I need your opinion.....

Our local fire department is a volunteer fire department in need of new turn-out gear and a new tanker truck. They are holding a fundraiser in March. It is a spaghetti dinner and basket auction. Different groups and individuals are showing their support by donating auction "baskets". When I was first approached about this a month ago, I immediately knew what I wanted to do. But last night, I had a dream that I did something totally different. Now, I am torn. I have three ideas and would like your opinion on which you think would bring the best price at an auction.

Idea #1 - Movie Night Basket

I would purchase some all time classics or recent releases on DVD. I would fill the basket with 4 or 5 movies, microwave popcorn, movie size candy and several bottles of soft drinks.

Idea #2 - Travel Basket

I would use a 31 Organizing Tote (like the one above without a monogram) to fill it with travel related items to use in the car. My idea was to put a travel pillow, fleece travel blanket, a couple of travel mugs in the pockets, Germ-X, tissues, small first aid kit, etc. Things you would want to have handy in the car while you travel.

Item #3 - Craft Basket

A basket with yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles, a few patterns, a few quarter rounds of material. Just basic craft supplies that any crafter would enjoy.

Please let me know your thoughts on which basket would bring the most at the auction.


Thought this was cute...

Two of my grandchildren, Shelby and Caleb spent the night Friday. Shelby is my camera ham. If you pick up a camera anywhere in her vicinity, there is a CHEESE and smile that just pops up in front of you. I walked in the living room and Caleb was intensely playing Construction City and I didn't see Shelby. My cell phone was laying there so I picked it up to snap a quick picture of him while my little ham wasn't in the room. This is what I got.
But I absolutely cracked up when the click sounded and THIS popped up from the chair with a CHEESE. 
I had no idea she was in the chair behind her bubby watching him play. Just made me smile so I had to share it.

Have a happy day!


It's going to be a great weekend....

The sun is peeping through the clouds. The weatherman says it should reach mid-60's today (but my optimistic personality believes it will get higher). Cinnamon rolls are baking in the oven and a huge glass of ice cold whole milk is calling my name from the fridge.

I'm going to head out to a big children's consignment sale this morning, with a list of sizes for all 5 grandchildren. We are having lunch at Texas Roadhouse, which means unlimited rolls. Do I need the bread? Not so much. Do I crave the bread? Oh, yeah.

Some more shopping at Five Oaks Factory Outlet mall in the afternoon then home for a relaxing evening with hubby.

A light supper and an hour with Hawaii 5-0 on my On Demand because I missed it Monday night and haven't had a chance to watch it yet.

Tomorrow is Sunday School and Church and more sign ups for the church directory portraits.

I love my life!  Hope everybody has a wonderful weekend!


Breaks are a blessing...

I took a much needed break yesterday and feel so refreshed this morning. Sometimes we find ourselves staying so busy, we forget to take time for ourselves. It's my own fault because I can't seem to "shut down" at the end of the day. I think I need to check my emails one more time. The worst thing about own your own business and working from home is your forget that you CAN close up shop at the end of the day. I have a tendency to worry that my clients may need me so I've gotten into a bad habit of checking my emails three or four times after my work day ends. As a result, I was suffering a mild case of burnout yesterday.

I sat down to do my blog yesterday morning and I was brain dead. But we took a two day trip to Nashville yesterday morning and will head back home later this evening. It has been so relaxing and wonderful. We did a little shopping in the afternoon and then came back to the hotel. After ordering pizza delivery and eating, hubby found us a good movie to watch and we settled in to relax. I did some plastic canvas crafting on my sisters box while we watched TV. Then we found another good movie and had a snack of chips and a candy bar.

Have to pick up some truck tags this morning then doing a little more shopping and heading home. There are a couple of antique stores along the way that I want to stop in. There is one is Sweetwater, TN that I got an antique secretary in one time for $25.00. I want to check it out and see what they've got in stock.

All in all, it was very restful trip and I'm going to go ahead and take part of the day off tomorrow as well. What's the sense of being the boss if you don't play hooky once in awhile.


A challenging morning...

This is how my brain feels this morning. And I'm not going to challenge it. So I'm taking a couple of days down time. I will be back tomorrow or Friday. Hope everyone has a blessed day!!!


Tickle Me T-shirt Tuesday

Today's blog is brought to you by Cafe Press. Their t-shirts just crack me up. Thought I would post a few of my favorite ones for your enjoyment today.


I'm going on vacation in my mind....

