Monday, April 30, 2018

Monday's Moments

It's been extra busy around here this past week and it's not looking to slow down until the end of May.  We have family coming this week for a few days, I have my study club luncheon the following week and I'm headed to The Big Apple the following week.  Whee!!! I've done some cooking for the company and I have my plans for the luncheon and thankfully I do not have to cook, I just have to host it here at my house.  One of the other hostess has the cooking duties.  And, I'm steady working on my NYC trip and should have clothes and shoes decided upon by the time it comes time to pack.  Comfort will be the name of the game for sure! 

I haven't even had a chance to share with you about my trip to Des Moines week before last. And, yes, I was gone 3 1/2 days and 3 nights and I needed 2 rather large suitcases.  I know, I just can't help it but I need to do something for sure as it cost me a total of $130 additional dollars for my flight because of these "babies."  Ugh!

 I got to spend some fun "girl time" with my cute and sassy sister in law and niece.  My niece teaches 3rd grade and she took off a half day so she could be with us and besides that, she was afraid she might miss something if she wasn't with us. ~chuckle~

We went for a little retail therapy and I had some fun in the shoe department.  I was in search of some "cute" and comfortable shoes for my NYC trip.  I do not want to wear tennis shoes and besides, I don't find them all that comfortable. ~wink~

On Saturday we all drove up to Orange City, Iowa to see my nephew as he starred in "The Glass Menagerie" on Saturday afternoon.  We got to do a lot of chattering on the almost 4 hour trip there and 4 hour trip back.  It definitely made the trip seem shorter.

The play was held in one of the small theaters on the campus of Northwestern, so it almost felt like we were on the stage.  Warren did his usual outstanding job and he truly has such a gift for acting.  As to the play, it was not one of my favorites and I'm not even sure I completely understood the  play. ~no joke~  But, I sure did enjoy watching my nephew "do his thing."

Now, changing subjects........My hubby is obsessed with a beautiful yard.  He always has been and always will be!

Our landscape is 2 years old now and Hubby just keeps adding to it.  I think he may finally have it the way he wants it now but we shall see.  We haven't actually done any of the landscape ourselves but Hubby has done a fine job overseeing what has been done and he piddles in it from time to time.

We both enjoy container plants and have a whole host of them on our back porch and  patio.  We have added to those  considerably and I think we are through with that as well.  All these plants are not reached by the irrigation system so that means they all have to watered by hand and that can get real old in July and August.  In the extreme heat it can mean twice a day waterings.  

The way our house is built with huge windows all the way across the back we get to enjoy our landscape and potted plants from any room across the back of the house.  So, it's "double our pleasure" for sure.

Okay, that's the latest from here and I hope to get back to my regular blogging shortly but, bear with me.  Looks like we are in for another beautiful week of weather here in NE Louisiana and that always makes me extra happy.  Have a great one!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

As most of you know, I went on a long weekend trip to DesMoines and I'm still trying to get "back on track."  Good grief, it just really shouldn't be this hard.  But, I'm such a creature of habit and when I'm out of my routine for a day or two, I struggle to get it back.  But, enough of that and on to answer Joyce's question of the week.

1. They say you learn something new every day. What did you learn yesterday?
I had a gal come yesterday and tutor me on a couple of computer processes concerning photos.  While she was here she also showed me the feature "Notes" in Outlook.  I mean, I can't believe I've never known about it and it was stuck right there in my face.  I will enjoy using this so much.  It's the little things that make me happy. ~chuckle~

2. Have you ever had a now or never moment? Elaborate.

I am pretty sure I have had several but, for the life of me, I cannot recall one right now. Sorry!

3.  April 25th is National Telephone Day. Do you still have a land line or have you gone mobile only? When you receive a text message do you respond immediately? Last time you turned your phone off?  In two or three sentences share with us a story/memory/incident from your childhood (or something current if that's too hard) where the telephone is featured.

We do still have a land line and feel that we need to due to Hubby's business but it is rarely used. 

