Monday, April 23, 2018

The Project That Just Keeps Growing

I guess the bedroom update renovation just got real. I think my grandsons have about 20 orange cones outside the door. I did get an army of little men running to me this morning telling me that grampa needed to spend some time in the naughty chair. He was writing on the walls!
We only had one outlet on this wall and it was located behind the bed. To plug in a lamp or clock, we would have to lift the mattress while the other plugged or unplugged. I was thinking we should each have an outlet on our own side of the bed!

Luckily, before grampa got to work, I thought a little further. We are getting new nightstands and will each have a lamp that will need plugged in. We are old and still use alarm clocks and we will need to plug those in, too. But because we are modern grandparents, we each have a cell phone. Wouldn't it be great to have our chargers there, too? So he is going to put an outlet with four plugs on each side. I am pretty excited. 
I think we see who is in charge of this project! I was also thinking (always dangerous for my husband) that I want the TV mounted on the wall so that it doesn't scratch my new dresser, still under construction by our Amish friends.  This will give me another four days before I have to make the final decision on paint color. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Bedroom for Grown Ups

FYI, this is what our master bedroom looks like when it is cleaned up. I took a few bags to Goodwill, moved clothing to the clothing bank (where they give it out to needy persons at no charge) and had several bags that went to the dump. Scary, huh.

To start at the beginning, 42 years ago we got married and my mother-in-law let us borrow a bed. We had a small dresser from somewhere and a bench where we piled clothes. We used our first income tax refund check to visit Value City Furniture and came home with a bedroom set from the ad, a full size bed, two dressers (one with the infamous hutch style mirror of the 1970's) and two nightstands. We returned her bed. 

About two years later my grandmother passed away and, since we are the family that remained in town, we were the recipients of all the furniture that no one else wanted. At the same time my husband's co-worker experienced a horrible house fire so we gifted him our Value City bedroom set, along with mismatched living room furniture, etc. 

For our master, I moved in the four poster maple bed that I used since I was a little girl that was in her guest room. I used the vanity above as my night stand, a pine dresser from the 20's that was my great aunt's for my dresser, an oak dresser that was my grandmother's for my husband and his night stand is a walnut dresser with 4 drawers on the bottom, two sets of small drawers on either side of the pedestal mirror on top. This one is from the late 1890's. You may notice a trend of mismatched woods. I never followed through on refinishing anything so three of the pieces do almost match since the varnish has turned black. The room is not large and it is like sleeping in a thrift shop with the walls lined with furniture.

April 2018. No more! I want to live like a grownup!

For our #RetireeRoadTrip for April, we went to the furniture store! It is the same store where we ordered our Amish made dining room set. Unfortunately the Weaver family who built our wonderful table and chairs do not make bedroom sets. But the Miller family does!

 The Millers handcraft two basic bedroom sets with a few variations. They will custom size whatever you want. There are over 20 stains you can choose from, too. This was the first set. Very pretty. Very well made. Everything is solid wood with metal slides for self closing drawers that latch in place. This set had a smaller dresser and the night stands had a shelf for people with less clutter. 
The furniture is so heavy that you can barely move it. It will last a lifetime! The tall dresser is on the right and the width was slightly smaller than the second choice. 
The style was a bit like mission with the frame of the dresser extending out from the drawers. There is also a space underneath that I could fill with clutter. (We all know that will happen.)
TA DA. This is the most beautiful bedroom set ever! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Let me show you around. 
In love with the bed. Shown is a Queen size. Unfortunately, after measuring every inch with our handy tape measure, returning home and mapping it all out on my graph paper, it just would not fit. Our lovely salesperson Holly called the Millers and got us the exact measurements for a full size and that is what we ordered. 
Mr Merry's tall dresser. And I mean tall. It is almost six feet tall and was part of the problem. It would not work in front of a window! Very deep drawers. 
And this is Miss Merry's very tall double dresser with lots of great drawer space. I had to order it without the mirror since that made it almost 7 feet tall. It just fits under my side window which is a little shorter than the other. Thank goodness I am not getting the mirror since it obviously adds at least 50 pounds to my reflection. (It is all the mirrors fault, right?) And I think it might be tall enough that I could not see myself in the attached mirror anyway. 
Not only do the night stands have drawers, but they are much wider than my cell phone camera shows. We are using them for clothing. 

Another bonus is the bottom aprons on the dressers and stands are very low to the floor. This will prevent a certain someone from piling things underneath. 

We looked at all the finishes, but we love the one on the floor model. It is called "Michael" (it is a medium oak with not as much red in it as my camera shows). Our oldest son is Michael, so I know I made the right choice. The Millers say it will be ten weeks to build it, but I am hoping it is here by September. If it does come sooner, it will be a wonderful bonus. 

So - since we have several weeks, I got right to work. The new furniture inspired me. First I emptied my closet and drawers, getting rid of at least half my clothes. I donated all my business/work clothes and was ruthless with my comfortable, knock around the houses stuff. I also scaled down my sock and scarf collection and a few other items. All those shoes that I bought because they were cute and I could almost squeeze my feet inside were donated. 

Next we went to the carpet store. 
Apologies for the cell phone photos. Here it is. It is called Shooting Star, how perfect. It is a medium gray. They are going to install it the second week of May to give Mr Merry a chance to complete the rest of the to-do list. He has to move some outlets, paint the walls and mount the TV on the wall so it does not scratch my new dressers.

I wanted to get new bedding before I chose the paint color. I visited every store in a 25 mile radius. Nothing struck my fancy until I got to Target, which was an after thought. The minute I saw this print, I fell in love. It was nothing like what I had in mind. Unfortunately they did not have the size I wanted in stock, but I was able to order it on line. It will be here on Wednesday and I want to have it in hand when I chose my paint color.  I am leaning to matching the blue or maybe going with a cream or very light gray. 

I am helping my youngest daughter update her resume this afternoon and then we are off to the hardware superstore for electrical supplies, wall repair supplies and new interior doors for my entire hallway to replace the worn out, horrible builders hollow doors we have lived with since January 1978. This project has really snowballed with my fulltime husband/handyman ready to go after being trapped inside all winter. 

I have an unhealthy emotional attachment to all my family treasures which is why it has taken this long to let go. My oldest granddaughter, who is a mature eight years old, is taking the vanity; her mother is an expert refinisher. My middle son's second child will be moved from his crib to the four poster. I am keeping my great aunt's 1920's bedroom set; the other pieces are scattered around the house and I am putting it all together in my guest room. The other two dressers will be emptied and put up for bids on our secret family facebook page. I heard my nephew is moving to a larger apartment, so if none of my children want them, I will offer them to him next. The next issue is my grandparents art collection which currently covers the walls like a kindergarten bulletin board. The majority aren't even my taste, I don't know much about them, but I have a large number of signed watercolors and prints with pencil signatures. I guess I will start offering them to my children and hope they find good homes. 

All in all, the April #RetireeRoadTrip has turned into an expensive outing!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Easter Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

A few days before Easter we were invited to my son's house to "help" two of my grandsons color eggs. I think they did a fantastic job!
 I had some nice pictures of my tablesetting, but somehow they have come up missing between my camera and laptop. Meanwhile, I forced some pussywillows and forsythia to make an Easter tree, just like my mom always did. Those are carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting off to the left. 
One of my daughter in laws makes the best cheese balls in the world! And she always comes up with a holiday theme. Voila! It is a carrot. 
Hey, it is a better photo of the tree!
And a dark photo of the table has surfaced.
 Originally I did not think any of my five children and families were able to come and I was making plans to go out for Easter Dinner. It turned out four out of five could come, just not at the same time. Here are 2 quiches from Taste of Home magazine.  I first made this recipe in 1995 for my daughter and her friends after the "after prom". It is so delicious. I served this with fresh fruit for the first shift of guests, brunch. 
The lunch crowd started with Cream of Asparagus soup. It seemed much lighter in color than usual, but tasted exactly the same. I wonder if the color was due to early asparagus this year? 
The spiral sliced ham, which seemed to have thicker slices than usual was a big hit for brunch, lunch and dinner.  I served the ham with oven roasted potatoes and a plate of vegetables and dip. 
Black olives and deviled eggs are another family favorite. I can remember my grandmother hiding them from my grandfather, my mom hiding them from my dad and the tradition continues. I dyed the egg whites and hid 3 dozen eggs (6 dozen deviled eggs) so that I had enough for all three meals. My two 3 year old grandsons are in love with black olives, so I had to ration those too. 
My youngest daughter mugging for her daughter and the camera. One of my other daughter in laws who could not come with their family until supper time dropped off this luscious Easter cheesecake on their way to church in the morning. It tasted as amazing as it looks!
Since Easter fell on April Fool's day this year, I wasn't quite sure what to make of this special Easter Egg one of my grandsons gave me. SHHHHHHHHHHHH. It isn't public yet, but it looks like we will be welcoming grandchild number nine this fall!

Miss Merry