Friday, December 12, 2014

Redecorating our home

We are planning some paint projects as Christmas presents this year and since choosing colors is not my forte, I asked a friend, Beth L., for some help.

She did not disappoint, she has helped us choose a color for Victoria's room and we have looked at colors for our downstairs and our front door.

Luckily, she also gave us some tips for sprucing up our living areas by moving the furniture..the rooms seem so much better - livelier, brighter and less cluttered.


Here are some before and after pictures of our areas.  We also have a big thank you to our neighbors, Barry and Sharon, for helping!!  Thank you so much.
After  Picture - This furniture was moved from the downstairs to the upstairs - What a lovely difference!

Before picture of the upstairs
After picture of the downstairs - except the blue blanket is not on the back of the couch...
Before - this was our family room before - pretty cluttered and the recliner is finally gone!!

We can't wait to finish this project.  We have a lovely blue for her room and a new to-us duvet cover, pillowcase and curtains for her room.  This project was going to take place today and tomorrow but she is sick right now, so, we'll see how she feels later.


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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Living an Abundant Life

I haven't been posting recently as I have been very busy enjoying, making, baking, planting, traveling and loving living with family and friends.
So, here are some interesting events and happenings:
Peanuts, yes peanuts, they add nitrogen to the soil and grow some of my favorite legumes.  During the beginning of summer I planted peanuts everywhere in the garden and they grew like crazy, filled in bare spots, bloomed lovely yellow edible flowers, light green colored plants that thrived everywhere and then pegged underground to grow more peanuts.  Three weeks ago I harvested the peanuts, dried them on pallets, washed them, roasted them in olive oil and salt, and ate them.  Of course, there are absolutely no pictures as I just enjoyed the process.
Last week was a yard clean up and the first sweet potato harvest.  No pictures there either however  the potatoes are sitting in a paper bag for a while to cure.  It will soon be time for sweet potato fries (yummy)and baked sweet potatoes.
Last year we had some Thai chili peppers that were too hot for red pepper flakes, so I made a chili oil for my brother.  I have made another chili oil this year.  Robb says its great way to add kick to your meat before throwing It on the grill.
I also made two more candles and used a home spun sugar fragrance, they smell divine.
Every Tuesday (Mondays for six weeks) we have started a wonderful family tradition of dinners with my parents.  They all come over for dinner, cell phones go in a cell phone basket, we eat and fellowship together and watch a movie.  We have watched some great movies: Girls Night Out, Cleopatra, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Julie and Julia, Journey to the Center of the Earth (yes, the original), Blind Side and Second hand Lions.  This has to be our favorite night of the week!
I haven't been a great couponer recently, we stick to our budget $70/80/week but now I am trying to buy fresh vegetables, meat, some bulk items at Bjs this last week (not really seeing great deals there except for milk and gas).  They accept manufacturer coupons for each item on top of a bjs coupon, but there were none for the items I wanted.  There clipless coupons are not really coupons, just sale prices.  Applegate meat and cheese seemed a$1 or 2 less in bulk.
We are headed to Disney right now and cannot wait to see Alena and visit the parks.
Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed holiday season and I will try to post holiday ideas of I have any, they are just not coming to me these days.

peanuts and bananas, piano revital, visit wilth family, sleeping cat and mummifying Barbie....never  a slow day....
The front yard garden
Victoria's piano recital - "Colors of the Wind"
Mummifying Barbie
Fantastic visit with David's brothers and their/our family - Lindsey, Brother Bob and Doe, and brother Al, David and I
Our newest kitten Storm looking very cute, but don't let that fool you, it's her mo.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

South Florida Vacation - Day Two - Miami




Our second day of vacation found us heading with my brother, Robb, to Miami for empanadas, Americana coffee and a double decker bus tour (my birthday present from Robb) through Miami and Miami beach.  It was a fun tour that took us through downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, Little Havana and Coral Gables.  The architecture, history and culture present in Miami was great.  Here are some pictures of our day.  

Note: If you go on a bus tour through Miami - watch your head, we ducked continuously because of low hanging branches, very low.



Robb and I at Bayside  - we had great empanada and americana coffee

The beginning of our day!

This is only half of the children's courthouse in Miami - sad as it is huge


Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

One of the best parts was when we got off in Little Havana and David and Robb got Mojitos and Victoria and I got drinks.  When the bartender found out it was my birthday she had the band play Happy Birthday for me.  It was very sweet.

Little Havana



Beautiful ride over to Miami Beach

If we go back to Miami, I would want to spend a day visiting Miami beach, restaurants, shops and the beach - maybe a walking tour of the history of the area.

Art Deco buildings 

More Art Deco

We ended the day with some delicious seafood (crab legs and shrimp for me) and a beautiful and very tasty birthday cake.






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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Florida Vacation - Ft. Lauderdale

As some of you know, we went on an amazing vacation to South Florida this past week and had a great time.  We are Floridians but on vacation, tend to go north, not south.  This year we remedied this great error and had a marvelous seven day vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, The Everglades, Miami, Seminole Reservation, Long Key State Park, Key West and Hutchinson Island, Ft. Pierce.

I wanted to post some of our pictures and give some reviews for anyone who may be interested.  This is day one - sailing and snorkeling off Ft. Lauderdale coast with Duane and his sailboat.  It was a beautiful day, the weather was sunny with a light breeze, the ocean was clear blue, and we just enjoyed the water.
David, Victoria and Duane 

Victoria and Duane - Leaving the waterway you have four bridges and you call for them to open for your vessel

Bridge and a beautiful river ferry.

A quaint home on the water

Getting ready for our snorkeling adventure

Our brave captain

David and Victoria - this was Victoria and my first snorkeling adventure

Snorkeling with Ft. Lauderdale in the distance

Victoria and myself.  This water was so clear you could see 20 feet to the bottom.

Loving the sun and the shade!




There were more yachts than I have ever seen - this was a small one compared to most.

Beautiful sunset to match a wonderful day.
Day two will follow.......



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Friday, September 26, 2014

End of Summer Crops and Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

These pictures were taken earlier this week and it shows our end of summer crops.  I will really only have two big crops soon if all goes well, sweet potatoes and peanuts.  I have a few figs on the fig tree, okra, eggplant and spinach but not a lot of any one thing.   We did have some friends give us some great bell peppers last week - I could not grow any this year and they are definitely our favorite vegetable!

Last year I planted ornamental sweet potatoes and this year I thought, well, I 'd rather eat what I plant at the end of the season, voila...sweet potatoes.  In the back are some small blueberries, eggplant and muscadines.
These have been so happy they have had  lovely purple flowers
Here is the fig tree with tarragon and Okinawa spinach in the background.
A few tasty figs.
Blue spires and porterweed and a small lemon tree in the background.  The bees, butterflies and hummingbirds love these guys.
The front is finally filling in with roses, lantana, angelonia, aloe, plumbago and some ornamental sweet potato
Roses, milkweed, annuals, angelonia and some weed with berries ( I don't know what it is but it is pretty).  The milkweed seems to self sow, one popped up last year and this year I have four. I think I may be getting the repetition concept but it takes time to figure out colors and size.
Yes, this is a weed but the bees love it so I chop and drop it when it gets too close to the roses.
blueberry bush, lemongrass, and many flowers.
blue spires and the banana tree - no bananas this year :(
brussel sprouts (not looking too great), bok choy, okra in the back.
A view of the garden from the back, the bed under the bananas is full of peanut plants!  They have been so happy this year!


Can't wait to see what next year brings - love the colors and the birds, bees, butterflies and glory of it all!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fort Clinch Family Fun

We had a great weekend camping at Fort Clinch State Park.  What a great park!  Our campsite was located on the riverside under large, beautiful oak trees just a minutes walk from the St. Mary's River.  A short bike ride took us to the fort and another mile away is the beach.  

Sunset over the St. Mary's River
An oak tree canopy 
Hanging on the beach
We had a wonderful nature hike with Carl, the volunteer who took us on the Willow Pond Trail hike
Love having the bikes
This is a shark feeding in the river
Here is another picture of the shark feeding right off the dock
We saw quite a few baby alligators - there is one on the log in the center of this picture
Victoria making her s'more stick
A great and very long fishing pier
Love the campfire
Lots of tracks, people tracks, raccoon tracks and some other tracks??
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