Tag Archives: diy

Oh Say Can You See … Our American Flag

flag 5From the time the Chief, my sous-chef dish-washing mom and I moved to the country in the hills of middle Tennessee, we have wanted to fly an American flag on our property.  As time went by we talked about it but never did anything about it.  Until now.


Enter The DIY Outlet.  Both The Chief and I like do-it-yourself projects.  Even better, I like to dream up a DIY project and then he does it … you know what I mean?


From The DIY Outlet we ordered the 25″ flag pole kit with tailgating.  They have lots of cool flag kits but the “tailgating” kit caught my eye because it allows us to place the pole in the ground in cement but then we can remove part of the pole and place in the “tailgating” attachment when we want to go portable.  From their website they explain it like this:  This flag pole kit is great for international team solidarity, company tour, colleague camping, tailgate party, family outing or any other team expeditionary activities. It’s perfect to show your strong patriotic spirit, team spirit, brave and tough spirit everywhere in the world.”

mosaic1fcdb1444c074674e10a5d9bd6197130e352e512My Chief DIY Expert did an outstanding job of planting this steel pole into our rocky soil.
wagon snow treesHe even did it through the snow and ice storms that have pestered us for about 3 weeks non-stop!

flag at shopWe chose the corner of our shop outbuilding so that it can easily be seen from the road.  The cool thing about this particular flag pole is that we can take it down and transport when ever we want to show our American pride at a family event, church picnic or even tailgating!

This is a high quality flag pole that certainly exceeded my expectations.  And it does not have to be secured in concrete because it also has the tailgating attachment where you can actually just place it under the tire of your vehicle and it will stand firm with the flag flying its beautiful colors wherever you are.

Can you guess what has happened that I didn’t expect?

We can’t take our eyes off of it.  I can’t walk outside without my camera.  There is something about flying the American flag that makes me feel special.  It reminds me of my proud American heritage.  Now more than ever, I am so grateful for the men and woman who have served our country to keep it a free nation.

I no longer need to wait for a special holiday to fly the American red-white-and blue.  Now it floats as beautifully as an eagle in flight above our property proudly proclaiming the land of the free and the home of the brave.

My DIY husband is a Navy veteran and I can think of no better way of honoring his service than continually flying this flag.  We have added a light so that it never sets on darkness.

If you aren’t flying the red-white-and-blue, why not?  Now is the time and you can get a great deal at The DIYOutlet!

Happy Flying,

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

The DIY Outlet provided this flag kit in exchange for my blog post but the opinion of the product is my own.

DIY Homemade Vanilla – UPDATE and More!

Vanilla clear bottle
Internet problems have kept me from blogging lately.  But this morning it looks like I have a little window of opportunity and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Speaking of happy — do you ever have one of those days when your heart is just happy!  That is how I felt yesterday.  I started out the day taking my sous chef dish-washing mom into town for early voting.

The Chief and I voted earlier this i-votedweek but mom wasn’t with us at that time.  It is such a privilege to live in the United States of America and voting goes along with that privilege.  So this is a gentle reminder that Election Day is coming up in less than two weeks and most counties offer early voting until the end of next week.

After that we made a quick stop at the little grocery store in town.  It isn’t a Walmart Superstore, a big ‘ol Kroger, or even a Food Lion.  It is a small locally owned grocery store with a lunch counter.  It is busy all the time.  We picked up a few items and headed home.  Did I mention it was absolutely a beautiful autumn day?

scarecrow fall table
Fall is the favorite time at our home.  Not too cold, not too hot.  Just perfect.  Mom and I love getting out the fall decorations.  This little scarecrow looks like he is in the land of giant salt and pepper shakers!

Fall table
We were having a going-away dinner for a friend recently and I needed 12 dinner plates to set the table.  Our fallish-green dishes began as 12 place settings but through natural attrition (breakage!) we are down to 9.  On a stop through the dollar store for some balloons I saw these perfectly bronzed fall dinner plates.  $1 each.  What a great find.  I used 6 green plates and 6 new fall plates.

fall table setting
It was a lot of fun setting this table for 12 and the best part – we have used the 6 dinner plates over and over this fall.  All for $6!

Okay back to the kitchen …   I spent the next 3 1/2 hours in the kitchen.  It was during that time I noticed that my heart just felt so happy!  The Chief had just ground fresh wheat flour from the bucket of wheat berries we bought some time ago.  He brought 10 cups in and set them on the counter.  BREAD!  Soon I will post my new favorite whole wheat bread recipe. In the meantime you can find a wheat bread recipe here.  Oh my gosh it produces fantastic all-wheat bread!

Pasta-and-Fagioli-Soup-from-Our-Best-Bites-590x393Earlier in the morning I had read this blog post from Our Best Bites. My sous chef dish-washing mom absolutely adores Olive Garden’s Pasta E Fagioli soup. So, part of my heart-happy day was making a big pot of soup for her (and us) for our  dinner.   I found it necessary to change up the recipe a bit and will tell you about that soon!

vanilla box prettyOh, and finally about the homemade vanilla.  Wow, so many of you are making this for Christmas gifts.  Way to go!  I have received several questions via email and while answering one from my friend Cheryl, it dawned on mevanilla beans that I didn’t suggest that you use GLOVES when handling the vanilla beans.  I always keep disposable latex gloves in the kitchen for when I handle meat but they came in handy when cutting up the vanilla beans because these aromatic little beauties will stain your fingers!

That is about it from me this morning.  Hope you are having a wonderful week and here is wishing you a blessed weekend!

Happy Cooking!
~ Catherine

Wise thought for the day:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Proverbs 9:10 ESV

DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract
Once you have made homemade vanilla extract you will never want to use anything else! NOTE: It is helpful to wear disposable gloves when handling the vanilla beans as they can stain your fingers.
  • 3 to 5 vanilla beans
  • 8 ounces alcohol such as vodka, bourbon, brandy, or rum
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  1. Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces, depending on the size of the bottles you will use.
  2. Place the vanilla beans in a jar and cover with alcohol making sure they are completely submerged. Add sugar (optional).
  3. Infuse for at least 1 month. Shake the bottle and place in a cool, dark spot, shaking once or twice a week.
  4. After a month taste the extract and let it infuse longer if you want a stronger flavor.
  5. When extract is ready you may wish to remove the vanilla pods and decant the vanilla.
  6. Divide into smaller bottles. Vanilla beans can be removed or one or two pieces can be left in each bottle.
Vanilla can be made from white rum, vodka, bourbon, or brandy -- I used white rum and have been very happy with the flavoring.
Madagascar beans are my favorite, but Mexican beans or other varieties can be used, depending on the flavor you prefer.
*The sugar is optional.



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