Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wandering With the Wonders

Tongue in Cheek January

Sometimes I crack myself up.

How do I know this?

My family members (husband or daughters) while staring at me as I laugh out loud will say something  like “You’re cracking yourself up, aren’t you?”

Well I never.

I have tried for about an hour now to think of something suitably funny to write for Tongue in Cheek Tuesday, but instead all I hear are crickets.

That and a few random thoughts:

” I wonder if they have white plumbago at Tree of Life nursery?”,


”I wonder if whole wheat pasta has to cook longer than regular pasta?”,


”I wonder if I could find a shimmer face powder that makes my face glow naturally…”

My thoughts are wandering with the wonders.


Now I am cracking myself up again!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Flea Market Reality Show


I really don’t want a reality show film crew following me around at the flea market, but it makes me laugh thinking about it.

Wouldn’t that be a funny show- especially at the flea markets I frequent?

The perfect title for such a show, based on my typical flea market appearance?

Chloe of the Swamps?

Bless Her Heart?

I can only imagine how I looked when I spotted the carved wooden plaque with gold leaf from

Horchow- price $5.

horchow plaque
And yard clothes, bath bun, no contacts or makeup and flip flops aside,

it is the prize that counts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Milk Glass Dessert Sets


These dessert sets were such a good idea-

back in the day when elegance and comfort and convenience were equally important.

I have about 20 sets , and I use them often -

at a dinner party for friends earlier this week,

at bridal showers, baby showers, and any other occasion where ladies gather together and punch,

coffee, and delicious desserts are served. 

I have collected milk glass for at least 25 years, and I still love it so.


Modern is not always better, right?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Entertaining 101: Comfort



Having people in your home is really just about creating a sense of comfort.

Entertaining may not always feel that simple, but it really is.

Their physical comfort is important, of course, but I believe your house can send a message of comfort too.

My house sends me that message every single day.

So last night with teacher friends sitting at my dining room table, that was the message I wanted to send, and I wanted my house to say that too.


And so earlier in the day, dark cream colored roses named Canela (cinnamon) called to me at HEB.

After all, cinnamon is the ultimate comfort spice.

That is how the table evolved with color and texture and warmth.

And then because I love these little salt shakers, I added these (for me).


They make me smile.


Saturday, January 19, 2013



I love our tangerine tree.

It’s had its tough years- drought,neglectful owners (us), hail damage, age. 

It is at least 65 years old.

It was here long before we bought this house.

This winter though,  in spite of its ‘seen better days’ glory, it has produced the sweetest fruit.


What is my favorite way to eat one?

Straight off the tree, peeled and eaten while walking my yard as I mentally plan what I’ll plant in February.

I rarely make it into the house without eating it first.

That is a heady combination for me-

my yard, walking and thinking,

and a sweet tangerine from an old friend.


I hope you have something like that in your life too.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Craving Change


That is what it feels like, right?

It is a craving of sorts that means your creative juices are flowing.

I have recently turned my laser /slightly obsessive sights on the living room.

I am ready for change.

And honest and true,

and I don’t mean to go Reba on you,  I had a lot of white in my home long before white was cool.

And now it is everywhere, and there is a reason why I think.

We all want peace and serenity and comfort.

So we shall see how this all unfolds.

I am researching white paint for the walls- which should be easy- but we all know it is the hardest color of all.

Articles like this from Houzz are helping.

Any suggestions?
What is your favorite white paint?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No Spend January UPDATE


Just a quick note regarding my No Spend January.

The hot water heater started leaking and needed to be replaced.

The sheetrock in the hot water heater closet had to be repaired.

And over the weekend , the mother board (have you ever heard of such a scary thing?) on my laptop crashed and died.

I had to buy a new laptop,  pay money to have one of those young whippersnappers in the Geek Squad retrieve the files on my hard drive and save them on my external hard drive, and apparently my Microsoft Office software is from 2007, and I have to have that in order to maintain documentation on the 16 beginning teachers I supervise.
I now have to buy that as well.

Oh… and learning how to use Windows 8, is like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet with a pencil jammed in your eye.

Be careful what you announce in cyberspace!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Panicking and Editing Blog Posts

Investing Course Panic


So I am walking in the garden center entrance to Wal Mart this morning, taking the long

way to the grocery section  and BAM this thought hits.  (This is a true story.)

I wrote bowel instead of bowl in my blog post Last Little Bit Salad.


Time Out:  As a retired high school English teacher, this is so embarrassing.

I mean BOWEL for goodness sake. Are you kidding me? What a charming image to include in a recipe.

I frantically pulled my IPhone out, went to my blog site as quickly as I could, and checked.



Have you ever deleted a blog post from your phone, while panicked, standing near the swimming pool supplies at Wal Mart?

Just another Saturday morning at White Spray Paint.


PS.  Whenever I re-post a post, I promise I have no ulterior motive to move up higher on your blog roll.  It is only because I have just panicked, choked , and realized I have written something crazy.

Have a great weekend! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Last Little Bit Salad


There is something so satisfying in taking the last little bit of something in the refrigerator or in your pantry and creating something special and delicious. 

I love using the last of something, don’t you?

It feels like I am doing the right thing somehow.

I had just such a moment earlier this week.

What else would you do with a few fresh blueberries, some field greens, the last of the feta cheese, some sliced almonds, and half an avocado?

Why make a salad of course.

Just layer the ingredients in individual salad bowls, top with your favorite vinaigrette and enjoy.

What else was on our Thursday evening menu?

We also had roasted chicken and steamed asparagus with butter and sea salt.

It was delicious.

Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope the last little bits of something are waiting for you too.


Linking to

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cleaning Out Cabinets: A New Method

Mexican Hutch

For those of you who frequent White Spray Paint ,

do not be alarmed.

I have not dropped my basket .

Even if you’re thinking,
“Good night nurse, Laura is not spending money one day, and she’s cleaning out cabinets the next.”

Just know that I have had a grand revelation in the area of cabinet cleaning.
It’s all about my new method, which really works.

I only clean out ONE cabinet at a time which I select RANDOMLY and AT WILL.

Meexican Hutch 2

It is so freeing.

This afternoon when I opened the medicine cabinet and something fell onto the floor, I cleaned out that cabinet and threw away everything that we did not need.

And then I stopped.
I did not clean out every cabinet in the bathroom, which I have been known to do with great irritation and gnashing of teeth .

The remaining cabinets will get cleaned and organized.

Just not all at once.

I used to be all about the cleaning out system and finding just the right system and finding the perfect supplies to support the system and even going to the library or Barnes and Noble to find books on new systems.

That dear friends is procrastination in disguise. 

Who knew?

And so in an hour or two or even tomorrow, when my eye spots another cabinet , and I am willing, I will tackle that one.

And what about the things that are not needed anymore? 

I am going to give them away.


Linking to

Jennifer Rizzo’s Fabulous Creative Friday


My Romantic Home’s Show and Tell Friday

No Spend January



Due to the influence of my middle daughter , I am having a No Spend January

And yes I am of a ‘certain generation’ that was taught a variety of behavior rules about these things- as in you don’t ever talk about money-

or swim after eating,

or run crossing the street,

or put your elbows on the table,

or wear white after Labor Day.

In a single word that sums it up- ‘whatever’.

And so, what does a no spend month look like here?

Anything that does not fall into the category of food, gasoline, or monthly bills is off limits.

My daughter succinctly described it like this,

after I asked her a million questions- seeking loopholes,

as in-

“what about caladium bulbs at Sam’s that are a great price and I need to get them in the ground and what if there is the perfect round dining table at the flea market just waiting for me after all of these years and what if I need to buy samples of white paint because I now want to paint all of my yellow walls white?”

Daughter:  “Mother, just stay out of Ross (Dress for Less).”


And so I am in the midst of only spending money this month on what we need, and it has been a real eye opener.

This is what I have learned.

