A sincere thank you to all of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each one.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Empty Nest

      We've been empty nesters for quite awhile now. This post isn't about that, it is literally an empty nest. As in robin's nest. Off and on over the years we have had robins build a nest in the same spot under the eves on some lattice by our back door. This year I thought I would follow their progress from start to finish.              

                      Here's Mrs. Robin starting to build the nest.

     This all started on April 6th. The male arrives at the nesting area first, but the female does most of the nest building with some help from the male. The nest is made up of grasses, twigs, debris worked into solid foundation of mud, lined with fine grasses and plant fibers.

Work in progress

     Time to lay some eggs. Usually 4, but sometimes 3-7. In our case she had four. The incubation by the female is 12 -14 days.

      The babies have hatched and the feeding begins. Both parents feed, although the female does more. They make up to 40 feedings a day. Mostly insects and earthworms.

         Waiting for their food.

Getting bigger

     Things are starting to get crowded. The young leave the nest about 14-16 days after hatching.


     The last one to leave. This was taken on May 16th, the next day he was gone. The parents make sure the babies find a good hiding place and continue to feed them. The male may tend the fledged young while the female begins a second nesting. There are usually two broods per season, sometimes three. As adults, robins eat beetle grubs, earthworms, caterpillars, fruits and berries. Watching nature unfold is such a pleasure, especially in our own backyard.
We just noticed that robins are building a nest in this tree just below our bedroom window. Can you see that dark spot towards the top and a little to the left? We of course don't know if it's the same pair of robins, but we like to think so.

A thought to ponder: "A person is rich in proportion to the number of 
                                    things which they can afford to let alone."

Participating in: Grand Social, Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party, Thursday Favorite Things

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

     After Christmas I decided I needed a project. What with cold weather and the pandemic we weren't out and about much. So I decided the kitchen needed to be repainted. I decided to go with the same color as the living room as the two rooms flow together. Put first there was wallpaper to be removed.

      My husband took on the job of wallpaper removal, which was a great help.  Since I was changing the color of the kitchen I of course needed to get new blinds. It was about time anyway as we had the green ones for over twenty years.

          I ordered the blinds from American blinds and installed them myself. They are double cell pleated cordless which gives us better insulation then the old ones. The paint I used was Behr Marquee called Bay Scallop. As if removing wallpaper and painting wasn't enough I thought maybe I should redo the cabinets. This is when I should have had my head examined. It turned out to be a long process and a lot of work, but I'm glad I did it anyway. As you can see in the first photo the cabinets were a golden oak color. They were in good shape and made from solid wood, just a little out dated. So I turned to YouTube and watched several videos on cabinet refinishing. I discovered gel stain. Most people were using the color Java and doing the cabinets very dark. I knew I didn't want them super dark so I chose the color Hickory. 

    Rather then tear the whole kitchen apart I did it in sections. My husband would remove the doors, then I would sand them and the cabinet with 220 sandpaper. You need to make sure you remove all the dust before staining. I used a tack cloth and a hand held vacuum. Then wiped them with a damp sponge. The stain reminds me of pudding it is very thick. I applied it using a sponge brush. Then wiped it off to the shade I wanted. Make sure you use cloths made for this purpose as they are relatively lint free. I let everything sit for about 48 hours then I applied the clear coat finish. I used the Polyurethane satin on the cabinet part but wasn't happy with the way it looked on the doors so I used Tung Oil on them for a glossier look. 

     I didn't keep the best track of the number of hours it took me but my best estimate is about 50 hours. This was over a couple of months. The reason for this was because being winter I had to wait for a somewhat warm day to open the windows. The gel stain is oil based and has a strong smell. I also used a mask and gloves. The cabinets and drawers never had knobs or pulls, so I decided we should add those also. Placing the knobs wasn't too bad, just measure down 2 inches and find the center. I used painters tape on the door for marking the spot and protecting the wood. My husband drilled the holes using three different drill bit sizes. Starting with a small one and working up to the size to fit the screw. The drawer pulls were another matter. So back to YouTube, I found a video on how to best measure, Drawer pull layout. Because there are two holes they must be centered and level. This process gave me nightmares. I must have measured each drawer 10 times before I let my husband drill. But we did it and they came out beautiful.

     The whole cabinet process cost about $240, this was all supplies and hardware. Although a lot of work it would have cost so much more for new cabinets.

     I am very pleased with my NEW kitchen. While doing this it also gave me a chance to clean and organize the inside of the cabinets.

      So my idea of painting the kitchen turned into a much bigger project then first planned. But isn't that how it usually is?


A thought to ponder: Believe you can and you're halfway there.



Participating in:Inspire Me MondayHappiness is HomemadeGrandma's Briefs

Monday, April 15, 2019

Spring Break

     Depending on where you live spring break might have already come and gone. Our grandson's break was last month. He got to take a ski trip to Jackson Hole, Wyo. 

     Our granddaughter lives in California, her spring break was last week. She went on a family RV trip to San Diego.

     Warm or cold fun was had by all. When I was in school in So. California, our spring break always fell the week before Easter.  In high school it was the in thing to return from break with a tan. Fortunately my grandmother lived at the beach. Even more so was the fact she welcomed myself and two or three of my friends into her home for a week. We saved our money so we could buy groceries for the week. We planned and cooked the meals during our stay. When my grandmother headed off to work we would head to the beach. Most of So. California had their spring break at the same time, so there were lots of teenagers hanging out.
     Back in the 'olden' days we didn't have a handy phone to snap photos and take selfies. I always brought along my trusty little Kodak with black and white film. Of course after we got home we had to wait while the film was developed. My photos weren't always that great but they still provide some fond memories.

We enjoyed our time at the beach. But also just had fun in general.

Here we are at the end of a week of sun and fun. Our friend Larry, who had a car, came to pick us up and take us home.

In case you don't know that's me far right. Don't we all have a nice tan. Before the days of sunscreen.

A thought to ponder: "We didn't realize we were making memories, we just                                            knew we were having fun."

Participating in: Grand SocialWined Down Wednesday

Friday, September 28, 2018

Building a Garden Lighthouse

     After seeing so many cute ideas on Pinterest, last year I decided to build a lighthouse for our backyard. I bought 4 different size clay pots and one large saucer for the base and a small saucer for the top. After gluing everything together I spray painted the base and the small saucer black.

Then I spray painted the rest white.

I continued using painters tape and newspaper to protect the white and painted the raised edges red.

I then started the process of decorating it to look like a lighthouse.

Once that was done we moved it outside and I added some more embellishments.

Then I thought maybe I need just a little bit more. So I added a ladder, more water and a boat.

For the winter I put the figures away in the shed and covered the lighthouse with a plastic bag. WRONG. This is what I found when I uncovered it this spring.

Needless to say I was not happy. So I repaired everything and I sprayed it with Thompson water seal. I'm hoping that will help to protect it a little more. Also this year I will put the whole thing in the shed for the winter.

With the solar light on top the lighthouse does make a fun addition to our yard.

A thought to ponder: "If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be                                       without flavor."                            Eleanor Roosevelt

Participating in: Grand SocialShare Your Cup

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dog Days

     Have you ever wondered where the phrase, "dog days of summer" came from? The term really started with the ancient Greeks and Romans and refers to the the Dog Star, Sirius. They said "Dog Days" occurred around the time Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. Over the hundreds of years since, the origins of the phrase have gotten lost. I think most people just think of it as the hot days at the end of summer. So hot that dogs just lay around in the shade.

     For our dog Wally, I think everyday is a "Dog Day". 
Maybe a walk in the park.

A picnic in the mountains

Or a nice roll in the grass.

Maybe look for fairies, more likely a rabbit or squirrel.

There's always a cool place to take a nap, whether inside or out.

No matter what you do, don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

Our local park pool celebrates the end of summer swimming and the start of school with it's own "Dog Days". At the end of the last day of swimming, people can bring their dogs to enjoy the pools. Wally is not a big swimmer so we just went to watch the other dogs have fun.

A thought to ponder: "A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class                                      but by who they are inside."