Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What we've been up to

Just a little update. Since the last time I blogged we lost the main computer and now the back up computer is going. So hubby and I decided it was probably time to get a new one. So we did. A nice, new laptop. We are enjoying it completely. I haven 't loaded my photo software yet so I don't have pictures to share this time. We've been busy though and I hope to share what we've been up to after Christmas. Christmas Eve with Neil's family is at our house and leftovers are at our house on Christmas day.
We hope everyone has a great Christmas and happy New Year.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fresh Apple Cake Recipe

This is a great recipe for using up old apples and it's really easy. Enjoy!
4 cups peeled, sliced apples and 2 cups sugar: stir together in a large bowl. Stir in 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt.
2 eggs beaten, 3/4 cup oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla: mix together in small bowl. Stir egg mixture into apple mixture blending until thoroughly moistened. You can add 1 cup chopped nuts if you like at this point.
Pour into a greased 9x13 and bake @ 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Slice and enjoy. Yummy!!!
Fresh Apple Cake
4 cups peeled, sliced apples
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
2 eggs
3/4 c. oil
2 t. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl stir together apples and sugar. Add dry ingredients, stir well. In separate bowl beat eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into apple mixture, blending until thoroughly moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake 50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Regular Post... Gasp...Shock...

Well posting regularly is certainly not one of my accomplishments. Life just gets too busy if we allow it. My full time hours at work will be coming to a close pretty soon, so hopefully that will open up more time as I move back to just my regular afternoon hours. Of course if I didn't get so busy reading everyone else's blogs and worked more on my own then I'd probably be a regular poster too. I've got so many things I want to share with everyone, so where to start?
I've been tweaking the front room. We turned our living room into the dining room. It was much larger than our dining room and turned our old, small dining room off the kitchen into a sitting room. We have a family room so we really didn't need a room with just couches in it. We were hardly using it. So I'd like to share pictures of that. I've also recently gotten a new table and buffet for the front room. So here goes
Before. You can't see the chandelier in the other pictures but I did get shades for the bulbs. It looks really cute. I got the kind that can be covered with your own fabric. My bestfriend and I spent an hour or so covering them one Saturday.
New buffet and other improvements to the wall that has bugged me for 8 years. I've never known what to do with this large blank wall. I think it's coming together nicely now. I purchased a crocheted runner at last weekend's open air market that I went to.
Just a different angle.
new table and chairs.
There are several pieces in here that I hope to paint and antique so that I have a more cohesive look. Hope everyone is doing well and I'll add some more posts this week. I've got a couple of great recipes to share. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm back!!

My wonderful computer guy was able to resurrect my computer. He was able to save all my pictures, that I the fool had neglected to back up to disc and my document files. I'll post more later, but we are all okay. Bye!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Computer burn out

The bad news is our main family computer crashed. We're hoping to save the pertinent information on the hard drive. There went all my school files, home files and pictures. I'm so hoping that it can be saved, especially the pictures. So we're presently bumming Seth's computer and I'll hopefully get him to share some of his very gorgeous Ireland pictures. Take care.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Just another Manic Morning ... Not!!

Our progressive dinner was great!! A good time was had by all and the food was terrific at every house, if I do say so myself.
We started the evening at the Singleton's lovely home with a huge variety of appetizers. YumOO!!
A wonderful course of green salad, fruit salad, and terrific garlic sourdough bread was had by all at the Harlanders house.

