Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thank You, Super Glue!!

repair 002Thanks to Super Glue and a wonderful eBay seller, my broken tea set story from last week has turned out happy.

The first good news is that the seller refunded all of my money and didn’t want me to ship anything back. So today I stopped by Lowe’s and purchased a tube of Super Glue to see what I could salvage.

This is what I started with…

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Those are the broken pieces of the sugar bowl handle. The three pieces of the teapot handle are still inside the teapot.

Here’s the repaired sugar bowl.

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And here’s the teapot.

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It was a little tricky working with the curved handles. I started by gluing the three handle pieces together and then gluing the handle to the teapot. The sugar bowl went together fairly easily, but the teapot was trickier. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use them to serve tea, but at least they will be pretty to display.

New_size_125_tall So if someone can tell me how to get the Super Glue off my fingers, I’ll get started on my Tea for Two tablescape for next Thursday. Meanwhile, visit the other tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Life is Good at the Beach – Outdoor Wednesday

WallWednesdayHaving just returned from a long weekend in Destin where we celebrated my brother’s 60th birthday, I decided to mark my first participation in Outdoor Wednesday with some beach pictures. When you’re through visiting here, be sure to head over to A Southern Daydreamer where Susan hosts this weekly event.

beach 009 Friday morning after a leisurely breakfast and several cups of coffee, I headed to the beach wearing my favorite flip flops. In fact, these are the only flip flops I own. I just have a hard time getting used to that thingy between my toes, but sometimes a girl has to sacrifice in the name of team spirit.

beach 024 Friday night we celebrated Tommy’s birthday with a delicious dinner on the deck at Beachwalk. The night was perfect, and the sunset was gorgeous. I didn’t even have to leave my chair to make this picture.

beach 033Although the Gulf on Friday was brown with debris from the flooding rivers up north, by Saturday the beautiful blue color had returned, a perfect compliment to the always sugar white sands.

Unfortunately work and the real world beckoned, so it was back to reality by Sunday evening. It was fun while it lasted.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

KBeau Does 'Dega - A Sunday Favorite

In honor of this weekend's race at Talledega, I decided to join Sunday Favorites, hosted by Chari at Happy to Design. Chari has invited us to repost some of our favorite blog posts that you may have missed. I made this post after my first NASCAR race last fall. That was before I "met" most of you, so I am reposting it today for your reading pleasure. Be sure to visit Happy to Design for more trips down blog memory lane.

"Unbelievable. After 19 years in 'Bama they finally made you a full redneck."

That was Hunter's comment, when he learned that I was at the NASCAR race at Talladega yesterday. For years, I have failed to understand the fascination with souped up cars going round and round for 500 miles. Give me a good college football or basketball game but leave stock car racing to the those other people.

Until yesterday I had probably watched NASCAR on television for less than 10 minutes, even though I have lived in the home of Bobby and Davey Allison and Neal Bonnett for almost 20 years. Yesterday I saw a race live from "Gentlemen, start your engines" to the checkered flag.

My friend and painter Joel has wanted to take me to a race for years, and yesterday the timing was right. I met him at 8 a.m., and after meeting up with Linda, Elise and Fallon, we were off to 'Dega. Joel knew all the back roads, so we never got stuck in traffic, and by 9:30 we were parked and headed to the track.

Joel had gotten tickets in the Sherwin-Williams box, and we also had seats in the grandstand. He explained that we would go to the box first for breakfast, but he wanted to be in the stands for the start of the race.

Talladega Superspeedway

First, let me say that the track is huge. It's a 2.66 mile oval, and the grandstands stretch from turn four to turn one, with boxes above the lower level of the grandstand and an upper deck above the boxes. We were in Suite 3, which came with a complete bar, a buffet breakfast and seating for at least 30 to 40 people.

After breakfast, we carried our Bloody Marys down to the track for a tour of Pit Road. I was fascinated with colorful attire of the racing fans. Unlike a college football game where one color predominates, a NASCAR race is a multi-colored event, with fans decked out in the colors of their favorite driver. At Talladega, probably 75 percent of the folks are Junior fans. Junior is Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who drives the 88 car.

Back in the box, it was time for round two of food and drink. For lunch, they brought in stuffed shrimp, beef tenderloin, tomatoes with mozarella and scalloped potatoes with asparagus. At the bar were plates of lemon squares and chocolate chip bars. Yum!

Now that we were sufficiently stuffed, it was time to move outside for the 1 p.m. start of the race. After three laps behind the pace car, the drivers got the green flag, and the AMP Energy 500 was underway.

The noise was deafening, and every time the cars came by, I had to cover my ears. I noticed that a lot of fans were wearing headsets, and after a while, Joel produced a set for me to use. With the headsets on, I could listen to the track announcer call the race and also follow the conversation between one of the drivers and his pit crew.

To fully enjoy a race you have to pull for one of the drivers. Jeff Gordon was our man. When he went out of the race in Lap 53, we turned to Kasey Kahne, who lasted until the Big One in Lap 68. That crash took out a bunch of drivers, and the race was halted for 17 minutes to clean up the track.

We finally decided to join the masses and pull for Junior, who would get a huge roar every time he took the lead. He lasted until the Big One II in Lap 174 that took out a whole bunch of other drivers. Once again the red flag came out and halted the race, this time for 11 minutes.

Another yellow caution flag in Lap 184 led to a Green-White-Checkered finish. Joel explained. By the time the debris on the track was cleaned up the race was in Lap 187, with one lap to go. But the race can't end under a caution flag, so the drivers got a green flag to start racing at Lap 188, a white flag to indicate one more lap at the beginning of the next lap, and a checkered flag for the winner at the end of that lap.

Tony Stewart led the final lap and won the race, but not without controversy. Regan Smith finished first after passing Stewart on the final turn, but he was moved back to the eighteenth spot after it was ruled that he passed Stewart below the yellow line. That's a no-no.

At the end of the race most of the cars had lost their luster, and some were literally held together with duck tape. I didn't look much better. I was hot and sweaty, and my face was covered with soot from the track. And yes, I had a red neck and a red nose too. Next time I need to use more sunscreen.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Walker Turns Two

New Born 005Today marks the second anniversary of the birth of our first grandchild. In this day of modern communication, his imminent arrival was announced in a text message from our son Brent to tell us that Katie’s water had broken and they were headed to the hospital.

LBeau and I were in Atlanta for a concrete convention, which meant that it would take us an extra two hours to get to Jackson, Mississippi. We packed quickly and hit the road, passing through Birmingham without batting an eye.

Brent Walker Beaumont, Jr., arrived on April 25, 2007, and changed our lives. We became grandparents—KBeau and LBeau. What fun it’s been. So in honor of Walker’s second birthday, I’m posting some of my favorite pictures from the last two years.

First Visit 007 There’s nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby.

Birmingham Visit 008 When Brent and Katie brought Walker to Birmingham for the first time, my friend Janice got to practice being a grandmother.

Daddy Don 002 When Brent, Katie and Walker moved to Annapolis, I went along to help out. We stopped in North Carolina so that Walker could meet his great grandfather, Daddy Don.

DSCN0676 I found Walker’s Halloween suit at a children’s consignment sale at our church.

DSC00052 They spent Christmas 2007 with Katie’s family in Washington. Here are Katie and her sisters with Walker and cousin Chloe. Walker was the first boy in that family and will continue to be so. Chloe now has a sister Charlotte, and Walker’s sister Lauren will arrive next month.

Walker 011 Walker’s grandmother Ya-Ya likes to call him Walkie Talkie. The name fits, since he was talking by his first birthday. Early on, we taught him how to Call the Hogs. Woooooo Pig Sooie!!

IMG_0609 All decked out for the 4th of July.

IMG_10920 Here is one of our most recent pictures, which I use as the wallpaper on my laptop. What a joy to have his sweet face smiling at me from my computer.

Happy Birthday, Walker. See you soon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tommy’s Turn

Thanksgiving 016 My “little” brother Tommy, pictured here with granddaughter Morgan, turns 60 today. Welcome to the club. LBeau and I are at my sister Margie and her husband Alan’s condo in Destin celebrating with Tommy and his wife Susie (the famous Susie that Laurie writes about).

I used to tell everyone that Tommy was three years younger than I because he was three years behind me in school. The truth is that he is only about 2 1/2 years younger, and at our age that six months makes a huge difference.

Crestwood gangKBeau, Kathy McGuire, Tommy, David Law

Our early years were spent on Crestwood Road in Camden, Arkansas. The McGuires lived next door and the Laws lived across the street. We spent most of our time outside building pine straw houses, playing cowboys and Indians or playing Kick the Can under the street lights. Notice the clothesline complete with clothespins in the photograph above.

When I was in sixth grade and Tommy was in third, we moved to our new house on the Chidester Highway. We were sandwiched in between our grandparents, Grancy and Poosie, and Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe. Uncle Bob and Aunt Chris live on the other side of Grancy and Poosie. There we could ride horses every afternoon after school or fish in the pond behind the house.

