Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April Breakfast

Is there anything more cheerful than orange juice at the breakfast table? I think not! Won't you sit down and pour a glass of this Florida sunshine? Our favorite orange juice is Florida's Natural™ with pulp. We can't always find it, but when we can, oh boy howdy!

Yesterday morning, my mother and sister joined us for breakfast completely surprising Nan. Nan seemed to enjoy it, though. Mother brought the "right" crayons, even if she didn't get the "right" doughnuts. We don't eat crayons, of course, but if you've read yesterday's post, you'll know what I'm talking about. Nan was terribly pleased to get the crayons and spent more time coloring today so all was well with the world.

After breakfast, John stayed with Nan while the rest of us went for a bit of shopping. So fun! Not. So closed. Oh well! We'll try again another day.

While out and about, I took a photo of my niece's daffodils and her neighbor's rhubarb patch. I've got to be careful as I'm developing some serious envy over all that rhubarb. My niece says that the family doesn't even use the rhubarb. It just always goes to seed.

So what would you like to talk about today? Anything? Any questions I can answer? Pour another glass of juice and take it away...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blue Tea Cozy

My titles are so uninspired these days. That's because I am trying to make finding a former post easier than it had been back in the day when I wrote those fussy foo-foo titles that meant zip. It's all about being able to find it again. And I finally started using the post labeler, also in hopes of making finding things easier.

I've had a few questions about yesterday's post so wanted to explain. My mother told me that my grandmother loves to color. I had no idea that she enjoyed coloring; although, I love to color, too. Perhaps that's where I get it. Anyway, I printed off a spring picture of tulips and daffodils and she happily colored and colored and colored. Two days worth of coloring. On the same picture. I think that I must find out how to do a wax crayon transfer so that we can preserve her efforts. (She tells me that crayons used to be much better. Anyone know anything about that?) Anyway, at one point, I turned the corner and there she was still coloring and that little pang hit and I wanted to save the moment. (It is that picture I used for yesterday's post.)

While she colored, I worked on the tea cozy you see above. Now that I'm so smart about digital images and everything (those of you who truly are must be snickering behind your hands ;>), I reattempted one of Miss Sandy's tips of Quill Cottage and it worked this time. Perfectly! It just goes to show that I must read directions carefully and follow them closely.

I also got inspiration from Becky's recent post at Sweet Cottage Dreams. You can find that right *here.* Becky does beautiful work!

Things are looking up around here...no snow. Enjoy a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

When Strength Fails

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. ~Psalm 16:11

Neither death, nor life, nor angels. nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God. ~Romans 8:38–39

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Life Ain't No Ride on No Pink Duck

We've been in and out of rain showers for a few days here. This sweet image is so charming to me. Karen @ A Scrapbook of Inspiration offered it as a free image right *here.* It is from one of her many Pink Saturday posts, which are always not only lovely, but filled with lovely thoughts, too.

When I first saw the little girl in her pink-ribboned dress, I knew that Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread must've loved it because it fits the theme of her blog so well. That theme comes from one of Patsy Clairmont's quotes..."Joy must be the shocking pink thread in our tapestry..." Today, I found the quote it its entirety and laughed:

Joy must be the shocking pink thread in our tapestry because people seem stunned by the flamboyant stitch. When we exhibit joy during trying times, others view us as odd ducks, 'cause everyone knows life ain't no ride on no pink duck.

as taken from Contagious Joy by Christa Kinde.

On that fun note, let's look for the pink thread or perhaps even the pink duck!

(Clicking on the title of this post will help you get started. No, no! Good heavens, no! I am not calling Patsy Clairmont's web site a pink duck, though it could well be a pink thread.)

Edited to Add: Now what was I saying about joy in trying times? Overnight there have been some developments.

snow on forsythia

snow on lilac leaves

snow on tender new maple leaves in the forest

Breathing deeply here...okay, this might be an M&M breakfast morning.

Enjoy your Saturday. Hopefully, it's better than this...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Curly Tops

Is she not adorable? This is my mother in 1940 or so. I just love her sweet, demure expression, slightly hesitant, wondering, just beautiful.

Her hairstyle was the ever popular one of the day based upon none other than...

Photo Source

Let's see, just how long did Miss Temple's influence last anyway?

Here's yours truly wearing a surprisingly similar do in 1960. Oh my!

Photo Source
Here's little Shirley dancing with Bill Robinson. And, yes, how'd you know that I'd feel like dancing? Perhaps it's the hair.

I was actually a part of a duet...

or, if we count the dolls, a quartet. ;> I see that my little ballet partner missed the memo about the Shirley Temple curls and I missed the one about keeping my skirt down. Hahahaha...

Have a fun Friday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Little Project for the Refrigerator

So when you were touring Haven's kitchen yesterday did you wonder what this was all about? The blank cardboard on the refrigerator that is?

It's a former day calendar that ran out of paper. It still is a nice piece of cardboard with an even better magnet strip. Therefore, in the interest of repurposing and experimenting...

I've recently learned how to use photomerge in photoshop so I have been playing with backgrounds and images. We have so many blogging buddies who very generously give us free images: The Feathered Nest, Down Abbie's Road, and Quill Cottage for starters.

Here's a little bookmark image I found at Abbie's The Vintage Moth.

It's important to remember what's up and I'm sure you can guess why!

Oops! I forgot a step.

The dreaded Distress Ink. I can never, and I mean never, get this to look right as you'll soon see.

The finished project...

As it happens, I was visiting blogs last evening long after this post was in the can. I found something that would've been so perfect for a fridge *here,* fourth image down. (ETA: the link is no longer valid. It showed a vintage ad featuring food.) Okay, the next time I have a day calendar that's run out of pages...

You have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kitchen Decluttering

This is the view that I usually present when I'm showing a kitchen photo. That's because I'm trying to avoid showing you something I consider too unattractive for Blogland.

This is what I consider too unattractive. The cupboards needing paint, the ratty, old wallpaper that has to go, and the 1982 stove. I've been thinking about my grandmother's table, which I use for an island. Thankfully, I have it because it comes in handy, but all that stuff below...ackkkk. I've thought of putting a vintage fabric around to hide the unsightly stuff underneath. I need that stool because I'm short vertically challenged and can't reach the top shelf of my cabinets. There's a recycling bucket there because we recycle. (This despite the fact that a number of us are wondering what happens to that garbage. I certainly hope that it isn't dumped offshore someplace. We have all heard the rumors. Anyway, we recycle and I wouldn't mind the recycling if I thought it were doing some good. I'm just not sure.) The small wooden box holds kitty food.

Anyway, back to Nan's old kitchen table. I painted the far end the same color as the jelly cupboard. My daughter nearly had a fit when I showed her. She wants me to leave the blue and well enough alone. So I guess that I'd be attempting to find some vintage fabric that would include plenty of colors...shouldn't be too, too tough.

This still looks cluttered, but it is an improvement. The back of my stove was formerly covered with salt and pepper shakers, a basket with spices, little whatevers. All gone now!

This is the microwave, toaster, and coffee pot corner. Since there is no place to stash the toaster and coffee pot, I've been thinking of making some covers from the same fabric that I'd use on the table. Any thoughts about that?

One of the things that I had been doing was to line up the counter with stuff to hide the electrical cords. Had no idea that that was what I was doing until the decluttering began. I asked for an extra outlet, but now is not a good time to be asking the carpenter for anything as he's on overload. His answer to my dilemma was to move the microwave from the corner to its spot beside the fridge. Well, I guess that works for now.

Only I would show you my dish drainer loaded with dishes. Gheesh.

Will leave you here where we began. There's a lot to be said for decluttering. Please visit FlyLady on my sidebar if you need any tips on the process. She saved my sanity one year and I still refer back to her when I'm overwhelmed with the house.

Oh, you wanted to see a before shot? Not on your life!! ;>

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's Doing?

Let's see what's blooming or about to green out around here. The days have cooled back to normal spring temperatures, whatever that means, so the forsythia, daffodils, etc., are feeling happier again. I am happier as well since a rush into heat with little foliage doesn't work for me.

The maple leaves are getting ready... Lovely red buds just now against the clear blue sky. We have a lot of conifers in our corner, but I do love the deciduous trees.

The forsythia is in full swing. We trimmed it all back last year and took some cuttings to John's place. Unfortunately, those cuttings didn't take so I must do some research to learn where we went wrong.

The rhubarb is up and, in lieu of chicken scat, I am spreading coffee grounds. I have no idea if it will be good enough. Probably not. I'll report back. All I know is that if I were a plant, I'd prefer coffee over chicken poo.

Oh, look at that! My yellow roses are up!

Now that's the euphemistic way of describing what happened to this poor saucer. It was broken while I cleared my kitchen of clutter last Saturday. I decided that I would use it in some way rather than toss it out hence its being tucked into the dirt.

Do come back tomorrow, if you're interested, to see what I did with my 1950s, very dated kitchen with only decluttering...no paint and nothing new. This is the best way to get a post up for Wednesday by making an appointment in advance. Tricky, eh? Do you ever do that?

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Power of Yellow

My first posting at 38.9 KB

Isn't this gorgeous? Yellow always makes me smile. Donna from Cottage Days and Journeys sent it to me. She has enhanced the photograph and made it even more spectacular. Many photography projects with special effects can be found at her blog that I'm sure you would enjoy seeing.

This was her suggestion for me concerning saving photos: "For my wider width main column, I am posting dimensions up to 640 pixels by 640 pixels, saved at 100 pixels per inch. Please double-check your dimensions. If you save a picture at a small dimension originally, and then try to blow it up, you'll get a case of the blotchies that way too."

So let's see if I can get it right. Oh, I have bumped up the dimensions on Donna's photo so that it will better fit my template and I see no distortion at all. Still, there has to be a good camera and a great photographer...

There's not only power in yellow, but power in friendship and kindness. Thanks, Donna, for the lessons and the daylily!

And a wonderful Monday to you all...

Edited to Add: Here I go again. Okay, learning all the time thanks to Donna's suggestions. I never thought that when right-clicking and saving a photo that I might not be getting the highest quality. So I returned to Donna's email and actually downloaded the photo. Then promptly lost the photo. Had to do a search for it on my computer. Gee, I'd only saved it four times already. Anyway, to my untrained eye, I do not see much of a difference between photo 1 (the best one) and photo 2 (my original posting). I did "blow up the photo" for my template. Oh well. I'll never be the photographer or the poster that some of you are!

Best Bumped Even More Just for Auntie

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One of Those Weeks

Today, I may say too much. Today, I may say so much that you will cringe. Good thing comments are off or I might have to read a rant or two from my readers.

It's been one of those weeks. Every day presented new and bigger challenges. I found myself trying to keep calm while also trying to keep my grandmother, my mother, and my husband calm. Ever find yourself feeling as if you'll start screaming and, if you do, that you will never be able to stop? At one point yesterday, I was staring into space not seeing, not hearing. When John's voice entered my fogged state, he was asking, "Are you okay?" The answer was, "No, I am not okay."

Earlier in the day, I had found myself muttering repeatedly, "I am not a nurse. I am not a nurse. I am not a nurse." Yeah, well, as I said, one of those weeks.

The week began with an unexpected out-of-state visitor, the wrenching of my back again, and ended with clanging nerves and shaken emotions. Good thing that we had read in our devotions early in the week that "For this you have Jesus." Every so often that reminder would float to the surface, above the din of the mind, and there would be Jesus striding into our midst and calming our storm.

Victory Over Depression subtitled "How to Live Above Your Circumstances" by Bob George is coming down from my shelf this week. It is getting pretty dog-eared and marked. In chapter one, Mr. George tells us this: We cannot overcome the world, but we can live in dependency on the One who already has — Jesus Christ.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Today, I will need to lean on the Lord hard. There are things coming down the road today. These things will not veer off and hit the ditch. But whether I am always aware or whether I am going blithely on about my business does not negate the fact that we need Jesus at our house. Every day. Every hour. Every minute.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Still Thinking About My Kitchen

Yes, I really am. Have I done anything about it? No, no I haven't. But I will. Some day. Not today. Not tomorrow. But definitely sooner than the last time we discussed my kitchen, which was ages ago.

Oh, lest you think that nothing at all has been done, I'll share this one little photo of the very healthy poinsettia that I've been trying to kill since January 25.

John took an extra sheet or two of a fitted pine board look paneling I had hanging around and placed it on the ends of my cabinets. They had been very ratty looking and this was something of a help. Sherry at Edie Marie's Attic had suggested it. Oh yes! I take all blogger's suggestions very seriously. You can see how terrific Sherry's kitchen looks on her sidebar. (She'll have a new kitchen very soon as she recently sold her home and is in the process of moving. Hi, Sherry!)

I keep telling myself that when I find my dream kitchen I will know. When my Country Living magazine arrived for February or March, I thought that I recognized what I wanted and understood the direction I was going in...until. Until, Linda at Restyled Home posted a link to one amazing kitchen just this week. Talk about fickle. I'm all over the place.

Anyway, you can check it out on Linda's A Kindred (Kitchen) Spirit. But see, Linda knows that she wants her kitchen to be "pretty." Pretty? I like pretty. Why wasn't I headed more in that direction? Maybe it's because I've been thinking that pretty and fussy/frou-frou were synonymous. They don't have to be, though, right?

So let's talk. Are you in the kitchen of your dreams right now? Would you like to make some changes? What would they be? Go ahead, tell me all about it. I'm all ears! Oh, and do you like pretty?

Edited to Add: Editing to Add is such a nasty thing to do to my readers. I apologize. I had wanted to show the kitchen that I found in the CL magazine, but could I find it online? No. Could I find the actual magazine? That would also be a "no." But with morning's light, I found it quite easily and so am popping in a few photos to discuss.

So this is the February 2010 issue of Country Living. When I saw this photo, my heart rate increased a bit. Now that I look at it, I'm not sure why. I'm really trying to analyze what I like and what I don't. For example, I dislike the floor. I dislike all that open shelving at the top of the cabinets. I dislike the texture of the glass. It would probably be easier to say what I like.

I like the color of the cabinets and I like the streamlined counters. So here's my lightbulb moment: I could paint the cabinets almost the same color as my deck. Apparently, I really like that color. I could clean off the clutter. Okay, I'll start with clearing clutter and get back to you. Some day. Not today. Not tomorrow.

Enjoy your Saturday, but don't forget that, prior to this last bit, I asked a question or two. ;>

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Can't I Find My Favorite Products Anywhere?

The mosaics above are an experiment. I wanted to see the difference between a regular uploaded mosaic against the larger type. What I see is quite a bit of distortion with the larger so I'm not certain that it's worth doing.


Getting back to my post's topic... I don't know how many of my fellow bloggers shop in big box stores. In the past, I belonged to Sam's Club and BJ's; now I belong only to BJ's. Often I can find what I'm looking for at a better price there than I can find it for at my local grocery store or my Wal*Mart of choice.

There's one product that has disappeared completely from the shelves of any stores, including BJ's. It's Little Friskies Dental Diet for cats. I've fed my cats this dry food once daily for years. Suddenly, it's gone. First it disappeared from Wal*Mart shelves necessitating my revisiting Shaw's and Hannaford Brothers. Then, it disappeared from Shaw's. Imagine my shock when it is no longer carried at Hannaford Brothers either. I wonder why.

I've found messsage boards online devoted to the subject. One woman says that she'd hoard the stuff if she could just find some. I feel the very same way. Guess that the next thing to do is write a letter to Purina to see if I can find some answers. It's still offered online, but I refuse to pay those prices plus shipping, too.

So here's my question for today: have you been having any trouble finding a certain product? Do you wonder what's going on?

(Next time perhaps we can discuss why Wal*Mart has decided to make all of the packaging for its house brand so black and white, unattractive, and reminding me of some Socialist/Communist country. I'd rather spend extra money to return to a regular grocery store where I can find brand names with bright colors. That is, I would if I could afford it.)

Edited to Add:

More experimenting. Donna suggests that I need to save at 100 pixels per inch. I've always saved blog photos at the highest resolution. I checked the first photo and it was at 96 pixels. I've since enlarged a titch and saved at 100. Let's see what happens, if anything.

Oh I can't tell. Maybe Donna will come back and let me know. :D

Edited to Add AGAIN:

I'm getting a lot of mileage from my three pathetic daffodils...
Thought perhaps that the mosaic itself created some fuzzies so am popping in a single shot.

Final Edit to Add on this Post I promise:

Popping in a very nice email from Purina giving me a list of stores that should be carrying the product. Also, I have those stores' telephone numbers so that will be next...calling store managers.

Thank you for contacting Nestlé Purina PetCare Company.

We are sorry that you've been unable to locate Purina(r) Friskies(r) Cat Food Dental Diet Poultry & Fish Flavor For Adult Cats in your area. Let us assure you that our sales force does their best to convince retailers to stock as many of our products in various flavors and sizes as possible. Please understand it is up to the independent retailer or chain store management to make the final decision as to which products will be featured in their store.

Please know Purina(r) Friskies(r) Cat Food Dental Diet Poultry & Fish Flavor for Adult Cats is still being manufactured, however it is in limited distribution. Our records indicate that that this product should be available at PetsMart stores, online at www.petfooddirect.com, or at the following stores in your area:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

An Eclectic Mess

I'm describing my blog again using the thingy that Blogger provides for the top of our blogs these days. I tried those tabs, but didn't like them once I'd done them. Sidebars are good enough for me. I'd love to have someone finesse this place. I'm feeling about my blog the way I'm feeling about my home — I don't have proper time for it.

These are the things on my mind today and there's not a lick of coherence to any of it: forsythia, lasagna sauce, and embroidery.

It's a jungle out there!

Forsythia branch against the fence

The secret of the sauce

After an hour of bubbling away...hmmm

This is an illustration that I want to embroider

Okay, that about does it...catch you later...create a great day!