I Wasn’t Looking Forward To Spring But…

..well, ya know.

I had been lamenting the snow turning to rain, heralding the first signs that spring is near but that’s only because of my fear of wasps and bees, who now want to knowingly or unknowingly (as if that matters) murder me.

Then I started looking at old pictures and decided it’s totally worth the risk. Of course it won’t be until April or May that we start to see much more than the weeds all come to life out there, which is already happening (!) right now as I type this!

They are such tenacious buggers! They seem to like to bully their way in and be well established before any of the good stuff comes back.

Speaking of good stuff, I’ve been planting as many perennials as I can so they come back on their own each year, lowering the amount of gardening I have to do (and thereby keeping my mast cells from rebelling, hopefully).

We’ve even been grafting new lilac bushes from our three mature ones and putting them all around the property. We have an entire acre to landscape, or rather re-landscape since what the last people did was all wrong, and we want to use as many “freebies” as we can since trees and bushes and shrubs really add up!

Especially when you want to do a lot of something, like we do. Last spring I bought 100 tulip bulbs to plant all over the front flowerbeds:

If they come up and do well I plan to buy about 500 more.

So I’m pretty excited for spring to come, the more I think of it. They should be sprouting ahead of everything else (except the weeds) in the garden. I love them because they come back, but I do wish they lasted longer. I bought two different kinds, though. One blooms early and one blooms mid-season. So the times they poke up out of the ground and flower are staggered. The pretty flower show should last longer that way.

We were just getting started on so many things. The chicken coop is still getting an upgrade and is sitting over in the corner patiently waiting to be finished.

Then there’s the side flowerbeds, which are both half begun. We’re procrastinating on the one on the north side now that we’ve made plans to add on to that side. Instead, we started focusing on the southern side, and added some great antique pieces and an umbrella tree at the end of the season last year:

I’ll be getting new gardens by means of raised flowerbeds closer to the house and a kitchen herb garden on the back deck so I can grow a lot of my own “safe” foods (all organic). The chickens will provide me with “safe” eggs.

I can’t bring the flowers in anymore now that I know they trigger me (boo!), but I can admire them out of the windows. I’ll be able to see my herb garden right outside the kitchen in the long, tall window, too.

I’ll be hiring help to come in and do the harder stuff. And my kitchen is getting doubled in size, too! Woo!

So spring isn’t looking as bad as I thought. I just hate that our lives will now revolve around my disease but it could be much, much worse and it’s all changes for the better, really.

We’ll be eating better than ever, the overall costs are down because I cook from scratch and use cheap ingredients for my own cleaning supplies which I buy in bulk and I gave up 99% of the expensive, chemical-filled crap I used to spend money on. Also, we are going to be busy doing things like gardening and remodeling and focusing on things that we love anyway.

Of course I’ll be gardening early mornings and late evenings, when the killer wasps are gone. I’ll wear my protective clothing and carry my epipens and hope for the best. I can’t let them win, after all.

I gave up cheesecake, dammit. I am NOT giving up gardening! 🙂


xo Michelle Dellene

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Kitchen Island Ideas & Other “Things” To Love

My new LOVE sign from Hobby Lobby came so I added it to my ever-growing “Wall of Things”:

As you can see, there are still lots of empty spots for more “things” so I won’t say it’s finished ever, ever again. I made that mistake once already and just this week two more “things” were added! It’s like a weird addiction now and I get excited thinking of the possibilities.

I’m REALLY psyched about the upcoming kitchen reno where we plan to double the size of our current kitchen. Yes, I said double the size of our current kitchen.


With the amount of time I have to spend in there cooking everything from scratch now, thanks to my faulty mast cells, we both decided it’s a good investment for everyone involved. I have to cook from scratch and he gets to eat delicious food cooked from scratch! It’s a win-win. Plus, the reality is that my current kitchen is pretty tiny so by doubling it I will finally have a good-sized kitchen, nothing more.

It will be done as nicely but as cheaply as possible and will also be a utilitarian yet stylish one. We’re using bead board and butcher block and lots of old-world, antique touches, of course. We’ll also need a long kitchen island, about six to eight feet by three feet wide, to complete the look we’re going for.

I found a few inspirational kitchen island ideas that fit our needs/wants. Some are simple enough for us to build ourselves:


Since it will be an eat-in kitchen (as we’re stealing the breakfast nook away to double the space) we want the farmhouse table at the end, just like these islands have.

We’ll have the bigger, formal dining room with my huge pretty dining room table for bigger gatherings adjacent to the soon-to-be remodeled kitchen, but with the empty nest we don’t need more than two bar stools in the kitchen anymore. The kids who used to sit there with me are all grown up now and off in their own nests.


Now if I could just stop finding more things for my “Wall of Things” I wouldn’t be thinking of how much I miss them….



xo Michelle Dellene


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A New Pantry & More Things For The (Never Ending?) Wall Of Things

Well I didn’t end up getting the pantry from the antique shop for various reasons, including the fact that it was hundreds of miles away and it doesn’t have all the original hinges, etc..Boo! 🙁

I did find more stuff for my “Wall of Things” though. You know, the one I was sure I was done with not so long ago?

Ha! Boy I was wrong! I realized that it may never be finished. This thing could just keep growing and growing, really.

I moved the pretty flower over to the far left and put a pretty metal scroll thing in its place, under the basket painting. I also found a cast iron word art piece at Hobby Lobby that says, “Love” so once it gets here I’ll find a place for it, too, probably. I also found a bunch of floral arrangements on sale and I need more of those but those won’t go on my “Wall of Things”. Or will they? Hmm.

So all that online shopping made me feel a little better about the antique cabinet. But just a little.

Then my sweet hubby surprised me by bringing home a brand spanking new pantry for me instead (!):


It matches our other cupboards (we need to add the matching knobs still) exactly and will get crown moulding and a coat of lovely cream paint soon, along with the other cabinets.

As much as I wanted an antique piece, we really needed more food storage since I have to cook from scratch every day now. This also goes perfectly with our plans for doubling (!) the size of our current kitchen.We will need one more pantry cabinet half this size on the far wall, then we’ll move the dishwasher and build a bigger island to make a farmhouse table at one end. Finally we’ll be adding new butcher block countertops and a tall beadboard backsplash.

I am so excited now I can hardly wait to get to work on it all but it has to wait until spring because of the amount of sanding, painting and other stuff we’ll be doing ourselves during this upcoming full kitchen remodel. I’ll be blogging all about the remodel and also about whether or not I can keep my mast cells happy during all of this. I’m buying a respirator mask in the hopes it prevents me being triggered by paint fumes or dust from sanding and waiting until spring should help so we can keep windows and doors open.

We started our empty nest top-to-bottom remodel a few years ago but it got put on hold while I tried to get a grip on this $tupid disease but the medical bills are almost paid off now and I can take precautions, like extra medicines and using a respirator mask, so I can still have a life.

I really hope so. I am so sick of living in a half-remodeled house and it’s killing me not to just jump up and do it all RIGHT NOW! But it has to be done step-wise because we have so much planned. So many upgrades are ahead of us. So hopefully we can finally make more progress soon!


xo Michelle Dellene

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