Monday, October 31, 2011

Oooga Booga! :)

It's Halloween!  We don't celebrate Halloween, per se, but we do attend this MASSIVE Fall Festival that our church hosts every year.  This is the 21st annual festival.  I've just dropped off these 4 cakes for people to win at the cake walk:

Frank is going with us.  If I'd had more time, I would have dressed him up as FRANKenstein, but I barely had enough time to get all the rest of this stuff done (and some of the sewing still isn't), so ... meh. Jenny Halloween pun fail.  But there is always next year.

I'll post photos on Friday of Frank at the festival (hint for his costume:  I used a roll of toilet paper) and some of his other Autumn-y Adventures.

Today is also the last day of NaBloWriMo!!! I did it! :)

In quick mail news, here is the mail from Friday:

A letter from my awesome Mother-in-law, and a Halloween card from a friend that says "If thinking of you made me any happier..." And the inside says "I'd Glow in the Dark!"

For today's Music Monday, here is my favorite rendition of the Harry Potter main theme.  Drool.  I want to play piano like that!!! Awesomeness!!!  Enjoy your Spooktacular evening and stay safe!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Short Post After A Full Weekend

Took the kids and Frank to a pumpkin patch and fall festival yesterday and basically had a fun Saturday at home.  Today was church, then Gran made lunch, then Husband and I baked 4 cakes with home made icing for the cake walk at tomorrow's HUGE Fall Festival that our church is putting on at the local park.  Some 3,000 people will come through between 6 and 9 p.m.  I will decorate the cakes tomorrow after my chiropractor's appointment and take them to the church.  I have a few errands that I have to run.  I have photos to edit, letters to write, and stuff to sew.  Then we will all dress up and go to the festival from 6 til 7:30, at which point I will bring the cute gremlins home and head back up there by me onesy to help out at the face painting booth from 7:45-8:45.

Yes, there will be pictures.

In snail mail news, I got a letter from my Mother-in-law and a cute Halloween card from a Facebook friend.  I'll post more about that tomorrow.

Also, husband's job is trying something new and letting them drive back and forth to the job this week, so that means a longer week for both of us (when he's coming home I make more of an effort to see that house is clean and good supper to eat, etc. etc.) but at least he will be sleeping in his own bed.  It's a backhanded improvement, but whatever.  Over how things have been, I'll take it.

I hate to have no pictures in a post, so I'll end with this:

Oh, so THIS is why they want to stop Saturday delivery...!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Hi, Lovelies!!!

It's time to draw for the winner of these lovely notecards!

I enlisted the help of Cute Gremlin #1 to do the drawing:

Trusty drawing tin

Shake-a, shake-a, shake-a

"I'm not peeking!"

And the WINNER is... !
Yay!  Congratulations, Misty of Confessions of a Pen Thief!!!  I'll be mailing you this lovely set next Thursday, when I head to the Post Office with my 52 Weeks of Mail- Week 4 mailings!  Congrats!

If you didn't win, don't worry!  Another gorgeous giveaway item is coming soon!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

On The Other Side

This is pretty much all Frank has been doing the last few weeks...
I do apologize, but I don't have a Frank Friday post for you today.  This week has been utterly mad; the weather has been rainy and gorgeous by turns, but there just hasn't been anything going on in the way of "Adventures" for Frank since the Classic Cars Show.  I do have some things planned for him.  On Monday there is an enormous Fall Festival at the park that our church puts on.  This weekend we'll be baking cakes for the cakewalk, and Frank will be in the kitchen helping us with that.  I'm scheduled to help at the face painting station at the event.  Some 3,000 people come through this thing, so it should be loads of fun.  The kids will take Frank around to the games and jumpy things for some photo ops.

Also coming up is the opening of the new library.  Lucy Jane will be there for all the festivities, and Frank will be along to enjoy the day.  That same weekend my friend Kristen is performing in an opera at KSU, and our longtime friend Joe M. Turner will be doing his annual Magic On Main show at the Dallas Theatre.  So there is a lot happening very soon for Frank to be involved in.

