Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Let the Good Times Roll! Mardi Gras Season is here in the River City.  I spotted this beautiful wreath on the door of a local business. Green, Purple and Gold are the colors of Mardi Gras.

Actually Mardi Gras was first celebrated here in America in Mobile in 1703.  It fell out of favor until after the Civil War when it was revived to bring back good times after the deprivation of war.  The Mardi Gras Season begins on Epiphany...January 6th also known as King's Day.  The Good Times come to an end on Fat Tuesday which is February 28th this year.  Right now all the Crewes are raising money for their festivities at the end of the season. Parades and parties mark the end of Mardi Gras as Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which is March 1st this year.

Our Mardi Gras parade here in Decatur is very family friendly....beads and candy with out all the craziness that you find in New Orleans.

 And what would Mardi Gras be without King Cakes? Marvin says several of his co workers have brought in the delicious cakes decorated in the colors of Mardi Gras. Marvin did not get the piece with the baby in it. A sign of luck and prosperity, if you find the baby in the king cake, you have to purchase the king cake next year!!

Happy Mardi Gras Blog Friends...Let the Good Times Roll!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Down on the Farm with Lee and Lanier

We spent the weekend at Grimmwood with Marvin's brother, Lee and his wife, Lanier.  It was a chilly weekend but we had a good time.

We enjoyed some time Friday afternoon just warming up after the guys played outside.:) Marvin is thinking of getting a rifle to have there so he and his brother honed their skills with Lee's new rifle.  Lanier brought a baby blanket she is working on...she was doing a pretty crocheted edging around the soft flannel.

The fire felt good on a chilly afternoon.

I finished up a Christmas ornament I was working on.  Now to fully finish it.

Going out for supper, we stopped to get a picture by the pond.

Lanier was very interested in the Tornado Shelter at my Mother's house. Lanier said she felt safer knowing it was there. Son Charles told her that she would have to climb over barbed wire and avoid flying cows to get to it from Grimmwood should there be a tornado. I think he has watched the movie, Twister, way too much!!

The cows came to tell us goodbye on Sunday morning.

Until next time! Lee and Lanier gave us a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel for a housewarming gift so I told them they had to come back when it was warmer to help us break  it in.

 We do enjoy our weekends at Grimmwood and we love sharing it with friends and family.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Now and Then

I finally had time to sit down this week and watch the first two episodes of Victoria on Masterpiece Theater. And I really liked it. If you love seeing period clothing, like Downton, Victoria is eye candy to style lovers.

When Victoria marched in during her coronation to the lovely music, it was breathtaking.

Jenna Coleman who plays Victoria does an excellent job at portraying the young queen who is just 18 when she becomes the monarch.  If she had been younger than 18 she would have had a regency, allowing some one else to make decisions etc until she came of age.

And look who her prime minister is!! He may be Lord Melbourne here but we all remember him as Kate Winslet's low life boy friend in The Holiday.   He is much nicer here! In fact it was rumored the queen fell in love with Lord M who was 20 years her senior.

I look forward to the next episode when Albert appears on the scene.

I suspect many of you were saddened to hear of the death of Mary Tyler Moore.
This was my favorite tv show as a teenager. I loved Mary's long flip hairstyle so much that I emulated it with a shorter version.  She was all things stylish to me.

When I saw her portray the cold mother in Ordinary People I could hardly believe that was my sweet Mary on screen.  Her life was not without sadness, diabetes, alcoholism and the death of her only son just to name a few.  Rest in Peace, Mary.

Taking a few days off for R and R. Catch you on Monday!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


All my life I have tried to find a good sugar cookie recipe that was good for "cut out" cookies. Either they were tasteless, the dough was hard to roll out or they spread when baking and looked like blobs.

Daughter in law, Katy, had the same problem this Christmas and she took her query to Facebook. Give me a good Sugar Cookie recipe. One of her friends responded with a No Chill Cookie Dough. I tried it yesterday in hopes I could use it for Valentines Day.

Success at last. This dough holds its shape, is easy to work with and is DELICIOUS. This recipe makes three dozen cookies.

Here is the recipe.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups All Purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter and sugar for three minutes. Beat in egg and flavorings. Combine flour and baking powder, then add slowly to sugar mixture. The dough will be very stiff.

Turn out on floured surface and knead with wet hands.( I did not have to use wet hands as it came together beautifully). Divide dough into manageable batches. Roll out to !/4" and cut with cookie cutter. I put my cookies on a parchment lined pan and baked for 8 to 10 minutes. Check after 8 minutes but  mine took 10 minutes.

2 c  powdered sugar
1 T milk
1 T light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla or almond
food coloring

I had to use at least 4T of milk. I just kept adding until it was spreadable.  But this icing hardened up just fine. To be sure the recipe was good enough for my blog friends I had a cookie for breakfast this morning!

If you are like me and have struggled to find a good sugar cookie, try this one. It will be my go to recipe from now on.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

An Evening in Hartselle

After and absence of two months, Amelia and I made it back to the painting evening at the Hartselle Park and Rec Center.

Amelia is woking on a truck while I did a Valentine sign.

Here is their rendition of the little truck. Amelia did hers in Purple.

And here I am with my finished product.

I am always amazed at all the finishes the ladies come up with. Some are real artists and I am drooling over their concepts and their great execution of the signs.

Here is my sign on my back door to the garage.

Next month Amelia and I are both doing this one.

Neither of us are artists but we enjoy the time together. We have also met lots of nice ladies who enjoy an evening out with the girls!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Stream

Come for a dip in my stream of consciousness this morning.   Be careful, the water is shallow!

1. I finished reading the book, Kick, about Kathleen Kennedy.  It was very interesting. I had forgotten that she died in a plane crash while going off for a weekend with her married lover.  The pilot warned the couple that there was a storm in the area where they were going and asked them to wait but they would not wait.  It seems to me that many of the deaths of young Kennedys were due to poor choices. JFK jr tried to pilot beyond his learning, the young Kennedy who perished on the ski slope playing around after he had been warned by the ski patrol just to name a few.  A cautionary tale for others I suppose.

2. We had a good time in Hoover with the Grimmlins.  They are growing up so fast. Time slow down! Grandpa got brownie points for going outside with Elliott to play "trucks", A lot of dirt was involved by the look of Elliotts clothes and hands.  Margaret and I played with some of her craft things. Baylor enjoyed swinging outside and playing GO. Go involves lots of tickling!!

3. I kitted up three new cross stitch projects on Friday afternoon. I am really enjoying my stitching and as I have said before, it keeps me sane and keeps me from slapping

4. I am off to coffee with my friend, Maggie, this morning. We worked together at the Weekday School for many years. Working in a preschool is rather like being in the army, it bonds you for life.

5.This will be a busy week for us. Lee and Lanier arrive on Thursday evening then we will motor to Grimmwood for the weekend. In the old days of my little hometown newspaper, we might have been written up as weekend visitors in the ladies section. I rather miss those days of gentle gossip in the newspaper. Our Decatur paper has a column called Chatterbox in the Sunday paper and it relates some of that type of news here in the River City.  This weeks Chatterbox featured the preparations for Mardi Gras. Several Crewes are meeting to make plans for the celebration.

As I said the stream is shallow this morning. Have a blessed day dear blog friends.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Little Boys and Little Girls

Little Boys and Little Girls are different, no matter what you may hear to the contrary. I taught two year olds in a local preschool for ten years and I have many stories to prove it.

This morning I will share two examples...from my two youngest grands. 

First we have Audrey. She is lovingly putting all her babies to bed, finding a blanket from her blanket drawer for each baby.

Isn't that the sweetest thing??? 

And now we have Elliott who is a dinosaur who eats babies.

That dinosaur is cracking me up!!

 We are off today to babysit the Hoover Grimmlins.  Ben and Katy celebrate their 8th wedding anniversary on Monday so we are keeping the kiddos today so they can have a day out for lunch and a movie. The last time we did this, they had lunch then went to the library and enjoyed some reading.:)  When you are the parents of three active children, one on the autistic spectrum, just some peace and quiet is a good thing!!  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Historic Day

 I am up and watching all the festivities on NBC this morning.  I have enjoyed seeing clips of previous presidents as they took the oath of office. I think it reminds me that I am OLD as I remember so many of them.  The first president I really remember was John Kennedy.  He resembled my Uncle Robert. One day my little sister, Kristi, ran to Mother, "Mother, Uncle Robert is on television!!"  We still chuckle over that one.

I remember Lyndon Johnson for his pretty daughters, Lucy and Lynda as well as his beagles, Him and Her.

Mr Nixon is remembered for his historic trip to China as well as his resignation in light of Watergate.

Mr Ford took over as president and brought his good looking children to the White House. SNL poked fun at Mr Ford's clumsiness. I remember laughing at Chevy Chase as he portrayed the president.

As a Georgian we were very proud to have a president from our state when Jimmy Carter won the office. Sadly his legacy is being remembered as one of the worst presidents. I do admire his work for Habitat for Humanity.( The first Presidential Election that I voted in so it was exciting to me.)

