Thursday, June 25, 2020

I'm Not Crazy...Yet!


SHELTERING IN PLACE”….2020’s catch phrase!  In 10 years I wonder if we will still be using it.   PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…no!!!!!  I love my “shelter”, my yellow house with the big front porch and a pond in the backyard…BUT!!!!  Sometimes now it feels almost like a prison.

One of the few things that has kept me somewhat sane, is PROJECTS!  I tend to have a certain degree of ADHD (without the A & the D…self-diagnosed), and I need to stay busy.  I have never liked being idle for too long at a time.  So….projects!

Since the “shutdown” I’ve done some:   reading, worked (a lot) on my genealogy files, cleaned & organized till I’m thinking of calling SOUTHERN LIVING for a magazine spread, organized tons of pictures, yard work, made scrapbooks…well, you get the picture.


So now I’m in need of a new PROJECT…and I’ve been looking for one on my favorite website PINTEREST.  You do use PINTEREST, don’t you?  If not, warning:  IT’S ADDICTIVE!

Two things that caught my eye are:

SEASHELL PAINTING    
and    
ROCK PAINTING

Now I can assure you:  I AM NOT AN ARTIST/PAINTER (unlike my 14-year old granddaughter…this was her very first landscape that she completed when she was 13….yes, her very first attempt!  But I digress!


I can’t draw or paint worth a toot…seriously, I can’t even draw a straight line with a ruler and my stick figures look like aliens from outer space.  BUT!  I think I might could get into painting rocks and seashells.  They certainly wouldn’t be works of art, but I think they may be fun to try.

When my grandkids were little we painted rocks including HOT ROCKS.




Then a few years ago, my granddaughter and I taped inspirational quotes or Bible scriptures inside seashells; then we drove around the neighborhood on the golf cart leaving them in neighbors’ mailboxes or hiding them in the park for others to find.  (I try to do at least one RAK…Random Act of Kindness…with my grandkids each summer.)




Aren’t these shells beautiful?  Way beyond my talent, but still inspiration.


I could probably handle these…and so could your kids or grandkids.

And more inspiration:

These use puffy paint…sounds like fun!

Beautiful blue shells

And here is a great video showing 5 different ways to decorate shells.

Rocks are another great painting surface, especially if you can collect some smooth ones from a river bed.  But if not, LOWES usually has them.  And here are some rock painting ideas:


A lovely dragonfly…Pinterest


Cactus without the thorns!

Great for those RAKs…hiding is almost as much fun as finding them!

 We could all use a little more PEACE these days!




These might could be called THERAPY ROCKS

 Remember that old TV show:  
HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL???


My “shelter in place” motto:  
HAVE PROJECT...WILL STAY SANE 
(at least for the time being!)

Now where are my paints????


What projects are keeping you sane these days???








Sunday, June 21, 2020

B A R G A I N I S T A !!!!


I follow a couple of blogs that I am about to shuck off my list.  I won’t name them (of course), but they are fashion blogs by ladies that evidently have a huge part of their budget allotted to clothes, shoes, & accessories.  Everything they ever feature are items that (to me) are extremely pricey.  But then what is it they say…one gal's dollar is another girl's penny???  (I just made that up but I think you get my meaning:)

I am a BARGAIN HUNTER and I don’t apologize.  As I’ve written before on this blog, I learned years ago when we were in college young, married, & basically broke to make every penny count.  And the rest, they say, is history.  I guess all that frugality became a habit because there’s not much I enjoy more than finding great products at great prices…in other words, an awesome DEAL!

Some might say I’m being CHEAP, but I do realize that “what you pay for is sometimes what you get” and that sometimes you really do need to pay more now so that you get more in the long run .  For example, I like to buy store brands when possible but there are certain things that I absolutely must  have the best brand out there....

BOUNTY paper towels; the bargain kinds just aren’t worth it.

BLUE BELL Ice Cream…absolutely none better (other than maybe my homemade peach made with our good ole’ GA PEACHES!)


