Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Young people today are so willing to put it all out there. I'm a little old school when it comes to that. It's easy for me to share the sordid details of my life with my personal friends. But, to the world? I'm not so sure. Somehow, just for the moment, I'm feeling the need to share myself with the world. Where is this coming from? I won't question it for now, at least I won't try. It'll be hard since I tend to be analytical and at times obsessive.
I love the web. You can learn about and explore the world from your seat. You can connect with so many people and maybe share your experiences and encourage one another. That's what I'd like to do. I'd like to encourage someone else. I'd like for them to obtain the peace and joy I've found, even through the trouble I've had in life. It's a weird state of being. It's an oxymoron of sorts. Peace & joy along with a troubled life. How can that be? I don't know, but it is. I guess that's where my faith comes in. It's helped me endure so much while grace and mercy has seen me through to the end and I'm here right now.
I guess that's all of the sharing I'll do for now. I hope to post again soon.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Thursday, April 4, 2013
The fill ports for the tanks were located next to where I was parked. After I filled my tires and was checking the pressure, the petroleum truck pulls all the way into the gas station, blocking me into the space. I ask the driver if I can get out and how long it would take. His response was, "I tried to wait. But you were taking your time. It'll take 30 minutes." I said, "It takes time to put air in my tires which I had to pay for."
He did not move to let me out. He hadn't even dropped and connected the fill pipes to the tanks. I am stuck for at least 1/2 hour, maybe longer before I can go.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
It was a short sale which, the selling agent said, was pre-approved at the listed price. One of the many addendums to the contract was a 60-day time period to allow for processing to get the selling bank's approval on the sale. Curious. Why would they need 60 days to get approval for something that's supposedly already approved? I'm told it's a standard form; don't worry about it. Okay, I played along.
Near the 60-day mark, I start asking about the status. My inquiries go through the chain from my realtor to their realtor to the title company which is the one dealing directly with the bank, which holds the mortgage on the seller's home. It's bureaucracy at its greatest. I'm told we should hear any moment. Just give us until the weekend. Or, I should get word by Monday. The moments, the weekends, and the Mondays pass by. No word.
I start counting the days to the 60-day time limit. I tell my realtor I want an answer by the date. I also start looking at other properties. I'm feeling a squeeze because my time is short on my lease. My lease ends on April 30, 2013. I have to give a 60-day notice to vacate. I want to move before my lease expires or I have to decide to either go month-to-month or sign another lease. Neither option is appealing. The month-to-month option involves paying a "market" rate which is usually equal to $200 - $300 more than I'm currently paying. The new lease term is usually 1 year. I don't like either. You really don't want to hear what I think of the market rate.
The 60-day time period passes. I'm looking at other houses but none catch my eye. Then the selling agent asks me to sign an extension on the contract or the house will be placed back on the market. Really? You want me to give you more time to get approval on a sale that was already pre-approved by the selling bank at that price? You have a seller who is ready to sell. A buyer who is pre-approved and ready to buy. But, there's this bureaucratic maze that can't unload it's holdings--which loses more everyday--in an efficient manner? I'm supposed to sign up for 30 more days of this torture, which may really mean another 60 days+?
What do you think my response was to this request?
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Sunday, February 17, 2013
One thing I've learned on my journey is that striving for simplicity is a process and life long goal. I won't arrive at simplicity--total simplicity in my life time. But, I'll make many steps toward that end. For a few years now I've been taking baby steps. But, recently I've been re-energized. I've discovered some blogs and Pinterest posts that helped motivate me to make a big push in my efforts.
Joshua Becker's blog, Becoming Minimalist is a God send. I bought his e-book, Living With Less: An Unexpected Key To Happiness, and started reading is last night. I think it's geared toward young people but the reviews say it's good advice for all ages. It's also a bonus for me that he writes it from a Christian perspective.
Living with less weaves together several of my ideas and values. My heart yearns for this state. It yearned for it when I decided years ago to simplify Christmas and make it more meaningful. It yearned for it when I research information for simplifying life. It screams at me when I look around my home and see such a mess.
I have too much stuff and stuff needs to be maintained, cleaned, organized, and put away. I don't want to spend time doing those things. I'd rather spend time doing things that speak to my heart such as crafting, gardening, baking, and spending time with family and friends.
Another thing that's spurring this current round of purging is my desire to buy a house. I want a simple, 1,500 square feet homestead to call my own. I've been wanting this for a couple of years since my divorce in 2010.
Events leading to my separation and eventual divorce left me in financial ruins. It wasn't pretty. I didn't think I could ever buy a house of my own any time soon. I prepared myself for a long and hard road to recovery. I was middle aged and starting all over again.
My life began this spiral back in 2002 when my husband and I built our dream home. You can see the sales video of it here. It was a 5,000 square feet brick front colonial with three levels, five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms in an upscale neighborhood. I loved that house. It was perfect. We entertained and enjoyed many extended family gatherings there. But, something was not quite right. Something wasn't quite right for years. It finally came to the surface while we were living there and my life unraveled.
As I've learned, things happen for a reason. This was a BIG wake up call for me. I wasn't living an authentic life. I wasn't following God's calling for me. I wasn't happy and I needed to make some changes--BIG changes. My problem is I seem to wait until my pot is boiling over before I take action and that's what happened back in 2008.
One of the things I've learned from that experience is that bigger isn't better. More isn't better. Having lots of things doesn't make you happy. And, ignoring this was detrimental to my health. I was terribly unhappy on so many levels. But, I pushed through. I kept going. I had to maintain for the sake of my family, my children. I did this until I could not function anymore.
I realize this is going to be a long post so I'm ending it here. You can read the second part in Striving For Simplicity, Part 2.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I keep an aloe vera plant in my kitchen to treat any burns that may occur while cooking. I don't have any natural light there. But, it seems to thrive under a fluorescent light which is mounted under the cabinet.
For more information on how to use aloe vera, check out the Discovery Channel's article.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
My son is a no fuss, no color, no pattern kinda guy. He would have been happy with a plain, solid blue clipboard. But, what fun is that? I tried to keep the design simple so that he could as least tolerate it.
My older daughter is quite the social butterfly. She is also on the cusp of leaving the nest--at least for a few years--to continue her education and journey. This was her gift.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I had this spinning spice organizer on the counter.
It holds 24 spices, with pre-labeled tops, in 2" glass jars which look like this:
One would think that 24 spice jars were enough. But noooo. I had more than 24 spices. Plus, some of them were in large bottles and others were in packages. I had to find a solution that would work, for the most part, to include different sizes.
While wandering the isles of a store, I impulsively bought this spice rack.
I liked how it would fit different sizes, was compact, and didn't sit on the counter. But, I decided I wanted to save money and use whatever I already had on hand. So, I returned it to the store.
I went through my spices and threw away unidentifiable ones, grouped duplicates, and came up with a strategy. I was going to decant as many spices into the 24 little bottles that came with the spinning spice organizer. Then I would use other little spice bottles for what was leftover. I washed and dried all of the bottles before refilling them.
I decided to store all of the remaining spices in three drawers which are to the left of my stove.
To fit more bottles in the drawers, I decided to stand them up so that the tops would show and not the labels on front of the jar. This meant that I had to identify the spices that weren't in jars with pre-labeled tops. I also wanted a consistent look for all of the tops.
One thing I have a lot of is paper crafting supplies. I decided to go with a low tech solution using my paper crafting supplies. Here are the supplies I used.
I decided to label all of the jars using white card stock cut into circles that cover the tops. I hand wrote the spice names on the card stock and then adhered it to the tops using Glue Dots. Here is the results.
I keep extra blank labels already cut into circles, a roll of Glue Dots, and a black marker inside the top drawer along side of the bottles.
The middle drawer looks like this.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
but the legs are shiny metal. So, my dining table will be a juxtaposition of modern and traditional. I'm thinking that by painting the table white or some other light, solid color, it'll make it feel a little contemporary. You know the best part? The table only cost me $59.59.
Monday, January 14, 2013
I chopped the cremini and used pre-sliced white mushrooms. Then they were sauteed in a yummy butter and olive oil mixture.
I dried them for an hour on a wire rack.
The sauce is from the Ravioli with White Wine and Asparagus Tips recipe on FramedCooks.com. Again, I generally followed the recipe substituting shallots with red onions, eliminating fresh thyme (since I didn't have it), and used Yellow Tail Moscato wine which I opened last night. Another mistake. The sauce ended up sweet since Moscato is sweet. DUH. I also used baby asparagus which I probably could have left whole instead of cutting them as instructed in the recipe.
Instead of using a large pot to cook the asparagus and pasta in, I used a too small 4-quart one because I was being lazy and water conscience. That meant I could only cook 4 raviolis at a time. Third mistake.
My final mistake was making the ravioli so large. When they cooked, they expanded and ended up being jumbo ravioli. They were REALLY BIG ones!
Even with all of these mistakes, I enjoyed my dinner and I would definitely make it again after correcting my mistakes. Next time I would probably top them with roasted pine nuts to add some crunch and maybe red pepper flakes or something else red to add color.
I felt like such a gourmet.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
This is the first piece of furniture I bought from the thrift store. It cost $49. Unfortunately, I don't have a before picture.
It originally had a lighter brown finish with ornate handles. The color and the handles were similar to the lighter dresser shown below.
I refinished the dresser in an espresso color, using the Rustoleum kit below. I replaced the knobs with brushed nickel. The most challenging part of this project was trying to find the bar handles. They are 4" and the local hardware and home improvement stores didn't stock this size for months.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
I found these clocks, at two different thrift stores.
I *think* the little one was 50% off of $1.90 and the larger one was 33% off of $4.94. They both have a few dings, which I won't change. Thankfully, the distressed look is still in style.
The small clock reminds me of a console TV our family had in the 1960s. Designs from that time is now in vogue. It's now called mid-century modern. I call it "when I was a child".
Friday, January 4, 2013
I can't read the measurement lines with ease any more. I bake a lot and measuring is key to success. So, I'm donating the much loved, still usable, barely readable measuring cup now that I have a more functional replacement.
Pampered Chef doesn't sell this size batter bowl anymore. However, I did find this used comparable for sell on eBay for $34.99. My price from the thrift store was $3.93. Unfortunately, it wasn't on sale that day. But, I was okay paying "full" price and saving more than 88% compared to eBay.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Either way, I don't mind the distressed look for this project. It'll add character, so I hope.
After sanding, I wiped the table down with a tack cloth and then painted it with a coat of primer using a synthetic brush. The sales person at Home Depot recommended I use Kilz 2 Latex Primer Sealer Stainblocker.
I finished the second coat and will let it dry overnight again. While it's drying, I'm going to research and try some design ideas before proceeding to the next step.
I stopped by JoAnn's on the way home from work to look at some stencils. I'm thinking about using stencils to create the patterned design on the table top.
While I had the Kilz out, I primed some other wooden pieces I bought from the thrift store. If you haven't notice, I've been on a thrift store shopping spree lately.
I looked for my end table on the internet to compare prices. I found two similar tables. There was this one
a Broyhill Bryson end table retailing for $299, currently on sale for $182 at Economy Furniture. Then there was this one
Broyhill Yorkshire end table. A pair is selling for $316 at StillGoode Consignments. So, taking an average from the two sources, I came up with a cost of $170 for one end table. Guess what I paid for mine? $9.90! I love the thrift store.