Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Guest Room Christmas Project Part 1


I was never one to decorate early for Christmas. I didn't wait until after Thanksgiving, I waited until December 1. And when my kids were young and we had a live tree, we would cut one at the tree farm on Christmas Eve morning to make sure it was healthy through Epiphany, my youngest son's birthday. 

But as I get older, I get slower. And it just seems like it is suddenly a few days until Christmas and most of the decorations are still in boxes and I still need to bake . . .  So I have joined the early birds. 

Last year I started "Project Hallmark Christmas Inn" and decorated our master bedroom for the season. That is the third room on my list this year. First is my freshly painted and carpeted guest room. 

The theme came early in February when Christmas bedding was marked down for final sale - it's a Fa La La Llama Christmas! I have been picking up items all year and am pulling them from the hiding places. The photos are helping me make changes - add an extra gray throw pillow- lose the red one.

The quilts, ordered online, turned out to be super thin. Which worked out great because I was able to put them over the existing bedding and won't have to figure out where to store what was there. I have a 17" llama pillow coming for this bed. 

I ordered two of these 4' white trees, with multi colored lights on clearance for $10 a a piece, free shipping. I picked up the red tree collars at 5 Below, a store I had never visited before. The dresser topper will be changing to something else. Here is a look at the new drapes for this room, too. 

The wreaths were $5 at 5 Below (this is a dangerous store, lol) and the picture shows me that I need to fix the top of this tree. 

The new closet doors! Yes, I will change the wreath hangers to match each other. And I found the pom pom garland that will go over the doors. I have the fabric to make the rag garlands for window valances, but I think I will work on that project at the end of the month when I go out of town to stay with my oldest daughter's tweenagers. I also have some nifty large llamas for the walls.  There will be update posts. 

I recently saw a "Mr. Kringle Suite" advertised at a fancy hotel in Cleveland for $600 a night. I told my grandchildren I will be accepting reservations for this room and charging a special family rate.  

Actually, the first guest is here tonight before the room is even finished. A co-grandparent became very ill and there was a meeting in a McDonalds parking lot with a weeks worth of clothing exchanged for our four year old birthday boy.  He and two brothers were here the day before with fevers as we are still passing the fall 2022 respiratory infection around. I was on antibiotics for 10 days, found my voice but still have a sore throat and cough. The kids are playing tag and merry-go-round with it, as they trade spiking fevers. And two even came down with hand, hoof and mouth - which is a virus I have learned. It's going to be a long winter. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Not Covid



All the littles have been bringing home viruses from school. The elementary kids shared a disgusting stomach virus with me in September.  They have coughing and sneezing and dripping noses for October. Instead of driving nursery school car poll on Monday, I spent my day on the phone trying to wrangle an appointment for a three year old with a severe sinus infection. A smarter gramma might have started some over the counter stuff then. 

I have been using some of my stash of covid tests (all negative), but when I tried to book an on-line appointment, I couldn't schedule until November 4. So today, a lovely Sunday with temperatures in the 70's, I sat in the waiting room at "convenient care" for two hours and eventually left with two prescriptions. 

Did I mention I completely lost my voice? It has been three days of croaking barely above a whisper and I am now under orders for no whispering either. Since my Super Power is talking nonstop, this has been difficult! 

Oh, and guess what else they are sharing at nursery school? Pink Eye. . . . 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Project Update

I want to thank everyone for their patience with my comment function. I am sure the glitch had to be something I did, but I think I have it corrected. Thank you for all your visits and comments. 

Look at the improvement with just the trim painted! 

Next came the walls. I was wrong. The carpet did look gray next to the walls. 

My six year old granddaughter looked at this and very nicely explained to me that I should go back to the carpet store and ask for a bigger piece of carpet to cover the whole floor, even under the beds! So I did. 

It's gray! 

And still gray in different lighting! 

I decided we had to have the very expensive doors. It turned out the doors are actually in stock at a warehouse (not really "special order") and we could save over 1/3 of the cost by buying them with primer instead of fully painted. We place the order and they were ready for pick up in six days. 

