Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Wow!  It's been a long time since I've posted on this blog.  My computer crashed in November that caused me a lot of pain!  Ugh!  Don't ever go without anti-virus protection for even a day.  I learned the hard way!

I couldn't figure out why my satalite internet wasn't working in November.  When I would call the company they just said they were having technical difficulties.  Finally I called the man who installed my dish and he told me he had just found out that Sky-way went out of business.   NOW WHAT?

I had to wait until just a few weeks ago to get another satalite privider, Hughes Net.  It seems to be working very good and it's pretty fast, so finally, I can post again.

Christmas is over and I hope to see you on this site often.


Friday, October 21, 2011


One of parents made this sweet sweet pumpkin for our kids at our childcare center and I thought you might enjoy seeing it.  Perhaps you might want to make one for your kids!

This is a medium size pumpkin and the mom said she put 160 suckers on it.  Trust me there are several rows of the sweet stuff on it!

If you decide to make one please post pictures so we can all see how yours turned out!

Grandma B

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I hate chiggers!!!  I have avoided those little devils all summer until a week ago.  Apparently a few hitch-hiked on my socks and made their way to my ankles.  I used everything  I could think of to stop the itch and then I saw this idea somewhere (can't remember, that's happening a lot lately) and thought why not try it!

And what was this new anti-itch miracle?   TOOTHPASTE!  You read this right;  Toothpaste!   I rubbed a little dot of my toothpaste on the itch and it stopped immediately.   After a few hours it would wear off but when I reapplied it, the itch stopped.   This was amazing!  

I haven't tried it for mosquito bites or other itches, but it worked on those flesh eating critters called chiggers!
What are some of your best remedies for itch?

Grandma B

Monday, September 5, 2011


While shopping at Home Depot the other day I saw a paint made for doors and trim by Glidden.  It claimed to leave no drips or brush marks.  The sample they had painted was amazing.  Since I had an old chest of drawers that was ready for the trash, I decided to try my hand at painting it.  Here are my before and after pics.
The wood is scratched and hardware is missing.
My first step was to clean the chest and then prime it before painting.  I used spray primer!
Here is the finished chest.  The finish is really beautiful.  I have since used this paint for the bookcase and bed.

Here is the finished bookcase and chest. 
This door and trim paint comes in quart size only but it really goes a long way.  The cost $17.99 for three items of furniture.
I can't wait to start painting my doors and trim!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Do you find yourself purchasing individual bottles of tea, water, or other cold drinks?  For years I have made my own individual bottles of drinks and the family loves it.

I originally purchased a pack of tea in glass bottles.  I personally didn't even enjoy the brand tea I purchased but I was after those glass bottles!  I then began filling the jars each day with iced tea and capping them.  Yum!  They taste as good as the day the tea is made. 

Lemonade is wonderful when it is iced cold and at your fingertips!  Just grab a jar and go!   Kool-aid?  Water?  Gator-ade?   You are saving money by making your own drinks but have the convenience of the grab and go!  They fit nicely into a cooler too.

I use all kinds of glass jars to store the drinks.  Pint size mason jars work great as do pickle jars, gravy jars, spaghetti sauce jars and more.  You get the picture, right?  

These glass jars are easy to clean in the dishwasher.  I have been using some of these over and over for years now and they are still in perfect shape, lids and all. 

Saving money and trash in our landfills is a win-win!   Cheers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I attended an auction Saturday and purchased a sleep number bed and a dresser.  I was very pleased to win the bid, however I never dreamed it would cause me to have to work so hard this week.

Dale and Scott moved my dresser in on Monday afternoon and the work began.  I am rearranging bedrooms to make everything fit!  I have cleaned out drawers, causing me to get real about what I wear and don't wear, and what I use and don't use.

I also had to find a place to put a lot of books that I stored on a bookshelf because the shelf cannot stay in the room.  So far I have emptied three dressers and chest-of-drawers and one book shelf.  I plan to donate items to a homeless shelter in St. Louis.  It may take a truck to get all of this "stuff" to them.

Even Sidney got in on the action by going through a large assortment of his books and letting them go.....
He also is letting his pellet gun go after all these years.   It's hard because we get so attached to "things", but they are just that; things!

On Saturday an elderly woman told me that she told her children, "We spend the first half of our life try to accumulate things and the last half of our lives trying to get rid of it".  How true! 

The more I get rid of the easier it is to take care of my home.  Don't wait too long to start simplifying your life.  Start today, one drawer at a time!


Sunday, July 31, 2011


Because of the extreme heat in our area, the children at our daycare have been pinned inside for several weeks.  It's beginning to wear on everyone, the teachers, the kids, and me!   Our teachers have used up every idea that they can think of to keep the kids busy, but ideas are waning thin.  With that in mind I was thinking it might be a good idea to purchase some new games and puzzels for our classrooms. 

