Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer's haunting thoughts

With summer becoming a distant memory, my kids & I are getting ready for back to school/work.

Every year at this time I have the same thoughts.

What did I do this summer?
Did I waste it?
Did I savor each & every moment?
Did I give my kids lots of attention?
Did we have fun as a family?

I think we had fun. Granted we didn't take a big vacation, but we did go on several day trips. We saw lots of movies. We ate & ate and then ate some more. We swam in the pool almost every day. The kids went to baseball/softball/golf camps which they enjoyed. We went to an amusement/water park. We had a big family cookout for the 4th of July. We went to the NY State Fair (today). We will be going to Yankee Stadium on Labor Day.


Did I laugh & giggle & just goof around with them?
Did I let this precious time, while they are still fairly young, slip away?
Did I spend too much time on the computer?
Was I the best & most attentive mother that I could be?


The haunting thoughts of summer go on and on...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spicing it up

Hello my bloggy friends!

I was you have one of these in your home?

Not a kitchen, silly!

Then one of what you say? Let's get closer...

One of these secret doors?

You know, the kind that housed small ironing boards in the olden days?

Sorry to say that mine no longer houses said ironing board. The previous home owners did something that I thought pretty clever.

They added shelves to make this a spice cupboard! Pretty cute, huh? I painted this cupboard & prettied up the shelves some. I love it.

It's just one of the many charming features of living in an older home.

(Someone please remind me of the above statement when one of the not-so-charming features of living in an older home crops up, K?)


Sunday, August 22, 2010

A faded summer rose

The perfume of a summer rose lingers in the folds of the angels' wings.

A beautiful late summer rose from my backyard.

Looking at it reminds me that summer is fading fast. I should be enjoying every last bit of it and I intend to do just that.

I truly hope you are enjoying what's left of summer too. (Now if it would only stop raining...)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why did I wait so long?

Every summer, I try to make this delicious homemade lemonade at least once or twice.

However, this is the first time I've made it this summer. Why did I wait so long to make it?

It's delicious and I think if you decide to give it a try, you won't be disappointed.


(Now I grant you, the name of this is Homemade Lemonade, but limes & oranges are used as well as lemons. Go figure.)

You will need 5 lemons, 5 limes & 5 oranges. Some sugar, water & a gallon pitcher.

Squeeze the juice from 4 lemons, 4 limes & 4 oranges. Add 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar along with 3 quarts of water. Mix together. Thinly slice the remaining lemon, lime & orange to use for garnish. (Or I usually just throw them in the pitcher.) Refrigerate.

I made this yesterday & need I say that the gallon container has taken a serious hit. We just can't stop drinking the stuff!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Thousand Islands

Last week, we took a day trip to Thousand Islands. I hadn't visited since I was a kid and didn't remember anything about the place, so I forced asked my husband to take us.

We took a boat tour of what they called Millionaire's Row. Oh my goodness, the homes were beautiful!
Here are just a few beauties:
(Please ignore that gentleman's head "gracing" my photos)

We also took a tour of Boldt Castle on Heart Island. Everything about this place was amazing, from the castle to the gardens. Wanna see? Come along with me, but first, let me give you some background.

George C. Boldt had this castle built in the late 1800s as a testimony of love to his wife, Louise.

The castle has 6 stories & I believe 127 rooms.

The castle was 95% completed when tragedy struck. Mrs. Boldt died. As a result, work on the castle stopped immediately and was never completed.

The castle was never occupied.

The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority assumed ownership of the castle in 1977 and began restoration.

Mr. Boldt gave 3 conditions when he relinquished ownership to the Bridge Authority--

--Since his darling wife never got to see the finshed castle, no one would. It could be restored only up to 95%, he never wanted it completed.

--Since his wife never got to live in the castle, no one was to ever spend the night in the castle.

--Every cent made by opening the castle to visitors was to be put back into the restoration project. (I believe its been over 2 million dollars so far.)

