Drooling


Hubby and I taking week-end off. We’re driving along a highway and I’m drooling over what I’ve just seen. You’re probably imagining all kinds of wonderful things:

A beautiful scene.
A great looking restaurant.
A great store.
A beautiful lake.
A coyote
A rainbow.
A field of flowers.

Nope.

What has me drooling is a massive pile of broken concrete! My husband would tell you how often I’ve said under similar circumstance, “Hey, we should stop and see if they’ll give us some.”

I don’t know why I love it so much, except for the fact that I’ve used so much of it in my gardens. To me there’s’ nothing greater than a disheveled broken concrete wall.

Oh. well. We can’t stop but you can count on the fact that the next driveway I see getting torn up in my neighborhood, I’m going to be stopping and begging.

garage sale bonanza


Today was garage sales. Thought I’d share some treasures with you.

These are four heavy wood placemats I got for $1.00 for all four.

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They were metallic gold abeit a little scratched so because I always have metallic spray paint sitting around, I gave them a very light coat. They are wonderful. After I took this picture I noticed the mat in the lower right hand corner still had some tape residue left over so I used my “Goof-off” and cleaned it off and repainted.

20130524-142532.jpgThis is a wonderful old crate I bought for fifty cents. I lightly sprayed it with whatever white paint I had laying around. Then I used a black marker to spruce up the wire handle.

20130524-142500.jpgThis is the only kind of dog I will ever have in my home. No pooping, no barking, no biting, no shedding, no chewing. He was $3.00 but I talked the lady into $2.00 because his right front leg was cracked. Wouldn’t you know I cracked it some more when I took it out of the trunk. So I took tissue paper and white glue and made a kind of “cast”. Then I painted over his leg and all is well. He goes great with my new shabby chic living room.

This next picture is perhaps my favorite “find” so far. The base is from a birdbath. Cost: $2.00. The tray is metal and has one missing leg so I replaced it’s spot on my craft hutch with the wood/wire carrier from 2nd picture. So I was thinking. What to do with this tray? Bingo. Went outside and stuck in on pedestal base. Cost? Free. I placed a rock on it for butterflies. Cost? Free.

I just love it when I have days like today when all the creative juices are a firin’. What do you think?

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DIY/table


This set of pictures shows how one can  take a $1.00 table and re-do, and re-do and re-do. But first the back story.

I bought this table about ten years ago at a church rummage sale. The top doesn’t even belong to the bottom. The bottom is an old sewing machine table and the top looks like it might be from a dresser. It’s not even attached. When I spotted it I knew it had the right “bones”.

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that ole’ green-eyed monster


lnc-green-eyedToday’s daily prompt is all about jealousy. The question when is the last time you were truly jealous of someone? Did you act on it and did it hurt your relationship?

Jealousy is not something I deal with often. (I have other issues. This just doesn’t happen to be one of them . 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever been jealous of a person but I have been jealous of their skills.  I have a close friend who has torn down walls, put up drywall, refinished a bathroom and a kitchen, including the plumbing and electricity and is now tackling some other projects. But then I tell myself, I could do it too.  She learned by reading and doing. It wasn’t innate. I figure could learn by reading and doing as well. I just don’t want to. And if that sounds like, “I could’ve gotten a better grade if I’d studied more”, so be it.

I have another close  friend who is an amazing baker.  I’m not even close. I envy her flaky crusts. Her pastries are the best I’ve ever had and I’ve been to Paris several times, the epicenter of flaky pastry. Her pastry is better. Could I learn to make crusts as good as her? Probably. It just doesn’t interest me that much.  I’d rather eat the fruits of her labor than labor myself.

These same friends though would both tell you that they envy the skills I have. They would not even think about trying to create and administer a blog. They are technologically challenged. They are also directionally challenged which is why if we go somewhere together, I do the driving. When it comes to decorating, they see me as far more talented and seek out my advice before doing anything in their homes.

I think one of the reasons I don’t have a huge problem with jealousy is that I figure that given enough time and effort, I can pretty much accomplish what others can do given enough time and hard work. It’s not that I’m that sure of myself but that I know that I’ve beat some big odds through my tenacity and I figure tenacity is half the battle in learning anything. Boy, I hope that’s true for blogging as well.

Oops, I did think of one thing I do covet. Bloggers who have beautiful blogs with great pictures.They have all the bells and whistles, the great cameras. I can’t even find the bells and whistles. I keep refining my blog and everyday I pray for new knowledge. I keep my “WordPress for Dummies” and my  “Blogging for Dummies” books right next to my computer. I find getting this blog to look and act the way I want it to is hard work. The staff at WordPress has been great when I can’t figure it out myself and I try hard not to bug them unless I really run into a road block.

So maybe that’s the thing about jealousy.

As long as we’re pursuing something we’re passionate about, we don’t have a lot of room for envy. I’m glad my friends are able to do what I can’t.

I’ve never acted on my envy  so it’s never affected our relationship. I’m too busy pursuing the things I’m interested in to worry about what doesn’t appeal to me that much in the first place.

So the cure for jealousy? Find something you are passionate about and pursue it.

(ps. This was also posted to “depressionsgift.com”)

caring enough to hurt


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(This was also published to “depressionsgift”.  This version has been edited somewhat for possible post to Facebook.)

I used to think I was too sensitive. It is certainly true that things seem to bother me more than other people.  I “read” people and situations very well, a blessing and a curse. For the longest time, I thought it was a curse. After all, I’m the one whose feelings are hurt, right? I’m the one taking things to heart, right?

Wrong.

(p.s. hope the “more” tag shows up.  First time I’ve used it.)

Lately, I’m coming to appreciate my sensitivity albeit I still wish the volume was turned down a little. It dawned on me today that there are people in my life who would no longer be in my life were I not sensitive enough to identify some issues between us. Of course I realize that the loss might not have been of the same magnitude to them as it would have been too me. Why is that, do you suppose? Why is it some of us seemed doomed to experience more disillusionment than others? Is there something innately wrong with us?

I don’t think so.

I’ve often thought how my life might be different without my sensitivities. Yes, I wouldn’t have been hurt as often but I also wouldn’t have loved as much, cared as much, invested as much. Which is worse? Too care too much or to care too little? I think not caring is certainly easier and less tumultuous. Maybe those people who seem “hard” are that way because they, too, have been hurt so they adopted an “I don’t care about anyone else” attitude. Kind of like a shield. Keep everyone away and live for yourself.

I have to be honest; I’ve tried that lately. It’s not working.

I can no more give up caring than I can give up my five o’clock cappuccino. I even said,”I don’t care anymore.” “I’ve had it.” “I’m not going there again.” Sound familiar? But what’s the alternative? Not caring?  Maybe authentic living is all about:

Caring enough to be hurt. 

I really wish I were different. I’m just not. My husband says it’s my greatest strength-the caring part, but that it also keeps me from enjoying my own life at times.

I knew someone once who sailed through life. I swear if she ever had a deep thought, I’ve not been privy to it. She has an uncanny ability to keep her life focused on herself.  She was pretty high maintenance. Down deep I envied her.  A part of me would like to be like her.

I wish I could make my life more about me. I mean that. I really do. I would certainly feel less stress at times. I’m one of those people who takes life and responsibility a little too seriously. Consequently, I’m too vulnerable. I  guess I’m stuck with me. The me God created. “Hey, God, don’t you think you could have made me just a little tougher?”

I’m trying to think why this post and why today?  I’m having a good day. I think it might be because of a few blogs I’ve just read. It seems that there are many “sensitives” out there, people sensitive to a fault. You think deeper than most. You evaluate your relationships more than most. All of these are really good qualities. I’m a firm believer that “the examined life is the only life worth living”. It boils down to this:

You want to feel an intimate connection with the people in your life and when you don’t, you’re hurt and confused.

There you go. That’s it. That’s it for me. I want to know the people in my life that I care deeply about, care deeply about me as well. And I want more than words. Can I just say, words can be very cheap. They’re also easy. Words by themselves, no matter how loving are simply not enough to sustain a relationship.

I want the phone calls.I want to discuss things. I want others to share with me when they’re struggling. I want to be invited over. I want to know I’m thought about. I want to know what’s going on in their lives. I want to just “chat”. I want to have fun with them. I want to feel I’m a part of their lives, etc.

Are you wondering if I follow my own guidelines?  I do.

