Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leaving a Paper Trail

In a society where utilizing technology and conserving resources makes "being green" cool it's a little sad to lose touch with the art of writing.

I remember when, in high school, my friend Karen's family moved away. We were sure we would each die without the other but we wrote letters at least once a week and somehow survived the distance between us. I would dash home from school everyday and peek into the mailbox hoping to find her letter filled with all she was experiencing at her new high school. Then I'd spend the evening filling her in on all the news and gossip from "home".

How sad that the days of those snail mail letters are a thing of the past. Now we tweet, text, email and yes, we even blog! It seems so - mechanical - impersonal -UGH!

My answer? My new little business, LEAVING A PAPER TRAIL. I'm renting a small space in a shop where you can purchase a wide variety of individual or boxed note cards - all designed, cut, stamped, colored and assembled by little old me. I'm located in THINGS IN A ROOM at 239 E. Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX. They are open 7 days a week and have an amazing selection of items. Absolutely everything you could possibly desire from vintage clothing and jewelry to handmade treasures, a sort of "something for everybody" shopping experience.

So, plan a day trip to Fredericksburg. There's lots to do, good food and small town charm. Stop by THINGS IN A ROOM and take a look at my display. It's a modest little beginning but completely manageable for now.

With the holidays approaching I'm also offering handmade Christmas Cards (so much better than those old boxed ones you've been buying), some very cute, very affordable teacher and Secret Santa gifts and of course some fabulous little stocking stuffers. That's all I'm telling you for now. You will have to venture out and see for yourselves.

Planning an event - Need a whimsical baby announcement - Want an original kick ass invitation for your next party - Or just need a sweet little note card for someone special? I'm your girl!

I'm adding a couple of pics below to pique your interest. Enjoy and remember to share my blog with your friends! It' great advertising and SO affordable...LOL


It's not the DESTINATION - It's the JOURNEY!

Good friends are like angels, you don't have to see them to know they are there

Custom Rehearsal Dinner Invitation

Caught a bug? Get well soon

You're absolutely fabulous. No -seriously, you are!

The place to be happy is here - The time to be happy is now

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Rev

"HI LARRY"! That's the greeting I could count on anytime I came into Rev. Campbell's presence. That and a big bear hug. That was his personal spin on my name and even though it's been quite a few years since I've seen him the thought of his greeting still puts a big grin on my face.

Yesterday the news came that Rev. James Campbell left this place and joined his beloved wife Chris in the Lord's House. What a reunion that must have been.

Just the mention of the Campbell name awakens a riot of fond memories for me. Many of my most treasured teenage memories involved the Campbell girls. We were all part of a rowdy MYF Group. Rev. Campbell did his best to keep us in line and for the most part was successful. I think he even secretly enjoyed the times when we were mischievous because he always found a way to get in on the fun. Like the time the MYF boys decided to paper the parsonage. The SA parsonage had a huge screened in porch on the front. It was heavily shielded with louvered blinds. In other words, we could see and hear the boys but they didn't know we were there. We (Karen, Cindy, Rev. Campbell, Mrs. Campbell and I) watched and listened as the boys got to work. When they were about half way done Rev. C said in his biggest pulpit voice "Chris get my gun". Their first reaction was complete stillness. Then they looked around at each other and boys began to run in every direction imaginable. I still laugh thinking about it.

I know there are hundreds more stories like this one. My dearest hope is that they continue to be told through the family for generations to come.

Rev. and Mrs. Campbell bestowed the title of honorary Campbell Kid on me and so many others who's lives they touched and even though none of us are "kids" any longer, it's a title I will always cherish.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Barn Project Phase II - New Roof

Lee visited home the third week of August to take care of farm business and see the kick off of the barn renovation. On Monday the 22nd the roofing crew arrived and went right to work. First order of business, remove the dormer that provided a means to fill the grain bins. That's right, they would open the door on the dormer and position a 60 ft conveyor belt outside that would move the grain from the wagons, up the conveyor, through the dormer door and drop it into the bins in the barn below. With the dormer gone that left no cut work. Just a straight run up one side and down the other. After a one day rain delay they were back on the job and actually finished in a record 3 work days. Oh, you weren't imagining things, I did say rain delay. I told Lee to bring it back to Texas with him but of course he didn't do what I asked him to.

See the before and after pictures below. Now that we have a fabulous new roof it makes the rest of the barn look kind of shabby. It's a work in progress. Phase III will be the interior with the outside to be Phase IV.

See the dormer in the picture above. Abra-Cadabra! No tricks, no mirrors! It's completely disappeared from the picture below!

Speaking of the barn exterior, I want to hear everybody's opinion. As you can see the original color was WHITE????? When it comes time to paint, I'm in favor of the traditional red. Won't it look awesome with the bronze roof? Lee is holding out for his sentimental favorite white. Your thoughts?

Stay tuned for more updates as our guy on the scene, Gary Schwarz, sends us more pictures.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Brimfield - May 2O11 Better late than never, right?

A tea urn, a beautiful hat, antique candy jars and tiny drawers. What do all these things have in common? Read on and find out.

Carol, Dee, Amanda and I arrived in Brimfield for our annual pilgrimage to junktique heaven on Monday...a day early so we would have time to stock the fridge and hammer out a game plan for the week. This was Carol's happy dance the first night at bedtime.

This was our plan of action for the week.

1. Roll out of bed early every morning and be first on the scene for treasure hunting

2. See and buy as much cool stuff as possible

3. Be mindful of size constraints imposed by airlines (as you can see, that went right out the window on day 3). We're allowed 2 carry ons, right? That's supposed to be 2 carry ons, not 2 people carrying it on.

4. Sneak off for secret prezzie shopping

5. Eat as much fried dough and fair food as we want to (it's OK, we walked it off)

6. Laugh out loud at least 100 times a day

7. Find that one, elusive, can't go home without it treasure

We accomplished all of the above and so much more. Let's see, there was the trunk adventure, a trip to Cape Cod, Mike's Deli in Boston...I could go on and on.

See pictures below of the cool and crazy things we saw on the way to finding some of our most prized treasures.

I loved this little transfer ware saucer. It also had a tiny cutesy cup. Dang, I wrote the pattern down somewhere. It's too bad you can't just turn the picture over.


Every respectable Southern Belle needs something beautiful to serve ice cold sweet tea from while fanning themselves on the veranda on those sultry afternoons. Carol found hers in Mays Field.

Does this hat make my butt look big? Of course not Deedums. But it does match your eyes perfectly. She bought this early in the week but I think it is still one of her favorite finds.

Can't you just see gumdrops, jelly beans or peppermint sticks in these lovely jars? They will make a great addition to Amanda's candy bar!

Can you say "tiny drawers"? This was my, can't go home without it treasure this year. Long, long ago some lucky little girl had this miniature sterling treasure in her dollhouse. It's absolutely fabulous. The doors and drawers all open just like a full-size piece of furniture. Now it belongs to this grownup girl who loves it ever so much.

Keep checking in. I still have lots to share.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cathedral Grove

The road between Tofino and Victoria is curvy, up and down, narrow and in some places you are literally hanging off the edge of the mountain.

The black line is the way the road looks on the map

The red line is the actual road. Need I say more? And this road was tame compared to the road to Whistler.

There's a very short stretch of straight road between Port Alberni and Nanaimo where you drive right through the center of an amazing grove of red woods. Cars line the highway on both sides as people are drawn out of their vehicles to see these magnificent trees just steps from the roadway.

This is a pic of the center 8" of a tree that was about 3 1/2 feet in diameter. That's a lot of rings. Can you imagine how many there were in the whole tree? One year for each ring, that's 100s of years. And it was a twig compared to some of the others!

This is the last encounter on our trip with these beautiful giants. I've dreamed of seeing them for so many years it's sad to say goodbye. But I'll always cherish the realization of a dream dreamed all those years ago by this then 12 year old girl.

More adventures ahead. I know I'm jumping around but I'm posting as the notion strikes me. Next, I'll have a small post about our trip to Brimfield. Carol covered most of it but I have a few cool pics to share.

So long till next time, Hillarie

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Discoveries Back Home

Several weeks ago my special guy had to travel back home to Illinois for business. His invitation to fly up for the weekend was irresistible so away I went.

When business was taken care of we decided to check out a winery recommended by dear friends from the area but lost our way and found ourselves in the delightful town if Galena. Their claim to fame is being the hometown of Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States.

Don't be fooled though. This was no sleepy little town. Among the graceful Victorian homes, some dating back to the 1800s and lush gardens we stumbled onto a bustling street lined with historical store fronts housing charming shops and restaurants.

This cool little gazebo was made from the elevator doors of one if the old hotels in town. Doesn't it look like a giant birdcage?

President Grant gave a public speech from this very balcony. That was a little bit before we got here so we didn't get to see him.


My favorites were Fairy Tales Too, an awesome shop full of interesting and eclectic gifts and decor


New Earth, a sweet little shop for all of us pet lovers. I was bummed they were completely out of Schnauzer Monopoly but found some other gifties for Bailey and Beasley and even a cute tee for me.

After a rigorous morning of shopping it was up the hill to Vinny Vanucchi's for a delicious Italian lunch.

After lunch it was off to Chicago to board a flight back home. Lots more places to share. Stay tuned,


Barn Project -Part 1 Is that a tractor in the kitchen?

Lee recently made the decision to have his big old barn back home fitted with a small living space. This could be a challenge to manage from 1500 miles away but with the cost of gas and accommodations and a big empty barn just sitting there, it seems like a no brainer. A footprint using about 40% of the available space was decided on an he put me to work on drawing a very simple floor plan.

We suspected the roof needed replacing and developed a plan for that. Then we contacted and met with a contractor about the living space. He agreed it was doable and started working on a bid based on my primitive little plan.

Original roof plan fell through - now what? Contractor to the rescue!! Donnie said his company could take care of the roofing as well and won't it be better for one firm to take care of everything.

View looking from back to front of the barn interior and yes that is a tractor sitting in the space designated for the kitchen. The fact that there is a little clean up needed goes without saying.

Progress is very slow. We're still waiting for them to start on the roof. Keep watching for updates. Wish us luck.

H & L

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mom 1918-1992

Today Mom would be 93 years old. It's been almost 19 years since her passing but I still feel her closeness everyday. She's such a part of who I am as a person. She influences decisions that I make daily and is a constant balm in my sometimes hectic life. She taught by example the lessons of patience and kindness and remembering promises made. When we were all grown with our own families she still prepared lunch for all of us every Sunday. Myself, my siblings, our spouses and all the grandkids would rendezvous at our parents. There would be card tables set up for games and puzzles, whatever craft projects my sisters and I had going on would be in full swing and the TV would be blaring whatever game was on. Mom would feed us the good old comfort foods. You know the ones - roast and potatoes, fried chicken, smothered steak or, the kids' favorite, Mee Maw's spaghetti!

Here's a really old black and white picture of her shopping in downtown San Antonio in 1939 with her youngest sister "Tweet". Isn't that a cute nickname?

I miss her everyday but especially on this, her special day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Emerald City and I don't mean OZ

Did you know that Seattle was named after a great Indian Chief? Me either. OK-that's enough lessons for now. This was a fun trip not a field trip. And Seattle was so much fun it might just require multiple posts. Let's start with a semi open air market.

Lavender sachets, fresh veggies and even magic tricks. You can find this and so much more at the fabulous Pike's Market.

Just steps from the waterfront and arriving cruise ships it's a beehive of activity.


This talented fellow was playing the guitar, hula hooping and taking turns singing and playing the harmonica all at the same time. Now that's what I call multi-tasking!

This guy rolls his piano down the street from corner to corner to perform.

Amazing colors and scents

Would you bar-b-que anything that looked like that? I swear they have the weirdest food here!!

Does anybody smell coffee. Just follow your nose to 1912 Pikes Place and that heavenly aroma drifting out the door and down the sidewalk. You've arrived at the original Starbucks, established 1971. We stood in line with tourists and locals alike for bragging rights. I know lots of people back home in Texas have had Starbucks but how many can say they've enjoyed a piping hot Toffee Nut Latte prepared at the very first Starbucks? At least one.

All of these sights,sounds and smells - I'm on sensory overload. And this was just the first day. More sharing to come!