Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Interpreting my Dream

I haven't written much on my blog lately, because my mind has been chewing on this topic.  I wanted to come up with just the right words... "Right" meaning not too many, and something that would be helpful and interesting to others, not just self-indulgent ramblings.

It started in an email with my sister.  She had just done the huge work of ridding her life of detrimental baggage (a job she didn't enjoy that also didn't align with her own values, but that paid the bills), and closing the door on a dream shared with her fiance that never quite got off the ground like they'd hoped... All in order to investigate, train for, and pursue a dream that had been calling to her for years.

I admire that and am so excited for her!  But it got me thinking about my messy and busy life, and I wondered how to become more focused.  The initial conversation went as follows:
Me:  Wow.  I can really understand how hard it must've been to shut that door tight like that!
I should follow your lead and do that with my blog.   I keep waffling, but know it takes more of my time than I have to give, in order of what's important.  But not to take from your accomplishment, because my blog is small potatoes compared to that.
Sis:  Your blog is NOT small potatoes - it is a dream, and that's never small potatoes - and it's where you go to gather with your (outside of family) 'tribe' and everyone needs to be part of a tribe....but, it's true - if your tribe leads you to compromise in ways that aren't true to you, then the value isn't worth the trade....but only you can decide 

This ignited a chain of questions in my mind... My dream?  I'm not sure blogging is my 'dream.'  I considered it for a very short time before jumping in, at the gracious encouragement of others.  I've enjoyed it.  Is it a developing dream?  Or more of an indulgence or distraction?

My biggest-ever dream was to be a wife and mom.  Am I already blessed to be living my dream then?  Does it count?  Or am I supposed to have more of a me-only dream?  Do I need a new dream now that I'm on the 'downhill-side' of momming with so many of the kids becoming adults? (ha) - Or maybe at least a side dream that gives me an identity other than "Mom?"

I don't know if it's a current trend, or if I'm just noticing how popular this dream-identification endeavor is, based on my recent awakening to the issue... But, suddenly, blog posts, books, and articles, all about "discovering and following your dream" are EVERYwhere.  I know that this probably isn't of concern in more troubled parts of the world, so it's definitely a "First World Problem." But since I don't travel much, I was up for a bit of a mental journey... 

Have you already figured out this will likely birth a series of blog posts?  ;-)

Vehicles that have each given me a lift on this ride:

  All by Holley Gerth:

By Emily Freeman:

By Gary Morland:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Still at the Plate

I was standing, staring at the frame collection as I took the photos for the last post.  

I noticed that the left had much more space between the hanging items themselves, and also between them and the door casing... and it was more pleasing than the more crowded right side.

I took out one frame, and relocated its partner.

Not exactly a huge "Eureka!" moment, and still not the contemporary look I may prefer... if I can ever pull forth the vision enough into my conscious mind to see and achieve it.  I'm not sure it shows in the photos I'm sharing with you, but that adjustment made a surprisingly vast improvement.  

I can be happy with this for the time being.  That's not a feeling I had when the other frame was still there.  Another case of "less is more," and where just a little fine tuning can make a big difference.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Swing and a Miss

Or maybe it was a foul tip.  

In My Etsy Finds, I showed you the metal sculpture from TheWordWithin that I hung in our entry, and said I wanted to surround it with photos.

I decided that they should have a variety of metal frames in silvery shades, and set out to find some at Goodwill, as we had for the reception centerpieces for Princess Sassy and Prince Steadfast's wedding reception.  But I had much less luck than at that time.  So instead, I picked up some bargain-priced frames at our local Walmart, of different sizes and profiles...  Also, some in different colors, but decided I could try to paint them silver.  

I knew we had some silver spray paint, but decided to try silver acrylic paint applied with a foam brush first for more control and less mess.  I didn't worry about complete coverage, as letting a little of the original colors show through, gave them a variety in finish, and a more rustic appearance. 

The one on the left started out black,
and the one on the right started out dark brown

 --And to change things up even more, I added other colors for a different effect.  For a darker shade, I streaked in black and brown, and to brighten one, to bridge between the painted frames and the frames that were already a bright silver, I added some white.

On the left: Light brown natural wood... a little of that showing through.  The silver paint with
white added to brighten the silver.
On the right: a dark brown plastic frame.  The silver paint with darker streaks.  On my screen
it looks brown, but I assure you, it looked silvery dark gray in person

I felt that project was a success, and I was happy with my variety of silver finishes.   I printed out some pics I thought would represent our family and household, and hung the frames.

This is where the disappointment came in.  The balance could be improved, but, overall, I'm just not fond of the idea.  It looks dated to me, and not a look that complements the art piece.  I think it needs to be simpler and more contemporary, maybe like the cleaner lines of the 3 identical frames I hung in the living room.  


But, wait!...........

Saturday, May 11, 2013

28 Down...

...and, God willing, many, many more to go.

Friday was our 28th anniversary.  Being creatures of habit, and not willing to risk a rare night out on a new and unknown experience, went to our 'usual' restaurant, The Boat Shed in Manette, WA for their always-good, and Hubby's go-to favorite, halibut and chips.  

Providentially, as we had no reservations, we didn't tell them it was our anniversary, and we said we didn't care whether we ate indoors or out, we got the best seat in the house!  --The outside corner of their deck on an absolutely perfect, not-too-hot, not-too-cool, sunny evening.

But I told Hubby I'll call this next pic my "You-Owe-Me" shot... Since this is my beloved, talking to a colleague (and friend) about school issues during our salad course!

May 10, 1985 was also a Friday, and he taught at school all that day before the ceremony.  He's rarely taken a day off since.  Not like I wasn't warned he was passionate about and dedicated to his work!

Happy, happy anniversary, Honey.  Thanks for all of your hard work on behalf of your students and your family.  Here's hoping we spend the next blessed years learning to relax and enjoy life a bit more often, and, together, lay our future and worries at the Lord's feet.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Did You Know this about Windex?

The father on My Big Fat Greek Wedding-- You know, if you're old enough, the guy who was really Room 222's Principal Kaufman-- proclaimed that Windex was good for all sorts of problems and ailments.  I've seen jewelers use it to slide rings off swollen fingers.  But I'd never heard of this...


Prince Go-for-It knelt in a teammate's discarded gum, then, trying to be helpful, removed the bulk of it, leaving a ground-in gum stain instead.

I searched the internet and found several recommended solutions, most with very mixed reviews as to the effectiveness.  There was so little gum left, icing it didn't help, because there was not enough left to peel off.  I was afraid to try any of the oily hints (WD-40, peanut butter, etc.), and trade the gum mark for a grease spot.

Hot vinegar sounded like it might work, as it was supposed to dissolve the gum off the fabric, but I was upstairs, and felt too lazy to deal with the heating and all involved.  When I saw the Windex hint, I thought that sounded like a close alternative... and easy to do while sitting right there on my bed, watching Castle.  ;-)

I'm happy to report it was a success!  When I finished, and put them in the washer, I could see a tiny hint of the spot's outline remaining.  

The prince ran off with the pants as soon as they came out of the dryer the next morning, so I didn't get an "after" picture, but Go-for-It says he couldn't see any evidence of the gum, and was happy to look spiffy for his next game.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sun Day on Monday (though posted on Thursday!)

We've had sun and temperatures in the 70s and 80s for a WEEK.  That rarely happens here, even in the middle of summer!  Monday was the hottest day of the week, so we eschewed schoolwork inside for a surprise-for-the-kids field trip to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA.

I'll just be quiet now, and mostly let the photos speak for the day...

Is it immature that I thought this was hilarious about everytime they did it?

These guys were HUGE.  They made the ducks look small.

Too early for the rose garden... We'll have to come back!

Baby's first visit to the park.  He's growing!  2 months to go....

There is something so relaxing about the smell of salt water on a warm day


Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Etsy Finds

I am so excited to have received all of my buys, and have them adding their say to our house.

The first to arrive were the vinyl decals from BWordy and AStickyPlace.  I have a love-not-quite-hate relationship with those... I love how they look and what they have to offer.  

I pretty much hated putting them up.  

Tape in place... Check.

Prince Inventive lent a hand with one of them, and I should've enlisted his help, again, with the second. It may be because we have textured walls, but they weren't exactly a piece of cake to get off the backing and onto the wall to stay.  
Cut larger projects in half, or more, to deal
with only a portion at a time.. Check.

Rub firmly against the wall using a flat tool... Check.
Then peel back...OK...
And the letters should stay on the wall and not the paper... Not always


Even if you have 3/4 of a letter sticking on the wall,
don't assume the rest will, also...

If you don't look too closely, 

they look great!  I love the colors.  The upstairs hall has tannish walls, so the dark gray stands out nicely.

In our dining room, the beige lettering looks so subtle and elegant.

Just as quickly, I received the metal sculpture by TheWordWithin.  So cool!  No fault of theirs, of course, it was a little smaller than I'd imagined.  I thought it would fill more of the entry wall, so I have more work to do here.  I think the size is an advantage, as it leaves the perfect space for some family photos.  I am keeping my eye out for silver and gray frames to make that happen.

Last to arrive was the custom painted 'subway' style sign by CantonAntiques.  It was shown on Etsy with brown lettering and I requested it be done in gray instead, which they graciously obliged.  

It's a perfect fit in size, color, and style for this spot in our kitchen, and I LOVE what it says!

After being inspired by my Etsy wanderings, I have a couple of ideas rattling around in my brain for more DIY decor.  I ordered some supplies to start in, and Prince CuddleBunny is excited and ready to help. So I hope to be sharing some completed projects soon!

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