About Me

April 30, 2016

I Don't Get ....

.. how in a house where we all live
together, something as simple as 
doing laundry can have so many 
variations due to personal choice.

With so many kids in the house, laundry
was a big chore when they were small. 
As they grew, I'd have them help out in 
age appropriate ways. Sorting clothes was 
one of the many steps in washing clothes 
that I taught them. Or so I thought! 

The first picture is how my daughter washes
her clothes each week. Yup, that's right. NOT
sorted! Then I find out that all my kids do
their respective laundry chores this way. So
my lessons when they were young were a bit
of a waste of time. The second picture is how
I sort the clothes. Three baskets that
equals 6 loads of laundry for the week.

Oh well. At least they wash their own clothes 
and all have been since their early teens.

Do you sort your laundry before washing?
Or just put it all in together in one load?

Little Horse Boy.

 This little boy is following his mama's
passion for horses with lessons at the barn.

Just like when she was little, part of lessons
is taking care of your horse. He's a natural.

Brushing and tacking up, feeding and
walking. Love that he is loving it all.

Pasta on the Porch.

A sunny sky on my day off called for
a lovely lunch of Pasta on the Porch.

Do you eat meals outside?
Any favorites you can share?

Cherry Blossoms.

Our two Cherry Blossom Trees in our yard
have begun to bloom. I love the colors and
the soft petal and buds. Another few days
and they will be in full bloom. More pics then!

Duvet Balcony.

 Truthfully, it's a Juliette Balcony.
But when it was time to dry my
daughters' duvet, the balcony was
the best spot to hang it to air well.

Didn't see that as an option when we 
plotted the balcony on our house plan!

Horse Walk.

 With warmer weather, we love to take
walks in the evening to explore our area.

When our grandson tags along, he calls
this our "Horse Walk" because he always
leads us to the property up on the hill
that has two horses that come to visit.

One beautiful brown horse and a dark
black one in the back. They trot up to
see us every time. I always seem them
when we drive around the bend but it's
fun to actually see them up close and
have a few moments to "chat" with them.

Do you enjoy evening walks?
Any horses along your path?

Country in the City.

Driving to an appointment with a new
family for our grief program this week,
I drove past this amazing house in the 
city. Overlooking the river valley, I was
truly impressed this heritage house has
been so lovingly restored. Beautiful!

Do your urban community have old homes?
Or are the vintage homes just in the country?

Full Moon Captured.

I love the night sky in the country.
So many beautiful views to capture.

Never a fan of the full moon but loved
that we had a clear night for these shots!

Sun Light Captured.

After the rain, the sun came out. Just 
enough until dusk to capture this light.

Rainy Day.

Not today but one day last week.
Cold, windy and rainy ....

.... just the perfect day to be home with
a warm cup of tea and some cookies.

I was thankful on this day that I only had to 
make a quick drive then back home again.

Have you had any rainy days lately?
Do they make you feel cozy?

April 29, 2016

AGA Breakfast.

A cool weekend morning with our
warm breakfast and tea on the AGA.
An amazing appliance that has been
such a joy to use. A worthy investment.

Do you enjoy cooking on a gas range?
What is your favorite recipe to make?

Light Woes.

This is the light we searched for over many
months of planning. A light we love.

After a careful measure, with a tall ladder and our 
dedicated builder, we chose to keep the long chain.

However, the electrician had his own plans and
sadly he cut the chain, so now the light is too short.

Stay tuned for the update on our "Light Woes".
Do you think we were able to get it fixed?

I'm Chuffed ....


.... and not sure what to do with it! The insurance guy was so kind today and told me that he evaluates up to 50 homes a month. And today, our new home became his very favorite on his long list of lovely homes. He said "it was so thought out, so beautiful and so cozy that it should be in a magazine"! Made me feel quite proud that all our work was worth the effort to hear such amazing comments when someone comes to visit. I can't ever imagine it in a magazine but the idea that someone actually thinks it could be makes me beam all over. 

Did you receive a nice compliment today?
What do you do when someone is so kind?

Five Things Friday.


Carla at Half Dozen Daily posted her "Five Things Friday" so I thought I'd join in. Here's mine:

1. I had to do 8 Tax Returns this year. The deadline is Monday. All were filed in the last month and everyone except my mom is receiving or has received a tax refund. Looking forward to ours, which will go towards our landscaping this year. Big project and this will really help.

2. No dinner thawing or plans. Will see what surprise my dh brings home! Hope it's something scrumptious.

3. Laundry is almost done. The house is in order, bathrooms scrubbed, floors swept, carpets vacuumed, dusting done, recycling out and bills paid. My list is done.

4. A dear new friend has asked me out to a movie next week. I can't wait! We're going to see the new Sally Field flick. Can't remember the name but it looks funny.

5. Chalk painted a few projects this week. Second coats to go on this weekend. Quite enjoying this new skill I'm developing. Will have more projects to share in time.

That's my "Five Things Friday." 
Feel free to join in! 

Rough Start.

I love my Fridays. Time to meet with my families, time to get case notes written up, time to book appointments for next week, time to regroup and become centered again before our kids group on Saturdays. It's really helpful to me to have this time. And the bonus is it starts our weekend off well. Life in order before the fun.

But today, we had a rough start to our day. Our insurance company scheduled a time to come out to view our home and make sure that our insurance coverage is adequate for our new home. I chose early morning so that I could still keep my regular schedule going. I woke up to two cancellations for counselling, which is not normal but thought I'd use that time for notes and some research to buy some instruments and new books that we'd like to order. The insurance arrived and we were almost done this short appointment when we came across an issue. When we opened the door to the storage room, my lovely "Christmas Room", we both immediately noticed a small puddle, which turned into a larger mess as we investigated. Water under the little carpet and all along the one baseboard. Thankfully, it didn't go further than that! But we will have to have the baseboard replaced. And the culprit ended being the piping that brings the water into the house from the well. Two hairline cracks. A manufacturing defect. All covered under warranty. But still a mess and of course, our time. I ended up going in to town to meet my families then came back to meet the well guy and his assistant. They just left but rigged up a temporary way to divert the drips of water into our drain so that we can avoid more damage. I'm thankful for quick responses and a solution that is covered. But now so tired from the stress of this unexpected experience. Dh is on his way home and we plan to go out for a small date night. Not sure what we're doing. But I'm quite ready to do something fun, after a rough start to the day. 

How was your day today?
Any unexpected experiences?

Our Sweet Ginger.

October 1, 2013 ~ April 1, 2016

Just 2.5 years old, Ginger was a sweet pet for
our preschool classroom. But she became ill
over Spring Break and sadly died. We are all
so sad but know she is no longer in pain.

April 26, 2016

A Nesty Mess.

Look what we came home to today. A very messy
nest project, spilling over from the window sill.

Now we can't wait to see if this tiny bird's nest
being constructed will soon hold sweet little eggs.

A new adventure for us to observe and experience
out here in the beautiful countryside where we live.

Neighbor Visit ....

 .... can you spot him/her in clearing, in 
front of the trees and beside the woodpile?

Our sweet deer neighbors are back!
Wonder if they'll have babies soon.

Loved how our grandson was whispering
out the window to say "hello" to our visitors.

Do you have any woodland creatures in your garden?
Do you live close to nature and any wildlife?

April 25, 2016

End of Day Desk.

Used quite a bit today, with a lovely
view to the outside world but now
the day is done and everything is
back to be in it's place and tidy.

Do you have a view from your desk?
Can you watch the world while working?

Rude Awakening.

 We had quite the rude awakening
the other morning, very early on.

Do you see the snow outside our
bedroom window? Not welcome ....

.... nor expected but there wasn't
much we could do about it.

So we put the tea pot on and
stayed toasty and cozy warm inside.

By afternoon, the snow was gone
and we were smiling again. That is,
until we heard the weather forecast
for tonight .... snow to start soon!

Have you had any late spring snow this year?
Was your winter warm too with a cold spring?

April 22, 2016

It Pays to be Thrifty ....

I grew up in a family that didn't have two pennies to rub together at the beginning. With tons of hard work and a measure of thriftiness, my parents managed to buy their first house in their early 20's. Sparsely furnished but filled with love and laughter, they taught me that saving was more important than spending if I wanted to reach my goals. I understood from an early age that if there was something I wanted, saving for it was worth the wait. It's something I brought to our marriage and even though my dh grew up in a family that had no financial plans or goals, he was eager to learn and we worked together to create our own thrifty life. We bought our first house at age 20 and it was many years before we could freely spend. Now we're at the other end but we still love to make frugal choices and plan out our purchases. And the thrill of finding a treasure at the charity shop or finding an amazing deal, especially when we're saving pennies for something makes it all worth the work!

We started saving to pay for the landscaping we'll be doing this year at the new house. Truckloads of dirt, sod or grass seed, flowers, bushes, veggie patch, playground, gazebo, pond, fire pit and front gates are all part of the plan that will likely take us a good 4 to 5 years to complete. Doing it all at once would, of course, be far out of reach with our budget. Spreading it out just makes so much sense. And we'll have something to look forward to each year. This year, two things we hoped to acquire included a hammock and raised garden beds. In determining, our savings budget, we found examples of the items we hoped to get with prices. The hammock above is listed at more than $180 at our local hardware store. And the vinyl boxes range from $160 to $250, depending on the manufacturer. For 1 hammock and 6 raised garden beds, we were looking at a total of $1,197 at the lower end, including taxes. Would you believe me if I told you we ended up with this exact hammock and 6 of the raised garden beds for free?? The story is below ....

To start with, I had already saved over $1,200 for these items. What took place the other day was pure luck and a bit of extra work to make it all happen. The first thing that fell in to place was an offer from my dear friend, who had spent the day with me on my day off last week, to purchase the second Kitchen Aid mixer we had. Brand new and a pro model. She offered $400 and I was very happy to accept that (value is $700 but we did get an amazing deal and paid far less). So now I had an extra $400 in my pocket to go towards these items and landscaping. Then the next thing fell in to place. The hammock that I was so excited about hanging up one day, if I could find one in stock, came across my FB feed on an ad. And guess what? It was on sale, one day only, on Monday! A certain store (no names in this post) had it for the unbelievable price of $68. But I'm not a fan of the store and when I went on to at least consider ordering it, the website was not letting me place the item in the cart. Then I remembered the hardware store that carries it has a price match that includes the amount the other store charges plus an additional 10% off. Too good to pass up, right? So I called and they agreed to match it, which meant, in the end, I got a $160 hammock (plus taxes and shipping) for $60.88 (including taxes and free shipping).

But the deals for the day get even better. I decided to check on the status of the raised garden beds at our local big box, you must have a membership store (remember, no names!) and they still had them in stock. And suddenly that day, a sale started and they were marked down. Couldn't believe my eyes. And my good luck! I quickly did some calculations and ordered 6 of them. With an original calculation of $1,008 (including taxes and free shipping), I was now blown away to see the price of just $340 (including taxes and free shipping). Prior to these 2 incredible sales, we would have paid a grand total of $1,180 but in the end, our purchases added up to a very tidy $400.88. Oops! I did say that we got all these items for free but the reality is, we paid just .88 cents as the $400 from my dear friend for our second Kitchen Aid covered everything. Now I still have over $1,200 that I was going to use that can stay in our landscaping budget for the big items on our list. Yup, it does pay to be thrifty ....

Any great deals you can share with us?
Treasures you've found or funds you've saved?

Loving Mother Earth.

For those of who embrace conservation,
recycling and green living, today was
truly just another day. For the rest of the
world around us, it was the annual
Earth Day celebration. We love our
Mother Earth each and every day but
honor that there is day just for her. And
a day for the world to pay her homage.

Did you celebrate Earth Day today?
What activities did you participate in?

April 20, 2016

Blooming Landscape.

 Walking past our guest bedroom this morning
and what do I see out the window? Leaves!

Suddenly our very barren trees are blooming like 
crazy. I feel like every time I look, leaves just appear.

A sweet sight and one I will never get tired
of every single spring. So much greenery.

Lots to fill in but the fact that this is
only the middle of April is inspiring.

This forest will soon be thick with full leaves
and wildlife. Soon we won't see our neighbors.

This boy is excited and keeps going outside to check 
to see how many more leaves have bloomed.

Green leaves against a bright blue April sky.
Another week or two and we won't see the sky!

My Dilemma ....

I finally finished taking the glass out of the vintage window I've been working on. It was quite a job, with lots of scraping and picking. And a tiny bit of swearing when I snagged my finger on the edge of the glass. That was very sharp! Thankfully, out of three pieces, two are still intact. With all the pieces out, I'm quite excited about all the possibilities of what I can do with this. The biggest dilemma I know have is not what to actually do with it (I have tons of idea .... thank you Pinterest!!) but do I paint it first or leave it raw? I'm scared I'll regret painting it and then have to scrape the paint off. And I'm scared I'll leave it raw and wish it had color. Ugh. I'm never good at making decisions. Once I make one, then I never go back nor do I have any regrets. Technically, it's just getting to the decision that causes me all the grief and worry. Silly, I know. I'm sharing here in case anyone has an opinion  ....

Would you paint this piece and scuff it up a bit?
Or leave it raw and just decorate it as planned?

April 17, 2016

Thrifty Porch Update.

 We bought our deck set a few years ago
when we took down our old deck and
put up a new cedar deck at our old
house. Budget was tight at the time.

So we bought this one on sale for more
than 80% off the original price. Deal!

We always thought we'd sell it once we 
moved out to this house but somehow it 
found it's way on the moving truck and
here it is! But I hated these two cushions.

Look what I found at the Dollar Store for a
tidy $3 a piece. Yup, new covers for cheap.

Love the brighter green. So much nicer
than the blah beige we had lived with.

Pretty and colorful now.

And a sweet mat for the table.

Have you found thrifty ways to decorate
your porch/veranda/yard this year?