Category Archives: Home is where the heart is.

You want to feel secure and welcome upon walking in the front door.

It does not matter whether you have lived there from the time you were born or just moved in.

Home is where your heart is.  Create your personal space.  Enjoy it.

You may want to explore new interests or rekindle hobbies you let fall by the way side.

Take time to connect with a variety of people.  That breathes fresh air into your relationships.  It is like walking down a street you have always passed, but never walked down before.

 

Free Milkweed Seeds — Ready For Planting This Fall

Free Milkweed Seeds:

Plant your Milkweed seeds today!

Send SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) to:

Kathleen Bills, 719 E D Street, North Platte, NE

I will gladly share my seeds, so you can help save the Monarch butterfly!

Fall is here–shop at your nearest thrift stores:

We (Eleanor and I) recently made out very well last Saturday at the Bargain Bin and Salvation Army thrift stores in North Platte, NE.

The Bargain Bin was celebrating their annual Boo Day.  Shoppers took advantage of their $3 bag sale, including free bags of fresh baking potatoes, kale, green beans and other veggies.

We nabbed a striking queen, heavy, burgundy coverlet with a green floral border at the foot $3, an insulated, pea green/white hooded jacket $3, plus the lovely, mauve, white and blue, hand crocheted Afghan $3 (shown below).

After lunch, our next stop was the Salvation Army thrift store.  Once again, we hit pay dirt.  While there, I picked out a queen, pastel floral sheet set $2.99 and an utterly beautiful pair of hand embroidered, white pillow cases with hand crocheted edging $3.99.  I don’t think the pillow cases had ever been used!

Check and see what your favorite thrift store has to offer, so you can get ready for winter too!

Attention is the most basic form of love; through it we bless and are blessed.

— John Tarrant —

Update on my Amazon Sales Associate position:

After writing to Amazon inquiring about my status, I learned that I have three months left in their trial period.

Their records show that I have had thirteen hits (someone hit one of my links in my posts), and no sales.

They suggested I hype up my Amazon links, so I could generate sales.

My blog is designed to connect with people about a simpler, less consumer driven lifestyle.

Don’t you HATE it when you read a blog, only to see ads popping up left and right?  I also dislike when the author pushes one product, class or meal plan repeatedly.

This week, I will not have Book Nook.  That is the only area I plan to insert an Amazon link.  You may visit an earlier post for their link.

Thanks for dropping by.     Kathleen 

Want A Good Nights Sleep? Clean Our Your Bedroom.

Want a good nights sleep?  Clean out your bedroom.

You toss and turn, punch your pillow and finally get up and wander around the house.  You just lost another night’s sleep.

REMOVE:

  • TV and cell phone.
  • Stacks of books or magazines.
  • Clothes you never wear.
  • Clutter from ALL surfaces.
  • Desk or office furniture.
  • Anything stashed under the bed.

Clear Con Tac Paper on Windows For Privacy

Apply clear (opaque) Con Tac Paper on windows.  It is easy to apply and can be cut to any size.

I bought the Con Tac Paper from Target https://www.target.com/online 

In this photo notice how you can see images in the upper window, but not in the lower panes.

I cut Con Tac Paper to fit each of the lower panes.  This created a grey view rather than a clear view.

I bought two white lace panels at the thrift store for $3 and hung one over each bedroom window.

People cannot see into the window from the outside.

Note the leaves on tree reflected on the upper and only grey on the lower panes.

Special link for those wanting to give support to Las Vegas

https://www.gofundme.com/

paula@affordanything.com lives in Las Vegas.  She wrote a beautiful blog post that I received this morning.

Unfortunately, I do not have the technical skills to create a link to her post.

I am sure she will be glad to add you to her blog subscription list.  She writes about finance.  It is always good to learn how to make money in a clear, concise text.

Our hearts and prayers are with those who lost friends and family from the senseless Las Vegas shooting.

BOOK NOOK

I have been reading To Be Where You Are  http://amzn.to/2xZOPQl , by Jan Karon.  This was just published and is a great book.  I have read all of the Mitford series and was happy to come across her latest addition.

Many of the things you can count, don’t count.  Many of the things you can’t count, really count.

— Albert Einstein —

Thanks for dropping by.         Kathleen 

 

I Have Zone 4 Milkweed Seeds — Send SASE For Some

I have Zone 4 Milkweed Seeds — Send SASE For Some

A couple of hours ago, I took a couple of seed pods off what I was hoping were Milkweed seeds from a plant I was unfamiliar with.

