Monday, April 28, 2014

Into the Garden --


I have never been much of an outdoor person.  I am allergic to everything and really don't like being hot which is a bad thing since I live in Texas.  However, this year I seem to have a change of heart -- I am ready to embrace the outdoors -- right after I take my Claritin.

Saturday we went for a little shopping at our neighborhood plant nursery and picked up just a very few things.


Archie's Gardenland, Fort Worth, Texas

Lovely pink geraniums -- we didn't buy these

Peach and yellow Cannas -- or these

Very round, puffy hanging baskets with something purple in them - or these

Superbelles-- these came home with us!!
 We came home and Hubby got right to work.  We don't generally plants a lot of seasonal things but we do have a few pots and hanging baskets that we like to fill with things that we have learned do well in the spots we have placed the pots.  So, here is the results of his labor

Lovely pink Superbells

The little crabapple tree we planted two years ago -- growing nicely

Crabapple tree with the Skullcap at the base


Purslane

Purslane

And yet more purslane

The large Crabapple tree on the side



Somewhere in this hot mess is Arlo and his fairy door.  I think I will be relocating my little gnome as soon as I can find him!

So, that is the garden early in the season.  We have lots of work to do, everything needs to be washed down which I had intended to do today but it just didn't happen.  I am looking forward to getting it all spiffed up, though, because I really want a cuppa out on my patio!

Musing Mondays (Apr. 28)

MusingMondays5Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


The Library

Every week or so we take our granddaughter to the library.  She loves the library.  In fact, we took her to our local used book store the other day and she thought she was at the library and gathered herself up quite a stack of books.  Ha! That is another post.

However, as we were standing in line at the LIBRARY I noticed a lovely mystery book on one of the display shelves close by.  It is "Death Comes to the Village" by Catherine Lloyd.  Being the sucker for covers that I am, I snatched it up and brought it home.  It is the first time, in a very long time, that I have checked out a library book for myself and I was surprised at the exhilaration that came over me -- just like when I was a kid.  The library was one of my favorite places and I could lose myself there for hours and that was exactly how I felt this time.

I brought home one book that grabbed my attention, not a stack of random reads off a sale table.  I was excited to read this one book, not just put it on the shelf for "someday".  It brought back many great childhood memories.  I didn't realize that just one borrowed book could do that.

So, my thought of the day is that maybe it is a good thing that the B&N near me closed.  I have often said that the library is under utilized, under respected and should be protected. Maybe I need to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.  The library near my house is a short car ride away, much closer than B&N, maybe I should be going there instead.  I sure did like the way it felt.

 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bored, Bored, Bored!!!!

About 8 years ago the Hubs and I moved to a newly constructed house in a subdivision that is gated and geared for empty nesters with the added perk that we don't have to "do" the lawn -- it is done by the HOA.  Of course, we pay for it but we don't have a choice, it just happens.

So, I was thrilled.  No yard to do, just flower beds to putter in.  The house is big enough but not too big, although I would like another bedroom.  This was my first "new" house and I figured I would be a happy little camper here forever.  When we moved we got rid of some furniture, bought some new furniture, we relished in the fact that there was hardly any carpet which we don't care for and I was set.  Or so I thought.

Hubs and I were always DIY-ers with little projects going on.  Here we are in a new house with nothing to do.  I guess we will have to think about painting in a couple of years but that isn't want I mean.  I like the idea of putting things together and now it is "done" and I miss projects.

So, since there are no walls to knock down or porches to close in, I have to come up with something so I am looking at changing some of the furniture.  At this point, Hubs isn't talking about it.  However, the fact of the matter is, I am tired of brown.  We have Craftsman Style furniture that is made by the Amish.  It is very well built, solid cherry and leather covered.  In brown leather.  All brown.



The end tables are brown.  The coffee table is brown.  It just looks like a big brown blob. The chairs, there are two, are quite comfortable except that they are too big for me and when I sit in mine, my feet don't touch the ground.  I have solved that with a small footstool.  The couch, however, has to be the most uncomfortable thing on the planet.  The seats are too shallow, the backs are too straight and stiff and you can't lean up against the arm of the sofa without a pillow because the arm cuts into your side.  The one redeeming quality is that it sleeps great.

It is lovely furniture but what I would like to do is keep the chairs and replace the sofa with this --

 It is a loveseat which would be shorter than the sofa we have now but I think that would be ok.  It is a cream colored twill slipcover with triple padded seats and arms.  I think it looks luscious.

