Basement Windows

A small change but a big difference.

We have a bedroom in our basement with two windows just like this one. They don't let in much light, so every little bit counts but for privacy sake they need to be covered. And typical of most basement windows they draw bugs and spiders.

So I was stuck with the dilemma of how to cover them without blocking light or providing safe haven for Aragog and his gang. After several years of pondering the problem I came up with the idea of putting some kind of thin paper over them. It would provide privacy and I could easily clean the dust and cobwebs away.

This paper was very pretty when I bought it but it had a waxy coating on it and I could never find any type of tape that would hold it up, not even that handy tack worked. And over time the wee bit of sunlight coming through caused it to dry out and start to crumble.

So I was back to trying to find something to cover them. I was putting away some wrapping paper one day when it hit me, tape sticks to tissue paper like a magnet and tissue paper is sheer enough to let in light while being opaque enough to provide privacy.

Yes, that's a donkey and an elephant you see there. We haven't found a
red/white/blue Bison (Independent Party) yet but when he do he'll join his fellow running mates.

Tissue paper is much cheaper than fancy artist paper, much easier to find, and comes in lots of colors and patterns, so I can recover the windows as often as needed without breaking the bank or going out of my way to find supplies.

I'll be joining Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Lots of other metamorphous happen over that BNOTP, take a moment and check them out.

Once In A Lifetime Moment

We had one of those yesterday morning. I was out on the front porch tending my plethora of houseplants when I looked up and saw something I never in a million years expected to find on my lawn.

At first I thought it was a bird (my eyesight is not good to say the least) but then I realized it had spots running in rows down it's back and that's when it hit me, this was no bird this was BAMBI!!! I'm actually very surprised that I was the one to discover him because I am usually in my own little world when working with my plants and it practically takes gun shots to get my attention.

Isn't this the most precious, beautiful baby you've ever seen. One thing for sure his mommy will never be told he looks like Winston Churchill or Yoda (yes, I actually told someone that once, tact is not my strong suit).

G said that Toby the dog had been sniffing something in the grass but G couldn't see what it was and figured Toby being a dog he probably didn't want to know so he didn't check it out. Toby was his typically curious but very gentle self, he didn't bark or try to harm the baby, just wanted to say hello. He had actually come back in the house and was no longer interested in the baby.

We're not sure where mom went but I don't believe she could have been far because when he ran away, he was very wobbly and was listing side ways, so we're thinking he must have been pretty new. He was also very tiny. So I'm thinking he couldn't be very old, a day at the most.

edited to add G's comment: What Pamela didn't tell you is that she bent down beside Bambi and petted him. I had visions of this 12 point buck laying in our living room with Toby and going to the door wanting to be let out. And I can just hear the complaints from our neighbors! "Your deer ate all the buds off of my lilies last night." But when Pamela stood up, Bambi ran away and I must admit, I am very disappointed I won't get my very own pet deer.


In the Garden this Week.

G and I seperated out a clump of these daylilies 3 years ago, we planted most of them but had so many that we couldn't find places for all of them. We were so tired of digging holes that we didn't even bother to plant them, we just sat them on the ground. They lived and thanks to Toby's viligent watch over our yard they actually got a chance to bloom this year.

Not much inside the greenhouse this time of year but I love
the look of Terra Cotta and just had to snap this photo.

Red verbena, it will be many times this size by the end of the season.

These started off as one very tiny division I was given about 6 yrs. ago.
I divided it about 3 yrs. ago and this is what I got. G keeps promising me a shade house.
If I ever do get that shade house I am going to divide some of these and pot them
up to sell at the market.

We were living in Florida when I brought the parent plant to this hydrangea home and asked G to plant it he asked "Why? it's nothing more than a dead stick". I told him to just trust me. Many people don't understand the difference between dead and dormant.
The stick only looked dead but was actually dormant.

I gave my mom a division from the parent plant and she planted it at her house. That was almost 25 yrs. ago. About 3 yrs. after we moved here to NC I got a division from her and planted it here. So in a sense that dead stick has traveled 500 miles and 3 states from where it first started. That's pretty good for a dead stick, don't ya think.

I like the way no two are the same color. Sometimes one
bloom head will have several colors together.

My coneflowers are just beginning to open.

Gaillardia just beginning to open.

Gaillardia's common name is indian blanket.

This plant was labeled Gaillardia but as you can see it looks nothing like one. I'm not sure what it is but the color is striking. This pic doesn't do it justice, it's is actually a deep copper. I'm kind of glad it was mislabeled because it's not a color I would have knowingly chosen and I would have missed out on it's amazing richness.

The neighbors lilac myrtle hangs over our fence. It always blooms
so beautifully. I am not so lucky with myrtles.

These are some of the asiatic lilies I have planted along the
back of the house. They too are just beginning to bloom.

Found this fellow on the sidewalk behind the house. Not exactly sure how he got there but I'm thinking that Toby the dog had something to do with it. I looked him over but found no injuries but he was being very still for a large such a large frog.

I picked him up and took him down to the pond in our back yard, I had to hold him with both hands like a Burger King Whooper, he was that huge. Then I brought Toby inside for the rest of the day so the poor guy could find his way to where he was going without the interference of a curious dog.

Finding frogs in our pond says a lot for the quality of the water because frog are very sensitive to the eco systems where they live. They can't live in polluted water. It amazes me that our pond will support frogs considering it is surrounded by 14 houses most of which use some kind of lawn chemicals.


More Switchplates

Out of curiosity I did a google search for switch plates just to see what's out there?

The answer is everything!

I was truly amazed at the variety available. I am certain that no one would go away disappointed with the variety. I thought I would share some with you. I tried to embed them with links but I couldn't do it for some reason. I need to run out and do some errands but when I return I'll post the links under each one.

OK I'm back and I've found all but one link. First I would like to give you the 3 sites where I found these switch plate.

This is one of my favorites because I like birds and I collect owls.
There are several different color patterns for this one.
I think I'll buy one of these for my office.

This reminds me of photos I took at Sanibel Island.
I'm wondering if there is a place that could make these using your own photos.
For the life of me I can not find the link to this cover.
If any happens to know the link please email it to me and I will add it.

I think these are especially pretty, they would look really nice in my house.
But I plan to do a lot more research before I decide because I found so many that I like.

Great for Asian inspired rooms or for the person who enjoys art.
This would look nice in our Master bedroom.

Love these celtic knots. G and I both have a
Celtic heritage so these would right at home here.

Grey slate. Very simple yet very elegant.

Our son-in-law is a train engineer and also collects model trains.
I'm think this might make a good stocking stuffer this Christmas.
This would also be nice for a little boys room.

Another one that would be great for a particular decor of if you have a French heritage.
I like these but I would prefer them in a cream color and a little antiquing.
I could do the color change myself if I can't find them in the color I want.

Fun for a kids bathroom or if one of the parents is a
dentist they might like one of these for the office.

Another that I really like. I think this would be very pretty in my hall bath.
Cupcakes but no calories :o) don't get no better than that.

Another for the bath or the beach house.

For the angel collector or a little girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina.
There were other similar styles where I found her.
If you're interested click on her and she will take you to her house.

For the fairy collector or possibly for a child's room. Again, if
you click her she'll take you to the store where she can be bought.

As you can see there is a lot to choose from. There are so many that I really like that
I'm not sure I could choose just one. But why should I, I have lots of rooms :o)


Thrift Scores ~ Dishes and Light switch plates

G and I went to a local thrift store to look for supplies for a project (I promise to post it soon as we're finished). While we were there I found another set of dishes and fell in love. Because the pattern looked rubbed in places and I because I was trying to be frugal I only bought two. I planned to use them decoratively but then once they had been through the dishwasher they didn't look so bad after all. So I went back to buy the rest because I figure since there already a bit used looking it wouldn't matter so much if they get broke or chipped. Sure enough the first time I used them one of the kids dropped one, he was worried he had broken it I kept reassuring him that I paid only .50 cents for the plate and it was no big deal. He hadn't broken after all. I bought 6 plates, 6 salads, and 4 fruit bowls for $14.

For me that's the great part of thrifting. If it gets broke I haven't lost something valuable and I get to go shopping again *smile*

When I went back to get the plates I discovered another great thrift score. The store had a
whole display of light switch covers of different styles. I bought 4 ceramic covers for $2.50 each. I would have bought more but these were the only styles they had that would fit my switches and my decor.

These are plastic but at least they're not pretentious like the fake brass switch plates (they further down in this post). Please ignore the peeling paint, we had a very mischievous cockatiel for awhile and just haven't had the time to repair the damage.


Ugly pretentious brass switch plates.

Pretty ceramic switch plates.

Aren't they nice? I think they look so much better than the others, btw I did not choose those fake brass plates, I think they look tacky. I'm a bit of a purist and if I had decided on brass I would have bought brass, not fake brass. The fake brass plates begin to rust over time and rust is not a petina I care for no matter how fashionable it may be right now.

Another view of the after.
PS; the curtain is tied that way to keep the cats from
shredding it while trying to look out the door.

I'm adding this to BNOTP for Met Monday. There's lots of great transformation so go check them out.


Good Sewing Requires Good Ironing

My Home Ec teachers graded harder on ironing a garment than they did on the construction. They knew that some construction techniques take loads of practice to learn. They believed that good ironing habits had to be drilled into young heads from the very start because lets be honest, sewing is fun ironing is not. But fact is that the look, hang and feel of a garment on the body has as much to do with good pressing as it does with good construction.

If you've ever done much ironing you also know you get what you pay for when buying an iron. Buy a cheap iron and you have to watch it every second to make sure it's not scorching you clothing or that it's actually steaming and not leaking. My own iron is middle of the road. The most frustrating part about it is that there is no hot/dry setting, if you need to iron something on a high setting but dry your just out luck cause the higher the heat the more steam you get.

I've been wanting to replace it for awhile now but have always found something else I needed/wanted more.

But maybe luck will be my friend soon and I'll win this lovely piece of homemaking magic from Bitter Betty.

Bitter Betty is having a give-away for this iron. All you need to do is visit and leave a comment. Then you too will have a chance to upgrade your ironing skills.

Betty also has 3 pages from White's Sewing Manual circa 1947 about good pressing skills. I plan to print them out, put them in sleeve protectors and add them to my sewing binder.


Baked Red Fish

You can live with someone for 30+ years and still not know everything there is to know about them. After cooking for G, the kids, and any guest we had for almost 30 years I find out that my husband is an awesome cook.

In all the time I've known and been married to G I have never seen him cook anything from scratch. But tonight he blew me away with the best baked Red fish I've ever put in my mouth. The stuff was awesome.

I had asked him to stop by the grocery store and pick up some bananas and while he was there he bought 3 fish filets. He had no plan for how to prepare and cook them, just the confidence of a novice that he would figure something out, and he did. And the best part was he needed no help. He simply went in to the kitchen and about 30 minuts later he called me to come and eat. I did offer a few suggestions along the way but he did all the work.

The fish were so good that I thought others might like to try the recipe as well. I would have posted this recipe much sooner but I couldn't get blogger to post a picture and I thought you might like to see what the fish looked like. So finally I figure out a solution to the problem and now I have a pic of the fish.

Here's the recipe.

G's Savory Baked Red Fish ©

3 Fish Filets (approx. 1 1/2 lbs) you can use Red fish, flounder, whitefish, halibut, or cod.
Mrs Dash

Mix together:

1 tsp instant minced onion
1/2 tsp powdered mustard
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 mayonnaise

Let mixture stand for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 f. Arrange fish filets in greased 9 x 11 baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with Mrs. Dash and salt to taste. Spread mayo mixture over fish. Bake for 25- 30 minutes until browned and fish flakes easily with a fork.


This recipe is protected by US copyright laws. You may make a copy for personal use. You may link back to this recipe. Please do not post a copy of this recipe on any other website, blog, forum or webpage of any kind, anywhere.