Monday, August 31, 2015

Tweaking My Traditions!

Be still, my heart!!! September is nearly here and I have been preparing for tomorrow all day today!

I just now finished putting the fruitcake cookie dough together.
This year I am adding a new cookie to the mix - mincemeat.
My step son dearly loves mincemeat so I divided my traditional fruitcake cookie dough in half and added reconstituted mincemeat plus a TON of chopped pecans to it instead of the candied fruit.
I am looking forward to how they turn out in the morning.
I nearly always make the dough up on the last day of August so I can get right to baking them when I wake up.

I prepared for September in other ways today, too!
Sprucing up some garland and spray painting some brown paper bags to make into 'pumpkins' with the grands. Actually, the spray paint doesn't do very well on the paper so I will use craft paint applied with a brush if I make more.

Our fall cups are set out and waiting.
I have had the pumpkin cup for over 20 years and use it every fall.
It is slightly chipped but I still treasure it!

I hung up the big spider web out by the lower deck.

Last year it was on the front door.
Seldom does anything go in the same place from year to year!

I even planned ahead to Quad Wednesday with all the 'supplies' for play and learning!

Neil Diamond Cd's are sitting by the stereo ready to load.
My fall candles are waiting to be lit.
The house is clean and all dressed up to welcome September!

I was torn between waiting up for her to arrive or go to bed early.
I've chosen to go to bed so I can get up sooner and enjoy every extra minute!

I got side tracked for a little while going back to read all my September posts since 2010.
Tomorrow I will probably take down some of my journals from years past and reread them.
I have always celebrated September First for as long as I can remember!

I guess the only real 'tweaking' I did this year was to add the mincemeat cookies!
Since September arrives on a Tuesday, it will be like a real party over here!
If YOU are in the neighborhood, please stop by and party with me!
Art class will be here and we are going to have some great food and lots of cookies!!!

Now I am going to hurry up and sleep so I can hurry up and WAKE up!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Last Weekend of August!

This was the very last week end in August!!! It was a GOOD one!!

We drove over to Dallas and I ordered the wallpaper for the dining room and I LOVE it!!!
It's hard to get the photo color right but it is PRETTY!

I matched it up with the gray color I am using to paint the paneling on the lower walls.
It has enough gray to to connect the two as well as some LIGHT and it has the warmth I was looking for! Not that you will see much paper after it's hung on the walls. I have LOTS of things hanging and, while I will be redoing some of the arrangements, they will still be BUSY walls!!!

I loved the feel of an old fashioned Saturday!
I am also grateful that Louis Dean is feeling so much better these days!!!
Back when he was ailing, he would shop Sam's for me but I had to unload everything when he got home. That's in the past and I am getting spoiled all over again!

We watched two good movies on Saturday!

 One before errands ......

and one after!

Along about 7:00 we were at The Texas Musicians Museum right here in Irving!

It was perfect weather to sit out and listen to some live country music.
My blogging friend, Debbie from Ladybug From Texas invited us and we had such a nice time!

They have a small cafe inside with some delicious sandwiches as well as soft drinks, beer and wine.

It was a lovely way to spend a late summer Saturday night!

As we were leaving, I met up with some dear friends from years and years ago!!
I have dinner party plans now!
That's TWO couples from the past that are now in our present!

Sunday was a wonderful day that started with church service.
We drive over to Dallas because that's where Amber and Mike and the quads go and I love being members of the same church!

I had prepped dinner last night so it was ready to pop in the oven and fry up in the pan!
We sent the parents out for some free time together and we just enjoyed being with the kids!

Salmon croquettes, Company mashed potatoes, green peas and candied carrots!

I even baked a sour cream pound cake last night!

We had thin slices for dessert and saved plenty to have at our tea party later!

The kids are getting so big now!!
It is SO much easier to do everything with them!
They willingly settled right into their beds for their afternoon naps!
They all want me to sleep with them and with FOUR - well, I just can't choose ONE!
SO - I left their bedroom doors open and fixed a pallet with a pillow from Kailey and a cover from Harrison and I napped on the floor between their rooms.
It was 2:38 when I checked the time on my phone and at 4:28 we all seemed to wake up at once.
We ALL slept so soundly!!

I had promised them a tea party after naps and that's exactly what we had!!
At my house the girls get to put on 'pink lips' (lip gloss) so I found some in my purse.
Traditions RULE!
For the tea cakes I cut star shapes out of the slices of pound cake and toasted them.
YUM! Since it is NEARLY September I brewed up some Sweet Harvest Pumpkin tea and it was PERFECT!!

I have been doing tea parties with these little ones since they were just babies!

More TEA???


I had some of the SWEETEST little film clips but something seems to have changed about blogger and they said that ALL of them were too large!
You have to trust me on this - the kids were just adorable!!!!
They talk 90 miles an hour and tell the most wonderful and interesting stories!!
We hang on their every word!

The whole day went by WAY too fast!

I came home and took Lucy for a walk - to make it up to her for being in her kennel all day!
It was music to my ears to hear the rustle of crisp leaves as she walked through a pile!

There's not one thing about Fall that I don't love!!

As I was walking I spied a large canvas on the curb along with a table and chairs and various other things.

It said FREE on the back so I carried it home with me!
Not sure what I will paint on it but it is an over sized canvas that would cost a pretty penny to buy!
The bonus to the whole evening was I met one of my neighbors!!!
She couldn't help but notice this lady carrying a HUGE canvas down the street!!!
We hit it right off and I predict I have just found a brand new FRIEND!!!
I have lived here in this house for nearly 50 years.
She has lived around the curve for 12. WHY did it take me this long to meet her?
God's perfect timing, I guess!!

September first is just around the corner and I am standing here tapping my feet waiting for her arrival!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday With Mother!

It's been awhile since I had a Friday With Mother!!
Louis Dean and I drove over to take her to lunch this afternoon.

She was all smiles!

So was I!

I have been wanting to go to Charlston's on Hulen for some time now and thought it would be the perfect place to take Mother.


I'd only been once before and thought the food and the atmosphere wonderful.
Mother and I both ordered the clam chowder so we would have room for dessert!
Louis Dean had an enormous chicken fried steak with the best gravy he has had in a very long time and carrots that tasted good enough to BE dessert!!!

Mother and I shared the bread pudding and we could only eat a little bit of the very generous serving!
She took the rest home to eat with her supper tonight.
I had brought over a container of the chicken pasta Caesar salad so she was set!

Mother had a stroke back in September of 2005 - just a few months after Louis Dean and I married.
Since then she has been unable to speak all words clearly - but she is STILL a great communicator!
She let me know she wanted me to take a picture of her holding these two photographs.
The one on the left is Lloyd Ewing, the father of Nita, Deanie and Lonnie. The one on the right is of Mother and I am assuming she was the age when she married Lloyd.

She also let me know she wanted me to make a copy of the photo I had taken so she could have it.
I can do that!

Mother tires easily these days so we didn't stay long after we returned from lunch.
We don't get over to Fort Worth as often as we used to so we had an agenda of errands we wanted to accomplish!

The biggest one was the Dickies Factory!
Louis Dean had ordered some new overalls (as opposed to COVERALLS! These are two different things!) and WE (actually I ) ordered two the right size and two the WRONG size! Although these were ordered online, we could return them to the 
 factory located in Fort Worth at Vickery and Hemphill. This is NOT the best part of town - it's pretty scary! There was a police officer right inside the door and he paid strict attention to each and every person who came in. He was ARMED, let me tell you!
The funny thing is that THIS is where my siblings and I grew up!
We were inner city kids and this area was dangerous back when WE were little!
Louis Dean made quite a haul and I do not think he will be needing any new overalls any time soon!!
We drove all the way back down Hemphill to I20 with me pointing out places from my childhood all the way. Louis Dean said some very encouraging things to me as we drove. While Nita, Deanie (I NEARLY automatically typed Deanie's REAL name!!! She would seriously HURT me!!), Lonnie and I grew up in the ghetto - we did not stay there. Thanks be to God! 

I also shopped Hobby Lobby and my favorite Dollar Store before we headed home.

School has started and I have a 'Teacher Itch!'
Since the quads are in preschool now, I thought I would add some simple things to help in their learning process on Wednesdays.

Craft supplies was another thing on my list!
Rayne will be here Tuesday evening - to help me celebrate September FIRST!!! - and the quads will be here the next day so I wanted to have some fall crafts all ready and waiting.

Logan seems to be the little artist of the quad group, although all four LOVE to color and draw and write. I should get Kailey a calendar. She took mine one time and wrote things in each little box. She did NOT scribble all over it but filled out the calendar with her version of things to do.
She also likes to make lists.

Logan colors beautifully and IN THE LINES!
I think they will LOVE these magnets and door hangers!

The Dollar store had these sunflowers on a clip for just - $1.00!

I'm a sucker for a sunflower!!!

Last but not least, I purchased my special fall candles!!
The middle one came from the Dollar store for just $5.
The other two are rather pricey Morenci candles - Creme Brulee and French Quarter scents.
You can't get Morenci Candles just anywhere! 


 Elegant Diva is an upscale resale shop where I buy mine!
I didn't stop to browse today but she does indeed have ELEGANT things at a fraction of the original prices. She only handles high end merchandise. NOT your average resale shop, that's for sure.

This has been a good Friday!
Louis Dean is still in his music room organizing his song books.
I think I will pour a glass of wine and take my book out to the gazebo and do some quiet reading.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Remembering Our RV Adventure.......

It was three years ago this week that we pulled our camper down to the Westlake RV Resort and proceeded to live in it for the next seven months.

We were there to help Amber and Mike with their four little preemie quads!
It was a bit of a nightmare getting down there.
The truck had NO A/C and it was AUGUST hot in Texas!

I followed in my car and we got separated on the Interstate.
You can read about it  here: Our 'Moving' Story!

It really WAS an adventure and I love remembering it - and equally happy to know we don't have to do THAT again!

What we are loving right now is the way LIFE is for us!

Every morning we sit in the gazebo with our coffee and Bible/devotions/prayer time  plus the out loud reading we do. We are still in the 'Sing Your Heart Out Country Boy' and just finished the chapter on Winning Love Songs.

Louis Dean knows so many of these old songs - or at least part of them!
'That's the Way Love Goes'

Lucy sits with us and listens - both to the music and the stories.

After our gazebo time, we go our separate ways and work on our own projects.
Mine is usually housework/laundry/cooking while he does small home repairs or organizes his music or simply LISTENS to his music.

We tend to eat only one good meal each day and snack lightly for the other two.
Today was an easy peasy meal straight from Trader Joe's and really delicious!
Then it's back to our projects for another few hours and then we both take naps.
Today it was two hours of blissful rest!

It was around 7:30 when we went outside to do some work in the flower beds and water.

We only worked for an hour and then it was time to prop our feet up on the stone wall and sip a glass of wine for him and a homemade margarita for me.

He's waiting in the gazebo for me now.
We start and end our days out there.
I do believe these are some of the very best days of our life and I am loving every minute!

Easy Peasy Wednesday, The 10th Letter.....AND a Fire ALARM!

Normally we have Quad Wednesdays at our house. This was our second week of 'vacation' where we spent our time catching up on things around the house.
Next week we will be back to our normal activities with renewed strength and enthusiasm!

Louis Dean put all my fall storage tubs away today while I did Susie Homemaker activities.
We paused for a late lunch together and, after visiting my friend at Art and Sand , I set a pretty TRAY instead of a pretty TABLE for lunch!

I made an abundance of the Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad last night so we enjoyed it again today!

Louis Dean and I like to eat lunch and watch our all time favorite TV program - The Closer!
Yes, I know it's reruns now but we still love it!

I baked up this super good, super quick batch of muffins to add to a meal I was taking in to a friend this evening. I saved ONE mini muffin for me and ONE for Louis Dean!
After packing four for my friend I had a few left over so I took them to Reaoma. She was my next door neighbor for 17 years and is now in an assisted living apartment.
Every time we get together the one thing we always do is LAUGH!!!
The last time I took her to the movies - a Tuesday tradition at the Starplex where the movies are only $0.50 all day! - something happened that made us LAUGH until we were CRYING and we ALWAYS joke about it every single time we are together!!
Well, this evening I arrived as she was finishing her dinner in the dining room. We visited at the table with her friends for a few minutes and then the attendant came to escort Reaoma back to her apartment. I lingered a bit to chat a little more with another lady and as I was walking back to Reaoma's place, I noticed a resident who seemed to be lost. I asked her if I could help and she told me she thought she lived down the hall and that she needed to go out the back entrance to get to her apartment. Since I wanted to help, I walked with her and INNOCENTLY opened the exit when I set off the LOUDEST fire alarm ever!! Oh, dear!!! The other residents came to their doors to see WHO did this terrible thing!!! The lost lady looked at me with a mischievous smile and said, "I was afraid that was going to happen!" I was so embarrassed!!! The kind nurse came down and turned the alarm off. She showed the lost lady her room and then as we were walking up the hall together, I asked her about the door to the courtyard we were just passing. If I opened THAT door - would the alarm go off? She said only the doors that have a key pad by them would set off an alarm. As I looked down to the door at the end of the hall, (the one I had opened earlier!) I didn't SEE a key pad! She said, "Oh, I'm sorry! It's hidden behind that ficus tree! By the time I got back to Reaoma's room, I was hot and sweating! As I sat there with her cooling off, she said, "When I heard the alarm sounding, I wondered if that was YOU!"
Yup!!! I always make an impression every where I go!
Now I know which doors NOT open next time I visit!!

And now for the 10th letter! Only 5 more to go.....

This one is dated March 15, 1941 Harlingen, Texas and postmarked at 7 PM.

Dear Leila & Katin,
          Lately our letters have passed each other and we find we each owe letters. Both your letters came the first of last week. I'm always glad to hear from you. I'm sorry I'm such a poor correspondent - but I am - always have been - always will be. You remember how Uncle Matt used to write - "Weather cool today kill hogs - cotton crop a failure - plowed east part of farm last week - etc." - I'm very much like Uncle Matt when it comes to letter writing. Poor Uncle Newt - I wasn't at all surprised at what he did - marrying his nurse. That's like him. I was trying to remember if Uncle Bob is dead. Seems like I have the idea back in my head. Is he?
           Hope you can get the Neuberger house. It is cool looking and a nice looking house. I think you will enjoy the roses over there, if she doesn't move them. I remember she had some lovely ones. Did all of yours grow? Or can you tell yet? You could plant zinnias and marigolds in boxes and transplant them after you move. I haven't looked on the calendar to see when Easter comes. Noticed in the paper where continued cold prevails over most of the state. But I believe the papers state that we are to have an early spring. We would be glad about August to have some of this wintery weather I'm sure. Hope you are both feeling well by now - and don't have spring fever too badly.
I noticed in the Valley paper that Mrs. Sam Hammer from Palestine was a visitor to the Garden Club Convention which was held here this week. It was well attended. I believe the paper said between three and four hundred delegates were here. The Garden Clubs are perking up all over the country. That's one club I would enjoy. Flowers are so nice and kind. I'm sure the japonica and dogwood is about ready to bloom there now. I notice in teh Palestine Herald there are great preparations being made for the dogwood trails. And  I always feel like the bridal wreath should be included. I haven't found out yet if there is bridal wreath here. Hope there is. 
Well my writing spirit is departing. Love for both of you. Tell Tiger "hello."