A DISPARATE ASSEMBLY OF THINGS, IDEAS, AND PEOPLE.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

OUR HOUSE JOURNEY

Last week we celebrated our 56th wedding anniversary, which made me think about all of the houses we have lived in over the years.  From the beginning, we have been nesters - always working on our homes -- gallons of paint, yards of curtain fabric, etc.
Our first apartment -- we were newly-married teenagers, in college, and no money.  We rented this furnished basement apartment for $45 a month.  We scrubbed the two rooms; I made new curtains; and then instead of a honeymoon with our wedding money we bought our first automatic washing machine (we didn't own another stick of furniture). We were proud of our first nest even though it really was a dark little dump.
September 1958 - February 1959
 We then moved to this nicer basement apartment closer to campus.  I made more curtains for tiny little basement windows.
February 1959 - June 1961
After graduation, we moved to Denver and a second floor apartment - no more basements.  These metal kitchen cabinets were the turquoise color popular in the 1960s.
June 1961 - January 1962
We tired quickly of second floor living and moved to a duplex where we could again have our own washing machine.  I made more curtains.
January 1962 - November 1962
 Our dream finally came true to buy our first house.  We bought this cute little house with the smallest kitchen in the world on a half acre in Lakewood, Colorado.  What fun we had -- painting, refinishing floors, making more curtains, and having our first garden.  Remember these portable dishwashers?
November 1962 - November 1964
 Grad school was beckoning, so we sadly sold our first house, moved back to Ft. Collins, Colorado, and bought this little house for $12,500.  I can't believe that we painted these kitchen cabinets pinky-orange.  I made white dotted-swiss curtains -- it really did turn out charming!
November 1964 - December 1966
  After graduation (again), we took a job in Sidney, Montana. We couldn't find anything to buy, so we rented this house for nine months (I made more kitchen curtains). 
December 1966 - September 1967
We were expecting our first child, and finally found this house to buy.  It had the world's second smallest kitchen.  We became a family of three here.
September 1967 - November 1971
But, oh, how I missed Colorado.  A job opportunity presented itself to move back to our hometown of Rocky Ford, Colorado.  Along with the job of City Engineer came the benefit of living in the city house by the water plant rent free.  It was a lovely old house built in 1899.  We tried to buy it as we missed owning our own house, but the city declined.  We became a family of four in this house.
November 1971 - December 1973
The urge to own our own house again was strong, so we built this new house and included a built-in dishwasher.
December 1973 - April 1976
Finally the city decided to sell the 'house on the hill' to us for $25,000.  We sold our new house and moved back to the old house -- who does that?????? -- leaving a brand new kitchen for a tiny remuddled 1940's kitchen. (Which I had found impossible the first time we lived in this house.) We had to buy a portable dishwasher again!
April 1976 - March 1980
And, the work began.  Bob began stripping the paint off the woodwork - there were eleven doors and windows in the living room alone.  The house had a total of 61 windows -- we added wood shutters to several windows, but I also made lots and lots of curtains. 
Once again a new job opportunity called us to move.  We sold the 'old house on the hill' for twice what we had paid for it and we bought this tri-level in Canon City, Colorado.  We lived in this house 10 years; and I still couldn't find a single picture of the kitchen after we changed out the avocado appliances and painted the dark kitchen cupboards a pretty blue.
March 1980 - February 1990
All of a sudden we had an empty nest, and we were yearning for another old house to work on.  This house deserves a post of its own - I have so many good before and after pictures of all of the work we did on this house.  However, all of the ladder work and the stairs finally got to me; I had both hips replaced while living here.
February 1990 - November 1997
The bungalow sold quickly and we bought what has become our forever house.  I've never lived in a house for this long my entire life; but it has become the perfect retirement house.   After 56 years, we're still nesting big time -- always coming up with new projects.  We renovated the kitchen last winter, and Bob just finished painting the screened-in porch floor this last week!  He's the handy, energetic one - he can put the paint on or he can take it off - I'm lucky as all I have to do is ask!!!!
November 1997 - Forever
Each one of these homes hold special memories from different stages of our lives. 
 I've always loved moving, and every move was made with great anticipation; but we are really quite content now right here in our forever house.

I'm joining the following:
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
Kathe With an E for You've Gonna Love It Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating for Flaunt It Friday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WICKER LOVE AND PROCRASTINATION

A few months ago, we bought this vintage wicker chair to use in the living room for extra seating  - it's only fault was that it did not have a cushion.  I thought -- no problem -- I've made lots of cushions and pillows over the years.
 I decided that I did not want to make a design statement with the cushion, because I like to change out the pillows and throws occasionally.  So, I ended up choosing an upholstery-weight black corduroy and a black poplin for the cording to provide a little textural contrast.
Procrastination set in big time at that point.  I couldn't make myself work on the cushion.  Sewing black on black -- the light had to be JUST right in the sewing room I told myself -- a lot of cloudy, rainy days this summer!  
"Tomorrow!" 
"Boring work on something neutral and simple!"
"Tomorrow!"  
Finally, a month ago, I made myself start -- telling myself that I only had to work on it 15 minutes each day until done.
 
It only took three months to accomplish a day's worth of work.
Whatever -- I love the finished product. 
I've never thought of myself as a procrastinator as I've always jumped right in and got it done.    
But, guess I've become one.  My apologies to my family for all of the harping on the subject over the years. 

 Do you procrastinate or get it done right away?

I'm joining the following:
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded

Friday, September 5, 2014

CELEBRATION TIME

56 YEARS AND STILL COUNTING!

SUNDAY IS OUR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY ---

SEPTEMBER 7, 1958
Celebration plans of the best kind: 
 church -- out for lunch -- day spent with the grandkids!

Did you know that the first Sunday in September after labor day is National Grandparent's Day?  It was designated as such by President Carter in 1978.  This year it happens to fall on our wedding anniversary!!

Hope you get to celebrate with your special young people, too.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CHOP! CHOP!

Recently, I latched onto this little nine-inch chopping block.  
Actually, it has been stored in our garage for a few years, but originally it was in my mother-in-law's kitchen.  I remember her chopping anything and everything on it preparing for many meals.  (She never heard of bacteria-contaminated cutting boards!  She is now 100 years old and her children are 75, 78, and 81 -- guess it didn't hurt.)  Her father, Grandpa Bloyd, had made the board from salvaged walnut and apple wood.

Now, it has a future in our kitchen.

It elevates anything ordinary ---
Serves as a frame for a garden bouquet ---
Or, simply,  is a reminder of family history.

For now, I must go roast those tomatoes to put in the freezer for use in winter soups.  I always think the tomatoes will never ripen on the vine; then I wonder what I'm going to do with all of them!!

I'm joining the following:
Be Different Act Normal for Show and Tell Saturdays
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Coastal Charm for Tuesday Show and Share
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded

Sunday, August 24, 2014

YUMMY CINNAMON ROLLS

For you semi-homemade devotees -- have you tried this recipe?

What you need --
Rhodes frozen Cinnamon Rolls (12 to a package)
 4-serving box of Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding
Stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted
Chopped walnuts (optional)
 The night before, spray a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray.  Lay the frozen cinnamon rolls in a single layer in the pan.  (Reserve the icing packages that come with the rolls.)  Sprinkle the unprepared pudding mix over the frozen rolls.  Pour the butter over the rolls.  Sprinkle on nuts, if desired.
Cover pan with lightly sprayed plastic wrap.  Refrigerate over night.

Remove thawed rolls from refrigerator and place on counter for an hour or so until doubled in volume.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Spread with reserved icing.
I made these for our fellowship hour at church; and then for my Wednesday morning coffee group.  These coffee-break connoisseurs wanted seconds and the recipe!
In my current stage of old-age laziness, I may never make cinnamon rolls from scratch again.

I'm joining the following:
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks

Saturday, August 16, 2014

THE GARDEN, THE CUTIE, THE BEAUTY!

THE GARDEN ----

Usually by the middle of August in our dry, arid climate, our garden is looking a little weary.  We've had more rain and cool weather; so things are still looking good!
In the vegetable garden, the lettuce, beans, and peas are finished, but Bob is harvesting zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, blackberries -- and the Halloween pumpkins are growing.

That's not all that's growing ---

THE CUTIE ----

That would be our grandson, Wyatt.  He has grown 3 inches this summer, and is now taller than I am.  He spent 8 weeks involved in recreation-district track and field.  I love watching him run the hurdles.  How does he do that?  I was so uncoordinated as a child!  He has also spent three mornings a week at the high school lifting weights with the big boys.  In our small community, that's a 'Rite of Passage' for boys -- all in preparation for 7th grade football.
Every Friday this summer, he has spent the day with Bob and I.  He mows the yard, helps Bob with the garden, and they do their favorite activity of putzing in the garage.
This kid also loves to cook, so this past week he and I had some kitchen time together. 
We made empanadas for lunch with a hamburger, green chile, and cheese filling.
Football practice has already started, school begins next week.

