at home with nana brown

Bobbie "Nana" Brown, proud wearer of many hats. Join me on this crazy journey called life.

Everyone has a dream…

Everyone has a dream.

Everyone has a passion.

This world would be a much happier place if all people could do a “Job” they are passionate about, one they love to do, to share with others.

My passion is art.

My art is crafting scrapbook pages that make you want to linger and take a longer look, to touch each page and feel the texture of each element added. These pages are meant to be heirlooms, to hold your very precious memories. Please help me realize my dream.

Like my business page. By liking my page and sharing it with your friends, my business can grow and flourish. Thank you very much!

If  you have a Facebook page, simply type Dreamy Moments Scrapbooking in the search bar.  I am in Lexington, KY.

 

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Out on a limb

So….

I come to my brick and mortar job and open my personal email this morning.

I find an email from Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors. I am not sure how I feel about that, right now,

other than…I feel so far behind!

Donna does some amazing work and I just recently started following her. I had no idea her struggles and juggles!

Girl..you are amazing!  I promise to dive deeper into all your past posts. I definitely think you can teach me a thing or too.

 

JUMP!

I am seeing more and more from ladies in our age group (40+), taking that giant leap, going out on a limb and creating their dream jobs. Ladies!!! Wait up!! I am climbing my own tree and about to step out on my own limb!!

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…and the search is on!

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Roger and I moved to Lexington, KY in October 2006 and have been in the same house the entire time…a rental house. We are both in our late 40’s and neither of us has EVER owned a home. Isn’t that crazy??

Truth is, we both have had money problems in the past. Due to divorces, medical bills, me raising children alone, him paying huge amounts of child support; our credit scores took a nose dive straight into the dark and murky depths of a slimy swamp. Now, let me just tell you that climbing back out of that slimy swamp is no easy task.

We tried on our own for years and to be honest…we just kept failing. Finally, at the end of 2013, I heard of Dave Ramsey. Ok, NO this is not an advertisement, I am NOT getting paid to say this. I am only sharing OUR experience.

Roger and I, in an attempt to improve our marriage, starting attending church; first watching services via a live internet feed and then attending services at a church down the road. About this same time, I began listening to a Christian radio station during my drive to and from work every day. The station played a commercial for Financial Peace University. At first, I pretty much ignored it as just another hokey thing. Then I caught the Dave Ramsey show, one afternoon on my way to a late afternoon doctor appointment. The advice he was offering sounded so right. He sounded so real that I became intrigued and started paying attention and getting excited about the possibility of becoming debt free. I started doing research and finally decided to mention it to Roger. He too thought it might be worth checking into so, we bit the bullet and enrolled in a class to start in January 2014. We took the classes, followed the principals and are on our way to being debt free! We still have about a year to go but, for the first time in 10 years, we see it on the horizon!

Ok, back to the reason for this post!  We are finally on the hunt for a home and I am so flipping excited. We have been casually looking for about 5 years and have never found something we are both crazy about. Besides, we couldn’t have actually purchased a home because of our credit rating. I am sure we are not alone in wishing mortgage companies would look at the fact that we have NEVER paid our rent late. Anyway, I am about to digress again. We have been looking for homes in every county that borders the one we currently live in. We have learned that the cost of homes, land and taxes are much less expensive outside our county. Ok, we have no problems moving outside our county. The towns are fairly small and still close. There are five counties bordering ours and a couple that don’t but, we would still consider moving to. Over the past few years, we have searched all these areas without any luck.

Recently, Roger has decided to rejoin a volunteer fire department. He was a firefighter during his late teens, early 20’s in New York, where he grew up, and has always missed that camaraderie Our future son-in-law is a fire fighter and we have made a few friends who are with the fire departments around us.  Because they are with a certain county, we have now focused our attention on ONE county! FINALLY!!! Having chosen an area to concentrate our search has been good and bad. This happens to be the one area we never really considered moving to. How funny is that?

I thought I had found the absolute perfect house and we rode out there on the motorcycles this weekend only to be a bit disappointed. The back yard is too sloped and it is questionable if the road with be taken care of in the winter. It is 25 miles from where I work so, that is pretty important.  We also explored a few other neighborhood and nothing really appealed to us. We have decided that since we will likely live in the house for a very long time, we want it to be want we want and need. Some things can be overlooked if we can fairly easily fix or change them. However; some things are just plain old deal breakers. How about you? What was your house search like? Did you have things you would simply not bend on? Are there things you thought you would never bend on that you did? Please share your stories with us. We are so new to this home buying thing and would love to hear how it went for you!

So, once again…the search is still on!  Have a great weekend!

