Tag Archives: travel

The Winter That Never Ends

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If you have been wondering where I have been (or maybe you have not even missed me!) I have been holed up here on Croydon Place, watching snowstorm after snowstorm blow past. In addition, several times the temps have been so cold our local officials have warned to just stay home!

While I have been staying hunkered down much of the time, here is what Dear Hubby was doing. Nonstop. Every day. And night. Without end.

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Here are a few things I got as Christmas gifts this year from my sweet family: the chalk ware ballerinas were from Hubby, the aqua/ black Hazel Atlas ovide dishes are from our youngest and the atomic aqua/ gold travel themed glasses from our oldest. Do they know me or what?

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Here are Santa and Rudolph, waving to my poor postman, who really lives up to the Postman’s Creed. I think he was delivering me more Pyrex?

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On those cold snowy days when I had to venture out for groceries or shipping items, I have tried to hit at least one thrift store. Here are a few of my newest things; some of these are for my Etsy shop.

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This dollhouse will be just the thing for my soon-to-be granddaughter. It is an L-shaped ranch 🙂 It even came with all the furniture.

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I have been searching for the elusive “atomic/ shooting stars” Shiny Brite ornament; here it is in pink! It was in that big Woolworths box:

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Isn’t this little Santa band great? I think I will keep them.

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Here is a tension pole lamp I picked up for $30 at a local antique mall. The fact that this shop does not turn the heat on does not deter me one bit. What is a little frostbite, anyway? How do you think it looks in the living room?

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This pull down light was a $10 garage sale find from 2 summers ago. We just now got around to putting it up in the kitchen. I guess we think if we keep adding cool things to that room that we will never have to fix all that is WRONG with it 😦

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For some reason being snowed in makes me think I need to cook, bake and spend way too much time in the kitchen. Here is some homemade macaroni & cheese I threw together last week in one of my vintage Pyrex casseroles:

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So what have you all been up to this long winter? Any remodeling projects? Any thrifty finds? Let me know!

Stay warm folks!

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The France Trip

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I am taking a break from my usual ranting on frustrating house projects. I am also not going to show you my latest finds from the thrift store ( although I have some).

I thought I would tell you a little about the trip we took to France last year. I won’t bore you with the usual photos of the famous landmarks. We have all seen them. I thought I would show you some snippets of our trip.

Before you think I am one of those jet-setting types,  I will let you know that I really do not care to travel (at all) and I am absolutely MORTIFIED of flying. I really am just happy to stay at home, thank you.

But…. our oldest son had taken a teaching position in France and was going to be gone nearly a year. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to visit him AND make it a big vacation. And besides we missed him TERRIBLY!

We flew out on March 1st.  United Airlines really tried hard to keep our minds off of that very bumpy and long flight.  They fed us constantly. I probably gained 3 pounds on that 9 1/2 hour flight. I mean what airline serves Toberlone candy bars with the snacks?

We landed at Paris’ Charles De Gaulle airport early in the morning. At the  baggage check stood our Firstborn waiting for an anxious Mom and Dad.  He had been skiing in the Alps and took the train into Paris to meet us. A few tears of happiness were shed and many kisses were given (at least by me).

We spent 5 days sightseeing in Paris. Our apartment was in the 5th arrondissement and was decorated totally IKEA, right down to the bedding. It was actually a big apartment for Paris; 2 bathrooms!

It is up there on the left, the 4th floor. Of course I don’t like elevators either (naturally), so I walked up 4 flights several times a day!

Since our son had been living here he knew all the great places to eat and shop, what to see, where to go and how to get around. The fact that he also speaks the language did not hurt one bit either. He was on a break from work the first 2 weeks of our trip, so he was able to travel with us.

I have heard over and over that the French are not friendly. I found just the opposite to be true.  EVERYONE we met went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed ourselves and that we had a great visit.

Here are little children riding the ponies in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris:

Another beautiful boulevard with a street cafe:

After seeing all the sights in Paris, we took high-speed rail to the French Riviera, where we spent another 4 days. Let me tell  you: the French have travel down to a science.

The city of Nice and the very tiny country of Monaco are the most beautiful places I have EVER seen.

This is a bus stop in Nice:

Here are some shots of Monaco:

The famous Monte Carlo casino:

We then headed back north to the Normandy region, where our son was living.  Our first stop was the city of Caen, where we spent 4 more days. This lovely city sustained considerable damage during WWII and much of it has been rebuilt.

This was our hotel. Our room was at the very top. The wonderful innkeeper was so good to us. He made us “American” coffee (cafe creme) every morning and put it on a tray for us to take to our room 🙂 He also helped me decipher a street map as I ventured out while the guys visited another museum. With my limited French language skills, I was still able to spend the day by myself, eating and shopping 🙂

Our final 4 days were spent in Cherbourg, where our son lived and worked. This city is on the English Channel and has a large shipping port. It was the last stop for the Titanic before its fateful voyage.

On our last day we were invited to the grade school where our son taught English; we were able to sit in on a lesson.  I have to say that made THIS Mom very proud.

We frequented the outdoor markets, ate the local fare and saw all the famous (and not so famous) sights, museums and landmarks. We ate pastries every morning. We ate pizza, burgers and  fries (frites) with a knife and fork. Hubby found a new love: Cassis.  Heck we even shopped at a Paris Flea Market.

The food is fabulous. The French are not in a hurry like us crazy Americans. They actually take the time to enjoy life and meals. And they are all thin. Seriously. No one there is overweight. They walk. And walk. And walk. Hubby and I never gained an ounce in spite of the fact that we pretty much ate 24/7.

I have to say being in Normandy affected me the most. I had no idea of the horrors suffered by the French and also by the Allies who came to save them. Their American Cemetery is absolutely breathtaking. I did not take many photos there; it was a little hard to comprehend the solemness and beauty of that place.

I promise to get back to Mid-Century ramblings soon.  We will be painting the living room, entry and hall in the next several days. Then we will be decking the halls! Remember earlier this year I purchased a vintage  aluminum Christmas tree on Ebay!

Stay tuned.

The Guest Room (is now empty)

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The first room to be updated here on Croydon Place was the guest room. Soon after moving in we learned that Oldest Son was moving back to the US and would be staying with us for awhile.

Since the room had been painted a lovely shade of pink  (the former owners had 3 girls) we started with the wall color.  Mid Century aqua is was!

I had picked up a set of dressers at an estate sale and another chest of drawers at the shop where I sell.

This one is steel 🙂

The bed came with us from the farmhouse and is filling in until I find a suitable mid-century one 🙂

The window coverings are bamboo roll up shades from Big Lots and I ordered the atomic look bark cloth fabric from Tonic Living and made the valances.

The pair of funky lamps came from a garage sale ($10 for the pair).

The 60’s wall sconce was found on Ebay (the original one smoked and sparked when turned on).  There are 3 others that match this one in other areas of the house.

The funky pillows were from Pier One but I found them at garage sales. Everything else was picked up for next to nothing.

This bedroom is the only one that has the original and unpainted doors on the closet:

I tried to accessorize with some reminders of  France so the World Traveling Son would not miss it too much 🙂

Like how can you recreate this?

I took this when we were there visiting him 🙂

The Monaco poster came from Big Lots and the Riviera paint by number was $7 at an antique mall.

I love the blond frame 🙂

This little metal stand was a garage sale find for $1. I gave it a fresh coat of black paint.  He used it for books, his lap top, etc.

He has moved on, into a large turn-of-the-century home in our city’s historic district.

The guest room seems a little empty now.

We still have work to do in there. We need a more suitable looking ceiling fan. Yes, a ceiling fan.

It is HOT here in the summer. It may not be period appropriate but it is something we are not willing to be without.

We would like to refinish the original cork floors that are under that carpet (if we only knew how).  And a mid-century twin bed is eluding us for some reason.

Our next project (besides holiday decorating) is to paint the living room/entry/hallway. We have decided on Harvest Gold from the Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern Collection.

Stay tuned! As soon as Halloween is over I go into overdrive 🙂