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Monday, September 30, 2013

Still Alice

As I mentioned I read quite a few books on my vacay and one that has really stayed with me is Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Deborah and Susan read this book and both recommended it to me but I resisted. Did I really want to read a book about early onset Alzheimers Disease when I find myself trying to remember things these days? Where did I put that book? Did I forget to get milk when I went to the store? etc etc.... I always prided myself on being highly organized. I was one of those people who kept a list of things to do so I could mark them off and feel like I had accomplished a lot in my day! Now I need a list to remember all the things I am supposed to do. Some call it "mentalpause" and it could easily be mistaken for something more serious. Or at least I thought that until I read this book and realized there is no mistaking Alzheimers Disease for forgetfulness.

Alice is 51 years old. She is a wife, mother and accomplished scientist at Harvard. She travels the world sharing her expertise with others.  But one day she is out running and cannot remember how to get home. She totally forgets that she was supposed to fly to Chicago for a conference. Thinking she is suffering from menopause, she sees the doctor only to find her hormones are in perfect working order. Being a scientist who studies the brain, she feels a knot in the pit of her stomach and decides to have more tests done. It is early onset Alzheimers Disease. Alice keeps it to herself for a while before informing her husband. He is also a scientist and immediately begins to look for help for his wife. Perhaps she could be part of a test trial for a new drug. He is grasping at straws and he begins to see his capable wife struggle with many facets of her life. She repeats questions. She goes to the neighbor's kitchen, thinking she is in her own home. Alice does take Aracept and is able to function well enough to start an EOAD support group. It truly helps her to be with others who are struggling with this monster of a disease.  But the inevitable decline comes to Alice and her family. Knowing there is a gene for EOAD, two of her three adult children are tested. One has the gene, one does not. The third child declines to take the test as she would rather not know the answer to the test.  This book really gives you a look into a future that could face many baby boomers.

Lisa Genova has the ability to write from a patient's view point. Her book, Left Neglected, is also a good read. Don't be afraid to read this book. It does have many sad scenes but you will find yourself rooting for Alice to live as fully as she possibly can until all that is left is love.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Home Again

Well after a very fun and relaxing week at the Beach, we made it home safe and sound. We enjoyed the sand and the sound of the surf. We read lots of books. On the only rainy day, we shopped at the outlet malls and got Marvin much needed work clothes. I scored a pretty pair of shoes and my hubs bought me a Bose radio for my kitchen as an anniversary gift.  We ate lots of sea food and found a new favorite restaurant, Cosmos. On the way home, we stopped to see the Bham grands. Margaret has a new cute haircut and Baylor came up to Nana for some loving. Usually when Grandpa is around, Baylor will have nothing to do with anyone else.:)  On arriving home, we got all unpacked and settled down to watch some football. It is hard to believe October is almost here and with it lots of activities scheduled. While the beach was nice, there is no place like home.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Little R and R

If all goes as planned, this is the view I will be enjoying tomorrow afternoon. Marvin and I are headed off for our week at Gulf Shores to rest and relax.  We have our neighbors on patrol to guard the homeplace.  I will be taking a blogging break as well but I will be reading all my friend's blogs. I cannot go on vacation without them!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Goodbye Sweet Friend

This week I have been so happy...anticipating a week at the beach. Baking treats, getting out beach towels and sunscreen, picking up books at the library just having a grand old time. But then I am brought back to earth with a jolt. Out of the blue I receive a phone call telling me that one of our dear friends and fellow Sunday School Class member has gone home to be with the Lord. We were just together on Sunday at church, laughing, anticipating the birth of her grandson on Monday. How can this be. Our finite minds have a hard time reconciling facts.  Truly our times are in God's Hands. None of us have the promise of tomorrow and sometimes we forget that as we are so caught up in our own plans.

Laura and her husband, Vic, have been our friends for about 17 years. We enjoyed meals at their home. Our children were about the same age so we went through those teenage years together. We have laughed and cried together, sharing intimate struggles.  Our whole Sunday School Class or ABF as we say at our church has been so close that when a member dies, it is like a family member has left us.

