Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Making a Splash

This table will be shorter on words than usual due to 
 conditions mentioned in my last post.

We just couldn't let the month of August slip by, though, 
without sharing a poolside table.

Backside view

It's a thrifty table. The shell edged dinner plates were a Goodwill find.  The deviled crab dishes were a wedding present.

We're not actually sure the origin of the large sea shells. A leather pouch full of them was found in my great grandmother's attic about 50 years ago. 

Stemware is Aurora Blue by Denby

The exterior napkin is handmade.
 (Fabric from JoAnn's)

I borrowed the shell flatware from my mother-in-law.
 I forgot to ask the pattern.

Place card beach chairs are actually Christmas ornaments. 

The centerpiece is supposed to look like random sprouts
 on a sand dune. 

We used yellow anemones and some succulents
 in a wavy bowl of sand. 

And that's about it.

Thanks for joining us.

And thanks so much for your notes, your patience,  and especially your prayers as I try to get my old perky self back. I truly appreciate them.

Sharing this on The Porch
and with Ruby Jean for Blue Monday

Friday, August 26, 2011

The UFOs have landed

... but this, too, shall pass.
I hope. 

That's what I call them, anyway.
Unidentified Fibro Ouches

It's my code word for unfamiliar pain attacks from the fibromyalgia that I've dealt with for the past dozen years.

 (Seriously? Can it be that long?  What a perfect waste of a decade.)

I don't yak much about the royal pains here in Blog Land for a variety of reasons. For one thing, I would rather folks leave this place uplifted and smiling.  There's not all that much uplifting about daily pain updates.  For another, giving blog time to the thing might make it start to define me.  It's part of me, true, but I refuse to give it the victory of becoming all of me.  

I'm multifaceted, you a diamond. A diamond in the rough perhaps, but a diamond nonetheless. 

The day I got the diagnosis, I was so grateful that I would have done cartwheels had the doctor's office had the space and I had the skill.  You see, my dad was in his final stages of cancer at the time.  Considering the pain I was in, I had become convinced that I had some C-word of my own and that it had spread all the way to my earlobes. 

My doctor told me that cancer phobia was not uncommon. Not to worry, he said. What I had didn't start with the letter C.  It started with the letter F.  And then he said something else. 

You won't die from it, but you will live with it. 

So that's exactly what I do. 

Generally  speaking, my particular brand of The Beast behaves as expected. I won't yak about that. If you'd like information, you can click any one of the 24,728 random sites on the internet. 

 Periodically, though, I get an  attack of alien pains in unfamiliar territory. Those are the UFOs. 

When that happens, I have to wait it out and manage them it for a reasonable amount of time to see if it, too, shall pass. I've learned not to share symptoms when this happens. Inevitably, someone listening has a great uncle who died of just such symptoms due to a rare condition which needs to buy a vowel.

 I'm highly suggestive. I don't need the suggestion. 

I said all that to say this: I've been struggling for a while with some UFOs. Oddly enough, they seem to get much worse when I'm at the computer, specifically, the keyboard. (Is that you, God?)  I thought the problem might be one of ergonomics. My desk, I discovered, is two inches higher than the husband's desk, and my chair is two inches shorter. 

It's also much cuter, but I digress. 

I've tried moving my work space around, but so far it hasn't helped. So.... for just a little while I'm going to be curtailing keyboard time to see if that helps.  I have a few projects that I would l like to finish around here so I'll use some different muscles instead. 

We're currently exercising our tablescaping muscles too.  I'm hoping that after a few days rest, I'll be fit as a fiddle. Until then ...

Comments are off for this post 
just in case someone can't resist the urge to tell me about her 
great uncle's keyboard cancer. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

I know why Van Gogh chopped off his ear

He was trying to stop the family wokking. 

I figured it out this weekend when both the Sister and the Duchess wokked in my ears regarding some changes made in my little corner of Blog Land. Apparently, they did not like the change I made to my comment box.  Apparently, it’s a tad annoying to them.

So I’m changing it back.

I’m very obedient that way. Plus, I’m kind of fond of my ears. True, the left one is useless beyond the role of earring holder, but I like the symmetry so I’m keeping it.

In other news, I got a little blog award from Patti @ They Don't Make Them Like They Used To this weekend. I’m actually not passing this one along. (I hope that’s OK…) but I am playing along for a little fun and blopspiration.

So here ya go. Seven more completely random things you never wanted to know about me. Every word you are about to read is true. No one in her right mind would make it up.

1. My mother-in-law still spells my name incorrectly after 27 years of marriage, and I'm afraid to correct her. I tried for two decades to pass along the clue but finally gave up. It's easier just to sign my notes Debby and be done with it. 

