April 30

Maggie Monday

Mom was gone all weekend so I spent some quality time with Dad. We went to the recycling center in the big truck, took a couple bike rides, had pizza, and last night cruised in the Camaro. When Mom came home I got to see Michelle and I did some wiggling for her. I missed Mom, she's been gone a lot this month. I've been doing some serious snuggling with her since she came back. Mom says that she won't be leaving me again for awhile and will be back to posting this week.


April 27

Featuring the View from Alan and Lauri's Back Door

One last posting from North Dakota




New calves played in the pasture behind the house.


We've had a long spring in Florida, but it's just starting in North Dakota



April 25

Alan Cooks

No one goes hungry in North Dakota when Alan is in the house.

While Alan was in the Air Force and stationed in Germany he was introduced to Pork Schwenkbraten and wanted to recreate the meal for us.

alan cooks alan cooks alan cooks alan cooks alan cooks alan cooks alan cooks

24 hours later, Schwenkbraten!


alan cooks alan cooks

April 24

Last week I tagged along with Terry on a business trip. Fortunately for me, the trip took us to North Dakota where some of our family lives--including our oldest and youngest two grandkids. These aren't the grandkids.





April 23

Maggie Monday


Maggie, seven weeks old, already starting on her web design career.

April 22

Earthday 2012

Observations on Earthday

The first Earthday was April 22, 1970. I vaguely remember some of the bad boys in my class out picking up litter and I thought, what a clever way to skip school! I've progressed a little since that mindset, but not enough.

On our little piece of land, we have four rainbarrels, a compost bin, an organic garden in raised beds, a butterfly and bird-friendly yard plus a natural-landscaped front area. We recycle, drive a gas-efficient car, and use cloth grocery bags. Numerous trees shade the house keeping the interior temperature down and we have an energy efficient tankless water heater. The gravel driveway allows the rain to permeate through to the aquifer, rather than running off and picking up pesticide and fertilizer before entering the waterways.

Yet we also have a gas-guzzling truck, a sprinkler system for the water-sucking fertilizer-demanding chich bug-loving St. Augustine grass in the back yard, and roses that require fungicide and pesticide. I forget the cloth grocery bags at home at least once a month and we only have the gravel driveway because a concrete or paver driveway is way out of our budget.

So in consolation for my failures versus my successes, I like to turn to a fortune that I found in my cookie years ago:


And you thought it was just a song!

Garden rainbarrel Shed rainbarrel recycle Garden rainbarrel bird feeder birdbath tomato butterfly garden butterfly garden front

April 20

Feature Friday

My Dining Room/Guest Bedroom/Sitting Room

Nothing from Michelle, Vera, or any other readers so I'm featuring one of my rooms again!

We moved to this house in 2003 from a much larger place. We also moved all of our furniture and it didn't quite fit, but I had put a lot of effort into picking out every perfect piece and loved them all. I just couldn't let go. Not right away, anyhow.

My dining room

Obviously, that table is WAY too big for this little room! But I loved it!

When Terry started working out of our home at the beginning of this year; we considered knocking down a wall and then converting the attic into more storage space but then decided to just make better use of what we had. If we needed more storage, we had too many things.

The dining room was seldom used for dining--usually just Christmas Eve dinner. Of course, that dinner was the most important one of the year because we always set a place for Maggie. She knew if we were in the dining room, she was on the table!

The room was occasionally used for overnight guests. The big table was moved to a corner and an aerobed was inflated. Not the most private sleeping arrangement but better than the couch.

We eventually decided it just wasn't practical in a house of this size to dedicate an entire room to one meal a year. (Sorry Maggie!)

First, the 72" round table went to Michelle who promised to love it just as much as I did.

Michelle's dining room

Michelle kindly gave the former dining room table a good home. (It looks so good in there and I get to visit it on special occasions.)

I made white drapes with black-out lining and Terry raised the chandeliers so we could walk under them. Then we moved in a sofa bed out of my office and a drop leaf table from the kitchen--now it's a multi-purpose room.

dining room

The room set up as a dining room. It comfortably seats six. The table has two shelves which hold baskets that store placemats, cloth napkins, and napkin rings. We also use the table for games like Yatzee and Monopoly.

guest bedroom

Now it's a guest bedroom. Close the drapes and it's dark. The grandkids love it since they are a lot closer to grandma and grandpa.

sitting room

And if anyone wants to get away from the TV, the sitting room is a quiet place to relax and read a book.

sitting room

The seagrass chest by the sofabed holds our family board games, cards, extra sheets and pillows.

