Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We Are Off Again...

Got our bags packed and ready to go....
Steve and I are jetting down to San Diego on the invitation to spend an extended weekend with our best friends, Dave and Laura.
We'll be staying at a hotel downtown (not the El Cortez--I just thought the image was cute!)

It will be close to whatever strikes our fancy--the beaches....
or the Thrift Stores,
for Laura and I...;-)

This is a photo of the baggage claim at The Sacramento International Airport. They are sculptures of suitcases reaching all the way to the ceiling! A very clever idea!!
See ya next week!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I was gifted..

By Miss Becky of Just Bee 'n Me! When I returned home from our trip (see previous post) there was a huge box waiting for me. Inside were the contents of the birthday giveaway that I had won from Becky, and she was waaaayyyy generous with her goodies! It was so delightful to open all the sweet packages!!
Included were a box of stationary cards, prints and framed art--ALL her original artwork! A darling 'decorating journal' she had created (close-up to follow)
Stickers, a darling pedestal rose plate with a ribboned and bejeweled glass dome, a box of vintage lace, ribbon, jewelry, buttons, a sweet tiny teacup and tiny domed plate-perfect for surprising Steve with a couple of chocolates--two beautiful embroidered napkins (Oh Becky! If you lived closer I'd use them when I served you tea!)
Here is the close-up of the Decorating Journal...she enclosed a sweet personal note inside..
And the back is just as cute! Oh! And look what she made for a book mark! It's a paint sample strip! Isn't that too clever?!
And, with a humorous nod to me recent fiasco with a glue gun--she sent me glue sticks with a sweet bird attached!!
Thank you, Becky, for all the wonderful goodies you sent! I am thrilled beyond words to receive your original art--I am truly blessed by your kindness!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Well, Boy Howdy!!

Inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel
Dining "outside" but still inside!!

Waterfalls EVERYWHERE!!

President Andrew Jackson's home.."The Hermitage"..

The gardens...
One of the slave's quarters....

General Jackson Showboat

Cruising down the Cumberland River
A view of downtown Nashville

Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. We don't drink whiskey (well, maybe on a rare occasion!)
But it was an interesting tour all the same...

The Country Music Hall of Fame....
The Grand Ole Opry

Kellie Pickler can see her in the big screen.

Just got back from Nashville, Tennessee!! Steve had a NLLEA (National Liquor Law
Enforcement Association) convention there and I got to tag along...a wonderful place. Stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, set on 57 acres. It's covered by a dome and is landscaped inside like a beautiful, lush garden--complete with several waterfalls and streams--even offer boat rides throughout!! Many shops and eateries to choose from--very serene and tranquil. I'd often take my book "outside" and sit by a waterfall to read.
We also toured Hermitage, the plantation home of President Andrew Jackson, The Jack Daniels distillery, took the General Jackson Showboat down the Cumberland River--lunched there, too with other NLLEA members. Saw Kellie Pickler and other singers at the Grand Ole Opry, toured the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as dined there for the NLLEA Banquet Dinner.
Walked up the famous Broadway where all the honky-tonk bars are and Country singers were discovered. Walked around downtown Nashville and took in all the sights.
The weather was warm, but pleasant, and the area is beautiful!! The people are so nice and thoughtful--I can see why people call the south "God's Country"!!
Came home exhausted and glad to be home. Just gotta take a couple of days to recuperate.....

Yee-Yawn---I mean Yee-Haw!! ;-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Steve and I are off to Nashville, Tennessee for a week. I'm so excited! Thank you to those who gave me great tips on places to go!

We've got houseguests staying at our abode whilst we're away--to keep an eye on things....mainly our dog, Winston!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Sanctuary

There is no sanctuary of virtue like home. Edward Everett

This is our master bedroom--my sanctuary. The top picture is the view from the doorway in. There is a balcony through the sliding glass doors--if you want to see more of that click here.

We recently re-arranged the bedroom...the bed before was placed kiddy-corner where the large chair is now. The 'canopy' is a very old coverlet that we tacked up...I love how it softens and 'romanticises' (is that a real word?) the bed.
Almost all the rooms in the house were already wallpapered when we moved in...I couldn't believe the blessing that it was all done in 'my' colors--including this bedroom!! I love the Victorian look--I often describe my decor as Victorian/Cottage...and-- except for a brief stint of primitive country in the '80's-- that has been my style for the past 30 years. It's wonderful to find a style that "feels" right to you...and everything I have will 'go' anywhere in my house. It's fun to shop in my own home when I get the urge (as I often do) to redecorate!

So that's the little tour of my boudoir--hope you enjoyed it. I LOVE looking at your rooms in your homes--we can always glean ideas from each other...and even feel like we've just 'visited' in person!!

By the way, thank you for your 'sympathy' about my burns! I went to the Dr. as one of them was looking pretty some medicine for it to facilitate the healing. It'll just take time...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Day

So yesterday I was flitting around, fluffing the house in preparing for Zac and Amy's arrival. ( Son and daughter-in-love from So. Cal). Changed out a table in the family room and of course needed to change the vignette that went on top. Decided that a lamp I used needed a little bling on the shade. So I plug in the glue gun and find some crystal beaded fringe to glue on the bottom of the shade. I pull up a chair to the table and grabbed the glue gun and squeezed the trigger. ( I might add I was wearing shorts as we are in a heat wave). No glue comes out. I squeeze and squeeze. Nothing. I have a whole stick of glue in there, so I yank it out and push it back in. Hard. Suddenly scalding hot glue projectiles from the gun, landing on my thigh, inside of my left hand and covers my right pointer finger. I have no idea how it got on my right finger . All I knew was I was in excruciating pain....I ripped the glue off my thigh, taking about an inch-length layer of skin with it...same on the inside of my left hand. There was so much glue on my finger it wouldn't budge...just sat there searing into my skin. AGONY!! I'm freaking out from the firefighter Monty (brother-in-law)...voice mail..I leave him an hysterical message... . I call Steve--voice mail..I called his secretary--something I NEVER do and hysterically tell her what happened. She said Steve was in a conference call and would give him a note. Then I call my neighbor, Gloria. She said "I have just the thing, I'll be right over". In the meantime I'm jumping up and down from the pain, sticking my hand in ice water and feeling like I'm gonna pass out. Gloria comes over with Tea Tree Oil--ever heard of it?--anyway-- puts it on my burns--kinda felt like if you'd put alcohol on it--I tell her "You have no idea the words that are swirling around in my head right now!!" ##2%*!!
Then she grabs some baggies and fills 'em with ice for my thigh and my hands. I sit down and begin to sweat profusely and feel really 'funny'...she looks at me and says--"you don't look very good, I think you need to eat something with sugar in it to get your blood sugar up" She gets a granola bar for me and I eat that...retreating to the recliner with ice bags and conversation with Gloria. Steve calls (he put his conference call on hold when he got my note) and gets the scoop. Monty calls much later...told me to keep it cold and vitamin E for the scars.
Gloria stayed well into the afternoon--a blessing!!
So now I'm a bit dis-abled...Zac and Amy arrived sometime in the middle of the night..Steve and I had gone to Costco and bought heat and serve stuff for dinner tonight and tomorrow.
But the house looks fine....--So that was my day yesterday. I can go about 50 more years before experiencing THAT again!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Change is hard..

I was 7 years old when my dad married my mom....back then he was called my 'step-father'. My mother and I came as a packaged deal and I always felt he loved me as much as he loved my mom. After they came home from their honeymoon we took up residence in a small, 1950's, 3 bedroom house that they had bought to start their new life together. My mother, ever the decorator, put her magical touch to it that made it feel 'homey' and warm.

From day one, Dad treated me as his own--complete with spankings when I miss-behaved! ;-)
For several years, turmoil ensued that I won't go into, but the blessing in all of that was my dad's constant, abiding peacefulness that had a calming effect. I could always count on his faithfulness and love to my mom and to me. Deep down I never doubted his love for me, or that he wanted the best for my life. I thrived on his encouragement and support.

He couldn't have been more pleased and proud when I married Steve. He knew that Steve was the man God had chosen for me, and he has told me over the years how thrilled he is that Steve is my husband--he knows what a great man that Steve is. As a mom of married children, I now know the extent of those feelings. There is a peace and a joy that comes from knowing your children chose great spouses!
When we moved back to Sacramento almost 3 years ago, one of the blessings was that we moved into the same town as my dad and his wife, Leilani. Soon Dad and I began the weekly tradition of meeting for coffee..usually on Thursdays at 9 am. How I cherished that time. He is my last link to my mom. He is my father, who I can confide in, trust, and know that his counsel is always wise. He's going to be 86 years old August 23. He's lived quite a life and has a lot of wisdom to pass on!
This coming Monday he and Leilani are moving to a retirement 'village' two hours away from here. Today my heart is heavy because we met for coffee for the very last time this morning. Change can be so difficult and I know that life is full of change and I know that I will accept the change and move on. But right now I'm sad.
These past 2 1/2 years with my dad has been such a gift and I am grateful.
Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security.
Proverbs 14:26

Thanks for providing me a place of refuge and security, Dad. Thank you for showing Steve and I how to provide that for our own children. I love you!

Monday, August 11, 2008

TMTA Challenge

This weeks theme for Think Monday Think ATC is Dog Days of Summer. It couldn't have come at a more appropriate time here in Northern California where we're expecting 100 degree weather!! Usually it warms up in the late afternoon, but the past couple of days I've noticed myself closing windows sooner in the day, to keep the cool in.

I was trying to find a Victorian image of a King Charles Cavalier--which we have, named Winston, but this is the best I could come up with. Not a Cavalier, but a cute puppy nonetheless!!
My daughter, Courtney, will appreciate the quote--she is a huge Jane Austen fan. The quote is very fitting for me these days...feeling more frumpy than fabulous. I wilt in the heat. But on the other hand, I can go plop myself in front my 'puter with a glass of iced tea, visit with all you lovely ladies and perk up in no time!!
Have a wonderful day!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mind Wide Open....SECRET

Okay, so here is my entry. I covered a journal book--pretty self-explanatory if you take note that I put the words "JOURNAL" on there! ;-)

I mixed vintage with new elements, and I love the aqua and black together. The prompt word was 'secret' so I used one of my favorite Bible verses to tie that in.
You can go to the Mind Wide Open site to view other's artwork and vote for your favorite!

By the way--Steve and I are going to Nashville, Tenn. soon, and I was wondering if any of you could email and tell me some fun places to go--good places to eat, etc? We'll be staying at the Grand Ol' Opry Hotel. Thanks for your help!!
Have a great Friday!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm Tickled PINK!!

Our oven was dying a slow death. Had repair guys out several times, until you hear them say those dreaded words," I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do.." I hung my head and sighed. Poor old oven. It lived longer than the typical life span of an oven--what--is it five years now? (rolling eyes and a bit of sarcasm in voice). We bought this house almost three years ago when it was twelve years old, and IMMEDIATELY the oven would not cooperate. It never did cook right. You couldn't trust the temperature--everything took twice as long to bake--very frustrating! Blessedly the home warranty people offered us a few hundred towards purchase a new one. THEN Steve said--"Well, since we have to replace our oven, let's get a double oven like we've always talked about." My reaction was as if he'd said "Honey, here's the credit card--go buy yourself a whole new wardrobe, heck, hire a personal shopper and go for it--money, no object!"
We've lived for YEARS with one oven. And got by fine. But, given the choice, and our love for entertaining and having our growing family over--life with two ovens will be wonderful!!
So, we've been out the past few nights searching for the best deal in town. Steve's good at that when it comes to the big important stuff, like cars and appliances--he researches online first,and goes from there. I'm good at the other, fun stuff, food, clothes, furniture, knick-knacks, paddy-whacks.
Whilst we were perusing one appliance store (R.C. Willey) my eye fell upon a coffee maker and I swear I heard angels singing. I floated over to it, and looked back at Steve with imploring eyes.
"It's PINK!" I said, "Have you ever seen a more beautiful coffee maker?"
Steve clearly did not hear the angels, but did have to agree that yes, it was--Pink. He looked at the price tag and frowned. "Lets check around elsewhere and see if this is the best price".
We did...noting that there wasn't a pink coffeemaker to be had anywhere. The next evening he announced that we'll go get that coffeemaker. OH! What Joy, What Bliss!!! So we motored over to R.C. Willey and took possession of a pink coffeemaker!! Not only was the last one--the display and so they took $10.00 off!! A little blessing from the Lord, I'm sure! ;-)

Oh, and we got a sweet deal on a double oven--it will be arriving the last week of August....

And now, without further adieu--is my new pink coffee maker!! No longer stashed behind a cabinet, but out on the counter for all the world to see! Isn't it just the cutest thing?!

So, of course, I had to play with different arrangements, and I'm not sure which looks best. So I need your advice...of the three pictures, which do you like better? Just leave your opinion in the comments, and I'll take a vote. Thanks for your input!!! Have a great day!

Oh, and remember tomorrow is Mind Wide Open contest. Check back to see my entry and link to the site for everyone else's creation to vote. Can't tell you what it's a SECRET ;-) !

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

TMTA Challenge

The theme for this weeks TMTA is is my entry. Check out the website for many more!
Now, I gotta finish up my Mind Wide Open challenge!! Deadline is Thursday--eeeggaadds!!
See ya in a couple of days!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Luke 6:38

I just found out today that I am the winner in Becky's blog Just Bee 'n' Me 3rd Blog Birthday Giveaway!! And I'll be receiving (in her words):

There are repurposed china pieces and vintage linens (from the Just Bee 'n Me Boutique), cute little collectible whatnots, teensy tea cup, notecard set (based on some of my calendar designs), bookmark, and several fun and functional art pieces (framed print, altered journal, etc) using one of my digital illustrations from each of the years I've been blogging ('05, '06, '07, and '08)!! Plus who knows what else I'll throw in as I'm packing up the goodies!! And, as an added bonus, I will send the winner a copy of the Siesta Fiesta Cookbook with my cover design as soon as they are available!!! Becky is a very talented artist/illustrator--She won the contest to illustrate the cookbook cover of Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries. The proceeds from the cookbook will go to Life Outreach International. You can read more about it on Becky's blog.
I encourage you to go visit her--she's fun, encouraging, and inspirational and just a really sweet gal!!
Thanks, Becky!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I humbly accept....;-)

I've been having 'puter problems lately, but managed to get online to find that my sweet friend, Jann from A Vintage Heart has bestowed upon me this lovely award! ;-) Thank you, Jann! Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me...and a world of friends that are so kind, caring,thoughtful, encouraging, inspirational, quirky and funny! There have been times when I've felt discouraged, and then read a blog that was JUST the thing God wanted me to know. Others who are so witty and find humor in everyday life, that it brightens MY day with a chuckle when I read them. Other's whose art is so amazing and beautiful that it moves me to tears. You are all SO BLESSED and so gifted in many ways, and it's a joy to witness that blessing spill onto other's lives.
I am now to post and send on this award to 7 other bloggers. This is a difficult choice to make as there are so many of you who bless me. ...