Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordy Wednesday {Chessie}

I am late with this post. No excuses other than being busy and that I forgot it was Wednesday. Better late than never, correct? I first posted a picture of Chessie in Kitty Heaven in a week of pictures (#17). She had a rare happy moment with Dan. Here are a few more that I took. All were with the macro lens and I think they are wonderful considering she wasn’t really aware I was using the camera. The last picture is kind of funny. Enjoy!

{To see a larger image, go here.}

{To see a larger image, go here.}

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{To see a larger image, go here.}

Monday, January 28, 2013

Macro Monday {Texas Toad-flax}

{Participating in Macro Monday and I heart Macro.}

Texas Toad-flax 1/26/2013

{To see a larger image, go here.}

I spied this silly delicate wildflower growing outside the day before I took this picture. The wind is horrendous out here and has been breezy for days. I had to be patient and wait for a moment when the wind stopped blowing to snap a picture. This shot was the best one I took out of many.

It is way too early for this particular plant to be sprouting let alone blooming. The weather here has been in the low 70s (Fahrenheit) for several days and will continue to be in the low 70s for the rest of this week. So, it is no wonder that it is confused. But, when I spied this Texas Toad-flax, I was thrilled. Our short winter will soon end.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Week in Pictures (#18)

Painted the Trim 1/19/2013

I actually painted the trim on the 18th; but, I forgot to take a picture for this day until the morning of the 19th. So, this picture is really for the 18th. Ha! And yes, I know it needs a little touch up here and there.

Trim is Up! 1/19/2013

Dan put up the trim that I painted and it looks mighty nice. The trim is slightly darker than the wall and I believe that is due to it being wood (different material from drywall). All in all, I am pleased with our efforts. Now, we just have to hang up some pictures and put the saucers back up on the wall. We have also moved onto the living room and hallway.

Yardsticks From a Flea Market 1/20/2013

I had a hankering to get out and go shopping for certain items such as a table or cabinet to use in the entry way and a new dresser for Dan. I did not want to buy anything new. I wanted to buy used and fix it up. So, we went to a couple of flea markets. However, I did not find anything that would do. Well, we stopped by an antique store that had the perfect old cabinet to use; but, they wanted too much money.

Anyway, we found these yardsticks at Bussey’s Flea Market in Schertz, Texas. This flea market is a good one to go to once in a blue moon. I have been collecting old yardsticks for eons; but, I have a two dollar limit per yardstick which makes it difficult to find any as a lot of places sell them for four dollars or more. I was thrilled when Dan spied these yardsticks and discovered they were two dollars each. Perfect!

By the way, the other place we went to was Flea Mart; but, it was horrid unless you love kitschy imports. I did not feel comfortable being there due to these times. So, we left before exploring the entire place.

Beads {Bracelets} 1/21/2013

I made quite a few bracelets over the years and these were dumped into a pile to snap some macro shots.

Tthe Kitchen Island is Freed! 1/22/2013

My sewing cabinet and cutting table was returned. The crate up in the top right is where the sewing machine lift is located. I am happy to be using the cutting table to put fabrics onto “bolts”. The kitchen island is now freed up to spread cooking supplies and whatnot.

Some recently fabrics I put onto “bolts” 1/24/2013

These are ancient fabrics I have no information on such as manufacturer and designer. They are quarter yards (nine inches wide) from a scrap bag bundle. For some odd reason, I thought these four fabrics would make wonderful four patches if cut up. What do you think?

PS I did not snap a picture for 1/23/2013 as that was a bad, bad day for me. I have decided from now on to just post pictures that I have taken and not mention any of the days that I either forgot to take a picture or was not doing well.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordy Wednesday {On Valentine}

Mini MMs 8/2/2012 {for a challenge I never completed}

Valentine’s Day is coming up. I have to confess that I am not a fan of the holiday. I think this goes back to my elementary school days. It was just a popularity contest – who gets the most cards. And I, of course, would be one of those who would get the fewest.

I even had a teacher who had a rule that each student must give a card to everyone in the class. I was thrilled with this rule; but, when card exchange event occurred, I was sorely disappointed because I received only a few. When she asked if everyone received all their cards, I said no. I remember seeing disappointment all over her face and scolding the class. From that day on, Valentine’s Day was just another holiday to dislike and I was so happy that it was done away with upon entering Junior High (which was sixth grade for us).

So there you have it, how I learned to dislike Valentine’s Day. And indirectly, I have come to dislike roses and extravagant gifts over the years, because to me, it is all falsehood. In other words, it is faked and/or an obligation to do something for those you love.

