Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother?

I have always loved reading. Reading for myself, and reading to all the children in my life. One of my favorite children’s books is Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman .

Are You My Mother? P D Eastman

I was reminded of this book, when I saw these cute baby Bluebirds in their birdhouse peeking out of the entrance hole. Just so adorable! I had to share.

They were sleeping away, and then they started poking their heads out of the entrance hole.

Bluebird Babies

Bluebird Babies

Just so cute! I also took a short video. Sorry for the shakiness…. I zoomed in really close and that makes it difficult to hold still.

Are you a bird watcher? I love watching them and trying to learn to identify them. I feed them during the winter and have my feeders right outside my kitchen window. Next I want to learn to identify them by sound.

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Winning the West

Winning the West

Or at least bringing a small portion to Alabama

 

Have you ever considered how Western decor can intertwine with Country decor, or Farm decor, or even the Eclectic Cottage decor that I have in my own home? No? Me neither! Until now that is.

Before moving to Alabama in the early 90’s, I lived in Texas for 5 years and picked up a love for many things cowboy-ish. That is when I first became interested in line dancing, and going to rodeos was so much fun! I even still own my Roper boots which I bought when I lived there. It was Texas where I learned to love avocados and had my first taste of Taco Salad. Good times!

Trail riding near San Antonio

Doing some online window shopping I found a neat website, King Ranch Saddle Shop, with  some really cozy items that I’d love to add to my home. This Grande ottoman would be my first choice. And since I am dreaming big, I want this Hair on Hide Sociable sofa  for my ottoman to sit in front of, and this indigo rug would pull in my love of blue nicely.

Grande Ottoman

Hair on Hide Sociable Sofa

Indigo Rug

I already have a love for peacock feathers and use them profusely in my Christmas decor, so I can extend my use of them with this antler & peacock centerpiece. Wine barrels have been on my wish list ever since we toured the Jack Daniels Distillery a few years ago and this one that is also a cooler  is WAY cool. Mr. Menace and I love all things chrome, aluminum, and shiny and this silver plated horse is spectacular!

But money IS an object and I can’t just go buy everything I love. So. HOW do you add some western style to your home? When I began to consider how I could incorporate western decor in my own home, I found that in actuality, I already own many things that, with the right styling, could transition easily to a Western theme. For instance, here are some things I found in my own home that I think might work perfectly:

Western Decor

Western Decor

I also found some ideas at a wedding that I went to, that was country/cowboy themed. I especially loved the use of the cowboy boots as vases.

Flower Bouquet in boots

Wood bench with quilt and flower bouquet in boots

Wagon with bucket of flowers, burlap & lace, cowboy boots

The boots used in the wedding were special because they belonged to the bride’s deceased Papa Bill. I know that everybody doesn’t own cowboy boots, but with the popularity of women’s booties, a lot of them with fringe, it wouldn’t be hard to find something that would work just as good! Or, if all else fails, we can just order THESE BEAUTIES!

Silver Cross Boots

The wedding ideas could easily be adapted to home decor. Any bench or wagon + boots + quilt = country western decor! The more I consider it, the more I realize that I have plenty of items that will work already and no huge shopping trip involved. It is always good when you can just re-purpose what you have in new ways and not have to spend a lot of money. Although, I still want those cowgirl boots…

This is the area of my study that I plan to transform and this is how it looks right now. The wood box display hanging on the wall is my very favorite DIY in our home. You can  see more pictures of it  HERE.

I use the chalkboard for a planner of sorts. It usually has a monthly calendar with all our plans for the month listed. I’m a little behind on getting that done this month. I hope we don’t miss any engagements before I get it done! 

This other side of this area is constantly changing. I have not found the perfect decor yet, so maybe the western decor will be it! 

I am so excited to get started on this project! My mind is working overtime and if it turns out half as good as it is in my brain, I will be pleased. Please come back for Part 2 where I will reveal the results of my own western theme ideas!

Do you have any western decor in your home or items that might transform into western decor?

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The Nina, the Pinta, and the …

The Niña, the Pinta, and the …

On their tour of the Intracoastal Waterway, the Niña and the Pinta made a stop at Guntersville Lake, Alabama, which is about a two hour drive from us. So we got up early for a Sunday drive and a day together doing nothing but enjoying ourselves.

Nina, the Floating Museum

This ‘sailing museum’ is on a mission to educate the public and school children on the ‘caravel’, a Portuguese ship used by Christopher Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world. It is totally funded by the small boarding charge (I think it was $8 for adults) and donations. The crew are all volunteers. You can visit the website here: www.ninapinta.org

Anchor on the Pinta

Rigging

 

I was driving when we arrived in Guntersville and we appeared to be surrounded by water. I could see the lake on one side of us and there was also water on the other side of us according to our GPS. I commented that we should be able to see the docked ships any time now, when Mr. Menace replied, No, you won’t be able to see them over these buildings.

Nina and Pinta

I was bewildered. These “buildings” that he spoke of were some type of industrial warehouse buildings which were one story and flat roofed. Surely we would be able to see the masts of these explorer’s sailing ships over the top of such short buildings??

Nina and Pinta

Notice that the ships are not even visible above the cars in the parking lot.

Sure enough, when we arrived at the city marina, there were two small ships docked. I was fascinated. THESE tiny ships carried 24 crew (Pinta 26, Santa Maria 40) on the first voyage across the Atlantic which lasted 7 months? Amazing.

These ships are, of course, replicas of the original Nina and Pinta, and were built in Brazil by master builders, using design and construction techniques dating back to the 15th century. The Columbus Foundation has no plans to build a Santa Maria because she was bigger and could not make it through the waterways that the floating museum travels.

Nina and Pinta

Anchor on the Nina

You may recall that it was in 1492 that the original Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria took off on their first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. When I was a kid, I was looking at some old school work of my mother’s and found this poem that she had used in a class project. History never much interested me in school and I think that’s why this poem tickled me then, and it still tickles me now.

Johnny’s Hist’ry Lesson

I think, of all the things at school
A boy has got to do,
That studyin’ hist’ry, as a rule,
Is worst of all, don’t you?
Of dates there are an awful sight,
An’ though I study day an’ night,
There’s only one I’ve got just right –
That’s fourteen ninety-two.

Columbus crossed the Delaware
In fourteen ninety-two;
We whipped the British, fair an’ square,
In fourteen ninety-two.
At Concord an’ at Lexington.
We kept the redcoats on the run,
While the band played Johnny Get Your Gun,
In fourteen ninety-two.

Pat Henry, with his dyin’ breath –
In fourteen ninety-two –
Said, “Gimme liberty or death!”
In fourteen ninety-two.
An’ Barbara Frietchie, so ’tis said,
Cried, “Shoot if you must this old, gray head,
But I’d rather ‘twould be your own instead!”
In fourteen ninety-two.

The Pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock
In fourteen ninety-two,
An’ the Indians standin’ on the dock
Asked, “What are you goin’ to do?”
An’ they said, “We seek your harbor drear
That our children’s children’s children dear
May boast that their forefathers landed here
In fourteen ninety-two.

Miss Pocahontas saved the life –
In fourteen ninety-two –
Of John Smith, an’ became his wife
In fourteen ninety-two.
An’ the Smith tribe started then an’ there,
An’ now there are John Smiths ev’rywhere,
But they didn’t have any Smiths to spare
In fourteen ninety-two.

Kentucky was settled by Daniel Boone
In fourteen ninety-two,
An’ I think the cow jumped over the moon
In fourteen ninety-two.
Ben Franklin flew his kite so high
He drew the lightnin’ from the sky,
An’ Washington couldn’t tell a lie,
In fourteen ninety-two.

— By Nixon Waterman.

Us and Nina

Are you a history buff? Do you like poetry?

 

 

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30 Days Hath September, April, June and November!

