Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A very hard appointment to keep.....

Today, on my 34th Birthday, I must meet the vet and hold Ruby's head while she goes to sleep one LAST time. Ruby is my son's girl. She is a foster and came to us already old and with some issues (founder and arthritis). She has been getting more painful, more often and we can not let her endure more days of pain than of happiness. On Sunday I bathed her, clipped her little old muzzle and gave her mane a trim. She should look like a show pony even on her last day!
The photo above is of her nuzzling her silly boy (upside down?) yesterday! I just can't imagine how I am going to do this! Check out http://horse.friendsofferdinand.org/index-%20eight.html
for more about Miss Ruby Tuesday (Duncan's food obsessed mind added the Tuesday).
So, wish me strength today as I endeavor to do what is right instead of being selfish. I fully intend to give her all the goodies she could not have in her last years...sweet feed, fresh grass, apples and carrots. I would wish for chocolate cake on my last day, why not her?

Monday, September 29, 2008

My take on Joy's project

Those of you who haven't found "Joys of Home" need to find it now! That link will take you to the project I did today.

My pal Daryl has a teenaged daughter. She is 19 and she has just moved into her first apartment. When I saw Joy's project I knew I had to do one for Rachel's room. She has done her roome in hot pink, black and white. So I went and did this!
I had a hard time finding a black and white piece of scrapbook paper I loved, because I wanted it RIGHT...and I didnt' want to buy a whole book to get one piece.
Then I found all the pieces of 'wood' around here were 4 or 5 dollars, Walmart, Michaels, you name it! So I went to my neighbor Randy and he cut me a piece, rounded over the edges and then we even made it have it's OWN stand!

I hope Rachel likes it as much as I enjoyed doing it. It really didn't take any time at all. I would put on a coat of spray paint, then run an errand. I did have to mix up the 'hot pink' to get it as dark as what I had hear her color was!

I hope you like today's project!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spiritual Sundays

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Joshua 1:5
When sometimes I feel God isn't with me I remind myself he is never gone. Like the fifth sunny day in a row you start to 'not notice' the sunshine. Like your loyal dog you don't even hear him at your feet. However, when the rain comes you feel the absence of the sun and when you lose your loyal dog you miss the sound of his breath beside your feet.

Often when we think we are missing God we have put stuff between his presence and ourselves. Are you standing with your back to the Son? I am often guilty of being so caught up in my day to day that I don't pray or seek out God enough. I sometimes question whether He is there, only b/c I know if I were the parent and my child had turned her back on me as much I, in my humanness, wouldn't be so loyal.

Try today to think whether you take time to "be still and know....that HE is God"....just Be still and see what things are fogging up the windows to your soul.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Exciting day!

Today was a busy day. I had clients all morning and then was invited to a Fall party. The party was thrown by a family who will be my neighbors in a few weeks. They asked for our information and invited us already. How great is that?
I also finished a project I started Thursday. I found the following poor, sad and neglected framed mirror at Goodwill. I nearly walked away, b/c even with paint I didn't want him on my wall. Then when I found NOTHING else I came back to him. I sat him in the little basket and stared until I pictured him covered in candles (and of course white paint).
So home he came and I quickly removed the mirror, cleaned everything and then painted the frame. Something still wasn't 'right' so I just stuck some pumpkins in him to make him feel like he was loved. :-D
Then last night I tooled around trying to find some 'feet'. Everything was too big or too fussy for the size of this project so I ended up getting those wooden buttons you put in furniture to cover holes. It doesn't make it tall, but just gets it a little off the table. I will keep my eye out for better feet.
Here it is with just candles on it. I like it
Here it is all decked out for Halloween, complete with shelled Indian Corn and some various squash.
I also did this quick project with a simple glass vase, Indian corn and a candle.
Then to add YAY to a great day I got a package from a good groomer pal, D'Gaye. She sent me several things I will show more later, but for now the cool pumpkin below and the doily (especially for Grandma's drum table). I am going to find some cool coordinating Indian corn (whole) and other stuff to make that little pumpkin shine.

Then......on my way home from the party and the barn....I see sitting by the road....................

