Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Day - Junior Year and Seventh Grade

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Goodness, someone is getting old... I told G-Dub this morning that HE was getting old since he had a junior in high school and his baby is a seventh grader. That whole getting older thing doesn't count for their mother. ;)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Good Grief!

Today was an Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day that would rival a Charlie Brown day!

I won't even tell you about yesterday because today tops it though I thought it was frustrating enough!

Today started rather mildly. I ran to Lowe's early and home just in time to catch Dev in a tizzy about the clock moving faster than he had thought this morning so he was rushing out the door to be at work by 10. Only, when he got in his car to go, it made the sounds of death straining to come back to life. I hopped in my car and told him to get in so I could take him to work. I came home and finished my first and foremost thing I wanted to accomplish today - installing toilet paper holder in Roo's bathroom. That was about the only thing on my list of MY things to do today that actually got done.

I jumped his car off with mine. That's a first. I've used a battery charger before, but never done the whole jump start from vehicle to vehicle. I didn't blow anything up or get covered in battery acid, so I called that one a success and marked it off a different kind of bucket list. I left the car running to "charge" while I ran in to get a shower because Devon was only working two hours before he had to be somewhere else for a lunch meeting. I took off thinking all was well. I drove his car to Water World to pick him up and take him to his next meeting place. While I was waiting for him, I turned it off real quick to see if it would start again. Bad idea. Very bad idea.... It wouldn't.

I called our youth minister since we were right next to our church and his was the only number in my phone, but he was with the youth on the white water rafting trip. He called the lead minister at our church and he came to jump us off while Alex (friend) came to get Dev and take him to the meeting. Did I mention it was 95 degrees with a heat index of near 100? I took a shower, but that was lost in the steamy car and sunshine.

My intent was to go straight to O'Reilly's and get them to test the alternator for me. The battery is brand new, having purchased it in July! I almost made it there.... Almost....... I let out on the clutch a little too much at a red light and let it go dead on me. I was in the turning lane of the west bound road to turn left and go a short distance between the divided four lane to turn right into the store parking lot on the other side of the east bound road. I had a line of cars behind me and a right shoulder across three lanes if I could have just turned left! I let off on the brake just a bit with the clutch in and noticed it roll. I had visions of letting it coast across those lanes of traffic and land on the other side without getting hit! As the light changed with the left turn signal arrow, I eased my foot off the brake to see what would happen all while the flashers were going and the truck behind me was getting a lesson in patience. God's hand must have been on that car because it coasted across the lanes of traffic and to the right lane where I pulled off the shoulder.

I had just been on the phone with O'Reilly's making sure they could check the alternator for me. So, sitting on the side of the road staring at their front door that was fifty yards in front of me, but seemingly impossible to reach, I called them back. The girl said they were covered up at the moment and put me on hold. Meantime, I was sweating in that car. Did I mention it was hotter than HAWT! out there? I got out to walk across the street and this lady in a Mercedes wouldn't let me... She stopped and told me to get in her car and she'd drive me across. So, I did. She was so much nicer than I probably would have been. I should take lessons from her. She gave me her name, told me where they lived which was close by and told me her husband's name, stating they were in the book and I should call her back if I needed a ride anywhere else! I got in the store and the girl said, "He just left to go jump you off." So, I walked back out and across the busy intersection to wait for him to come jump me off. It was stinking hot inside a car in with no AC in south Alabama in August. Why had I taken a shower earlier? I was going to need another one. Probably five/ten minutes later, he showed up..... felt like an hour or more. LOL He jumped me off and I drove it to O'Reilly's where he brought the machine out to test it for me. Yep, alternator is going bad. Fun times.... I drove it home and parked it. I am going to put the battery charger on it and wait it out. It would cost $500 to have it done. Or buy an alternator and wait for Gary to do it for $150. (I just parked my car in May and waited for him to replace the alternator on it! Geesh!)

I've had two Dr. Peppers and a venti Chai tea latte since. At least, it's not alcohol! And, they did make me feel better! I'll do better tomorrow if I am not catching the next flight to Australia (Children's book referenced above)

Roo and I were talking earlier tonight about the whole experience and talking about that lady in that Mercedes. He said, "I bet that Mercedes felt really good after sitting in that hot car." I said, "Yes, it did! She had the AC cranked on high!" He said, "Probably felt like heaven!" LOL

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer's Foods

I was going through my phone and saw a theme in some photos I've taken recently. I thought I would share.

Food photos. Summer food photos.

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I'd just picked a gallon of blueberries from Mom and Dad's bush. I went inside and spread the berries out on a cookie sheet to sort. I think I probably ate half of what was on that sheet! Blueberries fresh from the bush are so good!

Going "home" always mean we will have fried catfish at some point in time. Dad is usually the fish fryer while Mom takes care of the coleslaw and hushpuppies.
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Sometimes, Dad gets to brag that "These fish slept in the river last night!"

I came home with two 5-gallon buckets of fresh corn from their garden. I put half of it away on the cob and half of it away as cream corn. That'll be yummy this winter when there is no fresh produce in sight!
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And finally, last night's dinner was country ribs with side of corn and Brussels Sprouts. I found a dry rub recipe on Pinterest: Memphis Style Country Ribs. I seared the meat in my grill pan, then finished it off in the oven. So yummy!
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Between the seasoning on the ribs and the cracked pepper on my corn-on-the-cob, my lips tingled for hours last night!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Framed

I've been known to buy frames at yard sales and thrift shops with absolutely no intention or idea of what I'd do with them. Not just any frame, unique or "speak to me" frames in larger sizes. I've bought really ugly "artwork" just to get the frame. Hey, if you can find a 16x20 frame for $1.99, why not? You just might use it someday, right?

When we moved here last year and I was sorting through things to hang on the walls, I ran across my frame stash. It wasn't as large as I thought, but I did have several empty frames that I had no idea what would become of them.

Two of them wound up on top of my once entertainment center, now office supply storage cabinet. I thought they balanced out the display there. Yeah, that's what I kept telling myself anyway. (That display needs help!)
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Fast forward to this past Friday while out shopping with my friend, Margo. I spotted a pretty little acrylic painting or maybe oil? that someone had done once upon a time of the bluebonnets in Texas (or so said the tag). It reminded me of the times I've {never} seen the bluebonnets in Texas. LOL The Army has taken us many other places, but we've never landed in Texas for whatever reason. I've only BEEN to Texas twice in my lifetime. I didn't see the bluebonnets in bloom during those times and I didn't see mountains like in the painting. Nevertheless, something spoke to me about the painting and I decided to buy it. It was half off of $19.50, so a good little bargain!
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I came home and began to have second thoughts. I'm not the biggest fan of anything gold or brassy. This frame was glaringly gold and brassy! Then, it hit me. I'm crafty and a DIY addict (and I'm not afraid of much in the way of changing things!) I could do something about that brassy gold!

I decided the painting should hang in my freshly painted bedroom. (More on that later!) The gold was bad in there though! This morning, I decided to try a few of the frames I have around here to replace the gold frame. The one I really wanted to use was the smaller one in the photo above. Well, as luck would have it, that frame is too small. So, I tried the other one up there. Well, as luck would have it, that frame was too large! Before I went checking Michael's and Hobby Lobby ads for sales on frames this week, an idea hit me. Paint the existing frame and glue it into the too big frame.

Yeah, that would work, right? Why not?

I took a shortcut and used the paint from the bedroom walls on the frame. I distressed it a little with some walnut stain so it wouldn't be so wallish colored. Then, I used wood glue to glue the frames together. I did nothing to the larger frame though in some of these photos, it looks like I might have painted it. It is exactly how it was when I bought it a few years ago.
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The whole piece sticks out away from the wall more than it would with just one frame, but it almost makes it look like a framed canvas painting. Well, technically, it is a framed canvas painting! I don't mind it standing away from the wall though. It'll be even better once I hang curtains in there.
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My morning's work took me from liking my little painting to loving it!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A tisket, A tasket, A...

fifty cent basket!

