Saturday, June 16, 2018

When Is a Chair NOT a Chair?

One of my favorite types of blog posts is seeing how creative people take a piece of junk and turn it into something beautiful and/or useful.  That is definitely not my expertise because I don’t have the “eye” for it, but I sure do covet that talent. 

Awhile back I was wandering through a local antique/thrift shop and saw this “part” of a chair.  Why in the world I decided to buy it I don’t know, BUT I DID!  (It was only $5 so I figured “what do I have to lose?”)



Well…it’s been sitting around very neglected for awhile now and I really need to either do something with it or give it to someone who loves to repurpose.  I decided I’d ask Mr. Google to give me some ideas and here are some that struck my fancy.  What do you think?

I love the turquoise color of this chair-turned-coat rack, but it would match absolutely NOTHING in my home…and not sure where I could put it.  Not sure I like the legs...I'd probably leave those off.


And here is a similar PINK one. I like the position of the hooks on this one a lot better.


Now this is an idea Mr. Chatter might possibly go for…or NOT!  I have a terrible habit of throwing my shoes in a pile on the floor in our bedroom.  I have soooooooooo many pairs of shoes, and it’s a real headache to get down the shoeboxes & put the shoes back in, yadda, yadda, yadda!  Not sure this idea would be a whole lot better than my pile on the floor, but it did catch my attention!


This shelf idea I could go for…and Mr. Chatter could probably easily fix this right up for me.  It could hang on my porch OR in a bedroom.


This would be a super cool idea for a party.  I don’t know what that round part is though and it might be hard to find, but could probably be adapted.


I love this idea if you have a similar chair…which I just happen to have. 

Here is my chair which gets repotted each spring with something different.


Of course, you’ve probably seen lots of planters similar to this one, but aren’t those colors with the green chair just delicious?


I really love this chalkboard but I would leave off the legs on the sides.  They don’t seem to serve any purpose and just take away from the cuteness…in my opinion.


And then finally, this is a really neat idea that I would definitely copy if I come across such a lovely and ornate piece.


I didn’t think to take notes of where I found each picture, so I hope I don’t get in trouble with anyone for sharing their ideas.  There sure are a LOT of creative people out there, and I am truly THANKFUL for them and for their thoughtfulness in sharing with others. 

So…which idea is your favorite?  Or do you have other ideas for my sweet chair back?



Sunday, June 10, 2018

Hey, Y'all! It's Corn Shucking Time!


Two things you can count on in south GA at this time of year:

1.  it’s hot (and getting hotter) and
2.  the corn is ready!



CORN TIME is a yearly ritual at our house.  My husband grew up on a farm and each year he needs to get his “farming fix”…so we put up corn and other vegetables and have some fine eating all winter.

A few years back I posted about how we do this, but I wanted to share again all the hard work that goes into this southern tradition.  (For some reason Blogger deleted my previous corn post.)  Thankfully, my husband does a lot (really most) of the work😊

The first (and very important) thing you need to do is set up a corn-shucking place outside IN THE SHADE…and move it whenever needed until you are finished! 



Mr. Chatter does all the shucking, for which I am eternally grateful.  We do put up some on the cob, and we actually freeze it in the husks.


The next step is silking.  This is a step that we usually share.  I have to brag on my VERY SMART man for an “invention” he came up with several years ago…and it has made the silk removal SOOOO much easier and quicker. Maybe he should patent it!

This is a drill with an old baby bottle brush attached (part of the brush handle was cut off).  You just turn on the drill and the brush does the work.  



Start at the top of the ear and “brush” downward going against the way the silk grows.  Easy-Peasy!  But beware…you will get covered in corn silk.


The next step is solely left up to me.  I wash the ears under running water and use a stiff vegetable brush to remove any remaining silk.  Again, I work the brush going against the silk.



Mr. Chatter “insists” on doing the next step, and I NEVER argue😊  He uses this corn-scraper gadget (not sure of the correct name) and removes the kernels from the cob.  This will be our creamed corn.


This is delicious SILVER KING corn, our favorite.  But you can also get SILVER QUEEN (smaller in size) and AMBROSIA.  All are sweet versions of our state’s corn crop.


The next process is definitely one we share and it makes things go so much faster.  We blanch the creamed corn in the microwave.  Directions below.  I man the microwave and his job is to transfer the corn to a large stainless bowl sitting in a sink full of ice water to cool down the corn.  He then packages it in individual pint bags.


