Saturday, September 27, 2008


Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday, dear NOLA!
Happy birthday to you!

In case you haven't guessed by now-----it's Nola's birthday! Click on over to her blog, Alamo-North, and wish her a happy birthday! If you haven't visited her blog yet, you're in for a treat! She is a wonderful writer and has some great stories to tell about life, family, and home! She loves plants & flowers and you can view photos of her beautiful garden! Among her wonderful collections are lamps. I love lamps, too! It must be in the see, Nola is my cousin.

Nola, I hope your birthday is as special as you! May all your birthday wishes come true!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Have you heard? Jeannie at DreamerJean is having a party today! Specifically, a home library party! I found out about it from Nola at Alamo-North. What fun! We're browsing through everyone's home libraries and favorite spots to read! Check out her post for everyone else on the tour, and enjoy!......

Here's a little "table" I made from stacking up some encyclopedias my Mom was getting rid (the ones we had when we were kids. ) Just enough room to set a drink and possibly….a book!

Our comfy spot to read in the den! We won this chair years ago at an antique auction. It's called a "gentlemen's chair" because it's very low to the ground, and it's where the man would sit to put on or take off his boots.

Darling hubby enjoying a good book! What a sweetheart to pose for the tour! Thanks, Hon!

I love books--all kinds. I love to browse bookstores & I read so much that I buy most of my books at discount prices from eBay &, where you can get new books at great prices, and the nearby Hastings in Waxahachie, TX, where you can get good buys on gently used books (they buy your books, too, and also sell new books). After reading, I pass most of them on to co-workers, friends, and family, but still seem to end up with lots I can't part with - the ones I might need for reference & the ones I want to read again. I'm fortunate to have a couple of bookshelves in my den and then my husband and I bought 5 bookcases at an auction a few years ago, which helped a lot! Three are in the master bedroom & two in the guest room. We also have a little vintage glass-enclosed "lawyers bookcase" we bought an an antique auction many years ago. (I'm blogging at home on my lunch break, as usual; check back later for more photos, as I've got to get back to work--smile!)

I wonder if anyone else remembers the ad which ran in a lot of decorating magazines a few years ago, which showed a room with all 4 walls entirely encased in built-in bookshelves completely full of books---the only piece of furniture being a bed in the very center of the room. I tore out that ad and kept it for a long time. That was my dream of the ideal bedroom! ----Just a bed surrounded by books! (I think the ad was for the bedding!)

Thanks for visiting, and be sure & check out all the blogs on Jeannie's tour!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Top 10 Favorite Fall Foods

(Photo taken recently at the Hallmark Cards & Gifts on Hwy. 77 in Waxahachie, TX---so many adorable Fall gift items!)

My 10 Favorite Fall Foods (in no particular order):

1. Winter Squash - I love acorn squash with lots of black pepper & melted butter and spaghetti squash topped with spaghetti sauce, of course!

2. Chili - I make a quick & easy chili, using ground chuck seasoned with chili powder, black pepper, garlic, chopped onion, canned chopped tomatoes, canned Ranch Style beans, and Tabasco sauce. It’s a quick & easy dinner! I also make it using ground turkey.

I make a mean White Chili (using chicken) – I’ll be posting the recipe, which I got from my sister-in-law in Lubbock.

3. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie and other pumpkin deserts!

4. Spice cake, spice bars, deserts with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg---the more cinnamon the better!

5. Baked apples – I’ve always loved applesauce and fresh apples, but was not a big fan of baked apples until several years ago when I found a yummy recipe from my old Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook (will post the recipe).

6. Hot Fall/Winter beverages, namely hot cocoa and hot apple cider with cinnamon.

7. Soups – I’m always looking for new soup recipes and I can’t wait to try Nola’s tomato soup from her Alamo-North blog! I've never tried Pumpkin Soup before (to make it or eat it) but there was a recipe that looked really good in the latest Better Homes & Garden magazine, which I'm going to try & will post if if it turns out good. Sounds good - it's got curry powder in it!

8. Stews and other comfort foods which I cook in my huge, trusty crockpot.

9. Chili dogs - I know, this one's a little weird, but I don't eat chili dogs during any other time of the year ----usually,---- but I have to have at least one chili dog during the Fall or Winter –turkey weiner, bun, and then the works, as far as toppings go, which for me means turkey chili, chopped onions, mustard, and grated cheddar cheese!

10. Popcorn balls & caramel apples (although I don’t eat these anymore ---I just can’t stand to eat anything that sticks to my teeth ---- I guess that’s from working the last several years at a dentist’s office! ) Instead, when I get a Fall craving for these, I’ll either get a bag of low-fat microwave popcorn or I’ll spread peanut butter on apple slices (one of my all-time favorite snacks!).

I’ll be pulling out my favorite Fall recipes and sharing them with you soon!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


The Inspired Room's Fall Nesting tour has inspired the photos below. There's already over 150 links to different posts on Fall decorating!!! How fun is that! I usually don't put out pumpkins till the end of September (in this Texas heat, they can deteriorate before the end of the season), but I bought a bag of those little "mini" pumpkins today to start decorating inside......

Fresh flowers in shades of orange. We bought the Shirley Temple pitchers years ago. I love to use them for little vases. Notice the one on the left in lighter-colored glass with a lighter imprint of Ms. Temple. It's an original from the 1930's. The one on the right is a reproduction. It's made of darker blue glass with a very bright imprint of her. Someone said the originals were given away as a freebie for buying Bisquick biscuit mix. I didn't realize Bisquick has been around that long, but their website does indeed say that it hit the market in 1931! Sorry, I couldn't seem to get a photo without our new giant faucet (which I love) being in the way.

Raindrops on window from the rain we got today from Hurricane Ike.

Speaking of Fall... I’ve really missed everyone in Blogland for the past couple of weeks because I almost broke my arm when I fell (OK, that's a different kind of "Fall"), playing soccer at a family reunion over the Labor Day holiday weekend! I went to the ER, where they took x-rays & fortunately, it was just a severe contusion. They put it in a sling for a few days. This past week, the swelling in my fingers went down & I was finally able to type again! Yeah! I can’t wait to get “caught up” on reading everyone’s posts, not to mention doing some posting of my own!

The Top 10 Things I love about Fall:

1) Fall foods---cozy, comfort food. I will be posting my favorite Fall recipes, which I hope you’ll enjoy!

2) Doing some Fall Decorating.

3) Driving around looking at the yards & porches decorated for Fall & taking photos. (I love going down Harbin Street in Waxahachie. Another area that goes all out for Fall decorating is the area around SMU in Dallas where all the adorable cottage houses are.) If I can find all my old Fall yard photos, I’ll scan them in & share with you! (I need to put them all in a photo album anyway.)

4) The gorgeous colors of the season.

5) Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins (for decorating and eating). I use canned for eating, but I love picking out pumpkins to decorate with.

6) Scarecrows. (One year my Mom and I got together & made some really cool ones. I used Don’s old flannel shirt, a pair of my old jeans, and pillows for stuffing. We painted the faces. I decorated him with a straw hat, a large silk sunflower, some chili peppers, a black crow on his arm. He was so cute. On Halloween night, he got stolen. Now, I just get those cheap scarecrows from Walmart (and I bring them in on Halloween night), but unless it rains a lot, I can usually save them for the next year. I can usually get 2-3 years out of them. A couple of years ago, I was out in the yard, when a woman was out for a walk with her little girl and said they always have to walk by our house because her little girl loves to see our scarecrows! That compliment made me feel so good to know I made that little girl happy, and that sweet memory still gives me the energy to put out some Fall decorations every year. Sometimes I don’t get any put out indoors, but I always try to at least decorate outside!

7) Fall leaves, acorns, dried grapevines, wreaths, gourds, haystacks, & cornstalks.

8) The annual State Fair of Texas in Dallas. This year: Sept. 26 – Oct. 19, 2008. State Fair “musts” for me are: Big Tex; the quilts, collectibles, photography, & handmade items in the Creative Arts building; the auto show; the Midway; the science museum; & the famous corny dogs (you knew there had to be food in here somewhere). One of my favorite things was always the fashion show (the models sang & danced), but they no longer have it.

9) Vineyard Fair (originally Sale Street Fair) in Dallas. Even though it no longer exists, every year at this time many happy memories come to mind of this arts fair which used to be held every October in Dallas. They blocked off some streets near McKinney Ave. in Dallas (if memory serves, Routh Street was one of them). Artists displayed their goods for sale down the middle of the streets. There were paintings, handmade jewelry, crafts, etc. These streets were lined with antique shops, gift shops, and restaurants, so we browsed the artists’ booths but also had so much fun going through all the shops! There were a few really cute houses interspersed among the businesses, and the homeowners took this opportunity to have yard sales in front of their homes at this time. They always had some awesome antiques and vintage collectibles for sale. On Routh Street, the Sample House & Candle Shop always had their yard decorated so cute for Fall with pumpkins and scarecrows and they sold hotdogs and drinks in their yard (I don’t think they have a location there anymore). They were housed in a darling old house and each room had different types of gift items for sale, for instance one room was nothing but gift wraps (papers, ribbons, bows, gift bags, etc.). I always loved to see how the house itself was decorated inside. I remember one time, they used old vintage canes at the tops of the windows to hang their curtains from. I always got lots of cool decorating ideas. One year, one of the antique shops along Vineyard Fair was going out of business and had everything on sale (a really good sale!). We ended up getting a gorgeous antique bedroom suite there (bed, dresser, armoire). We still have it. The armoire houses our stereo in the den, the dresser is in our master bedroom and the bed is in the guest bedroom! We have such great memories of Vineyard Fair. I’m not sure that we ever heard why they stopped having it. Maybe it got hard to block off the streets for the weekend!

10) Thanksgiving – one of my favorite holidays. You know it would be one that involves food, right? Seriously, it’s a great time to count our blessings and give thanks.

Hurricane Ike
My heart goes out to all who are experiencing loss, injury or damage due to Hurricane Ike. Thankfully, we only had high winds and rain today (north of Corsicana, TX).

The worst we had at our house was an overturned large fern on a stand near our front door. The wind must have really been swirling around in that corner.

Here’s the stand that fell over – the fern was on top. I was about to plant something in the bottom but there wasn’t anything in there at the time, so I guess it was top-heavy.

It fell onto an urn with various little plants in it, right onto the delicate begonias. Oh, well, no big deal. We feel very blessed. Our neighbor across the street had a small tree break off at the trunk. We ran some errands in town in the afternoon and didn’t see any damage, but the wind was really blowing.

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