Saturday, November 30, 2013

Five Things Thursday on Saturday

Okay, so I've been busy! The Lapps family left this morning so I'm determined to finish the decorating today. Still, about Thanksgiving---we had such a great time. Here are 5 things I am particularly grateful for:

1. I'm especially grateful for a  sink of hot sudsy water. Whether I'm cleaning or cooking---it's my best friend!
I can't work without one!

2. I'm thankful for these darling little pilgrim place card holders that Annie made. She is the daughter of my friend, Susan. It had to be at least 10 years ago that she did these.

They looked so cute on our Thanksgiving table. Sandy, Stephanie and Mindy were commenting on their cuteness. I sent Susan an email to forward to Annie requesting that she make 30 more for the girls. It really was a joke because Annie is soon to be a college grad---getting ready to start medical school. Still, Susan responded that she would make them!! I told her that she might as well open an Etsy shop because as soon as I showed the little pilgrims here, the orders would come rolling in!!

3. I am grateful for the Honeysuckle White turkeys that I always get with their pop-up timers. That little perk assures that our white meat stays moist!

4. I'm also grateful that I have a family that all pitches in. That makes all the work more like fun! 

5. I'm VERY grateful for internet friends!! I participated in a holiday swap posted by my friend, Miriam. She hosted the swap. I received my "treat" from, Amy in Australia!
I love the beaded start ornament. The little white ceramic ornaments will look really nice on the tree too. Amy included the sweetest note too. I'm so happy to be able to say I have friends all over the world!!

What were you most thankful for?

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Is it dressing or is it stuffing? And what about the cornbread type? Within our own family, people call it different things. I figure if you put it in the turkey, it's stuffing. If you don't, it's dressing.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Lapps family arrives tonight, so I won't be having much blogging time over the next few days. I hope the weather holds so that you all get where you need to be without problems. You know that is my one and only irrational fear. I try not to think about it, so I'm not even going to get in to it.

We had "A Year of Memories" on Monday. I'll be posting the layouts on the AYM blog. This month's assignment was to think of the #1 in the context of "One thing I know for sure" or "One thing I know is true." I love how everyone interpreted that. Here's mine:
"One thing I know for sure---if you don't write down your stories, no one will remember them." I devoted this layout to my "students" who have embraced the idea of committing their stories to paper.  I am so passionate about it. I truly believe we're providing ourselves with a little bit of immortality. Even if many of my books wind up in an antique shop 50 years from now, I think people will be interested in how we lived. Most of my scrapbooking is about the day to day stuff.

Have you written down your stories? Why don't you? You don't have to scrapbook---just start a journal. If you do, your grandchildren will thank you for it.

Have a really nice Thanksgiving and create some memories. Better yet, write them down!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"HOME Work"---Getting Ready for the Big Day!

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. We have not seen our turkeys in over a month. I'm sure they also sensed the approach of their worst nightmare!

Friday was a very productive day. I got all of the pre-holiday tasks completed.
 I actually enjoyed the ironing. Don't get me wrong, I don't plan to take it up on a regular basis.
 My ironing board is one of those little pull downs in the laundry room.
 There's not much room. I can only do half of the tablecloth at a time. Basically, I iron up one side and then down the other. I think I got an ironing injury---my wrist hurts.
Next up was disassembling the Waterford chandelier. I don't allow anyone else to handle this. I'll be telling the sentimental story behind it next weekend for Storytelling Sunday. Look closely, you can see how cloudy the crystal is with dust. I only do this once a year. It's a big job.
First off, I start with a sink full of really hot, sudsy water. I put all of the pieces in for a good soak.
Everything gets rinsed thoroughly. The pieces are laid on a towel to dry. I'm careful not to get fingerprints on them---it's easy to do. There is a right and wrong way to put the prisms on. One side is flat.
When the cleaning is finished, it's so totally worth it. My chandelier is all clean and shiny! However, there is a mystery here. Years ago, I noticed that one of the prisms was missing. Since I'm the only one to handle it, I have never known what happened to it. I have never broken a piece (knock on wood). Perhaps, someone needed a prism for their chandelier. I hate to think that any of my friends would "lift" one. I can't even see a single one getting broken without others also being damaged. I really only have two explanations: 1. One of the prism was missing from the very beginning and I just don't remember---or, 2. When we moved, I inadvertently threw one out. Perhaps it got lost in the wrappings and I just didn't notice at the time. This is probably the most likely explanation. Luckily, there are so many prisms, that you cannot tell that one is missing. 

We are really looking forward to having the family together for Thanksgiving (although we're going to miss Greg). But just so we don't forget what else is right around the corner, Mindy reminded me.
She put her tree up on Friday night. Wait, that's not quite how it happened. Butch took her tree down to her condo (she has no room to store it, so we have to keep it here). He set it up and put the lights on. All she had to do was decorate it.

Lest you think it's too early for the tree, Christmas is just 4 weeks away!! I can't say I'm looking forward to my decorating---it's such a big job. But I am looking forward to the cookie baking and gift wrapping, Christmas movies and music. And don't forget the Christmas china, parties, teas and good food! 

Let the festivities begin! What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 22, 2013

What's Happenin'!

Outside my window: Leaves are down. I'm expecting Robert (our lawn guy) to come soon to handle them and get them out of the beds.

I am thinking: That I have a lot of the "unfun" type of work to do for Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate---or even dislike household chores. But, I refer them as "unfun" work as opposed to the "fun" work I do---getting ready for classes, scrapbooking or creating. Which leads me to what I did for our Thanksgiving table. That's coming up later under what I'm creating.

I am thankful for: Time to enjoy the process of getting ready for the holidays. Thanks to Butch for meeting the plumber at Steph's today so that I have an extra 3 hours at home.
Yesterday, I cleaned out the drawers in the dining room china cabinet and buffet. I left the Thanksgiving things out. I'll be ironing tablecloths and napkins today. Remember, I don't usually iron? Well, I don't mind ironing linens because I really like the looks of freshly pressed. I won't start decorating the table until Monday or Tuesday. I'm trying to decide---since the family wants a poker game on Wednesday night. We'll see. I like to set the table a couple of days ahead so I can enjoy looking at it for awhile.

From the kitchen: I've already put the Thanksgiving menu together---it's always the same (and the same as Christmas too). I've made two slight changes this year---corn casserole (that I've already posted here) and buttered carrots. The family started to get worked up until I promised that for our Christmas dinner, I would go back to the regular corn pudding and carrot casserole. They always want just the same things. I've nixed the oyster casserole this year as Steph, Nicky and I are the only ones that eat it. Even if I make the smallest amount, there are leftovers and leftover oyster casserole is just not good. I'm going to be putting the grocery list together and pulling the coupons today.

I am wearing: black cordoroys and turquoise sweatshirt; socks and slippers. It's a work day, so no make-up. Maybe later if I decide to run errands.

 I am hoping: For a chance to do some scrapbooking on Sunday. At least, that's my plan.

I am reading: Blink. I just finished Killing Jesus. It was so good. I highly recommend it. I would rate it a 9. As for Blink, my friend, Mary Jo recommended it. She wanted to pick it for our book club, but didn't think it would be well received. It's very interesting. It's about how we have first impressions and gut instincts right away. This book goes in to the science of the brain and why these feelings are accurate. In fact, it goes even further to say that you can make a judgement about something (or someone) in only two seconds and it will end up being a correct assumption. 

I am busy creating: Okay, I'm ready to unveil the project I've been working on for Thanksgiving. I always like to have table favors. This year, I had something specific in mind, but could not find what I was looking for. I had a couple of other places to check, but knew that I would end up spending nearly a hundred dollars for them. Instead, I saw these on the Jillibean soup blog. That became the inspiration for my version.

I had all the supplies (except the candy) on hand. I did not have to buy a thing. I got the glassine envelopes from Michaels. The leaves are from a spray in the floral department that I cut apart years ago to use on my scrapbook pages. I used a Stampin' Up punch to make the tags---I printed the words from my computer. The buttons are leftover from one of my kits. I "sewed" gold thread in them. I used glue dots to put everything together. So easy---and the best part, sooooo cheap!!!

I'm bummed: That I have to get my scrapbook room somewhat cleared out so the "ladies" can get through the closet to the attic to get out the outside Christmas decorations. They're coming on Saturday. They usually come the day after Thanksgiving, but with the whole family here, it's just not convenient.

I am hearing: GMA (Good Morning America) on the tv. That's how I get my news. Today---the big news is that some 25 yr. old from St. Louis is going to marry Charles Manson behind bars. They will be unable to consummate the marriage. Good thing. We don't need another Charles Manson in the world.