I wasn’t able to get pictures of the final product because I had to rush off to an appointment and the hubs finished up everything without me.  THANK YOU, Honey!

Oh…there’s one other thing you will definitely need if you are putting up corn in my neck of the woods, and it’s this:


Yep!  You GOTTA HAVE “gnat” repellant.  These wipes are awesome and do a good job at keeping those pesky critters out of your face and off your bare arms and legs.  (Why God created GNATS I will never understand!)  For those of you who live above what we down here call the GNAT LINE and don’t know what a gnat is…I’ll be glad to send you some😊

So…CORN TIME is finished once again.  It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to look in the freezer and see that we’ll be eating good for awhile.  I always thank God for my blessings, and good ‘ole South GA corn is definitely one of them.


Now on to peas and butterbeans next month! 


Directions for Microwave Blanching Corn:

1.  Put 4 cups of fresh creamed corn in a Corning Ware or other microwave-safe dish.
2.  Cook on HIGH for 2 minutes; then stir.
3.  Cook on HIGH for another 2 minutes.
4.  Immediately cool the corn by pouring it into a large bowl placed in ice cold water.  Stir corn a few minutes to cool it down.
5.  Place desired amount in labeled pint or quart freezer bags.

NOTE:  It’s a good idea to lay newspaper on freezer shelves and to also put a layer of it between layers of corn.  This way the bags won’t stick to the shelf or to each other.

How to Cook Creamed Corn in the Microwave:
Place corn in a microwave-safe dish (I use Corning Ware).  Add desired amount of butter.  Cook on about 80 for about 4 minutes.  Stir.  Cook on same temp. another 4 minutes.  (Vary time according to your microwave and amount of corn being cooked.  Watch it carefully so you won’t overcook.)

How to Cook Corn on Cob in the Microwave:
Shuck & silk the corn.  Wrap each cob in waxed paper.  Cook on HIGH 2 minutes per cob.


Of course, there are many different ways to COOK and to EAT delicious Georgia corn! So y'all just enjoy!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

GRANDS ARE GRAND!!!


I love my grandkids.  Let me rephrase that….I ADORE my grandkids and feel so blessed to have them both.  They are the only two I will ever have, and they fill my heart to overflowing!



R is 15…and DRIVING with his learner’s permit!!!  He is often seen DRIVING MISS CHERI😊  M is 12 and can talk the ears off a billy goat…and enjoy every minute of it.  They live only two blocks over and often drop by in the golf cart or on the 4-wheeler.  They are probably at my house about as much as at theirs since I have always picked them up after school.  Being a retired teacher, I’m the homework guru (much to their chagrin).

Honors Night - All A Honor Roll

This week they have been doing CHORES to earn spending money for Youth Camp.  They leave for Florida next week and both are so excited…especially M since it’s her first time going.





They both did their chores SO WELL….and without even once complaining!!!!  I was super impressed about that.


I taught M to iron and she ironed her Papa’s shirts and shorts and did a great job.



R tidied up on the outside then went to work on the inside.  He has gotten so tall and wiped down the upper cabinets with no problem.  I always have to get the step stool.  Hmmm….wonder if he will agree to do this chore on a regular basis???



And the cherry on top of getting all this work done….they both gave me a big hug and said THANK YOU when I presented them with their $$$$!

I think it is very important for kids to learn some responsibility.  Both R & M take care of their own laundry at home and their parents usually give them a weekly list of chores.  In my opinion a child is never too young to begin helping around the house and learning that hard work pays off.
            



Every single day I pray over my grandchildren and ask God to lead them down the right paths.  And every day I thank Him for sending us two very special young people who bless our lives in so many ways.


Friday, May 25, 2018

WHAT'S BEHIND DOOR #1?

There is something so intriguing about a DOOR.  After all, when a door is closed we can’t see what is on the other side; we can only imagine.  I have had a fascination with doors for many years.  As a young teacher, I attended an art workshop and the presenter was not only an artist but also a very gifted photographer.  I remember that she showed us a slide show (well, that certainly dates me!) and each photo was of a different door that she had photographed in her journeys.  There were all types, sizes, and colors of doors; some were old, some were new; some were large, some were small; they were all beautiful or interesting in their own way and they each had their own story.  I don’t know why this has stuck with me for so many years, but it has.  And so, began my love affair with doors.



One of my favorite quotes has always been:  when one door closes, another opens.  And because I have lived for many years and can look back over those years and see lessons learned, I know this statement to be true.  Many doors have closed in my life; some I closed myself, others God closed for me.  And each time, a new door opened …maybe not right away and not always the door  I wanted to open, but still a new door opened.

