Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Review

The big screen has had its share of famous duos. Either Hollywood knows how to pick them, or it's just luck that two actors work together so well. 

To name a few of these famous duos that we have come to love and adore; Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and how about Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon.

These actors and so many more have teamed up to make so many classics. Their characters and personalities complemented each other to take us into another world for a few hours. They make us laugh, cry, gasp, or sit on the edge of our seats to see what happens next.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Review


Paul Newman and Robert Redford, in my opinion, were one of these duos that were perfectly matched. In 1969 they teamed up in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. This film was said to have launched Robert Redford's career.

Movie Plot:

The film is based on real-life outlaws in the late 1890's. Robert Leroy Parker is known as Butch Cassidy played by (Paul Newman), and Harry Longabaugh is known as the Sundance Kid played by (Robert Redford). Butch is the leader of the group known as The Hole in the Wall Gang.

The gang devises a new plan to rob the Union Pacific Railroad on both the eastbound and westbound runs. The first robbery goes well, but the second robbery things go wrong. A second train shows up carrying six lawmen.

 As the six lawmen jump off the train on their horses, the gang decides to split up, Butch and Sundance go one way and the gang goes another. But, the six lawmen follow Butch and Sundance. All attempts to elude the six lawmen are failing.

 Butch and Sundance find out the group is lead by a famous Indian tracker known as "Lord Baltimore" and a determined lawman Joe Lefors.

They find out from Sundance's girlfriend Etta played by (Kathern Ross) that the team of lawmen was hired by the head of the Union Pacific Railroad. Their job is to track them down and kill them. Butch, Sundance, and Etta move to Bolivia to try and start a new life.

I don't want to spoil the rest of the movie if you haven't seen it. This is one of those movies that will make you laugh, and you're going to find yourself rooting for the bad guys.


This short video is one of my favorite parts of the movie

Paul Newman and Robert Redford teamed up again in 1973 to make "The Sting". After these two hits by this duo, they never made another movie together. What a shame because they worked so well together.

You can find this classic on Amazon Prime or other streaming sites. Or, you could buy the DVD here.

These are the only two movies that Paul Newman and Robert Redford made together.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Widescreen Special Edition) by 20th Century FoxButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Widescreen Special Edition) by 20th Century FoxThe Sting [Blu-ray]The Sting [Blu-ray]

 Clich




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Monday, June 29, 2020

Reviewing Royal Wing No Waste Bird Seed with Fruit

If you would like a larger variety of birds visiting your bird feeder and you haven't used Royal Wing Total Care No Waste bird seed with Fruit, you should give this a try!


Royal Wing bird seed brand available at Tractor Supple Company

I enjoy bird-watching have had a large variety of bird feeders over the years. But I have had the most luck with this particular feeder and bird seed combination. The birds literally began to line up as soon as I put this No Waste Blend with Fruit in a hanging platform feeder. It has been amazing.

In the past, I would put out Nyjer seed for the finches, suet for the nuthatches and mixed bird seed for everyone else. Of course, Cardinals like sunflower seeds. Some seed mixes did not seem to attract Cardinals. Perhaps not the right type of sunflower or not enough sunflower seed to other seed ratio. I don't know.

In an impulse buy during a shopping trip at Tractor Supply Company (TSC), I bought this seed. It is a bit more expensive than the mixed seed at the big box stores but it was well worth it! The very next day I saw Cardinals and a variety of other birds - some birds I've never seen at my feeder before -- such as this Grosbeak. This was the very first Grosbeak I've added to the list of birds I've seen! In addition to the Rose Breasted Grosbeak, I am excited that the Indigo Bunting pair have nested somewhere very close to this feeder and a Spotted Towhee makes a daily appearance and sings to us -- both birds I had never seen prior to bird watching at The Shack.  I think this food has helped attract them to the area on a daily basis. 




The birds line up for their turn at this seed. I have continued to use the remaining nyjer seed. But it seems the finches are coming even when I don't add the nyjer seed.  



If you are not familiar with TSC (Tractor Supply Company) or prefer shopping via Amazon there are similar "waste free" seeds with fruit to chose from.





Related Links:

I'm not as good at bird photography as I would like to be. Our own Mary Beth is both a wonderful photographer as well as a bird-lover. Please check out some of her posts featuring birds such as Review of Spring Bird Photography and Review of Bluebird Facts and Photography. I love bluebirds and Mary Beth's photos of them are outstanding!

To read more about my personal adventures at The Shack click here. It is my piece of land, and future home, on top of a mountain ridge in West Virginia. Bird watching there has been an amazing experience. 

My basalt bird bath by Stone Age Creations has been very popular with the birds. The Eastern Bluebirds and sparrows (Chipping Sparrows I think but I'm not sure) are daily bathers. I was very excited to see a Cardinal using the bath recently. See my review of this particular bird bath here. This bird bath has been one of the best splurge purchases I have ever made.






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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Matte or Glossy Covers on a Self Published Book? Which One To Choose?



That is the question, matte or glossy?

Let me start off by admitting that I'm not a self-publishing guru! The entire self-publishing process has been self taught.

In 2019 I made a decision to tackle a bucket list item; publish my personally written life's collection of poetry. Since then, and to this date, via Amazon Self-Publishing (KDP), I've self-published a total of seven books, and am in the middle of writing my eighth and ninth book.

I've written multiple times about the learning curve to self-publishing. I have to admit it wasn't easy. However, now that I have a few books under my belt, I'm learning more about the nuanced details that make a difference in a book's appearance and presentation.

As an example, I learned how to create professional-looking book covers, and have changed my covers multiple times to what they are as of this date. I actually made another slight modification to one of them again today! I'm planning on stopping these changes soon - Nah, probably not lol - but hopefully I'll get the covers to a place where I'm completely satisfied! Building book covers from scratch is tough at first, but after you get the hang of it, it's a ton of fun and very addictive!

A Matte or Glossy Finish on the Cover of Your Self-Published Book - Which Should You Choose?

I googled the crap out of this. Watched videos - you know, the usual stuff we do when we have questions. However, I didn't get a suitable answer. So, when I published the first editions of each book, I decided to go with a matte finish for the covers.

Guess what? For my books, a glossy finish is much nicer and more practical. So, I'm in the process of changing them all to glossy. I'll do all future books in a glossy cover format from now forward.

Why a Glossy Cover Works for This Genre of Books

I write riddle books, books about sayings for cards, and of course, a poetry book. I haven't written, nor plan to write novels. Novel covers may be better in a matte finish, but honestly, I can't give you advice on that.

For Activity Books (Like My Riddle Books & Saying Books and Poetry Books), Here's Why I Believe a Glossy Cover is Best
  1. These types of books are picked up and put down often, and a glossy cover is more durable. The matte cover actually ended up with smudged fingerprints on it from too much handling. 
  2. They look way more professional with glossy covers! My husband put it this way - he said, 'the matte finish made it look like it was purchased at the dollar store, and a glossy finish gives it a bookstore feel' - Yikes!
  3. A glossy cover feels nicer to hold in your hands (a personal thing)
  4. The shiny cover helps the colors to pop more. With fun activity books, the colors are essential, so yah ... glossy all the way for that reason alone.
  5. The matte finish looks more like a school book, the glossy finish gives it an 'author feel.'
The Cellphone Photos of the Books Below Don't Really Capture the Difference Between Matte and Glossy However There is A Big Difference:


Both of These Riddle Books Have a GLOSSY COVER
 #STUMPED - A Party Game

The Book on the Left is a MATTE Finish
The Book on the Right is a GLOSSY Finish
Boredom Buster Riddles - #Stumped Volume 4

The final vote of approval came from my adult kids and my husband, they all agreed that the glossy covers were superior to the matte covers. Sorry matte.

My Non-Guru Self-Publishing Journey in Articles:
1. How to get started on that eBook you've been meaning to do for decades
2. Confessions of a Newbie Self-Publisher
3. 5 Helpful Tools from a Newbie Self-Publisher
4. 3 More Tips from a Newbie Self-Publisher


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Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Stranger, a TV Series

I would like to review a British television series called The Stranger and I can easily do it in one sentence.   Go and watch it right now!

Harlan Coben's The Stranger a Netflix series
The Stranger (British TV Series) - image adapted by Lou16
from a photo on Pixabay.com
Want more than my bossy sentence?   Well I must admit the trailer for this series looked good and certainly peaked mine and my husband's interest, but the series itself totally outshone our expectations.  It is based on a book by American author Harlan Coben and after watching it I am definitely going to start reading some of his books.

The series has a British cast that if you watch many British shows you'll probably be very familiar with.   There were lots of actors that I recognise from different shows that they've popped up on.   The main star of the show is Richard Armitage who as an actor first came to my attention in the British spy series Spooks, although he has a number of other credits to his name.

Another star is actress Siobhan Finneran who has appeared in several British television shows over the years, but I particularly liked her portayal of  a police detective in The Moorside (available through Amazon Prime).   In this show she, again, plays a detective.

I would also like to mention two other stars of the show - Shaun Dooley and Jennifer Saunders.   I will be honest and say that I felt both of these actors were not (in my opinion) on their best game, but the story was strong enough that they didn't need to be better.   As a fan of Shaun Dooley since I watched Married, Single, Other years ago (a great British drama series) I was a little disappointed in his acting.   I've also loved Jennifer Saunders since her French and Saunders days, but I didn't feel that her acting was to the standard of the rest of the cast.

An actor that was amazing was Paul Kaye, I absolutely hated his character, he played it perfectly

This series is what I call bingeworthy.   We started watching it on a Sunday night and were only going to watch one episode - 3 episodes later we had to turn it off as we had work the next day.   The following night we had things on and decided to just watch one episode before bed...we watched two and it was very hard to get up the following morning.

Luckily the third night we had nothing on and the series only has 8 episodes so we managed to finish it!   I recommend watching it when you have 8 hours to spare because you may not want to stop.

The main story line is very interesting as it's about a stranger approaching someone with details of a secret.   What keeps it enthralling is not just wondering about the stranger, but all the intricate little threads that the writers have kept running through it.   The book was adapted by screenwritter Danny Brocklehurst and he has done an amazing job.

The suspense was kept up with all these surprising things happening - as an example at the end of one of the episodes someone walks into their workplace and is greeted by their workmates.   That doesn't sound very cliffhangerish now does it?   However it made my husband and I both sit up as we hadn't anticipated that happening!

The ending of every episode has you wanting more and that is exactly why I loved it.

I did see that Danny Brocklehurst and Harlan Coben co- wrote another Netflix series called Safe so I am definitely going to put that one on the must watch list!

One of the great things about winter is definitely cold nights watching some great shows/movies with my hubby.





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Friday, June 26, 2020

How to Use Ebay to Find Old Automobile Parts Reviewed

My husband recently purchased an older model jeep that needed a lot of repairs and restoration.  He has spent the last few months under the hood or under the jeep assessing, then replacing worn or rotted parts.  The interior also needed a tremendous amount of loving care.  This jeep sure chose the right new owner!  My husband is meticulous and dedicated.

As for me, my job with this restoration has been to assist in finding replacement parts.  I'm not very keen on walking junkyards or old vehicle graveyards to find parts.  However, I am extremely familiar and experienced with finding impossible things on Ebay.  Locating the needed parts for his jeep on Ebay has actually been a lot of fun!

Because of the needed work, this pretty Jeep Wrangler will always hold a special place in our hearts.  You can't focus and work on something for so long without becoming attached to it.  We have already enjoyed a day out exploring jeep trails in one State Park and we look forward to spending a lot more time having fun with our restored jeep.



How to Find Replacement Automobile Parts on Ebay


You might not even realize that Ebay has old automobile parts listed.  However, there are several sellers who tear down old or wrecked vehicles and sell individual parts separately.  For us, those sellers were essential for our jeep's restoration.

Almost every dashboard trim piece on our jeep had to be replaced.  One of the previous owners had painted them white with splatter dots.  The paint job didn't appeal to us.  We purchased and replaced every individual trim piece that was painted.  The dashboard area looks a million times better.




In order to find the correct trim pieces, my husband removed each piece and wrote down the trim piece number which was found molded into the backside of each piece.  In several cases, it was as simple as typing in the year, make and model of the vehicle, plus the trim piece name and number in the Ebay search bar.  Then making our selection by color and condition.  

Before we embarked on this restoration, I had no idea each trim piece had an identity number stamped into the molded piece.  That makes finding a replacement much easier than simply matching by looks.