Come take a look:

I was so awe struck by some of these rooms, I nearly lost my breath.

Look at the work on the walls.

This would have been Mrs. Boldt's bedroom.

The grand staircase.

Apparently, the island was originally named Hart Island, but because this castle was a testimony of love for his wife, he had the spelling changed to Heart Island. I couldn't believe the amount of heart details that were found from the flowers to the architecture. Even the bedside lamp in Mr. Boldt's bedroom had heart-shaped crystals hanging from it.

The stained glass ceiling was incredible!

(notice the heart shapes)

This was built to house the power to the island (can you believe it?)

So I thank you for coming along with me on my day trip to the Thousand Islands and Boldt Castle. Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rainbow Sherbet Etsy

My last post was lazy & colorless, so I decided it was time to make this one a bit more lively & colorful. (Even though the sky is still colorless outside this morning & I've just returned from the dentist & am fully anticipating pain once the novocaine wears off.)

Aren't the colors of rainbow sherbet so pretty, summery & well, luscious looking? I turned to all this loveliness on Etsy to get my rainbow sherbet fill.

Isn't this bag pretty? Coffeeclouds

How's this for rainbow sherbet kicked up a notch? Ara133photography

How about something to represent the lime of the rainbow sherbet? MoonParade

A little orange sherbet for the neck perhaps? LingGlass

Rainbow sherbet for fun? Why not, I'm a rainbow sherbet lovin' princess! The Sugared Ribbon

Rainbow sherbet as a patchwork runner? I love it! Ziti Zoo

Rainbow sherbet pillows? Yes please, one of each! Dahlush

I hope you are all having a very rainbow sherbet filled week!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lazy, colorless day

Today has been such a lazy day. I can feel the humidity rising. There's hardly any sunshine to speak of and the sky is colorless, making me feel lazy & colorless as well.

Today marks 4 weeks exactly until it's back to school/work. I should be doing something productive like cleaning or painting or, dare I say, stripping doors. But no, not me. That's all I want to do on this lazy, colorless day is this...

...or even this...

...anything that exerts no energy on my part.

Ever have one of those lazy, colorless days?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Strippin' ain't easy

Tell me true, how many of you had your minds in the gutter with that title? lol

One day, some fine day, I got the idea that I wanted to try to strip the doors of our house.

My first victim? The basement door. This is the first door you see when you walk in through our back door. She was painted white some 5 years ago by professional painters, but it is certainly showing it's wear. Of course there's that lovely chip revealing a stunning shade of avocado green beneath. Then there's the stray chips & non-removable marks & what have you all along the bottom half. This baby has gotten some abuse over the years.

Enter my gloves, goggles & Citristrip.

Enter this lovely creature from the blue lagoon.

Enter me, thinking I'm insane for even thinking of this idea to begin with.

I'm going on the 3rd day of stripping this baby, and I'm realizing that stripping ain't easy. No siree. No wonder furniture refinishers charge such exorbitant prices--it's obviously worth every penny.

I'm pretty sure I've encountered at least 6 different shades of paint, which I guess, considering it's an original door from 1933, isn't really that many. Well, not many in the whole 1933 scheme of things, but certainly too many in the whole stripping-it-off scheme of things.

Here she is now, just about ready, just need to get her cleaned up. I intend to stain her this time.

Phew! One down and only 18 more to go. How's that for encouraging? Eek! (I'll most likely be 80 years old before I finish them all.)

By the way, since she & I have gotten so well acquainted as of late, she has thanked me immensely for allowing her to breath once again. We're BFFs now and I know you're all jealous of our friendship.

(Is it the humidity or the chemical strippers that have melted my brain? LOL)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

He wanted to haul it to the curb

We inherited this picnic table with 4 benches from my husband's parents quite a few years ago. It is Amish-made and weighs a ton.

It has gone neglected over the years, as it has lived through snowy winters outside, only covered with a tarp.

Why such neglect you ask? I believe my husband just didn't like it or was tired of moving it around because as I've said, it weighs a ton. I don't really know, but I do know, he showed it no love. He was ready to haul it to the curb until I interfered. I spoke up just as the moment was dawning and said,

"Keep it! I'll stain it and see how it looks first."

I selected a color stain in Behr's Waterscape Blue and got to work. It took a few days (luckily I did this project before the never-ending heat & humidity appeared) but this is what she looks like now:

Not too bad, huh? I'm just glad that it was given a second chance. It would have been a shame to toss what was really a perfectly good table & benches, not to mention so well made, before giving it a shot at a second life.

I'm linking this up at Debbiedoos B & A party since I do believe this qualifies as a before & after project. Go ahead & click on the link to see what other bloggers have transformed. My project was transformed by simply using stain, but you'd be amazed what some really creative bloggers come up with.

Now I know you are all wondering what my husband has had to say about the finished project?

Well, he's really glad he thought of it staining it of course! Oh, always the wiseguy! :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thrifting & A Syroco Tale

I did a little thrifting this past weekend. My mom & I went to quite a few garage/estate sales, but we didn't find much to speak of. I didn't buy a whole lot, but I wanted to share the goodies that I did get anyway.

I got the vintage gray/blue tablecloth for $10 at an antique mall. I love the color & it'll match my dining room perfectly.

I also got the pretty table runner for $3 and sweet little leaf dish, also for $3, at an estate sale. Can't go wrong for 6 bucks, right?

Then we found something funny at a garage sale. In order for you to understand why this is funny, I'll have to give you a little background.

When I was growing up, our home was, how shall I say it, oh...ok...gaudy?



My mom really liked all that gold decor from the 70s/80s. Syroco. Have you ever heard of it?

I think Syroco was to her back then what Marshalls/Home Goods is to us today. With the exception, of course, that Syroco sold lots of gold plastic "stuff".

Anyway, we have had many, many garage sales over the years and whenever my sisters & I would help clean out my mom & dad's house, we would always have to convince my mom to sell some of her Syroco collection. She always did, albeit reluctantly.

After all these years, my decorating style has changed. I have adopted a love for cottage style. So, what am I seeing everywhere in blogland & on Ebay & Etsy?

Vintage Syroco pieces, all spray painted! I'll see something & giggle, remembering that my mom had that exact piece. Then I'm envious because it's been spray painted, and it looks great and well, my mom had that exact piece!

Ok, back to the story. My mom & I find this at one of the garage sales.

I pick it up and look it over. She sees me & now I know it's coming. Mom comes over & says,

"You made me get rid of all my Syroco, now you're looking at it!!!"

Busted! Sheepishly, I tell her that I might want to buy it & paint it, however, I have no idea where I would put it. She agrees, that I should buy it and paint it. She also adds that if I can't find a place to put it, she'll take it. I look at the price. $1. Yep, that's one. whole. dollar. SOLD!

Oh if you could only have seen the face of my husband when I walked in the house with this. (We were high school sweethearts so he knows my mom's love of all things golden and Syroco and my one time distaste for it.)

To add a little more to this tale, I was checking out Etsy just for fun & came across this same exact piece, spray painted fire engine red, for $42! Can you believe it?

I'm yet to determine what color to paint it & where it'll go, but for $1 who cares!Maybe I can sell it for $42 on Etsy. LOL Don't worry, I could never do that to my mother!

I'm linking this up over at Debbie's Garage Salen Partay! If you get a chance, take a look at all the great thrifty finds. Debbie is a sweetheart & you'll surely enjoy her blog too!

*****Edited to add: I spray painted it blue. While I was waiting to see where to hang it (& if I would even like it) I had the piece sitting atop my living room ottoman. Apparently, my son managed to somehow fall on it, and broke the thing clear in half! I'm not sure what fate this thing will have now. I don't know about gluing plastic, but I just thought you'd like to know that the Syroco gods have certainly cursed me. LOL Or maybe it was my mom! LOL

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