Wednesday, August 31, 2011

White Bedding and matelasse


I love white bedding,

and my all-time favorite white bedding is matelasse.


It has texture and it ‘makes’ well-

as in making the bed.


I am just not a fan of overly patterned or bold colored bedding.

I think it is because I don’t want my bedding to make some sort of

statement in the room,

other than

‘Shhhh… come lie here…’

And the best resource for affordable matelasse bedding?

JC Penney’s.



Linking to




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dining Table Intervention


Just so you know, I just

did an intervention

on myself.

It went something like this…

(In my steel trap mind)

Hmmm.  I seem to be writing blog posts about projects I am going to do.

Hmmm. I don’t seem to leave the hunter gatherer stage.

Hmmm. I have now collected lots of things to re-do.

Hmmm. I have even bought the ‘supplies’ I need to do said projects.

Hmmm. I have never been a fan of mice, but I now own a mouse sander.

Hmmm. I traveled through the heat wave this summer that is South Texas to buy chalk paint in McKinney, Texas.

Hmmm. Of course it makes sense to spend $30 on a quart of paint?

And then I snapped,

and thought


Intervention over.


I found this Duncan Phyfe table

in pieces

at the flea market.

Daughter #3 needs a dining table.

The table was

$30 too.

Dining table $30?

Chalk paint $30?




Now I need more supplies, right?

I need some super , magical wood glue, and

giant clamps and  a leveler thing, and some magical wood filler,

and then I’ll need a trailer, right?

Because I won’t be able to drive this finished product

to Dallas in Hauler 2, right?

And after I assemble it and paint it perfectly with my new chalk paint,

I surely won’t want to take it apart again to deliver it,


Your friend,

Steel Trap Mind

PS. I have just set a deadline for all of my projects.

They must be finished in the year 2011.

Phew…that’s a relief.

Intervention #2 over.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pay It Forward



Once upon a time,

a lady came to a garage sale I was having with Daughter #2,

and she bought a chair.

Later that same month,

I went to the flea market


lo and behold

that same lady had a booth

and she was selling a chair…

which I bought to use near one of my desks-

once I recover the seat and do something interesting to the wood.

Does this sound normal?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Calling All Cars! Picasa Help Needed



Help! Murder! Police!

I need your advice.

I have used Picasa forever, and it suits me fine-

plus it’s free.

Apparently while I was out of town,

something went wrong.

In the past when I loaded my photos from my camera

onto my computer,

my photos went two places:

my hard drive in My Pictures


into my Picasa library as well.

It was all automatic.


Now my photos don’t automatically load into Picasa.

I am an automatic kind of gal.

Any suggestions?


Do you load your photos onto your computer with your memory card or with a cable connected to your camera?



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Drizzle Chicken


I am at my daughter’s for a last minute grandson fix before school starts Monday.
Last night I made up a baked chicken recipe that you might enjoy.
You’ll understand the name when you see my instructions.
Drizzle Chicken
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut a whole chicken into pieces, or if you are lazy like I am, simply cut it in half.
Place the chicken in a baking pan.
Drizzle it with olive oil.
Sprinkle it with TexJoy seasoning.
Drizzle it with Paul Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing.
(my new favorite ingredient)
Bake it in the 400 degree oven until it starts to turn golden.
Turn down the heat to 350 and bake until done.

In the meantime, send your grandsons outside to shuck 4 ears of corn
for corn on the cob.

Answer their questions about the corn’s ‘hair’,
corn husks, shucking, and funny words.

Think of the lessons your grandmothers taught you.
Feel the tears starting.
Say a prayer of gratitude, which for me is simply
thank you God for this moment and gift,
thank you God for this moment and gift,
thank you God.

Move on to the next lesson.

Tear the end off the wrapping of a stick of butter.
Show them how to run it back and forth, holding the papered end,
over their hot corn.

Say another prayer of gratitude, which for me is simply
thank you God for this moment and gift,
thank you God for this moment and gift,
thank you God.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Art of the Grab



(This is a sequel of sorts to some things I mentioned in a previous post.

Can you imagine the woman above ever grabbing at anything?)


in an upbringing that included adages like

’company goes first’


ingrained responses like, ‘no, you go ahead’,

it is sometimes hard to reconcile that taught behavior with what

happens in the world of flea marketeering, estate sales, and close-outs.

To fully understand my dilemma ,

this goes waaaay back.

Yes, I admit, with my friend JB, I did fight off a horde of women at a store in McAllen


Cabbage Patch dolls,

at Christmas time,  out of boxes they brought from the back…

And yes, I confess,

I did on occasion, before Dillard’s realized they really shouldn’t put their

Department 56 Snow Village houses at 50% off after Christmas,

send my daughters scooting up the escalator to help us

leverage a good spot in the shopping.

(OK… so that was never a good idea…)

The point is, I know better.

The point also is that when you have this

search and grab thing in your blood
and you see something you love,

it can be a tad hard to control…

I have decided while writing this that I am going to change the language.

I am changing grab to


That sounds a little more refined.

Grab has such a negative connotation.

Snatch sounds almost British.

Yeah, right.

How do you handle your junking lust?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Bilingual Bargaining


Where I live, my flea market exploring

often involves a negotiating


in Spanish.

I love that.

In fact, one of my favorite flea markets is so close to the border,

all cell phone service is international.

Let me just say, this requires having all of my

wits about me,

as I mentally go back to my high school Spanish classes

at Saint Mary’s Hall

in San Antonio.

My Spanish teacher in high school was blind

and excellent and demanding.

His wife , who never left his side throughout the period,

watched our every teenage move.

She could see, and she was excellent.

All of this is an absolute blast for me.


And so one day at the flea market,

when I saw this bust teetering on the asphalt,

in a pile of items,

near a very stern looking shopper,

I did a quick translation in my head.



“Con permiso. Si no lo quieres,

yo lo compro.”

Loosely translated:

Excuse me.

If you do not want this,

I will buy it.

And then the wait begins…

tick tock, tick tock.


My mental gymnastics (in English) while waiting:

oh my gosh-I have got to have that-calm down Laura,

walk away slightly, smile, don’t stalk-

don’t hover-

oh my gosh I have to have that-.

And so when I heard this voice say,


while handing me the bust,


I smiled and said


Which is the same

in any



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imageIn Other Words Tuesday




Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daybook August 15, 2011 : Teachers And Blogging Advice


Outside My Window

I am preparing to go out in the heat-to the garage- to pack up

recent finds/treasures for upcoming Market Day sales,

where we will have a booth.

I may be holding a running hose over my head,

it is so hot,

which is actually a good idea.



I Am Thinking

that the pep talk email I just sent my beginning teacher interns

(I have 11 this year)


will prepare them for the weeks ahead.


as we all do,

when the prognosis is challenging-

we focus on other things…

I said things in the email like

*dress nicely

*organize your classroom

*prepare for the first day of class

*call me any time of the day or night

*I will be in your classroom this week to see you.


in the state of Texas

a public school teacher works 187 days per school year.

That teacher’s yearly salary is calculated for 187 days.

When a Texas teacher is ‘off’ during the holidays

or the summer,

they are receiving pay for days already worked.

Their yearly salary has simply been divided by 12 months.

A Texas teacher must have a bachelor’s degree,

must have completed the certification process through an accredited agency (at an additional cost of around $4000)

and must have passed two state board exams-

one in his/her content and one in pedagogy and professionalism.


I  Am Thankful For…  teachers.

I was a teacher.

I am now teaching teachers.

My oldest daughter, before becoming an attorney was a high school teacher,

My middle daughter, the librarian

, was an elementary science teacher,

and my youngest daughter is a high school English teacher.

While under the weather , I read….blogging articles and advice by experts.


Here is what I decided.

‘You have got to be kidding.’ 

                                                                    Here is my advice.

I am no expert-

just a rebel.

*Blogging is a dynamic activity.

I blog to write.

More really is more.

I must write more to be able to write more.

This makes perfect sense to me.

*Blogging should be mutual.

It is not all about me

and how I feel, especially if I don’t feel like

readers feel like I have a blog they want to visit.

I should be spending a proportionate amount of time



It should never be one-sided.

*Blogging photography can be rewarding and frustrating.

Most of my photos are crooked.

I said once,

I need a tripod for ME.

Maybe I need to measure my legs?

I am going… to stop now.


It really is all about the simple things for me.

I just have complicated thoughts!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

You’ve Just Got To Do What You’ve Just Got To Do


Sometimes when you have been sick with bronchitis

for almost 3 weeks…

And sometimes when it is 175 degrees where you live…

And when you have a daughter (#2), who just earned her Masters Degree on Friday…

You’ve just got to do what you’ve just got to do.

Thursday, August 11, 2011



This is it Miss Amy.

This is my style-

even as imperfectly as this unstaged photo portrays it.

I see its imperfections.

*It is a straight out of camera shot, as are 99.9% of my blog photos, because I just can’t spend the time.

*The foo dog urns should be moved over a wee bit.

*Those white shield chairs need a coat of paint and their chair seats are getting new fabric.

*That blue and white chinoiserie pillow doesn’t belong in that wingback chair.


every day of my life…

multiple times a day in fact,

when I walk down the hall toward this end of our home,

and the sunlight is coming in through that living room window,

this very spot

takes MY breath away.

Every.single. time.


Linking to:


Slinger’s Fantasy Summer Salad


When I first spotted this salad recipe

on a site called

The Picky Cook,

I knew it fit my slinging style of cooking

because it said

‘no measuring needed’.


It is full of my favorite food groups:

three cheese tortellini, romaine lettuce, toasted pecans, feta cheese, and craisens.


First I prepared the tortellini according to the package instructions.

And then, I amazed myself.

(almost as much as thinking of the term flea marketeer)

I drizzled olive oil onto a sheet pan and cooled the tortellini , spread out on the pan.

They didn’t stick together like little concrete rocks because of the olive oil , and they weren’t touching each other.

Who knew???

(you all did, right?)

I then toasted the pecans in a dry copper skillet

and amazed myself even more.

It worked, and I didn’t walk off, even once,

to start a new project,

or dig in a drawer.

Phenergen cough medicine with codeine (I am into my second week of bronchitis)

has my mental/fantasy synapses clicking.

I used my purple nesting bowl Daughter #1 gave me from

Sur le Table

and the fantasy tripled.

At that point, I was a French chef.


After dumping  carefully layering the above ingredients,

(chilled tortellini, feta cheese, romaine lettuce, toasted pecans, and craisens)

I brought out my boyfriend Paul Newman’s

Balsamic Vinaigrette.


Way to go Picky Cook!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh How Pinteresting!



(Mary McDonald)

Earlier this morning I created a new pinterest board


Color Favorites.

You would not find me on any kind of trending blog list right now

because I CRAVE color.


I think because it looks like jewelry to me.


truth be told,

who knows how cravings start?

The greens above remind me of a malachite necklace and earrings I have.


(Mary McDonald)

I not only love the colors in this bedroom,

I also love anything with monograms.


(Tobi Fairley)

Do you think it’s tied to

why ladies of an age begin wearing Red Hats?

To that I say,

You Go Girl!

I have used white in my home

all of my home’s life,

hence the name

White Spray Paint,

but this is coming from some place else.


(Mary McDonald)

It is going to be fun to find out why and how!



Linking to

The Vintage Apple’s

How Pinteresting!.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

DEAR DAUGHTERS: FoolProof Financial Advice



This advice, that your grandmother Nonnie gave me years ago, is not for the faint of heart.

In fact, as collectors, explorers, finders, discount experts, and flea marketeers,

(you came by these traits honestly),

the thought

can be daunting.


here it is.

Stay Out Of Stores.

That’s it girls.

It’s as simple as that.

Love you.

Have a great week,


PS. I made up that word flea marketeers, and I am now cracking myself up!


Linking to:


Monday, August 8, 2011

The Pilgrimage: La Peregrinacion


The idea of making a pilgrimage has always had a special meaning for me.

Though the language I use may  be different,

as in


‘making a round’,

‘making a vuelta’,


‘going exploring’,

the intention is the same.

I am looking for something soul-related.


The important people in my life know this about me.

Once, when shuffling my feet and stumbling through

a confession of sorts to my priest (Episcopalian)

about my absence from church,

he said,

with an absolving smile on his face,

he knew where I was.

I was at the flea market.


Years ago, when my mother died,

I ‘looked’ for her in these familiar destinations, these pilgrimages:

the flea market,

Retacera, the fabric store she loved in downtown McAllen,

the chair in her living room.

Just a few weeks ago, one of her favorite vendors at the flea market stopped me

with a big smile and began by saying,


And so on my recent pilgrimage to Dallas

to deliver the turquoise dresser to Daughter #3,

and after a visit to Canton,


I stopped in Athens , Texas at the Goodwill.

It was there I found

La Peregrinación,

(the pilgrimage)

a painting by an artist in San Miguel de Allende,

my favorite place in the world.



The painting depicts pilgrims

making their way to the shrine of

la Parroquia,

which sits on the square in San MIguel.


This unexpected find of a special treasure

all made perfect

soul sense

to me.




Linking to:

miscellaney monday




In Other Words Tuesday

Sunday, August 7, 2011

the best planning calendar


For as many years as I have loved school supplies, calendars, and planners-

and believe me,

I have tried them all…

this calendar is my all-time favorite.


Over the years, I bought all of the Franklin Covey binders,

but as the real

Princess and the Pea,

certain things eventually bothered me.

The brown leather planner was too heavy.

The red leather planner was too heavy and the binder rings got in my way.

The black giant sized planner was also too heavy.

Plus, I couldn’t fit my handwriting in the calendar boxes.

I tried tiny planners to keep in my purse.

Those irritated me too.

Then one day, I discovered Brownline calendars.


They are lightweight yet sturdy.

They are stiff enough to use as a writing surface.

When open, they lie perfectly flat.

They are thin enough to fit in a tote or even a large purse.

They are also thin enough to save year after year.

They are 8 1/2”x11” so papers fit inside the front cover.

They come in red which reminds me of an old school grade book.


my writing fits in the calendar boxes.



The best prices are on Amazon.


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