Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WISHES FOR THE SEASON

It is winter.  It is the 'holiday season' ... more specifically ... it is the week of Christmas.  Most of the blogs that I follow are all about Christmas decorations, family pictures and family feasts.  There are beautiful and joyful posts galore.  It is a veritable feast of eye candy and joy.  And then ... there is the slightest undercurrent of those brave enough to admit that this season is hard on many people.  We are in the midst of an economy that won't allow a lot of folks to have those glorious, picture-perfect holidays.  There are people who are experiencing loss ... loss of loved ones, loss of marriages, loss of jobs and homes.  It is hard ... it is bleak ... and it is reality.  So, here is my wish for Christmas ...

I hope that those of us more fortunate can realize our bounty and come from a place of gratitude.  I wish that we could learn to pull together in this country and the world before we tear it completely apart.  I would want people to practice kindness ... random or intentional.  I hope that those who are struggling find peace during this season and that the miseries people are experiencing will resolve.  Mostly, I hope for peace ... not just in the world but in our souls.  So, I will not stop at just saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays ... I would like to say "May you find peace in your heart this season."



SEASONS GREETINGS

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Decorating

   


Well, I finally managed to find a little time to blog about my Christmas decor this year.  It has been an interesting transition.  I have been one of those 'decorate every inch of the home' type for years.  Until now.  Things are decidedly different this year.  Both of my children got married this year so, I boxed up their personal Christmas ornaments and gave them to each of them.  It is time for them to make their own traditions (incorporating a little of their childhood traditions into new ones).

I used to put up two full-size trees.  I don't anymore.  I just don't have the energy.  And, with just the two of us around most of the time, it hardly seems worth it.  Still, I have enough ornaments on hand that I could do it.  Instead, I decided I can change color themes from year to year.  This year, the theme is white and gold.  I have entire bins of reds and corals and even sage green.




As you can see, I like birds ... a lot.  They always have a way of finding their way into my decor.  And, at Christmas time, the other winged beings ... angels ... are also included.  Here is a picture of a little, vintage snow angel that I have had around for years.  Isn't she lovely?  Notice she is holding a bird in a nest ... win-win.




I do a vintage display with a feather tree, and a vignette of all things glittery or mirror glass.  I love bottle brush trees, and you can see that snow angels are a recurring theme.




This little reindeer is so vintage looking ...




I found this wreath at a local craft sale and since she matched the smaller snow angel I already had, she had to come home with me.




And that is the gist of my Christmas decor.  Even though I have cut down, it wouldn't be obvious to most people coming into my home ... which goes to show that I've got a history of decorating madness.  I also reserve the right to go completely insane when I have grandchildren.  I will make this place magical for them ... just like I did for my own children.

So, Merry Christmas to all of my bloggy friends and may you find joy in all of the preparations you do for your families.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful to be Here

Well, it is official ... I am sixty years old .... 6-0 people!  I didn't really ever think about getting this old.  Its not one of those birthdays one looks forward to, like turning 16 so that we can drive, or 21 so that we can go into clubs.  And, its not even the half-century mark ... that ship has sailed.

I was born on Thanksgiving day sixty years ago.  My birthday falls on Thanksgiving randomly.  I never really liked it because it usually meant getting a cake after everyone was already stuffed with turkey and pumpkin pie.  So, it was always so much better when it at least fell a few days earlier.  My mom always tells the story about my birth that starts with her cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  My dad was off work that day so he was pouring a concrete patio while mom cooked.  Well, when she went into labor he kept telling her that she had to be wrong because I was not due until closer to Christmas.  I guess she finally convinced him because he had to make a seam in the patio and they went to the hospital and I was born right around dinner time.

But, on the topic of aging ... my lifelong friends and I (you met them in a previous post) would sit around and comment that 40 was so old and that we couldn't imagine it.  Well, here we are on the far side of 40 and looking at that age wistfully.  Still, a lot of good things have happened to me in my life ... and, of course, some not-so-great stuff.  I wouldn't trade my age for the alternative.  Its a gift to have longevity and be healthy at this age.  I don't really feel 60 and I'm told I don't look it.  But, then again, what does 60 look like these days?  People are a product of genetics and how well they choose to take care of this body we are given.  So, I do my best to maintain myself.  More importantly, I try to think young.  I try not to become one of those people who turns their nose up at new ideas or whatever it is that younger people are into these days.  Life is a gift and with my Thanksgiving based birthday .... I'm just thankful to be here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Best Friends Forever


Well, its that time of year again .... gal friend getaway.  These are my besties from childhood.  That's me on the left, Denise in the middle' and Eleanor on the right.  I do not remember a time when these girls weren't in my life.  My parents and Eleanor's parents were friends and neighbors.  They used to stick us in the same crib to sleep while they visited and played cards.  My mom and Denise's mom were in a women's group together and so Denise shows up in pictures from the time we were about three years old.  We've been friends forever and, this weekend we are celebrating sixty (yes 6-0 ) years of friendship.


I know that most people have a lifelong friend or two but, it is rare people for three girls to all be best friends for life ... through the fickleness of junior high and high school, through the years where life took us down different paths and to different cities and states and then, back around to the age we are now.  We had a code that we came up with when we were young ... we never left anyone out deliberately, we never went after a boy one of the others liked (even if said boy didn't know said girl existed ... its the principal) and we never talked maliciously about one another to each other.  It works, trust me.

I feel truly blessed to have these women in my life.  You see, none of us ever had sisters.  Oh, we have a bunch of brothers but, nary a sister in sight.  So, we have become more like sisters than some real sisters. These women are the sisters of my heart and I would do anything for them and I feel that they would do the same for me.  It is a good feeling to have.  We all need those people in our lives.

So, off we go to our annual retreat ... we will probably stay up too late talking, not get nearly as much exercise as we intend to, drink too much wine and, eat too much food.  But, we will also laugh until we cry, dredge up every little stupid thing we ever did, and maybe consult an old yearbook when one of us doesn't remember someone another is talking about.  We have fun, we unwind, we leave life's current situations and problems behind and for a few days, we might as well be 16 again ... just trying to figure out how much we can get away with.  Its all good.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Confessional

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 This week I am joining Mamarazzi's Friday Confessional because I feel I may have a real problem.

I confess:

  • I may be addicted to Pinterest.
  • If you know of Pinterest, you may be facing the same problem.
  • I spend way too much time 'pinning' (as opposed to 'winning').


I confess:

  • I have found some wonderful ideas on Pinterest but, have not actually implemented any of them.
  • I confess that I'm like a dealer in that I hand out invites to all of my friends, totally enabling them in their own habit.
  • We all may need a 'Pintervention' (as this problem continues to grow).


