Tuesday, February 5, 2008

For Tuesday

I Believe

I believe that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe that no matter how good a friend is, she's going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive her for that.

I believe that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe that you can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life.

I believe that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe that you can keep going, long after you can't.

I believe that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I believe that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I believe that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you you will find the strength to help.

I believe that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

And I believe in true friendship, for I believe in you!

Source: Blessings for Life.com

Monday, February 4, 2008

Thinking About Valentine's Day

* It's time to think about Valentine's Day. Yes. It is.

Nothing was more magical or lovely than Valentine's Day when I was growing up...my favorite childhood holiday right after Christmas and Easter. I adored the schoolroom projects and the way our heart mobiles floated from the ceiling. Making a Valentine's box was so much joy that my little heart nearly burst with the thrill of it all.

But somewhere along the way I lost my enthusiasm for Valentine's Day. Yup, it became another chore. Maybe I lost the love for glue on my fingers, glitter in my hair, and red construction paper messes. Actually, that is exactly the case now that I'm thinking about it. Lots of things became a chore for me when I no longer enjoyed the mess that they inevitably involved. Wow! A revelation in paragraph three. No wonder I hate to cook. (I can cook. I just don't like it much.)

So you may be surprised to know that I am in the middle of big messes attempting to create the most fantastic Valentine ever for my grandmother. My grandmother is appalled by my lack of delight for such a fantastic holiday. She loves Valentine's Day, has always shopped carefully for the perfect cards, and the perfect treats. One could always count on Nan on February 14!

This new-found urge to create is attributed to all those bloggers who scrap and create art from bits of lace, old buttons, a scrap of paper or two, and imagination. I've had to kick start my imagination, but I'm trying...I'm really trying.

So while the sheet music is soaking in coffee, I'll head off to find some lace, buttons, paper, inspiration, and joy.

* P.S. This vintage Valentine floated down from the rafters last October in the middle of construction.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. ~Robert H. Schuller

Imagine a green valley with storm clouds threatening.

photo source leaving the original photo source as you may enjoy seeing the hiking photos

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." ~ Isaiah 30:21

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Jammie Days

Yesterday's storm brought more ice than snow. Today the sun is shining brightly and everywhere one looks the world is shimmering like crystals on a chandelier. Looking up is the best way to enjoy the day because the ground below is treacherous. To paraphrase something E.B. White once said it's a beautiful day above.



Yesterday was spent in quiet pursuits: computer time, reading time, a nap. It was a jammie day. If it's true that one's clothes tell more than one's words, I'd hate to think what yesterday's outfit said about me.

I'll tell you what I said about it: Who dressed me last night? I'd like to say, in my own defense, that I was terribly weary, but still somewhat concerned about coordinating colors even if I wasn't too concerned about mixing stripes and plaids.

Even though I'm not enjoying a jammie day today, it'll be all quiet at the wee house where I plan to spend some time finishing this book...

A pleasant and relaxing Saturday to all!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Little Changes

Anyone remember Lynette Jennings? She used to have a show on the Discovery Channel in the 90s; here's her picture.

If you don't remember her, perhaps you'll remember that shirt! She wore it on nearly every show whenever she was about to get into a big mess. It might've been painting, carpentry, gardening or whatever, she had a hand in it all.

I was remembering Lynette...gosh, I miss her...while I was working on switching those rustic items out of my bathroom. (See January 25) Lynette taught me how to spray paint using a box. Before that, I'd just let the paint fly all over kingdom come.

Okay, backing up a bit. Everywhere I read these days, bloggers are explaining how to repurpose items. I needed to get those rustic decorative items off the bathroom wall because they just didn't work with the vintage mirrors, but I didn' want to leave the wall empty. I like stuff; I'm a lousy minimalist. I wished that I had some little frames that I could use. Wait! I did have some little frames that I could use...right out in the boxes waiting to go to Goodwill. (Sometimes FlyLady can goad me too much in the releasing junk department.)

So I rescued them, removed the faded Currier and Ives prints,

painted them (see above),

and replaced them with cut up calendar pictures.

I like them a lot. Here they are where the rustic items used to be...

Edited to Add: OOps, forgot one...

Not perfect, but better.

Next project is vintage tablecloth curtains...some day!

Lynette Jennings Picture Source link broken, but photo being allowed to stand for obvious reasons

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is Bilbo Baggins Home?

The oil delivery was yesterday. What was I saying about holding my breath? Now I need to get out my long johns! ;>

So the cost of the oil delivery encouraged me to do a little research on energy efficient homes. I never thought I'd find anything like the one you see above, though. It is a real home somewhere in Wales where real people, not Hobbits, live. It has a certain charm, don't you think? Do you think that you could live there? I'm beginning to think that I could.

