Turtle's Progress

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Five Things I'm Thinking About, Wednesday

1. Maybe Meghan is right, there might be a hind-side family resemblance. Wish I still had those now vintage early 1980s jeans to pass on to you, kiddo!

2. Tommy's home!!! Hurray!

3. The car is in the shop to get the headlight fixed. Should be done by the time we get back from our mini-vacation to Michigan.

4. I've got the itch to change some things in the house. A picture here, a curtain there, different colors, a new lamp. I think my home is always a work in progress, as most homes are. Fortunately, the Goodwill makes these changes easy and inexpensive (and if an item doesn't work out, back it goes!)

5. Reading the National Geographic book about "living green" has made me think that anything I buy/eat/use is toxic. It's a big book with cheery pictures that makes you think this "living green" stuff might be do-able, but read the print and another story emerges.... I'll continue to do the best I can.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Three Things I'm Thinking About, Tuesday

1. Had originally planned to meet with my friend, Cheryl, today and head out for some thrifting and lunch. She had sent me a message earlier asking if I wanted to hang-out, as her son and DIL were leaving early (like 4:30 am, early!) and her house was going to be quite lonely. After talking about 9:30 this morning we both realized that the thought of heading out and about was much more enticing than the actual heading out. After my long day yesterday and her long two weeks with company we decided to postpone! (I have done this often in the past, just ask my daughters about "Let's go to Walmart/the mall" statements during their early teen years, only to be told later, "Nah, I don't want to go ...") Maybe they will forgive me for those changes of mind someday when they hit their forties and begin to run out of steam.... Sorry girls, I know how irritating that was for you!

2. So, I spent most of the day cleaning, straightening, organizing, getting ready for trip to Michigan on Friday. Finally had enough, and headed out to the local Goodwill for a quick once over. Tuesday is 20% off with a Smart Card and $25 purchase. I made that easily and came home with some good loot. A Martha Stewart organizing book, a National Geographic green living book, a couple skirts, a set of twin sheets for when the kiddos are here. Best of all, a really cool oak cookbook holder -- homemade, with the crafter's name and date etched in the bottom. The top lifts up when in use to hold a cookbook, the bottom has two drawers for 3x5 recipe cards. Nice thing about our Goodwill is it takes returns within 14 days. So you can try things out and if you decide you don't want/need it take it back to exchange for something else. Not sure if this is a keeper or not but it probably is... I can't resist home-crafted! (read, NOT made in China!)

3. This picture of me was taken when I was about 18 months. My mom passed it on. I love the vintage looks -- the vinyl children's rocker, the lacey curtains, and ruffley little dress. And look at those curls, guess my sister didn't get all the curls in the family! I've always thought I looked like my dad's side of the family but I think I see my mom in this little one's face.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Six Things I'm Thinking About, Monday

1. Got up at 6:00 this morning and was headed to Huntsville by 7:00. Arrived to hugs and kisses from my girl and grandkiddos at about 9:30. Had been nearly a month since I'd seen them and I was missing some grama hugs!

2. We headed to their neighborhood pool a short time later and I was in awe as I watching Sarah jump in the pool again and again and swim (swim!!) to her mommy! She had lessons earlier in the month and was using all the skills she learned! I forgot my camera so didn't get any pics of my little polywog!

3. But I did get some later in the afternoon after Ephraim's nap. Here they are busy with some water play. E tired of washing the dishes in the wheelbarrow and thought sitting in it would be much more fun... And Sarah was channeling her gardening Grama Dixie as she watered the flowers...

4. I stayed for dinner and Sarah offered the prayer. Sweetest prayer I've heard in a long time. "Thank you, God, for this beautiful world you made. I don't know how to thank you enough it is so beautiful. Help Grama have a safe drive home to her cozy home. Amen" Here I am safe and sound, God must have been listening!

5. While my car was parked in front of Erin and Brent's house a man backing out the driveway across the street hit my headlight blinker on the driver side! Made it home right after dark, the headlights are working but the blinker portion is now hanging out of the socket. Guess it will be going into the shop tomorrow!

