Burn Baby, Burn

Sometimes Bud can be difficult.  One lovely day, we both headed outdoors.  I had my work.  He had his.  I busied myself, digging, shoveling sand, putting out flagstones. Meanwhile, he pottered about at some uninteresting task of his own, never even asking if I needed help. After putting the last touches  on my patio, I went for the water hose.  I felt smug at finding it stretched across the backyard, since he’s always after me about winding it back up, barely letting me finish what I’m doing. Nevertheless, I pulled it back around to my new flower bed.  Bud had even left the water on, just shut off by the adapter.  That wasn’t like him at all.  I’d have to mention it when I got through.

It wasn’t long before Bud tore around the corner yanking the hose, clearly in a panic. Rudely, he grabbed the hose and took off, not even asking whether I was finished. I followed and found him spraying a pile burning yard refuse that had almost gotten away from him. It turns out, he’d had the water hose nearby just in case and hadn’t noticed when me taking it when he’d turned away to pile on more brush. Fortunately, he got the blaze under control. Unfortunately, not before it consumed the nice sweeper he’d disconnected from his tractor and left near the pile. He’s much more careful with the new one he bought to replace it and thoughtfully tells me when he’s about to burn, now.

My project certainly turned out better than his.

 

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Patio Redo for Less Than $250

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October is as close to heaven as you can get in my corner of Louisiana.  The blazing heat of summer has abated, the weather has cooled, and I decide I’m going to make it, after all.  We just started pulling together a project that has been in the works for a long time,redoing and enclosing our patio.  We still intend to put down a tile floor, put glass doors across the opening, and paint the ceilings ng

All the furniture you see here is an amalgamation of Goodwill, thrift shop, repurposed, and utilization of materials on hand except for a few dollars worth of supplies.  Bud is wonderful and loves a project, so all I have to do is come up with an idea he likes and we’re on it.  The big wicker rocker to the left cost $50 at Goodwill a couple of years ago with a broken rocker.  It retailed for $650, but with wood and paint Bud had on hand, he repaired and painted it.  The rocker on the left upper center was a relative’s castoff, and was spray painted for less than $2.00.  The yellow wicker on the right cost $20 in a thrift shop, paint $2.00 for cost of $22.  One sister gave me the green chair frame, and I covered it in fabric another sister gave me.  The only thing it cost was the seat cushion, and paint on hand, so it cost less than $10.

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Now the ceramic top table took $6.24 in new tile and utilized leftover tile from another project.  We had the grout and ceramic glue on hand.  Bud also had to buy the screen-door stripping for less than $10.  He did have to buy half a sheet of plywood to make the table surface.  He built the pedestal for another table more than twenty-five years ago, so this is it’s second incarnation.  He estimates total costs of table, $80 to $100 if he had had to purchase all the materials today.

The chairs at the table are from a thrift shop.  Total cost, including purchase price of chairs, paint and pine for the seats and the polyurethane finish was less than $40 a chair.  Together the table and chair set might have cost $120, but we still have paint and polyurethane left.

A dear friend built the potting stand in the corner from a decrepit screen door and salvaged materials from a barn demo and materials she had on hand.  I love it.

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The fountain came from a friend and has been on my patio more than twenty-five years.  Best of all is the view I am so grateful for, as I sit in my patio writing.  It is priceless and free, like all the best things. I am so blessed.

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Y’all Come! I Made Teacakes

PatioThis interferes with my word, especially with iced tea and good company.  Come right over.  Just took some teacakes out of the oven.

Grandma’s Teacakes

(Yield about three dozen   2 ” cookies)

These are soft and keep well a day or so, if you have any left.  Don’t count on it.

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 cups self-rising flour  (if you use all-purpose, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt per cup to substitute)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (may substitute almond or lemon extract)

sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg if desired

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Cream butter and sugar till smooth.  Add beaten eggs one at a time. then vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients, then stir in 1 cup at a time for first 2 cups.  Dough will be getting very thick.  Add 1/2 cup dry mix and blend in.  Will be almost consistency of Play-Do.  Sprinkle most of last 1/2 cup of flour on blended mix to coat. Lift and dust bowl with remainder, to use to keep dough from sticking to your fingers.  Roll into 1″ ball.  Place on greased cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room to spread.  I can get about 5 rows of 3. If you put them closer, they will run together. tea cakes Place one pan on top rack and one pan one second rack of oven.  Set timer for 7 minutes.  At 7 minutes alternate placement, putting cookies from bottom rack on top and those from top on bottom.  Set for 5 more minutes.  May need another couple of minutes so that centers have puffed up.  Teacakes are done when they are just getting golden around edges and tops have risen nicely.  Do not let them get brown on top or they will get hard as rocks. They burn quickly.

Cookies will fall a little and get cracks as they cool.  You may have to test a time or two to get just right.  Err on side of caution until you figure out just how you like them.

Take a Break?

AppreciationThis is what I got when I went over to pick up illustrations for my post.  Mother is getting a little difficult.  I’d been gone for several days.  Surely, should could have found a little time for a break while I was gone.  Seriously, we have some great times together.

Mother in her yard

Here she is relaxing on the patio she built herself.  Did I mention she’s past eighty?

In the picture below she is checking out real estate in a cemetery.  She likes to be prepared and wanted to know if it would be comfortable.  Did you notice the fanny pack? She thinks she “can take it with her.”  I told her it would all just get burned up!

Mother checking out realestate