Monday, January 27, 2020

Thoughts on a Rainy Day

Hello, Sweet Friends, I hope that you are keeping to the 
high road, as we navigate our way through 
this challenging new year. 

We are currently having abundant rain, 
here in the Pacific Northwest, but 
the temperatures are milder, and for that 
I am grateful. 

Although I love the sparkling, quiet beauty 
of snowfall, it does make life difficult for 
the wild things, and for getting around 
on icy, hilly roads. 

Which brings me back 
to my 'high road' metaphor......who wants to 
slide down a slippery slope? 

I usually stay home.


Our current temperature. Just warm enough to get by 
with a sweater. 

But with boots and an umbrella! 

The glacier pansies that I planted this past fall,
are peeking out of their protected
corner under the eaves, curious about 
what is going on in their little world. 

Just some sleepy succulents, pots of ivy and groundcover
to keep them company. 

We've had so much moisture this winter. 
Even the rocks are mossy! 
No rolling stones here :)

My bird-cage angel also sports a hint of green, 
but the hellebore considers this weather perfect. 
(I did hide them under the eaves during our recent snowfall.) 

A slow fire takes the chill off inside. 

We have electric heat as back-up, 
but there is nothing like a warm fire. 

 Ramblin' Man likes to load it up
like a boss...…:) and really heat things up!

I have to keep an eye on him.....
(Notice the ladder outside on the deck. He likes to 
climb those when nobody is around)

I love all of the good wishes and advice 
on my last post announcing his retirement.
Thank you so much!
I know it is going to be an adjustment!
All that 'man-splaining', tramping in and out
with dogs, and messing up my kitchen.....

 I have tried to plan for that. 
His retirement gift was a new workshop built 
 last fall. I'll share a few photos soon. 
He still has to finish up the interior, 
so it is a work in progress. 

Can you tell that I am looking forward to spring? 

Some of my flea-market paintings. 

My tall cabinet holds the television, stereo and other electronics. 

I found this vintage basket at a European antiques wholesaler 
when I had an antique shop many years ago.
My Mom was my partner, but when she 
became ill with lymphoma, we had to 
close shop.  

(My Mom recovered and went on to live another 30 years!)

It seems that I was always called back home. 
Sometimes, not entirely by choice. 
At the time, the children were young and I 
could not work full-time. 

So I put my dreams on hold. 

That's not to say I sat around on the sofa all day! 

I did work outside the home, but the jobs 
I took were mainly focused on the hours 
when my children were in school, so I could 
be home with them when their Father wasn't. 

My children were all close in age - four children 
in five years. So leaving them to daycare was too 
expensive and besides, not many people could handle 
 them all at once. 

This buffet was one of the pieces in the shop. 
So was my kitchen queen and daybed. 

I sold my crafts and antiques for a while in shows and shops, too.
I was even accepted into a gallery and at Seattle's Pike Street Market
for my weavings. But the long commute, hours, and sacrifice
of time proved too much for me and the family.

So, I took on jobs close to home and with flexible hours.
I worked as a teacher's aide for a while
and served as PTA vice president.
I loved helping out in my children's school,
and even helped start an art program
and an after-school activity program,
that continues to this day.

I started my own housekeeping business when they
were teenagers so I could be home in the afternoons for all of their
games and many activities.

Once they were all driving and more self-sufficient,
I took night classes to become an administrative asst.
I worked all day and then went to classes for 5 hours,
5 nights a week for a year.

But the teenagers found trouble and my elderly parents
became frail (my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's
and my Mom with heart disease),
and I was needed at home once more.

But I did learn to use a computer
and most of the programs!
I was completely clueless before the classes.

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. 
- John Lennon -

When you are handed lemons, you must make lemonade. 
Although, you might need a splash of vodka once in a while. 

Just sayin.....

Seriously, though, I would never regret spending 
 precious time helping my teenagers get on the right path, 
and helping my parents in their final years. 

Time that can never be replaced. 

I was very fortunate to have my hard-working Mr. 
to take care of us all and make 
it possible for me to stay home when I 
was most needed.
We sacrificed income, 
but have peace of mind that we did the right thing.   

This handcrafted sign with
my grandson's little hands and feet, 
truly says it all. 

Now I am helping with the grandchildren, 
and when I look back on my life, 
everything becomes clear.
I was meant to be exactly who I am. 

Domestic Diva! 

And I have new dreams now. 

I am slowing down and those old dreams 
no longer apply. 

Now my dreams are much simpler. 
Gardens and road trips, flea markets and galleries, 
family gatherings and grandchildren,
and time to be creative. 

Time to notice the magic. 

Everyone must follow their heart. 
It's all about the journey. 

Thank you, dear friends for your wonderful friendship. 
Some of you have been dear friends for a very long time. 
Even though we are only friends through 
blogland, we will always be friends through time. 


Saturday, January 18, 2020

Cabin Fever, Kitchen Cheer, and New Plans

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are starting the new year 
with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of purpose! 

Easier said than done in the midst of a long, cold
winter, especially here in the north woods. 

The snow is certainly magical and enchanting to look at, 
but a little too cold and slippery for me!

