Wednesday, November 28, 2012


In a recent post my fun friend Linda Beam from Stager Linda posted 


I thought it was so wonderful that I immediately copy/pasted in an email to my large and kookie family

Hubs when I was telling him what KB said:  You forgot to send it to me
Well indeed I did...when I email own email comes up as a choice (since we have the same name :-) and I sent it to myself..sorry hon)
From KB: Ths is fab!!!  Going to do my part to make it go viral!  How do I do that?
From Robert: Well I helped that Gangnam guy's dance go viral. Until I showed him how to do the dance it was just a just a song!

From my mother: 
O.K., Gina:  I decided to start doing all of the numbers you listed for the "2012 Christmas Game".
 1.  I went to WalMart today and everyone I met down the aisles, I roared "Merry Christmas!" 
2.  I sent a Christmas ACEO to a friend from my ACEO group that I had not communicated with since 2008.  She answered by email with a WOW!!!
3.  I took a cup of coffee to Clay's Dumpster Girl Friend (who comes by with her pushcart and goes through our dumpster).  She looked at me and refused the coffee.
4.  I didn't have a $5.00 bill to leave in the store isle, so I just emptied my change purse (mostly pennies) for someone to discover.
5.  Then I went to the grocery store...but I didn't have any money to give to the bell ringer, so I just roared "Merry Christmas"  to him.
6.  I went to the fast food (Church's Chicken) to get some food coupons to give away; I forgot why I was there, so I just ordered chicken for me and Jet's supper.  Does Jet (my dog) count?
7.  I will do later (family gift exchange), I have to check out what I have left over from the garage sale Ross and I had.
8.  I climbed up in the attic and got down my "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" and made one ornament for it.  

As for me?  we don't have bell ringers but we do have others that would enjoy a cup of warmth; the kids down the street superglued 2 quarters to the sidewalk...I think I might go leave some change there;  and I think I'll dig out the Wishing Ball that I tucked away because we don't always have the same people in our family from year to year...and... I will look forward to the rest of the list!

Here is the game from Linda...Thanks Linda!

Christmas 2012 Game  
This is a year when so many have so little.  In an effort to focus on fun, frivolity, helping, sharing, caring and giving, let's share our wealth of spirit and generosity.

1.  From today through Christmas, greet a stranger with a roaring, "Merry Christmas!"
2.  Send a Christmas Card with a personal note to a distant relative, old friend, or business associate that you don't typically connect with during the holidays.
3.  Take a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to a bell ringer, construction worker, traffic cop, parking lot attendant, or human billboard.
4.  Make someones day!  Leave a $5 bill or dispense five $1 bills on a sidewalk, park, parking lot, store aisle or playground for someone to discover.
5.  Contribute to an organization, individual, or family and share the reason and what it means to you.
6.  Be a not-so-secret-Santa!  Buy a $5 book of fast food coupons and enclose it in a Christmas Card.  Present the card to a grocery clerk, receptionist, vet tech, or bank teller, etc.
7.  For our family gift exchange, find a book, CD, DVD, picture, poem, quote you already own and cherish.  Wrap it with a note to explain the meaning behind it.
8.  Also for our family gift exchange, re-gift something foolish or of no use to you. Present it creatively in anything but store bought gift wrap. 
9.  Make an ornament for our family tree. Be original and creative!
10. Bring a prop or costume to wear for our family Christmas Holiday photo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I'm not a scrooge by any stretch of the imagination
in fact, you won't find a person more into the season
whatever that season may be!

And I consider myself very lucky to be mother to children who share the same holiday spirit
we don't do black Friday, or Cyber Monday or shop till you drop Christmas

our holidays are simple and without any kind of flair except
lots of cooking, wining, decorating and hanging out

and so....I do love to decorate 
under my trees you won't find presents
but you will find the greatest gift

The garden tree
now located in the atrium
features lots and lots of nature ornaments

brings the greatest feeling of 

beneath it is this nostalgic manger scene from years and years gone by

In the music room you will find a heavily flocked tree also with nature ornaments
Me and Pops have owls on our!

My mother made this bejeweled nativity in the late 1960's

Baby Jesus has gone I just place a tiny gift here
I think it's the perfect answer, don't you?

In the entry are a grouping of 3 trees that have mirrors, tree ornaments, peacocks, fancy chairs
and gold and green balls

and this very old manger scene that we bought an estate auction
Why is Baby Jesus always missing?
So we can find Him!

In my kitchen at the baking station where no one bakes
a tiny glittery nativity

and my grandmother's handwritten recipes

yummy goody ornaments

Nutcrackers and baking utensils

even in the powder room
a wooden tree
with a teeny tiny nativity from Peru
I know why Baby Jesus is missing...little bo peep loves to play with Him

And perhaps my very most favorite nativity in all the world
We found this under some rubble as we were tearing out the old garage apartment
covered in dust an other bad stuff
It lives in an art niche in a prominent place to remind us throughout this season

why we celebrate
and that yes
oh yes....
Wise men 
seek Him

Friday, November 23, 2012


This is a complex story but one worth reading 
if you believe


I was a hostess for a dear friend's daughter's bridal shower, which I missed
she heytelled me and sang to me 
"I have your hostess gift and I bought you something at a yard sale"

Late October
I found a photo of my mom and dad in my granddaughter's bedroom
I was telling my youngest daughter how pretty Honey was and that she was in a curvy stage of her life
I thought it was kind of strange as my dad's date of death was October 14
so this photo made me very sentimental
note his book collection

Mid November
I am finally preparing for art lessons to begin in January so was researching programs online 
  I had narrowed it down to 2 and finally selected
with this program there will be history and technique
we will take one artist at a time to study who they were,  how they painted and their impact on the world
And then we will paint how they did.  I am very excited!

