Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dog Tag Cozy

See Becke?
See Becke's Harnes with tag cozy?

I don't put collars on my dogs, it's a personal choice on my part so her tags are attached to her harness. She has a lot of tags- town license, therapy tags, Canine Good Citizen (CGC) tag, microchip tag, emergency numbers tag, rabies tag, and READing tag. These tags make a lot of noise when she walks and you know one can't sneak up on you if you make all sorts of noise every time you move so I made this cozy for her. I saw something like in a speciality store but knew that I could make it out of scrap material so here is a tutorial in case you want to make one for your dog or as a gift for someone with a dog.

About 5 inches long

By 3 inches wide
Velcro 2 inches long

Material is about 5 x 3 inches, you can make yours larger if you have a lot of tags or smaller if you have fewer tags. With Velcro 2 inches long. 

                                              Turn material over about 1/4 inch and stitch


Turn it over again and this time place the female part of the Velcro soft side up under before you sew that seem. Then lift just the Velcro and tack it in place.

Tack Velcro in place

On the other end you do the same thing except you place the male part of the Velcro with the backing side up and so that the little "teeth" start  by facing wrong side of the material. 

Place right side together and sew side seams

You're done!

Place the Velcro around the D ring on the collar or harness and your done! 

It's easy and you can make one for each season or holiday and the tags stay clean which makes them easier to read if you ever need to.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Love the Country Life

We live in the country in a small town. The center of town closes down at 6pm and the

only shops open are the pizza parlor and one sub shop. There are 2 larger food stores on

the edge of town almost into the city that stay open longer - they close at 9pm. I love that every one goes home and spends time with their families and I love living out here. I love the quiet. I love hearing toads croak. I love being not so close that I see my neighbors next door. When we walk on the road this is what we see.

We do have traffic but it's nothing like city life and the cars slow down and move over for us as we walk (and they wave at us). I don't think you see that walking in the city. People are so friendly out here! I so love that. Some will stop and comment on our dog or the nice weather. What a great place to live.

This one house has these turkeys and hens in their yards all the time. I don't know if they raise them or put treats on their grass to keep them but it's great to walk by and see them just having a ball in there. Most of our walk is lined with trees - oh there are houses here but most have driveways that are 75 feet long so they are set back from from the road - covered with trees to protect them from the snow in winter and sun in summer. I love country life!

We walk past this pond all the time...what a beautiful sight to see everyday. In the spring, when the snow melts, the road over this pond washes out and we have to go another way out of town. Now that I have my bifocals I really do see better and I notice the things that I never did before. I see the flowers' rich colors. I see the beauty of the trees that line our street. I see all that God has placed in my path and never noticed before. Thank God for bifocals! And I see how cute Becke is standing in the pond cooling off her feet. She is my walking companion.

Most of the trees are still green but there are hits of color to come peeking out at me as I walk.

What do you love about where you live? I would love to hear and see what inspires you. All comments are welcome.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fall is in the Air part 3

Between our sinks is a white plastic storage unit that anyone can find at super-centers, yard sales, thrift stores. With 2 cans of spray paint - black and brown I got a new look for little money.

Time to accessorize!

Using the same 2 colors of paint, a shelf that was on the wall got the same treatment so now it matches. The birdhouse stacking boxes holds hair supplies.

A plastic table cloth with fall leaves covers the small table over our Faux wood stove that will soon be heating the bath on those chilly mornings

Now I can add the fall decorations that I started with and the bath is ready to welcome us! With my bifocals on I am pleased with the makeover. Do you decorate for the fall?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fall is in the Air part 2

Last time we met, I had changed out the shower curtain and  painted the cabinets. After it all dried, it was clear especially with my bifocals, that the walls looked dirty so I washed and rub it then gave up got more paint. 

Before the walls were sponged 3 different colors of white, what I ended up with was the color of beech sand and for a long time I liked it but time for a change so out with old and in with the new wall color, "Harmonious Cream".  When it dried, it played off the brown in the cabinets and showed more yellow.

OK so now the accessories don't match.  Stay tune they will! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fall is in the Air

Fall is in the air

With August coming to an end fall is not far behind. For some, the end of August means the start of school up here in NH, but I know for some of my readers, school has already started. For some, the end of August means just one more holiday is left, Labor Day - before the summer will officially be over. August for me means that it's time to get out the fall decorations. So its time to put away the summer flowers and light colors and to bring out the warm fall ones. I do not like to see summer come to an end but I do love the colors of fall. I love the dark yellows, red, and oranges of the trees around me. I love not having the fans on (or the A/C for that matter).

I started with changing out the shower curtain for a darker heavy curtain with a heavy liner. When it's cold outside, this will keep us toasty in the shower as it will keep the heat in! Adding a fall topper is cheaper than getting a shower curtain just for the fall and then another one just for Thanksgiving and then Christmas. This way you just change out the topper. I have one for fall and then one for winter.

Light colors are great for the summer and the sunflower topper adds more of a summer feel (I love sunflowers)

But the heaver, warm darker tan feels more like fall.

pine cone shower hooks add to the fall feel

The fall topper is full of wonderful fall color

I then started to put away the summer decorations in the bath and ended with a new look all together! I have never liked the cabinets but we cannot afford to replace them so the next best thing is to paint them. So I went shopping for paint.  I wanted something dark and couldn't decide between black or chocolate brown. I got Nighttail. It's kind of like a dark gray with undertone on brown. Here is the cabinet before:

Plain, drab, nothing special at all

Now they pop!

But now the wall looks dirty! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

God's Quilt

 We are getting some much needed rain in our neck of the country. Not just regular rain, we might get some thunder showers as well. So when I look out my window I see this


I really like clouds and these are probably my favorite. They remind me of the underside of a quilt. As I look at the beauty around me I see all sorts of green trees, flowers, birds, wild turkeys, and horses. I truly live in a beautiful part of the county. I feel blessed being here.  I can sit on my couch with a cup of tea and listen to the rain falling outside and I am safe, so when I see these clouds I feel wrapped up inside this. I complain a lot about the long cold winters up here but God is trying very hard to allow me to see that I am where He wants me to be and I am trying hard to learn that lesson. With my bifocals on I am seeing my world with different eyes and reflecting on what I see around me.  

I have the ground below me and Gods quilt around me.  I have some friends who make quilts and I am always amazed at what these very talented woman can do with what to me looks like a few scraps of material. They make the most beautiful quilts! So when I am under God's quilt, I imagine that the the top of His quilt looks like Heaven. Give me a cup of tea, a good book or article, OK a good iPad game;  a blanket to cover my legs and - to really make it special Chocolate! If I am asking for perfect than I need my hubby cuddling next to me. That is a great evening to me. I feel safe, protected, loved, cared for and cherish. I know that He is in charge and all is well. Let the thunder roll!

Do you have a special season or time or place where you feel God more than other times? 

Monday, August 23, 2010

A quiet cup of Tea

I woke up the other morning with a bit of an upset stomach. I didn't run for the coffee pot, jumping over  Becke (the dog) in the process like I usually do, instead I put water in the kettle to make a cup of tea.

A few years ago my D-I-L gave me this cute tea cup/pot

Its the kind that you can put either a tea bag or loose tea in the top and let it steep for a bit

Once the tea is ready, take out the insert and you have a loverly cup of tea. Why not spoil yourself once in a while?

While I sipped my tea, I thank God for my Daughter-in-law.  How did you start your week today?

Friday, August 20, 2010

One of My Domestic Servants

I do believe that at some point every woman has walked into her kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, looked inside and with a sigh said "What are we going to have for dinner?"  While creating my shopping list, I have at times wondered "What do I feel like cooking/eating this week?".  I do not believe that I am alone there. So being just enough of a Type A person to drive my husband up a tree, I have come up with a plan that has helped me at these times.

Some years back I kept track of every dinner I made for the entire year. I wrote them on a calendar and then spent time putting them on spread sheet. Since it is just myself and hubby at home most lunches were leftovers from the day before and most breakfast was a choice of cereal (both hot and cold) or muffins/pancakes and I even marked the days we ate out. I also marked down the vacation weeks! Yes I am just enough of a Type A to do this for a full year! I bet you're glad you are not living at this house.  Any how I put it all in a 3 ring binder that I covered with fabric and added favorite recipes to it. I think you can click on the photo to enlarge it - if you want to - no pressure.

