Saturday, March 31, 2012

Second Day Of Perfection

What a great day!  It poured today.  The wind and rain were hitting the house really hard.  It was a great day to be inside.  I had my list of things to get done and I accomplished it all.  I worked on my office today.  I got my blingy light fixture put in.  I am so in love with it.  It is very girlie!  It does not look like it here but it is very bright.

I also got my curtain rod installed.  I found a gorgeous Waverly red toile valance.  I love, love, love red toile.  The really cool thing is that on the package they tell you the Waverly paint colors that totally match it.  One of the colors is perfect for what I have in mind anyway.  My furniture will all be white with red accents when I am done so it will pop against the neutral tone they suggest.  Here is the reading nook:
Here is the desk that I bought from Overstock.  It is a craft desk and has lots of cubbies for craft supplies.  The top is plexiglass and has sectioned drawers so you can see your organized supplies.  They have some gorgeous red and white ceramic drawer pulls at World Market so I will change them out if they ever go on sale.  I think it will look so cute.
Side Cubbies:

Door Panel:  

I got a lot done in all of the rooms, but thought I would show my progress in here!  It is my happy room!

One more bit of happy news:  I think I have shared in the past that Liesl is not much of a kisser.  The only time I usually get kisses is when I return home.  This is something I treasure.  (She is now about 4 1/2.)  In the past week, she has been giving me kisses for no reason.  Today she was a kissing maniac.  It is really cool to get kisses from her just because.  She still continues to surprise me. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Day Of Perfection

At my job we get one mental health day a year.  You can use it for anything, but it comes off of your sick time instead of your vacation.  I decided this week that I really really needed it.  I had some personal business to attend to, some catching up to do on some things and to have that mental health break.  I am really glad that I took it today.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  Liesl and I headed to the beach after I had sufficient caffeine to function and had slapped on some makeup.  It was a perfect day at the beach.

I am not sure if this happens with other breed owners, but mini schnauzer parents always have to seek each other out at the beach and talk.  I have met some truly wonderful people who see Liesl and have to share their stories of schnauzers that they have loved and lost.  I have had people call out to me from across a busy street to tell me that they have three of them,  Mini schnauzers are the 11th most popular breed in the US.  Today we met a mini schnauzer named Gretel who was a total cutie.  Her momma shared that she used to have a brother named Schnitzel which I think is totally cute.  Then as we were driving to our next errand with Liesl enjoying the sunny day with her head hanging out the window, an SUV pulled up next to us at a stop light on Liesl's side of the car.  The lady inside saw Liesl and broke out in a huge grin.  She then shouted over to me that she had a mini schnauzer for 18 years before losing him.  We quickly said what little clowns that are and laughed before the light changed.

I went over to the mall to pick up Liesl's organic, 95% grain free dog food that she loves.  She gets two tablespoons of mushy food with her kibble.  Afterward I saw a sign across the parking lot that said that a store was selling heirloom tomato plants.  I will drop everything for all things gardening.  I found six different kinds.  Yum!  I also found a beautiful red and gold calla lily.  I went a little crazy.  I happened to run into my daughter when I was there.  She is so wonderful.  She bought my shopping cart of plants for me with the guarantee that I share the bounty of tomatoes with her.  It was such an incredibly nice thing to do.

So now we are preparing for a day of rain tomorrow, which is okay.  I picked up library books today and eve got to take my time walking through the library.  I also have a lot of puttering tomorrow.  The incoming  rain is making it feel hot and tropical tonight.  I had my windows open at 9 pm tonight.  I am always cold, so I was shocked that I was so warm.  Liesl plopped down to sleep in front of the window so that she could get the cool breeze on her tummy.  She is something else.

Well, I am off to give thanks for the great day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Well, well, so we meet again.  LOL.  So sorry I have not blogged the past couple of nights but I have actually been-ready for this-stitching.  I started a blog post last night but woke up a couple of hours later with my laptop on top of my blankets and one of my hands still on the keyboard.  Pitiful.  Just pitiful.

In any case, I have been stitching my black work sampler.  I have gotten past one of those benchmark places that we set for ourselves.  So I am feeling good.  I will share a photo this week.  Anyway, last night was rainy and I had a cute little dog on the sofa with me and it was just a good time to stitch.  It was just so cozy.  

It is so hard to believe that it is Palm Sunday this weekend.  Easter is the week after.  This year is just flying by.  I am happy that it is spring though.  All of the rain we have been having smells so fresh and so clean.  It is definitely springtime rain.  I have some plants to get into the ground this weekend and I am hoping the weather behaves.  I am planting jasmine, which is one of my all time favorite flowers.  I love the scent.  It is gorgeous.  I am putting it in a place where I think I will be able to smell it from my bedroom window during the summer.  

The nice thing about spring and the later daylight is that I now get to play in the yard with Liesl after work.  She goes bouncing after her ball.  Schnauzers kind of deerhop when they are excited.  She thinks this is pretty fun stuff playing in her yard.  I like that she gets extra exercise which also translates to her going to bed early.  It is so much fun to play with her.  

Well, I am off to dreamland.  I hope to take some photos in the next few days.  My blog needs some pretties on it.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What A Great Day!

Today was a beautiful day.  The rain subsided and the sun was out!  I was the assistant minister at church today.  This is my favorite season in the church year.  It is hard to believe that Easter is just around the corner.  The sermon was really good today, and our pastor talked about the fact that we constantly are having an internal battle of good and evil.  She talked about the fact that when we decide to sin just a little, it becomes easier and easier to commit bigger and bigger sins.  I agree that once someone starts doing something like lying, they have to tell bigger and bigger lies. However, I think conversely when you decide to do good, it becomes easier and easier to do good as well.  

After church I ran my errands and picked up a coffee cake for my two best friends coming over.  One friend caught the crud and was too sick to come.  :(    My other friend was able to come though.  She is my friend who is the interior decorator.  She got to see the results of our shopping trip.  She loved it!  She thought the house looks amazing!  She gave me a few more helpful hints, which I got really excited about.   Particularly since the ideas involved stuff I already have.  She is such a super person and so wise.  We got to sit down and have a really profound conversation.  She is so wise and I just have so much respect for her.

I got everything done this weekend that I had on my list.  My last thing was giving Liesl her bath.  She is such a good girl and so cooperative.  Afterward, she lets me wrap her up like a little puppy burrito and hold her while she naps.   It is one of the few times that she lets me hold her on my lap.  I guess she is all warm and cozy in her towel.   She is ever so slightly spoiled.

So I am looking forward to the week ahead.  This has been a really happy, productive weekend and I am so grateful for it.  It was a perfect to have both the sunshine and rain.  I got to work and to play.  I got to be serious and to laugh.  Best of all, I got to be cozy in my cottage and to feel so much joy that it is mine!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rainy Day

It has rained pretty much all day today.  This is an absolute blessing because we really need it here in California.  It has been a really warm winter and we did not reach the rain totals that we need in the earlier part of the year.  It is really peaceful with the rain pitter pattering on the roof.  I got myself up and showered early this morning so that I would not be tempted to spend the day in my jammies, dozing on the sofa.  I had things I really wanted to get done, even though I had no plans of leaving the house.

I finally got some pictures hung in my kitchen.  I had to buy a couple of tools first so it has been a project waiting on the back burner.  I have a lot of electrical wiring that runs through one particular wall in my kitchen.  So I had to get one of those stud finders that also detects hot electrical wiring.  I also needed one of those laser levels because of the hanging systems of some of my heavier pieces.  I am thrilled with how it looks in there.  I also installed my under cabinet lighting.  They are battery operated so I did not have to get an electrician.  They are also motion detector activated so all I have to do is wave my hand under the cabinets for extra light.  Best of all, I got most of my house cleaned and the laundry done!  Whoohoo.  

Tomorrow after church I have a couple of errands and then my homegirls are coming over to see my progress on my house.  My decorator friend is coming to see how our shopping trip ideas turned out.  My BFF has not been over since she helped me paint my kitchen.  I can't wait to show off my progress.  I am really enjoying working on the house.  It is amazing how one small change makes such a big difference.  Best of all, I love living in this house.  It has such good energy.  I am amazed how I am filled with joy coming home to it.  Liesl is the same way and starts getting excited and jumps up to look out of the window when I am making the second to last turn to get to our house.  I think it is cool that she loves it, too!

It has been such a good day.  I did take a nice long nap, but I also got to take my time getting things done.  I played with Liesl and gave her lots of love and attention today.  I also got to order my new rug for my kitchen.  My decorator friend found it in one of her catalogs on a seriously low price sale. It is an indoor/outdoor rug, stain resistant so I do not need to worry about it.  Best of all, it is red!  It is so nice to have a friend who is keeping an eye out for possible things I "need" for my house.  I can't wait to get it.  

My first home is really coming together and it makes me so happy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dinner Out With The Girls

Tonight I got to go out for dinner with my two best friends.  We try to all go out for dinner at least once a month.  I have had a kind of rough week, so I was considering not going, because I am in a little bit of a funk.  But then I remembered that if anything was going to make me feel better, it was going to be spending time with these two wise and funny ladies.  I really enjoyed my time with them, they are just awesome.  We have been meeting for dinner at the same place for a couple of years now.  We decided tonight it was time to try something new every month.  We were making a list of neat places to try in the next few months.  I love having things to look forward to, and try to always have things in the pipeline coming up so I stay excited about future stuff.  So I am looking forward to the restaurants my friends suggested.  The Monterey Peninsula is a foodie's paradise.  I am hungry just thinking about it.

Tonight we talked about so many cool things including how we have the kind of friendship where we can be totally honest with each other.  We speak the truth in kindness.  Which is pretty cool because we can tell the truth about ourselves and no one judges us, and we can tell the other's the truth if we are concerned about them for some reason.  In this way, we kind of contribute to each other's growth.   My friend said the best part about the honesty in the friendship is that she can be totally herself and not have pretend to be anything.  I thought this was kind of cool.

So my time with my friends was really valuable and reinvigorating.  I realized that I am not in a funk.  I am just really tired.  My sleeping patterns have been really off this week, due mostly to stress.  It is supposed to rain here all weekend, so it will be a really good weekend to wear my jammies, watch movies on Netflix, and cuddle with my furgirl.  I think I will do some cooking of really good, healthy food, stay warm, and nap as necessary.

Coming home to Liesl is wonderful and tickles my heart.  The only time Liesl kisses me on the face is when I come home.  Then I pick her up and give her a big hug.  I love her little warm doggie smell of her neck.  When I put her back down she runs to pick up the first toy that she can find to play with me.  Tonight it was her very favorite squeaky ball.  She loves to "talk" to me with the ball in her mouth by squeaking it.  She will look my right in the eye then squeak like she is having a conversation.  I think she cracks herself up.  She is pretty darn silly, which is why I just love her so much.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day...

Oy vey!  What a day!  I could not sleep from about 1:45 am on.  I had a lot of work on my mind, and the wee hours are not the time to problem solve.  My coworkers and I often talk about the accounting stuff that we each remember to do at 3am.  I fell back to sleep about 1/2 hour before the alarm went off.  By this time a certain little schnauzer had decided that she was cold and wanted up on the bed.  I opened my eyes in the darkened room to the silhouette of two pointy ears and the sound of some general sniffing in the direction of my head.  She cuddled up under the blankets with me and seemed to make me just comfortable enough to fall back to sleep for a little while, but I woke up with a vicious headache and a little black storm cloud over my head.

I was functioning well as I got myself to get together.  However, I went to put my favorite pair of sunglasses on my head.  (They make me look like a movie star!) They broke right in half.  I was momentarily sad but got into the car and went.  

Work was sort of crazy.  I have several bank accounts that I manage and today I needed to get the largest one reconciled in order to meet a big deadline.  There are literally hundreds of transactions that I need to account for.  I needed to get it done before an afternoon meeting with my boss.  So I hunkered down.  About an hour into my work, my computer screen froze and I had to restart my machine.  I lost about an hour of work.  Okay, no biggy.  

So I worked for about 5 more hours straight (I do not take my lunch hour until really late in the day.)  That was when it happened.  My screen went black.  I called over the person who manages our computers who announced that my computer was kaput and could not be resuscitated. All of those hours of work were gone.  I seriously considered throwing myself on the floor, a la two year old having a tantrum, and crying, screaming and generally causing my office mates to yet again doubt my sanity.  I thought my headache was going to cause my head to explode.  But I stopped and took a breath, and remembered that there are people around the world who were having a far worse day than me.  There are people who were hungry, or sick or dying.  My problem was nothing in comparison.  There are people in the world who would have traded problems with me in a red hot second.  Ultimately, I realized that I was pretty lucky all in all.  My family is healthy, I have a job, etc.  My boss told me that she has had that happen too so she felt my pain and that I should go to go to lunch.  It was a beautiful day so Liesl and I got into the car and drove to a beautiful park.  It was sunny and breezy.  My head hurt too much to get out and walk today, so I rolled down the window, after I parked the car.  Liesl climbed into my lap so she could watch the birds out the window.  I just rested the side of my head on her warm little back, closed my eyes, and breathed in the sunshine.  It did the trick and gave me a total attitude adjustment.

