Lots of WOW for $0 and 15 minutes

Got company coming this holiday weekend?
Need to spruce up your place … quickly, cheaply, easily?
Round up some of your treasures and have a little fun.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Start with 3 items of different heights and textures (add more later if you want).  You can go “theme-y” with similar pieces, or pure random just showing off things you love.

Purely random here . . . 1. Rusty star, 2. Silver ceramic figurine, 3. Jawbone, naturally bleached. OK, I KNOW . . . you don’t have (or want) an animal’s jawbone.  I’m just goin’ for the process here.  You’ll be using your cool stuff!
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The jaw isn’t for everyone, but have to say . . . it’s the most talked-about arrangement in our house; a real eye-catcher and a great conversation piece.

TIP: Group your pieces, let them touch.  You want them to connect.  Sometimes a straight line works . . . but not too often.

Got books? Show em off.  Below, several big books are placed under artwork and dressed up with three decorative pieces.  1-2-3 you’re done!

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It’s easy to jazz up a shelf.  All we did here was line up three nice, but different vases to give things a little shine.  (YES, a line works fine here.)  NOTE: Use varied heights and patterns, and don’t put too much space between the items.  Pull them closer together.

Everyone has dishes and I’ve never met anyone who hates candy or flowers.
Dress up a convenient spot with 1. Bowl, 2. Plate, 3. Mug.  Add some flowers & greens from your yard. Throw in some goodies and you’ve got a great look on a kitchen table or the end of a counter. Just make sure it’s easy access for your guests.

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Don’t have or want the matchy-matchy look? No garden flowers? Use what you’ve got and like. 1. Paint can, 2. Tin, 3. Odd plate.

Artzzle Display Feature Clip some evergreens or shrub branches. YES, evergreens work all year round (but maybe use something besides peppermints and red candies when it’s not Christmas :) OR, pick up a cheap assorted flower bunch at the local box store – around $5 or less.

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Maybe you don’t have a yard at all.  Above, we just put root clippings from two houseplants into water.  EZ PZ.  (These stems will be planted after they root).

How about plants and books?  1. Houseplant, 2. Books, 3. Handmade wooden mallet.  You’ll have personal pieces of your own.

TIP:  Notice the little angle to the books.  EXPERIMENT, don’t always just line things up, or pull everything evenly to the front..

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You GUYS can use these tips too.  Just work what you have and follow the same 1-2-3’s.  Below are more masculine displays.  Again, really easy, just use things you already have.

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Natural wood pieces and beautiful rocks make great accents. On top, we used the paint can and house plant cuttings again, along with a little handmade fishing pole, a found rock and a VICTORY cycle gas cap.  (these all have meaning for a special fella of mine)

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TIP: The fishing plaque was simply positioned on the wall with putty (big box stores). It holds light weight things, can be as temporary or permanent as you want.  Doesn’t hurt the wall upon removal.

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Again, have fun and EXPERIMENT.   Here, three decorative boxes, more books, some natural elements and yes . . . even magazines.  This display was easy, and tells a story about the  person who lives here.

TIP:  Play!  Books can be upright but try leaning or stacking a few.   Magazines laying around?  Gather them up in a nice bunch and show em’ off.

Baskets are great in lots of places.  The one below stores (and displays) books and magazines.  NOTE:  Three pottery pieces on table top also hold books and treats.

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TIP:  For anyone . . . a quick dress-up for a couch: 1. Throw, 2. Toss Pillows.  Use a throw, small colorful blanket – toss it over the corner (or middle) of the couch, pull it together in the middle, then throw a couple toss pillows over the corner (or middle).

It’s also quick and easy, to pop flowers or a plant into a nice basket.

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Accent with favorite items.  Add a colorful placemat or scarf underneath and you’ve got a great table look.

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So just as the title promised . . .

  • $0 money spent using what you already have
  • Quick Spruce Up
  • Easy tips that anyone can do

Wishes to all for a safe, happy Memorial Day Weekend.

And remember, stress less . . . start more.

Later – Cheryl

 

Hey Ma . . . It’s Me

Hey Ma . . . it’s me, Cheryl Ann.  With Mother’s Day coming up, not our usual chat this time.  It’s got me thinking of all sorts of things.  Remember the way you would let me lay my head in your lap on Sundays, when the sermon got too long?  Both Pastor Braun and “Rev” M. had their  talents, but we both know that public speaking wasn’t top on the list, right.  I always loved the way you would smooth my hair as I laid there. Artzzle Mother's Day Featur I liked to play with those cardboard fans on the sticks too.  And then we had our secret “Church” language. One of us would silently tap to the other . . . 3 taps was “I-Love-You”; 4 taps back was “I-Love-You-Too” . . . then a squeeze or rub, to say . . . “So Much”.  A shared smile or quite giggle ended the conversation.  So, of course, I had to do that with my kids too.  My step daughter, Cindra, still signs off cards with a “Tap Tap Tap”. Artzzle Mother's Day Feature

Ooh, an old B&W of us when your Donnelley friends came to visit.

The weather is finally  warming up here in Minnesota.  Of course, in Iowa, all those beautiful peony bushes are already bursting with giant blooms.  Mine are only about two feet tall, so far.  That long row of peonies you planted at the front of the garden was so beautiful in full bloom. Artzzle Mother's Day Feature PHOTO SOURCE:  Barb Rosen . . . Our Fairfield Home and Garden And your glads in the summer.  I still have the picture of you standing among them; that year they were taller than you, remember?  And you didn’t want me to take the picture because you had shorts on!  Of course, I did anyway and we laughed and laughed.   Peonies and gladiolus are still your favorite flowers right?  Mine too . . . always. Artzzle Mother's Day Feature PHOTO SOURCE:  SL . . . Stephanie Lynn . . . under the table & dreaming And I so enjoy, making flower arrangements just like you.  Remember when I worked for Bachman’s at the airport?  Then too, at the small floral shop here, in our local store.  You were there, I know. One of my Autumn dried arrangements.  Recognize the watercolor in the background?  It’s the one I did for you in college. ARTZZLE.COM What about all those summer nights when we’d sit on the front step, playing Simon Says and Captain May I ?  Oh, and then after dark, we’d go hand-in-hand, for long walks around the neighborhood, just the two of us.  Well, Brownie went along sometimes too, though, didn’t he?  Crazy old dog.  Remember how he’d run away for days, sometimes weeks at a time and then sure enough, one day, you’d see him running home, across German’s field into our yard.  Our Gracie is definitely a house dog, but no one allows pets to run anymore.  Long time ago in small towns. Gracie on Artzzle Website scan041 GRACIE  MAE                          &         BROWNIE So many memories, and even the “not so good” ones can be funny.  Like the time you got the new pressure cooker, and we were going to stew tomatoes! Good thing we went outside to take that break.  Those were some hot tomatoes flyin’ around when that thing blew up all over the kitchen.  Weird how the madder Dad got about it, the harder it was for us to keep from laughing.  Hhmm, Dad and my ex were a lot alike.  We were the ones who cleaned it up, so don’t know why Dad was so angry! scan039 Us when baby Brad & I stayed with you while his dad was overseas. Do you recall this photo.  Wish I had more of us together. Well, we could talk forever, but I’ll save the rest of this remembering for another night. Hey Ma, can you believe it’s been thirty two years, already?  I was going to say it doesn’t seem possible that so much time and memories have gone by so quickly; I know you haven’t missed too much though, because you’re always with me. And then, we always have our little talks. But for tonight . . . it’s me, signing off. Luv ya, Mom . . . Always. ALWAYS ALWAYS by artzzle-com  2014

Artzzle Mothers Day Featur

My Mom, Marguerite 1920 – 1983
Rest in peace, Ma

Great News You Need to Read

I’ve been so busy, I didn’t realize that Friday, it’s MAY . . . already!
Yikes!  I still have LOTS of great April news to tell you about.

Last week I received an invitation from the team over at HomeTalk.  They asked me to curate a board about flower arranging and of course . . . I said “No”

C’mon, you know I said “Yes”.  :)  I know that with a little help, anyone can put together an arrangement, so I specifically searched HT articles for basic but beautiful looks, with some great tips and how to’s for you.  Their group designed this pretty graphic for the board.  Click to link over  BUT Don’t leave yet  . . . there’s so much more news.

easy_flower_arrangements (1)

ARTZZLE celebrated it’s 2nd Anniversary in mid-April.  Progress was turtle’s pace slow at first.  But I continued to learn and kept on writing . . . and learning.  The first big thrill came when one of my projects was Featured at The Graphics Fairy.  I walked on air for a week or two with that.  Plus, got lots of traffic and more followers.  Yay, somebody likes me :)  My next boost came from a project I shared over at HOUZZ when we re-did our bathroom cabinets.  That was one of my most popular posts – more traffic, more followers.

Meantime, I contribute to discussions and questions on several social medias, which continues to gain followers for ARTZZLE.  And last week our Back Splash Project shared on Home Talk generated . . .

you might want to sit down . . . I had to!

SERIOUSLY . . .

That post generated over 11,000 . . . yes that was THOUSAND views in the first three hours, and nearly 14,000 within the next few days.  And yep, more followers both on Home Talk and the website.  So, faithful followers and readers, I’m going to keep on “keepin’ on”.

YOU CAN DO THIS.  If you’re a new or newer blogger, hang in there.  Try not to get too discouraged if when things are slow.  Most of my blogger buddies feel it takes at least 3-4 years to build.  What is best for me is . . . to just be myself.  YES, I know I’m not THERE yet and I’m not a prize winning author.  I can get a little corny, and sometimes probably too serious, but it’s always just me.  I wouldn’t be comfortable or have any chance at success otherwise.

I’ve learned so much from other bloggers.  Lots of people say they make friends with their blogs.  Well . . . I believe it.  I have my favorites and some of us are developing a connection, a friendship.  There is support, advice, and a lot of behind the scenes humor.

Meantime, whatever you choose to do, remember . . .

Don’t stress too much, just start something.

Later – Cheryl

Duck … 3-2-1- Backsplash

Hi guys. It’s a bright, sunny day, finally! Lot’s of gloomy, doomy, chilly days this past week. Bad for energy and ambition, but we managed to crank things up anyway. Had to force ourselves because all the inside days were great for projects, and as usual we have plenty of those available.  Today’s feature wasn’t really too difficult OR expensive. The biggest requirements were some elbow grease, a little time and a LOT of patience.

We have the normal countertop areas, the kitchen and bathroom. Our house is a standard build, and our tops were flat formica, edged with wood trim. Instead of one piece with a raised lid against the wall, there is a separate wood/formica strip thingy that was applied on top, against the walls. This is used quite often in our area up here, but not much when I worked with builders in the Twin Cities areas.

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When new, it looks fine and is livable. But after not too much time at all, the caulking discolors and comes loose, and shortly after that, because of moisture I guess, the entire wooden piece begins pulling away from the wall. All in all, an unattractive, non-functional piece of . . . (I’ll be nice here) work.

Hubs and I plan to install a pretty tile backsplash at some point. Presently, the dream look isn’t affordable, so I was on the search for other options.  As a former military wife, I had numerous quick and easy ways of sprucing up the many rentals we occupied. One product used frequently was contact paper. It was a newer product then, and I fell in love with it’s bright, colorful designs and wipe-able surface. AND it was affordable. What’s not to love.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

I began resourcing in stores and online. Today’s CONTACT brand wasn’t offering what I needed. Our plan was to run the paper in two, long strips, horizontally, rather than a series of short, vertical pieces (as you would with wallpaper).  I needed a roll width of about 20” and contact rolls were only 18”. Also, I found no pattern in stores that was modern enough for the look we wanted.  Online, the selection was only a tad better, more expensive too, and added shipping costs. I considered going with a fabric/starch technique … but that’s lots more work and time consuming, AND I would have had to do several layers of sealer to have it work effectively on a backsplash.

AND THEN … I found a vinyl adhesive made by DUCK Brand. There were only two or three patterns at Wal-Mart. None, in a perfect situation, would have been my first choice. One design was more than tolerable, affordable at $9.89 a roll and I only needed one. More importantly, it was approx. a 22” height, which was perfect.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

We began the prep work by removing the already loosened wooden back trim pieces. Perhaps these are so popular because their nearly two inch depth hides a lot of mistakes and builder sins. Below shows the huge bowed gap we found between the wall and counter, under our kitchen window.

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That cruddy strip in the middle is actually the gap.  You could stick all four fingers into it.  A problem we would have to deal with later.

Now, I used Goo Gone to loosen the adhesive marks left on the counter top, then carefully scraped it away.
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Next, the walls were sanded to remove layered paint buildup.  The walls were washed down well, with a touch of dish soap on a dampened rag.

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That was followed by a patch to any bad spots on the walls, and when dried, a final good sanding and wipe down.

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Next we painted the area previously behind the trim piece. It had remained the builder white, but the walls were darker now. This would have shown through the contact paper so needed to be one color.  Looking closely at the photo below, you can see how the white lower part of the wall shows through when the contact paper is held up.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

We began on the less visable wall, our hopes being that by the time we got to the primary wall, we’d know better what the heck we were doing.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

Once the paper was up, Hubs worked on a way to hide that big old gap. We simply bought quarter-round, primed pine cove at our True Value. He cut it to size. I painted it to match our upper cabinets and he installed the pieces. Below you can better see the cove trim.  Hubs used his brad nailer and adhesive to adhere the wood to the wall.   

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We’re happy with the results and . . . very happy . . . that the project is done!

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

So, there you have it. Our next project is much bigger. We’ll be finishing our lower level kitchen cabinets. As you can see in the pictures, our uppers and island are done, but the bottom cabinets are still in the builder’s basic orange oak.

Meantime, don’t stress about a project, just start one!

I’ll be back soon.

Later – Cheryl

A Season Of Celebration

It’s Spring. Everyone’s happy about that.
I know many of you are sighing in relief,
and probably thinking “It’s about time!”

This welcomed season is a time of many celebrations.
Simply, joy for the weather changes and Spring breaks.
Seriously, the observances of Easter and Passover.

Artzzle Spring Feature

This photo lifts my spirits with each view.
I’m hoping it’s as uplifting for you.
Have a wonderful holiday.
I’ll be back this way . . . soon.

Later – Cheryl

As Time Goes By

At any age in life,
as time goes by,
we’ll each have moments,
when we must say goodbye,
but we’ll all . . . always remember.

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JUDY

  • A dresser mirror surrounded with fan magazine covers
    and autographed, star photos
  • A beautiful, blue metal, powder-puff music box,
    sitting on the vanity.
  • Baby kittens … several batches …
    under the back, summer porch.
  • Your dad’s home-grown popcorn on Sunday evenings.
  • Your mom’s beautiful flower garden,
    her love of the color green,
    and her special bond with my mother
  • Me in my pretty, lavendar plaid dress,
    carrying the rings down the aisle to you and Irvin.

* * * * * * * *

scan037 Artzzle Remembrance Feature

BOB

  • Semi’s and BIG trucks.
  • Summers in Charles City
  • Screamer belly aches at the county fair
  • The King with his own thrown
  • Beers during TV Baseball (yours not mine)
  • Bikes and ponies with Mike & Kevin
  • Baby dolls and bunk-bed tents with Lori
  • NeeNee (about my Dad) “That man makes me nervous!” (Miss you Neal)

Cousin Judy and Uncle Bob,
THANK’s for all THE LOVE and all THE MEMORIES

Dear Readers & Followers:

I’ll be back soon with results on a few more completed projects and info on some new sites I’ve found to share.  Meanwhile, enjoy the Spring as it pops out … finally :)

Later – Cheryl

Quick Peeks Into Bedrooms

Hey . . . let’s peek into some bedrooms . . .

at some easy ideas for a new look in yours!

You knew that’s what I meant . . . right?

In the last couple of weeks,
several people have asked me about colors and
something different for bedrooms.
I saw this and wanted to share with you.
It was online, via BHG via HGTV sites and information.

Quick Changes for A Bedroom

With all this retirement time, I’ve been online … A LOT.
So if you have a minute or two … catch me at these spots and,
while there, check out the newbies who’ve signed on lately, too!

PINTEREST     HomeTalk         HOUZZ

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This is OUR Master Bedroom see the rest here and
and an earlier look here.

Hey Gracie … you’re slippin’ baby.

Artzzle FeatureAhh … ain’t she sweet!    Say “Goodnight” Gracie.

We’ll be back soon!

Later – Cheryl

P.S.
Two Important Things
1. WELCOME to all of you NEW FOLLOWERS at Artzzle.
2. To ALL MY WONDERFUL FOLLOWERS and READERS … remember
after you leave your comments, BE SURE TO
check the “Follow Comments” Box
SO you can see my answer to your message! :)

Have You Said the “S” Word Yet?

It’s another bright day.  Hope your’s was also.  Anyone else thinking the “S” word yet?

Well, not to jinx it, but with all this color thought of late, these warm days just naturally stirred up yearnings for a seasonal change.  I just couldn’t help myself … had to do a little Spring decorating.

This week I spruced up the living (front) room, changing out the door wreath, shelf unit and the mantel.

My “Wreath for All Seasons” was hanging, lonely and bare, after the reds of Christmas and Valentines were removed.

Enough spring stuff was found in the craft room, to liven it up quite a bit.

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It seemed a little early for roses … so I didn’t include them.

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I was happy with the results.  How about you?

Remember,  this wreath was specifically designed to be changed out for different occasions, so all pieces are attached lightly, with double sided tapes, or just wired in to the original frame; allowing for quick and easy change out.  You all know how changeable I am.

The fireplace … in its’ new location now, under the big clock, looked like this earlier.  I was never completely satisfied with this vignette.

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I made a raid on my fabric remnants and found this pretty green piece to ground things.  From there a little house shopping and some experimenting produced this look.

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It says “Spring” don’t ya think?

The plate holder by the front door, got a color change with the green plate, and a few butterflies came over to play.

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On the standing shelf unit currently in that room, once again the reds of previous holidays were removed, and we went towards the blues and greens to liven up that corner.

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The JAW takes top shelf here.

Greenery and the Easter Bunny are a bit springy.

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What’s your reaction to the JAW?  I note that it’s a 50/50 swing … people either love it or detest the thing.  Such was the playout when I found it.  A friend and I were at a barn sale, and I immediately HAD.TO.HAVE.IT.  She, on the other hand, thought it was weird … but she’s used to me, and knew I would get it. It was just the jaw piece. I had HUBS use some gorgeous walnut for a base, cut two brass rods and drilled everything out for a perfect fit. The walnut block was left natural, but mineral oil was rubbed in for that beautiful dark dazzle.

Well, a pretty short set today.  Lots of articles in the works, so I’ll  be back soon.

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Gracie loved the sun this day. Say goodnight, Gracie.

You know what happens now … I say “Don’t stress so much, just start something!”

Later – Cheryl

Color … Color … and MORE Color

Not intending to make any of you jealous, I have to share that, it’s been so sunny around here today, and for quite a few days back, too.

ELLE DECOR Magazine has a monthly article “SHORTLIST” which features a quick update on a celebrity, and then lists 12 Things they (supposedly) can’t live without.  My list would, for sure, have Sunny Days and Color on it … and probably close to the top!

Is there anyone out there, that isn’t energized and more positive on a bright, sunny day? That’s not unusual.  Bright, beautiful colors have a similar affect on me.  A classic room, a beautiful fabric, a big, bold painting.  Just thinking about color makes my eyes light up and I sigh with pleasure!  See if you’ll have as much fun as I did OVER HERE!

Spring is coming and that in itself says color; with early blossoms and
Artzzle Feature on Color

with seasonal decor and just brightening things up to phase out those winter blahs.

ARTZZLE.COM

Find this easy project here

Colors cause definite physical reactions for many people, including both Dugger and I.   Our former Princeton home was a multi-level.  The lowest area had two separate wall areas, because of a ledge around the entire space, so we chose two colors (blue-green tones) for the builders to paint. The colors were very nice … most everyone said so.  But the area was never comfortable to us.  It literally felt COLD and unwelcoming; not good for a family room, right!?  So we (I) repainted the entire area, again in bluish-green hues, but in warmer tones.  Some people just thought we were nuts.  A new house, freshly painted, why bother with all the extra cost and work?  It looked fine … BUT NOT TO US.  It didn’t feel right.   Afterwards, it became one of our favorite and most used parts of the home.

We both are very happy with the color used in our recent kitchen cabinet project.  So much so that we’ve decided to take it throughout the house, and change out all of our builder basic, orange oak woodwork.

