Monday, August 29, 2011

Expecting The Unexpected

It is true that I do take a camera almost every place I go. Because you never know what you will see or how you will see it, or what you might miss.
I love photography because it has brought me a whole new way of looking at...well everything.

I notice people and things that might have slipped past me if I weren't looking at everything "as if ", through my camera's lenses.

There are a lot of photos that are only in my mind, because I didn't have a camera with me at the time. So I remedied that as best as I could like this.

As you may well know I encourage everyone to take a camera, for those unexpected things. I however often don't follow my own very good advice. And yesterday as I headed out the front door moving with determination up the the street on my way to church, I happened to glance down only to see a child looking up at me from a very unlikely place. I stood there a second and looked, silently debating weather to go back and get the little pocket camera I usually have with me or to continue on and take a picture of it when I got back.
I turned around and got my camera because...

Like a river, it may not be the same one I passed on the way home.

Here are a few other reasons I take a camera with me for those unexpected times.

Finding the expected as well as the unexpected is some of what helps us discover the beauty and joy there is in life.
Grab your camera when you head out the door and see what you can find :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

This One Old Dresser

Honey hopes I'm soon finished with this years Summer changes.
He does not take change well, even after all theses years of me changing things all the time.
I stopped rearranging furniture for far to long, just changing out the month-to-month decorations, I suspect that he became too comfortable with all of that.

Every time I start talking about painting this, or moving that, he throws me pained looks, or, leans his head back shutting his eye's, then shakes his head, ever so slightly and says something along the lines of, "Nooo...just leave it like it is." Or, "That's an antique. It will ruin it's value to do that."  Sometimes he just looks at me and acknowledges, "It doesn't matter what I say, your going to do it any way aren't you."
I generally just smile, nod, and do what I want.
Then at the big unveiling, with over exaggerated flourish, complete with the hand moves of my best Vanna White impersonation, he always looks just a little surprised then says, "Well, that looks good. I like that." 

Alright, it's worked that way with everything, except, the 'Ivy Green' table. That one, is going to take a long while for him to say anything nicer than, "Well at least its in the corner where you don't really have to see it. Don't do that color again. Ever."

I have been warning him that changes would be coming to his Grandma Al's old dresser. The treasure that was found, lost, forgotten, buried in the back, dark, dank corner 'room', of the five foot, hand dug section of the little bungalow basement. Along with some other fabulous finds!

It had, at one time, been none to carefully painted, that certain shade of turquoise my mom loved, the one that must have been the only other color made, besides carnation pink. From the 1920's or 1930's or before.
Then sometime later on, in a quest to revive that old dresser, it was painted yet again, more sloppily this time, and white. A lot of the turquoise still visible.
The little glass pulls still hold a fair amount of both colors.  
I have had the dresser for quite a few years now. It resides happily in my dinning room these day's.

Now you must know this about me. I do not like just plain white. I like color. Lots of color.

So when I saw this post over on Kelly Rae Roberts  blog. I knew I wanted to give that little dresser this look!
It has taken me a while to build my bravery in this attempt. I started to let Honey know that it would indeed be changing sometime in the near future. I showed him what I was planning.
Then I went to that too cute re-created antique shop, it was all over then, an all out search for things around the house and garage needing new color, new life, was launched in full force!

Honey began to sweat.

I began to rub my hands together and accumulate paint.

I am happy that bright color has been introduced back into the house.
It seems that somehow, everything became white (ugh), varying shades of brown, and dark colors.
I was becoming blah.
Somehow it started giving off the feel of Grampa's little basement apartment. Without the nummy fresh baked pie smell. And I had become settled into it, like toes into a warm blanket on a cold winters night.

This needed to be remedied. And soon!

So this week, while Honey slept, the dresser under went it's transformation...

I left all the old paint, scratches and dings that the years have given it. I left the turquoise and white paint on the little glass pulls. I left the little wooden wheel's with the rusting works.

I like it!
Honey likes it!!

Now I'm just trying to decide if I should do the side panels to match the drawer fronts, or if I should leave them plain...

What do you think?

Next project.
To paint an old wooden chair I found in my Grampa's attic...'bauhaus gold'!


"Oh Honey? What would you think if I..."


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Time flies on gossamer wings.

It is so hard to believe that school is back in session!
Why I remember not to long ago, wondering if summer would ever really come, and now here we are pushing the last week's of National Zucchini month!

Time is something we either have to much, or not enough of, it can be a friend, an enemy,  it can  often be an invisible healer, it can leave us feeling robbed, if we let it.
Like water under a bridge, once it passes it can't be called back.

That is why I like photos so much.

A picture can freeze a second in time, to be looked at through the years. Triggering memories and feeling's in an instant.

Why, remember the Summer you felt like you could fly?

She could run as fast as the wind.
Fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Swing so high she was sure her toe's could touch the sky.
Her bike could become anything from a horse to a motorcycle in just seconds.

Time was when she had no cares in the world.
The biggest thing to worry about was if her friends could play and what to do in the afternoon's when it was to hot.

Time passes. 
There is no way to stop it.
Unless you set some of the house work aside, grab your camera and go play with the kids' while they are little :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Red Window

After my introduction to the antique shop earlier this month, I decided it was time to spruce things up around the house...just a bit.
You know, to sort of prepare Honey for bigger changes? He is a very good sport about my off the wall idea's, he doesn't understand them all the time, but as long as it's not wall paper he's good with it.

He has a little bit of a hard time thinking outside the box, but that's ok, I'm teaching him about it.
Like the time I needed him to make a picture frame out of old barn wood? He just couldn't or didn't want to grasp the idea that I did not want it perfectly square.
It took a lot of conversation and a leap of faith on his part, and a whole lot of stubbornness on my part. But once it was finished and the cross stitch was in place, he understood why I wanted it that way.
"I'll trust your judgement from now on." He promised before adding, "Until the next time." with a smile.

Well there have been a lot of next times between then and now, and generally speaking, we have a very similar conversation each time I enlist his help in one of my out of box schemes.

It happened again after the trip to the shop when I started going through collected treasures around the house, and strange colors of paint started showing up. He didn't start clutching at his heart until he saw the green paint I tried to slip past him :)

Can you just imagine his *consternation when I pulled this old window frame out, clumped to the garbage can with it and a hammer, then started breaking out the three remaining pains of glass into the can? Retreating to the patio with one piece of really rough sand paper and went to work.
NOT, I might add, as he thought it should be done. He kept volunteering to get me the electric sander, some wood putty to fill the holes. Telling me I should be sure to knock off all the old putty and pull out all the nails.
When I stopped sanding, he had a very hard time staying in the patio chair watching me.
Then to his continued bewilderment, I grabbed a can of left over spray paint that was only half full in one hand the window frame in the other and headed out to the paint spot.

Following he said, "You should run and get another can of paint, that isn't going to be enough." His brow furrowing, "Are you sure you want to paint it red?"
I tried to sound encouraging as I replied, "It'll be plenty. It's ok. Trust me. Yes red."
I started spraying, immediately the paint was absorbing like water to a dry desert floor, into the old, tired, thirsty wood.
In near panic, shaking his head, he said, "I should have got you the sealer before you started painting. It would help keep it from soaking in so fast."

Without stopping I reassured over my shoulder, "It's ok. Really. Trust me. Outside the box baby, remember, I play outside the box."

"Didn't I trust you last time? Maybe this time it wont work like you think." He joked a little nervously.
But I kept right on going. I did after all have a plan for this old red window.  

The plan was to fill the space on the wall near my 100 year old, huge, saved from the neighbor's dumpster by a niece, frame. That I love.

Resignation filling his voice he relented with, "Well as long as it's not that terrible so called, 'Ivy Green' you did that table...I guess I'll trust you one more time." I could tell from the sound of his voice he was really trying to convince himself it would be ok. 

 Once the paint dried, I snuck it in to hang while he wasn't looking, other wise he'd lament over me not finding a stud while hanging it where I wanted.

Once I got it into place, I went and got him to come see that the plan was working...

