Sunday, July 31, 2011

book basket

I'm doing a small "re-do"of our family room ... the fireplace many of you commented on is still a work in progress. I've been emailing photos to my sister and her friend and they send back comments. It's been fun. And I've been "shopping the house." So I took this faux plant from the living room, or "parlor" as I like to say (it really isn't nice enough to warrant the title "faux"plant, so let's just say "fake"), and redid it in a large container for the family room, or "library" as I like to call it. It has been up atop a bookcase for years so I gave it a good cleaning. I don't even remember where I got it or if I arranged it myself and I never much noticed the basket it was in as it was way up there.

As I took it apart I realized I really liked the basket. I loved its shape. But what to do with it?

Aha ... some of my old books, formerly in a cloche in the wintertime, might look good in the basket. Set on the library table, this brings the basket to my line of vision many times a day. 
And I smile.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

why not?

"Why not?" I thought to myself. Why not throw myself a birthday party? My brother and family
were coming for the weekend and we were having a family dinner, so why not celebrate my
 birthday a week early? This would be my birthday gift to my family: taking the pressure off them to come up with some way to celebrate mom's birthday. Besides, now that our family has so many little people, parties are extra fun. There would be three little girls, so the plans began.
I got out my now-40-year old china that I registered for when we 
got married  (still love the daisies).
Used the gorgeous toile napkins someone gave me that I'd been saving for something special.
Pulled out the leaves, set a simple table and made some of my favorite food.
And baked my favorite cake (as dark a chocolate as you can get with as fudgey an icing as one 
can make.) I tried putting the random number of candles in a close circle for ease in blowing out!
 I think everyone had a good time; I know I did!

Connecting to Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

summer time

It's hot, hot, hot here, but that's summer time. I'm not often without my camera, and as I sat in the car waiting for the Gardener to do an errand I pressed the shudder one direction and then the other. Later I realized I almost had a complete pic with the three, from Main St. in the little town by where we live ... farmers market (right), old storefront just waiting for someone to come love it (center), and left, the old fashioned hardware store...yes, creaking wooden floors, an old wooden counter, a big soda cooler, and just about any small nail or screw you might need. A big step back in time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

roads less traveled

Our vacations used to be around water. Skiing behind the "ol' pontoon boat," swimming, hiking, visiting history and family reunions. I remember during those days sometimes yearning for a time when I could have a "sit on the porch and read a book" kind of vacation--total quiet and rest.
Those longed-for days are now here. And of course my heart has an ache for the sound of my children's shrieks as they jump 
off the boat house into the splashing water. And those days are now part of our history.
The Gardener and I just spent a few days in the "land of the noon day sun" in the SW corner of our state.
We did what we wanted -- read books, traveled back roads, antiqued, watched movies and took naps! 
All at a cabin graciously loaned to us by caring friends who have created such a cozy place!
We came back feeling so rested! 
We did have to stop on the way home at the place where there are so many wonderful memories of our family times. 
The mountains refresh us; restore our souls ... like a long drink of water on a hot day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

mini messages

We've been going through lots of stuff this year as we reduced my mother's already reduced possessions from her apartment into one room. Seems we have been sorting our things as well as we make room for more. One thing I came across was a bunch of canceled stamps--unusually beautiful stamps--mostly from letters written by friends overseas. I needed to send them to someone who sells them, which is why I had saved them in the first place. But before I did, I took a look at some of them. Many were from those old blue 
aerograms, which anyone under 40 probably has no clue about. 

As I turned over the stamps I saw snippits of familiar handwriting (yes we used to know each other's handwriting as we communicated by letters.) 
The little "mini messages" from old friends -- some I've lost touch with -- even had 
small phrases that reminded me of something -- I could 
actually figure out some of what they were saying.

An unexpected step back into the past ... a connection with old friends!

Monday, July 18, 2011

to mix and match

This is my only piece of true vintage fiestaware. It was my MIL's and we found it among her things after she died. It might have had a lid and been a teapot.
One of my sister's knows how much I love fiestaware ... and interesting postage stamps ... and many other things.  She is card maker extraordinaire and enjoys using stamps when making her cards. 

She was sure I would already know about these stamps but I sure don't. Aren't they the neatest? Along with the row of stamps comes the little piece of written history.
Totally nifty idea to use these little written histories as the feature of these 
little note cards. She makes a simple card like above, the text matching
 the stamp she is putting on the outside of the envelope, 
to pay the government for delivering her letter. 

   Clever, I'd say! Oh and Peter Rabbit? 
He's not just a nod to our little white rabbits, he's also covering up a little smudge.
And Mr. Rhead had a great idea with all that mixing and matching.  
He probably enjoyed a good tablescape! 
(a plethora of fiestaware--a feast for the eyes--found in an antique shop)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hot Crepes

It is sooo hot these days. Record breaking temperatures and all that. 
It's at this very hottest time of year that I look amazed at the crepe myrtles, 
just blazing with beauty in spite of dryness or heat extremes.
 No one waters them when there is no rain,
 but unlike flowers that wilt with no water, these girls just seem to thrive on the heat.
This summer I've paid more attention to the different shades ... some a darker red,
 some a soft pink,  some a darker pink, some violet, and some white.
 I think you can guess my favorite shade.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

morning's not broken

I love a good morning. It's been years since I've done well at sleeping in, so I don't mind getting up early and getting a "jump on the day." Or simply enjoying the crispness of dawn, the slow warmth of the sun peeping up from the crest of the earth, and the silence around me as the city awakens.

When I'm out walking early, there seems to be some sort of agreement with others I pass, a silent, mutual acknowledgement of the beauty and stillness of life at that hour.

I met a friend for coffee the other morning. 6:30 and we didn't bat an eye at the time. Granted 6:30 looks a lot nicer in the summer than the darkness of winter mornings, but when we parted at 8, the day in many ways was still just beginning. And she is less than half my age, yet loves early mornings. 

Morning has broken like the first morning ...

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning,
Born of the one light Eden saw play.
Praise with elation, praise every morning;
God's recreation of the new day.

I'm guessing that many of you are also "morning people."

Saturday, July 09, 2011


Since I believe a photo is often worth many words, here are a few random photos from the past year. Each one evokes a happy memory: a bridal shower, book club meeting, vacation in the mountains, visit of a cousin, Beatrix Potter finds, our home, and a tea party. 

First posted the end of 2009, so these photos capture snippets of my life two years ago. Joining with Chari's Sunday Favorites and Mary's Little Red House for Monday Mosaics.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

sultry day lunch

On a very hot and so humid day, some friends gathered in the cool of my house for lunch. Sometimes
 I think I enjoy setting the table even more than preparing the food and such was the case today.
I am so in to this green color and love how it matches my mother's desert rose.
 So I gathered from here and there and came up with:
Green plates got on the cheap some years ago; my mother's Oneida cutlery and
 Desert Rose dishes; my grandmother's 85 year old pink depression glass; 
vintage napkins from a garage sale 25 years ago 
(that time span alone could make them vintage); Desert Rose glasses my SIL 
found on ebay; depression teacups found in an old shop in the mountains; 
... and finally, a mix of flowers brought by friends to a dinner at our house this past weekend! 
And oh how I love these dainty custard cups from my grandmother. I've had the set of four for 
years and so far they haven't broken. They are among my most favored treasures.
If you could have joined us, you would have eaten:

1. Chicken salad created from what was in the frig and some freshly cooked chicken breasts and served on a bed of romaine lettuce
2. Tarra exotic veggie chips
3. Fruit salad
4. Blueberry ice tea
5. Dessert: store bought (yes!) chocolate cookies with hot Lady Earl Grey Tea!

Patience Blueberry Tea: Place 6 bags of blueberry herbal tea in a pitcher of cool water. Let sit on counter for 8 hours or so. Remove tea bags and add sweetener if desired (about 1/2 cup sugar). Stir well. Serve over ice or refrigerate until time to serve.

Joining with Tablescape Thursdays at Between Naps on the Porch and Pink Saturday at Beverly's How Sweet the Sound.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

where's the haircut when I need it?

The Gardener's hair is thinning out. No surprise there when you consider he's not as young as he used to be. I have given him every haircut he's ever had since before we were married --with the exception of two. (One time was to see if I was doing things correctly, and the second time was when he got tired of trying to get an appointment with me so headed off to buy his own haircut).

We have some young friends who remind us a lot of ourselves when we were their age.  The tall young man especially ... and one day awhile ago it was decided that I would show his lovely wife how to cut his hair. I must say, cutting his thick brown hair did take me back to the Gardener's hair as a young man ... his haircuts don't take much time anymore (smile). We always do haircuts in the garden if weather permits, and let the hair clippings lie where they fall.

We notice that the flowers are being left alone where the haircuts occur. But the flowers nearer the house have been visited in the night by our too-friendly deer. It makes sense since I hear they shy away from human hair.

Which brings me to the round about point of this post. Where's a haircut when we need it--for deer control if nothing else. Next week when I get my haircut I think I'll sweep up the clippings and bring them home.

I think you can tell who's who here.  :-)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Grateful for the freedom we live with; happy fourth of July!
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