Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's the little things.....

It is the little things in the daily lives of our grandchildren that endear them to us. Being blessed with 16 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, I treasure each as unique and special.

Seth is the son of Jennifer and Rich. Seth is 12 years old, very active in school and an honor student. He is involved in sports playing basketball, baseball and football. Seth is a very serious young man. He is very neat and precise in his work.
Michael is also the son of Jennifer and Rich. He is nine years old. Michael is also active in sports and is an honor student. Michael is boisterous and mischievous. Rich often says, "Life is Michael's playground."

Jennifer e-mailed me these two boxes of Valentine's candy. One is Seth's and one is Michael's. Note that the candy in this box looks like it has not been touched. Each piece of candy is neatly arranged.

This is the second box of candy. You can see that pieces have been eaten and it looks like many of the pieces were smashed to see what flavor they are. Take a guess. Which box of candy belongs to Seth and which box is Michael's?

This is Mallory. Mallory is 11. She takes piano lessons and plays the trumpet. Mallory is Sheila's daughter and Benton's sister. They live just across the street from me so I see them often. Mallory has been sweet enough to spend several nights a week with me. I really appreciate her staying with me. I sleep much better with someone else in the house.

This morning before I went to Curves, I attended Wade's basketball game. Wade is nine and is quite the basketball player. This morning he made a three point basket. Wade is the son of Stephanie and Darren and the little brother of Tyler who is 17. Wade belongs to a church team. The coaches make sure that each player gets a chance to play. I was really impressed with the interaction between the coaches and the players. Wade is attempting to get the ball from another player.

In this picture, Wade had just passed a ball.

In this action shot, Wade has the ball and is trying to make a shot.

This is Stephanie. I didn't take her picture while I was at the game so she took her picture herself.

Answer to the candy questions: The first box of candy that is meticulously arranged belongs to Seth. The box with the squished pieces, of course, belong to Michael.

It's the little things that matter
When children show their love.
It's those priceless little gestures
That we so seldom speak of.

It's the little things in life
That brings to us a smile.
Words spoken so lovingly,
Make life seem so worthwhile.

It's the little things remembered,
Like a teddy bear to cuddle,
Or recalling the many times
A child stepped in a puddle.

It's the little things, which we recall,
Like a kiss from a smudgy face.
Those very precious memories,
That could never be replaced.

Little things forever etched
Within our hearts to stay.
Little things you've said or done
Shall never go away.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Fun Day

Yesterday morning my friend, Shirley, and I met halfway between our homes to go shopping. We had planned on going last Wednesday but the driving conditions were dangerous. We left on our rendezvous with no schedule and no plans.

After an hour's drive we arrived at Boscov's. I don't think that either of us was shopping for anything in particular. I love Boscov's linens and housewares, especially when they are on sale. I bought this beautiful eyelet queen sized sheet set.

The I selected four of these towels. I thought they would be nice for the downstairs bathroom. Both the sheets and the towels are an off white color. I looked at shower curtains but they were not priced low enough to be a temptation. I wish that I would have bought some wine glasses. They had some beautiful ones that were priced at purchase one and get the second for $1.00. The total cost of the sheets and towels was $36.52. What a bargain.

We stopped at Petco. Shirley's dog needed a new toy and Prince was out of pig ears. He loves them and I knew that I couldn't go home empty handed.
One of my extravagances is Bare Minerals make up made by Bare Essentials. We stopped at Ulta. Ulta is the only store in which I have found Bare Minerals. I have ordered it from QVC. Shirley and I browsed through the store and sniffed the wonderful fragrances. When I have time, I would love to have the make-over that is offered as a courtesy.

We wanted to go to Kohl's but decided that we would eat first and back track to Kohl's. Both Shirley and I were famished. We decided to eat at the Olive Garden. I had Seafood Alfredo. Shirley selected Chicken Parmesan. Of course we devoured the delicious salad and bread sticks.

Before heading to Kohl's, we stopped at "Unkel Joe's Woodshed." Unkel Joe's has crafts, curtains, table decor, fountains, yard pretties, handy kitchen gadgets - all kinds of things. We headed for the tarts. I have burned this brand of tart previously. They are soy tarts made by Swan Creek Candle Company. We each bought a variety of tarts.

We then headed for Kohl's. I was looking for some summer tops but really didn't see any that I really liked. My closest is full of office attire which I seldom wear. I need something more casual. I did get this gorgeous purple blouse. It will be great to wear to a Red Hats' meeting. It cost $3.57.
We decided to looks for some interesting shops. We went to the Antique Depot only to find that they were only open on Friday and Saturday. Since we were close to Daughter Jennifer's and her family's house. I asked Shirley if she would like to stop and see if they were home. Jennifer was working but Rich had just gotten home. Jennifer had a special report that had to be completed and she could not work on it when she was doing her lab duties so she was working on her days off. He said that he had a church service that evening. Seth and Michael then came home from school. We really had a nice visit with Rich and the boys.
We decided to start home and stop at craft shops along the way. We saw a very small shop that we never noticed before. They had lovely things inside. The owner was very friendly and advised us that everything was 40% off. Look at this bargain. It originally had pinkish berries. I asked the shop owner if she could change the berries. She was glad to oblige. These are an off white and will go with just about anything. At $23.50 is was a real bargain. Shirley bought one also.

Shirley had been looking for a solar angel. When her son was killed a group bought a tree for her and her husband to plant in his memory. She had told me several times that she wanted a solar angel to put near the tree. Alas, on our way home we saw a sign on the road advertising them. We followed the signs up a long, winding road. When we arrived at our destination, we saw cemetery monuments located outside a building. The owner came out and introduced himself. It turned out that Shirley and I both knew his family. He said that he didn't have the angels there but they were at his office. He led the way to his office a few miles away. It was so kind of him to go out of his way. Shirley was elated when she saw the solar angel. It was exactly what she wanted.
We headed on home. Shirley's car had been parked outside the restaurant where she worked. She asked me if I was hungry. I told her that I could eat a piece of pie. When we were in the restaurant, we saw that apple dumplings were on the menu. We each ordered a warmed apple dumpling with milk and a hot cup of tea. What a perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tarts & Tart Burners - A Matter of Opinion

I love to walk into my home and smell the delicious scent of clean linen, cranberry nut bread, French vanilla, or sage & cranberry apple (to name a few). Of course, I'm talking about tarts burning in a tart burner. I have read that some of my blogger friends don't care for the scent of tarts and others, like me, love them. I have several tart burners but use only one at a time. I have found that a tart can be cut in half.

I have received tarts as gifts, bought them at craft shows, gift shops, and on line. This chest sits beside the fireplace. It's a wonderful storage place.

It is filled with tarts of various scents. The blue tarts were made by my granddaughter, Erin.

I received this pretty box as a gift.

It was filled with chunks and tarts. The chunks are made by Thompson Candle Company which is located just 12 miles away. They have a wide distribution area.

My favorite tarts are McCall's. My friend, Sue, who owns Sue's Floral Art, is the dealer for McCall's candles and tarts in our area. I have this bowl of tarts sitting on the coffee table in the living room. A McCall's tart burns for three days without losing the scent.
I am off for a day of shopping with a friend today. I hope that each of you has a wonderful day. It's supposed to get up to 40 degrees. Hurray!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Blue Monday

I bought this small bowl and pitcher at a thrift shop. I can't resist anything that is blue.
This plate belonged to my Grandmother. It was just a single plate in a box of odds and ends. I have seen other plates with windmills but this is unlike any of them. I cannot read the marking on it.

This is a serving plate that my Grandmother used frequently when she "entertained."

My daughter Michele crocheted this beautiful blue and white afghan for my birthday several years ago. She spent hours working on it. It keeps me toasty warm on these cold winter night.

Sally at hosts Blue Monday. Each week there are more posts than the week before. There are so many wonderful blue posts. It's exciting to meet new blogger friends. Thanks Sally!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Small Town, Pennsylvania 1950s - The Milkman & Bonus - Latest Photos of my Great-Grandchildren

I was so fortunate to grow up in the 50s. We lived in a small friendly town – the same town where I still reside. The mailman delivered mail twice a day. The owner of the small grocery store where my mother shopped delivered groceries. The bread man delivered bread and special ordered baked goods, and, of course, Herb, the milkman, delivered milk and milk products. I can visualize the early summer mornings when school was out. My sister and I were still in bed and the windows were open. My bedroom was above the back porch and the scent of the honeysuckles growing on the side of the porch permeated the air. I remember the clatter of Herb the milkman - the slamming of the doors on his white panel truck and the clang of milk bottles. Herb made deliveries in our neighborhood two or three times a week. We had a box that was insulated on the front porch where Herb put the milk. The milk was in quart glass bottles.

