Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

10 Things I Can't Live Without

  1. coffee.  I'm just's important.  My Toddy puts a smile on my face.
  2. My computer is (too much) a part of my morning routine.  I choose to read my favorite blogs instead of watching the news.  (and so this morning, while reading V&L who guested on La Doce Vita...I came up with my list here.  The blogging world is so-very-connected.)
  3. The human touch.  A hug from My Guy or a son.  A big, crushing one is best.
  4. A few products**
    1. MAC Strobe Cream
    2. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat
    3. Mineral make-up stuff from a Houston resource
  5. Almost-daily-calls to a certain friend(s)
  6. Laughter - if I haven't laughed for a certain period of time, I tell My Guy he must make me laugh.
  7. Movies - a love of ours - My Guy and I hit one almost every Friday night.  Or rent one.
  8. Fluffing (i.e., moving furniture, rearranging, changing out a vignette....)
  9. Bible study with the most loving, accepting women...on earth!
  10. Books - fiction, decorating, self-help, spiritual
** My name is Vava and I am a product junkie.  However, the older I get, the braver I get...and venture outside the home with far less on (product-wise) than I used to.  The items on this list are my go-to for a minimalist look.  Please do not look (ever!) in my bathroom drawers.

What about you?  What floats your boat?  Makes you giddy?  What can't you live without?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bonjour Y'all!

It's good for a girl to (periodically) indulge!  And so, a friend and I took a road trip!  Not far, just into town...but believe me when one lives in the 'burbs and travels inside the loop, one calls it a road trip!

We hit the "Mini Design Flea" this morning.  Then needed to indulge in a strong cuppa.  We stopped at a delightful coffee house for a rest with a cool, jazzy band serenading us.  I told her I felt like I was on vacation.  It is one of the best things about Houston.  There is something for everyone.  And, so we declared it a Vacation Day.  We are going to indulge!

A favorite of ours IS Indulge.  It's a touch of France in Texas! 

The owner, Cynthia, writes a delightful blog - it's a fun and informative read.  One of her must haves is "Vrai."  We slathered on the tiniest bit from the tester...and had to.  Indulge.  It's a concoction of sheabutter, peach milk, cotton oil, oats and glycerin.  C'mon.  WHO could resist?  Also a great stop for hostess gifts...and the perfect something for the person who has it all.

While tootling around town, we happened down Ferndale.  Tell me, is this France OR Houston?

There was a bit of sensory overload at Kuhl-Linscomb after a while....but not before I snapped "Cool" CC in THE cutest garage sale/flea market attire E-V-E-R!

There was another retailer that's always on our in-town tour before we bid you adieu...

I had to.  Indulge.  They are NEVER on sale.  And they were...

Nothing like girl-time!  It does a body good! 

And as the French would say....



Monday, June 21, 2010

English Endeavors

My brother is finding GREAT info on the ole family tree.  The article below was written on...

 Wednesday, March 3, 1896.

Question:  WHEN did we stop writing - talking like this?  I think our ancestors would
frown on the English language today...

"While the family of Israel Tuttle of 484 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, were taking dinner shortly after 7 o'clock last night, Frank Tuttle heard a noise up stairs in the parlor, which sounded as if some one was endeavoring to force the window, and he left the dining room to see what was the matter...

The affair created great excitement in the neighborhood."

(in its entirety here...)

Do thiefs today "endeavor to force the window?"  And robberies create excitement?  LOL!

In reading this article, I would disagree with the saying:
"We've come a long way baby."  Instead...we've gone by the wayside.  BUT!  It sure makes fun reading!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We're Coming to America...

Here's more, Kelly.  Just for you...

Puritans who crossed the Atlantic on "The Planter" in 1635 and produced in America: a farmer, a "proprietor" of New Haven, Connecticut, coal company employee, a philanderer, poet, hat maker, pastor, barrel maker, banker, merchant and an ax murderer or two.  These are just a few of my ancestors.  And I quote:

"It was Benjamin who was to mark his family's name in history in 1677 with that rather indelicate instrument, the ax." **

The Olde English:

"Wee, the Juary, doe declare that the decklaratshon of the
boy and the gurl as above was declared befor us by them, and doe Judg that the wund one her heed was the caus of her death, as witnes our hands."

"What makes Benjamin's action even more unusual is that his sister Mercy would, fourteen years later, kill...." ** (it's just too morbid to tell!)

And another infamous relative!  Can you figure out his name? 

He killed Alexander Hamilton, in probably the most famous duel in history, on July 11, 1804 at Weehauken New Jersey.

(Records are available to researchers at your State Archives).  ** Connecticut State Archives

Several in one family were killed by Indians at the massacre of Dover in 1689...

I've mentioned I don't like boring.  Well!  I see where THAT comes from.

And then I rather like a description of Esther:

"Her religion did not cast a gloom over her mind and made her cheerful and happy, and rendered the thought of death transporting."

Life has got to be lived -- that's all there is to it.

(Eleanor Roosevelt)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ezra's Girl!

Ezra might have started his morning in a setting such as this:

A bit dreary, no modern conveniences...

I've just recently "met" Ezra Benjamin Tuttle.  My brother started researching our ancestry and oh, my....can one get (sucked in) lost for hours when doing so!  Just ask me what I did yesterday.  I've always loved history and now I can read about my very own!!!

As a kid, it's pretty normal to think you're adopted - I went through that stage.  And then as I grew older I just felt like I was the odd ball in the family.  My Dad is the dashing-Yale educated-great hunter & fisherman-world traveler-somewhat-removed-type of father.   I've mentioned both Mom and Dad here.  Mom and I were as different as two women could be.
And then I have two brothers...that are much like Dad.  I love them dearly; but boys will be boys.
They fish.  I fluff. 

And there's the "religion" thing.  That's what they call it anyway.  I stand pretty much alone in my belief in God.  Not my immediate family; but relatives up and down the family tree.  My Mimi was a staunch Catholic and talked about love and life.  And then I believe an aunt is a believer....but I've never known
much else about anyone else.

Until I met Ezra yesterday.

Ezra Benjamin Tuttle, b. 1834 - Great, great, great grandfather

And I now I feel connected.  Genetics are interesting.  For example - in this research I also ran across the dark side of my family.  Perhaps that will be another post.  Today, I am focusing on the good.  The connection that made me tear up this MY desk.

Wonder if Grandpa Ezra would like an iPhone?  Nah....BUT!

He was 40 years old when my favorite "My Utmost for His Highest" was compiled.  And I have a feeling he may have read it.

Here are some excerpts from an article about dear Ezra:

"Mr. Tuttle is a man of sterling qualities, without ostentation, in spirit genial, considerate and sincere; in MANNERS quiet but courteous."

It really threw me that manners were even mentioned.  See what I mean about connection?  And I learned he was on the board of the American Bible Society, trustee of Drew Theological Seminary, a member of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Church....

Methodist! In the TUTTLE family? Eeegads. LOL! After marrying My Guy I became a Methodist. Wouldn't Grandpa Ezra be happy?

We were born 121 years apart from one another but I love the man.  And I will get to see him in heaven.  What a reunion! 

If you haven't climbed YOUR family tree you might want to.  It's tons of fun!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I am so not a jock.  Don't have an athletic bone in this bod.  So....when I push myself enough to feel endorphins flying; well, I rather like it!  Have you tried spinning?  Oh my gosh-it may be one of the toughest things I've attempted.

This morning I returned to the dreaded cycling room after a bit of a reprieve.  But, thanks to my pastor (see previous post), I am (attempting) focusing.  I'm paying attention to what I'm paying attention to.   Don't get excited - it's only been two days.

I was spinning my wheels, literally, and thought I might croak on an indoor bike!!! And then I got my second wind and made the hour.  I cycled as hard as I could at the end.  Eyes closed...and actually talking to God:  "Lord, help me make it.  Oh, if I can do this, it'll be a miracle." 

It dawned on me that a lot of women I know don't push themselves to their limit.  And girlfriends...I'm at the top of that list.  But...with the ole 55 coming up this fall I am feeling rather
Helen Reddy-ish.  I am woman.  Hear me R-O-A-R!!!!!!!!  Who says that an almost 55 year old cannot be fit, strong and feel great!?

I would love it if a few of my blogging buddies would join me.  Let's challenge one another.  Talk about it on your blog(s) and know that it shall not be considered bragging.  Tell us what YOU do...I know Morning T runs; half marathons!  She's already pushing herself. 

Join me...push me...and I'll push you.  Isn't that what friends do?

Can I hear a big WOO-HOO?

Sunday, June 6, 2010



Getting ready to have six couples over.  We're going to go through "Walking with God"  by John Eldredge!  Can't of course, since I'm down to the wire, I'm focused.  Fluffing and spritzing.  Thought these pink peonies play up The Pink Lady by Artist quite nicely...

Any-hoo...I've mentioned we have a church home.  I walk in and never want to leave.  In fact, #1 Son once asked me "wazzup with this place?"  He said he could FEEL 'something' when he visits.  More often than not, I receive exactly the Rx I need!  Could be the sermon, a word from just the right person
at just the right time...
Our pastor suggested we write that down this morning.  And IT was what I needed!  I've been so scattered recently.  So badly that I haven't exercised (regularly) in a loooooonnng time, haven't had my quiet time in the morning, don't sleep well.  It shows. 
His words today were so relevant I wanted to share. 
"We've got to pay attention to what we're paying attention to."  Where we place our energy, so goes our heart.  A slap in the face (for me) was:  "Even good things (can) leave no room for God."
-  Gotta put my house together
-  Gotta organize this mess
- Gotta work in the yard
-Gotta take my in laws to the doc
Gotta, gotta, gotta.  I am THE best at rationalizing how my time is spent.  Yet, I AM SPENT.  I've not been my best lately.  And all those things are good.  They are fine; however, I know I've been missing something.  The RIGHT focus.  And this post is for ME....sort of an accountability thing so thanks for bearing with me.
FOCUS, VAVA.  It determines growth.  Yes, spiritually, but business-wise, health-wise. 
And finally...."Don't compartmentalize life."  God is - or should be - in it all
...and how funny is it that Dionne Warwick is on Sirrius singing "I'll Say a Little Prayer for You."
Please do!  :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Are You Certain Of?

Right when we were having this done (installing new flooring...)  #2 Son pops back into our life.  "He's baaccccccccccccckkkkk." And yes, this time I'm in agreement with My Guy.  I know I'll have more than a few who disagree with our choice.  But!  Come walk in our shoes....for just a day.  This young man is so down and out and on top of his wrong choices; add learning disabilties.  What's a person to do?

Now, #2 Son has had a firm foundation: parents who love him.  Parents together (and still goo-goo) after 33 years.  A church home.  Where I'm going with this is...sometimes it just doesn't matter WHAT type of parent you are.  Now, many of my friends did it right.  Their kids are very successful and their growing up years were not dramatic, tragic or even troublesome.  However,  I am certain that sometimes a raging alcoholic can parent the Valedictorian.  The preacher can raise a crack head.  Just because you look a "certain" way, live in a "certain" home, drive a "certain" car...nothing, nada in life is CERTAIN! 

And so...while the work was going on; a friend suggested the new flooring could be a metaphor.  Someone else writes of the spiritual connections in our home.  I like this idea; and so I tootled around to catch more metaphors.  I use a lot of "risers."  It's a decorating trick, you know.  You can't just plop things down.  There's got to be interest....use risers - books, pedestals, whatever you can.

(My favorite riser:  books; especially old....)

My prayer is for #2 Son to rise - out of his pit!  My Guy and I read an article recently about Derek Steele.  This "YouTube" will rock your world!  He's written a book "Addict at 10..."  His story is nothing short of a miracle.  He ends this video:  "...with as many (chances) as it takes to get it right."  That hit me like a brick.  I'm buying his book today.  Won't use IT as a riser; but perhaps I can get it into the hands of my son and it will help him...rise.  19.  The world (could be) open for the taking.  Yet, our boy's foundation is oh so uncertain.  Good friends and family know everything....I'm pretty much an open book.  But, on this blog, I'm keeping some of his "stuff" private.  Suffice it to say; today - his future is bleak.  He cannot see...

(find the "risers")

...the light at the end of the tunnel.  Yet, he's got a Mom and Dad who love him.  Who allow him a home to live in (as long as he adheres to "certain" rules).

Mother's instincts are quite often spot on.  In my gut, I know this is right.  For today.  Which takes me to the train of thought I am certain of.  Sitting on my desk in front of me is "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow.  I've read and reread it; hightlighted many passages.  A quote from George MacDonald will certainly help me today:

"It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day.  It's when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear.  Never load yourselves so, my friends.  If you find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God's.  He begs you to leave the future to Him and to mind the present."

The moral of this post:  tile floors are easy living and living one day at a time is the only way to go.  I am certain of that!