We also have travertine floors with no rugs and my husband absolutely hates throw pillows so it all seems stark and hard-surfaced to me.  I would like a little softness.  I doubt I can negotiate a rug but I am thinking I might be able to swing the sofa but I hate to get rid of the current one.  It is such pretty wood and the leather is nice but everything
                                                  
                                                     is

                                                         so

                                                               BROWN! (and uncomfortable)

Oh well, I doubt we will change anything but I can dream, can't I?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pink Saturday!





I was up early this morning -- as usual, unfortunately.  For some reason I can never sleep in.  However, that gives me time to indulge in some of my favorite things such as blog reading.  One of the blogs I frequent is How Sweet the Sound hosted by Beverly Edwards Abbott.  Today I happened upon her Pink Saturday blog event and thought I would participate.  However, when I started taking photos, I realized that I have very little "pink" around me.  Hmm...pink is one of my favorite colors so maybe I should incorporate more of it.  Maybe I would be a cheerier person?  Nah, I am already pretty cheery.  I digress.  

In any event I hunted high and low for pink things and came up with precious little but I am looking forward to sharing what I did find with you.

Nothing says pink like Hello Kitty

Everybody has Easter Eggs laying around, right?

The Pink Bunny twins

Lovely display of dianthus -- more red than pink I guess but lovely still

Pink salvia

Pinkish embroidered pillow on pink gingham chair

Pink Stained glass

Gorgeous pink porcelain rose



So, there you go, my pink contributions for Pink Saturday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Where Did The Week Go?


I can't believe this week has just flown by and I have neglected all the posts I usually do during the week so I am going to try to catch up.

Teaser Tuesdays (Apr. 22)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Ok, I am not actually reading this book but plan to start it tonight as I try to make an attempt to read two books at once!  Anyway, here goes.

"Damnation! Major Robert Kurland jerked awake from his uneasy half-sleep to the hoot of a barn owl and glared out into the darkness,  his breathing uneven, his mouth dry.  When he was able to walk, he was going to take a gun out in the woods and slaughter every nocturnal creature that had disturbed his sleep for the plast few months."

Page 1, Chapter 1 --Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd.



Favorite? April 24, 2014

Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 6:31 am
btt button
Do you have a favorite book? What do you say when people ask you? (This question always flummoxes me because how can you pick just one, so I’m eager to hear what you folks have to say.)
And, has your favorite book changed over the years??


 Actually, no, I can't say that I do.  I have favorite authors however -- Jan Karon, MC Beaton, Nancy Atherton, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Dorothea Benton Frank just to name a few.  I haven't read anything by any of these women that I haven't liked and would recommend anything by any of them and that is what I tell people when they ask.


So, what have I been doing that has taken me away from my bookish memes this week? I have been working on a picture album.  My photos are very unorganized -- I wouldn't even use the word organized in any way when speaking of them.  They are in boxes, albums, in piles in the closet -- they are a hot mess. So, I decided to do something about them.  I am most concerned about the really old photos.  They have been through a lot, glued into albums, pried out of the albums, they survived a fire -- they are in rough shape and I don't want them to get any worse.

However, I hate scrapbooking.  I have tried it and I have never found any joy in it.  It is expensive, requiring LOTS of cute stuff and messy.  I have done many scrapbooking pages using original photos and then regretted it when I wanted to share the photos or use them in another way and couldn't get them off the page.

So, I decided to something different.  I had seen some vintage albums in antique stores and like the way they were done so that is what I sat out to do.

I purchased a very nice, large photo album


I purchased old-fashioned photo corners

Add some black scrapbooking paper to it

These lovely Gelly Roll pens in white work great on black paper
And here is a really bad photo of one finished page.



I am leaving enough space so that I can label each photo with genealogical information for my children and grandchildren.  Lots of writing and dates and background information -- it is really quite fun.

So, this last week has been spent finding the photos, organizing the photos, arranging and afixing the photos and labeling the photos.  Am I done?  Oh no, not even close but I have started and that is good.



 

 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Musing Mondays (Apr. 21)

April 21, 2014
MusingMondays5Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


 Confession of a Bookaholic --

Honestly there should be a twelve step program for people like me.  I am a hopeless, weak individual completely taken in by the glitz of a cover or the promise of an alluring dust jacket synopsis.  I should be ashamed of myself.  Really.

Here we are, on the morning of the day we are planning to build yet more book shelves for our ever growing collection and I just can't help myself.  I have had one of each generation of Nook -- each bought with the idea that the new one had more upgrades and features and by using an e-reader I would somehow purchase fewer physical books to add to our ever-expanding library which could be considered a public library branch in size.  So, considering that we are planning this bookcase for the last remaining piece of free wall space in our little house, I thought I should possibly pay closer attention to the e-reader so I went exploring Barnes and Noble's Nook Book section and much to my horror -- there it was --a  virtual sale table.  OMG -- there is a page of books under $2.99 --- some free.  

Have you ever had a moment that you lost control and couldn't stop it, somewhat like Alice falling down the rabbit hole?  Yes, there I was.   I now have about a half dozen new books on my Nook.  Wellllll, I whine, isn't that was it was for? To reduce the number of physical books?  Ugh.

I have come to the conclusion that there is no help for people like me, no solution.  I just have to accept myself as I am, a weak individual, a wimp, when it comes to printed material.  It is part of who I am, right?  Is it really so bad, though?  I could have a weak desire for other things much worse, right?  Designer handbags or shoes.  Jewelry, Yachts and houses in the Hamptons?  Ok, not quite the same thing but you see what I mean -- having too many books, too little space to put them and not enough time to read them is hardly the worst of the problems that I could have.  

So I guess it isn't such a terrible affliction after all.   I mean, too many books could be useful -- to share with others, to use as decoration, to prop up table legs -- or to keep me current, to keep my mind sharp and to give me something to fill the hours and take me to places/situations that I would never dream of being.  Such a wonderful escape -- books.  

Yes, I don't think I feel bad at all about my lack of control in procuring books of any sort -- physical or virtual.   They bring such pleasure -- if even just looking at the cover art.   What have I learned from this?  That if I talk to myself long enough, I just justify almost anything!  

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Happy Easter To All!  What a beautiful day this is! Easter is, by far, my favorite religious holiday, even more than Christmas.  I love the drama of it and the promise of it.  I love the 40 days of Lent -- the quiet contemplation leading up to today.  Yes, Christmas brings us the promise of today and today is the fulfillment of that promise.  Thank you, Lord, for today.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a blast from the past. 
Easter, 1954 At my grandparents home in San  Antonio, Texas

Easter 1980 -- The Littles on Easter Morning, Big Brother giving instruction on how to open an Easter Basket and Little Sister watching carefully  


I have many other photos with baskets, Easter outfits and Easter bunnies but these are the two I could put my hands on the quickest at 11 pm last night.  The one of the littles, however, is so representative of our home at the time.  It was taken very early in the morning because we were out the door for 8 a.m. services every Sunday so this had to have been at dawn.  Ah well, we all know that no man sleeps when Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny are prowling around!  Good times, great memories! 

Have a wonderful and blessed Easter everyone!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pandora's Box -- I Mean Bracelet


My husband isn't a fan of gift giving occasions.  He never knows what to buy me and I really hate having to tell him what to go buy so I just generally say I don't want anything.  However, this last birthday I was determined to find something that he could buy and even provide future gift solutions.

So, I started exploring Pandora bracelets and even pinned some to my Pinterest page.  I wasn't sure I wanted one of these but they were intriguing.  So, after playing on the Pandora website and looking at all the eye candy there I finally got so confused I dismissed the idea until......I decided on a theme.

I have a traditional charm bracelet that my husband gave me for my 16th birthday.  I have added all manner of charms to it over the years -- all commemorating something.  Then, he bought me another traditional charm bracelet for my "family" charms honoring my kids and grandkids.  That is all I intend to put on that bracelet to keep it light weight.  The teenage bracelet is heavy and makes lots of noise so I don't wear it too often.  I wear the "family" bracelet quite often and I just didn't know about another "charm" bracelet.  What I came up with is a "genealogy" bracelet.  Putting charms on to honor my ancestry.  My ancestry isn't too varied so I figure I can fill in with some of the pretty spacers and interesting beads.

At any rate this is what I have so far:

The bracelet

Claddagh for my Irish Ancestry

Feather for my Native American Ancestry

Crown for my English Ancestry

These are the clips I chose






Now I need to find something for my Welsh ancestry -- I just can't find a cute dragon so I might have to settle for a daffodil.  I am looking at a windmill for my Dutch ancestry and I need something for the small bit of German ancestry.  Unless I discover something else, that pretty much sums it up.  I guess I am going to have to buy lots of spacers!  At least that will help my husband with gift giving frustrations!

Musing Mondays (Apr. 14)

MusingMondays5Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


Today I am just going to talk about childhood and my books.  A little sentimental for some reason so I thought it appropriate.

When I was small I was fascinated that people could actually read words and there was meaning.  I remember, quite distinctly, sitting on the sofa (it was a brown tweed, modern affair with one arm) next to my mother as she read the newspaper and asking her what it felt like to be able to read.  It was a skill I longed for because instinctively I knew that if I could read I could know anything I wanted to know.

There was a neighborhood toy store by the name of Ann and Tom Brown.  It was located several blocks from my house, still within walking distance although it was a long walk, and we visited there often.  It was a wonderful toy store with all manner of things.  I remember being completely in awe of the marionettes and their assortment of Vogue dolls.  I also remember their novelty items like these big balls of crepe paper which, upon being unwound, were found to contain small trinkets and tokens.  Great fun.  

I remember one day, in particular that my mother and I were there.  We went to buy a book.  My mother decided I was old enough for a chapter book that we would read together.  I hadn't learned to read yet so I must have been about four.  The goal was, since naps had ceased, to use the book for rest time.  We chose The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Apparently the Oz books were her favorites growing up. I remember her reading the book to me in the afternoon and I could just picture the characters and the scenery.  It was a good time and something I tried to repeat with my own children--they were great fans of the Bunnicula books.

Now I have the privilege of caring for my youngest grandchild -- the loveable Bean.  Now that nap times are quickly becoming a thing of the past but rest is still needed, I decided to return to the scheme my mother began with me.  Tomorrow we will start reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. 

I went to B&N a couple of days ago and purchased a leather bound, hard back copy for her personal library.

 B&N has a lovely collection of classics for children, reprints of older editions and I think it would make a lovely series to collect.  When we get finished with Oz, we might move on to Peter Pan or Alice in Wonderland although I get a bit itchy with Alice long around Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum time.  

So, tomorrow we will be taking flight on a cyclone and visiting Munchkinland and getting to know all the characters.  I am anxious to see how Bean does -- if she has the patience to stay with it or if her 3-year-oldness takes over.  At any rate, I am sure I will enjoy it.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Musing Mondays (Apr. 7)

MusingMondays5Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!





I remember, when I was about three or so, seeing "Peter Pan" on tv.  This was the Mary Martin version which was actually a stage production.  It seems that after a performance, they decided to do it all over again to film it to show on television.  I was enchanted.  Then came the movie version thanks to Walt Disney.  Again, totally smitten -- gotta love Tink!  Now you can find several "spin-offs" so to speak on tv -- Tinkerbell heading up the Disney fairies and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  I still find them totally captivating although nothing compares to that 1950-ish version.

So, while perusing the sale table at B&N, I decided that I would like to read the book.  Of course, the cover took me in as well, but I just want to see if any of those media productions do the book justice or did they improve on it.  I actually just want to see how Nana -- the world's best babysitter -- is portrayed.  So, this will be my next read after "The Master Quilter" in which I am totally immersed.  

I will let you know if Nana lives up to my expectations!  

Sunday, April 06, 2014

I Always Knew Dragons Could be Pesky








I have had this cross stitch pattern for quite sometime -- bought it from Monique Keylon, if I remember correctly.  I loved him from the beginning but set him aside to pursue other things.  I finally started on the project, did the border and then started on the little guy whom I refer to as Alford.  I was about a third of the way through with his body and realized things weren't right -- I was off and I couldn't figure it out.  So, I put him up for another LONG time and went back to quilting.

The other day, realizing that I am sort of burned out on quilting, I turned my attention to cross stitch again and started sorting out my WIP's, of which there are many.  My eye was caught by Alford, who was basically no more, but the fabric was still in the q-snap so I gathered up all the thread and the pattern and all the other things needed to work on this and I gave him another look. 

I have never gridded a project before - I figured that I had done enough of this sort of stitching that I didn't NEED to.  Ever heard "pride goeth before the fall"?  Yeah.  Ok, so I decided to check the border and it was ok -- counted correctly.  So, I decided to grid from there and try that.



I used pink sewing thread to mark the grid figuring it would be easy enough to see but not obstructive and with a single strand, it should be easy to pull out. 

I grabbed my pattern and some sticky notes.  I made a copy of the pattern so I could scribble on it, and isolated each little 10 X 10 square with a sticky note on all four sides.  I started stitching and was thrilled at how easy it was going. 






Who knew how easy it would make it -- I guess you are never too old to learn!  I have a perfect place to hang this once I get it finished and framed.  I have become quite attached to Alford.  The only thing I wish is that I had chosen different colors but he is cheerful and will look nice on the wall.  I am happy and  I have to say that I was also burned out on cross stitching but I think this might turn that around.