Tuesday, March 6, 2012



The daytime job has taken control of my life.  Some personal sadness is also heavy on my heart. I'm sort of in that in-between state of dragging and then bursting with energy.  My time management has issues these days too.   I think we all have those times when things just get a little whacked out.  I'm going to take a little hiatus and take my fingers off the keys.  While I'm out in cognito, I'll just read up on what you all are doing on your blogs.  Give me something to laugh about.  I must take a hiatus.  Life happens!   ~ Debi

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yin & Yang

When you can listen to your thoughts

without becoming lost in what you hear;

When you can hear them

without adding or subtracting,

without editing

When you can remember the

very worst without cringing,

without even an eyeblink of the mind,

it's then your life will turn.
                                   ~ Journeys on Mind Mountain  

I'm working on mindfulness, once again trying to "stay in the moment".  When I found the above, it made a lot of sense.  I think it might help to print it out and read it every day.  Trying to get the yin and yangs to work together these days is quite a challenge especially with the crazy weather, but I'm up for a little push. 

There was supposed to be a big training session at work this weekend. 5 days scheduled, including the weekend, 8-7 p.m. each day to get the job done.  Luckily, mission accomplished mostly in 2 days and out the door we ran.  Have to go back on Monday, but the weekend is mine!  We had tremendous rain last night, but nothing like other parts of the country.  It is so sad for those the weather caused tremendous heartache.  My heart aches when I hear their stories and see those pictures.  I pray for all you that were touched from storm devastation and always hope for guardian angles to watch over each of us as we move about our day.  Have a great weekend everybody - Debi  

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I'm getting early spring fever, I believe.   The warm days make me twitchy to play in the dirt and, the cold days .. ah, whatever with the cold days.  Even with the ups and downs of this crazy weather, just the anticipation of a new season on the horizon, gives me the little push I need to shake some things up. I have 4 big windows in my bedroom and think they need a little "oomph", a little "pow".  I definitely don't want to bring anymore into the house, but I'm thinking curtains.  I don't have a decorator's eye - the eye that can see vision of stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something totally wild and different.  I've been going through all kinds of magazines for a little inspiration.  I have a few ideas up my sleeve.  In this process, I've been working on the length and width, size rods, etc and I'm telling you, that part just sucks the fun out of it.  What I found to help me in this madness has been a little guide I torn out of a book or magazine a while back which clearly lays it out; that's all I want, just give it to me.

1.  Curtains should be 2 1/2 to 3 x the width of the window. If you're doing 2 panels, each should be 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 x the window width.  Buy a rod that's 20" wider than your window so it extends 10 inches on either side.  Your window will seem much wider than it really is.  Mount curtains as high as possible to give the room height, and let them break 1 1/2 inches on the floor.

Here are a few more tips I found along the way that might take the guess work out of things.  I have always guessed or just eye-balled things.  I've never been too far off,  but now I have some real numbers to work with to take the guesswork out. 

1.  The bottom of a dining room chandelier should hang 36 inches above the table. 

2.  Install light switches 36" above the floor and 1 1/2 to 2 inches  to the side of the door rim.

3.  One gallon of paint will cover about 400 sq. feet of wall.


4.  For a standard 84 inch sofa with exposed legs and a tight back, you'll need 14 yards of plain 54 inch wide fabric.  Add 2 yards for a skirt.

5.  A 36 inch wide rectangular table is good for conversation.  A round table with a diameter of 48 inches seats 6; a 60 inch round will handle 8 standard dining chairs or 10 ballroom chairs.

Gift table. Or these tables instead of round tables?i am in love with round tables!!

6.  How big should an overhead light fixture be - Add the length and width of the room in feet, and whatever number you come up with is, in inches, your guide for the fixture's diameter.  A 15 x 20 foot room would need a 35 inch wide chandelier. 

7.  A kitchen island should be about 38 inches high - a little taller than the countertops to be comfortable for prep.

kitchen islandkitchen islands and large hoods
Are you feeling a little like me ~  wanting to change it a little bit.  Are you looking through seed catelogs thinking you might grow something a little "strange" this year just because you can OR tired of the winter hodrums and wanting to take a walk on the "wild side" of decorating.  IF you are - well I'm with ya.  It will be a work in progress as it always is - an ongoing wish list, to do list, wanna have it, gotta have it, but don't need it, don't have it list.
Guys & Dolls - Seize the day!  Debi              


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Is That Snow??



                                                                   Yesterday was glorious. 
The sun was shining beautifully.  I worked all day moving compost to all the flower beds.  The horses were out in the pasture, all the dogs were on a hunt for something.  I even wore a short-sleeved T-shirt to work in. 

Today, however, things changed dramatically.  It started off very windy.  Don't ask me why we still have the umbrella up.  Never mind that now. 

The temperatures dropped incredibly fast and low and the forecast calls for "a little" precipitation of a "weathery mix". 
As the afternoon went on, the winds blew harder, the rains came that turned into sleet, and then a gentle snow began to fall.  I believe this might be all we 
      get here - at least that's all I hope we get. 

Please don't stick. 

What a contrast of days.  
                                        What's your weather?  ~ Debi

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines - An Emotion

valentine day treats Happy Valentine Day Dress  

Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.[1] Love is also a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and "the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another".[2] Love may also be described as actions towards others (or oneself) based on compassion, or as actions towards others based on affection.

Feel the Love Every Day

The honey and I are going over to Celebrity Dairy Farm
for an evening Valentine's meal.
 Celebrity Dairy is a 300 acre working dairy farm
in Chatham County, North Carolina.
A very special Valentines meal will be served in several
courses with selections prepared by Chef Chip.
For those of you who live nearby and want to visit, Celebrity Dairy is well known for it's
award-winning cheeses. 
They have 100 or so goats and during kidding season, about 150-200
goat kids are born.  The farm celebrates this season with
Open Barn Weekends.  Check out their web site for all the information. 
You will have a great time especially if you have children (or not).    The
third Sunday afternoon of each month, Celebrity Dairy
has a gourmet dinner using local seasonal farm products served at
a common table (reservations required, of course). 

I hope this love day will be good for you.  Love your dog, your goat, your horse, somebody.   I heard yesterday a hug should last "20 seconds".  Have you tried to hug that long!!  That's really a longggg.....hug. 
Try it ~ give some hugs today ~ Debi

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Old man winter finally hit our area.  The wind is blowing so hard out tonight that it sounds like it's going to blow the roof off.  I keep getting up to check the barn and the trees out in the pasture.  I have one tree that is leaning and that bothers me badly on nights like this.  I shunt the barn up good, but left the upper swing door on their stalls open.  They have their blankets on, but their water buckets were already freezing when I went up and tucked them in for the night and gave more hay.   It will be SOOOOO cold tomorrow morning when I go feed; not looking forward to that.  My dogs have to be pushed out the door only to quickly do their business and run back in.  One of my daughters is in the mountains with snow up there tonight. I tried a new soup tonight, a corn chowder, which turned out fantastic for this cold night.  I saw it today on FoodTV.  The "Pioneer Woman" was on there making this soup.  Have any of you ever watched her?  I think something just blew off my deck.  I'm going to have to go investigate.  Anyway, it's VERY cold.   I love my flannels - get a life Victoria's Secret!       Later - Debi

Sunday, February 5, 2012


What a very dreary day.  It has gotten cold again and it's just wet and icky outside.  The horses have been out already kicking up their heels and tearing up the pasture.  Gosh, what will it look like come spring time.  I'm staying in today keeping the home fires burning - Really - I have the fire going in the woodstove and it's just about as cozy as can be in here.  I just fixed myself some Green Dragon tea.  Yesterday was like today, but I had errands to run but spent HOURS in my favorite store, Southern Seasons, over in Chapel Hill.  I'm telling you, I'm their biggest fan.  Yes, it's awkward handing someone your camera and asking them to take evidence pictures for you, but I'm guilty.  Actually, it turned into quite an ordeal.  I have pictures I just cannot post because they were so stupid-looking and I began having way too much fun in there. 

Since I spend quite a bit of time in the cheese department, here is me and my cheese guy.  I'm telling you, they fix me up with pairings of wine and cheeses all year long for farm get togethers.  Absolutely love their advice (and the samples they allow me to taste ..ummmh/yummy).  Love these guys. 