Laura was a godly woman. Wife to Vic, mom to David, Jon, Matt and Anna. Her home was always open to friends. She was a prayer warrior and a lover of The Word. Please lift up this family today as they gather to say goodbye to this precious woman on Saturday. While I know where my friend is and I know she would not want to come back here, my heart is grieving this morning.  Another friend gone home. Heaven is a little more precious to me today.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Joys of Being a Grandparent

 Here is the sticker I received at Kendall's school the other day as the grandparents had breakfast with their grandchildren. I am so glad I was able to attend this special day as my own children did not get to have their grandparents come to grandparent day as they lived so far from us!  Marvin and I both enjoy our grandchildren so much. They wear us out but we love em!!
 What is more fun than doing french braids on a wiggly three year old Margaret?
 Or trying to get good pictures with some grands who are less than enthusiastic about photo opportunities?
 Giggly little girls are precious!

And sweet boy cousins who like to play with trains are number one in my book.
I am so blessed to have these four in my life and I am looking forward to Mister Benjamin Asher arriving at the first of December!! One more to love!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another Great Find at Ross!!

 I just had to share this sweet table I found at Ross the other day. After my daddy passed away, I had several lovely plants that I received that I wanted to display around my home. My problem was, I had no place for this pretty little tree that was in the arrangement that my friend, Deborah, sent to me. Originally I had the pot sitting on the floor next to the chair but it just did not look "right".  I was browsing in Ross and found this perfect bamboo table for just $24.99.  I did not buy it right away. I thought about it and decided if it was there the next time I went into the store, I would get it. And there it sat so I knew I had to bring it home!
Here is a close up of the table. And I think the plant looks perfect on top! Second tier holds a picture of my girlies and the lower tier has some pears on display. But as much as I love pears, I thought I needed something taller for the bottom shelf so it now holds a pretty vase that looks more in scale. One thing I am learning with decorating that scale is everything!!

Well I have my big boy here today so we are heading to Hartselle for a haircut and we just might stop at Daylight Donuts for a treat. It is just down the sidewalk from the barbershop! Have a great day friends.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vacation Purse

You all know how much I love purses. Well the other day I headed off to my favorite hair salon, Studio H, where the amazing Christa helps me to look presentable and they were having a ThirtyOne Party. If you are not famililar with this line here is their link www.thirtyonegifts.com. Last month's deal was spend $35 dollars and get a purse for half price. I was hooked...besides I needed a purse for vacation. (Especially after I gave my khaki baggalini to friend, Susan!)
 Here is a picture of my purse.  It is so nice and roomy and holds all the things I need on a daily basis. The aqua monogram and zipper are pretty snazzy too! This purse can be a shoulder bag, cross body bag or backpack! Below you can see the insulated cooler bag I got to take to the beach. It will hold sandwiches and drinks for me and Mar as we relax on the beach at Gulf Shores next week.  I have purchased many Thirty One products and I have always been pleased with these high quality bags that are real workhorses. I have three of the large utility bags and I use them all the time!! By the way, those bags are going to the Beach too! And I must say both my new bags look great on my purse bench!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Cuckoo's Calling

For many of us who loved Harry Potter, we could not wait to read A Casual Vacancy, Ms Rowling's first adult novel. Let's just say that it was underwhelming. It seemed this children's author decided to let everyone know she was no longer writing for young readers. Rather like Myley Cyrus letting everyone know she was no longer Hannah Montana at the VMA awards if you get my drift.  I was not surprised to find that Ms R used a pen name to write a detective mystery.  After all the boos and hisses over A Casual Vacancy, I would be hesitant to step back into those murky waters.

I found The Cuckoo's Calling on the shelf at our library(kudos to our library for obtaining many new books for the readers to enjoy!).  I brought it home and waited a couple of days before I began reading this mystery. I did not want to be disappointed again. But I must say The Cuckoo's Calling was a good mystery. Sure it had some language in it but it was appropriate for the character.  Cormoran Strike is really down on his luck. He lost a portion of his leg in Afghanistan when investigating a murder there as a military policeman. He has just left his long time girlfriend, Charlotte and is living in the office that houses his less than successful private investigations business.  But one day two things happen to make him feel that he might have hope of a turn in his luck. A young woman named Robin is sent to be his temporary secretary. She sets a new tone for the office and just in time as a wealthy lawyer, John Bristow, arrives to ask Cormoran to investigate his adopted sister's death. The police say that super model, Lula Landry, jumped to her death from her apartment balcony but John feels she was murdered.  And so begins the mystery of what happened to Lula(Cuckoo). This book delves into the seamier side of fame, the groupies, the fans and the price of renown.  Who did kill Lula....her drug addled boyfriend, her best friend super model Ciara, her biological mother, her angry uncle or perhaps the troubled young woman who Lula has taken under her wing?  There are many twists and turns and Cormoran and Robin are both characters that I would like to learn more about. Since this book is Cormoran Strike#1, I am thinking there will be other mysteries in this series and I look forward to reading them.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Part Two


