Updating Decor, Cleaning, and More Travel!

With the weather raging outside, and me in the back doing yesterday’s blog, George began removing ornaments from the tree – much to my surprise – as normally I do most of this. After I finished with my blog post, they were gone, whisked away and no longer in site. Wow. I was left scratching my head and asking, “did you wrap up the breakable ones?” and he said “I know what I’m doing”. So…ok. And followed with, “If you don’t want me to help I won’t”. So…ok. I’ll take the help, but I had to ask. Normally he just takes the boxes up and down and trees back and forth. So I was very impressed to have the extra help. The ornaments are always probably the process that is the most lengthy for me as I take great care in the packing and wrapping of them. I still had to wrap all the breakable Santas and such and pack the snowmen and reindeer so their “twigs” don’t get broken and such. Now when I look at Christmas decor I think, “will it be easy to store” and “will it break?” So I was appreciative of the help and in getting the decor packed and out of the way.

He brought empty boxes upstairs and I packed away all of this below:

George had a timeline he wanted to meet and with the warnings beginning to come in and the damage swath reports – George decided to go out and run his errands as all this was approaching. I wished he would wait, but when he has a plan, it can’t be ruined so he had a timing of when to go and he DID. I said “you won’t be back by the time the storm gets in –so be careful”. I knew those would be the only words that would get him back before the storm as he would have a challenge then to prove me wrong. Whether he took my challenge or it was just fate, he DID make it back just before the arrival of the storms, which quite frankly – were not bad here. The wind was bad for many many hours and the rain was very hard. But often, the storms die as they cross Nashville and I-65 (not always as we’ve had horrible tornadoes nearby), and the storm lines often split with the worst going north and south of us. And that happened yesterday I believe.

Katy woke up and gave us a Face Time call yesterday to say they had snow in Breckenridge (TX), and I had seen the snow on radar over their area and thought – wow they are getting a pretty good snow. Since it was 76 the day before, she really didn’t expect to see snow on the ground. Below is my screen shot of our FaceTiming. Ignore my unkempt hair (what’s left of it after that last hair cut) and no makeup in upper right corner! I guess I snapped right as Findley gave a poop pose (sorry – story of my world – so fitting – normally when I try to take pics of our pooches is the exact time they need to take baths and lick their tooties).

FaceTiming with Katy -unfortunate timing on screen shot! Still sharing!

I put up the cactus curtain in the kitchen and tried to make it a SouthWest feel – well Texas and beyond!

Cactus Curtains (OK Cacti – but who wants to say Cacti?)

I like to decorate with small cookbooks since there is no back splash around the counters. It also gives inspiration to cooking. When George saw I had “had my way” with the cookbooks from his shelf downstairs, he winced. I said “what?” And he said he had spent many hours sorting them. I may have moved a few. I had no idea they were in order or needed to be untouched. I thought they were meant to be used. But I get it. I’m pretty picky about my organized ______ fill in the blank. All my stuff gets moved too, lol: spices, pantry, drinking glasses, dishes, and so forth – but the one that bothered me the most that I had to get over was “everything having a space and not having anything on the tables and horizontal surfaces (including beds)”. George lays out all of his things across any and all horizontal surfaces. lol But at least when we have company he is good about removing it all and placing it away, without having asking. Of course if anyone drops by, which is rare, it’s visible. But we are both messy in different ways. I have become more messy as I age. Surprisingly so. I get on a mission and focused on something and I’m liable to: leave cabinets open, forget to flush (lol), throw dishes/glasses in the sink or counter for later instead of dishwasher, leaves clothes on the floor for a day or two or three – including PJ’s and undies in the bathroom – which I cringe over and try not to do. So see – I can’t really complain. How did I go off on this tangent? Tangents are my thing I guess. Oh yeah, George was frowning at my perusal through cookbooks. Anyway, I still used them for decor. I mean if he needs those few, he’ll know right where they are. Yeah I know, Ramen Noodles (in the pic) had nothing to do with Southwest (yet). But I actually enjoy Ramen Noodles sometimes and interested in the recipes. I never use all the seasonings they have in those packets. But I heated Ramen up in the hot pot at school. I always ate Ramen when studying for my Accounting Tests. My Psych tests (which I loved Pyschology – I got Nacho Belle Grande’s and water and studied on site at The Bell) as kind of a treat. I guess all the other subjects I just studied on the go wherever I was. lol. Funny how food and memories go together.

So…

Decorating with cookbooks

Greek and Cuban aren’t exactly SouthWest either but these peeked my attention, and fit the color bill. My kitchen could probably use a coat of pain at this point, 12 years in, but…I’d rather not have to do that so hopefully a bit of fantastic can clean up the walls a bit with some spring cleaning. Til then, covering it up with cookbooks works for me. I don’t see as detailed as I used to – so often do not even notice how dusty/dirty things can get til I see a photo or put my head up really close. I can’t stand things unclean, and now after getting up close and seeing dust I’ve not know was there sent me going through the kitchen with an extended duster (to the ceiling for cobwebs), door facing tops, picture tops, and I was astonished at how dirty the kitchen curtain was (the old one I took down) that I went to the living area and took down all the curtains and washed them.

I also took the pillows from the sun room and washed the covers and put them in the den. I may have washed these once before. But I bet it was 6 to 8 years ago, if then. But they came out great when zipped back on. And I’ll use these as they go with the den so well. The doggies and humans love the pillows. I’m glad these are washable as now we’ll be washing them more. The old ones I had in the den were washed as well and will go out in the sun room. You had to wash the WHOLE pillow with those but they survived and are drying in the sun room.

More decor in the kitchen:

Cactus backsplash decor
Needs something!

So the nice bigger black board is up. Yes the snack containers need some reorg too. And I had a wreath bought to place here next to the blackboard but did not like it. So I’ve got to think of something else to put there. Nothing in the house fit the bill for that. I considered a calendar but think it will be best to be put in the den where we can reach it better to update it w/o having to reach over the microwave cart stand and snack baskets. I will have this resolved quickly as I cannot stand an empty space like that. But I wanted the chalkboard where we could reach it too so I didn’t center it on purpose, knowing we could just put something to the left of it. I thought about painting a big cactus. Then I remembered I sold my paint set as I’d not used it in 15 years, and I don’t have time to paint anyway – especially with oils. Although I may reconsider in my old age at some point. But I have far more fun making graphics. I haven’t even done that much either as photography is kinda more my thing now. I’m no expert and honestly don’t really want to know all the details of photography – as I’m too impatient for that. I just use the eye and go for it.

Anyway…it’s been fun placing the ordered decor and kinda sad that it seemed like for all I spent, there was little to show for it. I guess normally these things are bought over time and not all at once. I haven’t and don’t usually spent a lot on house decor and this was year as so much needed updating. I try to go downstairs in the basement and shop for what we have, but at least it looks nice (sort of) and will try to solve this constant itch to redo the counter and floors – at least for a while. But we are getting to the point where if we are going to continue to live here, we need to do something with it. I’m so sick of the blue linoleum that I am to the point of wanting to do something temporary if we are not going to do something permanent. I was trying to hold out for wood flooring through kitchen and den and hallway. But I’m about ready for more linoleum if we are going to wait forever. I’ve been patient in this arena for the 12 years we’ve been here.

We have spent a lot though on Christmas (A LOT) and we have spent a lot in TX, and we were planning a trip to Amelia Island but I was told to hold off as George doesn’t know what is happening with his job, he said. 😦

