Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Blame Debbie Dabble's Cute Filing Cabinet

Downsizing my late mother-in-law's things has been a long, drawn-out process due to the chaos in our life right now.  

My father-in-law is learning to adapt to being "Me" instead of "We" after a long happy 71-year-marriage. 

At 95, he's springing back...although that spring is a little too sprung more days than not!

Recently I brought home two drawers from their little filing cabinet intending to shred my mother-in-law's paperwork and then donate the 2-drawer file cabinet.

Debbie Dabble's Colorful Patio Furniture

Blame Debbie Dabble that the empty filing cabinet is still hanging around our house! 

I came across Debbie's post HERE and fell for the colorful cabinet she has on her patio...How cute is that little guy?...Well, cute enough for me to think I might copy her idea someday using my mother-in-law's file cabinet.

Debbie Dabble's Colorful Porch

I hope you'll hop over to Debbie's PLACE if you need to add a little shot of color in your life too...It's like she stole a rainbow and put it on her porch.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Thoughts And Clarifications

The comments on my last post make me think I was not clear enough about where the birds (we think they are Barn Swallows) tried to build their nest. 

Right behind this high glass window is where the chandelier hangs. At night, when the chandelier is turned on, you can see it through the glass window...

I think some commenters thought the birds were nesting inside our house! They are actually up in the top of this area outside our front door.

I thought I'd show you how the outside entry is built and why it has a chandelier-type light hanging in it.

Our outside entry has a covered roof, but the doorway is wide open and so are the windows on each side of the entry. 

The chandelier is protected from rain and wind as it's positioned way up high.  When the chandelier shines through that high glass window it makes the house look very charming.

When we bought the house, there was a planting bed on either side of the enclosed entryway, and the walkway was straight with blocks of cement that made it hard to walk up to the house.

House In 2010

This is my father-in-law coming from the house when it was for sale. We signed the contract a few days later on New Year's Eve Day, Dec 31, 2010.

House and Walkway 2010

At the very top of our "To-Do List" back then was: "Replace The Dangerous Front Walkway" 

We had it done as soon as we saved up the money to do it, but after we put in the front patio. 

Small Patio Replaced Dying Planting Bed

The small flagstone patio got put in when all the plants in this area kept dying a slow painful death. It is one of the best things we did! 

Finally Putting A Safe Walkway In 2013

This east side of the house gets the morning sun and then is in full shade for the rest of the day. 

I Always Pictured A Curvy Walkway In Front Of The House

Our back patio, on the west-side of the house, gets full sun from 1 p.m. to sundown so you can find us on this shady little front patio on a hot summer afternoon.

Unfortunately, the nesting birds like this side of the house too. We couldn't step out the front door without them dive-bombing us!

Nest In High Up Chandelier In Outside Entry

I wonder which birdbrain it was who thought the crossbars in the chandelier was a secure place to raise their babies? I don't think it was the mama.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Attack Of The Crazy Nesting Birds

When you open your front door and find twigs all over your welcome mat and entryway floor, you know that's not a good thing!

Looking up, I find the culprits are trying to build a nest right in the hanging chandelier!

It's so far up! The top of the front door is 8 feet tall...

...then another 8 to 10 feet from the top of the door to where the chandelier hangs...

That's too high for us to climb up and take the nest down. We'll have to call someone with a tall ladder and nerves of steel. Can you tell high places scare the bejesus out of me?

When I went out to water the plants in the pots, a couple of birds circled me overhead. Apparently they wanted to get back to nest building!

That's when I discovered one of those little devils even tried to build a nest in my Hydrangea bush and tore a side of the plant out. 

If you know how much I love and baby my Hydrangea bush, you know my first thought was...Birds, This Means War!

Wild Bill removed the nest from the flowerpot before I thought to get a picture of the mess.

I bought a large box of mothballs and spread them around in the pots. Wild Bill got out his pink Barbie BB gun and shot it off each time the birds flew into the entryway. 

