Happy HOUZZ Patterns & Textures

Everyone knows how I love MY house.  Today, I’m sharing another one I enjoy … HOUZZ.

Here is a board from my Houzz site.  I was perusing all my colorful collections over there and thought I’d post a favorite on this gorgeous Sunday.

Always stressing to you, the importance of using patterns and textures when decorating your spaces, I thought you’d like looking at these lovelies.

Just sit back and click the little arrows on the bottom right, to soak it all in.

If you need/want more inspiration … take a look at this past post.

The Blues

 

And have a wonderful Sunday afternoon.  Hope your weather today is as beautiful as ours.

Later – Cheryl

 

 

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Decisions, Decisions … Wah Wah

Hi readers.  I have a dilemma but I don’t know if opinions will help or confuse things more. Keep or sell … what should I do?  Do you recall our “married” dining room pieces?  The chairs and table aren’t a matched set, they were purchased separately.

Artzzle DECISION FeatureWell, while I’ve always liked it, Hubs doesn’t care for  the whole “dining room” idea … said we – just us two – never use it.  It’s true, he and I never shared one meal … or game … or coffee chat at that little dining table.  Adamant about getting rid of it, he continued with other valid points.

  1. Why even have a dining “room” at all?
  2. How many times, in eleven years, have we ever used the leaf and had a “family dinner” there?  ANSWER:  Only twice.
  3. Do we use it when people come over? ANSWER:  Very rarely.
  4. In this home, as in our past two, where do/did we always end up eating? ANSWER:  At the kitchen counter or in the TV room.

You now understand Hubs’ view on the issue.
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So … we posted the set on Craigslist, both in the Twin Cities and the St. Cloud areas.  For you non-Minnesota residents, we live in between St. Paul/Minneapolis and St. Cloud, so I always post in both listings.  And wow … I had interest right away.  Great, except  they only wanted the chairs.  Their offer was right on mark, but they lived much farther away (Wisconsin) and wondered if we could meet half way.

Wah Wah.  I really dislike having to make all these decisions!  So, I broke it down again.

  1. Price is right.
  2. I DID purchase the table separately from the chairs, so know it has sold that way.
  3. I DID have a temporary, alternative use for the table.
  4. We didn’t want to load and travel to sell anything.

SOLUTION:  They came to us, loved the chairs and bought them.  Very nice people.  They even sent us a picture of their set with their “new” chairs.

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NEXT STEP:  I changed my craigslist ad, to feature only the table; gave the dimensions both W/WO  the leaf, and noted it’s advantages at either size; great for a foyer, a game table or small apartment.

MEANTIME:  I started rearranging and Hubs quickly retreated to his workshop.  Minus his aid, I couldn’t move any big stuff, so this was my first try.

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I brought out the set of side chairs from the guest bedroom – which happened to fit just right pulled in to the table.  This was nice, looked good (I thought).  After all, there are just two of us living here, right?

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Well, guess what, Hubs still didn’t care for it.  He told me to try to come up with a totally different use for the dining room space, and thinking that would keep me occupied for quite a while, he smiled smugly and went back to his workshop.  Foolish man seriously how many years have we been together??!!

Ten minutes later, I called him back and said to bring the dolly with him.  Hey, he told me to come up with something different!  I just followed instructions.

You may not recall it, but we have a fireplace.  Nice thing for me is that it’s electric, hence movable, hence the dolly . . . hence, this . . .

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and a bit further to this final look.  Don’t worry – – that corner of the counter at the bottom left, just looks that close because of the angle of the shot.  There’s actually almost five feet between the corner of the chair and the island.

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Now, you’re wondering what I did with the table.  You are wondering, right?

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I put it in the living room (the front room).

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I even pulled out some of our old board games to have close by . . . just in case 🙂

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Okay now everyone, what would you do with the table?  Keep or Sell?  FYI, I presently have two different parties that are supposedly interested in buying it.  I’m waiting to hear back from either or both.

