Our Deck

Our Deck

 Happy belated M. day to all mothers out there!!  Being a mother has been the most rewarding AND frustrating time of my life.  I was lucky to have been able to stay home with my children as they were growing up.  How do working mothers do it all??!!!  I still have “if only I did this or that” thoughts, even though my sons are grown.  I had a book called “A Good Enough Mother.”  Never actually read it but just having it on my shelf to look at the title comforted me.  It made me realize I couldn’t be perfect all the time but still be a good mom.  We must have done “good enough”  because our sons are now fantastic young men.

We have had so much rain lately that it was truly a gift to have a sunny and warm weekend.  Mother’s day has always been a signal for the beginning to summer for me since all the gardening centers have stocked up on flowering annuals.  We spent 6 hours in our small yard trimming bushes, raking leaves, weeding and edging the lawn.  It felt so good to be outdoors but my hubby and I paid for it the next day–we are so stiff!

This is a picture of our deck after we hung the baskets of flowers.  I was impatient this year to get them up and of course they went on sale the day after we bought them.  Notice the mini pergola in the background?  We added that last year out of necessity but it really added character to the deck.  It doubles as a sun screen when we pull the curtain.  Without the curtain it is hard to sit on the deck in the early evening because of the sun setting in the west.

Ahhh!  Back to enjoying the fruits of our labor–sitting on the deck, listening to the chimes and watching the goldfinches at the feeder.

Who would think something so “ewww” would make something so “yummm!”  This is my favorite banana bread recipe and it makes a large, moist loaf.  I always get compliments and asked for the recipe.  Of course it helps having fresh pecans and not the rancid store-bought ones.  That reddish color is not natural!!!  Walnuts are a good substitute.  Another hint: if you do not have enough bananas you can add applesauce to make up the difference.  I wonder what the bread would taste like with all applesauce?  Anyway, here is the recipe,enjoy.

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Ok, now that I have this blog I have to come up with something to write about.  Perhaps a theme once in a while?  What do you think? 

chickadee-picture2

We have a baker’s rack just outside our slider door on the deck.  I decorated it with birdhouses–you know the type, the cutsie ones from places like Joanne’s.  Not really meant to be homes to birds.  But what do you know, a little Chickadee decided one of the birdhouses looked pretty comfy so in it moved.  The problem is that every time we get close to the door the little thing gets frightened and flies off.  So, are we going to be able to go out on the deck?  My hubby finally got a picture.  Isn’t he cute?

So, that brings me to my theme: Chickadees!  First a little something about the bird.  Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a cool online guide for bird identification and information: ID tips, photos, maps, sounds, habitat, behavior, more.  I have a particular place in my heart for this little bird.  It was a comfort to me to see a familiar “face” when we moved from the Northeast to the Northwest.  It has a cheerful song , too. 

After reading about the Chickadee, I think the birds are storing food in the birdhouse rather than using it for nesting.  That is a relief, we don’t have to worry about disturbing nestlings!  You can go here if you would like to know more.

 To continue the theme, I found some links for Chickadee crafts:

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I have been on a purse making kick lately.  These wristlets were made using a tutorial at Split Yarn.  I made them as a parting gift to some friends at work.  After making a couple of these I was able to whip out one in no time flat.  I hope they liked them.  I think I will add a  zippered pocket  and credit card pockets in the next wristlet I make.                                                   

Wristlets

 Here are some other purses I made.  The first one was using a Simplicity pattern.  Not pleased with the outside fabric but love the lining.  The pattern was very basic so I added inside pockets, a zippered pocket. a key fob and a magnetic clasp.

 small-1                          small-2

Here are a couple more.  Both were made with patterns (can’t remember which ones at the moment).  The blue denim one was difficult to sew because of all the layers, broke a couple of needles on it.  The second patchwork bag is my favorite.  Again, I added extra pockets, a key fob and magnetic clasp. 

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Well, my husband, two sons and a daughter-in-law have a blog so I thought I would give it a try.  I had always wondered why one would put their thoughts out there for everyone to see or who would even want to read them.  However, I have found it fascinating to peek into the lives of some of the bloggers out there.  Many have been generous sharing their knowledge and I have gotten some wonderful ideas for crafting and seen some yummy looking recipes.

My family and friends are scattered from coast to coast so maybe through my blog they can see a little of what I am up to.  I had a productive weekend sewing (more about that later) and baking some cookies.  Here’s a peek.

Carron's "Killer" Cookies & Snickerdoodles

Carron's "Killer" Cookies & Snickerdoodles

The “Killer” cookies came from this month’s Family Circle.  I did not have the Rice Krispies so I used crushed Rice Chex instead.  I think I will also add some chopped nuts next time.  Here’s the recipe:

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Welcome to my Blog. This is my attempt to keep in touch with all those people near and dear to my heart.

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