Example Search:  "2004 Jeep TJ Wrangler Knee Bolster 5G00TRM" 


The part number was not always listed in the title.  Details in the title vary by seller.  However, we were always able to verify those numbers in the photos provided by the sellers.  That guaranteed the piece would fit our jeep when it arrived.  

I found the Ebay parts sellers usually know more than I do about piece numbers & names, therefore whatever I put in a search, as long as I included the year, model, and name of the piece, I could find what we needed.  The sellers pictures for proper piece identity made it easy!

We also replaced the wheels, several engine parts, and the jack tools by finding them on Ebay.  The OEM jack & lug tool set had a few rusty areas, but my husband cleaned them up like new by letting them soak in Evapo-rust overnight.  

Example Part Searches
  "Jeep Wrangler TJ OEM Tire Jack Tool Set",

  "Jeep Wrangler TJ Heater Drain Tube", 
  "2004 Jeep Wranger 15" Refinished Steel Wheel"



When Total Price Matters


When restoring an old vehicle, you can find yourself financially upside down pretty quick.  We didn't want to spend "new car" money on an older jeep.  

Purchasing the exact individual used part on Ebay and replacing it ourselves was a lot cheaper than buying new parts, if available.  

Keep in mind though, not all parts are even still available.  That is another reason we love shopping for vehicle parts on Ebay.  The sellers competitively price parts, therefore price gouging is minimal, if even existent. 

If you are buying several parts from the same Ebay seller, contact them and ask for combined shipping costs.  That literally costs them nothing and can often save you a lot.  Why pay more when you don't have to?

If you don't find exactly what you want on Ebay today, go back tomorrow. 
There are new listings daily




 






House of Sylvestermouse





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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Visit Missouri-Klondike Park St. Charles County

Klondike Park Meeting Facility

On a recent beautiful June afternoon,  my friend and I ventured out into Missouri Wine Country.  After a wonderful lunch at a winery overlooking the Missouri River Valley, we stopped at Klondike park for a bit of hiking and photography.

Location of Park

Klondike park is located in St. Charles county just 14 miles south of the 40/94 interchange.  It is a wonderful location with over 250 acres nestled in the middle of Missouri Wine Country.

Boat Ramp

As we left the winery we took the first exit we saw for the park and found that this exit really just led to the boat ramp with access to the Missouri river and not into the park itself.  We decided to get out for a few minutes to photograph the river from this vantage point.

There is a power plant in this area and from the boat ramp we got a good view of the power plant across the river.
We had really wanted the main entrance to the park so we got back in the car and went down hwy 94 for about 1/4 of a mile and we came to the main entrance.

Features of Klondike Park

The park has a modern meeting facility (pictured at the beginning of this page) that is perfect for both family and business meetings.

One of the key features of the park is the beautiful bluffs overlooking the Missouri River valley.  There is a paved path that you can hike to the top of the bluffs for some scenic views of the area.

Hiking and Biking Trails

There are more than 4 miles of natural and paved trails for hiking and biking.  The trail pictured above is one that we took to go down to the river.  It was an unpaved path that went down a rather steep hill before it crossed the Katy Trail and eventually ended up at the river.

Katy Trail

The Katy Trail is a 237 mile hiking and biking trail that goes across most of Missouri.  Over half of the trail follows the path that explorers Lewis and Clark took along the Missouri River.

Camping at Klondike Park

If you are looking for a place to stay, Klondike park offers camping facilities including, 6 rustic cabins, 43 campsites, restrooms and showers.

Other facilities include:
  • Picnic shelters
  • Playgrounds for children
  • Large lake that is fully stocked

Unique Birding/Wildlife Area

We found there were numerous opportunities to take photographs.  There were many fields with wildflowers and birds.

Image from Klondike Park

Here is a canvas I found on Amazon which depicts a scene from Klondike Park.  Klondike Park is just north of Augusta, Missouri.

Here is a book with information on day hiking trips in Missouri.




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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Spies, Wars, Winners and Losers, It's All So Intriguing To Me!

Reading is a wonderful Summer pastime, one that will take you to places that you've only dreamed of and so much more.




Image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay

There are so many titles available,  but sometimes you just need someone to point out a book or two that you know will  be enjoyed from the moment they open that first page.  This is a Book Review of The Huntress, by Kate Quinn, published Feb. 2019.

My preferences lie with books that will keep me turning pages until the darkness of night and sometimes even till the morning light seems to be upon me.  I have been known to read until my eyes are literally streaming with tears to keep them lubricated enough to continue turning pages..

Recently, I got caught up with some spy thrillers, and historical novels about World War II and all the turmoil after the war was over.  Lives that had been shattered, families that lost loved ones and the most intriguing to me, the ones who just disappeared!

I have read all of these books and each one held me and my imagination from the opening pages to the very end.  I found myself even going back into the books to re-read chapters that had really captivated my yearnings to know more about this time in history.

Now I must remind you that these are all novels, but you know from in depth investigations after the war, that some of these scenarios are quite possible and not just figments of an authors musings.


The Huntress had me hanging by my fingernails, wanting to know what was going to happen next.  The cast of characters is so believable that I'm sure they could be neighbors of mine.

 From a group of young Russian women pilots (known by the Nazis as the Night Witches), to Nazi wives and/or lovers, to a couple of guys who are determined to bring down a high ranking German "killer".  This story has you spellbound within the first two pages.   


Image by Ella_87 from Pixabay


I should have known that I would be totally engrossed with The Huntress, because I have read Kate Quinn's, "The Alice Network", with just the same amount of interest.  She just writes so well that you are taken right into the heart of the story before you have finished the first chapter. You just need to know what is going to happen next.

The other book that I really enjoyed from this same time frame in history is Pam Jenoff's The Lost Girls of Paris.  What could possibly be in a suitcase left on a train stations platform?

If you want to enjoy a trio of books that will make your summer reading enjoyable, I would highly recommend that you start with any one of these three books.  Each one is amazing in it's own right.  I'm sure you will spend some quality time at the beach, pool, or just sitting in the yard enjoying both the good weather and a great book too. 

The best part of all this reading material is that there are options for you if you want to read them for free.  Life doesn't get any better than that.  You will have to check out these options for yourself !  

Happy Summer and Happy Reading!





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Monday, June 22, 2020

Amazon Original Series Review: Making The Cut

Tim and Heidi are reunited! If you are a fan of Project Runway then you have noticed their absence from the show and have missed the presence of Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum the Project Runway OG's. The duo have reunited in the Amazon Originals Series Making The Cut.


Making The Cut

The similarities between Project Runway and Making The Cut are hard to miss. The premise is the same with fashion designers competing in elimination challenges to a season finale with a fashion show. The major difference is the focus of designing as a global brand with the prize of a mentorship with Amazon Fashion.and winning one million dollars.

This is where Making The Cut definitely differs from Project Runway. The show focuses on not only the design, but how the personality of each designer is enveloped into the design looking towards becoming a global brand. The next emphasis is their focus on the marketing and merchandising behind creating, building, growing and operating a profitable global brand.


Making The Cut Amazon Store


In conjunction with the show Amazon Fashion now has a Making The Cut Store which allows customers direct access to winning designs from the show. As easy as a click of the mouse fans can order newly created and exclusive designs from the competitors. This is a fun add on for the fashion forward customer.

Recommendation

The series is light fashion fun as the designers compete for the very serious and life changing prize of one million dollars. Tim, Heidi and the celebrity judges guide the contestants with their often blunt, but sincere critiques as insiders in the world of fashion. The series is an Amazon Original and included with an Amazon Prime membership.

Amazon Original Series


An Amazon Prime membership includes Amazon Originals which are series or specials exclusive to Amazon Prime members. 

Some current favorites:

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Upload
Alpha House
The Aeronauts
Late Night
Ballerina
Homecoming

Amazon Prime requires an annual membership; however, a 30 day free trial is offered to give the Prime membership a spin.



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Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Review of Practical Furniture Items for a Studio Apartment

Practical Furniture Choices for a Studio Apartment

When you're furnishing a studio apartment, every square inch matters.

Choosing items that solve multiple problems is the way to go!

On Funkthishouse, I've featured several space-saving items, and below are three of those suggestions that work for smaller spaces.