MEANTIME:  C’mon friends, let me know – stay or go?  What do you think?

By the way, we’ve played those board games about as frequently as we’ve used the table for dining.

Remember, staying positive helps to stay productive, so don’t stress too much, just start something 🙂

Later – Cheryl

 

Kitchens, Cousins and Cabinets

July has meant kitchens, cousins, cabinets and me . . . completely pooped!  It was a VERY busy month for me and Hubs. Regular readers know that my cousins come up each July to visit, as they did this year too!  As usual, we had a blast 🙂

Artzzle KITCHENS, COUSINS and CABINETS FeatureArtzzle KITCHENS, COUSINS and CABINETS Feature

 

 

 

 

 

And you’ll also probably remember we’ve been attacking our kitchen cabinet project in steps, and still had the lowers to finish.

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Remember how my timing is often a little off?  I didn’t get motivated about the cabinets till the week before our visitors’ scheduled stay.

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Hubs did his part, trimming everything out, and on one of our cooler days, I tackled the painting and sealing.

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You know our dishwasher died this past winter, and I may also have mentioned that its’ gaping absence has Hubs designing a wonderful pull-out drawer for pan storage – my back just loves that guy 🙂 !  But it’s a “future” plan.  In the meantime, lazy me just left it naked and exposed to the world.   The ladies know we’re always in the middle of a project or two, and once they arrived, we had plenty to keep us busy, so nobody cared.

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Showing off some of their thrift finds, before departing.

Showing off some of their thrift finds, before departing.

After they headed home, we took a couple of days off, appreciating the AC.  It gave us lots of time to talk . . . about what else . . . projects.

In afterthought, I regretted the big black hole left open for our company.  I remembered some of the clever “disguise” ideas my blogger buddy Kim has done with fabric.  I had remnants left from our recent family room drapes makeover (haven’t posted it for you yet).  Since that area is directly behind the kitchen, those would work.  So, supplies yes, but still a problem.  C’mon, you all know how I just love to sew . . . NOT!  Covering the opening meant using two pieces.  Oh boy!

Speaking of boys, all these boy-toys around here tend to come in handy. Hubs has all sorts, including an upholstery stapler, and an air one at that.  So it was brought to the kitchen.

Keep calm . . . it wasn’t ME operating anything electric.  C’mon, an air compressor and an automatic stapling gun . . . seriously??  No no!  You know me!   I pleaded and begged Hubs away from his shop, for this quick and easy project.  I put a comfy, big ol’ pillow in there for his back.  Then as I gathered material, he stapled two little curtains in place, from behind the cabinet front.  No sewing.  The bottom was already nicely hemmed and the raw edges were just folded in and stapled.  Voila’ – done.  It’ll work until the practical pan drawer is done, don’t ya think?

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Remember my grumping about our broken rider mower last time?  Well . . . it’s still out of commission but sometimes good things rise from bad.  Hubs was out “push mowing” today with our noisy old hand mower, when a second roaring machine piped in.  I looked out to see our neighbor teen, Tyler, zipping along on their rider, finishing things off in no time.  He didn’t want pay and left without telling us.

So, Hubs and I leashed Gracie and went for a walk back to his house, delivering a card and a little monetary compensation.  And we got to know our newest neighbors even better.  Nice.  Great guy, that Tyler. I should’ve taken a picture.  Maybe our granddaughters would visit more often if they knew what a cute neighbor we have.  Hhmm.

So, kitchen is done, cousins are safely back home, and yard looks good, for now anyway. . But don’t worry, there’s so much more to report . . . next time because me, I’m pooped out!  Think there is a cat puppy nap in the near future.

Artzzle Feature: Gracie Mae

Hey, Gracie, ya started without me!

Meanwhile, I’m working at staying positive to stay productive.  See if it works for you!

Later – Cheryl

Just Lookin’ Around

. . . and here’s what I found!

