Tuesday, August 31, 2010

burlap & a spooner

  • I go to my little thrift store when I'm overwhelmed. Just a quick trip to break up my day and I'm good to go. I find it rather therapeutic and oh so energizing, especially if I find a jewel of a find. That would be the burlap in the above pic. So excited to find a dark colored burlap. Paid a buck for the whole bundle. But what should I do with the colored strips of starched burlap? Any ideas?
  • Actually the real reason I went thrifting was because of the Frugal Farmhouse blog. You may remember, she is the reason I have barn lights in my kitchen. Anyway this morning she posted this-
In early Victorian times the frugal homemaker did not set spoons out at each place when setting the table.  She most likely did not have enough spoons for each persons plate.  Instead spoons were kept in a "spooner"  This was a glass vessel that would sit in the center of the table within reach of those who might need one.  They came in lots of patterns and colors including a large goblet shape.  The "spooner" was in use until around the turn of the century.

  • That's it, I had to have a "spooner"! And by golly if I didn't find one within minutes of entering my little thrift store. Paid 68 cents. The glass is so thick and the perfect size.
  • And why did I need a spooner? Well, I am hosting a baby shower for my daughter-in-law Nicole on Saturday. My granddaughter Emolyn's sister is due in 5 weeks. Emolyn came 7 weeks early, so every day that this little one stays put is a precious gift to her Mommy & Daddy.
  • The shower is an Afternoon High Tea Party and I am sooo excited to show you the pictures I'll be posting Monday morning. As you can imagine, the spooner will add the perfect touch to the High Tea.
  • My Mom-in-law, who had a birthday last week, recently gave me her silver set. I was thrilled! I immediately put her spoons in the spooner. Priceless.
  • Thanks Mom & Happy Birthday!
Check out these Linky Partys for more thrifty finds-

Sunday, August 29, 2010

R&R @ Forest Lakes

Our dear friends Terry & Nancy invited us to join them for a little R&R at Forest Lakes above the Rim in northern Arizona. On Saturday we took a roadtrip to check out the breathtaking vistas from Milk Ranch Point above Strawberry. Arizona is so vast and beautiful! I will never tire of exploring every nook & cranny throughout this gorgeous state.

Check out the photos that Nancy was taking on her blog!

And yes, this would be the cabin we stayed in. I know, quite the switch from our cozy cottage on wheels. Such a tranquil setting. Picture us sitting in rocking chairs out on the deck, sipping wine, taking in the thunder and lightning each night. Sheer heaven. Randy & I had to head back to the valley Saturday night but oh what a light show we witnessed the entire trip home!

Nancy & I
Randy & I
Terry & Nancy

Thanks Terry & Nancy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Disneyland Celebrates Us!

What a way to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary! Seriously, we have never gotten so much attention! Our daughter told us the day before we left to be sure to pick up our anniversary buttons at City Hall. So we did and wore them all three days and let me tell you, EVERYONE wishes you Happy Anniversary! And not just the "cast members" but guests! While on Soaring over California (for the 3rd time), this cute teenage boy sitting next to me even wished me a Happy Anniversary! How sweet is that!

31 years ago we honeymooned in Disneyland...

... and we've been living happily ever after ever since.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

31 years together

31 years ago my brand new husband carried me over the threshold of our tiny apartment and we could not have been more happy! Well actually we could and we would... because we were about to honeymoon at the Happiest Place on Earth- DISNEYLAND! 
We were like little kids, running from Pirates of the Caribbean to Space Mountain to The Haunted Mansion. I had never been to such a magical place!
Ok, funny Disney story. You see, I did not have a clue what 3-D was all about when I saw Captain EO for the first time in 1986. Once we got seated in the 500 seat auditorium and the film began, I was completely blown away! At one point I leaned over and whispered to Randy "what are the chances that we would get the best seat in the house! That flying fuzzball keeps flying right in front of US!" 
I know... need I remind you that I grew up in small town America on a farm.
Anyway, we have yet to go back alone, just the two of us. So tomorrow morning we're off to celebrate our anniversary in Disneyland! 
And I gotta tell you, I love my husband now more than I ever thought possible. We have so much fun doing life together. 
And I fully expect the park employees to remind us to stop running... just like they did 31 years ago.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tonto Natural Bridge

