Thursday, March 22, 2018

Painting's Done

The bedroom is painted, but that's just one part of the project.  Albeit a big part since the walls had to be wiped down, nail holes spackled and sanded, and the border removed before painting could begin.  Last time the walls and ceiling were painted the same color - a light beige - but this time I wanted a white ceiling.  Since the walls were a light color previously, it looks like they're only going to require one coat of paint.

I like the light green - the color of tea!  [Sorry! I had to mention tea in this post somewhere. ;-)] I'm sitting at the makeshift computer station typing this post.  Tomorrow I'll look for a new window treatment.

Remember the ancient Grecian alarm clock that hubby helped our granddaughter Izzy make for school?  [Below is the picture I showed at the beginning of the month.]

Yesterday afternoon and evening Jerry took a break from the bedroom project and went to Izzy's school where she and her classmates demonstrated their projects for parents, grandparents, and friends.  I hated to miss it, but I had to stay home and work on Sunday's presentation since my computer was covered over all day while the room was being worked on.  Jerry was very impressed with the students and their projects.

Izzy left bright and early this morning to fly to Milwaukee with her Dad.  He took her to work with him for the next two days.  She was excited about her daddy/daughter time as well as flying for the first time.

Is she excited or what?  ;-)

Such a good daddy to make memories that will last a lifetime.  So proud of you, Jeremy, and happy for you, Izzy!  

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Office Renovation Has Begun

I only have a few minutes for a progress report and then my temporary desk will be covered with a paint tarp.

Yesterday was a strenuous day for my hubby as he removed the 'monster' computer desk and lateral file cabinet from the office.   We donated it to a resale shop, and were glad to be rid of it.  It served us well for several years, but was just too big to keep.

The room is empty now except for the table of computer equipment. When my hubby disconnected all the equipment wires yesterday to remove the desk, he created a nightmare for himself by not marking them. Our landline phone still isn't working!  We'll call AT&T to come out after the new furniture is installed.  Fortunately we both have our cell phones.  If hubby had his way we'd cancel the landline and just use our cell phones.  Do you still have a landline?  Old habits die hard for me.

The border is the last visible memory of my Sandy Clough tea lady days left in the office.  We put the border on one wall when I was an independent distributor for her company, A Sandy Clough Tea.  I was ready for it to be taken down.  Life has long-since moved on, and the company no longer exists.

Today is paint day.  Monday the carpeting will be cleaned.  I watched a YouTube video on how to steam the indentations out of carpeting left by furniture, but I can't try it until the carpeting is cleaned.  Hope it works.  I really don't want to replace the carpeting if I don't have to.  Fortunately berber is durable.

Hubby is ready to get busy so I will sign off for now.  The timer for my tea just went off in the kitchen so it's time for a morning cuppa.  More reports to follow as the project progresses.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Happy Spring!

As I type this post about the first day of spring, it's 27 degrees in the city where I live.  It doesn't feel like spring, but the sky is clear and the sun is shining, so by faith spring is coming!

Happy Spring everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Weekend Happenings

I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  Last Friday afternoon my hubby asked if I wanted to go to a pub to eat.  He's a school board member and received a gift card to the pub from one of the elementary schools during Board Appreciation Month in January.

Roger's Roost is close to our house, yet this was our first visit.  The duo from American Pickers TV show would have loved it with all its memorabilia from times past.  I discovered the pub was established in 1968.

It was all decked out for St. Patrick's Day.  My hubby ordered fish and chips, and I did likewise, but later wished I would have gotten a Reuben sandwich.  Not that the fish wasn't good, but the Reuben would have been more in keeping with St. Patrick's Day.

It was late afternoon so the lunch hour had passed, and it wasn't time for the dinner crowd - a perfect time to go.  

Very nostalgic similar to Cracker Barrel.

Barnes and Noble sent an e-mail that the Beatrix Potter book I ordered had arrived, so from the pub we went to pick it up. I will begin reading it today as my presentation is this coming Sunday.

A large Marshalls/Home Goods store is right next door, and I never pass up an opportunity for a quick stop when I'm in the area.  I was hoping a 222 Fifth teacup in the Sydney pattern might have come in, but no such luck.  I was pleasantly surprised to see dessert plates and bowls in that pattern, however, so they came home with me.

And these cute bunny napkin rings.

When we got home I called seven Home Goods stores within a 40 mile radius searching for one more bunny teacup, to no avail.  Guess I'll just have to hope they bring the pattern back again next year at Easter time.

Saturday was a full day.  After breakfast Jerry and I went to Ikea to purchase a wall storage unit for my newly renovated office.  Ikea opened in nearby Canton, MI in 2006, but this was our first time to shop there. Oh!  My!  Goodness!  What a store!  It was almost overwhelming.  Since it was Saturday, it was packed with people.

Below is the compartmentalized unit I bought, only  a bit larger - mine is about 6' tall and has 25 compartments.  Lots of storage for all my 'stuff.'  ;-)  I got a new desk chair, and a small work table too.

Then it was back home to work on emptying out the contents of the two computer desks so hubby can dismantle them to paint.  I sorted, pitched and shredded. It will be an ongoing task from the guest bedroom, but it's out of the office. My computer desk never looked so orderly!  ;-)  

By 10:00 o'clock last night the office was bare and empty of 'stuff.'  I can hardly wait to get rid of the two bulky computer desks, and have a nice compact, efficient work space.  I had a nostalgic moment before shutting the light off at bedtime, reflecting back 40 years earlier when this was our son's bedroom with a red, white, and blue theme. Our country's Bicentennial was still fresh in everyone's mind, so one wall had a Revolutionary War wallpaper mural that was accented by royal blue carpeting.  Even at eight years old Steve loved history, and later it was his major in college.  How quickly the years have passed!

This will make the fourth transition for this bedroom.  Onward and upward - nothing is forever [except eternity]!

~ Making Progress ~

Friday, March 16, 2018

A New Herbal Tea and Book

When Adagio Teas sent me their magical Bella Luna Blue Tea to sample and review, they also enclosed a package of their new Honeybush Banana Nut Tea.   It's listed under their Rooibos teas because honeybush is grown in South Africa too.  I don't recall sampling honeybush tea before.  I feel rooibos is an acquired taste, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect with honeybush, but  I was pleasantly surprised.  The aroma that wafted from the bag when I opened it was enough to make me eager to try it.  It was delicious and perfect for evening when caffeine isn't desired.   I can't praise this herbal tea enough!  I'll definitely be ordering some.

The fourth book I ordered from Amazon arrived in yesterday's mail.  

The main difference between an umbrella and a parasol is its size and purpose.  Parasols are smaller and lighter than umbrellas, and are used only to shade people from sun.  Often they're made with fabric that isn't waterproof.  Umbrellas are a protective device against rain and wet weather.  They're made with waterproof material and are more durable than parasols.

Renovation begins on my office tomorrow. Not sure how much blogging will be accomplished while that's in progress. Wishing everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day!  It's on my agenda to make some Irish Soda Bread.  My DNA says I'm 28% Irish! ;-)

The shamrock china pictured below is called Shannon by I. Godinger & Co.  I bought it at HomeGoods several years ago.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Returning to Littlefield Presbyterian Church

In 2016 I was invited to speak to the ladies of Littlefield Presbyterian Church, Dearborn, MI, at their Spring Tea.  I spoke about Queen Elizabeth II, since she had just celebrated her 90th birthday two days before.

I recently received another phone call inviting me to return for their Spring Tea coming up on May 12th.  I gave them my list of topics and they chose Parasols, Fans, Hankies and Gloves.

I seldom present identical programs, so I went to Amazon's book section to see what books were available on those four items to enhance information I already had.  Three of the four books I ordered have arrived, and the other one should be coming any day.

The book on gloves is a used book, and it came from the Chicago Public Library [via the online book retailer glassfrogbooks].  

I'm most intrigued with the third book on hankies with the cute title, Hanky Panky,  because it was authored by Helen Gustafson [published in 2002]  one year before her death.

Helen was the tea buyer and manager of the tea service at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.  She was also a tea service consultant to hotels and restaurants, and a lecturer on the history of tea - kind of like England's Jane Pettigrew today. In her photograph below, she does look like a dainty hanky type lady, doesn't she?

It was said of her:  "Ms. Gustafson was tea's ambassador at a time when diners sipped French roast and other strong coffees but thought tea was limited to Lipton." 

Her tea book, The Agony of the Leaves [published in 1996], has been in my tea library for many years with several lines highlighted throughout.

I can hardly wait to delve into these books and find interesting information to share with the ladies of Littlefield Presbyterian Church.

Do you collect gloves, fans, or hankies?  The Kleenex industry has almost made hankies extinct, and gloves have been relegated to the medical, food service, and gardening professions, or a wintertime necessity for keeping hands warm.  But Queen Elizabeth II can always be counted on to be seen wearing dress gloves.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Spring Purchases

As promised yesterday, today I'm sharing Saturday's other destination and the purchases I made.  

Those who know me well, or have followed my blog for any length of time, know I love seasonal dishes and tablescapes.  This is the time of year when St. Patrick's Day, Easter, and Spring dishes and decorations abound in stores.  

Since we're still having 30 degree weather with snow flurries in Michigan, it did my heart good last Friday to pop into a few of stores and be reminded that spring is coming in spite of conflicting weather.  My first stop was a large Marshalls/HomeGoods store.

Last year I purchased four bunny plates [because that's all I could find], but I really wanted a minimum of six, and eight would have been ideal.  To my delight, they brought the dishes back again this year - no luncheon/salad plates at that particular store, but I found a tea set. I almost did a happy dance in the aisle!  The dishes are by 222 Fifth and the pattern is Sydney.  I guess that's the bunny's name!  ;-)

I quickly scooped it up, before anyone else had a chance to put it in their shopping cart.

Since I'm doing a presentation about Beatrix Potter the end of the month, I couldn't resist the sweet lamb as a prop for just $6.99.

Next stop on the agenda was the Christmas Tree Shop.  There I found lovely Celtic Stoneware plates for $2.99 each.  Can you believe it?  Since I have five ladies in my Bible study group I only bought six plates, but I'm thinking I need to go back and get two more [if they're still there].

They also had an assortment of resin Irish figurines for $1.99 each.  Four of them went into my shopping cart.

The shamrock placemats are from Kohl's and are currently on sale for $2.87 each.  They were Friday purchases too.

From the Christmas Tree Shop I went to Pier I.  I should point out that all the stores are close together, so it's not like I ran all over town.  Pier I had the perfect printed napkins to go with the bunny dishes. They were on clearance for $3.38 each.  The blueish napkins with white edging are from Marshalls/HomeGoods.  

Satisfying my need for a 'spring fix' in addition to spending enough for one day, I decided to call it quits and go home.  But Saturday was a new day!

When my hubby and I left Somerset Mall, I knew there was a HomeGoods store close by, so I asked him if I could run in real quick to see if they had any bunny luncheon/salad plates.  Well, they not only had two of them, but also five teacups and saucers!  I couldn't believe my eyes!

Now I just need one more teacup and I'll be as happy as a clam!  There's a couple more HomeGoods stores to check out as soon as I find a day to do it.  I'll let you know if I find it. So far the luck of the Irish has been with me!

Have you made any new purchases recently?


Monday, March 12, 2018

A New Office on the Horizon

I probably spend more time in my office than any other room in my house.  I usually eat my breakfast at my computer desk, and sip my tea there throughout the day.  It's where I write my blog, conduct research, compose scripts for all my presentations, write e-mails, and so much more.  

When the last of our children left home, we turned the smallest bedroom into an office.  At that time my hubby and I both had desktop computers, so two computer desks occupy the small room. I'm not a hoarder, but I do tend to be a bit of a packrat [please tell me there's a  difference!!] when it comes to paperwork - hence the accumulation of 'piles'.  My hubby gave up his desktop long ago in preference to a laptop, but the two desks have remained in the office.

I've known the office needed my attention for a very long time, but I also tend to be a procrastinator particularly when it comes to time-consuming, tedious projects.  Over the weekend, however, I bit the bullet!

I follow Susan Herin's blog Between Naps on the Porch and love it.  If you don't follow it, you really should. It's very informative on so many different subjects. Last week she shared her office, or what she refers to as her nest.  Her desk and cabinets are Pottery Barn modular components.  I particularly liked the corner desk since my room is small, and a corner desk utilizes every inch of space.  The Pottery Barn associate said the Bedford Collection is their most popular seller.

[Pottery Barn Website Photo]

Below is a photo of Susan's office.  Unfortunately not all of her modular components are still available.  She also shared a large compartmentalized cabinet from Ikea that she put in a closet. My hubby uses the closet in our office, so that's not an option for me, but I'm going to purchase it for one wall.  A visit to Ikea is forthcoming.

When I received Pottery Barn's e-mail informing me of their sale in progress, I decided to pay them a visit last Saturday, and I ordered the corner desk in addition to three cabinets.  All the drawers are tongue-and-groove, and sturdily built. 

Below is a picture of my current office.  It's the 'before' photo, and I can't believe I'm actually posting it!  You can see my piles of 'stuff', but I promise you they'll be gone when I get my new furniture.  I can hardly wait for the two computer desks to be removed, and replaced by one new efficient one.

I'll be sure to post an 'after' photo when we're finished with the room.  We're going to paint and get the carpeting cleaned before installing the new furniture.  One project leads to 10!  I like the light beige walls, but my hubby said he wouldn't re-paint if I stayed with the same color, so we're switching to a light green.  It's a Benjamin Moore color called  'Jack and the Beanstalk'.  My granddaughter has it in her living room and when we were there last week he commented that he really liked it.  Of course, that means a new window treatment too. Stay tuned for photos of the finished room.  Dismantling the current desks and painting will begin soon.

While I was at Somerset Mall on Saturday [where Pottery Barn is located]  I paid a visit to a ladies' shop that my daughter-in-law told me about.

Aside from the beautiful feminine clothing, the store is unique because it's faith-based. Biblical verses are tastefully displayed throughout the store. I asked permission to take photos to share with you.  I didn't purchase anything Saturday since my hubby was with me. Unlike me, he's not a shopper and buys everything he possibly can online, but I have to see what I'm purchasing.  Their pricing was moderate, and they have a 'give back' policy.  I'm anxious to return by myself.

Devotional books for sale in the store.

If you're a local reader, be sure to pay them a visit the next time you're at Somerset.  They're located on the second level, section S [near Macy's].   The cute, young sales associate told me to be sure to take a picture of their fitting rooms.

Since we parked near Macy's we entered the mall through their store and exited the same way.  Just before exiting I spotted an encased J.L. Hudson's Department Store drinking fountain that was taken from the iconic downtown Detroit location. Hudson's once occupied Macy's current suburb location [sob, sob!].  Of course I HAD to take a picture of it .

Once in the parking lot my hubby asked, "Can we go home now?"  Yes... but not before one more stop.  Tomorrow's post.