Saturday, March 17, 2012

Top o' The Morning to Ya...and Happy St. Patty's Day too!'s the big day in many places but not here.  We have no parade but I've been eating corned beef and  cabbage all week with turnips and rutabagas, potatoes and carrots thrown in too.    That dinner is probably my favorite along with colcanon (sp?) which is basically mashed potatoes with cooked cabbage mixed in and lots of butter and salt.....yum!

I finished another Janet Evanovich "Stephanie Plum" mystery.  I guess I'm hooked as I stopped by the library and got the 3rd book in the series!  LOL!  It's not my usual fare in litereature but I think it's good to step out of your comfort zone sometimes and do something different even if it's only in your choice of books.  Plus, there's so much going on around here in the Springtime with planting and maintenance etc. that  I have lots on my mind and I don't need any heavy reading material weighing me down even more! LOL!

I told you yesterday I got MORE books (like I need any more...I t hink I'm running neck and neck with the public library) at the rummage sale and here they are.  The one in the top left corner is a video tour of Ireland which I think I will watch tonight with a cup of Irish tea and some crocheting.  The middle book is the diaries of Anne Morrow Lindberg from 1929 -1932; evidently there must be more.  This one is titled Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead.

 The one on the far right top is a book about Peace Pilgrim, a woman I've heard about that walked across the U.S. for peace years ago.  I'm not sure but she might have been the first to walk for a cause.  I hit the jackpot on books I think and just .50 each!

Remember Geraldine Ferraro?  She was the first woman to ever be considered for president of the U.S.  I think she died of cancer but not sure. Her husband had some shady dealings she knew nothing about and messed it up for her but I really admired her. "The Book" (that's the name of it) on the left is a 1977 Neiman Marcus catalog for .10 cents that had that beautiful painting on the front that I will probably use for collage making and decoupage and I'm not sure if there is more inside the catalog.  The other book was also 10 cents and it is The Vermont Beekeepers Cookbook and has all kinds of recipes using honey which I love and is more natural than processed sugar of course.
Here's a few other little treasures I got for 10 cents each.....they'll all get washed today along with those bark cloth pillows I showed you yesterday.  
Again, have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day and know that these "Irish eyes are smilin" at you!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bake Sale and Rummage sale....Woo Hoo!!!!!

The Animal Rescue organization here in our town are having a bake sale and rummage sale today and tomorrow.  I had to take my cookies in this morning that I baked for them. Of course I had to "browse around" and visit and pick up a few items and it all went to a great cause!

No, I did not eat half of that pineapple upside cake.  They graciously sold me half of it as I couldn't possibly eat the whole thing by myself.....or could I?  I also got a pecan pie bar and a raspberry, cream cheese filled sandwich cookie which you will not see pictured here...I ate it! LOL!

Loved this lampshade that is off white and covered in crochet.
I got this HUGE jar...I love clear big jars as they are so useful because you can see at a glance what 's in them!

I got these 2 old bark cloth pillows for $2.00!  What a deal!  They need some mending and I'll wash them for now but later I may use the material for something else all together.  Isn't it just the prettiest bark cloth you've ever seen? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
This plant stand was $ seems someone was pricing high and someone was pricing low but it all worked out in the end.  I may spray paint this...I'm not real fond of the shiny brass look.  Any ideas anyone?

This rug is like new for $4.00 I think. These pictures were taken in my garage so excuse the "surroundings".

This was $10.00 and I love's so different and it's low but has a nice big surface.  I'm thinking telephone and plant table maybe for my spider plant so it can spill over the side?  I'll be doing some serious chalk paint or primitive finish on this baby!  Can't wait...painting weather is here!  I also picked up some other items and some books but I'll save those for another post as I have got to get busy around here!  
Oh, BTW, I did get my lawn mowed yesterday and I gave the girls a bath outside and then it rained this morning but the sun's out now.....this is a GREAT Spring so far although I guess it doesn't officially start until Tuesday but so far so good! Hope yours is too!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Busy, busy busy!!!

All of a sudden life is a whirlwind!  I did get quite a bit done yesterday which always makes me feel good and today I plan on mowing if it doesn't rain.  They keep talking about "pop-up" showers?  What the heck?  On the radar it looked like more than that up in Missouri!  It is a crazy time of year for weather here in the South.  Those poor weather people...keeps them hopping!
Last night I finally got some chocolate chip cookies (with pecans) sweet tooth was begging me!  I used Splenda instead of real sugar and they tasted fine but they were "soft " cookies and I like crispy.  This is the same recipe I've used for years and they are always flat and crispy.  Now I know why all the cookies nowadays are soft!  Everyone's baking with Splenda or something similar.  I guess I'll have to go back to real sugar as I've got to get my "crispy" on! 

I also promised to make something to take to the Animal Rescue bake sale and rummage sale starting tomorrow through Saturday.  I thought I'd make some of my bread to take also....we'll see.

