"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


These Little Lights of Mine

As soon as people walk into the living room of our new (old) house, they instantly comment on the big chandy that takes center stage.
Not only is it
front and center,
but it is also
in the huge mirror.

If my Hubby is giving you
the dime-tour
of the house,
he turns on the chandy,
as well as the sconces
that flank the mirror.
He is very fond of those!

 But when he turns on
all the lights
and illuminates
all the crystals,
It is not just the big chandy that gets all the
oohs and aahs.
Or even the
sconces that my Hubby loves.

 Nope, it is several
other little stars
that people seem to love.
They are in each picture
if you look carefully.

 You see....
See.... there in each corner of the
big living room

 Are these
 And they steal the show.
Everyone loves them.
No one has ever seen
anything so....
well....(cutely) odd.
But you have to agree.
Aren't they just the bombdiggity?
    If you have ever seen anything
like this,
or know why there are mini-chandys
in the corners of the room
I would love to hear!
Linking to Wow Us Wednesday's. Check out the great link.


A Little White....Urn....Never Hurt Anyone!

I have written about my little white urns before.
I bought six of them for $3.18 a piece after continually
checking on them at Pier 1.
The original price for each one was $12.98.
They are CUUUUTTTTEEEE. But not $12.98 cute!
Originally they had plastic (really!) cactus in them.
I could not wait to tear out that cactus and 
put white pumpkins on top.
Since them I have used them 
every single season,
and topped them with something different
each season.
For summer I took four of them and lined my
new fireplace in my living room.
At each end I put a concrete topiary
that I bought at Wal-Mart at the end of the summer season
for $3.00 each.
They were originally $15.00.
I guess I am pretty darn good at stalking
.....something I want to buy!
The green balls I put on top of the 
little white urns
for summer
are from Michael's.
I happened upon them
(no stalking involved!!)
at 90% off.
I grabbed them up!
So for right around $25, I have my summer mantle.
That is $25 spent in comparison to the full price of
little white urns, cement topiaries, and green leafy balls of....$115.00!!
I have also put the green leafy balls
in a galvanized tray and a wicker tray.
They, like the urns, are multi-functional.
That makes it even better.
Since I only used four of the 
little white urns
on the mantle,
the other two are in 
the dining room.
I topped them off with 
looking-glass paper weights
I bought at 
Nell Hill's
annual warehouse sale.
They were $1.00 a piece.
I use them various places and various ways
as well.
Tonight when I was at 
I saw softball size 
real orange pumpkins.
I smiled to myself 
it would not be long
before small white pumpkins
are available to buy as well.
The sweet little white urns are about to
get their new duds.
They (and their accessories) might have been 
cheap finds,
but they are worth their weight in gold!
 I am linking this to Metamorphosis Monday and Thrifty Treasures. Check them out!


The Secret is Out!

When I was a new bride my Hubby
and I went to an antique auction.
I don't remember there being any certain item
we were looking for.
We just enjoyed going to them.
This was over 30 years ago, long before it was "vogue" to
attend auctions and sales and be thrifty.
We were newly married and knew we 
could afford the things we found at auctions.
It was an added bonus that we really
liked the funky old things we bought.
This particular auction was at a big warehouse 
in a small town.
Because the venue was so large
the furniture did not seem big.
I saw this armoire and liked it so
I decided to bid.
I bid and there were a few others bidding 
against me.
Then it was just me and one man.
I kept bidding.
My Hubby was watching me but never 
told me to stop.
I kept bidding.
the auctioneer shouted out,
"YEP" and pointed at me.
I had won the bid for the armoire.
What I didn't mention was that the armoire 
I bought 
was a little over 10 feet tall
and four and a half feet wide.
It was massive.

And solid English walnut.
And it weighed well over 200 pounds.
And it was all mine.
The doors have a special inlay,
also a special walnut.
The middle piece has the 
special inlay as well.
The armoire was in perfect condition 
when I bought it.
It did need the old varnish stripped off,
but besides that there was nothing wrong.
We later did strip it all down 
and bring the natural beauty of the walnut back
without a lot of shellac.
Each door has a (beautiful) lock on it
that actually locks.
This is the back of the lock.
A small piece of metal 
slides down and fits 
into the hole pictured below.
Simple and wonderful.

Another wonderful feature of the
armoire is that there is not a single
nail or screw 
holding it together.
Not ONE.

Weren't you wondering how we would 
load and move a piece of furniture
that was over 10 feet tall and
almost 5 feet wide
and well over 200 pounds?
Well the answer is, 
they knew how to make furniture 
in the old days!
The armoire comes apart in to ten pieces.
It has three shelves (that were probably added later),
for a total of 13 pieces.
The two pictures above are little braces that cover
joints that butt into each other.
The two particular braces
are ones we made, but
 we patterned after the braces
that came with the armoire.
(I photographed the 'new' ones
only because they showed up much better
for photographs.)
You cannot see any of them when the 
armoire is put together.
The doors are held on
by these old pins.
Those screws belong to the pin hardware.
The two pieces of pins slide together
and allow the doors
to swing open and shut.

Every single place a board 
connects to another board
there are 
pegs and holes
that allign
and keep the pieces together. 
It takes two or three people 
to put it together.
Two put the pieces together
while the third person holds everything in place!
The joints on the header piece
have tiny, tiny
dovetail notches
 that keep them together.
The header has 
graceful curves on each side.

The back is actually three pieces that I have tried to 
show in this photo and the one below.
They slide together
tongue and groove,
(much like flooring does).
You actually have to look 
close and hard
to see that it is not one massive piece.

The bottom is one massive (and very heavy) piece.
It has two big drawers,
each with the 
acorn and leaf 
drawer pulls.
Actually, that is why I liked the 
armoire to begin with! 
They reminded me of my grandmother!
It is such a great versatile piece.
We have had it in the dining room
full of dishes and platters.
I have had it in the living room 
full of old books.
Every Christmas we clean it out
and fill it with old Santas.
The day I bought it,
I had a cousin at the auction as well.
He has a degree in architecture
and he told me to hang on 
to the piece and not ever get rid of it.
He said the size and the detail
in which it was put together
were hard to find.
As I was paying, that same day, a gentleman 
came up to me and offered me
$2000.00. On the spot!
That is pretty tempting
to two college students.
But we did not cave.
In fact, we knew if someone was offering
that much an hour after the purchase,
then we had a great deal.
(The gentleman had not been there when 
the armoire had sold. Thank goodness!!!)
A few years later when we lived in Houston
we saw a very, very similar armoire for
We smiled.
The only thing our armoire is missing
is the little "crown" on the top.
It has two holes on top, so we know
at one time it had one.
It probably had the 
acorns and leaves pattern as well.
Maybe someday we will find a replacement.

Are you wondering how much 
I paid that day when I 
kept bidding and bidding?
Well, I guess I'll let the secret out.
After all, it was over 30 years ago...
and I have turned down many offers 
on the piece.
It has a lot of sentimental memories attached to it now.
....Am I driving you crazy?
You read it right.
And I never regretted spending 
one dime of that! 

Simple Sundays

I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
 Psalm 18:1-3

My heart has been heavy this week because of war casualties. Eight young men from Oklahoma were killed in less than three weeks. The tragedy of the Navy Seals is beyond comprehension. And finally (and certainly not least) I had a former student
lose his young life in the war. So much sadness. So many going to Heaven far too soon. All were given Hero send-offs, which is the least that can be done. At the funeral of one of the outstanding young men yesterday, the parent's said their son would be embarrassed at all the words and accolades and would want the rest of his soldiers remembered and prayed for. I think that is probably typical of most soldiers. After all, they each know the risks and are willing to die for such.  As the senseless tragedies bothered me, I searched for wisdom from God and this verse seemed to resonate what I felt....and needed. 
Say a special prayer this week for our Troops and for our country.


My Favorite Thing About August!

When I was a little girl my dad would take me to
football games.
My mother would pop us a big bag of popcorn
(on the stove in real oil)
and put it in a brown grocery bag, 
and send us out into the (Friday) night.
My dad insisted that I sit beside him 
throughout the entire game.
While other children were allowed to run around
he kept me reigned in.....
And he taught me the game of football.
Which probably explains why my 
entire life
I have loved the 
game of football.
Fast forward from that little girl stage
to the teenager stage.
A new boy moves into my 
little hometown
and his is a "WOW-US"
football player.
He was cute. He was funny. He was kind.
He was a good football player.
And I fell hard.

Fast forward a few years later
and I snagged that football player.
Oh my we were young.
And naive.
And happy.
And in love.
And anxious to start our life together.

Fast forward to now....
Thirty three years and 
five children later
we are 
definitely older!
less naive!
still happy!
and very much 
in love!!!!
Many of those years 
have been spent
our children's extra-curricular events.
I could not even begin 
to count how many there were between
five active children.
(And yes, there have been literally hundreds of 
football games 
we attended together.)
without a doubt
is meant to be spent
with someone you not only
but also 
That combination 
makes for a wonderful life.
(And you never know how 
something you learn to love
as a little one...
can lead to so much 
happiness later!)
Happy Anniversary to my 
all-time favorite
football player!


Hey Suga Suga....

Well I am wrapping up 
my first week
back at school.
I am tired.

Mentally and physically.

I teach high school English.
You've got to be on your toes 
to keep up with a 
classroom of 25 teenagers!

It wears me out, but keeps me young.
Does that make sense?

to make up for my lack of posts
for the past week,
I searched my files and I found this picture.

Granted, it is not the best pic.
Granted, it is not staged.

it is a great idea.

I was hosting a western dinner
in a barn.
I brought along my 
sugar mold.
Originally I was going to put 
candles in the holes.

Then it hit me.

What a great idea to hold
all the (plastic!!!) silverware
(let me interject here in my English teacher voice that 
plastic silverware is an oxymoron!!!!)

it worked out perfectly.
I have since used it to hold
silver silverware
and it worked equally as well.

just like I said at the beginning,
there is no staged picture for that either!

Just use your imagination.
And your sugar mold.
Get one if you don't have one.

OK, I am off to make 
lesson plans,
and plans for the weekend!


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