Sunday, May 31, 2015

a grand day

What a treat! A whole day together ("Not-so-Little-Anymore" had a half day of 
school and then joined us). From marble races, to helping grandpa, to discovering daddy's 
old skateboard, to coloring while "talking" to mom on the old phone, 
to reading chapters of Narnia, to time at the playground 
and learning to balance, to tea parties and matchbox cars … the day was incredibly full …

and at least one of us slept really well that night!
Can you guess who?

Linking to Mosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

inside the lines

I often remember my good friend Lydia Grace, a former teacher, talking about the 
freshness and excitement of new notebooks, untouched erasers and
especially sharp pencils the beginning of each school year.
When it came time to have a cup of tea to celebrate her birthday,
I thought it might be fun to spend some time coloring together.
I'd read somewhere that coloring was becoming a popular relaxation 
pastime for adults, and why shouldn't it be? Once I started thinking about it, 
I saw it everywhere--on the Internet and in craft stores.
So I got some coloring sheets and very sharp colored pencils,
and after we had finished our scones, fruit and cheese, 
we set out to color while we continued to sip tea and chat.
It was very relaxing … and fun! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

garden sits and sights

Birds, flowers, vegetables, trees and sitting places
are in abundance in our back yard.
We enjoy places to sit and rest from our outdoor labors.
I've never been good at remembering names of 
flowers or birds…other than the better known ones. 
I just enjoy them and love being able to pick fresh flowers for indoors.
The knock-out roses knocked themselves out again this year.
We took down the boys' tree house when we moved from our old house
and used the wood to build raised garden beds.
There remained just one bit--the ladder.
The Gardener decided it was time to let the zucchinis roam on their own,
so he got the ladder from storage and made these beds.
Look closely and you can see ladder rungs.
The zukes seem to like it!

Sunday, May 17, 2015


I've been looking for a small sideboard for years. It had to be a certain size and those measurement were always tucked in my purse along with a small measuring tape.

When I least expected it, there she was! She was actually the lower part of a hutch. The seller told me people buy the tops of hutches and make them into bookshelves. This was a good piece, solid maple and very well built. "You will paint it, won't you?" he asked.

It seemed a shame to cover such beautiful wood but another reason for my quest was a 
desire to try out some creativity by painting and distressing a piece of furniture. I can remember
my mom doing something similar when I was in high school, back then they called it "antiquing."

I did research on chalk paint and watched "how-to" videos. I learned a lot and 
was ready to give it a try on a weekend when the Gardener was out of town.
It worked just as it was supposed to. But when it came time to distress it,
I was more than a tad nervous.  I took a deep breath and began the process.
I'm not sure I did it totally according to directions, but
I do like how it turned out.
 The most fun was transforming the hardware 
from brass to a sort of burnished silver patina.
It was so easy.
The biggest challenge was moving this heavy piece of furniture
from garage to house. We had a dolly and amazingly
moved it without having to call on a neighbor for help.
I love having more room for storage
and space to serve when we have dinner guests.
I probably should get a pair of tall buffet lamps eventually, 
but for now I'm just enjoying it as it is.
I did not use ASCP but what I call a "knock off" from
our local big box hardware store. It seemed to work fine,
though never having tried the other, I can't compare.

Linking to Mosaic Monday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

through the decades

We had a wonderful ladies' brunch this past Saturday at our church.
Young and old, friends, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers gathered around
beautifully decorated tables. One table per decade from 1900 to 2000. 
The desserts were fun, and no two were alike.
I enjoyed all the tables, but some were favorites.
The 1930s table showed off my depression glass.
Vintage hankies were tied as napkin rings.
1940s was a salute to our military,
and included love letters between a soldier and his bride,
written by great-grandparents of one of our women.
The 1950s was fun, familiar looking and colorful.
More color with the 80s.
There were "generic" tables as we needed more than the ten decade tables.
After the delicious brunch we had an amazing fashion show of mainly dresses
worn between 1910 and 2000. Very stylish with music and narrative to match.
Elvis visited and entertained us with a song, and 
the morning ended with a wonderful speaker.
It was a great start to a lovely mothers' day weekend.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

thinking on mothers

I often think of the women who came before me,
and now especially on Mothers' Day.
Their way of doing things 
probably influence me today.
Oh the stories they could tell of their hard lives.
I'm grateful for how well they raised their children,
and how they passed down their personal knowledge of God's love.
(I only knew one of my four great-grandmothers.)

Monday, May 04, 2015

a new salad

I see the salad on its way to the table. 
My senses rise to respond to it's sheer beauty. My mouth waters. 
I can't wait to taste it and am not disappointed. A harmony of flavors. 
Rich in color, taste and nutrients. I ask our hostess how she made it 
and even email her later to be sure I have the details correct. 

Part of the beauty of the salad is that it is so adaptable. 
Put in it what you want. 
The lettuce is chopped with a knife.
I thought lettuce is to be torn, not cut with a knife.
But I'm suddenly hearing about chopped salads.
You know how once you are aware of something you notice it everywhere …

When I make it myself I go along with the chopped part.  
And since we are eating it soon after preparation, it is fine.

I chop the lettuce into small pieces and set it in a wide flat bowl.
Then I chop the veggies and fruit.
Strawberries, grapes sliced long-wise, sweet red and yellow bell peppers,
red onions, cherry tomatoes halved in the middle (all this for eye appeal),
squash, apples or pears, dried cranberries. 
That's what I put in but much more could be added. 

Right before serving I generously dress chopped fruit/veggies 
with a sweet creamy dressing I make (or buy).
On top of the bed of chopped lettuce it goes (all kinds of lettuces are welcome).

Bring to the table and watch eyes light up. 
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