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All Things EARTH... part 2


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I've installed tile a few times.  While you can't see too much of it in the bathroom picture, I did the whole room by myself.  and then with the mud room in the second picture, my husband and I did that together along with the kitchen.


We have often talked about how we wish we had hardwood in the kitchen.  I have debated because it seems like it would wear out easily.  We have carpet in the family room, and tile in the two bathrooms, kitchen, mudroom and laundry room.  The upstairs and downstairs halls, living room, dining room and three bedrooms are all hardwood.  We wear slippers in the house, but a kitchen gets a lot of wear and tear.


Well, we got a little bit of snow so that I can take another picture of the living room tree with a Christmasy background this time.  🙂   It is cold today.  The temperature says 34, but it is windy so the wind chill says 23.  Brrrr....


And we just had this boom that shook the house and set the dogs off in a frenzy.  I didn't hear it, but i felt it so I knew it was loud.  Turns out, it was a meteor entering the earth's atmosphere.  It was reported from Virginia to Michigan.

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WOW Laurie...that's crazy on the meteor!


Nice work on the tile. My Grandpa was a wood worker. He was an artist with wood as well as just being an all around amazing carpenter. He put wood flooring in all his homes...as I write this, I'm trying to remember if the last home he did before he passed had wood in the kitchen...but I don't think it did? Maybe it did though...it's been a long time since I've been there. It's just that I am aware of all the damage that liquids in general can do to wood. I had wood in a kitchen in KS and it was okay...it's nice how the floor is one continuous floor...and the wood floor was a bit nicer if you did drop something, having a bit more give to it than tile...but I prefer tile in a wet area.


I know our home would have a better flow if the kitchen were to be the same floor as the rest. Right now, except for the laundry room (small walk through from the garage), the small area in front of our room's shower with the toilet (the sinks are on the other side of a pocket door), and the secondary bathroom floor (all these are different tiles), the entire house is laminate floor. The ENTIRE house. My last home in Cypress was similar, tile in all the wet areas, engineered hardwood on the main floor and stair risers, laminate in the bedrooms...with the except of the powder room which had engineered hardwood. That was NOT good. Also, having the engineered hardwood at the entry wasn't awesome...I'm not sure how I'm going to reconcile that in this home...


We didn't get the tile today. On my last update, I actually went direct to the freight carrier to see what the deal was and it turns out that residential deliveries require an appointment, which makes sense to me actually...so I'm not too upset about it. I'll call tomorrow and hopefully set it up for Friday. 


Laurie...your bathroom looks really nice. IDK that I like having all my stuff on display everywhere...for me it's a matter of functionality. It's a mixed bag for me I guess...I don't have an aversion to open/closed nor a preference. For instance, if the closet doors are open...it makes me nuts. I want them closed. But I just use the pantry so often...the door is open anyway...and I don't mind seeing that particular stuff, especially if it's purposeful...so I'm okay with it.


We will be installing the tile ourselves. 18" on the diagonal. LOL. We purchased a sweet tile saw at Harbor Freight on a great deal...and I like to think that we are patient enough that we can do this well. We've laid tile before...countertops and backsplashes, but this will be our first floor.


I'm made a diagram of the kitchen on vellum paper...and made a "tile floor" paper...I can move the tile floor around to figure out the best installation. We only have the potential to have two very complicated cuts...but if I can lay the floor properly, I can reduce the worst cuts to an L-shaped cut and not a U-shaped cut...but that is something that I still have to sort.


Today I've been studying the installation of rounded corner bead. My home doesn't really have hallways? The only outside corners in my home are in this gathering room space. And with the wall that is only 8' tall separating the kitchen from the yoga room...there used to be wood trim on top of that wall but I don't want to replace that...with the wall being only drywall all around, I've decided that rounded corners will be very attractive...and it will help with some issues in the house where the corners have gotten banged up over the years. I can install the rounded corner bead directly over the old square corner bead. I've been mapping out what all I need to do that.


YouTube has been my friend today. I found some helpful videos. It took a while...lots of lame videos out there...


I'd love to see snow!!

