Thursday, June 28, 2012

Choosing paint colors (links)

Here is a variety of suggestions for working with paint.  (I can still see the big splashes of colors on our kitchen walls when we were trying to make up our minds about which one to use.)  Check out these helpful hints:

Note: The color we chose for our kitchen was Compatible Cream (a Sherwin Williams color).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

4th of July party ideas

Lots of red, white, and blue dishes, glasses, etc., but red and blue bottles of soda in an ice bucket is way cool!  Check out more suggestions at:

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Home and entertaining ideas

The July/August issue of Country Living includes nautical accessories, a Nantucket cottage renovation, the revival of a small town in Tennessee, and some delicious looking Indian recipes. The Real Estate Sampler features homes with two-story porches. And there are even some radish recipes; that's something you don't come across very often. (I love radishes so I ripped that page out.)  The collecting column mentions Chatterbox Scrapbooks, which reminded me of the Chatterbox bound volumes I grew up with. (They were my father's, but I've added some to our collection. All right, I confess that some of them were bought to replace the old books...)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby

Debby is now official (at 5 pm), although the track isn't, but we should be getting more rain--maybe. We got an inch and a half yesterday, but now it may be heading west.  Check it out at:
(Thanks, Lloyd)

Update (6-24): We had almost two and a half inches last time I checked our rain gauge, and it's rained a lot since then.  The west coast got 9 to 11" inches.  There's street and causeway flooding, and the Sunshine Skyway is closed because of high winds.  There are power outages and tornadoes here and there...

The spaghetti models are still all over the map, but Debby seems to be pointed north even though it's not moving at the moment.  This means we'll be getting more rain, which we needed.  We've been in a drought, and the Florida aquifer could use the rain, as could our waterways, some of which are impassable.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Homes and gardens, good food, and fun

The July issue of Southern Living has an inviting selection of places to visit in the South, articles on homes being moved and restored, coneflowers (we have a selection of coneflowers, including Hot Papaya and Marmalade), a restored dog trot house (we patterned a house we built on the dog trot style), tomato recipes, and some inviting backyard retreats. And among other things, there's a sidebar on Texas-tough plants.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kitchen appliance suggestions (link)

There are helpful comparisons of brands in the Consumer Reports Buying Guide for 2012, but here's some more advice if you're looking for kitchen appliances:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tropical Storm Chris

TS Chris is heading east away from the US, though it looks like it may curve back farther north...

Debby may form in the Gulf.

Update (6-21): Chris became a hurricane, but reverted to a tropical storm before I could get to the computer.  Debby may form in the next 48 hours.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beautiful bedclothes for your home (link)

I received a Cuddlledown catalog today; it's full of beautiful, interesting, and cute bedclothes, but what really caught my eye was a sheet set, along with a duvet cover, pillow cases and shams, etc. that looks like a Monet painting and another set that is an antique map, and it looks like the edges are full of old ships and sea monsters.   Link:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Libraries for your books and for display (link)

Here are some impressive libraries that may give you some ideas. I loved the antique map on the ceiling of one, but I'm afraid the gray and gold color scheme of another would require me to put book covers on my books; and for those who think libraries are boring, you can add a wine cellar and bar... There's a lot of elegance, opulence, and drama. I wonder if any of these libraries have tattered paperbacks and disintegrating hardcovers? OK, I confess that I don't have a library. I have bookcases scattered from one end of the house to the other--starting with the office, through the dining room and living room and into a bedroom. And there are stacks of books here and there that we're reading. But do browse for ideas you can use:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More landscaping (soil and sod)

June 12, 2012

8:55: Quiet here. We're waiting for a load of sod. We were up early waiting, but they haven't come yet; it was iffy. We ordered one pallet of sod and a yard of dirt that'll have to be spread first.

9:55: No sod yet, but we just got a load of dirt; the pickup is up on the hill now. I think most or all of that went up on the hill. I think they'll have to bring more for the back yard, which will require a wheelbarrow since there's no way a truck can get into the back yard.

10:48: No sod yet. It wasn't cut yesterday; it's being cut now and will be delivered between noon and dark.  The sod might not be laid until tomorrow, I suspect. The first load of dirt has been spread on the hill, and the contractors will bring another load of dirt later for the hill and the backyard.  (There were big depressions on the hill--the worst was filled last year, but there were still big dips. Apparently a big oak came down up there.)  

6:20: The sod was delivered; the sod guy was supposed to call a half hour beforehand (so the contractor would be here to pay him.), but he didn't; he called when he arrived here apparently. Anyway, our guys spent the day working in the area and had a snack (no time for supper) before returning here. They worked till about 8:20 'cause they wanted to finish the job. So that's done finally. (We wanted it done before the rainy season.) Now we'll hope for rain every day for 30 days, or else we have to water the sod each day.

The hill and the backyard are the last big outside projects at our new house. Some day I may try to draw our landscape; it's a number of mini-ecosystems.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Doorway and Other Stories (free ebook)

Today is the last day to get my story collection as a free download from Amazon Kindle, but you can get a free Kindle app here too:
The Doorway: Nessa stumbles into the time corridor and faces danger.
Guard Dog: Sequel to The Doorway. Nessa meets an old friend who needs her help.
Stray Cats: Cats, humans, and a mad scientist.
Pilot's Course: What happened to change this girl's life?
The Princess Quest : The princess needs a barbarian to help her on her quest.
When Danger Rules: Reesa came back to rescue the remaining members of her family. Now she had to avoid being killed by her cousin, who wanted the throne, and the new ruler of the planet, who didn't want a throne, and the ones she had come to rescue...
Home Not: When Grief's Aunt Chelsea died, his Uncle Sandro saw his chance, and Grief was at his mercy... Adventure.
What Price a Friendly Freep: Aliens and humans and space pirates.
Too Tight: Petals has a close call...
Royal Guardians: Kara and her companions, including a temple cat, land in Florida after escaping from another dimension.
Old Rex: They killed Rex, but he came back when she called him.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Midcentury modern (link)

The midcentury modern style seems sterile and uncomfortable to me, but for those of you who like it, check out these ideas:

Btw, my family had shag carpet when I was a kid, and when a dog throws up on it, that is almost impossible to clean!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Travel, entertaining, and Southern cooking

The June issue of Southern Living has some great articles on travel destinations, including Louisiana--and be sure to read the My Hometown piece on Oxford, MS; landscaping (love the roses and coleus); and Southern cooking (check out the recommended barbeque places). The recipes focus on peaches--Yummy!--but I love that Praline Key Lime pie (combining two of my favorites). And I loved the garage makeover and the home and gardens in Kentucky. Beautiful and mouth-watering issue.

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pretty Pink Planet on Freebie Friday

Pretty Pink Planet has been picked by Indies Unlimited for their Freebie Friday list: