Saturday, February 10, 2018

Valentine's Table, 2018

2018 is going so fast! I can't believe January is already gone. The older we get, the faster the day goes by, it seems.  Pretty soon, we are another year older again.
 
I decided to create a romantic setting on the breakfast table.
There is nothing matchy matchy on the table except for the plate chargers, which are from Portugal, napkins and napkin rings I found in an antique store in downtown Natchez. Everything is mixed and matched, even the placemats.

 I even hang 2 hearts on the window.


And meet my special guest, Cupid. He is helping me hold the napkin together.
 Isn't he a cutie?

 The roses are made out of wood.
 Aaah! You can see the hearts on the window better here.


 
For tea, I chose to use a pot with full of hearts and Micky and Minnie sugar and creamer servers.
 I also used a Minnie and Mickey cups, after all, they are one of the famous lovebirds, ooops, I meant lovemice of all times.

This is just a short post and I thank you for coming by to check it out. Happy Valentine's Day to all! Hope you all enjoy this special day.
Thanks to the hostesses of these parties.
 
Anything Goes" Pink Saturday  
Christine's Dishing It and Digging It
 
Kathryn's Make it Pretty Monday
Chloe's Celebrate it Monday 
Bernideen's Tea Time, Cottage and Garden Blog Party!
 
Ruth's Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 
Marty's Inspire Me Tuesday
 
Show and Share
 
Home Matters
 
Kathy's Home and Garden Thursday
Susan's Tablescape Thursday
Share your Style Thursday
 
Katherine's Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Kate's Flaunt it Friday
Foodie Fri and Everything Else
http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hurricane Irma Damage on Pool Cage for Met. Mon.

We were in Illinois for my mother's 99th birthday when all over the news, Hurricane Irma kept juggling between hitting E or W of Florida last August but actually, because it was so huge in diameter, something like 500 miles, neither coast could escape it. We live in SW Florida. Anyway, at the end, it decided to target the SW and we were right in the center. We were scheduled to fly on Friday but because they were mandatory evacuating our area, my daughter who lives next door advised us to postpone our trip. They did not want to worry about us too if we were home. And we stayed in Illinois, eyes pinned on the TV news the whole time.
 My daughter and her kids drove to the north part of FL where my other children and her in laws live. They made a reservation in a Georgia hotel but because of the enormous traffic and gas shortage, they decided to stay in north FL. Her husband stayed behind to finish bolting our windows and a friend's windows, whose hubby passed away months before and securing all the loose stuff on our front and back porches, but when the sirens started going on Saturday, he drove, taking the friend and her son along, to join the rest of his family. The drive took more than twice as long but they made it.
I kept praying non stop while glued on TV and asked all my friends to pray for us too. Well, Sunday came and the hurricane hit but moved a little east. Prayers answered!! But because it was very wide, it still went through us. We have 2 big trees in the backyard. The taller shade tree split from its base and landed right unto our pool enclosure. The fig tree uprooted.
Still, we considered ourselves very lucky because only some soft end limbs of the tree hit the roof above the family room so it was not damaged. However, almost half of the pool cage was damaged.
 We considered ourselves very lucky too because they were predicting that we might have 15 feet surge of water and I was imagining coming to a home with floating furniture. When my son in law finally got home, checked the house, sent pictures and reported the damages to us, I cried thanking God because it was not as bad as we expected it to be. We did not even have any flooding outside. None of the garden furniture got damaged.
 The door, the aluminum and screening where the tree fell, all tumbled down. My papaya tree split in half and what a mess! We came home the following Friday and this is what we witnessed. There was no need for us to come sooner because we had no electricity for at least 4 to 6 days and my daughter emptied and threw away all my food from the freezers and frig. so our house would not stink when we got home. I was scared to go on the back porch because the pool was black, imagining snakes and alligators in it, lol
 The first thing we did was hire 2 men to cut the tree and haul it away to the curb. It took a lot of calling and getting estimates at first because some of them suggested we need a truck with a forklift to pull the tree up to not damage the pool. But these young men were confident, they can do it, cutting the tree from the top little by little. They worked so hard and did such a good job that we paid them $100 more than what they quoted us and fed and continuously hydrated them.

 The pool looked terrible. It had leaves and branches probably many inches high at the bottom. There were frogs croaking everywhere. One FB friend suggested I buy some discs against mosquitoes so I did and threw them all over the water. They worked because we had no mosquitoes in spite of this stagnant water and an open deck. 
 After the guys cut off the tree, my son in law and 10 year old grandson helped me clean up and cut off the stump of the fig, the smaller tree..
 My garden was so messed up too and I could not clean it up because of the fallen aluminum and screens.
 So, the next thing we did was hire 2 men again, to cut off the broken pieces of aluminum and screen and clean it up.

 Looking better but the pool is still black.
 We hired someone to clean the pool and watched it turn from black, then green, then teal and finally blue. He had to come back 4 times, to scoop up all the leaves and throw gallons and gallons of bleach to get it to the desired color.
 Raymond did such a good job that we hired him permanently to maintain the pool every week now.
 I had to buy new plants to make the yard look a little presentable. Again, I made use of my 2 smaller grandkids from next door to help me lay the bricks. I hope I don't get accused of practicing child labor, lol.

