Monday, April 30, 2012

How Do You Read My Blog?

I'm really curious about something. I know there are techy people out there rolling their eyes at me, thinking that it's so easy to figure out the answer to this. But, I'm not too techy so I'll have to find out my answer the old fashioned way. How do you read my blog? I tend to read blogs through Google Reader, sometimes I'll click over to a blog if I find something really interesting or if I want to make a comment. Otherwise, I just scroll through Google Reader. A few of my In-Real-Life-Friends have said they hop over to my blog from Facebook. I know there are at least a handful of readers who still come to my blog and just browse around.

So, if you have a minute, I'd love to have you leave some feedback for me. How do you read my blog? How do you get here? What keeps you coming back? If you're a blogger, feel free to leave your blog address so I can hop over to visit.

It's Planting Time!

On Sunday I started feeling better.  (Have I mentioned how annoyed I am with these stupid kidney infections?)  I find that the best medicine, when you're not feeling well, is to play outside.  By "play" I mean, "Everybody grab a pair of gloves!  It's planting time!"  So, I made a trip to Flower World.  Yes, we have an entire world devoted to flowers out here in the sticks.  I decided to do vegetable and herb starts this year because of this guy:


He's cute, but let me tell you, he's trouble with a capital T!  Yes, that's a sock in his mouth.  Cooper is our 2 year old Laboradoodle.  He is a sweetheart, but hasn't really learned the rules of the yard, like STAY OUT OF THE VEGGIES.  The seeds tend to get trampled, so I thought starts would be my best bet.

This year, I decided to stop trying to grow things I know don't work here.  I have never had luck with peppers, pumpkins, or corn in my garden, so this year they didn't make the cut.  I love using herbs to cook, so I bought a lot of parsley and cilantro.



I found a chocolate mint that I just couldn't resist.  I know mint can really take over, but I had the perfect spot in mind.

The wine barrels on my deck have some extra space.  See that hole in the picture below?  I can only image how wonderful it will smell, in the summer, when I'm enjoying the sunshine on my deck.  The chocolate mint can take over, as far as I'm concerned.  It'll have to fight my geraniums and ivy for space.  They tend to take over too and share the same pot..


The rosemary is a new addition to the herb garden on my deck.  I haven't cooked with rosemary too many times, so this will be a fun plant to play with.


Oh, the basil!  How I love basil!  The basil plants just about kill me every year though.  I could cook with basil every day in the summer.  The problem I have, is that we live in a very wet climate and basil likes the heat.  Usually, I plant about 6 basil plants in May and they rot within the first few weeks.  This year, I'll hold off until June to plant basil in my garden, but I did buy a few plants to keep in the kitchen. 



The cilantro, parsley, and onions have found their new home.


I only planted 2 zucchini starts, because really, does anyone know what to do with more zucchini than that?


I was thankful for my little helpers (my kids), and my big helper (my hubby).  They did most of the work and I just pointed and gave directions.  Hmmm.  Maybe I can get that attitude to spill over to the indoor housework!

Happy planting!
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunshine

I've got sunshi..iiiii...iiiiii..ine on a cloudy day.  I had that song rolling through my head the entire time I was planting.  This little area, below, is one of the sunniest areas in my yard.  My dahlias live here.  They are my absolute favorite flower for making flower arrangements in the summer. 



Most of my dahlias came from Carpooler Michelle.  Her mom has tons of dahlias and she digs them up and divides them each year. (like you're supposed to)  I just leave mine in the ground and hope they don't rot.  Anyway, I love getting free flowers and plants.  Somehow, they just look prettier when I didn't pay for them.

I've been wanting something to fill in the space around the dahlias.  Over the past few weeks, when I was home with my stupid kidney infection, I spent some time watching QVC.  They had a gardening segment and featured lilies.  I decided that I must have more lilies in my yard this year.  Fast forward a week....

My mom called the other day and said that her co-worker had divided some lilies and there were enough for my yard too.  (Side story:  My mom is retired.  She doesn't have any real co-workers anymore. She plays bingo a few days a week and has gotten to know several of the regulars in the non-smoking section.  They all text each other to see if they are going to "work" today.  Bingo lasts from 10-2, so they call it the 10-2 shift.) Sunshine is one of my mom's co-workers. I don't actually know his real name and I've never met him, but I'm so thankful for his plants! 


Thanks Sunshine!  Your lilies brightened my cloudy day.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Important Things


Most parents will say, they love spending time with their kids.  The experiences our kids have will last them a lifetime.  They will always look back on the things we did as a family, time we spent cooking in the kitchen, hours of berry eating picking, and good times spent in the backyard.  These are the important things.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Home and Family Friday

I absolutely love this idea, to Make a Memory Jar.  Kids Activity Blog could be my new favorite place to visit.  I've always been a collector of "treasures" like shells, sand, rocks, and other really important things.  My husband loves the fact that I store most of these treasures in bins in the garage.  My daughter seems to be the ultimate collector as well.  She started getting tired on the last hike we went on.  Pretty soon, we noticed that her coat was looking very heavy.  She had been collecting pretty rocks and saving them in her pockets!

memory jars

I can't wait to see the fun activities you have to share this week!  We love to see recipes, crafts, or projects you've done around the house or with your family.  I would be so happy if you'd grab my button and become a follower.  It just makes me feel happy.  I'm on Facebook too, if you'd like to follow along there as well. 

A Little Sewing Fun

I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't know how to sew.  I remember sewing with my mom all the time, on a machine kind of like this one.

 She would make our school clothes, Raggedy Ann dolls, and a few lovely quilted jumpers for Thanksgiving.  I always remember being a helper.  My step dad had built my mom a terrific sewing table, with a pop up extension leaf.  I remember pulling up an extra chair, along side my mom and the sewing table. The first project I made, completely on my own, was an apron for my mom. 

As I grew up, I remember sewing out of necessity, but not because I enjoyed it.  I knew how to work the sewing machine and had no problem pegging the legs of my jeans. (If you grew up in the 80's, you know the look I'm talking about.) Freinds would bring their jeans over and we'd turn their jeans into skinny jeans too. Those shrink-to-fit 501's, with skinny legs were so cool.  In junior high and high school, I made a few bags.  I didn't love the way the turned out, and I never used them.  I wouldn't say sewing was my hobby.



In college, I started sewing as a hobby.  I needed something to do, other than study.  I went to a small Christian university.  While some of you were out partying in college, I was sewing.  We didn't do parties at Seattle Pacific University.  I made quilts, table runners, wall hangings, pillows, and curtains. 

When I got married, I really started sewing.  Again, it was more out of necessity.  I knew what I wanted my house to look like, but I couldn't afford it.  I wanted a custom look, without the custom pricetag.   I called my mom and my sister a lot.  I remember being so scared to cut into a beautiful piece of fabric!  What if I messed up or measured wrong?  Fabric isn't cheap! 

These days, I have no fear of the sewing machine.  I love trying new things and I'm enjoying learning new techniques.  A few months ago I started putting zippers into my pillow covers.  I had never worked with zippers before, but it was really easy. 



I bought a ruffler foot for my sewing machine, which has come in handy with lots of fun sewing projects.





I've even upgraded to a machine with embroidery options.  The embroidered Kitchen towels are always a favorite gift to give.





This week, I decided to try something new.  I tackled mitred corners.  I know. You're thinking.... boooorrrring.   (Ok, maybe you're thinking what a total geek I am!) For many people, this sounds like some sort of torture.  But, really, I love learning new things. (Again, total geek.)  I had leftover fabric from a few family room projects, so I decided to turn the fabric into placemats and napkins. 



Just for fun, I added some decorative stitching, in a contrasting color, to the edges.


See how pretty the corners look!  The picture above, shows the top of the napkin.  Below, you can see the mitred corners.  It kind of scares me that perfectly mitred corners can make me this happy.


Happy sewing!
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Planting With My Girlscouts


The girls loved painting and planting these cute little pots at our last Girlscout meeting. We used our fingers to paint the ovals for the ladybugs.  Once dry, we used Sharpie markers to add details.

We also planted sunflower seeds in egg shells.


I love spring.
Happy planting!
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Home and Family Friday

Happy Friday, Friends!

It's time for a party. Link up the projects you've been doing around your home or with your family. I'd love it if you'd become a follower and grab my button. Don't forget - I'm on Facebook too. The link is on the right side of my blog. I post different things on there, so you may want to take a look.

I Think I'll Keep Him

What do you get when you cross a pathetic and sickly wife, with a sweet and caring husband?


Flowers!

My hubby brought me flowers, earlier this week.  I will admit, I was feeling a little sorry for myself and just really tired of being home with a fever.  I picked a pretty good guy.  I think I'll keep him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shelves in the Living Room

I haven't been feeling well (AGAIN) this week, so I've had lots of time to sit and look around my house.  I really hate it when I can't "do" anything more than think about DIY home improvement.  Here are a few of the living room pieces I've been pinning this week.

