31 March 2010

Progress People, FINALLY!

This is my cottage kitchen BEFORE we tore it down and started remodeling it.  Following, is the story of why we would even want to do such a thing.  Really, because this is a pretty little kitchen, right?  It is, I agree.  The problems weren't skin deep, however.  The footings and floors in the original framing of the cottage were so off kilter that when you opened the door of the refrigerator, then went to remove whatever you were getting out of there, would slam shut on your  butt hand.  And that's a cold shock, believe you me.  When you walked across the floor all the appliances wiggled.  Kind of beachy, right?  No, more like living on a dingy boat adrift at sea before you battened down the hatches.

The last owner remodeled it a bit from its 1950s original state.  I liked the colors and the tile and the cabinets looked pretty but, they were cheap awful.  They were from IKEA and don't get me wrong, in the right place IKEA furniture and cabinets are great.  But in my kitchen these cupboards warped within 3 months of us moving in and actually using them. You know how when you go to IKEA and you sit in the ready made rooms and dream of how it would be if that was your kitchen/family room/bedroom? Well, if you actually take the kitchen cupboards home and do things other than stock them with dishes and food.  Well, in our case, it wasn't pretty.  The paint was chipping off, especially around the sink where they got a little more sopping wet moisture whenever my kids had their turn on dishes.  The flooring looks beautiful here as well.  However it wasn't hardwood (as it was to the original house.) It was linoleum made to look like wood.  Yuck.   Remember after we tore everything out we found this serendipitous surprise?  Unfortunately for us, the beautiful floors beneath the linoleum got ruined in the torrential rains we got here in California right about the time we removed the roof during our remodel.  I cried.  More than once. I think I am going to cry again, just give me a minute.

Thank you for your patience. Lets have a look here.  This is how my kitchen looks now.  Well, actually this is how it looked about a week ago.  It now has a beautiful ceiling with gorgeous wood beams which I will show you in a sec if you just remain patient.   My new kitchen is now completely on the other side of the house from where it used to be all snuggled up by itself.  All snuggled up by itself on the other side of the house meant that, my family used to feel GUILTY all the time because I was over there slaving and cooking away for them, all by myself.  Even my husband would drag himself away from the football game that was on tv and pop in now and again to ask if there was anything he could do to help.  Umm.  That would be harder on me than doing it by myself since I would have to spend all that time telling you where the dishes are and all.  This is the same man who was a bachelor for 12 years after high school, and before he married me.  He owned a house but it only had one spoon and a fridge for his beer.  No stove.  Because, upon my asking he replied with a quizzical look on his face, "Why would I need a stove?"

Now don't get me wrong about the GUILT thing.  I personally am a huge believer in the power of guilt.  It makes the strong man weak and the weak man strong.  I'm a good Catholic mother therefore, I use guilt to my advantage whenever I can. In my arsenal of good 'mothering skills', I would rank guilt right near the top of the weapons pile.  But, whilst my family was feeling guilty, I was feeling lonely and to be honest, a little bit like a slave over there all alone cooking and preparing meals for a husband and kids who have no appreciation of my culinary skills a family of 7 who would just as soon eat take-out from Roberto's on the corner of Coast Hwy 101.

Now, because you were so very patient, and patience is a virtue, here are the beams on the ceiling of my new kitchen and family room.  They will be painted in a beautiful, high gloss white when they are finished.  We spent several days staining the boards which run crosswise but, after installing them I decided they looked too orange and for that cottagy feeling I'm going for they would look better all in white.  What do you think?  Go ahead and be honest, I don't get my feelings hurt easily.  Tssssst.

This picture shows where the clear glass door will be right next to the kitchen window.  Under that window will be a my dream (farmhouse) kitchen sink.  All that is to the right.  To the left is part of the family room bank of windows.  This is our city/mountain view to the East.  It's a beautiful view. You can share that view right here in the next picture.

I'll be looking at that amazing view, right HERE through these windows   And this is in the daytime. Wait until you see what it looks like in the early evening.

Now, I could easily show you more remodeling stuff but, I don't want to OD you all at once.  Next time you come on over here to the cottage I'm going to show you the new stair case.  It was amazing to watch them build it.  I'm not very good at visualizing on the blueprints so I just couldn't imagine what it would look like when there was just a big void there.  But, wait until you see.  Soooo cool.  Until then for those of you who celebrate Holy Week, I wish you a blessed one.  HE IS RISEN.

And to all, Happy Easter.

