Category Archives: Home

The Collection Must Go

While contemplating spring cleaning, I have decided that I need to get rid of a lot of the collections I have including books, audio books and dolls.  Down-sizing will free up some space and cut down on my dusting which is always a good thing!!!

I have been a collector of beautiful dolls for over 25 years.  All of my dolls were expensive dolls with porcelain bodies and dressed in beautiful costumes.   Before we moved to this farm we had a huge farm-house in the county with about 20 acres. I dedicated one entire room to my collection of Georgetown, and other collectible dolls of all sizes and shapes.  I kept them in covered cases and displayed them on all four walls of the “doll room”.  Most of the dolls are 16″ – 24″ tall and some are 32″ – 36″ tall.

I’ve always been an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction and kept all of my hardcover books even after they’ve been read.  The audiobooks were mostly read when I was working and drove 45 minutes each way five days a week.  Listening to the books made the ride home more interesting! One room held most of my books and audio books in our old home.  In our present home the dolls are wrapped up and placed in sealed totes to keep them nice.  The books and audiobooks are all over the house and I’m not exaggerating.

This bookcase is in my dressing room off the guest room and is filled with gardening, homesteading, crafting and sewing books.

Third shelf in my sewing room.

Second bookcase in my sewing room.

This bookcase is in the guest room.

This shelf is in our guest room.  The bottom shelf is where all of my audiobooks are shelved along with a bookcase in the dressing room.

This shelf in one of three in my sewing room.

These shelves are in our upstairs foyer.

Now I MUST downsize and find a new home for these dolls.  Here’s a preview:


Bedroom Spring Cleaning and New Closet

May was spring cleaning for me and hubby helped me by making some changes to our bedroom.  We live in a 100-year-old home and with any house no matter the age, I clean the entire house starting in May or June depending on when the woodstove is shut down for the winter heating season.  This year I wanted to start with cleaning our bedroom and painting it.

Before I start cleaning I always try to go through our clothes and sort winter from summer clothing.  Well, our bedroom is a really nice size but it only had a 3×5 foot closet and it held only his clothes.  It was chocked full of clothes he wears everyday, winter clothes, summer clothes, hunting clothes, coats, sweaters, you name it was packed full.

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I asked for a new closet and my wish was granted.

Corner for the new closet

Corner for the new closet

Framing begins

Framing begins

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Door goes up

Door goes up

Finished closet

Finished closet

The finished closet has two rods, one at top and one down lower for organizing and room.  Shirts on the top and pants on the bottom.  The old closet will now hold his coats, jackets and shoes/boots.

Painting is completed

Painting is completed

Spring cleaning in this room done and gorgeous!

Spring cleaning in this room done and gorgeous!

There’s nothing like a fresh coat of white paint on the ceiling, trim and doors to brighten up a room.

Bath Re-do

Our home was built-in the early 1800’s and is part of the 200-year-old family farm we live on.

Our home 2015

Our home 2015

I have a very small bathroom and it’s the only bathroom in the house. We don’t have a bathtub and our shower is an antique surround of metal which is in bad need of repair. I would like to buy a new shower but the old one sets up on a concrete foundation and is embedded with concrete. Until we become rich (NOT) we’ll make do with what we have.

You have to remember that our house has been in the family for at least four generations and the bathroom facility was put in when hubby was a wee one, 65+ years ago, we think!! YES I DO LOVE OLD THINGS! Anyway, here’s what it looked like before I made some minor repairs/touch-ups a couple of months ago:

Exterior of the shower walls is being sanded and reinforced for strength and to keep the water in the shower.

Exterior of the shower walls is being sanded and reinforced for strength and to keep the water in the shower.

Interior lower corner is being reinroced with a cement solution.

Interior lower corner is being reinforced with a cement solution.

Corners of the shower are rusting out really bad and hubby found a cement solution to reinforce the metal framing and it's waterproof.

Corners of the shower are rusting out really bad and hubby found a cement solution to reinforce the metal framing and it’s waterproof.

Flooring is gray tile and very outdated.

Flooring is gray tile and very outdated.

Tools needed to sand and rebuild the metal shower.

Tools needed to sand and rebuild the metal shower.

Soap dish molded to the shower wall is rusting and will take detail sanding to repair and paint.

Soap dish molded to the shower wall is rusting and will take detail sanding to repair and paint.

Shelving unit I put in right after we moved in is now rusting and needs to be replaced.

Shelving unit I put in right after we moved in is now rusting and needs to be replaced.

It took two weeks and the changes are not major but it’s much nicer taking a shower in what is new to me.

