Friday, July 31, 2009

Friends I've never met

In the past few weeks I've averaged about one new friend I've never met per week! At this rate I may soon have more friends I've never met...than friends that I have met - thanks to blogging :)

I'm an early morning person (that's my favorite time of day!) so that eliminates a lot of up close & personal interaction w/ many people right there. God & my husband are among the few who are willing to chat w/ me at that time - & I actually like it that way :) But - with "the world at my fingertips" and the ability to allow people to see inside my heart & mind using those same fingertips - w/o necessarily having to see me(!) at that hour (picture pj's, coffee, no shower, no make-up ... ok - that's enough ... don't scare yourself!) - & that I must do one of the things I enjoy most (write!) in order to communicate w/ them (somehow wrapping/writing words around my thoughts & things I wonder, etc. to help others understand what's on my mind gives me a better understanding of it too in the process) makes these friendships special in an extra-special sort of way that's hard to explain - but I'm trying hard here to explain it .... can you tell? :)

And - how is it that in just a short time I can feel like I know some people "here" SO much better than people I've seen for years on a regular basis - & hardly know!?

I don't know... but with friends like this - that I've never met - it seems perhaps I was born for such a time as this - despite how much I'd love to meet them! :)

P.S. I have one friend here who - for the longest time - I thought I'd never met -- only to eventually figure out that she is actually one of those people I see on regular basis but didn't really feel like I knew all that well - but who knew ...that I actually knew her better than even I knew ?! :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

flannel, fashion, fun finds & fall

- Went to the mall the other day & was thrilled to learn that I will be right in style this fall/winter bc flannel shirts will be too! Just the tho't of wrapping up in a soft flannel shirt & a slightly worn (ie. comfortable!) pair of jeans made me start looking forward to fall despite that I know what follows it (brrr!! ... & ridiculous heating bills...) & I'm in no rush for that.

- Coveted one flannel shirt in particular but not the $40(yikes!) price so I didn't buy it. But - I took some stuff to the Salvation Army & decided to pop in ... & scored! Yes - I shop there now & then & secretly (sshhh) enjoy it -- & it's a good exercise in putting my pride aside (does it count as that if I go incognito? :) - Anyhow, I came away w/ not one but two great (seriously!) flannel shirts that Playmaker & I will be fighting over all winter plus one thermal top & two other tops for the girls & two games (my girls enjoy playing games...which seems rare these days - but I love it) -- all for about half the price of that one flannel shirt I coveted earlier in the week :) Gotta love it!

- And... I cleaned out my side of the closet yesterday & scored again ... - found yet another flannel shirt I forgot I had :) ... & I stuffed another bag full of stuff to take to none other than the Salvation Army ... & soooo I may just decide to pop in ... again.

... at this rate I'll have one flannel shirt for every day of the week w/ great potential to be right in style 24/7 (bc we have flannel sheets - & pjs too!) & still have some money left over to purchase a cup of coffee, a good book, a pumkin pie scented candle ... & hopefully to cover the dreaded heating bill .... & other such accessories that go well w/ flannel too :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Morning Glory

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
2 Corninthians 4:6

Yesterday, Playmaker (15) & I visited a dear friend from church - who is now in a nursing home - after much too much time passed since the last time I saw her. I'll call her Morning Glory. She reminds me so much of my mom - even has the same b-day! (edit: oops just learned it's actually 2 days could I forget that?! mb it was the same year? hmm) I'll Her friendship has been a special gift (blessing!) from God. My mom was my own personal prayer warrior & when I lost her, among other things, I missed that! In the past I've asked Morning Glory to pray for my daughter & she was glad to do it. Morning Glory has been almost blind since I've known her but has such a positive attitude despite her increasing limitations & she's so at peace & will tell you so - almost as if she wants to put your mind at ease :) And she'll tell you about how good God has been to her & what a good life she's had. She senses The LORD so very close. And I hafta say -- just knowing that He's there - SO close to her - makes me wanna go back very soon - in part bc I wanna be that close too(!) & in part bc I wonder ... if He's that close, is He getting ready to take her home? It's very special, what she & God share. But - apparently I'm not the only one she reminds of my mom. Playmaker "saw her Gramma" there in that bed & as memories flooded her mind, tears poured out -- so we didn't stay long - didn't want Morning Glory to know Playmaker was crying - afterall we came to cheer her up! But I bro't home these words of wisdom she shared during our short but good visit... to the effect:

If you worry, you don't trust God.
If you trust God, you don't worry.

... and I can't help but wonder if that's the bottom line that God wants us to figure out once we've accepted (trusted!) Him as our Savior & by the time we leave this amazing place - & is it why Morning Glory seems so ready to leave whenever God decides He's ready to take her home? ... and is it why I feel like.... I still have so much to learn!?

