Friday, February 28, 2014

Of Noggers and Taupe-Lifts

I know it's the shortest month of the year, but am I the only one who thinks that this February was even shorter than ever?  I started out with such good intentions,  but before I knew it, the whole month was shot.

I'm blaming winter. 
And the piney stick forest that fell on my lawn. 
And  the power company.
And OK, the septic tank too. 

If that doesn't work, I'll blame hormones. At 52, you can blame hormones for everything. That's why I'm blaming my hormones for a the serious case of decorating ADD that kept me from finishing all  the projects on my February list.  

'Cause I started this month with the best laid plans. 

 I had all kinds of irons in the fire, folks. Some were big refinishing projects.
 Others,  I just wanted to taupe up a bit.   

I not only planned to finish it all; I planned to blog about it too. 
 Of course, you know what they say about the best laid plans... 

So here I am at the end of the month with a coffee table and side chair that remain unfinished.  I did manage to complete some taupe projects. I just never yakked about them. That's why I decided to do an end-of-the-month installment in the Nogger Collection called:

Five taupe projects that I never blogged about:

#1. A little taupe table...
 $10.00 at an estate sale two years ago.  Finally painted it about a month ago. 

#2. A little taupe lamp

It started out as a $2.00 brass lamp, and yes I realize that painting it oil rubbed bronze hardly qualifies it for a taupe nogger.  I'm counting it anyway because I added a little espresso paint for contrast.  Espresso is just an Italian way of saying taupe. Everybody knows that.  

See? Taupe.

#3.  Three little taupe candlesticks. 

I painted them. Big deal. I know.

Along those same lines...

#4. A little taupe tray

# 5. Little taupe photo editing  

Yes, I'm putting that in the taupe category, too.  I was planning to print the little photo above  in black and white,  but then I started thinking.

I'm always thinking...

Sepia is actually a form of taupe, isn't it?  And since my home is more tan than gray, sepia photos would just naturally look better than black and white, wouldn't they?  Yep, I thought so too.

Now, I'm on a little sepia kick.  

The photo editor turned these three wedding cake photos sepia.  
I hung them in the dining room because cake is kind of dining roomy. 

 The top one is ours. 

The bottom two are our parents. 

Love them, and though the photo sort of makes it look as if the wall swallows them up, it doesn't. It sort of draws you in to them instead.( Plus, I went ahead and purchased two more frames to go with it just in case I need them some day.) 

Just tossing that one out there in case my daughters  are reading...

And that's all the taupe Noggin' I have for this morning.

I was also busy last week with an adventure of another sort,  but there was nothing whatsoever taupe about it so it can't go in this post. That's the rule. I know because I made it up.  I'll just say that it involved a trip to Atlanta with not one but two daughters... plus a niece for good measure.  It. Was. Lovely. If I ever do a pink nogger post, I'll be sure to yak all about it. 

 Until then...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Week For the Dumper

Another quick post from me this morning. I've been awash in a sea of crazy which started with that ice storm last week and has ended with the second of two funerals to attend this morning.   In between, there was comfort food to fix and deliver and a Saturday spent working the local Soup Kitchen.

That added a couple hundred more meals- on- wheels to the mix.

When we weren't fixing food, we were cleaning debris from lawns both here and at The Duchy.  I'm glad to say that the Duchy is finished. Many hands made light work there on Sunday as we determined that our ox was  most definitely in the ditch and did a family clean up after lunch.

The Duchess lives in town so we merely had to haul it to the curb. 

We, on the other hand, live in the county. That means we have to haul ours to the landfill. So far, we've taken three truck loads, and we haven't started the back lawn yet.

 We'll get to that whenever we can.  You see, we've been interrupted mid pick- up by an unfortunate septic incident.  It's our second visit from these guys in as many months.

..which is why it's looking very much like a blog post  titled: 

Why Debbie Is Not Getting New Living Room Furniture 

Now folks, lest you read this as a bunch of grousing, it's not.   At least, it's not intended to be.  As I mentioned, I had two funerals to attend this week.  If that doesn't put perspective on septic tank and drain field issues, nothing will. 

