Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm NOT Moving but...

Well, I had a great listing that I wanted to show today but while working on this post
I discovered that all the photos are copyrighted and I'm not able to show them.
Then I started a search and found more information on this property
but still no photos to share.
I did find out that it sold three years ago for $35,000.00!!!
and they are currently asking $79,000.00 and the estimated value of the place is $88,000.00
on some searches
and as high as $121,000.00 other places.
It needs A LOT of WORK but as I've said before, 
I'm not moving, but....

It sits and 5.2 acres, obviously it's more about the land.
The owner is selling through a FSBO website and then it occurred to me that I could just post a link to it for your viewing! 
I know it's inconvenient to have to do this but I really think you need to see the photos to appreciate my IDEAS.
So, HERE it is!
and here are my ideas for the place.
(All links for these images can be found on my Pinterest board entitled FARMHOUSE.)

First I would redo the exterior in white siding and lots of windows for more light -

and a porch with grey floors in the front-

and an enclosed porch to the side or maybe something like this -

and a metal roof, but in a blue-grey color -

and then around back would be an enclosed porch with room for a pool-

Inside I would have exposed beams and skylights-

and have it kinda Modern but still Country -

and have things Simple, Natural and White-

and then a Big Barn in a Beautiful Turquoise color -

because I would need a barn for HORSES! -

and maybe some little lambs -

and then I'd need a truck, to haul around my family -
I mean, if I was moving, but I'm not.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


my family
my friends, (including those I have never met.)
for my health
my home
my job 
and my furry kids.

Wishing you all a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I'm NOT moving but....

As I was saying yesterday, I have an addiction to house-hunting.
I'm in no position to move.
My home still has many projects to be completed and I don't want to go into deeper debt and make a move that is not really necessary.
But I continue to dream and it's become my lunch halfhour break hobby.
Surfing the net and looking.
So I am going to share a weekly post of the houses that I find that I think about moving to in my little fantasy world.

OK, here's the house I was telling you about in yesterdays post.
The one my step-mom said - "Wow! and that's a good price too" house.
Evidently it is a good price because it just went on the market and it is already Sale Pending!
I love the stone on the front and how the garage is connected but it's not.
The front area where the the house is connected is open but the back is solid with a door. I could come out of the garage and let the dogs right into the backyard.

In the living room is a simple fireplace. I'd love a fireplace.
The white walls and carpeting are totally my style.

I love the built-ins and that door might leading out to the 3 season porch.
Oh dear! THAT could be a problem. I'm just realizing this after viewing it several times.
Definitely could be a deal breaker.
My plan was to pull into the garage and to let the dogs out in the backyard and then to let them come into the 3 season porch.
But the thought of them walking into the white living room!
Darn, I had hoped that it opened into the kitchen.

The Dining Room
Love the windows. I can envision plants in front of the windows
or more likely a padded bench for the little dogs to look outside.

The kitchen - I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of this kitchen.

 I don't care for the cabinets and would prefer them white. And the appliances?
Stainless would be nice but I'd be happy with white. 
I'm actually fine with the butcher block counter-tops.
If the cabinets were white.

This is what I really love.
The huge level backyard.
 and especially the 3 season porch for the dogs.

I love how there's that space is closed off from the street in front.
I would have to put up a privacy fence though.
Here's the front area again -
OH wait! there is small enclosed area!
That could be a mud-room/ wipe your paws area!
I bet that goes directly into the kitchen.
OK, now I really want this house again.

and then the two bathrooms -

Nothing special but both much nicer than my current one.

and then there's the Art room

and the two bedrooms -
I like the built-ins but not crazy about blue carpet.

I like this bedroom much better. 
The wood floors and the cubby hole would make a nice reading spot.
This one would be mine.

What you are not seeing in this post is the house's location.
It's only a few blocks from my own home but
to get to it you drive down tree-lined brick streets.
It's tucked back and away. Very quiet.
I've walked the dogs past these houses many times.
It just has such a nice ambience.

I think it's lovely. 

I wish the new owners happiness in their new home
and good decorating decisions.
(full listing HERE).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Brand Spanking New! (sort of)

Some days I think about changing around my blog.
I think about trying to zero in on a topic and fitting into a category.
But I've always been a round peg trying to squeeze into a square hole.
Yeah, I know that I've got that backwards... but not really.
I think of myself as much more "round" and the "square" hole is truly representative of past careers.
Then I decided that it's MY blog, I can have it about anything and everything.
So, it's a blog about Dogs and Cats and Art and Writing and My House and about Gardening and about being a Single person living on a Small income with Grand Ideas and dreaming about Horses and.....
But I could "tidy" it up and make it more organized.
Maybe weekly posts on specific topics so readers would know that if its Tuesday,
she must be blogging about...
and then if that particular topic of the day is not their cup of tea
well, they can skip it!
Although I hope they/you won't.
Of course, no matter what the topic maybe be, it will most likely still involve pets.
An example being, if I talk about a house, it will still have to be pet-friendly.
Many times in the past  I have felt overwhelmed by life.
I felt that I had to step away from the computer when in fact the blog and my blog friends are what pulled me through, encouraged me and brought me happiness again.
I will be working on "old black cat boo" and try to make it more focused and a better read
and I'm always open to ideas and suggestions.

I have my Art blog that I will concentrate on adding more of my work to.
Maybe I will add PayPal button so that if I have something over there and someone likes it, they can contact me to purchase it.

and I have my other blog that I completely cleaned out and I will start working on it also.
I've decided to use that blog just for my book on Blue. 
I will of course continue to talk about him here but I want to have a spot to solely dedicated to him and the "book".

Yep, I'm jumping in and after 4 1/2 years of blogging, I'm finally going to try to do more than just ramble.

Tomorrow I will begin my Sunday posts of "I'm NOT Moving but..."
I decided on this title when I realized the other day that I periodically email my step-mom listings of houses that I have found and I always start my emails to her by saying - I'm not moving but....
I love looking at house listings on my lunch break at work and I often show the girls in the receptionist area my newest obsession and while they are nice about to me, I can feel the eye-rolling.
I do like emailing my step-mother though because she will send me back observations.
Things like "That's pretty far out, what about the drive into town every day?"
or "Hmmm....what about the..(fill in blank)"
Yesterday I sent a listing to her and she replied
"Wow! and very good price too!"
and then she added -
"But what about the WHITE carpet?" to which I replied that it would hide Blue hair and, well... maybe I could restrict the pets from the area.
"Maybe" she replied with a smiley face.

I always pick out houses out of my price range, but close enough that they seem slightly possible.
Well, if I wanted to go deeper into debt and work until I'm 86.
Or houses that I might be able to almost afford but need lots of work.
I don't know why I am obsessed with this, but I am.
I'm happy enough where I am but I enjoy the dreaming.
Except when I find a home that has all the work done and is move in condition and then I become sad because I have so much work left on THIS home.

There are other blogs that do this sort of thing.
One is SF Girl by the Bay. I ADORE her blog.
She does posts called "I could live here."
HERE is an example.

Then there's the blog "Hooked on Houses". 
I can easily spend hours over there.

and of course, Nita's BLOG post that she does on Sundays 
and a wonderful example HERE
Her posts remind me of the Sunday drives where my Mom would have our Dad drive us all around looking at Open Houses.
My Mom enjoyed going into beautiful homes and just looking.
As a kid I didn't enjoy it and couldn't understand the attraction.
But now I totally get it!
Hmmm, maybe it's in my DNA.

So tomorrow, go visit Mod Vintage Life and then drive over here
and see the house that's "Wow, That's a very good price!"
The first of my Topic posts!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Prints! Duh.

that's the answer.

That and using a different medium.

I'm liking pen, ink and Inktense today.

yep, that's what I'm doing,
I told you I was spending all my time doing these!
(and I'm also using PAST paintings and adding text to them before making prints.)
I still have several paintings that I haven't finished yet but...
I'm done.
for now (except those dang commissioned ones that I promised).

Friday, November 15, 2013

I HATE doing commissioned paintings....

well, not every single one of them but most.
This one took me FOREVER.

Actually it's the second painting of this little dog.
I had done one of just his face and then when he came into the clinic,
I realized that my painting of him, that I had not yet finished, had him with a much wider face.
One of my co-workers thinks that maybe I was channeling my Jimmy instead.
So I started over and did a full body painting from a photo I had taken of him.

At first I had him too "yellow" and then too dark and finally I think I came up with a shade that I felt was right.
Or at least as close as I could get.
Then I kept messing with his "eyes" and suddenly one was bigger than the other.
Finally I got to the point where I felt it was the best I could do...
although I still am not completely happy with the finally result.
I tell you, it's so mentally exhausting on me that I wonder why I do it.
I took the painting into my co-worker and she was ecstatic.
She even wiped her eyes.
Now she wants me to paint her other dog.
I already have another co-worker ahead of her who has sent me photos of her dog (who has passed on a few years ago) and she wants me to do his portrait with his tongue out.
Luckily they are very good photo shots but I feel the pressure just thinking about it.
Then another co-worker who is moving and will be gone in a few weeks asked me to paint her dog too...
and then another has text me photos of her mom's dog and her grandma's dog and needs them as Christmas presents.
Jeez, the pressure.
and then...there's the money issue.
How much to charge. 
In this world of art prints and copies of paintings at Hobby Lobby and Target selling at super low prices, people just don't get it.
People ask how much time I spent on painting and that kinda drives me crazy.
Today I gave a dog a bath and blow-dried him and his owner paid me almost as much as I made for the painting and it only took me 20 minutes!
(Yeah, take a moment to think about that!)
There's much more to this story but you never know who is reading my blog so I'm just leaving it here.
I think I will do the paintings that I must do and then just concentrate on my "Kanga" and my "Blue" book,
and on my house. 
Yep, just working on it and getting it to a point where I'm happier with it.
I know well enough that I will never be done with my "House" projects
or the "Happiness" thing.
But I do need to learn to just enjoying Life instead of working and worrying it away.

Oh! and one more thing -
I actually COOKED the other day.
Oh wait, not cooked but BAKED.
Baked cookies for Blue's birthday for work.
What a pain!
But it was in honor of Blue and everyone said they were delicious and they ate them all!
and it did have an UP side in the fact that
the frosting turned everyone's lips and teeth BLUE!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


My Blue was born!
TIME sure does fly! 
"My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dog's eyes."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm Painting

and painting and painting.
I have so many paintings started that you would think me insane if I told you how many.
But they are everywhere.
Stacked on the kitchen table, stove, cabinets and all over the laundry room.
I'm trying not to THINK and just DO them.
I've turned on the ceiling fans and the stove in an effort to get the layers to dry quicker.
But I have nothing finished yet to show.
I've taken breaks between layers and gotten on Facebook but trying not to let myself get lost Internet surfing.
The cats are rattling the basement door but I can't let them upstairs or they will ruin my Art mess.
Actually downstairs is the warmest place in the house so it's not like they are in a dungeon.
The dogs have been pretty good.
I snapped this photo of Ping and Vera sleeping on their big PILLOW.

Too bad I have to work tomorrow.
I hate to stop when I'm on a roll.
More later!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you; cry, and you cry alone."

Or maybe not.
I hate to cry at work.
First, it's unprofessional.
But maybe that just applies to the type of previous careers that I've had. 
Like in Banking and Retail.
I have cried so many times at my current job that if anyone was counting, they have long given up.
But THAT type of crying was over losing my pets which sadly happens all too frequently when you rescue the elderly and/or disabled.
and then I cry over pets that seem like my own pets to me because I have boarded them so often, when they've passed too.
And I cry when I'm comforting owners (I even hug them although I definitely NOT a hugger) as I share their grief.
and sometimes I cry over a sad heartbreaking story told to me at work
or when I glimpse a pet that reminds me of a lost loved one.
OK, so I cry.
It's not like it's on a daily basis, although sometimes it does seem like it.

So last Saturday I went to my sisters home to visit with my oldest niece Grace before she leaves town.
She's moving to Wisconsin. She doesn't have a job but is confident that she will find one.
We sat on the sofa and she shared photos of her trip to England with me.

She's just returned from an artist workshop that she said was like a big fun artsy sleepover.
It was held at a friends home who she met when she went to France a couple of years ago
for a Masters Class with the Frouds that was held at a Castle.

Yep, a Castle.
I'm so happy for her. She is so talented and so beautiful.
(this is her own design she did for a tattoo for a friend)
Beautiful in that no make-up, wise old soul, twenty-four year old way.

If I didn't love her so much, I'd be jealous but instead I'm happy. 
Happy for her although a tad bit wistful.

On Sunday I was working on my paintings and I got up and walked around and cried.
Blue just laid in his chair and looked at me with his sad eyes 
and Nora came and pressed the tip of her tongue on me

and Jimmy crawled into my lap
and I cried some more.
Some of the little dogs stopped their playing and stared at me and some just ignored me, but little Louie started trembling.
"It's OK Louie," I picked him and pressed his face to my cheek.
I let everyone outside and let the cool Fall air whip my hair around, trying to clear my head
and then we all came back inside.
I walked to the table and looked down at the paintings.
I didn't feel like doing them.
Aren't artists supposed to want to spend every waking and stolen moment creating?
Just craving the chance to make Art?
I went to Etsy, to see what others are doing. I was hoping for inspiration
and I found several  artists that are very similar to my more realistic style.
So much for inspiration.
I went to blogs and read for awhile and watched stuff on Youtube.
I got off the computer and started scribbling out a drawing of me and the dogs in my van.

I put it on Facebook because I thought the image of Nora barking in the back of the van would make people I know laugh.
I really enjoy my more cartoonish style.
Maybe I'll just try to focus on that a bit more.
So all is good. Right?
So why am I still crying?

Monday I'm at work and the Office Manager came back to talk about the boarding schedule but stopped and asked if I'm OK.
I replied that "I'm fine"
"Really?" she asked and I nodded rigorously as I leaned into a cat cage and pet one of my boarders.
She stared and I replied.
"It's not work related"
She continued to stand there, looking at me
and I started crying.

"I love my pets and if I have to work someplace, I'm glad that I'm working with animals and"  I paused and blurted out
"I was home painting this weekend and hating it! All I do is just work on my house or paint or take care of critters and I don't ever do anything else...."
I was really crying now
and so was she.
She said "I know  exactly how you feel! I feel the same way."
We were both just standing there and blubbering and then Lily walked in.
"Why is everyone crying?"
"It's nothing" I sniffed and then I read her thoughts'
"It's nothing concerning any of the animals, it's just about... being Sad".
"Oh, ok" she replied and walked off.

On Monday Grace arrived in Wisconsin and on Tuesday she text me that she had found a job.
She's going to be working in a little shop and teaching beginners, Art.
She's excited and I told her how cool that was and how happy I am for her.
I then text her that I wish I could do a "freaky Friday" with her and have her change places with me for a little while.
She responded that she would if she could but while we were switched, she would be quitting my job.
Then she added, "Be prepared to cry a lot and be super sensitive"
and I "LOL!" her back and told her "And YOU be prepared to cry a lot and be sensitive about everything too".
We text a bit more and I know she'll be fine.

I'm sure she's just sad about being away from home and not sure what the future holds for her

Later that evening I talked with someone else who told me that all they do lately is cry.
She can't seem to figure out where her life is headed or what career to go for or if she should move. 
I tried to be supportive and listen.
Sometimes people just need other people to listen.
I hung up and thought - What the Hell is going on!?

This morning I met my best friend for breakfast.
We meet at 6:30 before I go to work.
She always cheers me up and motivates me.
She told me of her job promotion, something she has been working very hard towards.
It will require a lot of overtime but that will enable her to drop her part-time job.
She has wanted this so badly.
She has also been commissioned to decorate a restaurant.
She's already done several mini-mansion homes and also the kitchen set on a local TV show.
She's just celebrated a big wedding anniversary and we gasp at how the years have flown.
We talked about how we always said that we dreamed of someday just staying home and painting.
That reminded her that she had some pastel artist pencils for me.
She didn't use them anymore and thought it might be something different for me to try.
I tell her about my weekend and she urged me to do the more cartoonish illustrated work.
She said that I seem to enjoy that more.
I nodded my head and then laughed and said. "All I seem to enjoy anymore is Blogging about it. Not actually DOING it".

We walked out of the breakfast place and it was raining.
We started to say good-bye before dashing for our cars when
she looked kinda sad for a moment and said
"Jeez, I used to say I can't wait to retire and just stay home and paint and now I don't know what I want to do"
I smiled at her and said "I know"
and tried not to cry as I ran for my car.

I'm sure that I'm feeling like this because the seasons have changed
or that I'm not getting enough sleep because the dogs don't realize that daylight savings is over
and they still get up at the hour that they are used to, which cuts an hour off my already too few hours of sleep.
I'm sure that I will snap out of this and I wasn't even going to blog about it but...
I got to thinking that with all these people in my life, feeling like crying...
well, if there is anyone out there feeling like that too, 
just know that that you are not crying alone.
We have just hit a "sad" patch and a bad day or week doesn't mean a bad life.