Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Featured At Mrs. Olson's "Share Your Cup" Party

I'm thrilled Jaysa's closet was featured over at
Mrs. Olson's Share Your Cup party today!
Last week, I posted about our trip to help with
the closet's mini renovation.

Here's my "I was featured" pin.

Since my last post, Jaysa has been looking for
material to create a padded top for the bench.

She's also planning to paint the bench with Behr's
Swiss Coffee to match the white trim and said she
painted the walls outside of the closet Hale Navy too.

One tip I wanted to relay...
paint your boards before you put them on the wall!
Jaysa and I wanted to do that, but Wild Bill talked
us into doing it after he attached them to the wall.
We knew better! 
It made painting them so much harder.

You can be sure Jaysa painted the shelf before
it went up. So much easier.
(I'm sure he thought he could convince her to let him stain them)

Be sure to hop over to Mrs Olson's party and see
the other projects she featured in tonight's party.

Thanks for dropping in!

Friday, January 16, 2015

What We Did On Break

The day after Christmas, we drove up to
Illinois (14 hours) to spend some time with our
middle daughter's family and help them
renovate their heavily used coat closet.
This isn't actually the real "before" as Jaysa and 
Mike had already removed the folding doors and
moved all the winter coats to another closet.

The picture below shows how far we got before
we had to come back home. We call this phase one
as we plan to finish the bottom half next trip up.
We took this old bench up for them to use
temporarily until we can build in a full bench
with room below for more baskets.

Here's some pictures of the work in progress:
 Painting in a small space is always a challenge.

It got even more crowded when Superman
(almost 5) decided to lend us his superpowers
by helping us paint. He soon lost interest after
just 10 minutes of helping put on the second coat.
 Lucky for us, his little sister (18 months) was way
too busy running down the hallway the other way.

 Thankfully, she wasn't that interested
in the work going on at the opposite end!
 Wild Bill (AKA Grampy) installed a
wide board on the top for adult coats and a 
smaller one on bottom for the kid's.
  Above the adult's board, Grampy installed a
shelf wide enough to hold baskets. There was a
gap between them, so we decided to add
some trim to cover the gap.

We weren't able to bring all the tools and
saws we needed to do a perfect job, but
we found we could depend on Lowes and
Home Depot to do basic cuts for us.
 Luckily, Grampy brought his power drill as
Jaysa's wasn't strong enough to install the hooks.
He gave Jaysa a quick lesson on controlling
the speed, and she installed the hooks where
she wanted them.

When Grampy saw this next picture he
thought Jaysa looked really determined to
get those screws in and under his breath
he said "straight in Jaysa, straight in."

  Are you wondering why we didn't paint
everything before putting up the hooks?
 Well...snow and ice was forecasted and we
needed to leave early. In fact, it started
snowing as the hooks were being installed.
 Little Livvie stopped running long enough
to model her hook...
 Here's a shot of the trim all painted.
Lowe's didn't have enough hooks for the sides
of the closet so Jaysa is waiting on them.
On our next trip, we plan to help Jaysa add
more trim at the bottom and top of the boards,
along with building in a permanent bench.

Our daughter seems to have a problem
picking paint colors just like her mama!

Here's a shot of the outside of the closet,
which is in the laundry room:

I've heard Rome wasn't built in a day.
So many colors, so little time...

Here's another look at phase one.

When we got home, Santa Claus ordered
Jaysa her own drill just like Grampy's so
she'll be able to finish the hooks and cover
the top of the old bench, as well as help build
the new bench when the time comes.

The wall color inside the closet is
Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy and the white
is Behr's Swiss Coffee in their paint and primer
mix. The baskets are from IKEA, which we
borrowed from the kid's playroom to use until
Jay finds something she likes better.

Thanks for dropping in!

Find me here:

Friday, January 9, 2015

When Harry Met Sabra

My grandmother, Sabra, was around 26 when
she married my dirt-poor grandfather Harry
in the early 1900's.
Back then, single ladies of her age were
known as spinsters.

Harry, being a poor cowboy and hired-hand,
must have thought he'd died and gone to heaven
when Sabra agreed to married him. Her wealthy
father gave the newlyweds 100 acres of land.

My dad told me he remembered his father Harry
lighting cigars at poker games with $20 bills.

Surely Harry must have invented the term
 'Easy come, Easy go'
-- and it haunted him all his life.

Harry's mother was an Indian woman,
 (we say Native American now)
and his father was some sort of fur trapper.

Harry was born in a log cabin in the Ozark
Mountains. No birth certificates in that sort
of situation back then.

I wish I had gotten Harry's beautiful dark skin.
Instead I got Sabra's pasty light complexion.

When they argued, Harry called Sabra 
"a flat-headed, Pennsylvania Dutch woman"
One can only imagine what feisty Sabra
called him!

So, I'm setting out to learn more about these
two this year. I have a lot of family stories
and papers, and a few pictures, to help me
with my research.

Have you ever noticed how you can look at
your kids...or even your grandchildren...
and see your ancestors in them?

Thanks for dropping in!

