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Friday, April 20, 2018

Spring...and My War on White

This has been a super busy week! I have spent lots of time with family and friends!

As last posted, I had daughter #3 and her family over for dinner on Tuesday. I had so much fun setting the table and cooking. Everything was so good...except for that cake I was so looking forward to. You will see in the picture - which I forgot to take until we had already cut it - that it looked so delicious. The icing ( which was 3 cups heavy cream, 8 oz. cream cheese, a bit of sugar and 2 c. of diced, fresh strawberries ) was delicious but the cake, in spite of being full of half and half, sour cream and lots of butter as well as MANY steps of sifting and re-sifting - which I followed to the letter and I usually don't - was DRY!!! Very disappointing. Oh, we all managed to eat a slice but afterward, I not only threw away the recipe, I threw away the rest of the cake! Epic fail!!
But, the table was pretty and it was fun to get my chef "chops" working once again!




Wednesday I spent out and about with a very special friend. She is one of those people who has a special "listening" ear and who, even after hours and hours together, never runs out of things to say!

Thursday was this year's Spaghetti Dinner and Spring Sing at the "little" kids' school. They also do a small art exhibit and it is always so much fun seeing how proud these kids are of their accomplishments and hearing about what a good job they are doing from their teachers! And, the spaghetti isn't bad either. Lol


Can you see her sequined watermelon purse with pizza change purse? She never took them off the entire evening...even while singing .Lol


We always wonder at how perfect the weather always seems to be for this activity. The stage is set up outdoors for the sing and it is always breezy and lovely. A truly perfect Florida evening!



I'm hoping to get out into the yard the rest of the day - if my lawn man would just hurry up and get here so I could do my thing uninterrupted! This is what I'm "dealing" with right now. So many things are back and blooming!!

Lots of Gerberas in many colors!










I love my mock oranges. I just wished they smelled as good as the "real" ones!


These are my first day lily blooms but I have many, many plants that are loaded with buds and ready to burst any day!






I wish these fabulous smelling roses could stay this beautiful all summer long. Unfortunately, they are one of the things that are loving our unseasonably cooler temperatures. Once we get back on normal weather patterns, they begin to suffer.





My pansies and many of my "still hanging on" mums are also very happy with the cooler temps. I am still doing lots of "deadheading" and harvesting bouquets so they will hang on as long as possible.



And last, things as referenced in the blog title. I don't know why but all of a sudden, I am against all things stark white. This is the season of newness and I would think it would be fine with me but, for whatever reason, it is not and it hits my eye harshly! You remember I already addressed the two finials. The other day when I walked into my kitchen, I was hit with this. I know it is hard to tell why that utensil holder bothered me with all of the cabinets and counter tops being white as well, but it did.



But it now looks like this. I don't know what "white" ever did to deserve this treatment from me. Maybe if it plays nice next time, I will allow it. Lol


Off to get some things accomplished before I head to a lacrosse game this weekend. This is now my oldest grandson's newest sport...not in place of, but in addition to, football. I don't know a thing about this sport but I bet I'm about to learn. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Moving On With Spring

The rain hasn't started yet but it looks like it might come in soon. I'm changing my plans for the day. Instead of starting the 4th of July door hanger, I am making menu plans. I have invited daughter #3 and her family over for dinner tomorrow and since I so seldom entertain these days where I'm totally in charge of a meal ( these days we seem to share food preparing when we all come to my house - guess they're just taking it easy on me.  lol ) that I really am having fun looking through all of my favorite old recipes. I think I know where I will end up ( meatloaf, homemade mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli, fresh corn salad, cheesy Brethren's bread and a fresh strawberry cake ) because these are most of what the kids will ask for. I am trying a new dessert recipe though. The cake looks like it will be moist and the icing looks like it won't be too sweet as it is based with lots of whipped cream. Hopefully the strawberries will taste like strawberries and be sweet.

I am very excited about setting a pretty table also. I will get to use my spring dinner set and hope I can find some pretty spring flowers at the store. I have some flowers blooming in my gardens but not sure they will work with my color scheme. I am also making myself a time schedule because I'm really not used to having to get a lot of dishes all prepared and done at the same time any more. Hopefully it all comes flooding back when I get started. Lol

So, before I get back to work, I thought we could head to the family room. As I was posting these pictures I realized that they were all taken before the re-do of that VERY white finial. I put a picture of what it looks like now at the end to remind you. Now I'm kind of wondering why that VERY white remote control box on the metal side table isn't driving me crazy...it will be now. I see another project coming soon.








I think it's funny how I can always tell my least favorite decor themes. It is when I truly have very little to say. Even though spring is my second favorite season, it is far from my second favotite decorating theme. It is simple and clean and fresh and I like that but it really doesn't get me as excited as, let's just say, Halloween, 4th of July, St. Pat's, Valentine's, etc. etc., etc. I guess you get the idea.

I think there might be a little more decor to share with you on our next visit. Until then, I will be coming up with some new projects to keep me busy. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

I Needed a Refresher

Wow! I guess it really has been awhile since I have made a fence slat porch sign. I actually thought I had a spring one already. But, when it became obvious that I didn't and I was in search of a project, it was either this...