Reagan....Jelly Bellys and his brush with death are some of my clearest memories of this president. He was another president who was put down by the media as an "actor". He showed he was much more than that and easily won re election.

Bush Sr...a gracious man and his lovely wife, Barbara. I really liked Barbara for her embracing the Silver Fox look when so many women were avoiding gray tresses.  And Barbara Bush Blue, one of my favorite colors.

Clinton....There are so many things I remember about him but I will just keep them to myself.

George H W Bush...I will never forget how he steered us in the days after 9-11.  Laura was another favorite first wife of mine. One Christmas she decorated the White House with a Children's Book Theme. I loved that she was a reader!!

Obama, not my favorite president but I do think he was a good husband and father and there is a lot to be said for that in this day and age.

Donald Trump ....I wish him well. I was a fan of The Apprentice when he starred in that tv program. He was always fair and he did not put up with whining.  I think the one of the biggest problems we face in this culture is Whining. Nothing is our fault and if we do not get our way we act like little children.  As my parents used to say, "Buck UP!"

Presidents come and go...our country has survived them all.

So I will be stitching and watching the ceremonies today. Do you have any memories of certain Commanders in Chief? I would love to hear them.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Finishing Up

You all know I love to stitch but finishing a project is very important as well. Thanks to Flosstube on You Tube, I have learned that everything does not have to be framed.  And that is good news as framing is the expensive part of cross stitching.  While I will still frame my big projects, I can finish some things on my own.

Small seasonal stitching that is only displayed for a short time can be done quite cheaply!  I got three pieces finished this week.

First is a Christmas ornament for my little tree that I will use at Grimmwood.

This piece is called Snow Place like HOME by Country Cottage Needleworks.  I simply stretched it over a piece of cardboard lined with batting. I added a piece of sparkly scrapbook paper to the back. ( I used a piece that is a glittery tag board which costs $1.99 at Hobby Lobby...You need a substantial piece of paper for this project.) After watching Vonna the Twisted Stitcher on Floss Tube, I learned that embellishments can make a finished project much cuter. I found these tags at Hobby Lobby as well. I simply glued the string between the two pieces of cardboard.  My plan is to make a Christmas ornament a month. I am hoping to find a pencil tree to display at the little house. I want the ornaments to really stand out.

I had two cute Valentine pieces...both by the designer Lizzie Kate.  I finished them simply as they will just be on display about two weeks.

I stitched this on Aida fabric and it is very stiff and holds up well so I just trimmed it  and added it to some cardboard lined with scrapbook paper. I added the little paper Be Mine that I found in the Valentine aisle at Walmart.  I propped it on an easel in front of the my grands pictures on the Nana Table.

This one is very simple as well.

I used the DMC variegated floss on these hearts and i love how they turned out. Again, using Aida makes it easier to work with in finishing. Linen and Even weave are a little harder to work with as they wrinkle easily. Aida is a sturdy cloth and can take the abuse.  I mounted this  on a 5 by 7 card covered with batting. Then I glued it to a wooded box frame that I had covered with scrapbook paper. Once again I used the heart embellishments  I picked up at Walmart.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my handwork.   I love stitching but I like to have a FINISH as well. Off for lunch with the besties and running some errands before the rains set in. We are still having beautiful weather but we are expecting the cold to return next week. That is life in the South in the Winter.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Remembering Viet Nam

When I was a pre teen and teen ager, the nightly news was always about the war in Viet Nam. It was a war that was not popular and left lasting scars on our nation. I am glad to see our military men honored today because many of our Viet Nam vets were reviled when they came home. I was glad to see that a memorial was built for these men and I would love to see it one day in Washington DC.

Last year the traveling wall came to my hometown and my cousin, Scott, took this photograph.

It is actually two photographs merged into one.   This photo got 50,000 likes on Facebook and was shared often.  Recently Washington DC called Scott and asked if they could use this photograph on the tee shirts that will be sold with this years traveling wall tour.  Of course he was very honored to say of course you can use it.

I took this photo of Scott with his famous shot but of course, the flash bounced off!!  We are all very proud of Scott and if the tour comes to your town, you will know the story behind the t shirts!

Scott has a stressful job and took up photography as a hobby that has become a second job for him. He got some beautiful shots of my grands for me last year. He also takes our family photos.  We sure are blessed to have a great photographer in the family.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dollar Tree Valentines Day

As many of you know, I enjoy setting up a coffee bar at one end of my kitchen countertop.  Paper products can be pricy. I have seen seasonal paper plates that can be priced at $6 or more for one package. UH...NO.   I have found great deals at Walmart. Hobby Lobby has good sales as well but so far, the best buy I have found is at my local Dollar Tree. I have to say I was skeptical about the quality but I have found them to be on a par with Walmart.

