If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Evie's Day

I love having the granddaughters come for a visit.  My favorite way to enjoy them is to have them for a day all by themselves. 

Saturday was Evie's day.  We had such fun!

She likes to be outside as much as I do.  She enjoys finding little things to entertain her.  She absolutely loved the cat who came down from the barn to check us out.  She was tenacious at trying to ride the new bicycles I got.  She didn't really get pushing with first one foot and then the other.  She would try to push with both feet at the same time.  She even tried to stand up but found out quickly that the tricycle would flip you over the handle-bars when you try that move.  There were no tears, though; she just hopped up and went after it again. 

One of her favorite things to do while we were outside was to bounce the pink ball.  She would bounce it and chase after it, bounce it and chase after it.  She didn't really need anybody to play with her at first.  Another thing that she had great fun with was a hula hoop.  I was laughing so hard I couldn't get a photo of that, though. 

Another thing that seemed to intrigue her - and she made quite a collection of these - was the rocks.  She would gather several and line them up and make piles and then throw them back into the driveway before she would collect a few more.

She has learned some timed racing techniques and when I was out playing kickball (We simply kicked it back and forth to one another or I would kick it and she would kick it several times and then she would kick it back to me.), she announced to me that she wanted me to race.  She jabbers so much and I don't always understand what it is she is saying because she has her own lingo.  So, I wasn't sure what it was she wanted until she said, "On your mark; get set; go!"  I just laughed at her and told her that I wasn't going to run.  Then, I said the same thing to her and she tore out running.  When she would stop and look at me, I would say it again and off she dashed with her little short legs pumping as fast as she could. 

Another time I wasn't so sure what she was saying and she repeated the exact same jibberish two or three times.  Then, she gave me a huge sigh and raised her voice and said, "I 'ont juice!"  In retrospect, I think she was telling me she was thirsty and wanted something to drink but I'm still not sure how exactly she said it.  I did understand her telling me she wanted juice, though. 

It was a sweet day for us girls and I look forward to our next special little time alone together.  How lucky I am to have four little ladies to share time with!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I've been working on some projects here and have been collecting photos together and shopping at the dollar stores and local Goodwill for frames.  When I made a stop at the Goodwill on my weekly search for frames on Thursday afternoon, I noticed some bicycles out front.  Why I paused, I could not tell you but they were all priced between $4.99 and 9.99.  I came home that night and told Mike about them and asked if he thought it was a good idea to pick up a couple to keep here for the granddaughters to ride when they visit. 

So, on Friday afternoon after work I went back to get a couple of the treasures.  Well, of course, three or four of the ones I had spied were already gone.  However, there were a couple of cute little bicycles and a pink tricycle remaining.  So, I snapped them up! 

Please ignore the mysterious shadow at the bottom of this shot and the junk in the background. 
I was working on projects!

The bicycles with training wheels had already disappeared from the Goodwill.  So, I slid across the street to K-Mart and got some training wheels for $9.99 a pair.  (Yes, that was twice as much as the bicycles, I know)  I figure that a couple of $15 bicycles and a $5 tricycle is a pretty good bargain.  (I still have Bryan's tricycle here since he is living in an apartment and doesn't have room for it.  So, there will be one set of wheels for each girl if they are all here at once.)   Stephen was the favorite child because he stopped and helped me get the second set of training wheels put on and tightened up the nuts on the first set for me.  He wants the nieces to be safe, I guess. 

Now, I can't wait for the girls to come visiting and ride!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Latest Project - A Gallery

This house is a work in progress.  I wonder if I will ever get things completed and have it looking like I want.  A couple of weeks ago I worked on the dead space at the end of the hallway.  You can read about that HERE
There was still that long, blank, boring wall, though.  So, this week I have focused on that as my project.

I have been gathering and collecting photographs.  I had some of my two children that I brought when I moved in here.  However, I wasn't going to hang photos of my children and not hang pictures of Mike's.  So, my mother-in-law loaned me her photo albums and prints and let me scan them.  I uploaded the scanned copies to the Hallmark sharing website and ordered enlargements and reprints. 

My intent was to find some which would be similar to the shots of my children and hang them all together.  That is where the long, blank, boring wall came in.  It has become my gallery.

I also started collecting frames which could be hung in a grouping. I gathered them from various dollar stores and our local Goodwill store. At first I began collecting wooden frames. Then, I hit upon the idea of getting as many pairs of frames as I could find and simpling giving them a coat of paint. This turned out to be the best option.

Works in progress.

Of course, I forgot to take before shots of the hodge podge group of frames I collected.  However, please know that they were not all that attractive and were scratched and banged up and were hideous colors.  People at the stores were looking at me funny as I excitedly pulled out scarred up frames and was barely containing my excitement when I found matching pairs.  If they only knew...

I got plastic frames, wooden frames, metal frames, and frames of all sizes.  All of them except one pair were purchased for $1.99 or simply ninety-nine cents each.  That one pair was a splurge at $2.99 each.  At first I tried to simply mask off part of the frame with tape and leave some of the metallic colors showing.  Quickly I decided to just take out all the guts - the cardboard and glass - and spray the frames.  An inexpensive $2.99 can of glossy, black, spray paint was the ticket. 

Because I hung them in the hallway, I had a difficult time getting good pictures for the after shot of this project.  I couldn't stand back far enough to get a clear shot of the whole grouping.  Here is the look from the left side:

These are shots of Mike's children.  I want to get a couple more pictures from my mother-in-law and make duplicates to continue the gallery right up to the ceiling, I think.  I'm thinking I need a couple of shots of Mike's children when they were middle-school and high-school aged.  I know I've got shots of my children at those ages.  I'd also like to get some good pictures of his two granddaughters to add as enlargements of about 8 x 10 size or so. 

Here is a shot from the other direction featuring my children.  I think the individual shots of all four children were taken at about the same ages - somewhere between three months and a year for one pair and pre-school ages of about three or four for the other pair.  Then, I have 8x10s of the two boys and their adorable wives and a 5x7 family grouping of the girls and their families.  Again, I need more enlargements of the girls and of their families, I think.

I started by centering a frame given to Mike and I when we married that has a place for two 5x7s or a photo and an invitation or something.  It is silver and has "with this ring I thee wed" etched on it.  I'm not quite satisfied with that one, yet.  I didn't have a couple of pictures which went well together.  So, I first tried a shot of each of us.  The one I chose of myself seems too close-up to fit with the one I chose of Mike.  Then, I also picked one which was taken during our wedding ceremony and shows my profile and Mike's face.  I have ordered a different shot of me and a similar shot of the two of us taken where it shows my face and his profile.  I'll figure out what works when the next round of reprints gets here.  After all, this is something that can be changed out easily by simply taking the frames down and swapping out the photos.  We didn't have a formally posed picture made that day and don't really have one of the two of us at all.  I guess that is because I tend to be the one making photos when folks come over. 

I had adorable individual shots of the granddaughters in 4x6 size.  So, they hung above and below our wedding picture frame.  Then, I took pictures of our two children where they were posed together.  Interestingly, his children's clothing and my children's clothing are similar in style and color and their ages are about the same when the photos were taken.  So, they flank the middle grouping.  (Notice that these are the frames that I show in the work in progress photo.  Don't they look better spray painted?)  I added pictures from the princess tea party where all four granddaughters were gathered for a group picture and hung them above that pair.  The two silver metal frames are different but somewhat similar in size and shape.  There is a space below where another set of 4x6s or 5x7s will fit when I get pictures I like and similar frames that will look good there.

I started off with a level and a yard stick and was trying to make everything just so-so.  After a couple of attempts at juggling level, hammer, nails, etc., I gave up on that and simply eye-balled it and kept going.  I figure they will be hanging askew and wonky from traffic in the hallway soon enough.  So, they are close enough to even and level for me.

I like the look of this long wall now and am thinking that I will add to the grouping and just keep going to ceiling height.

What a blessing it is to have such beautiful children and such a strong and loving family!  I'm thankful for them all.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Mike and I had visitors today.  Animal visitors. 

I thought I heard a cow mooing when I was pretty much asleep at about 2:30ish this morning.  Then, I thought it sounded like she was closer.  I kept telling myself that I was just dreaming.  Then, I clearly heard her right at the corner of our house at three o'clock this morning.  I'm sure of this because I got up and looked out my bedroom window and saw her ambling along there.  So, I went to the front door, turned on the lights, and looked out.  There was a whole herd right there in our front yard and field.  So, I called Mike's nephew, Jay, and he said he was on his way to get them.  I don't have pictures because me in a T-shirt and rubber boots carrying a flashlight at three in the morning is not a pretty sight.  I herded them back toward the barn and came into the house when I heard a truck start up back at Jay's house. 

Then, this morning I glanced out the window when it was about mid-morning and I was working on changing out a load of laundry and there were these guys ambling across the front yard.

I tried to get a shot of them looking out the front door but kept getting a glare from the sun off the storm door.  So, the photo above is after they had eased across the creek/ditch and were headed toward my father-in-law's turnip green patch.

They traipsed right across there and up to the fence.  I thought they were going to go up to visit my in-laws but I guess they didn't have on their Sunday best and decided to just cross over the fence and circle back to the barn. 

Then, one-by-one, they hopped up on the fence - well the last one didn't, he shimmied under it.  And they strolled across the road and strutted up toward the barn.

It was really interesting to watch them as they strolled along looking as if they were playing follow the leader.

I love living in the country!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Time Consuming Tasks

I've been working on getting some of our childrens' photographs together to create a gallery on the hallway wall.  I have collected a stack together and am finding that I will have eight-by-tens of three of the children and not have something that will fit for the fourth one except for a wallet sized print.  I will have two five-by-seven individual shots of two of the children but nothing similar of the other two children.  Finally, I just started trying to put things together and ordered several enlargements to round things out.  The printing company told me that my chosen prints might turn out a little blurry if I enlarged it to an eight-by-ten or something like that.  Eventually, I decided to just take a risk on the enlargement because it cost me about $3.50.  I may have to go back to the drawing board but I have some prints on the way and can look for them to be delivered to my doorsteps within a week.  So, my advice to folks is to take LOTS more pictures than you ever think you will need.  You can never have too many!

I think my luck with photographs lately has just been jinxed. 
I had thought I would borrow an idea from a fellow blogger and create some silhouettes of the granddaughters to hang in the guest bathroom.  I'm wanting something personal for in there but I want to keep it pretty simple.  So, I thought silhouettes would be just the thing.

I did a little bit of research and found a great tutorial for making your own silhouettes.  There were tips and suggestions for making the photos which will be used for the pattern.  One of the suggestions was to try to get the child to turn his/her head just a bit to get the eyelashes of the eye on the far side from the camera.  One was to be sure that the child's chin is tilted up just a wee bit to elongate the neck.  One was to to be sure you get just a little of the shoulder.  At this point, I wonder just how many shots those folks took before they got their chosen pose?  I could have filled up the entire memory card of my camera before getting something that looked like their examples, I think!

So, when two of the granddaughters were here to spend the night on Friday night, I tried to get profile shots of them.  Little girls do not really pose cooperatively for profile shots I learned.

First Lillie didn't get the idea of me taking a photo of her in profile.  She wanted to look at me and smile.

Then, she didn't get the concept of just looking her naturally pleasant expression.  I think this was one of the times I was trying to get those lashes.

I wonder if that scowl would show if I tried to use this particular shot?

Maybe I'll be able to work with this one to get something...

I started off with this sweet profile which is amazingly not a blur from all the movement.

With a cute little smudgy face like that, why am I trying to get a profile?

Maybe that is where the smudginess came from.  What do you think?
Notice how the Hershey Kiss is in perfect profile!

Do we really need a bottom lip or could we just put a sign next to the silhouette which explains that she decided to bit on her bottom lip?

Wonder how this one got in there?

I think this explains it, huh?

I think I finally got something that I can work with to give this project a try.  Now, I've got to get profile shots of the other two granddaughters. 

I wonder if I already have something I could just enlarge?

Maybe I should just find something cute and have it printed in black and white or sepia tones for a simplistic look...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall looks

I was out shopping for something else - a birthday gift that I didn't ever get - on Saturday.  While I didn't find the perfect gift, I did stumble across this fabric that really just jumped out and grabbed me.  I thought it would look great for fall napkins or placemats or something. 

In my mind I thought I'd find a companion print to line it with and make whatever I created reversable.  Well, that companion print never presented itself.  So, I was at odds for what to do with it.  Finally, I decided I'd just make table runners out of it by turning the edges under and top-stitching a hem. 

Now, I have to decide if I'm going to run them both across the table this way or turn them to criss-cross on the table running down the center or if I'm going to use one on this table and one on another table when I have company over for the birthday celebration (that I still don't have a gift for). 

I also have to find something to make napkins out of.  Where oh where is the appropriate companion print?

(When I have it all together, I'll create a whole post about my fall decor.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's Fall, Y'all!

I have slowly started to do some season changing decorating.  Bridgette recently gave me this cute door hanging that she made for us.  I just loved it!  It is so simple and cutesy.

Of course, I didn't know what to put on the other side of the French doors.  So, on Sunday afternoon I did some cleaning and organizing and repaired some rips and sewed on some buttons.  In the midst of all that, I also did a little crafting and now the back doors look like this:
My copy is not quite the same, but I think they are close enough and cute, nonetheless.

I decided that I needed something cute for the other back door that leads in to the laundry closet.  So, I went even a step simpler and this is what hangs there:
I had a hard time deciding whether to have the white end down or up.

Finally, I noticed that the little stakes I'd found on sale at Hobby Lobby had the white end up.  So, that is the way it wound up.  I'm still working on the fall decor a little bit at a time.  Maybe I'll be ready for a full reveal in a few days!  Till then, Happy Fall, Y'all!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gone Fishing

I could have hung that sign on the back door yesterday!  Mike came home after putting in a half-day at work (Yes, I know it was Saturday but he often works all day on Saturday, too.  I think he believes the place would fold up if he wasn't there every single day!) and he buzzed me when he came in the driveway and told me he was thinking he might just 'load up and go fishing for a while.'  Me, being the wonderful wife I am about him having time to do something he loves (Really, I just know that after he has been fishing or hunting, he is generally relaxed and in a good mood and enjoyable for several days.), I encouraged him to go ahead and wet his line.  Then, the unexpected came.  He asked me if I wanted to go with him!  I was so flabbergasted!!!  I had about nine different projects planned to complete and knew I needed to start getting ready for Laura and Cassie's birthday party and cleaning house and several other things to boot.  But, you know, I've never been asked to tag along on his fishing outings.  So, I said, "SURE!"
I took about 15 minutes to put some shorts and a T-shirt on and gathered up a book, a jug of tea, a small cooler of ice, and at the last minute I stuck my laptop into my bag.  Mike pulled his truck loaded with bucket, fish basket, tackle box, poles, and a big cooler for all the fish he anticipated down to the basement and I loaded a lawn chair, my little cooler, and my supply bag into the truck and off we trekked.
What a FABULOUS afternoon we had!
First of all, the day was made to order.  How often do you get clear, sunny days with temperatures in the eighties in mid October?  There was a nice breeze every now and again to puff the mosquitoes away.  As my grandmother used to say, it was fine as frog-hair.  Then, the views from Mike's fishing hole are simply spectacular (even if the lake was a little bit green for Mike's likings).  Here is what it looked like from where he was sitting:
See the geese on the hillside?  Glad they stayed over there!
Here is a bit broader shot.  Isn't that just beautiful?

I think he had just made his nest and cast his line into the lake.

See the pier in the background there?  That was my perch for the afternoon.  I was sad that I hadn't brought my camera but I used my new phone and made out fairly well.

Setting the hook.

He got a bite right away.  In fact, he had caught three fish before I even made it out to my perch and threw the first two back because they were too small.  I think he kept this one he was reeling in.

Yep, here he is reaching for the flipping little fellow.  Wish I had gotten the fish in the shot!

I first sort of wandered round just enjoying the views.  Then, I made it down to the pier and here is how that looked:

Doesn't it look like something out of a poem?

I played around with my phone camera a little and captured this leaf framed by the shadow of the rails.

Kind of cool isn't it?  I like it framed up by the shadows and based with the rough boards of the pier.

There was a weathered rope and brass snap lying on the floor of the pier and it turned out pretty interesting looking with the sunlight and shadows working there.
The old boat with the horses in the pasture background turned out nice, too. 
Aren't they beautiful creatures?
The horses frolicked in the pasture all afternoon.  They were so pretty running and kicking and shaking their manes.
Here is a little closer look. 

Here is another one of the pretty steeds.

Just in the length of time I was taking those shots, Mike had caught several more fish.  Here is a view of him enjoying his form of relaxation.  This shot was taken from my perch on the pier.
I like how the water is reflecting here, too.
I think he had caught a bass and was using pliers to get the hook out of his mouth.  He was a big fellow.

Of course, it also could have been when he caught this one.

Or maybe it was this one.
Anyway, he caught several and threw back more than he kept.  He offered to let me fish but I remember fishing with my Daddy when I was a girl and he made us bait our own hook and take the fish off as well.  I didn't mind spearing that worm on the hook but I didn't like touching the fish for some reason.  Maybe it is because I knew I was going to eat him later.  So, I told Mike about that and he even offered to take the fish off the hook for me or to let me borrow his gloves.  I chuckled and told him that I wanted him to enjoy the entire fishing experience and I knew that if I had one of the poles I would keep him so busy taking the fish off the hook that he wouldn't get to fish at all.  What a smile that brought to his face!

I did a little bit of online shopping with my laptop and made some suggestions to my daughter-in-law, Jessica's paper.  Plus, I just enjoyed gazing around at the beautiful scenery. 

Don't you know the view from the home-owner's back porch is just spectacular? 
The view to the owner's back porch ain't so bad!

Soon it was time to leave and I walked the planks back to where Mike had sat and fished.
We both left the lake feeling more relaxed and satisfied.
Even though the shot of the fish isn't so great,
I love how the water droplets glisten like diamonds on this one.
Here is a good look at what will be dinner one weekend!
I may not have gotten the forty-eleven-hundred things I had on my to-do list done, but it was still a great afternoon.  Both of us got to spend time doing something relaxing and enjoy the sunshine together. 

Wonder if he will ask me to go again?