I think the expression of love should not be forced by a holiday. I have to ask. Should not every day be Valentine’s Day? In other words, when you love someone, you express that to them any time and any day. You do not need to wait for a special day. Every day is special. Why wait for the one day of the year when it may be too late? After all, no day is guaranteed to anyone. Tell or show your love one now and often.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If your loved one’s love language is “receiving gifts”, then give them gifts. But you do not have to do it only holidays like Valentine’s Day or even Christmas day. Yes, they most likely love the whole holiday thing as it makes them feel loved; so, do not exclude the holidays. However, I think gift giving can also be done on ordinary days.

Well, I think you get the point from all the rambling I have just done. I hope and pray none of you were offended by my thoughts concerning Valentine's day.

Live every moment, love every day, cause before you know it, precious time slips away.” ~Reo Speedwagon

Monday, January 21, 2013

Macro Monday (Checkered Skipper)

{Participating in Macro Monday and I heart Macro.}

Checkered Skipper 12/9/2012

This beautiful critter was fluttering about the last of the flowers in our backyard before the full force of winter hit where we live.

I just saw a small yellow butterfly fluttering about the other day and it surprised me. I realized the other day I take a lot of pictures of butterflies. I have always liked them (along with moths); but, since we saw the absolutely gorgeous butterfly, a Swallowtail, they remind me of Dad. I take joy in watching and photographing them – there are so many varieties. As a result, it is never dull for me.

Another picture of the same butterfly taken on the same day as the first one above.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Week in Pictures (#17)

Ungraceful Gracie 1/11/2013

Gracie will often lie in the hallway just outside our bedroom. As many of you know, she is a tripod. She will use the wall as her fourth leg and bathe herself.

In Progress - Kitchen 1/12/2013

Putting up all that frog tape around the casings and baseboards was a pain-in-you-know-what. This is why we are going to paint the walls first in the living room, hallway and the bedrooms before putting up the casings and baseboards.

In Progress - Kitchen 1/13/2013

Finished the painting! The walls just need a little touch ups here and there. Painting the trim and putting them up is next. And then, we will be done with the kitchen (with the exception of the cabinets)!

No Image 1/14/2013

I got so busy and totally forgot to take a picture on this day.

Raggedy Ann 1/15/2013

I am not happy with this picture; but, it will have to do for the moment. I took this picture for two reasons. I took a picture of my Raggedy Ann for a family friend on facebook that made similar ones last year. I also wanted the rocking chair to show up; but, due to it being dark, you can barely see the rocking chair itself. Both items are my childhood things. I will have to do a post in the near future on them as I have pictures of me as a kid with these items.

Kitty Heaven {Chessie} 1/16/2013

Chessie was in pure kitty heaven when Dan devoted a little of his time to her. She absolutely loves Dan and he is her person which really disgusts me considering I was the one who chose her. (Dan picked Calvin who passed away in 2009; but, Calvin liked me best.) Anyway, I took a series of pictures of her with my Macro lens and will have to post some favorites in the future as it is rare that I am able to get pictures of this girl.

Raggedy Andy 1/17/2013

I took this picture for the same reasons I took a picture of my Raggedy Ann. By the way, what is Raggedy Andy doing with Kanga and Thumper? Where is Raggedy Ann? Shame on Andy! And, shame on Thumper for sitting on the table! Ha!

I do not have many stuffies; but, the few I have are sentimental. I have a hard time tossing them out to Goodwill or the trash. Kanga is actually my first birthday gift from Dan and she has a small kanga in her pouch. Thumper was given to me by a brother and sister-in-law when they came back from a trip to Florida. The table and chairs are also childhood furniture of mine and as well as the Raggedy Andy doll. I will have to do a future post on those two as I also have pictures of me as a kid with the furniture.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordy Wednesday (A Note)

It has been a long time since I have done a Wordy Wednesday. Life has been busy and I had a tough time adjusting to limited internet access. And, both of us dealt with sickness. I believe Dan caught the cold/flu from me and combine that with allergies, it brought him down. His immune system is fabulous and it is rare to see him so sick. In fact, he had to take a day off from work. He has not done that in years. I was shocked and worried about him; but, he recovered nicely.

Contented Lioness {Chessie} 11/1/2012

Anyway, now that the holidays are over, things have settled down and I am healthy once again, I am planning to gradually bring back my regular posts including the Macro Mondays. The macro pictures may or may not be recent. However, they will be pictures that I have not posted on my blog (or elsewhere).

You will probably see more pictures of the work being done on the house – especially in the “week of pictures” posts. We have been making steady progress with the house. Dan is doing a fabulous job on the casings and baseboards. He took a break last weekend to help me paint the kitchen. We had trouble finding the trim I picked out for the kitchen this past weekend and I was disappointed. However, Dan went looking at the Lowe’s near where he works last Monday and found them. I was absolutely thrilled! Once I get the trim painted and he puts them up, we will be done with the kitchen (with the exception of the cabinets which will be done as a last project).

I will be filling up the holes in the walls of the living room and the hallway left by previous owners in preparation for painting this weekend. We learned a valuable lesson from doing the kitchen – paint the walls first before putting up the new casings and baseboards. And yes, I have already chosen the paint color. We are making slow and steady progress with the little things. Sometime in the near future, we will get started on a major project – the garage conversion.

My sewing cabinet/cutting table is being returned to us and it is still NOT fixed. The shop could not find the materials. However, they said the manufacturer has the parts in spite of not making this particular model. The problem is that they are moving headquarters and will not be able to ship until May. We opted to have the furniture returned to us so that I can use it to bolt up my fabrics and free up the kitchen island. I may not be able to use it to sew; but, I can still use it to cut fabrics and wrap them onto “bolts”. Anyway, the movers will give us a check for the cost of the parts. Dan will order them and fix the cabinet himself when the parts come in.

I am looking forward to spring. There are a lot more life to photograph during the spring, summer, and fall. Winter has been rough so far. I am hoping that this spring will be beautiful due to receiving rain and having colder weather than usual.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a safe winter. I know that it snowed up North (Texas). There were reports of sleet near where we live; but, we have not seen evidence of any snow, ice, or sleet. It just has been colder than usual and I do not do well with the cold weather! But, I am surviving.


Friday, January 11, 2013

A Week in Pictures (#16)

Gloomy 1/4/2013

The gloomy weather and dormant tree fit my mood perfectly today while I was out with Gracie. The only signs of life is the little bit of green around the tree.

Trim 1/5/2013

We found some trim that I think will work for what I have in mind for the kitchen…

Beaded Garland 1/6/2013

Taking down the Christmas decorations…

Profile of Gracie 1/7/2013

This girl was acting very unusual all day long. She stuck to me like Velcro and she lay down on (or with) me four times forcing me to slow down. Yes, I spoil my cats. In looking back, I think she is a sensitive animal – she sensed that I was sick and was going to be very sick. This picture was captured while she was laying on Dad's Lazyboy curled up tightly between my legs. (I often sit with one leg over an arm of the chair). I think I had Dan get my camera for me; but, I got to say that sometimes it pays to have your camera nearby.

No Image 1/8/2013

I was extremely sick in the night and all day long. I rarely sleep during the day; but, I sure did on this day. Gracie was with me most of the time. When I got up around 11:00am to vegetate on the couch and watch TV, she appeared approximately 10 minutes later and “yelled” at me. That cat fussed and fussed and then ended up curled up beside me on the small sofa. It was just too funny the way she hunted me down and hollered at me. I mean, she was LOUD.

Sad Gracie 1/9/2013

I recovered from whatever I was sick with and she returned to her usual self. When I saw her on this box while resting on the sofa, it made me think she looked sad.

FYI: It took her approximately three or four weeks to become a normal cat around the Christmas tree. At first, she would not even go near the tree. About a week later, she cautiously went to the tree and sniffed the branches. A few days later, she decided it was safe to sleep under the tree. In the end, I witnessed her attacking an ornament. I mean, she wiggled her butt, took off and “hugged” an ornament with her lone paw to her chest and landed on her side biting and kicking the thing. I thank God it was just a plastic Hallmark ornament. But still, it shocked me. She also played with the branches. She even stood up on her hind legs and reached into the tree itself. I am going to have to put the beaded and fragile ornaments higher up the tree. Anyway, I thought she looked sad that the tree was put up. Ha!

Waiting for the Dough to Rise 1/10/2013

We normally have pizza on Tuesdays; but, I was very sick. So, we had pizza on this day instead. I am still using the island to wrap my fabrics onto “bolts”. It is slow going; but, I am making progress.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Week in Pictures (#15)

Gratitude 12/28/2012

I did not take a picture on this day. When these two got on top of me, I was rather pleased because they rarely get together. So, I had Dan take a picture for me. I am grateful for this change. Something occurred while we were gone that made them a tad closer. They are not exactly buddies; but, they are sitting and lying beside one another more often. Also, I caught Chessie trying to bathe Gracie; but, Gracie would take off as she still doesn’t trust Chessie.

Texture 12/29/2012

Cough Drops for sore throat. ‘Nuff said.

Resolution 12/30/2012

This was my attempt at humor. I woke up unable to use my voice.

No Image 12/31/2012

I was not feeling too hot most of the day. I just did not feel like taking pictures much less celebrating the New Year.

Reflection 01/01/2013

This marks the end of the #IHeartFaces photo a day challenge. I will resume what I have always done until I find a new challenge I cannot resist.