F.Y.I.  I use the Original Tollhouse Cookie recipe and I checked an old recipe with the one on the package of morsels and it hasn't changed.  I must admit I only use 1 cup of morsels instead of 2 like they call for.  A little chocolate goes a long way with me.  The cookie part is the part I like with the nuts and chocolate accenting it.
I also got out my Mary Engelbreit Spring book that I had ordered.  It was the only one I didn't have in the series.  

It has ideas in it but not really any definitive craft instructions just a basic "how to".  It's more like a mini-cocktail table book. LOL!  I got a few ideas from it though and of course the pictures are awesome in ME style.

Excuse the photos but taking a picture of a picture isn't quite the same in clarity.  I thought this was a cute idea and I know I've seen baskets like this around.  You could paint it too if you didn't like the natural color of the basket.  She used felt cutouts glued to the front for the design, bias tape and rickrack on top of it for the edging and some lace in black and then took a plaid grosgrain ribbon and wove it through the back to hang it.  This was for a gift for a gardening friend but you could use it for all sorts of things.
In addition, although it wasn't "featured" I liked the shutter in the background that they hand labeled "HERBS" on the top slat and then listed all different types of herbs on the remaining slats.
This was the most inspiring to me.  A grouping of bird houses or bird mansions is more like it.  I've wanted to get into woodworking and building things like book cases, shelves, benches etc.  This might be the perfect way to start.  I know the picture isn't very good but they are all really just bigger, different sized bird houses "gussied up" with trim and molding and painted in lots of bright colors and designs.  I think I have a small plain wooden bird house I got at a craft store laying around here somewhere.  Maybe I'll start with it and pattern it after the one below.

Of course this is an ME can tell by the shape but it's a starting place!  So, along with all the other Spring activities/jobs, I HAVE to do a little crafting, plus I have my collage class, and I can't forget to decoupage those plastic Easter eggs I bought at the Dollar store!  Oh I go over my head in no time at all! LOL!  I better get going or it will be Summer before I get my Spring tasks done!  Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring is already getting ahead of me! How did this happen???

Holy cannoli....with the rain we had the other day and the sunshine we have now Spring has Sprung big time down here!  Already, I'm behind the eight did that happen?  And it's in the 80's....where's that nice cool Spring where I get to do landscaping and painting outside?  Skip that I guess...I'll just have to do it and sweat because everything I need to do is on the South side of my heat radiating brick house.  I need to be doing a ZILLION things right now but I'll have to settle with a few priorities for today. 
The good news is the John Deere started after sitting outside all winter!  Thank you, Lord!  I need to mow a few weeks ago.

And my rhubarb I planted last year specifically for AR is coming up....4 out of 6 at least and I think I can pick it this year because they were 2 year old plants when I got them.

 I planted them in my old watering trough from the little farm I used to have.  

Got the clothes out on the line too.  I stripped the bed today, mattress cover and all for Spring cleaning.  The curtains are thrown back and the windows are all open and I need to wash them too!  Unfortunately I need to pay bills today so it looks like some things will have to wait....priorities you know.  If I had my druthers I'd be out weeding my flower beds, planting and mowing and all that outside stuff but alas....I'll go in and pay the bills.  I'm blessed to have the money to do it.  Hope you are enjoying your day and counting your blessings!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Reviews!

  I got to thinking that instead of showing you books I've recently gotten at the library or purchased, I should instead be showing them to you AFTER I've read them, not BEFORE!  It make no sense to take a picture and say "Here's a book I think I'll read".  So, from now on, any books I get will only be posted AFTER I've read them so I can tell you what I thought about it in case you're thinking it might be a book you'd like to read.
I've already shown you the books you are about to see but that was pre-read.  I went to the library today and got some more books but I won't show you those until I've read them and can give you my not so professional review! LOL!  So, here we go!

This book was the book about the Amish I've always wanted to read!  It tells about their life, their culture, their faith and their religious practices.  It is extremely well-written.  I can't wait to read their bestseller; Amish Grace; How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy.  My fascination with the Amish is their lack of materialism and their kindness, decency and devotion to family and community.  I would love to join but their inequality towards women is only one of the major stumbling blocks for me.  What I do admire and respect is that they "walk the talk" and religion and faith isn't just for Sunday mornings as it is in so many main stream religions.  And what a way of life they live although the rural tradition is fast disappearing in many Amish communities.  If you want to learn about the Amish without the patronizing curiosity of some of the books out there....this is the book for you. 

Since I am of Irish heritage I was attracted to this book and with St. Patty's day coming up I thought it would be a nice read and it was.  The book is fiction about a doctor in a small, poor Irish village.  It just so happens that the author IS a doctor and WAS  a doctor in Ireland but now lives in the U.S.  He probably had to leave after writing this book! LOL!  It's not bad but I found it patronizing to the Irish poor and arrogant on the side of the doctor in the story.  He's like a God to these people and he relishes it.....hmmm....did I say this was fiction?  Did I say the author had been a doctor in Ireland?  He has another book which I may just have to read to prove or disprove my theory.  Well written and endearing at times but I still found that bit of arrogance running throughout the book that I just couldn't shake.   Of course, I've never been to Ireland so this is no expert opinion but if he had switched it out to be the poor people of the Appalachians I wouldn't have liked it any better if you get my drift.

Okay...this was a total "sleeper"!  It was large print and on the "featured books" table at the library.  I had been reading some "heavier" content books so I thought this might be a nice light "comfort" book and it was but it was also a really good read!  Between the cheesy cover and the large print I was very surprised it was so good!  This was a great mystery.  It has a quilt theme running through it and  I do love me some themed mysteries!  I really learned some things too because not only is the main character a quilter but she is an antique quilt restorer and shared her knowledge throughout the book.  I looked on Amazon to see the series and how many there were as it stated the above was the first in the series.  I discovered something I wasn't expecting.  This book, along with some other "series type" books is published by Guideposts and every book in the series is by a different author!  This was very confusing until I finally figured it out.  I mentioned it to our librarian and she said she would order the rest of the series but it may take awhile.  If every book is by a different author though, how would you know you would like the rest of the books?  Hmmm....very strange!  

I want this woman to be my BFF!  I mean it!  She is fun, witty, exciting to be around and has a zest for life and all its inhabitants!  She finds joy in everything and everyone and she's an amazing writer to be able to communicate that on paper!  I read the book but did not do the exercises for the 37 days but I agree with her on all of it.  I have spent a large portion of the last few years "waking up" trying to be mindful and living intentionally but I can always learn more and be more and that's why I bought this book.  I may have to go back through it and do the exercises but for now I have to get my house sold so later, Patti, later.  I will be writing to her and visiting her website though at and she has more books!  I want them all!  Just to be near her words of acceptance, sincerity and so much integrity makes me want scientists to get cloning on the road!!!!  We definitely need lots more Patti Dighs on this planet!  Thank you, Patti!!!!

People kept telling me I should read the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich and I finally picked up her first book in the series "One For The Money".  It has been made into a movie which, although I love Katherine Heigle, did not endear me to it as I knew there must be sex and violence and bad language in order for it to make it to the movie scene. I could tell it wasn't Pixar or Disney material. I read the cover and back and it just wasn't my type of mystery.  Set in the city, present day, violence but I forged ahead.  In fact, there were a few violent parts I had to read during the day because if I read them at night before going to bed (the usual time I read) I would either have bad dreams or not be able to get to sleep.  Plus, it had the "rough" language of the city which I don't like in my books but by the time I got halfway through it I couldn't put it down.  I may even be brave enough to see the movie, or not.  My problem is that things stick in my head and I can't get rid of them.  I am over the top empathetic...I think there's a term for it but once something horrific enters my head through words but especially movies....I can't get rid of it and it's like a terrible dream that keeps coming back.  I probably need therapy but it would take years and I don't think I have that much time or money left! LOL!  So, needless to say I went back to the library and got the second book, "Two For The Dough".  So stay tuned for more exciting book reviews in the future and see how I brave the world of books and maybe even movies all without the aid of therapy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Quiet Sunday yesterday and last fire of the season.........

The time changed over the weekend....oh boy!  I get up late enough as it is and now that we've "sprung forward" it will be even later! LOL!  Yesterday it rained all day but nothing severe thank goodness.  I had a fire going all day to chase the dampness away. 

It will probably be the last fire of the season as today the sun is shining brightly and it is supposed to be in the high 70's and tomorrow 80's!  Yep....we skip right over Spring and go directly to summer but it's okay because the humidity won't be here for awhile yet.
I made my corned beef and cabbage with carrots, turnips and rutabaga and potatoes too of course.  It was good but not the best corned beef I've had. 
 I had decided that Sunday's were going to be R' n R' (rest and renewal) and also to do fun and creative things.  I 'm not sure if I mentioned it but I signed up for an online Collage Basics with Vintage Paper class.  It is available on  I found it on the side bar of Graphics Fairy which is another wonderful site for free vintage graphics.  She has DIY projects, free graphics every day and a library of over 2600 more, backgrounds and links to many other interesting sites having to do with ephemera.  So, I gathered what supplies I had and what I had picked up at the Dollar store and Wal-Mart.


Did you see the E-6000 glue?  I got that at Wal-Mart!  Who knew!  Everyone talks about that glue for crafts and projects and I just figured I would have to order it online because it is used in industry but lo and behold there it was at Wally World!  Also, the stamps were a gift from Katmom last year.'ll be glad to know I am FINALLY going to use them!  Thank you again so much and also to Kim who sent me books encouraging me to "go for it".  So, to these 2 lovely ladies....a great big thank you!  I still need more supplies for the class so I logged on to Joann's and ordered more!  (I had a supply list for the class, thank goodness, because I have no idea what I'm doing! LOL!)  Right now, Joann's is having a sale and also FREE SHIPPING on purchases of $40.00 or more (which isn't hard, trust me!) until March 17th.  Just a little FYI.
So, as soon as I have all my supplies gathered around me I may have something to post.....whether you can recognize what it is or not is another story.  Just's ART! LOL!  Have a great Monday!