6. Got Charlotte's birthday gift in the mail. This will be the first time that I miss not being there for at least within a couple weeks of her birthday. Sometimes being this far away really sucks!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Five Things I'm Thinking About, Saturday

1. C and I had a sleep-over last night. Picked her up about 5:00 pm, went out for pizza and then headed back here. Played two game of Yahtzee, watched the very first episode of Gilmore Girls (she had never seen GG before)and made plans for the movies today.

2. Went to see the 3D version of Toy Story 3. Not sure it was worth the money but C really wanted to try it. The glasses were the totally nerdy kind! Told her she could keep mine for her younger sis. It was a fun two days with my "Little Sister". We will have to do it again.

3. Missing Tommy. He says southern Cal is much cooler than the south is right now. His hotel is VERY close to Disneyland. Buses full of families pass him by the minute on his walks out and about.

4. Thursday is sweet Charlotte's fourth birthday. How did that happen? Here she is the first time I met her. Love at first sight!

5. I remember her mama's fourth birthday. She had a Big Bird cake and we played "Pin the Candle on the Birthday Cake". (Ha! You thought I remembered back that far, didn't ya?) Loving my big old picture albums!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Four Things I'm Thinking About, Thursday

1. I love going to thrift stores. I know, I know, all three of you who read this already know that. But the thing I wish I could know is the background history of some of the items I find. It would be so cool to know who's great-aunt originally owned some of the items, whose father made what, which grama crocheted the doilies. But that goes with the territory of thrifting -- not knowing. Here's what I found today:

This little chest is made from the drawers of an old pedal sewing machine cabinet. Whoever made it did a wonderful job -- I think it's pretty cool and just fits in this space next to the electronics. I like the vintage/modern contrast.

I love this little cream pitcher. I think it is Fostoria with a silver base. It's small -- like four inches tall but so sweet.

2. Just got back from Cages Bend campground for a short visit with my buddy, Cheryl, and her family. It was nice to spend some time with them. Her son and daughter-in-law are in the process of moving from California to Arizona and have been out here visiting for two weeks. Unfortunately, they all also got in on the "chiggers" from the jazz concert last Sunday....

3. Tom left this morning for a week long stay in California. The first few days aren't so bad, but I sure do miss him after four or five days have passed.

4. Tomorrow night my BBBS little sister is going to spend the night with me. We have been wanting to have a "sleep-over" for awhile but had to be matched for six months before we could. Should be fun!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Four Things I'm Thinking About, Tuesday

1. That jazz concert we went to on Sunday with all the pretty pictures.... it wasn't all fun and games. I'm fighting a bad case of chigger bites all over my upper legs and stomach. Yuck!!!!

2. Found this cute little teapot at an antique store today. It was the only thing in the store I was interested in and the only thing without a price! The sales lady checked with the vendor and said it was $10 -- sold! Especially since I already had the sugar and creamer.

3. Tom leaves Thursday morning for a week long trip to Anaheim for the National Sheriff's Association yearly meeting. I decided not to go because I was hoping to go to California around now for Charlotte's birthday but the ticket prices are outrageous right now! Guess I will have a quiet week at home -- maybe head to Huntsville for a day when the Cobbies return from vacation.

4. It's HOT here in the south! Upper 90's again today. Won't be spending much time on our lovely screened porch...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Four Things I'm Thinking About, Monday

1. I love this hymn! We sang it in church yesterday. John Bell is a Scottish theologian and musician who has written some wonderful mondern day hymns.

2. Meet Betty. About three weeks ago Tom and I (mostly Tom) purchased a brand new vehicle (like 34 miles on the odometer new). She is a Ford F-150 extended cab with lots of bells and whistles (and a few extras added after the purchase). When we first took Brody for a ride in her on Saturday and told him her name was "Betty", he renamed her "Big Betty." I think it is more than appropriate. She is named for Tom's dear Aunt Betty who died last December.

3. Oh how I love cantaloupe season! I can remember living on Fort Ord near the Salinas Valley of California in the mid 80s and buying five cantalope for a dollar! Five!! Erin attended preschool near the fruit stand where I bought them and it seemed like I purchased another five every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the growing season that year! I also remember one summer having it fresh off the vine from my SIL's garden in Boaz, Alabama when my children were young. Delicious!

4. Having neighbors you love is such a gift! We go out to dinner with Marv and Carolyn about three times a month, swap tools, food, recipes, chores. Borrow an egg now and then. The biggest thing they do for us is care for Cali when we go out of town. She thinks nothing of walking over to visit them anytime during the day and then they will call to say, "She's over here!" Just a bit ago Marv called to say he had stuffed some peppers from the garden and to come and get some straight out of the oven to have with our dinner. We are lucky to have them right next door!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Four Things I'm Thinking About, Sunday

1. I LOVE my husband!! His kids are here for the weekend so last night after dinner out at Maggiano's and then getting Brody down for the night, he gave his kids a video story of what he knows about his side of the family -- aunts, uncles, cousins, stories. With his father dying when he was only nine years old he said there were lots of things he wished he knew but never will so filled in what he could for them. I wish I had made a video tape of him. I know someday it would mean something to them. I thought it was a nice Father's Day gift to them! Craig seemed to enjoy learning about his family, Jenn, not so much.

2. Today we all went to church and then out for lunch. Here's a shot of Brody and his grandad at the restaurant.

3. After the kids left at about 2:30, Tom and I hung out at the house and then headed out to hear some outdoor jazz in Hendersonville from 6:00 to 8:00. Ran into some folks from church and other good friends. The music was great and after the sun went down the temperature was just right. Here are some pics of our friends during the intermission. The guys are checking out the US Open final round, and the girls are just trying to stay cool with the fans! And don't you know the "Jim Ferguson Band" was hot under that tent!

4. This little concert on the lawn was one of the first times we have actually run into some of the few people we know here in Middle Tennessee. That makes it feel much more like home. In Anniston (well anywhere in the state of Alabama) we were constantly running into people that Tom or I (mostly Tom) knew. Not so much here, but maybe this is a turning point. Let's hope so!! It was fun!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Six Things I'm Thinking About, Friday

1. Firing squad. Really? Five shooters, five rifles, four bullets. Leaving each shooter to hope his wasn't the shot to take another's life?

2. Painting the front door today. It was starting to peel and then when Tom pressure washed the front porch a few weeks ago, it really peeled and looked horrendous. The painters who painted our house before we moved in were horrendous. So were the sheet-rockers. Tape is coming loose at all the angles on our very high ceilings. Will take scaffolding and professionals to fix it. Wish professionals had done it to begin with. This picture of the tape coming lose is up about 20 feet.

3. I have rejoined Facebook but in a very limited way.

4. Clotheslines are banned by our "Homeowners Association". I guess that means the permanent ones located in the backyard with lines from one end of a t-post to another. The kind that you can hang two entire sets of sheets on and kids can hide in between... but I still hang my clothes on the line. Three years ago after living in this house with nowhere to hang my laundry outside, I started researching for a portable line like the one I had in Greece. Found this one here . Paid a hefty price for it but know that it has more than paid for itself. I use it year round -- on the deck in summer and guest room in winter. My dryer only gets tossing action on the no heat setting for each load I hang up.

5. I think my husband's favorite summertime activity is this:
Mowing the yard while smoking a cigar.

6. I love white mini-lights. Have used them on my deck/porch in Anniston and the porch here at this house. When they are lit and it's very dark outside they remind me of the the lights used at all the little outdoor tavernas in Greece. Here's the Anniston house.
And here's our home here in Tennessee.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Seven Things I'm Thinking About, Thursday

1. With our next door neighbors we have been composting all compostable waste produced in our household. We have a composter about the size of a large rolling garbage can. After doing this for a year it is less than a third full and we haven't used any of the compost... I guess that's why it's called biodegradeable -- it degrades!

2. Yesterday was an "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" day. Those of you familiar with that children's book know what that means. You start cleaning one closet, drawer, room, etc.... and it snowballs to cleaning ALL the closets, ALL the drawers, ALL the house... Now the spare bedrooms are all clean and ready for guests this weekend.

3. The guests this weekend are Tom's kids, Craig and Jennifer, and Jennifer's son, Brody. It's been quite awhile since they came up for a visit and fitting that it is also Father's Day weekend.

4. I'm especially anxious to see Craig. This will be the first time we have seen him since he made the decision and took the action to get a divorce. His first anniversary would have been while he is here on Sunday. We are very glad he made this choice and is going on with his life. He is a wonderful man and someday a lucky young woman is going to love and appreciate him for the "Wright Man" that he is.

5. I'm always fascinated by siblings and how different they can be. Especially when they are full siblings (as opposed to steps or halfs) and raised by the same parents. My own girls are different in many respects but they have the same basic value system, have careers that enable them to use their vast creative abilities, and have a fierce love of family. My own sibs are a case in point. My brothers and I have little in common, yet my sister and I are much more so. The old nature vs nurture problem, I guess.

6. Cali had her yearly vet appointment this morning. Exam and vaccinations, heartworm and tick/flea meds. Also having her teeth cleaned and nails clipped. For that she had to be sedated and left most of the day. Being sedated added all kinds of necessary charges (pre-blood work, post anti-biotic, bordatella). The grand total was about twice what I expected but, fortunately, she is a healthy dog and this was all needed check-up stuff! But I can see why some folks might be interested in pet insurance... She's sleeping it off now that she's home.

7. My little Charlotte called this evening for a chat. She and her dad were on their way to Grama's (my mom's) house but she told me she was coming to my house.... I wish! Miss that little munchkin (and her mommy and daddy)!! This picture of us was taken last October.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Five Things I'm Thinking About, Wednesday

1. I've given up eating meat. I don't call myself a vegetarian, because I'm not opposed to eating it, but I've read too much about the way meat is grown in this country, and am horrified by the factory farms that produce meat and poultry. I actually haven't missed it. I do eat eggs and cheese (I know, I know...) because I know I need protein. I love grains, fruits and veggies...

2. I think I'm going to start a new FB account. I miss being connected to my daughters and some friends. Plan to be more discerning about "friending" people. Maybe.

3. We went on a picnic for dinner last night at Cumberland University. The Nashville Symphony Orchestra was playing a free concert on the lawn. Planned to meet Ron and Cheryl there but their plans had to change. Did hook-up with Betty when we arrived. The evening was absolutely beautiful -- cool and breezy -- and the music enchanting. As the evening got darker the fireflies appeared, toddlers danced, and I didn't get a photo of any of it -- my battery was dead! So here's a press pic of the conductor, Kelly Corcoran at work!

4. I went thrifting and antiquing for a time yesterday after depositing all of the recycle for the month. I hit the local Goodwill on a regular basis but not the antique stores so that was kind of fun -- but, alas, no goodies to show for the trips.

5. My friend Joyce (bff extraordinaire !) has dealt with back pain for the entire 26 years of our friendship. It has worsened as the years passed and she has decided to try an implanted device to help her deal with it. You can read about her brave struggle here. Say a prayer, she's having the procedure done today. Here's a pic of my buddy and her new puppy, Bailey, from a couple years ago.

Six Things I'm Thinking About, Monday

1. It's HOT here in the south these days! 93 degrees with heat index of 100! Whew! I just spent a few hours on the screened porch with the fans on, but now I'm raising the white flag and coming in to the AC!

2. Tom and I went garage-saling Saturday morning. Nothing to show for our miles other than a coffee thermos for him and a book for me. It was hot then too! I felt sorry for the people selling -- they were all moving their wares from the driveway into the garages!

