Friday, February 25, 2011

Stealing Garden Ideas

Last time I was out in California, I took these pictures at one of the restaurants in the chain called The Black Bear. Now that we've purchased a new house, I'm looking at my 'ideas' file to see what we can do with the back yard. The builder has already put in expanses of lawn, but we plan to take the grass out, a section at a time, and replace it with flower and vegetable beds.

I like the way they weaved the rocks in among the plants. I think I'd add a little more gravel, but the mosaic of rocks is really cute.

It was late Fall when I took these. I think it must look really pretty in Summer when the flowers are growing in full force.

Having a bench nestled in made a nice shady place to sit and hear the water trickling down. I am jealous of this low maintenance look and hope we can replicate it. It's rainy here in Texas today, so dreaming of sunshine and green plants is enough to perk me up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wrigley Dreams Of Driving

When Jaimee and the dogs came to stay with us in 2008, Wrigley was still a very skitish gentlemen. He was a rescue dog and had been terribly mistreated. He usually kept his distance from Wild Bill and I, except when it came to driving. You see, Wrigs loves to drive and would slowly creep his way up to the front seat inch by inch.

He would end up on the center counsel between Jaimee and I until his mama would repremand him. But soon, he would again put his front paws on the counsel, then his chest would come forward, and soon his butt would be seated as far forward as he could get. If I called him on it, he would freeze and stare forward. No amount of anger on his mother's part would keep him from his inching forward. Somehow his thinking was, if he didn't look me in the eyes, I wouldn't know he was there!

When Jaimee would finally convince him to get back where he belonged, he would lie there sad and forlorn. We knew he was dreaming of a time when he could show off his driving prowess.

In his dreams, he would wrap his long skinny arms around the wheel and stare intently into the coming traffic.

In his dreams, he would ensure his mother had her seatbelt on while Gamy helped him steady the wheel.

If only dreams could come true!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Scored Another Bench

Here's a very sturdy little bench I whizzed past the last time I was down in Salado. It was out front of a thrift/antiques shop and I had to make a quick U-turn and check it out. I don't think I've told you, but I have an obsession with benches and tables. I love the Pottery Barn benches, but too much money I think.

I knew Wild Bill "could" make it for me, but when would he really "get round tu'it" I wondered?So I went inside and the lady said "how about $20?" Deal done in 2 minutes, but I spent 2 hours talking to her and her husband before he and I loaded it up. They were my kind of people and how could they not know about selling on the internet???

I was thinking it would look cute with a cushion on the top...maybe painted black and aged down and banged up a little? Any ideas would be appreciated. Leave me a comment on what you would do, heh? Gosh, I think I've been reading Toodie's 'Babblelot' blog too much, I've taken to talking like her! If you haven't been there, check her out on my bloglist on the right. She makes my day when I'm down.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ben's Thoughts On Turning One Yesterday

I've made it through the first year with these crazy people I've been told are my parents. I've heard you pick the family you want to join before you're born. If that's the case, then man what was I thinking?

The one they say is my Mother gave me this crazy hair. She cries when she has to leave me.

She dresses me up in crazy animal get ups and parades me around for people to see. I had to pull my sock off so people could see my foot and know it was me. I didn't really want to scare them, ya know?

The one they call my Father is kinda fun. He carries me around a lot, even when he does the "manly" housework as he calls it.

It must really be "men's work" because my dog Dee runs and she hides upstairs every time my father and I do the vacuum chores.

Here's a picture of the time I had to drive the tractor. For some reason neither of them seemed to be able to do it. I was a little afraid at first, but I got the hang of it quickly. I even forgot about the goofy hat they put on my head.

I was born with these blue eyes and I guess I'll keep them for a while. The ladies seem to like them, which has worked out well for me so far.

I got lots of stuff for my first birthday, but my favorite toy is still this go-cart my Dad had specially made for me. If I can just keep my Mom from trying to steal it, life would be good.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Breakfast In Corsicana

We have taken so many drives up I-35 through FT Worth to get to Sherman that we have become bored with the drive. So now we have taken to driving any other route we can find. The last time we went up North, we went East to Corsicana first, then headed North.

We got to Coriscana around 9:30 and stopped downtown for breakfast. We found this place called "Roy's Cafe".

The food wasn't great, but they had a good story on the menu. I almost like a good story better than good food...almost.
So the story about Roy's is that it was built in 1928, but it wasn't named Roy's until 1932 when a guy named Roy bought it. Roy had it for a while, then sold it. His only requirement for the sell was that the name of the cafe be changed. He didn't want his name to be used. But, Texans being Texans, the new owners never got around to changing the name. So Roy's is still Roy's, even after it has been bought and sold several times over.

Coriscana has a pretty downtown and most of the old buildings are still there. We walked across the street to where the car was parked, and there was an interesting shop right in front of me.

Come on. How often do you get a chance to sit on a tractor seat bar stool? And they had some really cute bird pictures just below the stools.

