Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Sideboard Did It!

If you missed me this week, you will be happy to know that I've been slaving away, transforming my dining room. It was way overdue to have a major face lift and it all began because of my shopping spree and a sideboard!
I'm a big "Paula Deen" fan. I have subscribed to her cooking magazine from the beginning & love her southern style & enjoy most of her recipes. Late last summer I received a notice that, of all things, Ms Deen was coming out with a line of furniture. Good grief...the woman has her name on everything. But I love it!
I had been wanting a storage piece to put between my windows, hoping to get rid of the clutter of dishes I've accumulated over the years. Off I went to Kittle's Sale of the Year (yea...right!) and fell in love with the Paula Deen Collection & before I knew it, the sideboard was ordered in "Spanish Moss". Only problem...they didn't have one on display & I failed to take into consideration the depth of the piece.
It was delivered in 3 weeks & when I saw the delivery men lugging it up my sidewalk, I knew I was in trouble! I had them sit it between the windows as planned. But to my dismay, Bob wouldn't be able to get in & out of "his" chair! So, the sideboard was going to have to go where my pie safe sat & so we switched places.
(See all of that "stuff"??? That is only what was in the pie safe! There was also tons of dishes & glassware that had to be unloaded, boxed up & carted out to the garage...where I'm waiting for my Bob the Builder to fix me some pantry shelves!)
Next problem---Spanish Moss does not blend in with navy blue! Oh well, I needed to paint anyway. And I had already decided that my extra wide wallpaper border made my room way too off it came! (I wish it would have been that easy!) Off it came it itty bitty pieces, just a smidge at a time, but off it came.
Do you know that when you put sizing on for wallpaper, when you take said wallpaper off, the sizing is still there? Grrrrrrrr.... After much scrubbing, wiping, scrubbing again, & even sanding, I found out that the walls would have to be sealed.
Meanwhile, I invited Mary Ann over for some friendly decorating tips. ( I cannot believe I let her in the door with my house looking like this!) She had done her research & (you won't believe this!) out of her bag, she pulled a beautiful pear scented candle. "This is the color I think you should use" she told me. Sure!...I'm going to take a candle down to the paint store & tell them to match it up?

That is exactly what I did. I'm not proud! Besides, just a couple of weeks ago, Karen was wanting to paint her bathroom a lavender color & we couldn't decide what shade it should be until I spotted her new steamer mop, which just happened to be the perfect shade of lavender we were looking for! And I wasn't proud then....I sent Karen in with her mop to tell them to "match it up".

So off I went to Neal Paint & Wallpaper, borrowed candle in hand. I'm sure that Duane & Eric, the friendly paint mixers, were just thrilled to see me walk in with a candle! But match it up they did, and I've been busy ever since, stripping border, sanding, scrubbing, taping off way too much woodwork, trimming primer, painting primer, trimming paint, painting paint....& I now realize that it's going to require one more coat.

Benjamin Moore Westminster Gold

My patient hubby just rolls his eyes when he hears me mumbling around about wanting to redo a room. He knows that one thing always leads to another & what should just take a day or two, ends up more like the project of the week.

I can't wait until it's finished. But I've found a couple of other problems! My curtains look tacky, the wall decor doesn't match or needs updating, & I don't think that pie safe is going to be allowed back in the room.

Hey, Bob the had better get your hammer out & start on those shelves!

Hopefully, I can show you what "Westminster Gold" looks like in a few days. Has anyone noticed a golden glow coming from Carr Hill Road? It's just my dining room smiling...

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Kid Without a Room

Karen had promised Paige that after Christmas she would paint her room pink, Paige's favorite color, redecorate, make her youth bed into a full sized one, & move her twin brother down the hall. Paige wouldn't let her forget it! A few days after the holidays were over, Paige told me that her Mommy was supposed to paint her room & it was already after Christmas & she didn't do it! She was thoroughly disgusted. So, Karen got to work this week & got the job done & Paige is so proud of her pink room. (If Paige would have had her way, there would have been a purple wall too. Eeeek!)

In all of the hustle & bustle, Peyton's youth bed was carried out to the garage and his stuffed animals were tossed on Paige's bed. I was there helping out & he walked in the room & stated very loudly... "I HATE PINK!". And then he looked around and said "where's my bed!". Later he came back in & took all of his stuffed animals off of Paige's bed & put them in a pile where his bed used to be. Then when Parker came home from school, Peyton told him "my bed is in the garage! and so is my other bed...two of them!" He was not happy.

