Be A Good Samaritan

I wake up to another day feeling overwhelmed with too much to do and I am reminded of a time in my life when I should have worried but didn’t.


I was in my early 30’s on a business trip to Colorado. I checked into the hotel feeling like a million dollars. I was a single Mom on her first trip without a child alone in the hotel room without any obligations until the next morning. It was mid afternoon and my hotel room was on a high floor so I had a view of Denver. Wow. Just beautiful. So I decided to take a walk. I can even remember what I had on…..a Laura Ashley flowered blue jean jacket over my light blue jean tulip skirt with blue cowboy boots sticking out under the skirt’s bottom. I felt empowered and ready to take on the world. I left the hotel with just my hotel key and began my walk. An hour later I realized I had walked into a shady part of the city and wasn’t sure how to get back to the hotel. I turned around and nothing seemed to look familiar and I began to panic when I realized it didn’t look anything like the luxury hotel or area I had left earlier. I said a short prayer and heard a taxi pull up. I explained I didn’t have any money on me and asked if he could just point me in the right direction to my hotel. The cab driver got out and opened the door and promptly told me he couldn’t let me keep walking in this area and if I was worried about him getting paid I could forget it….so I got in. He then told me I’d managed to walk almost 5 miles away from the hotel and into one of the roughest areas of Denver. When he pulled up to the hotel he refused to wait for me to come back with cab fare…..he said he was sure I was the kind of person who would so the same for someone else in a similar situation and the waved goodbye.
Where is my cab driver today? Or am I now supposed to be the cab driver?
Luke 10: 29-37
The man said to Jesus: “Who really is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among robbers, who both stripped him and inflicted blows, and went off, leaving him half dead….but a certain Samaritan traveling the road came upon him and, a seeing him, he was moved with pity. So he approached him and bound up his wounds, pouring oil and wine upon them. The he mounted him upon his own beast and brought him to the inn.” Jesus then said to him: “Go your way and be doing the same yourself”.
That cab driver may have saved my life. As we drove back to the hotel I looked around at the area I had walked to and realized how lucky I was that he had stopped to help me.

Today I will choose to be like the cab driver who helped me years ago….. No more feeling sorry for myself.    I’ve got to get busy and be like the cab driver.

Chalk Paint Tips

 

The easiest piece to begin with if you’ve never painted with chalk paint is a small piece….maybe try an end table for a spare bedroom.  I picked a grey….seems to be all the rage these days.  I’m painting the drawer an accent color….an ivory for an accent.  Paint the chair or table upside down first…so you can get into all the nicks and edges.  I like to put it up on a table of some sort….in this case, a portable work bench.

Baseball Cap Cleaning

Instead of tossing out my hubby’s favorite baseball caps I decided to try washing them in the dishwasher…..AMAZING!  All the sweat stains are gone….all the dirt is gone…and they look new again!

Begin by loading them in the dishwasher…..add dishwasher detergent like you normally would for a load of dishes.  I recommend not loading them with dishes that have food on them…maybe run a separate cycle just for your ball cap or ball caps.

Run the dishwasher on normal cycle….turn off the heat cycle.

When the dishwasher is done…..set the caps outside to dry quickly or hang them somewhere inside where if they drip….it won’t damage anything.

Just like new….who knew?

Open House

Holding an open house doesn’t mean you sit in a house for a few hours catching up on your reading or going through your emails even though that may be what you end up doing if it’s a slow day……it begins with at least an hour of printing flyers, disclosures, other active property print outs and open house sign in sheets.  Then you begin blocking traffic as you put out your signs.image.jpg

2017 Motivation

One of the few items I have that was my Grandma Katy’s is a plate.  I often wish I had asked her more about her life because I know so little.  Catherine Weissgarber was originally Catherine Reich, born on January 26, 1907.  She came to New York on a boat from Austria Hungry and met my Grandpa, Martin Weissgarber in the Bronx.  Martin was from Romania and came to New York on a boat in 1922…and became a citizen in 1933.  This plate was made by the Bernhart Company sometime between 1919 and 1928 in the Schlaggenwald Region on Austria.  I am guessing they bought this plate on a trip they made back to the “old country” with my Dad, Tony, and his brother, John. How brave she must have been to cross the Atlantic to come to America alone….at 17!

Wonder how she felt when she reached Ellis Island and saw the Statue of Liberty?

How lucky we are to live in the USA!  Welcome 2017!

plate

 

 

 

 

 

New Year New Ideas

This time of year it’s time for me to start “de-cluttering”…..and before de-cluttering and taking down the Christmas décor I try to get ideas for minor changes I might make as I pack up Christmas and bring back regular life.

I love my decorating magazines….Romantic Homes Magazine has been my motivation for almost ten years….along with House Beautiful and Traditional Home magazines.  I know it’s “old school” to not just go on Pinterest….but I love the glossy pages and keep the issues that motivate me.

Romantic Homes Magazine introduced me to Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic style along with motivating me to take my first trip to Round Top.  That lead to Annie Sloan chalk paint projects and vintage upholstery along with every bed having at least one set of Shabby Chic sheets, extra long bed ruffles to hide roll out boxes under beds and dozens of pillows that I lust and love. It also made me fall in love with Amie and Jolie Sikes, the Junk Gypsy girls!  I’d always loved Mary Englebreit but Rachel Ashwell, Annie Sloan and the Junk Gypsy’s were like Mary on steroids!  I have a red and turquoise bedroom AND an all white iron trundle bed in the second bedroom AND a pink leopard bedroom as the third bedroom….all motivated by these magazines and these super chicks!

House Beautiful Magazine motivated me to put a wall of different sized mirrors in my entryway.  I loved reading about Todd Romero, a San Antonio born decorator now based in New York, and his famous quote “Good Design is Editing” in the April 2016 issue….which has become my mantra and drives my husband crazy as I add and replace different items though out the house to get the “perfect” look.”

Country Decorating Ideas issue 154 “French Country Style” motivated me to get rid of my huge formal dining table and order a custom made 30 inch wide farm table from Bassett Furniture…but keep the Queen Anne chairs that were part of that dining room set and shabby chic them with Annie Sloan paint in different colors.

Traditional Home magazine motivated me to add plaid to my Christmas décor and confirmed that it was okay to have a second tree….but in the guest bedroom so our neighbors could see the lights from the street and our grandkids could sleep in a room during the holidays with a huge tree and shining lights as their nightlight.

The Cottage Journal, Christmas Cottage issue, motivated me to put a small wreath on a cabinet door and decorate the fireplace mantel with white and gold decorations.

Flea Market Décor motivated me to buy a red sled for the front porch Christmas décor and own multiple wreaths….one for the front gate, one for the front door, one on the fireplace mantel, one on the silver deer head, one on a cabinet and one on the backyard gate to the park….I might have gotten carried away.

Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate Christmas 2010 has incredible recipes for Tamale Pie, Orange Mexican Wedding Cookies, Layered Fiesta Salad and Cranberry Margaritas….and I am considering all these for our Fiesta 2017 party.

So as I go through my magazines to get motivated to pack up Christmas I will gather new ideas for replacing the items I put away…..and get ready for Fiesta…my second favorite time of the year.  Fiesta is San Antonio’s party of the year for 2 weeks….”I ain’t gonna resta until after Fiesta” will be my motto!

Christmas Miracle

queen-of-love

 

On Christmas Day an old friend of ours died.  She spent several days cooking for the big family gathering that occurs at her home each Christmas Day, ate dinner, sat down to relax and never woke up.

She was the queen of her family….always in charge of family gatherings and taking care of stray kids for others over the years…including raising several children that weren’t her own.  I was very sad when I saw the text the day after Christmas….and immediately had my husband cook up a big container of King Ranch Chicken Enchiladas while I caught us up on work so we could head out to her house.