FOLGERS coffee...we use K cups.



So…let’s go bargain hunting and let me show you that you really can find comparable or at least similar items to get a bigger bang for your buck!  Let’s look at some SPLURGEs  vs  some BARGAINs….

Want to be stylish with the latest trend in summer purses?  

Splurge:

CIRCLE STRAW CROSSBODY BAG   GO HERE




$109…cute but that navy won’t go with everything, so how about:

Bargain:

$25.95  And the neutral color will go with everything


How about a cute dress to go with your new purse???

Splurge:

$149  Voile Hibiscus Maxi Dress @ TALBOTS


Bargain:  Less colorful but also less $$$

$18.60 @ Wal Mart
Wal Mart has really upped their game in fashion!

These days of lounging around during the Corona “Shelter in Place” order will be much more enjoyable in a comfy tee shirt dress like these…

Splurge:

$74.99 (reg. $99) @ CHICOS

Bargain:

$26.99 and lots of colors to choose from  


Of course, we can’t go shopping without picking up a few pair of SHOES!!!  And when it comes to SHOES I can sniff out the bargains like a bloodhound ...I just have a NOSE for SHOES!!!  And these days I'm really into SNAKESKIN prints:) 

SPLURGE:         $149.90  love the shoes, but not the price! Yikes! 
Get these @ NORDSTROM

                                           
BARGAIN:  (oh so many bargains…I had a very hard time choosing!) 
$18.00 on sale…and I like this brand!

$19.99 at my favorite place for a bargain…TJMaxx!

I have LOTS more bargains for you, but I'll save some for later!  I don't want to spoil you all at once...I'm nice like that!

And since we still are supposed to be sheltering in place for the most part, you can get all these bargains ONLINE...yeah!!!  But if you do go out to the malls or stores, BE SURE TO WEAR YOUR MASK & USE HAND SANITIZER.  Also, please remember the small business owners that really need our support right now.  Etsy and your local hometown stores are a good place to start.  

PS:  I can't vouch for any of these items since I haven't (yet) purchased them, so do read any reviews and determine the value yourself.
PSS:  Hope all these links work...whew!  That was a chore!!!


HAPPY  SHOPPING
Nothing like a little RETAIL THERAPY to lift your spirits!























Wednesday, June 17, 2020

I'M AN ANT...NOT A GRASSHOPPER!


Do you remember Aesop’s fable about THE ANT AND THE GRANSSHOPPER?  I’m sure you do:), but just in case here it is in a nutshell…



The ant WORKED all summer storing up food while the grasshopper just PLAYED around.  When winter came, the ant had plenty of food and got fat & sassy (sorry…just my interpretation), but the grasshopper (lazy little dude) got very hungry because he had no food.

Well, if you lived in my house you would definitely have to learn to be an ANT!  My husband grew up on a farm, and he believes in gathering the harvest so you won’t go hungry come winter. 

He doesn’t farm anymore, but we recently made our annual trip to a nearby FARMER'S MARKET to buy some fresh vegetables…corn, butterbeans, and peas.  And he grabbed a few tomatoes while he was there….gotta have a fresh tomato and bacon sandwich on fresh, fresh bread now and then or you’ll get kicked out of the south!


Corn is the hardest most time-consuming of all the vegetables we prepare for the freezer.  Thankfully, my DH does the bulk of the work, but we do share.  He shucks and silks the corn while fanning the gnats...
                                                                    THAT HAT!!!!

I wash the ears, he creams most of it (although we do keep some on the cob)...
***To see his ingenious way of silking the corn (his own invention!), go HERE

then we work together to blanch it, bag it up, and stand back and admire our handiwork.       




We also do the same thing with the butterbeans and peas.  These are PINK EYE peas…and they are so, so yummy!  After years of standing over a hot stove to blanch them, I finally discovered how to do it in the microwave and WOW!  It makes the job soooo much easier.  We blanch the corn in the microwave too. 




It’s a lot of work but what is it they say….

And when the cold days of winter come (and they will), we’ll be thankful we were ANTS and not  lazy GRASSHOPPERS.



And in case you are interested in how to blanch corn in the microwave:

*Place about 4 cups of creamed corn into a microwaveable dish (like Corning Ware). 
*Heat on HIGH in the microwave for about 2 min.
*Stir well.
*Heat on HIGH another 2 min.
*Quickly sit dish into sink of cold ice water; stir the corn to quickly cool it.  ***
*Place in freezer bags.
***DH has “his” way of doing this.  He pours the hot corn into a large stainless steel bowl sitting in the ice water & stirs until it cools down.

So...are you an ANT or a GRASSHOPPER???  Do you store up food for the winter?

In memory of my father-in-law and the farm he (and my husband) loved


Saturday, June 13, 2020

THE TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION


I have debated with myself on whether to post about this because
1.  it’s really, really creepy
2.  some people in this world probably already think I’m c-r-a-z-y 
 and this might seal the deal with them
3.  I’m not sure anyone will believe me

So…are you intrigued????  This really did happen, y’all…honestly!  The details are a little convoluted but I’ll “try” to make it simple.

Back in Feb. hubby and I attended a big high school reunion.  Our school had a very popular “boy band” back in the day and the reunion was put on by them…and extremely well attended I might add.  What a fabulous time we had….but I digress!!!!  (Yep, I tend to do that!) 

Anyway…earlier this week one of my best friends (Jerri from high school) sent me a photo of her and another lady that was taken at the reunion, only Jerri didn’t remember who this gal was!  Jerri has a fabulous memory so why she was asking me (who doesn’t have one!), I have no clue!!!!  The lady had on a nametag which we could clearly see said SUS…but that’s all we could see.

 OK…got it so far???  Well, I can’t stand having an unsolved mystery on my hands so I grabbed my yearbooks off the shelf and began to hunt for any Susans or Susannahs, etc.  And…I came up with two possibilities.  I won’t use their names here but let’s just call them SUSAN #1 and SUSAN #2. I sort of recognized one of the girls, but they were both behind us in school and I really didn't know either one.   (Now, stick with me folks…I promise this will get good momentarily!!!)

Thinking the mystery might be solved I emailed Jerri and gave her the names.  Yep…feeling rather smug at this point…Detective Cheri to the rescue.  (Just so you know, I was wrong on both!!!)

 So…here is the CREEPY part!!!  About 15 or so minutes after sending the email to Jerri, I decided to check out Facebook..gotta know what’s going on out there.  Now if you aren’t on FB (and maybe for a good reason), you may not understand this so let me give a “quick” explanation.  Those of you on FB can skip this part!

Side bar:  On FB sometimes you will get a “FRIEND REQUEST” meaning that person wants to be able to follow you on FB and see your posts.  (Great way of keeping up with old friends.)  HOWEVER….I am pretty sure FB often is the one sending out some of these requests because I’ve gotten requests from people who would never want to follow me (I mean, why would a local teenager want to follow an old lady like me?)


OK…back to my story.  So…I get on FB and the first thing I see is I have a new friend request.  I click on that button and what do I see????  A friend request from SUSAN #1 (one of the gals that I had emailed Jerri about)!     Just in case I haven’t made myself clear…

How did FACEBOOK know that I had just recently emailed this person’s name to my friend????????????????  It was as if someone had read my email!!!!!  Or is there some way FB knows when I type in a name???   I called my son (younger folks know so much more about technology) and he said something (which I didn’t understand) about “algorithms” but then he said, “Mama, Big Brother is out there more than you think.”  Now that REALLY scares me.  He told me to change my FB password which I did!!!!!

Folks, I am not making this stuff up…I’m not THAT creative!  I decided to post about it just to 1. give some food for thought and 2. maybe issue a warning that we all need to be careful and prudent these days about what we put into cyber space.


And just so you know “it’s not just me” with craziness like this….

