Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Paige!

It is hard to believe our youngest daughter is twenty one today. Yes, the years have slipped by so quickly, but what surprises me most is that she and I are still here to tell about it.

Not that she was a difficult child, but the word that best describes Paige is determined. Once she sets her mind to something, she is not going to let it go until it happens.

At her six month well baby check, the pediatrician asked if Paige was sitting alone yet. "No, but she pulls herself up and walks around furniture." She didn't need to sit. At seven months, she only learned to crawl as a way to get up the stairs. By nine months, she was walking on her own and she has been moving full speed ahead since.

Birthdays of your children are a time to reflect on their lives. A time to look back at the growth they have made through the years. In my reflections on Paige's life, I've laughed, I've shaken my head and I've cried. Sometimes all at the same time. Paige is the reason I color my hair.

She has her own quirky sense of style that works for her.

Always has lots of friends around.

And more young men than I can remember.

Until she met Alex.

In November of 2006, her senior year of high school, Paige announced that she and Alex would be getting married before Alex deployed to Iraq in February. I asked that they wait until he got back, but she was determined. And she reminded me that she was 18 and she didn't need our permission. We gave them our blessing and they were married in a court house wedding in December, 2006.

The first eighteen months of their marriage, she continued to live at home, work and attend high school. Following her graduation from high school, she started attending the local community college. It amazes me how well she did through that year and a half. There were a few tears and some complaining but she soldiered through it just as Alex did in Iraq.

Since Alex has returned, they have moved twice without any help from us as we are now 1200 miles away. She is working two jobs, attending school to get her CNA so she can go on to get an LPN, and she is planning a renewal of their wedding vows and a reception for this spring.

She still has me shaking my head, but in amazement of what she is accomplishing. I just burst with pride.

As I look back, I realize her desire to walk so soon was just to get closer to that star for which she has been reaching. I have no doubt that she will grab it one day.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Linen and Things

WOW! Here it is time for Vintage Thingies Thursday. This week has gone by so fast with all the cleaning and renovating going on at our home.

So many of you have shared your vintage linens in past weeks. You inspired me to sort through my cedar chest and I rediscovered some wonderful pieces including this lovely tablecloth.

I decided I would keep this piece out and enjoy it. After doing some intense cleaning in my kitchen, I put this tablecloth up as a window treatment. My kitchen desperately needs a "take it to the studs" renovation, but adding this fabric has made it a bit more homey.

Before I hung the tablecloth up over the window, I used it as a backdrop for some things I pulled out of the Hoosier cabinet to share with you this week.

This is a Fire King grease bowl with lid. I keep my "egg" money in it.

These spice jars are also displayed in the Hoosier.

The all white one has a solid lid, but the other three have sprinkle tops, since they are salt and peppers. My dear neighbor, Ann, has the entire set of the spice jars with the windmills including the rack which she has had since she "started keeping house" in the late 40s/early 50s. Every time I visit I have to take a look at them. Oh my!
Time for me to scoot on over to Suzanne's to see what all my friends are sharing this week. Join me!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's Just Never That Easy

If you have or have had young children around, you are probably familiar with the book by Laura Joffe Numeroff, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. For those of you not familiar with the book, if you give the mouse a cookie, then he is going to want some milk. Then he will want a straw. And it continues on and on...

Sometimes home renovation is like that.

We had HVAC installed in the house. The upstairs unit needed to go in the attic. But there was no attic access. After discussing and pondering where to put the attic access, it was decided it would go in the room I use as a studio. All my "stuff" had to be moved out so a large hole could be cut in the ceiling so we could install the attic ladder.

Hole to the attic.

Attic ladder installed and folded into attic.

Well, since everything is moved out any way, how about painting the room. Great idea! But before we can paint, we have to prep. The paint on the woodwork was flaking off in places so it needed to be sanded. The sanding didn't really remove the paint so the woodwork had to be scraped, then sanded. Then the woodwork had to be primed before painting.

Woodwork before scraping and sanding.
Woodwork ready to prime.

Since the walls were painted a dark periwinkle (These photos make the walls look MUCH lighter.) and the new color is a soft yellow, the walls had to be primed. But we only got one gallon of primer, (I told my husband it would take more!) so a trip to the paint store was required halfway through that task.

Walls and woodwork primed and ready for paint.

The next step was to paint the ceiling. Who would have known that the ceiling in this room had never been painted? It was raw, very dirty plaster and sucked up the paint. One gallon of paint couldn't be stretched far enough. Since it was Sunday, painting the rest of the ceiling would have to wait until the paint store opened on Monday.

Not quite enough paint for the ceiling.

As I write this, the ceiling has been given a second coat of paint. The wall color has been cut in around the trim.

By end of the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, the young boy who has been taking care of the mouse's wants is exhausted. I hope by the time this room is completed, I still have energy to enjoy it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Questions I Asked Myself Today

  • Why do I dislike dusting and vaccuuming so much yet enjoy a clean house?
  • Why can I not acquire a taste for cleaning like I did for asparagus or brussel sprouts?
  • Am I the only one who uses a shop vac on the floors?
  • How come there is always dirt on the floor after I have gone over it twice?
  • Does an old house get dirty quicker than a new house?
  • Why can't the house stay clean?
  • Why is it no matter how thorough I am in cleaning, there is always something I miss?
  • Why do these stupid sea gulls live so far inland? Don't they know they can fly less than an hour as the "seagull" flies and be at the ocean?

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday

Last week I shared my Hoosier cabinet. Thank you for all the wonderful comments. I'm sure you can see why it is one of my favorite pieces.

As promised, this week and in coming weeks, I will share the vintage treasures displayed in this cabinet.

