Sunday, October 30, 2011


Do you mind me showing off my new sink?! I am in love with it. In fact, I have been washing dishes in it rather than the dishwasher because I love it so much. That's true love. On the other oven has died. There is a problem with the computer panel and I believe I have to get that replaced {the computer panel}. So now that the kitchen is done...I have a glitch. Only me. I can use the stove top, so we won't have to go back to fast food. I was hoping for a moment that the whole thing was shot but I guess I am not going to get out of cooking.
Yesterday was gorgeous, brisk and sunny. I ran errands and The Husband ran his errands and then we met at a little pub called Joe Daniels. We shared a big bowl of chili and a steak sandwich and watched college football. Well, I don't watch football, so I people watched. I can do that for a long time.

On the way home we stopped at my favorite nursery so that I could get new pumpkins {now that the squirrels have feasted on the buffet I put out last week}. I bought one for me and one for Abby to carve, but she was immersed in a scary movie. So I got to work with my nifty little orange knife. One guy is mean and one is happy. I was really looking forward to toasting those seeds, but that is when I found out my computer panel had died. I'm really not having much pumpkin luck this year.

I'm still working on putting the kitchen back together. It seems that all of my dishes, pot and pans and serving platters and bowls have multiplied since I stored them in the family room. I have the essentials in place and they look nice and neat but I still have so much more to squeeze in. If only the carpenter could make a few extra cabinets. So, I'm still plugging away at that.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week. I have a few paint projects I am going to start working on and I will share them with you soon. See ya! :-D

I am joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday! Thanks for hosting each week, Marty!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Today I thought I would show you a bit of the's almost completed. The counter tops are Italian granite and called Summer Wheat. I think that is the best description of them. My cabinets are pine. They have been refinished and I am loving the shine. The knobs and pulls are on, they are brushed nickel. You can see in the picture that 2 drawer fronts are missing, they are being made as well as another cabinet door. Otherwise we just need a few more knobs and pulls {I miscounted}.
This is a closer view. I like that the granite has more marbling than spots. I kept my wall tile which is white with a few squares of French wine labels that I had hand painted years ago.

So that is where we are at. The carpenter is here now putting a few more doors on. Then I have to run to Home Depot for the rest of the hardware. I counted these knobs at least 5 times and still came up short! Only me! Tomorrow I am going to start putting my dishes and everything else back in. I am trying to show some restraint with what I put on the counters. I purged a lot so I have room for bigger appliances, like the KitchenAid Mixer to fit in the cabinets. I want fun, pretty things on the counters!! The Husband thinks I am going to keep them bare, ha ha!
I have been laying a little low the last couple of days, I have an ear infection. I never get those and didn't even know I had one until I went to my doctor for a check up Tuesday. So I am putting in ear drops and then I have to lay on my side for awhile for them to get down in there. Okay by's my favorite position. Tomorrow is my hair appointment, grocery shopping and a lot of laundry for my son that is moving out. This weekend we will clean up the yard and patio and put the summer stuff away at this house. It's not easy having 2 homes and don't get me started on the double gas, electric, water and lawn care bills. Reality stinks.

I brought this English lavender plant home from where I bought it in Michigan. I know that it is too late to plant it in the ground and have it establish roots before the ground freezes, so I am babying it at home in my garden window. It's actually looking better than it did when I first brought it home. Has anyone ever tried this? With any plant?

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing the counter tops...I will take complete pictures when the island comes, which by the way, The Husband thinks will not fit in the kitchen. That is if we want to get into the cabinets. I say tough! ;-D

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Just a quick post before I run out the door to do some errands. It's so beautiful out, I couldn't pick a better day to get out of the house. 60 degrees, sunny...the light filtering through the ever changing colors of the trees. Such a nice change from all the rain we had last week.

We had a great weekend at the lake. The ride up to Michigan is wonderful at this time of year. I was a little disappointed when I got there and saw that the marina had taken our boat to store for the winter. No last joy ride.
I took some pictures of all the plants that we had to bring in now that the temps are dropping so low at night. They really do well with all the sun we get through the windows. I lost one fern last year...they just need more water than the rest. The Husband's palms always seem to make it no worse for the wear.