 It's more in the way of an explanation as to where in the world Debbie has flitted off to this time and why I am not attending my favorite blog party, the Note Card Party  at A Haven for Vee.

I was going to create masterpieces surrounding the theme, "Looking Up!" (I thought it was pretty appropriate right now.) Instead, I find myself looking down at my two feet running in four different directions. Don't tell me that is not physically possible, either. I'm here to tell you that is. 

 Since 2014 is supposed to be the Year of Balance, I am going to scale back that plan and save it for next month.

Of course, by then I might have a whole different theme in mind. I'm fickle like that. Just in case, I thought I would leave you with just one of the sky peeks I was working into a card.

It came from a blog post in 2011.
I called it my patch of blue.

(If you'd like to read that Simple Pleasure, click HERE )

Hoping things are back to normal in Mayberry soon. 
I have an adventure coming up, and I want to yak about it.

Comments off until I get caught up a bit.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

When The Love(Shack) Grows Cold

We interrupt your winter storm watch for a very quick  photo op. I would post something more entertaining or interesting, but we've been dealing with Georgia's version of an ice storm around here, which means we've been playing cat and mouse with pine trees on the power lines.   It has been an on again - off again romance with Georgia Power since about 8:00 Wednesday morning.

Currently, we're on... again.

The folks out at the farm?
 They're still off. 
That would include The Love Shack as well.

In truth, the Farm Sister was made for such a time as this. That's not to say that she enjoys it. It's just that she's one of those super organized  preppers  who sees it as an opportunity to execute The Plan  without the corresponding zombie apocalypse.

The Newlywed Niece  had a plan too.  Her plan was to pack her bags and go home to mother.

 For one thing, she's kind of a nut off the Aunt Debbie Tree in the prepper department.

For another,  misery loves company. 

So they loaded the truck and made their way down the Georgia clay road that connects the Love Shack to the farmhouse.

Riddle me this, Blogland:  

What's slicker than red clay on a Georgia dirt road?

Nothing much, except maybe,
  ice on the  red clay on a Georgia dirt road.   

She's a bit of a nut off the Debbie Tree in another area too, though. While the husband was slip sliding away across the Georgia clay, she had him stop long enough to take a picture.  

A girl after my own heart. 

Isn't there a loveliness to it? 

I think so.

It's the whole reason for this blog post.

I'm not sure what kind of editing she did. All I know is that she smart- phoned the thing off to Facebook, which is where I saw it.   I thought it was too pretty not to share. If her lawyer calls me about copyright infringement, I'll let you know. 

As for me? That's all I have for now. I've been too busy trying to heat coffee over a Yankee candle to blog anything. Plus, our pictures aren't lovely at all. We don't  have icy oaks on a Georgia clay road. We have piney stick tree tops over a hot mess of a lawn.

Guess what we'll be doing for Valentines Day this year?



Woohooo and praise the LORD!
 Just wanted to update that she finally got her power back
 tonight (Saturday) at around 8:00 PM.

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm Late! I'm Late!

For a very important Valentine date.

Yes, I know that Valentines Day is still four days away, but I'm still late with this table. It's bad enough that I'm 3 days too late for the Valentine Par-Tay at Bargain Decorating With Laurie, but I'm actually even later than that.  

About 368 days later. 

This is the table that I dreamed up in my head for luncheon club last year. I had it all planned to go with my 2013 color of the year. I just didn't finish the kitchen makeover in time to host a luncheon until May. 

I hosted it this year, though.  Saturday, the club came over for a luncheon that I called, That's Amore!  The food was Italian. The table was the one that I dreamed up in my head last year. 

Which is why this table is mostly  white and silver...

...with just a pop of red. 

I used a white table cloth, white candles, 
white  tulips, and white china. 

(Cameo Platinum by Mikasa.) 