My favorite was this picture of a gathering of deer. I like the rustic look and would love to have it for the new house. It looks old, but is a reproduction so it was pretty cheap.

I took this picture of the pillows for the bloggers who like to use stencils to make pillows on painter's drop cloths or rustic signs for the wall. It would be easy to duplicate them. Well, if you have some skill I imagine it would be easy to duplicate them.
For those that like old signs, this one came from England as did a lot of the old stuff in the shop. It was two or three hundred dollars, but this sign would be easy to make I think. Even I would tackle it. I can hear Wild Bill now when he reads this. He's always amazed at what they charge for stuff with "peeling paint", which he hates.

Anyway, if you're out on I-45 between Houston and Dallas, stop by Corsicana for a leisurely stroll. The tree shaded downtown is pretty to see and the shops have lots of neat stuff. I wouldn't recommend the food at Roy's, but the menu is fun to read. Have a piece of pie, but eat your meal somewhere else. And watch out for the original Roy as I hear he's still pissed about them using his name.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Secret Valentine

Previously I posted about my father's death and how, for so long, I couldn't look at displays of Valentine's Day candy without crying right there in the store.

All that changed for me in January 2008, when our youngest daughter Jaimee and her dogs came to stay with us for 6 weeks. Jaimee had called off her engagement and left San Francisco, and she was waiting for her job to start before moving to Albuquerque.

I had recently had back surgery and was "at loose ends" as they say. The house seemed pretty empty because Wild Bill was traveling for work a lot, so a houseful of Jaimee and her dogs was just what I needed.

When Valentine's Day rolled around Wild Bill was on a business trip, so it was just me and Jaimee and the dogs at home. A new movie was opening that day, a typical girly-flick, the kind we girls both love to see.
Before the movie, we decided to buy ourselves a treat and somehow, well, we both decided it was high time we had a big old red Valentine's heart. Yup, a big 'un as they say. One each. Here's Jaimee showing off our stash...

Of course, I had to show off too...

Eat your hearts out, literally!

So now, when Valentine's Day comes around you won't find me crying in the candy aisles any more. I'm usually laughing now when I'm at the store and see the new Valentine's Day candy displays, because now when I see them, I think of that Valentine's Day when two lovely ladies bought their own big red hearts and watched a sappy movie together... one of us even got a KISS!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Missing My Father

I'm the blond in the pictures above. While my sister and two brothers were looking else where, I'm the little one looking at my Dad.

On January 18, 1994, Dad called me to say he was in the hospital. I left work and stopped at the store to buy a deck of cards. The Valentine's candy was on display so I bought a bag of red-foil wrapped chocolate hearts. The cards were to keep our minds off his illness, the heart candy was to offer his visitors.
That first night, we started playing what became a nightly game of Black Jack, his favorite card game. The heart candy became our poker chips. We split them up between us and when one person won them all, the game would end. Every night, I lost...Dad won every game.
One night I said, "Dad, some people actually let their children win a game or two!" Without hesitation, Dad replied, "Those people show their children how to be losers. I always tried to show you how to be a winner."
My father died just 2 weeks later on Feb 6, 1994. It seems like yesterday. At the memorial service, my aunt told me that when she and her sister visited Dad in the hospital, he asked them not to eat the chocolate hearts. When the aunts asked why, he told them the more candy hearts left, the longer the card game lasted and the longer I stayed with him each night. If I had known how he felt, I would've bought an extra bag.

In those early years after Dad died, Valentine's Day became something I dreaded. Every year in late January, when I turned a corner of the grocery aisle and saw the new displays of Valentine's candy, tears would run down my cheeks. But I always found the red-foil chocolate hearts, and I would keep them as long as I could.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An Old Woman's Treasure, A Young Woman's Trash

When my three daughters were little, like most people raising kids we were broke a lot. I always bought them pretty quilts and sheets, but never had enough extra money to buy the really pretty accessories I would have liked to have bought them.

Now that I'm a grandma and have money for the extra little "pretties" in life, wouldn't you know that out of five grandchildren only one of them is a girl. Like most boys, the grandsons like wagons and Hot Wheels, not pretty lamps like the one I saw down in Salado a few weeks back. But, since my little granddaughter Lily will be 2 years old soon and loves all things girly-girly and pink, I thought for sure this little lamp would be a perfect present for her room.

All cream, sage green and pale pink -- I love the ribbons on the shade! But Lily's mama gave the lamp a thumb's down due to the flowers on the base. I tried to convince her that, in person, it's not quite as garish as it might look in pictures, but she wasn't convinced.

So I emailed a survey to her two sisters to see if they would back me up. No deal, all three daughters gave a thumbs down. I guess it's a generation thing, at least I'm hoping so. Someday in the future I will find a lamp with a wooden base to make over and try to duplicate the look of the lamp...except, just maybe, I'll leave off the flowers.

Makes me wish those three girls of mine were still little and happy to welcome a lamp with flowers and ribbons into their rooms.