I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Navigating "White Waters"

Some days are easier to navigate than others. Today has been like white water rafting...up, then down...trying to stay the course when faced with trying times. I am NOT good at setting boundaries...I want everyone to behave and to enjoy life and to try as hard as they can to make the climate in their homes and on this earth, better. When the inevitable happens and these people don't live up to my expectations, I always seem to be saddened and surprised. At some point in my existence, I hope to see the inevitable happen and realize immediately that human nature being what it is, is sure to disappoint and I'd like NOT to be shocked!

Taking the curve balls in life in a graceful and dignified way is a goal of mine. Surely by the time I have reached my 6th decade (+1 yr) I should have arrived at the point of not taking things so very personally. When a child is mistreated or bullied by others, or another adult is made fun of, ridiculed or snubbed, when people steal others' possessions, when pain or suffering is heaped on a family...I still find myself very indignant. This quote is very true..."The man who cannot be angry at evil usually lacks enthusiasm for good."

I guess the only thing we CAN do is to "keep on keeping on". we cannot quit trying to do what is right and we certainly cannot quit helping others....but I find it more difficult the longer I do those things...maybe I am expecting too much from others and NOT enough from myself or visa versa...I've already said I am not good at boundary setting.

I guess the old adage "There isn't a man alive who is as good as he knows he ought to be" applies to us all. I know one thing, some days are just tough and when those days occur, chin up, don't be weary in well doing...sunshine follows the rain. (BTW: You DO realize I've just let you "listen" to me talking to myself, don't you?)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Virtual Tour: Part II

Kitchens are great fun to decorate. There are so many little places to use your decorating themes.
Top pictures are counter vignettes...gingerbread boy cookie jar and cute gingerbread items. The tall glass lidded jar is filled with red and white balls and a gingerbread man...topped off with the polka dot ribbon that I mentioned earlier. Several lidded cake plates are used....this one has a gingerbread house underneath.
This is the year for the old aluminum sparkly wreaths like the one over the sink...in lime green. Tied on are polka dot and stripe ornaments. Bow is stripe mesh...oversize candy canes fill in the top area which houses a yelloware bowl collection...adding strings of "cranberries" as a swag is also an option. Even the banana bowl got a bow :)
The plate or bowl holder is an Amish piece from Lancaster, PA and holds old bowls filled with ornaments and peppermints. I hope you enjoyed this "decorating" virtual tour! I was so tired when I finally did this post that I could hardly type!! ha ha ha ha...oops, I meant fa la la la la!

Welcome to My Virtual Tour: Part I

Pictures: Top (Nativity in dining area);
Hutch (Dining area); Centerpiece (Dining); Woodland Animal tree (dining); Mantel (Living Room); Candy cane tree (Living Room).
Welcome to some creative Christmas decorating ideas. Christmas is a very favorite time of year for me...I certainly try to keep focused on the true meaning of the year, the birth of Christ and I also love decorating for the season.

I must admit that I like to change "themes" over the years and each year I like to do something a little different. The theme pictured used Candy Canes as a beginning theme.

I will probably have to complete this "tour" on another post. I don't know how much of my allotment of space I am using.

I normally don't do a lot of Santa Claus in my decorating, but this year the colors lent themselves to the jolly ole elf, so there he is on the mantel! I love the red mesh with white stripes and lime green was my second color. All large bows were made of mesh with some combination of other ribbon added.
When decorating a small house, a pencil type tree is needed. After decorating this one, red and lime polka dot ribbon bows were tied around the large candy canes...looked much better. Notice how the white snowflakes add much needed light and sparkle to a tree that has lots of solid ornaments.
The dining room tree is a "woodland animal" themed tree. Lots of birds and sparkly reindeer among other animals were sprinkled throughout. Last year, turquoise and copper were used as the color scheme, but this year red and gold were the color choices. The tree skirt is burlap. Bows are green and red plaid and lime mesh. Dining table centerpiece is simple: "birchbark" candle, two deer and greenery with pinecones and a red bow. The table runner is red and gold damask.

The hutch has assorted gingerbread items and holiday items inside and out!
I will continue the tour of the kitchen on the following post. Remember if you'd like to post a picture of your tree, email me and let me show your tree to our bloggers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

God Is Truly Gracious

"In 1789 George Washington decreed that Thanksgiving Day should officially be kept on 26 November each year. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it to be an official national holiday in 1863. In 1941 Thanksgiving was fixed on the fourth Thursday in November. "

As a child one of my favorite songs was "Over the River and Through The Woods To Grandmother's House We Go". We'd sing it in "music" class with Mrs. Page playing it on her piano. That is just one of the many memories of Thanksgivings gone by...food, family, good times... I would like to stop for a moment and really give thought to the many things with which we've been blessed.