 Here is my tea cart all dressed up for fall...It is still one of my favorite purchases and I have my brother in law, William, to thank for encouraging me to ask for the price. We were in a Savannah antique mall and I knew it would be over my budget but oh how I loved it. William went with me to ask for the price...$90! Sold!! It is from a hotel in Cairo, Egypt. My tea cart is better traveled than I am!
 The white leaf plate is a gift from friend, Susan....along with the lace mat. I got the cute Jackolantern plate at Hallmark several years ago. The G cocktail napkins come from Tammy Eddy Antiques. Cute little jackos on the silver tray were a TJ Maxx find years ago. And finally my Pumpkin Moonshine Book by Tasha Tudor!
 Even the kitchen hutch gets some pumpkins for decoration. This smiling Jackolantern looks great with my Louisville Stoneware.
 And the top of the hutch is home to a little pumpkin patch. I think it looks nice with all the pears and the blue ware.
 The little scarecrow was a gift from my sweet sister, Kristi.  He looks cute in the punkin patch.
 And my Dining Room table....I love this weathered lantern that I got at TJ Maxx. I can see using it for every season. I took some leaves, small pumkins and mums to decorate the inside of the lantern for fall. I also added some of those cute acorns I got at Cracker Barrel.
Here is a close up of the foil pumpkins...another TJ Maxx find several years ago. I had these sweet little plastic pumpkins that I did not know what to do with so I sprinkled them among the leaves. This year I repurposed a lot of what I had on hand to decorate for the season. Fun and Frugal!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's Fall at Nanaland

 Thought I would share some of my fall decor for 2013. I changed things up a bit this year. I will take a few days here on the blog to tour my autumnal house.
 Here is a close up of this vignette that sits at the end of our breakfast bar. The two crows are Mar and Ar. They were a gift from my sweet friend, Joyce. She got them at Cracker Barrel several years ago. The little pumpkins next to Mar and Ar, I found at Pineapples, one of my favorite Decatur shops.  The Jackos sign came from Tuesday Morning and the blue chalkboard was a TJ Maxx find. I love that the blue matches the blue touches in my kitchen. The big cream colored glass punkin was also a TJ Maxx find. I love that store!
 Here is my buffet...I hung my old G Fall wreath on the mirror. I love how it looks! My new lamps from Kirklands still make me happy too!
The harvest candlesticks were a gift from one of my Preschool Moms years ago. I think of Mandy every time I bring them out. I still have many gifts I received from my years as a preschool teacher and each one is special to me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lest We Forget

For me, September 11, 2001 was a day that will stand out in my memory forever. I have to say it was the most frightening world event that I have ever witnessed in my 58 years on earth.  I was on my way to work when I heard the news on the radio that the World Trade Center was on fire. Then came the terrible news that it was a plane crashing into the tower that caused the blaze. And to find out it was a commercial jet that flew deliberately into the building was just too horrifying to contemplate.  As the day wore on the news grew worse, another plane into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and then the plane that was taken over by the brave people on board and crashed in Pennsylvania. So much tragedy in one day.  I pray for the families that lost loved ones that day. I am thankful for all the police and firemen who put their lives on the line every day to protect me.  I am compelled to pray for our country as we seem to have lost our way in so many areas. God Bless America Land that I love.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Uninvited Visitor

