Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Have Moved

In addition to moving to a new dwelling, I have moved to a new blog.  My daughter and I have teamed up to write a blog together about her newly-wed life in upstate New York and my empty-nester life in Kentucky.  We both have new houses to fix up and decorate

We feel that with our age differences and taste differences, we can appeal to a large demographic.  So, if you are a mother or a daughter, please join us at:


Image from google images

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Easy New Year's Eve Appetizer

These little guys will be one of two ingredients in a great New Year's Eve party treat.

Button up.  Yep. That is all you need to do to have a tasty, nutritious, low-calorie and thrifty treat for your family and guests on New Year's Eve.  This delight requires only two ingredients.

Marinated Mushrooms

1 or 2 cans of button mushrooms
1 small bottle of low-cal Italian dressing (I prefer Wish-Bone, but use your favorite)

Drain mushrooms and place in a bowl.  Add enough dressing to cover them.  Put in a storage container and refrigerate for at least four hours to allow the ingredients to marinate.

Serve in a pretty dish. I put some cocktail picks beside them to make picking up easier.

Everyone will think you worked much harder than you did to put this recipe together.  It will be our secret.

As Julia would say, "Bon appetite!"

Unfortunately, Wishbone did not pay me to mention their product.
Photo provided by Google Images.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The One

This is a springtime photo of  the home we have lived in for 16 years and are moving from next week.

We all know about "The One".  Like when you meet the perfect life partner, you tell your friends that you have found "The One."  It also applies to wedding dresses.  You can try on different styles for hours, but when you have tried "The One", no other dress will do.

I think the same applies to the place where you live.  Whether it is your first apartment or your dream home, you get a certain feeling when you walk in the front door, and you know it is "The One."

We started talking about down-sizing and moving from the suburbs to a downtown townhouse about 18 months ago.  Since then I have looked at about 15 townhouses in search of either the perfect place or the place that could be remodeled into our perfect place.

We had certain criteria that were non-negotiable.  For instance, it had to have a first floor master bedroom, dirt (instead of a condo with a balcony), room for our out-of-town family members to come and spend a few nights, a two car garage, and be in a good downtown neighborhood.  We felt everything else that didn't fit this description could be added through remodeling.

Last December on a sunny but cold afternoon, we found "The One."  The trouble was we had a busy year ahead of us with our daughter's wedding in April, four months of traveling and some big business projects to tackle.  We would not have time to put our house on the market until the fall, and we weren't about to buy a property before our current house had sold. 

So, we had to just cross our fingers and hope that no one would buy our number one choice.  Lucky for us, the owner had priced the unit much higher than it was worth.  Meanwhile, we continued to look at townhouses and found two that we thought could be our second and third choices.  We felt that maybe one of the three would still be on the market by the time our house sold.

When October arrived, we were ready to put our house on the market.  We had it professionally appraised so we could price it properly, we had it staged so that its beauty could be enhanced, and we hired a top-selling realtor.  Our house sold in just three weeks time.

Meanwhile our second and third choices had sold during the year, but "The One" was still available.  After an afternoon of negotiating with the by now motivated seller, we settled on a price that satisfied us all, and we signed a contract to buy.  We will close next week. 

Keep coming back to see where we are moving and to follow the process.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homeless, No More

This is part of the lake we will see when looking out the window of our temporary rental property.

A few weeks ago I blogged about the hunt for an apartment to rent on a month to month basis while our new digs are being remodeled.  At that time I was looking at unfurnished apartments in the downtown area.

 I looked at several, including a house over 100 years old, a second-floor condo, an apartment in a busy shopping area, and some studios.  Based on what I saw in my first session, I was able to compile a priority list of what we needed to live comfortably in a temporary dwelling for just a few months.

The most important item was to have two bedrooms.  My husband works from home, and he needs his own space so that we don't get into each other's way during business hours.  The second bedroom would serve as his office.  We also knew that finding a rental with two covered parking spaces was not going to happen, so that became a low priority item on our list.  We decided that finding a furnished place would save us from packing and unpacking twice. So, a furnished dwelling moved up to number two on the list.

