Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

We drove down to Andersonville today to visit the grave of our adopted Augustus Schneider, #4088 in the cemetery there.  We adopted Augustus when we were there in September.  He's a Schneider, he's from Indiana (but served with the Ohio 3rd Regiment) and if he's not kin to us, we claim him all the same.  I picked a couple of flowers for him and we took some pictures.  It was a beautiful day, somber and HOT.  The flags went on forever, it seemed.  Such a sad, sad place.  

Larry got that Kepi hat the last time we were there and he added insignia from Augustus' unit and one for Indiana.

 I love this one of him saluting. 

 I caught this little birdy just before he took off. 

We left there and went and visited Mama and Daddy for a little while and had some of Daddy's awesome delicious burgers with chips and homemade lemonade and then some orange sherbet Push-Ups for dessert!

We stopped by Whitewater Park on the way home just to see all the new stuff they have there!  They have a splash pad now! 

And lots of folks were out there enjoying the beach today!  I'm so happy for my little hometown park for being able to get these improvements (a walking trail, new playground equipment and newly designed campgrounds, too!).  Whitewater has always been a special place for me and my family.  We spent many Easters there and had years of family Christmas celebrations there in the Pavilion.  We even had our family reunion there a couple of summers ago.  My childhood friend, Nancy Tramel and her husband, Adam, have made such a tremendous difference there and I'm so proud for and of them.  I know y'all will have a GREAT summer!!

Weekend project!

Back in the winter, we made a list of things we wanted to get done around the house this spring and summer.  Repainting the picnic table and benches was one of them.  We did that yesterday and Larry even replaced the whole top of the table that had a couple of rotten spots so now we'll have it for years and years to come.

Being the counterculture folks that we are, we wanted something different from just a brown table and benches.  Larry had the idea of doing every piece a different color and I picked the colors.  I was going for beachy colors.  If you've ever been to our house, you know our "style" is eclectic.  We like vintage, we like the beach and we like stuff that reflects our hippie hearts.  My friend, Lisa, even told me Thursday that our house looked like it belonged at the beach!  

So for the picnic table and benches, I picked stone gray, seafoam green, cool blue, latte and cream.  I painted the benches and Larry painted the table.  And it's a good thing we painted the picnic table and benches before we painted the deck (that's another one on our list!).  I'm just sayin'.  :)

I think they turned out beautiful!!

I didn't plan for them to match our patio set but when I was painting the blue bench after the green one, it hit me.

Yay for three-day weekends and home projects!

Friday, May 27, 2016

My first chili trophy!

We had a chili cook-off two weeks ago at work as a fundraiser for our Wingman Day that we had today.  I entered the cook-off with a chili recipe that was part mine and part two other recipes that I tweaked and came up with one really good pot of chili.  I named my chili "Afterburner" because one, it was hot and would burn you afterwards and two, afterburner is an extra little kick of fuel into the exhaust that makes our girl go a little faster.  And be a little more badass.  :) 

And I got SECOND PLACE!!  My very first time competing in anything since I baked cookies for a 4-H fair in the 5th grade.  First place went to a coworker who is famous for his chili, Brunswick stews, pulled pork, you name it, Mr. Farrell can cook it.  He's won five chili cook-offs with that recipe, which was just meat and seasonings, true Texas chili.  He even has a team down at the Big Pig Jig down in Vienna (and today he invited Larry and me to come down there and be his guests in November!) and they've been cooking pork for over 20 years.  The man knows his stuff.  So for me to come in second behind Mr. Farrell in a chili cook-off was an honor and I was tickled pink!

We didn't have trophies or anything like that, just a certificate for the first place winner so my sweet Larry went and had me a trophy made.  He gave it to me today at Wingman Day so that I could show all my friends.  And I'm showing it here so y'all can see it, too.  If you read my blog, you're my friend.  Even if I don't know you.  :)

My first chili trophy.  I love it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tabbie Hoffman is FOUR!

We celebrated first thing this morning with catnip-filled toys and coffee.  Well, maybe Larry and I had the coffee.

I left the blind up in the living room so he could have his sunbeam all day and he was allowed to have all the treats he wanted.

I think he loved his toys!  For about a minute, anyway.  He got a new "kicker" and some cute little catnip tea bags.  

He's had a stubborn little case of feline acne that we've been fighting for a while now.  I'm doing everything the vet told us to, it just doesn't want to let my sweet boy go.  :(  We're scrubbing with Stridex pads and peroxide, washing with Dial soap, washing bowls in hot soapy water every day and we took away his carpeted scratching post.  If anybody out there has any ideas, I'd be grateful to hear 'em!

He's also found a new little hidey-hole that he likes.  Right outside the mudroom window.  

Here's Banjo looking out...

This picture just cracks me up!!  

Happy, happy birthday, Sweet Tater!  You are FOUR years old already!!  Time sure has flown and you've been nothing but pure joy.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cheery cherry suit!

I bought this adorable 1950's Esther Williams' style bathing suit to wear next month when we go to the BEACH!!  

I ordered it online and I ordered my size but you gals know that bathing suits are not always true to size.  I was a little worried.  It came today and it fits great!  

I hung it on my closet door to remind me to eat right so it will fit perfect come beach time!  :D 

I just love it. 

Garden update!

We've had a lot of rain this week and our little garden loved it!  Everything is so lush and green and growing!

We have eight little green tomatoes that are almost the right size to fry!

