November 28, 2011

Quick Christmas Projects

Hubby ran home from work this morning and got down all the Christmas decorations and fall boxes so I could put away the fall stuff and start on my Christmas decorating (such that it is).    I was supposed to meet my sister in Birmingham for shopping today but the weather was horrendous and the roads were slippery and wet so we decided we’d do it another time.

I did two quick projects today.    A couple of years ago I made this burlap lumbar pillow for my black bench on the front porch which you can read about here.  


fleur de lis pillow


I got the bright idea to stencil something Christmas-y on the reverse side of the pillow that I can use now and then after Christmas flip it back around and use the fleur de lis side.    I grabbed my stencils and black paint and stenciled “Ho Ho Ho” on the pillow.   





I just removed the pillow insert and put a magazine between the layers so no paint would seep through.   




Now this pillow can serve double duty!


Next, I covered some old candles with sheet music scrapbook paper.   I would love to find some real sheet music, either vintage or from an old hymnal, but so far I haven’t run across any.    (Please share any sources you have where I might get some sheet music, I want to make a paper cone wreath).    So a few weeks ago I picked up this scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby in two sizes.   The one with larger music notes will be saved for a tabletop project I’ll start after the first of the year.



I loved the yellowed look of this paper.   I think each sheet was something like 57 cents and I didn’t even use an entire sheet covering 4 candles!    Plus I got them 50% off too!




Here’s one on the mantel with the scrapbook paper.    Took me all day to get the mantel done cause I started out using my reds and greens and nutcrackers from last year and ended up going all neutral which I absolutely love!    Even hubby said he likes it!    I’ll be back to share my Christmas mantel later on.   

I covered four candles with my sheet music paper.   This is an easy way to update your old candles.   I probably won’t burn them because I’d be afraid the paper would catch on fire but these candles were so old they didn’t have much wick left anyway.

I did a bit of decorating on the foyer table but still haven’t done anything in the dining room.      At this point, I probably won’t.   

And I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the supporting comments I got from my last post when I shared I wasn’t going to put up a tree this year or do much decorating.     I am surprised at how peaceful I feel about my decision and how stress-less I feel.    

We’re looking forward to going to Calloway Gardens this weekend for the Festival of Lights and spending time with all the family.    We’re staying at The Lodge and Spa which I hear is fabulous.    If any of you have stayed there, please let me know  how you liked it.

Linking to these parties:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays here

Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesdays here

November 27, 2011

Tis the Season

Christmas Village


Yes, the Christmas season  is here.    And here I sit with my fall stuff still out and no energy to get out my Christmas decorations to start decorating for Christmas.   I’ve never, ever been like this.   I love the Christmas season and all it represents…the decorating, family time, gift wrapping, and Christmas Eve service at church.    So I’ve made an “executive” decision….I’m not going to put up a tree this year!    Right now my plans are to decorate the mantel, the dining room and the outside.    At least, I hope I can even get that much done.     In addition, I’ll be working as well (yes it’s only 3 days a week but that’s time away from home when I could be doing things around the house).    And I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping!   

The month of December is packed with out of town travel plans and a big birthday party bash at my daughter’s house so we’ll be gone a lot of the time.   Here’s what our itinerary looks like so far…

  • Monday (tomorrow) meeting my sister in Birmingham for shopping and lunch
  • December 2nd-4th - taking all the kids and grandkids to Calloway Gardens for Festival Of Lights
  • December 10th – daughter is having her husband’s 40th birthday party bash at her house – I’ll be helping her decorate, cook and getting ready for the party
  • December 17th – annual family Christmas party at the lake house

That takes us right up to Christmas weekend which we spend going back and forth to visit with family here and out of town.   

Today we made plans to go out of town for New Years.    We had talked about going to New York with my sister and her husband for New Year’s but that fell through so we’re doing something different.   

I have mixed feelings about not going “all out” or not putting up a tree but I just don’t want to feel stressed.    Please don’t think of me as the “Grinch”…I just know my limitations!

But I can’t wait to see everyone’s decorations here in blog land.

November 25, 2011

Iron Bowl Time

Here in the South we have a saying….”Football – The South’s Other Religion!    And no other game is anticipated more here in Alabama than the Iron Bowl -– played between Auburn and Alabama for bragging rights for a full year.     Saturday, November 26th is Iron Bowl time!




nick saben gene chizik


auburn stadium

  Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Alabama



War Eagle, fly down the field!
Ever to conquer, never to yield.
War Eagle, fearless and true,
Fight on you orange and blue.
Go! Go! Go!
On to vict'ry, strike up the band!
Give 'em hell, give 'em hell,
Stand up and yell, hey!
War Eagle, win for Auburn,
Power of Dixieland!


auburn family - all in




November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Story

Today I’d like to share a story I ran across in our local newspaper.     I thought about just publishing the story straight from the paper but I’m not real comfortable about giving out the name of this amazing and inspiring woman and her children.    Yes, it’s “out there” for anyone to read but I don’t have her permission so I’m going to share what I can without revealing their identities.    Below is a synopsis of the story as it appeared:

About 4 years ago Ms. Smith (not her name) was standing in front of the Salvation Army when she was approached by a woman in need of house cleaning services.    With three children at home and having just moved to our town, and with nothing but the clothes on their backs, she accepted.

Not long afterwards, Ms. Smith was able to move to a small mobile home with her children.    By then she had upward of 40 houses to service.   The lady who originally hired her to clean her home was her motivation to go back to school.

Today Ms. Smith has a 3.86 GPA in nursing school and is set to graduate in May.   While she is excited to reach this milestone, it has not been without challenges. 

Her main source of income comes from student loans -- about $11,000 a year or roughly $916 a month. She said she also receives $245 from the state De­partment of Human Resources, $200 of which she uses for living expenses.

While it pains her to tell them no, she rarely gets to treat her children to a meal out, and there is no money for extras on grocery shop­ping trips. The kids often have to miss field trips and she can't afford to buy school T-shirts or yearbooks.

"The kids are very suppor­tive, for being children," she said. "'Maybe we can do this next year' is some­thing they've been hearing for three years."

She has three children, two boys, ages 12 and 11 and a daughter, age 10.    They live in a home made available through a charitable service organiza­tion that provides homeless families with no-cost shelter in a three bedroom, single-family home. Clients aren't charged rent, but Ms. Smith offers a $200 monthly donation to the or­ganization.

"The hardest thing is mon­ey and time," she said. "I don't have the money for ex­tras. I take my student loans and stretch it out for six months. Every August and January, I budget $5,500 for six months."

While Pell grants cover about 75 percent of her tui­tion and fees, she pays for books through the student loans, as well as car insur­ance, school uniforms for her and her children, toilet­ries and other basic necessi­ties. She has Medicaid, and pays for food with food stamps. Currently, she has $30 to last her through De­cember.

But the single mom is quick to acknowledge the good things that have hap­pened in her life.

"I want to give back, and God knows that," she said. "He puts people in my life to help me through. He really does."

As a child, Ms. Smith said she often was sick with gastroin­testinal and gynecological problems. She had a lot of exploratory surgeries, and remembers the nurses show­ing her they cared. She wants to return that kind­ness.

"I want to open clinics for the homeless," she said. "Whenever I receive my loan money in January and August, I head to the Salva­tion Army and choose some­one and take them to McDonald's. Corned beef hash two times a day at the Salvation Army -- you have no idea how good a Quarter Pounder tastes."

Her children – one of whom has ADHD and the other who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism – want Christmas Day to be special for their mother. 

"Christmas means giving and making people happy," her son said. "Mostly my mom. To see her use the things I give her ... that's cool. This Christmas, she wants a caddy to put the re­mote controls in."

On Christmas Day, the family plans to open their stockings, have breakfast and unwrap presents.

And when she does gradu­ate and later enters the nurs­ing field, her goal is to re­member where she came from.

"I believe my story is my testimony," she said. "I don't just say, 'Oh, it must be hard.' A few years ago, we were making gravy pan­cakes ... we mixed flour and water, fried it in a pan and poured gravy over it. That was dinner. We've come a long way.

"I know it's hard," she said. "But I know anybody can do it. You have to want it, and believe it."

Did you get this?    According to the story, 4 people have $30 to last them through December!    I imagine most of us can go through $30 in a day or two just on ordinary (and sometimes) unnecessary things.    Impulse purchases, lunches, tea at McDonalds, etc.      Tomorrow I’m taking my grandchildren to the movies, buying then popcorn and cokes, and it will certainly cost me more than $30!     Could you get by on $30 for a month?   Especially when that month is Christmas?    I doubt I could….while my life is certainly not extravagant or excessive, I am blessed beyond words compared to someone like this lady.

But what really got me was when she tells about taking someone out to McDonald’s for a quarter pounder with her loan money –I’m sure this is a sacrifice for her.    And her children are supportive of her as well.    She must be one amazing lady, to be such an inspiration to her kids too.     

I ate a little humble pie reading this story.    How blessed I am, and how I don’t know if I could ever make it if I were in her shoes.    But instead of complaining, she is grateful what little she does have and wants to give back.     I would love to read about her in a couple of years once she has her nursing degree and gets on her feet.     What a testimony she will have!

And that remote control caddy she wants for Christmas?    I’m hoping to get in touch with her through the newspaper and get her that caddy for Christmas.    And while I know it will mean a lot to her, it will be more of a gift to me to give someone to someone so deserving.

November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

“Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.” –E.P. Powell

November 20, 2011

Mercury Glass, Monograms and Burlap

What do these three things have in common?   Well, for one thing, I think most everybody I know of (especially here in blog land) love any one of them.    I was lucky enough to incorporate all three in a quick little project I did this weekend.   

Let me back up a little bit….a few weeks ago I had gone to Prattville with daughter while she got a hair cut.    One of my favorite flea markets is practically in the backyard of the beauty shop.    So while she got “the works” I headed over to kill about an hour while waiting on her.     I really wasn’t looking for anything, but “just looking” as they say.    I put a few things in my buggy including a cute wicker lamp for $9.99.    Why the heck I left it (and everything else I’d picked up) I don’t know.   Do you ever get like that?    Put something in your buggy and then just leave it in the store?     Ever since then, that lamp’s been on my mind.   I knew I wanted to use it in my bookcase makeover but couldn’t justify a trip back to Prattville to look for it.     (BTW, hubby and I went yesterday and I looked all over but couldn’t find it anywhere at the flea market).     Anyway, Friday I was in Wal Mart, again killing time while mama got her stuff (she wants to do her thing without me following her around).     I was in the lamp department hoping to find a lamp similar to the one I had left behind.    While I didn’t find anything wicker the size I was looking for, I did see a cute little round mercury glass lamp for $9.99!!!     I grabbed it knowing what I would do with it when I got home.    The shade was plain Jane white but it wasn’t staying like that for long.


bookcase 012


My plan was to either cover the shade with sheet music or burlap.   I quickly decided on burlap because I really liked the way the texture of the burlap contrasted with the shine of the mercury glass.      Got my pattern cut out for the shade and then adhered it to the shade.    No tutorials on this, most everyone knows how to make the shade pattern and I just hot glued the burlap on at the back seam.      I wanted to stencil something, maybe numbers, but I was using the numbers and writing on my Kraft paper covered books and I didn’t want to over-do that look.     I remembered I had a vinyl stencil with our initials I had won 1-2 years ago but never used.    I got it out and placed it on the burlap covered shade.     Let me say that if it had been any larger it would not have fit.     I tried rubbing it onto the burlap using a wooden spoon and even a knife but it would not stick to the burlap.    Finally, I just used my fingernail and gently pulled off the sticky paper….not easy but it worked.

Do you want to see how it turned out?    I love it!


bookcase 013



bookcase 016

That’s not hot glue hanging off the bottom…not sure what it is because I just looked at it in person and don’t see it!!   Crazy, huh?   I’ve started working on covering some of my books with Kraft paper and writing on the spines.    It’s hard to write on those books but it doesn’t look bad enough for me to scrap these three.


bookcase 017


bookcase 018

The No.1 and No.2 books above were inspired by this photo.    I messed up by not  writing No. 1 on the smaller book…..oh well.    I’m going to use a mix of Kraft paper covered books, book bundles and other neutral covered books.   I don’t want to cover all of them, I think it’s more interesting to mix them up.


bookcase 019



bookcase 015


What do you think?    I have seen some of these in magazines and they are quite expensive.     This lamp project cost me $9.99 as I had the burlap, the trim and the stencil.      I’m still working on the bookcases, and these two shelves you see are all I’ve done.

This is our old cheap bookcase I’m working with.    I would love to cover the back with something bright instead of all that faux wood.    But it is what it is so for now I’m just working with what I’ve got.

I’ve been a busy girl lately!   Sometimes I get these energetic spurts and take advantage of it.     I’ve been covering books, writing on book spines, made this lamp shade and also made a Christmas present for daughter with an old tray and chalkboard paint.    I’ll share that later on.     

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and you get to spend it with the ones you love.


Linking to:   Amaze Me Monday


Big Five-O

Happy Birthday today to my “baby” brother and sister….just remember, I’m still the boss of ya’ll!    My sister and her husband are in Las Vegas for her birthday (doesn’t hurt to have a Delta pilot for a husband) and brother is in Kentucky.    Hope ya’ll have a wonderful day.


kim and kelly

November 14, 2011

Love Letters

I’ve received sweet letters from special people over the years.    But I got one this past weekend from someone very special….my precious granddaughter Taylor.    



Here’s what it says (copied exactly as she wrote it):

Dear Mimi

Can I spen the night with you one friday.   And we can have some popcorn.   It will be our speicl day.    I love you very very very very very very very very very very (this goes on for several lines) much!   Love Taylor

I’ve decided to put this in a frame and make a mini gallery wall in the dressing area of my bathroom.     Then I can change out artwork and letters that my grandbabies give me.      I hope one day they’ll enjoy seeing their little handiwork from years past.      (I still have stuff my kids made and they are 35 & 37)!!!   Yeah, I’m one of those momsOpen-mouthed smile

She spent the day and night with us Friday.     We were invited to a friend’s house Friday night for a bonfire.     Afterwards, we went to get something to eat and then headed home where she continued to wrap me and her Pop around her finger.     She wanted to stay Saturday night but her mama and daddy wanted her to come home.    I love that she  wants to be with us as much as we enjoy having her.     I know there will come a time in the not-so-distant future when the grandkids won’t want to come visit us as much so I’m making the most of my time with each and every one of them for as long as I can.


Got a few projects I want to start working on this week.    Here’s a peek at what I hope to get started on….




I want to re-do my TV cabinet so I thought covering all my books to make them look uniform would jump start what I have in mind.     Wish me luck!

November 7, 2011

Surprise Visit At Hobby Lobby

Today I ran into Hobby Lobby to check out the sales for this week.    Coming around a corner I had to stop so I wouldn’t bump into another person’s buggy.    You know how it is…you glance up at the other person, say “excuse me” and move on.     Well, about that time,  I realized I knew the other lady pushing her cart.    We both stopped when we realized we knew each other and had a nice long visit in the floral aisle for about an hour!      I’ll call her “D” and while I don’t think she’ll read my blog (I did give her the name of it) she says she doesn’t get on the computer very much, I wouldn’t want to make her uncomfortable.    “D” and I have known each other since 8th grade.    She was a grade ahead of me but we were always friends.    

One time in the 8th grade my winter coat went missing from the coat closet.     Somehow I found out “D” had taken my coat and hidden it!   I told my mama and she sent a note to the teacher and lo and behold my coat reappeared!    Now don’t get the wrong impression, we were pre-teens and I guess she thought it was funny, we’d never had words and were casual friends at the time, so I don’t know why she did that.    But after that, we became good friends throughout our school years.

“D” dated this one guy throughout junior and senior high school.    He was a little bit older than her, went to another school and drove a Corvette!    Were were all in awe of “D”’s big city boyfriend.     He was so good to her too.    They got married a few days after she graduated from high school and had a very successful real estate business here in town.    Her husband was killed in a tragic auto accident in 1986.     Fortunately, “D” met “S” about two years after that and has been happily married to him since 1988.

“D” was my idol in high school.     She was tall & blonde, had perfectly straight hair, big blue eyes, was a cheerleader, beauty queen and homecoming princess.     Although she had all those honors, she was very down to earth and sweet to everyone.    She was never a snob and had a great personality.

I had semi-straight hair but in the 60’s and 70’s straight hair was the thing to have.     Our maid (don’t judge – it was the south in the 60’s) ironed my hair every morning before school.    That’s the only way I could get it straight.   OR sleep with my hair rolled in orange juice cans!!!   

“D” caught me up with a couple of our other friends that I haven’t seen in a while.    One of the girls (“P”) husband died several years ago of cancer.    Just recently “P” found out she has breast cancer in both breasts.    She got a 2nd opinion and her prognosis looks better than first believed.  

It’s always fun to run into old friends and catch up.   I just hate that we let so much time pass between visits but it seems like we all have so many obligations and busy lives we don’t make time to stay in touch.     Right now we’re planning to get together with “P” and another friend for lunch.   

I hope you’re lucky enough to still be in touch with your childhood friends.    If not, I challenge you to look them up and reconnect.    

Beautiful Day at the Lake And Setting The Record Straight

If you’ve read my blog lately you know we went to my sister’s lake house to start decorating for Christmas this past Saturday.    Also on tap was watching the Alabama vs. LSU game.    For some reason, some of you thought I’d be pulling for Alabama….let me make it perfectly clear that was not the case!!!!    We are Auburn fans through and through and would NEVER pull for any other team.      Frankly, I didn’t care who won (probably not a smart thing to say)….my son in law is the only Alabama fan in this family.     Now that I’ve cleared that up, here’s a few photos I snapped late Saturday afternoon at the lake.


fall 2011 164

My brother in law has a green thumb….he loves to work in the yard and babies his plants year round.  


fall 2011 166

The lake water is down some, but not as much as it was this time last year


fall 2011 169


fall 2011 170


fall 2011 172



fall 2011 175

The water was so pretty and calm


fall 2011 176

Here’s her neighbor’s place I showed in a previous post


fall 2011 177

We were shocked to see some folks on a jet ski this late in the year….but they were having a good time!


fall 2011 179

Brother in law was burning some limbs and leaves


fall 2011 180

Looking back from the dock at my sister’s place, a little smaller than some of her neighbors!


fall 2011 181

Tortilla soup almost done!   


