Decorating My House with Fun, Patriotic Twist

This past weekend was Memorial Day, and soon it will by Fourth of July. It's at this time of year that I get out all of my red, white, and blue decorations. I have to admit that I don't put all of my red, white, and blue items away during the summer months. For some reason, those colors remind me of fun in the sun, family reunions, outdoor picnics, and a sort of awakening. I know that sounds odd, but there you have it, that's sort of what those three colors bring to my mind.

Those three colors remind me of why the USA is such a great place to live. And, of course, with the summer months here already, I enjoy celebrating our nation's freedom.

I have to admit, as my husband and I grow older, our picnics are a whole lot more enjoyable when they are enjoyed inside. Sometimes, it is just too hot for us to feel all that happy about sitting outside. But, the summer months are great times for us to crank up the old barbecue and enjoy that "picnic" feel... even though we usually bring our barbecued food inside.

Getting back to my decorating penchant: I simply love to decorate for all of the yearly holidays. When our children were young, they enjoyed the decorations as much as I did. I remember a few years ago when either Puffs or Kleenex started making holiday facial tissues. The first season I noticed the brightly colored boxes at my supermarket, it was during the Halloween season. I was ecstatic! I have been putting these brightly, decorated boxes out every years since then! (I have to start looking for the holiday boxes the month before the actual holiday's month. They go really fast!)

I have an assortment of  Jim Shore items that I get out for every holiday. I have the autumn, spring, summer, and fall Jim Shore angels, as well as the autumn, spring, summer, and fall Jim Shore baskets. I love these collectibles. Oh, and I have my Jim Shore Cardinal and Jim Shore Blue Jay that I absolutely have to have out during all of the cold months.

As for my patriotic items, I have a few of the Jim Shore Patriotic Angels, as well as Jim Shore's Patriotic Disney Mickey. I usually have Patriotic Mickey sitting on my computer desk, since I spend so much time at my computer, and he simply makes me smile.

I also have a rather large collection of Longaberger patriotic baskets and pillows that I put out for the entire summer. I really should join a twelve step program for my Longaberger addiction! My husband asks me just how many baskets I think I need. My reply is always the same: More than I have now!

So, now that my house is all Patriotically "dressed up", I feel like I am ready for the summer. Let the warm weather begin!

Vacations for Us Will Include Coffee Mugs from Everywhere We Visit!

My husband and I just returned from picking up our daughter from college. She will soon be joining the "adult world" by taking on her first permanent job. We spent most of our time  in her college dorm room packing her up, but we did manage to do a little walking through her college town.

When we passed her college co-op bookstore, she asked us to join her inside for a minute. She then proceeded to have us pick out two mugs that we thought we would enjoy drinking our coffee and tea out of. My husband lost no time picking out the perfect mug, and I soon had one all picked out.

We both had picked coffee mugs that had the name of her school on them, in big, bold letters. Also, both of our coffee mugs were in her school's colors.

A few days later, while helping her unpack the boxes she had mailed back to herself, we saw her collection of coffee mugs. She doesn't even drink coffee or tea, but she we found out that she has been collecting mugs from all of her different summer internship jobs.

That's when it dawned on me: from now on, every time my husband and I go on a trip, we are going to buy a coffee mug to remind us of our trip, and the fun we had together. I know, I know, you don't need a lot of coffee mugs in order to drink your daily coffee every morning. But, these mugs will be collectibles to us, just as our daughter's college mugs are.

I know that a lot of people have already come up with this idea, to collect mugs, before I did, collectors of say Norman Rockwell mugs or Royal Doulton Toby mugs. I just wonder why it took me so long to envision all of the ways I can incorporate these mugs around our home. Right now, as I sit at my computer desk, I see one definite way to use my mug: It is holding all of my pens and pencils, so I can glance over at my cherished mug.