March 17, 2014

Angels Among Us

 I really have no idea if this is an appropriate title for this post, but I really felt impressed to share this must be for someone.    I hope it blesses whoever you are.

When my son was in high school he had a friend who I will call "D".   "D" was at our house quite a bit....started off hanging out with my son and morphed into hanging out with friends of my daughter' son and daughter are 2 1/2 years apart and a lot of his guy friends got real interested in his sister and her friends.  

Anyhow, it didn't seem to effect my son and 'D' 's relationship much...they came to some kind of understanding and everything worked out.

After high school my son enlisted in the Navy and "D" signed up with him.   My son went for benefits and I think "D" more or less went because he admired my son and his parents wanted him to "settle down" and have a vocation.    After basic training my son and "D" came home...both got jobs and begin to make their way in the world.

It was soon discovered that "D" had a form of cancer (and I'm sorry to say I don't remember what kind of cancer he had) but it eventually went into remission and things seemed to be fine.     "D" and his family went snow skiing and "D" got so sick he had to come back home, where they found his cancer had returned with a vengeance.   "D" died on March 12, 1997 at the age of 22.     My son had a hard time dealing with "D"s illness and put off going to see him until the very end.    I was thrilled to find out that "D" had accepted the Lord and was baptized in the bathtub at his parents' home.    

 One morning when the hospice worker came in "D"s mother told her that "D" kept asking her to "sit him up at the foot of the bed".....every time she did, he'd shake his head no and try to fight her off.    The hospice worker said she'd go in and see if she could tell what "D" was trying to say.    Now here's the part where I tear up....when the hospice worker came out, she told the mother "D" was saying 'do you see the angel at the foot of my bed'?    She told the mom that "D" was ready to go but that he couldn't until his mother told him it was okay!    She did and within a few hours "D" passed into eternity.

His mother told this story at "D"s funeral and I can tell you there wasn't a dry eye in the room.     I'm sharing this story because I feel like someone needs to hear it.      I wouldn't presume to say I got a "word from God" but I really felt impressed to share "D"s story.

I've witnessed three miracles in my lifetime and this is one of them.    It gives me peace to know there is hope for every one of us.

March 13, 2014

Getting Ready for Spring With New Patio Cushions

With Spring just around the corner here in the South I'm anxious to get my back deck and patio ready for some outdoor living and entertaining.    We've all had a rough winter, and it's taken a toll on my deck and patio.  

We have a lower patio area where our umbrella table is and just a step up is the deck with our chairs and loveseat.   

 During the winter we have our fire pit in the middle of a circle of chairs but I have a plan for replacing the fire pit with something a little unusual.    More on that later.

I've had these same cushions for several years and they are faded and just old looking.   I thought about taking them to my upholstery lady and having them recovered but I'm not sure if she would do that.    I started looking on line for cushion replacements and the ones I liked were a lot more than I wanted to fact I could replace the whole seating ensemble and dining table for what the cushions would cost me!

This week while in good ol Wally World I wondered back to the garden area and saw some pretty black and white damask print cushions.    I needed 9 but they only had 6.    I bought them and the next day went to another Wal Mart hoping to find 3 more.     That Wal Mart didn't have any like the ones I bought but they did have some I liked just as well and better yet, they were reversible!   And did I mention they were only $13.50 each!!!!!

 I liked the black print on one side but fell in love with the black and white "awning" type print on the other.    They reminded me of some I'd seen in the Ballards catalog that I've always wanted.  

(yep, that's our exercise bike you see....the husband likes it in here so he can watch TV while riding it)
I also bought a new black umbrella at Fred's....they only had one but I need two.   Since we host Easter at our house every year, I'm on a mission to get everything all cleaned up and some flowers planted.   I bought two new planters to use on either side of the French doors that lead to the outside and I plan on putting boxwoods in those.    Lots to do and I'm ready to get my "dirt" on!

March 12, 2014

Updating Candlesticks

Before I post this, I wanted to tell you that I've been using Windows Live Writer to post to my blog for years.   For whatever reason, neither of my computers "recognize" WLW today!!! Very frustrating so I'm posting in the old blogger method...hopefully all the post and pictures show up.    Please let me know if you don't see all the pictures....when I preview the post sometimes they all show and sometimes they don't!    I'm beyond frustrated!!!!
 In addition to that, my Facebook page appears to be compromised and no one is getting my posts on FB for the past 2 weeks!   If that wasn't enough, my cell phone died last week and I had to get a new one...I've got to get someone to help me understand it!     Moving on.....

