Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One down

Day one done, at least I'm done with day one! Lowe's & Home Depot with a couple of gift cards from my birthday and I only spent $60 out of pocket although I could've spent $600. I am not doing as much planting as in years past since we are putting in a patio so I'll need to do some landscaping and changing of plans as that happens. Today's main goal was to clean up the back porch and reclaim my morning coffee spot. Mission accomplished!

I always hang Boston ferns around the deck because I prefer that space to be greener than flowery. For one thing the ferns are low maintenance and love the direct sunlight and for another they provide natural shade on the west side of the deck.

But mainly I want the porch to be a quiet and peaceful place so lush plants and greenery serve the purpose well. In the flower box on the rail I planted lavender (center) and rosemary (on either side) to continue the green theme with the added bonus of an amazing scent, not to mention the herbs are at my finger tips for cooking by simply stepping out the back door!
Next a table top pond! I looooove water plants, ponds, water features and fountains but again, we are in a transition phase with the yard. Lowe's had this table top pond kit so I thought, why not?! And it's guaranteed to grow; so I basically can't go wrong!I'll admit, it's not all that beautiful at the moment but from past experience I know that pond plants are pretty easy to work with and I'll have my water feature to enjoy even if it is the size of a salad bowl! According to the box, the plants will come back after the winter freeze which I'm very interested to see since my previous container ponds have not survived year to year. Anyway, behold the pond!
Tomorrow the temperatures and humidity are supposed to be a little less steamy so I'll plan on filling my containers and doing some weeding and cleaning up. In the meantime, I just today realized I must have a contorted filbert or I shall die, simply die. So please send me $89 immediately.

3 to do

I took a little vacation time after working Memorial Day to stay home and give my yard some TLC. This is usually the sweet spot of Spring, warm and sunny and "safe" to plant but not too hot to be out doors. Ha! The joke's on me! It's about 80F or so here in The Mitten and that blasted air conditioning has already clicked on. I think I'll make one of my beloved lists and take it slow and easy. After all, the point is to be at home enjoying myself more than it is to work work work, right? Right? Right!
My top projects for now are cleaning up and prettying up my back porch which is my morning coffee destination: a few ferns to hang, something lovely in the window box which hangs from the railing and a general scrub down and that will be done. Easy enough, even if it is a little warmish. Next, forsythias (which I've been talking about for the last century or so.) Maybe I can talk Mac into digging the holes for those lovelies tomorrow since he's off work. My berry and herb garden needs some attention since I suspect there are Viet Cong hiding in there and I can't tell the weeds from the herbs! As for the salad garden, I'll think about that later. Those three projects may be enough of a challenge for the moment.
If I am successful without wilting into a pile of sweat, I'll post some "after" pics! Image: Backyard 2010. That fence line with the overgrown bushes on the right is now cleared out and awaiting forsythias!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Good morning

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 5:3

Saturday, May 28, 2011


1. Sore throat; started yesterday.
2. Dean's mom leaving for her move to Alabama today.
3. Might the sun come out for a minute or two today?
4. Laundry laundering...load number 3 in.
5. Shellac mani at Short Cuts $15 cheaper than at Sakora :)
6. Slightly sore muscles to match my sore throat, bummer.
7. Floods all over our area, thankful for a miraculously dry basement.
8. At the very least, I will sit on my back porch today even if I'm wrapped in a blanket.
9. My mom was making an orange marmalade cake yesterday, I think she should send samples to everyone she knows.
10. I've been awake for an hour and I think I need a nap.

Image: Daboyz putting together a basketball hoop. This has nothing to do with anything, just thought I'd share.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm floating...

Up at 4:45 and headed to work in a minute. Ever have a not-great week? I'm not going to call it a bad week because it wasn't, but it was a not-great week. So I have a challenge for you. I want to know where you find your favorite pick-me-up. It's too rainy, too cold, too gray. I've been too busy doing too many things I don't like. I have too many things I need to do that I haven't had time to work on. I am just too....
Well I'm too Eeyore and I need to be a bit more Tigger.
Did you ever see the Pooh episode wherein Pooh is on a bridge and Eeyore goes floating down the river past him? Pooh asks Eeyore what he's doing and Eeyore's reply is,
"I'm floating." in that sad monotone Eeyore voice. I think Tigger may have bounced him into the river accidentally, I don't precisely recall.
Well friends, I'm floating, in a sad monotone voice. I'm not sad but someone one or ones have bounced me into the river and I'm feeling rather water logged.
My inner Tigger is in your hands...
How do you pick yourself up?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Generation to generation...

Here we have another example of why I needed my camera!!

Introducing Mac (Da youngest of daboyz.) Notice his scrubs? That's because he has a great job as a mental health tech at the hospital where I work as a nurse. Contingent-as many or as few hours as works for him. He's been able to work 40 hours a week every week and his bank account has recovered from its all time low of $3.00...LOL.

Last week his loyal old Dodge pick-up finally gave up. Dean got it running long enough to get it to a dealership to beg for a little something on trade-in and they got much more for it than they had ever hoped. So with that old Dodge (all 180,000 miles of it) and a new job that allows him to make a payment Mac now has a 2008 Ford F-150! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Would a broken down truck usually be a reason for celebration? No it wouldn't. But that old beater drove Mac back and forth to high school and college and literally lasted until 3 days after his first paycheck. He wasn't even planning on buying a new vehicle immediately, his plan was to drive the Dodge until it died, which he did, he just didn't know how quickly the funeral was going to come!

Words cannot express his joy nor mine to hear him give God the thanks for provision from more than one source. In fact, this morning he insisted on driving me to work. To see your children reach that step into adulthood brings with it a new kind of worry and yes, even fear. You can no longer provide everything they will need and somehow all the statements of faith come to a head when you truly have no choice but to watch your child step out onto the prayers you have been saying over their lives since they were born.

The Lord doesn't tell me his plans for my boys. He only tells me what part I am to play and I have no choice but to be obedient believing that his plans for them and for me are good ones. Sometimes I want to say "No!"

Like when Mac announced that he was changing his major and starting over from teaching to nursing. Two years of college more or less wasted? "No!"


Like when he was asked by the medical director to apply for a position at my hospital, where he would be dealing with dangerous mentally ill people? "No!"


And even like when Mac said his dream was a Ford F-150 the day the Dodge wouldn't start and I said, "No. You can't shoot for the stars at this point in your life. You just need to get something to get you by."

And God said "Yes."

He is the builder of dreams that I only see the vapor of but are clear in the hearts of my children. Now that I cannot hold their hands and help them with homework, I find myself thankful for a God who was even bigger than the one I thought I gave them to when they were born. This God provides for them with no assistance from me.

God and Jay.

God and Mac.

God providing a future, with good things, to prosper and bless them.

Thank you Lord...for blessings begun years ago and still shining in the lives of my kids.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bedroom pics!

At last, the long awaited bedroom photo tour! My mom attended a church luncheon with my sister who handed off my camera which my mom dropped at my house so we are back in business!
Here we have the "before." Bedroom walls pistachio green which was my first decorating decision along the three year process. Furniture was my gramma's cherry Queen Anne set, beautiful but not my style. While my grandmother was more formal and understated in her decorating, I am farm-housey (are you surprised?), casual and a little eclectic. What this ultimately means is that my rooms have to evolve over time because while I know what I like, I need time to accumulate the elements.

To the right, the after! Walls still that pistachio green I chose in 2009. The bedroom set has been replaced with a Mission style set, a Christmas gift from the Mr. in 2010. This is my first new bedroom set since sixth grade! It's the style I've always wanted and I'm glad I waited 32 years...ha! Seriously, furniture is very expensive and this is an example of waiting for the thing you want. I love love love this furniture and every time I walk past my bedroom and get so excited to see it. The little corner of furniture in the left foreground is the dresser which matches the chest. As you can see, the headboard is rather high and substantial. The wall space behind the headboard is proportionately high on the wall and I wanted "words" there. I love reading, writing and words in general and I thought this space was the perfect place for a quote of some kind. Here again, we entered the waiting game. I couldn't find just the perfect phrase. The Mr. bought me a wall quote from Target, "Always kiss me good night." which was sweet, but not right. I hunted online for about two years before finding what I wanted except I didn't know what it was until I found it...
"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights.

