Thursday, June 28, 2007

EEk!I think my camera broke!

So right about now you are asking how I am posting the picture above. I used my daughters camera. It is ok, but as you can see the pictures aren't as clear as the ones from my camera. I will have to find a place to fix it because I have grown VERY attached to it since I began blogging! Anyway, I finished the bookmarks for my bookmark swap and since I cant seem to get them in focus with Lauren's camera (I tried) you may have to wait until my swap partner gets them and I provide a link. Bookmarks were not as easy a swap as I thought they would be, they need to be flat to be useful and that is kind of limiting when you are putting something together that you want to be out of the ordinary. I am mailing them out today, so hopefully they will get to my swap partner in time. It was fun though, I hope she likes them. Oh, by the way, the picture above is a little patriotic shadow box I made for the fourth of July. I used a vintage print and some odds & ends of ribbon and stars.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More garden pictures today. It seems that every day I go out to my garden I see something else blooming that I want to share with you. In this case the geranium has been blooming since I bought it, but I really wanted to show you the pot and the cat figurine in the pot. I made both in my ceramics class last year. You can't see the pot very well but it is fairly typical with a grey-green glaze on it and a little bird stamped into the front. The cat was thrown on the wheel and then the little pots were put together to make the cat. They were part of an assignment to make tow things as different as possible. So I made a very simple pot and the more complicated and figural cat. You also can't see that the cat has little multicolor polka dots. I think the cat looks a little surprised, don't you?
I also wanted to tell everyone, I have bluebirds is my bluebird box! I posted earlier that wrens had taken over the box, oddly enough after that post they disappeared. I couldn't find any sign of the nest or any of the seven eggs they had already laid. Usually you can see the bits of torn up nest under the nest box, but they were gone without a trace. But now, four gorgeous bluebird eggs have taken their place. I hope nothing will get them before they hatch.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A new Womens Movement?

I was very interested in the post from a few days ago on Cherry Menlove's, Tales From Pixie Wood. Cherry was writing about the movement in England back to homemaking. Cherry thinks that in America we are ahead of England in that we have Martha Stewart and others who are our role models and who have made homemaking respectable again. While I understand her thoughts (and agree very much with her message that we should all be proud of our lifestyles as homemakers!) I wonder if we are really that much more ahead of her country than she thinks. I have been so inspired and gratified to find so many who embrace their roles as stay at home moms and entrepreneurs in these blogs. It has truly been wonderful to know that there are still women who find enjoyment and fulfillment in their roles as stay at home moms and the art and effort they put into making their house and home a beautiful place for their families and themselves. But I don't think attitudes have changed that much or that quickly about homemakers. I think it is still a very new movement and one that has gained notice through these online journals of the women making it happen.
Just a thought. I think the stay at home mom still has a long way to go to getting the respect she deserves. Lets face it, Martha Stewart isn't a homemaker, she's an executive of a multi-billion dollar enterprise! I enjoy her ideas, but Martha I am not. What do you think?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Just a little something to tide you over til Monday. I made these Saturday night for our church's Family Fun Day today. They had the pastors in a dunk tank and games and a cake walk, which these little beauties were headed to as prizes. It was all to raise money for a mission trip. The best part was I ate a couple and gave the rest away so I didnt overdo. Yay!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Natashas Shabby Chic Matchbox Swap

I had some fun yesterday putting together and decorating the boxes for the matchbox swap. It is pretty hard to find things small enough that are special to go into the teeny little things but I think I did ok. I won't tell you what is inside because my swap partner is all the way over in Australia. I am sending these out today and who knows how long it takes to actually get to another continent? But I will post what she sends me and hopefully she will post these when she gets them and I will provide a link. I think I was only supposed to do one, but they are so small and I had so much fun decorating the boxes I did five. They will still all fit in an envelope, I'm sure.

Ok, so just so you know what I mean when I said I need to weed my garden... I went out last night to get it done (I am only half done!) and I actually found a teeny little foxglove that I didn't know I had. This poor crowded plant is only about a foot tall instead of the stately 4-6 feet it should be. It is a fair punishment for me since I have been waiting a couple years for this little guy to actually bloom, and here it blooms in such a pitiful manner. So back out I go today to see if I can finish the job of weeding out this bed....then I can start on the next. I could make a comment about the weeds of neglect stunting the good things in our lives but you can make that connection yourself I suppose and I really don't want to get preachy. Suffice it to say the lesson occurred to me as I weeded and found flowers hidden and (eewwww!) snake holes because the cover was so good. Fortunately I am not afraid of snakes. So what will I be doing today? Pulling weeds and watching for snakes as I pull!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I love this beautiful sunset color rose. It was given to me by my sister-in-law several years ago. Fortunately, it must be very tough because I have a hard time with roses. I buy them and they have long graceful stems, huge buds , and big glossy leaves. I plant them according to directions and give them plenty of room for their roots, plant with peat moss and the next year they come up short and spindly and the blooms are about half the size they were before. I feel lucky that they come up at all. I admit that I don't always remember to feed them (hmmm), and I don't baby them a lot. I am really a pretty casual gardener when you get right down to it. It is probably a wonder that I have any flowers at all.
It occurs to me that my spiritual life is sometimes as neglected as my garden. I don't read my bible every day (most days, but not every day). I sometimes forget to check and see how I am doing growing the fruits of the spirit: love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, self-control (ouch!)
In other words, I am almost as casual in my faith as I am in my garden. I am glad that God's grace means that he loves me even when I am not as good a gardener as I should be. But I need to cultivate and care for my faith more diligently. And my garden is getting weeded and fertilized today!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I originally started this blog as a way to keep up with family and friends and maybe stick my toes into the wide world of blogging. I have been so thrilled with the response I have gotten and the interesting people I have met through this little online diary. At the same time I sometimes wonder at the superficiality of blogging. I wonder if people really care what I got at the farmers market. I don't want this blog to be only about my latest acquisition at the thrift store or garage sale. There is so much more to my life than what I buy. Most of it isn't interesting enough to put down in words. Cleaning the house, trying to figure out what is for dinner, again. The many things I do each day that I have to do before I can do what I really want to do. I sometimes wonder how other women get so much crafting done that they can show a completed piece of art every day and even stock an etsy store. I am in awe. I see blogs about beautiful homes and wonder if their houses ever look like mine with socks on the floor and dust in the corners. My blogging hero is Brin at My Messy Thrilling Life who manages to not only create beautiful things for an etsy shop, but apparently hold down several jobs (she's also writing a cookbook!) redo an old house while blogging about beautiful things, creating extremely wonderful devotionals, teaching bible school and finding time to just do nice things for people. Talk about feeling inadequate! How does she do it? Why can't I get that many hours out of my day? Do you think Brin is a pseudonym for a whole group of people who share her blog? I like to think so but it is probably just one woman who is amazing. Anyway, I don't want this blog to be about superficial things all the time. I want my readers and visitors to know who I am. Is that too deep for you? If I don't get comments from this post I will assume it is. And I will post about my latest garage sale find or my garden. I am not abandoning those fun things, but I want more. Do you?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful, loving husband Earl. You are everything I missed in my own father. Your sweet love and patience with your girls is one of the best things in our lives and we love you so very much! Hugs and Kisses... Your Girls

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I thought I would put something a little prettier than the front end of the mower up to see. This is the hibiscus on the back porch. It was given to me by a dear friend who is soon going to move to Florida. Isn't it the most lovely color? I will always remember her when I see it.

This is the beautiful Ivy geranium I purchased for $10 at the farmers market today. This also hangs on the back porch pergola and I can see it from the living room window. I love the stripes of white and pink, as you can see, they mixed it in with a bright pinky red solid geranium. It is a really pretty combination.

And am I taking tea out in the garden? Not today, but I am showing you some of my collection of pretty teacups and a lovely old quilt top my mom found at an auction. It has some tears and minor problems, but I think I can mend them with my stash of feed sack materials and put a nice back on it. It would look really nice on my youngest daughters bed. Her room is done in light blue and white and this is pretty pastels and has a lot of blue in it. Not so precious that she can't use it. I am thrilled to have it though because I would never have the patience to actually piece one of these myself, but backing it and mending a few spots is doable.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Of all the mundane things to blog about you may wonder why I would write about mowing. Well, I happen to love it! There is nothing better than getting out in the fresh air and sunshine, by myself, seeing the dragonflies and butterflies, and birds and smelling the fresh cut lawn. I have mint overflowing some of my flower beds and when I mow up next to them it smells heavenly. Sometimes the iridescent purple martins swoop around me and eat the bugs I kick up. That is the best. I can sometimes feel the wind from their wings, they get so close. Nothing like it. When I am in a really bad mood I mow. I talk to God (sometimes it's more of a rant) and I let the soothing tones of the mower and the scent of the grass and the fact that I can only smile and wave at everyone soothe my soul. I hum or I sing and nobody can hear me except me. The neighbors probably think I'm nuts but I'm not that close to the neighbors anyway. Let them think what they will. By the time I have the whole 2 1/2 acres mowed, I'm better. What do you do that makes you happy?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

School's out for summer!

Yippee! Today is my last day of work and then....I'm free for the next two and a half months! I have a L-O-N-G list of things I want to do and I am trying to keep the list of must-dos to a minimum. I know the time will fly quickly so I am determined to use it as wisely as possible.
The daughters are off to Ichthus tonight with their friends and church youth group. They will have a great time! Anyone ever heard of Ichthus? It is a huge Christian music festival in Wilmore, Kentucky with all the big names in Christian contemporary music. This year they have all the girls favorites, Switchfoot, Toby Mac, Chris Tomlin, Third Day , Newsboys, and a whole lot more. So, while the girls are away, Earl and I will have some alone time. I am looking forward to our weekend together. The girls will get back Sunday and then we will all go out for a Fathers day dinner. Sounds like another great weekend coming up!
The picture above is my William Baffin rose. It seems to be a little buggy this year and needs some real attention, but it still managed to crank out a few pretty blossoms.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What a beautiful weekend! The weather was perfect, and we had two graduation parties to help out with for friends. It is such a joy to see two more beautiful young girls look out to their future and all the things they are going to accomplish and enjoy in the coming years. So many adventures and new experiences waiting for them. And then I talk to the mothers of these beautiful girls. The Moms are the forgotten. They aren't all that happy about their own futures. They are being fired from a job they have loved and given everything to for almost 20 years. A job that didn't give a lot of vacation time, no raises, and now not even a gold watch of appreciation. No, nobody sees that these women are going through a graduation of their own.
Why don't we think of it that way? As a new beginning for us as well? Next year my youngest daughter will graduate and I am determined to see it as an opportunity. Some of the bad choices I made when I was younger I can remedy. It won't be as easy as it would have been back then, but who said life was easy? I can get weepy and feel lost,(and don't think I haven't ), or I can see it as a new beginning for myself. After years of my children being the focus of everything I have done, isn't it time for a little me time? Isn't that the battle cry of women everywhere? "I think of everyone's needs but mine!" we all scream. Well time to think of mine. I am 49, I'm not dead. If I live to be 80 (My gandmother lived to 93!) that is another 30 years. 30 Years is a LIFETIME people! I have been married a long time, but I still haven't been married 30 years! If I look back 30 years, look what I have accomplished since I was 19! Graduation age. My future stretches out before me. Maybe we should have graduation parties for parents too.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sorry squirrels!

This time I got the wild strawberries from the flower garden, still warm from the sun. Aren't they pretty? They are delicious too. Just having a beautiful day today. I got up bright and early and the morning was so cool and crisp I got right down to business and got some cleaning and organizing done in the basement (ugh! it was soooo bad!) opened the windows down there and set the fan blowing all the fresh air in while I cleaned. Earl was busy making salad and cheesecake squares for open houses this weekend (which we will head out for later this afternoon) and then we cleaned the chicken house and I got feed and bedding at the farm co-op. They were nasty jobs but now they are done and it was well before noon when we were finished so we have the rest of the day to enjoy with the satisfaction that we got so much done!
It is a PERFECT day. The sun is shining but it is only about 73 degrees with a light breeze. The open house will be loads of fun and then we will come home and maybe grill some chicken and enjoy the evening. I hope you all have a beautiful day too!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes

Today we are celebrating a co-workers birthday at work and it is my turn to do the honors. I found this cute cake plate at a yard sale and grabbed it quick. You see, my co-worker loves anything tropical and palm trees play a big part in her decor. It looks brand new and we put a cap on how much we spend on each other and I know she will absolutley LOVE this cake plate so I can't wait to give it to her. The cupcakes are lemon with a ring of buttercream frosting and a dollop of home-made lemon curd in the center. Yum! We are all going to have a good day at work today. :>)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Strawberries in the garden

Just look at the beautiful berries that are in my garden right now. I finally had time to mow the lawn today and when I was done I decided to weed one of the flower borders. These wild strawberries have taken over any open spot in my garden and they are just about to ripen. I always smile and consider them a little surprise from God. They are very sweet and about the size of a dime. They grow so well I just cannot bring myself to weed them out, at least until the berries are ripe. I race the bunnies and chipmunks for them and sometimes I win!

It's a Beautiful Day!

Today, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Everything looks beautiful and the plants are so happy! Now you get to see some of my gardens in all their weedy glory! first the fuchsia, which I love because it brings the hummingbirds. I hope that one day I can get a picture of the little darlings hovering near the flowers. I have seen them but they are so quick.

Here is the first Gallardia to bloom in the garden, they are one of the first flowers to open and they bloom until frost. Love them because they are very prolific and colorful

These roses were end of season Farmers Market deals. A little over a year ago, as the growing season drew to a close, I came across a farmer at the market who had a huge truckload of perennials for sale for $2 each! These were in large containers and I got enough assorted plants to fill a bed in front of the house and 2 or 3 of these pretty pink roses. They grow the best of any rose I have ever had and bloom constantly all summer and fall. What a deal! I love this shade of pink.
A close up of the peas growing out behind the shed. I love snow peas and these are beginning to bloom. Stir fry here we come!

And last, but not least, a dilemma. We have a bluebird house that does actually attract bluebirds. Unfortunately, the nest and eggs you see here are not bluebird eggs. No, they are wren eggs. Now I think wrens are lovely, cute little birds, but I have actually found the bluebird eggs (near the end of their gestation) thrown out of the nest and the nest taken over by the wren. I don't know what to do. The wren is smaller than the bluebird so there isn't really any way to exclude it. I almost hate to let the wren eggs hatch because I am afraid it teaches the wren to come back year after year. Any ideas out there? I really love the bluebirds and really want them to feel safe in my bluebird house. I must admit though that even the wren nest is beautiful. Mother wren was not happy when I took this picture. She chattered at me the whole time and I really expected to be dive bombed! Needless to say, I took the pic and got out of there.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Rain, Rain go away...

I know that many of you in southern parts of the country are praying for rain, but here in Michigan we have had it for almost a week and I am ready for a change. The lawn needs mowing, the gardens need weeding and I need some sunshine! My flower beds are out of control. My William Baffin roses have just begun to bloom, do you like how I managed to get the van bumper in the background of my photo? Ah well, the rose is beautiful and my lavender is ready to bloom and if I can get out there to weed I might actually be able to find some of my other flowers! The rain has beaten my large iris to the ground, although my small siberian iris by the fence are fine. My peony hasn't bloomed yet so that is still standing. Well hopefully we will get some sun in the next few days. We have two graduation open houses this weekend and I know our friends must be sweating bullets hoping the rain will stop!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Darling Husband and I did a little garage saleing this weekend and ended up with some sweet goodies. This Pretty cake plate and set of 6 matching dessert plates was found for $2! I have been finding the prettiest cut glass cake plates for a steal at thrift stores and garage sales and this is just like a clear one Earl found a couple weeks ago except it is a lovely iridescent gold color and it has these matching plates with it! I now have three of these cake plates and since we have open houses and parties all summer to take desserts to I am sure they will get a work out and be well worth the few dollars I spent for them. I also found some fun decorating magazines for .10 cents each and a Victoria Christmas book for a quarter. I used to subscribe and all their recipes were wonderful! The Christmas book is full of beautiful decorating ideas and great sounding recipes. Since Victoria is coming back, I have already subscribed to it again so I hope their standards for photography and recipes will be as excellent as they were in the original publication. The red star basket you see in the background was another garage sale find for a quarter. I have it filled with flowers. Don't you just love a deal?