Monday, September 27, 2010

random thoughts

  • fun date night with Shawn & Nicole @ Hamburger Works
  • they serve the best deep-fried zucchini on the planet.
  • how cool is the Texaco T... also for Thompson!
  • 106 degrees today. I am so done with summer.
  • loved the series premier of Hawaii Five-O
  • found out that one of the lead characters Scott Caan is James Caan's son. No wonder! 
  • I've always been a James Caan fan.
  • I'm so going to make these chalkboard tags.
  • what an ending to the Arizona Cardinals win yesterday.
  • I want to master the art of bread making. No Knead Bread was highly recommended.
  • although isn't kneading what it's all about?
  • a friend of ours made a video of Randy's song I Want To Know. Thanks so much Mitch!
  • you can watch it HERE on YouTube. 
  • oh, and vote for Kurt Warner on Dancing with the Stars tonight!

Friday, September 24, 2010


That's me. In the middle. 
We had never done that particular mount before.
But for some reason we thought we would try it for yearbook picture day. 
My freshman year.
So with much fear and trepidation, we did it. 
And they just kept moving further and further apart. And I thought I was being split in two. 
It could have gone terribly wrong.
But all's well that ends well.
The end.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Grand Canyon

Sometimes I have this deep longing to sit at the edge of the Grand Canyon and
be still and experience the bigness of God. His awesome power.
Grasping His all-consuming creation.
I had those same euphoric feeling when I saw the ocean for the first time too. 
Seriously changed my life.

Those feeling are recreated every time we take loved ones to see the Canyon
 for the very first time. 
I get so excited & emotional as though I'm seeing it for the first time!
Well, four years ago we took my brother Gary & his wife Kathy and it was the best trip!

Experiencing the Grand Canyon with my brother was truly a dream come true.

Happy Birthday Gary! 
Have the best day ever!
Next time let's hike down to the Colorado River! 

My friend Nancy & her husband Terry just returned from a trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Be sure to check out Nancy's blog as she has just started posting about the trip. Can't wait to go someday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Red Hutch

My red hutch has an interesting story to tell. 
Randy's Mamaw Bean bought the buffet bottom part back in the 40's and when she died in 1978, Randy's parents inherited the piece and several years later gave it to us. 
We eventually found the unfinished hutch part at our JC Penney Outlet store. 
So, one day I decided to take on my very first painting project and proceeded to paint the two pieces red. I was so nervous, but knew right away I had found a new passion... painting furniture! 
The paint was in the 'oops' section at Home Depot for $2.00. All the eclectic knobs & pulls were found on clearance at Target over a period of many years. I especially love the spoon handles. Anyway, I could not have been more pleased with the final results!

I've been collecting PYREX for over 25 years and you can read those stories by clicking-
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kohl's deal!

Ok, first of all, it wasn't till I set these items down on the counter at Kohl's did I realize they all matched. I must have had pumpkins and autumn on my mind. Or my new blog banner.

Anyway, this morning Randy & I stopped at Kohl's because my $10.00 off with $20.00 purchase coupon was soon to expire. And I couldn't let that happen. So off to the clearance racks I went in search of deals.

  • Randy was in need of everyday shoes. Retail $65.00 ~ clearance $19.50! That would be pumpkin accenting on the shoes, which Randy could care less about. But I do.
  • I've been on the hunt for a stainless steel clip-on water bottle. Only the pumpkin colored ones were on clearance. It was meant to be. Retail $9.99 ~ clearance $2.99!
  • Tunic top for our upcoming Women's Retreat in October, with plans to wear it over a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans. Love the crocheted straps. Retail $20.00 ~ clearance $4.00! Again, think pumpkin spice lattes and autumn leaves at Lost Canyon near Williams, Arizona. Heaven.
Oh and on top of the $10.00 off coupon that I got in the mail, I had a 20% coupon using my Kohl's charge. (which I pay off when I get the bill)

Retail price~ $95.00
Clearance price ~ $26.50
coupon in mail ~  $10.00 off
20% off charge ~  $3.30 off

Grand Total ~  $14.42 !!!  YEAH !!!

I'm linking up with these parties-
~  Toot Your Horn Tuesday

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Raspberries are on sale this week for 99 cents! YEH!
Raspberries are my most favorite berry, so I just had to post my favorite raspberry pics. And raspberry red & aqua blue happen to be my favorite colors.
The above pic was taken in Wisconsin a couple years ago, at a roadside stand shortly after we crossed the Mississippi River between LaCrosse and Galesville.
We won't be driving back to WI this October, so I'm planning to blog and post pics from those autumn trips back to the farm. Just to get me through this season. It's still in the triple digits here in Phoenix, so humor me while I occasionally take trips down memory lane.
* Do you see who else is admiring the berries? Enlarge and look closely.

This picture is on my screen saver slideshow. So when Emolyn saw these vine-rippened raspberries this past weekend, she said to her Mimi "I want those! I like those!". So we'll be snacking on pints of these beauties when she spends the day with me tomorrow.

Oh the memories of picking raspberries & blackberries as a young girl. Painful memories I might add... but well worth the ripping and shredding of clothes. 
We'd seriously clothe every inch of our body... leaving no skin unclothed. 
Makes no sense to me why something so exquisite is clothed in such thorniness.
And PS- I happen to think the fly in that top pic is sorta cute.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

melmac collection

I love the look, the feel, the colors and designs of melmac (or melamine) dishware. I found these cups in a plastic bag at Savers many years ago for $2.99, without the saucers. But they sure come in handy when I need little containers while crafting. Don't you just love little containers?!

Well yesterday after my Tuesday morning Bible Study, I found a Boonton sugar bowl! Oh my gosh, seriously looks & feels like porcelain. And for a mere 50 cents at my favorite little thrift store in Phoenix. Someday I will find the creamer. I just know it!

I'm actually quite obsessed with the designer of Boonton melmac ware from the 40's- Belle Kogan. She is one of the most fascinating women I've ever read about. Click her name and be inspired.

Belle Kogan (1902-2000) was a Russian born industrial designer and is regarded as the first prominent female in the profession in the United States as well as one of the founders of the profession itself.

 She not only designed for Boonton but also for Bakelite Corp., Red Wing Pottery, Libbey Glass and lots more. 

She was even asked to design a line of ZIPPO lighters in 1938. They are considered to be extremely rare. You can check them out HERE.

Who is inspiring you today?
Check out these thrifty link parties-

Sunday, September 12, 2010

best kitchen moments

THIS is why I love my new kitchen! Our family gatherings allow us to be all together, doing what we love to do... in the same room! So on Saturday we gathered together to celebrate Randy's birthday. It was the best day!

I made my first apple pie of the season in my new kitchen that morning and it was finger-lickin good! And can I just say, my new cold quartz counter tops rocked & rolled out the best pie crusts! 

I love my family. I love listening to them laugh and tell stories. Nothing does a Mother good than knowing her children love each other and enjoy being together.

My Mom made two pies most every week while growing up. Yes, we had desserts for every meal. So I learned to make pie crusts from the best. (although she uses lard, I use Crisco)

I love that the girls scrapbook while the boys entertain them. And that Emolyn is in her own imaginative world of play and make-believe. Oh I love that little girl.

I love that amidst all the storytelling, Emolyn is in her mommy nurturing mode, serving her Uncle Tyler a nice cold beverage. And yes, she loves wearing glasses "so I can do my jobs".

And while Emolyn has gone back to her little kitchen, Tyler is being the sweet uncle, sipping away in her plastic kitchen goblets.

Shawn & Tyler love singing together and they sound amazing. Emolyn is their biggest fan, especially when they sing her favorite song Unwinding Cable Car. Remember, her Daddy has been the stay-at-home Daddy, so she's been exposed to more genres of music than most typical 2 year olds.
Our son Shawn lead worship this morning and introduced a song he wrote and I wept through the whole song. It was filled with such deep truth and profound meaning. Just what I needed to hear. My heart was full, grateful that each of my children walk closely with Jesus.

Emolyn loved painting while her Mommy & Aunt Miranda were scrapbooking. She is only 2 1/2 but sat for a good hour, deep in thought as she expressed herself on paper. I was blown away.
Emolyn's baby sister is due in 3 weeks. She has already stayed inside her Mommy 4 weeks longer than Emolyn did and we could not be more grateful. The reality of this little person entering our lives is hitting me big-time. October 5th could not come soon enough!

Friday, September 10, 2010

kitchen soap dispenser

It is probably no surprise to most of you that I am not a minimalist. In fact, quite the opposite. But I have my own little theory as to why that is. I think it has something to do with how I was raised. My Mom was not a saver, in fact she is not sentimental about most anything from the past. So as a result of her inability to see things as worth preserving, I am still a little traumatized that she threw away my Charmin' Chatty doll when I left for Phoenix at age 20. Which would then make sense why I became overly sentimental about everything. And because I am the saver and collector that I am... my kids are more the minimalists. See what I mean. Not sure if this theory holds true to the rest of you.

But when it came to the installation of my 10 foot slab of quartz counter top in my new kitchen, I was on unfamiliar grounds. Because you see, for a very brief moment, I became a minimalist. And how's that, you ask? Well, I was adamant that they drill one hole, and one hole only. And that would be for my Grohe faucet, and my Grohe faucet only.
Not a hole for a sprayer.
Not a hole for a dish soap dispenser.
Not a hole for a hand soap dispenser.
Not a hole for a hot water dispenser.
Not a hole for a garbage disposal button.

And I have never regretted my decision.

Ok, I was also swayed by friends that pointed out that their dispensers were either always empty or broken.

I did have more fun searching for the perfect hand soap & lotion dispenser that I can remove from the counter on a whim. Found this sumptuous peppermint set at Marshalls for $5.99. Seriously, I could eat this stuff! The reason I looked high & low for just the right dispenser... well, I have plans to replace the lotion with dish soap. My husband is going to duplicate the label and replace the lotion label with a dish soap label. And I wanted the bottles to be tinted, so the color of my Dawn soap wouldn't clash with whatever hand soap was in the other bottle.

Have I told you that I'm also ADD and OCD?
I can see you all shaking your heads...

It all makes sense now doesn't it.

*** Added Sept. 20th- 

Randy made the labels that allow me to have easy access to my dish soap! YEH!

Thank you Randy!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Fuller Brush

kitchen broom
I am a huge fan of the Fuller Brush Company.
I have memories of the Fuller Brush man coming to the farm and selling my Mom brooms and brushes and such. So years ago when I volunteered to head up my husband's Aunt Evelyn's estate sale, I got all sentimental over her Fuller Brush kitchen broom. I knew it had to come home with me and it has resided in our home ever since.
People, these brooms last forever!

I would wager to say that Aunt Evelyn's broom is well over 40 years old! It's recently been relegated to outdoor sweeping. SO I'm thinking it's time to order a new one... which will be my very first brand new broom... that will most likely outlive me!

I'm actually kind of sad that a Fuller Brush person will not be coming to my home... that I will be ordering my kitchen broom online. How very impersonal.

But hey, while I'm at it, I may as well order a clip-on dust pan. They seem so handy-dandy. I cut lots of hair and always seem to be looking for my dust pan, so why not one that clips onto my kitchen broom.

Yes, I went to cosmetology school and worked as a hairdresser for one year before I moved to Phoenix 33 years ago. Never worked in another shop, but have cut hair and given perms for friends & family ever since.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

High Tea Baby Shower

Yesterday I hosted a baby shower for my daughter-in-law Nicole... an afternoon High Tea baby shower that was everything and more than I hoped it would be. So, let's start at the very beginning. (sorry, I'm watching The Sound of Music

Anyway, I've always wanted to experience an afternoon High Tea, so why not at the baby shower I'm hosting. It was a family baby shower, so I knew I was in good hands. First off, I wanted the party favors to be personalized Hollyhock seed packets. So my wonderful husband took one of my Hollyhock pictures and designed the perfect packets with a reminder in the bottom corner that says "Sprouting 10-5-10"- the date when the baby is scheduled to be born. Then I filled the packets with seeds harvested from the very Hollyhocks pictured on the packets. 

Sprouting 10-5-10!
* September & October happen to be the best months for planting seeds in Phoenix. 

Then I googled High Tea and read everything I could, from recipes to etiquette to tablescapes. I highly recommend  the two tea sandwiches I made for the party, Putting on the Ritz Egg Salad and Chicken Splendor. YUM! Nicole requested my signature Lemon-cream cheese cupcakes, so I decided not to do the usual High Tea scones. And as you can see, Emolyn loves cupcakes!

"Frosting & sprinkles are the best!"

The theme of the baby shower was SISTERS. Nicole is going to be raising sisters, so I asked each of the guests to come prepared to share stories about them and their sister. It was such a sweet, memorable, precious time of sharing. Nicole was so encouraged and blessed.

Nicole was glowing & radiant the whole day!

My sister-in-law Carol makes the most beautiful baby blankets and gifted Nicole with six of them. Oh my gosh, they are so soft and Carol's crocheted handiwork is simply outstanding!

And get this! Carol also made six matching blankets for Emolyn's baby dolls!

Oh but it gets even better! Carol made me four baby doll blankets for Mimi's house, when Emolyn comes over to play with baby dolls Suzi, Joey, Betty & Angel. I was beyond thrilled! 
Thank you Carol! 
Be sure to check out Carol's Etsy shop ~ Cherished Baby by Carol ~  and do some shopping for that cherished someone in your life!

I'm linking up with -