02 December 2016

Feline Friday: Tinsel's Secret Code

Tinsel is not the most affectionate or communicative kitty. In fact, most would consider her pretty stand-offish.

But there is one occasion when Tinsel always lets you know what she wants: When she's hungry, she stands on your foot using one of her back feet. If she's really hungry, she'll stand on your foot with BOTH of her back feet. She has done this since the first day she came from the North Pole to live with us. It's a good thing we figured out her secret code!

As it happens, sometimes a foot is just not available. What's a girl to do?

Stand on a hand! When you're hungry, I guess any extremity will do!
 Got it, Tinsel! Let's go get you some breakfast! :)

25 November 2016

Feline Friday

Look at the size of those paws!
What did we do without her? :)

18 November 2016

Feline Friday: Just Chillin'

How do we chill? Let me count the ways....

Tinsel chillin' on the scratching pads (AKA the "deck")

Lily looking pretty zen while chillin' in her Expensive Cat Basket

 Rory chillin' in her Christmas t-shirt

 and in her fancy school dress

I seriously need to take a cue from these girls! I'm the world's worst at just chillin'! 

13 November 2016

DIY Scarf Holder with Shower Curtain Rings

As we finish up our bedroom decor update, I've also been tackling the closet. I used to just randomly drape my scarves around the shelving. But in re-organizing the closet, I decided that my previous scarf situation just made the space look messy:

So I started looking for a scarf organizer. I eventually settled on this one from Target:

But when I loaded up the scarves, I didn't like how they ended up layered over the top of each other. This made the hanger quite a bit thicker than I anticipated it would be, making it take up more space in the small area where I wanted to hang it.

So I turned to Pinterest and found a few ideas for making your own scarf hanger using inexpensive shower curtain rings. On a Goodwill run, I happened to find 2 rolls of brand new rings for just 99 cents each so figured it was at least worth a shot!

 The first option was to just hook the rings on a hanger, filling the hanger full enough so that the rings don't slide around. Well, that didn't work for me as I wanted separate my scarves into two different color families, so there weren't enough scarves on the hanger to prevent sliding.


Of course, I'm not the only person who couldn't deal with those sliding rings, so some clever DIY people came up with the idea of positioning the rings across the hanger and duct-taping them together. You could make a scarf hanger with as many rings as you want using this method, but I only wanted one row so the scarves would not overlap.

It's easy to make a scarf hanger like this. Just cut a piece of duct tape about four inches long, cut a slit in the center of one end and tear the piece in two. (Duct tape is designed to tear straight -- don't try to cut it as you'll never get it straight!) Wrap these duct tape pieces around the shower rings to attach them to the hanger. Next you'll need to tape the rings to each other. For this step, I cut two slits in the four-inch duct tape strips, then tore the duct tape in three pieces to create slightly narrower strips. Be sure to squeeze the duct tape tightly so that it doesn't pull loose on the ends.

My first scarf hanger turned out pretty well and the scarves hang just the way I want them to, in a single row/layer.

Once I got the hang of wrapping the duct tape and keeping it straight, my second hanger turned out even better.

I hung the scarf hangers in the area of the closet next to my dresses and they don't take up much room at all. It's easy to remove a scarf and put it right back in place when done.

Time will tell, but I think this easy DIY scarf hanger will be a good solution for me! 

11 November 2016

Feline Friday: The Nose Knows

 Bailey and I independently and unintentionally captured two very similar NOSE selfies this week. Even for us, it's hard to tell them apart! 

Can you guess which nose belongs to Tinsel and which belongs to Rory?



Scroll down for the answer....

Top photo = Tinsel
Bottom photo = Rory
If you guessed correctly, extra treats for you today!


09 November 2016

Lost and Found: Pear Dish

When I was a child, my parents and I camped at the state fair every year. I remember the first time that I was allowed to explore the fairgrounds on my own with my second cousin. It was a big deal to be able to visit the Midway without my parents in tow! The two of us set out with a few dollars in our pockets to spend on rides and games. If memory serves me, we won a goldfish or two and giant tissue paper flowers that year. But the best game -- or at least the one where we found the most success -- was one in which we tossed coins onto tables of glass dishes, similar to this one. If your coin landed on a dish, it was yours.

On that hot afternoon when the Midway was nearly empty, my cousin and I tossed so many coins that we each filled a brown paper grocery sack to the brim with colorful plates, cups, bowls, and assorted glass dishes. We toted those heavy bags all the way back to the camper without breaking a single dish. Although we were thrilled with our winnings, I remember my mom was not quite as excited! After all, what was she to do with such an odd collection of glassware?

Of all the dishes I won that year, the one I liked the most was a pear-shaped milk glass dish with raised fruit on it. I didn't know to call it milk glass back then. I just loved the shape of the dish and its milky white color. 

 In time, my mom successfully divested herself of all of my fine glassware at garage sales. I  eventually forgot about my dishes, except for the pear dish. So when I found myself sorting through my parents' house preparing for the auction three years ago I kept an eye out for it, hoping Mom had packed it away in a box somewhere. But I never found it and concluded that it must have been sold or broken.

Recently I stopped by our neighborhood Goodwill on the hunt for some milk glass vases. On the top shelf, pushed way to the back, I spotted a small white dish and pulled it down. To my complete surprise, it was my pear dish, looking even more beautiful than ever! On the front of the dish were the embossed fruit images I remembered so clearly.

And on the back were textured flowers, a detail I'd forgotten. As soon as I held it in my hand, I knew it was mine.

Of course, this pear dish is probably not MY pear dish...but it MIGHT be. Either way, I was thrilled to find it again as it makes my memory complete.

It turns out that this vintage dish was made by Hazel Atlas, one of my favorite glass manufacturers. Funny that I loved it back in elementary school and still love it today. Milk glass has become one of my favorite kinds of glass.
So even though I paid a few cents to win the pear dish back on the Midway, I was only too happy to pay an additional 99 cents to bring it home once again. This time to keep! :)

04 November 2016

Feline Friday: Through the Week with Lily & Tinsel

 Wondering what Lily & Tinsel have been up to this week? Here's a peek!

Tinsel sported a Bath & Body works ribbon. She seems to like wearing ribbons around her neck. Every once in awhile I'll tie one in a bow. She looks especially cute that way.

 As usual, the girls kept up with their busy nap schedule. It's only taken 8+ years for them to nap side by side and it still doesn't happen very often! Here they are in the Reverse Croissant position.

 An hour later, they rotated. Synchronized Napping!

  Lily was intrigued by the liquid supplies for Spouse's new whiskey distilling operation. (The girls in the house do not participate in this!)

 A very short cold snap (below 70 degrees!) meant that the girls spent quite a bit of time swaddled in their blankets. This time, Tinsel was under the blanket and Lily was on top of it. She was actually TOUCHING Tinsel -- but through the fabric! SHOCKING!

 When cleaning out the closet, I found my mom's crocheted afghan which I'd had dry cleaned three years ago and forgotten about. One night this week, Tinsel spent quite a bit of time testing it while on my lap. It still works! :) (The bedroom still looks a mess but we will be finishing it up in the next couple of weeks!)

 Of course, Tinsel spent a little time sitting in a box. Any box is fair game, even a tiny box. :)

And although we never watch sports (other than Indiana Hoosiers basketball), Lily and I watched the Cubs games. Lily watched from the comfort of her furry basket positioned next to me on the couch. Turns out baseball isn't really her thing. But naps? Naps are her thing. :)

28 October 2016

Feline Friday with Rory

Rory, Daughter's kitty, is different than any cat I've known! She's spunky, goofy, and full of personality, and she's surely one of the sweetest furbabies around. Rory is a purr-fect example of why rescue kitties make wonderful companions!