On the cover the verse is: "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls" Proverbs 31:15 
Categories inside are: Beverages, Breakfast, Salads, Breads, Hamburger/Turkey, Casseroles, Soups/Stews, Desserts, Odds and Ends, Drying Guidelines (dehydrating) and Menus.

Two pages of recipe or menu are in a page protector (back to back) so when I splatter something the page stays clean. I took one page out of the protector to take a picture of it (the flash was too much for the protector).

 So when I am planning my week shopping and wondering what I want to cook I can look at this and plan around it. I may not cook the entire weeks worth of recipes but it sure is a great stating place. I will look at the week of menus and think "Wow we haven't had that in a while and "voila" I have dinner.

What do you do? Have a great weekend all, see you all Monday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cleaning Schedule

Keeping our house clean can be a struggle at times. I want our home to be a place where people feel welcomed. I want my husband to feel proud and happy to come home to a pleasing home. But there are days that the house is not picked up.  Not because it's a big house or because we have been invited to lots of events or even because we leave the house to travel a lot (but those are great reasons right?) no it's because at some point I stop caring about the 4 month old magazines on the coffee table or the dog hair in the corner of the kitchen. I figure people who love me come to see me not the pile of stuff on top of the fridge (beside there is only person I know tall enough to see up there!)  I make friends with short people just because of this. The biggest reason I let the house go is because - Hello Summer!  We don't get a very long summer around here so I want to spend my time here:

The back deck

Or here:

Part of our back yard

Or here:
Walking on our road

But not here:
Cleaning stash

So when I am trapped inside with no chance of escape enjoying the cooler weather of fall from inside my home, it's time to really clean!  At that point I take out my cleaning plan and whip the house back into shape in no time.

I have a spread sheet with a cleaning plan for the entire year. It's 2 pages long. One sheet (doubled sided) is the monthly schedule. This sheet breaks down each month into 4 weeks with something listed for each week. I can do this chore whenever I want as long as it gets done during the week.Some things include order winter heating oil or shampoo the rug. On a different sheet is the weekly schedule so that each day has chores to work on. This is only 1 page long and simply list the days of the week and the chores for that day. So for today the task is Family Room: Collect all trash and get it to the curb, swifter the floor, pick up after the family and freshen furniture. That's it.  By keeping this close and referring to it, we can get the house in order fast.   Some of the chores I do and others hubby does so it does really go fast! I've had a cleaning plan for years. It changes when we move to a new home to reflect the rooms in the new home.  It fits in a 3 ring binder for quick reference but mostly I have it memorized by now (at least the daily side). So even if I've let the house slip for lack of care for a bit, this plan gets me back on tract in no time.  Do you have a cleaning plan? 

One thing I am looking forwarded to do come fall, is painting our bedroom. We just got 2 new photos that we love so our bedroom will be getting a new coat of paint and I am on the lookout for some curtains. What goes with orchid colored walls?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Time Management -Teach Me Please

I have a calendar that is colored for the different categories that I have.

Church – Plum
Home – Purple
Work – Tan
Volunteering- Green
Husband stuff – Blue
Blog stuff – Orange

Doctor’s appointment, future plans for upkeep on the house, birthdays to remember, places to be and people to see. It's quite the rainbow on there!  How am I suppose to keep it all together?

I have some domestic servants that work very hard for me, my coffee pot, iPad, vacuum, microwave, and cell phone, dishwasher, and stove to mention a few, all work for me but do require some maintenance to keep them happy and up to speed.  I can not remember my live before these wonderful servants came into my world to make my life easier and yet some days I feel like I’m running in circles. It can make me dizzy some days trying to figure out where I am suppose to be and what I suppose to do once I get there!  I have been know to talk out loud to my self  reminding me where I’m suppose to be and what I'm suppose to do when I get there!  Please tell me that you are nodding in agreement!

