Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Reads...

With summer upon us there will be all sorts of relaxing temptations and I plan on squeezing in as many as possible. In the process of enjoying my summer there are a few things I never leave home without. Books. So I have put together a list of some of my favorites. If you can't decide what you want to take along this summer-consider one of these. The second list I plan to read this summer-starting tonight.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. A Time to Kill by John Grisham
3. Dances With Wolves by Michael Blake                  .
4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
5. The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
6. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
7. The Sun Also Rises by Hemmingway
8. A Moveable Feast by Hemmingway
9. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
10. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe
11. The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevelier
12. The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevelier
13. Any of Carla Neggers-Romantic Supense
14. Any Beverly Lewis-Christian
15. The Pelican Brief-John Grisham
16. Water For Elephants-Sarah Gruen
17. Salem's Lot-Stephen King
18. Pet Cemetary-Stephen King
19. Little Women-Louisa Mae Alcott
20. The Wind in the Willows-Kenneth Grahame

Ten that I plan on reading before summer ends:

1. Finish reading A Room With A View-E. M. Forster
2. The Trouble With Mattie-Mary A. Berger
3. The Whisper-Carla Neggers
4. For Whom The Bell Tolls-Hemmingway
5. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon-Stephen King
6. Falling Angels-Tracy Chevelier
7. Anne of Green Gables-L. M. Montgomery
8. Just Take My Heart-Mary Higgins Clark
9. Freckles-Gene Stratton-Porter
10. Emma-Charlotte Bronte

You can purchase any of these books through Amazon.com.



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memaw the hottie...

Here is a picture of me. It was drawn by my then, seven year old granddaughter for Grandparents Day. As we walked up the stairs to her classroom she said, "We had to draw a picture of our grandparents and I drew a picture of you. I gave you a purple (my favorite color) blouse and an orange Tony Stewart (my favorite Nascar driver) belt with the number 20 on it and my teacher said, Ooo Savannah your Memaw is a hottie."

Now I must admit I have never considered myself a "hottie", but since it looked just like me I thanked her for the compliment.  

Have a great weekend!!!! 

A Severe Mercy...

"To hold her in my arms against the twilight and be her comrade for ever - this was all I wanted so long as my life should last..."

A Severe Mercy
is the autobiography of Sheldon Vanauken and his wife Davy, their all consuming love, their friendship with C. S. Lewis, their search for faith and eventual loss.

Published: 1977
Author: Sheldon Vanauken
Purchase at: Amazon


This book started off slow and slowly drew me in. It wasn't until the fourth chapter when C. S. Lewis was introduced that I started to feel connected. The writing seemed over-dramatic and picture perfect. It almost had an unrealistic feel to it. I wanted to say, "No body's love is this perfect", but as the book progressed and as I became used to Vanauken's writing this was no longer an issue. I think he had to be that over-the-top in his description of their love in order for the reader to see and feel the depth of the transformation, so that we could know that to love Christ more than each other was an extreme devotion. When I read the final page and closed the book I said, "That was a good book."

If you are a C. S. Lewis fan you will most certainly appreciate it. It contains 18 letters written to Vanauken by Lewis. This book would be great for a discussion group. I didn't start out thinking I would like it, but I did. I think I will have to read it again to fully understand it. I give it three stars. It was definitely a good book and I have a feeling I will give it more stars after the reread.
Try it and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Goodbye Bluebonnets...

If bluebonnets are a sign of spring then the lack of bluebonnets are a definite sign that summer is on it's way. Today I harvested bluebonnet seeds. The window to harvest is narrow and I almost missed it, but there was enough left to fill a gallon baggy. I will scatter these in the barrow ditch in the fall and cross my fingers.

 When the seeds are ready to be collected they become very dry and turn from green to grey in color.

If left to their own devices the seed pod will twist and burst open expelling it's seeds. When you pull them from the stem you have to hold them tightly until you get them in your container or they will pop open and leave you empty handed. I love the feel when they pop open in my hand.

As soon as one beautiful flower dies out others are ready to take their place. There may be no bluebonnets, but the beauty continues. God knows exactly what he is doing.

Have a Great Day!!!!    

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pineapple Angel Food Cake...

Here is a simple, simple recipe for a quick, quick dessert when you have unexpected company, are on a diet, or in my case I whipped it up while my husband was grilling outside. It's from Weight Watcher and has a value of two points when cut into twelve equal pieces.
Pineapple Angel Food Cake
1 box of Angel Food Cake Mix~~1 large can of Light Pineapple chunks(I cut these chunks in half.)
Empty cake mix into large mixing bowl and pour in undrained can of pineapple.

Mix well with spoon.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and pour batter into baking dish.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes.
 The cake will be golden brown and will fall in the middle as it cools.
 (This is O.K.)

 Let it cool and cut into 12 equal pieces. Enjoy!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Bag Lady...

Most people have one thing or another they find hard to resist and for me it's bags. I love bags. Large or small it doesn't matter. The more pockets the merrier. Whenever I see what I interpret as a "cool" bag it calls my name. So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this Unicorn bag.

I was at Scarborough Faire and had just finished reading "The Lady and The Unicorn" by Tracy Chevalier. It was made by Gypsy Wings Tapestry Bags. Isn't it just the "coolest". 

If you haven't read one of Tracy Chevalier's books you might give this one a try. My daughter introduced me to them a couple of years ago. I have since read "Girl With The Pearl Earrings" and "The Virgin Blue". I thoroughly enjoyed all three. She takes an event from history and creates a fictional story around it. They are simply hard to put down.    

Hope you have a great week and "happy reading". 


Friday, May 20, 2011


According to a Christian group, Judgment Day is May 21, 2011. Soon after… we’ll all be dead.
To get the word out, they’re using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners.

“Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment,” their leader proclaims.

Beware of believers proclaiming the rapture. No one knows except the Father... Paul told believers not to slack off and wait on the return, but rather stay busy witnessing and being obedient. Search the scriptures and be blessed...

The Results Are In...

Piper weighed 10.1 pounds today at the vet. This is the most she has ever weighed. The vet said it wasn't really that bad, but gave me a cup to measure her food with. Hmmmm.

My Six Pound Chihuahua...

I have called the vet four times this week rescheduling Piper's yearly appointment. I just can't seem to get motivated, but today's the day. I called this morning and rescheduled for 5:00pm.

Piper is my 6 pound chihuahua. I call her my 6 pound chihuahua because that is her ideal weight and what she has normally weighed over the years. According to my daughter she is evidently not looking even close to her 6 pound moniker. I can't see it though, maybe I'm just too close to her. My daughter's exact comment was, "Piper is fat. Her head doesn't even fit her body." My twenty year-old niece, when she was four said to my mother, "Maw Maw your not fat you're just a little large" and that's how I feel about Piper. Piper is just a "little large". I will admit, however, after careful consideration that I maaay have to cut back on her food a wee bit tonight. O.K. maybe a little more than a "wee bit".

For anyone who doesn't know Piper she understands English, tells on herself and gets Inka into trouble. When Inka barks to get my attention. I can usually tell exactly what Piper is saying in the background. It goes like this, "Tell her Inka... tell her again". Inka does the barking while sweet little Piper just lays there acting innocent. She may have others fooled, but not me. I call her my "stuffed animal". Give her a place to sleep and she is happy and contented.

Last summer I decided Piper needed exercise. I took her walking with me. I started out slowly with the intent of eventually getting her to walk two miles per night. After four days Piper had had enough. Piper loves to go places and is always glad when she thinks I am going somewhere that includes her. On the fourth day I didn't have any trouble getting her in the car. When I got to the track and opened the back door everything was fine. As I reached into the floor board to retrieve the leash Piper jumped up and ran to the other side of the seat where she promptly lay down and refused to move. I felt so sorry for her that our walking days were over. I may try again this summer and go even a little slower.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My First Quilt Top...

Today I was rummaging around in my sewing room wondering where to start cleaning when I happened across this sad quilt top. I made it when I was 15. It was my first attempt at sewing-ever. I am sure my mother never in her wildest dreams thought I would finish it, so she failed to tell me a few things(like turn under the edges of your applique). If I remember correctly she showed me the blanket stitch, gave me some scraps and a pattern and sent me on my way.

I spent hours and hours on those little rabbits and carrots. The rabbits became my friends and the carrots my enemies. I hated those carrots. As I ran out of orange material Mama would return to her scrap bag and produce more. I don't remember ever thinking about the fact that it wasn't always the same shade.

Sometimes she would help me by embroidering a face or two. There are happy faces, sad faces, mad faces, funny faces and some that are down right scary.

It wouldn't be worth quilting, but I think I will keep it anyway. I have grown attached to those wild little faces and the memories they hold.

I have since made quite a few quilts and am a member of the local quilt club.

Maybe my mother knew what she was doing after all.

Thanks Mom!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

From Your Sonic Family...

Sonic makes the best Diet Cherry Limeades I've ever tasted. They come replete with hand squeezed limes and cherries. To make it even better Happy Hour(1/2 price drinks)is from 2-4pm. To make it even better I pick my grandson up from school at 3pm. To make it even better we pass Sonic on our way home. Good thing they're diet.

I have been stopping at Sonic off and on since November. Most days my receipt is affixed to the side of my drink with an advertisement sticker. I routinely pull it off, crumple it up and throw it away. Recently I realized a small strip of paper containing words of encouragement was also attached. I have begun each day to look forward to that little strip of paper and to be disappointed on the days I don't receive one.

The first time I read one I was amazed.

There doesn't seem to be many big businesses left that will risk invoking the name of God. This quote really made me stop and think. Three cheers for Sonic!!!
 Have a great day! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Work in Progress...

Here's how it all started. One day I was mentioning these old trailers people buy to restore and how I thought it was pretty cool. A friend spoke up and said she had one that had been sitting in her barn since 1985. Now I am either a procrastinator or a heavy thinker, call it what you like, but six years later I called her and to my surprise she still had it. One week later it was sitting in my yard. I immediately named her Maybelle and began cleaning up what squirrels had called home for 25 years.

Sitting in Barbara's barn.

The trip home.
I called my daughter to tell her about this huge project I was undertaking. She called me back later that night with an offer from her husband. If I would keep "Little Fuzzy" for him he would restore Maybelle. O.K., now that didn't quite compute in my brain. I get to keep sweet, darling little grand baby while he restores my trailer. Oh well, as you can imagine I jumped at the opportunity.
She is now over half-way complete. I talked to the upholstery shop today. The seats will be ready next week. Can't wait to decorate and take her on her maiden voyage.
A work in progress.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sock Monkeys Galore...


In my profile you will notice I collect sock monkeys. I love the old ones, but just about any kind will do. In the beginning I named them and could actually tell you their names, but I gave that up as the collection grew. I do remember however, that there was Marcell and Marcie (the twins), Michael, Mitchell, Mavis... oh well enough of that.

 I have made several, but not always out of the correct socks. You can use any socks you desire for a unique look, but the Red Heel Rockford socks are the best and are what the old original sock monkeys were made from. You can tell if they are vintage by looking at their lips. The old monkeys have more of an orange color rather than true red.

I glued felt on for the eyes and nostrils and  used the toe of a third sock for the hat. The last pair of Red Heel socks I bought came from Walmart. You may have to order them on-line, but check your store first.

These are really fun to make and kids love them. I made one for each of my two great-nephews when they were 3 and 8. They still have them and they are 13 and 18 now. Those monkeys have been the topic of many conversations over the years.

I purchased a book at the Houston Quilt show called "Contemporary Classics by Liberty Homestead" it has some really cute patterns in it for clothes. The ones I saw were made out of flannel and so cute I couldn't resist buying the book.

Here is the pattern for making a sock monkey. If you decide to make one good luck and let me know how it turns out.

• One pair Rockford Red Heel Socks.
• Cotton batting or polyester fiber for stuffing.
• Red embroidery thread for smile.
• Black embroidery thread for eyes.
• All purpose thread.

1. Turn sock inside out.
2. Sew a seam (A) 1/2" on both sides of center of sock starting 3" from the white of the heel and across the end of top. Cut socks between seams and to within 1-1/2" of white heel. This leaves an opening in crotch.
3. Then turn sock so seams are inside and use crotch opening to stuff head, body and legs.
4. Cut the upper part of the sock into two pieces. Seam, rounding ends and stuff the arms.
5. Cut the heel from the sock, leaving a brown edge around the white. Fasten on lower part of the face, whipping around the bottom; stuff and finish sewing around the top. The mouth can be improved by running stitch of either black or white across the middle of the lips.
6. Cut a 1" strip, taper to end of cuff on length of front of sock. Seam and stuff.
7. Cut the ears from the remaining brown part of the sole of the sock.
8. Sew on moving eyes; buttons, felt, or embroider with black thread.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

If Roses Grow in Heaven...

If roses grow in heaven, Lord pick a bunch for me. Place them in my mother's arms and tell her they're from me. Tell her I love her and miss her and when she turns to smile, place a kiss upon her cheek and hold her for awhile. Because remembering her is easy, I do it everyday, but there's an ache within my heart that never goes away.~~author unknown

My mother at 15.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tiny Miracles...

Sometimes things happen that are so small and insignificant that we forget to be thankful. Occasionally they are so tiny that we even forget they're miracles. That happened to me about ten years ago.

I walked out the front door to get in the car and there it was...the tiniest, tiny pine tree I had ever seen. Perhaps one inch high at most. I squealed as if it were the best Christmas present ever. My husband and two kids came running, expecting to find, I don't know what. When they saw it they laughed. I convinced hubby he needed to go get a piece of wood and stake that tiny thing for fear he might mow it down. They laughed some more. He drove the stake in and they laughed some more.

 Here it is some ten years later. Tall and straight.

Needless to say they aren't laughing now and hubby says he is continuously looking on the ground for others. Oh, and did I tell you it is even in the perfect spot. Thank you Lord for tiny miracles that grow to become big miracles.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Perfect Camera Bag...

Earlier this year I received a camera as a gift and since that time I have been shopping for the perfect camera bag. With the help of my son-in-law I found one and ordered it from Amazon. It has a place for camera, accessories and laptop. It is a Pelican bag and is perfect to ensure your camera and laptop are safe while traveling. I love it, however, it is a bit too large for everyday use.

Tonight as I was visiting different blogs I came across what looks and sounds like the perfect bag to carry on outings. I couldn't wait to pass this information on.

Here is the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PorteenGear

I haven't ordered one yet, but am thinking seriously about it. It appears to be roomy enough for a camera, lens, and pocketbook without being too bulky. There are several colors and patterns to choose from or you can customize it. 
Here is one that caught my eye.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Room With A View...

I have been trying to decide for a couple of weeks what book to read next on Kindle. I first thought I might like to read Hemmingway and then decided on A Room With A View. The name has an intriguing ring to it. I started it today.

Books I have read this year:

1. The Virgin Blue: A Novel
2. The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible
3. Memories of the Old Plantation Home
4. Sunday at Tiffany's
5. Little Women
6. Wind in the Willows
7. My Utmost for His Highest (again & again)
8. Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope

Top five picks for summer reads:

1. Mark of the Lion Series--Francine Rivers(must read)
2. The Lady and The Unicorn--Tracey Chevalier
3. Water for Elephants--Sarah Gruen
4. Annie's People Series--Beverly Lewis
5. To Kill A Mockingbird--Harper Lee

I never go anywhere without a book. Hope you find some of these worth the read.

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