January 31, 2015

Decorating with a Green Jar

I have been deep into organizing and clutter clearing since after Christmas. And by the way, where did Jan go so quickly. Anyway, amid all of my straightening up and sorting of things around the house, I played with the coffee table in the great room. I needed a break.

While rearranging the coffee table was not a huge creative project...it took my mind off of tubs, donation bags, and piles of catalogs and magazines. (I need an organization plan so as not to have to do these huge jobs.) 

Hubby has been organizing and arranging in the garage...so perhaps we will meet in the middle somewhere. Clearing clutter is such a job. The thing is, we have only been in our house for two years, how could I possibly have clutter in the short time? The answer is...we just have too much stuff. ha!

Anyway, to distract myself from my reorganizing jobs I played with the coffee table in the great room for a while. 

A few pics...

I have this great little green jar. I picked it up in Lexington I think. You know that I love greens, and this spoke to me. So, it came home with me a few years ago. I am happy that it survived "the move" because I love to display it.

It moves around the house...as I move and stage tabletops.

I moved my pretty little jar to the coffee table...just for a change. When you make one change then that means you have to move other things around to create a pretty vignette. That little dance goes round and round in a house.

The jar is hand painted...and looks old, but it is not. It is just a decorative something I picked up in my "hunting and gathering" over the years.

I put the jar on the coffee table along with some candles and sprigs of faux grass.  The green jar and the green grass bring some color to the room, which is needed this time of the year. At least I need some shots of major color by the time Feb rolls around.

Do you see the armoire behind the coffee table and green ottoman? If you look below, you can see a better picture. 

Of my non antique furniture this piece would be one of my favorites. We have the flatscreen inside, so we cannot go jumbo size. Good thing? maybe. ha!  

This piece has enough room to store my cd collection, as well as games, etc in the bottom half. It is in two pieces...which I am sure the movers were happy about, because this baby is a monster solid cherry item that was made in Louisiana by a small furniture company. 

Please do not ask me the name, as I cannot remember it...wish I could. 

This piece too survived the move very well. It got a couple of small scratches but I used a furniture stain marker to hide them. 

Sometimes people wonder what to do with those flatscreens in their living or great rooms. 

I say, hide those things...then swing open the doors when you are ready to watch something. I have a smaller armoire in my "mama cave" that has a much smaller flatscreen. 

I have shown you bits and pieces of the great room before, but I have never shown you my giant armoire. 

What do you all do with your televisions? Do you hide them, or do you leave them out? I do have an "exposed" television in the bedroom, but I do not like it. It will remain until it dies a natural demise though. ha!

Mikey always keeps an eye on me, and my progress...though he is probably thinking, "she will just move it all around later."  Still, he stays by my side, watching and waiting. Mikey is such a good boy!

When Mikey gets bored...he moves to another location, perhaps to get a better perspective on what I am doing.

He plunks down on the floor...and continues to keep an eye on things.

Mikey and I thank you for visiting. Please visit again when you have time. Also, leave us a message if you want.

Thanks for stopping by. 
We look forward to your next visit. 
©MyKentuckyLiving 2014-2015

January 25, 2015

A Golden in the House

We live with a sweet eleven year old golden retriever...Mikey. Or, maybe he lives with us? Still trying to figure out the dynamic here! If you have a pet you get this. They learn to manage "us."
Even if you do not have a house dog or cat, you can still get some tips in this post and pass along to someone that you know.
We have a sweet, but furry, golden retriever. His soft gold fur begs to be fluffed and caressed by family and friends. He is indeed the "popular" resident of our house. He is loved at the groomers for his gentleness and co-operation. He is loved by our UPS guy who also has three goldens. He is loved by kids who visit at Halloween. Along with all of this lovable hunk of fur there is fur and footprints to deal with. And, when he sleeps on his side saliva leaks out the side of his mouth creating spots on the hardwood. There is much cleaning that goes into the raising of a golden, or any other dog for that matter.

Mikey is a dear sweet soul. I had the mistaken notion that he would be an outside dog like our previous farm dogs. Pre- Mikey we had two rescue dogs. The first one was a border collie who when the neighbors cows would get loose would keep said cows in our yard. The second one was a mix of german shepard, chow, and wolf according to one vet. He was large and in charge...and was a great security system. Those dogs stayed outside all of the time. Along comes Mikey...and he was not going to stay outside. He wanted to be with his people 24/7. We became his new pack!