I  borrowed the little red and white plates from the Farm Sister and added a bold red napkin.

That was the only red on the table.
(Act I flatware by Oneida.)

An easy peasy transformation with some little candy boxes turned them into favors.  I just painted the exterior with white Fusion satin paint and trimmed the sides with silver paint and satin ribbon.

Then I decoupaged each guest's wedding monogram on the top. 

Never let it be said that Debbie let a good decoupage opportunity go to waste...

(Moonspun crystal by Lenox)

I told them to share the chocolates inside with their husbands. The Men of the Houses deserved a little favor this time because they had done me a favor.   

They helped me with the place cards... 

... by secretly sending me a photo of their own big fat 80s weddings.  

Of course, the groom below didn't have to send me a picture. That's the Farm Sister and the Cowboy once upon a time. I was the Maid of Honor at that wedding and had my own photo.

I remember that boy...

 I remember all those boys.
In fact,  I'll let you in on a secret: That's still the way I see them. 

High school sweethearts...

In the end, most of the men kept their secret. One young swain accidentally left his photo on the computer so his bride had a hint. She kept it mum, though, and still enjoyed the surprise.  I think we chose some pretty good boys.

I know I chose some very good friends.

Talkative ones, too.

 They arrived at 11:30 and never headed out the door until 6:00. 
I'm pretty sure that's a new record. 

Even though I still had a Sunday School lesson to finish, that was fine by me. We're studying "one another" in Sunday school, after all. Part of that one another-ing includes hospitality and fellowship. Saturday we had a little bit of both.

And there you have it:
 My 2013 pop of red Valentine table,
 better late than never. 

Sharing at The Porch

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I'm a Valentine s-MOOCH

If you're as sick of my long winded posts as I am, you'll be happy to know that this one will be short and sweet, mainly because that's all I have time to do right now.

I'm hosting our luncheon club this weekend so I'm busy working on that. Add to that the fact that I managed to start some larger home projects right smack dab in the middle of my luncheon planning, and you get a little crazy pants Debbie going on.  Crazy pants Debbie generally deploys the mooch option.

I mooched my Valentine wreath off of the Duchess.

I told her that I wanted something winter-y, yet still Valentine-y. I wanted it to be a little unconventional, and oh yeah... I also wanted it to be white and taupe. 

White and taupe?

Yeah. White and taupe.  Taupe is the color of the year, after all, and I wanted a nod to it on the front door. It might seem oddball to your way of thinking, but the Duchess raised me. She stopped being surprised by the stuff I do about four decades ago.  She just goes with my flow.

I loved it.

 It was exactly what I had in my head, right on down to the lovey dovey.  

Actually, even better...
Thanks, Mom.

And while I'm at it, I'll shout out some thanks to the Farm Sister as well. I've been mooching off her too. This one has nothing really to do with luncheon club, but it does have something to do with winter. You see, I had my heart set on making some sweater pillows to cozy up the den for the season. I even found the perfect sweaters  for $3.00 each at Goodwill to use for them.  I found them a month ago.

I just sorta  don't like to sew.

It's not really the sewing so much; it's the sewing machine. Machines and I don't have a good working relationship. That's why I procrastinated the great sweater pillow  project until winter was nearly over in this neck of the woods. I kind of whined about that over the weekend.

So she made them for me.

I'm not actually placing them like that on the sofa.
 I'm just trying to get artsy with the pictures.

Notice how I frost everything these days?
It's just a kick I'm on.

Blame winter.

I actually did contribute something to this project.  I sewed on those buttons. I figure she won't mind me telling you that since they're a little crooked and all. Well, oops.

And that's all I've got for now. 

I'm trying to finish my table in time for Laurie's Valentine Par-tay on Friday.  Plus, I have a meal to plan. I'll be mooching off the husband for that since he's going to be making some of his awesome tortellini alfredo. I just have to make the salad and the dessert.

Oh yes, and the chicken. 

Which brings me to two questions:

 Does anyone have a awesome-never-fail-parmesan chicken recipe?


Would you like to come and make it for me?


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Honor One Another

I almost couldn't blog about this one, but I'll give it a try.

I had planned to write a little about our current class study this morning. We're still in the middle of that unit called Allelon: One another.  Last week, we studied this verse:

Be devoted to one another in genuine love. 
Give preference to one another in honor. 
~Romans 12:10

There's a wonderful nugget on the actual meaning of the word honor in that passage, and I was going to yak all about it this morning. Something happened this week, however, that changed my mind.  Something happened that made me want to talk about honor in its simplest form instead.  It came after a conversation with the husband during our walk the other morning.

It was a silent walk. 
Then, as if out of the blue he said, 

 "I didn't truly love her at the beginning, you know.
 I can't say that I loved any of them. 
I couldn't love them. I didn't know them."

He was talking about his favorite old friend. You might  remember her. She has been the star of the show around here more times than anyone outside of my family.

I yakked about my stroll with her through the grand old house.

And I yakked about her 100th birthday party
and all about her antique twinkle.

And then, I intruded on this moment.

The weekly rendezvous between the gray haired lady 
and the dark haired man.

I told you at the end of that post that I was married to that knight in shining armor.  I'm pretty sure that was the first time I called him Sir Lotsa Hair.  She just called him her fray~end. 

They all do. He has a whole bevy of friends in that wonderful Sunday school class, a group of young ladies now between the ages of 95 and 102 (soon to be 103). They are the bright spot in his week, the reason he rushes to get to church early every Sunday morning.

He truly loves them. 

The other day on our walk, though, he said that in the beginning he didn't love them.  He loved the idea of them, and he certainly respected them, but the love?  That didn't come until he got to know them. His relationship with them started because of obedience instead. I yakked all about it in THIS POST so I won't do it again, but in short, he discovered  by Providence that they had trouble opening the heavy back door into the church. He began to wait by the door to open it for them, thus beginning a decade of doorkeeping in the house of the Lord.

He told me on our walk the other day that he happened to be studying Acts 6 at the time. As he considered  those old widows trying their best to get to Sunday school, he realized that opening the door for them was a way of making sure they got their bread. 

And so he did it.
Out of obedience to the Word.
(And no, he's not a deacon. He's just a simple man of God.)

This *one another* thing all begins with obedience, he said.  If we'll just do what God tells us to do, his Word will not return void. Opening the door to those widows opened a door of friendship. The friendship opened the door to love. What started out as something he did out of obedience became something he was truly honored to do.

There's a reason for this ramble this morning, and you've probably already figured out what it is. You see, last week, our old friend took a fall.

Oh, she's fallen before, plenty of times, in fact. You don't reach the fragile age of 101 without taking a tumble or two. Then again, you don't reach the fragile age of 101 without having the resiliency to lift yourself back up again.

She's done that.  She's the Unsinkable Old Lady, after all, born the day the Titanic went down. We've never been able to hold her down for long. Sometimes, though, even the most unsinkable ones among us just get weary.  After a while, they sort of earn the privilege not to have to get up anymore.  Last week,  the Unsinkable Old Lady was given that privilege.

Not that she sank, of course. Nothing could be further from the truth.  The truth is that this time, God himself did the lifting.  I guess He liked the feel of her in His arms because He kept right on lifting until He had lifted her all the way home.

We got the news not long after it happened, and I can't forget the look on  his face when I told him. It was the face of man who has lost something very dear.  He was quiet, even for him, for the rest of the day. Then, we got another phone call, this time from her family, and I got to watch his expression change to one of deep appreciation.

Love, you see, is not unlike the Word itself. If you send it out, it won't return to you void. He loved his old friend very much.  Apparently, she loved him right back and wanted him to know.

And so on Friday, the dark haired man polished his shoes and put on his best suit, and he kept his date with the Unsinkable Old Lady. Then, he had the honor of walking her into church one last time.

Rest in peace, old friend. What an honor it was to know you. 


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