Tommy had his own room while Margie and I had to share. Tommy, however, had to sleep with the deer head hanging over his bed, which I’m sure didn’t bother him at all. He had a BB gun at a young age and got his love of deer hunting from Daddy. Every Thanksgiving he makes sure my boys get a chance to hunt.

Thanksgiving 2003 015Tommy helps Brent skin an 8-point, Thanksgiving 2003

In honor of Tommy’s birthday I made Grancy’s Devil’s Food Cake. This was the birthday cake we always had when we were kids. Here’s the recipe from A Pinch of Salt, published by the Camden Junior Auxiliary in 1971. Susie suggested that I link to Foodie Friday. This will be my first time to participate. Be sure to visit Gollum for more delicious recipes.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a Disappointment

27f9_1 A couple of weeks ago I found a teapot with a matching cream pitcher and sugar bowl on eBay in the same pattern as the cups and saucers that I used in my Easter dinner tablescape.

When I first spotted them and saw the Buy-It-Now price of $29.95 I thought the auction was for the teapot only, since that was the only piece in the picture. With shipping at $12.95, I decided that it was too rich for my blood and I would just have to pass. Upon a second look, I discovered more pictures and learned that the auction was for three pieces. I jumped on it.

teapot 003When they arrived a couple of days ago, I had already planned my next tablescape—Tea for Two on the Porch. Yesterday I began to unpack the box, only to discover this. What a bummer.

I have emailed the seller, so I hope to have a somewhat happy outcome, but after seeing how beautiful the three pieces are it was a major disappointment for the handles to have broken. Let this be a lesson that bubble wrap doesn’t do a lot of good unless it is wrapped securely around all sides of the fragile object and fastened well with packing tape.

Guess my Tea for Two will have to wait.

New_size_125_tallSo for some real tablescape ideas, head on over to Susan’s place at Between Naps on the Porch. I guess instead of tea on the porch, I’ll just go take a nap instead.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Mema Moment

Neither rain nor snow nor life nor death, especially death, shall keep the Bridge Club from its appointed game.  I learned this from my mother last week.

I had called her just to talk, and she was telling me about a friend who had died earlier in the week.  Mother and her lady friends are at that age where most of them have already outlived their spouses, and now they are losing their friends.  The ones who are still around play Bridge at least once a week.

Dorothy Jean, who had been in the nursing home with Alzheimer's for a number of years, died last week.  Her visitation was on Monday night, but her funeral on Tuesday was scheduled right in the middle of Bridge Club.

No problem.  The Bridge Club convened, ate lunch, and played one round of Bridge.  They adjourned for the funeral and then promptly reconvened to finish the Bridge game.

Bridge group Mother and Daddy’s Couples Bridge Club some time in the ’60’s.  Mother and Daddy are on the right.

For more Mema Moments see THIS POST from my sister Margie’s blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Goat Lady

-!The%20Goat%20Woman%20of%20Smackover%20--imageTrips from Camden to El Dorado, Arkansas, in the ’50’s and ’60’s sometimes rewarded us with a glimpse of the strange woman we  called The Goat Lady.

To a child, she was a scary woman with her wild unkempt hair, and I often wondered what kind of person would live among a bunch of goats in a shack along Arkansas Highway 7.  I remember hearing stories that she had been a famous concert musician, who ran away and became a recluse.

Although not entirely accurate, it turns out that story has an element of truth.  Rhena Salome Miller Meyer performed in the Barnum and Bailey Circus, playing seven instruments as a one-woman band.

When the circus folded after a performance in Camden at the beginning of the Great Depression in 1929, she and her husband Charles Meyer drove their 1915 Model-T circus show truck to nearby Smackover.  There they settled, living in the truck, and she began to raise pet goats, which she thought of as her children.

6847929_120008152761 One article that I read said that she liked to perform for the local children from the back of the circus truck, and even included her goats in the act.  The circus truck has been restored and is now on display at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Updating a Bathroom

Shortly after building our house in 2001, the use of wallpaper in new construction, at least in Birmingham, became passé. Unfortunately, I had wallpaper in every bathroom; however, I had bought most of it at a wallpaper outlet, so it didn’t cost a fortune.

I lived with it for about five years before I decided that wallpaper wasn’t making a comeback any time soon and I needed to get rid of what was in my two second floor bathrooms. The master bathroom and powder room papers were okay. In fact, I really like my master bathroom paper. It’s tone on tone and looks like French handwriting.

jaguar 2 I wish I had saved some pieces of the wallpaper that I stripped from Ben’s bathroom. Do you remember how popular animal skin prints were a few years ago? Well, the walls of the wet area of that bathroom were covered in something that resembled leopard or cheetah or jaguar. It looked something like this.

Ben has always been one to take really long showers, and every time I went into his bathroom after he had showered I could see the water running down the walls. I secretly hoped that the wallpaper would just fall off one day.

After removing the paper, I had the walls painted in Benjamin Moore HC-88, Jamesboro Gold. It’s a rich color and really looks good with the Linen White trim.

bathroom 002

scan0007I’ve always liked the look of black and white photographs matted in white and framed in black. These photographs are from LBeau’s rodeo days. I scanned the original 8x10’s and used PhotoShop Elements to get rid of the wrinkles. Then I had 5x7 prints made and bought these frames and mats from Pottery Barn. Here’s one of the originals.

bathroom 001 I bought this framed photograph by Cindy McIntyre in Bar Harbor, Maine. It caught my eye because of the Grapette sign hanging on the wall. Grapette was invented in my home town. I once had a pest control man compliment my sense of humor for hanging a picture of gas pumps beside the toilet. Frankly, I had never thought of it that way.

bathroom 003

The sink area was papered in a striped companion paper to the animal print. It is now painted in Benjamin Moore HC-82, Bennington Gray, which matches the adjacent bedroom. The colors in the accessories compliment the bedroom colors as well. I found the stacking boxes at Hobby Lobby. The red transferware plate that I’m using as a soap dish is an eBay purchase, and the plates hanging on the wall were a gift from my Aunt Mary. She gave me four of these Castle on the Lake plates by Johnson Brothers. The other two hang on the wall at the opposite end of the countertop.

Pic_for_Body_of_Blog3 Now that you’ve seen my bathroom makeover, be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to see what other transformations are taking place.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

This Old House


The first house I ever built is for sale again.  I had no idea when we built it that it would launch a new career for me.

We built is for ourselves in 1991 and moved in just before Christmas, as you can tell from the wreath on the front door.  One word of advice – if you can possibly avoid moving just before Christmas by all means do so.  Christmas was a blur that year.  I’m actually surprised that I put up a wreath. 

I knew nothing at the time about building houses, but LBeau is a structural engineer, so I figured he’d keep me straight even though I had to be the one to oversee the whole process.  Fortunately it was a fairly simple plan that LBeau drew himself.  We patterned it after the George Wythe House in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

It was a good house.  We had a huge side yard that became the neighborhood ball field.  Soccer, baseball and football were all played in our side yard.  One neighbor even asked me when we were going to put up bleachers and lights.

By the time we left 4109 Ashington Drive ten years later, all of my boys had graduated from high school.  Ben was home from the University of Arkansas for the summer, and he was not happy about the move.  This was the house that all of his friends hung out in.  This was the basement where they played poker and the deck where they smoked nasty cigars, leaving them in plastic cups for me to deal with.  So Ben sulked and refused to move anything from his room.  LBeau and I were not happy.

When Kevin and Tricia bought our house, they had 15-month old twins, a boy and a girl.  They now have three children, and they are relocating to be closer to family.  Here’s a LINK to the real estate information, complete with pictures.

I hope the next family enjoys it as much as we did.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

For Claire


When a friend in Arkansas sent me this clipping from the Sunday, October 8, 2006, edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, little did I know that the young lady in the picture with Ben would be my daughter-in-law two years later.

I doubt Ben knew it either, since I don’t think they had started dating. When he did ask her to dinner not long after that, Claire replied, “I think I could do that.” They’ve been inseparable ever since.

Claire is the second oldest of six children. I can only imagine what life was like in the Bennett household.

Cherish Sample - Page 022

She was a cute little girl, as you can see from these pictures in their wedding rehearsal video. I really do wish I could have known both of my daughters-in-law when they were growing up.

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Last weekend Ben and Claire brought us a DVD of their wedding pictures. In honor of Claire’s birthday today, I’d like to share a few of my favorites.

Bennett Wedding_0175Bennett Wedding_0200 Bennett Wedding_0274 Bennett Wedding_0530

6a00d8341c3afb53ef0111689d004f970c-320wi So that’s four April birthdays down and two more to go. For more Show and Tell on this Friday, visit Kelli at There’s No Place Like Home.