Friday, February 26, 2010

It's February...but March is a comin'!
Have you ever heard that Easter sermon,
"It's Friday, But Sunday's a Comin'" ?
I thought of it today when I was looking at my calendar and realized that Monday is March! I think we will all be more than happy to bid this Ole Man Winter a swift goodbye. It's been a rough one!
But the birds are beginning to be more active at my feeder,
the snow is melting,
the sun is shining,
the stores are filled with clothing in bright colors of spring,
& Monday is the first day of March!
And I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Little Britches

A long, long time ago, there was a little red-headed mother that lovingly hand stitched her newborn baby boy a pair of overalls. Along with the little pants, she made a matching hat. The fabric could be flour sack material, the straps are accented in blue stitching with tiny with buttons, and the bib is embroidered "Bobby Gene".
Before our first baby was born, my mother-in-law gave me this little outfit. Her only request was that I would take a picture of our baby in the little overalls she had made for her "Bobby Gene", now my husband.

Somehow I didn't ever get an old photograph of Bob in his little britches, and I'm not sure one even exists. This afternoon I spent some time going through my old things, trying to find even one photograph of Bonnie with her babies. I'm sure there are some, but I don't have them.
This was taken when Bob was several months old & he probably had already outgrown the little overalls. Here he is with his big sister, Sherry, who was not quite 12 months older than him.
As promised, when Karen was just a few weeks old, I dressed her up in her daddy's britches & took her picture.

Here she is laying in her bed & she seems pretty happy about it. I think I played with her like she was my little doll. She was a live wire!
And here Jeff is, sporting the complete ensemble, just about to fall over sideways! Along with the little outfit, Jeff had auburn hair that made his red-headed Grandma very happy.

For quite a few years, the little pants & hat were packed away in my cedar chest. Then when our first grandchild came along, I thought of them & once again played with my "dolls" for a while.
Parker was the first to wear the little britches. He is just a few weeks old here.
Then Carter came along & I about forgot to snap my picture. As you can see, we had a little trouble in the diaper area! I almost didn't get him squeezed in the tiny pants.

Peyton was next. He didn't fill them out quite as much as Carter...or maybe I got the picture taken a little sooner.
Even Paige had to take her turn. If I would have left these photographs in color, you could see that all of our grandchildren, except Parker, have blue eyes.

Brycen, the baby of the bunch, didn't want to smile for Grandma. He too filled the overalls out in a matter of a few weeks.

Today I got the little pants & hat back out & was playing around with a shadow box, trying to get the pants, hat, & small photographs mounted as a collage. I'm thinking I just might need a bigger shadow box! This is a project I've had stashed away for quite a while & finally decided it was time to tackle it. I'm not quite happy with it yet. But at least you can see the little keepsake that I have.
By the way, the little outfit is over 61 years old now!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Birds! -- and Project # 3

The dining room is finally complete!
We couldn't believe the difference in the lighting in the room
once we took down the old lace curtains & mini blinds.
Draperies arrived & were hung.
The window on the right ends up in a dead corner...
the reason for panels only on one side.
I wasn't sure I would be happy with that treatment
but was pleased as morning sunshine when I saw the look!
I just have to be careful that I don't give our neighbors a show after dark as I've been told that you can see right in the dining room!

Hobby Lobby called this afternoon to say that my prints were ready
and I made a mad dash in to get them.
I love how they turned out!
The mattes are "muted yellow" & give the prints an antique look. Thank goodness, Bob hung them for me. You may not be able to tell if from the picture, but believe me, they are perfect.

I really like the leaf detail on the frame.

Thanks so much to my friend, Mary Ann, for all of her decorating advise.
Without her I'm sure I would have made a huge color blunder as I was thinking in a totally different direction. And thanks to her, I finally worked up the nerve to do some much needed de-cluttering.



But we ain't finished yet!
Project # 3
(Project # 2 is in progress & thank goodness there are not ANY before pics of it! I'm rearranging-de-cluttering-organizing my scrapbooking area & it's been off limits to all but immediately family for quite a while! It is what used to be our kids playroom & I took over after they moved out. There is also an office area & that is where Bob & I spend our evenings...each on our own computer.)

The "living room"--the room that I avoid!


For the past several years this room has been where everything ends up that I don't know what to do with. Some of the clutter is stashed away, out of camera view, but you can still see that there is waaayyy too much in there!


After the drastic change in the lighting in the dining room, we decided to do the same draperies in the living room, only in a linen color. I already have them(they were on sale!) & have to make myself wait until I decide for sure what to do with this decorators nightmare.


Bob is our church pianist & this is really his room.

He has 3 drawers & 2 ugly black file boxes full of sheet music & books that he uses every week. So...I do have to keep those things handy for him.

Oh dear--I just noticed that ugly piece of plastic runner in front of the piano bench. Bob's shoes were making marks on the carpet & we thought that was the answer. Maybe the marks would look better than that awful looking thing!


Then there is the corner curio cabinet full of our Holy Land treasures--


or we thought they were treasures when we bought them 27 years ago! It a good place to keep all of that olive wood hidden! But--I'm tempted to put those things in storage & fill the cabinet with things that I now enjoy. Good grief...I forgot all about that Ashton Drake "Jesus Loves the Little Children" doll!


The framed print on the floor (by the piano) belonged to my parents & I do cherish it, yet I'm not sure that I want it hung on one of my walls. But maybe that's where it needs to be.


I bought the heart shaped wreath over the sofa many long years ago at a "Country Folk Art Show" (remember those?) and I'm sure the dust mites are probably having a hoedown in there somewhere. I'm pretty sure it's going in the trash.


The octagon table may also go in storage as it makes the room smaller than it already is. Plus...that embarrassingly ugly floral arrangement overwhelms everything in there! Who in the world made that? (meeee...) I just had to have that Longaberger Collectors Club vase & now I wish I'd never seen the thing. Okay--a woven basket is one thing, but a Vase?



The paint is in good shape as we just don't use the room.

But I think I might like it a shade darker...more on the taupe-y side. What do you think?



Well, ladies, I'm open for suggestions! I'm not sure Mary Ann will answer her phone if she sees it's me on her Caller ID. She may start charging decorator wages. Or maybe she would settle for lunch at The Farmstead Cafe & a Green River Float at Zaharakos. More to follow...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taking a break from Nintendo!



Do your kids drive you nut with their electronic games? Well...my sweet little grandchildren were "gifted" with Nintendo DS hand held games for Christmas & they love them! And they want to play them all of the time. Especially one little blonde headed 4 year old boy who gets extremely frustrated when he doesn't win.



Anyway.....to make a long story short....the boys were driving me a little more than bonkers with their games while I was babysitting yesterday. More than once, those palm-held-drives-me-crazy gadgets ended up on top of the fridge in electronic time out! Finally, I told the boys that they needed to go find something else to do, like play with there cars, read a book, or something that wouldn't make Grandma stroke out.




Parker actually found a book that he wanted to read & sat in Daddy's chair & read to the twins. They loved it! Peyton picked up a book & pretended he was reading. They finally tired of that & Parker came out of his room with a guitar...which of course started a fight as Peyton wanted one too. Luckily, Parker came up with another one & I listened to dualing guitars for a bit. I even sang "Bill Grogans Goat" while they strummed.



We soon decided to have a little session. Parker had turned his guitar over & was using it as a drum. I told Paige to pull her little footstool up to the coffee table & pretend it was a piano. Parker decided he needed to be the piano player & handed off his guitar/drums to Paige. Asked what they wanted to sing, Peyton loudly chimed in "church songs"! And "Father Abraham" was his request.



Okay, we were ready. (I'm sure glad there weren't any adult observers around!) Imagine my surprise when Peyton shouted out...."ONE, TWO, THREE....LET'S ROCK!"!!! I burst out laughing & almost didn't get my composure back so I could join in on the singing. Where in the world did he get that? Junior Church....what are you singing in that back room?


We sang a few songs (off tune, I might add) & then they were off to find something else to do. It gave me a little break from the Nintendo fussing. And I think if let them find out that there are some fun things to do besides staring at a mini screen & developing thumb problems! Maybe we'll try that again some day...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Story

I started working on this blog post about my parents love story a day or two ago...& put it away, thinking I might just delete it. It may be a part of my Mother's life that you didn't know about...
She had to have been still in high school, as in her Senior Yearbook, there is a note about Darlene & her Buddy.


In the top drawer in our Mom's bedroom, was a velvet jewelry box where she kept her watch that she received from Grandma & Grandpa for her high school graduation. At one time there used to be a little baby ring that I wore home from the hospital, evidently a tradition of the times. And then there was the diamond ring.

I loved to look in that little velvet box and one day Mom told me a little about the ring. You see, she had a sweetheart before she met our Dad. She never talked about him much, never gave any details of their romance, and I don't think I ever saw her shed a tear...yet there was a sadness about it. She told me that she was engaged to Buddy and Buddy went to the War. But Buddy didn't make it back home. He was in Italy & was killed in action with his brother at his side.

In the past few years I've thought about that part of her life that Mom kept from us. I cannot imagine what grief she must have gone through when she got the news that her Buddy wouldn't be coming home to her, and there would be no wedding. A grief that a teenage girl should not have to bare.


But a few years passed & her life went on & when she was 20, she met our Dad. They married the summer that she was 21.

I've also thought about Dad & the love he had for her...how he loved her so much that he never mentioned that there was someone in her life before him. It didn't matter...he made a new life and a new love where she could go on.

Mom and Dad loved being a family. He gave up old habits that she couldn't stand, just so their romance could go on. She couldn't stand to see a man drink, and once he knew that, he never touched it again. He went to her church, different from the one he attended as a boy, and there after they were married, he gave his heart to Jesus & was faithful to attend.

They had a good life together, raised 2 daughters and a son and were able to see 5 grandchildren & 3 step-grandchildren brought into their family, and later great-grandchildren.
In their last few years, Dad became a romantic. Even though he might pick them up at the grocery store florist, he would surprise Mom with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Roses seemed to be his favorite. And when in the past he seldom would think to buy her a card for a special occasion, in the later years, he would find a special card expressing how much he loved her.

He loved her unconditionally. It didn't matter that there had been a Buddy in her life. She was now his. And as the hospice nurse warned us the day Mom passed away, he didn't live very long after she was gone. His heart was already in Heaven.
Happy Valentines Day, Mom & Dad! Without you...I wouldn't be here to share your Love Story!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Glimpes in the dining room...


It has been a very busy, but productive week around our household! It all started Sunday evening when Bob announced that he thought the dining walls were "too yellow". I had been studying our "Westminster Gold" first coat of paint also, & couldn't quite envision us with such a bright room. We made a trip to the paint store on Monday afternoon to study the color samples.

At the paint store I personally became overwhelmed by the choices of colors in dark yellows & golds. Thankfully Bob has more of an eye for the correct colors than I do & he chose a shade just a "tad" more gold than what was on our walls. We also had discussed having a contrasting color on the bottom section, since we already had the chair rail...which I really wanted off but was afraid to ask, & then later learned that Bob thought maybe it shoud come off too! (Teach me to not keep my mouth shut!)

So home we came with "DaVinci Canvas" for the top of the room & El Sereno Gold" for the bottom...both Benjamin Moore colors. I immediately went to work with the top color & knew right away that we had made the right decision. At least it wasn't going to look like the sun was shining at it's brightest & we wouldn't have to wear our sunglasses for dinner!The room began to come together. After a primer coat for both sections, a coat of the wrong color all over the room, then 2 coats of Da Vinci Canvas & 2 or 3 of El Sereno Gold, (I lost count!)... I finally called it quits! Green paint tape was pulled off & thankfully not much had bled through to the woodwork, so clean up was easyAnd then the fun part...decorating! Mary Ann came back over to give me some of her "Martha Stewart" hints & ideas. (I tend to over-decorate & accumulate too much clutter.) We spent a couple of hours stewing about what should go where. After she left, I boxed up stacks of dishes & accessories that are either going in my soon to be remodeled "china closet", or will be donated to a good cause. She will be proud!
This is only a temporary vignette while I'm waiting for pictures that will be hung above the sideboard. Thanks to Pat at http://www.backporchmusings.com/, I'm have two bird prints framed for that spot! I rushed in to Hobby Lobby, wanting to catch their half price sale, thinking I would have the prints done just like Pat's. But once I was there, I found more of a cream colored mat, instead of white, & a muted gold frame, instead of dark wood, and I can't wait to see how it turns out! Cavallini 2010 Calendar

I've tried to use some of my favorite things, yet not let my "clutter" reappear. It's hard to teach an old lady new tricks! At Mary Ann's advise, I'm trying to make this room a place we will use more often, and not just be an over flow area, used only when company comes. Our family has grown & it's time to spread out!

These Homer Laughlin dessert plates belonged to my great-grandmother & I've always kept them tucked away.
So, now-maybe for a very special occasion, her great-great-great grandchildren will be served a dessert in Grandma Pem's honor!
Longaberger baskets on display. My Portmerions Botanic Garden Dinnerware

...most of which I've found deeply discounted at T J Maxx!

Instead of being tucked away & unused, they are now easily accessible & I plan to use them!This print came from Chautauqua of the Arts Festival that used to be held annually at Mill Race Park. I had it framed & for a while it was in one of the bedrooms. Just a couple of days ago, I saw it hiding in a bedroom closet & knew that it would fit right in my new dining room.

The print is of Irwin Gardens, the former Irwin-Sweeney home. Just this past year the gardens were closed to the public & the beautiful home was put on the market. It recently sold & is opening next week as an exclusive Bed & Breakfast! So, the gardens will never be as they were, & it made this print just that much more special. More bird prints that I already had!

I found the bottom print at T J Maxx a few months ago for under $10.00 And then I noticed on "Nells Hill" website that there was a matching print. On a trip to Nashville, Indiana, I saw the top print & knew it was my missing piece. Of course it wasn't quite so cheap...but I got it!


And window treatments...being tossed around in my head.

Soon it will be finished--& then on to another room we go. That is, after I rest up for a few days. This redo just about got me down!
Sshhhh....don't tell Bob I even mentioned that!