Monday, January 31, 2022

Me on Monday

1. For my birthday, Butch got me a subscription to People's Royals. Okay, I hinted heavily!
I got the first issue. I think it comes quarterly. I haven't looked at it yet. I'm saving it for when I'm on a trip. 

2.Speaking of my birthday, 
Remember this gorgeous arrangement from my sisters? Well, it's still going...

After two weeks, I pulled out all the dead flowers and it still doesn't look half bad--just a little sparse.
I asked Butch to pick up some white flowers to add to it. But, he said there were no white to be had. I'll stop at another place when I'm out today. I love those white--I'm not sure what they are--they are soft and fuzzy--and look like caterpillars.

3. I asked and got, breakfast in bed. Another one of my things to make me happy!
Scrambled eggs with cheese and toast. Actually, I would have been happy with a bowl of cereal and bananas. I just didn't want to get up and make something for myself. This definitely made me happy! I stayed in bed with my computer, classical music, the fireplace and lit candles. It was a really great way to start my day. I think I spent an hour and a half just being lazy!

4. I'm not always lazy--although I'm planning on at least one day a week--thinking Saturday. Otherwise, I get on the treadmill just about every morning. 
Today, I wanted to mention these socks. Bombas. They are a little pricey, but so worth it. My feet never get hot or sweaty. And, they never smell--even though I wear the same ones for about a month! They are thick and comfortable. Well worth the $12.50. I've had these for about 4 or 5 years and they still look and feel like new.

5. Getting on the treadmill is really a no brainer since Butch made me my treadmill desk in 2014. You can check out that post here. I can't believe I've had it for 8 years now. I wish there was a mileage counter inside this thing. We have definitely gotten our moneys' worth out of it. We bought it when we moved in to this house almost 27 years ago and it's still going strong. We did have to have it repaired once. 
As the creature of habit that I am, I have a very set routine. I start with checking my email. Then, it's on to Facebook and Instagram. After that, I go to Bloglovin'--, my blog reader. That's usually enough to spend an hour like it's nothing. If I'm caught up on the blogs I follow, I'll go back to Facebook and go to my "saved" list and start watching videos and check off other things I want to read. 

The treadmill desk has made all the difference in the world to me. The only thing is that I can't really type and walk at the same time. It's not worth it as I make nothing but typos! Oh well, I can't have everything! 

Happy last day of the month---Monday!!

Sunday, January 30, 2022


...who knew?

1. The new color trend for 2022 is green!

Who knew that Amanda would end up being a trendsetter!!

2. These joggers from Nordstrom are all the rage.
Who knew they'd cost $140!! Yikes--for sweat pants!

3. In light of the recent news reports of a book about the holocaust being banned from a school library...
Who knew that Stephen King would start a run on bookstores!

4. Now this seems pretty darn clever to me.
Who knew you could hang a door upside down?

5. This just could be important information.
Who knew 999 was a "thing"? Actually, honestly, if I'm in a dangerous situation, I doubt I'd have the wherewithal to remember this AND to press 55! (And yes, I've spelled 'wherewithal' correctly--although this might very well be the first time I've ever used that word.*

*Update: I used the search feature at the top left on my blog. It's official. This is the very first time I've used the word 'wherewithal' since the beginning of my blog in 2007! Let's not make it my last! I'm pretty sure I have a lot of 'wherewithal'!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

10 Things to Make You Happy Today

I've been thinking about happiness. I'm basically a pretty happy person. I also realize that part of what makes me happy are little things. I pay attention to the little things. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Light a fire. No matter what time of day, a fire really makes me happy. In fact, as I write this in the early morning hours, I'm in the bedroom with my gas fireplace on. I lit a few candles too. I guess #2 should have been light some candles, but I'm trying to keep this list to just 10 things.

2. Buy a plant. Even if you think you'll kill it--buy it. A little green will make you happy even though you need to spend a little green to get it! You can find them under $5.00 at the grocery store. Ditto for flowers. Grocery store flowers are cheap and definitely make me happy.

3. Call someone you haven't talked to in a long time. I'm not a phone person, so this is kind of hard for me. But, I did it during the lockdown and it definitely made me happier. And it made them happier too. The reason I don't like the phone? It's a time waster. I cannot have short phone conversations. And that's on me. But, it's true. 

4. Wear something that you've been saving for "good."  This really makes me happy. Basically, just about my entire wardrobe is new, so everything seems "good." I pick something new just about every day whether it's a scarf or jewelry or a pair of shoes. Just pick something.

5. Clean something you haven't cleaned in a long time---or ever! For me it's usually fake plants or floral arrangements. I give them a good dunk in a sink full of sudsy water, rinse, dry. Or if they are big, I'll put them in the shower--no soap, just plain water to rinse off the dust. It makes me happy to know they are dust free--until another 5 years! I'm also going to add here---clean something fragile. I dunk everything in hot sudsy water, rinse, dry. Or clean a chandelier. That's definitely a satisfying clean. 

6. Listen to an album from your teen years. I actually have a Spotify playlist with my oldies. But it you choose one of your old favorites and listen to just that, it will definitely make you happy. How many times did I smooch that life size picture of Peter Noone on the back of the Herman's Hermits album??

7. Nap. Nothing else needs to be said about this. If you take one, you'll understand!

8. Read. Allow yourself an hour to delve into a good book.

9. Eat a piece of fruit. It makes me happy to know I'm eating something healthy. I've been eating two pieces of fruit a day. The other good thing about that is it satisfies my sweet tooth. Pears, tangerines, apples, bananas, grapes are all good at this time of year.

10. Give someone an unexpected hug. When someone surprises you with a hug, it makes you happy. Conversely, if you are the one doing the hugging, knowing you've made someone else happy, makes you happy.

Gosh, I could go on and on. I guess I'll save some for another post. 

Happy weekend!!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Five Things Thursday

1. I follow dozens of blogs--actually over 200! Several are decorating blogs. I discovered that a major trend for 2022 is "Parisian inspired decor!" 

"Paris will set the standard for fashion in all things. It's timeless and cutting edge all at once. The French know how to incorporate vintage appeal with contemporary design like no other. While Parisian decor is rooted in historical designs, like gilded gold mirrors and crystal chandeliers, it's no wonder that Parisian-inspried home decor is one of the top trends you'll see in 2022."

Well, for once in my life, I--without even knowing it--was ahead of the trend. I had planned to use a chandelier in the bathroom, but it just wouldn't work. Darn! I do love a chandelier in the bathroom--like in our master:

And the powder room.

2. I have never seen anything like this before.
When we were in New York for New Years, we went to The Smith restaurant. Right when you walk in the door, these sinks were on the left. I suppose it's to encourage everyone to wash their hands. I wish I'd thought to ask if these were installed because of Covid. But they do look pretty old. Interesting!

3. I saw this picture of Dame Helen Mirren and knew I'd have to share it.
Not only does she look stunning, but that dress!!! I'd say it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I love the color combination--so gorgeous! And the jewels are fit for a, well, fit for a "dame!"

4. In light of all my cleaning out and organizing....
...I really need to revise this to say that I have given away most of their inheritance!! I have a car full of boxes that are being donated today!!

5. On Monday night, we had book club. I did not go because I had not read the books. That's pretty rare for me. Since we were supposed to be in Egypt, I elected NOT to read them--just so I could read a few on my longer and growing longer all the time list. 

After book club, I got the email about our next books. One was an Agatha Christie. I was pretty sure that I had it, so I went in to the library and checked.
I went straight to my shelf that houses my Agatha Christie books.
Yep, there it is! I pulled it out and found this:
The list I made--somewhere around 1964 or '65 of all the books I already had. At the very top, was one book by Mary Westmacott--Agatha Christie's pen name for a line of romance novels that she wrote. 

I started reading AC in the 7th grade when a friend's sister recommended them to me. She loaned me The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and I was hooked. This may very well have been the beginning of my love of English literature and books set in England! My all time favorite book is Wuthering Heights. 

Although I have already read The Mirror Crack'd, I cannot remember a single thing about it. After all, it's been at least 58 years or so. I'm sure it will all come back to me! Yeah, right!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

What I Buy Wednesdays

Considering I've been in all week, I haven't been shopping. Sure, I could have shopped the internet, but I didn't. Oh wait, yes I did! I bought 10 album covers and pages from Creative Memories. That was a necessary purchase as my "putting pages in to albums" had to come to a halt. The albums are supposed to arrive in Friday, so I should be able to get that completed this weekend.

Also, I already posted--yesterday--about the new mirrors. So that's it. Instead, I'm going to post about something I was given for my birthday.
My friend, Nancy A., gave me this Mickey Mouse pencil case. It was full of colored pens and pencils. She did it because of a story I wrote for our "Circle of Friends" journals--another new club I started last year. 