We brought provisions with us...Italian meats and cheeses and fresh bread and just rented a movie Saturday night. Of course, it put me to sleep. Somehow, The Husband manages to stay up late and get up early.
Sunday I took my time cleaning, the kind of cleaning I like. A little dusting and sweeping, watering plants and just fluffing a bit. Then I moved outside and cleaned out and scrubbed the refrigerator that we have outside. It was so nice, I couldn't bear to go back inside so I just sat on the patio and enjoyed the fresh air.

I wish I had more to report on the kitchen. The cabinets should be ready soon, but we keep hearing that. I anticipated that this wasn't going to be a totally smooth ride, so I'm not that inpatient {yet}. The new dishwasher is in and we have ordered new counter stools. The island is going to be ready to ship November 13. It will be so nice to have everything in it's place. I hope you don't mind me going on and on about all of this. It seems to monopolize my life.

On a totally unrelated side note, the pumpkins are gone. The squirrels scooped out all the seeds to bury, and scattered the remains all over the lawn. Of course I knew this would happen but I just love seeing those sweet pumpkins on my porch for the little time I have them.

It is going to be a busy week. Son Jeff is moving out, it makes me a little sad. He's been living here at home since January and I am kind of used to having him around. He has an apartment on the north side of Chicago. Emily is decorating it for him and she is having a ball. Last night she went to Target and bought all of his sheets, towels, rugs and lamps. She and a friend had 3 carts. Can you imagine? I'll miss him though.

Well, I've rambled on enough...I'll be back later in the week. I hope you are having a good one! :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011


Not a very pretty sight is it? it happens every year...I put out the pumpkins and the squirrels come running. This makes me sad. This is the guy I was going to carve. Guess I will have to make another trip to my nursery so I can have one all lit up on Halloween. Isn't it creeping up fast? I haven't even bought my candy yet.
The little varmints got at this gourd, too. Even Milo standing guard at the door doesn't help.
But I still have some pretty ones, they haven't gotten to these yet. I am trying to look on the bright side. And it happens every year, so I should be used to it. Do you have critters getting at your stuff?
The mums just keep getting prettier. We have had a whole week of rain and gloominess here. Last night while driving in the rain with the windshield wipers slapping away at the drops, I thought, well, here it is, the beginning of the dreary weather. But all my flowers got watered by Mother Nature and today it is sunny and gorgeous.
We took a ride to Home Depot and bought the knobs and pulls for the cabinets. They are the brushed nickel half cup thingies. The cabinets are supposed to be done next week. I think I finally have gotten the hang of things having only a partial kitchen. I am keeping the essential pots and pans, knives and spoons, cutting boards and can opener on the open shelves. Ordering out was getting monotonous, not to mention expensive. I never thought I would get tired of pizza! was a slow week. I received some the 'activewear' that I ordered online, but it's not making me feel very active. And I tried to go off coffee creamer cold turkey and made it 4 days. My friend Julie from Being Ruby happened to remark on the container of French Vanilla creamer in one of my photos, "It's death in a cup!" I know it's the sugar that keeps me heaping it into my coffee and with the needle on the scale not budging, I knew we had to part ways. Then I was in CVS yesterday and I was slowly being drawn to the coffee aisle, telling myself, "Don't do it". But I did. I am happy and guilty, and a very bad girl.
The rainy weather had me catching up on my romantic novels. This author is pretty good and her books always take place by the water or mountains or just about anywhere beautiful. We are moving from lakehouse weather to lodge weather so I better read this fast. Beach Read time is over.

Well, I am going to spend the afternoon sorting out my summer clothes to pack away and bring out the sweaters. It's a monstrous job if you knew what a clothes hound I am. Then off to the lake we go tomorrow morning to get more of the summer things put away. Hopefully the marina hasn't taken our boat away for storage and we can get one last ride in. What's up this weekend for you? :-)

Monday, October 17, 2011


To me, fall is all about colors. Our leaves haven't really changed too much so I was able to get my fix at the local garden center on Saturday. The weather was perfect and the sun was shining.
I've been going to this nursery for 25 years...I get my flowers here in the summer and my Christmas tree in the winter.
They have the cutest little scarecrows, corn stalks and flags. It hard not to go nuts in here.
I love yellow and white mums, but we did those last year and this time Emily was with me and picked her own color palette.
Here is what my porch looks like with all the annual flower pots gone and the mums and pumpkins and gourds out. Everything but the mums were bought in Michigan last weekend and they rolled around in my car for a week and some of the stems cracked off. I was worried that the squirrels would get to them and instead it was me.
Aren't these darling?
Some of my impatiens are still going strong so I left them.

So, my fall decorating is done. It is looking a little crowded in my house. Maybe it is the contrast of the decorated living room and mantel and the emptiness of the kitchen. Just a few more days and the cabinets will be done and I can show you. I actually made stew last night after digging around in my piles for a pot, spoon, knife and cutting board. It's amazing what our kitchens hold. And I am sorry to say that I didn't get a picture of Sexy Irish Plumber when we had the sink installed...another guy came and although he was also a S.I. P., it wasn't the same guy. And, The Husband was home and I think he would have frowned on me taking pictures of the plumbers.

Hopefully I will be back this week with a reveal post, as long as their aren't any snags, and so far there haven't been any. Lucky me. :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Oh Happy Day...the new counter tops are on, yet we still have so far to go. I took some before pictures. These are the old counters, they look like a green marble but they are actual a man made version similar to Corian. They were scratched and had some cracks and I was really sick of green. In this picture you can see the pine cabinets and white knobs. The fronts were taken off by the carpenter yesterday and he is repairing them as they were breaking off of their hinges. My counter look awfully bare here because I had spent 2 days taking everything out of the kitchen.
This picture says one thing to me: "Get the take out menus!" This is after out friend, Nuts, came and took the counter tops off. Last night we went to a place called Leona's for dinner and the night before we ordered stuffed pizza. Tonight, hmmmm...I'm not sure.
I survive on this most of the day. In between workers, I am going to slip out to the grocery store and buy things that we can keep in the fridge, that can be microwaved and eaten on a paper plate. All my food has been packed up and put in the den. All of my dishes, pots and pans, glassware, platters and a whole lot of other stuff have been relegated to the family room. We don't expect the cabinets to be done until sometime next week. Now, I have to pick out knobs and pulls. I am thinking of the brushed nickel cup shaped thingies I have at the lake. Any other suggestions of what you personally like or a place to shop for them? I was just going to mosy over to Home Depot.
These go well with coffee.
Meet The Fabricators. Peter and ? There they are taking the granite tops off the truck. And the final reveal... have to wait for it because I want you to see the whole kitchen completely finished. I'm a real spoil sport.

Other than cleaning out the kitchen and then cleaning inside all the cabinets, this has been sort of like camping. We are using a lot of paper and plastic as I don't like the idea of washing dishes in the bathroom sink...even though I'd like to think it was clean, we've all had colds. And the best part, I wake up to a clean kitchen because there is nothing in it!

Well, I won't bore you any more...I am just SO EXCITED! Tomorrow Sexy Irish Plumber comes and since I didn't hesitate to get a picture of Peter and ?, I will get one of S.I.P. I lost my train of thought there...he is hooking up the sink, garbage disposal and nifty new dishwasher. And finally, just a few more weeks until my island comes. Did I mention I was excited? I will see you in a few days with something totally unrelated to my kitchen and hopefully soon it will be all done! :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011


The weather was gorgeous this weekend as I'm sure it was all over. We spent the weekend at the lake, driving up Saturday morning. I missed the Na Da Farm event as The Husband couldn't get off work early enough to make the 2 1/2 hour drive before it ended. I was disappointed but I knew it was a long ride and I'm always happy with how enthusiastic he is about going to blogger events and supporting me when I want to meet bloggers. He is one of the few men that actually loves shopping and antiquing...I'm really lucky to have him. So, I will have to plan to go to the spring event at the farm.

Tomatoes are still on the vine next door at my neighbor Susie's house and she is always kind enough to bring some over. Here I served them with olive oil and some dried Italian spices. Yum.
Our fall clematis is in full bloom on the arbor. It's beautiful, isn't it?
These little blooms were growing on the other side of the arbor and I don't remember planting anything like it. It's another climber. Does anyone recognize it?
This is my one and only rose from the climber that we planted this summer. I was thrilled to even get one bud. At least I know what color roses I will have.
Roses blooming and acorns falling. I gathered some before The Husband swept the patio. The sweet guy also brought in all of the plants, including the palm trees and monster hibiscus. While the patio is looking empty, my house looks like a greenhouse. And can you believe I still have daisies blooming?
Our friends Craig and Snow got up late Saturday and as always brought gobs of food. We nibbled on meats and cheeses with focaccia bread before a big steak dinner. Then it was a long chat in front of the bonfire.
I mentioned the Under The Harvest Moon Festival in my last post. I went to it shortly after we arrived at the lake. There were all sorts of activities and vendors and fun all around. I met up with the sister in law of a blogger that I met in Asheville...Penny from Lake Lure Cottage. Sister in law, Barb, is from Dowagiac, Michigan where the festival was held. We had lunch together at a wonderful restaurant right in town called Woodfire. We had a table by a window and we watched everyone enjoying the fest. What a sweet lady she is...we really had a nice time together. Hopefully we will get together again in the future.
This vendor was selling the most beautiful quilts...
...and this little guy was sitting outside the restaurant.
I took this picture for Lynn from Happier Than A Pig In Mud. I'm sure Earl is happy he is safe and sound at home with Lynn.

This week is CRAZY. Tomorrow the carpenter is coming to take all the cabinet doors and old counter tops. Wednesday the new counter tops are coming and being installed. Thursday the plumber {the sexy Irish guy} is coming to install the sink and faucet, etc., and Saturday the dishwasher is coming. Today I have to pack up everything in the kitchen and put it somewhere. This is not going to be a fun project and there is no one here to help. But I'm happy to say that everything will be done in a few days and all I have to do is wait for the island to come. I'll take pictures of the mess before and then after.

More fall decorating is taking place. My car is full of pumpkins and gourds that I bought at my friend Sue's farm stand. I also bought a lavender plant that I have to get in the ground today. The gourds are seriously cute...very big and shaped like swans. Well, that will be another post. I'll see you all when the kitchen is done. Have a happy week. :-)

I'm joining Marty's party, Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


It is so good to be home again. We got in about 9:00 Tuesday night and it was so nice to sleep in my own bed. I hope we can eliminate this trip in the future {without sounding ungrateful, I hope}, as I think I have seen enough of Vegas for awhile. That said, we will be returning in June for Abby's 21st birthday, we have quite a large group going so far and I think it will be a blast. But the October trip...we'll see. There are so many other places to see and experience. But I did have fun and didn't lose my pants.

I came home to a bunch of dead sunflowers and dirty dishes but it was less of a mess than I expected. I spent yesterday getting the house in order and then had some quality time with my laptop checking out blogs and doing a little shopping. I needed some 'Activewear'. Somehow that seems to be the wrong thing to call it. I call it 'Laying Around Wear'. It was a productive virtual shopping trip and I even hit a few sales.
My son Jeff carried up the box of fall decorations from the basement and I added a few things here and there. My mantel is not satisfactory to me yet so I am going to play with it more. This is a neat wreath, you can hang it or lay it flat with a candles in the middle.
All is quiet on the kitchen reno front...the carpenters are working on the cabinets someway, somewhere, and the fabricator came last week and measured my counters and could be, at this very minute, be making my new counter tops. He said 10 days. But the cabinet fronts need to be done first. I am wondering if I have to empty them out if they are just installing the fronts. I really don't want to have to do that. I thought about making a little project out of eating everything that's canned or dried without buying anything else. Sort of how you clean out your vegetable bins by making soup. That will be less to take out. Smart. eh?
We have a busy weekend coming up. There is an event that Anne Marie from NaDa Farm has every spring and fall {she is a sweet and wonderful blogger}. She lives about 2 hours from here so I have talked The Husband into coming home early so we can be there for the Friday night opening of the weekend event on her farm. I missed it last spring as we were in Asheville. I really am looking forward to this and can't wait to see Anne Marie once again, along with many other bloggers.

