Sunday, April 14, 2013
This is what’s its doing here today. April 14, 2013 and it’s a blizzard outside. Gross.
But, on the bright side, all my homework is done, the house is clean, the laundry is humming along and the kids are playing.
I puttered around the house after we got home from church and as I was putting away a cookbook, I came across one my mom and dad got us for Christmas. It’s a family cookbook put together by one of my dad’s cousins. And to my surprise, not only does it have some great recipes, but it’s also got some great family history incorporated in it.
Here’s the cover:
My great-grandma is Jannet (pronounced Janette) and she was my dad’s grandma.
Here’s a picture of her a little bit older (from a page in the cookbook):
These old picture crack me up. They look so stiff and stern (and maybe they were).
Every other page has a picture or story about the family and all of the recipes are “family” recipes. Each includes the author and who they belong to. (Don’t you love going to family reunions and being asked who you belong to?)
My grandpa died when I was 7, but my dad and my mom have told me all kinds of stories about him. I wish I would’ve gotten to know him as a grown up.
One of my favorite bits I came across was about scones. (Oh, how I love scones.)
“Scone: This is an old Scottish every-day recipe meant to be made on top of the stove as contrasted to the fancier Scottish and English scones made with eggs and cream and cooked in ovens. (Stoves with ovens would have been rare among he early highland crofters.) It is usually cooked in an iron skilling and served warm with butter and honey.
It has been said that in the olden days, a good Scottish Homemaker seeing visitors coming down the road could have a fresh scone mixed up and on the stone plus water on in the time it took her husband to meet the guests at the door, take their coats and invite them in for a cup of tea.”
I’m a sentimental person and this just tugged at me.
One more picture, cause all I see is my brother in my grandpa in this one. (My grandpa is in the plaid shirt and grandma is to his right with the awesome glasses.)
This was probably taken in the mid to late 1960s. When I asked my dad why he wasn’t there, he figured he’d reached the age where he was too cool to go to family reunions. Remember being that age?
If you’ve got old recipes or cookbooks, read them, pass them on to your kids. There’s nothing better than reading through your own history. Every little tidbit helps to understand where you come from and who you belong to.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
No post since July. I know. I’m a horrible blogger. We’ve had a very busy house the last few months. And sometimes living life is more important than documenting life.
Anywho, here’s what’s been going on.
Peachy turned 2. RC started first grade. And I went back to school. At 36. What was I thinking? Oh, yeah. I was thinking maybe it was time to get a degree. So, I enrolled in an online degree program. So far, so good, but it doesn’t leave much free time after working full time and trying to keep things together at home. Sparky’s been great though. He knows just when I need encouragement and support.
I also did a little transformation on an old candle stick and table top. I decided to try my hand at making my own chalk paint. I’m not sure if I’d do it again. It’s ok, but not the exact look I was going for. Definitely good enough for now though! (And now, a few months later, I’m ready to repaint it something lighter and move it to a different spot.)
My SIL got married! Yay! RC was the ring bearer and Peachy was the flower girl. And I took the pictures. (Yikes! I was pretty nervous, but they turned out great.) It was a beautiful fall day and we had a wonderful time.
We also did a little DIY in late September. The main floor half bath was driving both Sparky and I ca-ra-zy. The closet and it’s door just weren’t working. We purged, painted and hung curtains. We’ve still got some accessorizing to do, but really love the way it turned out.
We decided it was time for a party. So we had an adult only costume party. It was a blast. Sparky and I were The Bundys. I had a lot of fun doing some spooky decorations. Vivienne at The V Spot was my inspiration. She’s got great Halloween decorating ideas! No pictures of the party itself…needless to say some of the guests wouldn’t appreciate their pictures posted all over the interwebs.
I spray painted some branches from our yard black, spray painted a faux pumpkin white then used $1 Store spiders, bats and webs to finish it off. The raven is from Wal-Mart, the lantern is a left over from my SIL’s wedding, and the candelabra is from TJMaxx. The skull candle holder was a prize Sparky won for best costume at a Halloween party a couple of years back. He was a great Fred Flintstone. (Oh, and the mirror is a new addition over the buffet. We bought it from a friend of my SIL’s for pretty cheap and spray painted it white.)
I’ve been updating the Irish blessing I keep by the door for each season/occasion. It’s been fun seeing what’s out there. I do a Bing search and type it up in Microsoft Word. Then, I use the same white frame and just swap out the blessing and mat (aka scrapbook paper).
Thanksgiving really snuck up on me this year. We hosted my parents and my SIL’s family. The day before I scrounged around the house to find some fall-ish, Thanksgiving-ish decorations. (I should’ve taken a picture of the table all set! It was really pretty. Sigh.) I ended up with burlap, fake leaves, and gourds.
Right before Thanksgiving, I broke out the craft paint and had the kids paint some pictures. I chose fall colors for them to use (green, red, yellow, orange and bronze) and let them go to town. Then, I punched a hole in them and used some twine to hang them up in the dining room. They definitely aren’t hung perfectly straight, but I like them! And RC was so proud to have them hung up.
And now it’s 2013! Yeah, I started this post a month ago and just got back to it.
Christmas was awesome. We had Sparky’s family here on Christmas Eve and then went to my sister’s on Christmas Day. Sparky’s sister from Florida was up and my brother and his fiancé came from Montana. Lots of laughs, lots of wine and lots of Farkle and cards. It was great.
I had a 2 week break from school and also took 2 weeks off of work. I was actually at home pretty much the whole time with my kids. From December 22 until January 2. Other than maternity leave, I think that’s the most I’ve been home with them. Gosh, that sounds horrible. And a couple of those days, my seester’s kids and my SIL’s youngest was here too. 6 kids 9 and under. 1 – 9 year old, 1 - 8 year old, 2 - 6 year olds, 2- 2 year olds. Yikes! I don’t know how SAHMs do it. I honestly don’t. They had so much fun though! All of them were asking when they’d get to see the others again.
After everyone left and the kids went back to school and daycare, I had 3 whole days to myself. 3 days! 2 of them are gone. And not much but laundry and workouts have been accomplished. Where does the day go? I have one day left. And I don’t really feel like doing anything. We’ll see how it goes.
I hope everyone has a great 2013 and I’ll try to pop in every once in a while, but can’t make any promises. Applied Statistics and World Religion are in my near future. Oh, and I guess I better get back to work too.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
After moving into our house a little over a year ago, we didn’t do much to the outside. We (meaning mainly Sparky) had done so much work remodeling the inside that we decided the outside could wait. Remember the jungle I showed you last year? Yep, still there.
This summer though, we’d finally had enough. The deck was falling apart and the bushes in the front were taking over in the front of the house. Both of us HATED the front “flower” bed. It was full of rocks and weeds, 25+ year old nasty junipers and other random bushes. Why oh why did everyone plant junipers in the late 70s and early 80s? I can’t believe they looked any better back then. And the smell. Blech.
I thought that I had all kinds of pictures of the front of the house. Do you think I can find any? Nope. So, bare with the befores. One is scanned from the original sales flyer and one is in the winter. But, hopefully, you’ll still get the idea.
Imagine almost another 2 years of growth on these things!
Anyway, we’d talked about tearing just the junipers out and trimming the rest. But I finally said, I don’t care if everything goes. It all looks like
I came home from work one day to see this. (These are the pics Sparky took with his cell to send to our family to let them know how crazy we are.)
And it was WONDERFUL! You could actually see the front door! (You could also see how crappy the front porch is, but that’s a story for another day. Oh, and there's Peachie. Hi Peachie!)
But, what do we do now? You can see the front of the house, which is great, but now you can also see all the weeds, craptastic rock and is that the foundation? Yikes! The lowest part of that space was right next to the house. Not good. That means, whenever it rains, all the water is going towards the house instead of away from the it. Time to pull out those stumps and get some fill in there! Sparky attached some chain things to the stump and yanked them out with our Jeep.
Ugh. That looks like a.lot.of.work.
This is the juniper root ball. I was told it was really heavy. All I know is that I'm glad it and it's nasty green, pee smelling greenery are gone.
We cleaned up the rock as best we could and called up our friends at Patio World to deliver 6 yards of screened black dirt. Do you know how much dirt 6 yards is? 16,200 pounds. I think the pile was about 4 feet high. (I should’ve taken a picture, but honestly, we didn’t want a reminder of how much dirt we shoveled.)
First thing we did was fill in the big holes left behind from the bushes. Then, we started filling in the big gap near the foundation of the house. I won’t lie. It sucked. I’m not made for manual labor. It was hot and it made my back hurt. At one point, Sparky said, “My old man taught me how to do a lot of stuff. The <insert bad word>. If he hadn’t, we could’ve hired all this stuff out.” To which I replied, “If he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have married you.” We work really well together, so while it wasn't the way we'd prefer to spend a day off, at least we were together! And we treated ourselves to a couple of adult beverages and awesome burgers in the nice cool air conditioning of JL Beers afterwards. (Mmmm, the Humpty Burger. Heaven!)
Anywho, once we had the holes filled and the gaps filled, we moved on to the rest until finally, after a couple of hours, we had this:
It looks so.much.better! I don’t know if I’ve ever been so happy to see a bunch of black dirt and no plants.
Although, I wasn’t as thrilled to see it on my feet. For once I was actually wearing real shoes and not flip flops. Obviously, since the dirt goes so well to my wonderful flip-flop tan line. Don't you agree?
Did I really just posted a picture of my dirty feet? My mom will be so proud! (Makes me giggle thinking about it.)
We’ve got other plans for the front of the house. Some will happen this year, some probably won’t be until next year. We definitely want to get some mulch down. We might plant a couple of things this fall to add some color. We WILL NOT be filling up the entire space. Just nice, average sized plants that won’t get out of control and are fairly low maintenance.
Maybe something like this:
We’ll see what we can find this fall.
Eventually, the front porch is coming off and a lovely stamped concrete patio is going in. I’ve got this great picture in my head of what it will look like…we’ll see if it matches reality.
We do have a new deck that I’ll share the details about soon. We LOVE it!
(And, I know that I have before pictures of the deck. I found them while looking for pictures for this post.)