Friday, September 6, 2013

Yes, it's 3 in the morning... please pray

There are some things that keep you up thinking... and internet searching... and praying.

There are things that have you on your face... praying.  
This is one of those things.

Please pray for us.

Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.
1 Kings 8:28

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Week in Winter

Today, as I was watching my four year old daughter run around in her knickers at my in-laws house, I sat reading Maeve Binchy's last novel, A Week in Winter. I've been reading it solemnly because I feel like there will be a huge void in my life without Ms. Binchy writing ME new novels.

There isn't a time that I haven't walked into a thrift shop and not searched for Maeve's books.  It will be somehow different.  Somehow less exciting.

I ended up buying this book on eBay since it is hard to find.  And I really, really wanted to read it.  So far it's as amazing as any of her other stories have been.

I truly cannot even describe the feelings that Maeve's novels have provided me.  It's like coming home while being as far away from home as you can imagine.  It's like falling in love with people that you've never even met... because they actually only existed in this amazing story teller's mind.  But you can't quite admit to yourself that they aren't real people.  You want them to be real people and real places.  At least I do.

I love imagining the places where she allows us to escape to.  In this novel, she takes us to the Ireland countryside along the western shoreline.  In her book she describes the shoreline to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.  In my mind, I picture Highway 1, just south of Carmel, near Big Sur.

I have this image of a tall, slightly run down stone house where most of the story takes place.  It overlooks the ocean and is cold and unruly.  I checked google images and came up with a few, but nothing as awesome as the image that she allows me in my mind.

 It's like these... but much grander and on a lovely parcel of green overgrown land.

I'm only about a hundred pages in so far, but I feel like I've traveled the little road that leads to Stony Brook and I'm just longing to help spruce up the old stone house and the stone cottage that Rigger and Carmel live in.

But for now, I'll be happy enjoying the gorgeous view of my little cottage here in California.  Or at least its roof.

...... but I miss the anticipation of a new Maeve Binchy book.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My living room, In Progress!

So I decided to spend my Labor Day cleaning house.  The hubby's truck is in the shop so he had my car for the day (he had to work... on Labor Day!!!).  Not much else to do other than attempt to remedy the situation that has me stuck, right?

So that's just what I did.  My wonderful husband finished fixing a table that had been destined for the dump until he rescued it.  It had a decent size crack that he managed to fix with some wood glue and then he painted it white for me.  It turned out lovely!

That piece of furniture is what motivated me to do some rearranging and cleaning in the living room.  It looked so darn beautiful sitting there in the corner of the room while everything surrounding it looked all shabby (and not in a chic way).

I bought a lovely rug a few months back on Joss & Main which really brings the room together!  I was really hesitant about making the purchase online but I am delighted with the bright green wool rug!  I had sold our "old" rug on Craigslist just in time for this beauty to pop up on the site.

We were also lucky to come across a cute chair and sofa bed set on Craigslist for just $100.  I'm telling you, I love Craigslist!!!

So with a lot of muscle and a bit of elbow grease, I managed to rearrange and tidy up while the hubby was at work.  My daughter motivated me by commenting on how strong I was while I dragged a dresser down 3 small steps (that lead into the bedroom).  

I don't know why I didn't do this sooner!  It's amazing what a huge difference this made.  I still don't have a lot of horizontal surfaces to work with, but just changing the set up of the room made it feel so much more homey!  Our artwork and family photos are still in storage so the walls are still bare.  I don't really want to hang anything until I am more confident in where everything is staying.  In this small house, we won't have the luxury of moving things around so I'm pretty sure that the living room will be staying in this set up.  But who knows.  Once we get the corner bookshelves up, I may end up changing things a bit. This is the corner that is screaming for those bookshelves.

However, I did have my husband hang up the curtain rod and I hung up one of my Grandpa Matsu's wood carved paintings.   Much to my dismay, I'll have to wait to hang the curtains until I have some rings.  Our ceilings are low and taper down to 72" at the wall, so shower curtains ended up being the perfect length.  Of course I wanted them to be cotton so I spent quite a while searching eBay for the perfect panels.  Then I had to wait... and wait for another matching panel to go up for auction at a reasonable price.  The shower curtains have been stored away so I had completely forgotten that they needed rings or hooks to be hung!  Oh well, at least the rod is ready when I am!

But for now, I'm breathing in this room with a sense of relief (and possibly, a bit too much pride).  It's been 4 1/2 years since we've had all of our things out of boxes so we'll have to wait and see if we'll be unpacked before 5 years hits!

But for now, I feel good.  I feel less anxious.  I get anxious when there is clutter and chaos.  I don't feel anxious right now.  Praise God!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Long Time, No write

I haven't posted anything in an incredibly long time.  Honestly, there hasn't been anything interesting to write about.  My husband and I are extremely stretched right now so I haven't been able to do much of anything to  our little place.  Most of our stuff is still in storage because of a lack of furniture to put it on or in.  Our biggest dilemma is not having the book shelves that I so long for.  I have a lot of books and movies packed away that cannot be brought out until we get some shelving. I am picky about my shelving though.  I want them to be real wood so that I can have them for a long time.  My last three shelves were made of veneer and they warped and fell apart far too quickly under the weight of my books.

Ultimately, this is the look I'm going for in the living area, minus the desk.  And the ladder (which I adore, but...) which just wouldn't make sense in my tiny cottage with low ceilings.

Alas, I hunt for real wood shelves on craigslist and in thrift shops that could work in this formation.  We've come across a few that seemed like they might do the trick, but we just couldn't fork up the cash at the time.  I'm sure we'll find something when the timing is right.  In the meantime, I look around our little cottage that we've lived in for almost a year now and can't help but feel frustrated that it still looks like we just moved in.

Every day I have to fight my bitter feelings and give it to God.  I have to remind myself that a year ago we didn't even know where we were going to be living in a few months.

Sorry for the doom and gloom.  I get frustrated when it comes to my home.

I'll post a few photos soon so that you can see where I'm going with the colors and decor.  I've picked up a few things here and there that suit my taste.  The funny thing is that none of them are really where they're supposed to be (meaning, in the place where they are supposed to be in my mind's eye... the ultimate design of our cottage that is tucked away in my head).  Some of them are stored away in cardboard waiting to be framed and hung on the walls.  Some are on the wall on an old screw that was left by the former tenant.  Most are just packed away awaiting a flat surface to be placed on.

Anyways, it feels good to be typing.  Even if there isn't really a topic, per se.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's been a while...

I've been pouting the past few months.  Pouting because I haven't been able to decorate our new house. Pouting because I haven't been able to garden.  Just plain pouting.  That's actually why I haven't been blogging.  I know, I know.  I'm a big baby.

But the sun has been shining lately and spring is just around the corner.  We've been tidying up and I feel so much better.  It's like a breath of fresh air.

I've been watching the tulips sprouting through the ground the past month or so.  

We're getting ready to plant seeds in our garden and we're looking 
for a swing set to put in for our daughter. 

Enough with the pouting already!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My sister's bathroom

Several months ago I mentioned that I would post some photos of my sister's bathroom once she was finished decorating, but I never got around to it.  Well, here are a few shots.  I thought I had another of the little furniture piece that she painted, but I guess not.  That will just have to wait til another post!

If you want more info on the towels and soap dispenser, see this post.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to all... and Peanut Butter Bonbons

It is very early Christmas morning and I have not gone to sleep yet.  Busy making Peanut Butter Bonbons and playing Words with Friends with my mom and my sister.  Super busy.  ;)

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  This time of year is always so busy but the fact of the matter is that it truly is the most important celebration of our lives!  Christ is born!

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
    that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    ~John 3:16

I just adore all of the music and decorations that celebrate Christmas!  We didn't get to do much decorating this year because we still don't have any shelving nor much furniture, but we are learning (ok... I am) to be thankful through every phase of this transition.  I want the house to be completely adorable and ready for people to come visit but I think I am focusing too much on what I want than on what we have.  Thank you God for giving us this house of ours in which we can relax and celebrate your birthday!

Thank you for the late nights spent wrapping gifts (that I can afford to give) and for the even later nights spent making treats and making Christmas morning even more amazing for our little girl!

I thought I'd share the Bonbon recipe since I mentioned making them.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Bonbons

1 cup of chunky peanut butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 (6 oz.) bag of semi- sweet chocolate pieces (I just use a cup of chocolate chips)
2 Tbsp soft margarine
1 1/2 cups of raisins 
2 Tbsp shortening

Combine peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar, mixing well.  Stir in raisins.  Shape into small balls.  Melt chocolate with shortening over warm (not hot) water.  Dip balls into the chocolate.  Place on waxed paper until set.  Refrigerate.  

So simple yet so awesome!  I always omitt the raisins because I'm not a huge fan.

I remember the first time that I made these.  We were still living in Copperas Cove, Tx and we had some of my husband's fight team over.  Talk about needing to make more!  They weren't training for any fights at the time so they didn't need to watch their manly figures.  ;)

They're still in the fridge otherwise I would have tried and made a pretty arrangement for your drooling...  I mean, viewing pleasure.  They don't look so hot sitting on the waxed paper.  LOL!

I had better try and get some sleep now.  I need to be up in about 5 hours to head up to my sister's house.  Have a Merry Christmas!

    And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life,
     and this life is in his Son.
     ~1 John 5:11