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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Whew!! Christmas decorating, Christmas shopping, Christmas music, Christmas wrapping, Christmas cooking, Christmas eating!!!! Sometimes I feel so bogged down in all the preparations for Christmas I feel overburdened and not celebrating what Christmas really is.. Yes, I love to give gifts (if I know what will make someone happy, not just giving something that is unwanted). I love receiving gifts that I know someone gives with love and care (not just fulfilling their duty). I love to decorate ( if my efforts are appreciated) and love being reminded of previous Christmases when seeing the ornaments. I love Christmas music. Wrapping is not that much fun. I love trying new recipes. And of course I love to eat!! But this is Christmas!! This is the time when God sent His only begotten Son to be born in simplicity- no fanfare.. no luxury, nothing to the world that looked spectacular. But this Baby was God's Son.. who left Heaven to be confined in a human body. He was born to die so He could take away our sins. How miraculous is that??? That God loved us that much!! Oh please dear Heavenly Father- renew in my heart what Christmas is all about- and if I have to give up all of the above to do it, then I give it all up!! You are my Gift!! May I be reminded everyday that I owe it all to You Lord!! Thank you Lord that I am here on this earth another Christmas Day to celebrate your birth!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sewing room-part 2

Somehow I left off one of my photos that shows my ironing table. I could not figure out how to go back and include it in the previous post.

Sewing room

So it has been some time since I posted here on my blog. I guess any followers I have had have given up on me. I have been working the last couple of days getting my sewing room organized. I went to the Family Crisis Center Thrift Shop and purchased this farmhouse table. It is certainly not an antique, nor does it look all that great right now, but it was within my budget. Remember, I retired, and don't have or need to be spending money on anything frivolous. I had been using a plastic table from Academy. It had previously been left outside; therefore, making it a little swayed in the middle. I wanted to move my cutting mat to the table and have my ironing table on my other work table. So this is going to work out good. I don't like the fabric of the loveseat. It is an old Ethan Allen loveseat that I purchased in 1986- yes, the mauve does scream 80's. But I absolutely love having a comfortable place to sit and either read, be on my computer, watch TV, and/or do handwork. It is not a very deep loveseat, so it is comfortable to sit erect and easy to get up from. I have a window AC in the room which lets me get this place super super cold!! Yes... menopause will have you get excited about such things as window air conditioners!! I also still have room to do my workout with my weights and videos, and I can pull my treadmill down if I decide to walk inside. I plan to get some shelves built above the worktable that is against the wall next to my thread. I have lots of shelves to house my books, magazines, notebooks, etc. I have a small desk that has all of my cards- thank you notes, birthday, sympathy, etc. I have good lighting too. I love my sewing room!!! It is a great place to work. I included the photos because this maybe the neatest it will be in awhile. The stuff below the table is some of my fabric that will not go in the closet.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

