Wedding dresses, Piggys, Exercise, Santa Fish and Stories from the Weird Side

The Brigade was in full force this morning after working out, ready to go find some bargains.  And so off we went, all six of us, chatting and laughing just happy to be together.

We found an excellent sale in a nice clean garage which had some perfect items for some of us. 

Below, the wedding gown and maid of honor dresses we chose for Cupcake. 


This sale had several bridesmaid’s dresses as well as a dress for the mother of the bride, all coordinated.  Alas!  No groom was located at the sale.  Cupcake indicated she really didn’t care for RED all that much, not her color of choice, so we reluctantly left the dresses there.

image  Cupcake secretly wants a groom from Maine.  (Even if she thought her sweatshirt said “Miami” before we enlightened her.)  Yep!  Any nice males from Maine reading this, you may apply.  But you can not have red in your wedding.  Blue is more Cupcake’s color.


This cheery fish Santa tempted us, but since it is almost July, we decided he really didn’t need to come home to celebrate the holidays with us.  It was a tough decision, however.

Because, next we saw a large collection of:



And other items relating to, well, pigs.  One is a feeding dish for a pet.  The dish OINKS!

“Well,” reasoned Jabber, “if you had a pot-bellied piggy you could feed it out of that bowl and it’d be very happy for the company I think.”

What can I say?


Above, Thumper and Vanna seriously consider which pig might be THE pig for them……….

image  Thumper chose THIS one!  And she loves him, yes she does.

Meanwhile, outside, this was going on:


“WHAT?”  hollered Jabber……”That’s Sosew.  Didn’t she get ‘nuf exercise in class this morning?  I, myself, was worn to a frazzle after all of it…….”

(Jabber is generally worn to a frazzle and dripping wet as well after class.  Today being no exception.  Sosew is very energetic.  And not drippy ever.)

image  “There she goes agin’!” Jabber pointed to Sosew as she resumed her exercise.

And so it went.  Let me assure you this sort of nonsense goes on all the time.  Sellers at first look surprised, then began to kid with us, and finally they are laughing as hard as we are.  Turns out sales are a great way to meet new people, find great finds, and laugh.

(Hint here:  ask the seller if he/she has something you are looking for.  Sometimes they do and will bring it out for you to consider.  We asked for a groom today, but the seller informed us she had none available and also no tuxedos, either, which, of course, blew any consideration about a deal.  Gotta’ have the tux.) 

And then we went to eat, as per usual.  It was, after all, Fajita Friday at Cancun and we had to go get our fajitas!

A final lil’ story for all y’all: 

“Why you talkin’ so funny like you be Suthren’ which you are not?” interjected Jabber.

Because I am telling a story about Thumper who IS Suthren’ born and bred.  And she told US a story which was pretty funny:

Her husband was sayin’ somebody was crazy and Thumper and her husband were havin’a disagreement-like discussion. 

“Was he sayin’ THUMPER was crazy?” asked Jabber.

No.  Well, maybe.  Doesn’t matter.  At any rate, Thumper raised each of her palms and made circles with them in the air, sayin’ to him, “LOOKIE HERE!  Anybody who spends BIG money to go to a green field and chase a lil’ white ball all over the place just to hit it into a tiny lil’ ol’ hole….” and with this she gestured making a tiny lil’ circle with her fingers….back to the palms circling in the air……”an’ he does this whether the temperature is 109 degrees or 42 degrees, he does this every week.  Now, THAT is crazy!”

Thumper won the argument, of course.



Blueberries:  cleaned (washed in cold water with a splash of white vinegar, then rinsed in cold water again and dried on a towel), on a tray to freeze, then bag up for future use.


One again, this year, we picked blueberries at Tracevue Farms!  My good friend, Bernie, has a HUGE, ENORMOUS patch of the best looking organic blueberry bushes you might imagine.  A friend and I ventured down the Natchez Trace (a beautiful drive—I live at the ‘top of the Trace’) to Bernie’s farm which is about a 40 minute drive from the beginning of the Natchez Trace (off Highway 100 in Nashville) through beautiful, lush Tennessee countryside.  Arrived around 7:20 or so and began to pick.  A gallon was obtained in no time flat—about an hour—but Bernie picks so much faster than we did! 

He’ll bring some to you if you like and live in Nashville (at a good price, I might add) or you can call and have an adventure your very own selves!  This is a wonderful way to show your children and grandchildren just how blueberries are grown.  He will also take you on a tour of his unique vegetable garden where you will find vegetables growing overhead as well on sides—all around you—as you walk through the garden.

The blueberries are plentiful, the picking is amazingly easy with paths between the bushes lining row after row after row.  The bushes are laden with berries, ripening daily! 

To get directions, call Bernie to let him know you plan a trip to his blueberry patch.  He’ll give you all the details.  Call him at 931 682 2864.



Recipe Adaptation

“Well, if everything you are wasting-not and wanting-not tastes this good, then keep on doin’ it!” commented Jabberwocky who had the lickings from the bowl.