No Image for 01/02/2013

I intentionally took the day off

Putting Fabrics Onto “Bolts” 01/03/2012

I am still not feeling great; so, this picture is meh. Anyway, I use the kitchen island to “bolt” my fabrics as I still do not have my cutting table (still in shop) and the second bedroom is still a disaster. I am happy to be at least touching fabrics. I have a feeling that I will not be resuming sewing until after the garage conversion is done. I am also praying that my cutting/sewing table is not lost.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Word of the Year

My word of the year for 2012 was “finish”. I also started a #FinishYear list. (If you’re interested, you can go see my 2012 Blog post here.).Did I finish anything?

Honestly, for the life of me, I do not remember finishing a single project. However, I was walking a mile and progressing to two miles until we started packing for the move back in May. And, I was making and creating meal plans for two weeks at a time until the move. All things went to pot once we landed this new house back in May and started changing the flooring from tile to hardwood. As a result, my goals changed. You will never know what life will bring you. I do have to say that creating a specific list was semi-successful for me. So, I will continue to do just that along with keeping the word of the year.

I am currently trying to be positive; but, when you have been sick with allergies and then with a severe cold since before Christmas time, it is hard to not get discouraged when you feel like you have more bad days than the good. It is tough struggling with depression and the usual chronic pain and then when you are knocked down for the count by an unexpected sickness… Well, you get the picture.

I think I am on the mend. I pray that I am on the mend. I currently have a little rattle in my chest and a tad bit of stuffiness in my head. But, today I feel more like me.

Let’s see, my 2011 word of the year was “do”. And, 2012 was “finish”. I will keep on using those words. What word should be added to these words of the past? What shall be my word for 2013?

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

~Lamentations 3:22-23~

The one word that keeps repeating in my mind is “anew” – a very lovely old-fashioned word. Anew means fresh or again.

Yes, every day begins afresh. I need to remember that no matter how I fail; I dust myself off and start again. If I fail to get something planned done, I can do it the next day or the next time I have the opportunity to do so. Yes, “anew” is a good word. I shall make that my word of the year.

As for my goals for this year, they are simple and yet so complex. If I look at the big picture, I get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done. However, if I break it down, it does not seem so huge. The biggest goal that both Dan and I have is to complete remodeling efforts on the house by the beginning of April. We have two major remodeling efforts and the rest is all cosmetic.

The first major effort is converting the garage into a studio/guest overflow room. I am really looking forward to starting on this project. We hope to get started on this sometime this month or early in February.

The second effort is replacing the kitchen cabinets. As time goes by, both of us just do not like these cabinets. They are mega-cheap looking and the style is not our cup of tea as we like the simple look such as Craftsman, Shaker, or Mission. We decided one day to just replace them all instead of taking the time and effort to paint them or change the look. Don’t you worry, I am frugal. I am sure we will be able to do this with a minimum cost without getting into debt and still have awesome cabinets that fit our style.

I am not sure if we will do the cabinet project before or after April. I would love to get it done before next year. I would love to get all things done to this house (with the exception of the bathrooms) this year and just live happily ever after. I have learned through experience of our first home to not wait. If you wait, you will never get what you want done. And, we are not exactly getting younger. I would like to enjoy this home finished for many years. Key word is finished.

In the meantime, Dan has been working on the casings for the doors and windows (which never had them). Keep an eye on his blog because he does infrequent updates on the work. In fact, he has written recently about the door and window casings. I have been very remiss about blogging on this part of our lives. I should remedy this in the future. But honestly, I rather leave that up to him as he does all the hard work. I just have the vision – I am the designer and interior decorator. Ha!

Dan is also putting down the baseboards. And, because I’ve been sick, he’s been doing the painting by himself. I feel so bad because I could not help him; but, I just did not have the energy to do much of anything.

Anyway, we are doing one room at a time as for as the casings and baseboards. The kitchen is being completed. All the casings around the doors and windows are completed with the exception of the one above the sink. We are postponing that one until we redo the cabinets. It is my hope to get the window enlarged as it is such a tiny pathetic little window. If we cannot due to costs and/or other factors, it will still be easier to put up the casings when we put up new cabinets.

The next room for casings and baseboards is the living room. And then, it will be the hallway of many doors. We are doing the open areas first and then the bedrooms. One area a time. One weekend at a time. When I recover from this current sickness, I can get started on the painting. Not only do the casings and baseboards need to be painted, but the walls need to be painted too. I’ve already decided on the color for the kitchen and the paint has been purchased. I have also tentatively decided what the living room color will be. I just haven’t picked out the exact color yet.

My one other goal for this year is to continue taking a picture every single day. I may or may not do a daily, weekly or monthly challenge like I did for last December. If I do, I will link or refer to where I am getting the “topics” for the day within the post(s). When I am sick, about all I can do is snapshots. But, at least I am taking pictures. Today is an exception to that rule as I did not nor am I planning to take a picture. But, I shall resume tomorrow.

I do hope everyone will have a blessed and wonderful year.