Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Good Medicine!

It is a beautiful last day in this month of 'JUNE-uary!' The weather has been more like JUNE than JANUARY over much of the country. Not that we have had 100 degree plus days here in north Texas as we experienced last June! But it IS beautiful and we have all our doors and windows open. This will help air out the house after last week's flooding! TOO pretty to stay IN the house!

I threw a denim shirt on the grass and lying on my back gazed up through our pecan tree!
After being ill for just about a full week - it felt GOOD to breathe fresh air and see blue skies!

I think a little 'sit in the sunshine' was just what I needed!

While I was lying in the sun.......LD was shoveling dirt!

He is working on his SIXTH wheel barrow full! The deck has been there about 25 years. That's a lot of 'new' dirt that has accumulated. He is using it to fill in  the low spots in the front yard.

He will put a drain in next fall. It will be a big job as the roots of the pecan tree will pose a problem.
He is thinking about the situation and believes that the dirt he hauls out will allow the water to again flow AWAY from the house instead of INTO it!! It will take him all week to get this done but has proven to be a good exercise program! He says his heart is just about the only thing that DOESN'T hurt!

Last night we decided to pass on the blood and gore TV programs and watch an old movie......

This was hilarious!!!! Louis Dean and I both laughed so hard our sides hurt!

So in keeping with the dose of good medicine - we watched a half hour of cartoons this afternoon!
The old fashioned Tom and Jerry kind! Louis Dean said, "If people could just see us now! A couple of old folks sitting here watching cartoons!!" It makes me wonder though.......life can be so difficult I wonder why we choose to be 'entertained' by ever more violent TV shows! I am certain we will be watching the latest episodes of Hawaii Five 0, NCIS and other favorites soon. But for now I think we will sit back and enjoy some wholesome children's programs!

"A Merry Heart Doeth Good Like a Medicine."
Proverbs 17:22

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Sunshine!

I woke up this morning to sunshine and birdsong! How perfect for a Sunday! And to make it even better......after being sick for FOUR days......I was able to get OUT of bed and even make it UP! Louis Dean was as happy to SEE me up as I was to BE up!
Since the den flooded Tuesday night he has pretty much had to go it alone. He has been a real 'Knight in Shining Armor!' Friday morning he dashed off to Fort Worth to take my mother to the beauty shop and then out to lunch while I stayed in bed. They have fun together and I think Mother enjoyed being the center of a handsome man's attention! Who wouldn't?? Everyone agrees my mother is a charming lady so it was win WIN!

When he came home he found we had more water damage in the den than we originally thought. He pulled out my big heavy organ, pulled up carpet and set up a fan. I stayed in bed. The fungus had done a number on my allergies and I could NOT go in the den!
My left eye was - and still IS - all red and swollen. Looks like I have a sty but it is just allergies.
We had to find some way to get rid of the mold and that awful musty smell!

OdoBan was just the thing! I have used it for years and years!
This was such a BIG job, though, that Louis Dean went to Sam's and bought a fresh supply. He mixed and sprayed it right on the carpet.....

....pulled the wet padding out and sprayed that.

This deck area is the source of the flooding problem.
Apparently the water doesn't run AWAY from the house but TOWARDS it!

Yesterday afternoon - after dealing with the INSIDE - he tackled the OUTSIDE!
In about an hour he had taken all the boards up!
Not bad for a 75 year old guy!
He has more get up and go than anyone I have ever met - regardless of age!

He and I camped out in the bedroom last night avoiding the den altogether while it dried out. He has a penchant for BIG TVs but had to make do with the normal size one in our bedroom. We finished up the 'Meet Joe Black' movie. I am amazed at the movies he has NOT seen! But then again - he is the first to tell you he doesn't have a very long attention span!

During the course of this day he has already put the carpet down and put the organ back. (We are getting a LOT of use from those furniture lifting things!) 
The den is slowly coming back into focus again.
He has his work cut out for him this week. He will haul out some dirt and put in a drain before replacing the deck boards.

It seems there is always something going on around here!
That's the way it is EVERYWHERE I am sure.
We call it LIFE!

I am just up from a Sunday afternoon nap and I think I will do a bit of work in the den before we call it a day. There is a Hallmark Movie on TV tonight........

"If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine."

Morris West

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Preemie Layettes are 'SEW' Tiny!!!

I think I finally got the sizing down for the Preemie Layette!

The first one I made seemed HUGE!!

This is Amber's baby doll she received for Christmas when she was two years old.
I am using her as a guide to a preemie size.
Amber says preemie's may be even smaller.

I had to take it up a good bit!

I now have four little 'foot print' gowns and four little 'kitty cat' ones.
Plus four little caps.
Not sure how true the hats will fit.
Will make four more caps to match the latest gowns tomorrow.
Next week I have little teddy bear fabric to sew.
I am holding off on the blue train fabric until we know the genders of the the quads.
For now anything 'baby neutral' goes!

We had some light rain this morning but for the most part it is over.
I changed sheets, washed my hair and did some more 'drying out' in the den.
Sucked up as much water as we could so now we are laying towels down and then drying them and starting over. Laundry was done in between loads of towels.

Poor Louis Dean has had to take up the slack the last couple of days.
He has walked Lucy and 'kept house' as much as he is capable of doing.
Last night we watched a Hallmark movie starring Shirley MacLaine -
'Mrs. Winterbourne.' LD LOVES Shirley MacLaine! We are trying to watch a few less blood and gore TV programs and a few more wholesome and uplifting movies.
I recorded 'Meet Joe Black' for our next TV watching session. Anthony Hopkins is another favorite actor. And, of course, I can always watch Brad Pit!

I am still not feeling well and am about to head off to an early bedtime.
Louis Dean gets lonely when I am out of commission. I am happy he is not ill but he does get antsy! He thawed some steaks from the freezer and asked me if that was a good idea for dinner. I told him it was a GREAT idea and if he wanted them he could cook them and some baked potatoes as well! Then I took a nap!
He did indeed make a marvelous dinner! AND he changed out the laundry and cleaned the bathroom! Will wonders never cease!! He is such a good guy!
I know he will be glad when I am back pumping on all cylinders!

Tomorrow is Friday and I am back to the beauty shop run with my mother.
Hopefully I will wake up feeling like my old self again.
And I mean 'old' self in a GOOD way!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When it RAINS - it POURS!

And I don't mean just Morton Salt!

We have had a major rain event here in Texas the last couple of days! It started late yesterday afternoon. A friend and I had just come back from the movies where we had see 'In Time.' As we were going into the show we were talking about being SO busy and there not being enough TIME to do all we need to do. Well, this movie gave us a whole new perspective on 'time.'

As we were winding up an afternoon art session the thunder and lightning started and the rain POURED!! It let up just long enough for my friend to load her art in the car and get back to her home before starting up again. By this time I had started a new seascape.......

....one I had promised to paint for a friend a long time ago! I am pretty sure he thought I had forgotten about it!

While I longed to paint a good while longer I started feeling extremely nauseous.
I think the hot dog, popcorn, candy and coke may not have been the best choice for lunch. Pretty sure that hot dog had seen better days! I know I have!
So at 7:30 I went to bed. It rained all night and though I was up several times being sick - I still love sleeping in rainy weather! I didn't get up till 9:30 this morning and then it was because Louis Dean came in asking for help!

He had been up for a few hours sucking water out of our den with the big shop vac!
We were used to it getting wet when we had a LOT of rain in den area just as you go to the utility room. But THIS time it was wet over three quarters of the den floor!
Soppy wet! The kind that when you step down on the carpet the water comes up on your feet!! Suffice it to say we have had a 'berry bad' day! We have taken turns sucking up the water, laying down towels, drying towels and laying down MORE towels!
We sucked up over 30 gallons of water in the shop vac! That's a lot of water!
At least now it is just very WET but no more standing water!

Poor Louis Dean has had to go it alone most of the day as I kept returning to the bedroom to nap. Have I mentioned I feel sick?

Then to make matters worse.....
I felt too bad to put art away last night so I simply stuck my brushes in the turp and left the art table as is. I always freeze my palette so there was no PAINT left out. However.......Maggie our cat must have hopped up there and somehow got some of the viridian green oil I am using in the seascape......and tracked it all over the dining room and hall!! Thanks to my Artist Pink Soap and a little turpentine and a LOT of elbow grease Louis Dean and I got it all up! WHEW!

I truly has been 'one of those days!'

Then my daughter posted a video of the little quads she is carrying!
I wish I knew how to share it but the best I can do is put her link in!

Seeing the miracle of these four little babies definitely gave me a shot in the arm!
While I am still not feeling good and am about to head off to bed again - I KNOW! - it is 7:30 - I have a much lighter heart now!

It never rains but it pours.

English proverb

Monday, January 23, 2012

Louis Dean's Doll Collection

Yes......Louis Dean DOES have a doll collection! Yesterday I spent a few HOURS dusting the doll cases! It was a good opportunity to admire them as we took each one out - cleaned all the mirror and glass - and replaced them.

The collection began in 1990.

Louis Dean taught second grade for 18 years and used 'The Little House on the Prairie'
in his unit studies. His wife, Ellen, would gift him with a doll  for his birthdays and Christmas.
Who would have thought a great big 6' 2" 200 pound man would love DOLLS!!
Louis Dean does!!
This shelf is his favorite!

He and Ellen were both very much involved with Karate.
The top shelf holds some of her favorite 'Gi's' as well as patches from the Karate Federation  - founded by their son. LD and Ellen were both on the board of directors.
His son and Ellen designed the patch.

The collection of Oriental figures were among Ellen's personal favorites.

One shelf features Louis Dean's Indian dolls. He is a bona fide Native American!
He put the John Wayne cup Amber gave him for Christmas with the dolls....
AND his Alamo belt buckle!

(The Leopard dressed angel is mine!)

An 'I Love Lucy' collection with a 'Job Switching' doll that has never been out of the box!

Some elegant Dolls.....
 and a couple of Royal Doulton Petites (which belong to my daughter, Summer)

Then there is the odd and end pieces........
Coffee cups that belonged to Ellen
 A bottle of white sand taken from White Sands National Monument where Louis Dean and Ellen went on their honeymoon.
(They collected this before it was illegal to take!)
A silver cup from their first born
The old Mammy doll an elderly friend gave me which had belonged to HER mother!

Lots of memories are to be found here.
Louis Dean and I often sit in the living room with our coffee, tea or wine -
looking at the dolls and talking about happy times.

I have these resin paper weights I made many long years ago of my oldest daughter and son tucked away safely in a corner by the dolls.

When LD and I married, moving these cases with all the glass shelves and doors....

not to mention the heavy cherry wood -  was one of the HARDEST things we did!
But we DID it! And not one thing broke!
Thankfully there are glass doors on both sides to protect the dolls.
All I have to do is dust everything a couple of times a year!

I love it that Louis Dean has a soft spot in his heart for all his DOLLS!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Calendar Art!

I love Lang calendars and ESPECIALLY the ones featuring the art of Lisa Kaus.

In 2011 I had TWO of her calendars and enjoyed every month of her coffee art illustrations! I could not BEAR to throw them out so........

I used a few of my favorite pages and embellished them with a bit of lace edging and a button.

I attached the 'art' to meitenes boards and hung with ribbons.

Adds a little bit of color to the plain kitchen cupboard doors.

And I DO love COFFEE!!!

My decorating style is 'MORE is always BETTER!!'
The little straw wreathes I made years ago with fabric yo yo's and buttons.

Louis Dean is no longer surprised to see things hanging on doors, knobs and the sides of cabinets. My motto is 'cover every square inch!' if possible!!

We are enjoying a Simple Sunday here at the Chapman home.
A pot roast is in the oven and the whole house is smelling heavenly!
Louis Dean is in the kitchen peeling potatoes to add to it now.
He has the football game 'paused' on the DVR and the last of our morning fireplace is still glowing.

"It's a GOOD day!" as my mother would say!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quilts for TRIPLETS! Done!

A 'little girl' I have known since she was two years old is having triplets any day now!
She is really not a 'little girl' anymore but an awesome young lady.
Her mother and I have been friends for a LONG time!!

I wanted each quilt to be different.

This was the first one I made. Black and white denim squares with a solid black quilted fabric backing. Thanks to my sister, Deanie, for the BOLT she gave me! I am finding all sorts of ways to use it! I did the binding on this one with strips of white denim. Then I simply tacked it here and there to hold the layers together.

Even though this is the sturdiest quilt - it is for a girl!
I appliqued a few hearts here and there and added a pocket for her to store her pacifier!!

Another 'girl' quilt with a bit of country charm. The top and bottom rows I made from the 'farm' squares - and then simply sewed right sides together and left an opening for turning inside out. Then I machine stitched around the entire quilt.

I love the farm fabric. It used to be a broomstick skirt I wore back in the day.
Those broomstick skirts have YARDS of fabric!!
I used the last of my squares in this quilt.

