Multi-purpose Furniture

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Grandma and Grandpa’s latest building project will keep “Monkey” safe while helping in the kitchen. Now that he tried it out and enjoys it, we’ll tweak a couple things and paint it.

Items that have dual or multi purposes are necessary when living in a small space. Foot stools and end tables with storage, hide-a-bed, murphy bed, all those regular type things.

We’ve made some of our own creations when we can’t buy what we need, or if we can’t find the right size piece.

In my perfect world, I would be working with wood nearly every day because it’s my favourite hobby.

This latest piece might look confusing or overbuilt, but it transforms for four different uses.

In the top picture is it as a aid for my dish washing and baking helper. To grow with him it has four height adjustments.

The picture below it’s an adjustable highchair.

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It also converts into an extra adult chair for at our table.

Plus, I can adjust it for a step stool when needing to access our high cabinets.

There’s building directions for lots of different styles of the four things mentioned  above on Pinterest, but I couldn’t find a multi purpose one. So, with a idea in my head, Mister and I started building this figuring out the arm system as we went.

Do you remember being little and standing on something so you could help in the kitchen?

Do you enjoy making things of any kind?

Do You Holiday or Vacation?

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Which word would you be more apt to use when referring to a summer trip?

A) I’m looking forward to our summer holiday.

Or

B) I’m looking forward to our summer vacation.

I’ve never really thought about the correct definition of these two words. To me they both mean “fun, something to look forward to” so they have been interchangeable to me.

Recent curiosity had me doing some research.

Holiday– A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done. A day of national or religious celebration.

Vacation– An extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home. The action of vacating a space. A holiday period between terms in universities and law courts.

Sentence “A” has probably been my unconscious choice in the past. I’m sure I’ve used the word “holiday” more than “vacation” to describe a get-away.

Will I now think twice before using these words? When writing I will, but my daily conversations rarely involve proper grammar. I’m not a “whom” type of conversationalist, it’s always “who”. Being shy growing up meant I was too nervous specking out loud to worry about wording and sentence structure, and years of that habit is still with me.

I’m actually amazed when I think about how many words I use that I’ve never looked up their definition.

Thank goodness, we can learn by association.

Imagine what childhood would be like, or what it would be like even as an adult, if every new word we came across had to be researched.

If you come across an unknown word do you look it up, or guess it’s meaning by how it is used in the sentence? I use the, association method, the most.

Have you ever encountered that cute little toddler who spoke like a adult, and you thought, what a smart little person?

Maybe this is simply a result of what they are exposed to at a very young age, rather than say “genetics”

Back to my sentence question. Which option would you normally use, A) Going on a “Holiday” or B) Going on a “Vacation?”

A little Tidbit – Just above the word “holiday” in my hardcover Oxford Dictionary is “hole in the heart.”  I didn’t really think that one needed an explanation.

P.S. – So, parents, family, caregivers, teachers, friends, whoever, remember the words you say to a child and how you use them is writing their mental dictionaries and will influence their vocabulary and even knowledge.

Rocking A Hospital Gown

What would make five adults get up at 3:00am, shovel snow to and off two vehicles, then drive an hour into the nearest city in winter blizzard conditions?

This little guys booked early morning surgery.

For those who knew this was where I’ve been this week, I’d like to send out a quick update.

Children’s resilience is amazing. Monkey, (our newest grandson) was a trooper for his recent day and a half hospital stay.

His kidney repair surgery went great, and even though he came home with some temporary body jewelry and a tube, he is back smiling and playing.

We are grateful for amazing medical knowledge, doctors, and all hospital staff who help people with life changing care and procedures.

If love alone can heal then this little guy has absolutely no worries.

A Taste From Heaven

The saying is, “a taste of heaven,” but these cookies are a taste, “from,” heaven.

Even with the trend being the 3 ingredient Peanut Butter cookies there’s only one recipe for me. It’s my Dad’s, hence the, “from,” heaven.

While growing up store bought desserts were rare in our house. Mom worked two jobs, raised five children, kept a spic and span house, sewed some of our clothes, and still every day there was homemade goodies to enjoy. How she did all this became even more a mystery once I became a mom. 

I definitely baked more when our kids were young and at home. These days if I make a homemade pie, it’s a ready to bake pie shell filled with Jello instant pudding, and topped with Dream Whip from a package. Tasty, but homemade might be an exaggeration?

My talent is more cookies or squares. Actually, I only recall making pie crusts a couple times, and breads, those are scary, I leave them to experts like mom.

Dad cooked meals on occasion, and not always one special dish, but when it came to baking, I only remember his “Peanut Butter Cookies.”

The history behind the recipe died with my parents years ago. Was it a cherished one from dad’s childhood? Was it just a stumbled upon one? Maybe it was really one from mom’s side and dad just enjoyed making them? I’ll never know the answer, but at least every time I make these cookies they bring on fond memories.

Dad would be thrilled that I’m sharing this recipe.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Cream Together

• 1/2 Cup Margarine

• 2/3 Cup Brown sugar (not packed)

• 1/3 Cup White sugar

• 1 egg

Then Add

• 1 1/4 Cup Flour

• 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda

• 2/3 Cup Peanut butter

(This recipe also does well doubled.)

Roll into walnut size balls (I use a melon baller) press lightly with fork.

Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes.

A thought came to me while writing this post. I’m going push past the intimidation this winter and make a pie crust and a loaf of bread from scratch. I’ll let you know if they’re eatable.

Do you have a recipe that triggers fond memories?

Do you make the three ingredient, Peanut Butter Cookies?

If you try this recipe let me know what you think.

What Influences You?

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By this age, I should have mastered, which if any, movie or book messages can influence me. There are times though when unwanted impressions are hard to shake.

Did watching Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in “Ghost” make me believe in visits from beyond? Oh wait, bad example. I believed long before seeing that movie that spirts can communicate with us. Mind you, not to that extent, but that is for another post.

Did watching “The Brave Little Toaster” or “Toy Story” make me believe toys have feelings and can come alive? Certainly not. My mom told me about this when I was a little girl. Don’t judge her parenting skills or think what a horrible thing to put in a child’s head. Her exact words have long disappeared, but I smile at this recollection because it never spooked or haunted me. She would tell me to put my dolls, stuffy’s, and farm animals away nice and neat. Occasionally she added something simple, although maybe suggestive like, would you want to wake up at the bottom of a pile or in a dark corner? I’m sure she was just teaching me to appreciate and treat my things with respect, and it worked. I will not confess or deny if our children heard any similar comments in their youth. Smiley face.

Did watching Alfred Hitchcock’s, “The Birds,” affect me? Darn right it did. It instilled a strong cautiousness harboring near fear which I’ll probably never outgrow. Believe me, visiting a bird sanctuary is not on my list to do.

Why am I babbling about movie messages and how they influence us is because of the 2007 comedy/drama, “Bucket List?” It made those two words a popular phrase, you hear almost every day. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie and I get the concept, but I recently realized the phrase, bucket list, bothers me.

I will no longer reference, Bucket list, pertaining to my personal life. I’m switching back to saying, making goals. Goals, has a positivity, a hopefulness, it’s something to strive for and work towards. Checking things off a bucket list is a bit depressing. Oh look, I got one more thing done before… I’d rather say I achieved another goal.

Some of my Goals for 2018.

A big one is, Live by the advice I give others. To not stress and worry about things I don’t and can’t control.

I need to remember, when it comes to our children (actually adults), part of growing is figuring out your own way and learning by the choices. Parents often have opinions which stem from their own experiences, but with youth, as in ours, freedom to follow their own path is necessary.

Not worrying about kids, no matter their age, is impossible. Mister and I try to wait to give suggestions or advice until asked. It’s not that we don’t trust their skills, it’s just sometimes age knows better, or so we think. Another Smiley face.

I will continue to work on when to say something and when not to. I hope our kids realize, it’s not nagging when I say something, or my silence is never because I don’t care. Unbelievable love controls my reactions.

Another goal is, Alzheimer’s sunk its teeth into a sibling last year, so I’m going to keep the sadness that comes with this in check. Instead, enjoy every chance we can spend together and stay positive for that person and their spouse.

Write and read more is a goal ever year.

As always exercise more (with my shoulder healed, get out kayaking again). Eat healthier (occasionally ignoring the snacks that call to me from the pantry) and be productive with planned projects.

Of course, I hope Mister and I can travel this year, take at least one special trip. Our problem is deciding where to go.

In short my 2018 goals are, stress less. Take nothing for granted. Appreciate what I have, not worry about what I don’t, and put even less emphasis on material items. Do things that make me happy. Enjoy every day and spend as much time as I can with family and friends.

Do you set goals or have a Bucket list?

Is there a movie that has influenced your life?

A Queen Of Hearts

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Sharing a life with your child or children is a wonderful and indescribable journey. Not everyday runs smooth, and they shouldn’t. Lessons, good or bad are crucial to a person’s growth.

There are two sides to Mother’s day, a time for children to express their appreciation and a day for mothers to reflect on their joy.

Sometimes, work schedules or time with their spouse’s family means I can’t spend Mother’s Day, with one or all of our children. I understand though, and I’ve said this before, “Any day with them during the year, is Mother’s Day for me.”

Whether a visit on May 14, a phone call, or a message, I’m touched to receive the simplest acknowledgement.

Me as a Mother

Have I made mistakes?

You bet, but I’ve always done the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time.

Will I make more mistakes?

