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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

Our Wedding Anniversary!

For the first time in years and years we are not hosting a New Year's Eve party.  
We hope all our friends and family have a wonderful and safe evening!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Adventures in the Grocery Aisles

Have you ever considered grocery shopping an adventure?

I cannot say that I do as a general rule.  I usually think of it more as a chore.  I try to go when I am relaxed, have plenty of time, and a detailed list.

Maybe when you are fifty-four-years-old and have been quarantined with the flu for about seven days waiting to be fever-free for 48-hours, and then you trek out to the grocery store...

...to shop for the family Christmas gatherings...

...with two of the grandchildren who are ages six and four...

...you might consider grocery shopping an adventure.  Just saying...

It was two weeks after Thanksgiving and one week before Christmas.

This grandmother trekked out to the grocery store with two of her granddaughters strapped into their car seats, giggling, and squirming with excitement.  (Their mother was at home hacking and coughing and feverish...wonder who she had been around?)  Upon arrival at the local grocery store, all trouped into the store - the grandmother with her seven tote bags tucked under her arm along with a digital list on her iPad, and another list from the coughing, feverish mother of the children, holding the hands of the two babbling, skipping little girls.

About ten yards into the produce section, the grandmother realized that it might be easier if one of the granddaughters had a buggy for keeping the items on each list separated.  So, backtracked toward the door they did and the eldest skipping girl puffed up with grown-up importance because she got to step outside the door to get another buggy.

Thence, the team traversed the store.  The youngest little girl riding on the front with her sparkling, chocolate-diamond eyes peeking over the edge of the buggy pushed by the grandmother, who had one hand on the buggy behind her to help steer it with the twinkling eyes of the other little girl peeking over the handle.

As we went up one aisle and down another, each time the buggies came to a halt for the grandmother to comparison shop and ponder, the little girls would twirl and dance.  They also would touch all the different products on the shelves and ask question after question after question.  Never mind that it was the week before Christmas and the store was a bit busy with folks stocking up for the holiday.  If somebody seemed insistent on interrupting the dancing or twirling, the grandmother would herd the girls back between the two buggies and the interrupter continued on their way.

The cereal aisle seemed to be the one that took the longest to navigate.  First, the grandmother had to explain that even though it had a picture of chocolate donuts on the front, there was cereal inside and no donuts.  The eldest child had to inform the grandmother that, "Mama doesn't let us get those sugary fruity-O cereals."  There were several such conversations and much pondering by the two little girls before we settled on a couple of boxes of some Marshmallow Charms and simple, sensible cereal-Os.

About the time the shopping team was over in front of the toothpaste, the youngest girl decided that she needed to go to the potty.  So, the buggies were left right there between the toothpaste and the mouthwash and the team zipped to the facilities.  Grandmother with iPad and purse tucked under her arm, holding the hands of the little girls and weaving in and out of the other shoppers - on a mission!

The front buggy was loaded like that truck that moved to Bev-er-ly... Hills that is...  I mean, it was overflowing.  Frozen pizza was precariously wedged in by a spiral-sliced ham that was lying atop bags of sugar, flour, and corn meal which were resting on a bag of apples that were guarding two big heads of broccoli from smashing by the cans of cream-of mushroom and celery soups.  There was powdered sugar, chocolate chips, juices, frozen shrimp, hot chicken strips from the deli, coffee, cereal Os, loaves of bread, a chunk of bologna, a tenderloin, toilet paper, and more sundries loading down that cart.  After all, the grandmother had not shopped since before the Thanksgiving Feast.

It was so full that the little girls began making comments like...

"I have never seen a buggy THIS FULL before!"

"Have you ever SEEN such a full buggy?"

"Nobody has EVER bought this much groceries before!"

Finally, the checkout lane became the destination.  The three shoppers plopped each and every item from that full-to-overflowing buggy up on the conveyor belt right behind the seven tote bags.  Each item was tossed flopped carefully placed on the conveyor belt in a chaotic haphazard thorough manner.

The seven tote bags were filled quickly and five large paper bags were used to corral the remaining items.  Then, the second buggy was emptied to half-fill four of those tissue-like plastic bags.  After all, the only items to go into them were a few things like Marshmallow Charm  and Os cereals, ibuprofen tablets, cough medicine, peanut butter, and milk.

Out to the four-door truck we went - smallest girl still riding on the end of the front cart, grandmother pushing it and steering the back cart pushed by the larger girl.  First, into the truck went the girls and their seat belts were snapped.  Then, in went all the bags of groceries.  TP tucked between the two car seats, juice and potatoes on the floor below their feet.  The front passenger seat and floorboard were stacked so full that the bottle of laundry detergent and two six packs of soft drinks had to ride in the back bed of the truck.

Since the two little girls had been so well behaved (and because we left home at ten o'clock and were headed back there at almost one o'clock), we drove through the local Sonic.  Another pondering and decision or two at the menu had to be undertaken before we eased on down the road with a corn dog, a burger, a pretzel dog, jalapeno bites, clear soft drinks, and some tots to fill our bellies almost as full as the inside of the truck.

The three shoppers toted all the bags in - the seven heavy shopping totes, the five large brown paper bags, and the four half-filled tissue-plastic bags.  Mass chaos diligent teamwork ensued as we stashed all the groceries in the fridge and pantry.  We munched on the remainder of our kid's meals and slurped that soft drink.  Then, it was time for some book reading, popcorn, and a Disney movie.

By five-thirty when the grandfather got home from work, the grandmother was exhausted!  Everybody ate chicken tenders, steamed broccoli, and sliced apples before the little girls were returned to their mother at bedtime and the grandmother collapsed on the couch.

So, if you have never experienced adventures in the grocery aisles, maybe someday you can go with that 54-year-old grandmother and a couple of her grandchildren.  That adventure really doesn't even compare to a similar trip that woman made almost thirty years ago with a three-week-old baby and an almost-two-year old on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at four-thirty in the afternoon but maybe yours will!

Adventures!  Isn't that what memories are made of?

Break for the Yuckiness

As you can tell, I have taken a break from posting here at Out of The Blue.

Mike's doctor decided to treat his leg which had cellulitis much more aggressively and sent him to a dermatologist.  Then, she sent him to a surgeon.  The surgeon treated the leg with a compression wrap to try to bring the swelling, redness and general infection under control.  The wrap and elevating/not working on the leg cleared the swelling out.  (However, we both came down with Flu Type A that weekend and that set back treatment for a week.)  Next, the surgeon took a biopsy of this place that looked to me like an out-of-control bug bite.  What an experience!

First, the nurse came in to administer a local anesthetic...

Having a weak stomach, I knew I shouldn't watch.  So, I closed my eyes.  However...

I opened them just a fraction of time too soon...enough time to see her stab Mike's leg three more times with a needle and little blood trickles start from each stabbing.

I swallowed really hard, closed my eyes, and tried to think of something more pleasant because I have always had a pretty touchy stomach when there is blood involved.

Next, in breezes the doctor with a razor blade looking thingy.  Again, I averted my eyes.  Yet, when the doctor said, "There you go... Tina, can you now do your magic?"  well, I thought the coast was clear.

It wasn't.  I opened my eyes just in time to see the doctor drop a long slice of something into a little bottle and add some liquid.  E-E-E-Y-E-U-W!

That wasn't the worst of it, though...

Tina's "magic" was to take some little dentist looking, wand-like, thingy and cauterize the entire half-dollar-sized place where the doctor had wielded the razor looking thingy.

That sound.

That smell.

Double E-E-E-Y-E-U-W!

Mike only made it worse when he asked me didn't I think that odor was a lot like the smell of dehorning calves.

I guess he didn't realize that when Daddy had that job on the agenda, I always tried to help.  I always started out strong and useful.  Then, about three or four calves into the job, I was over to the side puking or passed out.

I barely made it out of Mike's treatment room and across the hall to the bathroom.

The flu's lingering cough still has a grip on the two of us.  Plus, I have had a sinus infection thrown in there as well.  So, nobody wanted me to share anything that has been going on around here for the past month.

I hope things are looking up and I will be posting something positive and un-yucky soon!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I hope you have a warm, happy, and memorable Thanksgiving Day.

(Image via Google images)

May your lives be of both 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making Memories

Isn't it the funniest things that make memories?

I remember the first time I took Lillie to see a play.  We entered the theatre and her eyes opened wide and her mouth formed that O-shape.  

The excitement wasn't because of the fabulous stage set.

It wasn't because of the elaborate theatre decor.

Her first statement was, "Look at all these seats!"

She had a hard time selecting where she wanted to sit because there were just too many choices.

There were other memories made that day but that is always one that comes to mind each time I walk into a theatre or auditorium now.

We made a memory last weekend when we went to a local craft fair.  It wasn't because of the huge crowd.  It wasn't because of the plethora of booths and their offerings.  It wasn't because of the fabulous snacks.

The memory was made as a result of the school parking lot being partially blocked off due to some sort of construction.  We wound up having to park around the block at an office building parking lot and riding the shuttle across to the high school.  

Yes, that simple act is what the big memory was all about.  We quickly found a parking space and walked to the end of the row of spaces to board the shuttle.  The fabulous thing about the shuttle is...

we rode a school bus!

Two little girls ride to school each day with their mother, since she works at their school.  So, riding a bus was an exciting opportunity last weekend.
Even though the shot is a bit blurry, you certainly can see the excitement on Lydia's face as she sits on her seat in the middle of the bus.

Lillie was wearing a big ole' smile, too.  Their excitement and happy faces certainly made their mother and I have a different attitude about having to park and wait for a shuttle bus and then squeeze down the crowded aisle and sit on a hard bus seat.

Truly, it is the little things in life that make it wonderful isn't it?

Hope you are making memories of your own this week!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I've come up with a plan

Well, the pressure is on.  Yes, I'm talking about the pressure of...




What is a woman to do?

I called Mama today and just came right out with it.

I didn't beat around the bush.

I just spit it out and admitted it.

I dialed the phone and said, "Mama, I need you to teach me how you make dressing."

There it was... out there.

Right in the open.

In front of God and everybody.

Now, I am married to a man who loves good old southern cooking.  He is an aficionado of the south.  He is a connoisseur of dredging, and battering, and frying, and gravy, and dressing, and such.  Everything he eats is compared to his grandmother's or his mother's or his Aunt Peg's.

So, when preparing the Thanksgiving Feast, I am expected to serve that kind of food and dressing. Never mind that when I was growing up, I was never the pupil of the kitchen.  I was always outside helping My Daddy at the barn.

Over the years I've grown to like cooking and can even prepare some fare with respectability.

Yet, making the dressing is one of those things that has put lots of pressure on my cooking skills.

Yes, me.

The one who doesn't fry anything but eggs and bacon - and sometimes burns that.

The one who has never made lots of those good old southern foods.

You see, when I want some of those things, I just call my Mama and ask her when she is going to have that and hint at a time when I would be available to come by and eat it.

As soon as I admitted that I needed a lesson, Mama began rattling off instruction.  The conversation went something like this:

Me:  I need you to teach me to make dressing.

Mama:  Well, you make your cornbread.  Then, you crumble it up.  Chop up some onion and celery and put it in a frying pan with some butter and saute it...

Me:  How much onion?

Mama:  Oh...a pretty good sized one.

Me:  How much celery?

Mama:  Ah...about the same amount as your onion.

Me:  A half-cup?  How many stalks?

Mama:  Well, it just depends...

I keep asking questions till I get her hemmed up a bit and then...

Mama:  Do you just want me to make it for you?

Me:  No, Mama, I'm not going to learn how to do this any younger!

Mama:  Now, add some chicken broth.

Me:  How much?  One of those boxes?  More?

Mama:  Well, just till it looks the right consistency...

I keep asking questions till I get something a bit more specific and then...

Mama:  Just taste it, now, to be sure it is flavored to your liking...

Me:  Mama, I only eat a spoonful of this each year.  I'm not really all that crazy about dressing.  How am I supposed to know if it is flavored well?

Finally, I get enough instruction that I feel like I can probably prepare it with some respectability and I trek off to the grocery store to pick up the last few items I need to complete my feast.

Then, I called my mother-in-law about another matter altogether.  She asked me a couple of questions...

MIL:  Have you thawed your turkey?

Me:  I put it in the fridge this morning.

MIL:  Well, I guess you can soak it in some water Wednesday afternoon to thaw it the rest of the way.  Are you going to soak it in anything else?

Me:  Oh, yes, yes, of course.

MIL:  The recipe I use is in that Historical Society Cookbook...

and she proceeded to recite it from memory and share her method of preparing dressing - without precise measurements, of course!

So, once again, a bit of anxiety creeps into my bones about...

the dressing.

When Mike got home, I shared the highlights of these conversations with him.  Immediately he began calling my favorite sister-in-law, JoAnn, and asked her how she makes dressing.

She began to describe her method as she was driving home for the day.  Her recipe sounds very similar to my mother's and mother-in-law's.  So, I begin to chime in and make comparisons.  Her recipe is just a tad bit different but very close to both the aforementioned recipes.

So, I've come up with a plan.  I will do somewhat of a compilation of each of their methods.  Then, if it turns out well, I will just smile and say I adapted their recipes and tweaked it a bit to make it my own.  If it turns out to be a disaster, I'll say that I followed JoAnn's recipe and it just isn't as good as either of theirs.  After all, JoAnn will not be there when we share the Thanksgiving Feast.  She will be out sharing her delicious dressing with her family across town.

That is my plan and I'm sticking to it!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grown Ups

Well, this year, Mike and I are going to be the grown ups at Thanksgiving.  I've been the grown-up one other time when Mom and Daddy were remodeling/adding on to their kitchen and it was gutted down to the dirt under the floor.  That time, though, I was in graduate school and had two teenagers at home.  There was only us chickens and I just cooked a turkey breast and the side dishes and my family was satisfied with Stove Top.  Nobody expected it to be like the Pilgrims and nobody ever even dreamed it would be as good as Mama's.  We were just all glad to have some of the traditional sorts of foods and get together.  I don't think that would fly these days.

These days, folks seem to think that I should know how to pull together the traditional Pilgrim sort of meal and really expect it to sort of resemble Mama's.  These days folks seem to think I might ought to know what I'm doing.  These days, folks want the whole turkey and traditional sides and dressing.

Yes, dressing.

That is one of those dishes that has never really been my favorite.  I generally eat about one or two helpings of it per year.  I started out eating it just to be polite even thought I didn't really like the taste of it.  I have grown to appreciate the taste of it at this stage of my life, though.

I know.

How can I claim to be a southern woman if I don't like dressing?

For goodness sake!  It is a staple of holiday side dishes!

Somehow for fifty-four years I have kept that on the down-low and squeaked by, I guess.

Anyway, this year, Mike and I are hosting the Thanksgiving Feast.  We are the Grown-Ups.  The Grandparents.

I don't have any qualms about the turkey.  After all, we have cooked Big Tom and it turned out delicious.  So, cooking a normal sized turkey should be a breeze.  I have looked at all the resources for preparing a good turkey - Pioneer Woman, Martha, the Neely's, etc. I have delved into all the cookbook sources I have here -  Paula Deen's, Martha's, Blue Willow Inn's, Betty Crocker's, Better Homes and Garden's, Nolensville Historical Society's - just to name a few.  So, I think I'm ready to roll with my turkey.

I have prepared most of the sides at one time or the other - sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, squash casserole, macaroni and cheese, cranberry salad, rolls, etc.  All of that has been attempted with success at some point in my past.  So, no worries there.

I do have just a wee bit of nagging anxiety about the dressing, though.

Yes, the dressing.

Mike tried to make me feel better and offered, "it can't be that hard.  Lots of different people have cooked it for our family gatherings."



Lots of people have made it for our family gatherings over the years, too.  I guess he just hasn't been in the loop, though.  You know what I'm talking about.  That cluster of folks who are together lingering in the kitchen or over at the table after everybody's belly is full and the children have been bundled and bustled outside to do their running and the men are kicked back in front of the television and half dozing.

That little cluster of women who are sharing recipes and talking about their children or grandchildren.  That little cluster of women who are sitting over to the side nursing a slice of pie.  Those three or four who are cleaning up the last little bit.  One is washing the pan the rolls were baking on and one has the dish towel to dry and another is sorting the silverware and putting it back in the drawer.  You know the clusters of women I'm talking about.

One year they quietly muttered about one of the aunt's dressing because it was, "just a little on the dry side."  Another time somebody's eyebrows climbed up their forehead as they murmured that the dressing was, "a bit on the runny side."  Yet another time, somebody twitched a little and whispered that the dressing was, "just too bland."  Still another time, somebody snarled a bit and out of the side of her mouth uttered that the dressing, "had too much sage."  I've heard it called, "cooked plum to death," or "not quite done," and "just too chunky," and lots of other things.  I know you've heard the same sort of thing, now haven't you?

So, the pressure is on.

Being a grown up is tough!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bridesmaid Luncheon

We are looking forward to a wedding in our family!  My niece, Rebecca, is taking the big step with her love, Nathan.  He made a sweet beach proposal when he went along with my sister's family on a vacation back in the summer.

She was quite surprised and seemed swept off her feet.  He is a nice young man and we are all excited for the young couple!

I recently hosted a luncheon for her and her bridesmaids.  We had a lovely afternoon.  The girls are all such sweet young women.  I felt honored to have them visit our home.  Here are some shots of the afternoon we shared together...

I used seasonal items to decorate.  The centerpiece on my main dining table was a tray filled by a stoneware pitcher of sunflowers with English ivy woven through piles of various types of pumpkins.  I also wove burlap ribbon through the pumpkins and ivy.
It was all very fall-ish, natural, and low-key.  

The Blue Willow plates were perched atop silk place mats which were the same shade of tan as the burlap to continue with the neutral background but added just a hint of shimmer to the table.  I used simple brown swirl napkins that I'd crafted and wooden napkin rings.
Blue Willow and Burlap - simple with a country flair

On the small, round table adjacent to the island, I had a similar look with a basket full of porcelain pumpkins, the chicken salt/pepper shaker, and burlap ribbon.
The menu was simple as well - chicken and rice casserole, tossed green salad, frozen cherry/pineapple salad, yeast rolls that were shaped like pumpkins. (Thanks KariAnne at Thistlewood Farms!)

We all enjoyed sharing stories and laughing and learning about Becca's plans for the wedding.

When all the young women left (Yes, Brenda, I'm counting you as a young woman, too!), I certainly felt blessed to have been able to share my afternoon and our home and pray that my niece, Becca has many similar opportunities in her future!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The View from Here

In our daily lives the view changes from time to time depending upon where we are and at what stage of life we dwell.  Sometimes we are all hustle-bustle and the view seems to be taillights and traffic signs.

 Sometimes we are covered up with tasks and the view seems to be one stack after another of things-to-do.  We all tend to think our lives are hectic and wish we could slow down at some point or another.

