Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Well, I really do NOT have time to be doing this post, but the withdrawal is so bad that I had to! ~grin~   I'll explain more about the past week's events in #8 but for now, I'll go forth with my answers to this week's Hodgepodge.  And, as always, a big thank you to Joyce who, no matter how busy she is, comes up with the best questions each week.

1. What question do you often ask yourself?
Am I using my time as wisely as I could and should?  I am a highly organized individual and lead a very structured life, but that does NOT mean that I always use my time as wisely as I should by any means.  There are so many things vying for our time and I think that balancing the things of real importance and  eternal value with those of less importance is key.

2. Do you grow roses? What's your favorite color of rose?  Ever been given a dozen roses?  Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?
No, I do not grow roses, but my husband has Fairy Roses in our back flower beds.  He is about to add some Knockout Roses to the mix.  They are so pretty and will be a lovely addition to our yard.

Yes, I have been given a dozen roses several times and yellow roses with reddish tips are my favorite.

3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products?  Will you use eggs past their 'use by' date?  Take medication that's expired? Buy a dented can?
I do read the freshness dates and am amazed at how often the date has passed and the goods are still on the grocery shelf.  Aggravates me too death!  I have, in a pinch, used eggs past their date, but generally I do not.  Again, in a pinch, I have used medication that has expired.  NO, I do not buy dented cans, not even in a pinch!

4. Should athletes be role models?
I think anyone can be a role model if they are deserving of it.  But, the interpretation of "deserving" would differ greatly among individuals.   I'll just leave it at that for now.

5. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29) back in 1953. What's something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?
WOW! I've thought so much about that since my big 60th birthday last July.  I want to enter heaven's gates at the end of my life and hear the Lord say, "well done thy good and faithful servant."  I'm afraid that I have often failed miserably in this area but thankfully,  I serve a God that has not finished with me yet.  As long as I have the breath of life in me, I can continue to strive to serve Him more faithfully. Of course, being a Godly wife, mother, Grandmother and daughter and a Christian witness all enter into serving Him faithfully and I desire for that to be my greatest achievement. Hopefully I will continue to make strides in this area.

6. What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?
I think a lot about Hubby and I downsizing both in house and land and I would love for our town to have a subdivision with nothing but patio/garden homes.  So, I would develop a "top notch" subdivision for this type of house.  And, it could be for anyone, young and older.  I do not care anything about ever living in an area that is confined to all one age group.  I enjoy having all ages as neighbors. I can just see it now, gorgeous smaller Southern homes!

  7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?
I would arrive between 6:50 and 6:55PM, anything later would be late as far as I'm concerned. ~big grin~ I don't want to miss any part of any event that I attend.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
The Grans enjoying picking some flowers
 Hubby and I left a week ago yesterday on a trip to Branson, Mo. and Northern Arkansas.  We got home this past Sunday afternoon.  Just as we pulled in the driveway our daughter and grandson pulled in the driveway behind us.  To say I was surprised would be an understatement!!!!  Hubby did know this (Bridget called him a couple of days beforehand and told him)  but he did not tell me as he knew that it would stress me out and I would likely not enjoy the rest of our trip. ~or would demand to come home immediately~  And, might I add, he would be exactly right. ~smile~

Bridget was at her husband's family reunion in Oklahoma last weekend and was over half way here, so she decided to  come on and visit a few days.

Can I just say that for this "planner woman" it has been a wild ride the past few days.  But, we have had a wonderful time and the best part is seeing my two precious grans enjoy spending time together.

I'll be posting about our trip and our time with our daughter when the dust settles and things get back to some kind of normalcy. ~whatever that is~   For now, I'm busy making memories!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Miscellany Monday

I'm busy packing our suitcases and readying things for us to leave in the morning.  We're headed to Branson, Mo. and then to Northwest Arkansas.  But, had to stop long enough to share a few miscellaneous things with you this morning.  I mean, first things first. ~right?~ Today's entry will be all about family.  Sometimes we just have to brag a bit.......... ~wink~
Our little man.......
Clancy is more than serious about that soccer ball.  This was taken at his last game a couple of weeks ago.  Our little cowboy enjoyed his first season of soccer.

