Monday, September 09, 2013

Cleaning out the Kitchen

This weekend my siblings and I continued our efforts to clean out Mom's house.  Before she passed Mom told us we would have a time once she was gone and sure enough we are having a time.  Some good, some sad, some funny but it's alright
 and we are making progress.  Saturday we worked on the kitchen pots and pans. Each time a pan was brought out it reminded us of the food she cooked in it.  Biscuits, potatoes, chicken casserole and carrots, etc.  We may not have her food anymore but we sure do treasure the memories - and the pans.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Clever Parking Meter Lamp

Greetings from The (inspired) Hill,

While exploring on Facebook I ran across this photo by a friend.  When the old parking meters were taking down in the town of Jasper his Dad got one and made this lamp.  Very clever I think. 

Parking Meter Lamp

My small dose of OCD kicked in as soon as I saw that shade.  Drives me nuts!!


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Back from Vaca

 Greetings from The (post-vaca) Hill,

From the last post to now I was planning for vaca, on vaca and then recovering from vaca.  DH and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by taking a trip to Kauai, HI for a week.  I can show you some pictures but the reality was too beautiful for words.

Secret Beach
Day 1 - Road across the north end of the island.  Fav spot was Secret Beach.  Could have stayed there longer but didn't have swimsuit on and jumped into the ocean with my cell phone in my pocket.  Goodbye good mood, hello dead phone.

" Secret Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches on Kauai. Walking on the lava rocks to the left of secret beach is only safe on the calmest summer days when the surf report calls for waves less than 2 ft high. The rocky coastline leads to a beautiful waterfall. A reasonably steep path leads down to the beach."

I laugh as I read "reasonably steep path"  it was actually a VERY steep path.  

Lydgate Park
Day 2 we visited Lydgate Park which got smacked really badly from the floods last month.  There were huge trees and branches all up and down the beach.  The encircled swimming area while taped off with yellow crime scene tape was open to the public.  This is where we did our first (and probably only ever) snorkeling. 

"Lydgate beach park is a popular beach, picnic and playground area that includes a 2 mile bike path. The boulder enclosed swimming area offers some of the safest swimming on Kauai and has a lifeguard. Lydgate beach park is the best place to learn how to snorkel, and also suitable for small children and those who don't know how to swim."

In other words it is a park for the less adventuresome.

Pancakes and Hula
 Day 3 - We listened to the local radio station, watched the news and learned about the Lions Club annual fundraiser "Pancakes and Hula" in Hanalei.  It was a wonderful local even to attend.  Pancakes were excellent and the entertainment was exactly what I had hoped to see while there.

By the way, it is pronounced Hana-lay (not Hana-lee as in Puff the Magic Dragon.)

Later that morning we drove up to Waimea Canyon.  This picture does not even do it justice.  It was so spectacularly beautiful.  I just stood in awe.

Waimea Canyon
"Waimea Canyon, on Kauai's West Side, is described as "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Although not as big or as old as its Arizona cousin, you won’t encounter anything like this geological wonder in Hawaii. Stretching 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep, the Waimea Canyon Lookout provides panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags and deep valley gorges. The grand inland vistas go on for miles."

Jo-Jo's Shave Ice
 On the way up to the canyon we stopped at Jo-Jo's to have our first shave ice. The difference between a snow cone and shave ice is the way the ice is treated. For snow cones the ice is crushed.  Shave ice is just that, a big block of ice shaved off using a very sharp knife.  Instead of ice pieces you actually get something more akin to a snowlike consistency.  Mine was flavored with red raspberry, pistachio and Jo-Jo's punch syrup.  So good.

 At the entrance of the canyon as we started to leave was a van selling locally grown items.  One of those was this little beauty.  It has soft spiky things on the outside and the inside is the consistency of grape flesh but it doesn't taste like grape and there is a good sized pit in there.  I fell in love with this fruit and ate a ton of it before we left the island.

Kipu Ranch ATV Tour
Day 4 - This is the day I had been waiting for and it did not disappoint, our 3 hour ATV tour of Kipu Ranch.  The scenery was beyond description.  Our guide, Lumbo, told us about the history of the land and  explained that today it is still a working ranch raising herds of cows.  He picked plants to show us and told us the stories behind them.  If you go to Kauai this tour is a must.

Me with a Pearl Harbor survivor
 Day 5 was our trip over to Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor.  This was a day filled with unexpected revelations.  We arrived at Honolulu around 9:00am and rented a car for the day until our outgoing flight at 8:00pm.  The highlight of my day was getting to meet Mr. Dick Girocco.  He was working in the next building over from where stood when the bombs came down December 7, 1941.    I talked to him the whole time Randy toured the Pacific Aviation museum.   We didn't talk of that day. Instead we got on the subject of our family heritage.  His mother was from Austria.  When she was 5 or 8 her parents planned to immigrate.  They traveled to London to catch a ship - the Titanic.  Turns out they didn't have enough money for even the cheapest fare and had to sail on the ship behind her.  Lucky day for his family. 

