Friday, July 31, 2015

Who Likes a Mystery?

After reading several books that made me stop, think and ponder, I was ready for some fluff. Fluff to me is a nice cozy mystery. I was fortunate to snap up Katherine Hall Page's latest Faith Fairchild mystery, The Body in the Birches, last week when I visited the library.

While I love a good Southern book, New England is my second favorite spot to read about in my armchair travels. Katherine Hall Page writes about Faith Fairchild, pastor's wife, mom, caterer and amateur sleuth. Though now that I have read 22 mysteries in which Faith solved all the murders, she is probably a professional sleuth now!  The first book in this series is my favorite, The Body in the Belfry. It opens when Faith is still finding her place in the small Massachusetts town of Aleford. She has married Tom, the pastor of the local church. Being a pastor's daughter, she had sworn never to marry a man of the cloth but when she met Tom at a party, she did not realize he was a pastor. They marry, move to the parsonage and begin their lives together. Faith becomes mom to Ben and Amy and continues her catering business, Have Faith.   In The Body in the Belfry, Faith finds one of the members of their youth group, dead in the historic belfry.  I guess because it first introduced me to Faith, Tom and the citizens of Aleford, it is special to me.  Here I am many years later and I start to read The Body in the Birches.  It has every element to make me happy. Tom and Faith are on the Maine island of Sanpere where they own a vacation cabin. They have big plans for their cabin and they are looking forward to the annual July 4th celebration on the Island.  But somewhere along the way, the story became plodding and rather contrived. It focuses more on another family on the island and the mystery is not much of a mystery.  I was disappointed to say the least. I realize that cranking out mysteries one after another is not a job for the faint hearted but maybe there comes a time to just end the series.  There are two more authors who write cozy mysteries set in New England that I also enjoy. One is Leslie Meier who writes about Lucy Stone who lives in Tinker's Cove, Maine.  My only quibble with Ms Meier is that she seems to have a bit of prejudice against those of us who have conservative views. That  prejudice seems to be quite evident in her last few books. And lastly, there is Valerie Wolzien who pens the Susan Henshaw mysteries which take place in Connecticut.  Susan is a more upper crust sleuth  but I love reading about her house and all the people in their pricy neighborhood.

At the moment I am reading The Wild Girl which is a novel about the love story of Wilhelm Grimm and his wife, Dortchen.  Being married to a Grimm Brother myself , I am finding it quite entertaining.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

This and That

Well I took some extra rest time this morning and slept in! I think I am slowly recuperating from my nana sitting.

Here is Margaret...playing with Strawberry Shortcake toys. I have a big bin of them in the play room. I still have a few pieces from when Amelia played with Strawberry Shortcake back in the 80s.

Here are the peg princesses I made for Margaret...left to right...Snow White, Ariel, Jasmine, Anna, Elsa, Tiana and Sleeping Beauty. Now that she has seen my work, Margaret has asked for Pocohontas and Mulan.

And I had to include this photo that Katy sent to us last week. Margaret added balloons to her tutu!! Marvin and I laughed and laughed at this one.  I am sure one day this photograph will cause her much mortification!!

Here is Elliott riding the fire truck. He is such a sweetie.

He was a Grandpa's boy while he was here.

Katy sent me this one Monday....Harry Potter?? He had to try on Sissy's glasses.

Here is sweet Baylor...he likes to lay on the day bed and look at the ipad.

Landon has on his game face for soccer! He just got a new short hair cut too.

My big girlie...pardon the background. We were headed to the library when we snapped this one.

And my littlest girlie...wearing her bib with her name on it. Nana got that right after we found out she would be Audrey.

And another one of this sweetheart. I miss her so much.

I had so many comments on my Beauty post. Judy's advice was to drink lots of water and don't pay any mind to what that mirror says! Sharon says that it is important to embrace your age and have a beauty routine that can be done in five minutes or less. Gina reminded us on her blog that cheerfulness and contentment leads to a youthful appearance.  All of these hints are very wise. I do think beauty radiates from the inside.  I  use a cream on my face at night. Daughter, Amelia, works for a dermatologist and she gifts me with this cream to thank me for taking care of the kiddos. I also use YLEO's Elemi oil and I love it.  I  try to stay out of the sun as much as possible and I wear a hat when I walk or when I know I will be outside for a while.

