Friday, July 31, 2009

Hey Bidder, bidder!

My blogger/Silver Bella/Aggie friend, Linda sent me an email with an online auction site that was selling off things from the MSC at Texas A&M. Apparently there is some remodeling going on and tear down is happening in the very near future. The site included things from old metal cabinets to sets of 18 mirrors to wall units to tables. There were even some dirty, grimy old couches on there.

MSC? Memorial Student Center. It's the heartbeat of the Texas A&M campus. It houses the book store, snack bars, meeting rooms, lobby areas......and many, many couches where many, many Aggies have napped when they should have been cramming for exams.

My daughters and father are all Aggies...which makes me, my husband, my son and all the cats and dogs officially Aggies. Aggie Daughter #2, Cameron, got online and bid for several items....and we won! I don't know what I'll do with the winning item. But gosh doggit, I won! Okay...the starting bid was $5.00 and I won it for $70. But I WON. I NEVER win auction bids.

So thank you Linda for telling me about this. Thank you Cameron for bidding on it. And thank you Chuck for funding it. For all the Aggies who sat here and sweated on this and scratched it up.....I will take good care of it from now on.

I'm not really the sentimental type, but no matter how ugly this table came from the MSC....the heartbeat of Texas A&M campus. Where the sign on the door reads, "All hats must be removed before entering."

That gives me chills. Traditions. Okay....maybe I am a little sentimental. I probably could have bought this same table at Goodwill for $30.00...but it wouldn't have Aggies' sweat on it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Show Me The Shutters

The Inspired Room has a post about shutters.....and creative ways to use them. Head over there and you will find lots of bloggers who have also posted about creative uses of shutters. I jumped on this train, because I happen to have a shutter fetish....not really, I just wanted you to say shutter fetish. Not easy, is it?

The green shutter in the middle was my first shutter brought home from Round Top several years ago. It hung outside on the patio for years. Then I found the set of stained shutters. They hung on either side of my dining room window for awhile. One day, I decided they would work well as a window treatment in my bathroom, so Chuck fixed them screwing a board across the back of all they could hang as one large piece.

But the bathroom was very, very dark. So after repainting my master bedroom, I moved the threesome in here over the bed. I love them here....they make one grand architecural statement. The statement? BOTH OF YOU SNORE!

I made a curtain for the bathroom window to allow much more light in....and placed 2 solid shutters on either side. These shutters also came from Round Top.

Because I am extrememly modest, I have wracked my brain trying to come up with a way to cover up some of this shower glass door. After finding another beat up grayish green shutter at Round Top this year, Chuck put a hook on the back and it hangs over the shower door now. I then bought an "over the door" hook at Target for my towels
....and now I have most of the glass hidden.

This pair of shutters hang on the fence in our backyard. Just because.

This is a shutter wannabe....a screen from Hobby Lobby. But if you had large shutters you could use them as a screen. I will be on the lookout for large shutters for this very purpose next time I hit Round Top. This is a 3 part screen....but you can only see 2. I took old wire coat hangers to make an S to hook into the screen so I could hang plates on it.

These are not shutters, I know. But while I was outside taking the photo of the shutters on the fence, I thought you might like to see this. I hung some plates by the fence near our outdoor table. I know the cats appreciate a little ambiance. Believe it or not, they are holding up very well...even after this week's thunderstorm.

Chuck doesn't even flinch any more when I do stuff like this. It only took 26 years.

Thanks for stopping by. If you are not a local and you don't know what a Round Top's a bi-annual flea market/antique festival in Round Top, Texas...about an hour and a half from Houston. It's the week before the first weekend of October and April every year.

All of my shutters have come from there and I have paid anywhere from $20 a pair to $50 for one. I especially love the look of those with years of wear and tear and several layers of paint crumbling off of them. If I die from lead poisoning dust....I died happy. Dibbies on the shutters!

The Passport Picture

For those of you who have followed my passport picture taking fiasco this summer, I will tell you one more little story and then reveal the pictures. You're holding on to the edge of your seat aren't you? This is what blogs are all about people. Little, bitty mundane ditties.

Last Saturday, I went to Walgreen's for the last photo attempt...and for those counting, it would be #4. I had done some "head" work and decided I would have one more picture taken and then choose one. No matter how bad it looked to me. I knew I was being ridiculous. But an obsessor doesn't stop easily.

I went to the photo department of Walgreens and was greeted by an incredibly nice young man. Young man = 19 years old. He smiled, he talked, he took my photo. He asked me if I wanted to see it....without me asking him if I could see it. It was just the complete opposite experience of what I had had at CVS...3 times. When I saw the picture on the screen, I commented that it didn't look like me. He said, "Well, not really, but it's for a passport ....and they never really do...."

I asked him if I looked that ugly. He said, "No, not at all....I certainly don't see you like that at all....(hahaha....real laughter). But remember it's for a passport and as long as it gets you where you're going, that's all that matters."

Well, thank you Dr. Phil.....that's all I needed to hear.

Okay, obsession over.

Now here are the 4 pictures.....and then a picture of me that was taken by my talented photographer friend last winter so you can compare.


Flaring nostrils, and flyaway hair. Really CVS girl?

Stupid head tilt and extremely long ears. When did that happen? Is this the best you got CVS?

Longer ears and a closed mouth and Crisco oil rubbed on my face. This taken by the chick who apologized later for being in a bad mood and asked me if I wanted to go on a killing spree with her later.

Prolapsed eyelids...but hey, the double chin looks almost non-existent. And the young guy who took this picture was so nice. I pick this one!

And me.

And the ending to this story......

I applied for my passport yesterday at the local Post Office. I walk in and right beside the window is their photo set-up. Ugh. Only one person is in line ahead of me....and he is almost done. The clerk ask him to raise his right hand and repeat after her, "I solemnly swear that all the information is correct and this photograph is an EXACT LIKENESS of me."

Whoa! I can't swear that! So when it's my turn, I tell her immediately that I can't swear that! hahaha....she says, "Girl, ain't no one like their picture."

Whew.....turns out I'm normal.

Okay Linda and Peggy....your turn.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Find the hidden differences ala HIghlight Magazine

This is the "after" picture of my master bathroom taken on July 9...."after" because I painted the ceiling a khaki color and redid the window treatment.

And this is the "after the after" picture taken just now after doing 3 more things in here. Can you spy the 3 differences in these 2 photos?

Give up?

1.I painted the ceiling from the khaki to a spa green color.

2. I added tassles to the curtain.

3. And Chuck made this ottoman for me.

While I liked the brown was just too drab and dark for this bathroom ceiling. And I had a gallon of the green (SW Contented) left over from painting my bedroom ceiling. So it was screaming for me to use it. This room tends to be dark and I am trying every trick to lighten it up.

Oh, also I had Chuck put in all brass fixtures! Of course, I'm kidding. I am waiting patiently for brass to come back in style. And I know when that will be. The week after I replace them all wih oil-rubbed bronze.

Now for the ottoman....

I saw this is Pottery Barn but it was $799.00. That might happen...if I had another life.

So I took an old rug that I just couldn't bear to throw away even though the cats and dogs had frayed the edges and asked Chuck to make an ottoman similar to this one. It only cost about $50.00 and 3 fights.

Chuck made a frame...think box without a lid. He used banisters which he cut to size for the legs. I bought batting and foam. We stapled, cut, yelled, cut, bossed each other around then stained the legs.

This ottoman will probably be moved around this house as much as the rest of the furniture is. But for now, Chuck has a place to sit to tie his shoes.

I loved you best

I am currently entering a new phase in mothering. I am approaching the empty nest. And my baby birds are gathering their own worms.

In so many ways I am excited because I can't remember living with Chuck before children. We've already talked about how we're going to spend less at the grocery store and maybe just eat cereal for dinner. We've kidded that maybe we could get into an efficiency apartment because all we really need is a computer and a t.v. And of course, maybe we will just continue to sit in the same room and not talk, except to occasionally smile at each with the realization that we raised 3 really great kids.

"Mothering" to me has meant running the house, cooking the meals, bandaging the bo-bo's, running the errands, checking the homework. I am starting to see the end of a 24 year career. And barely, just barely am getting a peek into how cool being the parent of adults can be.

In other ways, I am feeling alot of confusion. What is my place? How do I mother children that are cooked, done, take 'em out of the oven? They aren't getting their daily dose of cuddling and holding and being told "I love You" because they don't climb in my lap anymore. But that love is still there.

I can see parts of me and parts of Chuck in each of my children. It's in them along with their own uniqueness. So just about the time I figured out the first baby's quirks and patterns, along came the second and again the third. I am a very different mother to the first child than I am to the second child than I am to even the third child. And it's because they are very different individuals as well as the order they were delivered to me and the impact that had.

What I want my children to know is that I love them all. And I would die before having to pick just one to save. I did the best I could with the non-existent parenting book. I can honestly say I do not have a favorite. But I certainly have favorite things about each of them.