At My House

I just don't seem to have alot to blog about these days. Not that I have been doing little, but I have been doing alot... just nothing exciting. I got up very early today to put up okra. My neighbor and I picked from his garden a couple of days ago. I left the okra in the frig knowing I had better hurry up or it was going to go bad. And I had a full day today, so I got up and started in on that okra at 6:00 a.m. It took me over an hour to wash it, cut it, and get it in the seal-a-meal bags. I had 8 quarts total with enough left over to fry tonight. Speaking of that.... dh said it was the best he had ever had!! I don't know if it was because I coated it just right with the cornmeal or because it was fresh. But I have to agree- it was delish!!
Our tomatoes are finally finished. We had so many from our mere 16 plants that we were loving giving them away to friends and family. I still have a few in the frig along with some green ones for frying. Yes, I know I do not need to eat all that fried food, but I do have to say it is better than processed food.
Since I have retired from dental hygiene, I have been happy to help out with one of my dear friend's son's business. He and his wife have estate sales, and I am one of their workers. I have found some great deals at these estate sales. Like one the other day- I was able to buy two small braided rugs for $10 each. This is funny... have you ever had a job where you paid them??? I find so much to buy that I end up using up all my hours plus having to pay them. I have found some good stuff- Champion juicer, sewing machine, sewing supplies- books, fabric, thread; television, tools, paintings, prints, fans.. all things that I am recycling!! And many times you get good stuff because it is old, totally metal, made in U.S.A., and just all around better!! Tomorrow I will be there bright and early at 7:30 a.m. before the big rush at 8:00 a.m. This sale will last 3 days. It is not antiques this time, but lots of "men" stuff- tractor, four-wheeler, go-cart, lawn mowers, tools, pool table, etc. Of course there is also household stuff too like dishes, furniture and linens.
I am really trying to get back to working out harder. I have bought Zumba and also Chalean Extreme. I have done them both a few times and still doing my walking. My dh had put me on the gym membership back in January. I think I went maybe four times. I just did not like that gym. It was mainly men there, it was small, hot, and crowded. Since it was a 24 hour place, many times there was no attendant on the premises. And the clientale needed to read the book on weight lifting etiquette. They would leave those heavy heavy weights on the leg press. I could never use it because I could not lift that to get them off. And when you went to put your clothes in the locker, someone had left theirs there like it was their own private locker!! I guess I just had a bad attitude toward this place from the get-go. I mean, I have worked out in gyms all through my working out years, and this place just did not do it for me. But... I am still having a hard time MAKING myself do my weight lifting. I may be able to join a new group that will be working out at 6:00 a.m. everyday. I haven't been getting up this early, but I can do that!! I think I will try it.
So today I sent my first T shirt quilt to the quilter. I have started on the second one. Then when I get the last set of T shirts from ds, I will start on his. I have been doing a little bit more sewing lately because it is just too darn hot to be outside. This Texas heat is rough!! We did get a small shower today here at my house. I just finished doing my 3 mile walk starting at 7:00 p.m. My face was beet red, and I was dripping with sweat. Off to the shower and bed for me!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where Ya Been Dee?

T shirt quilt- 24 T shirts, 12 on front and 12 on back-just need to add the borders and get quilted
tomato basil jam- I think it will be good over cream cheese.
Corn salsa- use as a dip with chips.
Father's Day weekend at Galveston
Have y'all been wondering where I have been? Gosh... it has been 3 months since I have posted. I cannot believe that time is rushing by so fast. Well... I have had lots going on. You know I told you all how in January I helped my oldest ds fix his bathroom up.. then he decided to move to the Woodlands, so I helped him kinda sorta stage his house. I have a friend that is a stager and another friend that is a realtor, and they both gave me some pointers on what to do to help sell his house. Here is what I did- shampooed the carpet, painted every room except for the bathroom ( which I did) and another bedroom which I did last year; painted the kitchen cabinets; painted the deck off from the patio; painted the hardware on the kitchen cabinets; bleached the grout on the kitchen tile; had to tear down wallpaper in one bedroom before I painted it; painted the light fixture on front porch; painted the mailbox; planted impatiens in the front flower bed; pressure washed the deck before painting; pressure washed the carport and the front of the house; watered the yard continually, raked up 18 bags of pinestraw; hauled off junk, cleaned thoroughly the laundry/storage room; replaced the lights on the ceiling fan. I am sure I left something out.. but yea!!! he sold the house and did make a profit... and I will get a nice monetary gift for all my hard work!!
I have also kept my granddaughter a few times this summer. That is lots of fun, but also quite exhausting for this "Gibby". I have made it a few times to Galveston to check on my family's condo.. which is still for sale!!
I haven't done near the amount of working out, walking, zumba as what I would like. I have had some health issues, but after scheduling an appointment 6 weeks ago, I finally got to see the doctor today. I will soon have the wonderful colonoscopy along with a scope to check out my esophagus. They are gonna meet in the middle...LOL
I have done very little in my sewing room except for fixing it up so I can comfortably watch TV. I now have a window unit along with central air in this room. I put a little loveseat in here too... you come to my house, you can find me in this room. I am planning and designing a wall of some bookshelves. I have so many projects I want to do, and I seem to be doing more planning that doing... I just seem to have a hard time getting started.. so today... by gosh.. I got the spray paint out and have been painting my barstools. My dh came home and could not understand why I wanted to change things... duh... women like to change things!! So instead of buying new, I am just making things different.
I also was pretty busy a couple of weeks ago "putting up" tomatoes. I have made over 60 jars of salsa, tomato basil jam, pickles, and my newest- chili sauce. This is fantastic!! I have eaten it on refried beans, rice, eggs, and I plan to use it with enchiladas. I am so proud of this!! It is from the cookbook, You Can Can.
So, yes, I have been busy, and just not making time to blog. I hope I will start back regularly. I will include some photos of some of my projects.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just Painting?

