Friday, April 30, 2010


My husband and I have been frequent lunch customers at a pub near our house for going on fifteen years. They've got great food, reasonable prices, and a really terrific owner and staff, and it feels good to support a business that doesn't have some monolithic corporation funding it.

For all of those years there's been a perfectly nondescript fence running along one side of the pub's little parking lot, and never once did I notice it. Until a few days ago, when I looked over and saw the flowers stretching and crowding between the weathered white slats.

You can click on any of the pictures to see them larger, but the one just above is huge. When I looked at it full-size, I was fascinated by the textures and details.

And the flowers! Before I took the pictures, and even now, looking at them from a little distance, they, too, are nondescript. In fact, I'd thought them dull. Up close, though, they are amazing, like cupped and tentacled alien stars, with small pads on the ends of their rays. I'll be heading back with my camera, I know, for pictures specifically of them.

The filtered view above is fun seen large. Click on it, too!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I was straightening the music room today, going through stacks of music books and sheet music while trying to wreak a little tidiness out of havoc, when I ran across an old email from my sis-in-law, Tammy, that I'd printed out. Oxymorons! I love oxymorons! I decided then and there the list (or most of it, anyway) would be my Word Wednesday post.

Quick definition: An oxymoron is a combination of words that are often heard that don't actually make sense when you think about it. Here are some good ones:

  • Legally drunk
  • Act naturally
  • Found missing
  • Resident alien
  • Airline food
  • Amicable divorce
  • Government organization
  • Sanitary landfill
  • Small crowd
  • Soft rock
  • Butt head
  • Military intelligence
  • "Now, then..."
  • Clearly misunderstood
  • Peace force
  • Plastic glasses
  • Pretty ugly
  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Tight slacks
I'm happy to announce that what used to be my absolute, all-time favorite no longer is. Nearly twenty years of marriage to my DH has taught me that "marital bliss" is not always an oxymoron!

PS See the photo on the piano--bearded guy with long-necked mandolin (bouzouki), and mop-topped young thing with flute? I'm the mop top. Doesn't seem that long ago, at all.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I got this from Christine, of EyePopArt, the other day:

Isn't it wonderful? Christine creates these mandala spinners (and lots of other fabulous things, too!) from old vinyl records. The mechanism is very smooth, and it takes almost no breeze o get them going, but we had quite a blustery day today. I looked out the kitchen window, and mine was spinning like crazy.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Having the whirligig and seeing it out in the yard has made me think more often of whirligigs and pinwheels, which are pretty nifty anyway, so I went to Etsy to see what I could find.

Daisy Wheel Paper-pieced Quilt Block, by BCheri

Hope these pretties brighten your day as much as they did mine!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


This month's featured Etsy blogger is Pamela Baker, who goes by the name Magdalene Jewels on her blog and one etsy shop. Her other etsy shop is Magdalene Knits. Can you tell she's multi-talented?

I want to show you just a few of her shop items, but let me tell you, choosing which ones was not easy!

I love Magdalene's eye for color and proportion. If I had money, my jewelry box would be full of her jewelry!

Isn't this coat for a baby girl adorable? I especially like the length of it. It adds an unusual, and fashionable, touch for a little one.

And this. Of course, I've fallen in love with scarflets, or neck warmers, anyway, but this one looks especially luscious, doesn't it?

That's the banner for Pamela's blog. I have to tell you, her banners and avatar make me smile every single time I see them. There's just something about them that does that to me!

Pay Magdalene a visit if you get a chance. I think you will not regret it!

Friday, April 23, 2010


I spotted this fence in Dundee, on the way home from my daughter's house. The short white pickets, tulips, and even dandelions, charmed me.

I have had a singular joy today: Nowhere to go, no errands to run, a full day to do nothing but what I needed and wanted to do here at home. And tomorrow I get another one! I am thrilled beyond telling. Is that odd?

Clicking on those photos will let you see them larger; I especially recommend it on that last one, where I played with the Photoshop filters a bit.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It's Blog Carnival time, and we have two choices--to relate a special birthday, or to tell our own birthday and zodiac sign. Not an easy choice; in fact, it's so hard to decide between them that I'm going to do both!

One very memorable birthday was my husband's 65th. We decided to have a party at our home, and that it would be dinner, ice cream, and cake.

The birthday boy said he didn't like the idea of a pot luck, that it seemed somehow wrong to invite people to dinner and then make them bring their own. I didn't have a problem with that. I'd cooked for twenty-five or thirty before, and figured I'd invite a hundred guests, good friends and relatives, and probably about half would be able to make it, if not fewer.

I sent out the invitations, which I'd designed and made:

The RSVPs started coming in. When the Yes responses topped fifty, I began to have second thoughts, but if you've told the first fifty people it isn't potluck, you can't very well tell anyone else that it is.

In the end, we had ninety-five guests. Ninety-five! I cooked and prepared for three days--fruit and vegetable platters, a lovely bouquet of scallions standing head-down in a vase with blooming chives standing amongst the stems, baked tofu in spiced peanut sauce, tossed salads, a taco bar, cake (which was store-bought!), and ice cream. There was more, and I'm sure I've got the menu written down somewhere. The important thing was there was plenty for everyone. In fact, we had left-overs for well over a week!

The children ran and played, people ate and talked, and dinner was followed by song after song led by the guests, with everyone who could joining in on the chorus. Several groups of children performed for us all. There was so much laughter, love, and fun. It stands as one of the sweetest evenings of my life, and of Bob's too, I think.

PS The photo on the front of the invitation is of Bob, aged 2. The one on the back is him, too, over six decades later.

Now for the other blog carnival choice, to give our birthday and zodiac sign. I was born on January 14th, which makes me a Capricorn. I pretty much fit the profile for a Capricorn, except that I'm rather more unconventional and flamboyant than most Caps tend to be. Maybe that's the Chinese Year of the Rat at work, huh?

I decided to see what Etsy had to offer in the way of goats (Capricorn) and rats. Here are a few of the things I found:

Now I ask you. Who knew rats and goats could be so fun, beautiful, and/or unusual?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


There is serenity at my kitchen sink

As water runs clear over the dishes in my hands,

Clear as the window I’m gazing through.

My eyes are slaking their thirst with the delight of new flowers.

Red-leafed maple, pink-flowering dogwood,

A swath of pale pink clematis, bluebells,

The white and rose cloud of the crabapple tree.

At the center of it all, nestled around a big terra cotta pot,

Is a glory of pansies, purple, white, and gold, orange and maroon.

They bloomed through the winter,

Lifting their faces to pale sun and dark clouds,

Shining with hope when ice pummeled them,

Shrugging the snow from green shoulders,

More than surviving.

I know a woman like that,

And through her, with her, I myself learn to live.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I went sleeveless today,
Risking sunburn and freckles.
I went sleeveless today--
I'll trade pale skin for speckles.
I went sleeveless today,
Kneeling down in the garden.
I went sleeveless today,
Where the robins were flirtin'.
I went sleeveless today,
Felt warm sun on my skin,
Heard a daffodil laugh,
Stopped to listen and grin,
And I know that tomorrow it will probably rain,
But today I went sleeveless--
It's Springtime again!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Spent another couple of days at Mom's, and have taken pictures of the rooms that are ready. Not much more to do--maybe one more of arranging things on tables, and then a day of pricing everything. And then the sale itself! I know I've gone on and on about this, so I'll just let these pictures tell the story. (Remember: We still have probably a whole day of setting things out to go!)

If you click on the pictures, you'll see them larger, just in case you want to go shopping! I'm serious--if you see something you think you'd like, email me, or leave a comment, and I'll get back to you with the price. (Note: Payment options: cash, checks, credit cards, and PayPal. If it has to be mailed, there'll be a shipping charge.)

I realized as I was doing the photos and loading them up that I was doing this partly so people would understand why this has taken so much of my time, and Mom's, and Aunt Charlotte's, too. I mean, I've done garage sales before, no big whoopie, but this one....

But then Mom and Dad lived there over twenty years, it's a big house, and for years they ran it as a bed & breakfast. Add to that Mom's collecting bent and uber talent for bargains, and you get a whole, great, lot of stuff.

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