So maybe this post is a wake-up call. Maybe there are some of you that are struggling with some of these same issues, but when you look at your own behavior you realize there’s some things you need to be doing. Maybe you’ve been waiting for others to always come to you. From one who does do the initiating, I can tell you that always being the initiator gets really old, really quick.

Of course we need to be aware when we’re too sensitve as well. Being a sensitive person means we care and, of course, that’s a good thing. But we have to be careful that we aren’t so nitpicky in our relationships,we expect too much. From another’s perspective, that can get old, too. We don’t want to always find faults in a relationship.  I’m not talking about that. What I’m addressing here are those behaviors in others that are causing us continual confusion and hurt.

I’m glad that when I was writing this chapter in my book, I actually took some time to define what I want from a relationship. It keeps me from getting caught up in a shallow relationship that’s only one-sided. I read something several years ago that has served me well. It goes something like this: “When you’re in the beginning of a relationship and there are some behaviors in your friend that really bother you, you have one of two choices. Talk to them about it or decide to live with it. Because one thing is for sure, this is how the relationship is going to go.”

We have to realize that no matter what we want, some people may not be able to give it. Or they  have a different criteria altogether.That’s a hard one. A really hard one. How far can we go with that?. Do we want to stay in a relationship where we’re carrying most of the load? Is it worth it to us? It might well be. There might be enough other good aspects of the relationship that more than make up for the fact that it doesn’t fit within our definition of friendship.

I think each of us has to decide when a crossroads has been reached. When the hurts outweigh the hugs.When the balance of the “reciprocity scales”  never tilts to their side.We can put up with it until we decide we’re tired of being hurt and they’re not going to change

OR

We can decide to re-invent the relationship and start all over putting different parameters in place. If it’s a relationship worth saving, it’s worth giving it a try. I’ve had some newly born relationships that I’ve completely let dissolve.The reciprocity wasn’t there from the beginning and I decided I didn’t want a relationship like that. I’ve had others where I’ve been willing to change some of my own expectations because the relationships are that important. There’s a lot of history.They haven’t knowingly hurt me, they simply haven’t defined friendship the way I have.

The issue then becomes how do stay the same person who by their very nature is the initiator, the giver, and yet back away a little so as not to be put in the same situation over and over again. I think that what we do is fine tune our expectations. Wipe the slate clean and start over. We are not obligated to tell anyone what we’re doing. It’s all from our perspective anyway. We continue to give but we’re just a tiny bit less generous. We hold back a tiny bit. We initiate a tiny bit less. We make sure that whatever we give is given freely and we entertain fewer expectations.

We back away a little in the hope they will come forward a little.

If they don’t, we learn to overlook it and not let it consume us. We let the relationship find its normal set point ,like water seeking its own level. This is NOT easy. It goes against our very nature. But for our own sake, it needs to happen. If it’s a strong relationship, it will survive this “settling”.

Life is all about relationships.The best ones are open and honest, with shared responsibility. But even those that are not ideal might be worth keeping. You are the only one that can decide that. Take your time. Give it much thought and if you pray, give it much prayer. No one should give up on any relationship unless they’re one hundred percent sure it needs to end.

We need to decide in other relationships whether there are some bonds that supersede this whole reciprocity issue.  We should never let a relationship disintegrate because of our rigidness.  We can always initiate a little less, call a little less and thus keep from  feeling resentful when the other person doesn’t.

Depression plays a big part in this discussion. When I’m depressed, I’m even more sensitive than usual.  Depression seems to do the thinking for me and so I have to watch out to make sure depression isn’t also doing the  “talking” for me. Depression invades every part of our lives and most certainly our relationships.

I hope today’s lengthy post helped if you are struggling with some relationships in your life. If you’re not, I would question the intimacy of those relationships because I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t shared that particular person in their life that they seem to always be unsure about. I take that back. I have met ONE such person. I didn’t like her. 🙂

One thing is for sure. Don’t keep circling the wagons.  Don’t keep rehashing the same thing in your mind. Make a decision. Take as much time as you need but intentionally bring yourself to a place where you define what a healthy relationship means to you, how much you are willing to accommodate, how much you expect to be accommodated. It’s not easy cutting someone out of your life. It hurts. We’re afraid we’ll be left all alone if we do. But you know what? There are lots of people in the this world that would love a friend. The universe will provide them if you make room for them.

(A marriage relationship deserves far more consideration. Didn’t want anyone bailin’ on their spouse due to what I’ve written.

garage sale treasures


Yea, the first week-end of garage sales. Nothing better than that for a beautiful Saturday. The bargaining, the “oohing” and “aahing”. My brain on overload as I imagined what I could do with this piece of junk and that piece of worn cloth. The decisions. Like passing up an amazing deal on a couple of pieces of unbelievable outdoor furniture. Being proud of myself that I chose to pass it up. We need a new garage door. Pooh! That’s no fun. Oh, well, I didn’t like it anyway.

Yea, right.

So what did I buy? A bowling ball for $1.00. I love the look of balls in my garden. I tuck them away so that they peek out from under a bush or a group of flowers. Gardens shouldn’t be obvious or predictable. I may glue on jewels, paint a pattern or even just spray paint it all one color. If you position them the right way, no one even sees the finger holes.

Then there were the eight cloth napkins for fifty cents. Some flat lace for a quarter. Going to be used in La Cabinette to edge shelves for a shabby chic look. Some small metal reindeers I will paint white and then sand to reveal some of the gold.

And the best of all, this adorable vintage purse-one dollar and I didn’t even have to bargain for it. I collect vintage purses. I almost never use them. Don’t know why. I sold a couple on e-BAY for much more than I paid for them and have regretted it ever since. I just like them. Who knows why certain collections appeal to us more than others.

Much of my furniture (except for upholstered pieces) is from garage sales and thrift stores. There’s just something about taking something and making it my own that really appeals to me. Maybe that’s why I love blogging. It’s kind of the same thing. Taking something and making it my own.

What about you? What has been your greatest “find”? Tell me all about it.

Can’t wait till next Saturday.

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keep dissatisfaction at bay


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(This is not my original photo.  Don’t don’t how my watermark showed up but please ignore.)

My husband and I are at our “teeny-tiny red cabin”.  We bought it nine years ago, move-in ready.  It’s adorable.  We love it.  But it is only about 500 square feet.  That’s fine for the two of us but when family members come for a visit we need more space so two years ago we had local Amish people build our even more adorable bunk house “LaCabinette”, a 12’ x 16’ building with a porch.  We left all the 2’ x 4’s exposed, walls and ceilings.  We “whitewashed” the peak in a beautiful pale aqua blue and the walls are whitewashed in white.  Except for the futon in both buildings, everything is from thrift shops. Most of the book I’m writing that I mention on my home page was written here. It is a retreat from a very hectic lifestyle and is the most peaceful place I know.

Now that you know how much I love it here, you’ll be surprised at my reaction to what I’m going to tell you.  I’m embarrassed to share this with you but I promised to always be honest. Anyway, my husband and I were talking a walk along the dirt road around the corner from “teeny-tiny red cabin” and we come upon this big, beautiful home under construction. The owner invited us in to look around once he learned we were neighbors. The inside was everything I could imagine, even unfinished. Our teeny-tiny cabin would fit inside the living room alone. My heart yearned.  I was envious.

Why is satisfaction so tenuous?  So fleeting? What makes us perfectly happy with our lives and then whoosh; it’s gone when we see something better? How do we go from being discontent with what we genuinely love to wanting something else? Surely, we realize there’s always something better. Although why we don’t remember there’s always something worse, I don’t know.

I’m afraid I can only pose the question. I don’t know the answer. I do know though, that dissatisfaction can lead one down some dangerous paths.  It’s easy to go from dissatisfaction in one area in our life and project it to other areas in our life. For someone prone to depression, that’s not a good thing.

For myself, I’m careful to maintain an attitude of gratefulness because down deep I am very grateful for everyone and everything in my life.  My envy of the beautiful house was very short-lived. Do I still love it?  Yes.  Would I love it if it were mine? I think so. (After all, that would be more time commitment and the whole point of a Teeny, Tiny, Red Cabin is because it’s super simple to keep up.)  But does my teeny-tiny red cabin still bring me more contentment than anywhere else on earth. Yes. Am I grateful beyond belief? Yes. Was my sudden envy something to be ashamed of? NO!

I’m just human, that’s all.

