Saturday, June 27, 2009
Being here in Florida visiting my mom is a time that is special to me. She is 86 now. She still likes the simple things that seem to cheer her up. I try to think of those things and help her to have them around our talk to her about them. One thing she likes a lot is roses. She has a Don Juan rose bush in her front yard and she loves to have someone bring one in and put it in a little vase for her to enjoy. She comments on it often. When I was a child in Michigan, my mom grew a lot of roses in our backyard. June is her birth month and roses are the flower for June. They remind me of her whenever I see them. She bought me a Don Juan rose too, and I have it growing at my front door in North Carolina. Joanne has one in her yard too. The other day I brought one in and she has really enjoyed it every day.
This picture is her rose and a hibiscus from the yard that I put by a picture of my mom and her mom, my Grandma Jennie, and my mom's father. Grandma Jennie's birthday is in June too, so how nice is that!
Friday, June 19, 2009
I have been enjoying my bluebirds this summer. I have a pair that has a nest in a bluebird house in my back yard. Last night I was watching the "mommy" fly around and perch, and dive to the grass to find some food for her babies. She landed on the telephone wire out my kitchen window and I was able to get a pretty good picture of her. She is not as brightly colored as her husband, but she is still beautiful to me. The pictures here are of the male earlier this spring and the "mommy" last night.
Day lillies were never my favorite flower, but the last few years I have grown to love their appearance here in North Carolina, around the month of June. I even have a nice little row growing in my yard, thanks to the previous owner of our home. If you ride through the countryside right now you will see them popping up and blooming in the most unusual places. It makes me wonder who took the time to plant them where they are. Yesterday I was driving past a pasture that had a creek off in the distance and I noticed them growing in various spots along the creek. I do not think they grow wild because they are a bulb, but they are everywhere around my little neck of the woods, none-the-less.
I am always getting home ideas from the magazines. A few months ago I ran across this idea in Country Home. When I saw it, I said, "I have a chair just like that." It was way down in the barn. The chair was my mother-in-laws chair from Bryant Furniture which she bought way back in the 6o's from Mr. Bryant, who made early American furniture in Holly Hill, Florida. Having just redone our kitchen in shades of turquoise blue, I decided to try it on this chair and put it at our computer desk. Here you see the progression from original finish to primer to finished chair. It turned out really well, don't you think? And now we are using a pleasant memory from the past.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Yes, you can make your own laundry soap! I have not compared the price to buying my Gain liquid, but someone told me it comes out to a penny a load. It is easy to do and the ingredients are tried and true laundry helpers from years past- Borax, washing soda, and Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap. My picture shows the amount I got when I was done. Here is the recipe:
1/3 bar Fels-Naptha (I used 1/2 bar)
1/2 Cup Arm and Hammer washing soda
1/2 Cup Borax
(You can use any bar soap if you wish but I think this one is best. Some grocers carry it and some hardware stores can get it. Just ask. Octagon is another old laundry bar that can be used too.)
You need a small bucket about 2 gallon size.
Grate the Fels-Naptha into a pan and add 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and dissolve completely. Add the washing soda and borax and stir until all dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket and add soap mixture as you stir it well. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir again. I poured it into my old laundry soap containers and saved the rest in the bucket until I need it. You have to shake the laundry soap bottle before each use because the soap turns to a gel. Use 1/2 cup per load. It is low suds soap so do not expect a lot of suds. I have heard that you can add some oil scents to it if you want a scented soap.
I am keeping the ingredients for this soap in my food storage supply for use someday if we need it.