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Always in My Heart

My Sweet Twin Grandgirls

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About Me

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My passion is decorating with vintage and antique finds on a budget. There was a time when I wouldn't have dreamed of going into a goodwill. That day has passed. :) My second love is scrapbooking all those special family moments for posterity, and I recently set up my very own scrapbooking room. I have three beautiful children, two sons and a daughter as well as a sweet (albeit full blooded Yankee) daughter-in-law and two grandgirls. I also enjoy gardening, meeting new friends and relaxing on my patio in the evenings with a glass of fine wine. During the summer of 2001, I spent two glorious weeks at Kennedy Space Center. I've been somewhat of a space geek ever since....
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Garden Update

I wanted to share a little update about my garden progress and happened to see that my last post also mentioned the Natchez Pilgrimage but I forgot to post any pics of that!!!  So sorry.....  This darned garden has taken about all my energy and THEN SOME so those pics will have to wait.

I've been digging and tilling and hauling 40 lb. bags of top soil and compost and plain old manure around for the last week.  My nails are shot, can I tell ya?  But the rewards will be bountiful when I'm finally done!

Here's a shot of one side still in progress.... The other is still being tilled and filled.  Please ignore the garden hose in the background.  As you can see, I'm still lacking substance in the back area near the wall.  Sort of in a quandary about what to plant there......

The sand cement mixture is down with the landscape fabric over it to keep the weeds at bay under those stepping stones.  I originally planned to use pea gravel as a base for them but decided the more natural look of mulch would look better.  We will see how well it stays in place during stormy weather....  The brown pot in the foreground is full of sweet pea seeds that I planted a while back.  I want to move them to the garden but need to wait until they are hardier.

Do you see the pretty girl statue?  That came from a neat store called The Red Door and I bought it with a retirement gift certificate from my facilitator friends.  Don't you just love that sweet girl????

The birds and butterflies and hummingbirds are visiting daily.  And my birdhouse on a post (you have to scroll back up to see it) has a RESIDENT, a momma bird and three tiny speckled eggs.  Whenever I get too close, she flies straight out at me and then swoops down and lands nearby to keep a watchful eye on me.

Would you take a moment to leave me a comment if you've visited?  My blog stats show lots and lots of visits but I hardly ever get comments any more.  Leave me a comment so I don't feel like I'm talking to nobody, puleeeze.....  :))


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Natchez Pilgrimage 2013 and Garden Redo

After spending some lazy days of sleeping in and doing little to nothing, I've finished reveling in RETIREMENT and am back living in the REAL WORLD.  I've always dreamed of a large flower garden behind my patio but never had the time to devote to it, so it was one of the first things on my "to do" list.  I couldn't wait for those bleary and drab days of January and February to pass so I could get out and play in the dirt!!!  Johnny and I found a neat little tiller that he felt I could manage on my own.  I'm proud to introduce my new little friend Tillie.........

Isn't she a beauty????  Johnny put her together for me and then promptly started on a huge project at work that's kept him working overtime and on weekends.  So I pulled out the instruction booklet, mixed the gasoline and oil, and filled her right up.  She cranked up like a charm.  I am WOMANNNNNN, hear me ROAR!

When my house was built, we brought in a lot of clay to raise the elevation so the dirt close to the foundation isn't the best.  I shoveled and pulled grass for two entire days and then put Tillie to work busting up all that clay.  Five bags of topsoil, two bags of peat humus, and two bags of cow manure later, I still don't have the bed built up as much as I'd like.....  So it's off to Lowe's I go tomorrow morning.....  Here's what it looks like today.....

Nine additional bags later and FINALLY enough dirt to build it up to the level I wanted......  You'll have to wait on a picture of it cause I was too worn out to take one!!!

There will be a stepping stone path between the two beds going back to my swing.  After playing around with those stones WAYYY too much, I finally have them where I like 'em.

The next thing on the agenda is to dig out the path a bit so the stones are lower and then zap any remaining grass roots with Round Up before laying the landscape fabric down.....



Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's Mardi Gras Time!!!!!

There will be some serious partying this weekend down here in Louisiana......  It's the last weekend before Mardi Gras.  I've only been to one parade thus far this year and I'm glad I did because the weather has turned rather nasty.

So without further adieu, here's my Mardi Gras tablescape!  I didn't spend a dime on it.  My cabinets are stuffed to the brim with dishes so I'm trying not to buy any more.  Ha.  We'll see how long that lasts.....  I started out by decorating my new light fixture with beads.

And then moved on to the table.......  I used the burlap runner that my DIL made me for Christmas.  Isn't it pretty?  She used hot glue to piece it together.  Said it took her hours.  She made it long enough to use when the leaf is in my table so I have it tucked under on each end.  I used my green oatmeal glasses to add a touch of green.  Those glasses come from my mother, who collected them from oatmeal boxes.  We ate a lot of oatmeal in those days!  :)

I used the black glass chargers I picked up at Hobby Lobby on clearance and added my cheapo basic white china from Ross.  That's one of my favorite stores for picking up bargains.

Do you see that mask in the center of the pic?  My first born made that way back when he was in second grade and I've saved it all these years.  Nothing like mixing a bit of old with a bit of new, a 20 something year old mask with his wife's handiwork, huh?

In this photo, you can catch a glimpse of my newest purchase that I'm still deciding on.....  Look to the left side and behind the chair.  It's a mirror that I bought at Ross for $39.  I've been shopping for a large mirror to hang there and have found several I absolutely ADORE but they are over $300.  I'm an admitted cheapskate and I just can't justify spending that kind of money on something to hang on the wall.  So I think this mirror will be staying.....

Here's a close up view.....  What do ya think, honestly???  I'm trying to move away from the traditional and add a few touches of contemporary to avoid the stuffiness that my house has taken on due to all the antiques so I picked a coppery kind of frame.  Should I keep the mirror or return it and shell out more $$$$ to get exactly what I want?

Talk to me, pu-leassssss-e.............

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cruise Memories Part 2

We booked excursions for all three cruise ports.  Our first stop was Jamaica.  The islanders there are so laid back and friendly and they kept us in stitches with their refrains of "Hey, mon" and "No problem".  We took a bus to Dunn's River Falls and climbed the falls.  Our guide Peter has been making the climb for 28 years and he never wavered once.  He knew exactly where to put his feet and I followed his lead the entire way up.  It was a lot of fun!

Then we hopped back on the bus and traveled over to Dolphin Cove where we interacted with dolphins.  They are amazingly intelligent animals.  While we waited, they continually swam by and checked us out.  It was clear that they love human attention.

When it was our turn, we walked out onto a plank in the water and the dolphins swam by.  We were able to touch them as they glided by and then each of us got to kiss a dolphin.  It was so neat to be so close to such a beautiful animal!  Of course, cameras weren't allowed but we didn't hesitate to purchase pics!  It was definitely an experience I'll never forget.

On the way out, we interacted with some rather large birds.  If you're thinking that green bird is going to perch on Johnny's hat, you're right on.....

Our next stop was Grand Cayman.  We had to tender ashore via a smaller boat.

We took a glass bottom boat tour that passed over the wreck of the Balboa.  Our accommodating captain donned scuba equipment and swam below and fed the fish.

After the boat tour, we took a bus tour of the island that included a stop at a town called Hell.  It was the site of the original Catholic church and was named after the lava-like rock formations.

There were iguanas in the trees above us.  This one was a monster male.

The last port of call was Cozumel, Mexico where we took a catamaran out to Isla Passion.  There were loungers, hammocks, and complimentary drinks and a yummy lunch buffet.  Our drink of choice was Sex on the Beach.  The guys who brought us our drinks had a lot of fun with that.  Pulling in, it looked like a modern day Gilligan's Island.  The water was crystal clear.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cruise Memories

Our weeklong cruise was sooooo relaxing and lots of fun.  So much fun that I'm not ready to let go of it just yet.  So I took the "drink of the day" souvenir glasses and made a rather cheesy tablescape.  First tablescape ever using plastic glasses!  LOL

We'd never cruised on Royal Caribbean before and really loved it.  The food was excellent and the passengers were more our type than those we encountered on Carnival.  The Carnival folks were UNDER THE INFLUENCE before the ship even set sail!  Royal Caribbean attracts people from all over the country.  I felt like the lone ranger in my LSU t-shirt.

