Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bingo Fridays...

A time to embrace and a time to turn away. . .

For most of my early girlhood I spent every Friday night at a club that my parents belonged to.  The club was a service oriented organization that supported a number of activities.  It was nationally affiliated and my parents were leaders during most of their membership in the club--Dad as an officer and eventually Monarch of the men's group and my mom as an officer and drill team member of the women's group, the Sabettes.

I remember being ready as soon as they got home from work on Fridays to make a trip to May's Cafe for burgers and fries and then head off to the Saba Grotto to play bingo.  Often my parents worked instead of playing--calling numbers, running winning bingo cards to the front to be authenticated, paying winners, popping popcorn and serving beverages in the concession stand, or walking among the players to give assistance as needed. 

Cards with Red Number Covers
 On a few ocassions, my mom would play--she would buy cards--sometimes eight or more.  She spent the evening sliding the red covers on the cards over the called numbers.  The games were varied--straight bingo, picture frame, two bingos, postage stamp, and blackout to name the ones I can remember.  Her fingers would get tender from all the sliding so she would use a half-dollar to push the covers.  I liked to play too--about two cards were all I could handle, but my mom was patient with me and always took over when I decided that playing with the kids and running wild would be more fun.  You see, these were the days when children could be safe playing out of their parents' sights.  We had free reign of the three story building.  We played tag, hide and seek, red rover-red rover, mother may I, and other rowdy games.  We played on the stairs without supervision and took care of our needs.  My sister and I would get one dollar to spend as we saw fit at the concession stand--that would last us all night and many times I had money to bank when I got home.  If we weren't running we watched tv--my sister watched Flintstones before she was ready to play--she never missed an episode. 

I have good memories of Bingo Night at the Saba Grotto.  Recently my sister and I went on a quest to find the house that for years we explored every Friday night.  I remembered the street name and so we headed out to see if we could find the grand old house.  My sister spotted the roof when we were several blocks away--we spent quite awhile manuevering one-way streets, a freeway, and unfamiliar areas before we found it.  Of course it does not look at all the same--it is a private residence now.  I wish I had a picture of the house in the good old days to show you, but I have searched the web and exhausted every option I can think of.  Great childhood memories were made at the Saba Grotto!

The seasons are changing--Winter is upon us and so we are wearing heavy clothes, eating soup, and cuddling up next to the fire.  For me, the Winter Holidays can't come soon enough--can't wait to spend time with my son and his family.  We are hanging a new stocking this year--a pink one!

Likes--reading the Jones Design Company and other inspiring blogs, chatting with my HS BFFs over last weekend, watching Coach coach basketball, hugging my cute grandaughter, and decorating for Christmas (finally--about time isn't it!)

May all the seasons be sweet to you,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Autumn. . .

Welcoming H Pumpkins
 Before Autumn leaves us for good, I thought I better post this blog.  Autumn is maybe my favorite season.  I like decorating my porches and home with pumpkins, cornucopias, apples, and mums.  I like collecting and preserving fallen leaves.  I like smelling the sweet Autumn crispness in the air, hearing the crunch of fallen leaves under foot, and making lists of all of the things I have to be thankful for.  I like gathering with family and friends.  Here's more on a couple of things I like about Autumn... 

Do you remember buying school supplies and organizing them so you would be ready for the first day of school.  I guess I was destined to be a teacher because getting ready for school to start has always been a tradition in my life.  Even now that I am retired, I find myself browsing through the isles of school supplies and thinking about buying a few things.   One of my favorite places to browse all year long is an office supply shop--so many possibilities!  Well, just one of the little things in life that brings me pleasure and its free--if I can refrain from buying.
Decorating with fall adornments is another pleasurable Autumn activity.  Having a great looking table is essential during this festive time of year--like this one from Celebrating Home a Seasons of Cannon Falls publication.

Love this Autumn Table
There is nothing like a home decked out in full Autumn finery--favorite fall centerpieces and decorations on display, candles burning and giving off scents of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, and a fire crackling in the fireplace.  This finery serves as a backdrop in a thankful home where family and friends will soon be welcomed and timeless traditions will be shared.

The decorations can be less splendid and still provide a fine backdrop.  Here is one of our simple, vintage table decorations--Dirtman cut him from wood and I painted him--circa 1985.  He is surrounded with leaves from our yard and acorns from It Girl's parents' home.  Kinda cute!

Our Vintage Turkey
As I finish writing and posting this blog, our Autumn decorations are packed safely away, we are reminiscing about our Thanksgiving celebrations, and our thoughts are turning to Winter when flurries will fly and we will be getting ready for the season we look forward to all year--Christmas.  We will be busy making lists for gift giving, trimming the tree, hanging our stockings, and decorating our homes with our best Christmas finery so we can enjoy the season as we welcome family and friends to share in more timeless traditions.
May all the seasons be good to you,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For Everything There Is A Season

A time for every purpose under Heaven. . .

Our Holiday Season, beginning with Thanksgiving, is upon us and this is the time we give thanks for our blessings, decorate our home with holiday treasures, and celebrate with family and friends.  Of course consuming gobs of delicious food is on the agenda too. 

Several years ago at a wonderful craft affair, War Eagle Craft Fair, I purchased a tree--at least I call it a tree even if others seem to be unappreciative of its charm and chicness (yes I know it is an inanimate object).  Any who, I have decorated my tree for the seasons since I brought it home--it has been adored with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Valentine's, and Easter baubles, trinkets, and trims not to mention times when it served as my second Christmas Tree.  I just like it!!!

My tree is made from a real pine tree--of course the branches are cut short and there are artificial branches stuck into its trunk.  It stands on an ugly brown piece of wood that makes it heavy.  I remember transporting it home in a best friend's car--we always had some treasure to make room for--we became masters of finding a way to pack in, hold, straddle, or sit on our finds all the way home. 

My Thanksgiving Tree is decorated with homemade Thanksgiving buckets, wool pumpkins, glittered turkey ornaments, antique candles in holders, strings of cranberry garland, brown glass garland, and a paper turkey roosted on top.  Just look at this tree--what is not to like?

My Tree with Thanksgiving Adornments
Cranberries and Homemade Trims

Here are a couple of the homemade Thanksgiving adornments found on my tree--I just like it.  Next year, there will be more ornaments--yes indeed.

Harvest Bounty Bucket with Cranberries

Glittery Turkey Bucket
I am thankful for so many blessings--family, friends, home, and being able to act on most every whim I have.

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

May all seasons be good to you,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

A time to keep silent and a time to speak. . . .

Several weeks ago a dear one pointed out to me that I had promised a September blog...did someone say it is November!  I have been silent--at least on my blog.  I love to blog, but it is more difficult than I thought it would be.  But, once more I am going to try to be a better blogger.

Here are a few of my random thoughts--just to get the blog going.

Life--life is a wonderful journey.  I have a blessed life.  In October, Dirtman was home for over two weeks now and we enjoyed toiling at the chores that being homeowners bring.  When he got home I had a honey-do list for him and of course he had his own list of things to do too.  He worked long and hard on both lists and it has paid off.   We have not changed anything big, but our home is looking like we want it to.  Don't get the wrong idea, there is still a long list of Must Dos and Want To Dos.

Liberty--the priviledge of doing what you want when you are retired.  Yes, Dirtman is ocassionally saying things like, "don't you think you would like to work a little?" and "you need something to do", wow--does he think I am having too much fun?  Well, he is right.  I love my life and am so grateful for what I have.  However, I think I will work a little come Spring--oh my!

The Pursuit of Happiness--well, a grandbaby will take care of that--I have been in pursuit of this happiness for years and all my dreams recently came true.  We are blessed with a baby girl--Amelia.  I am head over heels in love with this kid--holding and giving her love brings all the happiness I need.  We had our Kansas shower in October (good grief)--here are a few photos. . .

The Table Decorations

The Dessert and Cakestand Favor

The Kid's Fish Tank Table

It was a great day--fun had by all and the gifts were awesome.  Now our bundle of joy is here and is almost three weeks old--life is good! 

Another list of my likes--pink, pinterest, searching for vintage dress-up clothes--it's never too soon to get ready for tea parties and dressing up, and making a Christmas gift list.

May all the seasons be good to you

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blogging, Pinning, and Scrapbooking, Oh My!

A time to search and a time to stop searching. . .


To Do:

Keep blog up-to-date--dedicate time to creating and promoting my blog.

Well, well, well--time will tell--four blogs in four month--sigh.


I don't know if you are familar with but if not, you need to check it out.  Of course if you don't have hours to devote to searching, pinning, repinning, following, and commenting maybe you should read no farther.  I learned about when I was reading a blog, Jones Design Company.  I refrained from checking it out for a couple of days, but when I finally arrived on the site, I was immediately hooked.  Since then one of my besties and her creative daughter are pinning too. 

