Friday, February 27, 2009

The Dr. is in.

So yesterday I talked about my love of getting a good deal just makes me feel good. Well, yesterday afternoon I had to run out and pick up a few items...milk, snack bags for lunches and a card. So I headed out to the bargain stores. I got what I needed...and a few other items at the grocery outlet that were so well priced I had to get them NOW...yogurt, 6 for $1.49 and 4 lbs. of bananas for $1.79...NOW because at the grocery outlet you just never know what you will find. And if I say, "Oh I'll get those later in the week.", more than likely they will be GONE. So I have learned to seize the moment as far as some of these bargains are concerned. It doesn't measure up to some people's philosophies of spending for this week only. But it works for ME. And I have to figure out what works for ME...and for my family...and this is what seems to work. I can't seem to get a handle on planning this week's meals ONLY, buying for this week's meals ONLY and storing for this week ONLY. For me, I like to have something in stock. I try to plan my meals...and I am getting better with that. But there are times when schedules change, times change and something or other comes up and I just need to be flexible and make something else for that particular night. And that's OK with me. I like order...and a plan...but I don't want to be a slave to stringent with no room for flexibility. SO...I buy things when they're available! And eventually they will get used!

However, I didn't begin this post with the intention of discussing food, again. (Is this becoming a problem? Am I obsessed? Oh dear....). What I wanted to tell you about was the great bargain I got on the way HOME from the outlet store.
I decided to stop at my favorite thrift store on the way home. I'm trying to keep my eyes peeled for a stool to put in my kitchen. I need somewhere to put Rosie kitty's food! I have it on a chair right now...but Reggie, our dog, seems to think I've got it there as an appetizer for HIM. I figured if I put it up on a stool then he could no longer help himself thankyouverymuch.
So I stop. And I go inside. And I begin to make my usual sweep. Quick browse through cookbooks...nope, nothing I can't live without. Back around to the furniture area...darn. No stool. Oh well, maybe in a few days. And let me just say...a few weeks ago they had three of the CUTEST stools I've ever seen. And I wanted them SO BADLY. But...I was thinking to purchase them for a future home...a bigger home...but this is not in the cards right now so I've been trying to refrain from buying for a house I don't HAVE yet. I simply don't have room to STORE it all. I need to have a garage sale of my own as it is! The kicker? They were only FIVE DOLLARS EACH. Cute. Sturdy. Affordable. But...nowhere to put them. So I practiced restraint and left them there. And now here I am, a few weeks later, in need of a stool. Call me Murphy.

Anyway, I continue my sweep around the thrift shop...and I decide to peruse the women's clothing area. I looked and looked...but saw nothing that I would wear. Cute stuff? Yes. But for me? No. Move on...into the kitchen "department". I LOVE this area. I've purchased some great things for my little house in this department. But...not this day. There's nothing I can't live without. On I go over to the FREE book section. Scan and scan...nothing is jumping out at me. And I'm about to leave when I think, "You know...just take a peek through the shoes and purses." I mean, you never know what you may find, right? So I go through...scanning the shelves...seeing cute things but nothing I need or want when all of a sudden I come eye to eye with these:

A pair of men's Dr. Marten's in my husband's size. The price? Are you ready? Are you?

Look close...and you can see that I paid $3 for these shoes. THREE dollars. Three.

Now I know they're a bit scuffed on the toes. And this picture really makes them look extra scuffed. For whatever reason they don't look that scuffed in real life. But other than that, they are in great shape. The soles are perfect. But I don't think Dr. Marten's soles EVER wear out anyway...

I tell made me happy to find these shoes. I wasn't quite sure if my husband would wear them as he is a skate shoe kinda guy. But I took a chance...and he actually liked them! Better yet. $3 well spent in my book.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I love bargains.

As a matter of fact, I am a bargain QUEEN. I love bargains in all forms of shopping...groceries, clothing, household items, you name it...I want to buy it at a BARGAIN price. I shop sales wherever I go...sometimes not even looking at regular priced items and just making a bee-line to the clearance rack. As a matter of fact...if I pay full price, I feel jipped. Robbed. And like I could have done better if I'd just shopped around a bit...if I'd just been PATIENT.
My love of bargain shopping has led me to the world of thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales. Talk about bargains! Not to mention the reducing/reusing/recycling factor of buying used items.
The other day I took a look around my room and decided to grab my camera and take some photos of a few areas in my room. As I did I realized that each little area, for the most part, was a cluster of previously owned items.
Take this umbrella and antique shoe forms. The umbrella was at my favorite thrift store...I got it for a buck. The shoe forms I've had for YEARS...I purchased them at a flea market for a dollar or so each.

This little stack of goodness sits at the foot of my bed. The pink wicker trunk on the bottom was purchased at a garage sale for $5. It holds extra bedding and pillows. I always meant to paint you can see, didn't. Ahem. This doesn't mean that I won't...I will. As soon as I figure out what color I want it! Any suggestions? The basket in the middle was purchased at a different yard sale...2 bucks. It contains my dolls that I'm too old to display on my bed like I did when I was a kid. I just don't think my husband...or any designer on HGTV...would approve. How about that afghan on the top? Isn't it so COOL? I love it. And I got it at my favorite thrift store here in town...$7. Admittedly a little more than I like to spend...but, decided that it was worth the extra couple of dollars because it was in good shape...the colors were amazing...and times weren't as hard when I bought it!

Old cameras. Love them. And collect them. The Brownie Hawkeye was purchased in a thrift shop one weekend when my husband and I went out of town for a getaway. We came across this shabby thrift store and, of course, had to pop in. I found this camera for $7. Not bad. The Brownie Target belonged to my great aunt. My grandmother gave it to me recently when she realized I was into photography. Isn't that amazing? Now, no, it's not thrift...but it is reused, recycled and VERY sentimental.

The Dekker books...thrift store on the FREE SHELF. Yes. FREE. They are dang near brand spankin' new! The thrift store gives books away for free...but asks that you donate a little something into "the piggy"...a giant ceramic piggy bank. It's worth it.

This is a little vignette, if you will, on the top of a shelf unit crammed into the corner of our room (have I mentioned that our house is 960 sq. ft.? Yeah...when I say "crammed", I mean it. Everything here is used in one way or another...except the Anne Sexton book of poetry and the little Willow Tree angel ornament. Those were gifts...does that count?
So starting at the bottom...the old suitcase. Garage sale. $2. Another shoe form. $1. Artist model. Garage sale. $1. Wire form chair. Thrift store. $1. Antique marmalade jar. Thrift shop. $2. Knitting needles. Free. And sentimental. Given to me by my grandmother.

There is really something to be said about filling your home with used items. Number one, they just have so much more character than some of the things we buy today. And the quality? No contest. Everything was built better years ago. They made things to last. Unlike today...we are such a disposable's sad. So to buy old things...well made things...beautiful fill my home makes perfect sense to me.
Now...let me make something clear. There are SOME things that I just do NOT buy used. Bras and panties? Not on your life. Sheets and towels...I don't. I guess if I came across some that were brand new with tags still on I would. But not used. I would rather just watch the prices at my favorite discount stores and buy new. Shoes? Sure. As a matter of fact I got a brand new pair of Etnies, with tags and extra laces still attached, for my son for $10 before school started last fall. Good deal! And I have to say, that while I am not against it, I don't buy used clothing. I look. I'm willing. But I just never find anything. Maybe because my style is just too anything that looks like I would wear it has already been casualed out!? I mean really, I admire these women that dress to kill in all of their thrift store finds. Brand name stuff they're finding! Anthropologie...Calvin Klein..Gap...Banana Republic...Claiborne...good stuff. NEW stuff. And yes, if I came across something like that...especially with tags still on like some of them find? Yes...I would buy used clothing. No problem. I just don't seem to have the luck...or the persistence?..that they do. Maybe I just need to try harder...hmmmm...I'll have to think on that.
So how about you? What's your take on buying used? For it? Against it? Care to share your biggest bargain?! Do tell...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 apparently...

...according to my sweet new friend, Carrie at "With all that I've been given"...there is already a "carnival" (I'm still new to all of this blog lingo...I don't know that I'll ever get it all!) for spiritual sharing called Word-Filled Wednesday...which I think is a perfect name! Isn't that so creative? It's nice to know someone else was thinking along the same lines as I was. Kindred spirits out there, I tell ya.
With that being said, I've decided (with helfpul feedback from you sweet things...thank you!) to title my Wednesday posts, "Wednesdays in the Word". For now anyway...I have been known to change my mind on occasion. Ahem...
Now, if I can just stay consistent and remember to DO it!