Find me here...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Best Pot Pie

I'm sure you've noticed by now
that I have no shame...
But, isn't it sad that my 'best of the best'
is someone else's recipe?

When I bragged to my son-in-law Mike
the other night that I could make a great
Turkey Pot Pie with his leftover turkey
from Christmas,

of course I was depending on someone else
to come through for me.

Mike loved that Turkey Pot Pie so much
he had three helpings then complained
all night that he ate too much.

So's the promised recipe:

And, from the bottom of my heart,
thank you Stone Gable Blog
for always sharing your wonderful recipes!

I did change it up a little by using a 13 x 8 pan,
and regular pie crust in a box from the
refrigerated section of the store.

I covered the casserole dish with the pie crust,
then baked it at 375 degrees until the crust
was a light flaky brown.

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Blogger's Vow of 10

As the new year rolls in, I vow:

I will PIN less and
MAKE more.

I will READ the instructions
for my camera.

I will FINISH things
before starting ten new ones.

I will PAINT furniture
other colors than white.

I will LEARN to use
all the wax I have hoarded.

I will STOP buying furniture
for others who may not want it
(even tho it's a good buy)

I will spend MORE time at the gym
instead of claiming painting
to be the perfect all-around exercise.

I will TAKE sewing lessons or get
rid of that *&$$%g sewing machine.

I will re-do rooms
one at a time to AVOID chaos.

I will be KINDER to my spouse who
does not have my creative genius
does not share my love of junk
does not see a masterpiece before him
does not cope well with rickety chairs
does not...oops...

I will be KINDER to my spouse.

So help me God.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Sharing this week at:
Wow us Wednesday...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Little Bit Of Christmas So Far

We had eight of our close family members
staying with us this past Thanksgiving.
Half of them were 5 and under,
which made things quite lively!

Livvie Lula liked reading the paper with
Grampy every morning...
Little Henry tried out some sweet potatoes...
Ben and Lily bonded quickly as usual. Only
10 months apart in age, these two look more
like brother and sister than cousins.
When they all left,
it seems to have left a hole in my heart
right where Christmas should be.

I'm trying to get interested,
but so far the ladder is still imprisoned
in the far corner of the garage.

I put some lights in a kitchen cabinet...
and added a string of lights to the mixer corner...
but I need the ladder to get up higher.

Sometimes small things can be
I will need to rally soon...'s December 21st and I can't take
the Jack-O-Lanterns grinning at me
 much longer!

Happy Halloween
Merry Christmas!

Join me here:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Favorite Christmas Ornament

Tidbits & Twine is having a give away
of this wonderful Balsam Hill ornament set!

And you have a chance to win too!

Tidbits & Twine is a blog that's always
full of easy-to-do decorating advice.

In addition she often shares pictures of
 her lovely guest room (pictured above) and one
of the prettiest dining rooms I've seen.

To enter the give away, she only asks that
you describe your favorite Christmas ornament.

That's an easy one for me...
My favorite ornament is a little eccentric,
but that makes me cherish it all the more!

Who wouldn't want a sparkly ice cream cone,
with a small bite out of it, hanging on their tree?

Oldest daughter Jennifer, who has just turned 41,
was a kindergartner when she presented me with
her wonderful "handmade" creation.

The next year, youngest daughter Jaimee
was only 20 months old when she took a bite
out of the dazzling ice cream cone...glue,
sparkles and all. You can see the bottom of
the cone is missing.

Every time I look at my ornament, I see the
proud eyes of that long-ago kindergartner
 and the toddler with sparkles stuck all
over her chin and mouth.

Here's the link to the give away post.

Good luck and 
thanks for dropping in!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

In my last post, I was talking about how
houses turn into money pits. Here's just a
few of our issues.
We wanted to change our walkway to our
house because the one the builder put in
was a hazard. Big cement blocks with strips
of space between where nothing would live,
but on which anyone could trip.
We paid to have the blocks jack-hammered
up and carted away. It wasn't cheap.

A new curvy walkway replaced the blocks.

And looking at this picture makes me realize
the solar screens we added to block the sun's
rays match the shutters too much, so we
will need to paint the shutters a different
color at some point.
The walkway made the planting beds around
the house look shabby. We pulled out the worst
plants and added new ones with drip irrigation
to conserve water.
Then we added small river rock instead
of mulch.

The new plants, rock and walkway made
the door look shabby, so Wild Bill
refinished the door.

The new walkway and refinished door
make the cement inside the entryway look
a little sad, so now we're looking at a
non-slippery tile to cover it.

Doesn't it always seem to take much more
product than you expect a project to take?

I thought this was overkill when they delivered
two tons of river rock for our little beds.

But we had to go back and get almost
another ton before we finished the project.

There's a chandelier hanging way up top
the entry that shines through the window
in front of it -- real pretty...EXCEPT...

The birds fly into the entry and sit on the
chandelier up there and poop all night.

Which ends up in a pile on the cement right
in front of our door each morning. Lovely.

We're looking for a replacement light that
offers no place for a bird to sit, unless you
have a better idea.

Anyone out there ever have this problem?