Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Five from my Fone (of course I know how to spell it but wanted it to match!!)

Yesterday I blogged about beautiful things and I mentioned this house/farm that I pass every morning on the way to work . . .in the middle of the suburbs.  Today is a gorgeous day and I stopped in the middle of the road (not a busy road and I made sure there were no cars coming!) to get a shot.  I love how the blue sky and the white picket fence and the flowering trees frame this shot!!

I can't remember when I began again but my recumbent stationary bike was in storage until sometime last fall.  We cleaned out the storage unit (I think I blogged about it!) and brought the bike home.  I kept it on the screened porch for a while and rode it some.  Then we had a party and Mark moved it into the garage . . .and then I went for a check-up and Guy (my doctor) reminded me gently (as he always does) that I need to exercise.  He probably didn't even say the words!!  Mark and Glenn moved the bike up into our loft area and I've been riding it ever since.  I got really serious about it in December.  I try to ride six days a week and I'm slowly building up my time.  I love looking at facebook or reading a book on my kindle while I ride because it makes the time pass quicker.  I've tried watching TV while riding but that is not my favorite activity.

I texted this picture to Laura (sweet daughter) one day this week and said "afternoon snack."  I did double check the picture just now to make sure that there is no private info written on my calendar!  (there is not so there is no need for you to enlarge it!)  I've been trying to make healthier food selections lately and I'm trying to mix it up so I don't get sick and tired of the same old thing.  We've always loved "stuffed celery" in our family (both growing up and now in Mark's family).  We usually use cream cheese and olives (yum!) or pimento cheese (growing up).  A wedge of laughing cow lite swiss spread onto some celery sticks is great - lots of crunch, fresh, and cheese!  I also had a Sargento string cheese (like a little kid!!).

Totally random photo of our shower.  We dry our shower every day to discourage mold growth and water spots . . .and because it just smells "wet" if we don't.  I really like using a clean towel (two) every day so since I'm going to be washing the towels anyway, I've been taking my hair towel and drying the shower with it.  I've tried a squeegee and it didn't work very well over the stones.  Any other suggestions?  I love our shower!  We've been in our house almost three years and we've never used the bathtub that is to the right of the shower!  Isn't that silly?

These invitations are last but certainly not least.  Laura is in a wedding in June and the bridesmaids are having a lingerie shower for the bride during the "pre wedding get-a-way."  I made the invitations using my silhouette and printed the inside and glued it in.  I only had to make 10 and I was really glad I was only making 10 when I got to the "lacing" up the bustier (I looked up that spelling . . .looks like it needs some more letters!!).  I told Mark that I felt like I had lost some of my fine motor skills - good grief those were tiny holes!!

I was very pleased with the final product and I heard through sweet daughter that the bride was pleased when she received hers!!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

beauty in the hodgepodge

I missed the deadline for linking up with the hodgepodge over on Joyce's blog but check her blog out anyway . . . I just won't link up this week.

1. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  What's something you've seen recently that you thought was beautiful?
As I was driving to work this morning, I thought that I should stop and take a picture . . and I didn't.  There is a house in Bluff Park that has a huge amount of property around it and they have a white fence all around the perimeter of the property.  They have some sort of flowering trees lining the "driveway" to their barn and it was truly breathtaking this morning!  Since I don't have a picture of that beautiful scenery from this morning, I'll show you this one.  My husband is not one of those husbands who buys flowers for me very often but every spring, he picks flowers at the farm and brings a bouquet home.  These white irises were probably planted many, many years ago.  They were lovely (and they have no scent!!).

2. Our culture and beauty...your thoughts?
I think we've always been obsessed with outward beauty.  My husband swears that ALL men look at the outward package first.  Yes, that sounds sexist but he was just being honest in conversation one day . . .and I have a feeling a lot of people feel that way.  Our magazines and movies all portray perfection in body shape, etc.  I love This Is Us for lots of reasons but one of the reasons I love it is because there are two main characters who are overweight.

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep...which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?
Beauty queen is on my mind because yesterday as I was cleaning out my desk drawer . . .I found this photo.  Now I'm not sure WHY this photo is in my desk drawer . . .I guess I wanted to show someone that I was a normal size.  This picture was in a portfolio when I was in the "Ironman Ski Queen" competition.  Years ago, there was a ski competition every year out at East Lake.  Skiers competed in jumping and fancy footwork.  I was first runner up in the pageant and the Ski Queen and I rode around the lake in a ski boat and waved to the crowd.

