Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Garden Dreams



Spring peeked in for a few days, so Wild Bill
and I ran down to Costco and bought a few
plants for the planting beds.

We thought the sage bushes, shown here
from last Summer, had died due to the
freezing temperatures this Winter.
They were like sticks the other day, so we bought
a rose bush and two azaleas to replace them.
When we got the new plants home, there were
new green shoots on the dead sage plants!
 
Honestly, do you ever get the feeling someone
'up there' is messing with you?
Here's the new plants...we'll have to start a
new planting bed to put them in now.


Along with the azaleas and rose bush,
we bought 3 geraniums. Two for our planters
by the entrance way...


And one for our favorite neighbor Melanie
across the road...
As soon as we got back with the plants,
thunderstorms moved in and the sun
hasn't come out since...
I gave up and went out and planted the
geraniums in the rain.

Thanks for dropping in!



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Life Happens




I haven't been able to work my plan to purge
my possessions in the last few weeks.

We've been too busy moving my in-laws to a
 smaller apartment in the assisted-living
section of their retirement community, which
will provide them with a higher level of care.

Instead of purging our stuff, we found ourselves
trying to purge their stuff instead.

Because both of his parents were in the hospital
at the time, Wild Bill and I decided to just buy a
ton of moving boxes and pack up everything that
we thought was just taking up space and not
necessarily "sparking joy" in their lives. That
meant we ended up with about 50 boxes
of the in-law's stuff in our garage.

Yeah...that's right...we are definitely headed
in the wrong purging direction at our house!

I am happy to say my daughter Jaysa really
took the book I recommended in my last post
to heart. She and I are 'storage experts' and, if
you remember, the author Marie Kondo states:
Storage Experts Are Hoarders!

At first Jaysa was taken aback by the thought
that her packed storage containers and shelves
were a way of hoarding. Fearing I'd insulted
her, I had Wild Bill order her the book, that
night, from Amazon with 2-day shipping.


 She got the book one day, read it the next,
and began purging "for real" right away. I say
"for real" because she has been purging stuff
for several weeks before reading the book, but
when she read about keeping only things that
sparked joy, she had a whole new focus.


Jaysa has been posting on her blog all the
progress she is making. Here's some pictures
I borrowed from her posts:
Here's the AFTER picture of her shelves...
I especially like how she purged and sorted her
movies. The ones she kept, she placed in paper
jackets and put in two storage boxes...

She even made perfect dividers, then filed
them alphabetically within the dividers!

See...I told you this book was life changing!
Here's Jaysa's post if you're interested
in seeing more of the pictures:
http://benthewildcard.blogspot.com/2015/04/purging-progres.html


Thanks for dropping by!







Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Books That Can Change Your Life -- Really!




In my life, I have come across a few books
that literally changed my life.


Surprisingly, they are usually little books,
 not the big tomes that go on and on...

Here's the latest one. It even has
"Life Changing"
in its title!


The heading on page 22 states the following:
Storage Experts Are Hoarders...
What????
I have always prided myself on my ability to pack things away,
and I like nothing better than a trip to The Container Store
 where I buy all sorts of storage items to pack things away.

But there it was, on page 22:

My clients often want me to teach them what
to put where. Believe me, I can relate, but
unfortunately, this is not the real issue...
A booby trap lies within the term "storage".

I looked into my closet and then I started to
 understand...



 
The three pictures above are just one side of
the closet. The other side is just as full!

The book continues:
Putting things away creates the illusion that
the clutter problem has been solved...

Well, I don't want to spoil the book for you.
Just let me say, I have greatly reduced my
"possessions" and plan to release at least half
my "projects" taking up space in our garage!

The book's author, Marie Kondo, lives in Tokyo
and has a 3-month waiting list of clients. She
teaches her clients to simplify and organize
their homes and to learn how to determine
which items "spark joy" and which don't.

Sparking Joy is the most important thing I've
learned so far. Many of the items in our house
just take up space...they will soon be gone!

I bought my copy of the book from Amazon,
but saw it at Costco for $11 the day after we
ordered it.

I'll be back to show the "after" of my closet
when I get it purged and organized.
I've had to put it on hold for now as both my
father-in-law and mother-in-law had illnesses
recently, which required stays in the hospital.

