Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Good Week!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! And I have had more than my fair share of blessings this past week!! It started LAST weekend when Amber drove up for a somewhat longer stay than she normally does! OVER a week!!! She went camping that first weekend with a couple of girlfriends and that was quite an adventure!


They had a blast and it did Amber a world of good to just get out in nature, relax and have fun! Medley and Kristen are awesome friends and you can tell by the photo how BEAUTIFUL Arkansas is this timer of year!

This fun filled week also included my first born daughter's BIRTHday!

She and I spent the afternoon together before coming home to prepare her Birthday Dinner!
Grilled pork chops, fried potatoes and onions, pinto beans and salad with Jello for dessert
as requested instead of cake!

Amber got in a little 'Raynie' time that evening!

Alas, on Wednesday afternoon my Aunt Irene, for whom I am named, passed away.
My mother was with her....holding her hand as she left us to go home to our Lord and Saviour!
The photo above was taken the week before. Mother was very good with Aunt Irene and, although Mother has suffered a stroke herself, and is unable to speak clearly,
you can see she and her sister communicated just fine!
While this may seem a sad note in an otherwise happy week....this, too, was a happy occasion.
As a Christian who loved the Lord dearly, we all know where my Aunt is now and how happy she is.
She outlived two husbands and both of her children as well as a grandson.
Aunt Irene is happy now.

That same evening was grandson, Levi's, FOURTH birthday party!!
This is his 'other' grandma.....BOTH of us are Linda's!

Levi is just adorable!!
AND to top it all off.....the Ranger game was on in the back yard so we kept sneaking peeks at that!
It did no good....they lost that night!

An additional perk to this good week was Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce
made and delivered by my good friend and neighbor, Stephanie!!!
It was D E L I C I O U S!!!!!

Not pictured here but still a blessing was a quick trip to an Arlington Thrift Store to purchase 
FIVE new dining room chairs!! I got ALL five for $100!
The new ones are smaller in scale and easier to get in and out of!

Then there was the Dinner Party  Amber hosted for a few friends...including ME!
I had a wonderful time being with Amber, Medley and LeeAnne that night!
Mike and Louis Dean joined us later on that to make that evening complete!

Saturday night I went to a real Halloween Party! Costumed and all!!
While raising Amber and Benjamin we celebrated Pumpkin Parties
and opted OUT of the whole Halloween scene!
I continue to celebrate FALL with just a smattering of the Halloween part thrown in!

Clever Pumpkin!!

And the clever LADY, Linda,
(I KNOW!! there are Linda's EVERYWHERE!!)
who brought said pumpkin!

Sabrina all dressed up and concocting her favorite drink!

Loved the glasses!
Summer and the baby and friend, Helen, all came home with me and spent the night!
It seemed like a holiday to wake up with company in the house!
We enjoyed coffee and breakfast out in the gazebo before heading to church!

At long last my lovely week has come to a close.
We are packing and checking our list for our long awaited week of CAMPING!

So I close this post on this Halloween night.....
some one is at my door!
Wonder who it could be???
I hear giggling and the sound of children's voices!

Happy Halloween!!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Dinner Party!

Amber has been home this week and it has been wonderful being able to see her and spend some time together!
We took in a movie - RED - which was WONDERFUL!! My favorite quote- "I KILL people, dear!"

Made a trip to her Dallas Brides office to pick up her business cards and handle a few things.

Amber then decided to throw together a little dinner party!
And I mean literally THROW IT TOGETHER! She is AMAZING!
First she researched some healthy recipes using some great fall vegetables!
She selected a fish dish with acorn squash and tomatoes along with a really great sweet potato recipe and then green beans with pine nuts. ALL heart healthy eating!

She scrounged up what ingredients I had on hand and then made a wild dash to the store for all the rest!

She set the table for fall by creating a red runner from a paper cloth. I then layered a length of brown wrapping paper on top of that. The red paper place mats were set on top of the fall tea towels I had hanging on my oven handle. She used my heavy Pfaltzgraff dinner plates to hold the good eats that were to be served! While at the store Amber picked up a couple of gourds to set out between the candles she had collected from around the house! And WALLA!!! A fall dinner party just waiting to happen!

It was a combined effort in the kitchen with the dinner guests bringing some of the key in LeeAnne discovering exactly what and where Pine Nuts were located in her local grocery store!
(She is the one in the middle of photo above)

Medley did a lot of the veggie prep work and they all joined forces for the actual cooking!
It was great fun for me to sit out in the den with my cozy fireplace and a glass of wine just listening to the girls in the kitchen.  These girls have been at home in my house for going on 15 years I guess! I never fail to enjoy a visit from the 'Synchro Girls'.....all members of The Pirouettes of Texas Synchronized Swimming Team since they were young!

