Welcome! I am glad you are here. Join me with a cup of your favorite beverage and see what is going on in my life and what is on my mind. I would love to have you join my site and you can do that on the left side where it says 'followers'. And please leave a comment! Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The King

 Do you see what is on top of the entertainment center?

The King, watching over his realm.

He usually doesn't sit up there, but once in awhile I guess he needs a change of scenery. Usually he lays on top of the old upright piano on the other side of the room.

I really should remove that fall flower arrangement in the rustic pitcher, don'tcha think? Add that to my long list of things I should be doing. The mantle clock belonged to my parents. It used to chime. It is an electric clock. The picture above of the farm scene is a print of a painting done by a former minister of ours. He started as a graphic artist, then became a minister, and he was a very good one. But several years ago he decided to leave the ministry (after we had moved away) and there are only two reasons I can think why. He got a divorce a remarried another woman that had been married. Don't know the story but can only guess. I am thinking the denomination had a problem with what went on. Or, he just decided to spend more time on his love of painting. He has made a name for himself with his duck and other hunted bird paintings. His name - Jerry Raedeke. My kids gave me this print for Christmas one year, and Jerry did a remark at the bottom so it is special. Also, I wanted this print because the picture resembles the farm where I grew up. And my dad had the very same John Deere tractor. The field on the right is an oat field with the shocks set up. I put many of those together too, and I think I could still do it after all these years. Oat harvest was a highlight of the summer. Not exactly fun because the straw was scratchy and the chaff stuck to you like glue because it was hot and humid and everyone was 'damp with dew' - so to speak. My main job with threshing was to keep the grain wagon level as it filled. Ah, the memories.

Color My World

These are my bargain flowers that I got - some of them at 1/2 price, and all reduced at least some. This is the ivy leaf geranium. This came from Walmart. Notice the sad looking window box planters in the left rear, and how the birds and squirrels have destroyed the coco fiber liners.

 Petunias and marigolds. I got the marigolds to plant around the tomato plant that is supposed to keep the bugs away. They looked really sad when I got them as they were bone dry. I did deadhead the marigolds and they look better this morning after a good watering yesterday and rain early this morning. (Walmart)
Stawberry plant with 3 runners already. There are a few colorful blooms and a couple of small strawberries starting to form. I think there had been some earlier but now gone. Hope I can keep the birds away. I am still trying to decide if I will put this in one of the window boxes or not. (Walmart)
 Tall begonias that look quite healthy. Halp price at the greenhouse.
 Impatience. The one has pretty red flowers that look similar to little roses. The other doesn't have any flowers on at the moment so don't know if it is the same as the other or not. Half price from the greenhouse.
 Aren't these geraniums pretty colors? Also half price at the greenhouse.

Since the first picture of the strawberry plant didn't show the runners I tried to get another picture. I have them temporarily sitting in the pot where I have the two surviving tomato plants. Still not the best picture. For some reason I could not see the image on the camera as I was taking the pictures so it was sort of just aim and shoot and hope I got what I wanted. All these pictures are taking on my back patio which has a roof over half of it.

Next is getting these all in their permanent pots.

Skeletons in the Closet!

Yes, I am baring my hidden secrets! This is embarrassing!
I am trying to make my pantry better organized and easier to use. I have been thinking about this for awhile but couldn't seem to get started. For some reason the 'bug' bit me this morning, and I opened those doors and started pulling things off the shelves. I actually forgot to take pictures before I started, which I had planned to do. So these pictures were taken in the middle of the operation.

This is the long shot to show all the stuff sitting on the floor. What is in the bags are the cans of food that I recently bought and never put on the shelf as there was no room. In the blue tub are most of the empty plastic containers that I have been saving to store things that come in bags and boxes so that critters don't get into them, though I have not had any problems with that as yet. But those containers have just been tossed in wherever I find a spot, and when I need one I can't find one I want. My plan is to put them all in a box on the floor so that they don't take up valuable space needed for canned goods. The boards to the right are the front part of the shelves that I have already removed. Peeking out from the right of those boards is the other half of the pantry, and that is where all the small appliances and large pans plus all the other stuff that does not fit in the kitchen has to be stored. And that is full too. I had done some decluttering in there not long ago, but I am not satisfied with it yet. So will have to work on that again soon. Right now, the food pantry is taking awhile since my body is still hurting from lawn mowing two days ago, and I have to sit quite often.

Remember, I had already started when these pictures were taken so things are even more jumbled than they were to begin with. I really did have it somewhat organized before. I don't have the canned goods organized as to category yet, but had just moved them so that I could get the front of the shelf removed.
Look how that plastic shelf sags! I think it was originally bought for shoes in the bedroom closet before I moved here. Not really sturdy enough for heavy cans. My plan now is to just put the little cans of odd stuff there, like black olives, jalapeno peppers, tune, etc.-- the ones that tend to get lost among the taller cans. The egg carton is empty. I was saving it for starting garden seeds next spring but now I don't think that is going to happen so the carton will go in the recycle bin when I get to it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Playing Around

As you can see, I have a new look. I have been playing around with the layout for a couple of hours at least. I am still not quite satisfied with the results but I have had enough of it for today. I would like to change the favicon. Any suggestions on where to find one or how to do it?

My day hasn't quite gone as planned, but the one thing I really wanted to do today was to replant my strawberry roots and that I did get done. They were just not doing anything in the window box planters, plus the birds and squirrel have pretty much ruined the fiber liners and they are looking terrible. Monday afternoon I took the roots out and put them in a small pail of water to soak overnight. It ended up I didn't get to planting them yesterday so today is the day. They are now in a couple of regular pots, and still in the house for now as it is so windy this afternoon. We also had a small thunderstorm go through earlier and at the tail end of it we got some hail, mostly pea and marble size. There wasn't enough here to do much damage to my plants so that is good. And we needed the rain or else I would have had to go out and water everything again. As for the strawberries, I don't know if they will do anything after this, but I am hoping they will start. If not, they did not cost all that much so will consider it an experiment and move on next year. So far my gardening efforts have not been very successful other than I should get some green beans. If I don't, there will be no plans to plant anything next year. I just don't have the energy to work any harder on it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mural Wall before

Isn't this sky a pretty blue?

As I was looking for some other pictures I ran across this one. This should have been included in the other posting. That yellow wall is the one that is now painted with the Veterans mural. The part that is not painted yellow is where our brick garage stood. We drove into it from this angle. Where the two vehicles are is the original garage for the insurance company on the back side of their old offices. The part between that garage and the wall is the back part of their new office and was our back yard. Our side yard was the whole length of their old building from back (alley) to front and about as wide as the house was. This was also before the alley was paved. The corner of the brick building far left in the picture looks similar to the brick of our house and garage. Not the prettiest, and the house did not look like much from the outside, but it had real beauty and character on the inside. If I run across some pictures of the interior some day I will post those. I must have some but they will be print pictures, pre-digital camera, that I will have to scan. 

Past Paint Projects

When I painted that porch swing red I also painted these two items. This is on my back patio, but you only get to see a tiny bit of it. The back door is just outside the picture to the left. The summer I did this turned out to be very hot and very humid/muggy, and one could work up a sweat just by sitting outside. So it was not fun painting then. I tried to only work on them early in the mornings before it got too hot. Now I am thinking about painting multi-tiered plant stand a light, but bright green to use outside. That doesn't quite fit into the patriotic theme, tho, does it. I am hoping it will be a nice accent anyway. I also have an old cream can that was painted black back in the 60's when it was popular. It really needs to be painted again as it is looking pretty tough. I was thinking navy blue. What do you think? The rest of the blue on the house - shutters and door trim - is a lighter country blue, which is now very faded. The whole house and shutters need painting so badly, but that doesn't seem to be high on the landlord's priority list either. It actually needs new siding as some of it is getting rotten and warped. I feel like I am living in a slum area by the looks of the outside of the house, but the area actually is very nice and very neat. It is just my house that looks so shabby. I so hope people don't think I own this house! But if I did, it would not look this bad.

The small bench still sits there but a little closer to the door. It is really handy to set shopping bags on while unlocking the door, but during the summer I have 3 cactus plants on it. It was formerly yellow with white legs. It has a long history as it was on the family farm where I grew up for as long as I can remember, so it must be at least 70 years old and probably older. I would like to know if my dad made it. It is very simply made with 1x4's and 2x2 legs, but quite sturdy for all those years.

The brown table was in my husband's basement for years. It was black and at one time someone had put black and white marble contact paper on the top and the fronts of the small drawers. It is hard to see those drawers in the picture as the glass knobs are off for painting, and the drawers are flush with the spaces they fit into. I washed up the glass knobs and they practically look new. The screws that old them on were very rusty so I did buy new ones.

At first I put this behind the couch which sits midway in the room and divides the room, so is not against the wall. Later I decided the blue sewing desk would look better behind the blue couch, and I could sort of hide any sewing project there. And so moved the brown table to the kitchen where the desk had been. It is so much handier there as I keep mailing supplies like envelopes, return address labels, postage stamps in one drawer. The other seems to have collected all the other things one doesn't know where to put them. I originally thought it would be for decks of cards, spare batteries, some pens and notepads, paper clips, etc. But a whole bunch of other things have been shoved in there as well and so now is stuffed beyond full most of the time.

I should apologize for making the landlord sound so bad. They are really very nice people, and live right next door. But it is a puzzle to me why things are being let go for so long.

My Front Porch

This is my front porch. The white chairs aren't normally there. I would like to find some kind of decor arrangement to add to it - one that can withstand the winds we get, and I don't mean just the storms. It can be windy just about every day of the year here.

The swing is antique and was my husband's. He probably got it from his first wife's parents or her aunt, so it is quite old. It was originally stained and varnished wood but in shabby shape. So one year I painted the old porch where we used to leave, and then painted the swing to match - a sort of light rust or dark terra cotta. When I had to move I was delighted to have this porch to hang the swing as not all houses have a porch where it can be hung. The terra cotta/rust didn't quite fit in with this house, so about 2 summers ago I decided to paint it bright red and give this house a patriotic look. I love it! I do have a seat cushion for the swing but it is dark green print. I have been thinking about covering it with a red/white print that I have seen in Walmart. That print is also done in reverse so have thought about making some pillows with that. I will have to put ties or something on the pillows so that they don't blow away. I did put short white shoestrings on the two back corners of the seat cushion to tie around the frame and that works well. Not sure how to do it with the pillows as most likely they will get moved around for comfort, depending on who and how many sit there.

The house faces north so this porch is always in the shade and a nice place to sit and watch the birds and squirrels. It is where I sit during my rest periods when mowing lawn and picking up sticks. I didn't quite get it in the picture but the white rail fence is L shaped behind the white birch tree. The bushes in front are pink spirea but they don't bloom very well as they are in shade most of the day. The fence helps make that corner picturesque, but. . . it is rotten and falling apart. When I paid the rent a couple of months ago I asked the landlord if he had any plans to do something about it, but as yet I have heard nothing and nothing has been done.


 After the Memorial Weekend Storm

Here are 2 pictures taken about a week after that Sunday night 
 storm we had with 73 mph straight winds. It is rather hard to tell, but in the very center of the picture is the pile of trees and limbs that were blown down in the storm from all over town. The leaves were green when they were put there but are now turning brown when the picture was taken. By the house behind the pile you can see that the pile is about as high as the house and almost as long as the parking lot they are piled on.  This is just part of it, as there were lots of branches taken to the city tree dump by individuals themselves rather than the city. The city employees and firemen did a super job in the clean-up, starting at 5 am the next morning and finished by noon. They started on the west side of town and worked east. It is great to see everyone working together and so efficiently as well.

I am very thankful that I had no green branches or limbs down on my yard. There were many small, dead twigs and branches, and just a few larger, also dead, branches that were 3-4" diameter size scattered around the yard. They were all easy enough for me to carry. I had a large plastic garbage can stuffed full of the smaller ones, and a fair pile of the larger and longer ones that didn't fit in a can. The landlord took them to the dump for me after a few days. It was tedious work for me and took me over an hour to get it done. It is a little disappointing that not one person offered to help, or even check to see if I had any trees down. And I didn't even start picking up until Tuesday, when everyone else was done. The landlord was camping over the weekend so wasn't even here. He only had one medium green branch fall next to the mailboxes, but the city picked that up and he didn't have any work to do when they got home. It is times like this that you really appreciate a husband to help with the clean-up. But I got it done and should not complain. I would have called for help if there had been limbs too big for me to handle, providing the city did not take them away.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


A Show of Patriotism

I thought you might like to see this mural along with an explanation as to what it means for me. The wall is the side of the local American Legion building. The right maybe 1/3 of the wall is where our double garage used to stand. Our house and yard was where the new building with the two garage doors is now located. That new building is now an insurance office. I don't know who had the mural painted, but I am guessing it was the insurance company rather than the Legion, but I don't know. I was really surprised when I happened to drive by there awhile back and saw that. I kept forgetting to bring my camera along when I went downtown so it has been there for awhile.

This is so fitting for the wall of the American Legion, first of all. But it is also special in another way for me. Not only did we live next to the Legion, but my husband was a long time member there. And he loved it, and was very proud of his service during WWII. And while we were married he became the custodian when the older vet who had been doing it retired. It was a natural fit since we lived next door. Didn't have to go far! He also made sure the coffee pot was set up in the evenings so that there would be coffee ready for the vets early in the mornings. There were quite a few that went there for coffee before they went on to work for the day. I am really surprised that the local newspaper didn't print a picture and story about it, and disappointed as well. I don't know that whoever commissioned the painting considered it as a special honor specifically to my husband, but I think of it in that way. I know he would be very proud to see it there.

I might mention that the alley is now paved. It was gravel the whole time we lived there, I was there for 16 years and my husband had lived there ever since he got out of the Army, and that was around 60 years at the time of his death I think. It would have been really nice if it had been paved all those years we were there, as that alley got a lot of traffic so was always raising the dust.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


There has been some discussion on house cleaning in my online group. I have not done very much this spring, so far. I hate to admit it but it is true. Awhile back I had taken a vase down from the collection you see below the long shelf. That is the top of my kitchen hutch. That vase was really dusty and dirty, so thought I better check the others and they were just as bad! Mmm. Never noticed it before. Time to get them all down and washed, so did that one day this week. There was a large, tall crystal vase that was there as well, but it is now on my kitchen table, holding 3 solar lights. Those solar lights need to get in some sun as they did not light up last night. They make for a good nightlight, but mostly got them for emergency light when the power goes off. They aren't bright but at least gives enough light to go find a flashlight or light  candles.

Now I need someone to come and get on a ladder to get everything down from that long shelf so I can wash those too. Looking at the picture I think that shelf should have been centered above the two doorways instead of the center of the wall. Oh, well. It won't get moved. Some of the things on that shelf - the two teakettles were in my husband's basement. I am so surprised his daughter did not want them as she was grabbing all the antiques and collectibles, but some of what she thought were antique were really junk and totally falling apart from being in the basement for so many years. I think the green one is so cute. Not sure this picture shows it off very well. Next are a couple of tins. They are not old but I like them. The first one has a picture of a big cat on it. The other is a Hershey tin. Then a brass candlestick I found at a garage sale several years ago. I thought I was going to collect brass things but that has not happened. Then a smaller tin laying on it's side. After that is a small crock with a lid. It is also not antique, but one I bought in the Iowa Amana Colonies many years ago. Then there is a smaller crock with a blue heart on the front, also not antique but a gift from a friend. The last two items are pottery pots with bamboo handles. The larger one I found at a Goodwill store and fell in love with it. The other is one that I also received as a gift.

The taller green vases were also in my husband's basement and his daughter did not want. I think they are really neat. The rest of the things are crystal gifts we recieved - candy dish w/ cover, candlesticks, 3 footed bowl that currently has pot pourri in it, and a few other vases. (and at least those are clean!)
This is the short shelf hanging above the microwave cart. This still needs to be washed as well. The pair of owls are salt and pepper shakers that my son gave me as a gift when he was maybe 8 or 9 years old. The blue plate is a Goodwill find, and the green pitcher came from a garage sale I think, and thought I was going to put a little flower arrangement in it but that hasn't happened. The taller brown/beige pitcher w/dried material came from my ex-husband's great aunt. The plate beside it was a moving away gift from some friends in a town a few moves ago. It has a nice saying about friends on it. All the old utensiles were also in my husband's basement that his daughter didn't think were worth anything. The slotted spoon has advertizing on it, and the end of the handle is a bottle opener. The claw like thing also has advertizing and I am not sure what it is for. Don't know if you can tell that the long squarish thing on the left is a grater. The little square frame is a gift as well, and is cut paper. I think I need to go straighten it out a bit.  I guess instead of sitting here and writing about this, I should be in there and washing them!

Arts and Amusement

These are some older projects that I did several years ago. This was back in the day when we used the wooden embroidery hoops to frame many things, then glue lace around the edges. It is really hard to tell in the pictures but I had painted the hoops country blue to match the room they were in. These three hung as a group - large in the middle, with smaller ones on each side - above the blue desk that I used for my sewing machine and all that went with it. In this house I am not able to do that, so I have the large one above the chest in the bedroom and the small ones on an adjacent wall.

Without going to measure them, I think this is 12" or 14". 

These are about 8" I think. I don't feel like getting up to measure so that is as close as I am going to get. LOL This is the type of counted cross stitch that I enjoy doing the most. I love the intricate work. I really should dig through my patterns and find a project to work on now.