Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Good Tuesday Friends,
I had a great idea, brought about by a bit of hardship and inconvenience, which sometimes brings forth good. Born from the experiences of a fire, my idea was: SOS which means: Simplify, Organize, Support! An 8 week course for those whose desire is to live life a different way. The class, in a nutshell, is a tool to help those of us who are hopelessly rambling around wanting to be organized in our personal life, our family life, our home and our dealings with the outside world...be it job, profession, school, career, whatever....those of us who recognize that "things" are holding us down, keeping us back, robbing us of freedom! We have all the good intentions...but just no accountability...hence, the "support" in SOS. Part of the appeal was that each of us in the class shared our frustrations and hopes and we gave support to each other. The goal was to begin to change our habits and acquire new ones in their place. Each of us claimed an area we would de-clutter and re-purpose by the end of the class, then...the last class we had a progressive party and went from house to house to view the finished area! We had a ball and it worked! Everyone achieved satisfaction from actually doing what they said they would do, it was delightful and what fun we had. I have been asked to think about doing this class "on line"....but I hesitate because part of the magic of a weekly on site class is the relationship built between all the attendees...but hey, blog land is full of wonderful friendships between people who have never met, so maybe this might work after all.... Now, Lindsey, you might say: "Heal thyself"....yep, I do believe I may be back sliding and I NEED this class again just for myself....well, what do you think? Should I put it together for a virtual class??? Mom, you do NOT need to take this course, you are the great de-clutter queen and I stand in awe of your refrigerator alone!!! But, for those of you whose fridge is one huge mumble-jumble (and you know what that means and who you are!) maybe SOS is for you.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Orange is "IN"

Good monday evening friends....
yes, orange is "in" and doesen't it look good with blue??? I have discovered a new fondness for orange that I thought I lost decades ago....who knew? This is our front door wreath.
Of course Target has these wonderful door-mats for each season...I do think this fellow is very friendly looking and Fiona is keeping her eye on him too!

The pumpkin in the urn is ceramic and very real looking, says "Welcome Friends" kinda hokey, but I like it...so there! See the cute little crow flying above the pumpkin? I am liking crows too.

The lamp needed to be taller, so we got out a few old books, looks nice, huh? Those sillouettes are of me, my brother and sister...very vintage....

Another crow and more orange!

Yet more orange...our trees are not yet turning but there's lots of color inside!

This is a neat carved pumpkin or the kitchen counter....orange and blue....way cool.

Your first Christmas sighting!!! A new teapot from England called "A Fine Romance"...adorable! New St. Nick too (thank you HomeGoods)

More orange and blue with a great artichoke candle holder....

This is a very old tea cart and more great gourds and small pumpkins...orange again

Here's more crows...I will admit that the one is from the Dollar Tree!!! The other with a votive is from Target...love the print.

More orange and blue, there is a theme going here.

I love real-looking artificials, they are a good investment. If I have real flowers I usually cut whatever I have in the yard. Around Christmas I do use roses from Sams club, but I like the look of the artificials and I use them everywhere...they never die on you and always look good even if you NEVER water them! I have been drying my hydrangeas. They look wonderful, blues and violets...so pretty and they last a long time dried.
Well, I took alot of pictures just to show you a bit of my autumn decor, hope you enjoyed the "tour"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The booth !

Good Thursday Friends!
Here's a shot of the little spot before I got it all fluffed. ^

This is another pre-fluff shot from a different angle. (above)

Well, here's how it looks all done, but already I see things I need to change...oh me. At least it is almost all priced and tagged and I can take a break. HOpefully this weekend I will make some sales.....

More photos of the space. It is very small and I have a bunch in there, I do hope it shows off well enough. We will see...

I probably should have taken some photos of other booths. Some of them are much larger and very impressive. I just want to make enough to pay for the rental and make some $ and get rid of this stuff and maybe become rich and famous too. (smiling here)
Saw my sweet Chinese Dr. today, she is always upbeat and so very nice to me. "It's yo body" is her favorite saying and after telling me her opinions on the state of my health and hearing my thoughts on the subject, she always smiles and says: "It's yo body!" How can I argue with that??? Can I loose 30 lbs? That might solve all my woes...but that is not easy to do. The dh needs to loose the same 30 lbs. wonder if we can work on it together??? still, not easy for a couple who enjoy their food!
I went out to my beautician Ms. Beverly Booe! got me a Booe-do (the e is silent!) another perm, which is quite curly right now. cannot touch it for 48 hours...strict orders. Ms. Booe is tougher than Dr. Zhang!
Well, now I can relax a bit. Am attending a tea on Sunday, will take photos as it should be over the top!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Good Wednesday morning friends,
No, I am not limiting my blog today to just two words, but I had a brainstorm on my way home from working on my booth yesterday and thought this might be a good place to share the thought!
I think I would be correct to assume that what Americans of every ilk and political pursuasion really really want is CHANGE!, right? And if we were all really honest we would have to agree that the election of a President really won't bring about the big CHANGE that we, the people, seem to really desire. I sincerely believe we must change Congress---radically in order to begin to bring about the CHANGE that is desired by one and all. How do we do this?????
Here's where my two words come in:
Think about it. We would have "citizen statesmen/women" not career politicians. We would have people who knew they were returning to the general population in a few short years so they better work hard and not screw it up. We would have true policy making done, not empire building. The "citizen soldier" served America well, still is serving....why not the Citizen Statesman/woman??? I, for one, would love to see some fresh faces and new ideas....I want change!!! Not just lip service and more of the same and no matter how hard they try, the executive branch will be thwarted by the legislative branch as it stands now. Let's see if we can convince more people to demand term limits for congress and see what those career legislators have to say to that kind of CHANGE!!! no pay raises, no huge retirement benefits, no special medical benefits.....just serve and good bye! Stop for a moment and think of this, why the huge outpouring of attention (both positive and negative) on the selection of Gov. Palin for VP on the McCain ticket? Could it be that for one reason she is not a Washington insider? She is a citizen-stateswoman!!! "The elite" are afraid of her because she is one of us....now, maybe you are not a conservative-Christian-woman-mother-Republican...but you are a civilian-person-not on the Federal government payroll-American...and so is she! The first thing I thought about was : "A breath of fresh air". No matter what your leanings are philosophically, religiously, or politically, you have to admit Mrs. Palin is no senator....for me that speaks volumns!!!
say it again:

Monday, September 15, 2008


Good Monday friends!
I feel very proud of myself because I spent 5 NON-STOP hours working on my little area at the consignment shop today!!! Here is how it looked after unloading yesterday (above photo) ^ Below v is another shot of the spot full of boxes! That is what greeted me this morning!

The first thing I did was to begin unpacking the boxes after I dusted and cleaned the two cabinets which hold most of the inventory!

Then, I decided to use some of my teacup tissue left from the Mall shop and lined the back of the kitchen hutch with it...turned out cute! You can see it here below v
Miss Eula sure did enjoy having so much company and she was all smiles while I worked my tail off!!!
I went through every single box...one is for sale to tea shop lady, one is lamps and I need to decide what to do with them and one is full of linens to be put out tomorrow I am sure. I moved Miss Eula out of the space as she was just in the way...sorry and I continued to empty boxes and stack stuff. I am getting the flow of it now and feel much better about how the spot will finally look, PLUS...while emptying a box I found a great menu from a tea class I did years ago and think I will use it to promote more tea classes in the shop...well, not the classes, those would be in homes...but I can advertise in the shop! So now my mind is running on more revenue streams.

My spot ends where you see the tall screens on the right of the cabinet. Someone else rents the space under the window. They rent every bit of space in this place...even book cases and the bathroom.

Kim, one of the owners made up my price tags from a 3pg list I gave her yesterday, but after unloading, I have 3 more pages of inventory...I have yet to tag anything...that is for tomorrow!

When I got ready to leave I wanted to make sure nothing "left" the shop before I had it tagged....so I swathed every space with fabric and I had made some cute signs to clothspin on the fabric to let people know the space would open soon. I love Alice in Wonderland, so used graphics from that book's illustrations and such, they turned out sooooo cute! Click on the photo to enlarge!
Miss Eula is now on the payroll ... she will hold this sign to let folks know we are on the way!!!

I call the shop "TEA TIME" I like that ...

Good by Miss Eula, hold the fort down, see you tomorrow.....


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Attack of the "Killer STUFF"

Good Sunday morning friends,
I did promise pictoral proof of my challange....here is Paul sitting amidst a sea of "stuff". His job was to haul it out of the bowels of the storage unit to the light of day, where I would sort into: Keep, give away, sell at my shop, sell to tea shop owner and finally....toss (that was the 5th category....1)keep, 2)give, 3)sell, 4)sell, and 5)toss ) I still have about 20 boxes that I didn't get to , but now that we have accomplished this much, the rest will be a breeze! Here's another view with Miss Eula lounging in my sweet antique wicker tea cart....both are going to my shop to sell....hate to do it, but Miss Eula is a people-person and she has hated being cooped up in this storage unit with no one to flirt with...so off she goes to Fuquay, hope she makes tons of new friends!
On our way to late lunch...or early dinner...we passed a gas station selling regular at $4.09! Yesterday, Friday, it was up to over $5 a gallon, is that awful????? We both have a bit less than half a tank, but will wait to see it come down under $4 (you can click on any picture to enlarge)

We ate here, a great restaurant with a huge menu, lovely decor and great service. Notice the sky! It was 90 outside

Paul sure looks pooped here. He worked very hard in a very hot space, thank you sweet baboo!

This is MY dinner, salisbury steak with mushrooms and potatoes and gravy. I think I might have to begin changing what I eat, as the Dr. says my numbers are a bit high....so this was a big splurge, I drank water and had no dessert tho!

So, today we load up the truck and the W and head to the shop where we will unload and I will begin the task of fluffing and marketing all my wonderful stuff...will share photos as I progress.
Hope you are enjoying a restful Sunday, we are going to be very busy....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Almost High Noon

Good Saturday morning friends,
I have been procrastinating, with lots of good reasons. I have been piddling around, with plenty of time. I have been doing bits and pieces, without delving into the whole pie. TODAY IS D DAY. I have the good fortune to be married to a man who is such a hard worker and he is so kind to always be available when I need his help! So today, dh and I will tackle the monster that is named "My tea stuff". We will lug, pile, sort, trash, re-arrange, move, shove, heft, tug, transfer, haul, place, unload and re-arrange once again!!! I have been working piece meal (is that how that is spelled?) on the storage unit for almost 2 weeks, and have gotten alot done, but I really need help and thank goodness for Paul. So, I am up and will fix him a good breakfast and then we are out to work. Tomorrow we will load it up and take it over to the antique mall, then unload and next week I will work on fluffing everything. Oh, I also did an inventory of every single item and it's cost. Pictures coming, promise.
It is supposed to be in the 90s today, but dry, thank goodness again. I am thinking of those folks on the gulf and praying they are safe. We have been through a bad hurricane and it is not fun....for weeks. Gosh, we have been through a fire and a hurricane.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My walk on the wild side

This is what our house looked like on March 10, 2005 *

Here's what your "stuff" looks like after a fire.... *
Good Tuesday "afternoon" friends,
I am a bit late in blogging today because I had to make a trip to the laundromatt and the bank...well, bank first to get $$$ so I could hit the laundromatt. After 3+ years of no washer/dryer in house, I was getting a bit flirtatious with the idea of owning a pair again....until we did a bit of shopping. I wanted Maytag, stackable and front loads....$1200 or more....hello laundromatt. I can live a while longer making the trek. Since it is just dh and me, life is very relaxed. We have plenty of undies, towels, and dishcloths/dishtowels...we can last a good long while under normal circumstances. Today's visit was comforter/duvet trip. Also did a whole load of cloth napkins of all sorts to iron and take to the shop and some vintage tablecloths I will also put in the shop....still have to make a laundry trip for regular clothes-type washing. A visit to the laundromatt is like a trip to another country...literally. Say, Mexico or Nigeria, or some Slavic speaking country....if I were INS I would have a field day as I am sure alot of my fellow laundry workers might be other than legal....but, who can say??? I know I have lived in Cary, NC for 20 years and in the last 8 we sure do have a lot more Hispanics here than ever before. We are quite the international destination...but in the Laundromatt you hardly ever see Indians or Asians (Asians own the laundromatt tho and keep it absolutely spotless, at least to begin with, that is why I like to be there when they first open the doors, it gets pretty messy as the day progresses.) I know they are wondering why I am in there as you hardly, and I mean almost never, see any white folks. I guess I am a rebel at heart!!! Walk on the wild side is my motto....oh, I forgot, it is Taking tea seriously...oh whatever. But, I like the fairness of the laundromatt...if you have dirty laundry and tons of quarters, you are welcome!!!
Grandson Woody is coming over this evening with our daughter Amy. He will be turning 15 the end of this month and I cannot believe how fast this time has flown. I was not even thinking of grandchildren when both our son and daughter announced pending births, and I wondered how I would feel in this new situation. I mean I didn't feel like a grandma. I had not been longing for grandchildren or anything. I had no idea how blessed I was. Isn't that the case sometimes, you just get so darn lucky and with no thought of it at all. Now that I look back, I am so awed by the miracle of those children...all 8 of ours. So when I held Woody for the first time I didn't hear violins playing or angels singing...he was lovely and I loved him. Same with Breana just a few days later. I wanted to squeeze them till they popped! They just got better all the time. Now that I have 4...four...IV....teen grandchildren, well, let's just say they are amazing and gifted and wonderful in every way....but very busy with their lives and I am not a big part of that. It's ok...to everything there is a season.....I love all 8, they are part of me and I won't let them forget it!!!
So, I am making pizza for Woody, well, he will help me make it. They get picky as they get older, and I think he will be happy with pizza. He is in the High School Marching Band, we are so proud. Breana is a varsity cheerleader at her high school and Camryn is cheering for her middle school. Jazmine plays violin at her school orchestra and also is learning guitar, Izzy (Izabella) is in all ag classes for 6th grade!!! wow and I think Bella might make a great politician as she has such firm convictions....Zion is an avid reader for 2nd grade is way beyond his grade level already and a delightful person. Olivia is the sweetest child who is always so good, she and her sister Sophia (who is a bit mischevious....) are both in 5 day preschool and also taking gymnastics! So, there I have caught you up on 8 great kids....LOOK OUT WORLD!
*Shocking photos of our house fire of over 3 years ago and the reason I don't have a w/d is because when we finally moved back into our house, I enjoyed the storage space that happened in the place of where the stackable w/d unit used to "live".

Monday, September 8, 2008

Over my head

Good Monday morning friends,
I am committed to living simply. I am committed to a "NO CLUTTER ZONE" in my home. I am committed to the philosophy of less is best....in some instances....
But I find I am a fraud. (is that how you spell "faker"?)
My intentions are good, really. I am working on getting rid of some stuff, honest. I am overwhelmed. Just beginning to go through the stuff in the storage unit is daunting. Three years ago we put our house on the market (didn't sell) and I filled 12 boxes full of minutia that was just hanging around our home. Things like extra linens of all sorts: sheets, towels, blankets, quilts, a whole tall floor curio cabinet full of "collectables", kitchen items, some great baskets, clothes that I know I will wear when I hem the legs, sew the button, loose 10 lbs. You all know where I am heading...right? So, Paul and I are staging the storage unit for me to be able to access my tea room stuff and in front of all that is all.....this....I am so overwhelmed! (I think I said that already, but it bears repeating) THIS IS GOOD STUFF FRIENDS! I have to get rid of it, I am getting that panicky feeling...it has got to go. I cannot have a garage sale....I have no garage. Some will find a place in the "shop" I am renting, but some of it is just not right for that space....I will give alot to Sarah! The rest must go to Goodwill I guess, but I cannot keep it much longer or I will implode. I am going to put some stuff on Craig's list.
I got out some of my fall decor items and put up most of my summer stuff. That feels good. I am re-covering the sofa for fall...got a nice soft sage green denium for the couch and will re-use the fabric I had on the cushions, they look good together. Still a no-sew, which I love! I will share a photo when I am done.
This post seems a bit choppy and not all that refined or smooth. Guess that I am in a kind of frenzy, unfocused and frantic. Yikes. Scarry. Gotta go toss some stuff and maybe I will feel better.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hanna-Hype...or Big Brother is here

The Birthday Girl*
Good Saturday morning friends,

I have had my suspecions...my opinion, my "gut" feelings...but now, all are confirmed! Dh and I both agreed more than 3 years ago that we would refrain from watching any television because we felt it was a very dangerous instrument of mind control. Does that sound wack-o to you?? Well, we decided together and didn't go on a rampage or vent our beliefs, they were agreed upon in a family decision and not meant to be any kind of "statement". We felt better when our minds were not bombarded with subtle influences.....

But, we wanted to see Sarah and hear and see the Republican convention...well, let me tell you....we are totally RIGHT. WE CALLED IT FOLKS....BIG BROTHER HAS ARRIVED! G. Orwell was spot on, folks KILL YOUR TV!!! Now, with the approaching Hanna, it was crazy how much it was hyped, how often we had interruptions, both on tv and radio, the gov. held many press conferences, we were instructed on what to have in our emergency kits, evacuation processes, evac routs, what to have for our pets...on and on and on....give me a break. I am so totally bored with this Hanna mess it isn't funny. We are all running around getting "ready" like a bunch of mind-numbed mice, it is pathetic. My neighbor lives alone and she yelled at me across the street, "I am off to the store to get something....I have water already, don't know what else I should be getting". I was bringing in a 15 lb. bag of russet potatoes I had just bought at Sam's (don't ask me what we will do with 15 lbs of potatoes...they are so pretty and cheap too...lots of baked potatoes) anyway, I was carrying that huge bag of spuds and I replied, "Well, I have the potatoes!" We both laughed and headed our separate ways....we have had rain, a little bit of wind and that is it! There is some flooding in low-lying areas expected...next is Ike. I am not tuning on the tv, and will hold off on the radio too....

Happy 13th b day Jazmine Sky Breen*, we love you and are proud of the young woman you are becoming!




Friday, September 5, 2008

Gifting - A Two-way Street

Good morning friends,
The photo above is of some lovely birthday gifts I received and thought I would share them with you! These gifts were given by people who really know me, they are thoughtful, beautiful and practical too! Of course they are tea-related! My cousin Tina (and her dh Rob) sent these amazing flowers in a too sweet tea cup! My friend Elizabeth sent this vintage tea cozy from England along with the gorgeous demi-cloth. I will use and treasure these gifts. Thank you.
Gifts come in all manner of dimension....wrapped, delivered, spoken, unspoken, physically touching, emotionally touching, but they all have one thing in common...they are shared. A gift never stands alone...someone is on each end and that is what makes a gift special. The giver sets the process in motion, the receiver responds in joy giving back...and so the gifting becomes a duet whereby both the giver and receiver participate and profit. The receiver from the knowledge that someone cared...the giver from the knowledge that their gift brought pleasure. "It is more blessed to give than receive." Sums it all up. The joy of giving is habit-forming...kinda like a natural high. Now here's a thought: What if the receiver has no idea who the giver is or that they even have gotten a gift???? Well, that takes one part of the equation away...or has it??? God becomes the receiver in these cases....wow..... It is like getting a May basket on your door knob and not knowing who sent it. God loves to give, He never tires or runs out, He knows just what we desire, need, long for and He knows just when to give....His joy is when we thank Him!
Magnificent Obcession is the name of a book that was made into a movie. It is a story about giving.
Oh for a "magnificent obcession"!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I like Sarah

Here's some of the reasons I like Sarah

1) She is NOT a Senator

2) She is NOT a lawyer

3) She is NOT Ivy League Educated

4) She is NOT a "good ol boy"

5) She is NOT a Washington insider

6) She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister

7) She is an excellent public speaker

8) She looks great in skirts

OK, so this list may seem trivial to you lacking issues of great importance...all those things we already know....but folks, honestly, I was sick of the DC crowd running things and felt very disinfranchised until Sarah. She's kind of like that Jimmy Stewart movie..."Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". See, I am from Missouri, the home state of a common fellow named Harry, who broke into national politics at a time when he was completely overshadowed by the political insiders....Harry had little experience, heck he didn't even have a college education....but, he was a great man who loved his wife and daughter and his country. He was a man of his word and honest too. Harry Truman served his country well, then went home to Independance and lived the rest of his life....well, I see Sarah as kind of like Harry except she is a she....she is a Republican, she is college educated and experienced too...she is fantastic! A person we can all admire. I think alot more highly of John McCain after his choosing Mrs. Palin as a running mate, he is pretty sharp. I would love to see a big change in Washington and I think Sarah is up to the task. Go girl!




Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And the BIG news is.....

Tea Room "Stuff"

Good Wednesday morning friends,

Thanks to many of you who commented last post, it is very nice to know someone is out there reading my blog, altho I admit, writing is very theraputic (SP??).

1. Summer, your little baby boy is how old already??? Many congratulations and felicitations and when can I come visit???? time sure flies

2. Amanda, I will gladly give you any assistance on sewing that I can...after being a school (home-ec) trained seamstress over 45 years ago, I have not developed many skills beyond those first learned at an old singer....but I will be there for ya!

3. Joyce, you run girl.

So, now for the news....

I did it, I rented a booth in an antique mall and will spend this week getting into my tea room stuff in storage and hopefully getting it to the space so it will find a home in someone else's life! This is a big step because somewhere in the back of my heart I was holding onto the dream of the tea room being revived and re-visited. But, that was a dream and you can never go back. My shop in Durham was a complete blessing from beginning to end. A dream come true, a prayer answered, a gift from a loving Father and I will never be able to Thank Him enough for allowing me to fulfill my dream. Now, it is over and I need to turn my head and heart to other ventures and this space is the first really big step in that direction away from the past and toward the future. Pretty good idea for my 60s.

Last night I dreamed I had gone to High School with Tom Cruise and we were hanging out together. We were having a good time visiting old places and seeing his parents...wierd. I also dreamed I was in a huge church choir wearing a flowing choir robe when I noticed I had it on backward, so I was raising the robe over my head in order to turn it around when I also noticed I had just my underwear on underneath and the choir was beginning to march onto the stage in front of the whole congregation...with me with my robe up over my head....I couldn't see where I was going and oh it was hilarious, I woke up laughing. Isn't that a great way to start your day????

I will be busy today inventoring...is that a word? stuff to put in the shop. Now, I am a bit apprehensive as to if I have enough stuff....I think so.....more later




Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Did you miss me?

Good September Morning friends,

Well, my last post was in the middle of August and I bet you are a bit curious as to where I have been.....nothing exciting or even amusing to regail you , just a bummed computer for a while, then a bit of a bummed me...then this last week the dh and I spent the entire week camping at the lake close to home...but oh so far away! I "lost" my digital camera...then "found" that prize once again, but too late for any photos of the wonderful campsite we shared. We worked very hard, but also relaxed completely. We laughed and argued and ate and drank and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, a real treat for us both and now....normal life begins again (whatever that is?) We had our trusty radio, so kept up with the news and were thrilled with the VP choice of Sen. McCain! Our children gave us a portable DVD player and the season 3 of PrisonBreak, so we were well entertained while we were roughing it.

Seems as if the air has cooled...how amazing, just one day and the heat of summer is out of the way. It is still going to get hot, but not that furnace feel. Have a whole lot of green tomatoes on the vine which I hope will ripen a bit as would love to enjoy them ripe and juicy.

Today, well it is no longer the birthday celebration, so the treating is over! But, I am going to begin something....will share tomorrow, if everything works out! Today I pick up my youngest...Sarah Breen....and she will go with me to check things out and give an opinion. If all goes as I am hoping, then we will begin a process.....well, more on that tomorrow. I hope you are planning something to being this season.