When I was 13 years old, the door to my life up until that time closed because my parents divorced and my younger brother and I moved with my mother to a new town.  Then a new door opened to a new school (which was better than the school system I had previously attended) and to new friends, many of whom are still close friends today.  


When my parents divorced, the door closed on my family as I knew it.  But later a new door opened and I gained a wonderful man for my step-father and my one and only sister.


The door closed on a relationship I was involved in while in high school…and a new door opened to a new relationship which has resulted in almost 48 years of a marriage that I cherish with all my heart.


The door closed on the future career that I thought I wanted…the one my college major prepared me for.  Then very unexpectedly a new door opened that led me to become a teacher…something I had never even thought of but now realize I was created to be.


Those were all instances where the “new door” brought new experiences that enriched my life.  But there have also been doors to close that I wish never had to do so…the loss of a daughter and my step-father; the loss of dreams that never came true; the change of plans that I didn’t want to give up. 


Life is full of doors….one closes, another opens.  Sometimes we get so focused on the doors that close that we fail to see all the doors that God has opened for us.  Sometimes we want to turn around and go back through the door that closed.  But life isn’t about going backwards…it’s about going forwards.



I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson that said:  Be an opener of doors.  I like that thought.  I hope as I continue through this journey called life that I will be willing to open new doors and that I will also be willing to help others open their new doors.  After all…when one door closes, another  opens; life isn’t static.  So.....
                    let’s embrace OPEN DOORS.


pictures courtesy of Google and Pinterest...and some very talented photographers

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

HAPPY MAIL Makes Me HAPPY



When was the last time you received a hand-written letter?  If you had asked me that question a month ago, I would have told you it had been so long ago that I didn’t even remember it!  However, about 3 weeks ago I received a wonderful letter….from my high school English teacher😊

Let me explain.  One day recently I was going through some old papers, and I came across my high school senior term paper and also a composition I had written the same year.  (Not bragging, but I made A on one and A+ on the other…don’t ask me how I did in Algebra though.)  Both papers had very nice comments from my teacher, Mrs. Betty Cleveland.  I got to thinking about her and how she had taught me to love words and how she had encouraged my writing.  So….I decided it was way past time I wrote her a letter and told her THANK YOU .

I never expected Mrs. Cleveland to write me back, but she did.  It was a wonderful letter that I will cherish.  She is now 88 years old, still lives in her home, and from what I was told by a friend takes a “brisk” two mile walk every day. 

Now that we have email, texting, and facebook, I imagine the postal service sees far fewer hand-written letters than in years past.  And although I enjoy all of these types of communication, I really do miss the excitement of pulling a letter from the mailbox, tearing open the envelope, and seeing the handwriting of a friend or loved one. 




When we had been married only a year, my husband had to spend four months at National Guard training camp.  We sure kept the mailman busy with our letters….you can read about that here:

Today hand-written letters are referred to as SNAIL MAIL…although I just found out that that term was actually first used in 1942 in a news article about slow mail delivery.  Today there are actually facebook groups dedicated to writing an actual letter.  And…there are also groups you can join to receive HAPPY MAIL (another name for hand-written letters).  To find some of these groups you can go here:


Some people really go all out for letter writing and even artistically decorate their envelopes. 

So…why should we write letters instead of using email?  After all, email is quicker and typing (for most people) is faster.  Well, if you are in a hurry email is the way to go; but I got to thinking about it and here are a few reasons why I think we shouldn’t ever stop pulling out our stationery, envelopes, and stamps:

1.  Hand-written letters are just more special.  Seeing someone’s handwriting, knowing that they took time to actually “write” the letter just says “you’re special” and that you value them.


2.  Stationery is so much prettier than a message on the computer.
                                              from americanstationery.com


3.  You get to use all those hand-writing skills you learned in elementary school….no need to let those many lines of letter drills go to waste!

        

4.  You can begin a stamp collection (if you don’t already have one).



5.  You might get a return letter….just like I got from my teacher😊  And then you will have the excitement of opening that envelope!




I am so glad I took the time to write to Mrs. Cleveland and so thankful she chose to write me back.  Now….who can you think of that would appreciate you taking the time to pull out your stationery and put pen to paper?  Try it…I think you’ll be happy you did.  After all, SNAIL MAIL can become HAPPY MAIL for both the writer and the recipient.