Thursday, April 22, 2010

More cozies---what fun!

Aren't they fun?

I needed some protection for my mapping system. My Garmin. Little Aussie Jack, who helps me find my way. I carry him around in my purse and want to make sure it stays in one piece. Needed a bag to put it in.

I also recently got a new camera (on clearance!). It is significantly smaller than my older one. Fits neatly in my purse. But I don't want to buy a whole new camera bag and all that. Whoo-boy.

One day of sewing. A few small pieces of fabric in pretty colors that I have been saving aside. I really like the way the ruffle turned out on the camera case. It's cute. Too bad I couldn't take a picture of the camera IN the case so you could see it better....

Fun and pretty. And will make me smile every time I use them.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More signs of spring

I am loving the warmer weather here.

I have the windows open in the house to freshening the air up. Ahhh, clear out that stale smell, please!

I've started pulling off my socks midway through the night, and waking up too hot. Signs that it is time to take off that extra comforter off the bed and stash it until next fall. So nice to remove it.

I also folded and put away several of our blankets in the living room, knowing that it's about the end of the season for those as well. I always keep one or two around for cooler nights, but there isn't a need for four or more of them! Time to tuck them away until fall.

Doing laundry and folding the clothes. Looking at my sweaters and long-sleeved shirts, knowing it's nearly the end of the season for those too. Not quite, but getting closer.

I still need to put away the scarves and gloves. I forget about them, because the coats get piled on top of them and hide them. But it is well past the time when we are using any of those!

The apple trees are blooming. Lilacs are starting to bloom. A few of my potato plants are peeking up, fingers crossed that more come up in the next few days. I am itching to plant tomato's, just waiting for payday (you know how that goes!). I've been working in the garden, turning the soil and getting it ready for the new plants.

Yes, I am ready for spring. Bring it on!

Thursday, April 15, 2010



I know. He is the cutest, pugliest thing ever.

I am all hopped up on pug-ness.

As I posted before, my old girl, Bonnie, we put down back in January. My sweetie. Loved her to the end.

Hubs and I visited a few pet stores (hiss, boo!) over the past few months and even played with a few puppies at the store. Walked away (just walk away...). There were a few Craigslist ads for older pugs that we responded to that didn't work out, and then we forgot about it for a while.

This past weekend, my parents visited from Montana with their pug, and it made me remember how much I missed my puggie. Pugs are a breed different from any other. They simply ARE. And it was time to look into a new friend.

We visited the pet store AGAIN, saw the price and almost died. Six hundred and fifty for a pug?! That was born in December and been in a cage for lordy knows how long. Nope.

Back to the ad's. Found an ad in the paper for puppies that were ready to go. Parents on site. We went out and visited. Super clean house. Sweet adult dogs, litter of three puppies that were healthy and so dear. Real nice family. Perfect! The puppies had been started on paper training and had first shots. Excellent.

We spent far less than we would have at the pet store, significantly less. But EVEN BETTER is the fact that we saw the parents of our Pugster, and they are super friendly. His litter mates are healthy and sweet. The home he was born in is clean and nice. I don't have to worry that he was born in a hovel outside. Hooray!

I am back to my armful of pugness. The snorting in my ear. I've had a pug in my life since I was 18, and pugs are "the dog" for me. My life feels more complete now. *sqweee!!*

Friday, April 9, 2010

Re-decorating for free

My living room is looking stale. BORING. Very blah.

You know how it gets at the end of winter, beginning of spring. We all want a new look. Something to "freshen up the space". That itch for something new and different.

I have the itch! Above my entertainment center, I have had the same photo's displayed for several years. OY! Time for a change. But, being me, I don't want to spend any money on this little venture.

I have bunches of things that I love and are pretty in other rooms. All it took was a few minutes roaming my bedroom, gathering a glass globe from here, a blown candle holder from there, a carved eggs, a twisted tourquoise blue glass, some driftwood---and wah-lah! I have a new, fresh, spring blue display for my living room. A mix of blues and driftwood above the television.

All things that have meaning to me as well, a trip to the beach with hubby, a vacation to visit my parents. Ah....wonderful reminders of good times.

A fresh new look. And it didn't cost me a dime.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yard work (or lack thereof)

Our grass in the back yard is short. Curious, that. I had to mow the front yard a few weeks back, and I mowed the front yard again today. Wonder what is up.

Also, I seem to be missing all the dandelion flowers in the back yard. I have an abundance in the front. Thanks, neighbors, for letting your yard go to seed and making it pointless for me to even try! But my back yard is weirdly lacking in blooms. What is up?

Oh yeah! The duckies are eating it all.

Thanks, guys. You sure do know how to make a lazy gardener look good. Keep up the good work covering my behind. And I'll keep slipping you the grain when I visit on the back deck. Luv ya!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Having items work double duty

I cooked a turkey yesterday. Searched high and low for my roasting pan and couldn't find it anywhere. Herm. What else can I use?

I don't have any of those plastic cooking bags. Wondering what else I can use? Ah-ha! My canner! It's enamel, just like my roasting pan, and has a lid on it.

I checked the oven, if I take out the second rack and drop the one rack all the way to the bottom, I can make it fit. Sweet! I baked that turkey in that canner, and it worked just fine for it. Surprise me.

Got me to thinking, what other things do I have around that I use for double duty? Well, I bought some casserole dishes with lids at the Goodwill a year or so back. Oddly enough, I don't use the casserole dish very often, but I use the lids on a near daily basis! We use the lids to cover dishes for reheating items in the microwave (it prevents splatters so I clean it far less often--saves me time and energy!), I use them to cover my pans on the stove (they weren't purchased to match those pans, but they fit), and I also use them on my crockpot (I was given a small crockpot second-hand from a friend, and the lid was chipped which let steam escape). It's weird how many other things I use those lids for other than the "casserole lids" that they were originally bought for.

In my laundry detergent, I made it way too strong this last batch, and I have an 1/8th cup measure (which is so rarely used in recipes) that is perfect for measuring the laundry soap into my wash.

I'm using an old plastic coffee can as a feeding scoop for the ducks. I use old ice cream buckets for holding food scraps for compost. (But that is simply REUSING, not really double duty)

The nicest thing about having items that work double duty is that you purchase fewer things. You don't need to store so many items.

Anyone have any other good tips for things that work double duty?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The ducks are hiding all the eggs

and driving me completely batty!

The girls were doing so well. Laying two to three eggs a day (so good!). I had a bunch of eggs in the fridge. And then, BOOM, all of the sudden, no eggs at all. What the heck?!

I look all over the yard. Couldn't find any nests with eggs in them. *scratching my head* Hmmm..... What in the world is going on? They sure LOOK like they have eggs in them. So they must have the eggs somewhere in the yard.

Two more days, no eggs. I hunt the yard again. Finally find ONE nest in the bamboo, there are four eggs in it. I steal the cleanest one (it's still morning, I figure that's the one she laid that day). Leave the rest. I don't want any rotten ones. Ewww..

I've started leaving them in the pen later and later in the morning. Instead of letting them out at 7am, I leave them in until 8....and now, until 9. I got ONE egg in the pen today. What is going on??

Took out grain for them this morning, and the dog runs out in the middle of the yard with a "ball" in his mouth. Wha?? He found an egg! Not sure where he found it. I took it from him. A few minutes later, he comes out with ANOTHER one. I take it away from him. A bit later, another one.

He finds a total of FIVE EGGS this morning (he broke two of them). I found one under the deck. Of course, it would be in the middle of the deck, and while trying to get it out---picture it, I am lying on my stomach, on a blanket in the mud, with a long rake--- I broke the shell. Why did I bother??

Sad to say, the dog does a better job of finding eggs in the yard than I do.

If anyone has a better tip on how to discourage the hens from hiding their eggs (other than keeping them locked up all day, I want them to forage!), I would LOVE to hear it! There are simply too many hiding spots for them in my yard.....