We then knew which key search words to enter when conducting our on-line hunt:  two bedroom, furnished, and month to month.  When entering these three requirements, we were able to narrow down the list that presented itself to us, and immediately we found an intriguing ad.  It was promoting a large, clean, furnished, lakeside duplex available to professionals on a month to month basis.  It had two features that weren't very appealing to us:  no garage, carport, or parking structure, and it was located a few miles out of town.  But, when we visited the duplex and saw its new, clean furnishing, numerous windows, very high ceilings, and completely equipped kitchen, we knew it was our perfect temporary home, and we were homeless, no more.


These are five of the depression glass patterns that I currently own and use frequently.

Depression glass, that is.    In case you aren't familiar with it, depression glass is a generic name for dishware that was used as promotional items in products during the Depression Era of the 1930's.  Pitchers, dinner plates, saucers, cups, bowls and glasses could all be found in various products for free or purchased at low prices.  Businesses and theaters gave the dishes away to their customers as incentives.  Quaker Oats is a well-known company that distributed the glassware.  Twenty companies manufactured over 100 patterns in the United States. 

The glassware is translucent and comes in a rainbow of colors including green, pink, gold, amethyst, clear, ruby, blue, black, and white (milk glass).  It was not considered a high-quality product.  The well-to-do families probably did not own these dishes.

Thanks to my mother, I have sets of eight dessert/salad plates in seven colors.  I love them because they go perfectly with our wedding china which is Moonspun by Lenox.  By adding depression glass to that beautiful creamy colored china, the table setting takes on a more vivid appearance.  If I add flowers, and napkins in matching or complimentary colors, the table pops even more.   They also go beautifully with some other vintage sets of china that I have collected over the years.  The colors I own are gold, clear, green, pink, blue, white, and amethyst.

The color I use most is green.  Added to our Moonspun china at Christmas with red napkins and candles on the table, they give our table a holiday look.  In the spring I team the green plates with pink or yellow flowers, candles and napkins, and the table takes on a fresh spring look.  In the autumn, they work perfectly with brown, gold, or rust colored accessories to have an instant fall color theme.

People started collecting depression glass in the 1960's, but it still can easily be found at garage sales, flea markets, auctions, and on ebay.  Each salad plate is usually under $10.00.  Why not start a collection of your own in your favorite color to enhance and easily change-up your year-round table settings?

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Christmas Doll

I found this doll while packing up our guest room today.  She has been stored in a dresser drawer.

I might have just found my big Christmas gift this morning.  Let me explain.  When I was a little girl, an elderly friend of my mother's gave me this antique bisque doll which had been restored.  Realizing how delicate the little doll was, I kept her on a shelf in my bedroom and didn't really play with her. 

When I left for college, I stored her away with my other childhood memorabilia.   And then my mother gave her to me about twenty years ago along with other belongings from my past.  I stored her away in a guest room dresser until today when I was clearing out drawers for our upcoming move.  I had forgotten she was there.

Since we are downsizing, I decided to sell her on Craigslist for $100.  First, though, I decided to check on Ebay to see what these antique bisque dolls are going for, and wow, was I surprised.  The prices of the recently sold dolls range from $500 to $8,000.  So, forget the $100 bargain on Craigslist, everyone.

Meanwhile, I have contacted a doll collector in California to look at the photos and let me know if I have indeed found my early Christmas gift.  (Cha-ching!)

Do you have a personal treasure stored away?  Tell me about it in the comment box below. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Simplicity

Learn how to make a simple holiday pillow by shopping in your jewelry and sewing boxes.

Running out of time, and you haven't done your Christmas decorations yet?  Here is a simple trick that I did to "holiday up" a plain yellow pillow.  I went to my jewelry box and found a vintage looking silver brooch with a faux sapphire stone.  I then took some lime and white polka dotted ribbon from my sewing box.  I attached the ribbon to a creamy yellow brocade pillow with a  hidden safety pin, and attached the brooch.   Presto!  I had a decorative and original Christmas pillow.  I then tossed the pillow and a big red throw (actually a comfy piece of fabric from JoAnn's), onto a chair in our library, and the whole room came alive.

Maybe you can create your own unique pillow from your jewelry box.  What do you have in mind?  Be sure to share with me and others.

Have a great week-end!

Unfortunately, JoAnn's Fabric did not pay me to use their fabric.