Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"V" as in a VERY Blessed Easter for Alphabe-Thursday

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  I sure hope Ms. Jenny will be back soon.  I miss her!

This week we are studying the letter "V" as in a VERY Blessed Easter.  More on that later.  I need to catch up now.

Last week I lost my almost 21 year old cat and I was kind of in a funk.  I apologize for all the E-mails I've failed to respond to.  I'm probably going to just clear a lot of them out and start over.  I also missed my letter "U" post.  You know, "U" as in UH-OH.  "UH-OH, I missed class last week." 

OK, now I'm caught up.

If you celebrate Easter I hope you have a VERY Blessed Easter. 

I've been playing with my dolls again and thought I'd share some pictures of the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  (Click to enlarge them.)
In case you are wondering these are all Vogue Ginny Dolls.  Some are vintage from the 1950's and others are modern day and vintage reproduction dolls all by the Vogue Doll Company.  I grew up playing with Ginny in the 1950's and I love her as much today as I did back then.

You can learn more about Ginny by visiting Carolyn's Rock and Roll Ginny site.

Ginny was pre-Barbie.  By the time Barbie came out I considered myself "too old" to play with dolls.  Little did I know that I would be playing with them once again at 68!

Thank you for visiting.  Now head over to Ms. Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Gracie Girl...

It was the night before Thanksgiving 1993 and the doorbell rang.  One of Reid's high school friends was standing there with a kitten.  As he approached our front porch he had noticed a kitten sleeping on the lap of a scarecrow that I had sitting on a bale of hay.  He brought the kitten inside and she never left.  She had found her forever home.

We went around the neighborhood trying to determine if she belonged to anyone.  A couple of people told us she belonged to someone on the next block, but they were away for Thanksgiving.  When they came home we were told that she was a stray that had been hanging around and they had fed her once in a while, but weren't interested in keeping her.  So, we became her people and named her Grace.  After all, Grace always comes before Thanksgiving dinner.

Yesterday, Grace's time on earth came to an end.  She would have been 21 years old this summer.  We figured she was 3 to 4 months old that November evening, so she was probably born in July or August of 1993.

In recent years she had become thinner, but never really acted like and old cat until the last couple of weeks.  I noticed she was drinking more water and the Veterinarian said it was probably to compensate as her kidneys slowly started to fail.  She stopped eating a week ago and we tried everything to get her to eat, but it was all in vain.  It was her time.

I'm afraid I was lulled into thinking that she'd go on forever.  She had been doing so well as an old cat and I had hoped she'd set some kind of longevity record.

She was such a sweet cat and never a bit of trouble.  She loved our dogs and would spend time grooming them.  They loved it.  Here she is with Shelby.
After Shelby died she did the same thing with Sophie.  In fact, as recently as a couple of weeks ago she was grooming Sophie.

She never really liked being held, but she loved  to be pet.  She would hit my leg or arm with her paw to let me know.  As she grew older I always stopped what I was doing to pet her.  The night before she died she slowly walked over to me and I sat on the bedroom floor and pet her for about a half an hour. Then she decided it was enough and went back to her bed.  By morning her condition had really deteriorated and I brought her to the Veterinarian for the last time.  It was the least I could do for my good old friend.

I've been looking through old pictures and I can't find any photographs from 1993.  I know they must be in a box somewhere.  It was long before we moved to digital.  I'm sure I'll find some pictures of her as a kitten one of these days.

I do have some of my favorites saved though.
  For a while she liked sitting in the warm dryer.  She was a very young cat here.

Here she is watching some Peregrine Falcons on a webcam.  This might have been around 2000.

Checking out some of my doll stuff.

Sleeping with Zoom - 2010.

I'm going to really miss her, but I like to think she's with Jim now.  He used to like to tell me that he had one dog and I had the cats.  One year I gave him a plaque that said, "Heaven's the place where all the dogs you've ever loved come to greet you."  He took it into the office.  After he died the people at work packed up his office.  In one of the boxes I found the plaque. He had taken a piece of paper and written the words "and cats" and taped it to the plaque so it now read, "Heavens the place where all the dogs and cats you've every loved come to greet you."  He loved the cats just as much as the dogs.  He never had me fooled.

I'll miss my Gracie Girl (that was my pet name for her), but I know she's in good hands.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

"T" as in the TEAM TOILS for Alphabe-Thursday

It's "T" day for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  The letter "T" couldn't have come up at a better time.  This past weekend some of my TEAM helped me TOIL in the front yard.

It was time to get the yard in shape for Spring.  Here we usually go right from Winter temperatures into Summer temperatures so I wanted to get the mulch down before it got hot. 

When we moved in the front had white rocks edging the bed, but I wanted a different look.  The last time Keith visited he lugged the white rocks into the backyard for me.  I dug a trench so the landscapers wouldn't have any trouble edging and keeping the grass out of the bed.  We have St. Augustine grass which has runners and they can easily creep into places where they shouldn't go.

I like to use Pine Bark Nuggets for mulch because I find they last longer.  I always put 4 or 5 layers of newspaper down, wet the paper, and then dump the mulch on top.  It takes a while for the newspapers to decompose and they help keep weeds to a minimum.
Keith opening a bag of mulch.

Reid wetting down the newspapers behind the bushes while Keith spreads mulch.

The old lady spreading the mulch just so!

Getting all the newspaper covered before it blew all over the neighborhood.  Wouldn't you know it would be a windy day.  We had to work quickly.

I think it looks much better.

I've since planted Monkey Grass along the edge to help keep the Pine Bark Nuggets contained.  I don't know if you have Monkey Grass where you live, but it's dark green grass like stuff that eventually spreads and thickens.  I forgot to take a picture today and it's dark outside as I type this, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Now I need your help.  When I was looking for a place I almost didn't look at this house because I thought it lacked curb appeal due to a strange window in the stairwell.  I ended up falling in love with the interior and thought perhaps I could do something to help the ugly window.  Here it is...

The builder never put shutters on that window.  Do you think shutters would help?  I like the bushes and would hate to have to move or transplant them, but I think there should be something with height under that window.  Would some kind of ivy look OK?  Maybe a trellis?  There is some room behind the bushes, but not enough to plant a shrub.  I'm open to any and all suggestions, but remember this is a semi-tropical climate and not everything can survive here.

I also tucked a few Gnomes in among the bushes in the front and then hid a couple of naughty Gnomes behind them.  They're to the left and right of the front door.  I wonder if anyone will say anything when they come to the door?  Those naughty, naughty Gnomes!
Thanks for visiting and now head to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.

Thanks Keith and Reid for all your TOILING!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Doll Room Reveal...

People have asked to see pictures of my doll room in the new house.  The pictures have been delayed because of the stupid computer crash.  I wasn't even bothering to take pictures for a while, but now that I'm using PicMonkey I'm back in the photo business.

The doll room is far from finished, but there are no longer boxes or large plastic containers on the floor.  My friend Sherelyn came one day and helped me unpack some of the stuff.  A lot of my little doll rooms aren't completely set up and the shelves sometimes have things just stuffed in there out of the way, but one of these days I'll get it done.  A lot of the dolls aren't dressed and are patiently waiting for some attention.  Please excuse their appearance.

When this house was built back in the 1980's there were two living areas...a living room and a den.  This was the living room which the previous owners used as an office.  The lady that lived here told me that her husband built all the shelves.  When I first saw this room I knew it would be my doll room!

With that all are some pictures.

Welcome to the doll room!

The Chatty Cathys are front and center.  I don't have them all set up yet and their little area needs some more work.  My brother-in-law worked for American Greetings years ago and these were some cases taken out of a store.  The card racks would have been on top.  This is two of them back to back.  The drawers are great for storage.

Charmin Chatty is there too.  Normally, one of the cats would be sleeping in Chatty's bed.  (It's become Roscoe's favorite place to sleep.)

