Thursday, February 27, 2014

Elbow Grease

Is it POSSIBLE for you to tell from this picture what I did?

I love my kitchen. 

I love to cook.

My supervisor had to get in on the picture.  He likes to inspect all things that fall on the floor.

From the first picture, is there anything that catches your eye??

Stainless appliances.  We purchased these after we moved in.  They are almost 8 years old.  I'm very happy with them... but at times they are a lot to clean.  They almost remind me of my days working at McDonald's.  When it was slow, one of our jobs was to clean the stainless.  Everything was stainless then.
With this closer view ... what do you think I made POSSIBLE?
Did you spot the tea pot on the stove top?
Because of that cute little tea pot .... I spent over 4 hours cleaning the soffits on top of  my kitchen cabinets and everything else up there.
When I have company over, I often see what nobody will notice.  However, with my Book Club coming over last week, I realized that I wanted to serve tea (since they are ALL hot tea drinkers).  All 6 of my teapots are for decoration.  But I needed one to hold the hot water.
After I retrieved it from the top of the cabinet, I realized how gummy and greasy and gross it was. 
I got the soapy water flowing, found the cleaning rags and washed it inside and out.  It had a sparkle to it!!!  And while I was 6 feet up in the air.... I also realized it had been quite a while since I had cleaned the top of the cabinets and all the baskets of flowers and the cooking tins and the decorative plates.
That cute little white teapot paved the way and made it POSSIBLE or maybe impossible to ignore cleaning. 
Cleaning that no one would see ... but now I've finished one of those tasks on my to do list, and can move on to the next thing that may happen!
Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Just so you know, EVERYTHING that leaves my house is personally inspected and goes through the licking process from my two personal assistants .... Tucker and Cooper!!

Oh, with such a dreary winter I think your friends and family could use a little FuN!!!
My little card shop has unique and whimsical cards just for those extraordinary folks in your life.
Today's .... Cards on the Board


Brighten Someone's Day!!!
Cards in stock mailed to you the next day only $3.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Purpose, SHINE, Possibilities

I like good karma.

Karma means action, work or deed; it also refers to the principle of casualty where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual.

My Home
Every day I struggle with some of the choices I've made in my life.  And with in a 24 hour period I have found support in a few of my choices, but that doesn't mean I fully understand where this will eventually lead me. 

But I can't wait to find out!!!

Currently being an empty nester, I have had a difficult year of seeking and finding my purpose now that my job of being a full-time mother has come to an end.

Gradually, day by day I am able to fill my days and find things to help me be creative, I find ways to challenge my mind, and I am becoming content with being a 'home' maker... and making our house  a home.  But I still struggle.... is it ENOUGH!?!  Am I enough?  Do I give enough?

Am I lazy because I haven't found a paying job?  Am I self-fish because volunteer opportunities haven't appeared? Am I socially inept because my calendar isn't full?

So, within a short period of time I found a few fascinating things:

First, this quote by C.S. Lewis:  The homemaker has the ultimate career.  All other careers exist for one purpose only... to support the ultimate career.

I have read those lines over and over and over again.  Do I believe this?  Should I believe this?  For right now.... is this where I am supposed to be?

Secondly, I start each Monday by sending special people I love a quote via text.   I search for something specific for them.   And in my search I found a great quote for myself:

I might as well do what I do!
Do what I have right in front of me right now!
Do it the very best way I can ... or why bother?

As part of my morning ritual, I check out the news from overnight, look at my horoscope for the day and read 'my friends' blogs to see what's been happening in their lives since I lasted visited.

Today's post at the House of SHINE was totally relateable.

Claudia has had an aha moment ....
helping people connect with their shine is my purpose.
It's one of the reasons I'm here.

I try to 'spread SHINE' in my corner of the world... most days. She has helped me to seek SHINE.

And finally, I went to FACEBOOK and this was the first post that popped up on my screen:
Here are a few words from Stephanie's post:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?  .....  And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

It's things like these .... 'signs' .... that really keep me going. It's the sort of validation that I need right now.  I'm still not sure of my purpose ... but I do know that whereever I end up, or whatever I do.... 2014 is my year of Possibilities....

Become a possibiltarian.  No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see POSSIBILITIES - always see them, for they are always there ~ Dr. Norman Peale

When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this - you haven't ~ Thomas Edison

Now off to
sparkle and

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Clowning Around is NO Joke

I love it when a good happenstance occurs.

In my little world it makes me happy.

It's a sign.

I will admit that it's not a major life altering event...

...but I am in awe when it does happen because it's often about the weirdest things!

Last week I was having coffee with my friend MK.  She is a half a generation older than me.... so that means.... stay with me here.... she is 15 years older than me..... my mom is 15 years older than her, and her kids are 15 years younger than me.... and my kids are 15 years younger than hers.

Got that???

She was born and raised in Chicago.  I was born and raised in Racine.... which is about 60 miles north of Chicago.  Big city .... little town.  I never really had a desire to go to Chicago.... too big for me.  But living close enough to the City.... we got both Milwaukee and Chicago television stations.

Anyway, MK and I often find a great topic for conversation and this time it centered around Bozo Circus!!!

I asked her if she knew what I meant when I said 'do you want a cookie or a Bozo Button'. 

She laughed! 

Do you know what it means???
My authentic Bozo Button
....when someone brags or shows off one should ask him or her "would you like a cookie or a Bozo Button"  getting the Bozo Button would be like getting the consolation prize. However, if you're not from around these parts.... it really isn't very funny.
WGN - TV out of Chicago aired  the show on channel 9 from 1961-2001 during the noon hour.  It was a staple show for kids who walked home to eat their lunch. Bozo Circus
Tickets to attend the popular show had to be ordered years in advance, my parents put our name on the wait list to get tickets to the show just after I was born in 1964.  The story goes that my mom called my dad at work telling him that someone cancelled and our name was next on the list .... in 1967*.
My brother got chosen to play a gag with Cooky the Clown.  If I recall, Cooky told Bozo he was very strong, so strong that kids from the audience could pull on a rope that he was holding and he would not be moved. 
My brother was on one side and a few kids were on the other side pulling the rope Cooky was holding.  All of a sudden a huge gorilla came out from the curtain and started pulling on the rope behind my brother.  Everyone in the audience was laughing.  At the end, we found out that Cooky had put the rope through his jacket and the kids were actually playing tug o war against each other!
Recently, I spoke to my dad about this, and I thought I remembered Ringmaster Mr. Ned pointed at my dad during the show and said to him, "I bet his boss was watching the show."  My dad didn't recall that, but said it was very odd to see fathers on the show since it was performed live during the day.
It was fun watching the show at home, especially during the Grand PRIZE Game.... magic arrows were on the screen as the camera  whizzed around picking out one boy and one girl to play the ping pong ball toss. Six buckets were lined up in a row and the child had to stand behind the line and toss the ping pong ball in each bucket, one at a time.  A viewer from home was picked from thousands of post cards and they received the same prizes.  If you tossed and made it into the sixth bucket.... you won the GRAND PRIZE, often a new bike!!
What's odd about all of this, all the hundreds of thousands of different topics there are.... I was listening to WLS, one of Chicago's leading talk radio shows and the top 5 topics on this past Monday night they were talking about the Nation's Clown Shortage.... no joke! 
The talk show hosts were reminiscing about Chicago's own beloved Bozo the Clown.... ahem, the real BOZO (not the one in the oval office).
I looked at my husband and started laughing.... of all the different things happening in the world, in less than 5 days, the oddest of things ... Bozo the Clown was being talked about.
* doing a bit of research, it seems that Cooky didn't start the show until 1968, so our year of attendance could be wrong.
Fun memories!!!
Did you hear that Bozo the Clown™™™™™ was murdered last night?
It was an axe-murder -- his legs were over there, his arms over there, and his balls were found in bucket #3
wah, wah, wah waaaaaaaah!!!!!
Have a great day!

Monday, February 17, 2014

sNOw Fun

OK Monday.... Let's do this!

Aargh, but it is getting soooo hard.

It's snowing, again! 

