My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Missionary Dinner Story

A few weeks ago we fed the missionaries—story a little ways down on this post. Now, in our Church we have young men and young woman missionaries who give up 2 years of their lives to go on missions—men age 19 and women age 21. They pay for it themselves usually, but if a family can't afford it, then the home ward of a missionary will help out. The wards feed them dinners to help out with their expenses but if hubs and I are out at a McDonalds or Jack in the Box, we'll pay for their lunch. They live very frugally during these missions. Some are sent to all of the U.S. states and some are sent all over the world. Today, I'm going to relate a few experiences we've been told about.

Two men we know personally went to Russia or Siberia for their missions. One man said when he arrived he thought he was in another world. Everyone smoked. Most of the members of our Church don't. But he got on a bus to go to a town far into the interior of Siberia. He said there would be hours and hours of nothing but frozen tundra. Then the rickety bus would stop for a smoke break. This was a bit puzzling as they smoked on the bus also, but he thought they'd never get to his destination. It took days on that bus and it was frigid cold. When they did arrive, he thought 'What town?!' There were just a few shacks and he was sent to try and convert them? Several times he asked to come home because he just couldn't get used to how cold it was and the vast cultural divide. But he stuck it out. 

Several year ago, a friend told us that sending a letter to the missionaries in Russia was about $40 per letter!

The other man said the differences were vast also. We have no idea how good we have it here in the U.S. The food was very different, as you would expect. They didn't have much meat. Food was scarce. The toilet paper was so bad it was indescribable. The missionaries would tear up catalogs/books/magazines to use; it was softer than the toilet paper. You have no idea.

Now, I'm going to tell you about our experience the last time we fed the missionaries.

I signed up at the last minute when they needed someone to fill up the calendar. I told hubs we would go to WM and get some orange chicken at their deli but when we got there that morning, they didn't have any so we got BBQ chicken nuggets instead. I took them home and stuck them in the fridge. Around dinner time I took them out, put them on a foil-covered pan in the oven. They arrived here as I was pulling the pan out of the oven. I forgot to spray the foil and the chicken stuck! I said a few mild expletives, told hubs to set the table with 4 wet washcloths and told them dinner was ready. I also told them they would have to pick the foil off each chicken nugget! I wasn't about to do all that work. As missionaries are sweet and kind, they agreed. What a dinner we had to talk about the next day. I told hubby he knew this was going to be a blog post, right? He just looked at me. I did not do this intentionally to blog about. I was in a hurry and simply did not think. :-) I'll remember to spray the foil next time...if they ever want to eat with us again.

I think the owner just threw a tablecloth or huge pieces of lace over this chair, but it's gorgeous no matter how she did it.

Just cute little cottages.

I'd love to cover my garbage can in my kitchen like this but it's plastic and I'm not sure it would look this great after I did it. Isn't this adorable? Looks vintage.

White, red and pink bedroom. Lovin' it!

An exquisitely packaged gift.

Darling little coin purse someone made.

I love polka dots.

Exquisite portrayal of oranges.

Why don't we do this more often? Picnic in our back yards.

Another lovely bedroom for you. Notice the lace on the sheets.

A scrap bow for a gift package. Very creative.

I just wonder where people find these pretty outdoor rugs. All I can find are the generic beige/brown ones at WM and Home Depot. And we all know how I feel about beige!

I'm even picky about the pencils in my house. No, these aren't mine, but I only buy a certain brand of pencils and a certain lead in it. Picky, very picky. ;-)

Wow!!! What gorgeous colors adorn this home.

Oooooh, it truly is. I hope your day is lovely. Mine usually are and when they're not, they still are.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The New Living Room Ottoman

I snagged this ottoman or footstool the last time we were back in California to visit with the kids. Daughter's getting stingier with giving me things! She'll inherit them one day. I tried to snag more things but she was adamant this time. LOL Maybe next time I'll get something I really want. But she is making me a mosaic wall clock so I can't complain. :-)

Anyhow, I have this piece of Paganelli Sis Boom fabric that I've loved for a long time. I used a bit of it and there just wasn't any way at all I could make the cover for the entire footstool out of it, so I had to be a bit creative.

See what I mean. There were cuts in it.

And while I do like this fabric I purchased recently for the living room curtains, I still wanted the Sis Boom fabric rose as a centerpiece,

I'd still have had to be creative with this fabric also, not enough to be the only fabric on it.

So using the Sis Boom rose fabric as a centerpiece, I very carefully cut it out. Then decided to incorporate the rose-strewn fabric as a border. Then I added a piece of a beautiful rosebud fabric around that. All of the fabrics are pink and yellow, varying shades, but they go together nicely. This photo can be enlarged to show it at 1200 pixels wide for you to see it better.

This photo can also be enlarged to 1200 pixels wide to show you the closeup and the tiny rosebud fabric much better.

I plan to put a ruffled bottom around it using this striped fabric. I've held it up to the little top covering and the stripe does go well with it.

The other project I've been doing along with the footstool is a cotton/polyester ruffled tablecloth. I want something other than vinyl, which stains mercilessly with any kind of red sauce—lasagne, spaghetti—and will NOT come out no matter what. I've tested a piece of this 54" fabric purchased from Joanns by snipping a piece about 4x4", smearing it with catsup and red Kool-Aid, blow drying it to set it in, washing it in the machine along with this big piece of fabric to pre-shrink it before adding the ruffles. It came out clean as a whistle and I was thrilled. So on to putting the bed skirt ruffles around it. This is the result.

This photo I edited to take out all the color. Nice contrast, but I really nice color the best.

Bigger view as I stepped back a bit to show you. I don't know why the ruffles look whiter than the top but it's much nearer white than it is off-white.

These blues are very pretty!

I could do this with my hanging potholder also. Why do I not think of these things? I don't put my pots on it as hubs is tall and I have to make sure he doesn't get konked on the head...unless I do it. ;-)

More lovely tapes in colors and roses.

A row of cottages along a pond. If you step out your door, you'd better be careful a car doesn't smash into you. The roads in England and Ireland are the narrowest I've ever seen. Our son was recently in Scotland and he said they drove rather crazily there, but seriously crazy on those small roads and he's from California! They don't get any crazier than the freeways there! ;-)

Some of you may have seen this lamp recently. I think I spotted it in a catalog but cannot remember where it was.
Linking up with Claudia's Favorite Things.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A VERY Few Thoughts on Homes

First of all, let me say one other thing since you know I'm always saying: First of all...

I have so many photos that I have caught myself not only posting them twice but actually posting in draft form the same template/photos just waiting for me to add a story or the text to the photos. Being human, I'll probably do this and not catch it at some point. If so, be sure and tell me. I always want to know how demented I am. Just rub it in. I'll probably laugh right along with you. I'm saying this because just today I found two drafts of the same template/photos. Sigh.

I'm not really into showing off gorgeous homes on my blog; although, I do occasionally. I know you want to see the celebrities homes, but they're truly not the norm in our country. There are more average-looking homes than multi-million dollar ones. I'll do it for you once in a while but not often. I prefer homes with rooms like those below. That's what the majority of homeowners have. And I'll admit to looking inside windows at night when walking by. I'm just as curious as most people wondering how women decorate their homes. ;-) Doors and entrances have also fascinated me for a long time, ever since I  heard and understood the term "curb appeal." I sure hope you all enjoy seeing the photos I post. I simply do not lead that interesting a life to be able to post photos of my own life or home or adventures all the time. Hubs would definitely disagree with you, as would all my acquaintances and friends, but they're wrong. Okay, okay, for the most part I don't lead a terribly exciting life. I'm an old lady, ya know!

I love rooms like this. Cozy, lots of color and fabric and very inviting.

Another sweet room.

A beautiful bedroom. Love the shelf behind the bed.

Beautiful laces.

Probably one of the most beautiful ports you'll ever see with that wysteria

And roses for you!

Gorgeous embroidered pillow.

An old compartment on a train. I absolutely love traveling on trains. How would you like to take your supper in this little spot? :-)

Favorite color combo.

Isn't this adorable?

Try this with a thrift store lamp shade.

A delightful and colorful living room.

A darling little cupboard vignette

A lovely bed.

Try these colors of blue. Gorgeous.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Caramel Apples and Fake Nails

Hubs and I went to the store the other day and on a whim I bought some caramel dip. I was amazed how many apples I ate that day! Do you know how many apples it takes to consume the entire container of caramel dip? So far I've eaten 4 apples and still have some left. Maybe 5 or 6 apples? Hmmmm.

Getting my hair cut recently, I noticed a couple of women coming in for fake nails. There is no way possible those women do work of any kind! I have to file my nails at least once a week to be able to type/keyboard on this computer. Those women had them about 1-1/2 long. And that reminded me of an incident 30 years ago.

Back in the early 1980s, I had them put on for a USMC ball in November of that year. They looked gorgeous. But that night as I was trying to get my contacts out of my eyes I couldn't get my fingers into my eyes. I was in tears wondering how to get them out so I could get to bed that night. (I don't wear contacts anymore at all.) Hubs was absolutely no help because he's got men's fingers and they were too big. (He has gorgeous long beautiful fingers though.) So I had to cut them off that night. I only had them on one day. At the time it was $25 or $30 and that was a lot in 1980 dollars. Then, if  you try to pick your nose, you almost rip your eyeballs out! Never again. These hands work, chick, WORK!

I thought this was a lovely house set out on a bit of acreage you might enjoy seeing. I love the blue metal roof. I wanted one several years ago, but since our roof required over 4,000 s.f., the cost was prohibitive. We settled for shingles.

You will forever see roses on this blog. Forever!!!!

Another sweet respite on a porch.

This is what I've been doing a lot of lately—using pins on making ribbon roses and a ruffled tablecloth.

A very simple, yet lovely, vignette. Why don't you try it?

A lovely picnic or they could be camping. (Shudderrrrr!)

Lovely linens and bottles in purple and lavender.

Now, it looks like the curtains are billowing in a breeze but, for the life of me, I cannot figure out how such a window could be opened. But what a view to wake up to each morning.

I just loved the illumination on this photo from the lights in the house, on the porch and fire in the pit.

Talk about quaint, vintage and rustic, this is it.

A cute radio and a space by the ocean.

Love this tiny space for a crafter.

Darling coin purse. Looks like a crafter made it.

A street in Europe somewhere. Can't see the writing on the canopy well enough to tell if it's in France or Italy though.

And I leave you today with this absolutely stunning roses cake. ;-)