Monday, September 24, 2018

looking to the week ahead

on bunny patrol
Welcome to my third Happy Homemaker post!
In looking to the week ahead, I'm also processing the week just done.

The Weather here
so funny that this is always the first topic... "how 'bout that weather??!" The extreme high 90s turned into a storm that nearly blew us off the map, then dropped to 88 yesterday. The promise this week is cooler temps starting tomorrow so fingers crossed that it's true.

Things that make me happy
Thanks for asking. It reminds me there are lots of things that are happy in life, to balance the other stuff that worries me. I have not slept well for over a week now. I wake from disturbing dreams, then fall back into another one, sometimes having to turn on the book light and stop the merry go round.

Last night I woke about 5 times but in between waking is sleep and sleep is restorative. I sure love deep sleep! It makes the whole next day happier.

And having my men folk put together my IKEA shelves, well, there's not much more loving than facing a pile of little white pieces and an allen wrench for the one you love.
Snooper-visor helping the Daddy
 Book I'm Reading
I am often found reading something... I just switched to the latest "royal spyness" mystery by Rhys Bowen, and it's great. I feel like it's a friend now that I've read the whole series, know what I mean?
That's at night (and throughout the night as I mentioned)

The library was relieved I finally finished the last novel, and some books on tape and returned them.
I left with more than I turned in, so typical! I imagine some statistician trying to peg me from my items... novels, felting, How to write, quilting, history, books on afterlife, touring Santa Fe, etc.
Whee! Riches! Treasure chest of fun! I can hardly wait to jump in! especially appropriate right now is this on studio organization. It's fun to peak into other artist studios...

I do interviews on people in their studios but don't know anyone here yet, stay tuned, and check out the ones I've done already.

what's on TV 
We watched  another Brokenwood (made in NZ) mystery this weekend (through ACORN) and another Murdoch Mystery out of Canada. Love them, and hate to approach the final shows of a season. Tonight is one of my faves, Dancing with the stars, except... who are those people????
Not really stars I think, but I am a dancer and just love ballroom as well as ballet, tap and Cajun Zydeco, so I'll watch.

on the menu
this morning I had scrambled egg whites (allergic to yolks) with cheese and chives, and a lovely Trader Joe's english muffin for breakfast. I don't usually have much. DH found a vietnamese sauce to try on our leftover rotisserie chicken and mixed vege and rice tonight.

Looking forward to
We started discussing exploring towns we've heard about and want to see. I've just been spent with the move, and the thought of a car trip was gross, but I'm beginning to want to explore. I think we might start with Wyoming as it's close, or Santa Fe/Taos. I was surprised to see Georgia O'Keefe's house/studio is so expensive to tour.
We're East Coasters so one of the reasons for this expensive disturbing move across country was to explore our American west.

Craft Basket
I attended Quilt A Fair with my friend Mary last Friday, and ahem, purchased a pattern, and two little kits. One is felt sugar cookies, and one is beaded stars. I can hardly wait to open them up and do something creative! I'm still trying to organize my creative world.
On the other hand I did another writing prompt yesterday, which is very creative as the whole story comes from inside me... not sure what part of my brains holds hands figuratively with my imagination to create these. The link to that short story is HERE "a sliver of hope"

Anyway, I'd rather be crafting but should be doing this

fresh flowers on the credenza again... I am not sure what it is about fresh flowers, but they make me happy every time I see them. This is a mix of baby pink, coral carnations, deep gold of sunflower, white daisies, with a green background. Imagine those colors in a quilt or a rug. Pretty.

Lesson learned this week
Many. Usually a week is full of lessons if you pay attention. I'll tell you about one... we went to the Renegade craft show in downtown Denver this weekend. The artists were ALL friendly and open. It was a small-ish affair in a parking lot in the warehouse district. It was blistering hot in the sun. They could have been dismissive or rude but they were instead welcoming and happy and talented and open.

How refreshing! We paid for one hour parking so we didn't dawdle but we enjoyed several conversations and Milo was adored by many which he took for granted! Not me, I took a mental picture of the moment to replay this week of mundane and difficult things to do.

On the way there, we drove past a homeless shelter. At first glance, I saw tarps, and trash, and lots of people crouching on the sidewalk and wondered what the heck? When I realized these disenfranchised people lived like this, I sobered up right fast.

I get tired of many things here that are not what we were told, many problems we didn't anticipate, starting with the expensive housing. We lost one house to a snafu of being owned not by the signers of the contract, but by a trust they wouldn't release. That started 4 months plus, of intense looking for a place, losing bid after bid. Anyway... we took the first one that accepted our bid and are finding out problems with the neighborhood and house that we didn't expect.

All that fell away as I made myself see the people with no place to go. I felt their collective pain just driving past and it was nearly overwhelming. I had to protect my heart from feeling the intensity, which may make me weak but it is what it is.

That moment pulled me up short, and made me realize although I may be exhausted from life right now, I have a home, and food, and a loving mate, and a poodle puppy that loves me.
I won't delay you with my long list of to do this time... I'll leave you with this quote by Mary Englebreit
Image result for life is just so daily mary engelbreit
and a picture of me and my shadow
Please visit the others sharing their real lives with us all at happy-homemaker-monday-

Linking to: Awe Mondays
all seasons

Sunday, September 23, 2018

writing prompt, A sliver of hope

 my fiction of the week, prompted by Sunday Whirl  

                                  A sliver of hope

A sliver of  light flashed in her eyes as she waited for the red line to take her home. When her train came to a stop, she waited for that group of people to take her place on the platform before squeezing into the car. She tucked her shiny gold chain into the collar of her dress to hide it from would-be thieves.

Her parents had warned her not to go into the city by herself, and were appalled that she was interviewing for a job there. "The crime rate is so high" her mom wailed.

"But Mom, it's the only interview I've gotten in weeks and it's to design the new office buildings going up to revitalize the area" she answered, looking away, "it's a great opportunity for me to get started"

She'd been out of school for nine months now, and being a part time waitress was depressing. She had to feign interest in the owner's stories about his cats every day, plant a smile on her face to hide the worry that her life was not turning out like she planned. She kept a sliver of hope in her back pocket but wondered if she should change direction.

She had always wanted to be a designer, to make homes and businesses look better, function better, so that beauty and function could live together. She went to school despite her Dad's disdain of her chosen career. He thought she should become a lawyer and did his best to encourage that. He took her to his College for interviews, he clipped out wall street journal articles about the future for corporate law, he introduced her to recent graduates at the firm. The root of the problem in her choice of occupation, was money and status.

Her Dad always thought he knew best, what she needed.

He was often right but this time she stood up and expressed herself, she chose design school when she knew he would not be happy with that choice. Each visit home made clear his disdain for the lack of prestige she would have. "Our family has always gone into law" he said, like a decree, like a mandate.
With disappointment in his voice.

That was the worst, his disappointment in her, she felt.

 "If I didn't become a lawyer, I could still marry one. Being the wife of a lawyer might be enough!" she mused. Ha, as if.

Hope is a fragile thing.

 Each day she pulled on hope along with her clothes because the alternative was not good.
 Each day she fed hundreds of strangers plates of food, and felt invisible as if she was not capable of running  a business herself. Each day she poured over the employment listings, and spoke to her headhunter, selling herself before interviews where she could sell her as yet, untried abilities to another stranger.
 Hope was wearing thin.
Was her father right? Just last night at dinner he said, "honey you can still take the LSAT and get into law school you know" adding, " maybe not getting work is a sign..." As if he believed in signs. He believed in the bottom line, and the bottom line for him was her lack of success at the moment.

She wondered how her mother handled the situation at cocktail parties. The polite questions about her daughter after graduation, "so what is Julie doing these days?" Then the "oh, well I'm sure she'll find a position somewhere soon" when her mom answers. Quick change of subject to the DAR event coming up.

As Julie entered the train car, and sat pulling her purse onto her lap, "at least I'm not a meth addict" she thought, wondering if the young man across from her was. I'll find my place, I'll thrive and design famous buildings and show everyone that there is life outside the field of law.

But she worried a little.
Life it like that. It goes on and on, and a person has no idea what is around the next corner. They just see what is there in front of them, and if the road is empty they feel it will always be so.

Until something changes, something just around the next corner.

Her phone begins to buzz!

"Hello, this is Julie" and a smile blooms on her face as she realizes she just turned a corner.

Linking to:
Sunday Whirl 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I Like Thursday #107

Welcome to this week's list of likes! 

