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Sunday, July 24, 2016


Magnolia Market is a Delight of the Senses

 A trip to Magnolia Market reveals the joyful atmosphere of Chip and Joanna Gains amazing creativity. They united as one to provide products everyone can use in their home from the inspiration of their HTV Show, Fixer Upper.   I got addicted to the show as I visited my elderly mom. We stayed in bed as we watched a marathon of episodes.  Each one tells a story of family.  The show unites all generations of decorating enthusiasts.  Chip and Joanna picked the name from their courtship days. He picked white Magnolia blossoms as a symbol of love for Jo.


Giant white washed silos are the landmark of the market standing tall and Texas proud located in the heart of Waco. I was grateful my husband had business in Waco so I could tag along and visit the shop. The couple had a vision to transform a former cottonseed mill to a thriving market place.
The theme restoration seems to be the foundation of everything they do.  Magnolia Market was one of their biggest fixer upper jobs to date.  They literally started from scratch, removing trash to transform the buildings to a thriving market of fresh and simple products.  Chip and Joanna are both Baylor grads and got married in 2003.  Chip began buying and renovating homes as Joanna used her talent of design to marry their gifts of imagination to form their company, Magnolia Homes.  
As you walk into the front door you are greeted with hanging sprays of yellow tulips.  
Green shiny vases contain simple white flowers.
Fragrant candles stamped Magnolia are stacked with a partner of white and yellow vintage vases filled with rosemary.  Jo wants to give respect for old objects.
Soap with fragrances of Mint and Rosemary fill the air with aromatic delights.  I bought the soaps to give to friends and family and everyone comments on the potent smell.  My 94 year old mom keeps it by her bedside to smell fresh mint.  They only sell for 6.00 dollars.  You can buy the products online for a wonderful treat in your bathroom.  

The store is full of cooking items to grind herbs from the garden.
Lip balm is sold in glass jars for 8.00 dollars.  It goes on moist and flavorful.  My lips have never felt so pampered. 
Words of encouragement seem to be very important to Chip and Joanna.   Sayings can be purchased for your home to bring joy and positive messages.  Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly is a favorite.
Soft ivory pillows hang in the air of Magnolia Market saying I'll be great for your sofa as you relax.  
A green painted chest holds candelabras for soft lighting.  Magnolia has branched out into furniture to go with the theme of hospitality.  I can just picture a lovely carrot cake or appetizers for a party placed on top.  
Magnolia has provided many jobs for locals who live in Waco.  I was greeted with a friendly Texas smile from a sweet girl who answered my questions.  She talked me into buying the scented candles and aromatic oils.  I have them in our bedroom for lovely scents.
Each area of the store has artistic displays revealing the creativity of Joanna Gains.  
Baskets of white flowers filled bins.  
Joanna's artistic talent was supported by her husband Chip during their first year of marriage.  She had a list of dreams she wanted to accomplish and he has supported her all the way.  It reminds me of my husband when he passes out Ducks In My Pool business cards to co passengers on a plane.  He tells them of my books I created for children.  

Demo Day is the highlight of the Fixer Upper Show because it is out with the old and in with the new.  The area of the store reveals tools, nails and other items for demo day.  
Its like a hardware store of useful parts.  
Magnolia Market is always filled with customers.  Many come from all over the United States and the world just to see Chip and Jo's products.  
Dogs are welcome to explore the market.  They are an important part of families.
A warehouse is attached to store products for high demand in every season.  
Words made of iron can be purchased to hang on your walls.
The theme of an active family life lays the foundation of Magnolia Market.
T Shirts are for sale along with ceramic mugs.  
Words of faith, family and gatherings are part of the lifestyle of the Magnolia Empire. Chip and Joanna Gaines will  launch a magazine in the fall of 2016.  Meredith's publishing house will feature topics that are similar to Magnolia Market.  They want to highlight food, decorating, entertaining ideas, and show real life homes, for the purpose of creating spaces loved ones will enjoy.  


Hospitality was shown as I purchased my carefully chosen items by friendly sales staff. 


I placed my little treasures all over our home and thought of the inspiration of Magnolia is the love of family.   The pink creamer was a perfect vase for pink roses fresh picked from our garden.

As time goes by I believe Fixer
Upper will continue to be popular because it's based on the lives of real people who want their home to be restored.

The white Magnolia flower shown on the candle glowing in our home stands for purity and perfection.
The parking lot is always full of people from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the love of this amazing couple.  

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fourth of July

Fourth of July

Families unite together with blankets and chairs
Picnics prepared for a feast of hot dogs and brisket
Laughter, sparklers, children dressed in ruffled dresses of red white and blue
All saying we are here to be thankful
To celebrate the Declaration of Independence





Coolers packed with ice cold drinks
Take a sip
A cool breeze flows across the crowd
White puffy clouds float across the sky
As the opening act

Pie eating contests
I ate the whole thing
Apple, Blueberry, and Peach pies with flaky crusts
The bell rang
Contest over
I won!!!

Tractors pull guests
Community Workers Serve their time
Each sitting side by side on bales of hay
United in freedom
Children sit close to mom or dad
Families have different stories
Of how they came to America
But the story is the same
They came to America for a better life


Night falls
Glowing sticks of light wave in the darkness
It's a pattern of movement
Of joyful freedom
Happy Independence Day

Music unites generations
With the backdrop of our American Flag
Joyful sounds spring forth from trombones
Guitars are plucked with chords of past songs
Freedom rings Freedom rings


Loud explosions of light
Happy 4th of July to you
God Bless America
Home of the free
Our founding fathers said
All men are created equal

Light reflects across the faces of Americans
Red White and Blue flags are raised in the air
Smoke fills the night sky
Curved lines are arranged like giant sparklers of hope
Hope of raising children with the same freedoms



The grand finale of fireworks pop and crackle
Each face with aspirations
Friends and families holding each other close
Couples holding hands
Children looking up to the lighted sky
God Bless America Land of the Free
Stand beside her.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Remembering Those Who Served For Freedom

On this Memorial Day offer prayer of gratitude for those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom in the United States.


 Freedom has been bought with a price.


 Our government was established with a balance of powers; the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary branch.  Under the separation of powers each branch is independent and cannot control another branch.  The 27 Amendments to our constitution is a living history of the struggle for freedom so all can have an equal voice.
Bill of Rights
Amendment 1 Freedoms, Petitions, Assembly
Amendment 2 Right to bear arms
Amendment 3 Quartering of soldiers
Amendment 4 Search and Arrest
Amendment 5 Rights in criminal cases
Amendment 6 Right to a fair trial
Amendment 7 Rights in civil cases
Amendment 8 Bail, finds, punishment
Amendment 9 Rights retained by the People
Amendment 10 States rights
Amendment 11 Lawsuits against states
Amendment 12 Presidential elections
Amendment 13 Abolition of slavery
Amendment 14 Civil Rights
Amendment 15 Black Suffrage
Amendment 16 income taxes
Amendment 17 Senatorial elections
Amendment 18 Prohibition of liquor
Amendment 19 Women's suffrage
Amendment 20 Terms of office
Amendment 21 Repeal of Prohibition
Amendment 22 Term Limits for the Presidency
Amendment 23 Washington D. C. suffrage
Amendment 24 Abolition of poll taxes
Amendment 25 Presidential succession
Amendment 26 18 year old suffrage
Amendment 27 Congressional pay raises

Let us remember our National Symbol
The Bald Eagle was adopted as the national bird to symbolize; majestic beauty, great strength, and long life.  The wingspan of a Bald Eagle is six to eight feet. It is the only eagle that is found exclusively on the North American continent.

