Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Counter Makeover with Paint

Counter makeover painted to
look like tile

My counter was such an ugly fake butcher-block. I have always hated those counters. So, I cut a sponge the side of a 3x3 tile and sponged squares of barn red, a little green and dark brown. Then along the edge I cut a sponge 1x1 and painted green little tiles. Finished with a few coats of poly. I love it. The plumber came by the other day and wanted to know who did the tile work? Everybody that comes in really thinks it is tile. A great one day project.

The Wind Chimes

These are examples of the wind chimes I mentioned earlier in the post. It is really fun searching for the items to use and takes time to do the bead-work. But, I'm hoping to add a few to my craft show in the fall.

Finally Back

Here are some pictures of things that have been happening since my last visit to my blog.

Jackson and Ryder turn one

Ryder was a little skeptical,
like his daddy, he didn't want
to get his hands dirty

After a few minutes, he got
the hang of it

Jackson loved the balloons

Cupcakes for guests. Pea
pods made out of gum paste

Jackson's First Birthday Cake

Ryder's First Birthday Cake

I didn't realize it had been almost four months since I had visited my blog. The last we spoke, I was battling the flu. That was some nasty stuff. I really hate to see what this swine flu is going to do in the fall. I have been taking some precautions; hopefully, some of them will help. Since we last visited, a lot of things have been going on lately.

Let me see...what have I been doing since I was last here.

I quit work. After working for 20 years, as an office manager, for a psychologist. I left the building!! His health was declining and needed me 24/7. He is a widower and has no one really to help him. But, I couldn't do it anymore. The straw that broke the camel's back, was the morning he called at 4:00 A.M., to "tell" me to go to WalMart and get him a thermometer, he thought he had a temperature. Well, I went to WalMart and got him the dang thermometer and NO he didn't have a temperature. So, I turned in my notice and that is that.

Amazing when you are not working, you have all these plans of things that you are going to do, organize, clean, etc. Well, I stay busy all day long and I have yet to do anything on my list. Yesterday, my list consisted of cleaning out my closet. I got up, started laundry, stripped beds, ironed sheets and clothes, canned tomatoes, prepared dinner, prepared hubby two dishes to take to a potluck and vacuumed. Needless to say, the closet was not touched.

I turned 53, since we last spoke and that is all I am saying about that!

We have been busy canning and freezing veggies. Hubby is eating the peaches as fast as I get them in the freezer. But, I can't wait until a cold, rainy day and I can have veggie soup and cornbread from all our vegetables we have put up.

The twins, Jackson and Ryder, turned one! It was definitely a red letter day. The parents planned a swim party and about 75 people attended. The theme "Two Peas in a Pod." I made their cakes, preparing individual cakes for the boys with gum paste pea pods with two peas inside on each. For the other guests, I made cupcakes with a smaller version of the pea pods for each one. They turned out so cute.

I had a friend visit a few weeks ago and we headed out to our favorite little shops. We wandered upon an antique store and had to go inside. Upon entering the store, I saw the neatest craft, that I had not seen before. The artist had used old coffee pots, silver nut dishes, silver trays, old candy dishes, etc., and made wind chimes, using old "silver" flatware for the tines and clanger (I don't know what else to call it). So, we decided we would make one for each of us. Well, after hours and hours of trial and error, we finally completed two. I have since learned some tricks and have made about ten. I would like to put some in my craft booth in upcoming shows. The fun is searching out the objects to use. If I could figure out how to get someone else to make them and me just search for the items...I would be a happy camper.

Well, I can't really think of anything else that has happened over the past four months. But, with my memory the way it is...I'm sure I am forgetting a BUNCH. I am going to get back to my regular blogging. I've missed it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not Saying That Again

Well, in my last post in March, I titled it "Alive Again." Boy, I'll not do that again. The next morning I woke up with all that stuff again. I've had the flu, ear and throat infections and then stomach issues from all the medications from all the above. So, from now on...I'm going back to my standard answer when anyone ask...."I'm fine."