Doesn't this look inviting? We love the front porch, with it's little sliver of a mountain view. I like to  sit a moment to cool off from my walks, before jumping back into house jobs. The chairs are from Pier One. Also from that store is this wonderful blue pumpkin
It looks great on the mantel right now!
Monday, I wrote a post about my table purchase and weekly goals (in case you missed it, look HERE
 This bowl is hand painted (not by me although I've painted a lot of pottery over the years), and I've owned it for years but never had a place to display it til now. 
The deep golden color inside glows with the yellow undertones of the new $25 yard sale table! 
The two lovely hand painted pottery candlesticks are from my niece who lived in Mexico for a long time, and I think they look lovely with the bowl!
We have not really set up the living room/dining area/entry yet, the pictures lean against a wall waiting to be placed and there are random boxes still but it's nice to walk in and see it starting to take shape. I love the sunny room, holding a mix of new and antique pieces.
One giant picture is hanging where there was already a hanger in place
 I'll never have a "house beautiful" magazine house, but I like my collections

We have flamingos for the yard, but didn't want to shock the neighbors right away.
 This one, sans legs, found it's way into the bush next to the front steps. I love it lurking there! 
While attending a couple yard sales, we passed this and I asked dh, did they resurface that driveway in colored pebbles? 

he backed up the car, and we saw they were chili's being sun dried on tarps!!!! I live out west!
I saw this sign at the yard sales and had to laugh...
 In case you can't read the bottom, it says, help me get my garage back! 
Tee hee! Poor woman sat in the heat surrounded by stuff no one was taking away. 

The owners of the table we bought gave me this little red wagon too! For free! It's creating a nice scene on the back porch now

I read about Princess Sewing baskets (produced in the 1950's in Ill. ) in a quilting magazine so...
When I saw one at the recent estate sale, for $15 and 50% (so $7.50) off that, well, I got it! It required some cleaning up and I took the long chords off to wash 70 plus years of handling, off, it was surprisingly hard to get them threaded back the right way. It's not rocket science but I had to do it a couple times! 

I love vintage sewing items and have several. This one was in great shape, one of two that I saw there, but in an effort to enjoy not hoard, I purchased only one and am thrilled! It's already worth $45 on ebay so it's an investment, DH. 
I found this at another yard sale. There were brush rollers in it that I didn't want.

 The owner, a kind woman of about age 60, lovingly looked at it, and said she used to roll her mom's hair every night for her, and asked who would buy just the rollers? I wondered did she think someone might actually use them on their hair??! I said, I'm buying the box for the $2 you wanted, but will not use the rollers in case she wanted to keep them (instead of me throwing them out) and she did keep them, but her husband was shocked I would pay $2 but I love items from the 50's and 60's and was too tired to bargain. 
so now I have a lovely pink box for the studio. There is a slight burn indentation on the top, and I wonder if a woman accidentally got her cigarette on it while getting her hair "set" I cleaned it up and who knows what treasures will find their way in! I betcha it was bought at a 5 and dime back then.

Milo's Moment
Hi to my friends! I've had a good time this week playing with new dogs and being with my Mama and Daddy. I played with this guy at one yard sale
and it was all fun and games til he noticed his Daddy put his toy in the sale, and he had to retrieve it and growled at me not to want to buy it! Heck no, Buddy! No way I'd take your toy! First of all you are twice my size, second it has your spit all over it so it's obviously yours! Besides...

I got a new toy and almost have it chewed into shape. 

I liked that Mama held my ears back while I urped up grass this week, nothing worse than getting sick in your curly ears. Good to have a Mama who cares. 

I liked when we LEFT the vet's office. She had to check my ears, and re-dose the right one, and they poked me with a needle what hurt a little but they did it in the room so Daddy held me. (a vaccine booster the vet said would make him sleepy)

I've been just a little tired since then but you can be sure I'll be up and running again real soon so send over the dogs!  

That's it, please visit these nice people also keeping track of things they liked this week. If you want to join us let mama know and she'll put in your link too!

Minou's Minute

Linking to these parties!!
sundays in the city 
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade 

Monday, September 17, 2018

This week at our house

new acquisition this weekend, Princess Sewing Basket
Time again for the Happy Homemaker post, linking to (

The Weather
hot, way hot, hotter than an oven and dry. Plants wither, Milo doesn't want to walk, I haven't got the energy to walk. I thought CO would be nice, and cool, and clean.  It's so very hot, pushing 100 for week after week. It is mid September and it's still in the 90's and cooler means 80s which apparently is all we can hope for. So many people say it's so much hotter now than when they grew up here. When will humans wake up and clean up the air?
Related image

Book I'm reading
trying to finish the mystery from last week, because the Rhys Bowen book I ordered, latest in Her Royal Spyness series came in. Yipee! But I fall asleep before finishing much at night, then wake up an hour later, and 10 times a night now. For the last week, waking every hour.
 I'm tired y'all.

What's on my TV now
I am waiting for Dancing with the Stars to start. And This is Us. For now, I am often watching BBC shows on ACORN, or Amazon prime. We are watching the recent series Brokenwood out of NZ right now, and I just love the characters, writing and acting. It's a mystery show. Then there is 800 words, out of Australia... a quirky comedy that is just fun to watch, sort of in the genre of "Northern Exposure"

On the menu for dinner
As you know from last week, I just am not into cooking now. We had some rotisserie chicken last night, and I pulled the meat off the bones to use in a casserole tonight. I like sauces from Trader Joes as a flavor base, with meat and vegetables, and want to spend just about no time on food prep. It hurts to stand up at the stove, and I lost my cooking mojo. Plus I really prefer to paint, quilt, draw or write.

On my to do list

Always a long list to get a home set up. I want to spend a lot of time this week in the studio rooms.
We went to IKEA (again) for shelving units yesterday. I wanted DH to build some more like he built for me in MD but he seems reluctant, so I got some metal ones yesterday for the materials closet that:
IKEA OMAR Galvanized Shelf unit
1. are sturdy and won't out gas since they are metal
2. were inexpensive
3. could be assembled in minutes
4. will fit into the existing closet
I can't unpack if there is nowhere to put anything, so this will give me a place to put things for now. If I hate them, they can easily go in the basement later and be replaced with ones DH builds. I didn't want to build in shelves because of resale, a new owner would want room for clothes likely.

I also got some more Antonius baskets for the frames we bought last time. The IKEA near here is always ALWAYS out of stock on half of what we want.
I need to do mundane things like laundry, mopping, dishes, watering the plants, but I know you aren't interested in that stuff.

also to do
eat better, drink more water, clear off the dining room table.

Bwaahahahahahaha! Like that will ever happen!

In the craft basket
you mean the studio? a big mess. Stuff pulled out of boxes waiting to be gone through.
I need to start working soon, as I took on another challenge, this time with Alida to interpret a famous artist work/style. I've done about 16 of these already, and they are such a learning experience for me.
Image result for lapaylor picasso poodle
I do each one in a 12" format, onto peltex so they are slightly firm, in the style of an artist, and most include a poodle somewhere. I decided to do Vermeer this time, but considered Warhol, Afremov, Mucha, and Rennie MacIntosh, so I have plans to do them later.

I'm in the research phase, where I look at the paintings, read about the artist's life, read their quotes, decide what about their work makes them different... I sketched out my plan and just want a place to work so first step to that is sorting and setting up.

Looking forward to this week
I have a date to meet a friend at a quilting event in Longmont. It will be fun to see her and be surrounded by other makers. Plus I am in the mood to indulge my love of fabric art, so I'm excited to see what is out there for purchase.

I am not looking forward to the vet visit tomorrow. Milo must have allergies, like us, and the vet is insistent on doing expensive treatments.

Every week I hope I'll have less pain. Every week I think my prayers will be answered and I suppose since this has been going on so long, and my wonderful PT is back in MD, it's likely hopeless, yet I still sort of hope it might happen this week.

Tips and Tricks
We bought a table and chairs this weekend at a yard sale.

 It's not beautiful but it will do for now to paint and bead on in the living room.
 The owners were asking $40 for the set, as they were finally moving in together after 6 years of dating, since the man's daughter was leaving the nest for college. See how people tell me their stories?
 Anyway, I asked if they were into bargaining, and they said yes, and hard as it was I offered $25 for the set and they took it. We figure we can always sell it at the Spring 'hood sale if we find a perfect set before then.
When we cleaned it with some Dawn highly diluted, there was a cloudy film left, which we learned was the hard minerals in water here, binding with water. Oy vey.

I then used the wood feeder that I used on my antiques right after we moved, and it's really good. Some of my antiques look actually rich and shiny now, and it's almost removed a water stain on the treadle machine.

It smells of oranges and beeswax... love that.

Lessons learned this week
I went to an estate sale, of a crafter who hoarded supplies.
after days of sales, and purging, still full
It was a small home, in a very modest neighborhood of small homes,  chock-a-block full. She must have purchased one of every book published on about 10 crafts, had every kind of kit, about 10 sewing machines including a long arm, about 12 boxes holding gallons of fresh water,  knick knacks, furniture, etc. The person in charge of selling it all said half was already disposed of before the sale. The sale itself had gone on two days before I found it and the house was still full.

It was a serious jumble to try to see anything. So many sewing/knitting/beading/items jumbled together in boxes. A tremendous number of binders with patterns filling them. Books falling everywhere. SO much costume jewelry. All after days of selling and the initial purge. The salesperson wanted to sell everything individually instead of lots or bins. Ridiculous! That orange bin above was waist high to me, full of paperbacks.

I learned to be more selective in my stock of materials, and to periodically let things go if they were mis-purchased and no longer needed. I learned to try to limit my plans to be more realistic.

I related to this woman, it's hard to turn down a deal, even I got a collectible princess sewing basket and two little beading pamphlets, and it's exciting to think of the projects to make, but none of us can possibly make all the projects we've bought materials for. Most crafters are gatherers at heart.

Still... it was sad and overwhelming. I wonder how she felt living in the mess. There's a lesson in here somewhere. I must have purged half my craft possessions before leaving MD, but there are a lot here in boxes to go through.We need enough to create with, and enough to make us feel happy, but maybe too much is draining.

I hope to meditate this week, to try to center myself amid this crazy hectic life I'm in recently

I do a post every Thursday and things I really liked this week. I used to post more Art but have been waylaid this year with the changes and will get back to that. Trust me! 

linking to

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday "playing for a change"

I linked to The backyard traveler today and he played a song from the movement called "playing for change" a group who publishes songs done by people around the world playing together in each video. I love watching musicians who are one with their instruments, and seeing unusual instruments.

This one really struck a chord (so to speak) in me...

 If so many people worldwide are tired of war and being judged to be less than, and being poor and hungry, then why are the few who want to distract us from peace causing so much trouble?

"Listen to the music"

linking to

sundays in the city

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I Like Thursday # 106

Welcome to this week's list of likes. I may not like temps in the 90's but I love the spectacular cloud shows here in Colorado! This stunned us one evening as we left Target!
I like that my flowers are coming back to life, and the shape of this awesome white flower
each little stem has 5 small petals all on one side, which makes me want to stop everything and go make a quilt like this

Our neighborhood had a Doggie Day at the pool just before shutting down for the winter
the ambassador, wearing a cow hat!!!
Baby Milo couldn't go as his ears aren't great yet but we went to interview potential playmates for him.
this boy, Archer is one of Milo's mates, and enjoyed a swim with his man while his new sister barked from the pool side
 Some dogs preferred wading in the baby pool

This portable doggie spa was there to give post swim baths. The HOA gave three lucky dogs a gift certificate. ALL the people were hoping to win!

Our coffee maker gave up the ghost Saturday, yikes! We went on the Great American Hunt for a RED COFFEE MAKER. 5 stores later, the worker at Lowes suggested Target.

He went on to share that he has ALL red kitchen appliances, most kitchen aid brand, including all his pots and pans!
I love the fact that he didn't just answer my question (btw Lowes does not carry coffee makers now) but went on to tell me about his life and kitchen!!! Connections...

We found one at Target, yea! and it's even prettier than our old one and seems to do a better job.

Saw this in a shop in Idaho Springs

Had to share the weekly flamingo sighting
I did a travelogue post look HERE !

while looking for the coffee pot in Bed Bath and Beyond, I found this outdoor tablecloth on sale for $3 with another 50% off that! Score!
and Target had these kids socks to build a costume for Milo for Halloween
And remember...

I enjoyed listening to this album on youtube this week. Old jazz standards with a fresh twist by Sting
Milo's Moments
Hi peeps! Hope you had a  fun week
Lookie at me being good...look fast!
 I have been more quieter than normal, Mama wonders if I'm growing up until I get the 10 o'clock crazies every night! 
I liked going with Mama and Daddy for a "rideinnacar" last weekend.
 I saw and smelled a lot of new things. I shopped but didn't want anything. I waited outside some stores, and showed "enormous poodle patience!"  which is not easy ! I deserve a cookie!

(ed. note: yes, lots of patience til he began his siren song to tell me he was outside and I was inside and that was not acceptable )

I met a lot of fine dogs like this girl who just moved down the mountain 
I said, I love your snowy white hair, and she said I looked like a lot of fun!

(Ed. note: they moved "down" to Idaho Springs that's over 6000 feet above sea level!)
We would have run all the way down the street if only our peeps let go those stupid tethers!
Note the Enormous Poodle Stride here!
 Haha, I stretched Daddy's arm and gave him a big workout! 
I admit, I like an afternoon cocktail as much as the next poodle, especially on the back porch with my bowl on the step, or as I see it, my throne. 

That's it, please visit these nice people also keeping track of things they liked this week. If you want to join us let mama know and she'll put in your link too!

Minou's Minute 

Linking to parties! 
Pink Saturday!

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