Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Sprucing

Hello there friends!  I hope you had a blessed Easter and Passover holiday.  We were glad to see all of our family on Sunday, and it was a beautiful day here.  I've been absent from blogging for two weeks now -- not a planned break.  Everyday life and family matters have kept us very busy here.

I really made an effort to write a post last Friday; it was to be about Beatrix Potter.  I had pinned all these pictures of her home, Hilltop Farm, with wonderful interior shots. I was looking over them again in order to provide links to my sources, I realized that over half of them were in some way linked to the National Trust, and the National Trust does not have a good sense of humor about people sharing images of their properties without express written permission.  Which I did not have.  So there went all that work down the drain.

I'm in an indecisive mood, folks.  I have some good stuff to share from Southport and Oak Island but didn't want to write about that right now, either.  So I'll just show you a little of what we worked on over the weekend.

  Yep, it's yard work time again.  The good thing about pictures is they show you what you still need to work on; the bad thing about pictures is they show you what you still need to work on.  ;)  I need to pull the weeds out of the sidewalk near the porch.  The area to the left of the sidewalk and in front of the house will get a layer of fresh pine needles, hopefully next weekend.  However, our shrubbery area on the right looks much better than it did this time last year.  We did a final trim and weeding there in late fall (after working on it through the summer) and I think it paid off.

We're making a natural area between these three trees at the edge of our yard and lower driveway.

I'm hoping to plant lots of good perennials and shrubs here.

This is a view of the whole natural area.  It shouldn't be too big to take care of, and I hope it will be big enough for some of the things I want to plant there.

Our David Austin rose bush is leafing out now.  We pruned it nicely at the end of last season, and right now it's standing up against the house better.  Our shutters look bad in this picture, but I don't notice that they look this bad in person.  Hmmm.  It will probably soon be time to paint them.

Our red bud tree is in full bloom now.  This tree is very old, and we've had to cut some limbs and branches off, but it keeps hanging in there.  It would probably look better to plant a new tree in its place, but we sort of hate to cut it down.

The area around the mailbox will also get fresh pine needles and hopefully some flowers.

The pansies are in full bloom now, too.

I've also been working on spring cleaning inside the house.  I enjoyed doing some deep cleaning in the kitchen, taking everything off the countertops and making it all sparkle and shine.

I wanted to pass along a cleaning tip I found at Rita's blog, MAY DAYS.  She shared that she cleans her stainless steel appliances with baby oil.  I'd never heard of this, but I figured it was worth a try.  I wanted to clean our countertop oven, so I put some baby oil on a cotton ball and wiped it down, then went over it with a clean, soft cloth.  Wow.

This cleaning method really works.  Our countertop oven looks almost brand new.  Thanks for the tip, Rita!

That's all I have for the moment.  Not only have I not had time to post lately, but I haven't had time to visit my blog friends, either.  I'll be making my way through my blogroll to visit you this week -- can't wait to see what you've been doing!  :)  Thank you to everyone who stops by to visit my blog, and thank you for your kind comments.  They really do make my day.  :-D

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.  Have a great week!



  1. Things are looking nice at your place, Denise. I like that natural area you plotted. What a great tip about the baby oil. I'll have to try it. Have a wonderful week!

  2. Belated happy Easter, Denise, I love all your sparkling appliances. I also enjoy Rita's blog, she always has such useful tips and great recipes. I have not ventured out into my yard to do any work, yet, but I will be out there soon enough.

  3. Your yard and kitchen are looking all spruced up, Denise! Happy belated Easter to you and happy Spring!

  4. That natural area you are creating is going to look lovely! I can just picture daffodils there in spring! Happy bleated Easter and happy spring to you!

  5. Hello Denise. I was glad to hear from you. It is a busy time of year. Your red buds are just so gorgeous. I am waiting for mine to burst into bloom. I am so thankful that it survived the winter because I have had others die over the winter. I also really like how you have stored your coffee pods on the counter. And how is sweet Duncan? Boone is still crazy. Have a good week. (though it is half over)

  6. A lovely update, Denise. The natural area is going to be lovely, I bet. And the redbud tree - it is such a remarkable tree. Thanks for the tip about baby oil and stainless steel. I will use it. Happy Spring!

  7. It's such a beautiful time of year with all the blossoms and green grass..and especially the redbuds. They have lingered quite a while this year since the weather has been moderate. All your spring cleaning is inspiring!

  8. Things are waking up around here, too. I was out yesterday with the camera, first day in several weeks and was nicely surprised how greener things looked. I'll be interested in seeing what you decide to plant in your area between the trees. Happy Spring!!

  9. Hi Denise, Thanks for my blog mention on the baby oil tip. I just loved the previous post with the dog commercial. Too cute!



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