I ordered it from a site called Trading Phrases, and I am so pleased with the results. The price was $25 and they send two of the decals in case the first application doesn't go well. Their selection is huge.

To the right I've pulled the camera back for a shot of the headboard space. The two wreaths were purchased from GardenRidge for $10 each. I added the orange flowers which were $1 per stem, I added two stems, for the orange accent. The pistachio green wall color doesn't really pop in the pictures like it does in person. My gramma would hate it, I love it! Speaking of Garden Ridge and things my gramma would hate; behold the hanging metal fish sculpture! This is the perfect example of not knowing what I wanted until I found it! And even when I found it I doubted my own decorating sense :) My feelings won't be hurt if you don't love it, like I said, I am eclectic. Most important to me is not finding the elements in my home hanging in someone else's home and I have yet to find this beauty anywhere. That wall has had nothing hanging there since my gramma's death as I looked and looked for the perfect something. The Mr. and I found this at Garden Ridge the same day we purchased the wreaths. We looked at it, said it was too wacky, came back and looked at it, said it was too expensive ($50), came back and said we liked it because it was wacky, walked away and came back and put it in the cart. Dean was drawn by the colors which are shimmery and beautiful and really capture the magic of light refracting off of water in a river or lake. The shape could be interpreted as modern but to my eye, it was nature represented in metal which is pure Arts & Crafts movement. Basically, we just loved it and it was the thing the room needed to be yet more of what it was meant to be. We came home and immediately hung it on the wall and I spent the rest of the afternoon standing in the doorway admiring it.

The final element was my Mother's Day gift from Daboyz, a comforter set from Target. This, I realize, might turn up in someone else's home but I love it anyway. It's a natural linen color with orange poppies, brown, green and yellow accents. I've had my eye on it for months but hadn't picked it up yet because I didn't have all of the accents on the walls and the bedding is the most expensive detail at $89 for the queen size comforter with two shams (actually a very reasonable price.) Dean gave me the coordinating orange sheets for Mother's Day. The small orange accent pillow was $9 from our Garden Ridge day. And now my friends, you have the Smith Master Bedroom! Three years in the making and worth every moment. The mixture of wood, color and very personal touches have finally come together to reveal the room I was waiting to show itself. Our bedroom is the oasis of our home, just for the two of us and a place where my brain automatically switches to rest-mode. I imagine that this bedroom doesn't reflect what many would want in a romantic space but romance is really a matter of what dwells inside and where we meet one another and in this case; whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

How can you not be happy living inside of that thought?

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

10 things you didn't need to know

1. What light through yonder window breaks, it is the sun?

2. The grass is as high as an elephant's eye!

3. I can't think of any more slightly amusing quotes.

4. Supposably I will get my camera back today.

5. I got my hairs did...uber cute.

6.I bought a night shirt to match my bedroom. Is that weird?

7. I am trying a switch from black to dark brown eyeliner...stay tuned!

8. Due to Donny's neck fat, he has out grown his collar and the next size up slips off over his little head. I'm thinking...belt?

9. Mac is having a great week...that will require a picpost.

10. Recent relaxation surprise discovery...opera. Who knew?

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 sentences

Friday off 'cause I'm working the weekend! Getting my hairs done in a half hour and then not sure what next. There are a few errands I'd like to run but I may just want to head home and straighten up around here then relax with a book. It's been a rough week at work so I probably need to recover a bit before I jump back in the ring tomorrow.
Hope you have a wonderful day whatever you're up to!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy in the day

Sometimes it seems like the day just rushes at you, doesn't it? When my alarm sounded at 4:45 this morning I was incredulous. The night was over already? The new day is here already? I read somewhere recently that a "trick" to welcoming the day is to prepare something that you will look forward to to turn the dread of a work day or boredom of an ordinary old day into a treat. This can be something as simple as a new shampoo or a different coffee cup or whatever. I've done this a bit of late and find such wisdom in it. Inserting some purposeful something into the day makes it just nicer.
Having a new set of clearance scrubs to wear to work today made me a little more excited to get the day going. Yesterday I made extra coffee before work and took a thermos with me to enjoy at my desk. Last week I went through my jewelry box and found a necklace I love but rarely wear and built an outfit around it. Sound a little simple? It's very simple and it works.
I have found a lift out of a midday slump by taking just a few minutes to think about the evening ahead and what we are having for dinner. I take advantage of the technology I usually dislike and will text the Mr. to stir up some kind of plans if we have none so that I have something to look forward to. Let's go out for burgers! Let's have homemade lemonade with dinner! Let's watch a movie when we get home!
I've run out of body wash and now I get to go buy a new scent and this has given me something to look forward to...choosing which one to try and then tomorrow....using it!
There are wonderful things that either drift through our days without our notice or could be easily added. Try it and I promise you'll add at least a moment or two of happy to your day. And is there any denomination of happy that is too small to bother with?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring, Sprang...Autumn?

Hello dere!

Autumn has arrived here in the Mitten with temperatures in the forties and howling winds whipping the....

Whipping the crap out of all of us who really just want to plant a forsythia or two! For heaven's sake!

The plummeting thermometer and gray sky make me want to go into hibernation mode from which I had only just started awakening a few weeks ago. Even Donny has reverted to sleepy hound dog eyes and deep snoring. I went into our bedroom a few moments ago to find him blinking at me as if to say, "Turn out the lights, it's time for bed." Jay went out to dinner with us but then went straight home to "hunker down." I'm not sure exactly what he's hunkering down in preparation for...our Michigan snowdar seems to be confused by the lack of sunshine!

I will not be defeated by this temporary set-back of Spring, I am simply putting long-sleeved t-shirts under the cute scrubs I just purchased for the new warmer season. I've brought the house plants back inside after a few days of being violently whipped about in the Spring/Fall weather. And Lord help us; we are sitting in front of a fire in the fireplace tonight and I am wearing flannel pajamas!

I could whine for a while more but the wearing of a jacket hardly seems reason to complain when our home isn't being swept away by a raging river, our floors aren't shaking in an earthquake, a nuclear power plant isn't poisoning the ground in which I want to plant those blasted forsythias. No. All is really and truly well after all. How much sweeter will those lovely sunshiny days seem when finally they come.

To everything there is a season...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

5 ways I do stuff because 10 would be too long

1. Buy souvenirs: go to a local antique store or thrift shop and find something interesting and wonderful and cheap to add to your home (like vintage salt & pepper shakers or a table cloth.) It will provide a memory of "that time", be functional and give your house individuality.

2. Give a gift when I seem to be desperately hunting for some undefinable something: Food! Cookies, brownies, banana bread. People really do love homemade goodies. Item #1 is another great option.

3. Make redecorating decisions: When in doubt, don't. I wait until I understand everything I need out of the space and add one element at a time until the room finds its way. I started with a bedroom wall color I loved in 2008. Last week I added the final detail with my new comforter set.

4. Manage my wardrobe: I pay attention to the items I always go back to and the items that I never seem to choose. Now I purchase only facsimiles of those stand-bys and I no longer care that my wardrobe doesn't seem to be large. My goal is to feel good in my clothes every day.

5. Change gears from work day to evening at home: Immediately put on pajamas and then cook dinner. There is no doubt when I'm wearing my jammies that the work day is over and it's time to relax.

Image: Homemade cookies on a funky plate purchased during vacation at an antique shop, $4.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Camera shy

I've been waiting and waiting to get my camera back so I could post pictures of all of our little home and garden projects but yet again...foiled! I left it at my sister's on Easter, she forgot to bring it over on Mother's Day and so on and so on and so on! So I come to you today sans photographs but still wanting to visit over the fence for a minute or two.
Mac is well into his orientation at the hospital and doing really well. He's enjoying it and it's a blessing for us to see that he takes pride in hard work. First paycheck on Friday!
I had a lovely Mother's Day with my parents, sister and brother-in-law joining the Mr., daboyz and me for dinner at our house. We love these family times together and always lay our heads on our pillows afterward with a heart of thankfulness. I made chicken and dumplings...how could a person not enjoy that? Dean and our kids got me the comforter set for our bedroom that I've been eyeing for months so someday when I get my camera back, expect to see how fabulous my bedroom looks.
The weather here in the Mitten is finally turning toward something other than frigid and so with cautious expectation, I hope to do a little outside planting in the coming weeks. Step one will be to move the house plants back onto the back porch, step two is planting forsythias at the south fence and step three is the patio! Again with the promise of photos! See how much you have to look forward to? LOL.
Well, I do believe I shall bid you good evening and enjoy a glass of ice water and some home decor magazine or other. I've already donned my pajamas and ironed my scrubs for tomorrow. Mac's on afternoons today so the Mr. and I find ourselves happily settled in to our quiet home alone for the first time in approximately 23 years. I think we'll survive...wink.
Much love to your home from my very full and peaceful heart!Image:http://www.vintagephoto.com/reference/cooleycamsm.jpg

Sunday, May 08, 2011

My mom gave me Jesus.

Psalm 116:16
Truly I am your servant, LORD; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Thinking about Mother's Day

1. Thinking that I should give gifts to my kids. Mother's Day gifts always make me uncomfortable.
2. Thinking about dinner at my house.
3. Thinking about (hopefully) sunny weather.
4. Thinking of my grandmothers.
5. Thinking about driving on the Lodge with my mom. Don't ask.
6. Thinking about my mom and Trish at Weight Watchers. Don't ask.
7. Thinking that my house smells like sewage because the basement flooded last week.
8. Thinking about my mom making my 9th Grade Dance dress and wondering if there are any pictures of it in existence, it was fabulous!
9. Thinking about all of the amazing moms I know and wishing I could buy a gift for each of them.
10. Thinking that daboyz are cute.
Image: My mom and I, Greenfield Village 1968

Monday, May 02, 2011

This morning

Lord, confuse the wicked and confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city.
Psalm 55:9
This morning on Facebook there were a number of posts that told me something had happened, it didn't take long to figure out what that something was. Osama BinLaden is reported dead; killed by our troops in Pakistan. He was shot in the head, his body DNA confirmed and then buried at sea says our president. I am among those who wait for those ever-present photographs and videos to prove it. Call me a conspiracy theorist, call me paranoid. Nothing escapes cell phone cameras and military video so this shouldn't be hard to prove.
Did you celebrate when you heard? Laugh, cry, high five? I cried. And my heart is sober. I do not believe this will end terrorism but in fact, I believe our enemies are now enraged. I am glad BinLaden is dead, I wish he could die about 3,000 more times if you want to know the truth. My 9/11 fury has never subsided.
David Wilkerson, by many considered to be a prophet of our generation died last week. Osama Bin Laden, the enemy of our generation died last night. The end of days pulls ever closer and we have stepped again into one of those moments in history that have occurred since the death of Jesus...everything has dropped into place.
I started this morning praying for our troops and for the safety of our nation but my spirit has found its mark as I pray for the confusion of the enemies of God. Let those who served BinLaden find themselves in chaos of their minds as well as their armies. Let those who are led into the enemy's deception find themselves second-guessing their beliefs.
God, confound your enemies for I hide in your shadow. It is not the enemy of America against whom I war but the enemy of Jehovah. Dispatch your angels to stand guard around the walls of Israel and keep your children sheltered beneath your wings. Encourage the hearts of our soldiers and anoint the minds of our leaders. Amen.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

Psalm 19:9-10
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.