One of my favorite things to do has always been to search, clip, save, organize, and comment on things I want to create, buy, or dream about.  For years I have been saving pictures, articles, and instructions for all things interesting.  Now, I don't have to fill bulletin boards, notebooks, journals, or my hard drive with clippings or files of acourtements that bring joy to my life--I can use my digital boards on  I think I am happy about that.


My summer project has been to begin work on a "Life Journal" for my Grands.  Good progress so far and remember this is a long-term project.  There will be two volumes--one with stories, notes, and the best advice a grandparent can give and the second with pictures and momentos to complement the stories, notes, and best advice.  I promise a spread on the progress in September.  Most of you know that I have lots of advice to give.

Try and let me know what you think.  Likes pink princess phones, planning, big diamond rings, pandora bracelets, details, thrifting, upholstered benches for dining room tables, and kindles.

May all seasons be sweet to you,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wreath Junkie

A time to make, and hang, and store. . . Yes, I know that is not one of the seasons commonly referred to, but it is my own rendition because it goes with my post today.

There was this one time (who am I trying to bamboozle--I have created many wreaths throughout the years) that I was inspired to make wreaths...well, first a snippet of background information...I have always liked wreaths so I bought wreaths, was given wreaths, or handcrafted wreaths over the years, and even own several books on the subject of making wreaths---Martha Stewart's, Great American Wreaths that shows a wreath based on some token pertaining to every state in the union and Country Living's, Handmade Wreaths: Decorating Throughout the Year that uses home grown and found in nature items to create wreaths for every season of the year--just to name two.  I have four totes and three large boxes of wreaths in my array of accouterments that take up part of my basement--the part that houses my treasures! 

Last winter I was watching MS and one of her employees was demonstrating how to use coffee filters to make some pretty cute wreaths.  She had made them to sell at a craft bazaar that happens at MS each year.  My wreath-making passion was awakened and I decided that I had to give it a try--well, I made one and it was pretty nice, I was amazed how inexpensive white coffee filters took on another persona as they were folded, glued, fluffed, and glittered or painted.  Well, that was the beginning--I made another a bit smaller and it was perfect!  I was even more excited about the wreaths after my sister (who sometimes does not appreciate my creations) commented that mine was neat and that she wanted one.  And so began my mini, several month obsession with coffee filter wreaths--an obsession that lasted from Thanksgiving to Valentines' Day.  Sooo, I made wreaths for It Girl, my sister, my niece, my two twin "mary god daughters", and even helped MPS make one for her sweet mom and Grandma C.  My wreath count was up to twelve including the ones I made for myself, but who was counting.  I learned alot about coffee filters during this wreath making obsession--not really important.  My white glittered round wreath or my red glittered heart wreath hung on my utility room door for more than two months and still looked good when I carefully stowed them in a tote.  I love these wreaths even though they left glitter remains all over my utility room.  Wish my camera upload cable would work so I could post pictures of my wreaths--I will post pictures when I hang them again.

From coffee filter wreaths I went on to Peeps wreaths.  Yes, I saw the idea in a Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate magazine and had to have one.  Since I was on a "let's make wreaths" binge, I made one.  Mine was made with yellow rabbits--it was cute!  I think one that uses all colors of Peeps would be really cute too.  Again, the picture is on my camera that does not have a working upload cable--ugh!  I will post pictures.

Wreaths are made from material, tulle, and/or ribbons that are wrapped, gathered, or tied on.  They are adorned with pearls, Christmas balls, buttons, decorated styrofoam balls, candy, popcorn not to mention items from nature such as flowers (real, silk, dried, or paper), seeds, twigs, and leaves.  Here are a few examples of some pretty cute wreaths that I like...


Basic Black Crepe Paper and Ice

  Cups and Drink Umbrellas

Balloons and Buttons

 Book Pages and Old Style Clothespins

Candy Canes for Christmas and Valentine's Day

Glitter, Garland, and Acorns

All wreath images are from love them and will probably have to try my crafting skills on a few of them too.

Well, here we go again...these season wreaths are next on the list.  I think I will start with the Autumn Wreath.  Next, the Winter Wreath, the Spring Wreath, and then the Summer Wreath.  I am going to paint my front door black (already have the paint.)  So here they are...

 Autumn Wreath
 Winter Wreath
 Spring Wreath
Summer Wreath

These wreaths are from Jones Design Company.  They are so cool--made from burlap, wool, linen, or jute twine.  The instructions are available on the site--the tutorials are easy to follow.  Can't wait to get started--maybe these can be gifts?  Love them.  The Wreath Junkie crafts on!

