24 August 2010

Finally! The Cottage Reveal

Some of you might be saying to yourself, "Self, what ever happened to that blogsite "Cottage By The Sea?" The one where that gal Tia writes about renovating her old cottage at the beach down San Diego way?  That gal who posted she was moving in to said cottage any day now starting around December of last year?  Then when that dream went down the proverbial tube,  it more realistically changed to (at last count) Friday the 6th of August?"  Well, she's baaaaaaaack.  I'm baaaaaack.  It's true.  It's finally and most definitely true and it even happened on Friday the 6th of August just like I said, well, after being wrong the first 372 times I said it was happening  Like the last time when I said it was happening in 13 Days!  I admit it to all of you right here in black and white.  I was wrong about that.  But, like my kids always say, "it's not my fault."  And, on top of that, "it's not fair!"

Amazing and awesome transformations and metamorphosis have happened around here since then and we're in our newly remodeled home at last.   I can finally invite you over for a tour of the cottage, such as it is now.  No landscape yet, and a porch which leads to, well, a railing, where a staircase down to the back yard will someday be but, I think I am ready to show you what is now, and tell you what will be.  Sort of.  Because this is a positive blog where I try not to let any bitterness or sadness or 'the dark side' out.  I will spare you the bad taste in my mouth regarding painters, plumbers, carpenters and general contractors whom I feel should all find different lines of work.  I will spare you the jangled nerves and the aging of 10 years due to jangled nerves.  Never mind that, lets go on a tour of my incredible, beautiful, amazing, awesome, Cottage By The Sea.


This was our little cottage before.
This was our little cottage before.


And, after.

First of all there are a few extra mats in front of the door and that's because whist moving in, and ever after as contractors keep coming in to finish, redo and generally walk-wander about the cottage, these mats are there to protect my beautiful new floors until the last boxes and furniture are moved in.

Remember when we were going over and over and nauseatingly over which new floors to put in?

I even asked for your help and you were kind enough to give me lots of facts about wood floors you had experienced and share your good taste with me because I had to replace the beautiful and original oak floor which got ruined during the remodel.  I hope you like the ones we choose.  I think it was the hardest darn decision we ever made besides how many kids to have.  (I think we're happy with both.)  Decisions that is.  Furniture wise, it's all the same stuff we've always had, which will be going through  some outward transformations in the future that, I will certainly share with you.  The exception being my new white sofas. Because of what you see at the end of this post,  I never thought I would be brave, or Lucky enough, to actually own a white sofa, more less two white sofas!  Scroll down to the end of the "Lucky" post above and see clearly why I had that delusion.  Actually several reasons I had that delusion!  Or don't, and just have a look at THIS!

I have This!
Little and big boys, dogs, and dirty, sandy, feet that lie upon my sofa.  Am I lucky or what!

Well, as it turns out, I can and I do now own two white sofa's and they sit right in my Great Room which is attached to my Kitchen and my Dining Room, where the many and myriad of friends, family, kids and
Grandkids sit, wander, eat, wrestle and plop down after a day at the beach.  Excuse me, I have to do some breathing exercises - I'll be right back.

Thanks again for your patience, I'm still just barely getting through all this.  This transfiguration came about in my life because, Maria over at Dreamy Whites  told me that I COULD AND SHOULD HAVE WHITE SOFA'S.  Really.  I wrote and asked her personally.  After all, she has them, and she also, just like I do, has five children.  Two of them being boys, with a cowboy husband thrown in to boot!  She said, it would be no problem because they're slip covered and you can just slip those covers off and wash them when they get dirty.  So, as you can see here, I went crazy and went for it.   Both white sofa's are full size to accommodate the myriad of people we seat.  Although I've spent years dreaming of owning a white sofa, I thought that dream could never come true due to the "lucky" circumstances in my life.  So, so far, thanks Maria for giving me the strength and faith that white sofas could be in my future!  It took me a week to garner the courage to take the protective, plastic coverings off but, when I got my two thousand forty-second, nasty, you've got to be kidding me look, I gave in and here is how they look now.

Pretty beautiful, yes?  I love, love, love, how they look.  And besides one little mishap with some computer ink my daughter had on her fingers whilst fixing the printer and which will never happen again lest I do her bodily harm I believe the white sofa's were a great decision.  A dab of Oxi Clean on a damp cloth was all it took to make the stain disappear.  Maria was right.  Easy Peasy!  I love how beautiful the sofa's look and the idea that, when they are dirty, I can see it and clean them and not be hiding yucky dirt which I know must be lurking there somewhere everywhere.  This appeals to my neurotic, chronic, unholy sense of cleanliness.

And, so far, so good!