Mom set the clean empty bottles in the box. Herb would take the empty bottles and exchange them with full bottles. There was either homogenized or pasteurized milk. My mother preferred homogenized. The pasteurized was a few cents cheaper and had a little stripe of whole cream at the neck of the bottle. Before drinking, it was necessary to shake up the milk. We often got butter, cream, cottage cheese and even eggs. My little sister loved chocolate milk and was ecstatic when Mom ordered it from the milkman. It was so much better than the chocolate milk that we made with Nestles Quick. Herb’s arrival usually brought out several of the housewives in the neighborhood. The ladies would stop their daily chores long enough to visit with Herb and get caught up on the news around town. Herb’s route spanned the entire small town and its outskirts. He enjoyed the opportunity to share news with these women who were his friends. During that wonderful era, the mothers were home during the day. Life was slower paced. Families had one car and the dads used the car to drive to and from work. Our neighborhood was full of kids and our time was consumed with riding our bikes and playing games. Eventually, the milkman ceased to be. Herb got a job in the hospital from where he retired about 15 years ago. He is still alive and lives a block away. He must have been very, very young when he delivered milk. Herb used to stop by to "shoot the bull" with Hubby. He always mentioned delivering milk to our family and other families in the neighborhood.
I have a few old milk bottles. They bring back wonderful memories!

Granddaughter Erin e-mailed these pictures of her children to me this evening. I couldn't wait to show you!!
My Great-Granddaughter Jocelyn

My Great-Grandson Jacob

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Red Hat Society

Recently a very dear friend of mine invited me to be her guest at a meeting of the Red Hat Society. As you may already know, the Red Hat Society is an organization for women age 50 and older to just have fun. The meeting was held at a lovely restaurant. I wore a red hat, a purple satin blouse and slacks. I felt very dowdy among the well dressed women that attended the meeting. They were " dressed to the nines." It's unusual for me to feel dowdy as I love bright colors, glitter, and jewelry.

Following the delicious meal (I had crab cakes) and the camaraderie with the other lovely ladies in attendance, I was approached by the stunning Queen Mother. Imagine my elation when the Queen Mother invited me to be a member of this Red Hats Society Chapter. She presented me this beautiful pin.

On Sunday I went to the mall. I was determined that I needed appropriate accessories to wear to the meetings. My first purchase was this lovely pair of glittery red earrings.

I then found this beautiful scarf. I think that it will be stunning with my purple suit.

This beautiful hat is decorated with red and purple feathers. The hat actually makes me feel glamorous.

I like the shape of this hat. It is a little more subdued than the hat decorated with red and purple feathers.
I love this boa made from red and purple feathers. I think that it will jazz up any outfit.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens . . .. . .
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Willow Tree Collection

Three or four years ago I bought my sister a Willow Tree sister figurine for Mother's Day. As I was buying the figure, I thought of how I would love to have a collection myself. Our daughter Jennifer and her family had invited Johnny and me for dinner at their house that year. After we ate, we were sitting in their family room relaxing. I mentioned to Jennifer that I had bought my sister the Willow Tree figurine and that I thought I would like to start collecting them. Jennifer got a surprised look on her face. She left the room and returned with a pretty gift wrapped package - a Mother's Day Gift. I carefully opened the package to find my first Willow Tree figurine, Mother and Daughter. Word quickly spread among my family that I was collecting the Willow Tree figurines. I now have a huge collection. I'd like to show you a few of my favorites.

Two of our daughters bought me the Father and Daughter figure. Each figure is special.

Would you believe that three of our daughters bought me the Mother and Daughter figures? Each Mother and Daughter figure is unique to me.


Healing Grace
Willow Tree was introduced in January 2000 with one figurine, 15 angels, and the Nativity. The line has grown to encompass those sentiments that we most want to express. To our friends, to our family, to our children's teachers, to those near and dear, to those far and infrequent.
Willow Tree is an intimate, personal line of figurative sculptures representing qualities and sentiments that help us feel close to others, heal wounds, or treasure relationships to living things. These art forms beautifully express love, closeness, healing, courage, hope...all the emotions of a life well lived.

I give Willow Tree figures to special people in my life to show them that I care. I have given the figures as gifts of encouragement, love, celebration, and loss. These are just a few pieces of my large collection. I will share more with you later.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Blue Monday

Celebrate Presidents' Day by flying the Red, White, and Blue

Washington's Birthday is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February. It originally honored the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Now, other presidents are also honored on this day, which is why it is often known as Presidents' Day.

The first flag had 13 stars

Although legend has it that Betsy Ross sewed the first flag from a design by George Washington, this has not been substantiated. The first documented U.S. flag was a the staggered star pattern. A strong case for the designer of the first flag is Francis Hopkinson. A delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He submitted a bill to Congress for "currency designs, design for the great seal of the U.S., a treasury seal, a design for the flag ..."

Today's flag has 50 stars - one star for each state in the union.

Red, White and Blue "The flag is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. For most Americans, their sentiments about the flag are not something they can easily define. To most of us, they are as individual as personality, as private as a family matter and almost as personal as religion." -- President Woodrow Wilson, 1917

Sally at hosts Blue Monday. Blue Monday posts grow each week. Now when I think of Monday it's with a smile on my face as I anxiously look forward to seeing so many beautiful shades of blue. Thanks Sally!