I don't know why I'm so bent out of shape looking out the window.  It's a dreary day and the snow is blowing in all kinds of directions.  I should look back on all my Monday mornings and note how many of them, bone chilling cold.... had bright blue, sunny skies.  But we all have had enough.... enough I tell you!!!

Fact: Cooper sees his shadow, that means at least 6 more weeks of winter.

Fact: Sun SHINES, snow on roof line melts, lots and lots of icicles form.

Fact: I'll keep looking at this picture and think it's very beautiful!!!
As I look out my window right's literally a white out.... I'm very content in my slippers and sweatshirt, (with wonderful heat coming through the registers) that there is something very good about over 60" of snow fallen this year already, with about 4-6" more arriving today.  There is something good about it.... but don't hold your breath waiting here on my blog to find out what it is!!!!!
I hope all those people who kept singing Let it Snow before Christmas time are kicking themselves now!! (hee hee)

Friday, February 14, 2014

I ♥ U

Let your glances SHINE our way,
we'll be your valentine today!!
The boys wanted to send a message out to all of our family and friends!
We love you!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

II (two) Reviews

Well, this will be a first here at prdesigns .... a review on a book and a movie. 

I always marvel at how things work out ...sometimes. 

Of all the thousands, even millions of book choices out there at my local library, on-line through ebooks and at the big box bookstore .... our book club made the choice for this month's read, Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken.  It was pretty much my choice since book club will be held at my home later this month.

I believe it's our first non-fiction book.
It reads like a epic war movie.... well, it is!  The setting is about survival in a World War II Japanese POW camp.
The biggest shock I had, or  maybe now it's a revelation .... in all the years I had basic studies in US History.... even advanced History in 9th grade.... I don't think we ever made it to World War II.
Oh yes, I can't help but know a lot about World War II, mainly because of epic war movies, History Channel re-enactments and great modern movies like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers.
If you are looking for a good book to read, I recommend Unbroken.  I heard that Angelina Jolie is actually in the works of directing the movie version to come out at the end of the year.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown

Over this past weekend we went and saw George Clooneys' Monuments Men.  There were mixed reviews in the paper.  I enjoyed the movie and was quite entertained.
Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, the film is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners.
Sometimes we need to get a little insight into our past history to appreciate what we have in front of us in the here and now.
There are so many stories to be told and heard about what made our country great!!
War is not the genre for everyone. 
It's sad. 
War is HELL.
If you are looking for something new (old) to read, or just a really good movie that makes you think ... I find it so very interesting that I learned so much about WWII in the past few weeks than I ever knew studying it in the classroom. Get a hold of the book, Unbroken and go see the movie, Monuments Men.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Flakey Friends

Yep, it's hard to believe. 

It's really a joke now. 

We got even more snow over the weekend.

Cooper is beside himself.  He steps out on to the porch and looks around, and tries to figure out where he is supposed to go.  Nothing looks familiar.  There are four foot piles of snow every where, with tiny little foot paths to get through the yard.

We've lost Tucker a few times in the yard!!

To start this week we have sunny blue skies today.  But again it's quite deceiving, the Weather Channel on my iPhone app reads a balmy 0.2 degrees.  Oh, .2 degrees is so much warmer than 0 degrees, what??????
Recently I saw someone post that they got their hands on a 2014 Farmer's Almanac and that there is another major snowstorm predicted for the middle of February ... next week some time????  I don't know what part of the country it supposed to hit ... but her home base is out of Ohio.... so I would assume the Midwest??? 
More snow? 
No more snow!!!!! 
I'm getting tired of everyone complaining about it.  There is nothing we can really do about it.  I'm trying to see the POSSIBILITIES .... it's not global warming..... when Spring time comes.... maybe we will embrace the rebirth of LIFE a little bit more!
Let me tell you about my best friends!!!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Robinson ReStore

What to do if you eat a lot of pickles?  Or jalapeno slices?  Or Peperoncini? Spaghetti sauce? 

Yes, too much waste ... but more often than not I clean out the jars and put them in our brown and yellow recycling bin and take it to the end of the driveway for pick up, like today!  And sometimes I just clean a few jars and stash them away in my 'to do' box and save them for .... something.

