Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April surprise

April, in water color, from the top, left to right: 1. Our mentor group this month made 
lotion and sugar scrub. Only one more time with these girls and our two years with 
them is over. We'll really miss them.  2. Immediately after that the 
Gardener and I enjoyed a couple of days in Charleston. 
3. The arrival of spring through my kitchen window. 4. Tea after school with Little One 
who I should call "Big Girl" now. 5. My cleaning out process continues, and I said goodbye 
to the first sweater I knitted--many years ago in high school. 6. Our April surprise was two 
nights of a freeze just after our vegetable garden was planted. The water color app blotches out 
a view of the pots and trash cans and buckets covering our tender plants. 
Thankfully we only lost two. 7. April seemed to be a bonanza Lego month as Daddy's 
Legos came out for the first time and some intense play commenced.  
8. The month ended with an old fashioned Sunday afternoon drive, and a huge April shower. 
It is amazing how much goes on in one month and I'm 
so thankful for photos I happen to take that help trigger the memory! 
I'm joining Cheryl's delightful "Gathering the Moments" at

Saturday, April 26, 2014

more from a favorite city

Window boxes on aqua houses, reflective window views . . .
                    . . . stately architecture, black iron gates around cemeteries, and abundant wisteria . . .
                                                     Charleston, SC, there's nothing quite like it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

dinner on my skirt

It's not every day we eat dinner on my skirt, but when we had friends over Easter weekend 
I decided I wanted to use my favorite cloth from West Africa. I also used it Easter Sunday 
when Eldest Son was with us and when I asked if he recognized it, 
I was gratified with his answer, "Yes, Mom that's your skirt."
The colorful fabrics that women wear in West Africa are a feast to the eyes. 
I have several "cloths" but my favorite is this indigo blue marked along the edge with 
"guaranteed Dutch Wax," which means it's printed so both sides are the same depth of color. 
It's a more desirable cloth.
Most W. African women buy at least six yards: two for the skirt, two for the top and two 
for a cloth to hold their baby on their backs, to wear in a fancy way on their heads, to use 
as a picnic banker, or to wear like a shawl. Can you imagine two yards on your head? 
It's a bit heavy, but elegant, and they come up with some amazing creations. 
A tailor or seamstress make the outfit (always without a pattern)
 and while the skirts are long, the tops follow the current fashion trends.
Sometimes they keep two-three yards to wear as a wrap skirt with a tee shirt on top, and 
that's what I did with this cloth. Skirts are long and it's so comfortable to wear.
Many women wear "western" clothing especially in the city, 
but for special events, they usually wear traditional clothing.
I think I need to use this as a tablecloth more often
since I'm not wearing it as a skirt anymore!
I had a seamstress make this for me out of six yards.
Yes that's two yards on my head! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Garden Show Part II

In the middle of the garden area of the spring show, there was a building of sorts
and inside there were several rooms put together by local designers.
As much as I love gardens, I also love to see beautiful rooms.
This room was my favorite. The wall hanging on the left immediately caught my 
eye as I used to be an avid cross stitcher.
Turns out the designer had stenciled it by hand and hung it on the 
wall with upholstery tacks. We got talking about artsy stuff
 and I showed her my new waterlogue app.
Before you know it she had removed all the signs and stepped aside for 
me to photograph the room with my phone. She watched me transform 
the photo, which I quickly emailed it to her and she posted it from her 
phone onto her website, just like that.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The cross is empty.

The grave did not hold him.

He is alive.

Glorious Resurrection Day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

spring cards

With the exception of the card above, I went back
to find April posts from 4 or more years ago for these notecards.
Thanks, Vee, for hosting another Notecard Party

Monday, April 14, 2014

book club

It was book club time again last week.
It always seems to be a big event as we don't meet that often.
 The food was beautiful
(this idea came from Stone Gable)
and the table lovely in its simplicity, burlap and spring colors.
But of course it was the conversation that was the "icing" on
 the lovely setting and delicious food.
We all have been touched by pain and suffering.
And often ask why.
The book is a new one and digs deeply into the subject
while being filled with stories.
The author pastors a large church in Manhattan.
He speaks and writes clearly and to the point.
I want to read it again.

Friday, April 11, 2014

up close

 It seems you need to find still objects for close ups. I tend to take mostly photos
of books, flowers and food. Good lighting helps 
but my point and shoot macro setting sans a tripod only does so well.
I am sort of mesmerized by close up photos.
Sharing with Donna's Photo Challenge. Thanks, Donna, for giving us another good challenge.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Viewing the Restored

Like most of you who responded to my previous post, I prefer visiting a restored
 historic home. I enjoy history and like to see what life may have been like "back then."
Though we've visited Charleston many times, we don't usually go inside the
homes. This time since we had a free hotel, we decided to splurge on some 
home tours and they were well worth the expense.
 The "outdoor rooms" were pretty spectacular.
Spring was at its peak.
In most of the houses we could not take photos, which is a good
thing for me. This way I could really focus on what I was
hearing and enjoy viewing things without having a camera in front of my face.

What took my breath away in this room was the piano in the corner: well over 300 years old.
 Front doors provide adornment for their houses.
 Kitchen garden.
The weather was perfect.
And the scent of wisteria a most lovely addition.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

preserve or restore?

 The Gardener half-jokingly asked a docent if the Preservationists 
and the Restorationists ever come to blows. 
She laughed but didn't really answer.
We were at the oldest unrestored plantation house in America that is open to the public.
I find of great interest the architectural detail that becomes so vivid in an empty, unrestored 
house. But I think I prefer to see one restored to full beauty, full of period furnishings. 
So I can almost hear the sound of music and the thumping of dancing feet on wooden floors.
But I obviously appreciated what I saw here as I took a lot of photos (of course).
We were at Drayton Hall, c. 1738.
Joining Mary's Little Red House's Monday Mosaics.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

my trunk

I'm not totally sure what a trunk sale is, but from what I understand it's when a seller 
brings goods somewhere to sell them. Maybe it's sort of like an old tupperware party?
 I was invited to trunk party for jewelry made by artisans in underdeveloped countries. 
The aim of the business is to give them a pathway out of poverty. 

The hostess had several goals in mind. As well as giving opportunity to purchase 
the jewelry, she was raising money for a family that is adopting a child from Africa 
(it seems these days it takes a community to do an international adoption.) 
Proceeds from jewelry sales go to the adoption fund. But that's not all. 
The party was catered by a local organization that provides 
jobs for formerly incarcerated women. 

And that's still not all.  
Sweets were provided by a sister company that works toward rescuing 
and rebuilding those who are victims of human trafficking.

A party scoring on so many fronts! 

I'm not a "big jewelry person" but I was disappointed I couldn't go.
 I decided to give a donation directly to the adoption fund.
But it got me thinking about the bits and pieces of jewelry I have picked 
up in our travels throughout the world. I went searching in my "trunk." 
Here are two favorites that my husband brought from Kenya. 
The darker beads are malachite. 
The larger beads are almost too heavy to wear around my neck.

Jewelry, women in need … lots of thoughts in my head,
but I'm mostly thinking about the little child,
patiently waiting through months and months 
of paperwork . . . to come home 
to his or her 
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