I have always been a bit of a neat and clean freak...and never had a dog or cat in the house. For me to have a "house" dog was a big stretch. But since I am the one who went to get Mikey from the breeder, near Lake Cumberland, and take him away from his canine mom and dad I had a new responsibility. As a little bitty pup I could not leave him alone outside on the back porch with so many night time critters outside. So...guess what? I became a person with a "house" dog. ha! 

I love Mikey, but, he sure creates lots of house work. First there is the glorious golden fur! It gets everywhere. Then there are the necessary trips outside...and sometimes we get wet pawprints on the hardwood, despite the rugs on both sides of the door, and a towel for quick wipe downs. Pawprints are part of having a dog. Next, there are the drool drips from the side of the soft mouth when he sleeps or rests on his side. And then there are the occasional times when he gets sick at this stomach and well, there is a mess to clean. Yuck!
So, how do I  deal with these clean-ups? Well, after eleven years we pretty much have this down to a science. ha! Keep reading.

I will go back to the puppy days when I first brought him home.
I purchased a large crate to put in the corner of the kitchen. I put an old blanket and towel in it...with some puppy toys. His crate was his safe zone and I would put him in it at night, and other necessary times. He used his crate until he became too large for it...and then we gave him a large cushion for nap time.

Fortunately, my kitchen had/has hardwood. We moved, but both houses have hardwood floors almost everywhere. Also, my kitchen had doors to make a secure location for my new buddy to hand out. 
Mikey house trained very quickly...but there were drips on occasion. White vinegar to the rescue! White vinegar will kill bacteria/germs.  I mixed up a clear spray bottle of 1/4 water and 3/4 white vinegar. I purchased a swiffer type of mop with disposable wipes. First wipe up the puddle. Next, spray the spot with the vinegar spray. Wipe with mop/or paper towel. I would do that a couple of times. Then...because I like to be extra sanitary...I would vinegar mop the whole kitchen floor. In fact, that is about all I did those first couple of months. We played outside a lot too. 

Still, with being house trained, there were dribbles to clean up from time to time while he was still young. Sometimes he would get excited if someone came...and he would leak. Out would come the white vinegar and paper towels.

To deal with the fur...I always have a "quick up" stick vacuum. I vinegar mopped hardwood floors each week too. The bedrooms were upstairs and he never went up there. At night he slept in his crate, with public radio on for white noise. 

I felt that white noise was a good idea so that he would not hear the sounds of the other animals of the night. In our part of the country we had coyotes(http://fw.ky.gov/Wildlife/Pages/Coyotes.aspx), 'coon dogs, other dogs, birds, airplanes, helicopters, etc. Public radio worked! He was such a good new baby. 

Mikey did not wimper or cry after the first couple of days. I think he looked around and figured out that he could "whip this family into shape" in no time. We gave him his baths in daughter's tub and he did just great. (Daughter was in college and not too pleased that we were using her bathtub.)

Mikey learned that it was his job to lick up milk spills or cereal crumbs in the kitchen. He learned that it was his job to bring me the ball or stick...but after three times he would just sit or lay down. He was done. So much for the "retriever" part of this boy. At eleven years old...he does the exact same thing. Three retrievals. No more.

Back to cleaning the house...
In our new house, I have have the following items in my arsenal of cleanup tools.
1. Dyson vacuum. I use it on the wool rugs.
2. Quick up small style stick vac. Loose fur and crumbs.
3. Steam mop. To sanitize sealed hardwood and ceramic tile floors.
4. White vinegar & paper towels. Spot cleaning on sealed hardwood and ceramic tile.

Mikey's food and water stay in the laundry room, which has a tile floor. Easy peasy cleanup with vacuum, steam mop, and white vinegar.

