Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy accidents...

On Saturday, my friend Drew and I headed out to a craft show in Goliad. It was a mere two and half hour drive. A simple hop, skip, and a jump down the road when you have pleasant company.

One problem. Once we got there, we figured out that the craft show is next weekend. Oh well. There were lots of cool places to explore. I found some great treasures that I've been pining for for ages (I'll show them to you in another post).

Then we happened on Tia's on the Square!

Look at this...

...oh, I love this place! The layers of exposed paint on the ceiling above that fabulous chandelier. Love!

And their displays!

So fun. So sparkly. So gorgeous!

And I absolutely adore these...
I don't even know how to describe these stunning snowflakes. The detail. The sparkle. The romance!

I'm really trying to get by with what I have...and I have a lot of Christmas ornaments, so I didnt' let myself have one. And now I can't stand it. I think I have to go back.

I'm kind of glad we missed the craft show. We had fun just roaming around town.

Today I am thankful for happy accidents.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I heard a discussion on NPR the other day about Thanksgiving being unique as holidays go. It is not about having to find the perfect gift, or sending cards, or hiding eggs, or shooting off fireworks. It is solely a day of tradition. A day when the focus is on the table...the loved ones around it and the food on it...and hopefully we appreciate and are thankful for both. A day when almost everyone in the country is having turkey, and all the side dishes are from recipes that have been passed down for generations.

I hadn't thought of it in exactly that way before.

Tomorrow we are going to Kasey's, and as long as I'm not having to cook, we could have hot dogs and I wouldn't care. My sister asked me what I was taking, and I told her I was taking the cans of cranberry jelly. She said my mother would be appalled...and she would...and I don't care. I am ceding the family tradition of controlling the kitchen.

One year I did take the time to put some of our family's favorite holiday recipes into a small cookbook for my kids, so Kasey has them if she chooses to use them. I'm happy to turn over the least for this year. Though I confess I did buy a small turkey to roast in a day or so...I do love me some turkey sandwiches and soup and casseroles don't you know.

Also, Friday is the National Day of Listening. While you have loved ones together, spend an hour interviewing someone important to you, and if possible record it. That sounds like an awesome idea to me.

Today I am giving thanks for my family...for time to spend together...for hugs...and for traditions.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's on your kitchen windowsill...

I recently found another blog that I really like...Humble Stars & Posies. Recently Sonja (said blogger) had a random musing and asked the question, "What's on your kitchen windowsill?"

That really struck a chord with me, because my kitchen windowsill is one of my favorite spots. So I thought I would follow Sonja's you my windowsill and pass the question on.

I recently put away some summery items that had long languished on the sill, and put out the antique blue mason jars (and luckily I dusted a bit when I did that!)

The left side of the sill is the home of a little stone elephant...a gift from a very special friend. When she gave him to me, she said that elephants are good luck, and they should face east. So this is the home he claimed as his own where he can see the rising sun, and I can see him daily and think of my sweet friend. The donkey reminds me of her as well, good Democrat that she is, and he leans to the left. :) And of course my watch and wedding rings land there at dinner prep time. The right side of the sill temporarily has an autumn scents reed diffuser on it...part of a birthday present.

This little rock lives here behind the faucet, just under the sill. Probably one of the kids brought it in to me while visiting...not really sure...perhaps it would be happier living in the great outdoors again. :)

Today I am very thankful for my kitchen window...what's inside it and what's outside it.

Well, that's my windowsill. So what's on yours?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Diego's team lost the championship game today, but it was a good game just the same.
And it was football weather...chilly and damp, but thankfully no rain while we were sitting in the stands.

It was a nice drive to the game and back with Carey. A sweet time spent with family. And once back home a day that was so relaxing that I took a nap.

For these things, I am deeply thankful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

List maker, list maker, make me a list...

Can't help it...this photo makes me think of Great-Grandpa Bunny Bunny.

Today I am thankful for chiropractors (mine in particular), for whoever thought up selling rotisserie chickens in the grocery store, for sons who carry in groceries, for the forethought to change out of work clothes before starting dinner, for pomegranates so ripe and juicy that they polka dot a plain white t-shirt, and for husbands who clean up the kitchen!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Home, home on the range...

This is not a perfect view. It has fences. And power lines. And brush crowds in where clear spaces and grass should be.

But I can look past them all. They go completely unnoticed. It's all about focusing on what is right with my world, instead of what intrudes. The sunshine and shadow on the hills. The fading horizon line. The sky.

Today I am thankful for the view from my front porch. And for the peace it brings me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Building my stash...

I have been waiting for the Celestial Seasons holiday teas to be back in stores for what seems like forever. Actually since the day I used my last Candy Cane Lane tea bag, meted out sparingly since last holiday season. :)

This is the yummiest peppermint tea. It has a little vanilla added in. Mmmmmm. I love it iced in the
summer too.