This morning, I'm taking a quick vacation in my mind to Charleston, SC. Twice in the last few years, we went to Myrtle Beach with my sister and her husband. Both times, we took a day trip to Charleston. We toured Boone Hall Plantation, took a walk at The Battery and Waterfront Park. Stopped to admire the world famous Pineapple Fountain and walked the cool interior of the Old Market. We drove around to look at the old Painted Ladies. We explored the Boone Hall Plantation and the Yorktown Aircraft Carrier. We stopped along the way to watch the Gullah women making their sweetgrass baskets. We had lunch at Jack's Cosmic Dogs. Alton Brown, on The Food Network, did a special there one time and we just had to eat at the same place he did. It was delicious. Here are some of the places I'm visiting in my mind today.......


When we realize we are old....

I've know for a long time that I'm getting old. I see the signs. I remember fax machines when they took 4-6 minutes and the paper turned around on a roller. I remember printing in high school on a mimeograph machine with the stinky blue ink.

But this "getting old" thing is new to my daughter. I think she just realized yesterday that she was no longer a young girl. I had ran into AC Moore and she elected to stay in the car with the kids and let the little one sleep. Her 7 year old sons climbs up front to sit with her while I'm gone. He's my little "investigator" so he is checking out the radio. He hits the eject button and my McKamey's tape pops out.

He looks at his mommy and says,  "Mommy, is this what they call a 'tape'?"

She says she's realized at that moment that her generation was past their prime. Nothing like an innocent comment from a precious child to make you feel ancient.


When faith walks in, fear walks out.

Why do we subject ourselves to so much worry about things in our lives we cannot control? Why do we question God when He points us in the right direction. This week, I've been working on our Beth Moore Bible Study about King David. On the first day of the study, we learn about Jonathan. One thing that really stuck with me was when he said "Perhaps the Lord will work in our behalf."

Jonathan KNEW what God COULD do, but he didn't know what God WOULD do.

How many times in our lives do we hand God a problem and continue to struggle with it. We "worry" it to death like a dog with a bone. We can't let go and let God. What does that change on the outcome? Absolutely nothing. That is where our faith MUST come in. We know God can do anything. He works miracles big and small everyday. But do we wait for our miracle? No, we want to take control and make it work the way WE want it to work, not the way God has it planned. How many times does He answer only to find we are so busy worrying with it that we don't see that He is providing us the answer.

Many people call me impulsive and wonder how I can make decisions without thinking about them. I don't think I'm rash or impulsvie. It's faith. When God points me in a direction, I know He has a reason. I just don't know what it is. I sometimes feel like Jonathan. I know what God can do, I'm just not sure what He will do. But I'm willing to take that leap of faith. 

That is why it is so important not to go to extremes when He asks something of us. Many times we want to pray about it. Ask others advice. Weigh the pros and cons. We are so afraid to take that leap of faith and do His will. It is such a simple process and we make it more difficult. There is an old hymn that says "wherever He leads, I'll go." That is how we should be. We should say "Here I am Lord, choose me." Do I always do that? No, I'm ashamed to say I don't. There are times when I willingly do His will and there are times when He drags me kicking and screaming to get me to do what He wants. I have always found that the blessings are there if we just follow His will.

I sound like I'm on a soapbox and I don't mean to be. But we are all surrounded by good Christian people who love our God and want to do His will. Yet, we all fail Him, myself included because we want to do His will, but we just want HIS will to be OUR will. It just doesn't work that way. We are so afraid to take the step He asks us to take. We are so afraid of failing. When the answer is so simple. By faith, let God lead you and those fears will be gone. My prayer today is that each and everyone of us develop a closer walk with the Lord and learn to listen when He speaks. I pray that we will each learn that a deeper faith will wash away any fears we may have.

Have a blessed weekend!


The fever.

It was over 70 degrees yesterday and we woke up to 61 degrees this morning. I actually wore flip flops to the store. Now, I've got the fever. The vacation fever that is. I'm plotting and planning. I've been researching hotels for our annual beach trip. Not sure where I want to stay this year. I am torn. I love the place we stay every year. It's older, but remodeled. This is the back yard and the beach view from our room. We are only 2 blocks from the pier and Big Daddy's so I love the location. They are so clean and everybody is so helpful and nice, it's like staying with family. But sometimes I think I want a change since we've been there for 6 years now. But I don't know.

