Wednesday, May 31, 2017


I needed a snack to share with others for a recent cross-stitch gathering. I didn't decide till last minute and took Dill Pickle Dip and Smores. I got the idea for smores on Facebook. Taste of Home posted a recipe, but it had more ingredients than I thought necessary to make them, so I winged it! These are too easy.   

Spread marshmallow fluff onto graham cracker and top with another square to make a sandwich. Freeze while you complete the next step. 


Melt chocolate almond bark and allow to cool to room temperature. Dip frozen marshmallows graham squares in chocolate and return to freezer to garden. 


You need to freeze them to control the ooze. You can see in the picture above that several have already started to ooze.  Freeze for a few minutes till hard and then transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator. 

I thought they were good, though next time I'd use chocolate or chocolate chips in place of the almond bark. They can be decorated with sprinkles. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Garden Week One Part Two

Not all of these were planted the first week. Some didn't get planted till Memorial Day Weekend! 


The bell pepper on the right isn't new. The bag at the bottom has 2 watermelons (though one doesn't look good), marigolds in the middle, 2 red bell peppers upper right and 2 more green bell peppers upper left. 


2 more cucumbers in the top bag and a pumpkin in the bottom bag. 


Top to bottom; bell peppers, watermelon and pumpkin. I planted 2 pumpkins. One will produce (hopefully) small pumpkins, the other small pie size pumpkins. 

I believe that concludes what all I've got planted, except that it seems I'm missing 2 red bell peppers. Found them! They were in a different pool! No picture. Some of the plants I bought after the first batch came in four packs. Not my preference. I planted the four packs 2 to a bag. Cucumbers can be 2 to a bag, none of the other stuff should be. I'll see how things grow and might have to pluck one of the two later on. 


My cantaloupe isn't looking too well.  At a friends suggestion, I removed it from the pool it was in and it's now in a Dollar Tree oil pan. I'll let it dry up and top water it only for a while and see if maybe it doesn't like to be damp all the time. 

The pool water is turning green and gross, but doesn't smell. We'll see if that changes. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Garden Week One Part One

So, what did I plant?  A lot of tomatoes!  Here is how tall they were around May 13 right after I planted them (its okay if you don’t care about plant heights, I want these for my own records, feel free to scroll.)

18 tomatoes















3 peppers (2 hot and 1 bell)




1 cantaloupe 


1 zucchini 


And 1 cucumber


But wait! There's more! 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Building my first garden

There is a wonderful Facebook page for those interested in doing Larry Hall’s Kiddie Pool or Gutter garden systems.  On that page are instructions.  This is how I’ve set up mine.  This is my first garden and I’m NO expert.  You may not want to follow these same steps, but I want to document them for future reference. 

First you’re going to need kiddie pools!  The smaller of the two pools comes with a rope that you’re to tie around your wrist to remind you when someone is in the pool and warnings NOT TO DIVE into these pools.  What has this world come to?  



You're also going to need some potting soil.  It has to be potting soil, not garden soil.  Larry Hall gives instructions on how to make your own, but I used these bags from Sam's Club. Add in a handful of Epsom salts and a cup of agriculture lime.  Stir it by hand. 


Stuff Walmart cloth bags 2” full and water well (make it muddy!).  Cloth bags can be found at Walmart for $.50.  They’re green at neighborhood Walmarts and blue at their other stores.  Press wet soil down compacting it.  Add loose soil till 2/3 full.  Add 1 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer around the edge.  I found 12-12-12 and only used ¾ of a cup. 


Fill with additional loose soil (potting mix that’s had Epsom salts and lime added to it) till nearly full and add your plant.  Some bags can hold more than one plant, but most plants are one per bag.

Drill overflow holes in your kiddie pools 2” up from the sides (I’d go higher if I could do it over again, maybe 3”).  Add your planted bags and added water to the bottom of the pools.  You’ll want to maintain at least an inch of water in the pools.  Add in a mosquito dunk to keep those pests at bay.  You’ll need to top water for 7-10 days as the bags begin to wick the water up from the pools. 


I added a pool since last post!  Next I'll show you what I've planted! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I'm Expecting!

This last Saturday my father drove 15 miles to pick me up, back tracked those 15 miles and an additional probably 15 miles so he and I could attend an estate sale.  Why he had to pick me up is a story for another day.  The estate sale was at a 6000+ square foot house, tucked down a long driveway on 140 acres with the entire back of the house overlooking a beautiful valley and one of four ponds.  The sale wasn’t all that great, but it was worth the trip to see the house and imagine the adventures the children (now adults) had to have experienced growing up there. 

On the way home we passed a house I had looked at months before finding my current house.  Same price, but this property was a townhouse/duplex.  Two bedrooms, two baths, everything on one floor and one car attached garage.  Courtyard, but no yard.  Had I bought that house, I would have moved in, painted and been done.  How boring would that have been?!? What would I do with all my free time?  I can no longer imagine my old life without to-do lists longer than the length of my arm and though its often overwhelming, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So, whats been occupying my time of late?  A garden!  I’m expecting!  Vegetables and fruits and apparently A LOT of them!  I might have gone overboard.  Just a little! 

The season to garden approached rapidly, but I couldn’t get started as the yard needed some work first.  Just before moving in, the sewer line was replaced in the backyard resulting in a hump where I wanted to put my garden beds (and a sink hole further back in the yard).  The soil in this yard is good ole Kansas red clay and tough as nails! I thought I could till the hump level, but first I had to break and turn the soil with a shovel.  Mixed in with this tough as nails red clay soil are pieces of the old clay sewer line, rock and pieces of red brick!  It was NO fun to turn the soil with a shovel.  I had help getting the soil tilled and then raked it out as best as I could.  Its not entirely level, but it’ll work for the time being. 


(Hard soil turned with a shovel)

My deadline to plant the garden was May 10.  I had studied raised beds and thought I might make cinder block raised beds.  Then I found plans to make raised beds using cedar fence boards.  I couldn’t act on either as I was still working on the soil.  One day while googling garden beds I found
THIS post and the wheels began to turn. 

My gardening friends didn’t think gardening in the pools would work.  Plants needed more dirt for their roots.  Still, I was intrigued and googled Kiddie Pool Gardens.  My search lead me to Larry Hall’s Kiddie Pool Gardens.  I hesitated at first.  They’re not pretty like cedar raised beds would be, but the more I researched them, the more sense they made and the success stories were very tempting. 


Excuse all that brush. I took down the 10'+ lilac bush and hadn't addressed all the limbs yet. (Honestly, I still haven't!)

Stay tuned, I'm trying to get caught up!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


learned that my neighbor was going to list her house shortly after I moved into.  She spent the winter preparing her home for sale and listed it for-sale-by-owner several months ago.  While many came to look at it, she didn’t get any offers and listed it with a relator in April.  I hadn’t really given any thought to who I might move in next door. Painting and other projects kept me distracted. Last week I got to meet my new neighbor and I know him! Well, I know his parents. Though I hadn’t really given any thought or worry to who was moving in next door, I am very excited to learn it was someone I knew and that called for a house warming gift of bread!  (I also had a lot of bananas that needed to be used up.)  I decided to make Six Sister’s Tropical Banana Bread. 

I didn’t have an 8oz can of crushed pineapple on hand, so I used an 8oz can of pineapple tidbits and diced/crushed them with a knife. 


Bananas, pineapple and coconut goodness!


used 4 small loaf pans and reduced the amount of baking time by 15 minutes.  Only one needed to bake longer than that.


Pretty loaves!   


I ate one (not all at once!), gave one to my friend Clara Lou, one to my friend Michelle and gave the fourth loaf to the new neighbor.  I don’t know that the coconut added much flavor and next time I might leave it out.  Its definitely a recipe I’d make again with or without coconut. 


Visit HERE for the complete recipe! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I started this garland weeks ago and just finished this weekend. It didn't turn out as expected, but that's life and it's too late to make something different. Maybe next year. 


The right side doesn't look too bad, but the left is too long and all the flowers droop too much.  Doesn't the mantle look bad? I haven't a clue how to decorate it and no real desire to work on it. 


The flowers were easy and fun to make.  You can get 25 sheets of tissue paper for a $1 at Dollar Tree. I used one sheet of paper per flower. They'd look nice down the middle of a table or as the bow on a package.  I put two on top of a loaf of banana bread I gave to a friend. Maybe I'll get started on June's garland now in hopes of having it completed by June first. Maybe not! Too many yard and fair projects to get done. 


Saturday, May 13, 2017

April Shower Tasks part 3

My table, chairs and buffet were my grandparents. I have several of grandma's tablecloths and some I've found at flea markets or on sale. Prior to my move, I kept the leaves of the table dropped and only needed, used small tablecloths. Since moving, I keep the leaves up most of the time and need longer tablecloths. I've been storing them folded or rolled in a small shelf within the buffet. Where Lyncoln is in this picture. It was a pain to remove one and they were always a wrinkled mess.


So, I decided to hang them in the hall closet. The hall closet hasn't been remodeled in this house in a long while. It's wallpapered! The picture below is of the wallpaper on the ceiling! Who wallpapers a closet and the ceiling in the closet??


The above wallpaper is on the ceiling and upper 1/3 of the closet. The bottom 2/3 has this paper;


Wallpapering closets and their ceilings; I think not!

I used three different types of hangers to hang my tablecloths. 


I love how I can easily and quickly find the tablecloth I want to use. 



I found the above cloth at one of those highway, miles long garage sales and the cloth below came from an estate sale.


I probably should have washed and ironed them before hanging. Maybe I'll get around to that another time! 

This hanger is holding some of the table runners I use to cover the buffet. 


Three projects that have been on my to-do list for a long while accomplished; paint the lazy Susan, utility room bench and address the tablecloth issue. Done! I love a productive weekend and I hope to have many more this summer!