Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Patio

As one of my daughters pointed out it's been a month since my last post.  I can only plead busy as the last month has been a whirlwind of activity.  As I mentioned in my last post, so very long ago,  Earl and I decided we wanted a brick patio out by the garden and decided we could do it ourselves because how hard could that be?  Really, with him working 60 hours a week, planting the garden and all the rest of the upkeep on a home surely we could fit in building a brick patio right?
Right.
We did it. But clearly you can see why blogging has been on the back burner.
 The patio itself is finally finished, we still have a bit of work to do on the areas around the patio that were torn up in the process.  There is still lots to do and we are of course looking forward to changing some things out and adding things over the next few weeks.  We haven't hung the lights over the patio yet, (maybe this weekend?) and we need a few things here and there. Earl wants to build a couple long farm tables to replace the glass topped table we are using. That may take a while, but in the meantime, using the old stuff doesn't decrease our enjoyment out here in the evenings one iota.
 As you can see, this patio is pretty big.  I hauled 3 pallets of bricks to Earl, one wheelbarrow at a time as he laid them.  After that it was multiple wheelbarrows of dirt to fill in around the patio where the topsoil had been scraped away.  My advice if you want to do this yourself?  Make sure you are fit or hire a contractor.
 Can someone tell me why, when brown is my least favorite color, I bought brown cushions a couple years ago for the patio?  They must have been on sale, Lol.  Well at least they are fairly neutral and maybe I can dress them up with some pillows or something.  Eventually I'll replace them because, brown.  Purchasing something you don't like because it's a good price is obviously a false economy, when will I ever learn?

The garden still has areas that need to be planted with later season veggies, at least I got my flowers in right away!  Flowers tend to be my priority ;)

This project has taken so much time I feel like I am behind in just about every other area. Housework, weeding, and lawn.  One of those things you tend to forget when taking on a project of this size is that you have other things that will have to be set aside in order to get the project done.  I am so glad this is (almost) finished! I know we will use it for years to come, but it was a lot more work and time than anticipated.  I'm looking forward to a little more time to write and catch up on blogs, and also to the more fun aspects of this project, like decorating and parties!

And how is your summer going?


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Little bit of This, A Little bit of that...

Now lets see... what fascinating events have happened since last we sat down together with a cup of coffee?  Well, the lily of the valley bloomed,
 and so did my beautiful snowball bush.  I know those may not seem like big events, and in the scheme of things they are not, but I pretty much live for the garden May through whenever old man winter comes to call.  Sunshine, birds singing, mowing the grass as the purple martins swoop around me to eat the bugs I kick up.  It's all so good, so yes, these flowers are a big deal to me.
 We have also begun putting in a brick patio out by the garden. We have been dreaming of this for years and being the insane DIY people we are, when I say "we " are bricking a large portion of yard, I mean "we".  It all seems like such a good idea until the guy with the backhoe comes and strips all that sod and you realize what a huge project you have taken on and that it means sweet and long suffering hubby coming home after 12 hour work days and grubbing around out there instead of relaxing.  Yes, you would think we would learn, but no we haven't. 37 years later we are still biting off more than we can chew and learning as we go.  Pray for us.
 I had to show you this amazing berry tart Earl made for our Mother's day lunch.  Graham cracker crust, a few cups of frozen triple berry blend from Costco, heated and thickened with cornstarch and then more fresh berries stirred in and dumped in the crust.  That is all the recipe I have for you, one of these days I will make him write down his concoctions to make it easier. I am sure he added a bit of sugar to taste but it wasn't super sweet, just a wonderful berry flavor. He is my hero in so many ways.
Last Saturday was my birthday, and I spent it with these two loveys. Youngest daughter came for breakfast and the farmers market, where we loaded up on flowers, followed by some garage sales, (Oh how I wish eldest daughter could have made it too!)  After she headed home Earl took me out to dinner and a comedy show.  So much fun! We ended the evening with a ridiculously rich cake and ice cream combo at a favorite restaurant and then fell into bed exhausted.  Some days are just so darn good and perfect you can't believe it. This was one of them.

And one more thing that's perfect. I'll give you a hint....
I'm going to be a grandma!  Youngest daughter is expecting a little bundle in November and we are so happy!  No idea yet whether it's a boy or a girl, but we aren't too picky.  It's been a good month, and things are just going to get better.💜💜💜








Thursday, May 11, 2017

In the Garden

I spent the afternoon in the garden yesterday with a little friend.  Earl built new raised beds for the strawberries last fall and they were absolutely filled with weeds.  Since the sun was shining and it was a perfect 70 degrees outside I decided it was finally time to clean them out so we could start planting the strawberries. 
I grabbed a couple hens and we set to work.  They nibbled on greens and ate bugs while I pulled the weeds. I enjoyed their company as I felt the warm sun, listened to baby birds chirping in the birdhouse nearby and enjoyed the scent of lilacs and mint. Such a perfect May day!
Today is a bit less perfect, with temps in the 50's and cloudy. It rained last night so I have my usual "rain" sinus headache, but after this weekend we get a warm up into the 70's again. May is like the song in "Annie"...the sun will come out tomorrow....always something to look forward to as the weather gets better and better :)
Speaking of the garden, we have some really big projects and plans for improving it this year.  We will be adding a brick patio and a graveled area for a firepit.  Work is slated to begin next week and I can't wait to show you the results as we get it done!

Just a little heads up for my blog friends.  Due to some new policies I'll be closing my etsy shop as of May 17.  It's time to rethink where I am going with my design work anyway. It has been a hobby that turned into a little bit more and now it's time to rethink where I want to take it.  This may be a very good thing in the long run and I am choosing to look at it as the kick in the pants I need to either get serious or follow other creative outlets. We will see.  In the meantime, as long time friends, if you want anything from the shop I'm going to give you a coupon code for 30% off  your purchase.  Use code FRIENDS at check out for your discount. This is limited to stock on hand and I have been filling orders like crazy so if you want something now is the time!

Lots of changes happening around here! What's happening in your neck of the woods?









Thursday, May 4, 2017

Blog. Post. Seriously mom.

Blog. Post. Seriously mom. 

That was the text I got from my youngest daughter this morning.  If for no other reason than my kids love to read it I must keep blogging.  Of course I enjoy it too, I just don't seem to give it the priority I used to and that's ok. I mean, I'm living my life and not just writing about it and that's the important thing.
Let's see, what is new around here?  Well, it's a cold, (45 degrees), drizzly day out , but the flowers are blooming. (Happy belated May Day!)  In spite of the cold drizzle today, May is my favorite month. Mostly because it's pretty much all about me.  Mothers Day AND my birthday month.  Also eldest daughter's birthday is this month and some other fun stuff that I look forward to. (garage sales start up again!) But again, Mother's Day and Birthday month. Winning.

I switched the curtains in the dining room back to the blue print from a plain neutral beige, because plain neutral beige? have you met me? Also, because I'm fickle.
I have been starting basil, zinnias and tomatoes for the garden in a little knock down greenhouse I found at Big Lots last fall. It was marked down to $35 and is big enough to walk in and plant right on the shelves inside.  It has been so great for starting seeds we have decided that a real greenhouse should be in our near future.
Trader Joe's iris and tulips. SO much joy for so little money.
I'm enjoying watching Spring unfold. I think my favorite shade of green is that soft cloud of green the trees get just before the leaves are all the way out. It doesn't last long and you have to watch for it in order to enjoy every last eye full.

For those of you wondering how I'm doing with a personal trainer, I'm doing ok.  Do I love it? No. But the older I get the more exercise resistant I get, which is why I need to pay someone to stand over me and make me do this stuff. I will say I am stronger than I thought. My muscles ache, but as I told Earl, "I would rather hurt because I'm getting better, than hurt because I'm getting more out of shape."
My trainer confessed that he has a trainer too, or he wouldn't do his exercises.  Somewhere out there a personal trainer that is actually able to motivate himself  is at the top of the food chain I suppose.  Who knew? I thought those guys lived for the gym.

So that's about it.  I know that was almost more excitement than you can handle in one day. Feel free to take a nap or something to calm yourself from that roller coaster ride of my fascinating life.  Hmmm, that doesn't sound too bad.  ;)  Catch you later with some REALLY exciting stuff!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter

Just a quick hello. It's been a busy week, as all holiday weeks tend to be.  I was putting the dishes away from our Easter dinner and did a quick table setting to show you how it looked.  I loved the table this year!  I made the napkin rings by grabbing a multi stem daisy floral from the craft store, snipping them apart and leaving enough wire stem to bend into a circle. I wrapped floral tape around the stem to hold it in place.  I was able to use a lot of our jadeite and white ceramic serving pieces and it all came together.  No fancy multi plate stacks here, just a simple plate  that was covered in good food. 
 The menu was ham, mashed potatoes, home made rolls, green beans and broccoli salad with triple lemon blueberry cake for dessert. Yum!  I'm so ashamed... kind of.  Not really.  Anyway, we had a wonderful warm sunshiny day, church followed by dinner with youngest daughter and hubby, and a sister and mom.  We missed the family that couldn't attend but hope they can make the next big dinner.  Eldest daughter and her husband are coming for an extended visit in a couple months so yay! I have that to look forward to!
I had to show you the eggs. We have 11 hens and they have been doing a bang up job of supplying us with beautiful, multicolor eggs.  Prettier than dyed I have to say, and the daffodils are from the garden.  Things are starting to bloom left and right and I couldn't be happier. 

Did you have a happy Easter weekend?  I'm trying to catch up on blogs.  We were without internet for an entire week and didn't get it back until last Wednesday.  I'm so far behind I don't know when I'll get caught up!

Tell me about your plans for Spring! Anything new on the horizon?