Tuesday, December 28, 2010


For our 40th anniversary dinner, the kids were in charge.  Needing an outing, they announced they were taking us out to eat.  Fine with us.  They were paying.

We needed a kid friendly venue, and the majority voted for Chuy’s at the Summit.  Mistake.  Big mistake.  The Summit was a zoo on the Monday after Christmas, and it was a two-hour wait at Chuy’s.  No can do with three children age three and under.

Regrouping we headed back east on 280, aiming for Pablo’s at Lee Branch.  Fortunately, since everyone in the entire Birmingham metro area was at the Summit, navigating 280 at 6 p.m. was a breeze.  Pablo’s had our table ready in less than five minutes, and we had a pleasant dinner.  We even found another customer willing to snap a group photo.

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But little did LBeau and I know that the fun was just getting started.  We had taken three cars to accommodate the eight adults and three children in car seats.  By the time LBeau, Mema and I got home, the others were already there and getting the kids in bed.  Or so we thought.

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Under the direction of Katie, the kids had spent weeks plotting a surprise anniversary party.  Glenda was in charge of the festive decorations on the island, the boys provided beer, and Connie brought wine as well as a delicious spread that Walker called chocolate stuff on crackers (he asked for it for breakfast this morning).

Janice made a delicious appetizer, and Claire spent the afternoon baking a cake at a friend’s house, which she later decorated on the bed in her room upstairs.  It was a complete surprise, and I was blown away.  Afterward all of our friends gathered for a group photo.

Christmas 029Connie and Terry, KBeau and LBeau, Susie and Wayne, Walt and Glenda, Janice and Don

When Claire instructed us to act goofy, Connie whispered, “Make out.”  So we did.

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There are lots of years and lots of happy marriages in that picture.  Thanks everyone.


Monday, December 27, 2010

How Time Flies…

…when you’re having fun.

Forty years ago today, LBeau and I were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Camden, Arkansas.

Kathy Larry wedding

Little did we know that 40 years later we would be spending Christmas with our three sons, two daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.

Happy Anniversary, LBeau.  It’s been all fun.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Village Is Growing

houses 004 I just thought I was finished.  Lucy's Chocolate Shop arrived in the mail the other day and has joined the other lighted houses in my tiny Christmas village.  As you may have read in THIS POST, I only buy pieces that "speak" to me.  This piece definitely spoke to me, since Lucy is the name of my 10-month-old granddaughter.

The Chocolate Shop fits in perfectly with Walker's Department Store, Claire's Card Shop, Newport School, the Camden General Store and the Beaumont Inn.

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Here's a view from another angle.

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houses 011 I thought the Chocolate Shop would be the only addition to my village this year, but shortly after I uploaded my previous post I received an email from my friend Becky.  It contained a link to a website with the instructions to check it out.  And there I found what no self-respecting Arkansas Razorback fan could possibly be without—The Hog Penny Pub.  Of course, I just had to have it.

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So the next time you're in the area, stop by Lucy's Chocolate Shop for a free sample, and then head over to the Hog Penny Pub for a Hog Burger and beer.  It's conveniently located next door to the Beaumont Inn.

FAVORITETHINGSBUTTON You might also want to visit Laurie, who's sharing more of her wonderful Christmas collections.  It's a sight to behold.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Finished…

decorations 002 Well, mostly it's finished.  My Christmas decorating has been dragging on for two weeks now, and there finally comes a time to call a halt.  The angel that I bought from a local crafter at the Inverness Elementary School craft show about 20 years ago is sitting atop my tree.  For the past several years she was hiding somewhere in that mess that I call an attic, but she resurfaced a few weeks ago.

This new ornament that my sister-in-law Susie gave me…

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…has joined some old favorites like this elf that Ben made in first grade.

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The 11 stockings that are hanging on my mantel have set the tone for my decorating scheme.  Besides, what says Christmas any better than red, white and green?  The greenery is a combination of artificial and live things.  In fact, the magnolia leaves already need replacing, so I'm sure I'll be raiding my neighbor Susie's yard before too long.

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I've put this nativity set that I painted at least 30 years ago on the coffee table so that it will be within easy reach of the grandchildren when the arrive.  If they're like my boys, they'll have lots of fun rearranging all of the pieces.

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My small collection of lighted houses is arranged on the buffet.

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decorations 057 I don't buy a piece unless it "speaks" to me.  The Beaumont Inn was my first house, an obvious choice.  It was joined by Newport School (LBeau's hometown), Camden General Store (my hometown), Walker's Department Store (my maiden name and my grandson's name) and Claire's Card Shop (my daughter-in-law).  I'm going to have to make room for Lucy's Chocolate Shop, which is on the way.  If anyone knows of something for Katie, Lauren, Brent, Hunter or Ben, please let me know.

These cute vases with a few sprigs of berries and greenery, decorate the dining room table.  I wanted something simple so that we wouldn't have trouble talking to each other when we have our Christmas dinner.

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decorations 019 I first saw these vases on the table at my sister's condo in Destin.  When I asked her where she got them so that I could buy some for myself, she shared her secret.  If you look closely, you'll see that they're really Petron tequila bottles.  So she made friends with a bartender who's been saving these for her, and I'm now the proud owner of five of these special vases.  The addition of a few candles gives everything a warm glow.

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My three French hens sit proudly on my sideboard (the greenery is real, the berries are not)…

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decorations 026 decorations 050 …and this tall vase filled with fresh cranberries and a large white candle adds to the soft glow of candlelight.  Cedar and red berries decorate the chandelier that hangs over my table.

So I guess I'm ready, or as ready as I'm going to get.  Except there are still packages to wrap and Christmas cards to mail.  But hey, I'm making progress.

Pic_for_Body_of_Blog3 But before I do anything else, I'm going to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to see what's going on on Metamorphosis Monday.  You should pay her a visit too.

You also should visit Kellie’s Korner for more Christmas decor at her Christmas Tour of Homes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just Chillin'

iphone 381I’ll admit it.  I’m behind on my holiday decorating, but I have a good excuse.   When I saw this cute beverage tub and wine bucket that my friend Wanda made, I knew I had to make one for myself and extras to give. I had so much fun with this project, that I couldn’t wait to share the how-to.

You'll need to purchase or gather the following materials before getting started.

  • a large galvanized tub (or smaller bucket for wine cooler)
  • a drill with a bit that is appropriate for drilling holes in metal (I used a 1/8" bit)
  • two sizes of wire (I used 14 gauge and 20 gauge)
  • needle nose pliers for bending the wire
  • an assortment of wooden and glass beads
  • a pencil or something similar for curling the wire

    beverage tub 005beverage tub 003 Begin by marking the location for the holes evenly spaced around the rim of your galvanized container. I used an oval tub that I purchased from Lowes and spaced the holes about 2 1/2" apart. You can drill the holes using an electric drill, but if you don't have one handy, Wanda reports that a hammer and nail will do. It just takes a whole lot longer.

    Start with the heavier wire (14 gauge), and loop it randomly around the edge of the tub, adding a few beads on each side of the holes. I worked with pieces of wire that were long enough to go through two or three holes. The needle nose pliers are handy for bending the ends of the wire to secure it to the tub. Don't be concerned about adding too many beads at this point, since you will get most of your color when you start working with the smaller wire.

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    beverage tub 008 beverage tub 009 Once you have formed this foundation, you can begin adding random loops of the smaller wire (20 gauge), strung with a variety of colored glass and wooden beads. I bought large packages of both wooden beads and glass beads at Walmart. I checked both Michael's and Hobby Lobby, and Walmart definitely had the best deal. I also purchased the two sizes of wire at Walmart.

    As you loop the smaller wire, you might want to curl some of it around a pencil for a corkscrew effect. You can also make tighter curls by winding the wire around a large nail.

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    My finished beverage chiller looked like this. Yours will probably look a little different, as no two will be the same. That's the beauty of this project. Just get started and go with the flow.

    beverage tub 015

    Pic_for_Body_of_Blog3 Be sure to go visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more amazing transformations on this Metamorphosis Monday. This week you’ll find so many ideas for holiday decorating, that you'll be saying, "So many projects; so little time."  I’m certainly going to be looking for inspiration to get started on my own Christmas decor.

    • Wednesday, December 1, 2010

      A Whole Bunch of Randomness—Wednesday Hodgepodge

      Hodgepodgebutton Once again, Joyce at From This Side of the Pond is hosting Wednesday Hodgepodge. I like these things because they are instant food for blogging. Thanks, Joyce. Be sure to visit her when you're through here.

      1. What is the most interesting thing you've done in the last year?

      I'm not sure "interesting" is exactly the right word. "Thrilling" is perhaps better, but hands down the most amazing and joyful thing I did in the last year was witness the birth of my granddaughter Lucy. Thanks to Ben and Claire for sharing that special time with me and her other grandmother Marie.

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      This sweet little girl is nine months old now. We can't wait for her and Walker and Lauren and their parents to get here for Christmas.

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      Photo by Lucy's Uncle Luke

      2. What is your most meaningful family heirloom?

      I love old family photos. Some of the ones I have are from before I was born. Others bring back fond memories of special times growing up. I really need to spend some time scanning them and collecting them in a digital family scrapbook. So many projects; so little time.

      Here's one of all of the Reynolds cousins. I'm the oldest of 21 grandchildren on my mother's side of the family.

      Reynolds cousins

      3. What food festival would you most like to attend? If you're not sure click here to see a list of possibilities.

      I don't see how any food festival could possibly be any better than Thanksgiving dinner in Camden, Arkansas, with all my Reynolds kinfolk. Our gatherings have gotten so large that we now have them in the fellowship hall of the First Presbyterian Church.

      My cousin Robert smokes the turkeys, and his wife Alma makes the giblet gravy. Mother makes the cornbread dressing, Aunt Mary bakes the homemade rolls, and everyone else contributes vegetables, salads and desserts. Yummm!!

      194Photo by my nephew Benton Walker

      4. Snow...do you love it or is it considered a four letter word where you live?

      editedsnow 010Love, love, love snow. Just not too much of it. I'd love to have one good snow a year. The kind that lasts for a couple of days. We haven't had too many of those around here lately. Last year's "big" snow, the first measurable snow we'd had in a number of years, was gone in a few hours.

      5. Can you ski? Do you ski? Are you any good?

      I've never been skiing, and I have no desire to learn. I would like to visit a ski resort during the ski season, however, and sit around the fire drinking hot toddies.

      6. What quality in your spouse or best friend are you most thankful for?

      I know people whose husbands are such homebodies that they aren't much interested in seeing the world. I'm so thankful that LBeau is not one of those spouses. He loves traveling as much as I do. We are fortunate that we've been able to take at least one good trip a year now that our children are no longer on the payroll. Our most recent trip was a cruise that started in Venice with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey and Greece.

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      7. Describe the coziest spot in your home.

      That would probably be my screened porch, especially in the spring and fall. Even on a warm summer day, I've been known to curl up on the love seat for a nice afternoon nap.

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      8. Insert your own random thought here.

      Daddy child My daddy would have been 89 today.  Happy Birthday, Daddy.  I still miss you.  Wasn't he the cutest little boy?