THE BEAUTY ----

a.k.a. Caitlin, our favorite (only) granddaughter.  This is her second summer working for a local rafting company.  Conditions and business for rafting have been good this summer, so she has gotten lots of hours.  I've hardly seen her.  On her one day off a week, boyfriend-time cuts into Grammy-time!

She has decided, though, that she wants me to take her senior pictures.  So, on her day off last week, we spent the whole day together.  In the morning, we went out for Photo Shoot #1; then in the afternoon, we shopped.  We have more photo shoots planned - more outfits, more locations.

This girl and the camera do play well together.

Even the out-takes were fun.  Focus, Cait, Focus!!!!
"I'm off to see the wizard!"                                         "What's that wire thingy up there?"
And, now she is a Senior in high school.

After taking care of both kids as preschoolers all day, every day way back when, and now this -- I'm having a hard time and experiencing pre-empty-nest syndrome.  It's almost worse than when my own children flew the nest.

I have to tell myself, "It's all good."
(Just don't fly away too soon.)

I'm joining the following:
It's Overflowing for Share Your Creativity
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays at our Home
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

Saturday, August 9, 2014

SEW MUCH FUN - PART THREE

Previous posts of "Sew Much Fun" about Clark's O.N.T. collectibles may be viewed here and here.  This post includes some of the other old sewing paraphernalia I've accumulated over the years.

My grandmother taught me to embroider when I was about five years old -- I enjoyed it, but was always anxious to try making something on the sewing machine.  A friend of my mother's evidently saw the sewing gleam in my eye, because she gave me this little toy Singer sewing machine and iron.  They had belonged to the friend when she was a little girl.  The patent date on what is left of the instruction pamphlet is 1922.  I loved playing with this little machine and iron at the time -- I was told that to have good sewing skills, you also need good pressing skills.  I really cherish this gift now -- some 70 years later!!
By age eleven, I was a whiz on an adult sewing machine, and made my first quilt for my doll from my grandmother's and great-grandmother's apron and dress scraps.  At age 15, I bought my own sewing machine on lay-away -- $5.00 a month for 9 months -- that seemed like a very long 9 months waiting for my machine!
I haven't stopped sewing since (or accumulating vintage sewing stuff from both sides of my family).  This was my other grandmother's sewing encyclopedia from the 1940s and is stuffed with clippings and notes.
As a child, I was fascinated with this type of sewing basket - the ones with the beads, foreign coins and tassels - exotic stuff for a kid on the prairies of Colorado!  And, they were always full of sewing accouterments.
One of the best things about being a sewer and quilt maker has been all of the people I've met through guilds and groups.  They have given me their friendship, plus so many handmade gifts -- needle books, pin cushions, lots of quilted hearts, and adorable little creatures!
These little dolls are about 1 1/2" tall - impeccable workmanship.
I guess it was only natural being the oldest grandchild (and girl) on both sides of my family that I should inherit my grandmother's and great-grandmother's sterling silver thimbles.  What a treasure with the wonderful engravings!
Advertising thimbles have been fun to collect, also.
That's it for today's post -- some day I'll dig out the button boxes with all of the vintage buttons, plus some other little bits and bobs.
I'll leave you for now with this page I have from a Dick and Jane book - 1940s.  I was always so proud as a kid that one of the characters' name was Sally.  Here is Sally watching as "Mother Makes Something".  What is ironic is that my mother never sewed a thing -- the sewing gene skipped her generation!

I'm joining the following:
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday 
Knick of Time Interiors for Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesday
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks

Saturday, August 2, 2014

SEW MUCH FUN - PART TWO

I hadn't forgotten about continuing my posts on my sewing collectibles -- I just got sidetracked a bit.  To view the first post about the promotional items from Clark's O.N.T. from the 1800s, click here.
Now for more Clark's O.N.T. stuff --
I love finding these little cardboard boxes that the thread was delivered in to the stores.  Spanning the years, the graphics are fun and different.
It's especially fun to discover them when they are full of unused thread.
The Clark Company also distributed instructional booklets such as "Sewing Secrets - The Modern Methods of Stitching-Decorating-and Finishing" (Copyright 1930).
Over the years, they have sold all kinds of thread from darning thread, crochet, to different weights and colors of sewing thread.  Love all of the wooden spools!
The large decal of the logo was probably to be used on a storefront's door.
I've really enjoyed searching for Clark's collectibles over the years just because of the variety available.  Plus, they can be found for pennies to a couple of dollars.

The next installment of "Sew Much Fun" will be a variety of other sewing trinkets that I have accumulated.  Please come back.

I'm joining the following:
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks