November 30, 2015

BUH-BYE, Fall!

Hello, everyone. I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with fun, family and food. And congratulations if you didn't have to make it yourself. 

We waved goodbye to offspring from Austin and I headed directly to the closet where the decorations are stored. So far, three days into it, what has mostly been done is creating a big old mess. In light of that, after church I started working on at least trying to get one room straight. Since it's the entry of the house, I began in the library. 
In one of the large poster frames that usually displays a collage of vintage book covers, I put this sheet of old wrapping paper from years ago. It shows a house at Christmas time with the family and their activities and the creatures outdoors.
The suitcase scene on a bookcase top shelf with a wooden church, little trees, fake snow and a greenery deer nearby.
Some special cat related cards, including two pop-ups are on their shrine.
The red box with assorted cubbies is out on display. Look for it to make an encore appearance in February. One more little house on top.
Tiny trees on top of a frame.
Another church on a corner shelf.
Last for today, a snow scene in a little jar with a deer and a tree. 

The library isn't finished  but more pictures will be ready soon. 

Have a wonderful week!


November 27, 2015

Best. Hostess. Gift. Ever

Happy Black Friday to all the shoppers out there. We're home, aside from lunch out with the FIL. 

Yesterday we had middle-daughter Mary, SIL Chuck and firstborn Cam over for  Thanksgiving dinner. In a coup like no other, here is what Mary bought me. I thought it might be a centerpiece when we talked on the phone, but it's much, much better than that. Voila!
It is an incredible living wreath of succulents. She said at least half a dozen people stopped her to ask where she'd found it and it doesn't surprise me. It's amazing. No, beyond amazing. Breathtakingly beautiful in person. The photo doesn't show how spectacular it is. I am thrilled, delighted and over the moon!

Have a wonderful weekend. If you're shopping, be careful.

November 25, 2015

Super quick

Hi there. I'm way behind on getting ready for company coming and Thanksgiving, but here is the new version of the shelf formerly in the kitchen:
Since it is relocated to the dining room, why not use it for napkin rings? One dozen, ready to be deployed, although we won't need that many tomorrow. The other shelf does work much better for the shakers, so it's good to have a place to put up this curly-edged example, too. 

Enjoy your day, whether cook or guest. As always, I am thankful for blog friends!


November 24, 2015

More Scope

Hello, all,

My apologies for the hiatus. Last week was a deadly combination of being too busy coupled with a lack of ideas. Yesterday between working at Manna and going to the grocery store it was 4:30 before I got home and my brain quit working hours before then. 

Today there was a second, fill-in shift at Manna where I picked up an item seen yesterday when we were so busy there wasn't even time to get out my wallet. To put it in context, in my kitchen on a short section of end wall near the entry there was this:
a decorative shelf from a different thrift shop bought a couple of years ago. It had salt and pepper shakers on it, but was crowded. In contrast, for $7.20 today I brought home this:
It's designed as a spoon holder, but the shelves are just right for the collection and there is even room to add a few more if any too cute to resist show up as I make my rounds. It works well, doesn't it? Meanwhile, what to put on the other, now in the dining room. Stay tuned. 

Have a good evening.


November 18, 2015

On balance,

I'm liking this valance. 

Sorry to have been awol lately, but there's been a lot going on, starting with a funeral and the onset of car problems Monday. I'm still trying to catch up, make plans for next week and figure out a menu. That's a long roundabout way of saying this is lame, but it's all there is to offer. In the kitchen window:
I know it's not quite wide enough but I will figure out a solution for that at some point. 
Moved an apple to the shelf to echo the ones in the pattern. Okay, that's all she wrote. Maybe the Inspiration Fairy will visit me before tomorrow and there will be more and better reporting. 

Have a good one!

November 13, 2015

Friday the 13th

Hello, friends,

I've been mostly home today with a brief p.o./library run after lunch. The rest of the time was spent in sanitation efforts. Not totally successful, but perhaps a bit of progress made. Our bedroom got little attention once the bed was made.

Freddy, Tilly, Junior and Butterball snoozing away are four less under my feet.
Minnie fills that chair up, doesn't she? Being matronly and mature (and what catalogs in an earlier era called "Stylishly Stout") she seldom causes problems.
That's not the case with this notorious threesome of Freckles, Flossie and Trixie. Just because they're being good now, don't be fooled. They are pesky in the extreme. There was an article in the news about Zimbabwe having a Mr. Ugly contest. If they expand it to Kitty Ugly, we might enter Freckles. She'd surely win some prize, if not first place. We always tell her she has the longest, sleekest whiskers of all, though, so she does have that going for her. 

Enough cat silliness from me, although I do plan to steer clear of the black cat till after midnight! Avoiding extra bad luck on Friday the 13th sounds like a fine idea!

Have a wonderful weekend!


November 12, 2015

Ten < Five

Hi, peeps.

One thing that is pretty consistent anywhere you go irl or on social media or  the world of blogs is that there is are constant complaints of being too busy, of feeling overwhelmed and most of all that there's not enough time. Perhaps some of the speakers have committed themselves to more activities and obligations than is realistic. In some cases, it's a season in life that isn't permanent, although it may feel so, as is the lament of folks with several small children. Or the person may be talking because he or she wants to sound important and in demand. For whatever the reason, we all have the same amount of time. Obviously, a good working plan and schedule helps alleviate this issue. Another way is to utilize the small bits and moments that occur every day that might be overlooked, while you're waiting for the water to boil or a child to find and put on his shoes. Here are ten things that can be done in less than five minutes. 