I cut off the damaged bushes and palm trees  and planted new plants.
 I saved 2 of this tree trunk cuttings, treated and stained them as my Hurricane Irma souvenirs.
 It took a long time before the city was able to pick up cuttings and debris. They were overwhelmed. These sat for months!
 
Hubby and I watched rejoicing when they finally took everything away.
 I was so happy when I saw that my 2 mango and lychee trees were not damaged.
 
 The city sent 3 different relief trucks to haul off everything.
 We could not get the pool cage fixed because there were no screens nor aluminum to be found anywhere. Even Amazon ran out. We left in December to stay with my mom in Illinois again because she got sick (she is well and home now) and came back here last month. It was only then that I resumed taking care of the house, calling for estimates. I didn't tell you yet but our roof above the toilet room in the master's bath was damaged too from strong winds and water was leaking there. I just placed a towel and garbage can to protect the floors when we went to Illinois. We had that fixed first as soon as we got home.
 
Anyway, we hired another 2 men to pressure clean the whole exterior of the house, particularly the pool area so that we can get it ready for the coming repairs.
 We chose a pool cage company who sent 3 men, just last week. It took them 2 days but they repaired it successfully and we are so happy. Unfortunately, our deductible is very high to save money on premiums. The insurance company quoted us below our deductible, even though we have already spent way more than that so every expense came out of our pockets. That sucks :-(

 Here it is now, looking so much better and safer for me and my grandkids to have tea parties here again.
 I can relax now though I still have to call someone to fix the ceiling in the bathroom from water damage, but at least it is not leaking anymore so it is nothing major.


 John has started swimming again and I am happy because he gets his exercise.
Thank you all for coming over. I would like to link to the following memes. Thank you to those hosting them.
 
Anything Goes" Pink Saturday  

Susan's Metamorphosis Monday
 
Christine's Dishing It and Digging It
 
Kathryn's Make it Pretty Monday
 
Marty's Inspire Me Tuesday
 
Show and Share
 
Home Matters
  
Chloe's Celebrate it Monday 
 
 Kathy's Home and Garden Thursday

 Share your Style Thursday
 
Katherine's Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
 
Anything Blue
Kate's Flaunt it Friday
Foodie Fri and Everything Else
http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/
 
 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Christmas Brunch in Late January

I have been AWOL for a while. John and I were in Illinois for over a month because my 99 and a half year old mom got ill but thank God she recovered and is home with my sister now. I am just so glad to be back home to sunny Florida. It was so cold in Illinois and I was hibernating there. I did not want to go out. I was not used to that kind of weather.
 
I took a picture of my mom before I left. Doesn't she just have the nicest complexion? At 99.5 years old, she hardly has any wrinkles. I hope I inherit that trait of hers.
 
Because we were not home for Christmas, we could not give our presents to our children and grandkids. We decided to have a Christmas brunch with my next door daughter and her family and have exchange gifts afterwards.
 

 I thought silver and blue would be appropriate in January, so I pulled out my Spode blue dishes that come in different pattern.
 As I was at Homegoods in Illinois, I spotted a set of Spode blue goblets in boxes. Yes, I made an exception of going out even in the cold, when it involved Homegoods, lol, and going to church of course. They came 4 in a box and luckily they had 2 available. I could not believe the price, $4.99/box of 4. The cashier could not believe it either when I was paying. I couldn't pass that out so I decided to put them in my hand carry when we flew home.

 My special guests, my grandkids: Nathan, Brendan and Reese.

 We had French toast and sausage, egg and cheese casseroles and bacon, with mimosas for the adults plus mango/lychee tea for drinks.





 Spode blue dinner and salad plates come in different patterns and shapes. I love them all and enjoy mix matching them.


 For tea, I used a peacock Polish pottery teapot and Royal Staffordshire's "Tonquin" cups and saucers.
 




Just look at those happy faces! We all had a lot of fun. We still have presents for our other kids and grandkids who live farther so we might have more Christmas parties in the near future, lol.

 We had to take another picture as we parted.
 
Thank you all for stopping by. I also appreciate receiving emails asking if I am ok since I have not posted for a while. As you can see, we are fine, just have been really busy. I am also still taking care of calling people and hiring them to fix damages caused by Hurricane Irma but little by little, we are getting there.
 
Thank you to all the hostesses of these fun memes.
 
Anything Goes" Pink Saturday  
Christine's Dishing It and Digging It
 
Kathryn's Make it Pretty Monday
Chloe's Celebrate it Monday 
Bernideen's Tea Time, Cottage and Garden Blog Party!
 
Ruth's Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 
Marty's Inspire Me Tuesday
 
Show and Share
 
Home Matters
 
Kathy's Home and Garden Thursday
Susan's Tablescape Thursday
Share your Style Thursday
 
Katherine's Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
 
Anything Blue
Kate's Flaunt it Friday
Foodie Fri and Everything Else
http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/
 
 
 
 
 

 

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