Thursday, December 31, 2009

My New Year's Eve

While driving my grandsons home today (alone) , I had time to think as I played my IPod, creating a soundtrack perfect for New Year's Eve.

Add to that two little boys sitting in car seats behind me, a 7 hour drive, and 3 stops , (including Burger King in Riviera, an hallucinatory idea that we could all go into Blue Sky in Refugio and see what was on sale, and Prasek's for cookies) and all I could think to do (in between loud singing spells) was pray :

"Dear God, please give us traveling mercies to get my precious cargo home safe and sound to their mother and father."

So often I think of post topics while driving. Today was no exception. What to say on New Year's Eve?

Rather than aim my resolution thinking/praying at myself, because I know what falls under my word for the year( INTENTIONAL), I decided to think of things I wanted to say to my daughters.

* If you are dancing with someone to Brooks and Dunn's Neon Moon, and he just doesn't have the beat, change partners. Neon Moon dances for you for goodness sake.

* Don't fall into the trap of thinking you have to pick a political team. Keep thinking. Pick issues instead.

* Watch out for high blood pressure carriers. Remember Nonnie's (my mother's) famous line when asked if Papa (my father) had high blood pressure?

"No... he's a carrier."

* While you are young, value all of your friends- even if you are not particularly close or you do not always agree. Life has a way of coming full circle.

* Keep your love of old things- build your collections, and then start another one. Don't listen to the naysayers because until they've been bent over with their head in a box of junk, they just don't know.

*And finally- really believe that I love you, with ALL of my heart, and though these words have been said many times, it is important to me that you accept that I really, really love you.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Star Wars Legos, Thomas the Train, and Little Cars

        I am currently house bound with my two young grandsons, drizzling, cold weather outside, and a million legos and tiny cars.  You do not want to walk barefoot in my house right now!

        I am in heaven- although I may need a day of beauty after this. 

        I made a comment in passing that my hair looked like quite a mess, and my oldest grandson said:

“No Ma Do- it looks like it always does.”

Out of the mouths of babes.

        I will re-surface soon.  

Monday, December 28, 2009

List Making

        We got home last night, after being away for almost a week.  We had such a great Christmas visit at Daughter 3’s house.

        An added treat for me is that our two grandsons (ages 2.5 and 5.5) came home with us for a visit this week.

        As I write this, Grandson#1 is eating Sister Schubert cinnamon rolls- which are TO DIE FOR, if you follow the package directions exactly.

        So my blogging may be intermittent, but I can work on my list.

        Here is ITEM #1.

Be Intentional.

        I always  encouraged my students to consider the lofty, the grandiose, the outside the box- to extend themselves in their thinking.

        However…they still needed at some point to ANSWER THE QUESTION with accuracy, substantiation, and a dash of wit. That is what I call BEING INTENTIONAL (I have no photographs today so I am using lots of caps).

        Being INTENTIONAL, for those of us who are at another end of the age spectrum, adds the focus that my distracted ,dice-throwing living seems to have adopted.

        While shopping last week, I saw a pre-made To Do List that listed categories for you. All you had to do was check the item off the list.

        If I made one such list, mine would look like this- in no particular order:

Do Something

*Spiritual (using one of my many devotional books on my shelves- I think the winner is

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers


*Intellectual (this should not be a scary word- we all have intellects)


(to continue without parallel structure)

*Heal something/someone

*Edify someone

*Clean something

*Organize something

*Purge something

*Cook something

*Save something for the future

*Give away something

*Read something

*Write something

Couldn’t these be my learning objectives? My TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) if you will?

Just a thought…

Right now some INTENTIONAL grandson tending calls!



Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!
I hope you are all having a wonderful, blessed day.
PS. I started blogging a year ago at Christmas. Thank you for making this a very special year for me.

Monday, December 21, 2009


FOR TODAY... February 8, 2010

Outside my window... my bougainvillea thinks it won the battle we had yesterday, as I trimmed all of its dead, THORN FILLED branches .



This is dangerous work. Really.  Who drew first blood?  Guess.

I am thinking... about how much I love to write. I enjoy the arrangement of words as much , if not more, than anything else in my life I have arranged.

I am thankful for... the willingness I have had this week to eat delicious vegetables, ruby red grapefruit, drink water and decaf iced tea, move away from artificial sweeteners, exercise, and OVERLOOK things while KEEPING MY MOUTH SHUT. (That one almost killed me.)

I am wearing... my new black cotton knit nightgown with little pink flowers that I bought at Ross. I like it so much I wouldn’t mind wearing it to run errands.

Note to Daughters:  Don’t worry. I am just kidding.

I am remembering... two post topics I thought of today while driving. 

I am going... to wash the supper dished after I finish this.

I am currently reading... my new Vanity Fair magazine.

I am hoping... my grandsons get their Valentine package by Sunday.

On my mind... my new roses that I will plant this month.

Their names:  Touch of Class, Grenada, and First Prize. They are in shades of pinks, peach, and light coral.

True confession: I am not a fan of knockout roses. I like BIG, chubby roses.

Noticing that... I have books stacked everywhere.

Pondering these words...  ‘Ooh Child.’

From the kitchen... I made stir fry for supper with fresh vegetables and chicken. I bought this delicious stir fry sauce at Canton back in January.

Around the house... things are looking better.

One of my favorite things…  Philosophy Amazing Grace lotion.

From my picture journal..




Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas


What a wonder these weeks of Christmas preparation have been.  I have enjoyed decorating my home so much- sharing it with all of you and with my ‘face-to-face’ friends and family.


During church this morning, I heard a wonderful sermon from our bishop suffragan. He said something that took my breath away.

‘Jesus comes to comfort the afflicted and

afflict the comfortable.’

That is chiseled in the stone of my memory bank.

It is time to embrace the uncomfortable, I think. This is not a punitive message , but rather the message I tried to convey everyday , with love and determination, to my AP students:

Snap out of it!”

I have had my fair share of the comfort that usually leads to complacency, spiritually and otherwise.

The simplicity of this design for living makes me smile.

Let us all get uncomfortable!


Our early Christmas luncheon Sunday was a success.  It was fun seeing my nephew get thirds of ham.  My father said he may need to put in a hog farm. 

After he finished his pecan pie ,he said he needed to ‘go get his shot’, as is his routine.

We didn’t sit at my set table. We all sat together in the den with football playing in the background.  I sent lots of leftovers home with my brother and nephew. Comfort.

I think this idea of comfort becomes real when I am more focused on the comfort of others than myself.

We have those memories from our childhood don’t we?

A hug, an explanation, being tucked in, a hand on your forehead when you aren’t feeling well-

Merry Christmas everyone!



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Early Christmas Lunch and It’s No Step For a Stepper


        Today has been a day of cooking, as I prepare for Sunday ‘early’ Christmas lunch for my father, brother, and my nephew.  I won’t be here Christmas day to cook for them.

        We are leaving Tuesday to spend Christmas with all of our daughters, my son-in-law, and my grandsons. I can’t wait.

        I am going to teach them to play Barrel of Monkeys and Go Fish, and  we are going to bake cookies, and I hope to create a GIANT mess.


        I have made 2 pecan pies ( I made Pioneer Woman’s pie crust), oatmeal cookies, a pan of broccoli cornbread, sand tarts, chocolate peanut candy, and scalloped pineapple.


        My menu for tomorrow includes:

Spiral Sliced Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

Scalloped Pineapple

Green Beans with Brown Sugar and Garlic

Mashed Potatoes with Butter and Sour Cream

Broccoli Cornbread


Pecan Pie

       These three men in my family, including Daughter #2, will be waiting for us as we arrive home from church. Everything will be warming in the oven.


        I used this sifter to sift the powdered sugar for the sand tarts.

Note to daughters:  I LOVE this sifter.

        I also love my pyrex bowls.


        Today I must say I am humbled by everything around me, around you, and around the world at large.

        Today I also want to send out a word of encouragement to anyone/everyone who is facing a scary challenge.

        Just remember the words of my mother, as she faced her own health challenges:

It’s no step for a stepper.”