For what seemed like forever, my kitchen looked like this.

But now it looks like this.

All my favorite pots and pans, the ones I haven't seen for over 4 years since we moved to the beach, now hang in my kitchen, in all their newly polished glory, right over the island where I can use them every day.  I've already had two dinner parties and cooked my fool head off, so there's proof in the pudding!

Remember when  I said, Its It's Tubby Time and y'all helped me choose which tub to buy?  Then she came and was a tad to small so she got shipped back and guess what?  Here she is today in all her gloriousness!

She's a beauty.

The sinks in the Master Bedroom are awesome too.  Check out the Zen of this water spout.  I love the way the water gently pours our into your hand.  Relaxing.  Excuse me again, I have to go wash my hands.

Thanks, I feel so much better.  Lets have a quick look at a couple of other new features at the cottage and then I have to get back to unpacking and cleaning and moving things around.  Don't worry, we've barely touched upon the marvelousness of the remodel.  I have so much to show you I could burst from the wanting to.  I've missed you guys so much!

Remember Andy?  Remember all the dirt we brought out of this hole where the new staircase was to go?  Remember that there was no staircase inside because little cottages built in the 1950's only had outside stairs to get down to the rooms below?  Check out any of the first archives and you can read all about that!

But here are the new stairs.  Hand crafted by the most amazing artisans.  The part you see which begins the curve on the bannister actually had to be hand carved to make it work.  I don't have much to say (due to keeping this blog on the light and fun side) about the other contractors who worked on the cottage but, the stairs were done beautifully by a father and son who definitely know what they're doing.

Do you love the wood?  You helped me to choose it.  Thank you!

If you're ever down my way, your welcome to stop by.  I'd love to see you and show you around in person.  More than that, I'd love to sit down with a Cuppa and just enjoy your company.  I have so much more to share with you, I couldn't even touch upon it in only one post.  We have gained so much, lost so much, and changed so many things it's impossible to express.  I hope I will be able to at least touch upon it in this blog because sharing it is the best part.

Until then from me and my Cottage By The Sea...

I love you more than all the moments, glorious and frustrating, leading up to the incredible blessing which is my life.  Until next time, God richly bless all of you.   XOXOXOXO


04 August 2010

She's Sweet 16 - You Vote

This is my babiest of babies.  The youngest of my five.  She's one of three sisters and two brothers.  Maggie had a birthday this week making her officially, SWEET 16!  S W E E T.

She only wants two things for her birthday.

#1 = her drivers license.  (shhhhh.  Don't tell her I said this because I don't want to dash her dreams and all but), when I approached her Papa about this one, he asked me if I was out of my ever lovin mind?

What?  Ever lovin, what?  "Nah," said I.  "I lost that a long time ago".  Right along, about the time we started this Cottage By The Sea, redo idea of yours.  Hmmm. "

Let me just let y'all in on, our family policy. The kids and I, we always give their dad the benefit of the doubt.  I've trained them to always and respectfully ask his sage advise.  Well, on almost all things.  Not on say, foreign matters or Presidential policy in Afghanistan or anything.  But, always on matters which will take a credit card or a big check.  So far he has rebutted our requests regarding Maggie's #1 wish for her drivers license.  Here forth were our arguments for debate.  This is kind of how the scene played out.

Me:  So, um, honey.  Maggie's birthday is coming up and more than any, any, anything, she really, really, really, wants to get her driver's license.

Hubby:  Her Drivers License?  The other kids didn't get their driver's license until they were 17.  I think maybe they were even in their Senior Year of High School.

Me:  Well, Tara got hers when she was 16 because it's all she ever wanted and so you said yes to her.

Silence.  Fade out.

Me:  And honey, just because the others were rare freaks of nature and didn't even care about getting their drivers license until they were 17, why should Mag's have to wait if it's what she really, really, wants?

Hubby:  Are you kidding?  Letting Tara get her drivers license at 16 is the exact reason Maggie is, no way, getting hers at 16!

Silence.  Fade out.

Me:  Yeah but, if she had her license I wouldn't have to make that 1 hour round trip drive to take her to school every day.  Two hours if you count picking her up!  Come on, it's my easy out and we can count it as a birthday present = win/win.  Pretty great, right?

Silence.  Fade out.

Me again:  So, I take that as a big fat yes, right?  Right honey?

Hubby:  No way.

Me:  Heavily pleading our her case now.  But, look at her.  Just look at that face.  How can you say no to that face?

Hubby:  NO flipping way!

Me:  Okay.  For now.

Me:  I think I'm gonna let my blog readers vote then, K?

Silence.  Fade out.

She's a stunner, our girl Maggie, on the inside and on the out.  She's full of angel kisses; just look at her.  You can tell by the sweet wee freckles dancing across her  face.  I'm watching out for her like white on rice. She goes - I go - I go - she goes.  Hee, hee, hee.

I'm sure I've introduced her to you several times before but, because I don't want you to be deprived, here's a quick link which is an example of,  I go — she goes.  She has to go.  She's the baby.  I got nobody else, K?  Besides that, she loves to shop.  I'm just doing her a favor.  That's just the kinda mom I am.

November is National Maggie Day  We'll see you there next year!  Until then, did you know that Maggie's favorite flower is a Daisy?

Maggie loves Daisy's

These are some of Maggie's peeps.  I drove a total of six, (6) yes, SIX hours so that I could get Maggie to her favorite restaurant to spend her 16th birthday with of her favorite friends.  I know she'll thank me later, when she's all grown up.  

We've been banished from the cottage until move-in, for various and sundry reasons.  Way, way, up here in the mountains — far away from the sea (but not too shabby).  More on that later.  Wish you were here.  But she wished she were there.  Therefore, that's where I took her.  She's worth it.  Look at her happy face and her cute friends.  My baby is Sweet 16!

Okay, now, whilst keeping your mind on what your vote will be as to Maggie getting her driver's license, lets get to the other thing Maggie really, really, needs wants for her birthday. 

Wish #2
What?  Well, now it's not just a matter of wants, it's a matter of, of.  You can see for yourself, right there.  Look at that!  Her cell phone just got dropped right in her cake!

Tell me she didn't?  She wouldn't?  She couldn't!  She didn't?  She DID.  Ewwwww.  My germaphobiholic tendencies have now kicked into high gear, and I don't even know if I can finish this post.  Whew-whew- whew-whew-whew

Okay.  I'm okay.  But Maggie, it may be a much harder sell to your dad now.  Case in point.

Me:  So um, honey, about Maggie getting an upgrade on her cell-phone for her birthday?

Hubby:  Why does she need an upgrade?  What the heck (words may have been changed cleaned up, to protect the innocent).  I see her using that phone 24/7.  What's the matter with the phone she has?

Me:  Well, Sweets, she wants the new double bonanza two gun indestructible magnum water proof spill proof (still need proof)? Version of her old, tatty, germ y, frosting filled, old phone.

Hubby:  She doesn't even take care of the one she has.

Me:  Case in point.  You got it spot on dear.  You're absolutely right, and that's why she needs the new, double bonanza two gun indestructible magnum water proof spill proof version.  Besides that, if she gets the new double bonanza two gun indestructible magnum water proof spill proof version she can talk on the phone AND take a shower OR text WHILE she surfs!  Whaat up?  Come on, how cool is that?  

Hubby:  Just what every 16 year old needs.

Me:  Yep.  And I guess I'll take that as a ...   y e s? ...

Silence.  Fade Out.

Okay people.  Friends of Maggie everywhere unite.  What do you think?  Drivers license?  Look at this face one more time before you decide.
Yes?  No?  Maybe?  Pleeeze?????
Spiffy new cell phone?  She can text you while she's surfing for pete's sake!

You get to help decide.  Hopefully this will buy her a little more time, and maybe a little more wiggle room in the debate with her dad.  I'll just sit right here and wait for you to decide.  No hurry.  I'll be just sitting right here waiting until sunrise on Friday.  Take your time.  I got nothing else to do but just sit here and check my email.  I'll just be sitting here waiting for your decision comments.  But you only have until sunrise on Friday because, THAT'S WHEN WE'RE MOVING HOME TO THE COTTAGE.  COTTAGE BY THE SEA IS READY FOR US TO COME HOME!!!  YOU'VE BEEN THE MOST AWESOME, PATIENT, SWEET BLOGGY FRIENDS AND FAMILY EVER.  POSTS AND PICTURES FORTHCOMING!

But, in the meantime, like I said, I'll just sit right here and patiently (you know me); and patiently, wait.  Until sunrise.  On Friday.

Until then, you might want to take a look at this post, just so you can tell for sure what your vote should be.  After all, you can see how responsible, how balanced, how much She needs a new ride!
Oh and Maggie, I hope you get that indestructible phone darlin,'  and my vote is pro for the license girl.  But Mag's, those things will be all the compensation you'll get from me. Because, being as you're my babiest baby, my last baby at home.  I've made a very well thought out and serious decision based on the blatent facts.  You are never leaving home.  Ever.  Never.  Ever. 

God loves you my wee one, and I do too.  Happy, joyous, love filled birthday and happily ever-after xoxoxo


Love you more than all the kinds of ways my girl wants her drivers' license and a new phone!