Yes, yes that is right this was FREE on the side of the road. Jealous? How about if I tell you there was a PAIR? LOL

Yes, a pair of wing back chairs with Queen Ann legs for FREE! The fabric isn't in bad shape, they are comfy ad how pretty will those legs be painted? They may earn some slip covers or maybe a reupholstery down the line. For now they are going to get a good cleaning and see where they choose to live in my new house.

More new house pics soon, I promise, but SOOOOOOOOO much excitement today who can add any more pictures?

Friday, September 26, 2008

A little walk through...

I took over 80 photos, but I will not bore you all 80...maybe 79? LOL
Okay, just maybe five!
he first pic is from the kitchen doorway to the dining rom. It is clear to me that their dogs have been reading ads while they are not home. I wonder what they ordered online?
The next pic is a picture of the 'old barn' from the back door (kitchen entry). I have a real affection for old buildings, so I adore this barn.
This is the back door of the old barn and is under a lean to which needs a little work, but this door, to me, oozes history and now FUTURE.

This is the NEW barn and the main run-in for the horses. My horses will be happy to have all this freedom. Well, except for pitiful Kismet, who thinks he should be in his stall as much as possible eating.
This final picture (for today) is of the sunroom from the 'far' wall looking towards the main entrance.

We are less than 4 weeks from closing and so I am getting very excited.

Let me know what other pictures you want to see!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Great Grandma Roe

Gramma Roe has been gone for quite some time. She lived alone into her early nineties. I remember the cool way her stairs would creak under my feet at night. I remember her down mattresses and the way the roof sloped down over the bed I would sleep in.

Another thing I remember from her home is THIS GUY. My grandma gave him to me a few weeks ago when I as at her home. I do not collect cobalt blue, but isn't he gorgeous and he really does look outstanding on Gramma Roe's hutch.

Grandma also gave me this, I will find a seperate place for it at the new house.

I love the hutch they are sitting on and I need to get it 'fixed'. I just can't decide whether to have it restored or not...decisions decisions... (not the missing veneer under the swan) and dust that became one with a bad finish job.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn is here and with it....

Hot soup weather.
A few years ago my pal, Daryl, gave me a recipe for Taco Soup. Since then I have made it more times than I can count. A few weeks ago we had a good cool night and I made it for my family. I even managed to get my little guy to eat it early(ish) and go to bed so Jay and I could enjoy a 'date night'.
Here is my table set with all the 'extras' that you serve it with. You can add Sour Cream to your 'add ins' if you want.
If you like Chili and like Mexican flavor you may have a new recipe for your bag of tricks.
You will need:
1 lb of ground meat (or even faux meat if you are a veg.)
2 cans of tomatoes (or fresh)
1 can of black beans (or soaked dry black beans)
2 cans of corn
packet of taco seasoning mix.

Make it just like Chili. Brown meat..(i always add onions/garlic when I brown my meat). Then drain if you don't use turkey or really lean meat. Add Taco seasoning packet and mix up. Add the other ingredients, stir, get hot, turn down and simmer (I use crock pot usually) and go away for a little while. You can serve it pretty soon after you make it, but I like it to 'meld' for a little while. I will often make it early in the day and let it cook all day. You come home to yummy smells and your family will find you a hero.

If you have to you can use Kidney beans, although I prefer the black beans for texture and color, also I use turkey or chicken in my recipe. When I made it this day I used tomatoes from my garden and my black beans, as well. Makes it even more tasty, somehow.

Here is the ONLY way to eat it.....Line bottom of your bowl with corn chips, ladle generously, top with a mexican cheese or a sharp cheddar and maybe some Sour Cream....taste...enjoy...REPEAT!

Enjoy a tasty taco soup with your loved ones soon!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spiritual Sundays

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:3-5

This is one of the gems I found when I was really NEEDING it. It really speaks to my heart. There are alot of times I wonder WHY we must suffer, why good people have hard times. It helps to know that God works all things for the good. I do beleive those of us who have had 'hard times' are more resiliant and I believe God uses it to show us to ask for help from him and from fellow Christians, as well.
If you are having a difficult time today be sure to add this verse to your daily readings!
Here's to hope!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My little secret.....

I have slowly been coming around to an OLD idea. When I get my land I want a bit of a farm. I LOVE fresh eggs, I love taking care of critters and I am really becoming a 'greeny'. I think our grand and great grandparents had a thing or two (or a million) right. I think things like milk and eggs don't need to be shipped to us from FAR AWAY and that chickens deserve to be running about while they are alive...even if they are to be eaten. Even as a young Animal Science Student my area of interest was animal welfare. They have proven that animals who are 'cared for and content' grow/produce better quality/quantity food.
If you have NEVER eaten an egg a few hours old you don't know what you have missed. So, Monday I travel an hour away to pick up my girls. I intend to get three and am still waffling between getting all of one breed or a mix (including that breed).
The following picture is of a Buff Orpington Pullet (young girl chicken) and this is what my girls will look like. They are going to have to live in a small enclosure here for a few weeks until we get our new cottage/homestead. I hope soon that I will be showing you goodies cooked with food from my own home.
I have also been toying with the idea of a milk goat. Okay, now you KNOW I am crazy...right...well, it sort of 'morphed' in my mind from Duncan wanting a goat and me not wanting to buy hay/grain for an animal that I can't ride, or sleep on my feet at night like the dogs. So, I needed a USE for a goat and started reading. I am amazed at the different people who raise dairy goats and what all they do with the products. Goat milk, goat cheese and goat milk soap to name a few.
So here is a pic of a Toggenburg dairy goat. The one I may be getting is long haired and currently named "Lori" (for now). She is pregnant and not currently in milk, but she has been in the past, so she is an experienced girl. Her owners are only a few miles from the new place and are willing to help me get started.
When she kids (Gives birth) she is likely to have twins and they occassionally have triplets. The kids sire is a Nubian goat. They are very cute little mixes and if I get any girls I will keep one and if they are both boys, sell them to a 4Her.
So I may have to get a second blog....about my growing menagerie.
So my secret is out...I am becoming a 'homesteader' and my love of my home and taking care of my family is blooming into making it a TRUE home where we grow our veggies, eggs and milk. While I am not against raising meat animals, I become too attatched and could not 'do the deed' unless we were unable to get food elsewhere.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Here they are....

Celebrating the return of my ability to UPLOAD photos on blogger....

Here are my GOODWILL cups.
I got them intending to do a 'crafty' thing with them, but I could NOT put glue on them. I don't have alot of pink in my home, but these are SO pretty. I love the roses, I love that there are roses INSIDE. Everywhere you look is pretty.
Now guess how much each? FORTY NINE cents! Oh yeah! I got three cups two saucers and three dessert plates. They are nice. If you go back and look at my pumpkin pie a few days ago, you will see I took them with me to grandma's house.
The final pic here, is of them on my maternal grandmother's drum table, next to maternal grandmother's silver. Ahhhhh...I love the old, the new and the thrifty.
And for the perfectionist in you...I will remind you...to blog, take pictures and live life, even if your table needs refinished, your grout needs redone and your fork is not perfectly level. Live life, eat pie and love what you have!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A topic with no photos???

For some reason, blogger refuses to let me upload tonight...so instead of the cute pink rose cups I was going to share I have to do a verbal dance. Sadly, that will be the equivalent of my old dog tap dancing to music she can't hear. Just not all that funny and definately not classy.

So, just a quick note to my readers. Fall is in the air here. The air condition is off, the windows are open and it is lovely. I picked green peppers, an eggplant and a few tomatoes today. I also figured out why "squirrel corn" is not 'decorating indian corn'...um....MOTHS. Little tiny moths. So my fall decoration from a week or so ago has been dismantled and the squirrels got it as originally intended.

Yesterday, we took Duncan to Anderson Orchard. We have two great orchards, but Anderson is bigger and has U-pick so we went there for this visit. Also they seem to get their Jonagold's out sooner. I LOVE them...I wait ALL year for Jonagold's and eat them until they are no longer available and then think about the next years crop. There isn't much better than a Jonagold with some peanut butter....it just tastes like Autumn to me.

Well, blog-gals I hope you are all enjoying our upcoming fall and we can hope Blogger will let me show you little teacup pictures next week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Martha's blog episode

Hi, my name is Chez and I have an addiction. Every day I leave my work for an hour, abandoning my assistant, to watch Martha Stewart. Today I was especially happy for my addiction.

The whole hour was about blogging. As a relative blog-newbie (blewbie?) I have been so inspired by fellow bloggers. Having to do a blog each day has made me look a little closer at things in my every day life.

I think that over the years Martha has inspired so many of us. Whether our style and her style were 'alike' or whether they were different. She showed us that women could be housekeepers and still be valuable, then that women could be business women and still be feminine and still love hearth and home. I love that blogging allows all of US to show OUR style and share with everyone, including Martha, in some cases.

So, everyone link to Martha's blog and check out what she has been up to. Lovely blogs in the past about her mother, her dogs and more have even brought me to tears. Just click the 'stolen header' above and you will be at "Martha's place".

Now, regular readers, be sure to check out my happy cottage fabric on yesterday's post.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Little things....big difference

Find a way to make changes with out spending all your change can be challenging. I have purchased many roseback chairs over the years. Many needed work, some I even had to use for parts for the 'other chairs'. I have one that still has a 'nick' out of it that I am going to fix with wood putty before I paint them.

So, this week I went and bought fabric. My living room has alot of green in it, my china has blue and I needed something to 'tie' it all together.

I went to Joann Fabric with my hubby on Sunday and after a little tiff because he pointed to some black fabric and I said "yuck". Finally, we found something I liked and Jay didn't hate. When I get moved and get the chairs painted I will post pics of the full before and the final after. It was on sale and I spent a total of 21 dollars.

I bought an extra yard of fabric, plus I should have a pretty good sized (2yard) strip about six inches wide left. I may try my hand at a few braided placemats with it. Hmmmmm?I am goning to keep enough to redo Duncan's chair a few times before I change fabrics. Figure five years maximum before I change it.
Now bear in mind this is the chair needing wood putty and sadly that blue peeking out is NOT the ugliest fabric I am going to be changing. :-D
So what little change have you made this week?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

Decided to make a pumpkin pie now that the weather is cooling. I use canned pumpkin (that sound is Martha Stewart hitting the floor) and just follow the recipe on the back. I used little wilton fall cookie cutters to make the leaves, pumpkins and acorns.
I made all the details with a paring knife. It took a few minutes but was kind of fun. Then I laid the leaves on a chop stick so they wouldn't be 'flat'.
Today I took two pieces to grandma's house and shared it with her. Well worth the effort as she admired my handiwork. A compliment from her is second to none.

Tomorrow I will share with you where these cups/plates came from and about my new fabric for my chairs.

One more 'little thing'. This little sleeping old black dog is my GIRL, Reckless. She turned FIFTEEN today. Not only is that OLD, in general, it is especially good when you were a bad puppy and got into Ibuprofen when you were a pup. She was expected to have a shortened lifespan because of it. She has some gray (see ear tips), has to take Derramax on bad days (arthritis) and just isnt' as spry these days, but she is doing pretty well. Happy b'day old girl. I have had her in my life longer than my hubby! LOL

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Spiritual Sundays

God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Just about every night my pal and I 'IM' one another and at the end of our chats we require FIVE gratitudes from one another. Some nights it is so easy. Some nights it FEELS hard, but really that fact that we are sitting inside our homes typing on computers says how blessed we are. While I might find myself annoyed with football on television as my hubby watches, I am truly blessed to have a husband, a TV and be sitting her healthy to be annoyed.
I have alot to be thankful for in my daily life. I have been worrying about the money for the house downpayment and praying for lots of business and my phones have been ringing. I am trying to remember to say a little 'thank you' to God each time I book another dog. I need to remember as we are moving to this new home that each of those calls, clients and opportunities was a way for him to give me this home. We often forget that he GIVES us our skills and everything we have is HIS.
This week my neighbor, Karen, brought me a book (after reading last Sunday's post) called God's Promises & Answers for your life. It was such a kind gift and jesture. She also brought Peach preserves which Duncan is enjoying on his PB and J sandwiches (PB and P??).
I have had clients, friends and fellow bloggers cheering for and praying for me this week and I have felt those blessings in my life.
So, today, take a moment to count your blessings and remember where they came from and to whom we owe the thank yous. If we truly counted them, we would be praying without ceasing as we should.
Thanks for reading and have a blessed Sunday

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why I love Cottage Style.

Whether your cottage style is Bright colors or pink roses we All have a reason we LOVE this style.
First of all, I don't know that I ever heard or paid attention the the 'term' until I met my friend Daryl. I remember spending a night in her house and feeling like I really could STAY there and BE there. It didn't look a bit like "mamaw's house" but it had that feel. She had taken the effort to put a photo I had emailed her of MY family on the nightstand next to my bed, right next to an iced carafe of water. With those two things I felt so at home.
I have always loved a place where you could put your feet up, where you could have the things you love even if they don't all 'fit' perfectly together. Then, when I realized you could do all this AND it had a name I fell for "cottage style".

I can completely appreciate a modern kitchen, I can appreciate a house with very 'stiff' lines and rules, but I just don't feel HOME there.

I want my friends to come and want to linger. I want my family to LIVE in my home. I particularly love that you don't have to have a 'second' home to have the cottage feel. It makes me smile to think that we can all have cottage style from our 600 sq. ft. condo, to an actualy beach house to the 4000 sq ft. home.

I have had a few 'naysayer' friends continue to overuse the word 'little' to describe my new house. At first I get my feelings hurt. Then I remember that this style we love came out of making the best out of a small space. Taking a summer cottage and making it home while you are there. Making a cute house out of 'found' items and furniture. I look forward to taking my 40 year old sofa and chair (grandma's) into my LITTLE house, shopping for end tables on craigslist, flea markets and goodwill. Finding a way to make alot out of a little. When people come over there will be no question they can put their feet up and stay awhile. We can sit on the sunporch and discuss whether cicadas or crickets make better sounds. I look forward to people sitting around my dining room table while I cook and the dogs trot around on the back deck (or underfoot). I enjoy the challenge of redecorating without having a huge (any?) budget for it.

Thank God for Cottage Style and cottage friends, may you all come over for sweat tea in the summers and hot cocoa in the winter.

So, if YOUR cottage is bright and cheery, all white or your only cottage element is a pink slipcover on your sofa....Three cheers for Cottage Style.

By the way the cute guy on the back porch of my 'new LITTLE house' is my Fossil. I assume I will have to do a whole post about THAT. Let's just say, for now, he and his wife took in a heart wounded, newly motherless, obnoxious sixteen year old once upon a time. What crazy people they were? Well, I can't thank them enough and Fossil even came out to walk through with myself and the inspectors this week....still coming through for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pay It Forward

Debbie Kay at My Vintage Daydreams was part of a Pay It Forward 'game' and I took part.

The little thing she sent me is as beside. My personal camera needs new batteries so I 'stole' a picture online. It is the Gibney house in South Bend, Indiana. It is an adorable PINK house and as a Hoosier I appreciate her selection for me. Thank you Debbie.
As for the game.....here are the RULES:
I am going to send something to the first three people who comment on this post. Then those three people promise to send something to the first three individuals who comment on their posts and so on, and so on, and (you get the picture).The item must be something you've made, found, bought or were given AND it should be something that you would like to receive yourself.If you want to join the fun....PLEASE leave a message on this post and then, you in turn will post about the giveaway on your blog.Then you will send something to the first three individuals who sign up.
Now a KEY is you must have a site or blog. So a few of my 'pals' who post have to get blogs.
Let's have fun bloggettes!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Emotional Rollercoaster

Well, today was the inspection. There were some small 'fixable' issues, but clear for termites, clear for septic and the roof and is in great shape. Overall, a good result. Then I find tax stuff, paperwork and drag it to the Mortgage guy.
Of course, I brought the fifty two things I needed to bring and felt relieved. Then the phone call. We need your 401K paperwork, a lease for the apartment and you need to have XX in your accounts and we are going to be pushing it. It gives me panic attacks. Where do they come up with those numbers? Our down payment is X and then Y for this and then just a random extra bit. If I had known that I needed 'extra' I wouldn't have paid off a few bills I would have paid minimums for this month and paid off after closing. It is just TOO much. I need to take a deep breath and calm down.

