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Friday, June 15, 2018

All That Glitters!

My daughters are still in Europe and my son-in-law is still going to work every day, so the "littles" are still with Nana. Summer days can get very long so I try to have a few things always on the crafty horizon.

Today, we made 4th of July slime. We picked up the clear glue when we were at HL the other day. I had everything else on hand. Presley is apparently the "queen of slime" because she immediately told me that the recipe with Borax didn't make a very stretchy slime. We went ahead and put it together because it made the prettiest one. But, she was right. It is still fun to play with-as a matter of fact, I like it more-but she wanted to do the one with liquid starch...and, of course, I had that in my craft arsenal as well.

The starch produced a more white colored slime but waayyyy stretchier! This time we used red, silver and blue glitter and 4th of July confetti.

She's very proud of her "slime swirl".

The Borax recipe is more "Flubber-ish".

The starch recipe is white while the Borax made the clear...even tough they both used clear Elmer's glue.

And to make our day even more fun since there is construction going on at my daughter's house (even though she's not there to supervise), their two dogs came to visit as well. As long as you don't leave any food ANYWHERE reachable-and that is pretty far as Parker is a very tall dog-they are pretty good. We do have to try to keep Hazel from swimming and rolling in dirt, but that's a whole other story. Lol

I'm loving that I'm getting to pretend it's the 4th. This way, even if the whole gang is out of town on the real day, I will have had my photo ops. Now I need to get some of Harrison after he returns from camp tonight. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Starting the Celebrating

This has been a busy week...with more to come! With my daughter in Europe, my son-in-law at work and my oldest grand son at Camp Kiwanis for the week, the little kids and I were left to our own devices. After so many years of being around children, I know it is always a good idea to have a "back-up" plan. As they say, "idle hands..."

And so, I let you in on some of my ideas in my last post. The kids
 arrived bright and early on Monday morning and I filled them in on some of my ideas and they were good with all of them but, first we had to head out to pick up some supplies:

Always something good for a laugh at HL. The kids thought this Elvis gnome was hysterical...gotta admit that I kind of laughed as well!

We have had a fair amount of this this week:

But we were armed and ready to go. We decided to start with the paintings. I made one to get the feel and give them some tips and then they were off and running. Each of these kids won their art teacher's year end art award for their perspective grades, so there really isn't a lot of direction needed. They both have their own ideas of where things are going and it is fun to watch.

And here are the final products. They are so proud of themselves and a rainy afternoon was well spent. Of course, there was still time for a looonnngggg game of Monopoly. Did I remember to say LONG!!? Can you tell it's not my favorite. Tomorrow I will be pushing to get back to Yahtzee, Rummikub, Racko, Bingo....anything but Monopoly. I'm a good sport but we've now played this two days in a row. Since I have managed to avoid playing it less than that in the last 20 years, I think I've done my part. Lol

Here's the flag I did to give them an idea of where they could go with this. I didn't want them to think they had to just paint a traditional flag. I should have known better They're both pretty good at doing their own thing.

I've got to go as they will be here any minute for today's adventures but I'll be back. As you can tell, I'm squeezing in as much 4th of July as I can because I think this gang will once again be out of state when the real day rolls around. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Always Trust Your Flowers

I need to pay more attention to my gardens and less to my phone. I was planning my day and checked the weather on my phone...maybe just a very slight chance of a very gentle shower it said!!! But then, out of the corner of my eye I spy these:

Why didn't I believe my eyes? I really don't think I ever knowingly planted rain lily bulbs. But here they are...and in lots of other random spots around my yard. And, when they bloom, it is a pretty sure indicator. And, sure enough, we have been having a monster of a downpour. I'm not complaining because I have been indoors replanting some of the sun room pots that needed more space to grow and, I did get out quickly and move some of the porch pots out so they could get a good nice soaking as well. But, I was kind of hoping that I could spend some time this afternoon out by the pool catching up on some reading. Maybe it will stop and dry out by then. In the mean time, I think I only have the guest bath left to show you. Again, I'm keeping it simple.

And just a nod to the holiday in the master bath:

When I last posted, I was thinking of doing some water gun painting with the kids but as I re-read the instructions and supply lists, I think it would cost more more than the amount of pleasure and creativity they would receive so I am on to a new idea:

I think they might enjoy this more. We can do them on canvas and they can be as creative as they want. They can go more traditional flag-like or free form like this one. It will be fun to see what they come up with!

Promising to be a busy week but I will check back soon. Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

I Love Serendipity...

...things that are just meant to be. I know that word is probably meant to denote more than my naive definition of it but I find joy in my life when things work out just the way I would want if I had planned them-but, in reality, I really had very little to do with it.

This has been a very loonnng week. I have been dealing with Cox Cable and my "bundling" installation since Tuesday. And with the exception of me having to make yet another trip to the Cox Store on Monday, I think my adventure is finally over! I will spare you the details but I am really almost over me (who really has NO technology training) knowing more just by instinct and logic than the myriad of "experts" who have been through my house this week.

I guess all of that is leading up to my serendipitous moments. After a particularly frustrating meeting with Cox, I was feeling sorry for myself but still had errands to run. As I went about my business, I decided to treat myself to a new top, a new pair of shoes and then...cue the music...a lemon tree. And not just any lemon tree-a Meyer lemon tree. I have wanted one forever but the price of the trees has made me second guess that thought. But, when I was in Publix the other day I happened to notice the price of the Meyer lemons and decided I might need to rethink that. And there, as I am walking into the Lowes Garden Center is a whole display of citrus trees...but only one lemon-a Meyer lemon in fact. It was meant to be!! I grabbed that thing up before any of the other shoppers could even focus their eyes on that beauty.

Then I headed straight to the pots and planters and found exactly what I had envisioned!!

And then, to add the icing to the cake, I had gotten a text from daughter #2 saying that she and grand daughter #3 would like to come down for a visit. What could be better? We ended up going to see "The Book Club", to dinner at Carrabbas and home to snuggle in to watch one of our favorite movies of all time-Sleepless in Seattle. I love all of these unexpected moments.

 Today after they left, there were still blue skies outside so I headed out to plant my tree and a few others blooms I had picked up. It was hot but there actually was a nice breeze and some cloud cover occasionally drifting by so I was in my glory! And I had no sooner finished it all up when I heard some thunder and we had a long, fabulous storm that made all of my newly planted flowers so happy.  Here are some asters that I'm trying out. I have never grown them before so we will see how it goes.

This is the new entry to the pool from the family room. Do you see that beauty back there?

Fingers crossed it will be happy here. It has a bloom on it already and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of many more and that lovely fragrance I remember from growing up near citrus groves. And while I'm swooning, isn't that planter just perfect? It's all rusty and chippy-just what I love!

It was no small task but I got the topiary moved down here. That is ONE HEAVY POT but I kind of rolled it and eventually I got it where I wanted it. It looks so much better down here. This corner of the deck has always bothered was kind of empty. Now it's empty no longer and the height helps to balance the other tall things down here. Serendipity because I truly had NO idea where I would put the lemon but I knew I wanted it close to where I sit most often. And once I figured that out, I really had no idea where to move the topiary. Let's just say that I'm glad it didn't have to go any wrong roll and it would be sitting in the bottom of the pool right now. Lol

And then, to really make my day, my sky vine has finally fully recuperated from the winter freeze and it is just beginning to bloom again!

My daughters and grand daughters have made it safely to Europe. As I write, they have already enjoyed visits to Nice, Cannes and Monaco with many other destinations on their itinerary. While away, I will probably be entertaining the 3 "little" kids when they're not at camp or some other activity. I never like to have them here without a trick or two up my sleeve-especially with the amount of lightening storms we have taking away the opportunity to always be in the pool-not to mention the fact that now that they have a pool at their own house, Nana's pool is no longer quite the hot ticket item it once was.

And so, of course, my mind automatically goes to holidays first. I found this water gun painting idea on Pinterest. I thought we would do a combination of these two-the red, white and blue colors but also the stars. Of course, I'm pretty sure all of the paint won't only end up on the canvases so I will have to make sure the pool is a go for quick clean-ups!

I found this idea at

This one came from

And then, of course, Father's Day. Photos are always great. We have done the one where each of the kids is holding a large wooden letter spelling out "MOM" so I thought maybe a play on that might be cute for Dad. Since there are three kids, either of these should work perfectly. Now the challenge will be finding a time that all three are together. Harrison has sleep away camp all of this week, so that may make this harder to do but we'll figure it out. I might even let the two youngest make the frame! Stay tuned.

This one is from

This idea comes from

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

It's Hard to Teach an Old Dog... tricks. Or so they say but, I am actually pretty proud of myself today. I think I am beginning to master my new Cox Contour remote control device...with very little "training". It took Cox so long to finally get my install complete-and still no land line service as the provider is out (which is only supposed to happen once every two or three years and it happens on the day of my install)-that the last thing they wanted was to spend any more time giving me remote control lessons.

I will say that if I had not been a TiVo remote user, I would be lost! They did give me a book but I am NOT a visual learner. I am a tactile learner. I need to watch you do it and then actually do it once myself before it even begins to make sense. But, the new remote is "voice command" so it takes away a lot of figuring out how to get to different screens. You just hit the speaker button and say a channel or a show title and you are there. Then, using the arrows, it is pretty easy to figure out where to go next. There are probably some short cuts that I could use but don't know about just yet. I'm hoping once my youngest grand children get back in town, they can give me some pointers. They have Direct TV now but I'll bet they'll remember their old Cox remote! And, since I'm the first to have the new voice command, I'm hoping they'll think I'm cool-but probably not. They've probably seen this a million times and will already be on to something else! But, for this moment, it is my new BFF and this old dog IS learning new tricks! Lol

I was supposed to be out back right now tackling another round of weeds but, as we speak, we are having a summer thunder storm with the rains coming down pretty hard. As much as I don't mind gardening in a drizzle, even I won't try it having to dodge lightening bolts. And so, on to plan B...which I don't quite have right now so I'll show you another 4th of July room. How about we head to the family room next?

As I look at this picture I am realizing just how much I really like the room re-do. An added bonus is that with the new rug, I no longer dislike the floor as much as I have the last few years. It really pulls everything together. Guess my decorator daughters have been correct all along-the room needed a much larger rug! Thanks kids for the rest of my Mother's Day present-you shouldn't have but I'm glad you did. Lol

Here, once again is one of my most "pinned" pictures. Daughter #3 made this for us when her three children were all still small. I don't think she ever really intended for it to be around so long but we loved it so much that I took it apart and laminated those little handprints before putting it back together. I look at it so often and marvel at those tiny memories-grandson #1 is now taller than me and grandson #2 is close behind!

If you follow this blog regularly, you are probably wondering if I an feeling OK. my 4th of July mantle is usually crammed full of much more "stuff" than you see here. But, I am trying to stay true to my favorite vignettes that work and leave them in place all year long just embellishing as I go. And now that I have two of my favorite PB lanterns, they are staying right where they are...which definitely clips my wings as far as how many other things I can add to the mix. Since it took forever to make that wooden flag, there was no way it wasn't going out and so, the two Uncle Sams were about all that could fit. Some day I might use the flag somewhere else but for now, it is what it is! I'm really not getting lazy-I'm just getting old! Less things to move is good! If you looked carefully at the full picture of this fireplace, you also might have noticed that the candle sconces on either side have white candles-definitely NOT my usual thing. But, once again I have decide to leave the white for every season and just change the candles that are much more accessible. These too are the battery operated candles so they come on as soon as it starts to get dark and I am now OK with them staying white! I am surprising even myself these days!!

So that is the family room. The rains are still coming down and it is dark and dreary outside. Might be a good day for a movie marathon! We shall see. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

ALWAYS a Story!

It is only 3 o'clock and it already feels like a day and a half!!! Cox Cable was here when scheduled this morning and my new bundling began. We have been Cox TV customers forever-although we used Ti-Vo DVRs and had our phone and Wi-Fi with Century Link. It was time for a change and I decided to bundle. I am truly not meant for technology. I don't know the difference between a modem and a router or if I own them or lease them...these are things you NEED to know...or you will have a VERY long day. In my defense, we have lived in this house for 45 years and have had a computer since there was a computer. We also had a "computer guy" who kept everything up and running smoothly. Now it is my job and I feel like a fish swimming up stream. I'm afraid to answer questions because I really don't know what is being asked...but, I digress.

In any case, things were going smoothly...until they weren't. Apparently there is a "glitch" somewhere but because the last 99 Cox guys who were here to address the 1001 issues trying to get Ti-Vo to speak to Cox wired the house in a way that probably meant climbing to the narrow recesses of my very large pitched Florida...the very nice young man that was here really didn't want to do that-and who can blame him? And so, yet another Cox tech has jerry-rigged this place to within an inch of its life! I feel like I'm "back in the day" when you wrapped aluminum foil around an antenna and didn't dare move. Right this minute, we're a go...but I won't place any bets.

And so, since I feel as if I have been through a war-and since I have two daughters and two grand daughters at the airport in NYC and ready to board a plane to Europe as we speak...and fly across that big, old ocean so my brain won't settle until I know they're on the ground again...I thought I would show you the front porch and the sun room today. Nothing grandiose but about all I can muster at this point!

I haven't hung my American flag just yet. Since we have been having so much rain, it really bothers me to see it get wet but it is difficult to put up and take down I am waiting.

Again, I purposely keep decor at a minimum in this room as we use it so often. The kids love this room because there is always a show of wild life going on right outside those windows. It is just easier not to have to move a thousand things before we can eat or watch TV or play a game.

So that's it from me today. Hopefully when tomorrow dawns I will have the spring back in my step-and, that step will probably take me to my backyard to tackle the weeds out there...actually something I enjoy doing so I will look forward to it. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Moving Right Along

Another weekend is in the books. I keep finding myself saying how time moves so rapidly these days but I really do find that true...until today...more on that later.

I had a wonderful visit with my brother and sister-in-law yesterday. They came down and I got to make another pot of my new favorite recipe, "Spicy Chili Soup" from the Chew. They brought a fabulous, fresh loaf of rosemary-sea salt bread and the most decadent New York crumb cake squares I have ever tasted! After lunch, we had lots of catching up to do and before I knew it, it was Monday.

I have been promising myself I would find a day with no rain and get out to the weeds before it got too today was the day! I did manage to get the entire front yard caught up and the hedges around the circular drive trimmed before I had to say "uncle". Usually when I'm gardening in the summer and I get this hot, I take a quick dip into the pool and get back to work. But, if you are a loyal reader of this blog, you will remember that I am waiting for a major pool repair so no swimming for me until that is done. And the way I was melting this morning, that CAN'T happen soon enough!!

And so, I am back inside and figured I would show you another room. On to the dining room.

As much as I like the little LED star lights that I usually put on this shelf, I didn't use them this year. I am still having a terrible time decorating this area and I just didn't want to draw any more attention to it than necessary. 

Wow! I got through this room without many words. Guess nothing needs explanation-pretty obvious. I am trying to not clutter as much as the new, "cleaned out" look of the family room actually does make me feel good. Of course, I still have my problem of "needing" to use anything made and/or given to me by family or friends and my pictures. It is amazing how many people immediately gravitate to the areas full of photos when they walk into the house. I even saw grand daughter #1 taking pictures of a few of my old photos...nothing like wonderful memories-even when you're not as old as Nana!

Before I close, I want to go back to the beginning of this post when I mentioned time going too fast-usually! I am making a HUGE (for me) change from my beloved Ti-Vos to a Cox bundle using their DVRs, land line and wi-fi. This was not an easy decision for me because I DO NOT LIKE CHANGE! But, the Ti-Vos are getting old and Century Link's prices just kept going up and none of their services were really excellent. And so, I took the plunge. But, in order to get the best price, I needed to be a new account. Which meant my old cable service would stop on June 1 and my new one wouldn't start until tomorrow when Cox arrives to work their magic. Being as naive as I am, I realized that the Ti-Vos would no longer be recording things but I just figured I would have to tolerate commercials for a few days and watch things in real time. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had NO cable at all. Lucky for me, I still had some things recorded and I have been going through those but I missed all of the HGTV decorating shows, Food Network competitions, etc. that I love so much...the clock just doesn't seem to be moving. Will 8 a.m. on June 5 EVER get here? Lol Stay tuned...knowing me, there will be some kind of story attached to this switch!!