Sunday, April 30, 2006

Flower shopping

After church last night, I asked Sean if we could stop by one of my favorite nurseries and he obliged. We were halfway there anyway. Talk about overwhelming-they were fully stocked! Their prices are good-annuals $1.99 to $2.99. I know Wally World is probably cheaper, but they don't have the colors and choices that this place does. I purchased marigolds, snapdragons, petunias, salvia and impatiens, my standard 'filler' plants. I also bought some mini-marigolds (sold as an herb) and johnny jump-ups for my fairy garden. Also found a few herbs like dill and lavender. I have trouble with lavender and if anyone has growing hints, I'd appreciate them.
I think all the pollen overload gave me a big sinus headache a few hours later right up until bedtime. I feel better now, thank goodness, but will use the Flonase before going outside.
Cosmo 'christened' the new kitchen floor with a few scratches already! I couldn't believe it! I bought a few throw rugs with the fringe on the ends and he likes to kick them and then take off like a Looney Tunes character with the spinning feet, thus leaving a few scratches behind. Brian read on the web about a laminate repair kit. I am suppose to get a 'customer care kit' from the company where we bought the floor. Doesn't seem too scratch resistant to me as stated on the packaging and what the salesman told us. : (
I got an email from my friend who lost her son last week. Said that she received the plants from me (I sent her a planter with a variety of green houseplants). The wake was attended by a few hundred people who really loved her son and raved about him. I was glad to read this because it will definitely help give her closure.
Off to the grocery store-oh happy day!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

This is what I picked out!

It's not exactly the glass mini tile I originally picked out, but I am actually getting little tiles in the interesting decorative insert there (this was taken with the camera photo). The mini-tiles were over $700, and I couldn't stomach paying all that. I almost got a handmade blue in about a 4" square, but they were expensive too. I wanted something more natural looking and the lady showed us this to go with the cabinets more, and I fell for it because of the decorative insert with the rainbow of colors and the flower. They are on order and we may tackle putting them up ourselves (that may change). BTW, the grout will match the tile.
We stopped by to see my uncle on the way home and brought him some Wendy's chili and Pepperidge Farm goodies from the outlet store nearby. He was talking about himself the entire time about how one bad thing with his health lead to the next and he never seems to be able get be helped. He's telling us all this while puffing on his pipe-cough!

It's all in the detail

Just ordered pewter finished lightswitch and outlet covers because no way am I having those ugly plastic ones in the kitchen the electrician put on:

Gotta hit the hay as Brian dared me we wouldn't get to the tile store before 2! It's only opened until 3, so he is wrong. I can get by on little sleep-well most times. ; )

Friday, April 28, 2006

New floor installed

Sean looks a little sleepy here, but he and Cosmo the kitty are posing on the new kitchen floor! It took the guys 5 hours to install. It's a laminate, but doesn't it look like real hardwood? I really like it as it's old-fashioned looking and sorta goes with the wood in the rest of the house. Brian made more of a fuss over this then he did the cabinets! The first thing Bri had to do was to trim off the bottom of the basement door as it wouldn't shut otherwise. The young guys 'from Jersey' got here at 10 and finished up at 3. They 'tawked' just like Rocky. They had music booming all afternoon. I had to have the cat on a harness as they were leaving the door open a lot to go cut pieces and Cos would run for the door. At the end, I saw something I didn't like, a half of a piece of the old floor trim with moulding around it and to the cabinet (there's a space where the old cabinet was). I asked the guy to remove it and in the process he put a crack in the trim on the cabinet but didn't tell me. I think it can be glued or we have some trim left over.
The next step is to go look for tile. If I can't find any tomorrow, I'll order from the online company I like. The garden window and new living room bay window go in on the 12th of May, weather permitting.
This morning I started a scrapbook of our remodel photos for inspiration for other projects.
About 3:30 I went out and planted about 40 bulbs, mostly gladiolus and other smaller flowers. I can't remember the name right now. It's getting dry outside again and the dirt was hard to dig. Crossing fingers for the yellow, pink, burgundy and white glads!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm sure you'll be seeing these two in the future:

If you've been watching 'The Amazing Race' this year you will recognize the fun loving 'hippies' BJ (dark hair) and Tyler. They really make the over-edited show more enjoyable. I really haven't seen them get too peeved at each other. I thought Harvard grad BJ almost threw in the towel last week when he had to dig in pile after pile of sand to retrieve a food item that was cooking in a pit (don't ask me all the details). : ) While the other teams were finding theirs right away, he just couldn't seem to find his until he almost passed out. Lucky for them, it was a non-elimination round, but they had to give up all their money and possessions. Good thing each was wearing their orange pants!
This week they decided to pick up a hitchhiker before they left the middle east-just because.
Too bad 'MoJo' the dating couple hate them. The guys keep warning MoJo that they will get them back by yielding them-the guys better get to places faster than them to do that!
Maybe we are looking at the Cheech and Chong of the 21st century. Or could they be Mister Rodgers/Pee Wee's replacements? You get my drift.