Finally it hit me. This little 4 year old young man, who had always shared a room with his twin sister, was suddenly a little fella without a room! Well, the plan was to move him in with his big brother...but Peyton wasn't too sure about that! He came back in & told me "good-bye football...good-bye soccer ball...good-bye basketball". I was puzzled as he is quite the little sports nut. Finally, his Mommy figured out that he was wanting us to take the sports border off of Parker's room. He told us that he wanted his & Parker's name on the wall...just like Paige is going to get!
So, this little man that we thought wouldn't give a hoot about the decorating drama, was being a little traumatized himself. Who would have thought it?

Hmmmm...maybe it's that middle child thing, ya think?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Pretender

Paige, or little Miss Priss as I sometimes call her, is our family "pretender". She loves to play pretend, and as I here them play, she & Peyton pretend to be "Mom or Dad", or son, or Mr. or Mrs., or maybe Dora the Explorer, or Spiderman. She can entertain herself for quite some time and usually gets her twin involved in the antics.
It was my turn to babysit recently & Paige & Peyton both found their toy cell phones. They pretended to call about everyone in the family & carried on quite the conversations. Paige punched out some numbers on her little Princess cell phone, put it to her ear & said nothing. Then she quickly snapped it shut & told me..."they didn't answer so I'll have to send them a text"!
I think I laughed out loud. I quickly realized that she was mimicking her mommy who is Mrs. Speedy Fingers when it comes to clicking out the text messages! It just kind of blew me away to think that a 4 year old even knew what a text message was, and also knew it was something you do when a phone call isn't answered.
Oh be careful what you do...
as it just may show up in a pretend game around here!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Favorite Things....Part 1

I've always loved to read.
It amazes me how someone can make a character come alive,
just with a few strokes of a pen, or perhaps now, by tapping out letters on our computer keyboards.
As a young girl, I fell in love with the writings of
Grace Livingston Hill.
Our little church set apart a few dollars every now and then and books were purchased for our library. It wasn't very large, just a bookcase in the back of our tiny sanctuary, but it was there I discovered Ms. Hill!
Her stories were filled with beautiful characters, sometimes extremely wealthy, & other times the heroine would be very poor. My mind would be filled with imaginations of the beautiful mansions, "house parties" that would last for more than one day, or poor little homes with the characters hardly having enough to eat. Her stories were inspirational, with good overcoming bad, hearts won for Jesus, romance often filled the pages, & sometimes even war time drama. I couldn't wait to read the next novel!
After I had read all of the books written by Ms. Hill in our little library,
I discovered that our county library in Columbia had a treasure trove of them!
So, on our almost weekly jaunts to Columbia, for shopping for necessities & groceries, I would beg Dad to make a stop at the Boone County Library. Much to my delight, I was even given my own library card & allowed to browse the shelves while Mom & Dad did some dime store shopping just down the street. I would be waiting for Dad to pick me up, carrying an arm load of books which had to be read & returned in two weeks!
During the school months I couldn't read as much as I wanted to.
But come summer, I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning,
sometimes reading most of a book in one night.

My favorite way to pass a hot summer day was to stretch out on our living room couch, in front of the window fan (that was back in the days before we had air conditioning!), & read away. Mom would get so aggravated at me as that was all I wanted to do. I guess she had her own couch potato back in the '60's!
Anyway, it is told by close relatives of mine who shall remain nameless,
that Mom would sometimes shoo me outdoors into the hot Missouri sunshine for a little exercise.
Several years ago I was given a few old hardback books written by
Grace Livingston Hill.
I began to watch & was able to purchase several more from eBay.
And I began to re-read them.
I was happy that they still held the same charm for me as they did years ago when I was a much younger lady.

My collection is a little raggedy and I need to see what is missing. My goal was to have a hardback copy of each book.

While I was searching for a little history on GLH, I discovered that there is now a website for her fans. If you enjoy her writings you will want to check out the website at

I wonder if they have any of her books on Kindle....

We've come a long way in what doesn't seem like so many years!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Elvis Has Left the Building...

Mr You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog himself!

