Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jan 2017 Proposal: Get 'Er Done!

Facing January and another new year ahead...I feel like I've been here before. And when I looked at previous Januarys on my blog (guess what?) I have been!
I'm an optimist, despite evidence that I shouldn't be. I started this blog on Jan 1, 2010, with a word for the whole year. That was 7 years ago! 
Seems almost every year I make almost the same vow...or pick a "word" for the year...or make resolutions to follow all year long. Some years things get done and some years they don't. I guess the important thing is to try...right?
But frankly, I have been trying. I start each year with good intentions and then sort of fizzle out. After thinking hard about the last 7 years of resolution incompletion, I had to ask myself...What is my goal? 

My goal is two-fold. First to get my incomplete projects done and second, to reduce my "stuff" overall by 50% by using the "use it" or "lose it" concept. 

As far as reducing stuff, I've done pretty well in the last 6 months. I'd say I'm at the halfway point in clearing out closets, rooms and such. We sold a few things (like our couch and some musical equipment) but mostly we donated, or gave away, a lot. 
The way I look at it is that possessions are what you cherish, but "stuff" are the things you stuff away into a drawer or closet...or hide (because you might need it some day) in your attic or garage. 

Sometimes we "stuff" things we plan to use for projects, thus buying ourselves a little more time. But if we're not careful, managing the stuff eats up all our time and the project gets neglected or forgotten...sometimes left in a half-finished state for ages!

So I've got a proposal for you if you want to play along. Instead of planning for the whole year, lets concentrate on just one month. Let's all use the month of January to Get 'Er Done!  Here at Rivercrest, that means combining a lot of old - but good - ideas. 

1. By New Years Eve, we'll have our list of projects that need completion and have them all prioritized. 

2. We'll place a moratorium on unnecessary spending for the whole month of January. If it's not on the list of needs, then it's a want and will be ignored. To us that means no lunches or dinners out, no new clothes, books or housewares, no movies out, etc. This will give us time and money to put to better use.

3. We'll also be completing projects and un-stuffing the this I mean we'll be using what we have on hand since we're not buying anything! That old drapery in the closet might become the cover for the bench cushion I've been meaning to make.

4. We also will be cleaning out our kitchen cabinets and freezer by making meals from what we have and also making our own coffee, ice tea, and snacks...(Goodbye Starbucks for the month!)

These aren't new ideas! I'm just proposing to limit our resolution to one month so we don't lose our momentum. Most of these ideas were handed down by previous generations...Did your grandma have this saying?  Mine did:

Use it up...Wear it out,
Make it do...Or do without!

Our household will be following that old saying for the whole month of January and getting projects done and stuff unstuffed. If you're doing something similar, let us all know so we can check in on your progress as I hope you'll check on mine. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone! 
We've been away for a while visiting family and road tripping through Tennessee. While we were in Illinois, we got more than enough of the white stuff. We are no longer dreaming of a white Christmas this year! 
There's a road somewhere under all that snow in the photo above. 

We got a lesson in how tough the mid-westerners are when it comes to cold weather! No school in the area was ever closed even though the weather got down to -12 degrees.
This silver and brown reindeer came home with us from a 50% off sale along the way. We didn't put up the tree this year...just seemed like a lot of work for such a short period of all of our sparkly lights will have to do.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Old Navy $5 Throws

Old Navy throws were $5 when I bought two of these plaid ones last year after Christmas.
I put them away thinking they would provide a good amount of material to make pillow covers or maybe could be used as backing for a quilted throw.  
I even thought of making a cover for the chair seats, but then we donated the chair on the left a few months ago.
Lots of ideas back then, but the throws got 'put away' with the Christmas decorations, and I forgot about them until this year.
I like the cabin look sometimes. Here's a few things I gathered together in the house thinking that the plaid throws would work with these things after Christmas to give the house a cabin look.
The green swag laying on the bench is one I bought at The Interior Home Store in town while shopping last December. 
Carol, the store owner, built a darling little Christmas cabin right in the middle of her store last year. She used old windows and wooden doors to build the sides and the top is made of metal...and of course the cabin was filled with adorable Christmas decor!
The outside of her shop always looks wonderful too during the Christmas season.
I love the shop's red door with the painted concert walkway. This shop is the place I go to get inspired every year.

