Chirped by Tina and Cass
Spring has finally sprung here in PA, along with all the flowers, pollen, rain and allergies. Despite Cass’s current stuffy head, and Tina’s cold from a couple of weeks ago, we’re focusing on all the positives! Here are some favorites from last month…
Tina’s forsythia bushes really popped in April – and just in time for the big Easter party! In Cass’s backyard, Medusa (the wisteria vine enveloping her pergola), is strutting her stuff as well.
Favorite Book Club Outing – Escape the Room!
One of last month’s books was Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, about a private plane that mysteriously plunges into the ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. It describes the backstories of the passengers, as investigators try to piece together who or what caused the fatal crash. While the book was a good whodunit, the outing planned to go along with it was even better! Play it Out Games in Souderton, PA is an Escape the Room venue with two rooms to puzzle your way out of. Our group of ten broke into two teams of five. One attempted the medium to high difficulty “Camp Sycamore Sabotage” room, the other chose “The Loft”, with only a medium difficulty rating… Can you guess who made it out in time??
It’s fun to add some extra color to your home to shoo away the winter blahs. So, out came the cheery wreaths for the front doors…
(and yes, reader Beverley, I *did* end up making my own wreath for the big party – complete with a small blown-out chicken egg glued into a craft store wire nest, and a cute craft store bird to watch over it!)
…and up went the Easter displays for the foyers! Cass has her two painted eggs in a little basket that belonged to her mom, and I hung a bunch of the light-weight eggs from my collection (some homemade, some gifted to me over the years) from pussy willow branches to make a fun Easter egg tree inspired by Martha Stewart!
Favorite recipe of the month goes to the watermelon rabbit fruit salad Tina made for her Easter dinner party. She forgot to mention to her husband that he should select an oblong melon for the project, so it came out looking a little more like a mouse than a rabbit – but still cute! The watermelon was remarkably sturdy for cutting out the admittedly stubby ears and fluffy tail shapes and scooping out the melon below them – without breaking off any pieces. She did remove the back section in sections however, saving one nice long piece to carve the whiskers from, and attaching them with broken off toothpicks.
Tina and her husband’s initiation into hosting a large group of relatives (26!) was a big success. See our last post, Prepping for the Big Easter Gathering! for details on how she planned for the event. Since the weather wasn’t cooperating for an outdoor egg hunt, she pulled together an indoor scavenger hunt to entertain the kids, with her son’s help as facilitator and assistant clue writer. First thing for everyone’s baskets were the painted and wrapped wooden egg place-markers she’s been working on for weeks. She also wrapped (in a different color tissue paper for each participant) some tins of PlayDoh and sticks of sidewalk chalk. These were interspersed with the hard-boiled eggs the kids helped decorate at different locations throughout the house. Since the party was on Saturday, they figured the kids would get enough candy the next day at their own Easter festivities.
More Easter Activities
Decorating previously iced sugar cookies with fancy-tipped tubes of frosting entertained overnight visitors the morning before the party. Once the rest of the crew arrived, a craft table in the basement offered googly eyes, felt, pipe cleaners, pompoms, and paint pens to customize the hard-boiled eggs.
It wouldn’t be spring if there weren’t a few home-improvement projects on the list. Cass’s twenty-year-old cedar deck was showing serious wear and tear, with a loose railing and some rotting boards. A Trex deck was expertly installed to replace the cedar, along with new railings and solar post lights to finish it off. Thanks to house-renovating virtuoso Joe Bakker, the end result looks terrific, and will save a ton of time and effort in maintenance down the road!
Home Repair DIY Lessons Learned
Many of us have probably watched YouTube videos about recovering upholstered chair seats, right? They make it look so easy! I’ve even done it once before on a cushioned stool in my mom’s kitchen. Piece of cake! Mere days before our big party, I decided to try to recover three heirloom folding chairs for some extra seating. I’ll save the details for a future post, but it turns out it matters, a lot, what kind of base you use for a project like this. And apparently you need to do something to protect the stapled fabric from being wound around the screws when you try to re-attach the newly covered seat board as well. It’s going to look great once I figure out those two tiny details, but for now, I’ll just show you how the first attempt looked, before I ruined everything trying to actually attach it!
Not-So-Great Products of the Month?
The mosaic table on Tina’s patio needed a face-lift, looking dull and drab from years of exposure to the elements. Tina first tried some Granite Gold Polish to revive it. Unsatisfied with the result once it dried, she then applied Rejuvenate Restorer Wipes. Neither had the dramatic, transformative effect she was hoping for, but it does look better. See the “before” and “after” pics below for comparison.
Spring Cleaning for the Dogs
It was time for a good washing to get rid of the Blog Dog’s tangled mats and Cass’s dogs’ winter coats. Ohhh, how we love the smell and feel of a freshly bathed doggo! Here are the “after” pics for two of the three fluffs. (-:
Hope you’re all enjoying the return of warm weather! And for the newly-minted empty nesters among us, happy not-so-empty nesting as some of the chicks come back to the fold for the summer! (-: