The Mug Shots

As promised I am outing the miscreants who have committed the crime of spreading dirt and filth throughout our house, again.

Inmate #463284655

“Big Mer”

The oldest of the trio of trouble, Merlin knows when he is in trouble and puts himself in timeout in a chair on the patio.  He is a chronic counter surfer but has the sense to hang his head in shame when he’s caught red handed.  Although he is the largest four footed family member, he is a big goof who thinks he should be a lap dog and takes any opportunity to convince others of this.  We adopted him from a shelter thinking he was a lab mix.  Mostly lab.  We thought.  After a couple of months when his legs didn’t stop growing we called the shelter to see if they had a record of exactly what this dog was.  Turns out he is lab, and Great Dane, with some rottweiler thrown in.  Oh and maybe a little shetland.

The Timeout chair
Inmate #824651376

Next is Miss Jackie.  Jackie is camera shy and a definite follower in the big scheme of things.  She has medical issues and carries a bit of extra weight but the girl can move it when she has to.  She is sweet tempered but easily distracted by the criminal element.  She has a very wet nose.  Jackie is my daughter’s pup and is a brindle german shepard and lab mix.

Inmate #931245547

The third member and main instigator in this heinous crime spree is Maple.  Now don’t fall for her tricks!!  I know she’s adorable and she’s only a year old so she still has that puppy mentality and sillyness.  She’ll suck you right in!  Maple is my son’s and we moved her from their house in Arizona to ours in Colorado a few months ago.  (they’re moving soon)  She had us fooled from the beginning.  She was perfectly behaved and took the 15 hour drive in stride.  Maple is a mix of bernese mountain dog and australian shepard.

Then she figured us out and has had us wrapped around her little toes ever since.  Don’t be fooled though, she is an instigator of mischief and mayhem.  Kid’s stuffed animals are no longer safe, shoes are no longer safe and clean floors are no longer safe.

Confidential Informant

Last but not least is the CI.  Pita is her name.  Pita rarely gets involved with the house antics and is the tattletale of all that goes on.  If the air moves she barks at it.  Nothing happens without Pita letting us know who starts it.  She is the oldest of the canine bunch and is pure chihuahua.

In case you wondered what story they gave when chaos struck, this is what they said they were doing.

Likely story.

Image

muddy feet prints

muddy feet prints

We had a pipe burst in the backyard. It wasn’t until I actually left the house to pick up my granddaughter from preschool that I discovered the water rushing out from under the fence, into the street, across the street and down the street about 6 houses. By the time I got back from the school, three out of four dogs had played in the mud and then trampled through the house. The picture is of my kitchen before I cleaned it not once, but three times. I also vaccumed twice. Ugh! Pictures of the offenders coming soon. They’re in time out.

Inside the Writing Desk pictorial

In reviewing my posts I noticed that I shamefully neglected taking photos of the inside of the little vintage writing desk.  Plus, I got a new camera for Christmas and I am seizing every available opportunity to get acquainted!

Here’s the writing surface:

It actually pulls out the depth of the top so you can comfortably put a chair in front of it and have allllll that spaaaaaace!

If that didn’t impress you, here’s the top drawer in all of its compartmental goodness:

Without judging my junk, is that not the best top drawer you’ve ever seen in your life?  I don’t even mind the green this is so special.

Another angle which also shows the cute bottles in a wire basket that I got on WUSLU.

The bottom two drawers are nice and deep and I can store a lot of junk usable items in there.  Like big ol’ telephone books I never use.  I didn’t realize just how useful this little desk was until I started “storing” stuff in it.

Don’t you just love it?

How do you artfully store your stuff??

DIY Whisk and spoons Wind Chime

During my end-of-summer-cleaning-of-the-garage-so-I-can-work-on-furniture adventure, I discovered many boxes filled with goodies that had been packed for 8 years, since our initial move from Arizona.  In one particular box there was an old tea bag tin filled with 8 silver spoons that had belonged to my husband’s grandmother.  I wanted us to be able to enjoy the spoons and using them everyday just wasn’t practical so I set them aside until I located a tutorial for making a wind chime out of silverware.

 I already had a nice whisk with a red wooden handle that I knew would be perfect to hang the spoons from so I went out and bought a cheap replacement at Wal-Mart for the kitchen.

 Here’s where I started:

I then took those silver spoons out to my garage and took a hammer to the bowls and literally flattened those suckers.  It was much easier than I thought it would be, or I really needed to take out some frustration.  It’s important to use a hard surface and the garage floor or sidewalk or driveway or other equally flat smooth surface will work.

 I took some needle nosed pliers and snipped four of the wires of the whisk to make eight hooks for the spoons to hang from and then with the pliers I bent each of the eight wires inward to make a hook for the spoon to hang on.

 I gathered some fishing line, beading wire and some jewelry findings that had two rings.  These are very inexpensive to buy at Wal-Mart.  I began by wrapping the beading wire around the spoon handle starting at the bottom and then running the wire through the smaller of the two rings placed at the top of the spoon handle and back down again.  I did that with each spoon making sure the wire was secure around each spoon.

 I then attached the fishing line to the hook on the whisk wire and the ring attached to the beading wire on the spoon.  Lastly I screwed a small eyehook into the top of the whisk wooden handle to hang it with.  Initially I hung it outside my kitchen window and absolutely loved the soft tinkling sound it made when the wind blew.  But then the weather turned cold and I had to keep the window shut so I relocated the wind chime in my kitchen in front of the same window.  Even on a day when there is no breeze I can just reach up with a flick of my fingers and enjoy the magical sound.

If you make this or something similar from this tutorial please send me a picture!!  I’d love to see it and post it here for others to see and learn from.

3 Trees for Christmas

Here it is the day after Christmas and I am here to proclaim “I have survived!”  I dread this time of year because of all the commercial stress and high expectations.  Every year we get through, everyone is happy, healthy and well fed and I thank the good Lord!

Having the “Others” living with us again we had two households of Christmas decorations so we combined the best and and tried to keep the clutter to a minimum.

One thing the kids insisted on was putting up all three Christmas trees.  Two full size and one mini.  My husband and I broke down and got a pre-lit tree a few years ago to save cash and sanity and to simplify life as we age.  My daughter also had one in addition to a table top tree decked out all in pink ornaments.  Here for your viewing entertainment:

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas!  And now, to look forward to a New Year in 2012!

Empty Nest no longer-Mother’s Armoire update

  I spoke too soon. I managed to fill each of my empty bedrooms and bathrooms with furniture and almost had a bed and breakfast set up! I was actually considering putting numbers on each of the three bedrooms and designating the master suite as the Fantasy Suite. But, things change and life changes and my empty nest is once again filled with Boomerang children and grandchildren.  It’s all good.

The last time we visited Mother’s Armoire it looked like this:

 

I managed to get my garage cleaned out so I had a generous space to work in and decided to use the chalk paint on this piece and put aside my plans for the kitchen cabinet for another time.  Here are some work in progress photos:

 

 I put, so far, three coats of stain on the top three drawers but think I’ll add more.  I will also need to put more of a protective finish than wax as I wasn’t able to quite fix the drawer fronts and need some poly to keep the poor thing glued together.

And here is where it stands now.

 

Since my daughter and two grandchildren moved back in, the garage is not so roomy.  Not to mention that car sitting in the middle of the floor really puts a cramp on things.  Time just hasn’t been my friend and I waited too long to get this dresser done.  It has snowed and my car has to be garaged as I’m not a fan of clearing, defrosting and scraping.  When I get ready to go somewhere I want to go now.

At this point I have no idea when I will be able to get back to working as the garage is just too cold.  I also need to figure out what I’m going to do with the empty space where the bottom drawer is missing.  Baskets?  We also got over a foot of snow over the last several days and I fear it will be spring before I get back out there.  I do have some inside projects that I have done and more in the works so I’ll just focus on those for now.

I’m also trying to prepare for Christmas. How are you doing?

Book Review – Heaven is for Real

Having a child experience a near death experience is torture for any parent.  Having a child come close to death and visiting heaven is indescribable.  How do you wrap your mind around such a realization?  Heaven is for Real is just a story that will inspire and bring you closer to the gift of eternal life.

It takes time apparently, and great faith.  Todd Burpo tells the story of how his son Colton, after going through emergency surgery, tells him that he visited heaven and sat on Jesus’ lap.  Little Colton describes heaven in simple terms and captures what must have been an awe inspiring sight.

Colton describes meeting his great grandfather who died 30 years prior and his miscarried sister that no one had told him about.  His descriptions of Jesus are extraordinary and heart warming.  “Jesus really really loves children.”

Sometimes it takes a child to help adults understand the simple concept of heaven and this story does just that.  There are so many questions about our eternal spirit and even more unanswered questions regarding heaven that are touched upon and explained in a very believable and biblical way.

This story brought me comfort and reinforced my own beliefs that this world is only temporary and that there is indeed a much bigger plan in place.

Although I received this book free of charge, I was not compensated in any way and this review is 100% my own opinion.

Mothers Armoir

My latest project is a hand me down from my mother who passed away in 1984.  This armoir dresser has undergone several transformations in the years I have had it and loaned it for use with my grandchildren.  I just recently had it returned after it had been spray painted brown.

I wish this was the only flaw.  No, sadly it has a multitude of blemishes, defects and damage.  Take a gander.

Okay – where do I start? One of the front doors has fallen off and the bottom drawer is missing altogether.  The top three drawers that go behind the front doors are there but damaged.  There’s some kid carving of what looks like a sun on each drawer and two of them have big cracks. I tried a little sanding to see just what was what.  It wasn’t pretty.

This is not a solid wood piece, but veneer.  It’s peeling on the sides and is beyond my ability to repair.  I really have my work cut out for me.  My only ray of sunshine is that I just bought my first pint of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint!!!!  I’m so excited to try it.  I punked out and got “old white” because I’m a chicken.  I so love the idea of not having to sand all that brown paint off that it makes up for my cowardice.

Stay tuned for my progress!

Book Review – Under The Overpass

Can you imagine living under an overpass?  How about sleeping in a park or rescue mission and trying to earn enough change during the day to feed yourself?  There are an untold amount of homeless people who have fallen on the hardest time and those who actually chose to live this way.

The deep question is: Would you intentionally live as a homeless person with no job and only a backpack with the basic of necessities?  Perhaps there are those who have let their lives and bad decisions force them into a lifestyle most of us couldn’t even imagine.  For those, getting life back to any sense of normalcy is difficult at best.

This book is a diary of sorts to document the intentional homeless lifestyle of two 20 something men on a Christian mission/adventure.  Their travels take them to several large American cities, telling of the people they meet and their struggle every day to feed themselves and find safe shelter.  Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they come up short.

I was amazed by this journey.  Amazed by the courage and tenacity of these two men and the real life struggle to keep their Christian values while being stripped of the creature comforts most of us take for granted.  It was an eye opener and has changed my way of thinking and seeing the homeless in America.

I’m curious as to how the homeless epidemic might be transformed if everyone read this book.  It is truly a keeper.

Under The Overpass by Mike Yankoski.  Thanks guys and God bless you!

I was not compensated for this review, however I did receive a copy of the book free of charge and the opinion here is 100% my own.