"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


Simple Sundays


Things Go Better With Coke!

 I have had this 
old Coca-Cola ice chest
for as long as I have had kids.
It was my grandfather's 
and he had set it in his garage sale pile.
Thankfully, I paid a visit to him
before he had his sale!
 Is there another logo that is
so simple--yet cool?
And the red and white are absolute classics.
Coca Cola might change their 
marketing strategies...
and even tamper with different products,
but their logo remains steadfast and beautiful.
 My ice chest is replete with the
bottle opener on the side
and a nice heavy lid.
 Since I have owned it,
it has seen time as a toy box,
a fern holder on the front porch
and a place to stuff extra blankets
that the boys kept handy for when they 
wallowed  laid on the sofas.
 This summer when I was 
moving "treasures" around,
I took the Coca Cola ice chest and 
cleaned it up.
I even put a thin layer of wax on it.
It does look better now.....(but yet not new).
 I moved it under one of the 
chalk-painted hutches I redid,
right beside my big, fat, comfy chair.
I like to keep my favorite magazines inside 
the ice chest, 
with my laptop perched and charging on top.
The set up is perfect.
It brings a little pop of red to 
that side of the room.
It is handy and holds many magazines.
(In fact it is a lot more full than when this picture was taken this summer!)
It is just another example of
using what you have
and making it serve a new purpose.
(Two things: I was reminded of these pics I took this summer when several people told me they think my Santa might be a Coca Cola Santa instead of the Douglas Fir Santa.  That is fine with me!  Think how cute he would be with this ice chest beside him holding a little tree?!!!!
Also, yes, I am aware I need new slipcovers for my big, fat, comfy chair.
All in due time. All in due time!!)
Can't Beat the Real Thing.... (Coke slogan)


Someone call the show for me Pleassssseeee!!

 When we moved into our new (old) house
at the end of May, I was lucky enough
to have this closet
in the dining room.
I know, I know.
You're probably saying to yourself,
"She's calling that lucky????"
Well it is.
For a (dish) hoarder like me.
 It was probably meant as a coat closet,
but since it was in the dining room,
I claimed it as
The Dish Closet.
And so it beame that.
Now obviously, I could also see that the closet
needed a major overhaul.
But for those of you that have moved...
and had load after load after load after load
(you get the idea)
to unload,
then some of the things you thought were pressing
at one time
become not so much
pretty quickly.
 So it was with
The Dish Closet.
My intention was to
immediately get the
ugly closet
looking all cutesy.
But then I got tired of
tripping over all the boxes
of dishes....
that were everywhere!
So I just put the dishes in the closet and decided
I'd "get to it" during the summer.
Then the summer of heat hit.
I was not about to spend hours
trapped in a closet
scraping and scraping and painting and repairing.
So I shut the door to
The Dish Closet
and fogotaboutit.
Kind of.
 It was always there
in the back of my head
just nagging away.
Then last week I decided I wanted to do a
Fall Tablescape.
The trouble was that all my fall dishes were
in the very back
The Dish Closet.
(They were so buried you cannot even see them in the pictures!)
So on a Sunday afternoon about a week ago,
I unloaded
The Dish Closet.
Every last dish. And candle.
And bowl.
And cup.
And plate.
And....well you get the picture. Again.
 I decided to begin
The Big Makeover.
So I began scraping all that
gross wallpaper off.
And painting the woodwork.
(The closet even has a cute little window!)
 Then I put beadboard wallpaper up
on the bottom half of the closet.
It is looking SO much better.
Next up are some shelves.
Built in.
Painted crisp white.
Ready to hold dishes.
And candles.
And cups.
And plates.
And...well you get the picture. Again.
 And just in case you did NOT get the picture,
here is what my dining room has looked like for the
past week.
And I am not even showing the worst of it.
Yes, somewhere in that mess
is the set of
Fall dishes
I set out to get in the first place.
Now I just need to find the table!

Someone call the hoarders TV show.
Tell them you found a candidate for the show!
In the meantime....while I am waiting to get the call...
I'll try to finish up my Dish Closet!
I'll be sure to let you see the finished deal.
Mandy..I responded to you on the last message you left me.
Laurie--I wrote you a LONG email and it will not go through. I have tried TEN times and it keeps
coming back to me. Email me and let me know what I am doing wrong!!!!

I have linked this with Between Naps On The Porch with Susan. 
And with Wow Us Wednesday with Kim.
Also check out the Open House Party at No Minimalist Here!


How I Found My Dream Man

I found the
Man of My Dreams
this week!
And he only cost me $10!
 No, I am not rushing
the season.
I just put
My Guy
outside by the tree
to take his picture.
Believe me, the neighbors stared.
I could just hear the
Party Line...
"Thelma...you know that Big Blonde
that moved down the street???
Well she has Santa out already...
and she is taking pictures of him!"
"Look out your window and see for yourself!!"
 He is in very good condition....
Except he could use a little sponge bath.
I sure won't mind giving My Dream Man
his sponge bath.
After I took his (many) pictures, I
put him back up in the garage.
Just ask the neighbors! ha!
 Let me tell you a little about
My Guy
(before you hear the neighbor's version!)
Very close to the school where I teach
 is a house that is no longer
lived in.
The people that moved out left a lot of junk
in their garage...(and did not shut the door).
I could see the silhouette of My Dream Guy every single day
when I drove to school.
I do not live in the town I teach in,
but my friend The Picker
does. I told her about My Dream Man
standing alone in the horrible garage.....
just waiting for someone to help him get out
of there! (He even had his back to passerby,
so all you could see was the plywood side.)
My friend The Picker
knew the woman that had lived there and told me
she would ask her about buying it.
(Yes, I did consider just "taking" it one night
after work (in the dark), but really....
could a person really steal Santa????)
 Then last week my friend,
The Picker, saw My Dream Guy's owner while
they were in the (smalltown) grocery store.
She immediately asked her about My Guy Santa.
The woman said she no longer lived there and
The Picker was welcome to just go over and get him.
The Picker insisted on paying her something for him and
offered her $10. The woman said that would be great.
So my (what a great friend) The Picker
abandon her grocery cart right then
( she told the store people she would be back as she parked the cart in a corner)
and drove right over to
save Santa.
Then she drove straight to the school
and brought him to me.
She and I both had a very Merry Christmas moment
right then and there!
When it really is time for
Mr. Claus
to come out of the garage for a while,
I plan on putting him
on the big balcony that runs the
length of the front.
That door opens to the
master bedroom
and I can keep an eye on him up there.
Now that you know how I found my
Dream Man
for $10,
let me give you some background info on him.
Growing up, we had one very similar to him.
Santa is lifesize and made out of plywood.
We also had a sleigh with ours....
and several reindeer that were "glued" to the plywood
but my dad never got around to cutting them out.
I remembered them forever, and have no idea what
finally happened to them.
I knew if I ever found one I would try to get one.
(Some childhood memories are meant to be lived over!)

Well the Santa I got this week is not exactly like the
one I had growing up, but
I am still thrilled.
I decided to look to see if I could find any info on these
plywood Santas.
As you can tell, it is like a giant drawing of Santa
that has been 'glued' to plywood and cut out.
I did find some info about the Santas but I
could not find any for sale.
According to the info I found,
Douglas Fir Plywood Association gave
the set away in 1956. It was a promotion to help them
sell more plywood.
There is a Santa, a sleigh, the reindeer (seems like we had four of those), and a giant wreath.  All are on the paper that you glue to the plywood and then cut around.
I found two on Ebay that had been recently sold.
They are very hohohotastic!
The pattern above is the one I had growing up. The Santa I bought this week is slightly different, so perhaps it is a
promotion from a different year.
It doesn't matter to me tho, because
My Dream Guy
has come to live at my house....
(and will soon be outside my door!)


Simple Sundays

"You cause grass to grow for the livestock and plants for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth--"
Psalm 104:14 

We have been blessed this week with cooler temps and a little bit of rain. Both are so welcome in our little part of the world. We are very grateful. God, as always, is so good to us.


High 5--Take 5---I've Got 5!!!!!

I have included their name and their birth order number.
This post is far removed from my 
usual ramblings.
I have reason though!
I have had several readers ask me
about my children...
or more specifically their names!
Ha! Those are questions  I've been 
asked for years. I am use to it!
I have given you fair warning.
You can quit reading now!

My oldest--Fielding Jourdan Lucas.
I had a lady write me that had a son named Fielding.
Not only that, but her name was Laurie (close to mine!!).
Her son's name was a family name.
Not so with our Fielding.
It was just a name I loved.
There are a few stories behind his name.
My husband was a baseball player.
He played in college.
He loves the game. 
We went over all kind of baseballish names.
We debated great players and their names.
But there was a reason we didn't like every name we came up with.
It was our firstborn. We wanted a very special name!
My husband played catcher. Forever.
Catcher Lucas just wasn't doing it for us!!
Then we came up with Fielding.....you know....
like fielding a baseball?????
Then there was the little fact we were living in 
Houston, Texas
when he was born.
We aren't just Okie's,
Sooner born and Sooner bred....
And our son was going to take his first breath(s)
in Texas.
We figured out a way to 
that "problem".
We chose the name Jordan for his middle name.
My hometown (which was also the hometown of Hubby's parents)
was at one time named
Jordan Valley.
We were far far from Jordan Valley.
So we used Jordan....because it made us think of home.
THEN we figured out if we added a U
then we had a little bit of the OU Sooners in Texas.
So he became Fielding Jourdan Lucas!
Fielding has been called Fi, Field, and Tex
(because of the Texas birth thing!!!).
He is 29 and my only married child.
He and his wife Kelly are expecting 
their first child
in March.
I can't wait to hear the name!!
(Keep reading, the rest of them won't be so wordy).

Annabelle Caitlin Lucas
Annie is 28. She is named after my 
grandmother Annabelle.
They never met, as my grandmother was gone
before Fielding was even born.
Funny thing was that Elizabeth 
is...and was...
my all time favorite girls name.
We had Elizabeth picked out for her
the entire pregnancy 
(if she were a girl...as we did not know).
And we named her Elizabeth.
For two days.
Then without even discussing it I told my Hubby
that she did not really seem
like an Elizabeth.
She was an Annabelle.
He told me that he had been thinking 
the same thing.
Only he thought she was an Annie.
So we changed it.
And we have never regretted it
for an instant.
She is pure Annie...or Annabelle.
I realize there are a lot of Caitlin's 
out there, 
28+ years ago, I did not know one person 
with that named.
It was a beautiful Irish name
and that was an homage to my 
Flanagan grandparents.
My grandfather that was married to (his) Annie
loved the name Annie Laurie...
and he wanted someone to 
use the name 
Annie Laurie 
to represent our Scottish side.
With the popularity of Caitlin,
I wish I had named her Annie Laurie.
But we have called her many other beautiful names..
Annie, AB, Belle, AnnieCaitie and of course

Number 3 is Taylor Clancy Lucas.
Taylor is 26 years old.
When we chose the name Taylor we had not 
heard many people with that name.
And the ones we had heard were all males.
My intention for months and months 
was to name her 
Taylor Elizabeth (finally using my favorite name).
I said if anyone ever asked me if 
Elizabeth Taylor 
was my favorite actress
I would not name her
Taylor Elizabeth.
Well Taylor was almost 3 weeks overdue.
And in that last few days of overdueness (new word)
someone asked me that question.
So on the day of Taylor's birth
she became 
Taylor Clancy.
Another homage to my Irish roots.
I love Clancy.
She loves Clancy.
We often ask each other 
why we didn't just name her Clancy.
Yes, I know people think that is a boys name too.
Taylor Clancy.
My girl with a boy's name......
and it doesn't bother her in the least.

Our number 4 is
Coulter Ferguson Lucas.
I know, I know.
What's with all these surnames????
People ask us that every day.
It is a name that fits him as well.
It is big and rugged.
Just like him.
We knew one other person (that was my age)
named Coulter.
I loved that name.
Of course we had to put the OU 
in there instead of just Colter.
It's a Sooner thing.
Ferguson was my maiden name
and I very much wanted to use it
on one of my children.
I was going to use it even if #4 was a girl.
I know. I know. 
Me and those surnames!!
We have heard a few babies lately
named Coulter.
But they usually leave the U 
out of the name. And one even was with a K instead of C.
But we have never heard a 23 year old (his age)
with that name.
That makes him happy.
Coulter has loved his very individual name.
He is a one-of-a-kind and his name matched that!

And then there is the baby.
Luke Timouthy Lucas.
Number 5.
Luke Lucas.
Believe me. That confuses everyone.
Twenty-two years ago Luke was the tie-breaker.
(Two boys. Two girls.....then Luke).
We chose to not know his sex until he was born.
We had two names picked out.
Claiborne Elizabeth
Cimarron Ford. 
The Claiborne was the girls version of my Hubby's middle name of Clayton. (You know the Elizabeth part!!)
Cimarron was a unique name and I thought if we called him
Cim, it would rhyme with Tim (Hubby).
Ford was also a unique name and would let 
Coulter Ferguson 
Cimarron Ford
have the same initials.
Which worked out well since they are exactly a year apart.
Then Luke decided to 
be born in the car.
On the Cimarron Expressway.
In a Ford.
At the time I was grateful to my husband 
for delivering Luke safely.
I was also worried that the name and the situation
would be too much of a story.
I caved.
I let Hubby name him.
It was totally Hub's idea to go with 
Luke Lucas.
Timouthy was from Hubs name.
The spelling was to keep up that OU Sooner
being in the middle of each boy's name.
Of all the unusual names, it is Luke's name 
that probably gets the most talk.
People think that Luke Lucas is just .....
a very different name!
You can read about Luke's very unusual entrance

We have heard every comment
you can imagine
about the names.
Someone told us we have 
scraped the bottom of the bucket(s)
for the names.
We have had people actually have 
fits of laughter.
We have had all kinds of statements
about using the surnames...
and a boys name for a girl.
People that don't know us are always saying
Lucas Fielding, Lucas Taylor, Lucas Coulter or
Lucas Lucas. 
Annie lucked out on that! She just got the 'old-fashion' name.

If you notice from the pictures
of the children,
they go brunette-blonde-brunette-blonde-brunette.
People like to comment on that too.
One time when we were out eating
with all the children (and they were small)
the (then) governor of Kansas
stopped and asked us about 
all the gang.
She even commented about the names.
She asked us how we got brunettes and blondes
that are so different in looks.
(I really thought if she would just look at Hubs 
and myself
that question would be answered!)

When Fielding was still 2 he had
two little sisters.
By the time he was 4 or 5 
he would pray every night
that God would send him
11 brothers!
He did not get all 11, but he was happy with the 
two he got.
My children are not only close 
in age,
but close to each other.
They still like to get together
to eat, play games,
eat, compete,
eat, reminisce,
eat and eat.
There were days I thought
would never end,
like all mother's know,
the days go by
in the blink of an eye.
I give
daily thanks
that God gave me 5 children...
to name.....
and raise.
And no matter 
how weird. Or odd.
Or bottom-of-the-bucket
people think my children's names are...
I am eternally grateful
that they call me Mom.


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