God is truly good and is deserving of our every praise of thanks. Even when life seems unfair or hard, when we put the good and the bad on a scale, the good far outweighs the not so good. I have more than I deserve or need...I have a friend that when spoken to and asked how he's doing he replies, "Better than I deserve." Can't we all say the same thing?

I hope you have a blessed day and will reflect on the many blessings of life, liberty and happiness that our country affords us. But remember, we have all this only because our Good and Gracious God smiled upon our country. Happy Thanksgiving.

* Dressing Confrontation at The Pig

Ok, I know there's lots that I should be doing, but I just had to post this. It was a situation screaming for a blog post!! Hubby and I had 5 places we HAD to stop by this morning...pick up prescriptions, etc. So we got a fairly late start...about 10:30ish. The first three stops were uneventful but boy did things pick up at #4...Piggly Wiggly...aka The Pig. I stayed in the car and out he hopped to pick up 5 things: pre-ordered dressing & gravy, family size teabags, Sprite and one of those Alabama caramel cakes. That's all...no more, no less.

I was left in the car to watch the parking lot drama. Here's what I wrote down for your entertainment:
  • Sitting in car watching men screech into their parking space, leap from their vehicle with list in hand, and run for the door. (Faces iced in panic...little lady at home tapping her foot waiting on some forgotten ingredient.)
  • NO women in sight right now..only men. Parking correctly isn't done today...no time...
  • Shopping carts are in disarray...no time to politely place them in the corral. Watching carefully....the men are spending about 5-8 minutes max for the visit.
  • Women begin arriving...all obviously married to hunters or they wouldn't be caught dead at the Pig on Thanksgiving eve. Many have their hair pulled back or have resorted to wearing baseball caps to hide what's lurking underneath. They are all mad because somebody forgot the vanilla or the cream cheese...huffing and puffing...average visit 3 1/2 minutes.
  • All cars are being driven WaaaaaY too fast in the parking lot...grandmother and little child almost mowed down by frantic man. He apologized...grandmama isn't happy.
  • Hubby arrives back....after 20 minutes...uh, oh...that's not a good sign...nobody has stayed inside the Pig for more than 8 minutes. He says (and I quote)..."Make an entry into the checkbook...$78.00!" (If you are keeping tabs that pushes the Thanksgiving meal to way more than $225.) :( He sarcastically adds not to be giving away leftovers tomorrow...we have to survive on the leftovers until payday.
  • When asked what took so long this is my Husband's report on scenario inside the Pig: He goes to the Deli and says, "I'd like to pick up my dressing order," he states. Girl behind the counter,"I'm sorry, but you picked it up yesterday." Hubby becomes agitated, "What are you talking about? It's Wednesday, isn't it? You told me to pick it up after 10:00 Wednesday." Girl: "I am sorry sir but this ticket says you picked it up yesterday." Hubby: (I will make this readable) "I don't care what the ticket says, I have NOT picked up the dressing, today or yesterday! I want my dressing!"
  • Result of confrontation: We got the dressing...$54.00 worth. We are freezing one container for Christmas...unless you and all your family would like to come eat with us tomorrow...remember: 24 pounds of green beans and $54.00 worth of dressing will go a very long way. You are all welcome and pick up anyone else you may see along the way. If you like the Pig's dressing and my green beans, tomorrow will be your lucky day.
  • BTW: one of my former students (young married type) just posted a request on FB for any good recipes for dressing....ah ha ha ha....last night or this morning....My advice to her was to go to the Pig immediately...maybe SHE picked up our dressing.

Thanksgiving Eve

Well, I got started on my bazaar items and couldn't quit...ended up with a whole lot more than I thought I'd be able to do. Finished almost everything last night...so I will be ready for next Tuesday after all. Grandma put it into high gear yesterday...glad to know I've still got it..ha.

Started this morning with a cup of coffee and Peppermint Mocha creamer! If you haven't had any of this, you MUST try it...very perky flavor for first thing in the morning. Also pictured is my new favorite sweetener, Sun Crystals. Much better for you than the fake stuff.