When I left work one day this week, I got a reminder to do just that.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Everybody Goes to School!

For the first time this year, all of our granddaughters are going off to school!  How did they get so big?  It seems like only yesterday we were holding them swaddled in a blanket and they fit right on our forearms!

Lillie is off to first grade.  She is excited about being with the friends she made last year in kindergarten.  She is just too grown up!

Cassie is off to Kindergarten.  She is excited and glad to be with friends she made last year in PreK.
She was also excited to ride the bus home!

Evie is excited about going off to PreK.  She wants to be just as big as her older sister and looks forward to all the interesting things ahead.
Here she is posed at the entrance to her school on the first day!

Lydia is also going to PreK.  She, too, thinks she is just as grown-up as her big sister.
Here she is decked out in her favorite color and sporting her favorite TV character on her first day!

Lillie entered the world of first grade this year.  She is an old pro at school by now and was looking forward to seeing her friends.
Here she is with all her school supplies headed off for her first full day as a first-grader!

Where did the time go?  They are just getting too big too fast!  We are all excited for them to go off to school, too, though and learn all the things there are to know.  We wouldn't have it any other way!

Grandparent's Day!

Lillie and Lydia's school recently hosted grandparent's day.  Mike and I joined in on the fun.  The Pre-K crowd shared lunch with their visitors in the most important part of the school campus - the playground!
We had a time of food and fellowship at a teeny-tiny little picnic table.  For a few minutes I wondered if Grand B was going to be able to stand up after sitting so low to the ground.  There was also some time for showing off the finer parts of the grounds.  You know, places like the swings...

I think there was a little competition going on here to see if Grand B could push higher than the neighboring little boy's grandpa.  Then, we had to go check out the jungle-gym and the slides...

After this luncheon and play time ended, we waited a few minutes and shared food in the cafeteria with Lillie.  That first-grade crowd is a whole lot more mature and we sat at the cafeteria tables with them.  I think Lillie had fun sitting between Daddy Mike and a little fellow in her class.  At one point, I would have sworn she was sitting between TWO first-grade boys!  First, they were hiding her Little Debbie snack.  Then, they were teasing her about something else.  Both boys got an elbow or two poked at them by Lillie at one point or another.  Boys!

We all enjoyed sharing time together that day.  I think the expression in the picture below describes more than just the sensation of swinging.  We all feel that way when we get the chance to share time together and giggle and laugh!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall in the Air

Fall is in the air and it was all around my daughter's small town recently.  They had a Cruise-In and celebrated the change of seasons.  The town's parks and recreation committee sponsored an antique car show and mini-festival.  One of the ways they heralded the coming fall season was by having a scarecrow contest.  I think Bridgette's entry was pretty cute.

She is wearing the signature colors of Bridgette's cottage business and even has curly hair similar to hers.  I think she is even holding a hoop right off the embroidery machine.  This must be the fall mascot for Goody Stuff!

I really like that little one in the pink shirt on the right, there, don't you?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dress-Up Days

One of the granddaughter's schools recently had a week of dress-up days to celebrate homecoming or something like that.  I remember those times - we had pajama day, tie-dye day, patriotic day.  Well, this year, is the year of the rednecks - thanks to our friends with the Dynasty (and I'm not talking about that long cancelled night-time soap opera TV program.  So, here are one set of the grands and their version of being red, red, rednecks...
They look like a rough-in' it kind of crew don't they?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The View

As I was leaving one of my schools this week to move on to another school, I pulled out onto a country road thinking that I would get to my next stop and have time to spare.  I was jubilant that I was running right on schedule for a change and not thirty minutes... or an hour... or two... behind.  For a change, my heart wasn't pounding and I wasn't wondering how on earth I would get all the items on my day's agenda completed and get ready for the next day.  Then, all of a sudden, the view in front of me changed...
...and so did my day.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Don't you love it when you have a serious conversation with somebody and they really seem to listen to what you have to say?  I had one of those experiences over the weekend.

