Bright Eyes



Spring Things

Well we might be late to the party here, but I am happy to report that Northeastern Maine is finally getting with the program and it’s looking as if Spring is officially here.  To celebrate we cleaned off the side porch, which also happens to be our front porch for all intents and purposes due to it’s proximity to the driveway.

IMG_6693A certain ten year old in a turban joined me on the porch to just breathe it all in.

Oh, and to steal my phone…..



The sight of a bird perched atop a tree across the street had me reaching for my cellphone to take a photo, but wanting more , I dashed inside and grabbed my camera to get a little closer.


IMG_6639 Satisfied I turned back towards home (I may or may not have alarmed my neighbors by traipsing into the street) and I just couldn’t help but grab a few more shots.


And apparently neither could a certain little junior shutterbug.

IMG_6697Speaking of bugs, now that the hummingbird feeder is up and filled, that shouldn’t be too big an issue and you’ll soon see more pictures from our porch.  Maybe.  We might be too busy snoozing in the pair of rocking chairs…..

Until next time, this is Summer D saying take it easy.



The Chronicles of Cletus

I can keep a man for 19 years, but a pair of antlers for my car?

Folks, we’re talking three antlers in just as many days. I wish it were three pairs, though. Because then I wouldn’t be driving around town with just one antler jutting up proudly from the driver’s side window.

Of course, the alternative would be to drive around town with just a red nose on the front end of my giant gas-guzzling Chevy.  That alternative was, indeed, my reality from Saturday evening until Sunday afternoon when I waltzed into a local store and snagged up a new set.  You know, to replace the set that flew off somewhere in the middle of nowhere.  Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t have one red nose.  I have two!  One on the front and one in my trunk.  I thought about getting rid of it, but who are we kidding here? At this point, I should hold on to it; I’m sure I’ll be using it soon.

So, antler number 1 and 2.

I’ve had them since last Christmas in southern New Mexico.  I can only assume my Rudolph-Mobile was happy and content in the dry climes of the desert because they never came off.

Ahem.  Allow me to correct myself.

They have catapulted themselves into the car, smacking me in the head and leaving me feeling as if I just went into cardiac arrest whilst sitting in the drive thru of one fast food joint or another.  BUT, they never flew off the window, careened past the side of the vehicle and disappeared from sight.

I’d like to think this contributed to the fantastic display of stupidity I gifted my oldest and youngest with this past Saturday evening.  Our big old gas hog hurled down the road towards our destination, a Christmas party, when I found myself feeling overheated.  I’m sure I’m not the only one this happens to (I hope I’m not the only one).

On occasion, when it’s hot or I’m feeling flustered, excited- whatever; I manage to go from a pale white girl to a splotchy red mass of anxiety.  It’s there for the world to see.  Spreads from my neck up to my cheeks. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were my entire face- I’d just say I got a sunburn (what? It could happen). Maybe a tanning mishap. Something. Anything!  But no, I blotch.  I’ve had strangers ask me if I were suffering from some malady to which I always reply no while in my head thinking (well, yes ma’am I do. It’s called humility with a dose of neurosis.)

So there I was, on my way to a party heating up faster than an egg on a sidewalk in a heat wave and I can feel it.  The Dreaded Red creeping up my face.  What’s a girl to do?  Don a green cap and say I thought it was a costume party with a produce theme?  No, though that does have merit… Did I mention I was wearing a red sweater?

I decided to crack the window.  Surely that would help! After all, it was a balmy 15 degrees fahrenheit; give or take a few degrees.

And then it happened.

The window was cracked, and apparently my mind too.  The flush was slowly receding from my face when the thought entered my mind.  The antler.  Maybe I should remove it from the window.  And so I began to reach for it when it suddenly popped off and WHOOSH!

Well thanks a lot Mother Nature.  I could’ve handled it myself.

My oldest, in all of his 17 years of droll humor, looks at me from across the middle console and states succinctly, “Well, that wasn’t the best idea.”

No kidding, Sherlock.

Not wanting to roll up as Cletus the one antler reindeer, I hatch a brilliant plan.  As we continue to dash down the road in our sleigh of misfortune at 45 mph, I lay my plan out to my dubious teen and my very amused nine year old.  I’ll roll down his window and he can remove the lone antler. You know, so we don’t look stupid……

I’m sure you can guess what came next.  Pretty sure, like my son, you figured it out before it even happened.


What can a girl do but proceed to sing a hearty rendition of Grandma Got Ran Over By An Antler while driving her last mile in utter and abject humility tinged with a healthy dose of self-appreciation for the ridiculous.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering where the third antler comes in.  And for all of our sakes I’ll keep this part short and sweet.


Driving home from the post office I noticed my radio wasn’t working at all.  No time display. Nothing.  It was working when I parked at the post office.  I thought to myself “I wonder if anything else is out.” And so without thinking?  I rolled down the passenger window.



Number of pedestrians or wildlife who might now have concussions from flying antlers- 3


Merry Christmas from the Mustard Seed and Cletus, the One Antlered Reindeer …for now.

Transforming A Bathroom For Less Than $200

We’re just a week away from finally listing our house and I have definitely learned a valuable lesson with all of this.

Don’t wait until later to do what you can now.

For four and a half years I’ve been thinking of redoing our kids bathroom upstairs, but I always put it off.  My reason? It’d be too much work and would cost too much.

Oh how wrong I was!

In the end we spent less than $200.  I’d like to say it was under $150, but I’m just too tired to do the math right now.  Yes, worst blogger ever, but there you have it.  I’ll tell you what though- I’ll do an item run down at the end and you can do the math.

So follow along (and grab your calculator) and see how I turned a dark and outdated bathroom into a light and bright hall bath perfect for all ages.

It started with this.  Or at least something like this.


I managed, in the chaos, not to take pictures of the bathroom before I let the painters loose in the house.  So using my amazing (limited) tech skills I searched Zillow for the listing of our house when we bought it back in 2013.

I’d been thinking for quite awhile now that I’d like to remove the mirrors.  My theory?  If I took those heavy dark mirrors off, the room would feel bigger.  I just kept putting it off for reasons already explained.


So when I walked past the bathroom and saw the guys had removed the mirrors to prep the room I couldn’t help but do a fist pump of victory (and cringe at the mess).   I was right!  Instantly the room had grown, or at least felt like it. img_3294

Armed with resolve to transform more than just the walls, I informed them to not bother putting the mirrors back up and then proceeded to list them for sale on Let Go. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a yard sale app and I love it.  I’d say more but I’m not an advertisement. However, I did sell them within hours which was great because I was then able to take that money and transform the light fixture.

From this.


To this.


You might recognize these glass shades- they’re the same ones we used to update the dining room light fixtures. Then again, you might not because I just realized I never posted that because I’ve been sleep deprived since the holidays and I have the worst memory ever.  So here’s a tiny recap of that.

Once the paint was dry it was time to put some mirrors on the walls.  You can’t have a bathroom without mirrors, not when you have three girls….unless you like having them sneak into your bathroom at all times.

I don’t.

So we headed back to Lowe’s and began our search for mirrors.

I really liked these.

I just didn’t like the price tag.

Luckily, on the way to look at those we passed by the home decor section and stumbled upon these which were just under $30 each, making two of them cheaper than even just one of the fancy mirrors that tilt up and down.

Still, we passed by them to go look at the actual bathroom mirrors. The mounted ones were out of stock and we’d decided to just order them online despite the hefty price tag, but these white framed beauties stayed on my mind.

I’m pretty sure I dreamt of them that night so by 9 a.m the next morning, we were back at Lowe’s (they really should give me my own parking spot) and not long after they were up on the wall.  Hooray for handy handsome husbands.

I admit there’s quite the gap between the mirrors and the light, but when you’re on a budget time-wise and financially? you just have to work with what you’ve got.  I’m thinking about finding a thin sign or other wall decor to go between but for now, we’ll just leave it be.


That cute white bin on the counter is courtesy of Target’s Bullseye Playground. You know, that section right by the entrance- the one that sucks you in only to spew you out with $$$’s worth of stationary and little knickknacks you didn’t need?

Well I needed this for the million toothbrushes my kids owned.  Seriously, I went to clean out their bathroom and I found thirteen toothbrushes.  THIRTEEN!  And yet, they still manage to forget to brush at times.

I mean, at least I didn’t find a sandwich on a tiny pink plate underneath the cabinet, one so hard I could’ve scrubbed the toilet with.  Not that I’m speaking from experience. Okay, fine.  Judge me.  I am speaking from experience.

But I digress, let’s move on before my eye starts to twitch. Again.


I first thought to use it as a little counter caddy to corral their toothbrushes (which we narrowed down to four) and such, but in the end I stocked it with shampoo, toys, and rubber duckies.  It now resides under the cabinet. The one that used to have a sandwich – wait.  We moved on.

Colors! Let’s talk color schemes!  Exciting.  Oooooh.

I chose to go with navy blue and white for this bathroom because they’re going to be two of the main colors in our new house so everything I’ve bought for staging our old house can be used in the new one. IMG_3344 This shower curtain was also from Target because let’s face it- if I’m not at Lowe’s I’m at Target. 

And oh would you look at that, we’re at the end!  Just to recap and to save you from scrolling up at the risk of spraining your finger here’s a before and after.

And if you’re wondering;  the toilet is to the right behind it’s own door.  I’d show you, but it’s a hot mess right now.  And I’m tired. And it’s late.  And… Oh wait!  Here’s a picture of it. So fancy.



Before: Dark and Dingy

After: Lighter, Brighter

And now the run down.  Grab them calculators or throw off your shoes and slip off your socks and get to counting. By the way- I’m rounding up here on the prices.


Mirrors: $30 x 2 = $60

Light Shades: $8 x 3= $24

Light Bulbs: $5 x 3= $15


Caddy: $5

Shower Curtain: $15

And not shownthe blue and white basket from Ross (it’s on top of the toilet holding toilet paper) : $5

For a grand total of…well you tell me.

Just kidding.


Yeah baby.  And wait.  Hold up.  Back that cart up… I made $45 selling those big mirrors.  Add that in and I spent $79.

Of course, all that money I saved went to Starbucks there at Target.  Hey, a girl needs her caffeine, but not as much as she needs sleep.  Ya have a good night, this girl is gonna go count some sheep.

I’ll leave you with this-  you don’t have to spend a fortune to transform a space.  Have a vision, make a plan and think outside of the box.  Those mirrors weren’t meant for a bathroom, and you can update a light fixture just by changing the shades.  Oh and Bullseye’s Playground has some great stuff that can be used so many different ways.