Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Like this: Meh, it's okay. I think I want fresh flowers on the dining room table instead.
But, here is the "new" dining room. I'm still in the process of arranging the big wall. It's a tad too bland and black and brown! But, I love having the window behind the table and the space there is now. No more feeling as though people are crammed in, even though they really weren't. Now to find a nicer rug for underneath the table. This one was an emergency rug, needed in a hurry and bought on a whim because it was, a. big and b. cheap. I regret it every day.
The new sitting area. It's too tiny to be called a living room. I love this space. The window behind the sofa looks out over the kitchen garden and the bed spring arbor, which holds my bird feeders. I can tuck myself in the corner of the sofa and watch the birds come and go, munching on seeds and hiding in the bed springs from the cats.
The wing chairs are hand-me-downs from my mother-in-law. My husband and I think they are about 45 years old. He remembers his parents purchasing them at Ethan Allen on Roswell Rd. in Atlanta when he was a boy. They are still solid and cushy, but the upholstery is a bit weary and worn. They are wearing temporary covers of white cotton sheets until I can get slipcovers made. It may be a while because I cannot decide what I want to cover them in! Maybe muslin drop cloths, or maybe ticking or maybe a floral print...... Ack! I am very indecisive.
I am going to place items that are more suited to a sitting area on the shelves in the corner as soon as I find homes for what is there.
I am much happier in this space. I now have something restful and cozy to look at while I am cooking as opposed to the busy clutter of table and chairs. Plus the added bonus of not having to look at a messy kitchen while we are eating!
One thing I realized was that I don't have before photos to show you. Well, none that are not full of people. It is probably because I did not like these rooms as they were.
But, I love them now!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
But, I am stuck with all the stuff that has been hiding away in those two rooms! I mean really, I vacuum, sweep, dust, mop and yet I have unearthed another dog and two whole cats worth of hair, plus a myriad of other detritus. Ew! Thankfully it is all gone now. All that is left to do is to make a few decorating changes and I'll be done. But, I think that is the hardest part!
I have a long wall in my living room, now dining room, that holds all sorts of pictures, mirrors, etc. It looks kind of silly now with the table and chairs in there. Big, that's it. Big. And too much stuff. I am so over stuff. I see a yard sale in my future.
I think the best solution is to take it all down, edit the stuff and try out different arrangements. Sparse, airy arrangements. And shelves. I need shelves! Maybe I'll take a cruise through the rest of the house and see what I can find. Nothing like shopping in your own attic and finding necessary treasures.
I'm hoping to finish this mini-makeover today. Wish me luck!!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thank goodness they did not show "Thong Man" going down the hill!!
Monday, May 25, 2009
We started our adventure on Friday, taking a trip to a quilt shop I have been wanting to see, Sew Worth It! And it was. After that a bit of lunch and a trip to the grocery store for supplies and $300 later, we headed home with a truck bed full of what would become some yummy party food.
As soon as we reached home we started cooking. And cooking. And cooking. Dips, spreads, sausage rolls, peeling and cutting vegetables, baking Asian chicken wings, Italian chicken wings, not to mention scalloped potatoes and cube steaks for dinner! I thought we would never finish but we did, at 10:30 that night.
The next morning we were up at eight, making cupcakes and butter cream icing, chocolate and vanilla. The chocolate icing proved too much for my sister's mixer. Half-way through it spun its last spin and smoke came billowing out of the vents. The chocolate icing had visible bits of butter, but that's okay. No one seemed to mind.
It was all worth it in the end. The graduate was a happy (full) camper and everyone had a great time.
Although I am sure his sister has plans for it as well. You can see it all over her face.
Sunday morning my mom, John and I woke up and began to get ready for our drive home. Everything was running smoothly until John discovered ants on his shorts. Apparently he had brought in a hitchhiking beetle, which died during the night. His death brought in dozens of fire ants, evil things. What did John do when he found them? Threw his shorts at me. I caught them, still not really realizing what was wrong until ants began crawling off the shorts and all over me. Holy cow!! They were everywhere and they were m.a.d. What do ants do when they're mad? They bite and hard. Once I got John's bites treated, I checked mine. While I did not have too many, the bites I received caused my hands to swell along with my right ankle, where I didn't even know I had been bitten. Seriously, I had to wait an hour before I could leave to make sure nothing more was going to happen! Good night above.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
This isn't the game where you aim your shooter at smaller marbles and knock them out of a circle. No, it is a board game much similar to Parcheesi. The boards that I have were made by my Grandmother Kimball. She was a clever one, that Grammy.
This jar of marbles are mostly hers and some that I have collected over the years. I usually find the ones I played with when I was small, the rainbow Cat's Eyes. The dice in the bowl are Grammy's as well.
This is the same board that my brothers and I played on when we were little. The houses are faded and yet I cannot change them. It would not be the same. It had been green at one time, then blue and, finally, pink. It has always been pink to me.
In the center of the board are the construction paper dice and houses my grandmother made, along with the names of family members and friends, some now gone.
The object of the game is to get your men (marbles) out by rolling a one or a six on a dice. If you roll a six, you get to roll again. (If you roll three sixes in a row, you send the marble closest to your home base back to start. ) Once out, you move around the board, trying to stay a step ahead of your opponents. Whispering a desired number to your dice is a common occurrence and cries of disappointment come when, yes! the right number was rolled and you have sent back to start someone who was this close to home. One game can last a few hours if the players are playing cutthroat, as we call it.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Inside? Why the cutest little pink gingham apron with Dresden Plate patches on the pocket and a vintage recipe booklet. It was a vintage recipe booklet kind of day today. I picked up five of them at a yard sale! This one just adds to my collection. Perfectly.
Susan mentioned that this apron came with a bit of a mystery. These snaps have something to do with it. For some reason, there are snaps on both sides of the apron which, when attached, create sort of a sling shape. My thought was that perhaps the snaps were used when collecting veggies from the garden. It would certainly give more room to carry things and keep your hands free for further picking.
I am afraid that my future career as a solver of mysteries may be in jeopardy.
Thank you, Susan, for the sweet gifts and, especially, the challenge.
Have a happy weekend, everyone!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Now to follow through on the award responsibilities!
2. This boy.
4. And this girl.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Not long after returning home it started to rain. And rain. And rain.
Guess who does not like getting wet? He ran so fast he nearly knocked me over!
I had read Alicia's post about her baking her first loaf of bread. It looked heavenly and made me want to make some of my own. So, I pulled out my trusty copy of the New York Times No-Knead Bread recipe and added a few tablespoons of sugar and some raisins. I made two loaves- one for us and one to share. It is delicious. Crusty top, soft insides. Toasted and spread with real butter, it is divine. Thanks for the inspiration, Alicia!
I decided that while I was already making bread, I should just go ahead and make English muffins. I did. I used Fannie Farmer's recipe. Totally old-school, with shortening. (Only 1 tablespoon though.)
I was not expecting such a soft dough. The dough we made last week was a bit more sturdy. This was very light and airy and very tender. But still, it made twenty muffins, and they rose as they should, like little round pillows on my baking sheet.
Once risen, you cook them in a pan sprinkled with corn meal. No baking! Sweet. About 7-9 minutes on each side and, Voila! C'est finis! Complete with lovely "nooks and crannies" for buttery goodness.
And you know that nothing was going to stop me from having one right away! Out came the butter and Bonne Maman Raspberry jam. Pop into the toaster went the fresh muffins and when crisped to perfection, they were spread generously with the aforementioned butter and jam and popped into my mouth.
My tummy was quite happy to be full of English muffins. They were such a success that I think I will make them from now on. They are simple and good and very inexpensive to make. I just don't think I will make bread and muffins on the same night again. While preheating the oven for the bread, I realized that I had the dough for the English muffins in there rising. It could have been a disaster, but it wasn't. It was a wonderful end to a very nice day.
Something else that is wonderful is Robin's blog, one still frame. I met Robin in Kentucky at Frannie's Girlfriends Gathering. We had a great time and Robin (Beulah) and her mom, Pat (Tilda), are the nicest women. You can tell they are best friends. It was a treat to be around them, hear their stories and get to know them.
Robin's blog is full of beautiful contemplations and photographs that she takes herself. Quiet, lovely, calming, intensely profound words and images will take your breath away. I promise.
This sweet girl has given me a blog award. This one:
I don't know how Kreativ I am , but I am very grateful and honored. It made my day when I discovered what she had done. Not for any other reason than I knew she had thought of me.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
7. Pieced the top of the latest strip club quilt. Only one more border to stitch on! It went together in a snap. I now have five quilt tops to make into quilts. Good night.
8. Learned how to make homemade English muffins from a friend. Made the fifth batch of homemade yogurt, which was turned into yogurt cheese. I added garlic and dill to one half and strawberries and brown sugar to the other. Mmmm, sweet and savory. Perfect to suit any mood I may be in.
9. Missed all of you so I made sure to visit your blogs. And thank you for stopping by to check in on me. I am grateful for all of you. :)
That's it. I'm back on track. For now.