Smaller Size Satisfies

I had been trying to cut back on coffee drinking. I limited myself to two 12 ounce cups a day. But there were three times during the day that I wanted a caffeine boost.

My solution?

I started drinking out of 8 ounce cups. I still am drinking 24 ounces of coffee, but I get it three times a day instead of two.

It is a habit to always order the larger size; but you would be surprised how many times the smaller size is just enough.

My coffee with frothed milk.

My coffee with frothed milk.

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Microwave Cover Colander

I like everything in my house to do double duty because I don’t have much room.

When I peel potatoes for dinner, I put them in the microwave cover. When they are all peeled, I can rinse them in the cover and do not have to get down the large colander. The water runs out of the holes designed to release steam .

My microwave cover makes a great colander.

My microwave cover makes a great colander.

Not Too Hard, Not Too Soft

It’s the time of year when you go to butter your toast and find it partially melted. That is easier to deal with than the time of year when the butter is too hard to cut.

I have found the solution, (thank you, in a…

Butter Bell.

A butter bell.

A butter bell.

It’s a crock with a bell you fill with butter. You put an inch of cold water in the crock and turn the bell upside down in it. The cold water keeps the butter at the perfect temperature.

It won’t melt, or harden, and you can use every last bit of butter. You put a stick of butter in it, leaving no air holes and change the water every few days.

You get perfect consistency butter every time.

Couch Charging Station

While scrolling through Pinterest, I saw a cord organizer using large binder clips. I tried using them on my side table, but the wood was too thick.

Then I noticed the back of the couch had a flap. I clipped my husband’s phone charger to the end of the flap on one side.

Looking behind my couch from the side will show you the charger to my husband's phone.

Looking behind my couch from the side will show you the charger to my husband’s phone.

On the other side, I clipped the charger to my Chromebook.

If you look down behind my couch, you will see the charger to my Chromebook.

If you look down behind my couch, you will see the charger to my Chromebook.

My couch is now a charging station!

Portable Bookshelf

It is really heating up here in Iowa and I don’t know from day-to-day where I will be doing my daily studying. I like to read in the front room, but some days it is just too hot with that big window.

I ended up getting out a box that would hold the books I am currently using and storing it under one of the side chairs in the front room. If it is too warm there, I can easily tote the box to the kitchen, bedroom or office.

Portable study center!

Portable study center!

Bookshelves Become A Bookcase

I have been looking for a side table that is 18″ wide, 24″ tall, and 8″ deep. I was moving some wood in the storage room and saw three 8″ laminate shelves. Two were 24″ long and the third was 38″ long.

I asked my husband if we could build a box out of them and use it as a side table. Not only did he agree, he pulled a matching 24″ shelf out of the laundry room. They are all walnut stained.

I was so excited. We could make a bookcase for a side table to house the remote controls, etc. I drew a picture and wrote down the measurements I wanted and he took them to the lumberyard.

When it was finished, it didn’t look right. The center shelf had been mounted vertically, not horizontally. It measured 24″ wide and 18″ tall! It didn’t work at all; but David said he could fix it and he did.

I set it next to the love seat and went to soak my feet, sitting in the chair by the front window. The CD case I had next to the chair was too tall and I bumped it, spilling my glass of water.

I moved everything to the recliner and put a new glass of water on the new bookcase. The recliner rocked…or something…and I spilled that glass of water! My husband told me it was too narrow for the space.

I got out the table that was formerly there. The top was large enough for two glasses, the phone, answering machine and a flame-less candle.

I decided to replace the “too tall” CD case with the bookcase. I tried it next to it, but it didn’t leave three feet between it and the TV stand. We needed a three-foot walkway from the front door.

Then I tried it perpendicularly and there was the required three feet…but the lumberyard did not put a piece on the back of it and you could see the unfinished edges. I fixed that with Old English.

Staining the unfinished edges with "Old English."

Staining the unfinished edges with “Old English.”

I was glad they failed to install a back when the weather here cooled off. The air is still able to circulate through the bookcase from the window behind it…and it is the perfect height for that chair.

My new bookcase made from four bookshelves.

My new bookcase made from four bookshelves.

Beat the Heat

I have been waking up early…like 3:45 a.m. early…thanks to Prednisone. I have been using those hours wisely and have been able to beat the heat.

The first thing I do is throw in a load of laundry. My goal is to have my laundry washed and dried before 9:00 a.m.

The second thing I do is cook anything I can for tonight’s dinner. It is better to heat the kitchen up early in the morning when the air conditioner does not have to work as hard to cool it back down. Cooking at the regular time taxes the AC.

My oven is also closed for the season: May through September.

I add olive oil, Parmesan Cheese, and oregano to my spaghetti after I cook it. The oil keeps it from sticking together when it is reheated and the cheese helps the sauce stick to the pasta.

I add olive oil, Parmesan Cheese, and oregano to my spaghetti after I cook it. The oil keeps it from sticking together when it is reheated and the cheese helps the sauce stick to the pasta. Stir it up and it will be good to go at dinner time.

Storage Everywhere

My granddaughter outgrew her wooden puzzles and we purchased some cardboard puzzles. They come in a cardboard frame and I needed a new place to store them.

I found there was just enough room under the TV stand to slide them in and I can easily pull them out. There are storage places everywhere if you just use your imagination.

Cardboard puzzles slide easily under the TV stand.

Cardboard puzzles slide easily under the TV stand.

Put Your Tub to Work

The first day of summer has arrived and I did not finish my spring cleaning. I fully intended to wash the windows but that didn’t get done.

There are some items that are especially difficult to clean…like my step stool with a grooved top.









Not only is there dirt in the grooves, there is paint splattered on it. I dumped a half a cup of dishwasher detergent in the tub, filled it with hot water and let it soak overnight.


Since it kept floating to the top I used the lid to my hamper to stabilize it. They both came out sparkling.


I have tried to scrub the dirt in the crevices of both these items several times and one overnight soak removed all traces of dirt.



It even removed the paint spatters.

Lotsa Lettuce?

Well, the rabbits ate very well this year. We planted spinach and three kinds of lettuce. They wiped out the spinach, red leaf lettuce, and green leaf lettuce, leaving us the pale leaf lettuce.

We planted it on the east side of the house and it seemed to take forever to grow. It was finally producing, when I read it was time to pull it as the hot weather would make it bitter. We had been watching for signs of it bolting, forming a flower, as it is no good after that either.

My husband picked what was available and then my mother dropped off a large bag that was given to her. She split it with me. I had “lotsa lettuce.”

My parents, children of farmers, always had a vegetable garden. I swear it was an acre when we had to help weed it! Mom would make a regional dish when she had an abundance of lettuce.

Wilted Lettuce

4 cups leaf lettuce

6 slices bacon, cut into pieces

6 scallions, thinly sliced (I used dry chopped onion)

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Wash, drain, and dry lettuce leaves and tear them into bite-size pieces. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and reserve.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bacon drippings and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Pour this dressing over the lettuce in a large salad bowl and toss lightly. Sprinkle the bacon bits over the salad and serve at once. Makes four servings.

Lettuce, Bacon, homemade dressing.

Lettuce, Bacon, homemade dressing.

Some people like to double the dressing recipe and to make the lettuce have the consistency of cooked spinach.

This recipe is a hit at my house because it has one key ingredient…


Wilted Lettuce

Wilted Lettuce