Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fun In The Sun!!!

Today Suzanne and I were at the UpTown Mall in Cedar Hill! This was the water madness we found happening in the center plaza. I wanted to join them, but I might have been officially labeled as that "Crazy Lady" that's running through the sprinklers!!

It was almost as much fun listening to them as watching them.....Their squeals and laughs floated up, down, around, and over the stores. Once hearing was impossible not to go watch them play!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Limit Your Wardrobe to Only Six Pieces......Really????

This morning when I logged onto my Yahoo page, I was met with an idea that smacked me right in the face.......How To Dress With Only Six Pieces!
My initial reaction was this: I honestly reading this correctly???? Let me clean my glasses and read this again......Yep...that's what it said....How to Dress With Only Six Pieces!! Upon reading the article, it didn't mean six pieces at a time. It meant six pieces in the total wardrobe!!

More initial reaction:  Is that even possible???? Now, I know way back when.......decades or centuries before I was even born, people had very little to wear, but is that really something that I want to 2010?? There are so many options out there with discount stores, outlet malls, thrift stores, garage sales, Walmart and Target, do we really have to limit our wardrobe to only six items??

These are the six items the article recommended:
One Black Dress
One pair of Jeans
One white shirt
One quality T shirt
One pair of slacks
One black jacket

Then, after I had a chance to CALM DOWN and Think.......Breathe, Sarah, Breathe, I started to remember my life as a single school teacher. My perspective began to change.....

Let's get real here.....when I was a young and poor twenty-something, to even have six quality items in my wardrobe would have been a miracle. I taught school. My mother helped me with my "work" wardrobe of five dresses. On the weekends I basically wore grunge type clothing.....t shirts and worn out jeans. Since I had no money to buy anything.....thank goodness for my mother.....
I certainly didn't make enough money as a teacher to buy clothing! All my money went to pay for food, rent, and school supplies/classroom teaching aids. Sometimes I had to write IOU's to the school lunch program for food!!

My financial future didn't improve until my future husband arrived to save the day! While I don't remember him donating to my wardrobe, he did help me with school supplies, made sure I was properly fed, and paid half of my apartment rent when my roommate (you know who you are) skipped town with three months left on our lease!

Then, after I married and life became more financially stable, Tim and I made a huge decision. Because he made a good salary, we decided to use our financial resources to bring children into our home via adoption as well as birth. That translates out to buying a lot of clothing at thrift stores and depending on friends for hand-me-downs. None of our children ever complained (they are the most selfless human beings I know).....but, growing up, there were many times when none of them had six pieces of quality clothing in their wardrobes. This is not to say they did not dress nicely, but to have one exceptionally nice shirt and pair of pants or a pretty dress to wear to church was our main goal......None of my kids ever had more than two pairs of jeans when they were growing up......We washed frequently!!!! that over an hour has passed since I first read the Six Pieces of Clothing article on Yahoo, I have a different viewpoint.....At least, I do believe it can be done....Sigh....because I did it with my family for years.....I just forgot! I really WANT to limit my wardrobe to six pieces.....OF COURSE not. I desperately WANT my three black skirts, three black dresses, three French cuff shirts, my three pairs of black slacks, one pair of brown slacks, two pairs of white slacks, and six Danskin T shirts that are sooooo comfortable and make me look like a COOL fifty something woman......Not to mention the six skirt suits that make me look like a classic older woman.....I'm not giving any of it up so I can limit my wardrobe to just six items......So There.....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Few Good Paintings......

Art is one of my great passions in life....
Finally, when I was in my forties, I discovered that
buying paintings for my home didn't have to cost a fortune.....
Paintings can be bought at estate sales, garage sales, and estate auctions.....
They can also be bought at small mom and pop art galleries for a reasonable price!
Check out these paintings.....The most expensive painting was $425.00, while the least expensive was $2.50.

Bought at an antique store for $425.00

Paid $25.00 at a Garage Sale in Highland Park, Dallas.

I bought both of these 19th century rustic paintings at an estate auction. I paid $20.00 for one and $40.00 for the other.

Paid $60.00 at an estate auction.

This painting of Bluebonnets came out of Baylor Hospital in Waxahachie......It was auctioned off with a lot of other paintings. I then bought it from a dealer friend of mine for $325.00.

I bought this large painting for $60.00 at an estate auction. I like it because it reminds me of my daughters Heather and Lindsay when they were little.

Reproduction of the famous painting, Portrait of a Young Woman by Vigee-LeBrun, found in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Cost to me.....$60.00.

Another Reproduction of a famous Madonna/Child picture. I bought this one at an English container auction for $100.00.

I bought this painting at an estate sale in Dallas. The person who painted this floral arrangement came as an immigrant from the Netherlands. I especially like the circular frame. It was painted in the 1930's. This painting cost $50.00.

While one of these paintings is a bit damaged, I still like them. They are signed and dated.....1940. I paid $5.00 for the pair at a garage sale.

These pictures came from Ebay.....$25.00 each.

These pastel portraits are by our artist in residence.....Suzanne.  Suzanne is my youngest daughter. She was seventeen when she drew these!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's In A Name??

When I was born my mother named me Sarah. Sarah means Princess. I like my name. dad called me Sally. He thought Sarah was too formal. He was well intentioned.
 My mother went along with my dad and called me Sally.
Consequently, the name Sally stayed with me.......until I was eighteen and went away to college. At that time I told all the new people I met that my name was Sarah.....Eventually, the name Sally disappeared.....I enjoyed being known by my given name. I felt like a new person. I felt comfortable as Sarah.
Now, I don't want to offend anyone with the name of Sally or Sallie..It's just not my name. My name is Sarah.

Growing up, at the beginning of every school year, I had to explain to my teachers why the name people called me was different from my given name. One year, a high school art teacher made a big deal about the evils of a nickname....From my perspective, she was telling me and everyone within earshot that my parents were negligent by giving me a nickname.

After that, I vowed that once I left home, I would be discarding the name Sally and going by my proper and right name, Sarah.
My mother's sister is also named Sarah. And.... people also call her Sally. You may already have figured this out..... Yes, she was known as Big Sally and I was Little Sally. To me, the only thing worse than being called Sally was being called LITTLE SALLY!!

No one ever thought to ask me what named I preferred. If they had, I would have told them that Sarah is my name....

Recently, via Facebook, I have become reacquainted with my high school classmates. Of course, they all know me as.....Sally. Some of them have asked me why I changed my name......They had no idea that my name has always been Sarah.

Because of all this nickname mania, I never wanted any of my children to have a nickname. But, over the years, a few have acquired nicknames. Some of them have even given themselves nicknames. Joshua likes to be called Josh; Alison wants to be known as Ali, Michael is Mike; Abigail is Abby.......

Does it really matter if a person is given a nickname???  Well, I think it depends on the person. For myself, I obviously would have preferred to have been known as Sarah. My children, while liking nicknames, are also known by their given names. They interchange names at will.

I think it should be up to the person if they are called a nickname. It's just something for a parent to think about. Are you calling your child by a nickname? Have you asked them what they think about the name?

Not everyone wants to be known by a nickname, especially if it's significantly different from their given name. As you can obviously see, calling me by a nickname, especially one so different from my given name, has been difficult. So, new parents might want to think about forcing a nickname on their child. If the nickname comes naturally, and the child has no objections, then there is probably nothing to worry about.

However, some people just don't want to be called by a nickname. It's courteous to ask them what they think about their nickname. That's also  something to think about.....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tenderhearted People Beware of Animal Shelters!!

This young man is a charmer!! He charms me often........Frequently, I give into his smile.... hugs....and complements....etc..etc...etc...

This is my youngest child, Elijah. He is thirteen years old.

Elijah accompanied me to the Prairie Paws Animal Shelter to pick up Charlie, my Schnoodle. (The Pros and Cons of Animal Rescue....Part 1)

Elijah has wanted a dog of his own for awhile. And.....with so many dogs available for adoption at Prairie Paws, we were sure to see a dog that just fit the bill for Elijah.

One look at Radar and we both knew......Elijah and Radar were a perfect match!

How could I say no????

Radar is a Cairn Terrier Mix. Toto in the Wizard of Oz was a Cairn Terrier.

Radar loves Elijah! He follows Elijah around and sleeps in his room.

Radar loves to play "Fetch" and wrestle with Charlie!

So......I won't be going to another animal shelter!! It's hard for me to come home without an animal!

 However, I would definitely encourage anyone wanting to welcome a dog into their life to check at their local animal shelter.

Your family dog may be there waiting for you!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Pros and Cons of Dog Rescue......Part 1

Meet Charlie! Charlie is a Schnoodle that I rescued. Isn't he precious? Initially I spied Charlie on the internet. Prairie Paws Adoption Center in Grand Prairie, Texas lists all their available dogs for adoption. Basically, I first fell in love with Charlie's picture.

Charlie is the perfect dog for me. There's no doubt that he sees me as his master. He is loyal, following me around the house, looking directly into my eyes when I talk to him, sitting on my lap while we watch television, running up to me when I return home......Charlie is a gem!!

On the downside, when I took Charlie to be neutered, it was discovered that he has heartworms. I'm thinking he is in the beginning stages because he is still full of energy. At any rate, Charlie goes in to the vet next Monday to get his first powerful injection of the heartworm drug. Then, he'll have to be carefully watched and quiet for three weeks. At that time he'll go in for another powerful injection and then another three weeks of downtime. The entire process will cost $400.00.

Over the years our family has spent thousands (not exaggerating!) of dollars on sick or injured animals. One of the main reasons I adopted a rescue dog was because I assumed the cost would be less than buying a puppy. Well, not so in this case! Since my husband works so hard to pay for our family expenses, I offered to return Charlie since the vet bill was quickly adding up! Sweet Tim sighed and said, "No, he's your dog. If we return him, he will likely be put to sleep".

Have I ever said Tim is a GREAT GUY!! Yes, well, I can never say it enough!

So......adopting a dog from a shelter is not always going to be a less expensive way to find a dog. But, in Charlie's case, it saved his life. Heartworms are fatal to dogs. The treatment is expensive and extremely dibilitating for a dog. My research revealed that there are herbal treatments, but these treatments take a minimum of six months to be effective.

Heartworms are transmitted via the mosquito. Because of the heat and humidity, Texas is an expecially fertile environment for heartworms. Heartworms can be prevented by giving dogs heartworm preventative. This is in the form of a pill that is taken once a month.

Charlie is my friend! He's going to hang with me for many years ahead.......While, I am sorry he has to go through the heartworm treatment, I'm relieved that it is available!! Well worth $400.00!!

Tune in for Part 2 of this story.......

Tenderhearted People Beware of Dog Shelters!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Girls Day Out!!!

Saturday was Ivy, Abby, and my day for Girl's Time Out!!! Ivy is leaving for UT Austin in a few weeks. The poor girl needed jeans........We hit the jackpot with buy one pair get another pair for $1.00!!

A Girl's Day Out has to include TGIFriday's!!

We finished the day off at the Cinemark.  Inception gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from all three of us!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

In 1955, Leaded Gasoline Was The Only Option!

Why, do you ask, do I have a 1955 Mobil Gasoline Pump in my family room?

I have a 1955 Mobil Gasoline Pump in my family room because I'm a bit unusual, and my husband used to work for Mobil Oil Company.

Actually, Tim worked for Mobil Oil for over twenty-five years......

He loved everything about Mobil Oil.

Tim taught me that the Mobil Pegasus flying to the left preceeds the Pegasus flying to the right.

Eventually, Mobil turned the Pegasus around so he was flying to the right. According to Tim, this was because Mobil was concerned the public would think the people at Mobil Oil were liberals. They preferred to be perceived as conservatives. At the time, flying to the right was considered more politically correct!

Note that the Pegasus on the 1955 gasoline pump is flying to the left.

I bought the 1955 Mobil Gasoline Pump for Tim.

None of his friends have one.....

Which way are you flying?????

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Going Home to Bountiful

Did you know?????
That three famous movies were shot in Waxahachie?
                            Tender Mercies

Places in the Heart

Places in the Heart is the reason we moved to Waxahachie, Tx. The movie had been released just prior to Tim being transferred to Dallas. We loved the movie so much that the opportunity to live in the setting of the movie, Waxahachie, was just too good to pass up.

Trip to Bountiful

Trip to Bountiful is my all time favorite movie.... 
This movie transports me to a time and place of my childhood.
Mrs. Carrie Watts, Geradine Page's character, is a composite of my aunts and grandmothers.
She dresses almost exactly the same way my grandmother Pearl dressed.
Singing the old time hymns such as Blessed Assurance, reflects the Southern Baptist heritage of my dad's family.
We would travel to Houston, Texas, at least once a year to visit my grandparents...
Just as Carrie Watts wants to visit Bountiful, her childhood home, once more before she dies, I would cherish the moment, if possible, to revisit a family gathering at my grandparent's home in Houston.....enjoying a big family dinner with my grandparents and parents, aunts, uncles and cousins....all of us gathered around the huge table on my grandparent's davenport....
As the old saying goes, "You don't appreciate what you have until you don't have it anymore" goes it for me... I miss my extended family terribly...I'd love to have them all back if only for awhile..
I guess that goes with growing older and being the "oldest" living generation....
 I love it that I live in Texas.
I was born in Beaumont and this is home to me........
And, living in Waxahachie, the home of such Texas classics as Tender Mercies, Trip to Bountiful, and Places in the Heart is a pleasant reminder of my childhood family.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday Night Date Night

Every Saturday night, barring some catastrophe, Tim and I have a DATE! We've been doing this for about the past fifteen years. Trust me, it is much needed, and has helped us keep the romance alive.........not including, of course, the times we argued about something stupid like whether movie popcorn was really okay to eat or if it would cause us to slowly die a buttery cholesterol death while we watched two hundred movies or so over the next four years......... Eating popcorn with the movie is so engrained in my soul that I become anxious at the mere thought of eliminating it from my movie routine for even one Saturday night!!

ANYWAY........This month our son, Isaac, has some of his visual art pieces on display at the Crooked Tree Coffee House in Dallas. So, of course, we, as his parents, want to see and appreciate all of Isaac's artistic achievements.....Quite on the spur of the moment, we postponed our usual movie fare and headed off to the Crooked Tree.....

Once inside, we were astonished to see that the place was full of twenty something students studying..... That's right....studying!! What normal American young person studies on a hot Saturday night in July?????  The place was sooooo quiet!! The comfy chairs, sofas, and tables were occupied with SERIOUS students reading, writing, and diligently typing on their laptops....At that moment, I became as proud of every student there as if he or she were my own child. 

Good for them.......

Isaac's works hung from the walls of the "Orange" room.

This was my favorite:

While I took pictures and drank a cup of coffee, Tim checked out the library. Then, we were off on our DATE......

Okay, not so quickly.......we sat out in front of the coffee house for about twenty minutes trying to decide which movie to go see......We came up with nothing.......We thought about seeing Knight and Day, but it had already started with the next feature not beginning for another two hours.... So, we drove across Dallas...

straight into the waiting bookshelves of

Half Price Books

Not just any neighborhood Half Price Bookstore,

But, the largest Half Price Book Store in the Dallas area..

This is the "Happiness" that greeted us!

Clearly, there are enough books here to read for a lifetime and never be done with the reading.......

And.........check out this COOl Lego Art display...

Half Price Books was even showing the movie, Spider Man on an inflatible movie screen outside......For Free.

We probably would have watched the movie except for the fact that we had no outdoor chairs with us and did not relish sitting on the concrete for two hours...

                               So, we spent a good long while
                       Cruising the mammoth book collections.


             Finally, after a heart pumping, jampacked evening 



            We found our way to the Cheese Cake Factory

                             What else.....Cheesecake!!