Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Little More of the Garden

I just couldn't resist a few more garden pictures. I took these shots just a couple days after the last ones---right after a big rain. Things just seem to really pop after a good rain.

I realize that I showed all close-ups the last time. Here's a long view.

 I'm using this as my desktop on my computer right now---this cherry tree is just gorgeous every year. It's at the top of the driveway, so I get to see and enjoy it everyday.
 All the photos I took of this tree were so good, I just couldn't pick only one. I did narrow it down from about a dozen.
I love the contrast of the close up flowers with the rest of the blooms in the background.
 Lilacs. I haven't cut any for inside since we're going out-of-town, but definitely will be doing that on Sunday when we get home. They smell incredible.
It finally hit me the other day---these are anemones. I didn't cut any, so I don't know how they hold up in a vase. I'll have to give it a try.

Still waiting to see what's happening in your gardens.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Just Realized I Have Another Problem

It's not unusual for people to have a problem with public restrooms. In fact, when my kids were little, I'd go home rather than use a public restroom. That's how my kids learned to "hold it." When I have to use one, I'm a foot flusher---no way am I touching anything.

Well, here's the problem. When someone is here I don't know and they ask to use my bathroom, that, then makes it a public restroom which freaks me out.

Today, a lady was here to measure my windows for plantation shutters. She asked to use the bathroom. Of course I had to say yes---you can't exactly tell them to go down the street to McDonald's. To make matters worse, she left, came back and said her battery was dead, could she use the bathroom again since she had to wait for someone to rescue her. Again, I had to say yes. What the heck is the matter with me? It makes me feel bad to be so---I don't even know what the word is---just weird, I guess.

Now I can't even use my own bathroom until Margarita comes next Monday and cleans it! I now have a public restroom in my own house. Or I could clean it myself. No, I'll wait.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Ultimate in Recycling

You would think that Butch would be all over this. Instead, he just shakes his head. He just couldn't understand this---but let me explain. Connie showed me a picture about a year or so ago. It was a fall decoration with old graters on a tray surrounded by pine cones and acorns. Pretty cute. It took me a year to collect these. All along, Butch kept asking about them---"why are you collecting all these graters?" When I told him it was for something I was making for Connie, he didn't get it. Even when I finished it---since it's spring I went with an Easter theme---he still didn't get it. She was thrilled. She's using it as a centerpiece on her table. She says she's going to change it out for the season---yeah, right, that's going to happen! See her email to me below the picture.

I just want you to know how much I appreciate your making me the grater centerpiece.  I absolutely  love it and will enjoy for years to come.  I can’t believe you took the time to do it with everything else you have to do.  I don’t want to sound too “sappy”, but I don’t know what I did right in my life to deserve a friend like you.  You are so special to me, and make life so much more fun.  (Even if I did have to wear a sombrero and have the waiter feed me!)  Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you.  Every time I look at the graters I will think of you and cherish our friendship.

And while we're on the subject, a few other ultimate recycling projects:
I made this flower arrangement this weekend in this old mailbox I bought in St. Louis. This is what I had in mind for it:

But because of this, I couldn't:
Somewhere along the line, Mindy burned the top of her vanity with a curling iron, so now I have to have the hand towel to cover it up. Kids! I can't have anything nice!

And just a few other things:

This is an old floor grate I just hung on the wall.

Old swing frame with the Pagella family, old camera, books and scale---right side of mantle.

Old binoculars, more books---you can never have too many books---a staple of my decorating, Venus de Milo, old clock and "new" Lenox plate---left side of mantle.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Miss My Nail Girls!!!

First there was Christy. She is the same age as Sandy. I started going to her when she was still in high school. She had finished nail school at night. I guess I went to her for about 10 years---until she decided to become an interior decorator and quit nails to go back to school. Luckily for me, she is still in my life---sweet gal---I just love her. I've always done my own decorating, but when my drapery lady retired about 5 or 6 years ago, I hired Christy to handle things for me. I love that I can tell her what I want and she can find/do it. At first, she said she was nervous working for me as she knew how particular I was. It has worked out well. I'm very decisive and she says she likes that. I've got her hunting for all kinds of things for me now as I'm in to another redecorating project. She's allowed me to become lazy---she does all the hunting and brings it to me. Gotta' love that---plus, she comes up with cool stuff that I wouldn't have thought of. The girl is good. But I do miss her for my nails.

After floundering for a couple of years, I found Nancy to do my nails. Loved her. Went to her for years. Then she moved---far out. Too far. Luckily, she's in my book club, so I still get to see her regularly.

Finally, I've been going to Venetian---just one of those walk-in places. But I like it okay---they open at 8 a.m. which is the most important thing for me. I'm such a creature of routine---ALL of my nail appointments have always been every Thursday morning at 8 a.m. Just works for me.

After having had acrylics for many years, I took them off probably 10 years ago. It took about 2 years for my nails to get back to normal. The only reason I "put them on" to begin with was that I had ruined my nails with harsh cleaning chemicals when I helped Jeanne move in to her house in Florissant---a million years ago. I remember thinking at the time---"Hell heck, I don't even clean my own house and here I am on my hands and knees scrubbing my sister's bathroom that harbored god knows what from the previous owners."

I've been happy with my "real" nails for many years now and vowed I'd never put anything on them again. Fast forward to 2011, lots of medicines---which is the only thing I can figure that is causing me to have soft nails. Within a day of my manicures, they bend and the polish starts to chip off. They tear rather than break and nothing I do seems to strengthen them.

A while back, Connie told me she had started doing "gel" nails. I was not interested in getting something like that started again. With my current nail condition, I decided that I really don't have anything to lose right now. Big mistake. Here's how it went:

Today was our girls trip to the mall. I always take Morgan and Jordan twice a year for clothes. Everyone knows how I HATE to shop. I decided that this would be a good time to visit the nail salon at the mall while everyone else was shopping. Bad idea. I requested the gel nails. They had to call someone so I had to come back in 15 minutes. I asked how long it would take for my nails to dry. She said 45 minutes. I figured she misunderstood and thought I was asking how long the whole process would take. I asked her again---louder this time---as if that would breach the language barrier---you know, that language that isn't really any type of language at all---just gibberish. Again, she said 45 minutes. I gave up and just sat down.

The manicure part was crappy---no hot mitts, no hand massage---just a little slathering of lotion very fast. I went to pull up my sweater above my elbows so she could get my forearms. The next thing I knew, she barely rubbed up my arm and them proceeded OVER the top of my sweater---basically wiping her hands off on ME!! What the heck??

Next, she started the gel process. The first coat was something clear. Then I had to put my hands in this light machine for 15 minutes! Then the color coat---crappy choices and very few---I should have stopped right then. Hands in machine another 15 minutes! One last coat---and, yes, ANOTHER 15 minutes in the machine. Now you have to realize, that the machine is at the edge of the table, thus forcing me to hold my arms up myself. They started to quiver about 5 minutes in to the first go round. Now it was just sheer torture. Since I didn't know this process was going to be repeated 3 times, I had no idea what I was in for. Connie never gave me details. There was not a single relaxing thing about this manicure.

Then she was looking at another bottle that had a clear liquid in it. I don't think she could read it, so she called someone and spoke that language again that really isn't a language. Then next thing I knew, she turned on the little fan and had me put my nails in front of it---after 45 minutes in the light machine, my nails were still tacky. She left for a few minutes and came back with a huge bottle of rubbing alcohol. She saturated a big wad of cotton and squeezed it over my nails---put me in front of the fan, did it again and then did it a third time. When it was finally over, I had been there an hour and 45 minutes. OMG!!! There's no way I'm going through that every two weeks. I paid and left. The results---they never dried properly and I have sheet prints on my nails, yet have never even been to bed yet. I can see that I won't even make it to Thursday. This crap is coming OFF!!

On the bright side, I'd sooner slit my wrists than endure this:

There must have been 75 people crammed in this little play area/germ infested environment!

I picked up a couple of new things for  myself. Morgan asked me if I was excited about my new cute clothes. I told her that "no, I wasn't excited because nothing in "jumbo" is cute." And that's the truth!

The best part of this day was my nap. I guess that explains the sheet prints after all---even if I was on the couch in front of the fireplace with my book. I guess it was the afghan.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Year of Memories---March---Daily Details

The topic this month was to scrapbook the details of the guys life---the little stuff that makes up his days.

I just had this brainstorm---just because you aren't local doesn't mean you can't participate in the project. In fact, it would be a really good idea to follow along. If you do just the one layout a month, you will have a completed album at the end of the year---plus, if you email me a picture of your layout, I will be happy to post it on my blog! What a deal! Add to that, I design the title and end page, so it will be easy to copy.

To get you started, you can either start with this topic, or go back and do the others. You can do it for yourself or for your guy. Whatever. Here are the previous topics to "catch you up." 
January---5 Memories at 5 Years Old
February---Drive---about your first car, or any car
March---Your daily routine---Everyday Details
April---Fashion Statement---hair, fashion, through the years.

Susan and Pete were not able to make it last month, so this is the "drive" layout titled: 

"Pete's Wheels & Deals." The funny thing about this project (except for Jim---who is the youngest) ALL of the guys had a Volkswagen at some point.
Pete's "Daily Life"
Bruce's "A Slice of Life" layout included watching "Wheel of Fortune"---which as it turns out, we all do. In the lower right corner, Karolyn printed a picture of the "board"with her and Bruce's initials on it. Very clever. 
Jack's layout---"Details of the Everyday" focused on his routine at work---starting from the empty parking lot when he arrives at o'dark-thirty.

"Daily Routine" is Hugh's page. I love how Pam did the buttons.
For Butch's layout, I took and A.M. and P.M. approach. I used a cardboard cylinder to stamp the paint circles. I also stacked the buttons and placed them here and there. I found the Sun and the moon using my new Gypsy.
Bill's title is "The Simple Life Happens on Saturday." Bill and Nancy live on a beautiful farm in Leipers Fork, TN (technically, they live in Boston, but no one has ever heard of that---in TN at least). He owns an insurance agency through the week, then becomes a farmer on weekends. They have cows and chickens and we're lucky enough to be the recipients of farm fresh eggs. I love how Nancy used the packaging on her layout---and the little clocks to signify the time of the day that things occur.

Jeanne hasn't sent her layout yet. As soon as she does, I'll add it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pokin' Fun!

I guess Janice took so much grief about her bowling shirt in New Orleans, that she decided not to wear it in Vegas. Turns out Matt wore his on vacation in Jamaica (wink) ;)! I guess because it matched the ocean...I know, I know, it's the style---Charlie Sheen wears them too. Oh gosh, I hope that doesn't mean that Matt has "Sheen-ish envy"---lame, took that straight from Charlie's mouth!!!
Matt and Sharon lookin' good in Jamaica.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

We were on our way home from Las Vegas when my sister, Joyce told me that she was going home to Corned Beef and Cabbage. That made me crave it, so we stopped at the grocery store on the way home from the airport. St. Patrick's day was Thursday---the day we got home. I didn't have time to cook it then, but planned to do it on Friday. Then I remembered we couldn't eat meat on Friday. I had my class on Saturday and had a late lunch, Butch played golf and didn't eat until 4---so cooking it on Saturday was out too. Sunday, I was going to dinner with my book club (we went to see Jodi Picoult---fabulous), so that was out. Now we're to Monday. I finally cooked the St. Patrick's day meal on Monday. I decided to check Paula Deen's cookbook. She recommended these delicious muffins to go with the meal. Just thought I would share. I think it's similar to another recipe I have, but not exactly the same---plus these are muffins---whereas my other recipe is for cornbread.