 I am pretty prompt in responding to text messages.  I rarely turn my phone off but I do silence it on certain occasions and I have it set to "Do Not Disturb" from 10:00PM - 6:00 AM except for our kids and my Daddy.

Oh, my goodness, I could tell some really good stories from my childhood about the phone. For years we had a party line and on more than one occasion I would be rude to others sharing our line. I wasn't ugly, just did silly stuff that was rude.  What was I thinking? Shame on me!  And, girlfriends and I made prank calls on more than one occasion too.  Again, shame, shame!

4. Close call, at someone's beck and call, call the shots, call a meeting, call it quits, call in sick, call on the carpet, wake up call...which call have you 'heard' recently? Explain.

While out of town last week I got an email from Verizon that I only had 25% data usage left on my phone and still had 22 days left on our billing cycle.  I mean really!!! Talk about a close call, I had 1% left when I got home.  Needless to say, I was calling Verizon Monday morning to get to the bottom of the issue.  I sure don't want to have to be paying for data overage. 

5. What subject do you wish you'd paid more attention to in school?

It would be Geography because I am one of the most directionally challenged folks on the face of the earth.  It has been a real determent to me until navigation systems came into existence.  Don't give me directions using east, west, north or south.  I need land marks and turn left and turn right. Navigation systems were made for ME!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

One of the hi-lites of my trip to Des Moines was meeting Erin from Simple Purposeful Living. I started following Erin's blog about a year ago and soon afterwards found out she lived within 15 miles of my brother and his family.  She was just as I expected, a real jewel and even though I'm wayyy old enough to be her Momma, we thoroughly enjoyed visiting with each other for almost 2 hours.  I look forward to another visit for sure.  It's just so much fun to meet fellow bloggers and being able to make that personal connection.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
It's Wednesday and that means the Hodgepodge.  I haven't participated in the HP in a few weeks so it's good to be back today.

1. Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don't have an actual list that's fine, pretend you do.

I'm not sure these qualify as "bucket list" items but it's all I could come up with since I do not really have a spring bucket list.

In early May I will be hosting a club that I am in for a luncheon meeting.  My plans are to have the lunch on our back porch but the weather will control that.  So, I have Plan A and Plan B but hopefully the weather will behave and it will be a beautiful spring day.

In mid-May, 5 girlfriends and myself will head to The Big Apple.  We have talked about doing this for a long time but finally one of our own took the "bull by the horns" and planned it.  And, it doesn't hurt that her daughter lives there and is going to be our tour guide.  I mean, does it get any better?  

2. Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?

I find rest right here at my home, it's my favorite place to be.  Now, I love to go and do but my home restores my soul and provides solace. 

3. April is National Celery Month. Who knew? Do you like celery? What's your favorite dish made with celery? On a veggie and dip platter which would you reach for first-carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes? 
I do not mind celery cooked in food or used in salads or such but I have never nor will I ever eat it alone. Yuck! I like chicken salad and potato salad with celery in it as long as it is diced very small. I  would not reach for for any of the above on a veggie and dip platter.  Give me broccoli or cauliflower and I'll eat it all day long. ~just sayin'~

4. I read here eight things to do before 8 am to make your day less hectic-Start one load of laundry, drink water, empty the dishwasher, read your Bible, know what you're having for dinner, get dressed, brain dump (two lists-one what you're thankful for and one what's weighing on your mind), and after the brain dump make your to-list for the day

How many of these are you currently doing? Which one do you think would help the most if you added it to your early morning routine?

My day starts with a cup of coffee and my devotional time.  I do drink a bottle of water, empty the dishwasher if it needs it and a load of laundry most days. I always have a to-do list for the day and I always get dressed for the day but I've never done a brain dump but perhaps I should start.  I'll give that some thought. 

5. Describe the view from your window.
The entire back of our house is windows and we have such an awesome view.  Our back yard landscape just gets prettier and prettier and then the pond.  The pond is beautiful and especially in the early morning and late afternoon.  There's just something about a body of water that emits such a peaceful feeling. Now, you see why our home restores my soul. ~smile~

6. Insert your own random thought here
Image result for aggravated face
As most of you know, I will be flying to Des Moines in the morning to spend a long weekend with my brother and his family.  Well, it just aggravates the daylites out of me the way the airlines do things these days.  I mean, charging to choose your seat.  I have opted not to do that previously, but chose to do it for this trip but it made my blood pressure rise when it added $59 to my already ridiculous fare. And, then I will be checking 2 bags so that was another $25.  Good grief , where did the "good ole' days" go?  But, the airlines know that folks are going to continue to fly and apparently will pay whatever is necessary to do so. Ugh!

See you when I return!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday's Moments

What a weekend!  We've had more tornado's and storms in the past few weeks than the law allows.  Our most recent was this past Friday night.  The  weather alert went off on my phone around 2:45 AM and Hubby and I got up to check the weather radar.  It was a bit scary and Hubby kept a vigil on things for over an hour before coming back to bed.  I slept with one eye open and was ready to head to a closet that's our "safe room."  We came through with no damage but such was not the case with many folks.  There is lots and lots of cleanup going on in our area.  I do not know of any injuries, just lots and lots and property damage and  folks being unsettled.  So scary!

On a lighter note..........once Easter decor was taken down I was excited to put out my lemon decor.  I love lemons and for me they scream spring and summer.

When I started collecting lemon decor I was so surprised at all the various items available . It makes me happy for sure.  I always have my eye peeled for more lemon items.  

And, I love my colorful Melamine dishes in the spring and summer as well.  I found this beaded zinnia runner at Pier 1 this year and it fits perfectly with the lemons as well.  And, I found these cute button ferns at Wal-Mart a few days ago and they work great as my centerpiece for now. So, in spite of all the storms and rainy weather, I've created some sunshine inside.

And, I absolutely love having something to look forward to.  Our daughter and I have wanted to go to Pawhuska, Ok. and visit all things Pioneer Woman.  Our daughter only lives about 2 hours from Pawhuska so we decided we just needed to make plans to go.  She heard about the new PW Boarding House and went online the very day that they opened for reservations.  Well, apparently a bazillion other folks did too.  And, there are only 8 rooms at the Boarding House so we were concerned that we might not ever be lucky enough to get one on the one night we requested.  But, we did!!!!  We're going for my birthday the end of July and we'll be staying in the Prairie Room (pictured above) and will spend two days checking out all of the various shops and eateries affiliated with PW.  We are so excited!!! 

I got a new Dell desktop computer a few days ago.  This is my 2nd all-in-one computer and I love them.  There's no bulky tower, just a sleek lined screen and a nice looking stand.  I did about 75% of the set up by myself.  I can't believe how easy it is compared to a few years ago.  My awesome computer tech guy moved some of my files over for me as I just am not sure about how all of that is done.  All went smooth as silk until it came to Outlook syncing with ICloud  and that is MUST for me.  I have my laptop, desktop, IPhone and IPad all synced thru ICloud and my addresses and calendar would not show up in Outlook.   Ugh!!! My tech guy worked and worked and finally I told him I would just call Apple and hopefully they could "fix it."  Well, to make a long story short, the issues ended up being a Microsoft problem and after almost 3 hours on the phone at 3 different times, all is good.  The Microsoft tech guy told me that Windows 10 has some glitches with the latest ICloud  update and they are working to resolve the issue but until they do they will fix it on a case by case basis.  I cannot say enough nice things about both Apple and Microsoft support.  Yes, it was so aggravating but they took care of it as quickly as they could.  I cannot even imagine having a job as a tech support person.  I'm quite certain I am not cut out for such.  But, I sure am grateful for the folks that do have those positions.

Early this Thursday morning I will be boarding a plane headed to Des Moines, Iowa.  My younger brother, his wife and their daughter live in the area.  I will be enjoying a long weekend visit with them and we will head to Orange City, Iowa on Sat. morning to see their son as he stars in The Glass Menagerie.  Warren will graduate from Northwestern University in May and he has captivated their drama department with his acting skills and been in every play done since his arrival.  I am more than a little excited!  

