Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Places to Visit... Evelyn Hallman Park, Tempe, Arizona

Ethereal daisy-like flowers on a wild lamb's ear-type plant

Springtime in Arizona
is really pretty!

I am no good at growing desert plants, but 
love the wildflowers
one finds out in America's beloved deserts!!!

Amazing earth-colors!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tea Rooms to Visit ~ Barbara's in Ontario

Barbara's Victorian Tea House, 7491 Etiwanda Avenue, Ranch Cucamonga, CA 91739.  Hours are Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 3pm.  Please call 24 hours ahead for reservations ~ (909) 899-1700.  Off HW 15 at Foothill Blvd to the right, away from Victoria Station shopping center/Bass Pro Shop.

This month I have two teas to tell you about
and the first is...

Barbara's Victorian Tea Room
and Boutique
Ontario, California!

A lovely home built around the turn of the last century
now a sweet tea room adorned with lots
of lace, ribbons and bows,
and pots of tea!

What must be a  hundred year old tree out front of Barbara's Tea House in Ontario/Ranch Cucamonga, California.   

My friend, Gloria, and I went up to have tea
in early February.
No one else from our tea group could go
as some of the ladies were ill, 
we decided to go anyway
we were glad we did!

Gloria and I had the same tea luncheon, 
"Princess Patricia's tea"
which included three delicious tea sandwiches;
one large scone with mock Devonshire cream, 
cherry preserves, and lemon curd;
fresh fruit and a 
cream of broccoli soup that day;
our own tea-for-one pots of tea!
(I always love having those cute individual teapots!)

{Sorry these photos are blurry! I took them with my iPhone!}

When we arrived for our 11:00am
there was only one other party
so it was quite quiet and pleasant.
Lovely music played
in the background
as we began with our scones and first cups of tea...

Next came a lovely, clear-glass 
compote of fruit
after the scones and 
before the 

A two-tiered server was brought out 
with our sandwiches arranged sweetly 
around the lower floral plate,
while the desserts
consisting of a chocolate-dipped-then-drizzled strawberry
(it was huge!)
a couple of chocolate truffles,
little cakes of lemon curd
nestled around the top flowered plate.

My sweet friend Gloria!

The service was lovely,
the food delicious
and the home delightful!

I love Barbara's motto from her menu guide
for those who cannot
get to tea but would love to have one:

Do you know someone who loves afternoon tea and is 
unable to come to our tea house?
Consider  "Afternoon Tea To Go."
It can be a very special treat for a loved one or 
special friend who is homebound.  
Please call 909.899.1700 to place your order.
Thank you.

I thought this was especially lovely,
as not everyone thinks of
people who can't get out and about
and who may be ill...

A lovely, ethereal sentiment...

Your illustrious blog hostess, ME! ;)  Not my best picture, but will have to do for now.  ;) 
Love the heart necklace my husband gave me for our second married 
Christmas together and the heart tea-pin!!

Please do try out this little
tea room!
I think you'll have a lovely time!
Blessings and 
Happy Teatime to you!

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8New International Version (NIV) 

***Please feel to "Share" this and any other posts that you like! Have a lovely day!***

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Tea for the Garden!

Tea in the afternoon
this Saturday...

***A little update for everyone stopping by from
At Home with Mimi ~ I'm so happy you are here!
I'm sharing this post from our former home in 
California as it was my favorite backyard to date.


After spending  part of the early morning
then after a trip to Home Depot looking at linoleum
for our upstairs bathroom (decided not to, at present)
and adding more recycled cement pieces
to the garden pathway to the pool equipment
after lunch...

I like how the rebuilt pathway is turning out!

With the new improved pathway finally getting finished
there are new possiblities for new plantings to hide
the necessary but ugly pool equipment.
The pathway is now as long as it ever was before
pulling it up to run new waterlines for the roses
and the plants alongside the pool and up to the bushes
on the hillside.

I will probably get out there again Sunday afternoon
but in the later afternoon after a much-needed nap...
It is pretty tiring leveling out dirt and cement pieces
as anyone who has ever laid a pathway surely knows.

Planted some ranunculus to the pot where a lone almost petered-out single bloom of
stock is still blooming up top.

Today though I sat down and actually
just enjoyed being in

the garden...

Birds were chirping merrily over at the bird feeder
while our resident mallards were sitting along 
the edge of the spa next to the pool.

Constant water spilling from the spa over the ledge into the pool created a constant soothing sound in front of me while the
water fountain behind me burbled washing away the
stresses of life as I read...

