16 January, 2010

Rearranging our Stories ~ literally

In January, we worked hard to reclaim and rearrange one of our library corners in the house. Books should be dusted well at least once a year, anyway, but we took this opportunity to de-texture the ceiling and re-do it to match the rest of the family room/dining room. We also made the area more inviting as a delightful reading corner.

pre-reclamation - there were boxes on the floor of things to donate. This had become a storage area, since it is so close to the back door of the house. We scraped the ugly popcorn ceiling to refinish in a pattern that matches the rest of the family room and dining area.

Tigg wondering what in the world are we doing

Half empty library nook, J helping out

nice protective window cover there. Haha.

Painting and putting up wainscotting. We already had all the supplies for the re-do from several years back.

library nook at night.

Ninety-eight per cent finished. Just need nice trim above the wainscotting and on the shelves on the right. After the wedding, we may well put the fifth shelf back in, just behind the chair.
Until then, we may put up some art above the chair. We have a painting done by my late grandmother, or I may put up a Norman Rockwell print of old Colonial Philadelphia.

Till the next project,

14 January, 2010

Favorite Things

This edition of Favorite Things is dedicated to the wedding planning/shopping. Our daughter, her fiance and I have been researching photos, websites and all sorts of ideas. She has been making notes while I take photos of ideas she and her fiance are settling on for the big ceremony and celebration. K's fiance has drawn and is finishing the painting of their wedding invitations.

These are the Perfect Shoes ~ Do they remind you of anything? They are patterned after the design of Danielle's shoes in the movie 'Ever After.' These are in ivory, while the Ever After shoes were in silver and white.

Table decorations. We hope to have Indian Paintbrush wildflowers to place in bottles. There may be something else in the water in the bottles, which will keep the little kids entertained.

The following informal bouquet is one idea dd has for the wedding ~

I bought these to place out on the front porch ~

Another idea for guest table centerpieces. I have a collection of pottery pitchers, and the kids like the idea of using them to decorate the tables. Sunflowers are one choice, but it all depends on what's most available. Dd loves wildflowers, so that is what she is hoping for.

Since tree leaves will be somewhat limited in mid-late march, we've come up with these tea lights to hang from various branches of our backyard trees.

One of my girlfriends, who is like an aunt to the bride, has bunches of ivy vines she needs to clip back in her yard. We are going to work together and use those vines to create our own wildflower heart wreaths.

We purchased these garlands and flowers already to post around the deck railing and in places on the second-hand iron gazebo we've purchased as a focal point for the service. I think we will wish we had more! Or, we can fill in the gaps with fresh flowers, perhaps.

I love symmetry when it helps to balance out areas that are not symmetrical, so I purchased 14 glazed pottery pots to line the deck. I told the kids that I liked them and would buy them for deck decorations in the spring anyway, and that they did not have to agree to use them for the wedding unless they really liked the layout and pots. I think dd was surprised at how it softens and dresses up the barnwood, so we'll either plant wildflowers or Tulips in them. I need to find four more at a different JoAnn's to have enough for the far railing to the left of where these photos end.

Do you like the look?

Ooooh, gorgeous lace we've already purchased ...

Another view of the bouquet idea ~

May or may not make some of these for the doors and windows on the house ~ Dogwood provides such a picture of early spring, but it may be the wrong shade of yellow for the look our dd wants.

Veil ideas ~

and a lovely, lovely shawl. Do I need this? I may go with a bolero or other jacket over my dress, instead. Easier to move around during the reception.

In case you are interested, this is where you can find those beautiful shoes!

I'll post a progress report when we get the gazebo assembled.

Javamom, mother of the bride :-)

07 January, 2010


We had a fantastic and eventful Christmas Holiday, both away up into the Oklahoma Blizzard and here at home with the kids. Dd and her fiance spent a lot of time both before and after Christmas with us to celebrate the holidays, fiance's 21st birthday, and making wedding plans and shopping together. I find it hard to write it all out, because this is more a journal of memories than it is a "how-to" post. I could make it an advice post about wedding planning, but I am not as inspired to write that all out at this moment.

I could share my spreadsheets that I made, one for our daughter and one for the Dread-Pirate Sparsebeard (Hubby) and myself for getting on with all the details and doing them in a timely manner. Those are constantly being updated, though, and one got tomato bisque over half of it when daughter's catty-whampus, wobbly planning table (aka cheap card-table ;-) collapsed beneath her and sent everything but her mac to the floor!

Perhaps I can take a picture of one of the charts, and post a few photos of ideas we are working up for the BIG DAY.

The engaged, young-adult kids are back to work and so headed back to the city to their respective rental homes, and I am missing them. However, we got so much accomplished while they were spending days upon days with us post-Christmas. Daughter helped me to clean around the end of my bed where things tend to collect on the antique trunk. It took a couple of hours to make sure we had sorted things appropriately without losing any family photos or important papers, but it is such a motivator to see that area clutter free now! It had grown and grown after I had hand surgerys years ago. I could not lift or do anything for six months after the first surgery, and only a couple of months after my second surgery in the second half of that year. I also had to deal with the physical and mental/spiritual issues of my new reality. I know...shoulda, coulda, woulda dealt with Mt. Doom before now, but...for some reason it was difficult to make time for dealing with it in our busy, busy day. Often, it is just the "Tyranny of the Urgent that stands in my way, but I have tried to tackle this mount before.

Every time I tried to face Mt. Doom in the past year or two, it brought back some sad, faded memories of a season-gone-by. With new inspiration from daughter, who may be moving very far away soon, we faced this mount together. I am grateful to her and was surprised to find some happy things in that mountain, along with the other things. How like God and such is life for that to happen.

I am inspired to get the make-shift row of books and notebooks along the wall beside my bed all cleaned out and given away or thrown away now. Atop that row is piled a plethora of other things, home-made dolls, pillows, bag of wedding flowers, bookbags, you name it. It is another hot-spot, catch-all that is easy to ignore.

I mentioned this on the phone to a friend recently and she shared a similar story of facing her bedroom corner which became a catch-all during her time of fighting breast cancer and being stuck in bed and in recovery for months and months. Two January posts in particular really fit what I was also facing, but I did not know it until she pointed me toward her blog, which I had not read since before the Thanksgiving and Christmas hustle and bustle. Waltzing in the Closet of Redemption and Clod-busting with Hosea are worth your read. The Titles alone are inspiration themselves.

While I should be climbing the mountain of Spanish grading to be excavated, I am more inspired to excavate (deep clean) other hot-spots and repairs in the house...and to come up with better titles for my posts in the new year, haha!

Till later,

Javamom, sneezing through the dust as I bust up the mountain boulders

03 January, 2010

Plans solidifying

There has been such a flurry of activity at the Booksncoffehaus of late, with the upcoming wedding of our only daughter. Booksncoffee Cottage is and will be "Wedding Central" for the next 2.5 months. Dd and her fiance have talked over many options for ceremony and reception set-up in our backyard, and we're putting those ideas into motion. Now we pray for a beautiful few days, so that rain won't mess up all those hopes. We do have a back-up plan, but the kids hope upon hope that we don't have to revert to those plans.

DD and I found the perfect dress, purchased over a dozen garlands and the same of dozen cream-colored flower pots, among other things. She found the perfect shoes, but is waffling on purchasing them...but they are PERFECT, so I am encouraging her to order them. No other shoe would be right on her, except perhaps ballet flats.

Amidst all the fun and chart-making, we also continue to homeschool, the boys taking one outside class each to round out their curriculum and add some fun with friends. I teach Spanish on Wednesdays in the home, so the boys have other friends coming here to learn and socialize, as well. It's a win-win situation! It is rather a comfort that so much of our life centers around "home," from home birthing in the late 80's through the mid-nineties, to home schooling, and now home-wedding! We all love the outdoors, so this is also an extension of that passion. Our oldest son's wedding last summer reflected that preference as well, when he and his wife married at a gorgeous park near the home of my in-laws.

So I take this rest-day to pause, to breathe, to reflect and regroup. It is an enjoyable ride, for the most part. Now it's time to get moving and "do the next thing!"

Javamom, whose New Year has started on a harmonious and vigorous note