Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It was a "Fancy" birthday !

A perfect Sunday afternoon.
Mama and Daddy
Uncle Toot
Aunt Ronnie and Uncle Roos
Chris, Charla and Cora
Pops and Pie
And everyone dressed up "fancy".
Pink sparkly cupcakes
Drippy chandeliers hanging from the trees
Jigs even dressed up "fancy" in a pink princess crown and a feather boa
What more could a girl want for a
beautiful and fun 3rd birthday party???

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

A short stack of old bibles tied up with some old lace. The bibles belonged to family members. The stack is usually much taller,
but the ends of the books above the fireplace are presently being anchored by some enormous family bibles.


That's me!

Wishing you a just perfectly wonderful Fall day, ya'll.....

Gwynie Pie
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I saw this decorating idea using old books a couple years ago. And since I have an abundance of old books, I tried it. Loved it. Use it every year. Each year is very different in look and feel, as I have to start "from scratch" every year crafting the pile of books just right. Just so. It takes a little time. But so satisfying to my eyes.

Buffet holds my Grandparents mantle clock. It always sat above the fireplace in their home. I loved spending time at my Grandparents and can still "feel" the warmth there, whatever the season.

Still keeps perfect time. I think of it as the "heartbeat" of the home. Chiming out the hours. Beautiful.
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Living !!!! Room --- ahhhhhh

What a beautiful morning ! It was 51 degrees here last night. We've been sleeping with the A/C off and the windows open for a while now. But last night --- there was definitely some pulling of covers going on. Mmmmmm - perfect sleeping weather ! I have the kitchen French doors flung open this morning, doing a little catch-up on the laundry and putting the finishing touches on a "fancy" candlelier that will hang in the back yard from the big old ash tree, over the cupcake table, for Lily Kate's birthday party on Sunday.

I finished up the painting in the living room and finally got to the really good part --- decorating, of course. Here's a look at the new wall color - called Hot Chocolate -- which I absolutely love!

The beautiful framed picture above the armoire, which hides the tv and all the little black boxes, is from William's mother. Sadly, we know nothing about its history. We found it in an ancient trunk, along with all manner of other curious items. This picture is painted on black velvet. There was a back piece to it, so I suspect it was at one time a pillow.

The words say When Autumn Leaves Are Falling.

Just perfect ! It fits perfectly in this old frame I spruced up with a little flat black spray paint.

Stay tuned for pictures from the rest of the room.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Fall Decor

Decorating for Fall is always such a thrill for me.

It means we are heading into a season of "cozy". And I want every person who comes to my home to feel just that. CozyAnd Blessed
What a beautiful word!

Fall is a time to slow down a little.
Gather family and friends around.
Count your blessings.
I am so very Blessed!

Thanks for stopping by,

Gwynie Pie

Finally, after two weeks of picking paint colors, trying out paint colors, disliking those colors, choosing new ones......I am done !!! Yea!

I chose a color called Vanilla Creme to cover the formerly Lobster red walls in the dining room. Should you attempt a similar feat -- I have one word for you, just four little letters --- K I L Z . I didn't. Lesson learned.

Did you know it takes 5 coats of Vanilla Creme to cover over Lobster red? Now you do.

I LOVE decorating for Fall. Very fitting that on this first full day of Fall.

These pictures are in no real order -- the first ones are just shots of Fall decor in the kitchen.

Our dining table with a burlap runner. I literally bought the very cheapest burlap I could find. It's called utility burlap and cost less than $2 a yard.

I've used this burlap throughout the house as runners on tabletops.
I also used it on the armoire doors to hide the television and technical boxes that go with that.

I also have a project planned to stencil on the burlap and make throw pillows.....stayed tuned.

I love using my scripture dinner plates. Each plate has a different scripture that is a promise. I used the rocks in the middle of each plate as the "place card" and it is really neat how when you read the first part of the scripture, then the person's name, and then the last part of the scripture -- it really is sweet and personal.

"No one can imagine what God has prepared, Lily Kate, for those who love Him." Sweet!

I finished up the entire living room painting this morning. The total project took only about 3 1/2 hrs. I wasn't covering up a dark red, so it was a snap to get it finished.

I am putting the final decorating touches on that room and will post the living room pictures next.

Whew !!! I'm also getting ready for a huge weekend of fun stuff. My Daddy's family reunion will be here on Saturday. Everyone comes mid-morning, we eat and visit all day long.

Then on Sunday after church, we will have a birthday party for Lily Kate. She is 3 ! Such a big girl. I'm working on making a chandelier to hang out in the tree in the backyard over the table.

We are all going to dress up a little crazy --- and have an Alice in Wonderland kind of experience. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures of that as well.

Well ----- Happy Fall everyone.

