Thursday, March 28, 2013

Signs of Life...

It sure doesn't feel like Spring will ever start acting like Spring, but you can't fool Mother Nature.

Here are a few signs of life I found in our farmhouse yard.

Bluebirds! They are nesting in the polka dotted birdhouses. I took these two pictures out the kitchen window with the zoom. They are sitting on a limb of the "chainey ball" tree which is right above the birdhouses.


This little guy seems to be saying, "Where's the seed lady!".


Some herbs peeking through the leaves and debris in the shade garden.  I've forgotten the name of this plant, but it comes back every year and has a wonderful scent when touched.



The birds are so fat around here.  No need to really feed them I guess.


Deer prints.


The farmers disced up the grass in the back field, leaving green strips.  Hubby thinks they are maybe going to plant tobacco there this year.  I'd much rather they plant watermelons, cotton, sweet potatoes..... or ANYTHING BESIDES TOBACCO.   But, it will not be my choice.


Bird fight! 


Blue Skies!


Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I've Been Reading This Week...

For an Anniversary/Christmas gift my hubby gave me a Kindle Fire, back in late November.   He was freshly out of the hospital after having total knee replacement surgery and wasn't able to go shopping, so when I told him there was a Black Friday sale on Kindles at Amazon, he said "Order it".  So I did.

This thing is so amazing and I am enjoying it immensely.  I have downloaded at least two hundred or more free books.  Haven't bought one yet.  Nope, not one.  I've been tempted, but when there are so many free ones, I just can't justify paying for one.  I will buy some eventually, but only the ones that are never free that I feel are special books that I "need".

This week I have been reading "I Have Loved You: Getting To Know The Father's Heart" by Cynthia Heald.  I am enjoying reading this as a personal devotion.  If you click HERE you can see this book.  You will note that the Kindle edition of this book is $9.68, but the day I downloaded it, it was free.

The second book for this week is "Help Me Stop Eating __________!" by Paul Bowman, HERE.  This one is only $2.99, but it was free the day I got it.   This is a pretty good book addressing food cravings and how to stop them.  I don't know if I could give up Diet Cokes and chips for 30 days.... but that's probably what I should do!

I haven't downloaded much fiction to my Kindle because I tend to read nonfiction.  The free books I have downloaded are mostly the following:  Gardening, Cookbooks, Diet and Exercise, how to do crafts such as knitting and crocheting, etc., a few Children's books, Homemaking, Decluttering, Organization, Financial, Christian Devotional, and lots of Time Management ones.

One of my free e-books is actually about how to find free Kindle E-books.  There are lots of ways to either find them yourself on Amazon or go to websites that list them.  I have found the easiest way is to go to ereadergirl.com.  (Thank you Little PenPen for this info!) The only fiction listed here is Christian Fiction, so if you are interested in other types of fiction, you won't find it there.  But, there is an abundance of nonfiction listed every day.

I try to visit this website daily.  Most days I will download 1 or 2.  Some days I will not see any that I'm interested in.  But beware!  If you wait more than one day, the price will have gone up.  Always check to make sure its says "ZERO' for the purchase price before ordering.  The prices change without warning.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Glimpses of Home


Here are a few corners of my home that you might not have seen before.

The coffee area:


This picture was taken at night. My hubby puts out the cups the night before so they are ready the next morning.


This is the hallway.  I haven't decorated it yet because its still a work in progress.  One of these days I will make it my project!  Right now its kind of a catch all for things that have no where else to go.


Those Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter Cacti are at it again!  They bloom in Fall, Winter and Spring, it seems.


Here are a few plants in the sewing room window.

 
I rooted a leaf from Mama's purple African Violet and its growing pretty well:


I stuck a couple pieces of my old Jade plant in this pot last summer and it took off growing.  Its way more healthy than its parent plant!



I finished this quilt, finally, over the weekend.  I just need to get a white bed skirt and either buy or make some coordinating pillows.  This room is a work in progress too.
 
 
We are still experiencing below normal Spring temperatures and the wind is relentless! But, as I recall, Easter in North Carolina is almost always cold. I can't remember an Easter Sunday when we didn't need a sweater or coat over our Easter finery! I just have to keep remembering the 90 and 100 degree temperatures that are almost surely going to arrive in about 3 months and try to enjoy the coolness while we can.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Country Eating!

Some recent good ole country eating took place at our house!

Cabbage soup with small pieces of air dried sausage:


There is a country store in town that sells country foods like collards, turnips, and air dried sausage.  When you go in, the sausage is hanging on a rack, not refrigerated.  I bought 2 pounds.


Cabbage is on sale this time of year so we bought one and I made my cabbage soup.  This is so healthy and good for you because its made up mostly of cabbage and tomatoes. 


I also bought some raw peanuts there that we parched in the oven.  These sat on the counter all week.  Very convenient for someone to snack on.  You just put your peanut hulls at one end to keep them separate.


The only thing missing from this country food was some hoop cheese.  Maybe next time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The DIY Sunflower Wreath Redo

Here's the Sunflower wreath that I put together for our front door. The door is brown and in the past some of the wreaths I put on it didn't really show up that well from a distance. It seemed to me that yellow would be the best choice for a wreath that contrasted with the brown. I know Sunflowers aren't the usual choice for Spring, but I love them, so Sunflowers it is.

 
I made several grape vine wreaths a few years ago and I like to change them with the seasons. This is what this wreath looked like before I redid it. I saved the Christmas items in a box for another year.



The black and white checked bow came on a plant I received when Mama died.  I like the look of the black and white with the sunflowers. 



This wreath will be good all the way through fall, although I will probably replace it with my usual fall wreath in October.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mason Jars

I played around with the mason jars over the weekend.

These three have buttons, dry beans and a spring theme.



This one is in the bathroom and is filled with soaps.


I have several more of the swing top jars and as time goes on I will display them in other ways.  I just need for those creative juices to keep flowing.

Tomorrow I'll show you the wreath I put together for the outside of the front door.

Happy Wednesday and first day of Spring!

Monday, March 18, 2013

My DIY Repurposed Spring Wreath

It was a typical March weekend, weather wise, in our area. The wind is still cold!

Early Saturday morning I got busy putting the Dollar Store flowers to use that I bought last week. I love how it turned out!
 

Here's how I did it.  I had an old Fall wreath that had definitely seen its better days.  Some of the plastic fruits on it had cracked and peeled.   So I undecorated it.


Underneath all that stuff was a nice wreath.


Using wire cutter pliers, I cut all the stems of flowers off the main thick plastic branch.

 
I stuck all the flowers, a couple of silk butterflies and the Dollar Store bird's nest on the wreath.  Then, I tucked a simple black and white checked ribbon bow on one side and it was finished.   Since this wreath will be used only indoors, I didn't need to worry about using a hot glue gun or anything. 


I like to hang a seasonal wreath on this door that is between the dining room and the living room. 

Although this one is definitely for spring,  it can stay out through most of the summer with just a little tweaking.  I might redo it in red, white and blue for July and then before you know it I'll be putting out Autumn things again!  I hate to admit that I was looking longingly at the fall decor in a magazine earlier today.  Yes, I'm crazy!  But, I am happy for spring to be coming.  Warm breezes, flip flops and all that kind of thing will be nice.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cheap Spring Thrills

I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to use these Spring items that I picked up at the Dollar Store yesterday during my lunch break.  But, I have some ideas.


These colorful rocks can be incorporated into some kind of house plant and possibly in a Mason Jar.


The moss could be used with houseplants or on a wreath somehow.


I plan to use these delicate Spring flowers and bird's nests and eggs on a small grape vine wreath for indoor use.  I need to replace the winter one that's on the door of the dining room.


Happy Thursday!  Friday's a comin....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Little Farmhouse Charm

I was talking to my co-worker friend yesterday about how some people could decorate their homes with every day items such as old rustic doors and mason jars and it would look like something out of "Better Homes and Gardens".  My comment was that I love those things, but couldn't really pull them off in a decorating scheme.

Evidently this got the wheels in her head turning because this is what she brought me after lunch!   She only lives a block away from work so she can go home for lunch every day. She remembered these were in her attic and went up there and got them.

Bail wire or swing top Ball brand "Mason Jars".  Perfect for a little country charm in our farmhouse! 


There are 2 quart size ones, a pint size one and a 1/2 pint one.


I love the rust on the wire on this one.


My plan is to fill some of them with items that represent whatever season we are in.  For Spring and Easter I could fill one with Easter eggs, a birds nest with an egg in it, or other Spring type items.  Summer time would be seashells, flowers, etc.  In Fall, there could be acorns, candy corn, Fall leaves, etc.  At Christmas, the options are endless.

CLICK HERE FOR MUCH MASON JAR INSPIRATION!

Maybe I can pick up some items from the dollar store to put one of these together later this week and show you here.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Day to Myself.....

Oh, how glorious to have a day to myself, even though I miss hubby when he is away. No worries, he will be back before long. And how did I spend this sunny, "almost" warm day?

A trip to the nearest small town to run errands was first on the agenda including a quick stop at the thrift store to check the dishes section. I was happy to find a small ironstone platter for my collection, and two little cream pitchers.

They make interesting little pots for some houseplants. I just have to be careful not to over water since there are no drainage holes. Just a couple of sips of water at the time.

This is a tiny African Violet that I rooted.


This odd shaped cream pitcher holds a couple of Aloe plants that I found still alive (just barely) after being left out all winter on the front porch.  I will leave them here until warmer weather and then transfer them to a bigger pot with drainage holes and put it outside for the summer.  It will make babies for many pots of Aloe.  I wish you all lived near by so I could give you some of them.


I love that afternoon sun streaming into the kitchen.



I just had to get my hands in some dirt since Spring time is tempting me to get busy in the garden and yard.  Dear Daughter gave me a couple of ground cover plants and I decided to put them into some pots for the time being.  They will be easier to water and can be transplanted to the ground later if I decide to.  Moss and Ajuga.  That's a small Pansy on the far right.


These two ivy plants stayed outside all winter and have done well.  When I keep them inside they get spider mites!  But, outside they are fine.


I filled two bird feeders.  The birds have been very active lately, flying in and out of birdhouses and flitting about. There are dozens of red breasted robins in our yard.  I don't think they really need the bird seed because they are very fat already!



On the front steps these pots are waiting for spring, too, when I will pop some annuals into them.


Time to exchange a spring wreath for this NC State one on our front door.  It looks a little too Christmas-y from a distance.


These are some Pansies that I finally got around to putting into a pot.  Its been so cold, windy and dreary around here and today was the first day that was decent for being outside for any length of time digging around in pots.


This "Ghost" plant fares very well outside year round.  In the spring and summer it grows really fast and makes babies easily.


Indoors I am still quilting this big quilt and enjoying candles burning.



Springing forward tonight means more daylight after work.  Maybe I can get more outdoors things done from now until next Winter. 

Practice first.... Sew once!

I worked on the monogrammed bags I am making for Christmas gifts over the weekend.  I had already been successful with one bag.  The monogra...