Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To Blog or not to Blog . . .

That's the question I've been asking myself quite a bit lately.  For months, actually.  

Seems I've been in a rut most of this year. 

I've been 
In a down right funk.

Guess you could say I've been in a funky rut.

Can't put my finger on it.  

Don't know if it's mid-life kicking in hard.  
God willing I live to be 96.

It could even be the onset of pre-menopause. 

Maybe it could be the realization my boys aren't quite boys anymore.  Just proving even more I'm getting older! 
My older two both officially over 21 now,  and the youngest starting high school.

Possibly a combination of all of the above.

I can't say it's been a bad year . . . 
not a particularly great one . . . 
But overall I can't, shouldn't, complain.

As for my blog, I feel with all this funky rut stuff going on, I've not had much, if anything, to offer.  When I started this blog, my main objective was to feel more a part of the blog world I obsessively loved to visit.  To share a little of me with so many wonderful bloggers who've shared themselves and their homes and their ideas.  Hell, I haven't even visited so many of my most favorite blogs in forever.  Frankly, I'm hardly on the computer at all anymore.  I check my email from time-to-time and keep track of my bank accounts and bills.  That's pretty much it!

Maybe it's a computer thing.  
Maybe I've burned myself out with all the ongoing, never ending amounts of stimuli out there on the world wide web.  

So, I've decided to let my last 4 or 5 regular readers {if that} know that I'm officially declaring a blogging hiatus.   My heart doesn't tell me to shut it down.  I'm hoping I can break free from the funky rut eventually, and get back in there reading and sharing with all the wonderful bloggers I've met over the years.

I felt the need to compose this little post just so ya'll knew.  There's been a few bloggers whom I just loved to visit, and then one day with no word, no warning, they just stop blogging.  Hoping it wasn't what some might think is the worst obvious scenario, I could never understand why they never published a little blurb if just to say "that's all folks"

Let's hope I can find a way to get rejuvenated and dig up that inspiration and motivation to get the 
oohhh sooo many unfinished projects completed.  Start the ones I've had tucked away in the back of mind forever.  And get back to reading and enjoying the blogs I've loved for so long.  

Can't say I'll be gone for a week, a month or even a couple months.  Let's hope it's not much longer than that!  In the meantime, I'm going to at least try to get back into reading the so many blogs I've loved for so long.  

Thanks to those of you who are fairly regular readers and leave comments.  
I've truly appreciated your readership.  

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Progress in the Bath Redo

Albeit slow, we are making some progress non-the-less.

This has got to be the longest room redo evah!  
I've almost lost track when we first started working on this room, our master bath.  Maybe two years ago or longer?  What's held us up currently is Hubby can't raise the tub faucet to accommodate the tile because of the way the plumbers originally hooked everything in.  So, we were kind of at a standstill there until we could get a plumber in here to do the work.  After a while, I realized there was no reason why I can't get started on the painting, etc.  

It's really just a major facelift redo then a total renovation.  
Adding tile around the whirlpool tub, replacing the vinyl flooring with tile and new vanity counter top with glass tile backsplash.  Fresh paint on the walls and painting and adding trim to the vanity base is also in the works.  Also replacing and painting baseboards and trims.

My plan for the doors of the cabinet are to add thin pieces of wood to all four edges and one down the center before painting. And, of course, new door knobs and hinges.  I saw this done in an issue of 
The Lettered Cottage Summer Fun e-zine put together last year.  
You can view this great e-zine here.

I would love to gut this room and start from scratch, but that would be a renovation nightmare, not to mention quite costly.  Since it's our master bath, and only me and Hubby use it, or even see it, we just couldn't warrant the expense.  And, besides, there's nothing wrong with any of the main components of the room.  It was all just a bit dated and tired-looking.  

The look I'm going for is a cross between spa and coastal.  And I think I'm getting there.  I was worried about the wall paint color, Lowe's Valspar Hi-Def Beach House in egg shell, 

with the dove grey fixtures - toilet, tub, shower.  I was afraid it would all look too washed out along with the new mottled grey tumbled stone tile we're using and the new faux granite countertop installed a few months ago.

But, it's really working for me!  I'm sure once I get to the decorating stage adding some slightly darker, natural elements like the matchstick roller shade, it will work even more!

As you can see by the pics I'm sharing, we don't always do everything in the order that's practical.  For instance, I should have completed painting the vanity before the new top was installed.  Or finished painting the walls and ceiling before installing the new vanity light and chandelier over the tub.

Ooooo . . . that chandelier!!!!  

Ain't she purdee!!!

I'm in deep, deep love with this new fixture, can I just tell you!  I can't stop going in there and just looking at it.  What a huge difference a beautiful light can make.  I purchased this light, and the new vanity light, at  The chandelier was around $100 and the vanity light was like $40, with free shipping!  

It's million percent better then what's been there in the past.  Originally an ugly, plastic fan/light contraption that I replaced with a not much better looking ceiling mount light a bunch of years ago.  That ceiling medallion, although a gorgeous accent to the light, was actually a necessity to hide the box that held the original fan/light fixture the builder installed.

Our next hurdle is going to be choosing the floor tiles.  We're wanting to do rectangular stone in a charcoal kind of color.  But the biggest hurdle by far is going to be trying to figure out how to accessorize the back area of the tub.  The builder situated the 6 foot long tub {which is nice by the way for tall people like me!} on an angle in the corner.  