I didn’t take any pictures of the Christmas mantel….it looks just like the one from last year which you can see here.     Actually, neither one of us was in the mood to decorate for Christmas, the day was so nice we sat out on the dock for a long time just visiting.      I guess it’s too early to get in the “spirit” for Christmas for us.    

Happy Monday!

November 5, 2011

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…

everywhere you go.   And I mean everywhere!    A lot of stores have had their Christmas decorations out before Halloween.    Our mall and outdoor mall have put out their decorations and a platform is all set up for Santa’s arrival.   

Today we are at my sister’s lake house decorating for our annual family Christmas get together which is always held the Saturday before Christmas. 


lake christmas 2010 031

Her neighbor’s lake house


Here’s our mantle last year:

lake christmas 2010 036

Every year we decorate about the same because my sister and I don’t buy too many new things to use at the lake house….just a mis-mash of whatever’s on hand.   


We’re fixing chicken tortilla soup tonight with homemade cornbread.     She has a red velvet cake for dessert.    

sideboard and lake 025


I hope it will be cold enough for a fire while we’re watching football.   


Hope everyone is having a good weekend and I hope whatever team you’re for wins!

November 3, 2011

Apple Dumplings

Oh my goodness, I found this fabulous recipe on a new-to-me blog….The Real Housewives of Bucks County.    These girls are uber talented and funny too!    You must visit their blog and check them out….tell them I sent you.

Anyway, tonight I made their apple dumplings…it may be that I’m the only one on the planet who never heard of this dish but whether you’ve heard of it or not, you can’t go wrong making this easy and yummy dessert.     Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls (I used 1 1/2 for two people)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (or apples of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 oz of sprite (or mountain dew)
  • 2 sticks of butter (I only used one)
  • Cinnamon to taste


1.   Peel and slice your apples into wedges (I bought myself an apple slicer/corer…great little gadget for around $6.00 at Wal Mart – get yourself one!).     Roll up an apple wedge in one of the crescent roll triangles

2.   Place crescent wrapped apples in a sprayed casserole dish

apple dumplings 001


3.   Melt butter, add sugar and vanilla and stir until “slushy”  (that’s unmelted butter in the pan…not some wormy thing!)

apple dumplings 002


4.   Pour butter mixture over tops of apples

apple dumplings 003


5.   Pour the can of soda around the wedges and sprinkle cinnamon on top

apple dumplings 004


6.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until brown and crispy

apple dumplings 006


7.   Serve warm with vanilla ice cream

apple dumplings 007


You can thank me later!

November 2, 2011

Hello from Me!

I haven’t blogged in over a week…really not much to tell other than the usual business of my life!    I was supposed to have gone to my best friend’s house in south Alabama last weekend but something came up with her family and we decided it would be best for her to attend to that and we’d get together another time.     I was really looking forward to spending time with her but we all know family comes first.

We have only two more payments to make on my car!   So of course, it seems like everything is going wrong with it at the same time.     On October 20th I was rear ended (luckily no one was hurt and my car has only minimal damage); then last Friday we had to get two new tires and this morning when I went out the battery was dead!     I’m so happy I have a hard working husband that took care of everything for me….it would be easy for me to have a gloom and doom attitude but I’m just grateful I have someone to take care of things like this for me.    

This weekend we’re heading to the lake house to decorate for Christmas….yes you heard right!    It’s the only weekend between now and the holidays my sister and I can get together and decorate  at the lake.    It’s become a tradition that she and her husband and me and mine go one weekend with no kids or grandkids and just have a relaxing time.      The guys work in the yard, we piddle around the house (and sometimes do a little shopping!) then fix something good to eat, build a fire that night, and watch SEC football.     This weekend is the big Alabama vs. LSU game….while we’re Auburn fans, this is a big game that we’re all interested in.     We’re going to have chicken tortilla soup and homemade cornbread.    Of course, we’ll sneak in a sinful dessert!

Well, that’s about all the exciting news for now.    I hope you’re still awakeWinking smile!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...