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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And then there were 4...

This past week our 18 year old returned from Germany and then loaded up the next morning to leave for college. We made the 2 1/2 hour drive to the beautiful pines and cool weather of Flagstaff.Here she is checking in at her dorm...
And here's the before of her room...
We were super impressed with the room. Although not very big, her dorm was remodeled over the summer and was outfitted with new furniture and carpet. After a few measurements and a big trip to Target, here's the after...
Here's the other half...
It was a bit of a challenge to fit all of her things in an armoire, but she's talented like that.
She started classes on Monday and it sounds like she's already settling in. We're so proud of her accomplishments (full tuition scholarship, NAU honors program, Fluent Spanish speaker, & World traveler) but we will miss seeing her everyday.
With one daughter married and one away at school- we're down to four! How quickly they grow up! Love, Kelly

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Writing – blessing or curse?

Last night, there was a cricket chirping in my closet. Mr. Cricket started out chirping somewhat sweet, like I’m camping under the stars on an autumn night, when its chirping grew insanely loud, making me wonder “Who gave the cricket a microphone?”
“I can’t sleep like this,” I said as I rolled over to the counselor. “Make it stop.”
The love of my life jumps out of bed and turns the light on. “Where is it,” he says, squinting into the closet, ever the protector of our home.
“The bug spray is out in the shed. Please spray it with poison,” is my deviant request.
With just a grumble (from my husband, not the cricket), the love of my life puts on his flip flops and heads out into our backyard shed in search of bug poison.
And what do I do?
Do I actively look for the cricket and put it to its death with the back of a shoe?
Do I fold laundry, trying to look busy so I don’t feel guilty just lying here while my husband is outside in the 90 degree midnight heat?
Do I hang up that towel crumbled on the floor that I used after my evening swim?
No, my friends, I do not. I do what any good writer would do. I start to think of book titles and wondering how this very experience will work into my next novel. I wonder about my blog; thinking of a very clever title for my next post, laughing just slightly under my breath when my husband walks back into the bedroom with bug poison.
“What’s so funny,” he says as he trips over the damp towel I have crumbled up on the floor.
“I think I’m going to get up and write,” I say, getting out of bed.
The counselor is used to this. He doesn’t even try to convince me otherwise and for this I love him. I can hear him in the closet, moving things around as I turn the lights on in the office.
Other then the cricket, the house is quiet. It’s just me and my computer, with a little new age music playing in the background.
An hour later, I’m several pages into my unfinished manuscript and I decided it’s time for bed. I tip-toe into my bedroom and quietly slip into bed when I realize I don’t hear the cricket anymore and I can finally sleep in silence, if only I could turn off the keyboard in my mind.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tween Room Make-over Part 2

Here's a before picture of a piece for the tween's room...And here's the after...
It was only 110 degrees the day I painted this (by hand since the air compressor I borrow from my Father In Law was back at his house!) But I love the way it turned out. Here it is with the accessories I picked up at the auction.The lamps were a splurge for me at 32.50 each (plus 10% buyers premium and tax) The globe and the mirror were each 22.50 (plus fees) but I think they really pull the space together. Here's a closer look at the lamps.
I also picked up a floor lamp for $17.50. Right now It's just waiting to be staged (my number 2 daughter's fish tank is in the way, but will be leaving for college this weekend)

There's still pillows, a chair and artwork to be found, but for now my number 4 daughter loves having her own space. Let me know what you think. Love, Kelly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fortune’s Rock – A Novel by Anita Shreve

With as sick as I’ve been feeling, I’m spending plenty of time with good books.  I just finished another book I picked up at the thrift store;  Fortune’s Rock by Anita Shreve.
Taking place in the 19th century, this beautifully written book rings true of its Victorian narrative.  At times, Shreve's writing is like dark chocolate, rich and smooth, making me wonder, “How long can Ms. Shreve keep up with such enthralling language?”  
But, she does throughout the entire book.  Perhaps, you’ve heard of Anita Shreve, her most popular book The Pilot’s Wife.  She never ceases to amaze with far-reaching story lines and come-to-life characters.

Fortune’s Rock follows Olympia, a young 16 year-old girl just on the cusp of womanhood.  While vacationing on the coastline in Maine with her well-to-do parents, Olympia meets John Haskell, a 41 year-old doctor and journalist.  Going against her strict upbringing, she allows her feelings for Haskell to grow.  She offers to go into the poor community city with him on his doctor rounds and sees things a woman of her upbringing should not.  She assists Haskell in a birth, where he saves a woman and her breech baby.   This experience has a profound affect on Olympia and her feelings for Haskell grow.  Their love affair erupts and all is lost, when Olympia discovers she’s pregnant.  She too, will have to birth a child into the world, but not before her father forbids Haskell to ever return to Fortune’s Rock.  Olympia’s newborn son is taken from her at birth, but at the age of 20, Olympia seeks to find her baby and her forbidden lover. 

The book took a surprising turn at the end, showing that no matter what the circumstances of our lives, something good can always come of tragedy.  Olympia takes her greatest heartache and uses it to help others.
I couldn’t put this book down and I hoped in the end love would find a way.  Love always does and that’s why I loved Fortune’s Rock.

Fortune’s Rock would make a great movie, with gorgeous costumes and breath-taking scenery.  Many of the scenes take place at the coastline of Maine, with vacationers dressed in full body swimsuits, holding white-laced umbrellas and girls in their petticoats.   Every scene is in such vivid detail, I can feel the cool breeze rolling over me.  When the Maine winter sets in and Olympia turns the kitchen into her bedroom just to keep warm by the oven, I didn’t begrudge the 115 degrees of the day.  I’d much rather have the heat then the extreme cold. 

Either way, I’m glad my heart didn’t fall into the hands of someone double my age, someone who my parent’s forbid I see, because when love gets as complicated as Olympia and John Haskell’s, it makes for a challenging time. 

So, does Olympia eventually find her baby?

I won’t tell, but let’s just say a mother’s love puts Olympia in a position where she has to pick what’s best for her and what’s best for her son, and a selfless decision does she make.  This choice opens up a world where she can love again and use her past to help those in need.

Monday, August 22, 2011

This Weeks Garage Finds!

It was a little slow this weekend while garaging, but I still found a few treasures, take a look...I love this ornate mirror, just look at that fancy carving???
This frame is actually plastic! I love the look of it and I loved the $5.00 price tag- This may make it into my little girls room make-over. I also found me some more game pieces...
Can anyone ever have enough scrabble pieces and dominos? These will go to the shop because yes, you really can have enough scrabble pieces and dominos- just ask my family. Also, come back Friday for another partial reveal of the tweens bedroom make-over. I paid a little visit to our local auction and found just the right accessories, at just the right price. Let us know what you found this weekend. Love, Kelly.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Domino Lessons

A few days ago, I wrote the following statement on my facebook page:

Crazy comment of the day: "The baby just slipped and fell in Mayer's (my six-year old) throw up." Yeah, that was a fun mess. 4 out of my 5 kids were dry-heaving while the other one was crying through the entire process.

If only that was the worst of it because I have caught something horrible too.  Fortunately, I didn’t get the stomach flu the kids had, but a nasty cold found me.

Today, I wrote another ill-ed statement on facebook:

Chandler made me a mango smoothie, my in-laws came over and help my kids do homework, my mom brought over homemade vegetable soup; I hate being sick, but it's amazing watching those who love me serve me.

With the big kids back at school, I’ve only had Reef and Eden home.  They play so well together.  I’ve been in bed while they’ve played the same game for 3 days on the floor in my room. 
Dominos in this Sesame Street village, both found at garage sales this summer. 
Dominos in the trap door.
Dominos down the slide.
Dominos in the tire swing.
Eden holds onto the same domino for long lengths of time while Reef builds long roads, lined around the village.
Eden walks over to the bed and I pull her up into my arms.  She hugs me for a few minutes, than wants to get back down to play.
Yesterday, through I felt horrible, I couldn’t help but count my blessings.  In some ways, I feel I’ve had to little family units; the big boys at school, who do so much together, and the babies, still at home who are best buddies.
The task of caring for these last two children leaves me in awe of the very art of mothering.  Caring for them is a sacred joy.  With kids in school full-time, I can appreciate how fast time goes.  Reef started Joy School, an opportunity to play with his friends a couple days a week.
He's so excited to be a big boy.
He was a bit shy at first, but in a few minutes waved good-bye to me and I knew he was ready to play with his friends.
 Sure, there are days I’m overwhelmed, but being sick forced me to slow down and really look at things, really look at my kids.
Chandler runs home from school the last few days, right into my bedroom to see how I feel.  He brings in his assigned reading and is more then willing to snuggle.  Last night, while I scratched his back, he said, “I can’t wait to read with you again tomorrow, Mom.” And I realized he’s actually enjoyed me being sick in bed because I’m not busy every minute. 
I can’t wait to feel better, it can’t come fast enough, but I will remember to take time every day to slow down and count my blessings, one beautiful child at a time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trash To Cash Wednesday and A "Comment" Party!

I've been in a "clearing out the house" mode lately. Probably because I do estate sales and see the consequences of collecting too much stuff- a few times a year I start to feel a little claustrophobic about the amount of furniture items I have to resale. So this week I used two different resale venues to make space in my garage. First is trusty old craigslist. I purchased this primitive cupboard as part of an estate in January. It was then taken to the shop and sat for a few months. It then was listed on craigslist for a few months- so it was time for a major price reduction. I reduced the price to $175, then accepted an offer of $130- Seems like a steal for an original 1800's primitive piece- but I was ready to part with it. The other venue I used this week was our local auction. I used to frequent the auction to find unique pieces for our home and thought it would be a good experiment to take a piece to be auctioned off. This primitive trunk was also from the January estate.It also spent time at the shop and I even carted it to a few estate sales. At the time I just wasn't ready to negotiate on the price, but now that the clean house bug has bitten, I really didn't care what I got for it. It sold for $60.00 at auction- which will be a $45.00 profit for me- what a bummer- but I now can see the light at the end of the tunnel in my garage make-over. I took several more pieces to auction this week so I'll let you know how they do. This week on Ebay, it was all about plus sizes. Here's this weeks top sellers...

This Women's Talbots Size 22W Black Dress sold for $9.75. It part of 9 things I purchased at a garage sale for $1.00 each. The pile also include 7 plus size Ralph Lauren Shirts and a plus size Eddie Bauer shirt. So far 5 of the items have sold for a total of $62.74. Not bad for a $9.00 investment.
Women's Ralph Lauren Size 3X Pink Cotton Career Top 12.50
Women's Ralph Lauren Size 3X Black Linen Top 15.50
Women's Ralph Lauren Size 2X White Cotton Career Top 15.99
Women's Lane Bryant Size 18/20 Denim Bolero Jacket 15.50
Women's NWT Lane Bryant Size 18/20 Floral Strapless Top 20.00. And the top seller of the week...
Chico's Zenergy Size 3 (XL) White Knit Crop Pants sold for $25.01. I sold over $400.00 this week on ebay- so I'm hoping we're jumping into the season of BIG resale weeks. Please leave a comment and let us know what you've been selling. Love, Kelly.

Monday, August 15, 2011

This Weeks Garaging Finds!

Even though it's still hot here in Arizona, garage sale season has started to pick up. Generally after school starts we'll start to see more sales and by October, when the weather cools off a bit, there are usually too many sales to see in a day! Here are this weekend's finds... I'm not sure if this picket shelf is for the shop or craigslist, but at $10.00 I couldn't pass it up.
These pieces of artwork were $5 each- I love the one on the left for its' ornate frame and the one on the right may get a little make-over and become a piece for my daughter's new blue and white room.
This clock was also $5 but wasn't working. I took a chance and Mr. Right was able to fix it for FREE! Gotta love that guy!
This set was $7 and again, I'm not sure if it's going to the shop or finding a place in my kitchen. The ampersand is for sure a keeper.
This stack of hat boxes were just $5 for the set- I'm thinking they'll go in my 7 year olds "Paris" themed room make-over- I'm not sure though. If you know of a great project for these please share.
Love these chunky frames for $2 each, the pottery barn pillow covers for $2.00 and the potpourri for .50 a bag. Here's a closer look at it...
I love the velvety texture of the pears and apples and the shapes and sizes of the artichokes. Hope your weekend was fabulous too, leave a comment and let me know what you found! Love, Kelly

Sesame Street's One thing is not like the other: Trash vs. Anthropologie?

Remember this song from Sesame Street?  One thing is not like the other.
When I was little, I loved this song.   I loved the game.
Let’s try this game, with a twist of trash.
I’ve always thought easel’s were cool, a piece of art all their own.
Here’s the one from Anthropologie, priced at $2,100.00.
So, when I found this easel for $15.00 I was thrilled.
I’ve sold a couple of easels on craigslist, 

but this one is heaver, sturdier and I wanted it.
I put it in my living room, but am not quite satisfied with how it looks.
After a run-in with a can of black spray paint, this is how it turned out.
I love it.
I found the art work a few months ago at Goodwill.
What a great pair.
Do you think I should spackle some paint on mine, to make it look even more Anthropologie?
Sometimes, the biggest difference between one and the other is price.
Next, we have Sunday dress attire.
What one is not like the other?
Three of these outfits are from Goodwill’s $1.00 day, while the other is from Anthropologie.
Eden looks adorable in her pink chiffon, love the broach necklace.
Reef, looking great in his Ralph Lauren attire.
And what about the counselor.  Love the vintage tie!
If you guessed my outfit is different then the others, then you’re correct.
My outfit is the splurge, found at Anthropologie this weekend.
Yes, I shopped retail and it was so much fun!
I most note a disclaimer, however revealing it is.
Let me compare it to someone about to give a public talk or speech.
Have you ever heard a speaker start his or her talk with this sort of statement?
"I'm going to start my talk, but I hate public speaking and I'm not good at it, but here goes."
And then, the speaker has lost some sort of authenticity and even if it is a great talk, you feel like you've been gipped of something.
And if the talk is good you think "I wish they'd not have said they stunk at this because actually, it was quite entertaining."
We'll, I'm going to do that by saying I hate taking pictures of myself, I'm not good at it, but find if I'm going to blog about trash and things I find at garage sales, thrift stores, then occasionally, there have to be personal photos. 
I've really done it now!
So, one more chance at what one is not like the other.
Everywhere I turn, I meet people who are re-doing furniture.  
I like to sell furniture that's unusual, but with a little imagination can be re-done into something amazing.
Still, the more I research Anthropologie, I find beat-up and worn-out doesn't have to be re-done to be valuable.
Like this Ainsley Chest, priced at $2498.00
Shopping trash means the biggest difference is the price. Thanks for playing the game.