I wanted some new candlesticks….not just any, but some chunky ones.   However, I couldn’t find any I liked in my price range.   So what’s a girl to do?   It came to me one night (when I can’t sleep I think up things to do which can sometimes lead to trouble)….I remembered I had some variable height candlesticks somewhere out in the storage building…or at least I hoped I hadn’t sold them at our huge yard sale last fall.    The first time I looked I couldn’t find them but I kept digging and lo and behold there they were underneath and behind some things (gotta clean out that storage building)!

Only problem was they were not exactly what I had in mind.    I had bought them when I decorated with rich jewel colors (reds, gold, blacks, you know you had some of that stuff too)!

 Very pretty in its day but it was time for a new look.

I wanted to make them look kind of a weathered gray and luckily I had a can of Krylon Spray paint in Satin River Rock.   


I turned it upside down to be sure I got in all the nooks and crannies then flipped it and sprayed it right side up.

I sprayed one and after it dried it was too shiny and new looking.  
 I had a little bottle of Folk Art Paint in Barn Wood and just dry brushed it on with a little disposable sponge brush which gave the candlestick a matte chalk-ish look which was exactly how I wanted them to look.

Obviously I need some new candles!

I had a few other candlesticks already a weathered gray look and while these don’t match exactly, that’s okay because I probably won’t be using them all in the vignette.   I have two more that go with the one I painted but I ran out of spray paint (I didn't have much to begin with) so just as soon as I get more paint, I'll have a set of 3.

So if you have old candlesticks don’t be afraid to update them with a little paint and imagination.

March 3, 2014

Making My Own Laundry Detergent

I’ve wanted to make my own laundry detergent for quite a while now.   I’ve seen many posts and pins on Pinterest about different methods but decided to make mine using the products that Yvonne at Stone Gable used.    The only changes  I made is that I used 1 container of Gain Scent Boosters instead of Downy Unstopables and only 2 bars of the Fels Naptha Soap instead of the 4 that Yvonne used.

Here’s the list of items I used:

1~ 4lb 12 oz box of Borax

1~ 4 lb box of Arm And Hammer Baking Soda

1~ 3 lb 7 oz box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

1~ 3lb  container Oxy Clean

2 bars Fels Naptha Soap, grated

1 container Gain Scent Booster


laundry soap



We poured everything in a big garbage bag and shook it like crazy.     I also had a big scoop that we used to mix it up even more.

I wish I had a pretty container to show you like Yvonne’s but for now it’s in an empty 5 gallon bucket of David’s Sunflower Seeds!    My husband likes to do his own laundry (lucky me!) and he’s very klutzy and it would not last a week in the glass jar.    I have plans to get the laundry room cleaned out and give it a little makeover but until then, I guess my detergent will just have to stay in it’s ugly bucket.

I’ve got to say that after using the detergent for a week I love it!    It really does a great job cleaning our clothes and since my husband works outdoors (he has a landscape business) his clothes are “stinky” and grimy….the clothes come out clean and soft and smelling great!    Plus the whole house smells like every day is laundry day and has that clean smell all day.      Saturday I washed the coverlet on our bed and this morning my husband said whenever he woke up during the night he could smell it and it smelled so good!    He’s never commented on anything like that before.   

I’m taking a little container of it to my friend’s house when I go visit with her this week.    She’s a clean freak and I can’t wait to get her opinion on the “homemade detergent”!

I’d love to know if you’ve ever made your own laundry detergent and how you like it!

March 1, 2014

I’m On Instagram and Didn’t Know It!

Last night our granddaughter was spending the night with us and we were looking at her Instagram stuff….she said “Mimi, I follow you but you don’t post anything”.    Well, apparently one other time when she was here we/she set me up and I just didn’t know how to use it.     But she gave me a few quick lessons (which I will probably forget!) and I think I’m going to like it.     I never understood all the hoopla about Instagram but now I think I can see why everyone loves it.    Sooooo, I’d love it if you follow me on Instagram at gracioussouthernliving!

Hope to “see” you there!

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