Friday, June 25, 2010

Our Banner is not Waving

You're a grand old flag,
A high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
-- George M. Cohan

I'm going to buy a new flag pole and hang our American flag today. So the quote above means a lot to me because I need my flag to fly in peace in our neighborhood. I discovered last night that someone stole our cute Spring-y flag and the pole it flew on. I put it out Memorial Day weekend (it was out last Spring, too) and now it is gone. Apparently it has been gone for a few weeks and I didn't notice until I went to switch it out with our American flag.

What kind of jerk steals a flag off someone's porch? Probably a drunk one. And probably a drunk one I angered at some point since our new neighbors moved in down the street (three 19-year-old boys) and started having parties. I've had words with a few of their guests who stumble loudly down our street in the wee hours of the morning ... it was probably one of them who decided they needed our flag and flagpole.

Hopefully they will not feel the need to steal an American flag. Who would do that? We shall see.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Everything's coming up Hydrangeas!

Happy Father's Day and happy West Virginia Day! Lilo took her dad to the dog park today for some fun in the mercifully shaded park. Unfortunately she was ready to leave about two minutes before Kobe and his dad, Wellington Smith, arrived. Oops. Needless to say, I was not thrilled we left.

Lilo gave her dad a nice card, too.

Back to the Bungalow. Our tulips, azaleas and roses have come and gone, but we're still blooming. I planted some pink petunias a while agobeside the garage and they are still providing cheerful color in the yard. A few of these flowers have popped up, too. I think they are residual from last year's "open a packet of seeds and cross your fingers" fun.

We also have this little Salvia plant thriving beside the garage. It was a house-warming gift from our neighbors across the street last spring. We thought it died. But it came back!

Beside the house we have orange lilies blooming and the lilies-of-the-valley are getting ready to shine.

What I'm most excited about is the hydrangea bush. It is an odd thing ... it sits in the middle of our side yard. It's not the best spot and we've contemplated digging it up. I waited for it to bloom last year and it never did. So I pruned and talked to it this spring. And now it decided to show off. It's a wonderful shade of purple. There aren't that many blooms on it, but the ones there are enough to make me want to keep it. Lilo likes it, too.

What's blooming at your house?

Saturday, June 19, 2010


People who get up at 7 a.m. the Saturday after the University Chapter's golf scramble must be doing something extremely important. Or just worthwhile.

Melissa, Courtney and I took in so many yard sales today we lost count. We hit up Suncrest, Star City, Mt. Morris (drifted into Pennsylvania!) and Westover for treasures. Courtney found a white spiral Christmas tree ($1!) she has been searching for. Melissa was the winner of the day with a carload of goodies to help make he home she shares with Chris fabulous. I will have to post pictures of what we found for her in a DIY post -- some of the items need revamped.

My bounty wasn't so bad, either.

I was appalled when my coworker told me she doesn't have a rolling pin. So I picked up this one for her from a Suncrest sale for $1.

Our nephew, Hunter, may be coming to stay with us next month. I hope he does because he has the coolest bed on Wiles Hill. It was still in its original packaging and never used and it was $15. He is a superfan of the movie Cars and any type of automobile in general. It's a little pop up bed (like tailgating chairs) with a soft sleeping bag type cover. Lilo approves. Let's hope Hunter does.

I like to call this my vintage 1950s lemonade set. I bought it from nice lady in Mt. Morris for $3. She probably bought it at the Dollar Tree last year, but I'm sticking to my vintage tale. Mike and I and four lucky people will use this set for our porch. Hopefully we'll have a deck to use it on one day.

This is a Hallmark recipe card box that had a packet of recipes and empty recipe cards included. It was never used and still had its original packaging. I purchased it from the same lady as the lemonade set for $.25.

These "hairy" shade mini lamps came from a sale in Westover. I have no idea how much they cost and don't want to know. Let me just say this is what happens when you stay in the car and your friends decide you need a present. I may spray paint the bases and find some other shades to use.

This full-size mirror was $10 in Mount Morris. I love it.

This ol gal came from a Westover sale and she set me back $1. She'll hang out in the basement until October. Jealous, Devon?

Have you found any goodies at a sale lately?

Monday, June 7, 2010

A one-year-old little lady, a rainstorm and a STEAL!

Mike and I trekked to Moundsville on Saturday for Lex Vavrock's first birthday party at Grand Vue Park. The "Vue" was grand once the rain stopped just in time for her party.

On the way home we drove directly into a "Toricane" (I think that's what I called it: tornado+hurricane = toricane). So I used that as an excuse to stop and window shop. We meandered through a ginormous JCPenney and took a nap in the garden section on a swing. Then Mike went to the restroom as I hung out in home interiors. Thank goodness he had that extra drink because I found a treasure for the bungalow.

Remember back in October when we acquired our bungalow and deliberated on what we would hang above it? Jackpot. We found this baby for $49.99 (frame, mat and print!). Plus an extra 15% off. That's right. We paid $42.50 for this (0riginally $100).