1. Chairs That Convert to a Bed

We're all familiar with couches that convert to a bed, however, when space is an absolute premium, you can add a chair that also doubles as a place to sleep.

The designs are interesting! They come in multiple colors and styles. They make a terrific addition to any small room where extra sleeping space is needed.

Use a pullout couch, but instead of a standard chair, add a chair-bed.

Check out the selection of original chair beds here

2. Space Saving Table and Chairs

A studio apartment may not have room for a table and chairs. However, if you're able to squeeze a portable table with chairs into the unit, you'll give yourself another area that can double as a place to work, play, and eat.

Space-saving tables and chairs can be quite compact. Compact sets are designed so the chairs or stools slide entirely under the table section.

Depending on the design, some can rest against the wall, and some are slightly higher in height - like a bar set would be. The taller designs add dimension to a square room. They're usually counter height as well, so they can line up with a kitchen counter so as to create a flush, continuous look.  Be sure to check those out.

Check out the various choices for a small room here

3. Lift Coffee Tables

Have you ever seen these? They're pretty cool! Lift Coffee Tables have tops or sides that lift up so that the top of the table can be used for working or eating. Under the top is storage.

A lift table makes it easier to work or have dinner from the couch. Of course, in a studio apartment, the sofa is a bed, so you'll have to ensure there's a spot for the coffee table when the couch becomes a bed.

By sliding the coffee table alongside the bed, your coffee table becomes a convenient bedside table.

Check out the full range of coffee tables to choose from

Go Vertical with Wall Storage - Floor to Ceiling When Possible

Find a wall that can house a floor-to-ceiling storage cabinet. A practical wall-unit can house the tv, books, photos, and other personal items. Choose one with drawers, then you'll have extra space for clothes.

Quick Summary of Five Basic Pieces for a Studio Apartment:
1. A sofa-bed
2. A chair bed
3. A lift coffee table
4. Compact table with chairs
5. A tall vertical wall unit with drawers
No matter what you include in your apartment, ALWAYS look for items that can double as storage. Storage space is the biggest problem in small rooms - be sure to get ahead of that problem with every piece of furniture you select.




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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Pineapple Day Holiday Review

Pineapple Day Review
Source: Pixabay

Pineapple Day (also International Pineapple Day) is celebrated each year on June 27.

Pineapples are a tropical fruit native to the America’s. It is a lush, prickly, green leafed ground fruit that is a delicious addition to just about any meal. Pineapples do not grow on trees, as many people assume. They are actually herbaceous perennials, meaning they are leafy, not woody, plants that grow for more than two years. 

How June 27th became Pineapple Day



Source: Pixabay

The way Pineapple Day holiday started is a funny story. It was begun as a tease by Andrew Lee, cofounder of Firebase, on June 27, 2011 when his partner walked into work and asked Andrew why he had a pineapple on his desk. Read here to learn how the First Pineapple Day Got Started!  


Crafty Pineapples


Pineapples are a sign of Hospitality

The pineapple, along with a house motif, are traditional symbols of hospitality. Welcome your guests with these symbols, perhaps in the form of a pillow or two. A darling Country Pillows pattern is presented below and can be found on eBay

Hospitality Pillows Pattern

A set of Country Pillows to crochet in an afghan stitch. The motifs are worked in cross stitch after the 12" pillows are crocheted.   A matching ribbon is woven through the crochet to frame the motifs.

These country pillows will make your guests feel right at home! The pineapple and house motifs, traditional symbols of hospitality, let them know they are welcome, while  the teddy bear motif greets them with a warm hug.   Fashion them in soft country colors.

Color charts for the three motifs are included.





Pineapple Home Decor with Handmade Coasters

Handmade Pineapple Coasters on Etsy
The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and friendship, particularly throughout the South, so using coasters with this design in a social situation is perfect.

Pineapple coasters measure 4 x 4 inches. Created in acrylic yarn colors of yellow, gold and green for the pineapple design on an eggshell white background. Each coaster is trimmed in light green. The pineapple design is outlined in embroidery black outline stitch with crochet thread.

A pretty set of Pineapple coasters for your tabletops. They also make a lovely hostess gift for a holiday dinner invitation or a housewarming gift or birthday gift. Lovely home decor for any home. 