Larry cut the grass today and it looks sooooo good!

I have been really, really tired lately so while I slept in yesterday morning, Larry went estate saleing all by himself.  He brought me home lots of goodies!  A good bit of Pyrex and this beautiful seashell chime that we immediately hung on the front porch.

It reminds me of the beach and I just love it!

I'm still loving my blue porch ceiling!!

I've been growing these little beauties in pots on the porch.  

Tabbie Hoffman loves to be on the porch with Mama.  And it was a glorious 78 degrees today so Mama loved it, too!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Just bluetiful!

There's an old Southern tradition to paint your front porch ceiling blue, supposedly to chase away spirits and to keep wasps and bugs from nesting (supposedly, again, insects feel too high up when your porch ceiling is blue and won't nest there).  While I don't believe in haints (the only spirit in this house is the Holy Spirit!), we have had wasp nests and birds nesting on the porch.  

I just loved the idea of a blue ceiling and keeping close to my Southern roots and since we have this super nice front porch now, we decided to do it!

Larry painted it today and I think it turned out beautiful!!!  We used Valspar's Clear Blue Sky and it's as close to the color of the sky today as we could possibly get.  It's so pretty and bright and it makes me happy just to look at it.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Meet Nancy!

We went to three estate sales today and at the last one, there was this baby doll who caught my eye as soon as I walked in the door!  She was sitting in a wooden high chair, wearing a dirty pink dress and torn pink bonnet with white socks and shoes.  I just LOVED her smiley little face!!!  We walked around looking and my mind and heart kept going back to her.  We were in the line to check out and there she was, still smiling, little teefies shining.  I told Larry I wanted to hold her and as soon as I did, I knew she was going home with us.  

I was able to get her story, too, and that made me want her all the more.  She's pretty old.  She has Acme Toys embossed on the back of her neck and she's pretty close to 90 years old.  A composite doll.  She was the doll of the "second mother" of the man having the sale and he told me his mom had the doll since she was a little girl.  She died three years ago at the age of 89.  When she was moved to a nursing home, she wasn't allowed to take much stuff with her but she took her baby with her.  Nancy.  That's what she has always been called and that's what we will call her, too.  I did a little research and she was made sometime between 1910 and 1930 and was one of Acme's Honey baby doll line.  She has a little round crier box in her back that at one time said, "Mama".  Awwww.

I brought her home, gave her a bath, put a tie-dyed t-shirt on her (that I think Brandy made!), a cloth diaper and she's sitting in my little red rocking chair that I had when I was a little girl.  I'm going to find her a little vintage dress, socks and bonnet but for now, she's a little hippie baby. 

Welcome to our family, Nancy!  We're so happy you're here!

I think she's happy, too. 

UPDATE: Here she is with her dress, bonnet and shoes all clean! Not too bad for an old lady. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Put your hand in the hand

I haven't spoken much about it but I've struggled with something for several months now, a family thing, and at times, I've just been at a complete loss.  I won't get into details here to protect their privacy but I'm having to really lean on God to help me make sense of things and to show me a way to help them, those that I LOVE dearly.

I use my commute to work (20 minutes or so) and home again as my quiet time with God.  That's when I have complete silence and I can pray, I can cry, I can listen to K-Love and sing and talk to Jesus, just whatever I need to do at the time.

January 1st, I started a 365 Day Bible Plan to read the Bible this year.  I've been a Christian since I was 14 but I have never read God's Word in its entirety.  Of course, I've had extensive study of certain books and verses and I know the stories thanks to a childhood of Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and a lifetime of church services.  But cover to cover?  No.  I got to thinking that it was about time.  How can I help these that I love unless I know what I'm talking about?  Right?  

I use the YouVersion Bible on my phone for reading, studying and following along with the service at church.  I discovered a couple of weeks ago that I can also LISTEN to it! 

So now I'm listening to the Bible on my way to work and this week, I'm "reading" the book of Joshua.  I have found a tremendous amount of peace since I've been listening to the Bible every day.  I get so much more out of it than when I just read it.  The narrator's voice is strong, deep and a tad bit British.  It's comforting.  I told Larry he sounds like how I imagine God to sound.

One of my favorite old hippie songs is "Put Your Hand In The Hand", recorded by the group Ocean in 1971.   

I believe in Him.  I love Him.  He's real.  He is NOT a fairy tale.  He answers my prayers every. single. day.  If you don't know Him, PLEASE come talk to me.
Put your hand in the hand of the man
Who stilled the water
Put your hand in the hand of the man
Who calmed the sea
Take a look at yourself
And you can look at others differently
By puttin' your hand in the hand of the man
From Galilee

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Garden update!

It's MAY and things are busting out all over around here!

I've never seen a peach hibiscus before!  But I'm growing one in a pot on our deck!

Beautiful yellow dahlia

 The gardenia bush is just full of buds!

 The sunflowers are gettin' big by the fence!

My accidental pumpkin patch!  I say accidental 'cause it sprung up after I sat last fall's porch pumpkin out there to compost.  I may get a pumpkin this year after all!

I planted a few of these gingerland caladiums last weekend.  I just love their colors.  And their name!

These are some succulents that have grown from tiny little pieces that Aunt Ruth gave me last November when we visited them down at Jacksonville Beach.  Pieces!  I just tucked them down into the dirt and this is what we have now.

My butterfly oasis is coming along nicely!  Lots of milkweed growing now!

And I saved the best for last!  We have baby tomatoes!!