I had managed to bake up several dozen cookies on Christmas Day between our early Christmas celebration with a cousin and the late Christmas celebration with my Mom and brothers even though we didn’t need any additional cookies….but now I was glad I had taken the time to bake because they were needed.  I had bought a plate surrounded by hearts with a Queens crown at the center several weeks before not knowing who or why I was buying it….but I knew it was perfect for the plate of cookies as Gail was the Queen of her household and Queen of the family gatherings.

We drove up to a busy house with enough food for the crowd that had gathered and with heavy hearts we drove away wondering why God had chosen Christmas Day to take Gail home.

I waited until the day after to call my Mom, who is 87 years old, to tell her John’s sister had died on Christmas Day at only 65.  When I told her the story her response was, “How lucky she was….to have died surrounded by her family”.   When I hung up the phone I realized Mom was right….Gail died surrounded by her family on one of the most important days of the year after spending her time making sure everything was perfect for them and was able to eat the beautiful meal she had spent days preparing.   I forgot about feeling sad….Mom had put it into perspective.  No horrible car wreck, no long months or years of being sick….a beautiful celebration on Christmas Day surrounded by her family.

 

RIP Elizabeth Gail Frazier.

Shabby Cabinet

20161019_110503_resizedOne of the biggest reasons I wanted to go to an auction was to find a cabinet I could transform into my own creation…..and store candles (which I LOVE) and still have space for overnight guests to have a spot of their own.  Our beautiful grandkids enjoy coming over and opening “their” drawers to see the goodies we have been gathering for them and their special visit.    Our daughter can find a spot in her casa for the 5 drawer chest she needs more than us that this cabinet will replace.   I am trying to decide what Annie Sloan chalk paint colors will work best…..am thinking the inside should be a different color….because shouldn’t a guest room hold a piece of furniture that is fun, funky AND pretty? The lower section has 2 shelves….so those will become the grandkid shelves….I removed the shelves from the upper cabinet so we can begin painting.  We paid $135 for this at Voigt Auction House in San Antonio.    They were featuring items from a dealer in Sweden…..so it will be fun to add that it’s “from Sweden”….when we are done.  Will update you when it’s finished!

Camel Saddle Anyone?

Last night I was able to talk David into going with me to Voigt Auction….an auction house in San Antonio off Blanco Road that has a live auction every Tuesday at 7.  I was on the search for a cabinet that will hold candles, extras and maybe have a few empty drawers for overnight visitors….and the first item I had to have was an  authentic camel saddle….how can a Texas girl resist?  It even has a bell….camel-saddle

Before you Downsize

Anyone getting rid of over 1,ooo square feet can get a little stressed….even if it was your decision and choice to do so!  I began getting ready months in advance…..beginning with my attic.  16×12 and full of boxes and stuff I hadn’t looked at in years.  Took 3 months…..I put a shredder next to the kitchen table and did one box at a time.  Some were boxes of taxes we inherited that were my mother in laws……some were photos of relatives we didn’t know……I even found an autograph book from when I was in the fourth grade (I didn’t bother shredding that but did check for famous folks names…ha,ha).  Watching TV while shredding made it a lot easier…..our house wasn’t on the market (yet)….just the beginning stages of how to get ready to sell and move to a smaller place…..watch a movie while you go thru each box…..make a box for each kid if you find things that they might want…….mail photos of long lost friends to them.  I got lots of calls from people who got their photos mailed…..lots of laughs and a few called to thank me as they didn’t have that picture of their husband (or wife) who isn’t around anymore and it made them feel good that someone cared enough to keep the photo for years and then send it to them………what is stuck in the attic might actually be something precious to someone else and a stamp or two makes their day.

Always take your time during the attic clean out……you want to remember what you threw out or donated or gave away so you aren’t looking for it after you move…..and find a special place to donate things that might be resold.  We picked the Salvation Army….they are helping one of our friends kids get recovered from alcohol….so giving to a place that is special to you makes getting rid of stuff a lot easier.

Hang in there…..deep breaths