Monday, January 31, 2011

My Get Well Necklace and Storage Idea!

My Get Well card, necklace and novel storage idea all came from my daughter, Amber!!
She MADE this beautiful necklace and I can't wait to wear it!

She also shared this GREAT idea for storing jewelry!
She has a similar sewing kit and said she was using it now for the necklaces she is making.
Soooooo....I emptied MY sewing kit into the various drawers of my Bernia Sewing Machine!
Then I began to sort my jewels! Many of my favorite pieces came from Sabrina's grandmother. She loved 'BLING!' All my jewelry HAD been stored in a storage chest in my bathroom......which is now under construction! I had to relocate these and after dumping them first one place and then another I finally loaded them into three drawers in the guest room.  Space is a precious commodity in this house! By using this sewing chest I now have TWO free and empty drawers!! I continue to use one for the seasonal jewelry and odd and end pieces I could not fit into the chest.

Thanks, Amber, for this great idea!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Memory Wall.....

I have been spending quite a bit of time in this room lately. This was my daughter's room. Summer's first then 21 years later it became Amber's. It is now our guest room and for the past week my 'sick room.' It is where I have been resting in relative peace and quiet during this bout with cold/flu/allergies while Louis Dean has been at work on my bathroom. When I would get a bit of energy I would get up and rearrange some things on this wall...adding some updated photos and redoing some frames. I took a cue from Amber and spray painted some odd and end frames black to form a better grouping....and I like it a lot! Black is my new favorite color!

I stuck a few photos in these for the time being  but will print up some in black and white soon!
Do you see the little heart hanging? Amber's childhood friend, Joy, made that for one of her birthday's.
Joy and Amber have been friends since they were in the nursery together at church!
I admire both my daughters ability to keep friends for their entire lives! What a blessing!
I have a lot of friends but none that go all the way back to my childhood!

I decided this painting belongs in THIS room!!

I picked up this photo holder at Hobby Lobby and hung it where I had some Norman Rockwell decorative plates. For whatever reason I am wanting to 'get rid of stuff' and put together a bit of a new look.

I will always be sentimental about 'stuff'......I will keep forever the things my children have given me!

Our wedding picture from June 26, 2005.

A favorite picture of a favorite niece.

An old pic of Amber and Benjamin so many years ago.....

Yes, I have been spending many hours strolling down Memory Lane lately.
I think it's been because I have been too sick to do much!
I am grateful for each and every treasured memory I have tucked away in my mind!
And I have especially enjoyed those hanging on my 'Memory Wall.'

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Morning Routine.....

I love routine! I love the familiar way of doing things and the comfort of repetition. Even when I TIRE of routine and my schedule is interrupted by a trip or things happening out of the ordinary or illness is always a good feeling when 'normal' returns. Now I am so NOT a 'Morning Person'. I like to ease into the day. It is a blessing I never take for granted that I can wake up naturally nearly every morning. No alarm clocks. No deadlines. No work schedules.

Louis Dean usually gets up before I do and makes the coffee......
it is heavenly to wake up and smell the coffee!!! All hot and ready to pour!
I let Lucy out...her kennel is right by the computer so I turn that on......and join Louis Dean for that all delicious first cup of coffee! My grandson, Sam, calls it 'GOOD coffee!' and Levi says, 'A GOOD cuppa JOE!' Nothing quite as good as that first sip. We use two pots because I like the gourmet flavored kind and Louis Dean drinks what I call 'Truck Driver' coffee.....strong and stout!

Then we settle down in the den (now that it is cold and wintry! In good weather we are out in the gazebo!) for our morning reading time. For over 40 years I have maintained a morning quiet time and have kept the materials for my Bible reading, pens, note paper, journal, devotional, etc  in what I call 'My Bible Basket.'
The baskets have changed over time.....I remember a large one I had when Amber and Benjamin were little. I would carry it into their room and sit in the rocker while they were playing. I have been known to take it in the van with me and park someplace quiet while waiting for the kids at a piano lesson, or synchro practice, or tae kwon do class. Finding a quiet time is not so hard once it has become part and parcel of your very life.

Now with Louis Dean it is not always so quiet! I have to work around that! When we were first married I was working so I simply got up earlier and spent that time alone. We have evolved into spending it together.
The only book that is ALWAYS in my basket is the Bible. The others come and go. My journal is always there, too, and a good pen. Plus I have a little 'Prayer Bear' given to me by my grandchildren. He holds the weeks written prayer request. If I don't write it down I often forget to pray about it!

Every January I choose from my collection of devotional books and decide what I will read for that year. Many times we have chosen the One Year Bible and I often read Psalms and Proverbs through each month. This year we chose some Oswald Chambers materials as well as the study guides for whatever our Home Team from Fellowship church  is using. Right now it is 'Creative Marriage' by Ed Young.

Then we have a pleasure book we read from. We have read many books by Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Thyra Ferre Bjorn, Sterling North and are now reading some of Ralph Moody's. When Amber and Ben were growing up we would have lunch, play a game and then do out loud reading. Those are some of my most precious memories. I am grateful Louis Dean enjoys the reading of a good book as much as I do! The only difference is he only enjoys it if it is read TO him! No problem!

Lucy is right with us ALL.THE.TIME. Louis Dean has really been putting forth some effort to help her get over this FEAR she has of him! She was obviously abused by some man long before she was rescued by a friend of ours who in turn gave her to us. As long as LD is sitting down she is fine but once he stands up she goes berserk!

He is training her to SIT and that seems to take her mind off being afraid of him and barking like crazy!

I think it is WORKING!!!

I close this post with one of my favorite scriptures.....

Psalm 65:8
Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Being sick is no fun.......

This was Louis Dean last Friday.......and I suppose it was inevitable that I would be coming down with the same ailment within a couple of days! Saturday I felt badly but Louis Deans was sick in bed most of the day! Sunday morning I was full fledged SICK! I was in bed ALL day! By that time LD was feeling a little better and waited on me hand and foot......which was a good thing as I could not do much for myself.
My sister, Deanie, swears by the Netti Pot for head congestion. My bathroom is packed away in tubs sitting around the patio by our back bedroom door. I rummaged through them til I FOUND my Netti Pot and have been using it ever since! On Saturday afternoon I made up two casseroles.....

so we had some 'new food' to eat. When we eat leftovers or whatever we can find I call it-
'Every Man for Himself!'

I also managed to do a little craft project using pics from a calendar.
I just LOVE this!!

I have LOTS of things I want to do.....just no strength to do them.
Being sick humbles me and makes me more compassionate for those I pray for who are truly ill.

Louis Dean is outside working on something.
 (He is still sick but on the mend....he thinks it helps to move around a bit)

I ,on the other hand, intend to put on a warmer sweater and  work on my puzzle!

I may paint this later in the year for my Santa collection!

In listening to the weather from across the country......
it appears to be COLD and WINTERY all over!
Only fitting since this IS January, I suppose!

So where ever you are and whatever you're doing this cold January night.....
I hope you are staying WARM and HEALTHY!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fabulous FRIDAY!!

I am having a Fabulous Friday!! It started with waking after a good night's sleep!! I think I just woke up THREE times last night! FABULOUS! I left for Fort Worth at 10 am......even I can be ready to leave by 10! Nita dropped Mother off at the beauty shop on her way to work so I arrived at 11 to pick her up. On the way I made a bank deposit (always a GOOD thing!) and unloaded my car trunk at a Charity Collection box then dashed into Hobby Lobby for some cool 'Wall Art'.......

that I used on my dishwasher! I LOVE it!!!
Makes me wonder what I could do to my closet doors now!

Anyway, Mother treated me to lunch at Red Lobster......a favorite place for us!

Mother LOVES their clam chowder....AND the biscuits!

After lunch she said she was game to go on errands with me.

Now here is where I have to tell you the UN fabulous part of this Friday!
Poor Louis Dean is sick with a cold!

One of my 'to do's' for the day was to buy some rum......

with which to make him a Hot Toddy!

