Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Country Drive

After Sunday School, I decided to skip church and come home.  I was contemplating going to Round Top for the first weekend of the 2 week antique festival.  Chuck was going to plant himself in front of the Texan/Cowboy game so that made my mind up. 

I spent about 4 hours there and came home with one linen top and a bag of kettle corn. It's not that I didn't see a lot of things I liked and wanted.  But we may go back next Saturday so I was doing a lot of looking....just looking. 

This thing goes on for miles and miles and miles and I hesitate to spend the cash on me because there are miles and miles to go.  I swear it's even bigger this year.  

There will be no gaps in the traffic next weekend. 
 Traffic was light today...
one of the reasons I wanted to go.

Miles and miles on both sides of the road. 
 I basically just stayed toward the front near the road...when it's about 5 rows or more deep. 
 I don't even want to think about all that I missed.

I took this photo for Stephanie...
she drives a truck and I think this
might inspire her to paint her truck
with hot pink flames.

This is Junk Gypsies' Booth. 
 A little gawdy...but I think that's the point.

At one booth, there were cement urns and
a crowd was looking at one in particular.......
I thought it must be gorgeous and priced low.

It was this huge spider.  HUGE.  Like the size of a Silver Dollar.

It was a good day for a country drive. 
 I came home to Chuck cooking dinner.
Life is sweet. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An Ever Changing Kitchen

We moved in to this house a little over 11 years ago.  The big selling point of this house was the back porch and the big kitchen.  It had at least 3 times the cabinets and counter space as our old kitchen and I was giddy about all the storage and the huge island.  But the wallpaper had to go.  Before we even walked out of the kitchen during our first view with the realtor, I turned to Chuck and said he had to give me wallpaper money.  And paint.  Please take note of the mauve ceiling.  The WHOLE house was mauve....every wall, ceiling, inside of closets and pantry.  If it wasn't wallpapered, it was mauve.

He agreed.  Score.  It was 1999 and the 80's wanted their calico back.  But I had to find something that worked with the 2 x 2 burgandy tile because there wouldn't be any money to change that out for awhile. 

Looking through a Southern Living magazine, I found a botanical print wallpaper and was able to locate it.  This was the first change we made to this kitchen.

I loved this paper but grew tired of it quickly because it was too busy.....even for me.  Perhaps it was a rash decision...perhaps.  It actually was a lot prettier than it looks in this picture. It worked with the burgandy and was an improvement over the calico wallpaper.

In 2002, we got new tile floors, a granite countertop for the island and then a brick backsplash so I started looking for new wallpaper.

This picture blurred when I enlarged it but you get the gist of the room. Like a bajillion other people, I fell in love with the Waverly yellow and red toile.  My wonderful seamstress neighbor and friend, Peggy, sewed the window treatments for me a few months later.  I was her assistant and she taught me a lot about measuring and pressing when sewing. 

To this day, when I am sewing something, I channel Peggy.  WWPD?  Because most sewing projects I take on are way over my head and ability.

I  painted the island red and the desk and fireplace black a year or so later. 

The kitchen stayed this way for a long time, until this summer.  When I decided to paint the bottom cabinets gray.  I should have just taken a nap until the urge passed.

Ricky Ricardo: LUCYYYYYYYYY!!!  What have you done?

So I decided to paint the island black.  That would calm things down.

The gray looks really blue here, but it's not.  It actually matches the floor really well.  But the black island didn't do the trick so less than a week before I had to go back to school, I decided to paint over the wallpaper and make new window treatments.  It's September 25...about 7 weeks later...and I'm done.  And so is this kitchen for a long while. 

The window treatments are finished.....

And took way longer and way more fabric than I estimated.....

But it's done.

Until I get a new countertops and a sink....when a kid or two graduates from college.

Friday, September 24, 2010

All those other grades.....

Me:  You have to participate.  When the teacher ask you to sing with the others, you have to.  That's called participating.  Doing your part.

Him:  I don't want to.

Me:  Well, it's not really a choice.  We have to participate.  We have to do what the teacher ask us to do.

Him:  I don't even want to be here. 
 I just want to stay home and play.

Me:  Well, you have to be in school.  That's your job.

Him:  But I hate kindergarten.

Me:  But kindergarten is fun.  This is where you are going to learn to read and to write.  And you get to play in free choice centers with your friends.

Him:  You know the only thing I hate more than kindergarten?

Me:  What?

Him:  First grade.  (long pause)        
And all those other grades.

At this point, I am all out of pep talk. It's Friday......and he was tired.  Hopefully, the weekend will shed a new light on kindergarten for him.

Because it really is a fun place to be.  Wait 'til he goes to all those other grades.  He'll be wishing for kindergarten.  Free choice centers?  They don't have those in all those other grades.  Nope.

Here's wishing you a refreshing weekend.  May it be restful and help shed a new light on your Monday through Friday routine.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, I hope you participate.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Raise Your Hand

Rules, rules, and more rules.  The kindergarteners are still trying to learn all the rules.  Raise your hand for permission to speak.  Sit criss-cross (we called it Indian Style....guess that's not PC anymore).  Participate.  Follow the teacher's directions.  Keep your hands and feet to self.  Please do not talk in the line. 

It's a lot to learn.....not to mention actually be able to do.  Imagine asking 20 kittens to sit still.

But they're a great group of children and they're working hard to get it right.  We're in the fifth week of school so we're in the routine of school now and the reminders to "Raise your hand..." are less frequent. 

However, today....the wonderful, sweet, incredibly talented Music teacher was having to remind a couple of shouter-outers about raising their hand and waiting for permission to speak.  This led to going over all of the rules once again.  She was in the middle of her talk when one boy raised his hand.  You should know this boy is a repeat offender of many of the classroom rules.

Her:  Yes, do you have a question?

Him:  Uh, time I come to Music, I'm going to have to sing really low....uh, because my throat hurts."

And since we're discussing oranges, let's talk about the price of tea in China.

Friday, September 17, 2010


What a kid said to me today......

"I'm not sick. I've got allergies. But when I take my medicine, it's gets the allergies gone."

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I promise I won't put a picture of my feet on here....although I have done that a time or two.  Today I just want to talk about feet. 

My feet to be exact. 

They hurt. 

I am constantly on the look out for comfortable shoes.

Up until my mid 30's shoes just had to be cute.  Then by my mid 40's they had to be cute with a good arch support.  Now in my early 50's, they have to be cute, with a good arch support and super comfortable.  And those are available for $100 + a pair. 

In other words, I'm not finding them at T.J.Maxx or Marshall's anymore. 

And I'm exaggerating when I say they are cute.  Most of the shoes I find that are really comfortable are grandma shoe ugly.  And my head isn't ready for that.

While in Mississippi, we headed to the downtown area of Cleveland to do a little shopping....most of the stores are small boutiques with very little, but very pricey, inventory.  One store carried TOMS.  So I picked up a pair to look at the inside.......and what do you know?  They have a nice lining with a padded arch support. 

So I tried on the only pair they had in my size.

They were olive... not black, the color I would have liked. But I bought them and they are comfortable. 

Not super..... but remember to get super I have to spend over a hundred dollars and be willing to wear ugly.  I actually wore them to work ....all day....and my feet didn't hurt anymore than they always do. Score.

With my TOMS, I got a flag.  There was a card attached to the flag instructing one to take their picture with the flag and send it to

Oliver and Cameron were visiting, so we let Oliver be our flag model.  I'm not sure if he'll make the photo wall on the website, but we sent his picture in. 

 And I like knowing there's a kid out there somewhere who got a pair of shoes because of my purchase.

And I may just purchase another pair......this one.

Scarecrow season and all.......

And if another child gets a pair of shoes because of me....
all the better.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Very Good Reader

Kindergarten kids come in all sizes and shapes and colors and abilities.  They come to kindergarten from the to speak.  In other words, they have been at home or in private preschools or in daycares and when they enter our doors we most likely have no background knowledge of them.  No Permanent Record that follows it will follow them from here on out. 

So the first couple of weeks of school are spent assessing where they are in their knowledge of the alphabet...identification of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as the sounds we make for those letters.  Can they count?  Do they know their colors?  Can they write their name? 

While doing this assessing, there are always one or two kids in each class who are already reading.....they know it all.  They are still 5 or maybe turning 6 this in the big picture of life, they are still very young....but they are way ahead of most of the others at this point.

Today, I took one little girl to the library to get a chapter book because she is reading so well and so much and is starving for more. She is patiently waiting for the rest of the class to catch up but I thought I would try to find some time every few days to let her read to me.  Her teacher was in agreement so off we went to find her a book.

After she read a couple of pages of a Junie B. Jones book, she stopped and looked up at me.

Me:  Will you keep reading to me?

Her:  I would be delightful!  (she meant delighted...)

But honestly, she was delightful.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mighty Miss Uh Sip

I sometimes try to spell out words phonetically on here when I'm trying to get you to read it with an accent .....however, when Chuck reads my blog he usually doesn't get it.  But I know you get it.

We drove up to Memphis from Cleveland....about a 2 1/2 hour a poor excuse for a caravan.  I've decided caravans don't really work.  Even with cell phones. And navigation systems. We had 11 people going in 3 cars and had set a Departure Time.  But getting 11 people in 3 cars ready to depart from different locations at the same time is near impossible.  So 3 cars left at different times from different locations and at any given time, 2 out of 3 cars were pulled over on the side of the highway waiting for the other car.  Patience is a virtue.  Patience is a virtue.  Patience is a virtue.

After visiting the cousins, one of those cars with 2 of those people left and the other 2 cars with 9 people headed to Graceland and then to Mud Island.  Mud Island is an island/park on the Mississippi River. We rode a tram over to it and walked up and down the replica of the river in the searing heat.

After much discussion, we decided to ride the tram. 
$4 per person for a 150 second ride to the island and back again. 

See the picture of the tram?  Above Chris' head...a little to the left.
Looks way more fun that it really is. 
It's not really that it wasn't was that it wasn't air-conditioned. 
And air-conditioned = FUN

Beware of Giant Catfish with red sunglasses.

The replica of the river is pretty impressive. 
You can walk it from the source, Lake Itasca in Minnesota, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Wade in it, if you wish.

Maps like this were posted along the way,
 to let you know "where" you were on the river.

The real thing.

Will has decided to collect dirt from his travels. 
So here he is.....on his way down to the banks. 
 I was looking over my shoulder for a security guard.

Posing while waiting for the tram to take off for the return trip. 

This is not one of ours......but I love the way she just owned her place in the front.

An outdoor concert venue on the banks of the river.

For my quilting friends.

On the way home, our 2 car caravan pulled over
 for Chris...our Phoenix born and raised son-in-law...
and Will to pick some cotton. 

Probably broke some kind of law.   

And then we got in the car on Monday morning, dropped Jordan and Chris off at the Jackson airport, headed west to Nacogdoches to drop Will off at Stephen F. Austin,
and arrived home in Cypress 10 hours later.

 By the time we got home, I felt like a bug on a windshield.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Don't Postpone Joy

On Sunday, the Cleveland Hackneys drove up to Memphis to visit the cousins there.  It was a fun reunion as well as meeting some for the first time.  Chris, the new son-in-law, was introduced to that part of the family and we were all lucky enough to see the two newest branches on the family tree...a one year old boy and an 11 week old baby girl.  Chuck's two cousins are now grandmothers making his aunt and uncle great-grandparents.  These are cousins on Chuck's father's side.  I guess next year, we will have to meet the cousins on the other side of the tree. 

Aunt Betty and Uncle Bobby.

Checking out his new cousin.

These two are second cousins to each other...their fathers are cousins.
Got that? 
This precious baby girl was born 8 weeks early and she has grown a lot
 and overcome so much since her birthday.
  She is now 11 weeks old but only 3 weeks away from her birth due date. 
It was her first outing around I didn't even ask to hold her. 
I did get to hold the one year old for a split second.  He wants down... he has lots of walking to do.

After some great barbecue and dessert, our visit was over and we headed over to Graceland.  We just planned on a drive-by...but of course we ended up parking and walking around.  Of all the pictures I took, I didn't get one of the actual mansion.  So I found a painting from Thomas Kinkade for you.
What Graceland could look like......

See the pretty brick wall?

Well, here's what it looks like in real life.......

Every inch was covered in graffiti.

Hey y' any of you have a pen? 
No, but I have puff glittery green.

Are you kidding me? 
Who carries puff paint in their bag to Graceland? 
The person who wanted to paint Merry Christmas on the brick wall.  

Chris and Jordan taking it all in.

Really Amber?  You heart Aaron?  And that has what to do with Elvis?

What'd you want to bet Amber and Aaron have already broken up?
And that Aaron sports a mullet?

Yes, I was strumming his guitar.
  For some reason, when I was in that gift shop,
and Elvis music was being played
and I saw this life size cardboard cut-out of him....
I just acted giddy. 
Like it was really him.

We could have paid anywhere from $27 to $68 a person to do various tours,
 but we just did the gift shops. 

Why?  Well, the discussion went something like this......

  •  That would have been a lot of cash for our group of 9.

  •  We didn't have that much cash.

  •  The line to purchase tickets was very, very long. Very.

  •  It was a two hour tour (a two hour tour.....).

  •  We still had to go see the Mississippi River.  (Not sure why on that one.)

 So instead of paying for tours, some of us got an Icee here.

....while others had ice cream.  My mother-in-law will not smile for a picture. 

Uh, oh....I'm getting another look.  The real reason I took this picture is because of the woman on the right.  Our group had been coming back and forth to this spot while trying to decide if we should buy tour tickets or not.  She was totally engrossed in our conversation.  ha. 

I am a professional people watcher......but this time I was the one being watched. 
We gave her at least 20 minutes of pure enjoyment. 

There was a lot of discussion about where everybody was, which gift shop?, how much are the tour tickets?, wow!, should we buy a tshirt?, where'd you get that Icee?, the tickets are HOW much?, that's ridiculous, but maybe we should do it, no, because the line is so long, where'd we park? where's Chuck?

Repeat, repeat...catch lady listening to us and making a face about us to her husband.
Love it.

Really, I will never see her again...I'm glad we entertained her. 

Elvis fans are above average and extremely beautiful. 

And considering Elvis would be 75 if he was still with us.....
some of his first fans are getting a little older, too. 


He was pretty handsome, wasn't he girls?

The radio deejay was working.....
while everyone stopped and watched or took his picture. 
This must be how the gorilla at the zoo feels.

Something tells me this guy loves the attention.
Look at Bubba in the other window looking at me.

If you love Elvis music, look for this station on Sirius Radio.
You can practice for karoake night at your local pub.

If you go to Graceland and fork over some cash,
you can tour the inside of the two airplanes parked there. 

Taking Care of Business.

I'm assuming this message was written with Elvis in mind. But  I don't think Elvis postponed joy.  I think he might have looked for it in the wrong places....drugs and peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches....but I definitely think he found his joy earlier rather than later.  As in, he didn't postpone it. 

But there is a good message there. 
I hope you aren't postponing joy.

I bet if you think about it,
there was a moment or two of joy in your day.

By the way, here's a little trivia for you. 

The only place in the states visited by more people a year than Graceland is

 the Whitehouse.