I just know I need a trip. We will probably take a few little jaunts to West Virginia for weekend visits with the family. We have two new babies coming and I'll want to see them. There is a niece and a nephew graduating high school and I would love to attend the graduations. We are planning a huge family get-together sometime in July before my nephew, Jake, leaves for the Marine Corp in August. He is being stationed at Parris Island and will graduate basic training in November. I'll be heading on a trip to S.C. for that for sure.

In the past 6 months, I've held two 31 parties and have accumulated some nice travel totes and weekend bags. I'm ready for a road trip.

But for now, I'll just enjoy my Saturday jaunts to Knoxville for shopping with my daughter. The next few days are supposed to be beautiful



From the time I heard Porter Wagoner sing A Satisfied Mind, I was hooked on music. I love the old country ballads moan and groan of love gone wrong or life gone right. I grew up on Porter, Buck Owens, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn. But like any child I had some of my own favorites - The Cowsills, The Archies. Then I hit the teen years and fell in love with Rock & Roll. I still have my albums by Three Dog Night, Bob Seger, The Bee Gees and many more.

As the years rolled on and I became involved in church, I fell in love with those old gospel hymns, Amazing Grace, Mansion over the Hilltop, The Old Rugged Cross. 

I went through the years with my children's music tastes. But instead of the usual "mom thing" of yelling for them to turn it down, I would pop into their rooms to listen as Bon Jovi sang You Give Love a Bad Name or Poison singing Every Rose has its Thorn. (I still have Bon Jovi CD's I listen to).

I always remembered my country roots and have stayed true to my country music. The old time greats will always touched my heart, He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones brings tears to my eyes. And newer ballads like Reba's I'll Keep on Loving You.

But nothing ever replaces the heart-felt love that comes from singing gospel music. It is a deep-seated love of God that brings true blessings from songs that sing of His Mercy, His Grace and the beautiful heaven He has prepared for us. Sometimes when I'm in the choir singing, I feel like God has sent angels down to stand among us, to help us lift our voices in heavenly praise. Some of the gospel songs, old and new, just make you feel like your feet are lifting off the ground. 

They say music soothes the savage beast. I don't think you have to be a beast to be soothed by music. It is my lifeblood and I cannot image what life would be like if there was no music.   


The 4 cent counter....

Back in the Sixties when I was in elementary school, Daddy would sit in his chair and we would rub his feet or back. He would pay us a quarter for doing it. At the end of the week, we would all walk into town to catch the "town bus" to go to the big city of Huntington. We would have our quarter burning a hole in our pocket.

There was a store there called the Bazaar. In the basement, was this big square counter with dividers sectioning it off. It was called The Four Cent Counter. Everything on there was four cents. We loved spending our quarters on items from there.

We always bought a new rain bonnet in the little plastic cases. Not having a car, those came in very handy if we were walking and got caught in the rain. Being young, it didn't bother us to be seen with them covering our head.

We always had to have the little elastic bracelets that looked like Chiclets gum. We thought we were tough stuff with our "jewelry." Of course there was always the collapsible drinking cups with pill holders in them. Even though we didn't carry or take any pills, we loved the collapsible cup.

There was also the set of watches that we had to have. It was a toy watch on an elastic band and you got one for yourself and one for your baby doll in the package. I always bought the one with a red band. I thought they were so cool.

No matter what we bought with our quarter, it was always something fun and special. And even though each item only cost us four cents, it brought us memories that are priceless.


Hmmm, interesting.

I learned something about myself these past couple of days. When it comes to sweets, I am selfish. Hubby bought me a pound of orange creams from the Apple Barn. I posted on Facebook about it, saying "Mine, all mine."

Then, today, Hubby took me to Applebees and here is what I had for dessert...

When I posted about it on Facebook, my comment was..."Two spoons? Seriously. Do they really think I'm going to share dessert?"

So, what have I learned from this? Not only am I selfish, but it is easy to see why I simply CANNOT lose those last 10 pounds. I also learned that I buy sweets at places with healthy names...Apple Barn, Applebees... do you see a pattern here?


Happy Valentine's Day to our Lord

A special thank you to each of my family and friends who responded to my request for your favorite bible verses. I have compiled a Valentine letter to Our Heavenly Father using words from each of your favorite bible verses I received. May God bless you and keep you in His precious love. This Valentine is to our sweet Lord on behalf of each of you.

Dear Father,

My friends and family have gotten together with me to thank you for your precious LOVE. You have LOVED us so much and provided us with such HOPE for our FUTURE. You send ANGELS to KEEP CHARGE over us and keep us uplifted. Through the reading of your word we find COURAGE, FAITH and PEACE. Like the mighty EAGLE, you RENEW OUR STRENGTH and our SPIRIT so we may SOAR to face a brighter day. You are our POWER and MIGHT. We are nothing without you, God. You HEAL our broken spirits and COMFORT our WOUNDED souls. You are always WITH us. You have told us to FEAR NOT. But so many times we fail you by letting things get us down. We should always REJOICE and keep STRONG in our FAITH. We should give you the GLORY for all the ABUNDANCE you provide us. You gave us the best Valentine the day you sent your ONLY SON to do YOUR WILL. You allowed CHRIST to be BRUISED so that we could have a CLEAN HEART; so that we could BELIEVE in a better TOMORROW. When we WAIT upon you dear LORD, we can be UNAFRAID. In those moments we are truly STILL and allow only THOUGHTS of you to enter our mind, we find such deep REWARDS. Through QUIETNESS and CONFIDENCE we find STRENGTH. We may LABOR on this earth, but we are JUSTIFIED through your Holy name. Our lips should ever EXALT you, LORD. Your LOVE is EVERLASTING. You SUPPLY our every need THROUGHOUT THE AGES. Our Valentine’s gift to you should be that each of us and OUR HOUSE should SERVE you LORD. We are one of the CHOSEN few. You have given us many words of LOVE throughout the reading of your word. You provide us with great HOPE. One of the greatest moments in our lives is that special time when we can bow down on our knees and proclaim that you are MY GOD.

We LOVE you,

Your children


The surprise....

As Valentine's Day approaches, I find myself reflecting over the past 30 years. Hubby proposed to me on Valentine's Day so it will always hold a very special place in my heart. When we were young and newly married, we would always exchange some type of gift for Valentine's. Nothing expensive or fancy, just something that said I love you. We still do, but we keep it on a small scale, just some little token of our love. I wanted to share with you today the most memorable Valentine's day we had.

My husband loves to surprise me and I love getting surprised. But one particular year, I had seen a small heart shaped necklace that was lined with diamond chips. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary but I absolutely fell in love with it. It was $59.00, so you know it couldn't be too elaborate. But we never spent that kind of money on a Valentine's gift so I hesitated to ask for it. Anytime we would be shopping near it, I would conveniently stop and admire it, making some comment about how much I loved it.

Normally, my hubby takes hints very well so I really expected to get this necklace for Valentine's Day. Whenever V-day fell during the week, I would come home from work and there would be a card and a gift on the table waiting for me. This one year, I came home and there was a gift and a box of candy. I opened the card, gave him his gift and we exchanged a quick kiss.

I admit to being a little let down because I didn't get the necklace. He normally moves mountains to make sure I get something that I want really, really bad. So I went off to take my bath and pout. I never mentioned the necklace. While my bath water was running, he said "You might have to get a knife to slice the cellophane off your candy if you want to try a piece. Being upset, I said I'd try it later.

After my bath, I sat down to supper and he said "You might need to get a knife to slice your sausage." (We were having smoked sausage.) I said, "no, my fork works fine." The whole time we ate, I was getting more and more upset because I was so disappointed in not getting that necklace. I admit to being a little hurt because he didn't even acknowledge that he couldn't get it or say he was sorry.

As we sat there eating, I was having trouble after all cutting the sausage, so I got up to get a knife. When I pulled out the silverware drawer, nestled inside the knife slot was a little red jewelry box. You guessed it....my necklace. Oh, how I love this man of mine.



Then came the morning....

We praise God for sending His only Son to us as a mere babe, swaddled in cloth and lying in a manger. We praise Jesus for saying "Father, let thy will be done" as He died for us on Calvary. Oh, but how we glorify that He rose again. For when the darkest, deepest night is upon us, through the grace of God, we can truly praise His name that morning has come. This is truly a moving video and I really got a blessing when I was listening this morning. I hope you will be blessed as well.


Winter Wonders

I was talking to my Mom yesterday and we were both saying we were so tired of snow and couldn't wait for spring. That got me to thinking about how many times I keep hearing that every where I go.