Of course I was too busy at my own home to get decent pictures. But we had a great menu of pulled beef, new potatoes and chili. Of course I didn't get any pictures of the dessert house, nor of the play Twelfth Night. It was a great evening though. One I'd do again soon.
This is how Saturday morning started. A great cup of cocoa and a great read, Romantic Country of course. It's nice and quiet here. Much needed after yesterday's terribly busy day getting ready for the progressive dinner. I think we swept enough dirt off the patio/driveway to form our own small country. We don't use the patio much during the summer because it faces west and where we live that means it's really hot!!
This is the picture of my morning here. Finally!!! Thank you Lord it's cool!!! Yes, a first cloudy, fall day. What shall I do today?? You'll have to wait to see. Have a glorious weekend!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

House Cleaning

I know I've been silent for far too long. I've been so busy at work and getting the kids school stuff done. I promise to be back soon. This working full time thing takes some getting used to. We've finally gotten below 100 degrees here in the valley and it feels great. Even managed to squeak in some time in the garden. Which was looking really bad after the month + of 100 degree days. We'll kick off the entertaining season this next Friday with a progressive dinner. We've been busy getting the patio ready which means removing the layers of dust. I need to get busy and do some sprucing up here on the blog too. Hope everyone is having a great start to the fall season.
This was a picture I took last year of our neighbor's front yard. Their trees were just gorgeous. Of course this was December rather than fall. Gotta run. Take care everyone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tales from a thrift shop addict

I'm a firm believer in that if I wait long enough eventually what I want will come through my favorite thrift store. This just cemented that belief. I've been wanting an ivy with a form for quite some time now, but $50+ is just not what I am willing to pay for such an item. When I went to my favorite spot last week here it was. A little neglected but with some TLC it'll be great again. Pot, ivy and form only $6.00.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A new blog

Such a ham!!
Pretty Tina!
I'm sure we'll know what to do with this once we get started.
Our really good friend Becca has just started her own blog. You can see some great pictures of our San Simeon trip in August. Careful you might just laugh so hard you'll hurt yourself. Personally I want to burn the pictures of the Arabian princess if for no other reason than my hubby about hurt himself laughing so hard. Becca's blog is here.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Off to Ireland

If you've been visiting long then you've probably wondered why I've got a clock with Dublin time on the blog. On Wednesday, August 27 Seth and his Nana (Neil's mom) took off for a two week trip to Ireland. It's her graduation gift to Seth. We haven't heard from them, but we hope they're having a wonderful time, getting to see a lot of neat stuff, meet a lot of new people and taste a lot of new food. Have a great time Seth!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Garden Shots

Our garden has been coming along nicely this summer. It still has a long way to go, but I've been pleased with what we accomplished before the triple digit days struck. Now it's been so hot nobody wants to do anything except swim. School starts Monday and I've been busy getting ready besides going back to work this week. Everyone have a great weekend and enjoy the end of summer. I thought I would share a couple of pictures from the backyard. Enjoy.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer's end

My summer is slipping away. I had so much I wanted to do this summer, but somehow the time has gotten away from me. Two more weeks and it's back to work and back to homeschooling. This is essentially my last year homeschooling. Bittersweet in so many ways. Tina will be a senior the following year but I'll only be teaching her English. She's taking the majority of the rest of her requirements this year. Seth is a senior this year. Where have the years gone? They've flown away. I know that for many of you who don't homeschool you're probably thinking I'm crazy, but this has been a huge time investment for me for the last 10 years or so. I'll miss it. I'll still have my little job, but I'll miss the homeschooling. It's been such an adventure and I've enjoyed it tremendously. So many times I've learned right along with my kids. I should be lesson planning, but I'm not. I'm getting the camping gear ready to go to the beach. Have a great weekend!
Cayucos, here we come!
Best Friends!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How many states have you visited or lived in?

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

I love to travel. Especially if it involves driving. I really don't like to fly. I'm terrified of heights. When we go to Las Vegas we always have to stay on the third floor or lower. I get dizzy. We went to Sacramento and visited the old governor's mansion. I got dizzy on the top floor. It was only three stories. Sheesh!! I even have nightmares about being up high and the floor falling out from under me. But I digress. I found this neat little map at Big Huge Labs. Still don't know how to do those little link thingies. But thought you'd find it a cool website to visit. I've colored all the states I've visited and lived in. Before I die I'd like to visit all of them. I guess I'll have to fly to get Hawaii. Not sure how I'd do on a cruise. Have a great week!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Slide Show

The slide show you're seeing is from Seth's recent hiking trip into the high Sierras. The wildflowers were gorgeous and he just couldn't wait to share them with everyone. Seth, his uncle and a couple of his uncle's friends took a 5 day hike to Devil's Post Pile and high Sierra lakes on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How to make your living room into a dining room

I thought I would post pictures of our living room turned dining room. Our dining room is really small and though conveniently located next to the kitchen it left much to be desired for entertaining let alone the 5 of us. So when we turned the largest room in the guest house into our family room I decided we didn't need a lone sofa sitting in this huge room. So we turned it into the dining room! It's not far from the kitchen. Just a few more steps. We really like it. These pictures were taken when we were just "living" with the idea. I don't want anything permanent because eventually it will be just hubby and I. So I'm looking for a chandelier that I can electrify and plug in like a lamp. I'll hang it over the table. We've decided we really like it and believe it or not I'm in the process of moving things around again. We lost our school room (not that we needed it any longer now that the kids are older) when father-in-law moved in. So I'm adding a bookcase for necessary school books and accommodating the 1890 treadle machine we inherited from the family. I'll share pictures of the "new" room when I get it done. Enjoy!!

This hutch sits behind the table. That's the front door we can kinda see.

I really enjoy getting around to everyone else's blogs and seeing what you all are doing in your homes. You are such an inspiration to me to keep working towards a lovely home for my family.
Oh, in case you were wondering what became of the old dining room? It's now a sitting room and very lovely. It's nice to have someone to sit on the couch and talk to while cooking dinner. I'll post about that at a later date. Have a great day!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Yard Work

Everyone has been posting such lovely pictures of their yards. Our yard is definitely a work in progress. It was well on it's way to being a great yard several years ago when we made the decision to add the guesthouse for my mom. Well there went the front and backyard. We had the driveway ripped out, removed trees and the front yard leveled. Since then it's been one project after another. Seth has been very helpful with the front yard and besides needing a tree it's well on it's way to looking great. We moved thebench/trellis seat to the back yard after the wind damaged it last fall. I just couldn't bear to part with it. It's in shabby shape, but I don't think the morning glory vines in the backyard will mind.
Not sure what these little beauties are but they're pretty. Seth tends to pick the seed packets by his likes and dislikes.
I've never had any luck with daisies but Seth has some great ones growing in the front yard.
This is Seth's hollyhock forest as I like to call it. These were all seeds that my aunt gave me years ago before she passed away. We even have an awesome "black" hollyhock. It's really very dark purple. We save the seeds every year for the next year, but mostly they self seed.
Hollyhocks up close and personal.
This was taken earlier in the spring and it's the front yard. I think this was March.
This is the yard last spring, 2007. It was looking okay. What you can't see is the ground in the yard is not level and all the Bermuda in the flower beds. The bobcat the contractor used just wrecked havoc back here. Hubby and father-in-law are spraying roundup on the Bermuda and then will begin the tedious process of hand leveling it. The yard is too small to accommodate any kind of equipment now.
Last of the built in brick flower beds. I had to remove the last rosebush because of disease. We had all new cement poured when we did the guesthouse.
This flowerbed creates an "L" around the back of the house.
Oh please don't look closely at this patio. It needs a lot of work.
I love the little tiny tunia plant.
Here's what is left of the bench.
Of course we have morning glories growing here at Morning Glory Cottage.
This is what we started with. Yuck!
Now. We pulled out the cannas and hope to eventually put in a raised bed in the corner.
Behind the chairs.
This is the guesthouse. Seth put in the window flower box just recently for me. You can see the grape on the ground. It needs a new arbor. The old supports rotted away. Hopefully this will begin to look better soon. It looks a little bit better than what we started with 8 years ago. At least there's no broken glass and some greenery. But that's another story for another post. Have a great weekend everyone!