And cause I love all of you, each and every one.  Here is is, my view to the East, through my new family room and kitchen windows.  I'll no longer be alone and slaving in a kitchen waaaay over on the other side of the house.  Instead, that will be the laundry room.  I also slave in there but, that's a story for later.  Much later.  

Isn't this amazing!  I love this view.  And I'll have lots of windows to look at it from.  I am one lucky girl and I'm counting my blessings every single day.

Sending out a special shout out to my sister Sue.  So glad you had your heart valves all cleaned out and you'll be around for a long, long, time because, I love you more than all the easter eggs that all the kids will hunt all over the world on Easter!



26 March 2010


See the new little typewriter thing-a-ma-jig on my sidebar?  It's a great site I found during my blogstalking which, helps me to find all the greatest blogs out there. I'm now going to share it with you, because, well because that's just the kind of person I am and you know it.  That's why you are here to begin with, right?

What you ask?  There is an easier way than just randomly popping around blogs. Someone has done up this awesome site which saves all of us ions of time and trouble.  Yup!  There is, and they have and, WOW is where it's at.  I have found several new blogs with great content through these gals Sandy and Pam who started WOW for people who want to read blogs with good substance.   It's great because they read the blogs, decide if they are WOW worthy and save you all that time and trouble!~ 

The blogs I've read so far are All colorful and inspirational.  Some funny, others sentimental. Most I have subscribed to, so that I can follow along.  But all of them are interesting and well written with greAt pictures.  Follow along by becoming a subscriber.  Just click on the typewriter and it will take you to the WOW site.  Then subscribe to follow through, A Reader in Google or on Facebook.  For those of you (see, my family and friends who aren't as technologically savy as others), there is an even easier way you can subscribe.  Just read WHAT IS WOW below and when you get to the end you can click on - Click here - and there ya go.  You'll get all set up,  just like that!  Sandy and Pam will send you to all kinds of great blogs and your life will be as blissfully bloggy as mine is.  Please note that I had a very long day and have already taken an Ambien to help me get to sleep so anything I might say should not be held against me.  Do not judge me, it's been a loooong day.

Because you know I love you more than all the pictures of sunsets I take here at the beach, here is your sunset tonight.  About 61 degrees and slightly cloudy on the cove as the sun set gloriously on the Pacific.  Peace in your hearts all...



The following is copied from the new WOW website.  Easy to understand and you can sign up right here, just like I told ya. Easy! 

What is WOW

Words of Wisdom (WOW) is a place for bloggers (women and men) who enjoy reading and writing great content to find each other. What exactly is great content? Great content is blog posts that are thought-provoking and/or insightful. Blog posts that make the reader stop and think and maybe even feel compelled to "join the conversation" by leaving a well thought-out comment. These posts can be serious or humorous. They can be about any topic. But what they have in common is content. Great content. 

If you've been looking for this type of "blog of substance", you've come to the right place. And if you are a blogger of substance, then WOW is the place for you as well. WOW's mission to help bloggers of substance find each other. We do that by not only offering a place for like minded bloggers to gather, but also by highlighting great blogs each week. Interested in finding out more? Clickhere to find out how you can become a member of WOW.

17 March 2010

I Love You More Than...

Erin Go Bragh!
"Ireland Until Eternity

A hundred thousand welcomes to you!

These things were all handed down to me.  Well, not the shamrocks. I have 16 of these sweet embroidered napkins but with most of the kids gone, we'll only be using 4 of them tonight.  This will be the smallest St Patrick's Day celebration we've ever had.  But, a celebration none the less!

In honor of St Paddy's day, I want to share with you, something that I got for my birthday last month. Birthday's are a cause for celebration but when you're older than dirt, and especially it seems for me, on birthdays that end in 5 or begin a new decade, I feel the need to take inventory of my life.  Then I get all morose and worried and introspective.  Well, and take my word for it, that is just annoying for everyone.  

Then the most amazing little thing can happen that changes the course of the day and turns it back into a celebration again.  Something to remind you of the precious life you've been given, the things you love. The following was a gift from my eldest son, to me, for my birthday.  There hasn't been a day since he wrote it that I haven't read it.  And it brings happy tears of love to my eyes every time. 

We started a tradition in our family when it was young.  It's called, "I love you more than".  When we say how much we love each other, we say, I love you more than...and then we say things like, "I love you more than all the Shamrock's in Ireland," or some such endearment. 

Today and every day is a day to be happy to be alive no matter who you are, where you are, or what your situation.  Just because you are.  Because of that, and because we're celebrating the Irish today,  I leave you with one of the greatest blessings I have in my life.  A love note from my son to me for my birthday.  Children certainly are, a heritage of the Lord!
I simply can't imagine a world without you.  So today as you complete your 55th trip around the sun, I give you 55 reasons I love you, mom...

1    Your penchant for cozy socks
2    Your sense of humor
3    You passed down to me your germaphobic habits
4    How very religious and prayerful you are
5    Your love for dogs
6    The sound of your voice
7    Your humility
8    You drink tea everyday out of the tea cup I got you, a reminder to me that I am with you even when I'm  not
9   Your kind heart
10  Your generosity
11  How cute you look when you laugh hysterically
12  How serious you are about bloging
13  How hard you work at keeping your promises
14  The way I miss you when we're not together
15  How lucky you make me feel each day for having someone like you in my life
16  When Dylan used to bite us, you would encourage us to bite him back.  If we were crying too hard, you would do it for us
17  The smell of your perfume
18  Your handwriting
19  How we get See's every time we go to the mall together
20  You knit me scarves
21  Your smile
22  You blogstalk
23  You gave me a brother and sisters
24  You were recycling long before it was cool
25  You are very forgiving, and we've given you a lot to forgive along the way
26  You don't consider it cake unless it is chocolate
27  You bring me Sprite and toast cut into strips when I'm sick
28  You listen to good music
29  You kissed James Taylor
30  You have pretty hair
31  You cry during romantic comedies
32  I love watching movies with you, even though you talk the whole time
33  Your freckles
34  You are an amazing writer
35  You're strong, in many ways
36  You have traveled all over
37  I inherited your artistic abilities, a talent of mine I value above all else
38  We are more alike than I sometimes care to admit
39  You taught me well
40  You let me make my own decisions
41  Your hands are always cold
42  Your heart is always warm
43  You love yoga, I love yoga
44  You spoil me
45  When I was little you always let me borrow your beloved silky blanket
46  My favorite birthday present I ever got was the letter you wrote me when I turned 19.  I cried when I read it
47  You let me keep Bailey
48  You like Soulja Boi
49  You married your best friend
50  You make me laugh
51  You survived my teen years
52  You are convinced that all of your grandchildren are gifted and talented.  Really, they are
53  You always told us our birth stories on our birthdays growing up, even if we didn't always want to hear them
54  You make lists
55  Dessert doesn't always have to come last in our house

I love you more than all the days we've been together,


My son Cooper, because you took all the love I gave you and gave it back to me in one simple note on my birthday, and therefore made me feel like a bizillion bucks.

You're my hero, boyo!

I love you more than all the love there is in the world...
To the rest of you a St Patrick's Day Blessing-

"May your home always be too small to hold all your friends!"


07 March 2010

A Time For Every Season Under Heaven

We have to believe that even the briefest of human connections can heal. Otherwise,life is unbearable.

Our family is going through a very difficult time right now.  I feel that I owe it to you to not just fall off the face of the earth but, to let you know that I miss writing very, very, much.  I miss sharing my cottage, my family and my thoughts with you.  I often think when I'm writing, if I can make just one person in my family, or one friend who reads my blog smile from the reading of it, I've done something good thing that day.  Please stick with me.  Pop in once in a while to see me because, I'm still checking in to your blogs and lives as often as I can.  If you're the prayerful type please say a prayer for my family.  If you just have a good vibe to send out, please do.

For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the Lord -- Jeremiah 30.17

There will come a day, soon I hope that, I will be able to live and laugh and love and write again. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

All in all,
I'm learning, with complete confidence,
That our ability to cope with any kind of sorrow. . .
Is directly connected to our level of reliance on God.

And now because I want to leave you with a smile in your heart...

Our sweet friends
Stan & Meredith
They got married in Phoenix, AZ on Saturday

My beautiful girl with her Papa, my handsome husband

Maggie with the bride and groom
She wants to be a bride just like Meredith one day - only taller!

She's as silly as ever! She's still a quirky girl. She wore her high heels to the wedding. See the crazy things this one can do in her high heels right here - http://lorimcktia.blogspot.com/2009/09/black-heels-skate-boards-and-goofy-girl.html 

 And she just got her driving permit so everybody, ya better buckle up.

A surprise fireworks display for Meredith from her new husband.
(Stan, you've set the bar pretty high for men everywhere!)

And because you know I wouldn't leave you
without a beautiful sunset

and because
I love you infinity times non stop