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Current state of affairs

Saturday, January 23, 2016

This is the scene on the East coast right now. I just opened the door really quickly and took a picture with my computer. We have over 2 feet and 24 hours more of snow to go. The weather had been so mild I never brought in the patio furniture. Oops.

We're in our pajamas, snacks spread out on the table, napping in-between games. I loooovvee being snowed in. Everything is shut down, except Turkey Hill. This is the first time in 16 years that Jon does not have to put the car in 4 wheel drive and head in to a hotel to make sure all the guests are taken care of and that the power has not gone off.

My main job is Mon-Fri and from home for the most part so I have no where to be and we closed the shoppe today so I really have no reason to go out. For those that have to make it in to work, bless you and stay safe!


Non-resolution new year goals

Sunday, January 10, 2016


While I'm not a big resolution-making type at the new year, I do like to have some simple goals in mind that I'd like to accomplish. I tend to look back and see what I have done in the past year and build upon those things and stretch myself in other ways. Nothing I write down is too big of a challenge. I'm pretty simple.

Last year Jon was gone the whole year to Arkansas. I actually 
really liked living there over the summer on Lake Hamilton. It grew on me quickly but for various reasons we couldn't make it our new home. I enjoyed lake living sooo much. I've always been a water person and wish that I could continue to live near it. We took full advantage of having the beach be our back yard when we lived in Hilton Head, SC. I had forgotten how much I loved the water so one of my goals for this year is to get out a little more. Whether that is finding a lake to do a little fishing or heading out early on a weekend to get to Cape Henlopen, I want to be at the water's edge somewhere. We sold our kayaks when we moved back to PA but there's always Craigslist.


(sooc) In our backyard in Arkansas

Another focus is to do more photos that I want to do. If I see another train track photo I may just die. (No offense to anyone doing those. It is illegal, btw!) I just want to go back to what I was doing 20+ years ago; more natural lifestyle, street photography with the occasional portrait.

One of my favorite sessions. I had to get her to stick out her stomach so you could actually tell she was 9 months :0

Gorgeous HS senior

@Home Again, my little shop within a shop, is going well but I want to stretch myself there. It's easy to make/redo or bring in items that you automatically know your demographic will like but honestly, that can get boring. I want to bring in items that I think people might not have thought about yet. I found a 1960's bar cart in Arkansas that we lugged home. The handles were inset brass and were a regency style. The top folded out to create extra prep room. I stripped the top to its natural finish which was a great contrast to the black base. I immediately loved it but knew it could be a hard sell for this area. So I took the chance and was happy today when I went in to the shoppe and saw that it had sold. I just have to go with what I like and take more chances. It will pay off eventually.

I want to create a haven for my family within our home. This has been on my mind a lot. Since Jon's career change, which has been anything but smooth, I have felt the need to really make our home a place where we can close off the world and enjoy our time together. Time goes by so quickly and soon my two oldest will be gone and I wonder where the time has gone. Life is busy and in an unforgiving economy, it takes two salaries to raise a family of 7. There's just no getting around it for us and we live well within our means, opting for used cars and vintage furniture rather than new and top of the line anything (unless we win the lottery, then I may have something new ;)) I'll be focusing on this aspect more than anything I think.

Reading. Jon always reminds me that I used to be a voracious reader. I'm not sure what happened but I know I just need to schedule time to read. I have a stack of books whose dust jackets are literally collecting dust.

Service. I HAVE to make time for this. Not just to be an example to my kids but because I genuinely like people. I like to know their stories, what makes them tick so to speak and whatever way I can help, I want to. I signed up with an organization who makes scarves and places them in public locations (aka scarf-bombing) in the inner-city for the homeless to take to keep warm. I think it is such a sweet service.

Friends. I must do better at keeping in touch. I have been so lucky to have lived in different places and made friends with some of the best of the best. I have to let them know that. Being home in Washington state over the summer really reminded me that those ties are important to ones well-being.

The other, smaller goals will come over time. I'll be bringing updates periodically on those as well as what I've mentioned. Good luck on yours!

