Friday, September 30, 2011

next up.

finally, the wheels are starting to turn. i am in 'project land' now, and i love it. i should be concentrating on packing, but i have not even started yet. tomorrow. always tomorrow :)

ha. the good news is that i have to be out of here by october 31. i work better with deadlines. i really do. so hopefully, that will kick some motivation into me.

in the meantime, i found another project yesterday. the buffet turned out awesomely! i want to show you, but since some sweet friends offered to help me paint the living/dining room this weekend, it will be better to have a big reveal next week! woo hoo! i'm ready for things to be semi-finished over at fern. too much disarray going on there right now.

so, okay, back to the project. it's a vintage metal typewriter table. since industrial is waaaaaaaay 'in' right now, i've been eyeing these for awhile. mine is in pretty good shape, although i'm going to have to make friends with steel wool as a first step (there is a little rust on the leg bottoms). otherwise, i'm thinking prep, paint, and decorate! should be a fun little item to keep somewhere in the new abode. i could seriously work full-time bringing back the oldies. LOVE to do this. you'll probably have to wait and see for a few weeks, however, because i don't really have time right at the moment for this :)

okay. fridays rule! going to go and get some stuff done, and enjoy the sunshine-filled day! hope you have a fab weekend, too!

ps. orange cats like sunshine, too :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011


i found a post for cinnamon coffee pumpkin cupcakes over at a site called 'tater tots and jello' - ha. staples of my youth.

anyway. i would love to make some of these. i don't currently possess instant coffee, but i suppose i could get some for emergencies. i have crushed up instant coffee and added it to cookie dough before, so it's not too much of a stretch to add it to frosting, i don't suppose.

lot's of stuff going on around here. there has been some activity on the house, so i've been walking on some pins and needles, but actually feeling quite peaceful. i have friends at 2 churches who have been praying for mabel and i, and i'll tell you folks, you can FEEL prayer. it really matters, so remember that when you think that prayer is kind of ineffective.

ah. other news. what do you think of the new blog template? I am anxious to hear your responses!

Click here to take survey

in other news. it's cloudy today. cloudy is not the same as sunny. cloudy makes me freak out and fear the big 'w' that is coming! go away, cloudy!

he he. have a good day :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

sneaky peek.

oh, the excitement of it all. very happy with the stripped down dresser!

hope to show pics in a couple of days, living in its new home!

be blessed today!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

stripping away.

oh no. i'll probably get a ton of unwanted blog traffic with THAT header.

oh well. it's what has been going on in my life lately!

as i am spending my days being 'stripped away' once again because of uncomfortable circumstances, it's interesting to ALSO literally have a 'stripping away' project.

to be sure, stripping is not fun. but it is oh-so-necessary if you don't want something to stay the way it is.

look at the ugliness bubbling up on the surface. ps. if you ever plan to do this yourself, don't bother with 'earth-friendly' options. i use the most toxic stuff on the planet to get this kind of action.

the ACTUAL stripping is a horrible process. it's messy and things look way worse before they can even begin to look better. i hate, HATE it!

it's also a painfully slow, slow process. but as you dig down further in the layers, you start to see more beautiful things being revealed. it's very gratifying to see wood grain where there once was none, and a little brass keyhole that used to be totally hidden.

so, that's where i'm at. i need to keep at it, more stripping to come. i'll keep you posted on the progress ;)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Who did this?

i sat here for about 15 minutes, trying to think about a good blog post. i have very little to say about the weekend, except that open houses are kind of a's weird to have people lollygagging their way thru your house for no da*n reason except to snoop. icky.

i also did nothing in the area of crafts. i do have a vision for the dresser, but the stripper in the basement didn't work too well. he he. that is kind of a funny statement. anyway, you know what i mean.

so, i'll blog about my new bible study. i will also whine about the fact that my used book from amazon that i ordered over 3 weeks ago is STILL not here, so i downloaded a version for my phone. this is the first time that amazon has let me down! but whew. it was handy to get the book in a 1-click touch. i may be asking for a kindle from santa at some point :)

back to the book. it's not one that was really jumping off the shelf for me to pick up. but, if you've read greg boyd at all (most famous is probably 'letters from a skeptic'), you know he has some pretty interesting perspectives. in this book, boyd is seeming to challenge a ton of 'accepted' chrisitian beliefs about God that are simply false. i admit, i do tend to see God in ways that perhaps don't match perfectly together all the time. i get bound up sometimes in the disciplinarian God of the old testament, rather than the God that paul talks about in the new testament. i get confused by some of the parables of Jesus. sometimes, his behavior confuses me, too.

i don't usually admit this kind of stuff, but in the group i'm in, it's okay to question. wow, i never knew how much that HELPS in terms of God growth. last week, i had a real, serious meltdown on the phone with carey. i admitted that i was completely confused by God most of the time. i asked some really hard, scary questions that i would NEVER ask God himself, but that it seemed safe to vent to a friend about. that very night, at church, the video i was watching ASKED THE SAME QUESTIONS. i am taking that as a sign that God understands that i'm still in the dark about some foundational things. i don't think he wants me to stay there. that is the good news, that the questions i have are something God cares about me knowing.

in the meantime, i was hit with romans 5 three times last week. a three-time reminder is a pretty sure sign that God is wanting you to get it. i admit, i usually don't read the verse in context, but a lightbulb went off when i did....!

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

3-5There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

9-11Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

i think what this passage says is that God thinks i'm okay, because i DO have faith in his son! i cannot boast about a ton of things as a christian, but i do KNOW in my heart that Christ is real, alive and working on earth today. that i know. for today, is that enough? i sure hope so :)

happy monday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

new ideas

how is everyone today? the sun is out here! it's a bit chilly, and the furnace is on, but still. i am hopeful it will stay sunny all day.

i think i have finally hit a wall on the 'working every weekend' thing. i have to clean up around here a bit for the open house on saturday, but there are a couple of projects that i have been wanting to dig into that are more on the fun side of things. fun might be good.

one of them is to redo the 'free' dresser i found on the sidewalk this summer. i'm not sure where in the new house it will live, but oh well. i found some old 'stripper' in the basement, so i would like to give it a try. after looking at it up close, the damage on the sides is pretty bad, so i'll probably just refinish the drawers if they clean up well, and paint the rest out. i already have a set of fun knobs, and the brass knobs on the lower two shelves are pretty cute. oh. i am so ready for something visual and pretty :)

i also have an idea for a repurposed vintage painting, to apply text over the top of it. i have my phrase picked out, but i don't have the art yet. so, i need to go and see if any vintage landscape art is out there. for super cheap, because i don't know how well it will work. but it sounds like a good excuse to go thrifting, i guess ;)

as for the house selling, today (and hopefully for at least the next few days), i am going to let God handle the details. i kind of need the break :)

happy day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


doesn't THIS look yummy?

i want to make some. i even bought bacon, but i did not get the kind without nitrates (sorry, anne). bacon is kind of 'spensive.

recipe is in the link, this looks like a great blog!

okay. change of subject.

in the past couple days, i've had another epiphany, and it's that EMOTIONS suck. seriously. they do. i know that they have waaaay too much power in my life. this house switching journey is teaching me to NOT look at emotions as markers of what is really going on.

here's an example of how my weeks go; i think you'll see why i am having this thought:

"oh my gosh. the economy is getting seriously WORSE! there is no way this house will sell anytime soon." :(

"woo hoo! two people are going to see the house today! everything is going to be okay!" :))

" crap. the people i thought were going to buy the house cancelled. i'm SURE they bought some other house. i am going to eat a donut now." ;-((

"oh God. why is it cloudy today? nobody looks at houses when it's cloudy." :((((((((

"well, i'll have an open house this weekend. i'm SURE it will be sunny then." :-\

"oh God. nobody is available to have an open house? that must mean God doesn't want to help me sell this house!" :-8(

and on and on it goes. i swear, if i go UP the rollercoaster one more time, and then down again, i will NOT MAKE IT.

hmmmph. for today, i am choosing to stand by this TRUTH instead of being held captive by those pesky emotions. Lord, this day is yours. please use it for your glory, and let me be of sound mind and joyful heart. yay!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


i took advantage of the beautiful day yesterday to clean off the garden in the back forty. usually, i leave the work until spring, so the birds and bunnies have some nice shelter in the winter. it wasn't too 'realtor-friendly' though, so now it's gone.