When I got back, my boss said that they were already working on ordering my new computer and that she had said to staff to do everything to make sure that there is no delay for in getting it in and up and running.  She is out of the office tomorrow until the afternoon so I can use her office in the meantime. 

After my epiphany about how not important this whole thing was in the scheme of the world, things took a magical turn for me and I saw things much better.  I took the more scenic road home from work,  I ran into my friend from work in line at the pharmacy at Safeway.  He works in another location so we don't get to talk often, so it was nice to chat and catch up and before long we were cracking jokes and laughing.  I came home to see my very favorite episode of 30 Rock was on (the one with Elvis Costello and Adam Levine.)  It makes me laugh out loud.  Then I looked out the window and watched the most beautiful, take your breath away sunset through my living room window.  I played Liesl's favorite wrestling game with her monster puppet which made her happy.  Then I got into my bed and  under all of the covers.  All in all, this turned out to be a fantastic day, full of blessings, love and miracles.  I just had to stop and see it that way.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Awww, Shucks!

What a sweet thing to happen.  Danielle from awarded my little Cozy Cottage blog a Liebster Award.  It made my day. Danielle said such sweet things that truly  mean a lot to me. I feel blessed with such kindness today.  I have my part to fulfill in paying it forward, and I gladly do so for other bloggers out there!  However, this has been kind of a ca-razy day so I want to take a few days to put some good thought into it.  

I love reading blogs.  They are so cozy and creative.  I am so impressed with some of the truly creative blogs I have come across.  Some are truly eye candy!  I love reading people's story of the everyday.  I love the photos of stitching, backyards, grandchildren, pets and recipes.  I love the personal stories of people throughout the world.  I am amazed at how much smaller the world has become through the internet and the personal stories in blogs.  I like the connection to people across the states and around the world.  

Well, I am off to sleep.  Liesl has had an active evening of being a bored, mischievous little mini schnauzer.  Her momma is all tuckered out.  Liesl is snoring cute little puppy snores.  She looks so cute that she makes me fall in love with her all over again.  In a few minutes I will tuck her into her pink puppy blanket.  She will make her little purring sound that mini schnauzers make.  Then she will let out her last contented sigh before she goes to sleep.  She is such a sweet little dog. She makes me happy.

Sweet dreams to all!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Peaceful Sunday

We have had an extremely stormy weekend here on the Monterey Peninsula.  It rained crazy hard and the wind was just hitting the house really hard.  It was even making Liesl a little nervous.  I woke up to the noise several times during the past couple of nights but was all cozy so I dropped right back off to sleep.  In fact, I took a couple of naps as well today.  

The nice thing about the stormy weather is that I got to putter around the house today.  I felt inspired to work on my office/ craft room.  Since I had moved in five months ago, this had become the room where everything that did not have a place went.  It had become a mass of paperwork, boxes, clothes and odds and ends.  It was not pretty.  I am proud to say that I conquered it and it is now pretty nice in there.  I have all of the paper filed.  Any furniture that did not belong in there is in the garage.  Best of all, it is very cozy.  I even got my desk drawers arranged.  My new craft desk has been sitting empty for months.  I still have a list of things I need to do.  I have a beautiful red toile valance to hang, a blingy crystal chandelier to install and I need to order a daybed so that I can sit in there and watch movies and Liesl has a place to hang out when I work. The color scheme for the room is red and white. I would also like to find a nice medicine cabinet that matches my furniture that I can mount my television in so that I can hide it away but have it accessible.

This room is the last major unpacking project.  Now I have mostly decorating projects.  Okay, a lot of decorating projects.  However, I feel so good at what I accomplished today and that I can use that space finally.  Having a creative space is really important to me and it really has to be comfy!  It is amazing how clearing this space has created a new sense of calm for me.  

The rain has finally stopped for a while and now everything smells so clean and fresh.  We needed the rain really badly.  We are expecting more this week, but the next few days will be warm.  This means nice walks after work or playing ball with Liesl in the yard.  It is beautiful though how time at home can restore one's soul.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beware The Ides Of March...

Can you believe it is the middle of March tomorrow?  Oy vey!  This year is flying by.  Every March 15th I love to say, "Beware the Ides Of March."  It is from Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, which is my very favorite Shakespearean play.  Of course, MacBeth is a  close second.  But I digress...

Today I received exceptional customer service.  Last night when I got into my car, the engine would not turn over.  I ran back in to work, where luckily someone had jumper cables.  I was back on the road in under five minutes.  Luckily, I have a 35 minute drive home which gave the battery significant time to recharge.  I looked around Monterey and Seaside to see if there was any place open where I could get the battery replaced.  No luck.  Everything had closed at five, of course.  I went home and tried to figure out a game plan for how to get it fixed.  

I woke up at 3 am today, worried about how I was going to get to work if my car did not start (my boss told me that if it ever happens to call her and she will pick me up on her way to work) and how to get it to the shop.  Luckily, the car started up this morning.  When I got to work, I called Sears in Salinas to see if they had my battery in stock and if they could get me in at lunch time.  They were awesome.  Truly awesome.  They told me that it would take 30-45 minutes because I have a PT Cruiser convertible (that I love!)  The battery sits under a ledge of the hood, so they actually have to take off the front wheel to get to it.  They were not even open yet, but they made my appointment for my lunchtime.  When I got there they had the battery ready, and had staff ready to go.  They had it done in 40 minutes.  The nice gentleman who gave me my key back said that I was nearly going to be in trouble with the old battery.  Yikes.  I am thankful that I had angels watching over me.  I was so impressed with their customer service and how fast they got the work done.  Plus the price was so reasonable and worth every penny for peace of mind.  I would totally go back.  Plus they are only 10 minutes away from my office.

The bonus part of this is that I found out there is a Dairy Queen at the mall.  While I did not partake today, I can see myself getting a Blizzard during the hot winter months.   I told my BFF on the phone tonight that I would be willing to make deliveries if she feels the need for a Blizzard.  

So I am pretty grateful tonight that my car is fixed and that I had a good experience getting it taken care of.  There are some pretty nice people in the world.  I am grateful for my work mates who puppy sat for me while I took my car in.  I am really grateful that I have a bed to sleep in at night.  I work in an area that has a lot of people who are homeless, and it makes me even more grateful for having some place warm to call home.  I generally whisper a blessing for each person that I encounter and I always remember that it is only by the grace of God that I am not in the same position.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


A harbinger of Spring!  Bright, beautiful daffodils.  These are a bouquet I got a couple of days ago.  They smell lovely, too!   I love daffodils.  I should probably get some bulbs so that I can look forward to some just appearing in my yard a year from now.

Today was a pretty good day.  I had an audit this morning, which went really well.  I always try to make sure that I am prepared well in advance of an audit with all of the necessary information organized and labelled.  I also made sure that Liesl was busy with a brand new bone.  Schnauzers are major smack talkers.  I did not want her barking at the auditor, so I handed Liesl a bone as the auditor was walking in the door.  Liesl just looked like, "Take whatever you want, I'm kinda busy."  Liesl loves a new bone.  Now she is all tired from working on it and is all stretched out on her Golden Retriever sized bed.  She is all about her comfort.

Tonight is one of those nights that I turned the TV off early.  There was absolutely nothing on.  So I puttered around for a few minutes and decided to just sit and enjoy the quiet.  I love when it is peaceful like this.  I thought about stitching or going into my craft room and playing with my toys, but I think it is going to be best to read my book and perhaps go to sleep early.  After I say my prayers, I think about all of the things that I am grateful for.  It is amazing how you start with the big things-family, friends, health, etc., and there is so much to be grateful for beyond that.  I think about how I made it home safely from work yet again, that my friend made it though surgery well, or that my local library loans me the best books for free.  There are so many miracles in every single day and so much to be thankful for.  It is a great thing to fall asleep thinking about and plants the seed for good dreams.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Tonight was delightful.  In order to stay motivated, I am now making a list of two things I need to accomplish in the evenings around the house.  I immediately got the two items taken care of so I could play.  I was so happy to spend the rest of the evening stitching.  I have a place picked out in my living room for this piece so I need to step it up.  LOL  I am working on the top panel now.  I am thrilled with how much fun black work is.  I may have to consider more pieces in the future.

I am so pleased with the outside lantern that I installed yesterday.  The crackle glass makes such a beautiful pattern on my front porch area.  This morning when I walked Liesl it was still dark outside.  I got to see the lantern as I approached the house.  I am so pleased with it and I am happy that it stays on all night.  I got it from Costco.  It makes me happy.

There are so many things to be happy about, big and small.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Perfect Day!

Today was awesome!  The time change has not been super hard due to an early bedtime last night for all.  The first order of business today was church.  It was a good day at church.  Afterwards, I worked on some special music for an upcoming church date.  I love to sing, so we were working on Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach.  It was so beautiful after just running through it twice.  I am looking forward to singing it before the congregation.  It is one of the most beautiful pieces of music.  Anything by Bach is just amazing.

After church I was off to Home Depot to pick out some plants for my front yard.  I have drought resistant plants, but I really want a little more color and to extend it out further.  I also plan on putting in a hedge of lavender.  I get a lot of sun where I am so I think the lavender will do really well here.  Plus I can harvest it and use it for gifts.  Anyway, I ran into my BFF at Home Depot and got to yack.  She is an avid gardener, too, and has taken landscaping courses and landscape design.  Needless to say, she has a beautiful yard and grows the most beautiful roses you have ever seen.  The nice person who ran the check out also told me that in two weeks they are getting in a whole bunch of new plants.  Yay!  This is good because I have been kicking myself all day for not getting the Martha Washington geraniums.  They are a gorgeous dusty red.  

I came home and gave Liesl lots of hugs and kisses.  She also got the lion's share of my turkey sandwich by using her sad, puppy eyes.  I was duped.  She napped off her lunch while I watched Tony win the race.  Whoohoo! After doing the Tony Won Happy Dance, I saw my chance to go work on the front yard, I slipped outside into the beautiful sunny day.  (I do not have a fence in my front yard, so she had to stay inside.)  She made sure the entire neighborhood knew that I was neglecting her, as I worked at a breakneck pace.

Liesl alerting the neighbors to the fact that her momma has left her inside while momma works outside.  
 My plants are in and look awesome.  After coming in and doling out cookies, hugs, kisses and tummy rubs, I was back in Miss Liesl's good graces. Seeing her upset because she was left out really made me feel badly.  I have never planted four plants as fast as I did.  However, the world without a fence is a dangerous place for puppies (especially one who will chase a cat if she sees one) and momma had work to do.

Since we had an extra hour of sunlight, I took the opportunity to install my new outside light for my front door.  It is so gorgeous when it is turned on.  It is an LED and turns itself on and off.  It is so dramatic and beautiful.  I just love it.

I had a moment of realizing a dream come true tonight.  After I got the light installed (which took about 15 minutes.)  I went and played with Liesl in the backyard.  One of the many reasons I fell in love with this house was that the yard was perfect for Liesl.  Back then I had visions of throwing the ball for Liesl on summer evenings after work.  Tonight as I was throwing the ball for Liesl and she was bounding across the yard so happily, I realized that I had my dream, just as I envisioned it.  I felt so happy and content.  I look forward to throwing that ball over and over again for her little self.  As I watched her eat her dinner and lay down to sleep, all I could think was how fortunate I am.  I feel truly blessed.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Fun Saturday!

Today was beautiful.  I got to arrange all of my goodies from my shopping trip with my friend who is a decorator.  I hung my drapes, put my pillows on the sofa, and re-arranged some things in my living room.  Best of all, I got to hang pictures.  In the five months since I moved in, I have not hung anything on the walls.  Once the curtains went up, the room suddenly came together.  The items my friend picked out totally matched what I already had.  However, the patterns she picked out totally updated the look of the room.  It is very fresh and crisp.  I have always had reds, sage greens, and golds.  The new look also introduced purple and a pumpkin color.  It looks amazing.  I pulled out some of my needlework to put on the walls.  It looks so good and so cozy.  I feel like I have pretty much completed this room for now.  I called my friend and told her she is a genius.

I have some work to do tomorrow after church which includes hanging pictures in my kitchen.  I am so excited now that I have started.  Now I feel like I have momentum.  My decorator friend has advised me that once I get my projects done in the kitchen and living room this weekend, that I should take a few months off.  She said that she always advises her clients to do one big project a quarter so that you do not get overwhelmed.  She said that it also gives you time to save up a little money between projects.  I like her philosophy so that I can just enjoy the house for a while.  It is so easy to get caught up in all the things that I want to do.

Tonight I just got to enjoy the new living room.  Liesl and I played, then I watched a movie.  I have to go to bed semi early so that I can wake up in time for church.  So it has just been peaceful.  It is so cozy in this room now.  I just love it.  The colors are so warm and I just feel inspired in her.  When I finish my black work piece, it will look perfect in here.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Knitting Night

Knitting Night was particularly fun tonight.  There were only three of us, so instead of knitting we just sat down and had a home cooked dinner that we all contributed to.  The three of us tonight are all of the same faith, and have attended the same church for some time. We really missed the rest of our friends who are really awesome women. However, we got to treasure the presence of those that we were there tonight and had a lovely dinner together.

