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Saturday, December 27, 2008

One Last Christmas Post

I have to make one last Christmas post about the decorations in my friend Janice's house. She has an artist's heart and mind. She took an old artificial tree - removed some of the branches - found the white spray paint and sprayed the tree - she then decorated in a grand Victorian style. One year she used all old costume jewelry on it and it was great! Now, it's a combination of beads, gold, white, and pink - flowers and ornaments - all in the Victorian style. Please click to see it larger! This is just one of her trees - all of them equally grand!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sharron's Christmas Brunch

I have a very dear friend Sharron who delights her friends yearly with a Christmas Brunch. Sharron has many talents and among those are being a great cook and a very savvy decorator. Her theme this year was "A Candy Cane Christmas" (she has a different theme yearly). So, here are the napkins with candy cane rings.

Here is the serving table all done with candy cane trees.

The mantle close by all done with red and white candies.

Her giant candy cane collection!

Sharron has an eye for 'prims' as well so here is her tree in a prim candy cane decor. Don't you like her Santa? (I'm prejudice - I have one like it, both made by my husband quite a few years ago.)

I liked her little signs on the tree along with her candy canes.

Loved the grubby candy cane candles with her rocking horse and rusted jingle bells.

She had gifts for each of us (she always does)...jars of white chocolate peppermint scone mix all tied-up with a ribbon candy ornament.

This is Sharron lighting her peppermint candles.

Here are some of us partaking of her great brunch. We had lots of fun laughing, telling stories, and catching-up with one another.

This is the group of us .

Thanks, Sharron, for being the terrific person you are and for being one of my dearest friends!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trash to Treasure Tuesday

My Christmas present from my DH is finished and in place. This started as an old door from my son's house (see the glass doorknob beside the screen on the left side of the laptop). The main purpose in its creation was to give me a place to have my laptop besides being on the bar area of the counter. DH put a little drawer in it and everything. The idea was taken from Joy at Joys of Home.
Joy has done numerous things with old doors in her home. Below you can see how a chair fits just perfectly with this little "desk-ling". I want to recover the seat of the chair one of these days to coordinate with my new piece of furniture. Thanks, Joy, for the idea. Most of all - "Thanks to my multi-talented husband for making it for me!" Be sure and check out Trash to Treasure Tuesday with others at A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Paula Deen Christmas

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The Christmas Friends group had their 26th annual Christmas Progressive Dinner this weekend. We had "A Paula Deen Christmas" for our theme. All of our food came from Paula Deen recipes. The slide show will show you clips of our time together. We had great food; wonderful fellowship; beautiful decor full of Christmas cheer. Hope you enjoy it - we sure did!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Children and Music

My grandaughter Kaitlin had her first orchestra concert last night. She began violin in September. It's amazing to see how much children learn in a relatively short period of time. The fifth grade orchestra of the district did a great job last night. Kaitlin's mom is a music educator and started in music when she was a kindergartener with piano lessons. She started in band when she was in fifth grade too. She's learned to play numerous instruments. Music is a huge part of her life and always has been. I feel like music is a good discipline for kids. I believe statistics show that children involved in music are less likely to be involved in disciplinary procedures, and drugs; and are higher achievers academically due to their involvement in music. My involvement in music starting in elementary school did provide a life-long hobby and enjoyment throughout my life. So, I say "Yea for music in schools!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Patriotic Trash to Treasure Christmas

I've shown my patriotic Christmas tree before. It is in my family room and I've had it for many years so I'm always picking up ornaments and other things for it during the year. My SIL was here for an early Christmas several years ago and when she went back home to Stockton, CA; she was telling a friend about my patriotic theme. Her friend had a patriotic Mr. and Mrs. Santa that she was going to get rid of at a garage sale and she gave them to my SIL for me. That's what I found among the Christmas packages from California. They sit on my mantle every year among the garland and flags. Be sure to stop by Diane's at A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words to see the other Trash to Treasure things people have to show you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Decorating

I have two old eggnog sets (does that make a collection?). I love the red and green and the silhouettes on them. I find though that most people do not opt for eggnog when other choices are there - so I rarely use them for eggnog. I LOVE eggnog!
I changed garland this year on my living room fireplace. I read on someone's blog to make a garland thicker by twisting them in with an old garland (duh - what's so hard to think about that??) so I did that and I'm really happy with it. I went with gold anhd white on the mantle.

My Hoosier filled to the brim with Santas - if you look really close you'll see the sign on the left-hand side which says "simplify" (not so much!). I pick-up those little Santa mugs at garage sales all the time for a dime or quarter (not like I need anymore).

My hearth room mantle - I cross-stitched the red and red/green stockings before I had grandkids so they're all similar. Grandkids came along and I made them out of burlap - so that if there are more grandkids someday, I can always find burlap

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Last night we had Ladies With Books book club here at my house. My choice was My Antonia by Willa Cather. I think the majority of us liked the book. Cather is great with descriptions and character development. The one objection I did hear was that plot was somewhat lacking. It wasn't an exciting book but it was a book demonstrating the ability of one who knows how to how to use the English language. I liked the book. So, if you're one who enjoys history and the learning about the lives of those who settled these prairie states, choose this one to read. We always try to serve a refreshment that reflects our chosen book. The one desert mentioned in the book was chocolate cake so we had the chocolate sheet cake that's made with buttermilk and cinnamon with a great frosting! However, my favorite refreshment I served was "Czechs' (Chex) mix". The character of Antonia was Bohemian (possibly from Czechoslovakia). I did have to mention it before anyone "caught on". I thought it was rather clever myself!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Family Time

The family is home for the holiday. I decided we needed to do a picture for a Christmas card. We thought the woods out back of our house would make a good background. So, chilly though it was we headed for the woods to find the perfect picture spot. Above are my two kids.
This is one of the pictures I decided was good. We took our own pics using a tripod with our camera - so, getting kids to "smile" in a decent manner and everybody get their body in the right place - it took lots of shots! We faded the edges which I think looks different.

We took several shots this far away until Heidi figured out we needed more of the faces and less of the woods! Isn't that a neat log to sit on though?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Tablescape

Today I'm posting a tablescape from last Thanksgiving. Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting Tablescape Tuesday. Be sure and check out some really beautiful tables over there. I've inherited these crystal dishes from my mother. I wish I knew the pattern - maybe some of you do. It has orchids around the edge. I have 8 place settings. I have Fostoria glasses that are from my mom's sister. I've always loved these dishes. They look so elegant on any table. My table this year will look very similar.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Birthday and Lorna Landvik Book Signing

Today is my mother's 89th birthday. We've already celebrated as a family. I would like to wish her the happiest of birthdays. She's a spry 89 so we fully expect quite a few more years from her. Happy Birthday, Mom!
Last night a portion of our Ladies With Books book club went to hear Lorna Landvik speak and sign books. She's the author of such books as: Patty Jane's House of Curl, Your Oasis on Flame Lake, The Tall Pine Polka, Welcome to the Great Mysterious, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, and Oh My Stars. She has two new books out : The View From Mount Joy and 'Tis the Season. She was a delightful lady to listen to. I think it's interesting to hear about how people write and where their ideas come from. Lorna also did stand-up comedy in her previous life so you can imagine the wit she has. We all agreed on the way home she looks enough like and can sound enough like Sarah Palin that she could give Tina Fey a run for her money. Our book club had read Oh My Stars and loved it. Before we left several of us had bought a different book of Lorna's and we'll share them with each other. That was a delightful evening!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday's Trash to Treasure

What to do with an old rickety ladder that cost $1 at a garage sale - that was the dilemma. First it had to sit in the garage for a while so I could think. I had seen a picture of a ladder hanging on a wall with plates attached to the rungs in a magazine and I loved that so I added a little white paint with a dry brush to one piece of it and hung plates. I decided that it would be good also over the sink/counter in my half bath off my kitchen. The theme in this bath is "a potting shed" look. DH hung this piece of the ladder from the ceiling. I decorated it with some vine, dried flowers, and a small birdhouse. It wasn't easy taking a picture in this little bitty bathroom so I took two pics hoping you'd be able to tell how it works in there. Go over to Diane's A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words and see what others have done with their trash with unlimited possibilities.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Women of Faith

This weekend a group of ladies from our church (48 of us) loaded a bus and headed for Oklahoma City to the Ford Arena to attend the Women of Faith Conference. My friend Janice and I went last year and this year we welcomed several others within our circle to attend as well as my daughter, Heidi. Above is Janice, Ruby, and Heidi. We had a delightful time and so appreciated the weekend. One can't help but be inspired by the musical talent and the messages imparted by the tremendous speakers.
We had a little down-time and spent some of it playing Farkel in our room. Sharron is the friend in the middle. Ruby won, but we don't like talking about it.

An arena with close to 15,000 women there - that's alot of estrogen flowing!

Patsy Clairmont, my favorite speaker. She's witty and can turn her story on a dime into a meaningful and inspirational message.

Lucy Swindoll is another lady I admire. She too is so witty and has an inspiring message every time I hear her.

Marilyn Meberg always makes me feel like the most wise lady I know is imparting life lessons and that I need to listen very closely. I would think that being around these ladies daily would be so fun!
Sandi Patty - all I can ever say after hearing her is "WOW". This time was no exception. She sang Our Prayer with her husband, Don Peslis, and knocked our socks off! Wow - can he ever sing! It was simply BEAUTIFUL! If you have the opportunity to attend a Women of Faith Conference, do it - you won't be sorry!! A great time was had by all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

T to T Tuesday

It's Trash to Treasure Tuesday over at A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words. Be sure to see what others have done with things they do not want, but you do! This particular cabinet was at a garage sale several years ago and they wanted $45 for it. It was painted TURQUOISE! I bought it and thought it would be no trouble to strip it. Well, more of a problem than I anticipated to get turquoise paint off. My DH took it completely apart, board by board and stripped each one. This picture doesn't show the detail on the lower doors unless you enlarge them but he used dental tools on those to strip them. I've seen this same cabinet in antique stores several times priced over $400. This is one cabinet that will NEVER be painted! I have it in my family room. I love old cabinets!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Award

I have met another new blog friend in Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti . She has given me this award. Go and visit her blog and learn about her life in Brooklyn. Thank you, Pat, for your compliment.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sue Monk Kidd

Ladies With Books met last night to discuss Sue Monk Kidd's book, The Mermaid Chair. This was Gail's choice (she's holding the wrong book). We had read The Secret Life of Bees independently and loved that book (if you haven't read it, you MUST). A part of our group went to see the movie last weekend and we liked the movie as well - so see it too. My choice of books is next. We'll be reading My Antonia by Willa Cather. Wichita, KS. selected that book for their "Big Read". So, there are many book clubs in the area using this book.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Old is New

Diane at A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words is hosting Trash to Treasure Tuesday today. Go visit to see what things people are "reinventing". I hate to throw things away - so often they are possessions of someone who has meant something special. That's the case with my table pictured below. This table set in our basement loaded down with my mom's sewing machine and sewing supplies when I was a kid. It had been her mom's dining room table. Mom remembers throwing her coat on it when she came in from school which irritated her mom no-end. As my mom and dad were getting ready to downsize this table was going "to go". I couldn't let that happen. So my husband and I brought it home; cut the legs down; stripped the really dark stain from it; and polyurathaned it. There you have it - a beautiful coffee table. Now, you ask, did I throw away the leftover legs? Are you kidding - NO! They are used as bases for displaying birdhouses or "what have you".

Saturday, November 1, 2008


A couple of weeks ago the two oldest grandkids and I made a scarecrow who looked very similar to this one on the porch (only quite a bit lumpier). "Papa" acquired the 'look' last night and placed himself on the porch right before the grandkids came to trick-or-treat (we had some communication with their mom before they came). They commented as they came upon the porch that "There's the scarecrow we made." Only after ringing the doorbell, the scarecrow came to life and made three little kids jump and scream!! What fun - they'll remember that forever! We're on to Thanksgiving! Happy Fall!!