Miss Anonymous, my dear sweet friend, surprised me with an early Christmas present, two Temptations Casserole dishes! Aren't they wonderful? They are from freezer to oven and oh, what I can do with those polka dots...especially Christmas, Valentines, 4th of July! Once we discovered Hudson's had bought out a QVC lot which included Temptations bake ware, and she nearly drove herself (and her husband) crazy driving to the Ridgeland, MS store buying up all the Temptations she could get! Go on QVC.com and browse...cute patterns and accessories, too.

It's quite dreary here and there's lots to be done...i.e. cook all those green beans...remember the 4 six pound cans? Well, servings per can is 24...need I say more? So I will get busy and check back with everyone later...whether cooking, cleaning or traveling...have a good Thanksgiving Eve.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Rather Bizarre Bazaar Report


Four 7"x7" decoupaged canvases. (Original illustrations by Douglas Gorsline.)

Two 8"x10" plaques of old fashioned Santa and a glittered snowy village. Both decoupaged with various papers and shadowed with added sentiments.

12 Metal Tree Ornaments with red silky bows.

All will go to a small upcoming bazaar. I've decided the gingerbread house decorating might push me over the you know what...decorating my own house is, at the moment, more important. So with the decorated leather frames, plaques (I have 4 more to go), ornaments, several note tins and clipboards...this might be it this year. I think I might be losing my gusto for bazaars :(

Sunday, November 21, 2010

* Green Bean Casserole Anyone?

Well, it's THAT time of year once again...you know, when husbands all over the fruited plain have to "help" their wives by running by the grocery store to pick up a few items. Yesterday I was snowed under and had to send "Chicken Daddy" to do the Thanksgiving dinner run. Normally that would be out of the question but I was involved with several projects away from home and ya do what ya gotta do.

Even during regular weeks, his shopping prowess is less than perfect, but during the holiday season, it just doesn't pay to switch roles. My list was VERY specific...no room for error. All the family is gathering Thursday and I needed for him to purchase every item exactly as I dictated.

When I finished my project, I walked in the house and was met by a growl...no, we don't have a dog...it was you know who. He was sitting in the recliner and had a glazed look on his face. "Well," I began, "that little project can be checked off my To Do list." No answer. I continued, "How was your day?" A strange sound began...then it became louder...he exploded, "How do you think it went? It took forever and don't you EVER send me down the international or the industrial aisle again!"

Wait a minute, the INTERNATIONAL aisle? For Thanksgiving dinner? What's he talking about? I didn't so much as ask for salsa, much less something weird from another country. "What in this world are you talking about?" I implored. "For the green beans," he continued, "I looked everywhere and had everybody trying to find them." Oh, no...my heart skipped a beat. He thought I said the international aisle...what I had actually said was (and I quote) "Get me 4 or 5 large cans of green beans. They will be on the INSTITUTIONAL aisle." (I should be put INTO an institution for ever making such a request of a grocery shopping challenged husband during the holidays.)

See pictures of cans above, mercifully they didn't have but 4 cans of green beans. After I post this, I am drawing up plans for the contractor to knock out the walls to house all 24 pounds of beans. If you, your family or any small country would like to eat green bean casserole on Thursday, let us know. We'll deliver.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

All In A Day's Decorating Work!

To me, it is quite satisfying to help somebody decorate their home for Christmas. Today was just such an experience. A sweet teacher from school and her husband just moved into a beautiful older home and will spend their first Christmas surrounded by walls that have encased many special moments of many special families in that old house.

Pictured above are the fruits of our labor. The tree with the red bow features Nutcrackers galore and dark blue and red balls. The red mesh is so wonderful to work with! I make the bow and use twine to tie it to the top of the tree. The tendrils of red mesh are positioned vertically to give fullness.

I love, love, love the candy cane tree in the dining room! White and red mesh bow and tendrils wrapped diagonally (homeowner's suggestion) give it a "whimsical" look...and notice all the candy cane elements! Super pretty.

The mantel was swagged with pine and white lights and flanked on either end with the most beautiful red and green glass vases. We filled in with magnolia leaves and then positioned all my friend's nutcrackers. She has a wonderful collection, and they were placed at attention all over the living room.

This is a perfect example of using older decorations and giving them new life with the addition of fresh and modern elements i.e. the mesh. Lay out everything you have and pick and choose. Use decorations in new ways in new places. It really perks up the decor. We finished the morning with a ham sandwich and a hug, and I was on my way! Love working with cooperative fun people....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Need To Decorate the Tree, but Don't Have Much Moola?

