My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Few Thoughts on Women

A few weeks ago, we had a lesson in our Relief Society, which is the 3rd hour of our Sunday meetings. I call it The Women's Hour as it's for women.

This particular day the lesson was given by a young mother, probably in her very early thirties. She did a fantastic job, absolutely fantastic. She shook the whole time and would never think it was a good lesson. In other words, she beats herself up. About 20 minutes into the lesson, I leaned over to my friend, Patrice, and said, "I live a charmed life." She nodded agreement. I feel so blessed and grateful for what I do have in this life. I don't grieve at all for what I don't have.

It was about how women beat up on themselves, especially the mothers and, in particular, the mothers who stay home to rear their children. I knew it struck tender feelings because of the tears and tissues and there were probably some abused women in the room also. I grieved for those women because I can't ever remember feeling that way—unappreciated. But then I worked.

I went to work when my kids were 5 and 6 years old. Remember, my hubby was a Marine and we didn't make a lot of money; although, I must say we could have gotten by. We just wanted more things like a stereo, which is the first thing I bought with my first paycheck. (And I had every record Dionne Warwick and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap recorded and listened to them over and over and over!) I can't remember the cost, but I remember $55, which was either the cost of the stereo or my very first paycheck. But the figure $55 sticks in my mind. Probably my first paycheck because I only made $1.75 an hour working at the base PX. We were thrilled to get that, trust me. (But going from that $1.75 an hour to being the highest paid woman in a very large top Fortune 500 company was monumental to me. I worked hard to get there.) I can't say it was worth the sacrifice to my children though. I really can't.

Anyway, back to the story.

I went to college when my children were in school and didn't work for several years. I stayed home for a while with them. When hubby retired from the Marines, we did a whole lot better in life.

I belonged to 4 or 5 women's groups during the 1980s and loved the groups. I learned a lot about myself. However, I can never, ever remember putting down women who stayed home with their children. We were all professionals in the groups: a pediatrician, a nurse, an engineer, several of us businesswomen, etc. But not once did we denigrate women for staying home. I don't do it to this day. Why?

Well, I was reared (as I now realize) by parents and grandparents who always made me feel special. I just knew I was special! I also have a very loving hubby who never made decisions for me; they were mine alone to make. He stood behind me and encouraged whatever I did. Did I make mistakes? You betcha! But I learned much from those mistakes. I grew from those mistakes.

Rearing children is hard enough without women denigrating stay-at-home-moms. It's especially tough raising good kids today with the worldly influences and temptations that are thrown at them from all sides. They don't need to hear other women putting them down for the most important job they'll ever have. I know this because I didn't stay home with my kids when they needed me. Would I change all that now? I truly don't know. I can't answer "what if" questions. I just don't know.

I believe as women we need to help each other, not spew vitriol at SAHMs. They do a thankless job, believe me. The ones I know beat up on themselves far more than any woman could, but the ones I know also know they're doing it for the good of mankind. And that's what makes them so special in my book. We all need to pump up each other, be kind to someone who is struggling, whether it's the mom who stays home or the mom who is working. They all need positive feelings from us.

A favorite living room I saw. Yes, you can decorate with pretty dresses if you'd like.

Stunning color on this house. I'm pretty sure it's in some tropical place.

What a joy this pleasant entry is to someone who comes knocking on your door.

We all love to view beautiful windows and old buildings that have a lot of character to them.

A tea party or lunch in the woods or an orchard.

Froufrou will always catch my eye!

A beautiful antique French chair with pink cushions on it. Yummmm!

Balloons, a banner and cupcakes displayed on a beautiful plate or platter will assure a pleasant event for anyone.

Another interesting entrance to an older home.

Beautiful patios such as this one draw lots of attention.

Beautiful setting...and it just this moment gave me a great idea. I have two urns on my front porch. I think I'll cover them with glass and use them as tables for out there instead of the faux geraniums in them now. Why haven't I thought of that earlier?!

A cute red plate rack.

A delightful bedroom for little boys or girls who like exploring places. How many munchkins get to climb up into their beds? ;-) This one looks like a little girls room.

And this one looks like a BIG girl's bedroom! Yep, my kind of glamour.

This is an example of how to picnic in style!

A flower shop. From the language on the sign it looks like a far eastern country, which just goes to show you that no matter where we live we all love to have beauty in our lives.

Just beautiful eye candy for you.

One of the most darling footstools I've ever seen.

An example of what you can do with scraps of fabric or netting. Make a beautiful lamp. You'll see some examples of lamps I've decorated on my sidebar if you look. I love to froufrou up lamps. I don't want my house to look like everyone else's house and it sure doesn't!
Photos courtesy of pinterest and tumblr.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our Exchange Student Experiences and a Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago, I had a giveaway. The prize was never claimed, or in other words, they never answered me as to where to send it to them. Therefore, I'm again giving away this little ribbon tree and a dozen paper roses in the next week or two. I'd stay tuned and visit here often to see when I'm giving it away. Leaving a comment, become a follower, and give me a way to get in contact with you and you're in for the drawing! That'll do it. Easy Peasy, gals!

Not these; they're for my home, but I'll make some just like them.

Many years ago we hosted some exchange students. Our first was Rafael from Spain.

He was the perfect student and house guest. We loved having him for the school year he was here. His father, a lawyer, and mother came over with his younger brother to visit and go skiing in the Idaho ski country and they were delightful.

Then we had a girl from Spain. She came over for a summer tour and was also a very good house guest. She came back for a month or so to visit but she never went to school over here. She loved the USA though.

Then we had David from the Republic of Georgia. That didn't go well at all. He was a charmer but definitely a communist. He stole checks from me and forged my name. Luckily, the bank became suspicious and called me. I got the police involved and would have sent him packing but another family took pity on him and took him in. I doubt they regretted it but they probably wouldn't do it again. That was when I told hubs I'd never ever host another person. Just too much responsibility.