The gardener who planted the large, gangly plant was not home, so I could not get their permission.

I returned home, slowly opened the first pod and I recognized the seeds immediately!

Zone 4 Milkweed Seed Pods

I put the pods next to a small apple for sake of comparison.

This is a photo of the actual seeds with a kitchen knife next to them to show their size and color.

These seeds are ready for planting!

If you want some, please send a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) to:

Kathleen Bills

719 E D Street

North Platte, NE 69101

I know I am taking a chance by putting my name and address on a post that will go world wide on the web, but I feel we gardeners are trustworthy.

Thanks for dropping by.      Kathleen 

 

The Monarch Butterfly and Milkweed Connection

The Monarch Butterfly and Milkweed Connection

For every part of America, there is a milkweed you can plant for your area.

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/Monarch_Butterfly/documents/MilkweedInfoSheet.pdf has has great photos and information.

Monarchs must have their host plant, Milkweed, to survive!

The bitter taste of Milkweed deters birds from eating Monarchs.

Now, is the time to gather Milkweed seeds in your garden.  Once gathered, don’t forget to plant them!  These seeds require winter’s cold temperatures in order to sprout next spring.

Share your surplus seeds with your community!

Cities and towns across America are planting Milkweed seeds throughout their communities to help save the Monarchs.

Contact your garden club, Department of Transportation, schools and churches.  Ask them how they would like to participate in the effort to save the Monarch Butterfly.  Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper.

The photo of this Milkweed, taken in my garden, is a tropical variety.

Have you ever collected Milkweed seeds from your plants?  If so, you know it can be a challenge.

The latest issue of the Xerces newsletter  enewsletter@xerces.org has an interesting article, Harvesting Milkweed Seed:  A Pod and a Plan.  You may may want to try some of their ideas in your own garden.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.  To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.  — Alfred Austin —

Book Nook

Gardening for Butterflies:  How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful Beautiful, Benefical Insects  http://amzn.to/2fSsgnb by The Xerces Society, is an excellent book.  It doesn’t matter whether you are new to gardening or an old hand!

When you click on the Amazon link above, be sure to check their used books section for great prices.  You may also get free shipping.

Monarch Butterfly Milkweed Website

I am including the Forest Service link below, so you too can use it as a reference.  I must admit I am a novice and often turn to resources created by others.

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/Monarch_Butterfly/documents/MilkweedInfoSheet.pdf

Getting Settled in Nebraska

My move from Florida to Nebraska has meant a change in climate, plus moving from a travel trailer into an apartment.

Eleanor (90 years young) and I have been busy checking out all the local thrift stores.  We have set up housekeeping on a shoestring!

Thanks for dropping by.    Kathleen 

 

How Do Bees Make Honey?

How do bees make honey?

HGTV does a fine job explaining A Basic Hive Setup

http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/animals-and-wildlife/Bee-Season-A-Basic-Hive-Setup

I do not raise bees, but have an interest in them.

Many people have bee hives.  I salute you!  Chances are you or a friend want to start a hive.  I have known a few folks that raise bees for their orchards or manage hives owned by others.

Today may be the right time for you to start gathering information about how to set up a hive and learn the costs involved.  With the holidays on the horizon, start your wish list for items needed for your new venture!

Contact your local County Extension Agency to find beekeepers in your area.  You will not only find honey close to home, but someone who can fill you in on becoming a beekeeper.  Then, you will learn first hand how bees make honey!

The Keeper of the Bees, by Gene Stratton-Porter  http://amzn.to/2he3n5f is what perked my interest in bees several years ago.  This book starts out a little slow, but as you read, you may fall in love with the characters and California like I did!

Important Update About My Acceptance As An Amazon Associate

Just a few minutes ago, I received an email from Amazon.  Effective 9-19-2017, they now require that we must have earned three or more referred sales within 180 days from the day we applied to become an associate.

To date, I have no referrals.  I applied about 60 days ago.  I am asking each of you to click on any Amazon link in my posts and check the Amazon website for any product you would like to buy.

By clicking on a link, Amazon can track your purchase back to me.

I do not have a relationship with any affiliates, nor do I have Google’s Adsense installed on my WordPress dash board.

I sincerely appreciate your help on my behalf!

Thanks for dropping by.    Kathleen 

Great Ways To Keep Your Life On Track

I don’t usually start a post with a quote, but I am today.

Somebody should tell us right at the start of our lives, that we are dying.  Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day.  Do it!  I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now!       – Pope Paul VI –

That quote is, in essence, why I have this blog.  I literally jumped into creating My Home Place.  I didn’t spend much time considering all the pros and cons — I just did it!

