Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mystery Trip - Part I - Hot Air Ballooning

BFF and I took off on a trip to Pennsylvania on Wednesday.  She really needed a break and is changing jobs, so we had a small window of opportunity.  She wasn't up for planning, so I got to provide a "mystery agenda".  You might think this is no big deal, but BFF and I are both Libra's, which means we can't ever make up our minds!  Always weighing things out.  Libra is the Scales, don't you know.  But I managed to come up with something, after a suggestion from Hubby.  She didn't know where we were going until about an hour before we arrived.  She is a trusting BFF, isn't she?  I have been a few times before, so I knew what good things to do there but she had never been.  I told her Husband, where we were going, and he ordered a list of things.  Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, Shoo-Fly Pie, and an Amish Jenga game. I said Whoopie and he said OK.  When she got home with his Whoopie Pies, he said, what is this, I never heard of these before.    I am sure he must have thought I was losing my mind or hitting on him, one or the other, or both.
We went on a Hot Air Balloon Ride.  It was pretty spectacular. You don't have a sense of motion when you are up there, because you are moving at the same speed as the air.  It was HOT up there.  They recommended you bring a hat and thank goodness we did, because every time he blasted that propane sweat would start dripping off of you and it was crazy hot.  I am sure we would be bald if we hadn't have had the hats. So up we go, Susan and me, and another two people.  One was the Mother and the Daughter was celebrating her 21st birthday, and our Pilot. They blew the balloon up with two industrial fans, and you carry propane tanks inside with you.  We floated along over Amish farms and fields and you could see all the perfectly square corn, tobacco and soy bean fields.  The hues of green varyings.  We could see the cows and goats and dogs, and when we got low enough they would see us and look up.  The dogs would bark and chase us, and the cows and horses would look up. One big bull was checking us out and he just RAN out of the blue and got his whole little herd moving and they went into the barn.  I saw a German Shepherd that reminded me of my Beau, and he barked and ran, chasing us.  And we saw lots of Amish people, who all stopped and waved.  Two ladies were barefoot and they both came out and waved. I could hear small children giggling.  The men waved too.  It was pretty amazing to see how neat and tidy all of their houses where, the outsides and the fronts, Rows and rows of flowers planted, everything just seemed so peaceful and serene and surreal.
When we took off, it didn't occur to me that we had to land.  And that landing wasn't planned.  You just land where you can.  The pacer car is down below and we can see it at times following us from the ground.   They communicate with the Pilot via walky talkys. So we are looking for a spot to land and we clipped a tree, and missed out spot, so then we find another one.  Basically you land in other people's back yards.  Well we didn't do too bad, but we had to crouch down and he said we were going to tip over, but we didn't.  Some Amish girls on bikes had followed us for awhile as did their Mom, and an Amish boy had followed us for miles.  They were very curious to see the landing, and I guess I would have been too, if I had seen it from the ground.  Susan and I had skinned up knees but nothing too bad.  When we got back to our launch site, we had a champagne, cheese and crackers, and our pilot gave the toast:

The winds have welcomed you with softness

The sun has blessed you with its warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter (HA-HA)
and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blog Swap ???

I must be totally stupid, because I happened upone someone's blog a bit ago who was participating in a Blog Swap.  Ok  soounds good to me, I'm in, but I can't figure out how to get my partners.  Anywho, maybe someone will help a Sister out over here.  I am cutting and pasting what I got from someone else's blog with the instructions.

I participated in a swap on Swap-bot called Be my blog follower on Blogger. To sum it up it was a blog swap only for those of us with blogs on Blogger. It was a chance for us to get more blog followers. There was a total of 29 people to sign-up :) We each got 10 partners that we had to checkout their blogs and follow. Yay, that means 10 more followers for me and 10 more awesome blogs I get to read!! I loved all of the partners I was paired up with.
Stay tuned folks.  I hope I get 10 Partners from somewhere, and Sorry to those that get ME.  LOL

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thrifty Pillows and other Fabulous Finds

My Sister, doesn't really believe that Thrift Stores sanitize stuff.  Well I am of the school of thought that, what I don't know, won't hurt me.  I mean I sleep in hotel rooms and God knows what happens in them, and lay my head on those pillows.  So which is safter, do you think? I am voting for the Thrift Store pillows.   So here is what I have gotten lately:
The Blue one is  aRalph Lauren.  I am totally in love with it.

Don't you just LOVE it when you find something you really need.  How about a food scale that I was going to buy from Weight Watchers and there it was in the Hot Line Store in Kitty Hawk NC.  Along with this vase of Peony's for 2.98. 
Got this beauty for 99 Cents!  I can't wait to redo it for my kitchen.  I like the trellis on the side.  so I am thinking vintage fruit prints.  Got this one at CHKD in Williamsburg.  They had GOOD stuff in the Williamsburg Thrift Stores.  I got 2 original watercolors of some of the shops in Colonial Williamsburg that were professionally framed for 4.98 a piece.  I can't leave real art work in the stores even though I had no where to put them.  But My Brother in Law Jack, wanted them bad, so I sent them home as a surprise for him by way of Leslie. He loved them.
My Bff Susan is really into redoing bowling bowls lately. I had seen 2 in a local store and she said she wanted them, so I went back in there today, just to pick those up and look what I found!  It's a real pottery dish.  It's pretty big but you can't tell it from there.  I think its beautiful. It was 8.25 which is more than I like to pay at the GW, but I couldn't let it get away.  I also picked up an altered book of fairies someone had started.  I have been wanting to try one out, so now I have no excuse. I will just pretend it's like a Round Robin and I am next.  Amazing what some people don't want. 

I am off to OBX for the next 2 weeks.  Can't wait to see what the Thrift stores down there have for me =)

Adventures in Canning and some Psycho Babble

Being unemployed definately has its perks.  Aside from the lack of $$, I get to do things I have always wanted to do, and never had the time.   For instance last week, I snapped a couple of pounds of snap beans and cooked them with potato's in some nice fat bacon side meat, I borrowed,  (it's not really borrowing if you have no intention of returning it, is it?) and while I was snapping, I kept thinking,  this is me.  This is who I am.  This is the authentic me.  This is what I love doing.  Simple things that soothe the soul.  I guess I got caught up in the rat race, and you just push aside all those things, that make you happy and you just......exist.  Ok so enough of the psycho babble. 
I got to spend the day with Nana, canning her famous sweet pickles.  I can't hardly cook without them.  Ham Salad, Deviled Eggs, Tuna Salad, I wouldn't even bother making them if I didn't have her pickles.  It turns out Nana is a very good teacher.  She told me step by step what she was doing and why, and some things she said, I do this because this is the way my Mama did it.  I was totally afraid,   then she said, here you do this one, so I did. Then I said, here, you do the rest, then the phone rang and I just proceeded.  It's a fairly simple process, but it is time consuming and as Nana says "It's Hot work"  and that it is.  Standing by a boiling pot at the stove is definately hot work.  So I felt adventurous and got some stuff do can on my own.  I made Pepper Jelly and Strawberry Jam.  Definately more Hot work.  I had a little snafu with both of them.  The Strawberry Jam didn't set as well as it could.  This is totally my fault as I used a pan that was not quite big enough so when it came to a full rolling boil if I didn't keep stirring it was going to bubble over, so I squeezed the Certo out with my left hand and thought it was all in, but later I realized I had not gotten it all out, at all........ hence super sloppy jam that tastes awesome.  The Pepper Jelly, I didn't chop up the peppers fine enough.  So then I decided I should strain it out, then hubby comes along and says it's supposed to have some in, so I put a little in each jar and it's too big, and it all floated to the top.  What's up with that.  All my jars pinged after their hot water baths so now I am hooked.  I am searching for recipes and want to can everything I see. 
I had lunch with Donna, who had canned peaches last year, and she said she didn't use the hot water bath but turned all the jars upside down.  I had never heard of this, but I found it online and they said it's not a sanitary method for canning.  But I ate a jar of her jam and it was fine some 6 months later.  I am afraid to poison folks which is why I was afraid to can to start with. So I took the safe route.  And as it happened I had a canner with a rack in it, in  my attic.  I am pretty sure it was my Great Aunt Frances' who has been gone many many years.  She used to make amazing food.  Chow Chow and Cherry Preserves.  And Fruit Cake with a whiskey soaked piece of cheese cloth wrapped around it.  And I remember her back screened porch with boxes full of apples from her apple tree out back.  Little green apples with little black spots on them.  And her pantry in the kitchen.  See this really is who I am.  It's in my blood.  =)


Ta Da!!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Oprah Magazine Deconstruct

Ok,   I clearly have way too much time on my hands.  But I think being unemployed agree's with me  =)   God works in mysterious ways, because while I was still employed I subscribed to 4 or  5 magazines, that were,  only $5.00 a piece on Amazon.   Oprah is one of them.  I have never seen the Oprah show that I know of.  I was always at work.  But the anniversary issue came and it was so awesome I hated to throw it out. That picture of Oprah in profile that was on the back cover, brought tears to my eyes, it was so breathtaking.   So I challenged myself to find ways to recycle it.  Here is what I came up with:

1. I cut an article for hubby on motion sickness
2. Cut an article for me from Dr. Phil about life lessons
3. Cut out the book section to take to my book club
4. Clipped some recipes
5. Clipped some coupons
6. Made a scrapbook page out of all the quilled titles that were used for the features.  
7. I made cards.  Lots of cards. I channeled my inner child and cut, pasted and glued like a mad person.  It was so much fun. I used the Martha Stewart fine glitter set that I had just bought with a half off coupon and man do I ever love that stuff.  

My Dear Darling son, Jesse, brought home a baby raccoon, that was just a few weeks old. When the Mama didn't come back, he decided he needed this little screaming thing, as his new pet, to raise.  (you have no idea how LOUD a tiny little raccoon can be, when it's hungry and the bottle you have isn't cutting it) Well  I had other plans. That little guy wasn't going to die on my shift!   I found a wildlife rescuer, and took that baby right to her.  While he was at work.  Boy was he mad at me!  I made that raccoon card special for him.  His birthday is not until January, but I am sure he will appreciate it just as much then. BTW, Jesse is 26.   I don't want anyone to think I took a baby raccoon from my 12 year old while he was at work.  LOL


The Butterfly Project

  I saw someone else's blog using the MS butterfly punch.   I had just purchased it and was punching out everything in the house.  I even (accidentally, I swear) punched a coupon for an oil change that hubby was saving.  There was a pretty picture on the back, what can I say.  So after seeing what others were doing, I decided to give it a whirl, but I personalized the ones I did, to suit the recipients.  The first one is for my BFF, Susan.  I don't remember all of the things the butterfly's represented, but I wrote them down for her, so she would.  

Some of the things that represent Susan:  A Salad, Swimming Pool Water, Some Metamucil, A round Brush, A mani/pedi, Campbell's Soup, Sand, A pair of jeans, The Outer banks, An Owl, Ummm maybe some Vagisil,  (it's a looonngg running joke, she doesn't really need  Hearts, and some other craziness, that only she would understand.

This one was for my sister, Leslie.  I got better as I went along, clearly.  She got some Prilosec, The Outer Banks, Pringles,  Brad Pitt, Starbucks,  A panty liner, Hair dye,  A pair of jeans, A kitty cat, The sun, A reese cup, A Bible verse, A ham sandwich, Some high heel shoes, a golf course and an Oreo Cookie.   I have no idea what some of these are now. 

I currenlty have 3 more in the works. What a great gift for someone special, no?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BFF Love

I love my BFF, Susan.  I don't know what in this world I would do without her.  She is one of the most compassionate, caring and thoughtful individuals you are ever likely to find. Plus she is tons of fun. And nope, you can't have her.  God sent her special to me, I have no doubt.    We made this pillow tree together.   We saw it and knew it was a project just for her.  The pillow from a thrift store,(hope it really was sanitized, as the tag said)  the buttons at Wal Mart (yes one of the last surviving Wal-Mart's with a craft/sewing section - of course it was North Carolina )  and Aleene's Patch and Applique glue from Michaels.   It was a little messy but worth it, because she loved it and we had fun together.  She just happened to pop over after the gym and the next thing you know, I had that pillow on her lap and we were crafting and talking, and laughing.  Did I mention that I love my, BFF?

Yep,  thats her, behind the pillow, looking just like her Mother.  LOL

See that glue oozing through the botton hole's?  It eventually dried.  (We used felt for the trunk, same glue.)

Lamp Reveal

Finally I got around to downloading some pictures of what I have been up to. This lamp was my Nana's Mother's Day present. I saw some online and thought I could do it, but I attempted one at Christmas and I totally messed it up, so I gave up for a while. I got this lamp base at the Thrift Store for $3.84. The lamp already had a crackle finish, and I thought it looked good, so I left it and then I got all of the sea life from  the internet, printed and cut out. Then mod podge'd them to the lamp. I sprayed it with a sealer, once I was done. I had to buy a new lamp harp and shade. I really wanted a dark shade but Nana said she preferred this, due to the light factor. The shade came from Wal Mart for $10.00. So I invested a total of less than $25.00 and you can see by the article I clipped from house beautiful that these babies sell for (choke, choke) 2 grand.  I LOVE it, and so does Nana. I made it for her bedroom at the beach cottage but she insisted it go in the living room for people to see. I think she loves it too. I am currently working on a few others and will post once I finish. I soooo wish I had taken a picture of the lamp before I started. So here it is........Ta Da.......

Our family loves Crabs.  We get them steamed by the bushel, then all of us sit around and pick and eat and talk for hours.  Couldn't leave this guy off, and boy was he a challenge to cut out!

There is also a flounder for Nana, who loves fried flounder, and a horse shoe crab, in memory of my Pops, who was once pinched by one, when I was small, while we were crabbing.   Good memories, for sure.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Give Aways

So I finally found a link in a magazine, Real Simple, That gave me the address on how to find give aways out here in blog land.
Blog Giveaways

Here are some of the cool things I have been entering. 


This is so awesome!  I am loving it!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Martha Stewart Bib Necklae

Hello Everyone.  I got this idea, from Martha Stewart.  (I heart Martha!)  I made it in one night for a party the next night.  I couldn't find any fancy flat gems, at my local craft store, so I worked with only the round ones.  I thought it came out awesome! The picture doesn't really do it justice.  The gems look flat, but they were sparkly in real time.

Here is the link to Martha's Instructions.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner - OOPS

Wow has the magic carpet ride been fun.  This was my first year, and I just happened upon it, and boy am I glad I did.  So many creative people out there, and some very unusual things, and I was so inspired by so many.  I have always wanted to try an altered book and I saw so many great examples.  I even followed several blogs to Etsy and will definately be back to shop there.  Love handmade things.  So without further ado I went to the Random Number Generator and picked two winners!
A little drum roll please for:

GPC from Michigan - The lighted wine bottle

Lolly from Virginia - The mystery runner up prize

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my page.  I have to really be able to go back and look at some of your awesome blogs, now that the craziness is over.

Bloggers Really Rock!!!

Soooo I very lovingly wrapped up my gifts for th eprice and then I just checked my comments and GPC got the wrong prize!  And at this point in the game I don't know if I typed it backwards on this blog, or if I made the switch up on the piece of paper I was working off of, when I packaged the things up.  So all I can say is I'm sorry GPC and Lolly.   Did I at least have the right  names on the cards?  I mean how hard could this have been.  lol.  Ok,  let's see what I can blame for this OOPS.  My husband, I can usually blame him for something,  or maybe it was some wine, or maybe it was  those silly Chantix pills that make me have zero short term memory, the dogs, are usually good for a dose of blame, or maybe I just didn't pay attention and screwed up!  Please ladies, accept my humble apologies and enjoy your gifts. 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thrift Store Finds

I found these awesome things at a Thrift Store in December.  Every once in a while you go in and find mad stuff, then others you come out empty handed.  So here they are. 
A wonderful cabbage bowl for .99.   Can't beat that.  It says not for food use, but I used it for food already. No one seemed to suffer any damage from the dip. 
Also for .99 we have this fabulously vintage deviled egg dish.  The turkey thing in the middle has little holes for, I assume, toothpicks.  I gave this lovely to my Nana and she felt like the indentations on either side probably held matching salt and pepper shakers. 

Ahhhhhhh Who was I to turn down the Blue Willow coffee cups.  They did  not have saucers, but I just wanted them.  They were .98 a piece.  So I get them home and think, what to do, what to do. I had some crocus bulbs so I started them in there.  They are sprouting now.  About 2 inches worth of growth. 

There is more to come so stay tuned.  I need to take some more pictures.

Monday, January 25, 2010



What  a fabulous idea to get folks together.  I was wondering how to meet fellow bloggers and just didn't have the time to figure out how to do this.  I am grateful to A Whimisical Bohemian for picking up the ball and running with it. 

I have a really cute wine bottle with lights and stained glass grapes, as the my give away.  Hubby drills the holes and I do all the rest, including draining the bottle before hand.    Turn your head to the left to see the picture  =)  Leave a comment on my blogspot and I will draw a lucky winner from them.  Good Luck and thanks for stopping by.   Can't wait to meet everyone.

PS  After visiting so many other pages I have decided to give away another gift for every 100 posts.   I think the joy of this is the visiting and the inspiration and the giving. 
I hope I have so many posts I run out of paint =)

UPDATE:  Well I just checked and I have over 100 comments so I will be sending out a second mystery prize to another lucky winner.  Sadly, it won't be another wine bottle, because I am on the wagon.  JUST KIDDING!  Hubby burned up the drill bit on the last one, and I have to order another so it will take awhile, But it will be a good gift I promise. I'm a crafty kind of girl.  =) 
Thank you to everyone who has stopped by my blog and I hope many of you return.  

Here is the link to A Whimsical Bohemian.