Monday, May 24, 2010

Hey Mother Nature is Fickle!

Looking at my previous post, you'd never believe this is the same day! Spring!

I have no idea what this guy is called, but he was a beauty. Enlarge on the picture and you'll see what I mean.

May 24th OR Dec 24th -It's All The Same!!

This was the view of our backyard that we woke up to this morning. I can't describe the utter deflation this scene causes. Rain is one thing - but snow????

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just a Before-After Is Anyone's Guess

We are replacing the deck with Trex slowly, but surely. I hope he'll be around after we're done!

I am 'collecting' things for the deck when it's finally finished and wanted to share. Hopefully, there will be some 'after' pictures' in a few weeks. A new red umbrella for the patio table.

I decided I want to have red accents and want the items on the deck to be an extension of what's in the family room. These pillows may go on some chairs - right now they are in the basement rec room.

These are two unfinished pillows that will go on the new deck chairs.

This is a view of the patio slab as it looks now. I wanted to show this, so I can see it all nice and neat when we're done.
Note the red Weber BBQ

My Mothers Day gift from my kids and husband - adirondack chairs. They are dirty now cuz I have them sitting in a corner of the yard.

Before picture of some plants that I'll put in my old wheelbarrow. I have to drill some drain holes in first. I really like the color of that potato vine. I've heard they can take over the world, so I may have to watch it.

The newly painted BBQ

The way it looks today.

Another Moms Day Gift-an outdoor rug! Isn't it just the cutest thing?

I bought 4 of these from Kohls for the adirondacks.

I wanted one of these for a bakers rack that goes on the deck. I just bought it yesterday and look how it matches the rug!! Not sure what to plant in it. Something trailing, colorful and delicate. Any ideas?

Monday, May 17, 2010


I had been wanting a new BBQ lately, but since I am now in the
ranks of the unemployed, I figured I should try to rescue the one we already have. After all, the only thing that doesn't work on it, is it's style-- UGLY! I have had a can of black paint especially made for BBQ's.

Voila! Black and beautiful!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Easy As Pie!

Why do they say 'easy as pie'??? It's really not easy and if you've had a hard, tasteless crust, it ruins whatever is filling it!
This is not a blog about the best pie crust ever- I think everyone has their own. This is just a little blog about the technique for making a good crust. My old stand by-got this book for a wedding gift waaaay back when.

Start off with a pastry blender. This one's from Pampered Chef but the only reason I have this one is because it was one of the least expensive gadgets to buy at a party I was invited to. The real trick is to get the shortening blended in real good.

The best advice I ever got on making a crust is this step. When you add the cold water to the flour/salt/shortening mixture, add it one tablespoon at a time. I visually divide the dough into a clock and add the first spoon of water at 12:00, mix it in with a fork, then go to 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 - by which time it should all be mixed together.

Here it is all mixed together.

(I always do this with my right hand, but I had to hold my camera!)
I then take the dough and compress it in my hands to make a flattened round. Then I place the round on my floured counter and with the side of my hand I flatten it. This makes the dough pretty round with very little actual handling.

Note: To keep the dough from sticking, of course you flour the rolling surface, but again, you want to handle it the least amount that you can. So I will roll it a few times, then fold it back on itself to sprinkle more flour on the counter top, then fold it open again and continue rolling (and folding/flouring if necessary). Continue this until it is the right size.

Fold the rolled dough in half and place in the pie tin. You can then open it up to the other side.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I had a great mom's day, my kids made me a wonderful breakfast of crepes (my fave) and breakfast casserole. You may ask what the beautiful personalized stone is and where, oh where could you possibly find one of these to have for your own?
Well, it's a custom creation - so you're out of luck.
We are actually re-doing our deck. We have torn down the old and are in the process of putting up a new. My son in law is doing 90% of the work and all of the planning. (The stone is the result of leftover footing concrete.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

In Time for Mothers Day???

Well, maybe not in time, but before Mothers Day. I got this idea from Martha Stewart and have made several. I made them for neighbor Christmas gifts and now am making a few for my Sunday School class for this Sunday. I plan on taking my camera and portable printer so I can take 'up to the minute' pictures and hand them out to their moms.
This is how the pattern looks. If you'd like a full copy, email me and I will send you one.
#1. Take 8 1/2 X 11 plain card stock and fold in half the short way.

#2a. Cut your pattern out of patterned double-sided paper-then take decorative scissors and cut where indicated by wavy lines on the pattern .
b. With a needle, poke small hole at each dot marked on pattern.
c. Very lightly draw "x" from dot to dot.
d. Cut on the x with scissors or exacto knife.
e. Cut again, using decorative scissors.

#3a. Open up the card stock piece. Center the decorative cover on top and pull the flaps back gently. (You don't want to crease them).
b. Taking a paper punch or tool, punch through all 3 layers-the flap, the patterned piece and the card stock a little in from the edge (see above).
It helps to secure these with paper clips while you are punching so it doesn't slide.
c. Insert brads.

#4a. With card stock still open, use decorative scissors and cut the card stock just outside of the same edges as you did the patterned paper.
b. Fold the card and cut the top area with your decorative scissors but make sure you leave the fold in tact.
#5. Voila! Remove one or more brads to slip a photo in. The opening measures about 3 1/2" X 2 1/4". ( If I am giving it as a gift, I will write on the card stock opening to remove brads to place photo.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

All Around the Town-Warning! Many Pictures

It must be spring! Those purple flowers are on my rocks!

I have been going a little camera crazy and thought I'd share some pretty houses around our area...

City Pond. Lots of fish in there. You can see the amusement park in the background.

The forward facing section of this house was the original pioneer homestead. The current owners built the second story and the extension you see coming out the back - that's a bakery! They give out homemade doughnuts at Halloween.

I just love this house.

This one looks like a cottage.

A dental office - once was a hotel from the 1800's.

This house has been one of my favorites for many years. I sometimes go down the street just to 'visit'. This view is from the side of the house.

This is the front.