Friday, March 17, 2017

St Pat's Day And The Party Animals



Happy St Patrick's Day!  Joining Amy at Love Made My Home for one last Five-On-Friday before she signs off as host and turns the blog party over to the new hosts, Tricky and Carly of the FAST Blog. I hope you'll hop over to Amy's blog and join in the party with your own five. 

1. Back in 2010, our grandson Ben (born feb 17) was just one month old when his mom took this picture of him and his crazy hair on St Pat's Day:
Ben, 1 month, St Pat's Day 2010

Thankfully, Ben is 7 now and his hair has tamed down, and he no longer looks like a troll doll!

2. That same day, St Pat's Day 2010, my youngest sister Tori died unexpectedly. She may not look it, but I think (mentally) she was Irish through and through. She was always the life of the party. I like to think she would see the irony of losing her on St Patrick's Day.

3. Another party animal...Sweet Dee...gone at only 9 years of age. Middle Daughter's family lost her last July 17th. 
Dee and I spent a lot of time together when I visited her family. Together we waited patiently in 2010, and again 2013, for two grand babies to be born. 
Dee loved those babies with all her heart when they arrived! She could hardly bare to be two inches away from them as you can see in the picture below. I could not hold "her" babies without her direct supervision as you can see!  
Her loss hit me hard this year and like her mom, dad and siblings, I still miss her more than I can say. 
Dee Comforting A Sick Ben. 
Every Dog Needs Her Own Little Boy!

4.  Dee's nemesis was her "cousin" Bailey, another party animal. Both alpha females, Dee and Bailey could not even stand to be in the same room together. They were the sweetest dogs separately, but they seemed to hate each other fiercely. Luckily, they lived in different states.
Bailey And Her New "Mom" Soon After Her Adoption

Youngest Daughter said good-bye to her 16-year-old Bailey just a few months after Dee died. 
Bailey was also known as The B-Girl and Boots among other nicknames. Not sure why her mom ever started calling her Boots, but might have to do with the time, years ago, she backed her butt up over her mom's old boyfriend's shoes and dumped a "present" in his shoes. She certainly outlasted that boyfriend!

When Easter comes this year, we'll be missing Bailey as the Easter Bunny...

5. My last party animal today is Einstein. Oldest Daughter and family lost Einstein on Christmas Eve this past year. If you're counting, that was three dogs lost in the extended family in just 5 months!
Just one look at him and you know why he was named Einstein, right? 
 Einstein was a mama's boy. Einstein only had party eyes for his mother and followed her wherever she went.
When Oldest Daughter went on a vacation one time, she left Einstein with his vet's office in their Pet's Boarding section. Einstein would have none of it! He whined, cried, and made such a general nuisance of himself that he got kicked out after just one day. 

The house-setter had to go pick Einstein up and take him home where he moped around until his mom and family returned from their vacation. Then he smiled his sweet little smile and acted as if nothing had happened.

So Happy St Patrick's Day to you today. I hope your life is filled with party animals of your own. 

We're learning when you lose one of them, you think you will never find another. But, sometimes when you least expect it, another party animal will come along and fill a little piece of that big hole in your heart.
Lucy, Adopted This Year 

That's what happened to Bailey's mom! Bailey's old vet told her about a 5-year-old dachshund whose family had asked that the vet put her to sleep when told she needed an operation. 
The wonderful vet asked them to sign her over to him, and then he covered all the expenses of the surgery and recovery...and the vet knew just the family who needed her as much as she needed them.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cobble Hill Life




While checking on what's happening with the big snow storm in the East, I happened upon a new-to-me blog that met quite a few of my interests. 

This blog is about city people who ran away to the country life of chickens and snow and living on less to create more of a life! 

At Cobble Hill Farm, they found a new interest in making their own soap and skincare products, which they then turned into a new business. They try to eat local and live on $60 a week while eating well. 

The photo below is an example of the beautiful dishes featured on the blog. Her wonderful photography makes me want to actually sit down and read my camera's instruction manual!
What is not to like about this blog? I put it on my blog list so I don't miss a post. Hope you'll get a chance to check this blog out. And if you do, you'll see this adorable little guy hanging around with the chickens.

All photos are from the blog Life At Cobble Hill Farm, a blog about what it's really like to move to the country and live your dream.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Einstein And The Rest Of Us



What do Albert Einstein, my mother-in-law, my oldest son-in-law and I have in common?  We were all born on March 14th! 
YAY For Us!!!

I don't usually like to celebrate my birthday, but this year I am. Something about getting a year past 66 makes me realize I may not have many more opportunities to celebrate! Unless I take after my mother-in-law...she's 91 today and seems to be going strong.

Do you think people who have the same birthday are alike? I do. 


My sister was born on Walt Disney's birthday and works at her dream job...at Disney World in Florida. She and her husband moved from Texas to Orlando about 5 years ago, in their late 40's, just so she could be near Disney World. A couple of years ago, she decided to go to work for Disney and, even now, she still goes to the magical kingdom to play on her days off! 

My middle daughter was born on Mother Teresa's birthday. And yes, she puts other people first and gives and gives...sometimes too much. 

The three of us born today on Einstein's birthday are not geniuses by any stretch of the imagination, but I would say we are all three in our heads most of the time. Think and rethink...again, sometimes too much.
So, Happy Birthday To Einstein And Us! And to you too if you share our birthday today. And as Walt would say...Have A Magical Day.



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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Greens



With St Patricks Day coming, I'm thinking of green. Not your traditional green shamrocks, but the softer greens of nature. 


With the possibility of a freeze showing up soon, we haven't added plants to the front patio yet this year. It's hard not to because all the garden centers are stocking up with plants already.

Here's what I long to see in the entrance way again. These pictures are from previous years and help me to remember that it won't always be brown and drab outside! 




We did buy some new larger pots for the front of the house. We're looking at bags of dirt and planning some upgrades to the yard, but I refuse to look at plants until Easter passes. It might surprise you to hear that it often snows on Easter weekend in Texas.



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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Wally World Wednesday



Usually I'm not loyal to any store, but I do have a fondness for Walmart and his big brother store, Sam's Club. 

If I go into either of these stores (and Costco too for that matter) I always find wonderful stuff to buy...and, of course, that will leave me with too much month at the end of my paycheck!
Still needing four of these gray canvas bins for my closet organization project, I risked crashing my budget, as well as crashing my purging and organizing binge, by making a quick (Is there really such a thing?) trip to Walmart yesterday.
Yes...I did remember to buy the groceries I needed! But besides the gray bins, I found some cute Pioneer Woman things too. 
Like these tall, hard plastic straws that can be reused...
And, these large glass drinking jars with a cap and reusable straw...
Cute, huh? Wild Bill will use his glass for ice water. Me? I'm partial to ice tea with tons and tons of ice. This glass is large enough to hold all that ice and then some!
The last thing I happened upon was this Waverly package of two brushes, specially designed for working with chalk paint. The round brush on the left is a waxing brush and the smaller one on the right is a paint brush, which will come in handy with the pub table project I'm working on now.
That picture didn't look very artistic and sure doesn't show off these brushes.  Let me show you the brushes in a more artistic pose so you can get a better look...


When using chalk paint you can leave it as is, but clear wax can be applied to protect the paint finish. If you want to age the piece, on top of the clear wax you can add some dark wax to make it look aged. If you use both the clear and dark wax, you'll probably want a waxing brush for both colors to make sure the clear wax stays clear. 

Most of the chalk paint brands sell their own version of the round waxing brush, but as they say here in Texas, they are "High Dollar".  These two brushes in the Waverly package were less than $6 for both, while the chalk-paint-brand stores usually sell just one of the waxing brushes for $19 to $29. 

As always, just showing some things I purchased and not being paid to endorse any product or store. 



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Saturday, March 4, 2017

I Kinda Want A Do-Over



In yesterday's post, I showed a little shelf I donated to The Resale Barn, a local community-centered, charity thrift store.  I felt good about donating it since I didn't have a use for the shelf.

Well, I kinda want a do-over on that donation! This morning I happened on a darling Easter project on The Cultivated Nest's blog, and that little shelf I donated would've been perfect for this project.

Just look:

And, here's the shelf I donated. I don't have a picture of its final stage, but this was during its make-over:
And in its original state:
If I still had that little shelf
  •  I would cut off the two pieces that hang down at the bottom
  •  Add a board at the bottom (the same size as that top board) 
  •  Add one more shelf in the upper section
  •  Add a little bit of trim to thicken up the sides

Then I'd be ready to paint it a kicky color and fill it up with bunnies and such right in time for Easter.

But...I already donated that little shelf (insert sad face here) and I can only hope the person who buys it will see The Cultivated Nest's pretty Easter shelf and make it as pretty as that one. If you haven't read it, you can read my previous post HERE and The Cultivated Nest's post HERE.



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Friday, March 3, 2017

Five-On-Friday: 5 More Down



Joining Amy at Love Made My Home for Five-On-Friday. Hope you'll find the time to stop by and join in.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we purged more large items from the house and garage this week. It sure seems like we would be done by now, but we're trying to clear out every crack and crevice. We even cleared out all the stuff stored in Rubbermaid bins in the overhead area above our garage. 

Here's a list of the four things that are gone and one thing that is being "re-loved" this week:

1. The Oval table

The garage-sale-purchased oval table, in this picture from last fall, went to The Resale Barn for someone else to love. I have had an obsession with tables and might be in need of a 12-step program to help me get rid of one or two more.
The Resale Barn is my favorite place to donate as they use the money they make from selling donations to fund a local, free food bank and other charitable acts. Over $3M dollars has been raised by the community through this organization of volunteers.

2. Large Bin of Men's Shirts

The shirts accompanied the oval table to the Resale Barn.  I've given up on the idea that I could make a lap quilt with men's shirts, or even make the adorable doggy neckbands that Laura at Decor To Adore made for her sweet dogs in the picture below. Warning: Laura's darling picture might start you hoarding men's shirts!

3. Beadboard Shelf 

This piece joined the bin of shirts and the table on the journey. This poor shelf has been abused enough by me! I've tortured it with paint, a hammer, and various hand tools. I had fun making it over but, when it came down to it, I didn't have a place to hang it. I hope it finds a sweet home that has teacups, which the new owner  might hang from its shelves. 

Of course I can't find a picture of the finished project, but here's two pictures of the victim "during" and "before" its make-over. 

The "before" was a little too "1980's" sweet.

4. Hanging Wooden Office Cabinet

This piece went with the others to the Resale Barn. I'm hoping it goes to a better life where someone might show it some love. After the poor thing lived in the garage for a year and a half, I realized I didn't want to spend time working on it. Next time I'll think twice before I buy another "project" piece -- no matter how cheap it is.

5. Next is the piece that stayed! 
Getting rid of the oval table left a place for our round pub table and four counter stools that have been in and out of the garage and halfway finished for about 9 months...or 15 years... depending on which way you look at it. 
I painted the pub table and two of the counter stools white a good while back, and then I got the crazy idea to VERY heavily distress them all. Big Fail! So the pub table hid in the garage in shame and the stools sat in a corner like bad school children. 

I thought I'd give this Country Living textured paint, by Caromal Coulours, a try. 


The color is called Parchment. It's a kind of creamy white that doesn't go towards yellow. I avoid, like the plaque, any white with a yellow base.

When I opened the new jar of paint, I thought it was a little too thick for my project.  I put about a cup of paint in a recycled salad dressing jar and added water until it was the consistency I wanted for the project. 
Please note that I bought the paint myself and receive no payment for showing this (or any other product) on my blog. I can honestly tell you that I loved this paint and will be using it for future projects. Two thumbs up Country Living!!!


Anyway, the pub table and stools are all getting painted the same color, and then black numbers will be stenciled to the back of each stool. I let go of all those other project pieces so I can devote time to this one project alone. 

And you know what? I was surprised at how much better I felt getting rid of those projects. For the first time in months, I couldn't wait to get busy painting! As soon as the oval table was gone, I turned over the pub table base and put on the first coat of paint.

Before painting the table base, I replaced the worn out plastic brads on the bottom of the four legs with these soft cushioned ones that pound in with a hammer.
I hope I'm not the only one who hoards project pieces and saves favorite clothes, for a long time, just for the nice material that could be used for quilting or other projects that I never get around to.

Please...tell me what your secret "stash" contains and what you plan to do with it.  I'm feeling a little alone right now with my obsessions and need some company.



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