Randy & I recently took a day trip and hiked down to Tonto Natural Bridge and we could not have been more delighted. What an amazing natural wonder. It is located between Pine & Payson in Arizona and well worth the time & energy. Yes, the hike back out is rather grueling but they conveniently place benches for those much-needed water breaks.
Entering Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Notice the little people in comparison to the ginormous grandeur of the natural bridge.
Loved the brilliant green moss covering the rocks that are continually being watered from the falls.
We enjoyed being sprinkled & misted from the porous rocks above.
Just before I took this shot, I slipped on the rocks and my camera lens fell in a pool of water.
But as you can see, the camera is fine... and so am I.
And Randy was more worried about me than the camera.
Can't say I would have had the same reaction. Kidding!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Emolyn aka Wonder Woman

My daughter Miranda wore this Wonder Woman costume over 20 years ago. The above pic was taken Halloween 1989. Her brother Shawn is standing in back of her and her 7 mo. old brother Tyler is on the floor in front of her. And the others are her cousins.
Well, as you can imagine, Emolyn was pretty excited to get in on the act and pretend to be Wonder Woman just like her Aunt Miranda. And Miranda couldn't have been more tickled.

I ordered those Wonder Woman PJ's for Miranda and Batman PJ's for Shawn one year for Christmas... knowing full-well that they would be spending every waking moment pretending in them, so they may as well sleep in them.

I am so blessed to watch these wonder women become all that God created them to be. Love my girls!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Emolyn & pigtails

Emolyn doesn't have a whole lot of hair but gosh darn-it I was determined to give her pigtails. And I succeeded! Isn't she adorable! Although she prefers calling them ponytails.

Speaking of pigs, she saw her first theater movie- Toy Story 3. And the pig was her favorite. She loves pigs. Maybe that's why she couldn't bring herself to call them pigtails. They don't look like pigs in the least.

Love when the two Emolyn's get together. Mamaw loves her great-granddaughter so much. And Emolyn adores her. They are two peas-in-a-pod and cute as can be.

Emolyn was a little perplexed that not only do they share the same first name but also the last name. She didn't think that was right. She is quite the deep thinker and says the darnedest things. Man I love her!

Emolyn loves playing her Mamaw's piano and plays ever so gently and sweetly. She's a natural.

But then how can she not have a love for music. Her Mamaw has been playing piano her whole life, her Pop Pop & Daddy are musicians and we all love to sing. She is the youngest member of the von Thompson family you know! Ha!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

yikes! another flood

Ok, it wasn't all that bad. More like a major leak. But I'm telling you, it's getting old. Since the Great Flood of '09, I have acquired a disorder that professionals refer to as post-traumatic-stress-associated-with-all-things-water-syndrome. Seriously, I am forever checking for water leaks and always anticipating the worse. So last week when I was on the floor in my craft room, sorting through old pictures, my arm happened to brush against a king size fitted sheet that needed mending... and it was completely soaked. And then I touched the carpet in the closet area and it was completely soaked. Oh. My. Gosh. Not again! So I ran to call Randy and proceeded to FREAK OUT!
Long story short, the bathtub plumbing was leaking and over time soaked a portion of my craft room and also the bedroom on the other side of the bathroom. Wouldn't you know, the one place I couldn't look under for leaks. But it's fixed and we didn't need to replace the tub or the carpet or anything. Just pipes. Thank God, because we do NOT see a bathroom remodel, or ANY remodel for that matter, in our foreseeable future.

SO, as you can see from the pics, I had to unload everything from the closet shelving so we could remove the carpet and prepare for the worst. Well, they ended up cutting a hole in the drywall on the bedroom side to repair the pipes, and we were able to put things back together after the carpet & pad had dried.
All to say, I'm starting to wonder if these floods are happening because it's an opportunity to weed out, down-size and purge my possessions. Cuz as you can see, I have a lot. In fact, I have watched enough of that Hoarders show to know that I was potentially heading in that direction had it not been for these unfortunate floods.

Anyway, I am weeding out and I don't feel sad, cuz I'm finding things I forgot I had.
Those should seriously be lines in a country song or something.
Or at least said with a country twang.
Or maybe not.

Monday, August 09, 2010

My Cozy Cottage on Wheels

Can you believe it! She's ours!
You know how much I've talked about one day having my very own cozy cottage in the woods? Well, my dream has come true! Only this is my cozy cottage on wheels... that will transport me to the enchanted forest of my dreams. Ok, so I got a little carried away.

How cute is my little 1976 Travette travel trailer! Like way cute. Like, talk amongst yourselves way cute! Like... ok, you get the picture... my cozy cottage is cute!
I know, it's not the '56 Shasta of my dreams. They either cost a pretty penny... or they need total restoration. This one was hit the road ready and totally within our budget. And the whole 70's motif? It's growing on me. Throw in some tangerine orange and you've got my kitchen colors when we married in '79. (aka Tupperware colors)

Here's the scoop-
~ found her on Craig's List
~ located near Chino Valley
~ that was the main reason for our 356 mile Sunday drive
~ it was love at first sight
~ totally restored to our satisfaction
~ the bench seat & cushions make into a king-size bed
~ a 13 footer which was exactly what we wanted
~ only $1100.00. Such a sweet deal!
~ fits in our side yard perfectly
~ and will double as Emolyn's playhouse

Randy & I are so excited to take it up to the Mogollon Rim and experience our first rainfall inside our cozy cottage. Can you imagine the sound of the rain pelting on the aluminum roof? Heavenly.

Basically she's a step up from camping in our van. We are now camping in a travel trailer where we can actually sit at our table and play cards, watch dvd's, share meals, scrapbook, write blog posts on my Mac, sip mugs of hot chocolate, read books... whatever suits our fancy! And when we're tired, we make it into a bed, turn out the lights and call it a day. Heavenly.

So, my awesome husband and handsome sons are bringing her home today. And I get to spend the day with Emolyn while they make the road trip up north... praying they make it home safely.
And in case I don't say it enough... thank you Randy! I love you. You're my favorite husband ever! :)

That was posted on my blog in October, 2009, along with the pictures I took upon seeing it for the very first time. It was truly love at first sight.

And these pictures were taken just before we took her up to the mountains for her maiden voyage in July, 2010. What a thrill! And not just because we got her out of our driveway after 8 months, but because we experienced a 50 degree drop in temp in less than 2 hours!! Yes, from 113 degrees down to 63 degrees! Pure heaven!!

And come on, is there anything better than sleeping in soft, fluffy vintage sheets? I think not.

I've had more fun incorporating all the 70's vintage decor that I already had. 

We ended up taking her to the Rim Country north of Payson 3 times in July and can't wait to hit the road again. Click HERE and HERE for more cottage posts.

Thank you for visiting my little Cozy Cottage on Wheels

Friday, August 06, 2010

this & that

~ you have no idea how badly I want to be transported to this lovely, lush garden on Prince Edward Island. Click to enlarge so you can feast on the quaint and cozy garden cottage. You can check out the rest of Carolyn's garden tour HERE. But first finish my post, or I'll lose you.

~ Miranda's friend Carla came for a visit from London. What an amazing, beautiful young woman! Miranda hosted an open house so her friends could meet Carla and my daughter made Banoffee pie and it was to-die-for! I tasted it for the 1st time at a little cafe across the street from St. Paul's Cathedral while visiting Miranda in London and loved it. This was even better!

~ watched the Peter, Paul & Mary special on PBS and was reminded of a song I used to sing many moons ago- "For Baby" written by John Denver. I absolutely love Mary's version and I can't wait to sing it again to my granddaughters.

~ Carla brought us bags of Minstrels and so far I have managed to devour a whole bag myself. But don't tell anyone.

