Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dear Folk and Gentle People


Finally! We met. ãƒƒ


It was a wonderful opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs. T on Saturday last, she of both Across My Kitchen Table and Mrs T's Christmas Kitchen fame. 

Actually, our meeting was a lot like sitting at her kitchen table happily chatting until first the mosquitoes and then the drunk showed up. < thud > Into every blogger meet a clinker must fall. Sigh.



The Ts love getaways and had been in Maine to attend a wedding up Bangor way. They were killing two birds with one stone so to speak. We had been scheduled to meet last year, but then my father passed away unexpectedly. Mrs. T’s father passed away not long after. Life happens and plans must shift when it does.



Except for photos of her adorable little girl self, Mrs. T does not share photos of herself. I recently caught a glimpse of Mr. T in passing so I thought I’d probably be able to figure out whom I was meeting.



As I skidded into the parking lot, Mr. T was the first one I saw. He was sporting four things: Mrs. T, a t-shirt created by his grands, and two black eyes. Gotta love a grandfather who proudly wears his grands’ gift. (The black eyes? Not my story to tell. 😉 ) Sara is just as lovely a person as you can imagine she would be from reading her blog: warm, attentive, gentle, and godly.



We discussed many things. Mrs. T mentioned how much she would like to meet a certain blogger...hope that happens! She said how much her life has been blessed by blogging. Yes, we do find our own here.



We exchanged gifts...these are mine...she knows my color well! You might have to visit *this post* if you don’t recognize the other. I had never seen them before reading there, but I have the feeling that some of my readers will recognize that darling box.



Using my crocheted hot mat to protect my mixing bowls



As we were saying our goodbyes...in fact, I was already in my car...I realized that you might not believe me if I didn’t have pictures. Mr. and Mrs. T indulged me and I have two. The first is a very nice photo...the second is even more wonderful and my favorite after employing my photography trick. You know the one...

That is not a wee hatchet in Mr. T's pocket... I had to look twice! 

Such a cute couple!


Thank you, dear folk and gentle people, for coming my way, which was quite a bit out of yours. I appreciate it very much. It was a joy to meet you at last!






Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Blueberry Day

Do you just love those days when something fun or interesting turns up that you had not planned for? Out of the blue it comes and usually begins with a phone call. 
Mine went this way...

"Hey, Mom, my car's going into the shop today and I was wondering if you'd be able to pick me up and we could hang out together for the day." 

You know the answer to that! My gears began turning immediately: We'd go out for breakfast and afterward we'd clean the garage. ツ

Breakfast went off without a hitch, but garage cleaning was not in my daughter's plans; a trip to Vassalboro was instead.

our route in red

She wanted to purchase blueberry bushes. Hmmm...interesting...okay, I was in.

 arriving at Fieldstone's Garden


grape arbor🍇



 Laurel searching for her blueberry plants


 there it is!


 pleased with her choices...a smaller, tart blueberry and a large, sweet blueberry variety named Patriot

Wish that truck were ours...it would have been easier getting these plants home.
 Now that shepherd's staff has presence!

 holly

 limelight hydrangea

 garden art

 this plant stand/torchiere became Laurel's birthday gift to Michelle...

 Variegated maple, which can no longer be sold as it's invasive


 checking out, but we'll definitely be back another day...


All plants at Fieldstone's are native plants hardy to -40°F...very important in Maine.

Thank you for joining me on this blueberry-finding road trip. 






Thursday, July 5, 2018

Procrastinating

Not sure if procrastination is a problem for you, but it certainly is with me. I can procrastinate for hours, days, weeks, even years. I am not proud of it. I am just being honest with you.

As you know, I am "supposed" to be decluttering. I have done some decluttering, but that was boring as all get out. 

So I turned my attention to projects. This old window style mirror, a Wal*Mart purchase for $7 in the 1990s has been a lot of fun in the garden. If it breaks, I don't care. Well maybe a little bit...

It used to hang on the side of the barn a few years ago. You can see that here. Now it is disguising the mess I made power washing the fence. ツ I also repainted the potting bench that John made me some years ago. It was looking pretty scruffy as you can see below. 


Hope that you enjoyed a lovely Independence Day or Canada Day, if you live in North America. My family gathered at my son's home poolside. Most swam, but Michelle and I sat on the deck and chatted. Then we abandoned the deck and the outdoors for air conditioning...ahhhh... And we'll get to do it all over again when we gather at my sister's on Sunday for a family BBQ and another 4th of July celebration even if it'll be the 8th. 😉

It's been so warm, though not topping 100°F, that all my flowers are drooping by afternoon. My mission today is to find them some filtered light. Even though well watered, they seem to be as miserable as I am. I am not complaining. Really, I am not. I don't have to shovel snow and that is a great blessing.


Leaving you with a photo of my "mirror ball" petunia. They are so uniquely marked. You can see what I was describing above...the slight wilt to the blossoms by afternoon. 

Off to get my chores done before the heat truly sets in... 

Thank you so much for all those wonderful tips on my last post. They were fabulous!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Intervention

warning: no pretty pictures!

He was standing knee-deep in boxes, linens, Christmas ornaments, and books. Always the books. “Mom, do you feel that you’ve allowed your home to become, hmmm, errrr, over-full?” 



Now I recognize the opening line of an intervention when I hear one no matter how tactful the messenger. I began to respond by explaining that hardly any of it was my stuff....that I haven’t been feeling that well...that I feel overwhelmed...that I’d like to open a window and pitch it all on the lawn. 

(I attempted to wash the fence last week...yikes!)

He walked into my sewing room and I rushed to say, “Not so bad, right? Probably better than your workspace in your barn to which he replied, ‘touché.’”




The standard joke in my family is that I am holding onto some great-grandmother or other’s bun. Yes, it’s not seven feet from where I now sit writing this post. It is carefully wrapped in tissue paper...I’d like to send it up the elevator... Are you following along here? I may be in trouble. 




 As another case in point, I showed my son a drawing that his great-great grandfather had done of a young starlett sometime back in the 1940s. You should have seen his face. He may have even taken a step back. I am saving it, but I don’t know why... I penciled in a message on the back some months ago. 















So today I am recommitting myself to decluttering. I was able to declutter John’s barn and property by tackling the next thing. (Let’s not discuss how much of it is here in bags waiting to be sorted.) The first thing that I worked on at John’s was the stairs...a double flight. I cleared them so I could safely walk up and down without fear of tripping.  I think that will be where I begin here — the stairs.


I know that I must pace myself or burn out completely. Why I already have my dishes done and the Mancala beads washed so something has been accomplished.

Can dishes be "done" if they are still in the drainer? Am I holding onto too many sponges?





Have you ever found yourself in a nightmare like this? Can this wee haven be saved?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Just Because

Do you have some "just because" friends? I call them that since they often give gifts "just because." No reason, not necessarily a birthday, graduation, wedding, baby shower...no other reason than to bless. 

Apparently, I have a fair number. It makes walking to the mailbox worth the while. 

One day, I found these delights in a package from Mrs. T of Across My Kitchen Table. Sara, oops I just revealed her first name, actually writes several blogs, including a Christmas one. 


Come Before Winter is a devotional. I love devotionals and have many. I think they appeal to my short attention span and my love of essays. (BTW, if you've never tried Twining's Buttermint tea...it is fabulous. So smooth and delicious.)

Abby from Little Birdie Blessings often pops a something something in the mail...graphics and booklets, but for my winter birthday she did something I have loved. I keep this treasure on the table beside my easy chair so I can look at it often.






Abby used a photo album and added these wonderful layers of images and ephemera and Scripture and created a personalized book just for me. If you are a creative type, you can find many of these same images on Abby's blog. She offers them for free.

I have a lot to learn from my Just Because friends. 



Saturday, June 2, 2018

Boiling Water Among Other Things

There was this book that kept coming up on my friend Brenda's lists. I've been hanging out at Brenda's for years now and, finally, this book began to register. Months ago, I added it to my wishlist and just this past week, I hit purchase.  It arrived in three days so I began reading it yesterday morning. You may not believe this, but it has already changed my life. The book? An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler.

Chapter one is How to Boil Water. Golly. Who knew that I had arrived at old age and did not yet know how to properly boil water?! I popped right up from my easy chair tossing the book aside and headed for the kitchen and my pasta pot. 

I visited Betsy to find that pasta salad recipe that John and I very much enjoyed. Found it and proceeded to put it together with the ingredients I had on hand.



Eating that salad made me feel as if summer had indeed arrived...


One thing led to another and I decided that I must get my outside room together. I don't believe that I even bothered last year. There is still work to be done, but I have begun.






















 Links


1. I read and loved An Everlasting Meal a few years ago. It was one of the most influential books about food and cooking I have ever read.  I can't tell you how many times since first reading it, I looked at veggies I almost put in the compost bowl and realized they could be used in soup instead.  I gave my paperback copy to my daughter a couple years ago but when a used hardback copy became available very cheap... it was purchased immediately.