I have a serious case of cabin fever, 
but I am content to stay inside and watch from the windows
for now. 

Can you see Kai? He loves smashing his face right into the snow.
I think he has a bit of cabin fever, too!
He is free to come in and out as he pleases through
his pet door, but he prefers 'out' when the sun is shining.   

He loves the snow. 
You might guess that he would...his breed is 'American Eskimo'.

My 'Old Boy', Whitey-Bear, loves the snow, too, 
but prefers hanging out by the fire these days.

My little grandsons' doggy chair looks on. 

It has been stormy for days, with rain, then snow, then wind, 
and sometimes all three in one day. 

But today.....there are glorious patches of sunshine and 
for the first time in many days, Mt. Rainier 
is emerging from the clouds. 

I've kept myself busy putting away the last of the Christmas 
decorations, and tidying up. 

Everything looks so bare without all the holiday decorations, 
so I found some treasures that were packed away, to fill in the gaps.

I love going through the boxes.
It's always a nice surprise.
Lots of little memories. 

I wanted touches of red 
 to add some cheer during these dark winter days. 

I found a few enamelware pieces with red trim. 

A couple of vintage red-rimmed saucepans with no chips, 
and some random lids came out to play. 

And my red timer. 

My 1961 Hotpoint stove timer still works, too. 

It's nice to have two. 

These canisters are not vintage, but look like they might be. 
 I found them in my 
local craft store a couple of years ago, 
along with the enamel sign. 

I had to have it :)
My Mom had this saying in her kitchen when I was young. 

I found the 'Mom's Diner' sign a couple of years ago
 at Seattle's Pike Street Market.
We had spent the day at a Mariner's vs. Red Sox game 
with my son and his wife; their treat. 
Afterwards we went to 'The Market'. 

It was a wonderful day.

You can see my post about it Here.  

Open 24 hours.

Always open. 

Once upon a time my kitchen was quite a busy place 
with four children, assorted friends, neighbors, relatives
and pets coming and going. 

Now it is just The Mr. and I, most 
of the time, but we do enjoy the peace and quiet. 

Between the two of us, we still use a lot of dishes, though! 

Mostly coffee, tea and cocoa mugs at this time of year.

I have a thing for pretty tea-towels, 
and my local craft store sells them 
in all colors.
 I really love these red gingham towels.

Let's peek inside my 1930's 'Kitchen Queen' Hoover cabinet. 

Some happy little things. 
Memories of flea-market trips
and special gifts. 

Everything I need for blueberry pancakes,
  lemon/berry loaves,
and strawberry shortcakes.
With juice or tea. 

My daughter painted the 'mimosa' glass,
but the juice glasses are vintage. 
It's the start of a new collection......
Isn't everything? 

A photo of Ramblin' Man's dear Mom, whipping up 
her 'famous' spaghetti sauce, at my stove, in this kitchen.

My niece sent this special photo to us, with the recipe on the back - 
a sweet reminder of a loved one now gone, 
a wonderful visit and a lovely time in our lives. 

I had fun putting together the pillows and linens 
for the 1920 day-bed. Vintage gingham sheets, tea towels, crochet and 
a bit of fur and Sherpa were all sewn into curtains and pillows by me over the 
last few years. I gathered them from storage and other areas 
of the house. 

The quilt was my Mom's.
 She made me promise to take her favorite little companion, her kitty-cat, 
 Ling-Ling, when she was gone. Ling-Ling would only sleep on this quilt for many 
months when I first brought her here. She (and I) desperately missed my 
Mom and this quilt had her comforting scent - talcum and lilacs. 

Ling-Ling was our special little guest for 6 years 
and now I like to think that they are reunited once again. 

I have a small collection of flea-market paintings 
that I like to rotate. This one has all the right colors
and cheerful tone. 

This was my dear Mom-in-law's sewing kit. 

Most of the time it stays upstairs in my sewing room.
 It reminds me of her and also, how much 
I love to sew, and that I need to make time to do it. 

My new cookie jar says it all. 
The tongs that fit on the top
are stamped, 'Guilt Free'. 
This was a sweet gift from my son
and his wife. 

Now I need to fill it up. 
Oatmeal-Raisin are the Mr.'s favorite. 

Icicles illuminated with the last of the day's light, 
leaving ghosts on the camera lens. 

 are the perfect cure for Cabin Fever.  

A simple meal for a cold winter night
after a busy and fun day of decorating.

It's back to business tomorrow, the business of everyday life
and all the happiness and sadness each day can bring. 

I do have something special to tell you, though! 

Ramblin' Man has announced his retirement, 
and he's 'coming home to me'. 

He still has a few more weeks to go, but 
we have been very busy getting ready for our 
'lifestyle change' and have been squaring things up. 

I am very proud of all his many achievements, drive,
determination, and dedication to his family. 

Now he deserves to relax and enjoy all that he has accomplished. 

Of course, he would never do that.....relax? 
Never. He has insatiable energy and many wonderful plans
for our home, gardens, travel and family time. 

We're looking forward to this brand-new excellent adventure. 

I hope you will come along. 


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