In other news: The whole family---except Greg---will be here for Thanksgiving. Greg has to go to China. His boss is from Columbia and doesn't recognize Thanksgiving. Plus, it will be business as usual in China too.

One of my favorite things right now: I love the free app "Dots" game for my phone. I never waste a single moment of time waiting around for anything. Try it, but I must warn you, it's addicting! I got the idea from Abi at Creating paper dreams.

I appreciate: Sam's Club. I'll make a "Sam's run" on Wednesday to stock up for the holidays. You can never have too much toilet paper or pecans.

I regretThat I finally motivated myself to get back on the treadmill. I was always so good about exercising every day. I only lasted two days! By Wednesday, I had shin splints. I need to start every other day rather than just jump back in to what I was doing. Why is it so darn easy to fall off the "exercising wagon?" Plus, I've always said, it you want TIME to slow down, all you have to do is work out. Then, 15 minutes seems like an hour!

 How the weekend is shaping up: I'm really looking forward to a shopping trip with my girls. I'm buying Steph clothes for her birthday. Mindy's birthday is coming up on December 7th, so I'll probably get her a few things too. Then we're having lunch and going to the movies to see the new Hunger Games. I'd like to go to 4:30 Mass so Sunday will be completely free. 

I hope you all have a good weekend----don't work too hard!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Five Things Thursday

I got the idea for posting about 5 random things from Sian over at From High in the Sky.
I've decided to call it "Five Things Thursday." 

1. Our last tomatoes.
I was planning to use them in our salad last night when Stephanie, Nicky and Morgan came over for dinner. Butch threw them away. He said they were rotten. Disappointing.

2. I kind of like this "throwback Thursday" business. But, I'm too lazy to find pictures. I got these off of Facebook when the girls' friends posted them.
 Stephanie, Malinda, Erin, and Sara at Sandy's wedding in 1994.
I'm not really sure how old Mindy is here, but I'm thinking around 8---that would make it 1992.

3. These nasty bugs are back. I'm sure they are coming in with the fire wood. They must be a problem all over the Nashville area as Mindy had one crawling on her wine glass at the club. It freaked her out. We have never seen a bug at the club.
To get an idea how big it is, think of the body as wide as a dime. Eeek! Still, I guess I'll take these over snakes.

4. Can't wait to show you what I have going on here.
Think Thanksgiving. I'll be sharing the website where I got the idea when I post the finished product. Maybe tomorrow.

5. Lastly, I just had to share these darling little festive things I found on Pinterest. 
Aren't they the cutest little grinches? I won't be making them, but Sandy might. She does stuff like this. I don't really have the patience.

And that concludes my first "Five Things on Thursday." 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Who's Afraid of Snakes?

I think snakes are a common fear. At least it is for me. I got this email from Sandy the other day:

"Greg found another snake today.  This one was in the garage curled up under the water heater, and it slithered into the opening where the gas line runs under the house when Greg got near it.  That makes 4 snakes total that we've found, and they have not been little.  It really is starting to creep us out now. We've got a "snake guy" coming on Tuesday to do a thorough inspection of the yard and crawl space.  I am fearful of what he might find living under our house!  We have to do something because no one wants to go in the backyard, and now the girls (and me a little) are freaked out about going into the garage.  I just hope that one doesn't make it's way into the house!"

Sandy called me today to give me an update. The "snake whisperer" told her that these snakes can reach 8 ft. long and are harmless. They feed on rodents. He then informed her of their bigger problem. They have A LOT of mice. That's what the snakes are feeding on. 

Sandy said that it's gotten so bad, that Elizabeth won't sleep in her bed now. She's been sleeping on their floor. Then Victoria told her she would be safer in her bed than on the floor. That didn't help the situation. When Sandy asked Elizabeth to get the dry cleaning off the front porch, she freaked. She then told Victoria to get it. She said that Victoria opened  the door and peeked out. She surveyed the front porch area before taking a step out. 

As it turns out, it's not only the kids that are freaked. Greg asked Sandy if she wanted to have a glass of wine on the porch. She hesitated because it was dark out. He said, "not you too!" She's freaked too.

On the other hand, Mitchell seems to be taking it all in stride. He thinks they are all over-reacting. Yeah, sure. The guy who screams like a little girl when he sees a spider!!!

I'll take spiders over snakes any day!

The "snake man" is going to be coming on a monthly basis to tackle the mouse problem. Hopefully, the snakes will slither off to the house next door! 

We've certainly had our fair share of animal problems here---remember several years ago when I had to call "Critter Ridder" to re-locate the family of opossums living under our house? And we have mice too. I like animals, but I just don't want them in our house!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Second Thoughts on Second Opinions

I got a lot of great comments about the second opinions---which reminded me of something else. Sometimes, a second opinion can be a bid for a compliment---intentional or unintentional. As in---if you are asked for your opinion after the fact, then what are you going to say? The decision has already been made. Now you either go along with said decision, or run the risk of hurting someone's feelings.

I was in such a position just a few years ago. A friend called me on the way home from the hair dresser. She had a new "do" and wanted my opinion. This could NOT be good. First off, when you have your hair done, all of the "hair technicians" are in cahoots. As soon as you are finished, your hair dresser will turn to her neighbor in the next cubicle and ask her opinion---more like "doesn't Ms. Eads hair look great like this?" Doesn't matter if she cut it way too short (and knows it) or got the color so far off, that you are wondering how you can even appear in public. The second hair dresser will automatically start to gush. "Oh, Jane, you did such a great job!! She looks fabulous!" You know you are in trouble.

Anyway, on with my story. So, said friend is coming by to show me her new "do." I'm in a panic. I pride myself on the truth. I'm already preparing for what I'm going to say---"I know you must be so excited about this change." She'd been wearing her hair the same way for 20 years. Or, I might say, "that took a lot of guts to make such a drastic change." In the end, I LOVED her hair!!! It really did look cute on her. So what I said was, "OMGosh, that is so cute. Now are you going to be able to fix like that yourself?" I need to learn when to stop talking!!! She said that the reason she came by was that she knew I would tell her the truth. Thank goodness, the truth was what she needed wanted to hear!!!

We've all had our "hair" moments. Remember the shag in the 1970's? That was NOT a good look for me. It took a couple of years to grow out. Wish I had a picture to share.

So basically, I don't think anyone really wants or needs a second opinion. In the end, they've already made up their mind!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Second Opinion...

There's something about asking for a second opinion that shouts, "not really!" It's been my experience that when people ask for a second opinion, what they really want is for you to agree with their opinion.

Today, I was at the fabric store to pick out fabric and trims for my needlepoint pillows. I swear, I must have a sign on my forehead that says, "Ask me, I have opinions!" Or it could be that they like the stuff I've picked out.

Anyway, this woman started asking me about her pillowcases. She had embroidered a row of flowers and butterflies along the edge. She did beautiful work and I told her so. I didn't even know that people still did that sort of thing. She showed me what she planned to do. She had this butterfly lace that she was going to put on the edge of the case opening. She asked me for my opinion. The trim was awesome, but right away, I did not like the placement of the trim on the edge. She proceeded to tell me that they were for her daughter-in-law who did not like pink. She was regretting using pink for the butterflies. There was also blue and lime green in the border. I asked her what her DIL's favorite color was. She said blue. I grabbed a blue 1" satin ribbon and laid it next to the seam under the border. I laid the butterfly lace over the top. That ribbon set off the lace perfectly. Plus, with the blue, it drew your eye to the blue stitching and down-played the pink. The conversation went like this:

She: "Don't you think it should be on the edge?"
Me: "Not really, on the edge, it looks like it's dangling in mid air."
She: "I did my last set like that and it looked really good."
Me:  "Well, you asked for my opinion. I think this way just really sets off your needlework."

Then, she proceeded to give me her opinion on what I'd selected for my pillows. I didn't ask for it, nor did I want it. I know what I like and have an eye for picking things that go together. I'm confident in my choices. She thought that the fabric I selected was too thin and would not hold up well as a pillow. I told her that I do not allow anyone to actually USE my pillows. They are decorative items only. After that, I moved on.

I think the same is true when you want a second opinion from a doctor. You either want him to agree with you or your doctor. I think the "askee" takes his cues from the "asker." If the "asker" says, my doctor says this, but I really think I should do that"---they are looking for someone to agree with them.

If I ever seek a second medical opinion, I want it to be completely unbiased. I want the new doc to know what the problem is, but not what my doc has recommended, or what I would like to do. I want to know what he thinks---independently of anyone else. To me, that's the only way to get a true second opinion. Otherwise, you're just paying good money to get someone to agree with what you want anyway.

That's just my opinion.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Outside my window: We've had a cold snap this week and our first snow.
This picture was taken while it was snowing. I have no idea why you can't really see it. Of course, the ground is too warm, so it melted as soon as it landed. The weekend is supposed to be nice. It's sunny right now, but I'm sure it's still chilly.

I am thinking: About my Thanksgiving centerpiece. I think I'm just going to use fall colored flowers. I'll set the base of greens from the yard and add the flowers. Once Thanksgiving weekend is over, all I have to do it pull out the fall flowers and put in the white ones I like to use for the Christmas holidays. 

I am thankful for: An old friend and her daughters---Connie, Amanda and Malinda. We had a great time together at dinner last night. Just like old times.

From the kitchen: I've already planned my Thanksgiving dinner. Last night, at Christmas Village I bought some Captain Rodney's sauce to use in a new appetizer recipe. It makes a 9x13 dish, so that will be plenty for happy hour with the whole gang. Although chances are slim, leftovers would be nice.

I am wearing: Still in my jammies. When I finish this post, I'll get myself ready for the day.

I am hoping: To take 3 needlepoint pieces for finishing and another for framing. 

I am reading: Killing Jesus. I'll finish it over the weekend. It is soooo good, easy to understand the times and people.

I am busy creating: This week, I got my December kits put together. I just need to write the handout.  I finished my handmade "goodies" for Miriam's swap. I'll be getting that in the mail today. I also planned our family craft for Thanksgiving afternoon. I found the idea on Pinterest. Turned out pretty cute.
Now if I could only learn to put my glasses on when I take a picture, I might notice if it came out blurry.

I'm bummed: That my arms are too short to take a decent "selfie." 

I am hearing: "This Magic Moment" on Pandora. And it is a magic moment here in front of the fireplace. Oh, and now it's "Someone Like You" by Adele. My favorite song. I've made it the ringer on my phone.

Around the house and garden: Getting ready for holiday decorating. I do not need one more thing, yet I bought a few more at Christmas Village. I cannot resist glittered things. I'll share pics later.

In other news: Butch took Morgan to the Titan's game last night. When they got home, I had a chance to catch up with her a bit. She works ALL the time. She says she's going to have time off during the holidays. We just want her to enjoy her senior year. She likes the money. What can you say to that? There's a fine line between wanting them to be responsible and getting the balance just right. Life is so darn short. Of course, when you're 17, you don't think like that.

One of my favorite things right now: One of my blog friends, Abi, introduced me to another game app for my phone. It's called "dots." I must warn you, it's addicting. Still, it's fun to play when you're waiting for something. 

I appreciate: My buddy, Jeff. He's been coming to our rescue for almost 20 years now. We had a leak under the sink.
When I am writing the check before he leaves, I always say the exact same thing, "Jeff, I always enjoy seeing you, but I hope I don't have to see you again!" Quite the paradox. 

I regret: that the debacle known as "Obama Care" has caused this:
Three pieces of health care "junk mail" in one day. Whose watching out for those poor trees?

How the weekend is shaping up: I'm looking forward to a leisure weekend. Tomorrow night, we're going to the club to celebrate Stephanie's birthday. Other than that, I plan to scrapbook (can't wait) and finish my book. I think I'll throw in some stitching while I watch a couple of movies I have recorded. 

Speaking of the club---I sent the family an email letting them know that I was able to reserve the private dining room for the Christmas brunch. Sandy sent me this reply:

"I'm glad we are in the private dining room because there is less chance that Santa will make an appearance in there than in the main dining room (if he still comes to the club).  I wasn't even going to mention the possibility of Santa to Elizabeth, but she overheard me talking to Greg, so now she knows he might be there.  And as you can guess she is NOT happy about it!  She told us last night that she isn't even going to take her own children to see Santa.  She said she would just wait in the car or shop in the store until they were done.  I told her that children have to have an adult with them and she said "Mom, Santa is an adult!"  I don't think she will ever like Santa!"

You may recall that Elizabeth says that "Santa ruins Christmas!" We have no idea why he freaks her out. Plus at 8 years old, she obviously isn't over it yet. There was one year that she was scared of everything---about age 5 or 6. She didn't like the "elf on the shelf" or the surprise snowman door hanger Sandy put on her knob while she slept. She said he was staring at her.
Apparently, she has no fear of gypsies. She dressed up as one for Halloween.

Lastly, so proud of Mitchell. His debate team came in FIRST!!! That'll look good on a college resume.
Someone else takes blurry pictures too. Mitchell on the right.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!! Only 39 days to Christmas. Where are you in your planning?