Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Quote for the Day:
"A happy family is but an earlier heaven"

~George Bernard Shaw

We have been on vacation for a couple days now...visiting our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.  We come here every year at this time for Andrew's birthday.  It's always so nice to come and visit, but it is especially nice this year because they are in their new house and have an extra bedroom for us to stay in, so we actually get to see more of them since we don't have to deal with a motel room.

Andrew's third birthday party was held on Sunday and we had a lot of fun with a cook-out, cake, presents, face-painting by Trinity's sister, Tonya, and just an overall good time visiting with our son's in-laws that we only get to see this time of year.  

Andrew wasn't too impressed with his quilt, but his parents and family sure liked it!  :)  

Andrew was a little overwhelmed by all the activities and gifts, but certainly gravitated to a Leap Frog "laptop" and another Leap Frog toy that has a drawing area at the bottom with some letter functions at the top...don't know what it's called.  But he has been playing with both of those practically non-stop since Sunday!  

Erin, Dale and Sera were here from Tennessee for the weekend, too.  I always love it when our whole family is in one place together.  We have such a warped sense of humor that we keep the place rockin' with laughter!  :)

This is the "official" family photo...

But this is my favorite...

Someone must have said something funny....who remembers?  But it had us all laughing!

Unfortunately, they had to leave right after the party and head back to Tennessee...before we had the chance to play the game, "Apples to Apples" .   I had heard of the game but had never played it.  OMGosh!  Outrageously fun!!!  We (Paul, Trinity, Andy & I) laughed till we couldn't breathe!  :):):)  It's now on my "must get" list!  I'll be checking yardsales, thriftstores, etc., for it!   If I don't find it before the next family get-together, I'll have to break down and buy it!  But it will be worth it.  :)

Last night, Trinity & I did our couponing!   It's so much fun to shop with a friend, isn't it?  :)  We didn't get everything we had hoped to get because the stores were out of some of the items.  However, what we did get, we made out like bandits!  :)  Trinity figured out that with everything she bought and all the store rewards she got back, she ended up paying about 10% of the original price for everything!   

As for me, I bought $99.44 worth of items...paid $66.87 out-of-pocket after using coupons and store rewards.  Then, between store rewards (Register Rewards and +Up Rewards) and mail-in rebates, I received $79.43 back...thus making this a $12.56 money-making shopping trip for me.   :)    Who doesn't have time to shop like this?  Huh?  No excuses!   (Sorry that I don't have pictures from the shopping trip to share...but you'll just have to take my word for it!)

Here's some random pictures from the party and the vacation so far...

Trinity & Paul's dryer stopped heating a few weeks ago so they have been either using the "air" setting on the dryer or hanging clothes on hangers to dry inside the house.  Andy was able to fix the dryer for them, but he also hung a clothesline in the back yard for them to utilize the hot breezes that Georgia offers most months of the year.  That way, if the dryer fails again, they won't be clamoring for drying space inside the house and adding extra humidity to the house.

Trinity had never hung clothes on an outside line before, so I showed her how by hanging a load for her...

They were dry within 45 minutes!  :)  YAY!  I have a clothesline at home myself, but I have to admit that I don't use it as much as I could/should.  We searched the internet to figure out how much it costs to run the dryer to dry a load of wash.  For her, it is 63 cents to run the dryer for an hour.  We did some math and found out how much she can save by using the "solar clothes dryer".  :)  She and I made a "pact" and are going to try to use our clotheslines as much as possible to save money.  :)  Trinity...I'm gonna be checkin' up on you!  :D


Saturday, May 21, 2011

More Quilt News...

Quote for the Day:
"Her needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, 
and she might have put a sewing machine to shame."  
~James Edward Austen-Leigh, about Jane Austen 

I have finished the quilt top for my nephew and his wife...well...it's all done except for the borders...of which there will three!  :)

I haven't spent a lot of time around this particular nephew and his wife so I asked his family for some assistance as to what they like.  You know...the proverbial "they"...meaning, roughly,  "the wife", since that is usually who influences the decorating choices the most.  As for men...most of them believe that things just magically appear in the home.  :)

Anyway...I was told that she likes SUNFLOWERS and has BLUE in several of her rooms...so I went with it...and this is my interpretation of "sunflowers" and "blue" (though I did put a lot of other colors in there so basically it would go with any color she should choose in the future!)

The inner border will be the rust with sunflowers fabric.  The middle border will be one of the blues that is in the quilt.  And the third border will be...a surprise!!!  I would have liked to have found more of the white with sunflowers that is the focus fabric (center of the stars), but haven't found any ANYWHERE!  (If any quilter is reading this and has some in their stash, I'd love to buy it from you.  It is "All Cooped Up" by Moda and is cream with chicken-wire and sunflowers on it.)  

I will put the borders on in a couple weeks.  Right now I need to work on some other sewing as there are pants that need hemmed up for both for Andy & me.  Ahhh...the trials and tribulations of being short.  :)

Here is a close-up of the center star block and you can see the "focus fabrics" better...

This is the book/pattern I used...the pattern is called "Stars Over the Prairie" by Gathering Friends...

I hope I hit the "mark" with this quilt for the young couple.  :)  

After I add the borders, this quilt will get hand quilted...after I finish my whole cloth quilt, that is.  Hand quilting is a slow, tedious process...but I put love in every stitch!  And I hope that for the recipients, it is worth the wait.  :)

Here's a video of my grandson, Andrew, that my daughter-in-law sent me.  Is he not the cutest thing, or what???  (BTW...notice the picture on the wall above the sofa...my son painted it...he got his artistic talent from my mother...it seemed to have skipped a generation!  LOL)

We will be getting to see both kids and grandkids this coming weekend to celebrate Andrew's third birthday!  Color me EXCITED!!!!   YAY!!!   

I am so proud of both my kids and just love them, their spouses/partners and my grandkids so much!  A prouder mother and grandmother you will never find!  :)


Monday, May 16, 2011

Yes, You CAN Wash Leather!!!

Quote for the Day:
If an article is attractive, or useful, or inexpensive, they'll stop making it 
tomorrow;  if it's all three, they stopped making it yesterday.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

A couple of days ago I posted about a leather jacket that was given to my husband.  However, it wreaked of cigarette smoke.  YUCK!  Not wanting to spend the $40 + tax that it would cost to have it "leather cleaned" by the dry cleaners, I searched the internet and found information from people who had washed leather items without incident.  (Isn't the internet a WONDERFUL thing???  [...even if it was invented by Al Gore!  LOL]  I LOVE having instant access to all kinds of information, literally at my fingertips!)

But I digress...
Anyway...since the jacket was FREE, Andy & I had a meeting of the minds and decided that if washing ruined it, we weren't out anything.  So onward I proceeded.  I put it in a LARGE mesh sweater bag and washed it in SHAMPOO since it is made from "skin" and then added some HAIR CONDITIONER to the second rinse.  I then hung it on a hanger to dry.   (It will shrink if you put it in the dryer.)  If you like, after it is dry you can go over the leather with some mink oil or leather conditioner, but I don't think this particular jacket needed it.

It turned out FINE!!!!  There is still a VERY MINOR hint of cigarette smoke if you really bury your nose in the collar.  But it doesn't make you pass out when you walk past it like it did before!  LOL  Seriously, Folks...I will not hesitate in the future to throw leather in the washer in the future.  I don't know about you, but I've got better uses for $40 than to hand it over to the dry cleaners!  :)

I did my couponing at Walgreens and Rite Aid today...

Rite Aid...

$13.42 out-of-pocket...received back $6 in +Up Rewards and $3 survey coupon...net out-of-pocket $4.42.  :)


$8.49 out-of-pocket...$1.50 received back in Register Rewards...net out-of-pocket $6.99.

Not too bad!  The cashier at Rite Aid asked me if I had ever thought about going on the TV show, "Extreme Couponing".  I told her "no" and that I had some issues with the people on that show.  I told her that I don't subscribe to some of their "ethics", or lack thereof.  She brought up the issue that one person that was on that show has been investigated for coupon fraud following her appearance on the show.  I told the cashier that I had heard the same thing and that that was unfortunate because it gives the rest of us "couponers" a bad name.  

I do like saving money...I even like making a little money with my couponing when it works out that way.  But I'm not in it to buy 62 bottles mustard (and clearing the shelves in the process) just because I have coupons for all of them.  Many, many of my coupons expire before I can use them all.  If it's not something that I can use or pass along to someone I know can use it...it doesn't get purchased.  Just like the other day at a yard sale...kids clothes were $1/bag.  I could have scooped up all of them whether or not my grandkids needed them....but why?  I only purchased what I knew my grandkids could use...one bagful.  Why not share the bounty and leave some for others? 

What goes around, comes around. 

Happy couponing to us ALL!  :)


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Baby Steps...

Quote for the Day:
Unless each day can be looked back upon by an individual 
as one in which he has had some fun, 
some joy, some real satisfaction, that day is a loss.
~author unknown

We had a little more progress on the kitchen this weekend...we actually cut and hung 2 sheets of beadboard!  Woohoo!  Not a minor accomplishment when you are NOT a contractor with all the appropriate tools that make construction easy!  :(

First, since we don't have a table saw we had to figure out which saw we DID have that would make the best/straightest cut.  And then we had to figure out which one of us had the more steady hand to make that cut.

Then we cleaned the porch of all the old building material that we had removed from the kitchen during demolition and set up a work area using saw horses and boards to lay the paneling on for cutting.  

Eventually, we were finally able to get 2 panels cut and hung...successfully!  YAY!  :)

See all that beautiful molding above the door to the right?  (As far as I can tell that is called a "head casing".)  See the way it comes out to the side at an angle?  The paneling has to be cut away in that area to allow the edge of the paneling to go flush with the side of the door frame.

Well, to do that I had to make a pattern of the scroll work of the molding using brown paper...transfer that pattern to cardboard...cut out the pattern on the cardboard...test it to see if it fit...adjust as necessary...transfer the pattern onto an extra "trash" piece of bead board to do a "test run"...adjust it as needed to get it to fit snugly...and then transfer the pattern onto the REAL panel and chip it out to get it to fit around that molding! 

Not an easy feat!  LOL  But I was able to accomplish it...at least for that panel that you see to the left of the door!  :)  Only 3 more doors and 2 windows to go fit around...both LEFT and RIGHT sides!  ARGGGGGHHHH. 

Here's a closer look at the alcove where the cabinets and pantry will go...

That outlet will hold FOUR, count them...FOUR outlets!  This will be my food preparation area, so having those will really come in handy for mixers, blenders, crockpots, etc.  :)))    And it's not cockeyed!  (Family joke...my kids understand!  LOL)

All in all, Andy & I had an enjoyable and productive weekend since we both were off of work and had some time to spend together and were able to get a toe-hold on the kitchen renovation.  We even took some time on Friday night to watch the movie "Tangled" and then hit a couple yard sales Saturday on our way to Home Depot for more construction supplies.  :)    (I'm beginning to think I should just have my paycheck sent to Home Depot directly!  LOL)


Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm Still Here...

Quote for the Day:
The optimist is the kind of person that believes that 
a housefly is looking for a way out.
-George Jean Nathan

This has been an exhausting week...and I'm glad it's the weekend now!  

Just a few things to share with you all today...

Last week I started working on a new quilt for a certain someone whom I've been told likes sunflowers.  :) 

Here are some pictures of the beginning of it...

I've gotten even more done since these were taken, but don't have pictures of the most recent part.   I probably won't take more pictures until I put it all together.  So stay tuned for that!  :D

Every day that I come home from work, there's a "little" more done on the kitchen.  It's slow-going right now because except for the weekends, Andy only has a little time each evening after work to spend on it.

This is what it currently looks like...

As you can see, the insulation is in, the electrical is run for the new outlet in the back splash and Andy has attached boards to the studs to provide additional wall strength for when the cabinets are hung.  

We will be making ANOTHER trip to Home Depot this weekend to pick up some additional tools and items we'll need to get those cabinets hung.   

I did my Walgreens coupon shoppiing today...

I paid $16.30 out-of-pocket (included tax).  I received $3.00 in Register Rewards and also will submit for 2 rebates totaling $18.99.  So I got the above items for free and Walgreens paid me $5.69 to remove them from their store!  :)

When I was in Walgreens I was walking down the main aisle with my coupons and items.  There was a guy walking a little ways behind me and to my left.  When I stopped to look down an aisle, he walked right into my line of vision.  He apologized for getting in my way and said he was looking for his wife who was somewhere in the store "doing the same thing"...nodding to my coupons!  A few minutes later I saw them both again and she had her whole coupon portfolio with her going through it comparing coupons to items!  LOL  Love it!  :)

Andy was given a nice leather jacket yesterday by one of his customers.  It fits him well, but wreaks of cigarette smoke.  I called the dry cleaners and they said it would cost $40 + tax and take four weeks to have it "leather cleaned".   YIKES!!!!

I did a little research online and saw a couple videos and some pictures where people had washed their leather items in the washing machine using shampoo for the wash and conditioner for the rinse cycle with very good results.   Soooooo...the jacket is currently in the washing machine.  :)   I will let you know how it turns out!  :D

We plan on working on the kitchen this weekend and when I'm not helping with that, I'm going to work on the Sunflower Quilt.  In a couple days, hopefully I'll have some progress pictures on both to share with you!

Until then, have a GREAT WEEKEND!  Enjoy the warm weather...and give someone a hug!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day Weekend...blog edition...

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to return to normal after you've had a baby.
That somebody doesn't know that once you've had a baby, "normal" is history!

Somebody said being a mother is boring.
That somebody never rode in a car being driven by a teenager with a learner's permit!

Somebody said a mother doesn't need an education.
That somebody never helped a fourth-grader with their math.

Somebody said that you can't love the fifth child as much as the first.
That somebody never had five children.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery.
That somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten...or on a plane headed to military "boot camp".

Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices.
That somebody never came out of the back door just in time to see their child hit a golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married.
That somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother's job is done when her kids leave home.
That somebody never had grandchildren!  

Sunday, May 8, is Mother's Day in the USA so today I'd like to honor my mother, Mary... 

my parents, c. 1940
approximately 1 year after they married

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  

Saturday will be spent getting my hair "done"...meaning cut and colored...to erase all those gray hairs caused by being a mother!  ;)

Then Sunday morning I will go get my yearly blood work done that I have to be fasting for.  With a few puppy dog looks, I can usually talk Andy into taking me out to brunch afterwards!  ;) 

 My mom and me at my wedding...July 3, 1982

We will also be doing some more work in the kitchen.  Andy has the plaster removed from the wall behind where we took out the cabinets so far.  He has been working on putting in the electrical for the outlet that will go on the back splash there and then will roll in the insulation.  If all goes well...hopefully those two things will be done by the end of the weekend. 

After much discussion, we have decided to pull off the baseboards in the kitchen.  They are nice 8" oak baseboards original to the house, so I am going to try to strip the LAYERS of paint off of them so that we can get them looking nice and then reapply them after the bead board paneling is hung.

 Mom rocking Paul, my eldest
She never got to meet Erin, my youngest,
but did get to see pictures of her.

I'm so glad that we don't have a deadline to have this kitchen done in because as we go along, we keep "adding" things to the original plan!  LOL  This is one of the few projects that we've done that we aren't under pressure to be done by a certain time.  

 taken a couple years before she died in 1987

Have a blessed and safe Mother's Day weekend!.....and don't forget to call your mothers!  :)


Monday, May 2, 2011

And On It Goes...

Quote for the Day:
The distance is nothing. It's only the first step that's important.
-Marquise DuDeffand

We......well.......the proverbial "we".......which means "mostly Andy" removed the bottom cabinets tonight.  There is no backing out now!  LOL

If you are squeamish, you may wish to skip over the next picture...because as Andy was ripping out the cabinets, guess what he found between the bottom of the cabinets and the floor?

That's right, Folks...a mouse nest.  We have been in this house for 12.5 years and there have been a total of THREE different times when we saw evidence of mice.  Never heard them, never saw them...only found their "evidence".  And all three times we got rid of them immediately with poison and traps and never saw the evidence again.  So how long this nest was there???  We don't know.  But it's gone now.  And, hopefully, will never return after the new cabinets are put in.  We will be covering some of the holes that they may have come through, but you know mice...they can get through teeny, tiny gaps so it is never fool-proof.

This is what the kitchen looks like now...

We will be tearing the plaster and lath board off the back part there, insulating (there's no insulation in that wall right now), applying drywall and then the bead board paneling before putting in the new cabinets. 

Everything that was in those bottom cabinets is now in the dining room...along with everything from the upper cabinets!  :(

And this is what the driveway and side porch look like now...

To be continued...


Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Decontructing Going On...

Quote for the Day:
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.  
~Jonathan Kozel

Today we engaged in a little more "deconstructing" in the kitchen.  As you may remember, earlier in the week Andy removed the doors and some of the moulding around the upper cabinets leaving it looking like this...

Andy was hoping to get the upper shelves out in one piece so we could use them for storage in the basement.  But alas, the shelves were being stubborn and not wanting to come out of their cozy little "home".

But...NEVER...I say NEVER...mess with a man on a mission...

...or a man with a saw!

Yeah...that's right...using a sawz-all, Andy attacked them with a vengence...and they ended up coming out in two pieces.  They are now no longer reusable but they are OUT!  :)

And now it looks like this...

Notice that portion of bead board to the left?  

You'd be surprised at all the places we have found that stuff!  When we had the porch rebuilt 10 years ago, it was what the original porch ceiling was made of.  It must have been fairly cheap back when this house was built in 1927 because they seem to have used it rather flippantly around the house.

BTW...we are going to cover the walls in the kitchen with new bead board paneling.   When we renovate, we try to keep things as close to "original" or "period" as possible so I guess we were spot on with that decision  :)

Back in 2003, Erin & I painted that red on the walls!  And guess what...today while removing the back splash we found that it was at one time painted...you guessed it...RED!!!!  How cool is that???  

Originally the sink was in this area because the pipes are still there...behind the lower cabinets.  I don't know when the sink was moved to the other wall, but it was quite some time ago because it is the kind that sits on top of a metal cabinet.  I'll post pictures off that part of the kitchen when we start doing that portion of the renovation.

We are mulling over whether or not to remove that upper portion of "wall" above where the cabinets were and also the possibility of removing the plaster from around the chimney and leaving it as exposed brick.  Hmmmm...so many decisions...