Wordless? Or Wednesday IN the Word.

My last post about spending time with God gave me an idea. There is a thing out there in Blogland that people do, "Wordless Wednesday". They post a picture or an image and no words. I've done it once or's nice because you don't feel the need to be witty or have something enlightening to say. But...I felt a challenge coming on.
As I wrote about my quiet time and reflected on God's Word a bit I thought, "Why not have a Word FULL Wednesday?".
So...I think I'll do that. Each Wednesday I'll share a little something God showed me, either that morning or during the you.
But then I thought,"What should I call it? Word-full Wednesday? Wednesday in the Word?". I still don't know. I can't decide. So I'm hoping that you kind and creative people out there who occasionally stop by my blog will help me.
What do YOU think it should be called? Do you prefer either one of my ideas? Or do you have an idea of your own that you'd like to share? Lay it on a sister out!

How do you start your day?

Journal, bible, notebook...dried fern frond glued onto the page of my bible.

It's a question...not a condemnation. It's a challenge...not a judgment.

How DO you start your day?

I do my best to begin every day with God. I wake early, grab my coffee and sit in the quiet with my bible and my prayer journal and God. I pray and read and write...documenting what I believe God is trying to communicate to me. I scrawl my requests to God on the pages of my journal in hopes that He will give me some answers....some guidance. And I have to admit...sometimes it's really hard to stay not allow my mind to wander off to the grocery list or the laundry pile or what so-and-so said to me that hurt my feelings. If this happens...I try to remember to present these thoughts to God. Is it Him trying to get my attention about the groceries? Or is it a distraction trying to take my focus off of my quiet time with God? I take ALL of these things before Him...He answers.

Don't get me wrong. There are days when I over sleep...when I get up with everyone else and the day begins whether I'm ready or not. These days just don't go quite as smoothly, lemme tell ya'. Not even close. So I try to get "up while it is still dark" (Prov.31) and fill myself with Truth and that I can extend it to others. I can't give what I don't have...and on my own, I have nothing.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sweet Rosie Kitty

Rosie, doing what she does best.
This is my cat, Rosie. I got Rosie when I had my first apartment on my own. She was 8 weeks old when I got her...and SO cute.
Rosie is now almost 16. She'll be 16 in April. And she is one spoiled cat. She and my youngest son, Ian, have quite the bond. She bosses him around, he does what she "says", and they get along fine. It's very sweet, actually.
What's NOT sweet is that she will NOT use the pet door we installed for her. Ever. And I don't like to have a litter box in the house. So...when she has to use the bathroom in the middle of the night she stands at my bedroom door (or on my head if I don't wake up from the meowing!) and meows...or claws at the carpet because she KNOWS that will get me up in a hurry...and I, begrudgingly, get up, at 4am, and let her out. It's like having a newborn. I rarely get a full nights sleep...unless I lock her out at night. Which I sometimes do...but then I get busted and someone (who shall remain nameless...ahem) lets her in because they think it's mean to leave a 90-something (Right? In cat years? Work with me here.) year old cat outside in the elements all night.
Well...that's easy for them to say. They get to sleep the night through!
She's lucky she's so cute!


Pink, red and white candy corn...wrapped up sweetly for my boys.
This picture was from Valentine's Day...I forgot to share. I just had to buy this colorful candy corn for my husband and two sons. While I'm not a candy corn fan...they are, BIG time. So it was the perfect little valentine for them.


Succulent in the front yard.
Looking forward to new growth...

Monday, February 23, 2009


We are home safe. We got home yesterday but I've had so much going through my head that I couldn't even imagine where to begin.
So I'll keep it simple...
The conference was amazing and life changing. I have so much to think about...and pray about...and figure out. It's going to take some time to process it all. I am SO GLAD that we went. It was either the worst thing we could have done this past weekend...or the best. It absolutely was the best thing...absolutely.
One word...refreshed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Flying the coop...

Bird house in my Japanese Maple.

Hubby and I are going away for the weekend. We made plans to attend a prophecy conference months ago. Timing is not so is a huge issue...but the tickets were already paid for and, quite frankly, we NEED TO GET AWAY. We NEED a change of scenery. Bad. So...we're going. I'm packing...getting the boys ready to stay with my mom and dad for the weekend...packing food for us so we don't have to eat out...and getting everything squared away so we can just go and enjoy ourselves.
This is where we're going.
We were drawn to it because Rick Pino is going to be providing the worship. And we REALLY like Rick Pino. Have you heard him? No? I urge you to go give him a'll be moved. You won't look at worship the same...he sings your hearts cry. It's amazing. Listen to "Your Love is Like". I promise you will not be disappointed.

Timing is bad. I mean, come on, it's a bad time. Everyone is feeling the pinch. But God is bigger than the economy. He's bigger than our pocketbooks. He's bigger than the Dow. He's bigger, period. He's God. And He's in control. He's got me in the palm of His hand...and under His wing.
We need a refreshing. And honestly...maybe the timing is perfect.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In the kitchen..

I spent hours in the kitchen last night! Between making dinner, homemade laundry detergent and over a dozen muffins I didn't get out of the kitchen until after 9pm!

My tools.

I tried a new muffin recipe to use up the dried craberries I'd purchased for the homemade chewy granola bars I never made. (I am having a hard time finding a recipe that sounds good...and like it will work. Any recipes you'd care to share with me?) The muffins are good...but a bit on the dry and chewy side. I prefer a bit more moisture. But the flavor is good. You can't go wrong with orange and cranberry!

*Edit: Turns out the family really liked the muffins! They didn't have any complaints. Well, I take that back..Ian, it turns out, isn't into cranberries. But he ate them anyway because "they weren't THAT bad."*

My husband and I are going away this weekend. We signed up for a conference back in October...before finances got out of hand...before work came to a screeching halt...but we decided to go anyway, to enjoy ourselves anyway, and to not worry about it so much. We haven't gone away together, just the two of us, in about two years! Between finances and baseball season and church commitments...we just haven't seemed to make the time.

So, we're going for it.

And to make it easier on us I'm packing all of our food. We may go out for one meal...maybe. But I will be prepared to feed us in our hotel room for all meals...just in case. I made extra lasagne last night and froze two servings for us to take. I'll bring some muffins...and I'll make brownies to take, too. I'll bring sourdough rolls and some good lunch meat along with all the trimmings for a good deli style lunch. We can also eat a sourdough roll along with the lasagne. I'm also going to make some breakfast burritos and bring some juice. Our room has a fridge and that will help a lot. I think we'll be set. We definitely won't starve! And...we'll save money. And that's a good thing...since we don't have any!

On the to-do list today:

  • purchase the few items needed to prepare all weekend meals
  • stop by post office
  • return library books (are they late yet? I hope not!)
  • start laundry
  • pull out suitcase and begin packing
  • pull out the boys' duffel bags and begin packing for THEM too
  • ask neighbor to feed the dog
  • keep my chin up

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Dobrunick Women.

Last week I made mention of "the Dobrunick women". These are the women that I am blessed to be surrounded by. These are the women that I am blessed to have in my life. These are the women who have loved me...and who have had a huge part in shaping who I am today. These are the women in my family.
This is the matriarch...Harriett, or Noni as I know her. She is my mom's mom, my grandmother. She is amazing...and strong...and determined...and 91. Wow.

These are her daughters...Aunt Mickey, Karen (my mom!) and Aunt Lisa.

Aren't they pretty? I think so, too.

Not only are they pretty....they are also funny...and fun to be around.
I love these photos. But more importantly, I love these women. I am so grateful to have such wonderful, caring, generous, fun, funny, compassionate, wise, beautiful, genuine, loving, accepting and AMAZING women in my life.
Honestly. I can only hope to carry the torch as well as they do.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

There's no crying in baseball.

I am a baseball mom. And a baseball wife. Both my boys play. And my husband manages a team. This will be many is it now? Fourth season? Fifth? Oh I don't know...they all run together anymore. All I know is that uniforms need to be clean, socks need to match, athletic supporters need to be located and water bottles need to be at the ready.

Oh...yeah...and I need to keep score.

That's where I spent my evening...the Scorekeeper's Clinic. The same clinic I've been attending for the past...oh...gosh...5 years or so? Maybe 6. Again...I've lost track. Seth is 13...and started playing when he was 6. Yeah, we've been doing this a while. And I've been doing the clinic for a while. I like to think that after 5 years or so of keeping score I'd have it down by now. And I do. But still, the clinic is mandatory. So..I go. And I complain. It's the same thing each year. I complain that I don't want to go. I gripe all the way there. I bedgrudgingly fill out my volunteer forms. And then I realize that it was a good thing I went. You'd think I'd just give in and go know?

I have to admit...I'm not always real agreeable during the baseball season. I mean, isn't it hard enough to plan meals and get homework done and music lessons organized? And now I've got to make sure I've got enough food for a pre-game dinner...but not too heavy. And enough for a post-game snack...because they WILL be hungry after the game.

And let's not can get VERY cold at that ballpark. VERY cold. So I have to make sure there are plenty of blankets...and cushions...and bleacher seats...and sunflower seeds (whether it's cold or not) and I have to make sure we're all in warm layers...but not too constricting, they've got to be able to play ball, after all. Can't have them looking like Randy in A Christmas Story.

I mean season really throws a wrench into the machine around here. And honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love going to my boys' games...and cheering them on...and whistling with my fingers...LOUD. I love arguing about the calls...and harassing the umpire, respectfully of course...ahem. I love eating sunflower seeds and spitting the shells. I love nachos with fake cheese and extra jalapenos. I love winning. And I'm OK with losing. It's the way it goes sometimes...and it's good for the boys to learn that. It's good that they learn to work as a team...and to listen to guidance...and to realize that you win lose some. It's just the way that it goes. And there's no crying about it. Right? Right. Does that apply to the scorekeeper, too? I'll do my best...but no promises!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What an absolutely LAZY day.

I did manage to get outside for a few minutes to snap a few photos...I'm determined to learn how to use this camera...and use it WELL.
I went outside just in time to capture this...yet another storm rolling in. Isn't it beautiful?

This is...hands favorite time of year.

Coupons vs. Shopping Carefully.

Raindrop on the maple. It's still stormy. I love days like this...

Times are hard. I'm sure we can all agree on that. And seeing as how my husband is a contractor, we're feeling it...a lot. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Sadly enough, though I am pretty frugal every day, when finances are NOT as tight I do tend to get a bit lazy. I don't shop around...I don't use coupons (which I don't use a lot of anyway...BUT I did last week and saved an additional $5 off of my grocery bill...I may be a convert!) and I get stuck in the rut of making the same meals all the time. However, and this is not the first time we've had to be extra frugal with the budget, I find that when I have less money to work with, often times our meals are more creative. I find that when I have to shop places like the Grocery Outlet and the 99 Cent Store my meals are based on the great deals that I find...not on the recipes I'm familiar with. Because these stores don't always carry the same things. They carry the you never know what you might find! Shopping for bargains forces me to think outside the box and create menus based on inexpensive ingredients. And honestly, it's fun for me! I enjoy the challenge. (And surprisingly my family enjoys the variety! I guess they're NOT as picky as I think they are!) Don't get me wrong...I don't like being unsure of our financial future. But I do enjoy the challenge of seeing how inexpensively I can feed my family a HEALTHY and filling meal. Notice I say HEALTHY. This brings me to one more challenge to add to the game...

Not only do I have to feed my family on a tight budget. I also want the food I prepare to be healthy. This means no HFCS, no MSG, no partially hydrogenated oils, etc. I do buy things containing these ingredients from time to time...but I try not to. I make exceptions with soda...because we still like to drink it. One thing at a time, thing at a time! But as far as the other ingredients...I'm as careful as possible and I read the labels. Sometimes something gets past me because I scan at this point. It's almost like my eyes are trained to zone right in these key ingredients. But every once in a does gets past me. And we eat it anyway. Because I don't like to waste.
ALL of this to say...the reason I'm not super crazy with the coupons is because in my experience it seems that coupons are for foods that are convenient. You know, the packaged foods in the center aisles of the stores. And, most times, these foods contain many of the ingredients I'm trying to avoid. So for me coupons aren't so beneficial. Seeing what some women can do with their coupons is so impressive, though. It's tempting to just throw the whole "healthy" aspect out the window to save a few more bucks! I mean, dang, some of these women come out of the store with more money than they went IN with! But, I don't give in. Rather, I up the challenge: Healthy, pure AND cheap!
How do YOU save money?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stormy Sunday afternoon ramblings...

It is COLD outside today. Cold and windy and rainy. I think that's
officially "stormy"! And I am loving least now that I'm inside and done
running around for the day.
I took this picture the other day...after a rain. I hadn't really looked around out back to see what's been going on this winter. It was nice to see some life in my marjoram... and rosemary and sage...and the Meyer lemon's not doing too bad either. I am looking forward to digging in the dirt and growing some food!
I've got chili simmering in the Crock pot...and that makes me very, very
happy. Nothing like knowing that dinner is cooking itself and all I have
to do is add some cornbread! Nice.
I've also got my youngest and my nephew playing with Legos in one room and my
oldest and his buddy playing trumpet and bass in the other. Needless to
say, this is not a quiet house at the moment! Which is a shame...because I could
use a nap!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day.

From my heart to yours... My garden bench...amazing what you can see when you look close enough.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

I love gardening catalogs. Stacked right next to my easy chair bible, several books, Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn catalogs and... my gardening catalogs. I go through them over and over and over again. I highlight this variety and circle that variety. I put an asterisk next to this tomato and a star next to that pepper. I thumb through these catalogs...reading and learning and dreaming of having a beautiful garden. It all looks so easy on the pages of a catalog!
There's just one problem. I am going through these catalogs and deciding which varieties of these wonderful vegetables I want to grow when it hits me: I don't have anywhere to START these seeds. Our house is very small. 960 sq. ft. to be exact. And every inch of it is taken. While the idea of starting all of my precious veggies from seed is romantic...and dreamy...for me it is not practical. It's just not. And believe you me...I am not known for my practicality. I'm known for diving head first and checking for water on the way down. However, reality is reality. And the reality is I just don't have the room to start my garden from seed.
So...this brings me to my dilemma: hybrid vs. heirloom. Since I can't start my garden from seed, more than likely the seedlings I purchase will not be heirloom quality. I'm pretty sure that whatever my local box store sells is going to be whatever hybrid has been bred to do the best in this area and last the longest on the store racks. For about a year I've been thinking about this summer's garden. I've been focusing on heirloom vegetables so that I can learn to save my own seed from year to year. Hybrids haven't been an option.
But...I'm thinking I might have to change my least while we're still living in this house. And who knows how much longer that will be? A year? Two years? 20? I don't know. So...for now...I just have to be realistic. (Dangit!) Hybrids may have to BE an option. I think that's better than having no garden at I'm willing to compromise. And hopefully it's only for one more season!

Wanna do some bird watching?

I did not take this chickadee photo. This photo came from
Doesn't THIS look fun and interesting? And for a good cause, too. Why not?
I love birds...and bird watching. I'm especially fond of hawks...and chickadees...and wrens...and doves...and the geese couples that have been hanging around in the puddles lately. These poor geese...they've been settling in the puddles along the off ramps near the freeways here in town. And then the hawks...perching high atop the light posts and telephone polls. This is incredibly sad to me. We have invaded their space so terribly that they have no choice but to squeeze in amongst the buildings and highways and technology. So sad. So shameful.
I guess the least I could do is help in some way...take some photos...pull out my dusty bird-watchers do a little research. And see some amazing birds in the meantime. Maybe I'll get up early tomorrow and see what I can see. I really need to get in the habit of bringing my camera with me every day...everywhere I go.
Wanna do some bird-watching with me? Leave me a note if you care to join me!

Playing with my camera...

I really need to stop biting my nails!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You know the saying...

When life gives you lemons.... Or should I say, "When Uncle D and Aunt Lisa give you lemons!"? I went over to my aunt and uncle's house today to take some pictures of their gorgeous kitchen remodel. Between my aunt's great design, my uncle's patience in the ways of the Dobrunick women and my husband's amazing talent my aunt and uncle now have the most beautiful kitchen. It is truly gorgeous...not a detail left out.
Of course when you're taking photos of a kitchen remodel it must be staged, no? So Uncle D graciously clipped some Meyer lemons from their backyard tree for display. And lucky ME got to bring them ALL HOME. Aren't they so pretty? I love Meyer lemons. I have a tiny tree of my own...and it produced lemons...about 7 of them. Obviously I needed more. So I'm going to be juicing lemons for a while...I figure I'll freeze some juice in ice cube trays to add to sauces and marinades and then I thought I'd make some yummy pink lemonade for all my boys for Valentine's Day. A little red food coloring ought to do the trick! In the meantime, I'm going to pine away for that cool glass juicer I passed up at the thrift store a few weeks ago. I KNEW I should have grabbed it! That's the third thrift regret I have in less than 30 days...the juicer, the brand new Whirly Pop and the brand new apple corer/peeler BRAND NEW IN THE BOX for $4!! Dangit. I really need to get the hang of "seizing the moment" know?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

As Mary would say, "Bloom Where You're Planted."

There are some places in my home that make me feel good. My kitchen early in the morning. My bed...any time of the day! And this little space on the top of my dresser. I love everything here. The vase was used in our wedding. The hydrangeas were dried from my yard. The pictures are of me and my husband on our wedding day. The little wire dress form was picked up at the thrift store for a $1! The trumpeting angel was a gift from a dear friend that I haven't spoken to in years. The cyclops popsicle stick man was made by my son and I absolutely love it! The picture in the background was a gift from my mom. It's a beautiful watercolor and she framed it herself! I probably should have moved the candle glass with the smoked up edges for the photo...but when I took this picture I was just goofing around with my camera, figuring out lighting settings and such. It's one of those "keeping it real" things...!

Little spots like this make me feel good. Why shouldn't every spot in my home? These next few months I am going to work on changing some things around here. I have let things go over the years. We moved in 12 years ago...and the plan was to live here 2 years or so and move on. Well, life happens...and here we are. I am guilty of seeing this house as temporary all of these years...and treating it as such, too. So...nothing has really gotten done. I just never wanted to invest the money in our "temporary" home. Now, I wish I would have. Because obviously it's not temporary. We DID update the kitchen last summer...and I'm so glad that we did. I really am enjoying it. We've also fixed up the bathroom...partly out of necessity...partly because it was so dang ugly! We've done little things here and there...but we could have done more.
Over the next few finances allow...I am going to do a few things around here:
  • Install a picket fence in the backyard to enclose a larger garden space.
  • Frequent the "oops" paint shelves in search of bargains to freshen up every room in our house.
  • Have carpet professionally cleaned.
  • Continue to clean closets and storage areas and selling at yard sales or donating.
  • Build a chicken coop in my backyard to house at least 4 chickens for fresh eggs.
  • Organize, organize, organize...and KEEP IT THAT WAY.
  • Purchase mushroom kits and grow my own edible mushrooms.

I have decided to live life...regardless of where I am. I can't keep waiting for the ideal situation to do the things I want to do in life. If I keep waiting until "later" will have passed me by. And I'm just not willing to let that happen. Care to join me? Let's bloom where we're planted...shall we?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I heart grey skies...

Grey dreary weather is my absolute favorite. There's nothing better than a rainy day. Especially if you can stay indoors and read garden catalogs and make soup. The best.

I took this picture the as I was driving to a meeting at church last Sunday. I had read somewhere about silhouette shots and thought I'd try my hand at it...while I was driving...ahem.

Don't worry...I was watching the road...and not my subject. Just holding my camera up and shooting at random. It's always interesting to see what I come up with.

Like this one...random shot as I'm driving over the overpass. Kind of cool. If you kept driving down this highway you'd be in San Francisco in a little less than an hour.

Or what about this one...look at those clouds?! Amazing. Beautiful. Ominous. I love it. I think I could live in Seattle or Portland and be just fine all the time with rain every day. I love it that much.


Can you guess what I've been doing?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Did someone say "treat"?


You tell me.

I made myself some scrambled eggs. Sadly, I only had one brown egg left...the store ran out and I had to buy WHITE eggs...the horror! My breakfast consisted of one of each...a brown and a white. Can you tell which is which?

Friday, February 6, 2009


My boy didn't win the spelling bee...he was very disappointed. Very. The word was "ketch". He forgot the "t". Dangit! Maybe next year...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bee. B-E-E. Bee.

My 13 year old son is in his 4th city spelling bee tonight. 4th and 5th he was eliminated after a few words. But then 6th and 7th grade he won it! Woohoo!! Now here we are in 8th grade...he won the school bee...and we go to the city tournament tonight!
Last year he won something like $250!
He bought a Wii...priorities you know...
He's such a good boy...and very smart. We're so proud of him...whether he wins or not. But I know he'd LOVE to have that moulah!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (Night)