Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween...I could not resist using one of Mary Engelbreit's Halloween images as she is my favorite artist. Everyone who knows me knows that I like all things ME.  I have a busy day planned, oil change, lunch with the besties and I am making a nice roast beef dinner for my husband. And I look forward to seeing a few goblins at my door this evening.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A quiet start to our week but my thoughts and prayers are with many of my Blog Friends who live in the northeast. What a storm! Hurricane Sandy will not be forgotten. Here in Alabama we are having blustery winds and daytime temps in the 50s but then that is not too unusual for this time of the year. I am afraid the Trick or Treaters will be  wearing their coats over their costumes this year. Landon and I spent some time yesterday making goody bags of candy for any little goblins who stop by Jackson Way.  In the three years we have lived here, only a handful of children have stopped by so I did not buy a lot of candy for treats.  Today I have lots of errands to run while Landon is at preschool. One trip will be to the library. Our library will be closing for two months in order to install a new heat and air unit. Believe me for all the readers in Decatur, that was SAD news. Fortunately our little town of Priceville has a small library so I can go there for some books. The Decatur library will be closing at the end of November and hopes to reopen at the end of January. I am hoping the installation goes quickly and we get our library back sooner than planned.With the library closed, our Book Sale room will be closed as well. I have found many gems there so I am sad about that as well. While it is just an inconvenience for me, I feel sorry for the many people who rely on the library for internet service, students who use the library for reports and the moms who count on the library for weekly story time for their preschoolers. Our library provides so many services to the community! The library is allowing patrons to check out 50 books before the closing. I cannot imagine taking home that many books and getting them back without losing a few.

I am also heading to the post office this morning to mail a piece of cross stitch to Sutton Place. I have a lovely Christmas cross stitch that I did not really want to frame but I could not find someone locally to make it into a cushion for me. Thanks to Kim's Savy Southern Style blog, I became aware of one of her sponsors, Sutton Place. Ann at Sutton Place sells cushions and takes custom orders. After chatting back and forth via email, I am mailing her my cross stitch and she will make it into a Christmas Cushion for me. I am so excited!! By the way you can check out Sutton Place on Etsy!

And I hope to get all the supplies together today for our Christmas Shoe Boxes for Samaritan's Purse. I noticed that Christy Jordan at The Southern Plate posted a video showing how to pack a Christmas Shoe Box. I will take a look at it before heading to the store. She always has good ideas so I know I will get some hints from her video.

I hope you all check out some of the blogs on my Blog Roll...these ladies are so talented and I am always picking up some good information from each of them!

Monday, October 29, 2012

 We celebrated Landon's 4th birthday at Cracker Barrel on Saturday.
 Nana's iphone is always a favorite toy!
 At Nana and Grandpa's house after lunch....Grandpa helps Landon with his new Thomas the Train set.
 Landon+trains= Happy Boy
The Birthday Boys...Grandpa and Landon share birthdays in October.

And just a note to all my blog friends in the Northeast....I am praying for you as you face the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Stay safe!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Well we awoke to our first Cold Morning of this season. It is drizzly and damp making it seem chillier! But it is the end of October and time for the fall season to appear. I have plans to pull on a hoodie and get in my garage for some cleaning out. Our county picks up large garbage items once every three months and I remembered to call and schedule a pickup for Monday. We have several things that just need to GO!! In the three years we have lived here, we have used the garage as storage for some things that are broken down, unused and a few useless things with sentimental value so it is time to make some decisions. We also have two old televisions that still work but considered obsolete today. I will put those out there, hoping someone might pick them up. Lots of people drive around on these pick up days, hoping to find a treasure. I also have five antique dining chairs that I no longer use. I will take some pictures and put them on Craig's list.  With the money I hope to make from the chairs, I want to buy some sturdy shelves for the garage so I can place things on shelves so I can find them when I need them.  Then this afternoon we are going to celebrate Landon's birthday at Cracker Barrel. He is four years old today! Another reminder that time does fly by and we should all enjoy each day that God gives us.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I guess I am a little late getting to this book by Philippa Gregory. It published in 2001. I came across The Other Boleyn Girl for one dollar at the Book Sale Room at our library.  I have always been interested in the court of King Henry VIII. I can remember watching the PBS production of The Six Wives of Henry the VIII back in 1970 when I was 15 years old. At the time, I could not understand why these women would be interested in a fat old man!:) But after becoming more familiar with that time period, I saw that women had little choice in who they married. Marriages were made to advance the family fortunes and what better for your fortune than to become the Queen of England?

