Friday, June 29, 2012

Bulletin board make over!

There are 2 places I stand the most in my kitchen, one is at the sink and the other is at the stove looking into my stairwell. It occurred to me that on that staircase would be the perfect place for a picture spot. A place for current pictures too numerous to ever put in frames or even on facebook:)
I wonder...will seeing the sweet faces of those I have fed a thousand times make cooking future meals more enjoyable? 
I will let you know:)

I started with a bulletin board my sweet daughter law did not want move (thanks Janene:) which was black. In my "painting everything blue stage" I distressed the edges with blue but several months later now I chose to tone it down a bit with aged copper. I thought those stampin' up edging inkers would create a cool pattern....not! So I just used a rag to finish the distressing job on the frame and ribbon.

Next the fun part:) I stamped 2 images on several squares, inked 3 random chipboard flourishes with copper,  added some pearl embellishments, and 3 metal tags. My final touch was some random 1980's earrings which I am glad I did not throw away!

This can made out of any plain bulletin board!
*Paint frame as desired
*Choose ribbon-I recommend gross grain ribbon.
*Layout design then adhere ribbon to edges with fabric glue. Do not glue entire line of ribbon down!
 staple intersections and top with something interesting like a button, metal piece or 80's earrings:)
*Choose coordinating papers, cut to the size of your squares and generously put adhesive on the bottom to secure. 
*Optional-I put a thin coat of matte mod podge on all the paper.
*Choose embellishments and adhere with appropriate adhesive.
*For embellishments I used chipboard flourishes inked with copper ink, pre-made vintage metal words, pearls and pearl flourishes, and a gold C for Crossley:)
* The kind of pictures that will show up the best on this type of project are the close ups:)

Find a picture spot in your house and create a masterpiece bulletin board!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bar-b-que cups...picnic perfect!

These bar-b-que cups are a favorite at my house! They are a great picnic food, a nice alternative to sandwiches. They are a self contained dish-no forks required:)

Bar-b-Que Cups

3/4 cup ground meat-browned
1/2 bar-b-que sauce-we love Sweet Baby Rays!
2T. brown sugar-optional...I feel so healthy when I leave this out:)
3/4 C. grated colby jack the best
1/2 purple onion-chopped...optional-my personal add on
1 can Grand biscuits cut in half

Preheat oven to 400
Brown meat, drain, add bar-b-que sauce, chopped onions and mix well.
Shape each half biscuit in a circle and place in an 
ungreased muffin cup, pressing the sides upward.
Spoon meat into cups & top with cheese.
Bake 10-15 min.

My hubby used to sing this silly song about Bar-b-que. 
I don't have a video..we didn't own one in the college days but here are the words:)

I love chicken,
And I love meat.
I love anything that tastes so sweet.
I love my momma,
And I love my horse,
But most of all I love that bar -b-bar bar-b-que sauce!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

He was my dad.

He was my dad.
I think of him often, how he help to shape my life, how he lived his life, and how he continues to teach me even though he has been gone for 23 years. Most of what I know are facts. I was only 26 when he died so I feel like I didn't really get to know him as a "person" instead of a dad.

Who was he?

He was the oldest of 11 children and slept on a back porch most of his life. He walked home 7 miles from football practice. He was a fast runner, an all state football player, and it took 5 guys to bring him down on the football field.
Daddy is 16 years, the one in the dark suit in the back.

He sometimes went to school barefoot and took a sandwich of onions and potatoes. He was the only sibling in his family to get a college education. He was a good dancer in his teens. He was absolutely honest  and when he committed, it was 100%. He loved the color purple, homemade Bluebell ice cream, being in love with my Mom, taking care of our pool, and his children. I remember his gravely voice, serious eyes, and stocky build that allowed us to say "My dad is bigger than your dad!" 
I remember crawling up in his lap the day we found out he had cancer and hearing him say "It's okay, I will pick out my grandchildren in heaven." After 14 grandchildren and 2 great grand children, we have figured out he likes the feisty ones because that is what keeps coming:)

As father's go...he was strict and protective. Boys were terrified of him which I am sure is what he had in mind!
Every year on my birthday when I got dollars equal to my age he would say "I wish I could give you that amount with a zero at the end of that number."

Daddy wasn't overly open and affectionate so I was a bit surprised after my wedding my Mom said he was teary all day because his baby girl was gone.

Whatever I didn't know about him, I knew he loved us and took care of his duties in life almost until his last breath. I will always miss him..calling him at work and telling him the latest funny thing the kids did...sneaking the pralines out of the ice cream in the freezer so he would fuss:)...watching him play with my children...hearing him sing Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond) and a thousand other memories. 
He was all of these things but mostly to me he was my dad and that was enough.
Happy Father's Day Daddy...still missing you...
Remember those signing pillows from the late 70's?
He signed mine:) 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pruning the roses, pruning me:)

Yesterday I spent 2 hours pruning my rose bushes at the cottage. 

