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August 25, 2016

This and That This week #7

It's been a very quiet week.

Last week I mentioned I got a new pot for the Christmas Cactus.

I stopped in at one of my favorite gardening centers and mentioned to the girl what I was doing and she said I should use the "African Violet' soil- that they like a real rich soil…. something I didn't know about them.

To keep the soil from draining out the bottom I cut a little piece of landscape fabric to cover the whole and placed a piece of broken clay pottery over top.  

After I filled the pot part way I used some more clay pieces to create sort of a border. In my early days of growing indoor plants I had read that adding clay pieces like this also helps to prevent it from staying too moist.  With all that perlite in it I doubt that will be an issue for it but since the pot is so deep I figured why not.

When I pulled it out of the pot it was solid with roots.

I tickled the roots loose here and there and on the bottom too before setting in in place.

And here it is!  Before any chance of a frost I will have it back in the house but for now I think it will do best staying outside and allowing the roots to spread and get comfy in it's new surroundings.

I have this very unique piece that Dan's father put together as a surprise for his mother many years ago. I had admired it and his Mom insisted I take it home with me this past June.  It's a concoction of a few scrap metal pieces he had and Dan thinks the water pump came from his grandparents farm long ago.
We're going to give it a new paint job and surprisingly this new pot fits in it like it was made for it.  I am aiming for a creamy white color.  I think it's going to look great with the flower pot on it!

I did a post on Monday which was my 6 year blog anniversary that you can visit 

Hard to believe it's been six years.  Blogging has been a great outlet for me!
Thank you so much to all of you who have already commented.  


I stopped in at Pier 1 because of a 20% discount offered on silk flowers.   I went in for a different color but spotted this pretty red one.  I asked if there were more and they checked the storage area but non were found.  They checked the computer and this was actually old stock marked for clearance and guess how much I paid!!  .88 cents!!
LOL… I said well for .88 cents I'll take it off of your hands!

Shh… don't get mad but I've bought some things for fall already only because when seasonal stuff comes out and you find it's on sale you have to jump if you want good selection.  
These will stay tucked away until I'm ready to decorate for fall. 

I saw this metal topiary frame filled with faux pumpkins at Hobby Lobby.  This would be cute if you have a nice front porch area to decorate.  I dot have a front porch but I get inspired by this for another idea.

I plan to use my metal topiaries I bought for my planters by the garage last spring to load up with some pumpkins.  I have some of that pine straw mulch that makes a great bed to dress out the top of the dirt and it keeps the real pumpkins from laying on the dirt where it could rot out quicker. 

Last year I found pumpkins with the flatter tops to stack on which worked out well but I think this will be a fun way to do it this year!

I've put a new post together after shuffling the living room furniture around (again).  
I'll share that soon! 

 That's all for This and That This Week!


August 22, 2016

Happy 6th Blogversary to Me!

Six years ago today I put my first blog post out in blog land!
I had been watching some others that I knew develop their blogs and thought I'd give it a try.

Getting started...
If it weren't for Linda @ Life and Linda I wouldn't have gotten off the ground with it.  I'm really not savvy in the department of computer language.
Early on she was nicknamed "fairy blogmother" by a bunch of us for getting several others started and rescuing some of us when we'd screw something up on our blogs!

** Thank you again Linda for all you've done for me! **

Why did I start blogging?

I'll spill my guts a little bit.
I was dealing with the empty the nest syndrome since our kids were out of the house
and in college.
More importantly though I needed something to focus on and to detract me from what was the worst financial time of our lives since Dan and I were married in 1978.  We had survived more than one recession but this one affected us like no other.
To begin with we are self employed and in 2001 we felt a change starting in the industrial sector of Michigan after the 9/11 attacks.  Michigan's economy became steadily worse and by 2008 we and pretty much everyone in the state of Michigan hit bottom.  Somehow we managed to stay afloat and little by little things started to improve.   We are still chugging along with our business although it's not the same as it was and never will be again.
I can definitely say that this experience changed us and we are wiser because of it.

My 2nd Blog...
Gardening was always a passion I had so I was also grateful to have it to focus on.  After I started my first blog I also started a 2nd blog called Sit With Me In My Garden.

Gardening can be therapeutic and rewarding.  It doesn't have to cost a lot- you can split up plants and double what you have and move plantings around to create new looks.  During our hard times I found it helpful to do things like that since I had very little to spend.

 Every winter I wait for the days to tick off and I really look forward for spring to arrive!
Seeing things sprout out of the ground makes me so happy and gives me such a feeling of renewed faith in everything!

Sharing changes in my home...
I  find it helpful to burn some energy off by shuffling things around in my home and if you've followed me for any length of time you know I've done this a lot!  For me changing things around gives the feeling of newness.  I don't like to be stagnate.
(No I don't go this far and re-paint my room every time I want to shuffle furniture!)

I love home decorating and find myself focused on that a lot.  I like to tweak things here and there.  It's been rewarding to "shop my house" and come up with new ways to use the things I already have.

When I found tablescaping in the blog world I thought it was crazy!  All I could think about was the cost of everything.  I kept my eye on it for a while and finally decided to give it a try.  Thanks to places like T.J. Maxx and following sales at some favorite stores I was able to build up a stash of tablescape related things.  It's a creative and enjoyable outlet and there's been so many fantastic ideas shared among the bloggers I'm glad I joined them.

Most of all I have enjoyed meeting all of you through blogland and sharing all of the things we do.   I very much appreciate the time you take to visit and leave a comment for me.
Somehow I feel that there are more out there like me who joined the blogging world due to a change in their lives and I'd love to hear your story too!

