February 14, 2014

Hello, Winter.

Hello, Winter. We've been waiting.

Accumulation around 9:00 a.m.
We totaled from 4" to 5" depending on
where you were stepping.
I woke yesterday to my very own Winter Wonderland. And the snow that was falling as I slept the night before, was still falling.

So, Ruth and I did a snow jig. Then, I layered up and forced Walter to get out of the bed and join me outside. (He got a snow day, too!)

But before we went out, I saw my phone blinking and decided I'd better check it. Remember that little voice that was telling me to enjoy the snow while it lasted. Well, at first it sounded a little like Chris Bailey, but yesterday morning it sounded like my mom's. Why? Because she basically sent me a text saying this snow will self destruct in less than 24 hours.

The real text: You'd better enjoy it. It's going to warm up.

Instead of letting my happiness disintegrate like the snow usually does when it enters the atmosphere near my house, I accepted the challenge.

Mission impossible. I don't think so. So here's some pictures that capture our operation: snow day.

The Morning.

1. Photo Ops. The beauty of the falling snow along along with the deep blanket that covered the ground made for some photo ops that I hadn't been able to capture previously.

For the past (almost) year, I've been using the same subjects, but taking pictures of them throughout the different seasons. I finally got the chance to capture the farm during one of winter's finest hours.

Rather than doing lots of color, the high contrast led me to do more black and white photos this time. Or at least cut the saturation back a little.
The barn during the snow fall.

Rock Cottage
Tire swing
The same tree line after more accumulation.

Add caption

Is this real life?

The walnut tree lane
This is the tree that turns a brilliant red in the fall.

2. Snow ball fight. Of course, no snow day is truly a snow day without hitting your companion with a snowball the size of their head and the density of a brick.


Ruth's favorite season by far. 

3.Snow Angel. There's something special about falling into the puffy, wet snow and sweeping your limbs back and forth.

40 degrees and melting.
4. Snow Cream. We took a break to get warm and dry off with some breakfast. Then, for lunch, Walter made some snow cream.

 5. Sledding. Mom and Dad dropped the sled off to us. This was perfect timing. Because by this point, the sun was out in full force. We got to sled a while before the driveway snow disappeared.
Head first.
Feet first.

Dog tired.
(I have some video, but I'm not sure how to add them just yet.)

6. Build a snow man. Our very last task. We put a construction company hat on him in hopes that if he does come to life, he'll know what is expected of him.

Even though I was hoping the inches of snow would stick around long enough for Walter to have today off too, I can't really complain. It was a great day, and I finally got to do the winter things I love with the one I love.

My Valentine's Day plug. 

Today, snow is still lying in my yard (believe it or not). That isn't the only thing that's different. This time, instead of me stalking the snow, the snow is stalking me.


Happy Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2014

It's the BIG one!

Let me start by saying I am a fan of snow.

Just the beginning accumulations.
Yesterday, my passion for winter and snow was nearly uncontainable. All day long, there was talk of a snow that would bring inches of the white powder to my neck of the woods. So, despite telling myself not to get my hopes up, I was hoping that this would be the big one.

Yes, in my state it has been colder and snowier for most. But not for me. My yard has been a snow vacuum.

snow vacuum (noun)
    1. a space entirely devoid of snow
    2. the snowfall where I live, well,  sucks 

I would read every forecast and watch every radar (to the point that if it were a person, a restraining order would have been necessary) in hopes of getting a chance to sled, build a snowman, make a snow angel or make snow cream. Yet, every time, my hopes would be crushed as I'd watch snow flakes fall to their doom on my front lawn. 

I'd have to settle for snow stalking my friends on Facebook. I'd watch in jealousy as they would be living in a winter wonderland, while I, well, didn't. I'd press my imaginary DISlike button on anyone's status who had inches of snow lying around and wished for spring to come.

Ok, so maybe that is an exaggeration. (What's sad is this is just a slight exaggeration.)

But, come on. I saw a picture of the welcome to Florida sign and even they had gotten more snow than I did. Not right. 

However, yesterday evening at 5:00 p.m. something wonderful happened. Snow fell. More importantly, it didn't melt. Yet, in the back of my mind, I felt this little voice telling me that I'd better enjoy it while it lasts.  You see, around here, with great snow comes great temperatures. Temps go from the low thirties to the forties or fifties, and the snow melts in about 24 hours...

I had to go out and take pics as soon as the snow began accumulating for fear it would all disappear.

The cottage on the hill. It hardly gets any love in the pics, but the glowing lights amid the snow made it so pretty.
...So, as soon as the snow started falling, I grabbed my camera and took advantage of the snowfall hoping to capture some moments I missed in the last snow. About every hour, I would open the door and check to see if it was still there.

It was.

So, I stayed up way too late reveling in the beauty of it. Admiring its beauty in the moonlight.

Ok, now it sounds like I love snow a little way too much.

When I saw that it was accumulating pretty quickly (and the caffeine and cardio from drinking coffee and dancing due to my reveling wore off), I went to bed hoping, when I awoke, there would be even more.

And there was.

(Tune in tomorrow for today's snow day pics.)

Chalk it up to "Board"em. February Edition.

Although, the "Baby, it's cold outside" board was fitting for February, in honor of hearts everywhere I went with this design. Inspired by an Etsy artist who sells this print, I wanted a Valentines feel without the gushy stuff. The hot beverage was an ode to the still cold temps outside.

So, tomorrow is another snow day. And I am going to definitely enjoy it with a cup of my hot beverage of choice-- coffee.

After a sweet gift from my brother and sister in law (a Keurig, it's like a coffee shop at your fingertips), I drink it every morning and at night. 

BUT because I couldn't fall asleep until three in the morning due to a Jessie Spano-esque caffeine high for several nights in a row, I made a rule: no coffee after nine ten  eleven(?)-- never mind. The point is I'm admitting I have a problem, so that obviously means I'm working on it.

Enjoy your day!

February 12, 2014

Warm up = work day.

I have always had an appreciation for things of decades past. I treasure stories of my family's past. I can quote lines from classic movies more than any other genre. I was a fan of the Beatles and the Rat Pack in high school while others were singing along with Nelly and Outkast. 

While most kids were singing along with Barney the dinosaur, I was laughing at Barney Fife.

Don't get me wrong, I share childhood favorites with fellow nineties kids, too. But, there is something that has always drawn me in when it comes to vintage vibes. Perhaps it's the rugged elegance. Maybe it's the worn beauty. 

Whatever it is, it's why I love our house. While it is a World War II era home, it is still rich with history. When we bought it, we had a nice talk with the family of brothers and their wives who grew up in the house. They shared their memories of the place and were so glad it would be a home to new family and new memories. 

One of my favorite finds in the house were it's old doors. After my mini melt down, Walter and I began chipping away at restoring this old door. It's a beaut.

Love at first sight. For both. :)

The doors in this house are an eclectic mix. No two are the same. (Well, the two small ones would be, but the paint job makes them differ.) This door though is my favorite. 

We didn't get very far on this project due to the fact our "heat wave" didn't get up to the temperature required to apply the stripper. I'll post updates as they come. 

*By the way, the stack of boards that led to my mini melt down (and I say mini because I've had a lot worse), are cut out of these pics.

Until next time! (I really need a catchphrase to end these things.)

February 1, 2014


Today was a beautiful day. The sky was cloudless. The weather was warm for a moment. The possibilities seemed endless.

Planning for my day today, I imagined starting in a coffee shop, perusing thrift stores, and finding hidden treasure for my new home, that I could work on restoring to show its true beauty.

Other fantasies were Walter and I going hard to work, tackling several projects and accomplishing so much, getting us closer to our new home.

Yes, today was a beautiful day.

But today, I just felt this uncontrollable urge to cry. So I did.

No amount of comfort could stop my tears. Only time.

It wasn't anything anyone said. It could have been due to the lack of sleep I had for the past few nights. It could have been due to the hard blows life has dealt as of late. It could have just been mood swings.

I think all of that probably had something to do with it.

But it could have also been that this "project" we've taken on, this choice to do it all ourselves (sometimes, I don't think it's as much as a choice as we don't have many other options), is hard. There are moments when I am happy and love it. Then, there are moments when I feel so overwhelmed that I don't see how we will ever accomplish it.

I know we will. It's just sometimes, it feels like we won't. As a person who likes to dive in and tackle obstacles and see extreme results. This remodeling stuff just doesn't yield. For every major project, there are at least twenty menial tasks that have to be done first, leaving me frustrated. It's as if we are climbing a never ending staircase, keeping us from reaching our destination.

When I stepped into our garage and saw piles of trim still full of nails, covered in heavy paint then, took in the sight of old doors I hoped to be walking through soon lying on their sides, I just felt so frustrated. I felt like we've gotten no where.

Then, I stepped into the house and saw the floor that Walter removed last month. The walls that had been taken down together. I walked back to the garage stepped to a stack of trim that had all the nails removed. I stared down at the garage floor as I took in all the rusty nails that my husband had pulled out. To make me happy. Because the truth is, I have these moods more than I'd like. These moods where I feel like my dreams are only that, dreams.

But then, I remember when we first got married, I told Walter my dream. To have a house. Because I'd never had lived in a house. So, now we have two. My past self would have never thought that would ever come true. But it has. And together, we'll make this dream come true too.

Today was a beautiful day, it began with breakfast and coffee with my husband. Then, we perused the garage for some hidden treasures for our house. We grabbed an old door, and with Walter's lead, we began scraping off the old chipped paint in order to show it's true beauty. Revealing a hidden treasure. Together.