Monday, October 31, 2011

M is for Merry Monday, MOO, Mackenzie Childs, and Marine Assault Climbers...

Good Morning to all my bloggy sisters out there!

I accomplished getting my NANCY NOEL print framed and hung this weekend. (used a frame I already had that just "fit" with its rustic look.) This one is of a lovely bovine with a precious little bluebird perched on her ear....titled Bluebell. Both of my grandfathers had for milking and one for beef...(so I feel like they are a thread woven into the family history of my life tapestry)...but I have always loved the Big Brown eyes and long eyelashes of those large creatures. Every NOEL print I have is a favorite.

Bluebell is right over my computer nook and I feel like she is LOOKING down at me. :-) love to look up and see that big face and the little bird...


I am very unorthodox in my decorating...any who drop by here know it!..I know. But it's for me, and it makes me smile and smile, so I think it may be okay around here. Glad my hubby understands.

I'm sure some of you have heard of Mackenzie-Childs products. I love to LOOK at their stuff, but it's OUT of my budget, so never purchased any...until a couple of weeks ago.
I saw this beautiful blue and white large bowl at the consignment store here in Cedar Rapids and recognized it as MC right away. $5.00 yes ...I grabbed up that bowl!

I brought it home and placed it under the floor birdcage. Love the checkerboard patterns on this company's wares.

I was tickled pink to find this treasure for a price I could much so I decided to fill the bowl with pink ornaments to match the morning glory pattern. (found the entire pink bunch at Salvation Army store last year for pennies.)

I am so so so thrilled to say my Marine has finished the grueling 6 week course and is graduating today in WV as a United States Marine Assault Climber.

*file photos

"If any troops were to come up for a beach landing which had a cliff or any sort of compartmentalized terrain that they need to overcome, they would be able to implement the assault climbers and make it to the top to set up lanes for their platoon and or companies to get to the objective in a more timely manner than moving around the obstacle. It is important if there is vertical terrain and the task to move gear in a timely manner -there is a need for Marines who are specialized to move it up. It will be beneficial in places like Afghanistan where you have to move a whole company up the mountain in a swift and efficient manner to out-maneuver the enemy who might not have that capability."

It was painful at times, and freezing at times, and very wet at times, but the group endured. They did what Marines all over the world do. They finish the task given, no matter what! I am proud of Justin and thank God for all our tough and committed military heroes for what they do, and their sacrifices and their "Do or Do Not, There is NO Try" attitude. GOD BLESS THEM!!

And so I say to all stopping by here today, Have a wonderful Monday to start out this week!

and to my Marine I shout out an EXTRA BIG

And to my other three peeps...

And to my awesome man...

BLESSINGS from God above who is in charge of ALL things. HE is always in control and always good, no matter what...

Walk with courage in that thought, and God will give you confidence!!!!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday is here again!

Time is flying...oh my! FRIDAY again!

I am still loving my pops of red - my favorite may have noticed in yesterday's post.

I grabbed a picture of this lovely out in the back yard. Mother Nature provided the pop with NO help from me. I am thrilled to look out the window and see it.

Does anybody recognize what kind of bush or shrub this is?

I have gotten my little computer nook (my own little place!) put together in the Master bedroom again. Glad there was space! And got the chandy up now.

The little white sparkly birds are once again hanging on it, but this time instead of just one strand of pearls (a long necklace) draped around the candlabra pieces, I took a very very long (9 feet?) Christmas garland of faux pearls and used it to embellish the entire fixture. Love the effect...more dramatic.

Then I took the necklace and just wrapped it around the cord leading up to the wall hanger. like it better than a fabric cord cover.

In front of me, at eye level, hangs this chippy vintage rose print. so lovely. I want to plant rose bushes here so badly. This is my inspiration through the upcoming winter. I found this treasure shortly before I left Charlotte at the tiny thrift store down the road for $2.00. Could NOT leave it in NC!

