Sunday, May 31, 2009


I am one of many women who do things on their own, have a penchant for beautification projects, ON A BUDGET.

I have searched the blogisphere and have come up with a sorry few women who do the beautification thing (and do it well) ON A BUDGET and write about it..If I were an interior designer this wouldn't be a problem, if my budget allowed I wouldn't be stressed at the enormous outlay of cash for each project.

I'm asking....have you come across such a blog? I'd appreciate a little info on that subject. I have a few that are on my blogger reading roll, and would like to add to these.

I've finished the burgundy bedroom. I do like it. Very soothing and eclectic. I like a variety of things surrounding me and this is what this room offers.

Pics later. Oh, I know I have promised pics but there is a problem...I don't own a camera, my daughters new picture phone is a dud, and B's camera just doesn't take a good pic.
Yup, still working on the chandelier...I thought of buying more crystals to finish the project and sat down and wondered why? Heck I have enough crystals I just need to redesign what I have.

The keeping room is coming along. It sure was a keeping room. I kept junk in there and it is a pass through room so you could see the clutter. Clutter gone. First layer of Bin paint on the walls and ceiling.

Eighteen hours from now I will be applying the paint. Drying time is essential here. It is so frigging humid here it takes an eternity to dry and tighten up. This is where I made my mistake in the past....I was too eager to see the paint on the walls and skipped the drying time. It is heartbreaking to see all your work roll off the walls six months later. Not this time.

Again I will be utilizing my finds on the OOPS pile at Home Depot or Lowes. This room will be a very pale, pale almost white pink. Yes, I said pink. I dont believe it myself, but there you go...the price was right.

The floor will be painted as well. Fat gray and white stripes. The radiator burst its pipes this past winter and because of the junk in there water damage went unnoticed and has stained very bad. I wanted black and white diamonds, but my daughter brought up the stripe idea and I went for it....see its about the measuring, I can do stripes not diamonds.

How do you like AFTERTHOUGHTS as a name of a blog....I seem to have a plethora of them. In fact, I've always felt like an afterthought. Good day to you. RD

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New challenge or money pit.

I'd like to think that I found my dream house. That could mean just about anything at this time. Why....because my feelings for things tangible is not at its peak right now. I must admit I'm usually pretty good at making decisions quickly and usually with few or no regrets.

Sounds like I'm prepping you and myself for a really big undertaking or a huge letdown. That may very well be the case. But let me tell you about it and perhaps seeing my thought written will be the final straw.

It is located in Texas, I've been wanting to go back west for ages. My husband says Arizona is out of the question, no matter what storybook places I pull up from the net he always says 'no'. Ok, so I look in Texas, and why not? It is gorgeous to me on many levels, lifestyle, home design, and most of all people. Oh, then again there is the climate factor...its yukky here...humid beyond belief and always a bit of a damp chill. Not for me.

I digress....It has 3600 plus square feet. Enough space for my animals and the three of us. Four baths, just incase one hasn't been cleaned, or is being used for our latest rescue. (It has happened) It has 6 bedrooms. An acre lot on a golf course.This may be a problem with putting up a privacy fence. is a mess. Everything needs re-doing. Just walls,windows and damaged doors. EeeeeGad what am I thinking? I will attempt to copy the photos of this place tomorrow. Oh, and the exterior is a mess as well. But the sweet!

Is this just another foray into my fantasy world to be able to resurrect this diamond in the rough....real rough? Can this sows ear be turned into a silk purse? Get my drift? I'm beginning to think I won't be able to pull this one off.

It is so far removed from anything I have ever considered. Like charm, good bones, plumbing, wiring. I just can't sleep nites thinking about this place. What do you think? Pics tomorrow. RD.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What Would You Do?

Vet school helps cat burned by owners
‘Phoenix’ came to MU from KC.

Photo by Gerik Parmele

The University of Missouri’s veterinary hospital is taking care of Phoenix, a cat whose owners set it on fire more than a week ago.

By Janese Heavin

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A 1-year-old cat set on fire by her young owners with lighter fluid is recovering at the University of Missouri’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.


Photo by Gerik Parmele

The University of Missouri’s veterinary hospital is taking care of Phoenix, a cat whose owners set it on fire more than a week ago. With Phoenix are vet school student Christine Murphy, left, and veterinary medicine intern Kara Osterbur.

The cat was taken to Columbia on Saturday after two Kansas City brothers, ages 9 and 12, set fire to her and a family dog last week. The dog died, but the cat survived and ran away. She returned to the home a few days later, and the family alerted animal control officials, said Wayne Steckelberg, a veterinarian at the Half Way Home Pet Adoptions shelter in Kansas City, which initially treated her.

Parents of the children, who declined to give their names or show their faces, told Fox 4 News in Kansas City that the boys have mental disabilities.

Each of the boys faces two counts of juvenile charges for animal cruelty, and the 12-year-old also faces a charge of arson, said Bill Jackson of the Jackson County Juvenile Justice Center.

The cat, Phoenix, doesn’t appear to be holding any grudges, though.

“It’s amazing, that cat,” Steckelberg said. “It was purring. I think if it were me, I wouldn’t be purring.”

Phoenix — named by those at the shelter after a mythological bird that rose from the ashes — has second-degree burns on the tips of her ears, back left leg, whiskers, tail and anal area.

“She was pretty sad-looking,” said Kara Osterbur, an intern at the MU School of Veterinary Medicine clinic.

Students and faculty at the veterinary school sedated her, cleaned her wounds and bandaged her, Osterbur said.

After she heals a little more, she’ll head back to the animal shelter in Kansas City.

If she’s not snatched up by a new owner there, several veterinary students have said they’d be interested in adopting her, Osterbur said.

She and Steckelberg said it’s not rare to see abused animals, but neither had ever seen a pet intentionally set on fire.

“We see a lot of animals come in badly abused,” Osterbur said. “It’s extremely sad, but we’re lucky to get to help them and provide them with care and make them feel better.”

Reach Janese Heavin at 573-815-1705 or e-mail

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nutro Products Announces Voluntary Recall.

NCCC Logo Max Cat Logo
Nutro Products Announces Voluntary Recall of Limited Range of Dry Cat Food Products

Franklin, Tennessee (May 21, 2009) -- Today, Nutro Products announced a voluntary recall of select varieties of NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Dry Cat Foods and NUTRO® MAX® Cat Dry Foods with “Best If Used By Dates” between May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010. The cat food is being voluntarily recalled in the United States and ten additional countries. This recall is due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in our finished product resulting from a production error by a US-based premix supplier.

Two mineral premixes were affected. One premix contained excessive levels of zinc and under-supplemented potassium. The second premix under-supplemented potassium. Both zinc and potassium are essential nutrients for cats and are added as nutritional supplements to NUTRO® dry cat food.

This issue was identified during an audit of our documentation from the supplier. An extensive review confirmed that only these two premixes were affected. This recall does not affect any NUTRO® dog food products, wet dog or cat food, or dog and cat treats.

Affected product was distributed to retail customers in all 50 states, as well as to customers in Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Israel. We are working with all of our distributors and retail customers, in both the US and internationally, to ensure that the recalled products are not on store shelves. These products should not be sold or distributed further.

Consumers who have purchased affected product should immediately discontinue feeding the product to their cats, and switch to another product with a balanced nutritional profile. While we have received no consumer complaints related to this issue, cat owners should monitor their cat for symptoms, including a reduction in appetite or refusal of food, weight loss, vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat is experiencing health issues or is pregnant, please contact your veterinarian.

Consumers who have purchased product affected by this voluntary recall should return it to their retailer for a full refund or exchange for another NUTRO® dry cat food product. Cat owners who have more questions about the recall should call 1-800-833-5330 between the hours 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM CST

At long last....this has been three or more years in the making.RD

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Taken from Wesabe: Frugal Foodies

The Best Beef Ever

Last year, a friend & I went in on a quarter of a cow with a local farmer. I finally got to pick it up at the end of November this year and wanted to share.

I have to recommend this – we ended up spending around $500 total, and got 110lbs of grass-fed, free-range, antibiotic & hormone-free, humanely raised & butchered local beef. It was portioned out by the butcher to be compatible with our 2-person households, and just barely fit in our standard freezers.

By this point, we’ve both tried it and I have to say it’s the best tasting beef I’ve ever had in my life. I’m signing up again this year, and swearing off anything but. If you can find someone who does this in your area, I strongly recommend it – just under $5/lb for some of the best beef you’ll ever eat is an amazing bargain.

Not to mention the ecological & ethical bonuses – keeping money in the local economy, voting with my dollar for hormone/antibiotic free meat, and giving cows a chance to eat grass rather than supporting grain-producing agribusiness… I found my farmer through the local newspaper, but has a searchable database of producers.

While I have heard about this I have never tried this...have you? What are your thoughts? Sounds good. RD

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Define your style Quiz

What's your design style?
Woman posing in front of a chaise lounge.
Susan Redman
February 26, 2009

Are you a retro bohemian or a sleek minimalist? Find out your design style with our quick quiz, then read on to discover how to get in touch with your aesthetic side.

When it comes to decorating, it pays to know your inner stylist. Especially since your two best friends seem so effortlessly intimate with theirs. Without hesitation, Anna, for example, gravitates to dark, rich colours, exotic pieces and vintage finds with an intriguing history. Julie, on the other hand, is chic yet sensible, hates clutter and fills her home with understated elegance and strategically positioned heirlooms. To confound you even further, both seem to innately understand how to accentuate their style with mood lighting and colour, while the only thing you can be sure of drawing attention to in your home is a hotchpotch of disparate ideas and general mess.

For better or worse, our homes are an extension of who we are and an expression of personality. But pop culture philosopher Alain de Botton, author of The Architecture Of Happiness, has a much deeper assessment that gives hope to those of us still trying to sort out just what our sofa says about us: "What we call a beautiful house is one that rebalances our misshapen natures and encourages emotions which we are in danger of losing sight of . . . we respect a style which can move us away from what we fear and towards what we crave."

It's a comforting thought that we all aspire to live in harmony by surrounding ourselves with beauty. But, still, how do we find that style we so "respect"? Or, put simply, what kind of wall clock will get us ticking? The stainless-steel industrial disc, sans numerals? Or the post-modern, acid-yellow cuckoo clock?

Award-winning interior designer Andrew Parr of SJB Interiors (, urges us not to be coy. Take a bold approach, he advises, as this will present a style template. "Make a decision to be monochromatic, contrasting or loud and vibrant and remain true to this general vision," he says. "Observe items that capture your imagination and remember them in your compositions. Try to mix polished against matt, rough against smooth and, finally, observe how simple repetitive items or groupings make maximum impact."

Sought for her calming "modern style that is not too hard-edged", interior designer Lisa Stein ( says it's a matter of getting focused. "Think about how you already live and dress, what colours you are drawn to, what shapes in furniture you like and what textures bring you comfort," she says. She also suggests you start filing magazine clippings and to make a mental note of favourite items already in your house. "These can form the basis of a whole new look," she says.

It's about eliminating the ho-hum and accentuating directional pieces. "You can't go far wrong with a warm, contemporary look that can be embellished and mixed up with antiques or family treasures," Stein says.

Of course, having an eye for style is made better with experience but if you are just getting started there are four main decorating themes to choose from.

Winning the popularity contest is modern - think clean lines, solid colours and designer-labelled furniture. This look has industrial chic and sanitised minimalism at its extremes but somewhere in the middle you'll find a softer option perfectly suited to busy lifestyles.

Traditional is an aesthetic usually built around historical elements like antiques or reproduction furniture. These are stocked at top-shelf retailers and include sub-styles like French provincial, country or romanticism.

Then there is retro, which borrows from mid-20th century modernism but includes Scandinavian design, 1950s tiki and pop art.

Hardest to define but equally enduring is ethnic or bohemian. It's a style that takes cues from the well-travelled collector. Asian, African or South American influences are obligatory - it's the Lonely Planet answer to interior design.

Luke Harrison, general manager of the International School of Colour and Design, says the quiz will categorise readers into one of five groups: sleek new earth, Hamptons white wash, New York loft, sophisticated retro and nostalgic nest - intriguingly, the leading trend.

According to Harrison, its popularity is a sign of the times. "People don't have the budget these days, so we have to be more creative in our choices and personalise a look," he says. "Nostalgic nest is the style you can't buy from a shelf. You have to mix the old with the new. It's the most individualised of the all the groups."

Sounds like at the end of the day it's all up to you. But don't forget, stay focused and don't be afraid to branch out . . .

To find out more about your style or discover more about decorating to suit your own style, the International School of Colour and Design is holding a free Personal Style Discovery Workshop on March 21 from 10am to 1pm. Bookings essential, phone 9114 5988. See
Take the test of discovery

1. Which items would you most likely accessorise your home with?

a Sea shells

b Key designer pieces

c Artefacts from travels

d Items inspired from nature

e Lots of pieces inspired from the past

2. Which of the following activities would you ideally like to do?

a Walk on the beach

b Dress up

c Make things

d Anything outdoors

e Shop for antiques

3. Which colour would you most likely find in your home?

a Neutral palette

b Metallic palette

c Warm palette

d Earth palette

e Cool palette

4. Which of the following movies would you rent first?

a Something's Gotta Give

b Lost In Translation

c The Notebook

d An Inconvenient Truth

e Casino Royale

5. Which colour are you most attracted to?

a White linen

b Charcoal

c Coffee bean brown

d Rainforest green

e Ripe cherry red

6. Which of the following best describes where you buy your clothes from?

a Department stores

b High Street boutiques

c A mix of places

d Eco-friendly/socially responsible retailers

e Shopping centres

Mostly As: Hamptons White Wash

You don't live by the sea, you live with the sea. You like a calm and balanced environment. Your home is treasured and a temple to all you love. You fill it with loved memories, often with pieces that have a story to tell. You love details (sea shells, raffia) and you create your home to be a central meeting point - an environment for people to come together and spend time. Rooms go beyond their initial function (eg, the kitchen is used not only to prepare food).

Mostly Bs: New York Loft

A global trendsetter. You believe the built environment is more spectacular than the natural one and you're hooked on architectural detail. Your style remains distinctive, yet ever-evolving and true to your own self - you don't buy off the shelf. High ceilings, open-plan, rich and luxurious are key components. You pick up on trends but integrate them into your life. While you enjoy the finer things in life, you fill your home with loved memories and key pieces collected over time. A balance of function and excess.

Mostly Cs: Nostalgic Nest

Like a bower bird, you collect bits and pieces. You are earthy, sentimental, individual and your home is rich with detail. You treat your home as a gallery filled with happy memories, photo albums, unique souvenirs from travels and your own made treasures. Displaying your true self on the walls, your collection tells a story. Spending time away from the home - outdoors and exploring - is just as important as spending time in the home. You are not concerned with what your neighbours' homes are like: you are true to your own style.

Mostly Ds: Sleek "New Earth"

You love the outdoors and bring that into your living environment. The technological side of the environment is considered. You evaluate trends and bring those that complement your lifestyle into your home.

Mostly Es: Sophisticated Retro

You recognise and respect good design from the past and present. You pick up key pieces over time and enjoy making them work together. While you are aware of innovations, you do not necessarily follow trends. As you are both confident and authentic, you have been collecting pieces for years and you display them with pride in abstract ways in your home.

This quiz was developed by the International School Of Colour And Design to show people the various styling trends available to them. It is not a determiner of a definite style but is intended to open your eyes to the manifold different decorating styles. These five decorating styles are the most relevant for our current lifestyle.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's Your Style?

Looking around other blogs, serious ones at that, explaining the virtues of this or that style I have come to the conclusion that mine is "Shaggy Bohemian Cottage". Whew, I wonder if I could Google this and come up with something that is just right for me. I doubt it....and frankly , who cares? Its what I like.

Components of each of these styles is a mix that I enjoy being around, a sort of comfort zone.

I came here to my farm house 10 years ago. At that time I was fixated on 'high country'. I just thought my house would lend itself well to that style. I did and it still would, but I'm tired of it.

Change is something I thrive on. I get tired of things very quickly, when it no longer suites my purpose or color palette I get rid of it. That is what I am trying to do. It will take time, I need to find the perfect items. I will be upholstering and painting my little heart out.

I am dreading the living room....what was I thinking? All that wallpaper to be removed. This may not be complete in my lifetime. But there are plenty of other spaces I lend my hand to.

This is what I will be doing in the future. As I complete a project I will share. Like that sweet little gateleg table....if it ever comes. For now, I'm working on the chandelier, and my bedroom.

Have a great day.RD

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here we go......its officially summer.

How would you like to have one of these fellas trying his best to get into your kitchen door? Nope, I didn't think so. This is the third year, since moving to the Eastern Shore, that he has tried to invade MY space.

Let me just say....I don't like snakes, not one little bit. In fact, I will tell you quite honestly...I scream like a woman when I catch a glimpse of one anywhere near my space. Yeah, I know all about their good qualities, I look them up every year. So... I ask you...if this is a rat we have rats?

I live rural. Surrounded by acres and acres of whatever the farmer plans on putting in this year. Mostly it has been soy beans or corn. I also live quite close to a creek so therefore the water snakes arrive as well.

I know this is a fact of life. And it is more than likely it is the same snake....they can live up to 23 years, but it sure scares the pants off of me. I will be doing indoor projects for awhile. I never venture out immediately after a sighting.

I did find a sweet gateleg table this weekend. I'm thinking of painting it shinny red. Have a spot chosen in the keeping room. I'm a little more than concerned though,we asked for it to be delivered yesterday, paid for and all. Its still not here. Hmmmmmm. Shore Life.RD

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Its a Comfort Food Day

The $15 Grilled Cheese

This stacked creation was born out of Ontario-based chef Randy Feltis’s adoration for exotic cheeses and thick-cut bread. Melted in between the garlic-, parsley- and butter-seasoned loaf lies a brilliant blend of brie, aged Cheddar, Italian Asiago and Havarti cheeses. Photographer: Douglas Bradshaw; Food Stylist: Claire Stubbs; Prop Stylist: Janet Walkinshaw


* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 3–4 garlic cloves, crushed
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 8 slices fresh baked bread, 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches thick (Italian, potato, sourdough, cheese, whole-grain, or light rye bread)
* 8 slices brie cheese
* 8 slices aged cheddar cheese
* 8 slices Asiago cheese
* 8 slices havarti cheese


In a bowl, combine the butter, garlic, and parsley. Spread on 8 slices of the bread. In a large skillet over low heat, place 2 slices of bread in the pan, butter-side down. Place 2 slices of each variety of cheese on top of the bread and cover with another piece of bread, butter-side up. Cook the first side until golden brown, then flip and repeat. Covering the pan will help the cheese melt better, especially considering the thickness of the bread. When both sides are browned, cut on the diagonal, and serve.

Café Confidential:

Dill pickles, potato chips, and ketchup go well with this monster cheese fest. But if you’re feeling creative, try adding prosciutto ham, salami, mortadella, black forest ham, shaved roast beef, or anything else that appeals to you.

Actually it is National Grilled Cheese Month, according to Woman's Day Mag. I find this a necessity no matter which month it is. This is indeed my comfort food. I prepare them on a regular basis. In fact, I had one today. Not this flavorful..but close.

Woman's Day Mag has quite a few selections to make your grilled cheese experience an adventure. You really need to check them out. I've copied and pasted a few of them myself for future....comfort food days. RD

Monday, May 4, 2009

Having a pet peeve... The more you have the more you end up with. Like a hydra:

I'd say without a doubt I'm more than a bit peeved. Circumstances have prevented me from blogging about the things I love. Houses and cooking.

I'm not an architect nor an interior designer. So I post what I like. I try to figure out how I can duplicate or improve on an image.

Food... I like food, like to read about it, like to try things out and I follow a recipe to the letter. is my peeve. I follow many blogs on these two subjects and I find that they are rarely geared toward the reader that 1) can't even find the ingredients in her local super market. (I'm rural, remember) and 2) wouldn't have the time in this lifetime to concoct these delicacies. (I run a sanctuary, remember)

The decorating blogs, although pleasing to the eye, cost a mint. How about us do-it yourselfers? Or better yet, the folks that have to do without? I'm peeved when I read about these storybook lives of finding a second home in the Azors, or having the Barnum and Baily circus come to perform for their child's fourth month birthday.

Its not real. Not meant for folks like myself. I do more without than they will ever in their lifetimes. I live by the internet. That is where I buy Greek yo
gurt or Brazil nuts to feed my cats and dogs.

This borders on a whine, I know, and perhaps I sound a bit envious, maybe I am. I have lived that life. I too could make my dreams come true by signing a check or making a call....just not the house in Switzerland with the rustic decor.

I,at first, thought I could manage the homesteading life. I have been beaten soundly about the head at each turn. I wanted a high country home decor, along with a barnyard full of chickens and gardens producing my every whim. This didn't happen and I have become a peevish drone.

I do read the "Mother Earth News", "This old House", and similar blogs as well. Finding Green as despicable as glamor Louis the IV, I just can't find my niche.

My blog will continue with this addendum in mind. I don't give a hoot if I didn't qualify for a nameless widget. I will blog about life, my life. If I'm doing a project....well I'll show you that as well. If it is raining, I'll relay that bit of information as well. As for now, I'm singing in the shower by myself why do I care?

I also have another theory....I just got over a nasty bit with the flu, then I had a toxic reaction to Chantix. Could this be the 'aftershock'? RD