Probably. There should be no repeats, but parenting didn’t come with a manual for new situations, and I will be a parent until the day I die.

I believe, I’ve had a few successful moments too, though. About now, I’m imagining the kids and Mister, groaning and rolling their eye’s, but I’m sure, given enough thought they can come up with some precious memories of things I did right.

My message to our children, forgive my past and future imperfections and misjudgments and know the bottom line is, this Queen of Hearts, will always love you.

To my long past Mother: My love didn’t die with your physical being. I miss and think of you every day.

The years you get with your parents are never enough, so appreciate them while they are alive.

For Mother’s reading this, I hope you have a day that makes you happy or words or a message that make you feel special and loved.

Country Life

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What’s that noise?

Faint rustling followed by squeaks and gurgles of a baby fussing came from the feed and tack stall next to the booth where Mister and I sat at the horse event. Exchanging an knowing glance with my husband I went to investigate.

Pictured above is what I found. Our daughter with this sheepish look sprinkling hay on her little brother who was supposed to be asleep.

Our family often jokes about the saying, “Were you born in a barn.” Although not born in one, our kids spent a good portion of their childhoods in either a barn, an arena, or outside and nearby while we did our chores.

Four legs, manes, tails, and everything horse best describes our daughter’s likes.

For a few years, a spring horse took center-stage in our bay window. She spent endless hours in that saddle, her stare focused outside, and her eyes glazed with little girl daydreams.

The toys that entertained her while indoors were all horse related. My Little Pony’s, Lego stable sets, and the jeep, horse trailer and horses for her Barbie’s. Even the multi story, upright, Barbie house Mister made her, of course, had a floor level barn included.

She was happiest outside, even if just watching the horses eat or roam the pastures. As an adult, she still spends her spare time outside with her horse or in the barn.

She recently posted this picture and description on Instagram. (@candie214)

Pretty sure this is why I like watching people ride, I spent hours on those tires.

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If you look close, you’ll see the small child saddle I’m riding in so I could take the edge off “Dr. Pepper” before she rode.

In her I see the younger me. Doing barn or farm chores was, and is, rarely considered work and when given a choice they trump household chores.

To us horses aren’t a hobby, they are a lifestyle. Location has changed this for me since I live at a lake resort now, but it’s still her way of life.

This is “Nugget” Her current, young, Quarter Horse Gelding she’s training.

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We were blessed as parents to have children, especially teenagers, whose passions meant they were happy at home.

Our son’s interests changed from horses over time and if you haven’t already, check out my post, “Our Version of a Norman Rockwell” for a glimpse into what makes the male’s of our family tick.

Did you have a childhood passion?

Do you still enjoy it?

Our Version of a Norman Rockwell

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Wrenches and grease, are items often involved when Mister and our son are bonding. That’s what I call the time they spend hunched over or laying under a vehicle as they solve an issue or replace a part.

In our family a picture like above would make a more realistic Norman Rockwell scene.

Mister and the son share a fascination and knowledge for anything motorized. Finding the right word to describe their hobby is tricky. Even, hobby, by its definition is misleading, because many things they work on out of necessity not choice. Sometimes the chore is physically taxing, and by their muttered words they don’t always enjoy what they’re doing.

What I know, is they can often listen to a sputtering engine, guess what’s wrong and fix the problem.

They can recognize a vehicle’s make and model with a glimpse of the grill or taillights. Mister more so with the older ones while the son has a keenness for exotic cars and newer models.

They dream and envision building the perfect shop, like the daughter and I do an extravagant barn.

The son drove tractors, lawn mowers, etc. long before having his licence. Behind the wheel of the family 4×4 truck he used gallons of fuel as he practiced in the field while Mister and his father baled hay.

Having children in high school can cause parents stress, but we were fortunate because of this interest our son developed. Instead of wondering if he was partying or getting into trouble, we could look out the back window up towards the shop and know him and his friend were inside. The distance between neighbors in the country allowed their music to play and the shop lights to burn long into the nights while the two of them tinkered on vehicles.

Our sons car which he’s had since late high school. Mister and I were on a trip when we got a call that him and his oldest sister found it for sale.

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This is once it was home, and they removed the worn engine.

Then on a cold snowy winter night, as a family, we pushed and loaded the car onto our flat-deck for its ride to the high school the next day. There the son and his friend put a new motor in as a grade 12, Shop Class project.

After a few more changes, and additions this is how it turned out.

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As silly as it sounds we’ve always named our vehicles, the son calls his car, “Sueño Azul,” “Azul,” for short. That’s Spanish for Blue Dream.

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You know you have a car guy in the family when a picture of his daily driver, above, is enlarged and showcased on the wall of his home.

Encourage your children to have an interest or hobby and be grateful and embrace the opportunity if it is one you can enjoy together.

Does your child have a interest or hobby?

Did they pick it up from you or your spouse?