i admit it makes me a little sad.

i am torn between desperately wanting an offer on the house, so that the roller coaster will stop, and not really yet realizing that mabel will not be MINE. it's hard.

today, i show the house twice. i am grateful that there has been a pretty steady stream of people coming thru...hopefully, that is a good sign.

i hope that whoever buys her knows that HE comes with the deal.

have a great tuesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011


whew. it's too hard to make a decision today about what to blog. let's do some scrambled content, shall we?

let's see. yesterday in church, we finished the 'jonah' series. i cannot remember enjoying a sermon series more. we mostly discussed the end of chapter 4, in which God tackles Jonah's bad attitude toward the ninevites.

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.

Then the LORD God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant.

But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered.

When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

There you have it. Jonah was 'very happy about the plant' in his life, but didn't give a hoot about what God was doing with the ninevites. sadly, even when God brought a worm to remove the plant (some texts call it a gourd)...Jonah did not recognize that his own callous heart and need for personal comfort first were a problem for God.

i am jonah. this i know, and this i need to deal with. it's come to this. having two houses (gourds) to concern myself with has made me once again stuck in my own little web of self-issues. God, help me to see past the need for comfort and a paycheck. i need to know there is more.

in kind of an awkward subject matter change, look at what an ikea purchase looks like when you take it out of the box. sigh. good thing they don't really show you that when you are in the pretty showroom!

pretty sure my thumbs will never go back to their normal position after assembling this bad boy. however, i hope it's comfortable to sleep on.

and finally, take a look at the yummy apple i bought at the grocery store yesterday. good for you, but cost a whopping $1 dollar for one apple. um, that is kind of ridiculous. you can actually get a whopper jr. for $1....just sayin.'

:) happy monday.

Friday, September 16, 2011


ah. back from a whirlwind trip to junk bonanza of my favorite places in the WORLD.

just like last year, the bonanza did not disappoint.

there were so many beautiful and inspiring things to behold. this year, i'm in a bit of a budget constraint until mabel sells, so i mostly took photos. i did get a couple of amazing things for my new office, which i'll show you in later posts.

ONE day like this can rejuvenate me for quite awhile. it's a chance to break out of the 'normal' that can become a small world, and feel hope and excitement again for things yet to come.

i am so blessed to have 2 of the best women in the world to support me and share their trials and joys with me. i love both of them dearly. this year, we also got to bring one more little art girl with us for her first bonanza. she will be born very soon, and i'm glad to know we will have more chances to go junking with her in the future ;)

ah. 24 hours of pure bliss. today, i have a sore throat and my head hurts. but my heart is super, super, super happy! thanks junk bonanza, see ya next year!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the freeze is on...

well, here we go. already. seems like just yesterday it was 90 degrees out! wait. that WAS yesterday. this morning, i had to turn the furnace on for just a little bit to warm up.

tonite we have a hard freeze warning. 29 degrees forecasted. which means i have to make time to haul in a million plants before i head to minneapolis for junk bonanza tonite.

good thing i tried these on at target last night! for the record, i did not buy them.

i'm not really ready for this. sigh. i think i will go make some soup now :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

a season for everything

ah, i've just finished reading both ecclesiastes and song of solomon these past days in the bible. i wish i could say i got much out of either....i didn't. i kind of don't want to hear 'everything is meaningless' over and over, and then get up and do my day. i also don't have breasts like grape clusters, so that seems kind of meaningless, too :)

i wonder. i wonder about God, and why he included such chapters in the word....

i have been thinking about ecclesiastes in terms of timing. how God's timing has worked in my life, and how i've never ever been comfortable with it. from being a small kid and having anxiety about the safety of my parents and various school challenges, to being a grown up and just wishing whatever i was enduring was OVER, i have never accepted God's timing.

i'm a little bit stuck right now in that i have no other choice. i don't KNOW what will happen, or when, or how. i so want to know. i want to not be walking around in a big cloud of darkness all the time, worrying about when and how and why. i know that is not God's plan for me, for the remainder of my days.

so, i am fighting it. fighting the unknown, like it's my worst enemy. because i have the One who knows inside of me. He'll give me eyes to see, even what i cannot see. my future is secure, and my days are secure, too. i think today i will spend living in that truth, instead of in the dark cloud.

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
psalm 68:3

Monday, September 12, 2011


ah, monday, you come so quickly.

i spent another weekend in a basement, how about you?!

:) good news is, i'm getting closer to living on higher ground, as the basement work is getting nearer to completion. i am so excited to be moving over to fern to work, instead of frantically fixing on mabel.

i was so encouraged yesterday, i actually started to paint the pantry. eight years ago, when i moved into mabel, i did NOT paint the inside of the cupboards. yeah. still have not done it. and i'll tell ya, this pantry NEEDED. the awful dirty gold made me not want to store food in there. look at the difference! yay!

i have switched over to lowes for paint for the new house, due to some bad customer service at ace hardware. i have to say, i highly recommend the valspar 'signature' line! that paint is thick like sour cream. i had to paint with a brush for the hard-to-reach pantry, but i am betting it will work in one coat when i get out the roller. i love paint :)

naturally, the small progress has me planning for the kitchen spruce-up. i'm thinking of going with a mostly apple green and white/black theme. i do love a white/black kitchen.

what do you think of these fabrics? i am kind of leaning toward the green/yellow option, which allows me to still keep my vintage lovelies in the kitchen that i have collected over the past few years....

it's so good to be able to start to accomplish some stuff. here's hoping it will carry over into the week, because i am already feeling like a nap!

ha. happy monday!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

a fun-filled thursday

ps. that ironing board only looks like it is not securely attached.

some days just stop you in your tracks and make you KNOW how fortunate you are. today was one of those days. one of those MUCH-NEEDED days.

my good buddy carey came to town with mr. j's 1992 dodge dakota to help me haul the remaining nastiness out of the basement. have i ever mentioned how much i love this girl?!

it's good to have friends. especially ones with good personalities who also do px90. the whole time, while i complained about how heavy everything was, she lifted and hauled...alot! seriously. plus, she can back up a truck like nobody's business. things were rolling smoothly along for much of the morning. i also felt less lonely to have a helper. emotional plus.

but, as usually happens, i started to hyperventilate about all of the mounds of STUFF, and decided that maybe a dump-load would be nice and handy while i had access to the dakota. so, we loaded up for the dump (which is somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, between here and who knows where. the decision was that i would follow in bert, and then she could zip back home to mitchell in time for a zillion family activities tonight. easy, peasy!!!

which it was, until somehow the keys got locked in the car. seriously. at the dump. which did not smell good. and had a ton of flies. oh, and as we were parked in the wrong spot dumping the wrong things. we soon found out that they have people at the dump who patrol those kinds of things.

this is tim. he's the one who busted us for dumping in the wrong pile. he's retired, but works at the dump, primarily to see what kind of junk people throw away. sometimes, he takes the good stuff home (but i guess that is supposed to be a secret).

at first, tim was a little peeved by us. then, he was laughing at us for being silly girls who locked their keys in the car. THEN, he made friends with us and brought us a pepsi while we waited for AAA out in the smelly, fly-infested landfill for like an hour...!!! wheee!

tim made my day, he was great. AAA eventually came, and i was glad i got a groupon for it last month. and we all lived happily ever after. i will remember this day fondly - probably sometime in the future when they are filming me for an episode of 'hoarders'... ha ha.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

apple cart diet

so, the apple cart has been upset once again in the last week, as mabel is now OFF the market for the next week or so. i'm taking care of an 'issue' that i kind of sort of have to deal with before she is ready to sell.

as i bump along in the apple cart, i've noticed my pants are getting a bit looser. which is sort of funny, as i have not eaten regular food for about a month. i just cannot make myself want to cook in a kitchen that is not mine anymore ;( however, i've also gotten to the point that just looking at a combo meal makes me kind of nauseous.

yesterday, i got up and dug around in my closet for a pair of jeans. all year, i've been alternating between 3 pair of gap jeans that all look the same. and all fit the same. when i slipped the jeans on, i noticed that they were slightly SNUG! what?! how can that be?

