Brad Nailer for a Small Gate Repair & Deer Ate My Violas!

Welcome to the 415th Metamorphosis Monday!

I’ve been on a mission the last several months, really going all the way back to last summer, to clear out anything and everything that I don’t use on a regular basis. That has included going through all the closets in my home. There are 12 closets in this house: 10 upstairs and 2 on the main level. That’s not including the eve storage off the upstairs living area.

When I had hardwood flooring installed in the guest room this past summer, I had to clean out the closet in that room since the new flooring was going in there, too. It was no small job since it contained a large, ancient, 5-drawer, metal file cabinet that I had been wanting to get rid of for ages.

It took a whole day to go through it and a few more days to go through the whole closet, but it felt so good once it was done. There were 25 years of tax returns in that file cabinet!

I took all those tax returns to the FedEx location near my home. Using a coupon, I was able to have them all shredded for around $10. The flooring guys helped me get the file cabinet into my SUV and off it went to be recycled.


Continuing in that same clear out and recycle mode, I got busy Sunday morning going through tons of magazines I’ve collected over the years. What you see below is only about half the magazines I had to go through, there were more in the upstairs living room and in my bedroom.

I rarely buy a magazine these days, maybe once a year. With so much inspiration online now via blogs and Pinterest, I just don’t feel the need to buy magazines like I once did. When I do subscribe to a magazine, I normally do so digitally now, preferring to read it on my iPad.


Before diving into the great magazine purge, I put a huge pot of home-made soup on to cook. I love cooking up a big pot of soup because it means I’ll have a ready-made meal for when I’m short on time or just don’t feel like cooking.

Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe


You’ll find the recipe I use and love here: Vegetable Beef Soup. This is the perfect hot meal for this time of year and it makes your whole house smell wonderful!

Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe


While the soup was cooking, I got to work going through the magazines, pulling out those I wanted to keep to read again. Afterwards, I had 8 very heavy bags of magazines ready to be recycled. I had been dreading this job for ages because I find it extremely hard parting with magazines, especially the ones about gardening, birding and decorating. But it’s done now and all those heavy bags are in the back of my car, ready for recycling.

Does anyone else find it mentally exhausting, going through magazines and forcing yourself to part with them?


A Minor Repair

Recently I was outside on the deck and I noticed a spindle/baluster had fallen off the gate that’s across the steps going up to the deck. You can see it leaning there against the edge of the gate where I propped it for the photo. Have no idea what caused it to come off.


I decided to use the brad nailer I purchased back when I built a small cubby organizer (see organizer HERE) and retrieved it for this small job.


I used heavy duty wire cutters to clip off the old nails that I couldn’t get out of the gate. I wanted a flush fit when I reattached the spindle. The brad nailer worked great! I’m so glad I have it because I find myself using it a lot for small projects like this. This one is available here DeWalt Brad Nailer, and I can definitely recommend it.


A Surprise Discovery

Remember this whimsical table setting I put together for a Tablescape Thursday during December. The truck I used in the centerpiece was described as a “Vintage Holiday Truck” in the ad, HERE.

Christmas Doll House & Truck with Christmas Tree


When I wrote that post, I think I referred to it as a Woody car since it looked like it would have had wood panels on the sides in real life. (See this tablescape here: Bringing Home the Tree: Christmas Table Setting)

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree, Woody Car with Tree


I was so surprised when I came across this picture on the Instagram page of the NakedNantucketer. Doesn’t the truck in this photo look a lot like my little green truck? lol Wonder what type of vehicle this is? Maybe a jeep?


An Unplanned and Unwanted Before and After

Back in November I planted tulip bulbs I had ordered during a visit to Keukenhof Gardens in Holland last spring. Once the tulips were in, I planted Violas on top. I fertilized them shortly after planting them and they were doing great. They had grown a good bit bigger.


Recently while checking the mail, I looked down and saw this–violas laying out on the driveway and on the grass. What?!


Something had given my Violas a severe trimming, pulling some right out of the ground. See that single, large plant over on the left? They were all around that size and had blooms before the trimming. (sniff, sniff) If you look closely you’ll see some pretty big foot hoof prints in the flower bed.


Do those look like deer footprints? I think this may be the work of deer because we have some living in the wooded areas of our neighborhood, but this is the first time they’ve eaten my flowers. I’m not sure if my poor Violas are going to recover. If they do, they may get eaten again. I guess the deer are hungry and couldn’t resist the banquet I had planted for them. I hope they don’t eat my tulips when they come up! I’ll be trying to nurse these back to health, wish me luck!


Looking forward to all the Before and Afters posted for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Now you have inspired me to start purging too! It always does feel wonderful when done! Thanks so much for hosting! πŸ™‚

  2. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    When I read the title of this post, I really roared out loud. Yesterday, in the area, there was a memorial service for Mr….Brad Nail! You may have noticed that I have a twisted sense of amusement.

    Magazines: I subscribe to many, but save few. The ones I don’t keep, I give to either a relative or the Vets when they come around collecting every month.

    It’s frustrating when critters “help” you garden, but if the violas get back in the ground and watered soon enough, they probably will be fine. And then you can thank the deer for pinching back the plants and making them bushier–assuming, of course, that they don’t come back to “help” you again. I wonder if the deer ripped off the spindle because there was a rumour that there were tasty treats up on the deck. πŸ˜‰

    • Oh my gosh, that’s quite the coincidence! πŸ™‚ I did replant them the next day when it finally quit raining. I love deer, but wish they would leave my plants alone! I do wonder how that rail got removed. I have two rose bushes on the deck and apparently they like those, too. I also raccoons that like to visit my feeders that hang from the deck at night. I wonder if they had something to do with it. You can see red GA clay/dirt on the bottom of the gate where they come and go through the spindles, little stinkers!

      • Bev Anderson says

        Deer will eat Pansies/Violas and they absolutely LOVE tulips. They will carefully prune off the flowers leaving the stems. Now that they have discovered that the buffet you planted just for them is tasty, you will have to powder your flowers regularly with “Deer Scram” (or you can spray with Deer Fence or Deer Off, but these REEK!). You can also use Gopher or Rabbit repellent powder because they also have the same ingredients of cloves, pepper and blood meal in them that the Deer Scram has.

  3. Hi Susan, The same thing happened to my violas after I planted them in pots, but the culprits were the dastardly squirrels πŸ™‚

    • I feel for you, Mary! They eat the leaves off my hibiscus and the blooms off my knockout roses on my deck.

      • I feel your pain! The deer and rabbits graze on our back woodland plantings, the squirrels dig up our front planting acorns, and moles or something enjoy my tulip bulbs! After several frustrating years, I replanted with daffodils, which seem much less tasty and leave some plantings way out for the deer and rabbits, and just try to smile and enjoy the wildlife sightings!

        Cleaning closets is a labour of love or a love of labour πŸ™‚ but the end result is so pleasant. I too need to sort magazines, though, and books. Usually start to sort amd spend the day reading!

  4. I’ve got to purge and I keep putting it off! Okay trash bags, here I come! Thanks for the party and the inspiration Susan!

  5. Your soup looks delicious! It reminds me of the vegetable beef soup my mom would make when I was growing up – yum! You are inspiring me to start cleaning out those closets πŸ™‚
    Thanks for hosting another party! Happy New Year!

  6. After seeing your Woody Car with tree, I punched one for our Sassy Santa gift and was so glad I was the one to end up with it. I love it and I still have it out. I ordered it from Amazon but I think you can get it at Sam’s Club.
    I have magazines from the70’s, can’t help it. colonial Homes, so pretty.

    • The two Sam’s Club near me didn’t have them, I checked. They may have sold out by the time I knew about them. I still have all my Colonial Homes, too…can’t part with those!

  7. Susan – sprinkle red pepper flakes liberally over the plants. Add some cayenne too, but the flakes will hold up longer. Deer/squirrels don’t tend to like spicy food. : )

  8. Carla from Kansas says

    I think that green vehicle might be a Land Rover.

  9. Deer love tulips! I have tried and tried to grow them. They don’t eat jonquils, however. I loved your Christmas family so much that I have it as my home page screen. I will keep it up all winter. I love the red car and green truck and the cabbage patch dolls.

    • Thanks, Bev! I think I’ll be digging my tulips up once they are done blooming and planting some daffodils. I hope they bloom at least once before the deer find them. So glad you like the holiday/winter header! πŸ™‚

  10. I feel your pain! I am stopping many of my magazine subscriptions, and have a terrible time letting go of my older issues. I can’t seem to toss out my old issues of Traditional Homes (I am not a fan of their current issues). And this is really bad….ever hear of the magazine Colonial Homes? They stopped publishing years ago, but I can’t let go of almost every issue I have as they are full of not only beautiful photos, but very interesting articles about historical sites and interesting places to visit. I found your blog about a year ago and love it….you are a very talented lady!

    • Carol, I’m with you that! I still have all my old Traditional Homes magazines dating from 2006 through 2010. They magazine is a bit too modern for me, now. I like some of the articles but not enough to subscribe now. I love Colonial Homes and have kept all those, too. I can’t bare to throw those out, either. Traditional Home and Colonial Home were my inspiration when I was trying to learn how to furnish-decorate my home, so they will always have a place in my heart. I do love the articles in Colonial Home. I remember one that went into all the details about the bee motif and how it goes back to the days of Napoleon. Remember that one? Thanks, Carol!

  11. If it is deer, they will feast on your tulips, that’s for sure.

    If they survive ( and they look fine, given all the good roots I see) your violas will probably benefit from the trimming and be fuller, but the tulips won’t fare as well.

    I don’t buy new magazines much because of how expensive they’ve gotten. I still prefer them over their digital versions, but it’s gotten cost prohibitive. I still have several bookcases full of Victoria and Traditional Home and various others. I never tire of going through them. Some of the magazines used to put out hardcover books with compilations of the best (most popular?) homes, and I have those, too!

    • I’m starting to think I should go back through those bags and maybe save a few of the decorating ones I had planned to recycle. I have kept all of my Traditional Home and Colonial Home magazines…can’t never part with those!
      Tammy, I know what you’re talking about with the compilations. Those are the best! It reminds me of buying a “Best of” album where you get all the greatest hits because those special edition magazines seem to contain the best of the best.

  12. I believe that vehicle is a vintage Land Rover. Some plants are labeled as deer resistant but if the deer are hungry enough they will eat anything. I hope your violas recover. Be on the look out for the deer in the summer, I know you don’t want them chowing down on your Limelight Hydrangeas. Yikes! I know you feel better now that you have purged all of the magazines. I stopped getting them several years ago. It was hard to let go of Southern Living (sniff, sniff). Now when I need a SL fix I check out the magazine on line. Vikki in VA

    • I know, I miss getting that each month. I may start resubscribing to some of them digitally. Thanks for the warning about the Limelights! I feel sorta bad for the deer around here. The builders keep cutting down more and more wooded areas to put in more and more subdivisions, so I know it can’t be easy for them. Thanks for helping identify that vehicle, I never would have thought about a vintage Land Rover.

  13. Susan,
    Hope you don’t have deer, they love tulips. Our last “big dig”(and last) was 3 years ago when we planted 680 tulip bulbs, one night the deer came in and ate all but 17. That’s a very expensive salad and such a disappointment to say the least. Now we only plant daffodils because deer don’t like them, daffs are pretty but really miss the spectacular show tulips give.
    Good luck with your clean out and purging of magazines, it’s hard work!!!

    • Wow, I’m so sorry that happened, Marnie! I will quit complaining about my few violas. I know how much work it is to plant tulips, can’t imagine having that many eaten! I love daffodils, they are so beautiful! I wonder deer don’t eat those…glad they don’t!

  14. Yes, I love magazines! I stopped subscribing to Southern Living because they publish pictures on line before I have received the magazine. I love Cottage Journal, they are like mini books. I totally understand letting them go is hard to do! I hope you do a post or two about the magazines that you subscribe. I’d love to hear!

    The soup looks and sounds delicious ! Thank you for the recipe.

    • I didn’t know that, I guess when you get the magazine, there’s no surprise if you’ve already seen it online. The only magazine I physically take right now are Birds and Blooms. I used to subscribe to Garden and Gun but I gave it up since there was a lot about hunting in there, which I don’t have any interest in. The only part I like about hunting are the clothes! lol

  15. I’ve paired down my magazine subscriptions but still enjoy my paper copies. Love to get in the bubble bath with Southern Living and Southern Lady! I rip out decorating articles and recipes then toss the rest. I totally agree with Carol about Traditional Home…it is not the same beautiful publication it once was (nothing “traditional” about it). Bunnies love violas and pansies too, as I learned the hard way!

    • I love holding them in my hands, too…just like holding real books. Just hate having to part with them later. I so agree, that’s why I quit taking it. It really isn’t traditional to me anymore either. I think they have moved toward what some folks call “transitional.”

  16. I have such a hard time time getting rid of old magazines! I have a huge box full of Martha Stewart’s Living that I cannot bear to part with.

  17. My son recently commented that there is nothing wrong with my cupboards and closets that a few black trash bags wouldn’t take care of, venturing a time estimate of 20 minutes. Well, I feel like it is a job of 20 years for me because I begin the project and get engrossed in interesting articles. Old quilt mags, Colonial Homes and smocking ones are the worst culprits! You are such an inspiration and I commend you on carrying out the job! Now enjoy your new space!

    • Thanks, Carolyn! I had to be ruthless to get it done, it wasn’t easy because normally I do go through everyone. I took a short cut this time. I should write a post and explain I did it…it went much faster than I thought it would.

  18. Sadly I am still struggling with purging my bookcased magazines. I have them filed according to month…all the January issues, all the February issues, and so on. When the month arrives it is to go to and pull Valentine ideas, seasonal ideas, gardening for that month. Having them organized by month has been my secret to reuse them….but me too, I don’t buy them anymore hardly at all!

  19. That file cabinet/closet clear-out must have been such a fantastic feeling, since it comes through in your writing! I am down to just a couple of magazine subscriptions and pass them on when I’m done. If there is an article or picture that I want to keep, I can usually find and capture it online. As you went through the process of purging your magazines, did it get easier? Or was the last one just as difficult to toss as the first magazine?

    • It was! I hated that old cabinet, it was a freebie that we were given many years ago and it was a nightmare to use because the folders always fell forward in it. Beware of freebies! lol
      It did get easier. I think I may write a short post explaining how I did it, I was pretty ruthless, but I was tired of moving the same stacks of magazines around and around. I never looked at them so it was time for them to go.

  20. Di Jackson says

    Hi from England. The vehicle in the picture is a Land Rover.

    Susan, don’t feel too upset not getting the chunky cable knit Lands’ End hat. I saw it on your blog (thank you) and they still had them in stock in the UK, but they soon sold out. It’s a very, very warm hat and I think it would be far too warm for you to wear in Atlanta!

    Love your website as it’s so different from the English sites

    • Thanks, Di for identifying it! Regarding the hat, I know you’re right, it would have been overkill for Georgia. lol
      I may end up one day in Ohio where my grandchildren are so it may have come in handy there since their winters are so much colder with more snow. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lands End doesn’t bring it back again next year. I’m so glad you got one! It’s adorable! I got an L.L. Bean catalog in the mail today and succumbed! Had to order a few of their “shirt jackets” that looked so comfy. I’m all about comfort these days. πŸ™‚

      • Di Jackson says

        Hi Susan

        Thanks for your reply. I can see a mention for Talbots on your blog. I used to buy Talbots clothes in the UK many years ago but they don’t seem to be available here these days. L.L.Bean now ships to UK but I wonder about the ease of returns, so it looks as though I’ll have to stick to Lands’ End for the time being. Perhaps LE will start selling their ‘shirt jackets’ for women as they did a few years ago for men. I’m in agreement with you about comfort as so much clothing in the UK is all about fashion these days.

  21. Thea Reynolds says

    I hate to get rid of magazines too, but the online options like Pinterest make it so easy to find a decorating idea. You are an inspiration! Love reading your blogs. Thanks for all you do.

  22. No wonder your blog “hits so close to home”…every magazine you showed is on my list!! I get SO MANY…it’s a sickness..however, I take all of them to my hairdresser salon or the doctor’s office (I picked up one there from 2008!) Those deer…they are the bane of my existence here at the lake…I’ve tried everything…*sigh* Think I’ll have a cup of soup……….franki

    • I wish I had some place to donate these. Good luck with your deer, franki. Maybe I need to write a post about deer resistant plants since so many of us are having issues with them.

  23. I hate to throw away magazines too. I enjoy re-reading them especially on rainy days. I guess with all of the cold the poor deer are extra hungry. Maybe if you put some corn in the woods for them they won’t eat your violas or tulips. Just a thought.

  24. Jill from Southern New Hampshire says

    Getting rid of magazines is tough – you should feel very accomplished! I subscribe two only two, which I love, Victoria magazine and Traditional Home. Both are visually striking and beautifully written too, and I honestly think reading them helps me to a be a better writer (I work as an advertising copywriter). I keep my favorite issues and store the seasonal ones with that holiday’s decorations when possible. Still, I find them piling up, so I put a check inside of the cover when there is nothing I want to keep so I can recycle it, and am going to start the habit of tagging the pages of issues I want to hold on to with those little colored flags. I also wanted to let you know that Carolyne Roehm is Victoria’s writer-in-residence this year, meaning she will be writing an article for each issue! Can’t wait to read it this week with my coffee or tea! P.S. Watch out for those adorable but hungry deer. The ones up here even dine on our holly bushes!

    • That’s a great idea about putting a check inside to indicate the ones that can go to recycling or be given away. Like that idea! Thanks for the tip about Carolyne Roehm…love all her books! I was amazed in one of her books to discover she had taken a lot of the photos herself for the book, forgotten which one it was now. She’s quite the photographer!

  25. Speaking from a deer’s perspective I can only they’ll you, and you need to know, violas and pansies are our favorite salad. Some of us climb onto decks if we get a whiff of that heavenly fragrance and unless you cover your plantings with wire netting it’s pretty much a futile task. We will definitely come back and polish off any new growth. Fences don’t pose any problems. Usually jump over, then move spindles on the way out. If there are daffodils around we usually don’t bother with the tulips. It’s spring and we have a variety of greens to choose from. We go to deer school very early to learn this. Oh, did I mention roses in the summer. Yum. Thornes and all.

  26. Susan, I don’t know how you did it. I need to purge all of my magazines too but I can’t bring myself to recycle them because I have to read them cover to cover. I have a huge collection from over the years. Hubby says to just bag them all up without looking and recycle them.

    I. Just. Can’t. I am positive that there nuggets of info and inspiration in them that I will miss out on if I don’t go through them page by page. What is your secret?

  27. Hi Susan
    Spray your plants with Deer and Rabbit repellent. It works!!!!

  28. Yes, it does resemble that Jeep!…..Soup is my go to comfort food in the Winter and looks like the deer did get to your Violas….they don’t actually eat mine..they do the same thing by pulling them up and spitting them out! I fight that battle here all the time. Going through my tons of magazines too…I usually take them to my Dr’s office. Thanks for hosting and have a great week…stay warm and cozy!

  29. I wonder how many years of tax documents we have right now. Ugh! I have one container I keep magazines in and find it hard to go through it and decide what to let go but when it’s full I have no choice- in fact I need to do that now!
    That is nice that you could fix up the gate so easily with the nailer. I suppose the wood has shrunk from being cold and the nails were just barely hanging on so it let go.
    Too bad about the deer finding your violas. About all you can do is use the Deer Off type product or lay chicken wire over the top. As much as I get excited to see deer I really don’t want them around because of the ticks they bring with them.
    Oh well it’s always something- right?

  30. Purging magazines is hard work! I have put myself on a magazine diet–it is so hard to resist buying them at the store. Deer- found them eating my daylilies yesterday

  31. Oh how badly I need to get rid of some magazines. It takes so long for me to go through them, because before I put them in a bag, I have to flip through and make sure there is nothing I HAVE to save. Yes, it’s hard for me to throw away a magazine. Your soup looks delicious. I’m so sorry your hard work was wrecked by the deer. How frustrating that is. Thanks for hosting.

  32. Ah. The magazine issue. yes…I am a hoarder of magazines. I have gotten rid of so many and yet, still have so many in cabinets. The other issue is clothes. I seem to be a “collector” and have things from thirty years ago. On top of this it is safe to say I am a little obsessive about being organized. Last summer I also cleared out filing cabinets and got rid of them. Every load that goes out of here is a relief. How did all this stuff get in the house???

  33. I try to do closets, cupboards, etc. during the winter months. Keeps me busy.
    On another thought, the deer love tulips. They don’t like daffodils so we plant many of these. When we plant tulips we keep them in a fenced in area.

  34. Oh DEER!! Pun intended:) Deer DO love tulips, so sorry to say. I gave up planting tulips at the old house since we had so many deer. Here I am OK, so far! That truck DOES look just like yours! Thanks for the party Susan!!! I have made the same resolution; to go through everything and get rid of anything I have not used since we moved here(4 years now). I am slowly getting rid of stuff but now that the holidays are over I can really get into it!

  35. I too struggle when it is time to “let go” of my treasured magazines…but I now have the 12″ IPad Pro and get my magazines downloaded FREE from the library. I love it and because of the size…it is like viewing the real magazine!!

  36. Hi Susan,

    ARRRGH… Deer will eat almost anything depending on how hungry they are. Heard a story about them chowing down on an old rattan chair left outside. We use a product called Deer and Rabbit Repellant by Liquid Fence
    It has saved my roses and not hurt the flowers. I might not spray it directly on the Violas, but sprayed on the ground around them and out on the grass should do the trick. Start now to ” train” them to Stay Away! BTW this product smells awful to us too, but fades quickly.
    Good Luck…

  37. Good info. I donated my magazines to the county jury waiting room. I was called for jury duty and while you wait and wait to see if you are to serve you just sit all day. There were too few good magazines so I called up and asked if the county would like them and they were thrilled.

  38. Okay, Susan, at the risk of sounding like a total nutcase, I’ll tell you what worked pretty well on discouraging Bambi and The Bunch from chewing on my newly planted flowers…human hair. Yep, you’d find me periodically going to my stylist and she’d have a bag of hair waiting for me. Weird, I know. Whatever. I would then go home and sprinkle it around my small flower garden and it would hold those dear deer off for awhile. This was years ago when we lived at another home. I can’t recall now how often I would replenish it, but really not that often unless it got totally washed away by rain. Uhh, human urine also works. I may or may not have resorted to that one in a pinch. HA!!!!!!

    • lol I’ve heard that about human hair…so interesting! I may try that if something I ordered today doesn’t work. Someone suggested something called Liquid Fence so I ordered a small bottle today. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will work, although I feel a bit bad for the deer. They must be hungry to risking coming around houses like this.

  39. Carolyn Price says

    Susan, you have been busy! Had you thought to donate the magazines to a school? They are needed for Home Ec classes for food pictures, garden pictures, room designs and layouts, etc. Art classes could use the magazines also. Some students don’t have computer resources at home to print things out for homework or projects. Our public library accepts donations of magazines also.
    Keep the deer out of your beds with cut-up bars of Irish Spring soap. They are the best deterrent, I have found. This is the first year since I lined my walk-way with liriope that I have kept my lovely purple bloom spikes through late summer/fall since I planted them three years ago. I need to put some out now before they eat my liriope to the ground!!
    I made turkey-rice soup on Saturday for our cold NC weather. Great minds ….

  40. I have the same magazine problem, have to go through them and cut out important stuff!! Then I file them in folders… to clean out the folders!! I no longer buy magazines, but read and look on line. And I spend one day a month at B&N reading all the latest ones.

    The deer problem…..they love violas and pansies, they are eatable, so are the tulips. All mine are gone now. But they won’t touch the daffodils because they are in the onion family, so those would be a better choice!!

    Another idea is human hair. We have a ton of apple orchards here and the growers hang old stockings filled with human hair on the branches. They get the hair from hair dressers.

    Your soup looks yummy…….going to make some this week!!

  41. Wish I lived closer! I would take the magazines off your hands. I go through them and just take the articles/pictures out that I want to use and recycle the remaining. πŸ™‚
    Yes it looks like deer, they may eat your tulips too, I have rabbits that like them. Good luck!

  42. marsha garber says

    soup recipe sounded great! NOPE can’t purge my beloved magazines yet.. but i do occasionally donate to women’s waiting rooms where they do mammograms, ER waiting rooms, or my doctors office. Can’t keep them ‘all’ but the decorating and gardening ones.. especially looking at older design ideas.. just can’t do it yet. Hope this sounds like a good alternative and gets some clutter taken care of! happy new year!

  43. I still have a lot of my magazines. I just love them too much and do try to not hold on to ones that don’t inspire me anymore. There’s something different about holding it in your hands, like a sense of ownership in some strange way!

  44. Oh yes! My magazine collection was somewhat larger than yours. l had some Country Living dating back to the early seventies!! l love my Colonial Homes magazines and Traditional Homes as well and cannot bear to part with them. One day when l realized how very many others l had accumulated I decided to go through them and pull out the pages that l was keeping it for and discarding the rest of the book which was almost always justrecipes or advertisements. The saved pages were put into a file box where they are easily available to me to look at and enjoy and now my magazine shelf is almost empty

    • Diane, I so agree…I still have my Colonial Homes and Traditional Homes…the older Trad. Homes before they became so modern/transitional. Love all those magazines! I’ve done that before, torn out pages, but I find I never look at them again. So this time I was ruthless and forced myself to part with more of them…but not the CH or older TH magazines.

  45. My granddaughter helped me do a big magazine purge a few years ago which I bundled in stacks of 10 magazines and sold at a garage sale. I think we had a few bundles at the end of the sale and my husband ended up selling them to some guy for about $5.00! I did keep all my Cottage Living magazines and a good many Southern Living….I take my old Better Homes & Gardens and some Southern Livings out to my mom’s nursing home.

    I love beef stew (or vegetable soup). My recipe is similar to yours and I usually make cornbread to go with it. I haven’t made any in a while so you’ve prompted me to make a pot soon!

  46. Karen Kleinberg says

    Good afternoon,

    I can relate to your situation in so many ways. I do subscribe to several magazines, but have cut back on a few. It seems like there are more advertisements than articles any more in them. When I do get done with them I either take them to the various doctor’s offices my husband frequents or take them to the local nursing homes. Our DAR chapter also collects them for the veterans. We have dogs, so deer aren’t usually a problem for us….Cleaning out closets….what a chore and it doesn’t help when your husband decides he needs what you want to get rid of. Hope your viola’s and tulips will be OK until spring.

    Love your articles……\\

  47. Yvonne Shafer says

    Hi Susan! I think the green vehicle is either a vintage Land River or Jeep Willys. I’m trying to clean up here too but it’s so hard to toss out inspirational magazines! I’ve taken mine to the local senior center and they’ll use them for crafts, etc. Happy closet cleaning!

  48. Lisa Yuengling says

    I live in a wooded area heavily populated by deer. Two words. Liquid Fence. It really works. It smells horrible the first day but dissipates to humans the second. My neighbors kept wondering why the deer wasn’t touching my landscaping until I told them and now they use it too.

  49. Betty Legge says

    Like others have posted, I really enjoy magazines and recently, the subscription prices have come WAY down . . . sometimes as cheap $8 or $10 a year. Those offers are hard to pass up. I have a suggestion that works for me . . . when I begin to look at a new magazine, I keep a little “container” of the Post-It stickers (about 1″ x 1-1/2″) nearby – and when there is an article I want to consider keeping or reviewing, I put a little sticker on that page. THEN, every 2 or 3 months, when I go through them, I know which ones to give a second look at! Sure saves me time.

  50. Linda Page says

    Retirement and nursing homes are a great place to “dispose” of excess magazines. The residents enjoy reading them and the recreation director can probably use the magazines in projects. I still take my old magazines to the nursing home where my mom was and they are always glad to get them. Maybe you need to buy deer feed and put out in the area behind your house and they will dine there instead of your flower beds. Deer can be hungry little critters!!! You and are must be on the same wave length because I started purging old stamping and crafting stuff this weekend and will hit the closets next. It is hard to part with stuff that you have but haven’t used (or even seen!!!) in years but no sense letting it sit there for years more. It feels good to free up some space for all of the new stuff that you can stuff there, never to see again!!! lol I hope your violas come back.

  51. Thanks so much for the party!!
    I took photos of the pictures that I liked in old magazines, posted them and then pinned them to a Pinterest board so I could still look at them and then donated the magazines to the hospital where I work…..

  52. Wow! It is slightly comforting to learn that there are so many other magazine addicts out there who hoard them, and I’m not even the only one who has magazines from the 70s! (mine are Early American Life). I have tons of cooking magazines, because I can’t throw away all those recipes! I also can’t stop receiving real magazines I hand hold in my hands with pages I can flip thru. I am better at getting rid of some of the newer ones – I no longer subscribe to any that are just recipes, and if I find a few recipes I like in other magazines, I jump on Pinterest to see if the recipes are there, and pin them. If they are not yet on Pinterest, they can often be found on the magazine’s website (sometimes I have to wait a month before they put them on), and then I “pin” from there. But can’t let go of my Country Sampler, and a few others. At some point, I do need to go back thru years and years of magazines that are sitting in boxes or on shelves, but . . . not today, maybe next week (or next month, or next year). Hope you find a solution to the deer problem. Our problem with plants is usually squirrels who will dig up bulbs and throw them on the ground, or pull plants from pots and just toss them on the ground. Thanks for your wonderful posts! Especially love all of the holiday ideas – can’t wait for Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, etc.

  53. Susan, you are always such a whirlwind of energy and inspiration! If you haven’t hauled off those magazines yet, you may want to consider selling them on eBay. There are collectors out there who look for back issues of many magazines. It may be a lot of work for a few pennies, however. Another thought: after rabbits and deer ate my pansies I employed a tool the landscapers use near us – bird netting placed in a dome over the flowers. It’s fairly unobtrusive and protects all your hard work!

  54. Hi Susan – I feel your pain about the magazines, for sure. I threw out a bunch of Colonial Homes years back and regret it to this day. I also regret throwing out a lot of the old Victoria’s and Traditional Homes. These days there are very few worth keeping. Too modern and stark for my taste!
    I also miss Southern accents. It was soooo beautiful.
    And yes, it is a 70’s era Land Rover.

  55. Hey Susan……i love deer but they are stinkers. We live on the plateau in tenn and are surrounded by wooded areas and deer. Deer once established dont leave so it is best to figure out ways to discourage them and learn how to fight the deer wars. Several things help but it is the never ending story. Milorgonite, deer sprays with cayenne all help but only temporarily. Invest in cayenne stock if you go that route…lol. The hoof prints did look like Bambi. Spring bulbs they dont like……daffodils…the flower is toxic. Fawns might taste but i have never seen that because they are usually born and of that age long after Spring has come and gone. Deer love limelights. Deer love azaleas and rhododendrum buds….sniff…..except for those too close to the house. They used to call me the deer whisperer when we had property in Kendalia Texas so i really do know deer. How do i protect plants? Well just always change things up a bit…keep them guessing…i only have two rose bushes…knock out reds…they are up against a 10 ft wall, surrounded by evergreens 5 ft tall and placed a bench with a back that you can see through in front, two trellises one on either side so basically enshrined..haha…i train the roses to be tall and spray with pepper deer off once in a while and put rosemary in front of the trellises….deer dont like most herbs unless stressed…..even so….bambi decided to put her feet on the bench and stretched out to eat a couple of buds just to mock me..lil stinker…then she knocked over my fountain when she stopped to quench her thirst. So naughty. But she dropped her fawn twins behind my herb garden and hung out behind the house all Spring….a real treat to watch the babies grow….they were never spooked. They know we are pushovers and have the best plants on the street. We took pics all the time. Anyway….if you write back on the sight i can send pics back to you, i will foward a photo of my husbands beautiful painting of one of the fawns. If you buy some canvas printer sheets, you can print it out and it will look like a canvas print. If you cant beat em …love em

    • I’m a pushover for them, too. I was feeling sorry that they must be so hungry to venture out of the woods and all the way up to my house which is just doors down from a pretty busy street. I’ve seen them up this far before. I would offer them food but I read a good bit last night online about how it will literally kill them to feed them, they don’t have the right bacteria, etc… this time of year to deal with typical feed. The best thing for them in what’s called “Woody Browse” which is just eating the buds of various trees, honeysuckles, etc…
      I did order some liquid fence because I’d prefer they not eat from that flower bed, but there’s not much else I’d get too upset about. I think they hydrangeas are too close to the house for them to try those.
      Thanks for all this info, Nancy! XX

  56. I think that is an old Land Rover. I just purged some Christmas decorations that hadn’t been used in some time. Felt really good to empty some tubs. But then I ran across some really great things at 70% off so one of those empty tubs has been reused! Oh well.

  57. Hi Susan! Wonderful post – sorry I have been away so long – that grandbaby is worth it to me, though!

    About that “vintage truck.” I watched the Netflix series called The Crown recently and it sure looks like an old English Land Rover they had on the program.

    Also – not sure that’s deer eating your Viola. We have a HUGE deer problem here and they never EVER bother my viola………..those prints almost look like racoon, don’t they? Did you dig a little and check out your bulbs? COULD be something wanted to get to THOSE…..sure hope not.

    Hope you are well. Hugs.

  58. It is indeed a Land Rover Series 109. Your
    tablescape is adorable!

  59. Trusting your sweet little plants will survive the intruder! The soup looks delicious and as I am sitting here freezing can see that in my future! Thanks for sharing.

  60. Susan, I did my big magazine purge like that a few years back. My local library, which I am in at least once a week, loves donations of magazines and they give them away on a big shelf. So I often go in and pick one up to take home and read and return it once again. I felt much better about those wonderful magazines knowing that others would enjoy them also.

    And deer love Violas. It’s one of their favorite treats.

  61. Hi Susan, Now that the critters have discovered your garden you will have to convince them not to come back before your tulips come up. Go to the hardware store and get a roll of chicken wire. Cover your beds with the wire and use stakes to keep the wire from being pulled up. In a while the marauders will not come back.
    Also, next year plant daffodils in between tulips they are poisonous and will act as a deterrent.

  62. Hi Susan πŸ™‚ I didn’t read everyones comments but I won’t add my two cents since you have so much advice already! We have deer and love them, even though they eat everything including deer resistant plants (when they’re hungry enough)! We do use a spray which works when we keep up with it. We have a huge glazed ceramic pot in the trees that we keep filled with water for them, which has been especially helpful during our CA drought the last couple of years. I just want to say again how much I LOVE your adorable yellow house! I would love to have one just like it. And I love your truck too! That house was a real find .. lucky you. I hope you keep it out during the year so I can see it often πŸ™‚ I’m also looking forward to hearing about your upcoming trip this Spring! Happy New Year!

  63. Kathy Ludwug says

    When I plant my tulips I put a popsicle stick there so I know if they’ve been dig up (most of the time by chipmunks). I plant pansies among them too. Then after blooming and the green stems need to die to feed the bulb they look ragged and yellow so I bend them down and tuck them to under the pansies. Are your tulips still there? Can you feel with your finger down through the soil? Are those holes made by deer tracks Or are they empty tulip holes made by chipmunks? I hope not. I hope your tulips make it. I’ve been to Holland twice. My first time my garden tulips did well. The second trip I ordered tulips from Kuekenhoff and they mailed them to me. Chipmunks got most of them that time

    • Yikes! I didn’t look too closely. That would be the pits if something dug them all up. I hadn’t thought about that. I guess I will know for sure come spring. I may plant briar bushes next year! πŸ˜‰

  64. Cyndi Raines says

    Sorry for your loss Susan, hopefully they’ll come back. I love daffodils because they are heartier than tulips and seem to last longer with our heavy spring rain. Good luck with the deer, you received a lot of good advice. Question: Do you like the unsalted butter? That’s all we have used for the last 19 years. I copied your soup recipe ~ sounds delish! Thanks!

    • Thanks, Cyndi! I haven’t actually opened it up yet to try. I’ll let you know once I do. I’ll do that soon. I’m curious how it will taste.

  65. Oh deer! I had a massive problem with them. I’m a night owl and actually would watch them feast on my winter pansies while looking straight back at me! I tried handing Irish Spring soap- got a good laugh from my gardener- thought I was trying to tell him he needed a shower. LOL. Deer Away and Deer Scram will do the job unless they are really hangry. Eventually, after spending hundreds annually on ‘deer food’ aka my rose garden, all my hostas, my hydrangeas and every bulb, we finally succumbed to an electric fence. Deer will jump high or they can jump wide, but they can’t jump high and wide. I was worried this would be cruel but it is just a memorable jolt. And like Pavlov’s dogs they learned after a few encounters. Now if only the voles could read my ‘keep out’ signs.

  66. There’s a new program called. Where you use boxes, including Amazon old boxes, print a label & schedule a pickup from mailman. All proceeds, including magazines, books, etc. support Goodwill of America. Great cause!

    Recently, this program has been in the news, as they partnered with Amazon & many other companies. You also have the option to bring it to your local post office or UPS store.


  67. Ramona Waters says

    I admire you for cleaning out the magazines. It’s sure hard to part with them. I found that our local library has a “take for free” box. It eases the pain of getting rid of my magazines if I think someone else can use them. I have a friend who donates hers to a thrift store for resale. Thanks for your article. Very inspiring!

  68. daffodils bulbs are poisonous that is why deers and rabbits won’t eat them.
    I believe the story goes that during the civil war..soldiers would carry them and when about to be captured would take a bit out of them and die instead of being captured. That is what I have heard/read..can’t remember which now.

  69. My husband is a hunter and he said yes those are deer tracks. He also said the deer are over populated and are hungry. We have all taken over their area by building further out into the country. The game and fish programs will not thin out the deer population and the deer are getting weak as a result of no food. I’m so sorry you lost your beautiful plants after all your work getting them planted. We also live in a wooded area and are constantly have problems with deer eating our garden and flowers. πŸ™

  70. I love Pinterest as can find so many ideas there! There are plants to use in the garden which repel deer. Our campus has done this and it has been successful for years. The deer never bother the gardens.

  71. Cindy Langley says

    Hi. I definitely think it was a deer who ate your Violas. Unfortunately, this has happened to my flowers several times as I also live in a beautiful, wooded neighborhood. I’ve tried many, many methods (safe to animals) to keep the deer out of my flowers, but the only method which worked was this one. Drape bird netting over the flowers/ plants & secure into the dirt with landscape clips (or thin sticks). You can buy bird netting at your local hardware store, or one of the big box stores. It comes in a big roll and you’ll need to cut it with scissors to the size you need. Good luck!

  72. claudette flanigan says

    I got rid of all my magazines a couple years ago. Like you, I no longer subscribe to any. I even got rid of a lot of cookbooks. Some had just a few recipes I used regularly. What I did was search for those recipes on Pinterest and I did find almost 90% of them. So, I just pinned them in my recipe boards. Pinterest is where I turn to when I need any ideas. Have even put some of your pictures and ideas on my boards, Susan!

  73. Linda Louise S. says

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who has a hard time getting rid of my old magazines. That’s actually what I’ve been doing this past week. I don’t get that many anymore but I sure do like them. When I worked in a classroom it was my job to take care of the classroom library. I just love the books and holding them in my hands. I donated many books to the classroom library. I like the idea that I will still live on in the classroom through my donations even if I am not there. Off to go through some more magazines! Have a great day Susan.

    • Linda, I totally understand. I worked for 5 years in my son’s elementary school as the Media Parapro, basically assisting the librarian. I love checking book out to the children and reading to them…just loved being surrounded by all those wonderful books. Reading books on my Kindle is great for travel but nothing beats holding them in your hand, turning the pages and savoring every word.

  74. Betty Anne Smith says

    For the past 5 or so years, I have been going thru my magazines when I receive them from the first page to the last page. It does not take as long now as there is more ads than years ago. If something needs saving, I tear it out or make a copy of it to save. Then I make a mark in the left hand corner of the cover page. That mark means I do not need to look at this magazine again. I have recently carried many bags and boxes of old magazines to senior citizens centers.

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