Holy babies Batman!

I have been super busy of late and not really been reading blogs like I normally do. This morning I had time to sit down and hit up some of my faves and BOY am I missing out! Two of my favorite bloggers and online friends are having babies. When did I miss that?

Um apparently a little while ago.

Mrs. Stephanie at Brooklyn Limestone is having a baby! She’s due at the end of this year and I can’t wait to find out her plans for the baby’s room. First they have to find out if they are having a boy or a girl.

Mrs. Crystal at Brunette on a Budget is also having a baby! Not to mention they bought a house, a second car and got a second dog. She is having a little girl and the nursery is coming along wonderfully. Check out the French Provicial trash to treasure post.

Congratulations to you both (sorry I dropped off the face of the earth)!

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So many shades of blue…..

Sorry I have been a little absent on this here ol’ blog. Due to a couple recent life changes I have just needed to chill. But I’m back.

To make a long dramatic story short, I find myself in the position of needing a roommate. I’m not going to go in to the story on here as I want this space to be a positive place. Suffice it to say – I filed for divorce last week. There I said it – on the internet. Moving on…..

I am staying in our condo but I need a roommate to ensure I don’t eat more than Ramen and PB&J’s morning, noon and night. I have been decluttering and clearing things out and doing some redecorating.

The master bedroom, closet and bathroom need touch up paint. Since my husband chose the paint color I currently have, I have decided to repaint in a blue that is a little more me – reminicient of the ocean. So my choices are three very similar colors (from left to right in the photo below);  tropical skies, peacock tail and moonlit pool.

Moonlit pool won my unofficial Facebook poll and turned out surprisingly to be my favorite.  When viewing them on the small little paint sample squares I thought for certain I would choose peacock tail. I painted a first coat on a small bedroom wall to see how I liked it.

It’s looking more green that I thought I wanted but I don’t hate it. Tomorrow morning I will paint a second coat and see how I feel about it. I have a tank top that is more the color I want so may have to do some color matching at my local Home Depot.

***Edit

Well I woke up this morning and decided Moonlit Pool was just still too green. It’s a lovely color but not what I want surrounding me on all four walls. Back to my local Home Depot where my awesome friend Micah helped me choose two more colors. Bermudan Blue and I color matched my favorite Old Navy tank top and I’m calling it Paisley’s Pad.

 

 

 

 

Paisley’s Pad looks greener on here than in person. It’s probably the closest to a true peacock blue I am going to get. Bermudan Blue is lighter in the photo above than on the wall but doesn’t have enough green in it.

I believe the winner is Paisley’s Pad!

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I am my father’s daughter…

Sadly last Saturday July 14, 2012 at 5:30 AM my father lost his battle with a brain tumor. He was loved and will be missed by many. I posted about him a few months back here.

In meeting with the priest at my parents church Sunday he asked about memories we had of him. I came to realize that I am my father’s daughter. We have the same crazy personality and sense of humor. We have the same cheeks. We have the same basic outlook on life. I will miss him terribly.

Dad was born in Perryville, MO November 26, 1937. He was the youngest of six children, 2 sisters and 3 brothers. He graduated from McBride High School in St. Louis. In his teens he worked at the historic Fox Theater, which furthered his love of movies. After a brief stint at Washington University he decided to go to auto mechanic school, laying the foundation for a lifelong passion.

Here he is below with his dad and all his siblings and their spouses.

From left to right. First row: my Aunt Gwen (dad’s oldest sister), my aunt Phil (sister), Aunt Betty, my mom, Aunt Phil and Aunt Reba. Back row: Uncle Jack, a different Uncle Jack, Uncle Lee (my dad’s oldest brother), Grandpa, my dad, Uncle Bud and Uncle Dan.

Looking for some direction dad attempted to enlist in the army. He and two friends went down to the local recruiter and signed up on the “buddy system”. Dad didn’t pass the physical exam due to his eyesight and his other friend didn’t pass the written exam. So his third friend went in to the army alone on the “buddy system”. Ironically he ended up in the same unit as Elvis Presley, whom dad was a big fan.

In 1961 dad’s brother Felix (known as Bud to family and friends) asked him if he wanted to move out to Seattle with him. Dad accepted and never looked back.

In Seattle dad worked in the printing industry. Through the Chancellor club, he met and fell in love with a wonderful woman. Shirley Strum, who would eventually become his wife and mother to us three kids; myself, my sister Denise & my brother Mark. He made quite a first impression by stating his job title was “stripper” which is the industry name for lithographer.

Dad was always ready to laugh and tell story after story. Family game night was a particular pleasure and he was tough to beat at Trivial Pursuit. Often after much internal deliberation where the family was all required to be silent, he would pull some obscure factoids from out of nowhere.

Travel was a passion he shared with mom. He always found a way to put together a family vacation whether it was flying to Disney World or road tripping to Yellowstone. I remember we borrowed our Uncle Buds “Mini Wini” and during a particularly violent rainstorm – us three kids had to take turns sitting behind mom in the passenger seat and holding a towel over her head. Over the years, especially after retirement, he looked forward to adventures in faraway places. He and mom traveled to China, Mexico, England and enjoyed several cruises including Alaska and Mexico.

Dad enjoyed working on restoring his cars, specifically Studebakers of which he rebuilt three from scratch. Below are photos of his 1963 Avanti and 1962 Grand Tourismo Hawk. In recent years he loved driving his Porsche Boxster. Having three children in their teens there was no shortage of putting his mechanic skills to good use. He would often answer the phone when my brother called with “what’s wrong with the car now”?

Recently on the fourth of July I was with a friend and his two boys and one of the boys pointed out a plant and asked me if I knew what the flower was called. I immediately without thinking too much about it quoted my dad “well, it’s an aint rose”. My friend’s son looked at me quizzically. I explained my mother is fond of gardening and my dad could never remember the names of all the flowers in her garden. He would say, “there are two kinds of flowers, roses and aint roses. That’s how I keep them straight. If this aint a rose, then it’s an aint rose”. That of course sent my friend’s son in to fits of laughter.

Dad was a person who everyone knew. He loved people and would always chose his friends. He was fun to be around and everyone cherished the advice, love and care which he had to share. You were taken before your time and I love you!

My car has been in the shop and I have been driving my dad’s Porsche Boxster. Yesterday I took him for his last spin from the church to the cemetery.

To quote one of dad’s favorite movies, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.

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Designing With Canine’s in Mind

Here in the paisley household we love our canine. When ultimately a house is purchased it would be great for BJ to have a buddy to pal around with. Keeping in mind the goal is to stay pretty clutter free, I came across this great idea. Custom dog kennels.

These are made from custom cabinets and mesh was inserted in to the doors where normally there would be glass or wood. In looking at the photo in more detail I think the doors actually tuck in to the space and out of the way. The little drawers beneath the kennels would be prefect to hold food and water dishes and tuck away when not in use!

Beej only weighs 14 pounds and has an old suitcase with a pillow in it for a bed which he loves. However, anything custom would suit his taste just fine!

The cutest dog in the world – Beej begging for some of my dinner.

 

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Eastern Washington Wine Country

Friday my mom and I headed over the mountains to Eastern Washington wine country. Even though we left in the late morning it still took us almost 45 minutes to make it over the pass. We stopped to stretch our legs and have a picnic lunch we had packed. We heard later that evening it was taking some people up to 4 hours!

After checking in to our hotel in Sunnyside we headed out to do some wine tasting. We went to the wine village in Prosser which has about ten wineries. First stop was at Airfield Estates Winery where I bought a bottle of Mustang a red wine which is a mix of Syrah, Grenache, Sinsault, Mourvedre and Counoise grapes. Their tasting room was really great. Lots of leather seating and plane inspired memorabilia. I asked who were the fliers at the winery and was told they grow their grapes where there used to be an old airfield.

Next stop was Willow Crest Winery where my mom bought a bottle of their Riesling. Our last stop of the day was at Milbrandt Winery where they have a restaurant as well. The tasting sheet listed suggested food pairings to go along with the different wines.

Our hotel room had a fridge and microwave so we were able to bring food with us and save money not eating out for every meal. This particular hotel also provided a hot breakfast in the morning. Eggs, potatoes, biscuits & gravy, sausage, cereal and waffles. There was something for everyone. Our room had a winery view as well.

Saturday morning we headed back to Prosser to the Farmer’s Market and stopped at Chukar Cherries where we were able to sample many of the treats they offer in their gift shop. The cherry chipotle jam was to die for! We stopped at another gift shop down the street and then headed off for our wine tastings of the day.

First stop was Desert Wind Winery where my mom and I shared a tasting. My mom ended up buying a bottle of their Tempranillo which was amazing. They also had suggested pairings on their tasting list and the smells coming from their restaurant were divine.

We took the Yakima Valley highway for the next stop on our winery tour and had the opportunity to get out and take some photos of hop fields and a vineyard.

In Outlook we stopped at Tefft Cellars. This place was really off the beaten path and we were the only ones there so were able to chat with the gal there for quite a bit. She had us try some port. I had mentioned that a friend said there was a winery in the area that had an amazing chocolate Port. My mom purchased a Pinot Grigio and a Chardonnay and we headed off to our next stop.

In Zillah we stopped at Horizon’s Edge Winery where I was excited to taste some ports including the chocolate one I had heard so much about. This tasting room had the best fee. Only $3 per person and you could go to their sister winery down the road and present your punch card and taste there as well. So, two tastings for $3. They had five ports to try and they were all really good. The Cream Sherry was not too sweet and heavy which was nice. Of course my mom and I loved and both purchased the Wishful Thinking Chocolate Port. They had a raspberry as well but it was a bit too syrupy for my taste. It did go nicely with the chocolate – raspberries and chocolate, two of my favorite combos! There was a small picnic table outside so mom and I had a small lunch we had packed and continued on our way.

Down the road we stopped at Horizon’s sister winery Maison de Padgett where we sampled more ports. They also had five offerings. They were out of the vanilla which was disappointing. The peach was way too much for me. They had an apple port which I thought was interesting and not too bad. The one I walked away with was the Smoking Gun Coffee Port. I can’t wait to try mixing the chocolate and coffee together! Both of these Horizon’s Edge and Maison de Padgett also had very reasonable prices for their wines.

While at Maison de Padgett we experienced our first bus load of winery tourists. It was a good thing we got there when we did because soon the tasting room became packed with people in colorful leis!

My mom wanted to go to Saturday evening church services so I went down to a little cafe near our hotel and had a coffee. Near the patio there was a very large iron Eiffel Tower – forgot to get a photo of that. It was wonderful to sit out on the patio with my iced coffee. Even though it got to 73 that day there was a wind blowing which was nice and warm and comfortable.

That evening for dinner I was feeling Italian. We headed back to Prosser to Tuscany Rustic Italian Bistro. We celebrated our winery weekend with before dinner drinks. I had a Grey Goose dirty martini and my mom had an Appletini. I had the Bistecca Gorgonzola which was a grilled fillet topped with sun-dried tomatoes, onions, gorgonzola cheese and a Demiglaze balsamic reduction. It came with green beans and a house salad. My mom had the Salmon Florentine which was salmon topped with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and bleu cheese over lemon pasta also with a house salad. We washed our dinner down with plenty of water and a glass of Airfield Estates Runway Cabernet Sauvignon.

The next morning we ate another fabulous breakfast, checked out of our hotel and headed to Toppenish. This small town’s claim to fame is a series of 72 murals painted on buildings around town. Most reflect like in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. My favorite mural was the Polo one. We got out and walked around. The amazing thing my mom noticed was that none of the murals had any graffiti on them. Downtown was small and cute and clean.

We headed back to Zillah to Silver Lake Winery which my mom is a member of. Again here we chose to share a tasting. They were getting ready for an afternoon barbecue and it smelled amazing. The view of the vineyard was truly breathtaking.

Our last stop before heading for home was in Wapato called Piety Flats Winery. Their tasting room was inside the Donald Fruit and Mercantile built in 1911 that also housed a gift shop. This area was the first in the Yakima valley to have irrigation.

We headed west and stop for lunch again before making it home in the afternoon. In was a jam-packed two days and nice to get away.

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When life gives you grapes – you make wine…..

I stated in a post a couple of days ago that a loved one of mine is very ill. It’s my father and it tears me up. Many of you family and friends know the details but I have had a number of people ask what is going on. I am finally ready to share.

We noticed during Christmas of 2010 that he seemed to be more tired than normal as well as really irritable. As the days went on he was able to use less and less of his left side. He went to the doctor in August and the doctor told him not to drive home. For a guy like my dad who LIVES AND BREATHES CARS it was devastating for him. Especially since his current ride is a Porsche Boxter. My husband and I retrieved his car and parked it in the garage. A few weeks later, my father had a tumor removed from his brain. We were grateful because it was benign.

Below is a photo of my husband in my dad’s car on a trip we took for our anniversary a couple of years ago. That road was full of switchbacks and was so fun! This is the car that he wants to get behind the wheel of again.

However, the remainder of the tumor that the surgeons couldn’t get grew back. Even though we don’t have an official diagnosis of Cancer, he underwent radiation and chemo. He started in February if I remember correctly, the first week my mom got him to and from the hospital OK. That weekend he slept – all weekend. When my mom had to run out for a while I checked on him. Yep still sleeping.

Monday night I got a call from my mom asking for help (we don’t live that far away). My dad had fallen off the couch and she was not strong enough to get him back on. My husband and I went over to help. It took the three of us an hour to get him from the floor in front of the couch to the couch. Needless to say he slept downstairs that night. I remember vividly how helpless my dad seemed. He was relying on us for help and he was in so much pain. I remember looking at him and thinking if this was my husband I would do whatever it took to help him and make him comfortable. It really shook my husband and I up.

When the physical therapist came the next morning they wanted to take him back to the hospital.

He has not been home ever since.

Through the progression of what is going on with him. His left side has become useless. He went through five more weeks of chemo and radiation and that was interrupted by two hospital stays because he was dehydrated. His kidneys even failed a couple times. He has been either in a nursing home or the hospital. Just shy of two weeks ago he finished his radiation and chemo and is now in an adult family home. The first few times I visited all he would do was sleep and I would sit there in his room sending him love and healing thoughts. He’s been more awake of late and we are encouraged by his progression. There is a dog that lives at the home named Mac. He’s an Australian Shepard Lab mix. He’s a three-month old puppy and so sweet and soft. He loves sleeping under my dad’s bed and I like to think that gives him comfort.

Last Saturday I took my dad’s car out for the day. It was sunny and I had the top down. I went to visit him and told him he needs to learn to walk again so I can take him for a spin in his car and my husband wants to take him to Cars and Coffee which is a local meetup for guys who love cars.

It’s been a rough road and I have other things on my mind. I try to stay positive and my mom and I have grown closer through this. We are going to eastern Washington tomorrow for two days to enjoy some wineries and relax.

We both need it.

Please send healing thoughts my dad’s way.

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Ch Ch Ch Changes!

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a major life change about a month ago. Even though it has been stressful and REALLY hard, now that I have had some distance I am learning so much from it. It has touched every aspect of my life. I understand now the lessons I need to learn. Without going in to too much detail I have the opportunity to make some changes in my life. These changes will make me a better person. One who is strong and knows herself well. One who is fun to be around and the laid back person I used to be. This will make me a better friend and person to all those that I love.

When you reflect on your life and the changes you want to make sometimes it’s hard to realize the bad behaviors that have been a part of your way of life, especially if they were gradual over a long period of time. They are so ingrained in you that it becomes your reality even though you were not a happy person. Essentially you become functionally depressed. When you wake up one day and realize that leaving the house (unless you are going to work) is actually scary for you  – you know you have some issues to work through.

The behaviors I have learned to rely on in the past were not working for me and my loved ones and for that I am truly sorry. On the outside most people saw a relatively happy person and had no idea what was really going on. The people closest to me were seeing a MUCH different side of me.

I owe them true apologies and in time I hope they will allow me tell them in person and forgive me.

The thing about change is it’s scary and it’s also awkward. You don’t know what you are doing as you are learning a new way of being in and looking at the world. Your actions that served you before (even if they were not the healthiest) are all you know or were modeled for you. To change those automatic reactions isn’t always easy. Meditation, yoga, working out at the gym, journaling and true reflection are helping so much with my understanding of what I MUST do to change and repair the damage I have caused. It’s a challenge that I am up for and one that I have accepted wholeheartedly.

Real change comes with time and acceptance. It was made painfully obvious to me what the behaviors I need to change are. Upon reflection I know that person is right. At the time and even now those realizations hurt. You never want to think of yourself as the type of person who hurts others intentionally. It was never meant to be purposeful. I was stuck in a pattern and way of thinking that didn’t serve me and my loved ones well at all.

For now I am taking it one day at a time. In recent weeks I have been getting back to the things I used to enjoy before this gradual shift in my attitude. I am trying new things as well. I am doing less reacting and more thinking about what it is that is REALLY going on. I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I have realized my perceptions in many instances were off and that is why I have reacted a certain way in the past. The filter I was running things people say through is a paradigm that doesn’t really serve me at all. It doesn’t make it right but now that I understand that I can make the necessary corrections and stop my old way of doing things and shift to a healthier way.

As much as I want to go back in time, I can’t change what happened. I do wish it didn’t have to come to this for me to wake up and take action. I do hope for a Mulligan in order to make things right. It’s definitely a wake up call for me and one that I am NOT going to ignore. Personal growth is the answer and people will begin to experience a more positive and healthy me showing up instead.

So stay tuned! 🙂

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