Thursday, April 28, 2011

Don't Mess With Me, Calli!

I'm off schedule!! Oh No!  I try to stay organized and on a schedule or I don't get everything done.  Sometimes that's hard to do.  It throws me for a day and then I re-group.  Yesterday just wasn't going as planned.

Usually on Tuesdays I do office work all day. This consists of mailings, letters and computer work for our Financial Planning business.  (My real work that actually makes some money, as Hubby reminds me).  I had already figured that office work may not get done this week because we are leaving Sunday for a 7 day cruise to Bermuda.  I'm very excited, especially to get out of this chilly, rainy weather we've been having.  Although I must say, yesterday was beautiful here and today's not bad.  This beautiful blue bird now comes to visit me twice a day.

 I ended up working in my garden all afternoon yesterday.  I had to! It felt so good!  It was too nice to not be outside and the gardens are still a mess from being buried under old Autumn leaves and then snow on top of that all winter. That was my Tuesday afternoon.  My Tuesday morning was a complete disgusting bust.

I walked downstairs first thing Tuesday morning to feed Calli, my cat, and to bring my storage boxes of summer clothes upstairs to decide what to pack.  I've never been on a cruise and I've never been to Bermuda.  I have no idea what to expect in the way of activities, weather (it better be nice!), and comfort.

Yesterday was supposed to be the start of the packing.  But instead, I woke up to a smell in my basement, which is a finished family room.  Hubby and I decided it was cat urine.  Our cat, 16 year old Callie, lives down there since she doesn't get along with the dogs upstairs and she sheds so much. I used to limit her domain to the furnace room, but fairly recently I started letting her occupy the whole downstairs.  She loves to just lay on the  couch, which I have covered with towels and sheets.

 Well, for some reason she had just recently peed behind the furnace. At least it's a concrete floor and not carpeted there.  She's never done that!  What was that about?!  She's an indoor cat and doesn't have claws so I can't just keep her outside all the time.  Anyway, I spent all morning scrubbing, bleaching, and washing the furnace room.  I was mad, in tears and ready to put her down.  I even called the vet and asked her about it.  Then I cried some more.  I know, it sounds like no big deal, but I can't stand the smell of cat urine and it is so hard to eradicate.  Then the cat goes back to the same place to go again if the smell stays there.  I just can't have that!  I got to thinking, though, that we had company over the weekend and my cousin and his son slept down there.  They invaded her new space and she got mad!  Once I decided that may be the issue, she got a reprieve!  She's old but she's healthy and the thought of just making that decision to put her down because I was mad at her made me so depressed.  And I don't think I could find another good home for her because she's a 16 year old cat that maybe pees where she shouldn't and doesn't love a lot of people.  Who wants to take that on?

So that  has been my quandary for a few days and it's just been making me sick.  But after the big clean up and the company has left we seem to be settled down again.  Now, though, we're going to be away for a week and my neighbor is going to come in to feed the cat.  How is she going to react to that?  The neighbor has done this before for us but Calli is getting funny in her old age.  If I come back to a smelly mess I'll need to do something.  Any suggestions?  I know this maybe sounds trivial and dumb, but it's a big deal to a clean freak like me, but yet loves her "babies".

Now in writing all these thoughts down, I think for now anyway, I've maybe answered my own question.  I'll just keep cleaning whenever I have to and let Calli live a happy spoiled life until she dies an easy natural old age death.  If she starts to suffer, versus me suffering, then I'll make that hard decision!.  That's my feeling today!  Yesterday was, and tomorrow possibly could be, a different story!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Favorite Room

I have three rooms that I consider my favorites:  My sewing room, my loft and my tea room.  I consider these rooms my favorites because they are the only rooms in the house that I decorated the way I wanted, without any thought of it being too feminine for my husband.

I'm showing my tea room today only because the other two need a little cleaning and straightening first.  They are not photo ready!  I've shown my tea room before at Christmas time here.

Here's my very "me", froo-froo, feminine, room in the Spring.

Notice the little chandelier above the piano.  You all know how I love chandeliers.  The piano is at least 60 years old, passed down to my mother from my grandmother, and then down to me.  We've all taken piano lessons on this same piano, including my two sons when they were young.

The fainting couch was given to us by my sister-in-law.  She had it re-done and it's very old and beautiful.  The arms come down so that it lays flat.  When SIL was re-decorating her home she no longer had a place for this and knew it would go perfect in my room.

I have a small collection of red transfer-ware plates.  Some are hidden in a cupboard, but I love to see these hanging on the wall.  The small counted cross stitch quilt  of a piano next to them I made several years ago.

A hanging cupboard holds tea cups, a miniature crystal collection, and a Maude Humphrey collection.  The little purse necklace hanging on the door I knit from crochet string and beads.

This cupboard holds more teacups.  My better ones.  I also have a small collection of antique fan and floral vases.  The pillow on the floor is a cross stitch that I made.

More tea cups on the tea cart, along with a pewter coffee service that was given to us as a wedding gift by my cousin almost 32 years ago now.  Those rhododendron bushes in front of the window are almost ready to pop open and will be a beautiful purple any day now.  I'll get a picture of that when it happens.  It's so pretty, but they just don't last very long.

I made this tiny little Tea for Two quilt that sits on the tea cart.  My mother decorated the old antique silver spoon sitting next to it.

Now I need to get my other two girly rooms cleaned up and ready for their photo shoot.  Keep checking in.  My darling loft has yet to make it's pictorial debut.

Linked today to Show Off Your Cottage Monday
The Plumed Pen's Tuesday's Tea for Two
Lady Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday
Martha and Terri's Tea Cup Tuesday
A beach Cottage - Good Life Wednesday

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Without Kids

This Easter feels a little different than most since none of my kids will be here this year.

 I think this is the first year I haven't colored eggs.

I didn't buy my favorite marshmallow peeps.

I did buy a bouquet of tulips for my entrance table.  They brighten up the dreary  weather Easter weekend a little bit.

Hubby didn't want a bunch of candy sitting around just for us, but I did get some nonpareils with colored sprinkles to set in my candy dish.

My cousin, his wife and children came over from Harrisburg and spent Friday evening with us, so I did make some bite sized, raspberry filled brownies.  They are just a package mix and then I iced and sprinkled them.  They are (were) really good!

Tomorrow we'll go to church with Mom and Dad and then to the Lakeview Restaurant for brunch.

It will be a nice and pleasant Easter.  It's just different without my kids!

I wish a Happy Easter to everyone!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Powder Room Reveal

Here it is!  It's done!  Well, almost.  The side splash to the vanity top isn't in yet, but I tried to camouflage  it with a plant for now.
This remodel came with it's share of frustrations, as most remodels do.  From the huge hole in the wall behind the old light fixture to the plumbing pipe that had fallen down through a large hole in the bottom of the cabinet and into the floor.  You notice all the shortcuts taken by builders when you take on a job like this.
Hubby became very frustrated over these things because he insisted on doing the work himself.  My frustration came when I would ask him if I could call someone, such as a professional electrician and plumber.  His response to me would always be, "I can do this myself!".  O.K., O.K. but is it worth all this frustration?  Well, I now must say, he did a great job.  Much better than the original builders!
I showed the before pictures in a post several weeks ago, but I need to show them now next to the "afters".

Here's the "before" bathroom.  Not horrible, but very basic and low grade building materials.  Notice the solid green walls.

The marble top, copper vessel bowl, faucet, toilet paper holder and towel ring were all ordered through Lowe's.  They were very helpful and knew their stuff.

The Tuscan wash paint and murals were done by a professional painter/artist friend of mine.  As you can see, I didn't want to go with a basic bathroom light fixture.  I saw this little rusted metal chandelier and fell in love with it.  I already had the mirror and little "powder room" plaque.

Here was the big hole left behind the old fixture.  This was partway through the drywall patching that Hubby had to do.  It was just one big hole!

This is the cabinet before:
I asked Brenda, my painter, to make it look like a hand painted old piece of furniture.  That's exactly what she did.  She even put two little legs underneath the front.

Then came the new valance, from Lowe's

The new rug, from Wal-Mart

Just yesterday I finished up with accessories.  The rusted bronze vase and eucalyptus are from Wal-Mart.

I found this picture at Ross for $9.99.   It looks like Tuscan scenery to me and I just loved the frame. 

These wall sconces are also from Ross and they are hanging on the wall above the toilet.
Here was the old plastic wastebasket and basket for magazines.

This is the new magazine basket and wastebasket, from Ross for $4 and $5.
Much more Tuscan looking, don't you think?

I also wanted to change out the old plastic switch plate cover, which wasn't an easy thing to do.  The configuration of it is not a popular one and the only place I could find one to replace it was on-line.  I had it in a few days from Switch Plate Superstore.

There it is!  I'm very happy with it and find myself just turning on the pretty chandelier and just standing in there looking at everything!  

I'm linking this post to Cielo's Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


"The only thing constant in life is change".  I don't know who that's a quote from, but it's true.  And it's also true that the older you get, the harder it is to want to or accept change.  That's true for me in some ways, such as my routines, habits, and schedules.  When it comes to decorating, remodeling, or re-arranging furniture, I'm all for it. I just did a major clean of my bedroom and decided to move this antique rocking chair from my living room to this corner of my bedroom.
This rocking chair was sitting in front of my doors going out onto my back deck.  Those doors don't get used in the winter.  Now in anticipation of Spring and Summer that door is used all day long, so the chair needed to be moved.  I believe this chair was my great grandmother's and has been re-glued and re-finished and re-upholstered by a couple different members of the family.  It's finally ended up with me and I love it!
And notice where the necklace hangar is on the wall next to the rocker?  I want to get some sort of small shelving unit for the wall to house my growing collection of little boxes.
Sometimes they are called Limoges boxes, although they are not true Limoges from France.  My mother has given me most of these.  These are now sitting on my dresser but are starting to take up too much room.  Aren't they cute?