I don't know how long it's been since you shopped for games and/or puzzels but they're not cheap!  Saturday my daughter-in-law took me thrift store shopping for these items.  Did I mention she is sort of a thrift store queen?!?    By the time she showed me her favorite stops I had about 20 to 25 new games and puzzels loaded up in my car.   My total for the bonanza.....a whopping $31.00.   I was over-joyed with the finds, and even more over-joyed with the price.

Have you been thrift store shopping lately?


Monday, April 25, 2011


I had never heard about growing potatoes in a barrel but it made since.  During the cold, long, dreary winter we learned about a new way to grow our potatoes by growing them inside of a barrel.  Since it's the roots that produce the potato, this method forces more roots to grow and less top.  We decided to give it a try!

The directions said to drill drainage holes in the barrel, then place some gravel for drainage.  You then add about 6 inches of soil and plant your seed potatoes.  You cover with just a little soil and wait.  Once you see the potato shoots coming up out of the soil, you then add a little more soil, repeating this process over and over.   So far things are looking really good.  We have covered the potato shoots twice and a few have already popped up again.

Once the potato vine turns brown and dies you just turn the barrel over and collect the goods.  This sure sounds easier than digging like we did in the past!

Since planting this new way we have learned that some people plant inside of old tires.  They just keep stacking old tires on top of each other as the potatoes grow through the soil.  I find this pretty amazing that people came up with these ideas.  What new method of planting have you tried lately?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Here are a few more bowling balls that I turned into "Lady Bugs". These were painted with a coat of primer, two coats of red spray paint, and black accents with acrylic paint. I then gave these little bugs two coats of clear sealer, and as easy as that.....I have lady bugs.


Sunday, March 20, 2011


I don't know when it started but I have always loved all the beautiful and might I add, expensive, garden art. When I go to a craft show I'm always drawn to the home crafted benches, the paintings on old shovels, the old metals that some genius was able to salvage and turn into a giant bird or grasshopper.   I could be called the garden art hoarder if I could just afford it.

But a few weeks ago I attended the Midwest Herb and Garden show in Mt. Vernon, IL and found some garden art I could actually make and afford.  I took pictures, talked to the artist and couldn't wait to get home and get started.

The next day I got right to work;  first on my list was to find a used bowling ball.  Actually I already had purchased 2 of them at my local Goodwill Store.  I was going to spray paint them and sit them in my yard for gazing balls.   But after I saw these beauties at the show, I knew I could do more.

I brought them in from my garage and washed them in soap and water.  I then spray painted them with silver paint.  (I didn't know that I should have put a coat of primer on them first).

After the paint dried I went to work gluing flat marbles all over the surface.  I used E6000 glue on one, then learned that clear silicone works better.  We'll see....if the marbles fall off I'll just put them back on, but so far, so good.

My next bowling ball I began to learn that I could make patterns out of the marbles.  I really love the way these marbles glisten in the sun.  I love the fact that these won't break, like the 3 other ones I've owned.  Okay!  I'm hooked!  I have already been given 13 more bowling balls and oh, the possibilities are endless.

So if you're driving down the road one day and see all of these gazing balls and  excess garden art, stop in if you like.  I just might be interested in selling a few!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Simple Soups

                                                       LEFT OVERS SOUP - DELICIOUS!
Soups are one of my favorite things to make because they usually don't take a lot of work, they taste good, and they are nutricious.  Around Thanksgiving, Dale, my oldest son, told me about a soup that used the turkey carcass, and all your leftovers.  To be honest, I couldn't imagine it tasting good, but he assured me it was delicious.

 A few weeks ago I roasted a cornish hen, with dressing.  I had chicken gravy and vegetables.  The next day I had about 1/2 of the chicken leftover with the rest of the fixings.  I thought, "I will try the soup Dale told me about", so I put the chicken pieces into broth, added the dressing, the gravy, some carrots, and some other leftover vegetables I had in the fridge.  I had a few thin noodles that I also threw into the pot.

The outcome:  DELICIOUS!  This is a way to use what ever you have in your fridge to turn it into soup.  I also think the sage in the dressing really added to flavor.

Do you have some easy, quick and tasty recipes you would like to share with me?  I would love to hear from you.

Grandma B

Monday, January 17, 2011

Update on Homemade Laundry Detergent

Back in October I shared a post regarding homemade laundry detergent.  I shared some with each of my daughter-in-laws and used the remainder myself.

Here is what I discovered:  My white clothes have never been whiter.  I was really surprised at the difference in the color.   I also used this powdered mix on my color clothes and ended up with some spotted fading on two of my tee shirts.   Nothing else faded, just two colored tee shirts.

I used the 2 Tablespoons that the recipe called for and you should know that I have VERY hard water.

Have any of you tried homemade laundry detergent?  How did you like it?