Thursday, June 26, 2008

We are off to the Buckeye State for our annual Fourth of July vacation. See y'all later; hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My late-night problem.

Barenaked Ladies:

There's so much joy in life,
so many pleasures all around
But the pleasure of insomnia

is one I've never found

With all life has to offer,
there's so much to be enjoyed

But the pleasures of insomnia

are ones I can't avoid

And the flipside of the problem--R.E.M.:

I see today with a newsprint fray
My night is colored headache grey
Don't wake me with so much.
The ocean machine is set to nine
I'll squeeze into heaven and valentine
My bed is pulling me,
Daysleeper. Daysleeper.

I have to be up at 6. I've just come to accept that I'm an insomniac, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I'm just poking my head in to say hi, and I don't know how a week went by without me noticing! I've been busy (emptying every closet and cupboard and going through it, ugh) and we've had company (my brother and his family, yay), and we've developed a little house problem (upstairs bathtub leaking through downstairs ceiling, yikes) but I'll pop in again shortly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Idea binders.

You know, when it's 95 degrees outside, you can come up with all kinds of projects to keep you from having to go out into the swelter!

I've had these binders for years, to hold various ideas I rip out of magazines, but they just had a printed strip of paper taped to the spine for a label. I decided to purty them up.

Here they are all neat on their shelf.

This is so much better than stacks and stacks of magazines sitting around, don't you think?

Quick question.

I got this lamp at a yard sale in May...I love the shade, but the base needs to be shabbied and funked up. What would YOU do with it? All ideas are welcome! I can picture cream paint, rubbed off around the edges, but it needs some kind of decoupaging or something, don't you think?

Green. And doors.

A few touches of green around my house:

I've been painting doors today. Some of you may recall that we replaced all our interior doors--when was it? February? Ages ago, anyway. We had those flat dark brown 198os doors, and now we have white six-panel doors of the 21st century! (What is the official name for this decade, anyway?)

Eleven interior doors. I painted the first three (all downstairs) fairly quickly, and then I dilly-dallied around because I dislike painting so much. I started on the upstairs one painted...and then broke my toe. This was at the end of April.

You might not think a broken toe would interfere with painting, but I have to stand on tippy-toe to reach the tops of the doors, and I couldn't tippy-toe when one of the tippy-toes was broken. (I also couldn't wear flip-flops--who knew that you flex your toes when you walk in flip-flops?)

I could have stood on a chair, I guess, but when I paint, I get it everywhere. I would have hated to ruin a chair.

Anyway (sheesh, I'm boring
myself with this story) I finally got the paintbrush out today and knocked off two doors. Now I have six done, and five to go. When I get them done, then Todd will let me embark on another project, but I have to finish this project first. He's so annoyingly left-brained!

Once these doors are done, then we'll replace the accordian-fold closet doors in our bedroom (also flat dark brown) with white doors, and then all the doors will be new! Except the ugly door to the garage. And the ugly sliding doors to the deck. There's always something else to tackle, isn't there?

Before/after picture of my study:

Sunday, June 08, 2008


One last blast of red for "I Saw Red" week:

So many people participated in "I Saw Red" that it's become a little flickr group of its own called "Shades of Inspiration." This coming week's color is green. I've put in a little button over on the side, go check it out and join in!

Todd has been out all day deep sea fishing with his friend Dave--he said he'd have to catch a LOT of spadefish to make the gasoline worthwhile, but he enjoys it so much, it's worth a splurge.

I've been home cleaning out the fridge, tidying my study, doing laundry and working on putting all my printed-off recipes into page protectors and into a binder with tabs. I don't know why the perfect recipe storage system is so elusive--I've been puzzling over one for years! I think this may work...the page protectors will be perfect for all the things I find on Allrecipes and the Food Network website. And maybe I can get some photo page protectors for the little cut-out recipes from magazines.

I believe some of the people who stop by here have small addictions to scrapbook paper. I won't mention any names. Look at the wall treatment I found on a very nice blog called Storybook Woods:

That's just scrapbook paper from a coordinating pad taped together in strips and then taped to the wall! Doesn't it look great?

I personally have enough paper to create wall treatments for half of Hampton Roads!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Time to toss.

I finally figured out why it gets harder and harder for me to conduct my periodic purges of all our excess stuff--it's because the older I get, the more things I have that have memories attached to them, and the less I want to toss either the item or the memory.

Even things that might not have meant much to me when I acquired them develop this coating of meaning--where I bought them, what I was doing then, places they've lived with me.

Knowing why doesn't make it any easier to figure out what to keep and what to toss, though. In particular, since we've moved to this house, I've disposed of things that I'd held onto for years. Most of it went without a backward glance on my part, but now after three or four clean sweeps in 2 1/2 years, we're getting down to the nitty gritty.

The crazy thing is that this house isn't small--I mean it's certainly not on the level that most people seem to be living in nowadays, but it's a three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath normal medium-size house with the requisite amount of closets and whatnot. But with no basement and a one-car garage, we lose out on a lot of storage space that people in other parts of the country take for granted. Oh, for a basement!

And we're losing storage space, if you can believe it--the new bed is too low for all my under-the-bed storage boxes, and the vanity we've chosen for the guest bathroom, when we get around to tackling that, has drawers instead of cupboards, so all my little boxes and our games will have to find a new home someday. So silly!

So, like I said, it's nitty gritty time. Time for all those projects that never got done and all those bits of things I've been saving to be hauled out and disposed of. We're planning a yard sale in a couple of weeks, and I plan to go through every closet and box!

It's funny to contrast our situation with what my grandparents' lives have been like. Married for 65 years, and in the same house for all of those years, they both went to an assisted living facility this spring, and my parents and various other family members have been slowly emptying the house of years and years of accumulated stuff. Grandma and Grandpa never had to throw anything away--they had six bedrooms, an attic, a basement, a barn, Grandpa's old auto body shop, and a few other outbuildings to store things in.

Even if they could have thrown stuff away, they probably wouldn't have--growing up in the Depression years, raising eight kids on very little money, they hung onto everything because they never knew when they might need it. Mom found boxes full of Styrofoam peanuts and plastic bags in one of the bedrooms. I've personally witnessed the fortress of National Geographics in the attic over the kitchen.

Part of me wishes I could live my life that way. Although I don't like clutter, and I get weighed down when my belongings start to pile up too much, it would be interesting to just live in one spot forever and hang onto whatever I wanted. We've moved seven times in 16 years of marriage, and we still haven't gotten to a house that can hold us and all our hobbies comfortably!

On the other hand, maybe it won't be as hard for us when the time comes for us to purge our stuff once and for all and move into whatever old age facility we can afford. (The way the 401k is looking right now, that may be a cardboard box!) Having moved pretty regularly, having gotten used to assessing what to keep and what to toss, maybe we're gaining a flexibility that will be a benefit to us later on.

Now if we could just curtail our yard sale addiction...!

Friday, June 06, 2008

A picture.

I haven't had a chance to look for red stuff today, but here's a picture I've been meaning to share:

This is a gerbera daisy from my garden--I went around and took some garden pictures last week when I was trying out my camera.

Can you spot the little guy hanging out in the daisy? I didn't see him until I uploaded the picture.

Isn't he cute? I love having bees and butterflies and birds in the garden, but that's the first grasshopper I've spotted.

I also found a nice blog today with all sorts of crafty, creative ideas for little and big kids: the Crafty Crow. Now that summer's here, maybe some of you are in need of ways to keep the kids occupied. I suggest chores...lots and lots of chores...but when your house and yard are finally spotless, you can reward them with a craft! Hee hee.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Lazy evening.

I'm sitting here on the couch with Todd, re-watching a Foyle's War DVD that he fell asleep halfway through a couple of days ago. Todd's inability to stay awake doesn't reflect the quality of the show, though. It's a wonderful British mystery show that takes place during World War II. The main character is a cop in a town in the southern coast who wants to "do his bit" in the war, but who has to stay where he is and solve crimes that all reflect the unrest and uneasiness of a country at war.

The show stars Michael Kitchen, who has that muted middle-aged British sexiness down pat. Or maybe I'm the only person who finds middle-aged British men sexy...?

Well, I just caught Todd with his eyes closed again, although he claims it was "a long slow blink." Poor guy--if stuff isn't exploding or scantily-clad girls aren't wiggling across the screen, it's just too hard for him to stay awake!

I'm checking in to say that I updated my blog list over on the left--took out a few that have gone defunct and added some new discoveries. So check them out!

I took a couple of red pictures today but haven't had a chance to upload them and see if they came out. Maybe later.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Summer's here.

I don't want to be a big giant baby, I really don't--but it's supposed to be in the 90's here for the entire future 10-day forecast and probably beyond, and all I can say is "Waaaaaaaaaaah!"

It wasn't supposed to happen this soon! It's only the beginning of June! It's too soon for ho
t and humid! I was supposed to have a couple more weeks!

Every year I take it harder (insert rueful laugh.) The summers are going to be what drives me out of Virginia, I swear it!

Anyway, here's a couple of red pictures--from indoors this time. Although I can't stay inside till this heat wave's over, so I may as well go out and get some groceries. Ugh.

It's been fun the past couple of days, looking for red things in my daily life.

Look at what I got in the mail yesterday from my awesome mom!

