Monday, June 28, 2010


Today is a sad day. We had to put down our beloved Wiley. Our hearts are breaking as we will miss him terribly, but also for our Koda, as she has never known a day without her best bud Wiley.
Randy posted this on facebook this morning, so I thought I'd share it with you.

It is through tears and profound sadness that I write this. Tyler and I had to take Wiley, our dog and have him put down this morning. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but it was time. He was getting old and it would have been harder to watch him deteriorate physically and mentally. He was Tyler's dog and his best friend, as well as mine and we will miss him greatly. Our other dog Koda will also miss him. There is no way to tell her that her buddy won't be coming back and that too makes me sad. We loved him so much and he loved us back so well. I have a huge hole in my heart now that he is gone. He was a great dog. Wherever you are now Wiley RUN - Run free and never stop. That is what you were made to do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

garden fresh tomatoes

Thanks to my dear friend Grace, I have these beauties adorning my kitchen counter. They are almost too pretty to eat, wouldn't you say? In fact, they taste like candy! Ok, so why pray tell, did I not appreciate homegrown tomatoes while growing up? Heck, homegrown ANYTHING for that matter!

Probably because my Mom had a humungous garden and we'd harvest tomatoes like there was no tomorrow. We'd be canning till the cows came home! No seriously, even after they came home for milking, we'd STILL be canning! And you can't imagine the humidity in that big, old farmhouse. Good Lord, we'd be sweating buckets while putting up dozens of canning jars plumb-full of tomatoes.
Oh, and then we'd show them at the Jackson County Fair with hopes of a blue ribbon to show for all our (blood) sweat & tears. Now those were the days. In fact I should do a post about my 4-H years... from 8 to 18 years old. Some of my best childhood memories for sure.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Emolyn's first overnight

Emolyn Kate recently spent the night with her Mimi & Pop Pop. Oh my gosh, I was in heaven. I was either laughing or smiling the whole time. She brings such joy to our lives. So, before she began playing with the water pump, we had a little photo shoot. She is quite the character when the camera comes out.

Good Lord our grass sure needed mowing. And our lemons are gone. And the heat is on. But this little girl sure makes the summer bearable :)

The other day I commented on her beautifully painted finger nails and toe nails and she replied very matter of fact "Mimi, I did not do it myself, my Mama did." And I'm like, when did she start talking in sentences?! She's so articulate now!

And has such a vivid imagination. I could watch her pretending for hours.

If you read the story HERE about my husband hauling my Grandma's sewing machine back from the farm... well there's the milk can that he hauled back in that same load. God love him.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

FINALLY, the kitchen is done!

* Let's recap...

* Before the kitchen remodel

* After the kitchen remodel

And finally ~
After the installation of the cabinet/drawer pulls.
After the installation of the barn lights. Love em!
After we finally found the new bar stools.
After we decorated ~ my favorite part.

We bought our BERĂ–M handles at IKEA months before I would commit to the actual installation. I would spend hours pouring over hundreds of handles but always came back to these. So with fear & trepidation, we took a chance and I have had no regrets. I love the clean, simple, brushed nickel design. It was important that the handles not upstage my classic cherry cabinets. And they happen to match my Ladylux Grohe faucet. Ya gotta love it.

* Our dream kitchen plans

* Our dream kitchen come true

We found the bar stools by accident at Target. I was showing my husband the stools I wanted, that were terribly uncomfortable but cute, when he noticed these for $24.99. I am serious, the most comfortable, sturdy stools I have ever sat on! And I love the steel frame that matches the steel rack we recently installed. Gotta love my practical and cute husband!

* Before the handles, lighting, stools and such.

* After!
We're finally done! And SOOO very happy!

Be sure to click (or double click) to enlarge each image.
Read Kitchen Remodel Reflections for more details of the transformation and THIS post for some pretty serious demolition pics.

Friday, June 18, 2010

antique sewing machine

I have the best husband. Cuz you can't imagine the things I have made him bring back from the farm over the years. He would leave on a midwest concert tour and I would beg him to bring back a piece of my past. And he would.
One such trip was my Grandma Steinke's Montgomery Wards sewing machine. You see, Randy grew up in the Air Force and moved all the time. So trust me when I say, he can pack a vehicle like nobody's business. So it did not surprise me in the least that he found a way to fit this sewing machine in his little Honda Civic Fastback. But lest you think that was all he had on board... well, think again. He also packed a rather large wooden plant stand w/spindle legs, an old farm milk can, his 12 string guitar, boxes of CDs and 2 weeks worth of clothes. We're talking a two-door hatchback! I know, he loves me that much!

