lost… FOUND!! – DP#99

Today was a day of LOST and FOUND.

I am dog sitting for 2 Scotty Dogs who belong to my neighbor while they are away on a vacation. Every morning I let the dogs out in their own yard to do their ‘business’… then let them in and feed them.

This morning I followed the routine, I let them out in their yard, I ran back to my house (close enough for me to spit and hit the siding) … when I heard one of the dogs barking. Since it was only 7:00AM I ran back out to quiet them down. ONE was MISSING!! EEEKKKK!

The little imp dug a hole under the fence and escaped! Panic set in as I thought of my neighbor returning home only to find her little love bug GONE! AND… his identification tag came off and was lying in the dirt. OH NO!!!

All’s well that ends well. After searching the neighborhood for an hour the little monster was on his way back home when my son spotted him, scooped him up and returned him to his food bowl.

Sandy and Midnight. The escapee is the little one in the foreground.

Sandy and Midnight. The escapee is the little one in the foreground.

NEXT UP… my necklace!

When I moved here three years ago money was tight. So tight I was strangling. To help pay my bills, gas, moving expenses, and food… I sold a lot of my jewelry. I kept the few pieces that had sentimental value… and traded the rest for cash. One of the few pieces I kept was a necklace a friend had given me. It held a special place in my heart.

It’s a difficult piece to wear. Since it is a lariat, there is no clasp. You simply drape it around your neck and flip one beaded end over the other, kind of like the first part of tying a shoe. As you move, it tends to un-do itself and fall off.

necklace

 

Well… a few months ago I decided to wear it… and yes, you guessed it… it fell off and I lost it. I looked EVERYWHERE for it… even in the couch cushions… to no avail. I was heart broken. I retraced my steps of the day. I had only been to two places… Costco and Homegoods. I checked with the Lost and Found at Homegoods… Nope… then decided Costco was going to be a wasted effort. My thought being that if someone spotted a gold necklace on the floor… they would most likely pocket it and walk away. *SIGH*

I gave myself ‘the talk’. Material things aren’t important, don’t lose sleep over it, it’s no big deal, and on and on. You know the drill. Besides… the local store still carries them and I could always purchase a replacement if I really wanted. No, I decided I didn’t want a replacement. If I couldn’t have the original… I didn’t want one at all. It wasn’t the actual necklace I missed… but the sentiment behind the gift… and THAT couldn’t be replaced. The necklace was just a physical reminder, my heart still held the sentiment. I stopped looking for the necklace.

Today I happened to be in Costco with no rush to be any where else… so I asked for the LOST and FOUND department. After what seemed like an hour (in reality only 15 minutes) the Costco employee came out of the back room holding my necklace!!! I was so happy and excited that I gave her a HUGE hug!!!

What a GREAT day!!! Lost… found… and found! Phew!

Spier vs Steeple – DP#98

RAM Steeple

 

 

Did you know there was a difference between a Spier and a Steeple?? I always thought the words were interchangeable until today.

I found myself back in the town I raised my family. The church above is affectionately known as RAM… Reformed at Millstone. In reality it is named… The Hillsborough Reformed Church. I have no idea why the two names. No matter what you call it… this is the church all three of my children were confirmed, one was married, and the venue for my husband’s memorial service. The view of the steeple towering through the fall trees was simply breath taking… so I snapped a quick shot… from the car… while driving.

I know… I hear you… that wasn’t a safe thing to do. Believe it or not no one else was on the road, I slowed to a crawl, lowered my window, aimed, and pushed the button.

Research informed me the lower part with all the arch openings is called The Belfry… and there is usually a bell inside. I know from experience there IS a bell in this tower… and it’s LOUD! The conical structure above that is the Steeple… and the pointy, thin part above that is the Spier.

According to Webster’s Dictionary…A SPIER is a slender tapering blade or stalk. Used in Gothic architecture as a symbol to heavenly aspirations. Which is why it was traditionally used on churches. So… now you know.

Huh… and to think, I thought I was just taking a photo of a pretty view.

Toilet Paper – DP#97

Toilet Paper

 

THIS is how my son changes the toilet paper. I will never understand why it is soooooo difficult to simply take off the empty cardboard tube and replace it with a full roll. The time consuming part… having to actually GET the new roll, is already done.

He leaves for the west coast in a few weeks, and it will never be an issue again. *Sniff* I am sure one day when I have to change the roll myself I will get misty eyed as I reminisce about this little quirk… among others.

True Love & Technology – DP#96

Heart Charm

 

Ahh…. to be young and in love.

My son is a HUGE Eagles football fan. Thanks to his father, we all bleed green. Well… the Eagles play their rivals, the Giants today, and he won’t be able to view the game. Instead, he is ‘taking one for the team’ of true love and will be spending the day with his girlfriend in New York at the Botanical Gardens.

This is the second time this season the Eagles and Giants matched up on the gridiron… and he missed that game also. He went apple picking with his girlfriend and her parents that day.

Thanks to technology he was able to DVR the game and watch it later in the evening. The hard part of course was keeping away from social media where ‘friends’ shared their outbursts on their iPhones.

I raise my glass in admiration to my son, for doing what’s right. As long as there is technology that enables you to have your cake, and eat it too… the world will be a happier and more peaceful place.

*** The photo above is of a charm I made out of junk mail.

Magic Chair – DP#95

Magic Chair

 

You know the old saying ‘All good things come to those who wait’, right? Well… I waited… and waited… and waited… and finally my good thing came yesterday!!! My MAGIC CHAIR!

Why is it magic… I hear you ask? Because it’s just my size, very comfortable, and I feel like a young kid again instead of an 80 year old hag when I get out of it… that’s why.

A friend of mine had an old, beat up recliner in their house. It was smaller than most recliners, not very pretty to look at, and you could tell it had plenty of mileage on it. Most people would have trashed the thing by now… but not my friend. It was placed in the corner of the room, facing the lake. I had sat in that chair many times, but never reclined.

One day I hobbled into my friend’s house and explained I had fallen the day before and had twisted my left knee and broke a small bone in my right foot. They convinced me to sit in the recliner and ‘push back’… as it would be good for my aching foot. WOW! They were right!!!

Not only was I comfortable, but when I got up to leave I felt like a million bucks!! That’s when I began calling it the MAGIC CHAIR. All my aches and pains disappeared. I bounced out of their house like a young kid. All rested and on the road to recovery.

Well… all good things must come to an end. That chair is no longer available to me. There were times when I wasn’t feeling well over the past two years that all I wanted to do was to sit in that chair, snuggle up in an afghan, and stare at the lake.

I have my own afghan, lake view, and chair at my home… but it wasn’t the same. My chair is a huge, oversized, cushy leather thing. In order to sit comfortably you have to draw your knees up and curl into it. Your legs and feet fall asleep after a while and you can’t shift around to get comfortable. When you stand up, you groan as your aching muscles stretch and the blood begins to circulate again. It takes a moment, but after a while you feel steady enough to walk.

Well… no more achy limbs!!! I now have my very own MAGIC CHAIR!!! It took a little over two years… but I found the perfect chair for me. It’s ‘just my size, and reclines just the right amount. It’s easy to get in to, and easy to get out of. I placed it in the corner of my living room… facing the lake.

I am sure the companionship of my friend also had a lot to do with my feeling ‘young’ again. But I can only take one step at a time. For now… it’s the chair. I’ll continue to wait for the rest.

Come for a visit and try it out your self.

Ahhhhh…. There’s no place like home 🙂

 

Facelift – DP#94

Original cabinet

 

No… not me. A new facelift for a very old corner cabinet.

Most people would look at this piece of furniture and say, “Trash it.” But not me. No, this is special. It’s not made of the finest wood, nor does it have dovetailing or superior carpentry workmanship… but it DOES have character, and was made by the hands of my Great-Grandfather… with the help of my mom.

It was built somewhere around 1935 or so… and was stained a dark brown color. If you look closely you will notice a small round hole in the center of the top. There is a very unique (nice way of saying ugly) brass Ram’s Head that was mounted there. My mother chose it… and my Great-Grandfather installed it. I removed it about 13 years ago and painted the cabinet dark blue.

Well… it’s time for a facelift. I re-painted the cabinet grey… a few shades darker than my walls. I still have the Ram’s head and am deciding if I should clean it up and re-mount it. I think I will give it a try. If it is still ugly, I can always remove it again.

Any way… time for the big reveal. Here’s the cabinet with it’s new color. I’m still playing around with it’s contents, and haven’t installed the Ram’s Head. That will be another post for another day.

Painted Cabinet

 

So… what do you think??

I’m a firm believer in mixing special family furniture with newer pieces. It’s what makes a house a ‘home’. In another post earlier this week I posted about a house shaped bookcase that needs a lot of love and attention. I also have some chairs a friend gave me that I intend to paint. Two old trunks are used for storage and extra seating.

Tomorrow my new sofa, chairs and recliner will be delivered. Of course I am thrilled, but they will have to earn my love and respect… just as these other pieces have.

Do you have furniture you absolutely LOVE? If your house caught on fire is there ONE piece you would risk your life to save? I think if I had to make a choice it would be the house shaped bookcase. What’s yours?

Home Ec 101 – DP#93

Tapioca

 

Today was chilly, overcast, and drizzly…  the perfect day for comfort food. Normally I would cook up a batch of soup or macaroni and cheese, but instead I reached all the way back to my 8th grade Home Ec class where the first thing we were taught to make was pudding from scratch. Little did the teacher know, I had been making pudding from scratch for a few years by then. No boxed instant for our family… nope.

Tapioca is a staple in my pantry. I use the little pearls to thicken my apple pie instead of flour or cornstarch… a little secret passed down from my mom. That box just sits on that shelf all year waiting for it’s moment of glory in the Thanksgiving pie. I don’t ever remember making anything else with it… until today.

Well… yesterday really. You have to soak the tapioca in water overnight to soften them up.

Recipe: Combine 2 cups water, 1/2 cup of tapioca, and 1/4 teaspoon salt cover and let sit on the counter overnight. Drain.

Next day… Using a double boiler, heat 2 1/2 cups of milk just to room temperature… remember OVER not IN the boiling water. Stir in the drained tapioca. Heat over medium heat. Once you notice tiny bubbles around the edges, cover the pot, lower heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring a few times.

In a small bowl whisk 2 egg yolks (reserve whites in a mixer bowl) with 1/2 cup sugar and whisk vigorously until pale yellow. Ladle a scoop of the hot mixture into the egg mixture, stir to combine. Then stir the egg mixture back into the rest of the hot mixture. Cook and stir for 15 minutes on medium high heat until good and thick.

Cooked Tapioca

In a mixer… beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into the thickened Tapioca… then stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Ta-Dah!

Serve warm or cover and refrigerate. A sprinkle of cinnamon adds pizzazz (and looks good too)!!! I think I’ll serve this during the holidays and garnish with fruit and mint. Oh so pretty!!!

Makes 6 – 8 servings. I got 7 out of it.

I hope this warmed your insides!!! Enjoy!

Patience – DP#92

Patience

 

I normally food shop at my local Wegman’s; however Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I want the FREE turkey Shop Rite offers. All I have to do is spend $400 between now and November 28th… and I qualify. So… today I shopped there instead. I already have earned 1/5 of a turkey.

At the check out area I took a quick glimpse, chose the shortest line, and jumped on. Common sense would tell you the shortest line is short… for a reason. As I approached I read the sign taped to the end of the belt (Please see photo above).

NORMALLY… I get the line that is switching cashiers. Once I load my groceries I have to wait for the changing of the guard. I have been trained to be patient in the check out lines… so this sign was no big deal. Actually… when I know a cashier is new I am EXTREMELY patient. I am the PERFECT first customer!!

Not only have I trained many cashiers, I have been on the learning end more than once. Let’s just say… I’m not new to this rodeo.

I calmly waited my turn. Watching the transaction ahead of mine I can tell this newbie is sharp and ready for the big leagues. She whisked her customer right through with very little complication.

Goodie! It’s my turn! AND… it’s time to switch cashiers. Of course. I swear, I must have a micro chip implanted somewhere that goes off every time I get in a line. I can see it now… the people in the security office hear the alarm trip, they pick up the microphone and call down to the Courtesy Desk, “Uh, Deb just got in line number 19. Send Sandy down to switch cashiers when the customer before her is done.” “Over.”

Yeah… that pretty much sums up my shopping experience. But at least I’ll be eating a FREE turkey this holiday season… and knowing THAT makes it taste a whole lot better!

 

Sea Green – DP#91

My room color

 

Ta-Dah!!! My new bedroom color is revealed! I L-O-V-E it!!! It is exactly what I wanted. It’s called Waterfall by Benjamin Moore.

This photo looks a bit more blue than in reality. Imagine a tad more green… just a little tiny bit… and that is what it looks like. I was going for a sea glass blue/green kind of color. I hit the mark!!!

Now I have the daunting task of making a quilt for myself, making some kind of window covering and buying a rug. I have made so many quilts in my lifetime… but never one for myself. This should be interesting. As a matter of fact… I received a birthday coupon from my favorite quilt shop which I used to purchase fabric for my quilt already. The problem is… I purchased the fabric BEFORE I chose the paint color. So… as I’m sure you can guess, they don’t go together. BUT… the fabric will look PERFECT in the new guest room! BONUS!

Also in this photo is a unique piece of furniture from my childhood. It was originally in my bedroom as a little girl. It was on a turn table and spun around. I used to tuck my shoes in the smaller cubby holes.

For years and years it stood on the back porch of my mom’s home… where it aged and fell into disrepair. I have no idea where the turn table went, the wood moulding along one bottom edge is missing and the shelves are all falling down. No matter how decrepit it looks, I love it any way.

I’ve decided to ‘cut my teeth’ on this wood working project. This winter I will slowly work on it, piece by piece, inch by inch, while I learn how to build and repair. Then comes the fun part… the re-painting. I can’t wait!! I’m a bit nervous… having never really made ‘friends’ with power tools… and I’ve never done any wood working; however this is a very sentimental piece of furniture to me, and I want it to shine in all it’s glory.

I can’t bring back my childhood, nor would I want to… but this bookcase brings a smile to my face as I remember those carefree easier days… BEFORE I became an adult and had to deal with the ‘real’ world.

 

 

Spectacular!!! -DP#90

fall morning IMG_4242

 

I hope you all aren’t getting tired of these pictures of trees. The top picture captures the morning sunrise on the lake in front of my house. The view was so spectacular I just HAD to  share it with you.

Mother Nature got out her watercolor paints and had a good old time splashing reds, oranges, and yellows all over the place. Stunning! Such talent!! These pictures didn’t capture the vibrance of it all… but I think you get the idea. Use your internal photoshop to brighten the colors.

The bottom photo is my bedroom window view… and was taken in the afternoon. It’s a breath taking glimpse into another world. If you go through that gate and carefully walk down the steps, your life is transformed as you stand on the dock… especially in the morning with a steaming cup of coffee in your hand 🙂

Geese and ducks paddle by, turtles sun on a log, and herons gracefully swoop overhead as the fish frolic in the water. It’s an entirely different feeling down there.

I am grateful to have a neighbor who shares her dock with me. Some day I would like to purchase the land to the right… in front of my house… and build my own deck and dock. All good things come to those who wait. I’m waiting… patiently.