About Me

June 30, 2014

Summer Project ....

.... to add to my growing list of things to accomplish during the next eight weeks. On top of finishing the final fix ups to get our current house ready for sale, finalizing the ongoing decisions for the new house construction and working on projects coming up in the fall, I've added this baby into the mix!

We bought this solid oak, very heavy and on wheels entertainment unit to turn it into a masterpiece (or something close to it) for our preschool. In the six years that the preschool has been in operation, we've gone through four play kitchens purchased from stores that cater to little ones. However, the construction of these standard play kitchens doesn't match up for preschool classrooms, so we've had to resort to more drastic strategies. For $100, some nice chalk paint, leftover wood from other projects, a bit of sewing and lots of elbow grease, we should get many years out of the new play kitchen. 

So excited to try this out. Hoping our visual ideas work out and the little ones coming to school in the fall are excited to play with their unique kitchen set up! At the very least, it will be colorful!!

Have you ever re-purposed an item?

June 28, 2014


Hi everyone!

We took a short drive today down the long country road out to our sweet little house in the big woods.

And pulled in to see the sight and sound of busy workers. A big surprise for us as we thought they wouldn't be doing this for at least another week. 

We had no idea they would be working on the weekends. But the weather has been good, despite the dark, menacing sky, so they're trucking along to get ahead of the game and keep the build on track. 

Look at the progress they've made in a just a few short days! Amazing and promising.

The forms were put up and the foundation for the basement poured. Above is the back corner of our house, and the little curved jut out on the left side is the turret that spans two storys. 

The garage foundation. It will all be backfilled and then graded so it looks like we'll have a bit of a sloped driveway. Hopefully not too much. Summer would be fine but winter, yikes! That could get slippery when it's icy and freezing cold!!

Beckett's little bedroom and where the covered deck will be. He's getting so excited!

So are we. Can't wait for our actual moving day ....

June 26, 2014

The magic of rain!

Hi everyone!

We've had a lot of rain in the last month. Not torrential downpours or thundery rains but gentle, cleansing, plant growing rains. The kind pf rain that pitter patters on the roof at night,  making the world seem so warm, cozy and safe, as we snuggle down into our comfy beds to rest. 

This was our backyard, just a few weeks ago. The trees were just starting to sprout light green leaves. 

And here it is tonight, lush and dark green and so full. More pictures to follow as it continues to grow until late September, when everything will begin to turn color and fall to the ground, dormant for another season. Colorful but bare until spring!

How green is your world these days?

June 23, 2014

My 400th Post!!

Hi everyone!

I woke up this morning with a happy and light heart. Some days are so hard, some days are better and many are great. Today is one of those great days! Celebrating my 400th post is top of my list and although I have no grand plans, I feel like I've accomplished something in this small feat. 

Next on my list is the news that I have a new boss. Well actually, I'm getting my old boss back! We had a new Executive Director for a very short 8 months but he was definitely not a good fit. So he resigned, she stepped back in to the role that she had left 8 months ago and we're off on our journey again, after months of being "stalled". So excited for this transition. She is an amazing boss and it's a joy to work under her leadership.

And last on my list today, the utility companies we contacted yesterday to set up our services on the land already contacted me back. Wow! We're doing this early, thinking they will have long wait lists but so far, it looks good to have all our services contracted in well before our move in date. 

Hmmmm, after reading over my post, maybe I should plan a little celebration today! Maybe I'll bake, or make a nice dinner or sit in the garden and sip sweet, icy raspberry lemonade. 

Or do all three!!

Hope your day is off to a good start. Happy Monday!

June 21, 2014

Proud Mama Brag!

Hi everyone!

Our oldest daughter has had a couple of really challenging years after her marriage ended 2.5 years ago. But despite the angst and turmoil, she has moved forward with grace and fierce determination to carve out a new life for her and her son. We are beyond proud and it is a joy to watch her blossom as she finds her way. Today, she received confirmation that she has been accepted into nursing school. Not an easy goal but she did it!

Definitely a proud mama brag from me today!!

June 16, 2014


Hi everyone!

I had a great blog post all planned out for today. Even "wrote" it while I was driving kids around, stuck in traffic and waiting for classes to end. 

But tonight, I find myself too tired to even try to write it all out. So I'm saying goodnight and hope that the words remain safe in my head until I have the energy. Hopefully later tomorrow.

Good night!! Sleep tight ....

June 14, 2014

Our Little House in the Big Woods Progress

Hi everyone!

So excited to come out to our land this week and see the new road. A bit of a gentle curve in the scenic path as we drive up to get into the garage. This part faces south, so we'll have nice daytime sun.

The view towards the back of our property. We had hoped to put the house there but it was too low and too wet to chance the spot. There is a natural creek that runs along the back before the trees and we were all concerned, after seeing the water in the spring, that we'd have a sump pump running 24 hours a day to keep the water out. Not worth the lack of sleep. Now we're higher up and away from the creek.

Scrub and brush but so beautiful to us! This will be our view to the west, out the big turret windows.

Construction truck, hidden in amongst the trees to the east of the house. The old road is there for now.

And finally, what will be our view off our front veranda, facing west and getting the last of the sun each day. Just enough trees to give us privacy but some open space to let the light shine through.

Some tiny flowers to end this very late night post!

Wild Alberta Rose, growing in the scrub. These grow everywhere, almost like a weed, except they are so pretty and hardy. I love their vibrant pink shade.

Tiny bluebells? I'm going to have to find a book or a site that will help me identify the multitude of wild flowers that grace our property. Too many to figure out for now!

That's the latest update. On Monday, we go and pick out flooring and colors. On Tuesday, the surveyers come to determine if where we've flagged the house is correct and sound. On Wednesday, we come out for the final placement. And if all goes well, the big dig will happen on Thursday. 

Outside of stomping around the land with our builder and our daughters, we also did some yard work today, laundry, shopping, dinner, packing and writing. I took a bit of time and lounged on the deck tonight, tucked in with a warm blanket, some fluffy pillows, a new Sage scented candle burning in a mason jar and a good book to read. My reward for all the work accomplished. Busy day all around but productive and energy sucking. I know that once my head hits the pillow tonight, I'll sleep well and hopefully long!

June 13, 2014

Triple Threat!

Today was a day that some may have thought about skipping. A true triple threat with the date of Friday, the 13th, followed by a rare full moon on the 13th and we were already in the midst of a Mercury Retrograde. A scary day to even comprehend!

I'm quite superstitious and with all three of these events lined up in one neat package for the day, I wasn't sure how it would all play out. 

But it turned out to be an incredibly awesome day. Starting with sunny, warm weather, followed by a chance to meet with a dear friend, then time spent at preschool with my grandson and the news that dh had landed his biggest deal ever in his career! I found a great deal on chicken at the store, made a fast but tasty dinner and while my guy was off to the first football game of the season with his buddy, my dd and I enjoyed shopping together after dinner. She also helped me pull off a big secret that dh was not privy to at the time. More to be revealed in a future post!

Once our shopping was done, we headed home to relax. A great end to a day that could have gone in so many directions but for our crew, was one of those amazing times that make us so grateful for this life. 

How was your Friday the 13th?

June 9, 2014

A Corner of our Cottage ....

Hi everyone!

I've seen this idea on a few great blogs and thought it would be a fun way to capture our current home before we move to our new one. Photographing a "corner" of our cottage weekly and presenting each here on my blog. You might find it a bit boring but part of the purpose of my blog is to have a place to visually remember these wonderful days in our life. 

The "corner" I chose today is in our living room. In such a small space, there is a lot of history here! I started with a long shot and will now zoom in on a few special things. It's a cold, rainy, windy and dark day, so please forgive me for the lack of brightness in the pictures. A shadow here and there too! I couldn't even try to enhance these photos if I wanted to as our photo editing program wasn't up and running today. 

We had searched for a number of years to find a piano lamp that was different than the typical brassy ones with a dark green shade. Found this one at the thrift store for a very small sum. Lovely light at night and a soft pewter like finish. The small bunny on a wire chair was from the antique mall and her dress is just the right colors for this room. And a little lace doily under the lamp for a finishing touch.

In the actual corner is the china cabinet that my grandmother received as a wedding gift from her parents. She was born in 1917 and my dad was born in 1942, with his older brother born in 1937, so I'm guessing they were married around 1934 to 1936. Making this wonderful piece at least 78 to 80 years old. It holds a few pieces of her precious china and some other items that belonged to her. I'm forever grateful for being gifted this beautiful antique that the other members of our family did not want after she died. Knowing my husband and I cherish old treasures, they asked us if we wanted her furniture and we are so thankful we said yes, as it was all going to go to the thrift shop if we didn't take it! The gown is a beautiful satin Christening dress with incredible lace detail. A favorite find that we love and hang with pride and keep for future babies.

Our Moses Basket for our babies, all grown up now but saved for our grand babies. Inside, a sweet teddy bear my kids gifted to their dad one Father's Day and our two little bears, representing our youngest son and daughter, from a dear friend, who has also experienced loss and understood our need to have our empty arms filled. Our teddies are well loved, held often and lovingly kept in this special basket that holds memory and meaning.

We are all musicians but our youngest son is the gifted one in the family. He bought this Celtic Harp years ago and its magical when he plays it. However, when he and his young family moved out to the West Coast, he gifted it to us for safe keeping. Their new home is so tiny, just one little bedroom, a kitchen, bath and living room. Not a square inch left for anything extra, so we were happy to become the caretakers of such a beautiful piece. Just wish we could play it like he does!

The last shot of the "corner" features the old wood table that belonged to my husband's grandfather. We chalk painted it a lighter shade than our walls and I love the contrast, subtle but there. On the table is one of two matching lamps that we picked up at the Antique Mall on our very first visit there several years ago. We paid $15 for both lamps and they give off a lovely glow in the evening. Sitting beside the lamp is a ceramic Angel picture that I'd like to hang up but haven't yet decided which wall it should go on. And underneath, in the book storage space is a collection of art books and a vintage edition of Tom Sawyer, the name of the play that brought my husband and I together more than 30 years ago. 

So there you have a "corner" of our cottage. A quiet place at the end of a busy day. A favorite spot to reflect and recoup our souls and our energy. 

Do you have a favorite spot in your home 
that you covet and cherish?

June 8, 2014

Fire Engine Red!

Quite pleased with my new camera. We used it quite a bit in the mountains and I'm so impressed with the colors. The ancient fire engine above was shot on a cloudy afternoon and untouched by editing.

What do you think of the Fire Engine Red?

June 7, 2014

Our trip to the Mountains!

We live just 3 hours from the mountains and love to go for short trips, to breathe the beautiful air, relax in the quiet and explore the wide open spaces. The sea will always be my favorite place to rejuvenate my soul but the mountains are a pretty close second!

Dh had a business trip, but I was far too busy to tag along, so he "kidnapped" me on Thursday morning and off we went, me protesting most of the way there. But in the end, he was right. I needed a break and we needed to spend some time together. On our way, we had to stop to allow this family a chance to wander across the highway. 

A visit to the prestigious Jasper Park Lodge. I've never stayed here but dh has and he likes it but our favorite is the "castle" in Banff. We stayed there just a few short years ago, up in a turret, far from the noise of town, with incredible views of the mountains. Hope to stay there again one day. The lodge is not as grand as the Banff Springs Hotel. I find it quite dated and not as plush or welcoming. But lovely to spend some time there. Marilyn Monroe and Bob Hope both listed this as their favorite getaways, back in the day!

Our first day was chilly and cool but at least it wasn't raining like it was back home. We walked around the grounds and took some pictures at the lake. Such breathtaking scenery. And so very quiet!

The mist started to come down and the wind picked up, so it was time to head back to town and our humble abode for the next few days. 

More pictures and commentary to follow!

June 2, 2014

Craving the Sea!

It's been almost a year since we last visited our 
island hideaway. End of June to be exact.

I'm so homesick for the quiet, hillside, ocean view 
setting. A tiny cottage, full of comfort and serenity.

Seasick I guess would be a better word!

Calling tomorrow to see if there are any open spots
coming up in the next few months. 

Time away from the every life stress.

Our heaven on earth!

Where do you go to get away from it all?

June 1, 2014

Sunday Gardening.

After a steady week of rain, 
our little garden was full of weeds!

But after an hour of digging,
we managed to get it back under control.

And found that most of our
perennials survived the long winter. 

Even my beloved "I've always wanted one"
Bleeding Heart returned, healthy and whole.

The teacup planter my dd bought
me for Mother's Day.

Lavender and vines for our big pots.

And more plants for the rest of the garden.

Still lots of planting to do but guess what?

The rain started again this afternoon!!