Now that I’ve added a blog to my life, I would to love to hear from all you experts as to how you find time to get it all done.  Do you blog off and on all day, making notes as your day goes on and then put them all together at night, blog one day a week and schedule them to post on different days, blog at a predetermined time? Blog in your sleep (oh and if you do that I would love to know how) or instead of sleep!  

I have my bifocals on and coffee in my hand - teach me people!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


When I was little I loved to pretend. I would play with my doll and treat her like a real baby. I would put her in the stroller and walk her around the house. I would talk to her and feed her and change her and she responded to me just as if she was real. I had tea parties with my stuffed animals; pretend to sleep overs with my all my toys.

I would lay on the grass and look up at the clouds; my imagination would allow me to see animals, mountains and people. I would image that an old Indian lived in the woods by my house and made up stories about what he did when it got dark.

As I got older, my imagination days were fewer and fewer as it became important to in the here and now. Deal with the facts and focus on what is real. But I always found time to image when it was late and all the day's activities were over. I would image what our new home would look like. I often image what heaven will be like and all the people I will see.

I like to watch people. Not in the stalking-creepy-sort-of-way, but in the grab-a-cup-of-coffee-sit-out-front and watch people walk by way. Some walk with purpose, some walk looking at the landscapes they pass. Some jog, others push baby strollers or walk dogs. Each person has a story to tell. Each person has a soul.

I find myself looking at there feet a lot because I don't want to make them nervous about me watching them so I look at there feet. It's summer so I see a lot of sandals, sneakers, and flip-flops. All are going someplace with something to do. This got me thinking what if I imaged the lives of these people?

So next time I'm driving and a car cuts me off, instead of thinking they are a jerk, what if I pictured them as  rushing to the hospital because there child is hurt.   Would I change what I think of them, or slow down making them room on the road?  There feet are trying to get them to their child's side.  What about the person behind me honking at me to drive faster - what if I visualized that they are the only breadwinner for there family and the new layoffs are going to be posted soon, so they are trying to get to work and show the boss that they are worth keeping.  There feet are trying to provide for there family. Would I be willing to pull over so they could pass me and even say a prayer for them.

Would it make me a kinder person, a gentler person, maybe even a more Godly person? I am not responsible for others behavior but I am responsible for mine. All those feet - all going someplace all with stories to tell. Just a thought.

Monday, August 16, 2010

More of My Favorite Things- Morning

I love morning! I wake up ready to move so some of my favorite things are right in my kitchen.  Want to see?

I really like coffee! Even though it’s decaf, I really like coffee! The smell alone can wake me up. I look forwarded to in the morning. We visit Dunkin Donuts more than Starbucks because in NH there are more Dunkin Donuts (DD’s) than Starbucks and my husband knows just about all of them.  We can find coffee anytime but my favorite is coffee from home. I’m Scottish, I like cheap  fugal.

I like old furniture with a history. This side board belonged to my grandmother.  Back in the early 1900’s young ladies didn’t get to go past the 4th grade (they only needed to know how to write there name and count), but my grandmother made all her girls go all the way through high school and finishing school.  They were going to be educated just like the boys because she believed in the power of education.  I am reminded of that when I see this beautiful piece of furniture that she had in her home for years.  When she died my mother got it and I put a tag on the back of it with my name on it. I wanted to make sure that it came to me.  As you can see, it did!

I am old enough to remember this ice box in our kitchen when I was growing up.  I have a very clear memory of watching the ice man deliver ice and put it inside this icebox.  It was yellow when I was growing up but that changed when I got my hands on it.  I love dark red so it became that.  I polish it with found memories. It makes me smile.

I really am happy when I wake up and see our kitchen – or should I say wake up and see our CLEAN kitchen.  There is something about entering the kitchen first thing in the morning and finding the kitchen clean. Makes me smile.

Especially when coffee is already made and waiting for me! Did I say how much I like coffee already?

I like our kitchen. It’s small, no fuss, easy to keep clean and pleasing to my eye.  I like looking at it – what can I say!

Another cup? Sure, my bifocals are on and I’m ready for the day!

So how do you start your day?