Behind Closed Doors

On the face of it, we have these nice white cabinets. Who cares if they’re a little messy behind closed doors?

closed doors 2

Well, it’s not a big deal until a repairman and your husband have to climb under the sink over and over again when you’re hot water is on the fritz and you just smile and nod and pretend messy cabinets are no big deal, or when you’re looking for the scraper or the SOS pads that you set on the edge of the box of trash bags and they’ve disappeared in the void once more. This is all hypothetical, right? Or is it?

Under sink mess

First things first, I cleared it all out and gave the bottom of the cupboard a good scrub. Who knew we had a tube of tennis balls under the sink? Bogart loves to play and winds up losing them now and then. It can be quite handy if you actually remember you have them right there in the kitchen rather than a case all the way down in the wine cellar.

Clean Slate


I recycled the bottles destined for a craft project that never came about, tossed some old sponges, and finished off the dregs of an all-purpose cleaner with a quick toilet swish. Then it was time to put my mad building skills to the test. When I was out shopping with the girls last week, Sweet Miss stopped at the Container Store to look at office storage supplies, and I checked out the under sink organizers. This looked like it’d do the trick.



So I put my ability to follow directions to the test, and viola–there it is.Organized Up Close 2


I tried to group like items and separate poisons from plant food and dog toys. Now I can easily find my cleaning gloves and know just how many half bottles of dish soap are lurking under the sink.

There’s something to be said for the saying:

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Perhaps now it’s time to tidy the desk area–again.

What little project did you tackle over the weekend?


It’s Been a Great Week

We’ve been having fun around here. It hasn’t been a good blogging kind of week, but it’s been a great living kind of week.
Baby Girl turned 18, and Sweet Miss came home for spring break. In my book, that’s enough to make it a banner week, but of course there’s more.
The girls
Last Friday, we visited a tattoo parlor–a first for me–so Baby Girl could get her nose pierced. I thought it was a sister’s kind of outing, but when they invited me along, how could I say no?
On Sunday, we surprised BG with tickets to Cirque du Soleil. Sweet Miss wanted to blindfold her, and the MR wanted to just tell her, but then BG came up with the best solution unwittingly. She started talking about going to the movies after church, and we all agreed. We piled in the car early, so we could go to the hardware store before hitting the movies–wink, wink. The best part was when we pulled into the parking lot, and Baby Girl says in surprise, “This isn’t Home Depot.” It was a magical afternoon.
Monday featured a marathon shopping trip in town. We added some lovely spring items to our wardrobes, and Baby Girl found her prom dress. We met up with the MR for dinner and hit a few more shops on the way home.
Wednesday, I had a presentation in the morning, and then after school we were off to the movies for real this time. Then Sweet Miss has been longing for my burgers. The secret is Montreal Steak Seasoning.

Last night, me and the MR went to a fancy dinner sponsored by a local winery where we’re members. We enjoyed fabulous food paired with very nice wine and caught up with sweet friends. That brings us to today. Papa Willy along with my brother and sister-in-law are headed over for dinner, and Sweet Miss wants to fit in one last trip to the mall.

We’ve been lucky. Baby Girl had to work three nights this week, and Sweet Miss has caught up with friends a few nights. All this running around is wearing me out–it’s been a long time since I was 20.

Like I said, it’s been a living week not a house week. We did have a repairman here Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ve been enjoying brisk–sometimes icy cold–showers lately. Apparently, an animal has been in our heat pump and done it’s business on some of the circuits. The repairman will be back.

Yesterday at 5:56 am, the MR started texting me from under the house in the well room–my phone was on silent, because some people like to sleep at night–that can make others a little crabby. Anyways, after he burst into our bedroom, turned the shower on full blast, and started demanding a thermometer, I did wake up. Water at the well was 104-degrees, but up here it was around 100. In the upstairs shower it was even cooler. The MR did some adjusting, and Baby Girl had the first warm shower in weeks today.

After a string of rainy days, yesterday was beautiful. Checking on my garden left me blue. The pea shoots have been plucked out of the ground. If it’s not slugs, it’s bunnies or birds. The MR added more wire to the fencing around the garden; maybe it’s time for netting?

Today, I’ll leave you with our latest mantel bouquet. I hopped through the puddles this week and picked a few lonely blooms. Together they add a little springtime color and cheer.



We say goodbye to Sweet Miss tomorrow as she heads back to school. It’s been a good week.

How was yours?

The Garden Awakens

Spring is a time filled with excitement. The MR comes in after working outside to tell which of the trees in the orchard are about to bloom.

While my indoor seedlings have failed to start, I was able to share with you the newly sprouted peas in the garden. Ah, but that was last week. When I received a cryptic text from the MR, “Do you have slug bait out in the garden?”

I knew there was trouble–my peas are stubs. I don’t know if it was slugs or fat bunnies feasting on my plants, but I’ve set to work to stave off both.

I recently read that plastic forks will keep bunnies out of the garden, so I scattered some Sluggo and set out some forks. The MR added a fresh layer of chicken wire around the outside fence. Now we’ll just have to wait and see. It could be too little too late, but I’m still hoping for peas this year.

Stick a fork in it

All is not lost. After doing my best for my lost seedlings, I turned to take a closer look at the asparagus bed. The bits of mulch had mostly blown away over the winter, and now with warmer weather, I cleared away the piles surrounding my asparagus clumps. They hadn’t looked too promising even last week, but lo and behold, the asparagus survived. Look at these almost perfect tiny spears.

Asparagus Spear

These buds are so hearty, I wonder what they will turn out to be.

Fat buds

After two years of waiting, we’ll finally get to enjoy some fresh asparagus from our own garden. I’m loving the idea of perennial vegetables. I don’t even have to think about what to put in that half of the bed, and critters seem to be leaving it alone. Now let’s hope for a few more stalks, so we’ll have enough for the whole family.

more buds


Have you tried your hand at growing perennial vegetables? Any tips or tricks?

Sweet Moments

The sun has been rising all my life, and most of the time it goes by without my notice. 

God paints a masterpiece each morning without fanfare, and I’m too tired, too busy, too preoccupied to see. 

This house brings the beauty front and center stopping me in my tracks. 

Hoping you take time to enjoy the sweet moments. 

It’s Time to Move On

Do you remember Y2K? It was just yesterday when civilization as we knew it was going by the wayside. All our electronics were going to fail, and we would live like pioneers. Only all that doomsday talk was wrong.

I remember it so clearly. That was the year I was going to outline all of the beds in the garden with parsley just like at my dream garden Villandry. (Well, they actually used box wood, but I couldn’t afford that.) I still have the unopened seed packet of parsley to prove it.

Sometimes I can hold on to things for a long time. While the MR could probably name quite a number of things, today we’re focusing on seeds.

You see around President’s Day, I was totally inspired to start some seeds indoors on my seed starting table (aka: china hutch). We had such good luck with tomatoes and broccoli last year that I decided to get some of each started right away. Our garden was going to be awesome. I had seeds in my little box out in the garage; we were set.

For the last month, the light over the seed tray has popped on at 5 am. Then my seeds have received uninterrupted light for the next 14 hours. They should be thriving, lush, green. I’m sure they would be if they ever decided to sprout.

Seed Set up

What in the world is the problem? Do I have bad dirt again? I’ve been keeping the soil damp, they have plenty of light, and it’s a nice fluffy seed starting mix. Perhaps time has gotten away from me. I took a look at the packets.

Seed Packets

The broccoli was packaged for 2010, and the tomatoes were for 2009 and 2007. In all honesty, it doesn’t seem all that long ago. I mean they’re for the new millennium, right? Then I got to thinking. I’ve been going through old photos for Baby Girl’s senior slide show.

These are my sweet girlies in ’07, ’09, ’10, and this past December.
Girls Collage with Dates

I guess 2007 was a while ago considering that Baby Girl will be 18 on Thursday. You read about archaeologists that discover seeds in ancient tombs, and they’re still viable (the seeds not the archaeologists). I guess I’m not at that level.

Neither here nor there, it’s time to purge some of those old seeds. Let’s be real, my garden will never rival Villandry’s kitchen garden. Oh, but a girl can dream.

Maybe the MR will take me to France, so I can be inspired once again.

Until then, the peas that were planted just a few days after President’s Day are sprouting.

pea sprouts

All two of them. I’m holding on to those small victories and I’ve decided to support the FFA plant sale, the senior center plant sale, the Friends of the Library plant sale–just about anyone since I can’t start seeds worth a darn. 

It’s only March and I’m already struggling. The bonus is, it can only get better. How are your garden plans? 

 For those of you wondering here’s a link to Villandry.  It’s truly amazing.

Piling Up

My dad just got home from a visit to Kansas and Missouri. He held his new great-grandson, watched my brother’s boys play basketball, and shot guns with my uncle and cousin. Sounds like the midwest.

At my uncle’s house, they had a pile of snow in front of the garage. While the rest of the country has been dealing with winter storms, we’ve had beautiful weather. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a few piles of our own.

Piles & House

Ours are just mulch and gravel. I’ve been waiting around to show you these babies–not that they’re that cool and exciting in and of themselves–but because they’re the start of something great. Unfortunately, so far, all we have is piles and pallets.

Pallet Piles & House 3

The piles arrived on Tuesday, the pallets on Thursday. I heard a diesel engine Thursday morning when I hopped out of the shower. After I was dressed, I received a text from the MR not to talk to the driver. Apparently, there was some kind of mix up, and he drove down the driveway not knowing he wouldn’t be able to turn around in his big rig. These things happen.

We were talking about it later that evening, and I told the MR I wasn’t sure why they needed such a big truck for three pallets. Obviously, I hadn’t been around the corner.

Plus Pallets

Since I can’t show you big exquipment at work just yet, I figured I’d outline the plan. We have a great house for parties and big gatherings with really bad parking. While the hill drops off sharply near the house, it’s much more gentle towards the end of the  blacktop. So we’re going to add a retaining wall to make room for a lawn and overflow parking. We’ll say goodbye to the helicopter pad, since we don’t have a helicopter, don’t know how to fly one, and probably never will. We’ll add some steps down to the underside of the house and the tennis court/garden areas, and extend the flower bed by the deck adding one by the scrubby stump.

I know clear as mud right? Maybe this will help a litte. Here’s what we have.

Edge perspective

Here’s my yard mock up. Now remember, I’m a writer not an artist.

Mock Up I’ve got the wall, more grass, curved steps–you get the idea. For now, we simply have new garden art.

Piles & bell


Patience my friend. It’s going to be great.

With spring just a few sweet days away, what are your plans?