I am hearing my adult children say things to me that I said to my own mother. And I think, wow, God took his time with that lesson. I am seeing things come full circle and know that the only way my child will realize how much I love them, is to wait until their grown child says the same thing to them.

So the Erma Bombeck article that is my favorite keeps coming to mind. I found it for you to read....This Erma Bombeck column, originally appeared in 1971, Titled:I've Always Loved You Best

From Erma ....It is normal for children to want assurance that they are loved. Having all the warmth of the former Berlin Wall, I have always admired women who can reach out to pat their children and not have them flinch.Feeling more comfortable on paper, I wrote this for each of my children.

To the first born......I've always loved you best because you were our first miracle. You were the genesis of a marriage, the fulfillment of young love, the promise of our infinity.You sustained us through the hamburger years. The first apartment furnished in Early Poverty... our first mode of transportation (1955 feet)... the 7-inch TV set we paid on for 36 months.You wore new, had unused grandparents and more clothes than a Barbie doll. You were the "original model" for unsure parents trying to work the bugs out. You got the strained lamb, open pins and three-hour naps.You were the beginning.

To the middle child...I've always loved you the best because you drew the dumb spot in the family and it made you stronger for it.You cried less, had more patience, wore faded and never in your life did anything "first," but it only made you more special. You are the one we relaxed with and realized a dog could kiss you and you wouldn't get sick. You could cross the street by yourself long before you were old enough to get married, and the world wouldn't come to an end if you went to bed with dirty feet.You were the continuance.

To the baby...I've always loved you the best because endings generally are sad and you are such a joy. You readily accepted milk stained bibs. The lower bunk. The cracked baseball bat. The baby book, barren but for a recipe for graham pie crust that someone jammed between the pages.You are the one we held onto so tightly. For, you see, you are the link with the past that gives a reason to tommorow. You darken our hair, quicken our steps, square our shoulders, restore our vision, and give us humor that security and maturity can't give us.When your hairline takes on the shape of Lake Erie and your children tower over you, you will still be "the baby."You were the culmination.

Julia....the 3rd child and the mother of 3, sad and happy about this place I am approaching....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Love Does Not Always Mean Like

When my children were little, I remember reading somewhere that when the qualities you dislike about yourself show up in your children, they will be the toughest things you have to deal with. For example: impatient, grouchy in the morning, stubborn.

I found this to be so true.

Of late, I have experienced that when my adult children see the qualities they dislike about themselves in me....they begin to fall out of love with me. Opiniated, stubborn, moody.

The only true unconditional love on this earth is that of the parent to the child. Not the child to the parent. Or the spouse to the spouse. Or the sister to the brother.

Notice I said earth. God's love is unconditional.....but he is not of this earth.

If you are reading this...and you are my child....know that there is nothing you can do that will ever make me not love you. Ever.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Looking for an exciting, fast-paced job?

Then do not apply at the photo department at CVS.

If you read about my passport picture taking here.....then you know I said I was heading to Walgreens next. But yesterday as I left the doctor's office, there was a CVS staring at me. So I whipped into the parking lot and headed in....fully confident that this was meant to be and this would be the passport picture I was searching for.

I go in...and there is only one other visible customer in the entire store and she is in the opposite direction of the photo counter. The young, hip worker behind the photo counter didn't even flinch as I approached her. Again...there is no one in here, nothing going on. Just me. And her. And the other customer on the other side of the store.

Me: Yes, can I get a passport photo taken?


(points to the screen by their freezer........not a word...I AM NOT KIDDING.)

Me: Okay, let me know when you're taking it.

Her: Well, I'm zooming so now.

Me: (lots of nervous movements but staying quiet)


Me: May I see it?

Her: (flashes the other side of the camera towards me for a second)

Me: Can we do another one?

Her: (rolls her eyes)

Me: You don't really have patience for me do you?

Her: Uh, it's just I've already done like 6 of these this morning........

Me: My hair just keeps messing up.

Her: (in the flattest tone I've ever heard) ...there's a bathroom in the back if you want to go check it.

Me: No, it's okay. Let's just go with that one.

(I am realizing this is my problem...and I need to work on it inside my head....I know you figured that out already...I'm slow)

Her: It will take 10 minutes if you want to walk around. (no inflection, no smile....flat)

10 minutes later....

Me: Are they ready?

Her: Yeah. Look, I'm sorry if I was rude earlier. It's just I'm having a bad day.

Me: Yeah. Me, too.

