We are getting down to the bare bones of our former small master bath so we can make a new footprint and expand the bathroom into unused space.

Here’s the space before he started ripping into the walls. A full before and after post will hopefully be ready by Christmas. That’s my “all I want for Christmas wish”.  The master bedroom is the only area up the stairs from our kitchen so at least it can be out of sight and out of mind. I still feel unhinged and not at the top of my game. We are also waiting to create total chaos in the kitchen area when the new counter tops are cut and ready to be installed.

Here’s a fun photo that our kids took last Friday night when Addy arrived for a couple of days.

Addy and Uncle Andrew. We are an eyebrow rich family!

Have a nice Tuesday everyone.

Gathering the Moments ~ September

It’s time to take a look back at September…

September was a wonderful month of gatherings, homecomings, reunions, birthdays, and completed projects.

P1050610Early in September we met up with a dear long time family friend Timi and her daughter for coffee while she was visiting in Seattle.

10291122_10152701970813919_9195842261775056651_nWe so enjoyed hearing the news that our new little nephew from the Ukraine was home in the U.S.A. with his forever family.

P1050614We celebrated Dear’s birthday with our kids on the Western side of the Cascades.

2014-09-14 Open house1I flew to Southern California to spend time with my pop and extended family on the anniversary of my mom’s death.

Persiaearly UI got to see Timi again with her sister Milla when they came to an open house at my sisters home.  The bottom of this collage is of my mom and Timi and Milla’s mom together in Persia.

2014-09-14 Open house3We celebrated this little ones birthday at the open house, too. Fun cupcake times!

2014-09-15 Molokan Cemetery1While in California I picked up my pop and sister to head to the small Russian cemetery where my grandparents and other relatives are buried. I wanted to see my grandparents headstone.

food SeptBefore I flew home two of my sisters and my niece met up for a dinner together with me. Delicious.

2014-09-28 bathroom4The long anticipated main floor bathroom renovation was finally completed. Sigh…

P1050662Other projects are well on their way at this old house. The siding and upper window are new as of September. Rows of cedar will finish off the top.

P1050665I read two Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny, How the Light gets In and The Long Way Home. I splurged and bought this one instead of waiting for it to be available from the library. I now have read all the books in this series. I feel like some of the characters are my friends…

Some other things that happened this September were soccer games, small group start up, and a new eating and exercise program. I’ll share more about the last two when I see some good results!

I’m thanking the Lord for another full and fruitful month. Thank you Cheryl for hosting Gathering the Moments.

Linking with Cheryl at Thinking About Home for Gathering the Moments.

I Love This Time of Year…

The beginning of the traditional school year is a favorite time for me. I’ve been absent from Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five for a while but I wanted to chime in with some things this week that make my favorite’s list.

My exercise regiment has been totally non-existent for quite a while. It’s been hit and miss at best. Today I hope I’ve found some things to remedy this problem in my life. So here are my five…

P10506181. I’ve had a hard time finding a regular walking buddy since I’ve come back to Washington. If you are part of Susanne’s weekly fave five you know who Willow is. Well…she used to be my walking buddy when we lived in the same city in Southern California but since I moved back to Washington in the Spring of 2010 I’ve been without a regular walking buddy. Boo hoo. Today I joined up with a group from the Senior Center who walk every Tuesday and Thursday rain or shine on a great walking trail close to my home.

P1050624What a beautiful day it was to walk and a nice bunch of ladies. We saw this wonderful view of Mt. Rainier at our turning point on the trail.

2. After being encouraged with being out of doors and walking, I showered and headed to the Senior center to sign up for an exercise class that meets Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. I’m excited about my daily exercise commitment.

2014-08-29 August recap33. I’m happy to be done, done, done, with the Bathroom Renovation company. I’m looking forward to Dear finishing up the bathroom and sharing it with you all in the near future.

10291122_10152701970813919_9195842261775056651_n4. This new expanded family will be my favorite for a long time. I am really looking forward to meeting my new little nephew from the Ukraine.

P10506135. Celebrating Dear’s birthday with most of our kids was another favorite for sure. It is so good to be together and enjoy each other.

I found a photo I took on September 11, 2001 and wanted to share it here, too. We can never take for granted the freedoms we are afforded here in our country and we can never forget that there are those who would love to destroy those freedoms. So thankful to God for his protection over us and that no matter what, we have a hope in our future that cannot be taken away!


What makes your thankful list this week?

Some Painless Therapy…

Dear and I have decided to “cut our losses” and give up on the bathroom renovation being made right by the company we hired. It is better for our peace of mind to give it up and let Dear fix things that need to be done better. After several tries to get them to do things right we’ve decided no more. When you see the photos of the bathroom you will wonder what we are complaining about because you will see the beautiful cosmetic fixes. Unfortunately we had to live with the process and it will take some time for me to bond with the beauty of it all. When Dear finishes the painting and the rest of the window parts come in I promise to show you the before and after. Until then here is a sneaky photo of some wall art that is going to go up that I bought at Hobby Lobby today.

shop therapy 011Yes, a little shopping therapy was in order for today so I made stops at Hobby Lobby, Goodwill, and Trader Joe’s. Hobby Lobby had a 50% off sale going for all their wall art so I bought that metal piece to mount on one of the walls of the bathroom. A tree branch with birds.

shop therapy 009Their fall decor was on sale for 40% off so I bought these Place Cards that I’ll enjoy using at Thanksgiving.

shop therapy 008These Le Creuset ramekins were in the collector section of Goodwill marked at $14.95 for all 6. Because Wednesday is Senior discount day I got 20% off and paid $12.50 for all 6. I saw them at Williams Sonoma for $13.00 each. Now I’ll need to come up with a fun recipe to use them for. If you click on these smaller photos you can see them in their larger format. Speaking of Senior Discount day the employee at Goodwill who came on the sound system to remind us what discounts were available on Wednesday said “If you are 62 or Better you get 20% off” I love that and when I went to the register I told them I was better!!

We had a very nice evening on Tuesday celebrating Dear at a restaurant in Bellevue called Lot #3. They had the most interesting names for their drinks. I had a Left Turn at Albuquerque.


After dinner we took a couple family shots outside the restaurant.



Our son Dan is off hunting in the wilderness so he couldn’t join us.

Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of 9/11, I’m praying that God protects us against evil…but that prayer is nothing new at this old house!


Here and Now…

We’ve been home from England for 10 days now and all I’ve been sharing are posts from our time in England but it’s time to show what’s happening in the here and now…

bath reno 017The bathroom renovation is moving along. What that means for me is that I’m pretty much home bound while the workers are here. The workers show up sometime between eight and eight thirty in the morning and then leave anytime from two and four in the afternoon. That great big bathtub delayed work for a day because there was a glitch in the ordering of it. When it finally came the plumbing work could proceed.

Last Sunday my niece’s family arrived for a little vacation here in Seattle from Southern California for a week. They have been keeping me company some days while the workers have been here. We’ve tried to fit in as many meals around the table together as we can. They are staying at my sister’s house since all her bathrooms are intake. After a very rainy Wednesday and Thursday, Friday dawned dry and sunny!

On Friday my niece Michelle, my dil Laura, my grand niece Avery and I went to Country Village in Bothell for a little shopping and fun.

Country VAvery and I first concentrated on ponies that needed our help to make them move. Boy did I get my exercise and I think I might have earned my “Great” Aunt status.

Country V1When we were done with the not real horses we got free tickets to ride the little train that goes all around Country Village. Avery really enjoyed the train ride. I was amazed I could get in and out of that little car we rode in. While on the train Avery spotted the REAL ponies.

Country V2Yep! We had to have a real pony ride, too. At least on this ride I could just stand and watch and click some pictures. No running and pushing or climbing in and out required.

Country V3We also got to sit in the shade and watch all the ducks in the pond. Avery’s mom and my dil Laura found some fun items to buy while we were busy and we made it home just as the guys returned from their afternoon adventure at an indoor shooting range. It was a win win day for the guys and the gals.

On Saturday we made reservations for 10 at Cactus Restaurant in Kirkland to celebrate my sister Lana’s birthday. What a beautiful day.

P1050563Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nieces, Nephews, Moms, Dads, Brothers, Sisters, Husbands, Wives, enjoying time with each other.

P1050558A very Happy Birthday to my sister Lana and her twin, my brother Leonard on the 29th of July!

P1050564We continue to enjoy some wonderful weather here in the Puget Sound area of Washington.

Monday night Josh, Ryan, Jackson and I are going to a Sounders Soccer Game against the L.A. Galaxy. Then Tuesday morning my niece’s family makes the long trek south to California. We are hoping the bathroom work might be wrapped up by Friday of this week. Time will tell. Hard to believe we are entering the last week of July.

What’s new in your neck of the woods?

Gatherning the Moments ~ June

Looking back at June and all that took place around this old house and beyond.

I’m joining Cheryl at Thinking About Home for Gathering the Moments.


Trees came down, firewood cut, patio covers went up, peonies bloomed and were enjoyed, hydrangeas just started to color.

2014-06-29 Nate's wedding3Main floor bathroom renovations began with the gutting process, removing everything to the studs and car deck, adding a new window, adding recessed lights and a fan/heater, replacing the ceiling dry wall.

2014-06-25 The Girls1Visitors came from the South and visitors came from the North. Tours commenced. The Market, Kerry Park, the Troll, Ballard Locks, Ste Michelle Winery, Whidbey Island, Queen Mary Tea Room, and University Village just to name a few destinations visited.

2014-06-29 Nate's wedding4Celebrations in June included a retirement, combined Mother’s Day/Father’s Day dinner, and a wedding in the Portland area.

USA WC -winery1World Cup fever began and continues!

10409158_10204426113958769_2066162454929421190_nIt’s been a while since I shared a photo of my dear old Pop on my blog. Most every week my sister Lana and niece Melissa join him for dinner at his apartment. This last week my niece Debbee and sister Kathy joined in the fun, too. They are getting real good at taking these selfies. My pop still has his ups and downs with his loneliness but he can still move around well and gets out to his church services and a Bible Study weekly. I appreciate seeing the weekly photos on Facebook since I live so far away…

I have to say that June just flew by this year. July holds many new adventures for us. We are looking forward to a trip to England to celebrate our 40 years of marriage, and when we get back the Bathroom renovation will be completed. What are you looking forward to in July?


2014-06-07 bathroom demoDear always enjoys a good project and I was happy to see him smiling throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. Our bathroom renovation is moving along with the first order of business being a new window. When we moved into this old house we decided to replace all the windows. All the rest of the windows in this house had been replaced maybe 10 or more years ago. The new bathroom window has been sitting in the garage for all those years waiting for it’s debut!

bathroom demo 008Hard to tell with the perspective of this photo but I’m leaning out the opening and taking a shot looking down to the ground. There’s a bit of a drop off in the slope of our yard going from the front to the back of our home. This main floor bathroom is at the back of the house 1 story up! We have a basement that is below a portion of our main floor.

june photo challenge 001The framing for the new window was completed on Saturday but we’d have to wait until Dear got some help other than mine to set the new window in on Sunday. Josh and Laura were able to stop by on Sunday just long enough for Josh to help Dear set the window in and level it before it was secured permanently.

2014-06-09 windowThe old and the new side by side. The old window had a side slide and the new bigger window moved over from the tub and moved a bit higher opens up and down.

Huge sigh of relief that this all got taken care of on the weekend and there was no rain to worry about. Next step is signing the contract with the company we are going with, having them come out to measure and then ordering all the new items for the bathroom. Dear is really looking forward to demolishing the tub surround. We’ll have to keep him from tearing out the toilet and sink since we have an event here on Thursday evening! Our company will get to enjoy our rustic bathroom!

Hope your weekend went well. I’ve got to run to the big box home and garden store to get some supplies for Dear today and get some branches cut up for the yard waste pick up. What’s on your agenda?