Sunday, January 15, 2012

Newsletter - 1/15/12

Hello Dear Friends!

Randal's Weather Station - Gift From Son
Randal installed the new weather center he received from our son for Christmas.  The touchscreen display gadget moves about the house now and then as Randal enjoys seeing the data.

What is it about weather and men?  I have friends with husbands who have several weather gadgets around the house.

This one is powered by solar and has all the whirlygigs on it so Randal can look out his office window and know we'll be informed of what's on the way.

Do you think I should consider a crash course in weather reporting?  I could do weather videos from Bluebird Cove.  Just kidding!  However, I did take a video of Randal explaining the weather center as a thank you to Ben, our son, for the gift.

Squeek had dental surgery on the 5th of this month and did well for the first 4 days, but has been really lethargic and without much appetite for the past 5 days.  They gave her one of those super-duper antibiotic shots that lasts for two weeks before the surgery, so I'm hoping it's just the side effects of that.

I'm expecting to see these symptoms wane as we get into Tuesday (17th) when it should be totally gone.  At almost 16 years old (84 human years), I'm sure taking 7 teeth out was pretty traumatic to her body.  She has had FIV which causes a serious gum condition and that's why there were so many dental issues.  Your prayers would be appreciated.  In the meantime, she's enjoying her new Kuddle Cup Bed.  She looks so sweet in it.

New Window Covering for Breakfast Area
aka Sun Room for the Winter
On a brighter note, we finally have shades for our breakfast area window.  Only took 11 years to do this.  The window frame has only had 1/2" of space so there were no fixtures that would hold any type of shade up there, especially since they built this house with MDF rather than real wood.

Never being one to give up hope ... I saw an ad for a local guy, The Shade Smith, who installed shades and offered a free consultation, so I called to set one up (albeit not with much hope left).  Mark Smith had been an installer for many years for Hunter Douglas so knew his stuff and had a brand that was reasonably priced.  What I wanted was something opaque so I could still see the trees and bushes outside without the bright southern exposure of sun causing a lot of glare.

BEFORE Look of the Chest
He said he could make it work especially since my preference was for the honeycomb shades which were very light.  There were only 6 shades but I instantly knew which one I wanted and the name was FAWN.  That fits!  He did an awesome job and we're so excited about the benefits.

Ever since we painted the trim last year, I've wanted to use some of the leftover paint to redo a chest that is in our guest room.  It's one that Randal's dad had ordered as a kit when Randal was a kid.  It was brown when we got married and in the 90's I painted it white with some pink stenciling.

AFTER Look of Chest with New Paint & Pulls
You can imagine why I keep this old chest in the family ... it's not only because it was Randal's a child, but look at all those drawers!  It's a great storage unit.  I really love the color of the trim paint we used (Olympic Premium 0% VOC - Sauteed Mushroom) and it would match the neutral tones of the guest room.  It took me weeks of doing some on each of my "off the computer" days since I wanted to do four (4) coats to make sure it covered the bright white and provided a heavier protection with the extra coats.  

Since we had swapped out the drawer pulls in the kitchen for a darker variety, I intended to use them for the chest when I did the painting.  The old ones I put on and somebody was glad to have them.  I love FreeCycle so things get reused and not just recycled.

Male Pileated Woodpecker at Suet Feeder
We made suet last weekend.  We enjoy getting to see the seven (7) species of woodpeckers visit often for it.  I have bought it also, but it just yuks me out to think of using beef suet since chemicals and drugs are stored in the fat of a body.  I pray over it to cleanse it, but it feels really good to make our own.

Since I've got access to Randal's muscle for stirring, it was no problem for me to measure everything out and then press it into some baking dishes and cut it with a pizza wheel to bag up.  The garage is a great place to store it.  If you'd like the recipe, I did a post on My Favorite Suet Recipe.

Bird Feather Bouquet
Speaking of birds ... have you ever picked up a bird feather from the ground or the beach?  I have over the years and about a year ago decided to make a "bird feather bouquet" right after Randal found a turkey feather on our driveway.  I thought I'd share a photo of it to maybe give you an idea of what to do with all of those collected bird feathers ... or to inspire you to look for feathers now that you have something you can do with them.

It's only 8 weeks till Daylight Savings Time begins on March 11th.  I'm looking forward to the forsythias and daffodils being in bloom.  As warm as it's been this Winter, I wonder if we'll get an earlier Spring?  You won't hear any complaints from me, but I do have a few friends who actually enjoy winter.

While we have Winter, Randal and I entertain ourselves with puzzles.  I grew up doing puzzles with my great grandparents on a small card table.  Precious memories.  They would glue them to cardboard and hang them up with a string like works of art.  I now know that it was a great way to keep me in one place and sitting still.  Not something I was prone to do much having been a very "busy" child.

Puzzles have many benefits.  I did a post showing the puzzles we've done since December.  View this post:  Get Brainy Family Time with Puzzles.

I pray that 2012 has already been a year of blessing for you.  May God reveal Himself to you on a deeper and deeper level as you "seek first the Kingdom of God" and the amazing depths of His love for us.

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Love and Hugs,

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