Friday, December 13, 2013

Catching Up...

Wow, it has been such a long time since my last post and some pretty awesome changes have taken place.  Let me see if I can bring you up to date.  Since my last post was in February and it is now December, there is a lot to tell.

I am proud to say that in 2013 I celebrated my 62nd birthday.  It is so amazing - although my chronological age is 62, mentally I feel so much younger.  I can definitely relate to the things my father used to say as he grew older.  I clearly remember him telling me that his brain often played tricks on his 80+ year old body - like telling him that he could still jump high in the air, when in actuality his feet never left the ground.  But the idea that his brain still held on to his youthful way of thinking was encouraging and now I an experiencing that same brain/body relationship.  Over the past few months I have become so comfortable with retirement that the overwhelming desire I had to go back to work is now all a distant memory.  

I continue to make my frequent (and often successful) treks to thrift stores and antique shops and I have invited and encouraged some family members (who I never thought would want to participate in these trips) to experience thrift store shopping.  I think that the mere fact that bargains were found lured them in.  Hmm, let's see if I have any pics of just a few of my recent finds.

Pyrex Coffee Carafe:  $2.49 - my daughter collects Pyrex, so each time I see a piece that I think she may like - I buy it.
THE $5.00 LAMP
I found this floor lamp (on the left) at a yard sale for $1.00 and decided that I wanted to update it.  So, I removed the glass table, used silver spray paint, bought a lampshade at the Salvation Army for $4.00 and, Voila, a new lamp!!!


I love decorator pillows, but they are so expensive.  Found these brand new ones at the Goodwill for $2.99 each. Yep, you heard me, $2.99 each.

Bought this bowl at the Salvation Army for $6.99, which is a major expense for me, but I fell in love with it at first sight.

These matching lamps were $3.99 each at the Salvation Army and the awesome lamp shades were $3.00 each at this a little resale shop called Helping Hands (in Oxford, MS).


Cast iron always brings back childhood memories for me.  I have discovered lovely pieces in great colors and can't resist bringing them home with me.

Yes, that is a cast iron tea kettle on the right.  

I don't even drink espresso, but for $.99 I could not resist this lovely pot.  Perhaps it will inspire me to one day drink espresso.  Who knows?

This bamboo platter on the left was calling out to me at the Goodwill ($6.00).  I would guess it is about 18"-20" in diameter.  I had no idea how I would use it, but I envisioned it somewhere in my eclectic life style, so I bought it touched and it up with some spray paint and now I have it as a wall hanging.  Amazingly, when I moved to Oxford, MS, I found a smaller version (on the right) which is about the size of a dinner plate, at the Goodwill here for $1.79 and the exact same spray painted color.


I long for antique crockery, but each time I find a piece the price is more that I want to pay.  However, I did find this piece at a thrift store in Tupelo MS, called City Thrift (cost $19.00).  I was not exactly sure how it had been used, but I Googled it and found out that it is the base for a water dispenser. I also found out that one of my cousins (who recognized it on my Facebook page) used to work for the company who distributed them. I envision using this as a centerpiece, filled with beautiful live flowers.

I bought this table from a cousin who was relocating to another state and selling some of the furnishings from her house.  It was in her basement, in a corner, covered with dust.  I saw so much potential in it that I had to have it.  It was originally maybe a Cherry Wood finish, but I wanted it to be some color that was eye-catching so I chose to spray paint it this lovely burgundy color (take note that this table and my bamboo platters are all the same color - all from one can of spray paint). 

Somehow, somewhere, I decided that I wanted to step up my coffee drinking from instant to French Press (probably inspired by the coolness of the whole French press process).  While wandering through an antique mall in St. Louis, I found two French Press coffee pots (the larger of which I gave to my daughter, Adrienne.)  I kept the smaller red one for myself.  I now love French Press coffee and my single serve pot works just fine for me.  The yellow one (which I found at Helping Hands) is used to make tea from loose tea leaves.  I have not tried it yet, but have plans to travel to a quaint little grocer in Water Valley to purchase tea very soon.  I will keep you posted.

I found these brand new bowls at the Goodwill.  The larger ones were $3.00 and $2.00 and the smaller ones were $.59 each.  They are so colorful.


