Thursday, June 26, 2014

DYI Window Re-Screen Tutorial

Screen doors really are the essence of Summer!
Don't you love having the windows and doors open to let the air and sounds of summer flow through through the house?

The Old Screen Door.
Remember those old screen doors,
those made of wood with fancy corner  design?
No cool air conditioning then,
yet a fan and screen door seemed oh!  so fine ...
The screen door kept out pesky flies
but squeaked open to welcome friends of mine...
and sometimes strangers,
or traveling salesmen trying hard to earn a dime...
Remember the small steel hook 
used to latch the door but rarely used anytime?
And if the door spring broke,
the door flew wide...  time out to fix and realign...
Old dog would sprawl
to nap right in the way, at the door's front line;
pet cat thought the screen door to be
her scratching post
And oh! How Mom would whine!
"Don't slam the door!"  Mom always called.
I never learned;  Slam! it went every time.
Old screen-door scenes beckon language memories
for which I often pine.
Author Betty Kossick

The screen on the patio door at Sweetwater has taken a beating from MARVIN!  
He just loves to stretch and put his entire weight on the door!
His little parlor trick caused the screen to push out and leave big gaps.
Unsightly...and a great spot for bugs to enter!
It was time to re-screen the door!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

No Sew Box Cushions with a New Tip!

You can redo your cushions with this almost NO sew project!

I guess a lot of people are looking for ways to redo cushions without the cost of buying new or having them custom made at an upholstery shop!

Too funny.....but these box cushions that I posted about 3 summers ago are almost FAMOUS!

Seriously.....this post  about NO Sew Box Cushions consistently gets a hundred hits A DAY....go figure!



That is exactly the plight facing the Sweetwater Daughter this Spring.  
The cushions on the deck furniture had faded and had some serious sun rot!
The perfect project for "Almost No Sew Box Cushions"!

Steps for Perfect Cushions!

Monday, June 16, 2014

MY Graduation....Finally!

I have been going to school every single school day since I was in Kindergarten.....

The Funny little girl standing in front of the teacher is me!  She probably put me there so I wouldn't talk during the photo shoot!

I moved on each year....from Elementary School....to High School....then on to College....only to start my first job as a Kindergarten teacher immediately....

And I have been at this teaching thing since 1973!

Don't you wonder what those kid's parents thought when they saw the "baby teacher" who was in charge of their kids?
But today....I can officially say....I am RETIRED!
The last weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion!
I am sooo glad to be retiring....but hearing from the kids "you can't go"...has been hard!

There have been "official" moments....The School Board Recognition....the School Assembly!
And of course.....The Retirement Party!


Instead of a stuffy Retirement Tea that is the usual send off for the "old lady school teacher"...


My friends threw a "Graduation Party" for me here at Sweetwater!


What fun.....!


The evening concluded with a bunch of us sitting around the fire in the back yard telling stories!


I couldn't have asked for any better send off!

 And finally....the Sweetwater Family had a dinner for me on Friday.....so I am a bit done with all the attention!



I do want to share a couple of fun "kid perspectives" of my retirement.....

One morning last week there was a big assembly where the Principal talked about me (and the other wonderful staff who will not return next year)....the whole school sang "Auld Lang Syne" in Spanish no less.....and there were lots of tears and hugs....
Then....
I was teaching a class of first graders that same afternoon....when they walked in.....a little boy looked at me in surprise and asked....."Are YOU still here?"   
You can't make this stuff up!




I wanted to share this note....just to be sure you know how well I do at teaching spelling and grammar.....


 This note is a favorite.....the idea that I had an impact on kids and made school enjoyable is something that is important for me to remember.














Retirement for a teacher is a little strange....Today doesn't seem any different than any other first day of Summer Vacation.....Except...it won't be ending in September....for the first time in an awful lot of years!

Wish Me Luck finding something to do with all this time (TEE HEE)!

Have A Great Day!
 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Peony Time At Sweetwater Plus a Trick You Need to Know!


Peonies are my absolute favorite flower!   When these flowers burst into bloom, it means that summer is really here. 
I always feel "rich" when these showy flowers bloom!  
They are the epitome of abundance!.  
If you don't have a peony bush or two (or in our case 17), I would certainly think about planting one.  If you don't have a garden, go visiting your friends who do.  
I am always happy to share my peonies.....because they don't last long, they might as well be enjoyed!                                                            

A bouquet of these beauties make  great gifts....just in time for end of the year thank-yous and hostess gifts.

In fact....the Sweetwater Peonies were the flowers in the Sweetwater Daughter's Bridal Bouquet!

Wonder how much money I save not having to go buy something?
Now I know why I spend all that time weeding!

Last year wasn't the best year for our plants.  They just didn't have the look of "excess" we are used to.  We did some fertilizing and got the support cages up early this year.....and I think it made a difference!








These are photos from a couple of years ago....as I write this....it is still so early it is too dark out take pictures!  I will get some shots later and update the post!





Garden Treasure
 Over the years we have added heirloom plants rescued from my mother-in-law's yard when we sold her house. I think these plants came from her mother's farm.  Another favorite is the yellow "Golden Treasure", that was a father's day gift.  We are gradually adding special variety plants like the showy "Coral Charm".
Coral Charm
Enough with all the photos

DID YOU KNOW?  You can keep peony buds in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks and use them in arrangements anytime!  This is how florists are able to have peonies for such an extended time!

I learned this little trick 5 years ago when we needed to be sure to have a wide variety of flowers for my daughter's wedding.

It is soooo simple!



Start by picking peony buds that are at "marshmallow stage", meaning just at the time that you see color on the bloom.  Cut them quite long (at least 12 inch stems).  Wrap them in newspaper and put them in the refrigerator.  They will look wilted, but don't worry!  When you want to use them, make a fresh cut on the stem and put them in water for 8-10 hours.  The water will start perk up the foliage and the flowers will open up....just like magic!



It really works....check out this post showing the flowers after they have been in the refrigerator for 3 weeks!

Before I go....look at the gorgeous peony paintings I found on this website!



They are simply beautiful....and reasonably priced too!
Now that would be a way to really extend the peony season....hmmmmmmm!

Have A Great Day!

Link Parties

Creativity Unleashed  I Am Not A Trophy Wife   


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pallet Garden Tips

Recycled wood pallets used as garden planters are all the rage right now!

 


The Sweetwater Daughter designed one of these as a succulent garden last year!


 When the weather got too cold for the plants....she took the little succulents out and used glass containers (sourced at Goodwill of course) to create small terreriums to give as gifts!
(isn't she clever????)

This year she planted a variety of flowers and plants in the same pallet!






 Here are some websites with tips for creating these thrifty space saving planters!