Awaiting Christmas

Thanksgiving is over so Christmas begins. We put up the tree Thanksgiving day and Holly spent all day yesterday making ornaments for the tree. What a beautiful job she did.

There is still room for some of the decorations I made last year for this tree so today we will find that box and get the smallest ones of those for the tree also.

Now you can see the decorations she made. This is only one side of the tree and many are on the other sides. They look simple but believe me they are not between making the dough, cutting them out, baking them, drying them and painting them it took several days and way into the night yesterday to finish them up and get them onto the tree.

Here is a close up of one of the decorations she made. You see it is not just painting for the final step but also decorating them. All of the decorations on the tree are hand made except for the two new ones given to the boys. Luke is all llamas so he had to have a llama for on the tree.

He blends in perfectly with the hand made decorations.

I am not sure if this is Landen’s or Holly’s , I will have to ask. The only other non-hand made decoration is the star at the top of the tree. It is hard to see in the first picture so here is a close up of that one.

I hope Joe is looking at this and knows we are all missing him. The cost of flying on the holidays make it impossible to have him here with us so we look forward to our Thanksgiving/Christmas in another week when Joe can come home for a week to celebrate the holidays with us– Thankful he is home and Christmas for the family, should be a wonderful week. Have a good day and God Bless everyone!

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Winter Comes to Melrose

I have lived in Southern Florida now for seven years so have gotten used to the hot weather. Now I live in Melrose, believe me this is not Southern Florida. I am having my first winter in seven years. The family loves this change in the weather with the nights down into the low 50s or 40s and the days staying in the high 60s or 70s. I freeze so I have my little heaven in my own room where I have an electric blanket and a space heater so I can keep my temperature as warm or as cold as I wish. Now I have the best of all worlds with family close at hand when ever I need anything and the freedom to come and go as I please and someone to take me where I wish, it sure beats assisted living and that is what I was planning in Port St Lucie, if I could find a nice place where I could take my dog and still afford it. That was no easy task.

Let me show you what a beautiful place we have here in Melrose. I have shown you the outside so if you haven’t look at that go to my last two posts and see the outside and here is the inside.

The house

As you come down the driveway you see this big house hidden in the woods. You can see how very big it is just from this first sight. The addition on the right is the laundry room, mud room and garage. It is a large garage and I thought it was a two car garage but it isn’t.

As you enter the house this in the entry area. The rest of the house is carpeted except the kitchen and two bathrooms so as we come in we take off our shoes to save on the carpets. Thank goodness I don’t have to keep them all vacuumed. Holly and Landen do that. I did bring all my things with me from my home in Port St Lucie. Remember this rug, it was in my bedroom there. Otis is always front and center when anyone comes to the house or if anyone is leaving, he doesn’t want to miss out on anything happening. He does enjoy his new home and is very active here. Sally is Holly’s dog and she is about the same size as Otis but far more active than Otis ever was. She is teaching Otis to play. He never had another dog around as he was growing up so never learned to play. Just about five minutes at a time is all he can take, then it is nap time again. This is the heart of the house and is made up of four rooms, the sunken living room, the dinning room along the front of the house and the family room and Kitchen behind those. With the screened porch behind the kitchen. On with the tour.

The sunken livingroom

‘ To the left as you came in you find the sunken living room which I have been given as my work room/game room. That is my grandmother’s drop leaf table I have set up here and I keep a puzzle going on that all the time. I love making puzzles as most old ladies do and have never had room for one to be left up all the time. Luke likes to spend some time with me working on the puzzles. Last Christmas I was given some very nice puzzles and I have never been able to make them so Now I am making up for lost time. Also in here you see the daybed I had in the guest bed room in Port St Lucie. Here it acts more as a couch or place to sit and visit but can still be used as two single beds if needed. There is just no privacy here so it is better as a couch. Behind that is my large black work station and all of my genealogy material is stored in that. The whole back is a book case as is the front leg so there is plenty of room for all my notebooks. I also have a file cabinet in the mud room full of papers and pictures of family. I also have all the closing statements from all the houses we bought and sold over the years. The book case on the wall is also full of such stuff and histories I use for research and my first printer which still works. Oh, I forgot to mention the wicker stand in the corner, I used to use it as a night stand but now I use it hold the dogs leash and harness or flashlight etc where I can just drop anything as I come in and then will remember where it is when I want to go out again.

To the left as you face the door or to the right as you walk in is the dinning room. We have my small table and four chairs in here so you see it could hold a much bigger table and chair set but we don’t need it. With the life style of the families today they don’t sit down at the table to eat except at very special occasions. Most meal are eaten in the family room. Jen, also note the china closet on the far wall, it doesn’t look so big in here and is very handy for some of my dishes. The open hutch is on this near wall where you can’t see it from here. I have a few things on here as well as the other printer. Landen and I do most of our computer work here at this table so it is nice having a working printer set up right here.

