Saturday, December 31, 2016

Decorating the Hutch Area

One of the first things I fell in love with was this built in hutch and the possibilities of what I could do with the blank wall next to it. 

As much as I love the cut glassware left behind, there was an awful lot of it.  I had to pare down so I could add other items to the shelves.

 After I removed the spindles and doors I had Left Brain paint the insides of the cabinets yellow for a little color and warm.

I'd considered leaving the cabinet doors off, but fear what mischief Gracie could do with open access.  I can almost hear the sound of breaking glass in the night.

Plus, I kind of like the leaded glass doors now that the insides are brightened up. Plus changing out the hardware helped alter the appearance a lot.

I hadn't planned to put the Kitchen Aid here, but this area provides a high clearance, so it's where it landed.

Next came the yellow clock I picked up at Kohl's on sale to add the pop of yellow I wanted in this room. 

I'd found this quote at Hobby Lobby and it described our journey perfectly so I added it below the shelf on that blank wall.  It is a stick on decal and wasn't horrible to apply, but it had its challenges. 

I also had picked up some removable wallpaper that resembled old wood and decided to try using it as a surface for the hutch to fit in with my vintage farmhouse look.

I'm trying to stay with artificial succulents in my arrangements because they reflect the desert life and are more easily washed.  Remember all that dust in the desert.

This was another first for me and there were some swear words used during the installation.  This is not a good job for when you are tired, the paper seemed to stick to everything but where I wanted it.

Long Live the Queen of Transparency

Friday, December 30, 2016

Bathroom is Done

Finally...a room is complete.

It started with buying a a new shower curtain and then I used the greenish blue color in it to chose a paint color for the cabinets.

New light fixtures were purchased to make the shower rod, and new towel hangers as well.

The hardware was changed to a oiled bronze color as well, ridding the room of all the brassy gold.

Left Brain even used a hammered effect spray paint to paint the fixtures in the tub.

There, that room is checked off our list.  On to the next!

Long Live the Queen

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Sequel to the New and Improved Closet Area

Okay, it was better, but still not working for it was time to change things. Again.

The metal shelving went outside on the deck, since we already have one large metal cage, why not add some more.

Now this holds the refrigerator and provides a place for recycling.

Speaking of cycling, finally Left Brain has a place to hang his sweaty biking gear.

And not to be outdone, I have a place to hang my pickleball bag.

So, to get the materials needed to add some shelves to the storage area, we gutted out the closet in the Arizona room.  This was no easy task and a lot of sweat and swearing went on.

Left Brain borrowed a power saw from our friend Dave and cut them down to the required lengths.

The shelves above house my dollmaking supplies and decorative junk.  This arrangement makes it much easier to pull out the Swifter and vacuum cleaner to keep the floors clean.

Finally the litter box is deeper back into the closet and out of sight and there's more room to move around in the storage area.  I've also started to hang things that will return to Minnesota in the springtime.

The final touch  was adding a tension rod and curtain to block off the view of this room.  Okay, maybe it's just an excuse for another curtain.

Long Live the Closet Queen

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Day Did Not Go As Planned

We both slept in and missed the coffee and donuts and announcements for the week, so decided to go out for breakfast and do some shopping.  I had no idea.

All I did was suggest stopping at the Honda dealer to see how much it would cost to get another key fob to replace the one Left Brain lost.  We've given up on it ever coming back to us.

So, of course, you can't go to a dealership without browsing through some of the cars for sale.

Then a salesman started to approach us and before you knew it we were looking at cars.  Just "looking" mind you.

But my husband has some shrewd business savvy and after long complicated attempts to knock off small amounts the poor young man (very new to his job) came back with the manager.

We were shown the invoice and made a very good deal.

Then we switched gears and asked about trading in our CRV and a whole new round of negotiations began.  I'm very glad we had a large breakfast and were ready for battle.

Long story short, they offered a fabulous deal as a trade in and with the savings in sales tax as a kicker we now own a nice shiny gray Honda Odyssey.  The name Odyssey was perfect since we are on this new journey in our lives.  Also, since it's kind of a pearl gray and we bought it on Dec 7th when Pearl harbor was bombed, we just had to name it "Pearl".

It should be perfect for when we go back and forth between our two new homes and now we can finally volunteer to drive when the six of us go our for Friday fish dinners.

There's so many new fangled bells and whistles on this thing, I'm sure we'll both be taking turns reading the manual.  Or, I'll probably do it the easy way and let Left Brain study the manual and then show me the highlights of what I need to know.

Long Live the Queen

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Second Vehicle

We've debated the need for a second vehicle for some time, but with the limited parking available a second car was out of the question.

The other option was a motorcycle, but that just wasn't practical either.

Everyone here seems to have a golf cart to run around in, so that's the route we chose.  There's enough space on the side to park it and we chose to find one that was electric rather than gas.

Left Brain was on the hunt and soon had it narrowed down to two.

I didn't want to influence him in my decision, but was thrilled when he went with the higher priced one that I found so cute.

It's very handy for getting to the pickleball courts, the clubhouse for events and just buzzing around the park.

Long Live the Queen of the Cart

Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Furniture for the Sitting Room

This isn't a very big room, and yet this TV stand I found on Target's website works quite well.

I get a sick kind of thrill assembling this stuff, but I guess it's my love of doing puzzles that causes that.

It's a bit larger than the cribbage board table we had the TV on before, but not that much.  Plus it raises it up just a big for easier viewing. 

 The photo below shows how it used to look.

Long Live the Queen

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Surprise Christmas Gifts Arrived Today

Each year I receive a calendar from Miss Edna, a fellow blogger and one of the most generous people I've ever met.

She included some extra goodies in the package for me and the kitties.  Just opening the package was fun!

I opened the weather proof package to find a decorative gift bag.  Inside that bag were three little packages each individually wrapped and with a bow.  

Here is a shot of the contents all together.

Here is a close up of the incredible charm bracelet she sent me.  The charms include a small camper, a sewing machine, a camera and new keys for our new home.

The bracelet came inside this little green zipper compartment and will be perfect for carrying my small supply of money and coins when I visit the club house.  I had been doing this in a sandwich baggie...this will be much classier!

As you can see here, Gracie did not wait for Christmas day to start enjoying her new fluffy toys.  She was batting them all around the house and I had to gather them up for the photo shoot above.

She she started taking them up the cat tower so she could smack them around higher up.  Miss Edna...these are a big hit!  Be sure to tell Pogo thank you for his wise choice of gifts.

I love the bracelet and all the meaning it has and cannot express how thoughtful this was.  Thank you so much and may this be the best Christmas and New Year ever!

Long Live the Queen

Friday, December 16, 2016

Black Bird in a Cage

I've never tried to hide it, I'm a raven lunatic.  Just love those big black birds and all that intelligence.  We don't have them here, but crows are a close second.  I don't know why the black birds get such a bad rap, they make me smile.  Well, I guess any bird does that.

Anyway, I digress.  I found this little wire box and just had to have it for my kitchen area.  But do you think I could find a raven/crow type bird to put in it?

I lucked out finally when I found this combo on a Halloween closeout.  Loved the bird, but the skull...not so much.

Wait a minute!  This is going to be up on top of the cabinets and with the right angle and a little foliage you wouldn't even see the skull.


Long Live the Queen of Crows

Thursday, December 15, 2016

One more addition to the entryway

Since the key holder and shelf proved to be so handy, and since we've having a cold snap right now and need our sweatshirts to venture out, it was decided to add another item to the entry.

This hook system matches the first one we purchased for keys and the like nicely, so it is on the other wall.

Not a big addition, but one that sure comes in handy.

Long Live the Queen

Monday, December 12, 2016

I've Been Blessed With More Gifts

My friend, Carole, has been busy downsizing and sending me many of her fun items to decorate my new digs.

Today several packages all arrived at once and this is the haul I made.

I had to chuckle when I opened the box and a puff of powder like substance came out.  I was almost afraid to open the box and see what it was.

Thank goodness it was just the African violet food that had spilled out.  For a minute I thought I had inherited some long dead relative kept in an urn above the mantle.

Thank you Carole, these will be added in among my other arrangements very soon.

Long Live the Queen

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Icemaker Cometh

Since our refrigerator doesn't have an ice maker, we decided to order a portable one to set outside on top of the little fridge.

We tried getting the free ice here in the park, but it's more of a crushed variety and he doesn't care for that.  

Neither of us is willing to load ice cube trays, and wait...I don't even use the ice, I'm certainly not monkeying with filling those.  That's why I put them out in the patio sale last month.

So now we have this shiny new icemaker ready to roll.  I didn't want to have one installed in the fridge since we're gone half the year and it's one more thing to go berserk...and I'm not willing to part with all that glorious space I finally have.  The only flaw in our plan was that the instructions say not to have it outside, so it is parked in the second bathroom. Thank goodness for that huge countertop in there.

Yes, this was yet another purchase made during the holiday sales.

Long Live the Ice Queen

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Queen Begins to Tackle the Throne Room

The bathroom was mostly OK, but it's a small room so I decided to tackle it first.

I liked the color choices made in this room, but the large floral shower curtain had to go.  And since we were altering things, we added a bowed shower curtain rod for a little more elbow room.

I thought perhaps the stripes would make the room look wider, I know they have that effect on me.

I want to paint the cabinets the greenish blue color in the shower curtain and replace the hardware in this room.  The bright brassy gold is just a bit much.  And this light fixture definitely has to go.

I found these little baskets at Target and now Left Brain and I have our own space to store our stuff.

The larger one for the toilet tank holds all the magazines and puzzles that are needed for l0nger visits.

This little sign reminds you what room you are in since I finally have a bath tub again.

I didn't like the placement of the toilet paper holder, so I removed it and got one of these free standing ones.  Plus I found a brown toilet lid cover to coordinate.

More photos will come when the cabinets have been painted and the hardware switched out. 

Long Live the Queen of the Throne

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Creating a Kitty Cubby

All felines like a good hiding place, and ours are no exception, and if that space can be up high...well that's a real score.

The area above the fridge is inaccessible (to me) without a step stool, so I figured why not remove the doors and make it a cozy nook for George and Gracie to hide in.

Here is how it looked before, painted white and complete with doors and spindles:

Then the doors and dreaded spindles were removed:

Hmm, it's a good start, but the cardboard cat bed had to go. 

There, now it seems to be more inviting and I find George up here a lot, except he's above the cabinets instead of inside it.

I painted it the same gray as the cabinets to make it feel more cat cave like.

He seems to be ignoring the wire bed in the cubby, but seems to have a thing going on with this new chick.

Yup, nobody up here but us chickens.

Long Live the Queen of Cats

Monday, December 5, 2016

Now We Can Never Get Locked Out Again

It is so nice to have a handy hubby!

He installed this deadbolt lock with a number pad, so no keys are required.  This way if I take off shopping while he's out biking, he can still get into the house.

Of course, there is that little issue of limited memory.  Hopefully we can recall the code!

Thanks to Sister Mary for showing us their system and inspiring us to add one to our home.

Long Live the Queen of Codes

Sunday, December 4, 2016

More Home Warming Gifts Arrive

My friend Carole has a lot of antique things (including Doug) and she has bequeathed some of them to me as she downsizes.  I just love it when other people downsize and send me their that I have room to enjoy them.

Isn't this little coffee pot adorable?

And this tin for tooth powder will find a place in the bathroom for display when that room is redone, but it was too cute not to put on my shelf right now.

I would have posted them as soon as they arrived, but we had just started gutting out the cabinets to paint and I wanted to wait until they found their way into their new homes before sharing them with my blogger buddies.

Long Live the Queen