Friday, July 29, 2011

Treasure Hunting

Today my lovely girls The Bookworm & Spitfire are going to go on a treasure hunt. We are going to see if we can find many lovely things.

Our goals are to:
1. Have FUN!

2. Find lovely treasures for our home.
(we are searching for tea cups, saucers, creamer dish, sugar dish and maybe even a lovely tea pot. Hopefully not matching sets.)

3. A sofa. I really really really want a sofa. so maybe just maybe in our adventures out and about we will find a sofa!

4. Tea Towels. You can not have a lovely tea party without pretty tea towels and maybe even a couple of doilies.
I hope that we will find lovely treasures and have loads of fun on our girls Treasure hunt day. I am sure it will be an experience we wont soon forget! I will be sure to post pictures of our finds soon.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I left a little tease about the new wall color on my last blog So today's blog is all about my new living room color.

When we moved in the walls were patched and ready to be painted but my new landlord gave me the option of choosing paint colors myself. I did so right away, searching for a color that would both calm and brighten the room. The room is not very large and finding something to fit my needs was not an easy task.

Much like finding an inexpensive couch with straight lines and good springs so that it can be reupholstered. I am still searching for that couch but for now at least I found the color!

It took me some time to get it on the walls because I first was helping with the cabin, and then I was sick. So now that it cooled down some and I was able to get the paint on the walls I am going to share my hard work with you. :)

The walls started out looking like this:
   I am not really sure what color this is but I know that it didn't feel bright and cheery and it made the room feel smaller. Would you call it oatmeal? I think that's what it reminds me of, cooked oatmeal with nothing in it.

So I chose this lovely shade of blue:

It is called Rivers Edge blue by Behr 

I tackled painting the walls and painted two walls at a time. Since the house is not very big and I really did not have anywhere else to move furniture, movies, games, and such. I moved half the stuff to the middle of the room and painted those two walls.

Here is the same wall I showed you first up there, before paint. 

Big difference, right?

Here is the room with the furniture all back in place. Looking from the kitchen into the living room, the bookshelf is still primer grey until it is painted its lovely dark brown.
I played with the color of this until it looked about right, The lighting is very yellow in that room and kept making the color in all my photos off. 

This picture is from the front door looking into the living room. 
Yes our couch is currently a day bed and I am using tupper containers for extra storage. This is what happens when you move across country and sell off all your furniture. It takes a while to get new stuff. Those are all games under the couch, My family and I love to play games together.

Here is a picture of the wall that is goes into the kitchen. 

You can see I have a ton of stuff up on the ledge there, that is all getting cleaned off today, I just didn't have anywhere to put these things. Anyway I think the blue compliments the yellow of the dining room well and it livens up the kitchen with an accent wall of color.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Building A Bookshelf

After searching high and low for a book shelf that was not just cheap particle board and being on a fairly tight budget my husband and I decided to build one together. This project has cost about 50.00 so far and is sturdy enough that it will last for many years. The book shelf is 6 feet tall by 3 feet wide and 10 inches deep. I still have to buy a small can of dark brown (the color is actually bitter chocolate) to paint the shelves, right now it sits in its primed state of dark primer.

We started with two 6 foot boards and 5 3 foot boards.

Then we measured 16 inches from the top, leaving 1 inch spaces for the shelves themselves. We did get a larger spot on the bottom but this will allow me to place larger items down low and a place to tuck our speaker into for the surround sound.

We then drilled all the holes in the wood for the screws, we used 4 screws per shelf per side.

We also used wood glue just as an extra measure of strength.

We bought an inexpensive piece of backer board and put it on the back with finishing nails.

Here is the finished product before paint.

Here it is primed I will be painting it in a week or so with its lovely dark brown paint, and we will be building a matching unit to place on the other side of the Tv to bring balance and of course lovely places for my books and pottery.
In this last picture you can also see a bit of what else I did over the weekend. The wall color is distinctly different between the first photo and the last.

