grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

handyman measures up

Everyone has one.

No one takes pictures of them.  Not one person on earth says, “Welcome to our home, would you like to see our utility closet”?

The dreaded vacuum/extra shopping bags/yard stick/dog leash/mop/broom closet. 20170429_204857_resized

99% of those closets are a scary, dark, smelly, small, who knows what you’ll find HOT MESS.

Just as you came in, through the garage, my grandparents had one such closet.  Dark & Scary, check.  Vacuum, extra shoes, grocery bags, a coffee can filled with rocks (?),the yard stick  & also a shot gun leaning against the door jamb. (they lived in the country)

The closet my mother kept her vacuum in was tiny.  In addition to her vacuum, she also kept the ironing board, extra vacuum cleaner bags, extension cords (that were always loose and you used your foot to kick them in to be able to close the door) and a couple of yard sticks.

Ours was no exception.  No matter where we have lived, that one utility closet was a nightmare.  Last week our closet was a jumbled mess of stuff.  Toss it in and close the door fast.  A clothes rod that only one dog leash was hung from, a mix match of bins and bags. Most certainly NOT picture worthy.

How is it the one space used the most in any and all of our homes is the one most likely to win the “sad face” sticker?sad face Stuff just tossed in, cram it there, tuck something next to that, put up another mismatched nail, needed & useful stuff, yet never a pleasure to open that door.

You have to be ready to block a falling soccer ball or a dog grooming brush that could quite possibly come tumbling down. Resulting in mental or physical scars for life, I tell ya!

Hold onto your feather dusters and get ready for an “oh, I WANT that closet” make over.  I fell in LUST with these shelves.  Seriously??????  He had me at those shelf fronts.20170430_114020_resized

We are talking about a 24″ wide vacuum closet.  (Down-sizing forces you to use your noggin and imagination to come up with solutions.)

I am talking about some white paint ( so long ugly, weird, honey, orange-colored wood) , a trip to the container store, one amazon purchase, two trips to the hardware store, some money to buy the supplies and the best Handyman a girl could ask for!

BEST, HAPPY, NON-SCARY   Before & After photos EVER!!!!

WAIT, before I show you, let me tell you my favorite part.  The item my handyman used to face the front of the shelves.  He knows I love yard sticks.  If I wasn’t already married to the handyman, I would marry a yard stick (not really)…weird and wacky but I love those things.

He was wise enough to keep my very favorite one.  It happens to be the yard stick that some little home school person drew feet on the 12 ” marks to learn how many feet are in a yard.  swoon.

This closet holds an amazing amount of things and yet at the same time, doesn’t make you want to grab an item and slam the door.  You want to linger, savor the beauty.  ha

mop, broom, vacuum, dust pan, feather duster, laundry folder board, basket full of do grooming supplies, basket of dog food containers, container lids, wrapping paper, 4 aprons, 4 shopping bags, dog travel bag, carpet cleaning products, mail box key, indoor plant food and one beautiful yard stick

Drum roll please………………………………..   I give you pictures of my new and improved, beautiful, organized, clean, useful utility closet.  (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my handyman.)

GOD BLESS handy men near and far.  In the famous words of Red Green…..

Red Green

grateful, husband, sewing, Uncategorized

feels like home

Not only do curtains add privacy and warmth to a room, there is a certain something that you can’t quite put your finger on.  I think it is sound? A solid sound, sort of grounded I guess?

When you walk through a new home to look at the rooms, you can hear a slight echo.  It doesn’t feel homey, yet.

I have a military, wife, friend who once asked me, “How long before you live in a house, until it feels like your home”?

I first thought the answer was time.  Then I thought maybe cleaning.  Once you clean or paint every square inch of the house or rake every single area of lawn, it feels like your home. Then, I sort of decided it was when you went away on vacation and came back to your home.  We are closing in on one whole year in our new home.   I think I want to add the word curtains, to my list of things that makes it feel like home.

20170131_122036_resized_1This map fabric makes me smile every single time I see it.  It is the perfect window treatment for two small windows in our library.  Stacks of maps, books, a library table….. oh, I get giddy just thinking about it.

No, I did not purchase the expensive Roman shades.

These20170131_122023_resized_1 curtains are a snap.  I sewed them in a giant circle.

Then used 3 inexpensive spring rods for each. (Let’s hear it for Spring Rods!!  The under rated, not so glamorous piece of metal that makes curtains easy peasy.)  Ta-Da!

Finished  and mighty happy.   A bonus, I didn’t think of the glorious warm color they throw when the sun shines behind them.  Warm, beautiful and makes you want to sit a while and read a book.


Next, the great room windows.  Much to my surprise, same huge open room, two different size windows.  I had Mr. Right put the curtain rod up a little farther out on the right hand side… the illusion of a bit bigger window.  The “matchy matchy”  part of my brain is satisfied.

20170221_110052_resizedI love Buffalo Plaid.  Seriously, I SWOON over Buffalo Plaid.  My grandfather had a black and red hunting jacket in Buffalo plaid.  I love the boldness and yet at the same time, the traditional feel.

I did not love the prices I was seeing for plain, straight curtains to purchase.  So to satisfy the frugal part of my brain, I ordered fabric ( 1/4 the cost of the finished curtains that I fell in love with.)  I spent some time at the sewing machine and hemmed those beauties.   (Side note:  I bought the rods and curtain hangers from a big box hardware store. Simple and exactly what I had envisioned.)

Once hung (Full credit to Mr. Right, not one cuss word during the hanging of the curtain rods), they add a certain warmth & yes, by golly those curtains somehow magically make the room more like home.  20170221_102349_resized

I know, a home is a continual process.  It is always evolving, changing, adding this or that.

However, having the curtains hung makes the “old Army wife in me” feel like it is home.

What one thing makes you house feel like a home?

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.


great marriage, haPPY, Uncategorized

just a little sparkle

Under the name of a before and after blogger, are the words, “because we can’t leave well enough alone.”

Does this of remind you of someone?

Our master bedroom closet.  While it was a perfectly good closet, I had to go and change it.

I liked the closet, I didn’t love the closet.  You just know, the moment I saw that plain Jane, dull, sad closet, I was rubbing my hands together and my mind got to swirling.  She needed somethin’, somethin’.

If you want to catch up with the original blog post, this will whet your appetite.

Okay, so here is the follow-up.  The finale.  The finished project.  The glorious before and after.

Since this project began some 8 months ago, I have been searching for a flush mount chandelier.  I had lots of wants.  It had to offer a glorious amount of light.  It had to be girlie and pretty. It has to have crystals.  She had to have all that and be very reasonably priced.    The search took several months & while on line, several cups of coffee.  Similar to real life, when you least expect it, you find it.

Not only does the new light sparkle, she throws beautiful patterns and shadows all around. My silver trays filled with pretty baubles and such all twinkle.  The frames filled with pretty photographs shine. Plenty of light and sparkle to see the beautiful colors of coordinated clothing, shoes, belts, and jewelry.

Of course a huge thank you to Mr. Right for installation.  Sure, while up on the ladder, he had a few words.  I just kept holding the flash light (most of the time, steady) and smiling.

Here she is:



…and just like that (8 months later), another “to do” item checked off the list.

What’s next?

Chat soon.




haPPY, Uncategorized

hello backyard beauty

Though no one uses our back door, we do.

The “before” was rough-looking.  Boots, flip-flops, gloves all strewn/tossed/stacked/hidden on the porch.20161104_110833-1_resized  Less than appealing to see each time we came and went.

I venture out a couple of times a day. Always something to do….. pick herbs,  feed and tend the chickens, let the dog out, fill bird feeders, you get the idea.

We have had over 37″ of rain this year in the Pacific Northwest.  Our backyard is soggy. I need dry boots.

I found this small bench.  It’s main purpose is to use near a pool.  It keeps cushions or pool toys dry.  Why wouldn’t it work for rain water as well?  Ordered.

While I waited for the bench to arrive, I decided to paint the back door and make it a bit more inviting for us.  Oh sure, we all fuss and decorate the front door.  I believe they call it curb appeal?20161104_133923-1_resized

Why oh why shouldn’t we do a little fussing over the back door?  A little backyard appeal for us.  The “after” looks so much neater and way more appealing.

ps.  I made the grapevine wreath with our own vines.  Skinny enough to fit between the door and the glass outer door.

Now, instead of grumbling about needing to “do something” for the backdoor, I just smile. Actually, a small amount of effort for a huge payoff.

housekeeping note:   I purchased the bench from Wayfair. It was amazingly easy to put together (I did it myself) and yes, it is completely waterproof. Also, strong enough to use as extra seating or to sit a moment and put your boots on.

Please stop by the backdoor any ol time.

Backdoor friends are best.

haPPY, Uncategorized

Monday makeover

The previous owners  of our home, did us a huge favor and left several small cans of paint, extra tile and base boards for us to use .  Not overwhelming amounts, just enough grout and shingles and things to match, in case we needed a little fix up.

Yesterday, we took one of the quart cans of exterior paint and had it matched and bought a gallon.

Today, I used half the gallon. A super easy, quick Monday “makeover”.

To a rather dreary, dark , unloved spot in our front yard, I painted the gate and small portion of the fence.  Then since the brush was still in my hand, I touched up the railing on the porch and a couple of places that needed a bit of sparkle and light.

1.5 hours (including clean up and picture-taking)  and ta-da!  Before and after .

Tomorrow I will add the second coat.

This gate and fence will be replaced next year.  Until then, nothing wrong with a little make up to hide the flaws.

I sort of swoon over quick and easy before & after(s).  Boy Howdy, I already completed this on a Monday with only one cup of coffee!

I have to wonder, what on earth will I be able to accomplish the rest of the week?

Bring it on!

I kind of have a hankering to make some peach Bar B Que sauce and I want to put a coat of primer white on some doors.  Not at the same time……….could get messy.

Love to hear how your week is shaping up.  In this together, friends.

Chat tomorrow.


dream, haPPY, Uncategorized

haint that somethin’

In 1983, we didn’t have pinterest.  Shocking?  I know, I know.  Seems rather “plain jane” to write down ideas in a little notebook or commit them to memory.

I didn’t have a phone with a camera, either.  We had a baby to juggle and I didn’t have extra hands to hold a fancy camera and snap a picture. Never mind waiting until after Halloween when we could “finish” the roll of film and send off and wait two weeks for the prints.  The olden days were hard, I tell ya!

We were tourist in the town of Charleston, South Carolina.  It was the first time for me visiting that part of our country.  I fell in love.  Boy howdy, did I fall hard.  Front porches with ceilings painted sky blue, dark stained decks with beautiful ferns hanging above.

I took notes as well as mental notes.  Once home and baby put down for sleep, I wrote down ideas in a little journal.

Then I waited.  I waited, some more.  We moved.  More waiting.

I was waiting for a house with a porch.

Hello July 2016.  smiling.

I honestly don’t need a picture on pinterest to remind me of what I wished/dreamed and schemed for.  The idea is a permanent part of my brain.

Oh, yes, I took before, during and after pictures of this before and after project.  These are sort of the middle pictures.  The ceiling is painted, the lighting fixture has been ordered, the deck stain is sitting in our garage and I am working up the courage to try my hand at growing ferns next summer……..we have progress!

I chose to use Sherwin Williams 6505, Atmospheric.  No, SW didn’t pay me to write this commercial.  I will say 2 thumbs up on their product.  I wait for a coupon or sale, it is a bit spendy, however, so worth the price. Excellent quality and covers like a dream.  The lines from your brush lay down for a smooth lovely finish. 20160718_193555_resized

I am not a blue lover.  When some little person says, “Miss Daleen, what is your favorite color?”  I usually list off 6 or 7 maybe 9 colors before I get to sky blue.

Why the blue on the porch ceiling?  20160718_193619_resized

In the early 19th century milk paint was mixed  with lye.  Folks repainted every year and duh, the lye in the paint did indeed keep the bugs away.  No, it wasn’t the blue color everyone thought.

Some folks believe that the blue is a way to trick spiders and wasps into thinking it is the sky and thus won’t build their nests there.

We live in the Pacific Northwest and while we do enjoy glorious blue skies as the song by Perry Como reminds us,  the bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle…. we have an extraordinary amount of rather dull gray days.  Looking up to see the blue “sky” will be a refreshing treat.

The reason I fell and fell hard for the blue skies?  Haints.

The blue color for porch ceilings are often called “aurora blue or haint blue”.   Aurora blue ~ a Northwest Aurora Colony, a Christian communal society that gained popularity in the 1850’s.

“Haints are restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world.”  The haint blue is to protect the home owner from being taken.

Dreamy, silly, delicious, right this very moment I am twirling my hair just thinking about this idea………I love the idea of being protected and safe sitting under that Atmospheric Blue.  I love the idea of spirits dressed in fantastic old costumes, now all gauzy swaying above me. This is good stuff, people!!!

Oh and good news, in my morning note, Mr. Right captured the real essence of me painting.  Just sharing so you could get the real feel of the project. 20160719_081146-1_resized

Stay tuned, next up, Autumn Orchid……..hello master closet!

ps.  I am always pleasantly surprised the next morning when I go look at something I painted.  I am always smiling when the paint is still stuck there and didn’t fall off sometime during the night. snort





haPPY, Uncategorized, wellness

new again

33 years ago, I needed a changing table.  The tables we found seemed rather shaky.  No, there was not a Babies R Us around the corner.

Then we discovered an unfinished furniture store.  I found the solution.  I found a dresser with a little edge that I could paint and put a padded (later learned water-resistant fabric) cushion on.   So for a few years, I changed babies on that “changing table”.

It started out white with baby decals.  Dang.  No picture.  You see kids, 33 years ago, I didn’t have a cell phone with a fancy schmancy camera built-in.  I actually didn’t give one thought about , HEY, I should take pictures of where I change this fussy, crying, upset, not happy, I mean passionate baby.

Then baby number two arrived on the scene.  Before he made his debut, I painted the changing table yellow.  You see kids, back 30 some years ago, most of us didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl.  So yellow paint it was.    Yellow paint with stenciled hot air balloons painted on each drawer.

Somewhere along the way, my “babies” are both now well over 6 feet tall.  I am pretty sure, I could not lift them up on top of said changing table.  Nor do I think they would fit up there.

20140705_100253That changing table morphed into a dresser.  Seven moves later and multiple coats of paint…………I will admit it was looking rather sad.  Somehow what I thought was a beautiful raspberry color, really wasn’t that beautiful after all.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?20140706_173107

The time had come to either say good-bye or get a face lift.  The dresser not me.  ha

So I give you the before and the after.  Oh, I love a good before and after.  I wish I could remember to take a “before” shot , sigh.  The before all sad, dinged up, dull, not gussied up with accessories. Old Lamp, just before she went to Goodwill.    The new & improved ( I know you can’t have both.  Did you hear that product marketers?  You can not have new AND improved.), after version.    New hardware, better lighting, new lamp, Golly Molly, looks to me like we can live together in harmony for at least another 30 years.

Every barn can use a little paint now and then.

Nest up, the guest room chair.  Fingers crossed I can remember to take a “before” picture.