Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Smart Painting Trick Keeping Your Roller and Brush Ready

I wanted to share this trick I have used for the past 20 years. I have painted every wall of my home mostly by myself. 

I have used this trick when working on projects that would take the same paint and I didn't want to have to clean the brushes and rollers just to use the same paint the next day. 

I get the roller or brush super wet with paint and then I wrap them tightly in a really thin vegetable or fruit bag from the store. Make sure there is no air in the bag or between the bag and the brush or roller. 

I usually twist the bag over the end of the roller and squeeze as I roll the bag around the roller. I then put the brush into a baggie and squeeze the air out of the brush and baggie keeping it wet and moist so that when I need to start painting again, I can just pull the roller or brush out of the bag and get started. 

I make sure the edges of the bag is twisted enough that no air is going to get in and I put a rubber band around the base of the brush to keep any air out. 

I didn't know if others know about this idea but I figured I would share it as I have saved myself lots of time and the cost of lots of rollers by doing this. 

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Musical Weekend - Princess Five Has a New Ukulele

I mentioned in yesterdays post that we were visiting Princess One's family for the weekend. 

Princess Five is leaving in a week for 18 months to serve as a missionary. She love the guitar and music but knows she can't take her guitar with her on her mission but was hoping maybe she could take a ukulele as the mission rules said they could take "Flutes, violins, and other small instruments." 

So, she hoped that maybe she could get a ukulele at some point as Princess Four bought one on her mission and played it in a few videos we posted while she was still in Japan on her missions. See a post here about that.

While we were visiting Princess One's family, we all took a walk to a second hand store near their home and while there, I found a beautiful, working 1/4 size violin for $35 in a cute blue soft sided case. I have been shopping second hand stores for years and have never seen one in such good condition and for so cheap! 

I showed it to Princess One and she and her husband bought it. I didn't take any pictures as who would have known how the rest of the trip would end. 

I was driving home with Princess Five in the car as we have still been looking for some black supportive dress shoes and we passed a second hand store on our way home and decided to pop in and see if there were any jewelry for sale in bulk bags or jars. We went in and they had no bulk jewelry but I noticed a ukulele behind the counter and asked the worker if it were for sale. 

He told me it was and it had a $49.99 tag on it but he told me he could give it to me for $39.99. I called Princess Three who has a nice ukulele and asked her if she wanted it and could look up the brand for me. She told me they were used from about $39 to $50 and new from $50 - $100. I talked the guy down to $36.99. It had a soft furry case to keep it safe as well for the price and I know the case would cost at least $10 - $20 anyway so I figured it was a good deal. 

I showed it to Princess Five who was looking at other things and she was super excited about it. She started playing it on the way home for a few minutes and then tried out a few songs after we arrived home after our long drive. 

She said she would play me a song I could post so I video taped a song and was super impressed that she has never played a ukulele before but could whip that up after a long day and not knowing any ukulele cords before this week, she did really well. She kept wanting to play the guitar cords but I thought the fact that she would sing for me at all having picked up her first real ukulele today! 

It is a Lanikai soprano ukulele and isn't a professional one, but it is in good condition. If she is allowed to take it with her, it wouldn't be the end of the world if something happened to it. 
She is hoping she will be able to take it with her on her mission, but we are asking to make sure it is a possibility. 

I also found a 1/4 size violin in the case with a $19.99 price tag at the same store and he told me he would sell it for $9.99 as it needs a new bridge but the case and violin are in good condition so hopefully the new repair piece won't be much and then Princess One can get both of her kids violin lessons for a great deal on both violins!  

It was a great weekend for music in our world! Have a blessed and music filled day! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Decorating Pumpkins With My FAVORITE Markers - Sharpies Are All I Need

I am visiting Princess One's family with Princess Five this weekend as Princess Five is leaving to serve as a missionary for 18 months leaving next week. 

She wanted to visit her sisters family for a few days so she could spend time with the grandkids before she goes as she knows, they may not remember her when she is gone and they will change LOTS while she is gone so she wanted to take this time to really enjoy them before she leaves. 

You can imagine that not having any other sisters married or expecting, and she being the youngest child, she hasn't had much opportunity to enjoy babies. She LOVED holding the baby and playing and coloring with the older kids. 

We had a great weekend with the family and had some fun decorating some pumpkins a neighbor delivered to their house one day. They knew if they carved them, they wouldn't last long so they thought about painting them but that also could get messy and not be very defined with little children so they bought a large variety pack of Sharpie markers to use to color the decorations on the pumpkins. Sharpies are a bit of a joke in our family because I LOVE them. Here is a link about that. 

As you can see, everyone had a fun time and I took a short video of the event and also some cute video of the baby rocking himself in the bouncy seat. I am so disappointed with my new camera. The video is so blurred and still has a grinding noise in it that I am not sure what to do about the situation. 

I may just go back to my old camera for video as it wasn't blurry at least but I couldn't zoom in or out while the video was on so I need to go back to researching to find one that will work for me. 

I did the pumpkin of the rainbow and a portrait of their family standing under the rainbow as I believe my mom is watching over us from heaven and I always see rainbows when thinking about her as she used to sing "Somewhere over the rainbow" to us each night and we sang it at her funeral. Here is a post about that.  

We all had fun and they placed the pumpkins outside for visitors to see. It was an easy activity and we loved being able to do it with them. 

Have a Blessed and Pumpkin filled day! 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Pruning the Front Trees - Princess Five is a Saint

I am so happy with all Princess Five and I have gotten done in the past two days. 

We were able to get the front flower beds pruned down and finished winterizing them last night before the garbage trucks came this morning. 

Today, I pulled out my pruning tools and my reciprocating saw and my ladder. I have never pruned so fast in all my years of pruning. 

I usually take steps back down the street and make sure I have it flat during the pruning and I also use the clippers and take out the inside growth on the trees before I ever start using the pruning sheets but I just went right to the top of the trees today and started pruning with the sheers so that I could get the most done with Princess Five helping as she will be leaving soon. 

She was a saint and packed up most of the pruned branches into garbage cans. We filled five garbage cans and there were no other cans to fill. Princess five and I worked until it was dark and I got all the trees in the front done but I need to do the two trees closest to the house.

I haven't pruned them on a regular basis but since getting the new gutters on the house, I need to trim them back yearly now to avoid having the nightmare mess I had to deal with last year in pruning them. Here is a link to that post

I have been pruning my trees like this for so many years, I can't remember when I started, but I have posted several times on how to do it. Here is a link to that post. 

I am hoping we can get to the two front trees and the 7 trees I have in the back yard next week before Princess Five leaves for her mission. She has some visits she wants to make, so I don't know how far we will get on that but I would love to finish up all the trees this year. It seems like I get most done and then snow sets in and I never finished up. I will miss having yard help again as it makes it so easy having a helper. 

Have a blessed and beautiful October day! 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

It Was A Grand Farewell - Princess Five Leaving Soon

This past Sunday we had a wonderful family gathering to celebrate Princess Five's farewell talk at our church. 

I shared a little bit of the weekend on this weeks posts, about the girls coming down a bit early and us going through things. 

It has been wonderful to be able to have the girls down and see the grandchildren. I enjoyed seeing all the family and many of my siblings families were able to come down and my Dad and his wife came as well. 

I LOVE that so many people were willing to come and support Princess Five at her farewell. She was able to see many of her cousins that she hasn't seen in awhile which was fun for her. 

The girls all had fun spending time with the grandchildren. I also enjoyed spending time with them, but I was so busy that I didn't get to spend the time I wanted with them playing games, coloring, doing puzzles etc. 

I did get up early the one morning they were here and I played a few games with them, but I just really love spending time with them doing anything and everything. I miss them so much between visits. 

Her best friends family came to visit and she appreciated them coming and bringing a treat. So many had super long drives to come, but it made her feel good that they would make that journey and support her that way. 

We have a friend whose son is also headed out on a mission the same week as Princess Five. I have always helped her with her farewell and homecomings and she has always helped me with mine. 

We decided to combine our farewells. Her son and Princess Five both got to speak in church and then we had their family and ours sing a song together. It was nice seeing them sing as I don't get to see that often and it has been years since they all sang together. It was a nice moment I will enjoy remembering. 

We were able to combine resources for the farewell and decorate with both families photos and so it was a nice easy set up with so much help and an easy clean up as well with so many to help. It was really just a great day! 

I only got to hold the cutest baby boy a few times this weekend as they weren't here long and there were so many people wanting "baby" time so I got a few minutes but Princess Five and I are planning a visit to get a bit more time with the kids so she can get all she can before she leaves in just over a week from our visit. 

Things are moving fast now as she is getting packed up and I am going to have withdrawals from having her around for the past few months. It will be rough..... 

