Wednesday, August 27, 2014

5 Easy Ways to Conserve and Reduce Your Water Bill

Summer’s heat means you’re bathing more,
watering plants, filling swimming pools
and making gallons of iced beverages.

Here in California we are having a very bad drought.
Some Orchards are being removed,
Cattle and Dairy Farms are going out of business, 
all due to lack of water.
It just breaks your heart.
 

Despite all that extra water usage,
you can help reduce your water bill
by following these simple tips.

 

 
 
1. Stop Leaks Check all your faucets for leaks. A month of drips can add up to anywhere from 200-250 gallons of wasted water. Also, be sure to check your toilet. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank and waiting 15 minutes before flushing. If any food coloring appears in the bowl before flushing, you have a leak. If you decide to buy a new toilet, look for one with the EPA WaterSense label. They use at least 20% less water than a standard toilet.

2. Shower Power
The EPA reports showering saves significant amounts of water. A bath tub can use 30 gallons or more, depending on the water depth. If you DO soak in the tub, use the bath water on your plants, if you Do Not have a water softener. Gray water is fine but not if it's salty!Try to limit your showers to 5 minutes or less. Also, think about getting a water-efficient showerhead to save even more.


3. Go Easy on the Dishwasher
Run the dishwasher only when it’s fully loaded and use the economy setting. Newer models run on different cycles, so check your manufacturer’s recommendations for the most efficient setting. Also, scrape dishes if they have a large amount left on them rather than rinsing them before placing them in the dishwasher.

Ditto with the clothes washer, only do full loads.


 
 
4. Garbage Disposals: Cash Down the Drain They can use as much as 4 gallons of water per minute!
Consider disposing of food waste by composting or
by wrapping it and placing it in the trash.

5. Outdoor Water Use It’s okay to let the soil dry out between watering's.
Water your vegetables and annuals as soon as they start to wilt. Perennials are tougher and only need water when they get droopy. Water during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation. Make sure your sprinkler is only watering plants and grass,
not your sidewalk.
Check hoses for leaks, and collect rainwater in barrels to water plants.
The EPA suggests using soaker hoses because they use less water than sprinklers.
Eye-Opening Facts
These facts from the EPA may inspire you to do a few things differently.

• The average family of four uses about 100 gallons of water per day.
• Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth twice a day can save over 100 gallons a month.
• A high-efficiency toilet saves 2.2 - 5.7 gallons of water per flush.
• Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as leaving a 60-watt bulb on for 22 hours.
• Less than 1% of the water on earth is available for people’s everyday use.
We all need to do our part!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Golden Years

OH MY!




 
I'm joining:
Wordless Wednesday at Crafty Spices
Wordless Wednesday at Create with Joy
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wishes Floating in the Breeze


When I decided to makeover my bedroom,
the first thing I did was to pull up the carpet.
Believe me, you would have done the same thing!
Don't have too many before photos,
you know me -  when I'm done I say,
 ''Oh shoot! I didn't take pics...again!!"
 
I had no idea what I wanted to do,
whatever it would be had to cost $0, yes, $0.
 
Here's the only before photos I could find.
 
Without gross carpet.....
just plain but CLEAN cement


Then when Ace was giving away quarts of their new paint line,
 
Clarks and Kensington every Sat.
last year for several months 
( I had gotten enough to already paint my room)
I just started getting white.
 
Then I had a light bulb idea about painting the floor!
Perennial Sweet Pea Walls with a white floor -
sounded good to me.
If you can look close you can see the floor is now white.
 
After I lived with the white for about a year,
 I started thinking it needed a design of some sort.
 
I've always had a thing for wings,
 (yes, I know I have a thing for a lot of things!),
Hence Dragonflies, Birds, Fairies,
yes, in that order ;)
 
I've seen a lot of dandelions lately with their
seeds floating along the breeze. I liked that.
In fact I even made a little sign to go into a ''photo holder''
that I made from a green Depression sugar lid.
 
 
Then while searching Bing I came across an image where
the seeds turned into birds. How cool is that?
 
I printed it out and started to make a decal
with some clear Contact paper I had.
That came to a halt quickly.
The stems of the feather like seeds were so thin,
no way could I stencil it.
Now that I had fallen for this design,
 how the heck was I going to get it on the floor!?
 
Freehand? heck no,
I can't draw a straight line let alone paint!
It was put on the back burner for a few days
while I dealt with more medical issues with the kids.
 
It spun around for a bit in my head,
then I thought of my Dad's humongous
 folder of Carbon Paper!
Thanks Dad!
There's proof right there that if you hang
onto something long enough eventually you'll need it.  
I'm not suggesting to keep a 3 inch
stack of Carbon Paper from WWII but hey!
 
So I printed out the image and covered with the clear Contact Paper so I would be able to trace over it as many times as needed with out tearing through the paper.
 
Sorry no in progress photos, yes again!
 
But here are the finished photos.
The carbon paper was sandwiched between the floor and the image. I then lightly traced the image which transferred to the floor.
I used a variety of mediums to ''color'' the image in.
They do not all have the same coloring.
Different shades purples and blues were used.
I had some Martha Stewart paint pens I picked up on clearance
quite a while ago which I used. I also used Sharpies and even nail polish to get a variety of purples and blues.
T kept saying the Sharpies would bleed when I put sealer on it. Needless to say, I kept thinking ''they are indelible markers and shouldn't, right?''
You'll also notice in this photo I finally got my old
I really had no rhyme or reason when it came to placing the images. But they turned out pretty good. The Dandelions range from all purple, to blue to a mixture of blue and purple.
All the birds are blue, some light, some darker.
After I had the main images done,
I thought the blank spaces around them needed something.
So I free handed floating Dandelion Seeds in the same assorted shades of purples and blues. 
When I was done I used the left over Cement Sealer
 I used on my "Brick Walkway".
 
And guess what?
The Sharpies and nail polish did NOT bleed as I brushed on the sealer, but the Paint Pins DID!!!
I thought I had just ruined all the time and
effort I had put in on this project.
 
I dabbed up where it had bled/smeared so you couldn't see it,
then ran and found a spray bottle in which
 I poured in some sealer.
I sprayed the entire floor 3 times letting each coat
dry for an hour like the label said.
 
I was worried it would leave bubbles or
who knows what but it turned out pretty good!
 
It's been mopped several times with no issues!
I'm pleased with the way it turned out,
especially since I winged it all the way.
I just may get this room together some time in this decade yet!
 
And the cost? $0!!
 

I'm joining:

Embracing Cottage Style ~ The Cottage Craft Room
Embracing Cottage Style ~ Cottage Style Entertaining
Huckleberry Love ~ Much Ado About Monday
Create with Joy ~   Inspire  Me Monday
Cupcakes and Crinoline ~ Projects Inspire(d)
A Stroll Thru Life ~ Inspire Me Tuesday
Redo It Yourself Inspirations  ~ Trash to Treasure Tuesday
Table for Seven ~ Share Your Stuff Tuesdays
Yesterfood ~ Treasure Box Tuesday
Cozy Little House ~ Tweak It Tuesday
Fishtail Cottage ~  Tuesday Garden Party
The Gunny Sack ~ Time to Sparkle
Coastal Charm ~ Show and Share Party
Kathe with an E ~ Your Going to Love it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style ~ Wow Us Wednesday's
Lavender Garden Cottage ~ Cottage Style Party
Ivy and Elephants ~ What's It Wednesday
Knick of Time Interiors ~ Vintage Inspiration Party Wednesday
 Create with Joy ~   Wordless Wednesday
Crafty Spices ~  Wordless Wednesday
Someday Crafts ~ Whatever Goes Wednesday
A Delightsome Life ~ Hone and Garden Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen ~ Share Your Cup Thursday
Hope In Every Season ~ Homemaking Linkup
Posed in Perfection ~ Creative Ways Link Party
From My Front Porch To Yours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday
Tootsie Time ~ Fertilizer Friday
Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypos ~ Anything Goes Party
Nancherrow ~ Fridays Unfolded
Rose Vignettes ~ Fresh Cut Friday (1st Friday of the month)
French Country Cottage ~ Feathered Nest Friday
A Charm of Home ~ Home Sweet Home
Shabby Art Boutique ~ Shabbilicious Friday 
Shabby Nest ~  Frugal Friday
Rooted in Thyme ~ Sweet & Simple Fridays
The Cottage Market ~  Junkin Joe
The Homesteading Hippy ~ From the Farm Blog Hop
One More Time Events ~ Share It One More Time
Crafts a la Mode ~ What To Do Weekends
 Create with Joy ~ Friendship Friday
 Funky Junk Interiors ~ Party Junk 
The ROSEGARDEN in Malevik ~ Saturday Show Off
Pieced Pastimes ~ Saturday Sparks
Flamingo Toes ~ Think Pink Sunday
Life on Lake Shore Drive  ~ Party Time at Bouquet of Talent   

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE BACK NINE HOLES

THE BACK NINE HOLES 
I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL and WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED
THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND
THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. MAKES  YOU STOP AND THINK. READ SLOWLY!
 

AND THEN IT IS WINTER 

You know ... time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate.

 Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.
 
But, here it is... the back nine of my life and it catches me by
surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? 

 
I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first hole and the back nine was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. 
 
But, here it is...my friends are retired and getting gray...they move
slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me...but, I see the great change...Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd become.

 
Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for
the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory!
Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit! 

 
And so...now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know,
that though I’m on the back nine, and I'm not sure how long it will
last...this I know, that when it's over on this earth...it's over. 

 
A new adventure will begin! Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.
 
So, if you're not on the back nine yet...let me remind you, that it
will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to
accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the back nine or not! 

 
You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your
life...so, live for today and say all the things that you want your
loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!! 

 
"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to
those who come after. Make it a fantastic one. LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY ! HAVE A GREAT DAY Remember "It is  health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. LIVE HAPPY IN 2014! 

LASTLY, CONSIDER THIS:

~Your kids are becoming you......but your grandchildren are perfect!
~Going out is good.. Coming home is better!
~You forget names.... But it's OK because some people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you're never going to be really good at anything like
golf.
~The things you used to care to do, you aren't as interested in
anymore, but you really do care that you aren't as interested.
~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV 'ON' than in bed. It's called "pre-sleep".
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch..
~You tend to use more 4 letter words ... "what?"..."when?"... ???
~You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"?!!!
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet.... 2 of which you will
never wear. 
~~~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!
 
Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" Send this on to other "Old Friends!" and let them laugh in AGREEMENT!!! It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived. 
 
TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN, YET THE YOUNGEST YOU'LL EVER BE, SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

Norman Alexander



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Buried By Zucchini

We are in full swing of production season now!
 
I just finished canning more Zapplesauce, Strawberry Fig Jam
and Zickles! 

  I have another new recipe to add to my repertoire of Zucchini Recipes thanks to my daughter-in-law!

Zucchini Lasagna
adapted from Tanya Newton's recipe
 
Ingredients: 
 
Ground beef or turkey, cooked
Zucchini skinned and sliced like Lasagna noodles
Spaghetti Sauce
Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning and Garlic
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Olive Oil
 
Directions:
 
Mix Spaghetti Sauce with pre-cooked meat.
Layer Zucchini slices on bottom of 9"x12" pan.
Brush with Olive Oil.
Add a shake of each Spice to your liking.
Top with meat mixture then Cheese.
Repeat layers until pan is full.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until Zucchini is soft.
You can also top each meat layer with a vegetable of your choice. 
 
 
Do I dare say it is AWESOME!!!
 
Hey, when you're over run with Squash
and you have one in the family that hates veggies,
I have to hide it in whatever I can!
 
I'm waiting for a Monster Zucchini to come my way.
The thought of Zapple Pie is making me drool
You can guarantee that no matter what comes my way
 I can disguise it into something delicious!
Anyone remember the Fresh Tomato Cake?
 
Yep, my Tomatoes are ripening pretty quickly
so this may be in the future
 
 I'm joining:
Embracing Cottage Style ~ The Cottage Craft Room
Embracing Cottage Style ~ Cottage Style Entertaining
Huckleberry Love ~ Much Ado About Monday
Create with Joy ~   Inspire  Me Monday
Cupcakes and Crinoline ~ Projects Inspire(d)
A Stroll Thru Life ~ Inspire Me Tuesday
Redo It Yourself Inspirations  ~ Trash to Treasure Tuesday
Table for Seven ~ Share Your Stuff Tuesdays
Yesterfood ~ Treasure Box Tuesday
Cozy Little House ~ Tweak It Tuesday
Fishtail Cottage ~  Tuesday Garden Party
The Gunny Sack ~ Time to Sparkle
Coastal Charm ~ Show and Share Party
Kathe with an E ~ Your Going to Love it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style ~ Wow Us Wednesday's
Lavender Garden Cottage ~ Cottage Style Party
Ivy and Elephants ~ What's It Wednesday
Knick of Time Interiors ~ Vintage Inspiration Party Wednesday
 Create with Joy ~   Wordless Wednesday
Crafty Spices ~  Wordless Wednesday
Someday Crafts ~ Whatever Goes Wednesday
A Delightsome Life ~ Hone and Garden Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen ~ Share Your Cup Thursday
Hope In Every Season ~ Homemaking Linkup
Posed in Perfection ~ Creative Ways Link Party
From My Front Porch To Yours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday
Tootsie Time ~ Fertilizer Friday
Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypos ~ Anything Goes Party
Nancherrow ~ Fridays Unfolded
Rose Vignettes ~ Fresh Cut Friday (1st Friday of the month)
French Country Cottage ~ Feathered Nest Friday
One More Time Events ~ Share It One More Time
A Charm of Home ~ Home Sweet Home
Shabby Art Boutique ~ Shabbilicious Friday 
Shabby Nest ~  Frugal Friday
Rooted in Thyme ~ Sweet & Simple Fridays
The Cottage Market ~  Junkin Joe
The Homesteading Hippy ~ From the Farm Blog Hop
Crafts a la Mode ~ What To Do Weekends
 Create with Joy ~ Friendship Friday
 Funky Junk Interiors ~ Party Junk 
The ROSEGARDEN in Malevik ~ Saturday Show Off
Pieced Pastimes ~ Saturday Sparks
Flamingo Toes ~ Think Pink Sunday
Life on Lake Shore Drive  ~ Party Time at Bouquet of Talent   

Monday, August 11, 2014

Targets #Cartwheel #Coupon App

Target is way ahead of the competition with their new digital coupon app, #Cartwheel.  Everyone wants to save money all the time, but with school starting everyone's looking for back to school savings. 

Target is ready to help you out with not only savings for school clothes and supplies, but savings for throughout your home.
 
Purex is getting in on saving you some cash too with a promotion at Target. Now through the end of August, get 10% off any Purex detergent at Target stores with a #Cartwheel coupon!


OK, What is #Cartwheel? We've all probably seen the commercials on TV but did we really understand what it was all about? 
If you shop at Target, you may have understood more.

 
How exactly does #Cartwheel work?
Log in to #Cartwheel on your computer, phone or tablet with this URL.



Click on the “Browse” tab and choose a category.  You can sort by newest, trending, or by highest value discount.  Choose up to 10 offers and add them to you list.  A red check appears in the corner of the offer card once a deal has been added.
      
 Once you are done choosing, click on the “Barcode” tab.  A personalized barcode coupon will appear.  Print it out, go shop getting the products you've chosen, then when checking out ask the cashier to scan your barcode for your savings..

Can you use Target Cartwheel with coupons?
Yes, Target Cartwheel may be used with manufacturer coupons,
Target Mobile Coupons and Target printable coupons. 
Target Cartwheel offers are deducted BEFORE manufacturer coupons and AFTER Target Coupons
The offer may be used on (4) of the same item, in the same shopping trip.
A Target Cartwheel offer may be used only once.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Girls Night In!


We were definitely due for a girls night in!
It had been a while since we got together.
The last time B dropped of some veggies from his
co-worker there were Avocado's in the mix too.
Time to make some awesome homemade Guacamole!
 
I have a simple recipe that I've tweaked
over the years that tastes yummy.
 
Easy Guacamole
 
Ingredients:
2 Avocados
1 Tomato
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons minced Onion
1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
 
This is my fav kitchen appliance - ''Ultimate Chopper''.
Believe it or not a neighbor had it in his recycle pile.
I grabbed it, sanitized it, ordered a new blade from Ebay
and it has been a life saver ever since
 
But I digress. gather all your ingredients.
I added the Avocados first and blended.

Tossed in the quartered Tomato (from my garden) ....

 
 threw in one of the Spring Onions (also from my garden),
along with the rest of the ingredients. Blended/chopped away until it was creamy and smooth. 
 
 Perfect! Creamy and yummy!
The Lemon Juice should keep it from darkening,
but I always leave an Avocado pit on the bottom just in case.
Placed in my fav turquoise Pyrex bowl it's ready to chow down.
Refrigerate if not using right away.
 
Next I made:
 
Deb's Fresh Salsa
 
Ingredients:
 
2 chopped Tomatoes, saving as much juice
as you can from the chopped Tomatoes 
1/2 cup chopped Onion
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of Sugar
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, optional
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro, optional
Tabasco to taste, optional
 
Mix all ingredients together.
 
 B&T had passed on some fresh Cilantro,
but since I wasn't able to use it all at once,
I dried the rest.
 Since I didn't have any fresh available
 I used dried in this Salsa,
 which will rehydrate in no time.
 
 
Once mixed together, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes
 to let the flavors marry and the
Tomatoes to release more of their juice.
Stir and taste, adjust to your preference.
Refrigerate if not using right away.
 
2 options for dips
 
If you're out of Lemon Juice,
you can always substitute Lime Juice.
 
Just remember to save enough for the MARGARITA's !!!!
You'll note my clock is set after 5pm....
no matter what time of day it actually is.
 
Enjoy!
 
 
Embracing Cottage Style ~ The Cottage Craft Room
Embracing Cottage Style ~ Cottage Style Entertaining
Huckleberry Love ~ Much Ado About Monday
Create with Joy ~   Inspire  Me Monday
A Stroll Thru Life ~ Inspire Me Tuesday
Redo It Yourself Inspirations  ~ Trash to Treasure Tuesday
Table for Seven ~ Share Your Stuff Tuesdays
Yesterfood ~ Treasure Box Tuesday
Cozy Little House ~ Tweak It Tuesday
Fishtail Cottage ~  Tuesday Garden Party
The Gunny Sack ~ Time to Sparkle
Coastal Charm ~ Show and Share Party
Kathe with an E ~ Your Going to Love it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style ~ Wow Us Wednesday's
Lavender Garden Cottage ~ Cottage Style Party
Ivy and Elephants ~ What's It Wednesday
Knick of Time Interiors ~ Vintage Inspiration Party Wednesday
 Create with Joy ~   Wordless Wednesday
Crafty Spices ~  Wordless Wednesday
Someday Crafts ~ Whatever Goes Wednesday
A Delightsome Life ~ Hone and Garden Thursday
Fishtail Cottage ~ Garden Party
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen ~ Share Your Cup Thursday
Hope In Every Season ~ Homemaking Linkup
Posed in Perfection ~ Creative Ways Link Party
From My Front Porch To Yours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday
Tootsie Time ~ Fertilizer Friday
Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypos ~ Anything Goes Party
Nancherrow ~ Fridays Unfolded
Rose Vignettes ~ Fresh Cut Friday (1st Friday of the month)
French Country Cottage ~ Feathered Nest Friday
One More Time Events ~ Share It One More Time
A Charm of Home ~ Home Sweet Home
Shabby Art Boutique ~ Shabbilicious Friday 
Shabby Nest ~  Frugal Friday
Rooted in Thyme ~ Sweet & Simple Fridays
The Cottage Market ~  Junkin Joe
The Homesteading Hippy ~ From the Farm Blog Hop
Crafts a la Mode ~ What To Do Weekends
 Create with Joy ~ Friendship Friday
 Funky Junk Interiors ~ Party Junk 
The ROSEGARDEN in Malevik ~ Saturday Show Off
Pieced Pastimes ~ Saturday Sparks
Flamingo Toes ~ Think Pink Sunday
Life on Lake Shore Drive  ~ Party Time at Bouquet of Talent   
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