Birds don't like the sound of shots (even little pink BB gun shots) and will learn to stay away. 

In some small rural towns that have problems with birds nesting in downtown trees during the nesting season, they employ "noise cannons" to discourage the birds from nesting there.

In regard to the mothballs, our last house was near a lake where 22 deer roamed freely around using our flower beds and flower pots as a salad bar.

The only thing I ever found that deterred the deer and other wild animals from eating our plants was mothballs. Hopefully birds don't like mothballs either.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

In The Potted Garden With My Thoughts

The bright colors cheer me up when I'm in the little potted garden out front. We have quite a few wild rabbits around that love to chew on anything in the ground as well as whatever hangs over the pots.

It's strange how the days past so quickly even though they're longer now than any other time of the year!

There's so much that needs to be done, but the heat of summer makes it hard to want to do much around Northeast Texas this time of year. Even the Hydrangeas seem to be hiding out...

We're learning so much about how you can be healthy one minute and the next you're not. 

Through the years you always hear, "Guard your health!" Now we know just what is meant by that. It truly does feel sometimes like it's being stolen away.

Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts for us. Life is slowly getting back to normal since Wild Bill's diagnosis and his mother's death the next day. 

We traveled to M.D. Anderson's Cancer Center near Houston the day after mom's funeral hoping for a better prognosis and possible treatment. Though the Center had nothing different to offer, the doctor was especially kind and through in walking us through the PET scan and explaining everything to us. 


Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday Finds

My mother-in-law was a pack-rat. She saved and "collected" so many things. Some of the things are worthless and cause us to chuckle, but some are worthwhile. Therein lies the problem!

We've found we must go through every box and stack because one never knows what you'll find! It's slow going so we've agreed to try and do a little each day.

My father-in-law, at 95, is the exact opposite. He will throw away anything that gets in his way of cleaning a counter or shelf. 

Because of this, we have to remove everything from his assisted living apartment that is not needed or necessary to him.

We box it up as fast as we can and have stored it for safe-keeping while we do a little at a time. Here's some interesting things I found while emptying a box...

This Woman's Day from 1965 cost just 15 cents! Mom was crazy about doll's, doll patterns, and books about dolls. She cut parts of magazines out to save for both information and patterns.

The magazine pages included page after page of old dolls in different categories...here's just a few of them.

Also in this box, several books on making various type dolls...

And my favorite...a book on embroidering animals...I'll add this book to my "someday" pile. I love to embroider, but haven't done it for years.

And here's an article on Frontier Doctors from Texas Highways magazine...another piece I'll squirrel away on my Texas Research shelf!

Two sets of fake pearls...or are they real? No telling! We'll have to take the jewelry to someone who can appraise it. 

I'm betting these are not expensive, but there are some family pieces that need an evaluation so we'll take the rest just in case.

Just the other day, due to a conversation, I wanted to re-read The Constitution. As if by magic, a copy was at the top of the first box I opened!

Cheryl, of the blog Cheryl's Frugal Corner, posted the other day about "letting go" by clearing out all the unneeded things we have. She talked about how every piece of clutter represents $$$ spent. So true. 

I agreed with her at the time and still do, but I am finding it interesting seeing what one woman saved from all the things she bought. 

I'm saving some of her things for myself, hoping for a time in the future when I can explore them fully and understand her a little better. 

Hopefully our three daughters will read this post, and they won't have to wonder why I saved some of these things shown in this post today. 

They'll have so many other things to ponder after all! I can hear them now laughing away and asking, "What in the world was she saving THIS thing for?"

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A "Nothing Is A Coincidence" Moment

I pulled some muscles sitting and sleeping all night in a chair in my mother-in-law's hospital room on June 5th, the day the doctors removed her from all life support equipment. 

Jessie Riding "Shot-Gun" With Me In Better Days

Jessie passed away on June 7th. It was a busy time for us with my 95-year-old father-in-law to comfort and care for, a funeral to arrange, a serious medical issue my husband was faced with along with taking care of Jessie's personal possessions and finances. 