2. I am absolutely terrified to come home to a dark, empty, house on Wednesday nights so I booby trap the place to stay one step ahead of the serial killer. And yet, I feel the need to lock myself upstairs and watch Criminal Minds once I make it up there.   

3. I absolutely will not taste something with a spoon or fork that has touched someone else's mouth. Blech.  I won't stick my own spoon into a soup bowl if another one has been there first, either.  I will, however, suck the leftover chicken off the bones on my husband's plate. Go figure that one out. 

4. I am a magnet for newspaper photographers. This one extends to the entire family. Opening day at Publix? There I am, pushing Miss Whimsy in the buggy.  Town Meeting? There we are.  Public prayer vigil?  There we are again, lifting holy hands. We can be standing in a crowd of thousands, but somehow, some way, the photographer is going to hone in on our faces. Or worse.

There is no greater joy than opening the local newspaper the day after an election to see your big old patriotic patootie staring back in living color, above the fold, as you’re bending at the booth to do your civic duty. It's captioned too, just in case someone in a fifty mile radius didn't recognize the husband's boney bahonkus  right along side it and the tiny hands of your daughter resting on each for contrast.  

5. I'm a remedial gum chewer. No matter how hard I try, it dissolves in my mouth. Give me ten minutes, and I pulverize  Bazooka Joe into a teeny gumlette...which  I matter what the Duchess says about innards sticking together. I'm 49 years old, people.  At this point, I'm more worried about my innards falling apart.  

6. I am too friendly for my own good. I absolutely can not remain aloof if someone is trying to strike up a conversation with me. This is the reason that it takes me so long to meander through Walmart. This is also the reason I know that the unfortunate looking woman who hangs out in the nail salon is actually a 67 year old cross dresser  named Bill. 

7.  I think Bill has a crush on me. 

And on that note, I'm finished with my magnificent 7. 
 I do hope that someone, somewhere,
can relate to at least one of them. 

And for the record, if you want to share some random facts about yourself, consider yourself tagged. 
Just be sure to let me know so I don't miss out on your fun. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Simply Silly

I didn’t take a picture of my simple pleasure this week. I couldn’t. I was sitting right smack dab in the thick of it. Besides, it’s kind of hard to hold your sides and a shiny red Kodak at the same time.

This week’s simple pleasure is table full of laughter.

I’m not talking about any old laughter, either. I’m talking table pounding, side splitting, belly laughter, the kind that lifts you right off the ground…

Table, chairs, and all…

OK, maybe that’s a bit of a decoration. Our chairs didn’t literally lift off the floor, but our spirits did.

It was the Sister’s fault.

She’s on a survival kick, you see. Generally speaking, she is always on a bit of a survival kick. The beginning of Hurricane Season just slams it into high gear.  The woman has an emergency pantry stocked well enough to feed an army.  I’ve tried to stock my pantry, too, but I keep eating the inventory. My emergency plan is to move in with the Sister. When I told her so, her nose started to wiggle.

And that’s how the whole thing started.

In our family, the giggle wiggle is the official start of laughing season.  The sister is the straight man in the family, you see. She’s poised and confident and ladylike. When something tickles her funny bone, she tries to maintain that composure behind a warm grin and twinkly eyes.  

But when her nose begins to wiggle, it all goes south.  

It went south pretty quickly, too. What had started as a serious discussion about hurricane preparation turned into plans for our post invasion bunker.  Yes, I realize that’s not really a funny subject, but it is when you consider the group of women planning it has the collective survival skills of Paris Hilton.

The more we planned, the more we laughed
The more we laughed, the sillier we got.  

We discussed important stuff like ammunition and laundry soap, and if you could get a little pep by chewing on a coffee bean when the water supply ran low.  I’m not exactly sure what made me snort, but it had something to do with bartering Mod Podge for toilet paper.

None of it in isolation was really all that funny, but the laughter was contagious. 

I'm sure you can all relate to the joy of it.
I'm also sure you can relate to the need for it as well. 

Times are tough out there, folks, and our family feels the pain. We have a farmer in a drought, a salesman in a recession, and a soldier in a war.  We get it. 

But that day, we chose to sit around a table and laugh ourselves silly anyway.  In return, we found this week's simple pleasure.  

Sharing with Dayle
for the  Simple Pleasures Party 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

About Those Curly Bulbs...

Somebody keeps playing with my dimmer switch. 
Really, it's true.

At first, I thought it was just that whole approaching 50 thing. They say the first thing to go is the eyesight, and the reading glasses living on my nightstand would tend to agree. It seemed reasonable to blame the dark shadows on the aging process as well.

But then, I noticed a little pattern emerging. It seems that my eyes weren't always stuck on low wattage.

