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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cousin Time at the Park


 I was a beautiful day in Alabama...no rain, a cool breeze  and three cousins excited to go to the Park. Kendall brought along the sidewalk chalk. She had plans for a rousing game of hopscotch. It makes me happy to know that my grands still enjoy the games I loved as a child. And games that require some physical activity!
 The Castle...as they call the big slide. Of course, Kendall was queen while Landon and Margaret were relegated to Prince and Princess.  One cousin rule is that the oldest cousin present is the boss.:)
 Landon is getting so tall!! And he loves to climb anything, anywhere, anytime.
 Margaret showing off her climbing skills as well as her good balance.
 The girlies...
 Sidewalk chalk...Later on they played hopscotch with some other children at the park.
 Landon enjoying the airplane.
The girls take a drive...before I know it they will be driving off. Time seems to fly by these days so I need to remember to take time to cherish the moment.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our Bham Girl is in the House!

 After picking up Margaret yesterday we stopped at Daylight Donuts for a snack. I want my grands to have memories of special treats with Nana.
 It is hard to get Margaret to sit still long enough to get a picture but she posed for me today.
 The big cousins having early morning fun with Ipad and I phone.
 My girlies....
 Landon and Mr Deer, his constant companion. Mr Deer likes to eat popcorn and carrots according to Bubba but I have my doubts.
Love this picture of Margaret that I got at the park...I love pictures of the kiddos when they look solemn. It reminds me of pictures of children from long ago. I think this one will go in a frame for sure, along with the one of Kendall and Margaret. Love these sweet days with the grands. Once Baylor is older he can join in!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another New Blog

I forgot to mention that I have added another new blog to my blog roll. It is called Exploring Decatur. It is written by Sarah, a new Decaturite. Sarah moved here from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and as she puts it, she loves to eat. She will be visiting and reviewing restaurants and other sights here in our little town on the Tennessee River.  I suggested some restaurants for her to review. You know my BFFs and I eat out every Thursday so we know all the good places to grab a bite to eat.

And this week I am having a special visitor at my house...Miss Margaret. I have not seen her in a while so I look forward to fun with my granddaughter. And I will steal some kisses from Baylor when I pick up Margaret.  Tomorrow I will have Kendall, Landon and Margaret so I know it will be day where Nana needs to eat her Wheaties for energy. It is funny that when I have the grands for overnight visits, I am ususally ready to go to bed when they are..around 8:30!

Can you believe that August arrives this week??? Time for school to start back and that means my favorite season, FALL, is not far behind!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A New Blog

I have a new blog on my blog roll....Confessions of a Plate Addict. I found this blog thanks to Kim at Savy Southern Style. If you want to see a quick tour of Debbie's french country home, check it out on Kim's Friday Post. Debbie is a former French teacher who spent some time in France but came home when her first grandson arrived! ( All us grandparents certainly understand that!)  She has decorated her home in a french country style. I felt like she was a soul mate when I saw all her blue and white china. She also likes to use pops of fresh apple green which is a favorite of mine as well. I knew we were sisters in decorating when I saw one of her pretty toile bedrooms.  As always when I find a new blog I enjoy, I spent way too much time on the computer checking out the archives.  If you have some time on this lazy Saturday, I would suggest you visit Confessions of a Plate Addict!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A New Centerpiece

 I decided I needed a new centerpiece for my dining room table so I headed off to TJ Maxx to see what I could round up. I found this lantern in just the color I was searching for on a shelf of lamps. The little mossy rocks and the natural filler was on the shelf with all the fake flowers. I love shopping at TJMaxx as it is something like a hunting expedition and when I find something interesting I am so proud of myself.
 Aren't these mossy fake rocks totally cute? There was only one bag so I had to find something else to fill up the lantern. Luckily there was a bag of small earthy balls made of feathers, twig and bark on the same shelf. I had the bowl of tiny seed balls that was just gathering dust in my cupboard so I used the seed balls as filler too. It is good to have a Craft/Junk Room so I can pull out things and re-purpose them.
Here is the finished product...It really looks nice on the table and complements the painting on the wall as well as the distressed lamps I purchased for the buffet. It is true that once you change one thing in a room, it leads to more change! I really enjoy creating new things for my home. And I did not steal this one from Pinterest!!

July 25th!

 Five months from today is Christmas!! It is hard to believe that we are half way to 2014.  Buddy the Elf is one of my favorite Christmas characters and I love the movie, Elf. I think we could all use some of Buddy's Christmas Spirit. I have already begun shopping for Christmas and this year I plan to be finished with all my shopping by Thanksgiving!! That way I can enjoy the holiday season with all its charms.
Happy Anniversary to Nancy and Charles...they have been married four years today! Charles will be starting his fellowship at University of Alabama at Huntsville on August 15th. A new step in his journey on the road to academia!

Off to have breakfast with The Girls at Cracker Barrel. Have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mrs Queen Takes The Train

With all the hoopla about the new Prince Cambridge, I thought it would be a good time to share a review of this cute read, Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn. I had never heard of this novel but when I saw it on the New Books shelf at the library, I snatched it up right away. I love all things English and anything about the royal family grabs my attention.

As the book opens we are introduced to several of the Queen's staff at the palace. Among them are William, her butler, Luke, her security officer, Shirley, her "dresser" and Lady Anne, the lady in waiting. All live to serve the queen and are proud of their jobs despite their low salaries.  We find that there is a special horse in the mews ( or stables as we say here in America) named Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born on the queen's birthday hence the special name. Queen Elizabeth is quite fond of her namesake and enjoys treating the horse to a bit of cheddar cheese. Rebecca, the young woman who works in the mews always has a bit of the costly cheese on hand should the queen show up unexpectedly. The cheese is purchased in a special shop where a young man of Indian descent but born and raised in London is employed. Rajiv is interested in the shy Rebecca and hopes to get her to have dinner with him sometime soon.

The Queen is feeling a bit down and even her corgies cannot cheer her up. She has heard that her old ship, Britannia, is moored in Edinburgh and she decides she would like to visit the place where she has had so many sweet experiences. While mulling over this decision, the queen goes to see Elizabeth. Rebecca is suprised to find the queen out in the cold rain with only a headscarf as protection so she loans her a hoodie to wear back to the palace. The hoodie is emblazoned with a skull and crossbones on the back! Leaving the mews, Queen Elizabeth decides to take a walk outside the palace and that leads her to take a train to Edinburgh.

Back at the palace, William and Luke are dismayed to find they have "lost" the queen. They must find her before MI5 gets involved and decides that the queen has gone off her rocker. Marshalling the troops, the staff along with Rebecca and Rajiv plot their mission to recover the queen.

This book is very entertaining as it really catches the spirit of a queen who must sometimes grow weary of doing her duty! One of the funnier moments occurs as the queen is sitting at a table with three other travelers and they keep telling her that she looks familiar. Finally they decide that she looks like Helen Mirren!!  If you enjoy keeping up with the royal family of Great Britain, you will enjoy this imaginary tale of a very human queen.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flowers!


 I just had to show off another picture of my pretty G that I will keep on the front door until I change out to my fall wreath, pumpkins, mums etc. Only a little over a month and September will be here. I am looking forward to September's blue skies, cool breezes and our annual trip to Gulf Shores!
 My next door neighbor's flower bed is busting out all over with daisies. They are so cheery!
 My sweet potato vine is taking over in my front flower bed. I am hoping it will cover up some of the weeds. The rain has been good for flowers but has also encouraged lots of weeds to grow as well.
 My sun loving lantana is starting to bloom. It loves a sunny hot garden and the rain has stunted it a bit this year.
Another lantana...I love the varigated variety of this plant. Also, it is hard to kill so it does well in my greenthumb challenged garden.

I was among the millions waiting impatiently for the  the royal baby to be born and I was happy it was a prince. Maybe we will get a glimpse of him and his happy parents sometime today.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Memphis Visitors

 We had a great weekend with Lee and Lanier, our Memphis family. Lee is Marvin's younger brother and since we live only three hours away from each other we try to visit every two to three months. As Lanier said, "It would make Mama G so happy to know that we are getting together regularly!"  We spent the weekend just relaxing, eating and visiting. Lanier wanted to catch up on season two of Downton Abbey so we watched the whole second season! We took some time out to go to Hartselle, while the men went to see the Volkwagon Bug show at Ingalls Harbor.  We had a yummy dinner at the Back Alley Bistro. It is such a great addition to Decatur restaurants. Lanier and I had the tomato pie while Marvin had Basque Chicken and Lee had Salmon and Grits.  We came home to Muddys Bakeshop cupcakes that Lanier brought to us! It is our favorite dessert! They put GiGi's cupcakes to shame in every way!

 Do you think we have enough cupcakes?????
 Here is my favorite, Prozac which is chocolate chocolate. The other cupcake is called Decadence. It is a chocolate cupcake with white chocolate icing.
 Plain Janes...
And Marvin's favorite is Grasshopper...chocolate cupcakes with mint icing.  I did put some of the cupcakes in the freezer for a rainy day!

Lanier and I also spent some time creating a new blog called Lannyland, where Lanny can write about her family and especially her nine grands that are under 4 and a half years old.  So I am Nanaland and Lanier is Lannyland. I have added Lannyland to my blog roll. Lanier also has a number of interesting blogs that she reads so you might want to check out her blog roll as well.( Of course I added several of my favorite blogs to her roll!) It took us a while to get the blog set up but we had fun doing it and I am looking forward to reading the happenings in Lannyland.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fun with Friends

 Thursday evening I had several girls from our Sunday School Class over for Desserts and Fellowship. Here is my Pinterest Centerpiece. I took some old Frostie Soda bottles , added Gerber Daisies and a pretty bow to hold them all together. They looked very cheery among the sweets on the diningroom table.

 My friend, Kris, choosing her desserts.
 Maria and Kris!
 Sharon and Becky...Sharon had her two young grandsons all week so she was glad for a time with the girls.
And here is the new G I added to my door!! I just love it. If you live in the Decatur area, you find find them at Cheldens Gifts.  Time spent with friends making memories is the dearest of days!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Lamps

 I have been looking for lamps for my dining room buffet. I went to one of my favorite stores in Decatur where I like to drool over the beautiful home accessories and I found a pair of lamps that I liked until I saw the price! $250 each!! Now if I were rich, I probably would not have raised an eyebrow and I would have plunked down the cash and walked out with them! But alas, I could not fathom paying that much for a pair of lamps. I have a mix of lamps in my home, one was an anniversary gift that my hubs got for me and it was a bit pricy but frankly, I do not think it stands out from the TJ Maxx lamps in my home! So I left the home store and headed to Kirklands to pick up some English Ivy sachets for my linen drawers. Kirklands was having a sale on Lamps!!(They are getting rid of everything so they can bring out their fall items) Half price and they looked very nice.  I walked over the store looking at various styles and finally decided on these lovely lamps.
They look great on my buffet and I like to keep them turned on during the daytime as it keeps my kitchen and dining room from becoming a black hole. My husband cannot understand why I like lamps burning in every room I told him that it makes the house more homey and I use the new energy saving bulbs so it does not really show up too much on the electric bill.  My daughter in law, Katy, is the same way....she likes to have lamps on as well. I guess we could really do a psychological study on people who prefer light over people who do not!!  Anyway, I am happy with my purchase and they really are more in proportion to the room than the skinny buffet lamps that I had there before. Correct scale can really make a big difference in how a room looks. It has taken me a while to learn all these decorating tricks but I think my town home is finally coming together.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

In My Secretary

 One of my favorite pieces of furniture is the cherry secretary Marvin and I bought several years ago. I have always thought a secretary is the epitomy of elegance. I enjoyed filling the shelves with special treasures and photographs. I have collected china dogs for years and I found this precious black cocker spaniel to add to my collection. I came upon it at a Hartselle Antique store and for only three dollars!! I have found that the price of china dogs has gone up quite a bit since I started my collection so I was happy to find a bargain. I love cocker spaniels because they remind me of our old cocker, Taffy.
 Here are some pictures of me and Marvin in our baby days. Marvin is four in this picture and I am about six months old in my photo.  Behind the pictures is a McCoy vase that Mama G gave to me.
 Here are some precious Hummel figurines that belong to Marvin. His Aunt and Uncle sent them to him from Germany.  I have quite a few antique books that belonged to Marvin's cousin, George. As Marvin tells it, they were going to be thrown out and he gave them a new home. They are lovely to decorate with! I cannot say that we have read any of them.
 This shelf holds a portion of a china lamp that belonged to my Grandmother Henderson. Sitting next to it is a tea mug that Charles brought to Marvin from China. And you can see a cross bookmark that Mama G crocheted for Marvin.
And here are my treasures...my three children in their Senior pictures.   I am thankful for all the treasures that God has blessed me with in my life!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Lovely Place

I have always been a reader. My mother took me and my two sisters to our local library once a week in the summertime. During the school year, we had the luxury of checking out books from the school library and the book mobile.  I can still remember that small brick building that sat on the corner near Robert Dickey's Feed and Seed in Chatsworth, Georgia. Miss Johnnie Hartley was the librarian and she ran a tight ship! Miss Johnnie's spidery handwriting  labeled all the books on the shelves. I looked forward to our trip to weekly visits to the library where I could check out  interesting books about faraway people and places.  One of the first series that I remember reading was the B is for Betsy Books by Carolyn Haywood.  Biographies of famous people also caught my attention. As I grew older I moved on to Donna Parker and Trixie Belden. As a teenager I was allowed to check out books from the adult section of the library.

As I raised my children, I continued that tradition and now I take the grands to the library.  I began to notice in the last few years that my reading time was not as plentiful as it had been in the past so I knew I had to do sometime about that! I decided to turn the tv off at nine and go to bed for an hour of reading before turning out the lights. It really has been life changing as I began to realize how much time I was wasting watching less than edifying tv programs.  I have come to treasure this special time each evening.

This morning one of my nieces put out a request on Facebook for some suggestions for a good book to read. I decided to look over my Good Reads and I suggested a few to Jessica. I thought I might list some of the best books I have read recently here on my blog as other friends often ask me for book recommendations as well. Here are a few that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Happy Reading!

Swan Place   Augusta Trobaugh
To School Through the Fields by Alice Taylor
In This House of Brede  Rumer Godden
The Violets of March   Sarah Jio
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey  Wendy Wax
The Little Way of Ruthie Leming   Rod Dreher
The Slacker Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino De Santiago   Sunshine Jen
The 13th Tale   Diane Satterfield
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand  Helen Simonson
A Week in Winter   Maeve Binchy
The Soldier's Wife  Margaret Leroy
The Language of Flowers   Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Dry Grass of August   Anna J Mayhew

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Someone's In the Kitchen

 I have to admit that now it is just Marvin and me at home, I do not cook as much as I used to! But when I saw that Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, has a new Cookbook coming out this fall I knew I would have to have this cookbook. I have Ree's blog on my blog roll and I really enjoy watching her cooking show on the Food Channel. She makes everything look so easy! I also enjoy seeing the Drummond's Oklahoma Ranch. It looks like the perfect place to raise a family.
Another blog I read is Southern Plate by Christy Jordan. She lives near me in Madison, Alabama and she is a good Southern Cook. I purchased this magazine at the market last week and I have really enjoyed leafing through the 20 complete menus that she shares with her readers. I think it is the perfect small cookbook for a new bride. When I was first married, I always worried over planning meals and making the foods look appetizing. I agonized over side dishes for my main dish....desserts were never a problem as I love to make desserts!  My mother is an excellent cook and baker and I learned a lot from her!  Getting back to Southern Plate, this magazine along with a baking dish and some colorful dishtowels would make a nice kitchen shower gift for the prospective bride in your world.

I am having my Sunday School ladies over for dessert on Thursday evening so I am planning lots of yummy sweets to serve to some of the sweetest girls I know!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Visiting!

 We had some of our Savannah Cousins come up for the weekend in Alabama and look what they brought! Byrds Cookies....one of our favorite Savannah treats!
 Here is Rachel, Dora and Amelia. What is an interesing fact about these three? They all have the same middle name, Morel.
 Miss Dora is such a sweetie! We could eat her with a spoon!
 Dewilla, Dora and Rachel. Dewilla is Marvin's first cousin and Dewilla and I have been friends since I  starting dating Marvin back in the mid 70s.  Rachel and Amelia are good friends too so there is a special bond with these cousins.
 Marvin holding Dora....she was a little hesitant about letting him hold her. Because Marvin is so tall, it is a bit intimidating for little ones. She warmed up to both of us just as it was time for them to head home.
Dora had her eyes closed in this one. I think she had had enough of the pictures!! We had a really good time together. We visited antique stores, strolled around Hobby Lobby then had a nice lunch on Sunday at the Freight House in Hartselle.  It is always good to be with family.