The Windows

In the last blog post, I posted these two photo with a sneak peek of my latest projects…

It’s our new old windows that we brought back from Memphis. Sue and Karl replaced the windows in their 40-year old house this year and saved us some for some fun projects.

The first project was this pair of windows that I put over our outdoor seating area. I found some tropical prints to adhere to the backs of the windows for this whimsical look.

I found those cute candle holders at Hobby Lobby to flank the windows and give some atmosphere when entertaining.

I love the new look!

I placed another window on the fence by our fire pit area and affixed some colored starfish.

I love this look too and it’s finally cooling off enough that we may be able to have a fire soon.

One last window went over our master bed, decorated with a wreath and flanked by candle holders again.

I like how the window and picket fence headboard give a sweet, cottage feel.

I really had fun decorating each window in a unique way in three different areas.

Which one is your favorite?

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Weekend Project

On Saturday, I posted the following on Instagram…

That was the kiss of death because shortly after that my sewing machine died. After trying to fix it, then giving up, borrowing a machine from my neighbor and watching numerous YouTube videos to figure out how to work it, I was finally back in business.

What was I working on? Remember these outdoor lanai curtains from painter’s tarps I made early last year after seeing them all over Pinterest?

What the Pinterest posts failed to tell me was that the humid Florida weather would make them look like this in just under two years…

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Because they are so big and bulky, I can’t really wash them. Plus, even if I could, they’d be extremely wrinkled and need to be ironed and that’s just not going to happen. When I accidentally buy something that needs to be ironed after washing, it immediately goes into the donation pile. Ironing is just not my thing…ha!

So after trying to figure out a replacement solution, I had the inspiration to make new curtains out of shower curtains, which would be moisture and mildew resistant. However, they were too short right out of the package so I had to find a water resistant fabric to make a border at the top, which I found on clearance online.

After about 8 hours on Saturday, I had beautiful new replacements. Here is a comparison of the old and new curtains…

And here is the finished product…

I love them so much! And because this material is so light weight, they can be easily washed in the washing machine with no ironing needed. Hooray! I am really hoping that they will last longer than the other ones.

The only negative is that the fabric on top is only one sided. So there is no pattern on the back side.

But I still think they look better than the dirty, moldy tarps.

I started another project this weekend too which I will be sharing after I finish them up (there are some hints in the photos above if you are observant). Stay tuned!

Time with Friends

In addition to our time with family, we also enjoyed some time with friends. On Friday, Carl’s best friend from high school, Bobby, invited us to his brother’s house for their annual gingerbread house making contest. This annual contest involves the mothers against the teenage children, while the men watch football in the other room.

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Each team comes prepared with their idea and supplies for a one-of-a-kind creation. Being from Florida, I was first put in charge of making palm trees, while Bobby’s wife, Jessica, created a rainbow.

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When I was done with my trees, then put me to work wrapping animal crackers with fondant.

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When all was said and done, here was our team with our amazing creation….

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Bobby’s sister-in-law, Lisa; me; Bobby’s sister, Wendy; Bobby’s sister, Janice; Bobby’s wife, Jessica

I thought that we deserved first place with our “Noah’s Ark.”

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However, the teenagers snagged the sentimental vote by creating a “Village” with houses for each family group.

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Oh well, it was a really fun evening and I’m glad that we were able to share in the fun.

For the drive home, instead of driving 12-hours straight through, we stopped in Atlanta for the night to visit Carl’s other friends from high school.

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Steve, Jeff and Carl

This gave us two 6-hour driving days with some fun in-between. Waaaay better!

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Steve’s wife, Anne, couldn’t make it but Jeff’s wife, Waverly is shown

We arrived at Jeff and Waverly’s house in the afternoon, visited for a few hours and then met up with Steve for dinner. We slept in Jeff and Waverly’s amazing guest cottage and after coffee and breakfast in the morning, hit the road back home. We will make this our tradition when going to Memphis from now on because it was so much easier with the two shorter driving days. Plus it’s always more fun visiting friends!

We are grateful for all that we packed into our week and for the time spent with family and friends. Now it’s time to gear up for the Christmas season!

Time with Family

In addition to celebrating Karl’s birthday and Thanksgiving, we enjoyed just hanging out with the family in Memphis last week.

Ever the dutiful son (or dootyful, in this case…ha!), Carl installed new toilets in his parent’s house, replacing the 40-year old commodes with new, higher, sleeker thrones.

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Carl also spent some time working at his sister, Leslie’s house, as well. He’s such a good brother!

We spent time playing cards, including Camp Cards and our new favorite card game taught to us by friend’s at church, 4 Up-4 Down.

Cards

We went to an exhibit at the Dixon Art Gallery.

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The exhibit was a collection of dresses, entirely made out of paper!