Saturday, we head back to the lake. Our friends Craig and Snow will be joining us. Craig and The Husband have all the work to do {taking the boats out of the water and putting all the summer stuff away}, and Snow and I will be heading off to Dowagiac for the Under The Harvest Moon celebration. I've never been to it so I'll have to tell you all about it next week. Doesn't it sound like fun? I can taste the apple cider already.
Early tomorrow I am going to go buy my mums. The ones in Michigan are less expensive but a little on the shaggy side. The pumpkins there are nice and I also get haystacks. Most of the farm stands are selling pies and bakery now, too. Yum! Next week I can get to work on the outside of my house.
That's all I have for fall decorating right now. I only do my living room and kitchen as those are the rooms we use the most. But you know how it goes...every year you see more that you want to buy and soon you are venturing into the bathroom and den....
This is a poor shot, I'm still using my cell camera. You might remember my buying the sheer curtains from Target and forgetting 2 panels. I went ahead and put these up since the other window in my bedroom is a garden window and I'm just not sure how they will look. Anyway, I think they look nice {pardon the ivy growing on the screen}. The afternoon sun looks so nice coming in.
I lightened up the bed linens too by taking the duvet cover off {yes, now that it is getting cold and we need it}, and putting a white coverlet over it. Then I layered it with an Ikea throw and some grain sack pillows. Layla is happy with it. She will be burrowing under in 5 minutes.

Well, that's all I have for the 2 days I have been back from Las Vegas and as I said, I am enjoying being home. Now I have to get back to the laundry so I have something to pack for this weekend. I hope you have a good one! :-)

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Well, it's day 3 in Las Vegas and we have done a little of everything. We have been spending more time walking around outdoors and shopping than we normally do. I haven't made any big purchases, everything here is a little glitzy to me. I did buy a pair of flip flops as they are more comfortable than my boots. Yep, boots and jeans and cardigans have been my mainstay and I have been perfectly comfortable. The weather has been gorgeous, just a bit hot in the sun but perfect in the shade. I snapped some pictures of the outdoor favorite places to eat.
I could rave about the food here all day long. I've never had a bad meal. I've forgotten to take pictures of some of the food we have tried here, but it's all been out of this world. I have also been treating myself to Starbuck's lattes and chocolate eclairs every afternoon. The heck with the diet, I'm on vacation.

You might think this is an outdoor cafe in the above picture but it is actually in the Paris Hotel where the ceiling is painted like the sky. We stayed here a few years ago and I loved the French feel to it. But again, the shopping in the hotels is rather glitzy.
Our room at the Rio is plain and simple and clean. We stay here free with all the comps we win on our rewards's complicated. but we stay here pretty often. It's pretty wild here with people running around in masquerade outfits; masks and feathers and the waitresses in teeny tiny clothing. Yep, makes you feel a little bad that you are eating eclairs everyday.
The Husband and I have been enjoying sleeping in our own beds. No dogs either. I finally have room to stretch.
This is my dream hotel, the Bellagio. Someday. I think we are eating lunch there tomorrow. This and the Venetian are two of the hotels I would love to stay at. Can you tell how nice the weather is?
Today the Bears played and it was on in the Sports Room. All the guys met there and I took my sweet old time sipping coffee and getting ready. Then I joined them in time for the horse races and won $35.00 on my first bet. I haven't been doing too well on the slot machines so that is why I decided to stay in the room tonight and just get room service. As I mentioned before, 2 wives couldn't come so I have been hanging out alone. The Husband says the slots put me in a trance anyway.

This is a picture of the Rio. It has pretty views all around and the landscaping is beautiful. I'll try to take more pictures outside tomorrow but it's hard with all the people milling about. I hope everyone had a good weekend. I have 2 more days here and then it is home sweet home. Abby keeps texting me pictures of the dogs and they have very mournful faces. I think they miss me! :-)