Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Ideas From Fabulous Old Magazines

Hi, my name is Melanie, and I am a magazine addict. I save them, rotate, display and use them. My magazines rarely have the opportunity to gather dust. I don't apologize for this addiction, rather it is embraced and encouraged by my Mama and a couple of friends. They provide me with magazines that I may not have. There is no possibility of reformation, nor is there a plan to reform.
 
 
This one has been in my stash for a little while, note the date below. There is a bedroom that I love and think I need in this magazine.
 
 
This is lovely to me. Love the comforter and curtains, the wall color, the mismatched furniture. It is cozy and warm and would be a wonderful place to rest at night.
 
 
Recreating this look would require some paint, new linens, and moving a few things around in our house. Hmmmm..............
 
Notice the brass teapot in the picture below, as well at the brass candlesticks and brass box. I love it! This was called European style, but it used many things similar to what I have already and like. The furniture is not brand new, it was acquired over time, and is mismatched - like mine. The linens appear to be a mixture as well. The window treatments match the bed linens, but coordinate well with the small floral print on the chair, throw on the chair arm, and striped and solid pillow. The decorator stayed in the same color scheme and everything ties together, creating a uniform look.
 
 
Then there is this newer issue of Gracious Homes.
 
 
This issue was acquired last spring, it was the first time that I had seen this one, but it did not disappoint!
 
 
The picture below reminded me that I still wanted a look like this one.
 
Notice the lovely chest of drawers below, the matching lamps and family pictures displayed on top. The window treatments are a simple style, but lovely.
 
 
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So now I ask myself, how can I achieve this look with the things that I have? Do I have to spend money to get this look? Can I thrift shop what I plan to acquire? What if I made my curtains? There are lots of questions to ask myself.

The furniture that I have will work just fine. I will have to shop my house first for the accessories. My furniture could be rearranged also.

Planning is a large part of the fun of redecorating. Spending little or no money to achieve a certain look is even better! I knew that it was  a good idea to save those magazines!
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Musing - Aging Gracefully or Gratefully?

 
This morning, as I put on my make up, I saw them. It appeared to be the beginnings of a road map, right under my eyes. How did that get there? Grabbing the thickest moisturizer in the cabinet, I applied it to my skin, but they did not go away. Evidently, the mirror had not been cleaned, so it received a good cleaning.  Looking in the clean mirror, the lines were still there. The glass was cleaned again, but the tiny road map remained. Okay, this is a bad mirror. It needs to be replaced, so I’ll try another. They were still there. I put my glasses on to get a closer look, and that was even worse. I made a mental note to talk to my eye doctor about those obviously defective glasses.
Standing in front of the defective mirror, wearing defective glasses, the realization hit me. My life has been stressful for the past 15 years.  Alzheimer’s took Daddy, we lost Gran, I raised a daughter and am happy to say that we both survived, along with all of the things we experience in life, all of these circumstances have worked together to create that road map. I have earned each of these little lines and should be displaying them as a badge of honor. Maybe a badge of courage, should I choose to wear my glasses while looking in the mirror.
These tiny lines are better than the alternative. I am a survivor and should be proud, instead of trying to hide those little road maps. These are not a map of where I am going, but a map of where I have been. Why would I want to erase them? I earned each tiny line. These lines are a part of the person that I have become, and I choose to accept them. What other choice is there?
Time and life will provide a few more of those little lines. The face in my mirror is not the one that was there 25 years ago. The person behind that face is not the same either, hopefully some important life lessons have been learned, and will not need to be re-learned. With those lines, hopefully some wisdom has come my way. There are some things that will not change. I will celebrate my 29th birthday again this summer. Come on, you didn’t expect me to accept everything did you?


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Promises of Spring

Each year it is a delight to find this in my yard. It is a promise that winter will not last forever.

 
The rest of the yard looks like this
 
 
The sky is gray, the trees are bare and the wind is chilly.
 
 
These are the days that make me long for spring.
Mitsubishi is ready for spring too. Yes, that is really her name.
 
 
The winter day arrives when this harsh and cold season seems endless, and you look out the window to see something green.
 
 
 
 
 
The wild turnips are blooming, another reminder that spring is not far away.
 
 
These short cold days will not last forever.
 
