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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Take the good with the bad

Just when you think…gee, life is going well…the bad comes up and hits you smack in the face. For instance, it’s been a good week…the dr’s report was pretty good, the water aerobics went well but tiring, and I was planning a girl’s outing today. So yesterday I really cleaned up my car inside and out. I hosed off the mats, washed the car, and Don even swept out the dog hair on the rugs. The car looked perfect. And it was, but for one little thing. This morning it wouldn’t start…the battery was dead. It must have been while we were cleaning it the doors were opened too long and it drew on the battery. What is a girl to do? I never have to worry about things like that since I have a hubby who is superman when it comes to taking care of things. But, alas…hubby had already left for a fishing trip for the day. I had to resort to calling the service station for help. It started when they jumped it and I left it running to charge the battery so I did go on that lunch/shopping trip. It turned out to be a nice day, warm and fun. It sure makes me appreciate my husband even more though.                                 Go to fullsize image

Sunday, March 28, 2010


vases 002 Today my thoughts turned to these three vases sitting on a shelf in the living room. When my mother passed away in 2000 there was not a lot that I had that belonged to her but I did get these three vases. I remember them always being at her house. When they lived in Georgia my father would always bring something from outside to my mother. Sometimes it would be a camellia blossom or a daffodil stem. Whatever flower was in season would show up in a vase on the coffee table. In the spring, the wisteria blooms would fill the vases. My mother loved pretty things and appreciated them so. It was from her that I inherited my love of setting a fancy table with a centerpiece. My father was a great gardener but was aware that more than vegetables should be in a garden. On their lot in Georgia he planted an orchard full of trees…apple, fig, plum, and peach. He grew asparagus, strawberries, grapes, and loophas along with the normal garden vegetables. His garden was his pride and joy and when we visited we were always taken on the ten cent tour to see what was growing. Mom and dad made jellies and canned all during the season and when they visited up north they always came with boxes full of jars containing the most delightful and tasty treats. We always appreciated their offerings. Sometimes when I close my eyes I can see them coming in the door with their arms full. How I miss them.


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The tops of the trees are swaying back and forth in the wind as it blows through the valley. Another cold, damp day in Bradford. This was a good day to sit around and read. I am currently almost through Harlen Coben’s newest mystery. I read as long as my eyes will allow before they begin to ache and I have to put the book down. I am not reading as many books as I have in the past, but still try to read all the ones I want to. We had chili for lunch, which really hit the spot. Don is the best chili maker and always makes such a big batch that we freeze it in smaller packages. So all he did was go to the freezer in the garage and take out a package for us to enjoy. Don and I shared the chore of cleaning out the oven. It’s always nice to open the oven door and see it shining. Our oven and cooktop are original to the house and still in good working order. They don’t make appliances that well nowadays.  Just a quiet day in the Karrasch household.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Gradually I am learning the Photoshop Elements program. There is a steep learning curve and if you don’t practice you forget things. I wish there were workshops to help me out. I love computers but I need a written and illustrated manual and even then, it’s great to have a real person to show you how to do something. Today I worked at it for a few hours and produced these images.

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Speed Star 1.1364498  00 spring poem creation

Friday, March 26, 2010

Frosty morning

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Just a little reminder this morning that spring may be here, but the warm weather comes and goes. The temperature when I left for coffee this morning was only 25 degrees. My friends and I refuse to get our winter coats back out of the closet, but I did wear my leather gloves.

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This beautiful cutting board was a gift from my husband’s friend, Don O’Neil. We live in a small town and the barter system is alive and well. When my husband, Don, decided to tap trees and cook maple syrup his friends all pitched in to help. His friend, Tim, supplied wood for the cooker which he had picked up from a lumber mill. There were small pieces of various woods that were scrapped. His friend, Jim, let him tap the maple trees on his property and helped him gather sap. His friend, Don, tapped trees and gathered sap. When Don saw the scraps of lumber he sorted through them and picked out some of the better cuts of wood. Don is an excellent woodworker and today surprised me with this cutting board that he made from those wood scraps. DOn is lucky to have such good friends. And Don is always there for them when they need help with fixing things, welding, or projects. It’s nice to have good friends.

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There is nothing like a homemade apple pie. Especially when the apples came from your own apple tree in your front yard. We have a large crabapple tree out front. Now you know we couldn’t get apples for pies from that tree. You are wrong. Many years ago Don grafted branches from several different kinds of apples onto that tree. We always laughed because when the tree blossomed in the spring it was full of soft pink blooms, but in places there were white flowers from the grafts.

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Soon those branches grew large and began to produce apples. Two years ago the tree was prolific and I gathered bags full of apples. I peeled and slices them, added sugar and cinnamon and froze them for pies. Yesterday I took one of the remaining bags and made a pie. It was absolutely delicious!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The good news is…we haven’t had any measurable snow this month. The bad news is…it’s a gloomy, wet, cold, damp day. Just the right day to stay inside and make…..BEEF ROAST.

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and light CANDLES

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Even Sadie loves a sunny day.
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Here a few snapshots showing spring around my house.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Long for summer?

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Hey Sadie, I’ll bet you can’t  wait for nice weather? Remember this?

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I vowed that this month I would get my spring cleaning done so that when the warm weather came it would all be done and I could spend the days outside. Last week I deep cleaned my living room and today I tackled the spare bedroom.
   I did some rearranging and sorting and moving some furniture, but all in all, it’s clean!
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This room is a seafoam blue with Laura Ashley print curtains and one of the rare original rooms that has white trim. On the birdseye maple dresser is a small collection of white vases, an eiffel tour hatbox and an vintage dish drainer. The bed is my grandmother’s original bed from her home that I painted white.

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This is the elephant in the room, a player piano in need of repair. At one time we had two player pianos in our home and one at Don’s uncle’s house. We eventually sold those and kept this one in hopes of fixing it up. We have over 250 piano rolls up in our attic. We still remember the fun times we have had pumping the piano and singing along. But now it is relegated to this back bedroom. It isn’t easy decorating around a huge black object such as this, but I do my best.

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Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love hats! I have quite a collection and will use any excuse to wear one.

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Here is another hat and my French bulletin board. Also a metal rabbit corner that I use to hang up clothes on.

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And last are my closet doors. a few years ago I painted them as a French windowbox instead of replacing them. It makes me happy every time I look at them.

Monday, March 22, 2010


How sweet the smell…maple syrup boiling on the stove. Making your own maple syrup is quite an operation and Don has been busy tapping trees, gathering the sap, and boiling outside in the cooker he made. When it is about ready he brings it inside and finishes it off by boiling it on the stove and putting it in jars. The first batch is always the lightest and the most flavorful. It is truly liquid gold.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010


Well, I’m back. I can’t believe I haven’t posted on this blog since Tuesday. I guess it’s just been a busy week. So what have I been doing? I really deep cleaned my living room. On Friday I attended the last Literary club meeting. What a blast! Our speaker told of “ladies of the night” from olden Bradford days and some of the girls dressed up. What a hoot! Saturday I was “out of sorts” and didn’t do anything but read all day. Today Don took me to Jamestown for lunch. After eating at the Red Lobster we went to Wegman’s. It was sunny and warm and it was nice to go for a ride. 


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Oh, glorious, the sunny morn shining inside bringing hope for the landscape outside the window. What a beautiful happy day!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010


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My wife thought I had too much time on my hands so I decided to cook. ha-ha.


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Today my friend Joan and I attended a fundraiser, the “Derby Tea” at the Bradford Library. Tables were set up in the Community Room and a teapot, candle, pearls, mirror and ivy decorated the tables.
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Pink was the color of the day and each table had pink tablecloths and linen napkins wrapped with ribbon. A wonderful array of tea sandwiches and cookies and petit fours filled the tea table.
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Of course it was a time to play “dress up” and hats abounded. Here are my friends, Joan, above, and Edie and Norma below.
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This lady was a dream in turquoise.
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I dressed my hat with purple flowers and berries to match my outfit.
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There were table displays of items for sale to benefit the library. It was a delightful day.
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