Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Days

Whimsy and Hugs!

We have been celebrating a milestone birthday for a dear friend the past two days... First a mutual dear friend and I created this sign for her since she has kept her childhood farm as a retreat and keepsake. This was entirely the concept and creation of my friend, who caught the inspiration from a sign at a local merchant. The paints and board and prep work are all hers and the lettering is mine. The sign was a complete hit!



Day One 

Had a little soiree for my friend and her sister and two others on the actual birthday. and a little pizza party on the day after so she could take her time opening her gifts... which she did. The first day we gave her the sign, and we ate fruit salad, nibbles, and meat and cheeses from a deli tray...



Day Two

After I blogged in December about my long time love of Johnson Brothers Strawberry Faire vintage china my mother (pre stroke) was obsessed with giving it to me. We found a truly reasonable auction or two on Facebook, and I received  four place settings on Christmas morning. Then... after all the drama of our winter and spring I actually forgot about it. I rediscovered it about two weeks ago in my grandmother's china cabinet where I had stacked it for safe keeping in the hurried aftermath of clearing while Mom recuperated in the hospital and we revamped the house to accept a hospital bed in the living room and my bedroom in the dining room... Wow! How does one forget such a treasure? By almost loosing a greater one I'm thinking. So... today seemed the perfect timing to enjoy new to me china at my friend's party. 



I actually just set the table. My dear friend made a yummy Italian vegetable salad, which we ate served in the teacups. She picked up the Casey's supreme pizza and a Mississippi Mud chocolate cake pre-made. The glassware belonged to my grandmother, and I liberated it from solitary confinement in the china cabinet...



We had a sweet time all day. Mom was able to get in on the party to an extent.



The rest of the week looks a little more quiet I think. However, we do always expect to be surprised by very welcome guests. Have a good week!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Out and About

I hired a friend of my son's to stay with Mama while I took my first two hours out for no reason since February 3rd. Weather was cool and semi-stormy, and I was home before I knew it. Happy meal at the Lake and driving my car...



These tulips sure speak my language!


Lake at noon


A field of dandelions

And although I told her she could just sit and study for her college classes, this sweet girl swept all my floors and steamed the bathroom. Lovely...


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Something New




Well, what I'm talking about is new to my generation, I think. The younger generation, with its link to today's medical technology, is able to predict the gender of a new baby months before it arrives. I know two schools of thought exist on this, and I'm honestly on both sides. Whatever the couple/parent wants is great!



My son is headed to a REVEAL party for a co-worker. Part of the perk of working with a group of nurses on computer support is a friendship with the staff. He is part of a group having a big reveal party in a nearby town, and he even signed himself up for snack detail. I love baking or making goodies, so he knows to always put his name down on that.




Today I surprised him with Reveal Rice Krispies/Marshmallow Treats. I honestly didn't see it on Pinterest, but I'm sure an even grander version exists. It didn't hurt mine to be plopped into a Temptations Violet 9 x 13. Love, love that brand of cookware. He was tickled that I'd gone to "so much trouble." Isn't it cool when people don't know how easy Rice Krispie Treats are?  I forwarned him to eat the pink unless he wants a little bitty blue on his tongue.



Lovely Saturday Sun and Breezes. Mom has her front door open with birds chirping right at her shoulder it seems. Time for contemplating the treat that is tomorrow... Kids coming for lunch and THE GOOD WITCH returns!  YAY!!! And also yay that I have more Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and butter...



P.S. It is a boy~


Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Nights



What is so personal about nights? I just want to know why I am so intensely territorial about my nighttime routine. I rather willingly mold and calibrate my daily round to accommodate all sorts of changes, interruptions, and chores... But set a big toe inside the sacred circle of my precious nights, and you may not come out with all your ears and toes! I am joking, somewhat, but I do notice how cranky I am at nights.


It's not that I want to sleep because I don't always want that. I just want to be ME at that time. Sleep if I want. Eat if I want. Watch TV, fiddle around with a computer, move the entire living room to another location....  Whatever! I am definitely a night creature, and I don't share very well.


At the risk of being overly introspective, I've written in my journal and done a bit of discussing of this personal phenomenon. I guess I just came up with the fact that I'm a people pleaser, an only child, and a night owl. I am severely used to the idea that when I say goodnight, barring some kind of emergency, I'm done with all those issues. I no longer have to please anybody. I do not have to grade papers, wash windows, say yes when I mean no, agree with opposite ideas put forth by the media, a kindred soul, or my mother...  I'm just ME. Totally, happily me sitting around in my comfiest nightgown and slurping icy water from a favorite glass...  Talking on the phone to whomever I want to, and reading parts of books, writing parts of stories, coloring parts of doodles...


In the past, I always enjoyed a little cat on my lap during these personal voyages to the core of my spirit. Unfortunately no cat resides in my domain, and unfortunately my mother has a bit of an issue with nights herself. She often sleeps through the night, but she also often has rather random, totally unnecessary bits of "urgency" she want to discuss, such as next year's Christmas candy for the UPS man, itemized deductions for the IRS, odd recipes and occasional residents of the community who have long since moved or passed away. And I NEVER know how long my self-proclaimed autonomy will last if I start a silly project, close my eyes to sleep, or push play on a movie I've been wanting to see... And it seems absolutely stupid to really care in the great scheme of things. But...  I'm being honest here. And I do care evidently. A bunch!


So I explain to Mama one more morning that I'm not actually angry or snotty with her during the night. It's just my nature to be kind of that X-eyed sleeping monster creature from midnight to seven A.M. She always gets it, but then she is kind of forgetful during the night because she has some kind of a deal with the dark...  We are working it out. I'm getting enough sleep with naps and stuff...  I'm just adapting..  poorly I might say...  But any progress is, after all, PROGRESS. Have a good weekend. Take two Tylenol and call me in the morning. IN THE MORNING, I said..  haha..  



Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Winds are brewing...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Nothing but wind! Well, let me get a cup of something magical and tell you about the winds in Missouri this spring! They are what you call, FIERCE. I mean, when I put some shoes out on the porch the other day to return, I happened to just think about checking if they "blew away...  haha.." Well, yes, as a matter of fact, they were half way to the road by way of the wild and crazy April Winds.

Above is a masterful blend of my Chai Latte, which I didn't really love, and a few chips of dry ice from an order of  Pizza Pretzels from QVC. I can say I enjoyed the dry ice more than either of those delicacies. But of course, I couldn't drink any more after that...  Such a lovely moiling of bubbles and steam, that sublimation of dry ice and liquid... I'm quite mesmerized. One of my favorite tricks if enough dry ice remains in the carton, is to submerge it in my dishwater...  Children love to play, don't we?

I'm loving the scent of pure vanilla in the oven. Evidently an old Real Estate Sales trick is to pour 2 T. vanilla into an oven safe cup and set in a 200 degree oven for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The house smells as if vanilla sugar cookies were about to appear from the cookie jars of all womankind!

In our little corner of Paradise all is the same, which is the equivalent of "All is Well," I think. Yet, looking outside, it is NOT the same as I see the red bud blooming wildly and the Spring wheat now sprung nearly 15 inches tall in places, flat in silken obedience to the wind in others.

Mom is coming along better than most expected, as the professionals who come to care for her are fond of telling her. It is a quite sad to see her little eyes get wider when well-meaning professionals tell her she wasn't expected to live. I think it scares her. She has begun to want to piece together the fateful days and moments after her stroke, so I always tell her the truth, although I might be giving the PG version at times. What she wants is reassurance that she will someday soon get out of that bed and resume her life, that nothing like this will ever happen to her again, that she won't fall out of bed when she is lying right in the middle of it with her eyes squinted shut. I do that in the lines of hoping for the best. The best is already better than many ever hoped for, so why not shoot for the stars?

She has been telling me marvelous stories about her childhood and about her childhood home in Terre Haute, Indiana. She was wondering what happened to that home, and she, of course, remembered the address. I looked it up on Intellius and White pages and discovered it was sold two years ago in foreclosure. I found a photo of it today, which looked quite like she remembered it. I found the name of the buyer, and I found his photo on Google Images. He's a 34 year old young man who must love sports. Mom enjoyed the Internet sleuthing, and she told my son all about the photos when he came by last night. Since Internet Technology is his life, he wasn't as amazed by Google Armchair PI as Mom. Go figure.

I am still sorting and cleaning and pitching and organizing. I don't see an end in sight on that job. And each box that I happen to fill and send by my son garners the usual queries: "What's in this? You didn't get rid of the ---? Did you?" He is not on board with any clearing of any cluttered memories.

Have a good weekend. If the wind blows you my way, stop in. We will have something better for refreshments than Chai Latte spiked with dry ice. I promise you that.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spring has sprung!


I would say it is Spring! I can see traces of plans for the upcoming faerie ball! I am pretty sure they live in this tree because otherwise, it would have died before now!


The view from my window reveals leaves the size of a squirrel's ears... Do any of you know what we are supposed to plant at that time? My Gramma always had advice for life and one was to watch for leaves this size in order to do something or another!!!


Mother Earth News says this:

“When apple blossoms start to fall…,”  “When lilacs are in full bloom…,” “When oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear…” Our neighbors and The Old Farmer’s Almanac are full of advice about when to plant corn, beans, squash, and other crops. It may seem like old wives tales but there is a growing body of evidence showing that growing degree days and phenology (the study of natural plant cycles) are valuable planning tools for gardeners in these times of climate change and unpredictable weather.