30 Days Hath September, April, June and November!

 

How, oh HOW, has the whole month of November passed me by? How, I ask??

Well, the first week I had to work out of town several days. Then we drove south to Mobile, Alabama, for a short adventure on the Inaugural Cruise out of Mobile on the Carnival Fantasy on November 9th.

Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Fantasy Mobile Alabama

Port of Mobile Carnival Fantasy

We had a great time and there will be more on that trip at a later date.

When we got home, I had to work out of town again for a few days. But then it was time to party again. We drove to Tennessee after work on Monday, November 21, and then got up early and packed into the kids van and drove to eastern NC to spend a few days with my family.

Welcome to NC

Art projects at Thanksgiving

Family Dinner at Thanksgiving

Kids Table at Thanksgiving

It was a whirlwind of visiting and then back home. Just in time for a few more days work and then attend a formal Christmas Gala on the 3rd of December.

Christmas Gala 2016, The Moody Mansion

Dress from Rent the Runway

Christmas Gala 2016, The Moody Mansion

Christmas Gala 2016, The Moody Mansion, Bessemer, AL

The Gala was a fundraiser for the Bessemer Historical Society. The Moody Mansion is being restored along with many other dilapidated but fabulous old houses in the city. The house was gorgeous and there will be more on that at a later date.

And so, here we are. Looking at less than 20 days until Christmas.

YIKES!

I feel so old when I say TIME IS JUST FLYING BY! Where did  your November go?

 

 

Need a formal dress? Click here RENT THE RUNWAY.

 

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The Ginger Rock Garden

Ginger Rock Garden

Gardening

I have a friend who has such cool names for each of her garden areas, so I decided I needed to start naming mine and this is my first, The Ginger Rock Garden.

Gardening

It won’t be obvious to the general passerby why its named this, so let me explain.

Gardening

When we moved into our house 5 years ago, I decided that I wanted my flowers to be planted basically  in gardens by color. Not totally, but for the most part. So I put my transplanted forsythia, and my lady banks rose in the same area since they are yellow. And when I made a new garden bed by the driveway, I put my creeping phlox in three pink shades and some pink echinacea, along with some daisies, candy tuft, and a white camellia. And since there were already red roses in the front of the house I tried to stick with red and white in the front. That is changing now, but that’s another story. And then when I planted my purple butterfly bush, I decided I needed to put all my purple plants nearby and so began the Ginger Garden.

Gardening

Oh. But wait! You still don’t understand? Well, see, Ginger is my sister’s name and she is passionate about everything purple. And we plan to get a really big rock to put at the back of this garden, or either several medium size rocks.  I have added a few very small rocks already, but I want some big enough for the grandkids (and me) to climb and sit on.

And so, Bob’s your uncle! The Ginger Rock Garden.

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

I have two shrubs planted in the back behind the arch that will one day be large enough to do a little camouflaging of our neighbor’s rather large RV, which sits right at the property line.

 

I love the way this garden is turning out! In a few couple of years, it will be just perfect. Do you name your gardens?

 

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An Orange a Day

An  Orange a Day

There are only 60 miles of coastline in Alabama, but oh my, what a beautiful 60 miles it is! Some of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever seen, and a lot of people say, prettiest in America.

If you've never visited the Gulf coast of Alabama, it's TIME!

We took a long weekend and went to Orange Beach to celebrate my birthday this summer. It was a gorgeous weekend with tons of sand and sun. Not to mention scenery and food!

The white sand of the beaches in Alabama!

Sand as white as a seagulls breast in Alabama!

Alabama Beaches

Rest and relaxation on the beaches of Alabama!

Enjoy the wild life on the beaches of Alabama!

 

We almost always eat at Lulu’s in Gulf Shores on the Intercoastal Waterway.

Best eating on the coast of Alabama!

Enjoy the view while eating at some of the best on the coast of Alabama!

Enjoy the view while dining at the best on the coast of Alabama

 

And at Tacky Jack’s in Orange Beach on the bay.

