Since I have some extra “at home” time due to the Coronavirus, I decided to tackle the three plastic totes full of old pictures and photo albums from my parents and grandparents. I have two siblings, so I wanted to divide up the photos between all of us. That meant figuring out what photos I needed scanned, so that we each have copies of these precious family memories. It also meant figuring out how to extract photos from damaging old albums, in order to better preserve them. And that was a project worth chirping about all by itself!
We hope that all of you and your family and friends are doing well during this crazy time. So many of us had to adjust our work, school and lifestyles due to this virus. This month’s Cheep Trills post details how we are keeping busy at home in this new norm. We have listed five things we are doing for others, and five things we are doing for ourselves.
Tina and her crafting groups have been researching and sewing homemade cloth masks for health care and other essential workers, as well as friends and family. There is some research that questions the utility of cloth masks. However, healthcare and safety specialists that they’ve talked to say that at the very least, the homemade masks:
physically remind people not to touch their faces,
visually remind people to give each other a wide berth, and
protect other people from the bulk of any cough or sneeze that the wearer might project into the air.
If you want to join the cause, check online for local Mask Makers groups – we have a really well-organized Facebook group near us: Mask Makers of Doylestown, PA, but there are others out there. Ours has a porch pick-up/drop-off spot where you can donate materials, grab more supplies, or drop off finished masks. Also check out this Continue reading →
Cass and I have been bombarded with ads for Mixtiles for a while now on our various feeds. I guess all the advertising worked – we were curious! So for Christmas, we decided to give our kids some personalized photo art for their dorm rooms and apartments. Key selling points for us were ease of hanging and the minimization of wall damage. With those in mind, we tried out three different photo tile companies to see which we liked the best. (No, we don’t get any kickbacks!) If you’ve ever been in the market for some inexpensive wall art, and wondered how different manufacturers measure up, read on for our review!
For the purpose of our informal comparison, we ordered 8”x8” unframed tiles with adhesive hanging mechanisms from all three companies. Odd numbers are aesthetically pleasing, and nine seems like a good starting point for an impactful arrangement. Our price analysis is therefore based on a hypothetical order of nine tiles.
Mixtilesgot our first order. I’m guessing you’ve seen their ads, too – with happy people sticking and resticking the same tiles on a wall until they get the look they want. (Image courtesy of Tina’s Galapagos Getaway: a zoom-in on a land iguana’s spiked head!)
We love having an excuse to mix up our decor for the holidays, especially at Christmas time. Unboxed memories catapult us into the past, then boomerang back to brighten our season. Here’s a list of ten Christmas decorating joys, and why they make us happy…
#1: The Tree
For me, the tree is the show-stopper. My family loves the look and smell of a real Frazier fir. Fraziers tend to have branches strong enough to support our heavier ornaments, too! In our house, the motto (ever since the boys got big enough to help haul it in) has been “Go Big or Go Home!” This year’s specimen is 10′ 8″ – but that includes the “antenna” that my husband refused to let me trim down to size. I love the afternoon we spend each year trimming our tree. I even look forward to the day I devote to taking it down by myself. It gives me a chance to savor every ornament, and Continue reading →
October has come and gone, and time has flown by like the leaves from the trees in our backyards! It’s been a busy month, but we’re taking a moment to appreciate another top ten list of the whos, whats, and wheres that lit the candles in our jack-o’-lanterns last month!
Favorite Book of the Month
A perfect book for October, Something in the Water, by Catherine Steadman was an edge-of-your-seat mystery thriller. I (Tina) listened to it in the car on Audible over the course of several long trips. Don’t be alarmed that it’s read by the author – Steadman is also an actress, and a fantastic narrator! Told in the first person, with a lot of reality-checking, self-doubting questions directed at the reader (“Well that’s what you do? …Isn’t it?”) I was totally captivated. Yes, I was cringing and yelling at the main character for some of her questionable choices, but when she was scared, I was gripping the steering wheel tight. As a book club book, it can lead to some interesting “what would YOU do in that situation?” discussions, too. And it hooks you from the first paragraph: “Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age…” It’s possible that it’s even better as an audio book than as a traditional book, because you get all the nuances the author/narrator intended? Might not be high literature, but it sure was entertaining!
Favorite Local Restaurant
Our favorite restaurant of the month is Slate Bleu in Doylestown, PA. This cozy French bistro has an amazing variety of creative small plates and an extensive beer and wine Continue reading →