Anne Boleyn and her family found out too late that just as you rise in the King's pleasure, you may pay with your life if you fall from grace. This novel is one of a set of the Tudor novels written by Ms Gregory. I wish I had known that before I started this book as I would have attempted to read the series in order. I went to Paperback Swap this morning to order three more of the six book series. That should tell you that I thought this book was very good.  The Other Boleyn Girl focuses on two sisters, Mary and Anne Boleyn. Both girls are pawns in a game played by their father and uncle. These men hope to acquire land, money and power by wedding one of the girls to Henry the VIII. I had never heard of Mary but apparently she was the first sister to catch the king's eye. Mary becomes the king's mistress because her father and her uncle tell her she will do whatever they tell her to do. And at that time women had very little say in their lives. As Mary put it, if you are a peasant or a queen you have only what your husband chooses to give you. Mary seems to genuinely love Henry and gives him two children, Catherine and Henry. But as she recovers from the birth of her son, Anne moves in and steals the king's heart.  And all of this happens while Henry is married to Katherine of Aragon, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.  Henry's love and lust for Anne, cause him to embrace Reformation Theology. But does he embrace it so that he can divorce his old wife who has not given him a son? It would appear so. As head of the Church of England he can declare that his first marriage was invalid. Mary will soon  be glad that she was passed over by the King as her sister who failed to give the King a son is declared an adultress and a witch and beheaded days before the King marries his third wife. Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Lived aptly describes the wives of this self indulgent king.

I liked the character of Mary. She did not want to do many of the things her family forced her to do and she grew up in a corrupt court that taught her power does not bring happiness. As the book ends, Mary has found happiness with a common man. They live happily on a small farm in the country where they raise her children as well as two children with her husband, William.  Ms Gregory adds some historical notes at the end of the book telling us that after the execution of her brother, George and sister, Anne, and the death of her parents soon after, Mary inherited the Boleyn holdings and she and William became wealthy land owners in Essex.  What about King Henry's illegitimate children? Catherine became a lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth and married well. Henry was one of Elizabeth's trusted advisors to the end of his life.  If you enjoy historical fiction, I think this book will be one you will read with pleasure!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Miss Kendall has lost both top teeth now!! She was at Chuck E Cheese for her brother's birthday party when she lost the second top tooth. I would have thought that would be cause for some free tokens, but NO. The hostess there did tell Kendall that she was the first child to lose a tooth there since they have been open at that location! And to add to Kendall's woes, she is practicing the 'th' sound in speech and that is a hard sound to make with no front teeth.   I love this picture of our girl and you can see the cleft in her chin ...she and Uncle Charles share that distinction in our family. I hope being toothless does not affect her ability to scarf down her Halloween goodies!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

 One of my favorite magazines is Southern Lady....and the November December issue is just eye candy!!
 I was excited to see that this month's edition featured several articles on Mooresville, Alabama. This is the oldest town in Alabama and is located about 20 minutes from my house. If you ever get the chance to visit this historic town, stop and take time to stroll the streets then have lunch at Limestone Bay, a neat neighborhood restaurant.  I have taken many pictures of my grandchildren there and local photographers use it all the time for its gorgeous settings.  If you saw the movie, Tom Sawyer, that was made in the 90s, Mooresville was used as the location of Tom Sawyer's hometown. A visit to Mooresville is like stepping back in time.
Now this pretty saltbox house belongs to my friend, Vene. She is quoted in the article, describing how she decorates her house in the Williamsburg style at Christmas.  Vene's house may look old but she and her husband built it in the mid 1980s. It is the prettiest house, filled with colonial charm. If I could have the "playhouse" of my dreams, it would look just like this! Christmas in Mooresville is really beautiful  and worth the trip to see this colonial town in North Alabama. For more information check out

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Well I forgot to take a picture of my Smashed Potatoes but the ones on Pinterest look just like the ones I prepared on Saturday so I will borrow their photo.

