Saturday, May 16, 2015

portable beach table

Portable Beach Table Tutorial
{just in time for summer outings}


4 yards - 1" strapping or webbing {available at Jo-Ann fabrics}
staple gun and ¼ “ staples
15” velcro strip (cut into ten 1 ½ inch pieces)
strong adhesive glue {we used super glue}
15 wooden stats 1 1/2″ x 1/4″ cut into 30″ lengths
{we bought 8' lattice pieces and Lowes cut them for free}
4 small plastic baskets


1. Sand the slats and paint if desired.

2. Space thirteen of the wooden slats parallel to one another with equal space in between each one. They should total from the first to last 30″ forming a square shape.

3. Cut the strapping in half, so you have two strips equaling two yards each.  Fuse the ends with a flame to prevent raveling.

4. Start at one end of the parallel boards and lay both strips of strapping 5 inches in on both sides so they transect each board.

One end of the strapping should be even with the first board; the last board should have the excess amount of strapping. This excess side will be used to wrap around the table to carry it. One end of the strapping should be even with the first board; the last board should have the excess amount of strapping. This excess side will be used to wrap around the table to carry it.

5. Staple the strapping once to each board. Then put some strong glue under the strapping on each board and staple a second time.

6. With the remaining two boards (boards #fourteen and fifteen), glue and then staple the loop side of the velcro strip to both ends of each board and one piece in the middle. Then about six inches in, staple and glue the soft side of the velcro to boards one, seven, and thirteen. This will provide the cross beams to the table.

7. Take the soft side of a velcro strip and add (staple and glue) to the end of boards one and thirteen. This will allow you to attach the cross beams to the first and last boards so you can roll all the boards together for travel purposes without losing the cross beams.

8. Attach the cross boards to the end pieces {on top of and even with the first and last board} and then roll up. Wrap strapping ties around table to form a shoulder strap for carrying

9. When you get to the beach, unroll the table. Detach the cross beams from the end slats and velcro then across the table to form the cross boards. Flip the table over and support it with the four plastic baskets. Enjoy!

We adapted this project from one shown in Basics Magazine.
This video shows their similar table and how to set it up.

They used 11 slats, we used 13 to make spaces between the slat smaller.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

mother's day

a little trip down memory lane
circa 1992 

Monday, May 4, 2015

the free design

When I was growing up my best friend Stefanie’s family formed 
a singing group that had moderate success 
although I am sure you have never heard of them. 

It was quite a surprise while watching TV last week that
I recognized one of their songs on a delta commercial . . .

And then I found the same song in a toyota commercial  . . .

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Free Design was a Delevan, New York-based vocal group whose music can be described as sunshine pop and baroque pop. They were all members of the Dedrick family: Chris Dedrick, sister Sandy and brother Bruce were the original lineup. Chris Dedrick wrote most of the songs. Younger sister Ellen joined the group later, and youngest sister Stefanie joined near the end of their initial career. They formed the band while living in New York City. Chris has said the group was influenced by vocal groups like The Hi-Los (who performed in Greenwich Village frequently at the time) along with Peter, Paul and Mary and the counterpoint experiments of Benjamin Britten. Their trademark sound involved complex harmonies, jazz-like chord progressions, and off-beat time signatures, all products of Chris's classical training. The band released seven albums from 1967 to 1972,

Sunday, April 26, 2015

spring break visitors

It is a blessing when children
visit and brighten up your retirement days

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

grandchildren sweetness

tiny sparks of hope [easter in the mountains]

waiting for spring

{ezra and cedar ~ british columbia ~ photos by amanda}

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

blue cheese bites

Blue Cheese Bites
Makes 40 bites

1 (12 ounce) can buttermilk biscuits 
4-5 ounces (about ½ cup) blue cheese crumbles
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Evenly sprinkle the blue cheese crumbles over the bottom of 
a 10" round  or  7" X 11"  casserole/serving dish. 
Melt the butter and pour it evenly over the blue cheese.

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.
Using light pressure, roll each biscuit piece into a ball. 
Arrange the biscuit pieces on top of the blue cheese crumbles. 

Try to keep the biscuit pieces from touching.

Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 
20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden brown.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

peet's coffee

My Shop Smart Magazine recommends Peet’s Coffee K-cups 
so I thought I would give them a try. 

Turns out they are pretty good.

My go to coffee lately has been Jamaican Me Crazy 
{flavored coffee, infused with rich coconut flavor and an island twist} 
but it has been fun trying these new blends.

Do you have a favorite K-cup?

House Blend Coffee
Dark Roast
This best-of-house blend was crafted by Mr. Peet himself at our first café in Berkeley, CA. Selecting the finest beans, he hand roasted in small batches for rich, distinctive flavor. Four decades later, Peetniks everywhere are at home with House.

Major Dickason's Blend Coffee
Dark Roast
1969. Our first store on Vine Street. Loyal customer Key Dickason approaches Alfred Peet with his own blend. Mr. Peet tinkers. Before you know it, our all-time bestseller is born. Rich, complex, multi-layered; like a relationship with an old friend

Brazil Minas Naturais Coffee
Medium Roast
We select Brazil’s finest beans from the region of Minas Gerais, preferring those known as ‘naturals.’ By this method, our favorite fazendas (farms) dry whole coffee cherries in the warm Brazilian sun, imbuing the beans with a sumptuous sweetness.

Cafe Domingo Coffee
Medium Roast
There’s nothing like great coffee to bring friends and neighbors together. This Latin American medium roast pays tribute to an old pastime: lingering in one of our cafés, sipping an expertly brewed cup.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

first farewell gathering

When I was teaching I always thought that the minute I began writing on
the June calender time raced and the end of the school year came faster.

Now in retirement I find that as soon as the first of our friends head north
time races and before you know it winter in Florida comes to an end.

First to leave Tome and Sharon {this week}

Then Kathy and Jim {next week}

Later Cindy and Tom {end of April}

Last in this group - us {first of May}

Safe travel friends

not yet pictured -  many other friends we have 
made at CCE and will miss over the summer

Monday, March 9, 2015

vegetable chopped salad

While looking for a dish to take to a pot-luck supper 
I came across a chopped salad recipe.
This is my slightly adapted version and I have made it several times.

Vegetable Chopped Salad
12 servings (3/4 cup each)

3 cups finely chopped fresh broccoli
3 cups finely chopped cauliflower
3 cups finely chopped celery
2 cups frozen peas thawed
1-1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2.8 oz pkg real bacon pieces
1 cup salted peanuts

1. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables.
2. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, cheese, vinegar and salt until blended.
3. Add to salad and toss to coat.
4. Stir in bacon pieces.
5. Just before serving, stir in peanuts.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


With spring around the corner we are expecting several sets of visitors.

A blog I enjoy summed it up well . . .

What I learned is that when family needs a place to stay they aren't looking for a luxury hotel, just a bed with clean sheets and a smiling face handing them a hot cup of coffee in the morning. When friends come to visit they don't expect a gourmet meal and a pinterest ready atmosphere, they just want a safe place to talk about the ups and downs of life. {Lemon Lane Cottage}