Here is our map hanging above the buffet. Notice we removed the scrollwork on top of the buffet for a cleaner line. No worries ... it is still in tact and can easily be placed back on top of the mirror if we decide we miss it.
Isn't it lovely? It makes me want to go somewhere RIGHT NOW. But I always feel that way, so nothing new.
Because she is so adorably sweet and deserves credit for our find, here is Miss Alexis Marie Vavrock, the fabulous daughter of Ashley and Thad Vavrock.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

And at our house, the water flowed like wine

One of the little disclosures the previous owners of our home made was how there could be, at times, water and moisture in the basement. We were OK with that, understanding it's the sort of thing that happens in 80+ year old homes. And when you live mid-hill on a corner lot and wedged into a slight slope, you're going to get water.

Nevertheless, this is the reason Erinn and I cringe, either internally or furtively, when we're away from the bungalow and know it's raining really hard in Morgantown.

And on Sunday -- and conveniently enough, immediately after I got home from church -- we came pretty close to "worst case scenario."

And how did this happen in the very area of the very basement I spent three days cementing and dry locking last summer?

Say hello to my little friend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The porch post

For months now we've had this awful and wobbly post on our front porch. Fortunately, it's not weight bearing or we'd have a family room on the front porch and God knows who or what else underneath.

While technically safe, it's still a nuisance. For instance, it keeps us from having a number of peopel on our porch because in many situations a few would sit on the railing that would ideally be supported by a firm post. Instead you get near chaos and visions of personal injury claims and escalating premiums.

This needed to be fixed and not with shims. That meant replacing three rotting boards beneath the problematic post. While we were at it, why not paint the whole thing since it hasn't been the same since we moved in 16 months ago?

"Four hours," my dad said.

Three days later, it was done. (To be fair, the assessment was for the board replacement, which did take far longer than anyone could have expected. The lengthy work was the sanding, priming and painting of the porch, to which my wonderful mother's blistered knees can attest was long and brutal work).

It started simple enough. Unscrew this, unbolt that, pry these boards off, wear some sandals, look pensive and let Eu do his thing.

I'm telling you, it seemed so simple ... until our day went up in smoke.

Everything beneath the bad boards explained why those boards were so bad. It was all wet and rotting and kind of smelled like it looked. You couldn't put new boards on the delapidated frame and expect it to hold up. So we had to design some new ways to support the new boards and the post. We mostly crammed boards into tight places and were satisfied with the results.

Along the way, I used a saw without incident. This is pretty rare in our clan. Why, you can count the instances on ... well, you'd need a lot of hands, but that's the point.

See?!?!? I'm not sure what was more amazing. Dad doing this or Mom catching it on camera.

As you can see, we'd make progress and then have a small issue. Here, Dad had dropped a screwdriver into the gap and no one's arms were long or slim enough to get it. I proposed a bottle opener magnet attached to string to fish out the screwdriver. Damn right it worked.

Speaking of worked, I can't say enough about what Mom and Dad did over the weekend. It's not possible. Dad took some time for iced tea as Mom immigrated from another task to sand the porch. She was finally persuaded to relax for a moment. A brief moment.

Finally, we finished and restored some of the beauty to the front of out little bungalow. Inspired, we then attacked the back porch, eliminating the blue-gray and replacing it with white.

Something old, something new, something ugly, something blue

Monday night Erinn was shaken from a deep sleep by Lilo's gagging at the foot of the bed. Both settled down and fell back into their slumbers. I was oblivious. The next morning I found ... well, I found proof Lilo had an episode.

So our coverlet/comforter set had to come off the bed to be cleaned. In its place? Nostalgia!

I'm told this is temporary ...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ramp season comes to an end, but it was just the beginning for two diners

I proudly boast I have brought a few people into the fraternity of ramp lovers. And those people have brought others into the fraternity and so on. So when April comes around and ramps start popping up in this great state, we all get a little excited. The Farmer's Market starts up in Morgantown and we have our ramp guy for a few weeks. Other than that, we must rely on other sources for the tasty delicacy. Luckily, a student in my zumba class asked her husband get some of the last of the crop out of Webster Springs just in time for Gene and Marie's Memorial Day weekend visit. The patriarch and matriarch were given their first taste of the indigenous Wild and Wonderful onion. And they loved it (at least they said they did).

That is a mess of ramps with scrambled eggs and bacon served with a side of fried potatoes. We like to use maple bacon when it is available. That is the tastiest option, but any center cut thick bacon will do.

Though optional, hot sauce really kicks up the dish. We offered a good assortment from which to choose:As an added bonus, Mike fried up a side of froglegs. Does it get any better for our guests? (I'm not a big fan of the legs, I have to confess.)

There's nothing like two happy houseguests at dinner time. And we all smelled just lovely the next day while working on the porches in the sweaty heat.