1. Wipe out the interior of the microwave.

2. Scrub the sink. 

3. Put a lemon down the disposal and run it.

4. Clean off your mailbox - obviously, this isn't quick if it's not close by, but if it's by the front door, grab a cleaning wipe and go for it. 

5. Grab newspapers, circulars and catalogs and either pitch or dump then to recycle. 

6. Pick up the remotes, replace throw pillows and pick up throws in the living or family room. 

7. Clear the front of the fridge of outdated notices and expired coupons. 

8. Wash your pets food or water dishes.

9. Check the calendar for birthdays or other approaching events you want to send cards for; make a list of the recipients and either get out the cards now or plan a time to buy them in the next day or two. 

10. Dust your nightstand! I read recently that's one chore that should be done daily, since you sleep with your face near it. 

And one to grow on: if laundry is in progress anyway, toss in your dishtowels and pot holders. 

See, that wasn't so hard, was it? Use up those little snippets of time that slip away quickly to make coming home a little nicer.

Have a good one!


November 10, 2015


We haven't moved, but my bulletin board has. I liked it on this tall wall where my laptop table is, but it fell off on my head Sunday and I couldn't get it to hang on the hook again. It's so high it's hard for me to reach even on a ladder. Thus, for now:
it's relocated to the back of the dining room door.
Maybe Mr. B with his longer arms and legs can fix it back where it belongs. 
This space needs something asap. 

Take it easy!


November 9, 2015

More out the door

Hey, friends,

This is another mostly Manna Monday, so little time for inspiration to strike, much less do anything about it. Still, to continue some small effort from last week, the front entry area got my attention.
This got switched:
to this.
The Christmas cactus got a companion basket of fall picks to add a little color till it blooms next month. 
And what the heck, why not some more orbs in a wire basket while we're at it?

It feels like an insurmountable task, to do anything to make a front yard that isn't, a front yard that's truly a parking lot, look better or even marginally decent, but I keep on trying. 

Have a good one!


November 6, 2015


Hello, all you Friday lovers out there. I hope your weekend has begun already.

We don't have many things from Mr. B's family, except for a chest of silverplate flatware that belonged to his parents and a mortar shell casing from WWII my fil brought back from the South Pacific. It stays in Mr. B's studio. The only other piece is this:

It belonged to his paternal grandparents. My fil, now 90, says it was always in their home, and that his folks repainted it so often he has no idea of what the original color was. It's iron, very heavy. The top part seems meant for a goldfish bowl, but that wouldn't work in our house. So, how about that perennial (pun intended) favorite:
of fake succulents in a silver bowl? They're on a PB footed pedestal now. 
It's easy enough to check out the thrifts for another fish bowl and see how that looks with the succulents in it. The arrangement doesn't have to be in the silver dish, although it does have the advantage of not being breakable. So far this week the losses on the tile floors include an old refrigerator container lid, a pyrex bowl and glass over a photograph, so it is an issue to be reckoned with. 
It fits well in that small space by the end of the desk, don't you think? How tired do you suppose that woman at the base is of balancing it all on her head? After a hundred years, she's probably got a pain in the neck no otc pill will even begin to help!

Have a wonderful weekend,


November 5, 2015

A modest effort

Hello, everyone,

Each time I drive up to our house the hideous exterior is a fresh shock, despite having lived here for sixteen months. Today a tiny step was taken to tone it down at least a little bit. 

See those wires? We have no idea what they're for, because it's all left from the previous tenant.

So, armed with a screwdriver and pliers and a ladder I went on the attack!

The wires aren't gone, they're just tucked up in the eaves with others, but at least they're not straggling down the front of the facade anymore! That's my project for Thursday. And there's still dinner to cook and the dishwasher to load. I think I'll go sit down before it's time to start all that.

Take it easy!


November 4, 2015

Pears PS

Hi, folks,

I hope your week is going well so far. We've had clear skies and cooler temps, so no complaints here. Yesterday, walking through the front room, I saw on the bookcase this, which surely should be in the Oh Pears vignette, but got overlooked entirely on Monday. 

It's a really cute picture of a partridge in a pear tree found at Sand Dollar some time ago. It definitely qualifies to participate, so it's moved into the dining room for the time being. 
Hanging out with the rest of the bunch now. That's better.

Gotta finish up some chores before the afternoon is over.

Have a good one!


November 3, 2015

In and out

Hello, all,

How's your week with the DST switch going so far? We're enjoying the extra hour and nice weather here, so it seemed fitting to turn my attention outdoors. In the entry to this house we have some good:
Plants that are thriving. 
Some are growing like gangbusters. The thumb-sized plant in the orange cup has sent off a secondary plant and the original is bursting out of the top.
Others, not so much. Several didn't survive the Texas summer. 
A program of divide and conquer seemed like the way to go. The ones that were overflowing their pots split up and moved to the empty real estate locations. 
Including Mr. Fat and Spiky from the orange cup. Now everyone can stretch out and spread their roots with no more desert space to mess up the looks out front. 

Have a good one!


November 2, 2015

Au Pair?

No, Oh Pear! Since they are plentiful now, it seemed a good time to break out the decorative ones around here and give them a turn in the spotlight.
Utilizing the top of the new (to us) cart, and the small terrarium, we got this.
There are a variety under glass, china, glittered, one salt shaker and a couple that are more realistic.
Here's a pretty card framed last year. 
Inside the terrarium.
A touch of Autumn not involving pumpkins--who isn't ready for that, the week following Halloween? 

May the rest of your day be PEAR-fectly delightful!

Later, Michele