. What's something you're looking forward to today?
Hubby and I will be finalizing the flooring and the lighting for the new house today.  All the choices have been made but now it's time to do the actual order placement for these and that means we are one step closer to the end. ~still 3-4 months away~

4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?
Oh, my.......this is a good one!  I immediately think "women's lib" when I hear the word.  No, I do not want to  and likely would not be, known by those who know me, as a feminist. That is not to say that I do not think that there are those women who are every bit as capable as a man in both the corporate and political world but for me, I will leave those positions to men and other capable women and I'll enjoy continuing in my role as "domestic engineer." 

~chief cook and bottle washer of our home~ ~chuckle~

5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?
Well, I cannot think of one thing that I eat that makes a mess, but I'm sure there is something.  But, I cannot stand a mess, so I probably just do not eat it if it makes a mess. ~big laugh~

6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?
I surprised a good friend with some cute decorative kitchen towels for her new home.  I knew there wasn't really anything she needed but know that most of us enjoy a cute decorative towel hanging in our kitchen that is for nothing but merely looks. ~smile~

7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.

"Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."

8.  Insert your own random thought here
 I attended the Thanksgiving Feast at Hanna Beth's school yesterday.  She came  dressed in her Indian costume, all handmade in her class.~I'm sure the ideas were Pinterest inspired~  Her Indian name was "Princess Sweet Molasses."  How cute is that? There were literally scads of parents and grandparents in attendance and the school did a great job orchestrating such a feat. The food left a lot to be desired but it wasn't about the food anyway, so all was good!  

Monday, November 17, 2014

HELLO Monday!

It's the beginning of a new week and still very cold here in NE Louisiana.  We had a great weekend here at our house in spite of the fact that I had some kind of strange bug and wasn't feeling very perky.  I had an awful back ache on Friday and just did not feel quite right.  When I woke up Sat. morning I had a horrible headache and was lightheaded and weak.  I tried to get up and it just wasn't working.  So, in the bed I stayed for a couple more hours and then I felt good enough to get up and get in the recliner.  I was so, so aggravated as I had big plans for a nice dinner on Saturday with both kids and their families.  And, that just was not going to happen.  But, my sweet DIL fixed dinner at her house for our daughter and her family and they enjoyed that time together without me and Poppa.  I did manage to get my makeup on and dressed for our Christmas pictures.  There was not going to be another weekend that we could do this, so I had to put my best face forward and I did.  And, they are some of the best pics we have ever taken.  We were all so pleased and now we're off to ordering our Christmas cards. And, I am feeling just fine this morning and still not sure what "bug " got a hold on me, but, at least it was short lived.   Let's say HELLO to a few things this morning...

HELLO amaryllis bulbs..........last week during our regular monthly Garden Club meeting we planted amaryllis bulbs in pots.  They were some of the biggest bulbs I had ever seen.  I decided to plant 6 pots to be given to friends to enjoy during the holiday season.  I always planted amaryllis when the kids were young and we would enjoy watching them grow and then finally sprout their gorgeous blooms.  It was fun to play in the dirt with the other club members and hopefully these big bulbs will produce some really big blooms by Christmas.
HELLO cutest "baby bump" ever......this is my beautiful DIL and her first "baby bump" picture.  She is due on Feb. 15th, so that makes her  exactly 6 months pregnant.  I think she has made the cutest Momma to be and just in case you are wondering, her hair is all natural, the color and the curls.  Isn't that hard to believe?  She is stopped and asked more times than you would imagine if it is natural and it is almost offensive to her.  Who could make hair that gorgeous besides the good Lord above?  I mean, really!  And, we can't wait to see if our little miracle baby girl is going to have that same hair color and curls.

HELLO silicone lids.......if you have not seen these little babies then you need to be introduced to them.  These are silicone lids by Charles Viancin and they are the handiest of items.  The two above fit on a coffee cup (place on top of mug to keep coffee hot) and the other fits on a 9X13 dish to hold in heat.  They form just enough suction to stay on securely.  I keep one of the little coffee mug tops in my purse to use when we eat out.  I cannot stand lukewarm/cold coffee and this helps so much.  I'm thinking they would make great Christmas gifts as well.  Amazon has any and all of the ones made and there's a lot and for the local folks, Arnett's has a nice selection.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lea's Daybook - November 14th

It's a daybook sort of day, so sharing what my day looks like........hope you enjoy!


Outside my window...a beautiful morning but a mere 27 degrees. That's cold my friends!!  And, we will only reach 47 today.  This is the deep South and we aren't into cold temps. ~grin~

I am thinking...that there is enough drama in the 5th season of Downton Abbey to float a battleship.  I have been watching it via  I so love that I do not have to wait until January to watch it. There's so much crammed into this season and I have to think really hard to keep it all straight from show to show. 

I am thankful...that my Dad was introduced to "the reader" provided to him by the La. Center for the Blind.  It has added such enjoyment to his life and he has listened to countless books since getting "the reader."  Listening to these books takes him to a very "happy place" and I am so thankful for that.