I once read that one of the ways to avoid purchasing things we don’t need is to look at the things we see in stores as if they were in a museum. Beautiful to look at but not to buy.  That’s what the house around the corner has become for me. Beautiful to look at, but not mine to have.  “Teeny-tiny red cabin” is my piece of heaven and nothing changes that. Should someone buy the lot next to us and build something grand, I’ll go through the usual first pangs of envy and then I’ll come back to “teeny-tiny red cabin” and be glad it’s so small because I can clean it in an hour. So there!

Dissatisfaction can result in good outcomes if our dissatisfaction leads us to make necessary changes. We probably make few significant changes in our lives without some initial dissatisfaction. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I think we all know the difference between dissatisfaction that serves no purpose other than making us envious and dissatisfaction in areas that  lead us to constructive change

There’s a truism I run across all the time-“There is always something to be grateful for—always.”

What about you?  Have you find yourself dissatisfied with something and then realized your mood had taken a nose dive?  What could you do to feel more satisfied with your life? What in your life can you be grateful for?

(bty, this is also being published in “depressionsgift.com)

Nominations please


images (2) (675x443)   I’ve been nominated for the Liebster award for bloggers. Here is the set of criteria you should follow if you choose to continue with this.

They are as follows:

Step One: Thank the Liebster-winning blogger who nominated you. Thank you again, Crayononthewall.wordpress.com!

Step Two: Post 11 facts about yourself. Here’s  my 11 facts.

1. I’m a Pinterest addict.

2. I’m married to the same wonderful man for many years. I have wonderful children. I feel truly fortunate.

3. My favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

4. I’m an avid reader. Too many books, too little time.

5. I love blogging.

6. I’m very insecure about a lot of things but very confident in other areas.

7. I overthink way too much.

8. I love my first cup of coffee in the morning. I would be lost without the automatic timer on my coffee pot.

9. My favorite place on earth is what my husband and I call  our “Teeny Tiny Red Cabin”.

10. I’ve traveled extensively. Don’t mean to offend, but prefer the good ole’ US of A.

  • What is a trait you admire most in people? Transparency and Integrity. They go hand in hand. Don’t like people I have to constantly figure out.
  • In which Olympic event have you imagined yourself winning a gold medal? Ice skating

Step Four: Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer. Here’s my questions:

1.  What’s your favorite dessert?

2. Whose life would you like to live for a day?

3. Would you like to be stranded on a desert island for a day?

4. Movies or books?

5. Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

6. Would you want to win millions and millions of dollars?

7. What word best describes you?

8. Do you use towels more than once?

9. Downton Abbey or The Kardashians

10. Realist or dreamer?

11. Coffee or tea?

Step Five: Recognize 11 blogs (doesn’t have to be eleven) that you feel deserve recognition. These blogs should have less than 200 followers to the best of your knowledge.

http://echoesofmercy00.wordpress.com

girlonfireunwritten.wordpress.com

MINsMASH.wordpress.com

shoe1000.wordpress.com

http://amaresinetimore.wordpress.com

http://teapoljak.blogspot.com/

Once you’ve made your choices,  create a post like this one on your own blog that explains the award process. Then notify each of your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog with a link back to the post you created.

Step Six: Display the award badge on your blog.

liebster-bloq-award-rocks liebster-bloq-award-badge liebster-bloq-award-badge2

I’m blond. What can I say?


I made my daughter’s day today. Isn’t that what mother’s are supposed to do. Give their children something to laugh about and remember?

I had this great new recipe I was trying out. It’s a lemonade cake made with Squirt and is really good.  My friend had made it a few weeks ago. It’s made in a bundt cake pan. The only way I’ve been using my bundt cake pan is to make angel food cake. As you know with an angel food cake you have to invert it on a bottle to cool. Well, it was very busy this morning. So I took the pan out of the oven and inverted it as I always do. Not even thinking. I walked out of the kitchen for a few minutes.

When I came back, there was the cake in pits and pieces all over the countertop. My duaghter was hysterical and even posted in on Facebook. I laughed too.

So have a laugh at my expense and happy Mother’s Day to all my “mom” followers.

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Possible Diy


Found this great piece at local big box store. This would be a great piece to copy with a cheap piece of furniture.

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