Corny Corn Muffins
1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup creamed corn
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Grease (or spray with Pam) 12 muffins tins. Combine all ingredients and stir until moistened. Fill muffin cups with batter and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

I've put 8 of them in the freezer. We'll see how that goes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Making the Most of My Memories Workshop

To anybody local, I'm offering this workshop at The Scrap Room in Mt. Juliet. The dates are:
April 14, April 28, May 12. Call Charon to sign up---758-9596. Here are the details:

Making the Most of My Memories Workshop*** 
People continually ask me about how I organize my pictures. So, I've decided to offer a class to fully explain the entire process. This will be a 3 class commitment to accomplish it all---each class is a different part of the process.

Several years ago, I'd started feeling "stale" with my scrapbooking---seeming to be doing the same chronological events over and over, same vacations, same holidays, every year, everything the same. I was ready to try something new. I took an on-line class that lasted 4 months. Since I'm all about organization and saving time, I've changed and condensed that class while streamlining the procedure in the process. I've used my version for 4 years now and am completely "sold". Family and friends that I've helped are "sold" on it too. You'll be able to access any photo within seconds and see connections that you are unable to see with albums and albums of photos.

What you need to know:
*Everything involving your pictures will be covered from: organizing, to storage, to accessing to archiving to scrapbooking them.
*This is not my organization class---it's only about the photos, organizing and scrapbooking them.
*The classes will be 2 weeks apart.
*There will be homework (about 5-10 hours each week for the first 2---not as intense after that).
*I will be available via email to answer any questions that might come up between classes.
*In addition to the handouts I provide, you will need to purchase some basic organizational tools or I can get them for you. They will run approximately $75.00.
*The cost of the class is $50.00 for all 3 sessions.

This is a BIG commitment and takes some time to get set up, but you will love this system and the freedom it provides. Scrapbook what you want, when you want---and discover the sense of accomplishment when you can put your hands on any single picture at a moment's notice without wading through boxes or albums. Say good-bye to boring pages!

***Warning: Do not take attempt this class unless you are committed to seeing it through. Otherwise, you will wind up with a huge unorganized mess!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Here are the layouts from The Scrap Room Challenge Club for this month. The challenge was to sew on the page. If you click on the photos, you can view them in a larger size.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

Coming soon to a garden near you...
 I just love walking through the garden in the spring. You just never know what is going to be in bloom.
Even the weeds look good in the garden! You know what they say, weeds are simply wildflowers that have been misplaced. 

I can't remember the names of these.

Creeping Phlox

I just love the color and texture combination here.

You can't tell by this picture, but these are miniature jonquils. You can see how tiny they are in the  arrangement at the bottom.


Hellebores---Lenten Rose

Heuchera---Coral Bells

Chartreuse is one of my favorite colors in the garden---especially in hostas.

Even the fish have come out of their winter slumber.

This is one of the front flower beds. Sadly, the squirrels got all the bulbs on the other side. I'm giving up with them---too expensive to only have half come up---besides the fact that it looks funny and out of balance.

Grape Hyacinth.

I've got lots of baby ostrich ferns---my favorites. Now's the time to get them. If you want some, come and get 'em. Once they get about 10" tall, it's too late. They are fast growing, drought tolerant, disease resistant and can take the sun. They are especially great if you have a large area you would like to cover. They love to roam and though they can be invasive, they are easy to pull out.
Pulmonaria---lungwort (just trying to remember all the latin names---unfortunately, I've forgotten more than I remember).

Epimedium---Bishop's Hat---these flowers are about the  size of a kernel of corn---can you see the tiny little 4 cornered hats---hence the name.

Not such a great shot of the Bishop's Hat, but I really liked the contrast against the magnolia tree and sky.

Dicentra---bleeding hearts.

These are my favorites---white bleeding hearts.
Mostly weeds, but still darn cute.

So what's blooming in your garden?