Monday, February 26, 2018

Love Gift Exchange

It's was another rainy, dreary weekend here.  Looks as though it will be this way for most of this week as well.  Guess I just need to learn to tolerate it and be happy. ~smile~  Hubby and I did get outside for the brief time that it didn't rain on Sat.  We did a little prep work on some of our pot plants that we had "wintered."  It felt good to at least be out and making some preparations for spring.  Surely it's on it's way!
Now, on to the subject at hand............

The Blended Blog gals hosted a Valentine exchange and I joined up.  We were matched up with someone else and that same person was matched up with us.  I was matched with Holly from Coordinator of Chaos.

Holly's package arrived on Valentine's Day.  How's that for perfect timing!  

Once the package was opened there was the cutest envelope with a handmade Valentine enclosed.

Then there was this cute cello bag tied all pretty with Valentine ribbon.

Upon opening the tissue I found more tissue.  These two wrapped tissues contained my surprises.

Inside one were these red satiny dangle earrings.  I think these have a name as I've seen them on the internet, but I can't remember the name.  They sort of remind me of the "shoulder duster" earrings of long ago.

Thankfully I have a long enough neck that I can sport them just fine.  They make quite the statement for sure and I can wear them on many occasions.  Thinking Valentine's, 4th of July and Christmas for starters.

Inside the other tissue was the pretty gold cuff bracelet.

It looks very nice and I wear a bracelet everyday.  Bracelets and earrings are an everyday accessory for me.  It's lightweight and large enough to slide up my arm a bit and I'll enjoy wearing it for sure.

Thanks Holly for being my Valentine exchange partner!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday 9

I have never been a Saturday blogger but I saw this link-up the other day and thought I'd give it a try. This week's questions are based on the song, The Love Club from 2013.  I have never even heard of the song but I thought the questions were interesting. I went on the internet and listened to the song and it's definitely not to my liking but that has nothing to do with the questions or my answers, so off I go.........

1) Lorde has said this song is about a time when she fell into "a bad crowd." Her high-maintenance new friends were all about their romantic dramas and it overwhelmed her. Have you ever had a friend who was just too much work? Not in a very long time.  I figured out real quickly that I do not have time for friends that suck the life right out of me.  And, thankfully I have been blessed with friends that breathe life into me.

2) She sings that she longs to be alone. Where do you go when you want peace and quiet?

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I can stay right here at home and get all the peace and quiet I desire, it's one of the benefits of an "empty nest." ~smile~ We have a very pretty pond just a few feet off our back porch and patio and it evokes peace to me. 

3) Lorde credits her mother for encouraging her verbal skills. "Mum" let her join a theater class when she was just 5 and was always giving her books. Tell us about an encouraging, understanding adult who assisted you when you were growing up. I can't really think of anyone growing up but I've sure had some wonderful mentors as an adult and especially when I was a young adult.  I married at barely 19 and moved 1000 miles away from my family and some dear, dear ladies in our church reached out to me, mothered me, assured me and ministered to me.  I truly do not know what I would have done without them.

4) Lorde is not the only celebrity from her class at Belmont School in Auckland, New Zealand. Olympian Eliza McCartney was a classmate who went on to win a bronze medal in Rio for the pole vault. Did you participate in any sports in high school?

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I did not participate in any sports at all until I was way past grown.  At that time I took up tennis and enjoyed it immensely for about 15-20 years. 

6) Lorde wrote music for one of the Hunger Games soundtracks. Have you seen any of the Hunger Games movies, or read any of the books?

I have not seen any of the Hunger Games movies or read any of the books.  I didn't think they would appeal to me but perhaps I was wrong.
7) Her favorite candy is Peanut M and M's. Do you prefer Milk Chocolate, Peanut, Almond, Mint or Cripsy M and M's?

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Oh, my goodness, give me a peanut M and M and I'm a happy gal!  Chocolate with peanuts, what's not to like about that? ~smile~ 
8) When Lorde was on stage at Lollapalooza, a sudden storm interrupted her set. The music festival was evacuated and her performance was cancelled. Can you think of a time when the weather had a major impact on your plans?

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Well, yes, just this week!  We have had an over abundance of rain the past few weeks and we are all tiring of it.  A friend and I made plans 3-4 weeks ago to go to Shreveport (about 100 miles from here) this past Wed.  There was 100% chance of rain but we decided to brave the elements and go on.  Well, can I just tell you that it was awful!  Driving was treacherous and getting in and out of the car was a feat. We did what we "had" to do and then headed back as we were both dreading the drive back.  Thank the Lord, He had His shield of protection around us.  It was a day that neither of us will forget for a long time.
9) Random question: Please complete this sentence -- Before I leave the house, I always put on my lipstick.  I call it my "finishing touch."  My face comes alive when I put it on and I don't leave the house without it. 

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Happy Saturday!!!!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Total Randomness

Let me warn you right up front that this truly is a random post, no rules, no regulations, just plain ole stuff that's rolling around in my head this rainy, gloomy day.  Now, that you have been warned let me jump right in............

Do you have any idea how sick I am of looking out our back windows and seeing this?  It's bad enough that all the pots look so lonely and in desperate need of gorgeous plants popping out of them.  But, add the rain, the clouds, the fog and it's just plain SAD, especially if it's been going on for days and days and going to continue for even more days.  Can you feel my desperation for spring? ~smile~ But, let me assure you, I do know that gloomy weather is a VERY small issue compared to what sooooo many are dealing with. I'm very thankful that it's ONLY weather!

And, when I realized that Easter is a mere 5 weeks from this Sunday, I grabbed my Easter decor and started putting it out.  I figured it might certainly help with the winter blahs.  I mean, bunnies are the absolute cutest and are the perfect indication that spring isn't too far away. ~I hope~

I love Valentine's day!  What's not to love about hearts and love?  I played it for all it was worth this year by wearing "Valentiney" attire the day of and the day before Valentine's.  A dear friend gave me this gorgeous Brighton heart necklace 3-4 years ago and I so enjoy wearing it, especially around Valentine's.

I was doing my laundry yesterday, my clothes, no one else's.  As I was putting it in the washing machine I wondered if anyone else out there is as picky with their laundry as I am.  All my clothes, including undies" are washed on delicate and the clothes I wear are only damp dried and then I hang them very carefully to finish drying.  Somethings I lay to dry.  I don't mix anything! By that I mean I wash towels by themselves, sheets by themselves, jeans by themselves, Tommy's underwear by itself and on and on.  I think I may be in a group by myself but maybe not.  I've always been this way about my laundry and I can't even tell you why.  I know when I'm at our daughter's I will help with her laundry and it's like fruit basket turnover.  She'll wash towels, underwear, and you name it all together.  And, it all comes out clean and unharmed.  Guess she obviously didn't pick up her Momma's weirdness about laundry. ~chuckle~

And, I would likely be considered a bit weird in what I put in my dishwasher.  I only put plates, flatware, cups/glasses, and cereal bowls in the dishwasher.  Everything else I wash by hand.  I know so many folks that put everything but the kitchen sink in their dishwasher and that's weird to me.  Needless to say, I don't run my dishwasher near as often either.  I like my dishwasher neat and orderly ~ I know, WEIRD ~ and can't stand stuff piled on top of each other.  I like it all lined up neatly and I can't achieve that if I put pots, pans, casserole dishes, rubbermaid containers and who knows what else in there.  So, you will often see dishes draining and drying on the counter beside my kitchen sink.  Hey, it makes me happy, what can I say?

