My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Old House

I'll be out of commission for the day - monday, so I'm leaving you this little post to read. I'm gonna have a few kidney stones blasted this morning. Most men ogle women because of their "chests" or "legs" or "rear end" but I got a guy who just can't keep his hands/eyes off my kidneys! Hah......Hoping I don't do anything "socially unacceptable" while under the anesthetic, chicks!

When we first thought of moving to this state it was just after the SF earthquake of 1989. We came up here and looked for a home to buy and there really wasn't much for sale at all. But we finally settled on this huge home. It was almost 5,000 s.f. with 4 car garage on a acre, most of which was on a hill. We later sold it as that much house for 2 people was simply too hard to take care of as we aged. This is the living room with a library off to the right, a huge coat closet on the left with a stone entry at the front door just behind that coat closet on the left. It had 3 covered patios, huge windows, large kennel and a large garden area. The stone fireplace took up an entire wall and had an indoor planter to the left of the fireplace. That room alone was about 19' x 26'.

This was the approach to the back entry and garages. We closed in the last garage for a tool shed. You could turn a huge Mayflower moving truck around in that driveway with no problem. We know because they did when our furniture arrived!

This is that driveway and our view from our back windows. An 80 year old couple lived in that house and thought of us as their kids. I loved that old couple.

This is what they saw when they looked out their front window. It was its own little neighborhood. There were 6 of us on this little road off another road. Turning off the street running in front of our house, up a very short incline you could go left or right. Left taking someone up around to our back. I loved the privateness of it. The 2 town doctors, a dentist, this retired old couple and a wealthy produce grower lived in this little area with us. A bit secluded but friendly.

Oh btw, a few people have emailed asking about my food storage and I thought I'd post a picture of how I had it in our old house we moved from 3 years ago. This was in our basement and you're looking at about 1/4 of the basement here. You're looking at about 1/2 or maybe a little more of the storage items since some of the items are out of camera range to the left. This is just canned and dried items. The freezers are out of sight also. Paper and household items are the third photo down.

Those buckets have dried carrots, onions, potato flakes, sugar, beans and flour in them.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Laundry Day and Embroidery

My days aren't always like this one because it's laundry day and I have some errands to run today. It's a very mundane chore but I do get a lot of satisfaction seeing all the clothes in their drawers and closets when done. Such is the lot of the "housewife" and I say that with awe and respect to all of you housewives. For me it's a very rewarding "job." And Love Bunny tells me how much he appreciates what I do for him. :-)

Ooooh, yuck, I didn't realize we were that dirty!! :-(

And having a lovely laundry room definitely dispels the "not so glamorous" of chores!


I thought I'd also share some of my embroidered pillow cases with you today. Even when I was in my "feminist" days I enjoyed and loved doing embroidery. I'd do needlepoint, petit point, cross stitch and just regular ol' embroidery. My daughter has a love for it also and has done many pieces for herself and some for me. It's peaceful and satisfying. So I did many pillow cases.

These are done white-on-white for a more elegant look when I wanted just a "white" look to the bedroom. I cross-stitched our initial on to it. The thread is barely visible but it's the best I could do. Hah....

Here is one of the absolutely first pillow cases I embroidered. Pansies remind me of my grandmother and I did this as a tribute to her.

Roses are, of course, a favorite of mine. This is very old pillow case with some vintage lace from my grandmother so this is somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 year old lace and I'll never ever part with it. If it becomes too fragile and tattered I'll frame it or hang it on one of my shelves in my craft/sewing room or office room. It is absolutely stunning and just a tad off white.

A very simple little flower vine with a white daisy in the center and more vintage lace on the edge.

This is the pillow case on my pillow at the moment. Don't look too closely for my drool!! ;-) And yes, I use all my old things on a daily basis. They were not meant to be tucked away but to be used in my opinion. When each pillow case or the lace edging becomes too fragile, as I said, I'll put it to rest in a place of recognition and love to remind me of those who have gone before me and love me enough to give me such beautiful things. I was my maternal grandmother's favorite granddaughter, you know. ;-) I miss seeing her and her beautiful wrinkled face and gray hair. I hope my granddaughter and grandsons feel that way about me some day.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pink Saturday 12/27/08

Beverly at How sweet the sound emailed me recently to remind me of Pink Saturday and whether I was participating or not this week. Well, as things go I almost forgot about it until this evening!!! So while hubs was talking to his sister in Pennsylvania I grabbed the camera, turned out all the lights in whatever room I was photographing and snapped pix. He's used to it by now so he just kept right on talkin' to that chick and I just scurried around trying to find some pink things that you haven't already seen. This was a next to impossible task! But I'll post some pink "fluff" for ya because I do NOT want to disappoint Beverly. ;-)

While this isn't PINK it is lovely. I discovered it today while taking down our tree and putting ornaments away. (Yesssss, once the Christmas day is done that tree comes down to give us more room. BUT we have figured out a place we can put it next year to leave it up a tad longer.)

Anyway, this ornament was packed away in some soft cotton batting and I'd almost forgotten about it. Someone special gave it to me many years ago and I thought I'd share it with you. I didn't put it back in the ornament box but intend to hang it somewhere in my office or sewing/craft room. It isn't light but actually heavy and I'm sure it's fragile.

Look at those gorgeous grapes and the gold on this beauty. I absolutely love it.

A pretty pink box I keep my Sculpy in, a purple box I keep decoupage ephemera in, a pink toile box I keep my finished clay roses in and a pink rose box I keep "secrets" in. *Wink*

You may not have seen these little birdhouses I make. Not really for the birds but just full of barkcloth fabrics, "icing" and roses. I've never been successful at selling most of them and that's my gain as I place them around my house for my pleasure. "Their loss; my gain!" But they truly are a labor of love, intensive to make and absolutely stunning when seen in person.

This is one of the first I made. I started from the bottom up. I cut out foam board, glued it together and added all the lace, fabric, roses and stuff you see on here. It also is truly lovely. Ooooh, not because I made it but because of the lovely rose fabrics all over it.

This one was made with House Inc. fabric. Very very expensive - about $30.00 a yard but it never sold either. I added the pink "icing" and it looks so lovely with the Waverly polka dot fabric I hated to sell it but then it didn't sell so my gain again! I'm very philosophical about it. My interest in selling is to share some of these beauties, not to make money so it isn't essential that they sell.

This one I went over the top with!! I added so much stuff just because I wanted to - tiny birds, paper roses, buttons, vintage lace trim and vintage fabric, leaves around the bottom with little flowers. Adorable.

Just because I thought I'd add one more "PINK" item for you to see. Hah. Have a wonderful day, my sweet chicks.
Beverly, I DID it!!!! Now to sit down and chat with the hubs..... *Sigh*..........

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Romantic Roses Dinner

We were alone this Christmas and it was actually very nice and relaxing. Our daughter came for Thanksgiving and we had the traditional turkey so for Christmas we had ham, which is one of our favorite meals. I've been known to do "outside-of-the-box" dinners and luncheons for friends and senior ladies from our church and love doing it. But today I decided on the non-traditional dinner for Christmas - a romantic roses dinner.

As I said, today was a very relaxing and easy day for us. I puttered around in my office; Love Bunny was out in his train room doing something with the electrical on his never-ending layout for his model trains.

I had decided to set the table early - right after breakfast. I put on a beautiful lace and roses embroidered cloth that was way too big for our table which is 42" x 42" without any of its 2 leaves in it. But so what? So the tablecloth almost touched the floor on 2 ends. I loved it!

Then I selected some old dishes I have that aren't china but probably Homer McLaughlin creamy white with silver roses embellishing the edges. Well, just come along with me as I describe each thing.

Hubs knew something was up when he came in from his train room and I was on a ladder with my camera in hand photographing the dining table. Men are sometimes clueless when this happens so I put my beautiful little hands on his cheeks and said, "Photoshoot, photoshoot"!! He knew immediately what that meant. BLOG!! See, they get it after a little show of tender affection. *Wink*

This was the picture from the ladder. I only set it for two as it was just the two of us. I have a vast collection of china dinner plates and salad and dessert plates so I mixed it up for a more informal romantic feel.

I then took some rose candle holders from our living room coffee table and put them down the center ends. A few paper roses for all four corners with some tiny paper roses scattered about and some faux candies in the middle just set the mood. (He'll be verrrrry happy tonight, chicks! *Wink*)

Pretty little salt and pepper shakers in the form of cottages was set at his place. Note the lovely dish in the upper right corner for bread.

Closer view

Spattering of roses and the candle holder roses. I had no candles and besides it was about 4 o'clock when we ate. Hardly dark but I would still have lit them if I had had some.

My place setting with my little salt and pepper shakers. I have a couple of sets of these and when I have a large group for dinner I set several sets of shakers on the table so no one has to say "please pass the salt and pepper." It's a thoughtful thing to do when you are having a dinner party.

My bread plate is just a tad different from hubs' plate.

Ahhhh, yes, I was going to have sparking white grape juice but hubs informed me earlier that we were out. This led to a "discussion." I shan't repeat the "discussion"!

This is our good silver that hubs bought us about 40 years ago when he was overseas. I love the pattern, but don't remember the name. It is very pretty in person though.

Just after I placed 2 of the vintage crystal glasses on the table, I reached across and one of them tipped over and broke. My "chest" did it! Hubs was sitting right there and didn't say a word. He was as heartbroken as I was but he knew it was an accident and I grieved for several seconds and went on. I have several but if my "chest" keeps getting in the way I won't have them for long. They are truly gorgeous. I have several stemware pieces because I love drinking out of them: water, juice, soda, anything. I popped a strawberry in there for flamboyance!! Hah.

All in all, it was a lovely day with Love Bunny and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I lamented about hubs maybe spilling something on the tablecloth. I want you to just guess who was the first to spill! Hmmmm, anybody wanna guess? Wasn't Love Bunny, but he didn't say a word. That man loves me a lot, chicks!!! A LOT!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas and Thoughts on It

I think most people would be surprised at how I decorate at Christmas. For me and Love Bunny, it's all about traditions. While I believe new traditions can be made by each and everyone of us and our families, we pretty much stick to the traditions of our forefathers and mothers. But first of all I'm wishing all of you a

Merry Christmas!!!

I've flitted about the blogs these past several days looking at each person's Christmas trees and gifts under the tree but you'll find it a bit different in this household. I do NOT mean it's better or worse, just different. I wouldn't be mean to any of you chicks! My heart is a tender one most times. So sit back and just enjoy my Christmas post. I'm composing this on monday the 22nd of December and will probably "edit" it for the next 2 days. *Grinning*..........

I've always been know to do things a tad different when asked to speak at church or something like that. It's just my nature to try and put a different perspective on things so bear with me.

This is our Christmas tree. The cost of trees is getting almost prohibitive and we don't want to go to the mountains and cut our own. (Let me be clear on this: hubs does; I don't! I hate driving on snow covered roads.) So we decided last year to buy a faux tree. Yesssss, we succumbed in order to save that money for other things and we're seniors so for us it's not a big deal not having a fresh tree. Oh, I know some want the smell and the adventure of going out to find one whether it be the local tree lot or the local mountain. This works for us.

I would love a white one to be decorated in PINK! I think hubs would cry if I did that. He's truly the sentimental traditionalist in this family. Okay okay, I'll admit to it also. Who am I trying to kid? But that man does NOT ask for much and I give him things that are extremely important to him. I save my battles for pink things that I just cannot live without - like walls! He's like a little kid when it comes to Christmas and "his" tree. So we have the green tree.

Now, for the ornaments.

If you've never read most of my blog posts then you may not be aware hubs is a retired Marine, which means he spent 2 years away from us when we were younger. He went to Okinawa for 13 months in the 60s and missed being home for Christmas. That year I spent with my family in San Jose, Calif. Then again in the early 70s he spent another 13 months in Okinawa missing another Christmas while I spent that year in Pennsylvania near his family. The kids and I spent that year making our decorations. It's one of the things that kept me sane because I had never lived there and everything was so strange to me and not knowing anyone left a hole in my heart. We didn't see his family much that year. I painted and decoupaged those ornaments and that's what we've used on our tree ever since. We add a few others to the tree but those ornaments are always on there and always will be. I think hubs would cry if I changed that. It's the things like this that make a family unique I believe. So we have just a plain green tree with a lot of memories hanging from it.

I've only included a few on which to comment. This one reminds me of families sitting down together. Even one Christmas apart is one too many. We always sit at a table. I believe it's one of the most important things in our home: the dining table. It's where we talk, share stories of the day, discuss family business and teach our children manners. This isn't easily done at a kitchen bar with people sitting four, five, six or more in a row. It needs to be a "table" to bond properly I believe. In the "old" days just about every problem could be solved around that table. Even in restaurants I always ask for a table, in lieu of a booth. I love the it and all that it invokes in my heart. Our food is always blessed also. No eating without prayers of thankfulness.

Yes, I still believe in Santa Claus!! He's not the focal point in our home, but kids do soooo get a kick outta this character. ;-)

This ornament reminds me of the time we lived in Oceanside, Calif. when hubs was in the Marines and we had just had our second child. We were poor. Marines in those days didn't make near what the ones today make even with inflation. I do not begrudge them at all. I think anyone serving in our Armed Forces deserves as much as they can get. I'd gladly pay extra tax if our Armed Forces would be able to not pay any tax. That's how strongly I feel about it.

Anyway, it was Christmas Eve and we didn't have a tree. I had told hubby for 2 weeks we didn't need one. We simply couldn't afford the extra money to buy one so I decided that presents were more important than a tree for our 2 babies - both under 2 at that time.

Well, as is usually the case in situations like this I started bawling that afternoon that we "didn't have a tree." (Our '57 Oldsmobile didn't run either and the previous summer while trying to fix it by taking the motor out with the help of the government housing playground swing posts and a chain, hubs and friends bent the swing set in the playground! Only those involved in the incident of the Olds knew what really happened and they never squealed. It was a long time ago, but I seem to recall "adult" beverages were somehow involved also. *Sigh*....... ) So hubby left our military housing apartment on foot and walked the long distance into our town of Oceanside
to look for a tree - a bit of a ways since military housing was out away from the town itself. There were absolutely none left in the town! So he walked to the next nearest town of Carlsbad - a couple of miles. Remember, he was a Marine and was used to "walking"! So he got to Carlsbad and found a lot with a few scraggly trees left. He had $2.25 in his pocket and that wouldn't cover the price of a tree. So the owner of the lot felt sorry for him and charged him $2.00 for the tree and that left him 25¢ to catch a bus back to our apartment as he couldn't walk that far carrying a tree. But he said when he got on that bus everyone looked at him as if he was crazy. He then walked from town out to our apartment and brought it into the house and I cried some more. While it wasn't the goose this guy in the ornament is carrying, it sure was golden to us to be able to have a tree for our son's first Christmas. It was late Christmas eve but we had a tree!!!

This one simply reminds me to have a song in my heart during this particular holiday season. I can carry about every 3rd note but I sing loudly in church especially during the Christmas season. Favorite song: Angels We Have Heard On High. I love the GlooooOOOOOooooOOOrias in that one!!!!

What can I say here, the man is hooked on trains! :-)

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go......remember that song? I don't know about you but I never ever went to my grandmother's house in the snow, much less in a sleigh, but it does produce wonderful visions in my head of the scene in that song.

Reminds me of the above story of the Christmas tree and the rejoicing we did that night.

Kinda reminds me of "Scrooge" but I'm never a bah-humbug kind of person. This is a reminder to never be one either. I rejoice in the season.

This little jack-in-the-box always reminds me of "The Nutcracker Suite." Don't know why, doesn't matter; it just does.

Fireplaces are synonymous with Christmas, don't you think? Well, I do, even if we don't have one in this house.

I used to ice skate and loved it. I've never been on a sleigh on the ice though. I love the flippy little skating skirts we'd wear. If I tried that now I'd be in traction the rest of my life! Hah........

Yes, we all want peace on earth but it isn't happening and probably won't until our Savior comes again. BUT we can have peace in our homes. My home is my refuge from the harshness of this world. But it is still a wonderful world, my sweet friends, and this country is the absolutely best on the face of the earth. We are a truly blessed nation.

What would the holiday season be without the wreath hanging on the front door? It just makes everyone smile and happy seeing it.

Our current tree topper. It's changed through the years as they get broken but this one has stuck for several years because it isn't breakable and I'm too lazy and sentimental to buy a new one. This will have to do until Love Bunny decides that we need a jazzier one. ;-)

We talked to our kids a few years ago and told them to not buy us anything for Christmas any more. They decided to do the same thing also so we don't exchange gifts. (Besides, we now have 4, yesssss, 4 massage mats for our home and cars thanks to our son and his family.) There is truly nothing in this world I need or want that I don't already have. Priorities change as we "assume more years"! Hubs and I don't even exchange gifts now. Just don't need to do it as we buy what we want throughout the year. I do, however, buy him this box of candy each year since he loves licorice and I can't stand it. I can't even stand the smell. So you know how much I love that man when I can give him something that stinks so badly! That's a lot, trust me!!!

And lastly, this is, for us, what the season is all about. That Man that died for us over 2,000 years ago after being born in a humble stable in Bethlehem. For that I am soooooo grateful and blessed beyond measure. So from the top of my graying fluffy hair to the bottom of these "redone" toes, I wish all of you the very best Christmas you could ever want. We are truly blessed beyond our dreams in this household. I hope you are also. *Smiling at ya!*