For the Garden

irish garden house for summer nights
whisteria cottage wall
rainbows in ohio

Ideas, decor, and inspiration from our garden in Ohio and our garden in Ireland.

  • What do you call a flock of European Goldfinch????
    Well, the Irish Autumn has arrived; chasing the beautiful Indian Summer down the laneway.  So sorry to see her go.  Autumn is a mixed bag here.  She brings beautiful and rich colors and an infrequent golden sunlight but she also heralds the horrors of gale force winds, horizontal rain, and eventually hurls you into winter. I hope to find an apple […]
  • A Guide through the Garden- Garden Nemesis Japanese Knot-weed
    THE BACK GARDEN Apparently, we missed the super summer in Ireland this year.  We returned to massive growth in the garden and comments from everyone on what a summer it was.  Indeed, the best summer ever! I am sure there is truth in that statement.  A great summer in Ireland usually means a rain-free week every three weeks or so, or a least three […]
    I admit to being a collector, a picker, a lover of antiques and collectibles.  I also collect multiple “things”.  John’s new venture of handcrafting fine wood boxes reminded me of my collection.  I started collecting boxes as a young girl growing up in upstate New York.  In the summers, my parents would take us kids to places […]
  • Glyphosate and Roundup – Err on the Side of Caution
    There is a war ranging over Roundup. Actually, the war concerns an active ingredient in Roundup and others called glyphosate.  Last year the EU reported “The European Parliament Tuesday called for the controversial weedkiller glyphosate to be banned by 2022 amid fears it causes cancer, a day before EU states vote on whether to renew its […]
  • Grass-Fed Beef a Cooking Quandary
    My friend Jean and I go out shopping and lunching once a week, and this last week we went to a restaurant in Ohio called  The Rail We always get the same thing- low carb option called the naked burger.  It consists of a grilled burger with two add-ons- we get mushrooms and provolone cheese.  It is served on a bed of lettuce, red onion, and […]
    We work in wood, and a few months ago we went to our local picker to see what he had available….John sometimes fixes furniture bits for him, and he is always very helpful when we visit.  I got a large basket I love, but we also found an old sewing machine cabinet that needed restoration.  John was going to take the machine out and create a […]
    Last week I told you I would show you the finished coffee table and picture frames I painted in Boxwood green.  In a past posting, I shared with you the old yellow oak oversized coffee table in the downstairs family room that needed a makeover. I loved the look of the table but hated that yellow-orange oaky color.  I had seen a blog post from Miss […]
  • Miss Mustard Seed Boxwood- a Paint
    Last week I commented on a Miss Mustard Seed post.  Marion was painting a butler’s cabinet in her new home.  Miss Mustard Seed makes/ sponsors [ not sure of the correct word here] milk paints in various colors, and has done so for a good many years.  You are probably familiar with her products.  She had her milk paint color […]
  • Nurture Everyone’s Whimsey- Keep a Spark Alive.
    I think I once told you about my interest in art as a youngster.  I started in my preteens with sketchbooks and copied the lessons in those books.  I had pads full of drawings, some horrible but as I got into it, some not too bad for a little kid.  In my early teens, I started to use oil paints.  I had no training at all, but I loved it.  My dad […]
  • Boom Summer for Sales
    This summer has been one of our best sale summers.  In one week we sold the two vintage school desks.  Cast iron base with pencil slots and inkwell holders.  A couple planned on using them as end tables in their family room     That was Monday.  On Friday we had a lady call looking for a small dining table.  W had the oak table with […]
  • Living Room Design – Floating Shelves vs Built Ins
    I think I said I was pretty much done with the house remodeling….wrong again.  Now I have gone back to the living room. If anyone tries to talk you into a corner fireplace really think it over.  It is a funny place to design around.  Usually, a fireplace is a focal point, a grounding point in a room.  If it is in the corner, it changes the […]
  • Shower dilemma continues. The house remodeling project that never ends
    Now for the continuing story of my house remodel project.  We started two years ago after deciding not to sell the place. It needed upgrading and we started with new paint, new carpet, kitchen remodel, mini bath redo, upgrading lighting, garden redos.  We have been working at it for over two years now and we thought we were just about done.  I was […]
  • Campbell Soup Chicken Recipe…not tooo shabby
    One day I needed to make dinner in a hurry, and we had very little in the frig.  To make matters worse, John had had some dental work, so something soft was needed.  I had no eggs.  I decided to make a chicken casserole of some kind.  I had to use the little I had on hand.  One thing I did have was a can of condensed mushroom & garlic soup, […]
  • Something Lovely…Perhaps a new trend in 2018 decor I can live with. BUT NOT THE MAIN CONCEPT -WALLPAPER
    Yesterday I was going thru my emails and came upon a post by a very creative person. You might well be familiar with the name Marian Parsons- the creator of Miss Mustard Seed.  I have been following her for about ten years now, and she has been one of the most influential persons in my blog and website life.  Ten years ago, John was making wood […]
  • Gold Granite. Gold the new chrome.
