November 20, 2014

Looking ahead

Hey, how's it going?

I try to do one holiday at a time, but sometimes jump the gun at least a little bit. Recently at the MAM store I  got this:
It was $3.50 and looked like a great option for holiday cards. In our previous house they were hung through or on the slats of a shutter door that is no longer available. It is cheery and in good shape, but it seemed like a little spiffing up wouldn't hurt either. My collection of holiday pins sprang to mind, so:
a few of those were added to make it more festive. What do you think?

Now, back to the regularly scheduled holiday of Thanksgiving!

Take it easy,


November 19, 2014

Knob Job

Hello, I hope you are doing well today.

Without any formal planning to do so, our new pantry got a mini revamp today. We got it when we moved in June. After hours of anguished effort, Mr. B got it assembled thusly:
It's hardly a piece of fine furniture, but it works to keep non-perishables in.Today those chrome pulls caught my eye and it seemed like surely we could do better than those, so:
Voila! A little contrast works nicely. Here is a close up:
The dark color and stylized flower design is much more appealing, don't you think? At least until Mr. B scores a winning lottery ticket and we can design the home of our dreams, complete with a real, walk-in pantry!

Have a good one!


November 18, 2014

Fly Away Home

Hello, all,

It's a beautiful, not too cold day here, glorious outside. May you all have such lovely weather to enjoy, at least for a while.

Do you wear Doc Martens? They are a brand of shoes from England that have a near cult-like following. You can read about them on Wikipedia here:  Not to be confused with the tv show Doc Martin. Production of these boots and other footwear began in the UK in 1960. There were largely boots made to begin with; those became very popular with postmen, police and factory workers. Now there are a huge variety of styles for men, women and children and a rainbow of colors. One of the joys of thrifting is the treasure hunt aspect of what may turn up on any given day. Last week Mr. B and I stopped at a Value Village not close to us on the way back from visiting his father. There I was pleased to find a pair of women's double tee-strap Doc Martens, white with a pattern of red and black lady bugs on them. 
How cool are those? They aren't my size, so off to eBay they go. They are in decent shape and appear authentic.
On the sole is stamped a logo that says "The Original" Inside a box is a cross with Dr. Martens Air Cushion Sole around it. To the side is the information Oil Fat Acid Petrol Alkali Resistant. In larger letters below is Made in England. Inside the heel is another Made in England label plus 8065 CK A10. Under the size is AW 0004. These correspond to a size 8 in US shoes, but are marked 6 for the UK. They have the AirWair label too. I am a sucker for t-straps, so it's a shame they aretoo big. I also own a pair of Doc Martens sandals, but confess, in Texas the soles are a little too heavy and clunky to be a good match for our hellish summers. Looking for more information and images I saw a pair of red plaid Mary Janes that made my heart beat faster, a silly style to covet at my age, but it's true. I'm keeping my fingers crossed to run across a pair of those one day, this time in the right size!

If you want to check out the auction, it's #390977081555 on eBay, or go to 

Take it easy!


November 17, 2014


Hello, all,

I hope your week is off to a good start. Ours is clear, sunny and cold. Still, Mr. B managed to finish up the disguise of an ugly eyesore. We began with:
Rotting boards nailed sloppily over a hole in the facade of the house.
This $3.50 purchase from Sand Dollar made an appearance.
A little spray paint covered up the scrapes and wear on the frame.

Joined with this we have the solution:
a piece of decorative tin, also found at Sand Dollar that met up with the board,  eliminates the sight of the ugly scrap lumber completely. One more picture:
Much better, don't you think? Our project completion rate seems glacially slow at times, but perhaps the arrival of the holidays and prospects of guests will ratchet up the completion rate some. I live in hope!

Stay warm.


November 13, 2014

What is it?

Hello, friends, I hope your Thursday is going well.

This is a mystery post. You will have a few clues, but no answer till later.
We think there might have been a window air conditioner in the hole behind this mess on the front of our house before the central unit was installed.
This is a $3.50 bulletin board from the Sand Dollar.
The frame got a coat of black spray paint. What happens next? Stay tuned for further developments!

Be warm!

November 12, 2014

One more cross

Hello, all,

It got cold here last night! Well, cold for Houston, anyway.

Mr. B. has been busy with other projects, so I hadn't gotten him to tackle the last, heavy cross yet. It, like the mirror from yesterday, was lying around without a good place to be hung. Also like the mirror, it seemed a temporary, but adequate solution was better than it lying on the seat of a chair in the dining room. Thus, utilizing an over the door hook, it is for the time being here:
This is the door between the library and hall that leads to the kitchen, dining room and living room that stays propped open all the time. It's not a great idea, but adequate for the time being. Immediately to the left of it is the chest with crosses on it, and the hanging ones are on the wall opposite, so it's with the others. 

That's all I've got today. 

Stay warm!


November 11, 2014

Small Changes

Hello, friends,

Sometimes do things in your house more or less become invisible? They're there, but you no longer register them in your sight. We are having company for Thanksgiving, so the dining room is going to need the lion's share of my attention for the next couple of weeks--mind you, none of the actual effort has really begun yet! Today while vacuuming the mirror propped against the wall caught my eye. It is so heavy it's really hard to hang on a wall safely, but it was getting old seeing it on the floor. So, this switch solved that issue:
In the front room we're using as a library there is a ledge under what might have once been an open pass through, but has been boxed in. The mirror is now on it, reflecting the rest of the room and the person wielding the camera, but fortunately the light blocks that out for the most part. It also served as a spur to move and dust everything up there, too. There had been a much smaller picture where the mirror is now. It has moved over a bookcase, thus:
Its size seems to work better in this spot anyway. Still left to do: curtains, at which point this room will be d-o-n-e for the most part.That's my small project for Tuesday.

Have a good one!


November 10, 2014

Cat Thrift - the Sequel

Hello, everyone,

I hope your week is off to a good start. On the way to Kroger I made a stop at the closest neighborhood thrift shop, Manna. Once again, the cats were the big winners.

Can you believe the size of that thing? It's 33" long and has scratching capability on both sides. That should provide a lot of alternative space instead of the furniture, but best of all was the price: $2.00. It is extremely sturdy and doesn't look used at all. 

Catch you tomorrow. Have a good one.


November 7, 2014

Goodbye, first week in November

Hello, all,

It's been said that the autumn time change to "fall back" doesn't affect you as badly as springing forward in March, but it still isn't fun. My level of accomplishment has been barely visible in its paucity. This isn't a great or even good project, but it's all I've got. 
Yesterday you saw this ugly duckling of a step stool. Battered and rusty, but very sturdy and useful to me. At 5'2" tall it's only possible for me to reach the lowest shelf in the kitchen without some kind of aid. The man at the hardware store had no suggestions about what to do for the legs, so once home I got after those with a Brillo pad and they look much better; not perfect, but shiny and mostly rust free. Then I broke out the spray paint:
The hardware store did have little rubber tips to put on the legs, so 4@ .59 cents is around $2.50 with tax, not a bad investment. Putting those on was the hardest part of this endeavor.

Looks like a spot got missed. Oh, well, maybe this weekend I'll give it another squirt of hunter green. 

Have a great weekend!

Later, Michele

November 6, 2014

Ugly Duckling

Hello, all,

I hope you're having a good day. Mine was Wednesday. My haul at MAM (Metropolitan Area Ministries) was excellent. For $4.00 it included: 
this small step-stool. Can it be turned into a swan? Stay tuned.


November 5, 2014

Wet Wednesday

Hello, friends,

I went out mid-morning and with superb timing managed to get home at lunch time right before we got a deluge of very welcome rain. Between running around, making an apple pie for dinner and general chores the day is zooming by like a speeding bullet. Thus, my post today is just a minor addition/tweak of Tuesday's project. Hanging from the pegs are a child's rosary on the right and a wooden folk art piece from Mexico on the left.
Two of the remaining crosses were hung in the same hallway. The remaining one is made of iron and so big and heavy Mr. B will have to find a place for it and handle the installation.

Short and sweet today. I have to keep an eye on the pie so it doesn't get too brown.

Have a good one!


November 4, 2014

Nothing in my hand I bring

Hello, all,

I hope your Tuesday is going smoothly so far.

Those of you who are older, especially who are from the South no doubt recognize the following lines: Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling as the beginning of the third verse in the hymn Rock of Ages. At the house where we lived before we had a cross wall and more on the desk in the living room. Our new place didn't allow the exact arrangement, but a new approach finally came to me  lying awake courtesy of the time change Sunday. Here is part of the before:
Now the wide hallway between the front and back of the house is the venue.

This display is on top of the little chest of drawers my grandfather made by hand sometime in the 1920s.
This is the wall opposite the chest display.
The cutouts in the peg rack seemed to make natural frames.
Some of the crosses were gifts, but most were found in thrift shops.
One of my cork clipboards holds a selection of holy cards and pictures. It is hanging by my desk but was moved to take the picture to limit the exposure of mess to you, the unsuspecting and innocent public. 
There are a couple more large crosses I'll ask Mr. B. to hang higher where he can reach and I can't, but so far this works pretty well. What do you think?

Take it easy,

November 3, 2014


Hello, Friends,

Insert drum roll here. Today it is my pleasure to announce that at long last the furniture is present and accounted for in the library. The backstory is this: a couple of months ago we went to an upscale resale shop run by the Bluebird Circle in search of finery to wear to the wedding in October. We didn't find clothes, but there was a comfortable chair with ottoman I wanted. Mr. B disagreed and turned two thumbs down. Too expensive and he didn't like it. Ever since the hunt has continued. In resale and thrift shops all that showed up were two types, a choice between wingback or giant/ugly. Don't get me wrong, wingbacks are fine, but not what seemed right for this room. Fast forward to last week. When making arrangements to have lunch with a friend we settled upon a restaurant across the street from the Bluebird Circle, where I dashed in before our scheduled time. Lo and behold, the chair and ottoman were still there, marked down $80 from the original price. I quickly paid the ladies, texted Mr. B it was a done deal to be picked up Saturday and was on time to meet Laura. Saturday's expedition to get the pieces was another hellish experience, due to construction on the freeways, but we made it eventually and got it home safely, tied into the small trunk of a Toyota. With no further ado, here is the library almost finished:
It is a light yellow/wheat neutral color.
The color seems to pick up the lighter background in the rug.
There is the peg rack adjacent to the front door.
The area to the left of the new easy chair.
With the pattern it's hard to see but there are four or five cat toys on the rug.
Speaking of cats, Miss Minnie sneaked into the picture when I wasn't looking. Last night walking through the room I saw Butterball and Junior on the ottoman and Flossie and Trixie in the chair. The humans aren't the only ones who think it's very comfortable! 

There you have it, one more project/room nearly complete. I still want to get curtains, but that should much less a challenge than the exhausting quest for a good reading chair.

Have a good week,