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:33 & 34

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Do you see what I see?

Strike (12) set up shop w/ camera & tripod in the driveway last evening to capture these clouds. Do you see profiles of faces (foreheads, noses, lips, chins) in the orange clouds? One big & one smaller -- or ph just two smaller ones? Just tho't it was kinda cool :)

I think this one - taken soon after - is beautiful too.

a beautiful morning

July 28, 2009

Psalm 8 (NIV)

1. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

3 - 4a When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, ....

p.s. I keep adding to this post...guess I don't really want this beautiful morning to end just yet ... my first sunflower of the season bloomed the other day - I can tell that it too is enjoying the sunrise today. Yesterday, in the early evening, sweet little yellow birds were feasting on & frolicking around it... I hope they come back.

This should be required viewing ....

... for anyone wanting to get married, get a dog or have kids! :) We could SOoooo relate! Laughed SO hard at times....I cried at others (& I don't typically cry at the drop of a hat!).

We've had our share of "Marley Moments"... like when Mak ate a futon. Yes - a FUTON! or when Katie got sprayed by a skunk smack dab in the kisser (licker?!)...came in gurgling/foaming at the mouth --- rubbing her face in the carpet downstairs ....AARgHhhhh. - .... I tho't for sure she was dying (!) ...what a scene as we attempted to deal w/ her in her misery (me gagging the whole time!) & then the aftermath of the horrible lingering stench. And youda tho't she learned her lesson after that but noooooo....UGGGHH. Needless to say - there's no more carpet downstairs!
Strike was traumatized & I believe she still has flashbacks ...she can smell a skunk a mile away & goes around closing doors & windows at the first wiff!

Unfortunately even tho' it's PG there are a few parts they coulda/shoulda left out ( I guess that's where the Parental Guidance is required ...aka Remote Control... & more specifically, fast forward) - but overall a great "documentary" of
real life if indeed you are living - or attempting to live - the "American Dream" (btw ... I'm not so sure that's all it's cracked up to that's a subject for a future post).

I may be the last person in America to see this movie - but if by chance you haven't either, click here for a clip:

Any Marley Moments you care to share?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

been on staycation ... don't want it to end.

We've been on "staycation"! For just over 2 wks I pretty much checked out of life outside our home - hardly spoke to anyone but family - tackled/completed some big projects around the house (see previous posts) - spent more $ than planned & probably about what we would've spent if we went on vacation instead -- but ended up doing more work than planned too. My husband had this whole week off & joined me in the process. The girls were still free to hang out w/ friends & such ... as this was certainly not their idea of a vacation :) & Spokes worked & rode his bike a lot - but all three kids pitched in at times to help too. The past two days we did major cleaning downstairs & yardwork.

I can't tell you how stress relieving the past two weeks has been! I enjoy working hard & finishing projects! Don't always want to start them - but am SO glad once they're done :) A vacation would not have provided the same satisfaction. - I'm thrilled w/ all we accomplished & that there's a place for most everything & most everything is in it's place (for some things that place will be the trash on Wed .. or the Salvation Army) .... a sense of order which translates to peace in my mind :)

Last night (Sat) we celebrated(!) all our hard work - w/ a picnic, w/ the girls & a friend, at a nearby state park - kids swam & we stopped for ice cream on the way home... & I crashed(!) on the couch when we got home!

As I've been having so much fun working hard to re-create a living space that is comfortable, practical, enjoyable & attractive for those I love most to live in & call home, I've been thinking about how much pleasure God must have found in creating such an amazing place for us to live in -- esp when I see the detail & the order & the sheer beauty of it all! From what I can tell, everything He made serves a purpose. The closer I look the more amazed I am at how it all works together & how He made sure all our needs would be met before introducing mankind to this amazing - truly awe inspiring place!

Today is the last day of our staycation :( ....& I don't want it to end. In fact, there's still more I want to do. Two closets need to be thoroughly cleaned, more yardwork, laundry, etc. but - today (Sun) is a day of rest - & that is what we intend to do. We're playing hookie from church & going on a little "daycation"/bike ride w/ the girls (questionable weather permitting!) ... every now & then I prefer to worship God outdoors. Today ... is one of those days.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Coincidence? - or Guidance?

Sometimes I wonder if "Sometimes I Wonder" should have been the title of my blog(!).... bc I wonder about A LOT of things.

One thing I wonder about is how long it takes before one realizes how God is either guiding him - or wanting him to let Him guide/lead! I for one can be stubborn about surrendering & submitting to His will so perhaps that's why I often see His hand most clearly in hindsight(!) -- they say hindsight is 20/20 but we don't have that advantage when we're actually living "in the moment". But - hindsight gives the advantage of seeing "coincidence" upon "coincidence" all adding up to be SO MUCH MORE than could ever be attributed to simply coincidence!

A good friend gave me this sign - had it made w/ me in mind - as a while back we had a discussion along this line --- It's foggy now what prompted it but I remember this story & the sign remains in my corner of the world (my office :)

When I meditated on the word


I kept seeing 'dance' at the end of the word

I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing

When two people try to lead, nothing feels right

The movement doesn't flow with the music

And everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky

When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead

Both bodies begin to flow with the music

One gives gentle cues
Perhaps with a nudge to the back
Or by pressing Lightly in one direction or another

It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully

The dance takes surrender, willingness

And attentiveness from one person

And gentle guidance and skill from the other

My eyes drew back to the word

When I saw "G"
I thought of "God"
followed by "u" and "I"
"God", "u" and "I" dance
God, you, and I dance

As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust

That I would get guidance about my life and once

Again, I became willing to let God lead

May you abide in God, as God abides in you

Dance together with God

Trusting God to lead and to guide you through each

Season of your life

(click here):
And I Hope You Dance!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Warrior is a Child

A friend's son/soldier just lost a friend/fellow soldier - killed in Afghanistan. Thought to share this song here that came right to mind - & dedicate this post to the boy/man who was killed. To me he is an unknown soldier ... but to someone else he was a son, friend, ...

Home Sweet Home!!

My plan was to do 4 major projects in 4 rooms in 10 days. Somehow that snowballed to 6 rooms in 2 weeks! Spokes "caught the fever" & joined in - his room was the final project ... for now - seems like w/ a home there's always something that needs to be done!

When we moved in, the two "living rooms" downstairs had previously been a bar & pool room. The bar room became Spoke's room. We left the bar (& sink) & it currently serves as storage space.

This was a while back
- lots had changed but the colors remained


Given that Spokes isn't tidy by nature ...
- I think this (below) is BEAUTIFUL!! :)

another view...

The bedskirt that came w/ the new comforter set
for the master bedroom works great here
- & we weren't planning to use it anyhow!

another view...

New Desk that Spokes & Dad built together
for aprx $25 using - of all things.... a door :) ...

Strike helped too & she did
a lot of painting in the room as well.

And worthy of mention...

Spokes is a cyclist & his dad built him this stand
yesterday to hold his waterbottles while hes' racing he loops around the circuits
he can grab & keep going as needed w/o getting off his bike!

Paint/Supplies $45
Comforter/Sheets $35
Desk $25
Blinds $20

Aprx Total Cost $125

After we purchase a few last items (new toilet seats - woohoo!, lightbulbs, pillow(s) to put these six projects to bed - & assuming I added correctly - the total cost to give six rooms a face lift will end up at aprx $850

It's been a BUSY 2 weeks ... but this tired old house feels more like home sweet home again :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This tired old house - Part 5 - Master Bath

We have the challenge of working around lots of pink tile in our tiny master bath. This is the same paint we used for the trim in my son's room & it looks off white/cream in there....but here.... it looks "off green?!" Go figure! Must be the reaction w/ the pink tile. It's not what I had planned but - I like it... a lot! :)

Need to get some dimmer bulbs or this tiny bathroom
could double as a tanning room when we really light it up! :)

Storage & counter space is minimal so I got a bit creative ....
shortened up a shoe organizer.

Our shower door was gold - we gave it a brushed nickel finish.

New mirror:

These few changes should hold us over until we're ready to really do some damage & renovate but for now they certainly made the pink tile more bearable.

Credits & Acknowledgement go to my dear hubby ... Kudos (!) sweetheart for diligently stripping away layer upon layer of strange paint & wallpaper!

Aprx Cost(s):

Mirror $30
Organizer - $15
Towel Hooks - (not hung yet) $10
Paint - used leftover
other paint/supplies $20
Misc towels, plant, lotion, soap $20

Aprx $95 total

It's only paint....

One thing about repainting is sometimes you have a picture in your head & it doesn't always turn out the way you planned - which can be good -- or not so good. I intended for this bathroom to be a bit more youthful/fun(ky?) - sooo I ended up repainting - again(!) It's fun ... for now :)

Click here for the before.

- added a small white board too...for love notes & reminders :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thank God for Dirty Dishes

(author unknown)

Thank God for dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell,
While others are going hungry, we’re eating very well.
Home, health, and happiness, I shouldn’t want to fuss,
With the stack of evidence, God is good to us.


