Wednesday, June 30, 2010


This caught my eye while throwing the carton away.  It's a great concept to teach children optimism.  But the more I think about do you teach a child optimism?  Other than modeling it with your own actions and words... yourself.  Which I guess is a win/win.

I have always been a glass right in the middle girl.....not half full but certainly not half empty.  More like right down the middle bracing myself for the worst then maybe the best will happen.  Or like tell me the bad news first, then the good.  Or if things are going exceptionally well, the thought always goes through my mind....Get*t is fixing to hit the fan. Okay maybe I am more towards the half empty side of the mid line.  Does that mean I'm not an optimistic person?  Hmmmm.  I don't know.

I hope.  I wish.  I pray. I'm certainly thankful.  I stay in the much as humanly possible.  I definitely try to focus on all the good in my life. But dang it, there's a whole lot of sad and bad out there.  Back to the moment at hand.  Almost with blinders on...almost. That usually works.  But optimistic?

I think optimism certainly gets stronger with wisdom which comes with age.......but age comes with more and more exposure to sad and bad.  And unanswered prayers.  And dreams not accomplished. Or being a innocent victim to a crime or a toxic person.  But age also comes with seeing life come full circle. A step back to see your life as a whole....and how it always works way or another.  Like God sees your a whole.

 Am I making any sense here?  Let me see if I can explain it better.

I was up in my craft room last night, organizing and cleaning and walking in circles.  Will came home and ended up coming in to give me one of his famous bear hugs.  He hung around and we started talking.  That's what Will does when he wants to talk.  He hovers.

We talked about his day, his job (he loves it!) and then the conversation turned to a camera he wants.

He has had at least 2 cameras purchased by us for his photography class......both stolen.  Not his fault, but not entirely is he blameless.  They were left in his car.  I should mention he's on his 3rd IPod, and 2nd navigator.......all stolen or lost.  So as the parent...and teacher of life's lessons....we are not buying him another camera.  Nope. 

He loves photography.  He has been given a gift for it.....a God given gift.  He misses it and with his sad brown eyes he looked at me and asked how was he ever going to get this camera he wanted.  ($1000)

I walked him through it......some money you save from this summer job, plus your birthday money and then by Christmas...with Christmas money and should be close to being able to buy it.  He sadly nodded his head. (Because he has one half of my genes, he wants it yesterday....and oh, do I get that.)

But I went on to tell him, we just couldn't buy him another one because the 2...that we had bought... had been stolen and he agreed......and said he would never let the next camera out of his sight and never leave it in his car.  And I believe him....because it will be his money giving the camera way more value to him.

Will is going to get that camera.  And it will be his money this time.  And it will be more valuable to him.  So valuable that he will take it in with him and keep it safe. 

If you reread the quote on the Goldfish says optimism is a skill children can learn leading to greater happiness and RESILIENCE.  That's it.  Resilience.  Knowing that when things are bad or sad....and they will be bad or sad at times.......that if you hang on, they will get better. 

So optimism isn't about always seeing the world through rose colored glasses.  Or a naive take on life.  It's about resilience........which will lead to greater happiness. 

I had my heart broken at an early age, I have lost loved ones, I have had conflict with people I thought were friends, and I have certainly felt like a victim a time or two...but I had optimism....I guess......because I always knew to hang on. And hanging on is resilience. 

Hang on Will.  Be optimistic.  You will get that camera. 

And one day you will have a child.  And then you will know how much I loved you.  And how making you buy your own camera was the only way to teach you value and resilience. 

But you will also know how badly I wanted to just go out and get that camera you want.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” –Winston Churchill

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How's your Tuesday going?

Tuesday.  The ugly stepchild of the Week Family.  There's Grouchy Monday, Hump Day Wednesday, Great Night TV Thursday, Happy Hour Friday, Sleep In Saturday, Sunday....too many ways to name that one ....I could go with Worship, Grilling, Napping, Shopping.....and then Tuesday. Uh, I got nothing. 

My Nothing Tuesday so far.....

I intended to go get my annual blood work this morning but it didn't happen.  Let's just say I take a couple of middle age meds and it's required by my doctor to check my blood once a year to see how those meds are working.  No problem except you have to fast after midnight....or 8 - 10 hours. That should be no problem because I am asleep way before midnight. 

Except, there was a freight train going through the bedroom last night.  I kicked him and he just got louder.  So after a couple of more kicks, I got up.  This was about 2:00 am.  I got on this time wasting machine for awhile then decided a bowl of cereal would make me sleepy.  Works for babies...maybe it would work.

