Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Autumn Wreath

I put up my autumn is an older one but still looks good so I will use it another season.

I found the wreath along with the ribbon at a local store and I added the G to it. The wooden letter was purchased at Hobby Lobby and granddaughter, Kendall, painted it a pretty burnt orange. I tied the finished letter to the wreath with gross grain ribbon. 

This is the wreath I used last year but it did not hold up very well, looking limp and worn this year. And I must admit it is a little "too much" for me. I prefer simple.  One year I purchased Indian Corn and tied a pretty ribbon on it and hung it on my door. I loved it!

What is your favorite fall door decor? 

Fall Touches

Since fall is in the air here in No Ala, I thought I would share some of my fall touches around the house. Of course I have my Fall Bath and Body Works soaps in each bathroom. My Yankee Candle, Autumn Wreath is burning in the living room and Harvest is located in the kitchen. Last year I splurged and purchased a large  Harvest Yankee Candle and some of it is left! A good buy for sure. I also diffuse some of my Young Living Essential Oils, my favorite fall aroma is Thieves mixed with Orange. It smells like spice tea!

My dining room table. The runner is a pretty linen runner that Charles and Nancy brought me from China.

I changed out my candle holder, placing fall leaves, bittersweet and mini pumpkins on display in the bottom of the jar. Before it held mini pears, one of my favorite things.

I love this big cream pumpkin that I found years ago at TJ Maxx. The little scarecrow was a gift from my sister, Kristi. He is pretty old but a sweet fall decoration.

My fall cross stitch...Give Thanks Unto the Lord for He is Good. The little bear Indians and Pilgrims came from my sister, Leta.  She knows I enjoy fall decor and these can stay around until Thanksgiving.

My hutch has a fall flair...The orange pumpkins look good with the blue dishes!! The mugs are my Louisville Stoneware and very special as they are a gift from Marvin. When we lived in Louisville we were young and poor so we drooled over the stoneware but it was out of our league, pricewise. Marvin has presented me with several pieces on special occassions over the years.

And a little Beanie Baby Jack O Lantern....the grands like playing with this decoration and Nana says help yourself!!

Well it is a Cleaning Day here at Nanaland so I need to get busy. Have a good day Blog Friends.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend Reading

Thanks to a sweet blog friend, I found a website that sells old books, ABE Books. Books that might be very special to someone but they are no longer in print. It was here that I found two more Gladys Taber books about Stillmeadow Farm.

I so enjoy sitting down to read these sweet remembrances of time past. Mrs Taber describes the changing seasons at her Connecticut farm. In this book, her best friend, Jill, has passed away. (These two widows lived on the farm after the death of their husbands and were the best of friends as only women can be!). The reader can feel the sadness as Mrs Taber relates her days at the farm, relying on friends and neighbors to fill the void in her life.  I finished up June before I went to bed last night and now I am on to the second half of the year!!

Speaking of old books, this one arrived smelling a bit musty and my allergies were protesting as I opened this book so I put a laundry softener sheet inside it and left it to sit in the laundry room for several days. This got rid of some of the "smell" but not completely so I pulled out my Young Living Essential Oils and chose to use some Purification on it. I dabbed a bit of the oil at the top of about twelve pages and left it to sit one day. Voila! Purification did the job and now I can read my book without a runny nose and watery eyes.  So essential oils have many uses!!

I love this old book by Tasha Tudor. Fortunately the publishers realized it would be a good book to re-release and I purchased it several years ago. On the dedication Ms Tudor gives us this sweet sentence, A wee story for a very sweet wee person. I have a feeling it must have been a grandchild!! Pumpkin Moonshine tells the story of Sylvie Ann who was visiting her grandparents in Connecticut  and she wanted to make a PUMPKIN MOONSHINE.   That was Sylvia's name for a Jackolantern! But the big old pumpkin gets away from Sylvie as she rolls it home! A sweet story of a little girl and her grandparents.  I love Tasha Tudor's illustrations!!

Ms Tudor was a very unique personality. She loved to dress in clothes from the 19th century and she lived very simply in her New England home.  I have several books that were illustrated by Tasha Tudor and I treasure them all.

Fall is a good time to sit down with the hot beverage of your choice and travel back to a simpler time. These books are perfect for just such an excursion.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Two years ago I ordered this cute treat basket from Peterboro

In Peterborough, New Hampshire this company has been making baskets since 1854!  I have several Peterboro Baskets scattered around my home. I could not resist the cheery orange color of this basket and the cute little ghost is sweet too.  Once Halloween passes us by I simply turn the ghost toward the wall and use it for a candy basket for the grands until Thanksgiving.  Right now the basket is filled with  Skittles, M&Ms, Starburst and Hershey Kisses. The grands know where to find a treat but they are very good about asking first! It is a matter of discipline for Nana to walk by without picking up a treat!

And fall is certainly in the air here today. The air is crisp but there is a threat of rain that might cancel Landon's last soccer game this morning.

And with fall comes croup! Ben and Katy had to take our Miss Margaret to the ER last night as she was struggling to breathe. She was there about two hours and is now home on steroids. Please pray for our sweet girl to have a quick and complete recovery.  Katy's mom was visiting so Ben and Katy were able to take Margaret to the hospital together, ER visits are a scary thing for parents.

Hoping that the rest of our weekend is uneventful!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

In The Land of Cotton

As I was driving the children to school the other day, I noticed that a cotton field was showing its colors! The white cotton bolls are opening up and soon the smell of defoliant will fill the air! Yes, crop duster planes spray defoliant on the fields before the cotton pickers roll up and down the fields. The smell of defoliant is a fall smell for me. It is a distinctive yet not unpleasant smell. Once the defoliant has done its job, the cotton fields are just beautiful. Such a brilliant white, almost like a snowfall.

I must admit that when I saw some of the cotton plants opening up next to the road, I was tempted to stop and pick a few bolls for decorating! However that was not necessary as I found some beautiful fake cotton boll picks at one of my favorite stores in Hartselle, Bumblebee!

I added the picks to my vase full of sticks that resides on my mantle. It adds a fall touch to the room.

I really like the way it pops the vases on my mantle.

One of my favorite prints in my house is the one in the background above my china cabinet...a pretty basket full of cotton. And I added a cute pumpkin picture that Kendall made in art last year as well as some fun ceramic jackolanterns in front of a canvas of my two monkeys, Landon and Margaret.

Fall is coming and I am looking forward to it!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget

If someone were to ask me the question, "What was the most frightening day in your life from a historic viewpoint?" I would answer without hesitation, "September 11, 2001." I was born in 1955 and as a child I experienced the assassination of a president. That day is etched in my memory but a bit hazy wit the passing of years. I remember the day the Space Shuttle, Challenger, exploded. As a resident of Huntsville, Alabama at the time, it was a devastating loss to our community. Many Huntsville engineers worked for NASA and knew the astronauts who were lost that day.

But Tuesday, September 11th is crystal clear in my memory. I was on my way to work at Central Weekday School where I taught one of the two year old classes. I was listening to one of my favorite radio programs, Rick and Bubba, when they reported that a there was a fire at the World Trade Center. Then the news that a plane had flown into the tower...then another plane. I think everyone in the United States knew that we had been attacked by terrorists.  Of course, I had to compose myself to take care of my little ones but you could see the fear and dismay on the faces of the parents as they dropped the children off at school that day. My assistant received a phone call from her husband relating that the Pentagon had been hit as well. We could not help but wonder, What next? I did not see the disturbing images of the planes hitting the twin towers until after work that day. Sobering images that will remain with me the rest of my life.

While this was a national tragedy, I also remember seeing the brave people of NYC soldier on amid chaos. I read so many stories of kindness in the face of terror. We are Americans. We may be divided over many things but when our country and way of life is threatened, we pull together.  So today I will remember those who lost their lives that day...those who were passengers on the planes as well as the first responders who gave their lives helping others to escape from the burning towers.  Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thinking Across The Spectrum

After we received the official diagnosis of grandson, Baylor's autism, I began researching this puzzling disease. Having trained as a registered nurse, I knew about autism but what I knew about it reflected what I learned in the mid 1970s. I kept hearing about Temple Grandin, a highly functioning autistic person who shares her knowledge about living with autism.

The Autistic Brain, Thinking Across the Spectrum is a really good book on this subject. Temple Grandin was born in the 1940s to a 19 year old mother who knew something was wrong with her baby but found little help in the medical community. A neurologist tested her for deafness and for epilepsy. When those tests were negative, the physician had little to offer Mrs Grandin. At the time of Temple's birth, autism was just a symptom that had recently been found to be a portion of the diagnosis of schizophrenia.  Such children were institutionalized.  But Mrs Grandin decided to work with her child in hopes of helping Temple to be mainstreamed in the public school. This was unheard of at this time.
Temple learned to talk at age four and attended school with her peers but not without a lot of understanding from the teachers and pupils at her school.  She attended a boarding school for troubled children in high school and it was there she came in contact with a teacher who saw her strengths in science. Temple Grandin went on to college and then received a PhD and became widely known for her work in creating a humane cattle chute that is still used in the industry today. She explains that Seeing in Pictures helped her to be able to create and solve problems.

In her sixties, Dr Grandin has learned to live with many of her autistic tendencies but they have never completely faded away. She takes medication to help with her anxiety. She would appear odd to anyone who meets her but she has made great strides using her strengths and dealing with her weaknesses.  As an autistic person Temple Grandin can tell me what sensory problems my little grandson is experiencing and how I can do things to help him to deal with the issues. While she does go into a lot of the recent research and the theories on what causes autism, she says that doctors need to work more on early intervention and helping the autistic person learn to compensate for their sensory overload. Temple gives her own mother a lot of credit in expecting a good deal of Temple from the time she was a child.

I give this book a five star rating for its detail on the brain, its compassion toward autistic persons and its hope for those who love an autistic child.

I am so proud of Ben and Katy for giving Baylor experiences that will widen his world. We look forward to seeing the progress our boy will make as he begins his early intervention!