Saturday, November 29, 2008

I NEEDED a BREAK from Christmas Decorating!

Oh Goody!! I have been tagged by Melissa from Melissa's Heart & Home to name 6 unknown facts about myself. I, welcomed this opportunity to stop my Christmas disaster decorating. My whole house is in shambles and the family is complaining they are out of clean underwear! oops! I kind of let the laundry slide a bit... We have just had a busy week with a family birthday, a 5 girl sleepover, Thanksgiving and my all consuming need to decorate EARLY this year.

Okay let me see if I can get the rules right - I am cutting & pasting here!;)

~~ 6 Random Things About Myself.~~

Here are the rules.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6)

3. Write 6 random things about yourself.
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.

5. Let each person know they been tagged and leave them a comment.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

~~~~~~Here are my 6 random things: ~~~~~~

(Oooh scary! how much do I want to reveal about myself!)

1. My Age - 35 - but I have a round,baby face so people tend to think I am a bit younger.. (Thank you Mom & Granny for the wonderful genes... but about our chubby knees - not so much!)

2. We all live on our family ranch. My Mom has a house about half a mile down the road with my Grandparents living above her in their separate quarters (i.e. own kitchen, entrance, etc) so we see one another daily - even if it's just to deliver the mail!

3. We host weddings out here on the ranch during the summer months. We have seen all sorts of brides & grooms with um...interesting.. ideas of how they want their wedding (i.e. Star Trek theme & a Disneyland/ Minnie & Mickey Mouse EVERYWHERE theme) Sometimes you get the feeling which ones will go the distance and which ones might not (i.e. the happy couple screaming at each other via cell phones 10 minutes before the ceremony!). It tends to take the romance out of weddings when we have seen so many!

4.We raise cattle! We have 7 horses, a donkey, several dogs and a few barn cats. Once upon a time we used to have about 80 goats! Now we don't even have a single one. Just ask Mr. Mt. Lion all about that! Not that he got all 80 but we weren't taking any chances. Small livestock just don't do well out here!

5. Our house before this one was around 900 sq.ft. with only 2 bedrooms! For 5 of us! It was an old cottage on our property that we fixed up when we got married over 12 years ago with the idea of building a new home shortly after. Hahahahahahahaha! Took us YEARS of struggles with the county to get our building permit for our current house even though no one can see our house from town. We just didn't see their reasoning of why we couldn't build, so through perseverance (and several visits to our county supervisors office for complaints) we finally got our permits.....Three kids later!

6.My husband is a Landscape Contractor and... we don't have a yard! Did you all catch that? My husband is one talented, hardworking guy (and I slug him for every arbor, gazebo, paver driveway or lawn that I have to print pictures of for his photo album) but he just hasn't had the time or the energy for our in the meantime to make it easier for him (heh-heh!) I have been cutting & cropping pictures of my dream yard for when the time comes and boy will he ever be impressed with how much faith I have in his talent! (Think Winterthur, Butchart Gardens or the Chateau de Versailles Gardens....;)

That's about it! Nothing too shocking right?

Okay so now it's my turn to tag a few people and I am sorry if you've been through this before, but it just means you are a
VERY INTERESTING PERSON and we can't get enough of you! So go ahead and dig out those skeletons in your closets, recall that most embarassing moment or make something up if you have to! ;)

1. Laurie - Bargain Hunting with Laurie. (my longlost twin who not only has a beautiful home filled with toile, she can WRITE as well!; )

2. Cynthia - Creative Chaos (just only discovered her blog but she is so funny - I love hearing about her motherhood ups & downs!)

3. Heather - Hopscotch & Hydrangeas. (Busy Mom of 3- but has time for blogging & an etsy store - my hero!)

4. Dot - Picket's Place.(just the sweetest lady EVER...with the best posts!)

5. Kristen - Kristen's Creations.(someone who I could houseswap with and be perfectly content!)

6. Angie - The Happy Homebody (Amazing what this lady can do with some paint & garage sale finds!)

Okay Girls! It's your turn!.....
For me - it's back to decorating!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Am I excused?

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

Please excuse Laurie (aka Decorating Fanatic) for the next few days from Blogland. The poor dear has had many family obligations (i.e. Mother's birthday weekend & 11 year's slumber party) that she will be unable to participate in her regular duties. She promises to keep up with her homework (christmas decorating) with a full report. She will return to her normal self within a few days. Any questions, please call 555-5555. Thank you.

Just a little post to excuse my absence for the next few days. We are having a full weekend celebrating my Mother's 62nd birthday. Yesterday, her and I went shopping in a little beach town about an hours drive and then had dinner with my sister & friend. Just girls roaming the streets, window shopping and burning off our dinner under all the christmas lights. It was lovely! Today we do the family birthday with kids & grandkids.

I've also promised my daughter a mini sleepover (4 little girls besides herself) on Tuesday evening so I've got to gather up the essentials (i.e. chips, soda, icecream & dvd's with Zac Effron in them!) and ship the two brothers off to Grandma's house for the night.

But seeing all the beautiful Christmas decor displayed by fellow bloggers is driving me insane!! I am so ready to start my decorating madness
beginning with this adorable Santa I picked up yesterday in a thrift store for $7!

I am sure everyone one is running around like a turkey with it's head cut off (sorry, couldn't resist!) with last minute details & plans but I do hope everyone has a chance to relax & enjoy their holiday.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Roaring Fire...not yet!

During the summer months, I was always bothered by the big, dark hole in the fireplace. Our fireplace is propane - (our city won't allow any wood burning fireplaces in new construction to help keep the air clean) and it already has a glass door on it. I didn't want an iron or mesh screen that I could still see through.

So after looking at all different types of screens...I came across this one in an antique shop. The wood carving reminded me of our mantle.

The store owner was kind enough to let me put it on Layaway for a few months. It's easier on the budget and on justifing it to the husband... ;)

So a few months later - it was mine! As beautiful as the needlepoint was was a little old and a little stinky! and it just didn't go in the room I had intended to use it in....Please, no one shoot me for doing this but I carefully removed the old needlepoint and replaced it with a new fabric.

I know this picture is a little hard to see - open frame after removing old needlepoint. I was gluing up some joints so that's why it has cording tied around it - it was what I had handy!

Traced around the old fabric with chalk. I added a layer of batting and a back layer of plain fabric.

Now that I finally have the screen, and did all the work on it, I can't really enjoy it just yet, for I am anxious to start Holiday decorating and you can't do the holidays without a roaring fire and you can't see that fire behind this screen...(do I make any sense?.. I want the screen, I don't want the screen! ) So...sigh... the screen will go into the closet (that my husband hates because it is loaded with my stuff ) until the holidays are over. It will give me something to look forward to when the house looks "naked" after the holidays are over.



As for the needlepoint piece - not sure if I can do anything with it. Even though it came off it one piece - it is pretty dusty & moldy smelling with a few hundred little tacks in it. Anyone got any suggestions?

P.S.- I laughed so hard at all of your comments on my mattress woes! I've been busy with the kid's school the last 2 days but I will be swinging by all of your blogs to catch up! I still haven't had a good night's rest but either the mattress IS softening up (and I would NEVER admit that to my husband!) or I am getting used to it (and I would NEVER EVER admit THAT to my husband either!);)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who wants to buy a husband? - Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!

My Grandmother (Granny) used to sing that to us when we were little, except she would insert "piggy" where I put "husband"...

Let me start at the begining....

We bought a new mattress two years ago. One of those plush, soft pillow top numbers....If any of you have bought a mattress in the past couple of years you know that you can't flip them & rotate them like you used to, to even them out. So our lovely new mattress ended up with mountains and valleys after only a few months . It didn't really bother me all that much, that mattress was meant for you to sink into and I felt it was doing it's job nicely! Well, my husband complained daily about his back - nag, nag, nag, complain, complain, complain!

Now supposedly our mattress came with a 10 year warranty. HA! Good luck trying to get them to own up to that part of the deal. You have to call an 800# and get out your ruler and measure your dips. They won't even talk to you if it isn't at least an inch. Doesn't sound so hard right..?
Try waiting on hold for 30 minutes while no one answers your call. So we hung up and life went on....

Finally after two years of hearing my husband's morning ritual of "oh, my aching back". We again call the 800# and after a long wait on hold, had to get down right angry with their agent, requesting their supervisor, etc. Then we get an appointment for a Mattress Inspector!

The Mattress Inspector came out to see our stripped down bed, while he pushed on it, peeked under it (one of my secret hiding places!) and asked us a few questions, he then pulled out two weighted cones with measurements on them which he placed in the valleys. He then pulled out a string with a weight at either end and draped it across the bed to see the mountains & valleys and get their measurements and takes a few pictures. He makes a report and turns it into the mattress company and they determine if we have a case. (Very nice man, I have to say. Anyone who removes their shoes before entering my home out of consideration for me is A-Ok in my book! But it was a little weird watching a strange man jump up and down on our bed!)

Yippee! We get the call a week later! Go on down to the store for a replacement mattress! My husband goes down to the store the next day - claiming he ain't sleeping on that mattress any longer than he has too, while I stay at home you see where this is going? I never should have told him about that phone call, I should have waited until I felt better to go jump around on a few mattress with him, but I seriously thought we would just get a replacement of the EXACT SAME KIND. Remember the kind it was? the soft, cushy pillow top number. DISCONTINUED! that gives my husband FREE REIN to pick out our new mattress. He comes home that Saturday THRILLED! - saying our mattress will be delivered on Monday.

Monday comes around, two guys pull up to the house, heft this HUGE mattress up the stairs (which I had to remove pictures, rugs while they struggled going up the stairs - I stood guard over my precious lamps in the foyer - willing to throw my body over them in case the mattress came flying over the railing!) They place the new mattress on the box spring and I go over to check it out. I carefully try to sit my tush on the edge of the bed. I couldn't reach it! hmmm.....okay, I turn around and have to heft myself up on this TABLE and nearly bounce right off of it, that's how HARD it is!

I immediately start in on my husband! What were you thinking?! He & the two delivery men (who probably just took pity on him) claim it would soften up after a couple of weeks.

Last night was our first night on the "piece of plywood". First off, this baby doesn't even move when you go to get up on it, it's so darn high you need a step stool (can't do the flying leap, you just go bouncing right off of it after feeling like you hit a brick wall) then once up there, you feel like you are laying on a hospital table. I could not fall asleep until well after midnight! About every hour, I would wake up in pain because my arms and legs would be numb, couldn't roll over on my tummy because the girls had no "valleys" in the mattress and were being squished! In fact, the bedroom floor would have been more cushiony because at least it has PADDING! I woke up this morning in such a foul mood, waking up the whole household, stomping down the stairs, slamming the kitchen doors & drawers!. My back hunched over, my hips numb, my eyeballs gritty...and down walks the husband....smiling...and ....SINGING!!!!!!!!
When did things change? when did I lose my control? I was ALWAYS the one who chose this or that for the house...WHAT WENT WRONG!?!

But now I am singing my own song..."Who wants to buy a husband? Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Funny Things Kids Say...

We have 3 children. An 11 year old daughter and 2 sons ages 9 & 4. Most of the time it's utter chaos, a few fleeting moments of bliss and then some moments where my mouth drops open and I don't know what to say.

Here are a few of those funny moments...

(Brotherly Love - at least half of the time anyway!)

A few weeks back the 4 year old threw our 9 year old's hand held video game device (i.e. Nintendo DS) and unfortunately it broke. This was just torture to my 9 year old because he likes to spend as much time on it as possible. My husband claims he can fix it.

So in the car the other day my 9 year old says to me "I wish Dad would hurry up and fix my DS!"

..and I say "no, I like you much better without it!"

To which the 4 year old pipes up in the backseat just seconds later "well, it's a good thing I broke it then!"

I tried really hard not to laugh on that one!

(My second born - about 3 years old)

(Our youngest when he was about 2 putting a bandaid on his "boo-bie")

When my 9 year old son was much younger, around 4 he was fighting something awful with his older sister who was about 6. So I turn to my son and say "Now you apologize to your sister and say you're sorry!"

So my son turns to his sister and without any emotion or remorse in his voice says in a sing song voice " Sor - ry"

And I turn again to him and say "oh no, you say it with feeling!"

So my son turns again to his sister to apologize and says in the same monotone sing song voice "with feel -ing!"

Oh that one still makes me laugh!

(Is it obvious he did NOT want to pose for this picture?)

My daughter was 2 years old when my second child was born. After about a week of us being home with the new baby and the changes that come with a sibling, my daughter turns to my husband and innocently asks "When do you take IT back to the hospital?" :)

(about the time frame that my daughter wanted to return her brother)

(My first two - posing with "Belle")

Another time that stands out in my mind was when my middle child was about 4. He came running into the room urgently trying to explain something to his Grandma and I, but wasn't getting to the point. You know alot of "ums..."

So I turn to him "What is it Gabe? Come on, Spit it out!" Do you know that my son took me literally and turned and spit on the floor?! Oh we laughed for he was only doing what his Mama told him to do!

(Our youngest and what 3 tiny M&M's can do on a long car ride.)

Just this morning my four year old and I were talking about Christmas and he told me that it came after Thanksgiving and after Grandma's birthday. He then said "I am going to get Grandma something breakable for her birthday!" For my son knows that pretty things are often "breakable"!

Those are just a few of the stories that make Motherhood memorable!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Using What My Mama Gave Me....

Well, she only gave it to me after I hounded her a little bit. She had this old secretary desk that my Dad had given as a gift to her in the 80's.

And I had this big chair in my bedroom - only due to the fact it was about an inch too big to fit into the tv room, which as comfy as it was, just "bugged" me. I always felt like it had a neon flashing sign pointing right at it!

So after months of me politely asking (ha!) she agreed to give it to me. It was special to her and while she didn't really use it, she wasn't ready to part with it completely... Well, it needed a little work. I am not a fan of "golden oak" as testament to my dining room table and hutches that I restained & repainted (another gift from my Mama!)

So after a few weeks of it sitting in our garage - I finally got the husband and his brother to drag the chair out to our guest room and heft this HEAVY little lady up the stairs. Then I decided to refinish it IN OUR BEDROOM. Not such a good idea but with open windows and a tarp underneath, I went to work...

Which is probably why I have a cold now - we had to sleep with the windows open for a few nights for fresh air and two fans on! This little lady wouldn't dry with the colder weather.

And Ta Da!.....

(But I guess it's not such a shock since it's already been posted as picture no#2. Forgive me, I am on cold medicine!)

I picked up this chair in an antique store - I need to recover the bottom "cushion"

And again, I am happy I took pictures of this desk b/c no one had noticed that I had put 3 out of 4 handles on upside down! Of course I fixed it!

Cute little lamp from Homegoods. you can't see it but it has little birdies carved in it!

Just some other things around the room...
This painting was $29!

I saw this lovely high back victorian chair with velvet upholstery in an antique store that would look "STUNNING" in that corner but trying to convince the hubby that while we got rid of a "comfy" chair in the room to only replace it with one that I would be yelling for him to get out of! would go even beyond my persuasive skills! ...sigh..I can dream though....

The tv cabinet that was bought in the "nude" and has seen many shades of paint and as for the design - I first penciled in the stencil and then went back in with the gold paint. I like that it wasn't "perfect".

Many things around the house are "recycled" items. Hand me downs, curbside finds & garage sales. I think it's more fun to repaint, refinish or any other way to "rework" furniture than go out and buy it from a showroom (at least that's what I tell myself anyway! If I ever get the opportunity to compare the difference - I will let you know! ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Um...Another House Tour..?

Hello again!...Welcome !..I wanted to show you one of my favorite rooms in the house.....Now quit dragging your feet and try to keep up...

It's not really a room at entry,... a foyer,... a hallway...but it's one of my favorite places.

Perhaps it's because it is more muted than the rest of the house. The other rooms are filled with color but the walls here are a soft, creamy, vanilla. It's sort of soothing.... Did you HEAR me? I said it was SOOTHING! just making sure you were paying attention. Now then...

(She supposedly came from a church.... )

(I recovered the bench in this wonderful embroidered fabric I had found in an eBay auction. I don't know what the name or brand is but my heart goes pitty pat whenever I see it....)

It might also be that this room houses my most favorite possession. How can anyone have a love affair with lamps? But I do!.. and I always joke that in an emergency (aside from the family & pets of course ) that I would run back in for these lamps.

I think they were meant just for me.... (sigh)

Is all of this confusing you? Let me start at the begining of the house. Come on now, up off that bench! Try to keep up with the rest of the group...

If you walk in through the front doors...

You will see the Living / Dining room on the left...

And thru this little door on the right...

Is the office.....

If you venture up the stairs ......

(Another favorite of mine - Chandelier courtesy of the Kathy Ireland Collection - who knew a swimsuit model and I could have the same taste? )

You will come upon this sweet little corner chair....

But if you don't feel like hiking upstairs and you walk thru the entry......

You may or may not notice this....

(It's a raised plaster stencil. I wanted something there but nothing really jarring out at you.....)

Oh! you will see these too....

Then you will come across this little table....

(That I am trying to update seasonally....but even I have to admit it needs a little help! I'll be off to Michael's shortly!)

( I don't really know what you call's some sort of framed "book"...)

(This little lady was $14.99! I am looking forward to filling the basket she carries on her back - currently with wheat - to suit the seasons. )

(These plaques were my Great Grandmothers....)

An opening into the dining room is on the left......Tea will be served later.

But if you turn to the right....

You can either dash into the kitchen on the left.....

(A little bit of a view on the way......)

Or continue down the hall to the sitting room....

....and if you turn around you are looking at the kitchen!

Confusing..? I know, I apologize. Did I mention there is a second set of stairs..? it's off of the if you follow me...hey wait! Where are you going? ..What?! You don't want to follow me on any more of my house tour?...well okay, you don't have to go running off screaming like that! But you might have to ask me for directions on how to get out of the house...and no refunds!

(I apologize if my posts lately are a little redundant and you are probably banging your head against your desk over me doing another house tour but I am just trying to stall until I can finish up my latest project : ) but it kind of involves the same thing - Decorating!)