So that is just a quickie of a few things DONE - checked off the list for my computer nook. I am getting ready to work on a picture (frame it) that I will hang above the computer...that is an all time favorite from one of my MOST favored artists. Can you guess which one it might be? Of course the print has a bird in it...

Thanks for popping by! Hope your weekend is outstanding. We will be working on the house..even amidst the feathering fun, there is work and labor "FIX-IT" jobs to be completed in this 50 year old ranch. (purchased "As Is")

This would be the priority project right now. (spoiler alert)

YES!..this nest has a PINK TILE bath from the 50's and 60's era and it is absolutely STAYING PUT. (definitely part of the personality of this house, and I am already having fun playing with it) there was a leak at this spot over the tub Da Man is reworking and fixing her up! I love him. He is the best handyman ever. (of course my dad ranks right up there beside him:-)

{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}} Be safe!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trusting God...Feathering a Nest....and HUGS.

Moving a household from one location to another is a job! When that move involves over 1000 miles of distance and travel, it is HUGE! Sometimes traumatic...but life is a journey. It is not static and all along the way, we encounter ups and downs, jolts and pauses, peace and trauma. What we do with all of those in-your-face moments is what makes LIFE...what it is...Day In and Day Out.

Trusting God all the way is the ONLY way ladies. Today I testify to this. I am here to tell you. He is the ONE you want taking care of and overseeing all of those moments. He designed your life therefore it makes sense, yes?

Putting a new home together is not something I want to do fast. I surely want to see it done, and have a place for everything and everything in its place, but once the basic unpacking is undone, the furniture is in place ...for now- ;-) - the tweaking and feathering begin and just can't be rushed. Today I am sharing a few things I have done to put my stamp on this house, beginning to claim the space, as I posted about earlier.

In the kitchen the knobs on the drawers were reaching out and grabbing Kurt and me (pockets, robes, etc) so I went out to Lowes and got different ones. The old ones were identical to the cabinet door pulls.

The old knobs then went on the island to make it "match" or blend in better with the cabinets here. The wood block overhangs the drawers enough that they don't GRAB us.
Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference. :-)

The following photos are just small gestures made...feathers added to the kitchen to make it MY nest...

Wooden carved arch added to expanse of empty space over sink, bunny and rooster heads up for holding towels, mini-chandy up, colorful glass Scotty trio on window sill, window swags added.

Above is a photo Kurt took and sent to me in Charlotte to show me the Pantry in the kitchen. It is very tall, reaches to the ceiling. The doors were quite plain and naked looking to me..(you know me and my "filling up the empty canvas" habits) After arriving, I happened to find a large wooden fork and spoon set at the nearby Goodwill. JUST WHAT I NEEDED. Knew exactly where they would go when I laid eyes on them. Brought them home and painted them black. Hung them on the doors and then had Kurt put up the wall words that weekend. ( I am HORRIBLE with measuring out distance equally) These wall words I had found at my Goodwill in Charlotte over a year ago, and was just hanging on to them for the right time and place...yes! longer naked and forlorn looking... :-)

I have NO cabinets over my frig nook. but quite a bit of open space above it. I took my sitting Chef Rabbit holding his sparkly apple and sat him on a pedestal, surrounded by hydrangeas and twinkle lights (makes a GREAT nightlight in the kitchen), added two candlesticks and voila...Space is filled.

This two-faced clock had one side that got the innards busted and broken. I hung it just to the left of the pantry in the long back hallway. The other side still has a clock face and Kam can see it when he is in the family room doing homework. The broken side, I just removed the hands and printed and applied a graphic from "Graphics Fairy" that says Dog Biscuits (in French. they are at the bottom of the pantry and doggies know it!) works for me. :-)

This is wall space to the left of the breakfast nook or corner.

Last today, and MOST IMPORTANT, THE FLAG IS UP!! The one and only thing I have not been able to find after unpacking all boxes and looking in every corner and space is my flagpole!! In Charlotte - we had the 20 foot ground pole out front with the American and USMC flags spotlighted and flying 24/7. I had a regular 5 footer for the house in my walkin closet, but I can NOT locate it...(maybe left in the moving VAN?) oh well, I got another one at Lowe's this week and she is flying outside my kitchen window where she stays lit at night and I can see her all day. RAH!!!

If somebody asked...."Are we having FUN yet?" I would definitely say YES. I said goodbye to my sweet and memory filled cottage-on-Woodberry in Charlotte and have NOT looked back. I just brought the memories with me. Starting afresh making many many more memories here in this ranch-on-Thunderbird in Iowa. :-)

These are just a few peeks into my home to share that fun, and to let my peeps and friends back in Charlotte know I am alive and well and "still going strong!"

I will continue to share "I Spy" posts as I keep on tweaking and claiming the spaces...

Thanks to ALL who drop by just to say Hi and to let me know how YOU are doing. Hugs to each and every one wherever you are in this great nation. God bless you. God bless our nation, and God bless our troops scattered all over this world.

Monday, October 24, 2011

M is for Monday....Merry....and Marine Mom!

Here it is ANOTHER Monday! - that day so many people seem to dread because it means going back in to the old grind...the JOB!...a place they would rather not be.

It's getting closer and closer to Christmas time once again also! I thought about what our most common greeting is as we walk through that season...
MERRY CHRISTMAS! What does "merry" mean literally? According to Free On-Line dictionary...

1. Full of high-spirited gaiety; jolly; cheerful
2. Marked by or offering fun and gaiety; festive: a merry evening.
3. Archaic: Delightful; entertaining.
4. Old English - Pleasant

I think I shall try EXTRA hard to make it my goal, my mission to walk through my Mondays from here on out in a "merry spirit"....just because. No - I don't go to work or a job (not yet, anyway)but simply because Monday starts with an M, and Merry starts with an M...I shall remember it well. Mondays get a bad rap, and I so believe, and as my Marine says and lives out (which inspired the title of this blog)

Life is WHAT YOU Make of It!

So today I propose to all of you dropping by that you set out on a mission. Your task is to turn this Monday into a cheerful and delightful day by being pleasant to somebody else and then....carry on ....each and every Monday!

Now, I thought to end this post I would show a little nook in this 60's ranch. It is in the middle of the back hallway that leads to the bedroom wing. Just a niche with drawers for storage and a mirror covering the wall. (Different!)

I have for now taken the left side of this nook and made it into a Marine photo collage wall. It has pictures from Justin's tour in Afghanistan in 2010. **And of course it has the little chippy angel with the missing foot...Justin's designated Guardian Angel figure, to remind me every time I glance at it, that Jesus has my Marine's back, and angels are dispensed with the task to stay close.

One of my favorites is his silhouette that someone captured when he was out in the sand dunes.. wearing all of that confounded gear they must keep on for protection...packs, kevlar, flaks...weapons...machinery. That piece on his back is the heavy piece that scrambled signals when they were patrolling so that remotes could NOT send signals to set off an IED in their path. He said it killed the nerves in his shoulders..

I found the frame below somewhere!- can't remember where, but it is one of my favorites. In it is a print of a military figure kneeling in prayer and an angel hovering over him...below it, the caption says "Not Alone." I keep this image in my mind so much of the time when I am thinking of my Marine...and the others I pray for...ALL of them. I hope they will always remember that truly they are NOT alone...ever, and that guardian angels really do fly low and watch their backs...God is present - EVERYWHERE.

Hugs to all dropping by this post today. Wishing you a very MERRY MONDAY!!! Make it SO! Thinking of all of you today...spread across this nation of ours. Blogging is a treasure when you think about all the sisters you can connect with via this amazing internet... Have a blessed day. :-)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Loveliness...

All Things Bright and Beautiful

~Cecil Frances Alexander

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

*from the tree outside ...

My dear Military Sister, USMC Sergeant Major mom, Nancy, informed me this was a Pee Gee Hydrangea that grows into a tree. THANK YOU Nancy...Kurt and I immediately googled and found out about them. Technical name - (latin) It’s real name is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’, paniculata meaning upright and tall, grandiflora meaning large flowered.

They certainly are lovely, and I am happy dancing to have it in my yard here. God's creation in the flora world is simply breathtaking and indescribable.

Have a lovely Sunday wherever you are and enjoy the lingering flowers of Summer and Fall before Old Man Winter blows in...

Hugs to all...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Claiming My Space....

Every Friday I check in to LaurieAnna's blog to see her Vintage Farmhouse Friday party and all the participants' pretties...just because I love farmhouses.

Today I really really liked her post. In it she said, while she was appearing on the Nate Berkus show that Maya Angelou had said,

"When people plant flowers in window boxes it means they are claiming their space."

She thought it was a lovely sentiment, and I absolutely must agree. It warms my heart to read her observation and pondering of such a simple act performed by many women.

Flowers bring cheer, color, nature, and homey-ness to a house. Now, below you will see that a flower box came built-in with this new nest, and the impatience are still going strong - even after a low of 29 this morning. Tough little flowers. **being placed where there is a roof overhang may help a little!

Since I could not plant in it yet, I worked on another little spot of this "porch" to claim my space here in this home on Thunderbird Road in Cedar Rapids.

Next to the front door I placed some pieces that make up my own little snap of FALL flavor - an autumn vignette if you will. It says This Southern girl has taken up residence here, and this is a part of what makes me.....ME! The bottle holder and vintage milk bottles holding the flowers used to be in my previous kitchen on the island, but are now outside!

The two nests on the small urns were each sitting empty on top of different gutters at the front and back corners of this NEST of mine. Kurt and Kam knocked them down for me and they now grace the cart holding rose petals. Those red roses were a bouquet of a dozen - given to me by my cherished hubby on Oct. 11th. the 33rd anniversary of our first date...He makes me feel loved...

And so that is what I share today. I am claiming this home, day by day, space by space, nook by nook....making it a special and familiar place for my men to come home and feel comfortable, accepted, and loved. Hopefully, visitors who drop by will feel the same. I am very very glad to be here.

God is good.

I hope that you have a special place, or a task or act you are doing this season to claim your home once again as YOUR SPOT...letting others who pass by get a glimpse of who you are and spreading a bit of cheer or a smile.

Everyone have a pleasant weekend and cherish your family and friends. You yourself are special and whatever you do to share yourself with others is a gift!

Hugs to all bloggy sisters. Thanks for prayers for our military heroes...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

That Man Knows....

I arrived in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday September 27th. Before that first week was over, my honey had driven me around to get a feel for the city and where stores were for groceries, pet supplies, hardware, gas, etc...

And don't you know...YES, He knows me and loves me. He pointed out where the Goodwill was and the best way to get to it. I love that MAN!

The first trip out on my own was just a quickie, but I got a wonderful deal for Kam.
This awesome "just right" worn-in bomber leather jacket for this winter. He needed one and it is in excellent condition. ($5.00) Happy Happy Mama...

The second trip out (yesterday) I found two manly looking wool scarves for this winter when the Iowa winds and chill are blowing and biting.. (.98)

And of course when my eye spied this sweet little white bird all gussied up with swirls and embellishments, I knew right where it would land in the Living Room. Fits right in with feathering my nest and all things birdie...

I am adjusting and getting used to this city. The roads are ROUGH!!! The winds blow MUCH!!! The people are FRIENDLY!!! The Southern Girl is HAPPY! She is with her family in the nest again.

Right where I fit in best.

And I am finally with the Iowa man...all is well.

Have an outstanding day all visitors dropping by...Thank you for prayers for our deployed military heroes...They defend and protect our freedoms and lives here in America. I know they long to get back home.

My Marine isn't deployed at the moment, but is in training in a climbing area in WV, and sustained an injury in a fall, but being the determined cuss he is, he is still climbing and rappelling and using painkillers. Others have gotten banged up and some stitches... Thank you for praying for he and his group as they seek to complete this climbing course in the next week before returning to NC.

Hugs to all Bloggy Sisters!!!!