1.  We don’t need anything.

2.  Being a good shopper and ‘finder’ is not a reason for shopping or finding.

3.  I may be, albeit a mild mannered one,  a rule breaker at heart.

4.  I come from humble, hard working stock. They had no spending years.

5.  I already knew the benefits of doing this, but I got mixed up.

6.   This has made me look around my home and garage and see more things I do not need.

And yes, I still want the caladium bulbs and the rose bushes at WalMart, but I want to do this too.

I really did know about this.

In fact I wrote about it here in my post on Foolproof Financial Advice.

But again, in my favorite words of Steve Martin,

“I got mixed up.”


Friday, January 4, 2013

Gardening Plans


Attention all gardeners:

Rose bushes have arrived and are on sale at WalMart and at our HEB grocery store.

I want to buy one in every color, but I need a plan I think.

I didn’t plant my caladium bulbs back in October, so I have to figure out what to do about that.

I will miss them.

I also need to confess to my dear friend Mary Kay that the irises died she gave me to transplant.

Oh dear.

She’s a really nice, patient person.

I hope she understands and

let’s me try again.

I also want to re-do my raised beds so they look more decorative.

What’s that French word everyone in blog land uses? Potager?

I would feel silly saying that.

Jardin works just fine for me. (garden in Spanish)

Our extension agent said he plants his tomato plants on Valentine’s Day.


Bloggers are already decorating for Valentine’s Day.

I’m behind and it’s not even here yet.

And then there are all of the zinnia seeds I need ,

the new hoses I need to buy,

and the dead areas of the lawn I need to re-plant.


I need to remember my husband’s famous admonition:

”Now, don’t get yourself into a tizzy.”

Not Your Grandmother’s Chicken and Dumplings



I wish I could claim this pot of chicken and dumplings that we enjoyed during the Christmas

holiday came from our family archive of favorite recipes.


It looked and sounded more like this.

I had a chicken , which I decided to boil with Nature’s seasoning and an onion.

After it was done and deboned , I added this to the broth.

This makes chicken broth amazing.

Then I hollered at my youngest daughter who was watching football in the den.

”Katherine, look up a dumpling recipe online please.”

After a minute, she began to read one aloud, and I shouted- “No too hard. Find an easier one. “

(grumbling from the den…)

And then she found this one-



Easy Dumplings

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Blend dry ingredients together.

Then, stir in only until blended:
3/4 cup milk

Return the de-boned chicken to the broth and bring to a boil.

Drop the dumpling dough by spoonfuls into the broth.

Cook 10 minutes uncovered, then cover tightly and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ranch Recipe#12: Easy Corn Casserole

Corn CasseroleDon’t you just love simple, no fail recipes? 

Add to that humble, pantry ingredients, and I am sold.

This is just such a recipe.

(adapted from a Food Network recipe)

yield:   print recipe

Easy Corn Casserole

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 45 MINStotal time: 60 mins
This easy corn casserole recipe is perfect for family gatherings.


  • 1 (15 1/2 oz) can of cream style corn
  • 1 (15 1/2 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, cornbread mix, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with cheese. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.



Everyone is gone and to re-state an expression I used here, it is time to fish or cut bait.

Note:  I enjoy using old-fashioned expressions.

Note:  In fact, the year I retired from teaching high school English, one of my English III AP students kept a running list of the old fashioned things I said in class that were not in their modern, teenage lexicon.

They were smart alecks like that, which of course made me love them even more. 

When you combine smart and funny that is a pretty powerful combination.

So it is time to put into effect my new word for 2013 which is


Note:  I did not say perfect. 

For some reason the word Excellence has been floating around in my thinking lately.

What will that look like?

In my life… everything from

arranging things in my car so they don’t slide to the floor when I put on the brakes

to putting the cart back in its slot at WalMart

to putting cream on my face twice a day

to doing a paradigm shift in my very old thinking.

Could it be that being a slinger and a jammer and a Scarlet O’Hara and the occasional procrastinator in my thinking may have stayed at the dance too long? (there’s another one)

We’ll see.

I’ll keep you posted.  Pun intended.


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