FALL ART

Hooray for fall break…and 2 whole uninterrupted days with my Little Man! I’d take him the whole week, but his other grandparents would surely not agree! Yesterday was mostly spent in the outdoors doing ‘guy stuff’ with his Pa. But today was mine! We played Star Wars, and grocery shopping, raced with Finn, played a game or two with Uncle Alex…and had plenty of time left for some art!

I found these little burlap drawstring bags at Hobby Lobby in a pack of 4 for around $3.

We had a few ideas of what to do with them…but decided on making a stuffed scarecrow face for Levi’s fall tree.  I sectioned off a portion for the hat, then Levi drew a face on the bag with chalk…following a picture of a scarecrow in a book. Chalk is good for an initial outline, as it wipes off easily. He then drew right over his chalk lines with his Crayola Markers. Grabbed the fiberfill and filled the bag…then tied it off with a tight knot. It looks great on his tree!

You could get darker colors with Sharpies…but they bleed through burlap…and I really don’t like using Sharpies with children.  They stain their fingers and everything else they touch.  And, they stink!  Now, I use them all the time…but with Levi…not so much.  You could even use craft paint and get a better coverage…but, we wanted a quick and easy project and paint is more tedious.  And, there are days when tedious is NOT a good thing!

I also found these great raw wood pieces with an easel back…Hobby Lobby, $4, differing sizes.

I bought them without a project in mind…knowing they could be painted all sorts of ways. Levi decided on a pumpkin. Again, we used white chalk to draw first…erasing with a wadded up paper towel. Took him a while to be satisfied, but once he was, we used a chip brush and acrylic craft paint.  I showed him how you use red and orange and yellow to get variations on the color.   After it dried, I showed him how to take off a little of the paint by sanding lightly with sandpaper.  This helps the wood to show through in spots and gives a nice look…not so shiny!   I think he did a great job with his design and his painting.

Well, the title got a little wonky…but it only adds character.  Right?

Another Lulu/Levi project.

 

BANANA BREAD

I am beyond happy to be a Lulu to my sweet Levi!  We have such fun together and I love to make his wishes come true….within reason, of course.

He had stayed with me one Friday while he was sick and had to be out of school.  We rested and did a few fun things and watched some cartoons and just had a sweet day.  So, it was in this frame of mind, that I heard his latest request.

Levi, “Lulu, can you make banana bread?

Lulu…..”Yes, I have made banana bread before.  Would you like me to make you some?

Levi……”Well, yes, I would.  But, I would like you to make enough so I can take it to share with my friends at school, too.  And, the other first grade teachers too!”

Lulu…..”Well, that’s a lot of banana bread, Levi!

Levi…..”But, you can do, can’t you, Lulu?”

Lulu….”Yes, Little Man, I will do that for you.”

Levi…..”Can we make it right now?”

Lulu…..Well, first I’ll have to buy some bananas and let them get really ripe.  Then we can make it.”

And, that’s what I did.  I bought bananas and set them on the cabinet to ripen.  Every morning when he came to the house before school, he would ask if they were ready yet.  Then Suzanne bought me a big bag of bananas from school.  So we had plenty of very ripe bananas now!

Yesterday, I gathered all the supplies and made 4 loaves of banana bread!  UMMM!  It smelled so good!  I called Levi and told him I had it ready.  Since Suzanne was taking him to school today, she came by to pick it up to take to school when she went.  By the time they got here, I had cut into one loaf to make sure it was edible!  Oh!  And it was!  Suzanne loved it, Don loved it and I loved it.  Levi took a bite.  He didn’t say anything.  He put it down and went on about his business.  Strange, I thought.

Well, I wrapped it all up and got it ready for Suzanne to take.

Levi….”Thank you, Lulu.  I am going to share it with my friends tomorrow.  And the other teachers in first grade.”

When I went back inside, I saw the piece I had cut for him…uneaten.  Hmmmm.

I may or may not have eaten it…since it was already cut and all.

Later on that evening, Suzanne called me and she told me again how good the bread was.  Then she said, “But, Levi was not too fond of it.”

Lulu…..”Well, I thought he liked banana nut bread…isn’t that why he asked me to make him some?”

She asked him if he liked it and he said he liked it just a little bit.

Lulu…”Levi, why did you ask me to make it if you did not even know if you liked it?”

Levi….”Well, see…I was watching Mickey Mouse Club and Mickey and his friends were going somewhere.  So they asked Clarabelle the Cow to make them some banana bread to take with them to share with their friends!  And, I thought that was a good idea!”