I am at my computer and think I hear my front door open and shut...could be the UPS man
I later rush out the door to get Betty at school and notice a gift sack and 2 time to look
when we get back from school and store I pick up this little gift that someone has left just inside my door

It was a sweet hostess gift from my longtime friend and two art books
Under the first one is a book (both coffee table style) called

I immediately heytell my friend to thank her and mention how incredible it is... this coincidence...
this book she purchased at a yard sale and my art class plans

In fact...I was so touched by the coincidence that it brought tears to my eyes
(I talk too long and my heytell message is cut short)
She heytells me back..."I did get your message and I don't know how much you know about the books...long pause...

but they belonged to your dad

Backup to August in Amarillo
It seems she went to a yard sale, thought the girl looked familiar from her church, they struck up a conversation and discovered they were both from Spearman 
"I am going to buy these books for my friend"
"Who is that?"
"my name"
"I was married to her brother"
"these books belonged to her dad"

As I sat last night and opened the books, page by page, caressing each one
and taking in the fragrance of the old paper... 
knowing that my dad would have done the exact same thing, 

I could not help but believe that he was sitting up above, looking down at me 
in this old rock house that my mother begged him to buy in 1965
in an illustrious circle
sharing a smile
DaVinci, Monet, Picasso,  his family, my grandparents, his yet to be grandchildren
looking down with a loving smile as if a thousand years are only moments
he thinking of his precious family
Three Graces
His mother, his granddaughter and a Grace yet to be?

and the artists thinking of the impact they have had and continue to have
 with no idea their talent would fill the pages of a book purchased in a yard sale
that will be used from now on

to teach little kids in an upstairs studio in an old rock house

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


In the summer of my 5th grade year
I was riding my bicycle down Barkley Street and I stopped in front of 822

I said to myself in just a whisper
"Pretend you live here and you live here with a man who will give you diamonds"

I have never forgotten the scene in Far and Away
where Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise had broken into a home

and they sat down in front of a diamond window as the snow falls behind them
she said

"Pretend you love me and I am your wife"

and he said

"I pretend"

and they kissed

Our lives are not like the movie
instead it is filled with
hammers and nails and ladders and saws
we have painted and caulked and plumbed and wired
 are the demolition crew
the pool boy
 the sod layer 
the grass mower
 the base coat guys
the apprentice on a 25 foot ladder
the tile cutters
the rock stackers
and most days in a very unromantic state of being

but the heart and soul of 822
building something to last forever for those we love

 just recently I remember that wish so long ago
and I realize that I do indeed live here with man who has given me diamonds
and the only one thing greater than my abundance 

via last Christmas

is my gratitude for it

I hope that you find yourself in this time of Thanksgiving
giving thanks for all the things you hold dear

Monday, November 19, 2012

THE CHEAPEST SKATE OF ALL here are the photos of the poor pitiful 
I'm proud to say that I think I spent a whopping
on towels and light bulbs
coming in at 
under budget!

 Paint the counter top...I know I know...high maintenance 
but hey...I'm the go-to girl on this one and I know where the paint is

Window cubby with chandy and grasscloth
still need to get a shade but I have to do that in Amarillo
so later I will add in a tank of gas to go with the shade and spend my savings
at Hobby Lobby
still under budget!

Miss Betty Bubble Hat
and a fern

Man I love this angel...we bought her in Madrid....New Mexico that is!
she will eventually go in my dressing room
and this cabinet will be but a memory
that's why I didn't worry too much about painting it

Oh how pretty

 Remove cabinet doors 
See those new towels with brown ribbon I bought on sale at Alco?
They match the brown tub
I really do like the accent tile...I even like that curry color
but it will also be a memory
got an elephant in your room?  Put a ribbon on it!

I just love these little lavender sachets I bought from 
they smell divine and I have several of them that I love to squeeze and toss

I also love old postcards

A lifetime supply of Q-tips in shiny glass jars

I'm quite serious about river rock in the sink
kind of Zen-ish to me

I always say...if you're paying high dollar for a room and they have cute soap?
the trick is, each day you have to put it in your suitcase so they refill it
then you can leave with enough to fill a pretty antique bowl

vintage tea towels for fun

There's that darlin' Miss Betty Bubble Hat again!

and those wonderful smelling sachets!

See the other new towels I bought?  I took back a rug that was the wrong color and exchanged for these towels...still have to put in the window sill

An old cracked bowl filled with loose lavender and little rose balls
I tell you...I love shopping at my house!

Not bad...not what it will look like someday...but not bad
I can live with it being the last project

also coming in under budget

but not on time...oh well...can't have it all!
This cute carpenter and his cute helper both have day jobs!

do I drive folks crazy with my angel picture, chandelier and cross bottle in the window
before the tile is complete?
I'm guessing a big fat 
It helps me have faith past this!