Category Archives: Blogroll

Inspiring Ideas for Home

Need some new ideas to spice up your home? I always get the house blahs in January … and I’ve found a great place for new ideas. Better Homes & Gardens has a great Web site brimming with delightful inspiration. Right now they’re running a special offer. They have catalogued over 20,000 photos and they are available for your viewing pleasure … for a price.

Find ideas from Better Homes & Gardens.

Find ideas from Better Homes & Gardens.

A three month subscription to their library is $24.95. They are offering free subscriptions to Better Homes & Gardens and Country Home magazines if you subscribe. In reality, they are collecting magazine subscriptions with 20,000 photos as an incentive. But if you want inspiration from the comfort of home …

I recently discovered Hooked on Houses. It’s a fun place to get your house “fix” — photos inside and out of everything from cottages to multi-million dollar mansions. I do not have, nor will I ever have a marble bathroom with gold fixtures, heated floors and glass shower walls. It’s fun to look at it though!

Hooked on Houses has great photos for your viewing pleasure.

Hooked on Houses has great photos for your viewing pleasure.

And here’s a little bargain-hunting tip for mid-winter shopping. Sometimes you just need “something” … not necessarily an antique piece. Maybe it’s an urn for some dried flowers or an iron wall ornament … try Big Lots. You have to be careful. You have to sort through all of the bad to find the good, I admit. Every once in awhile, though, you can find a great basket or a luxurious throw or fabulous ribbon or some authentic looking faux pottery planters. And there’s nothing more exciting than turning super bargains into fabulous finds.

First things first, though. You should clean before you redecorate. There are all types of TV shows dedicated to it … Clean House … Mission Organization … etc. First I clear out the clutter, then I do a bit of organizing, then I dust and sweep. THEN, and only then, do I allow myself to indulge in the really fun stuff.

Discipline yourself. Work first, play second. Otherwise, you’ll have a well-decorated home that’s dirty and cluttered.

If you’re lost in a sea of despair when it comes to cleaning, try Spring Cleaning for Normal People.

Well, those are my house tips on this cold winter day … happy decorating!

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Filed under Blogroll, Decorating, Homekeeping

As Tiny Tim said …

“God bless us, every one …” especially my husband. He is a good man. He is a patient man. And luckily, he finds humor in my situations.

The kids and I set out to find this year’s tree yesterday afternoon. We were in the market for a tall, thin tree … not the usual suspect: short, stocky and slightly Charlie Brown-ish. We walked behind the house and up and down the hill, in search of THE ONE. We wrapped a brightly-colored scarf around the top branches to signal our choice to the man of the house.

He started the tree felling about 9 p.m. His only comment, “It’s tall.”

Yes, it was tall … and it looked A LOT taller in my house than it did on the hillside. I had assured him it was about eight feet. The reality: it’s 12 of 13 feet tall. And there is only one spot in the whole house where such a gigantic tree will fit. Lucky for me we have a tall step ladder. Lucky for me dear old hubby didn’t mind that I now had to move all of the furniture to accommodate what we jokingly called, “The White House Christmas Tree!”

It is tall. It is heavy. It drinks a heck of a lot of water. It rendered my kids speechless. Yep. It’s this year’s perfect tree. Or it will be, after the kids have a chance to adorn it with their ornaments. Toilet-paper-tube angels and all!

Ohhhhhh. Christmas tree!

Ohhhhhh. Christmas tree!

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Filed under Blogroll, Children, Christmas, Family, Farm, Rural Life

Preying on Punxsutawney Phil

Picture this … a sunny Sunday afternoon. Everyone’s sleepy from Sunday dinner. Grandkids are sprawled on the floor with their John Deeres and Internationals, making vroom-vroom noises. Grandparents lament politics and listen for the baby who is sleeping upstairs. The girls are gathered in the kitchen … swapping recipes and discussing the latest must-reads. The boys? They’ve migrated to the porch. Rocking chairs creak as they stretch out for a lengthy digression.

And then.

A warning cry goes out. Conversation comes to a halt. Men jump to attention. Binoculars are seized. Rifles are drawn. It’s a red alert and apparently they were prepared.

You’d think we were being invaded. But no …

… nothing so serious. Nothing so devastating. Nothing so urgent or important or vital. No, these men — we prefer to call them ‘boys’ — are defending the women and children, the property and their livelihood … from a lone groundhog 300 yards away. The women were I-M-P-R-E-S-S-E-D.

Note: Don’t worry, the groundhog didn’t even have to duck.

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Filed under Blogroll, Family, Farm, Groundhog, Hunting, Nature, Rural Life, Wildlife

Ode to Summer

Sweet summer! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways …

I love out-of-control flowerbeds ...

I love out-of-control flowerbeds ...

... the promise of tasty treats

... the promise of tasty treats

... spring chicks turned into happy hens ...

... spring chicks turned into happy hens ...

... and the first egg from the new flock.

... and the first egg from the new flock.

I love kids who appreciate dirt and mud.

I love kids who appreciate dirt and mud.

I love tall grass, rolling hills and the wild, blue yonder.

I love tall grass, rolling hills and the wild, blue yonder ...

... and wildflower bouquets from little girls.

... and wildflower bouquets from little girls.

I love fresh-picked sweet corn.

I love fresh-picked sweet corn.

Prospering gardens ...

Prospering gardens ...

... and shady borders along stone paths.

... and shady borders along stone paths.

I love birthday parties ...

I love birthday parties ...

... and birdhouses.

... and birdhouses.

And unexpected catastrophes aren't so bad ...

And unexpected catastrophes aren't so bad ...

... when paired with a hardworkin' hubby, corn on the cob, watermelon and a cold beer on a hot, sunny day.

... when paired with a hardworkin' hubby, corn on the cob, watermelon and a cold beer on a hot, sunny day.

Photos from a midsummer evening … brief moments in a vast span of summer days. Take a walk … open your eyes … capture a moment. What does your summer look like?

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Filed under Blogroll, Children, Family, Farm, Flowers, Garden, Homekeeping, Nature, Rural Life