I confess:

  • I really, really like Pinterest.
  • Never have I seen so much wonderful 'eye candy' in one easy to access place.
  • It brings out the organizer in me ... I love the ability to have multiple boards.
  • Pinterest eliminates the need to shred one's magazines and amass stacks of paper in order to save ideas.
  • I'm not likely to give it up.


Now, go on over and hook up with Mamarazzi and own up to your own bad habits.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Table Redo and Frame Gallery

I have been a bad blogger lately.  This does not mean I have not been busy but, I have not taken the time to show what I've been up to.  I have had a project list a mile long and have even taken photos.  So, today I am going to show you one project that I finished.

I have had this lovely, old table for years.  It sits in a little alcove just outside the master bath.  This is not a very light and bright area and the vignette was looking rather 1990's to me of late.  I was inspired by so much of what I see on other blogs that I decided to tackle this area.  (I do apologize for the quality of these first pictures as I had my camera on the wrong setting.)




Here is a close up of the wonderful legs and pediment under the table.




And, here is my little beauty painted 'Heirloom White' and lightly distressed.  I just love how the details pop so much better.




Next, I rummaged around the house/attic for some old frames.  I added a couple from Goodwill and painted the entire lot the same 'Heirloom White' to create an empty frame gallery.




Here is what it looks like on the wall.  I think that I will add more as I find them.




This is what the area looks like now with the frames up and the table redone.  I think it is so much brighter.  Its just a fresher look ... albeit a little bit 'still in progress'.  I also found the little wooden tray at Goodwill and it benefited from a coat of paint.  I tend to throw my watch and jewelry in there as I head into the bathroom to get ready for bed.




I was pretty happy with how this turned out and I think I may have spent a few bucks at Goodwill plus whatever the paint and primer cost.  I'm loving my little table more than I ever.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

EASY PILLOW PROJECT


A few years ago I purchased a couple of boudoir pillow inserts and pillow covers from Pottery Barn.  Well, as we all know, tastes change ... as do the seasons.  I wanted different covers for my little pillows but, PB stopped selling much in that size.  I finally decided I would have to bite the bullet and make something.

Yesterday, I went to the fabric store and scored a muslin remnant for half off of $5.99.  Well, since my sewing machine has been loaned out for months, I thought I might just try doing this project with fusible hem tape.  The tape was another $2 and change.  So, today I whipped up these little cuties with my scissors and my iron.  I think they turned out darling, don't you?




I must confess though ... I found these buttons which are to die for and they were a whopping $2.50 each.  But, I figure that since the entire project worked out to less than $8.00 per pillow cover that the buttons were well worth the cost.  And, the time into the project was about two hours, including sewing on the buttons.



This was a super easy, no-sew project to solve the problem of finding the perfect pillow covers.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

GARAGE SALE MADNESS

Well, I confessed on Friday that I don't really like garage sales ... attending or having.  I was reminded why when I had one this weekend.  Some people (note I did not say all) who attend garage sales are certifiable.  I will tell you why I've come to that conclusion.

Okay, I am not one of those garage sale givers who minds if dealers and re-salers show up and scoop things up.  I want to get rid of it and that is my only agenda.  I do mind the early warning systems that whisper in my ear ... 'You shouldn't sell those to her.  She's a dealer."  What?  Why do I care?  More power to the dealers.  I could never do their job.

Also, I usually have a 'free' pile at a sale because frankly, I feel bad asking money for some things.  People 'LOVE' free stuff.  It doesn't matter what it is.  I think if I put my leftover sandwich out there, they'd grab it.  But seriously, one lady today left me speechless.  She picked up a paint pad (remember those ... well, I don't like 'em so much).  Anyway, she didn't know what it was.  Now that wasn't the odd part.  I told her what it was and she said ... and I quote ..."I never paint so I've never seen one of these but I'm gonna take it because its free."  And, off she went without a single additional purchase.  What the ...?

Then, there was the lady with three screaming (and I mean screaming & fussing) little girls who was irritated at me because I didn't have any clothes that would fit them.  Lady, my daughter is 24 years old and married.  And, even if I did have some of her cute little things left around here (which I do), you are not going to get them with your nasty, rude, child 'yankin' around attitude.  Sheesh.  And furthermore, I did not advertise that I had children's clothing.

And then there are the just plain odd folks (sorry if this offends) but, really ... I mean I haven't seen people this weird since I watched 'Willow' years ago.  (If you've ever seen 'Willow' then you know what I mean ... If not, nevermind.)  One guy had one tooth left in his head (bless his heart) but, he proceeded to tell us a story about this 'really, really, ugly guy' he'd recently met.  I had no words.

Finally (and this is totally not related to the sale), last night after shutting down and sitting around in the shade trying to cool off after a long, hot day, some yahoos in a jacked up pickup pulled into our driveway.  At first we thought they wanted to know if the sale was still on.  Nope, nothing.  Then, we thought that they were just turning around.  I have a big drive and this is common ... no biggie.  But noooo, these morons leaned out and puked onto my driveway and then peeled out and left the mess.  Gag me ... how stupid.  I hope they were sick but, I fear they were drunk.  We didn't get a license plate number as it was dusk.  My poor husband got the job of hosing that away.  I couldn't take it.

So, once again ... never a dull moment around here ... and, it will be long, long time before I have another garage sale ... if ever.  Or at least until my memories fade and the junk accumulates again.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Confessions

Well, here goes ... hooking up with Mamarazzi again for those Friday confessions.

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I confess:

  •  I don't really like garage sales. 
  •  I don't like going to them because 95% of the 'stuff' is junk.
  • And, I certainly don't like having them.


But, I confess:

  • I am having a garage sale this weekend.
  • Yes, crazy person that I am, I've decided to remove some serious accumulations of 'stuff/junk'.
  • Its a LOT of work and the weather in our normally moderate Pacific NW has decided to go all summery on us and get into the 90's (maybe even 100 today).
  • So, I've spent a week being hot, tired and dirty as I schlepped out the attic, the basement and closets and drawers too numerous to mention.

And finally, I confess:

  • That I'm not looking forward to the 'early birds' (can't they read those ads?).
  • I don't like negotiating so I'm likely to give things away rather than argue.
  • And then there is the hauling away of the leftovers ... ugh.  
  • Did I mention that I really don't like garage sales?

Now, go on over to Mamarazzi's and link up your own confessions.  


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hydrangeas

I've noticed a trend in today's posts.  Hydrangeas seem to be popping up everywhere.  So, in an effort to be a team player, I thought I would show you some of mine.

These are from a variety known as the Pygee Hydrangeas and this one is called 'Lime Light' ... isn't it pretty?


Oh, and notice the artwork on the wall behind this little vignette.  Coincidence?  I think not.


So, that is my contribution to the 'Hydrangea Pic of the Month Club' .... Thank you and enjoy!