...or this. And, since I already had it planned to start the 4th of July door hanger tomorrow when we are still scheduled for a stormy day, I decided to go the spring route for today.

I truly didn't realize how long it had been since I have even used my Cricket machine. I was trying to make my letters larger and thicker but they weren't cutting according to the sizes I had chosen. When all else fails, read the directions and then I remembered what I was doing incorrectly. Soon I had my letters and the rest was coming back to me.


Lay out where wanted and attach with spray adhesive.


Then, hit it with a few quick coats of spray paint - which I was lucky to have in the garage - along with the dog-earred fence slat - and let it dry. I love it when a project turns out to be entirely free!!


Now comes the hardest part, at least for me...deciding what colors to use. I have to say, my first impulse was black letters so it would pop. But, I thought that may be too dreary to say spring. I actually thought of painting each letter a different pastel color - MOMENTARILY - but you know how I feel about pastels! And then it came to me. Use my old faithfuls - spring green and violet.


And so, that is what I did. And, I like it. I was going to paint some other soft, droopy kind of flowers entwined through the letters but since the letters and the one flower have such crisp, even edges, I wasn't sure how I would like the free form added. And, since this is rough wood, once something is painted on it is hard to cover it up if you don't love it. And, I just wasn't sure I would love it. And so it is as it is.


The funny thing is that when I put it out on the porch I realized that all of the flowers in the planters are green and violet as well as the flag I have now. Guess it was meant to be! Serendipity again! Lol Or maybe I'm just boringly predictable! Stay tuned.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Already Thinking...

We are still in April and I am already thinking about the next holiday and decor theme. No wonder my life seems to go by so quickly!!! In my defense, since I like a theme to be up at least a month if possible...and, since July 4th comes at the beginning of July, I will be putting out the red, white and blue by the first part of June. And so, with a rainy day predicted for this weekend, I'm already starting to think.

And, since I still have burlap and the large bottles of craft paint are on sale at HL, I'm ready to go! Now, I just need to decide which hanger I want to do. There are so many ideas on Pinterest for 4th of July burlap door hangers but, as you well know, I am a bit of a purist. I ruled out flag striped hearts ( because to me, hearts "say" Valentine's Day ) and flags - only because I already have so many flags in my decor. I do like the star but I think I am leaning towards the Uncle Sam hat...and it will probably be some sort of a play on one of these. Each one has something I like and something I'm not crazy about. I love the way the one is hung off center so I know that will happen. I also know there will be NO words.

I am leaning mostly towards this one ( that you can purchase from thepinkspeckledfrog ). I love the shape of the hat and the polka dots.


I like the way this one hangs.


I'm thinking about the two sizes of stars on the band like this one. I also like the black all the way around the outside. It really makes it "pop". I'm sure mine will come out somewhere in the middle of all of those. I usually just need to start to see where I will end up.


I have ruled these two out although they would be just as perfect - especially the star. I think I like this one because of the blue and white design and then just the pop of red added to the bow. This one is available from shoptickledpinkgifts.


The zig zag stripes on this one would be murder to paint on the very textured burlap...not to mention that they're kind of making me dizzy just looking at it. Lol This one is from SnappyPea and I just realized that the patterned areas are fabric sewn not painted on to the burlap.


 So my weekend plans are fixed. I am soon off to the yard where I have a bit of raking left to do in corners where leaves have accumulated from blowing off paths, new plants to put in and some grass seed to be scattered. But first, as promised, my next big project. At least I think it will be...estimates are not in yet.

THIS is what was happening at our house nearly 38 years ago!!


I can hardly even recognize our house...and even this pictures was after many, many changes! We were at the point where we had three growing girls and a large yard. It was time to take the "plunge" (pun intended ) and put in a pool. After many long discussions with the owner of the company, we chose to go with an 18'X36' vinyl liner, inground pool. Back then, the liner pool was all the rage. It had so many advantages over the gunite pool of 38 years ago. Of course, every 10 years or so, the liner needs to be replaced...which we have done faithfully. This year, the liner is faded but that is not the driving force behind my decision to get a new liner. ROOTS are pushing up through the soft concrete bottom and pushing their way into the pool. No one really knows where they're coming from as we had every tree removed from that side of the yard but they are there.


This is a picture of our youngest and her friend while the hole was being dug.


All ready to go. I just noticed that there is no fence. You can look right in to the 17 acres behind us. The owners of the property at that time had their own little fence and they had two horses back there. My girls always loved taking out apples and carrots and calling over the horses. We put the privacy fence up after the pool was done and the horses no longer lived back there.

 
I stopped in to our original pool building company as this is going to be a bigger job than just replacing the liner and a LOT of cool decking will be involved and, lo and behold, the same man is the owner! He came out the other day to check things out and assured me this will not be a problem...although I have yet to hear how much this "solution" will cost. These guys build the best pool in town so I am confident I will get a good job and it is not something that will go away on its own so I guess my summer will be right up my alley. After all, how many times have you heard me say I like a project? Stay tuned.