This entailed a trip to.....

the Majestic Liquor Store!
I asked Mother if she wanted to wait for me in the car while I ran in and got what I needed.
She said, "NO! I'll GO in!!"
Sooooooooooooo.....I took my elderly mother by the hand and IN we WENT!

We began to go down the wine isles looking at all the bottles with an eye on the labels that would make interesting 'Wine Bottle Lights.'
Some of the labels are outlandish!!! SOOOO funny!!!
We laughed and laughed as we went up and down the wine rows!!
Mother would point and say, "LOOK at THIS!!!"
(Although she had a stroke in Sept. 2005 that greatly affected her speech....sometimes whole sentences come out PERFECT! This was one of those days when many of them did just that!)
The lady that worked there came up to us and said, "You ladies are having WAY too much fun!"
I explained why we were so interested in the labels and bottles and then SHE proceeded to join in on the fun! She showed us around the whole store pointing out clever (and expensive) bottles that would make perfect lights!! There were vodka bottles and some other kind that looked like ICE!
"Wouldn't white lights look awesome in those?" she asked. 
If any of you read this and want to donate EMPTY bottles for my projects.....I am a TAKER!!
After a nice visit with the manager I purchased my one bottle and we were on to our next adventure!

Now I LOVE a good Goodwill!! Mother.....not so much! Today seemed to be her day for trying new things because she was excited about going in! I found a few treasures....

Like this HUGE fan for $3! I plan to spray paint it black and either hang it in the guest room or on the side of the house OR use it off season in front of the den fireplace.

Next stop.....

Nothing like a good $ Store!!! Mother really wanted to go in here!!!
I found some environment friendly cleaner......along with some containing truly harsh chemicals!
Some cleaning jobs require these! (Remember my bathroom  renovation project!)
I bought several things and so did Mother!

NEXT office where I mailed out the promised Texas Trash!

I took Mother home and showed her the blog post about 'Texas Trash'.
She said she did INDEED name it that!!
We always enjoy our time together and we ALWAYS laugh a LOT!!

Then I was off to home where I have been content to putter around doing my homemaking projects!

I made these coffee pics with Summer's help!
The pics came from a calendar.

Another project in the making! I plan to put this on my pantry door.

I gave the sewing/computer room a good cleaning!
LOVE this table given to me by my son and his wife.
I often sit here and read or work my jigsaw puzzle.

I made a display using wine bottles and this vintage satchel.
Inside the satchel would never guess!!!
The Greek and Latin curriculum I used when Home Schooling!
I still refer back to it and plan to continue studying it on my own!
Education never ends!

This will make an interesting wine light......
after the wine is gone!

This will be my final chore of this Fabulous Friday!
I keep things forever! This flannel nightgown is 26 years old!
I bought it when I was expecting Amber!
My heart squeezed when I noticed it has a hole!!!
I shall MEND it and hopefully wear it a few more years!
It was heavy as all get out when I bought it! Now it is as light as a feather!

Now I am through with my cleaning, my chores, my Scrabble games on Facebook
and my blog post for today!  I shall stoke up the fireplace, fix Louis Dean a hot toddy and settle down in the den with my journal and a good book! It has been a FABULOUS day!

Happy Friday, Folks!!!
Take pleasure in the little things!!!
That's what LIFE is made of!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

TEXAS Trash!!

Texas Trash is a glorified Chex Mix recipe. My mother made this for years and years and YEARS when she was working for the Telephone Answering Service. I do not know if SHE named it Texas Trash but I have a sneaking suspicion she DID! AND I will tell you why!
At Christmas she would make this in a HUMONGOUS amount!
She would use a brand new HUGE galvanized TRASH CAN!
After lining it with one of those heavy trash bags she would proceed to dump in all the ingredients...
kind of layering them as she went.
Rice Chex
Wheat Chex
Corn Chex
Multi Grain Chex (this is new and I used 1 box!)
Repeat again
She repeated until the can was FULL!!!
I made this in a somewhat smaller batch this time.
I only use a white kitchen trash sack and filled it about half full.
I used:
7 boxes of various Chex cereals
3 bags of pretzels
1 big container of roasted peanuts with sea salt
3 lb. of fancy mixed NUTS with sea salt

The next step is to mix the seasonings.
Mother never used a recipe but she always used the following ingredients:
Worcestershire sauce.....I used 2 bottles
Lowery's Seasoning Salt.....a LOT
Powered Garlic
* any other salts/seasonings you would like

You bring the sauce and butter to a boil, add seasonings, pour over the dry mix, toss to coat all the pieces and then pour out onto cookie sheets, sprinkle with additional seasoning salt and bake in a 250* oven for an hour....
turning it occasionally so it all browns evenly.

Let cool and pack in tins or other air tight containers

I have to tell you right here that HONEY roasted nuts or ANY honey flavored things do NOT work in Texas Trash. It is edible and we have been known to eat it ALL but it is not the best choice for this recipe.

Mother made this for everyone at Christmas. We each got a big pop corn can or coffee can FULL!
Now while Summer and Jesse, Jr. ate it.....
I do not think they savoured it as much as Amber and Benjamin did!

During the years we home schooled they liked to pour them out a bowl of Texas Trash when we started our history lessons.......which was Texas history at the time. It became a tradition.
The BEST gift their Grandma ever gave them was Texas Trash!
She continued to make it for them and them alone long after she retired.
I can still remember the last time she and I made it together BEFORE the stroke she had in 2005.
We doled that batch out and made it last as long as possible.
Then one day I bought all the ingredients and we made it together again......after her stroke.
She could not remember exactly how to do it but as we progressed it slowly came back to her and she would say, "YES!! That's RIGHT!!"

And THAT'S how you make Texas Trash!!
We like it pretty salty but you can do pretty much anything you want with this type of recipe!
Chili powder and/or any of a number of flavor combinations.

This container is going to Benjamin out in California!
A little 'Taste of Home' for him!

And since Amber loves it as much if not more.....I packed a tin full for her as well!

I have THREE more sheets in the oven as I write!
If you are in the neighborhood......
Come on by!
I will bag you up a bit of

Texas Trash!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A BARE Spot.....

Louis Dean has often teased me about not having a bare spot on my wall....ANY wall!!
EVERY wall in my home is a gallery wall. I start at the top and work my way down and from side to side.
I have never had to wash fingerprints off the walls! No place to put your hands ON the walls!
Since  LD is so clever he wanted me to paint a bear, name him 'Spot' and hang him up. That way I would always have  a 'bear' spot on my wall!
I found this little painting up above the window wall....and while I did not paint it myself..
I HAVE had a 'Bear Spot' all along!!

Yesterday I went him one better!! I had a bare wall!! At least it was bare for a little while!
There is a reason the walls in the den are cedar.
In years past this was where I hung the many handsaws and saw blades I painted.
You need a sturdy wall for that much weight!
For the past several years I have hung paintings here.......

.......and put many of the blades on other cedar walls in the den.

So DOWN came ALL the paintings on this one long wall.......
What a mess!

I then decided to try a symmetrical arrangement.
I don't remember doing it this way before!
I tried to 'theme' the paintings together but that didn't last long!

It ended up looking like this.
All the Santa's are gone! Every ONE of them!
This is the first year I have not had at least one Santa hanging year round!
While every painting in this grouping is not a real favorite......
I have a plan!

Did you know.......
if you have painted an oil painting you are no longer happy with.....
you can REMOVE the paint entirely by using Easy Off Oven Spray?
Give it a good coat, allow it to sit for a few minutes and then spray with water and BEHOLD!
A canvas you can reuse!
I usually coat it with Gesso and after it has dried it is just as good as a brand new one.
With the price of stretched canvas these days.....not a bad way to recycle!
So some of the less interesting pieces will be redone soon!
ART Tuesdays are BACK!

I am doing my best to 'Simplify Home'.....

Now ALL the paintings did not fit back on the wall. The Santa's are stored behind the couch.
WHERE shall I put the others?????

Well, it just so happens I have another recently made BARE wall!!