Saturday 23 January 2016

My Love of Old Houses

Robin, over at A Bird's Life posted some photos today of lovely old homes in her town. It got me thinking how I have always loved old houses and wished to live in one.  Since this was not to be I have tried to make changes in our house that make me think I do indeed live in my dream house.
 38 years ago we moved into this house which my husband built. It was a small 2 bedroom house with a finished basement with 2 more bedrooms ( we had 5 children under 12 ). There  was nothing charming about it I'm afraid. A very basic house that was close to all schools, an arena, and a park.

Through the years the house as grown, and also been changed quite a bit. Fortunately my DH is a great carpenter and could do all these changes with very little help. One of the first things he did
 ( when we had lived here about 10 years) was to add on a small ( 7' by 8') room which I call my Buttery. ( I already had a pantry in the kitchen so it had to have a different name). We have our freezer, a second fridge, and lots of storage here. I even have an old wood window, the kind you have to push up to open ( pretty sure that window was found on someone's free pile).

I really wanted a fancy glass door for this special little room and we found this one for $5 at a garage sale.  The flooring is fir that my DH was able to get very cheap because there was so little of it ( but enough for our small room).

On the wall opposite the tall built in cupboards, over the freezer , my talented husband built  these upper cupboards. ( The clipboard hanging on a nail over the freezer is my freezer inventory.)

About ten years ago we needed more space. A teenage granddaughter was moving in with us, we still had one son at home, and we had decided to make the basement into a 2 bedroom suite and have another son and his family join forces with us. The addition consisted of 2 bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths. This hallway was ground level ( the rest of the house is up 5 steps) and the door at the end of the hallway leads to the suite. I LOVE how the corner of the door had to be cut off!! The door on the left is a bathroom and the one on the right goes into my Christmas closet.

These stairs go up a ways then there's a landing that leads to the kitchen and the rest of the main floor. Continue up these stairs and there's another bedroom and half bath. Planning how this was all going to go was both scary and thrilling .So many ideas and options.

 Another thing we've done is change as many door knobs as we can to the old glass ones. We used to be able to find them for a reasonable price but now they've become too costly.

This has turned out to be a very long post. If you're still reading you are amazing. Thanks for visiting me today.

      Granny Marigold

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Odds and Ends

I paid a quick visit to the thrift store and found some lovely things. This ceramic Christmas birdhouse has been put away in the Christmas cupboard awaiting next December. I must remember to be careful when I pick it up because the base isn't attached.

A number of pretty things were .50, among them this very heavy tray or maybe it's a dish for appetizers. I tried to find an easel to hold it at an angle but it's so heavy it tipped them all.

So I leaned it under the window, behind the sink where it can't fall over. I rather like it there.

         Here it is from a little farther away.

These cute bowls are very different from what I ordinarily would pick but I love red and black and they were .25.
The orange is only there to show how small  the bowls are.

That's enough treasures. Here is my latest arrangement on my old sewing machine. Sort of moving towards a Valentine theme, I guess.

In the living room I have had three candles on a green runner on the coffee table for ages. It was time to change it a bit. I  think this looks like Spring, don't you?  The ceramic birdhouse was a gift from my daughter.

I am so not into doing crafts ( mainly because they never turn out) but I did try making these hearts from discarded book pages. They were meant to hang but I prefer them flat.

It's my turn to cook tonight. There's a ham in the oven for the carnivores. I know how the grands look forward to fresh cheese buns.  I ran out of cheese so in the back there's a long French bread  made of the same dough. One bun got rather long too as you can see. More like a mini loaf.

That was my day. I wonder what everyone else did?  Whatever it was I hope it went well.

Thanks for visiting,    Granny M.

Sunday 17 January 2016

Rainy Sunday

It's been a very wet Sunday. I did get out for a walk when the rain  let up. Fortunately I had taken an umbrella because before I was half done walking the rain began again. I didn't really mind actually, because I like walking in rain. Once my feet started to get wet I felt differently.

We went looking for Daffodils, not Violets, in pots. They often are out in front of the grocery stores at this time of the year and sure enough they were there as well as Tulips and Hyacinths. I left the Tulips  but brought home a pot that must have seven or eight of the tiny Tete-a-tete daffs ( in bud)  and a pot with a single Hyacinth which will bloom and fill the kitchen with its wonderful scent.  The photo is dark but you can kind of see them. I'll post pics when they are blooming.  Behind them on the windowsill are my African Violets which are definitely NOT blooming and have been warned to shape up or end up in the compost heap.

Our very vegetarian supper consisted of onions, garlic, celery, broccoli, spinach and leftover noodles in a garlic/hoisin sauce ( from a bottle).  With some Feta cheese crumbled over top it tasted quite good. Even DH thought so. Believe me, if I would have dared to concoct such a dish 40 years ago he would have been horrified. With the years he's gotten more used to my kind of food.

Not much of a post but I did want to say hi and I'm still here. The headaches are still a problem and I haven't felt much like doing much of anything.
I hope you have had a lovely Sunday and that the week ahead will go smoothly.

Thanks for visiting.        Granny M.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Sunrise and My To-Do List

Once again, the picture here has very little to do with my blogging but I like a pretty picture to brighten things up!  Speaking of brightening things up..... I've been waiting for this day because at last sunrise was at 8 A.M..  It's been stuck first at 8:04 then ever so slowly it has receded until at last we're here. The sunset times have been better. Sunset  on Jan. 1 was 4:22  and today it is 4:36. 

My to-do list for this Wednesday reads as follows:

......mop living room floor and maybe dust half-heartedly

.....Clear the paper mess beside my computer

.....Request a number of books from the library ( some of those titles were jotted on slips of paper that were creating the mess by my computer.)

....Mix up more of my homemade kitchen spray ( distilled water, Rubbing Alcohol and a drop of dish soap)

....Make Strawberry Jam

.....Bake a loaf of bread and some cheese buns for supper ( All from one lump of dough that my breadmaker will produce).

.....Make supper for us six.

What's on your list today?  Do you even bother with making one?  My memory is such that if I want to get anything done I have to write it down.

             Thanks for coming by.    Granny Marigold

Sunday 10 January 2016


When we left on our walk this morning we heard before we spied seven swans flying overhead. We watched to see if they would land on the lake but they kept right on flying. Swans are such magnificent birds.  An adult swan weighs more than 30 lbs and is one of the largest flying birds!

Of course I have more to say than that I saw seven swans...    here is my thrifty tip of the week . We buy milk in 4 liter jugs ( 3.78 US gallons)  because the 2 liter container is only a bit cheaper than the 4. What happens though is that by the time the week is over I have milk that is just beginning to go 'off'. That is when I make one of my stand-by recipes. Today I made an Impossible Pumpkin Pie
 ( the recipe calls for Bisquik and I'm sure you've seen variations of the Impossible pies before). This recipe uses a cup and a half of milk so I still had 2 cups left. I made chocolate pudding with it and now we're set for dessert for a while.  What do you do with milk that is just going off?  I have a friend that freezes it in 1 cup amounts but I know if I did that I'd never get around to using it. 

I don't think I've mentioned the angel that I picked up for .50 at the thrift store. One of her wings is broken ( her mate was whole and was marked at 2.50 so I left her behind). I had thought I'd put her in the garden come Spring but now that she's in the kitchen I rather like her right where she is.

Thanks for visiting today.  I love to read your comments so don't be shy.

           Granny Marigold

Friday 8 January 2016

Random Things

The pictures that I couldn't find earlier this week have magically appeared in the right folder. How does that happen? Oh well, at least they came back. This first pic is of the 3 books I bought for a grand total of $1.25 at the thrift store. The 2 on the right I tried reading but found them uninteresting. I am now reading the third one and I think it may be okay.

                                 That skiff of snow we got a few days ago.

            Bush tits at the suet. I took these pictures through the living room window.

This is the tea pot I'm using this week The little tablecloth underneath is a recent thrift store find. I love the cutwork. ( At least I think that's what it's called).
                               The other side of the teapot is plain.

                The corners of the cloth are fancy too.  

This piece is, if I'm right, linen and also has cut work and some kind of embroidery.

I hope you have a great weekend.                   Granny Marigold

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Thinking about Food

It's a chilly wintery day with a cold rain falling on yesterday's snow. Didn't dare go walking as I have no desire to fall and break a hip. So I got out a stack of Taste of Home magazines to pass the time until my granddaughter comes over at noon.
The whole subject of food is, for me, a difficult one. As I've often said, I don't much enjoy making meals. When I was feeding a large family I had a 2 week rotating menu and that meant I didn't have to really think much about it. Just a matter of doing what had to be done.
Now that my DH and I are eating alone 5 days a week it has become a trial to me.  ( We eat together with our son and his family two days a week. One day at our "house" and the other time at "theirs" Which is downstairs))
Anyway, back to my problem with food. I doubt I'd bother making much if it were just for myself. I'd be one of those old ladies that eats toast 3 times a day. Maybe add a salad once in a while. Oh yes, and lots of fruit. 
I am getting way off topic here. What I set out to blog about today was the presentation of food. All the lovely photos of food so well presented on just the right platter and just the right garnish. I am more inclined to put saucepan or casserole right on the table.  I'm browsing these magazines in an effort ot see how I could possibly, with a small effort, make the food I serve more presentable.

So here it comes. Do you go to great lengths to make your food 'pretty'?  Do you put saucepans right on the table?  Does the average woman really go to that bother? 
I'm going back to my magazines now, looking for inspiration. BTW, I almost never make any of the recipes I so eagerly peruse. I read cookbooks like novels and prefer those with lots of colourful photos.

Please leave your comments. I love feedback.

        Granny M.

Monday 4 January 2016

Snow, Books, and Cleaning up

Let me say right away that I am very frustrated by my computer today. I took pictures but it has hidden them somewhere and I can't find them.  So... this post will obviously not have pertinent pics.  I thought a lovely bunch of Pansies would be a cheery thing to look at.
I have been busy cleaning up. We took a load of things to the thrift store after lunch. While I was there I took a quick look at the books that were marked down. For $!.25 I got 3 promising-looking books:  HEART STEPS , Prayers and Declarations for a Creative Life  by Julia Cameron,  LIVING in PROCESS, Basic Truths for living the path of the Soul by Anne Wilson Schaef ,  and lastly THE COMFORT QUEEN'S GUIDE to LIFE by Jennifer Louden
.A picture certainly would have been easier than typing that out ( I am very much a peek and peck sort of typer, typist??)
As for the snow, we got a light covering.... enough to thrill the littlest grand and make going back to school after the Christmas break a bit easier. He was NOT looking forward to it.

So I continue to tidy up and organize my house. I think my word for 2016 might be SIMPLICITY.
Now MY idea of simple obviously won't be anyone else's but I'm going to try to have less "stuff" which makes me think garage sales won't be nearly as much fun this year. *sad*

Hope you are having an awesome day!       Granny Marigold

Friday 1 January 2016

January 1

 The first day of the new year has come and now is almost gone. Only 365 more to go ( yes, this is going to be a leap year).
Do you make resolutions?  I just recycle mine from year to year because I never really achieve them anyway.  Apparently one in three people make resolutions. While 75% keep those resolutions for a week, less than half are still trying 6 months later.
I think eating healthy and maybe losing some weight would rank right up on a lot of people's lists.
Regular exercise, spending less, being a kinder person......

Whether you make resolutions or not I hope you are off to a positive start to the year. Have a lovely weekend!

                                  GRANNY MARIGOLD