Sunday, January 31, 2010

Check out Jenny's blog...a fun read and a contest!

Jenny Matlock "off on a tangent" is having a drawing for a school room clock (there's a choice of colors) over on her blog. It's now through February 6th.
Normally I don't do these contest things, but in order to enter a forth time I had to post this contest on my blog. In this case I don't mind doing it because her blog is so much fun to read and I welcome the opportunity to tell you about it. Even if you don't want to enter go over and check out her blog. I only found it recently and now when I have a little extra time I go over and read her past posts.
I found this one the other night. It's about her Brownie troop Christmas gift exchange when she was a child. I couldn't help but laugh. Click here to read it. (Note: When I published the post the link didn't work, so I copied and pasted it again. If the link still doesn't work just go back and find her post on December 21, 2009.)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Introducing Hazel for PINK SATURDAY

This week I'm introducing you to Hazel and her friend. Hazel was the centerpiece at a Christmas doll luncheon that I went to in December of 2008. Much to my surprise I won this beautiful doll. Hazel was made by Pat Black and she was also our table hostess. She is a very talented lady. Look at Hazel's adorable face and how beautifully it's painted. See her dress with the PINK ribbons and trim. I'm afraid my photography skills do not do this doll justice. She's sitting in a trunk that was covered with brocade fabric on the outside and the inside is decorated with lots of cute accessories.

Everyone at the table received a miniature version of the center piece. This was the one I received. As I recall some were sleeping and some were awake. Mine was taking a snooze. She also has PINK ribbons and trim.

And in this picture you can see the outside of the trunk and the beautiful brocade fabric with plenty of PINK.
It was a dark, yucky day outside and I'm afraid my pictures turned out a little dark. I had these dolls sitting on the dining room table right under the light. I thought the light and the flash would make the pictures a little brighter, but it didn't.

For a list of this week's PINK SATURDAY participants and for information on how you can join in the fun go to Beverly's blog by clicking on the PINK SATURDAY logo on my sidebar, or clicking here.
Last week I enjoyed visiting Betty at She's Sew Pretty. Drop by and check out her creative blog.

Thank you Beverly for hosting this weekly event.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Today is our son Reid's 34th birthday and we are excited about celebrating this milestone. We all have a tendency to take birthdays for granted...especially our children's birthdays. It's always assumed they'll outlive us. Most of us don't dare to think otherwise.

October 13, 2009 was a wake up call for us. One day Reid seemed perfectly healthy and the next day we learned that he had a large mass in his chest and a tumor in his spinal canal. Talk about scary!

After spinal surgery, and a week on pins and needles waiting for the pathology report, we learned that he had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. On January 8, 2010 we learned that he is in remission! He still has to finish out the six months of chemo, but things are really looking good right now. Yes, we'll still have to be concerned about the chemo side effects that might follow him for the rest of his life, but the cancer has been knocked on its "you know what." And although he still doesn't have all the feeling back from the chest down he is walking much better and has recently graduated from a walker to a cane.

We have so much to be thankful for this year.

We'll actually go out for dinner this weekend to celebrate. This isn't a good week for Reid. He had chemo on Saturday and will not feel much like eating until Friday or Saturday. That's OK, we'll wait.

Here are some pictures of Reid through the years.

September 1976

September 1977

March 1980

December 1982

3rd Grade Picture
(Can you guess what movie was popular?)

5th Grade Picture

High School Year Book Picture - 1994

2009 - You saw this picture at Christmas, but it's the most recent one I have of him. This is Keith (on the left) and Reid (on the right) making meatballs on Christmas Eve.
(And I've never said that with more sincerity.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I still haven't spotted our feral cat. She's been missing 5 days now. I know she must have been terrified when workmen came into the yard last Friday. The backyard, shed, and under the deck are where she feels safe and when they all arrived at once she must have taken off. I don't think she's used to going very far from her safe haven.

I called the city yesterday and she hasn't been picked up. I'll call again tomorrow. But something really strange happened today. This morning I thought I heard a cat crying and it didn't appear to be any of my inside cats. I was sure it came from outside and it sounded like out front. I walked around the perimeter of the house and called MaMa's name. No luck. Then this afternoon I heard it again. This time it sounded like out back. Again I walked around the perimeter of the house and called her name. Again, no luck.

