another recycled sweater....geee, ya think fall is on my mind?
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
This kind of weather automatically makes me loose all motivation to be creative or organized and it is a chore to think of what to cook for dinner each night without turning the oven on. Oh did I mention that I am at the age where I get hot flashes? Well. I am!
The other day I made a list of things I have been procrastinating doing since summer hit us right between the eyes! My husband scrawled : "It's the hormones talking" across the top of the page and I guess he is right about that! Most things I have been putting off aren't all that important, like painting the brass chandelier in the dining room, painting the kitchen cabinets, painting some bookshelves on the porch, etc. these are just things to change somethings looks but we can function just fine with the color that they are. You see, our AC was just recently fixed but at 100 plus degree heat indexes it's not like the house gets sooo cool. (high ceilings and old house combined make for heating and cooling challenges) So.... I am not that in to painting in the kitchen which heats up every day just by using the stove top! And the other things need to be painted outside, so....forget about it!
Putting away my clean clothes and my husband's clean clothes, so we don't have to rummage through laundry baskets every morning. I know from previous experience that I always find something at the bottom of the basket that I forgot I had! But...it doesn't kill us to rummage around a little now does it?
My closet is a mess and needs to be emptied of things I haven't worn in ages, which would probably help me with the putting the laundry away thing, since there actually would be room to hang things up!
The truth be told, the reason the laundry and closet thing are such issues are because I am not an organized thinker, I am just a thinker, so it is hard to come up with a practical system of storage. Hence my food pantry issues too which is also on my "list".
I have still been exercising inside, using my dvd's, but I am counting the days till I can resume my outside morning walks which clear my mind and help me to focus throughout the day!
Sorry for my whining! I know that I have nothing to complain about since my husband actually works OUTSIDE and IN cars and has managed to do so this summer without complaining or whining at all!
Alls I can say now is thank God for the invention of AC and we can make it to the days of September, where in Alabama, the high 90 degree weather usually fades in to the high 80s, then the low 80s, then the beautiful, glorious 70s!
I love you Fall and can't wait till you get here!
Monday, July 26, 2010
When I lived in Florida, I had dreams about both places, and now in Alabama I also dream about those two places.
The truth is, there are aspects of each place that I love.
Living in a city like New York, you have no idea how good your food choices are. Diners that you take for granted don't exist in many other places. Ever order a slice of Lemon Meringue Pie in a NYC diner? Then you know what I mean!
And the clothing choices! Bargain stores galore, not to mention street vendors to make your choices inexpensive yet trendy!
Walking! You can walk for miles in NYC and pass a million ( ok, maybe 25!), delis or candy stores where you can get some water or a soda or an Italian ice to energize you to keep going!
In almost everyplace I lived at in NY, I was right around the corner from stores, groceries, delis, bakeries, Pizza Places ( I can't even bring myself to touch on this painful subject), etc.
Public transportation! Buses, trains, subways could transport us to work, malls, the "City", upstate, and on and on. You could actually live there without a car and not even miss a beat. (everything just takes longer to get to) I could take two buses to work when I was a bank teller, but I opted for walking the first mile and just taking the second bus, and I did the same on the way home so that I effortlessly walked two miles a day!
Now, for country living... As a kid, I remember when we made the five hour drive from Queens to Little Meadows, going over the Throggs Neck Bridge, then the George Washington Bridge to escape the city traffic and crowds, to eventually get on Route 17, a scenic drive, to greener and greener and happier and happier landscapes. I always preferred going in this direction as the way back to the city was getting closer and closer to pollution, grumpy drivers and traffic jams.
My grandpa had electricity, but no plumbing or phone, but I loved our summers there. The TV had only one channel, but it didn't bother me at all because I spent most of my days outside playing or tagging along with my brother and Gramps to go fishing at a nearby lake. I even participated with catchings frogs, digging up worms and catching minnows from a pond for bait! I loved going out on the rowboat with them and occasionally got to hold a fishing pole over the edge to catch a sunfish myself! They were going for Bullfish, a type of catfish, or Bass, as the sunfish were too little and bony for good eating. All summer long, Gramps caught fish, cleaned them, wrapped them and froze them so that all winter long there was delicious fish to be had!
There was a one acre garden on the land, where peas, corn, squash, melons,cabbage and other things were grown, and I remember sitting on the back porch for hours, hulling the peas in to a big pot.
I spent more time reading and daydreaming on the big canvas hammock that was attached to an electrical pole on one side and an apple tree on the other! Sometimes it was my car, sometimes my boat, sometimes a carriage, sometimes even a horse!
I also spent a lot of time drawing, sketching, coloring, painting and writing poems.
Sunset, as I have mentioned on previous posts, was a magical time when the sky would glow in warm oranges and pinks, reflecting beautifully on the Appalachian mountains, and the graceful deer would come to graze at the end of our driveway.
I suppose the country life was more invigorating than the city life, but I could miss the access and convenience of city life, especially when teen years approached!