To some people who saw me with a paintbrush in my hands, you would think that all that was going on was that I was painting. However... there was much more going on. You see, I have been painting the interior of my oldest son's house along with his assistance. When you are in the same room painting there are times of silence, but there is also talking going on. Now let me say, that those who know me know that I am a BIG talker.. but my firstborn son is a man of few words... always has been. We used to quote the commercial... gosh.. I cannot even remember who it was for, but when they talk we listen... well, we could always say that about Brett... when Brett talks we listen because he was not a big talker. He did not tell you what he was thinking or how he felt about something. So today was a very enjoyable day for me. I loved spending time with my son... Brett talking, and Dee listening. I love him so much. He is such a sweet and extremely intelligent person. All of us in our family just do not understand how he is so smart because the rest of us are just average. If that sounds like I am bragging, I certainly don't mean it that way. There are some people that are blessed by God with beautiful looks, great athletic ability, and then super intelligence. I just continue each day to pray for him. That God will use this great talent he has given him to glorify God... not for his selfish gain which is the way of this world. So painting??? yes, we got lots of painting done, but so much more. Don't miss those opportunities that come your way... sometimes these days are just so much more than what they appear to be. Thank you Lord for this special day of painting that I had!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Little to Blog About

My beautiful daughter and granddaughter
Friends and Family at Olive Garden

Fish Fry

Well, I have felt like I had little to blog about. I was quite busy a couple of weeks ago. My sister was here from N.C. for a visit and my daughter and granddaughter were here during that time. It seems we were on the go, but not doing anything really spectacular. My dh fried up some good ole catfish! I probably said it before, but he cooks it better than any restaurant. It is meaty on the inside and crispy on the outside... just the way I like it. My sons and their gfs were here for the fish fry. One of the days my sister was here, we headed over to ds's house... you know the house where I redid the bathroom. Well... he has moved to the Woodlands, and the house is for sale. I borrowed a power washer and we got the patio and back deck all spruced up- this east Texas weather is notorious for growing mildew. The house is pretty much all cleared out- now if only a buyer will come along.

I had a doctor appointment to check my thyroid levels on Monday. I have not yet heard back from my lab results. After my appointment which was in Houston I headed down to Galveston. I met up with a friend there, and we had dinner and a movie. I seldom go to the movie here in town, but for some reason when I am in Galveston I like to go. I saw the new Matt Damon movie, Adjustment Bureau, I think that is what it was called. It was not a great movie.. too strange for me. I don't care for movies that are fantasy and not true to life. I had some great seafood while I was in Galveston. One day some boiled shrimp and a fish taco, and then the next day shrimp enchiladas. That was a first for me on the shrimp enchiladas, and my opinion is... it was not something I would order again. I did get to soak up some sun while I was there and also went for two walks- both about 3 miles. I had to cut my trip short to return home for a funeral. It was the father of one of my friends- he was 87, and had lived a very full life. And then tomorrow will be another funeral of an acquaintance's 34 year old daughter. It is also the niece of one of my dear friends. Such a shock to all of the family to lose her at such a young age. So as of late, I have been overwhelmed with thinking of my friends and the loss they are experiencing. But thankfully both of the people that died knew Jesus as Saviour and knew where they would spend eternity. This is what is and will continue to sustain these loved ones left behind. They have the hope of seeing their departed again.

I am trying to get myself going. I have walked every day for 3 days. So far today I have not made it because I had too much to do. That is no excuse! But the day is not over yet.

Today I got up and cut up alot of green onions that went right into the food dehydrator. They are still drying now. Tomorrow I am getting my new baby chicks. There are so many things I want to do, and I am usually either short on energy or short on time. I love living in the country.