Last Saturday our microwave went "ker-plunk."  Yes, just after 2 1/2 years use and it's a GE Profile series.  It had started acting up about a month ago and then on Saturday it decided it didn't want to cut off.  It would run every time the door was shut.  Tommy did everything he knew to do, got out the manual and it just appeared that it had bitten the dust.  It was so aggravating but thankfully we were able to get the exact same one and it slide right back in the space and all is good.  Tommy and Brandon sort of installed it together and if you've ever seen a father and son work on something together it can often get interesting.  It seems that one are the other of them doesn't do things exactly as the other one thinks it should be done.  But, it went pretty smoothly and everyone was still speaking when it was over. ~big laugh~  We use our microwave a whole lot so we were thrilled to be up and running so quickly. ~thanks to Amazon~

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And, I could not close without mentioning this awesome man of God.  Billy Graham has left a mark on our world unlike no other since Jesus walked this earth.  I remember hearing him on TV time and time again as a child when my parents would be watching his crusades.  And, I will never, ever hear Just As I Am that I do not think of him, and the invitations that he extended, and the literally thousands that came to know the Lord as their Savior through his ministry.  What a man!!!!!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

An Inspiring Hodgepodge

It's almost the end of another month, how can that be?  And, it is raining once again here and just plain yucky.  But, the Hodgepodge goes on, rain or shine.  Here's my answers to Joyce's thought provoking questions. 

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?
Every morning I start my day with a quiet time in my home office and it is a time for inspiration.  I do not have to go anywhere else for inspiration as I feel inspired just looking out the windows across the back of our house.  We have a really pretty pond and there's just something so soothing and inspiring about that and then behind the pond is a grassy field surrounded by woods.  It works for me!

2. What's under your bed?

Perhaps a little dust and lint but I work hard to keep that under control.  We have a sleigh bed and it is in a frame that almost goes to floor so there is no way to actually put anything under it.  And, the other beds in our house are very high beds and I do not use dust ruffles, so you can see all the way under them.  So, there is absolutely no hiding anything under beds at this house.  

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?

I suppose there must be a day for everything!  I would most likely celebrate National Chili Day but doubt that happens this year.  I do have some frozen and guess we could have gourmet chili dogs for dinner on Thursday and celebrate.  I'll give that some thought!

4. What are you 'snowed under' with right now?

Well, thankfully, I am 'snowed under' with absolutely nothing right now.  Ahhh, such a great feeling!  I don't do well when I'm snowed under or even feel snowed under.  I love the 'caught up' feeling with nothing waiting in the wings.  Now, don't get me wrong, I want something to do and can't stand, on the rare occasion, that I feel like I have nothing to do.  Did any of that make any sense? ~smile~

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?

1- Being spiritually in tune
2 - Being emotionally in tune
3 - Being physically in tune
4 - Feeling loved
5 - Friendships

6. Insert your own random thought here.

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If you've been reading my blog very long then you know that our precious 9 year old grandson, Clancy, raises and shows sheep.  This is his first year as you have to be 9 years old to do so.  This past Saturday he entered the above sheep, Black Face, in a show and Black Face won Breed Champion.  This, I'm told, is the perfect position (in the above picture) for the sheep and owner.  And, can I promise you that Clancy has worked really, really hard to be able to get this fella to cooperate and get into position and then be still.  As you can tell, Clancy has a mighty grip on him.  Clancy belongs to their local 4-H Club and while I've never known much about 4-H, I'm quite impressed with the organization and what it instills in these kids.  We're mighty proud of Clancy and can hardly wait to see him in about 3 weeks.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lea's Favorites

It's a few of my own personal favorites today.  Always hoping you will find one that will become your favorite as well.  

I don't know about your family or you, but we really like pound cakes here at our house.  And, I love to make pound cakes!  So, when I saw this brand new Ultimate Pound Cakes cook book, I HAD to have it!  It was published by the folks that publish Southern Lady magazine and will be available at Amazon on March 1st.  I ordered mine on their early bird offer and have so enjoyed browsing and finding some wonderful recipes that I'll be trying in the not so distant future.  There's even an Italian Cream Pound Cake.  I'd much rather have a pound cake than a layered cake. ~just my preference~ I really don't buy cookbooks much anymore because you can find any and everything you want on the internet, but this just looked too good to pass by.  And, it's such a pretty book as well.