A good friend recently told me her experience:  she was walking into her kitchen, looking down at her ipad, when all of a sudden this popped up on her screen:  “Watch where you are going.”  Then it quickly disappeared.  Creepy, right?????  And, no she’s not crazy either!!!

Amendment:
After writing this post I emailed my friend in TX and told her all this.  She works for a big oil company and is so smart!  Anyway, she emailed back also saying something about "algorithms" and "artificial intelligence" and sent me this video to watch.  WOW!  WOW!  WOW!  Evidently I've been living in the dark.  You REALLY REALLY need to watch THIS VIDEO!!!!
       

OK, comments, anyone?????

Next thing you know I’ll be posting about little green men landing in my backyard…



Tuesday, June 9, 2020

BIRDS OF A FEATHER...


 
I awoke this morning, grabbed my cup of cappuccino, sat in my rocking chair on the porch, and was serenaded by a sweet bird singing its morning song.  Not sure what kind it was because I never actually saw it.  Oh how I love birds!


My husband is an avid bird feeder and keeps our neighborhood birdies fat and sassy!  We enjoy watching the various ones that come to visit our backyard including cardinals, blue jays, doves, buntings, finches, brown thrashers, and we have 3 mischievous woodpeckers. 

Did you know that until not long ago it was believed there were 9000-10,000 species of birds, but recent revelations have doubled this number to an estimated 18,000 with a possibility of more species being discovered in the future.  The U.S. is home to 1107 different species of birds.  That’s a whole lot of feathers!!!!

I was recently researching a bird I had seen and I got giddy intrigued at all the lovely feathered creatures I discovered.  So for this post I thought I’d share with you some of God’s handiwork.  Enjoy!


One of my very favorite birds (which seems to be popular with most people) is the CARDINAL.  We have quite a few that visit our feeders daily.  Of course, the male is the prettiest with it’s bright red feathers….the better to attract lady friends๐Ÿ˜Š  I recently discovered that cardinals do something called “anting.”  They smear their feathers with crushed or living ants!!!  Scientists aren’t sure why but some think it’s to help get rid of lice and other parasites.        Have you ever heard that when you see a Redbird/Cardinal, it means someone in Heaven is thinking about you?  I love that!


We also have bluebirds that build nests in our birdhouses each year, but these birds don’t normally visit feeders.


HUMMINGBIRDS are always popular.  We have two or three each year.  Did you know most weigh less than a nickel? The average man would need to eat around 285 pounds of meat per day if they had the metabolism of a hummingbird.  Wow!

These next birds don't make their way to our neighborhood but sure wish they did!  

AMERICAN  FINCH


BLUE  BIRD  WREN


PAINTED  BUNTING

COLLARED  LORY

I couldn't identify the following birds, but they were just so breathtaking and interesting I wanted to include them.


“I’m feeling a tad grumpy this a.m., but I'm lookin' good!


“So, who hasn’t put on the Corona 15?”


“Just struttin’ my stuff!”

When I first saw this little OWL, I thought “WOW!  Unbelievable!”  After looking at it for several minutes, I realized it’s not real but handmade.  But I thought it was just too cute not to include๐Ÿ˜Š  Oh, the creativity of some people!



And I just had to include this BURMESE JUNGLE FOWL.  Our little town actually has these roaming the neighborhoods and downtown streets.  These elegant birds were imported here many years ago and released into the woods for hunters, but over the years they migrated into the town, and now we are actually famous for them!!!  In fact, we are in the process of building the WORLD’S LARGEST CHICKEN TOPIARY.  Hey!  We all have to make our mark somehow!!!


     God surely does know how to use His paintbrush to make the world beautiful, so tomorrow morning grab a cup of coffee (or cappuccino), venture out on your porch or patio or just stroll around your yard and enjoy the beautiful choir there waiting for you.  



Ok…just had to share one more…not for its beauty but for it’s “unusual” means of providing lunch for itself…and because I thought it was just plain funny….




This is the BASSIAN THRUSH…it “passes gas” to scare worms out of hiding!  Poor worms…they get a double dose of bad luck!