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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Writing On the Wall

So, here I am in the spring of 2013, still needing to get healthy, knowing I do, and not quite investing all of me in the effort.  Two things happened this week that spoke volumes to me about what I need to do in my life and why.  The first thing was a simple poster posted on Pinterest.  It was from Bonnie Pfiester and said, "I will beat her.  I will train harder.  I will eat cleaner.  I know her weaknesses.  I know her strengths.  I've lost to her before, but not this time.  I have the advantage because I know her well.  She is the old me. "  For some reason that struck a cord in me, more so than some things.  I am an intelligent person, and the truth is I know not being healthy is a choice.  I've also made great strides at times only to back down for one reason or another, and pretty good reasons too.  But none good enough to excuse not taking care of myself.  I have been my own worst enemy.

The second reason is a little more difficult, and much more significant event for me.  My brother called me this week to tell me we were taking my mom to the hospital ICU in a neighboring town.  She was having heart issues, pretty significant ones.  As we checked my mom in, joked along with her about her wheel chair, and cried in the hallway so she couldn't see, I understood more significantly than ever that I needed to take care of myself so I could take care of others.  You see we have a really strong family history of heart issues.  Those things are pretty easy to set aside when you are in your 20's, because your 40's and 50's seem a long way off.  I'm here now, and I'm watching my really health, active mother, who takes care of herself, be admitted to the hospital for a condition that was given to her genetically, not through any choice of her own, or even as a result of poor choices. 

I also realized, up front and personal, that if I was going to be able to help my mom over come this issue ahead of her and if I was going to have any chance to not put my kids and husband in the same situation, I have to start making some changes.  I know what I need to do.  I even go there...a little bit...  But I am committing this to writing for myself and anyone who cares to read it.  I.  WILL.  GET.  HEALTHY.  (not tomorrow, not next week..) 

Mark my words.  I have too much reason not to. 

So, interspersed with my room make overs, furniture re-dos, and other country lifestyle posts, you may get some  updates on my progress, reports on aha moments, milestones, or just struggles.  That will just keep me honest. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nautical and Dresser-to-Buffet Upcycle

I love taking something ugly and old and making it great and new again.  On our first trip to Europe, our tour guide Ann Youdan told us about the preservation laws in place for most London apartments and buildings.  You could own, but you had to remodel according to codes, keeping the original period character of buildings in tact, inside and out.  I came to find out, over time, that the same thing was true in most of Europe.

I remember thinking that was wonderful, and how in keeping that was with my own personal philosophy of most everything.  That isn't to say I don't throw things away, but just that I like to imagine the possibilities of how something that has seen better days can have a fresh new look or purpose.  And sometimes old things just beg to have new life, don't you think?  I love old houses, old furniture, old books...well you get the picture.

My mother is remodeling and has some different furniture for her bedroom.  She gave me her old chest of drawers and dresser with mirror.  It was purchased probably in the mid 70's and was that old dark veneered wood.  It wasn't in bad shape in terms of being solid and functional..but it needed a face lift.

I am so anxious to get on with my projects that I think, "aw...should have photographed" right in the middle of the project.  But I have the old headboard still waiting for a new do...and so you can see just what the other two pieces looked like before I got hold of them.  What you see below are pictures of the two finished pieces.  The nautical inspired high boy, with random blue and white striping on the top, has rope pulls.  That was the solution for abnormally wide original pull holes.  I love that.

The chest of drawers was fun because I took the three middle drawers out (you'll see those in a future post) and replaced them with pretty baskets.  I made quick liners to add a touch of color but the baskets would be fine all by themselves.  This could be a great buffet, or used as a dresser again.

The headboard is going back to my mom and will be repainted in the same colors as the other two pieces, and distressed lightly.

And you can see the antique dresser there in the midst of everything..that too will be a feature in an upcoming post.

The best part..I can be as creative as I need to be or want to be, and I can take things down to a fun little store called Sandhills Sage in Johnstown, Nebraska, where I consign some of my projects.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Better After Bar Cabinet

In January, right after taking down the Christmas decorations, I was wanting to purchase or find a large cabinet to place in a corner by our front door.  I had a piece of furniture that I was moving to a different spot, and it occurred to me a conversion might be in order.   I had seen the following cabinet, which served as my inspiration.

The following bits and pieces are what I had to work with....and these were pictures just after I got started. 

And the last picture is my finished product.

I LOVE how it turned out.  You can't tell from this picture, but there are hanging glass grids underneath of the first shelf, and there is a silver tray on the lowest shelf.  Also, there is a Goodwill purchased wine rack underneath, painted black, and a Craigslist purchased wine refrigerator.  I was going to put the doors on the bottom, but really, I like it just like it is.

My last little addition will be a pub table and two chairs...watching for a deal as we speak! Let me know what you think of my conversion!