April was a beautiful Spring month here in Southeastern Washington, and today I’m sharing a glimpse into what we’ve been up to.

New Kitchen Accessory – Do you love Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, as much as I do? One of her philosophies that I have always embraced is to limit single use kitchen utensils and machines; things that take up valuable drawer and cupboard space and only do one thing. But while watching a cooking show recently, the host used an olive oil sprayer to lightly coat potatoes before putting them in the oven. I know olive oil sprayers have been around forever, but I never thought I needed one. Until now. Once I thought about all of the ways I could use one, I was all in! My husband found this one on Amazon and it works great spraying on fish before baking, spritzing bread for homemade croutons, and of course, roasting vegetables. At $21, this sprayer may turn out to be one of our favorite kitchen tools!

All ready for the oven!

A Visit to Colorado Springs – Our oldest son, daughter-in-law and three grandsons live in Colorado Springs, and we get there as often as we can. This trip was not only to see them, but have my husband help Eric install a new catalytic converter in his Honda Civic. Luckily, Jim, Eric, Daniel and John were able to make the swap in record time with minimal trips to the auto store! While we were there, my daughter-in-law Elisa, made plans for us to visit an art studio where you can pick the craft you wish to make. She chose to make a sign for their bedroom, and I did something I’d always wanted to try, pouring candles. It was such a fun afternoon! We also took one morning for a drive through the Garden of the Gods with views of Pike’s Peak, and a quick hike. The natural beauty of Colorado is breathtaking.

One of my jar candles…

Beautiful Garden of the Gods with Pike’s Peak in the background.

Getting Crafty…again – My middle daughter Robyn found a class offered by the City of Richland that was held at the Richland Public Library, where you could make three “self-care” projects in one afternoon. So, along with granddaughter Cassidy, we made a scented body scrub, hand poured soaps, and a soothing neck wrap filled with rice and lavender that you heat in the microwave before using. As a gift, they also treated us with bags of lavender popcorn and chocolates. It was fun having three generations crafting together, and it was all free. Clearly, April was my month for trying new crafts!

These little soaps don’t look like much but they smell wonderful!

Planting flowers and herbs – Each mid to late April, filling our planters with herbs and our pots with florals is a rite of passage for me. This year, our herbs consist of parsley, rosemary, dill, and basil. There is also mint that comes back year after year. We just love using fresh herbs in our meals, so I was so happy to get these planted. As for flowers, we only do three pots now, two flanking the front door and one at the side door. This is much more manageable for me to maintain, yet still adds a splash of color. This year I chose a mixture of Mardi Gras colors in red, purple, pink, orange and white. I also included ornamental sweet potato vines that cascade over the sides in a splash of lime green. They look a little sparce right now, but with enough water, fertilizer and sunshine, they will be full to overflowing in no time!

Herb garden…
The other herb container…
The side door container…
Front door containers…

Mamma Mia! – The last weekend of the month, we went to Happy Valley, Oregon to see two of our grandchildren, Riley, 18, and Tyson 17, perform in their last High School drama production of the year, Mamma Mia! To see the confidence that they exhibit onstage is really amazing. Riley did a great job as Ali, one of the bridesmaids, who was onstage often singing and dancing. Tyson was cast as Sam, one of the dads who had solos and duets that were so good. Jim and I love attending live theater any time we are able, but it is especially fun when you know the cast members!

Riley in the blue dress and Tyson far right, along with other cast members…

Opening the pool – This past week, we had the pool opened, and immediately had a pair of Mallard ducks call it their home for a few days. They were fun to watch and weren’t even deterred when we put the solar cover on. Cute as they are, they do leave a little mess behind, so we are glad they went to visit somewhere else for a while!

Just enjoying the pool…
And they can walk on water!

In case you missed them, in April I had posts about decorating with crystal items that you can see here: Crystal Containers…, making Portobello mushroom burgers that you can see here: Portobello Mushroom Burger…, and the perfect birthday present I received from my husband here: The Perfect Birthday Present….

All in all, April was a lovely month both in weather and time spent with family and friends. And now we head into May, with the hope that it will be a great month for all!

Good tidings,

Diane

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