Granddaughter’s Third Grade Class

Our eldest granddaughter is teaching third grade this year, her first year of teaching.  Well, not exactly precise:  she’s taught pre-school for a long time, while in college getting her degree in education.

This year she has a third grade class at a private school.  There are only 5 children (lucky teacher, lucky children!) in her class.  She’s worked very hard to prepare for this day.  We are all SO PROUD of her!




A Ted Talk

Ted Talks are informative, inspirational, educational—and this one is all three.  They are free, online, and updated regularly.  If you have not listened to one, I’m sure you will find a topic which interests you. 

This was sent to me by Racer Daughter and it reminds us all how grateful we need to be for our very wonderful lives.  I hope you can pull this up and listen—it’s not very long, but it is powerful.

Tania Luna tells how a penny made her feel rich.

Early Morning Visitors


Living in a subdivision, it is unusual for us to have these visitors.  But about 6 a.m., there were two in the next door neighbor’s yard.

Ran inside to get my iphone to try to get a shot of them.

“A shot??!!  You weren’t going to shoot them, were you?” Jabberwocky said, alarmed.

No, no no!  Just a picture or two.  They spotted me and went into the neighbor’s yard behind me.  Trees blocked my view of them for a while……….


Walking down the steps of the deck, I saw one eating breakfast on neighbor’s plants………….

Seeing me again, they ran off.



Have a nice day, Mr. and Mrs. Deer!

Living in the Tropics?

With the rain, high humidity and heat, it’s felt like Nashville is ‘the tropics’ in the past few weeks.  The sun came out today so I took some pictures of plants which are loving this weather—most of them, anyway.


My herb garden—the mint has taken over and I quit fighting it some time ago.  Actually, it’s rather pretty in a wild, untended sort of way, with the pots of basil, dill, thyme and rosemary interspersed.  (I harvested the Basil yesterday.)


Our yard slants so that water runs downhill from one side to another every time it rains.  We also have several trees.  Between the two, grass doesn’t grow in many places, so we’ve had rocks put in most of the backyard area to cover up what would be mud.


Turned the outside pot upside down.  This allows the inside pot to drain and gives some height to the plant.  Below one corner of the yard with the French Flower Cart.


The deck plants are thriving, especially the sweet potato vines.

image  image


image  image

And, on the side yard with the walkway………


image image

My Knockout Roses aren’t doing very well—I treated them about a month ago with food and some spray to help them along, and they’ve recovered just a bit. 




But the Hydrangeas have bloomed and are lush and green now.


image   image


My “French” metal sculpture with a garden Angel:


And yet another lettuce growing from a cutting.  I’ve been amazed that it does grow in the heat as I always thought lettuce was a cool-weather plant.  Not these!


The only potted plant not thriving is the Jade plant.  This is because it has been perpetually attacked by squirrels.  Thankfully, Jade plants regrow—insert the gnawed stem back into the dirt, or even just a leaf, and it will grow.  I’ve moved it to the safety of the deck and sprinkled lots of hot pepper flakes.  I hope this keeps the critters away!


How is your garden growing this year?

Pesto! Presto!

“Top of the very wettish afternoon to all of y’all.

“Yes, ‘tis I, Jabber, back to explore the wonderful world of pesto.  Homemade variety.  Yes, do make the stuff, and freeze the stuff for the winter months when I’m warm and locked in the house for weeks on end, goes quite well with tomato soup, Italian pastas, and all that.”

Jabberwocky!  What are you doing?  This is MY blog and I’M the one who made pesto.  I’ve even got pictures.  Just stop taking over here, will you?  And you are NOT locked in the house for weeks on end!

“Well, Lady, if you’re going to go all possessive about YOUR pesto, I’ll just sit here and watch….”

Yes, well…..

Weeders, (I actually did weed this morning, during a break in the monsoons, and while I was at it, the Basil beckoned me and well, next thing I new, I was hands deep in pesto and what not……) I’ve never had Jabber take over like that before, so naturally, I’m a bit befuddled. 

“Not so unusual…”

My basil plant had grown very tall and was forming those little toppy things it does when it has decided to throw off seeds, so it was time to trim it back and harvest the basil.  Not that I hadn’t been doing same most of the summer for salads and such, but today, since it’s raining, I decided ‘twas a good day to make pesto.

Very simple:  (Recipe makes about 1/2 cup pesto.  I doubled this as I had enough Basil to do so.  Adjust as you need.)

Harvest, wash, dry and pull off leaves.  A few stems won’t hurt, either.  You will need 2 cups, roughly chopped. 

(I didn’t ‘roughly’ chop.  Actually, I didn’t chop at all.  That’s what food processors are for, right?  But I did ‘tightly pack’ and no, I have no idea why I keep putting words in apostrophes.  Wait……….I’ll check……..

You still here?  Oh, of course you are.  I’m checking and you don’t even know it, do you?  Nevermind……

I just looked it up.  I think I’m using apostrophes where I should be using italics.  But I’m not sure.  Oh this bloggy business can get complicated!  So one of you English major types, please let me know, will you?  I want to be Englishy Correct—sort of like Politically Correct, you know, but different.  And I’m NOTHING if not different, that’s for certain.  I digress……….back to the Pesto….)


Toast about 1/2 cup of pine nuts in either the oven or in a pan on the stove.  Watch them!  They burn easily.

What?  No, no, do not watch them burn!  Watch them and keep stirring them around until they are lightly toastedy-looking (see picture below) BEFORE they burn.  If they burn, you can’t use them.  Well, you could, but you wouldn’t like the pesto, which would sort of ruin the whole point of this, wouldn’t it?  So just be careful with the pine nuts, Nuts.


Peel 3 garlic cloves.


“Lady, you can’t count.  There are seven garlic thingies there!  Are you tryin’ to confuse them?”

Well, I SAID I doubled the recipe and yes, I added one additional garlic clove.  I happen to like garlic.  Pay attention!

“Am.  But you can’t count.  Or be Gramama-ish correct, either.”

The word is ‘grammatically’ Jabber.  Grammatically.

Measure 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup olive oil.

image     image

Process all of the above in a food processor. 

Add pepper to taste.  You could also add salt, but I usually don’t because it’s tasty without it.


Store, tightly covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Which is why, of course, I put mine in ice cube trays, freeze, and then remove and keep frozen the cubes of pesto in a tightly sealed container. 

image I spray the trays with Pam before filling.  Otherwise your ice cube trays may be permanently green.

Keeps for months!   And, as Jabber said, it is terrific with a variety of dishes mid-winter when you are wishing for summer to get here.

Pesto?  PRESTO!

This is a SOUTHERN LIVING magazine recipe.  Sorry, don’t know the date on it.


Longest Yard Sale, Day 3

After a good night’s sleep, we were ready to pack up for one more foray into the bargains of treasures which were now, some of them, marked down!

The final day found us, once more, in a tent city a little sparser than the prior days, but still much to look at.

CCQ Daughter found this old watering can at a bargain price:


And I found this for $5:

imageIt has 6 candle holders, is not very large, so it looks like a rather small candelabra.  We wondered where it came from and what precisely it was?

Synchronicity struck again:  Two nights later, I was watching a BBC series called Spies of Warsaw.  In one scene, a French family is dining and there are two of these small candelabras on their table.  Voila!  I can not be certain, but I do believe this is French!  I do love it.

Under the category of things which magically appear after we state we’d like to find them (see post about the first day of the sale):

2.  I wished for some small demitasse cups and saucers.  I needed 6.  Yes, of course they appeared—and for the correct price too!  ($1 or under)


3.  Racer Daughter bemoaned the fact she had not found ‘anything to paint’!  Now being a long-standing painter, this was indeed a tragedy.  (She has inherited this trait from me.  TMWLH says that I paint anything which stands still.  Including him on a couple of occasions….but I digress…..)

So, we stopped in Dunlap for a bite to eat and, of course, spotted a sale winding down in front of an old filling station.  Daughter meandered over.  We arrived there shortly and she asked, “Do you think we can get two doors in the van?” 

Well, my fellow treasure hunters, you know the answer to that!  Two doors:  $5 total!




Three happy shoppers, van stuffed, tummies full, tired feet and ready to leave.

And, on the way home, of course, I felt obligated to entertain my daughters, and so I sang a song so near and dear to my heart (and to yours, I’m sure):

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?

Which more or less kept us in stitches the entire way home.

Day Two, Longest Yard Sale


How does one pass up the opportunity to have one’s picture taken with a large rooster, I ask you?    Well, Daughters didn’t pass it up, and so we have this memorable photo for all of posterity. 


A tent offered interesting photo ops as well:



A little further on, CCQ Daughter with a giant wooden pitch fork strikes the pose of American Gothic:


This man played a mean guitar.  Music and treasures!


We began to notice creatures in the field……..


image  See Smurfs in background?

Walking further, we discovered an entire flock of “Flingos” along with a fleet of tugboats and creatures of all descriptions and sizes.  Invasion!!


“Well, ya’ mighta’ spected that.  Affer all, Lady, you WERE on their territory,” explained Jabberwocky.  To me.  As though I wasn’t aware of it.

We dined in a cute restaurant on Signal Mountain called Poppy’s.  One of these people may have been “Poppy” but I can’t be sure:


Some very clever décor at Poppy’s:


Light fixture below—old can hung from the ceiling on a chain:


The décor was quaint, the menu consisted of BBQ, various sandwiches.  After waiting almost an HOUR to get our meal brought to us (after we placed our order and they were NOT that busy), it was disappointing.  We won’t be returning to Poppy’s.  If you are in the area, ‘pop’ in and take a look at the inside.  But eat elsewhere!


“Who dat?  It’s lookin’ right at cha’!” queried Jabber.

I’m not sure—but it spotted me just as I spotted it.  And quickly the Daughters moved in for a photo op:


And standing right next to it was this woman:









Moving along, another dog, safely contained:


Anyone in the market for something to hang on the wall in the Man Cave?  How ‘bout one of these?



Or maybe you prefer the top or bottom?


Ah ha!  A PINK stove!  Anyone need a PINK stove?  Latest color, guaranteed…..


If you are interested in making your own hanging light fixture similar to the ones at Poppy’s, you could buy one of these and get all artsy-craftsy:


Speaking of being artsy-craftsy, how about buying a piece of driftwood and gluing faux birds and flowers on it for some outside décor?


Add some old bowls or light fixture globes, turned upside down, for water and birdseed and you’ve got yourself a one-of-a-kind original piece of……something or another.  Um hummmm…….


Here is what you do with old bud vases and coffee cups and saucers.  The craftswoman reported the birds love these.  I admit, it’s a clever idea.


So is this:


These were seen—children’s stoves, one pink!  (See, I told you PINK is in!)


Remarking on the size of these, Daughter inquired, “Just how small WERE the children who played with these?” 

I did not know the answer…….

We were tired and ready for some rest, so we headed to our rooms, another fun day behind us and one more to go!

The Longest Yard sale, Take 3

Yep, it was the third year in a row for us!  The Longest Yard Sale begins way up in the North, but we always pick it up at Crossville, TN, where we find the first of many ‘tent cities’ set up with oodles and caboodles of wonderful treasures of all kinds! 

“What’s that?  On the daybed over there?” Jabberwocky inquired as she held onto me.  Oh alright, she was hiding…….

As well she might.  Inquire that is……..the first site welcomed us with this view so, of course, I had to take picture and then get a closer look……………


I mean, Brocanters and other Treasure hunters, (I’m talking to you, honey, yes I am!), how many of us find a gorilla on a daybed?  Huh? 


"What?” Jabberwocky asked in a startled voice.  “Who would be in the market for a gorilla on a daybed?  That’s just plain weird!”

Well, of course it’s weird.  That’s the point.  Got our attention, now, didn’t it?  And we were off and running………

Things you didn’t know you might like to own, things you were searching to buy, and things which were shocking to find—all these treasures and a laugh a minute too—that’s what the Longest Yard Sale weekend offers.  To those willing to traipse in fields, mud, dust in the heat of the summer, sometimes downpours of rain (which do not seem to last long), and dig through both dirty and clean merchandise, treasures are to be found!  Along the way, one encounters some very nice people from all over the country along with a few dogs—no, literally, many dogs of all sizes!  (Both human and four-legged.)

image  See dog, left…….

You get my drift, eh?

You can feast on cotton candy, hot dogs, corn dogs and the most wonderful delight of all—funnel cakes!  Which gets one’s face all powdery-sugary and all.  And which we did not do this year.  But we have, oh yes, we have.  There are icies in cups, cold drinks of the non-alcoholic variety, and sometimes strange smells from food stands.  (We did not investigate.)

image  Daughter shopping while multi-tasking on her phone.  What else was new?

Things Daughter thought she’d never say, but did—on our way to the sale:  “Do NOT lock your brother in the pantry!”

Do not ask.  This is just an aside to this post. 

Needing a new stove?


Things which magically appear after we state what we’d like to find them:

1.  Coupon Clipping Queen daughter said she wanted to find some type of spray suitable for a classroom.  Granddaughter is teaching 3rd grade this year and requested same.  “Oh!  I told her we’d never find THAT at a yard sale,” said CCQ Daughter. 

I said, “Wanna bet?”

Turning the corner into the next tent we found:


We bought a bunch.

image  Racer Daughter loading 2 old windows into the van above.  Yes, they still had the glass, multi-paned windows.


image  Parking lot where we left van for one sale.  Las Vegas?  Really?  In Crossville, TN?  Oh well……….you never know………

Need some fishing gear anyone?                image


Well of course it’s a cat playing a violin.  What did you THINK it was?

image  Need a new washer?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Well, you COULD fill it with plants, you know, if you don’t need a washer……… was in good shape and the wringer even looked like it would still work.  Boy, that’s my dream—to spend days washing clothes and wringing them out through that contraption.  You know what I mean?

What do you mean “NO!”???

Okay, so what’s YOUR dream smarty-pants? 


One stop shopping!  You can buy your clothes, your tires, and everything in between.  You just gotta’ look.  They do not carry all sizes.

That’s enough bloggin’ stuff for today!  But……tomorrow more adventures in the Longest Yard Sale trip!


Recently I read an article about free offers—that one shouldn’t ignore them, there might be a good offer for you in all those ads!  A penny saved and all that…….

I don’t usually go through most of them, after all we are inundated with advertisements all the time.  But today I did and found a couple of deals on the internet. 

They didn’t ask me to post my approval on Facebook, something I don’t like to do.  They did ask for my email address along with my home information so they could send me the free offer.  Those which interested me I selected and signed up.

You can always set up an email address with another provider—such as gmail, for example, if you don’t want all those emails to come to your regular account.  It’s legitimate and fair to the advertiser.  After all, they are still reaching you, just at an alternate email account you have designated as exclusively for ads.  Besides, they might just have another offer which interests you!

Here is a link for some free products which I found on my regular email.  (Tiphero has good ideas and advice in all sorts of things frugal.  Highly recommend you look at the website and maybe sign up for the emails too.)

In addition to this, TMWLH came home with a coupon for a roll of free paper towels from Walgreens.  I often stop in there for various items and used the coupon today for free paper towels!

What have you obtained for free lately on the internet or through store coupons and offers?