Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Thanks.

Thanksgiving Day is a good day......
to recommit our energies......
to giving thanks and just giving.

~Amy Grant~

I love the tradition that is Thanksgiving...... I have such happy memories as a child and in my growing up years when my mom was always at the helm of the "Thanksgiving ship"!!!  She prepared it all!  There was such magic in it... the friends and family all gathered around the table all decked out with the good dishes, and grandma's special crystal water glasses (that we, as children, even got to drink our water from!). I don't know how she did it, but I'm so grateful for those wonderful memories.

I have lost much in the last few years, but I continue to find many blessings in my life and am thankful for each and every one.

I am also very thankful for you, my loyal followers!  I feel like you are becoming my friends.

Have a very happy and wonderful day (and try not to stuff yourselves too much)!

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Still no "serenity" time for me! Part II of our move.

Hi friends,
This post is now a little outdated, but I'll publish it anyway..... I started this "Part II" about a week ago but never got back to it as have been sick... gee.... why would that happen?? after months of stress and rush and hustle and bustle, my immune system finally gave out I think.

So here are the pictures I had ready to post, but since then, I've managed to clean up most of the boxes and tubs INSIDE the house (not in the garage though) and things are looking pretty orderly inside now.. and it's beginning to feel like home.
Living room of our new place.... another pile of "stuff"! (since this picture I've gotten things more in order).

Below are two photos of our living room now - much better!

My china hutch is filled to the brim - I've been able to unpack TWO big tubs of china and glassware that I've had stored for the last 20 years! I need to rearrange and get more shelving up, but for now, at least it's all IN the house.

More "stuff" to unpack. There's that pretty green wall in the kitchen. I'm already sick of cardboard boxes! (since this photo was taken, I've been able to unpack all of those boxes!) phew.....
First thing we did after we moved here, was explore our neighborhood. Up the hill from our house, about 1/2 mile, is this wonderful view of the Cascade Mountain Range which is to the west of Madras.

View of Mt. Jefferson from that same spot.. we can walk here from our house! (or ride bikes? maybe.. if I had one).
The street dead ends here, and this is the Willow Creek Walking Trail that goes all around Madras. It's about 10 miles of paved and gravel trail, for biking and walking.... and lots of gorgeous views I'm told. I have to explore it.

The walkway has some pretty changing colors and little wood bridges.  I'm estatic with all of the colors here! Around La Pine and Sunriver, there really isn't much color in the Fall. (NOTE: this photo was taken probably 3 weeks ago and now there are no more leaves.. they are all on the ground).

We can  access the walking trail about 2 blocks down the road from our house.... I love that! Although our house is in town, we feel like we're a little bit in the country too.

I've lived on acreage and out of town from any town for the last 15 years, so it's quite a shock moving back IN town. It will take some getting used to, but our neighborhood is pretty quiet for which I'm very thankful.

To add to our moving journey, we've "adopted" a little sweet kitten. I should say, she adopted us. We already have TWO large older cats and didn't really need or want another one! Two days before our "big" move on Sept. 29th, we were at our house trying to do as much painting as possible.  I thought I heard a loud meowing somewhere close by, but thought it was from one of the neighbor's yards. I went to bed that night (on the floor) and heard it again, but didn't think much of it. 

Then the next morning, I was looking out our bedroom window, and saw the neighbor calling over our fence to where the sound was coming from.. and yes I had heard right, it definitely WAS a loud meowing.

I went outside... had never met the neighbor.... but we were both concerned as that meow was pretty desperate! I stuck my head through a loose board in our fence and called and called, and finally out of the junk pile came this tiny little calico kitten, not more then 5 weeks old. Poor little thing.  She jumped right into my arms, purring right away, and she's been ours ever since.

My sister named her "Maddie".... for "Mad-ras"..... (Note: since this photo, she has grown over double in size!).

So.... we had a tiny kitten to take care of, plus feed via bottle, PLUS paint, PLUS go back to our other house and make the big UHaul truck move.. all with her underfoot or in my arms! I was literally walking around holding her, while carrying stuff to the UHaul truck and telling everyone what to put where. Oh what fun..............  (not really).........the neighbor lady gave me a little carrier and some organic cow's milk. My sister got us a little kitten bottle the next day and some kitten formula (I know, I know.. cow's milk is NOT good for kitties!). 

For the first few days, we fed her with a medicine dropper every 2-3 hours. All of this being done while doing more packing, carrying, loading the UHaul truck, etc....... and let me tell you, she HATED that carrier with the door shut! she howled all the way to Sunriver in the car, and until I got her out... and then she was fine. And funny thing, she loves to sleep in it with her little fleece blanket that I got her, as long as the door is OPEN.

We got through the move with her in "her room" at the other house, (spare bedroom that was empty)..... so would put her in there in her carrier, and close the bedroom door so she wouldn't get stepped on.

We got the truck loaded, packed her back up in the carrier, and she howled all the way back to Madras! But as soon as we got there and let her out, she knew it was her new "home" and has been very happy here ever since.

I swear she's tripled in size in the 6 weeks we've had her! She LOVES to go outside and explore and is a real lover.. and a real climber (and now a real biter and scratcher!). She wants to play with our two "mature" cats and so far, they don't want much to do with her.

She still sleeps in her carrier (which she has now almost grown out of) in "her room"... which is our 3rd small bedroom... she has taken it over. Her carrier/bed is there, with her blankets, toys, food and litter box. I think our two older cats are jealous, but we have let them come in the house to explore too and check her out. (They are mostly outdoor cats).  Below is most current picture - she loves the windowsill now.

Some "befores" and "afters":

The "real" brick fireplace is non-workable right now (and may never be).. so we took the electric fireplace box out of our electric fireplace (piece of furniture) and stuck it into the brick fireplace, so it looks like we (almost) have a real fire!  Since the above photo, we've put some white bead board trim around it. We really enjoy it and it adds some heat to our living room.

On our "to do" list is to paint the brick a lighter color.

See the black fireplace in the above photo? That "was" our fireplace piece of furniture that we pulled the box out of and put in the brick fireplace. We put a shelf on top to hold more of our stuff nice things.  Eventually we'll put some glass shelves in the bottom.

Oh... and a not so good thing.... the fence in our back yard started to fall over! It seemed so sturdy when we bought the place... but a couple of heavy rains did this..... oh the joys headaches of home ownership. :-(

............ until next time.......

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday Serenity - 11-14-2015

Not there yet, but getting closer!

NOTE: This is NOT my new place..... but a cute little "cottage" that I dream one day my little home will be.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Still no "serenity" time for me! Part 1 of the move.

Hi Friends! 
Just a quick post.... to tell you.... I'm still alive.,,,,,,,,.. still well......and still kickin'........but just have been SUPER busy with our move to Madras from south of Sunriver, Oregon. It's been a month since I posted... boy times flies when you're having fun (NOT!).  Lots of pictures to follow! .... and I'll try to keep it brief and mostly just pictures of our journey so far. (UPDATE: since I started this post, I've gotten a nasty sore throat and cold... yuk).

The move and preparation has been quite an ordeal to say the least. Before we moved here, we spent a couple of weeks bringing loads up in our car (it's a 1-1/2 hour drive from old house to new one) as our truck was in the shop being repaired.  We also painted 4 rooms of our new (to us) house before we moved in. EVERY room needed (and needs) painting and everything we did took TWO coats of primer first.... due to VERY BRIGHT and vivid loud colors...... then two coats of the regular paint........... but we didn't get it all done, even with the (wonderful) help of my sister.  

My sister, Barbara, putting first coat of primer over that dark blue!
Our new (to us) house is definitely a FIXER UPPER..... It was built in 1978.......  That's all we could afford. We lost our nice home in Washougal, Washington on 5 acres back in 2010... due to LOTS of life circumstances... too many and too sad to go into detail here.. suffice to say.. we lost the REALLY nice home we'd been in for nine years and one we'd given lots of love to (and done lots of remodeling to paying cash from the sale of some of our alpacas.) I really didn't think we'd ever get to own our own home again.  With lots of saving, perseverance and jumping through MANY hoops with the lender, we are very fortunate to own again. I am very grateful.
The day we signed the closing papers (with our realtor)!

First night in our new house... this was our only furniture!
Pictures below speak louder then words of what we've had to contend with as far as paint.. and I'm really not complaining, as it's OURS!  I'm a "pastel" type of person, so all of the bright jarring colors just made me cringe.

Living room - before! Bright orange! (with a non-working fireplace... you'll see what we did to it in one of my next posts).
Living room - after - with two coats of primer and two coats of a creamy off white. The vivid orange and yellow walls in the kitchen and bedrooms were just too bright for me. I just wanted a nice calming creamy white.  The living room and dining room are kind of dark, with only two windows, so I wanted something to lighten it up.  My husband calls the new paint color the color of fresh cream on the top of a bottle of milk right from the cow! I agree.

Kitchen before - bright yellow walls.... ugly cupboards... which I want to paint (or have painted?) white someday, or even better... replace them! Hate those knob thingys! very very old formica on countertops... more like the 50's!

Kitchen walls - after - a soft pretty lime green.. what a difference! It's a very outdated kitchen from the 70's... lots of work here. And  yes that's a hot water heater in our kitchen! A wall or curtain is going up there VERY soon.  Washer and dryer are there too, which I didn't like at first, but now I'm liking the convenience more and more.
Master bath OLD vanity! Did I say 70's? Looks like from the 50's! Remember those old chrome mirrors with the silver chrome boxy thing at the bottom with the plastic sliding doors? yup we got em'!! They're really pretty handy though.

Master bath looking into the BLUE bedroom - bath had dull primered walls and a bright yellow wall! ugh. It got two coats of Kilz primer and two coats of a nice soft semi-gloss gray.
Master bedroom - before - dark blue walls (a really murky blue) and the one that is white in this picture was actually a bright yellow. The blue and yellow took THREE coats of primer to cover it!  and  yup... we slept on the floor for 2 weeks... not fun.... as the bed was only a DOUBLE! (and the other air bed went flat). oh no......... sleep on hard floor? no... sleep with hubby on double bed? I guess so. Used to a king bed!

Me painting master bath with Kilz primer - two coats! see the blue wall in the bedroom?  Yuk. (I mean.. I do like blue, but for some reason, this blue was kind of a darkish muddy blue).

Primer and more primer on the blue walls in the bedroom. Yup that's me! must have been 100 degrees inside the house.. no air conditioning (of course, what do you expect for the price we paid and it's a fixer upper????) I'm not complaining though. Oh and did I say ALL the interior doors need replacing? Yes indeed.. ugly dark brown with tape over the holes.

Finally! Master bedroom done... a nice pale pink for the "cottage" look I want. *sigh**** so pretty**** I've wanted a cottage pink and green bedroom for YEARS.

Going to put white beadboard on the lower part of that blue wall.... *sigh* will look so nice when done* (UPDATE: we may not put beadboard.. hubby bought a headboard instead.... we'll see... not what I wanted.. not "cottage" style at all.. he said he can fix it up... we'll see!
Pink and white... my fave colors!  *sigh*... and of course I need green somewhere too....... and I may paint my craft room that nice soft lime green that we painted the kitchen.....or maybe pink?

Definitely not this color!
Here's the picture of our house as it looked when we first viewed it to buy back in July... not a very pretty sight huh?  We drove by it the first time and didn't even call the realtor to look at it.  Yard looked tiny.... crunched between two 2 story houses..... no.. keep driving....

Dead yard... weeds..... needs paint... looks really small.....

Back yard is all dead weeds... and this is AFTER we cleaned it up and pruned down some big vines in the corner! The saving grace is the neat rock wall raised flower bed along the back of the fence. Do I see some potential here?  Yes.. the fence needs some TLC and paint.

Rock steps up to walkway by door... full of weeds and debris. Poor overgrown yard.. I'm sure the neighbors were hoping "someone" would buy this place and give it some love!
But........ we could see the potential......we came back for a second look and for the reasonable price we paid (UNDER $100,000) and could afford, we got a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, with a single car garage and a decent sized back yard. It's even in a pretty nice neighborhood! location, location, location..... Yes!! Yes, it'll be a ton of work, but it's ours and we can make it our own sweet home.

Here's my craft room at the house we just moved from........ that I had to pack up....... and am now in the process of unpacking! Oh woe is me. Too much "stuff".  Need to pare down.

So.........that's a start.... I wasn't as brief as I expected..... so sorry.....needless to say....... no crafting done yet....... :-(

Stay tuned for my next post where I'll show some before and after pictures. You'll be quite surprised! complicate matters somewhat............we have a new (little) addition to our family!

Lots done since I started this post over a week ago, and still oh so much to do!  ............ until next time.......

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