Saturday, July 31, 2021

July Garden Yield

I decided I would keep a list of our actual harvest this year. We have a very small suburban  gardening space but have various things planted in pots and containers all around the yard, I am excluding herbs from the totals since I grab them  to use in cooking, or dry them in small batches to keep for later use.

June Harvest:
yellow squash -9
zucchini -8
cucumber- not producing yet, so far all the blossoms are make flowers
bell pepper -7
banana pepper- 13
cayenne pepper-4
green beans -8  pounds
tomato -some still green, 1 dead plant, others still questionable
cherry tomato-9
radish- chipmunks delight
potato- not yet time to dig
lettuce- I am evidently growing this only to feed critters
okra- not yet producing but looking really healthy
apples- 2 are still on the trees, but I have serious doubts about them becoming ripe. though we do have some seriously happy squirrels
pears- zilch. I am thinking of getting rid of the pear trees. They are not pretty trees and never have more than a handful of blossoms.

July Harvest: It seems Little Bunny Foo Foo and/or Groundhog Gertie have found our raised bed!

yellow squash- 9

zucchini- 3 (Pulling the zucchini up. Still debating replanting it or not)

cucumber- 0. So far all the blossoms have been male blossoms

bell pepper- 11

banana pepper- 21

cayenne pepper- 10

green beans-  81/2 pounds I am not keeping up with this anymore for July. We averaged 1 1/2 pounds of green beans per day.


cherry tomato- 25

potato   I think one plant is ready to dig will do it this week

okra  8 pods, but it is blooming and growing like crazy. Fingers crossed it will produce well in August.

apples  Anne-1 / squirrels-20ish

pears The tree must have heard me talking about cutting it down. I found 3 pears on it

Not replanting the radishes or lettuce. Chip and Dale are on their own.

And now on to August!

Soon we are going to have to think about planting a fall garden. Harvesting in the fall sounds delightful

Friday, July 30, 2021

30 Weeks of Joys

 The 30th week of the year is now in the books. I have a hard time believing that much time has passed. It seems just a brief moment when we were all celebrating the end of a rotten year with hope that 2021 would be a turning point.
Here, this week began with rain and more rain, then a little extra rain just for good measure, but then the sunshine returned!

Friday: I keep telling myself all the rain is good for the garden, except for the tomatoes and they have had enough! So I am thankful for the rain and the bonus is the late night frog symphony I get after rains. Wet weather really does seems to have an impact on the amphibians who call my backyard home. 
Later that night we watched the delayed broadcast of the Opening of the Olympics. I always like watching the participants parade in.

Saturday: TheHub and I had our usual Saturday run to the produce stand, then we just ran a couple of quick errands. One of the biggest joys was having TheHub drop me off a few times so I could run in a pick stuff up. I hate shopping and I hate wearing a mask, especially when it is in the 90's and as humid as it can be, but he was driving and could let me out at the door while he stayed in the car with the a/c going so we would not have to return to a car that we could bake a cake in. (This was only for stops where we needed just one item__like a bag of lime to put in the hole on top of the squirrel who died on our front lawn. We have a critter burial ground, mostly for birds and frogs, but we do find the occasional squirrel or chipmunk)
Later we had a call to show the house and the young couple had one of the cutest little boys (4 years old) I have even seen. He was one of those kids who has never met a stranger, and stayed right by my side asking questions and showing me his tricks while his parents looked through the house

Sunday: We had more house showings, which was a joy, not as joyful as a sale would be, but a joy nonetheless.  I did not see our church service as it was streaming because I had to meet the folks wanting to see the place, but I did get to watch it later. There is a definite joy for technology that is available now.

Monday: I should be overjoyed with the green bean harvest this year, and I know I will be during the winter, but right now it is overwhelming. We are picking an average of a pound and a half each day and my neighbors hate to see me nearing their house with a bag filled with them.

Tuesday: We had a slight issue with the counter being about 1/4 inch longer than the previous counter, so the refrigerator (which was a tight squeeze anyway) would not fit into the space built for it. Fortunately my cousin (the stone guy) came and managed to fix the problem. 
In the late afternoon I got a call from Son1 and we talked about the rise in Covid. We had a whole family trip to the beach planned for late August and they were concerned because Florida is a Covid hotbed right now and Pip is too young for the vaccination.  We left the conversation with the possibility they would just fly here, stay at the house the whole time, and we could have a swim fest combined with festivities around the pool each night.

Wednesday: This day started out really nicely. TheHub left early to go to Boca Raton and the weather was great. This was going to be a one day trip and I hate him flying in storms. The sun was shining and though it was hot and humid, I will take it over the torrential downpours we have been having. 
I got most of the stuff that I wanted to accomplish, had a nice time swimming laps, then managed to score a couple of Aldi's great finds of this week.
He returned home by 6 and then we got the call. Son1's family will not be coming. I have not seen them since November '19, and it breaks my heart even though I completely understand it. A special thanks to all of the folks who decided for whatever reason (and there are lots of reasons floating around out there) not to vaccinate! You made my day!
More frustration swimming was necessary

Thursday: I was bummed out the entire day and could not think of a thing to be joyous about, except perhaps finding 3 pears on the tree in the front yard that had never born fruit before. I think it got tired of me telling it I was going to cut it down and replace it with dogwoods. 
Also it was the second day in a row with not a drop of rain, so I was very thankful and overjoyed for a sunny day. It was much nicer than rain with a blue mood. Plus I did not have to get wet while I picked green beans!

Hope you have a nice week finding your joys wherever and whatever they might be!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Brokenhearted But Not Broken

We had some disappointing news last night, and though it was not unexpected, it did make me sad and left me feeling hollow for a bit, so I did what I always do when I am upset and I turned to music. This is going to be a music heavy post and if you do not like music feel free to stop here. 

I literally have a playlist on Spotify that has songs I use to move me from sadness to happiness and it always works for me. This is not the complete list because sometimes I have to listen to a lot of music to alter my mood.

I almost always start with this song when I feel just normally upset. Though it is about a breakup which is not germane to our current situation at all, it is still my "wallowing in self pity" go-to song. Thank you Jimmy Ruffin for your very soul wrenching vocals that really do this song justice.

At some point and time when I am still giving in to the blues, I listen to Billy Paul's Me and Mrs Jones. I think it might be one of the least appreciated songs just for the words and amazing instrumentation. Again it is not about anything going on here. I just really do like the song and it's still sad enough to echo my mood.
There is a little side note on its origins. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff were a song writing team who frequented a little bar that was in the same building as their office. They noticed a distinguished looking man who was at the bar every day and would met a woman about 15 minutes after he arrived. They would have a drink, listen to a tune on the jukebox then both leave going separate ways. After a few days of watching the ritual, a song was born, though they admit as far as they know it could have been the guys daughter, his wife, his lawyer__anybody. But for their purposes, their song was about infidelity.

If you listen carefully in the opening you will hear the sax playing the few notes "once I had a secret love"

                                  Yeah, they got sued for using those few notes without permission!

Usually  Billy Paul is the last sad song that I listen to as I transition to something more up-tempo like Petula Clark's, "I Know a Place". It has no deep meaning at all, but it is a happy song.

Next I chose Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy". I listen to his version but since I am using YouTube for the post rather than my Spotify playlist I chose this version. I love all the Playing For Change videos.

And how would it be possible to feel good without listening to a bit of the master of feeling good__James Brown

I think Meghan Trainor's I Feel Better When I'm Dancing is self explanatory 

And then just because I can,  I listen to Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke. I love jazz and this is his homage to the genre. Plus I think it has the best opening of any song in the modern era. I love all the heavy brass and the little background clickity clack from the percussionist.

And finally I end with this. The Sam Cook cover I listen to is different, but I could not find it on Youtube

And as usual the music changes my mood. I am still not happy about plans changing, but life does go on and I am feeling better.