WWTK Wednesday

Okay, I'm going to try hooking up with Mammarazzi & Queso for 'We Want to Know' Wednesday.


1. What is your favorite holiday?


I would have to say that my favorite holiday was always Christmas.  I decorated every nook and cranny and went crazy but, I'm getting older people and its losing a little of its shine.  But then, my newly married kids are ready to pick up that torch so, I'm willing to hand it over.  I also really like the 4th of July ... good, old American fun with no obligatory gift giving and lots of good food.


2. Do you have any fun holiday traditions? What are they?


Well, obviously the decorating.  I love pretty things so I think I like the decorating almost better than the actual holidays.  We always had multiple trees.  Another fun tradition was to go on a tour of lights around the community.    And then, there were always the cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning ... right after the gift opening frenzy.


3. When do you start Christmas shopping?


Never soon enough ... because I always have this fear that one of the kids will tell me what they really, really want after I'm done.  Also, I'm not a big fan of 'have to' shopping.  If I'm going to shop, it needs to be spontaneous and with no real agenda.


4. What is your favorite holiday food?


Well, cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning are wonderful.  We did ham on Christmas traditionally so, even if we change it up and do a prime rib on Christmas Eve, there is alway ham on Christmas day whether it be for a brunch or a later dinner.


5. Share a favorite childhood holiday memory


Hmmm?  Well, one year we were going to be traveling overseas to see family for Christmas so my mom knew we wouldn't be able to take a lot.  So, for my Thanksgiving birthday (yes, I'm that pathetic kid) she bought two dolls which were alike in every way except one had dark hair and one was blonde.  She then proceeded to sew twin wardrobes for those little dolls.  They had everything from nighties and robes to party dresses.  I was in love I tell you.  I still have those dollies.  I also still have my sweet mom and she is poised to give a doll to a great grand if she is around.


6. Have you ever actually tried fruitcake??


Yes, but I'd sooner leave it than take it.  Give me chocolate instead.



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ennui

I love that word ... ennui.  It explains exactly what I am feeling these days.  In fact, I think that the song that is currently popular about 'not doing anything ... nothing at all' also sums up my feelings.  Our summer was short here people ... not enough got accomplished.  I hear about heat waves all over the country but, here in the Northwest ... we are finally getting a few tomatoes.  Don't get me wrong, the weather is gorgeous at the moment but, there is a definite chill in the air at night.  I know this means the end is near and, I am not looking forward to winter this year.  I must be getting old and rather than accepting and rejoicing in our typical wintery gloom, I am wimping out and dreading it.  But, here it is September 1 .... SEPTEMBER PEOPLE!  How did that happen?

 There was frost on the pumpkins at higher elevations last night.  Egad!  I'm not ready!  And then, there is my daughter and all of the cute young bloggers out there who are either talking about or already decorating for Fall.  Sigh!  I am sooo not ready.  (Have I said that enough times for you?  Maybe just one more time.)  I AM NOT READY.

WHEW!  Okay, well its beautiful outside today so I am going to take advantage of it and live in a total state of denial for just a little longer.  It is still summer, it is still summer, it is still summer.  Right?

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Little Help

Isn't this lovely?  Okay fellow bloggers ... I ran across this on a blog some months ago.  I love the saying but, I sure can't remember where I found it.  Can anyone help me out with this?  






The Year of the Weddings

The year 2011 has been quite busy at the Cook household.  We've had two weddings in six months.  Our beautiful daughter, Amanda, was married to her wonderful guy, Damola, on January 22.  It was a stunning and joyful wedding.  A lot of work went into her wedding but, by the wedding date we had totally relaxed and let the day unfold.  It did so beautifully and we could not have been happier.  The wedding was beyond our expectations.  More importantly, these two have been together for a long time. They are now husband and wife and they are great together.  Here they are at their reception.  (I apologize for the quality of the photo as I have not gotten the formals yet.)




My son, Blair, married his sweetheart, Sabreena, this past Saturday, July 16 in Bend, Oregon.  It seemed that the weather was going to be a little dicey the day prior to the wedding but, on the actual day and appointed time, a weather window opened to provide the most beautiful skies and backdrop for their outdoor wedding.  It could not have been more perfect.  It was another gorgeous wedding and more joy for our family.  A little special feature of this wedding was that my stepson, Chris, officiated for his younger brother and he did the most amazingly meaningful job of it.  These two kids are so well matched that it must have been fated at their births.  Here they are shortly after the ceremony: 





It has been a busy six months.  I've dress shopped, planned and celebrated.  The weddings were different in feel ... one being a wintery themed affair and the other being an outdoor summery celebration but, they were both beautiful and wonderful.  All of my children are married now.  It is a different feeling.  I feel a little satisfied that they are in good hands, a little wistful that they are grown up now but, mainly I am so happy for us all.  And now ... I'm going to put my dancing shoes away for awhile and rest my poor feet.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Works In Progress

Well, I've been the worst blogger lately.  I've not posted a single thing.  In my defense, I have been busy with life in general and a few projects in particular.  The weather finally decided to straighten up and I found out just how far behind I was in my garden.  And, there is that one other little event coming up in a couple of weeks ... my sons wedding.  I just had to find a dress I actually liked.  I'm happy to report success in that area.

I have actually been working on a couple of projects.  One is a porch redo.  While I have made great strides and the porch looks so much better, there is one pesky little part that is holding me back from my 'after' pics.  That is the fact that it hasn't quite been dry enough, long enough around here to paint.  I want to paint the porch floor before I photograph it.  And, there are a few porch rail details pieces we replaced due to dry rot that also need to be primed and painted.  The fellow at the paint store told me to wait 3 to 4 months.  WHAT?  Yea well, that's not going to happen.  That would be the entire summer and I'm bound and determined to have this done before August.  So, I'm going to go ahead and do it real soon.  Then, I promise a post with pics.

The other project is a table make over complete with a matching empty frame gallery in the little foyer area leading into my bathroom.  I have the painting and distressing done but, not the hanging of the frames.  I guess that other things, including a long holiday weekend, have captured my attention lately.  Or, you could just say I'm procrastinating.  But, now that I've thrown out the tease, I promise I'm going to finish this up and post very soon.

So, there you have it .... excuses, excuses.  I will try to do better but, I'm not promising anything.  After all, its summer and this blog is not the boss of me.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Confessions

I'm hooking up with Mamarrazi again for Friday Confessional so, without further ado:


  • I confess that I have not blogged for awhile because .... well, I haven't accomplished much to blog about.
  • I confess that all (and I mean all) of my home projects are only partially complete because I need some decent weather to complete them.
  • I confess that although I said I would not complain about the weather, I'm SICK of it.  SICK. OF. IT.
  • I confess that although the weather people claim that it will be near 80 this weekend, I'm not going to believe it until I see/feel it.
  • I confess that I bought my daughter a Silhouette for her birthday not only because she really wanted one but, because I figured I could get in on all of the crafty goodness.  Is that evil?
  • I confess that I've had 'attitude' lately.  I don't really want to do much of anything.  I'm blaming it on the weather.  So, if the weather is great this weekend, I'm really going to have to get an attitude adjustment ... either that, or go on vacation.

Well, now that I've got all of that off my chest .... why don't you all do the same and go on over and link up. 


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Friday, May 20, 2011

WELCOME TO MY GARDEN

Its been a frustrating spring in a lot of the country and we here in the Pacific Northwest are no exception.  I'm used to having some open weather in the winter and reasonably nice spring weather in which to clean up and get my garden going.  No such luck this year.  But still, there are some lovely things going on in my garden, if you don't trip over the weeds.  So, come along for a quick little tour.



This is the view from our back yard into our lower pasture .... hello fellas.  They are enjoying the Oregon  green just like the rest of us.



Don't you just love Exebury azaleas?  This little area is a bird hangout complete with a feeder and a bird bath (which you can't see).


I lovingly refer to her as 'Our Lady of the Septic Tank' because living out in the country, we have one, and its important to know where the lid/access is in case there is ever a problem.  And, believe me, you can't live in the same house for over 20 years without occasionally having said problem.



These are dwarf iris .... sooooo, cute!  They are almost done and the standard irises are coming on (albeit late this year).  This next one is a Beverly Sills and when it blooms it is the most exquisite apricot color.  I have masses of them so that at one point I had to throw them away as I could not get any takers.


Then, there are the other pretty flowers that either spread in masses like my Lilies of the Valley or lavender.  I love the French and Spanish lavenders with their little helicopter wings on top.




And, this is a picture of a Japanese Maple I put into a shady area about two years ago.  It is called 'Cinnamon Bark' and so I ran with that and planted heuchera in varieties that picked up that warm tone.  When this shade garden really gets going, there is some lovely complimentary astilbe and ferns in the mix.




And finally, here is a close up of the montana clematis growing on my arbor.  It is so beautiful and massive that its worth the pain of having to regularly cut it back to keep it from bringing down the entire structure.



Thank you for coming along on my little tour.  I'll try to keep posting the various stages of my garden.  My roses are in bud but have not bloomed.  Same for the peonies.  And, the weeds are as high as an elephant's eye so I won't be doing any sweeping photos until that mess is cleaned up.

HAPPY GARDENING EVERYONE!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

I live in the country ... between two very small towns.  Now, our house is not particularly isolated, there being houses just down the road from us on both sides but, we look across the road to miles of farm fields and behind us ... the same.  The road we live on is a fairly busy one, being the only way between points A and B.  This big, old house was built on the site of the original house on the property and I'm quite sure that  there was very little traffic early on.  Things have changed and this road is busy and the house is really too close to the road for my taste but, when we scored this monolith back in the early '80s Oregon was in a recession and it was a steal ... and I am not kidding .... 4,000 sq. ft. on 25 acres for $120,000.  What?  So, we bought this money pit and began to raise a family.

But, I digress.  The subject I'm going to talk about is this busy road out front.  Because of the traffic and our high profile close to the road, we might as well have a sign on our house that says, "GOT PROBLEMS?  STOP HERE"  We have had everything from the folks who are lost and looking for an address to teenage joy riders whipping around our paved, circular drive, and on to various serious incidents with auto accidents, etc.  We actually had a drunk driver leave the road at 100 mph and hit one of our outbuildings thus killing one of her passengers, paralyzing another and badly injuring herself.  That one was by far the worst and very traumatizing to my young children.  We've heard the screaming when teenagers ran off the road, we've had very sketchy people come to the door wanting to use our phone and well, you get the picture.

So, last night at 10 p.m. when the doorbell rang and no car had pulled into the drive, my husband and I looked at each other with that 'uh oh' look.  (Paranoid much ... why yes we are.)  And, this particular incident certainly didn't disappoint in the weirdness department.  Although, having said that, I'd rather have toddled off to bed without it.  Alright, so back to the story.  A hysterical woman was at our door, looking a little worse for wear and soaking wet from walking in the rain.  She whispered (yes whispered) "Call 911, he's trying to kill me."  Are the hairs on the back of your neck standing up because mine were?  I grabbed my phone and as my husband talked with her I dialed the police.  I was asked about her mental state .... um hysterical, her name ... which we finally got out of her, where she'd come from, etc. and then I was told it would be awhile as they didn't have anyone available.  WHAT?  For all we knew, some armed psycho was right behind her.  I told my hubby to go ask her if this guy she was so afraid of had a weapon and she said no so, whew.  She would not come inside, was hyperventilating and then rambling.  She sat on the porch while we waited for the police.  And then, after all that, she wasn't there.  That's right, she took off.  We didn't know which direction as it is very dark out here and it was raining.  The police finally came and said they would look for her and that they were going to the address she had claimed to have come from.  And that folks, is all we know.  I know, right?  Nothing like not getting to hear the end of a story.

I mean .... I really, really  could not make this stuff up.  And to think, people think it is quiet out in the country.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Little Things

I have been thinking a lot lately about how overwhelming life can sometimes be.  And, that made me wonder if life is truly more complicated these days or if we complicate our own lives with being overly connected.  We are bombarded daily with world and local news that is usually negative and the result of this is that we often feel disillusioned at best and helpless at worst.  Also, with the advent of the cell phone and texting, we are never out of touch and people tend to expect instant gratification when they text.  It can be the equivalent of a toddler screaming "ME, ME, ME."  Add to that all of the manufactured drama via Facebook and Twitter and it can just get to be too much.  But, we do it to ourselves people.  We can turn off these electronic devices .... right?  I mean, when you think of what makes you happy, is it television, your phone, Facebook?  Probably not.  So, I keep thinking of all of the relatively simple things that make my life a little better ... a little happier.

I love a good mocha.  Do I need this ... no.  But, its a lot of happy in a little cup.

I like color.  I like the way all of the various greens of spring in Oregon play off each other in the sunlight .... or really, in any light.  It is glorious and there is no price for looking.

I love my flip flops when the weather is nice.  Slip them on and off you go ... not much money but, happy feet.  (A good pedi, although slightly spendy, can't hurt either).

I love my bed .... crawling into it and reading at the end of the day or coming home to it after a trip.  That is why I take the time to make it nice.   There is nothing like the smell and feel of nice clean sheets over a cushy mattress.

I love hearing one of my kids coming through the backdoor for an unexpected visit.  They yell, 'Hi Mom' and, yes, my eyes light up.  Their visits are special not only because they are my kids but because they are fun people to be around.