That post will be coming later this week, Here is a teaser ...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hair Taping

I intended to post this about 4 days ago but sometimes the best intentions are waylaid by life.

I was watching YouTube videos on hair styles one day and discovered Rope Braiding. This is something I have seen on other people but never knew how to do it. So here is the video:

Taking that and combining it with this other video by the same person:

I created a way to make a crown braid for shorter hair. My youngest daughter The Spitfire has shoulder length hair and she looks down right adorable in this rope braid around her head.

Taping, as it was called in early Italian Renascence, is when you take ribbon and "tape" the hair down by going over the braid and tying it in place.

With my darling Book Worm I started hers on each side of her head and up kind of high to create a side braid on her head.
I then wrapped the rope braids up and pinned it on the inside of the other braid.

Then I wrapped the other one over the top of this one and pinned it as well.

Then I taped it into place with the pretty green ribbon.

I didn't get pictures of the Spitfire with her hair as I went but here it is finished.

As you can see her crown goes all the way around her head. I did this by doing a french rope braid and going all the way around her head starting in the bangs area and working around her head. Then I pinned the tail end right under her bangs.

To do the taping I started with ribbon that is about 3 lengths from arm to mid chest. yep do that 3 times and that's about how much ribbon I used. Then for The Bookworm I started at the back in the middle. I went from under the hair and pulled up a loop in the middle then I pulled the ribbon even and slipped the tails between the ribbon to secure it. I then took one side of one tail and wrapped it going up towards her forehead and then back down to the middle in the back. I repeated this on the other side and then tied it in a bow when I got back to the middle. This style held in her hair for 3 full days.

For The Spitfire since I went all the way around her head I started in the front and just wound the ribbon around her head, tying the ribbon down with each sew into her braid. when I got to the end of the braid I tied the ribbon in a bow. Because her hair is shorter and there are shorter pieces in there it did not last as long. If I wanted it to stay I would have to use a few short pins to secure it better and then I am sure it would last a good long time.

You will need 1 plastic yarn needle and ribbon to do the taping. You can find a yarn needle at any place they sell yarn and crochet or knitting supplies. Any Ribbon will do but try to use thinner ribbon that fits in the needle hole easier.

I hope that some of you will give it a try, it sure is nice and cool for the summer and helps distribute the weight of hair more evenly.

EDIT* adding pictures of the girls hair front view.
Book Worm, front view
Spitfire Front view
Sisters together.  
You will notice that the Spitfire has a hard time holding still in pictures. Its why she is my spitfire, the kid just can't sit still. Not that she wont or doesn't want to, its that she simply CAN NOT! :)

Hope that helps give you a better picture of what the styles look like. I also can picture these with adorable silk flowers pinned in the hair all around the braids. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Never a Dull moment around here...

Man what a night last night was!

I ran to the store and then came home to eat my dinner (it was fend for yourself night). I finished eating and am just kinda settling down for the night.

Got everything done and was getting ready to go to bed around 10:45pm, my son A walks in here and says "mom can you check my eye I got something in it and I think it might be metal" (a little back story, 2 days ago he found some metal knife or something in the woods and has been using his dads dremil to clean it up and sharpen it. ) He has only been allowed to work on it if he is wearing goggles so I have no idea how he even got it in there. I doubt it could have been there all day because he would have noticed it, it got rather painful. I tried to rinse his eye first thinking that maybe it was just sitting on his eye but that didnt work. So then I took the Eurethrymicin(sp? its the same stuff they use on newborns in the hospital)  out and put the ointment on his eye. I woke my husband up and told him I had to take A to the hospital. To which he insisted he go instead, Even though he was supposed to be up and going to work by 4am. (he ended up calling in and went in 2 hours later, not my choice). A has two scrapes on his cornea and a little puncture wound. He has to put drops in his eye every 4 hours and they gave him Tylenol with codine! seriously? talk about over kill. They got the fleck of metal out of his eye. We still dont know really how it happened but Anthony told me that it didnt start bothering him until just before he came in. So my best theroy is that he had the metal on his hand or clothing and when he was changing for bed it got in his eye.

So they finish and head home from the ER around 3:30am... I am talking to My hubby on the phone as they drive home which is roughly a 15 minute drive when he suddenly screams at me "SHIT! I have to get off the phone there is a guy in the middle of the street waving a gun at me!" click. silence. *insert extreme panic here* I dont even know exactly "where" or how far from home he is. Turns out he wasnt that far from home, He drove a little way farther down the road and pulled into a church parking lot and called the cops. Identified himself and explained his background and informed dispatch that there was a man on the street with a gun. They kept him on the phone while the Cops were dispatched, then while he is on the phone 4 more individuals come out with guns and they are all dancing around in the front yard. My husband calls me (a full 15 minutes later, all while I am sure I am dieing of fright) to let me know that he is safe and they are back on their way home. They ended up sending 8 cops to deal with the individuals with guns. Then just after 4am the phone rings... its Danville PD wanting to know if my hubby is still at the church. They need him sign the papers for the report. so he heads back over to the church parking lot and doesnt get home till 4:30am.

He slept for an hour and a half then got up and went to work. he doesnt get home until 8pm tonight... I am slightly worried about him working all day and driving tonight to get home.

So I didnt go to bed until 4:30 this morning myself... its 10:30 now and I am up... This does not bode well for my headache that I can already feel behind the eyes.

Tonight shall be a quiet one...

Dinner early...

Bed Early!

I hope?

I am anticipating a quiet night.

Monday, July 18, 2011


So over the week and weekend I still fought off a really nasty head cold that tried hard to turn into some form of strep throat.

I also got invited to the new social networking site Google+ If you have never heard of it don't feel bad, a lot of people haven't. It seems to have a lot more control over who in your friends list sees what comments, and who you socialize with is more easily controlled. It also can interface with the other social networking sites and gives you more privacy options. Say you don't want your family to know whats going on in that private group of friends you hang out with, or You don't want the boss or people at work to know about what you did on Saturday You only share what you want with the circles of friends you want to share it with.

I am not sure if it will take over as the main social networking site but I do like some of the control options I have over at g+ as opposed to those over at Facebook.

Have any of you ventured onto Google+ ?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Random-ness

Well we are all fighting off a summer head cold in this house. Yet that is when my youngest two suddenly decided to grab work books that have been sitting on a shelf since we moved in.

They worked from about 9pm last night until about 10pm when my groggy snot filled head just couldn't focus any longer to help them. They both completed about 30 pages or so in that hours time and just flew through the books. We have not done any formal book work in well over a year. I do keep these types of things on hand for them. But they have had neither desire or drive to bother. This morning they both had "saved" their spots in the books they were working in and both of them continued to do work this morning. Each of them working at about the same pace and just cruising through the books. At one point Spitfire turned to me and asked "how many pages do we have to do?" I just chuckled and said "O as many as you want to do" they had both already done well more then what would normally be "required" if they were sitting and doing book work all day long.

Yesterday my Bookworm and I sat here watching Youtube videos and were completely amazed by this lady doing her LONG (like she sits on it kinda long) hair up in these fancy do's We want to give a couple a try so perhaps later today I will break out the ribbon and get to braiding and sewing our hair, or plating it as it was called in the days gone by.

I have had several people ask to about my shopping bags that I crochet. While out shopping at walmart the other day two ladies asked about them and one was amazed at how much stuff I had in them! Then when I told them that I made them she said I should sell them! I asked her how much she would pay for such an item and she looked at me straight faced and said "ME?!" Well yes lady YOU who seems to think that I could sell them, how much would you pay for them? ahh she never gave me a number but seemed to think others would certainly buy them. So that left me pondering. each bag if I sit and work on it consistently and don't get distracted or goof it up each bag takes about 2.5 hours, so one good movie. Each one takes about 1.5 skiens of cotton yarn depending on the price that is about $3.50 for the materials. IF my time was only worth 5.00 an hour that would bring us in at $12.50, add in the cost for materials and that brings each bag to $16.00 a bag. Would you pay $16.00 for a crocheted bag?

I must say that I am not sure where I would even begin to sell these at. Being new to the area makes it hard to find the little spots where you might find such niches.

On to other things... do any of you use a blog editor other then the one directly on blogger? Do you create your blogs somewhere else and then just simply upload them to blogger? Or are you like me and just create a lovely little blog spur of the moment right here on blogger and send it out into the world?

I think the cold is making me rather loopy as I am rambling a bit more then usual. So I will send this blog into the bloggosphere and let it be what it will.
Enjoy your today's for that is what your memories are made of. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fairy Stones

For Fathers day we visited Fairystone State Park I meant to get this blog posted shortly afterwards but then life happened.

So instead I will post today all about Fairy Stone and the legend behind it. I personally find the legend to be a fascinating tale. It is a legend told to the Cherokee and shared as such. I love this legend because of its origins. My husband is Cherokee and we have done extensive study on the Cherokee. There is more to learn about our heritage though because of the vast knowledge base here on the east coast.

Here are a few pictures of the State Park Lake.
Looking up from the lake
To the right of us
looking at the lake from our spot on the lawn
A few of my kiddos down there in the lake
Now we didn't hunt for fairy stones here, instead we drove down the road a little way and stopped here
This would be my spitfire. I love this girl. 
         We did lots of crawling around in the dirt and looking at rocks. 

Our resident experts are our neighbors who have lived here a long time. They were kind enough to show us what to look for. 

This adorable kid found them every time he looked down! 

Here are the ones I found, It is not so easy to take pictures of them but I gave it my best shot. 

See the cross in the center of the largest stone? That is a Fairy Stone!

Now onto the legend. I was able to google and find a great document on the web that tells the whole story, You can find it here.

                                The Cherokee Indian Legend of the Stone Crosses  

 Early one day long ago from time out of memory the people of a Cherokee town awoke and faced east to say their morning prayers to the Creator in heaven (Ca-lun-la-ti). In the distance could be heard the cry of an owl, a sign of death and bad luck. The eastern sky began turning many colors, and it looked as if a storm was about to take place. Indians from other villages joined them and there was a feeling of sadness. 

Soon, the Little People (Yun-wi T-suns-di) who lived deep in the forest appeared to the Cherokee (Dwarfs or fairies with long black hair;) they were only two feet tall and often brought messages to the people. They spoke first to the tribal elders and then to everyone who had assembled in the town  They told a story of both greatness and sadness. Many Years ago, a new star (no-t-lu-si) had appeared in the eastern sky beyond the big salt water. A special boy-child had been born to a tribe chosen by the creator He had grown into a man of wisdom and had taught his people the ways of the Creator and the straight white path of peace. He was a man of kindness and brought strong medicine (nu-wa-ti) to his people. Although he taught purity and harmony with the creator, he had many enemies who would not hear his message of peace They would not believe that his medicine made sick people well. Thus, on this day, they would torture and kill this wise man, and he would walk towards the nightland (death).  

 As the sky grew dark, the Indians sang a death song to honor this beloved man of peace whom they called the Son of the Creator. All of the animal nations of the forests soon came and stood by them, Because of their sorrow, the Cherokee began to cry. Their tears soon covered the ground. When their weeping had ended, they looked down and saw that their tears had been changed into small stone crosses. For the Indians, the cross design had always represented the cardinal points or the four directions. Now it had a new religious meaning. 

The Creator (E-do-da) had heard their prayers and songs and had given them a gift. The Cherokee kept these stone crosses and always honored them.  Many Cherokee Indians still possess these stone crosses and treasure them. It is a blessing from the Creator to find one of these sacred objects. Today, these stone crosses are found in the old Cherokee meeting Place in Virginia that is called Fairy Stone State Park.  

 The Cherokee Nation in the 18th century (1700's) claimed most of the land in what is today Southwest Virginia. The western part of Patrick County, Virginia belonged to the Cherokee at this time. In the Treaty of Hard Labor signed on October 14, 1763, The Cherokee Nation gave up their land from the top of the Blue Ridge to the Holston River.  To the eastern Indians of the United States, the Little people were the fairies or dwarfs that lived in caves and under streams in the forests. They were about two feet tall, had long black hair, and spoke Indian languages. Loving music and dancing, it was believed that they taught the Indians about medicine. 

 The Little People were usually friendly towards humans and could be helpful and kind. It is said that they often found lost children in the woods and returned them to their parents. They also helped people by working in their cornfields all night, guarding their houses, and watching over their families. The Little People loved to eat cornbread and strawberries, and the Indian, would set food out for them. They could be mischievous and if angered, they would throw rocks at you.  
 The Chiltoskey family of Cherokee North Carolina has preserved this Cherokee Legend of the stone crosses

 I want to thank the Chiltoskey family for preserving this legend and sharing it so that it may continue to be passed down from family to family as is the traditional Cherokee way. 

I hope that if you are ever given the chance to visit Fairy Stone state park you take a moment to enjoy the beauty around you, and to hunt up a legend or two to bless you. 

While looking down for Fairy Stones I felt the urge to look up and this is the beauty I found. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dinning room

My dinning room before had these horrid blinds. I mean they are just awful! Thankfully my friend and landlord hated them as much as I do and said to throw them away the first chance I got.
The awful blinds
As you can see I already placed them on one sliding glass door. But here is the shot of that door, along with the bookworm smiling at me.

Here is an after shot of what the room looks like now with the curtains up instead of the ugly shades.

I posted a picture of the fabric that I bought for $3.00 over the weekend, but here is a better view of it on one of the chairs. It is just folded up and sitting there but it will look a lot like that once I get them completely recovered.

You maybe can't tell but there are sheers hung at the entrance end of the sliders. I did this so that should we still want to block some of the heat of the day but have light we could easily do so. Those sheers actually block a good bit of light.

Here is a shot of the room with one side pulled more open and the sheer closed.

These are the ladder back chairs that I am going to paint white. My husband keeps trying to talk me into painting them dark brown but honestly I think they will look better white. Both in the room and with the fabric choices.

Here is a picture late in the evening with the curtains open. See my lovely yard? If you peak to the left of the picture you can also see where I intend to plant some herbs.

What do you think?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Monday~

I have been absent from my blog a lot lately.

I have no real explanation for this other then my chronic pain. Sometimes the pain is so intense that thinking beyond the pain is to much to ask. Some days I am at my best to tolerate myself let alone putting anything together to share with the world.

I woke up a week ago with my neck so wrenched that I could not turn to the right at all. The muscles were all spasming and it stayed that way for nearly a week. Nothing helped. Not massage, not ice, not heat, not stretching. It took a combination of all these things and a whole lot of resting to get my neck better. Its still not 100% better but it is getting there.

So how do you treat this kind of pain? Do you reach for a bottle and hope it helps? do you curl up into the fetal position and wish for death? Do tell.

Over the weekend I found someone selling about 3 yards of fabric that I just love for the dining room chairs. I paid 3.00 for it! A dollar a yard for fabric! It had to be washed twice because the person smoked but a vinegar rinse and two washes on the gentle cycle (because its got raw edges) did the trick.

I love the fabric and am hoping that it matches what I have for curtains already because if not I will be forced to sew some other curtains to match the chair fabric.

I also took some fun pictures of the moon last night with my camera.

All week last week I was visited by this beautiful Butterfly. I got pictures of it on a few different days.

I think this concludes my week and weekend. I am looking forward to getting back to my blog and sharing here. Lets hope that my body cooperates with me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Birthday~

Today is the love of my lifes Birthday. It is also my Brother in Law's birthday. They share their birthday, which is odd to most people and just fun for us.

Today we will do little things around the house and just try to relax. We will enjoy time off together and I will bake him a cake, or a pie (he hasn't decided which yet) And his favorite meal. Then we will sit down together and enjoy.

Having the weekend off is a rare treat because he has been working so much that he has not had much time off.

Up in just over a month we have the birthday of my youngest son and then in October is my oldest's and we are finished for the year.

I will come back and post pictures of whatever delicious creation I come up with for his birthday celebration.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hawaiian Sweet Potato Salad

This potato salad is done without a mayo dressing, but instead uses a cilantro lime dressing. This picture shows the salad done with the Orange fleshed Sweet potato because we could not find any Yellow fleshed sweet potato's. The biggest problem with this is that the Orange flesh is sweeter. It changes the flavor slightly. The other issue is that the Orange fleshed sweet potato is softer.

Here is a picture that shoes the difference.

Yellow Fleshed Sweet Potato      Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato
I don't have step by step photos because my husband prefers to not be photographed when hes cooking.

1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic minced

whisk together the mustard, lime juice cilantro and garlic. Slowly streem in oil whisking constantly. stir in salt and pepper. let sit while you finish the salad.

Now you can choose to cook your sweet potatoes any way you choose but we prefer them to be oven roasted. For this you will place your sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet (this is strongly suggested unless you enjoy cleaning your oven) and roast them in a 425* oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes. We usually do 4 small to medium potatoes.

Once the potatoes are cooled peel the skin off and chop them into medium sized chunks.

3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes (of the yellow fleshed variety if you can find them)
1 cucumber
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Peel the cucumber and slice it lengthwise, remove the seeds and thinly slice. Thinly slice the onion (we have used a variety of onions our favorite is actually the vidallia onions), chop macadamia nuts and lightly toss all ingredients with the dressing. Refrigerate and enjoy chilled.

I love this at a summer picnic because you dont have to worry about it getting warm.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Weekend

For the weekend of the 4th of July my Sister from another mother came to visit. She is not my blood but a sister none the less. Her mother passed away just a month ago and We really needed to hug one another. So she came, and we talked all night, laughed and cried, and drank wine.

Me on the left, her on the right. 
We got together with my neighbors and had this wonderful bbq outside. It rained but we enjoyed how it cooled the air off. We were under the giant tent anyways so neither us or the food got wet. (much)

There I am way at the end of the table.
We were enjoying the dessert. Some of us had the cake I made and others had strawberry short cake with biscuits (is this a southern thing or do people everywhere except California eat strawberry short cake with biscuits?) My cake was delightful, and healthy, well as healthy as a cake can be!

4th of July Cake
And just to top off the day I will share my recipe with you all.
(I found the recipe in an old betty crocker cook book and modified it)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup vanilla flax milk

bake in 2 bundt cake pans (one smaller then the other) for 35 minutes at 350*
Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs together. alternately add dry mix to wet with milk. Do not over mix. Grease and flour bundt cake pans and divide batter into each.

2 packages low fat cream cheese
1 8oz jar of marshmallow cream

Soften cream cheese and blend until smooth then stir in the marshmallow cream and stir again until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. I also will use this to just dip fresh strawberries in. It is sweet and creamy. I got this recipe from my wonderful Mother in law, we used to use it to eat our strawberries with in the summer when I lived down the street, except she used one package of cream cheese to one 8oz jar. I like the extra cream cheese.

Strawberries and Blueberries top off the cake. I sliced my strawberries and added the blueberries at the end. I only added 1 tsp of sugar for the whole bowl because I did not want to much "juice" in the bowel, just enough to coat the berries.

I also made pasta salad, and my husband made Hawaiian Sweet Potato Salad, and we made bbq chicken.