Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens . . .

Maddy and I watched The Sound of Music the other night. I love that movie -- it had been such a long time since I've seen it. Definitely made me think of some of my favorite things from the holidays!

At the top of my list is always my sweet family. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we could not all be together, but we just get to spread out the holiday a little more that way!

I love my girl's generous spirit. A couple weeks ago, Maddy and I went to the Dollar Store so that she could pick out some presents for family members. I’m not going to mention who got what, as some of our gifts have not been given yet due to the bad weather. But, here are some of the items she thoughtfully chose: a box of Kleenex, a 12-pack of washcloths, a snowman soap dispenser, microfiber cloths to clean car windows and more microfiber cleaning cloths. Sometimes, it's those little dollar gifts that mean so much!

Since I’ve already received my gift from her, I can tell you what it was. While I really do need the kleenex and the cleaning cloths, she picked out five or six of her favorite Littlest Pet Shop animals, boxed and wrapped them just for me! So sweet! And even though she had a microfiber cloth gift for big brother Connor, she also made another one up for him on the spot. She boxed up an ornament we made along with a few Reese's peanut butter cups!

My other favorite thing from the holidays (besides all the eating!) was seeing Maddy and Cboo playing games together!! This small air hockey table was a big hit and will get lots of use. Sweet Cboo also hooked up our Wii for us. Maddy and I had a blast bowling and can't wait to try more games! Even though we were mostly house-bound, it was a wonderful Christmas!

Happy New Year -- wow -- 2010 -- I do love an even-numbered year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas Blizzard of 2009!

Doesn't that sound like a title right out of Little House on the Prairie?? We felt a little like the Ingalls family -- with modern conveniences, that is! The weather forecasters were right on target this time. We got hammered with icy rain, following by lots of snow, pretty cold temps and blowing snow! All this weather started on the 23rd and continued through Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Mr. Tennis and the snowblower could hardly keep up! I think the total is at least 12 inches of snow and due to the wind, it has blown into drifts here, there and everywhere! We might have gone outside to play in it, but with the wind blowing, the temps were around -4, not exactly the type of weather to be out building snowmen or sledding. Luckily, we have my little red jeep, so we can get around if needed. Somehow, Mr. Tennis doesn't think the after-Christmas sales are a necessity!?!

We had a fun Christmas anyway even though Philip and Catherine were unable to get here due to the weather conditions. We played games, watched movies and Mr. Tennis challenged Maddy to figure out a Rubik's cube! Note to others -- do NOT buy your child a Rubik's cube and tell them you will give them some $$ to get it figured out. Such a tactic results in frustration, some tears and the Mom (moi) hiding the cube and hoping it is never found!

Guess what else -- I cooked . . . a lot! Quite an accomplishment for me. I admit that I am sometimes the queen of fast and/or frozen foods. I made some Chicken and Wild Rice soup (yum), beef brisket (yummy), mashed potato casserole (extremely yummy - from my blog friend Lisa) and some chocolate scotcheroos (delish)!! Still on my list to be made today or tomorrow -- Spinach/Bacon quiche, chicken enchiladas and Hershey kiss cookies!

Bet you guess my New Year's resolution! But until then, bring on the chocolate! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From our house to yours, best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some Fave Ornaments

Raise your hand if you do a "theme" tree please. Anybody?? I don't know that I've ever had much of a theme - just a lot of ornaments assembled through the years. Some I've loved, some I've tossed -- really, how long do I have to keep that Cub Scout ornament from the 1990's?? Some ornaments are too special to get rid of (see why I have a clutter problem?), but they don't need to go on the tree every single year.

This year I decided we would try and limit the ornaments to silver, white and red! These are some of my fave ornaments.

Note: One bad thing about silver glittery ornaments -- the glitter comes off! Oh yes, I've had glitter on my clothes at work some days! But that's just me trying to look festive and brighten up the workplace!

Friday, December 18, 2009

All About the Birthday Girl!

Kind of hard to believe that my little sweetie-pie is turning 8. I have been asking myself, why is it that 8 seems so much older than 7? I figured it out. Of course, 8 is so close to 10 and 10 is close to 15 and 15 is close to 20 – darn – she’s grown-up! Though I’ve tried to stop the clock before, I was not successful – as both boys are now over 21 – guess I should stop calling them "boys" eh! Anyway, in honor of Miss M’s 8th b-day on the 20th, I thought I would list 8 special things about her.

1. Maddy is very sweet! Truly, she is the sweetest little girl I’ve ever known and I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter! Well, I suppose it could be that I haven’t known that many other little girls, but she is sweet and thoughtful and delightful – a real treasure!

2. She is a good student. She works so hard at school and at home. Even though math has given her a few problems this year, she has worked at it and is conquering her fear of numbers! She loves her tutor and I believe that has certainly helped change her thinking about her own abilities. I haven’t heard her say the dreaded "I’m just no good at math" in a while now. Yay Maddy!!

3. Maddy has a great imagination! One of the most fun things for me is to listen to Maddy play with her stuffed animals. They have very expressive and extended conversations about the weather, their dreams, what to do and just about anything and everything under the sun. It is a real treat to listen in as she "talks" for the various animals.

4. She is a talented little artist. She loves to draw and makes very detailed and meticulous drawings ... usually of animals. Lately, she has been making little books on scraps of paper of animals or movie characters. She staples her little book together and presents it for your reading enjoyment.

5. Maddy loves chips! If there is one thing that girl will eat, it is chips – BBQ, sour cream and onion, plain, cheddar, sun chips . . . just about any chips. She sometimes decides to take hot or cold lunch based on whether or not the cafeteria has chips! If chips are on the menu, it’s a hot lunch day.

6. Maddy is very determined. When she puts her mind to something, she sticks with it and follows-through. Last summer she was determined to master her bicycle without training wheels! And she did it! Lately, she’s made up her mind to get a puppy and has somehow negotiated away a year. I agreed to a dog in June, 2011 – somehow, she and Mr. Tennis have now agreed to June, 2010!! I don’t know how that happened and I don’t think Mr. Tennis knows either!

7. She is very tender-hearted. You (and by you, I mean me, of course) have to be careful to discipline and/or direct her in a gentle way. Cross words break her little heart.

8. Maddy is very loving. She gives her heart to her family, her friends and her faith and draws strength from all three.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart! We love you so much and I am so honored and blessed to be your Mother.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Voices of Angels

Getting ready to go!

Last night was Maddy's school Christmas music program for the K-4 grades! Oh my -- it was so special! I absolutely love hearing their little voices and the wonderful Christmas songs. It's fun to see the boys and girls out of their uniforms. The boys were squirming around like they could barely stand still and giggling at the girls, while the girls were smiling angelically (is that a word?) -- it is now! The church was really dim, so it was extremely difficult to get any good pictures.

Maddy and one of her Bestest Friends

Maddy was so thrilled to pick out a special dress a few weeks ago. A sweet blog and real life friend make her that lovely flower barrette! Previously, she fussed and put any barrettes I attempted to place in her hair, smack on top of her head. It made for a somewhat weird look. But, she seems to like these and is willing to wear the ones Kim makes. Now, she's hooked and we have new addiction to feed! :)

Maddy and Mr. Tennis

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sing Along -The Weather Outside Is . . .


Yes, the weather has been frightfully snowy and cold!! That manic drive home on Sunday was nothing compared to the dumping of snow and the Artic frost we've been enduring the last few days! Shocking -- the office closed early on Tuesday -- totally unheard of and school has been out for 3 days now! Luckily, my little red jeep gets us around pretty darn good. Mr. Tennis doesn't want to take his newish vehicle out in this snowy and icy weather, so he's put on a new hat and become Mr. Chauffeur! Really, you should see his hat -- it's something else. I'll try to sneak a photo some time. I do love home to office curbside service!

Luckily, the snowblower is working, even though it had to go in for a quick service call on Tuesday. The Rickster is one of those neighbors who likes to do everyone's front walk (yes, he is sweet like that). But, after he did that Tuesday afternoon and had just started on our long driveway, a belt blew! AAACK!! Off to Ace Hardware. I'm so happy that they were able to fix it. I did manually shovel the front steps and walk to the house and that was plenty for me!

If you thought I'd get some holiday baking or something useful accomplished during the snowstorm, you'd be wrong, unfortunately. I did do some Internet shopping, but am still a bit behind due to the bad weather. Think I will try some marathon shopping, baking and wrapping this weekend!

My updated wreaths and garland by the front door look even better with a bit of snow on them, so I guess there is a bright side to the snow!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

First, the GOOD! On Sunday, Maddy and I ventured to our nearby big city to attend a holiday Mulberry Lane concert. Maddy's sweet sister (in-law), Catherine, joined us and so did my twin and her daughter. My Mom was not feeling up to going out to the concert, but we were able to visit a bit with her before it. The concert was so sweet and definitely got us all feeling all Christmasy!

(Snow Bear went along on the ride -- should have known snow was inevitable! Did you notice -- it's even snowing on my blog! )

I suppose the weather was also trying to get us in the holiday mood as it started to snow. In my book, that was BAD. I'm not the most confident highway driver under the best circumstances, but blowing snow . . . yikes!!!

And that turned into the UGLY part of the day! Oh my word!! We were about an hour away from home when the snow started and it was blowing all over the highway. At least it wasn't sticking and getting icy yet. We were on a two-lane highway because I'm afraid of the interstate. There, I admitted it -- go ahead and laugh. But seriously, the speed limit on the interstate is 75 and most people consider that a suggestion and go much faster! The sweet little two-lane highway speed limit is 60, much more manageable. Anyway, the snow was blowing all over the place, nearly white-out conditions at times, making me more and more nervous. I was able (barely) to see the lane marker lines and then started to worry, what about the cars coming towards me? Could they see the lane markers or would they accidentally veer into me head-on? I'm my own worst enemy, aren't I!

We were listening to some Christmas music, but I had to turn it off as it was a distraction. So, guess what we did? Prayed -- out loud! I said, let's pray the rosary, so we started on Hail Mary's. Of course, Maddy says we didn't really pray the rosary as we didn't count the Hail Mary's or say the prayers in between the decades of the rosary, but I had enough to think about without all that. I did have a little freak-out moment when I had to pull off in one of the small towns along the way and call Mr. Tennis so he could calm me down a little. Back on the highway, I started to visualize my little red Jeep being protected from above. As we neared Lincoln, the roads started to get more snow-packed and icy, but we kept on with the Hail Mary's and were able to get home safe and sound, where I promptly collapsed in a heap!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Packrat Confession

Isn't the first step to solving a problem admitting that it exists? Yes, it's true -- I'm afraid I'm a bit of a packrat and I'm a teensy bit embarrassed!

Once again we have a painting project going on in December! Why do we do this? It puts me way behind on decorating, shopping, partying (who me, party??).

This year's project is not a big one (like last year's) and I really did try to get it accomplished in September, October or November, but the painters had other more lucrative jobs. The project -- repainting the kitchen cabinets. So, why you ask, am I embarrassed?

Well, the painters took the cabinet doors off and opened the drawers to sand and paint. What I didn't quite realize was that all of my cupboards were so incredibly messy! Who knew that all 11 or 12 of the drawers in my kitchen were junk drawers? Yeah, some weren't closing very well, but I just didn't use those, stashing more papers and junk in the ones that would open! Clever, eh!!

Last night when I got home and saw the mini-disaster and all that "stuff" about to fall out of my cabinets, I immediately began to throw out stuff. Yay for me! Guess what the oldest "use by" date was? Give up? 2002!!!! Stuff that has a "use by" date of 2002 is still ok, right?

Oh yes, the majority of "use by" dates were 2008 and 2009, but also saw some 2007 and a few 2005. Canned goods evidently tend to move to the back and be forgotten.

Hey, I found something even older than 2002 -- a little box of "To Go Tea" from China. This amazing tea is often given to adoptive parents in China for the kiddos who are having a bit of issue with pottying due to all the trauma and stress going on. Anyway, the box looks to be dated 2000 which is a bid odd as we didn't even meet Miss Maddy until 2003. Not to worry, even if it was already outdated, it did its job. Such a cute little box, I had to keep it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A New Pet . . . Please Welcome


I could tell that Maddy and Mr. Tennis were up to something recently, but I wasn't sure what they were plotting. When I got home one night last week, I thought Janie (the fish) and her little fish bowl looked different somehow. Upon closer review, I could tell there was a new guy in the house.

Froggie, the dwarf clawed frog, moved in with Miss Janie. He is a tiny little guy, but jumps all over the place and has really pepped Janie up. Janie used to barely swim and many times, I worried she was ready for her final journey down the potty. Now that Froggie is in there with her, she's busy keeping an eye on him and moving a lot more. Note to self: Stay Alert -- Mr. Tennis and Maddy are not to be trusted when it comes to pets!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh So Thankful!

Can't possibly let this special Thanksgiving holiday pass without doing a little early Thanksgiving edition - Thankful Thursday. And so, I am very thankful this year for:
  • My dear sweet Mother who is battling cancer and does so with grace and beauty and no complaints.

  • My sainted Dad who doesn't mind that I call him "Al" and he sits waiting by the phone (so he says) for my daily calls.

  • My own little family - Mr. Tennis, Philip & Catherine, Connor and Miss Maddy -- they make my life complete.

  • My friends in real life, at work, my neighborhood and my bloggy friends -- so happy and blessed to have all of you.

  • My twin sister who is hosting Turkey day for us and her many relatives.

  • My favorite Thanksgiving dish, not turkey, not stuffing, not pie -- though I do love all of those, but Fudge, that I am making -- yum!

  • My job -- thankful to have one and so many friends at work who make it a pleasure to come to work every day!

  • My faith -- I know there is power in prayer and feel it, especially this year.

  • Decent weather -- I know this is vain, but the cooler, less humid weather is so much kinder to me and my hair!

I could go on and on, as you can probably tell.

Best wishes to all for a very happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sprucing Up the Wreaths and Garland

(From Pottery Barn)

The race is on to get the house decorated for the holidays! I will admit, we have kind of a crazy street. Lovely, but crazy. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, spruces up and decorates outside. Some (and I'm not mentioning any names) have gone to the extreme and light up the entire outline of their house along with every single tree and shrub in their yard. That's a bit much for me, especially since I know we would end up tripping over extension cords everywhere. Definitely glad I don't live across from that flashing strobe light house!

Mr. Tennis has two large wreaths he puts up on the house. I don't know how since we have a brick house, but he figured it out years ago, so up go the wreaths and then we put spot-lights on them to make sure everyone sees them! (Clever, eh!!) This year, I mentioned that the wreaths with their requisite red cheesy bows were starting to look a little worn. So he got the wreaths down for me and I spruced them up with some lovely red and silver ornaments. Who needs bows when you've got giant ornaments?? And then I did the same to every other wreath we own (who knew we had so many?) and the five that he bought at Wal*Mart (yes, a little wreath crazy perhaps). Turned out great! Half-price ornaments at Hobby*Lobby, some twisty-tie stuff and voila -- gorgeous ornament filled wreaths and garland!

Now, Mr. Tennis has to figure out stringing up the lights, but we'll probably wait until it's 10-15 degrees with ice or snow to do that. No need to do everything on a warmish 50 degree November weekend, right!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holiday Photo Cards - Revisited

It's that time of year again, isn't it? Time to figure out what to do for the holiday photo card. I like to do one every year so I can look at them later and see how the kids have grown and changed. And I love to receive them from friends and family! Anybody out there need my
real-life address?

Photo card from Christmas 2005
(Vacay in Mexico earlier that year -- that was fuN!)

This year is a little troubling for me. Philip and Catherine are married and probably doing their own card. Connor graduated from college and is living out of state working (sniff, sniff, sniff), so it's just Mr. Tennis, the Madster and me! What to do?

Christmas card 2004

Last year, only Maddy was on the card. This year, I'm considering a 3-photo card -- one photo of Maddy, one of me and Maddy and one of Maddy and Mr. Tennis. Are you sensing a theme here? Yep, Miss M rules!!! Guess what -- we don't have any photos of the three of us together! Ooops -- that happens sometimes!

Maddy's First Christmas Home, 2003

(Don't you just want to squeeze and smooch on those cheeks of hers!)

And here's another question for you -- when do you take your adult children off the signature line on the Christmas card?? It's not like they're not part of the family, but once they don't live at home, is that the time to boot them out of the signature?? What do you think?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

DIY Wreath & Me!

Yes, I talked myself into another DIY project . . . why do I these things?? I should have been cleaning and decluttering, but instead I was threading a blue million ornaments onto a wire hanger! I saw the wreath featured on another blog (sorry, not sure which one) and it looked so cool and easy (famous last words, right?).

It actually took a lot more time and work than I thought it would. But since I knew I couldn't take the ornaments back, I figured I better keep going and get it done. I also ended up with glitter all over my clothes, the kitchen, the basement, just about everywhere. It still needs a few touch ups and additional smaller ornaments stuck in here and there, but I'm almost afraid to mess with it now! Ooops - just noticed, of course, it needs a bow and ribbon! See, I am a bit of a lame DIY'er -- I pretend it's totally finished before it's actually all done!
Hey, over at Kimba's blog, A Soft Place To Land it’s DIY Tuesday! Everyone loves inspiration to Do It Yourself !

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Light Cooking Anyone?

Pumpkin Pecan Bread

Are you like me -- with good intentions to cook lighter, healthier meals, but sometimes just find that the old favorites are easier, even though they are maybe not quite so health-conscious?
Well, look at this -- the magazine, Cooking Light, is now on sale through at the low, low, really low price of $5 for a whole year! I know I'm going to have that yearly resolution to cook and eat healthier come January and probably right around when my first magazine arrives! Perfecto! Check it out! Recipes for these delicious items and more can be found on their website.

Pumpkin Pie Cake!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fun in the Fall!

Finally . . . a fall weekend with decent weather, even though we had to wait through nearly all of October to get one! Yes, the weather has been very, very strange this year, but we love the nice, warm days whenever we get one or two!

This past weekend, we actually had two (count em, two) marvelous and warm sunny days! Instead of going after the leaves that again accumulated in the yard, since I already filled 15 bags, Maddy and I headed to our neighborhood school playground. There are a ton of kids in our neighborhood, but maybe the others were all home raking leaves, as we were the only ones there!

Monkey Maddy loves to climb and swing and is really showing some upper body and arm strength. She’s one little dynamo! What a beautiful blue sky and beautiful girl too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Picture is Worth A . . .

You know how they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words?"
Don’t doubt it – it is so true!
Recently I was perusing some old photos looking for one of my Dad from his younger days when he was a railroad engineer. I found it among some others that I had scanned and put together in a little birthday video for him five or six years ago. One of the photos I found really made me smile. I’ve seen it before, but I had totally forgotten about it. Here it is – my Mom and Dad holding me and my twin sister [my Mom is holding me!]. Don’t they look so calm and happy?!

And really, how calm could it have been – they had twin baby girls, two boys that defined the word "terrors" aged almost 2 and 4 years old, and a six-year old girl! Plus, we were born in the middle of a hot summer and they moved 10 days after we got home from the hospital! Holy smokes – it had to be crazy busy! It’s such a sweet photo! I loved it as soon as I saw it. To see my Mom and Dad looking so young and happy warmed my heart.

So, here’s the lesson I learned – don’t forget to be present and actually be in some photos with your family. Moms especially seem to be busily getting everyone else’s picture and are often left out. I know I often try not to get in any photos as I think my hair looks squirrely or I look tired, don’t have any lipstick on or I want to lose 5 or 10 pounds before I get my picture taken.

But later, when the kids are grown, they will have forgotten what you (by you, I mean me, of course) even looked like in younger days! Quick – another lesson (two for one today, I guess), since nearly all photos are digital these days, be sure and actually print your photos!! They don’t bring back memories very well sitting on someone’s hard drive or a CD.

Alrighty then, must go put some lipstick on and get in some pictures! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Recap

I am a little slow getting a Halloween story told, aren't I?! That's because Halloween festivities seemed to start early and go on and on. First, Thursday, there was a party at school. Friday meant a party at daycare and at our local Y. That was loads of fun! Luckily, I was smart enough to get Maddy and her friend there shortly after it started so they were able to enjoy the bounce slide and haunted house before the hordes arrived. They even scored a couple of those really cool long plastic fingers! I suggested they go through again and get me one, but by then the fingers were gone and it was on to plastic lips!

Due to our crazy October weather, our huge tree in the front dumped ALL of its leaves in one day. The sidewalks were totally covered as was the lawn. Since wet yucky leaves are slippery, I spent Saturday afternoon raking and bagging leaves! Where was Mr. Tennis and the Madster? Off at his dentist's acreage, grooming horses and petting kitties! OY!! We're gonna end up with another pet (besides Janie the fish) if he keeps that up!

Then Saturday evening meant more Halloween fun. We had a ton of trick or treaters! When Maddy and her friend got home from making the rounds, they sat on the front step and greeted the ghosties and goblins! They even donated their own candy when our supplies ran out. Drat -- I forgot to tell them to save some chocolate for me. The only thing left is Starbur*st and Skittle*s! This mama needs chocolate!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Guess Who Came to Visit?

Some clues for you -- he has 4 feet, curly white hair and a cute little bark! Of course, it's Larry -- the bichon! Philip and Catherine and Larry came to visit last weekend and stay overnight. It was so nice to have them all here. Maddy was in hog . . . I mean, dog-heaven!!

Poor Larry was probably exhausted by the time they headed home. We took him on lots of walks, she played with him and walked (pulled) him around the house on his leash. He tried to get his paws on some of her stuffed animals and she gave him one that looked a lot like him. We called it Little Larry. Big Larry really wanted a Webkinz kitty though. After she wore him out, he took a little nap right on her lap. So sweet! Come again Larry! You too -- Philip and Catherine! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Climb Every Mountain (or Boulder)

Really now, you know there are no mountains in Nebraska, right?! Heck, truth be told, there are very few hills around here and even less as you go further west. Warning, do not attempt to drive I-80 across Nebraska without a big ole' pot of coffee. The flatness will make you very, very sleepy!

But there are mountains and challenges to be faced everywhere, aren't there. Lately, we've had a bit of a math challenge going on. Miss M has had the darndest time since school started with math -- mostly addition and subtraction of larger numbers. Being a parent can be such a balancing act -- trying to help your child, build some self-confidence and still not become one of those neurotic mothers! Oy -- parenthood is not for the weak of heart!

Already, Miss M looks down and says "I'm no good at math." Oh man -- that kills me. And she's a bit of a shy girl and very tender-hearted. She doesn't want to ask her teacher for help or tell her if she doesn't understand, so she'll just take a wild guess. We've talked to her teacher, we work on math worksheets and flashcards, and we also have a tutor come over every week. Oh, gosh, I do sound a bit neurotic, don't I!

During the summer, she and Courtney (the tutor) worked on and practiced reading together. Maddy really, really likes her. I wasn't sure if I should keep the tutor for the school year too, but I'm so glad I did. They spend nearly the whole hour going over math and doing fun math-related problems. They do a bit of reading too and go over any papers that had mistakes on them. Probably at least partly because it is somebody else (not Mom), Maddy thinks it is fun and looks forward to it every week. Guess who else attends tutoring sessions - Mickey Mouse and sometimes other random stuffed animals. Second grade is so different than first grade. In 1st grade, it was all about learning to read. In 2nd, it's more reading to learn and figuring things out on your own . . . a bit more of a challenge and that's a good thing, right?!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ta Da -- Dining Room Done!

Are y'all sick of hearing about my dining room? I am finished or really close to being finished with the redecorating project. I even spent nearly the entire day yesterday (Sunday) washing windows!

My first project in this room was to repaint below the chair rail. I did that a couple months ago while Mr. Tennis was out of town! Shhh- don't tell, but I didn't move one large piece of furniture to paint behind it, I just painted a bit behind it, so you can't tell I cheated.
Then came the new chandelier, new rug, new curtains, re-covered chairs and a little bit of this and that. I think the exact words uttered by Mr. Tennis were -- "trying to solve the recession all on your own???" Kidding -- he thinks it looks tons better too, though he was initially skeptical of the power of an on-line decorating consultant -- the fabulous Rhoda of Southern Hospitality blog.

We have this great built-in corner cabinet that I've always loved. Lighter-colored paint below the chair rail and new curtains hung up higher than the old ones. Wow -- that makes a huge difference and the room seems so much larger!

Here you can see the new rug and recovered chairs a little better.

This is the honking heavy piece of furniture (can't really see it, but take my word for it - it's heavy) that I could not move to paint behind, but I got in close enough, so you can't tell. Even the Rickster hasn't realized (yet anyway), I haven't painted behind it.

Do I need more accessories on it? I'm terrible at accessories, so opted for less instead of more. Love those two buffet lamps and the reflection of the cool new chandelier in the mirror!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wacky World Wednesday!

Yes, it's a wacky world when we have snow in October!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who To Be?

Maddy has a unique way of deciding who or what to be for Halloween.

This year, it all depends on the accessories!

She has decided to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, not because she loves the movie and Dorothy. No, the real reason is because she spied a little doggie in a basket -- Toto -- and you know, that is MUST accessory for Dorothy!

Plus -- bonus -- Dorothy wears very cool and sparkly red shoes!

Last year, we had a warm and lovely Halloween. I don't think jackets were even necessary. If this past weekend is any indication of what the weather may be, I think Dorothy's red shoes will be replaced with snow boots! Yes, we were one of the many areas of the country that received a record-early snowfall. October -- what is the deal with snow in October???

And guess what, I did not like it at all! I want to enjoy fall some more before winter weather gets here! The dumb snow made some trees drop all of their leaves immediately!

Come on Mother Nature -- give us a break!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gotcha Covered!

Trying to remember to take a moment now and then to smell the roses -- this was a beautiful rose, wasn't it! Even so, it feels like I've had so much going on lately that blogging is taking a bit of a back seat. Speaking of seats, I finished re-covering my dining room chairs -- part of the dining room update project that has been going on for months! Oh my goodness -- what a project! I've seen all those bloggers that make it look easy, and maybe it was easy . . . for them! It took me a LOT longer than an hour or two!

First, I removed over 130 (I kid you not, I counted) staples from each chair -- that took a weekend at least. Then I had to find some fabric. Score - found a lovely neutral that will go with the new rug and also had a little other fabric to play with and use too. Then the cutting began!

Did you know that I failed cutting with a scissors in kindergarten? Yes, I did and so did my twin. My Mom said to the teacher-- "What -- there are two of them, why would I be crazy enough to give them scissors???" And we both did poorly in beginning sewing when we took it one summer (make that two summers in a row)-- again, still can't cut a straight line!

Finished chairs!

Anyway, the first chair took days and days! And then I dawdled some just thinking about it all. Finally, last weekend I swore I would finish the rest of the chairs! And I did! Doing the corners was way harder than I thought it might be, but I persevered. And now look -- do you love them? The stripe fabric was a remnant and just happened to match my neutral fabric. My plan was to make two chairs striped -- you know, the Mom & Dad chairs. But somebody (Maddy) got a really sad face and also wanted a striped chair, so we have three striped chairs and three plain. Works for me! The dining room is really coming together. More photos when it is done -- which I hope is soon!