Well it is friend day and we are having lunch at OCharleys...which is not far from TJ Maxx! I love Thursdays! Yall have a blessed day and stay cool!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to the Morning Posts

Well I tried posting my blog entries in the evening but I have to admit, I am a creature of habit so I am going back to morning posts. I think my mind is more organized in the morning!

Decatur's best kept secret is the Used Book Room at the public library. The Friends of the Library keep it stocked with all sorts of books that a reader can purchase. Priced from ten cents to three dollars, it is hard for this reader to leave the Book Room without a book under my arm! You never know what you will find there as the Book Room relies on donations from the public as well as cast offs from the library. Last year the Friends of the Library raised enough money to replace some carpeting in the library. They also donate a portion of the funds to purchasing new books. Several of my friends volunteer their time, pricing and shelving books there. When I no longer have Nana duty, I hope to volunteer as well.

The other day I was browsing the aisles when I came across this book,

Well I have always admired Linda Dano. Years ago when I watched soaps, I loved her as Felicia on Another World.  She was always so stylish. In the last several years I have seen her on QVC as she has her own line of home goods. I have never purchased any of her line but I always like to hear her ideas for decorating.

This book is about 20 years old but as it is about timeless style, I have learned a lot from reading it. Well I guess I can say, I felt vindicated in my fashion choices!!  At 60, I am finally learning that I am not a "frilly" girl. I love pretty feminine clothing but I am the more tailored type. In fact, I recently went through my closet and got rid of a lot of fashion mistakes.  And while we are on this topic, I am reading lots of blogs about Fashion over 50.  Some of these ladies must be delusional if they think they can wear the same things they wore in their 20s and 30s.  Skin and muscle tone just change as you get older even if you do careful about showing off those bare arms! I have a rule that I only bare my arms around family.:) Or if you want to bare them, use a little shrug or a wrap. And bare legs are big now as well. Varicose and spider veins are not the best look for anyone so watch that too!! Ok, now that I have offended everyone, let's move on!  Linda Dano also recommends having a wardrobe that has about ten select pieces that can be mixed and matched. Another fashion forward older star is Jamie Lee Curtis. I read a magazine article about her style choices and she revealed she only has white, black and khaki in her closet! I would not go that far as I like color but it works for her and everything can be mixed and matched successfully.

As for make up...that changes too as you get older. I read that for ladies over 50, you should focus on your eyes or your mouth. In other words, let the 80s stay in the 80s. I have found on my own that eye make up can be aging as that skin begins to sag a bit. I do not want to look like Carol Burnette in the Sunset Boulevard spoof on her old tv show.  I wear some eye liner on my bottom lids, add mascara and that is it.  I do still have good lips...I have been blessed with plump lips that were not fashionable when I was a teenager in the 70s!  I am happy to have them now and I choose to use lipstick to focus on that area. Also being gray headed, I need some color in my face. I use just a small amount of creme blush...The Balm is my preferred brand.  I have found that powder blush is not your friend as your skin ages.

And Hair....I think most women struggle with their hair. It is a love hate relationship!  There is the  temptation to just chop it off, and I have done that!! ( hissy fit June 2014) But I realize that my hair does better with some length and a bob is probably going to be my hairstyle for the rest of my days.  And I am always going to have to flat iron it into submission! I have a sis in law who has beautiful thick auburn hair and she can just wash her hair and let it air dry! Wouldn't that be lovely?  If I air dry my hair, it is a wavy, crazy mess.   I have found some products that help but they are not miracles in a bottle

One site on Facebook that I have enjoyed is Fifty Not Frumpy.  She is also on Instagram. She puts together very pretty age appropriate clothing and I do enjoy her style. Covered Perfectly is another site that I have followed on Instagram.

So do you have any beauty hints for the Baby Boomers? We are listening!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back in the Day

I think reading Go Set a Watchman has made me nostalgic so when my sister posted these photos on Facebook today, it made me smile.  And it also made me sad....

My cousins, Pam(on the left)  and Kathy. Today would have been Pam's 59th birthday had she not been taken away by that awful disease, cancer.  In her case colon cancer. Be sure and get those colonoscopies friends. I know they are not fun but they are key in finding polyps which lead to cancer. ( Can you tell I am an old nurse?) Kathy's 59th  birthday will be in a few days but she collapsed unexpectedly one day after years of heath issues.  The loss of these ladies has made me grateful for each day that God gives me. You will not hear me complaining about getting older. It is a blessing.

And here we are at Kathy's birthday party one year. All the Tankersley grandchildren at Grandmother and Granddaddy's house.  I am the little girl standing in the embrace of my cousin, Carolyn. She is also in heaven after losing her fight to Lupus. ( Carolyn is in the pink dress and I am in the green plaid).  These photos capture a time when birthday parties were at home. Your mom made your cake and you probably had ice cream and Koolaid. Gifts were simple and the parents did not stress about keeping up with the Jones in the party area.  Family lived nearby and you always had a cousin that was special to you.  I am missing my cousins today and so glad that memories last forever.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee is a Big Deal in Alabama...though she is from LA(Lower Alabama) the whole state is very proud of her and her book, To Kill a Mockingbird.  However, when I heard that a new Lee manuscript had been "found" not long after the death of Nelle's older sister, Alice, I thought I smelled a rat.  Alice had been a bulldog in protecting Nelle Harper and her quest for privacy. Harper  Lee is not in great health and I worried that someone had taken advantage of her in her old age.  Her publisher will tell you that she thought the manuscript had been lost and she was very happy to have it published.  She declined to edit it and had it published as it was written. Sorry but this sounds rather like a fairy tale to me. That being said, I am glad it was published because I LOVED this book. So I guess I took advantage of Miss Nelle Harper Lee as well but I did pay for the privilege!!  This book sold more copies that JK Rowling's last Harry Potter novel so that gives you an idea of the country's eagerness to read more about Maycomb, Alabama.

If you go to Good Reads you will find that not everyone liked it..some hated it. Several good friends of mine had given it a five star review so that was good enough for me to head to the store to purchase my own copy!  It is surprising to me that this book was found at just the time our country needs to wake up and smell the coffee so to speak.  In our politically correct society, you must have the same opinion on all matters as the masses or you are a "hater". If you cannot tell, this just drives me CRAZY!! Go Set a Watchman teaches us that you can have differing opinions with others and you can still love and respect them.  Can I get an AMEN?

As the book opens, Scout is now Jean Louise and is headed home to Maycomb to visit her family. After living in NYC, Jean Louise is feeling very self righteous and opinionated as she steps off the train in her old home town. She notices things that bother her and she finds she has moved ahead and left her father and old friend, Henry, behind. Still she tries to enjoy her visit until she finds that Atticus has feet of clay.  For an only daughter who revered her father, this was hard to deal with and causes her much anguish. Her Uncle Jack brings her back to earth with a bang when he tells her that she has confused her father with God.  The book comes to an end as Jean Louise realizes that the people who raised her are worthy of her respect even though they may not see things the same way and indeed may never come to a meeting of the minds.

Along the way Jean Louise shares many stories of her childhood, growing up with Jem, Dill and Jem's friend, Henry.  These stories made me really LOL.  She relates playing revival with Jem and Dill and it brought back many memories of playing "church" with my cousins. In the south, church is the big social function and playing church was common. ( I always wanted to be the piano player! One of my boy cousins was a gifted preacher.)  The south that Harper Lee describes shows the charms and the failings of the south in equal measure.  I will say that I think being a Southerner helps one to understand Go Set A Watchman. The South is a land of story tellers, porch sitters and sweet tea drinkers.  This binds us together in a way that some cannot understand.

I gave this book five stars on Good Reads and I think it may well be my favorite book of 2015. I am sure I will read this book again and I will enjoy it just as much as I did the first time I turned it's pages.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


The Bham Grimmlins are on their way home after a busy weekend with Nana and Grandpa.  Three under five makes for meeting my step goal on Fitbit early in the day!! All three were very good guests and I appreciate all the prayers that were said for a peaceful visit.  Baylor did very well and the smile on his face when he saw his mom and dad was priceless.