Here are a few reasons for living in such a dwelling: one saves up to eighty per cent of the energy costs because the home is cooler in summer and warmer in winter; they are low maintainance for a number of reasons including that the water lines will never freeze; they're safe...tornadoes blow right over; and for more interesting reasons follow this link.

Here's an article called Bag End (Hobbit Houses) that you might also find of interest. To find more about the picture source, read this article titled A Low Impact Woodland Home.

Just something to think about...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Organizing a Life

Kits are wonderful ways to organize. I've been using the concept for a few years now and I can honestly say that it makes a big difference in how organized and well the home is maintained. I have had kits for everything and anything you can imagine, except for one, which I'll tell you about in just a minute. Even baking/cooking items are kept in baskets. It's wonderful to lift a basket from the cupboard knowing that everything I could possibly need for baking will be in there. I hate digging around for the can of baking powder.

This is a picture of what's behind the apron closet door. You'll be simply fascinated, I know.

Everything stays more or less organized. If it doesn't fit in this closet, it is stored on some basement shelves and I just refill the baskets from there. If you're not already doing something like this, try it, you'll impress yourself!

You'd think that with a system like mine, I would already have come up with the following idea, but, noooo, this idea comes directly from Brenda at Coffee Tea Books and Me where she describes creating a basket in order to keep her Bible, devotional readings, a pen and notebook, etc., at hand. Lightbulbs went off reading her words. I could do that; I should do that.

So that's the picture of my new basket with the items I've gathered. There is one that makes me grin—Living Sucessfully With Screwed-Up People by Elizabeth B. Brown. Why? I live alone. Living alone doesn't change the fact that I'm going to finish reading that book...lots of good concepts in there. A new Uniball Vision Elite pen and an empty journal with a picture of a black cat leaping over an alley from a rooftop to a fire escape were added. The leaping cat was so apropos given my current situation of holding-my-breath living.

Just another reason why I love bloggers. They spark me to try things I'd never thought of; they stretch my thinking; they inspire me. Now I'll just be off to see what God can do. ;>

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Little Apron Picture Story...

What a day brightener a new apron can be! For clearer pictures of my beautiful oo-la-la apron, see here on January 18. Thank you, Zanne! It is even more lovely than I imagined. And, as you can see, it fits! Now what will I do? I really think it looks so at home with the others; although, they must all be jealous. ;>

Some time ago now, sweet Robin presented me with this award: (If you're like me and not quite certain what bodacious means, click here.) Yes, I thought bodacious meant Rubenesque and, as you can see, I qualify! (BTW, Bodacious does not equal Rubenesque.) Thanks, Robin, and even more so now that I know you're not calling me names!! ;>

Now I'm passing this award on to three beautiful bloggers who truly are audacious:

Kari@Just Livin' Large

CC@Six Months of Settled

Zanne of At Home With the Farmer's Wife

Monday, January 28, 2008


Tidying up loose ends here by returning to the humble house tour. I believe that I was going to show you the office and the bedroom. This won't take long so don't run off now.

Here's my office. It's disgusting. I can't keep it organized no matter what I do. Apparently, even my family is concerned since I receive lots of little gadgets and helps for office tidying whenever my birthday or Christmas rolls around.

What's up with that chair? Yes, I can see that you're all wondering. Well, I do have a beautiful chair for the desk, but it is the least ergonomically correct chair ever, much worse than the wicker one that you see there. So here's the beautiful chair serving its new purpose...holding LLBean bags and such.

The next photo is of the office of my dreams. I think you'll be surprised on two points: The first is that it isn't tidy either and the second is that it is not yellow. It must be all those books I love or maybe I really do enjoy chaos. No, it's the white woodwork again! I'm sure of it!

In my hometown, a large Edwardian home with a turret and a carriage house sits on a corner lot. When I was growing up, I always wanted a tour. Lucky for me, friends of mine bought the house and I did eventually get "the tour." I was disappointed to find that the turret room served as a storage room. I always wanted to see it used as a master suite. So, if I ever have the opportunity to own a house with a turret, hahaha, I want my bedroom to look like this...

Not so long ago, I posted a photo of my own bedroom here on December 30...look for a sleepy cat.

And so that ends the humble house tour. When I actually attempt the wonderful suggestions and tips that so many offered, I'll be sure to show you how it turned out.

Happy Monday!

Edited to Add: This was in the early days of blogging and I am appalled that I made no attempt to document sources. Nevertheless, I am making the decision to allow it to stand. I now know that Google Images sends out a "ping" representing every time an image is taken. All the owner has to do is follow the source. It's probably time consuming, but I've not heard from the owners of either of these fine photographs. If I ever do, I'll link properly or remove as the case may be. My apologies for my early ignorance.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hearth Dreaming

To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world. ~Charles Dudley Warner

Guess that's especially true on bitter cold days. I'm dreaming of hearths today and watching a fire burn.

Picture Source

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wildflowers of New York 1921

Taking a weekend break from the humble house tour to chat about a different topic—specifically, the book you see above.

As you know, I am a blog nut. Love other people's blogs. Love to see where they live, what they do, what they eat, what they create. I'm nosy like that. Very. Don't leave your curtains open at night if you don't want me peeking in! Although I comment at many, many blogs, some blogs are revered so highly that I seldom, if ever, comment there. Isn't that bizarre? I know. I am not well.

One of those blogs is Dawn's The Feathered Nest (another would be Manuela's). Recently, Dawn was working on such an exquisite piece (here) that I remembered a book that I had rescued from the dumpster twenty years ago or more. Now where was that book? I hadn't seen it in ages. After a good bit of hunting, I found it buried beneath scads of other books and the Christmas wrap in the bottom of my closet.

The following are a few photos...

They have faded with time, I would imagine. On many pages, there are penciled notes such as these:

Mr. Whittier finds these growing in his lower field from July through September August 28, 1931

Found growing along Crystal Pond on the north side. June 12, 1929

Orr's Island July 17, 1931

The photos needed to be straightened, collated, and generally tidied. Instead of reburying the book, it is now in an honored spot in the bookcase waiting for the day when my gears are turning instead of churning. I'd love to try doing what Dawn accomplished because it's beautiful and meaningful. Besides, didn't Melissa just recently say that art in the home should be just that...beautiful and meaningful? (Follow the blogroll to The Inspired Room and read the January 23rd entry.)

And, if I ever do attempt this project, I know that I'll need the product that Sandy from Quill Cottage mentioned here.

Sorry to interrupt the flow, but if you really want a nice bedroom tour that'll have you chuckling, visit Suzanne right here.

A relaxing Saturday to all and STAY WARM!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Kitchen, The Bath, and Beyond

Now that's an original title! LOL!

I love comments. Adore them!! You bloggers are so talented and helpful. Hope that anyone reading yesterday's post will stick around and read the comments. Besides, that's where I've answered any questions you may have had including Sandi's rather personal one. ;>

Now where was I? Oh, the kitchen. Would you believe that the space that you see in my header and the space I've shown you with the dining room table all connects to the kitchen? Yes, it's one large space. The kitchen has not been redone...same old cabinets, same old hardware, same old, same old. But I don't mind because that's the look I enjoy best in kitchens...grandma's kitchen. Of all the kitchens I searched, I found a couple that I'm sharing here by way of explanation. Here they come...

This should please you lovers of red. Red is not my favorite color, but you get the idea that it's a vintage look that I most appreciate. Here's another in greens and lots of colors actually...

The above photo is taken through the pantry. I'd love a pantry. Do you have one? If you do, I'm jealous. The common denominator in both photos is the white...I think. Yes, I do believe it's all the white so I need to remember that: I adore white woodwork!

And here, as promised, is a photo of my own kitchen or a portion of it...

Moving on to my tiny bathroom, which was once described by my carpenter as "substandard." Ouchie! And I put quite a chunk of change into that bathroom back in 1994 because I hadn't been here a month before the sink fell off the wall and the pipes broke and the basement flooded. Still, I know what he means, it's much too small and there's only a shower. That has never been a problem for me because I loathe bathing in a tub. But I can understand why some would prefer one.

Here are two photos of my bathroom...

This taking pictures of one's space has been very helpful. I have seen it with "new eyes" and the first thing that I see is that simple changes are going to be made that will have a big impact. For example, I do not like the "rustic" items on the wall in conjunction with the vintage mirrors. That's going to be changed and soon!

Here are a couple of photos of bathrooms I enjoy. Again, a "farmhouse" style with a chair, etc. My former bathroom had room for a bureau and a chair...loved that!

The unifying theme? That claw-footed tub! And, even as I realize this and know that I will never want such a thing in my home...they're not easy to clean and they take up too much space, and they cost a fortune, and if you had an old one to recoat it would also cost a fortune, I know where this pseudo desire is coming from. It is a childhood memory of pleasant bath times in my grandmother's claw-footed tub. Okay, I can deal with that then. ;>

I think that we'll save the "beyond" for tomorrow. It's too frightening for Friday anyway.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

For the Love of Yellow

Somewhere before the age of ten, I landed on my favorite color — yellow. Yellow does one thing for me that no other color has the power to do. It makes me smile. A bed of undulating yellow tulips makes me smile. A field of dandelions makes me smile. I love yellow.

That will explain a few of my portfolio choices today. My plan is to juxtapose what I have with what I would prefer. We are all familiar with the way that this happens...an inherited piece of furniture, a gift from a dear one, a home where the extra funds just aren't available. I am no exception as you will soon see.

Today, I'm beginning with the exterior and moving inside to the living area. Tomorrow, I'll move on to the kitchen, bath, and bedroom. Perhaps, if I am brave, I'll even toss in an office. I am not excited about sharing my desk area...we've already been there so perhaps we can move on. LOL!

I've been looking at so many homes. Simple is my thing...sort of. McMansions are not my style; don't want a mansion until glory; my dibs are actually in for a simple cottage by the side of the road, if heaven will allow.

First up...two homes that I really like. I'd like the first more if it were, you guessed it, yellow.

To see what I really have, scroll back to January 15 or look here.

Doing this little exercise has shown me that I am strongly influenced by my environment...I live in New England; New England defines my preferences. That's fine, I suppose, as long as I am now aware of it. I visit sites where the French style or the Southwestern style or whatever style is featured and, while I can appreciate the variety and the beauty, it is not my style.

On to living rooms...

Everything about this room impresses me from the yellow, the blue, the white, and the white woodwork, which is typically New England. I don't like the grass carpet. I don't like one white shade and one black shade, but overall it's pleasing to me. I even like the picture arrangements on the wall. I probably would feature the oil painting behind the door more prominently.

And this is what I really have...

or, as I so fondly call him...Blue Boy. Blue Boy and his little brother (the chair) have been with me since I moved to this home and the wallpaper in the former living room dictated the color choice. That and the pocketbook. Blue Boy was bought at a discount furniture house and he is comfortable, huge, and terribly, terribly blue. The wood planked walls were going to be painted; they won't be now...I don't like that look at all, but I can deal with it for the short time that I'll be dealing with it. Still, it's nice to know what I would prefer.

Here's another living room where I could be content...

and it's pretty light on the yellow factor.

And another where the yellow is subtle...

Nooks and crannies are some of my favorite things. In a home like mine where strange architecture reigns, I have a number of them. This is one in the addition above the main beam that ties the new to the old. It could be so charming, I'm sure, and I need ideas. This is how it looks now...

If you have any thoughts, I hope that you'll share.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Changing Perspective

For the past several weeks, I have been enjoying reading blogs where rooms and homes are being discussed in thoughtful, articulate ways. That won't be happening here because I'm incapable of being thoughtful and articulate these days. Still, because of my fascination with the topic, my idea is to pull together a cyber portfolio of sorts where I can do a little dreaming and think deep thoughts about what would be my perfect home this side of heaven.

Norma Zimmer (she of Lawrence Welk's Champagne Lady fame)once wrote about her mother's ability to create a home anywhere. I like that thought and have always set about to make a house a home in short order. I remember my son's telling me within a week or so of moving from our former home to this one that the new house already felt like home. I should have asked him why exactly. What are the ways that change a house from a mere structure to a true home? Is it the decorative items? The way furniture is arranged? Color? Light? Aroma? The food? All of the above? I'm still exploring the idea of home and probably will be for the rest of my life.

For completely wonderful posts on this topic, visit Terri @ Wind Lost here. Terri is so good at explaining her reasons for admiring/earnestly desiring a style; and it's lovely to see the rooms that she has chosen to express her thoughts. Nor can you go wrong to visit Linda @ Restyled Home here where she and Matthew Mead are carrying on a conversation about changing perspective.

Changing perspective is a profound concept! You can't imagine how much I have thought about it over the past two days and have decided that I need to apply the idea to many areas of my life beyond decorating. Thinking about changing perspective in the home may become a metaphor for some serious life changes, but that's a story for another day.

Here is my changing perspective experiment. Linda or Matthew suggested turning the dining room table. Turning the table? That's it? Okay, I could try that. What a scary thought, though. LOL!

The table has always been set to run the length of the room along the length of the bay window installed last summer as you see here:

So, following the suggestion, I turned the table and it scared me. No, I didn't like it so much:

It just looked odd to me; I was all for turning it back when the thought came Just sit with it for a while. Okay, I could do that. I'd have more energy in the morning anyway. So I decided to wait. And this is how it looked in the morning light.

I love it! Why? Because I am able to move about in the space much easier; I can access the closet doors without any difficulty whatsoever. When two people are seated at the table (as is usually the case), they are in closer proximity to each other while still enjoying the view. This is altogether more cozy. The room now appears more expansive on the dining room end since the table goes "against" the length.

So see what you can do in your home today to change the perspective. You may be surprised!

Follow me right over to *Zanne's* where I happen to know that she'll be serving cake!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Which Flower Are You?

I thought my image needed softening. ;>

You are an Iris:

You are logical, analytical, dignified, and wise. You are studious by nature and may prefer books to people. You tend to be a serious person but are capable of making others laugh with your dry sense of humor. Friends always benefit from your advice.

Symbolism: Over the centuries the iris has come to symbolize faith, wisdom, hope, and promise in love.

Just so you'll know, I don't believe a word of it except for the preferring of books to people and I only half believe that. Have a happy Tuesday!