Friday, July 6, 2018

Be still my heart........

I just got a new pantry! I'm so excited! What can I say??? I'm easy to please? Doesn't take much to make me happy?  I must live a pretty dull life? You're right! ..... on all three counts......... what woman/cook/housekeeper/collector of kitchen things, doesn't need some room to store her more than ample "stuff"?

What's this you say? You're looking up towards the top from the floor.

This is not your everyday, hole in the wall, pantry. This is a pantry extrordinaire....... freestanding, white, decorated, baskets inside, little shelves in back, custom, handmade.......... the size of our fridge but taller..... made about 11 years ago by my ex husband. Yes... my ex! At that time, my current husband and I lived in Washougal, WA and we were neighbors with my ex of 20 years and his wife. (Never planned for that to happen, but it just turned out that the house and 5 acres we loved so much was that close to my ex!) We were somewhat "friends" after many years of ups and downs with our kids.... many years of having to work together for the good of our kids.. of learning to compromise and work together.

Ex had made this pantry for our house there... it had a specific area he fit it to, a skinny area but tall, so he made it "custom" to fit there and we paid him a good price for it. It's made of 3/4 inch plywood and painted with oil based paint, many many coats, plus wait until you see the inside! (Note.. we never asked him to do what he did on the inside.. but he's very creative and artistic, and did it on his own).

What??????? .... the artist within I guess. My ex made pine furniture (and I helped) when we were first married (our "hippie" days in the 70's)... and  his signature carving was a tulip. Everything he made had tulips and vines carved in it.  So............ of course I needed more tulips, not carved this time, but painted!

Can anyone have too many tulips?

This had been sitting (stored) in my ex's barn since we moved here to Madras 6 years ago. We didn't have room for it in our moving van, plus it was WAY TOO HEAVY for us to load. My son used it in his little apartment off the barn so we left it, with the plea from me that someday I wanted it back.

Ex so kindly brought this pantry down to us a few weeks ago (with the help of my son loading it into the truck - and the help here of a neighbor and a dolly). He's finally selling the house that he and I built in the 70's and 80's, and that he has been totally remodeling for the last 3 years. Everything he did in that house was unique and original. In the remodeling process, due to codes, etc., some of the wood art, carvings, unusual beams made from Alders off the property, had to go in order to meet with the inspectors' approval. He did manage to save some of the original quirkiness.

NOTE: I hadn't meant to make this post so long.. but in the telling of the "pantry story", I decided I just NEEDED to show some of the beautiful custom work that my ex completed over his 35 years of living at that house (that by the way, has just sold after only 10 days on the market.)

The house I lived in (and helped build) from 1975 to 1989 - after extensive remodeling.... the original house was covered entirely in cedar shakes. Same GORGEOUS 9 acres though!

Some of my ex's craftsman style:

Wood stove with river rock from the Washougal River in back... surrounded by alder logs from the property.... stone hearth with wood edging.. I'm surprised there aren't any tulips carved in that wood edging!

Carved custom door he made.. with carving (of course!) on the inside.

Rock fountain... again using river rock..... which has a "switch" to turn it on or off..... which comes from the pond over to the right, which pond comes from an underground spring... which underground spring also results in the waterfall he built (shown below).. all custom cement work, carvings, and river rock from the Washougal River.

Log (Alder) beams in the kitchen.. from the property... oops! There's the tulips!

More Alder beams in the dining room...... that  fencelike looking door on the top has a loft behind it, and that door/gate  hinges downward so a person can get a bed or furniture up into the loft! Because... to get to said loft, you had to climb up a ladder on the wall, which ladder I climbed up and down until I was 8 months pregnant with my first child)!


I'm afraid the pantry got kind of "musty".... as that area is a very damp climate. But I'm working on trying to get that musty smell out. I'm about halfway there.

Look at those baskets that pull out...... the little shelves in the back.....the huge storage area at the top (behind the door- first picture up above shows more tulips on that door on the inside!).......the large area on the "floor" for spuds, onions, veggies, etc. ........ swoon.........

And after all these years... it's a perfect fit in our new (old) house. Who would have thought?  I'm so glad to have it back!

How do I love thee pantry??? Let me count the ways...........


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sparkling water... and grassless yards.

Oh boy did I have a nice week at the Oregon coast visiting my sister! We had such a good time and I got to see the ocean, eat lunch with a view of the crashing waves, and drive to lakes and a river. I was in Heaven for sure.

I didn't take any photos of the ocean as I have so many already. Here are a few from the past couple of years, "just because" I never get tired of looking at them.

I think the most fun was going down south to a little town about 20 miles from Florence (Reedsport) and driving to Winchester Bay to look around. Lots of little RV parks and fish shacks there.. very quaint. Then we went to lunch at the Schooner Inn which is a sweet cafe right on the old wharfs overlooking the Umpqua River. What a gorgeous river! The entire area there was made up of the old wharfs where canneries used to be many years ago.

You know me..... I was SO happy to be on the water!

There were several areas of boat docks and fishing boats.

What a beautiful area. The day was perfect!  And of course, I LOVED the sparkling water.  We even were fortunate to spy an Osprey nest on top of one of the railroad bridge spans.... we saw it from inside the museum next to the restaurant......... she had an old ship's telescope! The Osprey was sitting on her nest of eggs.

By the restaurant, there was a little museum and gift shop that we visited. Out front was a pretty painted seal and totem pole. There is so much history around this area. My sister told me that the entire town of Florence had a festival last year of the painted seals. There were about 10 of them all around town, and several artists had painted one each..... and then on the special day, people could bid on them to buy them. The proceeds went to help update their Event Center. 

Here's the sweet gazebo in Florence, OR Old Towne.......... it overlooks the Siuslaw River, as do many of the business and restaurants that line this street.  More water! I was so happy!


My sister had moved to a new place... a gated community of about 800 homes. They are all either double wide or triple wide manufactured homes, and they were just gorgeous. I've never heard of this before, but there were NO LAWNS allowed! Everyone had to have "natural" yards, no grass, nada! I was amazed. We drove all through the community so I could see the natural yards. There were so many great ideas. 

Alot of difference sizes and colors of rock were used.. plus lots of ground cover.

This was all bark mulch plus rock in the middle that was sloped into a "bowl". It was really pretty.

Pretty shrubs everywhere, plus ground cover and grasses. Alot of the yards had little features such as bird baths, windmills, statutes, benches, etc.

This is from Pinterest, but I saw many front yards there very similar to this! I could picture this as being MY back  yard! (and it WILL be if our new lawn doesn't grow more. It's very sparse.) I really like the fire pit, and would have a water feature somewhere too.

The above two photos are also from Pinterest. Love the ground cover... and this photo above... love the bigger rocks (round ones) with the flowers dancing in between.  Sweet garden bench and trees.... sigh.

It was a very nice trip and I had a great visit with my sister, just me and her. Hubby stayed home to take care of our kitties and water the new lawn and flowers. 

Have a nice weekend everyone!!!


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Yard pretties......

Things are shaping up a little bit in my (just a few weeks ago not so pretty) yard! The long hard, dry and cold winter sure did a number on most everything (including our lawn) and many of my perennials never survived.

Here are a few that survived:

Vinca Minor (?) vines.. they must be really hardy.... they are growing in my gravel out back!
My Irises are profuse! I dug these up almost 2 years ago at a friend's house up in SW Washington and they must LOVE this soil! I'm so happy! (Since this photo, they are done blooming and all the flowers are already gone). I wish they would last longer.
Some hardy little pansies and Johnny Jump-ups - they came up all by themselves in this barrel.... sweet things you are! Since this photo a couple of weeks ago, this pot is exploding! I added some more of the little Jump-ups that were taking root in my gravel.
Oh.... that sweet little kitty is one of our "community cats" that we helped trap, and then they were taken to the shelter for neutering and their shots, and then they were returned to our yard/community. There are 3 tiger striped ones and we just love them! They are not really "ours" but they have made our place their home (and of course, we feed them and be sure they have water). How can we not????????

Here some new pretties I've bought to add some color..... and I think as of this date, most have been planted! I still have a few to go.

English Daisies.
Blooming crabapple tree (Prairie Fire).

Dianthus, English Daisy, carnations, one I can't remember, and tree azalea (far right).

Wonderful, peach colored rose.. a smaller variety called Sunrise (I think). It is SO FRAGRANT! 

Marigold and petunias.

Pansies - aren't those colors gorgeous/

Crabapple tree on left, Quaking Aspen on right - both planted in our front yard.
I'll post some photos soon of some of our perennials that are finally beginning to show their faces.. some I thought had not survived, but I was wrong.

A post will also be coming soon of our backyard project!


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