Color perspective

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I've been studying color lately. Mixing and matching color is not one of my strong suits. I've even been reluctant to send in my color project thinking I should re-do it. Every time I look out the window and see the natural mix of colors that so beautifully play together, I remember I should just do the same. The palette is there already.

When I think of "earth tones" it seems that I automatically think of browns, tans, and blues which I really do like but then I came across this satellite image of the Dead Sea. It shows the dramatic colors that make up this region and gives a new perspective on "earth tones." Isn't it cool?

A humbled Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Last night after I picked up Jon from work, we went to Moe's to have a little date night. While we talked over our "Overachiever" tacos and chips & guac and all kinds of salsas, I remarked that the parking lot at the hotel wasn't very full. He told me it was a slow day all around with the exception of a few guest issues but nothing too exciting.

And then he told me of a guest who checked in for 30 days. He said she was really nice, just a very humble type whose husband seemed very kind too. I asked what she was checking in so long for. He said that she starts her first round of chemotherapy on Thanksgiving morning and then everyday for 30 days.

My heart sank. Suddenly, my little frustrations of the week seemed so insignificant. They are. And I have no reason to complain. Everyday between kids, jobs and other responsibilities, I have a list of places to be and people to see and I do them without even thinking about any obstacles. And when there are obstacles, it's nothing that I can't work around. Nothing that would sideline me for 30 days or more anyway. And if there is something that's getting to me, I know I have my family and a couple good friends to lean on and that's all I need. Really, for me, it just boils down to that. I could list specific blessings and thoughts on thankfulness but after family and all that encompasses, it just seems less important for me to do so.

I am just thankful for the everyday with them.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your day!

A little of everything

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I'm here! It's been a really busy couple of weeks. I won't bore you with the details because I know that everyone is busy. I don't want you to think that I think I am the only one. How selfish that would be! So how are you all? I can't wait to take time tonight and read the blogs on my sidebar. I have missed catching up.

Some possibly interesting tidbits of the past week:

Blair lost her first tooth! Uh oh. Tooth fairy came! I had to go check...

I finally decided on a paint color for the kitchen. Let's see, that only took a year and 5 months and 30 paint sample pots.

I had a photo shoot marathon before the good weather went away. Crazy but fun.

The bank accidentally closed our accounts but reopened them when we went in to see what was wrong. Because of their mistake they gave us a cash bonus. Kinda like a signing bonus when you go into the NBA or something. It wasn't a million bucks but it wasn't expected either. We were really shocked and happy. Now if they could just straighten out our direct deposit we'd be more happy! It's still floating around in cyberspace...

I found a bunch of old maps, between 1939-1944, in perfect condition for 50 cents. Fitty. The colors are gorgeous. I can't wait to show you them. My first plan was to make cards. But after opening them up, I may not bring myself to cut them up. We'll see. I still have other ideas. One being plastering a wall with them as wallpaper. Yes, there are that many.

Ok, I'm off to Book club this morning. Have a good day!

Marathon sessions...

A real job - Veterans Day

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day.

Being a military service man or woman is a real job.

It's volunteering at its best.

Not just because there were no other options.

It's hard work and the "benefits" are not free.

They work long hours for those, often deployed or on TDY from their families for lengths at a time and yet they only make a fraction of what they should.

They can never complain or ever voice opinions on wars and tactics even when they want to because ultimately they respect their Commander-in-Chief, whomever it is at the time.

Spouses back home hold down the fort with kids and jobs of their own while thinking of their soldier every minute. It is hard work for them as well.

And some Veterans who were once young and vibrant, saved the whole world.

My uncle Rogelio was just a young 20-something when he was at The Battle of the Bulge and nearly lost his feet to frost bite. He was one of 4 sons that my Grandma Carmen sent off to WWII. They all came home to her only to have another son, Jesus, serve in Korea and be killed at age 19.

My uncle Gary was forced to march two weeks to Nuremberg after he bailed out of his crashing airplane and was captured as a POW. Meanwhile, his brother, my uncle Darwin, was on a battleship in the Pacific.

None of them spoke much about it. They were always humble and gave much praise to those they worked right beside.

I have a soft spot for our Veterans. They truly are American heroes.

Rollercoaster Roads

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

***Disclaimer: All children were buckled in their seats. There was no oncoming traffic. We did not exceed the speed limit on a stretch of road, only accelerated over a hill for the rollercoaster effect.***

A few weekends ago we were in the Maryland countryside. It was a lovely fall day as trees were bursting with color, perfect for sidestepping the highways and venturing into the country. We used to live in Maryland so it's always a little exciting to go back and play "Remember when" with the kids. I would often take the kids into DC on the train and hang out at the Smithsonian while Jon was at work. That's when we had 3 kids which seems like a lifetime ago.

As we made our way through the back roads, we drove on hilly country lanes which we have always dubbed "rollercoaster" roads. We drove the normal 45 MPH on the flat stretch but accelerated over the hills like we were on a rollercoaster (clear of traffic of course) and raised our arms in the air (except for the driver) and screamed, squealed and laughed. All of us.

It was fun as usual.

And then we went back to being normal.

Letters to our younger selves

Friday, November 4, 2011

On Monday I was able to work at a local Pharmacy to do some health screenings. It's a small town Pharmacy rather than a large chain but it has more of a Hallmark store feel to it.

It's just a little nicer than the average bear.

Because it was a slow morning, I looked around some aisles and picked up a book. It was entitled, "What I Know Now: Letters to my younger self."

I am intrigued by this kind of thing. When I was growing up I tried to make my mantra, "No Regrets" which in itself is a bit of a naive idea. But before I went in to anything, I tried to weigh the options in my head as well as potential outcomes. I hated to make mistakes and wanted to save myself from some. That thought process saved me from some mistakes for sure but I was still allowed to throw caution to the wind hoping I was doing the right thing. Inevitably there were a few regrets and unfortunately I still have some but that's life I guess. At least it makes me able to give my kids advice which I hope they find valuable some day.

I have compiled much for them. I quickly learned after my mother died that I still crave her insight and wish I had something to refer to. So I am doing that for my kids.

In the aisle I perused the book, going right to the letters that powerful and successful women wrote to their younger selves. I only read a handful but they contained some interesting advice and got me thinking on what advice I would have given my 20 year-old self. It also got me thinking on what I did right as a 20 year-old and writing a letter congratulating myself on choices then that I might not have the courage to make now. You know, I always see the more optimistic angle.

Have you ever thought about what you would say to your younger self?

Either advice for the future or congratulating the past.


I found this write-up on Amazon:

"Today show correspondent Ann Curry writes to herself as a rookie reporter in her first job, telling herself not to change so much to fit in, urging her young self, “It is time to be bold about who you really are.”

Country music superstar Lee Ann Womack reflects on the stressed-out year spent recording her first album and encourages her younger self to enjoy the moment, not just the end result.

“Your hair matters far, far less than you think,” is the wry advice that begins the letter bestselling mystery writer Lisa Scottoline pens to her twenty-year old self.

And Maya Angelou, leaving home at seventeen with a newborn baby in her arms, assures herself she will succeed on her own, even if she does return home every now and then.

These remarkable women are joined by Madeleine Albright, Queen Noor of Jordan, Cokie Roberts, Naomi Wolf, Eileen Fisher, Jane Kaczmarek, Olympia Dukakis, Macy Gray, and many others.

Their letters contain rare glimpses into the personal lives of extraordinary women and powerful wisdom that readers will treasure.

Wisdom from What I Know Now:

“Don’t let anybody raise you. You’ve been raised.” –Maya Angelou

“Try more things. Cross more lines.” –Breena Clarke

“Learn how to celebrate.” –Olympia Dukakis

“You don’t have to be afraid of living alone.” –Eileen Fisher

“Please yourself first…everything else follows.” –Macy Gray

“Don’t be so quick to dismiss another human being.” –Barbara Boxer

“Work should not be work.” –Mary Matalin

“You can leave the work world—and come back on your own terms.” –Cokie Roberts

“Laundry will wait very patiently.” –Nora Roberts

“Your hair matters far, far less than you think” –Lisa Scottoline

“Speak the truth but ride a fast horse.” –Kitty Kelley

Little chickens and candles

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In another week I will have my washer back. I have never been so excited to do laundry. Honestly, I don't mind the laundromat but with the cooler and unpredictable weather, I'd rather not lug around 5 loads of laundry in the rain and snow. This will free up some time for us.

When the repairman came over and into the garage he said, "Wow, you have a lot of nice antiques in here."

I think I should start selling some. When I visited my mom in Logan, UT, we'd go to an antique shop that was right out of some one's garage. I could do that. Only it wouldn't be just antiques. I have a whole plan. I always have. I had a candy store for my family out of my bedroom when I was about 7 years old. I put a table in the doorway and sold all kinds of candy and gave no family discounts, ha.

So back to the garage... I unearthed my mom's antique candelabras. I knew they were there but just hadn't had time to get them. So I pulled one out and polished it up and put it on the dinner table.

Later that day I made Cornish game hens. When Reese walked in for dinner, he said, "The table is so pretty" and as Blair sat down she said, "It's like we're rich with these little chickens and candles!"

Table touches

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Here we are in November. This is when I start looking through magazines and books to pull together all kinds of different recipes that I want to try. I never get to them all but occasionally there is something new on the dinner table. Honestly, I just don't love cooking enough to get through them.

I am more into setting the table and having someone else cook. That works out for us since Jon likes to cook more than he likes to set the table. And besides, he is the better cook. So until I narrow down the recipes that I think I can handle, here are a few easy table ideas...except the first one, that will take a little work but the others are easy if you just take a nature walk.


image HGTV

All images courtesy of BHG unless otherwise stated