Weather Windows & Paint Color

Wow..... I can't believe how fast January is passing by! February really is just around the corner and we have been having some crazy weather....I've often heard it said, "If you don't like the weather in Rochester, wait five minutes, it will change" and I swear, that adage has never been more fitting. In a 24 hour period it hasn't been unusual for us to experience rain, temps in the teens, a snowfall of an inch or two, winds up to 65 mph then temps increasing to fifty or more! It's like having spring and fall combined which means lots of mud and with two dogs going in and out....lots of mess. This was nice while it lasted...Darcy and Aodhan love playing in the's a mud pit right now and so ugly.  This fenced area(and beyond) used to be part of my garden.

I've had several home improvement project deadlines to meet this month and I'm glad to far so good. Although, some of the projects should have been completed weeks or even months ago....and, a couple of projects, years ago! I suppose this isn't too unusual an occurrence when you are working on an older home and trying to do most of the work yourself....and on a very tight budget.

We have slowly been replacing drafty old windows and now only have two windows left upstairs to do. Downstairs there are seven windows left to replace, six of which have to be ordered, so I may as well have them installed of these days. This is a moment during the new sewing room window installation.

I actually made some decisions and bought paint and carpeting for the sewing room this weekend! I had vowed not to have carpet in the new sewing room because of the hassle with threads and pins getting caught in the shaggy rug of the current sewing room....but the new rug has a short tight pile so I shouldn't have much of a problem vacuuming it. Actually, working within my tight budget, it really was my only choice for now, other than the plain ugly sub flooring

I've almost completed all the prep work so the painting can be done this week and am looking forward to seeing the "Ivory Lace"(Valspar's match to Ace's "A la Mode" paint chip)on the wall with nice bright white trim and a freshly painted ceiling! Oh my, sure hope I end up being happy with the color choice......

I am scouring the internet for awesome ideas on sewing room layout, organization and future sewing room purchases. If all goes according to plan, Sunday is the day I will have everything moved in. I can't wait to be finished so I can get back to all my playing!

Spring Days and Garden Planning

Well 2012 got off to a fabulous start here in Upstate NY and the Rochester area! There have been several spring like days with much more sunshine and far less snow than I can recall during most winters since living here.

 The hydrant markers seem a little out of place for now.

They may have gotten the skis out a little to soon

There are a few snowmen hanging around the neighborhood
 May be the only snowmen we have around town

This is the time of year I usually start dreaming and planning about what I'm going to do out in the garden when spring arrives.  Often, figuring out where I could squeeze in a few more feet of growing area was the first step in my planning process. Now,  for the past few years, the garden has been reduced in size, in an effort to make it easier to take care of and more manageable for harvesting.

I used to grow everything and try out lots of varieties....I really miss the days my garden was large enough to have plenty of vegetables to freeze, can sauces, make pickles and condiments and have plenty of fresh vegetables daily. Fortunately, I live within minutes of farms and orchards so at least we can still enjoy the freshest of vegetables and fruit in season. Not only is it easier on the back and knees.....I love supporting the local growers.

For the past couple of years, I've been wanting to get  a small greenhouse for my garden area to extend the growing season and provide a growing area where bending over isn't necessary. I've used varying methods of vertical gardening in the past and when I came across this article about an eethus the wheels started turning!  The "eethuis" or eathouse, is an edible green house located in the Netherlands.

eethuis photo credit and link to more photos of this project 
I can only hope that winter doesn't stick around too long......I can't wait to rig up some kind of living wall.

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies Perfect For Winter

I found a recipe over at Melanie Dramatic for chocolate chip cookies made with crushed peppermints or candy canes. I changed the recipe a little by using white chocolate chips and left the nuts out because my husband can't eat them.  The original recipe called  for a cup of chocolate chips but next time I would use a scant 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. I had trouble mixing the entire cup of chocolate chips in to the cookie dough. Personally, I would rather not have quite so many but, if you are a chocolate lover, getting a full cup mixed in should be no problem for you!

The cookies came out great...very tasty.  I call them Peppermint White Chocolate Chip cookies. They are a nice cookie for Christmas and winter...perfect with a cup of hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream of course!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!
This little poem sums up the way I'm feeling about the New Year.

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!
William Arthur Ward

Today the Mary-thon begins! It's not too late to sign up...
you can start your 26 weeks at anytime.

Here are My Wishes for You...
H ours of happy times with friends and family
A bundant time for relaxation
P rosperity
P lenty of love when you need it the most
Y outhful excitement at lifes simple pleasures

N ights of restful slumber (you know - don't worry be happy)
E verything you need
W ishing you love and light

Y ears and years of good health
E njoyment and mirth
A angels to watch over you
R emembrances of a happy year!
Author Unknown

I wish you all the best for the New Year