They love flowers...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A walk around the yard

This is a pretty ground cover lamium (with yellow flowers) under my front hedge on one side-this one's for Zoey as a suggestion for her evergreen garden. It spreads, but not like her sedum!
One of my transplanted bleeding hearts that is in the garden below.
My woodland garden with all the plants I have found around the yard.
The lilacs are blooming way too early this year. They usually open around Mother's Day!
I brought in a bouquet today and they are scenting the entire living room area.

Mom at Longwood

I think this is a cool photo, though a bit on the dark side. It's taken at Longwood Gardens, a stone's throw from here. I think it looks like it was taken in the 20s, but it was taken in the 50s.

Gonna be a quiet day

I plumb wore myself out, plus I need to get off my feet if you get my drift. 'It' was kind enough to leave me alone for the days I had to get things accomplished in the kitchen. Of course I am seeing tons of touch ups on the kitchen walls as I am a perfectionist. I wish I could take a small brush and 'cut in' like they do on all the decorating shows. The blue tape works well, but it takes some practice. The peach color is gone. Bri's parents painted that for us way back in Sept. '86 before Sean's arrival.
Friday we get the floor. They give themselves a nice open window on when they will arrive-between 8 am-6pm. Brian was worried about them getting behind the fridge because of the water line, but last night we pulled it out so I could get back there and paint. We did have to unplug the frig for a while though. I am getting a light honey maple laminate (in salute to the old cabinets and the other wood in the house) which is guaranteed for life.
I just had the Home Depot inspector call about the knobs. I was short-changed 12 knobs! The designer at HD didn't count them correctly. I am also getting 3 other doors and a drawer. Two cabinets came without doors as they were pulled before shipping because they were damaged or something. The rest weren't finished nicely. That's one good thing about HD, anything you don't like, they will replace.
I'm a bit bummed because the countertop people are getting back to me about the template making part of their job. I got in touch with someone yesterday and she told me the scheduler should be getting back to me in '24 hours'. Time's up! Not having counters and a sink for a week so far is the pits.
Think I'll kick my feet up and do some reading or stitching. I got the Keepsakes NeedleArts catalog and there are so many gorgeous things in it. I bookmarked a page that has listed 'Plant Kindness', a small 7" x 5" kit by Katherine White and 'Ladybug gardeners' a kit by Ingrid. There are many more designs that caught my eye, but I may splurge on these two.

No countertop or sink until about the 3rd week of May! The marble people finally got back to me about the template-that is next Wednesday. Then we get the counters about 2 weeks later. I called the kitchen project manager about it and I have to call him back when we know the installation date. I had noticed one of my spice drawers in the dish rack cabinet isn't straight and I told him about it. He'll look at it when he comes back to install the sink. It's going to be a long 3 weeks!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Violet-you're violet!

Denise Nickerson as Violet who turns into a blueberry in the WWCF (someone else my age)

When I was painting out in the kitchen today this line from 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' came to mind. I chose an interesting bluish raspberry, but it was indeed the color of Violet in the older movie Wonka movie. Another chuckle I got was when Prince's 'Raspberry Beret' came on the radio. That made me think of raspberry water ice. So if you can imagine that color in your brain, that is almost the color in the kitchen. I have the first coat on. It is very nice Benjamin Moore semi-gloss paint. It just needs a little touching up here and there. It's hard to paint around the crown moulding and the ceiling with darker paint. I should have painted before the cabinets were installed, but I'd have a lot of touch-up to do where there is wall now where there wasn't before. I can't get right above the sink area. Sean tried, but he couldn't reach and didn't tape it correctly and a lot of the edge still needs paint. I need a taller ladder. I was thinking of having my 6'8" tall nephew out here for an ulterior motive besides wishing him a happy early 21st birthday by taking him out to lunch or dinner. : )
Just heard that my niece and nephew were in the elementary school talent show last Friday. Kenny is 10 and really plays the guitar well. Tori who is 7 sung with a group of other children, but my mom said she stood out from the crowd. Mom got to see how their kitchen was coming along. She said it's an interesting sage green color (complete shock) and their appliances are black. I saw their cabinets and they are a medium cherry wood, so it all should go together well. I wanted light colors for my small space.
I called a tile place in Delaware to see if they had that silk glass tile I liked. I said if you can do better than this place on the web, you have my business. She wanted me to email her the photos I have and she wrote back and said she is trying to find some like it. The place on the web wants $27.50 a sheet-so with a discount they offer for some reason, I needed over $300 worth. Ouch. So I hope they can do better down in tax free Delaware. We can go there too as it's only about 15 miles from here.

I'm going to add some tin under this area to the right as it is my baking center.

Stock options

I was doing a random search on my knickname 'diadsie' as I often do. I thank my mom for such an original one as I appear to be the only one around. Here's a cool site called blogshares. I don't know why my blog is there and how to figure it out, but it looks interesting. I should show my father-in-law this one. Go see how much your blog is worth.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tin for a retro look

I decided to get some embossed tin for behind the oven area and across where the baking center is. I did a search and found two companies that sell it. The second one was the company that The Extreme Home Makeover show uses. I mentioned this to the salesperson and about Paul being from my hometown, and she said she spoke to him a few times when he was ordering stuff for the show! (Small world) I told her to mention that another customer was from Penncrest if she ever talked to him again. Anyway-here is a photo of the silver tin I picked out:

It has a leaf pattern that repeats every 6 inches. I have a leaf design on the knobs, so it ties in well. I figure Brian and I can install this as the one wall is just a long rectangle and the other is half hidden by the oven. We'll see. Tomorrow I will try to paint the largest wall. We are getting the floor installed on Friday and I don't want to drip blue paint on it or drag the step ladder across it either.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Getting my stitchin' groove back

Maybe it's because my mind isn't racing about things that I actually sat tonight and enjoyed the stitching I did. My friend who assembles the charity quilts received Independence Hall yesterday and said she really liked it. Nice ego booster. When you live with two guys, you don't get many compliments.
I almost had a bird last night because I thought for sure that the new sink wasn't going to fit in the counter. No, the sink isn't in yet, forgot to mention that I think. It's been interesting washing dishes in the basement because I have to drag the full dishpan down the steps and lean over so much. Plus who wants to wash dishes-ugh-how can some people love it? I've had no volunteers to help me. I think I really turned against dishwashing from having to do it for almost 3 yrs. Plus my friend in high school got a nasty cut from sticking her hand in soapy water where a glass had broken-that was pretty scary. I had the Home Depot guy call me back and he eased my mind telling me that a 22" sink will fit in a 24" cabinet (though the space is only 19" or so)-guess something is getting cut out.
I am patting myself on the back for only having about 4 boxes left to unload. A few of them are countertop stuff, which I am going to be very selective about putting out again. One of the purposes of this remodel was regaining counter space. I was telling Bri I have a huge bag of 'junk' from the 3 drawers near the old stovetop. You know, things like the little corn on the cob holders. I am investing a few dollars in getting those plastic shoe boxes for sure. I'm having trouble with where to put the lids to pots and the plasticware-I still have an entire bag of them. Time to bite the bullet and toss a bunch. I am going to line up all the utensils and select maybe two of each and donate the rest. Mom said she wants my old Oster standmixer. It's out of here. I got it for a wedding gift and it comes with a blender and food chopper. I don't need either. And I did buy an ice cream maker attachment-way back when and used it like 2 times.
I've been so blue about my friend. I don't know if mom calling and telling me my brother may move can to Penna. is a good thing. We haven't seen him for 4 yrs. But if he is willing to help her and fix up her house, then it is. I think her boarder will have to move out. Don has a dog, a cat, fish and birds, so he will bring a family too. I'll believe it when I see it, but he is missing out being with his family.

Say a little prayer

My friend lost her grown son yesterday. She wrote me a note today and as soon as I read it, I burst out in tears. I won't go into it all, but I can tell my friend is in shock, which of course she should be. She wrote and said that she wanted me to know as I am an important person in her life, someone she has never met (well almost) in person. Please keep A in your prayers.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Kitchen eye candy

Cabinet next to frig with plate holder and spice drawers-I actually put jello boxes in the one part (for the time being). I plan to get some blue mugs to replace the potpourri of ones I have here. The frig has a water dispenser (with filter) and ice cubes that can be left whole or crushed.
Maytag double oven-top can also toast items. And it's a smooth top. Since I didn't get my 3k retro, this is the second best. I've never had a new oven or one that is self cleaning. It looks like a 50s retro with a modern twist.
Pretty stained glass doors on the glass cabinet next to the new light with the cobalt blue shade.
I am so glad I didn't get the pot lights in the ceiling! This is an awesome light fixture that replaces the ceiling fan. You can point the lights at different angles. I need some task lighting in a few places as the light above hits our backs when we are working at a few counter places. The microwave has both a light and a vent in the bottom of it for the stove. This is the best lighting I have ever had out there. We are returning some small round lights for some long florescent ones I found online.
I can't wait to get the backsplash done as that glue is not very appetizing.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Very weary

I'm in 'kitchen heaven', but totally exhausted from getting up at 6:15 am. Good thing I did, as the appliances came at 7:30. Brian had to borrow the electrician's wire cutter to clip the water line on the frig as the Home Depot guy didn't.
It took me an hour to clean up the cardboard and the junk around the yard this morning. The old cabinets are feeling rain for the first time in over 46 yrs tonight.
I have to get a nice step stool as I can only reach the lower two shelves on the upper cabinets. I started to load up the cabinets and had to give it up.
Sean rented some movies, one of which was Dreamer with Dakota Fanning, a cute horse story like Seabiscuit. He knows I like her and it was 'feel good' flick.
I'll get the kitchen tidied up a bit and take more photos to share over the weekend. I have the same ugly glue showing on the backsplash and the same floor, but everything else (not the door or window either) are new. I won't have a sink for a few weeks, so I'll lugging a dishpan up and down the basement steps.
Next few purchases-the backsplash tile and the Kitchen aid stand mixer-I have $125 in Macy's gift cards for it!
Our first meal-hotdogs on the awesome smooth surface range.
Just had to leave this post to rescue Cosmo as he had gotten himself stuck in the triangle area of a corner cabinet (no countertop). I was the only one who could reach down and grab him by his the neck. I don't even know how he knew that space was there.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Flying through spring

Heavenly scented viburnum-you must get one. But keep it trimmed back to a tidy little snowball bush that is covered with snowball shaped flowers. This is not a good example.
Remember my crop circle garden? These are my various irises. I will be adding some gladiolus when the ground is softer (expecting rain this weekend) and the poor thing needs to be edged.
Blossoms on a dwarf pear. I beg Brian to spray these, but he doesn't and the wasps sting all the fruit.

Let there be white!

Ugh! Look at that 46 yr old glue that was under the 'backsplash'
What a mess-we decided to get a dumpster-wise choice.
Check out my waterlilies!

And lookie what it is starting to shape up to be! I thought it it was 'more buttery' but it looks so clean and new. See that cabinet to the left? The finish at the top looks kinda smeared and not very attractive. There are a few doors that we want the Home Depot inspector to check out. The guys (including the electricians) will be back between 7-8 am and the appliances are coming between 7-11! I guess I'll be emptying out the frig about 6:30, but it should take a matter of minutes because most of the food is in crates.
The weather was very summerlike with temps around 80. I need to water a few things! All the bedrooms will be in darkness tonight because of the electric work. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Say Goodbye to Honey-wood

Farewell to my old kitchen.

Just wait until you see what's going in!
Another rough day....Brian's car broke down on the way home right in the middle of a traffic tie-up from an accident. He called around 5 and we went to get him at the service station at 8:10! His gas pedal snapped-going all the way to the floor! Glad he was on a straight road as they are pretty curvy around here. He's off tomorrow-thank goodness.
Wish us luck-I have a feeling we will be moving stuff around down in the basement. I did get my paint for the kitchen, it's a medium blue, like the ocean.

I'm Suri

Yep, I'm the newest Cruise-I bet you've heard. And all ma and pa-(that's TomKat to ya'll) did was pull 4 letters out of my last name (which is a pa's middle name, my last name, when they get hitched will be Mapother) and ma said 'Tom baby, you think Suri is a real name?' Ma got out the Scientology baby name book and sure enuf-I am a red rose and a princess. So appropriate.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A little nest

It's been a hectic day. I was washing the largest wall and other painted areas today with 409 out in the kitchen. I actually had to go over it with water to get more dirt off. I filled in some holes with spackling. I cleaned an area of the basement that I thought was too much for the electrician to bear, hurting myself in the process. I did a slip and fall half way up the stairs. I've been wearing these black leather shoes with an elastic strap and they must have been too slippery for the painted steps. I came down hard on my left knee while my upper left arm hit the railing and my head hit the hall. Luckily Sean was home and he heard my 'oh sh*#' and ouches. He got me some ice and I've been icing the various boo-boos all evening. Not surprisingly, my hard head doesn't hurt! ; ) And the whole time I was down there I was thinking brown recluse spider as my pal Nancy sent me that nasty email showing a festering spider wound just this morning.
So I did manage to stir up a pot of spaghetti. I keep thinking 'it's the last time I will use this stove or oven'. Weird. Really weird was finding a paper for trash pickup up under the frig from 1989. That's about the last time it was pulled out (stop groaning) as we put the floor tiles down by ourselves.
About the photo... I've been seeing a little brownish red cardinal fly out of the crepe myrtle bush under the kitchen window lately. I got the step ladder and looked through the kitchen window tonight. Lo and behold, there she was on her nest. She had a feeling someone was looking over her shoulder and flew away exposing these 3 darling blue speckled eggs. Thanks to Brian for a cool shot-through the window!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Local stuff

