Saturday, December 13, 2014

Green is the New Brown

The California slogan has changed for now.   Hopefully for a long while because everyone was over the "Brown is the New Green" signs to remind us to conserve water.   We still need to conserve because the drought isn't over, but just for a little while, please let us enjoy our green.   This is my favorite vista on Highway 46 between Paso Robles and Highway 1.   All dressed up in green for the holidays.   

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Sun Will Come Out....

Yes it did.   After a week of cloudy and rainy, the sun came back yesterday.   I was outside with my camera a few times, just to capture a few memories of that sunny feeling.   

The neighbor's pasture...

The chickens had a great day, scratching around for bugs and worms, drinking from puddles, and eating fresh "salad" growing from the previously parched ground.   

Our oldest and wisest girl

The blondes, Honey and Taffy

One of the redheads

Clarabelle and Buddha having a moment

And of course....Toby

Today we're going to set up our Christmas tree that we purchased about 4 years ago.   It's just the right size and pretty easy to decorate.   The less we put up, the less we have to take down and put away again.   I would, however, like some new ornaments.   I'm thinking a stop at Pier One or Michaels might be a good idea.   But before I do that, I must get my horses out and put them back to work for a few days until the next rain comes.

Have a very nice Sunday!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Gray Coast

I love the coast right after a storm.   It has a completely different look and feel and lighting.   Yesterday was such a day.   There was to be no horse activity and I couldn't spend the day looking for interesting things to do in the house.   So I pointed the truck toward the west and drove.   I went to Cambria, stopped in Cayucos for a calamari "burger" and then Morro Bay.   

The wind was blowing like crazy, moving the sand and making it difficult to stand and keep my camera still.   It was blowing spray against the Morro Rock and adding an element of drama to the waves.   It was beautiful.   The seagulls were all hunkered down and the only people on the beach were the surfers.   Those surfers, I tell you, they are a dedicated lot. 

A very nice day indeed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

And Now It's December

Change the calendar.   Crazy, huh?   2015 will soon be here and we'll all be scratching our heads wondering what happened to 2014.   For me, it's been a busy year with everything that's gone on with Beau and the entire process of kitchen remodel from design to nearing completion.   

Thanksgiving week was very much welcomed in our home.   Erik was home all week, the weather was nice, and we had no construction activity whatsoever.   I rode and worked Beau and Buddy.   We did some easy cleaning and organizing around here.   We simply did whatever we wanted and walked through the holiday with no stress.   

One of Erik's daughters came on Friday to spend the weekend.   It was so nice to have her with us for a short while and so we soaked up every minute of conversation while hanging out at home.   On Saturday we went to the coast and hiked a long time at Estero Bluffs.   It was warm, not hot.   There was no wind and the sun was shining.   Absolutely perfect weather for a nice leisurely hike.

December has started with some much needed rain and a construction issue that is being worked out. At least I hope it's being worked out because if not, I will not be smiling in the next photo you see of me.   More on that later....It's a new month and it's raining!!

And last night, this was the very end of our sunset.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Your Favorite Things?

Now that our kitchen remodel is getting close to completion, it's time to put things back together and organize.   And that extends beyond the kitchen to the new pantry and of course the bedrooms because somehow it all gets connected in the mind, right?   First you formulate some ideas and then head online or over to Bed Bath and Beyond.   We don't have many choices in our area for organizing so Ikea or other big stores like that are out of the question.   We have Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, or Kohls.   There are a few more choices in San Luis Obispo but not like the bigger metropolitan areas like the Bay Area.   *sigh*   Sometimes I miss living there, but not often.

Anyway, I digress.   Where to put things back into the new kitchen cabinets?   And what should go in the kitchen versus the pantry cabinets?   It's not as though we have or need tons of stuff, as when you are raising children or entertaining a great deal or doing a lot of baking of things that we don't need to eat.   Still, there are the basics.   Plates, bowls, large bowls, pots and pants, silverware and other utensils.   Glassware and mugs.   And on which side of the sink should the dish tray sit, and where on the counter should the coffeemaker reside?   These are important questions that need answers!

And as long as we're putting things in their place, what about organizing items such as trays and containers and shelf liners and a new dish tray and trivets and all that?   Well, browsing through a store such as BBandB could be delightful if not for a Sunday afternoon of shoppers and aisles that are way too narrow to accommodate two people and their carts moving in opposite directions.   And then there is  the annoying someone (me) who can't quite decide, going around and around the aisles considering all the options.   The other shoppers must be wondering what she's doing, although they look equally confused.

I came home with a new black dish tray and drain tray, a mat for the sink, two trivets, a shelf for under the sink, shelf liners, and a shelving unit for the closet.   Oh yes, and some dish towels.   I considered new pots and pans, new dishes (they are ALL made in China!), a coffeemaker, organizing trays for the lazy susans, new trays for the silverware and utensils, and so much more!   

So now I'm wondering, what favorite organizing things do you have?   Even a simple plastic tray is stupidly expensive and at this point, after the cost of the remodel, I could just say WTH and buy what I want.   But that's not how I roll.   I take a little time and consider before I spend.   

Oh dear, now I've written an entire post and not shown you any photos.   You must be tired of the kitchen remodel photos so how about something else?   Something pretty for a Monday morning?  This was our sunrise a few days ago.   The clouds were so soft but sadly didn't deliver any rain.   Still, we are hopeful.

Have a nice Monday!

Friday, November 21, 2014

So Excited

I made coffee in the kitchen instead of the bathroom.   How about that?   It's the little things, my friends.   I was able to jump ahead of the 10 others jobs at the fabricator because of discrepancies and details that had to be worked out.   That put our countertop in front of the line and yesterday it was installed.   When they were finished, the carpenter returned and attached the pulls to the cabinets.   

I have to say, I am loving my new kitchen.   Really loving it.   I have waited 12 years for this remodel.

And if I had done the remodel 12 years ago, I would be tired of it by now, right?    Ha!

Today the faucet will be installed.   The backsplash tile and flooring will be done after Thanksgiving so we can have a construction free zone next week while Erik is working from home.   

The plan was for the stove to be re-installed after the flooring is done, but yesterday the contractor said he would bring it in for me, then take it back out when needed.   I already purchased a Thanksgiving meal from Whole Foods but it needs reheating in the oven, so it will all work out.   

It's dreary and drizzly and chilly this morning.   Doesn't soup sound good?   I think so too.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Small Details

Well, maybe not so small, but details that call for me to make decisions.   The crown for the top of the cabinets arrived and Monday the carpenter was here all day installing said crown.   If you have ever assumed that ceilings are level, you would be wrong.   And so we ended up with a gap at the ceiling that I didn't and don't like.   Enter the painter on Tuesday whose job it is to make every detail look much prettier.   It didn't really happen.   Because the bid I had received through Lowe's was quite high for painting on this job, I hired my own painter who had done a fine job with the exterior.  The contractor isn't responsible for this painter's work, it's my job to get him back here and have it done again.   Details.

The fabricator for the countertops came yesterday to make the template.   Again, small details make the difference.   Fortunately we had worked this out last week when the designer stopped by.   

Time to put the light covers on the canned lights and install bulbs.   Who knew there were so many choices on light covers?   And bulbs?   And it's also time to install the dimmer switch and other switches.   Again, choices.   What style?   What color?   

It's time to purchase the backsplash tiles and the faucet.   Oh yes, and the pulls for the cabinets and drawers.   Details details details.   My brain gets tired by the end of the week.

Today?   I have a massage scheduled for 10:00!!!   And boy, do I need it.   I've been riding and/or working Beau and Buddy as much as possible, enjoying my time with them, but also carrying bags of feed as well as saddles, picking up horse feet, and it all takes its toll on this "not so young" body.   

I know how fortunate I am.   I am grateful each and every day for all the little details.

Here's where we are so far....

Enjoy your weekend!!