Category Archives: Special Touches

Ceiling Light Find!

Well over a year ago, my husband wanted to clean out his dad’s basement – so i helped out (although he never quite finished and it’s a cluttered mess once again) and i found and set aside an old etched glass cover for a ceiling light fixture. I forgot about it until this past month i decided to paint two rooms – daughter Jessica’s room she sleeps in and the kitchen – from Tuscany historical colors to farmhouse white.

Both rooms turned out fabulously – the kitchen i had painted Lenox Tan from Benjamin Moore and although a good color, it was always darker than i liked in that room. (LRV 43.52) So, it is now painted Chantilly Lace (LRV 92.2), also from Benjamin Moore. You can tell by the Light Reflective Value difference is huge that the white really brightened the room. It is the same color used in Jessica’s room. Hers had been some sort of yellow in the same heritage color scheme but i never liked it though i chose it!

Knowing that Jessica never liked the chandelier style fixture i purchased for her room, i decided to change it out and thankfully, i remembered that old light fixture i found over a year earlier.

The finished product took a while, but i found the base from Vintporium in San Jose, CA, then the screws to attach the base were too long so i bought some slightly shorter at a local hardware store. The reason is that the electrical box is extremely shallow – about 1/2 an inch deep – not blaming the electrician who rewired our entire house from knob and tube since this old house had absolutely no room to install a deeper more typical box. Then the old down rod was far too long, so i e-mailed Joe at Vintporium once again and he knew exactly what i needed and sent it. These items are not easy to find, thanks so much Joe for all your help! (the boards on the floor are to be attached to the platform bed i just built. Trying to get this project done of painting, building a new bed, and replacing the light fixture in amongst working outside because we’ve had splendid weather)
Here was the first try with the down rod which came with the fixture far too long for this application. The only place i could find this 8 inch 2 light bulb base is at Vintporium. It was satin nickel finish which i thought i’d have to paint white, but it worked just fine.
This photo isn’t very good, but isn’t the etched glass just lovely with the splaying out patterns on the ceiling?

It’s ALIVE!

Sometimes life can be really depressing, especially at the end of a long, cold winter and everyone is exhausted, but then just little things can really brighten your day!  Last summer, we razed our old house, but before doing so, we wanted to save the old rose bush that had been sheltered in a southeast facing corner for perhaps 60 years or maybe more!  A long time ago, a visitor suggested that it was called a ‘seven sisters rose‘ so-named because of the way the blossoms cluster in sevens.

So, we moved it.  I had called Mendenhall’s Florists & Nursery in Brookfield, MO for advice and found out that it would be nearly impossible to move it in the middle of the summer and have it survive, but we had no choice.

Christian Finck and Dallas Powell discussing strategy -although it all goes through me.
Christian Finck and Dallas Powell discussing strategy -although it all goes through me. The first steps were to remove the support structure then tie all the canes together. This heritage rose is exceptionally thorny.

We just sort of guessed at how much of the roots we needed balanced with how much we could realistically chop out.
We just sort of guessed at how much of the roots we needed balanced with how much we could realistically chop out. The log chain was looped well below the surface level.

Christian carefully backed the tractor while we kept a close on how the roots were going to fare with such force.
Christian carefully backed the tractor while we kept a close on how the roots were going to fare with such force.

After the bush was loaded, I wrapped the roots in a wet towel and Christian hauled it in the front end loader to our guest house (in which we had recently moved)
After the bush was loaded, I wrapped the roots in a wet towel and Christian hauled it in the front end loader to our guest house (in which we had recently moved)

Dallas packed the entire bush to the hole  we had already started.
Dallas packed the entire bush to the hole we had already started.

Alas, the hole that had been started was far from deep or wide enough, so the boys dug it out more and run into a tree root from the old Mulberry tree we had removed from the front yard.  So that had to be taken out before the hole could be enlarged any further.
Alas, the hole that had been started was far from deep or wide enough, so the boys dug it out more and run into a tree root from the old Mulberry tree we had removed from the front yard. So that had to be taken out before the hole could be enlarged any further.

Well, a bit droopy, but there it is!  I kept it well watered all during the dry heat of summer and fall.
Well, a bit droopy, but there it is! I kept it well watered all during the dry heat of summer and fall. Later, I cut the canes back very short to encourage root growth.

TODAY - 22 Mar 2015!  These signs of life indicate this hardy rose made it through a rough transplant in the wrong time of the year followed by an extremely long and bitterly cold winter.  Hooray!
TODAY – 22 Mar 2015! These signs of life indicate this hardy rose made it through a rough transplant in the wrong time of the year followed by an extremely long and bitterly cold winter. Hooray!

Yerba Maté

My dear friend Ivis from Bolivia introduced me to Yerba Maté several years ago and I’ve been hooked on it since.  Described as ““strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one non-alcoholic beverage.

mate 001
With a tiny spoon (souvenir size), I scoop in about four spoonfuls and fill with not quite boiling water. Some people add sugar. Be careful – the bombilla will get hot!

Be culturally in vogue with a gourd and bombilla to properly enjoy your maté,

Yerba Mate contains caffeine, so check out possible drug interactions and side effects.

Cultivation (from Wikipedia).  The Yerba mate plant is grown and processed in South America, specifically in northern Argentina (Corrientes,Misiones), Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul). Cultivators are known as yerbateros (Spanish) orervateiros (Brazilian Portuguese).