. . . living a life of love, inspiration and quality.

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Front Porch

I love to spray paint anything, and now there are so many colors and textures, you can update anything easily. For some time, I have wanted to replace my front porch light fixtures. They are a sort of golden color that looks old and dated.  Since I do like the design but not the color, I decided to spray paint them.

Here are the before pictures.  The fixtures are dull and disappear into the brick.  

My husband took the fixtures down for me. I simply cleaned the glass and fixtures and applied two coats of black Rustoleum spray paint.  The whole project took less than an hour, and they look brand new.  I like the black against the brick. The front door is next.  The big "G" is not working!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Europe Trip

My daughter recently took a trip to Europe and was able to visit Paris, Barcelona, and a few small towns along the way.  She had a wonderful time. She took over 500 pictures - I'm not exaggerating. Here are just couple of her pics. 

Eiffel Tower

YUM. . .Crepes


A French Dining Experience

This was not her first experience eating snails. We had them on a cruise and loved them.  On our cruise; however, the snails were not served in shells.  Instead, they were served in a cute tray with a lemony olive oil.   The shells are a nice little reminder that you are, in fact, eating snails. 

Barcelona, Spain

Saturday, July 14, 2012

40 Random Things About Me

1.      I could gladly stay up ‘till 2:00 and sleep ‘til 12:00 the next morning.
2.      I love children but have only one child (my doctor says it’s because I’m a teacher).
3.      I eat a strict paleo diet 
4.       I like cleaning house and find it therapeutic
5.       My favorite flower is the daffodil.  I love flowers and try to keep fresh flowers in the house at all times
6.       When I was pregnant, I sang lullabies to my baby girl.
7.        I like to cook but hate when it becomes a chore
8.       I  don’t have a middle name
9.       I  love reading magazines like Victoria and Southern Lady
10.   Dixie Carter was my hero.
11.   My hair is most likely all gray since I’ve been coloring since I was 27.
12.   Emeralds are my favorite gem.
13.   I don’t like bugs and will wake my husband from a deep sleep to kill one. 
14.    I have only a few but dearly loved friends.
15.   I will spend good money for a good brie cheese.
16.    am typing this right now at 12:30 at night
17.   I believe your actions and behavior are your best sermon.
18.   I hate (hate is a strong word) dislike reality TV shows.
19.   I  love to organize anything
20.   Cooking shows relax me
21.   You will never see me in public in my pajamas
22.    I chew my gum in private
23.    I love a good foot rub
24.    I don’t drink or smoke (awwww... angel wings)
25.   Mango is my favorite fruit
26.   I will not wear flip flops to work but I have really cute feet.
27.   I believe teaching is a calling
28.   Scrabble is my favorite board game.
29.   My mother pierced my ears when I was 13.
30.   I love all music that is remotely poetic
      31.   Can easily tan but choose not to - lots of sun block here. 

32.   My birthdays make me a little sad. 
33.   I am thankful everyday but would rather skip Thanksgiving.
34.   Friday 13th is my lucky day
35.   Am a little obsessive about my health
36.   I love reading blogs more than Facebook
37.   I have no problem saying “no” to my child and don’t understand why other parents struggle with this one.
38.   I have a cat and two dogs - I’m an equal opportunity pet owner.
39.   ASPCA commercials make me cry.
40.   I love the first cup of coffee in the morning.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Taking the High Road in the Express Lane

Yesterday evening I ran into my local grocery store to pick up a couple of items.  As I waited in the express lane, a woman walked directly in front of me and gave her items to the cashier.  She essentially pushed her items into the cashier’s face ignoring my presence.  Her rudeness was in no way subtle or unmistakable.   
I really do detest rude behavior especially in adults with on looking children.  This woman had a young girl with her, and as I made an effort to keep my reaction in check and my face unexpressive, I noticed the younger girl watching me.  This girl stared at me even as they left the store.  She may have been waiting for me to react in anger.  I really do hope my expression didn’t reveal my seething feelings.  The girl did distance herself so a part of me thinks she was embarrassed by her mother’s rudeness.    
The cashier apologized to me even though there was nothing she could have done that wouldn’t have caused a scene.  I wonder why so many people choose rudeness over kindness.  To be honest, I would have gladly let this woman go ahead of me, if only she would have asked. 
I once read that “rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.”  These words help me to recognize rudeness as egotism or even a kind of ignorance.

I think the best reaction in these situations is not to react at all.  It’s not easy, and sometimes not reacting is an exercise of will and strength, but I know I certainly don’t want to become the very thing I dislike.    So when I find myself confronted with rude crass people, I choose to take the high road.  In the end, my reaction is the only one I can control and the only one that truly matters.

Also read Lisa Merlo Booth's article,  Why Take the High Road?  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Carolina On My Mind

I’ve had the privilege of living in two great Southern states:  South Carolina and Louisiana.  I love them both, but the Carolinas will always be my first love. 
I was born in South Carolina and many of my “little ways” are a result of my deep Carolina roots. My Christian faith, devotion to family and tradition are important to me.  Some values were entrenched early on like “don’t air your dirty laundry” and “you never talk about your family.”   Money was another “off limits” topic.  My mother never talked about money and until she died, my sister and I never knew how much money she had.   To this day, the only people I talk to about money are my husband and sister.  Of course, I’m sure many Louisianans would argue they have similar values, but most seem a little lax when it comes to holding on to them.   
I have fond memories of wonderful grandparents and countless cousins.   My fondest memories include my Granny’s house.  She was loving and gracious and welcomed everyone with a hug.   My cousins, sister and I would spend hours there playing games, telling stories, catching lighting bugs - you name it.  Summer vacations were split between Myrtle Beach and the Mountains and last minute trips to a river or a hike in the mountains were the norm.   Growing up with vacations to Myrtle Beach resulted in me becoming somewhat of a beach snob; as a result, places like Galveston Beach left me sorely disappointed.   Who can resist The Great Smokey Mountains or an east coast beach - not me.    
I love the Carolinas and at times, I’ve held it as a high standard of Southern Living.  I know now as an adult, this high standard was really a devotion to my own family.  I have missed them all so much.   I have loved and been loved by some incredible people.   I can relate to a line in one of James Taylor’s songs, “in my mind I’m gone to Carolina.”  Literally and figuratively, I’ve made that 800 mile trip from Louisiana to South Carolina many times.   I’m in Louisiana to stay, but the Carolinas will always be a part of me.

Also read...
 An Ode to the South by Brian Wilder