Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review - This Life I Live

This Life I Live by Rory Feek.   One man's extraordinary, ordinary life and the woman who changed it forever.

Meet Rory Feek - A soft spoken man with a shy smile and twinkling eyes who favors farmer style overalls over a suit and tie or faded blue jeans.  Rory spent his childhood seeking love and affection from an absentee father, a mother who did the best she could, and an uncle who saw a spark, enough of something, to help him secure a much coveted guitar.  Rory bounced from woman to woman, eventually ending up with a failed marriage that left him determined to raise 2 daughters on his own.  Convinced his future was based in music, he relocated to Nashville and eventually met Joey, the woman who helped to change his life.  Along the way he found faith in God, and peace within himself....

Rory has an honest writing style that invites you to come sit on the porch with a glass of sweet tea and rock awhile.  His words spread smooth across the pages like maple syrup upon a stack of pancakes.  In order to see how far he's come, he starts at the beginning and pours his heart onto the pages.  He bares his soul and the truths rush out - booze, sex, forgiveness and redemption, guilt and shame.  Sometimes you have to live through the worse in order to find and truly appreciate the good...
  • he grew up poor, moving from town to town, his family often fleeing in the middle of the night and the one small town that left a lasting impression
  • how he spent a lifetime searching for the good that he remembers from his childhood 
  • the uncle who served as a surrogate father, who saw a need in him and helped to fill it by purchasing one of Rory's drawings.  This same amazing man handed him a typewritten note that Rory carries with him to this day
  • how stealing a case of Froot Loops almost prevented him from joining the marines
  • when his first marriage fails he navigates the murky waters of fatherhood and chooses to raise his 2 girls alone, finally landing in Nashville so he can chase his dream of writing songs.
Sometimes God builds things that you don't see or even dream about.  And other times when a door closes, a window opens.  When Rory finally meets Joey, a vet assistant with aspirations of becoming a singer, they are both in relationships with other people.  A series of chance encounters eventually brings them together and soon they are married and living in Rory's remodeled farmhouse.   Life isn't easy for the couple at first and they quickly discover that they each have very different ideas of what their marriage roles should be.  And almost as soon as Joey secures a recording contract, her dreams are dashed.  Through their strong faith in God they discover that it's never too late to start over.  Rory continues writing hit songs, Joey opens a cafe with her sister in law, and a meeting with another song writer leads them to a 3rd place finish on the CMT competition Can you Duet.  This inspires them to start a recording career together, something they hadn't considered before.  God does work in mysterious ways, doesn't He?

But life doesn't always travel the road you think it should.  In 2014 the couple decided to take a break from their music careers and concentrate on living at home with Rory's daughters and raising their new daughter, Indiana, who was born in February of that year.  Within days they discovered that Indiana was born with Down Syndrome and by May Joey had been diagnosed with cervical cancer.  After surgery and treatment she was declared cancer free, only to have it come back a year later.   Unfortunately this time the prognosis was devastating and by October of 2015 they found out she was terminal.  It will hit you in the gut when you realize that Joey was not going to survive and that Rory would be left to raise another daughter alone.  

Circumstances like these are enough to break a person.  And yet Rory Feek is a man who took all that life threw at him and made a life worth something.  This is not a book about death.  It's a book about life and how to see what's important.  It is Rory's story of faith, love and hope.  It's his message of believing in something bigger than yourself.

Last year, just before Joey's death, the couple released their final album - Hymns That are Important to Us.  This album was a labor of love and faith for the couple.  As Joey was undergoing cancer treatments she recorded her vocals in hotel rooms whenever she felt up to it.  At the 2017 Grammy awards a few weeks ago their album won for Best Roots Gospel Album.  Do you think Joey knew?  I do.

I listen to country music so I was familiar with Joey & Rory since their first hit song, Cheater, Cheater  and therefore I knew who Rory was when I ran across his blog This Life I Live.   It chronicled their journey as Joey navigated her last few months and continues today as Rory's life takes on a new direction.  

In an ironic twist of fate, Joey & Rory recorded "When I'm Gone" in 2013, and made a music video depicting Rory living in their farmhouse where Joey is buried among the trees in a back field.  The video is beautiful and I guarantee you will have trouble holding back the tears.

Visit the Joey & Rory FB page.
For more excellent books by Thomas Nelson Publishing please visit their website.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.   Get your copy here

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Photo images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Free Furniture - My Lucky Day!!

Yesterday was my lucky day!    I have absolutely no qualms about slamming on the brakes stopping my car and grabbing a discarded piece of furniture that is laying on the curb waiting for the trash man.  Come on...  I know some of you do that too.  Anyway....

Image result for slamming on the brakes

Yesterday morning we left our house and headed over to an estate sale.  As we turned the corner I noticed that the house behind us had a pile of furniture out in front by the curb so we stopped to investigate.  I saw some stuff I wanted but since we had my car, we went to the estate sale first and then headed back.   Believe me when I tell you my heart was in my throat because I was so worried that somebody would get there before us and get all that good junk.

When we pulled up there was a woman out in the driveway so I jumped out and asked her if she was throwing out all that furniture.  She said yes and that I could take anything I wanted.  Then she mentioned that they had to put her mom in a nursing home, had sold the house, and had to have the house empty by tomorrow for the closing.  She asked me if I wanted to come inside and see what else they were throwing out.  

OMG - that's heaven to a junker's ears, isn't it?  Was she kidding me????  I couldn't get in that house fast enough.   It was mostly a lot of garbage left but she did have some furniture that I was interested in.  I played it cool and poked around a bit since she said she thought her brother might want what was left.  I sent Louie home for our truck and I went back outside and guarded a cedar chest, a waterfall dresser and mirror, a small drop leaf table and a cane.

We took everything home and unloaded it and all the while I kept saying I wanted the tall secretary and matching chest that she had in the house.  I headed inside to my office to work and Louie shouted that he was going to be outside in the garage.  20 minutes later he was back with another truckload - the tall secretary I wanted with the matching chest and mirror, a large drop leaf table, and a small decorative side table.   Everything was FREE!!!  The lady said her brother decided he didn't want anything and they were so glad to give everything to someone who wanted it instead of it going to the dump.  She said some of it was her grandmothers stuff and really old.  

I'll tell you - I am giddy!!  Now we have plenty of projects to work on for awhile.  I spent all last night pouring over Pinterest and trying to decide how I want to re-do everything.  And again, I have to thank my fantastic husband for going back and scoring some more great stuff for us.  If you remember, he went above and beyond the call of duty last week when he got that vintage trunk for me.   How lucky am I???

Thursday, February 23, 2017

3 Tier Tray Make Over

Last week I picked up this 3 tier aluminum serving tray at an estate sale .  The minute I saw it I knew that I wanted to give it a make over...

All I did was paint it with 2 coats of white paint, lightly distressed it and then gave it a coat of wax....

I think it would be perfect for displaying jewelry or craft supplies.  It would also work nicely for displaying small items at a craft show.  I love a quick and easy project, don't you?  

For sale in my shop here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review - Breakfast Bowls

Breakfast Bowls by Caroline Griffiths, Smith Street Books, 2017

 Breakfast Bowls: 52 Nourishing Recipes to Kick-Start Your Day contains 128 pages and 52 mouth watering photographs.  If you are tired of eating the same old boring thing  each and every day for breakfast, then you will want to check out this nutritious offering.  And if the words "one bowl meals" strikes your fancy, then run, don't walk, to your computer and order this book.

It is broken down into 4 different sections:
  • Smoothie bowls
  • Seed & grain bowls
  • Classic bowls
  • Comfort bowls
Included in the mix are suggestions that also cover vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free and sugar-free options.  See, I told  you - something for everyone.

First up is the smoothie section.  I'm partial to smoothie's myself so I was particularly interested in the carrot cake smoothie bowl that combines yoghurt, carrots, pineapple, banana and vanilla.  How yummy does this look....

Another smoothie that I can't wait to try is the Avocado & Matcha that combines coconut milk, bananas, avocado, vanilla and matcha powder.  Matcha is green tea - I had no idea, did you?

The grain and seeds section will introduce you to items like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower kernels, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, millet, and barley flakes,.  Once you combine some of these ingredients with different things like coconut milk, fresh fruits, rice, honey, or eggs, you will have delicious bowls like black rice with tropical fruit, mixed grain muesli or rice cooker oatmeal with fruit.  

The classic bowls section was especially appealing to me as well since I'm a big fan of oatmeal.  And if oatmeal isn't your thing, you can whip up other things.  

Take a look at the baked oatmeal with lemon thyme and ricotta....

Who wouldn't  want to sit down to a bowl of caramelised apples & blueberry crumble?  Sound good?  This bowl includes honey, apples, blueberries and vanilla bean, topped by a crumble made of quinoa flakes, coconut flakes and puffed buckwheat....

The comfort bowls section contains meals that are a little heartier.  Chicken congee contains rice, chicken, and ginger.  Chilli bacon & eggs with sweet potato hash looks amazing and I have to try this one - it contains bacon, sweet potatoes, eggs and avocado.  Now that is one heck of a way to kick off your day, isn't it?

Breakfast Bowls has two indexes for your convenience - a regular index and a dietary index.  The dietary index is divided into sections for quick access to bowls of your dietary preference:  vegan, dairy, gluten free and grain free.

So, who wants to get out of the blah cereal or dry toast routine?   I bet you had no idea that you could easily make such nutritious and filling breakfast bowls.  Fuel up and start your day the healthy way!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.   Get your copy here

  (I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Book Cover image is the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Estate Sales Feb. 13, 2017

We only found 1 estate sale this weekend, but we visited it THREE times.  Crazy, I know.  It wasn't because they had a ton of good stuff either.  It was just that I had my eye on something in particular and I was biding my time....

We first went on Saturday, which was the opening day and got there about an hour and a half after it opened.  I hate standing in line for these things, so we went a little later and walked right in.  OMG, it was packed with people.  There were 3 floors to explore and we were there for an hour.  Here's what I picked up the first day....

A Jack Daniels commemorative whiskey tin with matching whiskey glasses.....

No bottle of Jack Daniels tho - LOL.   It would make a super gift for someone.  All they have to do is add their own bottle of JD.

Three brass belt buckles.  I think they should sell with no problem, especially the Chevy one...

Brushes which I go through like crazy...

A nice Jack Daniels tray.  This would go nicely paired with the above mentioned commemorative tin, don't you think?  Perfect for a man cave.

This tin canister is a first for me.  I've never heard of this company and I rarely find yellow tins.  Plus it's a square tin, which is sort of different...

A felt covered camping canteen that I don't think has ever been used, and 2 tin cups...

A Mirro 12 piece camping set, still in the original box, although the box has seen better days.  Everything in it needs a really good cleaning, but all the pieces are in great shape.  Wouldn't this be cute for a camper or lake house?

I've been looking for a 3 tier silver tray to display my bracelets on and this one will get a quick make over...

So as we rummaged around the house I came across a vintage steamer trunk, and you know how much I love re-doing old trunks....

And it was a big trunk, like the one I bought and re-did here.   That trunk turned out so nice and was one of my favorite ones that I've done.  Do you remember this one?

I had re-done the interior with vintage sheet music....

Anyway, this trunk was stuck in a corner of  the enclosed back porch and nobody was even giving it a second glance.  I pried it open and it was stuffed with old blankets and the interior paper was in bad condition, which is pretty normal.  The main lock was broken, but that's not a problem because Louie can drill them out and I can buy a new one.

So I sent Louie off to find out what they wanted for it since it wasn't priced.  He came back shaking his head, "$ 80.00."  Well there is no way in hell I am paying  $ 80.00 for a trunk so we paid for the other items and we left with me talking all the way home about how much I wanted that damn trunk.

Sunday we got up and headed back over there at 9:30 am.  The trunk was still sitting where I had originally seen it.  Louie went and talked to the estate sale guy and he told Louie he'd take off 50% today and he'd throw in the blankets that were inside of it.  Yuck, I did not want the blankets so Louie told him we'd pay $ 30.00 and we'd leave the blankets.  Well, the guy didn't want to take that deal so we left and I was sort of steaming.  Now I really wanted that trunk!

We went home and did some stuff around the house and at 1:00 Louie told me to grab my coat.  The estate sale was going to close at 2:00 and he wanted one more shot at that trunk.  When we got there it was still sitting in the corner where we had left it.  Louie walked into the other room where a different man was sitting at the register and Louie told him we'd take the trunk off his hands for
$ 20.00.  The guy didn't even bat an eye, just held out his hand and said "Sold!"   This was me doing a happy dance!

Do I have the best husband in the world or what???  The first order of business will be to completely clean this entire truck and then let it sit outside for a few days in the fresh air.  I cannot wait to start working on it.

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