I have several projects that I want to get done. I had been working on that birthday banner and I want to finish it. I have still not finished the T shirt quilts I started. I want to learn how to crochet, knit, and tat. My garden will soon be started. I need to get busy again with my kitchen garden- namely basil, oregano, cilantro, and mint. There are lots of cute little outfits I want to make my gd, and I got a serger from a friend that I want to learn how to operate. Like I said.. lots of things I want to do!! I will post later showing my onions and also the homemade pizza that I made. So don't give up on me.. I plan to blog more in the future.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gonna Start Posting Again

I really am gonna start posting again. The main reason I have not been posting is because of my camera. First, I needed a new battery. Finally I got one. Then, I lost my memory card. You see my battery had swelled inside my camera. I had a dickens of a time getting it removed. And when I did the memory card came with it. And then, like I said, I misplaced the darn thing. So I made a visit to Walmart to get a new memory card. I bought the wrong kind. Back to Walmart to exchange it. I got the other new memory card yesterday. I moved some magazines and what did I find under the magazines? You guessed it, my memory card!! I am glad I had not opened the new memory card. I will return it AGAIN!! Well, I guess I can show you the dress that I made for dear granddaughter for her birthday. I don't have a photo of her in it, but I have one of her momma and daddy looking at it. I will post more later. I am also including a photo of dgd, dh, and me at the party. She had a cute Minnie Mouse dress on, but when she got the swimsuit, she wanted it on NOW!!! Naturally Gibby obliged her. LOL

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Do as I say, not as I do. How many times have we heard that? Did you ever hear it from your parents? Well hear it from me!! Only, I think I will change it up somewhat.. do as I say, and what I aspire to do... I have been harping on this blog for two years now about exercise and healthy eating. Do I follow this? Well... off and on. I have gone through periods of lots of exercise ( for a 50+ person) to very little exercise. Retirement has certainly been an obstacle in my routine. .. or should I say what routine? That's right, I lost my routine when I quit working. I have never been a person to sit around though. Just because I don't have a routine, I won't say that I have been lazy. I have indeed accomplished alot in a year, just not concerning my exercise goals. Also, my weight loss went the other way- yes, instead of losing, I have gained. I have read about probably every exercise manual and diet book and new recipes you can think of. Some I have tried, some I have dismissed. So I thought I would list some of my conclusions. They may not be your conclusions or some statistician. I have no experiments or data to have them set in stone. But here goes.

1. Every diet, be it low fat, low carb, etc. does not work on every person. Some of it is related to their hormones or how they metabolize food. My dh has been on the miracle metabolism eating plan- in a week he had lost 15 lbs, I lost 5. After 8 weeks, he had continued to lose as I gained mine back. Eating the same things!! This is low carb. The same thing happened with South Beach. My best way of losing weight is counting calories- essentially weight watchers.

2. The three main objectives in a diet are quality food, quantity of food, and frequency of food intake.
Quality-Forget all those processed low fat or low calorie foods that are not really food. If the food you eat did not have a mother, or did not grow in the ground, don't eat it. (there goes my Dr. Pepper). Eat organic if you can. Buy locally if you can. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, free range eggs
Quantity- portion control does matter. A menopausal woman cannot eat as much as her husband who has more muscle mass. He will lose, she will gain.
Frequency- eat those "smaller" meals several times a day instead of larger 3 square meals

3. Drink your water. You really should be drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150, drink 75 ounces of water. Your body works the best at metabolizing food when you drink water.

4. Exercise!! I often thought that the exercise I did was not that beneficial. After all, I was not getting thin from doing it. But now after a year, of very little exercise- a hit and miss of walking and maybe doing some weight lifting here and there I know that I was wrong. Exercise is so important for health. I have had bronchitis probably 4x in a year, I have been sluggish, tired, developed arthritis. I probably could think of more.
Do aerobic exercise- to help your heart, increase your stamina.
Do anaerobic exercise- working with weights to increase your muscle mass and working your core so that when you reach, bend, pull, push, lift, etc. in your daily activities your body is able to do these things.
Stretching- do yoga or pilates for all of the above reasons.
Exercise is going to be what keeps you young.. or should I say lack of exercise is what is going to make you old- you will look old, and you will walk and move like an older person. When I was working seeing patients I could most of the time tell which 70 and 80 year olds exercised. I knew before they ever answered my question of "do you exercise?" what they were going to tell me. They either told me that they walked routinely or that they worked in the yard.

5. Destress. This to me is one of the most important areas of keeping your body fit because your mind and emotions are not separate from you body. This world and circumstances in life can certainly cause stress. Some of our stress can be avoided, but certainly some cannot. Spend time with God with prayer and reading His Word, meditate, relax, take a hot bubble bath, get a massage, spend time with friends, write in a journal, write each day something you are grateful for, write notes of encouragement to others, laugh, laugh, laugh, tell others how you love them, think positive and throw out negative thoughts, speak positively, be creative with sewing or crafts, spend time outside listening to nature, turn off your TV, phone and computer, listen to good music, do something you remembered doing as a child.

So, in conclusion... let me repeat.. do as I say.. and as I aspire to do. All of this I share with you because all of this is what I need to hear!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Core Program.

One of my favorite things to do is find new diet/health/exercise books. I probably read more about exercising than I do exercising. LOL... So I was in Goodwill the other day, and I picked this book up for $1.99 simply because it was a hardback book instead of a softbound one. I already had other books about core training, Pilates, yoga, but this one interested me because it was written by a physical therapist. If any of you have back trouble, you know that you have had to have some kind of treatment for it- core training, Pilates, physical therapy, chiropractic care, or extreme- surgery. Probably for the last 8 years or so, every now and then I will strain my back or what I refer to as "pulling my back out". Sometimes I do this after working in the yard. Sometimes it is from doing some heavy lifting. But sometimes, I can just reach to pick up a piece of paper off the floor, and WHAM! There it goes. This book really explains about muscle elongating and muscle contraction and the reasons you can not only pull your back out, but so many other issues that come from poor muscle quality. So I have only done the beginning 15 minutes a day program two times, but I must say... omg... my back feels so much better after the stretching and conditioning in those minutes. Of course right now it is taking me longer because I am trying to familiarize myself with each exercise. Core training is not a substitute for aerobic or anaerobic exercise. But core training is what we all need as we age. Your core includes the muscles in your shoulders, back, chest, abdomen, and hips. We do so much reaching, bending, pulling, pushing, and twisting that all comes from our core. The title of the book is The Core Program and the author is Peggy W. Brill, P.T. This book is available on or I hope to make this a habit of working my core with these stretches. The exercises do progress to more strength training which I think I could do now since I have done core training before. However, I just decided to start from the beginning. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Being Hearing Impaired

So today I had to take my mother to the doctor's office for a follow-up visit. Now I know there are levels of educated employees in a doctor's office- the doctor, the LVN, the RN, the receptionist, etc. And I know that some of these are highly educated, and some may be trained there from off the street. This has nothing to do with who is smart and who is not... because I want to pass on some education RIGHT NOW!! This was at the heart institute- and at this facility the patients can be all ages- children up to senior adults. But I would say that 90% of the patients that I see in this office are over 65 years old. And with age comes infirmities besides just the heart. That being said.. here is the gist of what this post is about- hearing loss. This assistant continued to ask a question when her back was turned or mumbled a reply to my mother. Why are so many people so ignorant about hearing loss? My mother has profound hearing loss. Yes, she has tried just about every hearing aid you can imagine. She was told she was not a candidate for the implants. So she lives in a world where she does not hear very well. This is the main reason I must accompany her to her appointments. So if you will let me enlighten you on how you can help someone with hearing loss then keep reading. The photo is of three generations- this is my mother, me, and two of my kids. Who else will inherit this condition in my family?

When you are speaking to someone that is hearing impaired:

1. Speak clearly- most people especially young adults rattle off words very fast. And someone in a dr's office should know... hmm... old person... probably has some hearing loss. Enunciate your words.

2. Face that person- most hearing impaired people can read lips very well from all the practice. So don't turn your face away from them when you talk to them. In fact, when you go to dinner, etc. try to arrange yourself across the table so that they can always see your lips.

3. Invite this person to go with you one on one- big groups and noisy restaurants are murder to a hearing impaired person-it is like a bunch of people are shouting garble.

4. No need to scream... you can talk louder than normal, but don't shout- they hear sound, it is just mufflled.

5. NEVER, EVER, NEVER... I repeat NEVER laugh at a hearing impaired person when they misunderstood what you said and answered the complete opposite of what you said, or if they just repeated what you were just talking about with someone else. Just repeat what you want to say.

Being unable to hear is a sad situation. But it does not have to be when you have considerate family and friends and people in the community that know how to help. I love to see how some of my mother's friends will gently nudge her when they want to get her attention to tell her something. I remember seeing a man on some show interviewed one time. This man had been a famous doctor or something, and he had gone blind and deaf. He was asked which one do you miss the most? He said , " oh that is easy to answer, losing my hearing. You see, losing your sight isolates you from things, but losing your hearing isolates you from people." I just never forgot that from so many years ago.

We do not want to see people that cannot hear to withdraw from the world. Only by being educated on helping a hearing impaired person, and being considerate of them can we make them not want to do that. And who knows... it may just be you that will need others to know this...

More Books to Be Read

So here are two more books to be read to earn some of my merit badges. The Worms Eat My Garbage is about growing your own worms for your compost pile to put in your garden. My friend Tamisha has been doing this for awhile. I have my compost pile, but no worms yet.
The other book, Bees: Nature's Little Wonders is just that.. telling all about the way God made bees to do their job. I don't know yet how indepth this book is. Both of these books have come from interlibrary loan. I am working furiously trying to get them read before I have to return them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Final Photos of Bathroom Redo

The part of the bath that opens to the hallway.
You can see the wall art on the adjacent wall. I hung the valances too high. They need to come down about 1 1/2 inches.

Here is where I made my boo-boo. The side panels are mirror images of each other. This valance was to be just like the other valance. I messed up and did two of the sides just alike( DUH); therefore, I had to cut them off to get them right, so I added this paisley since I bought them together. I originally painted this mirror from brass-looking to silver to match the newly painted light fixtures. I did not like this, so I repainted it white.

Here is a close-up of the fabrics. I got a fantastic deal on the two fabrics for the valances- only $11.90. If they had been $50, I think I still would have bought them. But what a deal I got!! They look so good up against the dark wood, and the gold walls.

Here is the chocolate brown shower curtain.
So I am finally finished with this project.... A project that I thought would take about 4 days turned into 3 weeks. I did not work every single day of those three weeks. I would have gone absolutely crazy if I did. However; this was a very BIG project. My friend and neighbor helped me the last two days do the touch-up painting. She is a much better painter than me. Her husband came and helped us rehang the doors. That bathroom had 4 doors! One I did not have to remove, and one of them I was able to put back on myself. But the last two would not fit. He had to remove the screws on the brackets to give the door more mobility and make it fit. Now, I never would have thought of that!! He also helped me drill the holes for the boards for the valances. I did get them too high, and I hope that either he or my OWN dh will assist me in moving them down a little. All in all, I am pleased with this bathroom remodel. My ds needs to have the kitchen updated also.. but I just do not know when I will be up to that.
Right now there is a bunch of sewing projects that I want to do. I do love learning new things. It sure does stretch a person, and can also get quite unnerving!! Now is the time for me to get myself back to my healthy eating and exercise program. I have used this project for an excuse for TOO long!!

Going Green

Cut around the neck and the sleeves and then cut the bottom off according to how deep you want the bag. The shoulders of the T shirt will be your handles.

Snip off the corners at the bottom of the T shirt.

Now you will make a gusset so that the bag will have a bottom to it. This one is 2 1/4 inches. Spread your seam allowance, measure 2 1/4 inches from the corner.

Pin in place and draw a line that you will stitch.

Stitch this line and snip off the seam allowance.

Here is what the bottom of your bag now looks like.

And here is your finished, recycled, repurposed shopping bag.

So one of the badges I am in the process of earning on Mary Jane's farmgirls is "Going green". I think this falls into "Shopping green." Now I have not been a big advocate of going green. This does not mean I am opposed to it. I am rethinking alot of the waste and footprints I am leaving behind. I do still have some plastic water bottles, but it is mainly just for convenience because I have a water purifier, and I have used it for over 10 years. I must say though that if I still had babies in diapers, I don't know if I could make the switch to cloth diapers. I tried that and did not like it. However, I have heard that major improvements have been made since I was diapering my children. But back to shopping green. I saw on the Mary Jane website a farmgirl sister (Ruby Slider) had made several grocery bags out of T-shirts. When I was working on my ds's bathroom, I noticed that he had cleaned out his closet. I took the good shirts to either Goodwill or the resale shop (let me get some of my money back for all the paint I bought). But the T-shirts were to be cut up and used as rags. Yes... I am continually trying to recycle, reuse, and repurpose. So thank you Ruby for this excellent tutorial on making these shopping bags. Ruby says that they work well even with canned goods. I just cut out my first one and I am going to make it all the way through before I "tweak" it... you know.... how deep I want it, if my T shirts are too big, etc. How about you? I know you all have those old T shirts lying around. Also... in weeks to come I will show you the T shirt quilt I am presently working on for my ds.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Books I Am Reading

I am reading some books that were recommended on the Mary Jane's Farmgirl site about our food. I have not read all of them. Two of them I picked up at the local library, and one of them is from interlibrary loan. I need to get busy so I can get them all read in time. The one that I am currently reading is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. This book is about a family that moved from California back to the husband's hometown in Virginia. They have vowed to try to eat only things that they either grow themselves or are locally grown and can be purchased at the Farmer's Market. She talks about knowing where your food came from. She also talks about the freshness because it did not take days for it to reach her. She emphasizes the importance of supporting your local farmers and of the benefits of organically grown food. So far, this book is really having an effect on me. I don't know if I can go to this extreme, but I could sure try.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


So Monday I took a break from my bathroom remodel job and got to work to make these aprons for my sister and my two nieces. I had planned on giving these to them as an extra gift for Christmas. But I had that relapse of bronchitis before Christmas and that hampered me from getting everything done. So I love love love these fabrics! Of course I love designer fabrics. I forgot the name of this fabric line, but it came from Hobby Lobby. I am just crazy now about contemporary fabrics, and these coordinating fabrics looks so cute together. I bought the fabric thinking I was just going to make my own apron from out of my head. But I found this Amy Butler pattern at a local quilt shop. I love this designer! Check out her website and see some of her bags and apparel. She is sooooo talented. I made the first apron all the way through. After I knew exactly how to do it and the steps to take, I made the other two assembly line style. Hope this inspires you to dust off that sewing machine and do something creative!

Finished... well .... almost

So here is the photo of the wall art and the two fabrics that I got on sale in the remnant stack for only $11. I chose to use the stripe and not the paisley.

Here is the tub/shower combination that shows the newly textured sheetrock over previous wallpaper. The beaded board was stained. After multiple coats of white oil base paint and caulking, it looks great.

Here is a view of the part of the bath that opens from the hallway. I spray painted the light fixture, and used a mirror that my son had somewhere else. You cannot see the cabinet very well, but I stained it a darker color. The contrast of the dark cabinet and white beaded board had a nice touch.

So I am almost finished with the bathroom redo. The job I thought would take me 4 days turned into 3 weeks. Of course that was not working every single day though. I have had interruptions as well as just needed a break from the work and breathing the paint fumes. I have a friend who helped me the last two days do the finish work. We did the touchup painting, repainted the mirror again(not the one shown in the photos), hung the outlet covers, the towel racks, the toilet paper holders, the shower curtain, the wall art....whew... and got the brackets mounted for the valances. We even got my friend's husband to help out. For the life of us we could not get the doors back on the door frames. This bathroom has 4 doors and everyone thought I got them mixed up. But I knew I didn't. I do not know why they would not fit, but my friend's husband had to loosen the screws on the brackets to get the doors to slip into the door jams. He also drilled the holes to mount my "L" brackets on the wall that will be holding the boards that my valances are attached to. But after looking at them, I see I got them too high. I will have to get either my friend's husband or gosh... my own husband who does not like doing handiwork to come and redo them. So besides that the only other thing will be cleaning the paint off the floor that I stupidly let get there!! But today... I am not going over there. I am blogging, cooking some homemade stew, and about to go lie down and read a book.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First Photo From Bathroom Makeover

Here is some "wall art" that I made for the bathroom wall. The walls are a khaki/gold. I love this fabric. I stretched it over a canvas. I got the canvas for 30% off because they forgot to remove the sign that was supposed to come down on January 1. I got the 3/4 yard of fabric for 40% with a coupon. Both came from Hobby Lobby. I am still debating on what fabric I am going to do the window valances in. I just want to hurry up and finish this project! My A.D.D. is making it tough. I don't like staying on a project for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng time!!

Some of My New Books

Oh my gosh.. this magazine.. I love it! But I just am not gonna tell you how much I paid for it. I had to pay full price for it. But it had three of my favorite cooks- Ree Drummond from the Pioneer Woman Cooks, Serena Thompson from the Farm Chicks, and Mary Jane Butters from Mary Jane's Farm. This was the premier magazine, and I will just have to cut back somewhere else. My books are my therapy!!
This book I did get with the 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby. It has patterns for babies, toddlers, and on up to about age 6.

These dresses and skirts are adorable! Like I said, I just have too many things going on. I am anxious to make some outfits from this book.

I bought this book at a quilt shop in Tyler, and I have not liked it as much as the other two. Still, it does have some cute items.

Photos of recent Sewing Efforts

T This is a set of towels that I bought for a child and I just added his name. I loved this font.
This is a pretty font that I monogrammed in a chocolate brown.

Here is the Christmas dress I made for my granddaughter. Again, I think this font is cute. She wore a white long sleeve onesy and white stockings with it.

I got these jeans for a couple of bucks at the thrift shop and added the ruffle to the hem. She wore the jeans with a Christmas shirt.

This was my recycled dress. I took a skirt that I bought at the thrift shop for about $4 and cut it by the jumper pattern and made this dress. I added the white silky ruffle and monogrammed it. I think this is a velveteen.
So, I said I would post the photos and there they are. I have so many projects I want to do. I have bought a few books at Hobby Lobby when I have a coupon. I get them 40% off. I wish I had seen that they had the Serendipity book before I paid full price for it. I will make another post with some of the books I have recently purchased.

The New Year

Gosh... it's a new year! And this past year... has simply flown by!! I have now officially been retired for over a year. Yes, I cannot believe it. I have people all the time asking me how I like retirement. Let me just say, it is good, and it is bad. I like it because there is nothing pending that I have to take care of and I can choose to plan my days with no thought of having to plan them around work. But.. I have done what so many others do, and that is I am not as disciplined on many things because I know there is no rush to get things done.
Now, don't get me wrong... I am no slouch. I have done lots and lots of projects. And oh my gosh.. I have so many projects that I want to do. Right now I am in the biggest one I have had in awhile. For a Christmas gift, I am giving my oldest son a bathroom uplift. And this has become much more than I thought. I paid a carpenter to mud and texture the sheetrock above the beaded board paneling. And then I thought I would have the room painted in 4 days. I am painting the beaded board with oil base paint so it is taking awhile to let it dry between coats. And the beaded board was a dark color and is now white. It is taking lots of paint to cover over this paneling. The paint on the sheetrock went very fast. Also, I thought I would not be messy with the paint and did not have the floor covered. Can you say STUPID!!!
I spent all morning today just trying to remove paint off the floor. I am still not finished with the painting. I also stained the cabinets a darker color. This really turned out good. The contrast with the white beaded board, the gold/khaki walls, and the dark cabinets looks good. But I am not a good painter. It is just not looking perfect enough for me. And my arthritis is bothering me so bad that I cannot hold up but to about 4-5 hours a day. I now have about 30 hours invested in this room. I will post photos at another time- when I finish.. whenever that will be!!
I am really wanting to get to some of my sewing projects. I had started making my youngest son a tee shirt quilt. I was lacking one tee shirt. So, I stopped on this and have not returned to it because Christmas came along. I have found the cutest books for making little girls boutique dresses, skirts, and pants.
So back to the new year. Here it is January 5th, and I have only walked one day this year- January 1. I am also planning a major declutter of my house. Less is best!! I need to learn how to sell stuff on ebay. I think I might enjoy doing that more than having a booth at the antique mall. I think I might just make some plans and try to divide them up by the month on what I hope to accomplish this year. Do you think that will keep me more organized? I did have a great gardening year this past year. Lots and lots of salsa and rotel tomatoes, and pickled items, and jams.
I think I also need to make blogging one of my goals this year. Since it is called " Daily with Dee", by gosh, I need to blog whether I have anything to say or not. Right? I love reading blogs, but I have had to limit myself doing this. I could stay on the computer for hours!
Well of course another goal is to lose weight, but there again, that can be so frustrating! Dh and I have been doing the same eating program for about 2 weeks. I have lost 3-5 lbs, and he has lost 17!! What the heck??? Don't get me wrong, I am so thrilled for him- mainly that he is not just losing weight but eating like the doctor told him. But gosh... it is not helping me!!
So here's hoping that the new year will bring lots of happiness to all of you!