Monday, May 31, 2010

This is What I am Growing

I thought I'd take you on a little visit in my garden. Things are really coming along with all the sunshine we have had lately.

These adorable lavender flowers are covered on one vine I planted.......

And the rest of the plant is filled with egg plant. If you are a fan of purple, this is a great plant to have in your garden, lots of great shades of purple in bloom!

The onions are doing nicely........oh so good.....

Luckily I planted some know, after all this is really all I should be eating....I have a long way to go and this will be a good weight you know!

Steve planted some rows of corn.....reminds me of the fields in Field of Dreams, only in a smaller version....well, actually only two rows....but I can dream, right??

Jalapeno peppers are full on my one plant, will make lots of great homemade salsa.

Yellow bell peppers......oh, so pretty!~

And green bell peppers......

My favorite...summer squash...just look at the happy these.

Large beef stake tomatoes......

And tiny grape tomatoes...I can hardly wait for these to get ripe.

cucumbers are doing great too.......

My green beans are a little slow....but are full of blooms......

What a sweet little lady bug to greet me this happy to have found it there as I was taking pics of my, all I have to do is wait for it all to get ripe....all of this harvest in about 10X6 ft really can have a garden in a small patch of yard.....give it a try, grow your own vegetables, you will never think about the one's you find in the grocery store again! Hope you enjoyed this peek....get inspired this holiday weekend and get your hand dirty, the rewards are great!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Finished For Friday: A Rustic Mirror

I am excited to have a Finished for Friday post this week and able to link to Lit and Laundry for this one. If you care to take a look at what projects bloggers have finished this week, stop by and check out the finished projects. Get inspired!!

A couple months ago, my dear sweet friend sent me a magazine clipping in the mail. She thought of me when she saw this mirror and felt sure I could make one. The amazing thing is that it takes ordinary items you can pick up at the local home improvement store to make this.

Here is the photo from the clipping she sent me.....loved it instantly. I'll explain the process.....if you have a rustic corner in your world, this is great and a fairly simple project. The level of skill involved according to the clipping was beginner.....hum....I sorta question that actually, because I am not a beginner and went off with a hitch here and there!

The wood for this mirror is none other than landscape cedar edging you find at your local home improvement store. My mirror base was 24X24 so I needed three of these landscape edging.

The directions did not call for any sanding, but I sanded the rough spots on the wood.

I used my palm sander to smooth the edges and sides. I liked the look, sorta like a freshly split log edging once sanded.

Next, take a flat head screwdriver and I used a pair of pliers and separate the edging cedar from the plastic backing. This was a little harder than I anticipated, it takes a little force. Be careful of the long brads that are in the edging...once this is removed from the planks, it is almost like a weapon....and I am not joking!

Here is the mirror backing and the cedar all sanded and ready to be put together.

I went to a local glass shop and had a plain mirror cut. My mirror was about 2 inches smaller than the plywood backing. If I was to make this again, I think leaving a 3 inch rim on the ply wood would work better. Lay out on a flat surface and using liquid nails, adhere to the wood.

One by one I used the liquid nails and attached the cedar planks.......only one small problem.....this is the part I questioned the beginner aspect of this task.......evidently, I did not really know how to use the liquid nails. I put it on the wood edging, put it in place and held it down...only problem was........

This is what I ended up with......what the heck was wrong with the liquid nails??? I thought that stuff was mega strong! I had to round up cans of food, anything heavy I could find to weight the edges down....they wanted to pop back up.......what the heck??? Well, my smart friend who does a lot of handy work explained I did not use the liquid nails correctly. Apparently, you have to do exactly what I had done but I missed a step. Once you adhere this to the plywood, you need to raise the edges back up and allow air to get between the plywood, cedar and goop....that activates the strong hold products in the liquid nails. That is why it took 3 days for mine to set up, when only a couple of hours should have done it....beginner tell me!

Once everything was set, I myself used a satin polyurethane sealer and put two coats on the wood. The directions did not call for that step, but I liked the finished look on the wood. Lastly, purchase a picture hanging kit at your local home improvement store for hanging. Let me say this, I really thought this finished mirror would weight a ton, but that is not the case. It is really light weight compared to what I thought it would be. I am looking forward to putting this at our cabin in the mountains....I'll show you once it is in its new home.

This really was a perfect project for me, and a learning experience too. I am so thankful and blessed to have friends who see something and think of me, take the time to send it to me, and know it is something I would love. True friendship is such a gift that should not be taken lightly. Thanks so much Sandra....I wish you were going with me to hang this in the cabin! There will never be a time I see this that I will not think of you and your gift of friendship. ~good stuff!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vintage Thingie Thursday : A Vintage Dress And A Dream

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday. If you are new to this party, please take the time to read and follow the instructions for participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday, click HERE. I try and keep things fairly simple, so please make sure you follow the instructions. I have gotten a few complaints about people linking in and not doing what is required, please, try and visit each and every participant, that is really important. Please only ONE link per week. Thank you for your cooperation in this. I know we are all busy, but even if it takes a few days to do so, please do that. Lastly, if you link in, LINK back to my blog, so everyone can see all of the vintage goodies being showed that day. If you don't link back here, they won't know who to visit......thanks so much.

This week, will be a little different post for me, but just bear with me. This photo is sorta is my husband and myself on our wedding day in 1986. I highlighted the anniversary date earlier this month with a post, you can see it HERE if you missed it. The remarkable thing was not so much the post itself, but the conversation that erupted from it on facebook. Many of you read along as the conversation played out on FB that day. But for those of you who missed it, I want to recap what happened today for Vintage Thingie Thursday. I still get goose-bumps just thinking about it. Hope you enjoy...and on several occasions lately, there is a lesson in this tale...for me, it was to never to give up on your dreams.

On my wedding day, 24 years ago I wore a dress I borrowed from a good friend of mine. It was perfect for a Las Vegas wedding and I truly loved the dress. After the wedding and I returned home, my friend called and asked me to return the dress as her baby sister wanted to wear it to a function. Of course, I returned the dress, but if I am honest here, I did not want to return it at all. I wanted to keep it because it meant a lot to me, no matter that it was not mine. But, I did the right thing, took it to get cleaned, and returned it to her right away....reluctantly. And as things sometimes go, sadly, we remained out of touch after that for over 23 years. But in all that time, I never forgot that dress, and wished so many times I would have just asked to keep it.

This fall, my friend and I reunited once again through facebook and she follows along with all my antics on my blog. After I posted about our anniversary this month, and she saw the photos I had included in the post, and sent me a message on facebook and asked "Is this my dress?"

I reminded her that yes, it was her dress, and that I had borrowed it when I got married.....She said she had forgotten that, and did not remember it at all. Then as the conversation progressed, she informed me that she thought she still had the dress....maybe I'd want it back to make something with???

Friends, I am here to tell you, my eyes filled up, my nose and throat were stinging....all I could do was sit and stare at her words on the computer screen and could this be??? After all of these years? Surely, not....she must be mistaken......but at the same time, the excitement grew just thinking that possibly, possibly....she might have it. You see, there was no way my friend would have known how I have wished for this dress, thought about this dress, and regretted not asking for it or at least offering to buy it from her all of these years way she could have known what it meant to me to even think she might still have it, I had given up that dream long, long ago.

She told me the dress has been in her daughter's dress-up trunk for years and felt like it was still in there among some other dresses. Imagine....that dress in a little girl's dress-up trunk and it might still be there....I was giddy I tell you. Now, her daughter is 15 years old, and I am quiet sure she has not been playing dress-up for several years, but still.....that only added to the romantic allure for me......truly. My sweet friend apologized over and over that if she had only remembered, she'd never let the kids use the dress to play dress up......

That evening, my friend confirmed she still had the dress....and it was mine.....warned me it was a little worn, yellowed, and maybe I would be disappointed in the condition of the dress. She was worried I think.....but I was thrilled, as long as SHE HAD IT, there would be nothing wrong that could not be fixed.

My friend even explained that when she pulled the dress out of the dress-up trunk and looked at the tag, the dress had MY NAME on the tag, she said she was just stunned. My name was there from when I took the dress to be cleaned before I returned it to her all those years ago. She said she never noticed that, and that just confirmed the dress belonged to me and it was just meant to be. Truly, that is the truth. Remember I just don't believe in coincidences, things happen because they are meant name was proof enough.

On my wedding day long ago, my friend's dress was my something borrowed, my shoes were my something new, this hankie belonged to my grandmother whom I never knew,( my mom's mother), that was my something old and my something blue unmentionables.

Here is my vintage hankie....THAT I held onto for all these years......I tell ya' when something means something special to me....I never part with it...except this one time with the dress.....just sayin'

I picked the dress up this morning from my friend. She was quick to point out a few spots that were from safety pins that pinned the dress up for the little girls to wear. She said again, she hoped I was not disappointed. I was not disappointed in the condition of the dress, even the coloring was fine with me, I added an off white ribbon to it, and it is truly the same color as the dress. The only problem I had with this dress at all was a vision I had dreamed up in my heart.