My conversation partner took me quite seriously and seemed to digest every word.  He carefully listened and reacted with feeling.

Sometimes he seemed to doubt what I was saying and gave me this, "Are you kidding me?" look.

Sometimes I got that, "I'm not so sure about that," look from him.

Then, there was more listening and rapt attention...

Sometimes a bit of deep thought was required...

I think this was the, "You are so goofy!"  look...

And, the "Give me a break, I can't believe that," look...

Along with the,"My goodness you are so right," look.

For the most part, he took it all in and listened intently to every word.  I can't wait till we have another session!
Love you little Harris!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Make way for...

For quite some time we've been clearing a path and making way for a baby.  It is almost like that old rhyme that we used to taunt one another with when we were kids:

You've got a g-i-r-l-friend...
You've got a g-i-r-l-friend...


First comes love...

Then comes marriage...

Then comes Bryan and Jessica with a baby carriage...

Well, almost like that anyway.  There were a few stops in between.  Like graduations, new jobs, a new house...at any rate, we have been making way for a new baby for several months!

First there was construction...Bryan completed their bonus room to make a space for his 'man things.'  I'm sure you can imagine...mounted deer heads, mounted ducks in flight, mounted fish...  Then, an accent wall was painted in the emptied room.

Next, a baby bed was assembled.  

Then, a dresser was bought, cleaned up, and positioned just so.  
Then, a book case...and some books...and some other decor.  

Since Jessica was on bed-rest for the last days of her pregnancy, I pitched in to help out a little bit.  Jessica and I had been shopping a week or so before the doctor mandated bed-rest, and she selected a sweet navy and white checked fabric.  I added an accent of navy ribbon and some pleats to create the bed skirt for the bed.
Carrying the same concept over to the windows, I stitched up two full curtain panels, trimming them with the same navy grossgrain ribbon accent.  The curtains have enough fullness and are lined with an old a time-softened sheet.  

Bryan added some accents as well.  A (shower gift) pencil sketch of a little cowboy riding a spring horse is framed out in barn wood.  A shelf holds some well-loved toys from when he was a little boy.  More of his and Jessica's old toys and gifts from friends and family are perched on the book case and around the room.  (Jessica and I did notice that most of his old toys are perched on the highest shelves and the books are on the lower ones.  I wonder if Bryan is encouraging a scholarly demeanor or if he is protecting his own treasures...)

The piece which set the tone for the nursery turned out to be a quilt that came from Jessica's grandmother.  
Heirloom Quilt
I love the colors and fabrics in it.  The look is so masculine - like scraps and pieces of men's shirts.  There are rich plaids and strong stripes.  It truly pulls together the browns, reds, and blues of the decor in the room.  
Now, baby has his own space!  I think he is the best addition of all, though, don't you?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Remnants, Scraps, and a sore toe

If you see me hobbling a little bit, it isn't all because I'm old and decrepit.  It might be because I was hanging my new project.

I researched and studied and thought and planned.  Then, I sketched and pondered.  Finally, I jumped in and tackled it.

I had a remnant of fabric that I'd picked up a couple of years while back and was hoarding it had it tucked away till I decided upon just the right project.  It is a beautiful linen piece with soft greys, tans, and blues - my favorite combination.

One day when my daughter-in-law, Jessica, and I were on a quest to find fabric for their nursery, I saw the same print is shades of brown and cream.  I was inspired to finally use this tucked away fabric to create a Roman Shade for our guest bathroom window.

As soon as I got home, I dug out my treasure and set to work.  It was almost too short for the project I envisioned but I made it work out.  I think the price tag said I'd paid almost four dollars for it!

While in the midst of crafting the shade using a couple of the tutorials I'd found online, I stumbled across discovered a unique shade which looked like it had a contrasting valence incorporated.  Again, I was inspired and took a scrap of fabric I had left over from a pillow project.