As we did on Kauai, we drove the circumference of the island to see what it had to offer.  Our rental car company offered a GPS that provided a guided tour of all the important sights on the island.  We had fun when every few miles or so our "tour guide's" recorded voice told us about what we were seeing out our car window.  It was lots of fun.  While the island of Oahu is beautiful, we were struck with how populated it is.  Much more so than Kauai.  By the end of the day we were ready to get back to our less populated island paradise.
White Chocolate Pineapple Macadamia Nut Crunch
 Day 6 -We really didn't plan anything for this day.  So it was a free day to do as we pleased.  Since it was at the back end of our trip we decided to do a little souvenir shopping. We went to a few local markets, the ABC store and finally the premiere destination for island takaways - Hilo Hatties.  Here they opened an oyster for me and inside was not one but two pink pearls.  Below is what the area looked like.  Some call this a rip off because once you have the pearls they try to sell you an expensive piece of jewelry to house them.  You can say "No" though as I did and keep the little treasures. 

Picture from blog "Travels with Seven and Mad, 2008"

This is the day we had a great visit with our new friend Tina.  She was also staying on the property and we had touched base throughout the week but we finally got to spend a large block of time with her and enjoyed it so much!!  She is from the left coast and we are from the right so we had a great time sharing the stories of our life.  Now that we are back home we are keeping in touch.  I believe folks you connect with cross you path for a reason.  Don't' know what ours is yet but is special to have a new found friend.

Day 7 - Our last day on the island.  We spent the morning packing and putting the rental back the way we found it.  We checked out at 11:00am but our flight didn't leave until 10:00pm so we spent our last time on the island visiting places on the south shore.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Visited Spouting Horn.  Have a vid but it wouldn't load.

Randy went.  I didn't.  It was over water and SWINGING.

View of the river from the bridge.
We spent our last hours on the island here.  Turned into one of my fav spots.

This was my last chance to beachcomb
This is a newly washed up piece of coral.  The purple beauties were still soft and alive when I took this pic.
Found a little "antique" while there.
This is one of the several types of pine trees on the island.
And it was here I had to say Aloha to the iconic roosters that roam the island.
Randy and I could not have asked for a more perfect visit to paradise.  Now we want to go back because after all the places we saw and all the things we did there is still so much more to experience here.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring on The Hill

Greetings from The (green and yellow) Hill,

New life is all around the Hill and so it's time to change the look of the blog for the season.  All the trees have leafed up nice and green and the forsythia are a flaming yellow. 

Happy Spring 2012!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

High / Low Decorating

Greetings from The (Thrifty) Hill,

Have you seen that show where the host shows a couple their dream room decorated using thousands of dollars then she recreates the room using very low cost items that mimic the high priced ones?  That is what I've been doing as I decorate the guest room. 

I put an inspiration board on Pinterest and started searching the web for pictures of how I wanted the room to look and items I wanted to have in there.  It's been a great experience so far.  There have been surprises along the way.  The paint that looked like a blue/gray turned out more blue than gray.  So I had to rethink the focus of my color palette.

I've been accessory shopping this week.  The color palette is gray, blue and white with pops of  persimmon/pomegranate.  Here is what I found.

Inspiration:  $115.50

I found a skirt at the thrift store for $3.00

Cut it apart and when sewn together over a $1.00 thrift store pillow makes the total cost $4.00

Inspiration lamp:  $55.99

Found this smaller version for $18.99

Inspiration piece:  $282.99

Found these three smaller ones I can use as a group for $15.99

I will also be using a white chenille bedspread that belonged to my Grandma (free).  Bookcase I already had (free).

I will post more as I find them.  Once I find the bed frame the work should go pretty fast.  Still looking for a rug.


Friday, March 09, 2012

Greetings from The (Dreaming of Spring) Hill,

Spring means long warm days, redecorating and of course dandelions.  I'm looking forward to it.  I've already taken a new dandelion picture.

This will soon be on my Dandefind Facebook page.  Take a look when you get a minute.

I'll be posting some Dandefinds there but i wanted to preview my newest project here.  When DD moved out she left so much "stuff" in her old room.  I have decided that it needs to be turned into a guest room.  First order of business is painting the room from her high school design to a nice warm gray.
From this
To something like this.

The total color scheme will be gray, white, blue and persimmon.  I can hardly wait to get started.  I'll keep you posted on the progress.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spring 2012 Preview

Greetings from The (wintery) Hill,

Spring is on it's way.  How do I know????  Because I'm thinking about new colors to use in the house.

I always refresh my kitchen in the spring.  Last year I chose red and yellow and have enjoyed it all winter.  Looking to this spring I have already picked my new color - blue.  This is what I've found thrifting  so far.

I scored two valences in blue toile with white lace.  They are handmade from two sets of curtains and I love that.

$1.50 for the pair

I found some placemats and mispatched white plates with pail blue center designs.  

Placemats $2.00 for 4, Plates $1.00 each

A table runner with sweet bangle trim.
 The best thing I found was a vintage tablecloth.  I seldom pass up a vintage tablecloth even if they have holes or stains. I just cover the bad areas with plates, placemats or a centerpiece.  These are great finds because sometimes you can pick them up for a song and the mid-century patterns just make me happy.
Can't recall what this one cost but it wasn't over $3.00

 Until next time....