Although she lives in Texas, I get pictures and videos of Rory all the time and they never fail to brighten my day! Here she is checking out the little Trick or Treat bag I sent along for her in a Halloween box. Look at that face! She seemed to like the treats that were inside. :)

 Although she's got very common brown tabby markings (just like Tinsel and cats all over the world), she is unique in her own right. Many tabbies have green eyes but hers are a beautiful gold. As you can see in the photo below, her feet are absolutely huge! She uses them to do some serious jumping. And her tail has an unexpected little kink in the tip. Although I know it is there, it always surprises me when I pet her!

 Rory's favorite viewing spot is this window sill. Luckily, it's just the right width for a kitty! From here, she can survey all comings and goings and watch for Daughter to come home. When she pulls into the parking lot, Rory can be seen at the window! Awww!

And of course, Rory loves her outfits. I've never had a kitty who would tolerate wearing clothes for very long -- let alone enjoy it! This came as a complete surprise to us when Daughter bought a Christmas t-shirt for Rory last year to do a quick photo shoot. To our surprise, the shirt seemed to relax her and she wore it all afternoon!

Now Rory has several outfits! Rory's a very active kitty so at bedtime, Daughter puts her in a t-shirt, sweater, or dress, and Rory settles down. It's like a Thundershirt, but for a fraction of the cost! :)

 Best of all, Rory brings joy to Daughter's life ever single day, and that makes this mama very happy! We love you, Rory!

24 October 2016

Bedroom Update: Budget Closet Overhaul

As part of our current bedroom update, we desperately needed to clear out and freshen up the master bedroom closet. The closet is actually off of the master bathroom, so we probably could have tackled it at the time we remodeled the bathroom but truthfully, that might have put me right over the edge. So we sealed off the closet with plastic and entered in and out of it for months via a little slit in the sheeting. 

View into one part of the closet:

View from the closet into the bathroom:

 During the bathroom project, as one might expect, dust managed to filter into the closet (not that it was dust-free to begin with...). Following the bathroom project, I cleaned out the closet as best I could, knowing it was on the list for a major freshening up -- new paint, new carpet, better hangers, etc. This will be a low-cost overhaul, but I'm anticipating that small changes will make a BIG improvement in this space!

Saturday was the big day. First, I cleared out all the contents of the closet (which I won't scare you with here). Trust me, it was like going on a journey to the center of the earth. Have you ever read this book? Yeah, it was just like that.

 This is just the luggage that came out of the closet. 

POP QUIZ: How many people live in this house?

FOLLOW-UP QUESTION: Considering that we hardly ever travel -- and when we do, we never even check luggage -- HOW MUCH LUGGAGE DO TWO PEOPLE NEED? (Not a trick question!)
ANSWER: Not this much

I kid you not, the amount of stuff in this closet boggled the mind.

  Once I could see what I was dealing with, it was pretty bad. Notice the sad state of the carpet, which will be replaced -- and not a moment too soon.

On the plus side, the space is large and there's a nice amount of shelving (wire shelves are not my favorite, but a complete closet makeover is not in the budget). Unfortunately, the space has been filled with a lot of stuff that we don't need so it looked a lot smaller than it actually is.

 When I could finally see the walls, they weren't a pretty sight. After 22 years in this house, the walls of the closet had somehow taken a beating, I guess from hangers, shoes, suitcases, and the like. I was embarrassed that they looked this bad -- but in my defense, I couldn't even see them with all the stuff in there!

Spouse went to buy paint, then I set to work taping everything off. He will paint the baseboard at a later time, so I didn't worry about that.

I was closely supervised during this entire process...

After taping, I used a roller to paint the entire closet. I could not believe what a HUGE -- I repeat, HUGE -- difference a simple coat of white paint made. Other than falling off the step stool and nearly impaling myself on a wire shelf, the painting process went smoothly and only took a few hours.

 The pictures certainly don't reflect the vast improvement!

Once Spouse paints the trim, it will be even better. And when the new carpet arrives, life will be good. In the meantime, our task is to SORT THROUGH EVERYTHING and bring back only the items that we need and use. Everything else will be donated. 

Stay tuned for pictures of the completed closet!