  • What action have you taken to make your dreams come true?
  • What is holding you back?

Brainstorm with a couple of friends, writing down ideas as fast as you can.  Then, all of you get together again in a couple of days and discuss what you wrote.

  •  Are your notes still important?
  •  Is what you wrote what you wanted to say?
  •  Have you come up with more ideas?
  •  What can you put into action right now?

A couple of my favorite things

I have to admit that I am not a health nut, but I have come across a couple of products that I love.

  • Xyli White Platium Mint toothpaste http://amzn.to/2x5etT6 by Now has a refreshing flavor, does not contain Fluoride, SLS, Gluten or Paraben.  I have been using it for a couple of years, with no regrets.
  • Pur Spearmint chewing gum http://amzn.to/2f9Th8g comes in handy packages with 57 pieces.  It contains no Aspartame.  I like to keep a package in my purse.

Hurricane Irma Update

My Home Place in the Ocala National Forest did not suffer any damage.

So many people have continued helping others (pets included) during the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Thank you for being willing to make a difference in the lives of others!

Thanks for dropping by.        Kathleen 

 

WHEN YOU HAVE A BLOG — YOU MAY WANT TO TRAVEL

When you have a blog, you most certainly may want to take it on the road.

I am in the middle of a cross country trip right now.  Eleanor (90 years young) and I left Florida this past Tuesday and are now in Salina, KS.

Neither Eleanor or I really planned this trip, nor was it well organized.  She decided she wanted to be closer to her granddaughter in Oregon.  So, here we are on the road traveling west.

She has been my “side hustle” for about three years.

Nick Lopez, owner of Side Hustle Nation,   http://www.sidehustlenation.com/blog/ does a fantastic job introducing bloggers and others to the fine art of “side hustles”.

It is crazy to work two and sometimes three jobs, just to make ends meet.  Don’t you agree?

It took me a couple of years to get the hang of reading blogs, exploring different side hustles and finally creating my own blog.

Initially, I was intrigued with Pinterest.  The more I read, the more I learned how many people turned their interests into great blogs — that earned them a viable income.

I am not there yet, but feel that I am slowly heading in that direction.

NEWS UPDATE!

Because of the terrible forest fires in Montana, Oregon and California, Eleanor and I have relocated to North Platte, Nebraska.  I know that sounds absolutely crazy.  We have signed a year’s lease in a nice one bedroom, one bath, ground level apartment.  While trying to check out another apartment, we met the landlord, who had another apartment available.  Because Eleanor uses a walker, he agreed to install grab bars in the bathroom, build a ramp for entry to the apartment and provide us with a new refrigerator.  Best of all–he had a 5 gallon paint bucket of paint (linen white) that he was ready to apply to the walls.

We move in on Monday, 9-11-2017.  I changed the date on the lease to 9-10-2017…

It is important in life to be flexible and be willing to take risks at the same time.

How good are you at doing that?  What type of challenges have you faced recently that could put you in another place–that you liked better?

Though the above photo makes you think life is rosey, sometimes it isn’t.  This weekend Florida residents are tying up loose ends in preparation for hurricane Irma.  I asked a friend to take down all my hanging plants and put lawn furniture in my tiny travel trailer.  There is no telling what the ramifications of Irma will be for the other RVs in my park.  I will fill you in on next week’s post.

Please join me in praying for those in Irma’s path.  Thank you.

Thanks for dropping by.

3 EASY DECLUTTERING TRICKS — YOU CAN DO TODAY

3 EASY TRICKS TO START DECLUTTERING TODAY

  1. Clean up after yourself.
  2. If it brings you joy — keep it.
  3. If you want and can use it — keep it.

Take all the “other” stuff out the door!

Decluttering is not just about getting rid of things, it is about creating systems in your home that make your life simpler.

  • Clean up the kitchen before you go to bed.
  • Empty wastes baskets daily.
  • Set up a dirty clothes hamper in your closet.
  • Vacuum the whole house weekly.

Decide and commit to decluttering, while you read this post.

Sometimes decluttering is simply the process of clearing your kitchen counters.  An example is to move the salt and pepper shakers on the kitchen counter to the spice rack.  Now you have more free counter space.

Yesterday, I requested both The Nature Conservancy http://nature.org  and the National Audubon Society http://Audubon.org  to stop sending me the hard copy edition of their monthly magazines.  They gladly agreed to my request!

Declutter the easy things first.  Set a 10 minute time limit.