So…I’ve been wondering how the year would play out with vacays. Sounds like George not wanting to get Amelia Island on the books yet, but it’ll be ok. I told him that while I like an ocean view, on the next vacay I’m ok with downscaling our condo type unit to a more low key sleep and go type of thing – although would be nice to have a kitchenette with stove so we can cook breakfast in the room. But not even necessary. I told him that I’d like for this vacay to be more about getting out and exploring, taking photos, seeing places and even being on the road some. There are lots of islands and excursions to do along the coast there. I even want to be on a boat some and he said we could go deep sea fishing. He seemed relieved and excited that I was up for exploring. He doesn’t like to sit on the beach for days on end. My days are over for that as well. I told him I was good for walks on the beach and maybe an afternoon or so. WE both will be in it for the food. So he’s not ready for us to book it yet. But when we do hopefully it’ll be cheaper as we won’t stay on the beach this time but from a distance. As long as I get some walks in by the ocean and some exploring along it’s side – I’ll be good and that will be a good compromise. Mom will be going with us and anyone and everyone can go along for the excursions as they desire. But can’t plan it yet. Since we will not be oceanside the scurry to score a decent room at a decent price will not be urgent as urgent and we will be ok with staying away from beachfront. They won’t go as fast. Hopefully. All that said we have the option of staying in a couple of places if we so choose, for the sake of extended exploring. We still want to be able to spend time with Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken as well. Looking forward to planning this when George feels he can be off some. I wondered if maybe he was avoiding the expense but I think he would have come out and said it if he was.

Anyway, Katy and I FaceTimed at 3 p.m. yesterday and planned our girls trip for the year. She and I are going to Tulsa and to see Pioneer Woman. I really thought we were just going to look at things and see and then book later, but after our 2.5 hour face time over wine to plan our trip – we are now booked with airlines, hotel, rental car and have our places to eat picked out and the things to do picked out. lol

So…what is hilarious and an awesome thing…when I was telling her about my flight choices and we were comparing to try and arrive in Tulsa as close together as we could we discovered that we could arrive at the SAME TIME…which led to us discovering that we would be on the same flight! lol lol lol lol. She has to fly in from Dallas. I can’t fly to Tulsa direct so I have to connect to Dallas to get there. So we’ll be on the same flight going in. We booked it the same way coming home. I’ll be picking her up and dropping her off in Dallas! HOW COOL IS THAT?

So..the tickets weren’t so cheap for me but could have been worse I guess. $500 round trip – actually more but I used some points I had and then bought more points which made it about $100 cheaper buying with points rather than buying ticket with $ and I have some points left over.

We are excited about the trip. I know there will be a day when we won’t be able to take them each year – when she has kids it’ll be harder to do in many ways. We probably shouldn’t be spending the money either. But we are enjoying these jaunts about as we can. We want to venture further out but the flights are even more. We both love Ree Drummond the Pioneer Woman and are looking forward to this excursion as a part of our trip. It took forever to figure out where to stay in relation to things we want to do. We will be staying at a nice hotel known for it’s awesome plump beds and I got the AARP rate and there’s free parking and free breakfast and the room was decently priced. So happy about that. But flying in and out of Nashville has become expensive due to it’s popular destination now. That is always going to be a problem on my end I think. Plus Tulsa is no direct flight and that means two flights for me each way.

Kitchen Decor

So…do you think we need more timers? lol

Was on my feet all day pretty much until dinner and then sat under a blanket and the cat joined me. I love this!

Slept til 8 this morning (yesssss!) and did a Bible Study on my new apps on the iMac. I miss YouVersion on here but found three that I use separately. One is a Bible app with various translations and access to free online research. Another is a prayer app where you can track your prayers and see God working in your life. It’s category based. And also a Bible Study app which has plans similar to YouVersion. I finished Ecclesiastes and started another on the nature of God.

Scotch Eggs in the Air Fryer

George fixed Scotch Eggs in the air fryer. These are sausage encased eggs, air fried – no oil. Dipped in a mustard vinegar sauce. It was so good. Quite the trouble though. However, he wanted a cook book that was a little more intense and this one was in the cookbook I gave him for Christmas – or if not it was where he got the idea. So he did good. They were great. I only ate one and saved one for later. One was very filling.

I need to go get a shower, finish up some laundry and ironing, vacuum, and maybe have some time for some shows to catch up on – maybe with some afternoon pop corn and a frozen hydrate after.