Here is everything in its place.

I love this cute little glass that holds my paper straws.  I have to admit that the first glass I purchased I dropped on the floor and it broke so I had to go back for another one. While I was there I picked up an Easter glass as well.  The straws were 97 cents at Walmart. They had the BEST deals on straws.

This hangs on my back door....Dollar Tree for $1.  Dollar Tree has really upped their game in the seasonal department.

Whitney at Come Home for Comfort and Mrs Erica have posted some videos on You Tube  about their Dollar Tree finds. You might like to check them out as well.

I am hoping to complete my Valentine Decorating around the house and I need to finish a few crafts I have been working on.  You will be seeing more Hearts here in Nanaland as the Day of Love approaches!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hendersons Potluck Dinner

My mother was a Henderson before she married my daddy.  So I have more Scotch Irish blood flowing in my veins. I have often thought of having a DNA test but I am afraid I would get mad if it came back, English, Scottish and Irish. Hey I already  know that!!  My sisters and my cousins decided we would have a family pot luck every other month. We were tired of only seeing each other at the funeral home when someone passed away.  I am sure you can relate. We all have good intentions of getting together but it never happens.  I am so glad we have put this in motion for our family.

Holly opened her home for this crazy crowd.

After having a meal of chili, chicken noodle soup and cheddar broccoli soup, the fun and games began.

My aunt Joyce still has some of her old 45 records and Holly had a record player so DANCE PARTY. Here is Aunt Joyce and her grandson, Ben, doing the twist to the original Chubby Checker record!!

My 81 year old Aunt Rachel, busted some moves too!! . We got so tickled. I hope I can move like that when I am 80. Who are we kidding, I cannot move like that now.:)

I was taking a picture of Scott, Holly and Tucker when Scott got out his camera.

Aunt Joyce and Ben.

Hayleigh and Tucker...the youngest family members in attendance.

We told stories, we laughed we shared memories. It was such a sweet time. In March we will have an Italian feast at Sharon's home. I can't wait.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Our Happy Place

We are home from our Happy Place. Each time it seems harder to leave.

My view from my stitching spot on the sofa.

Sunshine and warm temps made for some good porch sitting.


Into the woods...

This morning as we were leaving a flock of geese came to swim about and tell us good by. They are hard to see as Marvin used my cell phone and I had to crop it to get the birdies in the picture.  They looked much bigger in person. The next time I will get out my Nikon camera.

Back to reality after a quiet few days. We did get to go to a family pot luck where we danced and played games. I will share those pictures on Monday! Have a blessed Sunday tomorrow Friends.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Kiddos

I just updated my Nana table with photos of all the grands.  I am just realizing that there is a glare on the Hoover Grimmlins. Oh well you can still see how cute they are.

Marvin and I are off to the country so I will be off the grid for a few days. I still have more "fluffing" to do at Grimmwood.   I am getting close to a finish so that is nice. Soon all we will have to take with us is our clothes.

Enjoy the end of the week!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

At the Library

Friends, if you know me you know I LOVE LIBRARIES.   For me the free library is one of the treasures you enjoy as an American. I have gone to the library regularly since I was a child.  Today was library day and I picked up three good books.

I took a chance and checked the shelves for any of the reissues of the Miss Buncle Books by D E  Stevenson.  I almost did a happy dance right there when I found the next book in the series. I own the first book and I am thinking I am going to have to have these for my own library. I put several of Ms Stevenson's books on my Amazon Wish List.

Chevy Stevens is one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her book, Still Missing, gives me chills just thinking of it. I look forward to reading this one.

And finally if you know me you know I have always been fascinated by the Kennedy family. JFK is the first president that I really remember and let's face it, he was one good looking man. In fact one of my mother's friends voted for him because he was so good looking.  When I saw KICK on the shelf I knew it had to be about Kick Kennedy.

She is one of the lesser known Kennedy children and her tragic death at a young age adds to her mystique.  She was married to the heir of Chatsworth. I love anything having to do with England and Chatsworth, Georgia is my hometown.   This book caught my interest for several reasons.

I am off to have breakfast with the Besties tomorrow. We had conflicts for our regular Thursday lunch so we decided to do Wednesday Breakfast. We really try to make our time together a priority.  Since we have been meeting once a week for 20 years now, we value our time to eat, fellowship and occasionally(?) gripe.  These ladies know everything about me and they still love me...those friends so not come around often.

Thanks for all the condolences on the game. Clemson won fair and square and their coach is an outstanding role model for his team.  I hope BAMA will be back in the Championship next year.