The sun was hot and the breeze not much cooler as I kept rolling up my sleeves hoping to prevent a farmers tan.
I always come up with the best sermons to myself while I am working in the yard:)
Nature has a way of teaching lessons we don't easily see in our modern, hard surface, million mile a minute world. 

Lesson 1: There is no way to cut roses fast, believe me I tried but the thorns got me every time:(
Life translation-when I make decisions on the fly I make mistakes that are not only unnecessary but they sting!

Lesson 2: Sometimes you have to cut one blooming flower at the end because the rest of the stem is bad.
Life translation-Are all of the things I do really important? Just because it looks good at the end was the journey to get there worth it? This really applies to time and silly things that don't really matter.

Lesson 3: The more I pruned the more I saw that needed pruning!
Life translation-Wow, this one can be discouraging. I believe in this life we are meant to improve, make progress and learn from everything we do or don't do! Each bad habit I break or each time I manage to improve something in myself I notice that something else is there I need to work on! Its like plucking eyebrows... when you think you are done go stand by a window in the sun!
As I went deeper into the layers of the rose bushes I found hidden stems and roses that were dead. The rose bush surface looked great at that point and I thought I was done until I looked closer. Taking a look at one's real self is so painful sometimes and it is easier to just keep plugging along with the status quo. However I learned from my roses that the bush looks best and more roses will bloom is I cut the bad stems and dead booms.

Lesson 4: When I don't actually go to the cottage and water my roses some of them will die.
Life translation-I am a busy, busy girl and sometimes I neglect the basics-like watering my soul with the scriptures so that I will never thirst as I study about the One who is the Living Water. No matter how much I trim and mulch my roses, it I do not give them water they will die. I let too many days go by without watering my roses thinking oh they will be fine until they are not.... literally at the cottage, and symbolically for me.

Lesson 5: Roses are arguably the worlds most beloved flower and yet they are the most persnickety about their care and keeping. 
Life translation-All women know that we do a really bad job of taking care of ourselves. I have had lectures from two doctors this week about not taking care of myself and that my body will give out if I do not change the way I treat it....which is working beyond pain and tiredness for the last 30 years.
Now I am not talking about neglecting our children or families like the woman who wouldn't help her child with his homework because she was watching a movie, or the women who act like divas, or the women who spend extraordinary time in pursuit of youth or glory.
We as women do really have the most important job of all..the care and keeping of all we love. How can we possibly do that well if we are dying physically, mentally or spiritually?

Lesson 5: Unless I stop, look, and enjoy my roses I will miss the most beautiful blooms.
Annabelle my grandbaby is 19 months now and the whole world is exciting to her. She stops and smiles for things I have long stopped noticing...a bee buzzing around a flower, the lizard hiding on a plant, an ant marching across the driveway, the wonder of the fountain my the pool, the marvel at all the shoes in my closet:) 
Taking her for a walk around my yard and home is eye opening. Life is meant for joy. This earth was created to us to have joy! Joy is not the relentless pursuit of entertainment. It is not having everything perfect on your body or in your home. Joy is quiet and pleasing to ones soul. It is a feeling that this is what heaven feels like. It is the feeling when greeting a long lost friend or giving to the needy, or volunteering our time for a worthy cause. Joy is here all around us...we just need to look:)

There are probably a few more lessons but I will stop the sermon now:) Just think... all of that came from pruning a couple of rose bushes! I probably should stay away from that nasty hedge I need to cut down:) 

I should love to be a freshly trimmed rose bush ever blooming with beautiful flowers:)....of course this takes work and lots of it!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Candidate

I have a confession to make...I am a politician and I detest politics. 
No one explained to me that serving on the school board meant I would be a "working for free" politician. 
I have always spent time at our schools, helping with the reading program, teaching old folk songs like "She'll becoming around the mountain", working the book fair, monitoring at track & field....and on and on... times 4 kids in 10 different schools spanning 21 years. seemed almost the next step to run for the school board. Boy was I naive about the time required, the hot issues at hand, the messages and phone calls from people wanting help and meetings till midnight!
When I was approached about running I did spend 3 days pondering the possibility of such a quest, seeking direction from heaven. Next time someone wants me to run-I won't even ask heaven:)

I am now a veteran politician having just completed my first year including 25 hours of training. eye! Learning school finance alone is enough to make one looney, not to mention the constant changing of policy set forth by state and federal agencies. 

Still there are sweet, non politician moments like announcing the winners for the teacher grants and giving out diplomas at graduation. I especially love looking into the eyes of the kids graduating from our alternative high school. These are the kids with hard knocks who are still trying to make something of themselves. 

I like the camaraderie I feel with many of the staff and the funny pictures the elementary kids drew for school board week. 

I love our schools and town and really hope that I can make a difference. 
A politician? Yes, but hopefully in name only and not actions:)

I created a first ever album just about me and something I have done. 
I did my One event/One design for a simple clean look.

My children have teased me mercilessly about this whole process. "So mom, are you going to run for mayor next?" NO!