I ignored my sore back and it slowly got much worse!  Last Saturday, I finally went to our doctor's urgent care clinic to get muscle relaxers for my back. Whenever I'm in a stressful situation, my back is my weak point. 

Because the urgent care clinic closes at noon on Saturdays, the doctor printed the prescription instead of faxing it to our pharmacy. Sometimes there's a problem with the machines' interaction and the kind doctor wanted to make sure the prescription got there with no problem.

When I dropped off the prescription, the technician obviously wanted me to leave the store and come back later in the day to pick it up. She said it would be at least an hour before they would have it filled. 

I said that's OK, that I would just look around because my back made it too painful to get in and out of my car. She weakened a little.

I also asked her to put notification in their records that my mother-in-law was recently deceased in case she had prescriptions on automatic renewal. She softened a lot.

Just 10 minutes later, I got a text message from the Pharmacy section that my prescription was ready for pick-up. I headed back across the store and went to the "pick-up" window where another clerk completed my transaction.

I passed the "drop-off" window where the first clerk was talking to a young woman with 2 small children in her shopping cart. Something made me stop and wait to say thank you to the clerk for expediting my prescription.

The young woman, with phone in hand, told the clerk her husband said he could wait until payday for the medicine since the Co-Pay was more than they could afford at $48.

Thinking of my mother-in-law and how drugs had relieved her suffering as she left this world for the next, I asked the woman if she would be able to pay for the medicine if I paid $20 of it? 

She said yes, but that she couldn't accept the money from me.  As I handed the clerk the money, I said to the young woman: "Well it's not from me, it's from my mother-in-law!"  

I told her my mother-in-law's funeral was 4 days before and I was 100% sure she had orchestrated the situation that brought me to that register at just that moment. 

I think an angel was trying to earn her wings that day. Just to make sure she does, I plan to help my mother-in-law earn her wings every chance I get for the next year. I hope you will too! 

And if you do have one of those "nothing is a coincidence" moments too, I hope you'll come back and let me know about it with a comment. I would love to hear about the sweet goodness in the world.

Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Life Happens On The Way To Hallelujah Square

On Thursday, June 7th, my mother-in-law, Jessie, left this world for a better one. 

After 71 years of marriage and at age 95, Raymond has lost his sweetheart. 

Tomorrow we celebrate mom's life with a service centered on a poem she wrote in 1994 called "Hallelujah Square." We will try not to cry for our loss as we share memories of how she touched our lives.

Tomorrow, in her honor, may you hug your loved ones just a little longer, speak just a little kinder, and love with just a little more joy.

Thank you, Jessie, for dropping by my life!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Plants And Flowers Around Town

When we're out and about in Texas, I love to look for garden inspiration in and around the towns we visit.

Around McKinney Texas today lovely flower pots are in bloom...

Most shops have pots full of plants and flowers, but some have flowers planted down in the sidewalk dividers too.

A few years back, one of the shopping centers even created a Long Horn topiary to add some greenery to a bedding area...

The shop called My Favorite Room is one of my favorite stops, not only for the wonderful furniture they sell, but for their potted garden in front of the shop.

 The entry to the shop is on the north side of the building and gets less of the hot summer sun than a west side exposure would get. 

I try to remember that when I want to duplicate their look. When we first bought our house, the builder had planted evergreen trees like the ones potted in these pictures of My Favorite Room's entry.

The evergreens our builder planted were on the east..and sort of south...side of our house (where our entryway is) and that summer was terribly hot. We had lots of days with temperatures over 100 degrees, and those poor trees did not last at all!

I'll take the cue from this shop and maybe try planting some of these type trees on the north side of the house in the future. 

When you're not a good gardener, but love the look, I've finally learned it's best to study and copy the ideas of others who do it better. 

If you are looking for ideas for your garden too, come join the party at Everyday Living's Garden Party here.

Thanks for dropping by!