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Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Front Yard of My Home

Here is a tour of the front yard. So many pictures and it just doesn't give you the full effect. I love spring and the greenness of everything. I love the spring flowers too!

This is the side of my house with lots of beautiful irises blooming. The berm is on the left of this side of the house.

Th front view of my house. You'll have to click to enlarge the picture to see the flowers planted.

Going on down the other side of the the house where the peonies are getting ready to bloom. To keep them from laying on the ground when they bloom, I tie a rope around the stems to support the flowers.

You can see the orange piece of twine supporting the plant - tied around the stems. It's a great trick I was taught from my Mom. Thanks Mom!

The other side of my house looking at my three peonies plants - they have pink flowers when the bloom. I also have more irises on this side. I need to break them up and give some away after they have bloomed. They are becoming huge plants now. I break them up every few years.
This is my berm in the spring with the tulips. The curbing was just poured and so this will be my before picture.
The tulips are now gone and cut down. Although I have left a few leaves from the daffodils until they completely die. It's all planted. This is the front of the berm by the sidewalk.
Looking back down the front of the berm. You can see the wisps of the daffodils leaves here and there.

This is the middle of the berm. I shaped my two bushes and they are not looking too good. I hope through the summer they start looking better (maybe I shouldn't have trimmed the as much as I did - we will see).
And the very back of the berm going into the gate to the back yard. It was a LOT of planting and will look beautiful when it all feels in. I haven't put bark in yet and am hoping to get that done soon.

It's amazing to me how much the curbing has added to the beauty of my yard. I am enjoying working in my yard so much more with the curbing. It makes me want everything beautiful and clean. I hope you enjoyed the tour of my front yard and seeing all of my hard work *wink*.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back Yard Pictures

Oh, the joys of spring and plants coming to life. I love nature! I love the beauty in every flower that blooms. It is such a great haven for me to enjoy.

This is my garage before:
The garage after - with help of perennials growth. Lovely!
I love the irises and the orange poppies.
This is the before picture of the kidney shaped island off of the patio:
The miniature rose bushes are starting to bloom. Soon they will be fully covered in miniature roses. I have all the grass out of the edges and it's planted.
The backside of the kidney shaped island. There used to be a huge perennial there that I didn't really like. The flowers were not pretty and it was taking over the berm. It took me a while to dig it out - but it's done and now I can have pretty flowers. Yeah!
This is off the patio going out the gate on the side of the house. Before:
Kinda shady... but after with some growth from perennials and it's planted.
This is the side flower bed that goes the length of the back yard from the gate to the cement pad in back. This is before - I took out a rose bush after the first arborvitaes.
Now it is clean and planted.
This is the corner by the gate - same side.
A wider look at the arborvitaes without the rose bush in between the first big one and the next one. At the end of the 3rd arborvitaes is the lilac bushes without any lilacs *pout*.. but it was fun while it lasted.
This is the other side of the patio. I took out 3 rose bushes and plan to plant arborvitaes - but haven't purchased them yet. I cleaned out the grass... Before:After from the patio. You can see I have a TV on the patio - an out door room.
Another look.
And a look going into the patio.
The patio is nice and clean. My potted plants are all doing really well.
There are more picture of the yard coming - in chunks. It's too much to post all at once.
Every day that I wake up and open the curtains to my bedroom I smile. I love the warmth and beauty that greets me each day that I wake up and walk out to the back yard.
I can't hardly wait until all the flowers grow and fill in every last patch of dirt. It's gonna be awesome!

Busy... Busy.... BUSY!

I'm still around. (no pictures in the this blog - coming with more detail soon).

I've been Working in the yard - and it looks fabulous.

AND..... if working in the yard is not a big enough task... I've decided to paint my living room - which will end up painting most of the house.

Now, I totally hate choosing a paint color. The first paint color I loved and still love... but when Jason and Sharon came over Tuesday night they said it was awful *Sigh* and the whole living room was painted. With the living room painted I still have 2 1/2 gallons of that color left because I purchased 4 gallons. (I think it will be the color I paint my bedroom with and maybe the bathroom).

I decided to bring more paint chips home to compare with the fireplace rock. Brady and I put them up and choose another color. I went and purchased it (only 1 gallon) and put it up on a small wall by the fire place to check the color against the rock. I think it has too much pink / peach in it. Something I always get that same type of color. I just couldn't paint too much with that color.

I decide to go get another color - and paint the other side of the fireplace. I don't think it has enough color in it.

I come to the conclusion that the paint color Brady chose will end up on the walls. To paint the whole living room is before me again... Sigh...

The reason I am doing this is I purchased a new sofa and love seat over the weekend. RC Willey had it on sale for $399 ($570 off regular price). Yes, $399 for both - I am excited. I stood in line for 2 hours to make sure I was able to purchase it. It will be delivered on Saturday.

I just need to get the living room re-painted. OH! and I purchased new living curtains at 50% off this past weekend. I need to get them up too.

It will be a whole new living room. I can't wait until Saturday. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!
“Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies,”

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cleaning - Mopping the Floor 101

It has been a while since I had a cleaning blog. Today I'd like to talk about mopping a floor. I know you are thinking this is silly because mopping the floor seems so straight forward. However, from a look at your cleaning isle in a local supermarket - it seems that there is confusion and bad information for the local consumer.

It is getting crazy impossible to find a good mop at a store. For instance, at Walmart you don't find the good type of mop in the cleaning section - you find it in hardware. Yup, that is right in hardware. You need a great cotton deck mop to keep your floors clean.

You can find good mops at Lowels and Home Depot too. The mop I get is from Walmart - the deck mop. It has a great cushion grip on the handle of the mop. Of course I didn't get a picture of it. When selecting a mop - find a 100% cotton mop - very important.

First note - Of course you have to sweep the floor before you mop. If my customer has an animal or lots of girls or long hair, I sweep the floor with a broom and then "Swiffer" to get all of the hair off of the floor. I hate hair in my mop! :-) (I always sweep with a broom before I Swiffer - because the Swiffer is ineffective when debree gets on the cloth)
It is best to soak a NEW mop for about 1 hour before you are ready to mop. Squeeze all the water out of the mop and dispose of the soaking water. Then get clean water to start mopping.

Also a little tip with a new mop -- it is pretty thick and tough to wring out. Divide the mop into 2 sections and wring out each section individually.
I put Yellow - lemon - MR. Clean in my bucket. I do not like pine sol and the lingering smell. I like yellow Mr. Clean for the fresh cleaning smell and clean it provides me. For me, it's about the smell. I do not use vinegar. I am not a vinegar smelling house cleaner - but you can do it if you want on your hardwood floors.

On hardwood floors, I only use about a cap of Mr. Clean - not too much. Every once in a while I use Murphy's Oil soap floor cleaner - to put moisture back into the floor. On tile, laminate, linoleum, rock, cement - all floors I use Mr. Clean.
Wet the floor with a soaked mop. Tip, use less water on hardwood floors as the wood soaks it up and it is harder to dry.
Mop away..... Harder on really soiled spots. A cotton mop is very safe for your floor.. no scratching. Food and spills lift up with the wet floor/mop.
A super great thing about a cotton mop - it cleans the corners really well.
Close and tight against the wall. Sponge mops just push the dirt into corners and edges of the wall - they are a BAD thing. Continue wetting the floor and mopping until the floor has been mopped.
Now the most IMPORTANT step in the whole process of mopping a floor. It is the WIPING up and drying of the floor. The key to mopping the floor is really not in the mopping at all - it's in the DRYING and getting ALL of the water off the floor.
You have to squeeze ALL of the water out of the mop - and squeeze some more. Then you start mopping up the water - all of the water. It make take 3 to 5 times of going over the floor /squeezing out the water, going over the floor, squeezing out the water - until ALL of the water is off of the floor.
I pull the mop back towards me, back and forth. This way.......
And that way.. Backing up... Backing up.

Until every last piece of the floor is dry.

That is why you need a cotton mop- it absorbs the water off of the floor. That is why all of the other types of mops don't work- they can't dry and pull up every last piece of dirt off of the floor.

IF I purchase a self twisting mop, I still have to put my hand on the bottom of the mop and twist it a little bit more to wring it out as dry as possible.

DRY.... DRY..... DRY is the key. Most people leave some water on the floor or do not get into the edges, corners, in between each tile on the floor. They leave dirt on the floor that continues to build up over time.

You need to get every drop of water and the dirt on that floor up -- EVERY time you mop or it isn't clean. It will build up and your floor will look dirty.

Unfortunately, you can't find a good mop in the cleaning isles anymore... You have to go to the hardware department.... crazy... Who are all these people coming up with ways to mop the floor and teaching people how to do it ineffectively?

The good news is if your floors have been neglected and the dirt has built up - As you continue this process it will continue to get better and better as you go along. The dingy floor will be clean again. The Key is getting every last bit of dirt off the floor every time - by drying the floor.

I hope this has given you help and thought into the next time you mop your floor. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Teenager has Arrived in the Building and His Concert

It is official!! I have a teenager, a moody teenager who is now VERY embarrassed by his mother. He was VERY ticked off at me for invading his space and snapping a picture at the choir concert this week. I guess I've went to far in taking his picture... The apron strings are being cut and way toooo quickly for me. He doesn't want to be seen with me anymore or acknowledge I am his mother... Yes, I had a quick pitty party yesterday as it does break my heart.

Then, I had to realize the hormones raging in my teenager. Was I any different? Was it any different with Jason? Nope.....

I doesn't make teenage life any easier for me. I am never ready for it to hit... It breaks my heart, and now my life moves into a different phase until he wants to acknowledge I am his mother again. Maybe when he is on his mission it will change.

Until then, I have to play it low. I think the time for taking tons of pictures has come to an end.. sniffle.
The concert was WONDERFUL! Probably the best one I've been to. The children were able to pick there own songs and they were in English and not Christian music - LOL! Mr. Brown has some weird takes on music - but I guess that is what makes the children grow.
Brady received an award that night too. He was awarded Concert Choir Section Leader - Woo Hoo. I was EXCITED!! Until I hit the mood of my hormonal teenager at the end of the concert. Talk about a bad mood... Yikes! Just because I took a picture!! Any whoooooo... He is a great kid and I am very proud of his efforts!
The dress was School Spirit clothing, quite different from dressy concerts. It was really laid back.
Over all it was a great evening.
However..... I am not ready for the dreaded teenage years.... 3 more years of incognito... *Sigh*

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Iris Blooms

My Iris' are in bloom. I love the majesty of these flowers. They are so big and beautiful.
They really make a statement when there are so many flowers blooming at the same time.
I've been working hard at getting my pots planted. I'm really excited that the fuchsia has big buds. These are the same fuchsias I purchased for 75 cents during Fred Meyers fuchsia and geranium weekend.
I now have 2 beautiful pots planted by my door way. It will be nice when all of my flowers get huge and fill these pots and flower beds with all of their majesty. I love this time of year!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Motivational Monday - Be Christ-Like Anyway

Be Christ-Like ANYWAY
Author Unknown

"People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;

love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;

do good anyway.

If you're successful, you win false friends and make true enemies;

try to succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow;

be good anyway.

Honesty and frankness will get you nowhere; they make you vulnerable;

be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend days building may be destroyed overnight;

do it anyway.

People really need help but they attack you if you try to help them;

try anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you get kicked in the mouth;

give the world the best you have anyway."

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Primary Quarterly Activity Day 2009

Saturday our Primary had their Quarterly Activity Day.

"My Family is a Treasure"

This was the first activity in a three part series. The children made "treasure boxes" to take home, and they were taught about the importance of families.

We the children arrived at 10:00 am, they assembled in the gym. They split the group into 3 groups.
The first group stayed in the gym and decorated a box to be their "Family Treasure Box". Christine had lots of clip art for the children to color and paste on their boxes.
The children really did a great job in coloring and decorating their boxes. They were very excited to have a treasure box.
Christine decorated some boxes as examples for the children.
This quarterly activity focused on Grand Parents.
Carla, who used to be the Primary president and I was one of her counselors (before I was President) is my dear, dear friend.
She recently became a grandmother of a grand daughter. She shared the joy of being a grandparent with the children. She talked about her grand daughter, traditions they have and fun things grandparents do with their grandchildren.
She had many "treasures" to share with the boys and girls.
The other room was another grandma (Chris) who shared things she keeps in her "treasure box" that are precious to her.
She kept pictures, trophies, certificates, a special sweater her grandmother knitted for her.
At the end of her presentation the table was filled with items she pulled out of her "treasure box".
It was a great Primary activity day. I loved it! Our families are truly our greatest Treasure!


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