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Les is my tile guru. We have the wet tile saw from Harbor Freight (aka the toy store). We had carpeting put in our family room. Les had put tile down in one bedroom & down the hallway. The guy putting the carpeting down asked Les why he didn’t have the tile guy do the carpeting. Les said, I did the tile, I don’t like doing carpeting. Carpet guy said, any time you want a job...  he does quality work. He also put porcelain tile over the raised hearth on our moss rock fireplace. I’ll have to get a picture. 

its 6 degrees here today, but no snow right now. Our middle granddaughter flies in tonight from CA, she’ll be at her Dad’s till the 18th. She’ll freeze coming from LA. Melody

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Today is the last day of my vacation.  Sigh.  I have gotten some things done, so that is great.  I have realized though that I still haven't gotten around to just R&R, so after I'm done with this post I am going to read for a bit and hang out with the dogs.  Once my husband is home, we will go grocery shopping. 


I love having him along if he feels like going to the store, but it isn't necessary.  I essentially don't need to communicate that much when I am out and about for groceries.  But he gives me a lot of dinner ideas, and he enjoys it.  


I just finished ordering our Christmas cards so I will be able to work on those over the weekend.  It is kind of weird to work one day, then have the weekend but I will take it!


I finished the touch ups in the bathroom this morning, and then I started the work on the drapes.  I cut all the panels first, since they are all the same length.  In the dining room, I have a regular window but the drapes go to the floor just like they do on the picture window.  With the picture window, I am dong two panels together for each side.  I did the seams on those, and pinned the side seams.  I stopped for the day, but I am pretty sure I will have those finished up this weekend.  The fabric is just wonderful.  It is the exact same Waverly fabric that I have in the family room, but a different print.


Once I have all the panels situated, I will do the grommets last.  We haven't called on the chairs yet, but will do that in the next day or so.


I am going to post the Christmas card picture.  While I don't love my hair or my glasses not being positioned right, I love the photo itself.  There is a lot of love in this family.


I'm going to share a little something with you all.  You may recall that my older daughter, husband and grandson were moving.  I know that my daughter and her husband had a few issues over the summer, but what I didn't realize was that he decided that them staying together was a "temporary arrangement".  His goal was to move, and then she would need to find a place to live and so forth.  


There are a lot of issues with this, as you can imagine.  For starters, she is a stay at home mom and moving to a new state with no job and no car (remember the car issue....) doesn't make sense.  He was really insistent that she needed to move to Florida with him.  As time went on though, he found a girlfriend.  Without going into a bunch of detail, my daughter is in the process of becoming legally separated and she will stay here in New York.  She is looking for full custody of her son, since her husband still wants to move. 


Once she finally opened up and started to talk about it, I gave her some guidance and suggested she work on the legal process.  I have to say, she has become very, very strong and she actually seems happier than she has been in a very long time.  You can see it in this picture.  Her son is her whole world.  


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We went to our son’s yesterday to enjoy an early Christmas. His son, active duty Air Force was able to get a couple of days leave (he’ll be on alert status, flying at Christmas). Soups & Swedish meatballs, a veritable feast!  Melody




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Laurie...your curtains look wonderful! Great job. The length is just right...skimming just above the floor. I love the reflection of the tree in the window too! Super exciting to get the new couch!!


i'm sorry to hear about your daughter...I remember all the excitement about the wedding. She does seem to be very happy in the photo though...and even though it may be a rough patch to walk through...on the other side, hopefully, she will be in a better position. I guess I'm having a hard time because I know my SIL's divorce was the best thing for her and her kids...so I know that it can not necessarily be a sad thing to have happen...but it isn't a happy time. I hope that everything can be sorted without ugliness. I hope she continues to be strong and I know that having her family around for support is the best thing.


Melody...it's nice that you could have a family get together. I admit that the photos are odd to see...so much talk about how people aren't traveling and getting together this year. It's nice that you are all geographically close and so you can form a social bubble. I know others that have that...I don't, which is a bummer.


This will be the first Christmas that DH and I will celebrate just the two of us.


Our tile came in!! I love it. I'm so excited for it. It will be quite a while before we can lay it down. There's quite a bit of work to do before the new floor goes down. Right now, my enthusiasm is being fueled by a sense that I have finally figured out my own mind, I guess...I have a vision and I have a vocabulary that is helping me search to source things that are supporting my vision.


I found the tile at Overstock and at Build.com. Overstock was almost 50% MORE than Build.com. I ordered from Build.com. It arrived on a palette with the tile cartons are saran wrapped tightly...just as I expected it to be. We inspected each and every tile and everything is good. There is one tile with a manufacturer defect where there is a surface chip in the corner...it'll definitely be cut off...or could be rather if we set that tile aside for one of those pieces so we aren't bothering with any claim.


