Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our little old house was
on the garden tour this year.
It was a "September Stroll" in the
old neighborhoods of our town where
most of us do our own gardening.
Our whole family pitched in and
helped us get the yard in tip-top
shape. The house and yard are
pretty simple but our family spends a lot
of time out here and we enjoy the ever changing
house and garden we call home.

...........and the latest addition to our yard is the
garden cottage my hubby built this summer.
He's the best!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

in the
Life got busy and blogging was on hold.
son John got married.
(a completely d.i.y. wedding)
I started a little business
"simply vintage jean"
I'm on facebook!
work....yes, I have a real job too!
director of a children's program.
loving these grandchildren that I {adore}
and getting ready for grandbaby #5
{it's a girl}
junking time {love that}
and hosting the Urban Farm Sale.
garden tour preparations
yep! my old house is on the tour, oh my!
Well that's the short story.
 The longer story will have to wait!
Tomorrow we pour concrete
 for a little garden cottage.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

120 Vintage Market
simply vintage jean
sweet pea and me
attended the first
120 vintage market
It was cold.....brrrrr!
but it was fun!
After getting through the initial feeling of not
being quite prepared, everything came together and
I really enjoyed the day. Visiting with friends both
new and old was great and selling a few vintage
treasures made for a delightful day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Vintage Season

I am just home from the most wonderful fall day
where a group of godly women gathered to share their
tiny vintage trailers, and love of all things vintage.

Held in the foothills, it was a crisp
morning that warmed into the perfect day.

We were shopkeepers with vintage, retro, shabby,
chippy lovliness. We traded, shopped each others finds,
and sold to people who share the same excitement for
vintage and repurposed treasures.

We made new friends and established friendships
which had previously been through blogging and facebook.

It is not by accident that God places people in our lives
and today I am thanking my heavenly father for the
blessing of these women.

*For Sherry, who has style I can only dream of and who has
become my lovely friend "for real".

*For Julia, Staci, Maran, Joyce and Nancy who are my new
friends. All kindred spirits with the sweetest of souls.

*For Caitlin who shares my sense of adventure
 for all things vintage. She spends her Saturdays with me
scouring through yard sales and picking up great finds
from the city wide clean up piles. Sounds glorious doesn't it?
She makes my son (and me) smile!

*For my Grandaughter Katie who never complained and spent
the entire day with Grandma Jean who was so busy we
couldn't play cards.

*For my hubby Pat who tolerates my collecting of junk,
helps me paint, puts furniture back together
when its falling apart, loads the truck and trailer and
hauls my wares to these days that delight my soul.



Monday, August 6, 2012


Am I a glamper, or a camper?
I want so much to be a part of the Glamping movement.
I love decorating! Working on my '69 Lowlander
is one of my favorite things, 
but "glamping" can be frustrating when your camping trips involve...

unpaved, bumpy roads
no running water
no electricity
no refrigeration
limited showers (two short ones in a week)
4 sweet but dirty grandchildren
several 3 mile treks up a dusty hill on a quad
8 mile day hikes through
 brush and mud for the elusive Lahotan Cutthroat.

Just before our last trip I did a few things to glamp up the trailer.
I put a cute little bedskirt on the bed.
It came home ripped and filthy.
I added an adorable vintage tablecloth to the table.
Well, that lasted about two hours.
I found the perfect new rug for the floor.
Malfunctioning porta potty! (need I say more?)
My adorable little green hanging lantern which has
made it on most previous trips didn't make it through this one.

Ok, so you get the idea. We rough it.
We seldom go to clean, grassy, paved parks.
So the only time I can really "glamp it up" is when my 
trailer is sitting in the driveway at home.  


Sunday, July 29, 2012

puppy proof

We added two puppies to our family last christmas so this year
our garden had to be puppy proofed. The handy hubs went to
work with the help of the grandkids and this is how it went.

Of course nothing is as easy as it sounds. First "we"
(and I use that term loosely) had
to remove the tree roots (lots of those).
Then to move the water lines.

Then the artistic talents of my husband
took over. At this point I usually stand back in awe
of what he is able to accomplish with materials we usually
have on hand.

How about a cute little gate to keep the digging dogs at bay!

And let the planting begin.

I'm so happy with the way it all came together.
Thank you Pat.

I said puppy proof....not hen proof.
That's another story.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Did it

I'm not really one to create a
bucket list, but if I had a list I could check off
this one..........

~run a marathon~

Yes, I trained for 5 months with
Team in Training and it was one of
the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Yes, two days before the run I came down with a
fever and cough. The morning of the race I thought I
was feeling pretty good so I  
sucked it up and ran anyway. Probably not the
smartest thing I've ever done because it has taken me
a couple of weeks to recover from the flu or
whatever it was that I had.

But, what was I to do? I had already bought the shirt.
26.2 in big numbers....right across the front of the shirt.
And that big marathon medal. I needed that medal.

So with my best friends from high school
and with the support of our families and so
many good friends....We did it!

tattoos were temporary
friends are forever

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

countdown to marathon

Training and fundraising!
That seems to be the story of my life these past few months.

the Sole Sisters are
almost ready for a
rock 'n roll
San Diego
June 3
26.2 miles

This weekend will be our longest training run.
18 miles in the foothills,
then we will slowly taper back untill
the race.

Lets do it!!!!!

P.S. Our Urban Farm Sale was a huge success.

We run with Team in Training and support
 the Lymphoma Leukemia
Society..........GO TEAM!

Monday, February 20, 2012

building character

 Life is hard
We are experiencing tough times in 2012
Sometimes a little struggle builds character.
I know the story of how my parents grew up.
 These were real life struggles.
A life during the depression.
A life that many other families experienced and
although maybe not that different from a lot of the stories
that come from my parents generation, it is a story of tough times.
My mother grew up in a family of 14 children. Born to a man
who made his living in the logging business, it was
 the ultimate minimalist lifestyle.We, who describe ourselves as
minimalists (me included), really don't know much about
how minimal a life can be. 
My mother's story is one of great heartache. Her mother died when
she was 3 and the care of Etta Mae and a six month old baby,
as well as the other children, fell to her 12 year old sister.
How did she do it? There was no other choice.
 My mom shared a vivid story of sitting in school one day
and seeing their house, from way across the fields,
catch fire and burn to the ground. So now you have a family of
motherless children living in a chicken coop. Sickness
and cold and a very meager exsistance. How do you do it?
There was no other choice.
A new stepmother for the motherless children should have
 provided relief, but instead Etta was sent to work.
Leaving school in the 6th grade my mom became a house
helper to a family in town. She picked cotton, worked in
the fields and did whatever work she could find to survive.
There was no other choice.
If there was ever a reason for a person to grow into
a bitter and hateful person, my mother had those excuses, but
here is the best part. My mother was not a bitter or sad or
hateful person. My mother knew the value of life, of hard work
and of survival. She loved. That's it. She had a love that was
bottomless. Sometimes I wondered just how she could love so much.
She loved God and God blessed her with this unbelievable
ability to love and we were blessed.
It would be lovely if I could say that at some point all the struggling went
away, but it didn't. My mom knew the heartache of loosing a child to
drug addiction. She lost her eyesight in the late part of her life
God loved her and she knew it. She claimed his promises
and no matter what the world threw at her she loved
through it all. She took us all to the little Baptist church
just down the road from our house and saw to it that
we knew the reason she was
able to love through the struggles.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I like to write. I would much rather write a
note than talk on the phone, so when I saw this
little project on pinterest it sounded like fun.

Many of my favorite family members
are not on the internet and we don't stay in
contact as often as we should. I'm using
 this as an opportunity to reconnect with
cousins, aunts and uncles.
I am also planning to send a note to
each of my children and grandchildren.
I'm excited. I already put my first two
letters in the mail.

It's just a nice little reminder to
stay connected with those we love.

Monday, January 30, 2012

We graduated from high school together
and have been friends for life.
I never thought we would be runners.

But here we are.
We have been running for a year.
three times a week
 5 am
4 miles on Tuesday and Friday
long run on the weekend

Sometimes it's cold.
Sometimes I'm tired. 
Sometimes I'm sore.
(that's from our boot camp
workout twice a week)

always I love it
well...almost always

This was a photo taken after our first run
which was an 8k. We have done a couple of half
marathons and several other runs, but today we
signed up with Team in Training
and in June we will be running
a full marathon. Not too bad for these hens
from the class of 1974. 

Team in Training raises funds for
lymphoma, leukemia and
other blood cancers.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The tattered paperbacks
sit on my bookshelf.
Once in awhile I weed through
them and decide which ones
are ready for the donation basket.

Some, I cannot part with.
They have
missing covers,
 bent pages,
wrinkles from splashes of
bathtub water,
and drips of
"who knows what" on
the pages.

I can pick up the books of James Herriot
and be lost in the sweetness of animal and
animal people stories for hours. I have read them all
before, but never tire of reading them again and again.
Today I was taping them together and dusting them
off and wondering why I hang on to this collection.
 I should just buy a new set, but I have such good
memories of winters spent with James Herriot in the
pages of these beat up old books that I just can't part with them.
All Creatures, Great and Small. The Lord God made them all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Puppies for Christmas.

Best dog ever! That's what my husband says about his
Golden Retriever. She was his constant companion and when
she died he brought her home to be buried in our backyard. He
has always wanted another Golden, so our children decided that
instead of the usual fly fishing gift certificates that they always give him,
this year they would all go together and get him a dog for Christmas.

We found a litter not too far from our home so my oldest son
went out to see them and he put a deposit on one.
That was just too easy.
Two days before we were to pick up the pup, the breeder
 called to say that the the puppies had an eye infection and
needed to see the vet. They ended up having an eye condition
that was going to require surgery. The breeder refunded our money
and the hunt for puppies began again. This time we had less
than a week until Christmas.

After scouring the papers and the internet
we found a litter that was about an hour and a half from home so
Tommy and Emily went on a road trip.

Walking up to the house a litter of fuzzy, tumbling puppies
rolled out of the garage and into their hearts.
Tom was taken with a roly poly black pup and
 Em was in love with a sweet golden.
 Never one to pass up the chance to strike a deal,
the busisness minded Em offered to take two for a discounted price.

So yes.....We've gone to the dogs around here!!!!!

I think he loves the dog, but might be
missing those fly fishing gift certificates just a bit.

The light colored pup is for my husband.
The black puppy belongs to Tom.
Let the puppy fun begin.


Monday, December 5, 2011

and the crafting continues

 I just finished
this advent calendar for
my mother-in-law. She is 87
and stays home most of the time,
 so I thought a little surprise for her each
morning this month might be fun. Yesterday 
each member of our family wrote a note wishing
her a Merry Christmas season and then I added some
 treats and family pictures as well as some small gifts. I
***hope she has fun with it. I had a lot of fun making it.*** 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pallet Art

The blogging world is full of really creative
ways to use old pallets. I decided to try my hand
at a little pallet art of my own.
As usual, I am great at tearing things apart,
but when it comes to putting it all back together
I get by with a little help from my friends family:)

 Pallets are built to last
and tearing one apart is no easy task. Now
that I have done it I know how to make
the task a little easier, but the first time was not a lot of fun.
I picked an old pallet because I liked the look of
the old wood. Old wood, old nails = tough job.

 After I got the pallet apart I washed, sanded, stained and
positioned the boards the way I liked and
passed the project over to my husband.

He, of course, changed the
 position of the boards, glued and nailed
the whole thing together and then wired
it for hanging.
(ok, so he is the artist)

We hung it in our dining room and
waited for the perfect stencil. I actually enjoyed
the look of the stained wood and considered
leaving it just the way it was......
  our daughter, Emily, added
the stenciling yesterday.
(ok, so she is an artist too)

  I love the finished product.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

a season for giving

A friend of mine posted this on
her facebook page today.

I say I live a simple life.
I know that my attempts at
living simply are extravagant when
compared to the poverty that
 so many are experiencing.

It is good to be reminded
of those less fortunate as we enter
this season of giving and thanksgiving. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

art by us

I have a crafty family. We all like the creative
process and someone always
has a project in the works, quite often in our
garage which I have decided will never be empty
enough to park a car inside. I have come to terms with it
and actually I'd rather have my kids out there creating
(making a mess)
than have it all neat, clean and empty of projects.

Did I really just say that?

There are stacks of wood because
"someone might need it for a project".
There are yard sale finds
that need a little fixing up
and oh so much more......

So this year our crafty family has
decided that it will be an
entirely handmade Christmas.
They have all drawn names and
the garage is sure to be a busy place
in the next couple of months.
PS. Personally, most of my artsy, crafty creating
will be done at my new desk, inside, where it is
nice and neat and clean, most of the time:)
Except for the knitting, where I will plant myself on
the couch for hours on end.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

M and Em Signs

My daughter, Emily

She is a bundle of creative energy and
always working on a crafty project.
This photo was taken at a scrapbooking retreat.

A couple of months ago Emily
 and her sister-in law
launched a new business.

When an old fence came
down during a remodeling project.
  M and Em Signs was born
Check them out.

One of our local morning news programs
came out to my house last week to
interview them about their crafty business.
With very little time to prepare
for the interview our family pitched in and
helped put their display together.
The camera crew arrived at 6:00 am and
as you can see, it was still dark out.

A fun morning, to say the least.

You would never have known this
was their first interview. They did great!