Oh, it worked.  I got sleepy. I fell asleep on the sofa until around 5:30 am when I woke up feeling like a ton of bricks was on top of me.  Just a cat and two dogs.  Whew!Right before falling asleep, I realized I had blown the fast.......and although I guess I could have waited another 8 hours......meaning sometime around noon........I decided I would try again for tomorrow.  Because if there's anything I know for sure, I know I can't get up and hang around until noon without at least my morning coffee.

So I decided to check my calendar to see if there was anything pending for the day or tomorrow. But there was a slight problem.

Do you see the problem? 

This problem is thinking I'm the one that should go away. 
Cameron had brought over this pair of pants to be mended and if there's one thing this cat can's find a piece of clothing to lie down on. 

So I decided to save Chuck some money and groom Maggie. 

I am not a groomer in real life...but I've watched a lot of hairdressers cut hair in my lifetime.
The only difference?  Well, the client is a dog. 
 Add scared into the mix and it's like trying to groom a flying monkey on crack.

The grooming part is free.  The cleanup?  I'm charging Chuck a $1000.00 for this job.

I can't help but think how this picture would freak my mother-in-law out.  She would die if she knew I groomed a dog on the same counter that we eat and cook on. 
Please....if you know her.....dont' tell her.  It would send her over the edge.

I finally got sick of grooming Maggie and just threw her in the trash! 

Not really...I could NEVER get sick of Maggie.  That in the trash is the excess hair. 
But it does kind of look like a full dog, doesn't it? 
Kind of creepy.

There's Wet Dog. 
  And yes, I know this is one ugly picture and out of focus....
 but I wanted you to see the tongue action. 
 Can yours do that? 

I put Maggie out to dry for a little while. 
 At 100', she dried quick!

After I cleaned up the aftermath of Hurricane Maggie, I decided
it would be a good time to try to get a picture of all 3 dogs. 
Why?  I really don't know. Other than it's Nothing Tuesday.
 We must have 839,345 pictures of the dogs
but not one of all 3 of them together. 
I remember why now.

Hello?  I'm over here!

Dixie knows how to pose.  The other two.....Ding and Dong.

No 2 heads looking the same direction. 

What the heck is Maggie looking at?
And Sadie?  You can put the leg down.

Dang it!  This one could have been the one but Dixie yawned. 
That's what she does when she gets nervous. hahaha.
Thank you Sadie for putting your leg down.

Okay....this is as good as it gets.  I'm tired of playing Pet Photographer. 

I squealed, squawked, screached in my highest babytalk voice, "Wanta treat?" over a hundred times.  Finally, all 3 of them looked at me.  Too bad the camera wasn't quick enough or in focus.
  Surely it wasn't the photographer.

I have a million settings on my camera and the one I was using just couldn't handle the speed of my dogs.  The automatic focus has a flash and poor little Dixie's cataracts show up as lime green so I was trying to use other settings.  I'm thinking now would be a good time to get the camera manual out and read up on this 1 1/2 year old camera.

Two more random thoughts before I head out....

I love a skirted round table (told you it was random). I was telling Miss P. the other day that she needed to get one because she has all this fabulous fabric....and hates pillows....which is of course, my first suggestion for pops of color and pattern in a room.  If you need pattern and color and hate pillows...get a round table.  Make a tablecloth in a neutral color and fabric and then switch out table squares now and then.  I know that design trick is older than castles but I can't say it enough.  It works.  And if you have glass cut for the top, it makes a wonderful place to put old photographs without the clutter of frames.
  Not that I mind the clutter of frames....until dusting time.

This table was my sister's inlaws' old kitchen table....nice size at 36".....and I love it.  Round tables go perfectly in corners and the bigger, the better. 

Do it.


I waited all morning and well into the afternoon for the Dirty Dish Fairy to arrive.
  But like the Dirty Laundry Fairy, she's a slacker.
I'm off to do 'em myself.

Nothing Tuesdays aren't so bad.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Scrappin' Saturday

First of all, I want to start this post with a fact.  The fact is this big world is really small.  Six degrees of separation and all that. 

Through a childhood friend, I was inspired to start a blog.  Thousands of hours later, I was encouraged to attend Silver Bella in November of 08....all because of blogland.  While at SB 08, I met several others that were from Houston.  We exchanged names and blog addresses and have made a poor but true attempt at keeping in touch.  We read each other's blogs and sometimes even comment.  

A few weeks ago, one of my Houston SB/blog friends sent me an email inviting me to a Scrapping Saturday at her house.  I almost declined.  Why? Because it was sent to several people...and I only recognized one other name....but mostly because it was a SCRAPPING Saturday.  It's not that I'm afraid to attend something where I only know one other name......but it was the SCRAPPING part. 

Oh, I have scrapbook paper.  I even have glue and scissors.  I have even done a scrapbook.  A.  Scrapbook.  Meaning ONE.  And if I learned anything from Silver Bella (a 2 day retreat full of one workshop after another....all things artsy and crafty....glitter floating through the air the entire 48 hours), it's that I can NOT create with others. 

I can create.  But when I am sitting at a table full of other artists creating, I am mesmerized.  Watching them create.......and talking to them is way more fun for me.  And that little ADD thing I leave untreated is at an all time high during these situations.  I spend more than 30 minutes digging through my bag looking for .........uh, what was I looking for?  (I took a tote bag with me yesterday, but I must admit these women put my little packed bag to shame.)

Okay. I went.  I had a blast. I felt like these strangers were friends.  As the day wore on, more and more random connections were made.   I created for 3 minutes and spent the next 6 hours walking around Peggy's house.....looking at eye candy, talking and listening to the others, petting on dogs, eating delicious appetizers followed by a wonderful meal and dessert, and even hanging some pictures.  But mostly I just sat in awe of women who really scrap. 

I grabbed my little camera and tried to take pictures of some eye candy for you.  Thanks to a generous host, Peggy, who allowed me to take pictures. 

All that goodness displayed on these shelves....
I did my best to take it all in.

The youngest one there. Turns out she's from Sugarland and I started throwing out names of people I know from Sugarland......and she is good friends with the son of my good friend. 
 Small world?  Small world.

A professionally packed tote bag.  This is not my tote bag.
But now that I have a picture of one, I can copy it. ha.

This most precious sweet dog is named Killer. 
 Should be named Stealer.  Stealer of hearts...this one.
Mama's favorite.

This banner captures my feelings. 
I didn't have to leave Houston to feel like I had escaped. 

A corner of Peggy's desk.  Full of goodness.
Things she loves and loves to look at.

A finished page.  So it can be done.  I sat beside this woman.  She could talk and scrap at the same time.  Very meticulous work.  The picture doesn't do the page justice.  The magnolias are 3 dimensional.  I watched her cut each petal....punch each gently together...until those scraps of paper became magnolias.

This sweet dog is Grace.  And while it looks like Grace is nursing.....she is not.  But we all got a good laugh at from a different view it did look like one of the women
was a Dry Nurse for Grace.
You had to be was funny.

One of Peggy's prized possessions. 
 Vintage handkerchiefs on each pocket. 
 Beautiful storage.
And check out that huge yellow No. 2 pencil. 
It even had Peggy's name on it. 
Needs to be hung somewhere....
next time I will do that for Peggy.
I love to put holes in other people's walls. 

Another artist.  Another page.  Almost finished.  This artist was working on this page for her son, the swimmer. 
 I love the colors and
the way she made them play together.
It ended up being titled "Calm Waters"........

In a drawer, there was a bowl.
  And in this bowl, there was a collection of religious medals/trinkets. 
 And it is this bowl that I wanted to steal.
  But stealing religious medals
 just screams bad karma.
I didn't take a thing.
But if Peggy wanted to do a give-away,
 I would certainly get involved.

More goodness.

Tiny dancer.  Tiny waist.

Wooden cherubs. 
 I could have walked out with one of these for sure.
Actually, I could have walked out with alot of things. 
 It's wrong to covet.  I know.

Meet Junior.  Junior was looking at scrapbook magazines thinking about what kind of retreat would be good for dogs who like to scrap.
Every Third Thursday looked good to him. 
Mama would be at work and the dogs could really party.

And Grace watched Junior....
wondering if she would be included in Junior's plans.

I can assure Grace and Junior and Killer, that there will be another scrappin' day ahead ...and they will be included in that one.

Thanks Peggy. 

One more thing......just recently I read a quote that sums it up for me. 

"Happiness is an inside job."

Within 5 minutes of each other, Peggy and I both said this quote.  I hadn't even been in the room when she said it....then within 5 minutes and me coming in the room, I said it.  It had to do with the conversation going on but I hadn't heard Peggy say it.  How's that for a connection?

And it's true.  Happiness is an inside job.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Yep....but this time I'm working on this blog site.  You may have noticed.  I'm trying to do it myself which means a lot of mistakes along the way.  Jordan is my consultant of all things blog and she is playing around with making me a new header.  So if you open this site up and it looks different everyday, know that you have just stepped into a construction zone. 

For those of you who don't have a blog.....start one.  If I can do this, you can do it...and probably a lot better.  I started out just signing up in Google so I could comment on blogs.  And here I am almost 4 years later and still at it.  I would give anything to have had this outlet when my kids were little.  I would love to have the stories written down that go with all the photos I have of them.  What are you waiting for? 

I know this is a very selfish...almost narcissistic thing to do.  You have way more to do than stop and read about my mundane life.  But I sure do appreciate you stopping by. If this blog is anything, it's my memory.  Or lack of memory.  When I document about a little serves a huge purpose for me and maybe sometimes as an inspiration for one of you....or as a reminder that we're all in this world together.

I was never able to keep a journal...although I attempted to start one over and over.  But a blog is just a journal and for some reason, it's way more fun, much easier for me and has the ability to link your pictures to the words.  Works for me.

I can't tell you how many times I have scrolled through some old posts and until reading them, didn't even remember that happened.  Scary?  Yes.  But it could be happening to you, too.  You just don't REMEMBER! 

Start a blog.  And if I can, I will be glad to help you.  No question is too stupid for me.  Trust me.  I didn't know what a hyperlink was until I saw it on here.  Hyperlink sounds like a behavioral gene to me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


My good friend and co-worker, Linda,  is spending the summer in Germany....with her husband, who happens to work over there.  Win win.  She gets to spend the summer in Europe and see her husband.   She sent me an email the other day with an attached photograph of something that she specifically said she had taken just for me.  Right before I opened it, I thought for a few seconds about what she would have seen that made her think of me.

This friend has a great sense of humor and she "gets me" so I assumed it would be something very funny.  And being a co-worker, I thought maybe it would be a picture of a cute kid.  Or maybe a dog or cat....because if you know me, you know there are a lot of those around here.  But nope.  It was nothing funny.  Nothing with 2 legs.  Nothing with 4 legs. 

It was a picture of a beautiful tassel....holding back some lace curtains.  She saw it while touring the Swabian Versailles Palace in Ludwigsburg, Germany.  This palace was built between 1704 and 1733 by Duke Eberhard Ludwig.  It has 453 rooms in 18 buildings.  Why?  Because.  Perhaps a house becomes a palace when it reaches a certain number of rooms.   The tassel was in the Duke's wife's section of the palace.

Seeing a tassel made her think of me. 

Oh,  I do love tassels. 
Such a necessary nonessential. 

This large black & white tassel....brought to me from Paris from my friend Kathy... hangs on my stairway post.  I kept the price tag on it because it was in French. 
One of my sweet kids tore it off....
thinking I had just forgot it on there. 

When we bought this house, we were out shopping for a new light for over the kitchen island when this lamp called my name.  Literally. I'm not exaggerating.   
Chuck bought it for me for a house warming gift. 
I'm sure there was some begging involved on my part.

Tassels can bring an old lamp back to life.

Even the bottom of my chandelier looks like a tassel.

And you can't get much more nonessential than a rooster tassel. 
But oh, so necessary.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pretty Much Done

The Summer '10 Project is done.  Mostly.  The dust it caused has not been completely wiped down...but the construction and painting are finished.  A few pictures of the Before....the During....and the After.


A gate made out of plywood to keep the dogs in the kitchen while we're away.  It started out as 2 pieces of plywood until the day we got home and one of the dogs had tried to dig a hole out of the wall to escape.  Then the third piece of plywood was added to cover the wall to the left of the door...although the damage had been done.  The look?  Not so great. Think. Think. Think. 

There's the attempt at digging a hole.....not a hole yet...but beyond easy repair because we only have a very small piece of leftover wallpaper.  Not nearly enough to patch these 2 places.
  Think.  Think.  Think.

 We lived with this for 2 years.  Yep. 
That's alot of thinking....about how to fix this problem.  Which I should clarify was only a problem to me.  It certainly didn't bother anyone else in this house.

The culprit.  Scared to death of thunderstorms and us leaving.  She hears the blow dryer and she goes into hiding.  She hears a thunderstorm and she crawls up our necks ....if we're home.  If we're not at home, she claws walls to get out.

Some of you would say get rid of the dog.  The Hackneys keep the dog and take on cats.

Think. Think. Think. 

After hours and hours of looking at blogs...I jumped on the beadboard wagon.  Sadly, I let go of the beautiful plywood gate and we found an antique door for the opening.


Chuck's part of the project. Poor thing had to buy a nail gun for this project.  Luckily it counted for Father's Day.   

My part of the project.


I sanded almost all of the paint off of this side of the door.  I like the look...for now.  The opposite side still has a little more paint on it.  But it's old and flaky and requiring a little more vacuuming than I'm willing to I may get the sander back out.
  That would be one problem with getting an antique door. 

Since I was in the kitchen with the camera, I took a picture of this vase.  For years, I collected Mary Engelbreit ornaments.  They are now in this vase with a few other favorite things and buttons. I love glancing at the things in this vase. 
 I call these "happies."                   

There's that adorable black & white pumpkin that my good friend, Karen, painted for way that's going in a closet until fall. 

The good news at the end of this project?  The door works.