I love sitting with a good friend(s) over coffee or a glass of wine.  We can talk for hours, laugh and catch up and it is some of the best time in my week.  (I turn off my phone for these get togethers by the way.)

Although I could go on and on about the simple pleasures of my life, the common thread here is that not a single 'little' thing that brings happiness to my life depends on electronic gadgets.  Its the down time that makes life pleasurable, that gives us time to renew and refresh our spirits and, maybe most importantly, to think without the constant input from the rest of the world.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the convenience of these things when I need them but, I'm hoping that the pendulum will finally swing back to a time that we are in control of our use of these devices and not the other way around.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No News Is Good News

I've been rather remiss lately about blogging.  There are a few reasons for that.  Not much has been happening ... life has just been going along semi-smoothly (knock on wood).  I have a few projects in the works but, unfortunately, the weather has not been entirely cooperative.  Oh, we've had some pretty days but, I need some consistently dry days so that I can do some outside painting.  PLEASE!  We get a day or two and then it is back to raining.  Definitely not enough time for wood to dry out.  I now find my mind turning back to some indoor projects that are inspired by reading so many wonderfully creative blogs.  I have a great old side table that is so interesting looking but, its finish is dark and not in good shape.  I'm beginning to think that it would look awesome in a distressed vintage white.  I am also in the process of redoing my front porch.  I got as far as I could without painting weather.   So, let it suffice to say that I have a cameral full of 'before shots' and I need the time and weather to get to the 'after' phase.

On another note, our family is into the two month countdown for our second wedding of 2011.  This has proven to be a little less stressful as mother of the groom rather than the bride.  Plus, my son's future mother-in-law has this thing firmly in hand and that is comforting.  I think I mostly just get to enjoy the event.  And, I feel so very lucky that our kids have chosen partners that are truly wonderful people and fit so well with our family.  It makes the celebrations of their marriages so joyous.  Busy, busy summer .... coming right up.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Interrupt This Blog ....

Well, a moment in history occurred today that seems at first glance to be a joyous occasion.  Osama Bin Laden was killed today and the general mood of U.S. citizens seems to be glee ... and relief.  After all, this man orchestrated mass murder.  Thousands of innocent people died because of this man's hatred turned to pure evil.  I do feel relief ... I think that his death sends a clear message to terrorists that this country will never rest when it comes to avenging the death of our innocent citizens.  And then, I have all of these other feelings.

I remember that it was my daughter's very first week of high school when the terrible events of 9/11 occurred.  Her experience (along with that of every other child in the country) was forever changed.  Our world became a lot less innocent.  We have had to inconvenience ourselves in countless ways for the hatred of a relatively small group of people.  The world is a whole lot scarier because of Bin Laden and the horrific devastation he instigated.  I am pretty angry about that.  I think most Americans are and so they react to his death with something between joy and pride and relief.

What goes so terribly wrong in an individual's life that he will go down a path of wreaking havoc in the world?  Who are the people who are so weak-willed that they will follow such a man.  Those are questions that would take volumes to dissect and answer ... if anyone truly could.   But, here is the thing that keeps creeping into my mind .... How would it feel to be someone so despised that millions of people felt joy at your death?  I mean, I know he's feeling nothing now but, he must have known he was a dead man walking.  He's lived in hiding for years.  It is just beyond comprehension.

So, although it goes against everything I have ever been taught or intuitively felt to celebrate a death, I do feel glad that he is dead.  I'm glad that he cannot be the figurehead for a poisoness organization.  I'm glad that he cannot personally spread his brand of hatred.  I'm glad that the families of those killed on 9/11 can feel a tiny bit of closure.  His death is the justice he deserved and so, yes, I'm glad that he is dead.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Friday Confessional

Here we go again.  (I'm going to do this post early because tomorrow is entirely too busy for me.  And also, I figure people will be really absorbed in the nuptials tomorrow.)  I'm linking up with Mamarazzi again for Friday Confessional.

www.ourdandelionwishes.com.jpg


I'm pretty sure that my following confession is going to have blogger world aghast but:

  • I confess that I have not been and am not really very interested in the royal wedding.
  • I know that it serves as escapism from an otherwise lengthy list of world problems.
  • But, I just can't get that interested.
  • And, I won't be getting up at 4 a.m. and/or taping the ceremony.
  • Because .... I figure the media will wear out the topic completely thus letting me see all I need to see.
  • Add to that, that as much as I love history ... the Brits continue to tease us with who will be the next monarch and when and, frankly, its getting on my nerves.  Do the thing already.  
  • I also confess that I will check out the web for pictures of 'The Dress' and any other gorgeous wedding pics (which is my nod to the event) because I do like some eye candy.
  • And, on that note, I am kind of a magazine addict but, now that I've discovered some wonderful blogs and websites full of gorgeous pictures, I don't need my magazines as much.
So, that's it .... my big old anti-social confession.  But, now that I think about it ... maybe I'm just on wedding overload due to having had a daughter marry in January and a son that will marry in July.  Funny, all of these kids were born with a year or two and are marrying in the same year ... huh ... weird.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mom




I said I was going to get around to blogging about some important events that have happened in my life in the past few months and so I decided to start.  If I were doing this chronologically, I would start with my daughter's wedding but, I'm sorry to say that I don't have her wedding pictures yet ... and I really, really want to post a couple.  So instead, I'm starting with a little bit about my mom and the trip we made this winter.

Literally days after my daughter's January wedding, my mom received a call that her older sister was failing rapidly.  Now, my mom (Betty) and her older sis (Mona) were close.  I mean .... best friends.  And, what's more, my Aunt Mona actually was somewhat of a mother figure to my mother as their own mother suffered some issues after the death of a baby brother when Mom was two.  So, when Mom got that call, I knew that she really wanted to try to get there and see her sister but, she simply can't do these things on her own anymore.  She's 82 years young but, still .....

So, we hurriedly packed our bags and got tickets (very expensive tickets I might add) and flew to the opposite coast.  These sisters have lived about as far apart as it is possible to get and still be in the country, which is sad in and of itself.  We got to Virginia and my aunt had been moved to a nursing home.  We knew this was not going to take long but Aunt Mona was surprisingly lucid so the two women were able to talk, reminisce and eventually say their goodbyes.  Now, my Aunt Mona was a career woman and brilliant.  She was well read and humorous and she had us laughing even as she lay on her death bed.  The real hurdle was getting Mom to let her go.  She really didn't want to be without her.  Finally, on the last day she was able to tell her that it was alright to go.  My Aunt passed in the night and Mom was relieved.  She had accepted that she did not want to see her sister suffer any more.  I had the privilege to be able to sit and listen to these women, who had shared their entire lives, come to the end of their time together by recalling their past and laughing about their experiences ... and finally saying their goodbyes.  