I took out a bowl of canned cat food and put it under the deck. I'll check in a little while and see if any is gone. I won't be 100% sure though. There are neighborhood cats that come around from time to time. I have to actually see MaMa to know for sure if she's back.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday - B is for Build A Bear Workshop

I am linked to Alphabe-Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock "off on a tangent..." We'll be going through the alphabet and this week it's the letter "B." (I missed the letter "A" last week, but the first two weeks are practice weeks.) Each week we'll post something for that week's letter. For all the information on this event head on over to Jenny's blog.

A couple of years ago I made a Build A Bear Workshop for my Vogue Dolls (Ginny, Jeff, and Jill) and other similar sized dolls. I used both vintage and modern day dolls.














Monday, January 25, 2010


Today I'm participating in Second Time Around Tuesday hosted by Diane at A Picture Is Worth a 1000 Words. A list of this week's participants is on her blog.

I'm sharing my coffee table which I bought up near Round Top, Texas during the antique fair that's held twice a year. I found this table at one of the booths along the side of the road. It's made from an old door. What I like about this table is that it's already beat up and I don't have to worry about scratches or dings.
Here's the table cleared off so you can see what I mean.

No one has to worry about putting their feet up on the table and being comfortable, putting a drink down, etc. And it 's a great size too.


Thank you Carey at Chicory Nits for bestowing the Happy 101 award upon me!

I first stumbled upon Carey's blog when I participated in Second Time Around at A Picture Is Worth a 1000 Words. Carey has a beautifully designed blog and among other things she puts up pictures of her miniatures. Once I saw that I was hooked! Be sure and pay her a visit at Chicory Nits to see some of her creations! She's a new blogger, but off to a great start.

One of the conditions to receiving this award is to make a list of ten things that make you happy. Here's my list:

1. Our son being in remission from Hodgkin's Lymphoma!!! (That's definitely # 1!)
2. When our whole family is together...Jim, Keith, Troy and Reid.
3. When our sweet dog Sophie greets us. She's always happy.

4. When every single one of our six cats ignores us. Hey they're cats!

5. The rare occasions that MaMa our feral cat will allow me to pet her while she eats canned food. (This only happens with canned food - not dry - and only when she feels like it.)

6. Long walks outside when the weather is good...not too hot and humid and not too cold. My favorite place is Brazos Bend State Park in Texas.

7. Hot apple cider with whipped cream on top when it's cold.

8. Watching The Amazing Race on television and then discussing it at length with Keith and Reid. I love that show.

9. Playing with my doll collection. I don't just collect dolls...I actually play with them! I love setting them up in scenes. Just like when I was a child I play Ginny. That's what my friends and I used to say. "Come over to my house after school and we'll play Ginny.

10. Going up near Round Top, Texas when the Round Top Antique Fair takes place. I don't go to that...I go to Warrenton and surrounding areas where people set up in cow pastures and sell their wares.

You're supposed to pass the award on to someone else. I'm going to pass it on to Loretta at House of Houben. Loretta enjoys collecting dolls too and her blog contains doll pictures, old photographs, and much more. I originally met her on a Chatty Cathy doll list many years ago.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Yes, I know it's January 24, 2010. I actually considered leaving the Christmas stuff up and pretending I was ready early for Christmas this year, but Zoom had been climbing branches and the poor tree was looking pretty pathetic.

Jim took Reid to chemo on Saturday and I stayed home and started to take things down.

When he came home he helped with the disconnect.

And we packed and stacked boxes and containers.

God willing I'll get this stuff all over to the storage shed sometime this week.

Sunday morning Keith left for Austin with his cats. He works for the State of Texas and was here for work on Saturday.

Poor Keith. He probably won't like me telling you this, but his one cat always "poops" or "pees" in her carrier. I think she's trying to tell him she doesn't enjoy traveling.

After Keith got off I drove Reid down to MD Anderson for a shot that he has to get 24 hours after chemo to build up his white blood cells. (No photo...he doesn't consider this a photo op.)