I really like wreaths, Rowe pottery, trinkets, silver serving trays, #2 pencils, unspoken secrets, and tulle just to name a few more.

May the seasons be good to you,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ready for Summer?

Seasons--oh yes, seasons. . .

Here in mid America we have four seasons.  We have summers that swelter you, winters that frost you, and between these extreme seasons we have springs that renew you and autumns that soothe you.  We are in the thralls of summer--days and nights with humidity that makes you sweat--yes ladies sweat, not glow--and temperatures that scorch you if you let them. 

Before the worst of summer begins we have days with rain and temperatures that nurture yards and gardens.  Days that might get warm and humid, but nights and early mornings that are delightful.  Having four seasons is a good thing--we can always look forward to the next season and can enjoy variety in our climate. 

One of my pet peeves about summer is the humidity--it does a number on my hair, I can say it makes it wild.  Age seems to make me more aware of the changes in the weather--another season.

A time to weep and a time to laugh. . .  As I age there could be a lot of weeping, but there are several changes that I have to chuckle about--hot and cold moments, changes in skin quality, losing focus so easily, wearing glasses all the time instead of just when I read, and decreasing endurance.  Yes, chuckle--these changes are part of the process and I have decided to go with them as best I can.  It is malarkey that we can age gracefully, we just do the best we can and try to keep a sense of humor about it.  After all, what choice do we have.  Some things get better with age--we are wiser, more patient, and get more discounts without even having a coupon!  Yes, aging is fun and we may as well embrace it!

One part of aging that I do not like at all is the change in conversation with family, friends, and acquaintances.  It seems we have moved from verbiage about living a good life to living a life full of aches and pains as well as daily changes.  Wow--how did we go from skipping and doing cartwheels to using rails to navigate steps and propping our foot up before we can tie our shoe?  And what about wearing glasses all the time--what happened to that pinpoint eye sight we had?  Coach once commented that he was not looking forward to going straight to the eye doctor when he turns 40--that's what happened to both of his parents.  We talk about all of our "parts" that are changing and describe them sometimes to our own embarrassment.  Oh yes, aging is not for the weak--it is a journey that should be embraced and talked about with a sense of humor.  A time to weep and a time to laugh. . .

Of course one of the best things about growing old is that we have the opportunity to be grandparents.  For years now I have enjoyed the sweet, precocious, ornery, beautiful, handsome, spirited, perfect grandchildren of my sister and my friends.  But, alas, soon I will have a grand of my own to shower with all of my grandie love.  Yes, in the past two years, our lives have been blessed with a daughter-in-law that we could not love more and this autumn we will welcome a bouncing baby girl--WOW--pinch me now!  Postings will soon have a pink tint!

More of my likes:  white tulips (really I prefer white flowers of all types), blue mason jars, stars, Pottery Barn, and scrapbooking to name just a few more.

May all seasons be sweet to you,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's a Girl Thing--A Girlfriend Thing!

For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.  A time to embrace. . .

Much is written about friends and friendship and some of it is true.  There are hundreds of sayings, quotes, and adages about the subject too.  It is interesting how we choose each other and become friends, stay friends, and sometimes decide not to be friends.  A friend can say what's on her mind and we accept it.  A friend can be crazed or frenzied and we accept it.  A friend can be snappish with us and we accept it.  But after all is said and done a friend is always there to give us whatever we need even when we think that the only way to make things right is just to click our heels together and go home.  Yes, friends are a blessing!

One thing is sure, I am a lucky girl when it comes to the girlfriend pool.  I have been blessed with friendships that are like a bond of sisterhood.  Here is a first installment about my friends--three of my besties.

C--she loves details, has a big family, goes full speed ahead, wears trendy fashions, hates wasting time, says "it's all crazy" all the time, and knows what a friend needs and when she needs it.

P--she loves shopping, has a great smile, goes nutty often, wears jewelry all the time, hates dirt, says "one day at a time" all the time, and knows most all of my history.

B--she loves technology, has a new daughter-in-law, goes freaky sometimes, wears crocs, hates snobby people, says "I'm a Ding" all the time, and knows alot of important information.

On September 25, 2010, Coach and It Girl were married in her hometown--what a quaint little town (another blog)--I love it!  The one way trip is three hours long, we had three venues to decorate--rehearsal dinner hall, reception eatery, and reception party spot--as well as the church.  We started decorating on Thursday for the Saturday ceremony--that meant several days away from home, nights in a hotel, loading necessities, unloading necessities, and hours of decorating.  But have no fear--who was there to make sure that everything was perfect and that the details were in place--yes, you guessed it--these three besties.  Our soon to be in-laws were awesome--they had most things under control.  Of course, we had help from hubbies too, but it was the girl power that made everything just right.

The Church

The Rehearsal Dinner Hall

The Reception Eatery

The Reception Party Spot

These photos show only a small part of what was accomplished by these friends for our celebration.  There are not words to describe the feeling it gives me to know that I have friends who will do almost anything for me--what a gift.

Make new friends, but keep the old.  What good advice.  I need to heed this advice and make a connection with an old friend--a friend that I have not talked to for quite some time.  That is added to my to-do list!

More likes--glass cake plates, junking, pumpkins, patriotic buntings, white cake plates, birthstone jewelry, fair ribbons, taking notes, big bows on little girls, giggles, kraft paper, Easter baskets, learning, and timeless traditions just to name a few more.

May all the seasons be sweet to you,

Monday, May 2, 2011

One Thousand, Seventy Two Days

Welcome to my first blog.

As we all know, there are seasons to our lives.  It has been 1,072 days since I retired after 30+ years of teaching business and computer science at the high school and community college levels.  My teaching career was both challenging and fulfilling and I loved almost every moment of it.  In May, 2008, I moved into a new season of my life--retirement.  My retired life has been filled to the brim with living the good life--I might say life beautiful.  

I celebrated two blessed events since I retired--events that lead me to new seasons in my life--I became a mother-in-law and I will be a grandmother this fall.  Talk about spinning on the dizzy edge--there will be more about these celebrations soon. 

Things I like (not a complete list and in no particular order)--charm bracelets, Sleepless in Seattle, Bosc wine, soirees, gold jewelry, watching birds, flea markets, Josh Groban, life:beautiful, Americana, books, American flags, glitter, You've Got Mail, wearing jeans, office supplies, and Baby Boom just to name a few.

To start off, here's more about two of my likes.  These likes bring me inspiration and joy.

oNe  Shortly before I retired in May of 2008, I was on my way to visit my traveling husband, Dirtman.  It was Spring Break and I was excited to spend a relaxing week in Edmonds, Washington with my love.  Dirtman had been traveling with his job for about eight years.  We decided when our son, Coach, was a sophomore in college that Dirtman should work for a national company and that meant travel--after years of working around home so he could be home every night to be a dad to our son, Dirtman was ready to take off for a job that would allow him to use his experience and supervisory skills to move into management.  The new job would also allow us to stash money for retirement.  After all, he had paid his dues working for company after company doing road construction work within a 60+ mile radius of our home--we do not live in a metropolitan area so we were used to him leaving home at 4:30 a.m. every morning and returning home 13 or more hours later just in time to catch sporting events, banquets, and parent/teacher conferences.  Now he has his dream job working for a national environmental construction company.

Meanwhile, back to my trip--Coach was kind enough to drive me to the airport so my week of fun could begin.  I needed reading materials so we stopped at our local Wal Mart (remember, not a metropolitan area).  I don't know how you feel about Wal Mart, but I will tell you more about my relationship with WM later.  I surveyed the magazine/book isle and much to my surprise found a new magazine--one I had never seen on the shelves before.  This magazine is wonderful!  Gotta have it.

Back in the car and on our way, I decided I could not wait any longer to peruse my new find.  I flipped through the pages just to get a feel for the type of magazine I just purchased.  Wow--now I really love this magazine.  One of my childhood friends (more about her later) owns a cookie cutter business and her umbrella cutter was featured in one of the articles (Spring, 2008; April Showers).  I was in awe!  Thus my relationship with this magazine began.  It is the only magazine I subscribe to and the only magazine I give as gifts--life:beautiful--a lifestyle magazine with inspiration about Family, Faith, Purpose, Life, Home, and World.  I think you will like it. 

tWo  Americana--oh yes--my nickname is Patriotic Girl.  I like all things patriotic, red, white, and blue.  Here is just a little about this obsession.  I like to think that my home is decorated in upcountry style--don't know what that means, but I guess it means country with some upstyle items added in--things that are in style right now like white dishes, life sayings on boards, and silver serving items.  I have flags in every room and think that they are a standard room accessory--American Style Living?  Here is one of my likes. . .

Maybe that is enough for today.  Thanks for reading.

May all seasons be sweet to you,