Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

At least in the dining room...

What's vintage and new at the same time?

Our new, vintage Santa Claus collection. Most of these Santas, I've found this year. Only a couple of them are carryovers from last year. Most of our holiday decor are Snowmen. Yes, we had a few Santas, but this year, well, let's just say, Santa wanted to give the snowmen a run for their money!

Santa has taken over the mantel.

Although I am LOVING all the Santas, I STILL am NOT loving the look of the used brick. Never have. Never will. But, I will not paint it white, because...well, let's just say, I don't want to be stuck with white painted brick. I have other plans for re-facing it and don't want to have a barrier coat to have to deal with. So for now, I'll deal with the used brick that I can't stand!

At least the Santa brigade make it look a little better, don't cha think?

The new, vintage collection includes plastic light up Santas - that were promptly operated on by Dr. Tina - and had all their "guts" thrown away. 

Let's just say that when I plugged in this BIG Santa - "oooh .... aaaah...look! It's a big night light!" and then when I was unplugging it and the plastic plug surround disintegrated in my hand leaving one - and only one - of the metal prongs in the outlet all alone aka: "RUN, turn off the breaker and get that prong outta there before the house catches on fire!" (thanks, A.J.!!!), it's time to remove all that vintage wiring!!!

We also found this plastic face Santa doll for a steal. 
A big 'ol stuffed guy with velcro on the backside of this hat. Velcro? What was behind the velcro??? 

A little discovery. A battery operated music box. 
Two AA batteries later (from a TV remote, course!) and Christmas music was heard.

The two of these big guys are right at home in my single ladder back chair next to the china cabinet.

This next Santa is a very, hard plastic. No lights. No sound. But truly a vintage look.
He may have been part of a larger group, cause he has a bracket-style base. 

Far left, Santa in his sleigh full of goodies for all those kiddos on his list. 
To his right, another plastic Santa. They both were light ups as well.
Right out front is the most adorable flocked Santa and Mrs. Claus.
 They are my favorite of the bunch!!!
So Jolly, indeed. 

This heavy cardstock Santa is a vintage, Made In Japan, Christmas card holder. 
I was SO in a debate with myself on whether or not to open it - as it is a one-piece fold-out 
that was in its original packaging...cute in its package, but even cuter in his intended form.

A very lightweight Santa. All dressed in felt. Pipe cleaner arms. Plastic face. Too cute!

Santa and Mrs. Claus caroling and a printed fabric stuffed Santa.

Did you notice the little plastic and felt elves? 

These are getting harder to find, so even when they are a bit faded, I grab them. 
These were on my tree last year.

As was this little Santa suit. A darling knitted suit.
And this is the tiniest Santa I own.
Flocked plastic ornament.

Happy Winter to all the Santa fans out there!!!

Note: Tonight, I am linking up to Donna @ Funky Junk's SNS #58 party. Too much fun!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Creeeepy...and it's not even Halloween anymore!

Country living.


Old house.

Distant views.

Abundant wildlife.


....but sometimes, just sometimes, it's a little too wild - on the inside.

I'm not afraid of the red and black beetles that invade the sunny side of the house twice a year. Those hundreds, if not thousands of annoying little bugs. That "do no harm" according to the local county extension office. That are "nothing more than a nuisance bug" according to a Google search. That cannot be exterminated by the local bug killer guy. Oh no. I'm not afraid of those flying bugs that get into every window crack and nook and cranny - which, in an older home, are plenty.

Nor, am I afraid of the not-so-random fuzzy brown spider that graces my bathroom floor in the daylight basement. Or the long-legged spider that makes his web in the corner of the window overlooking the yard. Or the fast little spider with the short legs that I chase with a Kleenex or paper cup, trying to save by releasing it outside.

Nope. I'm NOT scared or creeped out....
























Yes, I saw my first teeny-tiny intruder in the house the first month we lived here.

I called the exterminator and with sheer disbelief I was informed that we live in a high desert climate. HIGH desert? This is the Pacific Northwest for crying out loud. True, it's not the Washington state Pacific Northwest - green, cold and wet where we used to live, but I've also lived in the Mojave desert - the high deserts of Bishop and Ridgecrest, California. This is NOT high desert to me. There should NOT be scorpions in my HOUSE!

The exterminator told me they could spray, but chances are it would not do much good. 


Tina vs. the Scorpions.

I have found them under books.

I have found them in dark corners throughout the garage and even in the laundry room and closets that reside in the basement.

Thankfully, I have NEVER found them in my shoes or my dresser drawers.


a few weeks ago, in my bedroom downstairs, I removed the over-head light fixture to change out the lightbulb....

I unscrewed the finial that holds the upside down glass shade in place. 
Put my hand over the finial and the retaining washer so it wouldn't fall on the floor. 
Then gently removed the glass globe and set it down on the table.

I changed the lightbulb.

When I reached to pick up the globe, the finial fell to the floor.

 and I FREAKED OUT when I spotted THIS!!!



It was between the globe and the finial!!!

(look closely at that first photo - he's there - dead, yes - but I put my hand over that - what if he had been alive!!!)

All I can hope is the little menace had to painfully contort its body
to get through the tiny, tiny gap and then it died a sad slow death....

Ok, so that is kind of harsh thinking, but I can't help but feel that way.

If this one can magically squeeze in this unimaginable space, overhead, no less, where else can they get???

Why on earth do we need SCORPIONS?

Huh? WHY????

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Unconventional Post....

Why is it some things in life we take for granted?

Like electricity.

We are so accustomed to having it at our fingertips, that when it goes out, we are lost.

True. Candles and flashlights can hold the fort, but what about power to blow dry our hair? Or how about the use of the microwave? Or how will the hot water heater (mine is electric) heat the shower water? Or the oil heater that heats my home?

Like firewood.

When we have a stock of stacked firewood, life is good and we burn with abandon. But, when the stack gets low, and we can't burn that pile of "green" unseasoned wood, and there's snow on the ground or gallons of rain are dumping outside, what ever shall we do? 

We hope that the electricity stays on - lest a wind, ice, or snow storm knock down a tree branch or two and onto our beloved power lines - and hope that the storage tank is full of heating oil.

It's the little things in life. Life's little conveniences.

Like Toilet Paper. 

Yes. I said Toilet Paper.

When the toiletry closet is chock full of those cushy white rolls (remember the colored rolls? Blue, Pink, Yellow, Tan?) - we use it as if the roll is never ending. But, when you get down to the last little squares, and the cupboard is bare, it can become an issue. Use it sparingly. No blowing noses. No using it as a make-shift squeegee on the steamed up mirror. Not even to clean up the rogue mascara blob out of the sink.


As Elaine of Seinfeld fame said, "Can't spare a square!"

The situation becomes even worse, when at night, after a long day at work, you realize that you forgot to go to the store for TP! 

What to do?....

Grab the closest box of Kleenex, of course!!! 

Isn't that what you do? 

Or do you NEVER run out and I'm in a class by myself?

The only one with an empty cardboard roll?

Tell me.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Moving on.

Once you buy the 24 pack of Triple Sized Rolls that don't/won't fit on old-school paper holders, thus requiring a free-standing TP holder, what is the PROPER way to dispense?

Roll - over?


Roll - under???

I think EVERYONE is right on this one...

....REMINDER: note to self

Stock up on TP.   
You can NEVER have too much. 
It never goes out of style. 
And life becomes quite complicated without it!!!


ps. Our TP is ALWAYS roll-over....
..maybe, like Angie's hubby, I'm a little OCD there..?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hey, I can post an image again....

I'm not sure what was going on, but now I see the little "image" icon that allows me to post photos.

That said, I haven't a clue as to what to post photos of....???

For those that know me real well, know that my family tree isn't really big. 
Yes, there are family members out there in the world, but not a whole lot of CLOSE family. 
I can hear both my sisters and mother screeching right about now, but really, in the scope of FAMILY, it's pretty small-ish.

My parents were divorced and re-married twice (to each other) when I was very young, but I remember my father. 
He wasn't in the picture much and what I do remember weren't so great of memories. 
He passed away a few years ago of cancer and my little sister, who had never met him, and I went to see him about 6 months before his passing.

It was a good meeting, of sorts. 
Cordial, yet distant and strange. 
My sister, a grown woman and mother of two sons, finally, after many years, was able to recognize features of her own in him. 
Small feet. 
Small hands.
I, too, saw some similarities. 
Not so much in me, but in my own boys. 
Funny how that happens. 
Maybe we never talk or have never met each other, but the genes are a sure sign!!!

A few weeks ago, or maybe it's months, time has been playing tricks on me lately with all that has been going on, one of my Aunt's (my father's sister-in-law) posted a few photos of our grandmother on Facebook.

This is my grandma. My dad's mom. 
She passed away when I was 11 or 12. 
We lived in Washington state at the time and I hadn't seen her since I was about 5. Sad.

When I saw this photo, and when my sister saw it, we both had the same comment - I have her eyes. 
I also have her square face. 
I can see my boys eyes too. 
Family genes are there, even if the contact isn't.

Of my father's three children, I was the only one who met her. 
His first child, a son, ended up with his mother and he never met her. 
My sister and I ended up with our mom after their divorce and so she was only about 2, so she never met her.

I, however, have a few memories of her. 
She was a caretaker of Hippo Ranch in Texas. I think it was Marfa? 
There was a main house with a huge stone fireplace and stone floors. 
I spent many moments in that living room spinning around and around in a comfy chair. 
My bare feet pitter-pattering on the cool stone.

There was a man caretaker there too. 
I remember his name was Hub. 
That was always such a funny name to me. 
Probably a nick name, but funny nonetheless.

My grandma lived in a smaller house on the property. 
She had a yard with Tortoises. 
Great big giant creatures. 
I'm sure they were regular size by tortoise standards, but I was just a little girl, maybe 4 or 5. 
They fascinated the heck out of me.

My grandma was a tough 'ol country woman. 
She drove a white International Scout. 
Granny gears and all. 
We rode all over that ranch. 
What I don't remember though, was what animal was on that ranch. 
Probably cattle?

One holiday season, she and my mom took me to a GINORMOUS department store full of Christmas trees all decorated for the season. 
Those trees had more lights and shiny decorations than my little self had ever seen. 
I will always remember that feeling - looking up at the magical forest.

We went to a store, maybe it was a toy store, or maybe it was just the toy section of Sears or Montgomery Wards or some such place. 
Then she said the magic words...

"Tina Marie, you can pick out ANY toy you want!" 
Man, oh man...ANY toy. 
The prettiest doll? 
The softest, fluffiest stuffed teddy bear? 
The sweetest, shiniest glass tea set? 
I was a tom-boy, even back then. 
I played in the mud. 
I made grass clipping and coffee ground pies with sticks for candles. 

Don't get me wrong. 
I later played with Barbies. Actually, Barbies "country" friends. 
Their legs were not jointed and their hair and skin wasn't nearly as - let's say - uptown girl...

But I do remember my grandma, Mattie, did have a homemade, long-legged, stuffed doll with elastic on the hands and feet - it was taller than me - that I  used to dance with at her house.

But, on that day, in December, I was a simple little country girl in the "big" city.

What did I choose, you're wondering...

Well, what every little girl chooses.....





cash register 

with white and black



Oh, what a treat!!!
Funny, though. 
As it turns out, yes, I need money, but it isn't a driving factor that I NEED money in my life. 
I'm NOT obsessed with it or anything.
I actually wish as a society, we could all just barter. 
My goods and talents for your goods and talents.
Simple I say.

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