Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I really miss Liz

My old supervisor Liz seemed to have the philosophy: hire good people and let them do their jobs.  She also believed in the importance of  family.

Our section manager Dorothy and Liz did not seem to have the best relationship, so we were a little nervous to be directly under Dorothy while between supervisors.  We were pleased to find her approachable & fair. Interested, but not overbearing.

Now we have a new super and must adjust to a new supervisory style.  More detail oriented supervision.  This now gives us two – Jalpa, the supervisor and Natalya, the unit lead.  Too be fair, neither of them have been with this office very long, so they do not know us workers well, unlike Liz & Dorothy who by the time I met them had worked for years with any employees they did not themselves hire. 

They check on us more closely, ask more questions, issue more corrections and disagree with us more, ask for more reports/proofs, give more detailed instructions on what, when and how to do. 

I donate platelets.  Our contract allows for ‘reasonable time.’  Liz was completely supportive.  Dorothy asked a couple of questions, was satisfied and supportive.  Jalpa wants to limit the time to an hour which would be enough for a regular pint blood donation, but is not enough for platelets, and she wants written proof.  I told her that platelets takes over an hour in the chair after the screening process and asked her to check with Dorothy.  I will bring her my little receipt.  No biggie.  Not unreasonable.  Definitely different than what I was used to.

**Since I donate about once a month - (actually more because I do sometimes go on my own - sometimes on Furlough Fridays) - "they" decided I cannot have more than an hour.  I was able to change my appointment, so I will just be getting home late.  And biking in the dark, but that will start happening anyway as the season progresses.

I gave Jalpa a heads up that I will be asking for vacation time for Benjamin's Eagle Project.  She did not seem pleased.  I don't think she can refuse though.  I have the hours and the office is not all that busy as there is a LOT of work we cannot do until the budget is passed. (but that is another rant) If she does say no, others can help Benjamin, but I do feel like I might be getting sick. ; )

Rumor is that Jalpa wants to put us all on the same schedule –everyone coming in and leaving at the same time – her time  - regardless of personal life needs/wants. I hope that rumor is wrong.

I remember observing as a student that I preferred teachers who started out stating the rules and being slightly strict then lightened up as time went on over teachers who started out relaxed and casual then lowered the boom later.  I choose to remain hopeful.

It could be worse and I am sure that we will all adjust.

My co-worker Eli is not entirely sorry that he has been assigned to a different unit.

Monday, September 27, 2010


 No, (not yet) although having the kitchen fixed up and painted pretty much feels  like one.  One day in his cleaning and organizing, Benjamin unearthed a small helium tank and balloons.  Naturally, he celebrated the kitchen.

Have you noticed that when you clean one thing, you noticed the next thing that needs doing, and the next, and the next?  When the house was all so tragic, we just went around with blinkers on so to speak.  Once we got the worst taken care of - the kitchen - we could see how desperately so much more needs to be done.  We won't get it all done soon, but more good things are happening.

My home team, Benjamin, David &; Teresa - I strongly suspect largely under Miss T's encouragement - has been working hard and working miracles.  They have transformed the dining room and front room. Here are David and Teresa working in the dining room.

The front room and dining room are Barely Jade with Marshmallow White trim.
I think these rooms are about ready to start to be put back together.  It will be so nice to have our table and chairs again!  And someplace to sit in the front room! but ugh!  the couch is so beat up and ugly. Anyone know how to upholster?

Is Your Kitchen Done?

It is surprisingly difficult to answer that question. 

Mostly yes.  Except for a few things here and there.  Some of which I hope will be done soon.  We had a couple of problems with the floor, so some replacement grout still needs to be sealed.  We haven't put the handles on the drawers and cupboards yet.  For some reason they are a bit 'sticky' so I am looking forward to getting the handle on.  I want a hook for my aprons, a bar for towels, and a shelf or something next to the stove. Those things I want fairly soon.  Also I need window treatment of some sort.  That may take a little longer.  Now that my kitchen is no longer ugly, there are objections to me hanging plastic bags to dry - but I still need to dry them. How?

But yes, the kitchen is, for the most part done, and it is delightful to use.

Without breath or pause, however we continue on.  Of course, by we, I mean my wonderful home team.  They have cleaned, spackled, primed, and painted the dining room and front room.   They are nearly ready to put back together.  What a shame to put my wreck of a couch in that nicely painted room!  So far none of us feels up to re-upholstering.  And of course, funds are beginning to run low. Although a great deal needs to be done, we will have to stop, maybe rest, and evaluate when/how to best next continue.  (Although I really think we need some light in the family room!)

Have you noticed how when you clean or fix one thing up, you suddenly awaken to how bad the next thing is?  It is certainly true in my house.  As the kitchen began to emerge fresh and clean, I realized how dreary, dingy and beat up the rest of the house is.  One step leads to another which leads to yet another.  It can be almost discouraging to think there is no end in sight.  On the other hand, every improvement makes the house a little bit more pleasant and livable.  I cannot afford in money, time or energy to do all the things that should and could be done in my house right now.   But we can do something.  We can work and plan towards the next thing.  Every step takes us closer.  You can clearly see what wonderful improvement has been made.  It is certainly worth doing what you can when you can -  even though you cannot do it all. 

I think that is the same with our lives.  We are a long, long ways from being perfect.  The task can seem hopeless indeed.  But if we are willing to bring the best materials we can afford and let the Master Craftsman teach us, work with us and do the things we cannot do – what an improvement there will be!  Yes, as we accomplish one goal we will see that there is more, much more to do.  That our characters need more improvement and more repair.  It may appear to be an endless task.  But we have eternity to work on it and step by step we can come closer to our eternal goal.  Every little improvement will allow more light and joy into our lives.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time Out For Women - John Bytheway

The second speaker Friday night was John Bytheway. Entertaining and inspiring, but hard to take any notes.  He talks a mile a minute AND his talk was much of it quotes from other Time Out For Women speakers over time. I was too slow to get the authors and the quotes.

At one point he whizzed through the Young Women’s Values at high speed, then stopped and complimented/apologized to the man translating into American Sign Language and warned him that he was doing the Young Men next;      “Be.      Prepared.” 

He repeatedly quoted Majorie Pay Hinckley – probably partly so he could have her sweet face put up on the screen.  Many quotes from her little book “Small and Simple Things”.

John Bytheway quoted Sherie Dew as saying, “Sin makes you stupid, and it costs a lot, too.”  I am not sure, that may even be the title of one of her books.

One of the best things he said was that the best success formula is repeated every week by 16 year old boys – the Sacrament prayers.

He talked about choosing to be delightful. “I think I’ll be delightful today.”

Also how relationships often evolve (deteriorate) from Appreciate to Expect to Demand and how he and his wife made a conscious decision to stay on Appreciate and what a difference that makes in their relationship.

John related that he had heard a Jeffrey R Holland quote about the outcome of the world has already been decided, but we need to choose which side we will be on.  He wanted to quote it, but first, he wanted to authenticate it.  Unable to find it in his own research, he called Elder Holland’s office.  The secretary did not know the quote, but said she would ask Elder Holland.  John B. thought that was the end of that.   Weeks later he got an email from Elder Holland, acknowledging that he did indeed say what John heard he said and offering to write it and authenticate if for John.  And signed the email, “Jeff”.   !!! The quote:
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “The future of this world has long been declared; the final outcome between good and evil is already known. There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard. The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which team’s jersey we want to wear!”

Elder Faust’s quote refers to you, our young people, but I think also to all of us who live in the later days to help us remember to be true even in troubled times.

James E. Faust: “In many ways our young people are the hope of the future, like valuable diamonds that shine better against a dark background.”

I could not find the reference for this (yet?) but I think Bytheway said that Heber J Grant said something like My God is a cheerful, lively, and good-natured being.  I know this because when I am close to Him, I am cheerful, lively and good-natured. – I think a corollary would be that if we endeavor to be cheerful, lively, and good-natured, it will help us to be closer to God.

Home Range

This is how it looks without boys, but with stove and hood in place.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fun In The Kitchen

The kitchen looked nice and big when it was empty!

Now we (by which I mean mostly Teresa) have started putting it back together. Ok, it was probably mostly the guys who put the fridge and freezer in place.  They tried putting the freezer in a different spot than it had been, but it really shrank the kitchen, so it is back next to the fridge again. Teresa is trying to figure out putting away all the dishes and mixing bowls, canned goods, etc, etc, etc. There is less shelf space than before.  Some fun.

David put the range hood up which he spent HOURS scouring and painting.  And I neglected to get a picture yet.  Soon.  But before he put the hood back:

Joseph looks like he bashed his head and broke the cabinet, but he is really straining on tip toes to try to put his head through the hole like Benjamin.  Joseph is not quite as tall as his little brother.  Look not on the height of his stature for the measure of a man, however.

Benjamin was laying on top of the fridge and freezer, but we were too slow with the camera.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Time Out For Women - Ardeth Kapp

When I learned that Time Out For Women was coming to my home town on my birthday, I took it as a sign that I should attend.  Of course, I am glad that I did.
On Friday night the musical talent was Jenny Oaks Baker a charming and talented violinist.  I just found out (Wikipedia) that she is the daughter of Dallin H. Oaks.  She was 1st violin for the National Symphony for years, but left it to have more time with her family.  She told us about the last night she performed with the symphony. The other members didn’t know it was her last night, but I think it was the last night of the season.  They were all saying regular good-byes, but she knew she was saying GOOD BYE.  She went out to her car and cried.  While she was sobbing, there came a tap at her window.  Although she wasn’t feeling very sociable, she talked to the (stranger to her) woman who had come to tell her how much she had enjoyed the performance.  Jenny told her why she was so upset and crying.  The woman understood completely what she was feeling because she, too, had given up an exciting ‘dream’ career to be with her family.  Jenny knew that Heavenly Father had sent her a sympathetic ear.   

Ardeth Kapp - 
possibly my favorite of the evening : “You may not be able to go back and make a new beginning, but you can go forward and make a new end.” Powerful stuff.
She quoted M. Russell Ballard on the role of women ‘We do need women who rejoice in their womanhood and have a spiritual confirmation of their identity, their value, and their eternal destiny. Above all, we need women who will stand up for truth and righteousness and decry evil at every turn and simply say, “Lord, here am I, send me.”’
“Hope is a gift from God that comes to us by and through the Holy Ghost.”
Alma 7:11 was quoted more than once over the weekend reminding us our our Savior and Redeemer’s great love and sacrifice for us and of His deep understanding of each.   “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.”
To have hope we need to communicate with the source of all hope.
2 Nephi 31: 19-21
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
  20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
  21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
We can go to the Lord. 
Boyd K. Packer, “A Message to the Youth of the Church: Personal Revelation—The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” New Era, Jan 1995,  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

As Promised - or Threatened

First some exciting pictures of the half bath primed and ready to paint.

Painted with leftover blue paint from the bedroom project - the blue we had the most left (because it was not our favorite) and with a State Parks calendar and fish stickers.  
Aren't you thrilled?

Believe me, it's MUCH better than it was before!

Friday, September 10, 2010


David was sitting out on the driveway when I got home last evening.  "We hardly worked today," said he.

"Oh? What did you hardly work at?" asked I.

He was even then scrubbing away at my range hood which has (to my shame) been neglected lo these 30 years I have been in this house except for a cursory wiping - usually not even on the business side.  He has scrubbed on it for hours and hours over a period of days with, I believe, some help now and then from the relief team members Benjamin and Teresa.  He is preparing to paint it white before it goes back into the kitchen.  

He mentioned that they also got baseboards and painted them (installing them today) and did the transition from the kitchen to the dining room and the kitchen to the garage.

Before I could check them out I had to get my bike past this.

Apparently we had moved the cabinet doors before they were completely dry and they needed touching up, so they got their 3rd coat of paint and were put out of the way.
(Except for the ones scattered like throw pillows on the love seat.

