• how to make a piano hammer christmas tree repurposing piano hammers
    Crafts,  holidays

    How To Make A Piano Hammer Christmas Tree

    I made a Piano Hammer Christmas Tree. Never thought I’d type that sentence yet here we are. What are piano hammers and why do I have them? Glad you asked. The lovely sound a piano makes is the result of piano hammers striking the piano’s strings. When a pianist presses a piano key, the piano hammer connected to the key then strikes the strings making them vibrate and as a result, music plays. It is as simple and as complicated as that. I have 88 piano hammers because a few years ago we dismantled an old piano. The house we had purchased came with an upright piano. This would have…

  • church in new jersey in autumn happy thanksgiving

    A Poem for Thanksgiving

    Many folks in the U.S. will be celebrating Thanksgiving later this week.  Did you know many countries around the world have their own Thanksgiving or harvest festivals? Some of these holidays are due to American influence and others are rooted in a traditional celebration of that year’s harvest and/or its laborers. Whatever the reason we have for celebrating Thanksgiving, I can’t think of one downside to being thankful. I’ll be taking the rest of this week off the blog to spend time with my family. If you are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I hope you’ll be able to spend time with your loved ones too. In the meantime, here’s a…

  • holidays

    In Praise of Pretty Advent Calendars

    The holidays are rapidly approaching! If you celebrate Christmas, do you use an advent calendar? We do not have a pretty advent calendar that we reuse year after year. I usually buy the kids a chocolate advent calendar. At no other time during the year do they get to start their day with a piece of chocolate, so those advent calendars are a big hit. I do like the idea of having a pretty advent calendar that doubles as Christmas decor though. Here are some pretty advent calendars that made me stop in my tracks. I think we could DIY a couple of them! Tabletop Advent Calendar | Grandin Road…

  • halloween cauldron centerpiece

    Happy Halloween – How We Are Celebrating and 10 Jokes to Make You Groan

    Happy Halloween! It felt weird to have a normal blog post on a Monday when it was Halloween, so we’re just keeping things light-hearted here today. Let’s talk about how we have been celebrating Halloween with older kids. Yes, I said have been. It’s no longer a one-day event in the good ol’ USA. We, as a culture, do not know the meaning of keeping it simple. We could benefit from chilling out a little, don’t you think? We took our youngest child to our town’s Trunk or Treat this weekend. He has pretty much aged out of dressing up and trick-or-treating, but he really likes candy. Can you blame…

  • halloween front porch floating witches hats

    Halloween Front Porch With Floating Witches’ Hats

    It’s almost Halloween! This year I decided to hop on the bandwagon broomstick late and try out the trick with the floating witches’ hats for our Halloween front porch. Now I get what all the fuss is about! Floating witches’ hats skew more playful than gruesome which works for this ghoul gal. By the way, I almost didn’t write this blog post because the grammar is impossible to figure out. Technically, only one witch owns these hats. Me. So should I be saying witch’s hats?  Or can I say I own multiple witch hats? Which witch hats are we talking about now? See how confusing it is? I chose to…

  • Labor Day 1956 stamp via Wikicommons Media Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Designed by Victor S. McCloskey, Jr., using as source material a photograph of a portion of the mural by Lumen M. Winter located in the AFL-CIO building in Washington, DC. - U.S. Postal Service; National Postal Museum:

    5 Fun Labor Day Facts

    It’s Labor Day in the USA and many folks, including us, are enjoying a day off from school and work. Here are 5 fun Labor Day facts that I found interesting and I’m sure you will too! After all, who doesn’t love a little drama and glass-ceiling breaking with their history? On second thought, I think we could all use a break from any drama. How about we all try to get along? Folks 100 years from now will thank us. Here are the Labor Day facts I found interesting. Fun Labor Day Facts: The Founder of Labor Day Is In Dispute Two men, Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire,…

  • patriotic front porch 4th of july

    Reflections On This 4th of July 2022

    It’s the 4th of July, America. 2022 marks 246 years since the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the U.S. Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Our house did not exist in 1776, but we are pretty sure the original 2-room structure (our current dining room and office) existed in the 1780s. This means it is very likely that our house and its occupants witnessed history unfold when the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788 and went into effect in 1789. I’ve studied history and know what happened, but I wonder how it FELT to be alive then? Victory must have been bittersweet. Lives were lost in the war.…

  • cross stitch american flag on a grain sifter 4th of july wreath
    Crafts,  holidays

    Cross-Stitch American Flag On a Grain Sifter

    What happens when you combine cross-stitch, an American flag, and an antique grain sifter? Pure Americana magic. Or, in less flowery terms, you get a cross-stitch American flag on a grain sifter. I’ve always been intrigued by the grid pattern of grain sifters. It lends itself well to all sorts of crafty endeavors, but particularly cross-stitch. Cross-stitch in its most rudimentary sense is a series of x-shaped hand stitches. I won’t even pretend to know much more about cross-stitch beyond that completely lacking description. I do consider it to be an art form and skill that I am continually impressed by when I see what folks have created. If you…

  • 4th of july wreath grain sifter rustic 4th of july wreath

    Eight Fun 4th of July Ideas

    Before you know it, the USA will be celebrating another birthday. It is turning the ripe old age of 246 in 2022! That calls for a celebration, don’t you think? Here are eight fun 4th of July ideas to make the holiday even more festive. Fun 4th of July Ideas: Make Faux Sparklers or Giant Frill Picks  I had so much fun making these last year and plan to reuse them again this year. (Read how I made them here.) You can either use these faux sparklers or giant frill picks in the world’s largest sandwich, or you can do like I did and put them in my front porch…

  • red poppy illustration symbol of remembrance

    How a Weed Became A Symbol of Remembrance

    Have you ever wondered how a weed became a symbol of remembrance worldwide for fallen soldiers? That weed is the poppy. The first shock to my system was that poppies are weeds. I thought poppies were pretty flowers. Don’t believe me? Go check out my proof here and here and here and here. Weed or not, I still think they are pretty. The origin story of the poppy becoming a worldwide symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers stems from a poem penned by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. McCrae was a Canadian brigade surgeon for an Allied artillery unit. Not long after the Second Battle of Ypres where 87,000 Allied soldiers were killed, wounded, or…