FYI...it shipped freight. The freight carrier then transferred it to another business unit because it was a residential delivery. Smaller box trucks. They said it would be delivered curbside...we have a LONG driveway...and so I was THRILLED when the delivery driver used his palette moving hand truck thing to wheel that palette to right in front of the garage. WHEW!!


We laid out the tiles as a sort of preview...here it is:




The dishwasher still has the blue protective film on it...I guess I'm waiting for after the floor goes down... The countertop between the fridge and the stove is more true to life than the countertop by the sink where the very yellow xenon lights are shining down on it. The tile is 18' and there are 7 tiles in the photo. We will be laying it down on the diagonal. Something about my phone makes a blue cast to the tile...so if you see blue gray...then that's the fault of my phone. It is much more neutral gray and it isn't quite as contrasting as the photo might suggest...but you can definitely see the pattern easily.


We're only doing the kitchen in this tile. Eventually we'll replace that small white tile you can see in the distance...that's the laundry room. That's the same tile that was still in the old pantry that we took out. I have several ideas floating around as to what to do about the floors in the house...but one step at a time.

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You know, I was so excited finishing up those drapes that I didn't even iron them or make sure they were spaced evenly, lol.  It makes me think about what you are saying, Anita.  When you talk about a vision and supporting vocabulary, I got to thinking how there are things I like and things I don't like.  Then there are things that I like, but don't want in my own home, for example.  I am learning about what I like and why I like it.  I need to be able to describe it so that when I am shopping, I can use keywords or explain it to a salesperson better.  I am also learning to think carefully about what words mean.  Really mean.


Remember Style Statement?  Harmonious elegance?  It was an eye opener for me, and really started the process of what I like.  It is two words, and it is easy to take them literally.  For a while, I was constantly trying to make things the same, or matchy matchy.  I then realized that I was taking the word harmony and apply a very narrow thought process to it.  Harmony means things go together, that they work with one another.  That is one thing I was looking for in the living room.  I want things to go together.  I don't want them the same.  Whenever I put things together that are the same or overly matched, I end up very disappointed.    


For another perspective, there is the family room.  I have some different styles in there, but things work together.  They are constantly competing for attention.  Lately, the focal point in rooms seems to be drapes or curtains for me.  I am not sure why.  Maybe because they can be changed much more easily than furniture?


Elegance is another word I was trying to narrow down too much. 


But anyway, I am thinking about your new tile, and it is beautiful.  I have seen some bathroom floors that have wonderful patterned tile, and I think they look beautiful.  The kitchen will look marvelous with that tile.  I can't wait to see the finished room when it is done.  I got to thinking that though your bedroom is what I call a private area vs. a public area, I can see a sense of harmony in the fabric you want to use for window treatments, and the floor tile.  I can't put my finger on it, but they feel like they belong in the same house.  


My daughter's situation is a very sad one.  It isn't anything she wanted, but it has caused her to stand up for herself, which she really needed to be able to do.  It is like you said - sometimes, it ends up being a blessing in disguise.  I really think she will end up happier.  Our Thanksgiving was filled with so much love and laughter.


Christmas will be the exact same group again, and we will have fun.  There are a lot of people I have not seen in quite some time.  I miss everyone, but I have no intention of having any family gatherings or attending any at others' houses.


One thing that I often due is when I start searching high and low for something and I find what I like, I start checking all over to find the best deal.  You did great on that tile, Anita.  I find Overstock is hit or miss.  I have found some great deals, and other things are more expensive.  It all depends on what it is.  


Oh, and the couch has arrived!  We have no overhead lighting in the room, but I hope to get a quick picture tomorrow when I'm leaving for work that will be better than the pictures I have taken thus far.  I love it.  I love how the table, the couch and the drapes are working together.  I can already see the chairs in my head, and I think we made the right choices.  


What is really funny right now is the existing chairs and ottoman that are still in the room.  They clash so bad, lol.  


Here is an up close of the grommets.  They look black, but I chose a dark brownish color that is supposed to resemble the oil rubbed bronze I have on some items throughout the house.




Now, I do want to try and post a photo of the couch.  For whatever reason, it keeps flipping upside down so I am hoping I can get it turned around!  It will at least give you an idea of how the room is looking. I got so excited I put the throw on the couch and it is so messy, lol.  I don't plan t keep those pillows on the couch - I am going to put them on the chairs when they come in. 



