Sunday, June 30, 2013

That's a wrap!

My birthday month comes to an end today.  Everybody say, "awwwww!".  :(

June was incredible from beginning to end and I've had a fabulous few weeks of celebrating.

I celebrated my parents' 48th wedding anniversary with my family and Brian took this awesome picture of the five of us.  Ma and Pa and the kids.  :)  In the words of Vince Gill, when you wanna see how true love should be, just look at them.

I said hello to an old friend and had lunch and a movie with a new one, I discovered the wonders of showering outside, I treated myself to some really cute things for our Yellow Submarine bathroom, I got some awesome presents from my love, I had my first ever blog giveaway, I spent my actual birthday in a place as magical as Disney World (but a whole lot cheaper!) and I got 150+ Happy Birthday wishes on Facebook, one from Young and The Restless' own resident rock star hottie, Danny Romalotti, Michael Damian!  This is what he posted on my timeline.  Squeeeee!

I wish I could show that to my 15-year-old self.  She would have been thrilled beyond belief.  :)

The biggest birthday surprise I got was this Gone With The Wind poster that Ami had printed and then matted and framed for me!  I had seen it on Pinterest and posted it on my Facebook, saying I wanted to blow it up huge, frame it and hang it on my wall.  Well, she saw that, didn't say a WORD, had it blown up and then framed it for me.  And in blue so it would match my living room.  

I absolutely love it!!  What a wonderful surprise.  

Rhett said that to Scarlett right before he kissed the fire out of her.  'Cause he knew how.  :)


Today, I'm having a quiet day at home, listening to my cat snore and snacking on watermelon I got at the farmers market yesterday.  Life is good.

Friday, June 28, 2013


In my preparation for The Ultimate Homecoming, I have cleaned out, organized, donated and tossed probably more than I've kept.  It is amazing how much stuff you accumulate in ten years!  And while I was cleaning, organizing and tossing, naturally I discovered some forgotten treasures.

My grandma, our Maw, passed away almost two years ago.  Before that, though, she had been living in nursing homes for almost a decade.  When she was living on her own and shopping on her own, she would buy all of us Christmas presents.  ALL of us.  And if you know our family, we're aplenty!  I can't remember exactly but I'm guessing the last time she was able to shop for us was around 2000 or 2001.  

The very last Christmas present I got from my Maw was a big box of candles.  I had completely forgotten about them until I went through my candle cabinet and found them, way in the back. Apple Cinnamon, French Vanilla, Mountain Berry and Wild Orchids.  There are three of each in the box.

This being my birthday month, I've been all about some presents!  And I've been enjoying my Maw Candles.  

I can feel her presence so strong most days but even more so when I'm enjoying her presents.  :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

46 at IKEA

I spent my birthday yesterday at IKEA in Atlanta.  Brian, Ami and I left around 10:00, got there, had lunch and then shopped until almost 5:00!  We had so much fun and it was a wonderful birthday!!

Here are some pictures from our day!

This was my lunch!  IKEA's famous Swedish meatballs, mashed 'taters with gravy and lingonberry sauce.  The mashed potatoes are okay but I really, really miss the little red potatoes they used to have.

I got a bowl of cheddar broccoli soup, too, and it was delicious!  I asked about it in the Marketplace but they don't have it yet.  Maybe in a few months, the cashier said.  Don't give us a reason, IKEA. 

This was my birthday cake!  Chocolate Overload.  OMG.  Ami snuck a candle and lighter into the store so I could make a wish!

Ami was so sweet and she made me this adorable ribbon that I wore all day!  
I had twelve people working and shopping in the store tell me "happy birthday" and one sweet lady grabbed me and hugged me!  AND said I didn't look 46.  I just loved her so much.  :)

Here I am peeking in a freezer in one of the display kitchens, looking for some birthday ice cream.

 They didn't have no birthday ice cream.  :(

Here's Ami taking a picture of me looking for some birthday ice cream.  We LOVE this beautiful warm sunny window and take pictures every time we're there right in front of it.

I absolutely fell in love with this display bed!  I wanted some new bedding for Larry's homecoming so guess what?  Yep.  This bed now lives at the Schneider Condostead.  :)  Minus those white roll pillows.  I wasn't real crazy about them.  And since our bed is a queen and they only had ONE flower print pillow anyway, I got just the one.  New sheets, new pillows, new duvet and pillow shams, new throw pillow (that I'm sure Larry's just gonna throw) and a pretty navy cotton blanket for the foot. Squeeeee!!

 I loved these funky orange lights!

 Ami and Brian, dressed in IKEA colors and carrying their cameras. :)

 Aprons are some of my very favorite things!

 I loved these handleless coffee cups!

 My buggy handle.  :)

This was so funny to me!!  A teapot named Omelett.  :D

So long, IKEA!  You gave the perfect birthday party!

Thanks, Ami and Brian, for taking me and spending the day with me.  I love y'all!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Birthday goodies!!

I got a big box of goodies yesterday that Larry sent me for my birthday!  I had to wait until I had him on the phone today to open them.  Well, I didn't have to, that's just what we always do.  This is the LAST birthday we'll ever have to do that!!  Yay!!  I cannot wait to get him home.

He found me a bunch of little vintage treasures and I love them all!

Papa Smurf, an adorable Ty bunny named Spencer, a 1980 commemorative Georgia Bulldogs national championship Coke bottle, the little Taco Bell chihuahua, Minnie Mouse with a tiny Mickey keeping her company, the most precious little yarn clown that I have ever seen and two Beanie Babies that I didn't have.  And one's a birthday Beanie!

I put Minnie and little Mickey beside our wedding cake topper.  They like it there.  :)

And Spencer the bunny found a home among some of his peeps on a shelf.

 That adorable little handmade clown!!  I just love her.

How cute are these little folk artsy chickens, milk bottle, barrel and bucket??  They are right at home in the kitchen.

And he packed them all in this eco-friendly shopping bag.  He liked the 0% plastic part.  Me, too.  :)

Happy Birthday to meeeee!! 

And the winner is....


I'm going on an adventure tomorrow for my birthday so I decided to do the giveaway results today.  It's my birthday and I can do that.  :)

There were nine comments and I numbered them by date and time they were posted.

#1 was Brandy, 6/16 @ 6:36
#2 was Mama. 6/16 @ 8:43
#3 was Ami, 6/17 @ 12:10
#4 was Margie, 6/17 @ 12:45 on blog
#5 was Stacy, 6/17 @ 12:45 on Facebook
#6 was Michele, 6/17 @ 12:50
#7 was Fran, 6/17 @ 12:56
#8 was Dr. P, 6/17 @ 2:28
#9 was Mark, 6/17 @ 4:16

I used a random generator to pick the winner.

Congratulations, Ami!!

Thanks for playing, y'all!! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

And we lived beneath the waves... our yellow submarine.

For my birthday, I bought a few things for my Yellow Submarine bathroom.  Larry gave me the shower curtain Christmas 2011 and I decided it was time to get some stuff to put in there!

Here's the curtain.

I'm still hunting a cute hand towel to hang on the towel rod.  All I've been able to find is black and I don't want black.  I'd rather have a pretty bright blue so I'm still looking.  I haven't been able to find a bath mat that I like either.  I have a mirror decal, a Blue Meanie figurine and a yellow submarine figurine with all four guys attached to it still coming but these two came yesterday!

This is a tin "lunch" box although I can't see anybody taking lunch in it.  It's too small for much more than a sandwich.

I found this on Etsy.  It's a yellow submarine cut from 80 lb textured paper and mounted on gray 8x10 paper to give it a kind of 3D look.  It's in an 11x14 frame.  I love it!!

I also bought myself the Yellow Submarine DVD.  I'll sit down this weekend and watch it.  Happy Early Birthday to meeeeee!!  

We all live in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine,
We all live in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine.


The guys came Saturday!!  Yay!!

The decal and Chief Blue Meanie are here now, too!

Summer showers!

In my 46th summer on this earth, I have discovered the wonders of showering outside!  And don't worry, Mama, I wear my bathing suit!  :)  Now we've all done it after a day at the beach or while camping but I have never, ever done it at home.  Until now.  It started out very innocently, too.  It was HOTTTTT about a week ago, I was watering my flowers and that cold water hit my leg.  A little thought bubble popped up over my head and I ran back in the house, grabbed my Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap, a wash cloth and towel, went back out, put that nozzle on the shower setting and had the most exhilarating, luxurious shower ever!!  Seriously, y'all.  I will never be the same.

