Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect.

It's learning to look past life's imperfections

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Has Sprung!

In our little part of the world any way

Every stinkin year I plant rhubarb starts, and they dye.  So this year I caved and bought 2nd year plants.  I know this raised bed may not be quite big enough for all 6 plants but I figure odds are at least one will die and there will be room…if not I’ll transplant half to another bed.  Mr. Fix-It LOVEs rhubarb nearly as much as he loves his blackberries so this is a very exciting addition for us


Before our last frost I started putting in various lettuce, kale and carrots.  We covered the bed with straw when we had a surprise snow but, now I see green peeking through. I’ve been planting additional rows every week hoping to keep our plates full of yummy salads this summer.  Kale will be new to our diets.  I’ve heard so much about Kale chips I really want to try them.  We’ve both had cooked kale in “southern greens” but neither of us cared much for the slimy texture.  I’m hoping to use it in salads and dehydrate for the chips.


The broccoli went in earlier than usual also and is doing wonderful.  I’m hoping to harvest early enough to avoid those darn moths this year. I’d like to make some type of hoop covers to protect them but it’s out of the budget this year


The strawberries are going like gang busters.  As recommended by Mama Pea the strawberry queen (Thank you for the tips) I clipped the plants way back and covered them with straw this winter…The straw mulched in and the plants are stronger and more healthy as ever before. Since this is the 3rd year I’m setting one section aside to let send out runners & start another/ larger bed next year.



This year I intend to plant by the lunar cycles & the farmers almanac. I want to try and follow it as close as I can anyway. I tracked rows I planted in the lunar cycle last year and they proved to be the strongest plants with a largest harvest.  I don’t know weather wise if I’ll be able to plant the entire garden this way but I’m sure going to give it a shot.

Last year we added more top soil to a few low sections.  It’s been loaded with good rich rabbit poo & straw all winter. The garden is tilled, raked and weeded.  By the cycle, beets, turnips and carrots will go in today .the rest is.just waiting for seed next week.

Any green poking through in your neck of the woods?


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Moving Day!

Things are moving along in the little house.

  Mr. Fix-It & Isaiah pulled up the bathroom floor tonight for the new linoleum.  Who puts laminate in a bathroom?  The cut ends were against the tub with nearly a 3/4 inch unsealed gap.  The floor was buckled under the toilet.  Instead of adding a spacer they added a 2nd wax ring, over tightened and cracked the ring thingy.  Lord knows how long the toilet had been leaking but, from the look of the sub floor quite a while.  The bathroom sink (and tub) faucet was so caked with lime build up it wouldn’t shut off all the way.  Geeesh, a bit of vinegar once in a while would have kept it clean.  

We’ve had lots of rain the past 24 hours. So there is a hold on furniture moving to the little house. Isaiah just cracked me up he wants to move in so bad & kept saying “just give me a pillow and my sleeping bag and I’m good!”   We’re catching the edge of the mid-west storms and the yard is greening up quickly. 


Nothing like a week long post!

The bathroom is being water tested…we ended up buying a new toilet and sink top.   After cleaning them we found the crud was so  built up on the suface’s it had eaten though the finish.  I think they were pouring drain cleaner in and leaving it in standing water.  It’s the only way the sink finish would be eaten up like that.  The drains had been connected in a way which blocked the water flow.  Erika painted and it’s like a whole new room.

Move in day is today,  It will be quick work as she only has a few dressers, crib and a bed left to move…aside from clothing.  We’ve family coming to help & and it should be done in no time at all. We’ll need to make a run to replace mattresses and a few odds and ends and it will be ready for them to stay. 

The 2 little ones are having a bit of a hard time with the move.  Since most of their things were destroyed in the flood, everything is new (new to them).  18 mo just walks around with big eyes, fussing and wanting to be held a lot more than normal.  Evie, at 3 is really struggling & acting out. Poor thing just finally adjusted to living at Danielle’s & wants to stay there.  We’ve had her at the new house as much as possible, had  meals and included her in moving a few of her toys etc. over.  She likes being there in the day time by us but although it is in a good way this time, she again has had her world turned upside down.  I told Erika Evie will take her cues from her,  it may take a while but to stay positive about the new home & include her in as much of “creating a nest” as possible.

Any thoughts or ideas PRAYERS to help the little's adjust  would be greatly appreciated.

Off to start the move


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What a difference a chain saw makes

to the look of a house.  We were at taking a break from the inside clean up, we’d sent Erika on an errand with one of her Aunts (kind of a forced break) the guys were waiting to go pick up furniture which, due to the pending divorce wouldn’t happen.  Here we had all this wonderful willing help with nothing for them to do.  We were standing outside discussing the change in plans,  & I looked back at the house with those horrible overgrown bushes……

Lori's 003_thumb[5]

..and said “Hey Mikey, want to play with the chain saw?”

I hadn’t planned to work on the outside till she was moved in and the inside was finished but we had willing help….

Lori's 001_thumb[1]

This is a photo of the house last summer

and by the time she returned 2 hours later


Looks pretty barren but that won’t last long

The bushes were gone, the debris cleaned up and the guys had even scrubbed the green mold off the siding.

It was like day and night inside the house!

The base of the bushes were about 8 inches across, out in a field they would be fine.  next to a house WAY to big.   Now we have a nice clean slate to start with. 

Gutters will be going up right away. The house has a short roof line so rain water falls against the foundation…allowing water to seep into the basement.  We knew this was a problem when we made the purchase so no surprises there.  We also found 8-10 inches of soil has been eroded over time and let the front porch steps sink toward the house.  Repairs will need to be made right away on those which will stop some of the moisture. It won’t all happen overnight but at least we know what were up against. 

The shutters need painted but we cant decide on the color.  We want to coordinate with our house (which is tan and green shutters) but not use the same color.  We’re leaning toward a barn red?

Have a wonderful day


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Monday, April 15, 2013

We Got the KEYS!!!!!

And inherited a mess!  The prior owners were 2 days late moving out (we closed Thursday morning)… sent her daughter to drop the keys off and took off.. We quickly sent Erika a text with a photo of the keys…. she was there before we had the door unlocked  Since she currently lives 1.5 miles away and the little house is less than 200 feet from our back door…that was quick!

When we unlocked the door, we quickly realized why they left so fast…the place was a MESS!

We cleaned cat hair 2 inches thick out of one room & the smell was as bad as you are imagining  GROSS! Curtains we thought were gold-ish beige were actually white…at the top. the rest was covered with cat hair.  We were worried there was urine in the floors  and they would need to be replaced but, cleaned and emptied it was fine

We’d agreed to purchase some furniture which was left but so was e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. else they couldn’t take in 6 carloads.  Yes, 6 carloads of personal items is all they took. The prior owner had made arrangements to have help moving with a truck but, upon confirming her help was still good to go…. the folks all backed out.  Seems she neglected to tell them she was moving to Tennessee !!SERIOUSLY..she was upset they backed out!

Goodwill was our friend today.  We didn’t even free-cycle this time. Years of “stuff”.  It all just needed to be gone fast.

6pm Saturday we got the keys & worked till 9-10 pm and all day today with the help of some awesome family Mike and Jessie and Mr. Fix-It’s cousin Mike.  They worked their rear ends off and we really appreciated the help.

.  We need to wash the windows again but it’s clean & Erika can start moving in now.  The bathroom needs a bit of work so that will hold up them actually living here for a few days yet. With the delay in getting the keys it shot having the repairs finished over the weekend.

Little House

All things left behind

Standing in the dining room looking into the living room

I seriously doubt the windows have been opened for 10 years or more.  We’ve never seen them open...  The blinds? NEVER!  The first thing I did was open them all over the entire house.  The windows have been washed no less than 3 times and I’m not sure they are clean yet.  They looked as if they had a tinted film (UGH).

It’s a sweet little house with an open floor plan on the entire front of the house & It’s now warm, clean and inviting!

2 huge bedrooms and a bathroom take up the back of the house.  We will be adding an addition of a 3rd bedroom (this summer) on the end of the living-room area.  The door way to it, will be on the end wall (closest to the inside wall) and unfortunately,  she will loose that window. 

Tomorrow we’ll start moving her things in and finding homes for everything.  Since most of her household was ruined when the city sewer backed up it will be a pretty easy move.  Other than a truck for a few bits of furniture, most we can move in her van or my Santa Fe.  On the positive side they can start out pretty  much clutter free!

Oh, and the bushes got trimmed hehehehe, have to show you photos of those tomorrow.  It’s 1 am & I’m crawling off to bed

Hope your weekend was as good as ours!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Free-Cycle Finds

Erika and I had just discussed finding a outdoor table for her and the kids to use this summer. We were planning to keep our eyes open at yard sales.  I was also about to post on Free-Cycle but of course got side tracked as usual.  Monday morning I was thrilled to see an offer for a patio table and chairs.  I responded tight away to see if it was taken and received a call within an hour

It was available!  We could pick it up that evening.


As stated in the offer it has a tad bit of rust and needs cleaned but I think they will be thrilled with it.  The lady even tossed in all the cushions which I’ll recover for them.

It was a large oblong table with 5 chairs, one of which is a rocker.  We thought it would take 2 trips but, par for the course Mr. Fix-It got it loaded in one.  Just what he wanted to do right after work before supper.  He’s such a good sport…I think I’ll keep him!

We have a fairly active free-cycle group that trades around.  I love the idea of passing things along and blessing others instead of just tossing them out.

Do you use free-cycle?  What are some of your finds?

We close on the house tomorrow!!!! I’m just a tad bit excited…. can ya tell?


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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tip Time Tuesday

Toilet paper rolls!  Not just for TP

Making the quilts and pot holders I’ve batches of binding cut and ready to use.  There are times I can’t stop and sew but I generally have the binding cut with the quilts (once I see  which will look best).  prepping and having ready to go saves time when I’m ready to use it.  I had piles of binding ready but kept needing to repress wrinkles out….The empty rolls have come in handy


Bindings for potholders ready to be used

There are lots of ways to repurpose empty TP tubes, be sure and check out my friend

Sci-Fi over at “Bacon & Eggs”,  (AWESOME blog!) she has a few other ideas for using them.


My plans as of this morning were to sew for a while and then hit the garden to plant peas.  A bit of housework after that….

Well, I got the bit of sewing part….  I had the radio cranked up and kept the machine going.   I was hearing a train engine and thought it had been sitting for a while, much longer than normal.  About that time Mr.Fix-It called and I ended up running into town to pay the insurance for the new rental. But there was a problem leaving the drive way.  There were 2 huge cranes on track (think tanks) engines driving up (chewing up)our road.  They were the super huge derailment repair cranes. The train was still sitting across the road because 2-3 cars had derailed! 


That is one of the track rails half way down the ditch


I missed getting photos but, one of the cars was all the way down the embankment, the tanker car only half.

derailed 3

So, once I got going I paid the insurance and popped into a local grocery chain for some coffee.  They have the best coffee prices.  It’s wasn’t the store I generally shop at (it was in a very questionable section of town) but it was on the way home.  I ran in (remembered why It wasn’t were I generally stopped very quickly) got my case of coffee and left the store with 2-3 others.  Crossing the parking lot they went to the cars in front of and next to me…..I thought that’s weird..what are the odds in this size parking lot they would be this close.  Well, I got home reached across to the passenger seat for my purse to get out…..and it wasn’t there!  It was no where in the car.   I quickly drove back to the store….and the cart was still in the cart corral  empty.  I know the cart was empty when I pushed it in as it rolled back out and I had to angle it to stay in place.  Of course no one turned it in. I checked all the trash cans in the shopping center and the parking lot.

Now I wonder if I was played in the parking lot.   I always always always (except today) leave a store with my purse on my shoulder and my keys in my hand. I thought I remembered tossing it in the front seat but now I’m just not sure.  I do know the cart was empty when I left.

Thankfully I only had about $15.00 cash in my bag…along with a knitting project, a shawl I was knitting for me! I was my all time favorite bag.  I’d bought it at a resale shop about 10 years ago and it was just finally butter soft *sigh* 

Spent the afternoon at the bank setting up new accounts and of course today was the day we wired the down payment on the house…from that account.  Putting a hold on any checks other than the one I’d just written for the insurance….from that account. 

I tried to go on line and order a new drivers license but my new Debit Card won’t be active till tomorrow GAH!! Tomorrow to the police station to file a report (not that it will do any good)  Talk about feeling like an idiot!

I’m ready for the day to be over

Tomorrow will be better!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Sunshine and Sewing

A while back my girls were giving me a hard time about my pot holder situation.  Most were nearly 20 yrs. old ugly and pretty ratty.   Most were cheap dollar store buys that were not very protective from the get go and quickly started falling apart. Why have I bothered keeping them all these years I’ll never know other than just to have pot holders

I’ve been having fun using scraps from quilting making myself a few, but then I found these fun prints


And went a little crazy cutting out potholders.  I have a dozen or so nearly done so I’ve decided to list a few in the Etsy Shop.


I Love love love these prints! How fun are those peppers and the spice print…I’ll be keeping a few of those as they match my kitchen perfectly.


We’ve had beautiful weather this weekend!  High 60’s and I think it even hit 70 for a few hours yesterday.   Mr.Fix-it gave the main garden another once over with the tiller and also tilled the melon bed so I think I’m nearly good to go.  I’ll let it set a day or so to dry any weeds, rake and start planting.

This morning looks just as sunny so I’m off to PT and then hone to plant peas, a bit of laundry and more sewing!

Have a great Monday


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Cleaning Up & Quilting

What a tease Mother Nature continues to be.

I woke this morning to nice bright sunshine …..and it was a whole 33 degrees.  I think we topped out to the mid 50’s for the day.

I got a few errands run dropping off Isaiah’s shorts from last year at the kids resale shop.While I was there I found a few tops for Evie.  We have plans for sewing a bunch of skirts so it’s nice having the tops to start with.  She’s at the “girly” stage where she wants skirts skirts skirts…..and I’m happy to oblige.  Besides, I can call sewing a form of  physical therapy right? 

I’ve gotten some quilting done, everything was on hold through the Easter Holiday

Right now I nearly have the top of this one nearly complete.  I’m working on adding the borders

Oink A Doodle Moo

I was laying out the blocks deciding placement


The clean up at the girls is nearly completed…well, I should say the sorting of damaged items & determining what can be salvaged.  We had to tease Erika as she has clothes & shoes coming out the wazoo.  She has not changed size since high school.  3 kids & still the same size.  (Makes me want to stuff a twinkie in her!)  She just text me and said there was a box of her shoes destroyed….she paired them up for a photo & there was 29 pair!!!!  Yes some from high school! Told her she better not claim them all or they would doubt the entire claim LOL!  Luckly we took a ton of photos & the clean up crew teased her a bit. The good thing is it’s forcing her to clean out some of those clothes!   We’re all actually glad we don’t have to haul them out to the new house.

A major loss is all of Alixandrea’s clothing.  We had a change or 2 here but she only had 2 changes upstairs.  Guess it’s a good thing the weather is finally warming up so she won’t need to pick up but 2-3 long sleeve tops for her.

The new house, we close this coming Thursday.  5 days. Moving her will be pretty easy now.  There are only a few pieces of furniture salvaged and a few kitchen things but that’s it.

Her bed and the new crib mattress were ok but the crew thought they were wet and started piling damaged/wet things on them and ….they were soaked with sewage along with the carpeting.

Needless to say it will only take a few truck loads to get her moved now.

Tomorrow will be organizing and packing the items we were able to salvage for the clean up team. 

Time to get off here and sew those boarders on!

Have a great weekend!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Poop Happens

Yesterday afternoon our daughter Danielle came home (her home) from work and smelled *That smell*  Anyone with pets knows what I mean by that smell  one of the 2 dogs or cats left her a pretty pile.   After searching the main floor, she didn’t find any piles.  But still smelled that smell..

Heading downstairs…..this is what she found.About a third of the basement underwater.  By the time we got there more had come in and this is what we found.

Now, keep in mind they have been married less than a year, a lot of the household items Danielle moved in with are still waiting to be unpacked and blended into the household. BOXES of books waiting for book shelves, pool table, etc. in the back section.  The basement also holds Erika’s household goods, kids clothes, their bedroom and sitting room….other than those few items stored here at our house.

Over 1500 sq ft of basement….3/4 of which is under water.  Poopy water. The sewer backed up


Thank goodness for rubber gardening boots!

And to make it worse, it’s the city sewer backing up!!! INTO THEIR HOUSE!

Every time a neighbor flushed or ran water more came in.

We were afraid one of the kids flushed something that broke a line, after snaking the outside lines (backed up) they checked the actual city sewer man holes…. and they were overflowing the actual sewer pipe and were at the second step down in the access pipe….for 3/4 of a mile away!  The city had been working on the main sewer line 3/4 a mile away on Tuesday and must have accidently created a blockage.  Their house happened to be the first in the line with a basement….gravity wins out…ding ding ding…they won the prize!!

After calling the city emergency number they were on site working within an hour and, within 2 hours we could turn the water on. 

Restoration company was onsite first and started sucking up the water, spraying decontaminate stuff, blowers dehumidifiers, dryers all going full tilt.

Any furniture that was dry they quickly hauled upstairs which was a good thing…because as soon as they did more *stuff* flowed out of the pipes flooding even more.  We joked that half the work of Erika’s moving would be hauling things out of the basement & we appreciated the heavy lifting help,

Now, the clean out begins

The city has said they will cover the damage, (I think our photos of the actual man holes opened showing raw sewage in backed up sewers helped LOL) clean up (also providing a dumpster) and replacement of materials and personal items.  The great photo inventory begins


Trying to keep dry things dry

It should be interesting how much they will actually cover…I called the carpet company where were purchased the carpet a year ago & the same carpet is $2. a yard more.  We need to do this with EACH item in the basement.  Erika was in process of sorting kids clothing, out grown to send to the children's resale, items to save for Alix…..everything is soaked with poop.

Well, Danielle wanted to clean the basement out after Erika moved….it’s just happening a bit sooner


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Easter

Late I know!

We had a house full for Easter, nearly bursting at the seams.

Rachel and Hayden were here & is that boy ever growing! The move to S.C. has been great as far as school goes.  The special needs classes are focused on education with skill building not just warehousing & boy howdy does it show!  The classes seem to focus on the needs and enhancing the abilities of each individual child not the typical “lets learn this song” we’d seen before.

Friday night we had taco’s, I know, it should have been fish but Haden asked for Tacos so….what could I do but say yes!

Erika and her 3 Isaiah, Evie & Alix filled the sleeper sofa and a pallet …our BIL Mike took Isaiah’s room. (I’m so thankful for the second bathroom!)

After services we shared a big breakfast and the boys played hard enough they put themselves down for a rest!

Boys Resting

It was fun to listen and watch them play, I would see the bits of my children’s personalities that had filtered down to their children

Supper was shared as a pitch-in with with Mr.Fix-Its family. Our contribution was a large crock pot of mashed potato’s. 10 pound potato’s were pealed and boiling quickly with 3 of us working together…..LOOK WHAT we found  inside one potato! 


Those subtle reminders of grace ….from a simple man who gave all on the cross

Hope your Easter was as blessed as ours


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