~The Bath redo is NOT finished Yet~

I‘ve been feeling under the weather and haven’t accomplished much theses past 2 days! Yesterday I spent almost all day in bed. Today I did manage to get a few things done, so here’s what’s done so far.

This is BEFORE….I tried a blue color even though I’m not a big fan of blue on walls. I lived with it for a while thinking it would grow on me, but no…..I just couldn’t get into this shade, so………
onto something new.

The shower curtain did have great colors , blues, brown & olive green. We trimmed out all the bath mirrors in our home. It’s just moulding and glue, a really easy project.
Here’s a glimpse of the over the toilet rack. It’s pretty, but was not sturdy at all! The old color, below, was Stream by Duron.
I mentioned in my previous post that I had a bit of a problem while painting. I got paint on the ceiling by accident. I got off as much as I could & thought I’d go over it later since I have all my paints labeled as to where they were used. Wouldn’t you know that I didn’t have any more of that paint! I had to paint the whole ceiling & I used some other paint that I had on hand. No use buying paint just for that when there is so much all ready!
The paint stash where I searched frantically for the ceiling paint. Do you have this much paint?
AFTER

The new color is still blue, but a green blue. It’s Icing on the Cake, from an old Benjamin Moore paint deck . This color is more my style because it has green in it. This shelf was a yardsale find. It was in bad shape when I bought it. I added trim & paint & voila! It’s real wood, big & heavy, I’m likin it! The huge coral piece & the FAITH piece are also YS finds.
The towel rack, shower rod & tp holder were painted with Sophisticated Finishes in Bronzed black. It took primer & a couple coats but they turned out great. I decided to paint the tp holder where it was because I had such a hard time getting the towel rack back on the wall after I took it off to paint. The vanity knobs will get painted too.
This pic shows the truest color on my monitor

So that’s it so far. It’s still blue, but a blue I love. Choosing paint is hard for me. I always seem to pick a too dark or too deep color. I understand the color wheel & undertones……….paint companies need to make BIGGER paint samples. From all my painting disasters I’ve learned quite a bit……… it’s only paint!

I hope to get sewing tomorrow on the shower curtain & window treatment. I managed to get to a sale at Hancock’s and found some nice fabric.

Hope you’ll check back later to see the finished room. Happy Leap Day to all.

~This n That & a free Magazine~

An article about the Magazine from Fraft Foods. The dish on the cover is Gram’s chicken pot pie.

Prep Time:10 min
Total Time:40 min
Makes:6 servings
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 lb. (4 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut up
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (1/2 of 17.3-oz. pkg.), thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
PREHEAT oven to 400ΒΊF. Heat dressing in large skillet. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 min. or until cooked through. Stir in vegetables, soup and VELVEETA. Spoon into greased 9-inch square baking dish.
UNFOLD pastry sheet; place over chicken mixture. Fold under edges of pastry; press onto top of baking dish to seal. Brush pastry with egg. Cut several slits in top crust to permit steam to escape.
PLACE dish on baking sheet. Bake 30 min. or until deep golden brown. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

You could lighten this recipe by using low fat products. This is definitely comfort food…….I’ve made a similar recipe using regular pie crust….I always cheat & buy the premade that you just unroll. Premade pie crust is one of my favorite products. Soon I’ll be doing a post all about our favorite products, so think about what products you MUST have in your home.

To get this great free magazine you will need to register here. (near the top left). You should find a box to check during the regristration process that will get you this magazine. I think it’s published quarterly. For a free magazine it’s great!
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Are you joining the ultimate blog party? Read all about it here. Get your blog noticed AND prizes….what more could you want!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008
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Our weight watchers meeting was a bust….the leader never showed up. We had a storm the previous day & she has a bit to travel to get to our town so I’m concerned. I sure hope she’s ok.
I was anxious for the weigh in too …oh well…on to next week.
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I‘m currently working on a bathroom makeover. Just paint, accessories & fabric. We had a small glitch….just a little set back. Hopefully it will be complete at the end of the week, so stay tuned for the reveal.
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I managed to snag a lay0ff from work. I’ve been doing the happy dance. That means that when the layoff is over I will have only 1 week to work!! !!! Then I’ll be officially retired! This time off is giving me a taste of what retirement will be like….I’m lovin it!!!
Happy Blogging!

~The OOPS baby & a Sister’s Love~

The story of Jake.
Jake was a big surprise for our family. My daughter had a health problem & had to stop using birth control. Needless to say she became pregnant almost immediately!, thus the “oops baby!” The pregnancy was high risk & she had to give herself daily shots of coumadim. At that time Tay, Jake’s big sister, was 12. I know my dear daughter thought it was so unfair to her to be having a sibling when she’d been an only child for so long. They were so close & she worried what might become of their relationship. Add to that, her H wasn’t quite thrilled about it either……well…….then why….you get the picture. Here’s Jake the first few moments of his life.
Tay’s first gaze into her brother’s sweet face.

Jake has the flu ……his fever spiked & he had a seizure. It was President’s day so my g’daughter now 14, was at home with Jake & their Dad, he wasn’t working that day either. My daughter was on her way home from work & only a mile away when she got a call to get home! She followed an ambulance up their driveway.

Here is what Tay wrote to Jake post seizure. Make sure you have tissues ready!

JACOB GUNNAR MCCARTY……. (Not his last name, he has 2 middle names)
My little brother, Jacob Gunnar, you don’t even have a clue how much I care for you. I didn’t know that until you were born that you could not even know someone but love them so much that you cry. When you were first born on Feb. 23, I knew how different my life was going to become. And oh boy was I right. It is, way totally, extremely different, in every way. You, my little brother, have made a very large impact on my life. Very, very large, in all different ways. And Jakey baby, me and you, we have a connection. Everybody can see it. The way me and you get along, I mean sure, you get annoying sometimes but you are a little kid, you are allowed to do that. But the way you always cry when I go to stay the night with my friends, the way you copy everything I do, you mean the world to me. I love you so much. When I haven’t seem you in like a day, I miss you so much. I always get so excited about seeing you. Boy, you sure are a handful though. You can get super hyper. That is definitely for sure. You always have allergies but you know you scared me really bad today. On Feb 18th, 2008 you had a seizure. You stopped breathing. You turned light purple, your mouth was all foaming stuff/snot, and you were shaking all over, of course. I had to call 911 and Mommy wasn’t here but she got here. Daddy was your hero. But Jakey baby, I didn’t know what was happening to you. Daddy just screamed at me. (to call 911)Then I saw you and I really thought we were going to lose you today. Your eyes were rolling in the back of your head and all kinds of stuff. It was incredibly scary. Everybody was so worried about you buddy. You have a lot of people that care about you. You are one lucky little boy. And you know Adam ( a cousin who passed away last year) would have been there if he was still with us. He cared for all of us very much. He watches over you. πŸ™‚ Well, baby brother, I just wanted to let you know that you mean the world to me and that I will try to be the best big sister ever. I’m always here for you. You are my life. I love you little brother.

All is well now, after his fever was down he was back to being Jake riding his truck around the family room.! Thank you Lord! What a scare for the whole family! My daughter needed lots of reassurance that he would be ok even though she has seen this countless times in her work at the hospital. During the ambulance ride he raised his head & said, “big truck.” Such a little sweetie! Taylor & Tara, my daughter……their relationship has not suffered…it has grown stronger.Pretty Tay just posing for the camera.

I think this picture is priceless. Whacha lookin at Buddy?
He’s ALL boy.
Jakie & my SIL. He is a great daddy to his son.

That’s the story of Jake. I pray it goes on & on. He brings such joy & love.
Why isn’t spell check working yet ?

~Guardian Cookware~

My dear MIL has a huge Guardian cookware roaster that she uses to make the most delicious roasts. My SIL & I kid about who will get it when she passes on…aren’t we awful! Last year I spied several pieces at a yardsale & unfortunately so did the local antiques dealer. He took quite a few pieces but I managed to get this smaller roaster. OHHHH…. I love this thing. Everything comes out so delicious. The website claims it to be hammered aluminum waterless cookware. You can see just how thick and heavy it is. Home parties were the only way you could buy it & it was quite expensive at the time.

Here is one of my H’s favorite meals, roast beef with carrots & potatoes. I just dump a packet of dry onion soup over it and put her in the oven, no liquid needed. Boy did our house smell good while this was roasting!
My H loves those dark brown bits on the veges & the meat is so tender……..with just enough liquid in the pan for a splash of au jus.

I can remember my aunt having a complete set of Guardian cookware. How I loved her meals with us all squeezing around the table in her tiny kitchen. She even served ice cold drinks from the bottom part of her coffeepot.
If you ever come across an old guardian pot for sale , you should think about trying it, you won’t regret it……I’d love to have a few more pieces…….especially that big roaster. πŸ˜‰

Weight Watchers update…
So far it’s 9 lbs. The weight is coming off slower now but I’m still chugging away. I tried a recipe from one of my weekly pamphlets…..0 points for 1 cup! I thought it wouldn’t be that good, but it’s so flavorful! It’s just carrots, garlic & onion…… Saute that & add fat free stock, cabbage, green beans, tomato paste and zucchini, I added yellow squash too ….. Then basil & oregano. It’s really good!

Anyone have any Weight Watchers stories or recipes to share? What’s your favorite low fat, low cal snack or recipe?

~Harlequins & Valances~

I‘ve had some requests to explain how to do the harlequin pattern. Well, here’s the thing…I’m not quite exactly sure how I did this…I have a tendency to jump in & fiqure it out as I go. But, I’m going to try to explain how to do it. Here goes…….

*First paint the wall the background color, that would be your lighter color.

*Next get the exact center of the wall. You can use a chalk line to go from top left to bottom right & vise versa. The center of that X is the exact center of the wall. Put a dot in the center of the X. It is the center of your first diamond.

*Measure the length of the wall to determine the width you want the diamonds. Pick a # easy to work with.

* Measure the height of the wall to determine the height of the diamonds. What I mean by this is to pick a # that will give you full diamonds at the top & sides of the wall…….if that is what you want. You can see that I didn’t to that because I hadn’t thought it out all that much!
This iron planter with a harlequin design was a $6. yardsale find.
* After you have determined the size of the diamonds, you work out from the center on a level horozontal line, placing a dot the width of the diamonds. REMEMBER, the center dot is the MIDDLE of your first diamond so your first dots going right & left are 1/2 the width of your diamond.

* On a level vertical line do the same for the height of the diamonds. Work out from the center, again, the center dot is the middle of your first diamond.

* You just keep doing that until you have the wall laid out, then you connect the dots. You will need to put horozontal dots on one row & vertical dots on the next. This probably doesn’t make sense but it will once you get going.

This may sound complicated but it’s really not. You could try a template or a stencil but you’ll still have some measuring to do.


When doing something like this, where you need to make marks on the wall, I use colored pencils in a color close to my paint color, they blend in well. The fleur was a stencil. I was thinking of using a bee but couldn’t find a stencil I liked.
*Tape off small sections at a time & start painting. That’s it!

Anyone who’s done this pattern, please feel free to jump in here with any advice.

Now to the valance………I’ve had some questions about the pattern & how it’s hung.

The valance is hung on tiebacks from one of my favorite stores, Big Lots! This McCall’s pattern(3632) was meant to be hung on a rod from the 3 rod pockets, but I wanted to try & stagger it with these fleur de lis tiebacks. Underneath this tassel cording is a rubberband holding it on the tieback. Play with it until it suits you, then wrap the tassel around the tieback & fabric.

I hoped that I answered all your questions. Please feel free to ask anytime……I’m complimented by your asking….I may not answer immediately, but I’ll get to it. I’m glad to be able to help anyone with their projects.

~Mom’s Valentine’s Day~

The annual Valentine’s party at Mom’s assisted living was so much fun for her this year. She really enjoyed herself & was singing along with all the old songs….something she rarely does. It felt good to see her enjoy herself so much. This year she was voted by the staff to be Queen of the cottage! Here she is checking out the king’s crown.
Love that tiara! She’s due for a perm but the hairdresser was on vacation this week so she’ll be getting one next wednesday.
The king was actually flirting with her but I don’t think she quite got it!!!!

Here are the King & Queen with Michelle Marie, aka Mim…. She is my all time favorite hugger & care giver. She has an outstanding personality & loves all the residents! She lets them know how much she loves them too! She can be loud & commanding if she needs t,o but it’s always with love. Her singing voice is amazing. Sometimes she even does cartwheels to entertain everyone & her patience is endless!

Recently we had an issue with some of Mom’s meds….the Dr. thought she might be showing signs of being over medicated. A small change was made to one of her meds ( one that helps control delusions & paranoia) & now she has actually gotten her appetite back & seems to have a bit more energy, but (always a but) the delusions are coming back. If she is asking for a ride home after work because she is so tired after working a double shift & demanding that someone take her home, it becomes very stressful for her & the caregivers. When she starts asking for Pete, my deceased stepfather, to come & pick her up….It just breaks my heart. So now some more little changes are being made to get her meds just right for her. It’s a difficult thing …..trying to find the right balance. The progression of the Alzheimers is slow at this point & she has lots of other health issues, my hope is that she is comfortable & pain free. I know she won’t ever be as she once was or even stay as she is now……..When I Pray for Mom I always ask the Lord to Bless her & to guide me as I see to her care. I so want to do right by her, she’s my Dear Mom. Her version of the Queen’s wave. Isn’t she precious!

~A BIG THANK YOU~

My blog was featured on Today’s Creative blog! WOW
Believe me I am so honored to receive this award!
You can grab this blinkie from her blog if you wish. Please visit Kim’s blog to read about a new featured blog just about every day.

Her personal blog is Scrap to my Lu, where she talks about scrapbooking, her family, decorating & all things we women love to chat about.

Thank you Kim for hosting a blog where we can all celebrate creativity, get inspiration & feast on all sorts of eye candy.
Be sure to visit both of Kim’s blogs! Grab a cuppa because you might be there for a while.

~Can It~

Can it gifts……
Several years back I made some Can It gifts for friends. It’s an empty, unused paint can that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot & you fill with goodies. The first one I made for my friend Roxanne’s birthday. It had a sweet dreams theme all done in purple & lavender. I even managed to get a nightgown in with the other goodies. (There’s no picture of that one.) She loved it and I decided to make a few more near Valentine’s day. The next one was for Liz, a good friend who courageously battled cancer. She won the battle I’m happy to say.

Here’s Liz at work with her Can It. The theme was pamper yourself. Nail polish, creams & lotions, sleeping gloves & socks, shower gels & conditioner, her favorite candies & all things for a good pampering were in the can. The lid was decorated with silk roses in a nest of moss. I used a bit of fabric around the can to resemble a turban & added a gel mask.
The handle was wrapped in ribbon & the key opener was attached.
Here’s Beverly with her Can It. She was newly maried at the time so hers had a Valentines, snuggling, love theme. Hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows, gloves, candy kisses & hearts, candles…….I wish I could remember all I put in there. The can was decorated with a piece of fabric to resemble a scarf & a pair of little red mittens. Beverly has since battled a rare cancer in her thigh & has recovered. She is an amazing woman who has gone on to ride
in the Tour de Pink 2x to raise money for breast cancer. She’s in the front row, far right & her hair is almost shoulder length after growing out from chemo in this picture.

The last Can Its I made were at Christmas 2005. I gave my g’daughter & my g’son who were 12 & 14 at the time, each a card containing just $1. In the card I explained that I just couldn’t afford more that year because I had already spent so much on gifts! My g’son, being the sweetie that he is, just said something about it being ok…he understood. My g’daughter, on the other hand, gave me the strangest look! After all the gifts were opened I presented them with a paint can opener and a small sized paint can. They had to open their cans at the same time…….in each can were 99 one dollar bills, all wrinkled & crumbled! What fun that was…….I had a blast watching them count their money. Sadly no one was manning the camera……. isn’t that always the case.

Can It gifts are fun & easy! You’re only limited by your imagination! Just don’t forget the paint can opener!

Valentine’s day isn’t just for lovers, you can show your friends how much you love and appreciate them too.

~ Valentine’s Day Table~

Love is in the air & all around.
I like to decorate my dining room table for the seasons & holidays. For Valentine’s day I gathered up things I thought fitting and started playing around with their arrangement.

I began by layering a collection of vintage doilies and then scrunching them up. Now I realize that everyone doesn’t like the scrunched look but I like how you can see the edges of the doilies better that way. The flowers are carnations and I can’t believe how long they are lasting. They are in a glass in a shabby style ribboned urn.
The birdies that I won at Maureen’s giveaway , (Penchants, Ponderings & Posies) are dressed with Valentine’s ribbons. I even pulled out some old Valentine cards from my dear H & placed them in the mix.
Candy corn for Valentine’s day is in a heart shaped dish. I know lots of bloggers who love candy corn. You can see the pretty edges of the doilies and some hearts strewn here & there.
The key to my heart rests in another heart shaped dish on a bed of ribbon.
Other things I could have added are, champagne flutes, chocolate kisses, I LOVE U spelled out with Scrabble tiles and real roses. Maybe I’ll get them on the big day or maybe not….I’d really rather go out for a nice dinner.

How about you? How do you celebrate Valentine’s? I read a story about a young couple who couldn’t afford to spend money on expensive cards. They went to the store & picked out cards for each other, exchanged the cards right there in the store but never bought them, I thought ..oh how sweet. The price of some cards is ridiculous …maybe it should be called Happy Hallmark Day!

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable. -Henry Ward Beecher

~Meatloaf 101~

The lowly meatloaf, is it comfort food of a bygone era or still with us? My H loves meatloaf so we still make it at our house. I use just a basic recipe with the leanest ground beef I can find, old fashioned oats, a couple eggs and lots of chopped onion. I never measure anything when I make meatloaf.
Next I add a big dollop of ketchup and mustard, half an envelope of dry onion soup and half a small can of tomato paste. I’ll use the other half in the glaze.
A good meatloaf should only be mixed by hand! LOL
Here’s the glaze, it’s what makes it good! Mix the other half of the dry onion soup and the rest of the tomato paste with about 2 T. of brown sugar and enough water to make it spreadable.

I use a wooden spoon to make indentations in the loaf to hold the glaze.
Here are 2 loaves in a glass baking dish all glazed & ready for the oven. I always cook extra to give to my Dad. Bake it at 375 til it’s done.
All finished & good….. comfort food….with mashed potatoes, a meal fit for a king.

Sometimes I’ll add cheese or chopped mushrooms and green pepper to the mix. My H likes it made with carrots & potatoes in the roasting pan like you’d make a roast beef. You can use this recipe to make parmesan meatballs, just add in the parmesan cheese.

Don’t forget to add in the love!
How do you feel about meatloaf? Do you still make it?

~Groundhogs & Super Bowls~


Super bowl Sunday & Groundhog day back to back! What an exciting weekend!

The grounghog saw his shadow, so 6 more weeks of winter. Perhaps the earliest known American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Historical Society of Berks County in Reading, Pennsylvania. The reference was made February 4, 1841 in Morgantown, Berks County, Pennsylvania storekeeper James Morris’ diary: “Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”[2]
In the United States the tradition derives from a Scottish poem:
As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and snow
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop

Some famous groundhogs…….
Punxsutawney Phil found in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA
Wiarton Willie found in Wiarton, Ontario, Canada
Staten Island Chuck found in New York City, New York, USA
General Beauregard Lee, PhD found in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Dunkirk Dave in Dunkirk, New York, USA
Malverne Mel and Malverne Melissa found in Malverne, New York, USA
Brandon Bob of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Balzac Billy of Balzac, Alberta, Canada
Shubenacadie Sam of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, Canada
Gary the Groundhog of Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada
Spanish Joe of Spanish, Ontario, Canada
Sir Walter Wally of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Pardon Me Pete of Tampa, Florida, USA
Jimmy the Groundhog of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA
Octoraro Orphie of Quarryville, Pennsylvania, USA
Holtsville Hal of Holtsville, New York, USA
Buckeye Chuck of Marion, Ohio, USA taken from Wikipedia
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow shortly before 7:30 a.m. to the cheers of more than 30,000 people from as far away as Alaska and Texas, one of the largest crowds in the 122-year history of the event in the central Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney.taken from Reuters

That’s more than you really needed to know but still somewhat interesting…..LOL
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Have I mentioned that I don’t like football? I think I have. So all the hoopla …….I don’t get it.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers are performing at half time, that might be nice.
My H is a football lover & he has so nicely ask me to watch the game with him….ugh. He wants us to have our own superbowl party. I’m making a big pot of chili & home made mac n cheese, salad & garlic bread. I’ll eat salad,chili & maybe the tiniest bit of mac n cheese.

I’m watching my weight watchers points very carefully now. A total of 7.6 pounds have left me since I joined on Jan. 12. The flex plan is easy for me to follow & I make most of my choices from the list of core foods. I can put watching the superbowl to good use in my weight loss plan by jumping up & cheering after every home run…er …touchdown.

Hope you all enjoy the game & your team wins!

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A great big THANK YOU to everyone who stops by! I have not been able to keep up with blogging lately but I wanted to say thanks to all of you. I have been able to get around to some of your blogs and comment but even if I don’t visit or comment I’m still here & trying. I do love visiting other blogs & peeking into your lives & learning new things about you. If my posts are not posted regularly that’s just life demanding my attention. Please continue visiting, I do so appreciate it.
58 days til retirement, 35 working days! I can hardly stand it!