then, i re-examined. seems i grabbed a pair of jeans that had gotten much too SMALL for me, and that i had retired some months ago. at the time of retirement, i was having to lay on the bed in order to zip. we all know that feeling (well, some of us know)...not good.

so, the once way-too-tight-and-seriously-a-size-smaller jeans now are fitting! yep, a bit tight for the first half hour, but still!!!

a good companion to the apple cart diet has been the 'work your butt off to get this house sold' exercise plan. i noticed over the weekend, after a full day of moving/cleaning/packing/painting/fixing that i was not too sore the next day. much, MUCH better than a month ago!

now, if i could just find a cure for the 'it's 3am and i have no chance of falling asleep again' phenomena that seems to accompany this diet and exercise plan. then, and only then, i could probably relax and enjoy the ride ;)

happy WEDnesday!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A new week

i've got a whole new approach that i'm going to try out this week.

it's called 'watch and see.'

going thru the whole home-switching process has brought all kinds of extra stressors into my life. when that happens, i find myself becoming more and more inward-focused. my friend calls it 'navel gazing.' i think satan often plans it that way, if he can get us to concentrate on our troubles, and worry about figuring out a way to conquer them, he HAS us.

sadly, this happens to me often.

i am determined to find the blessing in this stressful time. i find peace in small measure, but i'm asking God for it to increase. He is showing me.

last night, after a good 'freebie' day at home, i fell into bed, and started to talk to God about finding Him in my mess. i opened my devotional for today, to sneak peek.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35

time and time again, God assures me that His love for me is greater than my predicament. i need to press into this, however, so i asked God HOW do i know he is greater? well, i know, but how do i know to the point that i operate differently during my day?

the devo cautioned about using circumstances to measure God's love...because they are not indicative of His love, or work in our lives. and here was the nugget for me. the suggestion to 'watch and see' what God does in the circumstance. to EXPECT him in the circumstance. not necessarily to remove the trouble or change the reality of it, but to KNOW He is there. to look for the blessing of finding Him in the midst of trial.

i like that. i like that even now, when i am once again immersed, i can focus my attention on what God is up to, from the perspective of Him loving me, and me KNOWING He will show it.

folks, this is what it's all about. as i come up on the 10th anniversary of my acceptance of Jesus Christ, i want to live into His promises daily. i want to be the person He made me to be, to do the things He made me to do.

sigh...just a matter of watching and seeing.
happy tuesday!

Friday, September 02, 2011


no, not that kind of wrestling, silly. although this poster is on my 'dream list' of things for the new house. because it mentions wahoo mcdaniel and mad dog vachon ... hello, names from my childhood!

exhibit #1: the circumstance that just about left me leaping over the edge of the wall this week.

no. i'm talking about a whole nuther kind of wrestling. wrestling with God, which is what my friend anne keeps bringing up when we chat...

at any rate, it seems to ring a little teeny tiny bell.... because every little circumstance that seems to come up, i'm met with the question "what do i DO with this, God? how am i supposed to deal? how are YOU going to deal with this? how do i be DIFFERENT than i was when this happened before? why do i keep doing it the same way OVER and over? what is your purpose? is it really possible that i have a purpose? are you really REALLY who you say you are?'

and on. and on.

and it starts and it stops and it keeps on keeping on. i admit, i'm a little tired from wrestling. but like any other sport, it draws you in. it's definitely NOT sitting on the sidelines, folks. i have to admit i've been thinking lately ... who wrestles with God, anyway?

um. yeah. i guess jacob did. and i think we all do, at some point or another. the good news is that God likes us to engage with Him. He is more than willing to wrestle back. and to show us Himself in the process. and just because we are just a wee bit weaker than He, he actually takes us seriously. which is something i cannot say for the wrestlers of my youth :)

just something to wrestle with :)

happy day, and especially happy Friday!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

c'mon in

is it just me, or is that sign GINORMOUS?

i guess it's good, but wow....kind of crazy.

i have already decided that the LITTLE sign is what really matters :))
btw. first showing this afternoon. less than 24 hours on the, yeah.

lots of adrenaline over here on the back forty, peeps!