While browsing though the Salvation Army in STL I found this awesome trunk.  At one time I owned a trunk that I loved dearly and had for about 20 years, but discovered that it was too costly to have it shipped back to the states from St. Croix so I left it there with good friends.  When I saw this one, I knew I had to have it.  I use it both for storage and as my bedside table - love, love, love it!!!

I found this beautiful vintage pitcher and glasses at the Antique mall in STL.  They are a beautiful coral color with 14k gold trim.  I could not resist this purchase.  It cost me $30 but, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and pay the price.  Haven't used them yet, but I see this set being used to enjoy a cool glass of fresh lemonade. 

 Well, now that I have brought you up to date on my bargains, let see what else has been going on in my life.

Our 2013 Family reunion was held in Los Angeles, California in July.  This was my first trip to LA even though I have family there.  We had a great time and although I know I would never want to live in LA, I certainly would enjoy more visits there.  One of our activities for the reunion weekend was a "70's Night".  We dressed in fashions from the 70's, listened to music from the 70's and had a Karaoke extravaganza (with the disco ball and big wicker chair that was so famous in club photos from the 70's).
The annual picnic was held on the beach and I had an opportunity to go to the Santa Monica Pier.  Sunday dinner was held at the Warehouse Restaurant and from there we went to Fishermen's Wharf where some of the family took a boat ride around the marina while others (including me) stayed on shore and enjoyed the great music provided by some local musicians. 

 I also had an opportunity to see some of Hollywood and the Farmer's Market.   

After returning home from Los Angeles, two days later I took a trip to spend some time with Adrienne and her family in Oxford, MS.  It is always great to visit with them, because there is never a dull moment.  My four granddaughters were as excited to see me as I was to see them and we had a wonderful visit.  I stayed with them for about 6 weeks and we did everything from nature hikes to traveling to Jackson MS to see the two older girls perform with their dance school.  I think I may have some pics from that trip...let's see:  



If you can't tell from the pictures...let me just say we had a great time together.  We had such a good time together that I returned to St. Louis, packed up all my belongings and now I make my home in Oxford, Mississippi.  I will tell you more about my move in my next post. 

See you soon.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

...and I'm feeling good

 I promised myself that I would take better care of me this year and I am making every effort to do so. I have returned to my vegetarian lifestyle, have begun to exercise, and have just learned to LOVE who I am.  In the past I just seemed to live life a day at a time, with no real appreciation for what each day meant.  I realize now that the mere action of waking up each morning, swinging my feet off the bed and standing unassisted is a blessing.  For so many years I have taken that for granted.  I have adopted an awesome prayer that my cousin posted on FB and it has become my daily mantra:  "Dear God, thank you.  Love Beverly"  I repeat this mantra over and over each day.  I know that individuals have their own ways of praying (some more detailed and long winded than others), but I believe that my God is satisfied with a simple thank you.

Health-wise I am feeling good.  I don't have any concrete evidence that I have lost any weight, but I do know that my clothing fits differently and overall I feel healthier.  I used to think that I wanted to loose weight, but now I think I just want and need to feel healthy.  I want to be able to toss away the meds that I am currently taking (although they are all low dosages, I want to be rid of them all).  I know that I am in control of my body and that if I don't love, care for and respect it, I cannot expect anyone else to do so.

I have never been a person who enjoyed cooking, but I think I have found a new love.  I not only enjoy cooking, but find that my food is tasty.  I find myself online searching for healthy recipes, shopping for fresh produce, and learning to use spices that I have not used in the past.

Here are a few pictures of some of the foods that I have prepared lately:

Veggie Fried Rice

Homemade Portabella and Brown Rice Burger

Tofu Salad on a bed of fresh spinach, sweet red peppers and red onions
I am hoping that 2013 is a new start for me...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's In Store For Me In 2013

Wow, I can't believe that we have entered the year 2013.  I can remember when 2013 seemed like some futuristic time.  But, it's here and I am ready for whatever it has in store for me.  I do want to have some input on where 2013 takes me and I want to make some changes in my life that will bring me more happiness.  Some of the things I want to do this year are:  travel, spend more time with my children and grands, and focus on developing a healthier lifestyle.

I have been back in St. Louis for almost 2 years now and I am wondering if this is really where I want to be.  I have experienced living in other places and I enjoyed the experiences.  Don't get me wrong, I love being closer to my family in St. Louis, but I also had a taste of new places and new experiences and my appetite for traveling has been peaked.  I am older, single, my children are grown and I am not so attached to any materials things that I would not give them up if the opportunity to relocate presented itself.

During 2012, I was faced with some challenges; family, financial, emotional and health.  But I survived them all and I feel stronger and more determined that I can live the life I choose if I set my mind to it.  For a long time I was afraid to step out and experience new things, but that fear is gone.  Now I find myself bored with routine, so I need to MAKE A CHANGE IN MY LIFE!!!

My grands continue to provide me with "Granny Bragging Ops" and here are a few"

Jena our dancer in the Nutcracker
Ashni our medal winning fencer
Derek (right) our track star
Derek Sr. and his family
Bijou our scholar

Zion our superstar (this is an old photo, but it's just so cute)
Well these beautiful children are my inspiration to live my life to the fullest.  I want us to make memories together, I want us to explore all that life has to offer (even if we can't do it all together).

I will keep you posted on my 2013 experiences.

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's Been A While...

It has been a while since my last post - quite a while...months!!!  Well, let's see if I can bring you up to date with some of the things that have been going on in my life since that time.

Well, I celebrated another birthday - 61 years and loving it!!!  I can remember as a child thinking that anyone who was 50 years or older was REALLY OLD.  Now, I have passed that 50 year mark and I feel great.  Health-wise I have no real issues, I love my salt and pepper hair, I could probably stand to loose a few pounds (I really need to work on that).  So, all in all my life is great.

Of course, I have the loves of my life (my children and my grands) who always brighten my days.  My son married earlier this year and his wife (pictured below) is a real sweetheart.  She has a daughter who just fell right in place with my grands - it's like they were meant to be a part of my life.

I spent a lot of time working with my siblings and their children planning our family reunion, which was held in July.  This really was a time consuming process, since my sisters and I all live in different cities and our children are also located is different cities.  There was lots of emailing and conference calling to try and pull the reunion together.  I had my first experience in shopping to feed over 100 people - now that was a true experience for me, but I learned a lot from it (lots of returns, exchanges and doubling up).  My niece created our family logo - which is AWESOME:

Our focus this year was to identify the various generations that make up our family.  We had five generations represented this year and each generation was identified by selected colored ribbons (1st generation - purple; 2nd generation - green; 3rd generation - red; 4th generation - blue; and 5th generation - orange).  We had a great weekend - Friday Night Fish Fry, Saturday Picnic in the Park, Sunday Family Worship, Dinner and Closing Program.  It was so good to see so many family members.

On a sad note, my developmentally disabled brother who lived out of state with my younger sister, was very ill the weekend of reunion so he and my younger sister were unable to attend the reunion.  They were greatly missed by all who attended.  A video was made especially for the two of them to let them know how much they were loved and missed.  

He did have an opportunity to view the  video and we hope that he felt all the love that we sent through our messages.  Sadly he passed away 4 days after the reunion was over.  We miss you Jerry!!!   Here's a pic of him in his "Blues Brother" look.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Finding My Creative Self

I have such a huge respect for artists and the things that they can create.  I have always wanted to find some artistic ability inside me, but had never really taken the time or had the courage to search within myself to see if there was an artist inside me.  However, since returning to my childhood home and learning to appreciate being retired, I have had an opportunity to try my hand at some different art projects.  I must say, I have surprised myself with some of the things I have accomplished.  These little accomplishments have given me the courage to try new things.  

My initial art project was to use the pieces from a Jenga game and using simple paint, glue and magnets I created an interchangeable piece of artwork that I proudly display in my kitchen.

Recently, I have been using old magazines to make bowls.  They have turned out nicely and I find that the process involved in making these bowls can be relaxing and therapeutic.  So far I have completed five and my plan is to make as many as possible between now and early April, send them to my granddaughter in MS and let her sell them at their local farmers' market.

I have also learned to make beads from magazine pages.  I haven't really come up with a plan of how to use them, but they are fun to make. 

Of, course I still make my regular visit to the thrift stores, seeking out interesting collectibles.   Haven't found any deals recently, but I won't give up!!