Now those of you who have known me for long, know one of my favorite movies is Pollyanna by Disney. Pollyanna is orphaned and goes to live with an aunt who has no children. One thing you learn from Pollyanna is that we should look for the good in whatever situation comes our way. Since I have always tried to do that, I thought I would try it with Winter. I was surprised at how many things I actually like about winter. Here's my list:
  • Fleece pajamas. There's nothing like putting on warm p.j.'s after your bath.
  • Fuzzy house shoes. You know the kind.....comes up to your ankles and lined with warm fleece.
  • Snuggling on the couch with your hubby and pulling up a warm blanket over both of you..
  • Getting in the car after it's been running a few minutes and feeling the warmth from the vents on your face.
  • The heavy warmth that comes from an extra quilt on the bed at night
  • Hot chocolate in the morning
  • Cinnamon Buns baking in the oven for breakfast
  • The sheer beauty of a pristine white snowfall blanketing the ground
  • Icicles - if you ever looking closely at them when the sun shines on them, they are truly a work of art
Those are just some of the things I like about winter. I have enjoyed each and everyone of those items this year. But guess what? I'm over it. Time to move on. Bring on the spring. Hope you have a blessed day. I'm heading in the kitchen to pop some cinnamon rolls in the oven and boil some water for my hot chocolate.


Thursday's Tips, tricks and time savers....

In my recent blog, I mentioned getting organized. I had a request to pass on some of my tips. They are nothing outstanding, but just little things that save a few minutes here and there.
1. Become a list maker. I bought a 5 x 7 notebook that is now my constant companion. Since I work from home, I keep it on my desk by the phone. Every morning when I get up, I sit down at my desk and make a list of the things I want to accomplish that day, no matter how big or small. That way, I know where I need to focus. As I complete the items on it, I mark a line through it. If something pops up that I need to do, I add it to the list. At the end of the day, I move the items that did not get accomplished (if there are any) to the next clean page and throw the old page away. If you keep the old page and just continue on until it is full, you will have all these items glaring at you even though they are marked through. A cluttered page will keep your mind cluttered.
2. Put off till tomorrow what doesn’t need done today. If it does NOT have to be done today, reschedule for another time so you do not stress all day because you haven’t gotten to it yet. I bought some pretty folders and wrote on each one of them a day of the week. In each folder, I place papers or notes of things I need to do that particular day. When I make my morning list, I pull out the folder for that day and add those items to my list. It is amazing how much clearer you can think if you don’t have your whole week’s worth of work in front of you. Out of site; out of mind. It works well. If you don’t need to do it until Thursday, don’t be looking at it every day and stressing over having to do it on Thursday. When it comes time to do that item, you will be refreshed and ready to tackle it.
3. A place for everything and everything in its place. I am big on baskets and storage. In my craft room, I have a basket for materials, baskets for yarn (well actually a whole chest devoted to yarn since it is a weakness of mine.) I have a big basket where I keep my pattern books. I color coordinate my yarn (spring colors, fall colors, winter colors, summer colors.) to find what I need faster. All my nail polish is in one basket along with polish remover, cuticle cream, manicure sets, etc. I can just grab the basket and WA-LAH! Manicure time. I don’t have to search the house for an emery board in one drawer and clippers in another. It’s the same with hair care, perfume and deodorant – all in one basket. When I get ready to go anywhere, I pull out the baskets and everything is at my fingertips. I can wash my hair, blow it, style it and put my makeup on in 9 minutes thanks to having everything right where I need it. 
4. Quickly un-clutter the house. I’m not a slob, but I’m not a neat freak so sometimes things in my house end up in a place they don’t belong. A book left on the table; a movie the kids forgot to put back in the cabinet. Once a day, grab an empty laundry basket and walk through the house gathering up the strays. Start at one end and work your way to the other, hitting each room as you. When you enter the next room, check the basket and put away whatever belongs in that room and pick up anything that doesn’t. When you get to the last room, take anything that is left over and do a reverse process and take those things where they belong. This not only keeps the house un-cluttered, you get in extra steps for exercise every morning.
5. Baskets and Bags. If you are a crafter, you probably have your craft room very organized, but what about your projects? I usually have a couple of different projects going at one time. I have a weakness for tote bags and baskets. So I use these for my projects. I place my current project in a tote bag along with scissors, needles, whatever I need. Then if I’m in the living room and want to work on my craft, I grab the “bag” and start crafting. If we are going to Knoxville and I want to craft in the car while hubby drives. I grab the bag and I’m ready to go. Projects that are next are sorted into baskets with all the items needed for that project. That way if I get bored with one, I can just grab a basket and work on the next one.