Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blame it on the desk


It’s all my desk’s fault. Really it is. Honest. I wouldn’t lie to you.

Blame the desk for why I haven’t had time to blog or add more stenciling to the bathroom or re-paint the slant back cupboard that was supposed to be pumpkin when I painted it back in 2010 but it came out orange or any of the other things I wanted to get done in January. Here it is the last day of the month and very few things got checked off my to do list. And as I sat drinking my coffee today, I realized it was all my desk’s fault.

Normally when I show you pics of my desk, they look something like this.  I don’t think people really want to see other people’s messes so I usually grab all the crap stuff and throw it on the bed in our room and show you a cleaned up version of my humble desk. 020

But the truth is, it usually looks more like this….003

Here is a closer look….005

I know – some of you are saying “Hey that doesn’t look too bad!!” 028

But the truth is it is really worse than it looks. Those piles are layers deep.  On top of this pile is the packet from the wedding venue for our daughter’s October wedding. And under it are all kinds of paperwork and ideas that we need to sort out. We still need to decide on so many things like flowers, a photographer, and all the things that I will need to make ~ like the save the date cards, the invitations, place cards, programs, favors, centerpieces and so much more. 015

But one thing that is all set is THE DRESS!!! Last week Jen and I spent the afternoon at a local bridal shop and she found THE DRESS! This was the third time she had tried on dresses but it was a much difference experience and it was a magical special time for her and me. We had the shop almost to ourselves, got lots of attention and so many other pieces fell into place. She found THE DRESS and the the veil. And sitting in that little zebra bag on my desk are the earrings and bracelet we found too! She felt beautiful and looked beautiful. I am so happy for her!!

I know you all want to see THE DRESS, but that will have to wait until after the wedding. This is all I will share…train

And this little sweeties continues to keep me busy 3 days a week. She is so darn smart and her imagination is simply amazing! Most of you know I taught preschool for 20 years and was the Director for several years before leaving that job in 2005 so I have a pretty good working knowledge of what makes a good school. So Lili’s mom and dad have asked me to help scope out preschools for September. In those piles are the names and numbers of some schools Lili and I will visit and then her mommy and daddy will visit the ones I think are good quality programs. 019By the way her daddy turned 33 on Sunday and having the whole family for a roast beef dinner was a welcome distraction from all the projects waiting for me. Mother Nature has been extremely kind to us this winter and the roads and walkways and driveways have remained clear and dry that helped enough that we could get my folks here even. My dad keeps saying “it’s the last time” it was an extra blessing.

Just since I took these pics a few days ago,  I have filled in several more dates on the calendar pages I print out myself with an old version of print shop. I keep them right there on my desk. Also in those piles are the names and numbers of some Home Health Care agencies. I am looking into getting some more in home help for my folks. Since my first career was a geriatric nurse, I guess that makes me pretty qualified to do that as well.  When I left my job in 2005, I said that I had ‘retired’ but it’s uncanny how both of my areas of expertise are being put to work once again.026

I just recently resigned my position as Home Features Manager for the magazine to have more time for all these family commitments so also in that pile are some homeowners contracts and questionnaires I need to scan and send to Kristine as she takes back the tasks I did in that position. I keep the printer hidden behind this piece of ticking fabric. 018

And right in front of the printer are two of the penny rug patterns I wanted to get to this month.029 I envisioned myself sitting in my wonderful new chair stitching away but that hasn’t happened often enough. By the time I sit here in the evening, my eyes don’t want to do that kind of work.018

Inside the wonderful feather basket I bought from my friend Pam over at the Primitive Basketcase blog is a needle punch pattern I wanted to get to as well. Maybe in February…010…of 2013??

I am not even going to tell you what is inside this cabinet. Let’s just say I am pretty sure it will be waiting for me after the wedding, fall photo shoots, fall vacations, Thanksgiving, Holiday photo shoots and Christmas as well!010

If those aren’t enough to fill my days,  in yesterday’s mail I got some more goodies to keep my busy. 003

My staff copy of the spring issue of A Primitive Place & Country Journal. SPRING 2012Even though I had to cut back the amount of time I work for the magazine, I will continue to work part time doing shoots as well as occasionally writing, and one of the perks is getting one of the first copies of the newly released issue. Kristine also sends the issue’s featured homeowners a copy right away too. I think it is soooo nice that they get to see it before the wholesale and subscriptions are mailed out. It’s not too late for you to subscribe and get your spring issue ~ you can do that by clicking ~HERE~. 

Did you notice those little awesomely wrapped bundles? 003Those are some of the soaps I ordered from Ellie’s Handmade Soap. (click on her name to get there) Ellie makes her own 100% natural olive oil soaps. I ordered the Orange & Spice and let me tell you, I could spend all day in the bathroom washing my hands with this. You know how sensitive to fragrances I am and this is a keeper for sure. And Ellie included a sample of her Gardener’s scrub which I am saving for gardening season. She has several other all natural fragrances as well. Do stop by and check them out!

Let’s see ~ what else about my desk can I blame for me not getting to my projects… 

…it couldn’t possibly be my computer which has a link to this….Pinterest

…where I found this gorgeous picture…Pinned Image

…which linked me to this post on Ellie’s blog…. Frog Goes to Market ~Antique Butter Mold …and where of course I saw the butter mold as well as the yellow ware and had to explore more which lead me to this blog post…

Frog Goes to Market ~ Christmas at Mom & Dad’s which was full of eye candy like this..

and this….

and this…

So I of course I just had to explore more of Ellie’s great blog (where I snatched these photos of hers to share with you) and that eventually lead to me Ellie’s Handmade Soap site!

But of course none of that kept me from getting any projects done. Honest.

Until next time ~ prim blessings and hugs, Linda

Saturday, January 14, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things….

Happy New Year!

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope the new year has treated you well so far. It’s been quieter behind my red door the last 2 weeks than it has been for months, and in between Lili time and my folks, I have enjoyed some down time ~ a day here and there when I could stay home alone and I so enjoy those days!!  They are all too rare it seems. I have been cleaning and organizing and purging, and reading! And while I haven’t caught up with all my favorite blogs, I am trying.

Not too long ago I stopped my blogging friend Marlene’s blog ~ Stitchin by the Lake and her post was titled A Few of My Favorite Things. You can read it by clicking ~here~.  She invited her readers to do one of their own Favorite Things post, and I decided it was a great idea. 

Now you already know about my favorite people and my favorite decorating items, so this will be a bit different. I’ll start with my favorite movie of all time ~ because a song from it inspired Marlene’s post. Various Artists The Sound of Music

I saw this movie when I was 10 years old with my dad. It was a weekday and it was just my dad and me. Because my dad delivered mail on Saturdays, he had a weekday off. I  had severely sprained my wrist at school the day before and he thought it would cheer me up. I was mesmerized and loved every second of it!! My parents bought the original sound track record and I played it over and over and over. Anytime I saw it was on TV, I just had to watch it. I still do. My Favorite Things is one of my favorite songs too. And while I love the version ‘Maria’  first sang in the movie as the children gathered in her bed during a thunderstorm, my heart swells each time I hear it the second time when the children are missing her and they start to sing it and then they hear her voice in the background and realize she has returned to them. That makes me tear up every time I watch the movie. You can watch that scene ~here~.


There is nothing like a cheerful daisy to make me smile! When I was getting married in 1975, it was a good thing that David’s former boss was a close family friend who just happened to own a floral shop in addition to the pharmacy because when I said I wanted daisies, not roses, everyone said I was nuts! But not Ronnie… he made sure I got my daisies. In fact my wedding party colors came from the colors in daisies! I consented to a few roses mixed in with the daisies in my bouquet, but everything else was daisies. bridal partyMy bridesmaids carried baskets of daisies.  cutting cakeEven the cake was covered in daisies.

The first perennial flowers I ever planted when we bought our first home were daisies. I brought that plant with me when we moved here in 1986. They still bloom every summer.


Speaking of weddings, I went with my daughter Jen and her best friend while Jen tried on wedding dresses today. This was the second time we have done this and she may have found “the” dress but at the least, she really narrowed down her options. Big mistake going on a Saturday though. Despite an appointment, the gal helping us was helping someone else too and the shop was a mad house so we want to go back on a weekday and try another shop as well. It was still a lot of fun despite the crowds and I can’t wait to go again!


While many people dream of cruises or laying on white sand beaches as the perfect vacation,  I love a good road trip with my honey exploring more of this beautiful country!  Growing up I was blessed to see much of this country on the many camping trips my parents took with me and my other 3 siblings ~ most notably our 6 week cross country camping trip. It was a trip of a lifetime and I will always be grateful my parents made the sacrifices and did the hard work it took for that journey. Now Mr. Red Door was never interested in camping, but we have had some wonderful vacations driving through many states. My all time favorite road trip ever was one we took in the fall of 2005. I had quit my job at the preschool so it was the first time in many years that we could travel for more than a long weekend during my favorite season ~ fall. I had turned 50 and we celebrated our 30th anniversary that year and instead of a cruise or exotic location vacation, I researched areas to explore during foliage season. We took 3 road trips that fall but the one to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (the U.P.) was my favorite! I love boat rides on lakes, train rides through the wilderness, waterfalls and foliage and the UP had plenty!

We did so many cool things, but my favorite part was when we crossed the border from Sault Ste. Marie, MI into Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and took a ride on the Agawa Canyon Tour Train. This one-day wilderness excursion will takes you114 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario over towering trestles, alongside pristine northern lakes and rivers and through the awesome granite rock formations and vast mixed forests of the Canadian Shield.DSC01085

Of course the foliage was amazing!! You know I love me some foliage!DSC01067

We also took a ride on this boat…DSC01062

..through the locks separating Lake Huron and Lake Superior. It was fascinating!DSC01106


Back in the U.P. another fun day was on the The Toonerville Trolley and Riverboat Tour. It was a 6 1/2 Hour Train and Riverboat Tour to Tahquamenon Falls. We rode  5 1/2 miles through the habitat of bear, deer and many other animals and birds. DSC01123

The train brings passengers to the Tahquamenon River where a Riverboat waits to take you on a 21 mile narrated cruise along the pristine river to the rapids 1/2 mile above the Upper Tahquamenon Falls. The Captain gives commentary on river history, Indian lore, and points out any wildlife that is spotted along the way. The foliage that day was gorgeous too!DSC01148

Then we departed the boat for a hike through virgin forest to view the mighty Falls. Passengers then board the boat for the return trip to the waiting train and the ride back to Soo Junction. DSC01133

Another day we took a glass bottomed boat ride on Lake Superior. Can you see the anchor? DSC01162

The Alger Underwater Preserve is located in Lake Superior near the diver-friendly city of Munising in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This area of Lake Superior's shoreline includes the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the site of many shipwrecks.

Preserved by the cold fresh water of Lake Superior, these shipwrecks provide some of the finest sport diving in the Midwest. Each year, wrecks appear and disappear as the currents of Lake Superior cover and uncover them. The total number of shipwrecks in the Alger Preserve is unknown.

Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, forest, and shoreline encompass the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The Lakeshore hugs the Lake Superior shoreline for more than 40 miles. Lake Superior is the largest, deepest, coldest, and most pristine of all the Great Lakes.DSC01158

Getting to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula via the Mackinac Bridge was a sight to behold!!  It is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world. The total length  is 26,372 feet. DSC01054

On our way back home to New England, after crossing the bridge back into the lower peninsula we stayed in the picturesque town of Mackinaw City. DSC01181

From the balcony of our hotel room, we could see the bridge…DSC01182

and we stood outside as the sun set DSC01183

and watched as the lights came on and it was a fitting ending to our trip to the UP. DSC01184

Thanks for indulging me as I got out the CD of pics from that trip. It’s on my bucket list to go back.


Now you know I love my decaf Chai tea for a chilly afternoon or evening but I need coffee in the morning and this is my new love ~Timothy’s German Chocolate Cake K-cups

Timothy's K-Cups - German Chocolate Cake - 24 pack - Click Image to Close

It’s all in the layering ~ first chocolate, followed by coconut, caramel and finally, more chocolate. What’s not to like??!! My only complaint is that it does not come in decaf!


Apple iPad

I could probably make a list a mile long of why I love my iPad. From it’s almost instant on, and it’s portability and all the APPs for educational games and books Lili and I use together, I love how it is so convenient and easy to use. It’s a small luxury that has some practical uses as well.


And while I do sometimes use the eBook library on my Ipad, I love books.

A house without books is like room without windows. ~ Horace Mann[Picture: Pictures of old books: Two shelves of antiquarian books]

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.  ~Charles W. Eliot


Because I am always looking for ways to better myself, I enjoy inspirational life lessons ~ be it a quote or story or a list such as this one that has been going around in emails lately. These are from the Dalai Lama~

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three R’s:
    -  Respect for self,
    -  Respect for others and
    -  Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and
    think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
  20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Pretty good lessons don’t you think?


I think I have kept you long enough so I will end my list with this… my girlfriends! I love my women friends! I am blessed to have women in my life that support me and encourage me and accept me the way I am. I love spending time with each of them!

This must be going around too because several of my friends have sent me this email recently and I thought it was a fun way to end my post.

"A student just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.
At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.

Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym. There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged ~ not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!
So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it's very good for our health."

Here’s to all my girlfriends, young and old, near and far! Thanks for being so good for me!

Thanks so much for stopping by ~ I appreciate your visit!

Prim blessings and hugs, Linda