Tuesday, March 31, 2020

World Back-up Day

We interrupt whatever you're doing (in my case, taking car of houseplants) for a very important public service announcement.

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  Today is World Back-up Day.  I know many of y'all have precious memories (and blogs) that you would hate to lose.  So while we're having all this lovely down time, why not take a few moments to back-up your blogs and other important documents?


“I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31st.”

I will also tell my friends and family about World Backup Day - friends don't let friends go without a backup.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Spring Is Here, and So Is Quarantine Nation

Hello, My Lovelies!

It's a beautiful spring day here in Central Alabama. 

Wow, so much has changed since my last post.

I never knew back in January how much my faith would be tested when I chose faith as my word of the year.  But I'm working on building my faith everyday through prayer and Bible study.  I hope all of you are coping well with the new normal.  I'm trying to stay home: I'm taking the social distancing suggestion seriously.

Today is Day 11 of Fifteen Days to Slow the Spread.  How are you?  

Two weeks ago, right before the fifteen day quarantine, I had a little procedure.  I got it in right under the gun, and I'm thankful for that.  I'm feeling much better, and I'm spending lots of time outside on our back patio enjoying the sunshine when I can.  I wish I could help people in need, but I can't because I have a compromised immune system, and I don't want to spread the virus to others especially if Trip brings it home from a hospital.

Three weeks ago we were in Baton Rouge helping Shanley Belle and Christopher do a few projects around their adorable cottage.  I'm very happy we were able to see them because Louisiana is one of the hardest hit states for the COVID-19 virus.  Shanley has had to work very hard converting her classes to online classes for her LSU students for the rest of the semester.  I already miss them, and I hope we can see them soon.

I can't tell you how thankful I am that Shelley moved home last year and enrolled in Starbuck's College Achievement Plan.  She is definitely ahead of the curve as she's been taking her courses online for a year now.  She is thriving, and she's still working.  Many first responders and healthcare workers have been driving through Starbucks to get their daily fuel, and I'm proud that she is helping the community in such an important way.  I'm hopeful they will be able to remain open and continue their best practices to keep everyone safe.

I miss church.  I miss communion.  I never thought there would ever come a time in the United States of American when I could not attend church.  I took it pretty hard, but our church is doing an excellent job with daily scripture readings, devotionals, and online church services.  This just shows how God provides: What would we do without the internet?

So what are you doing while you're stuck at home?

I thought I'd share with you what I've been doing, and then I thought you could give me some ideas in the comments section.

1.   I'm drinking lots of fluids, especially teas.  I've subscribed to Sips by and I am enjoying the tea selections each month.

The above selections are from February's box.  The Earl Grey is divine, and I really like the Miracle Tree Super Caffeinated, especially if I didn't sleep well.

I ordered the Lucky Tea Box for March.  I have not tried any of these yet:  The Driftwood Tea is fortune cookie flavored, and the Love Some Tea is green rainbow flavored.  Irish Breakfast is one of my favorite blends, so I'm confident I'll enjoy it.

2.   I'm reading a little everyday, and I'm trying to stick to feel-good books that aren't dystopic or depressing.  I will post a few suggestions tomorrow in my Literary Friday post.

Cozy mysteries are always fun.  This is a new one that a publisher sent me, and it's the first I've heard of this series.

3.   I'm drawing, and currently I'm drawing dogs of "Twitter Frens" (yes that's how they spell it over there).  I've been spending way too much time on Twitter reading about different possibilities about the virus because I'm certain it's cover for something.  This is unprecedented, and something is afoot.

This is the bulldog puppy of a Twitter fren, and his name is BOTUS, Bulldog of the United States.  He is so cute.  I hope I can do him justice because he has the prettiest coloring.

4.   Online courses: My intrepid art teacher is teaching painting and drawing classes online via ZOOM.  My first class is tomorrow, and I'm so happy about it.  Speaking of online, I really enjoy Khan Academy, especially the art history lessons.  I highly recommend them.  Also, several museums are offering online tours, and one of favorites is Florence's Uffizi Gallery.  

5.   I'm reading several books about house plants, and one of my first outings when we're ever set free from quarantine will be to my favorite local nursery.  I'm looking forward to purchasing new houseplants and pretty annuals for our garden, too.

This is our dining room currently.  I want to decorate for Easter next week.  

6.   I'm going to be sharing my daily book and tea pairing because it will give me something to focus on that's healthy.  I will definitely share on Instagram (I've been very silent over there lately) and maybe here, too.

This is yesterday's:

The pairing: Tart-tea to the Par-tea fruit punch flavored tea.  It's caffeine free, and it has hibiscus, apple, papaya, currants, elderberries, black currants, flavoring, raspberries, strawberries, sunflower,  and cornflower.
I'm also enjoying the book Herbs and Spices because there are so many wonderful and healthy recipes.

Our niece has earned her doctorate in physical therapy (DPT), and she found out last week that her graduation has been canceled.  Plus she won't be able to interview for a job.  Shelley's best friend was to be married this Saturday, March 28th.  My heart breaks for them and all the other young people missing out on proms, graduations, studying abroad, and weddings.  A local couple donated fifty thousand dollars worth of wedding flowers they would never use to help those in the event industry.  Florists put together posies and sold them (following social distancing, of course).  They sold out within an hour!

I can't even imagine those families who've lost loved ones to this virus and other illnesses.  They can't have funerals.  It's heart breaking.

Enough of the sadness.  There have been so many wonderful stories, and families are able to spend time together.  I've gotten quite a bit of joy watching the children in our neighborhood playing when they would normally be in school.  And it's nice to sleep-in without the early morning school buses waking us up!

Now it's your turn.  Please leave a comment and share with us how you've been spending your time during the Fifteen Days to Stop the Spread.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Tales of the Traveling Tote: March 1, 2020

Happy March, My Lovelies! 

Welcome to another Tales of the Traveling Tote post.  We have been in Alabama since my last post in December, enjoying the holidays with family and friends, and preparing for Shanley Belle and Christopher's wedding.  I'm working on a couple of lengthy posts about the wedding, and I'm waiting for the rest of the photos from our wedding photographer.  Stay tuned!

Although I haven't traveled out of town, I have managed a field trip or two.  Today I'm sharing the Vintage Market Days event here in Birmingham.  It was my first visit, and honestly I was a little underwhelmed overall.  There was one vendor I really loved, and a couple of others I liked.  I could've skipped the rest of it.  Most of the vendors were selling items not to my taste.  But the market did have a wide variety of items, including several booths with vintage clothing.  I left La Countess de Monet in the car because I took in my camera and case.  It was crowded, so I'm happy I left her safely in the car.

Below I'll share with you a few of my favorites.  They include:  spool and button crafts; pretty bottle crafts; quilted runners; pretty shabby chic lampshades; antique bottles; antique milk glass; architectural antiques; prints;  and dough bowls.  I bought a couple of items for Christopher and Shanley Belle's adorable little Tudor cottage (I'll share at a later date).  I regret not buying a quilted runner for myself, and I am absolutely inspired by the botanical/zoological prints.  I want to draw and make a few of my own!



I regret that I didn't purchase one of these pretties.

I will try to make one of my own soon!

Do you have a favorite?  Let me know what you think in the Comments Section below.

This month, Jenna @ The Painted Apron is hosting our giveaway.  

Make sure to visit all the posts from the Traveling Tote ladies; links are listed below.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

Until next time...

Ricki Jill