She's made quilted tote bags for my sister and my sister-in-law, and a number of people she works with, but I never felt like I needed one. Then a few months ago, I started using reusable grocery bags, and I thought to myself how nice it would be to have a pretty bag for my other shopping. I've never been much of a shopper, and I'm even less of one now that the gas companies have decided to ruin us all, so one bag will cover my non-grocery needs pretty well. I just have to remember to use it! I can usually remember to grab my grocery bags, so I think I can remember to have this one on hand, too.

Look at all the pockets inside! I love the fabric--I wanted something darker but still feminine. It was hard to find!

And Mom added little flower buttons on the pocket and the top that just match perfectly. That's my mom all over!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

I saw red.

Sara at the Sadie Olive blog is doing an "I Saw Red" week, where you keep an eye out for red things and share them every day. Red is my favorite color!

Here's what I saw today.

Wonder what I'll spot tomorrow?


I have just a couple of pictures from the last few weeks to share. My brother's family came to visit for Mother's Day weekend. It was cold and blustery, but we went to the park anyway:

...and we took a walk along the beach. No swimming, though!

They're coming to visit again in a couple of weeks, and as hot as it's been here, I think we'll have some good beach weather for them.

Our wedding anniversary was May 23, and Todd took the day off so we could go to Elizabeth City, NC and do some antique-hunting. I printed off a list of bookstores and antique stores, but it was all quite drab and blah.

But they do have a marina:

...and some nice shady streets to walk along and look at the old houses. We don't have too many old homes here in Newport News (and they're mostly not in places where you'd want to take a stroll) so that was a treat.

I really like the last one...I love crusty old carved things. Other than the stroll, and a nice lunch at a local nursery that had a little restaurant, Elizabeth City was a bust. But it was a stunningly gorgeous day, and we had fun being together. We treated ourselves to our regular anniversary dinner at the Biergarten in Portsmouth on the way home, so it all ended well!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Yard sale finds.

We were having our new mattress set delivered yesterday sometime between 8 and 10 AM, but we found a few sales that started at 7 AM, so we left bright and early and ran out to see what we could find.

We came skidding back home at about 8:05, and the delivery guys were just getting out of their truck! Whew!

Then after they left, we went back out for a couple more hours. We're yard sale addicts, I fear.

Here's a couple things I found:

a small McCoy planter bowl to add to my collection:

two pairs of linen cargo pants, two pairs of capris, one pair of dress pants:

a few old books (I think I might frame the seashell pages for our bedroom):

an old birdcage--at least I think it's old:

We were planning to stop by Target or somewhere to pick up some queen-size sheets for our new bed, but I found a set at a church rummage sale for $3.00. Score!

They don't match everything exactly, but for three bucks they'll certainly do until I find the perfect new set. I think they're quite pretty, too!

Our new bed is so, so wonderful. We've been sleeping in a double bed for 16 years--the first eight years we had a very old hand-me-down from Todd's folks, then we bought a new Sealy Posturepedic in 2000, which started going south after about five years, and now we've made the move to a queen.

We've had the bed since December, when we bought our new bedroom set, but waited around to get the new mattress. So we've had the new headboard propped against the wall with the old full bed in front, and the footboard and side rails tucked up in the garage loft. Not the greatest arrangement! Now it's all put together and looks great.

(Hey, I don't even make the bed for my own husband--do you really think I'm going to make it just to impress y'all?)

I had noticed that Macy's was having a Memorial Day mattress sale last weekend, so we stopped in and lay on a few and found a Sealy with memory foam incorporated that we liked pretty well. But Todd is a shopper-arounder (sometimes annoying, but usually a good thing) and we stopped at the Original Mattress Factory the next day and found one we liked even better. Then we went to Mattress Discounters and lay on a few more Sealys with memory foam. But we ended up liking the Original Mattress Factory set the best.

Can I say a few words about the OMF? This is a chain that was founded by a guy who'd been with some mattress company for years and decided to spin off and build his own mattresses and sell them direct. This guy, Ron Trezinski, does his own commercials, and much as you might expect, they are supremely annoying. He reads his own copy in what I can only describe as a lilting monotone. It makes you want to stick skewers into your ears...especially if you have auditory hyper-sensitivity like I do. <---I made up my own name for my condition--nice, no?

OMF had stores in Columbus, so we were subjected to the commercials when we lived there, and then we moved down to Hampton Roads, VA, which also happens to be an OMF market. Nooooo! When I worked at the scrapbook store and had the radio on all day, I used to sit and fantasize about ways to kill Ron Trezinski, who was a VERY heavy advertiser on the classic rock station! And here we were about to put a fairly hefty sum of money into that man's pocket. But we lay down on this extra-firm mattress with a thin pillowtop and it just felt like heaven. Supportive, yet just the right amount of cushyness.

Ah well. Scruples just can't stand up against the promise of a good night's sleep, and I certainly did have that last night. But Ron Trezinski can still bite me.