I was looking for elbow macaroni the other day at the grocery store  when I saw this.  I grabbed it so quick, you would have thought it was gold.  I mean, how cool is this?  No more having to boil water, wait for the cooking time of 8-10 minutes.  Just microwave this, add whatever cheese you prefer, stir and serve!  I will say that the pasta might be a bit tough if you are use to cooking your pasta to a very tender state.  I am not, I do not like mushy pasta, so it is perfect for me.

I recently bought a new blow dryer.  I had seen this advertised on Facebook and began checking it out through other sources.  They were having a half price sale and I liked what I read about it.  I had never heard of the L'Ange brand, but I am now a believer in it for sure.  It is a sleek lined, very quite dryer and it's "claim to fame" is how smooth it makes the hair as it dries it.  That sounds like a "pipe dream" to me but it really does leave the hair very smooth.  The handle is small, easy to hold and again, it is soooo much quieter than any blow dryer I have ever owned. ~and I've owned a bunch over the years~  

That's it for today my friends.  I'm pretty sure our weather here in North Louisiana is somewhat confused.  It has been over 70 degrees the past couple of days and very humid. And, it's to be a very rainy weekend.  Ugh!  But, Spring is on it's way and it can't get here quick enough for sure.

Have yourselves a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Valentine's Hodgepodge

A Valentine's Hodgepodge, I love it!  I love Valentine's Day, it's all about love and hearts and what's not to like about that.  And, then throw in some HP questions and that's like "icing on the cake."
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1. When's the last time you had a heart to heart talk with someone? A change of heart? Experienced figurative 'heart failure?'
I had a heart to heart just yesterday morning with a dear friend.  Now, was it ultra serious no, but, nonetheless, heart to heart.  And, I often have heart to heart conversations with close friends and family.  That's what friends and family are for.  As to having a super serious heart to heart with anyone, well, that's been a while.

I can't recall having a change of heart recently, but perhaps I've just forgotten.  Nor can I remember a recent 'heart failure."  Perhaps my memory is failing me but I sure hope not. ~Surely I'm too young for that~

2. Champagne, chocolates, flowers...what's your Valentine pleasure? Any special plans for the day?

Definitely flowers!  And, Hubby surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses last week that I've enjoyed for an entire week.  He has never liked to give me flowers when I just "might" be expecting them.  He likes to walk in with them at a most unexpected time.  And, that's more than fine with me.
We do not have any plans for today, we neither one care to fight any crowds at restaurants so we'll dine out another night and celebrate.  Shucks, we pretty much celebrate everyday at this point in our lives. ~chuckle!

3. Are you a hopeless romantic or do you fall more in the category of practical and pragmatic? What's a gesture you find romantic?

Oh, I'm definitely practical and pragmatic.  I find thoughtful compliments as romantic and Tommy is good at that.  If I look exceptionally nice (in his eyes) he generally says so.  And, walking in with flowers at a most unexpected time, far more romantic than when expected. ~just sayin'~

4. Do you ask a lot of questions in life or are you pretty content with what you already know?
I'm very content with what I already know for the most part.  I suppose it all depends on the situation because I can be quite inquisitive but in general, I don't have a lot of questions.

5. Your favorite power ballad?
It would be "I Can't Stop This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon from 1984.  Love, love the tune and I imagine I can still sing it word for word.  If you want to hear it, click on this link.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I thought this was most appropriate for today and everyday.
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Added note: One of our Traveling Tote members, Patti, will be giving away a Mackenzie-Childs Courtyard Tote Bag (valued at $175).  She will be posting about the giveaway tomorrow so you need to hop over to her blog and leave a comment for a chance to own this lovely tote.  I mean, can a woman own too many totes. ~chuckle~

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hello Monday

Can I first just tell you that here in NE Louisiana we would likely pay money to see sunshine.  It rained the entire weekend and is still raining and  is going to rain most of the next two weeks.  Constant rain just does not set well with me, I need sunshine! And, on top of the rain, it's cold!  And, did I mention that I cannot wait for spring?

