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

Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy Birthday, Levi!

Exactly a year ago we were excited and celebrating the birth of this big fellow.  
We have been lucky enough to interact with Levi on a regular basis 
because he operates the family livestock and pet feed and supply store.  
(Yes, I know that his parents help out a bit, but I'm sure he is really the one in charge!)

Today we celebrate his first birthday!
Isn't he just the quintessential image of the little farm boy in that photo?

Happy Birthday, Levi!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Good Help

Sometimes good help is hard to find.

Sometimes good help comes in quite handy.

Good help is focused and tenacious.

Good help is persistent and dedicated.

Good help does a thorough job.

Good help enjoys getting the job done.

Good help is versatile.

Sometimes good help has to weather through adverse conditions like unbearably hot weather.

Sometimes good help surprises us all.

Like when he is asked, "What did the cow say, Harris?"

And his response, said in a gravel-ly voice is, "Hawwis!  Feed me!"
Good help!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cool Dude

This fellow and his parents came for a visit on Sunday afternoon and it was a special treat for Daddy Mike and Grand B!

The 'sungasses' were an integral part of his day and we learned that no matter who had them perched on his/her head, they were dubbed, "Cool Dude."

There was never a doubt at who the coolest dude was, however!  At one point, he decided he needed to use that book he was holding and read a bit to us.  He claimed he was preaching and it seemed like serious business.  (I guess PaPaw's influence was shining through.)

He also used the book as a reference when he did a bit of singing.  With a little guidance from Mom and Dad, we enjoyed several tunes!
This cool dude is one bright individual and that was affirmed when we sat down to dinner.  After eating a few bites of mac-and-cheese and such, with an innocent, pleading expression, he looked up at his eating partner and said, "Mike, I want some choc-it...Peeeeese!"  This cool dude knows who the softest touch is and got the request - immediately!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Down to the Swimmin' Hole!

This crew came for a visit yesterday and brought along their mothers.  We all applied sunscreen and headed off down to the local swimmin' hole.  It was my first visit to the local recreation center pool and it proved to be a fabulous locale.  I hate I hadn't investigated it earlier and patronized it more frequently!

The littlest trouper was the bravest and had to be watched the most closely.  Luci loved splashing and waving her hands through the water.  She also loved performing some vigorous kicking - much like a little frog.  She dipped her face into the water and squealed with glee!

The most curious of the bunch was probably Harris who needed to check out every single little fountain squirting water along the edge of the pool.  He tested out the water splashing down from the umbrella fountain.  He rolled and sat and climbed and splashed.  He also dipped his face into the water and did loads of jumping.  I'm not sure that the snack time wasn't also a great source of appreciation for him, too, though!

Lydia brought along her snarfle and she spent lots of time investigating the underwater world.  After learning that she could touch the bottom even in the 'deep' part, she was an explorer and relished the opportunity to swim, search underwater, and simply stand under the water cone dumper and be splashed!

Lillie, being older and more sophisticated, enjoyed floating in the deeper water and swirling round.  She played with the little folks but also spent a good deal of time floating and relaxing on her own with her cool, color-changing shades to shield her eyes from the sun.  She also spread out a couple of towels on a lounge chair and did a bit of suntanning!

I wished several times while they were flipping and kicking and rolling in the water that I had brought my camera along.  Logical thinking prevailed, however, because I anticipated that there would be nothing left dry with this bunch - and I was correct.  My poor camera might have been ruined.  The memories, however, are not!  We all - grown-ups and children alike - had a fun day at the old swimmin' hole.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Outside the Lens

I hope nobody thinks my house is one that is always clean and tidy and ready for Southern Living to come photograph a feature article.  Well, I would like for folks to think it is that way.  However, I must confess, it rarely, if ever is in such shape.  Just in case you were wondering...

You know how I shared that I've been freshening things up and making some subtle changes?  I showed you my new den curtains.

I showed you sparkling clean windows and furniture with no dust.

I showed you freshly pressed drop-cloth curtains and pretty tassel tie-backs.