I will have more doggie related info...and will weave those posts into my other topics. I will be starting a "golden" page that you will find just under the blog title. I will post links, information, etc. for you to read. Also, if you have any good tips, websites or links for me, please leave in the comments section of the "golden" page above.
 Meet CeeJay! I am so proud of this little guy.  He is a certified reading paws companion in the Atlanta area, and one of our family of goldens. His "dad" and "mom" are my brother and sister-in-law. CeeJay goes to the library to help children read... in a relaxed, non-threatening environment.

If you have a home and a heart that would like to welcome a golden that needs a home and a family, please check out the following links. Goldens are wonderful "companion" dogs for young and old! They love children, and will sit for a spell with older folks. They are just wonderful family dogs who attach to your heart! (see info below)

Louisville, Ky area Golden Adoption http://grrand.org/about-grrand/
Adopt a Golden Atlanta*, http://www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com/
A few orphans in the Atlanta area http://www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com/orphans.asp
Golden Rescue of Atlanta, GA http://www.grra.com/
Reasons to Rescue, http://www.grca-nrc.org/
About Rescuing Goldens, http://www.grca.org/allabout/rescue.html
Compatability quiz, http://www.grca.org/allabout/profiler.html
*(My brother volunteers with Adopt a Golden in Atlanta

This post was featured on Rattlebridge Farm Blog. Thank you to Michael Lee!

Thanks for Visiting,
 ©MyKentuckyLiving 2014-2015

Linking this post with...
Between Naps on the Porch, Monday

January 24, 2015

Weather Report, Snow in South Central Kentucky

We woke up to some snow on the yard today...and it is so fun to see. It makes me feel like a kid. Mikey went out to play in the snow and make a few tracks. I could already hear dripping, so the snow will not be with us very long. 
I quickly grabbed my camera to take a few shots from the front and back porches...while in my pjs. If you look closely you can see blades of grass poking out of the snow. It is not deep. But it covers the yard.
The sun is already melting the little bit of snow, so I had to act quickly to get a few pictures.
The trees are devoid of vegetation...but they look pretty in a quiet sort of way. Everything is sitting quietly, waiting for spring to reward us for our patience. 

There are a few lingering leaves holding on tightly to one of the front yard trees. They offer a bit of color to this otherwise white and grey color scheme.

The ice is melting on the front steps.That's a good thing. Daughter said that Lexington has five inches and it is still snowing. I told her that I wanted pictures!

My knockout rosebush has snow blossoms instead of bright pink flowers.
There is beauty in a snow covered landscape. It makes us slow down and enjoy the wash of ice and snow crystals on top of our dark winter landscape.

Have a great day!
...and thanks for visiting.
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Between Naps on the Porch

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Savvy Southern Style, Wow us Wednesday

Rattlebridge Farm Blog, Foodie Friday and every thing else

January 23, 2015

Housekeeping Tip, Invisible Glass

Summer color for a cold winter day!
This is a quick post with a cleaning tip that I think you might like to try. I have no business affiliation with this product, Invisible Glass. It is just something that I like to use and I wanted to tell you about it. 

I have been catching up on some household cleaning since packing away the Christmas decorations. I have not been in "creative" mode so much lately but rather "cleaning" mode. I can tell you that I prefer doing creative projects more than the cleaning ones! Ha!  Nod if you agree with me. :-)

I love to have sparkling mirrors, and windows...though I may not be quite as obsessive over my windows.

Our son also loves to have sparkling car windows and mirrors. He is a car cleaning scholar...using this product or that!  He has cleaned and shined on cars since he became old enough to drive, or maybe before......many many years ago!  (He loved to wax and shine his little bicycles and motorcycles.) As a result...there would be lots of bottles and cans of this and that with the intention of making class, paint, or chrome shine like new money. 

One day...I found myself without the blue window spray and I noticed he had some windshield/glass cleaner in the garage. I thought I would give it a try. Nothing to lose. Wow...I was impressed. 

One particular item that I discovered is a windshield spray. It is made to clean bugs and whatever else off of car windows, so I decided to give it a try on my mirrors and then on the glass in picture frames.

 I always used the blue stuff in a spray bottle...but I would fight streaks, etc. I would wipe and shine and still have streaks. But once I used Invisible Glass...there were no more streaks, film, etc. I use regular paper towels...and just wipe. The first time you use Invisible glass on a mirror...you may need to spray and wipe twice in case there is buildup from a previous product. I even use this on my glass top range. I used the blue stuff...then used my Invisible Glass. Wiped dry with a microfiber cloth. No streaks! I love the results. 

I use Invisible Glass on mirrors around the house, the chrome faucets, and glass in picture frames. Seriously...there is no reside. I am a convert and keep some stashed under my sink. 
You will not find this product in the household cleaning aisle. But you can find it in the car cleaning aisle. I bought mine at WalMart. It costs a little more than the regular blue window spray, but I think it is worth it in order to not have streaks on my mirrors.
I have been slowly cleaning all of the mirrors in the house...as part of my post-Christmas cleanup.

If you should decide to give Invisible Glass a try please let me know how you like it. I hope you find it helpful!  Just search "Invisible Glass" online and it will pop up as sold in many places. 

I have a few more tips...so check back. Or better yet...subscribe by leaving your email in the appropriate box in the right hand sidebar of the blog. 

Have a great day!

January 22, 2015

Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe

 I made a really good batch of vegetable/beef soup this week!

I started with leftover roast beef and potatoes from the previous evening's dinner. If you do not eat meat...just leave it out, and still have a great soup.
I had to make a slightly different recipe since I was out of one ingredient (tomato soup) and I did not want to drive to the grocery store. I have done last minute recipe substitutions before...and sometimes they work and sometimes they do not. 

This time I think my soup was better than ever! I switched two ingredients...and wow, such flavor. Look it over and see what you think. There is one ingredient that you have probably never used in vegetable soup before...Bushes Baked Brown Sugar Beans. Yep. That may just be the magic ingredient.
This Week's Vegetable Soup

Take what is left from a roast beef dinner.  If you have nothing left then I suggest that you just cook your roast beef and several potatoes in a crock pot overnight so that it will be read for the soup the next day. 

This is how I make my veggie soup this week.
You all know that I am not a precision cook! …so there are not specific amounts listed for the ingredients. When I  make vegetable soup I use what I have in the house.

  1. diced roast beef from being slow cooked in crockpot,
  2. several precooked potatoes from when the roast was cooked in the crockpot,  
  3. medium sized can of Bushes Brown Sugar Baked Beans,
  4. Worcestershire sauce, 
  5. small bags of frozen veggies…your choice. (I used baby lima beans, peas, and corn.)
  6. about 1/4 cup tomato ketchup.
  7. 2 larger boxes beef broth.

1. Cut cooked roast beef pieces into small bite size pieces. Place into your soup pot. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce.
    2. Cut potatoes into small bit sized pieces. Place into your soup pot.  Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce. You want the sauce to soak into the potatoes.
3. Pour one large box of beef broth into the soup pot. Add remaining later as you add vegetables.
4. Pour a medium sized can of Bushes baked beans into the soup pot. Stir.
5. Add small bags of frozen peas, frozen lima beans, and frozen corn.
6. Add ¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce to the soup pot. Stir.
7.  Add two or three good squirts of ketchup…stir all.
    8. Heat soup slowly and bring to a boil. After the soup comes to a boil, lower to a simmer for about 15 minutes.
    9. Bon Appetit! Add some crusty French bread and a salad...and you will have a nice meal.
    Depending on how many veggies, and the amount of each veggie, you will need to add more liquid. Sometimes I add a cup of water. Sometimes I add another cup or two of broth. You will have to use your own judgment on this. Taste as you create.

This recipe can have various amounts of everything depending on your choice and amount of veggies. The more vegetables that you add, the more broth you will need, etc.  The main thing is to make sure that your broth suits your taste. I do not add any extra salt, because we try to limit our intake. I think that there is enough sodium in the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and can of baked beans.  Feel free to add any vegetable that you like and that will stand up to being in a soup pot. This soup is good to have around for a day or so...if it lasts that long. :-)  The flavors just get better. Hubby and I both agreed that this batch of soup was extra good!

If you are a vegetarian I believe that this could be made without the beef...and still be great. You will want to switch to vegetable broth also.
Thanks for visiting!
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©MyKentuckyLiving 2014

January 18, 2015

More Brass & Gold Touches

This post is featured on Rattlebridge Farm Blog. Thank you Michael Lee West. 