Using my serger, I roll-hemmed the edges of the scrap and stitched it to the remnant.  Then, I used a piece of the Goodwill-purchased bargain time-softened, inexpensive, second-hand sheet I had left over from crafting curtains for my grandson's new bedroom to line my shade.

Stephen was persuaded to cut the ends off some quarter-inch dowel rods I'd picked up at Hobby Lobby.  So, I slid them into the channels I created in the lining fabric.  Because I wasn't able to find any white cording to use for raising and lowering the Roman shade and because I am impatient and wanted to get done, I found a pair of white shoe-strings that would work.  Voila!

I hinted and waited and asked and waited until finally I decided to tackle hanging the curtain rod and the shade myself.  So, with my little step-ladder perched in the tub, screws, anchors, and a drill set on the window sill, I climbed and grunted and stretched to get it hung.

At one point I decided that I needed a hammer to bang gently tap the anchor into the hole I'd drilled.  So, off to my supply closet I trekked.  (Why is it that I seem to think I need a hammer for most every project I take on?)  I whacked and banged gently tapped the plastic anchor till it was wedged into the hole and attached the bracket with the screw.

Yes, there was some mumbling involved as well.

Then, I carefully leaned the hammer onto the window sill and scooted my ladder just a wee bit...

...just enough to bump the hammer and send it crashing down to land right in the middle of my shiny, red-lacquered, left big toe.

Yes, there was a shout, some loud mumbling, and a couple of tears shed.

It will take a bit of tweaking and I'm still in search of some white cording to replace the shoe strings but all-in-all, I'm satisfied with my creation from a remnant and a scrap.

Cheap tension rod and a vintage Battenburg trimmed valence
Roman shade crafted from linen with love

So, don't judge when you see me wearing flip-flops in October and hobbling along like a little old granny-woman.  There is more to that vision than appears at first glance.


I've always heard that things happen in good time.  I often wonder whose good time?

You see, I have a timeline that I want to meet.  I have a schedule.  I plan out my projects and fit them into my schedule.

My parents used to remind me when I was younger and was waiting on something I'd prayed for that my timeline and God's timeline might be just a little bit different.

It seemed that my Daddy's five minutes were always a lot longer than my five minutes.

My Mama's minutes seemed different than mine when she would tell me, "Just a minute."

I think the same held true when my children were growing up.  Their timeline seemed to have a different clock ticking than mine did.

Now I'm noticing that my husband's timeline seems just a bit off from mine as well.

When he wants my help with something, his clock seems to tick at a feverish pace.

Yet, when I want his help with something, his clock seems to slowly tick like those slow-motions replays in a ball game.

Why is that?

Monday, September 30, 2013


We've been waiting on Somebody...

Somebody had us anxious and concerned.

Somebody finally made an appearance...

And after it all, Mrs. Somebody Else still looked beautiful...

And Mr. Somebody Else looked ultra-excited...

Do I see a golden glow?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

One of the l-o-n-g-e-s-t days ever!

Yesterday was a long one.

I know it had to have more than twenty-four hours in it.

The morning dragged on for a week... at least.

The afternoon was slothful... at best.

The evening went in s-l-o-wwww... mmmm-o-t-i-o-n.

We got a few text message updates...

And each had an exclamation point at the end!

Finally, finally, finally...




All seven pounds and twelve ounces of him...

Every twenty-one inches of him...

Each decibel singing at high volume to the angels.

And we rejoice!

From the tips of his crooked little toes...

To the top of his dark, peach-fuzzed little head...

We cherish every little bit of him...

Every amazing squeal...

And every intense stare...

Makes us feel awash with a love we never knew we could experience.

We are grateful, excited, thrilled, and awestruck with you little man!  The eons of time that yesterday took was worth every nanosecond.

Welcome to the world little Harris Fulton!