Monday, May 11, 2009

It All Went By in a Blur



And you thought that I was kidding!

No, Mother's Day really took off with bang once my son and the grands arrived. They were very busy grands. One is terribly interested in photography...



The other terribly interested in flower arranging...



Yes! That's my beautiful bouquet, which I discussed on Saturday and which you can see in better times in my footer.

Sorry that I didn't take photos of the gift I made for my mother. As it happened, I did no sewing because the ink in my printer ran out. Specifically, the yellow ran dry. (Go ahead! Try and figure that connection. I dare ya! =D ) I was able to finish a journal and another small project. Then I wrapped them in vintage linen...a table runner and a doily...and called it done. Only I (and now all of you) know that I didn't do all that had been intended.

I received petunias from my son and daughter-in-law, pansies
from my beloved, and a fuschia from my daughter. I also have a very nice gift certificate to Olive Garden. (Don't read that last bit, Pat.)

So much to share this week and I'm really excited about Thursday. Have a happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Forgetful and How



Though I'd really rather be sipping lemonade and spending the morning in the garden with you all, I've forgotten something really important...Mother's Day. Seems I've become so involved in other projects that I forgot the priority one. Eeekkk... So I'll be in the sewing room today. Wish me well...

Oh, one last thing because so many of you have lilacs blooming. Have you seen *this fun way* of creating a centerpiece using lilacs? You can see my interpretation with some azaleas in my footer. (Sorry! I know I promised I'd not mention azaleas again, but I lied.)

A happy weekend to all!

Photo Source

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Ho-Hum Azalea Collage



I wanted to make a collage, too, just like Mary, LaDonna, Lynda, Lovella, and how could I forget Karen? Sigh. I'm going back to posting pictures the regular way.








We're just finishing up a week of rain and how the colors are popping! I'm so proud of my azalea as it's the most colorful thing in the entire neighborhood and I get lots of compliments on it. I dump all our coffee grounds under the bush beginning toward the end of March and on until the blooms are spent. It always seems to work. And thus ends all further discussion of the splendid azalea. (Oh, do click on any photo to see the detail of one of these flowers...they're positively ethereal.)

Soooo, do you know of any blogs where mosaics are lovely and I should visit?

A wonderful, beautiful, weekend to you all...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Life Goes On

One thing one learns very quickly is that time does not stop no matter what. Life goes on, meals must still be made and chores accomplished. No one gets to sit and think for long. Plans are made or hatched as the case may be and we are still in the planning/hatching phase.

Work on the jelly cupboard is ongoing. The color has been selected. Some of you may not be surprised since I've visited and spilled already. I could give you a hint or I could bowl you over. I'll ponder that. In the meantime, here's the progress thus far.



The big reveal at The Inspired Room doesn't happen until May 14. Can I possibly-ossibly wait that long?

The little basket lamp is also getting a makeover. I am so tired of this little lamp, but it's the only little lamp I have right now. Apparently, from the looks of that lean, it's tired of me, too.





And, in the spirit of "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" my forsythia bouquet grows larger daily. I can't let all those bells lie on the ground beaten down by the rain.

Oh here's the tip...the color hint can be found somewhere on this great blog. (Thanks for the tip, Stick Horse Cowgirls!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Photoshopping

Photoshop is my friend. This is not going to be a tutorial. It's mostly just a picture story. This post was decided upon last night after my darling looked at my new header and said, "Why don't you take some open blooms from the top and stick them in the middle?" Well, I didn't because that would be cheating and I don't cheat without telling you. I'm not that kind of gal.

This is what my azalea looks like on its best day. This best day just happened to be last year. I would've loved to use it for my header, but then people think that my neighbor's house is mine. That's cheating.



This is what the photo looked like before some judicious cropping.



I highly recommend judicious cropping.

Now this is a photo of my behind-the-garage forsythias. (John and I spent some time Sunday afternoon planting a whole lot of forsythia sprigs along his property line at the Ponderosa.) Anyway, this is the first shot. Note that ugly tree trunk protruding above the ugly fence to the left of the flag. Oh this fence is not my ugly fence. I've got enough ugly without claiming that thing.



Now let's lose the tree trunk and gain some green grass, too.



Looks like a hair transplant gone horribly wrong, but if I had time...


Have a fun Tuesday, Dear Ones!

P.S. This is a message for my dear friend Linda at Blue Gate Blog. I'm having such troubles getting to visit you. I keep getting this message. Just so you know that I do keep trying...

Monday, May 4, 2009

An Odd Assortment

I've an odd assortment for you this morning...


Shopping at the flea market is a couple of hours of "cheap entertainment" as John says. "Cheap" being the operative word. I found an old beat-up knife with a monogram (echoes of Little Red House) for a mere seventy-five cents and a beautiful doily for fifty cents. The knife is giving us a lot of fun as we've decided that it's worth a lot of money being an "authentic" Paul Revere. ;> The knife needs some burr removal, which John is undertaking today, but it cleaned up beautifully.



Then this delicate little cup decorated with maidenhair ferns and yellow flowers was such a bargain for fifty cents. It was badly stained on the interior, but after a night of soaking, it has also cleaned up well. I had thought I would use it as a scoop, but instead will display it under my make-shift cloche.



The cup is nothing special, but I always wonder about markings. Perhaps I'll be able to find out something about my knife *here* and something about what I now recognize as "Germany C.T." with a green Phoenix and a red fleur-de-lis pattern *here.* Ahhh, the thrill of the hunt even if nothing turns up and all for a fifty-cent cup. (Edited to Add: Thank you, Robin, for all your sleuthing! That proved very interesting. Readers can find what Robin discovered by reading comments.)



Now this sheet music was the thrill of my afternoon and the most expensive splurge. Five dollars, but I have looked for this 1949 song from the movie by the same name (My Foolish Heart) for years. I could have bought it online for the same amount of money, but I would've been using my own paper and ink and I would've missed out on this great picture of two of my favorites...Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward. Anyone remember seeing this movie? It was a real tear-jerker.

A happy Monday to you...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Short, Very Short, Bible Study

Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He will sustain thee. Psalm 55:22a (KJV)

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Casting the whole of your care, all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. I Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)

God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. I Peter 5:7 (The Message)

The word "cast" comes from the Greek work epirrhipto, which is a combination of two words: the first is epi, a preposition simply meaning "upon;" and the second is rhipto. Rhipto is the exciting part for me. It is a verb...an action verb...meaning sudden motion as in flinging with a quick toss. (Differentiated from a deliberate hurl.)

Sometimes it is good to haul out the Strong's Concordance and do a bit of digging. In this case, my little study led me to a new understanding. When overwhelmed and weary in spirit, I may still have the strength (in spiritual terms) to "fling with a quick toss" all my troubles on the Lord. I don't know if there would be enough oomph to "deliberately hurl" it on Him. Then, too, deliberate sounds as if one had thought about it for days, but "sudden motion" implies that the light just went on...Oh! I can toss all my cares on Him because He loves me. You can, too! He loves you very much.

Have a blessed Sunday...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2

Neighbors' tulips along stone foundation

How wonderful to have a cloudy, rainy morning give way to bright sunshine and clear blue skies by eight-thirty. When I awoke, I thought that it would be a rainy day. All day. Instead, I get this unexpected joy. It feels like a metaphor, a sign. All night long I kept wakening telling myself not to worry that it was all a dream, except that it wasn't.

Last evening, I was puttering in my sewing room. John had gone shopping for molding and other things from Lowe's and I remained home because I hadn't felt well during the day. My phone wasn't working and it had been unusually quiet...rather peaceful really. I saw a car come roaring in and thought to myself...Ha! that John! He went as far as the ice cream shop and then decided not to continue. Then an insistent rap on the door and I knew it wasn't John.

My mother...my poor mother. Nearly already in tears because she had tried all day to reach me and couldn't. And, she had needed me. She'd been waiting on the results of some tests and they had come back. Yesterday. The results weren't good. We sat there trying not to cry and then we just had a good talk and when John came home, he sat right down to pray with her taking both of her hands in his. He prayed for healing; he prayed for comfort; he prayed for courage.

Caregivers...I tell you. They are God's angels on earth, but they must learn how to take care of themselves. The doctors have told my mother that this cancer could well have been brought on by stress. It's stage three. We have eleven days to wait before the next step...specialists in a large city. I hope not to turn my blog into an ongoing health report, but I will keep a record from time to time and mostly for myself.


My azaleas about to bloom

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Day Late and A Dollar Short


Vee is my name and procrastination is my game. I am such a procrastinator that I didn't even get a post together to participate in Melissa's Procrastinator Party. On time that is. What you are seeing above is an antique jelly cupboard retrieved from my grandmother's shed. It had its original buttermilk paint when I first hauled it home. The first mistake I made was to paint over original buttermilk paint despite its unattractiveness. I did my best at sponging (all the rage then) and wound it all up by asking my daughter, a teenager at the time, to paint the ends. I was going for that ubiquitous "country" look. She, her mother's daughter for sure, never finished. I have long endured by keeping an antique high chair in front of it. I do hate painting.
I found some BIN and painted the end yesterday afternoon. Looks better already. Yes, I plan to paint the entire cabinet. Stay tuned for what happens next and what color I go with. I'm thinking something a little Daisy Cottage. Kim is unafraid of color and I'd like to join her, even if I am scared out of my wits to do so. Then I'll have to work on properly decorating the top...maybe.

A happy weekend to you!
clipart source

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Piano Top-The End


So what do you think? If one sits before her blank screen with glazed eyes wondering what to write should she even make an attempt? Right. That's what I thought. Later...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Indiana Custard



Indiana Custard - (1933-1935) Indiana Custard was made for only two years. It was made by the Indiana Glass Company. Indiana Custard must have been extremely popular during this period because you see quite a few pieces of this pattern today. Indiana Custard came only in Custard or Ivory indictive of its name. The only extremely hard to find pieces are the sherbets, salad plates, and luncheons. They were probably sold as an addition to a boxed set and not as part of one. This pretty set goes with almost any decor and would be fun to collect. ~Source

That's an understatement for this gal. I recently turned an aisle at the local flea market and stumbled right into a table laden with these amazing dishes. The color is so rich and yes, I'll say it — delicious. Each dinner plate is selling for $38 so it is unlikely that this set will ever grace my home. But oh to have dishes that are so elegant and able to fit in anywhere. Do any of you have this collection? Have you ever seen it?

source (These photos and their source have been carefully considered and are being allowed to stand.)

For those of you who arrived here today hoping for a recipe, I hate to disappoint. This one for Custard Bread Pudding is great and it hails from Indiana!

I did buy a teacup and saucer for only $2.52. It was badly stained from having actually served as a teacup, but cleaned up well. It's featured in the center. (You can click on the photo to see it better.)



Enjoy your Tuesday...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nonni Night

It was a "Nonni" evening helping Auntie watch the grands who were proving to be a handful until...


We Love Thomas



Look At Those Wheels Go


Are You Talking To Me, Nonni?


Let's Get On With The Show

The note to parents accompanying these photos: Yes, while you two are away, your children are allowed to do terrible things as you can plainly see. (We only allowed this because we couldn't find the volume button!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blessed Are...



Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 New International Version

You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. Matthew 5:3 The Message

Hmmmm, sometimes I just want quick answers to the problems of life. Sometimes I find that I am far more interested in that quick answer than in my relationship with the Lord. Gee, wonder why God allows these problems in the first place...

A blessed new week to you!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Memories Light the Corners of What's Left of My Mind

My son celebrated his birthday recently and we were all there to enjoy the opening of gifts and the partaking of cake and ice cream.

He opened my card and read about the little boy I remember running through the house, leaping from the stairs, and playing with his matchbox cars. It was a sappy card. I offered a semi-apology that I wanted him to know that I still remembered and that he, too, will hold his own memories of raising his two boys close. He choked a bit; I choked a bit. John took my hand. We carried on. And, mercifully, a good time was had by all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Maple Nut Scones

So the title says it all. My favorite recipe using maple syrup is a delicious scone recipe. Yesterday afternoon, my mother sat munching hers and mused whether honey would work instead.

"Why?" I'd asked.

"Because some people might not have maple syrup."

"Oh. Good answer."

Okay, so you can try honey, if you'd prefer, but then you'd have to call them Honey Nut.

And before we really get into this...is Judy psychic? Honestly, how did she know this? When I read yesterday's comments, I nearly fell off my chair reading her question. There went all the suspense that I'd been so carefully building! ;>




Maple Nut Scones

Ingredients:

* 2 TBS brown sugar-packed firm
* 2 TBS chopped walnuts
* ½ cup butter-firm (my favorite thing...no advanced planning required)
* 2 TBS brown sugar-packed firm (no, this is not being redundant)
* 2 tsp baking powder
* ¼ tsp salt
* ½ cup walnuts-chopped and toasted
* 1/3 cup maple syrup (Does anyone know the alt code for one-third? I can't even find it on my character map.)
* 1 egg
* 2 TBS milk
* 2 cups flour

Method:

* Preheat the oven to 400°
* Mix 2 TBS brown sugar and 2 TBS finely chopped walnuts and set aside
* Whisk baking powder and salt into the flour adding 2 TBS of brown sugar
* Cut in the butter to the flour mixture with pastry blender to crumbs
* Stir in ½ cup toasted walnuts (or not toasted...your preference)
* Stir in maple syrup, egg, and just enough milk so that the dough leaves the sides of the bowl
* Turn dough onto lightly floured board and gently knead until all is incorporated, but do NOT overwork
* Pat the dough into about an 8" circle and brush with milk and sprinkle with the saved brown sugar and walnuts
* Score the circle with a pastry cutter or a knife, but do not cut all the way through
* Using spatula carefully lift and place on either a cookie sheet or in a skillet
* Bake @ 400° for 20–25 minutes


This is the perfect crumb texture.

Just pat the dough into an 8-inch circle...don't roll it.

The raw dough does not quite fill the skillet and that's as it should be.

See how the dough has expanded to fill the skillet? A skillet works beautifully for this recipe. Hope that you have one! (Edited to Add: But if you don't, click *here.*)


Hmmmm, time for a snack. Wish that you'd been here. Nothing says New England like a maple nut scone. If you bake this, would you please let me know? Thank you

Have a wonderful Friday!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

She Asked for It!



There's a new editor at Country Living. Her name is Sarah Gray Miller and she seems like a nice gal. She's making a few changes, but was nice enough to ask for feedback. That's what I'm giving her today...a little feedback.


The cover is still beautiful and every time I get an issue, I still want to brew tea and sit down immediately to read. This has been going on for well over twenty years.

It's the back cover now cleverly called "back page" that I want to whine about. I mean nothing against Idaho, but this is not what I want to see as I am leaving Country Living.

This is what I am used to seeing and what I wish would be returned to CL readers...a beautiful picture, a poem or a quote. Yes, please return to Simple Country Pleasures. It's such a nice way to say goodbye.

Really, I ask you, which would you prefer to see at the end of your Country Living?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Fun Twist

Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread had a birthday and she gave me a present! Now isn't that a fun twist?





Dinner was on the table yesterday when John brought in the mail. I had worried about the lack of dessert and figured that I might just have to open a can of peaches, but those yummy little Reese's peanut butter eggs worked delightfully. Thanks, Kathy! The bookmark is beautiful and the little tag has also been made into a wonderful bookmark. What a great birthday party it was with wonderful birthday favors!

Has anyone read The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey? After just finishing one of Beth Moore's books written in a conversational style, we are finding Yancey's quite intense and thought-provoking, even mildly disturbing. That's good. We need to be disturbed from time to time.

In other news...



Yes, it's the end of sap season in the Maple Grove. I forgot to tell you that I was able to enjoy something that I've always wanted to do because of the sap collecting going on right next door. I was able to have a cup of cold sap to drink straight from the bucket. It was really very tasty and thirst-quenching. Some time, if I'm blogging next maple syrup season, I'll share more about this strange wish of mine. Sorry that we didn't document it! Just imagine my neighbor visiting one day and my sharing this long-held wish and even my considering borrowing stealing a cup in the dead of night. He laughed and said, "The time is now!" Yes, he's getting a gallon of maple syrup, but the sad thing is that he is allergic to it. I've never heard of that before.

John would like to thank you all for your sweet comments on his great-grandfatherhood. He's feeling a little old these days so he most appreciated those that included some surprise and shock that such a thing was possible. =D

I'm off to help take my grandmother to the doctor and for some tests today even in the rain, but I hope to be around later to visit. Enjoy your day!

DB