Well, this is your lucky day!! Because I am the Queen of Inexpensive...(I dare not call myself "Cheap!") However, last year I needed decorations for a school tree on the cheap and so I resorted to my favorite place for such items...$ Tree. I am the only person on earth who can come out of $ Tree with $500 worth of merchandise in my shopping bag. I've been known to wipe out entire sections of items in less than 30 minutes.
Problem at hand was: Candyland themed tree...my themes have themes. In the first picture I photo'd some of the handmade items. Second picture is an upclose of the ice cream cones, third pic are some of the suckers and last, the paper "gumdrops".
Now let's get down to business. Ice cream cones: simply buy any one of $ Tree's small cone Christmas trees, turn it upside down, hot glue an ornament into cone, top with a "cherry" (pom pom) and hang...I also added some fluffy yarn for added detail and to hide where the two items were glued. Amount spent: $2.25 at the most...$2.00 at the least. Try getting that at a big name retailer for $2.00. They are a good size and take up lots of space on the tree...lots of bang for the ole buckaroo.
Suckers: simply buy a round ornament that has as its base,a Styrofoam ball and hot glue a sucker stick to it. I bought the ornaments six for $1!!! Put 18 or 24 on a large tree and watch the kiddos eyes light up!! (Husband will probably begin cardiac arrest...tell him to "cool it", the 18 ornaments totaled $3)....now that's what I'm talking about!!
Gumdrops: simple pieces of cardstock or scrapbook paper glued (not hot glued) together. I sold these at a bazaar for $4 each. You could use school colors, animal prints, old Christmas cards, anything...great for using up scraps and the favorite at the bazaar was the hot pink and zebra ones. I made these in the "candy" colors to carry out the color scheme. If you want the pattern, comment below and I'll post it.
BTW: My tree skirt was a fluffy hot pink throw I found at Big Lots for $5. I also had BIG silver glittered discs that I made into suckers and tied with a hot pink and white checked bows and notice in the first two pictures the little cupcakes...those were little boxes I found at Michael's for $1. I glued them shut and viola....cupcakes to add to the tree. Also used cellophane wrapped peppermint sticks....there you go....cute, cute tree...cute, cheap tree ornaments!! Now go forth and decorate!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

So You Think It's Too Early For a Tree?

I think I'm getting cranky in my old age.. take today as an example. I knew when I put up the Christmas tree in the library that I'd have all the naysayers talking..."It's way too early"...."It isn't even Thanksgiving"...."I hate it when Christmas is rushed." But I try to do a different tree every year and it takes quite a while to come up with a "theme" and make all the decorations. Plus, take out a week for Thanksgiving and we only get to enjoy the tree about three weeks.

We recycle our ornaments and use tons of stuff from Dollar Tree. Let's see, we've had a candy cane tree, a snowflake and gold tree, a purple and copper woodland animal tree, a candyland tree (my favorite) and this year a plaid primitive tree. If I can locate pictures I will explain how we managed to dress them with relatively little cost. I also think you'd enjoy knowing how we used the different components from $ Tree.

I come up with my theme a year in advance, that way when everything goes down to 75% off...I'm the first in line. I've been known to mow down grown men who dare to reach for something I've hidden on a previous scouting trip in the store. Once a lady thought she was getting the last teddy bear music box oven (a bear jumps on the door, opens it and a little cake is inside all the while it's playing carols.)....but I'd been hunkered down in line outside in the cold for over an hour. "I think NOT," I thought and guess what? I was right. I would have made a defensive line coach proud. That's what I mean...cranky and a little brash in my old age.

Well, today, I was ready for all the naysayers. When I arrived at school, I went to my desk and sat down (for the only time all day except for a Subway at 2:00) and neatly printed a little sign.
I folded it and put it in my pocket.

I began the decorating process with my two library aids...both males and as much as I like them....they make the bull in a china shop look graceful. We "took out" (as in smashed) a huge fluorescent light bulb before the 8:15 bell, dropped an oscillating fan that I had them direct the air flow at me because I was sweating bullets, and was caught sticking paperclips into the cord socket trying to dig out the blown fuses...that was before one of them stepped on a string of lights, crunching them flat. But I got a full period's work out of both of them. Bless their hearts. Back to the story at hand...

