Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 6/23/17


LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog - Living to Tell the Story

 1. I think we are about to survive the tilers.  They have been here all week, but Mike had everything moved out of the kitchen by Friday of last week.  So we have been living out of our den, with a mini-frig that holds just the necessities, and a laundry basket full of snacks and breakfast foods.  We've had to eat out more than usual this week (but who's complaining?).  This contractor has a great reputation, which is why Mike wanted to use him, but the erratic hours, the loud radio, and the noise of the tile-cutting saw have made for a long week. But the floor is really going to look nice when it is done!

2. This La-Z-Boy chair harks back to the late summer and autumn of 1988, when I was pregnant with our son.  I always thought pregnancy was great - until that last month.  I very much needed a comfortable chair, both for the end of pregnancy and when we had a new baby in the house.  We bought this chair that summer, when we didn't have two nickels to rub together - but the La-Z-Boy showcase store was running a three-months-same-as-cash deal.  So we bought it for $300, giving them $100 down.  As you can tell from the picture, this chair is well worn from much use over the past 29 years.  It has survived the childhood of two children as well as many other people using it.


Anyway - the linkage that raises the footrest broke.  Not a screw that came out, or something repairable like that, but the metal failed and it truly broke.  We were getting ready to get it hauled off.

Last Friday night, after taking my folks to the airport for their visit with my sister, Mike had to stop at another store - which happened to be right in front of the current showcase store.  I got to thinking - don't these have a lifetime warranty?  So I went in and asked, and was told, yes, they do, as long as the part is still carried.  So - after a phone call and several emails, it looks like the La-Z-Boy firm may actually carry that part.  If so, we will be back in business!

3. College baseball.  It's College World Series week.  Yes, we are almost addicted to watching college baseball.  Something about it makes it special to us.  Maybe because the players aren't being paid thousands of dollars for each swing of the bat.  Our team went out a long time ago (and we are getting a new coach) but we still are enjoying watching the games.

4. You will have to look closely at this photo, but it's our latest bird.  It's a prairie warbler.  We had heard from another birder that they were present in the scrubby woods near our favorite haunt.  It prefers to stay hidden, but I confess, we cheated a little bit.  Mike played an audio clip on his phone, and within five minutes it flew over our car.  I wanted a better pic, but sometimes you've got to be happy with what you've got.


Warblers are not easy, and we haven't seen many at all.  Many warbler species exist, but they are not common in everyday life - you've got to go looking for them most of the time.  Two species winter in our area and are common at our feeders, but most either just pass through, or are only present in the summer.  This was a little jewel for our life lists.

5. Finally, I saw this in an advertisement this week.  Not worth spending the $$ on, but the sentiment is still true, and mostly funny!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 6/9/17

LINK to FFF Host Blog - Susanne's Space

1. Dickcissels.  And Black-Necked Stilts.  And Yellow-Breasted Chats.  This morning I got this picture of a dickcissel - we are on the very eastern edge of their range.  Any further east and they are considered rare.  We see them at the farm ponds where we go whenever time allows.  Right now they are singing brilliantly, usually from an exposed post or high weed.


These below are black-necked stilts.  They truly are rare for our area, as we are well in-between their two ranges (eastern coast and midwest up the Mississippi River.  They seem to be gone now.
But the one that got away would have been a stunner of a picture of a yellow-breasted chat, with a breast so brightly colored yellow that it was almost orange,  A bird to take one's breath away.  But. . .it just moves too fast.

2. Hats.  And yarn.  I cannot get enough of hats or yarn right now.




















These are not the most recent creations, but recent enough.  It's very relaxing to work on one while watching college baseball.  And they finish up so quickly.

3. Bathrooms almost done.  Kitchen coming along.  I will post pictures when they are finished.  It's so nice to be able to walk into an almost-finished room.