  John F. Kennedy said,
"The Founding Fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the Bald Eagle as the emblem of the nation.  The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolized the strength and freedom of America"


 Our nation endures because of the sacrifice of so many. At least 1.2 million people have died fighting for America during its wars dating back 241 years.  It started with the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783.



  Men and women decided it was worth giving their lives so the birth of our nation could represent equality.

Each one serving wanted future generations to have freedom.  The First Amendment says;

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,



 and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 Let us not take our freedoms for granted.  Many have sacrificed so our country can be free.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Blessings

Mother's Day Blessings come in many packages.  Not every Mother's Day is perfect, but it is a day to show love.  My mom is suffering with back pain and unable to get around like she did.  Her days in the home with nursing care come with little joys like eating in the dining area.

I surprised her this Mother's Day with pink roses, chocolates and a card that says how much she is appreciated.  She can still read every word, repeating the phrases over and over.  She put up the card with the  heart opening and said I can see through it.

My mom loves boxes so I found this special one that she can keep cards or chocolates inside.

She opened  the box to see words of encouragement.   Faith heals.  During difficult times God is near, holding your hand.
As she went back to her room she kept asking her roommate over and over, "Are you okay?  How are you feeling? " 
I thought that is my sweet mom who thought about others even though her back hurts and she is in pain.  She rolled her wheelchair close to her bed and repeated gently are you going to be alright?  Her roommate had been in the hospital and had just come back to the room.  Her eyes were closed as she was getting treatments.  

Sometimes her eyes would reveal the pain she was feeling but there is also a peace.  
Mother's Day Blessings come is small packages.  My sons gave me pink tulips.  The same color my mother loves.  I thought of her as I poured water in the vase.  She always mentions my two wonderful sons with love and adoration.  Mother's Day is a time to show love.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fort Worth Zoo Lions, Tigers, Antelope, Exotic Birds



The Fort Worth Zoo was voted best zoo by Family Life Magazine, LA Times, and USA Today.   It is home to 5,000 exotic and native animals.   When the zoo opened in 1909 the animals to see were one lion,
two bear cubs, an alligator
a coyote,

a peacock and a few rabbits.

The Herpetarium was completed in the summer of 1960 with one of the largest exhibits of reptiles and amphibians in the world.  The original Herpetarium closed in 2009 to be replaced by the Museum of Living Art in 2010.

Zookeepers are available to let you touch a snake.  The scales are scratchy to the touch.

World of Primates opened in 1992 with an indoor and outdoor exhibit of gorilla groups.

Watch the apes eat lettuce and other treats for primates.
Asian Falls opened in 1992 with an exotic exhibit of White Tigers.


White and Malayan tigers share a habitat of majestic waterfalls flowing.
White Tigers enjoy the sound of water splashing on rocks.
Raptor Canyon is an aviary that opened in 1993.  It is home to crowned eagles,
An Andean condor,

a milky eagle owl, harpy eagles, and bateleur eagles.

The cheetah exhibit opened in 1994 with exotic black spotted wild cats.
Flamingo Bay is home to the 70 peach colored birds who love to flock together.

Parrot Paradise was opened in 2004 to a free flight aviary.  Children have fun feeding the parakeets and cockatoos.  .
The rain forest habitat is home to bright colorful red, white and blue Macaws.  They have large beaks to crack open shells.

Animals from Australia hop with their friends.  Kangaroos carry their babies in their pouch.
 Kangaroos have large ears to help them listen for predators who might want to harm them.  My what large tails they have.


Black and white penguins have a thick fur to keep them warm.

Wild Pheasants roam the Texas Hill Country to  make the hillside colorful.  Their eyes can spot food to eat.

Angel Fish love to play chase in  aquariums for fish who love to swim in coral reefs all over the world.

Antelope love to play in the open grassy fields of green.

It takes alot of workers to help maintain a safe place for animals to be healthy.  Thank you zookeepers for providing such a wonderful zoo for all to enjoy.