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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

Hope this is your best ever!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Growing up too fast!

Isn't this just the sweetest sight ever?  I know it wasn't very long ago that we were reading Curious George to Lillie.  How can she be the one reading it to little Luci already?

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Who could resist such a cute little wink?  Not this GrandB.  That little bundle of sweetness is just too cute!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Back Door Welcome

Bridgette spent some time putting together a vignette for her back stoop a couple of weeks ago.
She dressed her metal maniquin in fall colors, placed some pumpkins, a basket, and mums at Suzy's 'feet.'  She hung the upcycled window frame turned chalkboard nearby.  Then, she took a scrap board and painted/stenciled welcome onto it and leaned that against the chimney.
Even at night the little vignette shines brightly to welcome folks into their back yard.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Getting too big!

This girl is getting TOO big!  She was so excited to get a big girl bed.  She told me all about it.  She played on it and was all smiles.  I got this photo of her and my heart skipped a beat because I'm not ready for her to be such a big girl.
Look at that, she is stretched way down on that twin-sized bed.  Eeek!
It looks like the excitement was almost too much for her to contain.  Then, when I checked in a couple of days later, I learned that she pitched a huge fit and didn't want to sleep in her big-girl bed that night.  It was so bad that her daddy was ready to get the crib out and set it back up for her.  Mom and Dad wound up holding firm and she is now sleeping well in the new bed.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


The other day I may have mentioned that my daughter, Bridgette, has been creative.  She has been upcycling.
Recently she got herself a saws-all and began taking pallets apart.  Then, she puts them back together and adds some of her creative talent.  The one above is now hanging outside on the porch of her craft cabin.
She used a similar technique to create this one.  I think it must be for a customer.  Simple reuse of rough lumber to create something cute, trendy, crafty, and beautiful.
Then, there is this one that she made for her dining room wall.
Some rough boards, a little paint, and a lot creativity.  Here is where it now hangs:
Look closely, there are a couple of smalls hanging to the right as well.
I just love the scrap projects almost as much as the large featured ones.  Aren't these adorable.
This cute Grocery sign is in the kitchen.  Lillie seems to think she is developing a look there.
It went on this wall with some vintage utensils and a stitchery piece created by my grandmother.  I think it is a really cute collection.  Lillie told Bridgette that she thought it looked a bit like Cracker Barrel.  Hmmm...
There's also this collection.  I think it was created for a gift.  Even though my walls are already pretty filled, I wish I had been on the receiving end don't you?
This one is crafted using a similar technique.  I think I really love it, too!  I told her that she might be developing an addiction or a problem of some kind with all this upcycling, recycling, and creativity.  Maybe she can continue to feed her crafty habit as people order from her via Goody Stuff.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Putting Pep In My Step

I got my hair cut on Friday afternoon.  Now, everyone who knows me realizes that I claim to be old and that I don't move all that fast.  I've also been slower lately due to my bad back.

It seems that somebody didn't realize that, however.  When I came out to my truck to leave, this old girl came trotting toward me.  I cannot tell you how quickly I scooted across that parking lot and into my truck to get away from her!
This photo was taken from inside the truck, by the way.  I took no chances!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Maybe simplest is best...

I've come to a conclusion.  I don't think I'm going to put a bed skirt with my Granny's quilt.
I thought it was necessary because the box springs on the bed peeks out from under the quilt.  I've searched and searched for appropriate fabric.  I've given it all sorts of thought.  If I use a bed skirt, the pretty wooden bed rails won't show.  I haven't been able to find the 'just-right' fabric to coordinate with the quilt but not distract from the workmanship.  So, last weekend when I was shuffling bedding, I put a white sheet over the box springs to make it not stand out like a sore thumb.  I think I like that enough for now and will live with it. I've still not landed on the perfect fabric for curtains and pillow shams.  So, I pulled the white matelasse ones off the bed in the back bedroom and that is how it will be for a while.  What do you think?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent

Upcycling.  I've been seeing this term thrown around a lot lately.
My daughter, Bridgette, has put the practice to work.  She dug around in their garage and found an empty window frame.  Then, she added a painted wood piece into the window frame and has a new chalkboard hanging beside her back door.  Much cuteness!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fall Sprucing Up