When I was putting up my fall wreath the other day I came across this fellow in the corner of my porch! He is so pretty and he is not bothering me so I will let him stay where he is...he might just be here to be part of my halloween decor!!  I looked this fella up and found it is a black and yellow garden spider also known as the writing spider due to the zigzag in his web. Also I wonder if He might be a She as the female spiders are larger and more colorful according to my research.  I have seen these spiders called golden orb spiders but that is not correct...those spiders are more brown than yellow.  No matter what the name...it is a beautiful creature who eats pests so I am inviting him to stay a spell and visit with the Grimms.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Down in the Valley

My cousin, Scott Kuhn, took this pretty picture of the valley where I grew up. He and his family were on Fort Mountain at the Overlook and he was snapping away. He just got a new camera lens and here is a shot of the Tankersley homeplace close up. As you can see brother in law, Bruce has been hard at work bush hogging the pasture.  In the top picture the farm is the last little piece of green that you can see in the middle of the photograph. That is some amazing camera lens to get such a close up!! Holly said that the next time they are at the overlook they will call the house and get a family member to cme and stand in the yard and wave!:) If you want to check out some of Scott's other pictures you can find his website www.agspics.com. In addition to being a busy businessman and father, he is quite the photographer. He has some help from my cousin, Holly, as well!  If you are looking for a weekend getaway to view the leaves this fall....check out Fort Mountain and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Northwest Georgia.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Happy Fall Ya'll!

 I could not wait to hang up this pretty wreath I got at Pineapples here in Decatur!  So I pulled up the leggy impatiens in my flower bed and put out some yellow and orange mums and considered it Fall.
 Ready for a Close UP.
Mums, Mexican Heather and my red shrubs look nice and autumnal. I love that word....I got it from Martha Stewart!  Now to get the inside of the house ready for fall!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cracker Barrel Bargains

 Don't you just love this cheery big bowl? With my blue and white kitchen I am always looking for some new pieces to add to my collection. I had eyed this bowl at our local Cracker Barrel but it was $24.95 and I did not want to pay that for one bowl. Yesterday I met Katy at the Gardendale Cracker Barrel to hand off Miss Margaret and after hugs and kisses I went inside to browse.  This bowl was marked down 80% so I knew it was going home with me. Isn't it fun to get a real bargain?
 And of course everyone is getting ready for Christmas...Cracker Barrel is no exceptiom.. This Cracker Barrel had up Christmas trees and displayed many holiday decorations. I happened to spy these acorns that were hung on a gold and silver Christmas Tree. Even though they are supposed to be a Christmas ornament, I knew I would cut them apart and use them to change up the lantern on my Dining Room Table. I plan to put fall items in my lantern and these pretty gold acorns will be perfect.  I got two ornaments for $5.98.  It is always good to be on the lookout for things that can be used many ways! This year I plan to change up my decor a bit...pictures soon!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Another Biography

Being a child of the 60's, I cannot resist books about the Kennedys.  I was in third grade when JFK was assassinated and I know it was one of the landmarks of my growing up. I can remember watching all the tv coverage of that tragic event.  My mother tells a humorous story about my sister, Kristi, when she was just a little thing. Mother was cleaning and the tv was on. Kristi called Mother telling her that Uncle Robert was on tv. Well it was President Kennedy and yes he did look a bit like our Uncle Robert, my dad's older brother.

So when I saw this new book about Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, I had to read it.  Rose Kennedy was an interesting lady. She was a very devoted Catholic from her teenage years. She and her younger sister, Agnes, spent a year at a convent in Germany as their "finishing" school.  Her father had sent Rose there hoping she would forget about Joe Kennedy, her beau. But that plan failed and soon after returning home from Germany, she married Mr. Kennedy in a small service at the family home. Rose began her family with the birth of Joe, Jr quickly followed by Jack and Rosemary. Being very organized, Rose began a card file system to keep track of each child's medical history. As the family grew, she turned the dinner table into a school by discussing current events, religious history and such. Since her husband was often traveling, she was in many ways  a single mother.  One thing that the book points out is that Rose was very concerned with her children's teeth in a time when most people did not take dental hygiene seriously. Of course, having the money to pay for a dentist back then was a luxury that only the rich could afford. Rose was also very concerned with her own weight as well as the weights of her offspring. There was a suggestion that Rose may have been on the border of anorexia. She ate very little, stating that she had a sensitive stomach. But she was very proud of her good figure after birthing so many children. The author of the biography suggests that it may have been Rose's way of coping with her husband's roving eye. She could control her weight. She is always encouraging the boys to gain weight as JFK was very thin and sickly as a teenager. In later letters, she encourages the girls to "slim".  Rose enjoyed her time in the limelight when Joe Sr was appointed ambassador to England prior to WW2. She felt at home among the royalty and well known English personages. It allowed her to thumb her nose at the Boston elitists who shunned Catholics.  When Joe's remarks about England being "finished" as WW2 commenced hit the papers, he was quickly relieved of his duties and the Kennedys went home in shame. Joe was never to be seen in the forefront of politics again but he was the machine behind the political careers of his sons. Rose was also active in campaigning for her sons in all their endeavors. She kept up a pace that would have put many younger women in bed.