Now, I live in Alabama, in a small city, but right on the edge of beautiful countryside. The foothills of the Appalachian Mountain Range begin in this area, and It makes me happy to look at them every time I drive anywhere around here!
Thanks for taking the time to read this little bit of my history!
Friday, July 23, 2010
If I owned a bike, and if I could ride a bike, I would want to do something like this to it!
(because of my unusual childhood, I never really learned how) (although at 16 my friend tried to teach me but after a good fall, I was done!)
I realllly want to get an old farty adult trike to ride around town! A friend of ours just got one for 40.00 and all I could think was , "Thou shalt not covet your neighbors really cool vintage trike, "Thou shalt not covet your neighbors really cool vintage trike, "
Here in Alabama it is rare to see one, but of course when I lived in Florida, they did abound with silver haired riders and big flags flying, I think to avoid being run over by crazy Florida drivers!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Last year I was able to connect with relatives in Russia that I have never met yet, but have been in e-mail correspondence with. This third cousin of mine, her mother being my second cousin, and I have enjoyed getting to know each others family stories and history along with her sharing many pictures from Russia of family and the lovely city they live in .
It has been a blessing to me to have this contact, as my brother who lives in Virginia, and some cousins in Arizona which I have never been able to find, are the only living relatives on my mothers side. It is very comforting to learn about the customs, food and culture of half of my heritage. ( I am half Czech and half Russian)
My parcel contained many gorgeous post card packets of sites around Taganrog which is a port city in the south of Russia. I poured over all of the pictures choosing some favorites, although all were quite lovely! I especially enjoyed the cottage home of author Anton Chekhov, and wouldn't mind living in one as quaint and cozy as that!
A poetry book by Mikhail Lermontov was included with special markers on ones that my cousin liked or thought that I would like. I read almost all of them last evening, and I did very much enjoy them. (one page had Russian and the opposite page had English!)
And, a lovely Cossack Cook Book with many pictures and recipes of foods that look so yummy to me, also with English translation! I am certainly glad about that since I don't have ANY knowledge of the language and can't even fake a good Russian accent!
I am especially happy about this package from afar and for the kindness and affection of my two lovely cousins!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Last week Ray and I saw two deer run across the road in the park and we were hoping to see some again for Jenny and Rachel to see, and boy, we got way more than we were hoping for! At first we just saw a few in the woods and pulled the car over to get out and have a better view, when they started walking towards us. We were at the edge of the camping area, and apparently many deer come to graze there because people sprinkle grain for them to eat. Yesterday as we looked with astonishment, deer after deer emerged from the wood to cross the road, and go right past us to get some of that grain. My husband even got a few of them to eat from his hand! We went to the campground store to buy some bread (whole wheat) and drove back to see if the deer were interested in our meager offerings , and they were! They surrounded the car and one ate out of Ray's hand! We stopped counting at 16! 16 deer within reach of us with their beautiful "doe eyes" and graceful ways! After an hour or so of this we left to head towards home and stopped for some coffee at Jamokas in Boaz and it was actually delicious! Wow, what a day! Then we saw a rainbow in the sky from the road!
I can't help but feel that God gives us these little blessings to bring us some joy or just a smile on our faces. After all, we are so happy to do something sweet for our friends, family, kids or grand kids and we especially love seeing the delight they get from these things! I guess, it is something that He has put in our hearts that gives us a tiny glimpse of heaven!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
One of my favorite movies is "What About Bob", about a multi -phobic psychiatrist patient (Bill Murray) who is obsessed with finding where his new doctor( Richard Dreyfuss) is vacationing. One of Bob's memorable lines is "I sail, I sail!" when he conquers his fear of boats.
Well, I didn't have a fear of vintage 1950's porch gliders, I had more of a deep down desire to own one, even though most gliders at "The Longest Yard Sale" and "Antique Alley" were way too expensive for my budget. They could run from 100.00 to 200.00 for a rusty beat up one, to 5oo.oo for a beautifully restored one, so I just admired them from a distance. A few months ago, a local consignment shop had one freshly painted for 40.00 but in the few hours that I hesitated, then went back for it , it was sold...
And then there was yesterday...a phone call and text at 8 AM, alerting me to a promising looking yard sale nearby, then a phone call from my friend Nancy who went to it and told me there was an old glider there for 40.00!
It took me forever to get to the sale. I had to wait my turn in the shower, my husband came home early from work, a man registering people to vote, door to door, a trip to two banks, then finally the yard sale.
I saw the glider, but foolishly thought I had no room for it on my porch, so my husband and I left with a small vintage console and book shelves. Upon returning home, however, I looked at my porch and moved some things around and announced to my husband Ray that I probably could fit it, and I had always wanted one and he agreed I should go back and get it, offering 35.oo because it was all the money we had on us which included 3.oo in coins scraped up from around the house! Thankfully it was still there and the lady agreed to the price, so after borrowing a vehicle from a friend, we got it home.