Friday, December 18, 2009

Wrapping Gifts Plus a True Confession


          At the risk of offending Christmas gift wrapping experts far and wide, I must say-

          I do not enjoy wrapping gifts.  

          After an hour or so , wrestling with two pairs of scissors, a disappearing act pen, regular tape, and double sided tape (which is a product I rank right up there with sorting jumbled up coat hangers ) , this is what I have to show for my efforts. 


        Does anyone understand?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas at The Gunter


        As our Christmas gift to each other, my husband and I took a quick trip to San Antonio, stayed at The Gunter Hotel, and saw a show at The Majestic theater.


        When we arrived (it is about a 5 hour drive), we walked to Schilo’s Delicatessen and had reubens, homemade root beer, and split pea soup.  Since it was cold outside, it was especially wonderful.

        I took these photos when we returned to the lobby .





        And then, since it was cold and time for a cup of afternoon coffee, I explored a little further…


        Don’t these look delicious?



        My husband and I shared one of these.


        Since it was late afternoon,the restaurant was setting out these trays.



        We had a wonderful trip, but I am such a homebody, I am also glad to be home. It is cold and raining- perfect home weather.

         Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Blogging

Xmas Tour

        What a blessing Christmas in blog land is.  I have enjoyed visiting wonderful sites that are not only beautiful and creative but beautiful in spirit as well.  Some may think I may ‘protest too much’, but it really isn’t about stuff.

        I enjoy incorporating Christmas decor into the way things look every day in my home.  To my eye, nothing looks better than red Christmas decorations against blue and white pieces and yellow walls.


        I have 3 trees, and I enjoy them all.


         In the study I have pinks, white, and silver.



        And I so enjoy gold in the den.





        Red is everywhere else.




        Today I am participating in several parties.

Mosaic Monday at Little Red House,

Tour of Homes at Nesting Place,

Vintage Christmas Monday at Anything Goes Here, and

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Please click on each party site to be linked to other entries.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tablescape Thursday


        My Tablescape Thursday entry, during the Christmas season at Between Naps on the Porch, combines tradition and sentiment. 

        This arrangement is at the edge of my dining room.



        My Christmas china has special, sentimental value .  On the way to my teacher retirement appointment in Austin, to sign all of the needed paperwork (after 32 years in education), I was feeling a little blue. 

        I persuaded my husband to stop at the Mikasa Outlet to off-set my ‘blueness’, and I found these discounted in the back room. This really helped…

xmas collage


China:    Mikasa Christmas Garden

Goblets:  Vintage Ebay

Sterling:  Reed&Barton Francis 1st

Napkins:  Kohl’s

Napkin Rings:  KMart

Enjoy your Thursday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Collecting naturally transfers to Christmas decorations, and I have enjoyed that as much as finding milk glass cake pedestals, interesting hammered aluminum, red 6 sided goblets...

The list is endless.
        My Christmas collections include nativities, and I am partial to nativities from Mexico.

The figures in Mexico nativities are painted in a primitive fashion,

but mangers were primitive weren’t they , and who could be more down to earth,

more ‘this is fine- we don’t need anything else’- than Mary and Joseph?

                                           My collection holds sentimental value for me.

           This beautiful nativity is from Paraguay and was a gift from my dear friend Anna.

If my grandsons were here this morning, while I made them pancakes, I would ask them to arrange this nativity for me, and I would ask them what they have been learning in Sunday school.
        My oldest grandson has such a fine, kind heart.My daughter said he wanted to leave Santa Claus a gift because of all that Santa has given them.

                                       This was one of the first that I collected.

                                                   And then there are the small sets.

pictures 028
  Before I moved this hutch to the little house, this is where I displayed my collection.
Note:  I didn’t get selected at jury duty. As a teacher, it is very hard not to stand up and re-organize things.  I didn’t want to get arrested.

This morning I am linking to Three or More Tuesday at The Gypsy’s Corner, Decking the Halls at Thoughts From Over the Rainbow, and Second Time Around at A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.
Join in the fun!

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