AND, I will be meeting this sweet gal, Erin, for the first time.  I have been following Erin's blog, Simple Purposeful Living, for about a year.  Erin is such a sweetheart and a gal after God's own heart and I can hardly wait to meet her face to face.  This is just another one of the many neat things about blogging.  She lives in the same area as my niece.  It really is a small world.  I'm sure I'll have so much to tell and share when I get home.  Stay tuned............

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

10 on the 10th

I could not let Erin's link up pass me by today.  It's all about things in our cars.

I think this will be such an interesting link up as I've never even thought about what other folks have in their cars.  But, now I can hardly wait to read some of the others posts just to see what they have in their cars.  I had no trouble finding 10 items in my car at all, in fact, I have several more than the ones listed. ~laugh~  So, here I go.............

1. Whisk broom - I am pretty fanatical about cleanliness  and I use this little fella all the time to give a quick sweep to the mat under my feet.  I vacuum fairly regularly but the broom does  a good job for a quick clean up.

2. Trash container - I've kept a trash container (it's a Rubbermaid container without the lid)  in my vehicle for many, many years and if you ride in my vehicle, I do expect for you to use it. ~wink~ In the trash basket you will see my roll of paper towels that often come in handy and I have two hand towels hanging on it as well.  I use them when I grab a bite to eat on the go and spread it across my lap.  I know, I know, but hey, it works for me.

3 - Knit blanket - This is a rather new item in my vehicle.  I found this soft knit blanket and it was suggested for use in vehicles.  I have often needed/wanted one and decided to get it.  I keep it in the pocket on the back of the seat.

4 - Sunglasses -  I confess, I do have quite the collection of sunglasses but I do use all of them.  I keep them in their cases (their prescription) in the console and grab whichever pair suits my fancy for the day.  If the sun is shining, I have on sunglasses.

5 - Wet Ones - What on earth did we ever do before these were available?  I keep them in our vehicles and in my purse.  I use them all the time, especially after pumping gas or after leaving Wal-Mart where I've been pushing that nasty cart and on and on.  I'm never without them.

6. Tic-tacs - these are always in the console.  I mean, who doesn't want to have fresh breath!

7. OTC Meds - And, you never know when you might have an ache or a pain and need a little over the counter medicine.  These are kept in my console for easy access should the need arise. 

8. Tissues - And, who doesn't need a tissue close at hand.  I mean, my nose can start dripping at the most inopportune times, so these are always nearby.  They are also kept in the console and I have another pack in my purse. 

9. Snacks - These are my "go to snacks."  They will quench my hunger and they are so good  and low calorie.  It's a win win all the way around.  I keep a stash of these in the console as well.  Do you get the feeling that the console of my car is full of all kinds of good treasures? ~smile~

10. Phone holder - And, last but not least is this trusty phone holder that is suctioned to the extreme far left of the windshield.  It's in the perfect spot for the driver.  It holds the phone secure, it's easy to see and touch and the holder is flexible so that it can be moved to suit your needs.

So, there you have it, 10 items found in my car and these are the ones I consider the MOST important.   What's in your car? 

Monday, April 9, 2018

It's All About Me

These Blended Blog gals have been such a help to me when I've run into "writer's block."  They always have such great subjects for their link ups and it's such a help to my feeble mind at times.  Today's subject is Reintroducing Ourselves to our Readers.  First off, my graphic for this post has that gorgeous tube of red lipstick.  Yes siree! I do love lipstick and am rarely, if ever, seen without it. So, now on to the rest.............
Around 2-3 months old

I was born on July 29, 1952 in Newport News, Virginia to Alfred and Jerry Duncan. My full name was Lea (pronounced Leah) Beth.  After marrying I dropped the Beth and started going by Lea Duncan Culp. 