And here's another update on the powder room remodel. I love this change!  Hubby finally got the chandelier up yesterday.  I stood by as the go-fer and the sounding board for his frustration, but he did it and I love it.
Everything is coming together so nicely in my little bathroom!  We're now just waiting for the sink countertop to come in and then we can finish.  I'm hoping next weekend it will be done.

This past Saturday my DIL gave my son (her husband) a surprise party for his 30th. For some reason, this seems like a major change in my life!  I don't know why it affects me, but it's a milestone for him and me.  I just can't believe I'm the mother of a 30 year old!  Anyway, he was surprised.  His wife did a great job.  His boys wanted him to have a super hero cake and they helped him blow out his candles.
I finally finished knitting the black hoody sweater that he requested from me two years ago!  I have to be honest, it was not my most favorite knitting project.  Black is very hard to work with because it's so hard to see.  It turned out just OK as far as I'm concerned, but he seemed to like it.
(It looks crooked in this picture because he has the top and bottom buttons unbuttoned)

Yesterday, the weather was so nice here, about 78 degrees! Believe me, this is a huge change around here.  Monday is normally my house cleaning day, but I just had to get outside a little bit to add a few flowers.  It's still too early here for real flowers, but I put out fake ones in the upstairs window boxes and on the bench in front of my bedroom window.
I still have a lot of work to do outside.  You can see all the old fall leaves left over on the mulch.  Everything just still looks very brown and dirty.  No leaves are out on the trees yet, but I did notice the buds starting to come out on my rhododendron bushes.
These will be a beautiful purple landscape in the front of the house in another few weeks.
By the way, this warm weather lasted one day.  Yesterday was freezing and rainy and today it's 43 degrees!  Back to inside work.

The most recent change I made yesterday.  I had grown my hair out a little bit but it was really starting to bug me.  The bangs were long and constantly falling in my face and I'm "blessed" to have thick, coarse hair and it tends to get very heavy and flat on top.

This is the "before".  It looks OK in this picture but it didn't look like this most of the time.  I even had the color lightened up a little yesterday.

Here's the "after".  It feels so good!  I woke up this morning and it still looks exactly like this.  Awww! No more smoothing and moisturizing products and flat irons to straighten.  I just didn't want to take the time for that every day.  Oh, I'm also wearing another new necklace I made.

Change can be a good thing!

I'm linking for the first time today to A Beach Cottage - Good Life Wednesday
Also to Cindy's Show and Tell Friday
And Alison's Friday's Unfolded

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Lot Can Happen in the Middle of the Night

Last night was a rough night!  I have a head cold that really isn't that bad during the day, but as soon as I get ready to go to bed at night I start to get all clogged up and then I start to cough.  Drainage!  Yuk!  I seemed to get to sleep last night fine, but at 1:00 a.m. I started a coughing fit that just wouldn't quit.  To the point of gagging and my stomach muscles were so sore!   I got out of bed so that I could breath and to try to not keep Hubby awake all night.  I went upstairs to my sewing room and turned on the TV.  Surprisingly there's quite a bit on all during those wee hours.  Not like the old days when all that be on would be the station's big  test circle.   The coughing finally calmed down, but then I seemed to be wide awake.  I watched HGTV and then Tru TV and finished knitting a beaded necklace and started a new one.  These have been my new creative obsession lately.

This is the one I finished last night.  I started putting charms on them.  Here's one of the first ones I made without a charm.

I like using yarn with a metallic thread running through it.  It just gives it more of a jewelry look.

This is another style I've also been working on, along with a cuff bracelet.

I have a few of these on my Etsy site here.

Finally at about 5:30 am I started to get tired and felt like I could finally lay my head down without coughing to death.  I slept until 9:00.  Surprisingly, I felt pretty good today.  If I could get by with that every night I could get so much accomplished from 1:00 to 5:30 every morning!

My first thought when I woke this morning was about my oldest son, Austin.  He turns 30 years old today!  I just can't believe I have a child that old.  I still feel like I'm 30!  Well, sometimes.  When I'm feeling better!
Here's my oldest baby walking me down the aisle at my younger son's (his brother's)  wedding about 2-1/2 years ago.

Isn't he handsome?  I'm so proud of him!  Now he's a wonderful husband and father of three.  Oh how time flies!

Now here's the strange part of my story.  It struck me as kind of strange, coincidental, funny anyway.  At exactly 12:55 a.m. 30 years ago, Austin was born.  I remember at about 5:30 a.m., 30 years ago I was finally able to sleep for a couple of hours.  Once that thought struck me, I got all goose bumpy!  Just a coincidence?  For some reason, I just don't think so.

Linked to Alison's Friday's Unfolded


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