Sunday, March 30, 2008

Treasure Hunting

According to the weather reports, aka not-always-so-trustworthy-Doplar-Radar, this entire weekend was doomed to be wet and gloomy. We had planned on returning to the houses I told you about in a prior post; we didn't have a good way to get into the one house (due to a missing padlock key). Hubby and I were anxious to look around inside, as Mike (the young man who served as the property contact person) had told us he thought there were some antiques inside we might be interested in. Demolition had not yet started on this larger home and we quickly realized that much of what had been removed from the other home (now just a skeletal frame) had been scattered about on the old hardwood floors that I now was admiring. Here's a look at what we managed to salvedge and bring home for cleaning and repair.
By the way, remember that the transmission had gone out in my hubby's truck? Well, the truck is now repaired but after we got it loaded, it wouldn't start. (Kinda embarrassing, when the Hubby works at a large battery plant and a new battery had been installed just before the transmission repair) Thank goodness for wonderful neighbors! We telephoned Dick, who lives across the street, and he was quickly at our aid with jumper cables. Once that was accomplished and the two men were gazing under the hood of the truck, he asked, "Isn't that the alternator plug hanging there?"
Uh-huh. That was it, exactly. The transmission mechanics had forgotten to hook it back up; no wonder the battery had drained! Reputation of the battery plant remains intact!
Reminder: You only have a few hours left to get qualified for this month's drawing! The winner will receive the jeweled bottle shown previously, an assortment of handmade tags, and a variety of surprises! How do you qualify? Simply leave a comment on this blog. Yep. That's it!
Thanks again for stopping by; see you tomorrow when the winner will be announced!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Old Family Recipe and a peek at the PRIZE

Here's something I've never done on my blog: Shared a recipe. This is a dish commonly served when we were growing up but, to my knowledge, has never before been published. (You saw it first HERE! LOL!) It wasn't unusual for my Dad and his friends to make up recipes, being in a new country and away from the familiar vegetables grown in the Philippines. This is one of them! It's tasty, colorful, and you can kind of make up whatever you want to add to it as you go along. We serve it over rice; no other side dishes are necessary. Ingredients: (Everything is an approximate measurement, by the way, and will serve about four or five people.) 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef small onion, chopped (you can also use several green onions, including the bulb and the green top) 1 can (or pint or quart - told you, everything is approximate) stewed tomatoes 1 can peas (or a cup or so of frozen peas) **** The items below can be included or omitted - I included them in last night's concoction: 1 small potato, diced 1 small to medium bell pepper (any color, sliced or diced) 2 or 3 carrots, sliced Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Add in the chopped onion. Stir in everything else, cooking until any fresh veggies you added are cooked. Serve over a bed of rice. Add soy sauce to season to taste. Easy, huh? Let me know how you like it! And, here's a peek at the bottle that the winner of this month's drawing will receive: As usual, the winner will also receive several surprise goodies! And all you have to do to qualify is leave a comment on this blog! Good luck!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Demolishing History

I had planned to write about the demolition of an old home I had the privilege of being in a couple days ago but the words won't come.

I did write about it, but it's on my other blog. If you're interested, you can read it here.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd share a couple pictures of it:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!

Spring is finally here! I know this because our crocus have been blooming for a few weeks now and the daffodils are showing their bright yellow colors in areas throughout our property. Oh, and because the calendar says that it's Spring.

Our high temperature today was somewhere in the 50's, plenty warm enough for me to grab my camera and get ideas of what items left outside was ravaged by the harsh winter and how much outside cleanup will have to take place within the next couple of weeks. So, while hubby was checking the riding mower batteries and doing things to it that only men know how to do when they're trying to avoid getting started early on Spring cleanup, here are a few things I checked out:

Why is it that the weeds always have so much more vim and vigor than flowers? I know dandelions must be the weight lifters of the plant family. How else could they be strong enough to muscle out and push aside flowers with such large bulbs? It is obvious to me that I still have a lot of dead leaf and plant raking, fresh mulching and lots of outdoor painting and all-around sprucing up to do..

I posted more photos on Webshots if you want to take a look: http://community.webshots.com/album/562845815HGWVWX?vhost=community

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our little dance

Don't send a lame eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

Tomfoolery

I previously posted an old photo of myself at age 13 and remarked that I was ugly but had good legs at that time. My good friend, Janet, asked me whether I knew what happened to those legs. Then she, as only the best of friends will do, warned me of what had happened. It's frightening, to say the least. I will share with you what she has discovered and hope it's not too late for you:

This is a serious theft problem, and it's happening all across the country. I thought you probably needed to know. This is no hoax, it happened to ME! No kidding, it really did!Theft Problem - IMPORTANT MESSAGE:You've heard about people who have been abducted and hadtheir kidneys removed by black-market organ thieves. My thighs were stolen from me during the night a few yearsago. I went to sleep and woke up with someone else'sthighs. It was just that quick. The replacements had thetexture of cooked oatmeal. Whose thighs were these andwhat happened to mine? I spent the entire summer lookingfor my thighs. Finally, hurt and angry, I resignedmyself to living out my life in jeans. And then thethieves struck again.My butt was next. I knew it was the same gang, because they took pains to match my new rear-end to the thighs they hadstuck me with earlier. But my new butt was attached atleast three inches lower than my original! I realizedI'd have to give up my jeans in favor of longskirts.Two years ago I realized my arms had been switched. One morning I was fixing my hair and was horrified to see the flesh of my upper arm swing to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. This was really getting scary - my body was being replaced one section at a time. What could they do to me next?When my poor neck suddenly disappeared and was replaced with a turkey neck, I decided to tell my story. Women of the world, wake up and smell the coffee! Those 'plastic' surgeons are using REAL replacement body parts -stolen from you and me! The next time someone you know has something 'lifted', look again - was it lifted from you?THIS IS NOT A HOAX. This is happening to women everywhere every night.WARN YOUR FRIENDS! P.S. Last year I thought some one had stolen my Boobs. I was lying in bed and they were gone! But when I jumped out of bed, I was relieved to see that they had just been hiding in myarmpits as I slept. Now I keep them hidden in my waistband. I implore you, what would we women do without friends like Janet? LOL!

Above is a little clip of my brother, his wife, my hubby and myself having a little fun the last time we were together. I can guarantee you that my sister-in-law will try to strangle me the next time we see each other. At least they have on sunglasses and are somewhat incognito! LOL!

I tried to put it inside this post but, computer illiterate that I am, couldn't figure it out.

Last but not least, don't forget to leave a comment on this blog to qualify you for this month's drawing, or monthly giftaway!

Monday, March 17, 2008

This Weekend, the Bristol Races, my New Online Shop

This weekend was this year's first big race at Bristol Raceway. Although we live in the country, we live close enough to the track that we are affected by the amount of traffic that the races bring. Race time is always a time that the merchants look forward to; the thousands of people coming into the area mean thousands of dollars in revenue for not only the track, but the grocery stores, restaurants and various shops around the area. The antique shops downtown are among those who can generally count on extra sales throughout these weekends. The added population also brings exceedingly heavy traffic for our little area. This is something my hubby and I don't look forward to. I try to make sure we have plenty of groceries, gasoline, and the various sundry items that make up a typical weekend for us. In other words, we try to keep stocked well enough that we won't have to leave home. This weekend, I decided to concentrate on things in my studio while hubby and youngest stepson concentrated on some yard work, specifically finishing up on our tree trimming and picking up the debris I left on the ground the other day. ;-> I know that lots of people use the trash cans issued by their disposal companies and thought you might want to see how we cope with things when we run out of room in our can. No, we don't feed my stepson to the can! This is a picture of my hubby holding the trash can while stepson (David) jumps up and down inside the can. Kind of a human trash compactor, if you will. (This job belongs to hubby when stepson isn't spending the weekend with us. I've personally never stomped grapes nor trash.) Okay, now that I've shared that photo let me share with you a photo of what the race track usually looks like from a vantage point not too far from us: Granted, the LinkBelt ditchdigger thingy generally isn't there, but you can get an idea of the wide open fields between this spot and the track (big, white building in the far background). This picture was taken this past Wednesday morning. You can see where some early bird campers have already started pulling into cherished spots in the front of the field. Here's a picture of the street I was on when I took the first photo: Nice, quiet country area! Don't you agree? Here's the same area Sunday morning, during the races: And another look, farther down the road away from the track: . Remember, that I previously shared with you that my hubby's truck transmission went out and that we are temporarily sharing my van? Well, we're still sharing the van, which was holding several boxes of items ready to be taken to the Corner Nest in Elizabethton. We knew that we would probably get caught in heavy traffic on the way back home but we didn't know how ridiculous our return trip would be. Elizabethton is roughly 20 miles from here, an approximate 20 minute trip one way. Not yesterday. Here's what it looked like on the way back home: We were routed over ten miles out of our way from a point where we were about one mile from our home. Two hours later, we were still trying to get home (sounds kinda Wizard-of-Ozish, doesn't it?). Well, one picture can still say a thousand words: Note the difference in daylight? Now, I don't blame the fans, although I do have to wonder what the thought processes are for someone who pays over $100 a night for a camping spot just wide enough to pull a vehicle into. You can actually stand away from the many campgrounds in the area and see a haze lingering above from vehicle exhausts. That can't be either healthy nor comfortable for the campers that are jam-packed into those fields, jelly tight. But I digress... No, I don't blame the fans. I believe every police officer in the county, city, surrounding towns and local highway patrol was on duty yesterday, trying to direct traffic away from Bristol and toward the interstates. I blame whomever is responsible for mapping out the detour routes. I think it's wonderful the the races bring in so much revenue for the area. But I don't like the way that the needs of people living in the area year-round are pushed aside to accomodate our guests. I think it's ridiculous that we have to be routed so far away from our property and that it would take over two hours to travel from the point we were first detoured to get to our home, especially when, at that point, we had less than two miles to travel. Okay, I've said my piece; thanks for putting up with my rant. Now, back to my normally upbeat blog! :-) If you haven't already, I hope you click on the link for the Corner Nest. There are lots of new things in the works, including our new little cafeteria area. Here's a glimpse: Robin will still have the back area of the shop open for special luncheons, receptions, etc. This area will be for those wanting sandwiches, ice cream, etc. The shop continues to grow and to do well; I'm so glad we made the decision to hop on the ol' bandwagon to be a part of this!

