May 31, 2016

Small change, big effect

Hello, all,

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend with family and friends. We enjoyed shopping for a new mattress and box spring and appreciated the next day delivery. Even with a few small glitches, it's much better than what we were sleeping on and a big quality of life improvement. 

Saturday I also worked more on a slight reconfiguration in the library. It seemed that the light in there wasn't adequate for reading which kind of defeats the idea of having a library in the first place. After moving things around and getting a new lamp, here's the space now:
The chairs have switched places and there is a new, larger lamp.  There was another prettier one at Sand Dollar, but it wasn't  pretty enough to be $18.90 for a used light.The one in the picture came from the Goodwill across the street, $6.99 for lamp, shade and finial. Most importantly, it is heavy and sturdy, not easy to knock over by a cat, or to break if that does happen. 

The corner shelf that was in there was traded for this one with more of a contrasting color and good spot to put some cute little pitchers. It was $3.93 at Family Thrift. 

Last look. Does that chair looks like it's waiting for Colonel Mustard or what?

Have  a good one!


May 17, 2016

Mother's Day

My apologies for not writing yesterday. My good intentions were lost when the electricity was off most of the afternoon once I was home from Manna. The power company said lightening struck a piece of equipment nearby, which isn't surprising since it rained all day long. 

The week before middle daughter Mary came to town and brought my Mother's Day gifts, two prints by an artist I had seen on the internet before, Janet Hill. Here is one of them:

This one we haven't gotten hung yet. This handsome stag is titled "Portrait of a Country Squire". What a great addition to my Oh, Deer collection!

The second has been hung in the library. It seemed meant for that space. Its title is "Cat Burglar". Note the Trixie-ish feline snooping on the right side. I love both these prints, with were beautifully matted and framed when received and highly recommend this artist for her talent and quirky subject matter. Her work can be found on Etsy and at 

I am thrilled with both pictures and sure to enjoy them for many years to come.

Have a good rest of your Tuesday.


May 13, 2016

The Write Stuff

Hello, Friends,

I hope you're well this fine Friday spring afternoon. While on the mend from the annoying head cold, small projects are all I can get done still this week. A recent one involved my address book. Yes, that's a primitive concept, you're right. But storing things on the computer or other device didn't go well for me once in the past, with nearly a whole year's reading list of books wiped out with a hard drive crash, that made me wary. Computer can go bad, phones, get lost, but a hard copy address book is efficient and not likely to tempt a thief. This is the one in current use:
It's probably at least fifteen years old and showing its age.
That's the binding separating at the spine. Time for a replacement! This turned up in a thrift recently, .99 cents on 30% discount day and brand new.
Nothing fancy, but a nice little book, easy to check, small enough to go in a bag if needed.  I used an old vintage postcard to do this:
and make a pocket inside the front cover. Now, there is space for:
stamps! How easy will it be to dash off a note or send a card to a friend now? 

It's the weekend so have a good one!


May 12, 2016


Hello, all,

Sorry for the hiatus. A combination of company from middle daughter Mary and a pesky head cold this past week sidelined me from multiple activities, including writing blog posts. As you might guess, seeing one of my offspring three days a week on a regular basis is wonderful, but does present some problems. We don't have a guest room. Part of the time she's actively working while here, and when it's time to sleep that translates to the living room. There has been a migration of bags, boxes and technical devices that is extensive, if not mind-boggling. This week my thrift shop trips paid off with a couple of items that may help with future trips, at least somewhat. 

First I found this:
A luggage rack at the Goodwill on Wednesday, senior discount day. A man asked if I was going to open a hotel. My reply was it's already open, Mom's Motel, you know the one where rooms are free. It was $6.90 with 30% off, so not a bad deal. It is made of substantial pieces of wood and quite sturdy, a good thing when you see how heavy her suitcase always is. 

Today at the Sand Dollar, this caught my eye:
It's a large split-willow basket and was $8.19. 

Her linens went through the normal Thursday laundry this morning.
They'd been piled in a chair, like so. Now there's someplace to put them:
They can be grabbed quickly but aren't out in view till Tuesday next week. Did I mention storage is generally limited in this house in just about all areas? So, until then her sheets, towel and pillow are stowed. As for the luggage rack, 
it's folded and neatly stashed behind the door. 

Who knows how long this recent chapter in our lives will last, but it's nice to try and make it as comfortable as possible for all involved*. Thus, I'll BOLO for any other items that might aid in this project on my thrifting adventures. 

Have a good one!
*PS The cats are not fans of her booting them out of the living room at night, so this might not be possible for ALL residents of the house!

April 21, 2016

Book Review

Hi, everyone,

I am immersed in a fascinating book you might enjoy hearing about. The title is "Two Wheels North" by Evelyn McDaniel Gibb. It is the story of two young men, Victor and Ray who badly wanted to attend the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle, Washington. Right after they graduated from high school they decided they had to get there, so they did. Alone, on bicycles they traveled a thousand miles from Santa Rosa, California to Washington state. In 1909, leaving with a total of $5.00 and change to last till their arrival. If the trip was complete by October 1, they would receive a check for $25.00 from their hometown newspaper. While en route they kept in touch by sending penny postcards home. Illness, snakebite, mountains, pickpockets, con men and bad roads were a few of the dangers encountered along the way. Written by the author's daughter from talks with her father and material from the letters printed in the Santa Rosa Democrat, this is a fascinating account of an amazing adventure 100+years ago.

I highly recommend this engaging memoir. 

Have a good one!


April 20, 2016

Not so quick fix.

Hello, everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I got a wire rack at Sand Dollar. Today seemed like as good a time as any to put it to work. Here's a picture of the upper section of  our freestanding pantry before:

Not an efficient use of space at all. After taking everything out and wiping the shelves, throwing out old stuff and consolidating duplicates, the new mini shelf was put into action. 

The lazy Susan was moved to the higher level with the only cans left on it the small ones, like evaporated or condensed milk. 

The second shelf. The wire rack contents could be juggled around a bit, but I was just trying to get it D.O.N.E. 

Here's the whole upper section in its newly tidy state. The bottom part will have to wait for another day. That's what happened on Wednesday at our house. If not a great leap forward, it's at least a turtle creep towards organization. 


April 19, 2016

Quick Fix

Hello, friends,

Unlike Monday, so far today has been calm with little rain. It was busy, since the weather didn't permit any errands run then, which left little time for any creative efforts to speak of. However, in cleaning out the closet yesterday, an item turned up that hadn't been used, so why not give it a turn in the spotlight?


This is the door from the living room to the backyard. Note the ultra cheap mini blind.

Living room door now, with the mini blinds pulled up and a cheery panel as covering instead. The mini blinds were not taken down because Mr. B is afraid that someone will break in and steal all our possessions. Since 90% of those are used books and cats it seems doubtful, but there's no use arguing. How do you hang something when you don't have the right sized tension rod or even any Command Hooks, you ask? You get imaginative and poke holes in the cloth and thread zip ties to string them up, of course. Me having used zip ties may go a long way to reconcile Mr. B to this project, come to think of it. I'll report back later. 

Take it easy,