Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spin It, Baby!

Sometimes I sit down with my laptop and try to force myself to come up with a topic for a blog post.  I chase ideas around in my head, shooting down first one and then the other.  This one is too bland and boring.  That one sounds too much like I'm complaining.  No one wants to read about that.  And so on and so on...

I finally came to the conclusion that, on this one incredibly rare occasion, The Hubster is right.
(Did I just type that?)

There are times when I over think things.

No, wait.  The Hubster says that I over think things all the time and I know that simply isn't true, so I guess he wasn't right after all.

Whew....what a relief!  I feel much better now.  

; )

Anyway, let's get back on topic.  What was it we were discussing?

Oh, yeah.  Topics.  

There are those of you out there who can write a post about your day and it reads like a page out of a terrific novel.  Don't get me wrong, I have a post-worthy day from time to time, too.  But some of you can do this, like, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  It leaves me wondering...are your lives truly that exciting and fabulous? Or is mine just that boring?  And I always end up deciding that your lives must be just that exciting and fabulous because I honestly don't find my life to be boring. 

However, after pondering this for quite some time, I've come to a whole new conclusion.  And this is not to say that your lives are any less interesting than you've led me to believe!  On the contrary.  I just think I finally figured out your secret, that's all. 

You've learned the secret of  THE SPIN

You know, sharing what could be a basically uninteresting tale from your day:

I had to track down the dog when he got loose this morning.

But making it captivating by painting a picture from the right perspective:

As I opened the back door to take out the bag of garbage that had the house smelling like death, Barnabus ran right through my legs, down the steps and out the gate.  There I go, down the street, wearing a Hello Kitty t-shirt, no bra, my husband's boxer shorts and mismatched socks.  Three blocks later, after running past two of the ladies from my husband's office, our pastor and my old high school boyfriend, I found the little mongrel.  There he was, making his way up a stack of boxes sitting beside a reeking Dumpster, which he managed to jump into headfirst just as I was reaching out to grab his collar.  Early morning Dumpster diving, anyone? 

Okay, so that's a bit extreme.  But the point is that some bloggers can take the simplest of happenings and write about them in such a way as to make them captivating.  (And no, I'm not insinuating that my silly paragraph above is 'captivating'.  Only attempting to drive home a point, folks.)

Basically what I'm saying is that I want to master The Spin.  I want to be able to sit down here, fire up my laptop and take my most average of days and craft it into something totally post-worthy.  I don't have a problem when it comes to writing the more serious pieces and I'm not complaining.  Of all the posts on this blog, my harder-hitting ones remain the most popular according to my stats.  But let's face it, a person can't write a piece like that every day and maintain their sanity.  At least this person can't.  Gotta have some fun, my dears!  ; )

So tell me how you do it without fabrication.  (And I'm assuming that none of you resort to that!)  What is your mindset when you sit down to blog?  Do you make your way through the day taking notes for your next subject?  When I first started blogging, I did just that.  One of the first things that would pop into my head as events occurred was "That would make a great blog post!"  But life got busier and, to be perfectly honest, my blog just isn't always the first thing on my mind.  I get busy living life, enjoying the moments, taking it all in.  Because I know how quickly these kids are going to grow up, and when it's all said and done I don't want to look back and think "Wow.  I wish I had been more in the moment as opposed to constantly looking ahead." 

I've also found that not everyone wants me blogging about every little thing that happens around here.  Teenagers are funny like that.  ; )  Some of the best stuff, some of the most extraordinary subjects for blogging you could ever hope to find....well, some of it just needs to wait until they're grown and I can change the names to protect the guilty parties innocent.  

Share your process.  What is okay to post and what is not?  How do you write an enjoyable (for the reader) post when there really isn't very much happening at that time?  In other words, how do you put the proper spin on a basically boring day to make it more interesting blog material?  'Fess up!  I need to know.  'Cause I'm really not all that into Dumpster diving.  : )

Friday, September 21, 2012

5 Question Friday

Decided to join in on the fun this week at My Little Life 
You should, too!  Just click the link, 
answer the questions and link up!


1. What is one grammar issue you cannot let go without correction?
Oh, where to begin...
My family calls me the grammar Nazi.
But I also notice that they often correct 
themselves when they repeat an offense
for which they've already been corrected by me.
; )
I must also add that while I scored A's in grammar 
during junior high and high school 
and I believe I have a decent understanding 
of proper usage,
I do sometimes tend to write 
in a more 'conversational' manner.
Sometimes using proper grammar can make
a girl sound like a Shakespearean damsel.
Sometimes that isn't the way she wants to come 
across to her readers.
Got it?  ; )
 2. What's your favorite thing about fall?
Just one thing?  Seriously?
Not fair.
Not fair at all.
But if I absolutely must narrow it down
to only one single, solitary thing...
I adore all the gorgeous jewel tones of fall.
The bright and beautiful leaves
fluttering to the ground.
Stunning sweaters and scarves in
all their glorious autumnal shades.
What's not to love? : )

  3. What's your favorite dish to take to a potluck?
That depends.
If it's a family potluck, it's usually my
If it's for some other type of gathering,
I will try to adapt what I'm taking
to the crowd in attendance.
If there are lots of kids,
I like to take something more kid friendly.
If it's just the grownups,
I might get a little more adventurous. 