I need to redo my “to do” list for next week. It’s pretty easy stuff now that Christmas is over. Mainly:

  • Get dog appointments set for April
  • Turn in vacay time at work for our trip
  • Look up Chili Mac Casserole
  • Make Orzo salad b/c I’ve been craving it
  • Finish thinking up my 7 favorite books of all time (scared I’m going to miss one).
  • Winter Bucket List is past due. I will call it “Winter into Spring” (Jan – March)
  • Finish the decor in the kitchen

I never really talked about my goals for 2020 and never really decided on any. Some just emerged in my thinking – I’d like it to be simpler, try to spend less $ as I feel we’ve been blowing it out the water recently lol but have nothing so far into 2020 to establish that yet as I have done nothing but spend since the year turned – although much of it with $ from Christmas. But this trip was not so cheap. And here I sit wondering about more trips, updated kitchens, and flooring, and a bluetooth printer for the iMac (I have differed until it becomes quite necessary), the graphics program for outlook or parallel for outlook which is likely- thus making me want to save more so that can happen. So I did quit coloring my hair! lol. At least there is that. I do want to just enjoy life, blog, eat well, read, spend time in God’s word, write beyond blogging if He leads me to do that, take photos, see new places and yes TRAVEL until my heart is content. I will long for the RV travel til the day I die, and of course that is a big huge goal that I may never see, but it’s always gonna be my “maybe someday – somehow”.

Probably blog again mid week if not before. We’ll see what comes up that I want to share or write about. Today was fun though, just getting to sit and pour my heart out!

Off to spruce up the place, get the clothes sorted for the week (iron mainly) and listen to Sally Field’s autobiography while I do so. Oh and when taking breaks, I love to the app Web Camera Online on my iPad. I will try to take some screen shots for ya. It’s a great place to people watch from your home. lol. I love looking at airstrips, mountains, landscapes (sunrises/sunsets), bodies of water with their boats moving about, Australia now too – trying to see the smoke and what the state of the region is. Snoksred? How ya’ll doing? If you are reading? (From Australia). What part or region are you from? Anyway will take some snapshots of some things I’m viewing on there. It’s just fun to pop in. There was a couple fixing dinner in Ogden Utah. You have to wonder if these people know they are on cam? There are restaurants, laundry mats and pools, and hot tubs. lol. I love watching one site where the people land into a pool coming out of a slide. This has provided hours of entertainment. But my favorite is a family from Vineland. I just love their family and three dogs. Last night the woman disappeared for a while and came back with ice cream shakes, lol. They were all cuddled up with their fur babes, much like our own household watching TV. I pop in during commercials to see how they are. I love seeing them talk and hug their pets. So odd to me to be able to do this. I don’t think I could. But who knows with all the equipment we have, we may be on line too and don’t know it, lol.

5 thoughts on “Updating Decor, Cleaning, and More Travel!

  1. Hubby and I have opposite organizational styles too. He likes his stuff spread out (on.every.single.flat.surface) and I like mine contained and a few decorative on horizontal surfaces. But we survive it. Especially since like you, I am less concerned about visual clutter these days. 🙂
    Your girl’s trip sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the clutter in my living room is contained. but my dining room is another story. not to mention the laundry room. it’s nice your hubby packed up all the ornaments and things for you. i hope he can hang onto the job. it’s terrible when you’re let go because of new management. like your new curtains, the blackboard looks great and will serve your purpose well. i think it was kind of clever to use the cookbooks. it gives the room a nice vibe.it’s terrific that you and katy are going to tulsa to see the mercantile of the pioneer woman. i love her coffee mugs. got quite a few. and gave one to my mom for mothers day last year. traveling in an rv is probably fun at first, not sure i would want to do it fulltime like you do. but it’s an interesting way to see the world. i hope someday your dream will come true. bad weather seems to be behind us. it was almost 70 here on friday. but tonight it’s near freezing. take care. hope you have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your new curtains. Where did you find them? I would like to change mine to something like that. And the chalkboard is a great idea. It is good your husband helps you around the house. Many hands make light work. And it will be so handy to just grab a cookbook and make a new recipe with how you have them. Your trip with your daughter sounds like so much fun. I would love to go out west and vacation. It is a rainy day here. A good day to dream of a nice vacation. I hope you have a good week ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a nice long post written in relax mode. Your decorations take down resembles the one at my house.:0
    I tried to put out less this year, but failed. The curtains look really nice. Good choice there. I hope your week is going smoothly & without hassles. Be cool!
    Monica

    Liked by 1 person

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