Weekend Wrap Up

It was a very exhausting but fabulously fun weekend. I had 4 days to enjoy it. It started off with Thanksgiving dinner at my daughter's house. The first year that my son-in-law cooked Thanksgiving dinner and it was delicious. Then my daughter and her family and my son and his family all gathered that evening for desserts at my house. We had an awesome time. It was different than any of our other Thanksgivings and I really missed Allen being with us. I failed to get any pictures. But we did pour over the Black Friday ads. I shopped on Friday and Saturday and was able to pic up some good deals. Like buying 7 items at Kohl's. My total cost for all 7 was $46.37. My savings was $123.87. So that alone made it worth my while to fight the crazy crowds. I went again with my daughter on Saturday and got even more savings. I picked up a cute basket with fresh greenery for just $8.00 for my coffee table. And when I came home I had a package that was a vintage trade I did. I got these two little carolers as part of the trade. I love the way they look with my vintage deer I found last year.

I was looking at pictures this weekend and found this one. This is my twins 37 years ago. They had just turned 1 year old so I had their birthday/Christmas picture made. One of my favorite pictures of them. 

That was also the year they were crawling and starting to walk and getting into all kinds of mischief.

I also found a picture of me and my sister and one of my brothers. The baby brother didn't come along for about 4 or 5 years after this picture.

One of my favorite pictures of me and my sister at Christmas time. That was the year we got TWO baby dolls each for Christmas.

I didn't get my tree put up yet, but that is a story for another day. Other than my coffee table and couch, I haven't done any decorating yet. Hoping to get started on it this evening. have a great last day of November.


It's officially the Christmas season.....

I am not ashamed of saying Merry Christmas. I am not embarrassed if I am not considered "politically correct". Since when do we have to leave Christ out of the holiday when he is the ONE and ONLY reason we have the holiday. Had he not come to save the world, December 25 would be one thing and one thing only...December 25. Our Lord and Saviour is the reason for the season. I apologize if I offend anyone but I will not apologize for my belief in God my Father.   

The best song ever written.


Black Friday is running into Saturday....

I had an amazing shopping day yesterday. My daughter-in-law and I always go the same general direction so I was able to meet up with her several times. That always makes the day better when you share shopping experiences. We seem to always end up at Target at the same time. I love shopping there on Black Friday. 

My daughter worked yesterday so I promised her we would Black Friday shop together today. So we are having Black Saturday. In our tradition, we will head out to Turkey Creek & The Pinnacle in Knoxville. Looking forward to some good deals. Yesterday was full of some great bargains. My favorite deals of the day was at Kohl's. I bought 7 items on my list at Kohl's. After their sales deals and my 15% off entire purchase coupon, my total with tax was.....$46.74 for SEVEN really nice gifts. But the amazing fact was they show you what you saved off of their regular retail price. My savings? Are you ready for this......

$123.21 SAVED 

 You can't beat a deal like that! Wonder what awesome bargains I will get today?

I am really excited about lunch because we always eat at my favorite place when we go to Turkey Creek. Steak & Shake.

Steak 'n Shake - Cape Coral, FL, United States. Classic double cheeseburger & fries with a chocolate banana milkshake!!!

It's going to be another great day.


Black Friday

By the time this scheduled post actually posts, I will be well on my way for some Black Friday shopping. I start my Black Friday around 5:00 a.m. on FRIDAY. I don't care how good the deals are, I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving Day or after the midnight hour on Thanksgiving. To me, it is not about the wonderful bargains (although I do enjoy that). It is more about the thrill and excitement of the hunt. The gathering of ideas. The finding of THE perfect present. 

The crowds don't bother me. I just like the thrill of being in the thick of things. I know people think I am crazy and I will admit it is not for everybody. But I do enjoy it. So whether you are off shopping in the crowds as I am, spending a nice day with your family, decorating for Christmas....whatever you may be doing today, have a great day!


Happy Thanksgiving

From my house to your house......


It's beginning to look like Christmas....

My boss's wife, who also happens to be one of my dear friends, came and kidnapped me yesterday to go to Hobby Lobby. Since we have a new office this Christmas, she wanted to get us new decorations. Then when we got back, we had a pizza party for lunch and got the office decorated. Of course, I think all I did was "hover" over everything. Everybody was doing a good enough job without my input. The results were gorgeous. 

My favorite is the tall slim Santa that we placed by our fireplace. 

The office is very cheerful and Christmas'y' today. I hope everyone has happy plans for Thanksgiving. I am going to my daughter's house for Thanksgiving dinner around noon. My son will be eating with his in-laws around that time. Then that evening we are all going to gather at my house for Thanksgiving dessert. I am baking a chocolate cake, brownie cookies, no bake oatmeal cookies, a pecan pie and a graham cracker pie. 


Weekend Wrap-up

It was a bitter sweet weekend, but life does go on. We celebrated Allen's life on Friday and the service was beautiful. The eulogy was so perfect and totally described the man he was. My sister, her husband, my niece and her family all came down from WV for the funeral services. We all gathered at my house along with my son and daughter and their families. The girls had a great time playing with their new cousin. Three beautiful little girls.

My sister, brother-in-law, niece and her family all stayed the weekend and kidnapped me for some retail therapy.  First stop was Bass Pro Shop so my great-niece could get her picture with Santa.

Then it was off to Paula Deen's restaurant at the Island in Pigeon Forge. This is my niece, her daughter and her husband. 

I had the best fried chicken ever. The food was delicious.

We had to stop for a photo op with the big bear. I love this picture with my niece and my sister...especially since my big Thirty-One bag blocked my fat tummy.

However, the next picture didn't do much for the fat. My philosophy is that the tree is so big it downplays how much weight I have put on. :)

While we were there, my niece Amy bought me this adorable sign for my kitchen. I am not much on liking to cook, but I could bake 24/7 without any problem. So this was a great sign for my kitchen.

As a matter of fact that was the SECOND gift she gave me. The illusive black and white tulip Pyrex. She found it in her cabinet and asked if I wanted it. Well....duh...it's PYREX. Thank you so much Amy. I love it and my sign. 

Next we visited Old Time Pottery where I picked up a few little Christmas decor items.

And I bought the stuff to make this. I came home and made it as soon as I got home that night. 

On Sunday after lunch, we made a quick stop at Joann's where I bought this truck and jar and went home and made a little snow scene.

On Sunday morning, my sister and her family along with my sister-in-law Tammi and her daughter (my niece) Sarah all came to church with me. Tammi has been searching for a home church for awhile and she fell in love with my church so at the closing of the service her and Sarah joined our church. So blessed to have her and Sarah in the church family along with being in the family. 

I went back to work yesterday. I will always miss my hubby with all my heart and I will forever have those moments where the grief is so intense it is like a stab to the heart. But he always made me promise to continue living and finding the joy in the little things. All he ever wanted was for me to be happy. So I will honor his memory by trying to do that. After all, life does go on.


Finding strength...

As I struggle to find the strength to deal with the loss of my beloved husband, I do what I do every day....I turn to the Lord. I do this in good times and I do it in bad times. I turn to Him if I am happy, sad, distraught, joyful. 

Do I second guess myself? Yes. I worry all the time. Did I tell him enough that I loved him? Was I short tempered or grouchy with him when I didn't realize how sick he really was. Did I provide him comfort and care to the best of my ability? 

Then I saw this sign. And it made me realize that yes, I did tell him I loved him. All the time. I never left the house or even in the end went to bed early every evening without giving him a kiss and telling him I loved him. I helped him up. I took care of him. I showed him in every way I knew how that I loved him. And I know he knew.

We knew he didn't have much time left. Yet, he insisted we maintain as normal to our regular routine as possible. He said it helped ease his mind that we just go on as if nothing was wrong. He didn't want to live out his last days just sitting around way to slip away. It was hard to do. 

But as always I turned to my favorite scripture to help me through. When I didn't know where to turn or who to talk to, I just let go and let God. It was already out of my hands.  
Throughout my life, I have had a Pollyanna attitude. I have had faith in God and I know that He will provide for me no matter what the situation. So I always try to make the best of whatever comes my way. This is probably the one one bible verse that applies the closest to my personality. 

People deal with death many ways. Some grieve themselves until they are sick. They dwell on the negative and refuse to move on with their life. I will grieve my loss until my dying day. I will never forget the love he brought to my life. I will miss him with every beat of my heart. I long to feel his arms wrapped around me one more time. I long for one more gentle kiss as he tells me he loves me. But death robbed me of those things. Over and over and over, we would discuss his passing. And he constantly told me that he did not want me sitting around getting depressed. He wanted what he always wanted for me. For me to be happy. For me to love life. So I have to go on. I can still laugh, while inside my heart is shattered and I wonder how I can face another day without him. I can still smile even while the tears fall inside like a rushing river. I can sit here every day while I make myself sick with the what-ifs and the maybe should'ves. But instead, I will choose to embrace life to the fullest. I choose to celebrate his life and his love by remembering that he loved me with all his heart and I loved him the same way. One day we will be together again and I will rejoice in that moment. But in the meantime, life will go on. I have my wonderful family and five beautiful grandchildren who all live in the same county I do. I can gather them near. We can reminisce and share our wonderful memories of a man who loved us all more than any of them even realized. So from this point forward, even while the tears may fall and the memories may blindside me to the point where the pain brings me to my knees, I will still choose to find the joy that God provides. 

RIP my precious love. 

Allen Dale Keefer
April 5, 1952 - November 17, 2015


Some sad news....

I have been missing in action since Friday. My husband has been in the hospital and we lost him on Tuesday. I will be taking a short break from blogging. I will be back next week. Please keep my family in your prayers. This was a video he found a few weeks ago and had asked me to have it played for his funeral, which is tomorrow. It was one of his favorite Christian songs to listen to.


Vintage Christmas memories....

I remember seeing wrapping paper like this when I was growing up. 

And just about every year, somebody sent out a card that had the choir boys on it. 

I used to have a set of the kissing S & P Santas. I would love to find another set.

Do you remember Christmas corsages? We always got a new one for our coat lapel to wear throughout the Christmas season.

And I miss the big old fashioned light bulbs on the trees. 

Did any of  your mom's or grandmother's have one of these cardboard fire places?

I just love vintage Christmas.


Veteran's Day

My Daddy. He was in the Navy during WWII on an air craft carrier. When he got out of the Navy, he joined the Coast Guard.

Thank you to Veteran's everywhere for your undying loyalty to protecting our great nation.


Weekend finds...

I found these two cute Christmas decor items at Food City (local grocery store) for $1.99 each. I fell in love with them. 

I went to an estate sale over the weekend. I have never seen so many cat figurines in one place at one time. I love the tall slender one. I also have a weakness for sleeping kitty figurines so I had to have it as well. 

They had a bag of vintage doll clothes for $1.00 each. I had to have this little dress. Not sure what I am going to do with it, but I am now looking for a vintage doll to put it on. 

But my favorite find was a miniature tea set. One of my favorite collectibles. It is just so precious. I can't wait to put it out at Christmas. 

I was very pleased with my finds. 


A rainy day...

How do you deal with a rainy day when you have to work? Simple, you fix a cup of hot chocolate with peppermint marshmallows in your favorite mug and open your blinds and watch the rain. 

This weekend I found me a new favorite glass at Walmart. It was from the Pioneer Woman collection. Loving it! I am reading Sandra Brown's Smash Cut. It is awesome. It is 366 pages long and I can't put it down. I only had about 74 to go last night and I settled in to read, eat Junior Mints and drink Pepsi from my new glass. I only made it through 12 pages before getting sleepy. I will finish it off tonight I hope. 

Come back tomorrow to see some cute finds from an estate sale this past Friday. Have a good Monday. We are closed on Wednesday so we get a four day week!


I recollect when.....

remember (something); call to mind.

Do you remember sitting around listening to elderly people who talk about "back in the day" and say "Well, I recollect when...." 

Well, today I recollect when.....

Laundry day was actually a whole day.... or two. Mom washed our clothes in a wringer washer. We had well water and it wasn't a very deep well so we had to watch how much water we ran in a day. 

She had a galvanized tub that she used to put the rinse water in. She would fill it with cold water the night before so she would have enough water to wash the next day. 

No spin cycle on a wringer washer. So you had to literally run them through the ringer as many times as it took to get all the water out after washing. (by the way, this is a stock photo, not my mom).

Then you had to swing the wringer portion over your rinse tub, rinse them by hand and run them through the wringer again.

Then you would go out and hang them on the line to dry. 

Once they were dry you "brought them in" to be ironed and/or folded. I remember her having a sprinkler bottle and there were certain things she would sprinkle and then put them in a pile and tie them up in a tablecloth and put them in the refrigerator. Apparently, keeping them cold helped get the wrinkles out when she ironed.

She always ironed in the living room while we watched Hazel, Pete & Gladys or Dick Van Dyke. 

And if it was something like dress shirts or our pretty little dresses, she would use Niagara Spray Starch.

So doing laundry was a two day sprint, not just "toss a load in...do something...move it to dryer...do something else...fold and put away" like it is today. 

So yes, I recollect when laundry took more than a day. But I also recollect that her efforts were all worth it because we made a fine looking family.