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which 'beast' on the list scares you the most? What is the liklihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?
Do I have to pick just one????  If any of those critters came after me, I would be screaming like crazy.  I do worry about bed bugs - yuck!!  If I even think about them, I want to scratch!!  Rats are gross!!

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?
On Tuesday night, someone's phone had a bell ring and for some unknown reason, it irritated me!  That is so silly!

6. What's your favorite carb? How's that for random?
Once again, how can I pick just one???  I LOVE potatoes - baked, mashed, boiled.  My ALL TIME FAVORITE carb would probably be French fries.  I truly love French fries.  I eat them first before I eat the hamburger.  I've been trying to make healthier choices so I bought some frozen fries at Sprouts this weekend and baked them - even they were good!!!

7. Let's wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.
Appointments (announcements are being made about pastoral changes in the UMC)
Revealed (pastors were notified today and churches will be notified on Sunday)
Churches (hopefully are)
Happy (hope all the preachers and congregations are happy with the choices made by the bishop and cabinet)
That makes very little sense but my brain is not up for an acrostic.  I love it when I see other people's cute ones!!  I had a dentist appointment and two doctor's appointments this month so I started off with that thought and then progressed into the thoughts about the North Alabama Conference of the UMC.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I have HORRIBLE allergies and dust is one of my killers.  Brian (boss/leader) is out of town so I cleaned my office this week . . .and wore a mask.  I know it looks silly but I decided to be safe rather than sorry.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Day at Home

So my boss is out of town on spring break and I decided to take a day off today.  I was home but ended up working anyway but it was nice to be on the screened porch or sitting at my island or in the recliner while I worked!  My original plan was to clean out the pantry.  I "straightened" the pantry and threw away some out of date items but I didn't empty it and reconfigure it like I had planned.  I made a triple recipe of Pioneer Woman lasagna (try this recipe - it is THE BEST).  I hope I have enough left overs to take to work to share with our maintenance crew!!  Let me tell you that it took all morning to make the lasagna.  ALL. MORNING.  I should have known that.  I've made the recipe before.  I guess anything you triple is going to take lots of time!

I also worked on a nametag project.  I'm in charge of the sign in sheets, handouts, and name tags for our administrative board meetings each month.  Each month I've tried something a little different trying to find a more efficient way.  The space where I have a sign in table set up is a fairly tight space.  So . . . .drumroll please . . .

I bought supplies at Michael's at no expense to the church.  We have a church member who graciously donates gift cards to the church.  I used a couple of the giftcards to Michael's.  Can you tell that I was working on the porch??

My office mate today was quite chatty!  He enjoyed sitting outside, too.  I'm not supposed to sit outside at this time of year due to my allergies so I was only able to stay a little while and then I moved my work indoors.  (office mate moved indoors, too)

I LOVE having a big island.  It is great for cooking but also for wrapping presents and doing all sorts of crafty things.  These are two giant poster frames and I have glued magnets all over both of them.

The nametags have a metal clip so they stick to the magnets.

I'll space them out a little more . . .and some people didn't turn their nametags back in last month . . .but I hope this helps.  I'm going to put one board in one area and the other board in a different area.  I bought easels and I hope they are strong enough to support the boards, all the nametags, and the magnets.

So all in all I had a productive day - rode the bike, answered emails, made lasagna, cooked dinner, made my boards, did some laundry - quite productive!  I love a good day at home!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Common Courtesy

Courtesy:  the showing of politeness in one's attitude and behavior toward others:

"he had been treated with a degree of courtesy not far short of deference"

I live in the south . . .and in the south (maybe elsewhere, too but all I know is the south), we still teach our children manners.  We teach them to say "yes ma'am" and "no sir" (and I've heard that in some places, yes ma'am, etc. is considered to be smart a**). We try to teach them when several people are entering the elevator, it is ok to step back and say "after you."  Heck, in the south, we still write thank you notes on actual paper!  My most recent thank you note purchase is below - fun colors!! At one time, I even had engraved thank you cards with my name on them (gift, I'm sure!).