I think this first one was from Young House Love.  I love the built in look.  It has room for the tv, but when you look at the space it doesn't scream, "TV!!!!"

Pinned Image

Again, love this built in look from Coastal Living.  I'd need space for the tv, but I love the way they styled the bookshelves and their use of old books.

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

I know built-ins would be very expensive and we already have have a tv stand, so I thought these shelves from Home Decorators would be a good option.  The were a pretty good price, but the problem is that my budget is quite a bit less for this project.  Actually, I don't even have a budget for this project. 

Pinned Image
So, here's my living room.  The space to the right, has been taken over by the boys.  This is now the gaming room.  I gave the plant to the thrift store.  The old window found a new home in the hallway, and the bird cages are in the dining room.  I traded out the buffet/console table for a black one that I had in the dining room.  Essentially, I think the room has lost the "pretty" that I loved about the room.  Having bookshelves on each side of the tv stand, would give me the space to pretty things up a bit.

Living Room

I was looking on Craigslist last night, and found these.  Now, I know they don't look like much, but can't you picture them painted black?  They are huge and would really fill up the space nicely.  I was so excited, and I think I even had my hubby on board with this little project.  The person selling them even said they would deliver!  Now for the problem.... they were 2 inches too tall for my room.  Grrr.

image 0

Guess I'll just sit and think about it some more.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Home and Family Friday

Happy Friday, Friends!

We're ready to see what you've been up to this week.  We love to see great recipes, projects, or anything you've been doing around your home or with your family.  I'd love it if you'd become a follower and grab my button.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Vacation Close to Home

I'd love to tell you all about my vacation to Hawaii or California, but there's a problem.  I didn't actually go to either of those places over Spring Break.  We stayed close to home this year, but booked a few nights at a hotel, just to get away.  We took a twenty minute ferry boat ride across the water, and after a short drive, arrived at our destination.  We stayed at Discovery Bay, which is close to Port Townsend and Sequim.  Our first outing was a very easy hike.  I was glad it was easy for two reasons.  1) I had just finished my antibiotics for the kidney infection I'd had the week before.  2) My daughter whines... enough said.

If you're not from the Pacific Northwest, you probably haven't seen trees like these.  The moss covered trees line the hiking path.  It's an absolutely stunning sight.  I never get tired of it.  My kids, on the other hand, got really tired of hearing me say, "Ooooh,  look at the cool moss on that tree!"



The trees in our area can be huge and totally interesting.


I can only imagine the creatures that find shelter in here, during a storm.


The hike was fairly flat.  (good for whiners in the crowd) There were only a few stairs toward the end.  Check out this bridge, made from a fallen tree.  It was a little freaky, walking across the river on a slippery log.


After a short (1 mile) walk, we arrived at our destination.  The waterfall was beautiful.


I brought my 50mm lens, and had a fun time playing around with it.




When I asked my son about his favorite part of the hike, he said it was throwing rocks in the river.  Such a boy.


There were lots of interesting things for me to take pictures of, while the kids were throwing rocks.


On the way back, we took a different trail (after asking the ranger about it), which led to a lake.  It was so beautiful!  The sun was just starting to peek through the thick gray.  You can see there's still snow on the mountains, not too far from us.


Again, moss was everywhere. 

It was a short hike, but a good one.

Did I mention that it rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest?  It was a pretty muddy hike.



The following morning, this is what we woke up to!  It was an amazing sunrise.  My hubby, of course, was still sleeping.  But, the kids and I enjoyed the beauty of our waterfront view of Discovery Bay!

Ahhh, mud on my hiking boots and a touch of sun on the water.  Life couldn't be better.


Next up, Dungeness Spit.

Dungeness Spit is a sandbar that jets 5 miles out into the Puget Sound.  It grows 13 feet in length each year.  It was an awesome place to spend a sunny day.  We were surprised at how powerfully the waves came crashing onto the beach. 


You can see, the storm clouds weren't too far away, but the sun stayed out until we got back to our car.  Then the downpour began.




The night ended, just as it began. The moon reflected off the water and lit up the sky.  Now, if someone could just teach me how to take a good moon shot, I would be completely happy. 


There are so many more stories to share.  Stay tuned to find out why this guy is sticking his head in my car window.

Happy wondering!
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