Got it done!

In an earlier blog post, I referenced a commission I had to create an evening purse repurposing an elegant evening jacket, yards of vintage silk and lace, along with some random faux pearl baubles.  These bits and pieces had once belonged to friend Sheryl’s mother-in-law

.    Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 6.25.38 PM

I did what I always do, took on the work with not a clue how I would manage to make it.  The final result surprised even me!

Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 9.59.09 AM
The front of the bag.

 

The back.
I used the little pasty looking fripperies where the handle attaches to the bag.

I learned a lot from this enterprise.  It boosts my confidence to take on more complex designs.  For now, my Brother sewing machine is put away.  We are working hard to get this home on the market early next week.

It’s hard to believe how quickly this move came up!  Was it really only three weeks ago Jim and I took our misty St. Petersburg bike ride?  Our new home will be about 800 square feet smaller than our current home.

We’ve been purging like crazy.  Fortunately St. Petersburg acquaintances are holding monthly garage sales to raise money to fund a dog rescue.  Several times a week we load up our mini-van, Gracie, and make the forty-five-minute drive to Jean and Art’s.  They are delighted by the donations, while we are thrilled to have a place to send everything.

 

I actually got rid of all my mountains of art supplies.  Canvases, gone!  Bags filled with Golden brand acrylics, gone!  Drawers filled with scrapbooking supplies, history.  Paintbrushes, boxes and boxes of brushes are a thing of my past.  My cow painting is my official swan song.

I did, however, keep my sewing stuff, button collection, jewelry making supplies and my Prismacolor pencils.  Time to reinvent me.  Perhaps I’ll write the children’s books I’ve long dreamed of creating.  Life is a wonderful adventure.

I manifested a condominium​!

Our friends, Doug and Charki, live in St Petersburg.  Charki is a firm believer in the power of positive thinking.  She suggested I picture our new home firmly in my mind and simply walk toward it as if it already exists.

So that’s what I’ve been doing.  What she DIDN’T tell me is how fast the thinking could make things magically appear!

Two weeks ago they invited us to come ride bikes around the city.  Charki had learned there might be a unit coming on the market that could be in our price range.   Why not hop on bikes and check the area out?

It was a misty day, but still fine for bike riding.  My goodness, the sedentary lifestyle I’ve adopted has taken its toll!   I was sore for days following our six-mile ride.

First stop, Whispering Waters, the building Charki had mentioned.  Only three stories tall but with nice screened porches and in a good location.

Then we proceeded into the heart of the city.  Charki wanted to check out Saturday Morning Market and buy gifts for friends.  The market happens weekly, October through May.  It’s a combination of farmers market, food vendors, and crafters.  She found two pretty necklaces.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.00.01 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 1.58.46 PM.png

Beside the market, I noticed a tall building I’d identified on realtor.com.  There was an available unit on the 9th floor. I said, “Hey, how about if I go in the lobby and see what’s what with the apartment?”

So we peddled over, locked up the bikes and entered the lobby.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.26.12 PM.png

 

I approached the young man behind the desk, Jordan, and asked him about the unit for sale.  He offered to have a realtor there in fifteen minutes. “No, thanks,” I said,”we are already working with someone.”

He said, “How about if I call the owners and ask if Juan, our maintenance man, can show it to you right now.”

And he did!  Sadly the view was of a roof loaded with air-conditioners.  Not pretty.

On the car ride home I called our darling realtor, Judy, and she said, “I’ll meet you there tomorrow.  There are several other units for sale.”

Back we went on Sunday.  Up up up to the 29th floor where I proceeded to fall in love.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 1.34.33 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.08.50 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 1.35.35 PM.png
You can see that roof full of air conditioners on the right-hand side of this picture.

 

On a clear day, looking left you can see all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  At least that’s what we’ve been told.  We’ve never been there on a clear day.  Florida in summer means rain rain rain.  Looking right is the Tampa Bay.  Below is a pool, putting green, weight room (I don’t intend to ever go there…shudder) and several other big rooms for giving large parties, if you so desire.

We sat in one of those rooms and stunned our realtor by making an offer.  It was accepted.  We close on July 12th.

There are things here I will miss a lot, in particular, several close friends we’ve been lucky enough to make.  I’ve already arranged a standing date to drive out here and share lunch with them once a month. And I’ll continue to come to the ‘burbs for book club.

Meanwhile, I’ve learned there are classes in creative writing just a fifteen-minute walk from our front door.  The library is a ten-minute stroll.  Perhaps I’ll eventually peddle my purses at the Saturday Morning Market!

The Power of Positive thinking worked again!  YAY!  Now, back to cleaning closets and purging our stuff

 

 

 

 

Chicago!

We arrived Wednesday. Lugged all our stuff up to our sixth-floor condo. This is our first condominium experience. It’s also our first Airbnb experience where the homeowner lives here full-time. She packed her bags and moved out for our two-week visit.  Her clothes are in the closets, food in the frig, toiletries in the bathroom. But the place is clean, and the location is excellent.

20170817_195451.jpg
The view from our balcony.

 

Wednesday we had dinner with Mo (my daughter), her husband Stephen, and Tate the Great! Baby Tate has grown up so much. He is a cutie patootie.

bath

20170817_104752.jpg

Stephen grilled marinated skirt steak. It was delicious.  I’ll add it to our menu rotation when we get home. I should have photographed the food. But I was too busy snapping shots of my darling little grandson.

Mo and Stephen “sleep trained” Tate beautifully.  His pre-crib ritual consists of reading two books followed by Mom and Dad singing “twinkle twinkle little star.”  The child goes right to sleep without making a peep.

20170817_105144

reading

Today we meet friends Brookie and Earl for a tour of the Chicago History Museum. I’m sure on our walk there we’ll see jets. The Air and Water Show is this weekend.  Practicing planes have been zooming loudly overhead since we arrived.

Plans for tomorrow include Andersonville neighborhood and shopping for vintage buttons. That was to happen yesterday, but grocery shopping took precedence. Food trumped buttons? Go figure.

Other road trip experiences are as follows.  I still need to write about our cool visit to Liberty, Missouri.

JFK Assassination Tour

Dallas

Waco. The Silos!

Waco. Day One.

Conroe, Texas. The adventure continues.

On the Road with Team Shepard