Friday, April 30, 2010

My Mother's Hair!

Every Friday morning I leave Irving and drive the 40 miles over to Fort Worth to see my Mother. Her hair appointment is 10 am and believe it or not I have only been late once or twice! (I am usually a little late for nearly everything!)

Mother is always waiting with her check, bottle of water, garage door opener and the tip $ for the shampoo lady! Many a Friday we find ourselves dressed like Twinkies! It's amazing! Often we are both wearing black...or denim...or beige....It could be we are very much alike in many ways!

This is Mother after her hair is done...Louis Dean says he can never tell the difference! But then, he is a M-A-N!! And by the way, Mother is always M-O-T-H-E-R! Never Mom! Although she does answer to Mama as well!

THIS lovely lady is Donna, her stylist. She is absolutely wonderful to Mother! And if MOTHER is happy.....EVERYONE is happy!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It is YOGA for me....

I have been exercising on a regular basis (more sometimes...less others!) since 1983. I started out with a cassette tape of Richard Simmons my sister, Deanie, gave me. Back then I barely made it through the warm up!
After I was able to complete that without a challenge....and this took some time...I graduated up to Denise Austin 'Daily Work Out', Charlene Prickett 'It Figures', Jane get the idea! I kept this up until the end of 2006 when my leg wouldn't bend like it should. A sports massage therapist advised me to do yoga and pilates which I totally enjoy. It ended up being my knee and after a total knee replacement in 2008 I have continued with the yoga/pilates, rotating them along with walking. If you head out my driveway and walk left onto the sidewalk....and continue walking on that very sidewalk as it 'snakes' around my will come back to my house and will have walked 1.7 miles. I usually take Lucy with me and she truly loves a good do I!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Pond...

Louis Dean has spent a full day cleaning out ponds. This one is outside our kitchen and was , in Louis Dean's own words, FILTHY dirty! He not only drained it of water and debris but gathered all the gravel and cleaned that as well. He had pot two koi fish in it back in the fall....and lo and behold! He 'fished' them out alive and well as he neared emptying the bottom of the pond. What a surprise! He thought they had died long ago!

As you can see, the water is crystal clear and!

I am potting up some of my marigolds that are coming up in the front beds as well as some MINT that is coming up everywhere to give this area a splash of color and fragrance. I made the ceramic rooster WAY back in the 80's and it holds a mum that has come back for 3 years now.

I love the little bird do the birds! English Ivy and honeysuckle are coming up in this area and I am happy to see them! Wish I had MORE English Ivy as it is my all time favorite ground cover! I have TONS and TONS of Asian Jasmine and am grateful for that! I hate bare dirt which makes MUD!

I need to clean off the stone patio with some bleach and plan to do that soon. Hard to do everything you want to do in one day! I am going back out now to pot up some more mint! If anyone would like some, I will be happy to share!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Honeysuckle and Roses....

are my very favorite flowers!!

And this is my very FIRST bouquet of MY very OWN honeysuckle and roses! The honeysuckle was planted by a bird some years ago and this is its first full blown bloom year! I am thrilled!!
The roses have been planted since my marriage to Louis Dean...he adores roses and we have over 2 dozen bushes!

I bought one trellis for the honeysuckle earlier this month and then today Louis Dean went back for THREE more! One more for the honeysuckle and then two for the roses.

Hopefully the trellis' will add some needed height to the garden and keep the honeysuckle from swallowing up everything else! I have HUNDREDS of marigolds coming up from last year's soon there should be a riot of color out there! As I sit here at the computer with art still out and the turpentine still open....all I can smell is the heady aroma of HONEYSUCKLE and ROSES!!! THANK you, Lord....for sending that little bird to drop that honeysuckle seed!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lemon Bars!

No need to use a boxed mix for delicious lemon bars! These are always a hit on any spring menu!

As you can tell....this is and has been a well used recipe! It has never failed to turn out DELICIOUS! Amber will get a kick out of seeing where she signed the page back in 1992!

My home burned in 1983 while we were visiting friends in Colorado. The fire gutted the house and we lost nearly everything! When we rebuilt, my friend sent me this recipe book and I have used it often! Thankfully I was able to save some of my old recipe books that were stored away in a cupboard that received smoke damage but was NOT burned!

I recently made these bars for a church fellowship lunch and have promised to make another batch for a baby shower this Saturday. It is a great recipe since I generally have all the ingredients on hand! Amber, you may want to make these after you return home from Scotland! Powdered sugar was hard to find in Aberdeen when we were there in December!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Redeeming Things!

There is a scripture I love about redeeming the time.....and I do so love redeeming THINGS as well! This week I made a crib quilt for a friend's baby shower. It took 96 five inch blocks I cut from discarded denim jeans, shirts, skirts or WHATEVER! The quilt measured 45 X 60 inches and is just perfect for using in the park or as a cover even as the 'baby' grows older.  The mother to be (Megan) LOVES the Dallas Cowboys!

I think she liked it! From other denim squares I made Payton a set of Bean Bags for tossing! Makes me feel good to give a second life to the sturdy denim.
I remember a book I read years ago by Rev. Jack Hyles. The title was 'Blue Denim and Lace.' The lesson he outlined Christians we are to be as TOUGH and DURABLE as blue denim....and as TENDER and SOFT as lace. I still think that's true! I am getting ready to make another quilt this week for a shower on Saturday. This one is for a tiny baby girl born prematurely at 2 lb 10 oz. She is now up to 3 lbs and doing well. Think I will use some acid washed denim and some satin ribbons....perhaps a touch of lace?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My SPRING Tree....

I keep a tree decorated year round and have since the 80's when I discovered how cute a little foot and a half Christmas tree looked decorated with hearts for Vanlentine's Day! After years of using THAT tree, I graduated to a 3 foot one....and have replaced it a few times! I enjoy decorating for the seasons and have so much fun changing the theme out on my seasonal tree! It used to live in the foyer but a couple of years ago I moved it to the dining room and find I like it better there. Gives me more room to 'create'....

I usually use birds, nests and flowers for spring changing to patriotic in May or June and then to seashells for August. Fall is my favorite season so I try to have the house changed out by September 1st...that season last the longest! Finally the year ends with Christmas and then I get to start all over! When the kids were home I would decorate the tree for their birthdays and sometimes I still do! In June I am hosting MiMi Camp for my grandchildren....perhaps I will do a theme tree for each grandchild during THEIR week here at 'camp'!  The possibilities are endless!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Phantom of the Opera! London~2006

I was a guest writer recently on my daughter's blog. She and her husband are going to see 'Love Never Dies' in London tomorrow. This is the blurb I wrote for HER blog. I am THRILLED they are getting to see this new LONDON!!

For Amber's 21st birthday I took her on a trip to London! We went on a shoe string it is true! However....we DID GO!! We had the time of our lives on that May trip in 2006. I wanted to do something truly SPECIAL while we were there! When I saw Phantom of the Opera was STILL playing.....after being there since 1985...the year Amber was born...I KNEW that was to be our SPECIAL treat! So I carefully and with much thought bought our tickets long in advance. It truly was the highlight of our trip! We dressed up and rode the red double decker London bus full of anticipation.

Now I must tell you...Amber was a synchronized swimmer for 11 years and she and her team swam to Phantom and it was SPECTACULAR!! That was my all time favorite team event of her career! So Phantom holds a special place in my emotions as well as hers. We were NOT disappointed! The play exceeded all expectations! I just shivered when the music would crescendo! The theater is old and elegant. Seats are very close to one another and there is no air conditioning. You literally feel as if you have stepped back in time! At intermission we caught our breath and enjoyed the whole experience of just BEING THERE!

When the play was over and we were carried into the London air by the throng of all the people pouring out of the theater......we were in a daze! We had SEEN Phantom in LONDON!! We lingered awhile snapping pictures....not wanting this evening to end! And it never has, actually!! That wonderful time lives on in my memory and I take it out and enjoy it often!"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Blessings of a NORMAL DAY!

Today I am thinking about how blessed I am. This is a normal day in my life. I just had some routine bloodwork done and a 'normal' follow up visit with my doctor. I LOVE n-o-r-m-a-l!!! When I was a little girl I would often ask, "Mother, are we NORMAL?" Even though I was young....I knew our life was NOT normal....but THAT is another story alltogether! Today I am celebrating the fact that I AM a very NORMAL life! How quickly things can change in a blink of an eye! Every one of us have had challenges to deal with and hills to climb. But  now and then it feels good to simply STOP...breathe in deeply....and count your blessings. That's exactly what I am doing this beautiful April day.....and I hope you are, too!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Accepting Change...

This is from the book 'The Language of Letting Go' by Melody Beattie.

The winds of change blow through our lives, sometimes gently, sometimes like a tropical storm. Yes, we have resting places - time to adjust to another level of living, time to get our balance, time to enjoy the rewards. We have time to catch our breath.

But change is inevitable, and desirable.

Sometimes, when the winds of change begin to rustle, we're not certain the change is for the better. We may call it stress or a temporary condition, certain we will be restored to normal. Sometimes, we resist. We tuck our head down and buck the wind, hoping that things will quickly calm down, get back to the way things were. Is it possible we're being prepared for a new "normal"?

Change will sweep through our life, as needed, to take us where we're going. We can trust that our Higher Power (God) has a plan in mind, even when we don't know where the changes are leading.

We can trust that the change taking place is good. The winds will take us where we need to go.

Today, help me, God, to let go of my resistance to change. Help me open to the process. Help me believe that the place I'll be dropped off will be better than the place where I was picked up. Help me surrender, trust, and accept, even if I don't understand.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring Salads!