I've never been able to successfully decorate that area.  What I kind of have in mind is finding, or purchasing new and painting and distressing, some columns . . . porch columns . . . something like that.  Using a variety of heights and styles, creating some architectural interest back there.  Oh, and towards the one corner near the "top" of the tub to the right,  we're mounting a small flat screen.  Nice, huh?!  

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated regarding that massive triangle back there!

So, this is where we are so far.  A busy week and upcoming weekend will mostly put what little progress we've made on hold again for a short while.  But at least I can actually see a bit of the light at the end of that long tunnel.  And getting this far is making me itch to get that much more done.  

I'll keep you all updated!

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

Hope you all have a safe and fun Fourth!

Today is a time for fireworks and fun
But we shouldn't forget it's reason.

This is one of the most important days
of the entire summer season.

Today's the day our nation became free
and the date of the country's birth.

For so many years we have grown to be
one the best countries on earth.

Poem by Sharon Hendricks

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This Week in the Garden

After spending most of the day Saturday in the gardens cutting back, cleaning up a little and weeding {primarily the veg garden} a lot, I took a little stroll around the yard Sunday snapping some pics.

It's near the end of June.  Summer officially starts tomorrow, and my beds are still looking good!  I asked Hubby just the other day when was the last time the perennial garden looked this good.  Neither of us could even remember!

Gaillardia grandiflora "Fanfare", or Blanketflower grows quite prolifically in my garden.  And it self-seeds all over the place!  So much so that early in the season I yank out a lot when weeding and still get tons of plants popping up.  I don't mind this pretty flower's little invasions.  Isn't it so unique with it's trumpet-like petals?  Hence, the "Fanfare" name.

The Butterfly Flower is in full bloom; although, I haven't noticed any butterflies flitting around it yet.  Those white plumey flowers mixed in is Gooseneck Losestrife {Lysimachia Clethorides}.  I used to have a ton of this flower all over.  It's terribly invasive, and I tore most of it out a few years back, but I let some of it grow here and there keeping a very vigilant eye on it to make sure it doesn't take over the garden again.

Just love the firey orange color of this plant.

Over by the shed, the Lavender I replanted from the herb garden is flourishing.  I even cut a bunch to bring in the house.  

The bumblebees were absolutely feasting on the flower's pollen while I was taking pics.  They were darting around so quickly, I couldn't get a good shot of them.

Below, Calibrachoa - Callie Orange, or Million Bells, is one of my favorite annuals.  They bloom and bloom without the need for much deadheading.  This discarded chair makes a cute plant stand on the little porch of the shed.  Mmmm, looks like the railing is need of a bit of fresh paint.  Add it to the list!

We don't have much shade any where around our yard.  The few trees we have are still growing and maturing. Our neighborhood was erected around 25 years ago in what was once a wheat field.  The only area I can work with in terms of shade loving plants is a little section on the north side of the deck that measures about 2 feet by 5 feet.

I have a couple varieties of Astilbe growing there.  As you can see, the pink is little past it's blooming prime.

The red Astilbe is still looking good.  I especially like this variety.  Mainly because red is my favorite color, and I like the darker, glossy leaves.

The little bed above is an area right behind the garage.  It gets shady there by about noon, or else I probably wouldn't be able to grow those Hostas as large as they are.  

This native, perennial sunflower called Helianthus hirsutus, seems to like this spot of partial shade.  I purchased this plant years and years ago at a fundraising native plant sale at a local nature center.  

It makes great, long-lasting cut flowers to bring inside.

The Morning Glories that self-seed here every year are beginning their ascent up the fence and trellis pole.  I planted seeds here many years ago, and have never had to plant again.  What a bargain!

By the end of the summer, this little piece of fence will be heavy with Morning Glory vines.

Next to that little fence, right by the back garage door, is the mate to the shed porch chair.  This one's been prepared to permanently house a plant by having a hole cut to accommodate a pot.

Another favorite annual, Sweet Potato vine.  I love this limey green color, especially mixed with purple Petunias - another favorite.  Let's see now, that's 3 favorites.  Can they all be my favorite, or do I have to pick just one?!

I wanted to share this annual I have potted up on the deck.  Doesn't it have the most beautiful flower?  I love that dark purple center, fuchsia petal with the lime green edge.  I didn't save the tag, so I'm not entirely sure what it is.  I think it's in the Calibrachoa {Million Bells} family.

Out in the vege garden, there are a few things blooming and some actual veges growing.  This plant is going to be a surprise.  Obviously it's a melon or gourd of some kind.  It most likely stared from seeds from the compost I added to the garden at the beginning of the season. 
There are two of them, and I'm going to let them go and see what I get!

Not exactly a bloom, but just as pretty, a few purple sweet bell peppers are just about ready to pick.

Another thing of beauty for me, teeny tiny tomatoes.  Around these parts, if you have ripe tomatoes by July 4th, you've earned bragging rights as an accomplished gardener! LOL

As you can see below, I always have to add a few flowers to my vege garden.  This year in an effort to keep the new pup, Xena, from traipsing through the garden, I've added a few barriers.

 One being that old, rusty, beat-up wheel barrow.  I just can't get myself to taking it to the curb.  I love junk in the garden, and this is about the junkiest thing I have!  I'm envisioning those flowers to completely fill in and be spilling out.

You can also see temporary fencing on both long sides of the garden to keep the dog out.  It seems to be working, and I like the way it looks too.

We have a a few near 100 degree days coming up later this week, so we'll have to see how the garden's fare during this upcoming little heat wave.  Guess I better start hydrating all these plants over the next day or two.

I'm linking up this week with 
Be sure to visit their great blogs, and the other gardens participating in their garden parties.

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