Friday, June 27, 2008

Evening Mist

I was out doing some gardening around 7pm last night (trying to get stuff in the ground so it doesn't DIE on me) and the mist started rolling in. I know you've all got to be getting tired of pictures of the field, but I'll tell you what--it's an ever-changing vista out there! Last week they hayed a few rows. I don't know why they stopped--may have been too wet--but the hay wagon was left there, and it looked so cool in the mist that I had to take a picture.
By the time I went inside at around 8 or 8:30, the entire field was covered in white. It looked like a cloud had landed out there. It was pretty cool, but by that time I was done w/ It would have been kind of boring anyway...just a big white field. I'll save that for some winter shots. ;-)
That's all for today, folks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kathleen's End of School Party

Here she is with her best friend Shannon. They were taking pictures and setting up last minute stuff before kids started arriving.
There's the "big top" as my sister likes to call it. We had all of the food in there, and figured it would also double as shelter if it rained, which thank GOD it didn't!
I borrowed some more Adirondack chairs from my sister for the event as well, so the kids could sit. We also laid out a few quilts on the grass.
Kathleen picked out her green and blue theme. The cups matched too! I have no gardens as of yet, so I took a drive and cut some wildflowers for a couple of bouquets.
The volleyball net was a big hit. They played with that thing for about 2 hrs, and spent the other two doing karaoke and kickball. I wish I had gotten pics of the kickball game.
It was pretty rowdy!
Here's a few of them at the karaoka machine. They had a blast with that.
I think the top count was 23 kids at one point. I'm glad I got this shot before everyone got picked up. I have a couple of tame pics too, then told them to have fun with this one. I love it when everyone gets goofy and/or glamorous....cracks me up.
They all had a great time. I wish I could have gotten a good shot of them all running around with their glowing necklaces in the dark. It was wild. Kathleen said "Thanks, Momma, you're the best Momma ever" after all of her friends had left. Then: "Can we just clean it up tomorrow? I'm so TIRED."
So I let her go to bed. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Library

The Library/Den Before
Some of the sheetrock had to be replaced due to some water damage from a leaky roof. The roof has been repaired, and so have the walls!
That red chair is going to be replaced with a comfy chenille couch in the next couple of weeks. I can't wait. This room is really a cozy size, and will be great to read in. Right now, it's my music room. The acoustics are great for my flute.

As you can see, there are still boxes to be unpacked and put away, and I would say that this room is the most UNdone of them all right now. I need to wait until I get the couch before I can really finish it up I think. All of the books on those bookshelves above are decor related. I can't believe how big my collection is!
These shelves were old white wood bookcases that I picked up at garage sales about 8 yrs ago. I just slapped a coat of blueish paint on them and put them in here. The book case in the middle is actually a family piece that was in my home when I was a kid. It is an old modular bookcase that comes apart in four pieces for easy transport. It's really cool. I'm struggling with the idea of painting it. That weird green finish isn't really cutting it in my house. We'll see. I'm also afraid that I have a bunch more books that need to be unpacked, and since I've filled the left shelf there with DVDs and videos, I've cut down my book space. I'll have to come up with a new strategy there. This whole side of the room looks pretty messy because of the mis-matchy stuff. Sometimes I can make mis-matchy work, but in this case...not so

Thursday, June 19, 2008


This was taken from one side of the backyard, with the "fort" that the previous owner left behind showing a bit on the left. He took the playhouse with him, and left the frame. I'm thinking I might turn it into a makeshift sort of pergola. My garage is an eyes0re...need to paint it at some point. My shed got delivered last week...I love it there. I can't wait to garden around it.
I put my hammock under the frame...seemed like a logical spot for it. There is dappled sun all morning here, and thoughout the day. It's a great spot to relax.

Front of the house from the corner of my property.

We hung the flag on Memorial Day. I think I'll just leave it up...I like the way it looks! This picture shows how far out the land goes...those chairs under the tree are about 15 ft from the edge of the field, which is the end of my property line. All in all, I have an acre, and it's the perfect size for me! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kitchen Before and After

This kitchen needs a bit of a major overhaul. I'm tossing around the idea of either getting IKEA cabinets to replace what's there (not the built-in--that's staying!), or possibly just replacing the doors on the existing cabinets and painting them all white. I want a black countertop, probably laminate, unless I can do granite on a budget somehow. And I have an 18" vinyl tile picked out for the floor already...almost the same color tones as the one that's there now, but the one that's there now is
In the picture above you can see the single light fixture that was on the ceiling. I replaced that with a track light. That's the previous owners, too! Hee! They had rented this place to the same guy for the last 17 yrs. It was in pretty rough shape. They did a lot of fixing before I moved in, as you can see from the wall patching!
The green "tile" you see everywhere is going to be covered over with white beadboard wainscoting, and the walls above will be painted a very lovely shade of "morning fog" blue. Hee. I THINK that's the name of the paint color. It's a pale've seen it everywhere. Of course, who the time this actually gets done, I may have changed my mind again, and I'll have to use the blue somewhere else.
In the picture above, you can see that I have completely filled the built-in with stuff....and then some. I need to find a solution for the shelf underneath. Right now it has tools and all sorts of crap on it. Hopefully when I get done using the tools every day, they can find a new home. You can also see the dishwasher stuffed into that corner. It's not hooked up yet. That will be installed to the right of the sink, and then I'm going to put a rolling microwave cart in that corner. Right now the microwave is on the other end of the kitchen...not too convenient.
Track light! I love it...we configured it so each light shines on a task area: sink, stove, pantry, table, built-in. Love it.
This is my temporary fix, and my new stove. I just basically moved all my stuff in and called it done...hung the shelves above the counters because I needed more places to put stuff. If I don't go the IKEA route, I'll be building two upper cabinets out of vintage windows, and then putting shelves in between them. That was my first idea, and I'm starting to turn back to it. Sigh. I don't know!!
The "table" here is the vanity that I'll eventually be using in the bathroom. I didn't have anywhee to put it just now, so it's the table for a while. I have a couple of table choices in storage for this area--one a rustic painted drop-leaf, and one an antique oval drop-leaf. We'll see!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Living Room Before and After

This is the Living Room before I moved into the house. I liked this color, but it was pretty dark, and I really wanted a lighter feel in this house than I had in my apartment.
That green room in the far right is now my bedroom. I also painted those stairs...the risers are white, and the treads black. I love them now!!
This sheer is a discontinued Brunschwig & Fils fabric that I used in a showhouse nursery last year. I love it! I took it off the canopy that I had made for over the crib in the nursury, serged the top edge, and just hung it from clip rings.

I need to buy another couple of sets of rings so that I can put heavier draperies on in the winter. This is an old house. I have a feeling it's going to be a little drafty!!

I just love my chair. I bought it at a flea market about 10 yrs ago for $25, and had the seat reupholstered for $50. It has inlaid mother of pearl and other woods. I'll have to get a closeup some time.
This is my Kathleen The desk came from my mother's house. It's really cute, but I'm thinking about painting it black so it fits in a little bit better. It's oak, but the finish is a little too "new" for me. You can see the painted stairs there too!
The fabric draped over the ottoman is a cotton ground with a flocked velvet in chocolate brown on it, with some screen printed blue swirls. I love it! I'll be making a real slipcover out of it at some soon as I can make a decision on fabric for the sofa.
The big plan is to build a faux fireplace mantel there where the TV is now, and put my faux electric logs in it, and hang a flat-panel TV above the mantel. Maybe next year? :)
That's it for now! I spent the weekend hanging pictures and window treatments all over the house. I'll share more over the next few days.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Best Friends Ever

I had a little dinner party last night in honor of my birthday. There were six adults, three kids, and we had a lovely time. The bouquet of dahlias above is from my friend Pat. I can't even tell you how gorgeous that thing looks in real life! SO pretty!

The bouquet of peonies is from my friend Kelly...they smell SO divine! I used that potting bench as a buffet of sorts. It's where the wine and glasses went, and the metal bucket with soda and beer.
I titled this post Best Friends Ever because my friends know JUST what I need for my birthday! My friend Jennifer and her husband came over the other night with three pick-up truck loads full of topsoil for me. It has rocks and worms and everything in it! There are absolutely NO gardens here yet, so that is my jumping off point. I'm so excited to have dirt! And her mother Pat is going to bring me compost this week too! How much better does it get? Not much!!
All of these sedums and the bunny came from my friend Kelly. She bought the pots over in Massachusetts. I can't remember the name of the place, though. I'm in love with this little vignette. It looks perfect on the little painted green table to the right of my rear entrance steps.
Kathleen set the table for me. I love my umbrella so much...b-day present from BF last year...that and the hammock. BF is in Denver this week, so no prezzies yet from him! (I'm all about the
I put the Adirondack chairs under the tree, and put a small table out there in the side yard. We ended up spending the whole time at the dining table out back, but the kids played out there...making mini-movies of each other, and playing frisbee...roasting marshmallows, etc. They had fun, and we hardly saw them! Yay!
Next weekend is Kathleen's big party. She has invited 29 kids over for four hours of fun. I can't wait. (Insert scared sarcastic face here.) She seems to have things all figured out, so I'm not too worried. We just need to do the big shopping trip next week, and see if we can dig up a nice big tent somewhere. You have to have a tent for it to look festive, right?! Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to!