~ heard Gary Chapman speak at the Arizona Grand Resort Monday night. He's the author of The Five Love Languages- Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. What's your primary love language? Take this 30-second quiz to find out.

~ mine is Acts of Service. Randy's Physical Touch.

~ if I show you THIS link, will you promise to come back and finish up my post? Truly the ultimate in travel trailer eye candy!

~ OK, you can go on Carolyn's Garden Tour now. Oh and you have been forewarned... these images can lead to bouts of discontent and despair. And possible heartache. But then, maybe it's just me, or those of us that live in the desert southwest, or those who just long to live on Prince Edward Island.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

the significant 70's

I love the 70's. Some of the most significant events of my life took place in the 70's. So, join me as I take a little trip down memory lane.

I was thrilled when my long-lost 4-H friend Cindy posted pics of the Jackson County Fair this past week on her Applestone Cottage blog. Cindy & I go way back and were reunited this past year when I came upon her blog. You can read about our reunion HERE. 4-H was such a huge part of my life growing up in Wisconsin. In fact I started sewing most of my clothes in the 70's and had my garments judged at the Jackson County Fair each summer. I can't begin to tell you how many shift dresses and dirndl skirts I made in the early 70's. That's me, the summer of 7th grade with a few of my fair entries... hoping for that prized blue ribbon. A few years ago I did a post about Sewing in the 70's. I had Mrs. McGillicutty modeling my favorite sewing garments from the 70's. Yes, I saved everything. And yes, Mrs. McGillicutty is my dress form.

Fast-pitch softball was also a big deal in our farming community. If we weren't playing in a game, we were at the ball park watching a game. You could literally be at the ball park every single night. And when the York Rodeo came around each year, our girls softball team would pile on a truck for the annual York Rodeo Parade. That's me on the drivers side hood of the truck, next to my best friend Wendy. I played 2nd base. And the York Rodeo is this weekend and I'm going to miss it. 

I loved my high school years and graduated in 1975. Our 35 year Class Reunion is in 2 weeks and I'm going to miss that too. Maybe that's why I'm all nostalgic about the 70's. We have a radio station here in Phoenix that plays 70's music every weekend. So, I hear a song and I instantly remember what I was wearing and who I was with. Does that ever happen to you? Imagine if you will... it's August 1970, I'm 13, at my 1st party, a dance in my friend Naomi's backyard screened-in porch and I'm wearing an orange knit shell with a brown & orange floral print skort I sewed just for the party. (remember skorts?) And I hear "Close To You" by the Carpenters for the 1st time and I am mesmerized. As long as I live, I will never forget how that song made me feel at that moment. I recently heard "I Shot the Sheriff" (Clapton-1974) and was instantly transported back to Steven's Interstate, a little Cafe, Cheese & Gift House off I-94 in Hixton, Wisconsin. I was a waitress, it was my very 1st job and we're cleaning up after hours, dipping french fries in french dressing and dancing to "I Shot the Sheriff" on the jukebox.

Ok, so it's only fitting that the little travel trailer we found on Craig's List would be manufactured in 1976. I know, it's this 70's kick I'm on.

Other than becoming a Christian in 1973, my decision to move to Phoenix with my friend Linda in 1977 was the most life-changing. I have never felt more lead by God than any other time in my life. Here you have two farm girls from Wisconsin, with the same first and last name, with dreams of sharing Christ through their songs and well, things happened... miracles happened! You can read about our adventures on this post...

... and how I met my future husband in 1978 at Hand in Hand, a concert ministry where we were both performing at. I fell in love with his music that night... and later with him.

We were married August 25th, 1979...

... and went into full-time ministry after Randy graduated from Grand Canyon College a year later. Wow, what a decade. The 70's were truly foundational in shaping me mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I can look back now and clearly see how I was impacted by the choices I made in the 70's. And they continue to affect me to this very day. Thanks for indulging me. I could have shared many more stories, but these were front and center. And so dear to my heart. What 70's song instantly takes you back?