For now here is a pic of the fireplace! TTFN

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Spiritual Sundays

More time in the word...

Well, I struggled thinking with my blessings this week I should write about "gratitude". Then with my possible new home in the country I should talk about 'steweardship' and how being "green" isn't really just a NEW FAD. Then I thought I should talk about being prayerful in general, the closeness of God and how we often miss him when we are Too busy.

Then I realized I was having some difficulty coming up with verses. I know some that come to mind, but have NO clue where they are in the bible. I have a rough idea of New versus old Testament, but not much else. I know some basic things like the stories in Genesis, Job, Ruth, Esther and I know Mathew, Mark, Luke and John alright. I know that Luke is where to send new Christians. There are other tidbits, but I can't name a bunch of verses and where they come from. I know Jesus said not to worry, but where did he say that again?

I became acutely aware that I need to read and STUDY my bible. I have to OPENLY admit I have never finished a "read the bible' in a year plan. I have finished the New Testament a few times and gotten well into the Old Testament. At some point in the few months into it I choose to "go to sleep" without doing my reading. Then I get behind enough I get overwhelmed (Despite being something like SEVEN pages a day) and then I quit.

I really do need to find more time each day to do Devotions, Read and Pray. I always do well and mean well, but need to find a way to DO it. I might need to get a 'group' together. My issue there is timing. Once my son is up and at 'em each day there is NO stopping, once he is in bed, there is no mental energy for me. I will choose a time today while he is in school and pick up where I left off in April(ish) and work on finishing READING the whole book. I will not let myself have a few day lapse turn into a few week lapse and quitting.

I often feel like I am the road in teh parable of the sower. How do I get the gravel out of my heart so the seeds can get in?

Will you join me today in finding time to be "in the word" and if you are already doing so, pray that your "blog pal" will make time for hers?

I am off to church to see one of my favorite visiting preachers. He is a STORYTELLER and you would love him. Check out "Tommy Oaks" online. He is good, he is entertaining and he just makes you remember what you are learning.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Can't wait to paint.....

Luckily, the barn is horse ready and the outside of the house doesn't need any "immediate" work so we can just focus on my FIRST objectives.
As soon as we get possession (late Octoberish) which is THESE cabinets. Again, I really admire people for going for THEIR likes, but Wow, these have to go. I am going to take a drill and get those doors off and out on the back deck and stand and sand while my horses play. Then I am going to sand the frames etc.. Then a good coat of Kilz2 and then I have to decide on color. I am contemplating white frames and doors with light blue insides? I have to contemplate if any of those cabinets can be door less. Also I am finding tons of cool pics of "no top cabinets' only open shelves or plate racks. It really does open up the space visually.
The other thing I am thinking about is the 'sunroom'. It is 10 x 22 and gorgeously done. I can't wait to get pics. The things I am contemplating are putting a bed in the 'far end' (away from the entryway. Some of my best memories of my pal Daryl's house are: The sound of loons from the front porch, dinner on the front porch, sleeping on the front porch and sitting in a chair next to that daybed and chatting while listening to the loons mentioned above. Sadly, Daryl is in bed, so I had to steal this picture and she has NONE of the bed end on her website. However, you get the idea. This would be standing halfway from the bed to the dining room table. In my case the door in on the end, so you would stand in the doorway, see a table and chairs, then some seating and then a bed. I just want to drive out there to see the stars from my new front yard, but fear that a restraining order doesn't jive well with the upcoming closing.
The picture below is from Lowe's Creative Ideas Magazine (click the pic) and just a thought for 'down the line'. I won't want to put holes in the ceiling, until I am SURE.

I guess, you get the idea, it is ONE in the morning and here I sit 'contemplating' the way I will decorate a sun room I won't have possession of for MONTHS. By the way, I have already packed two boxes of books and a box of 'Donate' stuff that isn't worth moving.