A while back, Leader gave me a recipe for White Chocolate Fruit Tart which was from Southern Living Magazine (it’s at the bottom of this post).  It is delicious and beautiful! 


This morning, early (as in about 5:30 a.m.) I was wanting to make it for dessert tonight, but didn’t have all the ingredients.  So I substituted what I had (waste-not, want-not).  Here ‘tis:

I had these in the pantry, but no graham crackers to make a crust. 



(The original recipe calls for regular pastry crust, but I had none on hand.)

So I ground up about 1/2 package of the cookies in the food processor.  You can substitute about any hard cookie for the crust recipe which is: 

1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 stick of butter melted.  Combine and press into a pie plate like this:

image  Bake this for 20 minutes at 350 degrees and then let cool completely.  Refrigerate before filling.

Meanwhile, I made ice cream sandwiches out of the remaining cookies, wrapped in plastic wrap and froze for treats later.

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Make sure the ice cream is thawed a little bit or you’ll break the cookies spreading on the ice cream.  Again, this is just what I happened to have on hand.

After the cookie sandwiches were in the freezer, I made this for the pie filling:

1 eight-oz package of cream cheese, softened


1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup sour cream


1  box of instant cheesecake pudding and pie filling

(If you have another flavor of instant pudding, try it, depending upon what fruits you are using for the topping.)


With a hand electric mixer, mix the above well and then add:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup milk

Make sure the filling is smooth and well blended.  When the pie crust is chilled, spread filling into the crust and top with fresh fruit—I had strawberries, blueberries and raspberries already cleaned and ready to place on top.  Cover and refrigerate.


Right before serving, glaze with a little bit of warmed apricot preserves.


Here is the original recipe from Southern Living:

White Chocolate Fruit Tart, makes 8 servings

1/2 14.3 oz. package refrigerated pie crust

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1 (3.3 oz) box white-chocolate-flavored instant pudding and pie mix

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup milk

4 kiwis, peeled and sliced into quarters

1/2 container (1 lb container) fresh strawberries, halved

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 pint fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons apricot preserves, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2.  On a lightly floured surface, roll crust to a 12 inch circle.  Fit crust into the bottom and up sides of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Cut a circle out of parchment paper to cover bottom of crust.  Place pie weights in a single layer to cover parchment.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove pie weights and parchment, and let cool completely in pan.

3.  In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, sour cream, and pudding mix.  Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Add cream and milk, beating until smooth.  Spoon cream cheese mixture into prepared crust.  Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  When ready to serve, top with fruit and brush fruit with apricot preserves.

Odds and Ends

I inherited my Mom’s aversion to wasting food of any sort.  She married during the depression and had learned what it meant to ‘waste not, want not,’ a lesson lost on future generations for the most part.  Unfortunately, my mom never learned how to cook very well, so growing up I had a lot of leftover leftovers, often just re-warmed and served in the refrigerator dishes in which she saved leftovers.  Sometimes these leftover leftovers became leftover leftover leftovers.  Waste not, want not.

I did not like leftover leftovers the way she served them.  Surely there was a better way to make use of them? 

Read on………..

Mom was one of ten children—you can only imagine the struggles that family went through to keep food on the table!  They were certainly NOT wealthy and Grandmother took in laundry and sewing to keep all of the children fed and clothed while Grandfather was a traveling salesman for a while; later he bought and ran a small woodworking company.  They managed to put most of their children through college in this way, something rare in that era of the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s.

(My Grandmother’s genius as a seamstress is family lore!  In her hands, men’s cast off suits became ladies’ beautifully tailored dresses and jackets and skirts.  She was very talented and creative, likely thanks to necessity.  Which is the mother of invention, as we all know.)

Mom told a funny story about herself and two of her sisters.  Grandmother had sent them to collect an egg (the only one!) from the hen house that morning so that she could make a ‘one-egg cake,’ the recipe lost to history, but none-the-less it was to be an event, a delicious treat for the entire family.  On the way back to the house, one of her sisters jokingly said she would give my Mom an ‘egg shampoo’ (another recipe lost to history, I guess, but in that era, an egg shampoo was a luxurious scalp treatment for elegant young women).  With a dare (from my Mother), her sister then broke the egg over my Mother’s head.

No cake for them that day.

Eighty years later, she told the story with a mixture of laughter and sorrow.  She surely missed having the cake.  I imagine her siblings were none too pleased, either.

So, here is a tip I read this morning from regarding waste not, want not:

“Odds and Ends

When I have some raw veggies and fruit that I don’t think I will be able to use up, or even scraps of raw veggies and fruit, I shred them and make a slaw out of them. Last night, I used up a quarter of a head of lettuce, about a quarter of a head of cabbage, a half of a red onion that didn’t have much life left, and an apple by shredding them and putting them all together in a bowl with some mayonnaise, a capful of white vinegar, salt, and pepper. Then I chilled the mixture.

It was delicious. We had it as a cold side dish with our grilled burgers last night. We ended up with almost two pounds of coleslaw for pennies, and it tasted much better than the deli version. You can add many more types of veggies to this like chopped cucumbers, any kind of onion, chopped celery, etc.
CM “

And do not break your last egg over your head if you intend to make a cake!


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Expanding My Summer Wardrobe

Today, yesterday and last week I found some wonderful bargains at yard sales and a great church rummage sale to add to my dwindling wardrobe.  I needed some new T’s and I found some other scrumptious bargains too good NOT to buy! 

I have no problem wearing OPS (Other People’s Stuff) nor does it bother me to have ‘used’ items in my house.  There are, of course, some things I do buy new—among them are underwear, mattresses, and yes, I’ve been known to buy some new furniture too.  But the majority of items we own are from yard sales—some of them have been refurbished, repaired, or repurposed.  What does that matter?  It allows me to have what I need and often what I want, to change the décor of my house as suits us, to have some very unique items unavailable in stores and to have some valuable items at very low cost—REAL treasures!–most importantly to be able to have the money to spend on necessities such as house repairs and pleasurable things such as trips.  We stay in the area to limit our gas consumption when we go to sales and the six of us who sale together work together to find just the right items we are looking for!  Very helpful!  It is the ONLY way some of us are able to afford the lifestyles to which we’d like to be accustomed!  And we have a blast!  (Not to mention save a lot of $$.)

Y-Knot?!!  Why not indeed? 

No matter WHERE YOU LIVE, you can and will save money by going to garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales.  I highly recommend you give it a try for several weeks and see how it works for you.

My finds–here they are:

image                                 image

$1 for pants, 50 cents for the T!

image                          image

$1 for this shirt—the back has detailing, too.

image                            image

$1 for the print shirt; the red was one of 6 for $1


image                           image

These were in the 6/$1 group


image                             image

The vest and the jacket were $1 each.  The jacket is missing a button, but Thumper saw the extra button inside!  It is a really cute jeans jacket.  The vest is pink/black and will be wonderful come fall!


image                             image

Raspberry long-sleeved T shirt and white cardigan (cotton), $1 each.  (Note some of the brands are White Stagg, Liz, Chaps, etc.  These are expensive items if purchased in stores new!)


image                                image

Lime green loose knit overshirt was 50 cents.  The T shirt on the right still had the original tags and it had been $24.99.  I paid $1


image                     image

Green top, 50 cents, and each of the purses were $1.  The light purse is made out of cork.



I have spent CONSIDERABLY less than $25 to update my summer wardrobe and add some items for fall, too.  I hope this encourages you to go out bargain hunting at yard sales and garage sales this weekend!

Losing One’s Grip

“Didja’ mean losing one’s grip on reality?” inquired Jabberwocky, “which would mean you, I ‘pose……..”


No.  I meant losing one’s grip on a 10 pound bar which one was lifting over one’s head while one was on the floor.

TMTLH was not seriously injured, thank goodness!  But he does have a black eye……….



Owl sighting!



This in Washington (the state of……)!  Emailed to me by a friend.  They are EVERYWHERE, aren’t they?

Owlet Update!


An update from Vanna on the Owlets:

Yes, we still are obsessed with our owls! The past couple of weeks, we have heard the babies chirping all night long outside our open bedroom windows but have not had any sightings until tonight! We walked outside and there was one roosting in plain sight. We tried to get pictures about 40 feet away but she was in the leaves. Not to worry though because we watched her fly to another branch but still too much foliage for a shot (camera, not gun). So we waited until she chose another spot. We were so excited because we just knew this was it but suddenly our neighbor’s dog came running toward her barking and she was gone. We decided it just wasn’t meant to be so dinner seemed like our next best option. After dinner we looked out the window in our sunroom and there she was 20 feet away!

Sooooo we now have an owl ring,


an owl rug,


an owl mug,


and now we have a new photo…



What a great photo!  Thank you Vanna for sharing!

Le petit déjeuner

For Father’s Day:





Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries and strawberries; a slice of cantaloupe, blueberry cream cheese muffin and a little bit of  Champaign cheese, hard boiled eggs and bacon. 

A Little Bit Frenchy

Friends are now in France on a trip—I am so envious!  So I decided to bring a little bit of the Frenchy look to my kitchen this morning. 

Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there, by the way……..



I always think that blue and white checks are so “French”—along with toile prints.  This is a casual, mix and match type of table setting—no attempt to be formal here!


See the cute napkin rings?  I had six, so used two on the sides of this plant container and the others at each place setting.  Thank you Vanna!  They are so cute and say “Happy, Happy, Happy” which I know is your favorite phrase.



The plates are of a Paris street scene, very French, no?



image  image

And, as you likely have guessed, most things on the table are from sales or were gifts.  Why not bring a bit of Paris to your kitchen?   Just ‘shop at home’ and use a little bit of imagination.

And……….Have a great trip, my friends!

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