Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving & Stuff!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

It's been such a busy week here...

I have not been painting or creating, or even re-arranging anything...

I have been elbow-deep in stuff.

Stuff and more stuff.

I could probably write a Dr. Suess-ish rhyme about it...if I had the energy!

Mr. B. is finally giving up his one-time-leather-shop-turned-storage-space in downtown Sikeston.

Huge space; a building from the turn of the (20th) century...

Way past time to sort through all the stuff and move on.

More stuff than you can imagine...the kind of stuff American Pickers like to dig through.

(Love that show!)

Guy stuff, mostly.

The kind I have no problem tossing, which is probably why most of the sorting is being

done by Mr. B. and the boys, Jonathan and Neil.

So, for the most part, I've been sweeping and picking up (known) trash, and watching.

We're opening the doors Friday for a sale...

Black Friday.

Do you like having garage/rummage/yard sales?

Before I was married, I had never had, been a part of, or even attended a garage sale.

I don't think I'd even heard of them.

My family had never gotten rid of anything, hence a lot of the stuff

I still have...(which is a good thing, in a lot of ways, being that it is mostly Girl Stuff ~ ;^)

But my Mother-in-Law at the time, Grandma Dorothy

 (whose birthday was yesterday, in Heaven), loved them.

She called them rummage sales, though.

I think she mainly liked all her daughters-in-law getting together,

and visiting with the people who came to the sale.

I was always amazed at what people bought, and the seemingly-required

haggling that went with it...

Grandma Dorothy loved getting right in the middle of it, bless her.

I, for one, will be glad when Friday is over!

Dorothy Ziegenhorn Pratt, my "Big Kids'" Grandma...
and a very dear lady...


In the meantime, we are having Thanksgiving Dinner at our house as well.

Good thing Mr. B. likes to cook...

I'm sharing my favorite thing that he makes...

Pink Stuff.

My Grandma Launius used to make it, too, and we called it Pink Stuff then, as well.

I think it actually has a pretty name,

Paradise Salad, or Ambrosia, or something divine-sounding.

But "Pink Stuff" it has always been, around here.

I could eat the whole batch, honestly.

It is that good.



1 (20 ounce) can no-sugar-added cherry pie filling

1 (20 ounce) can chunk pineapple, drained

  16 ounces whipped topping

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Place in a pretty bowl (garnish with a few maraschino cherries if desired) and enjoy!

Serves 8-10

Or one.
And, I just found this clipping of my Mom's...look at the date!

 I have never tried either of them,

so I don't know if it really is the "Throwed Rolls" recipe or the

Pasta House Salad...they both sound really good right now, though!

(Lambert's Cafe, "Home of the Throwed Roll" has been in Sikeston for 70 years, since 1942 ~ )
Wishing you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 16, 2012


Here's the finished mirror!

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend!
New post coming soon!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mirror, Mirror...

Hi, everyone! Another week, flying past...
I sound like a broken record, I know.
Remember being little and how s-l-o-w-l-y the time used to pass?
My Mom once told me the older you get, the more time seems to fly by...
At the time I didn't really get it, but I do now...

Here is what I've been working on so far this week...
(although I should probably be working on things for Christmas) ~
This mirror frame was stained very dark, and of course, I wanted it white...
"Rubbed", lightly distressed white...
Mr. B painted it very nicely for me, actually ~ a perfect solid white;
but, when I went to distress it, the contrast between the white and the very dark stain
underneath was just too stark, I thought.
So, ignoring a slightly pouty Mr. B, I took it back out to the garage
to re-do it myself.
Actually, first I had to go get more spray paint.
Why is it that I never seem to have anything I want to paint when it is
seventy degrees and beautiful outside?
I always wait until it's too cool out for the paint to dry,
then I suddenly have a dozen things I want to re-do.
I spread newspapers in the garage and open the door occasionally
to let out the noxious fumes...
That's me.
Anyway, I went to Lowe's to look for a nice medium-toned neutral color in the
Valspar spray paint line...I've had very good luck with this brand.
I found a dark rosey-beige color called Thorny Brush that was marked half-price...
I guess it wasn't a very popular color,
but it was just what I want wanted for an undercoat.
Valspar Satin White for the top coat...
it's my "go-to" color for just about everything.
So much of the world could do with a nice coat of Satin White, don't you agree?
Distressed or not.
Here is my mirror frame, painted with 2 coats of Thorny Brush and 2 coats of Satin White.

Of course I had to bring it inside, right in the middle of everything, to work on it...

At least I had a drop-cloth.
Cyrus decided to help me...

Kitty-help is always appreciated!
Such a sweet boy!
When he gets his winter coat, Cyrus gets longer fur in the strangest places...

He gets extra-long fur right on his forehead,

two tufts...

which Mr. B and Jonathan both make into "Triceratops Horns" at every opportunity...
Here's the top of the mirror frame...

In most areas, I only sanded down to the rose-beige color;

in a few spots I have actually gone through that to where it shows the dark stain,

but that's okay.

I love how the distressing accents the edges and carved details.
Here you can see the distinct layers of white, rose-beige, white again, and the bottom dark stain...

You could do this with any number of soft colors...

I'm thinking of doing a chair similarly, but with Sage Green as the undercoat.

You do need to stay with the same brand of paint, though, for all your layers...

just to be on the safe side. I've had different paint brands react naughtily with each other,

layering them like I do...there are times when you want "crackling"...

and times when you don't! With colors in the same brand (and finish...satin, gloss, flat)

it eliminates unexpected surprises...
Such a nice look, I think. Men don't understand the appeal...

Jonathan would have me "touch it up" ~ ;^)

"Why are you upside-down, Mom?"

Sweet Cyrus...put your tongue back in!

Lots of times he forgets his little tongue is out (it only shows a little bit here, but sometimes it's

way out, and he just goes around like that...doesn't seem to notice),

I think it's cute, though ~ ♥
Oh, am I ever having to "eat crow"...

I've said that my kitties, the three I have now, never get on the counter-tops...

However, I am working on being more organized and I am trying to keep

things off of the island, especially, as it seems to be the ultimate catch-all in this house...

 (well, you see I do have three O'Kringles there, but that was all...except Leo)

Now that it's clear, Leo has decided he likes it up there...

And, this is what I walked into at 6:30 this morning...

Sun streaming in, and Leo, looking as if he had been enjoying a nice glass of milk...

See Tallulah to the left?

I'm pretty sure she had just jumped down when she heard me coming...

I guess they're happy about my de-cluttering!

Have a wonderful Friday, all!

(I'll post a picture of the finished mirror tomorrow...)


Friday, November 9, 2012

My Mom's Vegetable Soup & Soup Kitties...

Happy Weekend, Everyone!
Here's something interesting...
I have heard the terms
 Orange Tabby,
Red Tabby,
Ginger Tabby
 and Orange-Marmalade Cat...
but Soup Kitty?
Ummm, Nooo...
Not until my sister-in-law Marcena told me that it's a a colloquialism for orange-stripey kitties
across the river from us in rural Ballard County, Kentucky.
Is it because they are the color of vegetable-soup broth?
They really are the color of Campbell's Alphabet Soup, that all my kids loved when they were little...
(We could usually spell their names with the noodle-letters, though Jonathan's was sometimes a challenge...)
No one really knows...but there, orange kitties are Soup Kitties.
So, I thought I'd share some Soup Kitties I've known and loved...
This is Tibbs ~ (My girls got his name from a character in 101 Dalmations; Sergeant Tibbs...)
He is one of my Angel Kitties...
We had him for almost eighteen years.
Tibbs' name was almost Goldenfuzz.
In the 1930s my Daddy's little sister had an orange kitten she'd named Goldilocks.
Daddy, the ever-teasing big brother,
 reportedly said "Goldilocks?...Looks more like golden fuzz to me!"
So, Goldenfuzz she became...
The first of a succession of "Goldenfuzz"~ named kitties,
 the last being a boy that Grandma and Grandpa Launius had when I was little...
Goldenfuzz was a smart kitty...he could open doors
 (interior doors, that didn't close too tightly) using the door knob!
If he'd had thumbs, there's no telling what he could have done.
Somewhere there is a picture of him reaching for a doorknob...
I'll have to ask daughter Mandy ~ she's our
Keeper of the Photos ~ ;^)
Tibbs on his fourteenth birthday with a cake my daughters made for him...
He dove right in...
Yes, we are those kind of people ~ ;^).
This cutie-patootie dust-kitty was a WILD little fellow, totally feral, born in a shed behind an empty house next to one of the older homes we lived in...

I kept watching from the window of our house,

and I finally managed to creep up on him in the shed when he was napping...

What a hissing, spitting ball of baby teeth and sharp little claws he was!

It only took a few days inside for him to calm down, though...

I called him Alexander ~ :)

He was adopted by another volunteer at the kitty shelter where we helped out at the time...

(since we had NINE kitties already...all indoors...)

So sweet!

This is Audrey, one of the kitties at the shelter (she has been adopted since, happily).
Female Soup Kitties are few and far between!
Marcena has one, though, named Reba, with long fur ~ she's so beautiful!

This is my daughter Mandy's pastel Soup Kitty, Albus ~ a.k.a. "Busman" ...

Isn't he a sweet fellow?

He was our house guest recently, along with his "brothers", while Mandy was vacationing.
And last but not least, my daughter Katie's Half-Soup-Kitty, Honeybunch ~ a.k.a. "Bunch"...

We know this because Bunch was born at the shelter where we volunteered...

All the kitties there were spayed and neutered, except, uh...two.

They weren't in a huge hurry to get them neutered

because someone thought Bunch's mommy was a boy...


Anyway, that's how we know that Bunch's daddy was a Soup Kitty...;^)


Now for the recipe...

This is my Mom's excellent, easy, vegetable soup.

1 lb. Ground Chuck, browned and crumbled

2 Cups Diced Potatoes

Cover with water and cook until potatoes are partially done.

1 can each: peas, corn, carrots.

Add to meat and potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes; add 1 large can of tomato juice.

Add small pkg. egg noodles if desired.

Season to taste.

You can use ground turkey if you prefer, and you can change the veggies or add macaroni or rice...

Sometimes Mom would use really can't go wrong.

My son Mark makes it for his boys...they add Louisiana Hot Sauce!

That's all for now about the Soup Kitties...we are going to continue to research and try to find where that colorful term came from...
I do have a book called Ghost Cats of the South, by Randy Russell, that has a chapter called
"The Chicken Soup Cat"...:^)
Have a great weekend!
A sweet (but a little sad) post script to the Goldenfuzz story...
not long before Daddy passed away
I brought this pretty white kitty to my Stepmom...
She had been left on the porch of the shelter where we volunteered...
I thought they needed each other...
The kitty jumped on Daddy's bed and he said, "Well, that Goldenfuzz?"
Of course, the little snow-white kitty didn't have a bit of golden fuzz on her,
 but my Stepmom, Therma, said
"Well, she sure can be!"...
So, she is Goldie.
Therma reminds me often that Daddy named her...
She does have beautiful golden eyes!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Word-y Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!
I know, Wednesday is almost over...
I can't believe it's already been a week since Halloween and my last post...
I actually got my Halloween decorations put away in record time this year!
(Says She Who Has Left Her Christmas Tree Up Until February...)
It helped that we got some neat orange-and-black storage bins
 at our friendly neighborhood Dollar Store, 
and Jonathan arranged everything on the dining-room table (without me even asking),
all ready to be stored away...;^)
I really wasn't ready ~ It had only been up for a week!
But, I guess it was time...All Hallow's Eve was over...
Nothing is really as over as a holiday, the day you agree?
Is it all the commercialism that has been drummed into us,
always forging ahead toward the next "big thing"?
I don't know.
An exception, to that, however...
A lot of times I actually enjoy Christmas more in the days after...
when all the rush and anticipation is past, and you can kind of just relax and enjoy the season...
(Here I am rushing the season by just talking about it!)
Here are a few pictures I took, trying to keep with the actual season for a while,
despite all the Christmas advertising...
(Isn't the Target Dog in that commercial cute, though, barging down that little street with his Christmas gifts?)
I wonder if they realize that that is exactly what they're doing with Christmas, though...
just barreling in... ("Out of the way, Thanksgiving!")
"Are you ready? Get set ~ Are you ready?"
Mr. B got this cabinet painted for me right before Halloween (it was the base of a china cabinet that used to be in my dining room) ~ I now have it and another antique sideboard to make seasonal displays on ~ also distressed white, my favorite furniture finish...I think because it doesn't show dust ~ and white cat hair ~ and you don't have to worry about is perfectly imperfect, on purpose! ~
I'm loving them!

He's also painting a mirror for me to go above the sideboard, then I get to distress it (fun!) to come!
After I had sanded the edge of the cabinet above, Jonathan came through and said "Oh, Mom ~'re going to have to touch this up..."
One of the set of Turkey salt and pepper shakers from the 1950s that belonged to my Mom...
The bell jar was a birthday gift from my daughter Katie,
and I thought Tom Turkey looked handsome inside it, elevated on the little stack of vintage books...

I left my 1944 Etude magazine (in the frame), out, though, even though it is October...
I love the mandolin-player and his little pixie helpers, in the fall setting...
it doesn't look too Halloween-y, I don't think.
I didn't want to put my spider (from artist Dave Dardis in Makanda) away, so I gave him a

grape-vine basket lair behind some leftover Halloween Indian Corn,

and squash from the garden.

He's guarding the bounty...(he's a vegan spider).
I brought in a pumpkin from outside, too.
Remember the urn I was painting with the Annie Sloan paint?

Here it is, all distressed to my liking...

(It was originally gold, and underneath ~ fired terra cotta ~ I hadn't realized that.

So when sanding off the white, I had little bits of earthy terra-cotta orange coming through,

as well as glimmers of gold...making it go even better with the autumn setting...)

There is the turkey hen as well, also on another little antique volume of poetry,

with a mini pumpkin (I think they are so cute!)...
Here is my messy work space, not in the basement or upstairs room once designated "studio",

but in the living room right in the middle of everything.

(And thus it shall ever be, most likely...)

The cats like it, though ~ they can keep an eye on me as well as everything else, here.

(There is Cyrus, doing just that!)

This was an order of O'Kringles that I'd waited until the last minute to finish...
Mixing just the right reds and greens in polymer clay

...then parcelling out the right-sized amounts,

 or my Santas might end up who-knows-how-big!
Here they are, waiting on baking...

I was in such a rush I didn't get a photo of the finished bunch...

And Leo, who had been in need of a bath for a week...

I had bathed Cyrus and trimmed his tummy fur last week...

Leo thought he was in the clear...:^)

He was not happy with me, propping him up in a towel wrapped like a straight-jacket...

Not one bit.

(He then had to endure about an hour of blow-drying...)

Tallulah is still due her bath!

Thank you for stopping by ~ Happy Thursday!