Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

About time too...I've been so behind...this is the first time I've done most of our decorating on Christmas Eve! We've had the tree up for a few weeks, but the mantle and nativity and all were just done.
These chairs and ottoman are ones I got at an auction for $15. I was going to sell them, but I don't think so now. They are so comfy and really nice quality Berne pieces.
This is our cute little nephew. Isn't Christmas with a little cowboy just more fun?
He loves to watch old Roy Rogers and Lone Ranger shows. We got him boots and Nana and Papa gave him the guitar.

Hawkeye opening his present.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

New Family Member!

Some of you know that we lost our dog Louie at age 11.5 this year. We felt we were ready to welcome a new pooch to the family...and yesterday we picked Hawkeye up from the airport.
He's a beautiful standard parti poodle. He's 1 and a half years old which should work out great since I want to be able to take him to work with me.
Hawkeye came to us from Blue Willow Poodles in California, where the Thomsons obviously took beautiful care of him. We are so pleased with him.
Joe and Hawkeye watching the Bears stomp the Packers.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Simple and Easy Tags

I've about had it with running around for Christmas stuff, so I decided to make my tags with things we had in the house. Cardstock and shipping tags zig-zagged on the machine. I sewed them in one long chain and then snipped them apart. Super quick and I like them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snowy Days...

Our part of the country got snow. Then after I took this picture we got lots of ice. Last night it rained and the ice is melting away.
Here's a trash to treasure project in our house. In our kitchen/family room we have a bank of 3 windows side by side in one window frame. That long expanse meant I'd have to have a hefty rod of some sort or use 3 shades or...I couldn't decide what to do. Then I remembered that we had an antique quilting frame that a friend had given us stored in the attic. We got it down and it was the perfect width to go across those windows! Joe cut the ends with the cogs off and mounted them by the window and reinserted the rails as the curtain rods. I love the character of the old wood and we get to enjoy them every day now. I will try and add a pic of the whole window camera ran out of juice.
I knit this purse last winter and just worked up the courage to throw it in the washer and felt it. I don't know what I was scared of...I love how it turned out. I used a pattern from the yarn store where I bought that pretty yarn. Now I just need to add a lining. I hope that doesn't take another year!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Mouse in the House

One of the best things about living in town again has been that we hardly ever get a mouse. All week though I've been telling Joe that I thought we had a mouse....I thought I heard one late one night in the kitchen (our computer desk is in the kitchen). But because we weren't seeing any other "evidence" of a mouse Joe thought I was imagining things. Then I kept finding a nibbled marshmallow on top of the cracker box in the bread drawer. Like the cracker box was someone's little table. Three mornings in a row. Joe suggested that the kids were messing with my mind. And he also asked a good question....where was this mouse getting these big marshmallows? We only had a bag of minis in the drawer. Well today he pulled the drawers out while I was running errands and took pics of what he found.
There were nine marshmallows lined up in there. All nibbled on a little bit. Plus the ones I found each morning. This is a very organized and busy mouse. Now I have to tell you, mice and other little critters give me the creeps when they come inside. And we are setting a trap....poor little guy. Wonder what we should use for bait?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If your hardwoods need refreshing...

I'm sprucing up for Thanksgiving Day and our dining room floor really needs to be refinished. We did them when we moved here 20 years ago, and since we've never had a rug in that room there's 20 years of chair scuff marks. I decided to try Orange Glo's Hardwood Cleaner and Polish and I think it did a pretty good job. I'm sure it won't last forever but it definitely helped cover the scratches and gave the floor a nice shine. I'm going to be looking into refinishing the floors soon.

On other fronts, last Friday Joe spent his day off under the house roto rooting our sewer line which turned out to be full of roots. Poor guy, he was supposed to be deer hunting that day. Things seem to be working fine...thank goodness since we are having Thanksgiving dinner for the family this year.

10\20\30 Meme:
I was tagged for a meme by Dot at Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Tell what you were doing 10/20/30 years ago.
10 years ago I was 35 and a stay at home mom. I loved this time..our daughter was 7 and our son 10. This was a time of scout meetings and PTO. We had been living in this house for 9 years and I was starting to realize that our remodeling was going really slow. We went gang busters for the first 6 years and then I think Joe got burned out on it some. That was frustrating. I was volunteering at church and at a house museum here in town.
20 years ago I was 25 and we were getting ready for Thanksgiving with our brand new baby boy. The thing we were most thankful for was our son's good health...our first baby died of a form of MD, so it was scary to have another. We were living in a tiny town in the country and thinking about moving into the town where we go to church (where we live now). We went to my in-laws for Thanksgiving that year...big family get together that was always a good time.
30 years ago I was 15 and a sophmore at Muncie Central High School in Indiana. I had a crush on the boy I had met 2 summers before and saw each summer (Joe!). That was the year our basketball team went on to win state championship (I'm a Hoosier...that would stick out in my mind!) and the season would have been just beginning. I was a very earnest student who got all A's. I was on the swim team and worked on the school plays and kind of shy. It wouldn't be long and we would be moving again to a new school in Indiana by the next school year. I was (and am) very close with my family which helped make the moving more bearable. That boy I crushed on would help us with that move and we would start dating after that.

I tag Allison, Robolady, and Judy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Weird Autumn

These pics were taken yesterday in our yard. Ususally in November in central Illinois all the leaves are off the trees but we've been having a lot of warm weather. This is what it looked like yesterday!
Our roses are still blooming!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Window Peeping

Peeping at the windows not in them...although, I'm not above that when I drive by a beautiful old place. As I drove around town and looking for old porch windows I found that, like at our house, most of them have been removed and replaced with less attractive options. But there are a few old goodies left. I love the home these porch windows are on. Stucco with copper gutters...and look at the leaded glass above the casement windows. A bit too fancy for our house though.
These are more what I had in mind. Simple old fashioned casements. Imagine these with the windows and trim painted white and I think it would look great on our porch.
This little house has had some strange things done to it, but somehow the lovely old porch windows have managed to survive. I like the divided lights on these.

I'm not sure when we will get around to doing something like this. There are several more pressing projects in the works already. But it doesn't hurt to be prepared with ideas.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bleaching the House...

This is what Joe is doing on this beautiful fall day. He's washing the mildew off the house in preparation for painting another section of the front of the house. He uses a little bit of bleach in water and a lot of elbow grease to do it. Thank goodness our beautiful weather his holding out.
Some day I'd love to take out those alumunium windows and that filler siding on the top of them, and put in screens and tall casement windows like you see on old homes that haven't been stripped of the good stuff. We could just do screens and that would be inexpensive to do, but Joe says those windows help keep our home warmer in the winter. They face south and
the porch does get pretty warm on a sunny day. I think I'll carry my camera out today and see what old porches we have around for inspiration.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Many years ago (25!) I had a home away from home while I was attending Purdue. I started hanging out at the Baptist Student Foundation and truly the people there became like family while I was at school. Joe used to come and visit on the weekends, and he got to know everyone there well as getting to attend some of the retreats and Bible studies. Even though many of us grew up in Baptist churches around Indiana, this was our first time living our faith away from home. We learned a lot during those years.Much of it due to our truly crazy pastor at The Found...Howie Ness. I'm not sure I've ever met someone who connects better with people of all ages than Howie. He and Jean were a great example of what a christian couple looks like for many of us. Quite a few of us met our mates at The Found. I already knew Joe...but Howie married us there.
This weekend we attended a reunion of folks who attended The Found when Howie was pastor there. It covered many years, so not all of us knew each other...but some of the wonderful folks I went to school with are in the picture below. People from The Found have gone on to serve and lead in churches around the country. I passed out my blog address to a few people there, so if you are an old classmate visiting please email me at louie31 at
After the reunion, Joe and the kids and I walked around campus. I always liked Purdue's campus, but it's more beautiful now than it was then. The kids went with us and they were great about all the reminiscing going on.

People actually used these things? Yes, there really was a time not so long ago when we didn't carry phones in our backpacks.

Joe and I standing on a little terrace at the Union. This was one of my favorite places to study when it was nice out.
If your kids are going to Purdue and looking for a church home I'm sure they are welcome at the Baptist Student Foundation. They have a wonderful pastor in Shawn Zambrows and the nurturing continues.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chicago Antique Market

Today we had a great day. Mom, my sis Jen, and I went up to Chicago to go to the Chicago Antique Market. We heard about it on the web and then found out that my friend Kathy, a fellow dealer, has been a vendor at the market this summer...we decided we should check it out. It's verrrry hard to get us to go to the city...NOT. We love going downtown. Above Mom checks out a booth. You are right down in Chicago...that is the Sears Tower in the distance.The first booth we saw was Kathy's. Isn't that canoe just awesome?! She and her husband Dayton own one of the most charming antique shops in central Illinois: If you're ever coming down to Old City Hall Shoppes you should plan to drive another 20 minutes and see their shop and several other great antique shops in Fairbury. Kathy really should start a blog....I'm tellin''s the cutest shop.

Cute, cute, cute little chair!This dealer had an awesome looking booth with lots of neat treasures.Another cool booth full of interesting old stuff.

Jen and I bought typewriter key bracelets from a jewelry craftswoman. Her's says HUGZ and mine says DIY.

There were more antiques inside the hall (with wonderful live music to shop by) and an Indie Designer's Market on another floor. We saw some amazing and creative work. I especially liked the bags by Sassy. I wish I had taken a photo, but you'll just have to visit her site and her blog. Also beautiful fashions by Kate. The style, materials and attention to detail were wonderful.

We had a nice dinner out and hopped a train back home. Great day! We will be looking into the possibility of taking some things to the market next year...I think our stuff might do well there. I look like a maniac in this pic but oh well. Our mom looks cute though!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

At the Auction

Mom and I went to an auction on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and the auction was held in a park with lots of towering oak trees.
Isn't this the cutest little chuck wagon?!
These are the large items I got. Two Berne chairs and an ottoman with pretty fabric. Berne is a good sturdy brand and these chairs are in excellent condition. I also got a cute little drop leaf table and a Garden-Way cart. I'm soooo excited to get that cart! They sell for $250 and I only paid $25 for it at the sale.

I have a thing about treehouses. This one is not in a tree but it feels like it. I'm afraid of I love the cage and the nice ladders to get up there. I'm on the 3rd story-yikes! This great toy is in the park where the auction was held. Yes, I used the slide to get down.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

Listen to this's so true!!

Edited to add...this is Anita Renfroe. Brilliant.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I've become a little obsessed about turning out these dishcloths. They work up pretty quickly and it's a pleasure to pick the colors and patterns. Some are patterns our grandmothers used, some are made up as I go along and some are from patterns others have shared on the internet. They are available at Home Again in Old City Hall Shoppes. I may put some on my etsy shop soon too.
I'm just learning to use the macro on my camera. Love that feature...but you sure need a ton of light.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Use what you have....

I'm using up a bunch of cotton yarn I had stored in a closet by making dishcloths. If you've never used a cotton dishcloth like grandma used to're missing a great old fashioned kitchen tool. They can be machine washed and dried and the texture just gets better with time. I actually like knitted ones better, but I'm a fast crocheter and a slow knitter. So these are crocheted. I made one on the way to a band contest, and one on the way home.