Maybe now, I can get back to my blogging, spring cleaning and digging in the dirt.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Alive Again

This flu bug is horrible. I have been fighting this stuff for almost a month. But, at last, I think I'm feeling better. I certainly hope this stuff is gone because I have lots of things on my list of "to do projects." I got up this morning to start that list. However, I decided to take my cup of coffee to the deck and enjoy the fresh air. Well, to my amazement, the birds are building nests and the buds of the trees and flowers are emerging from the days of dark winter. So, I decided to have another cup of coffee and just observe the wildlife in the yard. We have little sparrows building in two birdhouses on the deck and another pair in a birdhouse in the yard. These little guys have worked so hard gathering sticks, twigs and pine needles. They have made a hundred trips back and forth to their new homes. It is so relaxing just watching these little guys. I placed a dish of food close to each birdhouse, so they don't have to travel so far for food. I'm sure the little guys must be worn out from all the flying, fetching and building.

Well, I guess I better get up from my National Geographic morning and get to the "to do" list. Somehow, cleaning, laundry and working on a baby shower is not quite as exciting or relaxing as watching the little families make their new homes in the backyard. But, after a month, my house needs an overhaul. So, I'm back to my "to do" list.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Dreaded Flu

GRRRRRR...I have been sick for two weeks and just cannot get rid of this stuff. Now you are asking, I'm sure, what does this have to do with treasured memories that you usually write about. Well, as usual, this experience brought to mind a special memory of my Dad.

When I was sick, as a little girl, Dad always made those days so special. It would usually start with a trip to the doctor, or at that time, a house call from the doctor. In any circumstance, Dr. Hodges, always gave children a note, on a prescription sheet, an order for a free ice cream cone at the local drug store. If I had to go to the doctor's office, we would always stop to get the ice cream. If Dr. Hodges came for a house call, my Dad would take the note to the drug store Mrs. Dowdy would put my ice cream in a takeout cup and send me a cone. Then when Dad got home, he would make my ice cream cone for me. My favorites were always the fudge ripple and whitehouse cherry....yummy.

Anyway, back to Dad. Each time I was sick, my Dad would always make me cream of chicken soup, with little oyster crackers for lunch. I thought the little crackers were the stuff. We usually only had regular saltines in our house. But, I didn't like breaking the crackers and getting those crumbs all over my hands. So, Dad would always make sure I had "baby" crackers, as he called them. He would always surprise me with new coloring books and the biggest box of of Crayola crayons. Sometimes, I would even get paper dolls. I would spend hours coloring , with each of my new colors and playing with my paper dolls. When it came time for bed, he or Mother would rub me down in "Save the Baby," and put me to bed. Dad would tuck the covers under my chin and around my body, which I didn't like and he would give me a kiss on the forehead. I still love kisses on my forehead.
Somehow, being sick as an adult is just not the same as when we were children. Not only is my Dad no longer with us, I certainly don't think my husband would think to bring me coloring books and crayons. It might really be good for us adults, if we would treat these sick days as kid sick days. So, if an adult loved one is sick, get them a coloring book, some crayons, remember it has to be the big box of Crayola, as well as chicken soup and don't forget the "baby" crackers. Serve them their soup, then tuck them in bed for a good night's sleep. But, remember, the most important part of all, is the kiss on the forehead. Thank you Daddy for such wonderful sweet memories.

Unexpected Snow Storm

We just experienced a wonderful unexpected snowstorm over the weekend. It began to snow about noon on Sunday and it continued to snow into the night Sunday night. When we measured on our deck, we had a little over eight inches. We lost power and phone service about 5:00 in the afternoon. It was dark and you could hear trees and limbs popping throughout the night. Needless to say it was a long night.

Upon awakening Monday morning, to my surprise, we had power. I immediately started a pot of veggie soup, as I love to cook when it snows. However, within 30 minutes, our wonderful power and phone were off again. Well, when the power is off, you have to be creative. I took the chafing dish and poured in my soup and it cooked throughout the day. We had hot chocolate, made in the old coffee pot, heated in the fireplace. We used our grill outside for other goodies. So, needless to say, we did not go hungry.

The prize of the day was snow cream. I went out to collect the snow in a dishpan. Mixed my evaporated milk, sugar and vanilla in with the snow and we had wonderful snow cream. Actually, we still have some in the freezer.

This snow cream brought back wonderful memories of my Grandpa Jess. These warm fuzzy memories, thank God, are still etched in my mind. I can smell the pipe tobacco that always surrounded him. The making of snow cream was one activity, I only shared with Grandpa. He would grab the metal dishpan and two huge spoons (the metal scoop like spoons that came with ice-cream back then) and out the door we would go. It seemed we always had to find the perfect location to gather the snow. Along the way, I would have show him how to make beautiful snow angels and throw snowballs at various objects in the yard, especially the chickens. However, I never remember throwing a snowball at Grandpa. Maybe I had been told not to do this, or maybe I just knew NOT to do it. Upon our return to the house, he would gather the vanilla, sugar and fresh milk and begin the mixing process. It had to be just the right consistency. We would eat on this snow cream all day. What a special memory and each time it snows, I think of my dear Grandpa Jess, who was a very resourceful man in his own right. He was a trapper and would sell his pelts to Sears. But, that is a whole different story. Thank you Grandpa for such sweet memories.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

As I reflect on past days, of the heart, I am taken back to elementary school. We always had the most wonderful Valentine's Day parties. The week before was spent making great valentine boxes, for our classmates to place those prized valentine cards. We would take a shoebox and decorate it with beautiful papers, hearts and the special white pierced hearts. The hole was cut in the top where the cards could be dropped inside. On that special day, we would all place our hearts in each classmates box. The prized cards were the ones with lollipops attached. In the afternoon, we would have wonderful treats such as those heart shaped sugar cookies with icing and a note that read "Be my Valentine." What a wonderful memory.

Now that I'm older, I am thankful for my wonderful valentine of the past 28 years, my husband, Barry. He is always so thoughtful. Like this morning, he went to the local bakery and brought back a beautiful white box with those prized heart shaped sugar cookies inside. Some were decorated with pink icing and some with red. It took me back to those wonderful cookies in elementary school, so many years ago.

This year, I'm also thankful for the wonderful grandchildren. Our baby twins, Jackson and Ryder. Yesterday, we made the hour trip north, to take our son, daughter-in-law and grand- boys their valentines. We spent the day at the local park. The boys enjoyed so much swinging in the dolphin baby swings and strolling around the grounds. This adds a new take on Valentine's Day. You see, I get to revisit those past Valentines, through their eyes now. I can't wait until they are old enough to make those wonderful valentine boxes and we can spend hours decorating them just to perfection.

With this I close, wishing everyone the Happiest Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 6, 2009

An Added Note

Oh, I was on my way home yesterday, when my thoughts headed to my blog. I was thinking of the "smell" post, I posted a few days ago. Then it hit me.....one of the most offensive odors as a child was home perms. Boy, have I had my share of those as a child. Not only did it take forever to complete, the end results were always a disaster. It would take forever to take those papers and plastic colored rollers and have someone roll up the hair. Those rollers would always be so tight and it hurt so bad. Then came the horrible smelly solution. After all this torture, came another disaster, when it came time to take the rollers out and wash the hair. Mom would have me lie down on the counter and hang my head backwards in the sink. I was terrified to have soap in my eyes. She would always get a glass and fill it with water. Then she would proceed to pour it over my head, as I screamed and held a washcloth as tight as possible over my eyes. This was pure torture.

I remember in second grade, we were to have school pictures made the next day and Mom decided I needed a perm. Oh, what a disaster. My bangs were cut so short and straight across my forehead. Then it looked like a wiener roll all the way around my head. I was so embarrassed. I had this hair-do for what seemed like EVER, which I might add, my Mom thought it was beautiful. So, I had to add the smell of home perms to my list. May you all have a GOOD hair day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

No Snowflakes Today

For about four days, we have been told of a significant snow storm to hit today. I have planned all the food that I would prepare, as I love to cook when it snows. I also love to clean. So, I had planned my snow day. I would cook and clean and run from window to window checking out the depth of the snow.

Well, we have raindrops not snowflakes. I know with the drought, we need every little raindrop we get...but, it would be nice to see the ground all white and to have a huge bowl of snow cream. So, boo hoo no snow here. So, I guess I can have snowflakes in my dreams.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Smells are a Strange Thing

A funny thing hit me today. You know, when an amazing smell overwhelms you and takes you right back to your childhood. I had this exact thing happen to me today. I had to run pick up lunch for the office. When I walked in this small meat/veggie cafe, I opened the door and I was carried back immediately to my childhood, walking in my Aunt Lorene's house, on Sunday after church. The smell, of her wonderful fried chicken on the stove and biscuits cooking in the oven. Today, that smell took me by such surprise, I found myself just standing there for a minute. What wonderful memories flooded my head. I told Martha, the hostess, I just had a childhood memory flood. I shared my precious memories with her (those of you who know me, know if I meet someone, I know their story and they know mine). We laughed about how smell triggers such wonderful memories. I gathered my paper bag of food and headed out the door, thanking Martha for the wonderful trip back to my childhood.

As I started driving back to the office, I happen to think of more smells that reminded me of childhood. List below
l) Mother's pineapple upside down cake cooking in the oven
2) The smell of rain early in the morning....always reminds me of picking morning glories as a
3) The smell of the elementary school I attended. When you would go in the building in the
morning and smell fresh yeast rolls baking.
4) The tobacco odor from Grandpa Jess' pipe.
5) The smell of Camay soap.
6) The smell of fresh cut grass...loved walking in it.
7) The smell of leaves burning in the fall.
8) Noxzema
9) Cotton Candy and Candy Apples...remind me of the wonderful fairs that Dad and I attended.
10) Aquamarine Lotion that my sister, Helen, used daily.
11) The smells of a farm...like cow patties and chicken houses. These remind me of wonderful
summer days spent at my aunt and uncle's house in the summer.
12) The smell turkey cooking when waking up, as a child, on Thanksgiving morning.
13) The smell of vanilla...reminds me of those wonderful snow days and making snow-cream
with my Grandpa Jess.
14) Although I hated the job....the smell of clothes being taken off the line outside and the smell
of the fresh sheets on the bed.

However, there were smells as a child that were quite offensive. These follow:
1) The number one offensive smell to me as a child...was Dad's poached eggs cooking
in the morning. I thought this was the most horrible smell in the world.
2) The smell of Soltice rub.
3) The smell of the motor oil that my Dad used to start a fire in the old coal stove at the country
store he owned.
4) The smell of creases (creasy greens) cooking. You had to leave the house then.
5) The outhouse at my aunt and uncle's house.

It was a wonderful day. A day that has taken me back to some 40 to 45 years. So, in this fast paced rat race that we are in daily, take a few minutes to remember a more simpler time. A time when just the smell of fresh cut grass was something you took for granted. Maybe today, will be your lucky day and a whiff of something will remind you of your childhood. Give it some thought, you will be glad you did and who knows, it may just bring a smile to your face.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Day of Reflection

I really started this post several times and just couldn't complete it, because I just could not put my feelings for the day in words. I kept reflecting on what this day meant to so many people and I kept thinking and remembering a dear friend I had as a child. You see, when I was young, up until I was in ninth grade, whites and blacks were not even allowed to go to school together. They even were looked down upon if they really associated with each other. I kept reflecting back to the Grand Theatre and a Saturday afternoon matinee, in which I wanted to attend with my friend, who just happened to be black. Dad tried to explain to me, that we could go to the movie, but we would not be able to sit together. I guess, I let this bit of information just go in one ear and out the other. But, when we jumped out of the car and headed to get our ticket, my dear friend headed to a different line. I was quite confused. When I asked what she was doing, she told me, "I have to sit upstairs." I still did not understand. Because I had been to the Saturday movies, many times, with friends and we had always sat together. But, this was different. I got my ticket and went in to have a seat. As I searched for my friend, I looked toward the balcony and there she was smiling down at me. Later in the movie, I headed to the concession stand to purchase my prized box of Milk Duds and as I was heading back to my seat, I noticed the steps to the balcony. I started up the steps. All of a sudden, the manager of the theatre, stopped me and said "Angie, you can't go up there." I told him, I just wanted to sit with my friend that had come with me to the movie. He tried, again, to explain to me that the balcony was for "colored." This made no sense to me. Again, I explained that she had come to the movies with me. He knew my father and mother, as he was also the "coffee man" for the country store owned by my parents. I went up those steps and there sat my friend, all alone, in that balcony. We sat together, sharing our Milk Duds and watching the rest of the movie.

After the movie, we headed out the front of the theatre, to meet Dad. Before we could reach the car, the manager opened the door of the car and was explaining to Dad, that I had insisted in sitting with my friend in the balcony. Dad kept saying it was okay and the manager kept saying that he didn't want in trouble. Dad again insisted it was okay. It was just two friends, not that one was black and one was white. We were simply friends.

This also happened, when I wanted to take my friend to the swimming pool. Mother tried to explain, that my friend could not go with me because of the color of her skin. So, I decided I would go to the swimming pool in her neighborhood. Well, this was also not understood by the manager of the swimming pool. They really didn't want this "white" kid at their swimming pool. When Dad picked me up that day, I, in a childlike manner, tied to explain and ask...why couldn't I do things with my friend. I felt then, that Dad could not answer me, because he didn't understand it either. He just kept saying "that is the way it is."

So, as I watched the inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama, I thought of my dear Sharon and how proud she must be of the day. For me, it was a very emotional and spiritual day. For this man, who stood on the steps of the capital, which was built by slaves, taking an oath of office for our country. To watch the 1.8 million people on the mall in Washington, was overwhelming. To see all the colors that make up this United States, coming together for such a special event, I was brought to tears. It was a day of celebration. Our country has come so far, yet racism still exist. On the news, just last night, a white family in Georgia, who supported Obama, had placed Obama signs in the yard. The mother had taken her three children to Washington to attend the inauguration. She got word, while in Washington, that someone had burned her house to the ground and written hate words, in reference to President Obama, on the garage door.

Please, people, how can this still be taking place in our country. I know this is just pure ignorance at work. I'm not sure how we can educate those so ignorant. But, I hope that parents today are explaining to their young children that someone who looks and believes differently from them, are still good people and are also productive citizens. I know one of the most staggering statistics yesterday, was the fact that 1.8 million people were visiting Washington and reports are that the police department of Washington, did not make one arrest. This statistic shows, we can be united as one. We can work together to educate people, for the good of country and our existence. It does not matter what race, religion or political party, we are humans, a mixture of all colors and beliefs. Just because others believe differently or look differently, we should not judge. Just ask yourself, "did I take the time to even get to know them and did I even try to understand their stories or beliefs."

I'm sorry, I got on such a tangent. But, I just feel hope for our country and I am most proud to be an American. Please give President Obama and his administration a chance. Keep them in your prayers. We created the mess of the world and we, united, can change the ignorance that is rampant in our society.

So, Sharon, my thoughts were with you yesterday and how important that day must have been to you. It certainly was to me. So, why don't we celebrate by going to the movies.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Praying for Snowflakes

On this Saturday morning, with a temperature of 12 degrees, I am praying for snowflakes. However, the sun is shining bright and the Weather Channel is reporting snow tonight in the mountains only. But, they have been wrong before and I'm praying for some snowflakes.

I would love for it to snow enough to make snow cream. As a child, one of my favorite memories,was making snow cream with my Grandpa Jess. He would never make snow cream with the first snow, always saying it was God's way of cleaning the air. But, come the following snows, we always made snow cream.

He would get a big bowl and spoon and we would head out to gather the snow. He was very particular from where he gathered the snow. But, after our bowl was filled, we would then head to the kitchen and add cream and vanilla, stir good and eat until our tummies were so satisifed with the sweet treat. These were such treasured memories spent between a grandfather and grandchild.

Ryder and Jackson

Ryder and Jackson, our twin grandbabies, were born July 03, 2008. They have certainly taken on their own individual personalities over the past six months. You have Jackson, who is more reserve and Ryder, who I know is going to be the class clown. They are precious. I get asked daily, "can you tell them a part?" The answer is currently, "yes." You see, the only way I can tell them a part, is the fact that Ryder has a tiny birthmark in his hair-line. I'm not sure what I am going to do when he grows lots of hair!! But, for now...I have that problem knocked.


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The Grandbabies and their parents

The Grandbabies and their parents
Our dear son and family