These three boxes are just the beginning. This year I'm stockpiling!

Today I am thankful for simple treasures.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I want to be a football hero...

Actually, I want to be a football hero's grandmother. :) And I am!

Today I am thankful that Diego (carrying the ball) had such a happy day. His team won their district championship, 28-0. They all had fun, and no injuries.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Focusing on fruits & vegetables...

I'm a little late getting on the flat-glass-marble-refrigerator-magnet bandwagon, but here I am with a project for them.

I'm really not that big on refrigerator magnets. But once I have a specific need, I'm all about finding a solution, and they fit the bill.

I wanted fruit and vegetable images for the magnets, so at a friend's suggestion, I went through old magazines and had no trouble finding appropriate sized images for the marbles in advertisements and articles.

So here are the raw materials:

large flat clear glass marbles (the ones that are about the size of a quarter)...old magazines...a scrap of tissue paper... Mod Podge...scissors...Exacto knife...paint brush...E6000 glue...strong disk magnets (I forgot to take the picture before I used all the magnets, so you might note that the package is empty).

And here are the steps in order. (Sorry no photos of the process.)
  • Cut out pictures that you like
  • Brush Mod Podge on the flat side of the marbles.

  • Place picture side down into the Mod Podged side of the marble (so picture is visible through the curved part of the glass) and brush more Mod Podge over the back of the picture securing edges. (If the pictures are a little too big, just let them dry, and then use scissors to trim around edges as needed.)

  • Let dry

  • Cut out circles of tissue paper to put over the back of the pictures (not really necessary if your picture is large enough to cover the whole marble back, unless you want them to all look uniform even on the back like little old perfectionistic me)

  • Apply Mod Podge to back of picture on magnet...stick on tissue paper...Mod Podge over tissue

  • Let dry

  • (I've read, though I didn't do it, that you can use an emory board to sand off any rough edges of paper once dried.)

  • Put a small amount of E6000 on marble back (enough so that the glue just barely squeezes out from under the edges of the magnet when you push the magnet secure against the marble) It is important to add here that you should keep something metallic close by so that you know which side of the magnet is the 'attractive' side rather than the 'repellent' side...please don't ask me why I stress this. The 'repellent' side goes in the glue on the back of the marble.

  • Lay the marbles picture side down overnight, so the E6000 can dry thoroughly before placing on the fridge

Here are the finished magnets on the fridge:

And here is how I plan to use them. Start the day with all magnets on one side of the fridge. Then, through the day as servings of fruits or vegetables are consumed, move a magnet to the other side of the fridge.

Voila! A visual reminder every time you go to the fridge to eat your fruits and veg, and a simple way to track your recommended daily intake. (I always thought it was recommended to have 5, but now I'm reading 9 half-cup servings each day...4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables!)

Today I am thankful for the enjoyment my crafty hobbies bring me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day...

Carey just e-mailed me this picture of the flag, a recently completed project they have been working on in their spare time at work. All I can say is WOW, they did an awesome job...the measuring alone! It's a little hard to determine the scale in the photo, but he tells me it is 32 feet by 24 feet! I believe that's their helipad above it. This is a commercial industry, and the guys undertook the project on their own.

I have to say I am very proud and impressed. My guy, who always denies any artistic talent, seems to be showing great promise in the artsy/crafty arena!

I thought is was a perfect photo to share on Veteran's Day, because today we honor the men and women who serve; past and present. We are so thankful for you. Godspeed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nice surprise...

I managed to get up without hitting the snooze button too many times this morning. I got ready for work, and drove into town. I got to the office right on time...and found that my boss had a meeting out of town today.

I don't usually work when he's out of the office, so I usually keep an eye on the calendar...not sure how I missed it. And I didn't really have a lot to do.

So I took the day off.

I went to the grocery store, which was on the list to do after work. I came home and put everything away, and put dinner on to slow cook, and was done by ten thirty.

What a cool surprise to have the majority of the day in front of and clear!

So I did a little crafty project that I will photograph tomorrow.

Today I am thankful for unexpected fun!

And for a job that I like and that is really flexible.

And for the best boss that I've ever, ever had.

(Yep, you guessed it, he follows my blog. LOL)

((But seriously, he IS the best boss I've ever had.))

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday, Monday...

Busy day. Got lots of items scratched off the list.

Now I'm too pooped to pop...showered and shampooed and ready to hop between the clean linens on my bed with a novel (currently Daphne du Maurier's The House on the Strand).

Today I am thankful for having a comfortable bed to crawl into.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rainy day...

Another lovely rainy day. Kind of messy to drive in, but the shopping trip with Kasey and the little girls was worth it.

On the way to meet them, I was listening to Car Talk on NPR, and I heard this song which amused me...then makes you think about what your actions say to strangers.

Today I am thankful for the rain.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...

1. There are so many chores to catch up on around here, that I may be busy till Memorial Day. Shall I list seven? Laundry, vacuuming, mopping, decluttering kitchen cabinet, filing, clean out closet, painting...

2. The knitting is progressing. I have one doll body knit and ready to sew the seams and stuff. I have a good start on the second one. I'm feeling optimistic.

3. Why is it we have hundreds of channels available on satellite and still there is nothing worthwhile to watch? Are those made-for-tv movies on Lifetime not the sappiest things ever?

4. I'm tired of the same old things sitting out around the house...knick knacks (paddy wacks). I want to pack everything away.

5. Is it too early to put up the Christmas tree?

6. I think a facial might help...maybe a pedicure...

7. I love weekends! Especially long ones when the house is quiet...they are filled with the promise of scratching lots of things off of the to-do list. Today I am thankful for weekends!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Being in good company...

Today while reading another blog, I noticed a button and clicked on it. That's how I found Leah of South Breeze Farm and her Giving Thanks Challenge. Since I've been on that topic myself this month, I decided to join her band of thanks givers. :) Thanks, Leah!

Today I am thankful for the company of like thinkers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Be glad for all God is planning for you.
Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always.
Romans 12:12

I was talking with a woman at work today, and I stated that I am thankful for the things in my life that have been painful or difficult. At which point she looked at me askance. And then the phone rang, and our conversation ended.

But it made me think of these souvenirs that have been taking up space in my house. Now that I've gathered them all up, I guess I'll throw them away. I don't need them anymore. But they are not unpleasant reminders for me.

They actually remind me that the hard times in life make really good classrooms. I've learned a lot about patience, and compassion, and imperfection. I gained strength through weakness. I saw the people around me in a new light. My marriage was blessed.

Before the accident (and other medical crises that have come my way) there were hard times that left invisible souvenirs. Times when grief overwhelmed me. Times when getting out of bed and facing the day required monumental effort. Those days were worse than the times of physical injury and pain. I felt guilty, because by NOT being grateful for each moment...each breath...I was dishonoring the very ones that I was missing so much...the ones who wanted so much to have just one more day.

I think that's when I learned to give thanks. I forced myself to look for at least one thing a day for which to be thankful. It took some practice, but when you get in the habit of looking for things, you get a lot better at recognizing them.

Today I am thankful for troubles.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Autumn in my world...

South Texas autumns don't quite look like the autumn we experienced on vacation last week, but its own kind of beauty makes the hot summers here bearable. Cool nights...sunny days...low humidity...fewer bugs. And at home, sitting on the porch that I love (but not enough to sit out on when it's 105 degrees F.) fills me with peace.

Today (and every day) I am thankful for my home.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I had an annual appointment with my ear specialist in the city this afternoon. And I was able to drive myself. Since being diagnosed with Meniere's, there have been times that I went for weeks, if not months, without driving. I think it's been over three years since I've had a vertigo episode...Hallelujah!

Being able to navigate the seventh largest city in the US without assistance has always made me feel powerful and independent...more so now than ever.

Sitting in the waiting room today, there were patients of all ages. The little ones are awfully makes me sad that they have to start out with serious challenges due to hearing disabilities, but so glad that there is modern medical help available for them. Two such little ones managed to change this afternoon's waiting room, filled to overflowing with impatient patients, into a micro community filled with laughter and smiles and kind words.

Today I am thankful that we are fearfully and wonderfully made...for skilled and caring medical professionals...and for the ability to drive and the freedom and mobility that it affords.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Giving thanks...

This photo, taken on our journey (and from a moving vehicle), is an inadequate representation of an awesome phenomenon. See the bright spot just a hair left of center in the photograph? That is one of a pair of sun dogs. In reality it looked rather like a rainbow, and at first that's what we thought it was, except for the fact that it didn't bow. Then we noticed that there was another one on the opposite side of the sun (both outside of this frame to the left). Luckily we were in the company of a science teacher, and she reached back in distant memories and pulled up an accurate name...she also carries a blackberry, so we could then look it up. (The sunshine was bouncing off hexagonal ice particles in the atmosphere.)

Do the clouds in the photo remind you somewhat of Van Gogh's Starry Night, or is it just me? I love sky watching, and seeing unusual occurrences always fills me with thanksgiving. And since we are moving rapidly toward the holiday thereby named, I thought I would kick off a month of thankfulness in my posts.

Today I am thankful for eyes to see, friends who teach, cameras to document, and a spirit of appreciation.
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