Happiness is....

Happiness is a four day weekend. Do you ever have one single thought and then it leads to another...and to another...and to another. That is my mind today. I was thinking about the four day weekend and what to do with it and I thought....

I don't have a clue what we will do to kick off the weekend, but hubby is off so I'm sure we will find somewhere to go today. I know we will stop by Double R Farms. Since the produce store has opened, we stop in once a week at least. Last week we picked up some awesome barbecue sauce and some fresh veggies. Need to check out the blackberry jam today and I'm sure hubby will snag some more of the little pickling cucumbers. 

...and that reminded me that we were almost out of the strawberry jam we buy at Double R Farms. By the way, if you are ever in the area and stop by there, be sure and pick some up if you like strawberries. Best in the world and has big chunks of real strawberry in it. 

...and while I was getting the jam out of the fridge to show you, it reminded me that I made oatmeal cookies yesterday and that I was ready for a snack so I grabbed some and a glass of milk and went back to the office. Then I had a call about a Thirty-One order I am turning in Monday so I sat down at my desk to work on my calendar for September. 

....and when I got a coaster for my milk, that reminded me that I hadn't made any new ones in awhile and that I needed some new colors and I need to make some for a Pay it Forward Craft project on Facebook. I need to make one for Norma and one for Phyllis. But I need to find my note to see if there was anybody else. So I pulled some of the ones I have made to see what one I want to put in the office. 

...and that reminded me that I had two coasters done that I had not yet trimmed the edges. I don't know how I can do an entire coaster and FORGET to trim around the edge. But I have two that I need to get completed. 

....which reminded me that Sis's box is almost finished. One more side to trim on the lid then I can start sewing the whole thing together. My aim is to finish it this weekend. Just got to check with her and see if she wants it mailed or if she wants to pick it up when she comes to visit this fall. 

...and that reminded me that I have already started her a gift box for when she comes down. She and I are always exchanging gifts when we visit each other. This year, I am collecting her some vintage items. So far I have this cute pink, yellow and black apron that will be cute for October and a nice patchwork quilt in fall colors. I also have her a vintage apron for Thanksgiving. Over to the left is a little golden yellow bread basket napkin and this Pyrex plate to match her favorite Pyrex mug. Need to hit some more vintage stores and yard sales to pick up a few more things for her. I guess you can tell I love my sister.

...and that reminded me that I should make her a couple of fall coasters for her desk and work and craft room at her home. I have all these lovely new yarns that I haven't used yet. So I think I will work on some crafts this weekend. 

....and that reminded me that I had taken the flags the Pre-K Sunday School class made and glued them on the dowel rods this week. So that is one craft project I can mark off my list. The flags will be used on Grandparent's Day for breakfast and a show the class is doing Jesus Loves Me. Stay tuned to see more on the show later. 

...and that reminded me I need to mark the flags off my list...which reminded me of how many things are on my list...which made me realize I had better get off here and get ready to head out for the day with hubby. 

Have a great weekend!


The House up the Hollow

Many years ago, I wrote a small book about my memories of growing up in the house up the hollow (or holler as we pronounce it in the county.) It was a collection of stories and memories of the life and times in that old house. We moved there when I was 9 months old in 1957 and Mom and Dad lived there until he passed away in 1999. 

My brother bought the old home place from Mom and he still lives there. Though he has made many physical changes, visiting still evokes the memories of that old white frame house of my childhood. When I wrote the little book, I found a picture of the front of the house to use for the cover. There always seemed to be children hanging on the front porch. 

This is my son, Chris, and my niece, Cindi. Today is Cindi's 31st birthday so I thought I would post one of the stories from the book for her. My daughter-in-law Jamie designed the cover. Since the house was surrounded by woods on the back side, she chose a very appropriate font for the covers. It reminds me of the sticks and trees to be found in those woods that we spent so much time in. 

This was the back cover of the book. 

Here is an excerpt from it. I hope you enjoy. 

The house up the hollow. It was more than a house. It was our home, our shelter, our refuge. A place of love and family so dear. A place to laugh, a place to live, and a place to love. So many memories live inside her old walls.

I remember winter nights so cold that Mom would hang blankets over the doorways to keep the warmth of the old gas stove in the living room. It was a room that was always cozy and warm. I can picture Mom in the living room with her ironing board. She had sprinkled the clothes with the old plastic water bottle, tied them up in a table-cloth and placed them in the fridge. She would get the bundle out, set up the ironing board and settle us around the TV to watch Pete & Gladys or Hazel while she ironed. We’d pile on the furniture or floor and watch that old black and white.

When Andy came along, we would sometimes sit and fold his diapers while Mom did the ironing. After the chill of the cold winter was gone, we’d open the windows for the cool spring breeze to drift in down the hollow while we listened to birds singing in the old oak tree out front. Red robins in the yard and Easter lilies on the hill next door were a sure sign spring had arrived.

When summer’s heat rolled around, the days were hot. But at night we would all try to sleep close to the windows where we could feel the cool summer night air drifting out of the hollow.

We loved summer. When it would look like rain, we’d go out and act like Indians doing a rain dance, so sure we were responsible for those first fat drops of glistening rain falling from the clouds.

And the storms. Oh, how Dad loved to protect us from the storms. I remember the rules very well. No standing near the storm doors. No watching TV. No talking on the phone. And NO GOING OUTSIDE. We had to scurry to unplug the toaster, the dryer, the TV. Anything that lightning could possibly strike.

There was a big old tree beside mine and Rachel’s bedroom. Dad was so worried that it might get struck by lightning while we slept. So any time it was a bad storm at night, we were woken up and had to move into the middle room floor to protect us should the big tree fall. The humor was in the fact that the tree was so big that, if it had fallen, it would have covered the entire width of the house. For some reason, Dad seemed to worry less if we were in that middle room.

As fall rolled around, Dad would light the pilot light on the old gas stove in the living room. I remember many nights coming home from chilly fall football games; that old house feeling so warm and cozy after the long walk home. Mom would have glazed donuts and hot chocolate with marshmallows waiting for us.

We each grew up and moved away from that old house up the hollow, but our love for her never dimmed. We got married, had kids, and one by one, went back to enjoy cool fall evenings and sunny summer days as we visited with our families and let our children share in the great love found in that old house.

I wonder sometimes if, in the deep of the midnight, does that old house think of us and do her walls weep?

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My love of Pyrex

My poor Pyrex collection is not growing. I am having a hard time finding any pieces at good prices. I was looking online today and found some pieces on auction sites that I am going to watch. If the prices don't go too high, I may bid on one or two of them. Here are the top 10 that I found that I am going to keep an eye on. 


I finished a Pinterest Challenge

I see so much on Pinterest that I love and I am trying to do one Pinterest challenge per week if I can. I picked an easy one for my first week. Remember the little candle I showed you last week?

I picked that as my challenge, only added my own little twist. I gathered up all my goodies and my tools. 

I removed the packaging from the candle. 

I cut my ribbon to length and laid the candle on it. 

I hot glued the ribbon in place. 

I pulled out a few strands of raffia and cut them to the desired length. 

I tied the raffia around the material. 

I used wire cutters to cut the loops off the back of the button so it would lay flatter on the candle. 

I glued the pumpkin and the two little corn cobs on the raffia using hot glue. 

When I get ready to decorate for fall, here is where I will be setting it. 

Do you like it? I was very pleased with the result. I can't believe I found something to make, I bought the stuff and actually completed the project! All within a matter of day. Way to go, me!


Bargains and Bliss

I have been having some good luck with bargains at yard sales lately. I went to seven yards sales Saturday (can we say exhausted!). By 1:00, I was over it. But on my way out Boyd's Creek, I passed nine more that I didn't even stop at and another four on Chapman Highway. I can't help but wonder what I missed at those, but I was too tired Saturday to care. 

I did find some decent bargains. I picked up another book for just .25. I love having a stash of books on hand so when I finish one, I can start right on another one. And buying them for .25 cents, reading them and taking them to the local book exchange and getting a credit for $1.00 is always a good deal. I have never heard of this author, but it looked liked it would be good. 

This cute little tray was too pretty to pass up for just .25 cents. I have no clue where it will go or what I will use it for, but I just fell in love with it. I am thinking in my bathroom that has the pink flower wall paper. We will see. 

It is rare to find more than a set of four placemats. Even rarer to find them in good shape. I found not just four or eight, but TWELVE of the same kind. I asked the man running the sale what he wanted and he said his wife left him in charge and he didn't really care as long as things sold. He asked if .75 cents was too much for all 12. Uh...SOLD! These can go in my linen reserve and be used for patriotic holidays with a red, white and blue centerpiece or at Christmas with Candy Canes or Valentine's day with hearts. 

Remember my little snowflake Pyrex casserole dish that didn't have a lid or a stand? I found the stand a few weeks ago and found what I thought was the right lid Saturday. But unfortunately it wasn't. I'll put it in my lid drawer because someday down the road I may find the perfect casserole dish that is missing a lid and this one might work. 

But the best bargain of the day? This little 15" TV for my home office. She had it marked $5.00 but since I go to church with her she insisted I just take it home with me for free. I argued, but she won. So my price was FREE. It has a perfectly clear picture and works great. I had this little stand that my Daddy made so I snatched it from another room for now. When we moved, we had the cable guy run me a cable to my office so I just need to get a cable box. And now I have another shelf to decorate. I'll have to scout around the house to see what to put on these shelves. 

But the find of the day, the one that sent me into a state of bliss was this Indiana Glass chip and dip bowl from the 1970's. Not one single scratch, chip, or mar. It is in perfect condition and had all three pieces. I have been looking for one of these for over a year. I am beyond thrilled. 

And how much did this lovely set me back? A mere $2.00. I would say that was an awesome deal. 

At church yesterday morning, I had a surprise from my secret sister. When I opened it, I found this little tea set. It will look gorgeous in my collection.


A Foundation of Faith

A deep and abiding faith in God is the true foundation of life. It is my absolute most favorite word and instills such hope and joy in my life. Through darkest valleys and deepest fears, my faith in God has been unshakable. 

I have this little book called Learning the Word: A Made Easy Handbook on Studying the Bible by Mark Waters. It's an awesome little book. On the subject of faith he has a quote that I just love. 

"When we have an atom of faith in our hearts, we can see God's face, gentle, serene, and approving." - John Calvin

Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Israel, Rahab, Paul, Peter and many, many more have illustrated to us time and time again the importance of faith in our Lord. 

Faith can move mountains, it can calm roaring waters, it can provide a path through the darkest midnight. 

Our faith should be the one constant in our life. The unshakable foundation, the one straight path that will lead us to the rewards our loving God provides for us. 

Faith should be the very foundation of our existence. 


Yard sales, Pinterest, and the one that got away

Because of Hubby's work schedule now, his days off are Thursday and Friday. I've been planning my week around that so we can both take Friday off together. Yesterday was an awesome day.

It started off with a few local yard sales. I picked up some cute things. 

Like this little basket for Christmas. I am either going to use it for Christmas Cards we receive or to put Christmas napkins in. 

Love this clock. It's not old, but it gives the illusion of an antique clock. I needed a clock in my office and just couldn't find one I like....'til now.

I didn't find any Pyrex, but I did find this oval vegetable bowl from Glasbake in their blueberry pattern. I really like the pattern. I paid $1.00 for it, but saw it online for $12 and $20 so I guess I got a good deal. 

This was just too cute to pass up. It's a miniature cookbook in a wire basket. 

And I knew right where I wanted to sit it. 

You remember I am on the hunt for recipe boxes. That is my newest collectible item. I wanted a wooden one. Well I found one. They had painted it red, but I really liked it. It's a lot like the brown one Mom had when we were growing up. 

Total spend at yard sales today....$4.25. Not a bad day. 

As we were driving by a storage unit, we saw someone having a yard sale. When we stopped, it was my neighbors, Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus. I picked out these three books and Santa wouldn't take my money. So I took him a bag of cherry sweet 100 tomatoes when I got home as a thank you. Going to try a recipe for crunchy cranberry muffins. I'll share it when I do. 

After the yard sales, we headed to the new Publix Market and the new Kroger Market in Knoxville. Since I left my phone in the car, I didn't get any pictures. But just let me say two things. Publix Market? WOW! Kroger Market? Not so much. The Kroger was nice and they do have a super duper houseware department, but nothing else much different from a regular Kroger. But Publix? I will have to return with my camera one day to do it justice, but I could spend all day in the cheese, deli, bakery, produce area. Unbelievable. 

We journeyed from there to AC Moore. I have started collecting items for my Pinterest challenges I plan to make for fall. My pledge is to complete one project per weekend. I need ribbon or material for this project still and some kind of fall button. I'm going to Joanne's and Walmart today to find what I need. 

The one that got away....

Well, actually I let two things slip by me yesterday, despite hubby telling me to get them. The first was a roll of ribbon at AC Moore. I really liked it and I thought it was exactly what I wanted for another Pinterest project. But I wasn't real sure and the price was $3.99 (yes, I am cheap when it comes to my crafts). And I knew Walmart ribbon was cheaper so I didn't get it. When I got home and was looking at my Pinterest challenge folder, I realized that it was EXACTLY the ribbon I wanted for this project. I may go back to AC Moore and get it today. I am so mad for leaving it there. 

Well, off to see what today might bring. 


I have rubbed off on my niece.....

My niece Amy called me yesterday. She had decided to pop in to a local antique mall. While walking around it, she spotted the red Pyrex bowl to the primary colors set. Being a wonderful niece who loves her aunt very much, she called me to see if I wanted it. Uh...YES! She said you could tell it was used, but still in great shape. So she bought it for me. She lives in another state and her mom is visiting me this fall so as bad as I want it, I would rather wait a month or so than risk it being shipped. but at least I know it is mine, all mine and I will have it soon. 

The inside is in perfect condition. And since I plan to use it, I am thrilled with the shape it is in. 

Then she called me back later and said I had rubbed off on her. (She must be reading my blogs too much) because she stopped at a yard sale. Now, Amy loves a bargain and she doesn't mind scouring antique stores, but I don't believe she has been to a yard sale in five years. So this was a major statement coming from her. And how did she fair?

Five straw wreaths still in their wrappings, a lovely glass vase, a white Fire King oval casserole and a brown Pyrex casserole. Her total cost? $2.75. I have taught the child well. 

She has some Pinterest plans for the wreaths and vase. She is also working on another Pinterest project and expects to finish it in the next day or so. I know that will show up on my blog as well. 

Thanks, Amy, for my bowl and for giving me a blogging topic for today. One good thing about featuring you in my blog, your Mom will get busy to get me some more stuff of hers for another blog.

I love when you can depend on family to provide you with blogging topics.