Thursday, January 20, 2011

Old House Charm

Our house was built in 1920.
Unfortunately, most of the original light fixtures, 
light switches, and plumbing fixtures have been "upgraded."

A few wonderful things remain and
they bring me such pleasure!

The latch on the back kitchen window.

Bracket holding the shelf in the pantry.

Pantry door knob.

Handrail going up the steps.

Stairwell banister in the living room.
It's really not that "orange."
And it's still unpainted!!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sometimes You Just Need Cast Iron

I think there are some things that just taste better in cast iron.

Fried apples would be one of those dishes.

Melt 1/4 stick of butter in the cast iron skillet.  Peel, core, and slice 4 apples.  Toss in about 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg.  Stir well.    I covered mine with a lid for a few minutes because I needed them to cook faster.  Enjoy the bubbly, sugary goodness!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I know that I created this blog to be about my old house, gardening, and projects that I'm doing, but, like everyone else, I have more going on in my life than just that.  I wanted to write a post about something else that is important to me.  I have never been an athletic type of person.  Over the years I've started and stopped more exercise programs than, as my grandma would say, you can shake a stick at.  Until I found T-Tapp.  T-Tapp literally changed my life and I don't say that lightly!

What is T-Tapp? "T-Tapp is a series of copyrighted, sequential movements designed to put the body in proper functional alignment. Its special sequence of comprehensive, compound muscle movement helps establish better alignment as well as increased strength and flexibility of the spine, better neuro-kinetic flow, lymphatic function, and increased metabolic rate. Its physical therapy approach to fitness makes it safe for those with shoulder, hip, knee, neck, and back concerns. Yet, it delivers a challenging workout for all fitness levels!"

I have suffered with back pain from scoliosis and kyphosis for most of my life.  I once weighed 229 lbs. and wore a size 24.  In  2008, I came across this rehabilitative program on the internet called T-Tapp.  The claims seemed too good to be true.  Lost inches and sizes.  Pain relief.  I continued to visit the site as my pain continued to increase.  I was having trouble doing some of my favorite things.  Gardening would send me to my recliner with a heating pad for days.

I finally ordered the Total Workout.  It sat on my shelf for several months.  My pain finally became so intense in March of 2009 that I told my husband that as long as I could get out of bed, I was going to do the Basic Workout (part of Total Workout) every day for ten days.  I can't kid you, the first three days were excruciating. I spent about three hours on the heating pad each night. By the fourth day, I was in love with T-Tapp! The pain started to dissipate, and I felt better than I had in years. I extended my ten day boot camp to 14. My back pain has gone from a solid nine every day to about a four. There are periods of time now where I don't even know I have a back issue because it simply doesn't hurt. My arms and legs aren't numb anymore when I wake up.  I am standing straighter than I ever have.

*Basic Workout is only 15 minutes long!

The things you read on the T-Tapp website really do come true! I had no idea that a back problem that had plagued me since I was 11 years old could be turned around in two weeks time. In addition, I have lost pounds, sizes, and inches!  More importantly, T-Tapp helped me get back into my life.  I'm able to garden and do projects around the house with minimal pain. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Flower-1/14/11

 I had some new followers before the holidays,
but wasn't able to highlight them.
Thank you for being patient.

These beautiful white roses are dedicated
to the second half of my followers
from December.

Cherry Kay at Entertaining Women  Cherry's blog is full of beautiful tablescapes.

Kelly at My Simple Walk   Kelly has wonderful crafts, tutorials, and  how-to videos on her blog.

George's Mum at  Evie-George   This is how George's Mum describes herself: "Earl Grey Tea Drinker. Mother. Wife. Big Sister. one time Countdown Contestant (yes, really.) TALL.
Brunette. Crafter. Reader. Dreamer. Typewriter Collecter. Cake Baker. Messy. Pun Maker. Graduate. Sleepy. Addicted to fonts. Lover of Letterpress. Eternal Romantic. Pyjama Wearer. Scrabble Player. Anagram Solver. Hater of Monopoly."

Beautiful blog!  Let's just start with the fact that she starts her list with Earl Grey! 

Aledia at Plum Perfect   Aledia has great tablescapes and pretty decorating.

Gena at The House on Lavender Hill  Gena's blog is full of her 1850's Victorian house, house projects, decorating, and yarn art.

Thank you for following me!

Please join Laura at A Place for Tea
for more Friday Flower.
She has some beautiful pink tulips dedicated
to those who are affected by
the Queensland Australia flood.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What'll It Be?

It's a lovely snowy day here in Northeast Ohio.
So what'll it be?


Or quilting?
Maybe a little of both!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Me? A Kindle? Why Yes, Ma'am!

 One of my goals for 2011 was to learn to knit.  My oldest daughter taught me how to knit and purl before she went back to college.  These are pictures of my first project: a self-designed Kindle cover.

Although I know there are some mistakes in it, I am pretty pleased with myself and it does the job of protecting my Kindle just dandy!

Is there anything left to say about the Kindle?  Well, apparently I think so, so here goes.

I love physical books.  I love the feel of the paper, the scent of the book, the sound of the page turning. I am very tactile and very visual.   I go to the library twice-yes twice-a week and always come home with a ginormous stack of books.  Each of my children has their very own very large library bags.  The rule is that you can take it out as long as it fits in the bag.  There are books in EVERY room of my house.  I'd probably have a bookshelf in the bathroom if I could fit one.  I am regularly "scolding" my children for leaving books lying about, umm, something they probably learned from me.  This is all to say that I am a person deeply embedded in the traditional book culture.

I never saw myself owning a Kindle and then I received one for Christmas.  I absolutely, without hesitation, love it!  I keep telling my husband and oldest daughter, "I really can't believe how much I love this thing!"

Right now, my Kindle has 53 books on it.  There is no way that I could carry 53 books from room to room and out of the house at the same time!

I have downloaded books for free from Project Gutenberg (I downloaded the catalog right to my Kindle), the KindleStore, and Google eBooks.  I have several big teacher's manual eBooks on a CD that I have been able to download onto my Kindle.  This will save me ink and paper. The KindleStore and, because I downloaded the catalog, Project Gutenberg are accessible right from my Kindle without needing a computer.

KindleBooks offers a feature that allows you to download a free sample so you can see if you like it.  There are over 100 free books to download at KindleBooks, many of them published in the last 5 years. I noticed some sales on the KindleBook site around Christmas and downloaded some popular author Christmas fiction for around $2.50.

You can easily bookmark, dog-ear, highlight, and make notes.

I've also downloaded a datebook that I can write notes in and keep track of my schedule.  The other day, I wrote up a grocery list using the Kindle and then used it when I went shopping.  Pretty fun!

You can add MP3s, if you wish.  I've heard that you can download audio books, but haven't tried this feature.  You can have the Kindle "read" your book to you. 

I don't have an iPod, iPhone, or laptop computer. We have one computer in our home. While it is a bit cumbersome, I regularly surf the net on my Kindle if our computer is occupied. 

I don't find that it strains my eyes. Anything that bothers my eyes can trigger a migraine for me. Hasn't happened with the Kindle. The Kindle has a special type of screen which doesn't exhaust your eyes like a regular computer screen.   I like that I can change the font size of a book in just a few clicks. I seem to read faster with the Kindle.

I was surprised at how much I like the feel of it. It has some softer type substance covering the back which feels nice in my hands. It is very light weight. I download the Bible (free!) and can read it, lying on my side, in bed with ease!

I like that there is a physical keypad at the bottom. Makes it very easy to add notes and search books with it.

If you are used to already spending money for books, you will like the Kindle. My father-in-law also received one for Christmas. He regularly buys hardbacks when they come out and he found that Kindle saved him $$$.

Negatives: It is not backlit so you always have to have a good light source to read by. You can buy Kindle covers with a light.

I have read that there is a work around to borrow books from the library. I plan to figure that out sometime in the next week or two.  This has to do with the type of files Kindle uses.  It can "read" PDF and MOBI.  Apparently, most library books are "written" in EPUB files.

I don't think it would be good for non-fiction books heavy with photographs and illustrations. You would definitely lose something with the black and white screen. I downloaded a sample of "Poky Little Puppy." It was very cute, but just not the same without color;) I have read some blogs on it, but then re-read them on my computer so I could see the beautiful photography.

 Brenda at Cozy Little House wrote a post asking about Kindles and Nooks.  There are some great responses in the comment section of that post.  (I took my comment from there and reworked it into this blog post.

**Edited to add that my 10 year old son has named the Kindle "Kindle Baby."  I've also downloaded some books for my kids to read while we are in waiting rooms, etc.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Things to Learn in 2011

It is said that learning anything new will stimulate your brain and keep it healthy.   So, instead of things I want to change, I've listed things I want to learn or get better in;

Here's my list:

Learn to use the manual mode of my point and shoot camera.

Learn to knit.
Sew some more quilts.  (Start on Christmas 2011 gifts.  Wouldn't it be fun to have a handmade Christmas?)

Become more technically savvy with my blog.

Finish the attic!!!!  I'm going here for some inspiration.

Research my house's history

Set up an Etsy shop.

What do you have planned?

Happy New Year, Everyone!