Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Implementing Life's Lessons

I have previously written of some of the lessons that the Universe wanted me to learn. The two most important lessons I learned from the Cajun people of South Louisiana - The importance of Family and The Enjoyment of Life.

All too often Life places obstacles in our path. Sometime these obstacles are small and easy to overcome and other times they can be very daunting and almost over-whelming. But we must always remember that we are never alone in tackling these difficulties, no matter the size. Family and Friends (and really, aren't our friends part of our Family?) are there to help us on that journey we call Life. They are there to listen when we need to talk, lend a hand when we need help, share in our joys and our woes. All we need to do is ask for their help.

So, when my oldest son called last week needing assistance, I did not hesitate to say that I would be there to lend a hand - even though it meant that the completion of our house makeover would be delayed. Ten days ago, my daughter-in-law was in a 4-wheeler accident and broke her collar bone. And while my son is a very capable young man, the stress and strain of working full time, running the house, and taking care of their two little girls and his wife was rapidly becoming too much. My DIL's family lives nearby and have been great to lend assistance but they all work so their time is limited. I flew out to Denver this past Saturday and will be here till about mid-May when I'll head back home for my Hubby's college graduation.

Please send positive healing energy my DIL's way. She may be looking at surgery if the brace doesn't pull the bone back into place.

And this recent accident has only proved that Life can be so uncertain. One never knows when something can happen. We should all strive to live each and every day to its fullest. Every day dawns anew - a fresh start - a chance to fulfill dreams.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cat Tales ~ Cousin Jane

Today Me is doing a "Meow-out" to our cousin Jane in Missouri. Jane lives with Mommy's daughter. Mommy said that she got a boo-boo and has to wear this..... 

Me thinks that she got one of them new-fangled satellites. And now Jane can hear stations all the way from Catland.

Purz and Catnip Dreams... Gomez

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Art of the Egg

To learn more about the International Egg Art Guild, Click Here!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Living in the South ~ The WildWoods

When we relocated to Mena, we moved to a unique house located in a small woods a few miles outside of town. The property on which the house is located is as unique as the house. 
The house was built in the 1950s by a retired Military officer. He fell in love with the manor houses of Germany while he was there during WWII. When he came back to the states, he decided to build a house similar to those he saw. He built a 3800 sq ft cinder block house. All the walls are cinder block. Even the interior walls are cinder block. The layout is interesting and quite a few people have commented on how comfortable the house feels.  
(I even have a real Harry Potter under-the-stairs closet & Hubby is still looking for the hidden bunker that he just knows the original owner had installed.... )

The property is located next to a school which serves the small communities on the west side of the county. The original property encompassed several acres complete with an orchard, but as the school grew, they began to purchase some of the property for expansion. Eventually the school purchased everything - the house, the land and all out buildings. That's where we came in. The school was needing money for a paved track for track and field events. They put the house, outbuildings and two acres up for sale. And we bought it. The school kept 10 acres of the original property to keep in its natural state for an outdoor classroom. Our house is totally surrounded by that outdoor classroom. The kids of the school maintain the trails in the woods (outdoor classroom) and keep trash and dead-fall picked up. I have enjoyed seeing the kids ooh and aah over the things to be discovered in these woods. I can hear the band practice in the morning, and see the kids run laps through the woods (track practice) every weekday afternoon. And it gives me a good feeling to look at that track (I can see it from my backyard) and know that we helped with its installation. And the school has achieved a track championship every year since we moved here.

These 10 acres have come to be known as the WildWoods. They have been a source of amazement and enjoyment for me as well as the children at the school. I'm always up for a walk in the WildWoods to try and spy the first wild orchid of the season or watch as the grove of American Mandrake comes into bloom. These Wildwoods have also been a source of enlightenment. It is here that the trees taught me to listen. It is here that my spirit has run free and unfettered. 
The woods are a mixture of hardwoods and pine. A small creek is at the back edge of the WildWoods, separating it from pasture land. We've had a fox den up under a shed, a bat take up residence outside the backdoor, and even deer have been seen in the WildWoods (or was it possibly the Green Man?).  The trees speak to me with the rustle of their leaves on the wind and share their joy of Spring by bursting into bloom. I felt the trees pain one Spring when their branches were bent and broken from the weight of an unexpected wet heavy snow.

There is quite a variety of trees here in the WildWoods - Oak, Maple, Hickory, Walnut, Dogwood, Pine - to name just a few. They each have their unique personalities and rhythms. But the tree that has been a close friend, since the time we moved in, is a lovely Sweetgum tree that stands not too far outside our back door. She has provided us with shade in the scorching summer sun, glorious color in the Autumn, a buffet of seeds for the little birds in the winter months, and she is one of the first trees in the yard to show signs of Spring. I am going to miss these trees who have become members of the family.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Living in the South ~ Spirituality or lack there of...

Driving through the South a person will see a common theme - churches. There is a great abundance of churches in the Bible Belt as well as the occasional tent for the tent revival. Yes, there are still tent revivals. And there is a church or religion for every size, shape, or taste.  Almost.

I never realized how restrictive and biased religion really is until I moved here to Mena. Catholicism is the predominant religion in southern Louisiana and the parishioners are very adamant about their religion. But they are also very tolerant of those who do not share their faith. But in this section of the Bible Belt, religion is everything and everywhere. A common thread through conversations is, "what church do you go to?"  And here, like in most places where religion is a big part of people's lives, people are overweight and feel that going to church on Sunday absolves them of all the sins committed during the week. And people aren't as tolerant of those who do not share their beliefs.

About two years after we moved here, there were still quite a few 'progressive thinkers' around. And they were trying to make the community into a destination place for tourists rather than a stop-over place. One of these 'thinkers'  decided to start a non-denominational church - a place of worship for those of alternative faith. He openly advertised in the local newspaper for several weeks about an organizational meeting to be held at his house. This organizational meeting was going to be held just before Beltane and he openly stated that he was going to have a bonfire - he welcomed people to come celebrate Life with friends around the bonfire. Almost immediately there were flyers around town advertising meetings to be held at various churches about this new 'heathen' church. A few days before the 'thinker's' meeting was to be held, I stopped by the local Salvation Army store for a bit of junqueing and who did I find inside but several women who were holding an impromptu meeting regarding the devil's arrival in town. These women were encouraging the other shoppers to join in the protest they were going to stage in front of the guys house the night of the meeting. (can we say angry mob with pitchforks?)  I was aghast at what I was seeing and hearing. I mean, this is the 21st century, right?  The next week in the local newspaper, under the police report, I saw that several people were arrested for trespassing  at the residence of the 'progressive thinker'.

* Tolerance - Just another word in the dictionary *

And then there is the local church who requires some of the parishioners to stand on the street corner with signs which read about salvation and damnation. These people go so far as rushing cars stopped at the stoplight and shoving flyers about sins, death and damnation into open windows. Quite often those flyers land in the laps of children.

I've also heard that there are illicit activities that still take place deep in the woods of  Arkansas.........

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Living in the South ~ The Buckle of the Bible Belt

       When we began to look for a new home, we decided to relocate closer to Hubby's Grandparents who lived in eastern Oklahoma. They were getting older and really needed someone around to help them out. We decided to settle in the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas. This area offered four seasons and the mountains that Hubby and I missed.  (I hadn't ever seen any place as flat as south Louisiana!) And yet, the Ouachita Mountains were close enough we could still help out the Grandparents. 
       We moved to the largest town in the Ouachita Mountains, Mena. A town with a whopping population of approx. 6,000.  Hubby affectionately calls Mena, The Buckle of the Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for an area of the United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is extremely high. (to quote Wikipedia)
      In other words, the Bible Belt has a population of conservative thinking church goers. The Bible Belt area stretches from Texas to the eastern seaboard and as far north as Missouri, Kentucky, and Virginia. Mena sits just about in the middle of this area - hence the name, Buckle of the Bible Belt.

       While the people in this part of the South are still quite friendly and helpful, the familiarity we had experienced in Louisiana was not in evidence here. Rugged country and great distances between communities serve to isolate many of the residents of these areas. This isolation causes a closed way of thinking and a wariness of strangers.  And you thought Deliverance was just a movie.....

       I quickly realized that the "Good Ol' Boy Network" is alive and well. It's not how good you are at what you do that matters but who you know and who you are related to. The difference between social classes is very apparent. The wealthy feel like they are doing the poor a favor by employing them. And the poor are quite happy to work for piddling wages. People are comfortable with this arrangement because that's the way it's always been. Change and progress are not always welcomed or accepted. 

       I noticed that women are not always treated on an equal basis with men. I think this is due in part to the religions of this part of the South, many of which place restrictions on women. Now I may play the 'Dumb Broad ' on occasion but please don't insult me by assuming I have a low IQ just because I'm a woman. Hubby has had to rein me (my temper and my mouth) in on several occasions.

