Monthly Archives: November 2011

Wordless Wednesday…There is an Elf on my Roof

Wordless Wednesday…There is an Elf on my Roof!!!

There is an Elf on my Roof

There is an Elf on my Roof

There is an Elf on my Roof

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, postaweek2011

Kicking off the Christmas Season begins with Trimming the Tree

It is a tradition in our home that the Christmas Tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving.  It sometimes takes several days to get all of the ornaments on the tree but at least the tree is up and the lights are on by Friday.  It is official…kicking off the Christmas Season begins with Trimming the Tree!

We have an artificial tree that my husband loves.   Every year my husband will say, “I love that tree!”  and I will say “Tell me why you love that tree”.   He proceeds to divide the original cost of the tree by the number of years we have had it and he then announces….That tree only costs us $20 this year.   Now I don’t know where you can get an eight foot noble fir-tree for $20 but acdording to my husband we have one.  I love it because once it is decorated it looks beautiful and no one knows the difference.

The guys haul the original tree box out of the attic and the process begins.  First we sort the branches by size.   Then row by row we fluff the branches and attach them to the tree one layer at a time.  When a row of branches are in place the lights are added, one row at a time.  This way I can make sure every branch gets its fair share of the lights.

Next we begin checking the lights to make sure they are in working order.  However, almost every year without fail there will be at least 2 strings of lights with only 1/2 of the lights working.  This usually causes the tree trimming to come to a screeching halt until additional strings of lights are purchased.

This year was no exception.  There were two strings of lights that were beyond repair.  So off to the big box store I went…first attempt resulted in the wrong size and color of lights.  So the next day back to the big box store to find the right lights…I was looking for mini teardrop shaped lights in warm white.  Hobby Lobby…no luck!  Wal-Mart…again no luck!  Target…after much digging and searching for a plug to check the color of the lights when lit, Ding..ding..ding…we have a winner!  Thank you Target!!!  Now we can kick off the Christmas Season by trimming the tree!

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, postaweek2011

Weekly Photo Challenge…Family

This weeks Weekly Photo Challenge is one near and dear to my heart…Family!  My immediate family consists of my Husband and Son, Mom, Dad, three Sisters, a Niece, a Nephew and a Brother-in-Law.  My Husbands immediate family includes his Mom, 3 Brothers, 2 Sister-in-Laws, 4 Niece’s and 1 nephew is just a drop in the bucket.  We are blessed with a very close-knit wonderfully supportive Family.

My Weekly Photo Challenge… Family Photo is of my Mom and her girls; me and my three Sisters and my Niece.  I love my family!

Family

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Filed under family, postaweek2011, Weekly Photo Challenge

5 reasons Why I will not shop on Black Friday

What’s all the hype with Black Friday?  Here are my 5 reasons I will not be shopping on  Black Friday.

Reason #5 Why I will not shop on Black Friday  - The “best deals” are very limited and only a few people will score that 52″ television for $10 anyway.  Remember in the long run you will get what you pay for…

Reason #4 Why I will not shop on Black Friday - Most of the “Black Friday Deals” will last for several days and even weeks.  It is a proven fact that the high ticket items will be cheaper if you wait until after cyber Monday.  The experts report that some items will be as much as 13% cheaper between Cyber Monday and December 13th.  Show some restraint people…

Reason #3 Why I will not shop on Black Friday – I do not want to be crushed to death while buying Grandma a new coffee pot for $3.  I would much rather die doing something I love and shopping isn’t on my list of top 10 things to do.

Reason #2 Why I will not shop on Black Friday - People are crazy!!!  How many nice people have you met when shopping?  In general people are not very nice when they are shopping…they are only thinking of themselves and typically are discourteous and even down right mean.  No thanks!!!  I will stay home and put up my Christmas Tree.

Reason #1  Why I will not shop on Black Friday- I am vowing to make as many of my Christmas purchases from locally owned small businesses as well as buy things that are Made in America.  I would like for my hard-earned money to stay in my community.

Now I know I am probably the minority when it comes to my opinion about Black Friday.   For those of you who have the shopping bug I suggest you wear your steel toed shoes and pack an extra measure of patience, a bottle of water and a granola bar for the days activities.

Did you shop on Black Friday?  Was it worth it?  Will you ever do it again?

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, Made in America, postaweek2011

The Blessing

The Blessing by John Holyfield…a wonderful depiction of an American Family celebrating Thanksgiving.

John Holyfield, widely considered one of the top African-American contemporary artists, was born and raised by his grandmothers in Clarksburg, West Virginia after being orphaned as a child. Despite the trial and tribulations that he experienced as a youth, John Holyfield went on to study Graphics Design at Howard University and at the University of Washington, D.C. after his interest and talent in art was discovered at a young age.

The Blessing I picked this up in an auction, it is on display at the Alvin Antique Center in Alvin, Texas booth #609.  It is a signed and numbered lithograph.  What a Blessing this will be in someones home.

The Blessing by John Holyfield

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Filed under family, Made in America, postaweek2011

Small Business Saturday…saving America one brick at a time…

Re-post from January 26, 2011
Invest in America, support the local brick and mortar businesses that our country was built on.  Investing in the  independently owned businesses in our neighborhoods helps our local economy.  These businesses employ our neighbors and strengthen our community.

The Local

I have a passion for locally owned businesses.  Not because I am a small business owner but because I appreciate the time and energy and the financial commitment local business owners bring to the game.  Small business owners are dreamers and risk takers.  They are passionate about what they do!

I have been a supporter of locally owned businesses for years.  I will always choose to shop, eat or use a service company that is locally owned over a big chain business.  Always!

The Patio @ The Local

I have posted about my favorite neighborhood businesses as well as local businesses I have discovered on weekend getaways.  My husband and I always gravitate to “the local” whenever and wherever we travel.  We had a couple of weekend getaways last summer; Galveston and New Orleans where we supported many locally owned businesses.  We supported the local restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, antique stores, and a couple of art galleries.  We met wonderful people who love what they do and we were treated like old friends.

Star Drug Store

A few of my local favs that I frequent at least once a month are; The Local Restaurant, Browse Aroun’ Antiques and  the Something Unique Gift Shop.  My #1 favorite local lunch spot, The Pear Tree Tea Room, closed it’s doors just before Christmas.  They had a great location, loyal following and delicious food.  I know things are difficult at best in this economy so the local businesses need all the support you can give them.

Acme Oyster House

Recently I began to follow the blog over at The Red Door Antiques.  While surfing through the blog site I noticed a button; the 3/50 Project, saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.  My interest was piqued.  I clicked on the button and was directed to a website filled with some very interesting information.  I would like to share some of what I read;

3    What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?

50   If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate over $42 billion dollars in revenue.

The folks at the project say that  for every $100 spent in an independent locally owned business $68 returns to the community in payroll, taxes and other expenditures.  If that $100 is spent in a national chain $43 comes back to the community.  Shop on-line and $0 comes back to the community.  Check out the movement to save our bricks and mortar companies, they are what built this country.

Mosquito Cafe

What’s your favorite local independently owned business?  Have you supported them this month?  How would life in your community be different if you lost one of these businesses?

Make Time to Support your Independent Locally Owned Businesses

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Filed under Made in America, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011

Comfort

“Comfort is a sense of physical or psychological ease, often characterized as a lack of hardship. A degree of psychological comfort can be achieved by recreating experiences that are associated with pleasant memories, such as engaging in familiar activities, maintaining the presence of familiar objects, and consumption of comfort foods. Comfort is a particular concern in healthcare, as providing comfort to the sick and injured is one goal of healthcare, and can facilitate recovery. Persons who are surrounded with things that provide psychological comfort may be described as being within their comfort zone.”

I find comfort in being surrounded by family, coming home after a long trip and I always find comfort in the first sip of my morning coffee.

Things I find comforting

I find comfort in watching movies I have already seen.  I actually enjoy watching certain movies over and over.  I connect with certain characters.  They become familiar.  They are like old friends.

I find comfort in drinking my morning coffee in my favorite cup.  Over the years the cup has changed.  My favorite cup feels a certain way in my hand.  In years past when my grip was stronger and my mornings required massive amounts of caffeine my favorite cup was actually a large beautiful mug.  Now my mug is much smaller but just as beautiful.

I find comfort in curling up on the sofa with my favorite handmade quilt.  I actually have two favorites.  My absolute favorite is about 80 years old, it is soft and cool to the touch but warm and snuggly underneath.  It was given to me by my husbands grandmother.  The treasured quilt is frayed around the edges, therefore it is has been retired to the quilt rack.  My new favorite was made by a friend and one day it to will be a family treasure passed down through the generations.

I find comfort in the sounds that float through my house.  The sounds of laughter and frustration that come from my sons room when he is playing a video game.  The barking of my sweet little dogs that let me know when anyone pulls into the driveway.  The sound of my husband’s voice as he shares his day with me or the many projects he has plans for.  All of these things and so many more help me to live in my comfort zone.