August 18, 2016

This And That This Week #6

Earlier this week fellow blogger Sheila from My Kentucky Living had shared a post about some cookies that I decided I had to make.  The recipe calls for bisquick and I had a nice big box of it as well as a brand new package of chocolate chips so of course I had to make some!

It was a rainy day and I thought this is a good time to bake!  Her post which you can go to "here" has a link that takes you to the recipe which is found on the Betty Crocker Website.  I love simple uncomplicated recipes and this one fit the bill!  I pre-measured ingredients and then put it together.  I chopped up some pecans to add in too.

I used my little ice cream style scoop to form each cookie.  I got 2 1/2 dozen out of the recipe.

I got a little laugh when I purchased the scoop.  I was at a little store that has loads of kitchen gadgets and I asked which size scoop was common for a typical cookie size.  She says "well that depends on if it's for home or for something like a school or church function.  She pointed to the smaller one and said that's for the functions (this way it will look like you have a lot more cookies because some people will grab a bunch and they can disappear quick)  :-)  The other is more typical for home.  The third one was quite large-  more like an ice cream scoop size and would make mega cookies.  I like using the scoop because you get a more even count.

I'm glad Sheila shared this because I have been known to buy those little packages of cookie mix and this is far more cost friendly!  I have to confess I've never use  Bisquick for more than biscuits, pancakes and a cheeseburger pie recipe I found on their box.   Did I mention these are delicious!

I've had my Christmas Cactus plant outside all summer in the shade and it's really filled out and looks very healthy but it's become pot bound.  I ordered a new flower pot to transplant it into.  Snicker snicker...I may have gone a bit too large!  I'm still going to use it though!  I found the flower pot on line by Terrain.  It has a black chalk finish and I liked the natural clay bottom.  It comes in white and natural too.  

This is my first Limelight Hydrangea I put in many years ago.  It's out front of the house and looks so beautiful right now have two spiraeas below the shrub that fill in.  They recently got trimmed a little too aggressively so they look a little shabby.  

I love the color and shape of the flower.  This one always looks a bit different than the ones out back.  It does get more sun so perhaps that's why.  They start out looking lime green and then go to white.  

Some pretty flowers right next to the limelight that are still blooming nicely!  Cone flowers, Black-eyed Susan's and Russian Sage.

I call this my forgotten garden.  I love these cone flowers and they have a nice light fragrance.  It's hidden around the side by a big blue spruce and I keep forgetting it's there!  Some gardener I am!  I love how summery it looks!  We're in the latter part of the summer now so it won't be long before all the flowers are done.

Last Sunday I shared a post about a newly discovered park on one of my shopping adventures.  You can visit it "here" if you like! 

                                                                         * * * *

This has been a long week.  Unfortunately I have to report my friend's son's injuries were so bad he couldn't be saved.  His body was alive but there was no brain function and after all the tests and monitoring were done it was determined that she had to let him go.  I appreciate all the prayers you've offered and now Linda could use more prayers for strength to get through all of this.

                                                                           * * * *

August 14, 2016

Went to shop- Found a Park!

Every so often we make a run up to Petoskey and I have a few hot spots I like to visit.  

I mentioned in a post  "here" back in early June about my admiration for the store called Monarch that is part florist and decorative elements for the home.  I went there first and looked for some things that will be added to my fall decorating once I get started on it.  

We had to park further away with than normal because it was very busy all around town that day. 
As we headed back to the car I turned my head and was stunned to see this park that I had never noticed before.  We always park about a half a block away and drive right by this area.  I think because we're always watching out for the pedestrians we just never noticed this before!

 I squeaked when I saw the gazebo.  I love gazebos and would love one in my yard….

I love all the hostas that they lined the sidewalks with.  We had rain on and off throughout the day so it wasn't sunny but it was a comfortable temp so that's good!

We headed along the path to see what else was there.

The park includes tributes to the Armed Forces.  
This Blue Star Memorial Marker was dedicated Sept. 18, 2014 

The Blue Star Memorial program was developed by the National Garden Clubs, Inc., in 1945 to pay tribute to the Armed Forces defending our country during World War II. Based on the original Blue Star flag displayed in the family homes, the star became a standard symbol on dedicated Blue Star Highways throughout the United States. The placement of Blue Star markers was approved by state legislatures in cooperation with State Departments of Transportation.
Today, the Blue Star memorial program has expanded to include many locations including highways, parks, veteran facilities, national cemeteries and historical/civic sites.
The markers pay tribute to all the Armed Forces defending our country, and they are a visible reminder of our love of gardening and our support for the Armed Forces of the United States of America. 

A Vietnam Veterans Memorial honoring those from this local area.

 A World War 1 Memorial

 Another memorial for World War II and Korea

 This big gun dates back to the 1800's

 This little girl was singing songs and totally enjoying herself.  Looks like Mommy has another one coming!

 Wow look at how much this weighs!

We turned around and went back to the gazebo.  Just as Dan got himself set up for a picture a local trolley style bus pulled up adding some more small town cuteness to the scene.  They offer free rides around town for the visitors!

 I was intrigued at how many people were just casually visiting and enjoying the park.  
It was a great day- not too hot and the rain was only intermittent.  People just seemed to be in an extra good mood!

There's an old set or railroad tracks still running through town.  Too bad they've done away with most of the railways in Michigan.  There are plans to start using some of what's left of the rails again and get a train going from southern Michigan up to the Traverse City area again.  I think that would be great!

Petoskey's gaslight district is always a big hit for the tourists.  I like to play tourist when I go up there too!

Side note:
Petoskey is a hot spot for finding or buying Petoskey stones that are found along the shores of Lake Michigan.  Michigan's state stone is the Petoskey stone.  Can you believe I haven't bought one for myself yet!  I'll have to fix that!

I hope you enjoyed my little visit to the new found park!

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