Hello friends! I hope your holiday weekend is off to a fabulous start. Holidays are a time for celebrating, rejoicing, feasting and sharing. We will practice and partake in all, beginning with a hippity, hoppity Easter’s on its way show and tell on this beautiful Good Friday.
Plastic Easter eggs and a gold bunny from Dollar Tree make eggcellent decoration anchors for the holiday dessert display.
Live lilies as well as porcelain and china flowers take centerpiece stage on the Easter table.
It’s the year of the wedding(s) in the Places In The Home family. There’s talk of silver, china, monograms, cakes and flowers at holiday gatherings with assurances from one very proud mom and aunt that the topic of conversation is one of supreme interest.
The bloom is off the rose thanks to recent tornado times however, a lawn and garden gift of good nature produced fresh blooms from knock out roses row. Bridal shower inspiration bloomed, and rose petal ice cubes became the entertaining diy project of the day.
There is nothing pretty about a tornado or tornado damage, and take cover now is a warning best heeded.
This past Sunday afternoon we learned that lesson firsthand as our town-neighborhood-house was hit by a tornado.
We are no strangers to the force and fury of a hurricane. A tornado however, is an extremely rare occurrence in Central Louisiana. This tornado experience was a first for us.
Our local news station was live on the air with the entire weather team covering the storm. The senior weatherman shouted “take cover now” and with that we took cover in the guest bathroom bathtub. We never did hear the roaring train sound so many people remark they hear as a tornado approaches or when one is overhead. What we did hear is the terrifying sound of trees, shingles, and various projectiles hitting the house. The entire top of our neighbor’s magnolia tree was the first thing we saw as we opened our front door.
Salvaged magnolia leaves placed in a mason jar injects a touch of simple beauty and Southern comfort into this otherwise ugly situation.
Utilities are truly a beautiful thing. We lost power Sunday afternoon, got it back a little before midnight, lost it again Monday morning and didn’t see the light of lights until last night at 9:51 pm CST. A big, big thank you goes out to the utilities workers for a job well done and most appreciated.
That was then,
and this is now.
The crepe myrtle to the immediate right is history as is the hydrangea. The bird feeder chandelier was found one street over. Howdy Do (the jockey) and the bird bath may be down but not out of the lawn and garden beautification game.
The roof is heavily damaged and the inside of the house is a victim of stained ceilings, wet carpets, dirty floors, etc… Clorox bleach and Lysol spray is suddenly a hot commodity. My desk/computer is in Dave’s man cave, and a large part of the ceiling in the room is soaked through and through. That’s an odor one can only take for a few minutes at a time. Blogging will slow as the smell increases. I will probably need several more bottles of this stuff before all of this is over.
Roofs, ceilings, floors and sheetrock can be fixed.
In a recent survey of home decor consumers, the colors blue and purple top the list of color preference when selecting the decorative throw pillows to decorate their humble abode with.
Consumers tastes and preferences also trend toward patterned throw pillows.
Sir Kitty Kat
Fleas drives me crazy. What a swing in subject matter, but into every household an unwanted guest of the bug species will creep in. We’ve been fortunate over the many years of our pet ownership to only contend with fleas inside the house once. That is until last month when I noticed we had company. Sir Kitty Kat aka the culprit gifted the entire house with fleas. Flea bombing the house with unwanted chemicals was out of the question, and calling an exterminator would be an option of last resort. After conducting a quick google search for help, I decided to go with a natural, safe and inexpensive alternative.
Is 20 Mule Team Borax a detergent booster or is it a miracle flea be gone treatment? It’s both! I used 2 boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax over a 2 week period. Patience and persistence paid off. We treated Sir Kitty Kat with a topical flea treatment under our veterinarian’s advisement. Kitty was scratching to take up residence outdoors for a few days, and admittedly I was happy to oblige him. I purchased a plastic storage container, a broom, rubber gloves and a box of disposable face masks from the dollar store. You’ll need two(2) new empty vacuum cleaner bags- one to use during treatment and a fresh new one for after treatment. Perform a discoloration test by selecting a small area and applying the Borax to rule out the possibility of discoloration. I only treated the carpet, rugs and floors with the Borax. I did not use it on fabric or upholstered furniture.
What You Do:
Fill the storage container about 3/4 full per room with 20 Mule Team Borax. Lightly dust floors, carpets, and rugs with Borax along baseboards, under furniture, in closets. Use the broom to work the Borax into the carpet. The Borax dries out the fleas and larvae. I let the Borax do its thing in the carpet for one week. Overkill for sure, but we were on a flea killing mission. Vacuum up the Borax, discard the vacuum bag into a garbage bag and immediately place outside, and pop in a new vacuum bag.
I’ve got the hem tape thing down to a science!
I’ve been called a lot of things in my lifetime, but seamstress is not one of them and rightly so. All those years ago in high school home economics class I aced the cooking part of the semester. Sewing cooked my goose. I come from a long line of no-sew seamstresses. Button detail and hem tape I’ve mastered, but that’s it for my sewing prowess.
Pincushion curiosity struck while staring at the tomato pincushion that was my mother’s mother’s mother, trying to decide if I really needed the button to be on the pant and not in the drawer. After consulting with the fountain of information guru that is Google, the what and the why a strawberry is attached to the tomato pincushion mystery was solved. Emory powder is the filler source for the strawberry. The powder is an abrasive, and serves as a cleaner of rust and sharpener of pins and needles.
Glad that’s answered.
I was on pins and needles.
Crazy cake is crazy easy and crazy good. Do you ever look at recipes and projects and wonder if they really are that easy, that tasty and worth the effort? You now have it on good authority that this easy peasy crazy cake is. One pan and no eggs- I love this concept.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. To frost or not to frost. That is the question only your personal preference can answer.
I did not frost the first chocolate crazy cake and it was delicious. I did frost the second chocolate crazy cake with Duncan Hines Salted Caramel frosting and it was scrumptious.
Choices and caramel make the world go round. Tidbits of all things house that make a home information does too.
9/11/2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks waged against our nation on September 11, 2001. 9/11 will forever be a day steeped in raw emotions. Sheer disbelief. Shock. Fear of the unknown and sorrow of the now known. We watched and listened as graphic carnage and deliberate decimation unfolded before our eyes in real time with no filter, no delay button, no censorship. I wandered out loud my God, is this our new normal?
I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday, but I will forever remember every detail, every phone call, and every emotion I experienced that fateful September Tuesday morning in 2001. I bet you do too.
9/11 will forever remain the day our nation felt a collective numbness out of shock and sorrow for the innocent and the innocence killed in the terrorist attacks. Gladys Knight’s beautiful version of “The Way We Were” and the haunting lyric “Try to remember the kind of September When life was slow and oh, so mellow” never fails to turn my thoughts to the morning of September 11, 2001.
What’s too painful to remember we should never choose to forget. Never Forget 9/11.
“In time, perhaps, we will mark the memory of September the 11th in stone and metal — something we can show children as yet unborn to help them understand what happened on this minute and on this day.
But for those of us who lived through these events, the only marker we’ll ever need is the tick of a clock at the 46th minute of the eighth hour of the 11th day. We will remember where we were and how we felt. We will remember the dead and what we owe them. We will remember what we lost and what we found.
And in our time, we will honor the memory of the 11th day by doing our duty as citizens of this great country, freedom’s home and freedoms defender.”
Evil acts tested the stamina, fortitude and resilience of our nation, her citizens, the brave men and women of our military, police, fire and medical departments and city, state and national officials. We are a changed world. We may carry and live with the scars, but one thing is certain- The United States of America will never be broken. Bumped and bruised, but never broken. We mustn’t allow that to ever happen. Together we are better.
We are the United States of America. We differ from one another on many points, views and opinions, but when all is said and done, we are one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Strong. United. Free.
Through trying times and the best of times, Dave and I never lose sight of our freedoms and how proud we are to be Americans. May God Bless this great nation we call the home, The United States of America.
I am ready to get the seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites ball rolling. Postings of home decor and fall decorating ideas from several hundred of my blogging and social media friends confirm fall fever is going around.
Let the brisk mornings-cinnamon flavored-pumpkin decorating-colors on parade-sitting on the front porch-spice tea sipping-football tailgating afternoons-sweater wearing-sock feet snuggling with the one you love-crisp evenings spent in front of a fire pit season commence. While we’re on the subject, let me ask you this. Fall or Autumn. What say you?
Now to the seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites portion of our show…
I’ve been looking “foyer” to this seasonal update for quite some time. The wallpaper I selected for my Mother’s Day gift (Mother’s Day 2015) is finally up where it belongs. Getting this wallpaper project to completion and fall coming to Louisiana have something in common. It seems to take forever. I learned a long time ago that patience is a virtue in the pretty on a penny process. Count the looking “foyer” to fall wallpaper project and estate sale chandelier makeover as the first seasonal updates of the fall 2016 season.
We are ginkgo a gogo for fall decorating. Inexpensive is good, but free is better. Using natural elements in your seasonal decorating plan gifts the eye with the beauty of the season. Simple. Elegant. Fall.
Multiple choices factor into the decorating scheme of things.
Cotton bolls placed in and around collected sea shells is a match made in memories from my childhood heaven. Cotton fields remain an integral part of the fall harvest scenery in our area. A farmer friend with acres and acres of cotton fields generously supplies me with several bundles of cotton stalks for my fall decorating needs. Another good friend supplies me with the dried hydrangeas and eucalyptus bunches perfect for fall arrangements in another fall decor essential, the dough bowl. Good friends bearing gifts are rewarded with the house special, a fresh apple nut cake.
An accidental placement of this antique chair in the foyer and the light of a late afternoon produce an effect worth keeping.
Maybe it’s the lighting, the off-center placement, the new wallpaper or the combination of all three, but I love how it all works together. Ambience plays a significant role in interior design and decorating, and light is at the control.
I’ve noticed the change in the color of the afternoon sun. It is white bright, full of nuance as it streams through the window panes and French doors to shadow dance with colors, patterns and textures.
Dave the Builder and I will be raising a glass to you as we toast the arrival of 2016. Here’s to A Very Happy New Year 2016- a fabulous year for us all abounding with peace, joy, love, health and great style! Thank you for your support and loyal readership. Cheers!
“Mom, you should let your readers know what’s going on” reads the text I received this morning. The reason for an absence of Thanksgiving week posts and Happy Thanksgiving wishes is not without reason. Black Friday came a week early to the Places In The Home family. My darling Daddy passed away suddenly Friday, November 20th and our family is reeling in grief. The keyboard hasn’t exactly been on my mind over the last few days, but you all, my dear readers, have. This larger than life man was a powerhouse personality who touched many lives beyond the pillars of home and family. He helped me to not only fine tune my life and character, but he helped me with this year’s Thanksgiving table. I don’t really feel like sharing that post and pictorial now, but I do love this picture of his place card.
Our holiday table settings will be reduced by one only in physical presence. Daddy would be the first one to encourage me to carry on with life and the life lived within our home. I believe the life lived within the home comes alive through personal style and taste, and that belief stands stronger today more than ever. His life lived within our community, our circle of family and friends and our home proclaims character and exemplary personal style forever lives here.
With heavy heart I offer sweet hours of healing prayer of comfort for the Charleston shooting victims’ family members, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal “Mother Emanuel”church and its members, community leaders and citizens. We are a nation in mourning reeling in grief and dealing with the aftermath of hate.
I initially typed the words no pretty pictures today, but how inaccurate those words are! How beautiful the signature steeple of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is as it points toward the heavens in architectural wonder and historical significance. As it has and will continue to do, the steeple of Mother Emanuel forever stands tall as a beacon of hope.
The resolve to love, coupled with determination of spirit and great fortitude, testifies to the strength of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation. May God bless, comfort and keep you all.