"Huh! It's looks pretty good. Glad I trusted you on this." He whispered as he put his arm around me, "You know don't you, that sometimes your plans worry me, right?"
"So you like my little corner of the world then?" I teased as I elbowed him gently on the arm.

"Yes. I like your little corner of the world. It fit's your personality." He smiled. "But wouldn't it have been better to paint everything to match?" He said as he stepped out the door.

"Outside the box baby. Outside the box." I called back, "Waite until you see what I am going to do to the dresser next week!"

"As long as it's not that green, I'll trust you one more time." He replied adding,"By the way. I think everybody should have a red window."

We'll go through this again next week when I start the dresser. 
Maybe I'll trick him and start it today ;)  

Consternation = bewilderment, alarm, terror, fear, panic, fright, horror.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Christmas In August

I have been known to be a sporadic exerciser at best.

I basically haven't stuck with anything for an amount of time that could be called consistent. I have walked for goodly amounts of time, then I dwindle off and next thing you know, there is my lengthening list of reason's, why, I just can't get back to it.

Well this year I have been doing a lot better with going for walks, it's still pretty hit and miss, but I do walk places as often as I can.

My daughter has been concerned about my health for a while now and is always encouraging me to take 'better care of myself', she finally convinced me to 'trust a Dr.' and do a simple at home test...I did it and found that I am not really as healthy as a horse.

But I can be IF I start taking care of myself.

So the exercising has become more serious, the diet has changed,  I'm out door's a lot more. And it just plain feels...good!

I still struggle a little with consistency, and the loss of cookies for breakfast, but, it's only been a few week's, so I'm not beating myself up too much over it. (I am not getting headaches from the lack of sweets anymore).

Any way, last week my concerned daughter bought me a Christmas gift, telling me she wants me to use it and I wont be able to at Christmas time because of snow (we hope).
So loading me into the back seat of her car Saturday morning, as they were ready to head off to the Aquarium to see the 'Pen-goo-win's', she says, "I just need you to run this receipt into the service desk and pick up your present for me k?"

Sure, no problem, I grab the receipt and climb out of the car, since my jumping lithely out of anything is gone most day's.

As I head for the door she calls to she is driving off?

"Have fun! I love you!! Be careful crossing the street's on the way home!"


Well its only about a mile, so I went in and handed the woman at the service desk the receipt and she smiled really big as she told me they had been expecting me. Then turned around, she starting taking notes and things off of THE bike.
The bike that has lived on my "Dream Big" list for a while now. The bike I shamelessly drooled on every time I go in the store.
Bringing it around the corner of the counter while telling me she hopes I enjoy it...

Looking a little puzzled I said, "This is what it is? She got this for me?" Marcus Welby type tears pooling suddenly in my blue eye's.

"Who's that?" The woman asked innocently as she tilted the handle bar toward me.
"My daughter said she got me a Christmas present."
That's when it dawned on me why she drove away smiling like the Cheshire cat.

I havent' been on a bike for about sixteen year's, so I was nervous about tipping over or something equally embarrassing as I tried to get on, my center of gravity has after all changed a little during that time. I was a little glad that I had to walk it a few block's because it needed air in the tires.
Over to the gas station I trudged, just as happy as a four year old kid in a candy store!
I knew I didn't put as much air in as I should-because as I started the job, my mind flashed to the last time I put air in a bike's tire...Instinctively reaching my right hand up to touch my lower left chin, sliding over my top lip, quickly tracing my fingers gently up across my right cheek bone where the exploded tire had left a screaming, angry red welt as it hit there and up under my eye, curving again to reach my hair line...I was thirteen again in those few seconds.
Finishing the job to a point of safety until Honey could help me out with it, I was relieved no one was around as I lifted my leg over the bar placing my foot on the peddle and hefted myself onto the seat at the same time.
Wobble, wobble...
I was so amazed!
I could still ride a bike!
I rode in a big circle, twice! Then headed up the street on my way home.
I can not even begin to describe the memories that flooded my mind as I rode the same streets as I had as a child, with the same excitement as a girl who's training wheel's had just been taken off!!

Well that first day I rode and walked about three and a half miles. Three day's later, I rode it almost six miles and only walked two blocks.

I have to admit...I still love the feel of coasting!!

Friday, August 12, 2011


So the word 'diet' causes a little bit of consternation in most folks-me included.
I have recently found myself on one, and generally doing very well.
Actually better than I thought I would.

But I figure I have been working hard, getting the a lot of important deep cleaning done, and deserve a treat.  Right?
So off to the market on the corner I headed.

I thought about getting some nice crisp apples, but that voice in my head started whispering, "You've worked hard. You should get something you haven't had for a long time...what about cookies?"
The reasoning of my cookie deprived mind had zero logic that day. I ended up coming out of the shop with a knock of brand of the cookie that milk loves.

Please, spare yourself and don't ask the reasoning behind the knock offs being preferable to the name brand...maybe I just didn't want to pay for the name this time...maybe I thought they had less sugar...there is no explaining the choice.

Sticking strictly to the serving amount, I did indeed enjoy my treat, then tucked the remainder into a large baggie to keep the succulent morsels from getting air condition moistened.
What I didn't notice was that the package slipped off the shelf when I shut the door. Coming to rest in front of the broom that leans in the corner.

A few day's later I thought I could use a treat again, but the cookie's were not to be found. That's when a touch of the crazies kicked in...Did Honey protect me from them by throwing them away? I didn't dare ask, because he was right...Wait! Busy Momma had been talking to me that night...I wondered if she had any idea where they went of to.
She started to laugh. A lot. Then asked if I threw them in the garbage, since I have been in a 'junk it' mode. As tired as I have been from all the cleaning and carting, let's just say, my memory has been off just a little by the end of the day...I couldn't remember.
So I checked...the fridge.
Seriously, I could have put them back with the milk.  Being to tired to look long or too hard, a quick glance proved they weren't in the fridge, dish washer, glass cupboard, or on the pantry shelf...fine!
I went to bed and all thoughts of cookie's were gone from my mind as soon as my head hit the pillow, and for almost a week I gave no more thought to them or any cookies.  
Then this afternoon, only because, when I opened the pantry door the broom tipped over and when setting it to rights, I noticed that something had got stuffed in the back of it's normal resting place beside the door. Reaching down to grab the offending object, barley noticing what it was, I just went to give it a toss over into the open garbage bag  resting in front of  the back door waiting to be hauled out.
Glancing at the offending object I again had the urge to treat myself to the forbidden sweets.

I really am doing better than I thought I could on this very important diet.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cleaning & Dreaming More

Important update for me!

I am proud to say that after a couple of rough day's away from the project, along with a few important interruptions this morning...
I am now fully into the last stages of making a bigger mess, and enjoying the beginning stages of hauling away, shelving keeper stuff, and breaking down all those empty boxes I've stored forever. Those silly hording seeds anyway!

The big test now?
Will Honey be able to take the donation pile without going through it first?

I have faith in him...

I just want to add, that as I get closer to getting the basement cleaned out, my mind seems to be settling down too.
Funny how that works :)

Monday August 8, 2011
So the thing about having an unfinished basement is, for me, that it ends up being a catch all. Or should I say a stack all?
I am a stacker who is trying to diminish said stacks into submission. I have come to the brilliant conclusion that a clean house may be some of the key to clearing out more than just our living space, but also to clear out some of the stacks I have accumulated in my own mind.

A very troubling thing is that, in order to clean out clutter, diminish stacks, and reclaim your space and serenity, it seems you need to make a bigger mess...

In order to reclaim living space in the basement I have enlisted the help of Busy Momma. Together we pulled everything out, started separating it out into five stacks. She is my voice of reason in this process, I hold up a long lost treasure while telling it's story, she listens then says the important things that I need to hear said;
That is a really nice memory, but how long has it been in there?
So, you have lived without it for how long?
Is it something you can take a picture of to keep the memory?
What pile does that thing need to go into?

Did I mention that we have five? Yes. Five.
#1 keeper.
#2 Donation.
#3 garbage.
# 4 (This is the embarrassing one!) Empty boxes to be broken down and recycled. I confess to having boxes with empty boxes in them, in case I needed to wrap a gift or mail something. 'Is it the seed's of hording?!'
# 5 Stuff other people have been storing here that will be going back home to them a.s.a.p.

Once everything has been sorted into pile's # 1 and #2, each will be sorted out into three piles.

It is a lot of work, but I am confident that once finished, it will be a livable, workable, comfortable place to spend time.
Right now it's hard to see it...But I know it is there.

My brain is a lot like my basement.
The same sort of things build up in there, some of it mine, some of it other peoples things, some useful, some out dated, and some just plain junk. A lot of it tends to run around like a hamster on a wheel at night when I should be sleeping.

Cleaning out my brain is not something I can really have someone come in to do for me. It's a completely personal inside job. It is coming along as well as the basement project.

Over the years I have found some interesting things that are helping me to sort things out in my life, so that I can dream the dream's that I need to be dreaming...

It really does feel good to clean and unclutter our living spaces.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Change Is Good... Right?

Why is it that plan's. Most any plan's really. Never seem to come off without a hitch?
This week end had been planned for a couple of weeks. Plans for what was to be accomplished layed out. Lists of necessities made, only to later be amended.
It was to be the big clean up of the house and yard week end. Anticipation has been building, vision's of cleanliness and order dancing in our grey heads.
But it is not working out as efficiently as I had hoped.
It's sort of like the Holiday's? You expect them to be magical and special event's to remember in good ways forever~and it never seems to turn out exactly like it always did in  your head plans? Once it all begins, that is when all the hitches that can come about, do.

I set out early to sort of get a 'jump start' to my part of the famed list of things to do, so I could amend that too.
It all started innocently, with only a few can's of spray paint weighing down a very strong bag. I just had to have, after visiting that cute little store last week!
I thought, if I did some of the painting while Honey was busy elsewhere? I could get away with all of it.
And I mostly did too :)

I have discovered, after a lot of years together, that Honey is not real fond of lavender furniture, however, much to his credit, he consented. And no, not just because the deed was done, but by comparison.
Although I have employed the theory of asking for forgiveness rather than asking for permission, on....well lets just say on just about everything I do... This time I did sort of warn him.

 Seems Honey is far less fond of this particular shade of green, than any shade of lavender :)

As he watched me with pain filled eye's and his gag reflex well in check, as I lugging it all back into the house, he was able to squeak out one small request, "Please, put that green thing in a corner and put a lot of stuff on it ok? And Sweetheart?".

I paused to give him my full, doe eyed attention,

" Please don't ever do that shade of green again? Use dark, or light, or you might even consider blue next time?"

I just couldn't quite confess that it was a little...different, than I had expected.
And once every thing was put back to rights, the sun not shining directly on it causing a little bit of retinal damage, the green toned down just enough to make it passable.

Yes, it is happily in a corner covered with a lot of cross stitch, embroidery and quilting stuff.

Now I must run! I have a basement to tackle.
Keep Honey in your prayers ;) 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough. 
~Rabindranath Tagore

     The little girl noticed through sleep filled eye's, how soft her MomMa's cheek looked as she snuggled there against her, as her own still heavy head came back to rest on her MomMa's shoulder. Movement causing little eyes finally to be scrunching closed against the bright sunlight of the early morning.
     Reaching up to gently trace a miniature finger across MomMa's skin, until finally one tiny hand came to rest gently against MomMa's cheek. Suddenly up flew the other to fully capture her intire attention as her little nose pressed smack dab onto MomMa's, where bold blue eyes pierced clear through to her MomMa's heart. She announced in reverenced tones, "MomMa! You have butterfly kisses right there!"

"I do? Where do you see them Baby?"

"On-a you cheeks MomMa. Can you feel dem?"

"No Baby, I can't feel them yet."

"Here I show you where!"

     Little eye's darted low with intent, as an all out butterfly kissing assault commenced against her MomMa's cheek. It began by fluttering those long lashes randomly across one cheek then up to start trailing across the tip of her nose and on to the other side. She sang out, "Can~a you feel dem now?"

     MomMa's eye's filled with sudden pools of love as the stress breaking smile broke across her features until finally reaching her voice box, "Oh yes Baby! I do!"
     They stood, probably a little longer than the single mother had time for, tickling, kissing and laughing happily together into the beginnings of their day.

     That night as they were tucking into bed the little girl touched her MomMa's cheek and asked again, "MomMa? Can you still feel the butterfly kisses right here?"

"Oh Baby, I felt them all day, but now that it's bed time they seem to have gone to sleep too. Should we find more tomorrow?"

     Turing her little face up, eye's closing in Summer exhaustion, she seriously stated, "No MomMa, I think we should gader dem up and put dem on our noses to fweep."

     She gently drifted off to sleep as her MomMa did just that.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I am a very eclectic person.
I like different kinds of music as well as different types of furnishings. My style doesn't fit into any group but my own.
Over the years I have collected many things. The most surprising to me is the amount of tables I have gathered. Not so many chairs.
I like odd old chairs. If they don't seem to match anything I like them all the more.
One of my sister's asked me once what my style of decorating is, the best I can come up with is; icollectit (I collect it).
I gather from garage sales, secondhand stores, and family members, ok, and neighbors, or theirs.
Growing up I knew many people like myself. Now that we are, grown ups, we like to call ourselves 'antique collector's'.

I have been wanting to clean out some of my stuff to make more room. Most likely to make room for other stuff. Yet undiscovered treasures.
My daughter, busy MomMa, had to take her car to be checked out in a bigger town down the road, so I followed her, just in case it took longer than planned, so they would not be stuck there.
To entertain ourselves she suggested an antique store she was introduced to the week before.

From the outside it was pretty nondescript, but as soon as we went through the back door we were enveloped in a world of possibility.
Old furniture, a lot like what I have at home, was set up in vignette's, stacked against walls, piled up shelves. All in a clean, bright, organized style.

The woman standing behind the counter was less than surprised when I asked if it would be alright for me to take some pictures.
"Yes. By all means. A lot of people do." She said with a smile.
That, my friends is all it took. Out came the newest trusty camera from one of the many pockets associated with my latest purse, and I was off!

This store hosted new and renewed items as well as customer orders waiting to be given a new life. At every turn were new idea's and fabulous finds!
Why, if I could have brought it all home I indeed would have.

There were tables-with chairs!
Curio cabinets galore.
As well as decorating idea's in each area.


I liked this piece a lot.

Busy MomMa liked this black and blue set.

Isn't this sideboard wonderful? It is a renewed dresser that had been missing a few drawers. It now hosts shelves.

With my hole table collecting thoughts running rampit through my mind, I could not help but fall in strong like with this awesome picnic/dinning table.

This was one of the two dinning sets that both busy MomMa and myself liked.
I like this idea of same chairs, different color.

The sign taped to the front of this most amazing piece of cabinetry read, "Customer order~NOT for sale". I would love to see this finished.


Right next door. As in connected by a wall.
Was another antique store. So in we went!
It had a very different feel.
Like walking into my Grampa's crowded little three room apartment...or someones attic.

The woman behind the counter was just as happy as the first to let me take pictures. The lazy cat stretched across the counter eyeing us with a waiting eye, fully expected us to recognize him and give him scratches behind the ear.
Which Tiny Dancer was more than happy to do.

Admitting a fair amount of shock over seeing some of the item's considered to be 'antiques', could be an understatement.
Why I remember seeing a lot of this exact stuff as I grew up!
We ate our meal's at a table exactly like this one, only a little bit different!
I have bowl's like those under my kitchen counter's that I received as wedding gifts!
And don't even get me started on the wonders of 'corning ware'!!

To sum up our visits, I would have to say that these pieces were our favorites.

Customer ordered:

Sold yesterday:

On hold:

We did go home armed with a lot of idea's, that honestly, Has Honey more than a little worried for our furniture.

He just asked me not to make to much of it green.
This from a die hard Packer's fan!

Excuse me now, I'm off to the paint store.