Anyway, the story goes like this:
I had my one and only childhood birthday party when I was 8 years old. One of the boys in my class gave me a Mickey Mouse pencil box. It was really cool. It had snaps that opened to expose the top where there were compartments for the pencils, small colored pencils, sharpener and little ruler. There were  also two little drawers that contained a map of the world and some flag stamps for each country. 

My brother, Ronnie--he was a year younger than me-- told me he wanted it and if I didn't give it to him he was going to tell dad all the bad stuff I did. Now there's a little backstory here. Ronnie, the twins and I agreed that we were all going to confess the bad stuff to mom and dad about a week before my party. Bad stuff like crossing the street, climbing trees, sneaking cookies--little stuff. Ronnie went first. We watched him get his spanking. We girls chickened out. That made us ripe for blackmail.

So, I did the only thing I could do--I gave Ronnie the pencil box. Later, dad asked Ronnie why he had my new pencil box. He said, "she gave it to me, dad!" He turned to me and asked, "Barbara is that true?" I said that it was--I didn't want it. He then asked me to stick out my tongue. Oh no! The dreaded "stick out your tongue" test! Yep, the devil was sitting there. That meant I was lying. So, besides losing my pencil box, I was in trouble for lying. I don't remember anything after that. I don't know if I got spanked or if Ronnie got in any more trouble, but I already had my punishment--losing that cute little pencil box!

Nancy said that when she saw the box, she just had to get it for me. Now I have a permanent reminder of my brother and his career as a blackmailer!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

A Few Things

First things first. 

1. It was my friend Susanne's blog that gave me the nudge to organize all of my little bits and samples of my health and beauty aids. You can find her here. She's a hometown girl from St. Louis, transplanted to Indiana! They go "home" for Cardinals games all summer!
Seems like this is the perfect place to share this cool picture!

2. I'm nothing if not efficient. I love oatmeal and it's a bonus that it's good for my heart. I have started making extra.
I make two servings which actually gives me four servings--a half cup of oatmeal is enough. I prepare it all, a little salt, butter, Equal, cinnamon and a dab of milk. Mix it all up, cover with Saran Wrap and put it in the refrigerator. The next morning --or any morning--it keeps just fine--microwave it for a minute and a half. Ready to go. Quick and easy and healthy! Cinnamon is supposed to be good for you too. It controls your blood sugar levels and reduces high blood pressure. I don't have either of those problems, but maybe that's why!

3. We're still waiting for the guest bath to be finished. I had to abandon my plan to use my antique mirrors. I wanted to make a collage over the sink to the ceiling. But the two that were going to be the main ones that you would actually use, were oriented the wrong way and wouldn't work. 
So instead, we bought two new ones that look old. I wanted to run a whole row of the antique ones across the top, but Butch was getting aggravated with the hanging process. It's never easy. For now, I've settled for just the one extra. Once the room is finished and I start the decorating, I'll decide what I want to do. Here's a little sneak.

4. We're getting ready to paint the shutters and doors at our condo in Santa Rosa Beach. Butch and I are on the committee along with 4 other women. He's pretty much stayed out of it--he'll be reporting to the board (he's a board member). OMGosh! This has been a terrible experience. I'm not used to being involved in anything where the ideas are so completely opposite from each other. You won't be surprised to know that I've stepped in to the role as the organizer. It was driving me crazy---all the emails with such differing opinions--just short of fights! I thought for sure the consensus would be that we stick with beachy colors. Right now, we have coral shutters with kelly green doors. It's a pretty combination and beachy, but faded and needs a refresh. My philosophy has always been to change up the colors when you paint so you really see a change. Keep in mind that the building itself is stucco--so a light tan--virtually anything will work with it. Here are some of the very adamant suggestions that have been submitted:

                                            Not terrible.

Guess which ones are our submissions? Butch and I were in total agreement. This is going to be interesting. I don't know what I'll do if they pick something ugly! Could be grounds for moving! I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I know a thing or two about picking paint and color combinations--and I'm pretty good at it! Okay, I guess that does sound arrogant. So be it.  I'll have to let you know how the vote goes. I'm usually a pretty good sport when I lose. But I don't think I will be this time! Actually, I'll be sick!

5. Speaking of the beach, I think this is pretty clever:

Look, even this food is a pretty color combination!

Okay, enough for today.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Monday Mystery

We've had a lot of snow in Nashville this month. I hate that we missed our biggest one while we were in Key West. Still, we've gotten to enjoy a few smaller ones. We're very close to breaking records for the most snowfall in a year. 

