Framed Artwork

This is the Turkish Bowl for which Bob K. made a frame.  He hung it on the wall yesterday afternoon.

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The frame is hand made by Bob K.  We attached the bowl with ‘industrial strength’ Velcro to the board on the back and let it sit for a couple of days so it was secure.  The frame has glass in front so that even should the bowl come loose from the Velcro, it won’t fall out of the frame.

My son gave it to me for Christmas and I think it is quite spectacular in its frame.  Since it has some depth, we wanted to ensure it would not be accidentally bumped, so we placed it on a wall in the dining area, away from the ‘traffic’ of the room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Points of Interest

“WHAT points of interest?Where have you been?” inquired Jabberwocky who I seldom, if ever, leave at home. 

Visual points of interest, Jabber.  I’m adding a few to the house. 

Last year I collected several old rolling pins—yard sales, a sale at a local antique mall, various places.  There was a very interesting display on Pinterest which caught my eye and I wanted to replicate it. 

The rolling pins sat in the laundry room, on the counter, for many months.  I had not figured out how to display them.  Until Bob, of course. 

“Until ‘Bob’?” asked Jabber.  “Is that an event or a celebration or somethin’?  How come I didn’t know about it?”

No, no—until Bob came to do some work here and I inquired if he might make something to display them.  Of course he did!

They make me happy and I’m really enjoying the display  in the kitchen.  Want to see?  Alright………

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The upper ones are larger than the lower ones—and so Bob graduated the sides ever so slightly.  They fit perfectly.  The little one at the top I just set there—I found two of them last weekend at a sale for 25 cents each.

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I believe they are recipe card holders as one side is flat and the other has a slit to hold the recipe card.  Aren’t they cute?

On another, more elegant note, Bob made a beautiful display case for a beautiful bowl from my son last Christmas.  It is not yet up on a wall, but will be soon—here it is:

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The case is black, with a black background and a beautiful edge.  The front has glass to protect the lovely bowl.  It will hang in the living room—and the colors are perfect.  I’m so pleased with the results!

Soon, I will be hanging my ‘art gallery’ in the hallway—still working on it!  I will show you the final results when it is finished.

It’s fun to have new ‘points of interest’ at home—have you changed anything on your walls lately?

Roasted Root Vegetables

This recipe is from Cupcake or Sosew—I know both of them have made it and said it was delicious.  It is!

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Serves 12

1 1/4 lbs of parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 1/4 lbs of carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 3/4 pounds golden beets (I used regular beets—see the pretty red color?), peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 1/4 lb celery root, peeled, quartered and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (but I used Balsamic)

Preheat oven to 425.  In large bowl, toss the vegetables with the oil, honey and thyme, season with salt and pepper.  Divide between two large, sturdy rimmed cookie sheets lined with foil.  Cover with foil and roast for 40 minutes, shifting the pans once, until the vegetables are tender.

Remove foil and roast for 10 minutes longer, until glazed.  Return them to the bowl and stir in the vinegar then season with salt and pepper.  Serve right away.

(I did not cover with foil, and I used the Balsamic vinegar with the rest of the wet ingredients before baking–they came out great!  I also only cooked for 40 minutes total.)

Friend Sosew substituted turnips for the beets and said it was delicious, too.

This tastes almost like candy—and it is so pretty with the red beets.  While it takes a while to do all the chopping, it’s worth it.  What a great way to eat your veggies!

Planting…….

Spring is in de air, La Da De Da da…..Spring is in de air…” Jabber gaily sang this morning. 

Not that it is, it’s just that she’d LIKE for it to be.  Occasionally, these past couple of weeks, we’ve had a whiff of spring.  Yesterday was perfect for a, oh well, you know……7 and a half mile walk downtown, which is what Vanna

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and I did (doesn’t everyone?)…….but today it’s overcast, looks like rain and the forecast is for……colder weather.  Two weeks ago it snowed, but who is looking backwards? 

(How, you might ask, could a 110 year old and her friend do that—walk 7 and a half miles?  Well, we PLANTED one foot in front of the other!  I don’t think I’ve ever walked that far in my life.  Vanna has, though, so she led the way.  The other question might be why?  Half Marathon coming up.  That’s why.  I make no promises.  Just keep tryin’.)

What to do, what to do?  I have spring fever!

“I am NOT taking another 7 and a half mile walk with you today!” grumbled Jabberwocky.  “You guys can’t even count stop lights or read street signs like you’re told to do an’ you get lost all the time.  Never mind being lost in the park, you get lost on the streets!  Lost in translation!”

Which is sadly the truth, even if there is no translation.  Evidently neither Vanna nor I can count stop lights.  Too busy jabbering away…..

So today, with a spurt of energy this morning, I dutifully put the corned beef and potatoes and carrots and onion in the crock pot for tonight and roasted a bunch of vegetables I’ve been meaning to do and made breakfast.  (I’ll post the roasted vegetables recipe in a moment.)  And now, I’ve STILL got spring fever, but less energy.  So……..

I planted the lettuce. 

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Thing #1 is almost going to bolt and I’ll need to cut off the offending sprout.  The others were looking like they want to be planted, so they got put into a pot of soil and watered and fed, too. 

Noticing packets of lettuce seeds lurking about in the basement, leftover from previous years no doubt,

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I put together another pot and lightly sprinkled the lettuce seeds into it.  It is covered with plastic wrap (after watering) and slid under a glass-topped table on the deck.  We’ll see what grows, if anything!~

image  The seed packet DOES say “guaranteed to grow”………

Here is an update photo of the onion pot:

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Do you think I should leave the tops or cut them back?  I don’t know.  Help me out here!

I’m a lazy gardener.  It has to be easy, it has to be quick and it can’t ever get my little paws too dirty.  Amazing that things want to GROW any way—like people, I suppose—just give ‘em a chance.  And so I have.  Grow little seeds, grow!  As for you, bigger plants-from-cuttings, I’m amazed at your progress.

And I have to say, frankly, I’m amazed at my progress, too.  Mostly it’s due to my friends, like Vanna and the rest of the Y-Knots, who keep me going—even if we are lost, we just keep on keepin’ on and sooner or later, we find our way.  And even when we ARE lost, we have a good time.

What about your spring fever?  Are you planting—either seeds or one foot in front of the other or both?

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

 


Thumper, Vanna and Jabber’s Walk in the Park Adventure

Yesterday morning, at the break of dawn….oh, alright, it was 8:30 if I HAVE to be honest about it,

Vanna,

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Thumper,

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and Jabber

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took a walk in the park.

Not just any park, mind you.  The dreaded ‘mountain’ walk. 

Oh, alright….it isn’t actually a mountain, but if one is of a certain age, it seems like a mountain with its 10% grades and I swear it is uphill both going and coming…..but I digress…….on with the story.

Leader,

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as encouragement, said, “Walk for something………”  Leader runs for coffee. (Leader ought to be called Tigger because she bouncy-bouncy-bouncy jumps and lightly bounces all around us, back and forth, just like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh when she is with us.) Today we were on our own.  We, of course, walk for muffins.  We have our priorities……….

So, Leader had said, “do the usual route……” assuming that we KNEW the ‘usual’ route and once up could get down. “Oh, and do the upper loop at least twice,” she added.

We are dutiful followers.  We did the upper loop twice.  We were proud of ourselves!  Okay, now down the mountain we galloped. 

Oh, alright, not really. (You are such sticklers for the truth!) 

We walked down the hill which was, as previously mentioned uphill all the way, too.  (The waiting muffins were looming large in our minds about now……)

During the course of our trip down the mountain, we met Sadie, the three-year-old Golden Doodle who was busy searching for moles.  She was taking her person for a walk.  We stopped and talked with her which is how we found out how old she was, what breed she was, and that she enjoyed finding moles.  She has rabbits at home which she carries about in her mouth, not hurting them, and has been known to carry a mole back to the person’s car—still living, mind you, she just wanted to bring it home to play with.

But, I’m digressing again……….

Sadie WAS busy, and so we parted ways and proceeded on down the hill.  We came to a fork in the path—there are MANY forks in the paths on the mountain.  Jabber said, “Leader told us to always go down and to go west!” and so we proceeded, after a brief discussion of which way WAS west, and on we went.  We repeated this decision-making process several times.

I pointed out what I thought was Peagram or maybe Kingston Springs, only about 8 miles from our home, and on the horizon, I thought I saw Dickson?  (This was in jest, my friends, not really.  We had not gotten off the darned mountain!  But it sure seemed like it……..)

About 30 minutes later, we found we were in an area which did not look familiar.  It didn’t take 30 minutes to get UP the mountain, but it was taking a long time to get down……hmmmmmm?

Were we LOST? 

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No.  Couldn’t be.  We saw signs of civilization—there was a rest area marked, ‘Closed for the Winter’ but we rested there anyway, closed or not.  And regrouped.

Just then, we spied Sadie driving home with her person.  Vanna flagged them down.  Admitting that we were lost, we asked directions.  Sadie seemed to pity us and conferred with her person…………or maybe she asked if she could take us home to play with, I don’t know.  (We would not have fit into her mouth, anyway, and she was not of the temperament to do that………..)

So we hitchhiked with them as Sadie and her person drove us to familiar territory, still a bit of a hike back to the parking lot, but at least we knew where we were.

And then we went for coffee AND muffins which Vanna had provided.  And from there to a yard sale.

(I know what you are thinking—WERE the muffins worth walking for?  Answer:  yes!!)

We had lots of fun!  And we had lots of exercise. 

Which only goes to prove that the Y-Knots can make an adventure out of anything, and brings me to the poem running about in my brain……….with apologies to John Lennon…………

Throg hilly grove and burly ive,

Big dailies, grass and tree,

We clobber ever gallop,

Vanna, Thumper and me.

(and sometimes Sadie)

 

What’s for Supper?

“An’ what’s for ‘sert? An’ are the kids comin’?” inquired Jabber about noon yesterday.

Hmmmm, I had to think about this.  It was chilly outside, but sunny.  Late winter, with the days getting longer, but still feeling that we needed comfort food.  The kids WERE coming for supper and I wanted to make something a bit different.

Shrimp N’ Grits!

Required a run to the store, but thankfully it was Wednesday and “old people’s day” so I get a 5% discount at Publix being the ripe old age of 110.  Good! 

(And a note about this discount:  first of all, the checkout folks always try to make me feel younger by not immediately offering to give me the discount. Anyway, that’s what I choose to think.  Secondly, I’ve actually been carded which is somewhat of a hoot!  But truthfully, I want my discount, so I always inquire if they’d calculated it.  I’ve noticed the past few times, they no longer look at me inquiringly but just say, “Oh, YES!”  I don’t want to contemplate what this means.)

There I go digressing again and all you want to know is what’s for supper.  So, here goes:

First, decide what is for dessert, the most important part of any meal, of course.  So I dug out a box of frozen cookie dough lurking in the freezer from the holidays and proceeded to bake them:

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Cranberry walnut and chocolate chip.  Made up a big batch.  Pretty tasty, although I refrained from sampling because while the cookies were baking, one batch after another, I was

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And

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And……….

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And, I took a minute to do this:

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Yes, I planted the bottom of the onions in the onion pot.  Notice that I now have another sprout coming up from the onions I planted earlier!  I watered them well, and went back to the kitchen to proceed with supper………..

Drain cleaned shrimp well and lay out on a paper towel.  Blot well.  Place shrimp in flour, salt and pepper and toss around.  Lay out shrimp in another dish or cookie sheet while you prepare the rest of the ingredients:

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Sautee the mushrooms and onions as directed in a bit of bacon grease.  I turned off the burner and set these aside when they were softened. 

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Next, I made the grits—YUMMY! 

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Cover and place in a warm oven, but not hot.  You just want to keep them warm until you serve them.

Now, chop up the salad and add tomatoes.  Start another lettuce growing by placing the bottom of the Romaine in water.  (See previous posts on Lettuce.)  And cut up your French bread, wrap in foil.  You can heat that up right before dinner is served.

image  I topped salad with cheddar cheese.

Clean up, wait for the kids to show.  Around here, we’re never sure exactly when, but when I say I’m cooking supper, they usually DO appear!  Sure enough, they did…………so then, I turned the oven on to heat the bread and proceeded to heat up the mushrooms and onions in the pan…….

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Then I added the shrimp and browned them. Finally you add the chicken stock and other ingredients to finish the shrimp.

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Shrimp N’ Grits, salad, French bread and cookies.  It’s what’s for supper.

Recipe:

(Note, I doubled this recipe to serve six people because…….we love Shrimp N’ Grits.  I did have a little bit left over, but not much!)

Shrimp and Grits (makes 4 meal-sized servings)
Chef:  Bill Smith
Crook’s Corner
Chapel Hill, N.C.
SOUTHERN LIVING (unsure of date)

2 cups water
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
¾ cup half and half
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup regular grits
¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesean cheese
2 Tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon hot sauce
¼ teaspoon white pepper
3 bacon slices
1 lb. medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
Lemon wedges

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, gradually whisk in grits.  Reduce heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened.  Add Cheddar cheese and next 4 ingredients.  Keep warm

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tablespoon drippings in skillet.  Crumble bacon, and set aside.

Sprinkle shrimp with pepper and salt; dredge in flour.

Sauté mushrooms in hot drippings in skillet 5 minutes or until tender.  Add green onions and sauté 2 minutes.  Add shrimp and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are lightly brown.  Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and hot sauce, and cook 2 more minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet.

Serve shrimp mixture over hot cheese grits.  Top with crumbled bacon and sprinkle a few chopped green onions on top; serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Small Bathroom Redo

This week Bob, the Painter/plumber/electrician and decorator has been locked away upstairs in the bathroom.

I know, I know, every February/March I seem to lock Bob up in a closet or a bathroom or sometimes a bathroom closet.  It’s getting to be a habit!  His wife is most understanding, only asking I allow him to come home for supper and to feed his horses and sleep and then, voila! Bob is back again.   Amazing guy, eh what?

“Yes, ‘tis,” commented Jabberwocky who nobody asked for an opinion, “’Cause after the first time, you’d have thunk Bob woulda’ said no way, yet he seems to rather LIKE being locked up in closets and bathrooms and when he leaves, things are definitely changed for the betters.”

Well, never mind Jabber.  Wait ‘til you see what he’s accomplished this time!

First, the before pictures of the upstairs bathroom:

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The geranium/bunny theme was the décor for 11 years.  I liked it, it was a lot of fun, but it was getting a bit dated.  One of the biggest issues with this bathroom was that the toilet ‘rocked’ and did not operate as it should.  We’d had it looked at, but were told nothing could be done.

Well, they did not know about Bob!

The major benefit to having him redo the bathroom was that he reseated the toilet and worked on it so that it now operates very well.  This required that he build a platform for the toilet itself as the floor tile was uneven. 

image  See the platform in distressed black around the base of the toilet.

He also installed a new shower head with a removable head so that the shower itself can be sprayed for cleaning. 

I know you are wanting to see the finished bathroom, so here it is:

As one turns down a short hallway, this is what one sees:

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At the opposite angle:

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And directly to the right,

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image  A yard sale mirror ($15), light from Lowe’s, standing towel rack from Lowe’s.

image  A towel ring or bar to the left of the mirror would have blocked a small portion of the mirror itself.  Bob removed the large plate glass mirror (in one piece!) so that this more updated  mirror and light fixture could be installed.

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Daughter had presented me with the Chinese Rooster picture two years ago.  She got it for me when we took our first “Girls’ Longest Yard Sale Trip” and she paid $1 for it.  I have not had a place to display it.  This bathroom is perfect!

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The clock is a recent yard sale treasure as are the circus juggling sticks and metal wire basket.  I’ve had the croquet balls and cake stand for a while.  They seem to add the pop of color needed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

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The vanity base cabinets were painted black and then distressed with a glaze.  Bob changed two of the knobs for these bin pulls which matched the knobs.  (I had them leftover.) 

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The cabinet above the toilet was glazed and Bob outlined it with the glaze.  This makes it look old, but is not so dark as to overwhelm the small space.  Towel bar space is at a premium in this bathroom.  We purchased a double towel bar which helps significantly.

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I chose a plain black shower curtain (Bed, Bath and Beyond for about $20) and there is the new shower head.  The bath mat was also from Bed, Bath and Beyond and provides softness, texture and a carry through of the black.

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The back side of the door is glazed as well as the nominal baseboard in the room.  Here are more details:

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Bin pulls and knobs were already silver.  We purchased some silver spray paint with the rough finish and Bob painted the hinges, door knobs, and switch plates and waste basket so that they coordinated with the overall look. 

The walls are painted a pewter which is one shade lighter than the bedroom nearby.

I am pleased with this look—updated, a bit European, and neutral.  While I would not like a lot of cabinets done in this finish, I do think it is an interesting bathroom look.

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(Note:  the shading over the toilet is a reflection from the camera.)

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