Door number one! 

Three doors!  Actually this was to make sure he had all the hardware prep correct. He took them back to the workshop to paint them. 

We still need to assemble two inexpensive end tables and I am looking at new bedding. I found curtains I like so I will try to get a good picture of them. 

I am SO happy the carpet really is gray! 

More updates:

I am going to call it another success. My two youngest grandchildren are potty trained! 

I spent 2 1/2 hours at training and am officially a poll worker! 

Thanks for visiting! 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Busy Busy

So, has it been long enough that I need to reintroduce myself? 

School started so we have grandchildren that we feed breakfast and put on a bus. We have a toddler 5 days a week that we take back and forth to preschool 2 afternoons. We have another toddler from out of town 3 days a week and sometimes take back and forth to preschool in another town. We have a sick bay since the three elementary schools grandkids attend have had a stomach virus. We traveled to 3 football games for the oldest 4 grandchildren. One morning all 3 elementary schools conspired to have 6 boys aged 9 and under all here on the same day for teachers days. We have a lot of grandchildren. That's my main excuse. 

So, one day I was thinking about Christmas (of course I was) and how the bedding I bought last February for the guest room will clash terribly with the misguided painting scheme on the walls and the next thing I knew

Trust me, it was even worse with the closet doors. I had purchased green, pink, and baby blue paint for a nursery, wrote instructions with diagrams and left for the weekend. When I came home, the paint was used, the furniture was in place and it was not what I had pictured. But I lived with it for at least ten years. 

Better already with the pink woodwork painted over. 

My three year old painting contractor did a great job. 

He even cleans. 

He likes to tell the laborer how it should be done. 

He installed new baseboards

A fresh white ceiling really brightened the room. And you can enjoy the two colored walls . . . 

We have progressed to the point where the painting crew cannot use paint while painting. It doesn't seem to bother them. 

We will be spending some late nights on the project this weekend as carpet is being installed early Tuesday morning. 

So, this is what we are doing. Except that the paint sample is actually gray and the carpet is supposed to be gray. And everyone from the salesperson at the carpet store, the owner of the carpet store, my husband, my daughter, any person I question, tells me it is gray. But I think it looks brown.  And they all think that it looks more gray with the gray paint sample.  I think it makes the gray paint sample look like brown paint.  The bedding is gray.  So I guess it is what it is . . .   

This room is a challenge!!  Yes, the walls will be dark, but with the white ceiling, the white molding and the wall of white closet doors (more on the doors), I think it will look great.

Back in the dark ages, when 3 teenage boys shared this room in a set of bunkbeds and a single and had 3 separate closets to prevent sharing, we built out closets and bought three inexpensive closet doors. After removing them, we both agreed to upgrade them. Once we got to the store, the budget kept increasing. We decided to come home and think about it. I have thought about it and I want the most expensive, custom order doors. Now we need to find time to go back to the big city to order the doors and just cross my fingers they arrive by Christmas. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Summer Whine -ding Down Repeat

1. Thanks to the former "Sam I am" who is now "Self Sufficient Sam" who told me there was something funky with comments on my blog. I am sure it was something I did inadvertently, but I think I fixed it. Thanks for your patience! 

2. Somehow this post disappeared and the only way I could republish it was as a "new" post. It was from August and everything below is exactly the same.

I want to apologize for leaving only cryptic comments and never posting. My keyboards and fingers are having issues. 

The keys on my keyboard are being obstinate. 
Different ones keep sticking, depending on what word I am trying to spell. I purchased a new keyboard to plug into my laptop, but the scale is wrong and it is a weird angle to use it comfortably. Bah Humbug. 

I am currently using a Chromebook purchased to help with homeschooling grandchildren during the Pandemic. Again the keyboard is smaller and so is the screen. Bah Humbug. 

I really don't feel like buying a new laptop (although I should) and I need to find the time to download all that stuff I should have been downloading on my external hard drive. And upload my pictures. And generally clean the thing up.  Bah Humbug. 

About 6 or 7 years ago I had surgery on both hands for various "trigger fingers", fingers that would freeze in a clenched position. It was not a pleasant experience and now I have two more fingers freezing in my right hand. I need to decide how I am going to deal with that, too. Bah Humbug.

And I am thinking I need to talk to my eye doctor about my cataracts, too. Bah Humbug. 

And my school teacher daughter and daughter in law are back to school and we have seven children under 9 here everyday for breakfast, lunch and amusement. I am attempting to potty train the youngest two. Bah Humbug. 

I plan to whine until September 1 and then get over it and make some decisions, appointments and purchases. Thanks for listening to my whine. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Antique Gramma - Wedding Dress Wednesday

A neighboring small town has an "historical village" with a large brick mansion and several barns, buildings and even log cabins have also been relocated to the site over the years. They were celebrating their 50th Anniversary and asked on a Facebook post if anyone had antique/vintage wedding dresses they would be willing to lend for a display. 

As the keeper of all family memorabilia, I have a closet of generations of  wedding dresses so I wrote a message describing them all. To my surprise, they were interested in my polyester 70's wedding gown. I shouldn't have been surprised. I know I am an antique. 

I invited my youngest daughter and her children to accompany me to the birthday party. Unfortunately it was a very rainy day and most people were not as willing to brave the elements as my granddaughter. 

And here we are with my antique wedding gown! Lydia asked if, since we were visiting antiques, would there be dinosaurs, too? 

Here are a few others on display. 

We played Birthday Party Games! 

Our favorite discovery was TWO doll houses. This one was created many years ago as a replica of the mansion on site.  This photo features the third floor ballroom which is still available for rental today.  My next post will feature photos from inside the mansion. 

The second dollhouse was a huge masterpiece created as a labor of love by a husband and wife, now in their 90's. They were present to show it off. The rooms were protected by plexiglass panels which made it difficult to photograph and the lighting system was not working. 

An upstairs room had toys we knew better than to touch.  

Then we went outside to play with some vintage toys that we were allowed to touch. 

And there was a food truck! 

One log cabin featured a quilt show, another had a civil war historian who was familiar with my identical twin 1st cousins, 4x removed, who served in the OH 123rd Infantry, one held as a prisoner at Andersonville. There was a petting zoo, a school house, musicians, and a baked good auction where we spent too much money for a worthy cause.  There were many more cabins and buildings we were not able to visit. 

It was quite the afternoon and it is a shame that more people did not attend. 

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Church Festival

My small country parish has a summer festival ALMOST every year on the second Sunday in July. We skipped the festival for the first time in decades in 2020, due to the pandemic. In 2021, since we were having a surge in cases in our county, the festival was changed to a drive-thru chicken bbq with opportunities to purchase raffle tickets through your car window as you circled the building. 

This year the decision was made to hold the festival complete with children's games, a softball tournament, raffles, bingo, games of chance (including a "hog drop"), concession stands, and more on a few acres surrounding our church. We serve ham and chicken dinners complete with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans with bacon, roll and butter, and a slice of homemade pie. If you eat in our air conditioned dining hall, we serve coffee, iced water and lemonade. You can get carry out to take your dinner home or to eat in our open air rebuilt barn from the 1800's which is roped off as a "beer tent" that overlooks the softball field. 

I got busy baking pies. I ended up with 6 apple, 5 cherry and 6 pumpkin. 

Our county is low in vaccination rate and common sense. This made my husband very concerned and me somewhat concerned.  My husband was the head of the "dishwashing" committee and usually works 7-8 hours in the kitchen. He resigned.  I am in charge of dinner ticket sales. I contacted my shift workers and my first two shifts had no problem working. My third shift had a grandchild who ended up being born yesterday so that left two shifts for me to cover by myself.

Next cupcakes for the cakewalks. 

I decided to go forward with my masks and hand sanitizers and worked on comebacks when being told how silly I was being, sitting in a hallway crammed full of people who lean into tell me how many dinner tickets they require. 

Pardon the lighting at 11:45 p.m.  Next year, bake cupcakes first so that they can cool. Then frost while pies are baking. 

I dropped off my baking early in the morning. I returned about an hour before my first shift so I could peruse the silent auction.  And learned the meals had sold out 4 1/2 hours early.  I did help wash the rest of the roasters and mop countertops in the kitchen.  But I did not have to engage with the public at all. All my worrying for nothing. 

Financially I am not sure how the festival did. Many people arrived for dinner and, when they found we were out, just left. We did have several food stands, but it wasn't what they were looking for.  And that meant they weren't spending money at games either.  I guess time will tell. 

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Back From The Beach


The car before we picked up my oldest granddaughter and her bags. We used the third seat to stack suitcases, too. A car seat, a booster seat and a 12 year old were squeezed in the middle row.

The pool and hot tub area at the marina.

My oldest daughter and three oldest grandkids drove up for a day (and night, the house was huge). There was a pizza place right on the beach. 

The whitest white lady on her third day at the beach. Day One was fine, but despite sunscreen, I was getting pink on Day Two. Despite the temperature in the nineties, there was a nice breeze on the water (thank goodness). 

The chair, which is currently on sale at Walmart. It worked perfectly. There is a handle which doesn't help a short person lift it high enough from the ground. But I used it like a crutch or cane on the sand, gripping the arms of the chair. Folded, I could use the bottom squared legs to balance on the sand while walking. Great help getting up small hills of sand. I think I might still be maneuvering in the sand without it.  It was very sturdy and easy to rise from, too.  I saw a few other people my age with similar chairs and also some people my age eying my chair. 

One of the boutiques featured these "granny square fashions"

I think I remember something similar in my early 1970's Seventeen Magazines. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

End of June and it's Daylily Day

 It's the end of June and my Daylilies have bloomed! 

Thank you all for your suggestions on how a fat old lady can possibly rise from the sand while on the beach.  All the suggestions were great, but after discussion with my daughter, I am taking my heavy director style chair with arms and we will just walk to the parking lot to stash it in the car before walking to restaurants and such. 
I have less than 48 hours before we leave on vacation so today I need to do laundry and pack. I did empty my closet and dresser (what a project!) and discovered I have an entire summer wardrobe I had forgotten about since two years ago and it still fit. 

I am shell shocked by the Supreme Court decision on Friday. I was in high school in our small community before Roe vs Wade. When a girl from a wealthy family got pregnant, she would visit an "aunt" in New York or go on a "family vacation" to Mexico or the Caribbean. Everyone else either dropped out of school to marry a willing boyfriend or had to wear a girdle so the school would not find out and expel her. I know two girls, one in my class and one in the class ahead of ours, who hid pregnancy from their parents who then put the babies up for adoption without the consent of the girls (parents could do that if you weren't 21). The girls were not even permitted to see the babies. One girl did go to a Catholic home somewhere. I don't know the details because she was silent and withdrawn when she returned to school "from mono" and really never spoke to anyone at school again. 

I also have a friend whose daughter was raped in college during her junior year. A stranger climbed in a second story window during the night and assaulted her.  It is a long story which results in a pregnancy. When she found out, she attempted suicide and was hospitalized on a mental ward. After release, she decided to get an abortion. Fortunately this was following Roe and she had the opportunity to make a choice with her supportive family and, just as importantly, the time to make the choice. With the time that Roe bought her past the first six weeks, she decided to carry the baby and put it up for adoption. Then, at the child's birth, decided to keep the baby. She was not pressured into a hasty decision she might have regretted.

I would like to add that the serial rapist, who broke into other college girl's apartments was apprehended. A woman in law enforcement whispered, behind closed doors, that she needed to consult an attorney if she was keeping the pregnancy. The family visited their lawyer and discovered that if she assisted in the prosecution, she would have to get a DNA test on her baby daughter. And those test results would give him parental rights in our state. His parents could even use his visitation rights to take the infant to the prison to see him.  Needless to say, she cut all contact with law enforcement despite their pleas for this evidence. 

I never thought this would be the world I would leave for my granddaughters. One family has the financial resources they would need if necessary. I need to work hard to make sure options are available for all our other granddaughters. 

Miss Merry