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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

* I Have A Duck's Foot, So Do You

I don't know how many of you have ever had the "pleasure" of being instructed to go to physical therapy, but if you haven't, may I say that it's a lot like I would envision joining the Army...or maybe the Marines.

Upon arriving at the facility, there was much to see and the first appointment didn't go too badly. I was evaluated and given a few exercises to do at home. I took my sheet of "tortuousness" exercises and went merrily on my way.

The real "you know what" began as I arrived for the second session. We had a fire drill at school that day and I hadn't been cool since. So upon arriving, I asked to change into my exercise appropriate clothes...my Bon Worth matching capris and top. I thought I'd brought a little bottle of spray perfume because I felt I might be a little "musty" after the fire drill. I couldn't find the perfume...so I just pulled on the clothes and dashed to the appointment. If they can stand football players surely they can stand me.

They called my name loud enough for all of the state to hear and I ambled to the "room" purse in hand and dread in my heart. My PT was immediately cordial and assigned me to a machine. He told me to sit and then he lifted a lever and pushed me close enough to put my feet in the pedals. He said to pedal the machine...."For how long?" I inquired. "Ten minutes," he countered. I laughed, "No really, how long??"
"I'll be back," he said, "get to pedaling." I gathered by the tenor of his voice that he meant business. I haven't pedaled anything except my car in 15 years.

I saw the name of the machine...the Recumbent Cross Trainer. Uh, oh...I began pedaling. The speed said 49 steps per minute. That's not exactly a world class pace, but I was feeling pretty smug...then I spied a little old man. He was watching me struggle with the handle bars and the pedals and I sat a little straighter...I'm not going to let some old person laugh at my 49 steps per minute. I sped up...58...he smiled...finally somewhere between 9 1/2 minutes and 10, I hit 71. "Take that," I thought. Really!!!

The PT came to get me (that's Physical Therapist for all you healthy people) and I could hardly walk. My legs felt similar to jello on a hot day. I had to be helped out of the Recumbent Cross Trainer. How embarrassing. Now we went toward a leather benchlike bedlike thing. Pillows were at the end and they had just sprayed the leather with cleaner and wiped it down. But somebody missed a spot and I felt the spray stuff through my clothes as I sat down. "Lie back and put this ball between your knees." Oh, no...first, this is going to mess up my hair and second, I had to squeeze the ball and then lift my hips...I'm not particularly coordinated so this looked a lot like someone doing the "snake" only in reverse. "How many times?" I inquired...dreading the answer. "Thirty". He walked away. Now I have to admit that I fudged a little here...I stopped somewhere between 15 and 30. I believe it might have been 15. More assorted tortures were performed by a weak kneed older woman in the mirror...oh, no! That's me!

Then I was led to another section of the unit..."Oh, thank goodness!" I thought, "there are other women here and I can whine and complain with them"....HaHa. It was the "wall of shame" for me. Every woman there was between 17 and 20. They were all basketball players and were in tip top shape. They laid back on the bedthing, faced the wall and walked up the wall with their feet. I knew I was in trouble. "Hello," I offered to one, "what are you "in" for?" "Torn ACL"...she countered. "We all have basketball injuries." "What's wrong with you?" she asked. "Bad knees," I said with a very serious face. They had 6 and 7 inch scars where they had been surgically repaired. I had nothing to show except a sweaty brow and a limp. I felt pretty low.

Then the PT and his assistant came over to do an ultrasound treatment on my knee. I heard him tell the assistant, "Inflamed duck's foot". Now just a minute, just because I have on my Princess Reeboks doesn't mean you have to make fun of the way I walk. Beside that I really try not to limp noticeably. "Excuse me, did you mention my feet? I am here for therapy on my knee. Have I been doing the incorrect exercises?" I was pretty steamed with all that ball between the knees stuff and my hair standing straight up in the back and all. "No, the area that is causing you so much trouble is called the "duck's foot". It's inflamed," the nice man said. Well, that's better. I settled down.

After ultrasound and icing my leg. I was on my way. It wasn't too bad and beside that I only have 7 more sessions. I will fill you in on those as they occur. However, for some reason as I walked to the car, I had a strange desire to waddle and quack.

May your duck's foot never be inflamed,

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bloom Where You Are Planted

"To succeed-do the best you can,
where you are,
with what you have."