I totally came to the conclusion before I picked this dress up, that I could get this back on for our 25th wedding anniversary next year. Surely, I could do that, after all, I would have a year to lose enough weight to do so. Well, once I had this dress in my hand....reality sat in really quickly. The dress says an 11/12. Well, I am here to tell you, the sizes in the 80's sure were off because this is more like a 5/6 if that. about disappointed, not in the dress....but myself.

Not only that, but once I had my tiny daughter try the dress on, well.....I saw my dreams of wearing this again sail away to a remote island somewhere......I doubt I could get this over get the picture.....

The dress was a little bit big in the waist, and bust area for my daughter, but not enough to give me much hope. My daughter laughed at the sleeves, said "could they be any bigger, Mom!!!???" ....classic 80's sleeves......I was in style little girl.....really.

I will say this, Alisha was really supportive, assured me I could wear this dress again if I truly wanted to....and oh, I want to. She said I just need to work at this, stay with it, and hang this dress where it is a constant reminder of my dream. She told me to not give up. She is right.....after all, this dress did not come back to me after all of these years, not to complete the dream I have always wear it again. Lord....give me strength!

I hope you enjoyed this tale of my vintage dress and how I ended up with it once again. You guys are the best, because you let me ramble on about my life and are so supportive. Thanks bunches! I guess this means I'll be having new post under Weight Loss Journey again.....Have a great week! Happy Vintage Thingie Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Take Me Back Tuesday

When I think about my childhood and the cherished memories of growing up, the single most common thought is the house my beloved grandparents lived in and all the memories associated with their house. Every single time, that is what comes to mind.

I lost my grandmother 23 years ago and my grandfather shortly after that. In fact, that whole side of my family are all gone now, but the memories and feelings that evoke from just the single thought of their home are so strong at times it is overwhelming.

Usually twice a year, I visit the town my grandparents lived in and take flowers to the graves of my loved ones who are gone now. The drive alone is two hours from my home, but the trip is always a whole days experience. Bless my husbands heart, he is always ever patient, as we drive from one end of town to the other.

Street by street, store by store, memory by memory we do the same thing every time. There is never a time I make this trip that I don't go by my grandparents home. Sometimes I stop and just sit and look at the house, sometimes I just drive by. I always have the feeling they will just walk out the front door at any minute, my grandparents that is. Of course I know that is not possible, but it is a thought I always have. The house always draws me to it in a way that I have had a hard time explaining, so I don't even try. But I don't make this trip down south without going by this house, it just is not in me to do so. So many memories, not only associated with my grandparents home, but also the town they lived in their whole lives.

My grandparents front yard, this was in April 1963, I was 13 months old.

I remember as a young girl the thrill I felt riding in my papaw's 1940's something...Willis Jeep. He had this old jeep and he'd take me riding in it through town. The jeep had no top, no doors and certainly no seat belts but is did hold an amazing fascination with me as did my grandfather. On such outings, one of the first places I would beg him to take me was down Wood Street, it was the single most mesmerizing street in the whole town for a young girl.

Wood street was for all practical purposes was a short street filled with small little buildings that housed "beer joints" and pool halls which was off the main drag downtown.

This was the late 1960's and sadly in those days, I still remember that African Americans lived on one side of town, and Wood street was on that side of town, just south of downtown. I am not talking about a large metropolitan city, this was a small town in south Texas, so the population of the town during this time frame was not too large, everyone knew everyone for the most part, and everyone certainly knew my grandfather. I can still remember the pride that filled my heart in the fact my papaw knew so many people, and that everyone he met genuinely seemed to love him and respect him in a way that is hard to understand.

My grandpa, my Auntie and me, this was 1964.

So of course, being the rebel I was, Wood street was the first place I wanted to go. I knew my mom and grandmother did not a approve of me going, but that was exactly where I wanted to go. He'd always grin and look over at me and say, "Little mama, Don't tell your mother." Well, that was always the first thing out of my mouth when we got home, "We went to Wood Street". And every time my grandma and mom in unison would protest rather loudly....I'd just laugh and look at my papaw...he'd always be laughing too.

My grandpa played in a band for as far back as I remember, he played the Saxophone. I always felt like he was so very important.

For a young girl of six or seven, this was a magical and mystical place. I remember Jazz music and laughter flowed loudly from the buildings, as we'd slowly make our way down the street in that old jeep. I can remember the smells of food being cooked that made my mouth water and beg to get out and go inside one of these little places. Of course we never did that, but Oh, how I wanted to.

I remember the people that filled the sidewalks, they seemed happy and waved a friendly wave and shouted greetings to my grandfather. I remember everyone seemed to smoke cigarettes or cigars. I can remember as we would make our way down the street, my eyes would take in every single sight they could. The open doors gave a glimpse of dark rooms filled with smoke and sometimes a glimpse of neon signs and no matter how hard I strained to see what exactly was behind the old screen doors on these buildings, I could never see enough to satisfy my curiosity...I could always hear the laughter from inside the buildings, but never knew what caused the laughter. For me, it was a magical, forbidden place...a special placed that only my grandfather shared with me. I can remember thinking that when I was a grown up, I was going to come there and find out what all the music, food and laughter was about, and I could hardly wait.

Of course, that never happened. A few years ago as we drove the streets of this town like we do every time I go there, we discovered the abandoned, boarded up buildings along this street lay in a pile of rubble and all that was left was the street sign. I seemed the city cleared the street of the abandoned buildings and nothing remained but the sidewalks and over grown weeds. Those jazz filled buildings that held such a mystery for me were gone, it was really shocking. We drove down the street at my insistence at a very slow pace, I rolled down the window of the truck and just looked at the open space with forlorn and sadness. And I promise you, in a fleeting second, the sights, smells, and sounds flooded my memory, and transported me if only for a second back to when I was a little girl and I could feel the magic again. It's funny how a place or in this case, a street, which I am sure my mom would think I had no business holding such a fascination with is such a part of the sweet memories of my childhood. It is really unexplainable.

And unexplainable has always been the way I feel as I drive by my grandparents house, even to this day. It looks exactly the same as it did when my grandparents lived there, with the exception of a new gold mailbox.....and yes, I miss the old black one that was always on the front of the house, the gold one looks as if it does not belong.

This past November, my aunt went with me to take flowers to the cemetery. And like always, I drove through the town, saw all the usual places I like to see, and drove of course by my grandparents house. Only this time, with my husband not with me, I told my aunt I was going to stop and get out. Unlike my husband, she did not tell me a thousand different reasons why I should stay in the car, she said nothing and waited in the car patiently.

Me, 1964, and said Jeep on the side of the house, when I found this picture I was so pleased it showed the front of the house by the front steps and the jeep I was so fond of.

As I made my way through the front yard, my heart skipped several beats and I felt a heaviness in my chest....part of me was thinking this was really crazy, the other part of me felt like....heck, I don't really know what it felt like...but there was no turning back. I found myself on the front porch and rang the doorbell, I waited.

I ran my fingers along the pinkish brick on the front porch, touched the wood frame of the door, turned around and looked at the street from the front porch, a view I had seen thousands of times during my lifetime, and all of a sudden, I felt a balance in my life, like I had not felt in a long time. The house that held all of my precious memories of the people I loved so very much had made things right again. Sadly, no one was home, and frankly, I had no idea what I would have said if someone had answered the door, but just being on the front porch, touching this house that I had touched so many times in my life suddenly touched my heart and that was enough.

It has always been difficult to explain my attachment to this town, the house, the memories...they are so important to me, for me, they speak of home. But a new song by Miranda Lambert, "The House That Built Me", best sums up my feelings in a way I could never put to words. The message is the same in regards to theme, feelings and connection however the content is a bit different. I think you will better understand My Take Me Back Tuesday with this video. Maybe it will touch you, the way it touches me. Maybe, this Tuesday, it will take you back to a special place in your life too.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Giveaway Time on The Coloradolady ~ Winner

Random generator chose number 38

Kali is the winner of the giveaway, I am pretty sure I have your email, Kali, but if you don't mind, email me so I can get this out to you today! Congratulations Kali, and thanks everyone for your comments, after reading about all of these destinations, I am wanting to plan my next vacation!! Have a great day!

Did you hear there was a giveaway going on over at The Coloradolady's blog? all I can say....I looked over on my sidebar and noticed all of a sudden I was over the 400 mark of wonderful friends who like to follow along with all my shenanigans, doggie antics, treasure hunting and life's struggles. I am honored to say the least......

So in celebration of all my wonderful friends who stop by and visit here, I am hosting a little giveaway.

A TJ-Maxx gift card will be sent to one lucky reader who comments on this post. Random number generator will choose one lucky winner. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and answer the following question.

If there is one destination that you would consider your "dream vacation" where would that be and why?

Since I asked you guys your dream vacation destination....I might as well tell you mine, as of this month!

I'd love to visit Jumby Bay, Antigua. What an island paradise. Dream vacation....most definitely, it is a pricey destination,and not to mention, I really don't have that beach body anymore... but, this place is oh, so beautiful.

Winner will be announced on Wednesday morning.....Good Luck Everyone and Thank you once again for your friendship, encouragement and support in all my endeavors.
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