David and Brother Brown made the floor transitions.
Kitchen/dining room transition
I was so excited!  "Do you think you could make a transition for the bathroom?" I hoped.
David replied. "Maybe so. Probably."

We talked some more, then I went to visit the plumbing - love plumbing! -  in the bathroom.

Surprise! The bathroom transition was done!
We had fixed the bathroom just before the divorce - so, yes, some of the house money was actually spent on the house.  The bathroom and re-plumbing most of the house - thank goodness!

Before, you could sit on the toilet and check the weather through a large hole in this corner.

 The new tub was put in, a sink and vanity from IKEA I think, and the floor and wall repaired.

But the bathroom was not quite finished. The boys and I painted.  But the switch plates didn't go back - the switches/plugs are not straight, so it's a bit of a challenge.  The transition and door molding were not done.

Now David has put in the transition and will do the molding with leftover baseboard material. 

One of the first things David and Teresa did for me and my house was paint the door which was a really beat up once white.  We used leftover paint.  What we thought was white turned out to be primer.  And the blue was one of the blues from the boys' undersea room project not the bathroom blue.  But what an improvement!  They also painted the half bath off the family room.  Pictures another time.

Now, back to our kitchen project.

Teresa and Benjamin painted the old cabinet hinges (by immersion), skewered them and hung them to dry - periodically flexing them so they would still hinge and not crack the paint.

Here are scraps from laying the floor tile. 
 Brother DLC told David to hide them "before your mom wants to keep them for crafts or something."
 They do look like they should be really good for something!

When I took his picture later in the evening, David said he was going to stop working after 6pm (when I get home) from now on. 

I should go see if I can help without getting too much in the way.  (But they are doing such a great job!)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Almost There

Doesn't the floor - and everything else - look great? Except the drawer which was put together badly and David is fixing. 

Yesterday they grouted the floor.  Saturday the home team seals it (while I am at Time Out For Women). We also have to put in baseboards/molding. And the transitions between the kitchen and the garage and the dining room.  I have to pick handles, too.

With Tuffy, whom Benjamin is dog-sitting  
I like the smooth counter, the double sink, and the pull-out sprayer! I think they will make clean-up much easier.

People have commented on how quickly this has gone.  I have had some really good workers!  Brother De La Cruz and the others who came to help are all good, fast workers.  David, Teresa, and Benjamin have really sped things up by helping Brother DLC when he was here and doing so much after he left for the day and on evenings and weekends.  It has been 'interesting' but not the nightmare I have heard about with kitchen make-overs.

David said that told him to buy me a birthday present, but we know that their huge contribution to getting the kitchen job done has got that covered!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You Shall Not Pass!

This weekend the home team painted a second coat on the cabinets.  David installed the garbage disposal and Brother Brown came over and hooked up the plumbing.  David replaced the (2) old broken down light fixtures.  We got replacement fixtures at ReStore – a Habitat for Humanity thrift store.  Three of us went, looked at them, and handled them.  AFTER David put them up we realized that although similar, they are not quite the same.  Similar but not congruent.  Not a problem, just rather amusing that not one of us noticed the difference until they were up!

Tuesday they laid tile and today they grout. I think these will be the only days/evening we will be/have been unable to walk in/through the kitchen.  Which means when we want in the garage before Thursday, we need to go in through the car door and work our way through the miscellaneous junk.  (hmmm, I have clothes in the washer I need to remember to take care of.)  Then, I think it’s done. !!

Things were moved around to prevent kitchen access.

I peeked over the barricade to see the floor so far.
I think moving the kitchen back in is going to be as big a job as moving it all out and doing the work were.  Where do things go now?  What can I get rid of? (You know I have a problem with that)

When we put the kitchen back together, the dining room which is currently holding the appliances will be empty.  So we will clean and paint that.  Then we will move the front room into the dining room so we can clean and paint it.  Saturday we bought 5 gallons of paint (Glidden – Barely Jade) a very pale green.  Also Marshmallow White for trim in the front room and Toasted Oatmeal (I think Toasted) for the hall. 

We are all excited!  Things look so much better which makes us feel better, too.

Immediate plans do not go beyond that, although, as you know, there is a LOT that needs to be done in this house.

I am anxious (and nervous) about getting started on the family room.  We need to replace the lights and do SOMETHING with the ceiling and back wall which are in bad shape. I want to put in a couple of ceiling fans while we are at it.  I am worried about what we will find when we take out the back wall.  Part of me would like to just cover it up, but I think we need to find out how bad things are and are they likely to get worse if we don’t do something.  Then the question is what about the rest of the room?  Most of it is paneled the same. Make the back wall a contrast wall?  Paint all the walls the same?  Still thinking.   The floor needs doing, too.  And the front room. dining room and hall  floor.  The exterior needs painting.  The yard is a wreck.  Is there no end??? No.  

We will just do what we can when we can.  The kitchen project is amazing!

Last evening DT & I went to look at Lowes because we had errands at Costco, Lowes is out that way – bit further south – and Debi, Ruth &Tom think it is superior to Home Depot.  FYI – “my contractor” Brother DLC doesn’t think that there are significant differences.  His rule is ‘whichever is closer’.   Lowes is whiter, brighter, cleaner looking/feeling.  More like a grocery store maybe. Make the customer feel comfortable there.  For each it is a deliberate market image.  Home Depot’s look says serious work, contractors, real men, build, fix, repair.   (My interpretations, you understand)  David thought Lowes had more variety.  I didn’t really see much difference. Maybe Lowe’s prices are a little lower, I couldn’t say for sure.  Brother DLC says, you have to balance how much gas for how much gas reduction.  So, I may go to Lowes when it is convenient, but I am not going to worry about going out of my way for it.

On to Costco.  Had to return a couple of loaves of bread that went moldy way too fast and before their use by date.  Costco is good about that.  No hassles. We were going to buy milk but while we were still at Lowes, the ‘boys’ called to tell us that the refrigerator did not seem to be working.  ??*#*#@@#?!  Not good. We gave them suggestions – like check the plug in and check the temp setting – and decided we had better get home!  

I told David and Teresa that this was my punishment for even considering getting myself a laptop which I seriously am.

We also decided to stop at Bel Air and buy ice.  Before completing the purchase however, we called home again – just to check and to tell them to empty out a big ice chest – which is storing stuff from the kitchen – if the fridge was still fritzing.   Fortunately! The fridge was back at work.  Whew!  So, we bought milk.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Prime Time and More

What a sight when I came home from work Thursday!

from the front door

It looks a little better from the other side.     
The home team - David, Teresa, and Benjamin - sanded like crazy and primed the kitchen.

After I got home, David and Teresa painted - 2 coats - what workers!
Do you like the colors?  I do!

I think that today they put in the lower cabinets, counter top and sink.   : )

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My kind of education!

10 am got this email :

BARBARA ROBARTS has been Approved to attend Introduction to California State Parks (11/1/2010-11/5/2010). 

Yippee!  How cool is that?!     

You may not know how cool this is.  This is a class recommended for Parks employees of 6 months - 2 years.  It is held in the Mott Training Center, at Asilomar on the Monterrey Penninsula.   I have talked to a couple of employees who took it and said it is FANTASTIC - besides being in an absolutely beautiful place!

 Now I need to find out the details. 

and I need Deputy Director approval, but I don't think that will be a problem.

If it is like the class they had a couple of years ago (January 2008 – I found the syllabus on-line).  I will drive down and check in Monday.  Stay in shared rooms at the center and eat in the cafeteria – no charge.  Tuesday’s classes include a one hour Asilomar Ramble – walking tour of the facilities.  Thursday evening we have a bbq & campfire program.  Friday classes are over at noon, we eat lunch and leave.  It make take me a while to actually get out of the area. ; )   It is about a 4 hour drive.  I will probably get home in time for family prayer.   

I am so excited!!!  I hope the weather is decent.  Oh, I hear it is almost always decent there!!  Might be rainy, but might not, it is a little early in the rain season.  And the temperatures should be mild.

I will learn about California State Parks history, mission and philosophy.  I will learn about the organizational structure, personnel and human rights, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation, back injury prevention, Natural Resources,  Cultural Resources, cooperating associations and volunteers, interpretation, accessibility and more. 

30 hours of course work.  oh, what will I do with the rest of my time stuck there on the coast like that???

Am I Blue?

Written Wednesday, Sep 1:

Not as much happened in the kitchen yesterday as we had hoped.  Sheet rock got hung, I believe.  Bro. DLC was going to paint cabinets but his sprayer acted up.  That’s just as well because when I bought the paint I was going to do the walls and ceiling in Blue Marina and the cabinets in Sweet Baby Boy.  Then D&T and I talked about doing it the other way, but I failed to make it clear that I wanted to so they would have been painted the way I told Brother DLC first.  Also switching meant I needed to buy more Sweet Baby Boy which David and I did last night.  We also picked up hardware for David to fix the kitchen windows so they open and close!  I have yet to choose hardware for the cabinets.  Oh, decision, decisions!

I think there may have been some other tool issues.  So we lost some of the time we gained by not having to shop Monday.  No worries, except it is supposed to be hot (triple digits) tomorrow and maybe Friday.  Perhaps Bro. DLC will take a couple of days off or just work half days.  I don’t want him to kill himself (at all, but especially) working for free! 

We were supposed to – or ‘could if we wanted to’ – do some thing or other last night to help in the kitchen, but we were all too tired.  So, naturally, we put on a movie (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) and stayed up too late. 

Only David did some work in the kitchen (last night that is.  I think Teresa worked in there again in the afternoon after Belen left and then she made dinner – what a gem!)  – I think having to do with putting on the switch boxes (?)  (David, I mean) so we could turn the electricity back on to the kitchen (?) I think.  Bishop changed things around a bit.  I think added an outlet or two and grounded them (!).  There is now, I think, an outlet over the doorway.  He had to put a junction box in anyway to fix where it had been badly wired before.  So now there’s an outlet – say to plug in a clock or something. 

Various individuals have tried to convince me to take out the in-wall ironing board, but I am keeping it.  “We” will paint it the same as the cabinets (but not painting the inside).

When we finish the kitchen, we really do need to paint the dining room and front room.  Besides, the dining room will be empty again.  We could paint it.  Then move the front room stuff into the dining room and paint that.  There is some danger of the whole house going blue.  The kitchen colors are almost the same as the bathroom.  I seem to really like blue.  I am looking at paint samples for the front room/dining room which I think I want to be the same as each other.  I am, it appears, a rather monochromatic person.  David keeps suggesting an accent wall, but that’s not me.  I think I want any dramatic color statements, if I want them at all, to come from accessories (more or less changeable accessories -  pillows, pictures, flowers, etc).  Currently looking toward off-white walls with ceiling the same.  Maybe pale blue or pale green.  I keep taking samples and clothes pinning them to the curtains to see how they look.  Although I do suppose I COULD replace the curtains.  But, they are nice and are like a visual hug from Sariah and Ryan.  The lights are hugs from Tom and Ruth.  The garbage disposal is a hug from Miriam and also David.  My house is full of love.  : )

Also thinking about what color to do the outside of the house.  I don’t know when we will actually DO it, although it needs it badly.  (So very MUCH needs doing!) Blue, gray, green, white are all contenders and some days I like soft yellow.  Going along with being monochromatic, I lean towards choosing something that will pretty much flow with the front room.  If I go with a pale green, maybe a slightly darker green outside, or if pale blue, blue or gray.  We will see.  

written Thursday (as the post is labeled)

Bro. DLC is taking today off.  The home team will be working away however, hopefully early before the heat sets in.  Sanding down joint something or other - white stuff where the sheet rock joined.  I forget what else, but it did sound like they had a good bit planned.  Preparing the walls for painting!

Yesterday the cabinets were painted. 

The walls and ceiling will be Sweet Baby Boy blue, a lighter blue.  I am really happy with how things are coming together. (Doesn't the painter's tape go well with my cabinets?)

In case you are wondering - Today I am leaning strongly towards painting the dining room and front room a pale sage - and the outside of the house a darker sage with white trim.