Please send me a note at   ksbills21@gmail.com  and let me know how decluttering is working for you.  I would love to hear from you!  😇

How does your garden grow?

That photo was taken by my friend, Margaret, of the harvest from her garden.

Book Nook

Tracie McBride, who wrote Frugal Luxuries  http://amzn.to/2en0QEA , got it right the way she pointed out the luxury of having a garden, a clothes line, and taking time to prepare a home cooked meal are frugal luxuries.

Today, it seems like we are all in a rush to dash off somewhere, without taking time to appreciate what we already have.

Please join me in giving thanks to the many people who stepped up to the plate to help others during and after Hurricane Harvey.

Thanks for dropping by.   Kathleen 

Repurpose What You Already Have At Home.

Drawer divider is now a spice rack.

When you live in a small space, sometimes a little tweaking does the trick.  I took a former drawer divider and turned it into a handy spice rack in my tiny kitchen.

I wish you could see the true color of the wall!  It is a very relaxing shade of blue (Heavenly Blue, Aura in a satin finish, http://benjaminmoore.com/official_site  by Benjamin Moore).  It has a hint of green in it.  I think that is why it is such a soothing color.  The satin finish makes it easy to wipe up splatters, plus gives the walls a soft finish.

A friend came by the other day and said how much she loved the color.  Yep, I gave her the nitty gritty too!

What can you repurpose around your house?

Today’s Tip:  Keep a bar of Irish Spring near the kitchen sink.  It helps keep your hands clean, smells nice, while keeping bugs and ants away.  Try it!

Attention all bird lovers!

The Wonder of Birds http://amzn.to/2vh1pWy by Jim Robbins explains the nature of birds.  Written in a style that you makes you not want to put it down–once you pick it up.

“It’s hard to fathom the notion that the feathery little creatures that flock to our feeders are modern-day dinosaurs, but it’s true.”  By Ken Dial

The illustrations by D D Dowden are an added delight to this great book.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them, humanity cannot survive.    — Dalai Lama

Yesterday, was truly a wonderful day.  I really enjoyed seeing the eclipse via my iPad.  I do not know what it passed over after it left the US.  No matter what, anyone fortunate enough to see the eclipse live was very blessed!

Thanks for dropping by.    Kathleen 

 

 

Clean Out Your Bird Feeders Today–Don’t wait!

 Clean out your bird feeders–today!

  • Birds depend on us to help them live through cold winter weather.

That’s where a good, sturdy bird feeder  http://amzn.to/2uSzcFv , stocked with appropriate seed, makes a big difference in their ability to survive the winter months.

There are plenty of bird feeders available. Some are designed for attaching to windows http://amzn.to/2wGoAvy , pole mounted, or those hand crafted.

I have three feeders.  One is cylindrical and the other two are basic, plastic models that hang from a string or lightweight cord.

The feeder I had hanging from a branch fell, when we had a servere wind storm this spring.  It and the branch crashed to the ground.

I want to get a new feeder, that can be pole mounted and that is squirrel resistant.

Does my problem sound familiar?

Because I live in the Ocala National Forest, I bring my feeders in EVERY night.  Bears, raccoons and squirrels have a field day when they are left out.

Black oiled sunflower seed, is my favorite.  Some recommend saffoil seed, because squirrels don’t like it.  For my cylinder feeder, hangs on a tall shepherd’s hook, I like to use light mixed seed.  Last winter, I used a heavier mixed seed and nut variety, which the squirrels feasted on!

Leave the leaf debris on the ground.

I know most of us are dying to rake the yard and flower beds.

  • Birds LOVE all the seeds left scattered on the ground after the flowers have died back.

Ever notice when you hear a rustling in the bushes, that it is a small bird scurrying through the leaves and underbrush?  That is where they find protection from predators.

The above photo is one of the winners from the Audubon 2016 Photography Awards.  What a fantastic shot!  Sometimes, when you are birding, you get lucky enough to catch Mother Nature in action.

I wouldn’t trade my Audubon audubon.org membership for anything!  If you want to give yourself, a friend or love one the perfect gift, this is it.

Get good binoculars, if you don’t already own a pair.

I checked  http://opticsden.com  to see what they recommended for 2017.  They have a wide selection at different prices and for all ages.

I have an older pair of Bushnell, 8 x 30, which are light weight and work fine for me.

This is a short prayer that has helped me stay positive.

Lord, help me to overcome my fears by filling my mind with positive thoughts and my life with positive actions.

Thanks for dropping by.    Kathleen