Nov 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I pray each and every one of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We all...even in times of troubles have so much to be thankful for!

Our plan, this year,  is to have everyone in the family together...for the first time in many years...

as this Thanksgiving is especially special!

My dad turns 90

and my adorable grand daughter turns 1

Now my prayer is that illness...snow...etc...does not get in the way of our plans, but God is in control...and if our plans line up with HIS WILL happen!
I'm leaving it in Gods hands!

Enjoy your family and tell them you love never know if this could be your last chance!!




Nov 21, 2013

DIY...This Back Splash Rules!

Meet my friend and co worker, Tammy...

Nurse by day....

DIY'er by night...

Tammy moved into a new old house a couple of years ago...and being the DIY'er that she is...has been making some huge changes throughout. 
Today I'm going to focus on the kitchen!!

Here are a couple of pictures of it when they moved in...

do you see all of the hurdles she was facing?

They have come a long way since move in...

Here is how it looks today...

what a difference!! 

As you can see from the pictures...they got rid of the fluorescent lighting...removed the wall paper and boarder (seen only in the first picture) painted the walls...painted the kitchen cabinets got some new handles...and counter tops...replaced the floor...replaced the sink and the faucet...removed the doors from the cabinet above the fridge so now it is a showcase for her milk glass collection...reworked the cabinet over the microwave to move it up...and create an open shelf for her cookbooks...
(she loves to cook and AND is GOOD at it!!)  
And...they removed the decorative  ugly spindles!

jeez...I'm tired just typing it all! 
But what a difference these changes have made in her kitchen!

Did I forget anything?

I did...

The window...has not been replaced yet...and that wood sash thing in front of it is coming down...but that's in the works...and not what I'm talking about.

 I'm talking about..

The back splash!

Her back splash rules!

lots and lots of rules!

Check this out...

What a great idea! 

Tammy used this product to glue her rulers on...but there are many products out there that would work for a project like this.

Since the counters were pretty level...she started from there...and moved up. At the top there was a small gap, so she "trimmed" it out with cover that. She also trimed the corners and the sides along the cabinet and the fridge with vertical rulers.

Other than a couple of oops!

It was a simple, quick and inexpensive DYI project! 
Tammy finished her's off with 3 coats of poly to protect it. 

It looks great in Tammy's kitchen the way that it is...
but I can also see it finished in so many other ways! Depending on the finish you could work in just about any kitchen from rustic! Here are some other idea's.

Painted with a brush nickle paint
stained...using a few different colors
painted white (or any other color) with a high gloss paint
color washed
could incorporate a design
could purchase vintage rulers, and leave them facing forward

What might work in your kitchen??

I know Tammy ordered her rulers online...and I'm not sure where she purchased hers from...but here are a couple sources I found very quickly... here and here.

If you have any questions about this project...please just ask!

Thanks Tammy for allowing us into your kitchen!!

It looks fabulous!!


Let's Party with:

common ground

Nov 14, 2013

The Linen Tablecloth

Thanksgiving is right around the corner...and unlike years past where some of my Michigan family came to Indiana to celebrate here with us...this year because my dad is unable to travel...we are all heading to Michigan for Thanksgiving. So today even though it is still almost 2 weeks before we leave... I am going to pack the most important thing that I need to take with there is no way that I will forget it!!  In doing so I thought about a post I had posted a couple of years back...and thought it would be a good one to re post this year. It is about one of our family traditions...and one of my most prized possessions... 

The Linen Tablecloth
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. A time when friends and family will come together for fun, food and traditions. I love the Holidays…and Thanksgiving…is my Holiday. We can have anywhere from 15 people on up to 25.   

I’d love to have a big fancy table, with fine china and stemware…

but we really just are not a fancy people…

we are a lazy people! 

So we use paper…sorry…it’s just the way we roll. 

Here is our table from a few years ago

This is about as fancy as it gets!

So…this post isn’t about fancy tablecloths and fancy dishes silver flatware & crystal stemware. Instead it is about 1 simple linen tablecloth and a tradition that started about 10 years ago.  

I purchased a linen tablecloth at an auction…nobody else seemed  to want the old linen tablecloth so I paid practically nothing for her.  I had her for a few years…and still the linen tablecloth never got used (remember we are not a fancy people)  but one day I got an idea…maybe I read about it or saw it on a tv show…I really don’t remember, but I got the inspiration to use the linen table cloth.  We didn't use her for a traditional table covering, but after dinner was all cleaned up and put away  that's when our linen tablecloth come out. 

The first year…the people... (mostly the little people)... mocked the linen tablecloth…they thought it was “stupid”…to have this linen tablecloth at our Thanksgiving get together…but year after year the linen tablecloth was brought out after dinner. Everyone began to enjoy the linen tablecloth…you might even say that people began to look  forward to seeing her make an appearance every year!  She was invited to stay longer and longer so people could admire her…The linen tablecloth has changed over the years, it doesn’t look as pristine as it once did…it has been handled to many times now…but she is beautiful!

One year the linen tablecloth was forgotten…it was the one year we decided to go to Michigan for thanksgiving…we forgot her in the old sideboard …and to this day…we are saddened by the fact that we forgot our little linen tablecloth. I know how much she missed by not being with us that Thanksgiving…she would have been enriched by spending time with our extended family...and would have carried a piece of them back home with her.  

Our little linen tablecloth holds so many memories now…

she is filled with memories...

Art work...

Baby hand turkey's & scribbles 



're such a kidder


the once unwanted linen tablecloth is worth quite a bit to us.

She is a one-of-a-kind linen tablecloth.'s packed...I would NOT want to miss another year!!

Thanks so much for stopping by...
and if you leave me a comment...well that is icing on the cake!


Linking up to:

52 mantels               no minimalist here            live laugh rowe        embracing change

Nov 9, 2013

The Yearly Christmas Card Family Photo

Have you started thinking about Christmas Cards yet?

I know it's kind of early...but you have to start thinking about these things early!

Do you send family photos in your cards?

I always plan on it...but it usually gets put on the back burner...and I never end up following through!

My daughter likes to send a family picture in her Christmas card...
and I am her lucky photographer.
By lucky I don't necessarily mean, I am lucky to go take their pictures....though I do enjoy it...but what I mean is... if I take 200 pictures...I am lucky to get one or two that are usable.

Tomorrow is the day...

So...I went to get some idea's on some family Christmas photo poses.

I saw some "traditional" photo's

you know the kind...nice family photo in front of the Chritmas Tree or the fireplace


with matching pajama's

which by the way I could never, ever in a million years get my hubby to agree too!



like who is taking this picture...and why are they not being reflected into the bulb???

simple and cute...




I love this...but jeeze...I think that would take some practice...
and quite possibly a broken bone or two!

mom and dad kissing photo's while kids look on....


or don't

This next one I love...
but conditions have to be just right on photo day!!


and that just never happens around here!

kids gazing at beautiful tree's...

So many many great ideas out there...cute...goofy...precious...traditional...


you have my friends...

and yes I do claim them as friends...

wacky friends...


hicks...well...yes...but the very best kind!!

will do anything for a laugh...

I just have to share their last 3 Christmas card photo's

The 1st year, it was cute, funny...and just a little weird...

you might have to look close to even notice it...
cause the clothes...well you very well might catch them dressed like this any time...they do live on a farm...and have horses and chickens...but it you look real close you see the BUBBA teeth!
The BUBBA teeth to become a common thread in all Christmas photos from here on out...

Now on to year number 2

BUBBA teeth...
real snow...
real water..
really cold...
check, check, check...
receiving the Christmas card...

On to Number 3...

are you ready...

what is in store for us in Christmas Card No. 3

that is a REAL horse...
walking into the front door of their REAL home...
that is a REAL rooster 
sitting their on her lap...
YES these people are wacky...
and YES
they will do anything for a REAL laugh!

no  GUILT by association PLEASE...
...because I unlike THEM would NEVER allow my HORSE to
come into MY HOUSE

without first making him take his hat off!


linking to: from my front porch to yours
home stories a to z

Nov 7, 2013

My kitchen before and after reveal!!

What a difference a day can make!!

I took this picture on Tuesday....

The "Before"

and...Ta Da!!!

The "After" was cold, windy and rainy...

These pictures were taken today...

with a few just hanging on for dear life!

again the before and after

Amazing...I know!
I didn't raise a finger either! I have a Heavely decorator...
and I let him make all the decisons!

So I hope you're not feeling let down!
I sort of tricked you....
no freshly updated kitchen...
no new appliance's...
or counter tops...
In my opinion...
my "before" was actually better than my "After" 
but are there really any rules to the 
"Before and Afters" of blog land?
 if so I guess I better read the rule book...and then I probably won't follow them anyway!

Stay tuned for the really big reveal...
My Heavenly decorator really knows how to brighten up the gray days after those leaves...leaf us 


I can't wait to share it with you!!

Maybe if and when I get to the window treatments...or change and move that light fixture...I will reveal that too!
woot! woot!
I know you can't wait!!


Nov 6, 2013

The Shell

I just a spent another few days in Michigan.
 I don't share much about my parents on this blog...other than the fact that I have been driving the 6 hours to see them just as often as I can...usually once or twice a month, because their health is declining! My dad has bone cancer, my mom has memory issues. 
I can't bring myself to call it what it is! 
Even after all of this time...these words sting like a knife and bring tears to the eyes!
This Thanksgiving day my dad turns 90 years old...on the same day that my Grand daughter turns 1!!
How blessed I have been to have my parents this long...and both relatively healthy until this year!
In the past some of my family, along with my parents have come to Indiana for Thanksgivng. This year...unsure of what was ahead...we decided if we were fortunate enough to still have dad with us we would get everyone together and spend it with them in Michigan. All of their children...grand children...and great grand children together for Thanksgiving. 
This is our plan and I'm praying it lines up with 
 God's plan!

About a week or so ago...I got an email from my husband. He had surprised me with this story...which touched me more than you can know! I had no idea he had noticed the shell``...that I myself had been noticing and wondering about!  I decided that I would like to share his writing with you!

Listening to the shell 


     During a recent visit to my wife’s parent’s house, I found an old and odd souvenir. Sitting alone on a shelf was a large conch shell collecting dust. After blowing off some of the dust, I could find nothing on the shell to identify where it had come from, or any indication as to its age. And knowing my mother in-law, do not know what would have prompted her to buy it in the first place. I am just assuming it came from some distant vacation taken while both my in-laws were younger, happier, and more care free. The shell, if you could ask my mother in-law, means something, and I am confident that back in the day held special memories for her. These memories are still found on the inside of the shell, just waiting for someone to lend a mindful ear and listen carefully.
     With an eager grin, I followed my own memories from childhood, and held the shell next to my ear so I could “hear the ocean.” As a child full of youthful imagination, I believed that the soft hiss was actually the ocean trapped inside, and no matter where I went, I could carry the ocean with me in a shell.
     The best part of taking the shell is that I could take it and share the sound with anyone willing to listen. Of course, I would also then have their second ear to listen to my story of when, and where, and embellished with other special bits that made the journey to the ocean oh so special. The story time would really become even more special if the listener had a tale to share after listening to their version of the ocean within. The key to success was understanding that it wasn’t the ocean you heard, but the tiny feet of a distant memory charging forward to be heard from again.
All these years later, listening to the shell offers an entirely different opportunity. Listening to the ebb and flow of the silence, I can easily slip away for a few moments of “me time” and walk the South Carolina coast on Paradise Island as a child. Picking up Hermit crabs, sand dollars, and tasting the salt of the ocean for the first time. Changing ears, I can feel the hot Hawaiian sun on my skin, and once again walk the beach of Waikiki hand in hand with my wife. Feeling the sand squish between my toes, and hear the gentle lapping of water on sand. The warm gentle breeze cooling freshly baked skin. Switching back again, I can escape to a vacation yet to be taken, to remove a wish from my bucket, and fish for bones along the Key West highway. In any scenario, the tiny feet of memory rush in and take me away immediately, and the journey is always pleasant.
     It has always been painful hearing the words cancer or dementia, even more so when applied to someone you love. The pain doesn’t lessen with time, but grows as I stand idly by and watch the individual diseases cover each of them separately, yet together, with a thick pall of age and pending death. Both are aware that I am there, but neither is capable of exhibiting the life that formally rang through. What remains are two people hollowed from the wages of their individual struggles, but hallowed for the lives they have shared with each other. They talk about their day, recounting how well they slept or didn’t. How good they feel today, or don’t. Never really complaining, trying to sound hopeful or optimistic, and somehow reciting the words that they believe we want to hear. Both saying all this with all the strength that they can muster, with the sincere belief that in some small way, they are comforting us, their children.
     Both people are not who they used to be. The diseases have changed them permanently, and have diminished them physically. Although significantly different physically, much like the conch, they still have much to share. As often as possible, I visit and hold the “shells” as close as possible. When they talk about having a bad day, I hear a Strawberry story of a field fire that destroyed the family crops. When they talk about having a good day, I see a “speckled hound dog under a little red wagon” or or remember how a little girl started life in a homemade incubator made from canning jars, a shoe box, and undying faith in God. On the rare occasion that laughter is part of the day, it’s easy to remember that laughter always started with any story that started with “one time me and Ben D. …..”

     These “shells” will never have to worry about being found on a shelf, nor be concerned with collecting dust from years of neglect. I will bring myself to hug these shells more tightly, and listen more closely than ever, with my heart. There are numerous memories that still want to ring through what is happening today. And still more memories to load into the shell for later…… 
written by Bob E.

I just ask that you would say a prayer for my parents and the family!

Thank you so much!
and please, take the time with your parents while you can!
I want to have no regrets later!

God Bless