Saturday, January 31, 2015

Roses are Red

Roses are Red and Valentines are too! I have been putting a few touches of Red around my house.

My sweet valentine, Marvin, gave me this pretty Fenton Glass basket for Valentine's Day one year and every year I use it at Valentine's Day and Easter.  My grands enjoy seeing Nana's house decorated for the Season.

And this pretty Valentine's Day Heart is hanging on my front door. The pink is a hot pink but for some reason it is looking orangey in this photo.

I have also tried to keep up my new BOOK BOX tradition. I am putting seasonal books out to read to the grands...or in Kendall's case, books for her to read.  Landon has been enjoying the Bearenstain Bears Celebrate Valentine's Day. I also have some winter themed books in the basket like The Snowy Day and What Do Snowmen Do At Night? in the basket as well.  Yesterday Landon brought me a pile of books to read and we had the nicest time just cuddling and reading. Soon he will be reading on his own and these days will be but memories. I am so glad I still have some younger grands who will enjoy all the books I have collected over the years.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Easy Soup Recipe

One of the blogs I enjoy reading is Blogger, Whitney, is a young wife who blogs on homemaking and organization. Visit her site and tell her I sent you!  She posted this recipe a while back and I wrote it down for future reference. I made it Wednesday evening and I can say with confidence, it is a keeper.

Weeknight Chicken Stew
6 c chicken stock
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can diced tomatoes with onions and garlic
1 T Italian Seasoning
1 cup cooked chicken
8 oz bowtie pasta

Combine the first five ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add pasta and cook to al dente.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

This is a super easy recipe and very tasty. I did change it up a bit as I felt it needed more chicken for my husband. If he is having soup for supper he wants a hearty one! So I purchased the Tyson grilled chicken strips that are for fajitas and chopped the whole bag and put it in. I also added a bit more pasta to even out all that chicken! I splurged and purchased the Real Grated Parmesan cheese to add to the top when I ladled it into the bowl. I may never go back to the old style parmesan cheese as the flavor was so much better! Even an old cook can learn new things.  I served my soup with Ciabatta Rolls.  We both licked the bowls clean which is a sign of a good meal!  Thanks Whitney for sharing a meal that can be put together in minutes and is wholesome and delicious!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Guest Room Update

After a little mishap with a sick five year old last week, I was on the hunt for a new comforter for my guest room. ( Note to self, take comforter off bed when one of the littlies have a stomach bug) But on the plus side, I was ready for a change! My first stop on the hunt was Tuesday Morning where I found a pretty new quilt set at a great price. It included the quilt and two pillow shams.

And the colors went with my bedside table throw and the cushions I used with the old comforter.  I think my guest room is one of my favorite rooms in my house. I always love 'tweaking" it. The Nantucket Gray paint color by Benjamin Moore is one of my paint choice success stories. It is so calming and a good neutral background for decorating. The long print above the bed is a tribute to my home town landmarks and the names of all the families who live in Murray County, Georgia are seen in the background. I am proud to have four of my family lines noted there.

I have used the big cream colored European Shams for years and the green and gold cushions have served me well over the years as well.

This sweet group of Geese was made by Mama G in one of her ceramics classes may years ago. I sometimes put potpourri inside it.

One of my favorite prints...for some reason I am infatuated with doors.

These small Ray Ellis prints are another favorite. I cannot look at them without being reminded of my husband's stomping grounds of Savannah, Ga.

And of course, being the reader that I am, I must provide a book or two for my guests.  Being Dead is No Excuse is one of my favorite books. A tongue in cheek look at Funeral Customs in the South, it is sure to bring a smile or chuckle.  You will also find lots of great recipes for standard Funeral Food. Seeing that pound cake on the front cover reminds me of a warm from the oven pound cake that a dear friend brought when my father in law passed away. There is a lot of comfort in food when you are grieving!

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my guest is always open!  Today is Friend Day so after getting my hair done this morning, I will be joining the girls at Chilis. Then off to TJ Maxx and the Cross Stitch Peddler ( for more thread!)  before picking the children up at school. Hope all my bloggy friends have a good day!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lil Bag

As a user of Young Living Essential Oils, I have been on the look out for a small bag to carry some of my Essential Oils with me...after all they are called Essential Oils for a reason! I went to Etsy to see what I could find and I was successful. I found the perfect little bag!

It is a coated cotton and I do not have to worry about bottles leaking and causing a mess! The nifty elastic holders on the inside hold the 5 ml and 15 ml bottles securely!

Made in Michigan by LilAlice, this is something I would order as a gift for my other oily friends.  You might want to check out the shop, Lil Alice Sews. The lovely lady who owns the shop named her shop after her grandmother, Alice. I love stories like that!

And an update on my door dilemma.....

The votes were evenly split between the blue and the green with the dark gray getting NO VOTES.  However, my friend, Susan, who is my go to whenever I am looking for something online,  came up with another idea. She found a site called Sensational Color and this site has posted the ten most popular colors for front doors for 2015.  One of them really spoke to me, Pratt and Lambert's Thyme Green.

 It is a more subtle green and seems to almost be a mixture of the blue and green that were on my list of colors to consider. So now I am more confused than ever!! Maybe the people at Sherwin Williams will be able to help me come to a conclusion! Thanks for all your votes. I think it will be a while before I actually purchase the paint and get busy!

Off to take the grands to school...the sun is shining here and it looks like it will be a lovely day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thanks Target

After going to the Organizational Seminar at church two weeks ago, I have taken a close look at some of the problem areas in my home. I am determined to fix areas that just are not working for me. One of those areas is in my bathroom. You know how it have products you use daily that you hate to put away in a cabinet. I thought I had found the answer when I found a "tower" that sat on my counter. But it was not perfect.

Many of the products did not set upright because of the gaps between the wires.  My husband was even frustrated by this mess.

Last week I was in Target, browsing the dollar aisle when I came upon these fabric baskets.

The size looked as though it would be perfect for my little tower of Messiness. Alas these were $3 but they were worth the price!

And the after....this  looks much better than the before and I do not have to worry about small bottles falling out of the tower.

For nine dollars and a few minutes of my time, I have a solution to something that has bothered me for a long time!! And it is much easier to move the tower to wipe down the mirror and counter! You never know what you will find in the dollar aisle!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Princess

Margaret got Disney PJs at Target and this sleep mask came along with them. She had to try it out but decided that she preferred sleeping without it.

Our house sure is quiet since she went home on Thursday. I got a picture of her with Grandpa before he left for work that day.

Margaret is wearing her new outfit from Target...a cute skirt, shirt, knee socks and a headband that is barely showing up in this photo.  It is fun to spoil the grands when you have a chance!

And here it is the last week of January! I have no big plans this week. Just taking Kendall and Landon to school and working on the wedding sampler that I hope to finish this week so I can get it to the framers. My co grandmother, Debbie, is doing great after her total knee replacement on Wednesday. Thanks for lifting her up in prayer!! All my northern blog friends are in my prayers today...looks like a major storm headed that way! Stay safe!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friday Evening Craft Time

Do you have a lot of Christmas Photo cards from friends and family that you cannot bear to toss in the garbage at the end of the holiday season? Well I have quite a stack of them, going back to the 90s.

I have kept them in a big wooden bowl in my craft room and they mock me every time I look at them. 

Last week I was reading a magazine and came upon an article that addressed my problem. ( I think it might have been in the HGTV magazine for January).  They suggested that you purchase these little things.

Sorry for the poor quality, I was using my cell phone.  Anyway, I found these in packages at Staples. The Book Rings were quite inexpensive...maybe $4 for a package but the little tags were a bit more pricy, $9 for a package of 50 but I will be able to use them for years to come!

Take the little tag, write down the year. Then using a hole puncher, put a hole in the corner of each Christmas photo card. Add your tag to the ring, then add the photos.  You will be able to flip through the photos easily as they are attached to the ring. My husband suggested using reinforcements on the hole but since they will only be available for viewing during the Christmas season, I thought we were ok to go without the bother of reinforcing all the hole punches.

Now I had some old pictures that were from long ago so I sorted them by family. This is a ring for Marvin's brother's family. All these children are grown up now! But I did organize my cards for the last five years by year! 

Once you have your cards organized, put them in a pretty box and set them out during the Christmas season so that family members can look back over the years. It is sure to be a conversation starter! And speaking of walking down memory lane. I had to do a special ring for Nana and Grandpa and all their grands at Christmas.

Here we are with Kendall at her first Christmas.  Oh the years speed by too quickly!!

And lest you think I am Miss is what my sofa looked like on Friday evening.

I had quite a mess as I sorted, trimmed and wrote names on the tags. The end result was pleasing however! 

I plan to look for a pretty Christmas box at Hobby Lobby in July when they put out the Christmas decor. And YES, they do put it out as soon as the 4th of July decorations are slashed to 90% off!! I want a big lidded box to hold my treasures and we can have fun looking back over the years and remembering sweet friends and family. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Front Door

One of my goals for this year is to paint my front door. We have lived  in our townhouse for almost six years so it is time to do some tweaking of the decor here and there. Our front door is a basic builders gray. It looks ok but rather bland. Our front door has a glass insert so there is really not a lot of wood to paint. That is a good thing because if I paint it a color that looks totally different from the paint swatch I can start over quite easily!  Is it just me but I find paint swatches are rarely reliable!

I plan to visit my favorite paint store, Sherwin Williams, where I will ask the question I always ask....what paint colors are "in" right now with your painters. If lots of painters are using a certain color it is because a local designer has deemed that color worthy! So I get free design help. Sneaky but effective. I have found a few of my favorite paint colors that way.

So here are my final three choices...weigh in with your opinion.

This one is Dragon's Breath....a deeper gray than my present door color.

This one is St Bart's. Our brick is a pinky orange blue or gray would look best in my opinion.

I could not find the name for this color. I just liked the picture and as this door has lots of glass like my own, it spoke to me. It is a fun cheery color but rather bold for me.

Of course I could end up using none of these after my consultation at Sherwin Williams.  I will need to wait until the weather warms up a bit to get busy but I hope to have it done by Easter.  So, enter your vote in the comments...would love to see what appeals to my blog friends.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Down on the Farm

 Thanks to Mr Don and Miss Deborah, Margaret enjoyed a trip to their farm out in Falkville, Alabama. Her own private field trip!

 Mr Don introduces Margaret to Bubblegum, the pony.

 Checking each other out....

Ridin on a pony...we did not have a feather to stick in our hat and call Macaroni.

So sweet!

Margaret meets Shadow, the Great Pyrenees Goat Protector. He is a beautiful and sweet dog.

Da Goats.

Looking for some of the bass in the pond.

A fun day for a special little girl...who talks all the time as the Haynies will attest.:)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Please Look After This Bear

Well who would not want to look after this sweet bear? I was so happy to see this movie with my grands, Kendall, Landon and Margaret.  We were all enchanted by Paddington. It is the perfect Nana movie.

From the wilds of dark Peru ( I had no idea that there were dark wilds in Peru!) came this little bear. His parents died when he was a little bear so he was raised by his aunt and uncle who, in their youth, had met an explorer from London. The Explorer introduced them to marmalade and all things English. He promised the bears that if they ever came to London, they would receive a warm welcome from his family.  So Paddington stows away on a boat to England and sustains himself with marmalade on the voyage.

Arriving in London, it does not appear to be the happy, friendly place that the Explorer had told the bears about but Paddington does not lose hope. By the way, Paddington's original name was in Bear language.  The Brown family take him in and give him the name Paddington for the train station where they found him looking for a home.

Of course the kiddos loved all the havoc that Paddington wreaked on the Brown Home but they also enjoyed the rest of the story of the need everyone has for someone to love them.  And the Grands learned you should always keep a marmalade sandwich in your hat for emergencies!

The adults will enjoy the English actors they are familiar with such as Lord Grantham( Hugh Bonneville) from Downton Abbey who does a great job portraying the grumpy Mr Brown. One of my favorite Britcom actors, Geoffrey Palmer (Lionel Hardcastle from As Time Goes By) made a cameo appearance and it took me a while to figure out that Mr Brown's aunt was Molly Weasley( Julie Walters) from the Harry Potter movies.  Nicole Kidman plays the Scary Daughter of the Explorer and she is very good at being evil.  If you are a sucker for all things British like I am, you will enjoy the British Accents and all the sights of London.

There were no overt scary moments so even my five year old granddaughter enjoyed the movie without becoming frightened. This is a movie that I will be purchasing for my collection as I know I would like to enjoy this movie for years to come.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Just What I Needed

Last week when the weather was going crazy here in Alabama I was so happy to have my fingerless gloves.  My friend, Kathleen, started a little business doing all sorts of crochet work.  You can find her on Facebook as Kraftie Kathy.

I liked my gloves so much, I ordered several pairs for friends and I also got myself another pair in a cute bright red!  These are perfect for our Southern Winters that are not terribly cold. I can still use my fingers but my hands are toasty warm.

My posts this week will likely be short and sweet! Margaret keeps me on my toes. Also my co grandmother, Debbie, is having a total knee replacement tomorrow so I will be having the children early in the morning before school and every afternoon after school. Please say a prayer with me that Debbie's surgery will be uneventful and she will have a speedy recovery.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What I Learned

I thought I would post my Monday blog this evening as I have a little visitor this week. Miss Margaret Grimm is visiting from Hoova!  She is getting to enjoy being the only child this week with Nana and Grandpa.

I really did learn some interesting things at the seminar, Purge, Toss and Enjoy the Loss. Karen Wright is a certified organizational specialist in the Huntsville, Alabama area. She shared these five points.

1. Clutter impacts our lives in negative ways.
2. Set a goal to organize one area in your home.
3.Decide what you can live WITHOUT. It defines your value system.
4.Put items in easy reach for easy access.
5.Improve your quality of life by being and staying organized.

Karen reminded us that when we do not take care of our things then we are not respecting the blessings that God has given us. That hit home for me. How many things do I need? Can I share my excess with others you are in need?  Another bit of food for thought was the reminder that if we do not deal with our clutter, some one else will deal with it when we are gone. Do we want to leave a mess for our children to deal with? Karen said she has helped many children deal with settling their parents estate...going through their homes and disposing of their things. As a result of dealing with their parents things, children go home and take a hard look at the abundance of things they own that are not really necessary.

Marvin and I have moved quite a bit so we have really pared down our belongings but after yesterday I am thinking I am going to go through my house looking for extras that can be donated to those who can really use them.  I think I will look at things with a more discerning eye.

Karen also helps people to  make their homes more functional. You may have a neat and tidy home but is it really working for you? She gave us several helpful hints in regards to closets, kitchens and offices.

As expected there were lots of laughs as we took a little test to see just how much we needed the help of an organizer! Time spent with my church sisters is always a fun time.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


An oxymoron is a figure of speech that uses contradictory terms. Could Home Organization be one?

This morning I am going to a Saturday with the Sisters at our church to hear a speaker whose subject is Home Organization. Now I am a fairly organized person. You will not see me on Hoarders and I manage to get from point A to point B without too much difficulty but can anyone have a perfectly organized home that you actually "live" in? Oh well, except for Martha Stewart that is!!

I can organize my pantry one day and within a week or so, the pantry items decide to move around on their own! And my walk in closet where I keep my clothes can be a real headache. The grands toys are organized in labelled boxes but somehow the correct toy does not find itself back in its little box.  My cross stitch materials are gathered in a big Vera Bradley bag in the living room as I am working on a wedding sampler for my nephew and it is easier to have it close at hand. I won't even discuss my library books. Right now my bedside table has quite a stack of books on it!  But to me, a house that looks as though a family lives in it is preferable to a house that is too perfect.

 Even the tidiest of persons can be overcome with clutter now and then. So I decided that I would give up two hours of cross stitch time to go and listen to this lecture. Maybe I will learn something new that I can pass along. And the bonus is that I get to be with my church sisters and enjoy some girl time. I am always on board for that!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Long Ago

My sweet husband posted this picture on his facebook page last night for Throwback Thursday and I decided to use it this morning in my Friday post.

This was made the first winter we lived in Alabama...1984. Amelia is wearing a flannel nightgown that I made for her. Ben is keeping his feet warm with lovely black socks and Charles was still wearing footed pjs.  Ben was in Kindergarten, Amelia in K4 and Charles was just at home with Mom.  It is hard to believe that they are all grown up now with families of their own.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Two of a Kind

Even though it is still one month until Valentine's Day, Kendall and Landon have been spending time up in the craft room making Valentines to decorate my house. Landon came downstairs with one he had made and when I asked him, "Who is your Valentine?" He promptly answered "Margaret". These two have been cousins and best buds from the first time they met.( Warning...this blog is called Nanaland so bragging on grandchildren is going to happen every now and then!)

Landon was not too sure at first...this new little girl who was sitting in Grandpa's lap might be trouble!!

But as time went by, Landon decided Margaret was a fun friend. ( these two could listen to the book, No David, for hours!!)

On their first day of Nana School together, they were kissin cousins.

And they enjoyed going to Tate Farm together....

Landon instructs Margaret on how to build Legos.

Having fun with the ipad.

Margaret's new glasses just make her cuter!!

The Beach is always more fun with your best friend.
And Birthdays would not be birthdays unless your cousin was there.

Looking at these pictures I can see that these two have always been special friends. And that makes this Nana very happy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove is a book that captured my heart. The book opens as Ove, is pondering his life without a job to go to every day. He is 59 years old and he feels he is useless. His beloved wife, Sonja, passed away six months ago and as Ove tells it, he stopped living when Sonja died.  Ove is quite the curmudgeon. He has lived in the same neighborhood for 30 years but his life revolved around Sonja and his work so he has had no time for real relationships. Feeling that he would be better off with Sonja, he begins to plan his death. Orderly in all his habits, Ove cannot accomplish that task until his house is tidy, he has his affairs in order and his good suit is clean. None of Ove's attempts at suicide come to fruition because just as he plans his demise, someone rings the doorbell needing help of one kind or another. And Ove, though aggravated, does his duty in giving assistance.  His new neighbors, Parvanesh, Patrick and their two little girls seem to be very needy. Ove does not understand young people who are clueless about driving a car with a trailer attached, unable to do the simplest of home repairs and will not follow the rules that are clearly posted in the subdivision. The Reader is allowed to come to know Ove through flashbacks of his youth and his early life with Sonja. These glimpses of his past life help the reader to see Ove in a new light.

I laughed out loud at some of the passages in this book and I shed a few tears at some of the revelations of the trials Ove endured in his young life.  Normally I do not like books set in another country...this one being Sweden, but the story transcends the locale.  If any of you are Britcom fans as I am, I pictured the actor, Geoffrey Palmer, as Ove. ( I do not know about all readers but I have to have a picture of the characters in my head to enjoy a book!) Geoffrey Palmer played Lionel Hardcastle in As Time Goes By and he is the perfect lovable curmudgeon in my opinion.

This is a book that I plan to purchase for my own personal library as I would like to read it again. It was my first five star book on Good Reads for 2015. And I will look forward to reading any new books by Mr Backman, who is a Swedish Blogger!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Charles and Nancy had an uneventful closing on their home and made it to Atlanta before midnight. Poor Nancy has work today so I hope she got a good night's sleep. They are living in a one bedroom apartment while they look for a house.

I hosted an Oily Party last night for some friends who wanted to know more about Young Living Essential Oils. All were "of an age" where we need some extra help!!:) It was a lively meeting with lots of discussion and I think we overwhelmed Jenn, my friend who got me involved in oily living.  But three ladies signed up for the oils so it was a success.  I have to say that Oils have really helped me with several medical issues and being an old nurse, I was sceptical. Yesterday I had stuffed up sinuses with lots of pressure in my cheek area. I applied some Lemon Oil and within an hour I was feeling better.

Landon and Kendall received their report cards on Friday. Kendall had all A's and Landon had all S's. So Nana put in an Amazon order getting Kendall two of the Grimmstastic Girls books and a small Lego set for Landon.

Margaret will be coming to stay with Nana and Grandpa next week. She arrives on Sunday afternoon and I will take her home later in the week.

I started another cross stitch project for my nephew's wedding gift.  Charles and Nancy are not going to announce their baby girl's name until she is born so I cannot work on her sampler until then.  I always forget how much I like cross stitching until I sit down with it and work for a while. It relaxes me.

Well I need to do some cleaning today...laundry etc. And I promised Kendall I would make a breakfast supper for her today. Amelia works late on Tuesdays so the children eat with us. Since it is a dreary day, breakfast supper will be a cozy ending to the day.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Goodbye Harvest, Hello Atlanta

Youngest son, Charles and his wife, Nancy, spent the weekend with us as they tie up the final details here in Alabama before setting off for Georgia.  They close on their house here at four this afternoon then on to their apartment in Alpharetta. They are doing a short term rental while they house hunt in Georgia.  They hope to be settled in a house before the arrival of their daughter in May!

Amelia, Kendall and Landon joined us for dinner at our favorite Mexican Restaurant to say Goodbye to the Harvest Grimms!  Landon is really going to miss Uncle Charles' lego skills. Whenever Mommy cannot figure out some toy problem, Landon tells her that they need to call Uncle Charles.

Aunts and Uncles are special people.

The Ladies side of the table.

The guys side of the table...lots of cheesing going on!!

We will miss having the young Grimms just a short drive away but we look forward to visiting them in their new home too. Atlanta is a special place for Marvin and me as it is where we met. And Nancy told me that Avalon is only five minutes from their apartment so I am looking forward to seeing that shopping center that is much talked about in metro Atlanta.  With grands in Bham and Hotlanta, Nana and Grandpa will be on the road for sure!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Margaret Art

I received a sweet thank you card from Ben and Katy this week but along with the sentiments came an envelope decorated by my Margaret.  I cannot believe that she is 5 years old now. And I have another convert to the craft room. Kendall and Margaret were in there on Christmas Day making snowflakes. As a Crafty Nana, this makes me proud!

And it is supposed to be in the 40s here today!! Yippee. The Sun is shining and we are expecting Charles and Nancy as weekend guests. They close on their house here in Alabama on Monday then they will head to Georgia to start a new chapter in their married lives. A new job, a new state and a new daughter all in one year. Of course I am most excited about my new granddaughter who should arrive in May. We will share a birthday month!

Have a fun weekend Friends!