My husband loves boiled red potatoes. The rest of the family is not as enamored so I made some of smashed potatoes I had seen on Pinterest and they were yummy.This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Smashed Potatoes

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.(yes, it is a HOT oven)

Lay potatoes on a baking sheet( I used the roasting pan that came with my oven and that was perfect as you want it to be a bit deep)
Add 3/4 cup of water and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
Remove from oven not splash out that hot water although much has been used to steam the potatoes.
Cool for ten minutes. In a bowl toss potatoes with 3 T olive oil. Lay back out on Baking Sheet. Taking a cup, smash the potatoes. ( The fun part!! and I covered my baking sheet with foil before adding potatoes back to pan)Drizzle with three T olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.( You can also add herb seasoning at this point if you wish. I wanted plain potatoes so I eliminated the thyme the recipe called for) Bake on the top rack of your oven at 500 for 15 minutes, then move baking pan to lowest rack and bake for 25 minutes.

These are very crispy and tasty potatoes, best if eaten while hot!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

 We had a nice time with the family celebrating Grandpa's birthday. Here is a picture of the cakes, Carrot Cake and Coco Cola Cake.
 Grandpa and Baylor looking at a book together.
 Ben and Nancy...all the fun was upstairs in Grandpa's man cave. I did not get a photo of Amelia and Katy as they were downstairs talking.
Our Sweet Baylor...his hair reminds me of the early Beatles dos...
 Uncle Charles was busy...reading Goodnight Gorilla to Margaret.
 I loved this picture of Margaret !
And here is Uncle Charles and Baylor "spinning". Uncle C is always a favorite to spin the kids. He is the only one who can do it without falling down!!

While everyone was here we finalized Thanksgiving plans. It will be here before we know it!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Birthday Boy is having lunch with all the children today. Kendall and Landon will not be here as they are with their dad this weekend  but we are planning a birthday breakfast next Saturday for Grandpa and Bubba.  Steak, Broccoli, Red Potatoes and Salad are on the menu today. I am tying the "smashed potato" recipe I pinned on Pinterest. I will report on that next week!! For dessert we have Carrot Cake and Coca Cola Cake. Carrot Cake is Marvin's favorite but the kids are not too fond of it so I made a Coca Cola Cake. This is a recipe that was popular  many years ago but fell into the been there, done that, moved on File in my cookbook. But several weeks ago my sweet neighbor, Janet, brought us some Coca Cola cake and  it made me remember how much I had liked that cake! So in case you are not familiar with the recipe, I will share it with you.

Coca Cola Cake
2 c Self Rising Flour
2 c Sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together in a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix together 1 cup of butter, 1/4 c cocoa, 1 c. Coca Cola and 1/2 c buttermilk. Heat until it boils, remove from heat and stir it into the flour mixture with a whisk. Allow to cool, then add 2 eggs and 1 t. vanilla. Mix with whisk until incorporated and pour batter into a greased and floured 9 by 13 pan. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.(preheat your oven to 350)

While it is still warm from the oven, pour frosting over top of cake.

Heat 1/2 c. butter, 1/4 c. cocoa and 1/2 c Coca Cola over medium heat until it boils. Then whisk into 4 cups of sifted confectioners sugar.  Pour over cake.

This is an easy cake because you do not need a hand mixer to prepare it...and most of the items I had in my pantry. Being from Georgia, I always have some Coca Cola on hand! It is a rich cake but so good. After my kids take home what they want, I will be sharing with my neighbor, Jean, who is a chocoholic so I know she will enjoy this gooey goodness!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy 61st birthday to my dear husband, Marvin. These photos are from some that we scanned to a cd for the whole Grimm family, that is why they are labeled.  I love looking back at old photographs. In photo number one, you can see baby Marvin. Wasn't he a cutie? In the second picture, Marvin and his older sister Mina are enjoying some food at the beach with their mom and grandmother. And the last picture is from an Easter Sunday in the mid 1950s.  Mina was born on Oct 20th and two years later, Marvin was born on Oct 19th! They have no excuses for forgetting their birthdays!

We plan to have a big dinner tomorrow with our children...I am off to the groceries store to buy all the fixins. And by the way, Carrot Cake is the Big Guy's choice for his birthday cake every year!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My hubs and I finally got around to watching a program we had dvr'd last night. With baseball playoffs and football, it is hard to schedule time with Marvin for us to watch tv together!!  The program aired some while ago on our PBS station and the title was Eating Alabama.  A young couple in their early 30s decided to do an experiment. They would eat only food grown in Alabama for one year!  As Alabama is an agricultural state, I thought that they would have no problem eating locally grown food. And for the most part I was right but I did learn some new things from watching this tv show.

The couple started looking for food at the Birmingham Farmers Market. ( I am not sure where they lived as it was never made clear but I think Northern Alabama is a safe guess.) There were some locally grown foods there but some of the products sold there were just distributed here so be careful to read your labels. They also visited the Montgomery Farmers Market finding the same thing there. One locally grown food that they found in abundance was Turnip Greens. Turnip Greens are loved by some and hated by others and I would be one of the "others". They drive all the way to the Gulf where they do find some locally grown citrus, Satsumas, as well as lots of local seafood. Now that is up my alley but I cannot drive six hours to buy locally grown food products.

Back home, they meet some truck farmers who raise crops for restaurants etc. They also grow some of their own food in the garden in their yard.  Alabama is blessed with lots of fruits in berries, strawberries, peaches and in the fall, apples. There are also plenty of local vegetables to be had in the summer. The young folks found a farmer who grew chickens for sale so they go to the farm to see the "process" of killing and cleaning chickens. I have to say here that if I had to "process" my own chicken, I might not like chicken tenders so much!!   They also found a farmer who sold them half a pig and local beef is available as well. That leaves bread!! And Southerners like their bread. Ground corn meal can be found locally but wheat flour is another thing. A local wheat farmer was willing to sell wheat to the couple but they were on their own to process it. And they did! First they separated the wheat from the chaff with a fan...then they had to have it ground with the bran included. They were able to make some bread and it looked tasty. I do have to say that if we all had to work as hard as these young people did to eat locally we might appreciate our food more than we do when we go to the grocery store and throw it in the buggy.(that is a grocery cart for all you folks who are not from the south!).

It was a good program...the next time I take down my White Lily flour to make biscuits, I will be a thankful for white flour!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I read a book last week that has stayed with me, encouraging me to THINK about life. Being Mrs Alcott by Joanne Geary is an older book, published about five years ago but somehow I missed it then. I came across it in the Book Sale Room at our local library. I was drawn by the title, thinking it might have something to do with the Louisa May Alcott family and when I took it off the shelf, it had a pretty cover so I decided to invest 50 cents to bring it home with me. :)

The book is the story of a woman and her almost 40 years of marriage to a difficult man but a man who she loves and is committed to staying with despite ups and downs. The book opens on Grace's wedding day but we get a glimpse of her life as the sheltered younger daughter of upper class parents. When she goes off to Radcliffe to school, she meets a Harvard man, Bainbridge Alcott, who is known to friends and family as Bain. He woos Grace with his dreams of being a writer. Bain tells Grace they will travel the world, he will write books and their life together will be wonderful. This is in 1967 when many young people were breaking away from the "boring" lives of their parents. But as the wedding day approaches, Bain tells Grace he has taken a job in banking as they could not live comfortably on a writers salary. In the early years of their marriage, Bain is climbing the ladder in the corporate world leaving Grace to take "classes' and volunteer for worthy causes to fill her days. Young Bain and Grace also have their eyes on the future. They purchase a run down vacation home in Cape Cod and Grace spends a lot of time, making it their dream home. Motherhood comes along and with it a tragedy that would shake any marriage but Bain and Grace weather the storm. This novel does move along quite rapdily....decades will pass in one chapter. But I kind of like that writing style myself so it did not bother me. At the end of the book, Bain and Grace face financial setbacks as well as health issues but their marriage seems stronger than ever, much to the surprise of their children and friends who could never see why Grace stayed married to Bain, the dominant force in the marriage. One son informs Grace that her marriage is a relic! That thought really stayed with me as I see so many who do not value commitment in our modern society. The younger generation seems to think that if you are not "happy" just ditch the people around you who are making you unhappy and move on. What they do not realize that often the problem is within themselves.

One reviewer saw Grace as downtrodden and the book as depressing. However, I think this book has a lot to say about life and human nature.  Grace was the glue that held her family together. She was the really strong person and that is revealed as Being Mrs Alcott comes to a close.  I think this book will appeal to those of us of a certain age, who have come to realize that life is not perfect and dreams do not always come true but what is truly important is those little moments in life that take our breath away.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One of the things I like most about being a homemaker is my ability to be available for friends and family. Yesterday reminded me of this fact! I did not have the grands so I planned to do some laundry and cleaning. Around lunchtime, a friend who lives nearby called me on the phone. Could you come over and look at my house? My friend is beginning the process of selling her home as her husband got a job in Tennessee. She knows that I am a big HGTV fan so she thought I could give her some input. The house was just lovely as my friend has excellent taste but her kitchen and the bathroom in the master bedroom needed attention. My friends had planned updates in these areas but they had planned to do it over time and not all at once. I am sure the house will be gorgeous when they complete their remodeling. As HGTV realtors say over and over, kitchens and bathrooms sell houses! After visiting a bit, I came home to finish cleaning. Then I had a call from another friend, could she stop by? She had received some sad news regarding a family member and she needed to talk. Once again I was reminded of how important friends are to us.  Later in the day, I was able to prepare a meal for a friend who just got home from a three week stay in the hospital. I had planned to deliver it to the home but his wife called and said she was on her way home from work so she would stop by and pick it up. We had a nice chat about her husband's progress. As she was leaving, I saw one of my neighbors out walking. She lost her husband about three weeks ago so I wanted to see how she was doing...this led to another short visit. Just before going to bed, I was thinking about my day and I thanked God for the blessing of being at home! I often take it for granted and even complain about the "sameness" of my days but yesterday was a good reminder for me that God can use anyone who is available to be used. I want to be always be available!

Monday, October 15, 2012

I had time to sit down over the weekend and enjoy a trip to Taviscombe, England thanks to Amazon and Hazel Holt.  I have been reading about Sheila Malory and her friend, Rosemary since 1989 when Ms Holt began writing this series. In fact, I enjoy them so much that I own every book in the series as I like to "re read" them every now and then. I know there are some people who are finished with a book when the last page is turned but I like to go back and visit certain books. I guess that is why my bookshelves are full.

I have to admit that this installment of the Mrs Malory mysteries was not as good as previous books. Ms Holt is 84 years old and I have to wonder if someone else is not helping her with her books these days. The "flow" of the book was a bit off and it took me all weekend to get through it. Usually I devour these books in no time at all.

The premise of the series is similar to Murder She Wrote, Miss Marple and other cozy mysteries. Sheila Malory is a 60 something widow who was born and bred in the small village of Taviscombe. She has a son who is a lawyer(or barrister as they say over there). For a small village, Taviscombe has a lot of murders and Sheila is the person who helps the police figure out who done it! At the beginning of the series, Sheila was in her 50s, recently widowed and son Michael was at university.  Sheila's lifelong friend, Rosemary, is another important character in the books, especially as her son in law is a local policeman. But my favorite secondary character is Rosemary's mother, Mrs Dudley. This elderly lady has all the"dirt" on everyone in Taviscombe and is who Sheila turns to when her investigations hit a brick wall. Over the years, Michael grows up marries Thea and they have a daughter named Alice. So the books cover quite a few years. This series gives you a great look at what I am sure is a vanishing village life in England. Sheila spends most of her time going to parish meetings and doing other good deeds while solving crimes in her village. They are such cozy books....the characters have tea and Victorian Sponge Cake, Sheila and Rosemary throw diets to the wind and eat cream cakes at the local eatery, they go to church, and attend committee meetings.   All the things I love to read about!

I have also noted that many of Ms Holt's books are being re released with new names!! One reviewer on Amazon was quite upset as she thought she had a "New" book by one of her favorite authors and alas she had already read this mystery years ago.   If you are looking for a good mystery, check out the first Mrs Malory book, Mrs Malory Investigates then read the series in order. You will enjoy them!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Christmas 1962...I was seven years old and I am sure I pored over this edition of the Sears Wish Book, hoping Santa Claus would deliver my "wishes" under our Christmas Tree. This morning I am doing the 2012 version but instead of flipping through the pages of a catalog, I am clicking on items on Amazon. I am hoping to get in my first Christmas Order today.  I have found that I really like to shop online, avoiding the crowds and best of all, my packages arrive right at my door via UPS.  I have also found that Amazon often has a better price than my local stores. Of course, being a good citizen, I want to support my community so I will be buying many of my gifts here in Decatur as well. We are fortunate to have several unique shops on historic Bank Street. I can find some very special gifts there  and another perk of small town shopping is free gift wrapping.   I like to have most of my shopping done before  the holiday season so I can just enjoy all the festivities with no stress. I do have some friends who love the thrill of the hunt in December. They enjoy being out among the crazy shoppers and they often get great buys as Christmas approaches. Indeed we are all different and that is one of the things that makes the world so interesting!!  As for me, in the days leading up to the Big Day, I will be home eating Christmas Cookies, sipping hot coccoa and watching White Christmas.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yesterday I had breakfast with three of my best friends.  We met at Cracker Barrel as usual...we browsed among all the Fall and Christmas goodies displayed in the Old Country Store before sitting down to eat.  This has been a hard year for me. I like to keep my blog my "happy place" so I will not go into detail but just leave it at that.  But these dear women who encourage me and pray for me have been such a blessing.  When I saw this "pin" on Pinterest, it reminded me of these lovely ladies.  When we have breakfast together we all share our experiences and we can laugh and cry at some of them. I am sure the other Cracker Barrel patrons wonder who those crazy ladies are!!

I did start my Christmas shopping yesterday and just having one gift put away makes me feel virtuous. Believe me, I have plenty more to buy!! I am grateful for the means to buy and make gifts of love for my family and friends.

And before leaving Cracker Barrel I picked up another Christmas item for my home. I had been eyeing a cute Gingerbread house that I knew the grands would love so I purchased it and put it in the car. When I picked Landon up at school, he told me that he really liked my candy house!!  Great minds think alike.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I tried another Pinterest recipe this week. I want to try some new recipes instead of the same old same old that I have made for 36 years!  I saw an interesting "pin" for a pizza dough and it was so simple I had to test it out.  It is just one cup of self rising flour and 1 carton of plain greek yogurt.( I used Chobani) The pin pictured a medium sized loaf of soft dough. My dough did not look like the picture but it did roll out well and it made a thin crust for a rectangular pizza. I used my cookie sheet as my pizza pan bit the dust and I have not replaced it yet. To be honest, we have a Pizza Hut near by and most of my pizzas come from there!   As I mixed my dough, I found it to be rather dry and took a good bit of mixing to get it to "come together". If I make this recipe again, I will add a bit more yogurt or maybe a splash of buttermilk to make the dough more pliable. And if you like a thick crust pizza, I would double the recipe. I did let my dough sit for a while to allow the yogurt and the flour to do its work but still it was a bit dry. The pizza was very tasty. As I had Margaret visiting, I just made a cheese pizza and everyone seemed to enjoy it.   One of my Facebook friends just left me a note telling me that she tried a tuscan soup from Pinterest and it was delicious. So I am heading over to her board to look for it!! Soup Season is upon us!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I was able to get some good photos of Margaret while she was visiting. She is one who is not particularly fond of cameras so to get this face on smiling picture was a blessing!! The pumpkins helped!! She loved holding the little punkins.
 Bubba was glad to see Margaret. Here they are playing with trains.
 My two this giggly picture.
 Kendall lost a top front tooth and the other one is very loose. She may be singing ALL I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth!
And finally a picture of the cousins around the table having an after school snack. GOOD Times!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Just a short hello this morning. My sweet Margaret is here with me and we are watching Nick jr and eating waffles!! Margaret can hardly wait to see Landon, her Bubba. We will take him to school and pick him up then on to get Kendall at school so we will have a busy day.  I hope to have some pictures of the grands to post tomorrow. We sure do miss Baylor but he will get his turn to come to Nana and Grandpa's when he is a bit older. Katy said that Baylor was enjoying a sister free environment...he gets to play with all the toys he wants to play with while sissy is away. Have a great day friends.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I spent most of my weekend cross stitching and reading! Two of my favorite things. I am so glad that Decatur has a great cross stitch shop, The Cross Stitch Peddler. I do not go there as often as I would like or I would have a stack of patterns waiting to be stitched. I just cannot resist new cross stitch patterns. My favorite pattern maker is The Prairie Schooler. Prairie Schooler puts out many samplers with an "old timey" feel. When Witches Go Riding is the title of this fall sampler. It says, When Witches go Riding and black cats are seen..The moon laughs and whispers its near Halloween.  I could not resist it and I got all the lettering done on Sunday afternoon so now to finish it up. While I was stitching last night I was watching Call the Midwife on PBS. If you have not seen this new program, check it out!! It is so good.  After Call the Midwife, Masterpiece Theater started the second season of Upstairs Downstairs which is a good substitute for my favorite British program, Downton Abbey.  I wish American TV would produce such classy and entertaining programs!!

