Create Like a Child

I think about teaching art to kids and to adults who are interested but not comfortable creating art. I've developed this little project that I am going to test out on my friends. Just what I needed to get myself playing in my new sunroom studio. I could do individual posts on the process if anyone is interested in vegetable printing, bubble painting, or string painting.


No swimming.

We invited many friends along with us - to what now seems to be developing into a summertime tradition. Blueberry picking followed by beach fun. I like to make a day of it, rather than drive an hour, pick for an hour and then drive an hour home. Although, the short attention span of kids picking blueberries is shortened when they are looking forward to getting to the beach. When we finally arrived, much to our disappointment, it was a day declared "NO SWIMMING" due to large waves and dangerous riptides. I thought the kids wouldn't have any fun, but it turns out we kept them close to shore and they had more fun in the water than ever before!


Don't Move. Improve!

Whenever I mentioned to friends that I was looking around at other houses, they would say "Really? I love your house." And I would think "Really? It needs so much work!" I do love my house. When we moved in I saw potential. But, I never wanted to spend any money fixing it up if I was going to someday buy another house. As I said, we are in it for the long haul and so we have begun the sprucing process.

I am so excited about how beautifully it is coming along. I find myself walking outside just to look at my soffits and facia. I didn't take very many before pictures. Moving through change can be difficult and I don't want to look back. However, I had to capture the door on the sunroom. It was, by far, the strangest characteristic that bugged me the most. You would think in 11 years time I could have bought some paint and at least painted it? When we were having the windows replaced, I told Darrin we would also be buying a new door. He was surprised and confused that I insisted upon this. "It's a sunroom. The door should be all glass." Now that it has been replaced he could see the difference.

I can't say I am really excited about vinyl, but when we moved in and painted all the trim on this all brick house, I was shocked at what a huge job it was. The past couple years, Darrin talked about starting the whole process over. This is when we realized it was time to go maintenance free.


My Wandering Eye

There was a time when Darrin didn't understand why I couldn't just be happy, he worried that I could never be completely happy. I was always looking, even stalking others. If I saw a "For Sale" sign in a yard, I would rush home and look it up online. Maybe there were photos of the inside of the house? I would drive out of my way to pass by it again. I would come home and tell him about a beautiful house I spied. His response, "We're not moving." For years, I looked at other houses. I thought I could convince him that the grass was a little greener and a little more square footage would make me a lot happier. I never thought of him being stubborn – he is happy. He needs nothing more. I've never been a material girl. He was confused by my obsession for always wanting more. As the years have passed, I realize leaving a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood with great neighbors would not be worth uprooting kids and taking on a bigger mortgage – especially in this economic climate. At this time, we have both completely and totally committed to being here for the long haul. And so we called a contractor. And so we have just begun investing as much extra cash as we can in this humble abode to make it as beautiful as we can. We will enjoy it for at least 30 more years. I have not compromised. I have seen his way and I agree. I am happy.

At this very same time, a house went on the market just a few blocks away. A friend told me there was an Estate Sale and I had to go – just to see the house. No persuasion needed. I love looking at houses. I rushed through dinner. The girls and I walked 3 blocks. It was the most beautiful house I have ever seen! Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but Darrin had to see this house! I told Ellie to take him on Friday while I was at work. I told him to go. They didn't. Saturday morning I took him there myself. I expected him to act unimpressed even if he thought the house was nice. His response was the same as mine. He was immediately dreaming of living there. From the front, the house looks like a nice size ranch, a little more upscale than average. From the back, it looks like a million dollar beach house with a breathtaking panoramic view of nothing but nature. One would never think they were in my little neighborhood. The experience of being in the house transcends suburbia. We worked to convince ourselves and each other simultaneously that we could swing it. And – that it is totally out of the question.

Ironically and coincidentally we have both seen both sides of the "moving/not moving" issue. Just when I have found happiness where we are Darrin has experienced what it is like for me to dream and share in my house fantasies.



Since I am over 40 years old and the kids don't keep me running like they used to, I've been packing on a little extra weight lately. Last night I decided at 9:30pm that I would exercise every day from now on! Today at 8:30pm I chose painting over exercise. Since I blog when I paint, I know for a fact that the last time I picked up a brush was March.


Timeless Classic

This past weekend we drove up to Wisconsin to visit brother John and his beautiful family. His new house has the perfect tree for the coolest tree swing. After everyone had a turn, the cousins showed us how they put the sprinkler in front of it so when you swing - you go right through the water. I got good video shots of that. I regret not having tried out the swing myself.



When I said we are starting some home improvement projects, I didn't mean we were out buying a gallon of paint. We finally have mustered up the guts and forked out the cash to do the major renovations that I have been dreaming of since we moved in over 11 years ago.

The contractor said it would be no big deal to pour 3 inches of concrete over the front porch and back stoop. But, the concrete subcontractor came by to frame it out and said he would have to break up a lot of it. It was a bit unnerving for the past 3 days, stepping over and around boards, rebar, rubble, sand, holes, etc. It doesn't help that our house looks like it is about to be condemned since they knocked out the posts and put temporary support to hold the roof up.

This morning we anxiously awaited the arrival of the cement truck. The girls were disappointed that he pulled up on the street behind the big pine tree. They couldn't get a good look at it. Eventually the truck pulled into the driveway. It was exciting to see the guys assemble the chute and distribute the concrete.

Then the view was so up close and personal,

the truck felt like a monster ready to invade my home.

Everyone got a front row seat. As I watched them pour and smooth, I could see these guys really knew what they were doing. I didn't know concrete could be so beautiful! I'll have to show you after they remove the framework.