Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Las Vegas Memories

I never knew what to expect before our first visit to Vegas. The scenery is breath taking. A much different view than the hills and mountains of Tennessee.

Our most recent visit was two weeks before the sadness that has engulfed the city. The tragedy of lives lost because of evil.  The American flag hangs among the beautiful garden of the Bellagio. A silent reminder that we live in a free society. Free to enjoy a vacation. Free to enjoy a few days away from home. Free to listen to performers.

Since we have visited a couple of times a year Vegas has become a familiar city. It welcomes our family because we have favorite places to dine, play a few machines, walk and enjoy.

Flights seem to arrive every few minutes. Expectations are high and filled with excitement.

Will the act of violence forever change our precious memories? How can we forget the many families whose lives are forever changed?

We can only pray that safety will return.  Beauty will replace nightmares.
Thanks for the good times for my family.

Prayers for those who will remember horror.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saying Goodbye


How do you say goodbye to a best friend that has graced your life for 12 years?
He came to us at 6 weeks old--small enough to resemble more of a kitten than a dog. He could fit in my hand. He grew to be 15 pounds of pure love.

Jake was always willing to snuggle and sit by my side. Through the years he changed from a lively pup to a more sedate adult--much like us. He aged as we did. He was content to just be.

Oh, the laughs we got from his expressions. The turning of the head from our conversations as if he was understanding our utter nonsense.

His joy of watching for his "daddy" to come home! He sensed the time when he would arrive. He would greet him with running around in circles and just waiting to climb on the couch for a few hugs. And his smiles seem to come with his "purring" sounds he would make as he received that love from his dad.

We said goodbye. He went from being completely alright to letting us know his time was up. The last two weeks of seeing him suffer was heart breaking. We would have kept him with us but it wasn't to be.

So long, best buddy. 
So long, Jake. 
You are missed!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Gorgeous Subway Tile

Baby Steps
I guess you could say that the upgrades to my 1980's kitchen has spanned over decades. In 2001 the custom oak cabinets were installed. And loved...until the white cabinet craze seemed to scoop me up and toss me right in the midst. 
The first upgrade was the change to hardwood flooring throughout the open space great room, dining room, and kitchen. Granite countertops appeared about four years ago. Since there was no backsplash project in the near future a granite tiny backsplash was added. After the cabinets were painted a creamy white I still couldn't get a white subway tile off my mind.

The little granite "lip" seemed to stick out like a sore thumb. Even painting a lighter color couldn't detract from the gloomy feeling. Under cabinet lights only "highlighted each and every wall flaw.

The last project for this kitchen is here!

White Subway Tile

When the installers came I insisted that the granite backspash be removed. Holding my breath that it could come off quite easily only proved true. It had been applied with a bit of silicone caulk on the bottom and against the wallboard.
The problem I hadn't even thought about was the fact that the granite installers hadn't done a precise measurement. Yes, that little granite backsplash covered up a bit of a gap in some places. I was so afraid at this point that it would have to be returned. But the installers decided that they could fill in the gap with grout. Using pieces of thin metal strips to hold the tiles in place until they dried was the method of the day.

The smallest and simplest piece of granite proved to be the one that was most horribly cut. The gap was so large that the grout really had to be applied heavily. In this picture you can see the difference on the left and right sides of the stove.

Returning the next day, the grout was applied. I used a light gray grout which ties in beautifully with the granite.

It amazes me the difference in the kitchen. It seems as if inches have been increased to the space instead of one tiny inch on the countertops. The light reflects off the tile and gives a great feeling.

I hesitated to place anything back on the counters and in reality I have simplified the space. But you will have to wait to see that! For now, I am enjoying just the basics--hardwood floors, white cabinets, granite countertops, and white subway tile backspash!

Kitchen--finished! Decades of updates finally finished to my liking.
Next will have to be a brand new kitchen if we ever move!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spring Brights

With spring comes the desire to lighten and brighten. I recently made a few minor and inexpensive changes to the master bedroom to bring the glorious sunshine in.

No, I didn't paint the walls a lighter color. No, I didn't rearrange the furniture.
Actually I went shopping! My favorite go-to store to pick up inexpensive curtains is Marshall's or TJMaxx. Since I was not concerned with keeping the room warm or closing out the cold temperatures I picked up white curtains. I think they were $16.99 a pair of panels. I did add two panels on each side of the windows so that was a total of four sets. Not bad in order to lighten the room immediately.

This is the winter look. The drapes I love! They are from World Market and are great fabric and are lined. Perfect for adding warmth to the bedroom. The dark gray background is highlighted with a beige, aqua, and rust colors of decor. It blended well with the beige quilt and gingham duvet picked up from Ikea. Just gazing at this picture I feel cozy.

Yes, a dramatic difference for the light streaming into the room. I did change the quilt to a white one. The aqua colors scream spring. Target supplied the throw pillows. I like the way the solid aqua is picked up in the throw quilt. Stein Mart always has a big selection of quilts in a wide array of colors. Since I wanted this to be used as a throw I decided to pick up a twin size one which also saved me $$$.

Target does have some great pillows if one searches in various sections of their home goods. The flowered ones were part of bedroom accessories. Once I walked past them I was pulled in!

I am satisfied with the bright room. Since it is on the back of the house it gets a short time of morning sun and a short time of afternoon sun. The room isn't large. So I hope to capture all the sunlight and use it to it's fullest.

I will enjoy this look for another few months before transitioning back to the darker decor.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Floors Nightmare

You know how what one dreams of happening may not be the end result when it comes to home decorating. Our home is a split foyer. The downstairs area consists of a bathroom/laundry room, bedroom, and family room. Since we have lived in this home for thirty-five years it has gone through a couple of changes in the flooring. What was once a dark chocolate carpet was changed to a lighter taupe carpet approximately twenty-five years ago. The carpet remained in the family room. We had changed the laundry room and hallway to ceramic tile--a DIY project. The bedroom had been changed to laminate--another DIY style. 

There was no consistency from the rooms to hallway. Each had different flooring.
Since the carpet had met it's life expectancy many years ago the decision was made to replace with laminate since it sits on a concrete slab. My thought was to just go ahead and change the hallway and bedroom also.

When entering the hallway from the garage now the laminate leads straight into the bedroom. It has a much nicer and cleaner look.

The family room is now fresher and feels much bigger.

But, you think--didn't the title of this post say New Floors Nightmare?
Looks pretty.

Clean. Neat. Eye-candy.

This was not a do it yourself. Yes, we hired it out. I won't mention the big box store that we purchased the flooring from or the company that provided the installation. The floor looks fine. No problem.

The first nightmare was that I was sick the day it began. Think stomach bug and lots of noise in the downstairs drifting straight upstairs. That noise sitting on top of my headache. Since I felt so bad I wasn't checking on the progress or peeking at the beauty. Nope. I was on the couch. Hoping that the whole thing would be finished soon. I should have suspected something when they arrived at nine and left at two. I heard something about needing a tool that they didn't have????

The next day they did arrive around eight and started working immediately. I still wasn't feeling too good but did peek in the bedroom and the baseboards and shoe molding was being placed in the bedroom. Progress! They were beginning on the family room with the actual laminate.

Tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings were being predicted. I anticipated they would stop working when the bad weather arrived. Yes it did rain and rain and rain--heavily. Yet, the workers stuck with the project. The ceramic tile had to be taken out of the hall and cut at the laundry room doorway. Think lots of louder noise and my head is still hurting!

At five o'clock the main installer came upstairs and told me I needed to show them where to place the furniture in the family room. We had moved a lot of it before they came. The bedroom furniture had already been placed. Still thinking of nothing but the hope that this would be finished today. Quietness would resume. My downstairs would become part of OUR home again.

Homemade quilts sewed by Mr. Spouse's grandmother screams home and family.

Home, Sweet, Home!
Cozy white farmhouse sofa!

I signed that the project had been completed and off the installers went.

The furniture and flooring looked so nice. I was pleased. I was happy until I took a look at the baseboards and shoe molding. Not one corner was mitered correctly. There were gaps that Mr. Spouse and I could have done much better and we are not the best DIY people. Some of the baseboards were broken. Some were not even completely against the wall.

This is an example of what we had. For some reason they had even beat on our door frames. Holes were knocked in the walls and cracks from removing the old baseboards were our guess as to the damage we had.

I took pictures and sent them to the big box store and the
installer's company. It was decided that they would have to "fix" them. After waiting a few weeks the supervisor was to come WITH the installer to repair, replace, just make them right.

The installer came first and let's just say he wasn't too happy with me! The supervisor arrived later and from the conversation I heard--it sounded like it was just me and my OCD that was the issue. You know, caulking really isn't part of the installation. Mr. Spouse talked with them and stayed most of the time they were here.

Guess you are thinking that it is OK now. Yes, it was...until I began painting the baseboards and shoe molding. Well, the "fix" was to caulk to hide some of the lesser problems. Now, there is paintable caulk and there is silicone. They used silicone. Which has turned a nice shade of gray. And isn't paintable. Now I guess I will sand and sand and sand.

From a distance everything is fine. 

Guest are welcome.

Next time I think DIY sounds like a better plan. 
All in all, it has been a lesson in the fact that hiring a project may not give a better result.

OCD and all,

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