It is Mardi Gras here in Louisiana and the assisted living facility where my Dad lives had a big celebration last week.  I went over and enjoyed the "par-tee" with him.

And, these two little darlings had a good time last weekend at a Mardi Gras parade held at the mall.  It looks as though they caught plenty of beads to enjoy in the months ahead.  This is one of the first years in a very long time that I have not even had a piece of King Cake.   Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and then Ash Wednesday.  

Andi Kate celebrated her 3rd birthday yesterday but her party was on Saturday.  She has been looking forward to her birthday for 2-3 months.  I've never seen one so young get so excited anticipating her big day.  She enjoyed every minute of the celebration and we all enjoyed sharing it with her.

Now, do you know what this picture does to this Momma's heart?  Yep, it makes it smile really BIG!  Brandon took the girls to a Father/daughter banquet this past Friday night at their church.  I just love that they have these opportunities.  Such sweet memories!

The past month has found us playing Mexican Train (a domino game) twice.  It is such fun and not a lot of skill is needed but you might need to make some "smart moves" once in a while.  It's a great game to share with friends.  We play a few rounds, then enjoy some dessert, and then play a few more rounds.  There is  a whole lot of laughing done for sure!

Tommy and I had heard so much about the Longmire series that we decided to start watching it a couple of weeks ago.  We are thoroughly enjoying it and have finished season 1.  We only have 5 more seasons (with 10 shows in each season) to go.  Every character is perfectly cast for their part and it can get quite intense.  A really good series and especially when there's just nothing on TV.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A February Hodgepodge

You've been here enough that you know the drill, Joyce asks the questions and we give the answers and it's called The Hodgepodge.

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try? Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most? Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter. 
Oh, it would definitely be planning a trip and I'm doing just that.  I have at least planned and it's possible that another really fun trip may happen.  All these are by June 1st and then I'll start planning for the 2nd half of the year.  This would be my answer to all the above questions.  Trip planning gives you something to look forward to and I love that.

2. Tell us about something you've seen or done recently that you'd say was 'super'?
Well, it certainly wasn't the Super Bowl because I just do not care anything in the world about pro football.  I really don't care too much about any football.  I don't get why a bunch of guys would want to jump on each other, and risk severe injury over a mere football.  ~whatever~
With that said, I had my little Gran girls for a little while on Monday afternoon and they are definitely super, in fact, they are super duper! 

3. Best thing you ate in a 'bowl' last week?

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I made a big pot of gumbo for our Sunday School class Super Bowl gathering.  Even if I do say so, it was very good.  I make a very hearty gumbo with shrimp, chicken and sausage.  I started making gumbo about 8 years ago and  have pretty much perfected it. ~no brag, just fact~ 

4. Something you're 'cheering' for right now?
A long time, dear friend had aortic valve replacement yesterday and I'm cheering her own to recovery.  She did well through the surgery but it's a very tough surgery and I pray she will have a smooth recovery and soon be back to her sassy self.

5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games? Which event do you most want to see (you'll find a list here).
I would have to say about a 2-3, not much interest at all.  If I watch any, it will be the figure skating and I find it quite fascinating. How anyone can be so graceful in all the moves they do and remain on their feet is amazing.  I can't even imagine how many hours a day they spend at the rink. Sheer dedication for sure!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Hubby came strolling in with this gorgeous bouquet on Monday.  He had just read my blog post where I had stated that my favorite color of roses was pink.  He decided he would just surprise me with these and I was pretty impressed.  He said he did not know that pink was my favorite color in roses, he had always thought it was red.  See, after 46 years of marriage, we're still learning things about each other. ~wink~