One of Rose's greatest sorrows was the damage to her daughter, Rosemary, due to a lobotomy when she was only 23 years old. Joe Sr had researched treatments for "slow" children and concluded that this new surgery might help Rosemary who was prone to angry outbursts.  Sadly, Rosemary was severely damaged by this surgery and was sent to live in a convent school until her death in 2005.  Rose said this was the only time she ever disagreed with her husband's decisions.

Rose Kennedy lost four children. Joe Jr was killed in WW2 as he carried out his duties as a fighter pilot. Daughter Kathleen "Kick" died in a plane crash in England. Sons Jack and Bobby were assasinated.  Deeply devout Rose found solace in her faith at these awful times.  After the death of her husband in 1969, Rose found many opportunities to speak publicly about motherhood and about retardation. Whereas the family had hidden Rosemary's condition in the past, she now acknowledged it and worked to raise money to help children like her oldest daughter. Special Olympics exists today because of the Kennedy family. Rosemary, while limited intellectually, was a great swimmer. Rose was also a caring grandmother who despaired over some of the choices her grands made regarding drug use and the sense of entitlement they displayed in their everyday life.

Rose did not really slow down until felled by a stroke in 1985 at age 95. She lived ten more years in seclusion at her Hyannis Port home, dying on January 22, 1995.  She was buried in a cemetery not far from where she was born and her tombstone simply reads Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Then and Now

 Thirty seven years ago today I married my best friend, Marvin.  Over the years we welcomed three children, Benjamin, Amelia and Charles. It is hard to believe that we are now grandparents to four with another precious grandson on the way. His name will be Benjamin Asher and he will be called Asher.  We look forward to adding him to the family pictures!!
 It is hard to get a picture of everyone looking at the camera!!lol..
 Grandpa and his boys...
 Nana and the girls....so blessed!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Repurposed Wedding Flowers!

 Alana generously gave all the ladies some of the flowers left over from the wedding. I put the bouquet on my breakfast bar.
 I took apart a big arrangement and split it into four! I love this pretty pink gerbera daisy and green button mums along with some delicate fern. It looks so pretty on my bedside table.
 A small arrangement for the bathroom and a big white rose for the bedside table in my guest room. Miss Margaret who is visiting with us this week loves her special flower.

And finally a pretty bouquet for my living room. Live flowers really do brighten up a home!

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Late Summer Wedding

 Once again I had the pleasure of helping my sweet friend, Alana, prepare for the wedding of a daughter. We had so much fun getting the flowers ready for the Sanctuary as well as making corsages and boutinerres.
 My friends, Jennifer and Carol, more Flower Ladies.
 The empty nesters...Mark and Alana have married off both their beautiful daughters this year.

 Love the pretty pink flowers on the reception tables. Many families at our church have donated their wedding decorations to the church so it is easy to pull together nice centerpieces that are inexpensive. We are all family at FBC and that shows!
 Sarah and Julia...lovely sisters and friends of the bride. Julia helped with the flowers as well. She has a great eye and hopes to be a home designer one day. I would hire her!!
 The happy Couple, Nathan and Victoria. Victoria looked like a princess in her beautiful gown.
 The guests enjoyed some group dancing at the reception. Even the young guests got in on the fun.
 Marvin and Me....we will celebrate 37 years of marriage on Wednesday! We wish all the best for this sweet young couple just starting out on the marriage road.
Prayers for a wonderful marriage for these two!!