Good Friends & Lily Bugs

Saturday, I was picking bugs off the lillies.  I don’t know what these red bugs are but they will decimate a lilly patch in no time.  Then, they move on to asparagus fronds.  I’m loving all the time in the garden, (even the bug picking) and thankful for it because things around here have been very stressful. When things get tough, I go into seclusion but my good  old friend of 20 years caught wind of what was going on and was having none of it. She showed up unexpectedly and dragged me away on a surprise “field trip”.  We went out to breakfast and then went tag saling.  It was a fun day.  It was good to get out. it was fun to look at a lot of “junk” and mentally transform it into something fun or pretty or useful.  It was great spending the day with a wonderful friend. I found a vintage serving bowl in perfect condition and  a beat up, wooden sewing box table. The cost was $7 for both and a metal plant stand was thrown in for free. The sewing box  table is cheap wood and not worth doing a lot of hand painting on.  I decopauged it instead and  replaced the handle with a glass dresser knob.  This was a quick, fun project and will  be a good thing to keep my threads and needles in.

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Country to City

Yesterday I just about finished the spring cleaning on the back gardens.  This morning we visited my middle daughter.  Last  summer she got married and moved to a city.  Luckily, there’s some outdoor space and she and her new husband made it really inviting!  They refurbished an old patio set of mine.  She sewed up some fabric pillows and  he filled buckets from a home improvement store with pots of herbs.   We had brunch on their patio… vegetable frittata,  fresh fruit and croissants.  It was  a great visit.  I miss my daughter and wish that she didn’t live so far away (I exagerate; it’s less than 1 1/2 hours away)  but it’s good to see that she and her husband are making such a  nice life of their own.

My Old House


My house was built in 1848. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it and it has suited me perfectly. My youngest started college this year and the other 2 have moved out on their own. Raising a family of 5 here, a lot of stuff accumulated. A year ago January, I set a goal to clear things out and replace them with things that I made or refurbished myself. Big radiators, exposed pipes, tiny closets, funny little doors and odd little rooms add loads of quirky character and good opportunities to be creative and flexible. Every week I fill a box of things to be donated and another of things to bring to the recycling center. Progress has been slow but sure, eventually I will have everything simple and clean and homemade. We won’t talk about the dreaded cellar now.. I haven’t made my way down there yet, lol.

Winter Cheer

Crazy as it may seem with temperatures in the negative digits and 3 feet of snow on the ground, Spring is in the air! The days are getting longer  …it doesn’t get dark until 6 pm now and  seeds are starting to sprout.  My leeks are coming up!   I saw a notice posted in a coffee shop, offering coffee grounds to gardeners.  My husband checked in with a local coffee shop near to where he works and if we provide a bucket, they are willing to fill it with used grounds.  I finished painting another one of my masonite boards.  I got a little carried away with this one but at this point in my life it’s all about the process, not the product.  I had a bit of a laugh to myself when it was done because the cherub at the top came out looking like my Mom, totally unplanned.   Lol!  Art therapy, longer days and spring seeds work wonders to keep high spirits and hopeful thoughts for the coming days, even in the dead of winter.

odds & ends

I’d rather be gardening….but that is a long way off !  Reading this morning’s  post of  one of the bloggers I follow, Johnwhays, renewed my resolve to enjoy these cold winter days and put them to good use.

I finished a pillow I was making and it adds a cheerful note to this funny chair that I painted and reupholstered earlier.  I removed the back from some earrings I had and gorilla glued them onto the ends of the arms.   I don’t go for “high style” here, (obviously, lol),  I lean more toward the whimsical….things that make me happy

I made my weekly batch of kefir in this big, 8 cup glass jar. For any of you out there that want to make your own kefir and haven’t gotten your own kefir grains or don’t want to deal with maintaining them..dehydrated kefir starter works great and it’s quick and convenient. Eventually, I will get a hold of some live kefir grains  but this is  fine for now.

A while back  I learned from another blogger, Agnes from Gaiainaction , that it’s possible to start plants from  grocery-store bought ginger and tumeric  and that she had done it.  I potted some up and will keep them moist.   Hopefully, if I can keep myself from poking at them, they will be growing in no time!

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Upcycling the ‘End of Summer’ mood

Upcycled trunk I found for $20.  I painted  it and use it for storage/ coffee table

Upcycled trunk I found for $20. I painted it and use it for storage/ coffee table

This morning I started pulling my Fall and Winter clothes out of the dresser in my closet .  They’re all to be washed , ironed and  laid nicely into the main dresser where my summer clothes are now.  While they are in the washing machine I’ll be starting the process of putting some of the gardens to bed.  I’ll clean them up, feed them up and tuck them under until spring.  Feeling a little sad and a bit daunted at the thought of another long winter, I reminded myself that there is a lot of  creative time in the cold.  So much time has been dedicated to the garden and in the kitchen the past few months, and I loved it .  I do have to admit it’s wearing a little thin.  This post is just a few pictures of  what I worked on in past winters, a motivation to  get those creative juices flowing and to embrace the coming seasons.

Upcycled table, painted and handles replaced

Upcycled table, painted and handles replaced

This post was shared with Mod Mix Monday

 

 

Stepping Stones

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Shortly after my Mother died, I came upon a stack of old dishes in her basement. Mismatched, chipped and broken, they should have been thrown away long ago. Gathering the dishes and seeing their old patterns, brought me back to my childhood and I was flooded with memories of our family suppers at the kitchen table, so many years ago. It was then I decided to salvage these dishes and repurpose them into stepping stones for the garden.
There are a lot of easy and inexpensive ways to make these. This is the quickest and easiest for me. Continue reading