Friday, November 30, 2012

A tribute, with gratitude, to my brother

My brother's birthday was last week and I did something that I don't usually do for his birthday -- I sent him a gift!!

Or rather, I MADE him a gift and sent it to him  : )

This was taken in 2007 

We stopped exchanging gifts years ago and now just send an email message or a cute online card. But this time I got an attack of the crazies and decided to crochet him a scientifically nerdy gift. He is, after all, a chemist, and a professor, and does research having to do with dental sealants. I dunno, I just crochet and paint and embroider.   :p

We are like two peas in a pod!! Yeah, right. I remember him trying to help me with math -- a very frustrating experience for both of us to be sure! It definitely didn't take because I still count on my fingers!

But I doubt that he can crochet! He can paint though. Beautifully. And way, way better than I can.

This was taken sometime in the 80s and is one of my favorite pics. 
We're both a bit grayer now (OK, a lot grayer...) !!

So, Mr Earl N. Meyer Flask (that's Erlenmeyer flask to all you chemists out there...) has gone off to play on a shelf in my brother's office, next to an Indian coffee pot apparently -- I hope they don't trade liquids, Earl's looks like his might give you a tummy ache!

I put some fiberfill (or, as Noli calls it, "fluff") in the top so it looks like vapor coming out...

and, of course, he looks like that's a scary potion he's mixed up!

My brother did many things for me as I was growing up -- things that I remember and am grateful for to this day. He was 12 1/2 when I was born. Gotta put that 1/2 on there, but now he tells me that somehow our ages are getting closer as we grow older... huh? Has something to do with that math he never could get me to understand... My hubby agrees and tried to explain it to me, but to no avail!!


I'm sure he did a lot of babysitting and changing of diapers, but I remember the sweet things he did that brothers often do not do with their little sisters. Like take me on a picnic with his girlfriend, and letting me ride in his soap box when he was racing with the other boys on the street (this thrilled me to no end), and writing letters to me when I was in high school (he was in the Navy stationed in Bahrain at the time) and talking about the things that concern a high school girl -- boyfriends and dating and popularity. He gave me good advise that my mother probably wouldn't have talked to me about. I still have those letters.

As a child, I would save half of my popsicle for him and leave him notes on his pillow telling him goodnight and that I loved him. He was the one who indulged me with my imaginary friend (Moosie, who looked like a monkey), carrying him around by his tail like I did. He would stick me under his desk and tickle me with his toes when I bothered him too much while he was studying. He was the one who consoled me when HIS dog died and I was the one who found him.

After getting his Doctorate, he moved to Holland to work with Unilever (parent company of Lever Brothers) and lived there about four years. The summer before my senior year in high school, he gave me the gift of a trip to visit him -- for the summer! What an experience that was!

He was tantamount in convincing my father to let me move out of the house, and move to New Orleans (from Baton Rouge where we lived) for my first "real" job and an apartment of my own. He lived in Slidell across Lake Pontchartrain from NO and so was near enough to come to my aid if necessary. This was a turning point in my life, as my father was very strict and didn't allow me much leeway in how I lived my life or the decisions I made.

And so, I wanted to give a little tribute to my brother and to let him know how much I love him. I'm sending him a link to this post -- just watch him blush!

I'm also linking this to the Blogging Business Artisans team challenge for this month. As team members we participate in at least six challenges each year, the themes determined by our team members. This month's theme is Gratitude and we are asked how gratitude plays a part in our lives and to create something that shows that gratitude. So my little flask is a tribute to my brother, for his birthday as well as all that he has meant to me.

And, one more tribute to you, big brother! This is an Etsy Treasury that I made for another team (from my Magnolia's Attic vintage shop) -- the Etsy Vintage Team. Just for the nerdiness in you!! (Although I don't consider you to be socially inept as nerds are wont to be....)  : )

A Scientific Experiment


Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Beatles

When you think of rock bands and the letter B -- well, who else but the Beatles!!

The "Mop Tops" as they were dubbed, in 1964.
Oh the horror -- long hair!! 
Ha! Those parents didn't know what was coming in the 70s!

I remember when they first came to America and appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. Looking at that audience reminds me of how we looked in high school! I love the way Ed introduces them -- "the youngsters from Liverpool who call themselves the Beatles" -- things were certainly different back then.

I had their first two albums and unfortunately, they were stolen! By movers if you can believe it. When we were moving to the house we are in now, we hired a local moving company -- we were only moving a few miles to another town -- and things got hectic at the very end. We had several boxes of albums, and one of them apparently had not been taped closed. The next day when we were shuffling boxes around, I noticed that untaped album box, looked inside, and didn't see my Beatles albums (they would have been in that particular box). Frantic, I checked the other boxes -- no Beatles.  It had to be those movers. It was dark when they finished the move, and things were crazy, so they had ample opportunity to snag a couple of vintage albums. And, the Beatles were at the front of that box.

We had signed off on the move, signifying that we received everything, and there was no way to prove it anyway. Bums me out to this day!

John was always my favorite -- what a talent! And such a loss when he was shot and killed in December of 1980. I had just had my son and was home when the news came on to tell about his death. I always seem to be at home when the big tragedies happen....

Check out this statue of John -- it's in a public park in Havana, Cuba.

If only the world could be like this song...

George was my favorite after John -- I loved when he teamed up with Ravi Shankar. They appeared in my hometown and I remember going to see them. It was a different kind of concert -- quiet and peaceful. I just leaned my head back on the seat back and closed my eyes. Surreal. I cried when he died in 2001.

If you've never heard the Concert for Bangla Desh then you should! It is beautiful. I have the original album and then my hubby gave me the CD box set a few Christmases ago. (we don't have a stereo anymore!)

My Sweet Lord
This is one of my favorites and is on the Bangla Desh album

Did you know that Ringo was the narrator for Thomas the Tank Engine?  I didn't know about Thomas until my granddaughter came along and I enjoyed the cute show and Ringo's voice, and also George Carlin who also narrated it.

I like the way Ringo looks here -- much more handsome!

And, of course, Paul was the cute one!

Google Images 
OK, this one's better...


Abbey Road was the last album they recorded. There have been lots of outtakes of that photo and funny ones made by others -- go here on Google Images to see a bunch! Pretty funny!

♥♥♥  Linking the Beatles to Alphabe-Thursday over at Miss Jenney's where we are studying the letter B.

Jenny Matlock


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Treasury Tuesday!

I am on several Etsy teams that ask their members to make treasuries which promote the items of other team members.

Since I am best at being a procrastinator, I tend to put off making treasuries until the last minute! I'll do it tomorrow I say.... but tomorrow becomes the day after, and that becomes another day after, etc etc!  So I decided that I needed a bit of an incentive to get my rear end in gear and get going on those treasuries!

Thus, Tuesdays will be my treasury day -- not just for my Magnolia Surprise teams, but also for the teams I'm on for my vintage shop, Magnolia's Attic, so the posts will flip flop from blog to blog. The idea is to post on Tuesdays about a treasury that I have made that day, and that will (I hope) make me accountable to make those treasuries!

Plus it will give some promotion to others! An even better reason, don't you think?!

So, for today's treasury, I have found some lovelies from the Craftori Team! This is a marvelous team to be on -- there's a lot of promotion going on. Plus you can post your items to an outside site (for free) that links back to Etsy. Buyers still purchase through Etsy.  Go see here! 

I'd love for you to click on the title and go over to the original treasury where you can leave a comment if you'd like! You can also check out the items and shops from there, or from here by clicking on each photo.

I hope you'll check back on Tuesdays, both here and at my Magnolia's Attic blog, to see some awesome (if I do say so myself!) treasuries!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Bitty Kitty

A few weeks ago I mentioned the four outside kitties who have adopted us and are living in our yard and under the shed. All pics are taken through the glass back door with the highest zoom setting on my camera -- they won't let you get close to them, maybe about a foot away at the closest.

Outside Kitty was first -- now dubbed Patio by my husband. The same husband who originally said "Do Not Feed!" and now goes outside to scoop food every morning and sit with them while they eat their breakfast.  : )

Just look at that fabulous tail, held high and happy!!

Next, Earl Gray appeared (he started out as Big Gray but I decided Earl Gray suited him better!) He is very majestic and comes for breakfast and dinner! 

Then came Cali who, after a day or two brought her kitten that we named Bitty, or Bitty Kitty. 
She is a little one, full of fun and jumps and leaf chasing. 

Is it safe to come out, Mommy?

I'll fluff myself up to look like a big kitty....
but I think I'll still just hide behind Mommy, just in case Patio jumps on me....

She and Patio play and pounce and roll around and around. She's big enough to eat dry cat food and drink water, but from time to time I have seen her in what looks to be a nursing position at Cali's tummy. Or maybe they are just cuddling!

Cali is a good mommy, always keeping Bitty in her view, and watching Patio too.

Well, we haven't seen Bitty today (Sunday), and Patio hasn't been around as much. Cali is either under the shed or sitting looking out past the back fence where there is some wooded land and undergrowth. She just sits there. I'm so afraid that something has happened to Bitty -- and I never even got to cuddle her. I want to reach out to Cali and love her, but she runs away. They are all skittish and, even though we can get near, they run off if we get too close.

Now it's Monday and still no Bitty. Our neighbor said she heard some scratching sounds in our shed so we took a look inside. Something definitely was in there because some boxes were askew and one of my Christmas ornaments bins was knocked down to the floor. Ornaments scattered. Sigh.....

But Bitty is too small to knock down that big plastic bin. (And we did spy some rat droppings. Yuck)

Cali doesn't look toward the shed door, so we really don't think Bitty is in there, but we left the door open a while this morning anyway, just in case.

Cali has been to eat a couple of times already this morning, but no Bitty with her.  I'm sorry I'm sounding so down, but Bitty worked her way into my heart. I do hope she has simply lost her way and will return, or that some nice kitty-loving person has adopted her.

I'll post pics and talk about their cute antics another day, when I don't feel so blue.

Please keep Bitty in your thoughts and purrs  : )


Thursday, November 22, 2012


And so, another round of Alphabe-Thursday begins.....

This time, I thought I would go with a theme, sharing with you various singers, bands, musicians that have played a part in my life -- songs that have meant something, transporting me back in time whenever I hear them. Bands or singers I have loved, whether for one song or for many. Some whose albums or CDs I have bought and some that I just listened to on the radio. Through the decades -- 50s to now.

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

So, for the letter A, may I introduce to you...... Aerosmith!

Can you tell which one is Steven Tyler?

courteous Rhapsody
and now.....
You know, I think older is better!

I guess my very favorite Aerosmith song is "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" from the Armageddon soundtrack.

This from YouTube is beautiful. And if you're one of the five people in the world who has not seen Armageddon, hie thee to a video shop-- it's one of the best movies ever made (in my humble opinion : )

And loved him on American Idol -- I wish he were coming back next season!

♥♥♥  Linking Aerosmith to Alphabe-Thursday over at Miss Jenny's...

Jenny Matlock

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zero, Zip, Zilch and Nada

Zero, Zip, Zilch and Nada

That's what I had for today's study of the letter Z over at Alphabe-Thursday

What could I post about?
the Zoo? no pics (yeah, I know -- can you believe it?!!)
Zippers? noooo, what would I talk about?
Zebras? no, that's right up there with zoo

So what, then?
and there it was....
the first word in my title

Zero !!!

The bestest of the best candy bars!!

I have a real love of Zeros, right up there with Baby Ruths and Peanut M&Ms (and let me tell you, don't EVER give me a whole bag of Peanut M&Ms -- I will eat the whole thing without pause). I have to be sneaky if I eat a Baby Ruth -- it tends to leave little chocolate "bread crumbs" about (so I dare not eat one in the car lest I be found out)!

But Zeros, well it was the white fudge outside that lured me in, 
and the almond nougat and peanuts that made me stay!

And put a Zero in the freezer for a bit --- sheer Heaven!!

I don't know when I discovered Zeros -- they've been around since the 1930s but, no I wasn't eating them then!! Probably found them in a vending machine somewhere when I was in high school.

These are cute wrappers I found -- all dates are approximate

 Wrapper pics from
The wrapper has changed over the years -- this one is from 1931
Note that it's only 1 cent!

1950s and 1960s
This is cute with the polar bear family

Another cute polar bear
This one is dated 2011

Today's wrapper isn't so clever
Just rather plain Jane
But that is a rather cool Z!

But it's what's inside that counts!!

So I'm glad I had Zero, Zip, Zilch and Nada for today, because it reminded me of Zeros!
(and I made my hubby go get me one..... for the photos, you know)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

♥♥♥  I'm linking my yummy Zero over at Miss Jenny's for Alphabe-Thursday where we are studying the caboose letter, Z.             

Jenny Matlock


Friday, November 9, 2012

Kitty Pumpkin!!

Last weekend Noli and mommy wanted to carve another Halloween jack-o-lantern -- so off we went to the nearby Farmer's Market in search of just the right pumpkin.

From yesterday's post you already know that we found some yummy goodies at the market I usually go to, but they didn't have anything but the small pie-making pumpkins left. So they sent us off to another Farmer's Market that's also nearby. I'm lucky enough to be smack dab in between two great Farmer's Markets so no matter which way I'm going, I usually pass by one or the other!

Well, the second Farmer's Market had bunches of big pumpkins (and of course I didn't think to take a pic of all that pumpkin goodness)! But we found a good carving one -- a pumpkin worthy of Noli's artwork!

So after we had our mac 'n cheese (and little green peas) (if you read yesterday's post, you know why that's in italics....) and mommy got off from work, the pumpkin carving began! I left that chore up to the girls; I was on hand as official picture-taker.

Noli's job was to scoop the goop....
a job she immensely enjoyed....

and to draw her design on the pumpkin

Mommy did the carving

Watch those fingers!

 We're not ready to let Noli loose with a sharp knife just yet.... butter knives are more her style but they don't carve pumpkins so well.  (Although she did cut her chicken the other night with a not-extremely-sharp steak knife. That was an experience -- I was hovering over her like a mama hen!)
We'll probably really let her use knives when she's, oh say, thirty!!

Those are kitty ears sticking up

One happy Noli with her Kitty Pumpkin!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Yellow at the Farmer's Market

On the way back from school, Noli and I stopped by the nearby Farmer's Market to pick up a few goodies -- goodies which just happened to be....


 We bought yellow Golden Delicious apples
They are my favorite says Noli (but she wouldn't eat one with dinner). They are my favorite too, says I.
Um, can you tell which one is just a bit different?

Yellow bananas -- these are just about ready.... 
Well, not that glass one -- it never gets ripe!
I can't stand that green taste so when they get really ripe and all nice and speckled, I have to eat cereal with bananas for breakfast and banana sandwiches for lunch!
Noli and mommy can eat them when the peel is still green -- YUCK!! 

Noli wanted to get dried fruit and picked these pineapple chunks. 
Don't they look delicious?
And they are!!
(I keep sneaking them, but shhhhh, don't tell Noli...)

We also got sweet potatoes, or as some call them, yams. 
(For today's Y lesson, they are yams!)
And, er, yam chips!
Yes, that's a clothes pin -- that's what I use for a chip clip. 
We dug into those chips right away!

We had a Noli style dinner of mac 'n cheese and little green peas
(they are NEVER just green peas in my house, always little green ones!)

After dinner a purple cat came to visit... 
she enjoyed drinking her water from a yellow glass...

and mommy entertained us with her guitar.
Hey, that guitar is kinda yellow too!!

We carved a second Halloween pumpkin too, but you'll have to check back in a day or two for that! 

Here's a hint.... it's a kitty pumpkin!
Because if you know Noli, you can expect kitties in all shapes and colors!

♥♥♥  Linking my yellows to Alphabe-Thursday over at Miss Jenny's where we are studying the letter Y.

Jenny Matlock



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