We are in the process of moving them to an
apartment in the assisted-living section of
their retirement community. March 1st
was their 68th wedding anniversary and, as
you can imagine, they have a lot of stuff that
no longer "sparks joy", and we are working
with them to let go...it's a slow process!

Thanks for dropping by!


Find me here this week:

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gray Living, Shops And Housing In McKinney TX



Have you ever seen ads for a shop called
Gray Living?
Their ads are carried in some of the most
popular home decor magazines.
Gray Living is actually a little shop down in 
McKinney Texas. I could live in that shop!

As you might know, McKinney is not only my
favorite town in Texas...
but McKinney was also voted the
#1 Best Small Town In America 
by Money magazine this year.

You can almost see the sign stating they were
voted #1 this year. See it? It's hanging on
the streetlight post below.
McKinney has so many wonderful shops.
Take a look:



McKinney also has my favorite housing area,
a place called Tucker Hill.
The houses are built to look like they've been
there a hundred years with porches wide
enough to sit and talk to your neighbors. 










Here's the communities' swimming pool area.
  You can read about Tucker Hill here and
see pictures of the homes during the
Summer when everything is green.


Thanks for dropping by.











Sunday, March 15, 2015

Try Again...typo




Blogger has been crazy for me lately.
It deleted an earlier post I did, but left the
title and I've been told I'm showing up as
a "No Reply" blogger despite my repeated
efforts to show up with an email address.

I apologize if you don't get a response to
your comments.

Regarding the typo:

Our local café, Sweetberries, got new menus
yesterday. We cracked up when we saw a
typo in the section labeled for seniors.
Someone inadvertently forgot an "R"...

The menu reads:

Senior Specials
55 or olde

(yeah...we qualify!)




Friday, March 6, 2015

What To Do When It Snows...and Snows



After four successive snow/ice storms here in
Texas, it appears we may get back to normal.

While the snow-turned-to-ice made it impossible
to get out, I decided to paint something.
As promised a while ago, I did not use white paint!
I really want to paint one of the kitchen cabinets
this blue/gray color. 
Knowing I was having a little cabin fever, I
decided to try the paint on a few small pieces
first and see how the color looks with the cabinets.
This little do-dad box I pulled out of the garage.
It has been on my Fixin' To Do bin for 4 years.
I bought it at a garage sale in the late 80's and
used it to hold jewelry for years.

 
This little tub was a shiny metal before I painted it 
with chalk paint. I love how the paint sticks to
everything, even slick metal...


I have two larger ones I'm going to do next.
The third thing I painted was an old tray, purchased
at a garage sale a year or two ago. I "shopped" my
garage for it too...

A while back, I bought some Ce Ce Caldwell
paint in a color called Smoky Mountain Gray.
Forget the gray name, because it's really a blue:

The paint was really thick. As you can see, it held
this stir stick straight up without my holding it.
I put some paint in a glass jar and added some
water, which made it easy to use.

This is the first coat of paint on the little tub...

This is a close up of the tray before painting it.
Yes, it was very flaky. I didn't have much hope for
it, so I didn't bother to sand it before painting it.
 First coat of Ce Ce's paint going on:
I was surprised it didn't flake off after it dried.
In fact, a little disappointed...but, I'm going to
distress it and see if some magic will happen.


I haven't decided which cabinet I would paint
(if we did), but the top of the vent cover over the
stove might look good with a little color.
Meanwhile...back at the snow/ice situation.
The sun is coming out and it looks like it's 
starting to melt.





Thanks for dropping by!




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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Caught My Eye



Have you seen the new GREEN cokes?
I'm mean, literally, green!


Wild Bill and I used to love Coke.
I mean, only Coke. Or Diet Coke.
We broke ourselves from the habit last year.
Now, we seldom drink soda. But, when we saw
these green cokes at Target the other day, we had
to stop and read the label.

60 calories
16 carbs
Sweetened with cane sugar and Stevia.
No high fructose corn sugar
(we avoid HFCS like crazy)
Once we read the label, you know we had
to try a 6-pack.
Tastes like the wonderful original Cokes.

If you're still drinking sodas, I recommend
the new green Coke.

Just letting you know about this product.
No payment received for the exposure.

Thanks for dropping by!

Let me know what you think of it if
you've tried it.