 
These promises of spring up from the cold dead ground.
 
 
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Spring will come!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Getting the Itch

January is the month that it starts. My urge to yard sale emerges. The cold weather does not make it go away, in fact it is stronger.
Since I will have to wait for warmer weather, Mama and I stopped by one of our favorite thrift stores recently.
 
The plate below caught my eye. This plate will make it's home in my garden room.
 
 
 
The price was more than I would usually pay for a plate, but this one kept calling my name and just couldn't leave it behind!
 
 
This little plate below also begged for my attention. Have never seen this pattern before, but I loved it.
 
 
The price was right too!
 
 
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Haven't decided on a place to use this plate yet. The urge to spend some time cruising yard sales hasn't left me, but this little "fix" helped a bit.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Musing - A Sick Boy

 
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Atticus has been sick, so that means a trip to our favorite vet. This week we made that trip. Mama and I went together, as her little Buddy was sick too. While at the vet’s office, a gentleman came in with his Chihuahua. Animals know when they are at the vet’s office, and this little guy had no choice but to be carried in. Unlike the big dogs that put on their brakes when they get to the door and their owners tug and often pull or drag their pet inside, he was carried inside. These same dogs drag their owner out of the door when they leave! This makes me glad that Atticus in a carrier, I would never get him through that door.
The receptionist asked who we had brought today. I told her it was Atticus. This gentleman commented that there was a girl that wrote about her Atticus in the paper. I felt Atticus shift in his carrier; he knew that he had been recognized. It was about time that someone recognizes that the famous Atticus was nearby! Why had he come to the vet’s office if no one would recognize him? The vet and his staff understand his importance, but it was high time that the other patients know that the famous Atticus was in the office today!
When it was his turn in the exam room, Atticus had no plans of coming out of his carrier. It is almost as little fun getting him in, as it is to get him out of the carrier. Generally, the carrier has to be held and I pull Atticus out. It is not fun.
Atticus does not handle sickness very well. The world is coming to an end when he is sick, and he needs me desperately! He is truly pitiful, and you have to feel sorry for him. He cries and whines something awful. His best buddy, Honey feels sorry for him too. She checks on him and frets over him. Truthfully, Atticus enjoys this attention, but he would enjoy it more if he felt good.
Atticus is resting in the big comfy chair at this moment. He is curled up next to the chair arm, so he has a place to rest his head. He is sleeping, and that means that he is quiet. Let’s hope that he gets better soon, I am exhausted.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Keeping Memories of Gran

My Gran was an excellent cook, she knew that and she took pride in that knowledge. Gran was willing to share her knowledge with anyone willing to take the time to listen. This is the book that we worked on together and is not for sale.
It is intended to be a record of our family history with the hopes that others will be encouraged to write their own memories down. I do not have any extra copies of this book, as only a few were printed. This was never intended to be a money making venture. This is not intended to be a sales pitch!!!
 
 
 
 
When my daughter was a child, often I called Gran to find out how she prepared a certain dish. There were numerous phone calls! I kept these recipes in a spiral bound notebook. The thing that was sticking with me was the stories that she shared with me. These stories were too wonderful to keep to myself, so I started writing them down.
Before she died, I put these recipes and stories in the form of a book. Gran helped me, we spent so many wonderful hours working on this book! It does not include all of her recipes, just the most important to our family. She was able to see the book, and have her own copy. I remember the smile on her face when she saw the cover and looked through the book. My Aunt Dotsie read the book to her when Gran was in the nursing home. It brought memories of happier times to her.
 
 
 
Gran made everything special, even a pimento cheese sandwich! Her recipes were made from simple ingredients and prepared on a budget. The main ingredient in every dish prepared was love! She told me once that she always thought about the people she was cooking for, and said a prayer for them as she cooked. How is that for a meal prepared with love?
 
 
 
Cornflake candy was a favorite of all the grandchildren! She made this treat regularly. Gran put hers in a dish and cut it into squares, Mama dropped hers out by the spoonful. I use Gran's recipe, and dip it out by the spoonful, like Mama did.
This was a treat that my own daughter enjoyed. Now my family has their own book, and can enjoy this treat and others, any time that they choose.
 