Before I forget to tell you, I haven't even seen a cabinet door yet with the 'fawn glaze' finish. I did open the knobs-and they are pretty with their raised leaf design. I thought I was getting some pulls also, but I guess not. The knobs will be fine.
On Friday, Martha Stewart was given a gorgeous Easter basket by her assistant (I think) and there were a trio of brown bunnies (maybe Steiff) surrounded by eggs to 'die' for. She was chatting with the guy and she said, 'where did we find the bunnies, in Chadds Ford?' And her assistant answered 'yes, the Chadds Ford Florist'. So I think I know which one they are referring too-in Old Ridge Village Shoppes about 20 minutes from here. Our gal MS was browsing the little stores there! It use to have the Strawberry Sampler cross stitch shop too, but they downsized and moved up the road. I haven't been to the new location yet.
Sad event-it seems that on every holiday, especially around Easter, someone goes down in a small plane around here. A man and his grown son went out for a pleasure trip and the dad died when the plane crashed. Miraculously, the son walked away from the crash. We have the New Garden airport about 5 minutes or so up the road. So sad.
I am almost finished with the kitchen now. There is nothing in any of the cabinets or drawers. I have 3 boxes to take down the basement. All that is left in there is my hanging clock/radio (which I still want), and the key hook...and the frig. There is no room for the frig in the living room now. This is worrying me. The guys are going to have to work quickly as my appliances are coming on Friday. I am sure all the cabinets will be out of there in a few hours (crossing fingers). I believe they start with the upper cabinets in a remodel? If they can do a few of them and get that pantry closet in, I can rest easy that night. If only the house was a little larger. ; )

A sea of cabinets

And so it begins:

That's the pantry cabinet lying in front of the loveseat. There is a corner cabinet in the foreground with lots of space. But this is only a small section of the boxes.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Cute Easter kids

Sean and Kenny
Miss Victoria, my niece, just turned 7 and got her ears pierced. After she got her ears pierced, she left the booth and went 'yahoo' really loud throwing her arms up in triumph. : )

Happy Easter

Have a lovely springy Easter today.
Here's a cute share-when Sean was about 3 we were dying Easter eggs in the kitchen. He was really getting into it. His dad was videotaping him too. One time he touched the hot egg to his little chin-ouch. But what stands out about that day is that when I held up a dyed egg to show him he said 'I'm so proud of you.' He said prowd. That is one of our sweetest Easter memories.

On of those weird days

I have most of the living room rearranged for the kitchen cabinet delivery and yes, I did it by myself. Brian will be taking down the dining room table tomorrow night. I asked Bri to get me a few more booze boxes before he went over to see his dad Saturday and he couldn't get the small ones, just these big egg boxes from the grocery store-I don't need biggie ones. I tossed most of them on the back patio.
I had to get out of the house Saturday-just to the yard and I was raking leaves from way under the heavenly scented viburnum bush and 'ouch' I yet again did a number on my tummy muscles. I know it's probably mostly from bailing water from the pond. So I had to ice myself and use the heating pad but it's still hurting. I did use the shovel to dig up some bleeding hearts that have been hiding under an azalea. I've been wanting to move it for years. I actually separated it into about 6 plants. Sean dug 4 of the new holes for them in my woodland garden. I can proudly say that most of the plants in that bed came from around the yard.
I got a few rose bushes for $2.50 each and decided to plant them. I like roses, but most of them don't like me. They actually look good this year as we had a mild winter. Come to think of it, all 4 waterlilies made it too. I was giving all the plants a dose of MiracleGro for good measure.
Friday I cooked a turkey breast (that was a freebie) and some potatoes (for potato salad) so Bri could take his dad some. I really don't want to go over to his house because he is so touchy after that episode in December. He called here and left a message thanking me for the food and telling me I was welcome to come over anytime. So when was I not welcome?
Bri was upset because his dad told him his car was running funny. Brian went to investigate, and it was out of power steering fluid. A lightbulb in a ceiling fan blew out and when Bri was there his dad touched a wire to metal and tripped the circuit breaker! He could have gotten a good shock...or worse.
We were going to church tonight and got there and there was no 5:00 mass, so we have to go tomorrow morning. We decided to eat at an Italian restaurant where we use to go all the time and they were closed down! We headed for Ruby Tuesdays and then Kmart. I got some pansies for my mom, seeds and a few bulbs.
Mom called when we got home and said her boarder Jim threw away all her Easter goodies for the grandkids! All the bags were gone. She is very upset. We are going down in that area to give Tori her belated birthday gifts and give the kids Easter stuff from us. Mom doesn't want us to come over. She called here twice about the mishap, so is she trying to bum me out for Easter?
Crossing fingers for a good week-the BIG week coming up. I can't believe it's finally here.