Since after Christmas I have been putting things back into a simpler state of décor. It takes time to get a house back in order after the "defrocking."

I have done a couple of small projects...but like so many other folks I seem to have slowed down a little since the Christmas rush. I have been getting Spring catalogs in the mail...and I am ready to jump into Spring projects...but not winter ones. :-) 

I have created a couple of greatroom vignettes for you to see... 

Here is one of the two pine chests that are in the great room. I have a chest on each end of the sofa....partly for storage, and partly because we sent the end tables I was going to use to an auction house for a quick sell. It was a case of bad communication! So much was going on at that time...it was crazy. Oh well...I decided to use my old pine chests, and since they have storage, that is just a plus. (But, I am wondering if the finish is in style?)
Here is the first chest that I showed you in a previous post. I brought an older brass lamp back into use...since brass is back "in." The drawer handles are also solid brass. 
Here is a closer look at the brass pineapple motif lamp. This is an old girl...dating from back in the 1980s when we built the Georgian... and brass was "the thing." I am so glad that I kept some of my old brass stuff.
Now, we are jumping over to the other pine chest. The vignettes change often...so who knows what will be here in a couple of weeks. For me, it is like playing house and creating an artistic still life.  For this vignette I placed another of my brass lamps, three pears, a book box, and a planter with some pots of grass on the top. I played with the items until I came up with  what seemed to be proper perspective and balance. 
I have three pears...an odd number is better than two, or four, whether it is pears or pillows.  I used the faux book to elevate the pears some. 
I pulled in the painted metal planter because it has pears on it. Then, I placed two small pots of wispy grass in the planter.
I include these two shots (above and below) just because I like the way the photographs look. 

Here is the brass lamp. I had it on a large cherry desk in my husband's office/study. The desk is taking up residence with a cousin at the present. Maybe the lamp and desk will be reunited again sometime.

The next few pics make me feel like I am an old Master...Rembrandt perhaps (ha!), using the lamp light to highlight the pears...and then seeing the dark shaded sides. I am not a painter but I pretend that I am one by placing a still life on a table...then taking photographs. I use the camera to capture what my fingers cannot paint...though I have lots of room for improvement behind the lens.   :-)

The lamp is very heavy cast brass...and cost a pretty penny at the time. The lacquer coating has stayed wonderfully. There are no signs of tarnish or flaking lacquer. yea!
The lamp shade is oval, or oblong. I have no idea what I will do when the shade needs to be replaced. It did get a little bent during the moving and storage process...Not much...but there is a bend where I wish there were no bend. Hmmm.

I am so happy that I have been able to "recycle" my brass lamps. I have heard that if you keep things long enough they will come back "in style." I guess for those of us who love home style, fashion, and design we roll with the trends to a certain degree. 

How about you? Do you try to keep with the latest house fashion, or do you pretty much stay with what you like. Or, maybe you keep what you treasure from family and travel finds...and then update with an accessory or two over the year? I would love to know your feelings and thoughts about staying "on trend." And...what you do to keep your house "in style." 

While I may think that I am not overly swayed by manufacturers and markets...I am. I love to look at blogs and the latest Traditional Home or Southern Living magazine. AND...I have to admit that the kitchen is for sure one area where I like to have nice new fresh appliances and decorative touches. We have all watched those television shows with the kitchen from a few decades earlier...and gasped! ha! I just think that a kitchen may be the area of a house that really "dates" it. 

So, my brass (and gold finish) is making its way back into the house décor...and I like it once again, since the "design" sources have sanctioned it. Are you like that too? When I say it out loud...I feel kind of silly that I am so swayed by what is "cool."  ha!

And a final question...Is the finish on my matching pine chests out of style? What should I do? I actually still like the old antique English scrubbed pine look...so, should I just be strong and say that I like it no matter what and keep it as is? 

Have a great day! And thank you for visiting.

This post is being shared with the following blogs…
Please visit them too.

Dwellings, Heart of Your Home
Between Naps on the Porch
A Stroll Thru Life, Inspire me Tuesday
Stone Gable Blog, the Scoop
Stephanie Lynn, Sunday Showcase Party
The Dedicated House, Make it Pretty Monday

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