Category Archives: house

Close-up Black-eyed Susan

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Close-up Black-eyed Susan, originally uploaded by DianthusMoon.

The blooms of late July. So cheerful and sunny. Not sure what happened to the other wildflowers I planted next to these last year. I have my pink dinner plate hibiscus blooming too (grew from seed). The weeds/grasses are incredibly invading everything. I’m thinking about getting the weed wacker out tomorrow.
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The basement is better, but I moved things and there was water under them. I made the mistake of using some cardboard and bags as ‘quick storage’ to be replaced. They all have to be replaced-only about 4-5 that I see so far. An old braided rug is a bit wet, so I’ll get the fan on it. I am spraying Lysol around too. What a mess. I’ll keep sorting the stuff. Can I toss old sparklers and fireworks? Anyone know?

Late Spring plantings

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Best Pots of the year so far, originally uploaded by DianthusMoon.

I have these pots right near one of the seating areas outside. Seems the coleus like the dapples of sun they get here. I’ve have these black kettle flower pots for years. Besides Coleus, there are Pinwheel Zinnias, White Petunias and Blue Lobelia. I’m still potting up a few things and adding some annuals here and there for a surprise of color.
There are things that I’m not happy with-so much things are getting munched on and I have to spray here and there. Branches need trimming and don’t get me started on the weeding! I haven’t mulched. You think I would have learned to wait until the Chestnut trees dumps their catkins which are so messy. I wish we could get those trees cut back sometime.

The soup is on…

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Last night, we were down at my mom’s retrieving a twin bed for our guest room as we needed to take down Sean’s childhood bed that had a bunky board instead of a box spring. Sean’s old bed had two very full pull out drawers that both Sean and I had to go through. My living room is a bit of a mess and there’s a big bed in my van now! It pays to clean under a bed once in a while.
I was telling Sean on the way home last night that I haven’t made cream of mushroom soup for a long time. I got down to business today and it only took a little bit of time and lots of rich ingredients to make this:


Yummy!
We also had tuna melts on biscuits! Very easy. I love the frozen Grand biscuits, so while they were baking, I made the tuna part from an online recipe-minced onion, crushed pineapple, chopped celery and honey mustard for the binding agent. Very good!
I have a bit of an online ‘job’ if you can call it that (the company says you aren’t an employee, just like a hired hand). I passed the readiness test, much to my surprise! I was answering some questions tonight-I can tell many of them are from young people who don’t want their parents to see them googling what they were asking-geez. Some were just basic like what football game was on tonight, etc. Great to do while watching tv!. It’s Cha*cha.com if you are interested.
Tomorrow is my follow up for my October ultrasound. I should have followed up in early November, but I had a touch of the flu. Better late than never.
Have a great week!

Spring cleaning in the fall

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We had a very unusual rainy spring and summer. Not ideal weather for hanging out comforters and curtains, so I’m doing it now. Brian’s been home this week painting with the help of Sean since he has some free time this year. The overhangs are finished and Sean is doing the front of the house now! I guess sometime in the future they will do the back and leave the high sides and parts on the roof for a handyman. The paint is a tad lighter in color, but it’s close enough as is Wally*World where it must be a stock color (I had the paint chip from last year and they had the same color this year). It looks nice and clean. I do wish I could have taken down the shutters and washed them. The painting of the front was a last minute thing. The shutters are plastic and we are afraid we may damage one and have to buy all new ones. I’ll have to go out with the Windex one of these days. I have a few cans of spray paint to do some wrought iron things, one of which was my table which Bri put away already.
I am also trying to get things together for a Holiday sale at the church in November. I found a great website where you can buy multiplies of goods. I have 48 memo books that I purchased to decorate the fronts with my collage art. I copied one I had made and my PSP7 program copied it to the size I needed. The site is called Dollardays.com. You have to register to use it. I also have religious pieces since it is a church sale-key chains and car magnets. I do want to hand make a few things too.
So that’s what I’ve been doing, despite having a few tummy issues (Sean and Brian were complaining too-I think it was the rotisserie chicken I had on Tuesday that threw us off-the smoky stuff just didn’t taste right).
My former classmates are hosting a get-together at the beach starting tonight through Sunday morning. I think 30+ are attending. I had planned to, but then Bri took a bit longer with the painting and now the Chestnut tree burrs are littering the side yard. We are having an evening get-together next month, so that sounds like one I can attend. It’s been fun getting to know almost 100 former classmates again (I was in a class of 486).

Home Improvement-Day 1

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So It says on the calendar that today it the International Day of Peace, though not quite around my house! This week Brian is off to do a little painting. He was outside around 10:30 and within 4 hours, got 120 feet of overhang scraped (front and back) in prep for painting. Sean and I went to Wally World and bought a couple of gallons of paint. I had matched it up the best I could as the original color was splashed on about 11 yrs ago, by student painters-about 3 of them-who had the entire house painted in about 2 full days. Sean was itchy to start painting-a tall task for an already tired Bri. They got about 15 feet done in the back (we borrowed the neighbors longer ladder) when Sean was climbing up and I think it slipped off the edge of the flagstone patio and he went through it. That was it for the day. He scraped his leg a little, but is alright. Whew! I said it was good that they started on the back as it was the harder of the two sides to do. They aren’t touching the side eaves as Bri and ladders don’t mix well, especially when you add height and he had a traumatic event of falling off one and breaking his leg as a child. Guess we’ll have to end up hiring someone in the future to do them.
Good luck tomorrow guys!

It’s really almost Christmas now

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Yesterday I felt a bit frantic as every cookie recipe I looked at called for something I needed to purchase. Bri and I went on an early evening shopping trip to an almost empty store. They didn’t have unshelled pistachios for a cookie I want to try (recipe from Jennifer) and a few other things. Today I made ‘candy’ (I say that loosely)- Chocolate Cherry Bourbon Balls that my pal Warren said I should try. Brian went for a booze hunt in the basement and came up with a gorgeous bottle of Taylor Kentucky Bourbon. It had a ’68’ on the bottle, and sure enough it was from 1968! Bri did a Google search and found the exact bottle. The little balls are very potent! I don’t know how many anyone will be able to eat without feeling tipsy-lol.
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A condensed ‘I recommend’-
What made my day was finding a recipe for Peanut Butter Pinwheels which has to be the exact recipe from one of Peg Bracken’s ‘I hate to cook’ books. I made them as a teen and loved making them, smelling them baking and eating them! I made some and the following are photos of the rolled up peanut butter dough with the melted chocolate inside, to the finished product. I may bake a batch of easy peasy 7 layer cookies when I finish here-all in one pan-and finish up the rest tomorrow.

    Making Peanut Butter Pinwheels

Recipe for
Peanut Butter Pinwheels-
Taste of Home-Best & Loved Cookies and Bars (there is a new edition every year it seems-I only have last year’s issue which I recommend)
Sent in by Kandy Dick
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening, peanut butter and sugar. Beat in egg, and milk. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture.
Roll out dough between wax paper into a 12″ x 10″ rectangle (I think it could be a wee bit bigger). Melt chocolate chips; cool slightly. Spread over dough to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Roll up tightly, jelly roll style, starting with long side; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Unwrap dough and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield about 4 dozen.

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Brian took some outdoor shots-we need to get the tripod out, but here’s an what it looks like:
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The bluish lights are LEDs that I had on the Christmas tree a few years ago. They are very energy efficient.

Happy 22nd Birthday Sean!

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Sean playing in the leaves, originally uploaded by DianthusMoon.

Today Sean is home for his birthday. He’s a bit sick with a sinus cold, but he made the trip down to be with his dad and I, so that is a gift to us. I don’t know where 22 yrs went. I remember I got tired of my mom saying how time flies and kids grow up too fast and now I am saying it! My once little pumpkin baby is a responsible and caring young man now. And I call him my friend, which is important to me. The birthday card I got him mentions that, and I tear up when I read it, every time. I don’t know why, I guess I’m just glad he is and I hope he always will be.

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I shared my little ‘foodie’ figurines last week. This week I am sharing my ‘stitching’ figurines. They are on an antique hutch that belonged to my great aunt. I painted it pink.

Incidently, the little sampler behind the pig and cow was one of the first cross stitched pieces I made back in 1980. : )

The little stitcher’s John Deere piece reminded me that he was suppose to be some relative of ours as my maternal great grandmother’s maiden name was the same but pronounced ‘Deer-ree’. I looked up info about him and couldn’t see where he had a brother by the name of my gr-gr-uncle.

A reason to clean

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Oh grrrrrrr…. something told me to check inside the dust covered camera case to see if my older camera, the Powershot was there, it wasn’t. And I’ve been looking to no avail-it’s missing! Dang it. I remember wanting to use the video feature it has, that’s it, the last time I saw it! I was trying to make a video of how the solar lights around the pond act funny when they have a few cloudy days-they flash on and off at night like fairies are playing tag. Now, what did I do with it?

Time to clean anyway. I don’t remember seeing so much dust in the house for a long time-but I remembered that Bri had knocked down a wall in the basement’s bathroom so I could get to the shelves behind it months ago-dry wall dust is the pits! Never let people build walls or closets without your approval. He had our neighbor helping him and instead of just putting a spring rod for a curtain, they built a wall in front of roughly 12 feet of shelves (two-6 feet areas). I put up with that for at least 18 years maybe and I was sick of moving boxes to get to boxes. That’s another job I have to finish, cleaning and moving boxes around. Also, when we were converting the garage into our most used room, they added a closet on one of the long walls. I wanted it in a corner. I have really no options for moving the sofa and chair around. It was the same neighbor who came up with that bright idea.

So I’ll say a prayer to St. Anthony and hope my little camera reappears!

Sean is going for an interview with the school district for landscaping/maintenance in about an hour.

Thoughts and prayers to the people of Iowa and the Midwest who are trying to survive flood damage.

~Update~

Found my camera laying on the backseat of the van under a neck pillow. It was in there in all that heat, so hope it’s ok. I remember I took it to my Mom’s for Mother’s Day and never took any photos, so it’s been in the van for over a month.  I had started to clean and then my usual beginning of the week wonky tummy starts acting up! I guess I’ll do a bit more.

Sean is going to do maintenance at his old elementary school! He has to start pretty early, but it will help toward his rent next year.