Friday, February 27, 2009

On The Road

I'm leaving town today - heading out - on the road! Headed north to Sewing Expo in Puyallup,Washington, just south of Seattle. I can't wait to get there and see all the wonderful things waiting for me - and a few thousand other people.Expo is held every year at the Washington State Fairgrounds. There are vendors and seminars and fashion shows and demonstrations of new tools and techniques. I love to join other sewing and needlework enthusiasts and catch up with an 'old' friend or two along the way. My tickets are in my bag - my camera is going with me - and my walking shoes are on my feet! But the best part will be time spent with a dear friend who lives close to the fun. Her home is my landing place. It's like staying in a Bed and Breakfast - the royal treatment, for sure. I always treasure the time we spend together. In-person, face-to-face time, not just online or phone time. Real time with a real friend! Can't wait to tell you all about it when I return.
Artwork from Sewing Expo brochure, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where Have I Been?

I haven't been posting much this last week but I have been checking in to see some of your blogs and keep up with your doings. But I have been busy - very busy! What have I been doing? Enjoying our new hot tub.

You may remember the trip to the Oregon Coast my sweetheart and I took last month and the cute little condo where we stayed. While we were there we enjoyed time in the little hot tub on the deck overlooking the beach and the waves nearby. By the time we headed home I realized that the entire time we were away I had not taken any meds for issues left by my 'old' back injury. As I thought about it I realized that the key was time in the hot tub. So, my sweetheart and I began to shop for a small hot tub to add to our home. As we drove home we planned exactly where it would be and what remodeling would be involved to make it work for us. I could hardly believe we were having that discussion but it didn't take me long to begin to research and shop! Shortly after arriving home we became aware of a small, family-owned business just a few miles south of our home. A peek or two at their website and we knew we would like to do business with them. One Saturday morning we drove to their business and within minutes we found just the one we wanted. It was a used hot tub, only six months old, traded in by someone who decided it was too small for them. We arrived at just the right time to find exactly what we needed - and he gave us a great deal. The business owner went over every little inch of this one to be sure it was in perfect order. He delivered it, put it in our temporary spot and gave us some wonderful steps he builds and includes with each order.
The hot tub is not where it will eventually find its permanent home. There is work to be done to its 'spot' and a door added where a window now graces our home. In the meantime we knew we couldn't wait long to enjoy the benefits of our new spa.
It was necessary for some major electrical changes to be made before the hot tub could be wired, connected and enjoyed. So my sweetheart - a 'jack of all trades' kind of guy - did the needed work. For safety the power company came to our home and disconnected the flow of electricity into our house.
Then my sweetheart began the work. With the power off there was no light in the garage area where the electrical box is housed so he bought a cute little 'head lamp' to light his work space. Isn't it a cute little thing? Could become a new fashion statement.
Within minutes he began his carefully executed plan.
When the work at the box was finished he still had to work on the outside connection.
The tub had been filled the day before and the required chemicals added. Now we just had to wait for power, heat the water and then enjoy!
And then - my sweetheart was finished, the connection was made, the power button turned on and - voila - we had bubbles! I was so excited I could hardly wait for the water to heat. But I had to wait!! The water was only forty eight degrees. No way was I going to get in there!
The next morning the water was hot and it was time to enjoy a soak in the tub! Too bad my sweetheart had to go to work and couldn't join me. The day was gorgeous, but chilly. I was warm and cozy. And happy. I could hardly believe this was really ours. The only thing missing was the view of the beach!
On clear, sunny mornings as I sat there I looked around and noticed how much yard work needed to be done. Move a rose bush or two, replace that overgrown tree with a smaller species, on and on it went. When I moved to the other side I began to mentally make a list of all the work that needs to be done on the house! Power wash the gutters, finish painting the trim around the new patio door - it continued. Work - work - work! That's what I saw. How can you relax when you're looking at all that work? So I decided to close my eyes and relax, just rest. The work will be there when the weather warms a bit. And it will get done.
Since that day I have been in the hot tub nearly every day - twice a day. Late evenings are special with my sweetheart as we sit and relax and share our day. Our weather has changed. It's rainy and windy outside for a few days so my sweetheart put a canopy above the hot tub. It will work until we get the new spot ready and the roof is built over the cute little patio where we will continue to relax and enjoy time together. I'll be sure to share it with you when it's all finished. Oh, did I tell you our kids wondered why we got such a small hot tub? Our answer - we don't want to have parties. And we don't want to share!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lacking Nothing

With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? – A. W. Tozer

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Up The Stairs And Back In Time

Yesterday I promised to take you up the stairs to see what waits for us on the second floor of Deepwood Estate. Are you ready? Here we go. You won't be sorry! On the landing at the top of the stairs is a sweet Valentine's Day display. Love those old red shoes!

The current display theme upstairs is 'Weddings'. On display are wedding gowns and memorabilia from the early eighteen hundreds to the nineteen sixties. Incredible pieces of the lives of brides from years past. The first room has the most recent gowns.

Are you ready for tea?

I love this gown. It is exactly what I dreamed of through my young years while waiting to find my sweetheart. And it is similar to the gown I made for our wedding day.The gorgeous lace accented with beads and pearls is the same lace I added to my gown. Mine was handsewn with care and carefully hand-beaded. Most of the beading was lovingly done by my dear mother while I was at work during the weeks before my wedding. This gown brought back many memories of the thousands of beads she stitched to make my dream gown dream-y.And then there is the closet. Wouldn't you love to have a closet like this? With a stained glass window?Just across from the closet is the only original sink still in the house. It's surrounded by wonderful, old marble.In the next room is wedding 'finery' that graced the wedding day of brides through the years. High-top shoes and delicate veils. . .And more shoes. . .And veils.In the bedroom at the back of the house - the oldest of the gowns displayed. So different from wedding gowns today, yet beautiful.Cake plates and toppers, fine china and linens. Memories from years past.A very special topper from Mrs. B's grandparents' wedding cake. Back in the hallway - in a little corner - an old Victrola.And then - more gowns.
Not far from the stairs, a beautiful small glass-front cabinet is filled with wedding cake toppers of all kinds. The light was so bright from the windows that it was hard to take good photos but here are just a few of the sweet little pieces on display.While standing at the top of the stairs another stained glass window is in full view. The first photo of this post gave a glimpse of the window above the landing near the top of the staircase. I paused for a moment to take in its beauty.And then down the stairs again.A few minutes later we left this beautiful place to have lunch nearby. Between the house and the parking area we passed the old carriage house.A look back to savor the beauty of the house. . .Through the corner of the garden. . .
And along the pathway toward the car.Our time here was far too brief. There was so much more to see and learn. We vowed to return again - with family and friends and when the gardens are in bloom. Until then we will cherish the time we spent together at this stately old home that has been loved by many through the years.A few minutes later Mrs. B., my dear mother and I stopped for lunch at Jack Rabbit Cafe. I had my camera but was so busy enjoying every minute there I forgot to take pictures. Not long after we arrived our son, Mr. J., joined us. When we finished lunch we hugged Mrs. B. goodbye and followed Mr. J. to his office nearby for a tour of his new office and a chance to meet and chat with some of his coworkers. Soon we found our way to the freeway and turned northward toward home. What a wonderful day it had been - so far! But it wasn't over yet. While resting for a bit at home my dear mother was surprised by the delivery of gorgeous flowers from our daughter and her three young ones.
But that wasn't the end of my dear mother's special day. Later that afternoon my sweetheart and I picked her up and drove her to my cousin's home in a nearby community where we had dinner together followed by some special gifts and a lot of fun and laughter. It will be a day that lingers in our memories long after the flowers fade and the gifts are put away. A day we will always hold dear to our hearts.