Hey friends I hope you had a fabulous week and look at that its Friday, already! Fall is here and I love the crisp fresh air it brings into the home. I still open my doors and windows each day because there is nothing better than the smell of that fresh air, right! We even sleep with our windows open yet and I will not lie it gets a little nippy toward morning but snuggling in the blankets is always the BEST! I even cover my fur baby up and it melts my heart to see her all cozy.
Speaking of my fur baby, (Kenzie) I thought I would share in case others have experienced this and I would love to hear how you handled it. A few months ago I started noticing these white spots in the center of her eyes. I did reach out to a friend who is also a veterinarian and she did tell me it was probably cataracts and she was going blind. Kenzie is diabetic and its very common for them to develop the cataracts. She told me things to watch for so we kept a good eye on her.
Last week it was time to go see her vet since she will be needing a refill on her insulin very soon and they did a full examine. Just as suspected she is blind fully in her left eye and only sees some light flashes from the inner corner of her right eye. They did do a pressure test and that came back in a good range yet but at this point we have the option to see a specialist in ophthalmology or wait it out. The vet felt there might be the possibility of cataract surgery but was not certain without further testing if she would be a fit. Plus she has a heart murmur so not sure the outcome if she would be strong and healthy enough for that. But a specialist would have more answers to all of this.
What is the plan?
At this point because she is still doing so well with eating, getting around and being happy we will leave well enough alone. But I am telling you it is the saddest thing to see her look for me and cannot see me until I talk so she can find me by her hearing. The vet said her other senses of hearing and smell will really take over and she will be fine but it still crushed me. Have any of you been through this with your fur babies?
With me working from home I am truly blessed I can be here daily for her but she needs to know where I am at all times. She is truly my shadow through out the day. We have a had a couple times she smashed into something and not only did she get upset I was crushed. 🙁 She is also very scared to go down the stairs and because we have a two story it is a must. So yes, I carry her down when I see she is struggling. Thank goodness she is just 17 pounds.
But I would love to hear from you if you have been through this!
Decorating with pine cones
Let’s move onto something more fun to write about. Well you know its always fun to change things up in your home and decorate for fall. Here in my house I keep it pretty simple, pumpkins here and there, a few fall signs, some buffalo check patterns, faux fall leaves, nice plaid throws, a fall pillow or two and of course pine cones.
But you know frugal myrtle here has to do whatever I can on a budget. This time of year the pine trees are really dropping their pine cones so I will go and snatch them up or I should say my granddaughters will snatch them up for me. My little helpers really made a haul weeks ago and enjoyed it so much!
Cleaning them up
As we know anything outdoors is usually filled with all kinds of little invisible creatures and germs. So these guys must be cleaned. But it is so much easier than you think so today I will share the process with you.
First get any grass or visible bugs off of them. These pine cones are certainly not very attractive being so long and all closed up so we need to clean them up and open them up.
Your next step will be to prepare a bucket for them to take a bath. I filled the pail about half full of hot water along with about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of white vinegar. Then put the pine cones in and let that sit for about 30 minutes. The vinegar water will disinfect the pine cones and make any insects come out. I did not see any but they could have been tiny.
Be sure to stir them around every so often so each one gets submerged for proper cleaning.
After about 30 minutes you can either go back out side or dump that dirty water down your utility tub. I went outside and dumped the water out and rinsed them with the hose. I then laid them out to dry in the sun for a few hours.
Time to bake them and open them up!
Now it is time to open them up to have beautiful pine cones. I have a couple dollar store tin pans that I use for this step. But you can use any pan but be sure to put down foil on it if you plan to use it again.
Set your oven to 200° – 250°. I started with 200° but then after 45 minutes I moved it to 250°. Here is where the time will very depending on your oven and how closed and wet your pine cones are. Mine were fully closed and very wet so the oven is what will dry them out and open them up. Just check yours periodically or every half hour and see how they are doing.
Mine took almost 1-1/2 hours to get fully open and how I wanted them. I also had to separate them to another pan so they had room to open.
They opened perfectly! Isn’t that so cool! Which by the way the heat will also kill any last remaining insects in them. (I did not see any in mine, whew!)
There are so many crafts you can do with pine cones but for now these will be used in my fall decorating.
They are just so cute in fall and Christmas decor and I love bringing the outdoors in. This glass vase is a perfect example of decorating with all free items. The branches I collected from the yard and just filled up the glass vase I had along with some of the pine cones. How cute is that!
Adding pine cones here and there just adds so much texture and cuteness to decorating.
Pine cones are just a perfect filler for any styling. Loading them in a wire basket would also be adorable.
Some of you are thinking why not just go and buy pine cones and save yourself the work. You are exactly right and you certainly can buy pine cones. The craft stores will have them now for the holiday season and even Amazon has so many to choose from in various sizes and you can find the selection here. But like I said I have a ton of pine trees in my yard so why not save some dollars!
They really were not much work at all and there are so many crafts you can do with them. You can even make them scented like cinnamon, by putting them in a baggie and add essential oil and toss them around. Keep them in the bag for a week or so zipped up and they will really take in the aroma and smell fabulous. Or paint the tips or spray them with glitter for holiday decor is also very common. Ideas are endless!
You may not have access to pine trees in your yard but if you walk on nature hikes in parks etc I bet you would find hundreds. Keep in mind the ones I have in my yard are all the really long ones but they can be cut once dried to any size you need. If you decide to do this project or others be sure to start collecting your pine cones now before the snow falls….shhhhh I really didn’t say that.
But there you have it…even if you don’t make them at least some of you can say you learned something new today! right?!
Have a great weekend, friends!