Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Judy, Judy, Judy

Reminiscing today.
The picture above is of my cousin Judy and me.
It was taken when we were four years old.
Note the matching sun suits.
This picture was taken in Michigan,
where both our families lived at that time.
About a year later, my family moved 
to Alabama.

However,  Judy and I stayed friends
all during our childhood.
Vacations were family trips,
either north or south,
depending upon which family was
traveling that summer.
The above picture shows Judy and me at the door
of my family's home in Alabama.
I'm the one with the ponytail.
Our mothers, who were close sisters,
are on the porch
with my sister Nancy between them.
They are all eyeing Judy's and my
life-sized dolls.
These dolls were so large they wore
real children's clothes!

On a later trip south for Judy's family 
the above "cousin" picture was taken.
I'm in the middle, with Nancy between Judy and me.
My older brother Bill is beside me
with Judy's little brother Ron in front.

How's this for dressed up girls?
We were at Judy's house and
getting ready for 
her violin recital.
I am the older, by about a month, and larger.
Judy was always (and still is) petite and 
I always felt  a bit awkward next to her!

This is a picture of all the "girl" cousins,
at that time. 
We have a few more now.
It was taken in Michigan.
I'm the one in the yellow sweater,
with the gosh awful pixie cut.
Between Judy and me 
is Linda, Patty in the center,
Nancy in the blue (what a cutie!)
and little Terri.

Which brings me to why 
I'm revisiting my past.
Sadly, family trips back and forth 
have become obsolete.
Too much distance, time,
marriages, children and life in general
put us on different paths.
However, a few years ago
Judy and I reconnected
via Facebook
and Judy has been keeping up with the 
She surprised me recently with the above picture.
Very nice cake Judy!
And YOU  look great too!
Allrecipes was her inspiration for her cake.
She says it was "yummy" and that she'll
"be making this again."

Thank you, thank you, thank you Judy,
for joining in with our cake fun.
But more than that,
thank you for helping me remember
what special times we had growing up.
Sure do wish we lived closer!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Almost Finished...

The work on the new screened porch
continued last week 
and the end is in sight!

My initial plan was to use the wood floor
already there.
But after thought and discussion
it was decided a tile floor
would be more durable.
So I chose two I liked,
in a light gray.
Looking at them side by side,
they look almost identical,
but there were some subtle differences.

It helped to place them in the space and decide.

In a short while,
the chosen ones were in place 
with spacers.

Then grouted and finished!
The covers for the electrical plugs were also installed.

The ceiling fan has been installed.

The black channels you see above will hold the screens
in place and be finished with a white cover.

The last bit of progress last week 
was that I ordered a replacement door
for the entrance to the porch.
It will not be ready for four or five weeks.
I am hoping the rest of the porch 
will be done before then!
The only real remaining job
is the installation of the screens.

Then, the real fun starts,
decorating it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Chef Rick's Cake

All the way from Germany,
here's my brother Rick's
Hummingbird Cake,
his submission for our
Two things to note,
the German flags
the little hummingbird
hovering above the cake.

No one has a better sense of
humor and fun
than my brother Rick...

He actually sent me pictures of his cake weeks ago.
But because of the colored layers,
 the obvious fake hummingbird,
and knowing how much Rick 
likes to jack me around,
I failed to realize
THIS was his cake.
I asked him today,
"Why the colored layers?"
He says originally is was supposed to
represent the colors of the German flag,
black, red and yellow.
"Major fail," his words.

Rick used a fairly standard cake recipe.
It's the frosting that made his cake,
German Vanilla Butter Cream Custard Frosting.
The cake was "just okay."

This is an old picture of Rick,
but one of my favorites.
Love you Bro!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Porch Progress Report

Work on the new porch
has continued steadily all this week.

Remember last week when the old ceiling
had been removed and I mentioned
I played with the idea of leaving
the ceiling open with the rafters exposed?

After about two seconds I decided,
although I liked that look,
it really wasn't in the spirit of
the "cottage look" of my house.
So I continued with the original plan
of a bead board ceiling.
That has now been installed.
It will be painted white.

I love the look of the brick wall.

The porch is now completely exposed
and all the supporting posts are up.

To avoid future painting maintenance,
the posts have been wrapped with white aluminum.

The old vinyl siding was removed from
the eave of the roof line and covered
with a moisture barrier.
New vinyl has been installed 
at the top of the brick foundation.

This shot makes the porch look massive to me,
but it's really a fairly small one.
All in all, some good progress this week.
What's remaining is a final coat of ceiling paint,
fan installed and
the floor addressed 
(still considering that one).
Oh, and the screens need to be installed!

Hope your weekend is a good one!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nancy's Hummingbird Cake

There she is,
the proud baker,
my beautiful sister Nancy
and her cake for this year's

The cake looks wonderful
and Nancy reports it was "delish!"
She used the 1978 SOUTHERN LIVING 
magazine recipe.
Two things strike me as notable about Nancy's cake:
*it was baked in a toaster oven
(another story all by itself)
*she used 2 sticks of butter 
 2 boxes of confectioner's sugar
for the frosting.
You can read all about 
her cake here.

Excellent looking cake Nancy!
I can almost taste it!

Still waiting to hear from you 
about your cake.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Big Do'ins at the Cottage

When the initial renovations
on my little Cape Cod were finished,
I decided perhaps one big project 
a year would be manageable.
I have passed my one year anniversary
in the house
and the time has come
for this year's project.
See the small white addition
on the side of the house?

This addition was a small
paneled room just off my living room.

Since I have only used it for 
storage since moving into the house,
I have decided the space
will be much more usable to me
as a screened in porch.

After planning and discussing 
this project with
my contractor, Jim
since early this year,

the project finally got started this week.

Jim has been stripping 
away the inside paneling.

The above pictures 
are how the room/porch
looked at the end of Day One.

By the end of Day Two
the ceiling had been stripped away.
I excitedly "played" with the idea
of leaving it open.
More on that later.

My original plan was to leave this 
wall covered with the paneling
and paint it.

 But after seeing the exposed brick
once the ceiling was gone,
I decided I like the
idea of it rather than a painted wall.

By the end of Day Two
we were down to exposed studs.

On Day Three
Jim began removing the
vinyl siding from the outside 
of the addition.

I have a small black room on the side of my house!

Yesterday, on Day Four
the walls actually started 

By the end of the day,
everything was clad with plastic.

I have a plastic room on the side of my house!

We are now on the fifth day of the project
and I can hear Jim hammering
as I type.
I'll keep you informed how we progress...

In the meantime,
have a lovely weekend!

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