Friday, April 27, 2012

Makin' Me Think

A student said something to me last week that has been running around my brain and just won't settle down and be forgotten.

She was talking about her spring vacation and was so excited because she had gone to San Francisco for the first time.

I asked what she saw and did and she said she really loved seeing the Golden Gate Bridge.

I told her I had also gone to San Francisco over spring break to visit my daughter, KC, and added that KC runs and cycles across the bridge regularly.

She said, "Oh, we didn't get to go across the bridge - I wanted to, but my dad said it was too expensive to pay to ride across the bridge!"

Wow, it made me think about small amounts of money I spend on little "nothings".

My brain stores lots of useless information and it connected what she said to another comment left dormant somewhere in my brain.

A student once told me she could not stay after school for an activity because her parents could not come to pick her afterwards.

I asked if they were working and she said, "Oh, no, they can't afford to use the gas!"

Her family's reality is so different than mine!

Today, another student looked really sad and I held her after class.

She broke down and shared some of the things that have been going on in her life.

She shares a house with 4 families - 17 people.

Many more people living on the edge than I even realize!

These three comments made me think about all I have and am able to do.

I don't feel guilty.

I have worked hard to live the life I do,

I give back.

Just after we were married, Steve and I joined the Peace Corps and served as volunteers in Jamaica.

We give financially to a variety of organizations.

I am a volunteer coach in a volleyball program at my school that allows our students to play for free and compete against expensive club teams with paid coaches.

I am proud to say I live in a wonderful giving neighborhood. 

I wrote about the caring people of Brunswick Lane here .

I guess I just needed to voice my thoughts about my students and their everyday lives.

I have gotten my REALITY CHECK


I will remember to


Saturday, April 21, 2012

In Search of the Sun

We awoke to fog today.

It is a rare Saturday morning that we have:

no volleyball tournament,

no appointments,


no company.

But, we also have no sun.

Gray skies

It's been a long week because every day I had a night time activity at school.

I was looking forward to working in the garden, but it was so gloomy.

So, we put our bikes in the car and headed for the hills.

We parked at the foot of the hills and pointed our bikes toward Ojai where the forecast was hot and sunny,

We regularly ride our bikes along the beach, but it is flat.

The ride to Ojai is a gradual uphill climb for 10 miles.

How can I be so out of shape?

I walk on the beach every morning.

I coach volleyball 3 times a week.

I run during the warm up with my players.

I garden, play tennis, cycle and kayak.

All of my activities use different muscles,  but obviously not uphill cycling muscles!

The only thing keeping me going was the thought of a relaxing lunch 


a speedier downhill ride back.

I took my camera along and got a few pictures.  

 I like this cute little fella.

I had no idea there was an alpaca ranch in Oak View.

I love this wonderful stone wall.

There is a beautiful gate off to the left, but I couldn't get a good shot because there were 3 trash cans right next to it.

Flowers were blooming everywhere.

We would never have reached Ojai if I had taken photos of everything that caught my eye.

The bike trail runs behind the houses and there were some beautiful rose gardens that I would loved to have photographed, but I was holding Steve back already with my speed, or lack thereof.

We were surprised to come across this beautiful bridge -  a recent addition.

The trail used to run right through the stream.

We stopped for lunch at the Ojai Valley Inn and looked out at the Ojai Valley and lovely oak trees.

Riding home was a different story.

We sped down the hill that had nearly conquered me.

A 20 mile bike ride in the sun was just the ticket.

Driving home, about 1 mile from the ocean, we could see the marine layer hanging along the coast.

We found the sun and I earned the right to just sit and read tonight in front of the fire.

I hope there is sun in my garden tomorrow, but if not, I know where we can find it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bucket Brigade

I'm a woman on a mission.

On Sunday I put in a good day's work in the garden.

My spring cleaning time is limited due to volleyball season, but I am determined to not fall behind.

Last night I tackled THE bathroom.

Our tiny cottage has just one bathroom.

We did a little remodeling about 6 years ago putting in a new toilet and a pedestal sink and retiling the shower.

We chose an ocean theme.

  I love the tile, but with the shower curtain closed, it is rarely seen.

Oh, well.  

At least we enjoy it when we shower.

When we bought the house there were no shelves in the bathroom and only a cabinet under the sink.

We put in this cabinet behind the sink.

KC found the shell knobs at Anthropologie.

We added these shelves next to the sink.

We bought the shelves over 30 years ago when we purchased our first house.

They have hung in some location in every house we have owned.

When we moved to our little cottage, we put them in the kitchen.

After our remodel, we moved them to the bathroom, but they were a tad too long.

I painted them white and had them cut them down to size.

Voila -  storage space in the bathroom.

Tonight, I looked at the shelves and realized that I had not moved things around on the shelves for about three years.

I can't believe I was that lazy and complacent about my decorating.

I went to this cupboard to find some items for the shelves.