Friday, April 14, 2006

22 yrs and counting

22 yrs ago I was a nervous Nelly, thinking of getting married and 'settling down'. No, I was not a wild girl, Brian was my first real boyfriend. I had crushes on guys, dated a few, but no one came close to Brian. And we are still together after almost 24 yrs. He was my beacon in the night. I thank God for him and I need to always appreciate what he has done for me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A week and counting

We just got back from an early anniversary dinner at the same place where we ate for Valentine's Day. I had a craving for a mushroom burger, so we went there. Our 22nd anniversary is tomorrow, but it's still Lent, so we ate out tonight. We used the camera phone again:

I am getting excited about the kitchen! I just want everything to run smoothly. I have a feeling they aren't going to like the way the basement looks. I did a lot of moving stuff around down there last month, and I need to do yard work this month.

I have the pond and the waterlily garden up and running as we had 'Florida weather' today.

They was a bit mucky and the pump wouldn't work at first, but I got the pond working. There were tons of mosquito critters in both. I am anxiously awaiting the dark so I can see if my various solar items will light up.
My mom has a cyst or something in the palm of her right hand. She was at the doctor today for a check-up and she needs to get steroid shots there so her middle finger doesn't completely bend toward her palm like is starting to do now. She is a leftie, so she doesn't know why she got the cyst there. She is happy that she weighs 120! Man, did you see her in the photo below? I bet she weighed under 100 there. I did not inherit her skinny gene.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Family faces from the fifties

It was the weirdest thing-just when I sat down to look at email, one came in from my older brother Dave. He is cleaning up his basement and ran across a box of slides that were taken mostly in the 50s by our grandfather Alan. Of course Dave is in most of them as he was the only child for 5 yrs until I came along. Here are a few photos that I really loved and the rest of what Dave scanned.

Mom-my always thin ma.

Mom-mom Ruth (who helped raise the 4 of us) and Pop-pop Alan (who passed away when I was 6 weeks old).

Always write things down

Having a John Deere mower sitting in my shed made me go look at his bio on the web. It doesn't mention about him having a brother, but maybe two sisters (births seem not to be registered at that time).
The old family story went like this-that John's brother (my gr, gr uncle supposedly) went to see him and that he was not interested in getting into the business and became disowned by John. I forget the name of the so-called brother, but William is standing out in my head, and that was John's father, so why couldn't he have a William, Jr. ? All I know is that my great grandmother was Lillian Deere and they decided to pronounce it 'Da-ray' like the Europeans. Gr grandmom was born in 1871, so that makes sense as the elder Deeres were born in around the 1840s. My relatives never had any big bucks either.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


That's the amount of leaves my husband said he cleaned up in the fall. No way! I was just out there cleaning up more-it seems to never end! I was waiting on Brian's new 'toy', a John Deere riding mower. Too bad I am not 'in' with my long lost family. (My gr, gr uncle was John Deere and that was my gr grandmom's maiden name). It's a snazzy looking mower. The guy had trouble getting it out of the cage and started it up with no gas in it. Now we have 3 riding mowers, the other two are Sears mowers bought back in '89. One use to belong to Bri's dad. How do you dispose of old mowers?
My tummy muscles seem so weak this year. I guess it's basically moving stuff now stop since December. And now the yard clean up. I so hoped for a flat tummy-but that's not going to happen.
Off to get my hair done in a few. Man, it needs it.
Happy 7th Birthday to my dear niece Victoria!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fairy light

My mom gave me this little laser cut cube. Inside is a little fairy, leaves and butterfly. The colors change from blue to red. I put it on my hutch with my Blushing Bunnies and other tchotchkes.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Robert the rabbit

Thanks to Karin for this:

German rabbit breeder Karl Szmolinsky presents his giant male breeding rabbit 'Robert' in Eberswalde, eastern Germany, February 2006. In a tale reminiscent of the last Wallace and Gromit movie, furious villagers in northeast England have hired armed guards to protect their beloved communal vegetable gardens from a suspected monster rabbit.(AFP/File/Michael Urban)

Finally a place that sells books!

I could not believe my eyes when Bri and I went into the local Big Lots store last night and there was a huge display of discounted books-mostly hardbacks-nice books-like cross stitch books-and all for $3-5!! There was only a few of each, so I got the ones I didn't think I had. Most are Kooler Studio-fun designs for all seasons and Christmas ones. I think I found one Marie Barber book also. I have a ribbon embroidery book for mom and a thank you book for a friend who sent me some nice Easter gifts. I am excited because the only bookstore around here is almost half an hour away. We do have a resale book shop in the next town, but they moved and I would have to tackle lots of traffic and a tight parking lot to go there.
Bri just left to look at riding mowers as it's the last day for the no payment for a year promo at the Home Depot. He was not happy to find this out as he is the #1 procrastinator in the family. I am still after him to get a new digital camera with a better zoom. Look how long I had to wait for the kitchen!
Late last night I was proofreading Sean's stem cell research paper. It needed some defining and he was not happy that I was suggesting these at midnight. I told him I wanted to see my TLC shows first.
Not much else is new. We now have the microwave set up in the dining room. We'll probably take down the table (a small round one) next weekend and move the love seat in the family room.
Off to the grocery store in a few hours.

Friday, April 07, 2006

A sweet eBay win

Isn't this adorable? It's a tiny, itsie bitsie, petit point on top of a black vintage sewing box. All 3" x 2" of it. I am trying to get a little vintage sewing collection going because I have my grandmom's Martha Washington sewing cabinet.

Windows ordered!

I just had a little snooze on the sofa-I am just plain worn out from cleaning up inside and out.
I had another very nice salesperson here today from the Home Depot. Another 1.5 hour sales pitch. Their warranty is really good-if you get a hole in the glass, they fix it free, that kind of thing. The other window people didn't even show me a warranty.
We are getting the garden window for the kitchen with glass that will help the plants to grow with tempered glass. I am getting a bay window in my living room. This is something extra, but it's something I always wanted, so I am going for it. Everything will make the house more valuable. I can't wait for these!
I mentioned to the man that Trading Spaces, the cable show uses Home Depot. He told me he was on the show one time as a HD consultant when they filmed in nearby Hockessin, DE. He also mentioned he was involved with local Philly rock groups, one of which was 'The Hooters'. After he left, I looked up Hooters info and didn't see his name mentioned (unless he changed his name which could be as he didn't want to be associated with an 80s rock band anymore). I looked at some photos of old band members and was not sure if this one guy was him or not. But that was cool! ; )

Stitching Blogger Question

Q. Do you stitch "on the go?" (On the commute to and from work, during your lunch break, waiting for the kids, etc.) If so, do you have a specific "travel" project or do you just grab whatever you happen to be working on and take it with you?
I only take projects on vacation that I am currently working on. I guess I would take a project along if I was stitching several rows of one color. Stitching to me is a private thing and my attention needs to be focused on it without distractions from other people, etc.

15 seconds of fame perhaps?

I got this email from Anita over at Cyberstitchers Wed. night. What do you think? And I did send a photo too.

I mailed the UK Cross Stitcher magazine a letter regarding Cyberstitchers a
few months ago and they would like to feature the site in an upcoming issue
of their magazine. They would like a few pictures of some of the gallery
owners so I thought I would ask to see if you would be interested in
submitting a photo of yourself. I am not sure what pictures they will use so
I can't guarantee they will use the picture you send me. I will understand
completely if you don't want to participate but thought I would ask anyway.
If you are interested, please email me a photo as soon possible. Thanks and
enjoy your evening.


Update-The Cross Stitcher magazine will be out in England on May 11th (June issue) and available at Barnes & Noble soon after. Crossing fingers! I think it's cool that Cyberstitchers is getting this publicity.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Unusual eBay win

I love Victoriana-the big houses with turrets, the gilded furniture, the palms in the corner, well almost everything about it. So I was surfing on eBay and ran across an English woman selling 20,000 Victorian lady images. The photo she had on the auction was a little risque, but I just thought, well how many of them could look like that? I was planning on making art cards-they are the little trading cards that sell like hotcakes on eBay.
I got the CD today-wow-that was fast from overseas! I put the CD in the computer and up popped all these Victorian nudies! Man, she didn't even mention nudes at all in the auction. I guess she really isn't allowed to sell nudes maybe? I wrote her a note and complained that I really had no use for the CD. I told Sean about it and he said-' naked Victorian ladies-gross!' Maybe I can just use their faces?
Update-I got a 'partial refund' for 'full' frontal!

Slinky trivia

Ok, this is for Colleen, my sister-in-law who asked Santa for a Slinky one year for Christmas-the only thing she wanted. Ahhh.
In the local paper-the Slinky was manufactured in Paoli, PA for a long time (this is near where Brian grew up) and is the official toy of Pennsylvania. Aren't you excited?
I added the slinky cursor to our computer. Can't wait for the guys to see it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Joanna-she'll make you smile

3 yr old Joanna just received her Love Quilt today. It missed her birthday by two days. I talk with her mom through email and Yahoo once in a while, but I didn't dare breath a word about the quilt as I knew it was mailed on Monday. The square I made is two squares to the left there with the yellow box and blue bow. I think a dear little girl loved her quilt!

Pickles, olives, cherries and salsa

If I never opened another jar of the above again, I'd be happy for the rest of my life! I challenge you to count the jars of the above in your frig. : )
Since I am getting rid of the 19 yr old frig, I had to start cleaning it out. I'm pretty good about jelly, we will eat out of a few jars before we open another one. But my goodness, the array of half-eaten salsa, the picked at pickles, it was out of hand. I'm the one who takes the heat when the food starts to fall out of the frig and it's partly Brian's fault. I didn't even touch the doors or the freezer yet. But my plan is to have three plastic boxes and when the new frig is hooked up, I will just take the boxes out of the old and put the stuff in the new. I do have a freezer in the basement, so I don't have to worry too much about the freezer items.
Because my sinuses are touchy, smells are really bothering me. I had to get out of the kitchen because the pickles were getting to me. I have to repeat this next Wednesday as trash is picked up here on Thursday.
I know all this will be worth it.
Here's a peek at the old kitchen:

Yes, that is Cosmo 'caught in the act' checking out the curtainless window where I want the garden window to go. The only cabinets that have a few items in them are the dish cabinet and under the sink.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A salute to my hometown

Just finished this up tonight. The lettering looks better in person. It's for a charity quilt that has a travel/Americana theme. I mentioned it a few months ago. The front was backstitched in a terra cotta color over the brown because it just didn't look right to me. I think it works. And I've been here a few times myself. (Gee I hope so). This design is from a hardback book of different places in America from 1976. There is even a chart of the Manhattan area and the World Trade Center buildings.

And now for someone completely different...

The flooring man came last night from the same company that the cussing guy represented. I made a point to tell the flooring guy just how rude the window guy was. He was not happy to hear it and could not believe what I told him.
The man last night was very friendly and professional. The cost of their flooring is more than the Home Depot, but it has a 25 yr warranty and they will replace a damaged piece. He said the flooring is always in stock. I had trouble with the HD as the floor I wanted wasn't in stock. I guess we will pay extra for the warranty and this man deserves it more than the kid from the HD.
Brian was home (it was 7pm) and he asks a ton of questions. I don't know why 'Harry' told us he had a brain tumor 14 yrs ago and had an 18 hour operation where they removed his face to operate. Glad it was after dinner. He was about 60 and we saw no scars. He said he has to take steroids for life as the tumor was wrapped around his pituitary gland. He asked me my occupation and I said 'domestic goddess' and said he had never heard that expression before (say what?). After almost an hour and a half we put in an order and he peeked his head in the family room to wish Sean good luck at Penn State (his two kids went there also). So the floor is set to be put in on the 28th, but we can change it too.
The cat the was acting up this morning for reasons unknown (I think he was cold maybe).
Every hour he was pushing my bedroom door open and crying and then leaving. Finally around 8:30 he got on the bed and settled down. By that time I had to get up because my back was killing me from sitting at the dining room table so long last night. My sinuses have been bad from
working outside without a dust mask on. If I had waited a few days, the dust would have been a bit settled because of the rainstorms that went through here last night. They also brought back some chillier weather.
Now to get the backsplash ordered (I am still having Home Depot come about windows on Friday and then I'll make a decision).

Monday, April 03, 2006




Found this on Kate's Blog. You read it top to bottom. The more blue letters, the more you divulge. 'POLI' is politics; "FREQ' is how frequently you blog (hmmm); 'SPEC' is how specific about things you are; 'PERS' is how many personal things you relate and 'Rant' is how often I rant about things. I think this is pretty accurate. ; )

The Word for today is BS

How not to be a good crude and use the BS word several times and why not throw in a few GDs while you're at it?
I had another window rep here from a company that does some heavy tv advertising. I'm thinking their prices have to be good to do so much business.
First the guy gets lost and has to call me twice. He's an older gentleman who should know better than to cuss. So he gives me a quote for the garden window and it's $500 more than Window Wizards. I told him I hoped they would be cheaper and I told him who the other quote was from and he said, 'they are bs'.
The man who was here on Friday was the complete opposite. Why do people think they can get away with acting like that? He should be trying to impress me rather than disgust me.
I have another guy from the same above company coming to give me a quote on the kitchen floor (it's scheduled and they are known better for their flooring and it's a different dept). I called Home Depot to find out about their quote and it seems pretty good (20% off), so we'll see.
Last night HGtv had a special about homes where famous movies were filmed. 'Groundhog Day' was not filmed in Penna. at all, it was filmed in Woodstock, IL. And 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' house was in California. 'Meet the Parents' was in New York and 'The Wedding Planners' was an estate in Maryland.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What kind of ice cream am I?

You Are Marsha Marsha Marshmallow Ice Cream
What Flavor Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Are You?

Outdoorsy is right, esp these last few days!

Living in the dust, wind and dirt

These are the alliums in a circle.
The tulips that got nibbled look like hens and chicks in this photo. Lots of
weeds to contend with also.

Daffodils my younger brother Don planted when we moved here-almost 20 yrs ago.

The forsythia-lots of dead wood, lots of leaves under them. It looks 85% better there now.

See how much prettier they were last year and how green the grass was (even though it was a few weeks later in this photo.

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