~Laura








Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2016

I'm recommitting myself to a few things in this New Year - one being this blog. 
The rest will reveal themselves.
Until then, Happy New Year from me to you!




A gift, service and a run in Philly

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A year ago I was at my Uncle's funeral where my cousin Wendi and I were talking. Unfortunately over the years of living here ( I grew up on the West coast) the only time I tend to see some of my PA cousins are at funerals.

So as we were talking, Wendi asked if she could get Blair a birthday present and of course I said, "Sure!" so she asked Blair if she liked to read. Blair gave a resounding yes. Wendi said that her niece was editing a book which would soon be released and she could probably get her a signed copy. Blair was so excited about this. Wendi texted me a month later and said she hadn't forgotten about it but life came up and she would get on it. I told her not to worry. I had actually forgotten about it when Wendi messaged me again and said she had it and would mail it out.

It wasn't too long after that when I received word from my cousin, BethAnn, Wendi's sister, that Wendi had been diagnosed with a brain tumor during this time. I was shocked. I had just hammed it up with her in pictures a few months back. BethAnn said that Wendi kept telling her to get the book mailed for her. I responded by saying enough with the book, just get better. But there would be no getting better. The cancer took her quickly and mercilessly. Here she was, in the fight of her life, and she was trying to get Blair that book.

At her funeral, Blair received her gift from Wendi. It is now a prized possession. And it's a constant reminder that my worst of moments so far are not that tough and I can do a better job of making time for service.

So the least I could do was to join BethAnn's team in the Race for Hope in Philadelphia, through the National Brain Tumor society, to say thank you to Wendi and honor her memory.

Best seller

BethAnn and me

Me and my little cheering section. Love them.


A little thought

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It seems like someone always cuts in front of me in line. Today it was at a craft store, the other day it was at a convenience store and last week it was at a grocery store. And I'm always behind someone going 10 miles under the speed limit. My first thought to myself is usually sarcastic but then I quickly stop and think. There is no place so important for me to be that I can't wait an extra few minutes to get there. I also think that being held up 5 to 10 minutes may be keeping me from something dangerous or putting me in a perfect position for something good. Do you think this way too?

A little side table rehab

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I spotted this side table at a thrift shop in Arkansas and despite its flaws, I had to see what I could do with it. The details were just too good.

The top had a 3 sided rim but one side was gone. I knew that removing the other two would be easy and patching the divot it would leave with wood filler wouldn't be hard either. The top's veneer was bubbling and peeling so that had to come off. It's not an easy task to repair veneer so I didn't want to attempt that. I peeled off as much as I could and the rest got the orbital sander treatment, using 80 grit sand paper. Because of the vintage nature of the piece, I wasn't worried about scratches and dings on the rest of it. Paint would take care of that.




I made sure not to sand down too far by using 220 grit sandpaper on the 
mouse sander this time and filled in where the rim had been.



I used Americana Decor chalk paint in Primitive and Grunge it! aging dust by Vintage Market & Design to bring out the details. After waxing, I used fine grit sandpaper to lightly distress the high points. I always wax furniture at the shop just in case something is scratched in transit, which happens more times than not.












I am tempted to keep this for myself. It's so adorable.
That's always the struggle.





The beginning of the season

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I love October. 

That's when the leaves really change around here. One year it was so warm they didn't change until November. That wasn't a great year for foliage. But this year should be brilliant. For me, October is like my Spring, a renewal, where I spruce up the house, go through the kids' closets and try to get organized, I said try. 

I think I've always looked at this month that way because my church's semi-annual world General Conference is held in October and listening to the talks tend to give me a push in a direction I need.

Another thing I love is that there are so many festivals! Over the weekend we went to our back to school festival at a ranch not far from my house. The kids and I enjoyed a s'mores fire pit, horseback riding and a hay ride. It was really simple, just the way I think kids' events should be. I realized I didn't take many photos until it was too late but you get the idea.

Perfect size horse

This horse was big. I didn't ask but I'm guessing 17 hands?

I love Longhorns! I always enjoyed seeing them when we lived in The Texas Hill country
 and now I can see them right here in PA.