Category Archives: decorating

So far, 3rd snowiest winter ever

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I’ve been hanging low watching the 58.4″ of snow pile up over the last few months. I can’t do any shoveling, not with my back. The guys have done their share, but they have a snow blower this time around too.

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I’ve taken at least 20 Instagram photos featuring the weather and snow.

I did a cupid theme for Valentine’s Day on my mantel

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Sean gave me the ‘Love’ print (in Philly) and I got to see it in person at the end of December.

I have been doing a lot of sorting-yarn, fabric, craft items, etc and it’s still a work in progress, but it’s spread all over the house right now. I really have to downsize more.

I’ve knitted a few hats too! One of which is ‘almost’ in the colors of the Geocaching logo. I made it too big at first, ripped out about 5 rows and did a little crocheting and gathering at the top. I added a pin I had and wore it geocaching on Monday in Dover, DE.

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I’m working on a cowl right now. I had pretty old knitting needles and bought some new ones and what a difference!

We all were trying to think of a local place to take a day trip yesterday. We were going up to Allentown to see a car museum and maybe the art museum, but it was a holiday and a Monday. so they were closed.  We took a drive to Dover, DE which is about 60 miles one way. I am trying to get to 500 geocache finds, but this winter it’s slow going.

Our first spot was Pickering Beach.  A few of us had to go to the bathroom and the little cottages were locked up tight. I completely forgot there were caches there, but the GPS was out anyway. I usually am very thorough with our trips to do caching, but I was aiming for Allentown, not Dover. I did notice there were several DGT (Delaware Geocache Trails) ones and we did find one when we could get to it. It was at a brewing company! I had brought a little beer mug trophy to add to the swag. When I ordered them, I thought they were much smaller. So glad to find an appropriate place to add one.

The other places, all museums were closed. We plan to go back in May to see them all. The beach should be crawling with horseshoe crabs from the Delaware Bay.

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We did find 5 geocaches, but not the neat ones at the John Dickerson Plantation and airplane museums as the gates were closed at these locations.

I’ve only worked 2 days for the entire month of February because of the weather. The kids all have cabin fever and get a bit itchy.

Some things are going on like the orchid show at Longwood Gardens and the Flower show in Philly. Hope to get to Longwood in the next few weeks.

And last but not least, some Artist trading cards were made much to my enjoyment! It’s been a while, though I made 13 Valentine’s Day cards for the kids.

Happy 2014 and all the jazz

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Christmas 2013 is on it’s way!

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I realized it’s been a while since our trip to the Buchanan house post. Having a late Thanksgiving kind of put me in a tailspin with Christmas this year. After all these years, I have it pretty down pat to what I do and when, but I switched it up a bit. I just finished sending cards as I wasn’t sure I wanted to even do so. I send out about three different styles. I saw a box of Charlie Harper cardinal drawings in the Longwood Gardens gift shop that were calling my name. I have a few of his stylized designs in cross stitch that I should do.

We got the tree up a little over a week ago. We have been having early snow this year in Pennsylvania, very unusual. I trimmed the tree in a wintery theme of white snowflakes, clear and blue balls and silvery things. No red! Well there is a wee bit on a ‘Phillies’ ornament and a Santa ornament of Sean as a baby.
I think a tree has to be pretty with the lights off too! #DecemberDaily

This is off my phone. I should set up the tripod to get some more shots with the Canon. The mantel had to be redone as the greenery started to fall a week after it was placed up there. No fire or anything-just a dry house. It was a terrible mess to take down. I replaced it with two garlands-a silvery one wrapped around the aqua snowflake cord and one with pine cones just laying above that. I added the sparkly leaves back. I like it better as it is reflecting the mega lights from the tree.

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I like this tree a lot! It’s from the Habitat store, but I think it will be retired for a few years so I can so some color. I do like themed trees.

All day deorating....silver, white and blue...snowflakes, clear balls. Lots of new ornaments.

I love those snowflakes in front that are a bit iridescent and the snowball garland. But I love the over all effect.

Did a 'Sweets' tree for the front living room window. Its my 'Sandy Hook' tree as I put it up last year, though with a heavy heart....but for the kids and teachers. Mainly cupcakes and goodies.

Remember these are the phone’s camera photos. I just put this pink foil tree up a few days ago. I like how it gives a pink glow. It is a little close to the big tree, but it makes its own statement. I bought it last year and was going to put it up on the 14th, the day of the Sandy Hook tragedy. I went ahead and put it up and adorned it with cupcakes, lollipops and sweets and dedicated it to them so I could honor them. I also put this up on the 14th this year.

Did a few shelves of Snowbabies on my vintage hutch that belonged to my great auntie.

The snowbabies made an appearance again this year! #DecemberDaily
And today I put up some of my ‘Wizard of Oz’things. I could do a little tree too as I have Oz ornaments. Finding them in my stuff would take a little effort!
Set up my little Wizard of Oz collection in the family room as Sean gave me an WOZ domed clock as a Christmas gift last year and I wanted to hightlight it this year. #DecemberDaily
I’ll never say never!

One of my favorite collections is also on a tree, but a feather tree. It is mostly covered with hand-stitched (cross stitched) ornaments that I made and a few pals made too. I am trying to find a second one!

Just put up the feather tree which has mostly hand stitched items. I have two more ornaments to add. Think I need a second tree soon!

I’ve added a few new ones too! It’s getting really full. I nearly knocked it down the other night when I tried to add one to the side. About 10 fell off at 1 in the morning. Not fun fixing it.

We did some lights on the outside hedges and stars along the brick sidewalk. I like a spotlight on the door and also on Brian’s old sled.

Between doing all this, I worked (still one day this week left) and made cross stitched ornaments for coworkers.

Assembled this last night and will give it as a gift tomorrow. Turned out cute for this horse lover.
I made everything. The little horseshoes were really hard to cut out of felt. I made this after our ladies’ tea at work.
Made a 'lady dancing' for a coworker who is also a dancer. Personalized with her name.
Our teen helper is a dancer, so this was for her.
I also made an ornament for Sean’s new co-worker who loves nutcrackers. I burnt the midnight oil on this one and put it around the neck of a big bottle of Moscarto wine for her. She loved it!
Burning the midnight oil getting this ornament made. Stitching errors set me back an hour.
I am busy making something for my mom. She asked for it, so I found a pattern which was giving me a headache at first, but I think I have it figured out now. Will share when it is finished and/or she receives it.
Next on the agenda is cookie baking. I know I will do chocolate chips and 7 layer cookies (Sean’s favorite). Presents will be wrapped a few days before Christmas.
Things are flowing along….there are still areas that need to be tidied up-at least I clean well at Christmas!
Happy Holiday-Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 everyone!

Pennsylvania’s only President

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Our Christmas adventures begin!

On November 30th, we took a little trip up to Lancaster, PA to tour the Jame Buchanan house. To make the tour special, they had actors playing Clement C. Moore who penned ’twas the Night Before Christmas, his wife, a housekeeper and Mr. North/St. Nick.

We got there thinking we’d get in on the 4 pm tour, but had to wait until 5 pm. They couldn’t add us to the group. We went around the mansion and took photos of it outside to kill time.

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We would get to see it in the dark all lit up (just the back). I just love when the sun sets at 4 something these days.

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Colonial garden done for the fall

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This was the door we would go in to start the tour.

When it was our turn, Brian, Sean and me were the only ones on the tour.

It was kind of interesting! We got to talk to the actors as if they were the actual people. We tried to take photos, but the lighting was bad.

Buchananhouse13 044This was Mrs. Moore. The tree behind her was gorgeous. It has a big peacock at the top.

We played 1820 parlor games with them. We were suppose to make someone laugh and I said ‘hello handsome’ to Mr. Moore and made his wife laugh! Then we had to read cards which were aimed at the humor of that time. Like the one card would say ‘when should we drink a cordial’ and  the other card say, ‘not a quarter to midnight’. They all chuckled. Ha ha.

The mansion is really a lovely place. They did a nice job decorating it inside and out.

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There were torches lit along the back too. We didn’t go around front to see it lit up!

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The Lancaster Historic org is on the property and this is where we were waiting for our tour. We watched a short movie about Buchanan first. He was a bachelor and a lawyer.

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Buchananhouse13 036Buchanan’s carriage

We thought it was different and fun. We headed to look for a few caches in Lancaster and couldn’t put our hands on them. Pizza Hut was calling our names, so we had dinner there. We did find one lone cache in a metal bus stop on Rt. 30. Brian found it on a ledge on the top inside-in the dark with my phone’s flashlight.

I can’t wait to see what Longwood Gardens did this year!

Hello there Christmas!

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It sure is funny what you find on outings! I went with Brian when he deposited his check and we found a cute little store up in Kennett. They had healing kinds of things, and a mixture of art, jewelry and even a lending library of wellness books. I told Brian to go back up sometime and pick me out something. We then went looking for a new geocaches. The hardest part with these were finding places to park. The one we didn’t really try to find had cars zooming by-I just didn’t feel like having people watch me poke around, so we went to one I tried to find in June and I could see it under this big electrical box from the car!

I needed something at the Dollar General, but before we went in there, I hit the Habitat for Humanity resale store. The first thing I see is a sign that all Christmas items were 50% off! That included trees. So one really stood out-prelit with at least 400 lights and it had tinsel woven on the green branches. It was under $40 and I know this had to be over a $200 tree. We got the box and it looked new. I will have to load it up  with ornaments to cut back on the brightness. Right now I have both autumn stuff and the tree up. I’ve never had a tree up in November before! It took only a few minutes to get up too.

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I have to mess with the branches a bit. I was trying out some holly up near the top there.

I’m really excited to decorate it. I have a lot of work to do to get it tidied up in the living room. I also received a big gift order and that box is in there too.

Finally some Christmas spirit! Not feeling great as my hip and back had dampened my enthusiasm. I did go to the physical therapist and she thinks my issue is the ‘gel’ between my back ligaments  that is all shifted to one side. I have to do a form of a push up several times a day, 10 times a session. That is killing my arms. I think it is helping a bit. My insurance won’t pay for the PT (it sure doesn’t pay for much, and has a rule about pre-existing conditions, which is crazy for people over 50).

I went back to the church on Wednesday and the kids were mostly good. I’ve worked here 2 months now! We had my middle brother and our mom here on his birthday that night and I made yummy vegetable lasagna for dinner.

The next day, Brian and I took Mr. Cosmo kitty to the vet for a check-up. He is a good weight for his age and is pretty healthy. But, she did take a peek at his teeth and said that a few looked like they needed to be extracted at $20-200 a tooth! He’s had a tartar issue all his life. I can’t see subjecting an old cat to anesthesia either. Signs he is having issues is eating really slow or chattering when he eats-he does neither, but I will watch him. I am still working on paying off my own dental bill. Geesh.

Sunday evening I was invited to a ladies’ tea at the church. Sounds nice!

Turn of the century amusement park ‘almost’ revisited

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Our plans were to go to the Delaware County Community College (where I graduated in 1979) to a flea market. My brother decided to take my mom and I messaged him and he said it was ‘so-so’. Brian and I decided to go south to one of our favorite stomping grounds, New Castle, DE. They also had a flea market going on, so not all was lost in the looking and haggling department.

However-since we found 3 caches last night and were up to 99 in total, we just had to get to #100 today-somewhere. I thought maybe look down the road again. I’ve looked there several times-I just don’t want anyone I know see me look inside a guardrail-lol.

We started to look for one and the parking was in a neighborhood where they didn’t want people really coming in as it said ‘private road’. We then went to a lovely Presbyterian church with a nicely kept cemetery. We had to walk through the cemetery and saw  a few Shakespeares in a few different areas. How unusual:

And  check this out!

Yay for us!!!

We also looked for one in an old electric box near a Sears store and the door refused to open! We had to walk up a hill above the parking lot-it was narrow and there were stones there to slip on. A bit unsafe and we won’t go for those kind anymore.

We then ventured on to the farmer’s market flea market and there were still vendors there. I saw an ammo box I would have liked to have, but the guy wouldn’t come down from $10. Bummer. I bet in a few weeks, it will still be there. Like something I got my mom today in the actual market. I can’t say what as it’s a gift, but we got it down to $10 from $20! We found a vendor who sold really nice books for $2 each. I will tell you about them later.

Inside we got some produce-has anyone cooked with figs? I also got a floppy hat for the event next week. I wanted one and got one for $3. It’s kind of funky.

So we left and headed home, but something on the geocache page caught my eye-Brandywine Springs Amusment park. The navigator took us to a neighborhood again, but we found the park and were with 400 or so feet of  the cache. We started to walk through the leaf covered, bumpy trail- it went down and down 150 feet or so. Then we started to see these nice markers.

There was once a lovely amusement park here!

All that are left in the area where we were looking were markers that an Eagle Scout had put there.

Some old time shots of the park:

A video about the park.

We did see the slab where the book author is kneeling down next to. It use to have a merry go round above it!

The cache was hidden half way up a hill in a fallen tree. Brian climbed up and didn’t see it at first. I was begging him to find it, it had to be there from the hint. The mosquitoes were a bitin’! It needed some maintenance, but I dropped a travel bug in it. I also wrote to the cache owner to make sure we had the right one and told him about the travel bug.

I came home and made pork tenderloins (from an Amish vendor) with mushrooms and fried rice with a side of cauliflower.

We sure had fun on our treasure hunts and finding #100!

A few more swaps

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Not the most exciting week with rain off and on. I have been doing swap pieces between things breaking. Yes, it seems that our bathroom is calling out for repairs now. We put in a new vanity many moons ago-like 25 years ago when Sean was sitting in a little baby seat. The drawers are shot from opening and closing and being overfilled. We have to get a new one. I was looking at the home center sites and found a few I liked. I then went to Pinterest and followed a link and found one, with the lovely glass bowl for a good price. It would have cost $60 to ship, so might as well take a hop, skip and jump to the Home Depot and see if they carry it in white, though I would go for the dark too.

I also need a new toilet, so we might as well get that put in at the same time. And maybe further down the road, we can get Bathfitters or the tub reglazed.

Sean is in his last few weeks of his classes this semester. His professor kind of threw them for a loop as they have a few powerpoint presentations to do. I think he is worried and may be over thinking it. Wish him luck.

Here are a few other things I just mailed off:

We were to hand drawn something and also include a ladybug

This is a ‘skinny’ and  what would you do in the summer. The lady who got this likes dolls, so I added Barbie-the ‘original’ Barbie.

Hope to get some annuals soon and get working in the yard.