When I move things around the house I store what isn't used in this cupboard.

 I would not want anyone to open these doors - no skeletons, just things stuffed in willy nilly.

Organizing and painting the cabinet is on the top of my summer "TO DO" list.

These buckets were sitting on a shelf in the cupboard.

The sea glass has been collected on our walks since we moved to the beach
the blocks are from an alphabet set Steve bought me for Christmas from the Sundance Catalog outlet.

I own two copies of the Beach Pails book - both gifts from friends who know how much I like beach pails.

To keep the bucket theme going, I went to the attic to find this vintage reproduction

and these little buckets. 

I bought two dozen of these buckets for a beach party we were hosting.

All I did was clean the bathroom and move a few things around.

I didn't spend any money, but it feels fresh and clean.

What will I change next?


I am linked up at Shabby Creek Cottage

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My New Table

Last week I fell in love and wrote about it here.

The trouble is, I am not ready for a new table.

When we move the stereo out of the living room, I want to remove the green cabinet and put my new table in its place.

I haven't even called the electrician yet, so my table needs a temporary home.

I thought about putting it in the entryway and moving the red cabinet,

but the table just wasn't right in the space.

Moving things around in the entry made me notice how small the shelf is.

 Replacing it will be my weekend project.

I settled on the hallway for now.

The painting is about 3 inches too low, but I'm not going to move it since it is temporary.

I absolutely love the legs on this table.

An assortment of old shells and favorite books grace the top of the table.

When I went to pick up the table I bought the fleur de lis that is on the top of the blocks.

I am loving this table more and more each time I look at it.

I almost did not go to the antique store on Friday.

I had to drive a student home all the way across town and then go to the bank.

The wind was blowing like crazy...
 I was tired...
and I wanted to get home.

But, something made me drive back across town.

I am so glad I made the effort, because now, this lovely table is mine.

Now, it is time to call the electrician.


I am linked up at
My Romantic Home 
Show and Tell Friday

Monday, April 16, 2012

All In A Day's Work

Last Sunday was a spectacular spring day - clear blue sky, no wind and nothing I had to accomplish.

After our morning beach walk, I headed to one of my favorite spots in our little cottage - the garden.

The piece has been hanging on the fence outside my bedroom, flowerless, for too many years.

Last weekend I got JP to suspend it from the eaves on the exterior wall of Steve's studio.

I have always felt like this section of the wall looked stark and cold.

I put in some plants, but I'm not sure if they will survive in such a shallow container.

I bought a little bird and heart at American Home and Garden to add a little something.

I'm happy with the way it turned out and hopeful that the plants will thrive.

With that task complete, I moved to the front of the house to tackle this baker's rack.

JP commented on his last visit that he wasn't impressed with my display of discarded beach toys.

It has been niggling at the back of my mind all week.

I can't have any plants or flowers because the dryer vent is just below the window so everything either dies or gets covered in lint.

Although it is off to the side of the front, it is seen by anyone who goes to the front door.

I gathered some old birdhouses from around the house and yard

and gave some new life to the old shelf.

I ate lunch in the garden and

decided I had done a pretty good day's work!


I'm linked up at  Savvy Southern Style

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'm In Love

I fell in love on Friday.

I wasn't planning on it.

No one plans love, it just happens.

I thought about my love all night and it was my first thought in the morning.

I was totally obsessing.

After work on Friday I dropped in at American Home and Garden.

I wasn't looking for anything in particular.

I walked in just before closing and was warned that I only had 15 minutes.

That was enough time to find this

Art project?

and this

Part of the art project?

and this.

And, it was enough time to fall in love

with this table.

We are having some wiring done in the house so we can move the stereo system from the living room to Steve's studio.

I decided I wanted a long skinny table to go next to his leather chair.

I had not planned to look for a table yet because we haven't even contacted the electrician, but when you see it, you just know.

The tag says it is made from an old church pew.

The green top goes perfectly with the slipcovers.

I had a volleyball tournament on Saturday morning and while I was doing my duty as a referee, I was dreaming about "my" table.

As soon as the tournament was over (my girls won their division) I rushed back to the store to see it.

There was my table waiting for me.

I had done some measuring on Friday night and the table was just a few inches too long for the space, but I wanted it anyway.

I figured I could move some furniture around and make adjustments.

My table was a little more than I had planned to spend, but I glossed over that.

I wanted it!

But, love is fickle.

I turned around and spotted another table tucked in a corner.

I felt guilty cheating on my table, but I was in love again.

And, it is just the right length.

And, it is less than half the price of my first love.

And, the saleswoman offered me 10% off.

How could I pass it up?

I was parked in a half hour space and I was supposed to be home to go to Steve's art show so I walked away.

But, as soon as we arrived at the art show I called the store and asked them to hold it for me.

They opened at 11:00 this morning

and this sweet little table is now sitting in my house waiting for me to decide where to put it until the wiring is done.