There is something else we do in the south.  We pull over for a funeral procession (if I've never told you the story of Mark and George . . .in college . . .driving a green impala station wagon with a canoe tied on top . . . passing each slow car on their way back to auburn. . .with some major horn honking, I believe . . . until they were the car behind the hearse . . .oops, sorry I told you the story!!) . . .which brings me to today's post.  That sentence makes no sense with all that parenthetical material - the funeral procession is what I want to talk about today.

On Friday and Saturday - both days! - there was a funeral procession on the interstate.  What the heck are you supposed to do?  The funeral procession, led by two policemen on motorcycles, was in the fast lane on both Friday and Saturday . . .and I looked - two different funeral homes!!  So what are you supposed to do?  I actually whispered a prayer for those riding in the cars behind the hearse and I moved over to the right lane because otherwise I would have been driving neck to neck with the hearse.

I just goggled "proper etiquette for funeral processions" (really, I just did!) and there are tons of articles so evidently folks other than southerners do this!!  Here are just three rules I read:
1. Don't honk at a car in a funeral procession (see paragraph above - oops for Mark and George)
2. Don't cut into a funeral procession (also, see paragraph above - ditto)
3. Don't pass a funeral procession on the right hand side UNLESS the funeral procession is in the far left lane - check!  I was right!!

Were you taught courtesy and manners by your parents?  Is it becoming an outdated thing?  Do folks still pull over to the side of the road for a funeral procession where you live?  I wish I knew people all over the country because I would love to hear thoughts about yes ma'am and no sir, etc.

Just a few middle-aged musings on this Sunday afternoon!

Friday, March 24, 2017

She is ONE!

It is so much fun being a grandmother - who knew???  Baby girl turned one last week and we had a fun celebration.  I tried out two new recipes (my daughter-in-law asked me to help with the food and I was thrilled to help).  I will have to share the recipes in tomorrow's post.
I made a turkey and pepper jack roll up and I made artichoke dip in "bread boats" - both were delicious.  I also made fruit kebobs.  My son made pork tenderloin sliders with Asian slaw.  I didn't have one but heard they were yummy.  My daughter-in-law was going with a gold and white theme and that gave me a reason to purchase a couple of new pieces.  I found the raised, scalloped edge square piece and the oblong piece at the Christmas Tree Shop and I also bought the gold metal two tiered stand there.  I had white dinner plates so those worked perfectly!

Our "big" gift to Emma was a pink cozy coupe.  Oh my goodness . . .Mark was pushing her around in it and she was so cute!  Glenn said that she goes and sits in it and seems to enjoy that as much or more than being pushed in it!

One of my favorite things that Lauren used for decorations was the banner on her mantle.  She printed out the "monthly" pictures of Emma and had them in order.  It is truly amazing how much a baby changes from birth to one year.

The cute family . . .I love the birthday tutu!

After sweet baby girl's baptism, I realized that there was not a single picture of me with her on that special day.  I made sure to get a picture on her first birthday.  It would be cute for us to get a picture every year with her (wonder if I will remember that!!)

Those who attended the party were mostly immediate family and a few very close friends.  I love this picture of April playing with Emma and the balloons.

I stuck my phone up in the air and snapped an overview picture.

In the years since I was a mommy of young children, they have invented the smash cake.  Riley (dog) was hoping for some cake!

Emma loved it!  She started off slowly but progressed to handfuls!  Glenn had to put on an old sweatshirt over his clothes to get her out of the high chair and she went straight to the bathtub from the high chair.  It was her party and she could bathe if she wanted to!

Laura's friend, Scott, was able to join us for the party.  Emma loves her aunt LaLa!!

In addition to the smash cake, there were cupcakes for the adults . . .shhh - don't tell but I ate ONLY the  icing and threw away the cake.  I'm sure it was tasty but I've been trying to eat healthier and I really love icing so decided to splurge ONLY on icing!  Aren't those "one" toppers cute??

Of course, we had to celebrate on Sunday with a family party at Grandmother's house.  We always celebrate birthdays on Sunday at Great Grandmother's house.

She made a pound cake (one of Glenn's favorites!) with icing for Emma.  She dipped animal crackers in chocolate to decorate the cake.  Y'all -- my mother-in-law is truly amazing.

Grandmother also made mashed potatoes and Emma loved those, too!!

Emma loved opening her presents at Grandmother's house, too!  Her great grandmother and great aunts and uncles were generous!!

Emma's first birthday weekend was filled with celebration!  She is so special to all of us and brightens our days!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

From this Side of the Pond

I'm late . . .I'm late . . .for a very important date with Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond.

1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?
On Saturday, we celebrated our sweet granddaughter's first birthday!  It is so awesome watching her grow and change . . .and she is soooo cute!  Surely that tutu constitutes some sort of March Madness, right??  She had never (as far as I know) experienced cake before and was a little cautious at first but the smash cake quickly became March Madness, too!  Our daughter said the cake picture should be made into some sort of meme!  Let them eat cake!  I ate ALL the cake!  

2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.
The first thing that I thought of was "lella lotion" which is what our son called Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion from Clinique.  I still call it "lella lotion" without thinking!  We also called the hair salon "the haircut place" and I think that is what I still say!!  My favorite made up word was Snoopy Magic or Mommy Magic.  When the kids were sick, Laura would always say that she needed either Snoopy Magic or Mommy Magic.  Snoopy (a similar one pictured below) would rub his feet on their tummy for a tummy ache or Mommy (me!) would rub their face or arm or tummy to make them feel better.  Laura was sick last week and texted me (she is a grown up now, remember?) and told me that she needed some Mommy Magic.  I sent her the picture below and told her that Snoopy was on his way.
her snoopy is much loved like the velveteen rabbit! (photo from amazon)

snoopy to the rescue! (photo from google images)
3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were- clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?
Let's see . . .yes, I NEED to do some spring cleaning.  I desperately need to clean out my pantry.  I don't have a real pantry and I have wire shelves in a "closet under the stairs" and stuff gets stacked every which way in there.  I'm thinking of taking a day off next week and cleaning!!  I have a weekly cleaning lady who dusts and vacuums and cleans the bathrooms and kitchen.  We need to clean the ceiling fans and we need to wash the outdoor windows!!  My problem is that I'm terribly allergic to dust and to pollen and both are plentiful inside and out!!

4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?
Y'all . . .every once in a while when I'm home alone for a weekend, I love to watch old movies ----- especially old Doris Day movies.  Several of her movies were in New York -- Pillow Talk??  I loved Send Me No Flowers; Lover Come Back; Please Don't Eat the Daisies.  They would be considered totally silly by today's standards but I sure do still enjoy them!

5. What's put a spring in your step this month?
Every single thing is blooming here and it is beautiful.  Today we have sun and blue skies and a pleasant breeze!  Just the right climate for putting a spring in my step!!

6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?
I had a giant blackboard when I was a kid and loved to pretend to be a teacher!  When I was an elementary student, I tended to be a teacher's pet and was usually allowed to help grade spelling and math tests :-)  I teach a large adult sunday school class now which is a totally different kind of teacher.

7. What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?
I have horrible allergies so no floral scented anything for me.  I'm not a big wine drinker but floral notes sound like they would be good in wine!  Easter is coming up and the scent of lilies kill me (not really dead but you know what I mean!).  I do like the scent of roses but even roses can sometimes set off my allergies.  The few scents that don't seem to bother me are essential oils like peppermint or breathe easy.  I can stand a tiny bit of lavender essential oil and I can tolerate lemon pretty well.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm late again answering the Wednesday Hodge Podge questions.  I just have a hard time finishing - Monday, Tuesday, and  Wednesday are exceptionally busy on my job and I'm too tired to write when I get home.  I had planned to write early before work yesterday but couldn't get motivated.  I work hard for my priorities to be God, Others, and Self . . . so sometimes my stuff falls to the bottom of the pile.  I've been working harder on self care - making time to ride the stationary bike every day and prep ahead meals . . .so sometimes writing just falls down to the bottom even though I love it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Madison and Laughter and Old (not age!) Friends

A couple of weekends ago, we met our dear friends for lunch.  They live in Nashville and we live down in Alabama . . .so we met in the middle.  I asked a question on Facebook, "where is your favorite place to eat in Huntsville, AL?"  One of my friends forwarded an email to me from her friend who lives in the area.  She gave us several recommendations and I received lots of great recommendations from friends on Facebook.  I wanted it to be an enjoyable day for Mark so one of the places suggested was Old Black Bear Brewing Company in Madison, a suburb of Huntsville.  I read several reviews and it sounded good!