When I was 3 months old my parents moved to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, my Dad's hometown.

When I was 7 years old my Dad entered the ministry and his years of ministry took us from Arkansas, Louisiana and back to Virginia.
3 years old

Due to all of our moves I attended  7 different schools from 1st thru 12th grades.  I moved the middle of my junior year of high school and my class ring is not even from the high school I graduated from. I graduated from Brookville High School in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1970.

I never dreaded moving but always look forward to the opportunity to make new friends, thus I have friends scattered all across the country.  And, thankfully, Facebook has reconnected me with many of them.
3 years old

I married 6 weeks shy of my 19th birthday.  Yes, isn't that scary!  But, the rest is history and we have made it almost 47 years. Thankfully Hubby is 5 years older than me so he was at least mature enough to "hang in there" with me while I grew up. ~grin~

My husband was from Louisiana (we had met about 5 years earlier when my Dad was pastor of the church he and his family attended) and we married in Virginia and then moved here to Louisiana where we have been ever since.  I was 1000 miles away from my parents and there were no cell phones, no email and we had no money.  So, I wrote a whole bunch of snail mail letters and usually got to talk to my Momma a couple of times a month but always had to set a timer so I wouldn't go over my allotted time. ~haven't times changed~
First day of first grade - notice the Shirley Temple curls

We were married about 5 1/2 years when our first child, a son was born.  Exactly 2 years and 9 months later our daughter was born.  We had a son and a daughter and quit with that. Our son and his wife have blessed us with 2 Granddaughters and our daughter and her husband have blessed us with 2 Grandsons.
This is either 6th or 7th grade.  You know we all go through that "pitiful" stage and this
was definitely mine. ~laugh~

When I was 7 years old I made the most important decision of my life.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and my life has never been the same.  I was privileged that my Dad was my pastor and he was the one who baptized me. ~so neat~

Both of my parents were highly organized individuals, so I got it from both sides and as a result, I call myself an organizational enthusiast. I love having everything in it's place and a place for everything.  Some may see it as rather quirky.  And, I love a schedule and find that I'm most productive with one when it's possible. 

My senior picture
I love the early morning and find that I am far more energetic in the morning hours than at any other time of the day.  I'm generally up by 5:30 and generally asleep between 10:00 - 10:30.

I enjoy photography, not professional, but definitely above average amature. Recently I have started using my Iphone as my main camera and it's going fairly well.  It's just so convenient and always close at hand.  I have a very nice compact Sony pocket digital camera too.  I use Pic Monkey and Be Funky for my photo editing.

I ride an elliptical 5 out of 7 mornings a week for 30 minutes.  I walked on a treadmill for over 30 years but in the last 6 months I changed over to the elliptical and love it.  I don't try to set any records but I'm hopeful that being  consistent will pay off for me.
I have been blogging for 9 years and it's been one of the most fun hobbies I've ever had.  I never dreamed of the friends I would make or the interest that others would take in my blogging.  It's been such a neat experience.

I love my home and find it a place of solace.  If I am here alone I generally have soft music playing as I go about my business.  I rarely turn on the TV during the day, it's just a lot of noise to me.

My wedding portrait 

I have been privileged, for the most part, to be the overseer of the care given to 4 family members.  I say, for the most part, because being the overseer of care or the care giver can absolutely test the patience of Job.  If you have done either then I'm pretty sure you would agree.  When I was 39 years old my paternal grandparents moved into a nursing facility near me and I took on the responsibility of looking after their care for the next 14 years.  Yes, 14 years!  My Dad was their only child and he was pastoring in Virginia when the time came for them to go move into a nursing facility.  They lived in Arkansas and just did not want to make a move to Virginia but told my Dad they would come here.  So, that is what happened.  I could write a couple of books on those 14 years for sure.  My Grandpa died after 7 years at the age of 87 and my Grandmother hung on another 7 years and died at the age of 94.  Then in just a very short time my sweet mother in law had to move into a nursing facility and both of her daughters lived off and so I took the lead, with Hubby's help,  in seeing after her care until the time of her death.  Three years later my Dad became seriously ill (2 years prior my Mom died from a massive stroke) and for the past 7 years I have been the overseer of his care.  Thankfully he made a huge recovery and was able to move from a nursing facility into an assisted living facility where he lives today.  Let me assure you that if I do not know anything else, I know how to be an advocate for the elderly that can no longer be their own advocate. And, I can be a "force to be reckoned with" if necessary.  As I said, it has not always been easy and I have shed a whole bunch of tears but the Lord has been so gracious to always provide me with the strength I need to face the challenges with each of these dear folks.  These past 26 years have been a real blessing and a real challenge and have definitely helped to make me the person I am today.

Recent photo

So, there you have it, probably way more than you ever cared to know, but that's just a portion.  I could truly write a book but this gives you a nice smattering of "me."  And, if you stuck with this post to the end, I truly thank you! ~big smile~

Friday, April 6, 2018

Catching Up.......

Yes, this is a "catch up" post.  I haven't shared with you, my sweet readers, about a few things that I KNOW you want to know about. ~chuckle~  So, without further adieu, let me catch you up.........

A couple of weeks ago we went to Oklahoma to see our daughter and her family.  She was on Spring Break so we had a little Mother/daughter time.  We went to one of our favorite places, Inspirations Tea Room, in Edmond, for brunch one morning.  They have the best quiche I have ever eaten in my life.  And, it's a cute shop as well. We browsed through and found a couple of items we decided we couldn't live without.

They had some of the cutest signs, the one above made me chuckle.

And, this sign says such truth!

And, Poppa and this little guy enjoyed some time on the golf course.  I'm not even sure how Clancy could even hit a golf ball because the wind was blowing soooo hard.  I get so tired of the wind in Oklahoma and it's especially bad in March.

And, this little guy had to endure a shopping trip with his CiCi and Momma.  But, playing on the IPad made it a little more doable for Coleman and for us as well. ~giggle~

Last week Hanna Beth stayed with me a few days during her Spring Break.  She had asked me a couple of  weeks before if we could go shopping while she was with me.  She has never asked this and I was plum excited to tell her that I'd love to take her shopping.  We have a new "tween boutique" in our area (for the locals, it's Uptown Girl) and that's where we headed.  It makes it really, really hard when everything she tried on looked so stinkin' cute on her.  So, needless to say, we left with a nice bagful.  I'm thinking it was probably the first of many shopping trips for me and my Princess.
And, here is my Princess with her little sister on Easter.  Aren't they the cutest?  An added note:
I have had a few bloggers inquire as to why my sweet Gran girls faces are always covered when I post their pictures.  Their parents do not wish for them to have the exposure to the internet and I will always honor their wishes.  So, now you know. ~smile~

We enjoyed Easter lunch with friends.  We had our family Easter on Good Friday so they invited us to have lunch with them and two of their family members.  Everything was perfectly gorgeous and we enjoyed good food and fabulous fellowship.  It doesn't get much better!

This is our daughter (2nd from left) with her teaching team in Oklahoma.  They are participating in the teacher walk out in hopes of getting a pay raise that will move them from next to the lowest pay scale in the nation.  Hundreds of teachers from across Oklahoma are gathering at the state capitol for a polite protest.  I am sure hoping that the "powers that be" get their heads together SOON and give these hard working folks the raise they deserve.  

And, I wanted to mention that Stephanie, over at The Enchanting Rose, is hosting her 12th teacup/mug exchange right now.  You have until April 8th to register to participate.  If you have never participated in this exchange then you don't know what you are missing.  I urge you to click on the link above and go read the details about the exchange and then decide.  This will be my 3rd exchange and I can hardly wait.  Stephanie is such a charming gal with the most beautiful blog and does everything with such flair.  Go check it out! AND, you do NOT have to have a blog to participate.

And, there you have it, all the latest "goings and comings" of my life.  Wishing you a wonderful weekend!