Friday, September 12, 2014

With Some Spare Time and Spare Change


Just a very quick post for me this morning. (No, really. It's quick.) I've been busy and distracted this week not accomplishing anything and I need to get back to that fruitless endeavor and not accomplish even more.

I did take a few minutes out of my very busy schedule to swing by the thrift store to see what I could see, and today's yakabout is all I have to show for it.

I found this. 



I was pretty excited about it, too. I mean, really... for a quarter? I couldn't believe that no one had snapped it up for a lousy quarter. Clearly, the orphaned bun foot was meant for me. I brought it home and showed it ever so proudly to the bread winner.

He said,  "What did you get that for?"
And I said, "For a quarter."

Yes, I knew what he meant. I just like to mess with him that way. The man has absolutely no vision. He thinks an old, orphaned, bun foot is just an, old, orphaned bun foot.

Men.

A little orange paint and a white wash, 
and we have a perfectly good pumpkin.




.
I feel the need to say, Bippity Boppity Boo


Then I stuck a cork in it.



And added a little green burlap for leaves.



I actually have no idea whether pumpkins have leaves, but when you've got an orphaned bun foot pumpkin with a cork for a stem, you can jolly well add some burlap leaves if you have a mind to.


I had a mind to.



Here she is now, all dressed for the Fall Ball. 

 Now, where I'll actually put it, I have no clue. If I had four of them, I'd use them on my table, but there is only one.

So what did I make it for?

For a quarter.

Try to keep up, folks.




By the way...

Don't you think these old finials look like a couple of acorns?


Yeah, I think so too. 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Pine Cone Pinter-Testing

So I got a little sidetracked from here for the past few days,
and it's all because of Pinterest.

I love Pinterest.  I'm not sure I use it like everyone else out there. I don't care about followers or any of that sort of thing. This blog doesn't have a board in Pinville, and I don't have any plans to start one. I'm just out there pinning away as plain old Debbie. Wave if you see me. 

I found something months ago that I have been dying to try for my fall and winter decorating this year. Last week, I decided to put it to the Pinter-test before the hot summer sun sets in Dixie. 

   
Bleaching pine cones.


Now, just in case you think it's a little silly to bleach pine cones, let me remind you that I live in the Piney Stick Forest. If there's one organic element that we have around here in abundance, it's pine cones. It would be silly not to decorate with them.

I usually just gather them up and use them au naturale, but but this year I happened upon a pin in Pinville with bleached ones.  They were  kind of white but a little taupey at the same time and really beautiful.  That being the case, I decided that I had to have some bleached pine cones too.

So... I collected about a dozen of them, and I  followed all the instructions to the letter.

I measured the bleach and water to make sure I had the correct ratio.(2:1)
I completely immersed them, and I  weighted them down to keep them from floating.
I waited  24 hours before peeking  just like Miss Blogger told me to do.  

Then, I pulled them out and drained them off,  just like she told me to do.
And, I left them in the hot sunshine to dry,  just like she told me to do. 

I baked those pine cones in the south Georgia oven all day Thursday,  just waiting for the eureka moment when my pine cones would look like her pine cones.   When the sun went down, I went for a look.

Did I have bleached pine cones?

No I did not.


I had bleached pineapples and bleached pine cream cones. 

I admit it,
I was a little disappointed.

In my head, I was blaming the poor blogger who started the whole thing. I  might have even suspected her of a little blog foolery, too. I went back to Pinville to look for the blue smoke and mirrors, but all I saw were big, beautiful, bleached pine cones.

So I went a-googling and found  out that my pine cones were opening right on schedule. Apparently, it should take days... and not a day... for the pine cones to reopen. (In fairness to the bleached blogger, that part should have been intuitively obvious. It's not her fault that I suffer from a perpetual state of insta-glam. ) *They* also said you could speed up the process by drying them in a 250 degree oven for an hour or two.   

I baked mine for about three.

Then, I put them back in the sunshine and waited some more.



By the middle of  day 2 (and three hours of baking)
 I was seeing some action.... 
You can see a little breakage on the pine cones on the left. 
There was actually very little of that, and it was barely noticeable when they started to open. 


Which they did.
And once they started opening,
 it was almost like they were opening before my eyes, too. 


   
Every time I looked at them,
 they were a little bit bigger and lighter.


By the morning...

Ta da!



Most of them are much more subtle and taupey than that one,
especially inside and out of the sun.



Mixed with a few natural ones, and the clump has a really nice texture.



I'm giving this Pinter-test two enthusiastic thumbs up.
In fact, I'm heading out to the Piney Sticks to pick up some more.

I'm going to try baptizing them for a shorter amount of time this time,
probably just overnight. I want to see the difference.

 If it's at all remarkable, I'll come back and remark.

And that's all I've got for now.

*****
Sharing on The Porch for Met Monday.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Make Hay While The Sun Shines

So long August....



I never have liked you.  

You're a perpetual sweat ball on the end of the nose... a  hot flash that won't go away. You kill the flowers and zap the strength.  You steal little children from the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer and lock them up in classrooms before they're ready. 

You meanie, you. 


No. I never have been  a fan of August. 
Not when I was a kid, not when I was a young mother, not ever.   

Until now.  


Yep.
 It has taken me 52 years to find  the redeeming value of  August,
 but I've finally found it.

Here's what it is:

Congress is on recess. 




Lest you think this is a political post and plan to skedaddle, hold yer horses. It isn't. I don't suffer from the delusion that a congressional recess is a month long vacation. This is a representative republic, after all. Recess means that they work in the district among the folks they are supposed to represent.

That's a good thing, right?
Yeah, I think so too. 

But that's not the reason I like it. I like it because recess makes August is a great time for the little ants on the Hill to take their vacation time. In other words, come home to Mother...



That's what mine did, anyway, and that's why August is off the naughty list this year. 
We had a wonderfully extended Labor Day weekend around here with a full house.


You'd think I would have all kinds of blog fodder to show for it, wouldn't you? 

But no. 


Mainly, we just sat around and yakked.  We ate a meal on that sunflower table and sat on the porch fighting the gnats with our church fans.  The gnats won.

We had better luck when we took our dream team to Trivia Night at El Sombrero. We kind of kicked butt there 'cause we know random stuff like the name of Kimmie Gibler's boyfriend on Full House.

We ended up coming in second place behind a team whose name I can't repeat on the world wide web and won a $15.00 gift certificate for our trivial pursuit.   We would have won  $30.00 if we hadn't second guessed ourselves on a bonus question... or if any one of us had ever read The Life of Pi.


(Which takes place in the Pacific Ocean, just in case you get asked that at El Trivia Night.)   

All too soon, it was time to say good-bye.  Fortunately, we had enough family memories stored up to last us until next time.



 Oh, and it's Dwayne. 

Kimmie Gibbler's boyfriend's name was Dwayne.
You were all  racking your brains trying to remember that, weren't you?

Yeah, that's what I thought. 

So what did you do on your Labor Day weekend?

*****
sharing at Good Fences this week.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lessons From A Drive- By Shooting

No, not that kind...



This kind



May every wilted slice of summer remind us of the one thing that never dies. 



*****

That's all I have for this morning. 
I happen to have been blessed with a full house for the past few days
 and intend to keep on enjoying it for one more day. 

See you in September!

Comments off

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sand Gnats and Sunflowers

So here we are, after months of tablescapes with a failure to launch, back again with a second table in as many weeks. Lest you think this means we've gotten it all together, think again.  We've just gotten it together enough to join the tablescape challenge at Cuisine Kathleen.

This month's challenge is called 
Farewell Summer.  

Something we'd be more than happy to do around here.  

Unfortunately, we probably won't be able to officially bid summer farewell for about two more months. We have, however, already bid a sad farewell to summer's favorite flower. We're using that flower for our tablescape inspiration.




I had two measly contributions to the whole table this week. First, I offered up this happy yellow tablecloth from my mother-in-law.  Not to be confused  in any way with her harvest gold table cloth from last week., this one is definitely sunflower yellow, and happy, happy, happy.



It matches the inspiration dishes, sunflower salad plates 
which belong to the Duchess.  

In fact, the entire place setting belongs to her, from the burlap charger to the bold blue dinner plate, to the completely unnecessary white one we stacked between the two. 

We just put it in there because the rim kind of looks like a paper plate. 
We happen to think paper plates are very summery.  



See? Not actually paper...

She contributed just about everything else on the table, too.  
(Well, not the sunflowers. God contributed the sunflowers.)



We took the farmer gourd and little red wagon right off her summer mantel. 
 He has a little sunflower hat. Not that any farmer I know
 would walk around  with a sunflower stuck to his hat. 


The napkins came off her kitchen table.   


I had to put them at the top of the plate 
because the place card church fans took up all the other space. 


And there was no way we were leaving those church fans off the table. 


Because it's  summer and this is south Georgia, folks.
People aren't the only invisible guests at an outdoor table.  

The gnats are sure to show up as well.  If you've never experienced a south Georgia sand gnat, consider yourself blessed. Old timers used to call them Noseeums...

...because you no see um until you feel um.

They bite. 

Of course, church fans aren't going to keep the sand gnats at bay.
 Nothing short of running in the house whilst screaming will do that.  
  
They will, however, keep their slightly bigger first cousins from becoming 
 no see ums until you taste ums.  


And they might just keep a little summer breeze blowing at the table too, especially when we all start waving them in concert.   Back and forth... betcha think we're sipping on some sweet tea while we're at it, too. 

Well we're not. 
Need I remind you that I don't know how to make sweet tea?

Plus, I was setting this table  in 100 degree weather. 
I needed a little Power Aid to replenish what I was losing in sweat balls. 



Oh who am I kidding...

We picked the Power Aid because it's red, and we thought red would look pretty on the table. 



The fact that I guzzled most of it down
 when I came back inside is just a happy coincidence. 


Yes, indeed, I felt very refreshed, so refreshed 
that I almost... almost...  forgot 
that it's still August, this is still south Georgia,
 and we still have some time to go before we can truly say,

Farewell summer! 

Sharing with  Cuisine Kathleen
 and the good folks over on The Porch as well. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Smoochie the Chair Gets A Makeover


Have you ever wished that once, just once, you could open this blog
 and not have to wade through an hour's worth of yakking?  

Yeah, well, you are about to get your wish.  

What follows is a pictorial story of the pesky armchair
 that I finally finished recovering this morning. 

I've named her Smoochie... 
because she kept trying to pucker up on me.   

I finally got her all ironed out, though, so with no further ado, 

 Smoochie the Chair 








OK, this is the one point where I'll interject. I had originally intended to paint her but changed my mind. Since she didn't need a full refinish, I tried an oil and vinegar rub down instead. I'm very pleased with the result.


Mix, rub, buff, repeat....



And now...


Finished!  
And before the September 1st deadline to boot.

Total cost, including the chair: $25.00

And thanks to a very nice sister with a good heart and a decent sewing machine, 
the contrasting pillows on the prayer chairs are finished too. 


I don't know what shocks me more, that I'm almost finished with that room,
 or that I made it through this post without the incessant yakking.

Wooohooo for both!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

From the Mixed Up Diary of Little Debbie

Can you stand just one more 1974 related post?
I hope so because I have one. 

You see, while digging through artifacts for that very pivotal year in my life,
 I came across this one. 



It's Little Debbie's diary, and it was written in 1974. I know that, not because she bothered to date it, but because on the very first entry on January 1st, she says this:  . 


I'm scared. We're moving to Georgia.
I don't want to go.

If  you think this is yet another blog post about the Great Moving Adventure though, you're wrong.  Little Debbie barely mentions that auspicious event again.  Her thoughts over the next month are occupied with far more pressing matters.  

Yep, forget the kidnapping of Patty Hearst. Forget the national nightmare of Watergate. The top news story every day in Debbie Land was an update from the lonely hearts club. Poor Little Debbie just wanted one thing in her life; she wanted a boyfriend, and she couldn't seem to get one. Bless her heart. 

It all started with a boy named Frank. Now folks, try as I might, I can't conjure up an image of this Frank. Apparently, though, he was very important to Little Debbie back in the day.

She liked him.


He hated her back. 


But the very next day...  


Philip's not so bad...

Now, I might not remember this Frank boy, but Philip is another story. Little Debbie became twitterpated with Philip when he first showed up in the fifth grade, and she never really changed her mind. In mathematical terms, Philip would be known as the love constant.

Not to worry, though. There was plenty of room in her heart for two.  

Three even...
  

Remo

You have to give the kid points for loyalty.  Once a fellow got on her love list, he stayed on her love list. Little Debbie never was much for subtraction. She was more into addition, and apparently she thought it was time to add a little Italian to the mix. (At least I think Remo was Italian... maybe Greek. I'm not sure. )

At any rate, it was probably a good idea to keep her options open,
what with Frank hating her and all.  

And just a few days later....


 Troy. 

Now, though he may not be mentioned here, she hadn't dropped the Italian boy. She continues to pine over Remo... and Frank... and Philip.... and Troy over the next month. It's a dream team of four, and Little Debbie loved them all. 

See? 



It's at this exact point that the writing stops, and Little Debbie inexplicably disappears.  Looks like nothing much has changed in Debbie Land since 1974.

But lo and behold, six months later, she's back again, writing from her new home in southeast Georgia. You would think she had a lot of stuff to tell Dear Diary at this point, stuff about her new house with her new room, or her new school, or new church, or new friends, or a whole new culture.

But no.

Little Debbie came back to talk about the new boys.



And thus was the life of a Little Debbie, chasing from one boy to another. Boy after boy after boy after boy.
What a mess.

I kept reading Dear Diary until I came to the very last entry.  After the usual lamentation about how ugly I was and that no boy would ever slow down enough for me to catch him, I came to the very last sentence in the book.

 (Apparently, I was not only boy crazy but a lousy speller.)



I'm trying to find that God has someone chosen for me in my Bible. 


Now folks, the rest of that rambling Debbie mess made me laugh right out loud, but do you know what that last part did?

It made me smile.

And maybe,  just maybe, it made me a little misty-eyed too. Maybe it even gave me a lump in my throat and a catch in my heart.  Because, you see, I never did find that passage in the Bible. ( If you know of one, please share. I'm sure there are a lot of Little Debbies who would love to see it.)  I did, however, find something even better.

I found him.


And within days, I knew without a doubt that the chase was over. 

I realize that I get a little nauseating when I talk about Sir Lotsa Hair, but friends, that man really  is my knight in shining armor. No other man could fit me the way that he does. No other man would put up with me the way he does.  Indeed, God  had chosen that someone just for me.

He is immeasurably, abundantly, more than I could ask or imagine. 

And here's the thing:   If I had known what was waiting ahead for me, I wouldn't have bothered with all that chasing. I wouldn't have bothered with Frank or Philip or Remo or Troy. I wouldn't have bothered with Walter or any of the other 4,728 contestants on the Love Connection.  I would have spared my heart the sorrow and spent my time and emotions on the better stuff.  If I had only known...

Can anyone relate?

Probably.

We all *get* that, don't we?  We shake our heads at Little Debbie and her lack of belief.  We wish we could go back in time and tell her that what  God had planned for her was so much better than what she could see in front of her. We wish we could convince her that all that stuff she was chasing was well, just stuff.

And yet, here we are, all grown up and still chasing. 

Oh sure, it might not be the incredible ever- expanding boy collection, but we're still out there chasing after the stuff.  What's more? We're chasing it for the exact same reason Little Debbie chased the boys:

 Because we refuse to believe that what God has ahead of us is immeasurably, abundantly, more than anything in front of us.


One day, all the silly stuff we're pouring out in the journals of our hearts will be even less of a memory than poor, faceless Frank. It'll all be gone, and we won't even care.

 Because, friends,  what lies ahead of us is so much better than we can ask or imagine. If we can only convince our little hearts to believe...


No eye has seen,  no ear has heard, no mind can comprehend 
what God has in store for those who love him.`
1 Cor. 2:9

****

Comments off as usual for Sundays

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