Wednesday, January 31, 2007


"Do not become weary in well-doing, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." Galatians 6:9 NASB

I'm not sure why, but I've had a horrible time sleeping tonight. In fact, it's 4:42 am and I've not slept at all, yet. In the stillness of the night, the Lord brought this verse to my attention. Once again, His timing is perfect. In light of my recent commitment to submit my daily schedule to Him, this verse will be recalled quite often, I'm sure. Maybe you could share a favorite verse of yours.

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Careful Cutbacks

Instead of more housekeeping hints, I'm going to share something I read during my devotion this morning. Since I was encouraged, maybe you could be, as well."Trimming your staff is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do as a leader. And strangely, one of the best." In order for a rose bush to produce one magnificent bloom, many other buds must be eliminated. This allows that one bud to draw a greater source of energy and nutrients. "A small force can often be more effective than a large one. Prune for productivity."

Because I work from home and have no staff, how does this apply to me? Please note that when you earnestly ask the Lord a question, He will provide an answer. He gently showed me that my "staff" could be interpreted as my activity. There are many things in my day which I allow to distract me from accomplishing the greater good of productivity (t.v., computer, Soduko). All of these activities can be right if the timing is right. For instance, right now the sun is shining brilliantly. And what am I doing? Yes, I'm on the computer. My time would be better served outside. There is no need to eliminate any of my activities, but simply to rearrange my day. This is only possible with His help because my own will can be quite overbearing at times. He always produces greater results than I. And since I don't like to learn the hard way, I have chosen to surrender all of my daily activities to Him.

I am anxious to see how He grows me through this process. If anyone would care to hold me accountable, I welcome that.

My current study is from the One Minute Bible series - Women in Leadership: Ninety Daily Devotions by Leading Christian Women, day 58. The yellow rose is for my mother (it's her favorite flower). Photo courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Carpet and Upholstery

Housekeeping Hints by Duraclean...137 ways to make housecleaning a b-r-e-e-z-e, copyright 1964.

During our house tour, the book was featured as one of my curious books. Today I thought I'd staring sharing bits and pieces. I'll post only those hints which are unknown to me.

It will be interesting to see how/if we've changed our housecleaning techniques.

Wear Saving Tips...
"When you buy stair carpet, get an extra foot in length and fold it under against the top risers. Before wear appears at edges of treads, shift carpet an inch or so downward."

"Remember that pile direction of carpet should be with or against the line of traffic - never across. Tests prove that you can extend the life of carpet 25-50% by heeding this precaution."

Cleaning Tips...
"Don't ever use ammonia on your rugs or furnishings - it can damage colors and fibers and often 'sets' stains."

How to Keep...
"When rugs and furnishings are new, or when they have just been cleaned, you can KEEP them that way longer with DURASHIELD, our amazing soil retardant. It is a sprayed-on invisible shield that fills the crevices in fibers to 'lock-out' dirt, keep furnishings from soiling quickly. Amazingly enough, you can't see it, feel it or smell it. Yet light reflectance tests show that Durashield has a significant effect in retarding soiling for up to a year and longer!"

Sunday, January 28, 2007

More golden vitamins...

The sun was shining again!! Here's another picture from October which represents what today felt like. When I took this picture, I was standing north of the plum tree posted yesterday, facing southeast. The big tree on the right sits on our southern-most property line. The far left edge of the retaining wall marks the beginning of the driveway slab.
Hubby and I spent the afternoon cutting and stacking firewood. What a workout, but we really enjoy being outside when the weather is this fantastic.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Has spring arrived already?

Today was the most beautiful day in a long time (several months). The sun was shining, the air was crisp, the sun was shining, the temperature was just right, and the sun was shining!! Oh, yeah, and the sun was shining. Even though this picture was taken in October, it represents what today felt like.This plum tree is situated to the left of our driveway as you approach our house. The fence behind is our western-most property line. If you look closely at the bottom left corner, you can see where our southern-most property line is. All the foliage belongs to the neighbor while the bare ground has been cleared for our first shade garden. Before I cleared the foliage, Hubby had dismantled a huge dog pen that wrapped around the tree with every post being cemented in the ground. That little project took a few weekends.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Our House - Part VIII

The final episode of our house!!! Thanks for your indulgence as I've exposed EVERY part of our house (clutter, bathrooms, etc.). Today's post features my office (a bit more "girly" than Hubby's).For my desk, I use an antique table with an enamel top (just like the cookware in my kitchen). My computer sits atop a vanity which is the perfect height when working. I love this lay-out.

Standing against the closet, this gives you a view of the other side of the room. Notice the dried flower arrangement? The rocking chair belonged to my Grandma Katie and has that wonderful rocking squeek that I hope never to repair (unless I absolutely have to).
This little table is the nightstand from Hubby's childhood bedroom furniture. Having it next to Grandma Katie's rocking chair gives my office the rather quaint atmosphere that I find very relaxing. And, yes, that's a coffee pot! There's even cream & sugar. It only holds four cups, but makes for a nice treat while I'm working.

Thank you for joining me on this tour. I've enjoyed your company!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Our House - Part VII

Today's tour takes us to the living room. Just for the record, the Christmas decorations have since been taken down!These cabinets are wonderful for storage. The t.v. takes center stage with electronics, movies, and CD's below. Blankets are stored in one section with games of all sorts in the other. Hubby's mother found these cabinets when she was an antique dealer. At that time, they were being used in a department store to display sweaters. Each open compartment had a pull-out tray which has long since disappeared. Five of the compartments still have the glass doors that pull out and drop down (similar to a Bannister bookcase). Due to a lower ceiling in this house, we had to get creative with how we stacked them. The cabinet in the corner is almost complete (the top section is actually resting under the t.v.). The section of open compartments under the t.v. should be stacked with the sections to the left of the t.v. But having a lower ceiling allows for excellent t.v. placement!
Here's the other side of the living room. The furniture arrangement works out very nicely because the t.v. is not the center of attention. We can sit in the round and have a very nice conversation next to the fire. Quite cozy!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Our House - Part VI

We're back!! Thanks for the kind comments left over the weekend. Time with the parents was very enjoyable. This posting is quite a bit longer than usual, so I appreciate your time in reading it. There's a lot to see in this part of the house!Today's room is the kitchen, as you have probably guessed. The wall behind the refrigerator is adjacent to the dining room (floor plan). The island separates the cooking area from the table/pantry/laundry area, as seen below.This pie safe belonged to Hubby's grandmother. It sits on the wall adjacent to the living room, across from the kitchen window. The china sets on display are antique, but not family pieces. I found one set at a garage sale, and the other was a gift from an elderly friend. The glass in the doors makes it an excellent display case.
Most people call this cast iron, but we call this our 'wedding china'. As newly-weds, we went crazy in the Lodge cast iron factory's outlet store located in Tennessee. It's durable, easy to clean (non-stick), and easy to keep heated (stove/oven or grill/smoker). We even have plates & bowls!! Also pictured is our second favorite cooking material: stoneware.My collection of enamelware. The pattern I prefer is rather simple: one solid color with a colored band. White seems to be the easiest to find, but the bands vary: black, blue, red. One piece (from my grandmother) is cream colored with a green band. Also shown is my collection of antique baking utensils.There are many reasons people collect chickens/roosters, but I chose this collection because it represents my family heritage and honors my family name. The cookie jar in the top picture, left corner, was made by my grandmother. The plate in the bottom picture, right corner, gives you a hint as to my family name!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Our House - On Hold

Thank you for checking my blog today; however, things will be on hold for a few days. Hubby's parents are flying in tonight and leaving Monday. I don't plan to spend any time on the computer while they are here. Please check back next week for future episodes of Our House. (P.S. Thought the arrangement of dried flowers was a nice touch today. The pink hankie belonged to my great-great-aunt. Notice the tag still in the corner? She never used it!! Also, this gives you a sneak preview of my office!)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Our House - Part V

This is our dining room; however, right now it's not functioning as that. You see, we have no dining room chairs!! There are two in the picture, but one is actually a rocking chair which has no home right now and the other was stolen from another room. I'd like to make this the music room by removing the table and bringing in the piano from the garage. But, shhhh, don't tell Hubby. He may not be too happy with that idea.Below is a close up of the buffet. It's origin is a mystery. When we married, I found it in the basement of Hubby's house; however, he has no idea where he got it or how long he'd had it. It cleaned up nicely and I love having the beauty of an antique.
This music box was a gift from his grandmother. She found it in her days as an antique dealer. It still plays beautifully (eight songs total). The two photos below show a close up of the song selection dial and the manufacturing information.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Our House - Part IV

OK, not your ordinary blog post; however, bloggers, bear with me a few more days as I give my family & friends the grand tour of our house. Being 1700 miles away makes it impossible for them to drop in for a visit while out running errands. Besides, how many snow pictures do I really want to post?
Hubby's bathroom (above) is located off our bedroom; mine (left) is off the hallway. Since either is too small to accommodate two people, we decided we'd each have our own. I've never had my own bathroom before, but I must say that the idea is becoming entirely too comfortable!
One of my favorite prints which I've hung in my bathroom. The frame around the print is actually patterned glass which allows the wall color to show through. In our old house, this print hung on a burgundy-colored wall. Beautiful!! I do plan to paint this room (among others).

Monday, January 15, 2007

Our House - Part III

Great-Aunt Mary's bedroom set. The bed frame was built for a double bed; however, our mattress is queen size. We could have simply set the mattress & box springs on top of the frame, but it would have dwarfed the foot board. Hubby's solution? Attached the head board directly to the wall and stablize the foot board so it stands on its own. Perfect!
When Hubby and I moved from Kansas to Washington last spring, we stopped at Harold Warp Pioneer Village located in Minden, Nebraska. There we learned this bedroom set was circa 1880. Hubby thinks it was manufactured by a company called Eastlake because of the craftsmanship in the carvings and designs. His childhood bedroom furniture is from the same company. (P.S.: This museum is great for those who like to see how technology has changed our every day lives. Plan to spend the day!)
This photo gives a close-up view of the details on the head board which has been duplicated on the top of the dresser mirror, as well.
Here's a detailed photo of the nightstand. Both the nightstand and the dresser have marble tops. And they survived the move thanks to a great moving company and their supurb job of packing!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Our House - Part II

Here's the view from the living room. The bookcases are located just outside Hubby's office. It's not much of a view, but at least the carpet clean!! The next picture shows a few of my collections on display, everything vintage: Children's books of all kinds, Little Golden Books, just a few children's toys, textbooks (one-room school house era), Bibles, curious books.
A few examples of my curious books. Handy Helps or How to do Things, published compliments of the Calumet Baking Power Co, no date available. The title page describes this book as "a collection of useful hints and suggestions for the housewife...valuable alike to the young bride and the gray haired matron." Hmmm...I should fall in there somewhere. Housekeeping Hints by Duraclean: 137 ways to make housecleaning a b-r-e-e-z-e, published in 1964 by Duraclean Company known for "flower fresh" cleaning for rugs, wall-to-wall carpeting and upholstering. I have not read either book. Maybe one day I'll post some helpful household hints. We'll both learn something!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Our House - Part I

OK family: pictures of the interior of our house, as requested. This seems reasonable since you are 1700 miles away! Below is a floor plan, but please keep in mind that it is not to scale. I did not actually measure each room. Some things may look out of proportion because they probably are.
Here are several pictures showing Hubby's office. He finally has enough wall space to hang all of his military history photos. However, as you can see, he's already out of space to add more! Most of these were collected by his mother during her days as an antique dealer.
The map is of Spanish territory and dates back to late 1700's or early 1800's. Below that is a picture of Castillo de San Marcos, a fort in St. Augustine FL (left), and a picture of the missions in San Antonio, TX (right), including the Alamo.

Here's an exhibition of the Civil War era. The two framed prints are Currier & Ives. The other drawings were taken from a book his mother found. On the far wall hangs 'Old Glory' painted by Fred Tripp, an artist in Kansas City, MO. Hubby also subscribes to Military History Quarterly, which is actually quite interesting, and collects Janes books.

Then we're onto WWI with the planes hanging in the corner. The poster is from the Jewish Welfare Board asking Jews to enlist in the military. It was produced for the United War Work Campaign, week of November 11, 1918. You'll be able to get a better look in the next picture.

This wall takes us into the future. From the WWI poster to a futuristic picture of space warfare (blue print directly above filing cabinet). In between, he has more planes, every type of rocket produced, and the Navy flag interpretations. Hubby's done an excellent job displaying his collection and it's quite a site to see.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

More snow!!

This was the scene from our back deck last night. I wasn't sure if the camera would capture the beauty of the snow flakes, but I think it did just fine. The snow flakes are huge! There was no wind so the snow was falling oh so peacefully.

More peace! This breathtaking view was from our back deck this morning. The blue tint makes for an interesting photo (my favorite, so far). Watch out family and friends - this picture may end up on next year's Christmas card! A trick I learned from Petunia's Gardener.

Snow is still falling, but only because a slight breeze is simply "brushing" the snow off the branches. It's beautiful, but I'm thanking Him I work from home. As I was trying to capture just the right photo, I found these tracks in our driveway. Hmmm...split hoof. Interestingly enough, I only saw the tracks where hubby had driven.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


When I posted yesterday's pictures, I was absolutely not asking for more snow, ice, etc. However, this is what we awoke to this morning. Both views are from our back deck. The first picture actually tells a couple of stories. First, the green right along the house indicates there was no wind with the snow. It fell straight down. Second, did you remember our property is located on a steep slope? If you look closely at the ground, you'll see a very definite slope which actually starts in the front yard. This allows for a great crawl space under the house! Hubby can almost stand straight up.This little plant has the look of a tropical, but has done just fine through three different snowfalls.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

November snow

You've seen our rain chains directing water. Now you can see our rain chains collecting water! This photo was taken from our front porch and you're able to see the rain chain quite clearly. You even get a glimpse of our wood piles.
This next photo was taken while standing on our back deck. I zoomed in to get as close as possible. The crystal formations are incredible, aren't they?
My neighbors stated I have a water theme going with my blog postings. We do live in NW Washington. What other type of weather is there in the winter?

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Merry Christmas!

This photo was taken of our neighbor's tree in their front yard. Before Christmas someone decided to decorate (?) the tree with unusual ornaments. Yes, that's a trout line. Thirteen fish in all and they all light up!Check out their blog for the other side of the story (Petunia's Garden listed to the right). Why do I have a picture of the tree, you ask? Hmmmmm...I wonder.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Road block

As promised, here's a picture of the tree that blocked our driveway last month. If you look closely, you can see the tree actually lost five branches! FIVE! Each branch fell in a different direction which made for an interesting picture.
The view is from our house down the driveway leading to the street. Hubby had the presence of mind to move our vehicles out onto the street the night before - just in case a tree fell down due to the anticipated strong winds! Even though our driveway was blocked, we still had transportation. What a guy!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Very interesting...

Just a few more pictures showing the growth on the trees here. Not sure what you'd call it, but it's interesting.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Keeping warm

Staying warm is always better when you're next to a fireplace. We purchased this insert a few months ago. We love it!! Normally, we don't have pans sitting on the top; however, during a power outage, it's a great way to make tea and coffee.This log is an example of how the trees have completed blocked out the light. That's moss growing all over it, as well as the entire tree. The tree fell during the same storm that caused the power outage. What a mess (it actually blocked our driveway). Watch for pictures in the future.Hubby had a hard time splitting this log. Now we know why. Can you see how they just fit together perfectly? One of these days I'll post pictures of our ever-increasing wood piles.