A tablescape in January with shells?  Why not????  Retired folks have all kinds of privileges that regular folks don't.  :)))

I'm going to experiment a bit and see if I can reproduce some of the drinks we had.  I'm not a cranberry juice lover but several of the drinks used it as an ingredient and they were superb!  Here are a few examples:

Tropical Sunrise - Smirnoff vodka, peach schnapps, and Chambord Black Raspberry liqueur shaken with cranberry and pineapple juice

Blue Caribbean - Bacardi rum, blue curaƧao, and pineapple juice served on the rocks, topped with a splash of Sprite

Pirate's Punch -  (My favorite)  Orange and pineapple juices, hand shaken to combine the subtle hints of vanilla and caramelized sugar found in Captain Morgan Original Spiced rum, with a sweet splash of grenadine and blackberry brandy

Mango Montego - Jose Cuervo Gold tequila and sweet island Oasis mango with a tangy twist of triple sec and sweet and sour

Caribbean Sunshine - Smirnoff vodka, triple sec, orange juice, and Sprite otherwise known as "Sunshine in a Glass"

Nutthin like kicking back and soaking up the sun in a lounger with a refreshing drink!!!

If you've never cruised before, I'd HIGHLY recommend it.  It's a great value for the money.  We paid under $300 per ticket for 7 nights.  That was all inclusive except for alcohol and soda.  Johnny and I are  tea drinkers so we didn't miss the soda.

We sailed on Navigator of the Seas.  In the late summer and fall, this same ship sails the Mediterrean and then makes a transatlantic voyage back to New Orleans.  It's a gorgeous ship.

Here are some shots of the promenade, where all the action happened at night....

There was art everywhere, when paintings up for sale to stained glass sculptures.

The dining room encompassed three stories with balconies overlooking the main floor.

Marijoi, our head waiter, told us she has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and her husband, a bar tender, has his degree in Marine Science.  We figured that they must make good money at what they do onboard.

Stay tuned for part 2...... shore excursions....

Linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

Happy Sunday!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Haven 2013

Are any of you blogger friends thinking of attending Haven 2013 in Atlanta in August?  I'd LOVE to go but feel a bit timid going on my own.  I'm looking for someone to share the expense of a room and possibly ride with me from Louisiana to Atlanta and split the gas expense.  I may fly if tickets are cheap enough so comment even if you're only looking to share a room.  Any takers?  There are only 43 openings left so I need to act quickly.....


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Time to Celebrate!!

The retirement paperwork is done and the hard decisions are made.....  I'm keeping two of my life insurance policies and letting one of them go.  In light of the cancer diagnosis in my history, that's a scary thing to do but a policy that only cost me $15 a month when I was working will cost $251 per quarter/$1002 per year in retirement!  That's a lot of moolah!

And now it's time to CeLeBrAtE!!!!!!  Johnny and I are taking a seven night cruise on this gorgeous Royal Caribbean ship called Navigator of the Seas.....

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

You have no idea how hard it is to find water shoes in January!  I'm borrowing a pair and we ordered some for J online.  Sure hope they come in on time....  We need them to climb Dunns Fall and play with dolphins in Jamaica.  Woohoo!!!  Someone told me that dolphins smell so I'm not sure I'm gonna kiss one.  :-/  

We'll also be stopping off in Grand Cayman and Cozumel and are still mulling over the available shore excursions there.  It rained cats and dogs when we were in Cozumel the year before last so all we did was shop and attempt to stay dry.  J packed two of those inexpensive rain parkas from Walmart and we could have sold 200 of them right there on the dock.  Everyone was asking where we bought them!  

Check out the rock climbing wall on this ship.....

Isn't that awesome???  The view from the top must be breathtaking.  I'm soooo excited about this trip!

Have a relaxing Sunday.....