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Five On Friday - Memories of Christmas

Joining Five-On-Friday at Love Made My Home. I'm focused on Christmas Past right now and memories of those that fill our lives.

1. In the Living Room...

2. In the kitchen with the Pig and Santa...

3. In the Kitchen Cupboards...

4. With the Grandkids...
Jack and Tucker 2008

 Lily 2011

Ben 2013

Livvie 2014

Henry 2014

5. With Memories On The Tree...

 Ginger (1982-1992)

Dee (2005-2016)

Bailey (2001-2016)

Hope your heart is filled with happy memories of Christmas and the loved ones you shared it with in the past. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Joining The Party Here:
Eleven Gables

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cozy At Christmas In Texas, Blog Tour Day 3

Welcome today to my stop on the blog tour hosted by Katie at the blog, Let's Add Sprinkles.

We haven't gotten any snow yet this year, but in years past we've had plenty!
It doesn't snow often in our Northeast corner of Texas, just two or three times a year at most. But when it does snow, we love it... especially when it blankets the whole neighborhood like it did in these pictures from 2013. 

I'll bet this isn't what you picture when you think of Texas!

When it snows outside in December, the coziest place in our house is the kitchen. Our ceilings are 12 foot high... that's high enough to fit a lot of Christmas decor up on top of the kitchen cabinets.
A long time ago, when my father was a small child in the 30's during the Great Depression, his parents left the family farm in Nebraska and headed to California. 
When they left, his parents stored their best furniture (which was made of oak and had been in the family a few generations) in a cousin's barn. They thought they would be able to return for it soon, but that didn't happen.
The picture above is of my grandparents, Sabra and Harry, on their wedding day. Sabra's mother had the dresser (wash stand?) and mirror when she was a child and she passed it down to Sabra.
So the furniture stayed stored in that barn until the late 1970's when the barn was scheduled to be torn down. By then my grandparents were gone and just my father and his two sisters were interested in the old family things.
My father drove his old Ford pickup truck from California to Nebraska in 1977 to retrieve three pieces of the furniture from the barn. He brought back a piece of the furniture for each of his two sisters...and he chose his grandmother's childhood dresser with mirror for me.
Dad died in Feb 1994. Since then, that little dresser and mirror tie me to that memory of him walking into an ancient Nebraska barn to retrieve some of his mother's "family things" not for himself, but for his sisters and me. 

I like to imagine how the chickens might have gathered around the mirror as it leaned against a wall in that old barn so long ago. 
I tried to recreate that old barn scene above my kitchen cabinets with old crocks, old enamel wash pans, lanterns, chickens and such. And since that old barn was falling down, I imagined a few pine seedlings blew in and sprouted some little trees too...I guess the goats must have decorated the little trees with lights to keep the chickens warm! 
The mirror on the center cabinet in the picture above isn't the family mirror that was rescued from the barn, but it is an old handmade pine one that I do adore. 

This is the dresser and mirror that came from the barn and was handed down from my great-grandmother. It's very heavy due to being made of oak, so I was afraid I would crash the cabinets if I tried to rest it up there. Don't think I haven't dreamed of doing so though! It's not fancy or grand...just a sturdy piece, built to last.
The old beveled mirror is still perfectly clear, and the dresser is in pretty good condition, despite well over 40 years of sitting in that old barn and then another 40 years of me hauling it around from state to state.

I have given away a lot of things this year in my effort to downsize, but I could never part with this piece of family history. I'll be decorating it later this month as Christmas draws near. 
Wild Bill wandered through the kitchen a few years ago and looked up "Are those my old boots?" ..."Yep Hon, they sure are!"  Anything is fair game as far as I'm concerned.
I really appreciate all of you who take the time out of your busy day to drop by, and I also enjoy the comments that you leave when you have time. 

My favorite comments are the ones left when you feel compelled to share a childhood memory of your own that one of my family yarns might evoke. Especially at Christmas time I love the connection to our past, and I hope you feel the same.

Thanks for dropping by!

Be sure to click on the links below to visit the other Day 3 tour participant's today:

In case you missed any of the other posts, here's the whole list for you.