December 21, 2015

Super quickie

Hi, everyone,

My big non-wreath idea for the entry never panned out due to circumstances beyond my control. Clearly, with it already December 21, it was time to figure out a Plan B. Here is the result:
I added a little sparkle with some glitter picks and a bow to the living succulent wreath on the door. Not the original idea, but better than nothing at all. Have any of you had to shift gears and revise ideas with unexpected circumstances or events occurred? 

Have a good one,

December 18, 2015

Getting close

Hi, everyone,

Here it is Friday again, how did that happen? Today I mostly cleaned, but have a few other things to show you. First, this conical grapevine tree with a couple of pieces of vintage trim got an upgrade:
I got a box of really tiny--like the size of a match head--LED battery operated lights at Ross the other day and added them. It's on top of one bookcase. 

Next, here are some thrifted gifts. For the record, they are mostly either new or look never used, so I don't feel guilty about spending less sometimes.
First, for my oldest son, we scored most of this at a yard sale this spring. The shirt and dishtowel have tags on them, so obviously never used, and the book looks unread. Later the bacon bowl turned up in a resale shop so it got added to the batch.

This is a small kind of joke present for middle daughter Mary and SIL Chuck, two Hawaii mugs from Goodwill and a new package of macadamia nut candy, to remind them of their honeymoon spent there. 

Lastly, this pretty picture frame for  Reverend Bobbie. The church I'm a member used to be called St. Michael's. A while back it merged with another congregation called Incarnation and the joint group chose a new name, Hope. 2016 will be the tenth anniversary of this event, so this seemed meant for our Rector. Other gifts are bought new, of course, but some of my favorite creative methods of wrapping have come from thrift stores, which makes getting them ready to mail or give fun.

That's it for me this week. Have a wonderful weekend!


December 17, 2015


My thoughts turned to verse today, but not the kind associated with greeting cards and seasonal songs. No, these are more spare and leaning toward the grim. I call them Household Haiku.


Always out these days
Trusty vacuum cleaner
With wet leaves  constant.

Cat Owners

Lack of character 
Instantly assumed when one
Mate ignores hairballs.


Wet, sticky, volume
All mean one thing. One dry
Paper towel won't work. 


Isn't a puppy.
It's having two bathrooms. 
Not sharing is good. 

Waiting Room

A big screen tv 
On too low to hear but too
High to ignore. Why?


Fourth biggest city.
Why does it surprise me when
Everyplace is packed?


If tweezers and tape
Aren't sentient beings
Then how can they hide?

Those are my thoughts today, in addition to the zillion swirling around my head about gifts, food and decorations, the usual suspects the week before Christmas. 

Take it easy!


December 16, 2015

Score of the day

Hello, all,

Like almost everyone, my days seem extra busy this time of the year, but it was more than necessary to squeeze in a much needed haircut at a moment's notice, so off I went. En route I zipped into Goodwill briefly. Here's one score, but an even better will be revealed soon, I hope. 

This is a really nice cloth, with my fave seasonal floral poinsettias in the pattern, plus a neat border on the sides:
Aren't the bells and ribbon sweet? It's a good find, don't you think?


December 14, 2015

Still working on Christmas

Hi, everyone,

Last week might not count as a dead loss, but was pretty lackluster as far as accomplishments go, thanks to the head cold that showed up uninvited. I've done a little bit since then, but not a lot:
Here is the bookcase in the living room, former home of the BoHo display. Now on a big red tray is a Scandinavian-look plate, silver bowl of succulents and a large red glass vase full of fake jewel tone fruit. 
On the desk in the library were added some peppermint sticks in the pencil cup and a set of electric candles.
Also in the library a little red-checked Santa tin full of evergreens. This year my decorating has been so slow it's unreal. I'll try to step up the speed after today.

Have a good evening,

December 11, 2015

Two weeks and counting-yikes!

Hey, everyone, it's hard to believe another week has zipped by already, but so it has. Here's one little addition to yesterday's excursion into the kitchen:

 A little magnetic woodland scene on the fridge. Meanwhile, back in the living room,
Our tree, newly crooked. It shifted during the night and I didn't notice till after Mr. B left for work. Middle daughter Mary gave me a tree red skirt last year as a gift, but then I found the appliqued one at a yard sale during the summer and really liked it, too. Solution: layer those suckers! The red one is larger and ruffled around the edges so it works out fine, I think. Although it doesn't show in the picture, the lights are all red, something we've done for decades now, and the ornaments the usual assortment accumulated over time. It works much better back in that corner than the position last year. Thank goodness the brainstorm of using extension cords occurred to me so this switch is possible. 

Have a great weekend!


December 10, 2015

Off the beaten path.

Hey, folks, I'm sorry about yesterday, but a head cold rendered me incapable of writing my own name, much less a blog post. By now taking zinc seems to be taking the edge off it some, thank goodness.

Here are a couple of shots in what is normally the least festive room in the house:
After finding a bag of miniature cooking utensils at Goodwill, it seemed fun to put a little tree on the shelf over the stove. There's a rolling pin, strainer, potato masher, spoon and a thermos, with a vintage cookie cutter star on top. 

When my children were small I made trees for each of their bedrooms that were decorated with doll furniture, army men, tiny cars and other toys of theirs. They enjoyed those a lot. Plus, if you put lights on them with a timer, they don't fuss about going to bed, since it's so different from the rest of the year.
On the other side of the room, all the seasonal salt and pepper shakers were moved to the same shelf. The holly leaves were found at Value Village the day after Thanksgiving for .40 cents each. At first another woman had one in her cart while I'd snagged the other. Later she realized it was a shaker and came to find me and return the half of the pair, which was very nice. 

That's all from me today. This cold still has me moving at a snail's pace. 

Have a good afternoon and evening!


December 8, 2015

All garlands, all the time

That's what's been going on around here lately, lots of garlands. I moved the screen in the living room and just stuck it behind the bench now that the tree is in that corner. The fake greenery garland on top of it is wound with lights in the shape of little berries that in real life are red, not pink. The other is a glitter-dusted branch on the gallery wall, and the rejoice was a gift from my daughter. The one in the library will need a picture made in the morning, because no amount of flash or extra light will let it show as anything except a silhouette this time of day. Sorry to be brief but an attack of sneezing is making it hard to type, or think, for that matter. 

Have a good one!


December 7, 2015

Yule see

Hello, all,

Today, being wiped out from my Manna stint, here's just a brief example of how I upgrade the ordinary elements of life for the month of December. Outside, as many of the pots as can be are switched into more festive containers, like these.
The little tree is in a bright green container, while the Christmas cactus has a gift tag to welcome any visitors.
One succulent is nestled into a bright reindeer pot.
The little tree again.
I got this square container with scalloped edges after the holidays one year for almost nothing. 
Another one in a bucket with pierced detail around the edge. I have a bunch of these pails because my daughters have given them to me several times and they do come in handy, that's for sure. 

It's fun to put touches in less expected places than the more predictable areas, like a tree, centerpiece and conventional sites, so including the plants out front is an easy extra effort. 

Have a great evening.


December 4, 2015

A word to the silly

You hear the phrase "A word to the wise. . ." fairly often, but this is decidedly more frivolous, so hardly qualifies. It seemed like a long time since any playing at letters has happened around here, so why not do some on Friday afternoon as the week winds down? 

Here is the cat shrine:
They weighed in with a loud meow.

Santa is definitely jolly, as always. 
And these antlered types seem taken aback at the little white porcelain guy's fancy neck wear. 

So that's a wrap for this week. My word to you is Good, in reference to the kind of weekend I hope you have. 


December 3, 2015

The best laid plans . . .

Hello, friends,

How are you this fine December day? 

When I got home this afternoon I had a brainstorm about how to make an Advent wreath. 
This utilizes the amazing living wreath my daughter gave me, with added candles. However, it quickly became apparent that leaving it out on a table or any surface indoors accessible to cats would be A Bad Thing. Now it's back on the door and the dining room table has Plan B. 
Nowhere near as dramatic or pretty, but it does have the advantage of not being edible. What was I thinking before? 

Take it easy!

December 2, 2015

In and Out

Hey, friends,

Today we take a brief break from Christmas decorating to show a new addition to the library, where it's always seemed a little dark. 
This nice wooden lamp turned up at Family Thrift today for $2.92. The shade was a shop the house find. I think it will help the illumination in that room, which is only destined to get darker as soon as I find curtains for it. It's always a plus to find lamps that are wood or metal, since that translates to less potential breakage from cats, although this is high enough that it should be safe. 

Take it easy!


December 1, 2015

Deery me

Hello, all,

I am still trying to recover from the holiday and a grueling Monday that went far beyond Manna. Decorating is a slow process, in other words,  little out to be seen anywhere except the library. Today, let's check out some of the bookcases:
The deer on the top shelf have a garland now, and a glittery friend with a plaid scarf has joined them. 
I picked up these fuzzy cuties at Manna yesterday for 50 cents each. The stag with a sleigh is from Sand Dollar a couple of years ago. Standing on top of the small picture is a little deer clothespin from a set of woodland animals a daughter gave me a while back.
Lower still, two vintage white porcelain faun and mother are hanging out, admiring the picture of winter love between them. 

That's about as far as the festivities have spread to date. Stay tuned, there's more to come.

Have a good one!


November 30, 2015

BUH-BYE, Fall!

Hello, everyone. I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with fun, family and food. And congratulations if you didn't have to make it yourself. 

We waved goodbye to offspring from Austin and I headed directly to the closet where the decorations are stored. So far, three days into it, what has mostly been done is creating a big old mess. In light of that, after church I started working on at least trying to get one room straight. Since it's the entry of the house, I began in the library. 
In one of the large poster frames that usually displays a collage of vintage book covers, I put this sheet of old wrapping paper from years ago. It shows a house at Christmas time with the family and their activities and the creatures outdoors.
The suitcase scene on a bookcase top shelf with a wooden church, little trees, fake snow and a greenery deer nearby.
Some special cat related cards, including two pop-ups are on their shrine.
The red box with assorted cubbies is out on display. Look for it to make an encore appearance in February. One more little house on top.
Tiny trees on top of a frame.
Another church on a corner shelf.
Last for today, a snow scene in a little jar with a deer and a tree. 

The library isn't finished  but more pictures will be ready soon. 

Have a wonderful week!


November 27, 2015

Best. Hostess. Gift. Ever

Happy Black Friday to all the shoppers out there. We're home, aside from lunch out with the FIL. 

Yesterday we had middle-daughter Mary, SIL Chuck and firstborn Cam over for  Thanksgiving dinner. In a coup like no other, here is what Mary bought me. I thought it might be a centerpiece when we talked on the phone, but it's much, much better than that. Voila!
It is an incredible living wreath of succulents. She said at least half a dozen people stopped her to ask where she'd found it and it doesn't surprise me. It's amazing. No, beyond amazing. Breathtakingly beautiful in person. The photo doesn't show how spectacular it is. I am thrilled, delighted and over the moon!

Have a wonderful weekend. If you're shopping, be careful.

November 25, 2015

Super quick

Hi there. I'm way behind on getting ready for company coming and Thanksgiving, but here is the new version of the shelf formerly in the kitchen:
Since it is relocated to the dining room, why not use it for napkin rings? One dozen, ready to be deployed, although we won't need that many tomorrow. The other shelf does work much better for the shakers, so it's good to have a place to put up this curly-edged example, too. 

Enjoy your day, whether cook or guest. As always, I am thankful for blog friends!


November 24, 2015

More Scope

Hello, all,

My apologies for the hiatus. Last week was a deadly combination of being too busy coupled with a lack of ideas. Yesterday between working at Manna and going to the grocery store it was 4:30 before I got home and my brain quit working hours before then. 

Today there was a second, fill-in shift at Manna where I picked up an item seen yesterday when we were so busy there wasn't even time to get out my wallet. To put it in context, in my kitchen on a short section of end wall near the entry there was this:
a decorative shelf from a different thrift shop bought a couple of years ago. It had salt and pepper shakers on it, but was crowded. In contrast, for $7.20 today I brought home this:
It's designed as a spoon holder, but the shelves are just right for the collection and there is even room to add a few more if any too cute to resist show up as I make my rounds. It works well, doesn't it? Meanwhile, what to put on the other, now in the dining room. Stay tuned. 

Have a good evening.


November 18, 2015

On balance,

I'm liking this valance. 

Sorry to have been awol lately, but there's been a lot going on, starting with a funeral and the onset of car problems Monday. I'm still trying to catch up, make plans for next week and figure out a menu. That's a long roundabout way of saying this is lame, but it's all there is to offer. In the kitchen window:
I know it's not quite wide enough but I will figure out a solution for that at some point. 
Moved an apple to the shelf to echo the ones in the pattern. Okay, that's all she wrote. Maybe the Inspiration Fairy will visit me before tomorrow and there will be more and better reporting. 

Have a good one!

November 13, 2015

Friday the 13th

Hello, friends,

I've been mostly home today with a brief p.o./library run after lunch. The rest of the time was spent in sanitation efforts. Not totally successful, but perhaps a bit of progress made. Our bedroom got little attention once the bed was made.

Freddy, Tilly, Junior and Butterball snoozing away are four less under my feet.
Minnie fills that chair up, doesn't she? Being matronly and mature (and what catalogs in an earlier era called "Stylishly Stout") she seldom causes problems.
That's not the case with this notorious threesome of Freckles, Flossie and Trixie. Just because they're being good now, don't be fooled. They are pesky in the extreme. There was an article in the news about Zimbabwe having a Mr. Ugly contest. If they expand it to Kitty Ugly, we might enter Freckles. She'd surely win some prize, if not first place. We always tell her she has the longest, sleekest whiskers of all, though, so she does have that going for her. 

Enough cat silliness from me, although I do plan to steer clear of the black cat till after midnight! Avoiding extra bad luck on Friday the 13th sounds like a fine idea!

Have a wonderful weekend!


November 12, 2015

Ten < Five

Hi, peeps.

One thing that is pretty consistent anywhere you go irl or on social media or  the world of blogs is that there is are constant complaints of being too busy, of feeling overwhelmed and most of all that there's not enough time. Perhaps some of the speakers have committed themselves to more activities and obligations than is realistic. In some cases, it's a season in life that isn't permanent, although it may feel so, as is the lament of folks with several small children. Or the person may be talking because he or she wants to sound important and in demand. For whatever the reason, we all have the same amount of time. Obviously, a good working plan and schedule helps alleviate this issue. Another way is to utilize the small bits and moments that occur every day that might be overlooked, while you're waiting for the water to boil or a child to find and put on his shoes. Here are ten things that can be done in less than five minutes. 

1. Wipe out the interior of the microwave.

2. Scrub the sink. 

3. Put a lemon down the disposal and run it.

4. Clean off your mailbox - obviously, this isn't quick if it's not close by, but if it's by the front door, grab a cleaning wipe and go for it. 

5. Grab newspapers, circulars and catalogs and either pitch or dump then to recycle. 

6. Pick up the remotes, replace throw pillows and pick up throws in the living or family room. 

7. Clear the front of the fridge of outdated notices and expired coupons. 

8. Wash your pets food or water dishes.

9. Check the calendar for birthdays or other approaching events you want to send cards for; make a list of the recipients and either get out the cards now or plan a time to buy them in the next day or two. 

10. Dust your nightstand! I read recently that's one chore that should be done daily, since you sleep with your face near it. 

And one to grow on: if laundry is in progress anyway, toss in your dishtowels and pot holders. 

See, that wasn't so hard, was it? Use up those little snippets of time that slip away quickly to make coming home a little nicer.

Have a good one!


November 10, 2015


We haven't moved, but my bulletin board has. I liked it on this tall wall where my laptop table is, but it fell off on my head Sunday and I couldn't get it to hang on the hook again. It's so high it's hard for me to reach even on a ladder. Thus, for now:
it's relocated to the back of the dining room door.
Maybe Mr. B with his longer arms and legs can fix it back where it belongs. 
This space needs something asap. 

Take it easy!