Ah, Pinterest.... a woman's  favorite idea spot like fantasy football is for men !

Here are two clean jars with the labels removed.  I think they are pretty enough to just sit around and hold 'something', but I'd rather up-cycle them and turn them into something.... useful!!! 
I have plenty of lace, burlap, twine and ribbon in my stash.  So, on a cold and dreary night I got out my glue gun, some mod podge and a flower template and decorated the jars... with a shabby chic sort of theme.

I haven't quite figured out what I will do with them next.  That's for another day to browse Pinterest.... but I'm thinking of filling them with cute foiled chocolates and giving them as a Brighten Someone's Day sort of gift!!!

News alert    ****break****     for more snow! 
This picture was taken earlier this week.  We have since had 5 more inches of snow.  So, when the plows came through.... see the flag on the right side of the mailbox??? The snow is now up to there and I have chiseled out the front of the mailbox!!!  This is the 8th snowiest snowfall on record for the Chicago area... so far this winter O'Hare field has measured over 60" ... we live a little farther northwest of that area, and think we have gotten a bit more here in the suburbs!!!

Project #2
I had some cabin fever, $10 in my pocket and a Savers discount card. *Savers is a thrift shop similar to Goodwill or Salvation Army. I love to find a deal, and when I have an idea of something I saw somewhere else (mostly on another thrifter's blog, or again Pinterest)... I get giddy when I find something I can make into what I want.

Chalk boards are very popular right now.  And there are plenty of sites to visit to see how create chalk ART.
So, I took the frame  (I believe it was one of those country type calendars that has the tiles for dates and months that are inter-changeable) I found for less than $7 dollars and with some Spray Paint Chalk and sandpaper (which I had in  my supplies).... I was able to create a fun ... IN... board that matches my decorating style.
Now I have to go find some more chalk!  I had 1 tiny white piece left from who knows what????.... it wont last very long if I want to 'create' cool chalk art pieces.  Skinny little chalk from when teachers used that instead of white boards or computer projections!!!

Source Pottery Barn
I can certainly glue on some binder clips and other embellishments to mine, like the one above from Pottery Barn for $149!!!!!!
I'm excited!  Two Pinterest successes this week. 
Just imagine the Possibilities!!!!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Snooze Alert

It's a dogs life.
A dog will sleep an average of 13 hours per day, but they wake up frequently.
I will often find my two dogs on our staircase.  Cooper often moves up the stairs as the sunlight filters in through the hallway window.  He loves the sun warming his black fur coat.  We have often called him Catdog ... he will lay stretched out on the stair sunning himself, and using his front paws against a step or the railing to balance while he snoozes.
Tucker will often ball himself up with his nose  'tucked' in his front paws.  He is just high enough on the staircase to watch the action out the front door window.  When I came around the corner, he popped up to see what I was doing.  Cooper could have cared less!
Tucker snores in his sleep.  It's rather cute.  And Cooper whimpers and runs in his sleep.  It's heart warming to see them so content at times.  My furbabies.
Life is better with a dog... or two!

Monday, February 03, 2014

I Am (trying) to Be One

I really like this photo I took with my iPhone a couple of years ago.  It's a picture of one of the walking trails near our home. I've posted it many times here on my blog.  It's one of those pictures worth a thousand words ... or more!

Last year, unfortunately, we found this trail infested with ticks and sometimes we and the dogs brought them home with us.  Hopefully, with all this cold and snow ... Mother Nature has killed them off and pushed them to live somewhere else for a while.  Then we can happily walk down this beautiful path without worry.
It's such a lovely trail, so close to home, and the dogs love walking here. It's so familiar. 
But I guess it could be a metaphor for life.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  You really don't know what's around the next curve.  What is lurking in the shadows?  Sometimes you bring home the tiniest of things which could wreak havoc. Throw caution to the wind. 
But also, if you don't imagine the possibilities... you might miss out on a beautiful experiences. 
Take a chance! 
And brush yourself off before you get back in the car!!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin