Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Room Makeover Is a Hit!


Youngest daughter loves her room's new look.  She loved camp; she loved the surprise that awaited her when she got home.  Her brothers are home from college for a few weeks, and she loves having them home, too.  Basically what we have here is one happy, happy girl!  (Oh, and one happy, happy mom, too!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Room Reveal Day for My Readers!

Youngest daughter will have to wait until she returns from camp.  I hope she likes it!


I've decided it is definitely not fair that photos add 10 pounds when people are the subjects, yet subtract space when rooms are the subjects.  In real life, the bedroom doesn't look so crowded.  Really.

You probably wouldn't guess that one of my favorite elements in this room is the curtains.  Let me show you what (besides the window) they cover:


Call me a traditionalist, but I am from the camp that believes that sprinkler timing devices should be installed in the garage, not in a bedroom.  Since we've moved in, I've been trying to figure out how to cover these up.  I guess I'm a slow thinker, but eventually I got it:  extend the curtains past the window!

No more sprinkler timers:



A closer shot of the desk:


A throw rug:


The detail of the comforter:


I can't wait to see what youngest daughter thinks!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shhhhh.....It's a Girls' Camp Week Surprise!

Our youngest daughter just left for several days at church girls' camp.  Her days will be filled with friends, fun, and spiritual uplift.  My days will be filled with carrying out a surprise remodeling of her bedroom.

I've been working on a tight budget, so I've been perusing garage sales for finds.  Regardless of budget, though, my dream shopping trips usually center around garage sales, thrift stores, and antique stores.  Anyway, youngest daughter really likes the shabby chic garden look, which makes shopping very easy.  A wicker item or two and white spray paint about covers it (literally!)  I found a small standing wicker shelf thingie for a nightstand, a wicker dresser, and a wooden desk and chair (with a cane seat).  I also am re- purposing a taller standing wicker shelf/bookcase that we inherited when we bought this house.  Add in some white fake floral arrangements (almost a dime a dozen at garage sales), and some other small decorative items (bought on clearance), and I think the room will come together nicely.

Out of respect, I will not post "before" photos of daughter's bedroom, lest I end up inadvertently embarrassing said daughter.  (That is in no way a commentary on the bedroom's current condition.  It's really not that bad.)  I will, however, share some "after" photos when I'm done, and welcome any comments or suggestions.

I'm off to work on the transformation.  And remember.....shhhhhh!

Monday, July 25, 2011

This is What the Color Blue Is


I've got to thank my dad for the title of this blog.  When I told him that our summer vacation included Crater Lake, he told me that Crater Lake defines the color blue.  I have to agree. 

I'm going to skip the thousand words and let the picture speak for itself.  The photo doesn't do it justice, of course, but hopefully it captures a little of the majesty of the lake.  And for those of you experiencing the heat of the summer now, maybe it will provide a cooling effect!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Walk Around My Garden: Things DO Grow Here After All!


When I lived in the Pacific Northwest, I could grow zucchini with the best of them.  Well, let's just say that the climate where I live now is nothing like Washington or Oregon.  However, after years of attempts, with little successes here and there, my garden finally looks like a real garden!  I am so excited for my home-grown tomatoes, and yes, zucchini! 

Oh, did I mention watermelon?  It's hard to tell from the photo, but it is only about 3 inches long right now.  Isn't it cute?


We even have an artichoke, which is probably my favorite vegetable:



Look, look!  The pumpkin is really taking off and acting like a normal pumpkin plant should:




Shhh, don't tell the birds, but I think we will have grapes this year:



I enjoy doing the "yard walk", whether in my own backyard, or the yards of friends and family.  Fruiting, flowering, or simply just growing--the plants bring me joy. 

And as long as Peter leaves some fruits and veggies for us, I don't mind that he takes in the view:



I'm still amazed that my once dry and weedy yard could transform into such an oasis. One last photo for this virtual walk:



I hope you enjoyed the virtual walk.  I'll probably be leading another one in a month or so!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't Perpetuate the Myth!


Early in our marriage, John realized that I became anxious if someone would drop by when things were out of place in the house.  He told me that I needed to stop perpetuating the myth of the perfectly organized home.  (Bless his heart, right?!)  I love "a place for everything, and everything in its place," but I have learned to be a little more patient with myself. 

Years ago, my messy house was able to make someone feel better.  She had a houseful of children, plus she was in the process of remodeling.  She commented to me that she was so embarrassed by her home, and felt so bad because everyone else seemed to be able to balance housekeeping with everything else.  She was sitting in my clean living room, basically telling me how she was getting depressed comparing her house to mine.  Well, my living room was momentarily clean because I knew I was having company come.  My "wreck" room, however, was downstairs in the basement.  It was, quite frankly, a disaster.  With John's admonition of  "Don't perpetuate the myth" ringing in my ears, I knew what I must do.  I invited my friend downstairs.  I swallowed my pride as she gushed that she felt so much better after seeing the rec room, and told me I was welcome in her home anytime. 

The people behind the messes--whether they be our children, our friends, or ourselves--are so much more important than a potentially spotless room.  Of course, I'm not advocating living in squalor, but I am advocating patience with temporary messes.  Let's suspend judgement, and be supportive of each other.   Real life is messy sometimes. 

Oh, one more thing--feel free to drop by.  The things in the entry may or may not be put away by then, but friends are infinitely more valuable than an uncluttered space (just don't trip on your way in!).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Say "Yes" to Fun!


We recently returned from a long vacation.  We dropped youngest son off to college, visited with relatives on both sides of the family, enjoyed three national parks (and a national monument), and watched fireworks light up the sky over the Pacific Ocean.  What was my favorite memory?  I'm going with a cop-out answer, but it's true:  I loved spending time together.  We had a blast taking this photo of us in a tree at one of the campgrounds.  (When's the last time you climbed a tree?!)  We learned that our youngest daughter has an uncanny knack of being able to correctly pick--every single time--which air mattress will stay inflated throughout the night. (Hint:  It isn't the parents'!) We played Phase 10 nearly every day.  We laughed and talked and laughed some more. 

I'm slowly getting back into a "normal" routine, whatever that is, but am hoping I can keep the relaxed vacation feeling.  Just tonight, though,  instead of saying "yes" to a Phase 10 game, I declined, citing my to-do list. Arghhhh.....as if laundry, dishes, and Phase 10 are mutually exclusive!

I need to remember:  Say yes to fun!  I tend to focus too much on the first part of this sentence from The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and not enough on the last part:   "Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." I've got to remember to look beyond work.  :-)

OK, please tell me I'm not the only one out there that struggles with this...and then tell me your ideas on how you say yes to fun!