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Looking For a Relaxing Christmas Gift For Dad

 It has been years since I remember getting a Christmas gift catalog in the mail. I think it was several years back and I got a nut / candy catalog for the holidays. 

I am not a big online or through the mail shopper. I usually like to feel what I am buying and see the quality and I hate getting something through the mail and opening it to find out it is cheap quality. 

With that, I don't know why I would get catalogs in the mail, but I got one from a company I have never heard of before to my knowledge. I figured I would flip through it to see if there was anything in it I would be interested in as I have sometimes gotten gift ideas by flipping through catalogs. 

There were 156 pages of just weird things I can't believe people would purchase. There was literally one page in the entire catalog of anything I found interesting. There was a portable hammock and a folding camp table with a little shelf under it to hold things. I thought that it was fairly neat as if you read this post, you know we go camping a few times a year on a good year. 

Over this past weekend, I showed my step-mom these items asking if she thought she and my dad would use them in their motorhome.... She didn't seem against the idea but thought he may like them. Like I shared, I don't like buying things without seeing them, but figured I could at least look up the items online and see what the reviews would say. 

I looked at many different types of portable hammocks and there were LOTS of reviews and I spent well over an hour reading reviews and making a list of ones I had viewed and the pros and cons of each. 

I read about plastic parts breaking soon after getting the items and people hurting their tailbones, people flipping over in the hammocks and being dumped on the ground, fabric ripping within the first week of use, people being heavy or long once they got the item, it was smaller than what they thought etc. 

I finally found one that showed tall and heavy people in the hammock and the frame is steel and there are different fabrics depending on if you want to leave it out or have a snuggly cotton wrapped around you etc. 

The price was within $30 and I think I am onto a winner as I was going to purchase two hammocks for them but this one holds up to 450 lbs and is built for two! 

I also searched for the folding camping tables and found this really cool one that can be short or tall and has a zippered shelf at the bottom! It wouldn't probably be the best for eating around with the shelf under it but it looks removable. I LOVE that it zips closed keeping mice and bugs out of your stuff and also, it is often windy at our Easter Campout so being able to zip up the paper goods under the tables we leave out would be wonderful as we have to take them in and out due to the wind usually. 

Both items were Amazon best sellers and I love that you can pick the pattern for the hammock as well as the type of fabric... Other family members decided they wanted the folding camp table as well when I suggested the gift ideas. I thought I would share these ideas as I spent lots of time researching and figured I would share what I learned! 

The name of the table is: CampLand Aluminum Height Adjustable Folding Table
The name of the hammock is: Vivere Double Hammock with Space-Saving Steel Stand

Have a Blessed and restful day! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Sorting Of Holidays and Life Markers

I didn't have enough thought this weekend to take pictures of so many things that happened. I was trying so hard to get things ready for Princess Five's farewell gathering, that I was a bit scatter brained. 

I have not had all the girls home together in a long time where we didn't have something big going on or that we have only had them all here for a day or so. I asked the girls if we could somehow get them all down here for a few days to go through the holiday decorations and coats in the closet etc. 

Since Princess Five will be serving as a missionary for the next 18 months, I knew I wouldn't be able to go through all the stuff we had saved for the next two years and I would like to be able to move at some point but since I am a storage facility until they all get married, I feel like my life is on hold. 

I asked them all to come down and help me get through the stuff that any of them may want so that if I did choose to move or downsize, I could do that without feeling like I was getting rid of something they may want. 

I know I have a large house full of stuff, but I have all my mothers stuff that still needs going through and there is something of hers in nearly every room of the house and I want to be able to get it all scanned, recorded and gone, but that will take months of constant attention. The things that I can get rid of that no one is using, are all the decorations I have. 

The older girls remember all the decorations I made at different craft nights and hosting women's activities and many years of running a boutique where I would sell my own crafts. After my divorce, I didn't have time for that. Even putting decorations up was difficult. I went to a pre-lit fake tree from my real trees and bought all new tree decorations. I never put up the old as pulling it all out and putting it back was so time consuming and I had court dates, and drill competitions and so many other things around the holidays, that I just couldn't expend more energy. For many years, we only had a tree and stockings up. Once Princess Five asked me why all the other families had decorated houses with lights and we didn't. I told her that it was too much work. The holidays lost sparkle for them after that time. 

I have posted about that and how we tried to fix that situation by making fun memories and new decorations. I knew the older girls wanted some of the decorations from the past and that the younger girls wouldn't remember any of those decorations. However, I needed them all there to go through what I did have so no one would feel they didn't have a say in getting something they wanted. 

We pulled out all the ski jackets, back packs, Easter, Halloween, Christmas decorations and books and some bathroom drawers and I feel like it was cathartic for us all in different ways to be able to let go of things that had memories that were good and bad. 

Each girl had a tote of memories and I had purchased them each a handmade quilt years back and they were all able to choose one. I just love how the girls were considerate of each others feelings about things and if one got one thing they wanted, they were willing to allow another to have something they may have wanted but knew the other wanted more. 

I have always tried to make things equal for the girls and they always joke about the other siblings being my favorite. They all know that I have done my best to make sure that each got my attention when needed, and that they are all my favorite in different ways. I really was stressed about going through everything with them and could see that a few of them were stressed about going through things as well. Prince One was so good to take the kids out for an afternoon of shopping and treats so all the girls could be there to get through it all as we basically had one afternoon / evening to get through it all. 

Princess One's family was here just over 24 hours total and yet we were able to get through everything on my list of desired items. They each filled one tote with cute knitted baby sweaters, decorations that had memories, books they enjoyed on the holidays, ski jackets, and other fun items. They all got a few decorations to take with them for the upcoming holidays and I have FIVE huge over filled totes of stuff to get rid of as well from the basement decoration bins. I have about 7 more bags / totes of stuff from the rest of the house that I weeded out and more coats, snow bibs, backpacks and home d├ęcor stuff. 

I have so far to go yet to get the house where I want it in case I decide to move, but it feels good to be able to know that if I do want to move, I can just get rid of what I want as the girls have chosen what they would want. There were a few things they said they wanted to keep at my house for their kids but I told them that I would rather have them have and use them so if I decide to move or if something happened to me, they would KNOW that they could just donated it all without hesitation or needing to sort or go through each tote or bin. I think that doing this has maybe helped them see that I have done what I needed to get them where they are, but now, maybe I can start to live my life again and travel or go do service as they are all moving on to live their own lives. 

I am exhausted and my house looks like a tornado went through but it is a good feeling to let go of "stuff" that has memories attached and to start fresh...… 

I am blessed with some amazing girls.... God has been good to me! 

Have a blessed and clutter free day! 

Monday, October 22, 2018

I am Taking A Sick Day....

Such a long wonderful weekend, but I have fallen asleep for a few hours now trying to blog and I just keep falling asleep. I ended up with a few rows of X's and last I looked at the clock, it was 9:03 and it is now 9:23. I was so far asleep that I woke when my elbows perching on the end of the desk, slipped off and I nearly hit my head on the computer. I am not going to fight it.... Have an early to bed moment and a Blessed Day!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Comparing Toilet Paper Brands - Quilted Northern is my Favorite

I have used Angel Soft toilet paper for years. I just grab it as Walmart has it at the end of the isle and it is on sale often. 

I was visiting a friend and used the bathroom and this probably sounds silly, but their toilet paper was so soft! I thought I would try buying different brands and see if I could find something that would be softer than the Angel Soft. 

I tried Scott and Walmart brand a few months back and wasn't thrilled with either of those. I then went and bought Charmin and Quilted Northern this past week. I opened them and tried a roll of each. 

I tried Charmin first and from the first use, I wasn't liking it. I am sure over the years I have used all these type of papers but I just grab what is on sale and have even purchased paper by the case when it is on sale for case lot sales over the years but now that I don't have others home, I figure I should be able to pamper myself.

The Quilted Northern seemed more absorbent from the first use and was much softer to the touch. I really liked it. 

I figured that I would share my findings with others and show the difference of the papers so I put them on a dark surface so you could see how thick they were by viewing them on the dark surface, you can clearly see the difference in the three I compared. 

I don't know if anyone would want to even try the difference as maybe I am being a bit OCD about it but I was actually surprised with how much more absorbent the Northern is. 

I seem to be using less paper as it is thicker and more absorbent so I find that I use less each time. It is a bit more expensive than the other two brands but if I am using two times more of the one, then it really isn't more expensive because I am using less. 

I did a short video on the papers and tried to tear them with one hand and the other two brands ripped about the same but the Norther was harder to rip through so I feel like it is stronger than the others. 

I know it isn't scientific by any means but it is enough for me! I wonder if my girls coming home this week would notice if I put the Northern in all the bathrooms.... 

Have a Blessed day!