Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pop the CORK! Then make a WREATH!!

Louis Dean and I enjoy a glass of wine in the evening......usually as we sit out in the gazebo.
I picked up this wine cork wreath at a garage sale a few weeks back and have continued to embellish it with more corks! That means I have had to buy BOTTLES of wine as opposed to the tried and true BOX wine I enjoy! Somehow the box lacks the charm of interesting bottles, labels and corks!

I love the names of some of these wines!

Since this is a 'craft in process' I will continue to add more until the wreath is FULL!

It is a simple straw base covered with florist moss.
 A glue gun, some faux grapes and an assortment of corks round out the project!

Don't forget! You can always use the BOTTLES to make Wine Bottle Lights!

SO!! What are you waiting for?

Pop the Cork!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Faire is a MAGICAL Place!!

The Scarborough Renaissance Festival is like stepping back in time!! Louis Dean and I drove to Waxahachie last Saturday morning....a short drive from the DFW do just exactly THAT. Step back in England 1533 to be precise!

My beautiful niece, Leah, is one of the staff. She was watching for our arrival at High Tower Square.
Leah is an instructor on History, Customs, and Manners
as well as portraying Lady Ann Bourchier, Baroness Bouchier.
The costumes are beautiful and everyone is in character.
By everyone......I really mean the staff and performers.....
HOWEVER some of the Faire goers go all out in costumes too!
 Members of the Performing Company wear a special medallion
so one can distinguish the performers from the visitors!

I had the thrill of meeting the Queen! Although we have been Facebook friends and I have admired her from afar I actually MET her in person! What a fascinating lady!

Being Queen is hard work. The gowns are quite heavy and there are many duties for the Queen of Scarborough Faire!

There is the Court Dance and then the Parade to name just two.

This is the History Lesson and Leah is third from the left on the stage.

The Queen and King

Leah.....we loved watching her!

Faire goers or performers? Hard to tell!

The Yorkshire Tower and Dungeon is behind me.

Quite the outfit!

Clever Couple!

So many interesting sights to see!

Doesn't THIS look inviting??

So MANY things to see and do!!

A musician performing some incredible music using wine glasses!
The CD's were available...The Glass Harmonica.
Louis Dean just about melted when he played Shogun's Farewell.

Louis Dean was mesmerized by the Belly Dancers! AMAZING!

There was SO much more to the Faire than we could take in on one Saturday!
The Faire is 35 acres of unbelievable food, festivities, shopping and entertainment not to mention a few pubs to go with it! The three areas are called Pecan Grove, Crown Meadow and Holly Field.
I have to admit Louis Dean and I pretty much roamed around in circles in Pecan Grove. We could not seem to find our way out! When LD grew so tired he was beginning to stumble we decided it was time to head home. SO much MORE to see! We will definitely come back next year as wiser visitors!
We will eat breakfast before coming.
Arrive early so we can park close to the gates.
PACE ourselves.

I must say as the day wore on the visitors began to look tired and hot. NOT so for the performers!
As we were dragging ourselves through Pecan Grove heading for the gate I could not help but notice every single performer looked and acted just as fresh and happy as they did when we arrived that morning! They all carry these tankards filled with ice so they stay hydrated. However, some of these costumes are quite weighty and I am sure it is not easy to walk around in them all day! And yet they all acted so relaxed and each and every one smiled and greeted guests as though they themselves had just arrived.
It boggles my mind how the performers work all week at their 'real' jobs and then spend all weekend at the Faire. That has GOT to be hard work and yet they make it seem so easy!

If YOU live anywhere near the DFW area and have not been to .....

I suggest you visit them and step back in time!

Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day Monday, April 9 - May 30, 2011 
10:00AM - 7:00PM

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yard Works Makes GREAT Exercise!!

Louis Dean and I PLANNED to go to the center and do our walking this morning. However, the weather was so mild and the ground was soft so we decided to spend several hours in the front yard. We accomplished quite a bit! I trimmed ALL the spent roses from the heavy laden climbing vines, pulled up some weeds, put out some turf builder on the lawn, tried to pull up the mint that was choking some of our other plants, swept up a trash bag FULL of beards from the pecan tree AND edged the yard as well!!

The edger is our only GAS operated piece of awn equipment!
All the rest is electric.

Louis Dean is so much fun!
Between the two of us we got several jobs DONE!!

By the time our work was done it was time to get ready for a night at the movies!
And an EXCELLENT movie it was!!
Louis Dean says, "I LOVE good acting!" so I thought this, of all movies offered lately, would be one he would like! I was right.

Now it is time to water in that turf builder stuff we put out and have our evening glass of wine before putting the house to bed.....which means turning off the many little lights I have, give Lucy her medicine and take her for a walk around the block, make sure all the doors are locked and the candles are blown out, give the cat a good brushing, get the coffee ready for in the morning.......this routine takes a bit of time.
I will close this post with one of my favorite verses......

Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.

Psalm 65:8

Monday, April 25, 2011

Redeeming the Eggs......

I redeemed the eggs for NEXT years Easter wreath! I was browsing through blogs last week and found this great wreath from May Days. I LOVED it and determined right then and there that I would make my very own before putting up all the decorations.

So yesterday evening as Louis Dean and I were sitting in the gazebo I spied an old grapevine wreath, a basket of colored plastic eggs and a floral arrangement that had seen better days. Louis Dean kept me company as I plugged up the trusty glue gun and set to work!

I like the way it turned out! The last Easter Egg Wreath I made was back in 1985 when I was pregnant with Amber. I used a straw wreath base and covered it solid in eggs. I told Louis Dean it had not held up very well......I had to throw it away a few years ago! Funny how I get attached to something because of the memories I associate with it  and don't realize how many years have passed and how it has aged!

I walked Lucy after my craft session......a good long walk nearly up to the fire station and back before the lightning started in earnest and the rain began to fall just as we rounded the corner for home. We continued to sit out there in the gazebo and enjoy the evening thunderstorm. A good way to end Easter Sunday....listening to the rain and admiring next Easter's wreath!

Now I have spent a good part of this Monday gathering all the decorations up and packing them away! Seems a little bare around here in places. I will have to see what I can do to fill up these 'Bare Spots.' Have you heard Louis Dean's joke about a 'Bare Spot' on my wall? Normally you can't spread your hand out anywhere on my walls....they are FULL!!! He said he wanted me to paint a bear and he would name him Spot. That way I would always have a BARE SPOT on my wall! Little did he know I already HAD a painting of a bear hanging in the den. Louis Dean is a truly good sport living with me and all my 'stuff.' Of course HE has a lot of stuff, too!! Only his stuff is BIG! Like a baby grand piano in our den!

Louis Dean had his Monday night jam session....I  served dinner and after more 'jamming' I took in dessert....peach cobbler as per requested by the piano player! Louis Dean was SO excited he came tonight! Good music, good food and good friends. We missed Brenda tonight but she'll be back next Monday. Their last song was the one Louis Dean always sings last of all when he plays for me......'Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?'  It has been a really GOOD Monday!

"Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

John Howard Payne    ( 1791 - 1852 )

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Celebrating EASTER with Family......

I already shared the Easter Dinner (Good Friday) food in my previous post! This one is about the PEOPLE!
I am so blessed to have family in my life. Family near and family far and many friends to go with them. What would life be without all the lovely PEOPLE God has placed around us?

I will begin with my Mother and my two oldest children! Mother came home with me after her beauty shop appointment which you remember is
My Mother is a 'girly' girl still having her hair and nails done and always wearing jewelry and make up.
It is not often she gets to see my grandchildren as none of them live in Fort Worth and with life as busy as it is these days visits are not as frequent as we would like. SO Good Friday was a GOOD day to see family!

We began the gathering in the gazebo.....a favorite place to congregate! Mother is holding her laminated 'Names Chart' my sister made for her. It lists all her children with a separate column for each and their families. This way she can simply point to the name and we know who she is referring to. Saves a lot of confusion and guessing games.

My sister in law, Ruth Ann her husband and daughter came to visit.
Becky took some of these pics but how did I not get ANY of Becky???

Louis Dean and Roy......We have these nice white rockers from Cracker Barrell we got for our anniversary last year. They are now seats for guests as Louis Dean restrapped the old comfy chairs that are at least 10 or more years old. SO often we find ourselves returning to tried and true comfort in spite of our 'upgrading!'
I shall find some fabric and make new covers for the cushions soon. We seldom throw anything away!!

We enjoyed a time to simply sit and chat. Life gets SO busy and SO stressful! Never under estimate the need to just STOP and BE for a little while.

Mother with Faith and Levi!

My youngest Grandchild, Abigale Rayne!

My lovely daughter in law with the baby!

Faith finished out our Good Friday entertainment with a set on the piano. She will be an accomplished musician like her mother!!!

Easter Sunday morning we attended Pantego Bible Church. Leigh Ann and the kids helped closed the service with some great singing!!

We all had lunch together at Camp Verde Mexican Restaurant.
Kind of a joke that the only word showing in the photo is Bar!
Other than that......great pic of son and family!

Jesse was a little more discerning when he took OUR picture!

Easter Weekend is now winding down and normal life will begin again.
When you think about it, Easter is what makes Christmas meaningful.
Jesus was born but if he had not died for us....and ROSE again on Easter....
We would not have heaven to look forward to. At one of the funerals we attended this past week, the pastor said we are 'POST Resurrection Christians.'  I like that term.

So dear family member or friend who is reading this......
I pray you have experienced a Blessed Easter.
Amber and Benjamin, you were surely missed!
Prayers for a good week for all of you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Family Dinner.....the Food!

2002 was the first year I decided to do Good Friday Family and Friends Dinner. I know this because I journal and I looked back through the years of books to find the entry. In 2002 Good Friday was March 29th. The people began to gather around noon....we ate, played NUTS and Gestures, ate some more and by late afternoon everyone was gone.

As the 'kids' get older celebrations change. When they were young we would have Easter Egg hunts and visits to a zoo, park or playground on Saturday and then of course attend church on Sunday. SO Good Friday seems like a perfect day to gather the family and loved ones and then leave Saturday and Sunday for commitments with other family members. Once a 'child' gets married they are part of more than just ONE family and we must all learn to 'share' our children!

I did not check each journal for the years following 2002 but I am pretty sure I have had a Good Friday Dinner every year since. I am really looking forward to THIS one .....which should begin in another hour or so. ALL four grandchildren will be here. My two oldest children and their families. My Mother. Our dear brother and sister in law (he just lost his father last week...) and their beautiful daughter who happens to be a personal favorite of her Uncle Dean!

The food is ready. The house is clean. The laundry is done. The yard got mowed (at 8:30 last night after it finally dried out and warmed up!)

Louis Dean spent a large part of the day....OK!! nearly ALL day in the kitchen baking!
Hot Cross Buns was a first for him though. I do not bake these EVERY year but often enough.

Now Easter Bread is INDEED every.single.year.
Since 1974.
These are baked and bagged up individually and piled in a basket to be taken home by each one for their Easter morning breakfast!

We always SIGN and date the recipe so Louis Dean did the honors.
He gets the credit for such perfect bread!!

Fluffy Salad with fresh mint sprigs from the garden.

Slaw salad with avocado and grapes in poppy seed dressing.

Potato Salad....done Louis Dean's way!

Garlic Green Beans......another Louis Dean recipe!

And the ham!

Sounds like a perfect dinner to me!!
The only sad part is missing my youngest two children who both live away.
Amber and Benjamin........I miss you both!
 I would like to wish you  ALL a GOOD Friday