"Always do your best. What you plant now,
you will harvest later".
Og Mandino

"It's not true that nice guys finish last.
Nice guys are winners before the game even starts."

"A child educated only at school is an uneducated child."
George Santayana

"A genuine sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to our steps
as we walk the tightrope of life."

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
Henry Ford

"Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
John Watson

"Every job is a portrait of the person who did it."

"We learn as much from sorrow as from joy,
as much from illness as from health,
from handicap as from advantage-
and indeed perhaps more."
Pearl S. Buck

Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Annie Sloan Mimic

I found this great old farm chair at the Magnolia Flea market in Florence, MS!

(BTW: news flash! the market has begun staying open 7 days a week...

10 until 5 except Sun 1 until 5!!)
This pathetic thing had been stripped everywhere except the edges of the bottom...about a million colors were under there! I really wanted to try Annie Sloan paint, but with no stores open, I decided to do my best to mimic the look. (I know most of you have now fainted..)First I gave it a wash of white acrylic paint. Then I mixed some white and Hippo Grey and painted over the wash. Now is where I went a little crazy. I waxed the whole chair with neutral Kiwi shoe polish. I rubbed it in well and then re-waxed with Kiwi brown.

My original idea was to put mums in it so it could be left outdoors.

(Shhhh! It's a birthday present for my co-worker!)

But, of course, I just can't leave well enough alone...

got to keep pushing the envelope...what does that saying really mean anyway?

I Mod Podged some butterflies on and added gold polka dots!

(Well, she loves butterflies...what else could I do?)

When I finished it, it was dark as pitch outside, so I had to make pictures indoors...not very good ones, I might add. But the chair has had a new lease on life and with the mums sitting in it, I hope Susan will like it...if she doesn't, I'll gladly keep it!! LOL

I am joining Metamorphosis Monday this week.

My Apologies to Annie.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Here Comes Another Bride!

How do I catch up with all that has gone on my "little" world? I've been caught in a whirlwind of activity. Two wedding rehearsal dinners to decorate, grandchildren with us during the week, knee physical therapy, work, caring for parents, breathing, etc. I was cruising along yesterday and whamo! (What was that sound? )Oh, yes that was the sound of my car mirror (the one I tore off the car by hitting a sign a few months ago, remember?) Well, I just barely "touched" a concrete pillar in the parking garage...barely. I was trying to get close to the elevator with a car full of decorations for a rehearsal dinner (see below) and the only space was for "compacts"...well, neither my car nor I am particularly compact...so, the strategy of trying to force it into a too small space is a lot like trying to get into jeans that don't zip up well.....let's keep this little "bump" a secret, ok?

While driving to downtown Jackson yesterday to decorate for a friend's son's rehearsal dinner..(Wait! Is this a repeat of last weekend's post? No...it's not...it's another friend!) I was trying to make my destination time of arrival..3 p.m. We have a problem Houston. My car was literally packed to the roof of the car. I could see out the front windshield and my left window. Do you see a potential problem driving this way on the interstate at three-ish on Friday afternoon? I did a heap of praying every time I had to change lanes...especially the lanes to the right...all I could see was boxes of wreaths. However, I did arrive relatively intact...except for the slight collision with the concrete pillar. Another friend, Sheri, arrived at the same time, but she had sense enough to park in the right size space. When we arrived, the buffet line was being set up.

The buffet was great, guests gave sentimental toasts, and a video of the couple as they grew up was shown at the end of dinner. Of course, that had all mothers present looking in their purses for their hankies.

We had beautiful views of downtown Jackson. It was a pleasure to decorate and dine in such lovely surroundings. Two weekends in a row of lovely surroundings!

The assigned staff was great! We especially liked Amanda and these two gentlemen, who said we had the prettiest fall decorations they had seen! The one on the right even helped us load up in the deserted parking garage after un-decorating.

I promised them that they'd be internationally famous by Saturday night.

Decorating this venue was a lot like decorating a fine old home. It's big and spread out and I must have walked 15 miles between all the unloading and fluffing. My only complaint was the weird elevator setup. I never could get that figured out...thank goodness, my "helper" did. (Thanks, Sheri...you were a lifesaver. There is NO way I could have done it without you...and I sure couldn't have found my way home!)

Long view of dining room.