And where was Louis Dean and Mike during all of this you may ask?
Louis Dean had taken himself off to a music jam session.....too many women in the house for HIM!
And Mike had just finished up his Professional Engineer's test and was making it through the Houston traffic to the airport where he landed at DFW shortly AFTER the meal.
But no worries! There were plenty of leftovers and we ended our evening with the four of us...
a young couple and an older one......
all out in the gazebo chatting together as Amber served Mike a plate of her fall dinner!

It was a LOVELY fall evening!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Last Saturday turned out to be a stormy, rain soaked and chilly day......and I just LOVED it!!! A wonderful evening to build a fire in the den fireplace, hunker down with a fuzzy cover, and pop in a vintage movie! PERFECT! Louis Dean LOVES Jimmy Stewart and while out browsing garage sales recently he picked up a VHS of 'Harvey' starring JAMES Stewart for a bargain price of sixty five cents!

We filled our plates with sandwiches and chips and settled down for a cozy evening!

Even Lucy enjoys a good movie!

As soon as the movie ended we checked out eBay for our NEXT vintage film......

Louis Dean was excited to see it is 'introducing'.....Shirley MacLaine!
Another one of his all time favorite film stars!!

We LOVE a good movie!!! Don't YOU???

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In "PURGE" Mode!!!

This past week I have been in a real PURGE mode!! I  have no earthly idea how I ever crammed so much stuff into the closet and drawers I have been cleaning out! So far I have filled a dozen garbage bags with two of those being the BIG black ones!! I STILL have a ton of clothes! Louis Dean was VERY impressed with me getting rid of so much! He was more than happy to haul it all out to the was too much for the trunk of my little Ford Fusion!

WHY do I have so MUCH?? I often say I go through life carrying a lot of baggage! Well, I have a little LESS of that now! Most of what I have was either given to me or picked up at garage sales and thrift stores. The NEW things I buy are almost always on sale from the upscale department stores.....though I seldom really need to buy any NEW stuff!
So WHY do I like to shop so much at the thrift stores? Louis Dean and I were talking yesterday and I was telling him about my childhood. Lots of people come from humble beginnings and as a child I knew we were poor. We ALWAYS had food and plenty of it....even if that 'plenty' ran to bologna and oatmeal and tomato soup. What we did NOT always have was clothes. Or at least not ENOUGH clothes. One of the delights of my childhood was when Mother would bring in a box of things 'someone' had given us. I do not know WHERE these boxes came from but it was always a thrill to go through them and find 'treasures!' Once I pulled out a burgundy velvet coat.....and I felt positively RICH!! I never knew WHAT I might find in one of these boxes!! So even as I reached adulthood and could afford to buy anything I needed at any department store I wanted.....I continued to enjoy the 'thrill of the hunt' at the thrift stores! I have often thought about how God has blessed me many times over with 'Abundance'......He has truly given me the desires of my heart!

Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Charles Dickens

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Love a 'Raynie' Day!!!

On this rainy Saturday when I wish we were out in the Trinity River Bottoms watching one of my favorite young friends, Tray, play football...I decided that I really DO love a rainy day! Always have and  always will.
However, a 'Raynie' day has taken on a new meaning for me now. Wednesday Louis Dean and I had little Abigail Rayne for the day and night and the following day as well. And did we have a good time!!
At  8:30 that morning  we were out in the gazebo drinking our coffee and waiting for Abby's arrival. She joined us for what we truthfully laughingly call our 'Stupor Time.' This usually lasts til around 11 or so when we get our act together and head to the Center to walk. On this Wednesday morning Abby and I sent Louis Dean on his way and I did my yoga while she opted for a nice long nap!

Isn't she precious?

She spent a few minutes with her 'Chief' (Louis Dean) checking out the stock market situation.
She would make a cute girlfriend to that baby eTrader on the commercials!

A bath and a change of clothes later and we were ready to head out and do some errands!

First stop...City Hall to VOTE!!!
She was quite the attraction in there with people lined up three deep to talk to her and tell how pretty she is!

Big Lots was next on our list of things to do!

Then it was time to chow down on a late lunch....

The featured item on the menu today......Green beans!!! Yum YUM!!

Mummers arrived just as she was getting up from her afternoon nap....
July had to get used to sharing HER room with Abby!!
I think she has adjusted now.

Summer hit the jacket with all these sleepers sized 6-9 months old.
She found ALL of these on eBay for a really good price!
See? ALL my family love bargains!!!

Happy Hour in the gazebo. Wine for the grown ups....milk for Abby!!

And thus ended our 'Raynie Day'.......
It was wonderful having Summer spend the night....
back in her old room with the baby in her little pink portable crib.
The attic fan was open....air cool and fresh!
GREAT sleeping weather!

Yes!! I LOVE a Raynie Day!! So does Summer!!
May all her days be 'Raynie' days!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recycled DENIM!

I LOVE recycling things!! I especially like using old denim jeans and cutting them up into quilt squares. I have made over two dozen different Denim quilts over the years!

I used to make smaller daughter, Amber, has a quilt made from these smaller ones alternating brushed flannel squares from one of her favorite sets of sheets when she was a little girl. These take longer though....and since I like to do things as quickly as possible.........six inches is my 'square of choice' these days.

I usually dump a pile of jeans on the gazebo table and commence to ripping them up! I use a really sturdy pair of Cutco scissors and separate each garment into fronts and backs. I then use a black marker to trace my squares.....then cut....cut cut!!!

I use ALL kinds of denim! The red and white are great for making a Texas Flag Quilt.

I made one for Louis Dean's son in law using some of LD's favorite black jeans....
I backed this quilt with an orange sheet since Byron is crazy about the Longhorns.

The squares are stored by color in bins.
SEWING a quilt doesn't take nearly as long as getting the squares ready.
It makes good therapy because you can whack away at all sorts of troubles in your mind
while whacking out the squares at the same time.

And this is my latest! A one year birthday quilt for a special little friend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Learning to Wait....

is the title for the October 8th reading in her book, 'The Language of Letting Go' by Melody Beattie. This is a well thumbed, dog eared favorite from which I read  each day! The following is an excerpt  I find comforting as so many of my friends, family, loved ones as well as myself are in the process of learning this valuable lesson on waiting!

"The people who are the most successful at living and loving are those who can learn to wait successfully. Not many people enjoy waiting or learning patience. Yet, waiting can be a powerful tool that will help us accomplish much good.

We cannot always have what we want when we want it. For different reasons, what we want to do, have, be, or accomplish is not available to us now. But there are things we could not do or have today, no matter what, that we CAN have in the future. Today, we would make ourselves crazy trying to accomplish what will come naturally and with ease later.

We can trust that all is on schedule. Waiting time is NOT wasted time. Something is being worked out- in us, in someone else, in the Universe.

We don't have to put our life on hold while we wait. We can direct our attention elsewhere; we can practice acceptance and gratitude in the interim; we can trust that we do have a life to live while we are waiting- then we go about living it.

Deal with your frustration and impatience, but learn how to wait. The old saying, "You can't always get what you want" isn't entirely true. Often, in life, we can get what we want - especially the desires of our heart- if we can learn to wait."

  This encourages MY heart and I hope it does YOURS as well!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Crafts With the GRANDkids!

Each fall I do a craft with my grand kids! I try to keep them simple but of good enough quality for them to keep and add to their collection year after year!

This was the first one I did with Sam and Faith.
I always make one for myself. I like 'Making Memories', too!

Another year we made pumpkins from dryer of my ALL time FAVORITES!
I will be making more of these in years to come when little Abigail Rayne Parks is a bit older!

I picked up these wooden pumpkins after the 2007 fall season for 90% off regular price!
They were perfect painting projects for 2008...even Levi painted one!
They are displayed on their front porch.

Last year we made the most time consuming and involved project so far!
This pic is of the one Benjamin made when he was about 8 years old. Amber made one which hangs on another kitchen door only she made hers a brunette! They each have a missing eye which I could easily replace.....however THEY made them and I like them just the way they are!!
Sam and Faith said THEIRS did not hold up too well so....
 sometimes it is better to stick with the more simple sturdy projects!

Which is JUST what I did THIS year....YESTERDAY, actually!!
What could be sturdier than CANS??

I think they turned out super cute!! The kids can take them for Trick or Treating if they would like!
I still have MINE which I have hanging by my computer
and I keep papers, pens and what have you all close at hand!

How about a quick tour of my son's home? Leigh Ann has it all dolled up for FALL!!

I LOVE their front door!!! It is ALWAYS decorated!

The ladder is SO clever!!!
 I am going to claim one for myself from Louis Dean's collection!

I enjoy doing crafts with kids! I'm already thinking about NEXT year's project.
Doing this together with the grand kids probably means more to me than it does to them!
Perhaps I should add a CHRISTMAS project to the calendar! 
And then something for VALENTINE'S Day...
and EASTER.....
and a PATRIOTIC theme.....
I better go look through some of my old craft magazines now......