..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A "Modern" Boudoir







I found this Kittinger laquer set from the 1930’s. Isn’t it gorgeous!?! Just think how modern they thought they were at the time. In the days before space, in the beginnings of airplanes and telephones and TVs. In the days before computers, 8 lane interstate highways, and the Internet…this was what they thought was modern! Of course, 75 years from today, someone will be writing about what we think of as modern in 2008! And will the furniture that we buy today till be around in 75 years? I doubt the pressboard stuff with wood laminate on it will last 10 years, much less 75 years.


I just thought this was a lovely, graceful, elegant set and wanted to share it with you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Light Fixtures

I decorated my husband's bedroom in black and cream toile. He had the dated 1980's plain Jane ceiling fixture in the room. At a yard sale I came across this chandelier for $5. All I did was clean it, buy the black and cream shades and Stan put it up. The porcelain with the black striping makes it more tailored and a tad more masculine. It really dresses the room.











This chandelier was a very dated antiqued bronze 1980's fixture over the breakfast table in our house. We hated it. So dark and unattractive. But I stunned Stan by taking it outside and cleaning it, spray painting it and adding the red and gold shades. He put it up in my bedroom (which is decorated in red and cream toile). I sprayed the chain and ceiling plate with gold spray paint. All it took was 3 cans of spray paint and the shades to give me a pretty, romantic bedroom fixture.

Use your imagination and look around your own house. If you don't find what you need in your garage, basement, storage boxes...then check out yard sales and thrift stores. Think what it could look like with a good clean and some paint!

Here are some more interesting light/lamp ideas:

http://www.whiterivertradingco.com/lamps/lamps.html
Western style lamps

http://theartfulhomedomain.com/
Check out their lamps


http://anenchantedcottage.com/category_1/Cottage-Lighting.htm
Some beautiful, romantic light fixtures and lamps






My sister, Elaine, found some church lights at a thrift store that she sold on ebay. If you come across something like this, they are great for high ceilings like an entrance hall, stairwell, etc.











































This shade has been dressed up with a ruffle. Ruffles, beaded ribbons, boullion fringe, etc can be found at most craft and fabric stores.























Here is a lucite lamp that has been dramatically dressed up with the shade. It looks like a silk shade and you could add the ribbon roses (you can buy them pre-made) and a beaded ribbon around the edge and have the same thing. I find vintage glass lamps at antique malls and thrift stores all the time. A good clean, some rewiring and a new shade can make a classy boudoir lamp.











This inventive person used a rainbow ribbon on her old lamp shade skeleton! Look for ribbon rolls on sale or at yard sales and voila!













If you have a modern house and/or decor, look for the hip light fixtures of the 1960's!
































Here is a 1960's inspired lamp and they just splattered paint on the shade. That should be easy to reproduce! A really cool look.




















Here is an old gas light that has been modernized for electricity. In antique shops these are expensive so keep your eye out at the thrift stores and snap it up.


















This little Mason jar lamp is as easy as it gets. Someone has put this country shade on it but you can do different things. Remember that Mason jars, jars in general, come in different sizes and you can get an old green one too. Fill it with different things like river rock, wooden thread spools, seashells, beans, marbles, etc. You can buy the jar-to-lamp assemblage at craft stores so it doesn't take an electrician. Get a shade and there you are.


**NOTE** Old lamps and light fixtures probably need to be rewired for safety. You don't want to start a fire by using a lamp that has a frayed, melted, or disintegrated cord, etc. To rewire a lamp is a simple process but get some help the first time you do it. Check online for instructions, videos, go to your lamp store or local Lowe's and Home Depot to see if they offer lessons. If you are still uncomfortable doing it yourself, a lamp store can rewire it for you. Lowe's and Home Depot carries any part of the lamps and light fixtures that you need such as shades, plugs, cords, harps, switches, etc, etc. Overhead light fixtures need a professional for rewiring and hire an electrician to install it, especially if there hasn't been a light there before. It's electrical and the results of an amateur installation could cost you your home and your loved ones in an electrical fire. So when you are considering a purchase, keep in mind any other expenses. If it's going to be more expensive to refurbish an old one, it might be just as well to get a new one unless your old one is a one-of-a-kind, have-to-have piece that is perfect for you.


**ANOTHER NOTE** I make sure that my light fixtures and lamps are easy to clean. Nothing ruins a room like dust. You can decorate in almost any style as long as it's clean but every style is ruined by dust. I like to keep my light fixtures sparkling. So pick out something that you can clean. If you don't know how you would ever clean something that intricate, then pick something else out.

People seem to like houses with these soaring, open ceilings but that also makes it difficult to reach overhead lights, ceiling fans, windows, curtains, etc to clean. Even if you can buy a ladder tall enough to reach these places you have to think...Can I physically lift and drag that ladder inside and out? Am I too afraid to climb that high? Is it safe for someone (me or a hired hand) to climb that high just to clean that window? It would be a disaster if someone climbed up 20 feet on a ladder and fell! These are things to think of when you are buying houses.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Seven Random Facts About Me

1) I'm a shy and reserved person. I can fake it one on one, I can stand behind a lectern and teach, I can talk to a crowd. But a group makes me nervous and I tend to withdraw and get quieter in a group of strangers or casual friends. I deliberately try to be polite to others in a one on one situation, to reach out to them and I can enjoy being with them. But a group really intimidates me. And the older I get the worse it gets.

2) I have a good sense of humor and I can get hysterical laughing.

3) I'm a coffee drinker and not much of a hot tea drinker. It's always decaf but I love a good cup of coffee.

4) I can draw some cartoons.

5) I am baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

6) I've always wanted to be able to sew and I haven't been able to do it despite lessons, home ec, etc.

7) One of my pet peeves is seeing garbage thrown out of cars and streets lined with trash. It's so lazy and low class.

Tips

Household Tips

* Go right now and wash your dryer lint screen. I don't just mean to pull the lint out but take it to the sink and scrub it with a toothbrush and warm, soapy water. You see, the dryer sheets or softener on the clothes puts a coating on the screen making it inefficient and put a strain on the dryer. If you wash that screen every few months, it will keep your dryer working a lot longer.

* When you unload the dishwasher go ahead and set the table for the next meal.

* You don't have to buy books new. I only buy new books when it's a favorite author that I just can't wait to read the newest offering. And those are only a few. You can get books very cheaply at library book sales, yard sales, thrift stores, antique malls, used book stores, bargain books at the big book stores. In my part of the country I can get the cheapest deals at yard sales. Usually $ .50-$1.00 for hard backs and $ .10-$ .50 for paperbacks. At thrift stores you can get hard back books for about $1.00-$2.00@. At library book sales you can get books for $1.00 @. Sometimes, on the last day, they will sell them by the bagfuls for $1.00. At antique malls and used book stores you can expect to pay $5-$10 for hard backs and bargain books at the big book stores are usually $5.98-$9.98. When you consider that a brand new book sells for $28.00-$35.00@ you see how much money you can save by waiting and buying bargains! But, the cheapest, is to use your local library! It costs nothing to check out books at the library. If new ones come out that you see at Barnes & Nobles, make note of it and get online. Check to see if your library has it. If they have it, put a hold on it and wait for it. My library calls to let me know it's in and I make plans to get it. To be even more thrifty...arrange your errands to include the visit to the library so you aren't wasting gas. Make sure you read it and get it back to the library in time so that there are no late charges.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Our House On The Farm

Our house on the Farm

This is the house that we built on the farm. It started off as a saltbox and I designed it and drew up the plans. This photo was taken in November 1981, right before we moved in.


I designed it and drew up the plans. Dad was the engineer and taught the guys how to build. Dad did a lot of work on our houses and Stan, Ronnie and Mike learned a lot from him and can now do about anything that a house needs. Plumbing, electrical, carpentry from basement to roof, sheetrocking, putting in doors and windows, finish work, etc. They learned some valuable skills while building our 4 houses. And two of Dad's nephews worked with him for awhile in high school and learned a lot of those skills. They can honestly say that these homes were built with their own hands and that is a big accomplishment.

This was our loft bedroom and bath. When we added on the front, we added 2 additional bedrooms. But this was the original bedroom.



Stan and Ronnie are sanding the big woodstove we bought to heat with. It was far too big for the house and we had to get a much smaller one. We tried to leave as many trees as we could to be ecologically friendly but it turned out to be a mistake. Those pine trees have shallow roots and they are tall and skinny. They catch the wind easily and are pulled right over. Then there are the pine beetles that killed the rest of them. So we had to cut all the pine trees down which left us a nice, big yard. Stan, Dad and Ronnie cut everyone of our trees except the one just to the right of the front door. It was too close and we asked a logging friend to lay it down to make sure the house was safe. I hauled and stacked wood for our woodstove. Then we had a bulldozer come in and get up the stumps and reshape the yard.





It took us 3 years to pay for and finish the little saltbox (that had a total square footage of 976 sq ft). Then we waited about 4-5 years to save enough money to add on. We re-shaped the roofline and added on to the front. We increased the square footage to 2400 sq ft. It was my plan and I drew it up to scale.

On the right side you can just see the entrance hall with the double windows. The front door is there with a small office on the other side facing the backyard.




The kitchen. You can't tell from here but I had a drop in glass top stove where the stove hood is and another full range on the right side of the pantry cabinet and a wall oven under the TV. Behind the TV is the large laundry room.











The windowless wing on the left is the master bedroom with walkin closet and en suite bathroom. Nice large master bedroom suite with a private patio and hot tub. Upstairs, on the front, we added 2 bedrooms with closets and downstairs was the new den. We turned the old den into the dining room and enclosed the old dining room to make a large laundry room. So we not only added on but were remodeling too. We lived in this mess for quite a while since we would run out of money. We finally completely finished every room just one year before we sold and moved away. We were very proud of all the work we accomplished and how nice our home was. The people who bought it rented it out since 2000 so it's not been taken care of like we kept it. And that makes us sick.

This is the master bedroom.

The window looks out on the private patio. There was a door onto the patio too beside the bed.








This is the den and entrance hall. The other door was the small office.
















This is the dining room with the kitchen in the end of it.

During the 1980's I was really into the Waverly floral wallpaper, Victorian style! I still love that wall paper but it is busy for most people. I kept it immaculate and in great condition but the tenants after us painted over the wallpaper...plain ole beige. Then they painted the kitchen cabinets apricot and sponged beige on top.

Wood Stove Blues

Back in the day...

Here is one of wood stoves in our house on the farm. Dad built that brick wall and laid my brick floor. We added the little half wall to help collect heat and to protect the entertainment center from too much heat. In the top left corner of the photo you can see the window with the vertical blinds. We paid a lot for those blinds and I was very careful not to let them get too hot and warp. After we moved, the new tenants let them melt!

Here is another thing I don't miss about living on the farm. I love a fire but the mess and hard work totally negates the pleasure.

In our house on the farm, we had 2 wood stoves and a heat pump. Most of the time I had to work with Dad and Ronnie to get up wood. They would cut and I would gather and stack it. That was hard enough work but it doesn't stop there!

Here are other things I hated about it:

1) That stack of wood had to be near a door, which, in our case it had to be the front door (the back door was on a deck high off the ground.) Ugly sight. Ours was about 12' from the front door.

2) Having a wood pile near the house draws spiders, snakes and bugs (I've seen all 3 of them and had all 3 trying to get in the front door). I pulled the tarp back one day and there was a big snake curled up. We had to keep a sticky board right by the front door to catch the little snakes and spiders from coming in. And we caught some. Plus, I get allergic reactions to things like fire ants, spider bites, etc. I don't need to be in contact with them if possible.

3) Ash removal was always a joy! Every week I had to clean out the ashes, trying to be careful so as not to make too much of a mess. As you know ash is so lightweight that the least puff or movement sends it in the air to cover everything with a fine dust.

4) The dust. No matter how careful you are, you are still bringing dirty wood into the house, tossing it on the fire and emptying ash. So everything gets dusty.

5) I had the job of keeping the fire going. Bummer! But Stan was too messy to trust with ash removal and he worked all day so I kept the fire going.

5) At the end of the season I had to thoroughly clean out the ashes, scrub the glass doors (which become so soot covered that you can't see the fire. You can clean the glass every day but that was a drag so, in the end, it usually got done a few times a season. Then I would line the firebox with newspaper to keep the wind from coming down the pipe and blowing dust into the room. At the beginning of the season Stan would have to climb up on the roof and clean out the stovepipe.

6) Uneven heat. The den would get too hot and other rooms would get too cold. Especially if the heat pump thermostat was in the same room as the fireplace or woodstove. I was always having to open doors and windows or wrap up in blankets. In our current house, the fireplace is in the den with the thermostat. So when we turn on the gas logs it heats the den up and the thermostat registers the heat so the heat pump doesn't turn on. This makes the rest of the house cold...too cold for the dogs. So we don't get to use our gas logs much either. Why did they put the thermostat in the den with the fireplace?

7) The older you get, the less able you are to cut and haul wood, bring in armloads, climb on the roof to clean out the stovepipe, etc. Once you start paying for loads of wood and for chimney sweeps, you aren't saving too much money. I became physically unable to do these chores any more. It amazes me how active I used to be and can't be any more.

8) Ecological reasons. For emergency backup heat I believe in gas and not in woodstoves or wood fireplaces. It's easier, more convenient, no mess or fuss, more dependable. There is responsible wood cutting (thinning out of trees, cutting down dead wood, cutting up fallen branches, etc) but too many people, especially if you are buying loads of wood, aren't picky about where they get the wood so it's not very ecological. Plus wood smoke pollutes the air.

9) Allergies to the dust and ash and smoke.

10) Dry heat. It dries out wood (furniture, panelling, etc) as well as skin, sinuses, hair, etc. We kept a pot of water on top to help replenish moisture in the air but it was a drop in the bucket. It might be good for drying out a basement but I don't like my house being that dry.

11) The occasional direction of wind sometimes sent air DOWN the stovepipe, chuffing it into the room instead of drawing it up. This happened to us twice in the 18 years we lived there and both times filled the house with smoke. We had minor smoke damage and I spent a week each time cleaning walls, floors, upholstery, etc. to get rid of the smoke smell and clean up.

So from now on, I will enjoy my fires OUTSIDE!!!!!

Having A Well

Back in the day...

This picture is 8-20 years old. I'm not sure how old. I know it was a couple of years before we moved off the farm.

My parents bought a farm and, slowly, over the years, we kept adding to the acreage. All 4 families built on the the farm and we shared a single well. It is a deep well on a fast moving underbody of water (you could hear the water. I think our house (nearest to the well) was actually on a rock shelf over this underground river because whenever you had heavy equipment working in our yard you could feel the vibrations as though you were standing on a sheet of rock over a hollow space. Anyway, it nevered failed that we would have well problems on the coldest day/night of the year. Suddenly all 4 homes would be without water! We can survive without electricity for while but not without water. So the men would have to get out in the worst weather to work on the well. Either a pipe busted or a the pump died, etc. They had to remove the well house and then use the tractor to pull out the pipe and pump, find supplies to repair it and then put it back together. This last time, Stan decided to build a big wellhouse with a removable section of the roof. He did a great job but we moved before we ever had to take the well apart again so we don't know if it works.

One time it was in an ice storm and another time was this time...in the low teens and they guys were soooo cold! You notice the scaffolding they had to build in order to get high enough over the well to pull out the pipe/pump. It was tied off to the big Poplar tree. Stan was wearing a jacket that a friend of ours got for him while he was stationed in Korea. It was a super warm jacket. Unfortunately, at another time, Stan melted a hole on the arm of the jacket.

This is one thing about living on the farm that we don't miss. We pay a hefty water/sewer bill each month but it's a lot more convenient than having that well and our septic tank. So I thank God for a good water/sewer system and the money to be able to pay that bill.

Winter at Triple H Farm

I took this photo probably 8-10 years ago. It still looks the same except the sign gave out and Melinda is having a new one made. The driveway is still named Triple H Farm Road but Melinda and Mike call the farm a different name now. When she was deeply into horses they called it Bay Meadows Farm but now she only has a couple of horses and can't ride too much so they are going to start calling it something else. But, the farm, by any other name, is still the farm.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Persephone In My New Bed


Doesn't she look so tiny in my big bed?

















She and Capo love the pink and brown pillow that I put on my bed. It's super soft and fluffy...as if my new mattress set isn't enough! Sephy folded into my little pack so easily! They all love her and she loves them.

Luke and the Air Force

We have been in contact with Luke a good bit. As you know he joined the Air Force and is at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX for his basic training. He says it's hard, much harder than he imagined, but he's doing real good. He is in one of the best groups and is a leader of his group. He has learned how to take apart and put back together his M16 in less than a minute. We are hoping he will be trained in airplane or helicopter mechanical maintenance or whatever. He has those kind of skills naturally and he would learn a good skill. Stan was able to get airplane tickets for Mom, Peggy, Elaine, Ronnie, Stan and Luke's girlfriend, Hannah, to go and see him when he graduates basic training.

We've all been writing him a lot and he appreciates it! He says he gets more letters than anyone else and it makes him feel good. He says he wants long letters. He has been able to call a lot due to the holidays. Jenny's husband, Kyle, said he only got to phone home twice when he was in Lackland.

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