It was directly proportional to the presence of
this little beauty in the room. 

Curly Top. 
She's everywhere, and I'm just not a fan.

I don't care what *they* say, she has about as much oomph as a kerosene lamp. Working in a room full of  Curly Tops is like playing shadow tag on a hazy day.  That's the first beef that I have with her; she's  a dim wit.

Now, I realize that  a lot of folks love their energy efficient curly tops. I just don't happen to be one of them.

In fairness, no one is forcing me to burn them right now. I brought them into my home of my own free will. I'm nothing if not a tightwad after all. When that little piggy went to market boasting a ten year  life span, I brought her all the way home.   

That was about ten years ago.
Since that time, I've replaced them more than once.
I keep expecting a different result.
That's my second beef. 

Truth is, Curly Top is a bit of a tease who rarely  lives up to her reputation. Apparently, there's a reason for that, too.  Apparently, florescent bulbs  weren't really designed to be switched on and off like a regular old light bulb. They were designed for places like factories where they can burn for long periods of time. 

Who knew?

I certainly didn't.

I didn't know that breaking one was akin to committing an act of act of bioterrorism either, but that's another story. I'll call it my third beef. 

And then, there's the whole attractiveness thing.
There's the beef.

I could more easily tolerate the lying little dim witted bio hazard in the interest of savings if she weren't such an eyesore. I think she should be banished behind the shade of a table lamp. Unfortuntely, the besotted testosterone who lives with me likes to spread the curly wealth all over the house. This makes the estrogen very unhappy.

Yes, I realize it's a little late to worry about style when you have a rattan and brass hovercraft dangling from your popcorn ceiling, but I do. I have gray roots and crow's feet too, but I still don't walk around with broccoli between my teeth.  Same principle.

Kind of.

I actually stopped that project midstream and claimed a small, temporary victory in the invasion of the Curly Top. The husband might have given in, but he's not interested hearing me harp about it.

So I'm harping to you instead.    

What about you? 
What's your relationship with Curly Top?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Location, Location, Location

Just a quick post from me this morning as I'm still recovering from a college move-in weekend.  We got home late on Friday night after a full day attempt to move Miss Whimsy into her college apartment.

Now, by attempt, I do mean attempt. 

Folks, we gave it the old college try, but for the first time ever, I had to leave on Move- In day far short of a finish line.  That's stressful for a control freak like me.  Of course, it's also the first time that a daughter was sharing a space with three roommates. 

Here's some new math for you:

4 girls + 9 family members + 7,528  unnecessary acoutrements = total chaos.

I might also remind you that the coed in question is  Miss Whimsy. You know, the previously designated Oscar in that Odd Couple that I raised.  It was hard to tell under all the boxes, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this little apartment might be a wee bit of an Oscar magnet.  

I base this solely on the fact that Oscars rarely travel lightly.  The 456 boxes strewn about the place when we left is one of the reasons that I do not have good pictures to post.

The other reason would be the lighting.  Like most universities, Mercer is a big fan of the curly bulb.  I still took a few lousy shots to show the lay of the land.  As you can see, it's a stock, college apartment built way back in the last century and not decorated since. 

That's fine by us. 

We don't necessarily ascribe to the luxury lifestyle philosophy when it comes to the college years, anyway.  We're interested in other things, like...

 They're owned by the university so they have the same security codes
 and a resident adviser. 

and Budget
 We pay for them by semester just like a dorm room.
 There is no summer obligation.

location... location... location
This is right out her back door.  

That's the University Center, the hub 
of campus activity.  
I'm pretty happy about that

I'd be happier if we had some after pictures to show.
Unfortunately, I am going to have to rely on Whimsy to take them.
In the meantime, just imagine those rooms above.

Only full of stuff.
And probably more pink. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mod Podge Therapy

It's a busy,  busy, week around this place, folks.

On Thursday, Miss Whimsy leaves to begin the new year at Mercer University, and we're just not ready. Not that I'm ever ready to pack up a daughter, of course, but this year we've taken procrastination to a whole new level. Where in the world did the summer go?

I'm trying not to panic.

You see, her digs will be a lot more sprawling this year. She's done her time in the dinky dorm room and is movin' on up to an on campus apartment. She's sharing with three friends, and they're pretty excited. The texts are flying back and forth as they scrounge together the necessities.

I have a list a mile long in the pocketbook, and a pile a mile high in the living room.  Going a little crazy here, folks...

That's why I've been playing with this stuff. 

Really, it wasn't a waste of time. 
Around here, Crafting for Dummies is creative therapy, 
and nothing fits the bill any better than decoupage.
 I mean, really, is there anything any more relaxing
than gluing random pieces of paper onto unsuspecting hardware?
I think not.

That's why I offered to help her with a little project.   

She wanted to make some picture frames out of these cheap little wooden ones
and photo copies of a favorite pattern. 

Don't tell Lilly Pulitzer, but she's hanging out with the thrifters. 

So she painted,
and I went to therapy.

And after an hour or so, I was rejuvenated 
and ready to tackle the ever growing lists
and piles.

Mod Podge: The key to my  happy place. 

What's yours? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Doing the Bobble Stroke

This week's Simple Pleasure is brought to you
 by the Duchess's pool.

That would be by the pool...
As in, 
the place where I lounge with my shiny red Kodak.

I don't dive. Don't ask me. 

I don't cannon ball either...

Maybe it's just me, but I think a 49 year old woman looks a little foolish
 trying to hold both knees and nose
 while leaping off a spring board in a purple tankini.   

Water-up-the-nose is one of my 426 phobias.

Oh, I can swim if I want to.
I just don't want to.
I can also restyle my hair, but I don't want to do that either. 

So I'm perfectly content to noodle about in the water,
 keeping  my chin just above the surface so as to save the pouf on the roof.
It's a move I learned from the Duchess, the undisputed Bobble Stroke Queen.
 The woman hasn't gotten her hair wet in a pool since 1971.

It may not seem very refreshing to you, but it's more than enough for us.
In fact, noodling about in the water is a simple summer pleasure.   

Sharing with Dayle at A Collection of This and That
Join us for more simple pleasures. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dog Day Dining

It's official.
The dog days are upon us. 

That would be one of the reasons that we haven't played with dishes lately.
 Frankly, it's hard to get in the mood to do anything at all
when the temperatures are stuck in the
triple digits.

But then, 
I won this great stemware from the auction at My Place to Yours
and I started thinking...

Don't those ridges make you think of  heat waves?

They did to us. 
And they inspired us to create this table. 

 We're calling it 
The Lazy, Crazy Days of Summer. 

The mood of this table is summer heat. 
To be sure we conveyed that, we set it all up outside.

That's the crazy part...

We filled that stemware with  Gatorade
which gave us our color inspiration.

We found these dishes at our local thrift store and thought they were perfect. The price was perfect, too, at about six bucks for the set.

The Duchess thought they looked like beach balls....

The sister thought they looked like fried eggs...

Me? I kind of thought they looked like kaleidoscopes,  
but then again...I might have been having a heat stroke.  

 The dessert plates are called Red Sunflower and came from TJ Maxx. 
We liked them because they introduced a hint of green.

We used that same color for the flatware. 

I'm not sure which smarty pants put the soup spoon on the table, but it didn't make the final cut.

Pale green sherbets from my favorite antique store did, though.

As did the sunflower napkin rings
and fan folded napkins. 

The centerpiece was a mixture of
 roses, dyed daisies, and asparagus fern 
in a bowl of citrus. 

It shared the stage with this trusty old snail. 

That's the lazy part...

And that's about it.
 Since we couldn't think of a single soul willing to actually sit at this table, 
we didn't bother with  place cards.  

But you're more than welcome to come on over. 
We'll be the ones waving
 at you from the dining room window. 

Sharing this with Susan and the other
Porch People for 
and the Tablescaper for

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tying Yellow Ribbons

She knew the day was coming when she married him.  In fact, she knew it long before she even fell in love. Nevertheless, in she fell.  Some might even accuse her of taking a big flying leap.  Love is like that, after all. You don’t get to ignore it just because it comes in an unexpected package.

Hers came wrapped in fatigues. 

To be honest, it kind of surprised me. She has always been just a tad of a control freak and a life planner. I would have expected the letters ROTC to send her running for the hills, but as I said, love generally gets its way. 

So does Uncle Sam.  

And so, little more than a year into The Great Marriage Adventure, the newlywed niece finds herself flying solo again. And her better half?  He’s trading the southern comfort of the Georgia Love Shack  for some sort of dwelling in the desert.

He’ll be gone for the next 396 days, but who’s counting?
She is.

And we are. I wouldn’t want to give the man a big head or anything, but we’ve grown accustomed to his face.  Sunday was lonelier without him.  Oh sure, we had a little more elbow room in the family pew and about a half dozen extra dinner rolls at the family table, but we’d much rather scooch together and share.

So would she. That's why she's counting.

She's counting on the days to go by quickly, 
 the husband to come home safely,
but mostly  on God 
to be in control of the whole thing.  

 Praying this morning for everyone who ties a yellow ribbon. 
And even more, for the folks for whom those ribbons are tied. 

Sharing this at Finding Heaven


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