Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Oh the Sweet Days of Summer!

Please join me and many others from many parts of the world today for
1. "Summer is like childhood. It's full of warm memories and gone too soon."~Kellie Elmore  Agree or disagree? Share something you loved about the summers of your childhood.

I agree with this statement.  However, I will have to admit that after our children left home, "summer" held less significance.  We enjoyed the children being at home and the freedom we all enjoyed and the memories we made during those few short months.  For us now, the summer months are just another part of the year when we do whatever we do whenever we decide to do it.

Ahhhh, the summers for us southern country kids of the 40's and 50's were wonderful lazy days spent playing and imagining; creating and pretending; getting into trouble and having to select your own personal switch; spending time with friends; picnics; fishing.  I loved not having homework, but instead doing creative projects that Mother and Daddy always seemed to provide.  Yes, life was good!
Me playing dress-up.  Little did we know the halter tops, full skirts and stilettos would be in style 60 years later.
2. Are you a fan of auto racing-NASCAR, Indy, Stock, Grand Prix, etc? Ever been to a race in person? Any desire to do this?  Do you know a lot about cars? Do you notice particular makes and models when you're out and about?

Not a racing fan!  Never been to a race and no desire to go.  As a teenager, I could identify every make and model of car on the road.  Now?  Too many and it's really not important.  I did see a Porsche SUV this morning that caught my attention though.

3. What's something you think is too serious to be joked about? Or do you think anything and everything is fair game?

Death, abortion, serious illness, war, one's relationship with God

4. July 29th is National Lasagna Day. Are you a fan? Do you have a great recipe, and if so where did it come from? If given a choice would you choose a plate of lasagna or a plate of spaghetti?

Well, I didn't know there was a National Lasagna Day.  The things we learn from Wednesday Hodgepodge!  When given the choice at our favorite Italian restaurant, it will always be lasagna!

5. What's a simple pleasure you'd miss if it were not a regular part of your life?

Every morning after returning from the gym, Hubby and I make our healthy smoothie then we each spend time in Bible reading and study together in our sunroom.  I miss this time when we get out of our routine, and am so grateful that this a regular part of our retired life together.

6. If you could be the CEO of any company, which would you choose?

Does this one have to be answered?  A few years ago while I was still working, I might have been able to come up with something, but right now I don't even want to think about being in charge of anything.  Been there, done that!

7. August is just around the farewell to July in exactly seven words.

Farewell and welcome August trips and fun!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

In preparation for our upcoming trips, Hubby ordered a zoom lens attachment for my camera.  Bless his heart!  Is he not the sweetest thing?  Anyway, I was sitting in the sunroom playing with the new lens and was able to capture these amazing creatures right outside the window.

We have had several families of Purple House Finch this year, and they have figured how to get the nectar, with their chunky little beaks, from this particular hummingbird feeder.  The baby female on the left is singing to me.
 Because the birds have taken possession of the above feeder, the hummingbirds needed their own too.  Aren't they the most amazing creature!
May God's blessings be new to you every morning as the dew is fresh on the grass each day.

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Travel Wardrobe Plan

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we have two major trips planned for late summer.

I also mentioned that I have been planning my travel wardrobe for these trips.

As we will be driving in our Avalon and not a big SUV, space is of the essence.  I must keep that in mind when doing my planning.
My goal is to get by with as few clothes as possible and yet have what I need.

The Plan!
1.  Make a Plan
Yep, that's the first step of the plan!  Make one!
1st Trip:
Where?  Breckenridge, Colorado
When?   August 1 - 10
Weather?  Range from 72 - 46 or lower
Culture/Level of Formality?  Casual
Activities?   Walking and driving scenic tours; evening concerts, spending time with family

2nd Trip:
Where?  A month-long trip involving stops in Alabama, South Carolina, Maryland, Ontario, Michigan and an extended stay in northern Indiana
When?  August 25 - Sept. 24
Weather?  Extremely varied!
Culture/Level of Formality?  Casual/Business Casual/Dress
Activities?  Visiting friends, touring D.C. area, wedding, boat tour of Niagara Falls, driving scenic tours, touring Henry Ford Museum and grounds, soccer and college football games, Pilates, church

2.  Decide on a Color Scheme
Plan clothing capsules!

This plan will give me 32+ DIFFERENT outfits!
I based my color scheme around 4 pairs of pants:  Blue Jeans, Chocolate Brown, Khaki, Black stretch pants.  I have also added a couple pair of black leggings and a pair of white capris.

With these basic 4 pairs of pants I will have more than enough choices and alternatives for mixing and matching for both of the trips.  Needless to say, I won't be taking everything for the 1 week trip that I will take for the longer one.

I selected loose, long tunics of similar style that will mix and match with all the pants.  They are all solid color so I will have plenty of options for changing a look without tiring of a particular pattern.

Since all are knits, they will roll up and pack easily without wrinkling. 
 This brown-on-brown will be a basic outfit and can be worn so many different ways.
Dressn' Gawdy
  One option.
 For those cool mornings and evenings, I will add a light-weight cardi.
This flowing cardigan will go with all the tops and the blue jeans, brown and khaki pants.
 Each top can be easily mixed with any of the pants and are long enough to wear over leggings.
Coral - Soft Surroundings
Olive - Soft Surroundings
This sheer cinnamon cardi can add another layer when necessary and be left open or knotted.  It can be worn over all of the tops with different affects.
Soft Surroundings
 When something light is needed over the shoulders or around the neck for day or evening, scarves are a great option.
Dressn' Gawdy
  This multicolored cardi incorporates all the colors I will be wearing.
Dressn' Gawdy
 A red tunic will be fun to play with.  Can you see multiple-length strands of pearls, black wedge sandals and a bit of extra make-up for an evening on the town?
Tunic - Dressn' Gawdy
 I absolutely love this orange tunic.  The only jewelry required is a pair of dangling earrings and bracelets.
It looks amazing with the chocolate pants as well. With my short hair I will wear a heavier earring than shown here for balance.
Tunic - Dressn' Gawdy; Capris - Marshalls; Flats - Macy's
 This gauze tunic with intricate beading will take me from day
to evening.
Tunic - Soft Surroundings; Pants - Macy's
Don't buy an item unless it will go with at least 3 other items in your closet.

3.  Limit the Shoes and Accessories
I know it is tempting to take a separate pair of shoes for every outfit.  REFRAIN!
With the outfits I have shown, I will be taking a maximum of 4 pairs!
Black Wedge Sandals
Brown Wedge Sandals
Vionic ortho Sandals

 I will take a very small assortment of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and scarves, most of which are shown in pictures above.
4.  Plan for the Unexpected
Take a coat or jacket and rain apparel.
Have a plan for dressing up an outfit for a nice evening out.

5.  Don't take anything that is not necessary for a particular trip
 I will not be taking 32+ outfit options for a 1-week trip.
6.  Go in Confidence!
If you like to check off things in order not to forget anything, you may want to make a checklist.
There are plenty of choices online.
See how easy this is?  You have everything planned!
You have done your homework and can be confident you will look your best for every occasion.

I am joining Visible Monday  today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This Works for Me!

Happy to join

1. When I look at the sky I feel___________________________________.

Blessed to personally know the Creator of such amazing beauty.
Overwhelmed by its immensity.
Thankful that a God who can create a world and keep the stars, moon, sun and clouds in place, loves  me, knows my heart, and meets every need.

2. If you had to run for political office, which one would you run for? Do you have any real desire to actually do this?

This is a tuffy!  To answer the last question first - NO, I have no aspirations to ever run for a political office.  The logical place to start would be city counsel or school board, but in our city even these entry level offices can be a tough foray into our political climate!

3. What scent makes you think of home?

I'm not sure what you mean by "home."  My parent's home where I grew up?  Probably cooked food.  Mom was a great cook.
Where I spent the greatest amount of time?  It would be the Paper Mill and what we called "Stink Creek."
My house where I currently live?  It would be the Orleans Home Fragrance, "Orleans No. 27."
4. How often do you take a step back to think about where you're headed in life? Do you need more or less self-reflection?

Honestly, I don't do this very often any more.  I think the older I have gotten and especially now that I am retired, I have learned to be content.  This doesn't mean I am all I need to be and don't desire to continue expanding my knowledge and experiences, but I pretty much know where I am headed at this point.

Instead of doing self-reflection, I want to do more Christ-reflection.  It is He I want to be like and not more like the person I would be otherwise.  Make sense?

5. July is National Ice Cream Month...besides a cone, what's your favorite food item to top with ice cream?

Warm peach cobbler!!!!!
6. What might your autobiography be called?

"Without Christ, She Is Nothing!"

7. Your least favorite mode of transportation? Why?

Tram!  Several years ago we rode this tramway to the top of Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, NM.  It is the world's longest aerial tram ride - 2.7 miles to the 10,000-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains.  Oh the beauty to behold, but I was be-holding on for dear life.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Yesterday, a lady stopped me as we walked out of the gym together and told me I have the most beautiful complexion.  Being almost 70 years old, without makeup and dripping with sweat perspiration, I took it as quite a compliment.  I didn't have time to tell her to what I give most of the credit, but I will tell you.  Lea at CC's Corner has already mentioned this on her blog, so this should  be confirmation that it works.