Adorable with a capitol A........
I mean, really, does it even matter whether she can play ball or not.  I think not!  She's just so "stinkin'" cute all dolled up in her uniform.  She was voted "best dressed player" at this past Saturday's game. No joke!  And, might I add, she really made her Mom and Dad proud with her playing skills too.  But, her CiCi just about "popped a button" over her cuteness! ~big smile~

Such sweetness.......
Bridget had their pictures taken professionally a couple of weeks ago and I love, love them!  Captured them so beautifully and I almost "popped another button" when I saw them. 
~big, big smile!~ Oh, how I wish 700+ miles didn't separate us.  ~boo, hiss~

A good looking fella.......
Taken yesterday
 Many of you have been with me on the journey of my Dad's major health issues these past two years.  And, I, for one, would have never, ever believed that he would be alive today.  But, the Lord had other plans and I just wanted all of you to see just how alive he is these days.  He is steadily gaining weight, feeling much better and while he will always suffer with the affects of the GBS, he is doing amazingly well.

Have a great week and I'll return with lots of blog fodder and pictures and will look forward to sharing with you. 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Fragments

It's Friday and that means it's time for fragments.  I know you all are so excited to hear fragments of my week, so sit back, grab your morning drink and enjoy. ~smile~  And, a special thanks to
 Mrs. 4444 for hosting our Friday Fragments.

Half-Past Kissin' Time
I am a member of our local Garden Club and on Tuesday we had our last meeting of the year.  We meet September thru May.  We met at the home of one of our members who has a lovely yard and gardens and she maintains them herself.  And, might I add, she has a HUGE yard!
Some of the ladies wore their spring hats and looked so cute.  It was such a fun way to end our year and getting inspired by the lovely landscape was the "icing on the cake."
As I stated in an earlier post, I have been busy moving the last of my Dad's possessions.  What he does not have room for at the assisted living facility had to be gone through and moved elsewhere or gotten rid of.  
 About 20 years ago my Dad made he and Momma a bedroom suite out of walnut.  Yes, that's right, with his hands, he made the bedroom suite and the frame for the mirror that you see in the above pictures.  Well, I am proud to say that it has now found a home in one of my upstairs guest bedrooms.  Isn't it beautiful!  He did not make the cedar chest that you see.  That was made by his Daddy some 80+ years ago.  My Daddy refinished it and he and Mom used it with the bedroom suite.  All of these pieces are definitely treasured heirlooms.
Once I finished getting that guest bedroom all spruced up, it made me want to do a little "fluffing" in some other spots.  
Can one ever have too many decorative pillows on a bed?  Well, my Hubby would say "yes" to that, so I try to make sure that I am always the one to undo the bed at bedtime.  I definitely have a rhyme and a reason to the way I take them off and of course, put them back on.  Until two days ago we only had three pillows on our bed.  But, I decided that we needed more so I went pillow shopping and was thrilled with my "finds."  And, while I was at it, I picked up a few more for the other beds in the house. You know, one thing always calls for another.

 I imagine the poor gal that checked me out wondered if I had a problem.  But, she asked no questions and I gave no answers. 
~big smile~ 
My next spot to "fluff" was the front porch.  I decided that the only thing lacking on our front porch were some benches.
  Hubby and I went on a search last weekend and found these bronze colored ones and got them.  And, of course, they had to have some colorful pillows too. I think the benches add a real charm to the front porch. You know, it's the little things............
And, I just simply could NOT resist getting this pillow for the family room couch.
I have a "thing" about birds and this one was calling my name.

Okay, enough on my "fluffing" project. Every once in a while I enjoy adding some new touches to the existing decor.  It makes me happy while I'm doing it and happy afterwards as I enjoy "the fruits of my labor."  It's been a happy week of fluffing! Now, go see what you want to add some fluff to and enjoy your weekend!  


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday and that means a hodgepodge of questions created by none other than Joyce.  She never fails us and we appreciate her so much.  And, it gives our readers a chance to learn a little more about us ~as if you want to know more about us~  Anyway, here goes........
1. May is National Blood Pressure Month...what sends yours soaring, either literally or figuratively? What calms you down? When did you last have your bp checked?

Being a no-show!  I cannot stand for repairmen or delivery folks to think that I have nothing better to do with my time than sit around and wait on them to show up and then they don't even come.  All it takes is a minute to call someone and tell them that you will be unable to make it or that you are running  behind schedule.  Come on, it's just common courtesy in my book. And, waiting an unreasonable amount of time at a Doctor's office can get my bp soaring too.  I understand emergencies, but just over scheduling is wrong!!!!

My husband can generally get me calmed down because while he can get aggravated, he's a pretty calm guy, no matter what the circumstances.  Isn't it amazing how the Lord puts opposites together to balance it all out. ~smile~

My bp was last checked in late October but we do have a bp cuff and I can check it anytime I want to.
2. You just found $1-what do you spend it on? How about 10$ 100?

I am a supporter of World Vision , in fact, I think they are one of the finest organizations of their kind.  I have really had them on my heart and mind a lot lately because they have so many children without sponsors and $100 could go along way in providing life sustaining food, medical help and supplies for some of these precious children.
3. Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food has been proposed, but not enacted in the US. How much attention do you give food labels before you buy? Are you in favor of labeling if it means an increase in food prices? Is this an issue you've been following and feel strongly about, or is this the first you've heard of the controversy?

I will have to admit that I do not pay much attention to food labels outside of the calorie count and I check that on a whole lot of groceries. ~smile~  I cannot imagine most folks enduring higher food prices just for food labeling.
4. May 15th marks the birthdate of Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. At this point in time, are you more in need of brains, courage, heart, or a trip back home? Explain.

Hummmm.......I certainly am not the brainiest person, but am satisfied with the amount the good Lord gave me, I have a big heart and I am home, so that leaves courage.  I wonder if all of us couldn't use a little more courage.  I, for one, could many times. Mainly the courage to stand my ground when it comes to my faith.  Not in a judgmental fashion but with a heart of compassion.  
5. "There's no place like home" is an oft repeated line from Baum's book. When was the last time you felt the truth of that statement?

Oh, I feel that way every time we go somewhere and the last time we went somewhere was last month.  We were gone 8 days and I was "plum" excited about getting back home.  That's no to say that I don't enjoy being away, I do.  But, there is just no place like home!!!
6.  Steak...yes please or no thank you? What cut do you prefer and how do you like yours cooked? Sauce or no sauce? Besides your own kitchen, where's a place you like to go to get a great steak?

Yes, I do like a medium cooked steak, no sauce, but certain marinades I do like.  I generally eat Ribeye but when we are eating at a restaurant I just take a small portion of whatever cut Hubby has ordered.  We enjoy steak at Longhorn's and Outback.
7. When was the last time you were in a genuine hurry?

Oh, I am rarely in a hurry because I try to allow myself enough time that being in a hurry is not necessary.  Of course, there are times when it cannot be avoided and rushing to someone's side over a health issue or hurrying through an airport to make a connection are two of those instances.  I cannot recall the last time I was in a hurry other than the many times, the past 2 years, that I have hurried to my Dad's bedside during his illness.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

 Hubby found this fella at our backdoor one morning 4 years ago. He tried a couple of minutes to find the rightful owner and then claimed him as ours. ~that's the truth~  I told him if he took him in that I would have nothing to do with him ~meaning the dog~.  We already had one Lab and I didn't think we needed another.  Hubby explained to me that Rosco needed a playmate.  Yea, right!  We named him Rhett (because it sounded good with Rosco) and the rest is history.  You might know that Rhett took to me like a duck to water and won me over in no time.  So, my hard heart soon became mush where he's concerned. And, indeed he and Rosco are "best buds" and I'm already dreading the day that something happens to either one of them.

And, I leave you with this......

Monday, May 13, 2013

Miscellary Monday

Oh,yes, it's Monday again!  Without further adieu, I will just go forth with my random thoughts this morning. And, as always, Carissa is our lovely hostess.
Not just any t-shirt.........

 Is this just the cutest!!  We have a gal here in our fair city that does the most gorgeous monograming and applique work I do believe I've ever seen.  My DIL and I keep her quite busy with requests for the Princess.  I'm sure you can see why.


I decided to do a little embellishing around our front door this spring and I'm real pleased with the final outcome.  I'm thinking I'll just change out the color of the green ribbon for fall and carry it right on through.  We shall see.

Like new again........

I have had these artichoke statues for about 4 years and they had gotten so shabby looking.  They are on our patio and I was just short of getting rid of them when Hubby had the brilliant idea of repainting them for me. Think I'll probably get another few years of use out of them.  Yea!

Steppin' out...... 

I'm usually  fairly conservative in my style of dress but sometimes I will get a  little more daring. ~chuckle~   Ever since the Chevron print hit the fashion scene, I've wanted something in it.  So, when I came across these gypsy pants (or whatever you may call them), I just had to have them.  I wasn't so sure about all that action across my backside, but hey, I think it worked and I felt sassy.  I suppose it's alright for a gal to feel sassy once in a while. ~hummmmm~

And, I leave you with this.............

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Letters

I haven't written any letters in a few weeks and decided it was high time I did.  I do love writing letters and thanks to Ashley we can do that every Friday with her as our hostess.


Dear PBS, I do believe you are without a doubt the best TV station!  You shows are just TOPS!  Thanks for offering such wonderful programing.  This season I've enjoyed, Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge and Broadway or Bust.  When each season ends, I can hardly wait for the next one to begin. My problem is keeping all the characters straight in each one.  It can be confusing for sure.  I just wish it wasn't such a long time between seasons. ~blah~

Dear Bridget and Windy (my daughter and DIL) - I am so proud of the mothers that you two are to my  precious Grans.  I pray daily for you both as you balance your life between working and mothering.  You are TOPS! May you both feel very celebrated this weekend.

Dear Nicki - not only do you behave pitifully, you also dress pitifully. That's all I have to say, but I seriously hope that Idol will NOT be bringing you back next season.  You pretty much ruined the show for me. If it had not been for the exceptional talent of the girls I would not have watched it this season.  But, in spite of you, I have hung in there.
Dear Chevron Print - I absolutely love you!  

Dear God - you really are the "peace that passes all understanding."  

Dear Spring - I "think" you have finally arrived, it sure did take you long enough. Now, please don't fool us again!

Dear Momma - I cannot believe that this will be my 5th Mother's Day without you.  Oh, you just would not believe all that has happened since your death.  It sometimes seems that your death was the beginning of a whole lot of tough times for me.  Yes, there have been some really special times as well, but not having you to encourage me during the tough times is something I have missed and will always miss. Your hand print is forever etched upon my heart and life.

And, I leave you with this.........


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When the children of today grow up, what do you think they'll say about this period in time? What do you most hope they remember?

Well, it's a fact they will be saying completely different things than us. More than likely it will be something about how "connected" they were with all their gadgets. ~smile~

I hope that our children will recall the many wonderful family times and that would include all the fantastic trips we took during their years at home.  I desire that they have strong family memories and a tie that binds them together forever.

  2. National Teacher's Day is celebrated in the US of A on the first Tuesday in May, this year May 7th...share how a particular teacher positively impacted you.
Oh, Mrs. Wilma Morton, my first grade teacher.  I will never, ever forget her.  I started first grade in Ft. Smith, Arkansas and I was pretty much legally blind at the time but no one knew it.~I had no idea that I had a vision issue ~   It wasn't long into the school year that Mrs. Morton figured out that I needed to see an eye Dr.  I was the most frustrated child due to my compromised sight and after a visit to the eye Dr. and glasses, I finally realized that trees had leaves.  Yep, it was that bad.  It changed me into the happiest girl in the class and I never missed a beat from that time on.  Not only did Mrs. Morton figure out that I had vision issues, she made me feel that I was the most special little girl in the world.  In those days only a very few ever went to kindergartner, so I had never been in any school type situation until I started 1st grade. I had been at home all my life with my Mom and little brother.  It was a HUGE transition for me and Mrs. Morton made it a most special year.

  3. What's a dish your mama made, that if set in front of you today would whisk you right back to childhood?                                             Pot roast with potatoes and carrots.  It was an every Sunday meal and I mean, every Sunday.  And, that was before crock pots, so it was put in the oven early Sunday morning and ready for us to enjoy when we got in from church.  And, there was always a cake made on Saturday without fail so we'd have dessert to go with our pot roast.  Oh, me, what memories!  And, might I add, I can hardly remember the last Sunday meal that I prepared.~how disappointed my precious Momma would be~                           
4. Mother May I was a game we played when I was growing pieces, parts, or plugs required. What games from childhood do you remember loving that were also pieces, parts, and plug-free?

I was the Jacks and Hop Scotch Queen, then there was the Hula Hoop ~heaven forbid that I would try that now~, Red Rover, Red Rover and Ring Around the Roses and Drop the Hanky.  Goodness, have not thought about these in a very long time but what fun times.

  5. Besides your own mother, tell us about a woman who influenced you as a child?
As a child there really was no one who influenced me more than my Mother. As an adult, that would not be the case.  I think that is largely due to the fact that I moved so often as a child and as an adult I've stayed "put."  

  6. Mamma Mia! What's the best play or musical you've ever seen?
Oh, it would be Mamma Mia for sure!  My daughter and I went to NYC for her 21st and my 50th birthday. ~they happened the same year and the same month~  Mamma Mia was one of the plays we saw and we absolutely loved it!  Great story and splendid music!

  7. What are three smells that make you feel nostalgic?
Lavender - reminds me of my paternal Grandmother
Chanel No. 5 - reminds me of my Mother
British Sterling - reminds me of my Hubby when I first met him

   8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Our little Princess's gymnastics class had a "showcase" on Monday of this week.  Parents and Grandparents could come and watch them go through the routines they have worked on this year.  She just looked so big out there and of course, I was grinning from ear to ear the entire time she was "doing her thing." A budding Olympian I'm sure! ~wink~


Monday, May 6, 2013

Giving a Facelift with Chalk Paint

I am breaking from my "norm" today.  It's Monday and I always participate in Carissa's meme, "Miscellany Monday."  But, since I knew that many of you were waiting with "baited breath" to hear about my chalk painting experience, I decided not to make you wait any longer. ~aren't you excited?~
 Every once in a while I enjoy working on a project.  I have heard so much about chalk painting and have seen so many pieces done in chalk paint that I really like.  And, as I looked around our house, I saw several pieces that looked like potential candidates for chalk painting. So, I began preparing for a project in chalk painting.
I watched several U-Tube videos on the process and talked with a couple of folks that had done it.  There is so, so much info on the internet and it most helpful to me. ~whatever did we do before the internet~

 As in any project, the first thing I did was gather my supplies.  I decided that I would buy the chalk paint powder and make my own chalk paint. Webster's is the best and for the local gals, Nature's Hidaway carries the powder and the waxes.  As far as I know, Annie Sloan is the only maker of Chalk Paint and it is around $38 a quart. ~a bit expensive for sure~  The powder is $15 and there is enough to make I quart of paint, but you make it by the cup.  Two tablespoons of powder per cup of paint.  And, take my word for it, a little goes a long ways.  I used less than 1/2 cup on the two smaller pieces I did and I used 1 cup on the wash stand I did.  You can use the chalk powder in any water base latex paint you desire and in any color.  In addition to the this, you will need a a paint brush (a sash style is best and I got mine at the $$$ store and it worked just fine and never shed a time), some tight fitting disposable gloves, fine grade sand paper, your choice of wax (I'll say more about this in a minute) old rags and depending on where you will be working, a drop cloth.
I did my chalk painting inside.  The pieces I was doing were all upstairs and we have a large landing at the top of the stairs, so that is where I worked.  It worked out great for me and there is little to no odor with water base paint.
 My first piece was this old rocker.  I bought it several years ago at a garage sale for $25.  I don't know what those spots are on the seat of the finished piece but it must be the lighting. ~forgive me~ 
My second piece was this plant stand.  Both of these pieces were going in the same room so I did them to match.  I used the clear wax on these.
Here are the two pieces in the rightful places.  Yes, that's right, I use the plant stand for a TV stand in one of our upstairs guest bedrooms. ~don't laugh~
  My next piece and much larger piece, a wash stand that I have in our upstairs guest bathroom.  I did it in an Ivory color and then used the color, Rugger Brown, wax on it.  I found a huge difference in the clear wax and the colored.  You really have to work quickly with the wax.  It dries extremely fast, as in just a few seconds.  I wanted a more distressed look on this piece and that was why I chose to use a colored wax.  But, you rub it in with the grain and rub it off immediately to the desired intensity.  The wax color is just a personal preference but you have to wax each piece to seal it and to protect it.  Some tutorials say use a paint brush to put the wax on and some say rub it on with an old rag.  Let me just say, it is a whole lot better to use an old rag. ~in my humble opinion~  
Now, is that not just "plum" pretty!  I was very pleased with the results once it was placed back where it belonged.  Note* in the picture the distressing looks a bit greenish and ugly. ~chuckle~ But, it really does look good. ~I promise~ On all 3 of these pieces I lightly sanded the edges in a "hit or miss" fashion for an even more distressed look.  That is just your preference but needs to be done before putting on the wax.
While I did really like the looks of all 3 pieces, the rocker just did not please me when I got it placed back in the room it belonged in.  The color did not have enough pizazz.  So, I redid it to a golden yellow.

Now, don't you agree?  And, when I grow tired of this color, I can always come back and do it another color. ~oh, the joys of paint~  I used the Rugger Brown color wax on this too.

Now, for just some random info for you in case you are about to embark upon some chalk painting...........
......since doing my pieces I have found out that you can easily make your own chalk powder.  Go to this site to see how easy it is .  
......some tutorials I saw used the term, "just slap the paint on the piece."  Well, slapping is exactly what it will look like and I doubt that's what you want unless you are into a very primitive and rugged look.  I went with the grain of the wood with my brush strokes and found it to be more of the look that I prefer.  
......I used Fiddes wax  but have also found out that you can use any brand wax that is used for a protective finish. The colored waxes will all give a more distressed look to your piece, so if you are not looking for that, then you will probably want to stick with the clear wax.  

I have several more pieces that I am going to be doing in the coming weeks and will share those with you as I do them.  But, good luck to those of you that want to give it a try and remember, the sky is the limit.  You can paint any surface with chalk paint, so the options are numerous. And, remember too, if you do not like the color when you finish, you can redo it another color. ~smile~ If you have a question for me regarding my experience just leave it in your comments or email me and I'll be glad to answer.  I'm far from a pro, so just remember "you get what you pay for." ~big grin~