 
 
Gran grew up in the country, her Mother died when she was a child. Her Mother's sisters each taught her how to cook. She took advantage of that opportunity, and learned much from these knowledgeable ladies! The plate above is creamed field corn at the top of plate, squash on the right, cornbread at the bottom of the plate and purple hull peas with my Aunt Lucy's squash relish on top, and a few watermelon rind pickles. Gran always served a pickle of some sort with a vegetable meal like this.This is the way that she cooked, simple and tasty. My Mama would tell you at this point, that Gran did not like squash and did not prepare it often.
 
 
 
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Gran with my Granddaddy, she always smiled when she told the story of how he asked her to marry him about 9,000 times! My Aunt Annie wanted Gran to marry him, and was delighted when she finally said yes to him. Gran shared many stories as we worked on this book. I did not include every story, because some of the stories were so painful to her. It was not easy to be a young girl who had lost her mother in 1929, nor was it easy to be a young widow. I know that these things happened, but my desire was to share the good memories. Gran knew the value of humor, and laughter was a part of time with Gran. This book was intended to reflect those memories to our family. We each have a special memory about her that makes us smile.

My family has told me many times how much they appreciate this book. If is filled with our memories and Gran's special recipes. Each time we lose a family member, we are losing a piece of our history. That history is worth saving. Each family has their own story, and it should be preserved for future generations. Take the time to record your own special memories, you will not regret it! My book is not for sale, that was not the purpose. Sharing the memories and Gran's delicious recipes was the purpose, as well as encouraging others to record their own memories was the purpose.



 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Musing - How's Your Mama?


Most southerners seem to appreciate parents in general, but they recognize Mama differently. That applies to the ones that were "brought up right" and a good many of those that weren't. Life is just different here. There are different rules to remember and the "Mama rule" is one of those rules. Along with the red shoe rule, always wearing a slip under your dress rule, and breast meat only in chicken salad rule, these rules should be observed by a Southern Belle. These are very important to remember, because you don't want anyone to think that you weren't "brought up right". Don't forget the requirement of cheese straws at every reception, shower, and wedding! It is a lot of work to be a Southern Belle!
It is rare to make a trip to town and someone doesn’t ask about your Mama. It’s not just conversation fodder, these are people who know and are concerned about Mama. They appreciate their own Mama and were “brought up right”. Whether this person is someone that went to school with me, from my community, or from another walk of life, they ask about Mama. It always puts a smile on my face.
Call it being “brought up right” or whatever you choose but you won’t get this treatment in a large area. How many times could you walk into the Piggly Wiggly and have any one would ask about Mama? How many Piggly Wiggly’s would you find in a big town? Even in the larger stores of this area, someone asks about Mama. It is almost impossible to go in these stores or restaurants and not run into someone that knows your parents and will ask about them.
What bank would you go to in a large town where almost everyone would care about and know Mama? Our bank does not neglect to ask about her either. They understand the importance of Mama as does the small country church. I find it difficult to believe that these benefits would exist in a large town.
Mama is appreciated here. Mama also has a mind of her own and is capable of many amazing feats, just ask any southerner. Mama is capable of a good "hissy fit" and teaches her own daughter how to pitch one, that is if she was "brought up right". These fits are not to be taken lightly, and each fit has a desired result. You would be wise not to cross path's with a southern Mama pitching a "hissy fit" if you know what is good for you! Mama loves and cares for her family, even though we are grown now. My Mama took care of my Daddy in his last days. I realize that not all Mamas are like mine. Sadly I have seen different examples. My Mama was one of those Mama's that would never have cast her Mama duties on Daddy, or anyone else for that matter! It would have taken death to have separated her from us. She was the Mama, and no one else would take her place!!!
My Mama is truly a southern Mama. There is tea in her refrigerator; she has a swing on her front porch and I will never be able to fry chicken that tastes half as good as hers. I was also taught the basics as well as advanced techniques of a good "hissy fit". Just ask my daughter, she knows how to pitch a good one too. Southern Mamas have a good sense of humor and a child could tell some good stories about them. Mine is no different, I am not allowed to write about the best stuff, leaving you to your imagination. But then again my very own offspring had better not start writing about me either!
Good southern parents are a blessing, and a privilege to have. I am grateful for mine, even if Mama said that I can’t write about the good stuff.
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Musing 2013 Plans

 
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January is the month we take a look back on the past year. We discuss in depth, what worked for us and what didn’t. Everything has a purpose here, and if that purpose is not fulfilled, than it is time to make a change.

Clover had a purpose, besides eating cookies and attempting to prolong her 15 minutes of fame. Clover was supposed to be a mama, but that didn’t work out. She refused to get married, and have kids. No male goat suited her, as Bill E. Goat would tell you if he could talk. Clover damaged his ego permanently. There were hopes for Emmett, but then we found out that Clover was his aunt. We are now left without a female goat. Clover can’t be replaced. There isn’t another goat with a personality that big. We have that understanding, but we need a female.

Little Peep is proving to be a semi regular layer in cold weather. She just has this tendency to stare off into space. What is she thinking? Is she thinking, or is she dreaming the dreams that chickens dream? Does she dream that one day she will emerge as head hen? She will certainly show the evil Silver Laced Wynadotts a thing or two then. Will she wear a cape with an S on it? We will never know what Little Peep dreams about.

There are 2 roosters in our flock. One rooster has demonstrated leadership ability, and I have worked with this rooster more so than the other. He has a musical crow, and is learning what behavior will not be tolerated. His job is to take care of the girls, and not attack me. I am not his friend, but I can become his enemy quickly. In other words, any rooster that makes me scream is soon history.

There are numerous projects planned, and I have a list of things that I will learn this year. We do know that we will watch our animals and we will be amazed. Whether it be a duck setting on stolen chicken eggs, a mother hen turning the eggs in her clutch, a goat that believes himself to be the sweet baby he was, or our Jennyanydots just being Jenny, we will be amazed. Atticus has plans too. We hope that the appearance of 4 missing ornaments is on his list of plans.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Look Back

 
Looking back through the pictures from last year, there was more accomplished than I realized. January always makes me dream of days like the one below.
 
 
Last January, I was wondering if we would have an Early Spring and we did.
 
 
 
Mama gave me a box of my old cards last February, that contained these old Valentines.
 
 
 
I was able to talk about My Kids, we took in a couple of orphaned kids. Turns out they were Clover's nephews!
 
 
 
Work began in the Attic Room. Furniture was painted, and the goal was to purchase as little as possible. The budget was $50, and I was pleased with the results, but the best part is that I didn't use hardly any of my budget!! You can read more here  and here.
 
 
 
April was the month that 5 long years of begging paid off. My hubby finally screened in the back porch and the Barn Cats were evicted from the back porch! We created a New Porch Lighting fixture, on a budget of course.
 
 
 
May brought a scary situation, Emmett had to make a visit to the vet. You can read about that here. I know that I have a true friend, not many friends would be willing to ride with you to take your goat to the vet!! Thanks B.!!
 
 
 
 
A Backyard Garden was created.
 
 
Friends were given a  Welcome To My Front Porch in June.
 
 
 
A glass of iced tea waits for you there! Wishing that I could as you to Join Me on the Porch right now!
 
 
 
My Farmhouse Bathroom made an appearance on the blog.
 
 
 
My love of pineapples was shared with you in the post A Symbol of Southern Hospitality in July.
 
 
 
There was also a Farmhouse Lunch on the newly screened back porch.
 
 
 
July found me Saying Goodbye to Clover. I still miss my silly and amazing friend!
 
 
 
August brought pictures of the Farmhouse Guestroom.
 
 
 
September heat was keeping me inside! Gran's Dresser was featured.
 
 
 
October brought South Georgia Snow a bit earlier this year.
 
 
 
This New Old Cabinet was repainted and given a fresh look.
 
 
 
November had us Walking for Daddy and the others that have experienced the demon called Alzheimer's. We participated in the Walk To End Alzheimer's, and plan to do so next year. Our desire to end this disease has not changed!!!
 
 
 
My bookcase got a face lift in a Bookcase Redo.
 
 
 
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December was a difficult month. We lost Daddy, you can read more here.

January is the time that we plan for the next season. There is much for Kevin and I, to talk about. We know that there are some changes ahead for us, now is the time to plan for those changes.

Happy New Year to each of you and wishing a prosperous year, filled with love and laughter to you all!

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