Our old fountain... in need of a new figurehead
but still love the "old gal" even with it
falling apart...

And, for an hour-and-a-half,
no laundry,
no mopping,
no cleaning windows, floors, bathrooms, etc.

I just read...

Please do stop by and check out our new backyard at
our current home in Sanger, Texas!
Here is another view of our little garden around
Valentine's Day 2017 this year for you.

Sharing with

38 Ways to Love Outdoor Living ~ At Home With Mimi

*Please check out Mimi's cute pin over on my Pinterest

"Decorating" board.  Thank you!

Happy spring,

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How to Build a Cement Path

The beginnings of the new pathway!

Today I thought I'd talk about
laying a cement pathway...

One of the most physical recycling things one might do,
using broken concrete
to make pathways around your home
is an inexpensive way to
create a unique walkway with little to no cost,
 with great results!

When we put in our pool 9 years ago this year,
the cement sidewalk down the left-side of our house
was demolished to make way
for the gas line to be run to heat the pool and spa.

From a HUGE pile of rubble
I saw potential!
So, I chose a bunch of the concrete pieces
that looked like they would make
good pathway pieces
and they were saved to the side yard.
After the pool was finished and all of the workers gone,
I started laying out the path...

Fast forward 9 years...
Now, I'm having to redo this pathway since we had 
the side yard dug up for sprinkler pipe additions.

Tools you'll need:
large, pointed-end shovel for breaking up sod or dirt
hand shovel/trowel for small work
work gloves

Laying your pathway
1. Figure out what cement pieces to use; clean and cut wires
from the cement as necessary.
(watch for rusty wires ~ if you get cut, how long has it been since your last tetanus shot?)

2. Start by shoveling up the area for your first few "stones." 
Move that dirt into a pile to be reused under and around
each "stone."

3. Eyeball the dirt area somewhat level to start. I like having
a bed of soft dirt underneath, to begin.

4. Lay in your first "stone". For our yard, this first "stone" needed to be
slightly below the adjacent cement walkway. Feel with your hands
and try "walking on it" after it is set 
to feel how it will feel to step-off onto this "paver."
Using a small level,
level the cement piece in both 
horizontal and sagittal planes (i.e. "forward/backward plane.").
Add dirt underneath and move it around
under the right and left sides, etc. to 
level each part.

Our pathway needed to slope downward toward the drain
for water run-off during heavy rains,
so I made the stones going down to it
slightly slanted down
in the sagittal plane.
***The rule of thumb for any project that needs slope is
dropping 1" for every 8 feet. This works on patio covers, etc.
As the path goes beyond the drain, 
I will keep the cement stones level
from then on.

As you lay down each successive cement stone,
feel with your hands and feet from one "stone" 
to the next for any raised edges.
The one thing I found after laying these down last time
was that it's really easy to catch bare feet
with a raised edge.
You may need to lay the path and 
readjust the "stones" later after the area settles a bit.

Choose a pleasing design
5. Pick your successive cement pieces with keeping a design of how
you want the path to look in mind. You may get a few "stones" down
and decide you don't like one or two. 
No problem! :)
Just pull out the one you don't like and
find another that you like better.

I lay down each big piece then fiddle around with the smaller ones
until I find a layout I like.
I like a two-over-one, one-over-two
brick pattern layout,
but you may like only large pieces.
I've seen lovely paths through grassy areas
with just large reclaimed cement pavers
and that looks equally nice!

6. Once a few "cement stones" are set and level,
grab your shovel and pack dirt back in, around, and under
each "stone" with your hand trowel as needed.*
There usually is a lot of little adjustments needed.
I started this last Thursday and the first day,
that day,
two hours later...
I only had the first stone set... 

***Step 6: This is important so you can check for wobbly stones.
Keep tamping down the dirt into each crevice.
If you have a tamper, 
use it to pack the dirt around the edges of the "stones."

Walk on your stones
and feel for loose stones.
Keep packing the dirt in, under, around as needed.
Grade the dirt around to "slope"
as you go.

Our furry friends love to be out with us as we work!

After this path is layed,
I might put some ground cover plants 
in between and around 
the pavers.
Pacysandra might look really sweet!
Might have to ask our 
friendly gardener to add a couple 
more sprinklers in this area.

Hope you have enjoyed this little 
recycled cement
garden paver tutorial!

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight                      ~ Proverbs 3:6

Blessings to you,

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