Pineapple Accessories



Pineapple Fabric Lanyards & Key Fob - Etsy

Useful accessories in a pineapple theme handmade by CutePurseNalities on Etsy.  Two styles of quilted fabric lanyards in different colors and a matching key fob, all in pretty pineapple prints.  



  • The fabric key fob that has pineapples on a blue background. It is made with 100% cotton fabric, cotton batting, interfacing and metal hardware. Length is 6" and the strap is 1" wide.


  • One lanyard is made with 100% cotton fabric that has cute pineapples on a blue background with a silver swivel clip. Perfect for holding and Id badge, name tag or keys. Length is 20" and the strap is 1" wide.

  • The other lanyard shown is made with 100% cotton fabric and a silver swivel clip. The fabric has pineapples and hibiscus flowers in lavender, yellow and orange on a purple background. Perfect for holding an Id badge, name tag or keys. Length is 21" and the strap is 1" wide.


Ways to Celebrate Pineapple Day

The very best way to celebrate this day is by eating this delicious fruit in any number of  ways. Freshly cut and eaten in slices, it is a refreshing treat. 


Image Source: Pixabay
Or bake it into an American favorite dessert, the Pineapple Upside Down Cake ~ rich and delicious made with slices of pineapple laid on the bottom of a pan along with a sugary mixture, then the cake batter poured on top. When baked and turned out of the pan, the bottom becomes a delicious topping. Check out the recipe here.

You can also enjoy a delicious drink with either plain pineapple juice, or in a rum drink called Piña colada.


Celebrate Pineapple Day on June 27.


Fresh Pineapples at the grocery store. (c) Elf



For more Holiday Reviews, 
Check out ReviewThisReviews: Holidays.


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Pineapple Day Review written by (c) Wednesday Elf on 6/27/2020.






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Friday, June 19, 2020

4th of July Placemats Home Decor Review

Decorating with 4th of July Placemats is fast & easy. Selecting Independence Day placemats is fun, but here are a few things to keep in mind before you buy.
Placemats are such a fast and easy way to decorate your home for the 4th of July, or any holiday.

Holidays are normally celebrated with family & friends gathering around tables laden with delicious food.  Hamburgers, Barbecue sandwiches, or hot dogs are often the normal fare for the 4th of July celebrations, but they aren't really "pretty" food.  Colorful placemats provide a very pretty setting for our tables.  They can even make plain white disposal plates more attractive by giving them a lovely background.  Plus, they protect the table.

The featured placemats come with matching coasters and napkins to complete a beautiful table setting.  This set is waterproof and easy to wipe clean.

I chose this set because I have a dark wood dining room table & cobalt blue Fiesta plates. I needed the light or white background for the red, white & blue design to really pop.



 

Selecting 4th of July Placemats


There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting holiday placemats.  A lovely design is clearly the first thing that grabs your attention, but you will also want to consider the following details when making your final choice.
  • How will they Look with Your Dinnerware
  • Are the Placemats Waterproof 
  • Are they Heat Resistant 
  • Are they Non-Slip
  • Will they Protect Your Table
  • Are they Easy to Clean
  • Would they Need to be Ironed 
  • Do they have Matching Napkins
  • Do they have Matching Coasters
  • Do You Want a Matching Tablerunner for Serving Dishes
  • Price (if they are priced individually, consider the cost of 4 or more)

You may have laughed over the question of "do they need to be ironed", but these days, that is a huge issue for me.  Decades ago, I didn't mind washing and ironing placemats.  However, now I prefer avoiding the iron when possible.  Especially, if I am the chef & hostess for the celebration.

I washed all of my placemats, napkins & coasters in cold water with white vinegar in my washing machine immediately upon delivery (prior to taking the picture in the introduction).  The vinegar helps to set the colors so they won't fade.  I dried them in my dryer for 10 minutes in spite of the directions telling me to hang dry them.  As you can see in the introduction photo, they are perfect and required no ironing.

Because the placemats and coasters are backed with a second layer of plain fabric, they appear to be a little darker than the napkins in person and the napkins appear to have brighter print.  However, do not be alarmed.  That really is just an appearance different due to the multiple layers needed for protecting the table.
 




