I Want Some Dandelions!

dandelion seed headIn my area of the country (New Hampshire) there are no signs of spring, let alone dandelions! It’s mid-March and the temps have barely been out of the 20’s lately. A lot of snow still covers the ground and it’s frozen solid. Only the little melted circle over the septic tank gives me a view of brown earth. It’s one reason this blog has been stagnant – nothing much happening here!

But lately I am thinking a lot about dandelions. They are something people mostly consider to be an annoyance. Those white heads explode in the wind and spread their dreaded seeds all over the place. Even though my lawn is quite hideous, I usually dig up the dandelions and add them to a compost pile (when they are yellow, not white). When I was a kid my dad once offered my sister and I a penny or nickel (can’t remember- it was the 60’s) for each one we picked from the yard. We happily ran all over our huge yard gathering the yellow flowers so they wouldn’t turn white and reproduce. I guess that is one way to remove them, and keep kids busy at the same time.

I’ve changed my outlook toward this yellow flowering weed. Why? Because I have been drinking dandelion tea from the health food store, over the winter, and it’s good. So I wondered if I could possibly make it myself. After searching online for advice, it appears it’s easy to DIY.
Apparently tea can be made from the flower, leaves and roots of the plant. The tea bags I bought are made from the root, and that is the part I think I need most. It’s good for the kidneys and I have recently been diagnosed with kidney disease. So I am very interested.
It will be a few months before dandelions begin to grow in my yard, but I am getting ready to try out some new tea recipes. This year I can’t wait to see those yellow flowers in my yard.
Once I do some experimenting with this, I will post my results, either here or on a new blog (which I am presently considering). But first the snow has to go away! One thing at a time.

For the Handy Woman – Springtime Fixes, Part 1 – Advice

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-1-36-14-pmThe truth is that many older women are now living alone. After raising a family for years, the couple splits, for whatever reason. Men tend to need to immediately find someone else. I don’t know if it’s because they have been spoiled for years by a woman taking care of everything, or if they just can’t handle being by themselves. I’m speaking generally here, because there are some men who do remain by themselves, I guess. All I know is that I seldom meet or hear of a man living alone. But I personally know many women who do.

Women tend to be better at the homemaking thing, especially older women like myself. We grew up imagining our lives as homemakers. That is not to say we didn’t also work outside the home. Between a job and raising the kids, it didn’t leave time for learning about home repair. I had a husband to do that stuff, and he lucked out because we bought our home brand new! There was little to do but typical grass cutting.

The point is that no one ever taught me anything about taking care of a home.  And my home was in Florida.  When I bought my own house, I was living in New Hampshire.  It’s a whole different ball game in the northeast.  Wood stoves, furnaces and basements were new to me.  I had a lot to learn.

Once I was alone, and in charge of my own home, I had to begin doing little fixes on my own. I did not have family to rely on. The buck stops here, as they say. Luckily, I have access to the internet! Almost every type of “how to” help can be found online and most things also have a decent You Tube video in case you want to watch someone do the job. So my first bit of advice is to LOOK IT UP and find a reputable site or video to rely on for advice.  Look for videos that have had a lot of views.  They are probably the best.  People put out some really awful videos and unless you want to slog through a bunch, just pick one that seems to be popular.  Like the one below.

Here is an excellent video to help with hanging artwork, mirrors, or anything on the wall!  I love this video because it’s something I dread doing, but she makes it look …not so bad.

My next bit of advice is to consider hiring someone to do it for you.  Do NOT take on too much.  Even a job that looks manageable can be much more time consuming once you begin doing it.  And don’t try to do anything that could be dangerous.  If the thought of climbing up on the roof to clean the gutters gives you the creeps… don’t clean the gutters yourself!

Now, I was lacking financially, so hiring people had to be done in small increments.  That can be a problem too.  Most contractors and carpenters want a big job to do.  One that will be worth their while.  Simply replacing a rotted step is not worth their time.  Perhaps find a reputable “Handy Man” for jobs like that.  Ask around to find someone you can trust, don’t just pull a name out of the newspaper.   In my case, I had a LOT wrong with my house. I found a good contractor who could give me advice.   He repaired sections of my house one at a time… when I could afford it and when he wasn’t busy.

So here goes.  Spring is right around the corner, and wherever you live, it’s a good idea to get things in order with the house so you can enjoy the summer.

Read PART 2 , especially if you would like to learn how to replace a screen.

Hydrangea Blue Cookies and Cupcakes

Blue Hearts
Image by joana hard via Flickr

Need some ideas for keeping the hydrangea theme going with sweets for parties and the wedding reception?
The bridal shower and wedding reception can easily keep the hydrangea theme with pretty decorated cookies. Flowers are beautiful and intricate in nature and sometimes a bit difficult to copy when preparing food, but I’ve found a few simple ways to do so for the do-it-yourself party planner or for ordering already made.

A nice idea I came across for using hydrangeas for the reception would be to decorate a shaped cookie of any kind with icing and add a simple little flower to the corner and write a guests name in the center to use as place holders. You could even add the table number to the cookie if you wanted.

As far as ordering online, I had a Continue reading “Hydrangea Blue Cookies and Cupcakes”