And as for reading, I have found a new cozy mystery series written by Amanda Lee. The first book in the series is  The Quick and the Thread. The main character is Jill Singer, who gives up her accounting career in San Francisco to live the dream. She loves needlework and has always wanted to own a needlework shop. She gets her opportunity when her college friend tells Jill about a shop that is for rent in the small town of Tallulah Falls, Oregon.  Of course Jill did not count on finding a dead body in her storeroom after the open house she threw to acquaint the citizens of Tallulah Falls with her new business.  If you love needlework, you will enjoy this series. I am almost finished with  The Quick and the Thread and I have the second book in the series on my bedside table. I love Paperback Book Swap as I found both of these books on that site.  If needlework is not your thing but cake decorating is, Ms Lee has a second series that is written under the name of Gayle Trent. The first book in that series is Killer Sweet Tooth. Gayle Trent also has a blog that you might enjoy as well. She shares lots of pictures of pretty cakes and cross stitch patterns there.  I may add her blog to my blogroll!

Well it is a rainy day here, I am doing laundry and I will probably take up my stitching again. I am looking forward to a visit from Miss Margaret. She is going to come and stay with Nana and Grandpa until Wednesday. I doubt I will get any stitching done while she is here!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

 Well one fall project is marked off my list today. I got busy yesterday gathering all the things I needed to do this tableau. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and it got my creative juices flowing.  We have two is newer. My father in law used it to take his birdseed to his feeders and when he passed away my mother in law gave it to us for the grandchildren. But I decided that Ben's old Radio Flyer circa 1980 looked better...I love the rustic look of it.  Ben got this wagon from his Grandma and Papa G when he was two years old. It has had a lot of use in 30 something years!!
I was able to get everything I needed at Lowes. While I was there I also picked up some pansies to plant out front. Pretty purple and yellow pansies are my favorite. I also purchased some fresh mulch but I did not get it spread over my pansies so I hope the rain will let up a bit today so I can complete my gardening chores.  The rainy weather is bringing some cooler temps for the Tennessee Valley so I hope my pansies enjoy the autumn weather and thrive in my little patch of garden.

Since rain is on the agenda for today, I plan to spend some time in my craft room. Have a blessed weekend Friends.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Now that I am keeping Kendall and Landon a couple of days a week, I am getting back into helping with homework!! Reading aloud, practicing spelling words and doing math papers are once again on my agenda. Kendall loves to be the first to finish her work at school and as a result her handwriting is not the neatest so we have been working on that! I can see an improvement this week. Unfortunately poor penmanship is pretty common in the Grimm family. Her Uncle Ben did not make the ALL A's honor roll because of his poor handwriting. Now Nana has good handwriting thanks to Mrs Macie Jackson, my second grade teacher. What beautiful copperplate penmanship that dear lady exhibited daily on our chalk boards. She expected boys and girls to master proper penmanship.  I have been disheartened to hear that cursive handwriting is becoming obsolete. Many schools do not even teach penmanship these days. Every one "prints" now...I guess the computer age has contributed to this method of writing. I am old fashioned but I like nothing better than to receive a pretty card with a thoughtful note inscribed in "real writing". When I was in school we could not wait to learn how to do real writing versus printing!! It was a sign of maturity to me.  I guess this is just another confirmation that I am an old fogie!:)

I am looking forward to the weekend. I have several projects that I hope to work on. We are supposed to get some cool weather next week and I want to get some pansies planted before it gets too chilly. I have yet to purchase any pumpkins so that is another fall project on my list.  And I also have some crafts on my craft table that are in need of my attention!! Weekends always seem to go by TOO FAST!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

This would be me!! I am off to the library this morning to make sure I do not run out of books to peruse!! I am taking A Casual Vacancy to a friend who reads books and reviews them for the Decatur Daily newspaper. I will be interested to read her opinion of the book. While I am at the library, besides checking out books, I will visit the Book Sale Room where I can find so many bargains. Most of the books are fifty cents and one dollar in price! I seldom leave that room without one or two books.

I am also a member of Paperback Book Swap online. This site was created for book lovers. By "swapping" books with other members I have saved a lot of money and I have found many older books that I have loved but are now out of print.

