Friday, October 23, 2009

The One Where My House is Killing Me…


     Most of my decorating projects have been put on hold lately because we realized something really earth shattering while on vacation.

     I have had allergies and asthma all of my life, so when they got worse earlier this year, I really didn’t notice much. At first I chalked it up to the season change, some other health issues, getting the beloved MurphyGrace, etc.

     Finally, last month it was getting so bad that I started a journal of sorts, recording what I ate, what time I started wheezing, if I worked in the yard, painted, all of the things that might effect my runny eyes, stuffed up nose and me reaching for the inhaler. I thought that I could find a pattern. I even tried to write down the times that I crawled around on the 30 plus year old carpet with MurphyGrace!

     We went to Chicago and it ALL STOPPED. I used maybe three tissues and didn’t have to take allergy meds or use my inhaler the entire time. (and they have three dogs)

     The only common denominator in all of my obsessive journaling was this…..

     The place we call Liberty Ranch is killing me! We looked in the obvious places for mold, like sinks and such, but didn’t really see anything. Then we walked around the house itself and found tons of mold on the stucco and the from the outside, you could see tons of black mold around the window frame in the bedroom. There was actual moss growing on the walls in some spots. (Like the stuff that you buy to decorate floral arrangements with!)

     Luckily, we rent. That is about the only time you will hear me say that I feel lucky for renting. That means all of this is not really our problem, but we have to move.

     So I have been busy scouring our little town for rentals or possibly a place for sale. We have a huge demand list and it is tough going, but I am sure that we will find a place. The thought of moving for the second time in a year is a huge blow and I really love the layout of this house, but I can’t tell you how good the prospect of not feeling so sick every day feels.

     Have you ever dealt with mold or another issue in a house that affects your health?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

You Light Up My Life!


      The main reason that you seldom see pictures of the inside of my home is because I am in dire need of better lighting. Let’s just say that it is a cave and leave it at that.

     What this means to you, my dear thrifty minded readers, is that I am always on the look out for lamps of any kind. This week we found a pair of lamps that so reminded Art & I of our trip to Chicago that we found ourselves hugging them to our bodies as we wandered through Goodwill.

  $20 for two lamps that reminded us of the skyscrapers on our trip. They are really heavy, tall and just need some lamp shades. (Anyone have a good source?)

     Our next stop after Goodwill was the local library. Three or four times a year, they have a used book sale and I go a bit nuts. The last hour of the sale, you can get a paper grocery bag full of books for 50 cents.  If you read a lot, need some books to decorate with, or would like to expand your crafting/decorating book selection, this is the place for you. (I urge you to contact your library to see if and when they have sales)

     I came home with 5 bags of books. Yeah, I read a lot, but not all of it was for reading. I picked up these three because they were not only classics, but were pretty display books too.

     Next stop was Restore, where someone had bought the wrong size knobs for a desk. I am not going to say who, let’s just say that it wasn’t me;)

     We had a whopping $6.50 credit and I grabbed some paint and this cute little wall shelf. $5, maybe more than I would have paid at a garage sale, but it goes to a great cause, Habitat for Humanity.

     I am linking up to the very first “I’m a Flea Marketeer Party” at Flea Market Style, so make sure you go by there and see all of the great style makers!


A Genie of a Lamp and Things to Do with Burlap #4

    I have shared this lamp before that I picked up for peanuts…..    

     A bit brassy and I don’t mean the good kind of brassy. A simple spritz with spray paint and I know have this jobbie to light up my life.

     On to “Things to Do With Burlap”, California got hit with a major storm last week. I was gone, but thought that my stash of burlap would be safe under the patio cover. I was wrong! The stack got a bit damp so today I decided to cover part of my driveway in burlap.

     Okay, it isn’t really a burlap project, but it made me grateful that we have a really huge driveway!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chicago Randomness


     I won’t bore you with the over 300 pictures of various buildings that made we weak in the knees in Chicago. There are some shots though that may make you laugh or at least smile.

     This was the view from our room…Um, no, this was actually a display at The Field Museum. They did have Sue, the largest, most complete and best preserved T. Rex in the world. (Yes, I just copied that sentence from the guide book)

     This is Rudy, one of three dogs that Art’s sister has. Rudy was a big help in keeping an eye on me while I climbed up the ladder on the Frank Lloyd Wright house.

     See what I mean? I don’t know if she thought that she would catch me or what, but she was on patrol.

     This was in the front yard of one of the beautiful homes in Oak Park. It made me giggle.

     A fountain, that seemed like it was designed more as an after thought. It was in a strange place, right next to the sidewalk. Cute, but sort of dangerous to passers by.

     The evil squirrel! Doesn’t he look possessed??

     Murphy Grace made it through at summer camp and was happy to see us. (I think) He has stuck pretty close ever since we got home.

     There was a big storm at home while we were gone. Big by California standards and the house was trashed when we got home. Yeah, I could have done without that.

    Still, there is no place like home and I find myself energized and ready to take on some new projects. Isn’t that what vacations are for?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stepping in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Footsteps


     One of the things that I was most excited about seeing in Chicago was the architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Louis H. Sullivan, they were all here.

     Being an armchair Architectural Historian and my favorite style being the Arts & Crafts/Prairie Style , I practically had a heart attack when I learned that my sister-in-law, a master mason, was working on restoring a chimney on a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home.

     Yesterday, I got the opportunity of a lifetime. I climbed up a huge ladder and wandered around on the roof of the house that she was working on. It was one of the most thrilling things that I have ever done. I am not sure what that says about my life and it’s lack of excitement, but I don’t care!

     I haven’t had a chance to edit these at all, but here is my shinning moment….

And here is the home…

     I can’t thank Lori enough for giving me the chance to do something that so few people get to do. I woke up this morning pinching myself.

     Do you love architecture? Do you have a favorite period or architect?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Leaving, On a Jet Plane….


I am all packed and ready on the sunny coast of CA, here…..

Set to leave for the Windy City here…..

Murphy grace looked like this today when I dropped him off at the Paw Spa….

So, I better not come back Thursday to him looking like ….

Take care and have a great week!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Best Thrifty Week EVA!


     First, thank you all for your birthday wishes for my mom and I. I had the best day!! I can’t really remember the last birthday where I didn’t mope around and whine about getting older. I didn’t do it once this year and I think that I owe everyone a hug for that! (There was that one moment when my dad asked if I was 40, but I laughed that one off)



     Having been on a thrifty hiatus for a couple of weeks, I made up for it the last few days. There is a lot of stuff, so I will just get to it!

Really ugly lamp- $3.50 I have already sprayed this baby and she is beautiful!

Random Frames- 50 cents a piece.

Big Frame and silver platter- $2 each

Killer bookend - $2 Does anyone know who this is?

Magazine Rack- $5 Just calling out for some paint, doncha’ think?

Unworn Land’s End Mocs-$2 I have been wanting these every time the catalog comes out, but they are like $40.

Best find $5 for a huge bolt of this fabric that is really hard to take a picture of. It is sort of satiny and will be great for lining things, like burlap stockings!

    The rest of this week is going to be busy with getting ready to leave for Chicago on Saturday. MurphyGrace will be going to the boarder for the first time. I really hope that he doesn’t think that I am returning him to the shelter! (He was a two-time loser, poor guy)


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to Mom!


     My mom’s birthday is tomorrow and with all of the planning for the trip to Chicago, I sort of forgot put off buying a gift for her! In my defense, we share the same birthday and I think that I was trying to ignore my birthday and did the job too well.

     What is a girl to do when she lives in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t have enough time to shop online? PAINT!

     Meet Pogo-

     My mom is a Golden Retriever nut and well, I am not that great of a painter. So I went for charming and sort of Snoopy like.



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