Welcome to Anybody Home!

Here you will find scattered pictures from my point and shoot camera, random thoughts from my little world, treasured memories of days gone by, hopeful dreams of the days yet to come, and a bunch of ideas - because I've always got ideas!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Our Saturday Shopping Adventure

 We found a few treasures here and there on our Saturday thrifting, antiquing, and flea marketing jaunts.

My best find was this little vintage doll cupboard. It was at a flea market in Grand Haven.

Isn't it just the sweetest thing?

Tomorrow I have plans to get this set up in the basement.
Our "old" American Girl doll room will now be THGGM's work from home office.

I haven't yet decided how this is going to set up, but I'm looking forward to figuring it out.

My other finds were a complete set of hardwood blocks with a lot of pieces unlike the ones I already have. Oh! And a bag FULL of cars. Broeder loves cars, so cars and blocks will stay in the "ruined" (see below) toy room which is now an art room.
After the flea market we drove a bit south to another of our favorite antique malls.

Look what I found!

It was in a locked cabinet, something that I rarely even look into, because if it needs to be locked up, I'm quite convinced that I can't afford it.

But these were NOT priced for a locked cabinet.
I zoomed in so you can see the graphics a bit better.

Sigh.., aren't they cute?
 There isn't a mark on the bottom of these, so I doubt that they have much monetary value.

But once I figure out how to display them in my cabinet of old baby/doll dishes they will have value to me!
I wonder if  in another 100 years or so grandmother's will fill cabinets with old dishes with pictures of children staring at screens?

Will they sigh and go on and on about how cute they are?

I'm thinking no.

But still, it seems worth pondering.
I like to romanticize the past.

But I'm a realist enough to know that these children most likely (well, children from this era, i do know these aren't "real" children) had their share of horrors in their lifetime.

Yet, I find it entertaining to wonder about who these small dishes belonged to, and how did they manage to survive all these years?

And did they, after partaking of their pretend tea, go out side and play these games with their siblings, cousins, or friends?

For that, I like to think that yes, yes they did.

Of course, we hit our favorite thrift store on our way to the lake shore.

I've been looking for affordable pieces in red plaid. I've seen recipe boxes like this in antique malls, but they are quite pricey for a recipe box.

But this one was only $2.50. I was hoping for actual hand-written recipe cards from this era, but there were only dividers and empty index cards.  I love the Ohio Art stamp on the bottom too!

Oh, and would you look at this?!
Another ironstone platter, because truly, the uses for these things are unending.

Mostly, I've been scouring the thrift store for clothes though. Since not much that I used to have fits me anymore, I'm in need of comfortable things with a "worn-in" feel.  This week I did very well in that area too. I found a brown jacket, a long khaki cardigan, a light weight long black cardigan, and a pair of brown jeans! Of course, the weather has decided to turn up the heat and humidity to levels we didn't even have this summer, so I guess I'll have to wait a week or so before I shall have the chance to wear them.  Instead, I'm wearing the "worn-in" jean shorts and short sleeve t-shirt that didn't quite yet fit me when I got them this spring. Apparently, it all does work out, eventually.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ten Random Things

Here are just a few things from my week:

1. Yesterday Hertsje was here in the afternoon. She wanted to make things. So we drew our American Girl Dolls. I made the outline of her doll and she colored it in. She also found some of our creations from last year to play with!
It's always fun for me to make stuff with her. I encouraged her to try drawing her doll herself, but she said she didn't know how.  But when she came this morning, she disappeared into the "art room" for a bit and came out with her very own drawing of BOTH of the American Girl Dolls!  She did an incredible job, and if I wasn't so tired I would go take a picture of it now to show you, but I am very tired presently, so I will not be doing that.

2. On Monday Broeder eagerly awaited the arrival of Hertsje and "the cousins" after school. He excitedly called out to all five of them saying "Guys! Guy! Guys! You aren't going to believe this! The toy room has been RUINED! It is now AN ART ROOM!!!" He said all this in a rather appalled sounding way, but today I did introduce him to the new set of large blocks I got just for him to play with in THE ART ROOM, because there isn't carpet in there so the blocks work better. There is a chance he will find it in his heart to forgive me for RUINING the toy room!
3. After preschool on Tuesday we took Broeder back to Meijer Gardens. He still hasn't seen all of it (neither have we!) but every time we go we do something new, and something old (always a visit to HIS big horse).  Tuesday we found a place he insisted was his clubhouse. He had us sit on the rocks that formed a little outdoor theater while he did a hand puppet show for us. In case you were wondering, that is me, Beppe, on the right while Pake is the hand on the left. There actually were some cute puppets in that little house, but he preferred using his hands. As you can imagine, Pake and I enjoyed the show!
The children's garden has so many adorable places to wander into. From the maze he could see some dragon sculptures that he quickly kissed and claimed as his own. There will come a day when we shall bring him there in the summer when there are CROWDS. That day just may be a bit difficult for this guy who pretty much has the whole place to himself this time of year!
4. Tuesday night Jonge had a Fall Ball baseball game.  It was a lovely night for it, and they won! But just look at what I have to put up with. Famke, giving me ears.
5. This was a VERY good game. In this picture Jonge is pitching, something he excels at. In the above picture he had just hit a line drive. I circled the ball for you so you can see it.
6. And this is Feintje, who loves baseball possibly even more than his brother.  Here he sits waiting for his brother's team to come up to bat. This picture was actually taken JUST BEFORE his brother hit a foul ball that sped right at Feintje's forehead. THANK GOD for a daddy with quick reflexes, who grabbed the ball just a fraction of a second before this boy would have been clobbered by a speeding baseball.
Oh, and that was only the FIRST foul ball his daddy caught. There was another about to take out a couple of grandparents. He caught that one too.
When the game was over Jonge said to his dad, "You got more action in that game than I did!"

7. This picture is from someday this week after school. It seems to be the "thing" to save some of your lunch or snack to share with cousins and neighbors when school is done for the day. Here they are sharing the wealth, picnic style. Someday they will outgrow this sort of thing and I will be sad. I do hope they remember the fun they all had together.
See Kado? He is the guy in the green shirt. At the baseball game talked about in the preceding pictures he greeted me, as I was grabbing our chairs from the hatch, by saying, "Is that a new hairstyle, or did the wind just blow it like that?" People, it wasn't windy AT ALL. These six grandchildren, they keep me humble.
8. Here sits THGGM, also known as Pake. This is where we sat to watch Broeder's hand puppet show. It's such a lovely setting. Anyway, THGGM was supposed to start his new work from home position on Monday of this week. That didn't happen. Then it was Tuesday. That also didn't happen. On Tuesday it was bumped to this coming Monday, so hopefully that will be his NEW start date. But until then, we certainly have been enjoying the extra days off!  The only problem he has had with this is that since he was going to be working again, he let all the water out of the pool. I don't know what it's been like this week where YOU live, but in West Michigan the weather would have been GREAT for floating around in a pool.  But when it comes to weather, here in Michigan there isn't all that much of it to complain about. The occasional tornado or straight-line winds, summer humidity, and winter snow/ice storms are about as bad as it gets. I think we shall stay right here and let hardier souls deal with the really bad stuff like hurricanes.
9. Last Friday I had my follow up appointment after what shall henceforth and forevermore be referred to as the liver scare of 2017. I'm not going to lie, it was WONDERFUL to have my doctor go on and on about the weight I have lost. He even went back as far as my records there go, and pointed out to me that I have lost SIXTY-THREE pounds since then. He also did some blood work, and my A1C dropped from 6.9 to 5.8 in just six months. So that's all good news. I even got to cut my diabetes meds down by half. Oh, and I even got a flu shot while I was there. Last year I didn't, but I didn't get the flu. THGGM did, and it was awful.
10. Did you notice that there are now TWO American Girl Dolls living at my house? Someday Hertsje will be old enough to bring her doll home (actually, someday her brother will be old enough for her to bring her doll home) and what would I do with no American Girl Doll to fuss about anymore? At least that's how I explained it to THGGM. Thankfully, he saw it my way, and I, a 59 year old grandmother who never was all that interested in dolls when she was a child, is the proud owner of Kit, the American Girl Doll from 1934. I really chose her because she has short hair, and, as mentioned above, I'm really not one to care about hair. Seriously, no matter how hard I try, I never seem to be able to have a hair-do. I have a hair-does, as in, this is just what my hair does, no matter what I (or the non-existent wind) do!