The brewery is located in a small historic district directly across from the old train station.  The dining area had a wall of exposed brick and a wall with lots of windows.  For those of you who live in Birmingham, that should sound unusual to you - "the dining area" of the brewery.  This brewery serves food -- and it was good food!!  I emailed the owner and asked about their ability to serve food and brew and he sent me a great informative email about Brew Pub License and how many gallons you can make and how the license allows them to serve food.

Jan snapped this photo of Mark and Hayden and I'm so glad she did!  Hayden and Jan are the kind of friends who love to laugh and we love to laugh so it is always fun to be together.

Not only does Old Black Bear Brewing company make beer . . . they make their own ginger beer AND they make their own vodka.  Those two ingredients, along with a lime, make the perfect Moscow Mule.  I NEVER drink in the daytime (except sometimes on vacation . . .and this was a mini vacation, right??) but couldn't pass up the opportunity to try this.  It was worth it! Jan and I both had Moscow Mules while the guys tried several flights of beer.

The day was spectacular.  In February and March in Alabama, we never know what kind of weather to expect.  On this day, the skies were blue and there was a light breeze and the sun was shining.  Perfect weather for walking around the little town.

We went in most of the little shops.  I had a slight problem - almost ALL of the store owners were burning scented candles.  The shops were fairly small and the scents were overpowering to someone who has massive allergy issues.

There was a cute sweet shop and they even had chocolate covered bacon!  I love that the name is Whistle Stop and it is directly across from the old train station (which is now a restaurant).  I love the charm of the old buildings and I was so happy to see a tiny old downtown area that has been refurbished. 

Our time together was over much too quickly and they headed back to Nashville and we headed home to Birmingham.  The day was awesome - filled with food, fun, and fellowship - 3 of my favorite things! (along with a few beverages and lots of laughter!!)

Monday, March 13, 2017

SO I GOOGLED . . . .

Seriously, I love google.  I use it every day.  I use it MANY times every day.  One day, I typed into the search bar, "most comfortable shoes for overweight middle-aged women with bad feet."  Seriously! I wasn't disappointed. There are lots and lots of articles and blogs about shoes.

I was thinking about my shoe collection. My shoe collection is probably much smaller than many people.  I used to have pumps of every color - some of my favorites were pink!  I actually had light and dark pink pumps!  (this was in the 80's)  I had some great shoes back then.  Now . . .now I have several pairs of tennis shoes and a pair or two or three of "fancy" dress up VERY UNCOMFORTABLE shoes . . .and I have shoes made for comfort.

Let me tell you about some of my favorites.  I don't know what I'm going to do when my Mudd white sandals totally fall apart.  I need to start googling to see if I can find some more.  These are by far my highest shoes and they are wedges and I love they way they look on my feet and they are comfortable.

The next pair of shoes is my "goldish" neutral pair of Bernie Mevs.  I have these also in black and I have an open toed pair in black.  Very comfortable shoes but neither these nor the Mudds have arch support.

The middle pair of shoes is made by Cobb Hill.  They are by far the most comfortable "dress" shoes that I have ever owned.  They have arch support.  They are cushy (that is a word, right?) and the heel is fairly low and sort of chunky.  I found these through one of my google searches and I have been very pleased.

I would wear "flip flops" every day of the year if I could . . . and I probably do wear them 300 days a year.  These are sandals made by Vionic.  I have purchased most of mine through Amazon but they are available at Belk and Zappos and other places.  I buy a minimum of two pair each year and literally wear them until they are quite shabby.  Vionic even makes fun flip flops that are more like true flip flops (with arch support!!) and they even make slippers.  The corduroy slippers below have a home under my desk at the office (and I've worn them today because it is cold!!).  I was even able to purchase booties by Vionic.

Another comfortable brand is Alegria.  I like to wear these with pants and socks.

Here are the booties and they are super duper comfortable.  I ordered mine from Zappos.

My last shoe recommendation is for boots.  I love the look of boots but I have wide calves.  So once again, I did a Google search.  Did you know that Old Navy carries wide calf boots?  They do!  They are comfortable!  They would be better with arch support but they are really great and I like them so much that I own both brown and black.  I just looked them up and right now they are on sale for $31.99!  Obviously they aren't real leather but I have worn them for two winter seasons now and love them.  Granted . . .I only wear them when it is really cold and I live in Alabama so we don't have THAT many cold days but they are great!

Is there a clothing item or a shoe item that you love?  Do you use Google as much as I do?

My feet were made for walking . . .and I need comfort!  Happy shopping!  (p.s. - none of these companies know that I'm writing about them!)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Magazine Worthy?

We have a neighborhood email and a neighborhood facebook page and I love the feeling of connectedness that those two items bring.  I rarely respond to the emails but always read them.  This last week, someone had requested recommendations of residents who have great porches.  This person needed some shots of awesome porches for a magazine shoot.  I actually responded and told the person about our next door neighbor's porch - they have happy hour almost every afternoon and anyone is welcome to bring their drink and sit on the porch with them.  We haven't participated yet but as soon as the pollen is better, I'm going to be first in line.  It looks fun. . . and if you don't have a drink, they will offer one to you!

I also described our porches to the writer and even attached a couple of photos and then I made the statement, "our porches are definitely not magazine worthy."  I've been thinking about that statement ever since then.  Who says?  Yes, I know that I said it!  I know it really isn't magazine worthy but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I love some of the things on our porch (we actually have several porches but I'm talking about the screened porch).  These photos were taken on a cloudy day.  The porch is actually the walk through from the garage to the house and right outside the porch is our small courtyard.  We have a patio area tiled in the same tile.  As you can see, the porch opens from our main living/eating area so if we are entertaining and the weather is nice, we can use the porch as an extension of our living space.  When Mark fries fish, he fries it outside on the porch.

Our son, Glenn, made the two tables.  He made one for me for Christmas a year or two ago and he made the other one for my birthday this past year.  The rockers that match came from At Home.  The third rocking chair was Mark's - one of his pieces of furniture from his first apartment post college.  I think his parents bought it for him.  We used it in our nursery and rocked our babies in it.

There are several fun items on this table.  The Igloo cooler was my daddy's.  He worked as a carpenter and he worked for the L & N Railroad and I'm sure he had many days where he needed a cooler of cold water.  The cute faucets were purchased at Southeastern Salvage and they are to give the impression of beer or liquor taps.  That would be fun to have real ones!  The antlers wrapped around the orange bucket are from the farm from a deer that Mark killed.  The box on the very bottom shelf was Mark's daddy's . . .or maybe even before.  The writing on the box is "Libby's canned meat!!!"  The small red lantern on the bottom shelf was a gift from our friend Butch, who died several years ago.  The Jack Daniels bucket, the wooden box on the middle shelf are both from Southeastern Salvage.  We love that store.  The little red lanterns on the middle shelf are from Target.  I can't remember where the birdhouse on the bottom left came from.  I think it might have been a gift but I cannot remember!!  I think the silver candlesticks were a wedding gift . . .almost 33 years ago!  Lots of sentimental items on one bar table!!  We can clean the top off and set out drinks of all kinds.

This is the other table that Glenn made.  I asked for a very narrow table to go in this space.  This table is more rustic that the other one.  The fish on the stringer are metal and they came from Frontera.  I know this sounds so silly but Frontera and Southeastern Salvage are kind of "date" locations for us - it is something we both enjoy doing and we enjoy looking together.  This is really funny because Mark HATES to shop - I mean truly H.A.T.E.S. to shop.  The blue bucket is another Jack Daniels bucket from Southeastern Salvage.  The lures are real lures from some fishing trip.  I think the little red tricycle came from At Home and the giant pine cone came from the yard Hobby Lobby!  We have no big trees in our yard!  We have a tiny yard!!

Here is the view looking toward the garage.  The pillows in the old rocking chair are actually the cushions for the iron furniture in the courtyard.  I have a wreath of forsythia on the garage door because you see it from inside the house and I always try to match/coordinate the garage door with the two front doors (one main front door and the upstairs porch door).  We have two ceiling fans which make the porch almost bearable even in the hottest part of summer.  Summer in the deep south can be brutal.  We purchased fans for all of the porches from Dan's Fan City and they installed them and the fans and Dan's Fan City are all awesome!

Magazine worthy?  Probably not.  I don't have that fancy decorating flair that so many of our friends have . . .maybe our porch isn't magazine worthy . . .but our porch is filled with special items.  Our porch is much loved (by us and by our cat!!).  Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder and I think our porch is quite nice!!

Do you have outdoor living spaces?  Are you like me?? . . .I have horrible tree allergies . . .so I can't even use our porches right now.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Y'all join up with Joyce over at From This Side of the pond and answer the questions.  This is her 300th Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Check out her lovely blog!!
From this Side of the Pond
1.        What is one area of your life where you're a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?
       Since I’m a #1 on the Ennegram (I’m sorry – I know y’all are tired of hearing about this but good grief, it rings so true!!) . . .I actually have a problem with being a perfectionist.  I want my work to be perfect and I’m really upset when I make a mistake.  I’m trying to be more healthy about this aspect of who I am!!  I’m trying to recognize it when it happens.  It is bad enough that I expect myself not to make mistakes but I also have a tendency to have too high expectations of others.  Is perfectionism a good thing?  It can be.  I also can be a slippery slope!

2.      What's something you find perfectly ridiculous?
How about this pink unicorn in my office?  I bought it for my boss’s daughter but I haven’t seen her yet so Pinky has been hanging out in my office.  I cannot tell you the number of grown adults who have sat in my office and held Pinky.  We are all quite ridiculous!

3.      What's a skill you've developed by way of that old fashioned saying, 'practice makes perfect?
I’m an excellent typist/keyboard user.  I learned to type when I was in high school on an old manual typewriter (good grief – when I type things like that . . .someone might think I’m old!! Hahaha!).  I then progressed to electric typewriters and then electronic typewriters that were sort of like a word processor and of course, now we use keyboards and Ipads, etc.  I used to love to take the “timed tests” and because I have a competitive spirit, I wanted to win!  I wanted to be the fastest in the class.  Practice makes perfect!

picture from Google images - from Royal

4.      What's your idea of a perfect breakfast?
Breakfast for dinner??  I really don’t like breakfast food first thing in the morning but later in the day or at dinner – yummy!  Biscuits and gravy; hashbrowns; fresh fruit; bacon and sausage – yum yum!  Or how about homemade waffles with lots of butter and syrup??  I’ve been trying to eat healthier so I’ve been eating my overnight oats with fat free greek yogurt and strawberries and blueberries.  I don’t eat it until about 8:45 or 9:00 after I get to work.

5.      What's a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you've taken that you'd rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.
When our kids were at the end of sixth grade, they went on a trip with the school.  Mark and I scheduled a trip to coincide with their time away.  We flew to St. Martin and stayed in a lovely resort on the French side of the Island.  We ate wonderful meals.  We reconnected.  We drank wonderful drinks on the beach.  It was a wonderful trip.  That trip would be close to a 10.  (and it was long ago so I’ve forgotten any problems we might have had!).  Just this past weekend, we were also talking about a weekend trip from several years ago.  We were with some of our closest friends at a hotel in South Alabama for a wedding.  We had a wonderful time and that weekend was pretty close to a 10.

6.      What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can't do perfect, how about one that comes close?  
I love this quote by Erma Bombeck – “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.’”  I hope that sums up my life right now.

7.      How would you spend $300 today?
Something must be terribly wrong with me because I immediately thought, “just $300?”  So very sorry – just being honest.  Let’s see . . .I might go online to Amazon and buy a bunch of books to read.  I might buy a pair of Antelope shoes.  I could give the $300 to Mark and he could go to a fancy restaurant/bar and $300 might buy two shots of Pappy VanWinkle bourbon.  If the money just came from out of the blue, I should tithe on it, shouldn't I? . . .or maybe give it all to a ministry??

8.      Insert your own random thought here.

I did well last month.  My intentions were to write every day.  Our internet was down for an entire weekend so I'm removing those days from the equation.  I missed just one or two other days so I’m counting it as a success!  (do you hear that healthy person – not cutting myself down for not being perfect???)  This month, I actually have a couple of things to write about but I just haven’t had the time to sit down . . .actually, I have sat down after Mark has been in bed . . .but I’ve been reading a thriller at night after Mark goes to sleep.  I truly can’t figure out who committed the murder!  If you've read it DO NOT TELL ME!!