So for today's NaBloWriMo post, I was thinking about all of the mail I've been sending (and getting from) around the world, and after a little search, I found this cool site that answers a question I've always wondered:
"If I went to the exact "other side of the world", where would that be?"  According to this Antipode Map, the other side of the world from Douglasville, GA USA is... in the middle of the Indian ocean.  Hmm.  The closest land point would be somewhere around Perth, Australia.  It's pretty neat; check it out!  You just move the top map around until the pinpoint is where you are, and the bottom map adjusts to show you the other side of the world!

World photo courtesy of NASA

Thursday, October 27, 2011

52 Weeks of Mail: Week 3

I didn't get as many of my letters written as I'd wanted to, but that's ok.  I have 49 more weeks in which to send out to Japan, Canada and everywhere else I've mentioned. :)

On Wednesday there were 3 bits of lovely mail in my mailbox:

1. From a penpal in MO, which oddly enough turned out to be another introductory letter, so she must not have gotten my reply a few weeks ago.  I will be writing her today to see what happened. :)
2. This BEAUTIFUL card from fellow blogger and 52 Week-er, Kendall, over at Happy Little Mailboxes.  The photo doesn't show it very well, but it is all sparkly with glitter too!  I had seen these cards in one of her previous posts and could not believe my good fortune when I was the recipient of one!!!  Thank you!!

3. Inside the box in the photo above was a bunch of these

from my friend Eddie in Leeds, UK.  I LOVE these things and can't get them here, so he sends me a box periodically.  I send him a box of Twizzlers in return when I can.  :)  Yay for sugary sweet swaps!

There wasn't any post for me on Thursday, but after Bible study I did mail out what I had ready:

It included a reply to my letter from Germany, one to Spain, a thank you card for the walnuts I received from the Poindexter Nut Co., a sticker decorated folded letter, a thank you to a local restaurant, and 3 postcards going to Ireland, OK, and OH. :)  9 pieces in total.

Don't forget, there is still time to enter my giveaway!  I will be choosing a winner sometime tomorrow.  And also remember that if you want to snail mail with me, you can email me at to swap addresses.  See you at the mailbox!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Piano Dreaming Again

I've mentioned in the past (this postthis post and this post especially, though there are more) about how much I adore music, and how badly I want to learn to play the piano.  Whilst surfing around Youtube admiring other people's talent for tickling the ivories, I discovered my favorite score piece arranged and played by a super talented pianist in the UK.

Ladies and Gentlemen, for today's Video Wednesday I give you 3 Harry Potter pieces played by the incomparable Mr. Mark Fowler.  You can check out his Facebook page here.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Mail: Incoming!

This week I got two amazing pieces of mail!  One is from a fellow 52 Week-er on Facebook, from Germany!!!  So cool!  Danke, Svenja!  I'm writing a reply!

The other is a reply letter from my good friend Taylor, in Jasper, GA.  She's been a part of my blog hilarity before, in this post about the "for decorative purposes only" owl(s).  She enclosed with her letter this owl, whose caption reads: "I am used for enjoyment and smiling purposes!".  :)  I'm hanging him up on my crafting room "inspiration wall" so I can see him every day and smile!

He will be clipped up with one of the super-cute, tiny clothes pins! :)
My 52 Weeks, Week 3 Outgoing is still being added to and will go out probably Thursday.  It's convenient to swing by the post office right after Bible study.  I'll be sure and take a pic before it goes out, don't worry.  And just cause of all this fun mail, I picked this up at the library today:

...along with a book on piano/reading music, Broadway Musicals (every show, ever), a new edition of a great basic photography book that I love to refer back to as I learn my trade, and Michael J. Fox's second biography ("Always Looking Up". Read it; it's really good.).

ADD, much?  Yep.  But it makes for interesting letters! And I'm looking forward to another great week of sending and receiving mail! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Funnies

When I was in college, the Final Fantasy video games were extremely popular.  My then-boyfriend's roommate discovered this extra gem on one of his games.  With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it was perfect for today's Music Monday.  (I have something else for actual Halloween next week.)
Enjoy. :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

On A Missive Mission

House Mouse Designs
I'm diligently scrawling away on letters at my writing desk for the upcoming 52 Weeks of Mail, Week 3 outgoing post.  Japan will get a couple of letters this week, as will Finland and Malaysia.  Canada will get a solid half dozen.  And there are several snail mail related blogs I've recently connected with, whose authors will receive some mailbox happiness.

I check out Crane and Co.'s products periodically.  They are, after all, the ones semi-responsible for getting me back into this hand-penned postal fun in the first place.  I'm running up quite a wish list!  Here is one that I definitely would LOVE to find wrapped up under the tree on Christmas morning!!!  (Somebody tell Husband for me!)

The description says: "A little exotic and entirely luxurious, this hand engraved note features a shimmering peacock feather rendered in blues, golds, and green. A matching ecruwhite envelope is lined in copper."

Yes, please!!!

They are rather pricey for our modest means, at $29 for a box of 10.  But, oh, aren't they lovely!

Well, it's back to the writing desk for me, my dears.  Enjoy your evening!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Winter Reading

My friend Chris over at Where the Pavement Ends recently posted about the books he's diving into as the weather gets colder.  His new bride is seeking to read through "the classics" this winter, and Chris asked for help in compiling a list* for her.  Here you go, my lovelies!

Here are 50 works of fiction (in no particular order)** that I think fall into the classics category that everyone should read.  You'll notice that many of them are young adult and some even older children's level, but I think it's the enduring (and endearing) story that counts and we should all stay young at heart! :)

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. Emma - Jane Austen
3. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
4. Persuasion - Jane Austen
5. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
6. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
7. Little Dorrit - Charles Dickens
8. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
9. Peter Pan - James M. Barrie
10. The Lord of the Rings (complete and unabridged) - J.R.R. Tolkien
11. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
12. A Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare
13. Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare
14. Hamlet - Shakespeare
15. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
16. Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery
17. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
18. The Watership Down - Richard Adams
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
20. James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl
21. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
22. The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis (these could possibly count as 7 total, but I count them as one.  Up to you.)
23. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
24. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
25. The Man in the Iron Mask - Alexandre Dumas
26. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
27. Trumpet of the Swan - E.B. White
28. Stuart Little - E.B. White
29. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
30. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
31. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
32. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
33. Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
34. North and South - Elizabeth Gaskells
35. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
36. Pygmalion - George Bernard Shaw
37. The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
38. White Fang - Jack London
39. The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
40. The Jungle Books (make sure to find an edition that includes Riki Tiki Tavi) - Rudyard Kipling
41. A Bear Called Paddington - Michael Bond
42. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
43. The Borrowers Series - Mary Norton
44. The Cricket in Times Square - George Selden
45. The Swiss Family Robinson - Johann Wyss
46. Little House Series - Laura Ingalls Wilder
47. The Redwall Series - Brian Jacques
48. The Cat Who Series - Lillian Jackson Braun
49. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
50. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe

*If some of these titles are not on an official "Classics" list somewhere, then they ought to be.
** Yes, I have read all of these.  Some are more favorites than others, but I've read each one through.

I hope that helps, Chris and Cort! This list looks so inviting, I think I will also make a few trips up to the library and check out some of my favorites to enjoy while curled up with a cup of hot tea!

What are some of your favorite classic books, and why?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Aw, Nuts! :)

A few weeks ago, I was shopping in Kroger and had a craving for walnuts.  I went over to the nut bins in the produce section, and found a 1 lb. bag of "California Grown Shelled Walnuts" at a reasonable price.  When I got them home and munched a few, I found them to be the best walnuts I have ever tasted!

I quickly sat down and wrote a postcard to the address I found on the back of the bag- The Poindexter Nut Company- telling them how much I love the walnuts and that I would definitely continue to purchase those over any others.  After I sent it, I pretty much forgot about it.  I mean, I meant every word, but I didn't think I would get a reply.  They are busy people, after all, and I respect that.

Today I was tending the finches and saw one of these out of the attic window, in our drive:

My Gran regularly gets deliveries of health products, vitamins and the like, and Mom often gets books and things shipped for school.  I hadn't ordered anything online, so I wasn't expecting anything.  I figured it was for one of them and went back to my day.

Jennifer and Charles came in off the bus at 3, and brought me a package!  :D  I love surprise mail!

I opened it to find this:

A very nice letter thanking me for my note, and 2 bags of walnuts!!!  AWESOME!!!  Poindexter Nut Co., YOU ROCK!!! :)  Completely made my week!!!

After I write a thank you letter (which will count as part of the 52 weeks project!  Bonus points!), I am so off to the kitchen to make some cookies with some of these marvelous walnuts!  (If there are any left, since I can't stop nomming them straight out of the bag!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Practically Perfect In Every Way

I wear a lot of brown in the fall.  I like brown, and it usually looks pretty good on me.  But until tonight, I had no brown shoes to wear my brown stuff with!  Well, I had (have) chunky sandal flippy floppy thingies that I love, but it's way too cold for those!!!  I needed closed toe shoes!

Emily and I went to our errands this afternoon and I finally happened across the perfect pair of brown fall/winter shoes:

I love them muchly!

As I was looking at them in those floor mirrors at the shoe dept, I had one of these:

I thought these shoes would be great with a costume of:

Yes, I know hers are black, but still.  I thought they looked very "Mary Poppinish".  And who knows- maybe I'll find them in black the next time I'm at the mall. :)

And I could always dress Husband up as Chimney Sweep Bert to match. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

52 Weeks of Mail: Week 2

I've been having a MUCH better couple of days since my little "Pbbthhhhh" post last week.  A huge part of that is all of YOU commenting and emailing and Facebooking me with prayer and encouragement and hugs.  Thank you!  I love you!

Cute Gremlin #2 had to be brought home from school early today, with a migraine headache.  My poor love.  She cried and slept, alternately.  If it's not better in the morning, we'll take her to the Dr.  The only reason we didn't go in today, is because she balked at it and essentially told me in a nice, pre-pubescent way to shove off and leave her alone and she'd be ok.  Well... alright then...  But yes, if she's still teary and hurting tomorrow at 6 a.m., then it's off to the clinic we go, whether she wants to or not.  (Because I'm the Mommy, that's why.)

As she was needing me to be within earshot, however, and as I was fighting my own battle with the Sinus Goblins, and as it was FLIPPING COLD outside today (!!!), we did stay in from Wednesday night church.  I took that time to catch up on some random things (laundry, clutter, grody bathroom, etc.), and I also got this weeks 52 Weeks of Mail batch all set to go out tomorrow directly after Bible study.

More than half of this batch goes to Australia!!!

The biggest envelope is a card for my pastor, in appreciation of all he and his family has done for not only me, but all of our immediate community.  He is a man after God's own heart and I love to hear God's truth from him every week.  The next one over is for my sister in law.  Just because.  Then the 6 after that with no postage [as yet] are the ones going to various places in Australia.  The peacock one on the end is from my own set identical to the one I'm currently doing a GIVEAWAY with; it's going to the UK.  The awesome "espressos" sticker has been treated like a postcard, with a letter on the back of it.  It's for someone I've known these 20 years at least, and who has personal stories about the use of espresso beans vs boring ole coffee beans.  [She'll never live that down... ;)]

Goodnight, my sweet friends.  I hope the postman brings you nice things in your mailboxes this week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Looking Ahead: When My Kids Are Grown...

You know, I love my Cute Gremlins.  I really, really, really do.  But the fact is, they are not going to stay little forever.  They are my true riches and home, and yes, I know that the important things are not "things" of this world.  I get it.  However.  Sometimes I find myself letting my mind wander down the road a little ways.  What will my life look like in 5 years?  (Kids ages 8, 11, 16 and 18) 10 years?  (Kids ages 13, 16, 21 and 23) 20 years?? (Cripes!  Not kids anymore at 23, 26, 31 and 33!!!  Maybe we won't strain our brains and eyeballs trying to see quite that far.  But still...)

When my babies are grown and leave the nest, there are things that I want for me.  Goals that I am working toward.  Life still to be lived at it's fullest.  Here are a few of my dreams:

My own house.  This house.  "The Amerson", by Benchmark Homes.  I got to tour one in Powder Springs some years ago and I fell in love.

Cats.  I miss my Ashleykins very much.  When I'm in my own place (see above), I want two furry felines in my life.  And I want one of them to be a seal-point Siamese with bright blue eyes.

As long as we're adding pets, I also want an Old English Sheepdog.  This is in no small part thanks to reading Pamela and Edward's adventures together over at the From The House of Edward blog.  He is gorgeous and furry and I want me one. :)  Only, I want mine to have some grey in him like this dude.  He looks more like "Max" from Disney's The Little Mermaid.

And what's a house without music?  It needs one of these.  And I will take lessons to be able to play it.

And lastly (for this list, anyway), I want both of these for my world travels.  London, Paris, Hawaii, Seattle, Scotland, Bahamas....  each one is calling my name. :)

What about you?  What dreams do you have that have to be put on hold for now, but that you fully intend on realizing at some point in the future, should the good Lord tarry?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tea For Three

I had my dear friend Michelle and her teenaged daughter over tonight for tea.  We talked costumes and photos and all kinds of creative goodness.  :)  Here is the table I set for us:

On the rectangular tray: Fall snack cakes, sliced angel food cake
(to go with the strawberries and whipped cream), apple slices.
One the blue plate: Pumpkin bread.

Top: Turtle chocolate mini cupcakes with caramel filling
Bottom (counter-clockwise from left): Apricot pastries,
chocolate topped orange Pims, fig newtons, pumpkin scones.
Our tea was a variety of black teas from Twinings: English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey and Lady Grey.  We're looking forward to having tea again next week! :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Awesome Sunday

Ok, so I know this post coming after my earlier "moodiest moody post ever" is going to make me look more than a little bi-polar/manic-depressive/insert-other-hyphenated-psychological-term-here.  But I'm not, really.  (Any of those things.)  As I said in a comment, I'm generally cheerful, and I am a bubbly, hilarious and fun personality, even in the midst of life's not so rosy moments.  Sometimes I just have to vent about being wounded.  Then I get over myself and start afresh, finding the beautiful things more beautiful, the sweet things sweeter, etc., etc.

And the funny things... well, most of those were always funny. :)  Like this little gem that has been making its way around my Facebook feed.  (Make sure you watch to the end.) :)

More about the weekend later.  Enjoy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Letters with Style: A Peacock Giveaway!

Remember how earlier I said I'm really getting into writing letters?  That I'm participating in this:

And am also a member of this:

Well, I thought that if you want to be a part of those things too, or just send out some mail that isn't bills to show someone you care, that you might want to enter to win this:

A gorgeous set of 10 notecards and envelopes, up for grabs!

Comment on this post for your chance to win- the winner will be drawn (with the help of a Cute Gremlin, of course) in 2 weeks on October 29th.  As always, if any of your blogging friends enter and mention your name as a referral, you automatically get another entry.  Good luck!

PS- If you want to be Snail Mail Pen Pals with me, you can email me at to swap addresses.