In the kitchen...I'm going to be stirring up some "vittles" for the weekend.  A Pumpkin Pound Cake, and some pumpkin muffins.  Our daughter, SIL and Clancy are coming in tonight for the weekend and I want to have a few yummies for them.

I am wearing...a bulky sweater with a cuddle dud cami under it, blue jeans and warm boots. Remember, I said it was c-o-l-d here!

I am the Ophthalmologist for my annual visit on Monday.  My family history with eye issues is not the best so I do NOT miss these checkups.  In fact, I don't miss any of my annual checkups.  I'm all about preventative care!

I am some folks can be so passive about really important things.  It just seems that so many things no longer rattle folks as they once did.  And, less and less folks are willing to take a stand for what is right. ~we don't want to get involved~

I am cousin will continue to do well.  You may remember that I asked you to be in prayer for her as she endured a 9 hour brain surgery on the 6th due to an anurysm. Each day she does better and better and Drs. are saying she may get to go home next week with home health coming everyday.  She is so, so fortunate!

I am looking forward to...both of our kids, their families and us getting to be together this weekend.  The guys are going to do a little hunting and then we are going to do family Christmas pictures on Saturday afternoon (weather permitting).  The guys always humor us gals by patiently enduring the whole picture taking process. ~bless their hearts~

I am learning...that there is so, so much to building a house. There are so many important decisions and thankfully my Hubby has dotted every "i" and crossed every "t" to the best of his knowledge. ~he's the best~

Around the house...same ole, same ole....the going through process is never ending.  Well, I guess it will end, but it's a ways away right now.  So, so much accumulation goes along with 33 years of living in the same house.  But, with each closet, drawer, or cabinet that I go through I have such a sense of accomplishment.

I am pondering...moving into our new house and how it will all come together.  I have it all envisioned but who knows if that is the way it will be.  I really wish I could just snap my fingers and the actual move would be magically done.~dream on~

A favorite quote for today...
 "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." 
Teddy Roosevelt

One of my favorite things...silly as it may sound, sitting in my recliner covered with a throw and enjoying the company of my Hubby and laptop in the evenings. ~big smile~

A few plans for the rest of the week.....enjoying my family!

A peek into my day...running errands, baking a cake, making a pot of soup,  going to visit my Dad and whatever else comes along.

A picture worth sharing.........
Our son and DIL's house is for sale and has been for some time.  The realtor called them this week and had some potential buyers wanting to look at it.  Windy was busy tidying up things and asked Hanna Beth to pick up her toy room.  When Windy went in to check it all out, the above picture is what she found.  Hanna Beth had very pain stakingly placed her tubs of toys in their proper places but she made sure that all of her dolls heads were outside of the boxes.  How cute is that?  I'm not sure if her Momma left it like that or not. ~grin~

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joyce took a well deserved break last week and is back with a patriotic hodgepodge of questions today.  Always a fun time answering her questions for us.  Enjoy!

1. We celebrate Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.
I do not often come in contact with those currently serving and shamefully I have never written a letter to a soldier nor have I bought one coffee but certainly would if I had the opportunity. I do come in contact with those who have served.  We have a precious man in our church that is a retired General and I converse with him just about every Sunday.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?

Well, I'm such a lover of coffee,and 50# should last me a good while.  But, storage could be an issue.  It's always a great start to my days!

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?

 I just received one last week for a bridal shower this next weekend.  I am always very prompt responding to RSVP's and it makes me very happy when folks are prompt in responding to me.

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?

TIME!  Now, grant it, what one considering wasting time is not what another considers it to be.  So, it may well be that I waste time depending on who you ask, but in my humble estimation, it is a rarity for me to waste time.  And, doing nothing is certainly not always a waste of time.  I think it is all about a healthy balance of busyness.  We must stop and smell the roses in the midst of our busyness.  And, grant it, that is sometimes difficult.

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?

Well, I would have to say Friends, not because I watched it but because the kids watched every episode of it and I knew all the characters and such because of them.  I can only think of one sitcom that I watched every week and that was The Cosby Show.  I generally do not enjoy sitcoms but The Cosby Show was awesome and our entire family enjoyed it.

6. What decision are you glad you made?

To accept Christ as my Savior at the age of 7.  It is the single most important decision anyone can ever make in their life and from that time on should influence every other decision we make.  I cannot even imagine living my life without this assurance.

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?

Oh, there are two........Having our daughter and family a mere 3 1/2 hours from us rather than the 14 hours that it was this time last year.  AND, the blessing of our son and DIL expecting our 3rd grandchild in mid-Feb.  They dealt with infertility for years and this is truly an answer to prayer.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
 Clancy's school had an assembly for Veterans Day and they sang and waved their flags.  I think it is great that schools teach patriotism and respect for those who serve our country.  I'm not sure Clancy could look any more patriotic if he tried. ~cutie pie~

Happy mid-week!