Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Brunch

Keaton and Autumn came for brunch on Sunday.  I made a nice spread:  skillet scramble with eggs, ham and green peppers; monkey bread, fruit salad, Deviled eggs, bacon, shrimp cocktail, and mimosas. After we enjoyed all that food, it was time to work it off and go down to the lake.  It's 129 stairs to conquer.  That's 129 down AND 129 steps back up.  Whew!  We all did some leaf scooping and Autumn agreed to wear the waders next time and go out in the water to do some serious scooping. We hope to get a dock soon to make it a little easier to get in and out of the kayaks. Maybe we'll even get a boat some day...

Matt did a lot of clearing down at the water the day before.  He started a fire to burn all sorts of brush and dead trees he's been clearing and piling up...and burned a lot of it for a good eight hours.  There's still a ton to do down there:  more clearing, more burning, power washing the stairs, refinishing the stairs and deck at the bottom, adding another hand railing, adding lights, adding a kayak rack, and adding a lift to carry me up and down all those stairs. Our little neighbors came over for a visit and to help.  The youngest boy (he's 8) spent most of the day helping Matt clear the area, getting dirty, discovering some hidden treasures, and slipping into the water twice. He and Matt filled up four bags full of stuff to throw away and/or recycle. They even found a bottle with a note inside...but the note was all wet when they opened the bottle. Darn.  They took a break from working to go kayaking.  The little one loved it and climbed in and out of the kayak to explore the little islands and sand bars in the lake. While the boys were at the water, the little girl (she's 10) came over and worked with me in the kitchen. We made cookies, caramel popcorn, banana bread, and Deviled eggs.  I now call her Betty Crocker. (The oldest one, he's 11, had baseball practice...but he did come over to check out the progress down at the lake a couple of times.  I can't believe how the kids just run up and down the stairs.  I'm a slow plodder.) The kids are so darn cute!  We just absolutely LOVE hanging out with them!!

Oh, and my little robin friend has been tapping on the window every morning. He taps on the window until I open the shade and talk to him.  He keeps coming back to peek in at me. I think I'll name him Reese.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Snow White?

I have this theory that I'm a reincarnated Disney Princess because animals seem to love me.  I talk to animals and they listen to me.  After I name animals that frequent our yard, I talk to them when they come to visit. They sit and listen to me...most of the time doing what I tell them.  Sometimes my squirrels don't want to share the goodies from the bird feeder and they squabble.  I just tap on the window and tell them to be nice and they stop trying to chase each other away and share the food. When the blue jays start being bullies and start their squawking, I tell them to stop and be quiet. They obey.

Just after we moved in, the neighbor's dog was loose and was out in the road.  I was sitting on our porch watching the kiddos across the street trying to catch him. I clapped my hands twice and the dog immediately made a beeline for me and jumped onto my lap.  Seriously.  I've never met him.  He just hung out on my lap until we found the owner.

I just had a visit from a robin at our office window.  I walked into our office and he was sitting on the window ledge.  I slowly approached and chatted to him as I got closer.  He stared at me (do birds even have eyelids?) and kept cocking his head like he understood everything I said to him.  Then, every time I sat down at the desk or turned away from him, he started tapping on the window.  (The window is's only in the 30s.  He was probably trying to see if it was spring on my side of the window.) So, I'd turn and talk to him some more.  He kept doing this.  I wanted to get a picture of him, but when I walked away to go grab the camera, he started tapping REALLY hard and I didn't want him to hurt his beak or crack my window.  I finally had to tell him to stop and go sit in the tree. He did.

I wonder what would happen if I wore my Snow White costume.  Would my menagerie follow me around like a parade?  Maybe I'll just have to try it sometime.  Or, I could just leave the door open and Matt could come home to our own personal zoo!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Projects Completed!

While doing some spring cleaning on my cell phone yesterday, I came across some pictures of other projects we've done around the house.  One of the first things I did when we moved in was to paint the awful mint green front door and trim.  Have I mentioned how much I HATE mint green?

We had a hard time trying to find a new light fixture for the front porch.  There isn't enough clearance to hang anything built in this millennium and I didn't want a recessed light.  I was resigned to just spray painting the existing fixture we had until Matt solved our problem by being able to move the fixture back enough to be able to open the door without creating a gaping hole that we would have a hard time patching with the existing siding.  Yay!!!

This is just phase one of the porch.  The mint green is gone, but now I think I'm going to paint the front door a burnt orange color and paint the shutters the front door color:  a deep chocolate brown.  I'm a girl and can change my mind as much as I want!  I'm also thinking of staining the concrete on the porch and then adding some cute planters and/or a flower box.

We also painted the brick wall in the three-season porch and replaced the carpet.  Matt kept questioning me about painting the brick the same color as the porch walls.  I kept telling him to trust me.  I'm not sure why he ever questions me.  After 25 years of marriage, he should know by now I'm right and we're going to do what I want.  ;-)

There was a nail in the wall and I just put up a picture
because I can't stand blank walls.  Ever.
Moving the nail is on Matt's to-do list.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Radiator Removal

Holy cow...we get a lot of snow in west Michigan.  I thought we got a lot at our old house, but we get even more the closer to Lake Michigan we get.  (Our goal is to end up living on Lake Michigan one day...after we win the lottery!)  We've pretty much had over a foot of snow every single week this winter. I've shoveled pretty much every foot of it too.  Unless it's that heavy, wet snow.  I leave that for Matt and the snowblower.

So, yesterday we got...wait for it...another foot of snow.  There was absolutely NOTHING on TV last night and I was sick of constant updates of stupid election stuff, so I talked Matt into removing the old radiator that ran under the sink in the kitchen. It took some finagling, but he was able to cut it, bend it, and rip it out. There was over 60 years of dirt and dust hiding behind the trim and radiator. No treasures...except for a piece of dog food, a cracker, and a beer cap. Nine more radiators to go in the house! Let the treasure hunt begin!!

The next nine radiators are much bigger than this little guy.
Matt's going to get a workout.