Clean, white, no rust.

Clean, white, no rust.

New tile, fresh and clean.

New tile, fresh and clean.

New shower caddy and curtain.

New shower caddy and curtain.

Made new curtains and changed some decor.

Made new curtains and changed some decor.

This was a pretty good start to my retirement and now on to bigger challenges.

 

Some of my favorite cleaners

I’ve recently found two cleaners that I swear by!  I don’t normally promote products because everyone has a different opinion and some don’t buy unless its environmentally friendly.  I personally haven’t found any “environmentally friendly” product that really does the job of cleaning that I expect.

The first product I want to share with you is “OUT White Brite”.  If you’ve followed my blog for very long you will remember that I hate my new washing machine which does not have an agitator, it’s environmentally friendly and does not clean the way my old machine did.  I also tend to walk around inside and out with my white socks on all day when I’m home and I can’t get my socks snow-white anymore.  I was looking on the internet a few weeks ago for a product I used with my children’s cloth diapers when they were babies and it was called “Miracle White”.  I can’t find it anywhere and when I was at Wal-Mart about three weeks ago I looked again and couldn’t find it but I did find this product:

OUT White Brite-you will absolutely love it!!

OUT White Brite-you will absolutely love it!!

All it took was 1/4 cup of the powder.  You fill your washer up with hot water before you add any clothes.   Then you add the OUT and swish around in the water until it dissolves.  Add your clothes and push them around until they’re soaked good.  Let them set for 15-30 minutes, then set your washer to wash as normal.  My socks came out white as snow!  I was amazed!  I need to stock up on the product because not all Wal-Mart’s carry it and I’m afraid it’ll disappear like the Miracle White did.

The next product I want to brag on is this wonderful wood floor cleaner:

Holloway House Quick Shine floor finish.

Holloway House Quick Shine floor finish.

This is another product that I found at Wal-Mart and decided to just see how it would do.  My wood floors are beautiful in the living room but were losing their shine.  I had tried a couple new products but nothing seemed to bring out the luster until I tried this.  I mopped my floor, let them dry and then mopped on a light finish because I didn’t want it to look foggy.  I waited and waited for the floors to dry and thought after 30 minutes this is taking too long because they looked as wet as they did when I mopped it on.  I got down on my knees and the floor was dry as a bone and this is what they look like now after two weeks.

After using Quick Shine!

After using Quick Shine!

They look wet!!

They look wet!!

Aren’t they beautiful?!?!?!?  Remember cheaper is NOT ALWAYS cheap quality.

Here’s a few more products I keep in my laundry room for cleaning and try to never be without.

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Swiffer dusters with two different wands that make all corners and spaces accessible.

IMG_0008 IMG_0007Swiffer mop and wet wipes make my laminate floors and new tile look brand new.

This is just my opinion and I’m not promoting these products for profit.  I just darn well love them and always feel pride when my cleaning is finished and it looks so good!!

 

I’m still here

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I am enjoying your post and will get back to my blog very soon! Life has thrown us a few curves that we’re reeling from but I’ll be back soon. Keep posting so I can enjoy all of your wonderful posts. Life on the farm is slowing at this point but everything family is topsy-turvy! Love you all and hope to send a truck load of posts before the end of the year!!

A beautiful ride with hubby gave us this view!

Green beans were bountiful this summer!

Green beans were bountiful this summer!

The bees did their best work ever even though we lost all but three hives!

The bees did their best work ever even though we lost all but three hives!

New roses provided us beauty in tough times and they're wrapped up for the coming winter.

New roses provided us beauty in tough times and they’re wrapped up for the coming winter.

 

Stockpile of winter fuel to keep us warm.

Stockpile of winter fuel to keep us warm.

I promise to update all on everything very soon!

Weekend gratification

What an awesome long weekend I just had (Memorial Day Weekend).  I worked my tail off but the end results were so gratifying.  On Thursday afternoon and evening of last week, I moved everything off my front porch and swept down the walls, porch floor and steps.  Then I took a very stiff brush with a long handle and knocked down all the debris from spiders and other bugs and peeling paint from the ceiling and walls.  I worked until dark but even got it all mopped with a solution of two gallons of water, 1/2 cup of bleach and a cup of laundry detergent.  It still looked pretty rough but it smelled good and there were no more spiders and their nasty webs.  The wind was blowing about 20-25 miles an hour so I knew the porch would dry by the next day when I would start painting.  Here’s my “before” pictures:

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On Friday morning I took a trip with my beautiful daughter to Roanoke/Salem area and we visited four spots looking for flowers for my gardens, stands, gazebo and porch.  We had such a great and much overdue trip together.  Those beauties will be shown in another post after they’re where they need to be and taking root.

On Friday afternoon, the paint brushes came out and I spent about five hours painting the columns and wooden trim and part of the ceiling.  Most of the ceiling is a very pale blue siding but it’s has a wide section that flows from the porch columns up to the siding and it’s wood.  I painted it as well in the brilliant white that I put on the columns.  They looked so good but while on my step ladder I realized how dirty the ceiling was and the white siding didn’t look so white so I went at them with a vengence and what a difference.  Everything dried overnite while I worked in the yard on other projects and hubby built me another shelf on the entrance to the porch just like the one on the opposite post.  We use these to sit our binoculars for watching wildlife on the mountain.

On Saturday morning I started putting the stain and water repellent on the porch and it took about four hours because I used a brush and got down on my knees to make sure everything was covered really good.  It was dried by 8:00 p.m. but no furniture was to be placed on it for 24-48 hours.  On Sunday afternoon, I cleaned up all the furniture and put felt pads on everything.  Here’s the results:

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The end results and very nice, clean porch that has been washed down, painted, weather proofed and furniture minimized and cleaned as well.  Out damned spiders!!  Not sure how long it will look this nice with two cats and a dog always on it and muddy feet when it rains but it is so gratifying at the moment and a little swish with a broom and a mop to wipe off tracks and we’ll be set.  We’re already enjoying the evenings listening to the quiet!!

 

Intermediate care facilities

What is an intermediate care facility?  It is a residential facility (ICF) serving four or more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or related conditions. Services are provided around the clock in homes ranging in size from six to more than 100 people.  ICF provides active treatment that includes a continuous, aggressive, and consistent implementation of a program of specialized and generic training, treatment, and health or related services, directed toward helping the enrollee function with as much self-determination and independence as possible. Many ICF residents work in the community, with supports, or participate in vocational or other activities outside of the residence, and engage in community interests of their choice. These activities are collectively often referred to as day programs. 

I recently enrolled my youngest brother into Merryfield ICF in Covington VA and he loves it.  It’s a beautiful facility located in a residential area.  The facility is a huge one story home with a yard, picnic shelter, wrap around porches, huge rooms with beautiful decor, large kitchen and dining area, several tv  and activity rooms, offices for the director, assistant director, staff, nurse and counselors.  There are only seven residents, male and female, currently in the home that my brother resides in with some sharing a room which includes their own bathroom.  The staff is so caring and gentle with the residents.  The residents are kept busy with day schools, jobs, fun and games, trips, music, Special Olympics and so much more.  Self worth is a major issue directed to the residents.

Brother has made a lot of new friends, learned to bowl, is relearning writing skills, telling time, participated in the JAM in March (March was Intellectual Disabilities Month) and played with the “bell choir”.  He and his roommate have become great friends and have lots of interests in common including old movies, westerns, NASCAR, wrestling, basketball/football and music.

He gave us a tour of the dining room where he likes to help prepare for meals by setting the table, pouring their drinks and cleaning up after meals.  He never did that at my house!!  ;)

He gave us a tour of the dining room where he likes to help prepare for meals by setting the table, pouring their drinks and cleaning up after meals. He never did that at my house!! 😉

He has his own TV and video stand.

He has his own TV and video stand.

Dean and his roommate Kevin.

Dean and his roommate Kevin.

Deans side of the room that he decorated with help from the staff.

Deans side of the room that he decorated with help from the staff.

JAM event on March 29, 2014

JAM event on March 29, 2014

Birthday party

Birthday party

Brother's birthday at the facility.

Brother’s birthday at the facility.

 

I now wish that I had known about the facility and it educational benefits for my brother much sooner.  He stays very active and has learned to use the telephone and calls me two or three times a week.  Now he not only has his immediate family but a whole new family at Merryfield.

Family room is complete

Not a lot of words. Just a few pics of the final results of the my family room remake. The first pictures are of the bedroom it used to be. I had so much fun cleaning and re-decorating it. I love to sit in here and read or watch chick flicks in the quiet.

First, as a bedroom:

This room is right off the kitchen with a large closet on the left that will store our winter coats and outer apparel of our guests.

This room is right off the kitchen with a large closet on the left that will store our winter coats and outer apparel of our guests.

Exterior door that's not used much in the winter but open a lot in warm weather.

Exterior door that’s not used much in the winter but open a lot in warm weather.

It's a long narrow room with lots of light.

It’s a long narrow room with lots of light.

 

Now the makeover into a family room:

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Chairs reupholstered by me and my best friend.

Chairs re-upholstered by me and my best friend.

Peaches, parakeet, lives in family room.

Peaches, parakeet, lives in family room.

Comfortable recliner

Comfortable recliner

Entertainment center

Entertainment center

books and antiques

books and antiques

The family

The family

Eddie and I

Eddie and I

The kids then and now

The kids then and now

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I think it’s a wonderful place to relax, watch movies, read a book, or just chill!!

 

Spring cleaning and Granddaughter’s Help

I spent my entire Saturday, March 22nd, “starting” the spring cleaning in my kitchen.  By starting, I mean those beautiful shelves my hubby put up on both sides of the length of my kitchen up near the ceiling is where I’ve started this year.  I didn’t get to them at all last year and decided they would be first this year.

Shelving runs lengthwise in my 30 ft kitchen on both sides.

Shelving runs lengthwise in my 30 ft kitchen on both sides.

The shelves hold a lot of my antique kitchen items and farm animals (ceramic of course).

The shelves hold a lot of my antique kitchen items and farm animals (ceramic of course).

Several crocks and lots of roosters and hens.  The shelving boards came from lumber we sawed from the farm and I finished.

Several crocks and lots of roosters and hens. The shelving boards came from lumber we sawed from the farm and I finished.

It took all day to clean and put them back and my granddaughter climbed up and handed down everything to me and I washed and dried it all and she put it back.  It was work but we had a good time catching up.  While I was washing everything she was crafting for me.

First she twined a bottle for me.  This will be placed in my family room.

First she twined a bottle for me. This will be placed in my family room.

She used polymer clay to make this flowers and bows to attach to some of our projects.

She used polymer clay to make this flowers and bows to attach to some of our projects.

This clay was white but when it baked it turned to a very light beige which made it look old.

This clay was white but when it baked it turned to a very light beige which made it look old.

Some she embellished with a light blue and some with white.  They're very delicate looking.

Some she embellished with a light blue and some with white. They’re very delicate looking.

Victoria enjoyed doing them so much she took a picnic basket full of bottles, twine and clay home with her to make me some more and I’ll post them when she is finished.

I'm so glad she loves crafting almost as much as I do.

I’m so glad she loves crafting almost as much as I do.

Those fingers working the clay just perfect.

Those fingers working the clay just perfect.

She has a delicate touch!

She has a delicate touch!

The spring cleaning in the kitchen is an on-going process and now it’s time to do the other shelf and all that it holds.

Linoleum issues

Our soon-to-be family room has a pretty good grade of linoleum on the floor which we put there when we built the addition in 2007.  I love the color and pattern that make it so easy to decorate around.  I have one major problem that I need your help with, though!  Look at these pictures and then I’ll explain:

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House pics for redecorating (12)Those ugly marks on the floor are scattered throughout the linoleum and it’s as if they seeped through from the sub-floor.  Someone told us it may be the glue used to seal the linoleum to the floor but I think it’s something else and need your help in “fixing” the problem if it’s fixable.  The glue underneath was brushed on throughout the floor.  The sub-floor was a high grade 3/4 inch sheets of plywood which were thoroughly cleaned and dried before the glue was put down.  The spots are not raised and are the color of rust, coffee or tea but some are yellow looking.  They are smooth to the touch and I’ve used all kinds of cleaners to try to get rid of them but they won’t budge or even fade/lighten.

I’m open to all suggestions and help.  We got the lumber and the linoleum at Lowe’s.

 

 

My “get-away” room

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It’s bright when I want it to be, cool in the summertime, warm in the winter, quiet when I need it to be, pretty, feminine and country!  Now, I just need to clean out the rest of the rooms and make them just as comfortable but with a different look.

What a messy room-time to get organized and clean out!

This is my dressing room/craft storage room/how-to library and it’s a disaster.  I wanted to show pictures before I start the makeover this weekend.  It’s calling for rain again all weekend so I’ve decided to accomplish something awesome.  Hope to have makeover pictures on Monday!!!

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My prayer is that I don’t get so frustrated that I open the windows and start tossing or worse, move it to another room and then have another mess!  We’ll see what happens!

The Dinner Bells

I don’t think there is anything that says country like an old fashioned dinner bell!  We have two in the yard.  One in the front yard in the middle of a flowerbed and one in the back yard near the wood house.  We don’t use them often but if there’s a family gathering and everyone is scattered here and yon, I use the bells to call them in for supper.  IMG_0027

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This is the big bell behind the house that we use for emergencies. It’s bigger and louder and gets the attention of all around!!