One of the topics that came up was the importance and value of our friendship.  We each talked about how it is nice that we share the common values of loyalty, compassion, honesty, etc.  One friend said that she values how she can tell us as her friends something really personal and not have to ask anyone not to repeat it.  She just knows that it stays within.  We have really forged a bond within our group.  I just appreciate my friends so much.  

We did not get to knit tonight, but it was such a joy to just be peaceful and talk.  We span forty years between all of us so our topics of conversation are always interesting.  I love the perspective that each of us brings.  We have all been friends for years and I know that we always will be friends.  There is truly something comforting in all of that.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Decorating Fun

Last night I had so much fun.  I met one of my dearest friends for dinner at a terrific place for Mexican food.  It was amazing.  My friend is a retired licensed interior decorator and we were having dinner before she took me on a decoration shopping adventure.  She is such an amazing person, and a totally creative and inspiring decorator.  It was truly a gift for her to share her incredible talent with me.  She told me that she really wanted to help me freshen up the look for my house.  I have always been very traditional with my decorating and she is right that it was time for me to change it up.  

After dinner, we went to World Market.  Watching her work was magical.  She found a pillow that matched all of my colors in my living room and ties into my kitchen.  Then she started mixing drapes, more pillows and items of varying textures.  It was getting more and more exciting as she held things up and asked what I thought of them.  She said that first we pull everything we love then we put back the stuff we love less.   My friend is amazing about tying colors together, and can pick up colors that I swear can not be detected with the human eye.  I also found a print that is so outrageously perfect for my kitchen.  I will take a photo this weekend.  In many ways it was so overwhelming and I have to confess, that at one point I got a little weepy eyed because it was so overwhelmingly exciting.  My friend told me that it was normal and changing the look in your house can be very emotional.  She says it ties in with moving into a new phase in your life.  I had no idea that this could happen.  

I really need to find something to do for my friend to say thank you.  It was such an incredible gift to have professional advice with such caring.  She helped me to choose some things that I never would have chosen on my own, that were a bit outside my box.  But they will look stunning.

I had every intention of dressing up my house tonight.  However, about 1am the dreaded stomach flu started with that achy feeling in my head and the fluttering in my chest.  I felt horrible all night and had to stay home in bed all day today.  I slept for hours at a time today, and only now feel like I can form a sentence.  So alas, my bags of goodies from World Market are all still full, standing in my entry way.  I will have to play decorating this weekend.  

Off to dreamland...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dog Snores

I have had an overly tired schnauzer on my hands all day.  At about 3:45 am the neighbor's cockapoo "Skipper" who is an adorable dog was just barking and barking for about 15 minutes straight.  I just could not get back to sleep, and laid there until 4:30.  I gave up and got up and started the day.  I tucked Liesl back into bed but she was not going to miss anything that could possibly be fun.  So she got up, too.   We got to work at 7am.

The poor little thing was doing those long blinks all day while she was sitting up.  Somehow she could just not fall asleep.  Luckily, because I got to work so early, I was able to leave at 4 today.  I figured Liesl would be able to take a little nap but she caught her second wind.  She was busy tonight.  It is funny because she is like a toddler in that she will be rubbing her face with her paws when she is really sleepy and she will just go and go until she just drops.  She kept bringing me toys to wrestle with her or to throw.  If I got up to do something this evening, she was herding me by nipping at my heels.  She thinks this is hilarious. She finally laid down using one of her ducks as a pillow at 9pm.  She loves her ducks and has been carrying this particular one around the house this evening.  She is totally crashed out.
I can always tell when Liesl is super sleepy because she has the cutest little snores.  Her little eyebrows twitch and her ears kind of wiggle.  She is so darn cute.

Hopefully, tonight Skipper will not feel the need to bark in the wee small hours.  He is a pretty good little dog.  He was probably just protecting his daddy who just lost his sweet wife to a bad illness.  We feel so much sympathy, so we are being extra patient when this kind of thing happens and just say extra prayers for their family.  I can not imagine what they are going through.

So tonight, when I tuck Liesie in, I will give her extra hugs and kisses and say a little thank you for all of the joy that she brings.  I hope that she sleeps well and has happy puppy dreams.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day Of Awesome

Oh, my goodness, it was a beautiful day.  It must have been in the high 70's this morning.  We headed outside so I could get some weeding done.  I had fallen behind in this task so it was high time I got out there in my gardening gloves.  I threw the ball for Liesl but she was more interested in sniffing and laying in the sun.  I got a good bit of it done.  I felt badly for missing church, but I am getting over a crummy cold that is going around.  I do not want to give any bad germs to anyone with compromised immune systems at church.  So on days when I have to miss church I try to stay focused on gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.  It was easy to feel grateful in a warm, sunny garden.  

After all of my puttering around in the yard, I got to watch a race.  Tony was having a bad day, but it was a good race overall.  Liesl slept off her hard morning of supervising my weed pulling so it was nice and cozy.  I even nodded off for a little nap.  I feel nicely rested.

The best part of my day, though, was that I got to have dinner with my children.  I love when the family is all together.  It is the thing that makes me happiest in the world.  We all have a goofy sense of humor and so it is always fun.  I have to share what my daughter made for me for my birthday.  It is so beautiful and I will consider it one of my top treasures forever.

 A close up view of the different stitches.

The sparklies are beads that are worked into the piece.  I love bling.  Red is my very favorite color, too.  I can not wait to wear it.  I think it is amazing.  My daughter is an incredibly talented knitter.

The day was wonderful and I am so grateful for it.  I feel so content.  It is a good feeling to take into the week ahead.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My D-I-Y D-A-Y!

This is my new kitchen light fixture.  It is mother of pearl mosaic.  I put it up all by myself.  I am crazy, over the moon, in love with it.  I think it is purty.  I ended up working in my kitchen today, although I did not attempt the back splash yet.  The kitchen will be amazing when I am done and I am thrilled now that I am seeing it come together.  It is pretty exciting.

I have a decision coming up that I have to make.   The new back splash has lots of golds and is on the dark, dramatic side.  My outlet covers are all white.  I was thinking how cool some really industrial looking copper covers would look.  I looked online but everything has kind of an aged antiquey look to it.  Not what I want at all.  That was when I remembered that one of my friends told me about a year ago that he has a full welding set up in his garage and to let him know if I ever needed anything fabricated  I think I may ask him how hard it would me to make my outlet covers out of copper sheeting.  How awesome would that be?!  Plan B, may be that I have to use copper leaf and then shellac it so I can clean it.  The copper sheeting would be cooler though...

Besides my kitchen adventure, I was happy because I got to watch a NASCAR race this afternoon.  Today was one of Liesl's cuddly days and she got all snuggled up to me on the sofa.  It is so sweet when she does that.  It makes my day!  She was snuggly all day, so at dinner I shared my salmon with her.  She loves salmon and salmon skin.  It is good for her and her skin.  She was just so happy this evening.  I love a happy dog.

I am ready to settle in for a nice quiet evening of stitching with my sweet furgirl close by.  It is so nice to look back on such a wonderful day.  

Fell Off The Face Of The Earth...

But I am back now!  Whoohoo!

Oh my goodness, it is a gorgeous day!  After a kind of off and on rainy week, it is sunny and in the 70's this weekend.  This would normally mean going to the beach on a Saturday but gas prices are over $4.25 a gallon here so I am having to be a little careful with driving right now.  I am combining trips to conserve, and sadly, I do not have anything I need to do in that direction today.  I figure that I am also helping to drop demand for oil, which hopefully will eventually mean a drop in prices.

The good thing that comes out of this is that I love to be home or in my neighborhood, where I can walk.  I figure Liesl and I can play in the yard today.  I need to plant some herbs and do some major weeding so it is a good day to be in the sun.  Otherwise, I just love to be home in general.  This is where all of my toys are.  I can read, watch movies, stitch, knit, cook, bake, work on my house, take naps, quilt, or any number of crafty things.  I can take walks with Liesl or play in the yard with her.  So it is all good.

So far I am puttering around the house trying to get it cleaned up before I get to play.  It feels really good to get everything shiny and good smelling!  I started my laundry early so I am almost done.  Getting my kitchen cleaned is almost a zen experience for me.  I love a super clean kitchen.  Today I have to get my light fixture put up.  I would love to do my tile back splash but that may be overly ambitious.  

So today is a puttering and resting day.  Liesl seems to think it is a napping-and momma-rubs-her-tummy day.  I have lots of stuff on my to do list, but will be surprised if I get it all done...