My mom kept thanking me for making it possible for this to happen.  No ... thank you Mom .... for everything you've ever done for me, which is a huge.  Thank you for letting me witness something so personal to you because I know you are a private person and this was rough for you.  Thank you for being the best sister, mom, grandmother and friend.  You show us by example every day what it means to be selfless.  I love you and I loved your sister, my aunt .... I hope I can be just like you.  I also hope that your granddaughters will realize what a strong woman they descend from.

Here I am with my favorite women ... my mom and my daughter.  I wish I had a picture on my computer of my Aunt Mona but, alas, I don't.  Let it suffice to say that the sisters were like clones so just picture the other one with straight white hair and shorter ... yes shorter.  


Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Happy List

Well, I was so giddy about my success in posting my Friday Confessional that I decided to roll with it and make a happy list.   So, without further ado, here is mine:


  • I am really, really happy that we finally have spring weather.  Some of you may have noticed that I was a little over the gloom.
  • I am happy that my adult children are all well and doing pretty darned good considering the economy right now.
  • I'm happy that I am going to spend a day this next week with a gal pal that I haven't seen in a few months.  And yes, it makes me happy that this will include shopping.
  • I'm very happy that I'm going to finally get to start planting ... as soon as the Easter rush on my local nurseries is over and I can go there and find a parking place.
  • Its a small thing but, I'm sort of happy that I get to break out my flip flops.  I'm not a 'wear them year round' kind of gal.  My feet get too cold.
  • I'm happy that I've gotten inspired to give my front porch a makeover.  (More on that later.)
So, that's my list for today.  Go ahead, go on over and link up with Mamarazzi and get a little joy off your chest!


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Friday, April 22, 2011

Reflections

Something occurred to me today.  I've been blogging now since 2009.  Initially, I began blogging to record my thoughts as I went through life's changes.  Lately, I've been more engrossed in other peoples' blogs ... mainly those having to do with decorating.  I just love that stuff and enjoy those blogs so much.  But .... here's what I also noticed (after going back and reading my early posts).  I haven't written a post that really dealt with my journey in any meaningful way.  Not that the things I have blogged about aren't pertinent to my life.

Some things have happened in the past few months that were HUGE and I sort of failed to mention them.  For instance, my very favorite daughter got married in January.  The wedding was spectacular and I didn't blog about it.  I'm not going to do that now but, I will ... I promise.  My favorite aunt passed away at the age of 86 and that entailed taking a trip with my mother so that she could say goodbye to her sister.  I didn't blog about that trip ... nor have I ever blogged about my amazing mom.  I will.  And, another big day is coming up in a few months.  My son is getting married in July.  I will post about that too.  Because, you see, as I went back and read my early blogs, I realized that the things I put down here are for my kids.  I want them to have something of how I am, how I think and feel and how much I love them when I am no longer around to tell them.  NOT that I am going anywhere soon but, you just have to put these things down when you are experiencing and feeling them.

So, although I love all of the neat, new bloggy stuff out there in blog world, I also need to stay true to my original intent.  I want to record my journey through life after being a mom.  I hope that other women who may read this will realize that its okay to feel adrift, to wonder how to proceed in the next phase and that they are not alone in any feelings they may have regarding those changes.

Friday Confessional


www.ourdandelionwishes.com.jpg 

Holy smokes .... I did it people ... I actually grabbed a button .... YEE HAW!  ( I just had to get that out of my system before moving on to the task at hand.)  I love Friday Confessional with Glamazon and Mamarazzi but ....  I confess:

  • I've struggled with linking up and grabbing buttons.
  • But now, I'm feeling like I might be able to get this.
  • And, since I'm really not an inept person in most areas of my life, it feels darned good.
I also confess that:

  • I can't get very excited about Easter this year.
  • My kids are grown up and married and there are no little ones around looking all cute and stuff.
  • The weather has generally made life not conducive to all the springy doings.
  • And, if I get Easter candy ... I just eat it.
I confess that:

  • I have completely fallen off the organizational wagon this past week.
  • I did not clean one closet or drawer.
  • I did not do one project that improved my home.
  • I only did the routine housework and wasted a lot of time.
  • So, sue me ... I'm retired, right?
And, once again, I did grab that button.  Don't mock me ... it may be my single biggest accomplishment of the week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It'll Only Hurt for a Sec.

Well, its been yearly checkup time for me.  We all have to do these things to guard our health so that we can be around for our loved ones.  We certainly don't have to like doing them, do we?  I wonder if there is a woman alive who likes her yearly gynecological check and/or mammogram?  Doubtful.  I mean seriously, if a man had to have his delicates smashed flat to take an x-ray, there would have been a better way by now.  I was told that there is a new machine currently awaiting FDA approval that would do away with that necessity.  Based on the FDA's past performance, I'm pretty sure I'll be dust by the time it is approved.

Then, there was the phlebotomist who made a little 'oopsy' and left a huge bruise on my arm.  Its a good thing its been chilly enough for long sleeves (little blessings) because my arm looks like I shoot up regularly.  'Oops' ... really?  Don't even get me started on freezing cold exam rooms.

So, check and check ... a couple of those yearly duties are out of the way.  But, I still have to do eyes and teeth.  Less uncomfortable but definitely more sticker shock.  I did not know that what they meant by 'golden years' was how much gold one would part with to stay healthy.  Its a whole other meaning to 'high maintenance' ... but, at least I hope I'm setting a good example for my own daughter by taking care of myself.  And, so far ... no news is good news.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

FINALLY

YES!!!    Springlike weather at last.  In case this is the first blog entry of mine you've ever read, you may not be aware of my persistent whine about our miserable, cold, wet spring.  Well, all is forgiven.  The last couple of days have reminded me of why I live in Oregon.  It has been soooooo beautiful.  There are so many little things that make me happy when spring arrives in all of her glory and, they are:

  • The sun coming through my windows in the morning.
  • The birds singing as if they invented spring.
  • The smell of the spring blossoms wafting on the breeze (alright, sometimes that breeze is a tad chilly.
  • Driving by the park and seeing an explosion of .... children (you thought I was going to say flowers, right?)
  • Catching the aroma of a neighbor's first barbecue.
  • Flinging open doors and windows to air out the house.
  • Opening the sunroof on the car (and cranking up the oldies).
  • Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.
  • Breaking out the flip flops
Needless to say, my mood has swung the other way.  Summer is just around the corner people.  Can I get a hip hip hooray?  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Confessions

Okay, here I go again. I'm going to try and link up to Mammarazzi's Friday Confessions. I have even tried to 'grab a button' (which I don't know what that means or really how to do it), but ...

I confess:
  • It irritates me to feel so stupid/old when it comes to this stuff.
  • My kids seem to have been born knowing how to 'compute'.
  • It really doesn't keep me up nights.
I confess:

  • I wake up some days without a plan (GASP).
  • I know, we mothers always have a plan.
  • But, my kids are grown and I don't always have one.
  • Sometimes I goof off all day long and I like it.
I confess:

  • I am really not a patient person.
  • I want things done yesterday.
  • I don't like waiting.
  • And, I really don't like incompetence (thus the irritation with self on computers).
  • Finally, if you hate your job so much that you can't be polite with the public, I can pretty much guarantee that someone else would like to have that job.
So, there it is and I hope this works out. I want to give a big old shout out to Mammarazzi who really does try to help this feeble woman. Thank you!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oregon Spring

I just had two fun days in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Although I was born and raised in Oregon, there is much I have not seen. So, spending a glorious spring day playing sight seer around Portland seemed like a wonderful plan. My friend suggested that we take in the Chinese Garden in Portland's Chinatown. It was a perfect idea. Here are a few of the pictures of spring in the garden:



Pretty gorgeous, huh?




How about this one? Doesn't this gate make the most gorgeous frame?




And finally, here is a photo of the spectacular rooflines in juxtaposition with the spring blooms.



It was a perfect outing, on a perfect day in a very beautiful city.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Things Are Looking Up

Well, its Friday ... start of the weekend and the sun actually shone today. It feels like a miracle. Now, if we can keep this rolling through Saturday and Sunday please. I would really, really like to get some yard work done. Its still a little cold for major planting and/or sitting outside to dine. And, I'm going to put a visit to the local vineyard for wining and dining on hold until later into the season but, it sure feels more hopeful out today than it has felt in awhile. I'm dying to start wearing sandals (I'm going to need a pedi first) and to not have to worry about a heavy coat whenever I leave home. I'm thinking that it is built into the very fiber of mankind to rejoice in springlike weather. Ancient man must have felt like the world was coming to an end when spring was late. Anyway, it feels so good to feel the warmth of the sun ... to wake up to the brightness of a spring morning and to hear the birdsong through the window. It makes getting out of bed seem worth it for a change (well, not that getting out of bed is not generally worth it but, you know what I mean). It feels like a new beginning ... like infinite possibilities ... like summer is coming people. It feels hopeful. HURRAY!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BLAH

Its one of 'those' days. You know the ones. The weather is horrible ( I'm sooo tired of talking about the weather) and I can't do the things I'd like to do. I also don't really want to do the things I could be doing. So, when in doubt .... pout. That's right. I am pouting today. Not that I think it will accomplish anything but, some days a person just has to get it out of their system. And, I'm really trying hard not to take it out on anyone else. I wonder if its the lack of sunshine that is getting to me? It sure seems to be getting to most people I talk with. I suppose I should count my blessings but, frankly, I don't have it in me. I've exhausted so many of the activities that make miserable winter days manageable that I'm fresh out of ideas. I just want it to get nice. I want to get outdoors, play in the dirt, soak up some rays and feel cheer emanating from my fellow Oregonians. Is that too much to ask? I guess it is ... for the moment. So, I suppose I should just find some cheese and crackers to go with my 'whine'. So, if you'd like to join my 'whine fest' just feel free to leave a comment. I'm pretty sure I can't be the only person feeling like this.

Monday, April 4, 2011

White Tornado

Our one gorgeous, spring day came and went ... yesterday. So much for plans to work in the yard again. Well, that left one thing (well not really but ... ). I needed to clean house. Now, for all of you young wives and mothers who believe that once the kids leave home your houses will always be clean ... think again. This is especially true if you have pets and, presumably, a husband. I don't know how it happens (I do know that my eyesight lets me live in denial a little longer) but, this house will suddenly seem like the filthiest sty. I get that feeling and I have to go into overdrive with the cleaning. My family has always jokingly referred to this as mom becoming the 'White Tornado' ala those old Mr. Clean commercials. I guess it fits well enough. The thing is ... this house is just so big anymore and I get tired more easily. Not that I have a foot in the grave but, lets face it, I don't have the energy I had 25 years ago when we bought this place. Oh, I guess I could hire help but, I'm sort of anal about cleaning. I don't know who would get it exactly the way I like it. So, I guess I will just continue on with the periodic cleaning frenzies until the sun comes back and I can get outside. Of course, some day we will sell this behemoth before I truly do run out of steam. Any takers?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Confessions

Well, its Friday again ... already ... and, since I just love Friday Confessions courtesy of Glamarazzi and Mamarazzi ... here I go again:

  • First, I confessed last week that I'm terrible with technology and so I got a wonderful boost and some very real help from Mamarazzi ... thank you so much.
  • Now, I confess that it will be touch and go as to whether or not I can still remember what she told me to do. This is the price one pays for growing older. I know you think it can't happen until your something like 80 but, trust me .... it starts a little after giving birth to your first child and its downhill from there.
  • I confess that I had a lot to do this week and I just didn't care .... I played hooky and went to visit my daughter, hang out and shop with her. It was worth it.
  • I confess that I am so happy with the adults my children have become but, every so often, I'd like to have my snuggly babies back. I guess this is why we get grandkids ... second chances to love.
  • Finally, I confess that I just didn't get in the spirit and pull an April Fool's prank. Life is enough of a joke on me most of the time.
Now, on to a full weekend.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Salon Day

Hello everyone, I'd like you to meet Max. Max is our 27 pound (yes, you read that correctly) grandcat. We are raising him after his mom and dad (our kids) discovered they were allergic to cats. We also have his little sister, LaLa. How conveeeeenient! Anyhoo, they're here and along with them comes the assorted good times of cat care and grooming. As you can see, Max is furry, to put it mildly. He sheds everywhere ... ugh. And, because he is so huge, he actually has a little trouble grooming himself. Max tumbling over as he tries to groom his back is hilariously pathetic. Oh, and lest you think that we overfeed him .... nooooo. He is on carefully measured out diet cat food. Still, he stays large. So, this is the mess he looks like if left to his own devices:





We finally decided that it would just be easier to take him to a groomer a couple of times a year. The groomer couldn't really do a thing with his hair as it was so matted (and yes, I do try to brush him but, he hates it). Max ended up getting a 'lion cut' which, sort of fits his 'larger-than-life' persona. He hated the process and was quite traumatized but, I really think he feels better now ... despite some initial indignation. So, here is the new and improved Max:




Pretty darned funny, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PLAN B

IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE WEATHER IN OREGON, WAIT 15 MINUTES.

