Monday, November 30, 2009


I recently heard someone say, "I want to be happy but I don't know how."

Happiness is so misunderstood. Sometimes we just can't help being happy because of our circumstances. Playing and laughing with friends, spouse, children or my personal favorite, grandchildren, makes it easy to be happy.

Other times, happiness eludes us. Circumstances are difficult. That's when happiness becomes a choice.

I have just endured a few dark days of painful joints. Unable to do anything else, I sat in my comfy chair with the heating pad as my closest friend. It was then I realized that in the middle of my distress I could still choose to be happy.

This Christmas cactus that blooms in time for Thanksgiving always makes me happy.

I could choose to be happy while watching the squirrels, cats and Stellar jays play just outside my window.

A lesson I hope to always remember.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tile Fun

I fell in love with Edie's blog Life in Grace's 12 days of Christmas postings. The project where she shows how to make coasters from inexpensive tiles especially caught my eye.

I called together darling daughter and friend Sherrie for a day of creativity.

We all brought something to the table. DD brought lots of food -- here is a sample . . .

Sherrie brought her boxes and boxes of stamps and inks.

I supplied the blank tiles.

Four hours later we had these lovelies drying.

Lots of laughs, a few munchies and lots of shared ideas made for a great day together.

Click Here to go to the Inspired Room for more Christmas

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cherries and Checks

Now that our friend, Rob, has given my energy level the jump-start that I needed by finishing and painting the walls of the dining area and kitchen, I've been working on the finishing details.

I found this stencil on the Internet:

I liked it but I knew I wouldn't use the yellow flowers. To my pleasant surprise the stencil arrived in less than a week from when I ordered it.

This is what it looked like on the wall of the kitchen above the countertop and below the cabinets.

I was happy with the new cherries and checks. But the location on the wall made them appear as if they were floating in space.

As you can see here, the stencil sat directly on top of the backsplash.

I cut off 3/4 inch off of the bottom, the size of one square, in order for it to fit lower so I could paint another row of squares.

That looks better, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In the Black

I fell in love with the color black.

I tried to fight it but as I wandered around garage sales and the Goodwill store this summer black items kept jumping out at me.

I began to collect and tuck them away not knowing what to do with them.

But now that the dining area has been freshly painted this collection has found their home.

This lovely vintage scraf isn't black but it seemed to fit here, too.

A napkin that I picked up at the Williamsburg, Virginia gift shop.

Two different garage sales -- four similar metal trays.

And then at the Goodwill these lovely plates were waiting for me.

And then I saw this piece of furniture on The Nester's blog and wondered if painting my piece black should be my next project.

What color are you in love with?

Check out The Inspired Room for some holiday ideas!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bigger is Better?

I needed a new switch plate and a couple of blank plates to cover the holes in the kitchen wall where the previous owners had telephone and television hookups.

At the local Home Depot I discovered that there is a wide range of prices for these items. I could pay $ .44 or $12.00 -- depending on how fancy I wanted them.

I only needed plain plates so I purchased the $ .44 ones. When I got home and put them up I discovered that they were 1/2 inch larger than the ones I am used to buying.

Why should this be? This is my explanation . . .

During the recent home building boom sheetrock installers were so sloppy cutting the holes in the sheetrock for electrical boxes that there is frequently a gap between the sheetrock and the cover plate.

It is easier to make the plates larger than it is to slow sheetrockers down enough to do a good job.

Do you think anyone will notice that some plates are larger than the others?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cookies and Brother

One great advatage of becoming an elder member of society is that the fear of failure fades. We have the courage (or stupidity) to try things that we wouldn't have attempted years ago.

Face it, we don't have all that much to lose any more.

Example #1

Encouraged by these wonderful examples spider web decorations and seeing how easily they are created by Martha Stewart-types I tried my hand at them this weekend.

This is a good start . . .

And a sad ending . . .

It looked so easy on TV. They did taste good and were happily received by my children and grandchildren.
Example #2
My brother is in the process of deciding what he wants to be when he grows up (retires).
After taking a few classes in "voice over" he is pursuing a career in radio.
While continuing with his day job he volunteers at a local radio station and has been a big hit with the listeners.

A Portland, Oregon newspaper reporter for The Oregonian wrote a nice piece about the radio station and its owner. She also mentioned my brother, not by name, but said he had a "voice as smooth as syrup".
Was that her back-handed way of saying his voice is sappy?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Fun

The evening started out with our Wheaties Box Super Star -- Kyle

And every family needs a Super Hero . . .

In past years this homeowner enjoyed dressing like this and startling his visitors by moving. So we approached with caution. I was dared to touch him -- so I did . . .

He was only stuffed with newspapers this year and the homeowner enjoyed it just as much seeing people's relieved reaction.

This just demonstrates what heights some parents will go to in order to keep their kid safe on Halloween night.

This house looked innocent enough ---

Until the window opened and a scarey head popped out.

Now we come to the wonderfully decorated house that I featured last week. It was even more spooky at night. There was a constant line of Trick or Treaters wanting to approach this house and the one next door.

Brave Wheaties Box and Super Man went too . . .

The house next door was just as wonderful -- I mean terrifying with fog all around.

The side fence gate was open . . .

I don't know how they did this and my camera had a hard time capturing the effect but a black light effect came on and off and when on there was a face and hands suspended in space.

I'm sure this is where my memory bank is . . .

The little guy caught the hang of it -- you go up to the door and things get put into your bag. I got it, Dad, I can do this one myself.