Friday, November 27, 2015

TToT101: 'Tis the Season for Thanks

At least here in 'Murica.

We had a lovely, relaxing holiday here in MD. No travel, no major prep, just a pleasant, quiet evening with family and friends.

Though I did not choose to brave the crowds (or black eyes) for any amazing deals, Brian had visions of cashback and discount percentages dancing in his head. And now, boy, is my life about the change for the better with my new modern, working appliances!

And then today we jumped straight in to full-on December holiday mode. We got a tree, we put up decorations, and we ate pho (which is not holiday-related but I wanted to mention because it made me think of Dyanne).

I made somewhere between 15 and 20 cups of stock with the turkey carcass my MIL kindly donated and will soon make the fabulous turkey posole (there you go, Lisa) recipe my cousin introduced me to last Thanksgiving. The ingredients are not so easy to come by around here, but I cleverly froze a bunch of poblanos from our garden so there's that.

I've finished almost all my holiday shopping, and I've decided it's time to replace the Christmas tree skirt I bought at Walmart my first year out of college so I'm working on that.

And, even though I've put on about four pounds since earlier this week, the jeans I wore today were still too big and kept falling down

So, how 'bout you? Are you feeling thankful?

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Friday, November 20, 2015

TToT100: What's That?

Ahem...did you see that?

This is my 100th TToT post!!!!

So, on to it...

It's been a lovely week. There've been play dates and lunch dates and art projects and reasonably good meals.

I did vidchat tonight and blew Clark a kiss and said hi to Tucker and someone told me (it gets confusing on vidchat) that I looked pretty.

I caught my little boy singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Sky in his bed today. He hardly ever sings. I've never heard him sing a full song, in fact. I don't know if he's really less interested in music than my daughter (who sings a lot and pretty well) or if he's decided that's her thing and not his. But I managed to sneak outside his bedroom door and make a recording.

And I've been productive. I've made two new throw pillow covers out of scraps and remnants, Leo and I used up all those pompoms, and I ironed a tablecloth and set of napkins that have been piled up in the basement for some time.

The green one was once a skirt.

I'm getting the itch to paint some more rooms. Waiting for the next Sherwin-Williams 40% off sale.

How was your week?

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

TToT99: New (Old) Furniture

I like old furniture. I don't care if it "goes together." I have a theory that I learned from a beloved aunt and uncle. If you love it, if it contains history, and is important to you, it belongs. That's how I decorate. Matching is for those with money and taste. I just want to be surrounded by what I love. And this weekend, thanks to my loving mama, I have four new (old) pieces of furniture to love. So if you will indulge me, a small history of each piece:

The twin beds. My maternal grandmother (whom I resemble, don'cha think?) bought these in fifties for her daughters (my mother and aunt). The beds moved from IA to TX sometime in the 80s, and my sister and I slept in them through most of our childhoods. Now my children get them. The headboards will once again hold everything from board books to chapter books, stuffed animals to china figurines. A little girl and a little boy will hold their treasures close behind those sliding doors and be able to reach books late at night or early in the morning.

The Mom bookcase/desk. The mirror is missing, yes, and it still shows the water stains from the great hurricane that hit Port Arthur in 1915 (back before they had names) that caused my newly married great grandmother and her husband to evacuate to a downtown hotel. I suppose she was called Vera in those days, but in my lifetime (and long before) everyone, young or old, related or not, called her Mom (and that's her in the picture feeding sweet baby me a muffin). When her grandchildren visited they played "judge" with a gavel from the desk. My parents inherited it when my great-grandmother moved into an apartment. Now in my house it will hold games, and (perhaps in my dreams) be a homework spot in future days of more independence. Maybe I'll get a new mirror for it.

The Sarah Ellen hutch. That's my name: Sarah Ellen. But there's another Sarah Ellen on the left. She and her husband (who, incidentally, was married to a different Sarah Ellen before this one) moved to North Texas from Western Tennessee with this hutch (and other belongings) when a doctor told them he thought my great-great-grandfather's health (poor since his time in Rock Island POW camp) would be better in a dryer climate. Their oldest daughter (my great-grandmother) inherited it, and my mother recalls playing game with cousins on the floor before it, both frightened and drawn to the carved lion head between the cabinet doors. A cousin kept it for many years and refinished it beautifully before giving it to my mother a few years ago. And now I own it, as seems appropriate.

All my life I have been told, "You come from a long line of strong women, Sarah." Several years ago, I asked for and was given a pendant with the first and middle names of the strong women from whom I am descended (not enough room to go as far back as Sarah Ellen, sadly): Maria, Mary Rebecca, Lillie Dale, Vera Inez, Dorothy Vera, Ruth Ellene, and Mary Ellen. I wear it around my neck always.

And now I can remember them through the furniture they saved and treasured and hauled across the country. They are around me.

P.S. Dyanne, is this granny chic?

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

TToT98: Hello Again

Here and now, I am recommitting to the TToT.

I have had so many adventures of late. Fun-filled wedding weekend, ultimate relaxation in FL, and a wild and wet trip to TX.

So this week I am thankful for a relatively quiet week at home.

And I am thankful for a magical trip to the park on Wednesday morning when five mothers and three-year-old sons showed up at the same time, overcame our introvertedness, and made friends. The stars aligned for us. Or it was the strange combination of hot weather and fall leaves.

I am thankful I got the leaves raked and made some soup which will provide leftovers for awhile.

I am thankful for a rare and pleasant visit with a cousin.

I am thankful for the patience this group has had with me as I've been in and out during my traveling months. No trips until December!

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