Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Just Don't Know...

Where in the world does time go? I started out with the best of intentions today to get the sun porch cleaned and redecorated into the new pink, white and green color scheme. So what happened? Well, I called Hospice House to come and get the 'blue bomb' sofa. They did and I'm thankful to have it gone, but that took time away from the sun porch, and then there were phone calls, sheesh. Now here it is, three o'clock, the sun porch is half finished with the cleaning and the rest of the cottage is a wreck. Please tell me that y'all's life goes the same way!!!
Oh, I forgot! It's okay Thursday, duh! If you want a good read, go over to DS's page and read about It's Okay Thursday. That's right, it's okay...
I see dust bunnies to clean up, back later...

Furniture Redo (Redux)

G'morning y'all! I'm happy to report that my little furniture redo project is complete. Finally...
I've been wanting to paint this stuff for years. Somewhere around twenty five years ago I got a hankering to restore it to it's original white. You see, the top surface of it is Formica, so it cleans easily, no problem there. The sides and front were a different story...they wouldn't clean up, not even with TSP!
The ex-husband told me repeatedly that I shouldn't paint it, or any other furniture. Well, now that he's gone, I've started painting. This is only the beginning! Crazy woman with a paint brush! 
Watch out! 

See? It was YELLOW!

Now doesn't that look much better?

I'm no expert with paint exactly, but nothing ventured, nothing gained is what I figured, right?

Here's my how to:

I cleaned all of the surfaces to be painted with TSP substitute, and let it dry overnight. Be sure to use thick, disposable gloves when using TSP of any kind. 
I removed the handles from the drawers and cleaned them as well. They got several coats of spray paint that I bought at Lowe's for 99 cents per can. It worked great.
I used Olympic Fast Hide Interior Latex, semi gloss, commercial quality paint on the furniture. It worked wonderfully as well. I bought high density foam rollers for doors and cabinets and rolled every surface that I possibly could. For every thing I had to brush, I used an artist's brush, so that it would be smooth. Yes, it took a little extra time, but it was SO worth it! 
The new coats of paint have transformed my bedroom and my life! The best part of the redo? That gold trim is gone!
Next up? Bathroom cabinet, here I come!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

South Carolina Peaches and Wordless Wednesday!

Okay, maybe it's not so wordless. These photos are from J.E. Cooley Farms, only a few miles from the cottage. The pic above is of pansies planted in the shape of the American flag. Very cool...

Muscadines and Scuppernongs on the way! For those of you who don't know, they're kind of like grapes, but better. They make the best jelly you've ever put in your mouth!

Early peaches, the trees are loaded!

I didn't know the fellow in the photo was waving until I got home and uploaded it. So friendly!
Thank your local farmers for their hard work and decication!
For more photos of this farm, click here

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bringing The BBQ Inside...

When I considered the options of posting this recipe on Cottage Cuisine or on this blog, I opted for this one. The reason for that is when I post anything on CC, it feeds directly to my Feastie page. AND, since this isn't some of my proudest work, I don't really want it on Feastie. Sooo! Here it is...

Ingredients for the rub:

1 four pound Boston butt roast
2 tablespoons dry yellow mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Let me add to this, if you would. I like spicy, JD does not. If I were making this just to suit myself, I would've added paprika, maybe a teaspoon, and definitely some cracked red pepper, to taste. I would have also added apple cider vinegar to the bowl of hickory chips, to give it some extra zing, and to clear my sinuses, and any company that might drop by :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and spread them on the roast, rubbing them into every nook and cranny. Place the roast onto a ginormous piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, or tin foil as we say. I start mine out uncovered, and after about one hour of cooking, I wrap the flaps of foil over the meat and continue cooking for about another four hours. Insert a meat thermometer into the center and away from bones. When it reads 165 degrees, it's done. 

Let the meat rest for about thirty minutes before you begin to chop, shred or slice it. 

I like to do a little chop-chop, a little shredding, and a little slicing...

Keep it up until you have cleaned that bone!

Yes, normally I serve bbq with slaw, but there's a story here. Our church had a bbq for the community a couple of weeks ago. All of us ladies gathered and brought our food processors and grated enough slaw to feed the entire island of Manhattan. Guess what there was plenty of after said bbq was over? Yep, that's right, and JD and I and the whole church had slaw for a week with everything we ate...
Now you understand why we had confetti macaroni salad, right? 
I also served it with sliced cantaloupe and mustard barbeque sauce. 
Unconventional, but delicious!

To Smoke, Or Not To Smoke....

Well, in our case the decision was not to smoke. I think JD and I agree that there was probably a good reason that someone gave him the smoker. At around two o'clock yesterday afternoon, when I went to take a quick peek and pic of the smoking Boston butt, I got a surprise. The only thing smoking was the water pan in the bottom of the smoker. The little smoker was doing all it could, but no cigar. Or butt...
So, I loaded the meat up and put it into the oven, finished it off there with wood chips in a small bowl of water and it all turned out well. Quite delicious as a matter of fact. You would think that as much as I love to cook and love to blog, that I would be able to remember to capture it all with my camera. I think the problem here is that I love to eat more than I love to do either of the above, so my stomach takes over and I forget the photos. Blondie here, and no hope for it...
I have a little experience with charcoal smokers, but yesterday was my first foray into the electric smoker world. I personally see advantages to both. JD is thinking of building his own charcoal smoker now. Or replacing the burner in the electric one. I don't much care either way, but I can tell you this... it will be a very long time before I take on a big ol' Boston butt in my oven on a ninety degree day again...the cottage was still hot last night at eleven o'clock. Just sayin'. I'll get the photos I did manage to take and recipes posted later on Cottage Cuisine.
BBQ anyone?
Did you have a fiasco yesterday? Love to hear about your Memorial Day in the comments section!
Oh, after proof reading this, I'll try my best not to use the word 'smoker' for awhile...

Monday, May 28, 2012

It's Tractor Season...

Y'all know what tractor season is, don't you? Out here it's the time of year when men of all ages get stars in their eyes, kind of like they do when it's deer or turkey hunting season. I'll have to admit though, I too have a thing for tractors. I've always wanted one. Why, I don't know, maybe just to look at it, or sit on it, or drive it ten feet or so. Anyway, I've been tractor watching for about the last month. Let me explain. Notice in the photo above where the watermark is, that little house you see there is my very own Clover Cottage. So from the kitchen window I can see the red tractor and all of the attention it's getting. It's had no less than one hundred men to stop, get out of their vehicles and gawk. That's what men do, they gawk. Gawk, walk around it fifteen times, write the phone number down posted on the for sale sign and leave...

Like that wasn't entertainment enough, remember it doesn't take much for me, low and behold, another fellow just down the road from me, brought his Oliver tractor and parked it beside this one. Now we're getting twice as many gawkers, which is cool....

I really wish I had gotten a pic of the green tractor while it was still pale blue, I liked the blue better, but that's just me....
Notice too, the red building underneath the watermark in the photo above, that's the little fruit stand beside the cottage where I shop and used to work...

I love me some country cottage life! Where else can a gal be so entertained for free?

Happy Memorial Day!

I was going through some photos this morning and happened to notice that there were two American flags in the tractor shot I took a couple of weeks ago at Strawberry Hill, USA. Out here we love our country and we like to  let everyone know exactly how we feel. We also have a fondness and great appreciation for the folks who serve our country, and the families of those who have lost their lives protecting our country. Protecting us! 
To all of them, we here at the cottage salute you and thank you!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Bestest Dog Ever!

Baby Gus

                                                                    Big Gus

JD snapped the top photo of Gus last September. The bottom photo is from some where along January. And bless him, he's still growing., Just don't tell him, Gus thinks he's a lap dog, even though he weighs more than I do. One wrong move and I'm on the ground under those feet. Not that he would ever hurt me, he's just playful and so loving. I wub you Gustufson, you're Mama's baby boy, oh yes you are!!!

Wired Essentials

Wired Essentials:

'via Blog this'

Y'all take a look at my friend Danielle's jewelry collection...the girl has talent to say the least! I own quite a collection of her creations myself. To be quite honest, I'm very fond of anything she makes. It's lovely and the quality is unsurpassed. Please visit her page, take a look, and maybe place an order!

Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'....

Good Sunday Morning! I sincerely hope the sun is shining for you today! I did go and get a pedi yesterday and it was WONDERFUL! So relaxing....and then I came back to the cottage, cleaned the bathroom, washed up some dishes and made dinner. So much for being relaxed by the pedicure! Dinner was easy though, a filet on the grill, chopped salad, baked potatoes, and toasty garlic bread. I'll go ahead and confess that I cleaned my plate. After clover mowing and nothing to eat yesterday, I was famished to say the least...and if I had a little more time, I could eat a huge breakfast this morning. Can you tell? Food takes up a lot of my brain space!
Wonder what's for dinner?
Y'all have a great day, I'm off to church!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Now What?

The clover has been mowed. This gal is tired. And hot. And now what? I'm going to treat myself to a pedicure that I can't afford. Then I might go look for new dish towels to go with the new blue and green kitchen color scheme. Can't afford those either. Let's see, what can I do that won't cost much? Nothing worth doing....sometimes a gal has to get away though. I've worked hard around here this week and if I stay at the cottage today, I'll just keep on working. Yep, I see a pedicure in my immediate future. I can feel that warm water surrounding my tired feet now, and the sugar scrub on my tired legs, oh yeah! Oh and just think of the lotion at the end!
And when I've been revived by the pedi, maybe I will do a little shopping. And I'm not talking Wal-Mart, I'm talking about going over to Columbus, NC and visiting the Brass Latch, then on down the street to The Summer House, maybe stop in for an ice cream there on Main Street.
Just kidding. It does sound good, doesn't it?

Guess What Today Is?

I really wish I had something HUGE to tell you, but it's like this...I'm going out to manually mow the clover here at the cottage. That's it. I get to mow today. Meanwhile JD has gone to one of his friends homes to plow. To plow a plot to plant, and I can't believe it, but they're going to plant, (gulp) clover. Of all the things to plant, they're planting clover. You know, I started to tell him to hook up his trailer, dig up my yard and transplant my clover to the plot. The cottage is named 'Clover Cottage' for a really good reason, I don't have grass, I have clover. And moss.
Seriously, they're planting clover on the outside of the plot and peas of some sort in the middle area. Seems that this is what they do for something to do with hunting. That's all I'm going to say about that. Except that I really do enjoy eating what he brings home from the hunts. Oh, and I'm planning on getting a hunting license this year. I'm really going to do it, I'm going hunting. And fishing. And maybe the good Lord will bless me with food for the freezer. Speaking of which, I need to get out and mow. There are veggie plants to set out today also, for late crops. So, here I go, off with my date for the day...the clover mower...y'all have a good one, and please leave comments, I love comments!

Friday, May 25, 2012

What I've Been Up To...

It's been slow going, but at least it's still going. Seems like the more I do aro und the cottage, the more I see that needs to be done. I'm taking a break right now to post photos from what I've been up to, and believe you-me, it's been plenty.

This is what the herb garden looked like last week. Not too appealing...
But with some mulch, it started coming together. The herbs do really well with the gravel that was left in this bed, it just doesn't look very pretty...

Much better, don't you think? I am absolutely loving the cilantro this year!

I had to burn some of the rotten wood that was torn off of the pre-coop building along with brush and limbs. Country Gal make fire :)

This was only the beginning for pine needles. What? Did I really think that four bales would be enough? It took a total of twenty and several trips to the Hay Rack in Landrum.

I'd say it was well worth the effort! Now, I'm going back to work!

It Started Out Okay, What Happened?

Last Thursday started out really nice. I got in the CRV, drove about five minutes and landed at Strawberry Hill, USA. Now for those of you who don't live around the upstate of SC, it probably doesn't mean any more than if I told you I walked out the door to my back yard. But for the folks around here, it's kind of a big deal. And for me, it was an especially big deal...

I walked around a bit, talked with the lady who was tending the cash register, took some photos, looked at produce and finally decided I should eat something. So into the cafe I go, ordering a steak biscuit and hash browns.

Can you believe the size of that biscuit? Oh and it

was really good, and the hash browns? To die for... I apologize for biting into it before taking the pic...So I took the food to my car, sat in the parking lot and watched bus loads of folks come and go. I'm easy to entertain...

Love me some tractors....wonder if they'd let me drive it? Not far, just a foot or so....

So, here I am, watching as they load and unload Flavor Rich peaches....

Taking more pics, wishing I had left room for their home made ice cream...

So why was all of this a big deal to me? I had never been to Strawberry Hill! How have I managed to live only five minutes away for five years and never darken the doorway of the place? Because I've been working for their competition, that's why. I'm sorry but my curiosity finally got the better of me...
So I went, I saw, I ate and I bought a couple of things, just tiny ones! And then I came on home. But as it usually goes, I got mine later that evening. That's the night the computer woes began.
I'm glad I took photos. Because I probably won't be going back to Strawberry Hill, just in case I didn't get "mine" enough last week.
But don't let that stop you. If you're ever close by be sure and visit them. Oh, and as for their competition that I worked for? If you don't stop there, you really will miss the best strawberries, plums and peaches ever grown. Geary Jolley Farms is the name of my former employer and they're located at the intersection of highways nine and eleven, in Campobello, SC, not too far off of I-26. Don't miss 'em!

Now after having fessed up, giving both places a plug, I surely hope that I've fixed my bad karma or whatever you want to call it....
And folks wonder why I'm so honest...

I have to be!!!!

It's Here!!!

It's finally here! The furniture I've waited so patiently for is here! I'm really excited about it and can't wait to get started decorating around it. I'm thinking about doing brown pillows and maybe a nice plush, brown throw rug for accents. I don't know yet, but one thing I can tell you for sure, those pillows you see on the sofa now, they're all but gone. What was I thinking when I bought those? Clearly I wasn't. I hate it when I shop in my sleep...
I'll be showing a photo of the chair and ottoman, just as soon as I get rid of the big blue bomb you see below. It's a bit crowded in the tiny living room of the cottage right now. Anyone need a sofa? A big, blue sofa?