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Maybe if you put the crisp ironed curtain picture next to the one you took then we could see a difference but I think it looks great and can't see what you see IRL in the photo. The green sofa is a great addition! Great color to add into your space. Did I mention? I used to have dining room chairs that are really similar to that color? I think my chairs were a shade lighter and maybe a little more "spring green" with a touch more yellow but still, what I discovered about that color is that it fades into a nice neutral...similar to tan or khaki. I think nature trains our eye to see green like that...considering that it is the backdrop for all the other colors.


I'm happy to hear you say you can see my shade fabric and the tiles in the same house. Both are what you could label "Moroccan-inspired" IMO. That is a common thread coming to life. I had been looking at tile for the kitchen floor for a LONG time...like since we put in an offer on the house...May. And I just couldn't find a look that I would want to live with. I totally understand what you mean when you say you can like something, but wouldn't want it in your own home. So just recently I was able to label a look that I am repeatedly attracted to and it started because of how I want to create a courtyard in the front of the house. That's how I wove my way around to Moroccan inspiration.


Even that dining room set that I just bought off Craigslist has touches that can be associated with Moroccan design...the steel legs of the table and chairs...and the steel backs of the chairs. It's all reminiscent of the metal work you see in Moroccan design.


The big thing you see all over, inside and out, is patterned tile. I thought the idea was crazy at first but I went with it and searched for "patterned tile" and then suddenly, there were so many tiles that were appealing to me. I don't want a busy floor...even though I want a pattern...and many patterns are SO busy. Also...I didn't want a high contrast pattern...and it's just a bonus that this tile reminds me of outside areas for whatever reason. I love it when the inside has touches of the outside. 


Something I ordered a while back...we needed to replace our big circle ottoman. It's too tall for a foot rest...and I love my foot rests...so I picked out a couple Moroccan poofs...actually from a Moroccan vender on Etsy. I searched around for one that the reviews weren't too "goat" smelling:




This is the lighter colored one. We also got a deeper brown color. I ordered them flat and then you stuff them with whatever you choose. I chose moving blankets! LOL. It was so fortuitous...we had purchased some bean bag like filler from JoAnn and I was getting set up to stuff them when I had to move the chair with all the moving blankets on it...which I still hadn't figured out where to store...and then it hit me that I could "store" the moving blankets in the poofs. And there you go.


I understand your evolving thoughts on Harmony. It's actually the perfect word for describing a coordinated effort that doesn't conflict and isn't identical. I like harmony in that I like things to be coordinated but I like contrast. I feel like your choices are more analogous whereas mine would be more complementary. Everyone remember their art class? Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel while complementary colors are across from each other. You've got the orange, yellow, green thing happening in your space...especially if you put a lot of the wood tones into that orange category...and you're popping it with that deep oiled bronze color. It's really pretty Laurie!


By comparison...you can see in the poof photo...my rug has blue and orange tones...those are complementary colors. My tones are more earthy...not Denver Broncos! LOL...but still...


All this understanding helps so much for searching and communicating. I feel more productive when shopping LOL...and less frustrated because I can more easily find things that I like. I'm so fortunate that DH and I are attracted to the same things and feel comfortable in the same environments. 


Other books that have helped me find words are Designology and Home Body. I got Designology off Hoopla...another app similar in function to Overdrive that you can access if your library subscribes to it. That book was find in digital form. The Home Body book though...you really need that one IRL...you need to see the page layouts...I got that one from my library.


I can't believe how close to Christmas we are!!

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Laurie, love the curtains & sofa


Anita, love the poofs!  Can’t wait to see floor finished


we were fortunate with our son & family get together. All the adults (to include AF grandson & granddaughter from CA) had recently been COVID tested so we felt pretty comfortable taking the pictures. Who knows when we’ll all be together again. 

I still have the pins in my foot, thought I’d get them out yesterday, but doc wants a little longer, at least I’m not having to sleep in the boot any longer. I’m having an implant replaced (again) tomorrow along with another bone graft. They’re replacing the titanium implant with a new composite material, hopefully I won’t react to it. 

cannot believe Christmas is 2 weeks away Melody



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Laurie I love how your curtains came out, and the color of the new sofa. The word "fresh" keeps coming to mind, that it is so light and cheerful yet still cozy and warm. I'm very impressed that you did your own drapes! It's fun to see your room come together, likewise with Anita and her tile and paint. I look forward to seeing that end product as well. The kitchen is going to look so different without that golden floor.


