Can it possibly be?

Jabberwoky said, “Do you realize that 1/3 of the year is almost gone?”

Oh, wait–her math may not be right (she’s better at inspiration than figures)—four months are gone by the end of April, and divide that by twelve months, and yes!  She is right!  That is 1/3 of the year.

Which means, of course, for moi, only six months until I begin the great installation.  What installation?  CHRISTMAS TREES, of course.

I begin November 1.  But all must be in readiness—including every single one of the cast of characters.  And characters they will be—if Jabber has her way.   And the decorations are almost entirely from brocanting, which means much brocanting will happen between now and the end of October.

Would you like a peek at what Jabberwocky has been thinking?  (Sometimes even I don’t know for sure…….)  Well, here ‘tis:

1.  Victorian Tree in living room

2.  Family room—a second Victorian tree, but very different

3.  Kitchen tree:  Real gingerbread

4.  Bedroom tree:  1920’s/1930’s

5.  Office:  the 1940’s/1950’s tree

6.  The Austere Tree—I must make this one!

7.  Upstairs family room:  Toy Story Tree. 

8.  Front bedroom, upstairs:  Santa

9.  Cowboy Tree in back bedroom

10.  Craft Room:  Angels (maybe)

11.  Somewhere:  Winter Olympic tree

“So, why only 11 trees this year?  I happen to know for a fact that you’ve got more than 11 Christmas trees.  You just bought another one!” asked Jabberwocky.

“These were the ideas which popped into YOUR head, Jabberwocky!  You told me these!  YOU think up more if you want them.”

“Okey Dokey!” said Jabberwocky. 

And with that, she was off………….

All I know is that I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and November 1…………….and it is time to get more plans down on paper.  Before Jabber thinks of more tree ideas. 

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last year’s kitchen tree.

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Mad Hatter’s Tea Party tree (topper) from last year.

Not exactly Paris

“Why can’t we go to Paris?” asked Jabberwocky.

Well, we could have. 

There is Paris, France, and then there is Paris, TN and Paris, IL and likely many Parises I don’t even know about. 

Paris, France—a lovely idea, I thought—but alas, we ran out of time (and money) and so……..we chose to stay around here this morning to brocante.

(Evidently Cupcake, finding out our plans, was most upset and opted to sleep in.  I think we may have broken her heart not going to Paris this weekend—I hope we didn’t though.  And Vanna had other obligations and, I fear, was tired of being trapped in the back seat, having to arrange everything for the rest of us for storage as we bought our way through the last brocanting sessions.  Well, perhaps the next time we go?  Perhaps they will choose to come along and maybe we WILL go to Paris, France.  I would not count upon it, however.)

So, off we went on this fine morning—Sosew, Girlfriend, Thumper and me, Jabberwocky.

 

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Sosew in the blue, Girlfriend in the black top conferring with a seller. 

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Thumper is seriously, very seriously, considering this battery operated lantern—in case we lose electricity.

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She bought it!  (Bunnies do not like to be in the dark.)

At some point, Girlfriend scarfed up this, well, uh…this scarf.  And then she wore it for the duration.  And Thumper located a new purse to go with her new shoes—here they are modeling:

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We do stop to smell the roses—and if not roses, to admire the various flowers and yards and gardens, like this:

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And to grab a bite to eat—we were really tired by then!

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But, we were happy!

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Except, evidently, for Girlfriend who had removed her scarf by then and must have been missing it?

Sosew was happy with her purchases and showing off the $1 metal lampshade Girlfriend acquired.

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Thumper is happy too!

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Actually, she has just been freed from the back—she was digging to get things out!  (Keep in mind Thumper IS a bunny, and bunnies do, occasionally, dig.  So, what can I tell you?)

Well, I can tell you what I bought—some of the items:

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Metal hooks that look like dresses.  $5.  Unsure where I’ll hang this, but it certainly is novel.

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Two purses, each $4.  My REAL name begins with “M”—but my middle name begins with “J”—you knew that, though, right?

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Two Sock Rabbits!  $1 each.  They will appear, I believe, at Christmas time.  (At least, that’s what they told Thumper.)

And in a free bag:

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(I felt safe bringing them home as they are not Panda bears.  They are Coke-drinking bears.  And did I mention, they were all  FREE?)

And some other real treasures for nominal cost!  It was a really wonderful morning.  I believe we are just practicing for our trip to Paris, France where we will take the brocantes by storm!

(“Oh, you will believe anything, won’t you Jabberwocky?” I asked. 

“No, not anything.  I do not, for example, believe you actually bought ANOTHER Christmas tree.  But you did.”

“Yes, but I’d just hate to run SHORT you know….and it was only $6 and it is 6 foot tall—that is $1 a foot!”)

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For once, I have left Jabberwocky speechless. 

Racing update

Every one finished the half marathon!  Not just the girls and especially my Daughter-in-law (third from left) I reported on earlier,

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but also:

My daughter:

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My granddaughter and her father, my son-in-law:

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And

Our Leader and her running partner (no photo of him):

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And walking the half, their second half marathon:  Maisie (of tree-trimming fame) and Realtor!

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL! 

The Racers

They came, they ate and slept and then they left—it was a whirlwind!

It is the day of the Great Race.  Daughter-in-law arrived with entourage last evening, coming from the far-off North, well, Illinois, actually, and excited, all of them, about their first half marathon. 

I fed them Baked Ziti, salad and bread.  They brought wine, red, for the occasion and their enthusiasm which was the best part of it all.  How exhilarating to be around such vibrant young women!

Here are a few photos:

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Are they not all gorgeous?  Ah yes, I thought so as well!

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My two favorites, not just for the race, either!  Daughter on left and Daughter-in-law on right.  Beauties, aren’t they?  How lucky I am to have such enthusiasm envelop my home, even it if seems way too short a time.

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Son-in-law, really my second son, is very patient.  He is married to Daughter.  Handsome, supportive, intelligent—oh, now I am just bragging about my family, aren’t I? (I am allowed, yes?)  And, he brought CUPCAKES for dessert! 

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The girls all had these shirts on, matching shirts.  It is the first half marathon for all, except Daughter who caught the ‘bug’ a few years ago.  It seems contagious!

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This morning as they are leaving to go to the race, about 5:15.

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It is cool, cloudy, but promises to be perfect weather for racers.  I wish them all well—most of all, I hope they have a lot of fun!

Tonight they will celebrate, and stay in a hotel downtown.  It was so delightful to have them here, even only briefly.

The day is dawning.  It is time for me to get ready for sales.  I, too, shall have fun today, of a different sort.  I shall report!

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Early morning green

In late April, after last night’s storm.  A moment to be grateful.

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First light coming through the trees—it is blue skies today, I hope.

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The mint has taken over the herb garden.  I shall have to get busy, and soon.  It is cool and crisp and very lovely this morning, about 5:45 a.m.  And that is Harpethview—well, near the Harpeth—at the dawn of a lovely late April day.

I have already received some happy news this morning—a friend’s medical procedure went well and he is out of danger.  I’ve read a couple of inspiring blog posts, and I’m looking forward to having my daughter-in-law and her friends coming tonight.  Tomorrow, it shall be another brocanting morning with friends.  The day is starting out on happy notes.  I shall sing while cleaning and cooking today, happy in the tasks.

Guest bedroom

The “cowboy” room is now ready for adult guests who are coming tomorrow night.   The trundle bed is moved to the other side of the room, some of the decorator items stashed in the staircase storage, and the room is set up for overnight guests.

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Above:  old quilt on one bed.  Below, removed much of the kids’ toys, storing them in the staircase storage.  A guest can place her suitcase on the top shelf.

 

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Here, below, is the trundle bed.  It fits perfectly in the allotted space.

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A few views of old quilts, made by my Mother in the 1930’s, I believe.  Both quilts were made by her, hand quilted, with help from my Grandmother.  I recall being told that some of the quilt pieces were scraps of fabric from my Mother’s clothing. The quilts have stayed in storage most of the time, in a closet, folded up, inside pillow cases. 

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And the reverse side below—all hand quilted.  They are both in almost pristine condition.  (I do not think the yellow-bordered one has ever been cleaned.)

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  The edges are scalloped.image

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Old quilts show such fine handiwork and I do appreciate these, although I don’t often use them.  This is what my Mother did, before the television era—many hours spent quilting. 

Well, That Was Easy

We need to find another easy button.  For Girlfriend.

Some of you know that Girlfriend had a  life-threatening accident August 1 of last year.  She spent months in the hospital and rehabilitation and recuperation at home.  We are very lucky she has recovered so well.  We have cheered each and every accomplishment.  But, this takes the cake!

Yesterday, I more or less announced to our walking group, “Girlfriend and I will be walking at Riverwalk every Tuesday and Thursday mornings until she masters the walk.”

You understand, I was thinking Girlfriend and I would be walking quite a while before she would walk the entire 3 miles. even though she has walked 2 miles or more a couple of times. 

This morning, Thumper, Girlfriend and I set out for our trek, pausing at the 1.25 mile marker:

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And then, to my surprise, continuing on to the end:

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which is 1.5 miles total.

And then we walked back. 

THREE MILES!

Well!  THAT WAS EASY!

APPLAUSE!  APPLAUSE!  APPLAUSE!

Next challenge, please? 

OH, Y-KNOT!!

Kids’ Cowboy Room—FINI!

 

“Well, it’s about time you got that done is all I’ve got to say,” said Jabberwocky.

She’s like that.  Impatient to get the thing done.  I, myself,—that is, rather, me, myself and I and excluding Jabberwocky—tend to rather enjoy the searching, the thinking, the rearranging, the shopping, the creating and all that.  Jabberwocky?  No.  She just wants it finished.  Says it was her ‘vision’ anyway.  (Yeah?  How come I have to do all the work then?)

So, finally it is and she’s glad, but now of course, wants me to finish up some other things.  Oh, gee whiz, you are SO impatient Jabber!  (Sometimes I want to tell her to just SHUT IT!  But that never works.)

So I promised more pictures, here they are (sorry if this project is getting boring to you—if it is, you must be related to Jabberwocky?)

Open the doors, and this is what faces you in the room—I bought the bedspread for $50 (Wal Mart).  Everything else I had on hand or bought at sales.  The boot is made out of old license plates and is ‘on loan’ from daughter.  (We do things like that—so we always have new stuff to look at!)  The closet doors are covered in fabric—I stapled the fabric to the top and edges half-way down the doors.  They can still be opened, but disguise the huge white closet doors pretty well.  The fabric stapling does NOT ruin the doors, either, which will make me happy later when I decide to change the room.  Which I will.  Most likely.  Sometime.  But not for a couple of years.  I don’t think.

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I confess.  I am still contemplating a couple of big, rustic signs made out of old wood for the empty wall over the bed.  Caught between “You have too  MANY focal points” and “You need something on that big, blank wall.”  So….maybe the room ISN’T done, after all.   Who knows.  My entire LIFE seems to be a work in progress, emphasis on the work part.

Here is a close up of the boot.  She bought that when we ventured out on the longest yard sale last August along with my other daughter.  We are all going again this year!  We had a blast!

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More photos of the room.  I moved the small chair in because we will be having adult company this coming week.

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I moved the bookcase to this side of the room so I won’t have to move it out to set up the trundle bed.  The picture is from Thumper!  (Thank you, Thumper—it is just perfect!  It may be hung on the other wall, once I get the trundle set up—unsure just yet.)  And the hobby horse was found just this weekend on our Brocanting foray.  I tried it out, works fine!  I am able to gallop quite well.  (I wonder if I should take it to class tomorrow?)

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Here is a close up of the doors to the room from inside—I love that fabric for the theme.  I added a bit more on the top so that privacy from outside the room is ensured.   Didn’t even have to hem them!

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On the other side of the room are the table and chairs and the bench with pillows—for reading or activities.  (Details of the little table and chairs, below.)image

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At the end of the bed, there is the staircase with storage.  And the door to the attic looks like a window.

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Note the lampshade?  When the light is on, the cowboys, horses and stars show up.

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I hope my 3 and 5 year old grandsons like this room—it was designed with them in mind.   I also think that it will work well for adult guests who stay.  I will post pictures later this week of what the room looks like when both beds are set up.

 

Sometimes you don’t even know what you have found…

Oh boy.  Have I a surprise for you.  It was sure a surprise for me!

Take a look at these, found today, for $2 each:

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I looked at the nutcrackers again when I got home—seems some had their original tags, labeled, Steinbach. 

Hmmmmmmmm–that sounds vaguely familiar……..So I looked them up on ebay……………oh.

OH………….

OH!!!

Then, I turned one over—to look at the bottom………….it is the one with the fiddle and the pipe—top picture on the right.

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The bottom has the original price tag. 

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$230

Well, call me a nut! 

Not Your Grandma’s Yardmen

Uh, no.  They are not your Grandma’s Yardmen.  They ARE GRANDMA! and GRANDPA!

Retired?  What are you talking about???

For example, I know of one woman, Maisie, who helped her husband cut down/bring down a HUGE tree in their backyard.  Actually, not just one, several.  When I say huge, I mean about 30 feet tall or taller.  She had a rope tied around it to pull it in the right direction, but at one point realized it was going to take her airborne, and so had her spouse quickly run to her aid.  Together, they pulled it down.

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There she is, whacking that tree limb!

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Maisie and Hubby are about ready to bring this one down!

 

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Here it comes!  She’s the one in the red—you can barely see her in the limbs……she rode that limb all the way down!

Come on people! I HIRE young men to do that sort of thing. Are you kidding me? This morning she had 50 bags of mulch in her driveway. After we walked our allotted 3 miles, (recently, she’s been doing 10—you know, just for fun), she was preparing to spread it in her gardens.

Retired?

She’s not the only one, our Leader has been known to do the mulch thing too, when she isn’t running—MILES she runs.  And goes to visit her daughter in Florida and hangs out with the gardeners and puts mulch down there, too.   Like there isn’t enough to do here?

We more ‘normal’ retirees do less adventurous things, but I’m proud to say I counted up what we DO in class and I’m impressed, and I think you will be too.

We did 32 squats in a row, then proceeded to do 16 more, followed by about 30 walking lunges and then 96 crunches of varying types. This, of course, is only part of it—we do kicks, leg lifts, weights, and a lot of aerobics like galloping sideways, moving our feet up and down like the football players do to warm up, jumping side to side, etc.  (And when I say we lift weights, I’m talking 6 lbs. on both sides.  Try doing bench presses, standing, without a break—36 of them, with a ‘rest’ in between just standing there, holding those weights still in the air.  Yeah.  Not so wimpy, is it?  You ought to see me handle a grocery bag NOW!  Ask ME if I need ‘help to the car’ and I might just deck you.)

The other day, an older woman was being shown a tour of the building. She was outside the door, looking in, as we are all doing our ‘football warm ups’ looking ominous, I’m sure. Anyway, she walked away, came back 5 minutes later and we were doing them again. I think we scared her—a bunch of 60 to 80 (plus) year olds pounding our feet pretty fast, arms in front of us clenching our fists, bending slightly, and grimacing, looking generally ferocious.  I told Leader we should follow her down the hallway doing those and REALLY give her a scare. (It was pretty funny.)

I can not believe I’m doing all this stuff.

So, I came home and made 36 muffins, three varieties.  Oh.  There was a book club meeting the next day, and I brought muffins.  Well, sure there are only about 12 of us in the club, but you never know when the army might show up.

And, just to honor our Leader, we gave her an EASY BUTTON—it says what she sometimes says after we are all there with our tongues hanging out of our mouths, gasping for water!—THAT WAS EASY.  (She laughed, by the way.)

Well, gotta’ run.   I see the street pavers are down the street and need some help pouring the hot tar.  Just trying to help out, you know.   Maisie’s likely already helping, maybe shoveling the gravel.  We like to be helpful.

Bet you can’t WAIT to retire, can you?

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Oh, alright, in the name of honesty, the pictures aren’t really of Maisie.  Seems the people next door are having their trees cut down and I just could not resist.  The rest of the story is true, though.  And I think that’s amazing enough!

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