In our family, we all like to help each other with projects, especially home projects. Just one word of warning. If Sandy is creating be sure you understand the parameters of the project. We were asked to help wallpaper Michelle’s bathroom. That request sounded tame enough. Right??
The first day of spring this year is just around the corner. And that gets me thinking about…”Spring House Cleaning”! Crazy, I know. Isn’t this an antiquated activity? I remember when some of the most beautiful spring days were dedicated to emptying out one room of a house at a time. Then we spent days cleaning windows, washing walls, scrubbing floors, shampooing carpets, organizing drawers, sorting out closets, you get the idea. We used to basically clean the whole damn house, from top to bottom, one room at a time. Continue reading →
Who thinks that Halloween is strictly for kids. I have noticed that a lot of adults sure know how to enjoy themselves. I have had a couple of fun memories that still make me laugh about Halloween!
First of all, you have to know me to know that I have a really weird sense of humor. I love to pull practical jokes. I get totally hysterical when I get a funny result to the point, you know, where you have to bend down on one knee so as not to pee your pants!!!! This, of course, does not make me the most popular person to anybody, including my family.
Picture this – I was at Walmart with my daughter and her youngest son, Nathan. He was 3 years old. He was fascinated with all the scary masks and was totally engrossed to the point he didn’t hear me when I kept calling to him. I put on the scariest mask I could find and kept calling him to look at me. He didn’t pay attention. So, I got down on my knees, got close to him, and said, “Nate!” He finally looked at me and when he noticed me, he let out the most awful, blood-curdling, loud scream and proceeded to run away from me, racing down the aisle to get away from the monster I had become. My daughter, with her baby girl, Jessica, in tow in another aisle, heard this and thought he got killed.
Another time that I still find myself laughing hysterically is when my oldest daughter was two years old. She had on a red snowsuit, with a sign that said, “trick or treat”. Plus she had on a silly witch mask Being she was only two, she was really dazed and confused as to what was going on. It was dark out and I took her to a neighbors house. Put her up on their porch. At this point, a group of other trick or treaters came and kind of pushed her aside. When the lady opened the door Lisa was behind it and was pushed off the porch and fell onto one of the bushes. Trust me, she wasn’t hurt, but when she looked back at me with this dumb, no expression, witch mask I totally lost it. I, of course, was kneeling down on the road so as not, you guessed it, pee my pants, laughing hysterically. The lady at the house thought I was totally nuts, to say the least. As I write this, I still break down with hysterical laughter much to my daughter’s dismay.
As I said, Halloween is just as much for adults as kids. Maybe with jello shots, putting bunny ears on your dog, put on a witch hat, own it, let yourself be a kid, and have fun.
Iceman Days. Do not plant annuals or vegetable plants until after “Iceman Days”. Iceman Days seem to be different every year, but when I looked it up for this year it says they are May 11, 12, and 13. It has something to do with the moon. (This is taken from the Farmer’s Almanac). If you are really interested in the history of this just go to Google as Google knows everything. Not being a farmer, just an unknowledgeable girl, this saved me quite a bit of money. It really seems true and I follow it religiously. One year I put out impatients the first week of May and it actually snowed on them. So much for pretty plants. They don’t like to be frozen!!!
Don’t plant (most) hostas in the sun. Read the labels and make sure if they will tolerate the sun or not. They will grow, but the leaves have a tendency of burning. Unfortunately, I don’t believe burned leaves is the look you will want to achieve. (Reading the labels for all plants is essential to proper maintenance)
I don’t mulch around annuals as this seems to stunt their growth. Mulching around other items in the garden does provide a clean appearance and helps retain moisture.
Overcrowding is another way to prevent plants from thriving. Allowing space between your plants is beneficial for their growth. This is something I fail at miserably because I prefer immediate gratification and want to see full planters and gardens.
Weeding, of course, is really important. For some of us that don’t mind weeding, if taken an area at a time, it can be rewarding. Lisa and I actually tend to weed anywhere we are; restaurants, stores, other people’s houses, wherever we are standing and notice weeds. It might be considered a mental problem by some!! (Michelle thinks we are nuts)
Fertilizing is a must, even though this is something that I don’t do as often as I should. This is especially important for container planting.
I used to do a lot of planting in little pots. I have now gone to fewer, but much larger planters. The flowers thrive much better. This creates less fussing over.
Don’t overdue. Don’t do it all in one day if you have a lot of gardening. By taking 20 minutes each day to do your garden maintenance you’ll enjoy the process more.
A nice crisp edge to your garden completes a finished look. Even if there are weeds in the middle, a clean edge makes your gardens look cared for both far away and close up.
We work from the time we’re old enough to make money to buy stuff. Actually, it’s true that there’s a lot of good stuff out there like collectibles, beautiful crystal, all of the issues of Oprah Magazine from Day one, clothes, furniture, decorations, and shoes (my special weakness). This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stuff. Then one day when we’re older, our desire to have things turns into the need and desire to purge and to work on letting go of the extras in your life.
The women in my life are facing many changes and it’s brought to mind the idea that to have the kind of life you want, you need to let go of what you don’t want in your life. So it’s time to ask myself, what kind of life do I want and what do I need to let go of in order to obtain that kind of life?
The first thing that comes to my mind is the clutter that I’ve accumulated since I moved out on my own. I tend to be a pack-rat and my basement contains so much clutter. The storage room contains toys and games from when the children were little, ceramics that Grandma Is never got around to painting, old prom dresses, etc. For whatever reason – I have a hard time letting go of the old stuff. By letting go of this clutter, I can make room for the new and simplify my home. I’ve currently been cleaning up some of the paperwork clutter. I’ve been shredded old documents that I’ve been holding onto dating back to 1986!!! (Don’t ask me why I’ve been saving documents for that long!!!)Continue reading →
I dislike cooking. I find cooking, on average, a waste of time. First of all, you have to decide what to make, then you have to go to the store. Another thing I dislike to do and purchase the ingredients Then you spend hours making your delicacy, it takes ten minutes to eat it, and then, guess what, you get to clean the mess up. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking when the house is clean and everything is done, and I am cooking for a get together of family and/or friends. The key here, everything else needs to be done.
I have a confession to make. I don’t cook very often. My husband was raised in the restaurant business and started scraping gum off the bottom of tables with a putty knife when he was too little to remember. One thing led to another and he started food preparation when he was very young. Being around food and people who cooked well caught on with him.
In my mind, cooking equals love. The thinking goes this way…
If I love you, I take care of you.
If I take care of you, I want you to be healthy.
If I want you to be healthy, I want you to eat good food.
If I want you to eat good food, I have to cook.
If I cook, then you won’t get processed or fast food.
If you don’t get processed or fast food, you will be healthy.
If you are healthy, it means that I am doing a good job of taking care of you.
If I am taking care of you, then I love you.
There is only so much within the control of a mom. I can only make my kids do so much. I can grocery shop and feed my family. If I feed them something out of a box, I feel like I’ve failed. I have set them up for future obesity, heart disease, and a life of culinary incompetence.
(I know, I’m a bit over the top here.)
Ok…a lot over the top.
I have been teased about my cooking. I put together strange combinations. Leftovers aren’t leftovers, they are the starting point for the next day’s meal. I cook more “almost homemade” than organic, free-range, or “close-to-home grown”.
If it is soup…I LOVE it! My latest specialty is solid soup.
Salt and pepper? Yeah.
Make couscous in a saucepan according to instructions. (I add a handful of kale or spinach.)
Salt and pepper? Yeah.
Sauté sliced up onion, celery, and a carrot.
Put this into a baking dish and add some protein—I put in the meat from a couple of leftover pieces of chicken.Then mix in 2 eggs and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Almost sounds like “Midwest Hotdish” or a variation of tater-tot casserole.
Well, good idea. Let’s go with the mushroom theme—sauté and a carton of mushrooms with a pinch of salt and place them on top. Generously sprinkle a handful or two of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for about a half-hour (or so) and WA LAH….