Look at this picture. It's right outside our bathroom window.
Do you see it? Look really close. Closer...closer.
Here's a closer view. How in the world is that one darling, little azalea bloom still living amidst the snow? Now that's a mystery!! And it still looks so perky!
At night with the landscape lighting, it looks like a winter wonderland. The lights are on timers and stay on until about 10:30 p.m. I love looking out. The snow pictures are the best. But the regular ones aren't half bad.
This is the view looking out at the pool from the kitchen. We updated our landscape lighting several months ago. We've changed to some other kind of lights that are brighter and more energy efficient. That's great, except for one thing.
This! This light is right outside our bedroom window. It lights up the room like sunlight!! Really bright!! In fact, sunlight never shines through this window at all! And another thing, if there's a power outage--or just a flicker, it messes up the timer and we get this 24 hours!! We had our guy come out. He changed the angle of this light in such a way that it doesn't shine so brightly in the room anymore. At least we know how to reset the lights now if there's a problem.

Then this happened. 
We were moving furniture in the bedroom in preparation for the new carpet. We moved a chest and discovered this light switch. If you look at the picture above where the light is shining in the window--that's the piece of furniture we moved. This switch is just randomly on the wall there. Honestly, I have no recollection of it. We've been in this house nearly 27 years. That piece of furniture has only been moved a few times for either paint or carpet. 

Anyway, that switch is the light by the door right outside this window. There is not a door from our bedroom to the outside--just the window. You have to walk through the sunroom--which connects to our bedroom with French doors. It's just as close to walk in to the sunroom to turn on that outside light. I'm not sure why anyone felt like there needed to be a switch inside the bedroom for that door light. 

Now that's a mystery for sure!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Organizing Continues

So after my post yesterday about all the organizing I've done this week, I've continued on. 

But first, before I get to it, I need some help from my blog friends. I want to change the looks of my blog and do not know how to do it. I'm looking to hire someone to help me or do it. If you have any information for me, please let me know.

Okay, on to it.

Yesterday I was putting pages in albums when I realized I had a container that held all the layouts I did in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown. That was another 16 layouts. So that means, I have 62 double-page spreads to put in albums. I spent 2 hours and 15 minutes and put together just about 3 albums. Here's just a glimpse of the mess I have.

Pages are sorted everywhere. I'm pretty sure I'm going to run out of pages and protectors before I finish the job. Still, I plan to plug away and do as much as I can today. Then I'll finish getting my room back in order.

Another thing I decided to organize yesterday afternoon was all of my health and beauty aids. And, boy, do I have a lot of those! I need all the health and beauty I can get!

Actually, I saw another blogger take all of her "bits and samples" in hand--which gave me the idea. Now, I was going to link her, but cannot remember exactly who that was. If it was one of my fellow blog friends, let me know and I'll be sure to link you. Update: it was my friend, Susanne where I got the idea. You can check out her blog here.

I have a ton of stuff in drawers, baskets on my makeup table and vanity. 

I included cleaning out my travel cosmetic case that stays packed. When I'm getting ready to travel, I just have to grab it.

I started with gathering it all together. Then I came up with this idea:
I sorted it all in to ziplock bags and labeled them. Sometimes, the writing is so tiny on those little tubes  and samples that I waste a lot of time trying to figure out what something is for. This will definitely make it easier. 
I lined them all up in the drawer. Now remember my multiples problem. This is all EXCESS stuff!! 
What I use daily is in this drawer. When I use something up, then I'll pull from those ziplock bags. At least it's all neat and organized now.

While I'm reporting on cleaning out and organizing, I thought I would give Butch a shout out and share a couple pictures of his closet.
Now don't be fooled. His closet looks like this all the time. He told me that he cleaned out and got rid of some shirts. He keeps his clothes for a very long time. Really long. Really really long! As it turns out, he got rid of exactly 3 shirts. Big whoop!!
I have to admit, when he retired--12 years ago, it killed me to see most---okay, almost ALL of his custom suits go. And his ties---he had some really awesome ties. Luckily the clean out of ties, he was able to pass along to Justin. He has to wear a tie every day. Anyway, I'm glad Butch is a neat guy. He always has been. Now don't get me wrong. He has his "areas" that are not so neat. Ahhh, but that's another story.

Don't you just love January? There's something about cleaning out and organizing that energizes me!