But I am going to end this with a two word vent: Damn Antivaxers!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

What The Future Travelers Might Wonder

When I actually remember it is Tuesday, I try to participate in the questions Annie poses in her 
                                                                   Tuesday 4 post
Todays post is all about what future travelers might think if they saw your home just as it is today.

My first thought about time was to post Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce, but then I remembered Led Zeppelin and thought  Kashmir might be more appropriate for time differences.

1.  Let's pretend that it is 50 years into the future, and explorers have just discovered your house, "frozen in time" exactly as it is today. Everything is preserved, even the food, but of course no one has lived there for fifty years.  What do you think would be their first reaction as they walk in the door of your house? "Why is there a carved chimpanzee who is holding a silver tray, while dressed as a butler, in the foyer?

2.  What would the things left in your house tell the explorers about you?
We read a lot, love music, dishes, tomatoes, and green beans.
3.  What kinds of books would they discover on your bookshelves or beside your chair/bed?
We have a library/guest suite that has about 1,500 books. They are in order by genre, alphabetized by author. There is something there for everyone.
4.  What things would they discover in your closets or cabinets that would make them wonder why on earth you were saving it?  Pillows, they would wonder why in the world I have so many bed pillows. After we sold the lake place, everything came to my house. Anything we could donate to either charity or neighbor kids moving to their first college apartment, we gave away. But no one wants pillows. We had sleeping arrangements for 15 at the lake place and naturally had pillows for each sleeper.
Now I am in a quandary. I don't want all these stupid pillows, but I also don't want to create unnecessary textile waste. So they take up space in a closet waiting for who knows what. Maybe the explorers will take them and put them to good use?

If you feel so inclined, join in the merriment and post your own answers either here or on your personal blog, but be sure to follow the link and add your blog to her post.

And now it is pouring down____again!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Plan or Non-Plan?

A plan is only as good as the follower of the plan. I knew this would be an unusual week for meals, but had no idea how far off it would go. Yep just count this as a big fat fail. And yet, life goes on and I will make a plan just like I always do.

What I thought might happen:
1. Pesto chicken, over pasta or zoodles,  sliced tomatoes, green. beans
2. Cereal or something equally easy (Hub has a dinner meeting)
3. Chopped salad, rolls or keto rolls
4. Veggie dinner (depends on garden output)
5. Grilled something (steak or burgers) tossed salad, green beans
6. Take out
7. Veggie dinner (tbd based on what we have in the garden)

What really happened:
 Monday: TheHub had a dinner meeting so I scrambled around the fridge to see what I had that required nothing more than putting it on a plate
 2 slices Lebanon bologna*, watermelon, avocado

Tuesday: TheHub had another dinner meeting and I was free to do the snatch and grab refrigerator thing again.
Chicken, coleslaw

Wednesday: I thought I was going to get to continue my no cook streak, but TheHub had no meeting so he came home. Glad to have him home, but I was neutral about cooking.
Squash casserole, veggie medley, zucchini waffle

Thursday: I got stuck at Mom's with the electrician. He did not finish until well after 7, and by the time I got things swept up and in show shape it was after 7:30 when I finally returned to the house. Because someone is very wise he suggested we just pick something up.
TheHub got macaroni and cheese and I got a container of coleslaw. I guess neither of us was really hungry

Friday: We had decided we would watch the Olympic opening ceremonies. I love watching all the countries carrying their flags and all the excitement they have, but I am always thrilled with the countries who have very small delegations, particularly the one with 5 or fewer. I find myself sitting in the den applauding for them.
Leftover veggies. We each had different bits and bobs on our respective plates, but we did manage to clean out 7 small containers that were in the crisper drawer. 

Saturday: Our plan was to go out to eat, but we had both been hot and moist from running around and then doing things outside. We decided rather than stop and get cleaned up we would just call our favorite Mexican joint and go looking like a couple of haints** for a quick curbside take out meal.
Chili poblano meals

Sunday: We ate a late lunch and neither one of us was hungry

What the optimist in me thinks might happen, while the realist is screaming whoa!:
1. Grilled lamb chops, rice or cauliflower rice, green beans, tossed salad
2. Veggie dinner subject to what grows (green beans) and what is on hand
3. Pesto chicken, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, green beans
4. Veggie dinner, subject to harvest, but I know green beans will be served
5. Another veggie dinner, because things are growing__like crazy
6. Takeout
7. Super salad meal (depends on what is growing!)

* I had no idea what Lebanon bologna was. TheHub went rogue and bought it, and it was more like a slightly soft salami. 

** Southernism for an angry, ugly spirit 

                           Y'all can thank me later for this public service announcement! 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Low Carb Blueberry French Toast Casserole


Occasionally if I am being nice, I make breakfast for TheHub. He generally is up and gone before I wake and honestly it is no harder for him to pour cereal in a bowl than it would be for me to do it, so I sleep while he pours. (For the record most days he is gone a few minutes before 6) But sometimes, on the weekend I am somewhat accommodating, and every once in a while I try something new and different.
Saturday morning was one of those times. 

I  should be following a keto way of eating but watermelon and corn on the cob have foiled me again this weekend. My intentions were noble, so I thought I would make us a casserole breakfast dish that was very different from anything that is our norm.  Since it was going to be a two step process I began by making the blueberry bread the day before. See recipe here. I rarely follow directions or a recipe exactly, but keto baking is a little different and I had never tried a keto sweet bread loaf before so I did this time*.  I made it as suggested for the French toast casserole omitting the heavy cream and one egg. 

There is nothing even remotely original about this recipe and I am copying it as it was written. I did use just half the loaf of the bread and halved the ingredients because we just do not need a recipe that serves twelve.  This is the link to the actual recipe.

1 loaf keto blueberry bread, cut into 12 slices
2 cups heavy cream
6 eggs, beaten
4 ounces cream cheese cut into small bits
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and pop in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes, flip the slices over and pop them back in the oven for another 10 minutes. The object is to dry them out rather than toasting them. Once dried cut them into small cubes and spread evenly in a greased 9x13 inch pan.

Mix the cream, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. Gently pour over the bread. Top with the bits of cream cheese then sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top of it.  Bake in a 350 degree over for 25-30 minuted until the mixture is set and slightly browned.

Serve with maple syrup (or blueberry syrup would be good too) I used Choc Zero Sugar Free Maple Syrup ( I know I keep mentioning them, but they have really nice monk fruit sweetened products, and I have no dog in the hunt. I just like their products and I never mention any product unless it is something I personally like and use)

    We liked this but there are a couple of things I would do differently and it is strictly our preference. I would use less cream (3/4 cup for the half recipe) and would eliminate the cream cheese entirely. Neither of us felt it added anything and might have even been a taste distraction. That being said, we both like bread pudding, and this was much more like bread pudding than the French toast casseroles I have eaten in the past. (That being said, I have only had them made with French bread with much less liquid to bread) 
    I have the other half of the blueberry loaf in the freezer and will make this again another day with the changes. It might work and it might not, but we will see.

    If you are not doing keto, you could use any sweet bread in place of the keto version. I would suggest adding a little sugar to the cream mixture though. It was fine for us, but might not be sweet enough if you were expecting something more dessert-ish.

    *I thought the bread recipe had entirely too much butter, but overall tasted really good. I will try using 6 tablespoons the next time I make it because after it finished baking the loaf was literally swimming in melted butter.

    Friday, July 23, 2021

    Ordinary Times Call For An Adjustment

    Week 29 of 2021 was neither joyful nor joyless. It was just an average week, filled with mostly average days. I imagine the excessive rain had something to do with the lack of excitement. I know it seriously impacted my swim time and that seriously impacted my mood! So here is to some sunshine, swim time, and an attitude adjustment. Fingers crossed!

     Friday:The day was pretty uneventful but we had plans to go out to eat, which fell apart  at the last minute. I think the biggest joy was actually getting dressed to go out, even if it did not happen. I probably should pay more attention to my hair, makeup and clothes everyday, but I only go to the grocery store, Mom's house or stay here at home and none of those places care what I look like.