    I have been updating the house for about two years now.  If you have been following me, you’ll remember I first put this condo up for sale three years ago when the housing market was pretty bad in my area.  After two or three years of sporadic putting it on the market, I decided to invest in the house and put it the way I liked it.  It had […]
    A couple of years ago our home association began to experience problems with water drainage in our allotment.  Homes that never had water or damp issues began to experience water in basements, buckling of basement walls, dampness, and mold problems.  I had some minor dampness problems but also had some soil erosion issues and buckling of the front […]
    A few months ago I shared our favorite antique/junk picking site in Ireland.  I never did get that sign I wanted…maybe if it’s still there when we get back :)).  See here. Ohio picking around me isn’t easy.  I really have to work at it to find stuff at good prices here.  Most of the shops we go to have already picked over the […]
  • The Redo on the Jewelry Armoire
    I have been in the process of upgrading our condo in Ohio. Over the past three years, I’ve repainted to the neutral grays and grudges, added furniture, redid the kitchen to white cabinets and added new granite, new carpet, and added or replaced some furniture.  It has been a long process and I am close to a point where the major changes are […]
  • Garlic Shrimp Recipe
    Earth Fare health food market opened near me. As you know, I have been trying to eat more healthy.  If you have been with me a while, you will remember I tried a new agey nutrition therapy that did not work for me, but I did learn something about my blood work there.  Apparently, like most Americans, I am low in Omega-3 fatty acids, the better […]
  • SALE ON TABLES- SEE ETSY STORE- Wind ‘N’ Whimsey online store
    This not quite 5 ft table- it’s 58 inches long and is handmade with special detailing.  Oak stained walnut on top and painted creamy white lower apron and legs.  We also offer the chair set with gray linen upholstery. This beauty is just right for a small kitchen or dining space: condo, apartment. Sale price $500.00.  Will throw in the […]
    Well, I have made a valiant attempt to follow the program offered by the local health and wellness physician.  If you remember I first started on this about three months ago here I had launched this program based on a friend of a friend’s outcome for weight loss.  I wanted to lose some weight.  After going through the first five weeks of […]
    Today I am writing about a subject very personal and close to my heart.  I have to warn you, this post is probably not for some of my readers, and if you want to stop reading and go to something else, I understand.  I hope to see you again on another subject, like antiques, decor, gardening, painting, etc. I am a green environment advocate. One of […]
    I have always heard of the rule of three.  I have used it in my garden mainly, but I also use it in home decor. I did a bit of research for this post and found this rule was bigger and more powerful than I ever knew. The rule of three is a tenant used in gardening, decor, writing, science, religion, architecture and other areas. I have posted […]
  • My Innovative Health Plan finally Begins
    If you remember, I wrote about a new age health program of diet and wellness in my neighborhood.  A friend of a friend had participated in this program and did remarkably well.  I know she lost a ton of weight and felt fantastic.  I wanted the same, and so I went to see this doctor about a month ago. I was put on a semi detox program while I […]
    I have a walkway that goes up to the front door from the drive/street. I have planted multiple flowers and shrubs in this little area and haven’t yet found a combination that works for me.  The area is only 20 inches wide and about 20 feet long. I originally I planted six heather plants.  I eventually found out that the home and garden store […]
    When John and I started this adventure, milk paint was all the rage.  John, a cabinet maker, and former antique dealer HATED the idea of painting wood.  But I saw a ‘cuteness’  in redoing an old wood piece with a coat of paint.  However, after using milk paint for awhile, I lost my fondness for it.  I found the tops would mark, or […]
    As I continue to restyle my home, I went to my local furniture store to buy a new mattress and box spring for the lower level bedroom.  I threw away that set last year.  My college-aged son at that time had spilled a bottle of coke on it…the big bottle mind you, a few years ago and it needed to go. While I was in the store, the salesman […]
    Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!  I have been busy in the craft corner creating new art for sale.  I have a range of items for review.  First is a pen and pencil sketch of the Wood Deer.  The inspiration for this came from Pinterest.  If you go to my  Pinterest tips:// you will see some work I saw in Europe of animal sketches or […]
  • Garden Review- Aim for a Pollinators Garden
    Our condo area had a problem with the old drainage downspouts last year.  A work crew nearly destroyed our back garden repairing a water drainage problem in the lower back area of the condo.  Contractors came and dug a big hole and trench to install a new and larger capacity drainage system. This year I want to restore that part of the garden. […]
    I  worked as a medical-legal researcher for years.  Sometimes called a nurse-paralegal.  I had my own consulting business and worked for hospital defense attorneys and also plaintiff attorneys.  Medical-legal cases are usually quite complicated and can require a great deal of research.  I used online sources, medical libraries and medical […]
  • Spring Gardens Bulbs; How to take care of cut Hyacinths
    SPRINGTIME The weatherman says we are at least a month behind in NE Ohio.  I thought I would be much further along in my gardens by now. My condo association has been dealing with water drainage issues for the past couple of years.  The old house drains that carry water from the gutters to the central drainage system had deteriorated and […]
  • Pottery Barn like Dining Table
    John made a gorgeous country style table and bench last summer which we still have for sale.  It is a beautiful thing and probably one of my most favorite works he has done.  I love it because the wood is naturally rustic…it is made of milled cedar obtained from our local Amish builder’s supply and has an absolutely gorgeous patina.  […]
  • celtic angel 4The Celtic Lady Has Sold! Now to more Pebble Art N’ Doodles
    As You Know… Whimsey is my favorite part of the shop. First I have an announcement.  We have sold the Celtic Lady to a lady in New Mexico.  I do hope she enjoys the piece.  JR had richly embellished her piece with gold thread and beads- it really was a gorgeous item. the extra work in the train of the gown and the side trims were […]
  • Garden Ideas: Grow Your Own Veggies
    Today is over 89 degrees in Ohio…but it’s going to snow on Sunday.  Craziest weather I have ever seen! The weather got me in the mood to think about my garden.  In the condo, I have a ring of gardens around the place so there is a good bit to play with but they are nowhere near the expanse of the gardens in Ireland. There are raised […]
  • New Age Healthy Eating – Update #1
    If you remember, I talked a bit about going to a new age type approach for health and I was stressing healthy eating. I wrote about it in my chlorinated chicken blog here. My neighbor told me there was a fantastic local doctor’s program that used integrated health approaches for health promotion. Again, very new age to me, but she was an […]
    Well, I am finally back in Ohio.  I’m still working on getting the condo back in working order.  Probably take months to do this but that’s the fun, isn’t it?  There are always a few problems when I get back. This time  I needed to get a new dishwasher and to spend some time working on furniture rearranging and upgrading.  That […]
  • Appliance Shopping in Hartville
    Arrived in Ohio late Monday evening after being in airplanes and airports for over 20 hours and hit the pillow after imbibing in a large glass of white wine.  Awoke just stiff all over.  Guess my body doesn’t like sitting for that long.  WhenI got back I had to go through 4 months of mail.  What a chore and to make matters worse I did not […]
    Who would have thought that these beautiful, gentle orchards could be the backdrop for nefarious activity? In the distant past, olive oil held monetary value.  A highly valued asset, it was traded as money. To own olive trees was to hold wealth…the more trees, the more wealth. Large olive orchards were maintained by the rich, people were […]
    As I mentioned in a prior post, I am starting a health experiment next month.  I have an appointment with an Integrated health physician in Ohio.  I am going to see if these new agey ideas I once thought silly have more merit than I gave them.  Exercise and Healthy eating are the prime foci.  One element of healthy eating is using olive oil- good […]
