Chickens in the Basement

I love to write and I love to laugh. When I write, I get to the point quick. My stories would fit on the back of a postcard. They usually make me chuckle. And you know what they say, "It's all about me!"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reverse Resolutions!

Okay, I know everybody is busy creating their resolutions for 2010. I thought it would be interesting to look back at the promises you made to yourself as 2009 kicked itself off. Did you keep your resolutions?

My first post ever was my long list of things I wanted to do in 2009. The main thing I wanted to achieve was starting my blog. I think I can put a big old check mark beside that one! But, there are many other things on my list that I just plain old didn't do. Some, I just gave it a half-assed effort. How many did I check off of my list?
I did spend a week at Pamlico with my boys. To my surprise, I got off to a good start and felt no guilt. However, after 3 days of roughing it, I wanted to come home. Yep, there's that guilt!

Friends visiting at Pamlico...It really was fun!

As for writing a book, I have thought about it a whole lot, but, sadly, it is on my "too hard to do right now" list.

My basement workshop is an organized mess! I love spending time down there and have completed quite a few projects. I still wish it looked like a Country Home workshop, but I would have to banish all masculine people in my house from piling their boxes of "I don't know what to do with this crap" crap on my uncluttered surfaces!

The View From my Basement Workshop

I had planned to walk all of the trails of Falls Lake. I did one out of 13 trails. Maybe I should try to walk half of the trails this year! Six would be way easier to ignore than the remaining 12! I could drag Riley Dog along, hence, taking care of another resolution...getting him back into shape!

The trails behind our house

Susie and I haven't been able to go to any auctions together in quite a while. I have been by myself, though. It's an addiction that requires regular fixes! I have made quite a few "old man" friends at these places. They manage to get me wound up and I say lots of things I shouldn't say, they laugh and flirt, then help me load my treasures in my car and send me home. Tony's just glad he doesn't have to go with me!

Rick decided he didn't want his bedroom blue, so we painted it a pretty sage green. The blue paint went on the bathroom wall and was quickly covered with a khaki. The blue was hideous! Shoot me an e-mail if you would like some paint the color of Superman's tights! I'll send it to you immediately!

Uglier than I remembered!

I was allowed to accompany Will on his marching band competition this year and only mildly embarrassed him. I count this as two more check marks in the "Accomplished" column!

Their band came in 4th place! Woo hoo! Loud finger whistles!

I have survived Will learning how to drive without screaming or smacking him. Another check mark! This one will be tested again in 2011!

I have made no effort what so ever to learn how to drive my truck while towing a trailer. Forget trying to back that baby up!

I did add the Sexy Truck Guy sticker! Get yours here: Again, THANKS Chris!

I have done no traveling by myself, but would love to! As a family, we did a few trips together and enjoyed each others company.

I spent some time with my niece, but not nearly enough. I would love to have her spend a week with us in the summertime. Maybe my goal needs to be better planning. I have read while sitting on my porch. Finding time to be still is very hard for me! I finished 3 quilts that I had started, but there are many more in the pile! All of these get "Half-Assed" award.

I better spend time with this cutie while I can!

How did you do? Are you carrying around ACCOMPLISHED, HALF-ASSED, or NEVER EVEN TRIED awards from last years resolutions? Tell me about it in my comments section!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Visit from a Ghost

Will and I ran out in search of jeans and a jacket at various sales about town. While we were out, Tony and Rick were visited by a ghost. I hope she comes back while I'm home!

A neighbor spotted her several weeks ago when he came home from work. He works second shift, so it was after 11 pm.

Neighbor Terri spotted her today. The doe jumped the fence from our yard to hers. She was very nervous!

Less than a week until hunting season is over! If she can make it until New Year's Day, she is safe from hunters!

I would even let this pretty girl eat out of my bird feeders without chasing her away!

Friday, December 25, 2009

25 Things About Me and Thanks

First, I would like to thank everyone for following my 12 days of Christmas. I had a good time doing this!
I have to brag on my boys. Our Christmas budget was rather small this year and the number of presents under the tree were very limited. I thought they were going to be bummed by this. Instead, they loved everything they got and proclaimed this one of their best Christmases. I enjoyed every minute of it, too.
Even with a limited budget, I am a spoiled girl! I'm sitting in my new fleece pj's, wearing my new silver necklace chosen by Rick and a gold bracelet from Will.
We saw Dad and Patsy and all of the relatives on that branch of the family tree last night. All of the kids proclaimed it was the funnest Christmas yet. I'm sure all of the stupid stories of their parent's antics growing up had nothing to do with it!
This morning, Mom came to see what Santa brought then went with us to watch Sherlock Holmes (wait til it comes out on DVD!) Spending time with my Family is my favorite part of Christmas!
25 Things About Me

I have been tagged by Randy to share little known and unimportant information about me. Check out Randy’s blog… Chicken Boys

1. Name someone with the same birthday as me.
One of the two Tony’s. Tony and Tony are neighbors. Tony A and I have the same birthday. Several years ago, the two Tonys and me and my Tony went to see Lucinda Williams on our birthday. Me and three Tonys!

2. Where was your first kiss?
At Sportsworld Skating Rink. I was scared to death!

3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else's property?
I accidentally ripped somebody’s bumper off their car when I was 16. Not so accidentally, I didn’t tell anyone until I was nearly 30!

4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?
Yep, my brother! We used to get into some knock down drag outs! It’s been a long time since we battled. Hopefully, I won’t ever have to smack him down again!

5. Have ever sung in front of a large number of people?
Yes, but thank goodness not alone! I was in the church choir in middle school. As a group, we were good. Alone, I suck! But in my car, I sound great!

6. What's the first thing you notice about your preferred sex?
A smile that carries through to the eyes!

7. What really turns you off?
Teeth scraping on a fork make me cringe. A second time makes me scream! A third time may result in puncture wounds!

8. What do you order at Starbucks?
A medium cappuccino. I try not to be difficult, so I don’t ask for decaf or skinny or soy, etc.

9. What is your biggest mistake?
No major big mistakes. Just stupid little ones!

10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?
No way! Pain sucks!

11. Say something totally random about yourself.
If you ever see me running, you know somebody is chasing my ass!

12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Yes, but it was not flattering! They said I look like William Devane. He played in Knots Landing back in the 80’s. What do ya'll think?

Thanks Blogger for photo of Mr. Devane!

13. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows?
Oh, NO!! I have never been so happy as the day Barney and Arthur became “stupid kid’s shows” in the eyes of my children!

14. Did you have braces?

Nope! But all of my children did!

15. Are you comfortable with your height?
I would love to be 5 foot 8, but I would have to wear 5 inch heals to get there!

16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?
Tony took me to Australia so I could see where he lived and grew up and all of the things he loved to do!

17. When do you know it's love?
When you give birth to it! I knew I would do battle with anyone who hurt my boys!

18. Do you speak any other languages?
No hablo espanol. Even after tres anos of Spanish!

19. Have you ever been to tanning salon?
Of course! Who wants to be on the beach when they are glow-in-the-dark white!

20. Have you ever ridden in a Limo?
Yes, several times. But the best time was in San Francisco on the 4th of July. We couldn’t get a taxi, so we piled in with about 15 other folks. The limo was so long that the middle had a metal skid plate attached. When on Lombard Street, the hills were so steep, the front tires had to drag the underbelly of the car over the road until the back tires touched again! We rode with hookers, drunks, dealers, etc. It was fascinating!

21. What's something that really annoys you?
Negative people!

22. What's something you really like?
Sewing, painting, planting, anything creative!

23. Can you dance?
I was comic relief in my aerobics class. What do you think?

24. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?
Nope, I drove myself!

25. What is your favorite breakfast food?
Cinnamon buns and a diet coke! Yum!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Granny gave to me a tree full of ornaments she made. From the time I was 8 or so until she lost vision in one of her eyes, I must have been 38, Granny spent all of her free time sewing.
She collected various colors of felt, pom poms, sequins, thread and any other pieces and parts she could use to decorate. Birds were one of her first designs.

She scoured coloring books, cartoons and our lives for patterns and ideas for ornaments. If we got a new dog, an ornament in their likeness would soon appear on our tree.

These are my favorite Christmassy ornaments that Granny made. There are hundreds of others she created. But, for the Twelfth Day of Christmas, the traditional red, Santa clothes, reindeer, wreaths and mice show up so well on the Christmas tree.

Some were designed with children in mind while others were meant to appeal to everyone.

Granny was a constant in my life. We spent Christmases at her house until she downsized to a small apartment. Then, she came to our houses. The cousins would get together every year (and still do) to exchange gifts. All of our trees look similar...covered in ornaments made by Granny.

Now that Granny has joined the Chorus of Angels, her presence is especially with us at Christmas. As I decorated the tree this year, I remembered which ornaments she gave me when I graduated from college... The ones she gave me when the boys were born... The ones she made because the boys liked Sesame Street.

It's appropriate that Granny died on Mother's Day weekend. Her daughters and favorite niece were together with her on her last day. Whenever she remenisced, her family members were the focus. With three daughters and 11 siblings, not to mention all of the grandchildren, there were plenty of family stories to tell.

Granny and her sister, Martha Edna (always pronounced MothEdna), worked together to create so many of the ornaments. They sold their ornaments at various craft fairs.

This Santa ornament was also made into napkin rings. This pulled the Christmas decor from the living room into the dining room.

Some of the last designs Granny came up with were like this one. I love that Santa is holding a bird.

Even though I know this is Mrs. Claus, I always thought of her as Granny. She was the inspiration for so many of our Christmas traditions. While I thought she was the glue that held our extended family together, we have continued our celebrations together.

While many think of Santa as the focus of Christmas, I know that family is the most important tradition of Christmas for me.

Make your family the focus of your holidays.
Forgive those who have disappointed you.
Give the gift of time...share stories, laugh, play games.
You'll have no regrets!
May your Christmas memories warm your heart this and every year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my trips to auctions and antique stores brought to me my collection of vintage glass Christmas ornaments. I have more than 11, but here are my favorite 11 photos.

I'm afraid to hang these on the tree for fear that happy tails (mine and Riley's) might knock them off. I use them in a wire basket on the dining room table!

I found two of these cute little fellows at SuzAnna's Antiques Christmas Open House. I had to have them. I nearly put them back when Linda, the queen of shopping therapy, said she thought they looked like Satan. You know what I see when I look at them now, right!
I love the funky shapes and the painting on them. They aren't as clean as I would like for them to be, but I learned my lesson last year when I tried to wash one. I was left with a glass ball flecked with paint. Don't try this at home!

These are for my Atomic friends! You gotta love these designs.
Aren't these colors fabulous! When I whip out my paints and brushes, they never look quite like these. Instead, they look like a preschooler went haywire!
This one has shape, color, indentions and sparkles!

These little fellows are the size of a walnut. A different color of glitter surrounds the indentions.

Santa on a glove has an Asian flare to it. After handling these vintage ornaments, vintage glitter sparkles on my hands and face!

These look best hanging from my vintage frog. You can really see the shapes. Wonder how they made these out of glass?

The faded paint on this ball reminds me of tie-dyed t-shirts...just not quite as crazy.

Christmas bells, balls, tear drops, and so much more.

O, Christmas tree! O, Christmas tree!

How lovely are thy branches!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Tenth Day of Christmas

On the 10th day of Christmas, my friends and family gave to me the joy of their creatures...large and small!

Miss Cora snuggles in her warm hen house. Don't tell anybody, but she's my favorite old girl!

I suppose Skippy has been good enough this year. He'll get some special goodies from Santa! A crusty old bagel would make him so happy!

My Riley Dog is ready for Santa. He wants a huge ham bone to gnaw on, a squeaky toy to play with and a non-weenie Mom to walk him on cold days!

Usually, baby chicks aren't hatched this time of year. Mary found this one after his mother was snatched up by a predator. I'm not the only one who has chickens inside!

Mary must have been a very good girl this year. For Christmas, her friend, Dot gave her Barnabus, a miniature donkey. Mary's daughter, Elizabeth, loves this little guy! He's just in time for the Live Nativity at her church!

Lucky Llama lives at Mary's, too. He's the good llama. He didn't spit on me!

Doe-Wreath-A decorates my Mom's front porch every Christmas. I don't know who is cuter...Doe-Wreath-A or Niece Erica!

A neighbor has this very cool cow guarding his driveway. Every season, the cow gets a new outfit. This one lights up at night! I want one of these in my yard!

This cute little fellow hangs out on my front porch and bird feeders. He usually has 4 or 5 friends with him.

Happy tails, I mean trails, to ya'll! I wish you safe travels over the holidays!

Not a creature was stirring...Not even a mouse or a squirrel or a donkey or a chicken!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Ninth Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas my mailbox is decorated with nine kinds of greenery.

I actually decorated it on the first day of Christmas. Then, on the second day of Christmas, the gale force winds of a weird December storm blew this monster off my mailbox.

I scooped it up, put it back on top and tweaked it a little to make it presentable. It will have to do since I don't have much greenery left to cut!

I love fresh greenery on mailboxes and got a little carried away. Variegated acuba has large green leaves with yellow spots. It fills in nicely. I have about four different types of holly growing in my yard. I cut as many as I could reach, particularly the ones that have the most berries. I only had one bunch of berries on a nandina bush. I shoved that in there, too. A cedar tree hides my heat unit. I pruned the back of this and shoved handfuls of the clippings into the arrangement. The two scraggly-looking yew shrubs in my yard got a light pruning. If I cut too much it just disappears altogether! Like the arrangement on the front porch, I added some red spray painted dried hydrangea for color, tied on a bow and viola!

Last Friday, I went to Mama's house in Nashville, NC. For Christmas, she decorates her friends' mailboxes or light posts. Wouldn't you know it was the coldest day of the year! They all turned out beautiful.

We "borrowed" greenery from various spots around town and went to work. Here's what the elves did in Nashville!

Julie's Mailbox

Annette's Mailbox

Rosa's Lamp Post

Barbara's Mailbox

Mom's Mailbox

Mom's Ramp

Mom's Porch (love the milk box it's arranged in!)

How did I miss getting a photo of Mrs. Carty's mailbox? Hers is beautiful, too, and different because it has a yellow bow mixed in. Her Grandson, Bryce, should be headed to this side of the world in January. Be safe!

May your halls (mailboxes, porch, windowsills, front door) be decked with boughs of holly, acuba, nandina and much, much more!