Things went pretty well until a well meaning principal that harasses me every year about putting up the tree early happened by. "Here he comes," I thought. I was ready this year...
"It's only November 15," he said looking at his watch, "and you are already putting up the tree. I think it's way too early!"

"Really?" I retorted. "Well, guess what?" I said. I slid my hand into my pocket, pulled out my note (which BTW was used several times today), opened it and flashed it at him just like a flash card. It read, " I REALLY DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK!" with a smiley face at the end of the sentence. I ceremoniously whirled around and walked back to my task. I heard him laugh as I drove out of sight...oh, no I'm sorry I'm getting that last phrase confused with another Christmas story...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friends + Holidays = Funtimes

Had a great time with friends today! Started out with the Christmas Open House at the Carmelite Gift Shop. The Shop is located in a historic home on Terry Rd. in Jackson and has been in operation for many years. Last year I bought a creche and Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in the manger. Pictured are the 5" figures made by Fontanini, fourth generation crafters of Italian Nativities. The figures are crafted in Bagni Di Lucca, an Italian village in the hills of Tuscany.

This year I added the two shepherds. A good friend gave me the three sheep last year as a surprise and remembrance of my first purchase of Fontanini. Beautiful items at reasonable prices are the order of the day there. Baked goods, ornaments and handcrafted items abound. (See handcrafted card...love it.)

Moved on to The Outlet on Northside Drive. Super fun shopping at good prices. (This is an outlet of "at West End".) Pictured are bars of the most wonderful smelling soap on the planet! "Sea" by Essence. Great decorative items! From there several other stops and then out with hubby to look for computer desks. I am "redoing" the computer room and am having a hard time finding exactly what I need in the way of a desk.

Pictured also are some leather frames I've dressed up for a Christmas bazaar. Think I will make gingerbread houses and gingerbread boys to sell also. Nothing smells better when cooking!!

I am blessed with funny, smart friends. We didn't have lots of spare time today, but the time we spent was refreshing and fun! Little holiday outings are fun...no heavy shopping...just a little buying, laughing and browsing. Thanks for nice holiday memories, ladies!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holidays Are Heating Up Around Here

Just so you will know that I am still alive and kicking...have had some "time" issues this week...you know, with all that extra time I have "on my hands" and all...but I will be back up and running this weekend.

Now I know that you can very definitely LIVE without reading my machinations everyday, but I truly like writing and sharing, so it makes me sad and a little "out of kilter" when I can't post. Tomorrow some friends and I are going to the Carmelite Gift Shop for the Christmas Open House. Last year I purchased a Fontanini Nativity set and I would like to get some pieces to add to it. I can't wait to show you what I pick up. I am also going to "The Outlet" in Jackson and will report in on that excursion tomorrow afternoon.

This next week will be a full one as I am "redoing" my computer room. Will post pics as I complete the project! I am also teaching a Mixed Media class. Will show results of that, too.
Talk to ya'll tomorrow!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

* "Mrs. McInnis, You Smell Just Like a Skunk"

What is the deal with the skunks? They are everywhere, waddling to and fro emitting their ghastly (or should I say, gastly) odor in all directions! This morning I inadvertently drove too close to a skunk whose demise must have been pretty new...because my right tire just ever so slightly touched the poor squished animal. All of a sudden that horrible smell filled my car...I couldn't bear it....so I did what any rationally thinking woman would do...I let down both my front windows to let in the fresh air....uh, hello? All that "fresh" air almost suffocated me and I quickly pushed the buttons in the "up" position...Now what? Everywhere I went, it was like a fog surrounded the car and when I arrived at school, everybody & I mean EVERYBODY smelled my arrival.

It reminded me of the time my poor black lab, Molly, who loved everyone, played too close to the black and white "kitty". It was 2:00 A.M. and we were sound asleep and all of a sudden my eyes flew open and I jumped straight out of bed..."Oh, my gosh! There is a skunk in this room," I shrieked.

"What? What is going on?" the poor husband of a nutty wife leapt out of bed, stunned by both the smell and the screaming. I finally located a light and we began the search for the ghost skunk. It honestly was so powerful that I thought I'd be sick. That thing had to be in the house. We opened the back door just in time to see Molly standing there wagging her tail and caught a glimpse of Pepe Le Pew (or however you spell it) waddling away from the garage.

For the rest of the night, I was sick. I could not possibly sleep...I don't sleep well when bathed in Bath and Body Works Lavender Vanilla Nighttime scent, much less when I could be used as a weapon of mass destruction.

The next morning I dressed hurriedly. I was getting out of Dodge..hubby could figure out what to do with the dog. I jumped in the car and headed to school and when I walked in, I still smelled that awful odor. Well, at least it would "get out of my sinuses" soon. Oh, how wrong...I was paying the price for abandoning my better half. I had arrived early in order to have time to gather myself before any early students arrived.

The first boy walked in and I greeted him pleasantly. "Hey, Mrs. Mac! Man, there's a stench in the hall. Smells like a skunk," he cheerfully opined. As the room filled with others, the heat came on and when we closed the door to start class you would have thought that skunk was sitting in one of the desks...and SHE WAS!!! That blasted animal's "skunk juice" or whatever it's called had literally permeated my home and my closets. Everything and everyone in my house smelled like it. What could I do? Where could I hide?

By the time I got home that afternoon, I was almost faint from the smell. Hubby was bathing Molly in tomato juice. I told him to give me a can. "For what?" he looked shocked. "I'm going to take a bath now, too," I snapped. To make matters worse, this occurred right before my whole family came to my house for the holidays...but by the time they arrived there was only a trace of skunkish smell that lingered, but I did learn two lessons that day: 1. You can't hide from skunk juice and 2. Whatever you do, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT try to mask the stench with Estee Lauder's Beautiful perfume. Skunk juice can not be neutralized with anything that smells even remotely lovely.... even tomato juice. Ugh...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Note to Self: Quit Yer Bellyaching

It's 8:04 P.M. and I just walked in the house... this is one of those days I was speaking of in my "rant" post the other day...a NO time of my own sort of day. I was supposed to be at a meeting at 7 and didn't get all grandchildren from practice and safely home until 7:15. I missed the meeting. (I did, however, have about 30 minutes of free time today to sit and laugh and bemoan the chili cook off results with friends.)

Time is such a precious commodity in today's world. I remember thinking that I'd NEVER grow up...that I'd NEVER have a home of my own...all that seemed so far down the road...I couldn't wait to be an adult. The moment I became one, I thought to myself, "Is this all there is to it?" And as time went by, bills came in, roofs had to be patched, cars needed new tires (or worse), children had broken hearts and wrecks and I kept thinking, "Wow! So this is adulthood."

Why do we wish our life away? On Monday, we wish for Friday. On Friday, we look forward to NEXT Friday. When we are young we want to be old. When we are old we wish for youth again. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be young and wise? Youth truly is wasted on the young. If we knew exactly how many days we have allotted to us on earth, would we be much different than we are NOT knowing? How would it make us different?

One thing is for certain, we all have valleys and mountains in our lives. And it IS true that it's the valleys that make us enjoy the mountains so much more completely. For much of our country's history, each older generation spent an inordinate amount of time making this world a better place for the next generation. In my ever so humble opinion, Americans need to quit "wishing" away their lives and enjoy the rights and privileges we have been given. Time's a'wasting... quit yer bellyaching....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Elvis Has Left the Building

When the time changes, do you keep saying to yourself, "The clock may say 8 PM but it's REALLY just 7 or 9 or whatever? It takes me a full week to quit going over that in my head. Tonight, I've been up since 2:30 this morning...(but it was really 3:30 AM). Went to church, visited and cleaned Daddy's apartment, picked up hubby's mom for lunch, and then picked up #1 Grandson to make sure he had his research for a paper he's doing...after that, I began working on my school bazaar items. I've got some cute things which I will post later. But all the while, I was doing the "it says 5 but it's really 6 number." Driving myself nuts is what I'm doing.

I am one of those weirdos who like this time change...I like to be in the house early in the evening and out of the house on my way to work when the sun is shining. But I am a creature of habit and it takes me a while to adjust. Anyway, I didn't plan a blog for today, just thought I'd check in, say hello and tell you that even though it's 9:41, it's really 10:41 and it's been a very long day! Elvis has left the building...I'm on my way to bed.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Time Is On MY Side... Sometimes

Ok, I need to cover several items on the agenda today... read the first three. Warning: #4 isn't for the faint of heart...I am venting there.

1. Attended the out of town basketball game of #1 Grandson last night...he got to play and ride home with me. We had a great fun time. Hard to believe he is a teenager.
2. Hubby and I went looking for a chair and half "sleeper" today...no luck.
3. First BHS Chili Cook Off went very well. We had 13 contestants and I placed 5th...not the best but not at the end either! Thanks for your encouragement and help...were you aware of the fact that ground chuck is now $3.19 a pound?! (We could have used a Porterhouse.)

4. Now, may I vent? Click off if you don't like venting...I'll do better tomorrow... I promise...but today, I think I must vent or explode.

THE MOST annoying statement that anyone can make to me is "Girl, you have WAY too much time on your hands!" It happened again yesterday, and I just went bananas internally. (Very uncomfortable with all that chili.)

Now, on my way back from Louisiana today, I figured out that we are ALL given 168 hours a week (except for this week when we set the clocks back 1 hr.) I also carefully figured all the things that I HAVE to do each week...you know, sleep, work, etc. and that comes to 127.5 hours that MUST be spent doing things to survive and help my family. That leaves me with a whopping 40.5 hours a week to do what ever the heck I want to do...divide by 7 and that's 5.8 hours a day. (When I had a child at home, this time was much less....like maybe 0, so I've paid my dues.) Warning: The above statement is particularly annoying coming from anyone 30-40 years my junior.

We all know that most times the unexpected happens, and there are days we literally do not have even 1 hr. of our own, much less 5.8! But generally, if we take a few minutes here and there they should total between 4-5.8 hrs. a day for ourselves...the problem here is that most of the time, those hours are scattered and occur here and there, not lined up in a sequential line of time.

When those rare days that you DO have some extra time on your hands occur, what do you do with it? Watch TV? Use the computer? Text? Hunt or fish? Movie or shop? Get your hair or nails done? Plan or get ready for events? i.e. Chili Cook Off, Thanksgiving for 25-30, Christmas for family, Bible lesson for Church, items to be sold at school bazaar....hmmmm...????

Now, I'm going to say it and make it very clear...Everyone should do with their 4-5 hrs. whatever they want to do with them, and please, don't question what others do with theirs. If I need more time in a day, then I rise earlier...a lot earlier...like 3:30 or 4 AM. No can do? Well, if I am willing to rise with the chickens, then should that be counted against me...like I am a little person who just sits all day twiddling her thumbs, thinking up projects to tackle? (At least, not every day.)

BTW: Some of us lead a very full life and actually enjoy doing things in our spare time. I have always lived like this...nothing has changed...I try to enjoy my minutes on the earth, and I think those who constantly repeat that phrase to others..."Girl, you have way TOO much time on your hands"... need to leave those of us alone who like using our time the way we want to. Now, go crochet a baby blanket or knit a sweater or bake a pie or exercise...oh, no, that's going waaay too far...not exercise! :) As Elvis would say, "Thank you, thank you very much" for letting me get that off my chest. BTW 2: I am off hormones, could you tell?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

'Twas the night before the great Chili Cook Off..."

Don't have much time to post tonight. I just finished the chili for the Chili Cook Off at school tomorrow. I am exhausted...and almost broke. Chili ain't cheap anymore!! It turned out very well...has just enough "bite" to it and even if I don't win, I have enough to feed Cox's Army.
I have a little secret ingredient that I will share when this is over...I used a good friend's recipe and must give him all the credit! (I've driven him and his wife nuts over the last few days with questions.)

This afternoon I got all sorts of opinions on the type kidney beans to use...everyone who came down the aisle and heard the grocery store manager and I discussing kidney beans had a thought on the subject. (Probably..."Who is this creature and what on earth is so important that she is reading the ingredients of every kidney bean can on the shelf?") I settled on a type that I will reveal when I tell my "secret" ingredient...Miss Anonymous came up with the bean type and it took a visit to three stores before I finally found them.

Anyhoo, the chili's in the pot and I'll close with this old quote, "A girl can win a man with the smell of perfume, but she can't keep him without the smell of good food." Do I hear an amen?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The "W"

(Sitting here typing and all of a sudden I dropped part of a reduced fat Wheat Thin in the keys of my keyboard. So if strange words pop up, you'll know what's going on.)

All that talk about perfume and Columbus brought back memories of college days gone by. I thought some of the younger followers would enjoy some of my college adventures and learn to appreciate what freedom they have! In 1967 I was ready to roar off to Ole Miss, when my daddy put the breaks on that dream. He didn't feel that I was ready for the "rowdiness" of the rebels and felt that the all girls' college (no, it wasn't a university yet) Ms. College For Women would be more my cup of tea....MSCW. Or as we southern ladies liked to call it...the "W".

Let me give you an overview... Freshman year: must take PA (Personal Appearance class)... and learn to walk and act like a lady. Every year: Curfew: 9 pm weeknights & 11 pm on weekends. Must take PE (aka PHYSICAL EDUCATION) (oh, no!!!) every year...I nearly failed tennis, did reasonably well in square dancing, and excelled in bowling. (I was told I had a natural curve ...hmmm.) I married my senior year so I could bypass the biggest and worst PE requirement of all...SWIMMING. (You were only excused if you were married...so that did it. Give me the ring, set a date....)

IF you smoked (and I did not), you must go to the smoking room, be seated and twirl your ashes off the end of the cigarette....no thumping! (I will admit that I tried to smoke for 2 days...yikes...can't believe I just admitted that...but I didn't care for the aftertaste so it was a NO GO for me.)

Your date waited in the lobby and they called you over the loud speaker and told you and all the world that "You had a guest in the lobby."

You signed out to go home. You signed out to walk uptown. You signed out to go on a date and heaven help the girl whose card was still turned over when the housemother "checked" all the signed out cards. You could be campused....for not being on time. Once I took too many "cuts" or absences from bowling and was campused for the whole weekend. I was banished to my room and could only come out long enough to eat in the dining hall and then go straight back to my room until Sunday night. (I was a wild and crazy thing.) I narrowly escaped campusment my freshman year because I wore a raincoat over my tennis uniform to English class. I had no car and had to sprint from the tennis court to the English hall and I just wasn't a great sprinter. My English professor told me if I EVER did such a thing as wear a raincoat over a tennis uniform again I'd be CAMPUSED!! Scared the begebbers out of me...I didn't even take the coat off, sat there buttoned up and writing like a madwoman for over an hour perspiring like a fullback...except at the "W" we called it "glowing."

You could not eat in any establishment that served beer or liquor. Once I had a date with a guy from State and he took me to a restaurant called the "Golden Horn"... when we walked in I saw they served beer and was almost comatose before the end of the meal, I was so scared that I would be spied at a "beer serving place" to eat...I NEVER dated that rascal again.

There were so many rules that we had dorm meetings every night at 11 pm for six weeks to go over them all. I was always so tired from PE that I was usually asleep by 9:30 and had to be waked up. Down the stairs with my hair rolled up I'd trudge. I could hardly listen I was so exhausted, but listen I did. I couldn't risk ruining the family name by breaking any of the 2 or 3 thousand rules that were present in our little rule book.

I will expound on some of the other exciting adventures at the all girl school in a later post, but if you know of anybody who actually attended the "W", ask them if what I am saying isn't the truth...back in the 60's and 70's it was the closest thing to a convent in the state....

Monday, November 1, 2010

* The Days of Pink Hair Nets & Orange Juice Cans

Just wanted to report in on the "wearing of Youth Dew" today... I had forgotten how strong the stuff is... not like some of today's watered down scents... so I definitely overdid on the spray this morning...but all day it reminded me of college days gone by...

The first time I ever bought the stuff was in Columbus at a department store called Ruth's. I got a $25 a week allowance in college and really didn't even need that...so I saved up and signed out to walk uptown. (In those days, you signed out anytime you were leaving the dorm to walk somewhere. And you had better be back by the time on the card or you could be campused for the entire weekend!) I trudged uptown with my $25 in my purse and entered the store, looked around for a minute and made the purchase....I sure hoped my stockings didn't get a run that week because I sank every bit of money I had into that blue bottle.

What a fun time in life...being "sort of" on your own and making a purchase of over $15...my, my how times have changed...except I still report in on most purchases over $25...ha. This was around the same time that I went down to the basement of the dorm to get a coke a cola..which still came in bottles. It was sort of dark and creepy down there and I carefully made my way down the stairs in my housecoat with my hair rolled up on orange juice cans with a pink hair net on. (Can you imagine that scene? You had to sleep with your head off the bed.) Anyhoo, I put my quarter in and the entire coke machine emptied. I was having to stand there and scream for help all the while taking each coke as it came out and carefully placing it on the floor. When it was all over, I had about 40 or 50 bottles of coke all around me. Youth Dew and 40 cokes all in a day...It looked like I'd won the lottery! P.S. I told the dorm mother...I didn't keep all 40 drinks!!