Love,

Nana Brown

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Cucumber Tomato Salad Nana Brown Style

This time of year, many people have gardens that are overflowing with tomatoes and cucumbers, possibly even some green onions.. Try my Tomato and Cucumber salad for a refreshing snack or side dish.

Enjoy!

Love,

Nana Brown

Tomato and Cucumber Salad Nana Style

2 Large Cucumbers
1 Large Tomato
2 Green Onions
1/2 Tsp each of:
Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb Seasoning
Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning
Pepper
Sea Salt
1 Tsp sugar
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Chop cucumbers and tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Dice entire (green and white parts) green onions,
Place vegetable in large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, toss and enjoy!

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Remembering 9/11

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Thirteen years ago today, I was just beginning a career in property management as a leasing agent at an apartment complex in Bowling Green, KY. It was an exciting time for me because I had recently been told I was to be trained as an accredited manager of residential rental property.

That day began as any other Tuesday. I took care of preparing the office for the day, updated my prospect call log to follow up with prospective tenants, prepared all the lease renewal reminders and the new leases to be signed that day. It looked like it would be a fairly light work load for the day since the college students had already moved in during August and we were pretty much full.

Our two member maintenance team was out on the grounds picking up any trash, inspecting the buildings and parking lots as they did each morning. At 8:50, one of our guys came running into the office wide eyed and red faced yelling for us to turn on the radio, that we were being attacked in New York at the Trade Center. We didn’t have a radio in our leasing office and one of our residents, having followed our maintenance guy in, offered to loan us a small television. We all watched in horror for two hours as first one and then another building collapsed onto itself. I remember feeling more afraid during those moments than I have ever felt in my my life. Almost every resident on our small property came to the office that day, many were utterly terrified of what the repercussions of those blatant attacks meant for our great country. When the third airplane plowed into the Pentagon, many of us felt that our entire country was going to soon be under attack. We wondered if maybe Fort Knox would be next or possibly other large metropolitan areas such as Chicago and Atlanta. Every year, on this date, we as a country remember with great sadness the hundreds of innocent lives lost that day and in the weeks after.

We will never, ever forget.

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Bus 582

In the early 70’s, I was an elementary school student. Sometimes, I feel as though those are some of my best memories in life. To this day, I still love the smell of new Crayola crayons, Elmer’s School Paste, and the warm indigo ink from the mimeograph machine. Back then, we weren’t required to start our education in kindergarten so, I began my schooling in the first grade at Valley Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky with Mrs. Felts as my teacher. I can’t recall much of my first grade year other than my teacher loved to use a long wooden ruler to get her pupils under control. I can only vaguely recall the sharp sting of that ruler twice; once for dozing off in the darkened classroom during a filmstrip lesson and another for taking too long to finish a finger painting. Was I the only one that really enjoyed the feel of the cool, creamy finger paints?

I recall, with very fond memories, my bus driver, Mrs. Doss. All the children loved her. I suppose she was probably in her late 30’s, at that time. I can still recall her bouffant, black hair sprayed stiff with hairspray, her genuine smile and pleasant voice. At holidays, Mrs. Doss always gave her riders a little candy treat; peppermints at Christmas and jelly beans at Easter. I would always clamber for the seat right behind our beloved driver because I simply adored our conversations. The children at our bus stop were the first group on and the last group off the bus. That never bothered me as I enjoyed the lively chatter I had with the wise and loving lady at the wheel. Many years ago, in the late 80’s, I attempted to locate Mrs. Doss. I had always know where her home was as it was close to ours and she had a huge semi-circle drive way built in the front to accommodate the old yellow bus 582. The day I went to her home, I knocked on her door with much trepidation, fearing she would not remember me. Unfortunately, no one answered the door that day. To this day, I have not ventured back to the home of the lady that meant so much to me throughout my six elementary years. I’ve never forgotten her and she will always be held near and dear to my heart. So, where ever you may be Mrs. Doss; thank you for just being you.

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Searching, searching, searching….

Searching, searching, searching….

We have a terribly long list of must haves, deal breakers and absolutely nots. Finding the perfect or pretty darn close to perfect place is SO FRUSTRATING! Roger is more of the urbanite and I am more the country girl type. We are looking for the home that can meet both our desires. Believe it or not, they really are out there. We have a large family and many friends so, it has to be a really big house. Usually, when we mention how large of a home we want, to our friends and family, they look at us like we are crazy and ask, “Why in the world do you want a house that big?”

The truth is, we want a home large enough to accommodate our friends and family and we do not care that they may only visit once or twice a year. I am just wondering what other people think of having a house larger than they would need on a daily basis. I really want to know your thoughts. What did you do? Do you already own a home? Are you like us and still out looking? Are you dreaming of you perfect place? What does that look like for you?

Feedback, please!!

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Beautiful Bounty

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Beautiful Bounty!

Ok, so…my harvest may appear tiny to most but, to me, it is HUGE!! And yes, I am very proud of it. It is mid June here in Lexington, KY and the ground is already starting to show signs of not enough rain. You know, those tell tale cracks? Kind of reminds of a desert. I am hoping that we get some good, drenching rains soon but, until then, there goes the water bill budget.

Since we currently live in an HOA (Home Owners Association) neighborhood, we cannot utilize rain barrels. Otherwise, I certainly would! I feel using this type of water is perfect for watering outdoors and flushing toilets. What do you think? Is anyone utilizing the rain barrel method? How is it working for you? I would love to hear your thoughts.

And speaking of HOA’s; how do you garden? Do you live in an HOA that allows gardens and maybe even chickens? I have a tiny 4’ x 8’ raised garden and a huge dreams of moving to a more rural part of this area. I think an acre to three acres would be just about perfect for us. We are empty nesters living a pretty active lifestyle so, any more than that would just be too much to handle. I dream of have a mini orchard with apples, peaches, plums, table grapes and berries; a vegetable garden with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic, pumpkin, acorn and butternut squashes, peas, broccoli, plenty of herbs and of course strawberries and watermelon! I am also hoping to keep chickens for meat and eggs and possibly meat rabbits.

What about you? Are you dreaming it or doing it?

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Two Posts in One Day!

New Helmet!

So, I think you might remember that I mentioned “biker chick” was one of my many ‘hats’. And speaking of hats…well, helmets, I finally got one of my very own…weeee! Yes, I am excited! I got my motorcycle license in 2006 and have been riding my husband’s first bike, a royal blue 2002 Suzuki Katana 600 sport bike with a yellow accent stripe. (shh, don’t judge me.) I have also been wearing his matching, old helmet since then….yeah, can we say LOOSE? A loose helmet is really annoying and uncomfortable but, hey I put up with it as long as I could. For several years, I have been on the search for a helmet that I really liked the color and decorative scheme on. Pink and black were the two main colors that I was looking for. Do you have any idea how many shades of pink there are?? Oh my goodness. There are pinks so light you have to squint to tell it is even pink and not white and then there are pinks that look more red or more purple. But, my holy grail of pink is hot pink. I just love hot pink and black together.

I remember when the new T-Mobile commercials came out with the girl, all dressed in black, on the pink and black sport bike, i was SO jealous! I have been wanting to get the Katana painted deep, shiny black with matte pink (hot pink) accents. That will be a story for another day…haha

I digress, I also found it difficult to find a pattern I liked. So many women’s helmets are either covered in butterflies and/or skulls or thick geometric patterns…eh, just not me. So, today, with some convincing from the hubby, I agreed to run over the the motorcycle store one more time to see what kind of helmets they carried this year. Well, lo and behold…this is the one I found at the bottom of the shelf!. As I walked around the display case to grab it, a guy snagged it from it little cubby to purchase it for his girlfriend!. Can you imagine my disdain to find out there were no more in stock?
After pacing around, grumbling for a few minutes, my dear spouse calmed me down enough to agree to try on the same type to make sure I ended up with the correct size and he ordered the helmet in my size. Alright, I am ok with waiting a few days.

30 minutes after we left and started our grocery shopping, we received a phone call saying they actually had the helmet in my size! Woot! What you see in the photo above is the result and I can hardly wait to go for a ride so, with that…see ya! Have a great weekend!

Love,

Nana Brown

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Lettuce!

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So, this morning, I ventured out to my little garden, on the side of the house and gathered my first harvest! This is the third year for my 4′ x 8′ raised bed, organic garden. The first year was a huge success and I gave away so much! Last year, year two, felt like a dismal failure. We had way too much rain in April, May and June and my little patch was riddled with one problem after another. I think I had every squash problem known to man from vine borers to a mold issue you wouldn’t believe. I am not upset about though because this one small bed is my experiment for when we buy a home of our own and I can have a larger garden space.

Living in an HOA neighborhood puts a huge damper on the dreams of a wanna be homesteader. Every year, I expect the dreaded notice that we will have to remove our veggie garden because it violates some ignorant HOA rule, by-law or whatever they want to call their stupid manual governing the way you use your own home or yard. Anyone else have HOA nightmares? How do you feel about them?

But, really this post was supposed to be about my pretty lettuce. Does anyone else enjoy freshly picked, organic lettuce? In my honest opinion, there is simply no salad better than one you grew yourself. YUM!!

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