Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Toile Party.

Pretty Organized Palace is having a Toile Party today, and how serendipitous! Because my mother-in-law stitched me up a gorgeous toile shower curtain last week:

I've had this lavender toile fabric knocking around for seven years, ever since we bought a house in Columbus that had a lavender bedroom. I turned it into my study, and I was amazingly productive in that room, which I attribute to the lavender.

I fell in love with this lavender toile and bought it to make curtains for the room, but we were in and out of that house so quickly (eight months or so), I never had the time.

I've been hanging onto it ever since, waiting, and I finally got the chance to use it in my newly painted and redone guest bath.

The background is not as creamy as it looks above--it's hard to get the color right both with flash and without. We trimmed it with the green stripe because I spent months trying to find a coordinating fabric, and finally decided to go with something completely contrasting. I'm so thrilled with how it came out! Thanks, Viv!

Go take a look at everyone else's toile items, too. I love toile.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This week...

...this is the Big Project:

I will get this bathroom done in a timely manner, I will, I will...!

(And let me be clear that the filth on the wall was there when we moved in and has proven impervious to scrubbing--so I hung a cabinet over it. Now I'm gonna paint over it!)

While I work, I am singing along with this:

I got this set up the way I want:

I'm putting together this:

...for an Easter basket swap...it's going to be really pretty when I get it done!

Reading this, and not sure if it's worth it:

And there's always, always this, isn't there?

When I get to heaven, St. Peter's going to hand me a full laundry basket, I just know it.

And now I have to go scrounge up some dinner out of this:

I've been trying to get us to eat up everything in the freezer, and we're truly down to the dregs now, though it may not look like it. Not much besides frozen stock, waffles, and random ancient bits of meat. And lemon ices.

Hope everybody's having a happy Monday!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Recent thrift store finds:

Five volumes of a set of literature for children, published in 1909.

They have gorgeous illustrations!

I stacked up three of them on the mantel:

I also found a gorgeous, heavy, pressed-glass egg plate. Time to make some deviled eggs, I think!

I picked up a sweet little needlepoint picture of a house a couple of weeks ago, and left its mate there, but since it was still there when I went in on Monday, I decided to get it, too. I'm glad I did:

Got some good news today...the weather's all fun and blustery...and I've got a good book to read tonight while Todd plays poker...things are pretty good here. See ya~!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March marches on.

It's funny how you blink and a week has gone by, and you blink again and a month has gone by, and....etc.

Todd's parents were here from Thursday evening till Tuesday morning, and then there's just been the other everyday type of busyness, too. Todd's dad helped him put in our new bathroom floor, and Todd's mom sewed me up a gorgeous shower curtain--but the bathroom's not quite complete, and I'm not sharing pics till it is! It's looking nice, though! Just a medicine cabinet and a couple of things to hang up yet.

I've been wanting to share these pics for almost two weeks and just haven't had time to sit down and put them in that way I wanted. The "mystery man" in my last post was my brother Jeremy, who came down weekend before last for a church men's retreat in Williamsburg. He came down a day early, and he and I spent a Friday doing some geocaching, which is his mania--I mean, hobby.

We found 17 geocaches here in Newport News and across the James River over in Smithfield and Surry and in Williamsburg.

This is St. Luke's Church in Smithfield, which is the oldest English church in the U.S, built in 1632. Some friends of Todd's and mine got married there five years ago, and it was a very neat place to attend a wedding.

This was a virtual cache, which means there wasn't anything stashed there--you just had to take a picture and answer a question about one of the signs, I think.

Some tombstones in the graveyard:

On the road into Smithfield...we had lunch in town and found a couple of caches:

Daffs are blooming:

This was an odd spot on the road to Surry, a very old church that burned in the 1860s, but the ruins have been maintained:

Inside the structure (which is held together by a steel band running around it) are these piles of old bricks and some tree trunks. Like I said, it's all very odd.

More tombstones:

Then we rode the ferry back over the James River, which is always fun:

Here I am, with my arm on a birdcrap-encrusted railing, which my brother didn't bother to warn me about:

And then we ended up on the campus of the College of William and Mary, where all the students were happily anticipating their spring break:

And we strolled around Williamsburg, where Jeremy gave Thomas J. some pointers on the Declaration:

This was the last cache of the day, as the sunlight faded:

It was a really fun day--my brother is one of my top five favorite people in the world, so it was special to get to spend a rare day hanging out with him.

Looking at these pics, I'm marveling at the sunshine! It was a warm, sunny, windy day, and so nice--we have literally gone a week without a speck of sunshine. Today the sun finally came out around 10 AM, and the last time I saw it was last Wednesday. Crazy! My poor in-laws, coming down to Virginia from Ohio for a taste of spring sunshine, were totally denied. It could NOT have been more gloomy and wet and awful while they were here.

Last night it dried off long enough for Todd and me to go see Carbon Leaf play at the Newport News St. Patrick's festival. The festival was supposed to be Friday, but the weather was just too wet. It actually worked out nicely to have it on St. Patrick's Day itself, and the crowd was smaller, too. I staked out a spot right at the rail so I could see the stage, and it was awesome! As a five-foot tall person, concerts and parades are usually an unsatisfying experience for me, so I was glad we got there early and I could be right in front and watch the guys playing their instruments.

Other than that, it's just laundry and other boring stuff here. I need to do the last bits of touching up on the baseboards in the bathroom and then I'll be moving on to the trim in the master bath. I have a plan for that bathroom, wherein we'll get it done in 3-5 days, instead of 3-5 weeks. Wish me luck on that!

I found something cool at the thrift store on Monday, I'll share that later.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What I've been doing...

On Friday I spent the whole day with this mystery man:

(more about that in another post.)

Saturday at the flea market I bought this:

...and these:

On Monday, I had to give up on these:

...because they don't correct my astigmatism well enough (the reason I couldn't see all last week) and to have custom contacts made would cost a small fortune. So I ordered new glasses instead. Ah well!

We are still working on this:

...as you can see we have a new countertop and faucet (yay!) but have yet to re-mount the mirror because when we attempted it on Sunday we did this to it:

...so we had to go buy a new mirror at Lowe's and of course it's not the same size, so I had to do some more touch-up painting.

I am a little tired of looking at these:

I'm still trying to finish this:

And of course there's always this:

Currently I am ignoring this:

...in order to have a little sit-down and write this blog post. It's next on my to-do list, along with throwing together some supper (chicken-brown rice casserole.)

Hope everybody's having a good week so far.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Checking in again.

This seems to be my week to recommend things...have you tried the Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer? I have always used regular Scrubbing Bubbles to clean the tub and shower and various other things, but this stuff is beyond. The promo page says it "makes scrubbing virtually obsolete" and I have to say that it's true. I use a little scrubby brush when I clean the tub, but it doesn't even really work with this mega foamer stuff; it's overkill. All you really need is a nice soft cloth, and you just wipe the grime away.

I'm not usually one to rave about cleaning products, but this stuff really is fantastic.

In other shopping news, I have also been thinking a lot about Etsy and independent entrepeneurs in this weird and crazy economy we have going on right now. There are several issues meshing in my mind...the dangerousness and cheap quality of many items that are coming from China, the precariousness of small businesses, and the desire to keep even just a tiny bit of spending money here in this country where it belongs.

So there have been a couple of times in the past couple weeks when I needed something (new make-up and travel cases, body spray, a birthday gift) and instead of running to Target or Bath and Body Works, I checked Etsy first. For comparable prices, you can get something really unique (and safer, less chemical-laden, etc.) and put money directly into the pocket of someone who I'm sure can use it. So don't forget about Etsy and all the cool shops there. Not having to put on real clothes and search for a parking place and fight the crowds is just an additional bonus!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Checking in.

I don't have much to say, I've just been fumbling around here trying to get used to these lenses and battling headaches. It's been a dull and annoying week so far--I really hate not being able to see!

I just wanted to mention this very neat website called Librivox, where you can listen to public domain books being read. I had found it a couple of years ago, but only started using it recently, when I began working my way through Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone for a discussion on the Classic Literature forum at PaperbackSwap. It's a very long book and it's taking me a while to get through it, so sometimes when I'm cooking dinner or mopping the floor or folding laundry, I listen to a chapter or two on Librivox. It's absolutely free (since they're readng public domain books) and the readers are quite good. So if there's a classic you're wanting to hear, they probably have it.

The snow is melting, the sun is out, and it feels like we're back on track for spring. Over and out!

Monday, March 02, 2009


Well, I tried to post this morning but I couldn't view the blog, so that was kind of pointless. Anyway, here are some pictures from our "big" snowstorm:

It's a lot easier to get psyched about snow and cold when you have electric power and can have hot tea and heat blowing out of the vents. Unfortunately, our power went out at 10 PM last night, so it was a mite chilly when we got up this morning. Thank goodness for the fireplace--that kept me warm till I had to venture out to see the eye doctor at 9:30. And when I got home at 10:30, the power was back on. Which is wonderful, because it's even colder tonight. I'm not sure how much snow we got in all...it kept snowing most of the day, so maybe 3"? But we'd had rain the whole day before, so there was a little ice under the snow, which was treacherous. Yeah, we're weather wussies here.

It was just such an "off" feeling day--I didn't sleep well because I didn't have my fan blowing white noise, and so I got up at 5:15 with Todd, and then I had to drive on snow and ice, which was very odd, and then I got some trial contact lenses at the eye doctor, so I wore those for a few hours and went around completely disoriented, and then I got a headache from being disoriented, so I lay down in the mid-afternoon after I took the lenses out, and then I woke up when Todd came through the door and we ate dinner late because I hadn't started it yet. Just a very out-of-the-ordinary day.

Not sure about the lenses yet--I still think I look better with glasses. And the disorientation is unpleasant. Todd says it gets better--he really likes his. I'm willing to give it a week, anyway.