I've been doing a wee bit of sprucing up and added in some fall touches around here.  I put the blue and white pumpkin on the tray atop the den ottoman this year.
I brought out some pillow covers I crafted last year with a nice linen that featured a cream background and caramel print with a pheasant and leaves.  I also pulled out the leopard print pillow covers.  Then, I created a new pillow cover from a fabric remnant I had picked up for $1.99 and backed it with fabric that was formerly a dish towel.
I love the combination lined up across the sofa.  All the prints are interesting but I think they all look well together and are just the punch that is needed in my neutral palette den.
 The texture of the fabric and the vibrant colors as well as the thistle-like pattern of the flowers really tugged at me when I was in the store and saw several twenty-six-inch squares of various prints offered as remnants for $1.99.
I removed the blue and tan covers from the lumbar pillows in the wing back chairs and left the black silk with floral embroidered ones that I had made a couple of years ago in the chairs.  Then, I created a couple of covers for another pair of lumbar pillows using the same cream and caramel linen fabric as the ones on the sofa.
I like the combo of the two fabrics and how the black ground of the older pillows provides a background or depth for the lighter pillows in the chairs.  The covers are simple envelope-style and I simply stitched about a quarter-inch from the edge to give it a sharp edge that would stand out and hold its shape.
I revamped the mantel a bit and went with simple blue and white candle holders and vases.  I only added a basket of pine cones, a faux boxwood topiary, and a silvery glass pumpkin to the hearth.
In the entryway, I just plopped a cute ceramic pumpkin atop a small pedestal to add a bit of fall color there.
In the kitchen, I added a pretty blue ceramic pumpkin with caramel-tan leaves and a couple of rusty-orange candles in hurricanes to the tray on the dining table and slid a caramel and golden plaid linen table runner beneath.
In the bedroom, I added the Holstein steer and pumpkins tapestry pillow to the front of the standards that decorate the bed most of the time.  Fall sprucing may be done and sparse this year.  I'm just not as excited to do a lot of sprucing and wrestling with heavy pumpkins this year due to my back ailment.  Sometimes simple is best.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Best Laid Plans...

Back in the summer I noticed that from time to time my back would ache somewhat.

I thought maybe it was because I was doing lots of manual labor that was different from my day-to-day routine.  Mike and I were spending hours on the mower cutting Mom's grass.  We were cleaning out Daddy's shop and getting ready for an auction.  Then, I got back into the routine of school work and it seemed that my back ache got worse and worse.  I also noticed that it seemed worse each morning and got better as the day went on.

So, I decided that it was due to our old, old mattress and springs.  We decided to invest in a new bedding set.

I researched to learn what might be the best kind.  I researched to learn which might be the best value.  I carefully scanned sale flyers and advertisements.  Then, on Labor Day I went to my local JC Penney to buy a bedding set.  It was advertised to be 60% off and I had a 10% off coupon as well.

When I arrived at the store, I was met by the nicest couple of sales representatives.  They informed me that despite the big Labor Day Sale, the store had no bedding sets in stock.  All those must be ordered online.  The sales rep offered to order for me.  I pulled out the cash I'd brought to purchase the set and learned that I must use a card.  I bought a couple of gift cards and we ordered the bedding set.  I was told I could expect an email, a call, and delivery in less than three weeks.

At the end of the first week, I used the information on my receipt and went online to check the status of my order.  I saw that it said my order had been cancelled.  So, I called the 800 number.  Asia in Ohio answered the phone and informed me that all was still on-go in the system.  She said that the bedding was being crafted and the order was listed as in-progress.

After getting no email or call, I checked in with the 800 number again the next week.  Caroline in Cincinatti informed me that the order was still listed as in-progress.  So, on the date that my receipt said I could expect delivery before, I called the 800 number again and learned from the customer service rep that their system was not processing the sets of mattress and box springs properly and my order got hung up in the system.  She transferred my call and the representative placed a new order using my gift cards.  I thought things were on-track at this point.

Then, several hours later I got an email telling me that there was a problem with my payment message.  I called customer service and Matthew in Ohio informed me that the funds had not been re-credited to my gift cards when my first order was cancelled.  He was sorry but I could expect a check in the mail.  I asked him if he could tell when my order had been cancelled and he said no.  I asked him if he could tell when the check was sent and he said no.  I asked him three or four questions and he had no answer.  I asked to speak to a supervisor.  The supervisor had left for the day.

The next morning I printed off all the information that I had documented in my communication with JC Penney.  Every bit of the info I mentioned here was bulleted and dated and I had my receipts, screenshots of where I had checked my order status, and the names of the customer service reps with whom I had spoken.  After work, I went to the local JC Penney store.