This pottery below is made by Siglinda Scarpa, a pottery maker who has settled in North Carolina and runs Goathouse Gallery. This is a design for Valentines.   It's pricy - no kidding, but it's gorgeous.  This whole tablescape was stunning done in white, black and red and silver tableware.  Google her - she's a good gal and very interesting. 

Let's see - maybe dinner for 12???

Moving on ---- I always check out the olive oil sections.  Since I usually buy the olive oil at Weaver Street or Whole Foods, it's always fun to step out and check out the new young oils.  Get to taste that too.  This guy is always so helpful and you can tell he knows his stuff.

OMG - This little couple has their own dipping sauce they have come up with that they were showcasing yesterday.  It is called "Zing Sauce".   I was a little hesitant - but they showed  me how to dress it up and what to mix it with and,  Oh Mama!  I making some tuna dipping stuff tonight for what?   - Just the biggest football game EVER!

I headed on down a little later to another little shop I just have to peep into every now and then.  This is called Branching Out - a very appropriate name.  Love, love, love it.  Very unique specialty store in Chapel Hill.  How convenient for me - just right up from Southern Season's. 

It's lit up like this all the time.  I just walk in and say "WOW" to me little self and just touch, stare, want, need, inspiration station, etc.  You get it. 

She has this whole little doggie section going on.  I just like looking at it too. 

Lots of antiques and lovely books.  It's all displayed just right making you want it.  I'm hoping she's watching out for some old silverware for me.  I'm looking for some engraved pieces.

I really like her needlework pet cushions. 

My last picture here is just one of her displays for Valentines Day.  She has many more "love day" displays all over the store.  Lots of red and those little twinkling lights to showcase it all.  Just makes you want to go home and bring out a little red. 

Hope all of you had a great weekend and the beginning of your week will get off to a great start.   ~ Debi

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Party Food

Whew - almost forgot to post this for ya.

If you still have time to get your Superbowl food together, this is a dip you might want to try - OR if you just want make this for yourself and hide in a closet and eat it, that would be okay too.  Because - it's just that good and SO easy and FAST.  Here goes:

1 8 oz package cream cheese (softened)

1/2 sour cream

1/3 cup mayo (You can add herbs if you like, but I don't)

1 cup cocktail sauce

1 and 1/2 lbs shrimp, cooked, deveined, and sliced up

2 cups finely shredded sharp chedder cheese


3/4 cups chopped tomatoes

Mix together the softened cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo.  You can use a mixer if you need to.  Spread this all out on a medium sized platter.  My platter is an oval about 12-14" end to end. 

Cover this with about 1 cup of cocktail sauce.

Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded sharp cheese on top of the cocktail sauce.

Layer the 1 and 1/2 lb of the cooked and cup up shrimp all over the top of the cheese.  Add the chopped tomatoes over all of this and lastly, sprinkle the 6 or so cut up scallions all over the top for beautiful presentation. 

Serve this with some sort of sturdy cracker to dip it up with.

This is a great "go-to" dip for any occasion,  People will love you when you feed them this.  You will be the queen or king for the day.  You can tell them it's a family recipe and you can't share it.

Delicious - Enjoy!    ~ Debi

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Horses & Such

I know why so many horse-loving people love this color horse.
(He's growing up and doesn't look like a baby too much anymore).

All you have to do is clean this a few times and you get it. 
Totally ~ get it!

My Hellebore's are growing and blooming like crazy.  I threw a little of natures natural fertilizer on them in early fall and I think they loved it. 

The woods are just full of them.  They have multiplied so many times over the years and have just spread out beyond belief.  The Hellebore gardeners would just love to get their hands on a few of these I believe. 

Hopefully you can understand this picture.  With our temperatures so unbelievably nice in the low to mid 60's lately here in the Carolina's, I decided to start moving the compost to the flower and vegetable beds.  All I have to do is throw a rock in the compost boxes and that crazy Potter will jump in there and turn the compost for me.  I know it's outrageous to see your Jack Russell going nuts slinging all that soil around looking for the rock, but do you see how rich that soil is in my wheelbarrow ~ golly, I think I might be on to something!! I wonder what would happen if I threw all three of my Jacks in there.  Probably would result in a huge Jack Russell free for all fight with a lot of fur flying, that's what, but a lot of good turned compost for sure.   

