Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Travel Tuesday

Happy Halloween! I've saved these pictures especially for today!

Morgan sent me a few pictures of her decorations.
I love her table setting.

These were her table favors. The girl knows how to do it right!

A little over a week ago, we were at Sandy's for the George Strait concert. She had her house decked out for Halloween, so I decided to share some of her decor.

This was a craft project from a few years ago. 

The wreaths on the front door are so cute.

She's had these for a couple years. I think she got them at Michaels, but it could have been Sam's.
The details are, well, haunting! Sorry, I couldn't resist! I really love the details. These wreaths are so full with really cool stuff!
She even has her porch decorated. This cute s'mores tree is adorable!

And lastly, Stephanie and Nicky had Mindy and Justin over to enjoy the fire-pit over the weekend. 
Justin crafted this monstrous charcuterie! Pretty clever. I don't have the imagination for stuff like this. I do have something fun planned for Thanksgiving at Morgan and Olly's. We'll see if it turns out!

Okay, I guess I'm ending with this--once again, my pictures did not upload in order. So, one more from Sandy's house. I did the needlepoint for both of these projects. I didn't really remember the "happy haunting" one, so it must be pretty old. As for the suckers, they were fun to make. 

As for me, I only got out one pillow this year. We were in and out so much that I didn't do any decorating at all. Just this:
Still one of my favorites!

All right, that just about wraps it up for this year.

PS OMGosh! I almost forgot this picture of my cute little niece.
She makes the perfect little Wednesday!! Yes, her hair is that dark!! The scowl is sorta real too!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Monday Mystery

So, a couple weeks ago, I was making corn and crab chowder. I decided to get some fresh crabmeat. But, when I saw it, I decided....
...it just might be a little too fresh! I think it would creep me out to open the lid and see anything squirming about. On the other hand, maybe it's fitting since it's nearly Halloween!! Still, I took a hard pass. 

Honestly, it's truly a mystery to me. I have no idea what that means!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Something for Sunday

So, I'm reading this book as part of an online photo course I'm taking. It's called My Hygge Home. I know how you are pronouncing that, but you would be wrong. It looks like high gee (like tee except with a soft g). It is actually pronounced: Hoo (like boo with an h) and ga (like duh with a hard g). If I don't know how to pronounce something properly when I'm reading, I stumble over the word every time--it takes away from my enjoyment of the book. I need to know. I cannot just gloss over it!
Anyway, this book is about establishing comfort and contentment in your home. It's based on the fact that Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland are the happiest places on earth to live. The people there are very happy in their homes and actually thrived during Covid. 

When you consider how we spend our time, you can see how important it is to have a nice home. In a year, based on a 24-hour day, these are the places we spend the following amount of time:
1.8% in bars/restaurants ---158 hrs. 
5.4% work--473 hrs.
5.5% car--482 hrs.
7.6% outdoors---666 hrs.
79.7% home---6982 hrs.

The number one thing you need to have for a comfortable and content home is a nice window view. It's been proven that an unattractive window view contributes to increased depression by 60%. A pleasing view contributes to good mental health. I guess that's why I don't like my backyard neighbors even though I've never met them. They cut down all the beautiful trees that lead to my contentment! 

I'm pretty lucky to have good views from just about all the windows in our house--not that I sit and stare out the window. Well, I did do that when we had the family of hawks last year. I'm really glad I did since they didn't come back this year.

Here are a few of my views:
From my kitchen window.
This one is from my bathroom window in the middle of the night. Yes, I had gotten up to use the bathroom and saw that it had snowed. We don't get much snow around here. I love this so much--it looks like it's black and white, but it's not. I had it blown up and framed. Gotta' love a picture that is taken through a window and is still so good---with my little 'ol iPhone too!
And then this one from the beach last week. My sister-in-law, Sharon took this one. We have lots of beautiful sunset shots, but this is the first purplish one.

This book also talked about another study---how many rooms per person is optimal in a house. The average Danish and British households have 1.9 rooms per person whereas the Russians have less space at .9 rooms per person. Canadians have the most rooms per person at 2.6. European and North American average 1.9 per person. Now I don't know if they consider the bathrooms as rooms in this percentage. One thing is for sure, Butch and I have a higher than average room per person ratio--not counting bathrooms (we have 6), there are 13 rooms in this house. It's true that we do not need this big house. But the fact remains that we have nowhere else to go without spending an arm and a leg. So, we'll stick with feet--square feet that is! 

That leads to the next study. People who average 800 square feet per person in their homes have the highest satisfaction in their lives. That is true for 74% of the population. Those who have less than 800 feet per person in the home have significantly lower satisfaction with their lives. However, if you live alone, you are happier in a smaller home rather than a big one.

