Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day.

Every year at the cemetery around the corner from us the workers place a flag at the headstone of every single man or woman who served our country. It is a beautiful and humbling sight to behold.


Flags wave in the breeze and bow when it is still to honor those who sacrificed their comfort and families on our behalf. I am very grateful for each and every one of them and for those who do so today, my son included. (Although he would say that isn't the case as he is still here in the US. Whatever.)
In honor of Memorial Day, I thought I would make a delicious breakfast that is decidedly...Welsh?! Yep.
These are Welsh Cakes. Marie posted the recipe on her blog this morning and I had all the ingredients to make them with the exception of the raisins. Mine had been invaded by ants so I used Craisins instead.
 Oh. My. Gosh!


They are, as Marie says, scrummy! Delicious. Warm. Filling. Yum.


I spread a little butter on top of mine to be sure that the sugar topping really stuck. A bit of gilding the lily, I reckon, but oh so worth it.
Let's make this my Love This! Monday post for this week. Because I really do love these. So much that I ate four. Oink. Oink. (Thanks for sharing this recipe, Marie. They were a hit here at the Smith house.) Pop on over, get the recipe and make some for yourself.
I hope you all have a safe and joyful holiday.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rested.

I apologize for my absence. I've been recovering from all the wedding hoopla and working at the shop. It's been a busy week!
I'd like to thank all of you for your lovely comments and well-wishes for the newlyweds. They are happily living in their own little home and adjusting to married life. They are the cutest couple on earth, but then, I may be a bit prejudiced.
My garden has decided to blossom forth while I have been hibernating.


The Grandmother's Basket spirea has done very well so far. The leaves are huge- big enough to catch the lone raindrop that fell the other day.


The hydrangea (not the offensive one that poked me in the eye) on the kitchen side of the house has bloomed into froths of pale blue blossoms. I bought this plant in a yard sale five years ago. It was a little cutting from a bush that graced the grave of the owner's mother. It is quite content in its new home and delivers sigh-inducing color every single year. It is a sweet sight in my garden.


Since it bloomed so prolifically, I cut a few of the heavier blossoms that had drooped to the ground to bring indoors. I wish they would look like this forever. But, they won't.


Really, how could you resist? The shades of palest blue to white to the color of the sky on a cloudless day are poetic.


And here is another beautiful thing! My mom and I went out to a few yard sales yesterday morning, just to see if there was anything worthwhile to be had. Well, there certainly was at one yard sale! It's a beautiful cut crystal bowl. The top edge is scalloped with a heavily serrated edge that is as sharp as it can be. I was very careful when I washed it! When the sunlight hits the bowl, it refracts into a million tiny rainbows worthy of Pollyanna's prism room. All of this for only $3! Seriously.
Now that I am recovered, I will be back to posting bits and bobs of this life of mine, projects that I've made and get back to that Love This! Monday. It will be a pleasure.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bliss

On Friday, my daughter married the boy that she loves.
And that boy married the girl he loves.


She carried a bouquet of pink roses and freesia.


And her brother wore wedding flannel. Yes, wedding flannel, with permission.


You have to love a happy ending.


My wish for them? Bliss. Forever.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Blinkin' Heck!

Yesterday afternoon I tried to sneak in a little yard work. You know, to prepare for the Big Day. I have a line of hydrangeas on the side of the house that had been ignored just a little too long. Dead branches poked out amongst the new growth and a very aggressive bittersweet vine tangled itself throughout and was heading up toward the sky. Time for them to go.
I successfully cleared hydrangea #1 and #2 of all things unnecessary and was beginning to clear out #3 when I bent over and POKED MYSELF IN THE EYE WITH A DEAD BRANCH! Oh. My. Gosh. It hurt like crazy!
I stumbled up the hill and into the house holding my eye and hoping that it was not bleeding. (it wasn't.) I stood at the sink flushing my eye with cold water (ouch) until I could stand it no longer. I put ice in a Ziploc bag and held it up to my eye only to take it down again because it was too painful! There was no relief to be had for a very long time. I'm talking hours here! Ack.
I went up to my parent's house to let them know what happened and that, quite possibly, I would not be able to drive Mom to the hospital for her test today. (I didn't. Dad did.)
My dad is one of those men who can't leave things alone. He asked to look at my eye, so I took my hand away to let him take a peek. The next thing I know he has pried open my eyelids and is peering in while I am saying, "Let go!" Good night above.
The pain was now magnified to the point that I thought I was going to vomit. What was I going to do?
I'll tell you what I did. I took one of Dad's pain pills, that's what I did. A half a hydrocodone and I was feeling much better! There was a little side effect though. One minute I was fine and the next there was this undulation of light and dark in my eye. I told my kids it was like there was a little man in there with a flashlight searching for something. After that I decided I'd better go to bed. And that is exactly what I did.
I woke up this morning with less pain, the ability to open my eye and clear vision. My eyelid is still swollen from all of the poking and prodding but that will go away in a day or so.
All in all I learned a very big lesson- no matter what Big Day you have coming up, don't do yard work on Sunday. Something will happen that will make you rest as you should have been doing in the first place. Geesh.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's Going To Be A Beautiful Week.

How beautiful is this cloud? This is what I saw as I looked up over the trees yesterday. It was breathtaking and restorative. I needed that, as I have a list a mile long to accomplish this coming week. Here's a sampling:
1.The hen house is cleaned and fluffed up with fresh shavings, the yards have been raked and mowed, the house is on its way to being spit-spot clean and shiny.
2.The back porch will be covered in billows of white, the gardens have been planted and mulched, decorations have been bought and will be put together with ribbons of blue and white checks and rich brown.
3.The Beauty and the Beast paper tablecloth that has been in the drawer for the past three years will be coming out to decorate a special table.
Why? My daughter is getting married on Friday and guess who will be taking a little blogging break?
But, have no fear! I will be back next week, with photos of the happy couple, friends and family (and one tired mommy.) But it will all be worth it. I hope.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's Done, It's Done, It's Done!

I have finally finished the bathroom! After the months of agony endured from peeling that blasted scrapbook paper off the walls, I now have a bathroom that I want to have people see. I think it's beautiful.



Restful, calm and serene are words that spring to mind now.
 Gone are the feelings of chaos, clutter and, well, annoyance.




I'll have to make a new shower curtain to hang in here. The white seems to bland for me now. But, it will do until I find something to replace it with. Maybe a trip to Ikea is in order. Oh, wait! I have some fabric in my sewing room from there that just might work. Hmmm.......
Guess where I'll be today?

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Was Your Mother's Day?

Mine was fabulous! We had a linger-longer at church, which meant I did not have to cook. I came home and finished taking the dreaded wallpaper off the walls in the bathroom, opened my gift of Martha Stewart paint in Seal and Morning Fog from my children and I started a new blog. A quilting blog that will detail the adventures of my fear of machine quilting as well as sharing tips and, eventually, patterns that I have designed. It's called Tales of a Flimsy Woman. Sounds daring, doesn't it?
Apparently it was too daring for Blogger. I made a typing error and realized, too late, that I had written Tales of a Flimsy Women,  not Woman. I went back to correct my error and Blogger had locked me out! Oh, no! I needed to obtain a verification code to be reactivated.
I was very embarrased as I typed an e-mail explaining what I had done and that this was going to be a quilting blog, not something, well, you know. Geesh!  I finally received my code and was able to get back on, red cheeks and all. I promise you, I will never make that mistake again!
So that's how my day went. How was yours?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!


There are two lasting bequests we can give our children:One is roots.The other is wings.-Hodding Carter, Jr.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Decluttering, One Thing at a Time.

It seems like a never ending task at my house- trying to get the clutter under control.

I'm not sure why really. I have an aversion to things hanging around. Really, I do. And I usually storm through my house every few months and collect the things that are making me crazy and toss them into a pile for the Goodwill or a box for a yard sale. And yet, it never fails that once I get things to where they are tolerable, the clutter comes back. How rude!

I have to be ruthless. It isn't my nature to be so cold, but, when it comes to getting things set back to rights, a ruthless nature is what is called for. I sort my clutter (yes, I will take ownership of it) into 5 different categories:

1. Things I have had since I was a child.

2. Things that have come from family.

3. Things I have bought in yard sales.

4. Things people have given to me.

5. Paper, paper, paper.

If something has been with me since I was, say, five, it has a place in my heart and cannot be donated or sold. What to do, what to do? Well, keeping out a few things and then boxing up the rest seems to be the best option. One item set in a place of honor makes it seem that much more special. Each one can have a turn and then go back into seclusion for a while. Opening that box is a bit like Christmas. It's a thrill. I hope my children feel the same way when I pass these things on to them.

Things that have come from family (I"m talking heirlooms here) pose a different problem. You don't want to have things packed away when your mother-in-law comes for a visit and scans your home for the oh-so-treasured-gilt candelabra with the monkeys swinging from the arms that came from Great-great-grandmother Chi-chi Boo-boo and discovering that it is no where to be seen. That's never a good thing. Where do they go? In the closet. And when the mother-in-law comes over, they are taken out from their hiding place and put out for display. It solves all sorts of problems. Trust me.

Not all family heirlooms are ugly, or deserve to be closeted away, mind you. It's just that how many can you really have out at one time? The Christmas morning principle applies here as well. Maybe if you haven't seen it in a very long time that candelabra might look good. Then again, maybe not.

I have no attachment to things that have come from yard sales. Oh, I thought they were wonderful when I bought them, but, really? They are another person's clutter that I took off their hands and I don't mind passing those things along. Ever. Truth be told, I can tell you what has come from a yard sale or estate sale in my home, and not much of it has been here for very long. I prefer to share the joy!

Things people have given me pose a problem similar to things-that-have-come-from-family. You don't want to hurt the feelings of the giver. So, those things go into the closet to mingle with the heirlooms and come out to the light of day on occasion. Or, I'll wait until that person moves away and put some of the things in a yard sale. Ruthless, I tell you.

Paper is my biggest enemy. Junk mail, coupons, booklets, lists, downloads of patterns or recipes, they all find their way into a mound of enormous proportions in no time. Paper clutter makes me feel tense and annoyed. And it usually comes from someone else. Why can't the gum wrappers be tossed in the trash instead of piled on the table? Hmm? Why does the WalMart circular deserve a place of honor on the kitchen island? Just throw them away. Okay? And yet, those things collect and collect and collect until I reach the boiling point and the top of my head pops off. It's not pretty. Solution? File, trash, shred or burn all the while uttering, "Bwahahahahaha!" at the top of my lungs. It is cathartic.

Lest I sound heartless and cruel, allow me to say that there are things in my home that have been given to me, come from family, have been with me since childhood, even a few yard sale items and yes, some papers, that will never go away. Period. They are dear to me and when I look at them and hold them in my hands they bring back sweet memories of times or people past. Those are the things that have surpassed the status of clutter and have become a part of this life of mine. It's just that I have to keep things manageable in order to keep my sanity.

So, if you ever come over and don't see that one thing you gave me, it's in the closet. Just don't ask which one.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just a Beautiful Day.

This past Saturday was the first Down South Quilt Show, put on by the Busy Needles Quilt Guild. I worked the AST booth and had a blast!
One thing I wanted to do was to take some photos of the venue. The show was held at Nash Farm, a Civil War battlefield. It is a beautiful setting and while I was on a lunch break, I poked about with my camera.
Here's a few to give you an idea of how lovely this place really is. Oh, you can pop over here to see photos of the quilt show!
















I hope you enjoyed the tour!