Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Color Spot

Awhile ago we were gifted some used lumber that we figured we could use for projects around the yard.  

This is the first of two or three things we plan to build with our freebies.

The cement pad you see in the bottom right hand side of the following picture is where we had a hot tub sitting.  We had to haul it out because the whole base of the stupid thing was rotting out.  Ever since then, the space has been cement, bare dirt and rocks.  Real attractive huh?


My husband terraced the space, which I though was a pretty brilliant idea, and added some interest with varying heights.  Looking at this picture, I now realize how UUUG.LY that block retaining wall is!

He lined the corners with some chicken wire and landscape fabric so  we wouldn't have dirt washing out from the bottom of the beds.  The dirt came from the never ending pile we had delivered during the springtime and is S.T.I.L.L sitting in the driveway.  Our neighbors love us. ;)

I bought some flowers, and a trumpet vine which I hope will grow up the wall and add some green to all that gray.

We also cleaned up the cement pad to make everything even more attractive.
I love it.  I now have one more space to plant flowers and add color to my somewhat drab back yard/deck area.  Brings a smile to my face!

Here's another view for ya'll to enjoy.

Hope you have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just a Little Somethin' Somethin'

I was in the mood for apples tonight.  Mostly because my husband brought home KFC for dinner and there never seems to be enough food for the money.

Soooo, my pregnant self still being hungry, I decided to experiment a bit, and guess what?  I pleasantly surprised myself!  Gotta love it when that happens. :)

This is what I made.  Sorry for the lousy photos, I did make this at night when the lighting isn't great for pics.

This is a variation of an apple crisp.  I took a quart of bottled apple pie preserve, and dumped it in an 8X8 glass baking dish. I then covered the apples with about 1/2 package of yellow cake mix, and dotted the whole thing with butter.  All of this got thrown into a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the whole thing started to bubble.

I let the whole thing cool and then spooned the warm "crisp" over vanilla ice cream.  Can you say heaven?

This hit the spot and filled that emptiness that dinner didn't quite take care of.

Oh, I'm sorry I don't have the recipe for the bottled apple pie filling (I'm sure you could use a canned apple pie filling or your own concoction).  If there is enough interest I can beg it off my brilliant mom to share.

Also, I might need to give a little credit to an old college roomate who gave me this idea, only I remember using cherries WAAAAY back then.  Seriously it was a very long time ago but I was sure glad that I was able to remember enough to come up with this ta-sty treat.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Painting hardware

I have a new project going on.  It involves this ugly brass hardware.

Isn't it gorgeous?  I would just love to scrap it but pinching pennies is the name of the game around here so I have a better option...I think.

This is where I pull out my spray paint.  Even better, it is stuff I already have laying around.

Brushed satin nickel.  I don't think the results look so bad.  I mean, it's not new, but it's better.

Stay tuned as I continue work on the project that these beauties will be going on.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Grew It

I grew this...yes I did.  

Spinach, from my own garden. 

I've never grown spinach before but I think I got a good batch.  The only thing I'd do differently is cut it while it's more on the baby spinach side, but this will still be great chopped up.  I think.

A friend recommended that I put together some spinach lasagna with it, and I just might have to give it a try.  I've never made my own lasagna.  I mean, the frozen stuff is so easy, ya know?

I plan on putting in another crop since this was so EAS-Y to grow.  I think with the next bunch, I'm going to try freezing it so I have a supply throughout the winter.

Does anyone have suggestions on what else I can do with all this goodness?  FYI,  I really don't want to just boil it and eat it that way because wilted piles of green mush just don't appeal, but I'm not picky at all.;)

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Friday, July 8, 2011

A Great Place to Visit

This last weekend for the 4th of July the whole family headed north to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

My parents are always working on this home and it shows.

Here's a little peek at the front.  The red bushes line the driveway that my kids love to ride their bikes up and down on.  One of my boys even got rid of the training wheels on their bike last weekend.  About time!

I'm jealous of all of the landscaping that they have.

The following picture is of the east pergola...yeah, ya heard me right, they have an east and west pergola.  This one is the newer of the two so the plants need to continue filling in.  This is between a huge grassy area that will one day hold a playground for the grandkids and the huge garden that ALWAYS looks better than mine.  Grrrr.:(

Here's the west pergola that has had a bit more time to fill in and offers all kinds of great shade.

It includes a fire pit that all of the kids, and maybe just a few of the adults love to make smores around.

What good would such a great space be without a big old barbeque grill?

You just want to sit back on that nice teak furniture and take a great nap...something grandpa gets caught doing A LOT.  Retirement wears you out ya know.

And here are some pictures of the garden that has been totally redesigned over the last year or so.

Two whole rows of raspberries...yu-um!  Off to the left you can barely see grape vines that just got planted this year.

My dad put in a couple of raised garden beds this year too.  One is for strawberries, and the other is for lettuce and whatever else suits grandma's fancy.

Of course, ya gotta have your basics like beats, onions, carrots, tomatoes, three kinds of squash, etc.  Oh, and I forgot the pictures of the apple tree and nut trees.

Always a good place to visit.

Last thing, does anyone know what this stuff is called?  It is a ground cover that I would love to have but can't find anywhere in my area and my mom doesn't have any idea what it's named.

Sometime in the future, I'll show ya'll a few pics of the inside.  I just couldn't resist sharing the summer greatness.
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