Well, here is how it looked just outside of camera range:

Just keepin' it real, ya'll!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

That Was Then/This Is Now

I remember when I was young and folks would talk about having to make adjustments because they were getting older.

I remember my reaction to such tales.

I would roll my eyes.

I might not roll my eyes where everybody could see me doing so but believe me, I rolled my eyes.

Now, things are a little different.

Now, I am the one making adjustments because I'm getting older.

One way I seem to be adjusting is by making everything lighter in my house.

The darkest room in the house is the den. (Well, unless you are in the basement with the lights off,)

One reason is because it faces the front porch and there are two huge oak trees providing shade on that side of the house.

Another reason is because I hung some beautiful Merlot-colored, silk, drapes with soutache braid and coordinating sheers as window treatment.  

Those drapes made the room cozy feeling.

They added a rich pop of color to the otherwise neutral room.

They also made the room sort of dark.

So, I decided to do a bit of lightening up.

I also decided I wanted to do it on a budget.

I think I succeeded.

Two canvas drop cloths for $10 each...

A couple of lines of stitching to create a rod pocket...

A couple of hours of ironing...


A lightened up den!

I kept the same tie-backs and the same style.  Only the lighter, more casual fabric made lots of difference in the room.

I'm telling myself this adjustment had nothing to do with me getting older and wanting the room to be lighter for my old eyes.

I'm telling myself I was just freshening things up a bit!

Summer Fun!

For the past couple of days I've shared what is going on in the lives of the granddaughters and how they have been enjoying their summer.

And then there's this fellow...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


As they were riding down the road, Lydia informed her mother that they could make her new Barbie some clothes.  After all, she is an experienced sewist!  So, the other day Bridgette got Lydia started at stitching up a dress for her doll.  A little later I got a text message telling me that Barbie does have a new dress.  Lydia sewed one side seam and Bridgette finished it and she added, "And let me say, it's a bit tedious to sew Barbie clothes."

My response:
Now you know why I never made your Barbies clothes or any doll for that matter!  You should stop right now and thank your Mamaw for the doll clothes she made for you and with you!

Fancy Barbie Dress and Happy Girl!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Birds of a feather

While on vacation, Lydia informed her parents that she needed a snarfle.

I must admit that I was a bit confused and unsure about a snarfle.

However, I told Mike about it and he immediately agreed that she probably did need one while she was on vacation.

So, I asked him if he knew what she was talking about.

He immediately described exactly the technique and purpose of a snarfle.

I guess that is why she and he seem to get along so well.

It is all in the way your mind works.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


I have less than a week before I have to be back into the routine of being an educator.  We will be gearing up for the beginning of a new school year and getting things ready for 35,000+ students and teachers to be able to integrate technology into their learning.  While I've had time away from work, I've certainly enjoyed spending time with a renegade hunk!

It's Summertime and the Living is Easy

Some of the grands have been enjoying their summertime break from a school routine.
Luci was too little to actually be a golfer at the putt-putt golf park but she seemed to like the cows.  Notice that she is moo-ing!
Let's be serious now.  Ice cream is always a delicious treat and chocolate is absolutely the best.
It truly makes a girl happy - and front teeth are not a requirement!
The cool fashion diva reminds us, however, that just because it is summertime, all protocol doesn't go out the window. "Uh, oh!  There's the police...act casual."

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Making a Slipcover

I dipped my toe in the water of making a slipcover today!  I think it made for quite a metamorphosis.

It all started with a yard sale purchase.  My eldest nephew's wife recently had a yard sale where they were cleaning out before a move.  The house they are moving into had some items left behind and this footstool was one of those items.  She put a sticker with $3 on it and I snapped it up.

I knew right away that I wanted to cover it up.  After all, it really wasn't very pretty at all.  Plus, it had some cosmetic damage - a rip and a paint droplet.

So, it sat in my craft room for a couple of weeks.  Since the temperature was so high, I decided to take on an indoor task today and this stool seemed to be calling my name.

I stared at it a bit and decided that I don't really like the color of it.  I don't really like the shape of the legs.  Really, the only thing I do like about it is the size of it.

So, I dug into my fabric stash and found a two-yard remnant that I had bought at least a dozen years ago for $4.99 per yard.  It is a companion fabric to that on a couple of wing-back chairs I have that were rescued from the dumpster by my friend, Phyllis.  My parents had them covered for me as my birthday and Christmas gift when I moved into my last house.

I measured the top from seam to seam - 25.5" x 21.5".  I added an inch to each dimension for a seam allowance, marked my fabric, and cut a rectangle 26.5" x 22.5".

Actually, I cut a rectangle and decided I wanted the fabric to run from the higher elevation to the lower elevation.  So, I measured, marked, and cut another rectangle running differently with the grain of the fabric.

The first rectangle didn't go to waste, however.  Next, I laid the stool up on its side atop the first rectangle I cut and marked the top's highest point and the top's lowest point.  Then, I drew a line connecting those two points and adding a half-inch for a seam allowance.  I cut the two sides from my original rectangle.

Next, I measured the fabric, marked and cut the rectangles for the front and back panels.  These had to be cut separately because the back side of the stool is taller than the front side.

Laying right sides of the fabric together, I stitched the front, back, and side panels to the top.  Then, with right sides of the fabric together, I stitched up the sides.

I toyed with the idea of using some sort of cording at the seams but decided that I didn't have enough fabric to create piping.  I dug through my trims and found a cording but again decided that I didn't want to use it because I wanted something far simpler.  So, I simply top-stitched the seams.

I paused and tried the slipcover on at each step to make sure it was going to fit properly.

When I got to this point, I measured the drop or length of the leg so that I could make a skirt to reach the floor and cover the legs that I'm not in love with.

I decided that I wanted to have a center box pleat in the front and back of the skirt.  After doing a bit of thinking, I decided to make the skirt in panels.  The front and back skirt have a three-inch box pleat and the side panels have a one-inch knife pleat.  I also knew that I would need some short panels to wrap the corners.

So, I measured, marked, and cut three strips to make the skirt.  I added two inches for the hem and an inch-and-a-half to finish the sides of each panel.

First, I turned the fabric hem-edge up a half-inch and pressed it.  Next, I folded it over one-and-a-half-inches and pressed it.

I stitched the hem as near to the edge as possible.

Then, I turned each end under a half-inch and pressed it.

Next, I turned that fold over an inch and pressed it.

Again, I stitched this as close to the edge as possible.

I folded the front and back panels in half to find the center-point and measured up one-and-a-half-inches on either side of this center-point.  I pulled those points to the center point and pressed.  Again, I lay my skirt along the edge of the in-progress slipcover to check for correct length.  After creating the front and back skirt panels, there was a piece left that was nineteen-inches in length.  So, I cut that in half and finished the ends just like I did the skirt panels.  This gave me my four skirt panels to wrap the corners.

For the side skirt panels, I finished the edges, folded them in half to find the center and created a simple knife pleat.

There was so much thinking and planning involved in creating the skirt panels that I completely forgot to take photos.  Sorry!

Then, it was time for assembly.  I placed the front skirt panel, right sides together onto the slipcover-in-progress.  I made sure to match up the center of the pleat with the center of the slipcover and the edges of the skirt panel with the side seams of the slipcover and stitched the front skirt panel to the slipcover.  I stitched went to the stool to make sure I had made my skirt the correct length.  Then, I stitched the the back skirt panel to the slipcover the same way and again checked for correct sizing.

I placed the skirt side panels right sides together with the side of the slipcover, making sure to line up the center of the knife pleat with the center of the slipcover side piece.  I stitched the skirt side panels onto the slipcover.

Next, I centered up the small corner wrap pieces with the side seams of the slipcover and stitched them on top of the skirt panels.  Then, I pressed the seam up toward the slipcover and topstitched it down.

I gave the whole thing a quick press and slipped it over the stool.

It is far from perfection, but I am quite pleased with it and am thrilled at how easy it was to create.  Time-consuming, but quite easy.

I had a wee bit of fabric left over - maybe enough for a pillow, maybe.

Before and After:

Here it is with the chair.

I think it was a good day's work and was a bargain - $13 for a new stool!  I also think I might try another slipcover sometime!