Well, I've been waiting ... not minutes ... days. It is totally the norm to have a mixed bag of weather in Oregon in the spring ... totally. This year, it has been excruciating in its sameness ... bad. In a 'normal' year we will have a week or two scattered throughout late winter and early spring that is nice enough to allow us to get outside and play, do yard work or whatever else we enjoy. Not this spring. It just seems like there is no end in sight. So, rather than work in my yard .... it is on to Plan B. The problem is, I'm running out of Plan B projects that I actually want to do. I've organized closets, done art projects and furniture makeovers, gone to lunch with friends and even gone to get pampered, i.e. pedicures, etc. People, none of these have the desired effect that a week of sunshine would produce. I'm beginning to feel like those ancient people who decided it was time for a human sacrifice to entice the sun to return. Any takers?

SIGH! (Really loudly) Of course, I realize it will get better and that in approximately 4 or 5 months we will be complaining that it is too hot. I also realize that, as problems go, this isn't really a legitimate one. But, who can deny that when the sun is shining, everyone just feels a teeny bit (maybe a whole lot) better. And, when spring and summer really arrives in Oregon, there is simply no place better. But, if one more of my southern Californian friends teases me about our weather .... I might just sacrifice them to the sun god.

Monday, March 28, 2011

MOANDAY

Its Monday and I'm just going to go ahead and moan about the stuff I'm not happy about:

To Mother Nature: Really? I mean REALLY. Dry up already.

To the cats: I'd never tell you to your face that you were not wanted but well, you weren't so, the least you could do is hit the darned litter box (you know who I'm talking about Max). And the cat hair, don't even get me started.

To a favorite coffee shop: Closed on Monday mornings ... that's downright unAmerican ... isn't it?

To my dear friends: Why oh why do you have to live so far away? It would be so nice to be able to get together at the drop of a hat.

To my old, old house: I love you dearly but, could you quit sucking up money on things that aren't even enjoyable?

Okay, I feel better now ... whew!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Confessions

Okay, I really get a kick out of 'Friday Confessions' sponsored by Mamarazzi at 'Dandielion Wishes.' I thought it was particularly appropriate this week and so, without further ado, here are my Friday Confessions:

  • I do not do well with technology.
  • I do not know what my URL is let alone how to find it.
  • It takes me a bazillion times longer than most young people to accomplish a basic task on my computer.
  • I really, really just want to do what I want to do without having to speak computereze.
On another, totally unrelated topic:

  • I'm sick to death of winter.
  • I don't want to hear that we need the snow pack for summer recreation.
  • I don't want to do all of those indoor projects that, admittedly, need doing.
  • I don't want to put on the happy face of a 'true, native Oregon'.
  • I just want to complain and moan about it.
So, those are my Friday Confessions for this week .... oh and, I keep sneaking the Easter candy so, I really need some sunshine so I can get outside.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March Madness

March has never been a favorite month of mine. We Oregonians usually get a weather tease in January or February that leads us to believe that spring is on its way and then, well March happens. March madness ... and I'm not talking basketball people. Mother Nature seems to go bipolar on us in March. Lately, everywhere I go someone (or several someones) is complaining about the weather. Now, being a native Oregonian, I'm usually pretty immune to weather woes but, honestly, this year seems worse than usual. Maybe its because I'm getting older or, it might just be that this has been a lousy winter. We need spring and its just plain dragging its heels.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are signs ... some blooms, greening grass, Easter decorations in the store. But, its pretty darned hard to get excited about it with temperatures in the 40's and wind and rain blowing in the face. So I thought ... well, I'll put out some spring decorations, do a little vignette, even do a little project. This is it:



I used an old frame that I spray painted antique white and I used some scrap booking papers and press on letters and 'voila' easy, peasy. It turned out pretty cute, I think. And it looks great in my sunroom but people, its still not spring and I'm weary of this stupid weather. Is it possible for March to come in like a lion and go out like a lion as well? That's just not fair!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blogging Side Effects






I started blogging mainly as a form of journaling. I like to write and doing so helps me organize my thoughts. Then, my lovely daughter introduced me to the world of DIY bloggers. People, that is like taking a sugar addict into a candy store. I simply cannot get enough of these 'blogger girls' and their fabulous blogs. (I suppose there are 'blogger dudes' too but, I like decorating type blogs.) Well, if enough time is spent looking at the many wonderful ideas being published, its bound to rub off and so, this is what happened:



And this:



And this:


Well, you get the picture. So, all of my blog perusal has had the effect on my home that home decor magazines used to have and, I have saved the price of the mags. That is a great thing considering the price of magazines. Plus, the writers of these blogs feel like newfound friends because they are so open to sharing all of the good things in their lives. (Is that lame and pathetic sounding?) Its a win-win. The only downside .... I may spend a little too much time on the computer but, everything has its price. Right?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Trip Satisfaction

There are trips and then, there are trips. I normally fall into that category of people who is more than happy to get home from a vacation. I usually get weary and just want my normal routine and my own bed. I had to take a trip in January that definitely fell into that category due to the nature of the trip (a death in the family) and the miserable weather that prohibited making the connections needed. Well, that episode came and went and I had the opportunity recently to go visit a friend in sunny southern California. Now, unless you've been living under a rock, you know how foul the weather has been in Oregon lately. I was soooo in. I made my plans to go for a week. It was a girl week all the way and it more than lived up to the hype. We went to Newport Beach, we shopped in Laguna and we spent the day at a day spa. Bliss! Not only were the slate of activities wonderful but, the weather totally cooperated. We had temps in the upper 70's or low 80's all week. Not to gloat but, that NEVER happens for me. I'm the person who shows up in L.A. during the rare cold snap. Not this time. It was perfect. But, it wasn't the places or the weather that made it a trip to remember. It was the people. This bunch of woman are so wonderful for their wealth of life experiences and their sheer exuberance for life. We talked until we couldn't and we laughed until we .... well, if you are over 55 you know what laughing too hard can lead to. I'll just be a little delicate and leave it at that. My main point though is ... I really could have stayed longer. I'm sorry to be disloyal Oregon but, it wasn't so fun to come back to driving rain and miserable temperatures. I was sad to leave the good friends and the fun times. So, I guess that makes for a very successful trip and I guess it was just the right length ... long enough to have so much fun and short enough to wish for more.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Toys

Okay, so here are my new toys. I know, right? They are beautiful. And it is particularly apt that this is the first time I've figured out how to add a photo to my post. So, about a week before my daughter's wedding, my old washer decided to die. It was a stressful and busy time and the dryer was also on its last leg so the decision was made to replace both. I have never had a front loading washer but, I am seriously in love with these machines. They are energy efficient and so, so quiet. I could not be happier .... but .....

.... now my laundry room is looking decidedly more tired than it already did. I've been contemplating a facelift and since I am a fan of decor blogs, I've found some wonderful ideas. And then, there is the cleanup bathroom attached to said laundry room. Where does one stop? I think I'll start with a little paint and bead board and let momentum take me over.

Right after I get back from vacation.