And here's something new for me - I've decided to sell some of our antiques online through Ecrater. I'll also be listing some of my artwork, trash to treasure items, etc. Here's the link: http://oldtimestudios.ecrater.com/ . I'll be adding things through out this week and hope you check back. You'll probably also be able to tell that I'm not quite finished setting up but you'll get the idea. Right now I only have three jeweled bottles (one is vintage) and an old milk can with a spigot listed. The milk can is cool. If I had a place to keep it, I would. I can only imagine the ones with spigots are few and far between, as this one is the first and only one I've seen.

I'm also happy that so many of you enjoyed my story about my cousin finding me! I'm thrilled and am flattered that they searched so hard to find us. I love you, Annabel! I promise, I'll get an email to you tomorrow!!!!

Thanks again, everyone, for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Prize Information and a Miracle!

Hi, Everyone!

The weather's been crazy again, hasn't it???!! Wouldn't you know that, the day after we buy 200 more gallons of propane, the temps would decide to lurk in the 60's. I trimmed up some of our trees (as far as I could reach - although a ladder was propped up against one of our apple trees, I decided I wasn't that stupid...) and shrubs yesterday. And, although my back and hands might disagree, I really didn't overdo it. I left the clippings for my hubby to clean up. ;->

Well, I have to tell you, I fell in love with Tracy's dressed-up bottles when I first saw them. It was no surprise to me when her blog was featured in Artful Blogging Magazine. They inspired me to jump into my pile of old and broken jewelry and my aptly-marked box of Cool-Stuff-I-Don't-Know-What-to-do-with-Yet and come up with my own bottle jewelry. This is what I've done so far:

I love them, and hope you do, too because I've decided to put a special one together and include it in my March Drawing! Remember, all you have to do to qualify is leave a comment on my blog! If I was a better organized person, I'd show you a picture of everything that the March package will include. However, I've always tried to not act like something that I'm not, so why start now? As you know, I add things as the month goes on so the final prize is always more than whatever the first pic would be, anyway. So, I'm asking that you trust me and know I'm telling the truth when I tell you that the prize is worthy of a little comment or two!
I've posted some closeups of them here.
Now, I have to share a real miracle with you. When I was a teenager (13 or 14 years old), my Dad's younger brother (my Uncle Narcisco) was a soldier in the Filipino Army and was able to visit us in Indianapolis. It was one of my very favorite memories, as you can imagine we rarely got to meet any of our relatives. Plus, he was young and cute and my girlfriends were sooo envious that I had such a handsome uncle - and in uniform, to boot!
When he had to leave, I was so sad. He was so sweet and personable! I adored him. I knew that, once he left our home, I would never see him again; I knew that we would never return to the Philippines and his return to the U.S. would be unlikely. Okay, fast forward 40+ years to this past week. Surprise of all surprises, his daughter Annabel left a comment for me on this blog! Her family had apparently been looking for my brother and me! Thanks to God (okay, and to Bill Gates), I have a newly discovered cousin and BFF! She emailed some old pix to me - that's 13 year old me in those manhater glasses!
Go ahead and laugh, it's okay. I did! I may have been ugly, but I wish I still had those legs!
Annabel and her family (she and her husband have three absolutely beautiful children - but then, she's drop dead gorgeous!) are living in Tokyo where he currently works. She sent me pix but I don't want to post them without her permission. We've been trying to document the past 40 plus years through emails.
I'm so excited to get to know them, even if it is electronically! Our Dads, by the way, have long passed on but they would both be so pleased to know that their children have found each other. I think Annabel is about the age of my own children. I'm hoping that they can all get to know each other, too.
Okay, I'm now off to the post office and the pharmacy! As always, thanks for stopping in!

Friday, March 7, 2008

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Many, many thanks for extending prayer to all who were affected by the murder-suicide I told you about in my last post. I was touched by your emails and the comments left on this blog and prayers are always appreciated as well as being uplifting. I also want to thank you for your prayers and well wishes on my personal health situation. I don't yet have all the test results; they should be in this coming week. God bless all of you.

My hubby had been working out back the other day when he excitedly burst into the back door. "Look out the window!" he instructed, "You'll want to get a picture of that!" He pointed to a huge hawk sitting on a post in the field next to us. It was sitting calmly, wings fully expanded, simply experiencing the feel of the wind through his feathers.

I had never before witnessed a bird of any kind holding such a pose for an extended length of time.

Hubby grabbed the camera, took aim through the window and the hawk flew away as if purposely dodging the lens. "I'll take the camera outside with me and will get his picture if he comes back," he said as I nodded in approval, wondering whether we would be so lucky to capture such a shot.

When he later came in to hand me the camera, he told me that he had managed to get some pictures but the hawk never returned for him to snap that awesome pose we had earlier witnessed. I thought I'd share with you what he had stored for me in the camera: Do you see it???? Me neither.

*Sigh!* So much for a climactic captivation.

Meanwhile: Look what I got in yesterday's mail!!!

What a nice surprise! Pat sent me this little note and sweet charm as a thank you for the comfort dolls I sent her! I love this charm; now, to find a special project just for it! Thank you, Pat!
Here's a curbside find I wanted to share with you: It's been stored away for awhile, but I've known for several months what I wanted to do with it. From a plain ol' forgotten potty chair to a ... flower potty. (Pretend that fake flower stem isn't there. I'm too lazy to go back downstairs and snap another picture right now.) This one is for a child's garden. I have another one that I'll paint differently, with more adult-looking letters that will look cute on the front porch or back patio.
Last, but not least, here's a look at the gift package won by OLIVEOYL64 in last month's drawing:
She received the decorated box you saw earlier, a plastic heart container with vintage buttons, a pair of glass candlesticks, handmade soap by Susan, some flatware and the handmade tags I also posted earlier. What's going to be in this month's prize package? I don't know yet. I add these items as the month goes on! If you want to win, you have to first enter and you only have to leave a post on this blog to enter! How easy can that be? I mean, LOL!
I have more to share with you but it will have to wait until later. I had a wonderful surprise the other day but this house and a ton of projects are calling me. Until next time...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Terrible Happening...

Living in a small town spoils you. If you've moved from a larger area, you are amused at local people who consider having two people in front of you at the grocery counter a long line and may feel out of place when you realize everyone around you went to school together.

Although small town living may not be for everyone, I prefer country roads and quiet streets to racing against vehicles in five other lanes of traffic in hopes of clearing the next light before it turns red. I love the fact that it's a big deal when the next town over doubles its police force with the addition of two new officers.

Bristol, Tennessee is large enough that you may not have to use a magnifying glass to find it on the map (I think the name "Bristol" may be in bold type on a state map) but it's still small enough to carry that certain charm and security - lots of security in the knowledge that our last homicide was four years ago.

So, imagine our surprise - and horror - when we heard that someone had shot and killed four people at a local apartment building before killing himself. And one of those people now dead was my husband's closest and dearest childhood friends. Although they haven't run around together in years, my sweetheart is feeling a loss from deep within.

I have heard the stories many times over, of two friends outrunning the local police chief on curvy country side roads. Of sneaking out (and later in) late at night to do those things that mischievous teenage boys do. Of girl-chasing, Chevy lusting and when Roy fell in love, moved to Illinois but later returned to this area when his marriage failed.

Roy's funeral is tomorrow. Please pray for his family and friends, for all those whose loved ones were killed in this horrific situation, and for the family of the young man who later turned the gun on himself. What pain all these people must be in, as well as the neighbors who once felt secure in their homes.

In case you are interested, the story is here.