Friday, December 28, 2012

A Little Catching-Up - Just a Little

The end of the year is here, and I realize I haven't blogged for 6 months.  Don't doubt - I have had PLENTY to say, and yet, a variety of things have held me back.  I ponder what to do with this blog -do I continue, do I end it?  I've talked about that before. I'm not too great at being consistent.  I find that flows into many areas of my life, that lack-of-consistency thing.  But as the 31st of 2012 approaches, I ponder and ponder and evaluate and plan to move on ahead.

  Here are a few random thoughts about where I am now.

~I have been in a bit of a funk for several months.  I was released from my calling in my church, where I was serving as a leader of women in about 7 congregations.  That was a tough release - and I have questioned the reasons why.  Yet, it happens, I understand that,  but I miss it.   Because of that calling, I chose my words carefully here on this blog because I never know who reads what I write.  I stayed away from controversial issues.  I'm not sure I will do that now.

~About the same time as my release, we had our national presidential election. I am very politically passionate.   Now,  I am still in  mourning about the results.  Some days I can  hardly breathe.  I have chosen for now to ban all TV news from my home or at least when I am in the room.  I don't listen to talk radio anymore for now.  I am trying to live my life in my little home and am being involved in my church and with my family and friends I trust.  That's the only way I can cope with it right now.

~We've done several home improvements. I will try to catch up on some of that.  Maybe it will help someone else before they paint their kitchen cabinets WHITE!!

~My daughter L continues with health problems - it's been 15 months now.  She will be 21 next month, and has hardly any college credits nor has she been able to work.  I work with her daily on health issues, drive her to doctors' appointments, watch TV with  her, and do all I can to keep her moving and feeling positive.  I honestly don't always feel positive about her challenges, but we keep going.

~I've become obsessed with the Pioneer Woman.  I adore her.  More on her later!

These past six months since I last blogged I have endured disappointments, felt certain prayers are going unanswered, certain righteous desires go ignored, fought with people about politics and their  views about certain Mormon Women's issues that I do not understand (ok, well, I didn't literally FIGHT with them, but there were a few discussions that I'd call more than a casual chat).   I have also been blessed daily to have a husband who loves me and supports me always and forever, and two dear friends who keep me moving and who listen to my whining.  I have lots of blessings, truly.

I think I'm ready for a new beginning and a new year.

I  suppose I will have to WAIT a few more days.....

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dining Room Re-do and China Hutch Transformation

I've been DIYing again.... scary, I know.  There are usually casualties and lots of brain cells that nearly explode each time I attempt it.  In all honesty, there are sometimes some tears, too.  I must say that this time, so far, it has gone pretty well.

I jokingly put on Facebook the other day that I wanted to re-do my entire home in blues, aqua, and greens.  I know those colors are very popular.  They have always been my favorites.  I got approval of such an attempt from several of my decorator friends.  Fabulous!   My teen-aged bedroom was decorated in those colors - wayyyyy back in the 70s.  I speak truth.

My living room, kitchen, and dining room are quite neutral.  I plan to continue to decorate with a lot of neutrals, because I think it is a classic look.  However, these rooms have too many browns, and the walls are a very light buttery color.  The dining room has a wall that is way too gold for me.  I eventually want to paint them all in a grays - since gray is the new cream. Haha.....

For the record, my living room has had turquoise/aqua in it for YEARS.  I was way ahead of the trend.  Yes, I was.  Proof:

My great-grandmother crocheted this beautiful doily in the late 1910s, and my grandmother framed it like this in the 1960s.  I never wanted to change it because I LOVED her bold style with that color, and I knew that some day I would have a room that matched it.  It has hung on my wall for years, even when it didn't match the decor because I'm bold that way.  Or, just lazy.  Or, sentimental?  Your guess.

I have had this hutch in my dining room since 1996, which I purchased at Salvation Army, with every intention of painting it, and every possible reason why I would mess it up.  So, I never tried, until Pinterest inspired me- yep!  Again! 

 I found information and inspiration from this blog, Lolly Jane:

I also found help on this one.  I really like Kimba's blog, "A Soft Place to Land" - I read it all the time!  Thanks, Kimba!  Here is one of her finished products:

She had a great tutorial on painting furniture.  I read many others as well.  Here is how I approached it:

I do not sand.  I bought Zinsser water-based Primer/Sealer.  I don't do oil-based paint, either. I'm a wimp.
I did two coats.  I really wanted it to be primed to death.  It took forevvvver.  I tried to tape off the many windows - didn't do great with that.  I had to do a lot of scraping afterwards.  Lesson learned.  Next time I think I'll just cut in.  I can often do that pretty well, but the tape I used kind of made it more frustrating.  I did not sand in-between primers.  Isn't that the point of using NO SANDING Primer?  Hmm.....

Sorry, some photos are a bit blurred from my Iphone.

I then used Valspar Crystal Aqua in their Signature line from Lowe's.  The paint lady at the store told me it would cover wonderfully.  It did ok.... I had to go over it in some areas where it didn't easily cover the primer.  In hindsight, I perhaps should have tried some of the Cabinet paint from Home depot or TruValue.  Apparently Lowe's doesn't have that type of line.

Here is the finished product:

The hardware is original all except the four round ones.  The knobs and pulls all match pretty well, I think.  Since I am NOT a very good photographer, the light doesn't really show very well what the color is.  Here is  a picture from my phone which shows the color a little better:

So, there you have it.  I love it very much!  I only spent 16 years hating it.  Great.

I also redid the tablescape on my antique buffet.  I have had this for about 25 years - it's at least 100, I think.  A woman gave it to me for $100 when it was worth WAY more.  She was moving to an RV and wanted it gone!  So, it went - straight to my house.  I love it.

Now it looks like this:

I dislike the wall color, but as I said it will eventually be painted.  I have been playing with these items to get the best look for them together.  I have been trading other things on and off the buffet to see what will work for now.  Got any suggestions?  I'm not sure sure if it works yet. I may get a table runner, too. What I really want it to look like is this, but I can't find the big vases/candleholders anywhere.  I went to about 5 stores.  Sigh.

Dollar store pillars in glass hurricanes!

Do you love this?  I love this window.  My friend, Kaylene, gave it to me a while back and I have been waiting for the right spot and right time to use it.  I love this:

So, there you have it.  I"m trying!

I am pleased with the progress.  I want the walls painted now.  They won't be, so.... 
I'll have to WAIT a little while.....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The latest on Vestibular Migraine - oh, Wait - is That IT?

My dearest daughter L continues to have health issues. To refresh your memory, read here.   This all started last Fall, you know.  Well, it continues.

A few months ago, L started feeling better finally - almost back to her normal self, but not quite.  She was  trying to do more things, like read, do more chores, sew, thinking about taking classes again, etc.  She has been SO VERY SICK of being SICK, that she tried to overcome it the best that she could.  After a week or so of that, she spiraled down again into barely being able to get off of the couch.  Sigh.  Here we go again, we all thought.

She has spent months doing all the things her Neurologist prescribed for her, including living on a very strict diet to heal her Migraines.  She has gone off of it a few times, but not too horribly.  Medications haven't helped very much.  She is so ultra-sensitive to any medications, that she is given very small doses of anything she is taking.  Yet still, she had a nose dive.

She had an appointment with her Neurologist just in time.  He is very determined and cares for her a great deal, but she causes his puzzler to puzzle.  During this visit, he determined that she has low blood pressure and that this is adding to her dizziness, nausea, etc.  Now, let's see.... how many times in how many doctors' offices have they taken her blood pressure during the months and months of appointments?  Hmmm?  A MILLION???  Yes.  No one thought about her low blood pressure possibly adding to her issues.  Seriously.    She's had lower blood pressure for years.

That appointment with Dr. F. was on a Friday.  Naturally, Hubby started doing research about this.  We discovered that medications she had been on over the years have added greatly to her low blood pressure.  We remembered many times she she has been faint and nearly passed out in certain circumstances.
Many of her  current symptoms matched those of low blood pressure.  What?  Yes.

Then, a few days later, she had an appointment with her other neurologist - well, he is a neuropsychologist.  He was going to chew her out for seemingly not being as cooperative with her neurofeedback (did I tell you about that yet?  THAT is amazing stuff).  Well, he then realized why she wasn't so "in" to it.  She has LOW BLOOD PRESSURE!!  Yes, his tech was taking L's blood pressure twice a week.  Duh.  Come on, people!  We discussed with him everything that has been going on with her, and everything we researched.

What we said mattered.  We are now on a new path to see what is causing the low blood pressure.  For now, she has to take salt tablets, drink lots of water, and exercise.  Apparently old-lady support hose are supposed to help as well.  Good times!

This is a reminder to every parent that ever reads this that even when you have world-famous doctors who appear on Dr. Oz that parents are the ones who OFTEN lead the doctor to the right place.  DO NOT underestimate the power you have and that the knowledge and instincts you have aid in finding a correct diagnosis.  Do not give up.

So, my 20 year old still has no life.  We don't know when she will be well enough to get more than the 3 college credits she has.  She is home....with me (except for when I work, or shop, or go to lunch).... all the time.  She has handled the emotion of all this frustration amazingly well.  I am so proud of her for that.  I have a new appreciation for those with chronic illnesses.  I hope I will have the foresight to support those who can't do anything but survive due to health problems, and support those who take care of them a little bit better.  It's a lonely spot sometimes.

I have days when I wonder if this well end, of this will be her life.  Right now, I really don't know.

I'll just have to WAIT a little while.....and so will she.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Number 28 and A Knight In New York

Not that anyone has noticed, but I haven't blogged since Mid-March.  I am in a continual quandary as to what this blog should be about, and who actually might read it.  For posterity's sake, I shall blog today about two important events over the past 10 days.  So, Posterity, Pay attention!!

Event # 1:  Last weekend, on the 25th, Hubby and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary.  I know - That. Is. Old.  (Has anyone seen "The Kid"?  Classic line from that great movie).  I digress.

Hubby planned a weekend getaway to Winchester, Virginia.  We stayed in a lovely hotel and enjoyed lots of walking and window shopping, talking, visiting some historic museums, and reconnecting.

We visited the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley which was actually a really well-done museum and was very interesting!  The main house was closed due to restoration work, but the gardens were absolutely beautiful to walk in.

We also went to the Family Drive-in Theatre!  What a hoot!  I haven't been to one of those since I was a kid.  This is a wonderful place, and seriously is almost worth the drive as a family just to experience it.  The family who owns it has done a wonderful job preserving the heritage of a drive-in, and keeping it (generally) family friendly.  Since it was Memorial Day weekend, my favorite part was the Patriotic pre-show.  They played memorable America-loving songs and showed scenes on the big screens about our wonderful country, saluting those who have died in serving our country.  I loved it.  Thank you, Family Drive In!!

Oh, and we did watch a fun movie - Men in Black 3.

L stayed home and enjoyed 2 1/2 days of alone-time bliss.

Event #2:  Hubby had to fly far away out of town this past Friday, so L and I took a little road trip to upstate New York to reconnect with our roots and a little church history.  You see, I am a descendant of Joseph Knight, through his son Newel Knight, who are prominent people in the beginnings of my church.  They were by the side of Joseph Smith during the early days of the restoration.   They are both mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants, one of our books of scripture.

Well, about 3 weeks ago, I found out that the Knight Farm was being restored by some wonderful people, and they were dedicating a statue at this farm and opening up the home for all to see.  They were hoping to have some descendants to come and attend, in addition to local church members. I never even knew that the house still stood.  Most Knight descendants reside on the west side of the country - a few of us are transplanted back here in the East!  I stewed and pondered, and finally decided that I would probably kick myself if I didn't go on this little adventure with L and drive up there.  So, we did.

The farm is located in Nineveh, New York.  The first congregation of the church was established here by Joseph Smith and called the Colesville Branch.  Hyrum Smith, brother of Joseph, was the first leader of this congregation.  Newel Knight, my great-great-times-a-bunch grandfather was the second.  Many of the very first baptisms, including Joseph's wife, Emma, took place in the Susquehanna River just beyond the house and across a field.  This is sacred ground to members of my church.

The main purpose of this Open House was to dedicate a statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.  A little meeting  which included history, singing, and tears began the event.  I met a few distant relatives and enjoyed visiting with members of the church who live in the area and are so proud to be a part of this history now.  I was called "a Knight", which I have never been called in my lifetime.  But, I suppose I am and what an overwhelming thought that is!  To me, it is a legacy to live up to, and to cherish.  I am grateful for it and I am blessed.  It adds to my testimony of the restoration of the gospel and of the church.

I could write a great deal more about the history of this place, and all the wonderful things my ancestors did to support Joseph Smith in his mission to perform a most important work.  I won't - but if you want more information, I can recommend some great books!

Instead of writing, I will share a few photos of our experience in Colesville, New York:

View from the street
The Porch
A little history

Testimony of Newel Knight, hanging right in the front door


A room upstairs being renovated - original floors

More original floors - imagine whose feet walked here

View from the back yard

The part of this well below ground is the original well, built by Joseph Smith and Joseph Knight (or at least that is my understanding)

Us - beyond the line of trees is the part of the river where baptisms had taken place
It was a wonderful couple of weekends.  I am blessed.  I wonder when I'll get another trip this summer?

Well, a great one is coming up in August, but I'll just have to WAIT a little while.....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A DIY Casualty

So, after my painstaking DIY lamps, one of my naughty kitties knocked this over and broke it:

Drat.  I actually saw some lamps I liked at Target the other day for just a few bucks more than I had spent on these puppies.  Sometimes I wonder about all this DIYstuff, ya know?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Master Bedroom A-comin' Along

So, my little sewing/office/craft room is doing ok.  I try to keep it clean.  I love to sit in it and work, and I love to sit in it and not work.   That's the truth.

I have been going back and forth about the bedroom side of this project.  I couldn't decide what colors to use other than the wall color.  I bought a duvet cover and shams that I love, but what else was I going to do?  I've searched and Pinned and pondered.

Then, last Monday, I found a new designer that clicked for me!  She is an LDS mom and I found her... on Pinterest.  True story.  You must look at Sita Montgomery's boards and blog.  I saw her own kitchen posted and was immediately searching for more information about her work.

She did a design for a client, and posted the design board.  Then, I fell in love.

Design by Sita Montgomery
I already had the right wall color, and browns and white in the bedding I had purchased.  This is what took me to painting my new Goodwill lamps the color aqua.

And THEN, I got a really wild idea.  I have two very old nightstands.  One is from Goodwill and purchased years ago.  I always intended to paint it, but I didn't because I am a chicken.  

The other one was my parents'.  I love it.  It is sturdy and it reminds me of them.  I have never done anything to it.

  I decided to paint the Goodwill one a lovely blue - kind of a royal blue.  I NEVER decide to do something  in the morning and then complete it by that night.  NEVER - I usually have to stew and second-guess my decorating abilities over and over.  With the encouragement of my friend Traci, I decided to go for it. Hubby was out of town, and coming home the next day!  I had to get it done - I wanted to surprise him!  

First, I cleaned his stuff out of it.  Holy moly - what IS all that stuff??

I primed it with some oil-based primer from Lowe's (ew, so I used an old brush so I could just throw it out).  And then.....   I went for it!!

And what, you ask, is that little hole in there?  We must have cut it out for an electrical cord at some point.  

And, here it is in its proper location:

The little handle is... a ... paper clip.  Yes, I still need to spray paint the hardware.  I will, I promise.

You can see from the pictures that I have no bed skirt.  I am doing this a little at a time, ya'll. But, I did get the perfect accent pillow after buying and returning about 5 different ones.  That is the truth.

So, here is the room thus far:

I know, I may need to move stuff around, but I LOVE these colors and the flowers!

The "shrine", updated....

There's that perfect accent pillow...
The bed will hopefully soon look more like this:

This is found at The Yellow Cape Cod, another great blogger/designer.

Here's what I have left to do (since I'm sure you are all so very fascinated and curious):

~Paint the other night stand
~get a new bed skirt, or sew one
~get new sheets and a coverlet
~get new blinds
~sew some simple valances or curtains - I have a lot of muslin left over from the wedding events, so I may use that
~get a new pillow -dang, my neck has been hurting!
~find places for the redistributed files that were moved out of the new office area... dang, I don't know what to do with them!
~wall art - I have mostly none.

I want it done NOW!

But, as you know, I'll have to WAIT a little while.....

Master Bedroom Lamp Love - Or, Like.

I have become a DIY crazy woman lately.  Pinterest is a blessing and a curse - maybe I mentioned that before?  I have only spray painted things a few times, but while redecorating my bedroom, I decided that I really didn't want to spend a lot on lamps for my nightstands right now.  So, Pinterest helped with my plan.

I took a little trip to Goodwill.  I found the ugliest colored lamps possible that would have matched my home in 1985.  True story.  I have photos to prove it.  

Here are the ones I picked out:

3 buckeroos!
Aren't they so lovely?  
I wasn't even sure yet what color to paint them.  Sad, but so very true.  Low and behold, I found my new favorite blogger/designer, which I will spill about in my next post.  I chose aqua.  Oh, how I love aqua.  I primed them and then sprayed away with this lovely blue.

 And, after going to three stores,I found lampshades that don't fit very well, but they will have to do for now:

I love them like them enough for now.   Each lamp cost me about $13.

What else have I done?

You'll have to just WAIT a little while.....