That is what was on our luncheon menu this CHILLY April afternoon! Louis Dean had invited one of his favorite people, Shannon, over for lunch! I notice she seldoms eats very much so I thought salads would be perfect! And they were!

The pretty spring dishes are from Shannon! We actually won them at a recent financial seminar she hosted ! This cute set was the door prize!
Strawberry Garden Salad from a recipe given to me by a friend and co worker of my son in law, Mike. The dressing is what absolutley MAKES it! Today I put in diced avocadoes, tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, a handful of grapes, several cheese sticks sliced up, various garden greens and of course STRAWBERRIES!

The other salad I served is actually a coleslaw. Caty Morgan at church gave me this recipe and it is super easy and super GOOD!! I used a bag of ready cut coleslaw and added some sliced grapes and 1 1/2 diced avocado. Then I tossed the whole thing with a bottle of poppyseed dressing. Caty got this recipe from a Helen Corbitt cookbook.....and of course Caty shreds her own cabbage for the slaw and makes the dressing from scratch. I may do that someday....
Louis Dean and I enjoyed our lunch with Shannon out in the gazebo....even though it was a bit chilly! In the low 60's today! Now we are about to light a fire in the outdoor fireplace while we sip our evening glass of wine.  Wish you were here to join us!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

SPRING all over the place!

I am so happy to see SPRING this year! It's been a long cold winter even here in North Texas. Late Friday afternoon I went out to look at the flower beds and I am thrilled at the new flowers, bulbs and all things GREEN!

I have planted a lot of 'pinks' and they seem to do well here with our Texas heat. These I planted in February so I guess they do all right in the cold as well!

I also planted a geranium I found at Kroger for $4.99! The red poppy looking flower is from a bulb I planted and then promptly FORGOT so this is a surprise.....I planted several of these!

We have over a dozen rose bushes and they are all beginning to bloom now!

Behind this beautiful rose you can see the tomato flat Louis Dean has been tending from seeds!
 He loves tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers so we are trying our best to grow some ....even without a proper garden! We have onions lining all my FLOWER beds!! Talk about a 'Redneck' yard!

This is my little scarecrow man I spruce up each spring. This year he is wearing one of LD's old shirts. I have MINT, pinks, mums, peppers and onions growing up around him!

I love the Dusty Miller and it holds up very well here in Texas although I did lose some this winter!

Not much color going on in this area yet but the marigolds are sprouting up by the hundreds!! This will soon be a MASS of blooms! Carolina Jasmine and honeysuckle growing up the trellis....I hope! The honeysuckle was planted by a bird! God's gift to me during a difficult time in my life!

Petunias were an Easter gift from my daughter, Summer. I may plant them in the ground soon!

And THIS is what Spring at my house in Texas looks like! I am posting this especially for daughter in Scotland! You may not BE here but you can still SEE it! Can't wait to see all of YOUR pics of spring from over there in Aberdeen!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fort Worth Fridays!

If it is Friday and I am not seriously ill or out of town you will find me in Fort Worth, Texas! I grew up in Fort Worth and many of my siblings still live there. My mother suffered a stroke in 2005 and now lives with my sister, Nita. My other sister, Deanie, takes care of much of Mother's finances and health care taking her to doctor appointments and in general keeping up with all things medical. My duty is simply to take her to get her hair done every week. That falls on Friday mornings. It is a wonderful thing that Mother has several children!
This Friday we decided to splurge and treated ourselves to some Kincaid Hamburgers....complete with fries and ONION RINGS! My husband and I had been looking forward to this all week! We have been (rather loosely.....I admit!) on the South Beach Diet for a couple of months now and therefore do not OFTEN indulge ourselves in this manner!

Mother and Louis Dean toasted this meal with their cups of iced tea.....
Mother and I split the burger and we doled out the onion rings served with Ranch dressing as well as catsup.
Louis Dean got a hamburger all to himself!

After lunch we decided to drive out Highway 377 to see some wildflowers. The bluebonnets usually cover this area but they were not quite at their best just yet. We still snapped a few pics and headed on into Granbury.

Mother used to live in Granbury in the Indian Harbor area right on the lake. SO much has changed since then! Mother just looked in wonder at all the more recent of which is the coolest little CITY BEACH!!

I intend to go back there when I need a 'Beach Fix' and don't have the time to drive all the way to Galveston! Plus this will be a great spot to bring one of my grandchildren in June when I host my annual MiMi Camp!

Mother and I walked out on the walk they have constructed connecting the beach parking area on over to what I think is a convention building and some shops.

We ended our adventure by stopping in to see my niece on our way back into town. Trish works right there on Hwy 377.

We had spent a lovely day together and I think Mother was tired and ready to take a nap by the time we took her home. (I know that I WAS and that I DID!)

NOW.....what shall we do NEXT Friday????