  • New Refurbished Kitchen Hutch Completed
    Remember the old mahogany hutch John found and was cleaning up? It was at the end of the WabiSAbi post. See my past post here. Well, he finished the cabinet and we put it on DoneDeal…the Irish equivalent of Craigs List.  It looks great! Here is the bottom piece after a deep cleaning. I thought it might be beyond salvation.  John thought it […]
    PORK LOIN – 2 WAYS I hope no one is offended by the raw meat photo! While I love veggies I am NOT a vegetarian. THE FOLLOWING IS A COPY FROM Gina Homolka for Skinnytaste.  I did not make this but used it as a base recipe and changed it for my family. “The inspiration for this recipe came from the classic Reuben sandwich. I was trying […]
    HOME TRENDS FOR 2018.  Not sure I’m ready for brass again- I just got rid of most of it! While recently reading about new home styles for 2018 I came across an article.  As I read it, a smile came to my lips, then a grin, and then WHOOPIE escaped!  At last-  a perfect definition of my eclectic style sense.  It’s called oddly enough, as […]
    The standard train of thought is that an item must be 100 years old to be called an antique.  Now I know for a fact that most antique stores have items they call antiques that are about 50years old and some even consider items from the 1970s to be old enough to be in an antique shop. “A true antique is an item perceived as having value […]
  • Lobster Lobster Lobster
    Yesterday my sister sent me a link to the Phantom Gourmet’s video about the Nordic Lodge in Rhode Island on their world greatest lobster here. It really made my mouth water.  I love seafood and lobster is one of my all-time favorites.  I sometimes get live lobster and cook it at home but it is a bit messy so anytime I can get a […]
    I find I love a more naturalist form than a heavily designed produced form in many things.  If you come to the house you can easily see I am not a minimalist at all.  I love all my bits and pieces and I do tend to fill a room with “stuff” that has meaning for me. My stuff may be a little more simple than some, that’s all I mean. […]
    Last summer I painted a vintage sewing machine desk a blue-gray and added gray antiquing wax.  John had refinished the vintage sewing machine metal base.  He cleaned it up and painted it black.  I thought that looked nice against the blue-gray silver paint.  The desk looked good in the room and I thought someone might use in a boy’s room as […]
    Most scones in Ireland are called British scones in the American food vernacular. But there is a difference between an American scone and A British/Irish scone. The American Scone/biscuit has mostly the same ingredients as the scone here in Ireland: flour, shortening, a bit of sugar, milk, salt, and baking powder. But the scone here has the […]
    I live in Ireland every winter to escape the nasty winters of Ohio, especially the snow.  But Mother Nature got me back this year! We had the Beast from the East- Siberian airflow for three days last week and on the end of that, Storm Emma came up from the south.  All her rain turned to SNOW. Within 36 hrs we had drifts 6 ft tall around the house. […]
  • WHEAT- Foodie Dangers Part 2
    Hi- I admit it..I am a foodie, I love food, good food at least. I like well prepared, tasty, fresh ingredients sourced meals.  I also like pizza- good pizza, and even some fast food meals.  I have actually given up on most fast foods, not for the unhealthiness of them.  But mainly, the poor quality of the food and weak flavors.  That said, I still […]
  • CHLORINATED CHICKEN !!! Foodie Dangers Part 1
    Brexit, England’s leaving of the EU, has opened my eyes to things I never knew.  It started with this headline “Hormonal beef and chlorine chicken could be coming to UK if trade deal with US goes ahead .”                                The Telegraph When I looked into more deeply I saw that there are many food products made in […]
    A few day ago I posted following a trip to our favorite Picker or antique dealer here in Wexford Ireland.  Pat Reville. John sanded down two pieces from this stash The gorgeous dark purple-black mahogany sanded out to show a deep rich color of the old world Brazillian and Columbian mahoganies. By the time he completed the sanded off of the […]
  • Decor Design 2018: Whats in What out Really? Part One- Kitchen Counter Tops
    I think the January organize and clean push has abated.  I, for one, am glad to see that go…I don’t start that nonsense until March when I get the Spring clean bug.   Lately, I’ve been reading the internet decor sites proclaiming whats new in decor for 2018.  HomeAdvisor recently posted the question – Was granite going out […]
  • Today I posted an item for over gulp….. $1,000.00
    This is a rare Minton Chica works tile.  We have ten.  In the European cast iron fireplaces, the sides of each were lined with 5 tiles of a pretty pattern. I suppose you would have to be a collector to understand why these tiles are collector items and maybe someone from the East Coast of the USA familiar with the Victorian house of yore to […]
  • Chandeliers
    I love crystal chandeliers and the great thing about them as they are found in ALL decor styles.  When we had the kitchen makeover last year ( I’ll post on that later) we put in a new kitchen..kind of. The condo was very dark with oak cabinets, oak trim, oak flooring and one small window over the sink.  To brighten the walls, we got new […]
  • Tree Branch Animal Doodles
    Three or four years ago, I got a tin box of cookies for a Christmas present. A squarish tin of a red and green plaid with a fantasized deer on the cover. I loved it. All the swirls in the deer and in the deer antlers were raised and I delighted in the feel of it. Every time I got a cookie, I would trace the whirls with my finger. Well, we ate all […]
  • WHIMSY Pebble Art
    Still In Ireland where I have learned a new technique…art form…Pebble art. The really is a lot of this on the internet, which gave me the inspiration to do the same. It is very relaxing but requires a bit more thinking that I assumed when I first saw a few pieces in an art store. I had a ton of fun going to the local beaches to get […]
    The painter has come to correct my color faux-pas. The gallery wall’s dark gray has been changed to a creamy white. We have to wait for the paint to cure before we can hang any items. I am constrained a bit by the hangers on the wall now. You can see them in the new pix. We had a large heavy clipper ship on the wall. An oil by H Meyer, A […]
    We all make mistakes when decorating …some worse than others. We redid our upper level in the condo this past summer. Added new paint: going to a more neutral palette of grays and grunge. Added white cabinets in the kitchen, some new furniture and did some rearranging. I loved the new gray walls and the white cabinets. For some contrast, I […]
    Got a few grapevine wreaths on sale. You know how you love something, buy it, but forget it was a once living thing. Dried flowers may dry our completely after a few years! Mine were so dry they shed flowers every time I dusted around them. So they needed replaced. When I had to remove the artwork off the walls, they got pitched. I thought I could […]
  • Ya Love Them Yea Yea Yea
    Fantastic vintage bomber jacket This jacket came from a very famous London England shop…height of fashion in the late 1960’s early 1970’s hip crowd! called PepeJean – Denim Deluxe. would have seen a lot of guys on Penny Lane with this Jacket UK Owner was from LIverpool but hardly ever wore this- he found it too warm- we […]
    Cross stitch by J is in the process of completing this wonderful lady. She has specilized in female figures in the past. She completed the Lavendar & Lace Seasonal Angle series by artist Marilyn Imblum a few years ago. Belw is the Spring angel which sold for $395 at that time What do you think of these creations? Her shop on Etsy is called […]
    Deciding to paint the upstairs of the Condo AND the ceilings has been one of the most work intensive projects and frustrating to date.  I suppose getting it all done at once now seems worth it but the process took two weeks of total disarray. But now to the good part! The condo was originally painted a white beige, we updated to todays grays and […]
    TREADLE SEWING MACHINE DRAWERS This is our last treadle sewing machine drawer set.  I think it is perfect for a Krubs coffee pod holder…but you may have a slew of other uses.This two drawer set is made of tiger oak with  a very rich veneer.  We added crystal pulls and it really makes a gorgeous statement on the counter. FIND ON OUR ETSY […]
  • condo redo cont-the kitchen
    Our kitchen was a fairly dark room. We only had the one window over the sink and the French doors onto the roofed sun room at the end of the eating area- so it was pretty dark. It all kind of blended into the oak before. We had oak cabinets, brown and gold granite, and oak floors. I can’t really believe what a difference going from the oak […]