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It's April: Let's Chat!

April 07, 2024

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Ah April! I love this month.

Flowers are beginning to bloom, the weather is starting to warm up.

And my yard is filled with baby bunnies, egg filled nests and, on some very special days, a pair of ducks.

April Calendar
My colorful calendar was a gift from the very thoughtful Kris at Junk Chic Cottage


Apparently, this year it's also the season of eclipses and earthquakes.

While, I've seen a lot of eclipses before, I have to say, that earthquake was a new one for me.

The northeast coast isn't usually earthquake territory, so when the house started shaking, I was sure that either my dishwasher, the boiler or my washing machine was ready to explode.

To be honest, it was almost a relief when I realized it wasn't another household appliance malfunctioning.

In all seriousness though, just when you think you've got Mother Nature and her bomb cycle blizzards and hurricanes all figured out, she rattles the ground under your feet.


In old, news March was truly an up and down month.

In the up column, I had a birthday, complete with ice cream cake and mismatched candles.

Kim blowing out her birthday cake candles

My brother came to visit from far, far away.

We had dinner with friends, at a restaurant that was so good, we went back on our own, a week later.

The kids were all home for Easter and I finally got a new car!

You may remember that I mentioned our Jeep Grand Cherokee turned out to be a lemon. Boo.

Flower pot turned fruit bowl filled with lemons

I've been a Jeep girl for decades and always had Grand Cherokees, but this time around, we decided on their new 4Xe version. A plug in hybrid.

The rebates were too good to turn down so we said, why not.

From day one it was not good. It spent too many days to count in the shop and in the end, it was parked at the dealer for 3 solid months, waiting for a part...while we waited for a check.

I have to say, it's lovely to have a car again.

In the down column it's not another Jeep. I think I'm going to need a bit before I go down that road again.

Also, a few months ago, I mentioned that my daughter had gone away and left us to take care her beloved hamster.

Chester The Exquisitely Unremarkable Hamster

She wanted a pet during the pandemic and I said only if it lives in a tank.

And then she brought home a rodent. I almost lost my mind. I have to say, I was grossed out and terrified all at once. This was not the kind of pet I was used to...and trust me I've had them all.


Over the past few years, that little guy completely stole my heart with his soulful eyes and sweet personality.

I fell hard.

Well, in March, that gentle little furball passed after almost three years with us. And I was heartbroken.

Chester The Hamster on a fur rug eating a nugget

I have to say, I've had more animals than I can count over the years, big and small. Dogs, from German Shepards to Yorkies, rabbits, birds, frogs, turtles and lots of fish, from tropical ones to the pond dwellers in my yard today.

But with the exception of my cats, who I had for over twenty years each, that tiny loss hit me the hardest.

Exquisitely Unremarkable Kim holding a  Kitten on the couch

I guess it just goes to show you, that big love, can come in the smallest and most unexpected packages.

Moving on to the DIYs...March was busy.
There was also a huge discussion about what's wrong with my family room decor.

Hot button topic for sure. Did you weigh in? 

Floral Filled Cottage Style Decor

So what's on the agenda in April?

Clearly, I need to get that family room in shape. I'm also working on a teeny spring update in the living room.

That new valance triggered several other changes in the bathroom that I'm wrapping up.

I have a few kitchen projects to share and a lot of spring and summer crafts in the works.

My biggest goal is to clean out all of my craft supplies (they don't fit in that closet anymore), thrift purchases and fabric stash. Like many of you, and most crafters, I have quite a collection of things I saved to use someday.

A pile of red and white fabrics and pom pom trim on top on a red chair

And I've decided that someday is now.

At least that's the plan. 

Until it gets really warm out. Then all bets are off.

But I think I have a few more weeks of chilly weather ahead.

Like I said, you can never tell with Mother Nature.


What are your plans for April?
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  1. That earthquake was surprising to all! Who would expect it on the east coast.
    About 30 years ago there was a very small earthquake in Michigan. I was sitting on the couch feeding a baby and it felt like someone shook the couch. I was happy to find it was a little earthquake and I hadn't imagined it.
    I'm sorry about your cute little hamster. Those pets sure can steal our hearts.
    How nice to find a new restaurant!
    I'm working on cleaning things out including some craft things. It's a task!
    Any progress on the family room?

    1. It was surprising indeed! I think we had one here about a decade ago, but it was small and I was driving so I missed it. There was no way to miss this one. I have been working on the family room a bit, but it’s so funny, once I started thinking about changing things, I realized how much I do really love the room. So small changes at the moment. Just the kind I like! 😉 I hope you have a lovely evening and thanks for popping by!

  2. Wow, I know that earthquake experience must have been scary! I'm so glad you and your family are ok. I think I would have had a come apart, haha! Our little town had one back in the 60's, before I was born, so I've never experienced it. I am so sorry about your little grand-hamster. What a cutie he was. I'm the same way...I get so attached to animals. Glad you finally got the new car sorted out. That must have been so frustrating to deal with!

    1. The earthquake was definitely an odd experience, Mandy. Nothing like the ones they have out west, or in other countries, but unnerving for sure. We had one here about a decade ago, but I was driving and didn't feel it. Thank you for the kind wishes about our little Chester. He was a sweetie!

  3. John talked to his sister on Long Island and she was freaked out by the earthquake (she's a bit freaked out all the time anyway)...but that really threw her for a loop.
    It's funny how some sweet little pet can worm its way into your heart and nothing will ever replace it. At this point in my life, I can't imagine ever losing my Scruffy. That would break my heart.
    I hope you have a wonderful eclipse day and NO MORE earthquakes. xo Diana

    1. That earthquake was freaky, Diana! I wasn't sure what was happening when everything started to rattle until my daughter said, Mom, it's an earthquake! I really just thought it was my dishwasher ready to blow a hose or something. Thankfully, it was quick and done...and yes, those pets really do bring so much joy and companionship to our lives. I'm really do miss that little guy. xo

  4. Happy belated birthday! I hope you had a wonderful celebration.
    I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet hamster. Tim had pet rats (twice) when he was a teen - believe it or not, they were very sweet and friendly. We also had a hamster twice, but both died rather quickly.
    And congrats on getting a new car! Jeeps look nice, but have not been known for their reliability. So far, we have always stuck with Toyotas and Hondas, and haven't had problems with either one (except for normal wear & tear)...and they last "forever"! (Brian is still driving a 2008 Corolla with over 300k miles on it!

    1. Thanks Melanie! It was a great celebration. The only downside was that I hadn’t eaten ice cream cake in years and now I’m constantly craving soft ice cream, which isn’t good for my sensitive stomach or my middle age metabolism! 🤣 And I totally agree with you about the cars. Everyone else here drives Hondas, I’m the only holdout. They do run forever and they have great resale value.

  5. Wow the earthquake! I bet that was a big surprise. I think Mother Nature needs some calming meds with all she has unleashed on all parts of the country! Sorry about your daughter's sweet hamster. My girls had them growing up and they do have the sweetest little personalities. They just do not live long lives unfortunately. Have a great new week. Hugs. Kris

    1. Haha!! I agree, Kris, Mother Nature needs to chill!! I don't remember all this craziness when I was young. I feel as if we've had so many wacky things going on lately. I don't like it.😬 And thank you, that little guy really surprised me. He certainly was a bright little light. I hope you have a great week, too!!

  6. Oh my the Earthquake!!! Any damage at your house?
    As far as the weather... I think Mother Nature must have decided the world has gone mad, so I might as well too. We are having cold, cold then we have 70 degrees, then we get 10 inches of snow. Ha!

    RIP little hamster. Our boys had them growing up as well... we use to have them ride in Atticus' Thomas the Tank train set. :-)
    xx oo

    1. Yup. I agree, Mother Nature seems a little disgruntled this season! On Friday, the house shook (no damage thankfully!), we had the heat on in the car yesterday, today it was the AC and now it’s getting slowly darker with each passing minute…at 2:30 in the afternoon. 🫣 I don’t like any of it. And we used to pop Chester in a tiny car and he’d drive around like Runaway Ralph. Good times.

  7. Living for nearly my entire life in California, earthquakes were kind of .... standard. I understand the the New York quake was no small deal, and if you don't know what it is, it can be completely frightening. I loved the picture of you with your kitty, and the picture of your beautiful birthday cake. And I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your little mini-fur ball! They just bury them selves into our hearts and then leave a big empty hole!

    1. Kristine, I guess it's a matter of what you get used to...But I can say, it was very unnerving. I give you a lot of credit, I'm not sure I could take a bigger rumble than what we had! Thanks for the sweet comment about our mini-fur ball. I sent it to my daughter and she loved your words. ❤️

  8. OH Kim, what a month! Happy belated birthday! It has been a month of crazy things, for sure! So sad about losing your precious little guy - I understand how we get so attached to our fur babies! The earthquake is very unnerving, for sure! We had one here a couple years ago, and I was dizzy for several hours afterwards. It really does shake you up! April is a busy month here - lots of work in the garden to be done, lol! Many blessings to you dear friend, I hope April is an easier month!

    1. Gardening sounds lovely, Marilyn! I think I could use a little time with my hands in ground, as long as it wasn't moving! And yes, those fur babies, big and small, certainly do make their way into our hearts. We miss him terribly...thanks for the warm words.

  9. Happy belated birthday Kim! Can you believe I didn’t feel a thing during the earthquake. I was working from home and using the cannister vacuum on my sofa and plumping pillows before grabbing a coffee for my ten thirty call when someone from work emailed me: Did you feel that?
    Feel what?
    Anyway I guess either I’m completely oblivious or it was not really felt on the south shore. I think it’s the former! So sorry about your hamster. He looked soooo sweet.

    1. Hi Susan!! Thank you for the sweet comments about our little Chester and my birthday! ❤️ That's so funny about the earthquake, we felt it here and it was strong. However, a few hours later there was supposedly an almost equally as strong aftershock and I my daughter felt it about 5 feet away from me, but like you, I was in process, chopping tomatoes and scrambling food and felt nothing!! Hahaha!!

  10. I can't believe we had an earthquake. I was in the bathroom and heard a bang and the walls began to move. Immediately, I said to John, I thinkm we had an earthquake. In never thought about an earthquake in NJ.

    I'm so sorry about Chester. Three years is a long time for them to live. I'm still struggling with the loss of Peanut.

    1. Nuts, isn't it? Now everytime a truck rumbles by I jump! Thanks for the sweet words about Chester. He was a sweetie and I'm sorry about Peanut. I know that was a hard loss. xo