Sparkling views on the coast of Alabama

Awesome views from awesome restaurants on the coast of Alabama

Arrive by boat or car to some of the best eating on the coast in Alabama

Blue on blue views while dining on the coast of Alabama

 

And dinner, with a side of dancing, at one of our newest favorites, Cobalt, in Orange Beach, just over the Perdido Bay Bridge.

Bay views from the outside bar at Cobalt in Alabama

Breathtaking evening views on the coast of Alabama

Dining and dancing at Cobalt on the coast in Alabama

 

And here’s the happy couple!

The sights and sounds of relaxation on the coast of Alabama

An orange a day. Orange Beach, that is!

The weekend was over way too quickly and I really didn’t get too many pictures to share with you. But that leaves me wide open to be able to go again and get more pictures to share with you, right?

 

Have you ever visited Alabama?

So many great places to see. And I haven’t even mentioned Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores State Park, Mobile…. HERE are some ideas to get you started.

 

You can also read about some of our other adventures in Alabama:

Mentone

The Shoals Part 1 

The Shoals Part 2

The Shoals Part 3

Lover’s Leap, Vestavia

 

 

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Lighten Up!

Lighten Up!

I love solar lights. I have quite a few, but always want more. I had seen many light fixtures converted to beautiful solar fixtures on Pinterest and after we bought a hot tub last year, I decided I needed to make one. You can read all about my original DIY Solar Chandelier failure here.

DIY Solar chandelier - Successes and Failures!

A week or so ago, I found solar lights on clearance at Target. I took that as a sign that it was time to do something about that DIY failure. The hot glue had not held. So I added more hot glue. Now it looked messy and it still didn’t hold.

DIY Solar Chandelier - What NOT to do

First things first.

I gathered my supplies and headed outside to work.

DIY Solar Chandelier - How to

SUPPLY LIST:

solar lights
glue
chandelier
glass of tea

DIY Solar Chandelier

STEP 1: Pull the ground stake out of the light.

DIY Solar Chandelier

DIY Solar Chandelier

STEP 2: Twist the top off the globe.

DIY Solar Chandelier

STEP 3: The manufacturer has placed a small piece of paper in the light which breaks the circuit and prevents the battery from running down before you even purchase the light. You will need to remove this piece of paper. Screw the top back onto the globe.

DIY Solar Chandelier

STEP 4: Apply glue to globe. I have read a lot of instructions for these solar chandeliers, and a lot of them say that their new lights fit into their chandelier perfectly with no glue needed. Mine do not fit my chandelier.

DIY Solar Chandelier

STEP 5: Place light into chandelier and hold in place for a few seconds.

DIY Solar Chandelier

REPEAT!

and REPEAT!

and REPEAT!

and REPEAT!

DIY Solar Chandelier

Once I had them all glued in, I set my chandelier in full sun for a couple of hours to charge the batteries.

DIY Solar Chandelier

We are in a drought here in Alabama and my grass is so brown and ugly.

DIY Solar Chandelier

I then hung it up and waited (impatiently) for dark.

DIY

 

DIY

DIY

img_20161015_183335437

img_20161015_183329265

DIY

DIY Solar Chandelier

DIY Solar Chandelier

 

It is the perfect soft lighting for romantic nights in the hot tub. AND this glue should hold up well, but I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

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The Screening

The Screening

I attended a screening a couple of years ago. It was the movie Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger playing Beatrix. We watched the free movie and then we answered a short questionnaire. I don’t think the movie was wildly popular, but I don’t know why. I liked it.

DIY Shed makeover

DIY Shed makeover

This weekend, I did a screening of a different kind. After we did a makeover on our old, worn out, beat up, metal utility shed it looked GREAT! But there were a few finishing touches that still needed to be done, and the first one was the screen door.

DIY

I took the screen door down and placed it on top of my outdoor tables. The first thing that needed to be done was remove the old screen.

DIY

I used a screwdriver to pry up the staples holding the wood trim and then also to remove the screen itself.

DIY

DIY

DIY

Once everything was removed it was time to install the new screen. I laid the roll of screen in place and temporarily put the trim back on the top to hold it in place. I then rolled it down to the bottom. Holding the left edge in place, I used my staple gun to attach the screen on the left side.

DIY

DIY

DIY

I then removed the top trim piece so that I could pull the screen taut on the right side of the door and I stapled the screen all the way down the right side. Then across the top, and lastly, across the bottom. Next was to cut off the excess screen. I used a box cutter to trim all three sides.

DIY

DIY

DIY

Reinstalling the wood trim pieces made it all look good!

DIY

DIY

This door came with a louver on the bottom. It is amazing how much the door has weathered while hanging there a couple of months. The louver had been stored inside, which is why you see such a color difference.

I turned the door over and proceeded to put it in place. But wait. How does it attach? Hmmmmm, it might have been a good idea to check that out before, because it looks suspiciously like has to be done under the screen. Oh well. Maybe it will just sit in there. NOT!

DIY

DIY

DIY

That will have to be a project for another day. I just hung the door up and placed the louver back inside.

DIY

 

“Read all instructions first.” Does anybody DO that?

 

 

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Forced into Fall

Forced into Fall

My favorite season is summer. And I never want to give it up. I’m never quite ready for fall. But finally, I have to just admit its here and deal with it.

I love the idea of changing home decor for every season. And I tried doing it for the first year that we lived in our house, but it soon became evident that I am not the kind of person who can do that all the time. In fact, sometimes I have a hard time even decorating for Christmas.

I love seeing all the Facebook pictures and blog posts of everyone’s home decor for spring, and Easter, and Halloween, and Thanksgiving and well, ALL of it is beautiful! And it almost makes me want to get my decor out of the attic. Almost.

But a week or two ago, a cousin of mine posted a fall vignette picture and tagged me in it.

home decor

Photo belongs to Mary Wensing Devorachek

It struck me that this was something I could very easily re-create without taking one single step up into the attic. I grabbed the milk can from the back yard and headed to the porch. On my way, I saw my yellow and green turtle and picked him up. Then I went and got the wheel from in front of the garage, and in about 5 minutes, I had me a front porch fall vignette.

home decor

home decor

I love it. It is so simple and yet, very fall-ish. And then, I remembered that Mr. Menace had commented on some Goldenrod blooming in the yard at lunch. So I looked for a jar or vase that would fit into the milk can and filled it with water. Then I grabbed my clippers, cut down the goldenrod and stuck them in the can. I needed a few more, so I walked across the road and cut a handful to fill up the can.

home decor

Now that’s quick decorating!

Am I the only one that can’t find time to change out decor with the seasons?? Yikes!

 

 

 

 

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A Case of the Shutters

A Case of the Shutters

DIY

Just a few weeks back, I showed you how my idea of siding the old storage building exploded into this delightful little shed. Here is our pitiful little storage shed in its BEFORE state:

DIY

DIY

 

So now that my shed is so cute, I was ready to start decorating it. The inside is still a work in progress but the outside is mostly complete. Of course, we know that decorating is NEVER really finished.

I knew I wanted to hang my washtubs, so that’s where I began.

Gardening, Decorating

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

Next, I looked around for something to use as shutters. When I spied these metal rose pieces in my stash of stuff, I wondered…..

decorating
decorating

decorating

 

decorating

decorating

They were a perfect fit!

Now to move on to the front of the building. I knew I wanted to hang these decorative faux window guards/planters and decided that they would look good beside the door.

decorating decorating

And I thought I knew what I wanted on the opposite side of the door, but it took me a couple of tries to get it just right.

decorating

decorating

decorating
decorating


decorating

decorating

 

Next is to get the screen attached to the door and then figure out how to furnish and decorate the inside. Any ideas? I could use some help on this one.

 

 

 

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