Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I (used to) Have the Laundry Room Blues




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Yah! I’m a winner!  Debra over at the Bungalow had a drawing for a new cleaner for washers.  Many of us with front load washing machines it seems share a mutual problem.  Stinky washers!  I had read about this problem in reviews when we were choosing our new HE washer and dryer but thought it couldn’t be that bad with these new and improved ways of doing laundry.


Well it is just that bad.   Often times I can smell a sort of musty and very unpleasant odor coming from an area where I like to smell soap and freshness.  There have been a few times I wish I had my old washer back again.


Now enter my winning prize!


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This is suppose to solve all my stinky problems.  Thank you very much, Debra! :)  I ‘ll let you know how it works once it arrives and I’ve had time to try it.  Does anyone else have this problem with their front load washer?


While we’re on this room, I’ll share an area next to my stinky washer.  Love my deep sink.  All the years I had little children with their messy, stained clothes I could have used this big sink.  And yes, I even used cloth diapers and soaked them in the toilet.   It’s still very handy having this nice feature in our new house even without a big family around.




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Does anyone love this saying as much as me?  I had permission last summer from Tracey at Notes from a Cottage Industry to use this.  I was helping my decorator friend come up with all sorts of accessories decorating an entire house for a big city wide Dream House tour.  I thought this was perfect for the laundry room.  It came home with me after the week long tour.




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Enjoy doing what you love to do today during the midst of summertime!

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Don’t forget to stop and say hello so I know you were here!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Garden in Mid Summer





Let’s all give Tootsie  at Tootsie Time a big high five for sponsoring this Flaunt Your Flowers event.  For all of us who enjoy gardening (and probably even those who don’t) it’s really an eye opener to see what everyone grows.  It’s also a great way to get ideas on things we might want to try next year.  Is everyone keeping a gardening journal??

Here’s my favorite spot to watch the garden grow and to do some serious bird watching. 

Notice those sickly pathetic petunias.  I have decided I won’t plant wave petunias anymore.  I like the normal ones with big, beautiful blooms.  I usually plant the bigger ones and they are so much more showy in my opinion.

I really should have tidied up the clutter under the bench, but I’m keeping it real people.

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This week we had a rose breasted grosbeak  at the feeders which thrilled me because of their beauty.  They are black/white with a raspberry red chest.  Beautiful bird.

If you look very closely, you will see a bluebird on my fence!   EXCITEMENT!  I’m still trying to get them to nest in my birdhouse.  Did I tell you I got wrens instead?  I moved it so it’s not so close to the woods in hopes of still enticing bluebirds.

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Here’s Mr. Brown Socks.  The vegetables really are HIS garden.  He loves, loves, loves gardening.  I think he’s picking green beans here.  He rarely wears this summer cowboy hat, even though he’s a cowboy at heart.  I had to take this because I thought he looked so cute.


Notice the cardinal climber coming up the arbor?  It’s sooooo slowwww.  I have yet to see one single red flower.

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Here’s the arbor we had a couple of summers ago.  This was taken in late September and has plenty of red flowers.  About a week after I took this, we had a big storm and the wind blew it down and broke my metal arbor.  Mr. Brown Socks bought me the new one above this spring.  He set it in concrete.

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Well, here he is again with his good ole dog, Chester on the lookout for any smells in the woods.  As Mr. Brown Socks would say, “he has a good nose on him”.  I guess that’s a good thing.

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Who doesn’t love a hydrangea?  And my impatients are getting fuller and fuller now.

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Bee Balm is another FAVORITE.  We get oodles of hummingbirds on this as well as bees.


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Is there anyway to pick just one favorite?  Oh how I love flowers.  Can’t wait to see how your garden is doing.  Meet me at Tootsie’s, okay?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Those Dern Bugs




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Mr. Brown Socks as well as two of our three daughters are extremely sensitive to mosquitoes.  When bitten their skin reacts right away with a HUGE welt…I mean HUGE!  It is unreal.  They didn’t get that from my side of the family.  ;)


Last summer we ran across this recipe for insect spray in our local newspaper and low and behold it truly works very well, plus you aren’t spraying harmful chemicals on your body.  Now that’s a good thing.  Mr. Brown Socks even took it with him on a camping trip with a few other family members.  The mosquitoes were horribly bad.  Everyone was fighting for the bottle of spray and even using it on the dogs! They were all asking for the recipe.


Here’s our little secret:

Mosquitoe Spray

2 cups water

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup Avon Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil

1 T. eucalyptus Oil

Shake in a spray bottle and let settle before spraying

In the meantime, Miss Maggie was making sure to keep mosquitoes off the hummingbirds.  She promised she was just out getting a little fresh air.


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Wipe that smile off your face, young lady!


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Hope you don’t have any bugs in your life today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Petite Knives



While I was polishing some silver last night, I realized I had a Three or More Tuesday right in my hands.  I hope you’ll join our hostess Tam over at The Gypsy’s Corner to see other three or more blog posts.  It’s always interesting!




You may have heard me say this before, but I love silver.  I really don’t even mind polishing it.  I love OLD silver in particular.    Here is one set I have ~~~~~~~

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And another ~~~~~~~~~        Both of these are by Wm Rogers & Son

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Here is my third display of knives.  I am assuming all of these are butter knives, but if anyone can tell me differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts or knowledge.  What’s up with the curved handle?  Anyone know?

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Some closeup details…


Aren’t they so pretty?

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It’s hard to photograph silver but I keep trying


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This set isn’t as shiny as the other and have spots I can’t get out.  Does this mean there isn’t as much silver in them?

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Isn’t it odd I have five of each?  Did they come in sets of five?

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So many questions I have today. 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Church Sales and Yard Sales


Happy Monday!  Don’t you just love going over to Rhoda’s on Mondays to see all the great finds we bloggers run across?  If you are new to this feature, be sure to head over to Southern Hospitality to see what finds are out there!! :)


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A couple of weekends ago I was at my mother’s house. Her church was having a yard sale out in their parking lot.  My sister in law joined mom and me and we made a day of thrifting.  It was quite fun and even more successful than I imagined.  Here was some of the loot by the end of our hunt.

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You can see this was a bargain at $1.00. I think it has some age on it and just the color I love. 

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This was an old ammo box with hand made dowels inside.  I think I paid a couple of dollars.  Not sure what I’ll do with them, but I liked the metal box and can use it as a riser if nothing else.  Who knows..I may come up with a use for the dowels too.  Any suggestions?

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Here’s a little lighted Christmas tree I couldn’t pass up for 50 cents.  It will be loved in one of my little grandson’s bedrooms come December.

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Here was our laugh for the day!

As we approached all the tables out in the church parking lot, my method is to stand back and let my eyes scour the tables quickly to get a hint of what is there.  Glassware and home decor draw me in first.

Well, I saw these  almost right away….

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I said, “oh, I like these!”  Mom starts laughing.  I looked at her and said, “Are these yours?”  Sure enough, she had donated them to the church and I bought them for $1 a piece.  I remember them hanging in our home when I was a child living in Virginia.  How dare her trying to get rid of these!  :) 


This was from a garage sale.  $4.00

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This same weekend our family had a reunion.  We have started having a silent auction to raise money for postage, headstones for very old family members who never had one, etc. etc. I love the silent auction and usually find a few treasures.


Isn’t this a sweet tea pot? And one can never have too many crystal votive holders.  Ever since Laurie at Bargain Hunting with Laurie said she grabs old needlework, I have started having my eye out for that sort of thing.  I may have to reframe this piece but do like it.


Can you see the mirror that all of this is sitting on?  It’s handled and vintage and I paid 50 cents for it at the church sale!!  Yah, me!

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I found the below item at a yard sale that same day.  It was priced at $10.  I asked the guy if he would take $8.  He started telling me it belonged to his grandmother and was filled with all these old medicines and first aid items, and why didn’t I think it was worth $10?  He was talking sort of tongue in cheek, so I told him I didn’t think he was ready to part with it.  Then he told me granny was kind of a mean sort and he wasn’t that close with her and would I pay $8.00?  Oh yes, I thought it was worth $8.00.  I do love the plaid exterior.  




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I cleaned it all up and have left the meds inside.



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What a fun day we had.  Very fun indeed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sharing a Recipe and a Mystery




Hi All!  Today I’m joining Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.  It’s always an interesting day to see all the recipes that are shared.  Be sure to stop over.


Our garden produce is just starting to come in now.  I always have a big smile when Mr. Brown Socks brings in the first cucumbers and squash.  We could make an entire meal on nothing but garden produce in the summertime.


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One of our family favorite summer recipes is Creamy Cucumbers.


We start with these purdy gems ~~~~~


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Then let’s pick a little dill and snip some chives while we’re out here.


Can’t you just smell it?  Fresh dill will always, always remember me of my dear father in law. He always had dill in his garden.  I used to walk out as he would proudly show me how his garden was coming along, and pull off some dill as he was talking.  Dill and summer and my father in law just go hand in hand to me.  LOVE IT and the memories!

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Now let’s slice up several of these cukes.  We are having a few extra family members for this meal, so I will triple this recipe.  Rarely are there leftovers, but if there ever are, this recipe will keep fine for lunch the next day.

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Now I have all the ingredients sitting out, ready to put the whole thing together.

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Sorry the picture is a little pale, but hopefully you can see the completed, savory bowl of yumminess at it’s best.



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Creamy Cucumbers

Thinly slice 1 cucumber; sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt; let stand 30 minutes.  Drain.  You may want to rinse a bit too if you don’t like a lot of saltiness.

Combine 1/2 cup sour cream, 4 tsps. vinegar, 2-3 drops (or more to suit your taste) bottled hot pepper sauce, 2 T. snipped chives, 1/2 tsp. dried dillweed or about a tablespoon fresh dill, and dash pepper;  pour over cucumbers.

Chill about 30 minutes.

Makes 3-4 servings.

*Note ~~  I always double or triple this.  It’s that good!







I’m also joining in with Tootsie for Flaunt your Flowers.  While I’m showing a few of my flowers, I want to ask your opinion on what went on up on my deck recently.  Our lot does back up to the woods, but we have a fence between the yard/garden and woods. 


I went outside and saw all these buds from my geranium.  At first I didn’t think anything of it, but as I looked around, I noticed more and more and more.  I was so sad because you can see by all the buds, this plant was ready to burst open with color.

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Totally puzzled, I called Mr. Brown Socks to take a look and he couldn’t figure it out either. 

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See all the stubs?  The leaves were left alone, just the buds were missing…..

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If it had been a wild critter, he could have chosen anything from the garden, down below, as we have walkout basement floor plan so our deck is really up high.

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He could have feasted on lettuce, green beans, winter squash greens and numerous other goodies.

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More flowers down below to choose from…

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Even more on the lower level of the patio…

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But do you think he would really have climbed the steps all the way up to feast on geranium buds??

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Could it have been this big lug of a family member?  We don’t think so, BUT?

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I don’t suppose we will ever know, but it is a mystery.


Be sure to join Tootsie for lots more flowers today.