While I was sad to give up the big table, this room is now a better utilized space.

April 19

Pink, the Color of the Day

pink pink pink pink pink

April 18

Rosemary Thyme Basil Herbs Herbs Herbs Pork Done

April 17

Maggie is in charge again today. Now she's complaining about other dogs....

Dogs in the Hood

One more day for me on the blog, then I'll give Mom the new password.

Today I'm going to show you three dogs that hate me. And they live in the neighborhood so I have to be ever vigilant.


This is Daisy. Her owner is Jake. They live about a mile away from me but I see Daisy at the Shed when we go on bike rides. She likes to give me attitude so one day when I was off leash I gave her some attitude back. Coincidentally, that was the last day I was off leash at the Shed.


And here is Bacca. He lives with Kathy (not my mom). I also see him on my bike rides to the Shed. Mom and Dad keep me in my basket when we see Bacca so I don't know if I like him or not--but I think I can take him.


This is my closest neighbor and arch enemy Nibbles and his brother Luke. We have had a few scraps, me and Nibbles. Lukes okay. He used to give me a rub now and then before Nibbles came on the scene. That cute furry Nibble face and squeeky dog bark covers up the evil soul within.

Okay. That's it for the Dogs in the Hood this week. More next time when I feel like taking over BlogDog!



April 16

Maggie is a little upset with me and is taking over blogdog for a few days.....

Maggie Monday


Can you believe that "Featuring Friday" last week! I'm on the lookout for that Pretzel dog and she better hope I don't find her! After all, this was originally my website and it was all about ME! I have yet to be featured this month on BlogDog! So I'm officially calling this Maggie Monday. And I might change the password so Mom can't get on the host. That should teach her!

Back in 2002, when I was still young and thin, I started this website. And it was all about me. Somehow I got pushed out of the picture a few years ago but here's some pictures that I was in charge for proof:


I'm self-taught in web design. I tried to take a class but the instructor had a thing about dogs. I tried to explain that I'm not really a dog, but he didn't seem to understand my accent. Crazy human.

taking pics

The hardest part was holding the camera and pressing the button. I don't have thumbs. Or fingers, actually. Using the tripod makes it a bit easier.


I had to hunt and peck on the typing. One paw per letter. Can that monitor get any bigger?

So stayed tuned. I plan on taking over tomorrow, too. Just to teach Mom a lesson!



April 13

Feature Friday

Pretzel the Lucky Dog

I am so excited to feature Pretzel today. My friend's daughter Kathy moved to Las Vegas several years ago and I've been keeping up with her travels on Facebook. She along with her friend Sean recently rescued this adorable pooch. I asked Kathy if she would send me some photos and some background on Pretzel.

Kathy writes: Sean and I have been thinking about getting a dog for awhile. I wanted a small dog and we both wanted it to be a rescue dog. This little thing was abandoned out near Lake Mead and was spotted by some people being watched by at least one coyote and they intervened. One of those people was a friend of ours' and called me and told me about her. She was taken to the vet to be checked out and I went and saw her and let them know we were going to adopt her. She has a gimpy back left leg but isn't handicapped in the least by it. The vet said he found nothing wrong with it and doesn't know why she won't use it. We had her fixed and brought her home and haven't regretted it since. She fits in with us better than I hoped or imagined!!! She is a great traveler and it has been great being able to spoiler her. We are not dog owners...we are owned by a dog. Lol!!! She is small. She weighs about 7 lbs now, she weighed about 5 1/2 lbs when we got her. She is a poodle mixed with something. So far we have taken her to Toroweap (very remote area of Grand Canyon and camped) and New Orleans (French Quarter several times, crawfish boil which she loved, tubing, boating and swimming in Lake Pontchartrain). She has been a terrific addition to our family. A little lap dog with a streak of adventurism. I can't wait for our next trip with her. :)


Pretzel the Lucky Dog Pretzel the Lucky Dog Pretzel the Lucky Dog Pretzel the Lucky Dog Pretzel the Lucky Dog

New Orleans

The French Quarter

Pretzel in the French Quarter Pretzel in the French Quarter Pretzel in the French Quarter Pretzel in the French Quarter Pretzel in the French Quarter Pretzel in the French Quarter Pretzel in the French Quarter

Bourbon Street

bourbon st freaks

Crawfish Boil

Pretzel the Lucky Dog Pretzel the Lucky Dog

After enjoying a boil, one must have a bath!

bathtime bathtime bathtime

More Fun on this Adventure

tubing tubing tubing tubing

And Just Being Pretzel

Pretzel the Lucky Dog Pretzel the Lucky Dog Pretzel the Lucky Dog Pretzel the Lucky Dog

This snap says it all!

Pretzel the Lucky Dog

April 12

So a couple of weeks ago I fell off of my bike. Or I should say I fell onto my bike since I hit a curb and definitely no "off" was involved. I had a few witnesses that didn't give me much empathy but did say that "you coulda really been hurt". Oh yeah. I really was hurt.

Unaware that this would be a chain of events, I blissfully went on my way. That afternoon I tripped over a stool, fell while cleaning the bathtub and the ultimate blow was dropping the giant box of Cascade dishwashing detergent box on my leg--making for a very painful day. For the last few weeks I have only been wearing long pants out of the house to avoid discussing the many dark, ugly bruises.

Living in Perfect, I am unprepared for these types of mishaps, yet yesterday was another series of unfortunate events. First, I opened a box from www.fabric.com and it did not contain the expected shipment. While some of it was correct, there was this ugly plaid wound up in the lovely fabrics--did not order, did not want. Where was the lovely chevron that I had ordered? And why am I the ninth person in queue for customer service?

Not yet realizing that it wasn't going to be a good day, I set out to do some errands. Then I was pulled over by the sheriff's deputy. Yes, me. The person that drives speed limit and stops at crosswalks. The deputy said I didn't stop at the stop sign at Yulee and Mason Creek Drive. I said that of course I did. He said I rolled through. Not me! And then he said, "Believe me, I know you didn't stop. I was sitting right there". I knew where this discussion was headed! So then I begged for forgiveness and promised to be a better driver in the future. He told me several times that in a true stop you can feel the car go forward then back. Okay. Now I know that a brief stop, look both ways, and go doesn't count as a stop--especially if the sheriff's deputy is watching. He also told me that I should actually stop twice at that stop sign since it is set back. Really. He gave me a warning. Sign of relief. He also told me that a ticket was $166 plus 3 points on my license. Good thing I live in Perfect, who would have paid that ticket?

(And all of you out there that are familiar with Old Homosassa giggle knowing the condition of most of the people driving on these roads. It's not called the "drinking village with a fishing problem" for nothing!)

Next stop was Fancy's Pets to return the flea treatment that I had bought in error the previous day. Wrong product, although the clerk and I had had a lengthy discussion about what I needed. So back I go and find out they are all out of what I really need and will not credit my card. Only store credit at Fancy's Pets. So much for buying local!

So knowing that a journey to PetCo in Brooksville to buy the correct treatment for fleas, ticks and biting flies would be fraught with danger, I returned home for a very long nap. Sorry Maggie. But if things do not go right in Perfect, things are really bad in the rest of the world.

April 11

View of the Day

Mason Creek

A View from Mason Creek Boat Ramp

April 10

A Completed Project!

When I realized that I needed about six more inches of fabric to complete slipcovers that I had been working on for days, I stomped around the house awhile, threw a few things, then went out to the garage to see what I could take my annoyance out on. And there were these chairs that I keep moving around so I can get my car into the spot it deserves. They'd been there since January--already primered and painted. Terry had even cut out new boards for the seats. The problem was that I couldn't decide on the fabric to cover them with.

I love looking at fabric and usually have all kinds of ideas but these chairs had me stumped. I had browsed www.fabric.com for hours looking for the perfect print. I wanted a neutral color with perhaps a touch of blueish-gray. I finally found a gray ikat at www.spoonflower.com that I thought would work and ordered a sample but the colors just clashed. Incidentally, www.spoonflower.com is a very cool website. You can actually design your own print!

That's when I turned to my stash of fabric pieces. I do not keep much fabric around since I have a lack of storage space. But I had enough white fabric left from making the dining room drapes to cover the seats. I figured that I couldn't get much more neutral than white so went with it.

Once I made the decision on the fabric, Terry and I quickly finished the chairs in one morning.

There are many excellent tutorials on the blogosphere about refinishing and upholstering furniture. One of my favorite blogs is DesignSponge. The tutorials have pictures and very detailed instructions. http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/upholstery-basics-dining-chair-do-over.html


We bought the chairs and dresser at used furniture stores. The dresser has been done for almost three months.


Seats off, ready for primer.


Primered with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3. I use this primer for most of my painting projects but will get it in the spray version the next time that I spray paint furniture.


Spray painted with Krylon Gloss Pewter Gray--my current color obsession. The chairs just sit here and take up space for almost two months.

before before

Done! I put a white glaze over the paint to bring out the details and then finished up with three coats of Minwax Polyacrylic. The material is from Dwell Studio for Robert Allen Home purchased at Jo-Anns.

Now, back to the slipcovers for the patio. The fabric arrived yesterday.

April 9

Vegetable of the Day

green beans!

April 6

Feature Friday

Our New Bathroom

My niece Michelle must have run out of rooms to redo at her place and at her mom's so I'm featuring my bathroom again this week! It's finally done. Furniture, clothes and all other paraphernalia have been returned to their rightful places.

And it's beautiful!

The old bathroom was very blue. Here are some photos taken while the former owner was moving out almost nine years ago.

yeck! yeck!

Besides everything being really blue, the Jacuzzi bathtub was dangerous with the slippery step, the countertops were just ugly, and what about those lights! To make matters worse, that bathroom was COLD! No matter how warm the rest of the house was, some mornings this past winter it was 58 degrees in there.

Terry and I did make little changes like replacing the lights and mirrors and having Corian countertops and sinks installed. We even mounted a heater on the wall.

But we finally decided that it was time to make it lovely AND warm. So general contractor Clay Steinman and his crew of Scott and David came to our rescue! Clay discovered that there was no insulation under the tub or in the wall. He also came up with an idea to create a separate toilet room. Terry and I chose and purchased everything else and Clay put it all together. He also came up with the chair rail and worked with us on the colors to make the different woods "pop".

counters! tub! countertop! shower!

I have a little more decorating to do and a towel rod to hang, but it's basically done.

So what do YOU think of the colors? (I've already got Michelle's input!) The rest of the house has more of a coastal cottage feeling--mostly pale blues, grays, whites and creams. This is a BIG change! Let me know!

Have a great Easter (or Master's weekend as Terry calls it)!

April 5

Vegetable (or Fruit) of the Day

This is not just a tomato. This is the first tomato out of my garden this year. Also could be my last tomato. Don't have much luck with them. On the other side of this tomato are squirrel bites. Little ones. After all, squirrels must eat, too.

I washed the tomato really well and cut out the squirrel bites. Then did some little nibbles of my own. Not that good. Kind of revolted me to think that a rodent ate on it. Well, maybe they weren't really squirrel bites. Maybe they were just bug nibbles. Or little bad spots. Let me rationalize that a little more.....

But I'm mostly posting this picture because I like the picture. Sometimes that's what I do.

Have a great Thursday!


April 4

View of the Day

We've had several manatees in our canal this spring. Yesterday there was one practically on land while it was eating sawgrass. But a picture of a manatee still looks like a gray rock. So here is a picture of our beautiful afternoon instead.


April 3

Dogs of the Day!

While out on a cocktail cruise, we saw these three BIG dogs. They live on an island between Mason Creek and Petty Creek.

dogs dogs on boat

Big dogs check us out. Although their tails were wagging and they were calling for us to come visit, we just kept going.

dogs on boat

Big dogs are getting ready to take the boat out and join us on our cocktail cruse. Fortunately they don't have thumbs so they couldn't get the rope untied quick enough to catch us.

April 2

I love April! All kinds of good things are coming our way this month!

First, my vegetable garden!

garden peas

Peas--the last of the winter garden.

green beans

Wee green beans

green beans

We'll soon be having homemade pesto!


I haven't had a lot of luck with tomatoes. If the bugs don't get them, then the squirrels do. This is my first time to grow them from seeds. I'm trying one in a pot and four in the raised beds. I also gave some plants to friends. If they all make it, the neighbors will be getting a lot of tomatoes!