Sunday, December 7, 2008

All things Sparkly

"In the end...sparkly will always win." TheCottageRose

It was 11 years ago we had one of those BIG white trees that was as wide as it was tall and it was beautiful loaded with all the Victorian Roses, Burgundy Vintage looking ornaments and Pink and Gold balls with glitter and ribbons. Two moves and one bad fall 5 years ago left us without a tree.

Since then we have had a variety of green trees small to tall, somewhat leaning, sparse in areas, grace our living room. 'Christmas Twigs' they were labeled by the two younger males. It was their way of saying my frugal reuse of past decorations and hand-me-down trees were just not cutting it.

I had to agree. Saturday Mr. Rose I began earnestly looking for a white tree. There simply were none over 3 feet tall! Until finally we landed at Big Lots and found this sweet little 6 footer, narrow diameter (which I prefer) iridescent white tree. It was smaller than what we were looking for, but with none to be found elsewhere it became our new Christmas Tree!



Garden Ridge had a sale on Ornaments so we headed over there and found all the sparkly, dangly, shiny, pretty, shimmery ornaments in every color imaginable! I wanted watery greens, blues and plums. And I love the way it turned out. Simple, sparkly, with butterflies and baubles.









Called my very traditional mom to tell her about the new tree and baubles, butterflies and sparklies.

"Hmm...Butterflies" she said. Then added, "Well at least you don't have grapes hanging off it."

I laughed, "You'll love the Butterflies!" She'll be here for Christmas Brunch next weekend. Maybe she won't notice the grapes...







Sunday, November 30, 2008

Of Joy and Sadness, a Farewell

I wondered how the call would go, what would be said. But my husband answered the early morning call. I knew. The words rang through my dreams and the look on my husbands face when he walked into the bedroom told me everything.

"Was that your mom or mine?" I asked, as his mom is very ill. "Yours. She just called Hospice and will call back...I'm so sorry, Babe."

For a few minutes I stood in the closet unable to dress myself. My husband suggested jeans and flannel were appropriate for this crisp blustery fall day. I remembered to brush my teeth. I forgot to comb my hair.

He had my coffee waiting at the back door and handed me the keys continually questioning if I was 'ok' enough to drive to Dallas. Yes, I am.

I exited at Skillman/Audelia, right where concrete and glass turn into the most beautiful residential scenery. At the top of the hill on Audelia as the sun lit up the yellows and burnt orange trees, their leaves dancing across the road, I thought of my father.

He loved Yellow!

As the leaves snowed down the scene in front of me became surreal...I saw him as he was years ago up at the level of the tree limbs. His hair dark, his dark eyes shining triumphantly. He was smiling a smile that said he was SO excited and then he blew me a kiss. I kid you not, I saw that. His expression said everything I needed to know. That he had a place to go, to be with the Lord in the place prepared for him. That he was free of the dementia, of the strokes, of the body's prison. The was no sorrow, just a beaming delight and assurance that he wanted to convey.

That was at 8:36am. The Hospice nurse had declared him at 8:30am.

I now know that vision was from the Lord. And it will comfort me daily.

Two ladies from the funeral home came to transport him from his home and they handed my mom a huge red rose and said it was a reminder for her that they were taking good care of him. I didn't know companies cared enough to do that.

Moments later he was draped with the flag of the United States of America. It was neatly tucked across his chest and mom and I kissed him goodbye once again. The ladies then respectfully covered his face and took him to the van.

We stood in the driveway watching them back out the long drive. They waved, like old friends, as they were leaving and I found that so touching.

All through the day I saw his face beaming through those beautiful billowing trees. It is that face, that smile, those gorgeous brown eyes I will remember each time I think of my dad. And I will thank God for the blessing of his salvation in 1975 and having had him for my earthly father.

Update...

Early the following Wednesday, Dec.5th, Pastor Geiger spoke of the assurances we have in Christ Jesus, Psalms 91, John 14 and then led us through The Lord's Prayer. The Flag was folded and handed to Mom. The service was exactly what Dad would have wanted. Though my father accomplished much on this Earth he didn't want those things discussed overly much. So, there was no mention of those achievements. There were no flowers, no fan fare, just a serene quietude of respect and remembrance. I placed a kiss on my fingers and laid them on top of the dark wood then said "Goodbye Daddy".

Forever in my heart will be your strength, character and integrity.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vintage Pink

A Vintage Pink table linen stained beyond saving
+
A Pink Sewing Machine
=
A pretty Pink pouch for just about anything!





Stuffed with your Pink flannel PJs and tossed eloquently on the bed...
OR
Stuffed with you Bible and notebook for Church or an afternoon Truth Dig
OR
Stuffed with your latest crafting/quilting
OR
Stuffed with pretty papers, envelopes, teas for a unique gift to be laid on top of the desk for anyone to see

Either way, it sits Pretty and Pink just about Anywhere, for Everyone to enjoy!

Just to let you know...
I made a small pouch of white cloth and sewed it just inside the Vintage pouch so the weight of my Bible and notebooks wouldn't harm the old fabric. Then I attached two small plastic rings to the back for hanging on the wall by the bed. If your vintage piece is frail you might want to make a pouch to fit inside like I did.

Happy PINK Saturday!

Want more PINK fix? Click here for the list at How Sweet The Sound

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lookin' Out My Back Door

I couldn't stand it anymore!

So out on the patio I went and with a couple good jerks I pulled down the Radiant Barrier that protected my window from the sun. I put the Tea Pot on and ran to the shower and when I came back in the kitchen I was greeted with my favorite sight.....The HUGE Texas sky, the trees and the colors of Fall.

The windows are open in the kitchen giving us that wonderfully cool breeze that will cool my walnut and chess pies tomorrow. I LOVE this time of year! So I grabbed the camera to share the view out the screened half of the window.



From the patio I had this view of Autumn Trail, the street running beside our home.



Over the weekend I noticed our new crepe myrtle had turned this beautiful shade of fall



Our first little summer garden failed miserably. So, I planted another. Here is our new bell pepper! Its about the size of my thumb print...lol. We learned SO much this year and hope to have a full up garden next year.



Isn't it cute?

AND, we have 4 Roma tomatoes but that photo blurred badly...perhaps it would have been better to wear my glasses while snapping photos but honestly, I was just coming to the kitchen after my shower to make a cup of Tea when I was so happy to see the sky again!

Hoping you all have a lovely day!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Weird-ities

Is it me?
Am I just totally OLD here? I'll admit to being a little clueless.......but I don't get it.

Dominoes Pizza just sent me an email inviting me to use my cell/mobile phone to place my order via signing on to the internet and texting my order.

Now, if I wanted pizza and wanted to use my Cell/mobile/wireless (what DO we call these today?) wouldn't I just call?

Why would I punch buttons and go through doing internet online thing, punching all those buttons when I could spend half the time talking to a human....?

Especially if I'm on the way home from work or running errands. Wouldn't I just use my cell to call it in?

One day, we will get an email that says: "pizza made EZ!! Just punch 10 buttons and speak.

What am I missing here?

Ok, I will say that last time I tried to order pizza over the phone the guy couldn't speak English and therefore couldn't understand me. I tried to be nice, finally I just said 'thanks anyway' and hung up. I do order online now. Besides, I like that little ticker thing they have that shows when the pizza is made and by whom.

But use my cell/mobile/wireless? And not CALL in the order?

Hmmm...Maybe if I had a bad case of laryngitis...that is what it's for, now I get it!

My Grandmother would SO be giggling right now. She'd love this!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pink Saturday!

I LOVE Pink Saturday! I will be looking at ALL the contributors over the weekend!

We are a bit late getting our Pink up today, life happened and had me quite distracted......Beverly @ How Sweet The Sound has a wonderful list of Pink Saturday Contributors, be sure to visit for your Pink Fix!

I was fortunate to be gifted with Vintage Windows a while back. I LOVE Vintage as much as I LOVE Pink!

Couldn't bring myself to paint over this dark green and I think it makes the perfect frame for my Cottage dream.



My grandmother inspired the painting in this pane, as I remember her love of roses and her sprawling Climbing Roses that grew up the side of her little 4-Square home.



The Central Focus lives in my heart of dreams. That one day I'll have a sweet little cottage by a stream. It will be shaded with trees and have a lovely stone path along which will be profuse blooms of sweet flowers whose scent will fragrance the softly blowing breezes.



Happy Pink Saturday to each of you!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pink Friday

Can't play with the girls on Pink Saturday this week, darn it! Life has been happening.

So thought I'd share my Pink Friday, instead.

Rewind to: March 2006, moving furniture and jammed my big toe hard. OUCH! Swollen, probably broken, totally warped the nail, no infection, kept an eye on it. Nail grew back out after a YEAR. Wore Sandals for a Year and half. Still can't wear shoes with Toes in them. And the nail is bizarrely misshapen.

Monday, ouch, looks like an ingrown toe nail. Couldn't be, must have squished it when wearing shoes with toes in them. Living in Texas is great for sandals most days during the year, but walking outside, fooling around in the yard we need real shoes cause we have real fire ants that like to lurk, 'specially after the yard guy disrupts their tidy mound. Hubby feeds them each Saturday morning, he calls it Buffet for his Buddies.

Wednesday, it's official. There is green stuff under my nail. Red around the perimeter, call Podiatrist before red streaks appear. I knew you would want the juicy details. :) Call Podiatrist....call everywhere his name is listed on the internet. Nope, guess he went back to New Jersey. Nice guy, missed his kids, sad story, hope he is happy. Find NEW Podiatrist, Ugh!

Friday, the most Gorgeous Podiatrist I have ever seen strolled in to care for my toe! Then he smiled, holy roses this boy is my new Podiatrist? Yep, I'm in heaven. And, he is from Georgia where they raise their boys to be nice to old people. Treated me like I was his mother, so sweet. Made me want to park him on my patio with a glass of iced tea and a slice of Pecan pie.

As it was I was invited to sit on his very special chair while he put a tourniquet on my toe, stuck me with needles and used scissors on my toe. I didn't feel a thing!

That boy! You got to love a kid who can be gorgeous, smile like a GQ model, treat you sweet, and chop you up all at the same time without you even knowing it!

Can't wait to see him again next Friday!

And he wrapped me all up in Pink.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Repurposed and PINK!


You know that GREEN Recycle phrase.....Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Well I have one more word for the phrase: Repurpose!

With FALL in the air it is the perfect time to whip up your own Vanilla Latte and go Garage Saling! The money you save by making you own latte will buy your bread box!
Enjoying the cool breeze, clear blue skies, beautiful turning leaves, make it worth the gas.

Look for a roll top bread box. Take it home, wipe it down, lightly sand it, wipe it down again, then prime with spray primer, inside and out.

Pick a color and paint! I distressed mine, lightly sanded so some of the pink would be lighter in areas.



There are SO MANY ways to paint and pretty up a bread box!

I can paint, so Roses went on mine.



Yoou can use Decals, Stencils, make a Plaid or Polk Dot design, Stripes, sponge on Checks...OR...add those fabulous appliqu├ęs. You can leave it white and Antique It, paint it Black and Reverse Antique with a Copper or Gold antique wash. Make it Masculine or Feminine. The options are endless and you'll want to decorate a thousand of them as GIFTS for the Holidays!

Here's mine, I use it different places around the house. I particularly like it with an vignette inside like this.


It makes a nice display for this table but I also like placing it on a library or sofa table and using it as a roll top desk. I keep old letters from special people in it with a demitasse cup for coffee as you can see. Use it in the bathroom for your bath beads and finer soaps. Put it in a guest room over the Holidays and put a tea pot and a basket of teas and snacks inside.

I hope you liked my idea for making your own Pink Saturday Lovely!

Kindest regards,
Melissa


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TV Dinner Royal Winton style

Hubby's G-Mom's Pea Salad recipe:



2 can's Lesueur Peas,
1/2 pound shredded cheese
1 jar Pimentos
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
Miracle Whip to blend/taste.


Fold gently till mixed.

Anything Goes Tuna Salad:

1 6oz can Albacore tuna
1/2 inch thick slice of large onion, diced
8-9 green olives, chopped
8-9 black olives, chopped
1/4 Yellow, Orange, or Red Bell Pepper chopped
1 Tablespoon sweet pickle Relish
Miracle Whip to taste.
And anything else you may have on hand:
Water chestnuts, pecans, walnuts, chopped grapes



I stopped there because I am using my walnuts and grapes for tomorrow's chicken salad.

Let chill in fridge.

Parmesan toast slices:



Lightly toast one side of Skinny wheat bread (Sara Lee or Earth Grains make a 35 calorie slice which is about half a regular slice of bread).
Turn bread over, cut into triangles, place in pan and push slices back together as though a solid piece of bread.
Now, sprinkle well with Italian blend of Cheese (Kraft, Sargento, other)
Then lightly top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Run under hot broiler for a minute or until cheese lightly bubbles.
Remove and immediately separate cheese triangles, arrange on plate any way you like.

Fill your favorite glass with ice and pour on the Iced Tea.



His G-Mom's Peas Salad in my G-Mom's Crystal, just seems right.



Tuna in a Tea Cup.



My favorite stemware that survived raising two boys and filled with ice and yummy pomegranate tea by Bigelow.

Tonight, I have full control of the Remote Control! What are you watching?

Have a wonderful evening,
Melissa

Saturday, August 16, 2008

PINK Saturday Goodies

Many thanks to our Sweet PINK Saturday Hostess, Beverly! There you will find a lovely list of those participating in PINK Saturday! Believe me, there are so many pretties and so many Wonderful Fun people participating you will want to visit them all!

This is a display I change out frequently. That vanity belonged to my GMom and was given to me at her passing. I love it as much as she did. One thing about GMom, she wasn't afraid to paint something. This, she painted a dark brown. It is old as dirt, probably given to her by her MIL as so many of her things were. I've never repainted it as it seems the darker tones better highlight my pretties...but I constantly think it should be White or Pink and probably will be one day soon, cause I am SO ready for a new look!



Pink...it is stunning and highlights those colors around it. I added just a Whisper of Pinks to this arrangement and I love the difference it makes. I believe the Pink pulls it from the background to a stand alone piece, don't you?



From the 40's, stamped Made in USA, this is one of my favorite Pink pieces.



This is a lamp, I bought it to make a tassel,then decided I liked it better as a lamp. The roses are so delicate and the prettiest shade of pink. The greens and golds are just my favorite and the oyster shade of white was the perfect subtle background.



My favorite shades of Pinks are in this arrangement, I just love looking at the subtle shade changes from pink to pale lavender or a rich toned rose.



This is one of my favorite Rose pieces, I just love it. I painted it for sale and the sealer bubbled slightly so I kept it and have enjoyed it so much.



I hope you enjoyed my Pink Pretties.....Click here and go look at all the other PINK Saturday Goodies!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Serendipity and Wrap Pants

Serendipity = essentially, is what you discovered while looking for something else.

Today a friend sent an email for something I've been looking for, a way to add weather to my blog. I am fully aware it is HOT. Won't change, ever. I have, however maintained hope through these LONG Texas days that a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, while it floods Houston and every town North, will at least bring SOME relief my way, thus the need for a weather report. That said, I clicked on the link provided by my friend and ended up finding what I have been looking for!

Wrap Pants!

About 12 years ago I met a 'free spirit', she had these pants that tied in front and in back and at the ankle and when she walked the outer leg seam opened. When she sat down, she was modestly covered. She was the size of a toothpick. Those lightweight cotton pants draped beautifully on her making her look so Summer Chic with her gorgeous Tan and Tube Top. I'm sure it wasn't because I looked like Baby Huey next to her that we somehow lost touch. Well, that and I never knew what medications she had on board...lol...prescription, yes, for her, no.

So, all these years I have wanted to make those airy pants. Then today I got that email! With a link to the pattern!

Take a look...

photo from: www.theislandpalace.com where they sell these fabulous sets!

My friend's very casual pants came to her ankles and tied.

Another photo...for a 'today' translation of the same basic wrap pant.

From: http://Laupre.Etsy.com where LauPre also takes special orders and sells different styles. She also wrote the tutorial below.

If you are handy making things with a straight stitch machine you can whip these out quickly. My mind is running away with all the different ways these can be done!

Check out the Tutorial, visit LauPre.Etsy.com as she was kind enough to write the Tut and I can tell you she has some really FUN items at Etsy!

Click here for the Tut.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pink Indulgence Saturday!

Another PINK Saturday has dawned!

With a tip of my Bonnet to Miss Beverly at 'How Sweet The Sound' for being our Gracious Hostess, we are off to view a Most Lovely PINK home!

Judith is the Lady of the House, truly a Delightful woman who stays busy with friends and relatives, traveling and enjoying her gardens and Reborn dolls.

Imagine having Breakfast Tea, Fruit and Croissants on this lovely Pink patio.



You can almost feel the breeze quietly wafting the sweet scent of Roses blooming...


And the subtle sounds of a Garden Angel relishing her time at Grand Mother's place. Sweetly dressed in White with a large Pink bloom in her hair, Rose appliques on her dress, styling about on her Oh, so Fabulous PINK tricycle! Chicly bare footed, of course.



There is more to see of this Pink Lovely...More White Picket fencing and trellis, more blooms spilling out their Cottage Charm against a Pink background.



Now onto the porch...Is this Pink Heaven?


A Pink Porch greets guests, the Rocking Chairs glistening white and inviting while White Wicker and plump rose pillows offer room for one more friend to join in. The White shutters present a most lovely pair of Victorian Screen Doors.

And now, indoors, to the Reborn Nursery! Beautifully decorated in Ribbons and swaths of feminine Pink, thses beautiful babies are Judith's passion. I loved playing dolls as a young girl and can only imagine the joy of creating this gorgeous nursery for her Big Girl babies. Vintage carriages and perambulators set the stage for dressing up for the Winter and Summer Holidays.


To finalize the tour of this fabulous home...the sweet kitchen. With the baby napping, doll houses gracing the upper cabinets with signs and roses, pink and white dishes. On the stove sit Pink and White Tea Kettles, Doilies hang above, Candles and a Vintage Stove just to the right, just barely in view. AND a Most Gorgeous Crystal Chandelier!



I hope you enjoyed this wonderful display of Pink in all its glory!

With special thanks to Judith for allowing us to linger in her Pink Splendor.

To Pink,
Melissa

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Organizing Coupons for the Coup!

KISS translated = Less Stress, Less Fuss, More Time. Bottom line; It ain't Rocket Science! Don't let those OCD tendencies make you nutz trying to perfectly organize your coupons.

Honest to Girl Scout Cookies I've seen the GIANT binders and ladies sitting on the floor in the soup aisle leafing through every page while two more Gigantic Binders sit in the cart. Unless you are stocking a convenience store, you don't need all that! Then again, to each his own....

I've done the box with tabs, the binder with tabs and both of these methods were great for Micro-Managing in the office. However, they are risky in the grocery store because they can both fall on the floor and scatter coupons like you wouldn't believe! They are also risky because they can be left behind and by the time you realize what's up, you've lost LOTS of money! ALSO, you broadcast that you are a serious couponer and for some reason that is frowned upon. I have only been hounded by ONE store. Oddly enough, it was the cashiers and customer service manager that made it very difficult for me, not the manager.

So, in the interest of being discreet I combined and tweaked to make my own. It works for me and might be the answer you are looking for.

Objective:
Something to fit into my purse
Easy access
Holds a LOT of coupons
Won't scatter if dropped
Not easy to forget
SIMPLE to use

Here is what I came up with:



Baseball Card Sheets....found at hobby stores, wall mart may have them.
A free Binder Ring
Stretchy pull over covering to prevent coupons flying everywhere if dropped

I had loads of Baseball Card sheets. I slit the pages into thirds horizontally/across.



Gather up all the sheets and make sure the openings are on the top, the binder holes/strips will be on the left.

Take a hole punch and punch one hole toward the top to align all the sheets.

Get your big ring and slide it through the holes you just punched.



Now for the most important part of all! The stretchy cover:
I took a pair of dressy socks you would wear with slacks. I wanted it to be neutral, discreet and not call attention.

Cut the toe out, straight across. Then stitch a bit in the middle so it will slide onto the Binder Ring.


Slide the sock or whatever you choose over the binder ring.
Then close the ring.


To organize the coupons can be insanity if you are the least bit a perfectionist. So, think in GENERAL terms. Ketchup, soy sauce, pickles, gravy...I call these Condiments and try to group them together. I gave up on trying to organize them with the stores because the stores like to change things around, put beer where the crackers were and generally keep you hunting and pecking so you will see EVERY thing you ever wanted and increase their chances of your placing that item in your basket.

We are more clever and have learned to NOT do that right? Yes, my lovelies, we are ready for the task!

So, if you have to fold a coupon, do it. No biggie. The baseball cards allow you to see both sides so you will still have all the info you need right in front of you.

You don't have to have all the different sizes and shapes and color coded cut outs. Seriously, you will have peace of mind this way!

Go ahead and load up your coupons....

You put dairy and biscuits and fridge cookies and yogurt in the same general area. If the grocery stores have fresh orange juice by the milk, then you can too! You will also have a list, right? So you already know what you are looking for, the general area it is in your Ring, you can pull those coupons and check others.



SIMPLE.

AND...Discreet!


Look how nice it fits into my purse!


That purse goes into the basket, zip it open, get out my shopping list, pull the sock back about half way, leaving the coupons IN the purse at all times.

Take those coupons for that trip and slip them ALL into one or two pouches I save at the back of the Ring System. Get to the front to check out, my Qs are in one hand, debit card in the other, purse zipped and on my arm.

You can have fourteen kids pulling at you or one Grandmother who can't quit talking and you are ready to go without having to triple check you got your binder or box, Don't have to carry it just so to the car, you can actually hold your little ones hand for safety. No Binder slipping out of your hands in the parking lot trying to open the door, hold the cart, hold the binder, hold the child. EASY!

Got more coupons for the BIG sale?? Great! Simply add more pages. Just got a few Qs to shop with, Super! Take a few pages out. That stretchy sock fits over all of it.

Well, this is what works for me....maybe it will work for you, too!