Monday, July 20, 2009

This tired old house Part 4 (Girls/Guest Bathroom)

I had a "conservative" earthy yellow in mind but the girls wanted some fun/bold colors so we kinda compromised & ended up w/ deep turqoise & orange & white. Somewhere I must have some before pics but I'm too lazy to look for 'em. Trust me when I say it was boring (mostly dark blue & cream). The dark turquoise here is darker than I envisioned but the white offset it & brightened up this little bathroom.

Found this fun soap & lotion at a gourmet food & gift shop nearby.
The little vanity gets cluttered up so easy so I lift up the soap & lotion
to free up at least a little bit of space.
Life is like a roll of toilet paper:
the closer you get to the end the faster it goes.

My husband used a special paint/sealer kit
we bought a while back to redo our bathtub
& I don't think it's been that shiny white since
we moved in 8 yrs ago! Nice job, honey! :)

Aprx cost(s)

Paint Supplies $20
Shower Curtain $10
Towels $15
Mirror $5
Rug & lid cover $15
Blinds $5
Soap & Lotion $13

Total: Aprx $85 - a bit more than I intended to spend.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This tired old house part 3 (kitchen)

One thing I liked about our home when we bought it was the kitchen/dining/family room are all one BIG room - hard to find in older/less expensive homes. Whitewashed most of the wall cabinets inside & out - inside was an icky creamy color - ugh - white paint made a big difference!

...& a fun change here -
bright red in a couple cabinets where we keep our dishes...

another angle - The TV swivels out/can be viewed
from the kitchen &/or dining room. The counter top doubles
as a nice BIG desk for Strike to do her homeschooling - esp. when she uses DVDs

not thrilled about the trash can (above) there
but it beats under the sink where it gets overshot too often :)

Removed cabinet doors (below)/
painted inside red/
filled w/ fun stuff from around the house :)
& lighted it up!

The plaque (above) reads:
I chose the road less traveled... Now where the heck am I?

& the ducks are a quiet reminder to:
See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil :)


Fun drawer pulls (below) we already had there...

& painted the inside of the drawers red too...

Aprx cost(s):

Cabinet Lighting $10
Red paint - $4 (clearance!)
White paint (leftover) & supplies $10
cup hooks - $2

Total: $20 - $25

This tired old house part 2 (Living Room)

This is from '01 - some things had changed but the dark colors pretty much remained the same before we repainted this weekend.




The color & the photos are the big changes we made.
I had black & white prints made of our family & our pets to do this:

These pics (below) - Norman Rockwell's famous Four Freedoms - were previously above our TV...I was so pleased that they fit just right - right here:

Aprx Cost(s):

Paint/Supplies/Switch Covers: $35
Frames $20
Pics $20

Total: $75

Friday, July 17, 2009

This tired old house...

that's about 50 years getting some much needed TLC on the inside. We did it! 4 rooms in 10 days - if I counted right -- the days are a blur as I've been SO busy! And we're going to try for 5 rooms in 2 weeks bc we ended up repainting the living room instead of the master bath this weekend.



... it was only slightly different from this by the time I tackled it last week:


The "twigs" in the corner are actually covered w/
teeny tiny "built in" white lights & make a great nightlight...

I recycled my kitchen cabinet doors
for this look on top of my armoire

I'm so pleased w/ how this turned out. Simple. Lighter/Brighter & a tad western/Americana

Aprx Costs (I'm tryin' to stay close to $500 total for 5 rooms!)

- My big splurge: Quilt & comforter set (comforter set not shown but you can see the comforter here - is black & off-white big check print on one side & black w/ a subtle off white floral pattern on the other - which I plan to use in the winter for a totally new & cozy look ... should be nice and warm too! $270

- Red throw blanket $10 (clearance 75% off :)

- Paint(Used leftover) & supplies aprx $20

- 3 deep red rugs for winter ... $50

- Lamphade - $10

- Recycled All the "decorations" from around the house. The window shades were already there - feaux suede - great(!) for blocking out the light.

This was by far the most expensive room bc of the comforter & quilt - Aprx $350 total. It may seem like a lot of my $500 budget but believe it or not, I think I'll come pretty close!

More to come.

Life is like.....

I'm still plugging away - not quite finished w/ the master bedroom - but almost & then I plan to start right in on the master bath. Been doing SO MUCH painting (bathroom, kitchen, bedroom)! --- ooooh my aching back & feet & ..... well if I keep listing everything that hurts I'll waste valuable time :) - & as this plaque in our bathroom so eloquently states:


sooo there's no time to lose ... if indeed I hope to reach my goal of finishing 4 rooms in 10 days.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Taking a break from painting ... a refreshing break at that thanks to a friend who knows what I like! When she went out of state she bro't me back what I can't seem to find in this state of mine. I've searched high & low on the local soda shelves to no avail. A thousand thank you's & then some dear friend :)