In one corner on the top, I showcase enamelware coffee pots. The red and white one is one that might have been used over a campfire. The other two are percolaters with the little glass "bubble" in the lid. Only the white one still has the brewing basket.

Also displayed with the coffeepots are some old spice tins, a coffee can and a can for baking powder. If you look closely, you can see the cinnamon can is marked with the price in grease pencil - only 19 cents! My husband got the coffee can filled with nails and screws at an auction. I made him find something else for the hardware and I snitched the can.

Here are a couple more tins I have, but do not display here. The Buglar cigarette case must be what they used before paper packs. Pax Solv waterless hand cleaner was used by garage mechanics, I assume. OOPS! I see some dust I missed in my spring cleaning. You can also see some upcoming items.

The last items I want to share this week are these lovely old tea towels. Unfortunately, I do not have the complete set. These hard working homemakers have fabric scraps appliqued on their skirts and bonnets. The rest of each scene is embroidery. I love their little satin stitched ringlets.

Thanks for stopping by to see my vintage thingies. Hurry over to Suzanne's place and see what everyone else has to share this week.

As always, a BIG thank you to Suzanne for hosting VTT every week.

PS - Sorry about the layout. this program has given me fits tonight. I give up!

A Long Weekend with Grandson

Larry and I spent five days being entertained by this little munchkin.

He spent hours playing in the rocks.

He spent time playing in a box.

We wore out his little buttocks!

But he wasn't the only one wore out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday

My favorite place to find antiques and vintage things is at estate auctions. Not only can you get things at a steal, but it is fun to watch the people, see what they buy and wonder what they are going to do with "that".

A few years ago, I found this Hoosier cabinet just aching for a place in my home.While it was REALLY dirty, it was one of the better Hoosier cabinets I had seen. I decided I had to have this cabinet. Without conferring with my husband, I started bidding on the Hoosier. I had my eye on my husband so I knew I wasn't bidding against him. It wasn't long and there were just two bidders, me and another guy whose wife was standing behind him poking him every time the bid was with him. But, I had $800 stashed for a rainy day and even though it was a hot, sunny Kansas day, I was determined to take this gem home. I didn't have to spend all the money I had stashed before the other bidder gave up. I remember hearing my husband gasp when he heard the auctioneer say "SOLD!" followed by the ending bid and our auction number.

Most of the antiques we buy get a good scrub down and are placed in our home in the condition in which we buy them. However, that gunk on the top was some type of oil that spilled and dried. The oil had also ran down the inside onto the shelves. The only way to get it clean, was to strip it.

Now this beauty is the centerpiece of my dining room. My Hoosier does not have the flour bin and sifter, but it has a salt drawer right beneath the mirror. I have not been able to find out what material covers the bottom part of the cabinet, but I do not believe it is original.

This cabinet even has the shipping label still attached to the back of the bottom half of it. There was a similar shipping label on the top, but all that is left of it is a couple of corners. The original owner's name is on the label in pencil. We can only make out a few of the letters in the name, but we can make out that it was delivered to them in El Dorado, KS.
In the coming weeks, I will share some of the treasures that I display in my Hoosier cabinet, so make sure you come on back.
And don't forget to check out all the other vintage thingies at Coloradolady's blog. Thanks for hosting VTT, Suzanne! See you all next week!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday

Thanks again to Suzanne for hosting this weekly feature. Make sure you check out the other cool vintage things on her blog Coloradolady.

I have some vintage handbags to share this week.

To the left is the one I am currently carrying. It is a very fine threaded tapestry. The strap is leather. Nice and roomy on the inside.

Did your mom or grandma carry one like the one on the right? My grandma had one like this and it is my favorite. When I carry this bag, I get a lot of comments.

The last one is a small bag. It is a funny shape and doesn't have a flat bottom so it is difficult to carry.

Can't wait to see what the other ladies have to share this week!

Meltdown Becomes Spring Cleaning

This post has nothing to do with the weather. It has to do with how far I can be pushed before I crack.

Some things you should know about me:
  • I hate to have my routine disrupted, even if I really have no routine.

  • While I can be blind to a little dust, I hate a dirty house.


We are two weeks into the installation of a heating/air conditioning system in our 120 year old home. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Last week, the crew was working under the house putting in the duct work for the downstairs unit. They had to dig out a lot of dirt. And not just any dirt but sandy, gritty dirt. It's funny how that stuff just seems to seep into the house through every crack and crevice. (And with a house as old as ours, there are lots of cracks and crevices!) Add into the mix a day where it rained all day with the crew coming in and out of the already dirty house.

Then take into consideration that after painting the center hallway (It runs the entire length of the house upstairs and downstairs; about twenty five feet long by 10 feet wide.) I told Larry that I did not want to put up any artwork including my antique mirrors until the HVAC installation had been complete. I left for a hair appointment on Thursday and upon returning found they had installed the thermostat right in the CENTER of the wall where my antique mirror collection was going to hang.

Can you blame me for having a meltdown? My poor husband was not too shocked when late Thursday afternoon I declared, "I hate this house!" I followed that quickly with the the statement that this was only a temporary feeling.

Friday, I put on my big girl panties and started to deal with the mess in the house. I started by removing everything from each room. Then wiping down the walls, woodwork, windows and floors. Before anything came back into the room, it too had to be cleaned. The downstairs cleaning is about complete.

Just in time as they are about finished installing the upstairs unit. No sandy gritty dirt up there. Only 120 year old plaster dust...

But on the bright side, I'm warm now. I will have my entire house clean come spring and I can spend lots of time in the yard and flower gardens. And I will be cool this summer.

And that thermostat? My wonderful husband tells me they make wireless thermostats these days and that he will get one and put it wherever I want.