4. I am completely done with school for the summer - it is so nice to not have to set an alarm each morning.

5. Gone with the Wind.  I haven't read it since high school, which was, ahem, a long time ago.  It's been very interesting to re-read it after the perspective of a few years of life.  I had forgotten what a rich novel it is, both plot and characters, and I can hardly put it down.

Happy Friday!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 5/19/17

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

FFF posts seem to be the only ones I am getting done these days.  Summer is just around the corner (a week from today I will be DONE), so maybe I can do other posts when I am not surrounded by school details.

1. I've used my new oven a couple of times now, and am very happy with the oven part.  The burners - not quite so much.  I did not realize that a glass-topped range would be so difficult to keep nice and clean.  But it may just be a matter of adjustment.

However - the oven worked very well and I look forward to many good things coming out of it!

The rest of the renovations are coming along - although right now, due to the tiling, we are down to one toilet in the house. :-)  Not used to that!  Speaking of the tiling,

2. The bathroom floors are done!!  The new tile looks so, so much better than the worn-out old vinyl flooring that was in there.  We hope to get the painting done in the next couple of weeks, so that the toilets can be reinstalled and we can get back to a semblance of normal at least in the bathrooms.

3. These are my "embryonic groundhogs," as christened by my sophomores, who had their annual "Babe Day" earlier this week with their biology teacher (my dear friend).  She has done this ever since she started teaching.  When the biology class finishes their pig dissection for the year, they plan a "party" with all pig-related foods,  This year they had bacon, cocktail sausages, pigs in blankets, BBQ potato chips (OK, so they stretch the theme a little, but you almost have to), real BBQ, dips topped with crumbled bacon, etc.  One girl brought piggie-face cookies.  Then, during their party, they watch the old movie Babe.  It's the highlight of the biology year.

Well, since the sophomores are my homeroom, and since I had a pig cookie cutter (left over from years ago when my own daughter made pig cookies for this same event) and since a package of puff pastry was staring out from the refrig, I decided to make some pastry piggies. And - they looked adorable when removed out of the oven.  The features of a little pig were perfect.  However, when I iced them with pink icing - this was the result.  Embryonic groundhogs.  But they sure did taste good!

4. On Tuesday night we celebrated a belated Mothers' Day with my folks at our favorite restaurant.  Always a pleasure.

5. I figured out how to make a messy bun hat!  I have been learning how to make these hats, but haven't done a messy bun one yet (the kind with a larger hole at the top to accommodate a ponytail or bun).  This one was tried on by several students just to make sure it was right - and they all said it was.  Maybe I will get some made for next winter.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 5-12-17

 LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Strawberries are in full force.  My parents have provided several baskets for me - when they go to get some, they ask if I want some also.  And I have put a lot of small bags in the freezer because of a new smoothie maker - much simpler than getting out the blender and putting it together, then taking it apart and washing it.  My current favorite smoothie recipe:  1 small cup plain Greek yogurt (I've been using Chobani brand), about 10 strawberries, partially thawed, a splash of orange juice, and a couple of packets of Splenda.  Very nourishing, very low calorie, and very delicious!

2. Small Paul spoke in our school chapels on Wednesday.  Anyone who knows him knows that he is decidedly NOT small - he is about 6' 7".  He is a wonderful chalk artist, and our students have looked forward to his trips to our school for over 25 years.  I have corresponded with his wife a little bit (they are now missionaries to South Africa), and it was nice to talk with her.  Their website is www.drawingotherstochrist.com.

3. House is coming along.  This week involved a few setbacks - neither the tile man, nor the man who is fixing the kitchen cabinet for the 2" too tall new refrigerator, could come as planned.  But next week much should be accomplished.  And as of this week, we do have new doorbells and new garage door openers.  

4. Mike had an MRI on his shoulder this week.  The orthopedist is out of the office right now, so he doesn't see him until week after next.  THEN we schedule surgery.  The wheels of medicine grind V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y!!