Well, that's ten things. I'm still tired, so I shall go to bed and read until the Kindle falls out of my hands. It's what I do. Or does. Whatever.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fun Times

Summer is now LOOOONG over, and seems so far in the past already that I can barely remember it.
So odd how that works.
But I am ALWAYS excited for FALL.
And, this fall, Broeder is my afternoon buddy three days a week.
A week ago Pake and I realized that he was going to need a bike to have here.
So, of course, we set out to the thrift store to find the perfect bike with training wheels for Broeder.
If you live in West Michigan and need a bike, Love INC in Hudsonville is the place to look.
This is the third bike we've purchased there and we have never been disappointed.
They have a "bike guy" who does fantastic work reconditioning them.

A tumble or two does NOT stop this guy.
He's not one to let a bit of difficulty stop him from reaching his goal.
Just a bit of steadying from Pake and he was off again.
Here comes Broeder!
He has such determination!
He wanted me to take a picture of him with his bike.
Because, you know, it isn't a real picture unless you say "CHEESE!"
Have I mentioned lately that I am having the time of my life?
Yes. Yes I am!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Willing Workers

 These two guys helped Pake put up a piece of fencing!

Jonge dug two holes for the posts.
They had to be 28 inches deep.
He worked diligently at it for most of the day.
On his occasional breaks, Feintje stepped up to give him a hand.

This hole was a bit harder.
There were a lot of rhododendron roots to dig through.
But these two did NOT give up!
With grit and determination they persevered.
And now we have a lovely decorative fence for our wicker furniture to hide behind.
Before, the chairs looked like they were going to float off somewhere.
The fence anchors them.
Or so we think.
These guys are AMAZING workers, and they actually WANT to work.
And Pake is more than willing to keep finding things for them to do!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Exciting Day!

Not only one, but TWO kids learned to ride the bike WITHOUT training wheels today!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer Afternoon, Summer Afternoon...

Saturday was THE perfect summer afternoon.
Hertsje worked on her "flips" with only minimal help from her daddy.

Broeder took swimming lessons this summer, so all the grand children know the basics of staying afloat.
There was even time for relaxing "girl talk" between Famke and Hertsje.

These two have always gotten along "swimmingly".

Age doesn't seem to play as much of a role in the pool as it sometimes does on dry land. Although these girls have a lot of common interests.

Feintsje likes to add style to his jumps.

On Thursday the kids pulled the mini trampoline up to the pool, got a good running start and jumped right in over the side!  I did not get in pictures of that, but there is still time.

One more week of summer vacation!

Then, Jonge will be a sixth grader, and in MIDDLE SCHOOL!
Famke will be in fifth grade
Kado in third.
Feintsje goes off to first grade.
Hertsje begins full-time kindergarten.
And Broeder goes to pre-school!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Random Thoughts from Judy

Today I had so many things planned to accomplish. Well, that's not happening. I seem to not be feeling well. I'm sitting on my couch sipping a Diet Coke, while not enjoying it very much. So, let's see if I'm thinking of anything worth clicking my keys about...

1.  I'm reading a bunch of books, and finding it amazing how such varied ideas and stories rolling around in my head and in print seem to come together to make sense of so many things. I'm reading one book that I've purchased both in print and in hard copy just so I can immerse myself in it wherever I happen to be. I'm also perusing a "reader" book on someone who's thoughts I find interesting, but are way beyond the limits of my education and ability to understand. Yet I'm ever so slowly making wee bits of progress with it. Then there is Katherine Anne Porter's book "Ship of Fools" which is teaching me many things, as it seems we are all on our very own ship of fools these days. What amazes me is that I bought this book a year or two ago at a thrift store because it was a golden yellow color and I wanted it to adorn my fall themed mantel. You know, a golden yellow book to hold up a few pumpkins and such. It helped that the author was Katherine Anne Porter, someone I had at least heard of before. Anyway, this book is long and in places rather dull. But the theme of it is incredibly timely. And if you don't have time to read it, the 1965 black and white movie "Ship of Fools" is pretty good too. I rented it at Amazon.
2.   We have finished one complete week of THGGM not working. It's been interesting. This is what he has accomplished so far:
a. ripped up carpet in the front entryway and hallway
b. painted the plywood floors (three coats of copper penny), just to see if that will work while we decide about more permanent flooring - or if it will even be necessary
c. unrolled, inspected, and cleaned a large section of carpet we moved with us 10 years ago, to find that yes, it is still in very good condition and will very soon go into our living room after he rips out that carpeting
d. brought home a section of white vinyl picket fencing to put as a visual barrier between the road and our side door
e. purchased a three piece set of white wicker furniture to put in the side yard up against the new fencing so people can sit and talk to him while he is on his porch swing.
f. restained most of our old pine furniture, dough bowls, wooden boxes, etc...
g. painted the outside roof over our bay window
h. trimmed bushes and shrubs
i. cleaned the garage
j. made plans to sell a lot of our acquisitions in a garage sale he hopes to have soon
k. just returned from grocery shopping, also put groceries away as I don't feel well
l. watched YouTube videos on how to paint floors, fix toilets, repair a clock, and replace the switch on our washing machine (which now only agitates if we place his bowling ball on the lid)
3.  There is still a  long list of things he PLANS to do, I know this because he showed it to me. I'll spare you. But it did look rather daunting to me
4. I feel like I've really accomplished something if I manage to load and unload the dishwasher each day and keep up on laundry. But, I HAVE also done a few things:
a. organized my jewelry, putting much of it in the "new" jewelry box I purchased about a year ago, sorted out all the bracelets I've been making, hung all my necklaces on an old tie wrack in the back of my closet
b. cleaned out my make-up drawer, which was oddly FULL, odd because I only ever use three of the things in that full drawer
c. cleaned half of one draw in my dresser, found many interesting things that distracted me from the task at hand
d.  cleaned out the puzzle dresser, which is now my night stand. have about six puzzles to add to THGGM's garage sale, couldn't yet part with the dozens of other puzzles, although no child has touched one in the past six months
e. realized (AGAIN!) that I have a HUGE problem with getting rid of things that have even a shadow of sentimental value to me, and decided that I'll think about it  tomorrow...  (maybe)
5. Besides this, we've had the four oldest grand kids three days a week and have taken them twice to Meijer Gardens to roam around which has turned out to be fun for all of us.
6. Oh, and that pool I didn't ever want? It gets A LOT of use. I might have to change my mind about it after all.
7.  Not much crafting has gone on here this summer. On the plus side, swimming in a pool, riding bikes, playing outside, makes considerably much less mess than crafting does.  I keep thinking there will be a rainy day, or a day too hot to be outside, but so far this summer has been incredible weather-wise.
8.  The OTHER list of accomplishments we are working on this month is getting all of our dental/medical appointments in so everything we need done can be done while we still have coverage, or, at least the coverage we are used to. Friday I went to the dentist, and on Monday I saw a specialist I've been waiting months to finally see. Nothing new on that front, just more appointments! It's good to cross things off lists though, isn't it?
9.  Recently I have had to replace nearly all of my clothes.  I'm making a point to get rid of what no longer fits (i do NOT have trouble getting rid of clothes) as I cannot allow myself to gain back any weight. No. Not going to do that. What I've learned through all of this is that there is no such thing as standards when it comes to sizes. Why IS that?  I've been shopping sales, clearance, Ebay, and thrift stores and have found that the most accurate sizes come from Ebay, where the seller measures the actual item.  There also needs to be truth in advertising. I would happily buy from a shop that sold clothes for only women who no matter how much weight they lose retain a fat matronly stomach. Give me time, and I'll think of the perfect name for such a store. Somehow "Fat-Matronly-Stomachs-R-Us doesn't have the right ring to it.
10.  A week ago I determined that we could benefit from new curtains for our bedroom. The ones we had were very heavy, green, and went with nothing in that room. Just after that I found what I was looking for at a price of $20 per panel (i need four panels) but there was also a coupon! I DO like coupons. While I was still thinking about it, we happened into our favorite thrift store (imagine that!) and while I was looking at everything else in the store, THGGM looked at curtains. Well surprise, surprise! He found four panels of room-darkening curtains in the EXACT color I was looking for, and at the low low price of $12.00 for ALL FOUR OF THEM, plus, he had a full 20% off card to use on them.  I really DO get excited about deals like that. And now the bedroom looks very nice again. Someday I might take a picture of them. It's what I do.  Just not today, unless I can take the picture from my perch on the couch.