Lulu…”Let me get this straight…you never tasted banana nut bread before…but since Clarabelle made some for Mickey and his friends to share…you thought I should make some for you to share.”

Levi…”Right!” ” I just thought it sounded like a nice thing to do.”

(Oh, my, does he think of his Lulu when he sees Clarabelle the Cow?   No.  Surely not!)

 

UPDATE…Today…

This morning when Levi came I asked him about the banana bread.

Levi…..It was great, Lulu.  I got to be the waiter and give it to my friends.  Then I got to take Mrs. Mann and Mrs. Mayes some…and Mrs. Jones.”

Lulu…..”What about Mrs. Brown?  

Levi…..”Well, she got her own piece!”

Lulu….”Did your friends like it?”

Levi…..Well, Cal and Winston sure did!  They wanted another piece!  But, Grayson said he did not like it.  I whispered to him, ‘That’s OK…I don’t like it either!”

And, so the banana bread story ends.  Isn’t it funny how we think we are doing things for one reason and it turns out that we did it for something entirely different?  

You never know where and when inspiration will strike.  Levi had a great idea…even if it did come from a cartoon.  He seized on that thought and applied it to his little world.  That makes me very happy.  How thoughtful it was for him to carry that idea on to the next step.  I pray his heart is always attuned to making others happy and finding ways to bless his friends. I wonder if we are as in touch when God whispers in our ear a way in which we can be a blessing!

However…before I bake anything for him again…I’ll make sure he knows what it is I’m making!

 

 

FALL IS IN THE HOUSE

 

Fall is here.  Have you enjoyed a few cool mornings lately like I have?  Feels nice, doesn’t it?  It has taken a while but I have gotten my fall decor out to spruce up the house.  I love to walk through and see the autumn touches that remind me of this lovely season.

The front door…

This beautiful wreath was a gift from Shirl and Tina quite a few years ago…one of my favorites!  Bought these fall colored ferns this year at Hobby Lobby.  There are 3 bushes in each pot.  Love the tie in with the wreath and the door!

The mantel…done in whites this year…

This beautiful vase was a gift from sweet Suzanne for my birthday.  It looks like a hollowed out log…and was the inspiration to go with whites and twigs on the mantel this year!

I wasn’t sure I liked the church in this spot and was contemplating trying something else.  Levi heard me talking to Suzanne about it and said, “Lulu, I like that church.  I think you should not move it!”  And, so it stayed.  Smart boy.  The church was a gift from Ian many years ago.

The coffee table…

I found these needle felted pumpkins just this week at TJMaxx.  They yelled at me so loud, that I had to put them in my buggy just to quieten them!  They are fabulous!  Found the ‘Grateful and Blessed’ pillows at Hobby Lobby this year!

 

Levi’s tree…with all decorations done by him..with a little help from Lulu. He decorates the island next to his place and loves to put these teeny tiny ornaments on this teeny tiny tree.  The truck is an antique from the 40’s.  Bought it in Franklin, Tenn.  Looks like it has seen much play over the years, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

The big table…

Love my dishes from Pier One from several years back.  They are melamine, but sure don’t look like it!  Found the glasses at HomeGoods.  Cloth napkins are from TJMAXX last year.

 

The buffet…

 

Don’t you love the colors on these floral picks?  Found them at Hobby Lobby this year.  They have either a gourd or a pumpkin on each.  Bought the small cotton pieces there, too.  They came in a bag of about 20.

A piece I did several years ago…love this verse!

 

 

Enjoyed sharing my home with you.  Hope your fall season is full of cozy gatherings with lots of hot cocoa!  Oh, and candy corn, too!   Enjoy!

 

 

SQUIRRELS and BATS

Squirrels and bats…bats and squirrels…anyway you say it its just not a pleasing combination.  Now, squirrels, I have watched playfully running and jumping from tree to tree, scurrying round the tree trunk chasing a friend….even trying to figure out my bird feeder…unsuccessfully, I may add. They can be amusing.  Dogs like them…and so do little boys.  Then there are bats…bats….NO,  there is nothing I can say good about them…except they dine on mosquitos!  And, that one took his dying breath along side my driveway a year or so back…and Levi was able to see what a bat looked like up close.  No, we didn’t touch it!

Several, SEVERAL, months back, I heard running over my head.  Tiny little steps.  I thought they were on the roof.  They were not.  They got louder and louder. At odd times during the day, I would hear them.  Still not knowing they were inside.  Scratching…by tiny little claws…close to me, but hidden.  And, it was then I realized there was not an attic separating them from me…there was only a ceiling between us.  Scratching the floor…you know how a dog will find something in the grass and he will scratch  really fast for a few seconds then stop and sniff…then scratch again.  Like that.  It was freaky. I would hit the ceiling where they were…which was around my dining table…and they stopped.  I went back to bed after closing all the air vents in my bedroom…just in case one of them tried to gain access.  I told Don when he got home and he said he “never heard them so it must not be true…I was hearing things.” !!??!!!?  And, for sure…sometimes I wander over to the crazy side for a visit…but I wasn’t visiting when I heard this.  A few more nights, I’d hear the same thing.  He was never around when it happened.  Then I heard thumping.  What could they be doing?  Do squirrels thump their tails or something?  Or were they engaged in frisky play that would result in a litter of little squirrels doing their homework in my attic?  This happened over and over for months!

I fussed….I fumed…I complained….I even nagged…it’s possible I did even worse, too.  I wanted them out.  And, today was not soon enough.  Yesterday was better, but it was gone and that made me madder!

Finally, he called a man with a catchy name who came out and checked into it for us.  He gave us definitive news.  We had squirrels in our attic and a nice community of bats, as well.  Living peaceably together in MY attic.  “Get them out!”  says I.  He responds that he can surely get them out….the ones he can find.  But, he finishes with the statement that there is nothing he can do to KEEP them out.   That’s not his job.  He’ll GET them out…but that’s the extent of it.  Then if their grandma and fourteen second cousins come back the next night…he would have to come back.  And, then he reminded us of this archaic law of the land.  IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO KILL BATS.  Did you know that?  Well it is.  So to get them out, he would have to lure them out of a device and then fix said device so they could not get back in.   But, that still was not his job.  We were on our own.  This nice man did get a 4 foot rattlesnake out of my garage once.  But when I told him recently that my yard person saw 3 Copperheads under the wooden shed in the backyard, he did not offer to come and rescue me once again.  But, he said, if they were able to make it up onto the porch or into the garage..call him!  THAT’s his job!

There is not someone here in our town that will get monsters out of the attic and prevent them from returning.  No one in our fair city offers this service.  So Don found a company out of Marietta, Georgia that does this very thing…gets ’em out and keeps ’em out.  And, they happen to have a man stationed in Panama City, FL.

The Bat Man comes to our house and makes the acquaintance of all those residing upstairs.  Then he shows us where they are entering and leaving.  The bats in one place…the squirrels another.  They have managed to hone in on a wonderful setup…if you are a bat or a squirrel.  We have those louvered vents all along the house and they are made of metal.  So the trap he has will not work.  He has to rig up something to get them out…and then cover all the louvers.  Because he cannot break the law and kill them.   Then he will clean the attic and fumigate.  And all will be well.  He worked for 2 weeks.  He set traps for the squirrels that I could hear snapping shut during the night!  To trap the bats he made traps that looked like big black garbage bag flags flying from all the vents of my house.  So classy!

The squirrel family…the wayward brother…always bringing girls home with him…creep4

The Mom who was the lookout in case the bats crossed the line…

creep2

The Head of the Crime Syndicate…Mr.. Whiskers…

creep3

 

And, Bob, the playful sibling…..

creep1

These were the only ones I could capture on camera…

And here are the Bats….Dad…keeping the whole house under observation…

creep6

The 3 worthless brothers who just ‘hung around’ all day…

creep 4

And, the babies, they tucked in gently every night while they all left to frolic in the moonlight!

creep5

Finally, we were told all the bats were out and cleaning would commence…followed by disinfection.  The cleaning out, I did not see..but after the disinfection…I had to leave town.  It was chemical laden and drifted down into the people part of the house.  It actually made me physically sick.  Thank goodness I had a little cottage at the beach to hold up in for a few days.  And, I did.  With my sister.  It was nice.  However the television was not working so we had to entertain each other with singing and dancing and skits and plays. I prefer TV.  But I digress.

I came home and the smell was still there.  But different…actually, it was worse…lots worse.  The Bat Man came back…said a couple of the brothers had hidden out under the insulation and he had to take care of that.  He did.  I had a day or two of peace.  Then Don had to leave on a trip last Thursday.  By Saturday… that most awful smell was back in my house…again it made me physically ill.  Don walked in from his trip and caught a whiff!  He called the Bat Man before he even put his suitcase away.  He came the next day.  3 squirrels and 1 bat, had been trapped inside, but had succumbed to the elements and chose the attic as their final resting place.  Not fine with me.  He got them out…I lit every candle I had.   By morning all evidence of death was erased.  Gotta buy some more candles!

And, now its been a week.  If I hear a limb or a pinecone hit the roof…I go into panic mode.  But, so far, so good.  After I picked up all the scrap metal netting and screws out of the yards and out of the pool…hopefully all traces of this horrid event will fade from my memory.

But, remember  year or so back when the chimney sweeps (little birds) got into my fireplaces and laid nests?  You may not, but I distinctly remember them because they would chose 2 o’clock in the morning to teach their little ones to sing. Their chirping sounding like squawks.  It echoed and reverberated throughout the house.  It was spooky. We told them to leave and made lots of noise.  We watched a lot of them fly out.  We gave them plenty of warnings.  And then lit a fire.  They didn’t comeback.  But, wire netting is covering all the chimneys now, too…just in case!

Stay away, critters.  We do not deal nicely with unwelcomed guests!

And I betcha Don believes me next time I hear something in the attic!  If he doesn’t, I have The Bat Man on speed dial!

 

SHOES

Now I, for one, would never even think of walking out of my bedroom in those stilettos Melania had on.  I would never have bought them in the first place!  But I was raised in South Alabama where the occasion for me to wear that kind of heel was few and far between.  Most people at church on Sunday would not have been impressed and the school board banquets and the hospital banquets I attended in dressy attire were so crowded no one noticed my feet!  Stilettos were not and are not a part of my life.   Oh, I think they are beautiful and boy do they make a woman’s legs look fierce…but, usually there were 3 snotty nosed boys hanging on my legs and I had to keep my wits about me!

Melania, on the other hand, was raised in Slovenia and other places far away and much more exciting than Dothan.  She can speak 5 languages!  Wow…I slip up on English sometimes, don’t you?  And, she was a runway model…one of those lovely creatures with no hips that sashay down a runway on the highest, skinniest heels possible and it is second nature to them.  Actually I think their feet are formed in a different way than ours.  I am sure the places she goes and the people she moves with all wear those type of shoes.  I mean, my goodness, her hubby is a trillionaire!..  So she can afford to wear whatever shoe she wants and have it custom made to fit her foot!  And, I say, “More power to her”  She is definitely a big step up in our first lady department!   She always dresses appropriately.  She always looks put together.  She wears what she likes and it looks good on her.  She represents us well around the world.  Not that very many of us could afford to dress as she does, but she sure does not go lacking in the way she presents herself as the First Lady.

President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, gives a thumbs-up as they walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., then onto Texas to survey the response to Hurricane Harvey. The hurricane is the first major disaster of Trump's presidency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, gives a thumbs-up as they walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., then onto Texas to survey the response to Hurricane Harvey. The hurricane is the first major disaster of Trump’s presidency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

 

Now…this fashion BOBO that had words to say about her wearing her stilettos to the plane as she and the President took off to Texas is full of baloney.  First of all…who is she?  And where did she come from?  And what gives her the right to speak about our First Lady?  And who even asked her?.  And who would take her word for anything?  Who ever told her that she looked good?  OH! MY!

**************************************************************************************

MEET THE ‘VOGUE’ WRITER WHO CRITICIZED FLOTUS’S SHOES

A bone-chilling digital howl rippled across the Internet as the powder-faced Gargantua calling itself Lynn Yaeger lurched over to the keyboard to unleash hellfire on the First Lady.“Oh, Melania,” Lynn Yaeger curdled. “In the words of the late, great Lou Reed, you ‘couldn’t hit it sideways,’” after accusing the White House of failing to “understand optics.”The brute in a red wig-like cap, black lipstick, and frayed, tattered rags seized on footage of the graceful First Lady as she boarded Air Force One for a visit to flood-ravaged Texas.“This morning, Mrs. Trump boarded Air Force One wearing a pair of towering pointy-toed snakeskin heels better suited to a shopping afternoon on Madison Avenue or a girls’ luncheon at La Grenouille,” Lynn Yaeger–who hails from a beneath-the-floorboards, cannibalistic tribe of journalists known as Contributing Fashion Editors at Vogue– howled.In her article Lynn Yaeger remained untethered when told by a spokesperson that Lady Melania had a change of shoes awaiting her on the plane. When Mrs. Trump did de-plane in Texas she was photographed wearing sensible sneakers.“But what kind of message does a fly-in visit from a First Lady in sky-high stilettos send to those suffering the enormous hardship, the devastation of this natural disaster?” the beast grumbled, leaving many to suspect had she not been turned down at the high school prom by the hideous fish-God Dagon her career might have turned out different.

According to Internet lore, the immortal spent 20 years writing for the now-collapsing weekly The Village Voice before joining Vogue. She is suspected to have the ability to cast spells over other cretins who stalk the pages of fashion magazines, as evidenced in a 2016 New York Times Style Section profile titled “Lynn Yaeger: Fashion Muse.”

“Sing, muse, of crinolines piled in layers, of blunt-cut bobs and Cupid’s bow lips?” the paper wrote to the tune of Pan’s flute.

“Inspirations come in many forms during the fashion collections. It has been a surprise, though not an unwelcome one, to find that this season, an unexpected one joins their ranks: the fabulously eccentric fashion writer Lynn Yaeger.”

Featured image via Vogue.com …………….

copied from milo.yiannopoulos.net

**********************************************************************************

I find it so amusing that someone who looks like this even thinks she has the right to talk fashion to anyone!  Especially our First Lady!  Of course, there is no record of her retracting her statement or making an apology when Melania exited the plane in tennis shoes.  Of course not!

adg8

It all comes down to good manners.  What business was it of hers to stick her nose into this?  Who, in this great big world, values her opinions?  Especially in matters of fashion and good sense?

I mean we have all seen folks…even here in our little smidgen of the world…who make mistakes in the manner of dress.  Whether it be too tight or shows too much cleavage, or is out dated or not appropriate for the setting.  Do we take out a page in the Dothan Eagle and tell the whole world what WE think they could do better?  Why, no!  We just say, “Bless her heart, she got confused.”  and let it go at that.  Then if we see her doing better, we’d march right up to her and tell her how nice she looks.  That’s what us Southern girls do.  But, we tend to have more sense and compassion than lots of folks in this world, don’t we?

Besides, even Melania isn’t gonna wade around in knee deep water in her snake skin 4 inch Manolo Blahniks…she’s got more sense than that!

Maybe she’s from Southern Slovenia!

SLIME

So…ya wanna know how to make slime? Well, here’s the scoop!

6 ounce bottle of Elmer’s Glitter Glue…

1 1/2 tbsp. of contact lens solution…

1/2 tbsp baking soda.

Mix the glue and baking soda together well…then add the contact solution and mix in.

Stir till it forms a ball, then remove from bowl.

(At this point, DO NOT put it on a towel…you will have to throw it away…just saying)

If it looks like the yuckiest mess you have ever seen in your life… and you feel like you have 100 sticky spider webs between your fingers…and you are wondering why in the world you ever did such a thing…RELAX.   Get the contact solution and squirt a lot into the sticky mess in your hands.  Ask your grandson who is jumping around like a Mexican Jumping Bean trying to get to the slime to grab the contact solution bottle out of your hand.  It will be stuck securely to your palm.  When you again have the use of both hands, begin to knead the whole confounded glittery mess …mixing in all the solution that is running down your arms and pooling on the table.

And WHOOSH!...just like that…the stuff starts to stick together and gel and actually becomes fun to play with. It will not be sticky…It will not stick to the table or to hands. You can stretch it or almost break it apart. It feels great.

I’m sure there is some scientific thing that is happening…but I’m not sure I can find a science lesson in there to share. But, we sure did laugh a lot…lost a couple of dish towels…not too sure about the bowl and spoon yet.

Yep…try it! See what kind of patience YOU have. I must have some…cause, Levi said, “Lulu, you just make the funnest stuff ever!” (Another Levi/Lulu project)

slime 1

 

slime2

slime3

FRESH LEMONADE

Levi’s first venture into business came today in the form of a lemonade stand.  Oh, such fun!  He and I worked on it for several days before.  We measured and painted a big sign…

ls3

 

…we squeezed lemons…

ls1

…we colored a smaller sign…

 

ls33

 

We bought a big cooler with a cool spout and other supplies and then sat up at Dothan Powersports right inside their front door.  Everyone had to pass by us to enter or leave.  Pretty smart location, huh?  Don brought us the ice, we got our sign hung and set up our table…we were ready for business.

ls6

ls9

 

ls10

 

ls7

ls31

 

ls4

 

ls8

ls22

ls5

Our favorite customer…Papa Clyde!

ls32

What a great day!  The threatened rain never came…and folks were mighty thirsty!.

Suzanne and Levi had learned the day before that she had a child in her class unable to afford school supplies.  She led Levi to think about a solution.  So, after taking out his tithe….and purchasing school supplies…he still had money for the Legos he had his eye on!  Isn’t God so good like that?  Obey Him…help others…and enjoy the fruits of your labor!  What a mighty lesson for a boy of 6 to learn!

Every situation has a learning component to it.  This little project could have all been about fun and making money.  Instead, it became a life lesson about what God will do for us when we are obedient, work hard and are willing to share!

 

ls36

And after all was said and done…the Suzanne, Levi and I ended up here…Ahhhhhhh!

ls38