Then Ray began to work his magic on it! It was a drab olive green color with many rusty patches originally, but Ray who paints car exteriors and interiors for a living did a custom looking paint job for me and I could not have been more excited! He masked off squares on the back painting them white, while painting the rest, a nice cool minty green. He is going to paint the arms white today, but I was anxious to share the pictures of how it looks so far! It was painted with spray paint, which I know sounds easy, but I am not good at holding the can properly or at the right distance and get drips and globs, but Ray holds it just so, and methodically sprays without drips or globs! So now...
"I glide, I glide!!"
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Today my husband and I were trying to figure out where to go for lunch and after tossing a few ideas back and forth, we decided to go to Sunday Brunch at Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge, a little less than an hour away. We had never been there but our neighbors told us that the food looked delicious when they walked through it and the view was amazing. All along I thought it was this place that you could see from the main road through town, since there was picturesque water all around, but it was 8 miles off that road in an even more beautiful setting. The lodge looked like a nice hunting lodge and the brunch buffet was quite tasty! It included prime rib and homemade mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon in it, along with pork, chicken, catfish,fresh sauteed vegetables and beef tips that melted in your mouth. For dessert I had a big piece of lemon layer cake that looked like something from a story book. I am such a sucker for cake, I think I will never be skinny, but will have to settle for a little less chubby! (I have exercised three times this week so far and expect to do it today as well)
The vista from the patio outside the Lodge was breathtaking, the photos don't really do it justice, and there was a little ground hog just grazing away just below. When we were driving through the park to explore the cabins, chalets and swimming area, we saw two deer jumping across the road into the woods and I managed to snag a few shots.
I LOVE DEER! And groundhogs remind me of woodchucks that made daily appearances on my grandpa's farm when I was little!
I think I am in love with Alabama's State Parks and will continue to fantasize about having a retro trailer someday to visit them all!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
When I saw my daughter a few weeks ago she gave me my mothers day gift since I hadn't seen her in a few months. It is a pennant banner that I requested her to make me since she is pretty handy with a sewing machine and I have been yearning to have me one! The fabric is from oilclothaddict.etsy.com and they have a wide variety of fabric and a blog , oilclothaddict.blogspot.com with some free tutorials of projects you can make with oilcloth or chalkcloth!
I originally though I wanted it for my front porch, but it makes me soo happy to look at it, I decided to put it in the space between my living and dining room! I just love it! Thanks so much Christina, you are the best!!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I love the vintage and quirky look of these hanging lights and I would love to do this in my house but with light bulbs that wouldn't be too glaring. Makes my creative juices flow....how can I make my own for really cheap...?
A friend of ours has one from Urban Outfitters in her bathroom and it looks great!
Anybody out there make your own, by any chance?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The past two weeks I have been sparse on here for a very good reason. Ray and I went to Florida for 4 days to visit with my daughter, her husband and their adorable son, then brought Christina and Kavi (2 1/2 year old grandson) back to Alabama with us, to be joined a few days later by my son in law. We had almost two weeks together and it was the best time we ever had!
We went to many area places like Noccalula Falls where there is a choo choo ride, farm animals, a lion and some other animals, and of course a waterfall, all in a beautiful setting. And Imagination Place, a play area for kids with a little town set up for kids to play in with a grocery store, post office, bank,play house with kitchen and play clothes, and a big truck play area among other things. And we visited a dairy nearby where Kavi just loved the moo-ing cows. And, two state parks! Cheaha had beautiful mountain vistas as it has the highest elevation in Alabama and a little lake that Kavi splashed around in. When we left Cheaha it was a little before sunset and we saw a beautiful deer bounding across the road, then a little further along we saw an actual AMISH lady working in her garden! I didn't know there were AMISH even around here and it made me soo excited to see her! A DEER and an AMISH lady all within minutes of each other!! We sat on the grass outsid eof Mellow Mushroom to watch fireworks then and we spent Fourth of July at our dear friends house and had a wonderful time eating barbecue, hanging out and talking!
We also went to Oak Mountain State Park where they had a nice lake and petting zoo, but didn't stay too long because it was sweltering hot. Kavi loved all the animals and bravely petted each one, even feeding grass to a baby donkey!
We went to Urban Standard Coffee House and Taj Curry House in Birmingham and to browse through a few antique shops in nearby Attalla and of course to the Rainbow Sno Cone stand for the best sno cones ever!
We felt like we were away on vacation, even though we were home because there were so many fun things to do! And there are even more that we want to experience with them the next time they come here, like Lake Guntersville, Mentone, Little River Canyon. They are all mountain and lake areas that are so scenic and would be especially nice during Fall!
Well, now they are back home in Florida and even though I feel like I am in a large dark vacuum, I also have a warm feeling inside as I live off the memories of our sweet grandson and lovely daughter and incredible son in law. I feel so blessed with my awesome family :)