The third and last quilt for the triplets is for the boy!
Solid denim squares with a green sheet used for the backing.
This one I sandwiched together.....backing, batting and then top.
I machine stitched 'in the ditch' from the center out to the edge.
Then again center to OTHER edge and did the same  in the each direction.
To finish I folded the backing to the front creating a nice border.
I stitched along the edge and mitered the corners.

I always add a pocket somewhere on the denim quilts.
This square had a loose edge I noticed in the photo so I went back and
'mended' it!

They are DONE!! They all turned out to be a little different in size!
These should last a long time and can later be used for picnics and TV watching.

Moving on to the QUADS now!!

Louis Dean and I have enjoyed the mild Texas winter we are having. He has been 'playing outside' a lot lately. Making a storage space for the things he is currently storing in the camper. We will be ready to tackle THAT job in another week or two.
We start our days off with coffee in the den and read. This year we are reading through the Old Testament.  'The Comanches - Lords of the South Plains' by Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel is our 'out loud' reading book right now. LD likes this one since he is a card carrying authentic Native American.
Afterwards we head to our projects - joining back up for a late lunch and perhaps a little TV. I love the DVR where we can watch - AND pause - programs at our own pace and time. Then more 'project' time until we meet up again for an evening glass of wine in the gazebo. Somehow we always end up on the driveway where we can see the stars and let Lucy roam about the yard. We are LOVING these winter nights. They are so mild we can sleep with the back door open.

It is already on the late side for dinner but I am going to make a light salad for us before we head to bed. That's the beauty of retirement! You can stay up late and sleep in the next day! Louis Dean and I are neither one 'Morning People' so this suits us just fine!!!

"I always write 'Wake up' on my To-Do- List so I can at least accomplish one thing a day."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Real Rooms - Real People

This will not be the prettiest post I have ever done. It may well be one of the most REAL ones, though!
My wonderful husband and I have been married for 6 1/2 years. He often tells people he moved into a Barbie Doll House! I have lots of pretty things .......LOTS! He calls my pretty things 'debris!' Imagine! Now I have pretty much lived my whole entire life loving 'pretty.' As a little girl I would look at the lace curtains in my Granny's window and think about how lovely they look with the breeze fluttering them. I loved the drives my mother would take us on through pretty neighborhoods so I could look at pretty houses. WE did not live in a pretty house and WE did not have pretty things but she knew how much I loved 'pretty!' I love fragrance. When I was little I would unwrap a bar of soap and carry it around with me so I could enjoy the smell of CLEAN!

It's funny how - even as children - we come into this world with certain tastes and preferences. Some people don't care about housework and some people are neat freaks. I am not the militant driven person I used to be.....when my mother would tell people you could eat off my floors - you probably COULD! I am a little more relaxed these days.

All that being said.......Louis Dean has a different set of mind when it comes to housework. He tells me housework never bothered him OR Ellen. They could sit and look at it all day!! They were both educators and busy and housekeeping was never a priority for either one of them. Then he married ME! He has adapted remarkably WELL! I have actually SEEN him shut a cupboard door......once or twice! To MY credit I have actually LEFT his glass on the counter for over two HOURS!!

This is Louis Dean's room.

He has his computer........

.......music books, some instruments......

and whatever! He also brings in dirt and pots plants, saves seeds from bell peppers and old envelopes and inserts from bills. I am certain there is a lot of important STUFF in here. AT least it is important to HIM!
(and MY stuff is important to ME! I get that!)

He tries to organize and clean. He really does.

He says he has so many things sticking out in there it reminds him of a porcupine!

So he asked me for help and since he is so gracious to me and never (or SELDOM) complains about our Barbie House.......

I cleaned it all up for him! Took out a black sack FULL of trash!
It really doesn't look much different, though, does it?

At least the dust and most of the DIRT is gone.
You can sit IN the chairs instead of on top of all the clothes that were piled up!

He is happy and so am I!

I have to remind myself sometimes that HOME is where we LIVE!
I turn the dining room into an art studio every Tuesday - complete with the aroma of turpentine! And that's where I am going now. I am still working on LAST year's Santa painting! Louis Dean is already in there waiting for me. He plays the guitar and practices whatever music he is currently working on while I paint. Tonight he is playing 'After the Ball'......an old Foster and Allen song.

We are glad we are 'real' people who live in a 'real' HOME!