Of course, you know that lanterns are hot, hot, hot this season (both literally and figuratively speaking.) Around the lanterns, we used some of the prettiest autumn wreaths I have ever seen. Chapman's Florist was extremely helpful and had these shipped in just a few days. If you've never visited their shop in Pearl on Highway 80...run, don't walk to see it...their set ups for fall are the best! (Another blog for another day.)

TIP: I used tall prayer candles in glass containers for the lanterns...no messy wax to clean up and it looked very much like a glass cylinder in the middle of the lantern.

Vignette that greeted guests upon their arrival. Love that table!

Table numbers were in small matted frames and helped guide guests to their seats.

In the hallway was a long table that held pictures of the bride and groom. (May I say that I taught the sweet groom how to cook when he was in high school and he was a super nice fella! And so is his sister...and his dad...and naturally, his mom.) Also on this table was a bronze container to hold Best Wishes cards for the couple and the cute plate pictured below that all guests signed.

The statement above is my wish for all the new couples featured on my blog! Thanks for asking me to be a part of such a happy time in your life.

Join me at Beverly's Pink Saturday Party!
Eat lots of cake today,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

* On the Scene: Rehearsal Dinner Report

My friend, Mrs. Anonymous and I were honored to help decorate for our friend, Linda's son's rehearsal dinner Friday, September 16. We arrived in Tupelo, Ms after lunch ready to "get her done"! Bishop's Florist assisted in carrying out our vision for the evening and did a really masterful job.

The dinner was held at twilight on the rooftop dining room of Park Heights Restaurant. I had never decorated "on the roof" before and it was quite an interesting afternoon. I was greatly concerned that our hair wouldn't "last" in the humidity and the breezy conditions ( I don't carry off the Jane Jetson hair look very well)...but it turned out to be a perfect day high atop the restaurant overlooking the park.

This was our view from one vantage point about 4 p.m. Below, the scenery changed dramatically as the sun set and the lights came on all throughout the city.

The seating area was quite a welcoming area for guests as they arrived.

Pictured below is Mr. Anonymous catching up on the day's news after driving Miss Daisy and Madame Butterfly (as he calls us) all over the country Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. What a brave and accommodating soul he was!

One of the restaurant's wait staff watches as a hot air balloon floats over the rooftops.

One of Mrs. Anonymous' (aka Miss Daisy) favorite decorations were the large sunflower heads sculpted into votive holders. (Last time I saw her, she was carrying them inside her house to do something with.)

As the sun set, we prepared for the arrival of the guests from the rehearsal.

The happy little couple poses for the four millionth picture and then led the way to the tables.

The color palette was beautiful. After the dinner, "Miss Daisy" insisted that we take the wreaths apart and put all the flowers together into one large wreath (see below). Mr. Anonymous and I helped her tear all the wreaths apart in the parking lot of the Hilton and dismantle them one by
one. (We had an audience by the time we were through and looked like a roving floral team of gypsies.) Then I "babysat" the thing in my room the rest of the weekend. I had to periodically "mist" it with my hair mister. It was like having a child with me. I digress...

Above is my weekend companion.
Below is the napkin setting for the dinner.

Every little detail was lovingly planned.
Ah, young love...such hopes and dreams! It restores your faith in humanity as you see a new couple launch out into the married world!!

I snapped lots of pictures for the family and just wanted to share some of the more public ones via the blog.

Perfect in every way except for one little hitch... let me explain.
The wedding took place at the bride's beautiful country home. Everyone was enchanted with the setting. As you approach the home, guests were seated looking toward the front walk entry, NOT the front porch. The bride entered from her front door and made her way down the steps, up the white mum lined walk and entered the wrought iron gazebo at the end of the sidewalk. It was traditionally beautiful....and we almost missed the whole thing.

Why, you ask? Please, let me tell you.

Miss Daisy overslept while taking her afternoon beauty nap and we left the hotel about twenty minutes late. As Mr. Daisy was cruising briskly down the highway, Miss Daisy remembered she hadn't turned off her hair curling iron...so back to the hotel we go...as she lept (and I use that term loosely) from the back of the Yukon, she sprinted (again, loosely) to the elevator and to her room. Except the card key had been demagnitized by her cell phone and she couldn't enter. Down she comes, screams that she can't get in, grabs Mr. Daisy's card and off she goes again for another try.