Kitchen Cabinet Uppers Redo

See the entire project here.

No decision yet, if we’ll add extra trim details on all of our flat panel doors … as Hubs did on the inside of our bathroom door last year.

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See the whole project here

Concerning lists, topping our primary “to do” sheet is an update for the master bedroom. I’ve been pouring over color shots and paint chips. Hubs and I lean towards browns, taupes and beiges, especially in our open living areas.  We’re both comfortable with warm neutrals and these work great for all the changing and rearranging I do.

For inspiration AND a perk-up, I often use the IMAGES tag on-line.  Wondering about green tones, here’s what I pulled up in my research using GREEN BEDROOMS.  You could literally go on forever … different color rooms, two-color or multiple color rooms.  A nice time filler for a boring, in between time.

Our extra areas and bedrooms are done in brighter hues. We want these smaller, individual spaces to have a more personal look and feel, and as I said, I take “feel” quite literally.  My office/studio, pictured below, is a custom color, a peachy orange.  Even on cloudy days, the room is cheery.  It makes me smile every time I look in there.

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More on the office/studio and a PROJECT HERE.

If you’re not tired of internet articles yet, try one more here.   REAL SIMPLE TIPS

We’re tackling that master bedroom very soon, so follow along for all the updates.  In the meantime, don’t stress about your project, just get it started and see where it goes!

Later – Cheryl

Golden Years? … Huh … Really?

You all know how constantly ga-ga I am about design and decorating.  Well lately, now that I’m in my “Golden Years”, my mind does occasionally go off topic.  I hate to say it wanders; wouldn’t want you to think I’m senile already. Hopefully, I’ve got a couple of years yet, before that.   Today though, I was thinking about something else; to be exact, about that phrase “Golden Years”.

Who in the hahem … world, do you suppose, ever came up with that!  I don’t know about you, but I’m thinkin’ maybe the author of “Golden Years” just figured gold rhymes with old, and that was close enough for whatever piece they were writing.  Now that I’ve arrived here, I see few other connections.

Artzzle Feature Golden Years

Then there are the “Wonder Years”.  Now that makes sense because, you’re constantly wondering.  How will you learn enough in grade school … will you live through Jr. High … to actually survive high school.   And your parents are wondering … will you make it to 21 … where you’ll be able to drink legally.

Have you given your kids any of those grownup speeches yet?  You know, the ones about tough “between times” everyone has to go through; those “Life’s Not a Bed of Roses” speeches. We can’t expect perfect because of all the in between times.  Just exactly what are those?

Are they the years, between someone saying “get out, get married, I’m not supporting you the rest of your life” and the point where you finally find enough courage to leave that person they deman … suggested you marry?  Or maybe it’s the times “between” jobs (or would it mean the times between lengthy periods of unemployment).

Nah, I’m pretty sure between times is that extended period from those rose colored glasses, through the tinted contacts, onto the readers, and finally to bi tri-focals, when you get to enjoy the golden years.

Artzzle Feature Golden Years

Hubs and I have lived through a couple months of retirement, and things are less worrisome now.  We’re more comfortable … realizing there’s enough $$ to make the bills … and still be able to eat a little!  Gracie loves us both being here round the clock.  We love not worrying about clocks.  No alarms … and are we saving money on gasoline with no more 100+ miles, trips to work.  Gracie is enjoying more time with Dad now.

Gracie LOVES having more time with Dad now

Yet, this Golden bit is still confusing.  Example, at this age you need the most help for problems with eyes, teeth and hearing.  But in the Golden Years, you’re on Medicare and … GUESS WHAT … non of that’s covered!  Oh, and you’re not only gold but gray.  That’s a problem because nobody likes to hire “gray”.  Lots of other (younger?) people just dislike gray all together.  So lots of bumps in this road too.  No smooth ride to paradise here.

Artzzle Feature Golden Years

I’ve always rambled, so that can’t be credited to age, but it’s time to end my rambling today.     One factor these days, is just that … the days.  Often we catch ourselves saying “What day is it!” as they all blend together so seamlessly.

Anyhoo … next post I’ll be back on topic with some colorful decorating info.  Until then, don’t stress too much about that task, just start it, and see where things lead you.

Later – Cheryl