Saturday, March 29, 2008


These crocuses (crocii?) have just hung in there, and have cheered me everytime I've seen them. I have crocuses blooming, and mini-daffs (note to self; get more mini daffs!). This weekend has been cold with some snow blowing around, but I know spring is here, and don't mind a few wintery days.
Go to As the Garden Grows to see what else is blooming.
Happy GTS!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - Spring Craft Day!

Show and tell is always fun. Head over to Kelli's blog to see everyone's treasures!

For my show and tell today, I wanted to invite you to see our craftiness. My daughters (and grandchildren) get together now and then to make things and have fun together.

Last week we made “SPRING” signs, and bags.

Edge was our ever-gracious hostess, and planned a few fun crafts for the kids. She and Sassy went to the craft store and bought the supplies for our lovely spring sign.

This was a pretty kid-friendly craft, as you can see.

I brought most of the stuff for our bags, which we made from a simple pattern. Even the two younger girls wanted to make their own bag.

I am especially happy with the straps, which I got at a half-price sale at JoAnn’s. You can cover them with fabric or leave them as is.

This is one of the finished bags, nothing too complicated. My 12-year old made this one, complete with inner pocket, and has been using it as her book bag this week.

Making bags is great if you want cloth bags to take to the store to carry your purchases home in, or a great way to use up those fabric remnants you buy without really knowing what you are going to do with them!

The only thing that would've made our day better is if we could have had Gretchen with us. We all missed her that day!

Dianthus 'inferno' ?

I have hesitated to put this post together - but Park Seeds keeps sending me catalogs, and I keep looking at this unappealing flower. I admit I thought it was a rose, but this 'beauty' is a dianthus, actually. Park (a company I've only had positive experiences with as far as ordering seeds and plants) advertises "There's never been a color combo like this! "
I would have to agree. Purple and red together doesn't work for me, for example, when those 'red hat' gals are around. This just looks blech-o to me. I keep thinking maybe the photo is not accurate, that maybe the flower 'in person' wouldn't be so bad. But why would they try to sell it with this photo? Maybe it's not so bad? Anybody like this? Anybody grown this? Does it really look like this? Just wondering.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - bathroom redo

I was over at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago, Carolyn's blog , and enjoying her tales of remodeling and home improvement.
My tale today is of much more modest proportions, but today for Show and Tell, I thought I'd show you what I've been doing, re-doing our master bathroom. It is not even finished, but it looks considerably better than it did.
I hate to call it a full-scale remodel, because there were no walls smashed out or cabinets installed. When we moved in, I knew I’d get rid of the metallic w/ butterflies wallpaper in our master bathroom, I just didn’t think it would take me 7 years to get it going! I guess a more accurate description would be a ‘work in progress.’ (Please don't even bring up the RED SINK!)
We still need to put up the lights and buy and install towel racks or hangers, change out the red sink for a white one, and etc., etc.
I put paint chips up to help me think about what color I wanted. They were up for years. My friends initialed the ones they liked the best, and then teased me when they came by for another visit and the paint chips were still there, but nothing had been done.

So – we tore off the wallpaper, that was easy. Cleaning off the leftover adhesive wasn’t hard, either.
I chose a light blue paint for the walls , and painting the walls didn't take long, it is a small room.
Then things got bogged down, because I decided white floor boards and trim would look a lot better with my cool sky blue than the brown/black floor boards and trim I had (and this color of trim is throughout the house, it goes with the wrought iron!!). You can see the dark brown trim and door trim in these pictures. My lovely and enthusiastic helper is there, too!
I painted the walls a light blue, wanting something calming, like the ocean for color. We ended up with Behr brand paint in a lovely color called ‘Cool Sky’. The middle color in this paint chip is 'Cool Sky.'

My DH took the (brown) door off, and I sanded and painted, and painted and sanded the door. It came out looking tolerable. The bathroom trim took a lot of coats of white to cover the dark brown/black shade. And, I do enjoy painting, but I am a sloppy trim painter, so there was a lot of fixing and wiping as I painted the trim. That all takes a lot of time.
So now the walls are done, the trim is done, the door is painted and rehung, and I even painted the bedroom wall next to the bathroom a lighter shade of blue. I am happy with the effect.
Oh, and I took apart the mirror and spray painted it, changing it from gold to silver. I think it looks great; my DH is still not so crazy about the mirror.

So, a lot of work, but big improvements, I think, and still more to do. In this last picture you can see the lovely, unwallpapered walls, the new silver mirror, the white (instead of cream) light switch covers. YOu'll have to take my word that the white trim is an improvement, I am too tired to add another picture!

Usually I'd say to be sure to head over to Kelli's blog to see what else is going on today for Show and Tell, but I think she is not doing show and tell this week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sunrise, Sunset

The weather is sooo much nicer than it has been, that somehow there is enough time to look around a bit as I head out the door. Yesterday morning was a beautiful morning, so I thought I'd share a photo or three of the beginning and the end of the day. I was actually trying to get some good pics of this hawk. In the picture above, you can see it flying away (middle of the lower part of the picture).
Here is the end of the day. I always love to see the sunlight streaming through the clouds.

If you get a minute, why don't you post your sunrise and sunset photos? I'd love to see them.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

St. Patrick's day around our house has more to do with heritage and genealogy than drinking and partying. I have a few Irish ancestors: Nixons, and Carskadons are a few families in my family lines.
Some years I would serve green orange juice (that sounds strange, doesn't it?). Some years I would make Corned Beef and cabbage, but I don't do that much anymore. It is a pretty fatty, tough meat (at least by the time I'm done with it!). So I sometimes would serve cupcakes w/ green frosting, or something like that, to remind my family of their Irish heritage. Recently I found this recipe for soda bread that I like very much. It is easy and quick to make, tasty, and has some whole grains in it.

Quick Irish Soda Bread
(modified from Joy of Cooking)
Sift together in a large bowl:
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 ½ c. flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
4 t. sugar
Cut into the flour mixture:
6 T. butter
Add and mix together:
1 beaten egg
¾ c. buttermilk
(you can add 1 c. raisins or currants and or 2 t. caraway seeds, but I don’t)
Put dough into a greased 8 inch round cake or pie pan.
Bake at 375ยบ for 20-40 minutes.
I have adjusted the baking powder for high altitude baking
- if you are at less than 2000 feet, you should add about 1/2 t. of baking powder.
This is a quick and easy bread to make,
and an easy way to put some whole grains in your diet!

Friday, March 14, 2008


I headed out into the yard today, to see if any bulbs were starting to come up. As you can see, there is still a fair amount of snow in my yard (this being Utah, and all).
As I had hoped, there were a few bulbs coming up, here and there, and a fair amount of evidence that there were bunnies hopping around in the yard. I am surprised these tender starts had not been nibbled on.
It was wonderful to get back out in the yard, even if it meant hiking over crunchy snow piles. And then- surprise! I saw real flowers- two little crocus are my earliest bloomers of the year!
I am so pleased to see them! A nice welcome to spring, I'd say!
Head over to May Dreams Gardens and see who else is participating in Bloom day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - meeting a new friend

As part of my recent trip to Chicago to hang out with my Sassy daughter who was at the famous Diamond Headache clinic to get some help with her migraines, I contacted a blogger friend from Chicago and she kindly agreed to meet me at Chicago's Lincoln Park Conservatory. We met and had a nice tour of the spring show at the Convservatory.

In this photo, I am on the right, with the goofy look on my face. Carolyn Gail, of Sweet Home and Garden Chicago blog fame, is the lovely lady on the left. Here we are, having just met. I am enjoying the smell of this glorious wisteria, and hungry to see some more beautiful plants.
I won't show them all, but we saw banana plants, cocoa bean plants, a banyan tree, and many other delightful plants. There were a lot of great orchids.
This photo does the color of this orchid some justice, but it was a unique color.

Just to finish out the tour, we saw some lovely angel trumpets. I am liking these better and better, maybe I'll have to grow some myself!
I have been to Chicago a few times before. This time I noticed that you could really miss a garden if you didn't have one in the city. I also noticed the wind off of the lake, which is quite brisk. Maybe the wind explains why everyone in Chicago seems to be able to walk faster than me! It was great to be there with my daughter, and also great to meet a fellow garden blogger of such charm as Carolyn. We had a nice tour of the Conservatory, then checked out a few things at the zoo, and then got some warm treats at a coffee shop.

Thanks again, Carolyn, for your hospitality in the Windy City! It is always wonderful to meet a new friend.

Show and Tell Friday is sponsored by Kelli at There is no Place like Home. Head on over to join in the fun!

Show and Tell

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - children's pottery

Show and tell Friday is sponsored by Kelli at There is No Place Like Home. Head over to be part of the fun.

Today I wanted to show everyone some art work some of my children made and gave to me. The little yellow duck (?) on the left is of uncertain origin - I am pretty sure my son made it. Cute, isn't it?

The middle piece is the most recent, our youngest made it just this year. I love the decorative markings she put on it. She was not happy with the crack on the back side, but that is a small matter. Finally, the cat on the right has sat on my window sill for some time. I like this one because of the flower-pot color, and because she made it, which is true of all of these little pieces. The artist is embarrassed because she made it without any back legs (when she was about 8 years old!) but I really do love it!
Funny how fast they grow up, isn't it? Do you have any artwork you still keep that your children made and gave to you?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

What kind of puzzle are you?

I saw this little blog-quiz over at Hootin' Anni's. I always enjoy visiting her blog, there is always lots to see. Anyway, try it out, it was a fun little quiz:

You Are a Crossword Puzzle
You are well read, and you have a good head for remembering facts.
You are a wordsmith. You have a way with words, and you're very literate.
You are a mysterious person who enjoys dropping little clues every now and then.
What Kind of Puzzle Are You