I bought my first Mary Kay from Lea many years ago, and haven't used anything else since.  A couple years ago, they came out this amazing skin care system for the "aging skin."  I fit!!!

Mary Kay Timewise Repair System
If you are interested, you may order it directly from my website:
It works!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Neutra House Finale - Part 3

The O'Brien House Becomes London's Folly!
In late 1999, Diann London decided the 8,500 sq. foot multi-level house they were currently living in was just too much.  She could no longer climb the stairs required in this large house, but she knew she didn't want to leave the South Highland Historic District.

 She mentioned this to a neighbor friend and told her, "You need to find me another house!"
And she did!
The friend's brother, Wesley Glassell had bought the O'Brien House from Mrs. O'Brien in the 1960's and had no intention of selling it in 1999.
That is....
until Wesley received a call from his sister telling him that the Londons needed to buy it.

And that is how Dr. & Mrs. Steve London became the owners of the Neutra House in 2000.
When they bought the house it was only 2,400 sq. feet, which was less than half the size of their previous home.  More room was needed for their family of four including two middle school boys.

Diann told me that when they bought the house they had no idea how special it was until they found all the original blueprints, correspondence, specifications and certificates pertaining to the original house.

Shortly after purchasing the house, they hired local architect Charles Kellogg to design an addition.  Having now become passionate about maintaining the integrity of the house, Diann contacted Dion Neutra, (son of Richard Neutra) in California
 to inquire about possible period furniture that his father may have designed.

In the course of the conversation, she mentioned the addition they were planning.  She said she remembers him saying emphatically,
"Don't let them put granite in the kitchen!"

As a result of this conversation, Dion became a consultant on the project, making sure it was in keeping with the Neutra Name.  As a result, the flow and integrity is seamless.

Last week I showed you a picture of Diann standing where the new addition begins.  The new addition contains two floors including a family room and two bedrooms.
 They did not eliminate stairs completely, but by building a ramp from the kitchen to the new staircases, she did eliminate a few.
To the left are beautifully stained redwood stairs to the family room and the lower stairs lead to the bedrooms. 
The family room continues the open, light theme of the original plan.  They included a mini kitchen and entertainment system to facilitate family gatherings and entertaining.
 As an extension of this room
 the architect designed a balcony with an infinity reflection pool around the outside edge.

This new addition compliments the original house and with the use of glass and the second story reflection pool, continue the connection of the interior spaces with the natural surroundings.
We will now go into the intriguing lower two levels.
The Londons' added a bedroom and bath for both of the boys, plus a utility room on the lowest level.

From this vantage point, you can see three levels of the home.
The purple wall leads you into part of the original bottom floor of the house, now actually the 3rd level.
Here the London's converted the original space into a child's haven.
Both the London boys had a study area with computer connections and plenty of storage.
 Off the study is a fantastic library space for reading, watching TV or just chilling.
Behind one of the shelving units is a secret room!
What child would not love this hiding space, and what woman would not love this additional, out-of-sight, 200 sq. ft storage area?
 The second owners converted the maid's bedroom into a large storage area including a walk-in closet, with access to another bathroom and the garage area.
A characteristic architectural detail that Dion Neutra insisted on including in the addition was the
"Eyebrow" seen outside one of the bedrooms.
Diann found this period table in San Francisco and it is perfect in the dining room along with the modern seating and contemporary glassware reflected in the mirrored shelving.
One of the London's sons found this original Richard Neutra chair in California and gave it to his parents.

"Instead of us changing the house, the house changed us!  We tried to stay with what the house needed."
Diann London

I am sorry to end my blogging about this home.  I have come to appreciate it for so many reasons.  Thank you Diann and Steve for sharing this jewel with me and allowing me to share it with so many others.
 Neutra House - Part 1
Neutra House - Part 2

House for Sale!
Steve and Diann, no longer needing all the 5,137 sq. ft. space, have put the house on the market.

If they could have their way, they would want buyers who will not just like it, but appreciate the specialness of it and allow this house to change them too.

If you know of someone who might be interested, please have them contact the listing realtor. .
  • Beds 5
  • Full Baths 6
  • House Size 5,137 Sq Ft
  • Price $637,000
  • Price/sq ft $124
  • Garage 3 car garage
  • Lot Size 1.24 Acres