(staying quiet....but fighting the urge to tell her about my gout, my cholesterol, my age, my thighs, my tooth problem last year, the dog peed in my daughter's bed.......)

Her: So, you want to go on a killing spree together later?

Me: Sure. You plan it, I'll go with you.


Me: Thanks, bye........

(smile that sympathetic smile that says I'm so sorry your job must be so stressful to have to come out behind that counter and take a photo like 6 or 7 times a

And since you're dying to know. The picture sucks. So I know it's something I have got to get over. But if you know me, you know I tend to obsess. This is the Obsesscion du jour. And it's only cost me $24.00 so far.

Yes. That is how I throw my money around. Oh, and $80 on prescription meds yesterday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Enough about you...let's talk about ME

  • It's gout.

  • It's not gone yet. Still inflamed (but doesn't really hurt) so I am to take Ibuprofen.

  • Doctor said that meant those crystals are still in there as long as there is inflammation.

  • Told her about cherries.......well, cherry cobbler....she said the cherries are supposed to be fresh, not cooked. Whoops.

  • Told her about the baking soda. She smiled. (Like oh, you little non-doctor you)

  • Told her about meds killing my stomach. She said you are only supposed to take it until that happens...then stop. REaLlY? You think someone could have told me that?

  • We will never know what triggered the gout but my blood work was fine.

  • Well, most of my blood work. My cholesterol is high again. Please take Vytorin.

  • Oh, and I have a bunion forming ....they saw that on the x-ray....that was a bonus!

  • I waited over an hour to see the doctor so I talked like an auctioneer once she got in there.

  • Good news? I'm alive. And have many blessings.

  • Bad news? I'm aging. I need to diet and exercise. Wow. I didn't see that coming.

Lady Doctor in dark blue scrubs: ...and then this patient says she looked it up on the internet!


This is what doctors are really doing while you are waiting in the room for an hour.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm smart

yep....I'm smart. If you read the last post you know that I predicted I would be told to come back to the doctor. I finally called them back....and sure enough my lab results are back and they would like me to come in to go over the results. Well of course. $$$$

My doctor.

Luckily for me, I started talking the office worker on the other end of the phone and got her to at least tell me that my cholesterol and triglycerides were a little high (hello? I could have told them that because I have been very negligent when it comes to taking my Vytorin. Why? Because the last time I had my cholesterol checked it was in my pea brain I thought I could take a break from that pill) and that my blood sugar/glucose was normal. I couldn't break her though, she wouldn't give me specifics. They need me to come in to go over them...privacy issues and such. $$$

Doctor going over test results.

What about the gout? The what? The gout? The reason I came in.......oh.....well let me see.....(I hear lots of papers being ruffled through...) doesn't say anything about that. Well, I guess when you come back in they can tell you.

My theory? Doctors cause high blood pressure. And binge eating. And drinking. And maybe even smoking for some. Because it creates job security. Tomorrow I will go back in to go over my test results. I will pay my co-pay, they will bill my insurance, they will need to see me back in 3 months, etc, etc, etc. And if they can continue to prescribe some meds, they will probably win an all expense paid trip for 4 to the Bahamas.

What doctors are doing while you're in the waiting room for an hour and a half.

Look, I am over it. I know you're over it. But I will at least finish the saga tomorrow after I go in and hear the news. You can choose to read that post or not. I would completely understand if you skip it.

Next week....I will post some fun craft stuff or something.


I am trying to say/type that word 100 times in 7 days. I think I'm getting close. Many of you have asked if I have found out anything yet. hahahaha. Are you joking? I hurried to the doctor, waited over an hour for my 15 minutes with Dr. Concerned (NOT). He sent me to a lab 2 miles down the road for blood work and to another location another 5 miles down the road for an x-ray. Then to the pharmacist with 2 prescriptions to be filled.....dropped off and picked up later of course. All in all, my whole day was pretty much consumed last Thursday with getting a diagnosis/treatment. By the time I got home, I was in alot of pain and exhausted from the heat. Waaaawaaaawaaa.

(To all the soldiers in Iraq....if by some fat chance you would stumble on here and read this....I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I would gladly relive every day like Thursday for you to be able to come home and live a peaceful life in the US in air conditioning....but allow me to finish the will only take a few more minutes.)

By Friday, my stomach was torn up from the meds so I got on the internet and looked up home remedies....natural cures and such. I was not only in pain with my toe, but now nauseated and having sharp, doubling over pains in my intestines. Dr. Concerned (NOT) had warned me about this but I thought how bad could it be? It was bad. I was desperate. I found one website that promised a 2 hour cure. I only had to pay $19.95 for this 48 page booklet about Gout. All About Gout. Bought it, printed it out. Are you ready for the 2 hour cure?

It said to mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 oz. of water, stir to dissolve, then drink it up. Do this upon onset of symptoms. Then before bedtime and when waking then every 4 hours if needed.....but not to exceed 4 teaspoons in a day. Are you ready for this?

I drank one glass in the late afternoon and another before bedtime. I am not kidding you....during the night I realized the pain was gone. I could bend my toe and it only hurt a little when I walked. The swelling and redness was still there, but the pain had almost all gone away.

Believe it not.

Now, I feel like I have to tell you this part. I got on the internet again on Saturday....and one website warned about taking baking soda...especially if you have high blood pressure. It is very high in sodium. Warning!!! Well, I only took in 1 teaspoon in all and it worked. And I'm still here. So I only know it worked for me.

Or it could have been the 8 servings of cherry cobbler. Or the 2 doses of that horrible medicine that tore my insides up.

I am much better. And still waiting for the test results. I waited patiently until Monday. But when they didn't call me, I called them today. Of course, I got a recording for the person they transferred me to...and I am waiting for her to call me back. But I can guaran-damn-tee you she will tell me I have to come in for the results.

Thanks for asking about me...I'll let you know.

PS....I just gotta tell you this...when I was at the lab last Thursday, they needed a urine specimen. With no instructions where to leave the full cup, I just set it on the counter on a paper towel (lid was on and my name was on the label in case you're wondering). I returned to the waiting room and went up to ask the very, very, very busy one was in line, I am standing at the window, but she couldn't look up so I am guessing she was very, very, very busy...where to put the jar. Finally, she looks up, I ask if I should just leave the specimen in the restroom. She says yes. I ask this because there are only 2 lab workers....the receptionist and one I passed by taking some one's blood. And neither of them was guiding me through this process.

Next, they call a young guy to the back and hand him the same type of cup. They tell him to wash his hands first. He says first? They say yes. I am guessing because his germy hands have to touch the thing where the urine comes out??? Anyway he heads into the restroom where my cup is still sitting on the counter. I had overheard him tell another guy that he was there for a drug screening because he was interviewing for a job at a car place.....going to work on cars. If I had had 10 more minutes I would have been able to tell you his life story but like I said, he got called back.

Now, because I watch way too much tv, I think.......what if he switches our urine because he is here for a drug test and he takes mine and I get his and the doctor thinks I'm on drugs? This all whips through my brain in 2 I basically yell out to the receptionist.....Wait! Is my cup still in there?

She looks at me with a bothered look and says no. Okay. Good.

I have to ask I the only one who thinks like this?

Third time's not a's just as ugly.

On my "to do" list ....uh, 2 weeks ago...was to get my passport photo taken. I have already filled out the application, so once I get the photos I can go get in the line at the post office. With my $125.00. One hundred and twenty five dollars. I wonder how much passports cost 30 years ago...probably should have gotten one then. Anyway...

I go to CVS on Sunday to get my photo taken. The clerk takes me over to the freezer section and pulls down a white screen (think overhead projection screen). She motions to a point on the floor where I should stand. I get there and look up and she is already taking the photo. Wait! No, 1.....2....3? And she just keeps clicking.

Wait! Let me get my face on. My photo face...where I try to suck up my double chin and then try to decide if I should have an open mouthed smile or a closed sweet smile. And she is standing 18 inches away from me, so when I look into the camera, I feel like my eyes are crossed. I even ask her...."Do my eyes look crossed?" She shakes her head no.

Okay...wait. Let me pull my hair out from behind my ears and fluff it up a bit. She waits...with absolutely no expression. I fluff up my hair. She clicks again. I am trying to remember how to throw my head out and over like the stars do on the red carpet but it's all happening so fast. Done. She's done and hasn't uttered one word the entire time. This is apparently not as big a deal to her as it is to me.

So I walk around CVS for a few minutes until my pictures are ready. I pay, take the envelope and go to the car. I open the envelope and look at the most hideous photo I have ever seen. I'm ugly? I'm UGLY? And whoa! My nose.......when did it spread all over my face? And the expensive haircut I just got? I look like a wet rat....flattened hair on top and fluffed up fly-away hairs all over the place.

I know it's a passport photo. I know that. But I can't quit thinking about how bad that photo is. I am fast forwarding in my mind to the security point in the London Heathrow Airport when the uniformed guy has to look at me and my passport photo and just can't believe this is the same chick. I KNOW. Me either. He and I have something in common....we head to the airport bar where we share a good laugh.

So I did what I had to do. I went back to CVS yesterday. Different clerk. Same non-personality. (Must be a job requisite.)

Me: Uh, yeah. I was in here yesterday and had my passport picture taken. It didn't turn out so I need to take another one.

Her: stares at me...says nothing

Me: So can I take another one?


Me: I mean....I will pay for it, I just want to do it again.

Her: Okay.

She leads me over to the pull-down screen.......not a word out of her. Ahhh, she was "trained" by Clerk 1.

Me: So should I have my hair behind my ears or out in front?


Me: Okay. I'll keep it behind my ears. I thought there might be a rule.


Me: Should I open my mouth to smile or not?


Me: Wait....can I see it? (on the digital camera screen...after she takes 2 or 3 shots)


Me: I'm I making a big deal of this? It's just, I'm 51 and I've never had a passport and I really don't want this to be the worst picture ever. And I have this double chin but I don't want it to show and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Close family and friends have witnessed this many times.
Her: Okay. That's it. (starts walking away towards the photo department....saying nothing.)

Me: Can I see them on the screen?

Her: Yeah, you can see them on the machine before I print them.

Me: oooooohhhh. (as I look at them) Would you mind if we did them again?

And would you mind bringing your personality with you? If you would talk, I might shut up. Because I have this uncontrollable urge to fill this deafening silence. I mean you're taking my picture. How much more intimate could it get?


Just starts walking back to the screen.

Me: I'm so sorry.

I am concentrating at this point....on trying to just shut up. CON CEN TRAT ING.

Finally, the 3rd time around the pictures are somewhat better. If you're keeping count...this would be the 3rd set of pictures.

Then I meet up with my sister. I show her the pictures. She looks at them. Then at me. Then at them. And doesn't really say anything. SEE? It's not just me. They're bad.

Today? I'm going to Walgreens.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Angela's Ashes

Frank McCourt passed away today at the age of 78 from melanoma. He is the author of Angela's Ashes....a biography of his Irish Catholic poverty stricken childhood until his immigration to America as a young adult. It's a great book in that it's well written and makes you think and think and think. They made a movie a few years ago based on the book. If you haven't seen the movie or read the the book.

This book should be a must-read for every American teenager. Or any of you who haven't read it yet. You will see your blessings in a whole new light and your troubles will seem minor.

I read this book in December '99. We had just moved to our new house in the spring of '99 and not knowing many people, I spent alot of time reading. A week or two later, Chuck and I were attending a New Year's Eve party at a neighbor's home and I overheard a couple of women discussing it. I was so excited to hear someone discussing it that I butted right into their conversation. The women were in a book club and that was the book they had just read....but were discussing at the next meeting. I got invited and am still in the book club 10 years later. (Shout out to my book club women....I love you.)
I read always....meaning I always have a book on my nightstand. But not all books are worthy of discussion. However, it has been a wonderful thing to be a part of a book club so that I can discuss a book if I'm not ready to let go of it yet. You know that feeling? You've spent time with the characters and the places and their dilemma and then the book is over. But you still need to talk about it before you put it away in your brain.
And speaking of putting it away in my brain... I call it flushing. I read a book. Then flush it. Not literally....but figuratively in my brain. Usually by the time book club rolls around, I have all but forgotten main characters and situations. It was either a good read or a so-so read and then I'm on to the next one.
But Angela's Ashes? It was a good one. While I've long forgotten the names in the book or the details of the situations, I remember the feeling I was left with. I was so sad for this little boy. But so empowered by his ability to reach down in that squalor and poverty, grab his boot straps (intelligence, humor, strong will) and get the heck out of there so as not to repeat his father's mistakes. And his goal? Was to get to America. To the land of opportunity. Something I supsect we natives take for granted.
I'm not saying it is a "feel good" book.....I am saying it is a book that will leave you with feeling.
Frank McCourt....may you rest in peace and know you left a piece of you here for eternity.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Me Sew Pretty One Day

I added another layer to the valance in my dining room. This is the fabric that I found on the whirlwind trip to downtown Nacagdoches when we were there for Will's orientation. I only bought 1/2 a yard so there was no extra for messing up. The whole time I was sewing/hot-gluing....I was thinking to myself, "Me sew pretty one day." And then I would giggle.

Go ahead and call the psych ward now....but I know where that thought came from. I recently read the book, "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris. It's a collection of writing about his dysfunctional family/childhood. The title comes from the first chapter in which little David is called out of his classroom to see the speech therapist. Funny, quirky stuff.

Anyway.......when I get to sewing, I am just trying to get through it. I would die if any of you ever came to my house and looked at the back of anything. And if you looked really close to the front, you just might see dried glue dripping down the fabric.

Me sew pretty one day.

Saturday Night Toe

Saturday night. Looks worse. Feels better. Made cobbler. Used cherries. Sugar headache. Doing laundry. Raining outside. Thundering, too. Maggie's scared. Jordan called. She's happy.

That them there's alot of cherries....

Have you noticed how I talk alot different now that I have gout? Or maybe have gout? Because we won't officially know until Monday. I feel like I should be sitting on the porch wit my ol' foot propped up and yellin' at dem dare kids a runnin' in my yard. I don't know why....but gout makes me think of a mean old lady.

Well, this mean old lady sent my precious hairy legged boy to the store yesterday to get me some cherries....because they are supposed to be a natural way of getting rid of gout. I actually specified some cherry pie filling. Because I was going to scoop some out in a bowl, zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then put a little Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream on top. Sort of like cherry cobbler without the dough. I'm suffering here people, so while I'm sure it's supposed to be fresh cherries, I was going for the kind loaded in sugar.

I even asked the sweet boy if he knew where the cherry pie filling was in Kroger....and yes, he did. Good, so get that and get some fresh cherries, too. I have never ever bought fresh cherries. Ever. And I'm not really a big fan of maraschino cherries because of the time I took in one too many Tom Collins garnished with cherries and saw them all come back up into the big porcelain bowl later that night. TMI?

So this is what that cute kid brought home from Kroger....

Not cherry pie filling. But the biggest jar of maraschino cherries. And about 4 pounds of fresh cherries. Does anybody have a good recipe for cherry cobbler using 4 pounds of fresh cherries?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Get on outta here gout....

I am still in pain and the meds prescribed for the condition of my toe have torn my stomach up. I feel like there is a little man in my stomach throwing darts. Ow- ouch. My stomach hurts. So I am off the meds. And sending Will to the store for cherries. An old remedy that supposedly works well for gout. Still assuming gout is what I have.
I also read to put 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 oz. of water and drink that several times a day. So I will give that a try. I'm desparate to get this toe better.
I don't even care that I have a horrible home pedicure and toe hair. I just want y'all to look at that swelling and feel my pain. This dang thang has stopped me in my tracks. I can hardly walk across the house....much less hit Target or TJ Maxx. Do you know how depressing that is?
I promise to blog about something else when I get in a better mood and the pain subsides. Until then, kiss your toes and don't take them for granted. One bad toe can bring a girl down.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Here's your chance to practice without a license...

The skinniest thing on my body is the toe next to my big toe. Well, my eyelashes are skinnier, but next to those, it's the toes. So when my toe started hurting...more like nagging... on Monday and got worse on Tuesday, I noticed it was swollen. And red. And while it hurt, it wasn't unbearable enough to keep me home. But by last night, it was really hurting and I have decided/self-diagnosed it is gout.

I just spent the morning at the doctor's office and he sent me for blood work and an x-ray. He says it could be gout, but it could also be a bug bite. You would think I would remember getting bit by a bug but I don't. But he threw that one out there.

I've noticed when you tell a doctor what you think it is, they have to act like "maybe, but maybe not..." You know they hate Web, M.D. and the internet in general because now all patients are self-diagnosing. But guess what? When they step out of the room and say, "I'll be right back."....they are running to their office and looking up your symptoms on the internet.

Here's the dilemma.....he prescribed a medicine for me to take for gout...and some pain pills. And then sent me for blood work and x-rays to verify it's gout. But the results won't be back for 3 days...or Monday. So, what if it's a bug bite and I have an infection? Do I get the gout medicine filled and start taking it, while a rapid infection is running through me? And if it's not gout, could it be good for me to take gout medicine? Do you think I thought of all these questions while I had the doctor in front of me? HELL, no.

Because no one likes to read a blog without pictures, I took photos of my normal toe and my swollen toe. Do not pay attention to the home pedicure. And yes, that might be hair on my toe. Maybe, maybe not. But look at my right toe and tell me what you think? What you can't see is that it hurts like the dickens. Today I am limping. And as I type this post, my toe is throbbing.

Exit now if you don't want to look at my toe.
But if you, like me, like to play doctor....I would love your diagnosis.

Both feet for your viewing....

the toe in question is the toe next to the big toe on my right foot.

I know what you're thinking....I should have been a foot model.

You weren't thinking that?

Normal, pain free toe.

Swollen, red, tender to the touch, throbbing toe.

Doctor, doctor.....Give me the news!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4000 Trips Up and Down the Ladder Later

The master bedroom/bathroom redo is done. It was the major project on my summer to-do list and thank goodness, it's over. I hurt all over and the house is a wreck. But the room is finished!

If you visit here often, this is where I left you on Monday....



This is your friendly reminder to click on photos to enlarge for detail. Some pictures are taken with a flash and others are not....those are the ones with a yellow glow about them. The ones with a flash seem to show the truer color of the new wall paint.



This is called redecorating. Not to be confused with remodeling. My sister and a couple of my good friends are in the midst of remodeling and I'm not gonna lie..

I am envious.

But sometimes new paint, new bedding and a new ceiling fan will suffice. One day, I hope to gut the bathroom and remodel...

but for now here is what happened to it this week.


(Really this is an "after" from last summer when I rewallpapered in here and hung the 3 shutters as window treatment. But it's a "before" because I changed the window treatment and painted the ceiling...the shutters are now in the bedroom)


Basically, I painted the walls in the bedroom, the ceilings in the bedroom and bathroom, bought new bedding and bought a new ceiling fan. I also made a curtain for the big arch window over the tub and hung a couple of old shutters on either side. While I loved the other 3 shutters in was just way too dark. This room needed more light. My neighbors' kitchen sink window is right across from our bathroom window so we have to cover it somehow. And the window is just plain glass...not frosted.

See that tub? One day it will grow up and be a double shower with a bench.

And see that shower? It's going to grow up to be cabinets. Just got to get a kid out of college first.

I am going to show some more pictures of the overall project so you can see why my neck, back and feet hurt. Going up and down a ladder to do the cutting in on the ceiling is way too much for this old chick. Take my a painter. Save money somewhere else. Chuck took Friday off to help...and he was alot of help...but I still worked hard.

Pause for a short sermon: Manual labor should never be underestimated. When you hire your work for it cheerfully. Be glad you don't have to do it...and think of how you're doing your part to help the economy and put food on someone else's table. In all my years of decorating for people, I learned not to question the cost of labor. Anyone can find a good deal on a product....but it's the labor that you are really hiring "out." I tended to give my labor cost away and Chuck would have to preach to me about that. If you don't want to pay for the labor then do it yourself. Enough about this....I didn't hire this job "out"....I was the worker. And a cheap one at that. Free.

Back to the bathroom. This house was built in 1993 and all the fixtures are gold/ know, 1993 called and they want their gold fixtures back. I just work with them and hold on to the hope that either gold/brass will come back IN....or we will remodel one day.

Close up of the colors....

Another old shutter, and an over the door hanger...for our towels. If you know me, you know that I am extremely modest. I lock the door to the bathroom before getting in that shower....because it's clear glass. The shutter and towels do a great job of covering up some of that glass. Am I the only one who feels that way?

(The cat's bowl is behind that candlestick. The dogs love the cat food and this seems to keep them away from it. )

Looking up to the top of the curtain...I hung an old mirror top above ...this came off of an old mirror that belonged to my grandmother. All the shutters are from Roundtop through the years.

This is last year's project....wall treatment and curtain that I did.

Bamboo shade from Target. Clock from Ross.

My sink ....cleaned up just for you.

His sink....and a view of the painted ceiling..same color as the bedroom walls.

Heading out of the bathroom into the bedroom.

There's the shutters that used to be over the tub. I love them in here. The throw at the end of my bed is my old comforter. It's a Ralph Lauren ...Aubisson rug print (I think) and I just took the backing and stuffing off and folded it for some color. The new bedding is from JC Penney...American Living collection. It's a comforter with a quilted top. So comfortable.

Below is a close-up of the comforter so you can see the quilting.

New ceiling fan from can't tell it here, but the blades are crackled paint and are the exact shade of the walls....Sherwin Williams Whole Wheat. The ceiling is SW Contented....a muted blue-green that most would call a Robin's Egg blue...or Tiffany Box Blue.

This is the wall opposite of the bed with the MANdatory television.

This is my side of the bed....and I'm fixing to get in here and go to sleep. Ahhhh. Paint fumes and a new, quiet ceiling fan. Life is good. Thanks Chuck.