One thing I've always known is: that mess causes stress! There's nothing that can ruin my day faster than when I leave the house in perfect order and come home to a mess. Obviously, this sort of thing happened more often when the kids were at home. Now it still happens, but to a lesser degree. If I leave the house in perfect order, it goes through me to come home to dishes in the sink. So the bottom line on this is if your home is cluttered--regardless of the size, it's going to lead to dissatisfaction. 

Everything about your home is meant to be a warm and cozy, sheltering place. We are meant to want to be there. Make it so! And add a scented candle while you are at it!

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

What I Buy Wednesday

Well, I guess I'll start with this:
This is Butch's purchase---a new garbage disposal. Matt called from the beach to say we needed a new one. When we arrived, he helped Butch install it. I didn't take any pictures of that. This is what I refer to as "un-fun" money to spend. At least they saved us the plumber's service call!

And then, Sharon and I went shopping. I bought more of what I do not need. But, it's always fun to get some new things!! Plus at 40% off the entire store, who could resist?
5 tops--2 blouses, 3 knits. I like sparkly things and 3 of these are shiny. I also got a new pair of black slacks. When I find something that works for this height-challenged girl, I stick with it. I know exactly what size I need from Talbot. Plus, after a while, I just need a new pair. 

Yesterday, my friends and I walked to West Nashville to browse a few shops and have lunch. I didn't really browse any shops because I didn't want to have to carry anything--and I am such an impulse buyer! I'm better off staying out of the stores. So, I didn't buy anything. That wasn't the purpose of the trip anyway. It was all about the walk there--7.75 miles round trip. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. We had a lot of fun even though a couple of the "old gals" had a few knee problems. I hope this didn't cause them too much extra pain! We'll see. We're planning to do this twice a year--once in spring and once in fall when the weather is nice and not too hot. It would be brutal during a Nashville summer!

Christmas gifts are rolling in, so I can't really share them. I need to hold off ordering anything else for the next couple of weeks. I can't have packages arriving when we are in Cancun for a week for the wedding. There won't be anyone here to retrieve them. Have you started your Christmas shopping?

Okay, that's it for today.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Travel Tuesday

So, last week, we were at the beach with my brother, Matt, and my sil, Sharon. The weather was perfect except for one really windy day on the beach. Sharon got this sunset shot the day we arrived:
Pictures can never do the sunsets and sunrises justice, but this is the first time that someone got a shot of a purplish sky. I just love it. If I had a spot for it, I'd have this one blown up and framed!

We ate good food and spent time on the beach. 
Matt and I enjoying a little talk time on the beach.
Matt and Sharon at the pool. I did some pool time too, but not at the "back" pool where they are. I stayed at "our" pool which is close to our condo. It was pretty quiet as fall breaks are over and it's now considered "off-season." 

Sharon and I did a little shopping on Thursday and then did the "wine walk" which happens on the 3rd Thursday of each month at our resort. It's $25. They give you a wine glass and a card with about 10-12 locations for you to stop, have a glass of wine, and some food. It's from 5-7, so you have two hours to get your card initialed from each stop. Then your card goes into a drawing for 25 door prizes. We didn't win anything this time, but when Butch and I were with Mindy, she won an autographed child's book with artful sea creatures throughout. 

Butch and I left on Saturday morning for Atlanta and Sandy and Greg's house. We had plans to go to the George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Willie Nelson, and Little Big Town concert. It was amazing! The concert lasted 6 1/2 hours, but it really went by fast. There were only 15-20 minutes between acts--which surprisingly was enough time to use the restroom AND get in line for food and beverages. We had such a good time. All of the entertainers were so good. But I have to give props to Willie! The guy is 90 years old!! He's been performing regularly for 68 years! That's incredible. He walks unaided albeit a little slow. 
His guitar looks like it's the only one he's ever used. You can see the hole where his fingers and pick have rubbed over all these years. My pictures are pretty bad because I had to take them of the Jumbotron. My favorite Willie Nelson song is "You Were Always on My Mind!"

On Sunday morning, we spent some time with Sandy, Greg, and Elizabeth before heading home. We barely got there before Matt and Sharon arrived on their way back from the beach. Butch and Matt watched football. Sharon had to put up with me trying to get all of my Sunday things done to get ready for the upcoming week: laundry, emails, blog posts, and photo editing. I just did a charcuterie for dinner. 

Whew! That's a lot of traveling. It's all fun, but it's hard to believe that all that leisure time can be so tiring! Butch is really active, but when he just sits around---which he's not good at---it really tires him out! Me, not so much. I never finish all of the things I would like to. 

Two weeks and we're off to Cancun for Morgan's wedding. It'll be here before we know it. I don't know what Butch is going to do for a whole week. As for me, I'll be doing more relaxing in the sun with music, books, magazines, and podcasts. Oh, and my photos---always the photos. I spend a lot of time keeping them perfectly organized. That's what it takes. I just hope I have time for everything I have planned!!

Monday, October 23, 2023

Me on Monday

It's hard to believe, but it's been almost two weeks since my friend, Nancy had her Halloween luncheon. Where is the time going! It's always fun to go to her house--she has it all decked out for Halloween. When we were leaving, Diane remembered to get a picture.
From left, me, Nancy A., Nancy E. (the hostess), and Connie. I knew Connie was tall, but she really looked tall in this picture. And look at me, it must be a weird angle. I'm one of the shortest ones. It must be that being in the front of pictures "thing" that makes you look really big.
From left: me, Nancy A., Daine, and Connie.

It had been a while since we were all together. How can we all be so busy? We're retired!!! I feel busier now than when I was actually busy! I guess it's all the extra traveling. We're having fun for sure, but it is time-consuming! There's always so much catching up to do when we get home. 

We had such a good time together--as always. We laugh a lot---mostly at our "old-ness" and the issues that go along with that. But, hey, all we can do is laugh! Let's just hope we keep on laughing for years to come!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Something for Sunday

Well, it's that time of year. Football and chili just seem to go together. 
What a great idea---a huge chili bar. I think I need to do it!

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Scrapbook Saturday

Today I'm going to share my process for putting together a 2-page--12x12 layout of our family trip to Italy. We travel so much that I decided several years ago to contain every trip within the confines of one double-page spread. I can do that by having several interactive elements within the layout.

1. First, I decide which pictures I want to print. I create 2 folders in my iPhoto program--one for "small photos" and one for "photos"--meaning regular 4x6 size. I sent the 4x6 ones to Walgreens for printing. They always have a special going on. I print the smaller ones at home--they are usually 2"x3".
The family picture on the bottom was created by pulling the whole family off of the original background and basically creating a new photo--no distractions. The original was taken in the hotel lobby with nothing attractive or interesting in the background. I can't exactly describe how to do it, but could happily show you sometime.

2. Next, I print the trip journal--Butch does the journaling most of the time now--including every little detail! This one was 9 pages long! I print double-sided to pare down the bulk. I gather all of the memorabilia from the trip--I might not use it all, but I put it together just in case.

3. I sort everything by days. You can see those sheets on the lower right that have the photos and matching maps, brochures, tickets, etc. for each day. The one on top is the sketch I made for how the layout is going to look. I have to write everything down or else I'll forget what I had in mind.
4. I gather coordinating papers and bits from my travel collection. I won't use it all, but at least I have it narrowed down rather than having to go through the entire box each time I need a little something. On the left/middle you can see some little cell phones that I printed from an Ali Edwards digital file. 

The trip was 8 days long--which gave me the idea to make 8-- 6x6 foldouts--one for each day. 
I cut 4 sheets of 12x12 navy cardstock in half to make 8 pieces. Then I folded those in half---seen on the top. 

5. I knew those little cell phones would be perfect to print each person's "thank you" emails and "peaks & pits." This is something our family has done for years. On the last night of our trip, each person tells their favorite memory of the trip, and the "pit" is their least favorite. That's always fun. Their trip comments are on the front with the p&p's on the back. 
I had the idea that they would fit perfectly in the room key pockets--I save everything! You just never know what you can use. In this case, I had 4 of these little pockets, but needed 4 more (I had decided that I would put one pocket on each day of the layout). I ended up putting the originals back in my stash and making 8 new ones by cutting scraps and sewing them to make the new pockets. While I was at it, I made several more. I used black thread on half of them since that showed up better. Since there were 16 of us on the trip, I put two "cell phones" in each pocket.

6. The actual making:
Basically, I laid out all of the 8 navy pieces and decided how I wanted them to open. Then, before adhering to the background 12x12 cardstock, I created each little "booklet" by taking the folded paper that contained everything for that day. Then I moved on to the next one, etc. 

7. The title folder is made from the hotel room service folder. I simply covered it with the Italy part of a map and used old, punch-out letters for the title. I had the plastic "explore" from one of Ali's Story kits. 
8. When you open the Italy folder, the inside contains the "isolated" family photo on one side and a couple photos on the other. 
The backside holds the trip journal. I just used a journal card to make the pocket. As I look at that now, I need to add something--maybe my feelings about the trip. Yeah, that's it!

9. Lastly, I added the tabs so whoever is looking at it knows how it opens up.
This was so much fun to make. I love how it turned out. It might seem a little chaotic, but it is actually really well organized. I like the "collage" look of it. I think it is interesting to look at and explore. This will be my first layout that will not have a page protector over it. I could probably figure that out, but I don't want to. 

Yes, a lot of pre-planning goes into a layout like this. But the truth is, I like the planning and organizing just as much as the actual making! Since I planned this out right after the trip in July, it was kinda' hard to wait all the way until September for our retreat to actually make it! I couldn't wait to get started. 

This Italy layout wasn't the only travel layout I did. I also did 2 separate layouts for my recent trip to England---a week with Butch and then a week with my book club. The layouts are very different. I really could have copied the design since they are going into different albums. But that's now how I roll! Ahhh, but I'll save those layouts for another day!