Friday, July 31, 2009

Another day of rain! I need some flower power...

What a day, week, month, summer! It's been such a strange summer here in Northeast PA. Out of entire months, only a handful of days in that month has the sun actually come out from behind the clouds. And even on those days, it might have been a false hope because 4 times out of 5 it rained at some point during that day. I'm going bonkers!

I just wanted to share some flowers that haven't been beaten in the Rain Smack-Down! Even my tomato plants are getting weary. There are tomatoes on the vine, but because there is so little sun, they are a long time changing color! I'm becoming discouraged. I might end up with all "Green Tomatoes"... no red, no green zebra and no purple. We need more sun. Thanks Lord, I'm sure You heard my whining!

All of the above have been planted by my very own personal Mr. Green Jeans! Ha-ha, whatever color jeans he's wearing, he's a hottie! Hugs all around, and hopefully some nice warm sunshine! Penny Sue

Oh those sneezy, wheezy, hazy days of summer....

Oh, I'm so miserable! I have been miserable the entire day. If it weren't for watching Burn Notice I'd be comatose right now. I had a sneeze attack before my eyes were opened this morning. And it's been downhill from there. I took 3 Claritin... and they didn't touch it. Then once I got to work and my nose wouldn't stop itching and running "out of control", I took Benadryl... twice. I just took another dose about 1/2 hour ago. I sure do hope when I wake up tomorrow morning that my nose is just about perfect! I can't take much more of this.

Sooo... with the days that I've been sick, and with today... with my allergies almost incapacitating me and having to be at work by 2 today, I did not, yet again, get out to the shop to do any work. However, I'm sure once Sunday through Tuesday comes along, I'll have plenty of time to work out there.

This is Smidgen at about 24 weeks old.

These are updated pics of some of our flower and veggie beds, and please do forgive the weeds. We are fanatic weed collectors. Some people collect antiques, we collect weeds.

The huge tall green things behind the bluebird house are maximillion sunflowers. Watch out if you ever plant any of these things... they just go wild! Yipes!

Tomatoes and peppers and eggplant!

A flower bed with tomato plants and a fennel plant. However, it's kind of hard to find them within the weeds and all the flowers. But they are there, and they are doing very well. This flower bed has my "purple" tomatoes and we think some "birdie" deposited cherry tomatoes (which may actually be yellow).

My silly radishes. The largest might be as big as your thumbnail. I sprinkled them about, without really "planting" them... but I just wanted to have some fun.

Well, it's late, and I need to go.. to bed. Hugs all around. Penny Sue

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fun projects with welcomed results...

Hey there everyone...

I thought I would share a couple of the projects my husband worked on this spring/early summer. He's been working in the kitchen too; but it's in stages as we wait for the funds to become available for our projects in there also. We recycle with reclaimed lumber as much as we can. We truly try to limit our buying "new" lumber, but sometimes you can't help it, especially when you need nice and straight boards for wall studs.

He built this trellis (completely out of reclaimed wood), he put down the slate for the patio (also reclaimed from elsewhere on our property). It's under the shade of a beautiful maple tree. The table and chairs get early to mid-morning sun. Here are a few pictures of our new outdoor room at different angles and different times of the afternoon to evening.

He recreated this flower bed that borders the patio. This was a couple of weeks ago, but it's fuller and has more blossoming flowers, and looks beautiful.

This is a raised bed he built (I think there was still snow on the ground, seriously; this man had some serious cabin fever!) with tomato plants of various hybrids, various peppers, and egg plant. We were given the egg plant. Not sure I would have chosen egg plant, but we'll have a great experience with it. I'll be looking for recipes as to how to prepare them. I do know that you shouldn't let them get too big because they get bitter. Any other hints or recipes out there that you would like to share, bring 'em on. I'd love it.

My $39.99 chandelier find from Home Goods! I bought it months ago with the intent of putting it outside someplace. My husband had reservations. He couldn't picture in his mind how this would fit in outdoors. Once it was hung, he decided really likes it. It provides just enough light for a little romantic ambiance.

A job well done and such a relaxing outcome deserves a little celebration!

Hugs all around, Penny Sue

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OK, Girls and Boys... here we GO!

Two days ago, my dear husband asked me, for what must have been the 100th time, if I wanted to go out and work in the shop. For whatever reason, I didn't have this feeling of dread, or feeling overwhelmed, or a complete lack of confidence and desire. I simply said YES! I think my husband almost fell out of his chair. I know I had a hard time believing myself to have said yes after so many "no's" and excuses. This man is so precious to me, I truly don't know where I would be without him.

So.... we spent a few hours picking up garbage, putting away heaters from this past winter, putting in the air conditioner, moving everything (almost) that is for sale out of my back room into the front room/area. The intention is to have this back area to be my "workshop/studio" for everything and anything I make.

My goal is to make functional/useful pieces from someone elses throw aways or stuff I find in my travels out and about. Or I try to create entirely different things from what their original intent was. I have gleened ideas from everywhere, but mostly it's my way of trying to "go green". I'll have some retail, but it must all be made in the USA, no matter what it is. I kind of look at it that if I can make something functional from something that would have ended up as landfill.... well, that's my contribution. (One of them, anyhow.)

We put on some peppy music (Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, and Third Day; if you get the chance, you should listen to any of these artists, they are very honest, real and uplifting!). It gave us a little zip in our step and helped to keep us moving.

We set up a work table in the middle of my work space. It's a big surface. It will be very handy for furniture projects. Bigger things. Like pieces that I need to reapolster. Also, it's very sturdy.

I'll be back... we're going out again for a little while this afternoon. I'm taking my camera so you can see our progress. Also, you can see the current disaster and hopefully our journey towards my reopening. I'm actually getting excited. I'm so thankful for my husband's love for me and how well he takes care of me... and never, ever gives up on me. The following is a series of pics of what the shop looks like right now. It's not pretty, so brace yourselves! :)

This is looking in from the back door at my gift basket assembly station which is completely disorganized! Disaster area 101.

I've decided to keep this large set of drinking glasses. They are so very cool/retro looking. Probably from the 50's or 60's. It's a large set. I had a very reasonable price on them, and today I decided NOT FOR SALE! Someone elses loss is my gain.

Mmmmmmmmm.... new heaters. My husband resurrected the radiators that he put in my shop. We should be able to heat the whole shop from the wood boiler in our home. No more propane!

This rocking chair was purchased at auction for Dad. He loves to come and spend time with me while I'm open. In fact, I'm sure, he'll be right back at it once he realizes that power tools will be being used. Sorry it's not very tidy, but it's nice with the blankie folded nicely over the back of the chair and being able to see the cushion on the seat.

A peek into my "future kitchen". Right now it's just full of crap, to keep things rated "G".

The corner hutch is one of the first pieces of furniture my husband's brother built. It's so huge, there was only one place in my entire house that it would fit, so it works well out in my shop. However, I get a lot of people asking how much do I want for it. This too is not for sale.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you. It's going to be bitter-sweet because of so much past heartache, but I'm bound to be determined. And again, I thank my husband for his continued care and support. Hugs all around to y'all... Penny Sue