Me at about three years old on the right, with my little sister Margaret. We were best buds.
So I was going to start my birthday post with a "You know you're old when..." type of thing, and discuss the random arthritis in the third knuckle of the third finger on my right hand, breaking out the hair dye every four weeks instead of every six, the noise my knees make when I ascend stairs, having a freaking teenager (gasp!)...etc...but then I got an email yesterday from my father, announcing what would have been my paternal grandfather's 100th birthday on June 11th. He even accompanied the email with a couple of pictures, which made me get all sentimental, so I'll include them here. Who wants to hear about my arthritis anyway? I'm only 42...I need to stop my bitching.
Grandpa Ed at my Uncle Steve's christening....I'm guessing he would have been about 48 here? Not sure. I'll have to ask Dad. He died when I was a freshman in college...October (November?) of 1984. I wish I had a better shot of him. He really had a Clark Gable look about him...same little weird mustache above his lip and everything. That must have been a "look" back then.
Oh this picture is a RIOT. Grandpa Ed is the one with his hands in his pants, and the suspenders. Do you see me? Far right...arms crossed across my chest...I even look a little annoyed...this was probably Dad's seventh try with the self-timer to get us all in the shot. It looks like Atticus got cut off over on the left Dad's down in front, with the orange turtleneck. I figured out that my parents are about as old as I am today in that picture, give or take a year or two. How's that for strange? It makes me feel old.
Speaking of Mom, I am especially missing her today, too. This is my first birthday without her, and it's sad. She was always the first to send a card, and give a call. It's sad to think about my mailbox at my new house that she never got to see, and the card that won't be there today from her. She's in the back row, third from the left, standing next to my great uncle, Fr. John. She looks so young and happy there, so that at least makes me smile. I'm looking at that picture again and thinking Oy what a motley crew! Hee!
My grandmother is smack in the middle of that shot...all fluffy white hair and all. I miss her too...she's been dead for about 13 years or so (she was 90), and she pops into my head with the smell of fresh fruit, or like the other day when I was shopping and I saw some apricot nectar (juice) at the store. She always had some in her fridge, and would give me a small glass of it when we went to visit. I think I was the only kid who liked it. It is thick and syrupy and sweet and fruity. I haven't had it since.
I look at that photo and remember all of the family gatherings we had at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Coxsackie. "The Pines Guest House." It was a boarding house when my father was growing up--great stories from those years. Now my uncle owns it, and there are still people renting rooms after all of these years. We were a close family for so many years, and Grandma was the tie that bound us all together. We've all grown and gone our separate ways, but still try at least once a year--usually twice--to all get together and celebrate "family."
Well this post went off on a tangent. I guess when it's your birthday, and you get older, you start to recount the milestones and the memories. Happy Birthday to me. :)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cats and Carpets

Would you just look at these two? They're passed out on the bench in the kitchen.
Neither one of them even flinched when I ran to get the camera and started clicking. I think it's so cute the way Tess curls up with her arm over her eyes. She does that a lot.
They are such good kitties. I love to watch them play together, and watch Puff groom Tess. He's such a good boy.
I know, the title of this blog post is "Cats and Carpets" and these aren't really carpets, but "Cats and Rugs" just didn't cut it in the alliteration department, so I took some liberties. Forgive me? This is my new LR rug that I picked up at Tuesday morning the other day--was it Tuesday? Heh. ANYway, I fell in love with the fern pattern, and the colors are nice and subtle, AND upon closer examination, I saw that the tag said "Indoor/Outdoor" hose-off-able rug! Hee! If one of those adorable little kitties has a little barfy accident, I'll be able to clean it right up! Yay! Of course, now that I've actually purchased the rug, and put it in the room, I'll have to seriously get cracking on slipcovering that darn couch. *sigh*
Then as I was rolling up the big LR rug at the store, this zebra rug caught my eye and I just HAD to have it! It's a jute or sisal, and it's awesome! The red chair isn't looking so hot with it, but the new sofa I'm getting from a friend is going to look SMASHING with it, so I'm not sweating the red chair right now. Maybe I'll move that up to my sewing room. I need a place to relax when I'm working too, don't I? (Yeah I'm good at justification.)
I opened that window for the first time the other day, too, and I love the way it looks even though the storm window is still there. I don't want to put the screen in that'll dull the light. I have enough windows I can open and put screens in. This room is actually great for playing my flute right now. I bet the acoustics will go ka-put when I put the sofa in there though. Oh well. I'll enjoy it for now.
So there you have it. I was feeling remiss in not posting more pics of the house. I'll try to be better as the projects get done!

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