And lastly, I am learning to love my Kindle. Books that I can hold in my hand will always be my first choice but I have gotten some good "free" books from Pixel of Ink and EReader.

It is doubtful I will ever run out of books to read as I have so many on my bookshelves and on my Kindle but books are my favorite things! Through the pages of a book I can sail away from my cares for a bit and return refreshed.  The next time you are feeling low, grab a book and READ!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

 It's October and I have to share the cute basket I ordered from Peterboro Baskets of Peterboro, New Hampshire. I came to know about these baskets when I saw them on QVC many years ago. I have some Longaberger Baskets that I love but they are very pricey.  So when I saw the Peterboro baskets for a reasonable price, I had to give them a try. QVC no longer carries the Peterboro line but I found the company online and signed up for their emails.  When I saw this cute orange basket that is to be used to hold all the treats for Trick or Treaters, I had to have it.  There are nice black braided handles on the basket but it is hard to see them in this photo.
 And when you are not using it for Halloween, you can display it with this side shows the pretty Peterboro logo. This basket is the perfect fall basket!
And I had to share this picture of Bubba! He loves all things Thomas and his great Aunt Kristi sent him this puzzle.  He loved it!

And after my not so flattering book review of A Casual Vacancy, I want to share some other books that I am looking forward to reading as they are published this month.

1. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton  Ms Morton is one of my new favorite writers. She really knows how to tell a story!!
2. A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy. Ms Binchy died earlier this year so I am assuming she wrote this book before she passed away. This author is another great story teller and I can count on her books to have a happy ending. Sometimes we all need a happy ever after book!
3.The Magic Room by Jeffey Zaslow. If you enjoyed The Girls from Ames, as I did, I think you will want to read this non fiction work. Mr Zaslow tells the story of a small town bridal shop and the family who runs it!
4.Ten Good and Bad Things About My Life by Ann M Martin.  My daughter and I read all the Babysitter books as well as Ms Martin's two book "Doll" series so when I saw that she had a new book coming out I wanted to read it.

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday. Bubba will be spending the day with me while Mom goes to the Pumpkin Patch Field Trip with Kendall.  So many fun things to do in Autumn!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Everyone who knows me knows that I loved the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.  I think she is such a good writer and her story of the boy wizard captured the hearts and minds of readers of all ages. So when I heard that she was writing an adult novel I could not wait to read it. When it was released here in America on Thursday morning, I had to run to Target to pick up a copy.  As soon as I could sit down with it, I began this promising book. Well it only took me about forty pages to decide that Ms Rowling had made a big mistake. Unfortunately she must equate an adult novel with lots of bad language and gritty scenes of all types.  Her premise was a  good one...small English village, lots of quirky characters and several members of said village trying to get a position of political power.   But she reverts to the use of every cliche imaginable in our politically correct world and that really turned me off. You will meet the well to do members of the village who are offended by the people who live in the subsidized housing nearby, there is an abusive father who terrorizes his family, a weak man who is looking for love without commitment, teenagers who have no respect for their parents and a drug abusing mother who leaves her children to their own devices.  If I had not purchased the book I would have put it aside after the first 50 pages and that would have been that. However, I also considered that maybe things would begin to make sense and surely JK Rowling could not write a complete stinker. I have to admit there were several passages in the book that showed the real talent of Ms R so I rated the book two stars on Good Reads instead of just the one star I might have given this sad little book.  One of things missing in this book is the lack of even one character you feel like rooting for! All the characters seem to be looking out for number one and while that may be a true reflection of today's society, it is not what I want to read about in my leisure.  Ms Rowling, I expected more from you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

 We had a nice trip to North Georgia to visit my parents. Weather was just perfect, a bit overcast and not hot! Here is Miss Margaret playing at Grandma's house. She got a cute haircut that makes her look like a big girl!
 Baylor loved playing outside...he did try to eat a few pieces of gravel. I guess those rocks looked like candy to him.
 Sister and Brother were fascinated by a water trough that was sitting outside.
 Sunday morning, Marvin took a walk and got some nice pictures of the farm. Here are some of my brother in law's cattle grazing in the pasture.
 Here is a view of Fort Mountain from my parent's front yard.
And Grassy Mountain can be seen from the side yard. The leaves on the trees are just beginning to change and they were so lovely. It is always a good time when family can be together.