    Saturday: We made our usual trek to the produce market. Even though it is not keto, sometimes you just have to cave to delicious watermelon and an ear of corn. Mouth dribbling joy!

    Sunday: I slept late, well at least very late for me and did not wake until almost 9. TheHub and I had a mostly lazy day, though we did go out riding around for a bit, and we got to talk with a couple of the sons. 

    Monday: This does not sound joyful and was not while I was doing it, but I got the stairs at Mom's house sanded and stained. Talk about a huge difference. The joys are it looks so much nicer, and it is done!
    Later that afternoon and through the night we had horrendous rains and flooding. I am thrilled that we had no flooding at my house.
    And the last joy was TheHub's dinner meeting left me to my own devices at dinner. Translation: No cooking!

    Tuesday: There was a special joy that the waters which were so high in Mom's back yard receded leaving little debris in its wake. And the second, though somewhat selfish joy, was TheHub's second dinner meeting this week which meant I did not have to cook again!

    Wednesday: I spent all week waiting for various people to show up at Mom's to do a little bit of last minute work. I waited all day Wednesday for the guy we hired to do some work in Mom's back yard to call me so I could see it and pay him. It was a no show, no communication type of day. My beloved sister was the contact point and I did not have his phone number, but she had texted him my number because she had several appointments and would be unavailable. So I basically wasted my day hanging around waiting  on his call. While I was waiting for him I did at least have a really nice phone visit with my cousin who lives in San Antonio.

    Thursday: The yard guy finally showed up and did a really nice job, then it was wait for the electrician. I knew he was not coming until later in the afternoon but he has great communication skills, and a little heads up is all I really ask for. He did not finish until well after 7, but he did change over the old fuse box to a breaker box. And that was the last major hurdle.  

    I hope you find your joy this week. I hope I find/create more joy this week. It is always there even on regular mundane weeks!

    And these are the pics of Mom's post reno. All we really did was trim the bushes and shrubs and change the paint colors.

    If you look in the center of the lawn you will see my flip flops. Mom's grass is so thick, it eats my shoes, so I usually take them off before stepping in it.  I forgot yesterday and just left them where they came off.

    Front porch

     Patio in the front yard

    Back of house


    Monday, July 19, 2021

    Glub, Glub,Glub

    I know some of you are dry, parched and blazing. It is anything but dry here.
    How Mom's backyard looks on a normal day. The creek bed is about 30 feet from the tree on the left.

    From this angle the tree on the left is now the tree on the right and is about 5 feet from the water
    Will trade a couple of dry days for a couple of inches of rain!

    Plan, Pffft

    I love to cook, but in the summertime I like to swim in the early evening. I get my exercise done without the bother of sunscreen. But swimming late does put a dent in the meal prep time. Our resulting meals are now something I can either cook ahead of time or throw together at the last minute. 
    Each morning I cook the previous days harvest either for dinner or for the freezer. (This will change once the okra starts coming in. It is not a happy vegetable if it gets cooked in advance) If it is going to be eaten that night it goes into the fridge for a quick warm-up for dinner.  Since I am being very intentional about planning things that require little last minute cook time, I should actually a little more apt to stick (mostly) with the plan. As you can tell, I did not.

    And if you do come to my house, I will offer you candy, but don't expect anything you see in stores because I order sugar free candy from Choc Zero. (no affiliation, just a really good product ) It is a  good alternative for a no sugar treat. The downside is it is so tasty and smooth that TheHub has started eating it too.  I kept noticing the wooden box I keep it in was awry but didn't think anything of it. I only allow myself a couple of pieces a week and the last time I was getting some I realized  it was seriously low, and just about all the milk chocolate was gone. So now my only alternative is to re-order a bunch more so he can have his quota (which is more often than mine) or order only dark chocolate. I guess we will see if I have a totally black heart or not!

    What was planned:
    1. Veggie meal subject to garden and produce stand finds, keto cornbread
    2. Meat loaf, caulimash,  sautéed zucchini, tomato slices
    3. Greek style snapper, green beans, tossed salad, keto dinner rolls or keto hushpuppies
    4. Maurice Salad, rolls or keto crackers
    5. Thai lettuce wraps
    6. Chicken enchilada bowl

    What we really ate:
    Monday: I had a lot of chicken left over from a rotisserie chicken meal and it had to be used pronto. Additionally I really did not want to go to much trouble preparing dinner.
    Chicken enchilada bowl

    Tuesday: I fully intended to have a meatloaf that I had prepared and frozen a little while ago, but as I was getting it out of the freezer I found 2 German hamburger patties I had frozen. They have the taste and feel of meatloaf (mostly) and I had the advantage of being able to cook them in the air fryer.( No oven heat!)
    German hamburger patties, mashed potatoes or cauliflower rice, asparagus

    Wednesday: We both grew up in households having vegetable dinners when veggies were at their prime. It is something I have continued all of our married life and to us a meal of fresh vegetables just screams summer.
    Squash casserole, green beans, sliced banana peppers, sliced tomatoes

    Thursday:  I decided I was not going to cook___ period, the end. TheHub decided it might be a great night for us to bring home some takeout.
    Fried chicken, coleslaw, fried okra (or none)

    Friday: We had decided we would go out to eat, and would find a restaurant that had delicious food, but was uncrowded enough for my comfort level. I was kind of excited to get gussied up with hair done and full makeup, but right before we were leaving TheHub started feeling pretty bad. Nothing is worse than going out when you feel like crap, so_____.
    Curbside pickup meal: Grilled lamb, grilled veggies, Greek salad

    Saturday: We both woke early, watched a little of the British Open then ran out to do a few errands. One of them was a stop at our regular produce stand.  That stop decided what we would be eating for dinner.
    Pink eye peas, corn on the cob, fried green tomatoes, cuke peach salad.

    Sunday: TheHub was still not feeling great, and wanted nothing heavy for dinner. It was fine with me and I actually made  a planned meal
    Maurice Salad*

    What's up next:
    1. Pesto chicken, over pasta or zoodles,  sliced tomatoes, green. beans
    2. Cereal or something equally easy (Hub has a dinner meeting)
    3. Chopped salad, rolls or keto rolls
    4. Veggie dinner (depends on garden output)
    5. Grilled something (steak or burgers) tossed salad, green beans
    6. Take out
    7. Veggie dinner (tbd based on what we have in the garden)

    I am sure things will change because they always do, but neither of us are underfed and dinner will happen one way or another.

    Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all!

    And now I need to quit writing this post, go string beans to cook, and prep some squash for another squash casserole!

    *The Maurice salad was perfectly fine, but I obviously have no sentimental attachment to a salad served at a now defunct department store in Detroit. All the reviews I read were so favorable and they claimed it tasted just like the salad they had eaten previously.  Like I said, it was tasty, but did not wow us at all. I would have  been just as happy with a chef's salad. 

    Friday, July 16, 2021

    Joys Even When It's Raining

    And now the 28th week of the year is over. This week had a good bit of rain and afternoon thunderstorms mixed with some beautiful mornings and one drop dead gorgeous day. Well it was drop dead gorgeous if you like sunshine, blue skies, big fluffy clouds and 90 percent humidity! That is why I wear only cotton clothes during the summer.

    The day was beautiful until late afternoon showers. Fortunately I got my swim in between them. (I don't mind swimming in the rain, but there was lightning and thunder and I just don't go there.)
    We were able to stream my DIL's show and loved hearing her and her band of heathens.
    Midway through the show, my SIL arrived to stay with us for the weekend so she got to see/hear her too.

    Saturday: My SIL was still visiting with us and went with us as we made our Saturday rounds. She wanted to go to Leaf and Petal ( a plant___I don't know that there is a better word than emporium to describe it) They have everything you could ever want beautifully displayed. (Including a cement monkey that I wanted badly, but it cost much more than I was willing to pay)  While we were out we stopped by their clearance store where I found a huge planter (more than %50 off) for the patio and Christmas presents for Book Club. I am going to start going there at least once a month just to see what is newly reduced.
    We did a few more errands then picked up lunch to bring home. After that we did a little work around here, sat on the porch under the fans, and talked. We intended to swim but waited too late and the thunderstorms came. It was still a really nice day!

    Sunday: My SIL got up early to go to a local church. One of her son's friends was hired as the minister and she wanted to go hear him. Afterward she decided to ride to Tuscaloosa to visit with some of their cousins, so TheHub and I just hung out and read. When she came back we ate and then got a FaceTime call from Pip then spent time watching TV while talking and laughing. 

    Monday: SIL left Monday morning. She has 3 grandchildren she often keeps and needed to get back to them. We really did enjoy her visit and hope she will come more often.  My sister and I met at Mom's and set up a few props so we could get some shots of the house to use on the Zillow post.  We laugh a lot at silly things when we are together.

    Tuesday: Tuesday's biggest joy was getting to stay home all day. I finally had everything I needed to get Mom's sewing supplies, that had been sitting in a huge box in the laundry room for a couple of months, organized. Yea me! Never accuse me of needing immediate gratification!  Now I just need to find a place for Dad's LP's and CD's, but that might be for another month !?!

    Wednesday: My Beloved Sister came over to my house mid morning. The day was gorgeous and we put the pool to good use! Later in the afternoon we met at Mom's to talk with an electrician about changing the fuse box to a breaker box. We need to have things up to code before selling the house and code has changed substantially since my folks built the house.
    That night we watched a live stream jazz show from FirstLive in Brooklyn. Aaron Matson has a tight little combo, and has the voice of a crooner. It was very enjoyable.

    Thursday: I had a wonderful phone visit with Sluggy. She makes me laugh out loud. In fact, I am glad I was not drinking coffee or I would have spewed a couple of times.

    I hope you find your joys each day. They are always there even if you really have to look for them.

    Today I am sharing the photos of the rest of the interior changes

    There is no point in showing a living room before picture since she only got some fresh paint. The original hardwoods are just as pretty as they have always been.

    The dining room had some pretty dated wallpaper but seriously gorgeous hardwoods

    Wallpaper removal and a coat of paint made a huge difference. As a frame of reference the china cabinet is about four feet wide.

    One view of the den

    Another angle. The cabinet to the right of the piano was built to house Dad's stereo, and the alcove was built to hold the piano. We had to rethink it when we had everything painted.

    Bad angle and bad lighting 
    This room is kind of tricky to photograph. If I were buying the house I would change out the outside door to the deck to  a 15 pane glass door, just to let in more light. But that's just me. The new owner can do it if they want to.
    Painting everything really brightened the den. We had to rethink the piano nook, but fortunately I had a TV from the lake house hanging out in my basement. We lowered the shelf and it worked.  Staging it for television placement looks intentional. I do have a small sage colored desk from the lake that I might put underneath just to fill the gap.

    The fireplace does not look so foreboding now that the walls are painted

    This is the multi use room in the basement. It is approximately 37x24, and you can't tell in the photo but the walls are light blue with fluorescent overhead lighting. 

    The ecru paint really did warm the room and the recessed lighting looks so much better. For scale that is a regulation sized ping pong table in the corner. The room also had a kitchenette/ wet bar at the back of the room.

    Another angle of the gigantic room

    Kitchenette/Wet bar with sink, two burner gas stove and mini fridge

    All we did in here besides the ecru paint was to reface the refrigerator  and change the color of the cabinet tops

    I am not going to post pictures of the bedroom b and a because they were simply painted  and the hardwoods cleaned. There was virtually no change.

    Up next exterior shots.

    Thursday, July 15, 2021

    More Bits and Pieces

    I thought I would show pics of the mini flip at Mom's of just the kitchen today, and decided before and after shots would be the easiest way to do it.

    Kitchen as it was before the flip. The cabinetry is all solid wood and much higher quality than we could have replaced them with, so we decided to keep them. 

    Post flip

    Stove and Microwave

    Same view with the pocket door to the dining room closed

    Tight shot of  Corian counters, blacksplash, window sill, and molded sink

    Tighter shot showing the quartz counter top, new under mount sink, tile backsplash, and new faucet and new windowsill

    Family dining area centered in a bay window

    Post flip but a narrower view. Paint and a new light fixture is all that really changed.
     We kept my grandmother's table in the eat -in area just to give it some scale. It their table when she and my grandfather were first married in 1918. Neither my sister nor I could use it in our homes, but after the house sells it is going to my cousin's daughter.  I am just happy for it to stay in the family.

    View from the dining room door

    Same view but slightly different angle

    You might or might not have noticed there is no picture showing the refrigerator. It is on the other side of the room but we had a little snafu. The new quartz countertop is a tiny bit wider than the previous Corian was. The refrigerator was always a tight fit, but now it will not fully recess into its "hole". We are waiting for a little adjustment, which is the last piece of the puzzle before we can list the house.

    Fingers crossed it happens soon. Though this house has been a big part of our  lives since we were kids, we are ready to lock the door and hand the keys over to another family, who will hopefully love it as much as Mom and Dad did.


    Wednesday, July 14, 2021

    Bits and Pieces

    As most of you know, we have been doing a small mini flip at Mom's house. I am sharing some of the things that have changed a little. I would appreciate constructive feedback, since we are just about ready to create the Zillow listing. The house is vacant except for 3 pieces of furniture and it is very difficult to stage an empty house without going to the expense of hiring someone who has all the staging furniture at their disposal. Instead we grabbed a few things from our houses to hopefully create some inviting pictures of an empty space.

    This was the deck outside her kitchen door. It is a large deck and the only thing we did was have it painted

    After the paint job

    A sweet spot to wind down, possibly with some wine

    Grill and an exit

    Stairs, obviously!

    This was the original Master Bath at Mom and Dad's house. White and grey ceramic tile, white painted sheetrock and white ceiling. We had changed the drawer pull and cabinet knobs by the time this picture was taken and were deciding on what we would do next. Everything else was from 1968 when they built the house. 

    We added a quartz countertop with a new under mount sink and a new faucet. Then we added a charcoal gray decorative edge beneath the quartz. You can't see it but we took the vanity light fixture down, sprayed it gunmetal gray and put it back up.

    Though comfort height toilets would be nice we decided there was not a big enough financial gain to be made by changing them. Instead we just scrubbed and scrubbed to get it sparkling, then bought a new toilet seat.

    Tomorrow possibly the den and kitchen

    Tuesday, July 13, 2021

    I Can't Say No to Tuesday 4

    When I actually remember it is Tuesday, I play along with Annie @Tuesday 4.

    Today the topic is Books.. TV.. Movies.  I kept it simple and stuck with movies.

    1 A movie theme song will play every time you walk in the room.. what is it? (consider asking family or friends)
    I asked my beloved sister who said it would depend if I were in a good or bad mood. 
    The first is not a theme song but is a song from the movie Oklahoma, I Cain't Can't Say No which, in my case, has nothing to do with relationships. Everyone that knowns me knows I have a hard time saying no to requests, so I wind up doing a lot of things I don't necessarily want or have the time to do. (This would be my pre-covid self. Now I have developed better "No" skills)

     If I am in a really foul mood she said my theme song is the theme from Jaws

    Maybe I should not have asked the one person who has known me the longest for this answer

    2. What movie, book or TV program could you live in? 
    I have never thought of this before but I think I could live happily in "Chocolat" It is a sweet movie with chocolate and Johnny Depp!

    3. Is there a book/movie/TV quote you often think about or that effects you in some way? 
    "I am just one stomach flu away from my goal weight", from The Devil Wears Prada. I use it sarcastically all the time.

    4. OK friend, its your turn to organize our Blogger Movie Night where we get together as a group for snacks and movies!  What movies have you planned for us tonight and what snacks are we going to have?
    I would probably show "The Shawshank Redemption" It is a nice and non-offensive movie that works for everyone and it has a feel good ending. 
    Snacks? Cokes and popcorn of course, with a theater size box of Goobers or Milk Duds for everyone.