This is a re-post for my favorite son-in-law who just happens to be an Elvis nut! It is beyond my understanding why someone born decades after me...grew up in a different era...but loves The King of Rock 'n Roll! I've decided I'm not going to change him, so might as well let him enjoy the music of the past. I must admit...I still love that voice!
And have you discovered XM Satellite Radio Channel 18? It's Elvis all the time! are my memories. . .
Post from August, 2008

Jonathan definitely has an interest in the Elvis of my time, to put it mildly. He even just happened to "have" to go to Memphis last week on a very important trip, on the anniversary of Mr. P's passing. Hummmmm...

Well, that triggered old memories, so after Jonathan was a safe distance away, I went to my secret hiding place of those things I don't want him to get his hands on! And look what I found!!!

In 1971, we were still living in Overland Park. Bob worked for Rock Island Railroad on the midnight shift and I worked for Montgomery Wards as a Bill Collector. (Wonderful career...)

Anyway, one early morning WHB, the World's Happiest Broadcaster, (if you aren't from the K.C. area, you won't get it...) announced that Elvis was coming to Municipal Auditorium! Bob got off work at 8a.m. and rushed downtown, in his '62 Chevy I might add!, and got in line for tickets. The tickets were $7.50 each, making it a date night of $15.00 which might have been a little steep in 1971, seeing as we both were making less than $4.00 an hour! But it was worth it--at least we thought so. The tickets were sold out in less than one hour.

The ticket stub says the concert was on a Monday evening, November 15, 1971. That meant that as soon as it was over, we had to head home so Bob could clock in at midnight!

I don't remember much about the event. Except that it was very, very exciting! The Sweet Inspirations and The Stamps Quartet were his back up groups and they were in place and ready for a show.

Then the lights in the huge auditorium went totally dark, and the now familiar theme song "Space Odyssey began to play. Someone with a famously deep voice, who we thought was Colonal Parker, announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. Elvis Presley"! Well, I about got light headed right there in my nose bleed seat!

The lights came on, strobe lights beating, music thumping loudly, and the girls screaming at the top of their lungs! I must admit, it was very impressive and both Bob and I were quickly caught up in the excitement of the crowd.

Elvis sang his heart out. He knew how to work the crowd, how to sing to the young screaming girls who were near the stage, yet were never allowed to touch him. (At least not that I remember...) He wore the white studded outfit with the cape that had red lining. It didn't take him long to warm up enough to shed the cape and drape the long scarves around his neck. With these, he wiped the sweat from his face and toss the scarves to the crowd, seemingly sometimes to a certain girl that had caught his eye. He sang and sang and sang. Some songs were more on the wild side than I preferred, then he would sit down and softly sing a beautiful love song. I definitely remember him singing a couple of gospel numbers along with "Look Away Dixieland".

You have to remember that this was back in 1971 when our culture was just beginning to go crazy. Bob and I were 22 and 23 years old, not attending church very faithfully, and "doing our own thing". But you know, I never ever felt sorry that I went to that concert. Unless you saw him in action, there is no way to realize the energy he put out. After a performance like that, he had to have been completely exhausted. I'm not trying to idolize the man in any way. But he was a part of our lives, even before we were teenagers. Everyone knew who he was.

And he finished the last song, the lights went out again, and that voice boomed out loudly, "Elvis has left the building!".

Hey...I think I remembered a little more than I realized! Reminiscing brings back the memories...try it sometime!

Time for me to go hide my treasurers away for another day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ya Give Me Fever.......Blisters!

I've had them since I was a little girl...
fever blisters!
I remember getting them without fail after I had been sick.
They would appear overnight & would give me fits for several days.
It wasn't until I was older that I learned that "herpes simplex 1"
...aka fever blisters...
is also caused from stress.
It seems that early January brings this ailment my way.
I woke this morning to the slight sensation of a tingling on my lower lip, and by breakfast time could tell I had two beauties developing on both my lower & upper lip! Good grief...
I remember a particularly stressful Holiday season of a few years gone by, when once again I didn't realize I had way too much on my plate.
Three of those horrid things came to bless me with their soreness,
& I looked so bad, I went into hiding for a few days!

And then I discovered "Abreva"!
My life miracle worker in a tube!
It is an expensive treatment, but well worth the price.
It may not completely keep the fever blister away but it definitely shortens my suffering & if I use it at the first sign, keeps it under control.
So, if you see me with my hand covering my mouth,
you will know I've had a cold, been sick with the 'flu,
or just had a little more stress than I can stand...
Thank goodness for my $12. tube of Abreva!
(I didn't mean for this to turn into a commercial!)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Aunt Rose

On a cold December morning, a baby girl was born to Leslie & Patsy Brown, one who would love her family dearly & grew up to be a beautiful woman.

Emma Rose was born December 28th, 1914. Just 10 months before, death had come to the family, taking away baby Vivian Velva on Valentine's Day of that year. There were two older sisters, Goldie Fern & Eva Thelma. But the influenza epidemic of 1918 would claim the life of Eva Thelma, leaving Fern & Rose as the only daughters in the family. Later brothers George, Joe & Duane would come along.

We just called her "Rose". I remember wondering why in the world my Grandma would name her baby after a flower. It wasn't until later in my life that I realized what a beautiful name it was, & it fit my Aunt perfectly. And only after I began doing family research, did I realize her given name was Emma Rose, which I think fit her perfectly.

My Grandma Brown & Aunt Rose
Sisters!...Rose & Fern
Looking back on her life, you can tell that Rose must have been an independent spirit. She worked for a while in Boonville, possibly at the shoe factory. Rose & Fern also worked in a men's clothing factory in Eldon for a while. It was there that the machinery ran so loudly, and was probably the reason that both Aunts were hard of hearing!

And then she moved far away to California. There she lived with friends from Missouri.
I have a box of her old photographs & among them are pictures her with young men that I do not recognize. I'm sure she dated & had more than one boyfriend. It was in California that she met Jack, a divorced man with 3 daughters, something of a scandal for those days. They fell in love, married and moved back towards Rose's home country. Rose was 32 years old when she married.

My first memories of Uncle Jack & Aunt Rose are when they lived on that old gravel road, just a few miles away from Grandma & Grandpa Brown. Their house sat on a hilltop and had a long winding driveway. I remember Dad pulling in & gunning the gas pedal while our car chugged up the steep driveway. It was quite an exciting thrill ride!

They didn't live there very many years. The only time I remember ever seeing Jack's girls was once or twice at that little house. The girls also lived what seemed to me as far away, in Oklahoma.
On the bluffs of the Missouri River, near Boonville
Rose & Jack never had any children. I don't remember ever hearing this story until just a few months before my Mother passed away. (She told us several stories she had never shared before!) While they were still living near Boonville, Rose became pregnant. They did live in the country & for some reason were on an old farm wagon. Rose fell off of the wagon & it ran over her. She lost her baby & they were never able to have children after that. Mom & Dad probably thought as children, we really didn't need to know the details of that story, & it was never told for years & years.
Possibly on the main street of Boonville, Missouri
Opportunity for Jack to make better money as a welder came along so they moved back west. First they lived in New Mexico & Arizona, & finally spent many years in Bakersfield, California. They remained in California until Jack retired, and only then did they return to Missouri. I have vivid memories of vacations we took out west to visit them, but will save those for another day.

Aunt Rose inherited the love of gardening from her Momma.

Wherever she lived, she had a beautiful flower garden.
She grew a variety or roses

One of Rose & Jack's favorite things to do, was to go spend a couple of nights with Mom & Dad & hit the garage sales in the Kansas City area! The men would chauffeur the ladies, scouting out the yard sale signs, and then they too would head out looking for a bargain.

Rose & Jack were married just a few weeks before our parents.

At Mom & Dad's 50th anniversary celebration, we insisted on Rose & Jack posing for a picture also. They weren't ones to celebrate.

One of Dad's favorite things to do was to spend a few days out in the country, near Eldon, on Rose & Jack's few acres. There was a beautiful little pond which was kept fully stocked for the fishing pleasure of only family & a very few choice friends. Rose made sure that no one else "fished out" her pond!

Rose, Duane, & Fern...the Brown Siblings

Rose's family meant more to her than anything. While her parents were living, she made sure they were provided for. She faithfully wrote letters to her beloved Momma several times a week. She loved her sister, Fern, so spite of any arguing they did! And her baby brother, Duane, was always special.

In late August, 2003, Rose suffered a stroke. She never came home from the hospital, passing on September 2, 2003, at the age of 88 years.


a name that I have grown to love