Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm Back...

Just arrived back at Lakewood, our home sweet home! 

We spent the Thanksgiving weekend in PA with our daughter and son-in-law. 
Yes, I have been missing in action, but isn't it wonderful to get away...
I'll be getting back into my routine and will be posting more soon.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.
Looking forward to sharing this holiday season with all!

Living it up at Lakewood,


Monday, November 23, 2009

I Really Stepped In It This Time

Remember this picture from a previous post? She does not belong to me, but she is adorable...don't you agree? I used her picture to let you know I was busy that day with paint. I was making a mess painting. And yes, I will show you what I did. It's just that it is a present for someone special and they may see it on this blog. I'll post the results in a week or two.

Well, I'm painting again. Or should I say I'm making a mess again? This time it is a closet which will eventually become an office space. Now when I say I really stepped in it this time, I'm sure you already can envision what I did. Yep, I stepped into a tray of paint. Yep, I sure did. Had it sitting on the floor. Stepped backward. Had a foot of paint. Felt like I was in an 'I Love Lucy' episode.

Tool Man saw the humorous process and very politely asked if there was anything he could do. I said no as I'm lifting my foot out of the tray and watching the paint drop off of me, but I should have said, 'quick, get the camera and take a picture for my blog'!  :)

I'll be busy this week and I will try not to be too messy. I want to take the time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Many blessings to each of you and your families. Enjoy your time together and just smile if you happen to make a mess. It might make a memory that will make you smile in years to come.

Living it up at Lakewood,


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Every Gal Needs A Little Bling

Here it is. It is thrifty.

It is so very chic. It has a touch of class.

It has a little whimsy. And it is all mine.

Oh, and it only cost me $3.00!

I found this sweetheart of a chandelier at a recent flea market.
It will sparkle and shine in my office makeover!
You have to agree...every gal needs a little bling!
I'm joining Leigh at her blog for Thrifty Thursday. Go check it out!

Living it up at Lakewood,


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's in a Name?

We all have names, but does your special little place that you call home have one? Does it not deserve one? Do you not put your blood, sweat, and tears into it to make it special for yourself and your family? Is it not a place where special moments are shared and traditions are formed?

My home is my haven. It is my safe place. It deserves a name and has the honor of going by Lakewood. Does that not sound like a retreat and somewhere you just want to be? In days gone by, folks had names for their homes. Go ahead and take the plunge. Bestow some history and some honor. Name your home. 

Living it up at Lakewood,


Friday, November 13, 2009

Making a Mess

I've been painting...have to go with the flow of creativity when it strikes...while turning my back on the messes I'm creating. Gotta love it!

Living it up at Lakewood,

Edit-I would love to claim this little gal as being part of my life as she is adorable, but I cannot. She is in my collection of clip art. So cute!
I'm the one painting and making a mess!  :)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Flea Season is Over

Yes, the flea season is over for me. I'm talking flea market season, of course! I don't have fleas, but if you want me to get started on the origin of how the phrase "flea market' began years ago, there is a connection. Ewww!!!

Anyway, as a buyer and seller, I have come to a close as an auction queen and flea market fanatic for now. If you visit me often, you know I'm as cheap frugal as can be. I enjoy my adventures in buying and turning items around for resale. I must admit, I have been lax in posting in detail about it all. I wonder how some bloggers can buy, remake, sell, and blog all about it on a daily basis. I'll take the titles for auction queen and flea market fanatic, but must pass on the crown to others who seem to be able to do it all by blogging in detail.

I've been very busy this week so I haven't blogged much. Since it is the end of the season for me, I've been taking inventory just as any business owner would. What sold, what sells well, what do I need to never, ever do again. I am developing a life plan. I cannot call it a business plan. I've done those before along with strategic plans for businesses and there is always one element left out. That element is the individual. What about fun? What about family and friends? What about balance?

So after leaving the business world and spending this year in the field of being a simplicity seeker, I need to continue to determine the best ways to reuse, refurbish, and recycle. It involves my life plan and contains my top ten list. Do you have a top ten of what you value? You should. It is so much easier to do than resolutions every year which get you absolutely nowhere!

I know I will be changing my strategy for next year. And even though the season is officially over for me, it does not mean that I cannot hit an auction or a flea market just for fun. It's in my blood, it's a passion, and it fits in my top ten. you have a top ten list?!?

Living it up at Lakewood,


Monday, November 9, 2009

A Quarter's Worth

What can a quarter buy these days?

How about a nasty old lampshade at the flea market!

What can you do with a can of spray paint you find in the basement?

How about transforming that shade into something lovable!

I got my quarter's worth on this one!

Living it up at Lakewood,


Thursday, November 5, 2009

God's Work

God is an artist...

Did you take the time to view his latest work...

His gallery is not difficult to find...

Just open your door...

Then open your eyes...

Next, open your heart...

And always share his work...

Being blessed at Lakewood,


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Hey, do you know Jane? If you don't, you should. She is a blogging buddy and a very creative gal. She shares and inspires over at her blog, Mamie Jane's. She just passed on the Kreative Blogger Award to me and I thank her for thinking of me.

I started blogging when I left the corporate/business world to come back home at Lakewood to plant some roots. To plant some roots is being inspired and putting meaning into your life in order to leave a legacy for those you love. My dear Grandmothers provided me with so much including their understanding and devotion. They gave me roots and left me their legacy. I thank them and hope to do the same. 

The rules of the Kreativ Blogger Award ask that I name 7 things about me that you may not know. So here they are:

1. One of my first jobs out of high school was to deliver babies. I was hired at the hospital to work in the nursery and I thought how lucky I was to work with the newborns. Immediately I was pulled from the nursery when a woman who was in labor was admitted. They told me to scrub. What...wait...huh...I'm only 18 years old and I know nothing!!! I learned on my feet as I assisted the doctor, handed him instruments, and learned to tie knots for the stitches. I even learned more as time went on and I became pretty good at what I did. So if ya ever need help delivering a baby...

2. I'm not the woman I once was. No, really! My face is different. Years ago, I had to have major oral surgery due to complications with my teeth and gums. And I mean major...I don't want to get too graphic, but even my cheek bones and nose were altered. My jaw was wired shut for months. Much later when I went out and about with Tool Man, people thought he was having an affair with another woman because they did not recognize me at first. 
3. My true professional career began as a kindergarten and preschool teacher and progressed to being the director of a small college. No matter if the age of the student is 5 or 55, some of the problems are the same. I knew being a director was not for me when a college professor brought me a student that he kicked out of his class. This student was my age and a former soldier who wished to continue his education. He was apologizing to me for his behavior when all it was, was a personality conflict between a teacher and a student. Time for me to retire cause I wanted to rally for the student and put the professor in time out!

5. I love all critters and they love me. I have five of my own that were either abandoned or neglected and abused. What can I say...I'm a sucker. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was in high school, but women were strongly discouraged from that back in the early 70's. We might want to get married and have babies. All that time and education would be down the drain, you know!

6. I can't sing. At all! And to make matters worse, I come from a musical family. My sisters sing and can play musical instruments. My nieces and nephews are even more talented with performing in public and having their own band and entering competitions and being selected to sing in choirs that travel and so on. Okay, so I have other natural talents. Hmmm...I'll get back to you when I figure out what they are!

7. And last, but not least...I'm a homebody. I prefer staying at home. And I prefer keeping the same home. I moved around a lot as a child and did not like it. I was shy and backwards so it was hard for me to make friends. When I was first married Tool Man, we bought my Grandmother's trailer (no modulars then). Later we were able to buy a large, old home and lived there for 12 years. We bought and moved into our current home 17 years ago. And I love it here at Lakewood. No true need for vacations or to get away. Lakewood is my get away!

The 7 people that I would like to pass this award onto are:

1. Cindy @ Farm Girl Cyn
2. Kammy @ Small Home in the Country
3. Martha @ A Sense of Humor is Essential
4. ClassyChassy @ Expressly Corgi
5. Maureen @ The Green Suitcase
6. Sandy aka Doris the Great @ Aging Disgracefully
7. Charlene @ A Virtuous Woman

And here are the "official" rules of the Kreativ Blogger Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Blogs.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each.

Thank you again, Jane. Blessings to all!

Living it up at Lakewood,


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm Late With My Update!

I'm late with my monthly update. I'm late because things happen. If you check yesterday's will see that some things needed to be addressed before moving on. I want to thank everyone for your comments. Just like a good slice of pie for dessert, we all need a good dose of perspective on what is important. Sometimes all it takes is a moment of sharing and an encouraging word.

Now for my random thoughts on my top ten for this month...

1. Gardening - Yes, my gardening season is over even though I am picking beautiful, sweet raspberries from the three plants my sister shared with me this summer from her garden in Ohio. Have you ever considered the history and the heritage of something as simple (and complex) as a plant? The raspberries in my sister's garden have been passed onto her from an Uncle who was a family friend. He was known for his gardening and making wine from his grapes and raspberries. I have good memories of his garden. And now I am part of the continuous chain of creating a legacy and planting some roots from others' endeavours. I see myself sharing these raspberry plants with my daughters someday. What heritage are you passing on?   

2. Turning Trash into Treasures - The garage is a treasure trove right now. I'll be choosing items over the winter months to give them a new life. This ties in with number 5 of turning our house into a home and a haven. No money down or monthly payments! Just some imagination, good old elbow grease, and some paint! Do you have anything that is crying out for some TLC?

3. Saving Energy & Becoming Earth Friendly - The weather has become too cold too quickly for my liking. This is one place that I really strive to save when it comes to energy-heating and cooling. I do turn on the heat in the mornings to take off the chill as it has been in the 30's and 40's when we get up. Currently I don't run the heat during the evening. No need to if we are buried under warm blankets and fuzzy cats!

4. Experimenting in the Kitchen - Cold weather makes one turn to the warmth of fantabulous foods in the kitchen. Now that November is here, I enjoy going through cookbooks and my thoughts have turned to baking cookies. And some more cookies. I will keep it slim and trim this year and not overdo it. I am not hosting a holiday meal this year so cutting back in the kitchen saves time, energy, money, and calories! Anyone already on a diet? 

5. Making Our House a Home & a Haven - It actually feels good to have many projects to keep myself busy over the winter months. For now, I will concentrate on transforming a closet into an office area. Pictures and posts soon to follow.

6. Connecting & Playing with Nature - Capturing the colors of fall through photography is one of my favorite things to do. Our peak season just ended. So now is the time to rake, and rake, and rake some more. All the leaves will be mulched for my garden.

7. Creating & Crafting - I'm exploring new creative crafting techniques to find my niche. I haven't been crafting on a continuous basis for years so it will be a new learning experience for me. My problem is to narrow down my choices and not overdo. The object is to enjoy! 

8. Becoming Self-Reliant - Neglect...serious neglect. Besides building up my pantry, I am ashamed to admit that no other effort has been made to address this issue. Did I not learn from last winter's storm with no heat or electricity?!? We are becoming more self-reliant in more subtle ways. But seriously, we must acquire a heating source for emergencies.

9. Family Fun - It's official. We will be spending Thanksgiving in PA with my daughter and her husband. She was married this past spring and is willing to play the hostess for both sides of the family. I'm so looking forward to the visit. Her in-laws are now our extended family. 

10. Educating Myself & Others - I continue to share with and learn from others in blogland. Starting in January, I will be hosting Creative Cafe, a radio talk show. I will post more on this later this week as it needs a whole post on its own. I'm looking forward to some of you being a part of this. I can't do it alone, you know! :)

November...a time to celebrate our blessings!

Living it up at Lakewood,


Monday, November 2, 2009

Stop Whining...

Just some random thoughts on the troubles so many are facing today. I, myself, try to keep things in perspective as much as possible. When my girls were teenagers and would whine (which did not happen often) about something, they would get the 'short' lecture of "Do you have two arms? (Yes) Do you have two legs? (Yes) Do you have cancer or any other disease? (No) Okay then." So I must continue my own lecture for myself while I admire the women around me who have strength and seem to endure.

The company where Tool Man (hubby) works just laid off more people last week. A company of over 200 is now down to 5o. If the economy does not get better very soon, the plant where Tool Man is employed will close. If that is the case, I'm not sure what we will do. You see, this has already happened to us before. We barely survived the first time. 

It was a bad week when it happened. I owned a gift shop and franchise. I was closing my doors after struggling for two years after 9/11. The economy changed very drastically then. As I was packing in defeat, we received a call that my mother-in-law was sick. Tool Man quickly went back to our home state, where she passed away. I threw the rest of my shop in boxes, made arrangements, and went to be with family. I became ill during the funeral and shortened my trip so I wouldn't be a burden and because I couldn't get through to my doctor back home. Later I found out my doctor's cancer returned (after having a mastectomy a few years earlier). She quickly left her practice to be with her husband and two young girls.

When Tool Man returned home and went back to work that Monday, he was given the news that his plant would soon close. They decided to move to China. So we faced closing my business, him losing his job, the death of my mother-in-law, me getting sick, and cancer returning to a person I truly admired all in ONE week.

That was a lot of stress. Yet as we may go through the possible loss of employment again, I look and reflect on the lives of other women I would like to share with you. 

Mary-She lives a very basic life and is a hard worker. She was one of those let go from the company on Friday. She cried as she told Tool Man that she could find another job. She did not think she could find such good friends as him and the others. I still worry about her and for her.

Audra-I met her recently while we were doing volunteer work. She has a twelve year old son. She has a twelve year old son who the doctors say will never progress past the capacity of a one year old. And like any mother who truly loves her child, she says the doctors are wrong. He is in a wheelchair, does not speak, wears diapers, and has health problems. She did get a little teary eyed when she told me her husband just went totally blind. This is a beautiful woman in her thirties and she is doing volunteer work. I waited until I got in my car to cry.

Susan-She is my former doctor who was just too cool for words. I was so happy to find her. Then cancer came and put her as the patient, not the doctor, fighting for her life. She went through removing the cancer only for it to reappear and take over her life.  

Linda-My sister-in-law saved many children as a critical care nurse. She passed away within the last year and left behind a 19 year old son with no parents. Linda's husband died of cancer when my nephew was only a baby. My nephew never had the opportunity to know his father and now his mother is also gone. I miss Linda. 

I hope this post is not a downer. I want to put it in perspective. There is always someone in need more so than ourselves. I just want all of us to quit focusing on what we don't have and on what we do have. After it not the month of November, the month to be thankful?

Living it up at Lakewood,

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