Kitchen

Thought the door from the dinning room is the kitchen. You also get here by going straight as you enter the from door. As you see it is a good sized kitchen with lots of cabinets and draws. Putting all my things away have left most of the cabinets empty but they will be needed when Holly’s things are moved here sometime in the future. The wall on your right as you look at it is a whole wall full of five pantries. Those we have pretty much filled. I have the first one where I keep all the dishes I use daily and food stuffs that I use most often. There is one for canned goods and packaged food stuff and one for baking needs and then two for other kitchen things. There is room for everything you can think of.

family room

Open to the kitchen and behind the game room is the family room. This is where we all do most of our living. I forgot to mention the sky lights in the dinning room. They are also here in the family room which gives so much beautiful light in the whole house. I still have not had my cataracts operated on so really like all the natural light that comes into this house. The left hand wall is a large fireplace. It is wood burning and with the tree we had to cut down we got a nice pile of wood for that. I am sure we will enjoy that fire as the winter deepens. The far wall is the entertainment center and my roll top desk and the right hand wall is a set of five doors and large window above that looks out onto the back yard. There is a deck just outside these doors and that still needs some work done to it. The table and two chairs Norman and I had in TN on the lower deck, fits here just perfectly. One day we will have to replace that as it is getting pretty old and served us well but being out in the weather all year round is taking its toll on the chairs. Between the family room and kitchen is the door to the screened porch.

Here is a beautiful spot to just sit, relax or visit when the weather is nice. Right now it is too cold for me but the family still spends quite a bit of time here. This goes out to the fenced in dog yard where Sally loves to chase the squirrels and bark at the neighbors. Alley and her two friends love to answer her and come over whenever we go out to say “hi” Otis likes her but Sally thinks she is a pest who beats her to all the squirrel. There is also a dog on the other side of us but we don’t visit there as the area is not fenced in so the dogs can not get up and sniff noses so they have never gotten to enjoy him.

My patio furniture works well here as does my other two rugs from the Florida room in Port St Lucie. That takes care of the heart of the house. Back inside you find two wings one to the right and one to the left.

aFF

Coming out of the kitchen you go left and you find Landen’s and my wing. It is here you get all the privacy you could want. At the end of the hall is our linen closet . On the left is the bathroom and Landen’s room. On the right is laundry room and my room.

First on the left is our bath room. You will note there is a tub in here and I can’t get in or out of a tub so I go across the way and use Holly and Luke’s shower. It is a beautiful walk in shower with a wooden floor so it is not slippery. I guess it was originally a sunken tub that has been closed in as a shower Holly got me a chair to use in there so I have no trouble washing my hair in this shower, This is also the bathroom guests would use but so far we haven’t had any guests to use it, except my sister and she is more family than guest.

We will skip Landen’s room as we do respect other people’s privacy. I am sure Landen would not mind my taking a picture of his room, it is always clean and tidy but it is none of our business what he has in his room. I will tell you he loves the pipe book cases I had and he claimed both of them for his room. Across the hall is my room. I have a large queen size hospital bed here and still plenty of room for two bookcases, my dresser, pillow chest , walker, rocking chair and Otis’s steps so he can get out of bed when he needs to. I also have two closets on the left hand wall. One with shelves so I have lots of space for clothes and my yarn plus special books. On the dresser I have my TV and my heater. So you see when I wish to be alone or when I get cold I can just go to my room and enjoy a movie or a nap or just some down time like now.

This is the laundry room. It is between me and the dinning room. This house is so well built you can wash or dry clothes any time of the day or night and I don’t hear it in my room right next door.

Mud room

After the laundry room is the mud room. This is where I keep my file cabinet, all my puzzles and crafts as well as the freezer. Beyond this is the garage.

From the mud room you look out over the space just to the right of the front door. It was once a space with a wooden deck as you can see but much of this has rotted away and when we came here there were elephant ears and weeds growing in here as well as vines growing up the side of the garage. Those vines growing on a brick wall will eventually destroy the wall so we removed all the plants and vines in here. Now we will level this out and put in a wooden deck here and this will be our orchid room. It get enough shelter from the wind and rain and we have a small gazebo to put in here because orchids do not want any direct sun, I am told. It will be a nice place to sit and have a cup of tea. So come visit me in the summer and we can sit out here and have a visit and cup of tea.

Back of the other side of the main house is Holly and Luke’s wing. Again for privacy reasons I will not take you in there. I go in for my shower but Otis is not allowed as it is in Holly’s room that Sally. has her food dish full and out all the time. Otis can’t stay way from food so I don’t let him go into that wing at all. Both dogs have learned to honor each other’s privacy. Otis does not go into Sallys wind or when he does Sally sends him on his way and the same is true of our wing. Sally does not come down here. She can go into the laundry room but when she tries to sneak down near our room Otis drives her off. This is a very big house and thank the good Lord I don’t have to clean it. When Holly comes down to clean our bathroom, Sally will often try and follow her but as soon as she gets this far she has to bark and let Otis know she is in his wing and he chases her off. He goes into their bathroom with me when I take a shower but I keep the doors closed so he can’t go into Holly’s room or Lukes room and Sally is always still asleep in Luke’s room as I take my shower after Holly leaves for work and before Luke wake up. So life runs pretty smooth here in Melrose.

I hope you have enjoyed your tour of our home. Have a good day.

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Only In Florida Could Winter Look Like This

For 50 years in New Hampshire I looked forward to the flowers of spring. Once those first flowers poked through the snow you knew winter was on it’s last legs. Those beautiful spring flowers gave new hope and life to a cold world.

Since moving to Melrose from Southern Florida I have been feeling the cold of winter again and long for the spring flowers to warm my heart. Well this morning this is what greeted me when I took Otis out side for his first trip of the day.

Winter Beauties

It was like the first flowers of spring just smiling on a cold morning bringing the promise of spring to come if I just wait a while. This row is just outside the door in the fenced in area in back. You can’t imagine how warm and glad these made me feel. I never saw any of these flowers in Port St Lucie. My sister tells me they love the cold of December and it doesn’t get this cold down there. I ran back in to get my camera so I could share this with all of you. Here is a close up of the flowers so you can see just how beautiful they are.

These are the red flowers

Aren’t they pretty and see how loaded these bushes are. Mark trimmed these bushes but it didn’t take off all the new growth and there are lots of flowers still to open. This year when I trim the bushes I can shape the hedge without worrying about killing off all the flowers as I can do the job at the proper time to encourage new growth.

While Otis was still out I looked over to the other side of the back yard and saw the pink and white hedges were also blooming so I went over there and got some pictures also.

This is outside the dogs fences in area. This is the deck just outside of the family room. The white hedge runs along beside this as you see and the pink flowers are just to the left of these but there are only two or three pink bushes and they are much taller as they were never kept trimmed. Now I will slowly work at bring them down to this level without setting them back too much as I do like all of them to bloom in December each year.

These are the white ones, check out all the buds.

The white flowers are a little behind the colored ones but you can see all the buds that promise a beautiful sight in a few more days. The second picture is of the pink ones. These bloomed first but there are only two bushes instead of the whole hedge the white and red ones are. They are all beautiful and very welcome on these cold morning. They remind me that spring can not be far away.

There are many other hedges around the yard made up of different bushes so I will look forward to seeing them bloom as spring comes on. Have a blessed day.

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The Back Yard

The front yard of a New England home is for the neighbors to look at as they pass by but the back yard is where we always lived and played. You can take the girl out of New England but you can’t take the New England ways out of the girl and that is just what I am.

This is our back yard. You can either sit out on this deck or sit out in the screened in room just to the right of this. Just to the right of this area is the fenced in area where the dogs have a yard this same size to run and play in. Landen has cleaned that part of the yard up so it is clean and safe for the dogs. We are cleaning up this area too but it is slow hard work. Nothing has been done for the last six years to keep it up to the beautiful estate it once was. the beautiful oak trees keep it in shade most all day so it is pleasant to just sit to side and watch the squirrels play. Sally loves the chase them up the trees and they love to come up to the door and tease Sally when she is in the house. One day a squirrel come up to the screened porch and went nose to nose with Sally. Sally didn’t bark and the squirrel didn’t run it made me believe Sally would not know what to do if she ever caught a squirrel.

Otis doesn’t pay much attention to squirrel as he had those in his yard in Port St Lucie and since he was always on a leash there when ever he tried to chase them he got hung up on the leash so he knows he can never catch one. He loves to go out and just bark at the fence and this is what he gets in response.to his barking.

This is Alley. She lives next door and is a big time yapper. It is just her way of saying “Hi neighbor, come pat me”. She hears Otis outside so she come to the fence and sniffs at Otis and stands there for one of us to pat her. She has two other dogs in her house, one is small her size, she is all white and no where near as friendly as Alley. the other dog is a chocolate Lab and very friendly. Otis is impressed with him.

It is fun working out side on this lawn, you find so many new things and they all look so nice when they are uncovered. Here are some of our finds.

This big bird came down and landed in the back yard. Landen had his phone with him so he caught a picture of the bird as it flew off. He just let us know we are in the country and we had best watch our little dogs or they could be a wonderful supper for one of the wild animals around behind our house. Otis isn’t impressed as he had bob cats and coyotes in Port St Lucie and he did battle with crabs several times.

This was one of Holly’s finds. As she was raking up some old leaves and putting them into bags she came across this fellow. I grew up in the country but I have never seen one of these before and I was not interested in holding him even if Holly did and didn’t get bitten. I am not that brave I’m afraid. I’ll stick to things I know something about.

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This is one of Landen’s finds. You can see the wooden pad just outside the screened door to the porch. Well when we came there was one square just outside the door, Then as Holly and Landen raked leaves away from the house they found it was not just one square of wooden pad but four and covered all the way to the fence on the left side. In the right side was just weeds and dirt. When Landen raked out from under the bushes to the right of the door he pulled out some of the weeds in this area and he found the pavers all over grown with weeds and packed with dirt. He took the all out, got out the weeds and leveled the ground again and replaced the pavers. I have no idea what this pad could have been used for but maybe it would be just right size for a grill so you can keep the fire outside but close to the porch for eating. There is also a wooden deck a little further to the right with pretty bushes around three sides of it so maybe that was where they used to grill or back on the other side of the fence on that patio either or all of them would work.

This is the back of the house. That is the kitchen window and behind my grow boxes you see the fence around the dog’s yard. And this fence butts up to the screened porch but you have to go through the house to get from one side of the fence to the other. After Landen cleaned up the dog’s yard her came over this side and started to clean up around my garden area and clean under this big tree so I had a better path from the house to this area. As he pulled out the old vines and leaves this is what he found here.

H

Here were more pavers all along the screened porch and some under the down spout from the gutters. These were all covered and buried. Landen again pulled them all out, cleaned up the area and put them back in. Notice the wire. There are wires like this all over the place. Some day we will trace them and see where they go to and see if they are anything we need. I think they are TV cables or lines from past owners putting TV’s into different rooms. But we will wait and be sure before cutting them. Years ago Norman decided to clean up our computer himself so went through and deleted everything we did not use. When he came to “systems” he asked if I used that and I didn’t even know what it was so how could I use it and he felt the same and so he deleted it. And you are probably all ready ahead of me and know what the system is! Right it is the whole works and he had to take the computer back to the store to get it working again. Now I don’t delete anything until I know what it is. Notice the sprinkler near the water spout. These are found all over the place both front and back. There is a sprinkler system that was used at one time but it no longer is operational. One day we may have that looked into along with the vacuum system in the house that is there but who knows how to use it or if it is still useable.

Our first job here in the back yard was to have Mark come and spend a day just reclaiming our yard both front and back. He trimmed and shaped all the bushes and cleaned up as much as he could in the one day. He worked 12 hours at it and got it to a place we could handle it from there. Also Terry and his crew came and cut down a tree that stood in the dog’s yard. It was hollow up as high as you could see and as he said,” Yes, this tree should have come down yesterday” Unless we wanted to take a chance it would fall on the house. We had them take down that big tree and then cut back the under growth across the back of the yard. The jungle behind us had over grown onto our land about two feet.

We are still working on cleaning up and today we found this.

Things are starting to bloom in the back yard. Landen looked up this flower and found it is the Justicia Carnea or Brazilian Plume that blooms in the late fall aand flowers until the hard frost. It brings so much nice color at a very dreary time of year.

There are many different bushes all though the bak yard and some of them are getting ready to bloom,

These are just opening. Shirley tells me these bloom in Dec and Jan and love the cold weather. You can see by the second picture they are just loaded with bids so they will be beautiful when they all open up. They will bring such beauty to the cold weather for me.

These are just a couple of the clumps of these bushes. There are several other kinds of bushes too, some don’t bloom at all and some bloom in March. So you see we have a very active back yard and I’ll follow it’s discoveries as the year unfold. I hope you have enjoyed our tour. Have a great day and I will be back with the inside of the house as soon as I can find the time. Love to all. Ouma

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The Front of The House.

I went out and got some pictures of the font of the house so you can see how things fit together there. This is a very long house made up of three sections. The middle section is the main house. The front door opens into the sunken “living room” that we use as my work room on the left and the dinning room on the right with the family room and kitchen behind . Then the left wing contains Luke;s bed room to the left and the master bed room to the right with the bathroom, dressing room and large walk in closet next to the master. The right hand wing contains my bedroom and Landens bed room with our full Baath the the left and the laundry room to the right and off that is the “mud room” that we use as a storage room for all my crafts and the freezer and off that is the big two car garage, We use this as a one car garage and Joe’s work room.

Here is the house from the road. As you can see we will need to redo the drive way some time in the future. Notice the stone wall on the right which extends as part of the garage. One of the neighbors told me he had never seen the wall before because of the big tree that was down and over grown with vines and the vines had completely covered that wall. Also all of those bushes were covered with vines. Mark took off several truck loads of vines and mess from this area and he trimmed and shaped all of the bushes. It is rather late in the year to trim these bushes so we won’t bet many blossoms in the spring but we may get some and we do have healthier bushes now. Also notice the sky lights. They bring in so much light to the dinning room, the family room in back and Lukes room there on the left.

Walking down the drive way and turning to the left you see the left hand side of the yard and the neighbor’s house. This is Court’s house, She is Judge Judy’s grand daughter. The drive way circles around and back to the street but the back side of the circle was never paved. Most of the houses in here have cement circular drives and we would love to have the same but just to redo the half that was paved would cost $10,000 so I guess what we have will have to do for a while.

Walking down the drive way and slightly to the right you come to our front door. These are the two area we need to do first as I said this morning. Holly would like flowers in the left and we both want our orchid tea room on the right. Notice what a mess the tenants made of the drive. One day we will need to do something about that too. There are so many such messes that need to be fixed. That is why it is so bad to rent a house. It is almost impossible to get good tenants.

This is a close up of the stone wall and garage. It is also the area where we took out the fallen tree and broke the water pipe. You can see some of the stump Mark could not get out and right behind it is an old stump left from many many years ago. These stumps just never rot. We will plant flowering bushes in front of this area along the drive way and then put some flowers in the area to dress it up. It doesn’t get a lot of sun as there is still a very big old tree just to the right of this. The light on the wall was not working when we came here and Joe fixed it. Everyone was impressed and asked him how it did it. He said, “I changed the light bulb”.

Back to the house and to the left of the front door is the sunken living room and Luke’s room. He has sky lights in his room. Mark trimmed and shaped all of these bushes too.

Beyond Luke’s room is the path to the back yard. Mark did a lot of cleaning up back there and we are still working on that too. There are six years or more of leaves and fallen branches broken up back there and roots of vines that have to be pulled out as they make it hard to walk and not trip over. But we are getting there. Landen goes out most days now and burns more leaves and sticks.

This is all covered up now and ready to be planted with new bushes and flowers. And so the front of the house you have now seen. Tomorrow I will take you to the back yard where we do most of our living. Have a good night.

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Pictures of Melrose, FL

We have been very busy settling into our new home. It took us less than a week to get all unloaded and just two weeks to get mostly unpacked. Everything is out of boxes except the tapes and DVDs and we are not sure what we will do with those. Most of the movies we watch now you can get of the TV and Landen even taught me how to get them whenever I want to watch a movie. I refuse to pay for a movie so if it isn’t free I will wait until it is or dig it out of the boxes I brought with me. I only like the old pictures anyways.

This is an old world setting with the beautiful Live Oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss.

Favorite tree

This is the front of the house. That is the 31st Way that loops around and comes back up. The water meter is just beyond this big oak tree up next to the road. I took this picture before we found the meter. Now the “grass” is pulled back and the meter is exposed so we can easily turn the water off when needed. The palmetto bushes you see on the left have been thinned out and cut back. They are now growing back and will be kept under control so that the snakes don’t have a place to hid. That isn’t really grass it is more of a ground cover. There is so little sun to come in here grass has a hard time growing but was we have trimmed the bushes and raked the leaves we should get more grass growing . You can see the big old trees lining the road way on both sides of the street. All of the homes on this street are large and beautiful and so well maintained. They are all happy to have the renters gone as they just don’t maintain a place as a owner does. This front area was mowed by a neighbor for the last 6 years so the street would look nice as you drive by.

This is the same area only a little more to the left so you can see the house next door. They have two lots and a big house with a pool in the back yard. They have three dogs out Otis and Sally love to visit through the fence with, two small ones and a lab. Every house is set back behind the old growth trees a typical old south community. So quiet and peaceful. I will have to get some new pictures soon. As I don’t have any of the front of the house and that is a story book picture in itself.

Looking at the front of the house there on the lower right you see just the corner of the walk to the front door. This area is on the right as you walk out of the door and needs some work. Holly keeps the weeds out of this area but she wants one inviting blooming flowers in here for color and interest. Probably a spring project as we have so many others that need attention first.

On the left as you come out of the front door is this area. It is about 10′ by 10′ and had vines growing in here in a tangled mess. Many of the vines were growing up the brick wall on the right which we pulled out as those will eat away the mortar between the bricks and destroy the side of the garage. I think originally this area had a wood floor but many of the boards have now rotted away. we still have some roots to pull out so they don’t go under the foundation and cause trouble. Also not on the back wall this is where the water comes into the house and the roots could become a problem with the pips or the electric power that comes into the house. So we will finish cleaning out the plants that were recently put in here, put a barrier down to stop any weeds or vines from coming up and then put down an astro turf type of carpet here. Then with a bistro set and stands for plants it will become our orchid growing tea time area. Later I will get pictures of the whole front area for you to see.

For now that is all I have on the front of the house. Later I will also show you the back of the house and the inside. I have a few pictures anyways. But if I don’t get to work I will have wasted the whole morning.. Landen is busy raking a burning leaves and trash in the back yard right now so I will go out with him for a short time and help. Have a good day, will talk to you all later.

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The Old Dog Learns a New Trick

Luke worked with me this after noon and figured out how to get my pictures on this site. You have to have your pictures in the “library” and from there you can upload them to the post. Or so they say. I spent most of the afternoon putting all the pictures I have taken of this place into the library and now I am going to try and get a couple into this post. If it doesn’t work I will have Luke figure it out tomorrow. He has never worked with a Mac and has never worked with Word Press yet he just got on his phone and asked how to do it, then went to this site and pushed every button until he found what he was looking for. He lost me with the first button but he figured it out. So here goes===

Wow it worked just as Luke said it would even though he had not tried it himself. This is my garden area. I have all three tables that I had on the porch in Spanish Lakes, I put ten grow boxes on them and planted them all with vegetables. I have everything except sun shine here. We have so many beautiful old Live Oak trees we get very little sun light on our little acre. But I do the best I can so far the yellow beans seem to like it the best. The cabbage gave up the first week.

This is the broken water pipe mess I told you about . We have now filled in the hole and pulled out as many vines as we could and picked and all the pieces of root and sticks that were in the mess. We still have to plant flowers along the drive, replace the brick edge and seed in the back side.

Now that I know what to do I will try and continue this each day. Right now it is past my bed time and I am tired so will leave it here for tonight. Sleep well, see you in the morning and show you the house and yard. God Bless you all.

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The Bad Penny Returns

Well. I am still alive and it looks like I will stay that way for a few more years so I had best make the best of it and get on with living. Some things in this life we have no choice so accept them and move on.

Sept 16 was the beginning of a new adventure for me and hopefully my last one. I turned 89 years old, I sold my mobil home in Port St Lucie and went into a new home with my son and his family in Melrose, Fl.

I moved all my worldly possessions, my hopes and dreams in a beautiful home not five minutes away from my sister. Holly, my daughter-in-law gave up her job in Iowa, took her two sons and moved here with me. It is her home and she has agreed to care for me as long as I live. My son Joe, will spend as much time here as he can but he still works and lives in Iowa and will stay there until he finishes his job there and can get a transfer closure to us. Thank God for Face Time, we get to talk and see him every day and keep him posted on our progress here.

We closed on the house on Sept 16, 2021 and moved in the next day. Joe got to spend the first week with us so we kept him busy moving in furniture and getting the house opened.

This house was once a beautiful estate on one acre of land, well built and well loved but the last six years it has been rented and you know what that does to any place so we have lots of love and attention that is needed to bring this place back to what it once was. The neighbors are all very nice and so glad to see the renters out of the neighborhood. For six years the neighbors have helped keep up the front appearance of the place because the rented didn’t seem to care so as we began cleaning up the area and doing many of the big things that needed doing they came over and welcomed us, telling us how happy they were to see someone in here that cared about the place and the neighborhood.

The first thing I did was get a local man to come in and try to reclaim the grounds. He trimmed all the bushes, pulled out the over growth of vines and weeds that had claimed so much of the landscaping and removed all the fallen branches that were littering up the grounds. That was when we found the big old oak tree that had fallen years ago in the front yard. At first we thought it was a stone wall that the vines had over taken but no it was a large oak tree that they had cut back off the drive way and then just left there. One of the neighbors said when the hurricane came though several years ago that tree fell and crushed three cars. I wish they had take to tree out at that time but they didn’t so we tried. What a mess that caused, the roots of the tree had grown around the water pipe to the house and when the truck tried to pull the tree out it broke the water line and we had a swimming pool in our front yard.

After much trouble we found a water meter and shut of but when we shut it off it didn’t stop the water from flooding our front lawn so we had to call for immediate help from the water department. They came right over, for a fee of course and found the meter we found was not ours but was the neighbors and we had shut off their water not our. Our meter was about six inches this side of theirs, under the grass so unless we had know to look for it we never would have found it. We got the water shut off and the pipe mended enough to turn the water back on and that was when we found that the water had never been put into our name. Joe had gone to Clay Electric and got the utilities turn on and put into our names but it turned out that the water is under a different name and in a different room in the building and they don’t exchange information between the two. The former owner didn’t know this either so had never taken her name off the water until they let her know she had someone fooling around with the water. So the next day when the plumber came to check the repair on the pipe and got us all set to move forward on the lawn, the water department came over and turned our water off for good.. Holly had to call and get the water into our name too and then they had to come back, for a fee of course and turn the water on again. Three trips to get done what should have been done before we ever moved in. Anyways it is done and now all we have left to do is to put in some grass seed over the flooded area and plant some nice looking flowers in around the stump that we could not get out and the front looks 100% better than it did when we moved in.

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on the land and it will get done but not all at once. Time is needed in some cases just to get the bushes back ro fullness. They have been trimmed and cleaned up but time is needed to shape them and restore them to good health.

At this point I wanted to add some pictures to show you the new house and land but things have changed so much on this site and I have not kept up with them so can not figure out how to do that. I will publish this and then take a lesson on the new format and learn how to add pictures and then get back to you. This old dog has much to learn if she is going to stay active in this new world and I am not convinced it is worth the effort, but I will try anyways. Have a good day.

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2021- Never expected to still be alive!!

It has been a long time since I last blogged but now hope I am back for good.

After we left the farm it was hard to think of anything worth talking about and after Norman died it get even harder so finally I just stopped talking.

Well life has a way of continuing even if you don’t join in and this last Christmas my son Joe and his son Luke came to spend four days with me. It was so nice to have someone else around 24 hours a day beside my dog who I do dearly love but to have some one who talked back was wonderful and Luke and I agreed we would talk even after he left. Joe and Holly gave me an Echo Show for Christmas and Joe set it up connected to his so we could just drop in anytime we wanted to. You have to keep the Echo turned on and I didn’t want to bother them by just dropping in uninvited so would not use it at first, then I found they don’t leave theirs on all the time so I would have to call them if I wanted to speak to Luke. But I do leave mine on since I am the only one in the house so if I was not in the living room it didn’t matter if someone just dropped in, there was nothing there to see. So Luke does drop in four or five afternoons a week and we get to talk. Some times if I am out walking the dog I miss him but most often he hits a time when I am here and I get a little ding when he drops in and I came over to see him.

Now what can an 88 year old and a 15 year old talk about after you have reported everyones health and the weather in the different states? Our conversation didn’t last too long but one day Luke mentioned he was reading Fahrenheit 451 and liked it. I remember reading that back in the early 60’s and loved it but didn’t remember it enough to discuss it with him as he read it, which is something I always have liked to do so I sent to Amazon that day and got the book and began reading it so I could discuss it with him. Our talks grew longer and far more interesting. We related what was happening in the book to todays problems and he compared it to things that had happened long ago in history and we found we had many of the same ideas and knowledge of history. Luke has been home schooled and so his understanding of the world Is far wider than most kids his age. So we found lots to talk about. Well as we got close to the end of that book I asked him if he had ever read Alas, Babylon. I remembered that from the same class I took in college and loved the story so I sent to Amazon and got two books, one for Luke and one for me so now I have to get reading so I can keep up with Luke in our discussions.

Later talking to Luke’s father he told me Luke was getting a new book that he wanted to read along with Alas, Babylon. It was again a science fiction type of book but a more recent one about computer games. He had read book 1 and was now wanting to read book 2. Well, if Luke would read my books then I should read his and be able to talk to him about that so I got right on Amazon and ordered book 2. Joe said I would have a hard time understanding book 2 if I never read book 1 SO now I have ordered book 1 also and will try to read that also. I am sure I will have to ask Luke alot of questions about book 1 when I get it as I know nothing about these computer games, not even the name of them. So I will have lots to talk to Luke about when I get those books to read.

I wish I could spend my whole day just reading but if I tried to do that I would just fall asleep. I have never been able to read a long time and I have so many other projects I need to finish. SO I will have to budget my time each day so long to prepare food, so long to work on my paint by diamonds, so long to crochet on Glady’s dress, so long to crochet on my afghans, so long to crochet on Sally’s baby Mobils so long to read and so long each day to walk Otis. Who ever said retirement was boring? There just isn’t enough hours in the day to get done all I want to do

Right now I would love to put in a picture of my new bed. Yesterday my children delivered to me a new bed because I was having so much trouble sleeping in a flat bed and we thought a hospital bed would help me sleep without my hips and legs killing me after two hours of lay down. Well, the bed came and last night I slept on my back for three hours without moving an inch and no back, hip or leg pain!! it is wonderful!! I thank my wonderful kids for getting this bed for me. By the way after those three hours I could roll onto a side and go on sleeping for two hours, roll onto the other side and sleep for two hours and stayed in bed until 6am. That is the longest I have slept in months. I don’t think I will ever finish the picture I have in my bedroom. All last week I worked on that from 3:30 or 4am until 6 because I couldn’t stay in bed because my legs and hips hurt so much. If this continues I will be a new woman! Thanks kids!

That is all for today. Take care of yourselves and be good to yourselves. Have a great day. Love to everyone!!

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Inside to the Kitchen

I am going to put everything on hold and move into the house. I took these pictures more than a week ago so many things have changed so will tell you what I have done as we look at the pictures.
Going from the patio/car port you enter my kitchen. I did quite a bit of work here as soon as I moved in. I got new stove and dishwasher. The stove worked but was a mess and impossible to clean so a new one was needed as do love to cook. The dishwasher was not working and taking up so much room it either needed to be replace or taken out. After some discussion I decided to just get a new one. So far I have only used it twice but come Thanksgiving I will be glad I have it. The refrigerator cleaned up fine so I kept that and the hood cost more than the new stove and the old one worked so I did not replace that. I have to have one shelf in the pantry replaced and the micro wave I just tossed out. Other than that just a good cleaning made this a great kitchen even if it is small. When I do much cooking here I over flow into the living room and the dinning room.
this is a picture of the whole kitchen. As you see it is a galley kitchen and very small. There is more room than it looks like here so I will show you the different sections closer up. Now that I have cut the hedge down a couple feet I get much more light into the kitchen and I have a small lamp on the counter behind the sink. Josh fixed my sink for me so that is fully functional now.

As you come in on your left is this sink area. I now have moved many of my canisters and keep here only the dried fruit I have for breakfast and have a small lamp here so I have more light when I cook. With a double sink it is easy to keep things washed up as I cook and don’t need as much room.

To your right is the pantry. I have to keep the door shut on the pantry as it’s door blocks the door to the outside. That is fine as I don’t want people coming in when I am working in the pantry anyways.

Right beside the pantry is this small cooking area. It is here I do my baking and mixing up any cake or cookies etc. It is small but big enough to us my big mixer and that is all I need. Right next to that is the refrigerator.

Next to the sink is a counter where I prepare food and you can see the edge of my big chopping board. What you see is about one third of the whole counter. You can also see my lunch that I was making and that is lettuce from my tower. That fresh lettuce just melts in your mouth. Next to the chopping block is the stove. There are cabinets above all these and below. I also have nine draws below so have lots of nice storage.

Next to the stove and at the end of the kitchen is a counter that sticks out to separate the kitchen from the living room. That used to be the dinning room but I switched the living room and dinning room. At first I wanted to take this counter out but after making bread in this kitchen I decided I needed this counter and the cabinet that is under this counter that was unusable turned out to be the best place to keep the booze. When someone wants a drink they don’t have any trouble getting into that cabinet so it works out just fine.

Just on the otherside of this counter is the living room and I use the right wing of my entertainment center to put many of my canisters, my extra wine, and some can goods. They are handy to the kitchen for food prepping and doesn’t look out of place at all. I keep rearranging my kitchen so that I have things handy as I work. I think I have it mostly set now but we will see. I am doing Thanksgiving this year and will have somewhere between ten and twenty people here so I’ll see if I can organize the cooking enough to make it look easy on Thanksgiving day. Everyone that comes will have to bring their own chair as I only have ten chairs. I have invited the family and my neigbors. I want any one who doesn’t have family to come and join us. I have the dinning room, the living room, the screened in porch and the patio as well as the craft room where I will set up the food and have everyone serve themselves. I think I will have enough room no matter how many show up. Now all I will need is plenty of food!!

Just around the corner from the kitchen is the dinning room with enough room for a large table and shelves and freezer against the wall.
Along the wall of the kitchen is the freezer and my hutch that I have had since our first condo in Peterborough. I put my dishes in here and my linens for the table. Jen has a six foot book case for me that I will put against this wall also.

This is the corner where I will put one tall bookcase. The back wall has a pinup lamp and the only window in this room. I will put another of the tall book cases on the other side of that window. I am not sure what I will put on these shelves yet but will have no trouble fill them I am sure.

This is the other side of the window. This book case will be moved to the craft room and all the puzzles with it. The third wall is mostly slider to the craft room. It gives me nice light in the dinning room but I have almost no wall space on this wall and the fourth side of the room is open to the end of the living room that can be used as dinning room if it is needed and is living room normal.

This is the third wall of the dinning room. Between the two sliders is a very small wall but just large enough for my Eufy, which is my robot vacuum cleaner. It needs a three foot semicircle around it for it to work right and this gives me just the right amount of space for it and yet not large enough for any thing else. She has programed herself and each day at 6:15pm she turns herself on and goes all around the whole house and cleans the floors. I never have to sweep the floor or vacuum the rugs. She takes care of it all and does a beautiful job. I do have to pick up the dogs water dish as she tips that over and makes a mess as she is not supposed to get into anything wet. I have to make sure there are no cords hanging down as she gets tangled up in those and hangs herself and I have to block her from going under the sleep sofa and sink as there is not enough room under those and she gets stuck. Other than that she can go everywhere, under the bed, under the book cases and into every corner. After two hours of running around the house her battery get low and she goes back to her home and plugs her self into her power source and stays there until the next day. Otis is not too happy with her as Eufy thinks he is a dust maker and follows him around and bothers him unless he stays with on his bed where she can’t get to him. I do have to empty his dust bin every day as she can always find dust and dog hair enough to fill the dust bin every day.

Just a last note, I want to show you my lunch the day I took these pictures. I have lettuce and beet greens from my garden. You can take the girl off the farm but you never get the farm out of the girl!!
I guess that takes care of my kitchen and working area. Next time I’ll show you the bed rooms. Have a good day.

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