A Deck with a View

Our house came with a large deck that is perfect for dining alfresco or hanging out on when the summer heat kicks in. Mom and Dad, we play Quiddler on it at night.  🙂 Because it’s behind the house, it has the best view of our backyard. The only thing hindering the view was what I considered “extraneous” railings. So one day I just took out a hammer, crowbar, and screw driver and knocked it off. Josh was quite shocked pleased when he came home from work and saw the new improvement. But the deck now flows better to the yard, and the extra room on the steps is perfect for nieces and nephews to plunk down on while they eat a snack.

Before:  DSC_6206










A deck with a view:


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Good Eats

We’re in the middle of good eats. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rolling in, and I’m digging through my recipes to find new ways to eat them. Our personal harvest started about a month ago, and now there’s always something that needs picking.

  1. Black raspberries: were abundant and are now sitting in the freezer, waiting to be made into jam.
  2. Snow peas: didn’t germinate well, but those that did germinate produced well and were a nice addition to our salads
  3. Lettuce: a write-off and even though some of it is still growing, it’s bitter
  4. Red raspberries: are abundant and I’m currently picking every morning; favorite way to enjoy them is on pound cake with whipped cream. Extras are frozen.
  5. Blueberries: producing well, but I caught the robins stealing the ripe berries and so I had to put chicken wire around them; favorite way to enjoy them is by making Earl Gray Blueberry Jam (so good!!!!)
  6. Tomatoes: somehow we ended up with mostly cherry tomato plants, and while they had a rough start, they’re picking up and starting to produce
  7. Garlic: harvested yesterday and now drying in our basement
  8. Zucchini: picked the first one today with more to come
  9. Herbs: favorite this year is mint
  10. Beets: spotty germination, but those that did grow are ready to be picked

Not ready for harvesting yet: potatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, carrots, beans, late summer raspberries


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Cherry Adventure

Last night, Josh and I took our usual walk around our neighborhood. While strolling down one of the streets, we suddenly noticed…..

a cherry tree!


The tree was loaded with cherries, and popping one into our mouths, we quickly realized that they were sour cherries (the kind used for pies, cheesecake, and other yummy goodies!)


We continued our walk, but looping back, we passed the tree again. A thought entered both of our minds: “Let’s ask the owner if we can pick them!”  The tree was between two houses, and so we didn’t know which home it belonged to.  It was also 9:30 pm, and we didn’t want to be rude knocking on someone’s door at that hour.

Just then, the front door of one of the houses opened, and an old man tottered out. He was getting something from his porch, and Josh raced up the driveway behind him. After an extra-loud neighborly chat (he was hard-of-hearing), the verdict was that the tree belonged to him, and yes, we could pick as many cherries as we wanted!!!

So this morning before 7:00, Josh and I drove over with a ladder and picked away.



Unfortunately, many of the cherries were already over-ripe or rotten, but we still managed to pick a fair amount.  And next year…..we’ll just have to come a little earlier.  🙂




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Bedroom #3: the “After”

Our guest bedroom makeover is almost done! Instead of waiting for the final (yet boring) details to be finished, I’m just going to show you the after, seeing that it’s 99% ready for my nieces and nephews.







The main work that we had to do:

  • Change the paint colors
  • Install the curtain rod and blind
  • Refinish the old-fashioned school desk
  • Stain and varnish some of the bunk bed boards
  • Assemble the bunk bed (we’re still finishing the safety rail)
  • Make and hang up decor

Items that we purchased:

  • bedding (sheets and quilts)
  • mattresses
  • blind
  • bean bag filling
  • supplies for painting, staining, varnishing, etc.

Everything else was either free (thanks mom and dad!) or came from somewhere else in our home.


Fun Details:


The rocker had faded maroon cushions. I used the pillow covers that came with the quilts to cover the cushions.


In order to tie in colors from the owl picture on the right side of the window to the moon on the left side of the window, I hung tissue paper “stars” (that I made) from the ceiling.


My puppet Pinocchio has been stuffed in a closet for at least 10 years! I bought him in Prague from an enchanting puppet store.  His nose broke multiple times and he has missing fingers, but I really wanted to display him.


Ain’t he cute? The main part of the quote next to him reads: “How ridiculous I was when I was a puppet! And how glad I am that I have become a well-behaved little boy!”


The mattresses came in a box which was quite handy! After carefully opening them, they filled with air and expanded to their full 8 inches! They even have coils in them and are quite comfortable. What will they ship next?

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An Old School Desk Turned Nightstand

When my mom-in-law asked me whether or not I wanted some old school desks that she had, I didn’t think twice.  Yes please! I’m a teacher and I love antiques, so it was a no-brainer, even if I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with them or where I would put them. And so they sat for a while in our shed. Enter Bedroom #3. I had a bunk bed, but no nightstand…..bingo!

Here’s the before:

IMG_0314.JPG The wood was quite scratched up with tic-tac-toes and names from my hubby’s siblings:


After a good  scrubbing, sanding, and staining, here’s the after:



The clock lamp was made by Josh in high school.  I think it’s kinda cute, but I’m thinking of getting a new lampshade and *maybe* a new clock face that’s more kid-friendly.

Tomorrow I’ll show the whole room!  🙂

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Bedroom #3 Window Treatment

For over seven years, ugly metal blinds with too long strings hung in the bedroom:


I had a few requirements for a new window treatment:

  • Not too much money since it would be somewhat temporary
  • Room-darkening for our guests
  • More feminine, seeing that the carpet and walls are blue, but I want a gender-neutral room

So I used a white curtain rod that I had taken down from our master bedroom, washed and ironed some white curtains that my sister had given years ago (and I had forgotten about, haha), found some old tie backs in my basement, and purchased a cheap(ish) room-darkening roller blind (with no nasty strings).


It’s also a room with one of the best views: our red barn and beautiful backyard that Josh works so hard on.  🙂


Today we’re finishing the bunk bed and I’m pulling together some decor items. Guests are coming next week, so the pressure’s on!

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Bedroom #3

So, summer is here, visitors will be sleeping over, and our third bedroom was begging for a makeover!  It’s a room that hasn’t been touched (besides cleaning) in all the years we’ve lived here.  In fact, it’s been used as a catch-all room:

IMG_0256 We hope to do a more extensive renovation in a couple of years, so I didn’t want to spend too much money on a makeover. The blue carpet would have to stay, so we had it professionally cleaned. After that, I was left with painting and decorating. I had a hard time figuring out what colors to pick.  In my opinion, the white upper wall, periwinkle blue wainscoting, and blue carpet did not go well together:


But what color goes with blue carpet? And did I want to keep the white walls and ceiling a huge, blank canvas?  In the end, I flip-flopped the colors!  I painted the wainscoting white and the upper walls a very light blue.  And I love it!  🙂


Stay tuned this week as I work on the window treatment, bunk beds, an old-fashioned desk, and decorations!

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