I call these two my "make believe grandkids."  They're sitting in Sunday School chairs.  I found these one year at the Round Top Antique Show.  They're just like the ones we used to sit in at Sunday School back in the 1950's.

I keep some dolls that are special to me in this doll case.  My favorite doll is the Vogue Ginny Doll and there are some vintage reproduction Ginny Dolls on the top shelf.

This case hold my collection of AA Ginny Dolls.  All are reproductions except for the 1954 AA Ginny that my friend Karen left to me.  She is on the bottom shelf in the center.  I love the AA dolls.  I think the clothes look so much better on them.

I have two of these cabinets that I bought for $50 each at Home Depot on clearance some years back.  The shelves are nice and deep and I use them to set up rooms and scenes.  I use the bottom shelves for storage.
 They have doors I can close to keep cats out!  I really need to get all the dolls organized and the rooms set up right.  I usually keep my vintage Ginnys in these two cabinets so they're not exposed to the light.

I keep props stored on top of the cabinets.  I've had an idea for a Christmas pageant scene ever since I bought the church at a store that was going out of business.  It's really cute with little Ginny size pews and hymnals.  A doll friend gave me the school bus.  It's great for when Ginny goes back to school in September.  The dolls also have a blue Mustang. (I used to have one the same color.)

On the built in shelves I have dolls and doll books.  I also have some of the kids' childhood books and Fisher Price toys.  Also, photos and some of my childhood books.  This shelf has some of my Mickey Mouse Club themed dolls.

I've tried to combine my two loves in one...dolls and NFL football.  (I know it's a strange combination.)  Yes, Ginny is a Texans football fan too!  That's actually one of the boy dolls that Vogue makes wearing a football uniform that I made.  The helmet was an antenna ball that one of the fast food places gave out the first year the Texans came into being.  I pulled out the ball and the helmet fit on the doll's head.  It's a flexible plastic.  The ones they now sell at the stadium are a hard plastic and won't go on the doll.

This is the Brownie/Girl Scout shelf.  They all belong to troop 33.  That was my childhood troop number.  I bought all the uniforms on eBay, added the troop number, and made most of the hats.

I wanted to have Cub Scouts too, so Carla (she sells on eBay) made the shirts and shorts and I added the Cub Scout patches, scarves, and hats.  She also sewed the Den Mother's skirt and blouse.

In this corner I have some more doll rooms.  These are modular shelves that were sold at Target at one time.  I was so disappointed when they were discontinued before I had all that I wanted.  They're nice and deep...deeper than book shelves. I had Plexiglas cut to size and it's attached  to each shelf with Velcro to keep cats and dust out.   I haven't finished setting all these rooms up either.  That big thing to the left is a cat climbing tree.  I share the doll room with cats!  They love watching lizards out the window.

Now you've seen my happy place.  This is where I go to relieve some of the stress in my life.  I can't help but smile when I walk into this room.  Now I have a place where all my dolls can be together.  Before they were spread out around the house.  In fact, it wasn't until we were moving over here that I finally realized how much doll stuff I owned.  My husband used to say, "Betty, you've got an awful lot of stuff."  He was right!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Catch up...

OK, I was able to download something from Fuji's website so I can get the darn pictures off my camera with Windows 8.  I'm able to use PicMonkey to resize pictures, so I'm back in business there. I still don't like Windows 8, but I guess I can live with it (as if Microsoft has given me a choice). 

I've avoided taking pictures over the past several months because they'd just have to stay on the camera.  Now I'm back in business!

Here we go...
Reid on his birthday, January 28, 2014

Keith and his new car...probably February 2014?

Baby waiting for dinner to be served.  (My cats live like Kings and Queens.)

Murphy napping in the laundry basket.

My sweet Grace looking out the window.  She will be 21 years old this summer.  (Unfortunately, I didn't realize the camera was on the wrong setting, but I still like this picture.)  She couldn't look out the windows at our old house because they were up too high and she couldn't easily get to them.  Now she can watch the world go by.

That takes care of all the pictures left on the camera!