4. When do you start Christmas (Holiday) shopping?
December 26th sounds good.  : )
And it really has happened a few times!
I try to shop for Christmas 
all year long.

5. Did you move homes a lot growing up?

I lived in the same house 
from the time I was born 
until I got married.
I know that there are lots of folks
who can't say that
and I'm grateful that I can.  : )
My family has deep roots in the area
and even though I now live
about an hour away from there,
it's still the place I call home.

*I apologize for the wonkiness 
(yes, that IS a word!)
of the font sizes.
Why oh why does Blogger 
dislike me so?
It just seems to change sizes
on its own and I can't make 
this entire post the same size.*   

And now I will leave you with a
pic I snapped this morning.
The sunrise was breathtaking!
Unfortunately, my camera was not handy
during the peak of color
and by the time I ran to get it,
this is what was left.
Still, with the sunbeams reaching
through the clouds, 
not too shabby.  ; )

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Three Old Maids

It isn't a title that was bestowed upon them in a derogatory manner.  They were referred to lovingly as the 'Three Old Maids' and we always looked forward to their visits.  What a trio!  So many of my fondest childhood memories involve time spent with those three dear ladies. 

Daddy had 15 brothers and sisters and a few 'adopted' siblings who joined the family along the way. 

 A few of the Tucker siblings with their Mom.

Aunt Tuck (her given name was Arla but I didn't even know that until I was probably 7 or 8 years old...she was always Aunt Tuck to me) was Daddy's biological sister.  Margaret was a cousin and Ruby was a friend who became family.  None of the three ever married, earning them that beloved nickname.
 Not sure why, but the names are in the wrong order.
Margaret, Tuck, Ruby
As a child I never knew the difference between who was a blood relative and who was not.  They were simply my aunts, equally loved and equally adored.  Being from such a large family, you would expect that I was smothered with too many aunts and uncles, too many cousins, too much togetherness; but that truly was not the case.  Being the youngest of all the cousins has its drawbacks, one of them being that most of the aunts and uncles had moved away by the time I came around.  But the Old Maids lived within about 3 hours of us and would visit often. 
The couple responsible for the whole clan, Mama and Papa,
Jessie and Mitt Tucker.

My Uncle George (Daddy's brother) and Aunt June always had an open door policy at their house, and for that I'll forever be grateful.  Had it not been for their willingness to host guests, I probably would not have seen nearly as much of Daddy's family.  Aunt Matt (Daddy's sister) lived next door to them and she, too, always allowed her spare bedrooms to be filled with guests.  One of my favorite things to hear was "The Old Maids are in" or "Valerie and Robby came in with your Uncle Teeny" and off I'd go!  We lived just around the block from Uncle George so it didn't take long to get to that happy, loud, laughter-filled house.  : )
Some of the family after Tuck's funeral.

Nowadays things sure are changing.  There are only 3 of the Tucker siblings who remain, two of whom still live far from here.  All of the cousins are spread out far and wide, making it difficult to hold family get-togethers or reunions.  Life is so busy now and with the economy being what it is, it is nearly impossible for all of us to share in birthdays, weddings, special occasions and such, the way they did before everyone moved away...before I was born.  I've seen the pictures and even one treasured video of those family parties.  I know how very much I missed out on by coming along so late in the game and it breaks my heart. 
A few of the Tucker ladies.

The reason for this melancholy reminiscence?  On Monday we buried my Aunt Tuck.  For 90 years she graced this family with her love and laughter.  We had already lost Margaret in June 2010, so Ruby is the last remaining 'Old Maid' and her health is failing.  While the service on Monday was more a celebration of a life well lived than an occasion to mourn, hearing Ruby tell me "That's my buddy laying there, you know it?" broke my heart.  :(  Those ladies were the best of friends for 65 years.  How many of us will be able to make such a claim when our time here is over?  I honestly believe that it is the heartbreak of losing Margaret that caused Ruby and Tuck to age so in the last couple of years.  The medical community calls it 'FAILURE TO THRIVE'.  I call it a broken heart.  And I believe it is just as lethal as any disease. 
Tucker, me, Uncle George and Perri

I do have to sing the praises of my Uncle George.  What a guy.  He and Aunt June took in the Old Maids once they got up in years and were really better off not being 3 hours away from all of their family.  They have been the most loving and generous of caretakers.  Recently June had her own health issues and had to have surgery.  Uncle George had an awful lot on his shoulders but, as always, he bore it with great strength and good humor.  No matter when or where I see Uncle George, it is always the same.  There is a hug, a smile and the offer of a helping hand.  Like I said....what a guy.  : ) 

Hopefully, sometime in the very near future, there will be a Tucker reunion and I will get to meet all the cousins I've never met.  Facebook is a wonderful thing and I've gotten to 'know' a few of them via the Internet, but still....nothing can really beat a good old fashioned family reunion!  And somehow I just know that even though many of us haven't seen each other in many years (and some of us NEVER!) there would be so much love and laughter filling that place that there would be no questioning the fact that THIS IS FAMILY.  Because even if we don't know each other well, it is still that Tucker blood that flows through our veins.  And one thing I know for sure...when it comes to Tuckers, FAMILY is what matters most. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall-ing Up the Place

I finally gave in to the urge
 a little over a week ago.  : )
I love fall decor and for me
those colors just never grow old.
This is pretty much the way things 
will be here at my house
until the day after Thanksgiving.

That's when I break out

The fireplace in the family room:

The kitchen:

The foyer is done but I forgot to snap pics in there,
and there are some odds and ends 
in other rooms as well.
I haven't really gotten started outside yet.
I'm hoping to pick up some mums 
before the week is out
and The Hubster needs to bring home
a couple of bales of hay
and perhaps a fodder shock or two.

I may make a scarecrow this year, too.  : )
I just love a friendly scarecrow face,
one that reminds you of the one in
The Wizard of Oz.
He was my favorite.  : )

I'm not really a Halloween kind of girl, 
but I am finding some really cute 
Halloween decor on Pinterest.
I may just have to get a little bit
creative the last week or so of October.

So what have you done to celebrate 
the fact that fall is coming?
Any traditions your family enjoys each year?
Tell me about it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh Baby!

This is muh girl.
 (Well, one of 'em anyway ; ) )
Isn't she pretty?   : )
Her name is Jessica
and I had the privilege of being her stepmom
at one point in time.
Even though we're no longer 
related to each other...
well, there are just some things 
that can't be changed.
I love this girl
and I was thrilled to open my home
to her, her friends and her family
for a baby shower.
Baby Laira will be coming 
before you know it.  : )

The theme of the day was 
*Insert cute owl saying here* 
; )

Here are a few pics from the day's events.

 The owl centerpieces and favors were made by
Jessica's besty, Beth.
She's SO talented!
Or as one friend put it, 
"She's Martha Stewart on crack!"
She also made the gorgeous quilt and those 
adorable booties!

The delicious food was made by
Brie, her aunt and her Mamaw.
And I don't know how exactly,
but I somehow managed to lose the 
pics of the gorgeous cake and cupcakes
Brie made!  :(  
If I can relocate them, I'll post them later.

And take note of the tie dye station 
and all of those bright and beautiful tie dyed Onesies!
Aren't they precious?
And what a cool idea for a shower!

Anyway, it was a day full of 
happiness and laughter,
good friends and good food,
and one thing I know for sure:

With all the adorable clothes she received,
Laira is gonna be one sharp-dressed baby girl!
: )

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Best $5 Gadget EVER

The first time I saw one 
I rolled my eyes.


Who would blow their
hard-earned money 
on such a thing?
(This is folded for easy storage.)

Then one day,
while attempting a single-handed
transfer of some very warm chili
from the pot in which it was cooked
to a floppy freezer bag, 
I knew who had not yet
but was most definitely going to
purchase one!

That would be me.
(This shot shows the absolute 
handiness of this gadget
as I spoon in browned 
ground beef.)

Best.  Thing.  Ever.

And no, this is not a paid advertisement.

Just sharin' the love.  
: )

Mine is the Jokari Baggy Rack.
You won't regret it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This, That and Whatever

This is going to be one of those posts that jumps from here to there and back again. 
Focus is not my strong suit today.  ; )

First I have to say I'm diggin' these foggy mornings. 
When you look out the window and this is the scene you see,
it just feels like fall! 
(At least until you open the door and realize the temps are already 
in the 70s and it's very muggy.)

I just thought to snap this pic and while most of the fog has already cleared, 
you get the basic idea. 

With that sort of scene greeting me this morning,
I believe I might just chisel out some time today
to break out the fall decor.
I can't believe I've waited this long.
Usually it's the first day of September
but I'm running behind.
I have a wreath in the entry
and I've been burning candles 
that make me think FALL,
but I haven't yet pulled out the big guns. 
Perhaps today.


I got an email from Farmers' Almanac this morning
and they're calling for a real winter in my
part of the country!
This makes me happy.
Last year we had nothing that even 
resembled winter.  
Not enough snow to shake a broom at,
let alone a snow shovel.
They're also saying that we could get a significant 
snowfall as early as mid November!
A white Thanksgiving?
Fine by me!


Did you know that September is 
National Courtesy Month?
I didn't either,
but I do now and I'm thinking
that's something worth celebrating!
Common courtesy is no longer quite so common.
Good manners are languishing in the midst of
 the hustle and bustle of our hectic lives.
Just push your way to the front,
step on toes along the way
and never look back.
Please, thank you, yes ma'am, no sir...
those have mostly fallen by the wayside.
I do my best to be polite and courteous 
and I teach my kids the same.
As the saying goes:

Time to trudge my way to the barn, 
climb up to the attic
and dig through the autumn totes.
Pumpkins and scarecrows and hay bales...
Can't wait to get my fall on!  ; )