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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pet Tracker - Book Review

Read More 5-Star Reviews
Wouldn't it be surreal to be the police bloodhound handler who needed a search and rescue mission for her very own tracker dog—for a dog so gifted in finding others?  What are the astronomical odds against that dog going missing and needing to be found?

For Kat Albrecht, a professional law enforcement finder of missing people, the panic of needing to find her much-loved dog, A.J., would be one of the real turning points of her life.  To read Pet Tracker, is to become immersed in Albrecht's transformative journey toward finding her true purpose in life by way of revolutionizing how lost animals are returned to their families.  

When Albrecht went out to her back yard on that fateful day and discovered, much to her shock, that A.J. was gone, she initially reacted like those of us who have had that happen.  She frantically, and tearfully, called for A.J. and ran around the area looking for signs of him.  Then, Kat did something that made all of the difference for A.J.: she paused, calmed down, and instinctively let her training take over.

Albrecht needed direction on where to start searching and this required help in the form of another dog.  If dogs could track missing people, why not give them a chance to use that skill to find another dog?  This wasn't being done at the time, but, having no other leads, Kat felt it was worth a try.  Even though Kea, the dog brought in to search for A.J. had not been specifically trained for this purpose, she was known to be a gifted tracker.  The mission was successful.  A.J. was found and brought safely home.

While reflecting on what had worked, Albrecht began to imagine the possibilities of using refined training techniques, and the tools of her trade, to take animal search and rescue to a whole new level.  It would be her retired service dog, Rachel, who would prove to be the key to this whole enterprise.  Rachel, a Weimaraner, taught her human everything she needed to know to ensure there were far more happy endings to the missing pet stories.

Pet Tracker is everything I love in a book.  It combines intrigue with amazing animals, inspiring people, surprising behavior, spy gadgets, forensics, sleuthing, and heart-warming rescue stories.  I picked up this book in the midst of a very personal rescue operation.  In grappling with the most challenging search of my life, I needed more understanding, more insight, more direction, more of everything that would take me to a higher plane, where I could be more of what the lost need.

Like Albrecht, my life has been changed forever, all because of one lost dog.  My lost dog.  I encourage everyone who cares about animals, or their humans, to read this book.  You never know when you might be called into action to help save a life.  And who knows?  Maybe the life you save just might be your own.











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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Easy Bathroom Makeover

Easy Bathroom Makeover Reviewed

Do you have a small bathroom in need of a quick, easy, and inexpensive makeover?

I use the word easy, I don't want to make you think that you just wave a magic wand and puff it's all done.

There is certainly some work involved but, it is really not that difficult.

We have a half bath in our house that really needed a new floor. Since we were going to replace the floor we thought it was a good idea to paint the walls and trim work. 




The first task for our new project was to remove the toilet and get it out of the way. If you're removing a toilet you'll need to clean up the wax seal and then stuff a rag in the hole to prevent the smell of sewer gas. 

The next step was to remove the old floor, I think this was the hardest part. Next, I removed all of the baseboards.  Do this carefully so you break of damage it.

We choose a light mint green paint for the walls although when we started to paint it was a little darker than we expected. So, I used the white paint that I had for the trim work and added a teaspoon at a time to lighten up the green.

Easy Bathroom Makeover: Install the new floor

Now it was time to install the new floor. We used peel and stick flooring. You can find some very durable and inexpensive peel and stick flooring. In total, we bought 45 sqft. of tile and paid only $25.00 for the floor. Prices will vary depending on what you buy.


Before you install a new floor you have to make sure that the subfloor is clean and flat. It's a good idea to use a Shop-Vac to get all of the dust off the floor.

Tools you will need:
Measure and divide the room in half by both length and width. Intersect the lines in the center of the room using a straight edge or chalk line.

Once the center is marked, start to lay the tiles from the center of the room out to the edges. You will have an even space on length as well as the width of the room from your last tile to the wall.

At this point, you will need to measure and cut the remaining tiles around the room. They are very easily cut with a sharp razor knife.

The following short video will show just how easy it is to measure and install a new floor.



Now that the floor was in I painted and re-installed the baseboard and re-installed the toilet. Overall it was a pretty easy project. That means if I can do this anybody can.

You might also want to know How to Re-Caulk your bathtub




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