Go Gramma! You rock, Sweetie!











Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Faeries and Spinner

Yes. The sweet faeries have come out to play on our mantel. Here in the sunset they are thinking about the extravagant fairie dance they will give at midnight on the full moon... I hope to be invited because anyone know that faeries know how to throw a great party.
~~~~~~~
I tried a new recipe today for honey-garlic chicken and vegetables. I baked six chicken breasts, carrots, and both sweet and Irish potatoes in a sauce (1 c. Honey, 1/2 c. Soy sauce, 1 1/2 T. Minced garlic, pinch crushed red pepper flakes, and pinch of thyme.) It was a hit.
~~~~~~~
And for the first time in 2016, we played a little Spinner with Mama... I was her co-partner, we played an abbreviated game, and we lost, but it seemed fun.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Kindness

Whimsy and Hugs!

Imagine waking up and going about the morning as usual...  making a few messes and getting things organized for the day. Then imagine looking out the window to see your dear friend, her daughter, and the wee cute little granddaughter with their gardening tools, snipping the hedges, raking the leaves from under them, and painting the furniture outside! Wow! I was so grateful. What kindness does is simply melt the heart. My friend reminded me and my mother that my dad had once loaned her our little patio wrought iron pieces for her wedding and that Daddy had, of course, spiffed and painted them up for that occasion. I had a friend once who claimed rigorously, "It all comes back." Well, I'm here to tell you that any kindness we have given has come back in triplicate!



Just earlier last week my yard was blessed with other cleaning, the limbs and even a tree hauled to the back of the farm. My sister/cousin and her hubby.... We have even had the first yard-mowing, rather early for Missouri, but oh, how pretty it all looks. A little gal who helps me, a friend of my son's, came this week with her daughter, and they went on a hunt for Easter and St. Patrick's Day items in my house. We packed them all away and brought out the faeries! You should see my mantel! I'll take a photo soon, and then you will, I reckon! Her little girl was so sweet, and Mama thinks they are both adorable. She loves the way they are quiet and quick about the house, kind at heart.



Is there anything brighter than a bunch of fruit in water in a crystal clear pitcher? I would love to have that on my table at every meal.



Nope. Those brown things are not weird beer bottles with squirters.  How odd that I would think they look like that since I've never heard of such a thing. Indeed they are METHOD cleaner Wood for Good Almond scent. Deeeliciolus....  I love to share cleaning items with my friends. I hope they think of me as they bless their houses with the product...  and I know I think of all the love and help everyone has given me these past two months. Yes! We are coming up on the two month anniversary of being home from the hospital.


Here is a sneak peek at a new set of dishes. (I know I should join a five step program for dish buyers.) These are called simply "Summer." and I love the little sea shells and water clams scattered on the turquoise/teal china. I guess the main hobby I have is setting my table to entertain or thank the dear friends who enter here and visit, calming me, loving us, and bringing joy and goodness into our lives. I know my mother appreciates it, and I certainly don't know how to express how much it means to get a text that says, "Want company tonight?" or to simply look out my door and find a smiling face on the other side. Angels, they are...  angels watching over me, My Lord...


I have been setting out S'mores fixings with the idea that people will build a little treat as their desert. Well...  So far, I seem to be the only one who has taken myself up on the offer. Don't mind if I do! A few seconds in Mr. Microwave and it's Kumbaya and campfire time for moi!  I think it's such a cute idea, actually...  haha..  

Have a lovely weekend. I'll try to pop in with photos of my faieries and other goodness that is cropping up all around us. Time tomorrow to begin another Traveler's notebook with my new month's goals and ideas. I can't believe how much I've enjoyed that hobby...  Four months are tucked away in a drawer in a ribbon to remind me some future day about 2016,  the year that brought the lessons, the gifts, the changes, and the kindness. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Saturday

Had a wonderful day today. I decided to make a cake from the cookbook I gave Mama for Christmas, Nancy Fuller's Farmhouse Rules. I love her comments as much as the recipes. Mom has really loved her for years, but with me she has been an acquired taste. It is always fun to watch her show on Food Network though.



I decided to do a 9 x 13 instead of layers. Huge walnuts, huh? It was very "cinnamony," and I even slighted that spice a little in the batter. My very favorite carrot cake is one I found on the blog that belonged to a very old man, Grandpa Sam, I think. I believe I'll go back to it next time. I usually make a carrot cake in the Spring once and maybe in the Fall. This one has chunks of pineapple I cut from rings, so it has nice moist bits of goodness. I've already been in it, of course. I mean, ya have to sample the wares before serving, right?

Today I gathered all the little nearly burnt candles and decided to create a little garden of light, soot, and fragrance... I am in a clearing mood because I had company yesterday, and my house suddenly looked so cluttered and disharmonic. I was rather the same in my conversation, batting around from one subject to the next. I think she was a little concerned about my mind. Sometimes I get like that, and it often is helped by ordering my space a little. I'll be happy to put away the Easter decorations. My mother told me the other day that I "peaked too soon" on Easter. I do that, too...  I'm already planning a Fourth of July motif in my mind. Calm, lady...  Just be.



I have been watching this old pitcher from my grandmother's collection stored atop the china cabinet. Today was the day to slip it down and shine it up. The gold stripes are just a bit worse for the years of entertaining done by my dad's mother. I love the shape of the front of the pitcher, and believe me, the little spout doesn't dribble anywhere except in those tiny little glasses....  I have seven glasses, which lets me know somebody broke number 8.



I didn't get my Pinterest project done because I forgot to get my Doublestuff Oreos.  Lol.. I saw the cutest little peep birds made with those. I have one last change to do them because I'm planning to have guests during the week next week... Or I could make those delicious cookies with Ritz and peanut butter dipped in the candy coating. Hmmmmm...  If I do, a photo will magically appear on this blog post!



This makes me think two things. 1. I hope that's true because I don't consider myself physically beautiful at all. And 2. I hope I do have a beautiful heart. I come closer to that than the other, for sure! haha...  Except at times...  Ah, well..  I'm doing the cluttered mind thing again. Time to set the table for my son and my dear friend who are both expecting Easter dinner tomorrow.

Hugs and Happy Easter!




Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

New Looks and Old Clothes Goodbyes...



I'm wishing everyone who reads this the very sweetest Easter imaginable. I have been planning a little menu, which is a little out of the ordinary due to the tastes and preferences at my "table," but I think it sounds delicious. I'm going with a country pot roast with fresh carrots, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and celery steamed with it, some green beans with onions and bacon, a little fresh fruit dressed with Pioneer Woman's newest recipe, and little corn muffins baked in my tiniest Temp-Tations muffinette pan. I will have Oriental Coleslaw or salad, and probably another side dish. My desert is a surprise, but I'll pop back on and show you after it is finished (unless it flops, which sometimes happens to Pinterest ideas and me).



I don't know whether it's the return of Winter or what, but this household did a ton of sleeping in the past 36 hours. I think Mom was as tired as I complained to be since she has also napped and snoozed and been in a much better spirit. I heard it was the full moon, and as I watched its golden light through my bedroom window this morning beginning to wane in the mist, I was pretty sure I recalled the power of the moon over my students and even on myself. It's a thing, believe it or not. Full moons brew a tumult of spirit, for good or for evil.


Check with me tomorrow, and you'll find a newly glitzed blonde on my locks. It's about time. I toyed with the notion I would just go gray. That really isn't possible because my hair at its roots is a shimmery white/silver.  I've been accomplishing different goals this month. I finally found some new shoes to wear indoors as I work. Hillbillie Hollie, here,  I've been going without any shoes for years...  I think my gramma used to call the look I've cultivated, "Going to seed." Oh, my...  That sounds pretty bad, but I'm clawing back up once again.




Did you hear the wailing and crying from my house today? I put to their rest two of my very favorite skirts and retired a nightgown to wear only when I dye my hair. Now, I'm not one to brag, but I think I got my money's worth from the brown and black numbers who now lie crumpled in the bottom of the kitchen trash. I have been known to use packing tape on the backs of these skirts to pull together larger holes, and I have caught the hem in the wheels of my office chair so many times that I finally had to cut off part of it. I did that last night while I had some delightful friends here as guests. I could imagine my grandmother's shocked glance if she saw me do such a corn pone trick. I noted on QVC that Halston was having uneven hemlines, but... I'm not sure mine pulled off that look quite as well. Almost, though, I think.


I will mourn them, of course, as I have my dear old shoes that lasted far beyond their prime and the sweater of many colors I had to burn to keep from wearing. Why do I never find a favorite skirt, shoe, sweater again? Pretty soon the goddesses of high fashion are going to ask me to pitch my favorite tee shirts, two little White Stag numbers that are easily twelve years old (and don't they look it?) I don't have many middle aged clothes...  only newer things and the old ones. The key is the softness factor against my skin. Whisper to me, and I'll keep you around forever, I guess.


Happy Good Friday. I realize this was a pretty secular post for Holy Week. I will try to do a better one before Easter. I truly will...  Just wanted to check in while the L'Oreal and I'm worth it was settling into my hair in the "Wait 25 Minutes" phase!






Whimsy and Hugs!