holidays home decor Uncategorized

A Vignette for Valentine’s Day

Don’t you love that word “vignette”?  (Does the question mark belong before or after the quotation mark?  I am a certified English teacher and I can’t tell you!)  
Anyway, back to vignette.

It’s French for “little vine.”  It refers to a brief evocative scene or display or a little drawing on a page.  In design, it refers to a small decorated space powerful in its own right.  Designers love to create beautiful vignettes in homes.  Home design bloggers are always sharing their creative vignettes on their blogs.  

I thought I would try it today.  I’m still waiting on my fancy camera to arrive (in my dreams) so you’ll have to endure my little iPhone photos.

I spread a vintage embroidered tablecloth over my circular dining table and placed a metal filigree tray in the center.  Everything on the table, including the tray, was given to me or bought at a thrift store, garage sale, or flea market.

I lined the bottom of the tray with a piece of red net fabric and then set in my pieces.  This is a vintage wedding cake topper I thought fit the Valentine’s Day theme, since brides and grooms are usually in love when they marry!  Next to the topper is an old apothecary jar filled with left over peppermints from Sonic.  Does anyone else do this?

I also placed an old wooden birdcage I picked up at a thrift store a few weeks ago.  I may end up painting it, but today I placed an old Valentine teddy bear from hubby, an old “Wuthering Heights” book, and a few vintage pink Christmas balls in it.

I then clipped on a photo from back in the day.  Who is that adorable couple?  (hubby and me from 1982)

Behind the cake topper and jar I placed my mother-in-law’s old silver candelabra on top of a copy of “Pride and Prejudice.”  In the candleholders I added more vintage pink Christmas balls.

In front of the birdcage, I placed a vintage Big Ben alarm clock, an old metal flower frog, and a vintage Valentine.
I couldn’t neglect the corner behind the dining table.  In time I want to put a corner hutch there or an old restaurant corner booth, but for now, there is a little wooden bar stool that I covered with burlap and added a rag skirt to.

I stacked some old books and placed a faux tree with some more old vintage Christmas balls on them.
It adds a nice little punch to that corner.

The little decoupaged cross and the painted subway art on the adjacent walls were done by my talented sisters!

Did you enjoy my Valentine vignette?
I’m not sure how much hubby likes it, but Valentine’s Day will be here shortly and I can move on to leprechauns!


glamping Junkin' and Thriftin' Life Uncategorized

Perks of Being Sick

I felt just fine until Tuesday.  The weather was nice here on Monday so I spent some time outside playing in the Scamp, opening her door and airing her out, taking her window covers off so some sun could shine in.  I even set up a cute little vignette outside the door complete with a metal flamingo and a mini garden flag with flamingos on it.
All of this made me want to go Scamping!
Then I walked down our blacktop country road with my daughter and my mom to say hello to the two miniature donkeys on our neighbor’s property.  It was a nice, warm day, though a bit breezy.
Tuesday my throat became sore as sinus drainage irritated it, most likely caused by my outdoor venture the day before.  By Wednesday I had a full blown sore throat with cough and drippy nose.  But I was scheduled to work at the flag shop so I went.
After that very long day at work I picked up some over-the-counter cold remedies and hurried home to bed, where I have been ever since.  A post to my expert friends on Facebook confirms that I probably don’t have the flu, and I tend to agree because I don’t have the fever or body aches, just a nasty probably viral sinus yuck thing.
BUT.  There are perks to being sick.
Number 1:  No one asks you to do anything.  One of my sisters was going to ask me to go shopping with her but when she found out I was sick she changed her mind.
2:  You don’t have to do housework or cook.  Who wants a drippy nose over clean dishes or food?
3:  You don’t even have to get dressed.  I am starting to smell my own pajamas, but I have an excuse not to do anything about it.
4:  You can sit around and even lay around all day and you don’t have to explain yourself.  What to-do list?
5:  You can eat ice cream or whatever you want just because it makes you feel better.
Disclaimer:  Before you young moms get mad at me, I realize that none of this is true when you have children at home.  You still have to take care of them, sick or not.  Just be patient.  Trust me, someday they will be raised and you can be the baby again.
As good as it sounds to be lazy, it’s not fun being sick.  I’ll be glad when this whatever-it-is runs its course.  After all, there is work to be done–thrifting, crafting, booth sprucing, even cooking and cleaning.
Stay well, my friends.
Life Memoirs Uncategorized

On Getting Old(er)

I  recently had a birthday.  They seem to come around more often these days.  I’m officially NOT young anymore.  There ain’t no way around it.

To rephrase the words of Sammy Hagar:  “I can’t BE 55!”

Me at one year of age, circa 1960
How did it happen?  One minute I am 16, going to my church sweetheart banquet, the next I am wondering where these extra 30 (or 40 or 50) pounds came from.  My kids are grown and I am middle-aged.  Wasn’t it just yesterday when I was a young mother with babies?  And a couple of days ago that I was a young bride?

My first grade school picture, circa 1965.
Where did the time go?  And wait, can’t I rewind, or at least pause?

Newlyweds, 1980.
When you are raising children the days sometimes seem very long.  As a young mother I rose early to get ready for work, fixed breakfast and dressed my young children, took them to daycare and school, went to work, picked them up from school, ran them to and from their activities, cooked and fed them dinner, helped with homework, and then bathed and put them to bed.  The days were long indeed.  But all of a sudden it was over.  They grew up without me looking.
Now I spend my evenings wondering where the years went.
Someone once said about raising children:  “The days are long but the years are short.”

With my children in 1996, on vacation in Colorado.
I understand now.  It is so true. I can hardly watch videos of my children growing up without getting all choked up with tears.
I can still hear their little voices while they played or when they called to me.  I can still hear their joyful laughter.
Maybe this is why grandchildren are so precious to their grandparents.  I don’t know about that yet, but if the Lord is willing and wishes to bless me in that way, someday I may find out.

In the meantime, I will remind young parents that the days are long but the years are short.  They won’t listen.  I didn’t.  But they will remember when their children are grown.  And they will have these bittersweet feelings as well.

It’s the circle of life.  It’s meant to be.
But nobody ever said it would be easy.

Me on the far left with my son Matthew, new son-in-law Bryan, daughter Natalie, daughter-in-law Taylor, and husband Jimmy, 2012.
Even though my joints profess their age quite loudly sometimes, it still seems impossible.  I can’t BE 55!
holidays Uncategorized

Comfy Sunday: A Boxin’ and a Wrappin’

Wow.  My last blog post was before Thanksgiving!  And now we’re on the home stretch to Christmas!  How did that happen so fast?  I finally have a few minutes to sit down and write so here goes. . .

Friday after Thanksgiving was a good time to go to First Monday Trades Day in Canton, while the rest of the world filled the malls in that black Friday frenzy.  No thanks.  I prefer open air shopping when the weather is perfect, there are plenty of vendors, and fewer shoppers than usual.  I stocked up on supplies for Christmas crafts.

Saturday after Thanksgiving I participated in a book fair with my friend and antique mall owner Melissa Walker, who has also written a book, a horror story titled “A Sense of Depravity.”  It’s available on Amazon and

We didn’t actually sell a lot, but we enjoyed the time together and opportunity to meet local authors.

Then, BAM!  I started working full-time at Festival of Flags and Gift Wrapping in Tyler, wrapping packages for customers who bring their gifts to us.  At this time of year I like to call it Gift Wrapping Festival and Flags.  Cindi Hebert, the owner, does sell lots of decorative flags in addition to gift wrapping.

During the year we may wrap 20 to 30 gifts a day on a busy day, but at Christmas time, we wrap 60, 80, or even over 100 gifts, requiring Cindi to hire a couple of helpers, whom she refers to as her elves.  Tuesday was a particularly busy day, and the building is tiny.  This is what the floor looked like when we left for the evening.

Aren’t they pretty?  No matter how many orders we get, they all leave the store just as beautiful as the first ones we wrap.  I’m sure I will be sharing more about this unique business I am fortunate to work for.
Stay tuned!



Wedded Life Wednesday: Me, Stubborn? FOLK Magazine’s Journal Challenge

This week’s prompt asks us to reflect on a time when we were stubborn or went against what others wanted us to do.  Hm, let’s see.  Stubborn?  Me?

What comes to mind isn’t earth-shattering or life-changing, but it marked a passage of sorts for me.  I stood up for myself at a car dealership.  A woman up against a group of high pressure car salesmen.  And I won!

It wasn’t my first new vehicle, but it was the first time I went alone without the hubby to purchase a car.  I had been driving a Ford Escape for four years and racked up over 100,000 miles.  Hubby wanted me to get a new one since I was on the road a lot with a long commute to work.  It was summer, I was flexible as a teacher, and he slept days and worked nights, so I had to go by myself to the dealership.  

Not a problem!  I had just landed a new job as a discipline school administrator, had met a lot of new folks, and felt confident in my ability to state my needs and expectations to the car salesman.

It was just as I expected.  The welcome, the schmoozing, the test drive, everything.  And it was going well until I told him what I wanted.  They didn’t have a vehicle on the lot that had everything I wanted.  I didn’t think it was a big deal.  It was probably going to be the last new car I would buy before I retired and I wanted what I wanted–a Ford Escape Limited in green or white, leather interior, running boards, receiver hitch, and all the bells and whistles of the XLT I had at the time.

That’s when it started.  They began questioning why I wanted such things as the color and the running boards.  Because I did!  I explained that it might be my last new vehicle and I wanted what I wanted.  They tried to convince me to take one of the models on the lot.  I knew they could find what I wanted somewhere else if they tried.  They could even order it.  I stood my ground.  I waited.  I talked to the salesman’s manager and his supervisor.  I didn’t waver.  And eventually I got what I wanted.  It wasn’t a Limited, but it had everything a Limited had except the GPS, and it was a little less expensive.  An XLT all tricked out.  And I have never regretted it.  Call me stubborn, but I knew what I wanted!  And the “little lady” won in a dealership full of “good ol’ boys!”

My light sage 2009 Ford Escape with running boards–new at the time!

When has stubbornness paid off for you?