Check out these link parties-

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I love weddings. Especially weddings that bring together old friends. A reunion of sorts. Where we are reminded of all we've shared together over the years. We not only celebrate the newlyweds but the commitment of friendship we have with one another. And even more than that, with our significant other. Randy & I always come away with a renewed sense of commitment and the awareness of how much our love has grown since the exchanging of our vows over 30 years ago.

How beautiful is my daughter! She is such a special young woman. I always say that I want to grow up and be like Miranda.

And my daughter-in-law Nicole is such an example to me of selfless love. She has the gift of giving and service and I am so blessed that she is in my life.

This was the view from our table during the reception. And as you can see, the lovely couple are making their way across the dance floor. Best wishes AJ & Erin!

For those of you that are curious, the wedding was at the Millennium Resort in Scottsdale.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

35th Ave Sew & Vac

Ginny & I took a little field trip to one of the largest quilt stores in Arizona~ 35th AVE SEW & VAC. If not THE largest. Have you been? Trust me, if you go to the store located at 35th Ave & Northern, you will have no way of knowing they actually sell fabric. Seriously, you walk in and there are sewing machines and vacuum cleaners everywhere. You have to meander your way through a maze of mass machines to even make your way through the doorway, into a hallway, down a ramp... to a humungous room filled with fabric. And if you actually made it that far, then you will know you're in heaven... and was well worth the trip!

There are other locations in the valley but the original 35th Ave store really seems to have the biggest selection of fabric. Each row is labeled and organized very well. Love the Thirties line. (top pic)

Check out Michael Miller's Dick and Jane line HERE. Oh my gosh, I just might have to make something with this precious print for my granddaughters. Yes, Emolyn is going to be a big sister in the fall!

Ginny & I also went to Jo-Anns on Memorial Monday for their 5 for $5.00 Simplicity patterns. What a deal! Because when did patterns sky-rocket to prices out of this world?! I was shocked. The patterns we got retailed $15.00 each. To me, that's rather ridiculous.
And now some fabric eye candy for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Emolyn's kitchen

Friday morning we were up early to take Miranda to the airport. She's working as a nanny at The Bahamas Atlantis and having the time of her life! She's already walked by Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Vanilla Ice and Reba McIntyre. What a strange combo of celebrity sightings!

So Randy gets home from the airport and puts the finishing touches on Emolyn's kitchen before she comes over. We got the vintage wooden kitchen at Goodwill for $10.00 and added the backplash so we could add hooks and such. Randy had to cut a hole for the stainless steel bowl I found for the sink and also installed our old water-filtration faucet. (yes, the one that caused the flood). I was so pleased with how it turned out. I have plans to someday paint the whole kitchen white. But till then, my granddaughter will give it lots of love.

Emolyn loves to play dress-up and sing songs. She's quite the Tinker Bell Rock Star! I didn't mean for her to find the Elmo boots in the closet (for 25 cents!) because they're still way too big. But she insisted and wore them all day.

She loves her room, as she calls it. And would say "Mimi, let's go to Emin Tate's room". Later in the day, Randy, Shawn & Tyler were watching This Is It and she did not like that "Micha Jackson make noise! Emin Tate scerrt". So we stayed in her room and played.

And then she found the Pound Puppies. Oh my, she just adored them.

She got one look at Sleeping Beauty and just had to change into the blue Cinderella gown so she could be just like Sleeping Beauty. And she kept calling Belle 'baby'. I think she thought the Princesses had to be a mommy to a baby, so Belle was their baby. Too funny.

I recently found a bag of vintage Fisher Price people & accessories. I gotta tell you, I love the old Fisher Price sets. I found the FP school house years ago (not pictured), but missing all the pieces. Someday I WILL find the teacher, students, blackboards, desks, etc. I just know it.

She especially loved the bath tub and toilet. I mean REALLY loved them.

Emolyn is almost potty-trained... so she spent quite a bit of time making sure the baby sat on the potty chair. Too cute.

And she cooked "soup" throughout the day. But always adding lots of "sauce" to the soup. Most likely hot sauce, cuz I'm tellin ya, that girl loves all foods hot & spicy.

Oh and check out the cradle made from washboards that I found at a yard sale for $5.00. A very unique, one-of-a-kind treasure for sure. In fact, the DUBL HANDI washboards are the oldest made in the US.

I shared Emolyn's kitchen transformation on the following link parties-