Gwynie Pie
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Count Your Blessings

...name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

Several years ago, my good friend Richelle and I were given several opportunities to speak at surrounding churches about something dear
to our hearts - decorating for the holidays and how to keep the LORD
at the center of it all.

We had so much fun brain-storming and creating and we came up with
lots of fun ways to decorate emphasizing Christ as the center of the home.

One of my favorites, and one that both of us continue in our homes today is
the Blessing Rocks.

All through the Old Testament, God instructs His children to "remember". God wanted them to remember where they had been before He delivered
them. He wanted them to never forget all the great things He had done.
And many times they were instructed to build an altar of rocks so that the generations to come would, when they saw the altar, remember the things the Lord had done in their lives.

This is our modern day equivalent --- we got bags of river rock at Dollar Tree and for rocks that are a little larger, when you need more room to write, I have found bags of rocks at Wal-mart.

With a Sharpie pen, I have written on each rock just enough to trigger our memories and allow us to recall the miracles and blessings the LORD has brought into our lives.

On the large rock in the center of the platter, I have written Psalm 102:18 ---
"Write down for the coming generation what the LORD has done,
so that people not yet born will praise Him

On the smaller rocks I have written blessings from the LORD such as "$20 miracle money, Safeway". We were grocery shopping with extremely limited funds and I was trying to get the most for my very few dollars. I turned away from the cart to pick up an item and when I turned back around a crisp 20 dollar bill was laying on top of my purse. There was no one close around and neither the kids nor I had seen anyone, yet there was a wonderful provision of money at a time we needed it most.

"Devin, Heart surgery, 1996" The LORD brought him through that very serious surgery and healed him in a miraculous way.

"Dana and Blake" God brought our daughter and her husband together in a very unique way that only He could have done.

And the list goes on and on. It's just such a sweet way to remember what the LORD has done in our lives --- His healing, His provision, His direction ----and every time we remember, it's just another opportunity to give Him praise.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Love Letters

Love letters.

Aren't those two words, just standing there alone, so very pretty?

In all my cleaning over the past several weeks, I came upon a big box stuffed full of cards, letters, notes. To William and myself. From friends on birthdays. From our children on special occasions. From people saying a thank-you. Or a "Hi there, how've you been?" And there were lots of cards and letters and little scrap paper notes to "us", from "us".

I started going through them, making a pile a all the ones we had written to each other.

Now I didn't keep every single card ever given. The early years are not well represented. Maybe I wasn't as sentimental back then? Or maybe we were just trying to hold it all together back then and I figured I would never want to relive those times. That could be it. :)

Reading them carried me back to where we were at the time, where we lived, how old the kids were then, events that happened along the way. Very nostalgic. Cried a lot. Not gonna read them again any time soon.

But..... so sweet. It stirred all kinds of gratefulness to the LORD for His goodness in our lives. He brought us together and kept us together, despite our best efforts to do otherwise.

My heart is just so full of love for my wonderful husband. And so full of gratefulness and love for the One to whom we give ALL glory for every good thing that ever happens in our lives. He is so amazingly, awesomely good!

Soooo - do you have love letters? Where are they? Why not get them out, tie a big beautiful ribbon around them and set them out somewhere in your home. Remind yourself today of how far the LORD has brought you.

AND if you don't have a stack of love letters...why not write the one you love a love letter this very day.

Love and hugs,

Gwynie Pie
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Singing Green Family

As I was cleaning out closets last Saturday, I came upon a beat-up cardboard box, full of songbooks. I had forgotten they were in there. For all of my growing up years, that book of books rode around in the trunk of our car. My Dad's reasoning was sound...."You never know when someone might want to sing."

I never questioned this. Because, sure enough, we'd be over at an Aunt and Uncle's house and someone would say, "Hey there, Patsy, sit down at that piano and let's sing a while." And she would. And we did. We would open up those songbooks and call out a number and we'd be off.....singing for hours. Someone would cut up lemons and get out some peppermints to soothe throats that were getting a workout.

It never, ever occured to me that everybody else didn't have a box of songbooks in their car. Isn't that funny?

AND none of this really struck me as "odd" until I found that box of books on Saturday.

It was just the way life was.

My Dad's family would have "get-togethers" and "singings" about 3 or 4 times a year. And more often if a big enough group was in any one place at one time for long enough. And when I say "singing", I mean gospel singing. And we all could sing. Singing was a very valued gift. My Dad and his brothers and sisters grew up with a singing Dad and he developed that gift in all of them. They passed it on to us.

There were 12 children in the Green family and after they all grew up and had ALL us cousins, when we got together, it was a crowd! Such wonderful memories. So sweet. Every single one of them.

We grew up loving each other so much.....still do! And as kids, we just couldn't wait until the next time we had a "singing" or a "get-together". Well------ our next "get-together" will be next Saturday, the 26th, when we will be hosting the family reunion. But the next "singing"? That will probably have to wait. You see, my Dad and so many of his brothers and sisters are in heaven now and very few remain here.....so we'll just have our next family singing when we all get to be There with them.

Every single singing, every time -- we would wind down the night with this great old hymn. We sang it at my Dad's funeral and I hadn't sung it again until this morning, with many tears. It is so beautiful! Such a beautiful prayer. It was a benediction to our time together and a blessing upon each of us as we left there and went on with our lives. I HAVE to share it with you.....

God be with you, till we meet again,
By His councils guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you,
God be with you, till we meet again.

God be with you, till we meet again.
'Neath His wings securely hide you,
Daily manna still provide you,
God be with you, till we meet again.

God be with you, till we meet again.
Keep love's banner floating o'er you,
Smite death's threatening wave before you,
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet again,
Till we meet....
Till we meet at Jesus' feet.
Till we meet again
Till we meet....
God be with you till we meet again.

Blessings on your Thursday,

Gwynie Pie
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Skillet Cake

At our house, a sure sign of the arrival of the Fall season is the arrival of the Skillet Cake !
This "cake" is William's favorite, any time of the year. With the abundance of pecans and apples in the recipe, it just feels like Fall ! And with a cup of coffee ----ummmmmm----well, you try it out and you'll see......

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 apples, any kind, chopped with peelings on
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Combine all ingredients. Batter will be very thick, just work to incorporate everything. Turn batter out into a greased and floured black iron skillet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Cool. Enjoy!!!

I made this cake Friday night about 10:00 and it was gone in just a few hours. Funny how one little cake can signal that Fall is here !!!

The weather today is supposed to continue to be cloudy and cool. 80 is our high !! It is mid-60s at night.....a real cold snap. Just 2 weeks ago it was a blazing 100+ degrees !! Amazing !!! Do you have any special recipes that you bring out at the start of the Fall season? I'd love to know about them, if you care to share.

Y'all have a very blessed Fall day today !

Gwynie Pie
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Yummmmmm - It's soup time!

Look what I found at a garage sale for $1.
Around the same time, I found a wonderful sounding, easy recipe for Tomato-Basil Soup.

Last night, I made the soup for dinner, along with cute little cornbread sticks. We had mozarella cheese and fruit to round it out. Yummmm -- great soup! I will definitely make it again and again.

Recipe as I made it for the two of us. It made approximately 2 quarts and was enough to have last night, for lunches and I will freeze whatever is left. It would be great to thaw out for an easy meal to send for William's lunch later on. Or it would make a good base to begin any other soup -- just add veggies and chicken or ham and you'd have a hearty soup to go with good crusty bread on a cold winter night.

1 family size can cream of tomato soup
2 regular size cans Italian stewed tomatoes (the kind with the seasonings)
1 family size can milk - use empty can as measure

Warm on medium heat, stirring frequently. Milk will scorch in a hurry so be aware. Just keep on stirring til hot.

I garnished with lots of black cracked pepper and freshly grated parmesan.


Give it a whirl ---

Gwynie Pie
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Now that Labor Day is over, marking the official start of Fall,
I can begin the fun of decorating for the season.

This wreath is super simple to put together. Here is what you need to
make one for your front door or above a fireplace.

Two grapevine wreaths, one larger than the other
Two garlands of leaves
The little sign is metal, bought at Hobby Lobby
The little garden rake was mine when I was a child

Line up the two wreaths, smaller one on top and secure them together.
I used small jute twine to secure everything on this wreath. When I want
to change out for the next season, I can just snip the twine with scissors
and it's ready to be something different.

The first garland I put around the wreath was just Fall leaves, cheaper
than the top garland. The purpose is to add lots of layers and depth to
the wreath. Then, the next wreath was a lot fuller with leaves and acorns and pinecones. Also a little pricer. However, I will
be using these decorations for years and years. When I find something I love.....I stick with it.

Then I attached the sign and rake. If you are talented with paints and such -- you could definitely paint a cute message on a
piece of board. Cute!

And......that's it ! Hang it up and enjoy !

Happy beginning of Fall, y'all --

Gwynie Pie
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The winner of my very first ever blogaversary drawing giveaway is --------
(drumroll ) ---------- LISA V. Yeaaaaaaaaa

Thank you everyone for your wonderful and encouraging and fun comments. AND thank you for reading what I write. I know it's not Pulitzer material :) , it's just lots and lots of fun for me. And I thank you for taking your time to

Soooo, Lisa --- I will see you this week with a personal delivery of your prize.

Love to you all

Have a very blessed day!

Gwynie Pie
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

How many pickles can Pie pickle if Pie.......

THAT is the question, isn't it??? How many pickled peppers could Pie pickle if Pie were pickling peppers?????
Inspired by other bloggers who have been busy canning and pickling and putting up for the winter, I have had a great desire to do the same. To follow in the footsteps of my foremothers and put up food for the winter months.

Of course, my foremothers always had a honkin' big garden to harvest -- that's where all that food comes from you know. I know this, because I have spent many a sweltering summer day, either picking veggies from the garden ("in the cool of the day" HA -- exactly when, I ask you, is the "cool of the day" in August in Texas???) OR in a steamy kitchen, with NO a/c, dripping with humidity as pots boiled on the stovetop, readying produce for the jars. Pretty much hated it when I was 9 and 12 and 15 yrs. old --- would love to go back there right this very minute, for just a day or two, and pay a little more attention this time. :)

We tried a garden this year after years of disappointment. And boy, did it look pretty. We ate some squash, some Swiss chard and a handful of tomatoes and cucumbers....but it just didn't produce enough to "put up". Summer in Texas is no picnic. Ever! But THIS summer was fit for neither man nor beast nor as it turned out ...our garden. What's a girl with a need to "put up" food for her household to do?????

Take a little trip to my local Wal-mart, that's what! And there I spied the most beautiful dark green jalapenos that were just crying out to be pickled and canned. I haven't canned anything in a very long time. Let me just say that right up front. The methods you will see and hear about here are my very own and my aforementioned foremothers would be skeptical, embarassed, mortified and might even disavow any knowledge of me or my methods.

Here's the breakdown of my pickling success --- jalapenos cost 68 cents a lb. and I bought 4 lbs. = $2.72. I had to buy a dozen new jars for this little project, but they will be used and re-used many, many times again, so that cost doesn't really even factor in. However, the cost was $7 a dozen, making the cost of each jar around 60 cents.

I ended up canning 8 pints, so the total cost is $7.52 (including the jars).
These pickled jalapenos will last us at least all winter, spring, summer and maybe next year I'll do it all again. Purchased in the store, the same amount of jalapenos would cost around $28.00 ---- yielding us a savings of roughly $20.50.

NOW ---- I know you must be thinking ----- WOW this girl has slashed her grocery budget by a whopping $20 bucks --- that's some kinda savings.

Well, it definitely is NOT the same kind of savings as if we say, started growing our own chickens. 'Cause I can tell you, that right there, would yield us a HUGE savings. The first (and last) time I had to chase down a chicken to make a little chicken salad......THAT'S when I become a full out vegetarian. And then, we could mark meat off our shopping list all to gether !!!! :)

Soooooo - no, these little jars of jalapenos will only keep us warm this winter when we put them on our nachos. Not a huge deal. BUT, it was a lot of fun canning my own AND it was very satisfying to my soul AND most importantly, don't they look cute ????

Happy Canning to you all --

Gwynie Pie

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

100TH POST !!! Yeah !!!!

I just have a few minutes to write a little --I'm going with some girlfriends
at 1 today to see Julie and Julia. Such a fun movie. I saw it yesterday
and am going back today with the girlfriends who couldn't
make it there yesterday. It is definitely one of those "gotta see that over and over"
movies. So sweet. So refreshing.
This post is my 100th here on The Pink Tractor -- a milestone in blogland. A small bloggy step you might say. Soooo, I wanted to give you readers and commenters a little "sussy" (def. surprise, gift, a little something extra). I am having a drawing for the above Fall gifts.

The very small token of my appreciation includes a sweet Fall picture frame, an amber votive holder with a 6 pack of spiced pumpkin scented votives and a pretty Fall pick. You'll just have to trust me that it's all very pretty, since this picture turned out so dark. :)

Soooo - here's what I need from you in order to put your "name in the hat" for the drawing --------------------

COMMENT on this post. It is located at the bottom. Look for where it says "Comments", then just click on it, it will take you to a Comment page. Now, if you try this and it leaves you a little message in red saying something about your comment can not be processed at this time --- just ignore and hit Publish Comment again. It then may ask you to decipher a scrambled up word -------- Yes, I know it's a pain. Just jump through the "hoops" and I am going to try to make this blog more commenter friendly. I only know these weird little quirky things because I jump through hoops almost every time I try to leave comments on other blogs. Keep trying, it will go through eventually.

AND I will enter your name a second time IF you FOLLOW this blog. This is more simple than Commenting actually. Just hit the FOLLOW button there to the right side, over by the pictures. You can easily place your picture and info there so I know who is reading.
IF you already FOLLOW, mention that in the COMMENT and you're name will go in twice.

So for two chances to win -- COMMENT and FOLLOW. Easy peasy.

I am having so much fun writing this blog. I'd write even if no one read this stuff. However, you just don't know how much all your
comments -- whether on the blog or in person when we have visited -- have meant to me. I am so very blessed by calling you all Friends. Thanks for reading!

Oh --- I will put the names in a hat and draw the winner on Monday night. Soooo, that gives you 5 days to get your comment in.

Thank you so much.

Love to you all,

Gwynie Pie
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