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Can you believe this is all paper?

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It was pretty cool, especially for a paper crafting enthusiast like myself.

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We went to Sue’s friend, Marilyn’s house for authentic Memphis BBQ ribs and coleslaw. I first met Marilyn at my baby shower for Kelly…so that was over 27 years ago!

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Sue brought Brandy Ice for dessert…yum!

It was a fantastic time spent with family in Memphis and we are grateful! We look forward to seeing Sue and Karl again in just under a month for our annual Christmas visit. Leslie will be missed but will be with us in our hearts.

Happy Thanksgiving

On Tuesday, Carl and I made the 12-hour drive to Memphis to spend the rest of the week with his parents and sister, Leslie. We kicked off the visit by celebrating Karl’s 81st birthday on Wednesday.

The following day, Thanksgiving, was spent celebrating God’s goodness and our many blessings.

We were also joined by our friend, Lisa, who just moved from Jacksonville to Memphis and made the drive with us on Tuesday (caravaning in her own car, with me driving her car for one 3-hour stint to give her a break from driving).

Sue set a beautiful table as always.

And she made a delicious turkey dinner, complete with dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberries, jello and rolls. I don’t even feel guilty about all the carbs I consumed.

We thank Carl for his excellent carving skills.

We were able to FaceTime with our kids and other family members across the country throughout the day (Sue is looking at Kelly on the IPad screen on the table).

We are grateful for time spent with family (in person and via video), good food, laughter and memories. God has been so good to us and we are very blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dallas, TX

As soon as we returned from vacation, Carl had to empty his suitcase, reload his overnight bag and head to Dallas for a quick overnight visit for work.

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He went to the Dallas football game on Sunday to observe their procedures for the 50-50 raffle and to hopefully glean some new ideas.

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I’m not sure that he did but hey, free trip!

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This was interesting…he learned that Dallas sells 10,000 “standing room only” tickets for $29 each. People actually pile in and stand for the 3-4 hours during each game. Wow!

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But even more interesting, was a quick side trip during his down time. This is the infamous “grassy knoll” in Dealey Plaza where bystanders stood as John F Kennedy’s motorcade passed by during his assassination.

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Dealey Plaza is bordered by the Texas School Book Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy from the sixth floor window (on far right).

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The location of the President’s vehicle at the time of the shooting is marked with a green X in the road.

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Carl then went and saw the theater where Oswald hid out and was eventually arrested in.

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Although the theater still “hosts a mix of repertory cinema and special events,” it shows the name of the movie playing at the time of Oswald’s arrest on one side.

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In light of the news that the country awoke to yesterday morning (as I wrote this) about the horrific and senseless tragedy of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, NV, it feels icky even writing this post about another horrific murder in our country’s past. But evil has existed in our country for all of history and evil will continue to reign until Jesus returns. I read a good article titled “How we should respond to the Las Vegas shooting.”

This is just a small exerpt from the article:

Mercifully, the Word of God can help in bringing theological precision to our thoughts by giving us a way to think about the problem of evil in our world.

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:26-28

Though I don’t know the particulars, I do know He is making all things come together for His good purposes. Big tragedies need a big God to walk us through them. Without Him, there is no way to endure the works of evil satisfactorily.

I pray that God would help us all to make sense of such senseless tragedies and to lean into Him with the hope and peace that only He can provide. 

Santa Rosa Beach with Friends

After five nights, our friends, John and Michelle left yesterday. But not before creating fun memories and having lots of laughs together. On Monday, we spent the day at the beach, soaking in the sun.

By the way, Carl and I celebrated our 35th anniversary of meeting this week.

Four years of college, 31 years of marriage, 3 children, 3 dogs, 6 interstate moves and we still like each other! God has certainly blessed us. I’m so grateful for these past 35 years!

On Tuesday, the husbands played golf and fished.

Meanwhile, Michelle and I enjoyed a spa day with massages, manicures and pedicures while enjoying cheese and wine. Such a fun day, thanks to a Groupon deal.

Since the ladies were in no mood for cooking after our day of pampering, we went out to eat, thanks to John and Michelle’s treat.

The next day, we started with a nice 4 mile walk. Since a donut and coffee break was included in the middle, I had to tag along that time.

Afterwards, we shared the cost of a Stand-up Paddleboard rental for our second beach day.

Since it was a little choppy and I apparently have really bad balance skills, I opted to have Carl paddle me around.

The next morning we returned to the beach and since it was smooth as glass, I was able to ride around on my own, which was so fun. Carl even got within 15 feet of dolphins! Very exciting!

We also enjoyed sunsets, cocktails, games and meals together.

I am so happy to have friends to share a special time away together.

And I’m grateful I’ve got this guy by my side for the past 35 years. Happy anniversary of meeting, Carl! What a great vacation together with friends.