Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter Picnik in Indiana

Winter came to our southern part of Indiana this past weekend.
Overnight our streets and parking lots turned into ice rinks.
Thankfully, it hasn't lasted long, due to rising temperatures,
and now we are back to our normal gloomy January days.
(Remind me why we cancelled that Florida trip???)

I opened an email on Saturday telling me that the photo enhancing website
that I use will be shutting down come April.
At first I thought it was a hoax, but as the day wore on, I saw other postings
and knew that change was coming.
I don't do "change" very well.
I get stuck in a rut & it's hard for me to climb out.

At least we have a few weeks to still play around with it & find other options.
Meanwhile....I'm having a Picnik!
(If you want to find me, I'll be at my computer enhancing
a thousand or so snapshots!)

And I've read the warnings that Google will be changing,
meaning Blogger we will no longer be able to link up with other blogs
as we do now.  (Can you tell that I don't know what I'm talking about?)
So...I spent Saturday evening saving all of my favorite blog links
to my "favorites".

My own interests have changed over the last few months
and I find myself not being online as much...
and that's a good thing.
Blogging ideas don't come as quickly.
Maybe it's the winter weather that makes me growl like a hibernating bear.
I'm thinking those icicles need to melt a little so I can get my "blog" back!

How is your winter affecting you?
I think I'll go grab one of my new gardening catalogs & do
 a little summer dreaming.

For you that are interested in other photoshop websites
for links to other options.
Happy Picniking .... while it lasts!

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Hide-away

We don't have a basement.
But we have the next best thing to it...
an upstairs playroom/turned Mom's hide out.

For all of the years that our 2 children were home,
this upstairs area was their "playroom"
and that is still how we refer to it.
But after they sprouted their wings & left my nest...
I took over their space.

This is where we spend our evenings or free time.
Even though we both have our own desktop computers
just around the corner in the office, I usually end up on the sofa
with my laptop, my Kindle, and a stack of magazine.
Why sit at a desk when I can recline & do the same thing?

The playroom is "L" shaped,
the walls being shorter than standard
with sloped ceilings.
You wouldn't believe how much "stuff" I have crammed into it!

Normally, I never let anyone other than close family members
or friends that won't squeal about how we live "upstairs"!
This area is sort of off limits.

Not too many years ago, this area was decorated in the "retro" look.
There was a Coke border around the room,
a Coke pop machine that had been converted into a bar,
lots of '50's & '50's memorabilia, etc., etc.
I finally tired of it, moved the Coke bar to Bob's car shop,
bought cube style shelving from Archivers,
slapped on a coat of taupey-gray (I don't remember the name) paint,
and took ownership.

Here is a peak or two at my clutter . . .

In reality, I am probably a hoarder.
I think I'm going to clear out closets,
but mostly can't bear to get rid of things with any sentimental attachment.
These shelves are full of photos from years gone by.
Peaking out of the left corner is the rocker
that we bought when Jeff was a baby,
my little dresser-vanity that is almost 60 years old,
and my rocking chair that is from my childhood.

There are Longaberger baskets, Boyds Bears,
and boxes that hold family treasures.
I have found the decorative boxes a good way
to store things I want to keep
but don't want to necessarily display.
Sometimes I take a peak inside these boxes
and surprise myself at what I have hidden away!

In the past few years, I have learned with the loss of my parents
and all of their siblings, that I have lost a great source of family history.
I no longer have someone that will answer questions
of things that happened long ago.
So . . . as I go through old photographs, I am trying to remember
to write on the back of each picture, identifying those
that my own children will not know.

For a while, I spent most of my free time working on family genealogy.
I still love it and work on it when I can.
I have notebooks of information on our family,
mostly files that were shared with me from someone else
that had done the research and hard work.
Just last week, I received an email from someone who had
seen data I had posted to
That person is a very distant cousin and he happily shared
his files and sent me photos of my great-great-grandparents!
Hopefully, my children will someday want to look through these notebooks.

There are drawers full of old family VHS videos
that need to be converted to DVD.
There is a cabinet full of old slides, both ours and my fathers,
that need to be scanned and converted to digital files.
There is an ironing board that never seems to be put away,
always a line of shirts waiting to be be ironed.
There are drawers full of scrapbooking papers, embellishments,
punches, stamps, inks & scissors...
waiting to decorate albums that are stacked along the wall...
also waiting to be filled with photos.

My goal for these cold winter months
is to clear out some of this clutter
and get rid of the excess.
So far, I have only gathered up about one bag...
and that was just clothing that we no longer wear.

So if you wonder where I am,
I'll be upstairs...
in my hideaway...
the one you aren't allowed to see!

I spiffed it up a bit for this post! 

Decorating Disclaimer:
I know the sofas are navy blue and the rug is black...
but the sofas won't wear out & are just too comfy to discard.
Besides, this is a hodge podge room
and definitely doesn't qualify for any beauty ribbons!
We just love it and live in it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Life Happened . . .

I think I left you stranded on a mountain ~
and with the intentions of taking you to Virginia.
But that didn't happen
and without apology or explanation for my non-blogging period,
I will just say that life happened...
a lot of it!

and now we will go on.

To catch you up with our life happenings . . .

After 3 years of being part of our lives, due to health issues,
my brother packed up and headed back to California
for an adventure of his own.
Steve is in the process of getting his bride here from across the seas
and we wish them the best.
Maybe some day I will tell you about it . . .

We celebrated Thanksgiving with all of our family here
along with my sister & her family from Kansas,
plus a friend of Kylie's from New Zealand.
It was 5 days of food & fun,
with 18 here from turkey dinner!

The end of November brought birthday celebrating for Jeff.
(I can't believe that my baby is 35 years old!) sister

We did some Black Friday shopping,
went to a Decorator's Showcase
and made a quick trip to our scenic little village of Nashville.
Quality sister time!

There were Christmas programs to attend -

Family time with the Thompson Clan
Rebekah & Kevin (Bob's brother) with Jeff

Dad Thompson & Rosemary
with Vickie (Bob's sister)

The festive looking Walden's, Jonathan & Karen (our daughter)
...and me

A lunch outing at Elsbury's Nursery with some church lady friends

A little decorating . . .

Then we had a surprise visit from my cousin from Kansas
and I just had to take her to Elsbury's
(I have tons of Christmas pics that I won't bore you with)

Dinner with Duane & Luana
at Zaharakos
our local ice cream shop from 1900 that has been refurbished . . .
a local treasure!

a trip to Bloomington for lunch with Aunt Donna

and lots and lots of shopping!

sugar cookies were the last minute!

Christmas was celebrated
with the little people
who make it worth all of the stress & work!

The week after Christmas I left my tree & decorations up
and we did some entertaining. 
One night we had Bob's sister & her hubby out for dinner,
something we seldom take time to do.
Another night we went out to dinner with friends whom we had neglected
way too long.  Dessert was back at our house
with a great night of catching up.
And to top the week off...
all 6 grandkids came & spent the night!

Paige helped with the dishes

Brycen & Peyton had a little DS challenge going

Carter relaxed in the recliner

while Kerrigan & Parker figured out new games & their Ipods.

If was a fun, noisy night & one they hopefully will remember.

Since the New Year,
we have celebrated our son-in-laws birthday,
along with the twins 6th birthday.

So you can see,
life really has happened around here
and I don't see it slowing down for a while.
There were several sentimental moments along the way
that I just couldn't find time to write about,
but I have missed it.
Hopefully, I won't leave you on any more mountains!