Melody, good luck with your implant. So happy you had a lovely time with family. I enjoy your Christmas table-scapes.


It is so nice to see all the family photos. We are having a quiet Christmas with just the two of us, which is kind of hard, but necessary. It has been too cold for a while now to socialize outside, so we miss our friends, but thank goodness for texting and Zoom. Even my work on our POA board gives me lots of necessary socializing and some meaningful work to do.


Yesterday we had two bald eagles in our big tree for quite a while. Today a light snowfall. There is a lot of beauty here in winter that we usually miss out on. We can actually see the lake slowly freezing. Sounds boring, I know.


Yesterday I got some good news for my older brother, who works at a hospital satellite location in his town. The hospital was part of the FDA vaccine early testing program, so they have all the equipment in place to store vaccine and will be one of the early receivers. He is not a front line worker so will be in the second round to get vaccinated. I am SO relieved. Since he works with substance abuse patients, they don't always respect the PPE rules and sometimes it's hard to social distance himself. He has been at the top of my worry list all these months.


This is the first time we put our full tree up in a few years. Usually it goes to the apartment, but I think it likes its new home in our bay window. 



We usually have wreaths on the front door, but this is the first time we've had any outdoor lights.


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Margaret, your decorations are lovely! We also will be alone for Christmas. Will miss our family so much and it won’t really seem like Christmas. I keep reminding myself that the important thing is that everyone stays safe so we can be together when this is over. What a relief it must be to know that your brother will get the vaccine in the early stages.

Anita, your tile is beautiful! You made an excellent choice. That must have been quite a job to unpack and inspect each tile. Amazing that there was only one minor chip. Can’t wait to see your finished project. 

I wanted to ask you if your son will be able to get the vaccine If his age group comes up while he is in GB or will he need to wait until he returns to the US?


Melody, lots of decorating has been going on at your house! Since it will just be DH and me, I just can’t get into the decorating mood. It’s nice to see pics of everyone’s else’s decorations. Lots of vicarious living going on these days.


Laurie, you did a super job on your drapes. They look very professional and go so nicely with your new sofa. Is is hard to put the grommets in? I imagine there is a special tool for that.


I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope things go well for her so she can move on with her life. 

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If DS is in UK he can get the jab, as they call it there. A part of the Visa process was to pay a health care premium or fee or whatever you want to call it that makes him a part of the whole NHS over there. You don't have a choice...you have to pay it. It was fine with us really because our insurance wouldn't be valid over there as is and I'm not even sure that we could make it work over there anyway. Officially, he lives over there so it all makes sense.


I haven't looked into the details regarding the whole plan of distribution...when last I was reading I thought I read that the current order of vaccines was enough to inoculate 0.5% of the UK population?, he's a robust almost 20-year old with no known morbidity factors other than the one we all face, so I'm willing to bet that he will be far far down the list...but I haven't verified that. 


So please forgive me if I get a preachy with what I am about to write...It's all well intentioned.


Sometime within the past week I hit the holiday blues in an awful awful way. We had splurged on a new tree and while it was beautiful, there were things about it that I didn't love, but was willing to overlook. Until we found the stupid cut wire that really only affected one silly bulb, but still. The wire was right at eye level, and even though we could have taped the stupid thing...I got really irritated because I paid a lot of money for this brand new tree. The wires were an odd gray green color in keeping with the blue spruce nature of the tree and we couldn't find any electrical tape that would match well...so I decided that this was all very stupid and I deserved a better tree for my money. I called up Home Depot to see what could be done.


The tree, of course, was manufactured in China but even the representative was in China...this created all sorts of problems for getting extra parts etc and really the only option was to return the tree and order another one...which was still in stock but couldn't be delivered until Dec 15. And I'm thinking to myself...seriously? All this money and effort to enjoy a tree for a few lousy weeks?


I was fed up and decided to just return the tree. I really just wanted life to fast forward and bypass the whole holiday season because it just didn't feel like Christmas at all. DH and are having our first ever Christmas alone and I was not expecting this to happen really in my lifetime...Christmas alone. For real.


I had been trying to get in a Christmas spirit. As an only child...I can relate to DS's position and I didn't want him thinking that his dad and I were miserable at the holidays just because he couldn't be home. Especially knowing and hoping that he would be having a wonderful new experience of Christmas with his flat mate's family and not be alone at all. But my enthusiasm was founded in reasons that couldn't hold up when I got frustrated and angry and sad and upset and couldn't see another way to pick myself up.


I went to a very bad emotional place. I mean the world was ending really. At least it might as well have been for as enthusiastic as I was about it all. 


Anyway...I literally googled It doesn't feel like Christmas... And it was kind of amazing to see how many different times over the years that people wrote stories about how it doesn't feel like Christmas. Everyone has holiday traditions, whether it's about decorating a tree or the house, or going to the Nutcracker or other holiday related performance, the family watching holiday movies...the office parties, the chorus and band concerts...seeing the lights come on and just whatever anyone's THING is that is the signal that the holiday season is upon us.


I really starting meditating on the idea of Christmas. Our family doesn't really do gifts. If we want something, we pretty much go get it if we can. We've taken DS more times than not out on Black Friday or thereabouts to pick out a guitar or an amp or another guitar...or whatever. Usually we figure out a more simple gift so that there is something to unwrap and of course, the stockings...which are more fun IMO...but like many, it's the being together that makes the holiday.


And here's the preachy part... None of that has anything to do with Christmas.


I don't know where your faith is but I'm a believer...a la Matthew, Mark, Luke and John... And when it comes down to it...Christmas is just a date on a calendar. Evidence suggests that we don't have the right date even and that it was selected to counter pagan tradition around the same time of year. So the date itself isn't really all that powerful.


It's the message of Christmas that makes Christmas. And just like love isn't a feeling...nor really an emotion...though most get emotional about it...love is a powerful commandment and at times it is a difficult thing to continue to do with certain people in certain circumstance no matter the relationship. IMO Christmas should be the same way...and even though I have always enjoyed all the trappings of Christmas...a part of me has always sought to be sure to have a recognition for WHY all the trappings exist in the first place.


And when I came to think on that more...I will tell you that I started to feel a bit more Christmas-y. I felt released from expectations about what Christmas SHOULD be.


And even just today I came to a realization that anticipation is part of the feeling of Christmas. There are usually so many goings on and things to look forward to. And right now it is very hard for many of us to feel anticipation for anything. That is something that we each have to sort on our own. But I've come to a place where I can contemplate a new idea...have a fresh take on Christmas if you will. A fresh appreciation for what it IS and not what it ISN'T.


I will probably be sad again...but being sad is usually a part of Christmas at some point. There's always something that isn't what it used to be...or something you wish could be different...but I do feel much better that I did.


I hope my little story here is more encouraging than the times when people give out some sort of canned advise. I really hope you can find some joy. I hope everyone can. 

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Anita, very well thought out and written! You have echoed the thoughts of so many of us, at least this year. Your take on it all is inspiring.

Good that you son has NHS coverage. I guess that those coming here for school must have to buy private coverage or go without?



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Anita, hugs to you & DH


I had the tooth implant removed this morning. 6 bone grafts & over 100 stitches later (over almost 4 hours in the chair with dentist working on me the whole time). It’ll be 4-6 months before they can put the new implant in, sigh, glad I’m not cruising till October. No solids to eat for 5 days, yay I’ll lose 5 lbs!!  Thank goodness for the Costco premier protein drinks (30 grams of protein). Mega antibiotics & pain killers too

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Margaret, when you said the word fresh came to mind, it got me thinking that I felt the same way, and it was a goal I had.  The lighter and brighter feeling I was after is there, but I wasn't looking to make the room white or anything like that.  I'm glad I found the right balance.  There will be the lighter chairs, and the couch is very fresh and a little bright.  The drapes are muted and capture all the colors I want to bring the room together...


I found that the curtains didn't need steaming or ironing.  When I hung them up, I was surprised how readily it seemed that the few wrinkles kind of fell right out.  I really just need to adjust them on the rod a little bit.  Today is overcast, but I am able to see the room during the day, which makes a big difference.  We are so excited about the chairs, and after the holidays, we will buckle down and pick the area rug.  We are pretty sure we are going the route we discussed, where we pick a textural wall to wall carpet and have it bound in the size that we want for the room.  It is pretty neat that we can get the exact size we want this way.  I think it may end up being around 8 x 9, but we will know for sure after we move the tree and have the chairs back.  


I am excited to do the dining room drapes next, but it will be after the holidays.  There is no pressure because we aren't entertaining!


Melody, that surgery sounds awful.  While I can imagine it doesn't sound great, do you think maybe a bridge or partial would do the trick?  The surgery sounds like so much, I would hate for you to have to do that again someday.  


It's interesting because I am getting a root canal soon.  I went for the consultation this week, and we had a good discussion on all the alternatives.  He said that if I didn't get the root canal, I would need to have the tooth pulled and then get a bridge or partial, so that is why I thought of that.  I have to take antibiotics again, as the xrays showed there still appeared to be fluid and infection going on, and he doesn't want that to get worse.


Anita, I have a deep love of the Christmas season, but some years have been better than others.  I think there are a lot of different reasons for depression at this this time of the year.  I always have some, when I am missing people who have passed on.  Then there have been a few years were I have struggled a lot.   It sounds like you have worked hard to try to understand it and deal with it.


I have a strong Christian faith, but it is what I call internal.  I totally respect that we all can have different beliefs and still be decent human beings.  You cannot make someone else believe something simply because of your own beliefs.  There are a few things within my house that I put out at holiday time that make me feel grounded and whole again.  A few are family items, including a hot pink tree topper that was my grandmother's, then my mom's.  Another is an angel that was hand made that I purchased the year my mom passed, the ornament with a picture of my dad, and a particular nativity set we have.  


I remind myself that even though certain people I love are no longer with me, this is there way of being with me at Christmas, through these items.  


I know that is different than your situation, Anita, but I wanted to share.  We are friends, and we share our highs and our lows.  


Margaret, I love how you have decorated.  I know that by next year, the living/dining room area will obviously be complete, but I am also hopeful the den will be also, and I can rearrange things a little bit more.  I have some decor throughout the house, and I am always looking to achieve that harmony and balance.  My house feels a bit unsettled at the moment, but the past two weeks have really taken care of a few things so I can see the progress and it is exciting.


I have a ton to do this weekend, but since my husband is going out to do a little shopping, I realized that my younger daughter had nothing planned, so we are making a quick run to a store for me to finish getting a few things and then we are going to lunch.  Time for just us.  That is more important than any gift, load of laundry (hey, I love laundry!), or sewing project.



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Laurie, we went the implant route several years ago (before I knew about the titanium allergy). I have too much invested (physically & financially) now to consider the bridge route (nothing to anchor it successfully on). I’m feeling kind of crummy (antibiotics) but just actually enjoyed one of the Costco premier protein (chocolate) drinks. It tasted really good. 

I really like your living room. We went the bound rug routine for many years in our dining room & just recently replaced it, worked very well. 

Margaret, I’d love some of your applesauce!  I might make some tomorrow (love how it makes the house smell)


Anita, hang in there, 2020 is almost in the rear view mirror. 

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Melody, I understand....I just hate seeing you go through this.  


Apples are the best thing...applesauce, apple pie, baked apples...a baked apple could be made soft enough, but applesauce would definitely be the way to go.  


My daughter and I are back.  The local Marshalls was brisk, but everyone was very well spaced out so it didn't seem crowded at all.  Everyone was wearing masks, and we used hand sanitizer throughout the day.   The checkout, however, was a mile long.  I don't know how the set up is for those of you who have a Marshalls in your area, but at our location, there is one line.  The blink the number of the register when it is ready, and you walk up.  That means one huge, snaking line.  


I didn't really see anything there, so we headed to Target where I picked up a few small things. Once again, there were a lot of cars, but everyone was very spread out.  There was no waiting for a checkout even.


Lunch was at a local place called the Brasserie.  It is a great place to go, and the food was wonderful.  I'm doing laundry now, and I'm about to start my Christmas card labels while I drink my Starbucks Caramel Brulee latte.  Starbucks isn't my favorite, but it is always fun going with my daughter!

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Just a few more photos...


One thing I wanted to mention is that the couch color is definitely in the drapes, although not necessarily the dominant color.  I love how the lighting outside affects them.  I think you can see why I liked the combination when you look at this photo here:





I finally got a daylight picture too.  Just so that you know the pillow were free...I don't like the little pleat thing in the corners too much, and while I like a firm couch,  I don't like the poufy look here.  I plan to put the pillows on the chairs, and I was thinking of trying a softer down alternative pillow form.  It will take minutes, since these have a zipper.  I think they will be much more to my liking, but I am not sure about the pleats in the corners and how that will effect how they lay with a softer filling.  What do you all think?




And that throw is wonderful.  It is incredibly soft and feels a bit elegant, without feeling formal.  I was thinking how the warm ivory will look great all year round, including with Christmas decor.  That being said, I think I may look for something a little different for warmer weather.


These here are my what my older Christmas pillows look like, and I think they are going to work out well during the holidays.  The background is an ivory shantung type look, and the ribbon creating the trees has that wonderful green in them.


I'll tell you a story about the Christmas pillows I wanted, and they only had one...you will probably all think I am absolutely nuts, and I probably am.  They don't evoke harmony.  It  looks out of balance, and it is driving me nuts.  While I am using it in the family room, I don't like it.  The wrong pillow that they sent and told me I could keep works better.


Here is the wrong one first.  At the time I took the picture, it was in my living room but it is working nicely with the Christmas decorations in the family room since it has some more traditional colors in it.  The family room is the room that has the tree with the train underneath.







And here is the pillow that I wanted.  Does it seem like the appliques are out of balance to you?  By the way, I found photos at other retailers online, and it isn't that this one was made wrong.  They are all this way.  My husband my daughters say they can't see what I am talking about.




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Laurie, the pillow with the ornament appliqué does look a bit off center, but I think it’s supposed to be that way. I like all 3 pillows. I bought some CuddleDuds pillows at Kohl’s. So soft & cuddly. Remember when the littles had loveys?  These pillows are my loveys. Melody

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Laurie that curtain fabric is GORGEOUS. Those daylight photo close ups with some backlighting really capture the beauty of the fabric. It's linen look background with an embroidery look pattern. I love it. 


That pillow is TOTALLY off and I totally get it. First of all...any time there is an even number grouping...the grouping looks weird. Odd numbers make better groups. 3 or 5 is much better than 4. So 4 ornaments on the pillow is off. THEN they put the biggest heaviest ornament higher than two other ornaments...that is just WRONG. Based on what I thought appealing when I did graphics design...I would have put that big ornament off center to the RIGHT and lower. Still keeping 4 (not my fave), I would have put the green oblong one kinda close to the big one, but in the upper right of the big one. Then I would have put the red one in the lower left (but slightly higher than the horizontal plane of the lowermost tip of the big one) and then the smallest white one between the red one and the big one...so hard to put into words! Anyway...I totally get it...that pillow would make me nuts as well.


Santa's Sleigh is my fave of those pillows.


We went to Ikea yesterday and got a whole bunch of candles. I find it hard to find unscented candles and that's what I needed. I decorated my fireplace area. Our fireplace box isn't a true box...the sides are only rated for one of those Duraflame logs or similar. I wanted to make one of those candle ambiance fires.




So there's 5 tapers on the right...another taper on the left...two squatty candles in the holders in front of the mirrors. And then several candles in the fireplace. It totally worked for the ambiance I was hoping to get.


My painted papers are hanging to the right of the mirrors. You can see the blue painters tape at the top. What you can't see well is the color, but that is the color that we have picked out for the main color in the big gathering space. 


The mirrors were in my Grandmother's home. She had a GINORMOUS powder room. Multiple ladies could have taken a trip to the powder room. There were two sinks in there and those mirrors hung above the two sinks. I've been looking for homes for my wall art and pieces and I think I like these mirrors above the fireplace. They are just leaning there right now. They are really ornate and fancier than the very rustic fireplace but I think it works with the overall look we are going for. I would dare to say that the mirrors could feel a bit Moroccan-like LOL. They work well with the poofs IMO.


At first I was thinking that we should wait to get all the walls refinished before putting things on the walls...but I got to thinking that it would be better to find homes for things and know where things would go before redoing the walls. I usually seem to need to put a couple holes in the wall to get something exactly where I want it! So better to do that before all the wall work. It's a slow process. We're still settling in.


I found two really decent bookcases on Craigslist last week. Not too tall (66') not too wide (24'). They work well in DS'/guest room. DS wants a library. I used to want a library before we moved so much... Anyway, he has a very wide selection of books and such...scores, biographies, a LOT of philosophy, some fiction...all sorts of books. Anyway all the books and such have been difficult to put away because we don't have book shelves!! LOL. The shelves are basically full...there's room for a little bit of growth...but not much. They fit well in the room.

Edited by Anita Latte
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