       There is still the sense of family and community, though not as strong as in the Cajun country. And the people of these Arkansas mountain hamlets will definitely come together in case of emergency or disaster, disregarding their differences. In 2009 when the town of Mena was hit by a tornado, over 600 homes were damaged or destroyed. For a month after the tornado, various churches would distribute free lunches, bottled water, and other essential items to those affected as well as to the volunteers assisting in clean-up and rebuilding. The local Mennonite men volunteered their construction expertise and rebuilt several homes. This combined effort helped strengthen the feeling of community in Mena. Unfortunately, that bond weakens over time.

       Before the economy took a nose dive, Mena had a fairly diverse economic system. It wasn't necessarily thriving but a variety of industries called the Mena area home - a small electric motor assembly plant, Tyson chicken farms and processing plant, numerous aircraft refurbishing businesses at the local airport, and quite a few classic car restoration shops. All these industries, and a few more, brought in outside dollars to the community, something which is vital if a town is going to  be vibrant and thriving. But, alas, a lot of these businesses are what are called 'luxury industries' - businesses that are dependent on people having throw away income. When that excess income dried up, so did the businesses dependent on it. And in a small town, it doesn't take but a few businesses to close to create a lot of lay-offs. And it doesn't take but a few lay-offs to strike a hard blow to a community's sense of Hope in the future.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Living in the South ~ Cajun Country ~ Lagniappe

Lagniappe ~ Cajun French for a little bit more.

I spoke in a recent post about how Cajuns celebrate everything. I'm sure you've all heard or know about Mardi Gras. And what a huge party that is!  But did you know that there is a Festival that takes place at least once a month, and once a week throughout the summer, somewhere in the state of Louisiana? These people know how to have a good time. The festivals celebrate everything from the Yam, to Rice, to Buggys, to Pirates. You name it and there is a Festival for it.
The town we lived in, Crowley, is known as the Rice Capital of America and is famous for The International Rice Festival. The Int'l Rice Festival is one of the largest and oldest agricultural festivals in the South, with over 100,000 people attending in a three day period. I had the distinction of being this Festival's organizer for three years. I learned a lot about special event planning. And this opportunity gave my OCD  organizational skills a chance to shine. Do you need an event planned for 75,000 to 100,000 people? I'm your girl!

I would also like to make note of something that I had not seen since my childhood. The way young kids are allowed to run and play without a lot of grown-up supervision. And yet there is supervision everywhere. Children mind all adults. (especially with the threat, "Don't make me tell your Momma!) And Adults look out for all children.

My long red hair was a source of amazement in south Louisiana. Red hair is a novelty down there because most of the people are of French ancestry and black or brown hair is dominant. Most women have short hair because of the heat and humidity - I'd wear mine in a bun in the summers. I had a lot of people come up to me and ask if they could touch my hair, especially children.

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed South Louisiana and felt like this was home, it wasn't long before the hot, humid summers really got to me. I'm not a real heat loving person. And the constant threat of hurricanes in the summer weighed upon us. We had experienced one hurricane while living there (Hubby had experienced more while growing up, but it was fun and games then) and it was a nerve racking experience. The torrential rains, the howling wind and the mini-tornadoes which are spawned from the hurricane are nothing to trifle with. And then the utter destruction in its aftermath. This was the first time I had seen such destruction and it was mind boggling. When I heard a news reporter say, "If you are not prepared to lose absolutley everything you have at least once a year (because of a hurricane), then you shouldn't be living in South Louisiana." I knew he spoke the truth and that we had to move. And well, being the Gypsies that we are, we began looking for another home.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cat Tales ~ Goliath

Goliath is Mes "Little" brother. But theres nuttin little about him!!

Itty Bitty Kitty Goliath
This is him when he came to live with us. Itty bitty he was.

Goliath's favorite way for Daddy to hold him.
He was an on purpose Kitty. Goliath's Grandfather was a stray snaggle-toothed tomcat that had adopted Mommy & Daddy when they lived in Crawfish Country.  The tomcat got friendly with a feral female kitty that called Daddy's shed home. The result were three kittens which Daddy found forebber homes for. The female kitten went to a friend of Daddy's and when she became a Momma then one of her babies came to live with us. 
{Whew! That was a story and a half!}

Purz and Catnip Dreams... Gomez

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Art of Rubbish and the Silhouette

The art of Tim Noble and Sue Webster
Click Here! to learn more

Friday, April 15, 2011

Living in the South ~ New Orleans

I can't write about Louisiana and the South and not mention New Orleans.  We visited there on several occasions. Never at Mardi Gras but we did go one Halloween. Now that was F*U*N!! We haunted the French Quarter on that occasion. There was a Halloween parade complete with Vampires throwing beads through the streets of the French Quarter. And the people who were "Haunting" the Quarter that Halloween night were dressed in costumes of every size, shape and species. We had a good time just sitting on a bench and watching the Ghoulies go by.

New Orleans was everything I had imagined and then some. We did some exploring in the Garden District - an area of New Orleans with some of the best preserved historic Southern mansion in the US. But the French Quarter was where we felt at home. The air was thick with history. The streets echoed with the thousands of feet that had once trod on their stones. The buildings teased and taunted with the stories that were held within their walls. 

We rode streetcars and riverboats. We had beignets and cafe au lait. We saw the Superdome. We visited the site of the Battle of New Orleans. We had a drink in the bar that was once the Pirate Jean Lafitte's blacksmith shop. But one of the most memorable things we did was visit the cemeteries. (Go figure....The crowding of souls contained in the walls of those cemeteries could be felt even in the heat of the day. But the cemeteries were neither sorrowful nor gloomy but almost had an air of gaiety about them. Perhaps a perpetual party was taking place - it was once a Southern tradition to enjoy a picnic lunch at the cemetery. Relaxing and passing the time on the ancestors' graves. Perhaps those picnics were still taking place.... 

*** I'll continue my Southern ramblings next Tuesday. So don't touch that dial! ***

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Living in the South ~ Cajun Country ~ Flora and Fauna

For someone who loves all things green and growing, the sub-tropic climate of South Louisiana was heaven. Especially coming from a part of the country that is brown 7 - 8 months out of the year. But the climate was also very challenging.
I finally had a chance to grow all those gorgeous exotic plants that I had only dreamed about. And there was always someone around that wanted to swap plants. So much fun!! But in that lush climate, plants weren't the only things that thrived. Plant diseases and insect pests also thrived.

But I enjoyed it and I learned a lot. I became a Master Gardener. The schooling for this program is thorough and it greatly expanded my knowledge of plants. And because of this training I became a coach for the local Parish 4H horticultural team. This group of girls and I would travel around to the local nurseries in the Spring learning the identities of plants in preparation for the State competition. That was fun! I encourage everyone out there to take advantage of their local Master Gardeners. Often times these individuals can be found at the local extension office. They are trained to answer questions and assist people who have concerns about their yard, flowers or garden.

And the bugs..... Love-bugs. June-bugs. Mayflies. Cicadas. Crickets. Spiders. Mosquitoes. So many mosquitoes!!!  Chiggers!!  AGH!!  How I hate chiggers! The itch of their bite is worse than a mosquito bite. We had spiders so big that they would build webs across the bayou behind our house. The bayou was more than 10 ft. across.

And then all the other critters. Armadillos and possums living under the house.  Crawfish making castles all over the front yard. And the frogs. The wonderful serenade of frogs every night. We had bullfrogs in our pond. And little green tree frogs everywhere.... in the house, in the car, in the bathtub. And the cats were always bringing something in the house that I had to catch. But I didn't actually 'catch it'. I would find a basket or bowl that would fit over the critter and then when Hubby came home, he'd 'catch it' and take it outside.

But what I will always remember about the plant life there is the Live Oaks. These are absolutely incredible trees. They are one of the few trees that can withstand the forces of a hurricane. They are slow growing trees that do not lose their leaves like other oaks. Live Oaks are considered an evergreen in the same category as a Magnolia. They lose their leaves in the Spring.  The Live Oak Society is a registry of Live oak trees who have a girth of 8 ft. or larger. These trees are considered to be about 50 years old. When they approach 100 yrs., their girth will be at about 16 ft. Incredibly massive trees whose branches sweep so gracefully down to the ground. This is where I discovered my affinity for trees.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Living in the South ~ Cajun Country ~ The People

Living in South Louisiana was quite an adventure. 
But an exciting and fulfilling one!

The Cajun people are warm and welcoming. I immediately felt at home, though I did have to get used to be called, Sugar or Honey. And then there was the touching and hugs and kisses (okay - air kisses). I wasn't used to that! You see I came from an area of the country (Colorado = cold and snow) where people didn't hug and kiss when they saw each other at the store. I guess it's kinda hard to get the full effect of a hug when you're bundled up in two or three layers of clothing. But I got used to it and now have come to expect it. I'm going to miss that familiarity. Maybe I can start a new trend back in Colorado. Or get arrested for assault!

The respect that Cajun children show their elders is something that is now lost in many other areas of the country. Children are taught from the time they can speak to call men Mister and women Miss (followed by the name of the person). I was always called Miss Jeanne. Doors were always held open for me. Made me feel like a Queen! I already miss this! I was raised to respect anyone older than me. To say Please and Thank You. To use Mister or Miss or Mrs. These things all seem to be lost in today's hurried world. Except in the Deep South. 

It was awhile before I could understand everything people were saying to me. I did a lot of smiling and nodding in the first few months. Not only is their accent heavy but French words are quite often thrown into a sentence. And then even those words aren't true French but a bastardized version of French - Cajun French. I seem to have picked up a bit of an accent from the time I spent there. Many people have come up to me and ask where I am from...that they just can't quite place my accent... I just smile at people when I'm ask this and say that I studied abroad....

The sense of Family is strong in the Cajun Culture. The families are large and quite often several generations will live within a few blocks or a few miles of each other. And even though they may argue and carry-on, they are always there for each other during troubled times. And this sense of Family even goes on to include those who aren't even blood relation. This was the first lesson The Universe wanted me to learn from living there.

The Cajun People also have Joie de Vivre. A Joy of Life. They celebrate everything!!! This Love of Life is ingrained in them. It is their heritage. All too frequently they must confront danger and disaster (tornadoes and hurricanes) so they make sure to enjoy the time they have. The Cajuns are a lively, happy people and when one is immersed in the culture like I was, you can't help but enjoy Life! This was the second lesson that I was to learn.

But there is a dark side to everything. Extremes can be seen in many aspects of Life in the South- From the (amount) food that is eaten to the liquor consumed. The division of social classes is still very evident. And people happily accept their 'place' in the social structure of their society. A great number of Cajuns living in rural areas have never been out of the town where they were born, raised, and currently live. And many have nothing more than an 8th grade education. Cajun French is still the only language spoken in many remote areas. And you still hear about people going missing in the swamp....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Living in the South ~ How the journey began

I was born and raised in a small rural community in southern Colorado. I lived in the same house for the first 18 years of my life. And the whole time I was growing up, I always figured that I would settle down somewhere in the western US and live the rest of my life in one house. I never imagined that I would move (on an average) at least once every 3 years, after I left my childhood home. Sometimes the move would be across town. Other times the move would be across country. And even though I made some drastic relocations (Arizona to Alaska via Washington State) in my early years, the moves were always in the western US. I never once gave a thought to living in The South. Yet, here I am.

Hubby is from The South. He was born in Texas and spent his childhood in south Louisiana. He always told me that I would love The South because of my love for all things green and the way I loved to grow things. I was skeptical. He finally convinced me we should take a vacation to his old hometown in Louisiana one Spring. I became enchanted not long after we got off the plane. Everything was green (it was still snowy, cold and brown in Colorado), the people were SO FRIENDLY, and the food was delicious!! I was ready to move!

Hubby and I were ready for a change about that time. In the previous 18 months we had seen 6 deaths between our two families. But moving was a major decision. We still had a son in high school and this was going to be a huge upheaval for him. But Louisiana had recently instituted free tuition for Louisiana high school graduates at Louisiana colleges and we felt that this would be a great opportunity for our son.

We put our house up for sale not long after returning home to Colorado. And by the time July came around, we were settled in our new home in Cajun country.

Boy, was I a fish out of water!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cat Tales ~ Fantum

Me wants you to meet mes older sister, Fantum.  She's a Foundling just like me. Mommy calls the Kitties that show up at our house Foundlings.

Fantum is a long-haired tortoise shell. Which means she's ornery. She likes to stalk Daddy.

Fantum got her name because half of her face is gold and the other half is dark. Daddy thought she looked like the Phantum of the Opera.

When Fantum was younger, she would play hide-n-seek with Mommy when Mommy worked in the garden. Fantum would hide behind plants and then jump out when Mommy walked by. And of course, Mommy would squeal which would make Fantum happy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Label Art

The Art of Troy Dugas
He creates amazing art from product labels.
Click on the photos to enlarge them so you might see the details.
Click Here! to see more

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Fascinators in my Etsy Shop

I've just added these three Fascinators to my Etsy shop. Check them out!
See the left sidebar for a link to my shop.

And I'm offering free shipping with coupon code HAPPY

A Life Without Romance

At a recent dinner at my Mother-In-Law's, the subject of conversation shifted to her neighbors. She filled Hubby and I in on all the latest goings-on in her neighborhood. My MIL mentioned that her next door neighbor had gone to visit his son while his Wife stayed at home. The Wife had told my MIL that she really missed her Hubby and that she was cuddling up to his pillow at night because it smelled like him. The Wife went on to say that she didn't think that she'd wash his pillow case until he came home (he was only going to be gone a week).

My MIL thought that the Wife was acting so "juvenile" and "silly". And that those were the actions of some high school girl. Not of a woman of 50+ years.
I mentioned that I thought it was romantic. She 'poo-pooed' that notion like I was nuts. Now, call me sentimental, but I think it's sweet. I've done that very thing - snuggle with Hubby's pillow when he's away.

I think it's great that at their age (she's 50+ and he's 60+)  there is still romance in the neighbor's marriage. And I feel bad for my MIL because she is missing out on so much - cuddling on the couch, the thrill you get in your heart when your Sweetheart looks at you across a room or just simply the joy of holding hands. (And yes, my MIL has a significant other in her Life)

Life without romance is like eating 'Smores without the toasted marshmallow. It may be good but it isn't all warm and mushy.

I like warm and mushy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Land of Melting Shadows ~ Crow Faery

There be a portal not far from the edge of reality...
A place filled with Ecstasy and Effervescence.  Treacheries and Torments.  A place that is neither here nor there.  But simply is.
This is the B'Tween.

This mystical place is a crossing.  A crossing from one reality to another.  From one frame of reference to another state of confusion.  A dangerous place for the unsuspecting and those who dare to venture forth.

The realm of the B'Tween is the home of the Crow Faery. This tribe of Wee Folk are the Protectors of the Light and Keepers of the Dark. They maintain the Balance of the crossing.

Crow Faeries carry the Light of Essence on a staff to keep the Shadows in balance. To keep the lurid gloom of night from swallowing the shining auroral stars. 

They hide their faces behind the masks of impartiality. For they are destined to live a life of judge and jury, friend as well as foe. 

Though the Crow Faeries live a self-imposed existence separate from other Fae, they as a tribe are quite social. Their raucous family gatherings can often be heard deep in the Wythern Woodes. The Families are very close-knit with several generations living together.
Young Crow Faeries are trained in maintaining the balance of the B'Tween. But before they are entrusted with Guardian duties, young Crow Faeries must first spend several years acting as messengers. You may have seen (or heard) them on occasion.  

*This Crow Faery will soon be released for sale.*

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ta~Da....The New Kitchen

I have to show off the new kitchen.

It took awhile for the kitchen and I to come to an agreement on the color scheme. But when we did, things started to flow together nicely. The cabinets were painted a dark chocolate color and the walls are goldish/tan color (actually called Bleached Wheat) I wouldn't have necessarily chosen those colors but the kitchen seemed to like them.

I cleaned and polished the old cabinet hardware. It is now a pretty antique copper color. There are still a few things left to do - like some valances over the windows, a curtain for the back door, molding around the light over the bar and a pot rack for beside the stove.

The lights I have in the kitchen give the pictres a yellowish cast. So the colors you are seeing aren't quite true to life.

And now for the before pictures.

I know! I know! You're saying how could she live with that ..... well, let me explain. We've lived here 5 1/2 years. The first three years, our time and money went into fixing things like plumbing (various fixtures & lines) , hot water heaters (we have three), air conditioners, electrical, and other various necessary items (like a dishwasher, refrig, & stove not to mention the car repairs and tires and ...well, you get the idea). The last 2 1/2 yrs Hubby has been unemployed and attending college. So money has been tightly budgeted. But now that we will be selling the house, we are finishing up those long needed updates and turning this into a lovely dwelling for the next owners.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cat Tales ~ A Day in the Life....

Wanna see what I do all day?

First, Me gets a drink from the pipe in the little room. Just like Daddy. Only he spits his water out. Guess the water from his pipe doesn't taste good like mine.

Then Mom brushes Me so I don't have bed hair all morning.

Then Me plays Gargoyle.

And Me plays in a sack. See my laser beam eyes?

Me being cute. 

Me waiting for the TV to come on.

And after a rough day, Me likes to snuggle on Dad's lap.

Purz and Catnip Dreams... Gomez

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Art of Chewing Gum

The art of Maurizio Savini
Click Here! or Click Here!  or Click Here!  to read more!