And I'm worrying about our feral cat MaMa. I knew she'd be scared when we had the work done on the house Friday. I'm sure she panicked when she heard the workmen come into the back yard and I haven't seen her since Friday morning when I fed her. The food wasn't touched yesterday which surprised me with all the other neighborhood cats and possums around. This morning the food was eaten, but I don't know if it was her. Until I actually spot her I won't feel comfortable. I just hope she found a safe place nearby to hang out.

This has happened before. When my husband caught and brought her inside for Hurricane Ike she disappeared for a couple of days after he released her. It kept her safe, but she didn't appreciate it one bit. Here's a picture I took of her in 2004. It's not easy to get a picture of her since she tends to run when she see me holding something different in my hand (other than food). She's been with us for almost 9 years and I think she was probably close to a year old when we first spotted her. That's really old for a feral cat.

Please come home MaMa!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Viewing PINK SATURDAY blogs - My PINK SATURDAY post appears below this one

Last Saturday some kind bloggers told me how to view the blogs from the list at Beverly's blog "How Sweet The Sound." I had been going to her blog, clicking on a link, and then backing up into her blog again for the next one. It was very time consuming to do it that way. From the comments left on my blog I discovered I wasn't the only one that didn't know, so I'm going to share what I learned here.

When going down the list of PINK SATURDAY participants on her blog just right click on the link and it will open that blog in a new window. Then you just click it away when finished and go back to the window with Beverly's blog.

Someone else told me that you can just hold down the shift key while left clicking on the link and it will do the same thing.

So there are two ways to do it and both are a lot faster than backing up into Beverly's blog each time.

To visit Beverly's blog just click on the PINK SATURDAY logo on my sidebar. My PINK SATURDAY post appears below this one.

Vintage Cards and Chatty Cathy for PINK SATURDAY

Today for PINK SATURDAY I'm going to share some vintage birthday cards that I received as a child. My mother saved them intending to add them to my childhood scrapbook. On the back of each card she put the year and my initials. They're from 1951 or 1952 and they all have some PINK on them. For a list of PINK SATURDAY participants, and to find out what PINK SATURDAY is all about, just click on the PINK SATURDAY logo on my sidebar.

I love looking at these old vintage cards. They're so different from what is made today. Feel free to help yourself to any of these cards. I enjoy sharing.

This one is a pop-up card and is really cute when opened, but impossible to scan that way.

I must have been mad at my sister because my mother added the year and initials and I added a note about my sister. I had never noticed that before and it was only as I turned the card over to scan it that I saw what I had written.

I wasn't all bad. I found this note too.

Some of you might remember Chatty Cathy from your childhood. Do you remember this commercial?

Although I have some Chatty Cathys in my doll collection I never played with her as a child. She came out in 1959 and by then I was interested in boys...not dolls. This week I was in an antique store and spotted an old tin stove for my Chattys. It had been $40, but was marked down to $20. I know I've posted a picture of this doll in her pink dress before, but I wanted to show off my new/old stove and she is wearing pink.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jacking Up The House AKA The Constant Thrill of Home Ownership

I know this is going to seem strange to many of you, but today we had our house jacked up. Homes in this area are built on concrete slabs. Our soil is made up of mostly clay or "gumbo" as some call it. The soil expands and contracts with moisture and this eventually causes the slab to crack as it rises and falls. I've been told that this happens to approximately 50% of the homes sooner or later. I think it usually takes around 20 years or so for the cracks to appear, so new homes are safe for a while.

Our house needed to be jacked up again along the back. We have a lot of trees and they cause the soil to dry out even faster than normal. We're not about to cut trees down, so we have to have the house jacked up. During the summer we run soaker hoses around the perimeter of the house in hopes of keeping the soil from drying out under the slab. Unfortunately, last summer was very dry and it was a losing battle.

First they bring in jack hammers and open up any concrete. Then they dig holes next to where the piers hold up the slab. The piers were put in under the slab the first time the house was jacked up.

Then they position their jacks.

A man climbs in each hole and they jack up the house.

One of the men comes inside with a long level and keeps checking until the house is back where it belongs.

When they get done they take out their jacks and I believe it's then held up by concrete blocks. They fill in the holes, pour more concrete, and put the deck all back together again.

We knew the house needed to be jacked up because a couple of doors were sticking and some cracks opened up in the drywall. Within about five house everything was level again.