Friday, July 31, 2009


This morning I realized once again what a lucky girl I am! I get to start the day in my lovely kitchen with a picture-perfect, delicious and healthy breakfast every day. The news in the paper may not be that great, but my yogurt, fruit and cup of green tea make it easier to digest. A daily reminder to count my blessings!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A look at the heart of the home: the Kitchen!

I thought you might enjoy some pics of our remodeled kitchen. You can see part of my collection of vintage, made-in-Japan paper mache' trays, the curtains I made from old 40's tablecloths, and the bright, crazy orange wall color. (It's not really as dark as it looks in these pics. It's actually quite sunny and warm and wonderful.) I know it's not everyone's cup of tea.but I love it!! Oh, ya, what about that great old chandelier from England?! I had it in a box for about three years until I found the perfect place for it. It just needed a little Windex and elbow grease for it to sparkle like new. Still need to paint all the window trim, though. Not a fun project, which is why it's not done yet. I need to get on with it (one of these days).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Start of Something New

I live in a beautiful part of California, under the redwood trees and close enough to the coast to have my feet in the sand in about 10 minutes. We've got an orchard across from us, a creek behind, lots of redwood, Monterey pine and leafy shade trees around us, a big, patchy lawn, a gazebo, and some seriously overgrown wisteria clinging desperately to a fence which needs to be condemned and replaced (someday). We moved into this place 10 years ago, and after a pretty major remodel on half of it we've been steadily (if slowly) working on the rest of this house for most of that time. There's always something that needs our attention. It's a little frustrating to have all these great ideas, but not such a great budget to work with, because the money goes to stuff like the new roof or plumbing or something (like that aforementioned fence, for example). So for the fun stuff I've been forced to be resourceful and creative, and for the most part I'm satisfied with things as they have turned out.... I enjoy working on projects, taking something kinda ugly and making it look good.

Most importantly, I've been a full time mom for 20 years, a job I think I've been good at. (I am SO proud of my two girls!!). But they are growing up and moving on. My first-born baby just turned 20. That gave me something to think about, I can tell you!! I've been doing mostly domestic stuff for a long time: tending to my family, minding the pets, keeping this pretty cool house together, puttering in the garden, entertaining friends, occasionally doing a simple interior design project for actual money (Yay!). And still, I haven't been feeling all that connected to anything in awhile. And I started thinking about the whole "empty-nest" thing.....scary and exciting,too.

Then, late bloomer that I am, I started reading all these really fun blogs written by some pretty interesting women, and I was intrigued by the sense of community I felt. I thought it was time in my life to try something new. I really needed a new focus and a challenge. For some of you a blog doesn't sound like much of a challenge. But what you should know about me is that I am, for the most part, a technically challenged person. (I'm the type who starts pushing any and all buttons when something doesn't work. Not such a good idea while on the computer!) And, I've been pretty resistant to the whole technological revolution up until this point. And, I realize the whole blogging thing has been going on for a long time without me, that I'm a little late to the game, so to speak.

But still.... as I am surrounded by techno wizards in this family, I didn't think I should let my own shortcomings stop me. And so I've been poking around trying this and that, visiting other sites, checking it all out. I thought it might be fun and interesting to create something that I won't be too embarrassed to share with others, as a way to connect with some like-minded people. I might even make some friends in the process! I'm not sure how much of what I'm thinking or what I have to say is important, but I'm always thinking about stuff, I have to let it out sometime!

So I jumped in with both feet, posting a few pics of a great day celebrating my daughter's b-day, and some of the rest of the (non-human) family. I've got some projects started that I'll show you, and also a lot of stuff to talk about! I am a firm believer in the good talk! I'm kinda excited to see where this goes! I'll be back in a few days. Working on a little pique-assiette table top right now, something for out back on the deck. Talk with you soon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

You never know what you're going to find when you take a walk along the ocean. Here is a message that was waiting for us the other day. It made us all smile, and got me thinking about the person who created it, wonder what kind of day they were having? Anyway, I'm always thankful for these kind of random messages that come my way. Makes me feel more connected to the rest of humanity, and really grateful for the place where I live. Because you find stuff like this all over the place around here! I'll look for more to show you, soon.

And here are our two kitties that are driven mad by Maggie. Poor Reggie and Little Lady don't quite know what to do with all the love that Maggie wants to give them. And Maggie doesn't understand the difference between cats and dogs! We keep hoping that eventually the cats will return some of her affection. Not seeing any signs of that yet, though!

This is the little mutt we rescued from the animal shelter two years ago. Maggie is one lucky dog!

My daughter the writer's 20th birthday.

We had a perfect day together! First, a long invigorating walk along the coast. It was very windy, but so beautiful, and I always feel renewed after spending some time at the ocean. After our long walk, lunch was in order. We are always hungry!! So off we went to get some great food and even better some delicious desserts (birthday treats, after all) Yum!
Later in the afternoon there were presents to unwrap, and then a wonderful picnic under the trees, with a view of the entire bay. To top off the evening we enjoyed Shakespeare in the redwood grove, bundled up under blankets and sipping on hot chocolate. Fabulous! Thanks for having a birthday, sweetie!

The redwood grove

Lots of gifts for our girl

Yummy desserts
The magnificient coastline

Another view of the ocean