A few weeks ago, I was cleaning in my craft room and thinking that I need to find ways to disguise storage solutions. I have this ugly plastic toolbox where I store all of my spools of thread for sewing along with some sewing machine parts. I decided that it is time to move on to something else. Something more pretty. I filed that idea away in the dark corners of my mind.

When I stopped at a yard sale with my mother in law last weekend and picked up this little picnic (?) basket, the sewing kit was the last thing on my mind. I just liked the basket. Dark corners, remember?

The basket has such pretty details.
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I opened it up to see what was inside. Usually, baskets like this hold a set of plates and silverware for a picnic. This one was empty from the feel of it, but I wanted to see how it was made inside. I opened it up and saw a single sewing machine bobbin lying in a corner. Bells and whistles went off and lights lit that dark corner of my mind where I had the idea of replacing the ugly plastic tool spoolbox. When I asked the seller how much and she said fifty cents, I knew one of my problems was solved!
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Back porch table vignette

A while back I showed you my toolbox with begonias in it. I love that little box! The begonias have really grown. So, I snapped another pic.
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While I was snapping, I snapped a photo of my little vignette on the table. I love my little cowboy because he reminds me of our time spent in Kansas. The horse feed scoop was a barn sale find in New Jersey. I don't have horses, thus no real need for this. But, I wanted it and it makes a perfect candle holder! The low planter was recycled from a Mother's Day arrangement when we lived in Alabama years ago. The pot that holds the ivy is from Korea. The driftwood has no special meaning other than I like it along with the little butterfly candle holder. I need to add a bit of Tennessee and Mississippi to this table and I'll cover all of our "homes".
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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cocoa, Kitty, Eliza Jane - Trouble!

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A few weeks ago, we were outside working on a flowerbed when we heard the cries of a baby. Baby kitty to be exact.
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We found the scared little Miss hiding in the shrubs, very leery of us and very hungry/thirsty.
Well... That was then. This is now. She has made herself at home.
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She stays busy whining at the back door telling us when it's time to feed her. She traipses through the cobweb corners of the shop or under the shrubs and plants in search of anything that moves. She sits on the back steps waiting to smack the dogs with her paws as they pass her on their way into the house. She's a bundle of life and energy (and trouble!).

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Patio furniture redo

We've had this set of patio furniture since Kansas. I wish the table were larger now, but for the little patio in Kansas, it was perfect. Oh, well, I'm keeping my eyes open for a new set. In the meantime, I decided this set needed updating.
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The set had definitely seen better days. I decided a few cans of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint would be the perfect solution. And, it was! No close up photos of the end results, just an overall view with the umbrella added back into the mix.
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While I was revamping everything, I put to use a Pinterest idea I found a while back.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Patio's Potted Plants

I thought I'd take a minute and share some photos of some of the things I've done on the patio with you all. Someday, I'm going to have a border bed around the patio, but someday isn't going to be this summer. So, potted plants it is!

I was really disappointed last summer when I had to leave my hibiscus tree in New Jersey. (Five Dollar Find) I left it in the hands of my neighbor. Unfortunately, I think she let it die. Boo... I knew I'd never find another $5 one like that, so I settled for a smaller version for $12. I really like the twisted trunk on this one.
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I've planted my toolbox in begonias again this year. I really love the way this looks when the flowers flourish.
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I finally repainted this little metal table recently. It was a flaking yellow/beige. I moved an airplane plant out there in place of where I had two different plants last year. Maybe this one will do better in this space. The little gnomes were a fun purchase at a yard sale last week. I am always disappointed when I pull up to a house after following the signs to find toys and baby things at the sale. :( I got out of the car anyway here and pilfered through a box of Smurfs. That's where I found the gnomes. Aren't they cute? Totally worth a quarter each!
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I should have taken a better photo of that pot for opinions. It's a strawberry pot of sorts. I set it on my back steps which are in the shade. I have a hosta in there and had pansies, but they are on their last leg. I need to replace them.

Another hibiscus over on the patio with a pot containing a Gerbera daisy.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Word verification, anonymous posts, and spam in my inbox!

First of all, let me say just how much I despise those stupid word verification/captcha things! I HATE them!!!! Yep, all caps and multiple exclamation points hate them! They often stop me from replying to posts because the captcha is blurred and I can't get it right so I give up and move on. I used to have the word verification enabled on my blog until I battled enough with that on other blogs. I also read in multiple places where they are mostly useless unless your blog gets a ton of traffic. Even then, you're scaring off your readers by having them take the extra steps to enter that captcha. So, for years, I felt good about not having word verification enabled. Every now and then I'd get an odd comment show up in my email inbox, but Blogger is always really good GREAT with their service of blocking those comments from ever appearing on the blog comment section itself.

I felt good about the whole deal until the last few weeks. As you know, I've been busy with other things and have been ignoring my blog. I haven't put a whole lot out there in months. Apparently, there is traffic coming from somewhere though because I've received multiple emails with the strangest comments on new and years' old posts. They are totally and completely spam!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Be a little shell-fish":

I do acccept as true with all thee ideas yyou havve offered in your post.
They're very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short
forr newbies. May yyou please prolong them a bit from subsequnt time?

Thank you for thee post.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I love Rock-n-Roll, but not Rocks-n-Flowerbeds":

ʟet me take this oƿportunity to say just how much I get pleasure
from following this blog's posts. It neever eveг fɑils to make me
think... Օr feеl

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I love Rock-n-Roll, but not Rocks-n-Flowerbeds":

Things like free of charge shipping and discounted
rates undoubtedly make sufficient fiscal sensation to say
the minimum. Many people are now getting fed up with the hassles of
visiting these art galleries. Imagine yourself on the other side of this scenario.

Yeah. Okay.

They never appear on the blog itself. I've checked and have been thankful for that. Though the blog isn't effected, my inbox is effected and I'm a bit tired of it. So, for now, the only solution I have is to enable word verification for a few weeks and see if that will stop the anonymous poster's junk from showing up in my inbox. I've also enabled the option of not allowing anonymous posts and allowing only registered users to post.

I'm sorry if this inconveniences anyone. I will reevaluate the settings in a week or so. Hopefully then I'll get to disable that annoying word verification option.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I love Rock-n-Roll, but not Rocks-n-Flowerbeds

The landscaping has always frustrated me in all the houses where we have lived. Either it's well established and needs
redone or the beds are empty and need filling. I'm not sure which I like best. A clean slate actually works. I almost have that
here in the beds on the side of the house and at the back. I say *almost* because there are small pebble rocks in those beds.
While I can see the advantages of the pebble rocks, I like a more soft look. Besides, there are all these little weeds sprouting up
in the beds between the rocks as there was no weed barrier placed underneath - just layers and layers of pebbles.

The pebbles are an advantage at the back area just under the carport/back door because our central units are back there.
The rocks are fine there. The rocks are not fine where I want flowers.

I've been looking at this particular area long enough. (Eleven months, to be exact.) I finally decided to do something about it recently besides pulling the weeds week after week. I wanted something to add curb appeal because we pass by it daily driving into the carport upon returning home. I couldn't decide just what I wanted in these beds, then I thought about knock-out-roses and moved forward with that idea.
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The rocks were definitely a challenge. How could I dig and plant with them there? Ugh! I decided to remove as many of them as possible and spread the rocks more evenly around the central units. I decided to use newspaper under the rocks to help with weed prevention.
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Scooping up only the dirt was impossible. Scooping up just the rocks was near impossible as well! Ugh! What to do?!
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I used to have this handy little box screen where the dirt could fall away from the rocks. That got lost somewhere along the way. It was at a moment of frustration when I glanced over at my little garden wagon and decided it would hold water and I could get a colander from the kitchen to separate the dirt from the rocks. Rocks aren't as valuable to me as gold, but I was going to do some panning!
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YAY! Treasure! Oh, wait! No, just rocks.
After a few hours of grueling work, I was a hot, dirty mess! I had dirt from my toes to my chinny chin chin!
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(Teen asked me via text what I was doing that day and this was my photo text response! LOL)
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I finally conquered the rocks! I didn't get them all, but in the end I had more dirt in that area than rocks, so I considered my work a victory!
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Unfortunately, I had run out of newspaper. I remembered the large refrigerator box I had in the storage shed.
I decided to try out the cardboard idea I'd seen on Pinterest. Why not, right?
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I spread out the cardboard and used a box-cutter to trim it to size.
Then, I placed the roses where I wanted and cut a large hole in the cardboard to plant the roses.
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I knew I wanted mulch around the roses, so decided to use border bricks to separate the rock area from the mulch area.
In this photo, I needed one more brick which I've since bought and placed.
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The area looks so much better! I know the roses don't hide the units, yet. Along with the mulch, they really soften this space already!
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Powder Room Reveal

Remember back in *cough* January when I showed you my before photos of my powder room and talked about what I wanted to do there?


A week or so later, I shared with you how I'd removed the wallpaper. That was here. That ohhh.so.pretty.wallpaper.

Yeah. It had to go and go it did!

I was left with a beautiful blank slate.

Wowza! Is it bright in here or is it just me?

After that post, I left you hanging. It wasn't because I wasn't finished in my powder room or because it was taking me forever to complete. I finished it with the exception of artwork on the walls. I just got busy with substitute teaching and life. Blogging got put on hold for a bit. Sorry!

I LOVED the bright white and light walls, but I decided that the room needed some color. I had picked up a little "Water Closet" sign
at World Market back in January with plans to use it in this room. That didn't provide color though. Because "Water Closet" isn't really
a word we, Americans, call our bathrooms, I used that sign as the theme for my room, travel. I had some of my favorite photos from our
travels printed and went to work hanging them. My original intent was black and white photos.
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I'm not sure I'll leave it on this wreath. But, for now, the wreath gives it a little more umph than it would have standing alone.

A trip to Target in search of a rug changed my black and white photo intentions. I've tried three different rugs in this room. Each one
stops the door from opening freely. I knew I had to be careful with a new rug because of this. I couldn't go with a
standard plush bathroom rug. I was looking for thin rugs, but with substance. My eyes landed on this one and there was
no turning back. It's completely unlike the tame, muted, earthy choices I always make, but I loved it!
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Can you see why?
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I pulled colors from the rug and found photos from our travels that had those colors in them:
- The old black truck in front of the yellow train from Kansas.
- Seaside Heights Boardwalk before Hurricane Sandy changed this whole landscape scene.
- My black and white canvas of the Empire State Building as center focus just because I wanted to use it so badly regardless of colors!
- Our view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, Hawaii from the boat.
- The Philippines taxi photo I dearly love.
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I accented this photo gallery with a wooden plate I'd picked up at a thrift shop. I just painted it with a
color I picked up in a sample pot at Lowes. It is the exact color of the blue/green in the rug!
The whole gallery of photos is above the beadboard wallpaper on the full wall opposite the doorway.
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The paint color for the wallpaper is a creamy white. The top wall color is a very light beige/khaki color.
It's hard to capture the exact colors in the photos with my external flash and the incandescent light of the room.

I changed my light fixture to something a little less glamor and hot lights.
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I also completed framing out my mirror including all the little extra cutting to
accommodate the electric outlet and the mirror hanging hardware.
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One last thing on my list of things to do in here is replace the faucet. I just haven't gotten to that yet!