Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hers, His, Mine & Ours ~ Discovering 'treasures' while clearing out Kitchen Drawers

ering  I write this post, I'm over 3,000 miles away from my kitchen at my daughter's in North Carolina.  My kitchen is in Eastern Washington.  Before I left for this trip, I had the chore of all chores ... to ready my kitchen for a complete renovation.  I thought, being the list maker and not the most organized person, that if I crossed off one drawer and/or cabinet an evening, I'd be good to go.  Well that plan went out the front door once I began the process. 

Let me back up a few years.  My husband and I were married 1-1/2 years ago.  Our home was built in 1912 by his Grandpa Art.  In the late 1950s or early 60s (depends on which family member I ask), my mother-in-law (rest her soul), had the kitchen remodeled -- dropping the ceiling, painting the walls green, light pink tiles & green laminate countertop --- now known as vintage chic. 

In the early 90s, after her husband passed away, she moved to town and my husband moved to the ranch.  His Mom left behind the necessities and a little bit of history in the kitchen.  My husband, being a longtime bachelor, added his 'necessities' to the kitchen and then six years ago when I moved in, I added my 'necessities' to the kitchen.  So our kitchen became a hers, his, mine & ours. 

When I began in the first cupboard I found a folder of neatly cut out newspaper articles of "My Recipes" - a local feature in our weekly paper, that highlights a county resident and some of their tried & true recipes.  In looking through the many articles I discovered that many of those featured are my friends Moms, mothers-in-law & female relatives.  I have already begun mailing them out to my friends ... what a fun surprise to get in the mail.

As I was pulling out the drawers in the kitchen, I noted that a couple were specifically made for storing flour, sugar and loaves of bread .... something I'd love to have in my new kitchen.  Imagine not having to use cannisters, just dumping that sack of flour in a drawer.  And living on a farm where we have been known to have a critter or two (i.e. mouse) ... those drawers are perfect! 

Next I tackled the vet drawer, full of bottle nipples for calves & misc. vet supplies.  The next drawer down was the pot holder drawer which was not only full of pot holders, hand crocheted dish clothes & scrubbies, but also the manuals for the kitchen appliances.  I also found clipped together several very neatly cut newspaper clippings on a variety of how-to's such as "How to buy a dining room table", "How to get properly clean a refrigerator and defrost a freezer" and a few other informative diddies.  There were even a few off-color jokes that had been clipped out of magazines. 

In a smaller drawer I found treasures.  My Mother-in-law collected roosters - in this drawer I found teeny roosters, fish 'bobbers', small pocket knives, screwdrivers, knife sharpners, magnifying glasses & key chains with the names of local (and now out of business) banks, pharmacies, farm machine stores, fertilizer & seed co-ops. 

I won't go through each drawer, but know this ... in each drawer I found 'treasures'.  With these delightful finds I'd share them with my husband who could 99% of the time tell me a story about the now long-gone business or the piece of treasure I had found. 

My favorite finds were the Campbell Soup characters on spoons & forks, plastic Kool-aid character cups with my sister-in-law's name printed on the bottom (gifted them to her), and a plastic container in a cool retro-turquoise color with the words 'kitchenaid' on it that belonged in the old refrigerator.  This container is now in the scrappy lounge & being used to store my ribbons. 

What a great time this part of the kitchen renovation was.  I discovered treasures, learned about neighbors, local history, the practicality of kitchens and that even before organization was 'trendy', my mother in law was very organized. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Scrapbooks, Etc. Photo of the Week contest .... Vote for me please!

Wow ... this has been my week!  If you would take a moment and vote for my picture, once or daily, that would be great!  Thank you everyone!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Need your votes!

Woo-hoo!!!  To add to my scrappy addiction, I received an email from Scrapbooks, Etc., stating my layout had been chosen, along with others, for a weekly contest.  The picture with the most votes ... wins!!!  You can vote once a day.  Yep, I'm begging.  Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scrapbooks, Etc. Weekly Holiday Contest

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bacon and Eggs anybody?

Every year I make bacon & eggs.  You're thinking, ok?  These are just any ordinary bacon and eggs, these are THE bacon and eggs.  Let me show you

Step One ... lay the bacon in pairs on waxed paper ......

Step 1 -- lay the bacon in pairs on the fry pan (waxed paper)
Step 2 - Gently spoon the egg white over the bacon (white chocolate)

Step 3 - Place the yolk (M&M) over the egg white.  Let set. 

How is that for an easy treat!  My kids always called them "green eggs & ham".  Silly kids.  I have a friend that told her husband she was serving eggs & bacon for dinner one evening and she did ... but it was the good kind!!!!  Can't go wrong with chocolate & pretzels. 

*Merry Christmas*

*Merry Christmas from the Big Red Barn*
My dearest Mom always said "Christmas comes the same time every year".  So true, yet for many I hear the same refrain, "I'm not ready.".  I'm ready.  Ready in different ways.  Lists have been made. Gifts to be wrapped.  Cards have been sent.  Boxes of goodies off to my kids, their families and my big brother.  

What I look forward to at Christmas is the quiet moment.  The moment when everyone in the house (that would be the farmer, the cat and the dogs (who should be outside) are fast asleep.  I sit in the living room, cozy in my pjs, quiet Christmas music on, a glass of wine or hot buttered rum in my hand, and only the glow of the Christmas lights brighten my world.  I usually (always) get tearful as I recall why we have Christmas.  I recall Christmas's past.  I am happy for the wonderful traditions my children have memories of.  I am grateful for the Christmas's I now have.  I am blessed with an extraordinary husband. Life is good and for that I am grateful.


Monday, December 13, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas .. another link to a give-away

This Christmas I'm finding that my budget has been helped greatly by the many generous acts of kindness/gifts here on the internet.  It takes a few extra minutes out of my day, but it is so worth it.  I am on round 2 of the 29-Days of Gift Giving challenge and the abundance of 'giving' I've received as been incredible.  I'm not talking about the giveaways/freebies I've been 'blessed' with ~~ it is the kindness, the words, the actions of people in my life.  The new friends & acquaintances that have come into my life.  Yes, I've been blessed and life is very, very good. 

I've added a new button to Where Women Create

I enjoy reading their blogs, getting inspiration & motivation. 

I'd love to hear what blessings you've been experiencing this holiday season.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Who doesn't love a giveaway!!!

Wow ... so much catching up to do.  I'm into Round 2 of the 29 Gifts challenge and  ... well, lets just say I've a lot of writing to do.  But in the meantime, I wanted to share this giveaway from the Funky Junk Sisters.  If you're into vintage treasures, trying to figure out how to make that junk into bling ... this is the place to go.  They have ideas galore!!!!  Also, they have great giveaways. 

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15 *29 Gifts* Challenge -- A gift & a gift to me

First I will share my gift for today.  I have a friend that absolutely loves all things teapots & snowmen.  While shopping in the city last week I found cute little snowman craft kit.  Nothing fancy, cost only $1.00.  I immediately thought of Miss M, her love for snowmen and my teasing her that she is dangerous with scissors.  This craft would only require a few minutes, glue & her love for snowmen.  Being the papercrafter that I am (I love all things paper!), I also hoard gift bags.  I found a cute little bag, put the craft kit in along with 'words' I had found that fit her to a "T".  I added a personal note ... and ta-dah ... day 15 of the gift giving challenge. 

A gift I received today was a note from a family member.  She has been keeping up with my gift giving notes via the blog and I was quite surprised.  She had gone out, purchased the book, read it and shared how touched she was by the book & the concept within.  The gift for me was "goosebumping & tear-making".  In other words, I had goosebumps as I was reading her note to me & became teary eyed ... this lovely young lady is someone that I've known her whole lifetime.  Although we have lived at a distance, we have kept in touch over the years sporadically.  Through social media, our lives have intertwined and we are 'there' for each other.  To know that she has the desire to create abundance in her life, to fill her home with joy & love ... incredible.  I know quite a few angels above who are beaming down upon her and I'm sure are just as proud as I am. 

To be continued ...........

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Welcome to Our World ....A&W

I'd like to introduce you (three weeks later) to the newest addition to our family.  My daughter has blessed us with our third grandson, Aidan William aka "A&W".  Three weeks into his life we have discovered that: 
 *A&W is not into playing with cars yet (much to Mason Jar's disappointment),
Aidan William, born October 22
 *Mason Jar loves being a big brother, so much so that he gave his bottle up because they are for 'babies 

Catching up ...

Sometimes finding the 'right' time to blog takes awhile.  I don't to sit down & feel like I have to write.  Blogging is like journaling ... actually for me it is one part of my journaling.  I blog randomly and also keep a journal.  When I was in fourth grade I had a teacher, Mrs. Handy, that wrote in one of my notebooks that she hoped to see me in "Ladies Home Journal" one day.  Not yet ....

I've been keeping random notes about my 29-days of gift giving, so to catch you up: 

Day 8 started out as a day where I wasn't sure what my gift was going to be but figured it would happen, and it did, several times.  A friend in NC had put a link on his FB page about an individual needing $$ for start-up biz.  I read about it, thought what a great idea and donated $10.00.  Next time I'm in that neck of the woods, I will stop by her visit and delight in her success.  Later that morning one of our volunteer drivers walked into the office.  He is a delightful man, always kind, and willing to go out of his way to drive people to their appointments.  I spoke "Well good morning handsome.  How are you today?".  He stopped, made a joke about having the wrong person and then his facial features changed.  He said "Why thank you.  I will accept your kind words."  As he said it, I realized that he in turn was giving me a gift.  The sincerity of his words and his behaviors spoke volumes of kindness.  Later that day I was at a facility and I made it a point to speak with each nurse, look at their name tags and say their names to them.  What a difference that made (or at least in my mind) in the warmth of the smiles I received. 

Day 9.  Simple gifts today.  A co-worker hadn't changed her clock back yet and I knew physically she wouldn't be able to, so I did.  On Tuesdays, I teach a yoga class in town and usually am not home until later.  Knowing the farmer would be hungry when he got home, I came home at lunch time, dug a meal out of the freezer (Love the book Don't Panic, Dinner is in the Freezer), popped it in the crockpot, made some couscous, set a place for him, left a couple notes directing him towards dinner and dinner was cooking. 

Day 10  I am a collect of words, writing down quotes, keeping old calender pages (little pages) if they have quotes I like.  My gift today was a note to one of my daughter's, enclosing a calender page with a quote that I thought was fitting at this juncture in her life. 

Day 11 Now this was a gift that I was very thankful for.  Today I gave myself the gift of rest.  It was Veterans Day.  I am a veteran so thought, well, maybe since today is a day of honoring our veterans, my home is quiet, the farmer has switched hats to cattleman, that I would give myself the gift of rest.  I had an appointment with a contractor that morning, but after the contractor left, I did some cleaning up and then 'gifted' myself with a 3-hour nap.  It was incredible ... the phone didn't ring once! 

Day 12  I have a co-worker that would do anything for anyone.  I think we probably all have one of those.  Recently I had shared that I was heading to Costco and was asking if anyone needed anything (living 1-1/2 hours away from Costco ... it is quite a shopping trip).  He had mentioned that he like a certain type of game but the last Costco was out of it.  So I looked at Costco and they were out of it.  The evening before I had been at a market and they had 3 packets of his game.  So I wrapped them with ribbon, added a small note and put it on his desk. 

Day 13  On this day I visited a friend & his family.  Our friend is in ICU and has had a rough time.  On my way to the hospital I had stopped by Chaps (a delightful restaurant & bakery), picking up an assortment of pastries & cookies for the family.  After visiting with the family, I spent time with my sister.  My sister has been going through some rough patches.  We hit some craft bazaars and spent time visiting. 

Day 14 .... this brings me to today.  Over the past few weeks the cattleman & I have had a few friends who have experienced death in their family.  Today I am going to write out notecards to our friends.  And then there is the housekeeping that needs to be done .... ummm, now is that a gift?  :-) 

To be continued ....