Finally, we get underway and drive the 25 minutes to the home...upon arriving it was now 2 minutes until the ceremony and as Mr. Daisy parks the car we both gingerly limp down the driveway and are met by 200 sets of eyes (that's 400 eyeballs if you are counting)...Just as we are just a few yards from the "goal line", I notice Daisy isn't beside me...she rasps..."I dropped my purse"..."So pick it up," I hiss. Everyone is watching..."NO! I can't it's in this ditch!". I turn and to my horror, see the silver metal purse at the bottom of a 4 foot culvert. It looks like a silver fish about to swim away. An official wedding man comes toward me and says, "Hurry, we've got to get you seated. The ceremony is about the begin." I turn and look at Daisy and have to make a decision, the ceremony or my friend....I make the decision and sign in and am seated....I know what you are thinking, but after all, she had Mr. Daisy to come to the rescue at some point and I wasn't missing this event because of some purse even if it did have all her important cards, breath mints and such in it. Besides, what could I do? I have two bum knees (just like she does). What if we had both fallen in? Then neither of us could have gotten up. At least this way, one of us would be able to say we saw the service.

For some reason, I began laughing convulsively....as did the audience as we approached the crowd. All of a sudden, she was there...with her purse. Then, out of no where, Mr. Daisy appeared and all ended well.
We had a great evening and returned to the hotel full of best wishes for the new couple (and full of the great dinner we had after the ceremony!) It was so special to be a part of such wonderful families and their heart felt wishes for a joyous life for their children.

If your purse has a strap, use it,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Along With Fall, Crazy Sets In At Our House

I finished this weekend what I began last. I took advantage of the cool temperatures to get the outside of the house really ready for fall. Saturday we took the truck to various places to buy mums and red mulch. Then we began tackling the outside in earnest. I found these berries to add to my Welcome Bench (see here.)

Then I freshened up the porch Baker's Rack. This is a transitional picture of Before.

I removed all the flowers, etc. and the accumulated summer clutter, washed it and did a little transformation.

I found this poor little wreath in the "Please Take Me Home" pile of 40% off stuff at Tues. Morning. I snapped her up at $4. I saw potential under all those leaves! And after my "experience" at Wal Mart and the muffin top, I think I deserved it.

Here she is in all her autumn glory! I like the meshes that are so hot right now. I added some $ Tree flowers and I think she looks much better surrounding my porch lantern.

Do you remember last weekend's post about the small orange bench? What to do? What to do?
I brought around some wrought iron chairs from the back porch, added pillows, put the bench in between and added an old water urn filled with an autumn bouquet.

I wanted to paint her up and make her not quite so chippy. But I honestly haven't had time. That will be another project...maybe some Annie Sloan paint?

I keep my "outdoor" flowers separate from my "indoor" ones. They are each in their own container...after a month or so outside, I'm not a fan of bringing them indoors...might have a lizard attached...yikes.

I mixed artificial with real in the bouquet...rose hips from my bushes, grasses, etc.

I moved Rosie the Rocker to the side porch. I'll add a little table and she will be perfect for that little quick cup of coffee and a rock before the day begins. We mulched all the beds, planted the mums and cleaned all the porches....outside is pretty much finished...until the real pumpkins come in. Then I moved inside. I unearthed this ribbon from a stash I've been saving. Isn't it beautiful? It's from India and was super expensive...I bought it 90% off...who in their right mind would pay that much for a roll of ribbon? But 90% off is just about right.

Look at the detail...lovely.

Now, a tip I learned from a friend years ago and I've been using it ever since. I buy fresh hazelnut coffee beans, spread them in a container and nestle a Hazelnut Cream candle from WM in amongst the beans. When the warmth of the candle warms the beans, it's a heavenly aroma.

I found the hurricane at a garage sale for two dollars...I added some dried rose hips and cinnamon sticks to the mix and set the whole thing on a framed piece of crazy quilt.

See how pretty it looks on the hearth? Speaking of crazy, I enjoy making pillows and wall hangings from felt and beads. The pillow is one I made years ago and she resides on an auction chair that I paid way too much for and don't let anyone sit in because I'm afraid her legs are much too delicate...go figure.

Changing some minor details brings the season indoors. This is a vignette BEFORE "falling it up". And one minor change...do you see it? Makes the difference, doesn't it? Have I exhausted you yet?

I've posted my other autumn decorations on previous posts, so I'm really almost through inside too. I will add pumpkins and turkeys as the months dictate but all in all, I'm ready to welcome Autumn with open arms...

Happy Fall Ya'll,