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Monday, December 18, 2017

My Favorite Books of 2017

I know many of you are like me, always looking for a good book to read!! At the end of each year, I look back over my Good Reads list to see which books stood out among the rest for me. It is fun to go back and read my reviews and remember all the good stories I have enjoyed this year.

Here are my TOP TEN...

1. The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia S Fenollera was this years TOP READ.  It is a book that will take you away from all your cares to a kinder and gentler community of refined citizens.

2. The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff is a thought provoking read but what a story!

3. The Bird House by Kelly Simmons was such a timely book for me as it is about a grandmother. Being in the same season of life, I could understand many of the main character's feelings.

4. The Lost Woman by Sara Blaedel is a great police procedural/mystery. Set in England and Denmark it was very interesting to me.

5. The Hired Girl by Amy Laura Schlitz. This is an author to be aware of! Great writing and masterful story teller. I have read two of her books and look forward to more from Ms Schlitz.

6. The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan features a troubled young heroine who might or might not have killed her mother.  Exactly who is the psychopath in this mystery?

7, Local Knowledge by Liza Gyllenhaal is set in New England and features a real estate agent as the main character. Two of my favorite topics in one book!

8. Easter at the Lakes by Sara Hylton is an older book that I found in the stacks at the library but charmed me from the get go. Ms Hylton's books are in the style of Rosamunde Pilcher, another favorite author of mine.

9. I Found You by Lisa Jewel was a real page turner for me. Amnesia is always an interesting subject in a mystery!

10. Magpie Murders by Joel Horowitz was a fun read for anyone who is a lover of all mystery genres. You will enjoy the references to other mysteries you might have read.

So there you go!! I realize not all readers have the same taste but I think there is something for everyone on this list!!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Stitching Saturday

This will be a short and sweet post.

Remember this?

My Prairie Schooler that will say Foothills Farm?

Here is my progress this week.

I did get the house built and I changed a few things. I do like this version much better. I will be packing this one up to take to Grimmwood. My January Cottage will journey to Georgia as well. All of my Christmas stitching has been put away until June or July when I will start them again in hopes of finishing them before the holidays.  In 2018 I also plan to spend more time working on Smoky Mountain Christmas. I hope to complete it before Christmas 2018.  I think I was a bit ambitious in my holiday stitching this year.

We will be celebrating with my family in NoGA today. Marvin and I are hoping to get a picture of us with all the grands. And if we can get one with our kids and grands that will just be icing on the cake. I have put off my Christmas baking until next week. I know if I make it now, I will eat it now. I am going to try to have all the Christmas goodies gone by January 1st so I can get back on my eating well and walking routine.  Hoping you all have a blessed weekend enjoying these days leading up to Christmas.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Randomness

I have some random pictures in iPhotos so I decided to just share them all.

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook and it really made me laugh out loud. That is Snow in the Deep South in one painting.

Miss Audrey sporting a side pony tail, she just might bring them back into fashion.


My sister was sharing some old pictures last week and here is one of me and Amelia, Christmas 1981. I think Amelia had just woken from a nap.  And I look like I need one.:)

Marvin surprised me with this beautiful blown glass ornament made here in Alabama, Fort Payne to be precise.

Amelia shared this group of photos of Hudson on his birthday! He is a handsome fella.

And here is Mr Modest...being congratulated by his coach after scoring 10 points in a recent basketball game.

Here is Baby Ben...six months old and sporting his two new teeth.  We lived in Hull, Georgia and this photo was made in our back yard while out for a walk....remember umbrella strollers? They had just come into vogue and were so convenient compared to the old strollers.

The Brothers Grimm out for a ride in Elliott's birthday gift. Katy said Baylor was tentative at first but was soon laughing and clapping his hands as they rode around the yard. For a four year old, Elliott can really wheel his car around. Marvin suggested that Katy hide her car keys!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Snow in Canton

Charles posted some snow pictures as well.

Miss Audrey had fun exploring the snow covered back yard in Georgia.  Charles said the problem was keeping her from getting all cold and wet. I told him that back in the olden days, we used loaf bread bags over our shoes! We never got enough snow to warrant having snow gear so loaf bread bags over shoes and arms would keep you dry...for a while anyway.

And look at this pretty picture..

We cant wait to see our girl this Saturday when we celebrate in Chatsworth. She is growing up so quickly.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Grimm Birthday Party

We motored down to Birmingham to celebrate the birthdays of Margaret, Elliott and Ben.  It was just a family party with the Hargrove and Grimm fam in attendance.

Margaret had to prank her brother with bunny ears. As you can see, they had a lot of gifts to open.

Elliott and his big boy cousins playing with cars.

Ben brought out the huge cake that was for all three of them. Ben is wearing a birthday gift tee shirt that Katy got him. Apparently Bill Murray is one of Ben's favorite actors.

Kissing cousins. Margaret and Landon have always been best friends. They are so cute together.

Being silly...I asked them to pose and Kendall took me literally. :)

Finally a cute ornament that I had to get a picture of...

Mr Baylor....

We had a fun afternoon and made it back to Decatur just as darkness was falling.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Snow at Grimmwood

One of the best things about having a vacation home on the family farm is that I have a dear brother in law who goes to turn off the water at the house when it is going to be in the teens! When we are there in the winter we always turn off the water before we leave but we were not expecting this kind of weather in December!! Thank you Bruce for being a life saver. I told someone the other day that Bruce's care for Grimmwood helps us to have peace of mind when we are not there.  The next best thing is having a sister who will go out in the elements to take pictures of the snowfall so that while we were in snowless Decatur, we could live vicariously through her photography. Thanks Kristi.

This just might be our Christmas card for next year! Being an early bird, my cards for 2017 have been mailed. I love the sunlight that is filtering through the woods.

Our driveway.

The view of the pond and the house.

Cousin Scott was out in the elements as well. He drove up to Mother's house to get these two pics.

You might remember this view that I posted several weeks ago..the grist mill stone is in the foreground.

The Barn...

It was beautiful while it lasted!  I am sure people will be talking about this Big Snow for weeks to come.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Snow in the South

Well the southern part of the USA got a Christmas surprise in the form of a snow storm. While Decatur was snowless, Birmingham got six inches of the white stuff.

You know Margaret was glad for a snow day!

Katy got the kids up bright and early to see the snow, thinking it would melt quickly.

Baylor enjoyed watching the snow from the inside of the house! I love how he was clapping his hands with joy over the winter wonderland.

Katy and Ben enjoyed the snow day as well. Ben's work was cancelled as everyone remembers the snowpocolypse of several years ago. So just stay home and chill out was the good word.

Snow in the south is a wonderful thing as we get so little of it. And true to form by today, it was gone except for the snow lingering in shady places.  And that is alright with most Southerners as we love it but we have things to do this time of the year!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Stitching

Well after admitting to my mistake in putting my fabric on my qsnaps, I went back to the Cross Stitch Peddler and picked up a new piece of fabric. I got a bigger piece this time but you can be sure I will be more careful with my measurements.

I am still working on a few Christmas pieces and I had a finish this week.


A Prairie Schooler Santa. I did change some colors and instead of stitching the flower in his hat, I added a pretty holly sticker.  I need to trim my fabric, don't I?

Oh well from a distance you do not notice it as much. I was in a hurry to take a picture for this post.


I am going to move him to an easel this week.

I also started on my January cottage.


Do you like my needle minder?

It is so shiny you can see the ceiling fan reflected in it.  I found these on EBAY...magnets featuring the tv show, Grimm.  I love it.

This fabric will not be used by this stitcher again. The dots which appear so cute, rather like a quiet snow fall, are a bear to stitch on. I have heard other stitchers complain about this fabric and now I know why. The dots appear to be painted on the fabric rather then woven into the fabric.  Cross stitch needles are not super sharp and I have to really be careful to get my needle in the correct hole and to make it push through the material.

It is hard to believe it it time to consider what I plan to stitch in the new year. I have several Prairie Schooler Santas that I plan to stitch on perforated paper. They are so easy to display this way and to keep them up all year. I am doing a Patriotic Santa as well as a Sunflower Santa this year. And January means Easter Stitching if you hope to have the pieces done for the holiday. So...plenty of things to stitch this year but prioritizing the pieces are my big dilemma.

Have a good weekend Bloggy Friends.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Stream

Its been a while since I have done a Stream of Consciousness so here we go!

1. Christmas is coming. Are you ready? I think I am. We will do our Christmas with our children and grands at my mother's house in Georgia on the 16th.  What a blessing and delight it is for my mother to have all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren together for Christmas.  As I watch my grands rapidly growing up, I hope I am around to enjoy seeing them as adults and holding a great grand on my knee.

2. Confession time... All of you are so sweet to post lovely comments on my stitching. Well I made a BIG BOO BOO the other day. As my parents warned me, I am afraid I got the BIG HEAD. If you are of Scotch Irish descent you know that is something you have to watch out for! I was stitching along on my Foothills Farm piece quite happily. I had finished the house and moved my q snaps to work on the barn, only there was not enough fabric to stitch the barn. I had put my fabric in the Qsnap the wrong way!! So I will be going to the Cross Stitch Peddler to get a new piece of fabric and I will start over. I am going to turn the little house into a small pillow to redeem the time I spent stitching. So everyone makes mistakes! I will be paying attention as I put my fabric in this time.

3. I got to play nurse this week. Marvin had a drain in the area where his parotid tumor was removed. His surgeon told him he could go to the local ENT doc or I could remove it for him. I left the decision up to him and he chose me.  I got out all my supplies...lined it up on the kitchen counter, sat Marvin is a chair under good light and went to work. The old skills came back! After attending a diploma nursing program where you spend three years working in every speciality, you never forget how to do something! I think Marvin was a bit amazed that I took it out so easily. Of course, kudos to his surgeon who put it in there correctly and left enough of the stitch to make it easy to snip!

4. While this is a happy time of the year for most of us, I have a few friends who are going through deep waters right now. Keep your eye out for those who might need a meal, a visit or just a smile and a Merry Christmas.

5. I played Santa Claus on Monday. I had been looking for some pretty poinsettias and I found the perfect ones at Home Depot. For only $10 you can get a medium size plant in a beautiful container that can be used after the holidays. I picked up three. One went to our next door neighbors who so sweetly pick up our mail and our newspaper when we travel to Georgia. The second one went to a family in our church who has been such an encouragement to me and Marvin as he was ailing on and off since July.  They brought meals, came by for visits and most of all prayed for us. The third one went to a good friend who is battling cancer. She has been fighting for three years now and as usual it seems the cancer is starting to win the battle. Would you pray for her...God knows who she is.  It was such fun to be on the giving end as I made my deliveries.

6. On Facebook this week, a friend posted a picture of an old Sears Christmas catalog. Oh what memories that brought back. My sisters and I used to fight over who got to look at it first!! It was prize property back in the 1960s. Our small town had limited shops so a lot of things came to our home via Sears and Roebuck. I remember the year I got a Mystery Date Game...I just loved it. Open the door to your mystery date...the song went. I can still hear it in my mind!! Of course no one wanted to get the DUD.  Sweet memories of simpler times. Do you have a special memory of a toy Santa left under the tree?

Well time to hop out of the stream, dry off and get busy here in Nanaland. Have a blessed day dear friends.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

RAKs


While in North Georgia last week I picked up this free magazine .



Northwest Georgia does have a lot of places to see and things to do so this will come in handy while we are there over Christmas.

One article listed a Random Act of Kindness to do as an Advent Activity. Each day on the calendar suggests something kind you can do for others. Here are a few of them.

1.Say only positive things on Social Media.
2.Buy coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks.( I go to MacDonalds and I have done this in the past. It never gets old.)
3.Leave Sticky notes( or painted rocks) with encouraging messages on them around town.
4.Make a care package for someone who is grieving during the holidays.
5.Send a Thank You note to someone who has inspired you.
6.Donate clothing or food to a charity.
7.Help an elderly friend put up their decorations. Don't forget to come back after the holidays and help them put them away again.
8.Leave a small gift in the mailbox for your postal carrier.
9.Buy dessert for someone you see eating out alone.
10.Take a hot drink to someone you see working outdoors.

These are just a few of their good ideas. I am going to try to implement some of these this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Moo to You

Many of you remember Miss Mayfield the cow that my friend, Kris, painted for me.  She lives at Grimmwood.



Well while I was walking in the mall recently I cam upon some more of her work...

Kris Beadle is a former faculty member of Calhoun Community College's Graphic Arts department.. When the new campus opened down town they asked the faculty members to provide some art to display. Kris did the cow chair and a sheep chair.  Just a plain parsons chair that was turned into WOW. The sheep is amazing and I am sorry I could not get a better angle on that chair.

I have always wished I could paint. I "piddle" with it but I would love to really spend some time in class learning about perspective etc.

I had to text the picture to Kris and she was happy to receive it. She said someone had told her it was displayed on the wall but she had not seen it. I am grateful to have a talented and generous friend.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dollar Tree Bargains

I needed a new wreath for the backdoor going out to the garage.  I did not want to spend a lot of money so I channeled  Eclectic Kristen and headed off to the Dollar Tree.

I did have a ribbon I had purchased for five dollars at Pineapples.

And I had an old grapevine wreath that still had some white spray paint on it from a previous theme.

Since my ribbon featured reindeer...I decided to go with that theme.

I found these for one dollar.

And these picks were one dollar each...


I got out my wire cutters and my glue gun and here is what I came up with...

I also had a few old Christmas ornaments on hand that I added for some more color.

Speaking of The Dollar Tree...look what I found for the  grands playroom. And speaking of Grands...Happy Birthday to Benjamin Elliott Grimm who turns 4 today!

I thought this was precious and only a dollar. It can stay on the wall until February.

So don't discount The Dollar Tree...there are lots of deals to be had there.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Grands

Linda at Linda's Life Journal asked to see a bigger picture of my banner. So here it is.

It is a bit blurry as I blew it up but here is the story of my Baby Banner.

Charles and Nancy gave me a beautiful Shutterfly Christmas card at Audrey's first Christmas. I loved it and wanted to show it every year so I came up with the idea to order cards of the other grands as Babies at Christmas. Shutterfly was very obliging and I could even add the year they were born to the card. I found the card like Audrey's and ordered five more. Unfortunately I do not have any baby pictures of my bonus grandsons. I will have to see if I can remedy that!

I took a lenght of cording(( You could use twine and that would be good too.) and tied the pictures to the cording at regular intervals. Then I took several lengths of Christmas fabrics, tore them into strips and just tied them on between the pictures.  I hang each end on a suction cup holder and then add a fake snowflake to cover up the ends. The snowflakes came from the Dollar Tree.

I love looking at my Babies and remembering how they looked on their First Christmas.

My Nanaland decorations are in the previous post if you are just checking in.

Christmas at Nanaland

I have decked the halls here at Nanaland. Some of you long time readers may be bored by this post as some things have not changed but I did try to move a few things around!

I got some new bling for the mantle.



Some lovely smelling potpourri...I did add a few Christmas ornaments to this arrangement.

Found some  gum drops at the Dollar Tree for my Candy tree.

Landon as Santa came back out. He was fussing about it last night. But I told him that this picture would come out every year until I am an old lady and his girlfriends will visit my house and say, "oh how Adorable."

One of my favorite stitches.

The dining room table.

The grands baby pictures in swag form and more bling for the buffet.

These Santas were made for me by Mama G. They are WAY up high out of reach of little hands.

In the guest bath, Santa greets you.

My Santa collection in the guest room.

The china cabinet.

Not the greatest picture but you can see I love nativities.

Hope you enjoyed the tour...the tree looks much as usual. I am one who uses the same ornaments every year but adding at least one new one each year. I am a traditionalist at heart.