5. And finally - look what I got at school this afternoon!!!  Thank you, Mike, for my Mother's Day surprise!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 4-28-17

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Dad is doing a lot better, and he has helped us tremendously at the school by reinforcing some textbooks, new for next fall, with cardboard inserts and tape around the borders and spines.  It was a big project, and the books look great!!  We know Dad is "back" when he starts fixing books again!

2. New garage door openers on the way, work done on the drywall around the new tubs, new stove installed and hood to be installed this afternoon.  Slowly the work is getting done.  We'll have to put the other projects on hold for awhile due to the upcoming wedding.  But that's OK - other than the fact that our kitchen and bathroom walls look like we're living at a camp somewhere.  :-)

3. Well, this might not seem like a good thing, but it could have been so much worse.  Mike has had a partial rotator cuff tear for a long time.  But last Saturday he pulled the string on his weed eater, and that was that.  He couldn't move it and he was in terrible pain for three days.  We found out on Monday that he has a total rotator cuff tear that will require surgery.  At least the excruciating pain appears to be over with, as the injury now is only causing some pain especially at night.  That's good, since he can't get in to see the orthopedic surgeon for another week.

4. I finally got this picture framed.  Twenty years ago we visited Waterton Lakes Park in Alberta, Canada, as part of a 10th anniversary trip.  We stayed in the beautiful Prince of Wales Hotel for one night, which is pictured in the center of this watercolor.  My dear friend Gretchen gave me this little print soon after our trip - she had seen it somewhere and knew I would like it.  It's an unusual size, requiring an odd-sized frame, so getting that done has been one of those things that's been on the to-do list for . . . almost twenty years.  I got it done at Hobby Lobby and picked it up this week.  It is going to be featured somewhere in this house when we get the painting done.

5. Mike is getting supper for us at the Fruit Punch (a nearby sandwich shop) as I write this.  I came home from school very tired and with a nagging headache.  And the hood over the stove was being installed, so of course I couldn't cook.  This is the perfect solution.  :-)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 4-22-17

 LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. We are gaining a son in law!!  A week ago tonight, Mary Lee's boyfriend Alex proposed while they were with his family in Florida.  (He was going to propose on Saturday night, but couldn't wait.)  So this is a very exciting time!


I love a solitaire diamond and think it has a classic appeal that never goes out of style.

2. My dad was able to go to church this Wednesday night, for the first time in over 10 weeks!  Three hospitalizations during that time really took it out of him.  It was good to see him walking in and so many people greeting him.

3. I got out of school a little early today.  My entire last period class was signed out early because of the junior-senior banquet tonight (which will be very nice), so I got everything done and was able to leave.

4. This towel is a gift from a student.  It's been a running joke for the sophomores since early in their freshman year, when one of their vocabulary words was "vintage."  As I was explaining the meaning of it, which included something about it meaning something older, and yet with value - I heard a stage whisper from one of the boys - "Vintage.  Mrs. Bailes."  And it has come up several times to great laughter since then.  So when one of the girls found this in a gift shop, she had her mother buy it for me.  Classic!  It's hanging in my classroom right now, but I will bring it home this summer.

5. New stove installed Monday, all the wallpaper stripped, new bathtubs installed, tiler coming in early May.  We are making progress on our home update.

Happy Friday!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Game of Thorns

Being a sucker for political books, when this popped up somewhere, I went straight to eBay and bought it. 

No doubt there will be a lot more books out there about the election, and my advice is to skip this one and wait for one that wasn't rushed out so quickly.  Much of the book is devoted to previous Clinton scandals, which on one hand are old and rehashed many times but on the other hand are germane to the discussion of Hillary's potential election.

At least a dozen glaring spelling and punctuation errors ruined the reading experience for me. And I expected more about the events of election night. The author also tends to toot his own horn throughout. 

However, the book was yet another reminder of how, though Trump has his own glaring flaws, I am so thankful that Hillary was not elected.  How we ended up with two such weak candidates is a huge shame.  However - those were our choices, and at least Trump is not a continuance of the Clinton machine.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 3-24-17


LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

My parents at Andrew's wedding 6/3/16
1. Today my parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.  That is quite an accomplishment in this era when longevity in marriage is not common.  The celebration is much quieter than originally planned, due to my dad's recent health issues, but it's still a cause for great acclaim.

2. Last Sunday we went to our son and his wife's church in Georgia for a special speaker and then a church dinner.  We really enjoyed seeing our friends there once again, and hearing the speaker, who is the head of the mission group that our son went to China with.  It was a great morning.


 3. Please see the previous post titled "Wear White for William."  (William was our great nephew.)  This cause is not for raising money, or anything of the sort; it's only for raising awareness about meningitis and organ donation.  Word about this is spreading rapidly.   If you would like to help spread awareness about this, please consider wearing white for William on April 5 - and letting people know about it through any form of social media or any other way.
4. Last night I went to sleep at 10:30 and didn't hear another thing until 5:40 the next morning when the alarm went off.  Maybe that sounds odd.  However, it has not happened in quite a few years.  I awakened with a wonderful, rested feeling!

5. Our Gamecocks are headed to the Sweet Sixteen!!  A great accomplishment for a team/school that is not known for its basketball accomplishments!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wear White for William

Our great-nephew, William, age 12, died in late January of spinal meningitis.  He got sick very quickly and was gone surprisingly fast - in a matter of a couple of days.

William loved golf, especially the Masters.  In an effort to bring awareness to the issue of bacterial meningitis, and how quickly it can happen; and also to bring awareness to the issue of organ donation - William's dad has started "Wear White for William" on April 5, Wednesday of Masters week.

Word is spreading rapidly.  News stations, schools, organizations, are picking up the drumbeat.  This is not an attempt to make money, or raise money - just to bring awareness to meningitis and organ donation.

If you read this, no matter where in the country you live, please consider encouraging people to Wear White for William on Wednesday, April 5!

Please use the hashtag #wearwhiteforwilliam, and if you do wear white on April 5, please post a picture to the FB page wearwhiteforwilliam!  Thank you!

And please feel free to put a link to this blog post as well.  We want to spread the word far and wide.

So - I'm old-fashioned.  It may not spread the word the way the internet will, but a bulletin board will at least spread the word at our school:

Close-ups of the information on the bulletin board:





Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday's Fave Five 3-10-17

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

I hesitated on which picture to put at the top of this post.  The week has been beautiful - temps around 70, some rain but a lot of sunshine.  But by Sunday we are to have cold rains and temps no higher than the 40s.  I told someone today that springtime is a great time - it would just be nice if it would follow winter this year.

1. After about ten days of sickness, I am finally at about 85%.  After writing last week's FFF, I was back down for the count for the entire weekend.  No fever, just debilitating cough and the accompanying exhaustion.  It is a slow process, but we are getting there.

2. Dad is a lot better.  He is home from the 2nd hospital stay.  He has a ways to go to get energy back, but he is doing well.

3. Mike has been off.  This week, he took Dad & Mom to an appointment, blew out their garage, cooked breakfast four mornings out of five, did laundry, dusted, and just generally kept up with things around here.  He is a keeper.

4. Hats. For whatever reason, I've gotten crazy about making loom hats.  I especially like doing them now that I've figured out how to make a nice brim with a purl stitch along with a regular knitted stitch (see red hat at left and hat in the single picture).  Mike asks what all these hats are for - I don't know but know that the reason will be clear at the right time.  For now, it's just fun to make hats.


5. These little goodies.  I am notorious for throwing out wildflower seed every spring and then doing absolutely nothing to nurture anything.  And usually nothing happens.  However, an entire bed is filling up right now with these little beauties, which must be left over from a previous year of seed-throwing.  They'll be doing well to survive our cold weather this weekend.  But it's kinda fun to see something happen after all those years of just tossing seed out.