HOUZZ is on my Tops List of “commercial” or “media” decor websites. APARTMENT THERAPY ties it for first place. Email updates and new articles arrive quite often and I always give them a big slot of time for viewing.

Not sure what search terms I used here, but was probably looking for background or displays for shelves.

Above reminded me of a paint card sample book. Fun, right?!

Here, note how they wisely used that alcove for great storage and display space, and then detailed it by continuing the pretty accent wall color just into that upper, open area.  Very nice.

We’re   I’m thinking about a new color for our three main accent walls, and was probably concentrating on colors when I found the room above.  I had a more bronze-ish green in mind, rather than the brighter acid color here . . . BUT . . . look at those beautiful steel doors and the mid-century furniture pieces.  Wow.

The search topic for this final pick was “window seats”.  While it isn’t exactly that — look closely, those are under-lighted shelves above that seat, not windows — it presents an interesting idea for a small, enclosed room, gives extra storage . . . AND was certainly an unexpected find.

No matter the search term or article title, you always find so much more than you asked for on HOUZZ and APARTMENT THERAPY.  That’s what makes it such fun and why I enjoy spending time there (Hubs says too much time).  But you never know what new inspiration will hit!  My HOUZZ BOARDS are here if you’d like to see them.  So if you’re having a rainy or killer-heat day like we’ve had here lately, settle in, grab the device of choice and go exploring.

Until next time, try to stress less so you can accomplish more.  It always helps me.

Later – Cheryl

We Didn’t Go to the Animal Fair

Hubs and I enjoy art crawls and craft fairs and now that he’s fully retired, we’re able to catch more of them.  So we jumped at the invitation from my son and his wife, when they wanted to take us to their local art fair, as part of my Mom’s Day and Birthday celebrations.  With a gift of my choice and dinner out, who could turn that down.

I was pretty excited during the drive down to their place.  It’s an hour and a half drive, and on the freeway, we passed an “older” couple on their Sunday Drive.  This triggered thoughts of my Grandma, and I remembered “Animal Fair” . . . one of the little songs she sang to me as a child.

Do you know it?  “I went to the animal fair . . . the birds and the beasts were there”.  For you who are closer to my age group, gotta tell ya, public opinion has changed the lyrics a couple of times over the years.  Here’s a current version from the internet.

The monkey no longer gets drunk . . .  he gets bumped by a skunk.

Hhmm.  Anyhoo . . . my day gave me my own lyrics to that melody.

I went to a country art fair
So much to see and buy there

Artzzle ART FAIR FeatureFrom shiny steel to an old metal feel,
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and beautiful pottery ware.

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The Chinese dinner was great.
I ate and ate . . . and ate.
And on the way home, I rested and zoned,
and dreamed of my beautiful date . . . the date, the date!

A perfect “memory” day!  And the LeAnne Chin’s did double duty . . .

lunch and take-home for dinner.  Yum.

Hey, remember the mulch and plants gift from my daughter on Mom’s Day?Artzzle Weather Feature

It’s really filled in.

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Meanwhile . . . the countdown to more fun is on!
My crazy cousins will be here in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!
Holy Hannah!

So we’re fixin’ and buildin’ and cleanin’ . . . lots and lots of cleanin’.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress.
Until then, stay positive and it’ll help you be productive.

Later – Cheryl

July 4th

Artzzle 4th of July 2015Today, be Loud and Proud
and Thankful to be living in the great U.S.A.

Everyday, be Appreciate and Recognize
the many who have made and keep it this way.

THANKS TO THEM FOR THEIR DEDICATION AND SERVICE

Artzzle 4th of July 2015

Have a SAFE and HAPPY 4th of July.

Hey … Timing ISN’T Everything … is it?

How’s your timing?

Not the musical or early/late kind of timing . . . but just in everyday things . . . you know.

Ever just miss something great that happened because your timing was a little off?  Example:  You work in a popular metropolitan store where a major movie star is coming in before store opening to shop  AND she’ll sign autographs.  I get You come to work the usual time – and just miss her . . . how did I not you not know?

How about when everyone else – but you – always seems to know what day it is.  Bloggers mention all these special calendar days that I’ve never heard of. Hey, I love puppies, so how did I not know – until May, that National Puppy Day was in March?

(FYI:  Evidently there really is a Puppy Day.  Click the pic for a fun daily calendar.)

national-puppy-day-march-23-unless-on-weekend

Creativity doesn’t fit to a timetable.   For me, it strikes at any time of day or night.  I know a few people – besides myself – who keep pad and pen on the bed stand, for those occasional, great middle-of-the-night ideas, or the one that hits just as you’re falling asleep.  I’m also part of that group that takes pad, paper and a camera with them wherever they go.  Well, the camera gets forgotten a lot . . . thank gawd for my cell phone!

Studio Arts Classes in college, can get tough.  You’re given a week or so to complete a specific assignment . . . plenty of time, right? But more often than not, my best idea didn’t hit until a day or two before deadline. I spent many nights painting or drawing until 4:00 am of due day – and I had morning classes   😦   Other ideas developed earlier, but THE ONE  usually came down to the wire. A couple of times my oils were still wet at presentation.

J.O.'s Studio

Inspiration can’t be scheduled. It originates through life’s daily experiences. In a single moment, something fantastic can set the ideas flowing. My son is, and I was, in advertising. We both preferred NOT to be art directors and specifically chose other avenues. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to instantly produce. Schedules can be excruciating on the creative process (and the nerves), especially if you’re the person who has to come up with the campaign’s ideas.

My timing issues are possibly why I love decorating. Other than special displays for holiday themes, in your own home, you can decorate the way you want, and work on any room or project, any time of year.  AND you always have options for changes.  You don’t have to live by a schedule or calendar unless of course, you’re working with clients.  Even then though, it’s more of a fun process than ulcer producing.

Ideas and initiative for a master bedroom project, have been bombarding my brain big-time lately, so that’s what I’m working on. Previous versions were featured HERE

ARTZZLE.COM

and HERE.

Artzzle Timing Feature

Details for the re-do are coming together quickly, but all I’ll tell you today is, there are big changes afoot, especially with the colors.  I’m adding an accent color and the two top contenders are  LILAC  and  CORAL.  We’re also developing an architectural feature.

So you know, I began this article yesterday, with every intention of posting it then.  Honestly I did!

See, I found this.  “June 1st, by the way, is NATIONAL HAZELNUT CAKE DAY.”  I was going to include this crazy calendar day . . .

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and tell you a funny story about how I used to like hazelnuts, but one time ate way too many . . . moaned, groaned and threw up most of the next day.

That’s funny – right?  But, maybe it’s more of a time management issue, not timing, huh; not knowing when to stop!?

Hubs’ timing was lousy yesterday.  I was almost finished with this post when I got a “Need a little help out here”. Working in the shop, he somehow caught his finger in/under/between a caster ??? and, long story short . . . we made an unexpected trip to the ER for stitches.

Artzzle Timing Feature

Gracie and I got kinda freaked out with all the blood, yuk!

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We’re all OK now – Hubs too.

Today is National Rotisserie Chicken Day though – no, seriously.  It also happens to be my grocery day so . . . it’s off to WalMart to buy one!

Don’t forget – stress less and you’ll start more!

Later – Cheryl

BIG P.S.    I love your comments.  BE SURE when you comment, that your address is set to receive my personal reply to you.  Otherwise, MARK THE FOLLOW-UP COMMENT BOX to get a reply from the post.

I’m still waiting  for some project updates and pictures from some of you (YOU know who you are! 🙂   Remember, you can find the email address when you click my profile pic on the home page.  Send pics, questions and concerns via that address!

Talk to you soon!

 

 

 

 

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”.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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

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

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.

Artzzle Feature Spring

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

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