A young man approached me as I entered the store and asked if he could help.  I began my story...he interrupted and said, "Let me get my manager, Ms. Donna."  In a few moments, Donna Adair appeared and I began telling my story - again.  After I had related it to her, she led me to a customer service counter and picked up the phone.  She called Pam in Idaho and began recounting the story.  As she talked, I handed her page after page of documentation.  Pam in Idaho told me that she would personally see that my gift cards were credited within the hour.  I got a call within thirty minutes telling me that Pam was in a meeting but would call me shortly to let me know the status of my order and funds.  Twenty minutes later, Pam gave me a call and gave me a confirmation number.  Within seconds I got an email confirmation.  A couple of days later I got another email telling me that my bedding set was in transit to a local holding area.  A couple of days after that I got a call with a recording that a truck would be coming to my area I could expect delivery in four days between the hours of four o'clock and eight o'clock.

With my aching back getting worse day-by-day, I finally felt like I had made progress.  This past Monday, I spent most of the day preparing for delivery and set-up of my new bedding.  I started at 7 o'clock in the morning by stripping the bed in the back bedroom and dragging the oldest, tattered mattress and springs to the den and leaned them against the wall out of the way.  I vacuumed, dusted and cleaned the room thoroughly.  Then, stripped the bedding off the master bedroom bed, dragged the mattress and box springs to the back bedroom.  After washing the sheet set, I re-made the bed.

I cleaned the front guest bedroom, added a fitted sheet to cover the box springs and re-made the bed in there with freshly washed sheets.  I vacuumed, dusted, and cleaned the den and kitchen and progressed to the master bedroom.  With my aching back, I would clean for about twenty minutes and sit or lie down for about the same time frame.  I finally was ready for delivery at about four-fifteen in the afternoon and I waited.  Finally, at about seven-thirty, I was digging out my paperwork when I got a call from the delivery company telling me they would arrive in about twenty minutes.

In exactly twenty minutes they pulled in the driveway and called to confirm that they were at the correct house.  I went out the back door and met the young woman carrying a clipboard.  She wanted me to sign to confirm delivery.  I insisted that I wait until I inspected my bedding.  Two young men hauled the pieces in on their backs, removed the plastic, and set the mattriess and box springs onto the ready bed.  Then, as I was signing the paperwork, they went outside.  I let them know that I intended for them to take the old set away as they left.  So, the young woman shouted for the fellows to come back and they did.  I followed them out onto the porch and watched them begin loading the old pieces into the truck before I began putting sheets on my new bedding.

Then, the next morning, after a good night's sleep on our newly outfitted bed, I went out to go to work and saw this:

Yes, they got one last dig in.  The plastic covering off the bedding was left lying in my flower bed.

The people who tried to help me at JC Penney could not have been nicer.  They each tried to 'make it right' and were genuinely concerned with how I had been treated.  However, their 'system' is seriously flawed and problematic.  I feel like I got a great value for the money spent.  I even have about ten dollars credit left on my gift cards.  I will probably apply that toward something like socks or some other simplistic, unimportant purchase.  Yet, I know that I will try to NEVER do business with them EVER again if at all possible.  I relay this story so that anybody who might happen across it will know to keep thorough documentation and record every interaction when making a large purchase so that the odds are in your favor.  I could just as easily have lost my money if I had not been calm in my interaction and had all my paperwork to document my story.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Harris had a birthday party!

Last weekend we celebrated Harris turning three years old.
His love of trains and the mystique of their riding by on the tracks served as the decorating theme with Thomas the train.

Food and snacks were plentiful with stacks of pizza, piles of chips, and a train-load of fruits pulled by Thomas around the track.
The cousins joined in for the fun.

There was cake and the little man was the first to taste it.
Then, there were candles to blow out and singing.

Everybody needed to taste the chocolate cake and eat a bit of ice cream.

Then, of course, there were presents to investigate.
A pile of presents!
Digging in and investigating is something that Harris is really good at, too!

He seems to enjoy and appreciate each and every one, too.

It's always great to celebrate a birthday and little fellows certainly enjoy those times most.

They seemed to jump, ride, swing, interact, play, and enjoy things to the fullest.

A fun time seemed to be enjoyed by all and I think this fellow probably will remember number three as a special one, for sure!