Aunt Amelia and her fiance, Todd, had us over to their pool today. The kids had a blast and it was just the right note to end the weekend.

Elliott took a while to warm up to the pool. I am in the background rocking Baylor in the big float rocker.

Hey Aunt Mimi.( their name for Amelia).

Margaret soon warmed up to the water as well.

Now this is the life!! Baylor loved floating in the water and actually went to sleep for a bit.

Soon Margaret was shooting us all with the pool gun.

Since they have left, the house is very quiet and I keep thinking I have to "look" for them!! As any Nana knows when it gets too quiet it is time to see what is going on!  Now Nana and Grandpa will try to rest up!! We have found out we are not as young as we used to be but we will sleep well tonight!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Stream

Just sharing some random thoughts this evening...I will be taking off on Friday and Saturday as my three Bham Grimmlins are coming for the weekend. As many of you know, our grandson, Baylor, is Autistic so that brings its own challenges for a weekend away from home and away from Mommy and Daddy. Prayers would be appreciated! Now let's dive into the stream.

I found this little beauty at a local antique store and it is the beginning of my search for this Longaberger pattern for our cabin in North Georgia. That is right! We got the go ahead today to build our little vacation cabin. Our land is in an agricultural conservancy so there are certain rules that go along with the conservancy. Fortunately as long as the cabin is for our use and will not be rented out we can build on our property. We will be getting the plans drawn up soon!  And speaking of the Longaberger pattern, I want the cabin to be "old timey" and I am looking for rustic touches! If any of my readers has some of this pattern they would like to sell, I am interested!!

Well I bought some more cards! The local stationery store had a great sale on Printables...this should be a party invitation with all the details printed on the other side! Who says you cannot use it as stationery? I thought it was too cute!!

Oily delivery!! These oils have improved my over all health and I get very excited to see Fed Ex guy as he steps onto the porch with my YLEO package.

I found these Vera Bradley license/change purses on sale and picked up some for Margaret and Baylor to take to school for a Meet the Teacher Day Happy! Our teachers do so much for the children, I want them to know we appreciate their efforts!

I told you I live in No'Ala.

Here is my shopping helper! My sweet girlie is growing up!

And I leave you with this! I am thinking I will be wearing a lot of lipstick over the weekend! But then those sweet grands will have lipstick kisses all over them!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

And The Winner Is...

And the winner is....Heather at Josh's Girl! I left a comment on your blog Heather and if you could send me your mailing address at, I will put your package in the mail! Thanks to all of you who entered the give away. This has been so much fun that I plan to do some more in the future!!

And speaking of getting a surprise package in the mail, I get one every month.

I ordered Birchbox about two years ago and I have really enjoyed the monthly Birchbox that arrives in my mailbox filled with fun sample products. ( This is my own opinion...I am not receiving anything in return from Birchbox for this blog post!)

Every year the boxes have a different design. This year's boxes have blown me away with their great graphics.  And this box comes boxed inside a pink box for mailing. Birchbox really wants you to feel you are receiving a gift in the mail.  When you sign up for Birchbox you will fill out a form that pinpoints your own beauty problem areas. This company takes into account your age  which really impressed me.

Here is what was in this month's box...the goodies are nestled in a pretty yellow tissue paper.  Cartier Basier Vole is a romantic floral scent. It did smell good but I put it aside for my daughter in law, Katy, as I have a "signature" cologne that I use and I am very pleased with it's scent. The White bottle is Dr Jart Ceramidin Liquid. It is for hydrating skin. I love Dr Jart products and I have ordered several things from his line after trying the samples. The Rusk hair care, Restyling Cream, is one I set aside for Katy as well. I seldom re style my hair during the day, other than brushing lip gloss is Stila, which is another great product. It is going to Katy because it is a coral color and I prefer pink. W3LL People sent me this is all natural. I never have to purchase mascara anymore because I usually get a sample just as I am using up another sample mascara! My favorite product is the Nectar Thermique. I will be purchasing a full size product.  My friend, Sharon, and I were talking about what a time we have with our wavy hair..especially in this hot humid weather we have had down South. You put a small amount of the nectar on your damp hair and blow dry. It makes my hair feel softer and protects it from the heat of styling tools.

I enjoy being able to share things with Katy...she is a busy stay at home mom and I love to treat her with things that are not in her budget right now.  So that is another plus of being a Birchbox member. Daughter Amelia does get some things too while Nancy prefers to stick with the tried and true.

So if you have been wondering about Birchbox, maybe this post will help you decide if you want to subscribe to this service.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lady Violet

I have been missing Downton Abbey and one of my favorite characters, Lady Violet . Dame Maggie Smith portrays this aristocratic lady so beautifully. I first became aware of Maggie Smith when I saw her in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.  And I can honestly say that I think this actress has gotten better with age. Of course I loved her in The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood...she does a great Southern accent!! And who could have played Professor Minerva McGonagall  but Maggie Smith?   So I am counting down the days to January and the return of all the inhabitants of Downton Abbey, both upstairs and downstairs. As this is the last year of this series I am hoping that the writers will end it gracefully.  I am looking forward to Julian Fellowes new series set in America, The Golden Age. But like Lady Violet says, "At my age, one must ration one's excitement!"

And please take a moment to leave a comment on yesterday's blog...Orange You Sweet! I look forward to sending out my Orange Tin to one of my blog friends.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Orange You Sweet!!

I finally got my give a way together today and I am going to share it with yall!!

So my give away is Orange You Sweet to Read My Blog!  I am using my Sunshine Box theme to make a cute Orange tin for one lucky reader who leaves a comment on this post. The Give Away is open to all readers in the Continental United States. I will choose a winner on Wednesday!  I hope to post the winner on Wednesday evening...I am transitioning from doing my blogs in the evening rather than in the morning.

Here is how I put the Orange Tin together...

I found a pretty orange tin at Hobby Lobby. The Summer Clearance is a great place to find these sturdy containers on sale. I also found a pretty orange and white dish towel to use in place of tissue paper.

Orange paper napkins and orange drinking straws.

A Notebook, sticky notes and pencils...

 Believe me, the coffee mug has an orange middle which you cannot see here! Some orange tic tacs and  Jelly Bellys, which are one of my favorite treats.

Some nice soap and a Don't Worry Be Happy Shower or Bath fizzies.

Here it is ....ready to be mailed.

One last look at all the goodies! I had so much fun putting this give away together. So leave a comment on this Post and on Wednesday, Miss Kendall will draw a name from a basket to determine the winner and I will post it late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Good Luck Sweet Blog Buddies!!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fall, Anyone?

While out and about last week I was happy to see some fall merchandise making it's way to the local stores! With a week of 100 degree temps, the thought of an autumnal day is so refreshing.( Notice I used Martha's word, Autumnal....I am classy that way!!).

I was in Kohl's doing some back to school shopping for my grands when I came across the new Yankee Candle scents for fall.

This was my favorite scent of those on display! Across the Pond.

Auburn Leaves...great for all the Auburn University fans here in Alabama.( Roll Tide!)

Pumpkin Berry would be daughter Amelia's favorite...she has always loved the pumpkin spice scent.

And here is a Thanksgiving Table at Cracker Barrel.


Who can resist Snoopy? The Charlie Brown characters seem to be making a come back with the Charlie Brown movie coming out on November says Google.

I love Jack o Lanterns!! I have promised to down size my Fall Display this year but I feel my resolve crumbling!!

How about you? Longing for the pretty fall colors and cool breezes??

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I am a Winner!

Whitney at Come Home for Comfort did a giveaway last week and I was the winner. Blog give aways are so fun and I have won a few! I got some pretty things from Gina at Hearthstone Cottage one time and I also won a lovely gift of books from Kelly at Talk of the House.

Whitney is a big Christy Jordan fan as am I! Christy is one of our NoAla celebrity cooks. She lives in the Huntsville area and I keep hoping I might meet her one day. She has been featured in Southern Living magazine as well as Southern Lady. One of her hobbies is collecting old Pyrex bowls, casserole dishes and the like. You can see a portion of her collection behind her in her photograph on the cookbook. I really enjoyed reading through this cookbook because it is not just recipes, Christy includes some sweet stories of growing up in the South near her big extended family and all the traditions they shared. Traditions that sadly are being left by the wayside in our busy world. She encourages families to eat supper together and that is why she named the cook book, Come Home for Supper. This cookbook shares lots of  family dinners that be made easily and also included are some of those old family favorites that might take longer to make but are worth the time!!

Then along with the cookbook, I got a sweet note from Whitney and a list of her favorite recipes from the cookbook.  Whitney is a newlywed and she really strives to make her home a comfortable one in every way. She is cute as a button too as you will see if you watch any of her vlogs on You Tube. I have noticed several bloggers are doing some blogs. I will spare you!lol...Just let me post pictures of myself that I have edited to look good!! I do enjoy the vlogs as now when I read Whitney's blog I can hear her voice in my ear!

So this give away inspired me to do one here at Nanaland. You will be seeing more about it next week. I am sorry but I can only offer it to blog readers in the continental USA due to mailing prices overseas!!  I am off today to look for a few more things to add to the gift before I share it here. Yall have a blessed weekend...Stay Cool!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Purse, Pocketbook or Handbag?

It seems like a lot of us are sharing our purses on blogs lately so I thought I would share my own. Some of you visited By Sun and Candlelight where Dawn shared my green purse. Well I have changed purses this week and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on this fascinating topic. Well it is fascinating to me....I LOVE purses.  And I am rather nosy so I enjoy seeing what other people are carrying in their handbag. Whitney over at Come Home for Comfort did a vlog showing how she organizes her purse. I had to ask her where all the gum wrappers and receipts were! She shared that she did not show the old grocery lists and other little things that seem to cause disorganization in a pocketbook! My husband refuses to even TRY to find anything in my purse...he cannot relate to all my little treasures that must be carried with me at all times!!

Here is the purse I was carrying. I love Dooney and Bourke purses and I have about four of them that I rotate. I love this top handle zip zip. I have a hard time carrying shoulder bags due to back and shoulder issues so my Dooneys are all top handles. This purse is very lady like and I love the spring green color.

Here is the inside. I have to put everything in it north south style to get it to fit.

But this week I got out my favorite Vera Bradley purse....

This purse is a true cherry red but it looks tomato red in the photo...that does make a difference to me as I am very fair and I can only wear and carry cherry reds.

My car keys go in this back zipper worrying about where my car keys are.( And in most purses they manage to get to the bottom of the bag and I have to take everything out of my handbag to find them!

This Vera has lots of pockets and one nice zipper compartment. I keep mints, gum and kleenex on one side while my ink pens, hand sanitizers and lotion are neatly stored on the other side of the purse. I keep a little notebook and some ibuprofen in the zipper compartment. I still like to have a notebook with me even though my friend, Susan, reminds me I can add notes to my iphone!!

My Vera you see a trend here? As I am a dinosaur technologically, I still carry a check book and this wallet allows me to slip it inside.   I love this print for fall. In fact I loved it so much I found a purse on EBay in this print in the same style as my red purse!  So I will have a purse and matching wallet come September.

My blog friend, Whitney, suggested using little pouches to keep our purses organized. Well after lunch with the girls we went across the street to The Paper Chase where Vera Bradley is sold along with such pretty stationery, that we had to take a stroll around the store!  They had a great summer sale on some discontinued patterns so I picked up this little pouch for my compact and lipstick!

My sunglasses go in an old Vera eyeglass holder that Ben and Katy got me for Mother's Day one year. It really holds my glasses neatly and prevents them from being scratched as they would be if they were loose in my handbag.

So here is my purse...all loaded and ready to roll!

One last thing I love about this style of purse is the front turnlock pocket...perfect for my phone and I always know where it is!! My friend, Deborah, was looking at this Vera purse in Cobalt blue at Paper Chase and I know she is tempted to purchase it after I told her and Susan how much I love this style!! I still carry my Dooneys but mostly for church and special occasions.  

So there you have purse minus the gum wrappers, bank receipts, sales receipts and used Kleenex!! What is your favorite brand of handbag? Do you carry the same one all the time or do you change your bag out frequently? This inquiring mind has to know!!