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Showing posts from June, 2012

Piddlin' And A New Use For An Unusual Product

I love to putter.  Some in the south call it "piddlin".  Whatever you call it - I love it. I finally had a free afternoon to participate in my favorite hobby and my mantel was the recipient of the effort. I like to putter using what I have on hand.  This collection is no different (except for one thing which I'll show you in a minute).  I scoured my garage, attic closet, and bin of summer decor. First, I found part of an old table that Hubs disasssembled.  We found it curbside and scavenged the good wood that was left on it.  It was a drop-side table and we used the extension mechanism on my studio work surface .  The two drop sides were saved and I used one side on this mantel.  It's worn, but adds some character to the arrangement. I also added a cloche with collected seashells, Hub's grandfather's barometer, a large conch shell, a wooden boat my son made for me, a few bottles, and piece of glass slag. My favorite addition is the han

Monday Motivation: How To Teach Your Child To Organize and Clean

Yes, we do have to go there. We're parents and it's our job to teach our children how to clean and organize what they own. Now, lest you think I have all the answers and my children's rooms were visions of organized bliss - I have news for you - I'm a failure. My kid's rooms were decorated. They were creative spaces. They had plenty of storage. And they were almost always a mess. Not a mess that couldn't be cleaned up in 20 minutes but a mess that indicated that a child lived there. Let me confess - I had to get used to that.  I had an idea that my children's rooms should look like the cute photos in magazines.  I soon found out that just wasn't practical.  It was more important that our children live in a comfortable space where they could learn and be creative.  I had to get used to stepping over toys and craft supplies. Dolls and legos. Books and books. And did I mention books. We love books. I still have our library o

The Inn at Westwood Farm: A Wonderful Bed and Breakfast

When Hubs and I planned our trip to hike Old Rag Mountain , we decided to stay in a Bed and Breakfast instead of our usual family adventure of camping at a camp ground. We were able to stay at a beautiful B&B called The Inn at Westwood Farm and it was a great way to celebrate our 31st anniversary as well as the 1st anniversary of my transplant. Innkeepers, Elizabeth and Jay were wonderful hosts and we really enjoyed our stay there.  They worked very hard to make our stay comfortable and were most accomodating.  I must also mention that the whole Inn is top notch and CLEAN.  I love clean.  I'll let the website show off the beautiful Inn and describe the ammenities.  I thought I would show some of our favorite outside areas.  One evening we walked around the property and took in all of the sites.    I took these photos while Hubs and I were sitting in Adirondack chairs in the yard.  The barn was beautiful and they have plans to turn it into part

Hiking Old Rag Mountain: A Milestone of Recovery

Almost 14 months ago, I had a kidney transplant that changed my life.  The new kidney, donated by my friend Cathy, started working before the doctors had a chance to close me back up.  During the surgery, however, some nerve damage occurred and I was not able to feel or move my right leg from my ankle to my hip.  I had to walk with a cane and fell several times a day - not a good combination while recovering from abdominal surgery. While working through physical therapy and learning to live with the medication that is a permanent part of my life (immuno-suppressants to help my body not reject my new kidney) I set a goal of climbing my favorite mountain - Old Rag Mountain .  This challenging route is part hike, part rock scramble, and part brain challenge.    After finishing physical therapy, I continued to exercise to strengthen my muscles.  Over the past 6 months, I have continued to gain some feeling in my leg.  Now there is only a 6 inch area in the front of my thigh w

How To Make Refreshing Lemon Balm Tea

I first discovered Lemon Balm when we bought our house several years ago.  It had been planted near the front door and looked like a weed to me.  After doing some research, I found that Lemon Balm is in the mint family (so it's not so far from the "weed" category).  It spreads easily and grows quickly.  For several years, I've used it to garnish fruit platters and pitchers of ice water in the summer.   Because I have so much of it, I figured I would research what else I could do with the herb.  Come to find out - you can make a tea with it! I read a few recipes and came up with my version of Lemon Balm Tea that my family really loves.  First, pick a bouquet of lemon balm and wash it well.  Trim the leaves and put into a glass bowl. Add boiling water to cover the leaves and let it steep for 20 minutes or so.  Don't worry if the leaves turn a bit brown - that 's normal. Strain off the liquid, leaving the leaves behind.  Y