"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


Red, White and Grill!!!!

Any idea what the first two pictures have in common?....
The temperature gage from an outdoor grill and Wal-Mart (very good by the way) pizzas?
Well read on!
 It's hiding right here under this lid!

 We've been cooking them on the grill all summer. And they are wonderful! If you will remember I told you in this post
about the two houses we were trying to buy. One deal fell through and then we found another house we liked. The same day our bid was accepted on the second house, the first house people called back and said we could get that house again! The first house had a great kitchen. The second house had a huge kitchen...with only great walls and floor and a few lousy cabinets. No appliances. And we decided on that house. But we are still very glad. Anyway, I had orignally thought we would get a new kitchen in before we did anything. Then I thought "WHOA!!!!!".....I came to my senses! If I had no kitchen, then I would not be cooking. I could have the summer off from cooking after years and years of cooking huge meals every day! (Insert cartwheels and backflips here).
 So one of our little make-do's this summer has been Wal-Mart pizzas. We have tried the thin crust and the regular crust. Both work well. We (the males) always add extra cheese as well.
 Here is the deal: They turn on the grill and let it get going. They put the pizza stone right on the grill and let it get hot. Then they add the pizza (with the extra cheese).
It does not take any time at all.
 It is like having our own outdoor pizza oven.
It was right in front of us the whole time
and we never knew it,
because we were too busy
using the stove.
See what great things
no stoves
bring about?

Yes, we have also tried
versions of our favorite pizzas
and they work
very well too.
Such a great idea to try
on a summer evening.
Just remember....
they don't take very long to cook!
Join me ...and other great recipes at Foodie Friday!


If Uncle Sam Were Frugal Tablescapes!

I showed most of the patriotic tablescapes I came up with on my post from last week. But, I saved  back a couple to share this week.
Both of these were created using a mish-mash of dishes...which I guess is my usual style!
There are so many breathtakingly-beautiful tablescapes
each week.
They make me green with envy. Truly.
But I have kind of made it a
habit of trying to do
without spending a fortune.
These dishes were from an estate sale that my girls got for me (the large blue plates),
from Dollar General (the red chargers and the blue bowl)
and from Dollar Tree
(the star plate).
The napkins are really dish cloths
that have never seen a dish!
The Uncle Sam hat was in the dollar bin at Target.

This star plate is actually just the blue part. That is a large
red plate under it.
The star is from Target.
The red plate is from the 100 pieces of red dishes my Hubby
bought for me and I use all the time....mixing and matching
it with everything.
The "charger" here is one of my much-used enamel plates I
got at Pottery Barn years ago.

Again, the napkins are dish cloths
from the Dollar Tree
that have never seen a dish!
The paper lantern is part of a three-piece set,
and the table runner is reversible,
allowing for yet
another look.
When I began this tablescape (and last week's),
I gathered together
red, white and blue
items I had in my
cabinets and closets.
When you collect items that
can easily match
when put together,
then why not have fun with them
and arrange and rearrange?
I said it before, but will repeat it...
when possible, I always try to buy four
of whatever dish I am buying.
That way it is easy to keep
the look
and to
mish and mash!

Yes, still more props I brought out
for the tablescapes.
Collect what you love
and love what you have...
and use it every chance you get!
That is my message to all the young women
that read this....(you know who you are!)
(If only Uncle Sam were so practical!!)
I am linking this up to
Go by and get some great ideas!


Old Glory in The Hood..............

I am one of those people that
4th of July.
I mean I really love it.
I love what it stands for...
independence, freedom, equality.
I love to celebrate that.

 I have a neighbor across the street
also loves
Old Glory.
Every morning when I step out on my
front porch
I see this.
Be still my red, white and blue-beating heart!
 She has a flag on her house...
then she put a flag on
every other
that lines
the front of
her house.
It. Is. Beautiful.
Every single morning
it gives me goose-bumps.
 This is my house
looking from
the flag-love-waving-house.
Notice anything?
(Besides my Hubby out working hard while I walk the neighborhood taking pics....)

 I will give you a clue with the pic...
I am standing against another tree that
is not in the picture....
But do you  get the picture?
I, too, have a big line of trees down the
front of my house.
This is my plan.
I want to go and knock on
flag-love-waving-house and
tell them how much I LOVE
what they did.
Then I want to tell them that I LOVE
it so much,
I want to copy it for my house.
I am hoping that they see it as
a compliment...
and then maybe the whole neighborhood
could join in....
(Unless there is a tree-hugger (said in the nicest way) that
doesn't think we should be putting
flag holders
on trees.)
That is my plan.
Next year I will also
have a parade of flags.
 While we are talking about my
new 'hood,
I'll show you a couple of other interesting
I live on the corner lot.
This is the view from my corner.
It was an orphanage
many years ago,
then sat empty for years.
A couple bought it
and totally restored
the. entire. thing.
They live in part of it, and rent the
other parts out for weddings, etc.
The first week I was here I was
invited to a tea there.
But I didn't go.
Hey, I wanted to, but I couldn't find my dresses.
Hopefully she doesn't think I am snotty
and has another tea again soon.
 This is a neighbor
on another corner.
Isn't that house beautiful?
I just love it.
What wonderful views I have
from my (45!!!) windows.
 Here is the deal...
the street that goes between
our houses
is a dead end.
There are a couple of houses
between each of us
and the dead end.

 And this is what
the dead end looks like.
I live in a town of 25,000
and smack dab in the
middle of this historical neighborhood
is woods.
Woods in the hood.
(I am on a rhyme roll (see yesterday's post))
Anyway, frequently we have
running through our yard.
Yes, deer.
Actually multiples.
Because they always bring friends.
And turkey.
Wild turkey (the animals).
Smack dab in the middle of town.
It drives my dogs crazy,
but I love it!
 And while I'm at it,
I'll tease you with this pic.
This is my directly-across-the-street-neighbor.
Those are wind chimes.
We have 45 windows.
And I've only heard them once.
I'll plan to get the low-down
on these chimes.....
Right after I knock on my
let them know
about my
red, white and blue intentions!

I'm trying to post something
red, white and blue
each day this week.
We'll see how I do!
Come back tomorrow!


Concrete Thinking......

When we bought this house, there were two huge (blank and empty) concrete squares that sat on each side of the front sidewalk. Clearly, it was meant for big urns (well...clearly in my eyes anyway! pumpkins in the fall....a small evergreen at Christmas...etc.....)
I found the exact urns I wanted.
They were big enough to make a statement
and simple enough to please my taste.
They were at Lowe's...
and they were $70 (and some change)
a piece.
Well, when you move there are lots of expenses.
And two concrete (beautiful) urns
for $140 (and some change)...
was just not in my budget.

 Enter K-Mart. Yep, you read it right. K to the Mart. They had the exact same urns I coveted at Lowe's...only their urns were ...................plastic. So, what is a girl to do?
Whine about it....or take action? 
 You already know the answer! I took action!!!  I bought two of the big size...for $10 a piece. For real. I bought three of the smaller size for (get this...) $6 a piece. So, I invested $38 in urns (plastic!!!)...and had five of them. I put two of the small ones flanking the front door, and put a small one by the back door. Then I took the big ones and put them where they were supposed to be! Right in the middle of the large concrete squares!!
 BUT...and you know there is always a but!!  I had to buy the natural color (plastic) urns at K-Mart, as they were out of the black ones I wanted. (The urns come in two pieces, by the way, the top part and the base disconnect.)(P.S. That is Abe trying to get in the picture. He is my helper (!!!) each day.)
 So, to solve the problem, I simply bought some black spray paint that is specially formulated for plastic. And I sprayed the urns. Took all of about 10 minutes. Maybe. I might have spent one or two of those minutes petting Abe. I bought the spray paint at Wal-Mart (not to get your Mart's confused). But K-Mart probably had the paint too.
 Here are the urns side-by-side so you can see the size difference. Sweet.
And then to make the deal even sweeter, I knew I wanted ferns in my urns (say that three times).
I just did.
So, I went to Lowe's (the place of the expensive concrete urns)...
they had their ferns
on sale.
The two huge ferns that
are stand-up-straight-ferns
in the front big pots...
They were $6 a piece.
The three smaller ferns that are
by the front and back doors...
they were $1.98 a piece.
They were the hanging fern type, but I just
cut off
the hanging stuff and sat them in
fake-concrete urns.
Even though I am an English teacher .....(the dots are my tribute to Emily Dickinson)
I'll do the math for you...
5 urns = $38.00
5 ferns = $18.00 (I rounded those small ones up!)
"Hello, Welcome to my new house.....= priceless!"
Oh yea, I already had the flags!

One more little tidbit that has very little to do with my urns...
My great-aunt Gertrude was heavily "courted" by Mr. Kress.
That would be Mr. K-r-e-s-s of the "K" in K to the Mart.
My mother said that she and her cousins would spend good parts of the summer
at my Aunt Gertie's in Cherokee, N.C.
Mr. Kress would send out boxes of toys and other goodies for the cousins.
Great way to win over a woman's heart....make her nieces and nephews happy!!
I guess this went on for several years. Sadly tho (in my eyes) my Aunt Gertie
never married ...to Mr. Kress or anyone.
Dangit, Aunt Gertie!!

I'm linking this to Metamorphosis Monday with Susan and


Simple Sundays

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)
Isaiah 40:29-31

Toad in a Hole........

 Such a simple, simple meal...
Yet one of my family's favorite.
Toads in a Hole!
And don't forget to fry up the piece of bread
you cut out for the egg!
That's the best part...
especially if someone else is doing


The Cow Barn..??...??...??

You've seen many times my love
for all things
From tablescapes and dishes
to paintings and carvings...
I love cows.
Several of my favorite cows sat atop
this cabinet.
Appropriately, it was painted
barn red and
looked like it could be a
cow barn.
Up until last week...
when I changed it.
I thought the look was very dated,
not to mention
the wear and tear on the piece
was quite obvious.
Since I still loved the piece
I decided to just transform it
chalk paint.
I used
Old White
right on top of
the barn red it was already painted.

I also only used one coat of
Old White,
preferring the look
of the barn red
peeking through here and there.
I added the clear wax
then distressed.
I then added the
dark wax.
I took the doors off
and the drawer out
to paint.
I left the insides the barn red.
I love the outcome.
I restained the top
and buffed the entire piece.
It now looks .....
well like a new barn!
I need to get new knobs
but I have not found the ones I want.
I actually don't know what I want,
but I know that I'll know when I see them.
(Did you get all that?)
Until then..
the cows have a lovely new (old) barn.
till the cows come home!


Saving the World.....One Globe at a Time!

On the last day of school
a teacher friend came to my room
and told me there were two globes
in the "pit". ....
Which is where items go to be saved....
before they are thrown away.
I sent my fleetest-footest (new term!) student
to the pit
with the instructions to
come back with BOTH globes...
before someone else saw
the awesomeness in them
and absconded them away!
No kidding, aren't these just wonderful?
Both of them still read
Union of Soviet Socialist Republic!
Of course that is not the only country
with a new name!
And, by the way, if you look at the
first picture carefully,
you will see how
this globe lights up.
Be. Still. My. Heart!
Then still reveling in all my globe-gloating-glory,
I walked by the library.
The librarian had spent the last several
weeks of school packing up the library,
as we are beginning next school year with a
new library.
I noticed that there was
a lonely globe sitting by itself
on the empty shelves.
I went in and asked her about the globe
and she said I was welcome to it,
as it was not making the trip
to the new library.
Oh. My. Global Goodness.
Three new superterrificwonderfulcoolandgroovylicious globes
While the first one
lights up,
the second one is a
Land and Sea globe.
If you look carefully,
you can see the
topography of the land.
Oh my the goodness!

Then there is Mr. Number 3.
Oh my word, he is a big boy.
I sat him by a 32 inch TV
so you could see his
And if that were not enough to
endear his largeness
to my heart....
look at this.
He sits on a galvanized base.
....with numbers and letters!
He comes off and can be
so easily.
And look how pretty his face is.
He has all American cities...
and worldly cities....
with a red dot.
He is SO cool!
So not only did I celebrate
because it was the last day of school..
I walked out a very happy camper
with three
but beautiful
They all three sit proudly now
in my new office at home...
while I continue to
save the world
...one ...(or three) globe(s) at a time!

I am linking this with Thrifted Treasures and Wow Us Wednesdays...check out all the great finds!


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