Where is your comfort zone?

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Filed under encouragment, postaweek2011

Homemade Gifts; vanilla extract, terrariums and clay tags to name a few

Homemade gifts are what makes Christmas fun and memorable for me.  I have a few different gifts in mind for this year. None of them are expensive or elaborate.  Just some things I have read about this past year as I have surfed through a myriad of blogs and tweets.

The first homemade gift I am going to try to create is vanilla extract.  I read a post from Chef and Steward on making vanilla extract from scratch and I immediately added it to my Christmas gift making list.  Then the same week I saw an episode of Barefoot Contessa and she was making vanilla extract.  The cosmos collided and I knew this was a homemade gift I just needed to make.

This particular creation takes time to steep and mature…I have combined the ingredients; vanilla beans and vodka or rum, its your choice, into a  mason jar .  Actually I have a concoction of each steeping in the cupboard.  I hope I can pick up some vintage jars at the auction house tag sale this weekend that will make my homemade gift complete.

Also over the past year I have noticed in nearly every magazine I pickup and scan through there is a terrarium tucked into the decor.  I have collected several containers from tag sales and now I am ready to make a few of these adorable tiny gardens of my own.  I will make them over the next several days to make sure they remain healthy enough to give as gifts.  I certainly don’t want to give someone a dead plant for Christmas.  If that’s the case I may as well give them a fruit cake…

I have also been smitten by the crafters who are making clay tags.  There are a couple of crafting bloggers who are touting the ease of using air dry clay to make handmade inspirational tags.  I plan on giving this a try…think I will use them as gift tags or maybe even make them in sets to be used as Christmas tree decorations.  I also love the simplicity of a clay tag tied around a simple mason jar filled with a fresh bunch of flowers.

I have gathered the supplies for the terrariums and the clay tags…now it’s time to  jump in and enjoy making my homemade Christmas gifts.  I will post pictures and updates as the projects take shape.

Wishing you and yours a very joyful Chirstmas season!

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, plain and simple, postaweek2011

Post #303…What do you miss?

The question of the day..What do you miss?  The very first thing that comes to mind is you.  I do, I miss you!

I miss reading your encouraging posts and daily challenges.  I miss your poetry and photographs.  I miss the weekly photo challenge and the link ups.  I miss reading all that you have taken the time to write.  I feel like that friend that doesn’t reply to emails or return phone calls.  I am not that person!  I really have been burning the candle at both ends and the ends are getting closer to meeting in the middle.

A few weeks back the process of organizing 8 nights of banquets began and everything else came to a screeching halt.  Every minute of every day has been dedicated to making sure everything is in order for that nights banquet.  Attention to the little details is what makes an event memorable.  And there are lots of details that need attention.

Before this event began I asked God to use my gifts and talents to serve Him and His Church. I did not know what that would mean at the time but I was up for the challenge.  No matter what was asked of me.  Now at the end of each day my feet ache and body is weary.  But every morning I wake up with renewed energy and excitement.  Every day I give all that I have to give and every morning God fills me with what I need to get through another day.

As I type these words I am fighting to keep my eyes open.  But I feel the need to let you know that I am still here, just on the other side of cyberspace…desperately wanting to read every word you have written.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about…What do you miss?

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Filed under postaweek2011

Victorian Country Charm…Texas Style

The hubs and I took a little road trip this past weekend.  He managed to find us a Bed & Breakfast with  Victorian county charm…Texas style.

I have wanted to stay at a B&B for sometime, but the opportunity never really presented itself.  This past weekend the chain hotels were either booked or asking $199 per night.  The hubs found this out-of-the-way B&B for $116 per night.  It included great company, an evening dessert and a wonderful homemade breakfast.

Check out where we stayed…

Victoria Country Charm...Texas Style

We were greeted by the home owner Patty and her companion Scooter…

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

We were welcomed into a Victorian wonderland and quickly introduced to the other man of the house, Patty’s husband Bobby.

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

Patty is a retired teacher and Bobby is a retired football coach.  They are the most delightful couple.

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

This beautiful B&B sits on 20 acres in the east Texas town of Edgewood.  Edgewood is just north of the town of Canton, Texas.  Canton is home to one of the largest Market Days in Texas.  Canton Market Days is held the weekend before the first Monday of every month.  There are hundreds of vendors that carry everything from vintage americana to homemade arts and crafts.  If you ever find yourself in East Texas and in need of a place to lay your head…I recommend the Victorian country charm…with Texas style of Willow Pond Bed & Breakfast.

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Filed under Life in Texas, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots