Creating & living a truly authentic life, living in "Our Little House In The Big Woods". Raising many children, working in the arts, writing, film making, learning to create quilts, painting, exploring gardening, traveling, restoring a vintage dollhouse, hunting for antique treasures & chasing our big dream to live by the sea, all on a thrifty, frugal budget.
We live on a vibrant street, in the southwest corner of our small hamlet of 54,000. This house was supposed to be another 2 year flip. Gut it, fix it up & sell.
But somehow, we ended up staying.
For 20 years.
How did that happen? It feels like home now but at times we are reminded we were not supposed to stay too long.
This is the longest either one of us has ever lived in one spot. We never envisioned we see the day where we'd actually have to replace a roof on a house.
Rip up our landscaping that had done all it could.
Or have Halloween dwindle to just a handful of kids.
Halloween on our vibrant street used to mean all the parents deciding who was going out with the kids & who was staying home. Planning strategies for snowy Halloweens & strategies for the unusual years ago but now standard warm, fall Halloween nights, with no snow & no snowsuits to stuff under costumes. We would try to outdo each other with our decorations, music & scary props. And plan to meet at the end of the street, where the really cool family would always have the best candy for the kids & hot toddies for all the parents who live on our vibrant street.
A night for fun, tricks & of course,
treats that we'd have to help our kids finish up.
We live on a vibrant street, where no one moves away, even after their kids are grown.
And Halloween has become a very "dead" event, on our vibrant street, where we live.
A quiet night, with our decorations, music & bowls full of candy
Blogging is getting easier. I keep changing the picture in my heading because I've finally figured out how to use Microsoft Picture Manager & now I'm hooked on trying to find the best look. A recent post by a fellow blogger gave some great suggestions for attracking others to my blog & then retaining them & other than a glitch with the comments section, I've followed each step.
I've been a faithful blog reader & commenter for several years now & jumped in when I realized I had something to share. Now to find readers who share my interests!
For fun, a recent trip to the Antique Mall netted these treasures:
Beautiful cross stitch picture.
The colors are a perfect match to our quilt
that keeps us warm at night.
Vintage pillow for our living room. Love the tassely edges!
Tiny plate of a mom with baby.
Tiny vintage picture. We've decided to create a wall of vintage art in our upper hallway. Our collection has grown quite nicely but we haven't hung anything up yet as the hall still needs a second coat of new paint & the floors need to be installed. Right now, it's a plywood base. I'm tempted to hang the pictures anyway & just take them down when we're ready to do the final coat of paint & lay the floors but fear if I do that, the finishing will never happen! Too many projects going on in our house, all at the same time. "One at a time" I keep saying. Soon, it will all be finished & then all the gathering of treasures will be even more special as we will finally get to place items where we envisioned them going when they were procured.
This event has created a number of appointments with older men who have spent time measuring said roof, going over the fine details of the installation & reviewing our vast multitude of choices for new shingles. Who knew new roofs could so intriguing.
Architectural. Straight. Flat. Layered.
Black. Grey. Brown. Red. Green. Blue.
Seriously? Who puts blue shingles on a roof?
20 year shingles. 25 year shingles. 30 year shingles. 50 year shingles. Lifetime warranty shingles.
So many choices.
In the end, we had 4 quotes, chose the most reasonable in price (not the cheapest) & ended up with the Harmony "Twilight Grey" Architectural Lifetime Warranty shingles, for the same price as the very ordinary single layer shingles, with a 20 year warranty.
We are good at getting deals!
Best part though of this whole deal, besides being very happy about the price (we're talking thousands less than all our neighbors because we're so good at the negotiation piece), the quality & the installation date (one week earlier than first quoted), it's the eye candy outside my window that has been the icing on the cake.
Old men to quote.
Young men to deliver.
And even prettier young men to install.
My only disappointment is that it's a bit too chilly to discard any clothing. Had the weather been hot, I might have been more inclined to read a book on my deck while the roofing eye candy works away the afternoon, with no shirts on, says my imagination! But instead, I had to find a task that would take me close to a window for gazing & the only thing I could think of was to paint the last remaining walls that were eagerly waiting for the last coat of paint. And dream of what muscles were incased within the heavy hoodies cloaking the very, I'm sure underneath all the clothes, hunky bodies ...
My dear husband raised his eyebrows at the thought. Poor guy!
... can just add to my day. Tough going yesterday. The wind was howling, the rain was cold & the conversations kept coming back to how tough winter is going to be this year in the "Great White North".
Personally, I take each day as it comes but many is this neck of the woods seem to thrive on the drama of how harsh our seasons can be at times.
I often love a good blizzard so I can stay home, safe & comfortable in my little nest. A day to create, sleep, reconnect with friends, write, snuggle & eat warm, comforting foods.
Last winter was hard. Long, cold & the snow just kept coming. We couldn't figure out after a while where to pile it. But in the end, spring arrived & moods changed. All of us were so grateful for the little flower blossoms that soon graced our earth & there was great delight in the warmth of summer days.
But as we get closer to the first snow fall, expected any day, attitudes begin to foster moodiness.
I take comfort in making myself feel better when I'm surrounded by dark moods & dark weather. On the way home from work yesterday, I realized I had forgotten to buy myself some lunch with the $10 in my wallet. Hunger had alluded me all day. But I needed a "pick~me~up" & suddenly found myself turning into the thrift store just a few minutes away from where we live.
Can't wait to hang this! I have the perfect spot for it just above this couch.
Little tin to add to my collection.
And my favorite candy in the world,
next to chocolate, is caramel ... mmmm!
Cherished Teddy named "Iris".
When it's snowy outside,
I'll be reminded of spring!
Little china plate for .50 cents.
Not sure what I'll do with it,
but it was in perfect condition,
has beautiful colors &
has the Royal Albert insignia.
I only spent an entire $4.50 but the lift to my spirits was priceless.