Saturday, August 24, 2013

We're Not Promised Tomorrow...

...though we always act like we have all the time in the world.

We should:

  • Cherish yesterday
  • Dream tomorrow 
  • but Live today
I've said this ever since my dear husband died, and then when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  But, we get complacent in our busy living and forget!  I'll do that tomorrow...

Well, this lesson has been brought home to me in a very real way this past week when I lost a dear friend quite suddenly.  She was busy living life and had all kinds of plans and expectations for the future.

She went into the hospital for heart surgery (which is so often routine in today's world), came through the surgery fine and two days later there were complications and she was gone!  Gone!  GONE!

Are your affairs in order?  Do you have a will?  Does anyone know what you want done if you're suddenly gone?  If you're online (and apparently you are if you're reading this), does someone know how to access your sites and take care of them?

If you don't have that done, I strongly encourage you to do so - whether you're young or old, sick or in good health.  It will make it so much easier on your family when you are gone - and you might not have tomorrow to do it!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vintage metal chairs and Glider

Switched front porch and back deck seating back in April and FINALLY have the vintage metal deck chairs repainted.  It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted, then forever to get them painted - at least it felt like forever.

The days I had available to work it rained, or the wind blew (not real good to spray paint in strong wind).  Then it rained some more or there was more wind. I could only do about one chair a day - between the time delay for coats of paint and my energy level.  I got the last one finished today and I'm pleased with the results.

So here's what you see when you walk out onto the deck.  Couldn't get it all in one picture, so there are two.

The green chair behind the glider is set up to be Boots (cat) bed - but you'll notice he's opted for the floor during these warm days.  It's a nice dry/warm place when it's cool though.  He has an enclosed bed that he slept in the first couple of winters but refused to use it last year.  The chair on the left in the first picture is PURPLE.  I couldn't get it to look nearly as pretty as it actually is.

I've had the glider for 20+ years - it was one we rescued - originally painted green, I painted it blue when I first got it and it was easier just to repaint it the same color again.

The chairs were my parents - so they're probably almost as old as I am (and that's old).  I'd painted them all blue too - don't ask, blue isn't my favorite color. I think it had something to do with DH's tastes.  

NOW, they're lots of bright, happy colors - purple, green, orange, red and yellow.  I'm lovin' them!

This is the purple chair - love purple.

So, plenty of good places to sit and enjoy the pleasant summer.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kindle Fire and Library books

Now remember, I'm about 3 years older than dirt, and I'm not up on ALL the new technical stuff though I do try and stay current on many things and have a reasonable knowledge of "some" things technical.   I just haven't posted anything here.

So, I have a Kindle Fire - it's the first generation fire and I got it not long after they came out and I LOVE IT!!!   I can check email, facebook, browse the web (if there's wifi), but mostly I just read books on it.

That being said, I wanted to share this info in the event anyone else might be interested.  And, since I spent a day and a half searching online for the answer, only to read many blogs and forums that did NOT supply the correct (or at least updated) info.

I've known all along that I could check out books from the library for the Kindle, just never attempted it - so decided to try it.  Found my library online with Overdrive (the online service).  Entered my card number, found a couple of books I wanted to try and checked them out.  That's when I realized I might have a problem.  One book was in "Kindle" format and so easy it was like eating pie.  The other one was in some strange format I wasn't familiar with and not compatible with my Kindle.

That lead me to check further and I discovered many of the books the library offered were not in Kindle format.  So, there had to be an answer and I started searching.  Found I could read them on my PC by downloading Adobe Digital Editions (free) - but I didn't want to read them on my PC.  Found all kinds of info on how to convert them for my Kindle - none of which worked for me.  Maybe I was doing something incorrectly, but nonetheless it didn't work.

It was bedtime by then, so I stopped searching till the next day.  But, I woke determined and walla - I found the answer.  Again, as simple as eating pie but nowhere in any of the info that I read did it mention THIS... but here it is.

Amazon offers an app Overdrive Media Console (it's free).  Simply download it to your Kindle and install it.  At some point it'll ask you to 'authorize' via Adobe Digital Editions.  If you don't have a registration login with them, it'll give you the option to set one up.  Do so, authorize and download your book.  Now, I believe you have to read it in the app - which looks a bit different than your normal Kindle books do, but there are settings to change font size, etc.

So, today, I'm a happy camper.  My book is in my Kindle waiting for me to read. AND, I have a whole 'wish list' on my library website that I'll get to eventually.

While not all the authors I'd like to read are in the online library - this does open up a whole lot more books :-)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kitty cat update

Thursday, 7/4/13 - now there's good news AND more good news... Boots is back home.  He arrived about an hour ago - ate a bowl full of food and is now sleeping soundly in a living room chair.  He's lost weight, but otherwise seems to be okay.

Well, there's good news and there's bad news.

The good news is that Fluffy is doing well with her medication, and I've even found a treat that she likes - it's called "Lickety Stik" and is a salmon flavored liquid she can lick off my finger or off the little roller ball on the bottle.

It's the FIRST thing I've found that she'll touch and it took several days for her to try it, but now she loves it.  She's being really good for her meds and gets treat licks after her medication both morning and evening.  She knows too and she's ready for that treat.

The bad news - is that Boots is missing...

He's been gone since last Friday (5 days today).  He's ALWAYS there in the morning for breakfast - even if he had a 'treat' earlier (he's a hunter).  He spent time Friday afternoon in the living room reclining in a comfy chair but was ready to go out at bedtime.  That's the last we've seen him.

I pray he's not somewhere hurt and is just off on a safari!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Frosty

It's Frosty's birthday - he's 13 today and still as cute and sweet as ever.  Here's a couple of pictures made on the day I got him (he wasn't quite 8 weeks old)

I've always loved poodles and Frosty is my 4th. He was a gift from my late husband who knew I'd always wanted a 'tiny' poodle.  My others were miniatures - so I was especially pleased with him.

Unfortunately he came from a puppy mill (that's another story I guess) and had some issues, but it was definitely love at first sight for me.

He's got the very best personality but is definitely a "mama's boy".  He's crate trained but howls if I leave him and he thinks anyone can hear him.  Don't leave him a lot - and wouldn't leave him at all if I could take him into all stores.  Actually, he's cleaner and better behaved than most kids - and his feet don't touch the ground when we're out and about.

He was just over a year old in this one.

Another older picture - just after he was groomed.  We have a great groomer, but Frosty isn't particularly pleased when he goes.  He's cut shorter than that now as our groomer is temporarily closed because of health problems.  His fur grows fast though, so he'll be a puff ball soon enough.

This is him with Boots - my outside cat.  Boots weighs 20 pounds, Frosty 3-1/2. Needless to say, he's considerably smaller - but he's definitely the boss.  Emma Grace (inside cat) is his favorite though and they play together.

And, this is Frosty today.  That's his bed at work - oh yeah - he's a working dog. He takes his job seriously - guard dog and greeter at our local Cross stitch shop.  He's starting to get cataracts and can't jump quite as well as when he was younger, but he's still going strong.

Frosty sticks to me like velcro, sleeps with me, goes most places with me and is my loving companion.  I pray he's around for MANY more years!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

More kitty stuff

This is Boots - he was one of two kittens that was 'dumped' on my property in 2009.  

These pictures were made not long after he came to our house and at the time I didn't know if he was a he or a she.  Vet determined that and fixed it :-)

I love the little black dot down under his chin.  Here's another "now" pictures:

He was really shy at first.  He became the 'front porch kitty' as long as Halloween was alive, but since she's been gone he's moved to the back deck.  He's also grown BIG - probably because he's such a hunter.  He's always bringing me 'prizes' to the deck - and leaves them right at the door (or leaves parts of them after he's had his fill).

He's really a sweet cat and very loving - sometimes comes inside for a little while, but is always anxious to get back out.  The two inside cats are NOT impressed when he's in.  He's more than twice the size of either of them, but they hiss and complain when he's in, and he usually backs off from them.

At the vet last week for yearly shots, etc. and weighs 20 pounds.  Obviously, he's a heavy rascal but loves to be picked up, sit in your lap or generally have attention.  I really wish he and the inside kitties were friends.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fluffy kitty

Here's Fluffy - she's a gray calico 15 year old barn cat rescue.  She's been in my house since she was about 3 months old, but wasn't crazy about human contact when she was younger... and HATES to be picked up.

She did get out about a year ago and spent the night outside.  When we found her she was under bushes at the end of the house and terrified - I managed to pick her up (without her going ballistic) and bring her back in.  That experience apparently gave her an attitude adjustment and she's been a nicer kitty since then.  However, if she's going to be petted, it's going to be on her own terms.

She had been losing weight, throwing up and her coat had gotten really scruffy looking.  The only thing she'll eat is the dry food she's been on all these years.  I've tried everything trying to entice her with food, treats, etc.  Nada - she won't touch anything else.  She'll sniff it and walk away.  These pictures were made before she got sick and her coat was much nicer looking.

Her and Emma Grace close to the window.

She looks nothing like her mother (who was Halloween and featured in an older post.  Though Halloween had a LOT of kittens over the years, Fluffy was the only long haired.
She went from being a gorgeous, long haired cat to a skinny, ratty looking one.  This is "mama" Halloween:

Anyway, finally got her to the vet a few weeks ago (a challenge itself) and blood work showed she has hyperthyroidism.  Now, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that I could dose her with pills, but fortunately there's now a transdermal medication that can be rubbed in her ears.  That sounded doable - except this is Fluffy we're talking about.

This is twice a day and the first week was rough - took two people and she was NOT pleased.  However, I've been sweet talking her and after about 2-1/2 weeks she's decided it's not so bad after all.

She still isn't going to tolerate being picked up, but has become a bit more affectionate and doesn't hiss and run now.  She's not throwing up and hopefully will soon put on some weight and her coat will improve.

Cats are such peculiar creatures - at least the ones I have are.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New look

I've been looking for ages for a new look for my blog - not that anyone notices but me, but I'd grown tired of the old template - plus, couldn't get it to do exactly what I wanted.

My late husband loved irises and grew every color he could find.  Had an iris photo that had lots of the pretty colors and adapted it to my header.  Unfortunately I've not taken nearly as good care of his actual flowers as I have the photos.

SO, found this template which required only a little work to customize it the way I wanted and walla - here we are.  Colors are very different from old one which featured a lot of green.  I like green, but I like yellow/gold/oranges better.

Here's a photo of the old header - what do you think compared to the new one?

If you're seeing it and have a comment, feel free to post it.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Front porch update on a THIN budget

This is my new stylin' front porch look:

I grew up with a porch swing on both my grandparents front porch's and hubby gave me a swing a number of years ago for my birthday.  It was in the yard for awhile, then moved to the back deck - but was never used as much as I'd like.  I LOVE it on the front porch - it's on the far left in the picture below.

My front porch has been seriously neglected for quite some time and after much family discussion we decided to correct that.  SO, when St. Louis son visited recently, he and local son flip-flopped the metal furniture from the front porch to the deck and redwood furniture from the deck to front porch. The 'redwood' furniture that now occupies my front porch was on the back deck with REALLY old, ratty cushions.  The chaise wasn't decent for humans to sit on as it had been basically a pet bed.

Have you priced deck furniture cushions recently???  It has been a LONG time since I bought any and I definitely had sticker shock. Talking with a friend, she mentioned she had some old cushions she was going to get rid of - did I want them?  Well yeah!!!!  Her hubby delivered a huge stack of really big cushions.  They were in pretty bad shape and much too large for my furniture.  However, when I started taking them apart I found great insides.

SO, a few yards of indoor/outdoor fabric, a some of her old cushions re purposed and I have lovely new cushions for my chairs - and enough left to make cushions for the back metal deck chairs too (thank you Barbara)!

Now the furniture shows how seriously it needs a coat of paint - that'll come later in the summer.  But in the meantime, I have a decent looking porch.

I even bought some flowers (now if I can just remember to water them when the weather gets hot).  And, don't you love my "welcome poodle" - he was a gift from a friend and is SO adorable.

The little burlap wall cross was a another gift, so when I did all the other reorganizing I thought it might be time for the actual Christmas wreath to come down.

Metal furniture on the back deck must be painted and jazzed up some.  Pictures later - but probably not till the weather has warmed up more :-)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Who has a RED microwave??

......ME, ME, ME!!!

I didn't even know they made red microwaves (which is what most people have said when I tell them I have one)... but I'm now the proud owner of one.  Late birthday gift from my son, Jeff and family (Danette and Foster).  He says red microwaves aren't that easy to find either :-)

My old microwave was misbehaving most of the time, though it had been better since Ariel (granddaughter) prayed for it.

So, the reason I "needed" a RED microwave..... In 2007 my old kitchen trash can finally died (it was only 20 years old) and I went shopping for a new one.  I had a pretty blah kitchen, the old trash can had been brown, but a shiny red one caught my eye.  I had nothing red in my kitchen, but I bought it anyway.

One thing led to another and I wound up painting my kitchen a bright apple green and accenting it with red (to match the trash can).

Son Asher & family got us a new set of cookware recently (have I mentioned I don't cook?).  It's pretty though - RED.

Soooo, I have a super spiffy kitchen that's bright and cherry!  More fun to clean than the old drab one.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Newest website - Stitchers Haven

Have I mentioned that one of my passions is counted cross stitch.  We're so blessed in Guntersville to have a local shop - there aren't too many around these days.

So, Irises Web has just finished a website for them.  Check out Stitchers Haven and let me (or the shop) know what you think.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New blog look

Well, that's what I want anyway, though I can't find anything that really appeals to me.

I've loved this template, but can't seem to make it do what I want it to lately... and the right column is 'jumping' on both my computers so I'm guessing it is on everyone else's too - REALLY annoying.

Obviously want something to do with irises - wasted most of this afternoon looking around online.

So, it's frustrating.... but then I get frustrated easily these days it seems.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Need a new coffee pot!

Mine died this past week.  Fortunately I still had my old one so it's back in service.  Unfortunately, I seriously dislike it!

Here's my want list:

  • Auto program to come on 
  • Keep coffee hot/warm for 2 hours without getting stronger
  • NOT spill every time I try and pour a cup
  • Pause & serve
  • Minimum 10 cup (prefer 12 cup)
My last one had a thermal carafe.  It went off when the coffee was made, but stayed reasonably hot for awhile.

The one I'm back to using will shut off in 2 hours, but coffee left sitting in a glass carafe on heat tastes really nasty after 2 hours.

My daughter in law gets up at 5AM - she drinks the first couple of cups.  I'm normally up around 7ish - I'm the "bring coffee and no one gets hurt" type, so I don't want to have to fool around with making fresh coffee.  Choices right now are warmish, burnt coffee, or cold coffee.

Nor can I see paying $100 for a coffee pot that isn't going to last more than a year or two (they never do).

Saw this DeLonghi online and technically it fills the requirements. Well, the price not as good as I'd like, but possible...but didn't get very good reviews:

Then there's this Cuisinart - which does get good reviews - but it is $100.

SOOO, anyone have any suggestions, ideas???

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meet Willow

... she IS a deer, but I'm sure she thinks she's a goat.  I've posted pictures of her before, but she's considerably closer to the house this time.  And, I've decided if she's staying (and I hope she does - it's such a blessing to me to see her), she must have a name.  I've chosen "Willow".  Just seemed to fit.

I have a yard fence between my yard and the pond - not far from my house at all.  The goats like that area on the bank of the pond - even when there's no water there.    She's been joining them there most days, and she's always out grazing with them.

... my pond has water and there was a pair of mallards there this morning.  We used to see them all the time.  Mallards, Canadian geese, even a call duck occasionally, but then the pond went dry.

I told hubby he needed to get a soil test before having the pond dug, but he was sure it was okay.  He chose the location because he wanted to sit on the back deck and look at it.  That worked fine as long as he was alive, but the year after he died - the pond went dry.

It's mostly just been a big unsightly hole in the ground since then.
But, we've had a pretty wet winter and so far there's still water.  

So I'm thoroughly enjoying the wildlife I'm seeing again.  I hope they hang around.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Who's bed is this?

... well, actually it's Frosty's - but Emma Grace tries it out occasionally.

Heard Frosty barking the other day and went to see if he wanted to go outside - no, he wanted Emma Grace to get out of his bed!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Okay, my big news today is that I'm now officially a SIX year breast cancer survivor with NED (no evidence of disease).  Check out my breast cancer blog

Please, don't ever take good health for granted.  It can happen to anyone.  And, if you find a lump - CHECK IT OUT.  If they tell you "nothing to worry about" - GET A SECOND OPINION.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I have deer

... and I love watching them.  It's always such a blessing to see one.

They don't come in the yard - it's totally fenced with a large dog - but they're in the pasture that's only separated from the yard by the fence.

Heard the dog (big, OLD lab) barking the other morning and looked to see what he was barking at.

There was a deer feeding just on the other side of the gate.  She looked up, but didn't seem particularly concerned.  This first picture I actually took through my bedroom window.
This one I walked out on the deck.

A couple of days later I was sitting on the loveseat in my living room - french doors look out into the pasture - and there was a deer grazing on grass, right in the middle of the goat herd. Obviously they get along okay.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Coffee table is finished

... and I'm officially out of the furniture refinishing business.  I'm TIRED of painting furniture.  One table wouldn't have been so bad, but of course, I had to get carried away and do 3 pieces.

Aside from the 'hunt' to find the tables (several months actually), I started the first one on January 19 and the coffee table was moved into my living room late yesterday (February 8).  Almost 3 weeks.

My coffee table actually has 'sage green' legs - they don't show nearly true color in the photo.  I used a fabric swatch of my drapes and had the paint matched to that.

In case you missed the original post - here's what it looked like when I started... pretty ratty and scratched up - but all wood and quite solid.
So, I sanded... gave it 2 coats of primer (then curing for 7 days), 3 coats of sage green on the legs and skirt, 2 coats of stain on the top, then 3 coats of polyacrylic on the top.  In case you're counting - that's TEN COATS of some sort of paint, with all the waiting/curing time time between each one which means it wasn't a quick project!  I don't understand how they do this kind of stuff so quickly on HGTV.  Oh wait!  It's TV, right?

And, here's the inspiration photo (which did come from HGTV):

And here's what it looks like altogether:

I considered doing the coffee table in yellow (did I mention, I love yellow?), but decided to use the green.  I'm really pleased with the results - but I did get pretty tired of painting stuff.    (note - that's a cat on arm of love seat, and dog sitting on love seat... though he does like his new dog bed.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Goats are named

... well mostly.

A friend, Stephanie Miller tried to post a comment on the blog and it wouldn't let her so she posted on facebook.  Her ideas were 'Brownie, Cocoa, and Peanut'.  Her daughter (Grace) suggested, 'Daisy, Lilly and Chip'.  And son J.P. suggested 'Buck, Paisley and Avery'.

Friend Rita Hayes suggested, Buster, Bahbs and Bitty.  And still another friend suggested, "Little Billy" -- unfortunately that one has been used, and used and used.

We actually wound up with 6 baby goats and one is kinda unusual so I'm not picking any of the above names for it (haven't sexed it yet so don't know if it's a billy or nannie.  But it's about half black and half white.  We had one like that years ago that Chuck named "Newsprint".  I'll try and get a picture of this one this weekend.

So, here's the names I selected for the original three - shown below.  The one on the left is a billy, so he's 'Buster' (that's one of Rita's ideas).

The little brown one in the middle is a nanny and is now Lilly (thanks Grace), I chose 'Onyx' for the solid black one - also a nanny.

The two additional additional brown ones (not pictured) were also both nannies, and I chose Peanut (that's Stephanie's offering) and Avery (from J.P.)

I've named so many goats over the years that I sort of hit a wall with these.  I have found a really website (goat farm) with a ton of names.  May use some of them in the future.

In the meantime, thank you Rita, Stephanie, Grace and J.P. for your help!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Second end table finished

The last post with the dog bed end table turned out too long I thought, so decided to keep this table for another day.  It's not nearly as exciting as the dog bed one, but it's sitting at the other end of my love seat and I think I'm gonna love it.

While it's all wood, it does have laminate, so that presented a whole other challenge.  I'm just hoping my paint stays on.  It was really scratched and banged up, but has two drawers.

Actually found this one first when I was looking for the dog bed table.  Bought it thinking if I couldn't find the one I wanted, I could remove the large drawer in the bottom and use it as the dog bed.

Then found the one I really wanted and decided this one would work great at the other end of the love seat.  The drawers are going to be a real bonus - I've already eliminated a lot of the clutter I had on top of my old end tables.  Found it at an antique store and here's how it looked.

So, like the other one - sanded (though laminate doesn't sand well).  Two coats of primer, cured for 7 days, 3 coats of yellow paint, 3 coats of Minwax polycrylic, cured another 24 hours, new drawer pulls, and 'walla'...

So, here they are together...

You can see, the cats think the love seat belongs to them.

The coffee table is in the works, had it's first coat of paint on the legs today... it'll be ready soon (I hope).

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Refinished furniture - almost done

Both end tables are FINISHED.  So, here are a couple of photos - recapping the process (which was very slow - by my standards anyway).  So, here we go.  I found this ratty old table - and it was ratty.

Took the doors off and sanded... and sanded and sanded and... well, you get the idea

Primed with two coats of primer - let cure for 7 days, then 3 coats of yellow and then 3 coats of Minwax polycrylic on the top - which took more time and had to cure 24 hours.  Interior has upholstery fabric glued with spray adhesive, and stapled inside with the nail trim finish.

Emma Grace wasn't shy about trying it out.

So after the last coat cured, they were FINALLY ready to use today.

Instead of adding the custom cushion, I decided to simply move Frosty's existing bed inside it for the time being.  Thought he might be more willing to use it with his own bed.  Had to 'encourage' him at first.  And, Emma Grace is still curious.

So a little while after putting it all together went back in the living room and there's Frosty - I think he likes it :-)

This picture is the inspiration piece:

I'll post the before and after of the other table in another post - it's already being used also and I'm loving the bright color.  Did I mention my favorite color is yellow.

Coffee table starts getting paint on Monday.