3. Last week I got this lamp at Goodwill. It was a cream color trimmed in gold and pretty ugly. I watched it sitting on the shelf for a few weeks. It's very heavy ceramic and I love the lines. So after paying $2.50 on half price day, I brought it home, cleaned it up and grabbed this great spray paint color. I love my "new" lamp for the porch! And a big shout-out to my wonderful hubby for running and stapling an extension cord under the deck so we can now have light on this side of the porch.

4. I spent Saturday afternoon with my BBBS Little Sister. C and I went shopping at Kohl's for her belated birthday gifts -- summer clothes! She had definite likes and dislikes and it was fun helping her coordinate some outfits. We then had lunch at SteakNShake before heading back to her house. Oh, and a quick stop at the Goodwill where we found her a really cute denim skirt to add to the birthday loot!!

5. My family in California spent two days last week cutting down some huge juniper trees at the side of my parents' house. My mom planted them shortly after they moved in over 45 years ago. They provided lots of shade on the deck but the root system was in danger of damaging the foundation of the house. Wish I had been there to help them all out. You can see pictures of all the work they did on my sister's blog here. My mom's yard was always so beautiful and she loved taking care of her plants and flowers but she can no longer do that so the yard is being changed to something more manageable.

6. I noticed on my site meter that I hit 10,000 visitors yesterday. That person is in Canada and came to my blog by way of my sister's and I have no idea who it could be. 10,000 sounds like a lot but when you consider I have had this blog since April of 2006, it's not such a big deal. But I'm enjoying so that is the important thing!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Five Things I'm Thinking About, Friday

Today I'm thinking about some of the many things in my home that I love and cherish because they were made by members of my family.
  1. Some of my first memories of my mom are of her doing needlework. She especially loved to embroider. She has made many many things throughout the years -- pillow cases, dresser scarves, dish towels, etc. My favorites that she made especially for me are these:

She made this quilt for me nearly 40 years ago and I love it! Each block is appliqued around the butterfly and has some additional embroidery. Her embroidery work was always beautiful.

This next piece she made about 25 years ago. This was the first cloth tablecloth I ever had and has six matching napkins -- each embroidered with a different matching color from the tablecloth.

She also did many dishtowels. These daily "angels" are hanging on my vintage rack in the kitchen.

2. My dad's specialty has always been wood and metal works. These book ends he made when I was about five years old (over 50 years ago!). I remember him making them and then putting fabric on the bottom so they wouldn't scratch the furniture. The fabric is wool from his Navy uniform. He also made the little birdhouse next to the book ends.

I actually have an additional set of bookends that he made in his high school wood shop class (can you see his name on the bottom? John K).

And my favorite piece of all -- this little table he also made in high school. He made it for my grandmother and she gave it to me about 35 years ago.

For my 23rd birthday he made this plant stand . It has traveled the world with me and the movers always complain because it is so oddly shaped and doesn't come apart. It is hard to see on the screen porch but I especially love the scroll work additions to the rebar. He loves to weld and still makes all kinds of things like this.

3. This embroidered "Serenity Prayer" is very special to me because it is a gift from both of my parents. Mom did the embroidery and dad made the frame. It has been displayed in every home I have lived in since 1976.

4. My very talented daughters must get their creativity from their grandparents. Meghan has sewn many items for me to wear during the past few years but one of the first things she made for me is now a new addition to my kitchen. Do you see it?

She made this little mug rack back in middle school wood shop about 20 years ago. I just today found it again, spray painted it red and hung these mugs on it! I just love it!

5. Erin has also made me things that I cherish. When I was a year from turning 50 she started a countdown for me and gave me a little book with a memory for every day during that year. Here is a sampling of this thoughtful gift from my "little" girl...

And her amazing photography also graces our home. Here are two canvases of the grandkids done with pictures she took of them in 2008 and 2009. I look forward to watching the kiddos grow with a new canvas showcasing her talent each year.