Sometimes you just fall in love with everything on the post you are creating. That is the situation here.

While I like blue, it's not a color I use a lot. But this small area of a kitchen made me smile. I think it's quite cute.

While this style of beach chair is making a comeback, I remember the original ones back in the 40s. They can now be made with any color or pattern of duck or canvas fabric so they are friendly to adding style instead of just plain ol' beige duck fabric.

Blue again! Another fabulous dining room.

Okay, I'm seeing a trend in this post: blue. This is a stunning kitchen, dining, whatever room.

I'm really not into little girls' rooms but I couldn't pass this one up. I would like to see this in Miss Caroline's room, but her room is definitely cute in pink and purple.

Again, blue and with Cath Kidston elements thrown in also.

This lids and bins underneath the shelf are cleverly done with style.

I thought you'd like to see these darling jewelry holders.

Okay, orange is my least favorite color as I've said several times before. This, however, is gorgeous with the pink, red and purple to offset the orange.

Photos courtesy of google images, pinterest and tumblr.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Perplexed Sometimes

I really need to comment on this as it has me bewildered.

Have any of you, when you're viewing your own blog, look to the "next" blog as it says up in the extreme left hand corner of the browser? It's just on the opposite side of where you see your name, new post, design and sign out on the right side. I did just recently, having been inquisitive for a while about it but never cared enough to click to the "next" blog.

Now, mine is a chick blog, but the several ones next came up as scent or various other things, but not anything near to what I blog about. Some of them hadn't been updated for a couple of years. Some even said they gave up blogging. I don't know if they just happened to forget to delete the blog or not but they still showed up. Lots of them. Some even had absolutely nothing to do with my blog. I thought perhaps they might be similar blogs but nope, nothing at all I'd be interested in. Very perplexing. Give it a try sometime and see what you come up with.

I really like the look in this room. Very elegant, vintage and rustic.

Polka dots are also a favorite of mine. I don't have much around the house in dots but I could if I found the right stuff.

A French flour container with gorgeous flowers.

Another French looking dining room.

A tiny writing area.

A beautiful old lamp to a beautiful entry.

You know by now how I feel about decorated bottles, right? You should!

Aaaaaah, to have that much fabric that neatly organized would be a blessing.

A quiet lunch with a friend.

Exquisitely saved for her posterity.

Love these colors.

Beautifully elegant chandelier with rusty elements along with silver and rose make a lovely vignette.

Nice spot for a glass of lemonade to relax.

Pink Sofa I lust over.

I have several of these hanging on my doors in my home. I stuff them with sawdust, which is light, and fragrance them with fragrant oils I buy online.

I have so wanted to paint our pine dresser but it just isn’t getting done in the near future. I like this one though.

A vintage cabinet we’d all like to have.

A very unusual bathroom.

Pretty window.
Photos courtesy of pinterest and tumblr.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It Ain't Easy Hemming Pants!

Welcome to another Pink Saturday. Visit Beverly's blog and see all the other participants.

Recently I bought a pair of Tencel pants from an upscale online store. I love the feel of them, rather silky like. But as always I needed to hem them. I'm 5' 4 1/2" tall, which is considered average, but pants are always too long for me. I have a 26 1/2" length from the crotch seam to where I like the pant to fall. So I had to hem them and therein lies this story.

I rarely make or fix anything in sewing that I get right the first time. These pants were no exception. It took me 3 days to hem them—actually a couple of hours of actual doing it and the rest of the time to recuperate/think about doing it.

The actual measuring and remeasuring took at least one day. I didn't want to be hasty and regret it by cutting them too short. This has happened before and I had to add lace to the bottom, which was actually serendipitous because they turned out beautifully and people take notice of them and ask me where I got them. They say they like them. Good thing because they're way too short without the lace.

Then I cut—with extreme caution. That took a full day because I wanted to be sure. (Let me say here that I'd go read a book, come in here and blog or eat myself silly in between these times!) Then another day...well, let me cut to the chase there. I hemmed them and they were way too long, so I had to take the hem out, cut again and hem them again. This took the rest of the time I mentioned above—a full day—to get up the energy to finish the hem at 26 1/2". I hate hemming pants!

I love old architectural details. Oh, I don't buy many but I do love to feast my eyes on them. They simply bring peace to my heart and soul.

See, you don't have to use red and green and gold for Christmas decorating. I've used pinks, purples and reds for the past three years as this homeowner has done.

Quiet, serene, peaceful are all applicable to this lovely patio.

Wonderful place for a honeymoon or an anniversary celebration.

Another homeowner who follows her own rules instead of letting others dictate what she probably doesn't like as well is this stunning door.

Squeeeeeal!!! Can you imagine this in your home? While it isn't feasible it sure is cute and makes a great photo shoot.

Pretty similar to the white wreath on my front door.

This is my front door.

Just some gorgeous eye candy for you. Aren't these colors and items spectacular?

I have some rose plates just like these.

Stunning red doors that look very old but still gorgeous.

This has to be just for show because there is no way you could put tea, coffee or chocolate in it and pour. Gorgeous however!

Flowered sofas I thought you'd enjoy seeing.

Fresh pink flowers to brighten this charming mantle.

What a gorgeous cabin living room.

Cute display for coat racks. I have 2 of them I don't have hanging in the house because I didn't know what to do with them, but this gives me an idea.

Unique idea for storage if you have an open staircase like this one.

I also love classical furniture. Yep, I sure do.

I really do like this chair but somehow I can't see it in my house.

Another classic setting I love.

This just looks so inviting and peaceful I had to show you.
Photos courtesy of pinterest and tumblr.