I found a few pictures of some really simple outdoor showers that I love.  Definitely adding this to my list of must-haves for the Schneider Dreamhouse.  :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Scarlet Begonia

She had rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes,
And I knew without askin' she was into the blues.
She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls,
I knew right away she was not like other girls...

(Scarlet Begonias, The Grateful Dead)

This is MY scarlet begonia.  Ain't she gorgeous??

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday fun!

I hope today is my last Friday off.  I am supposed to go back to full-time status at work tomorrow.  I've been part time since New Year's Eve!  If I go back to 40 hours as of Monday, I'll have exactly three weeks before the furloughs start and then I'll be back to 32 hours like everybody else.  :)  But more hours and more money sounds goooood to me!  This girl got stuff to do.  Larry will be home in just a little over six months now!  Time is going by SO FAST!!!  He's still doing great. He's about to get his drivers license and start college and by the grace of God, the VA is going to pay for him to go to school and after he's been at the Refuge for four months, he can get a job and he's had an offer already!  We even talked about him buying a vehicle.  I'm leaning him toward a pickup.  :)  And just last week, Larry stopped traffic and helped save a mama duck and her babies that had gotten on the median and couldn't safely get away. That's a sweet boy I have, I tell ya!  Things are absolutely wonderful and everything seems to be falling into place.  God continues to bless us every single day.  We don't deserve a bit of it but we are so thankful for it!!
Here I am waiting for Belinda for lunch!

For my hopefully last Friday off, I met my friend, Belinda, at Casa Mexico out on Highway 96 for lunch and then we went to see The Internship, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.  What a hilarious movie!  The two of them play 40-something traveling salesmen whose jobs become obsolete by the internet.  They apply as interns at Google and have to compete with hundreds of 20-year-old computer whizzes just to land a handful of jobs.  Google is such an awesome company to work for!  Free food and drinks, nap pods, exercise and play time, laundry facilities, free haircuts, on-site medical care, the list goes on and on.  The nap pods are what sold me!  Can you imagine??  The movie was great and I really, really liked all the 80's throwbacks in it!  And the quidditch game left me sore from laughing so hard.  I even cried a little at the end.  I loved it!!

This was THE. BEST. guacamole I have ever had!!

It was so good, I had to get me some more!!  :)  And I got the grilled chicken fajita quesadilla and it was ridonk.  Amazing.  Out of this world.  Most yum.

AND I'd ordered a pair of jeans a whole size too small to motivate me and I tried 'em on today when they came in the mail and they already fit!!  

I hope today was my last Friday off but with Fridays like this one, I won't be mad if it wasn't.  :)

It's my birthday but YOU get the gift!

Wow.  I was just overwhelmed by the response I got about the blog I wrote about Jeff.  I use my blog kinda like a diary, to document my life so that things that I think are important today will be remembered tomorrow.  I knew our classmates would see it since my blog automatically posts to my Facebook via NetworkedBlogs but I never dreamed that Jeff's mama, aunts and cousins would see it, too.  Those are the blessings of being from a small town, where everybody knows everybody and if you're not Facebook friends with someone, you can pretty much bet that one of your friends is and that's how they ended up seeing it.  I'm so happy that my words brought them comfort and a smile or two.

Since I had so many (250+!) read this particular blog entry, it pushed the total views on my blog to over 50,000!  That's another cool thing Jeff did.  :)

My birthday is coming up on the 24th and I decided to have my first blog giveaway in honor of passing 50,000 views and me hitting the backside of 40.  :)

So I have put together a few of my favorite things, things I love and use in my everyday life.  Since I'm a girl (duh!) and most of my readers are girls, it's mostly "girl stuff" but if a guy wins, I'll throw in a razor or something.  :)  All you have to do to win is comment on this blog post or where it posts to my Facebook and tell me one thing that YOU use and love.  On my birthday, I'll use a random generator to determine the winner.  It's that easy!

This is what you'll get!

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Countertop Spray in Lemon Verbena (I use this as an all-purpose cleaner and it works great!  Smells incredible, too!!)

Seventh Generation Natural Hand Wash in Lavender

St. Ives Apricot Scrub (I honestly cannot get by without this stuff!!)

Rimmel Hide The Blemish Concealer in Ivory (I have tried expensive department store brand concealers and nothing even comes close to this!  It's creamy, it goes on smooth and covers what you need to cover and if you're my age or older and don't have much to cover, then I just don't know what to think about you.  Ha!)

A bag of Skittles 'cause this girl loves her some Skittles

A little cup of Jif To Go Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter

And a beautiful vintage pillowcase from the 70's.  This one is blue, yellow and green on a white background and it is really, really pretty.

So there you go!  Good luck!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013



When I was 16 years old, one of my classmates was killed.  He and another boy on a motorcycle were hit by a truck and they both died instantly.  This was 30 years ago and we have lost more classmates since then than we should have at our young age, but Jeff was first.  His death hit us the hardest.  It took us a long time to get past it and for the remainder of our high school life, we kept Jeff with us, insisting that he have a memorial page in the yearbook and that in his memory, be our moment of silence on graduation night.

Today, after the dinner we gave our parents to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary, Ami, Brian and I decided to go on one of our adventures.  They had gone out Garden Valley way last weekend on a photo shoot and I was just willing to go anywhere that had a dirt road.  We ended up at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church that not only has a dirt road but the most beautiful corn fields beside it as well as a cemetery to explore.  And they mentioned something about a pond.  So we walked around, watched the sun set over the church and scratched a few photo scavenger hunt items off our list.  Since it was starting to get dark, we thought we'd go try to find the pond and then leave for home.  We started walking over that way with me a few footsteps ahead when I literally walked up on Jeff's grave.  I wasn't expecting it.  I didn't even remember that he was buried there but a few seconds of clearing cobwebs brought my memory back and Pleasant Grove rang a painful bell.  I said, "Oh my God, that's Jeff" and immediately started to cry.  I was just caught so off guard that my emotions just took over.  Ami asked if I was okay and I was, I asked her if she remembered what happened and she did.  Brian didn't so I told him and told them both that I remembered Mama waking me up that Saturday morning, telling me she'd heard it on the Montezuma radio station.  I remember saying to her, "But I just saw him at school yesterday."  Well, he had also died yesterday.

After I told him hey and that we were 46 years old now and that we never forgot him, I took a picture of his grave and we walked on down to the pond, with me still crying.  I've been very emotional lately.  Comes with being almost 46 and hormonal, I think.  We took a few pictures down there and then turned to walk back to our cars.  Ami then noticed a bright white light directly over the church.  It was like a spotlight, right in the middle of all that gray darkness.  She said, "That's Jeff, telling you hey!" so I said hey back to him.  :)

We stood there in awe as we watched that light move over the tops of the trees, over his grave and slowly ease out into a clearing, where we saw the most beautiful, amazing, incredible second sunset.

There is no camera in this world that could do justice to what we experienced but we tried.  Here are the pictures I took during it.

The sky turned completely blue again and we just stood there in awe of it, me and Ami both in tears.  It was the most beautiful, peaceful, spiritual experience I think I've ever had and we immediately recognized it for what it was.  I was nostalgic, crying over the loss of a classmate 30 years ago and he was letting me know that he's okay and that he's been okay for 30 years.  I thank God for letting me be there, right then, in that spot, to see that.  I've never seen a second sunset and Ami even commented that she and Brian have photographed many, many sunsets and have never seen one like that.  We were speechless.  The streaks coming straight down from heaven were my favorite.  I just wish my camera could have done it justice.

Speaking of my camera, this is pretty wild, too.  My camera's battery had been going dead since we got there, before I even stumbled onto Jeff's grave, but it still let me take all these pictures.  Even with the little red light flashing.  It's never done that before.  Crazy.  Thank you, Lord, for that, too!!

Jeff is forevermore 16 years old.  He'll never have gray hair or wrinkles or arthritis in his knees or any of the aches and pains that his classmates are starting to experience now.  He's forever the goofball he was 30 years ago.  And he's okay.  

Continue to rest in peace, old friend.  We'll see you again someday!