Sweet Gracie tried to start a little fight with Potter tonight.  The food dishes were just a little too close to each other.  She was snatched up just in time. She's the smallest of the pack, but hands down, I believe the meanest.  They all hunt, true to their breed, but Gracie is special because she climbs trees.  Yes, that's what I said.  If it is on a little tilt, up she goes after the enemy - the squirrel.  A couple of years ago, she lost her footing and fell about 25-30 feet. She broke a rib.  You would have thought one of our 2-legged children had fallen by the way we sped off to the animal emergency.  Hubby loves these dogs (softer spot for Gracie). I often question my place on the totem pole??? Just sayin'.
  Agenda for the day ~ Let the dog in - let the dog out -  Debi


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Atlanta Buying Trip

It has been a whirlwind of craziness.
I've been trying to keep up with all of you and read up on what you've been doing.  I just haven't had the time to write.  Daughter and I made the Atlanta trip.  The photo above does no justice to how many floors and more floors and buildings our little feet traveled pulling that blessed little wheelie cart all over the place.  Deals were made and things were purchased.  I switched shoes 2 hours after I got in there, if that tells you anything!  This place was not for the weak - do not try to wear the little cute shoes!

I must tell you that photography was not "really" allowed inside, but I did ask before I snapped away.  There were a lot of things we wanted photos of just so we wouldn't forget these businesses.  The Bling, WOW~~ - We stayed way too long on the jewelry floor.  There was one point where we thought we had lost our wallets!  I had the look of a wild bangee woman on my face.  We torn that wheelie apart, our bags ..everything came out and down only to find them tucked right where they were supposed to be. Meg did make a purchase of a necklace called the "Queen".  Oh yes, lots of glitz and bling; sort-of a shabby chic piece, but boy does it get attention.  She looked adorable in it.  I know - I know, there are no pictures of us.  I don't know how that happened.  I could shoot myself for not getting some of her to chronicle her journey and this adventure she is getting ready to embark on.  Darn!   

Had to check out the outdoor stuff for hubby.  I wanted it all.  Of all places, someone recognized us as the "hammock people" from North Carolina (small world, isn't it).

We were so exhausted each evening that we really just collapsed.  Of course, we had to look at catalogs, calculate, price, discuss, and get the plan for the next day.  We were so lucky with really mild temperatures outside.  This little gal above had the neatest little hankie shoppe.  Just adorably displayed and girlie-girl.

Fairy Gardens - Gonna be a good thing, I think.  Got alot of attention

We hooked up with some other North Carolina businesses we met while traveling MARTA.  They showed some short-cuts getting from point A to B which were so helpful. 
It would be so hard to be a buyer for a huge specialty gift store.  I don't know how those folks do it.  You have to really know your customer and what your market is.  We even had to ponder long and hard on several occasions, and had to walk away sadly on many products. 

Owls were a hit in everything!

Loved bike baskets!

LED little lights a huge favorite.

Now that we're back, things are full speed ahead.  Family business has taken a different twist and husband has been very busy getting that going.  I think tonight was our first meal together in over a week and it was a late dinner.  It's been mostly just touching base during the day by cell phone and to bed exhausted at night.  Daughter #1 now knows what she needs to do to get the boutique ready.  She and I can hardly sleep from the excitment of this adventure.  The ideas and thoughts that come to you in the middle of the night - why then, I don't know.  Do you ever get up and jot down those thoughts?

Anyway, great trip.  All is well with the rest of the surroundings.  Wet weather here.  The horses are tearing up the pasture.  Don't EVER buy a gray horse.  I'll post a picture of Ace soon - absolutely pitiful looking fella ... so muddy and dirty.   The Jack Russels goal is to get the squirrel.  I am their biggest fan.  I yell from the sidelines - "Get the nasty ...bleep"!!

Gotta scoot  - Later, Debi