Sunday, February 27, 2011

65 Blessings

I'm a 'Card-Carrying Old Person now! I have my medicare card because I turned 65 today,
and I'm very happy, which is a blessing!
Below and in the middle you can see a Shrike with its head turned sideways. He is checking me out as I watch him tear apart a mouse.
How many times have you witnessed that kind of drama!? My Dear Husband greeted me this morning with these lovely Primroses, my favorite chocolate bar, and a gift certificate to The Crema. He finally gets it!
Keep it simple, surprise me, and give me flowers, chocolate, and good coffee.
After church, Lovella had made my requested dinner: Fried chicken, cole slaw, baked beans, and Italian Cream Cake. It was all very yummy!
You can see my Dear Husband supervising the cutting.

Evan and Alina sang and danced for me.

Coffee with Lovella's gift of chocolate chip cookies began the day...with the Shrike and Jay's gifts, At church there was a surprise gift of cake and a computer carry-all, a bundle of pussywillows and cards with a PINT of Blackcap jelly, and many well-wishers, and a lunch date with all who can make it to our best eatery in town, a call from Kelly in Afghanistan, friends from my old township, my daughter, sisters and brother, and many greetings on FB. What a day!
There were at least 65 blessings in this day, and I am thankful to God for the good health I continue to enjoy, the Joy He gives me each day, and my family and friends.
Thank you all!

Friday, February 25, 2011

PhD in Snow!

Every day we get more snow; it gets piled high and deeper (PhD).
We were able to 'get out' the other day to visit the library and The Crema. Here you see Alina and Evan reading up a storm. They hardly took time to eat their cookies! They are avid readers...just like their mother! We enjoyed a Peppermint Mocha and a visit before the next onslaught of snow. Every day it snows more, from sand-like flakes to spectacularly large ones. It warms up a little in the afternoon with blue skies and sun peaking through to melt a layer, and then the sky closes up again and begins to fall on us. The icicles are dangerously long and heavy outside my classroom studio.

The little boys, William and Wyatt love to build paths for me. This one winds out to the garden for me to dump the compost. This morning it was covered over again. We have about 18 inches in places, more where it has drifted.

The Piece de Resistance (said with a French accent!) is this little primrose I uncovered this morning. Last month I'd gone out to take pictures of the blooms on all the Primroses, and then it snowed. Since then it has snowed all month long almost every day. I needed a pick-me-up and donned all my snow gear to wade into the drifts to push away the snow in order to inspect the bed. I was difinately rewarded with the promise of spring.

Fortunately our snow is feathery light, so piles of it aren't breaking anything, like this bird watering station.

PhD in Snow?
Piled higher and deeper!

Friday, February 18, 2011

"New Kitchen" Tour, C'mon Over!

C'mon in! Feast your eyes on new color, a few new decorations, and old stuff I can now display. My kitchen is really two rooms with the sink, dishwasher and microwave in the entry room, and the stove, refrigerator, and counters in the other room. It is 10 steps from sink to refrigerator, so it is not a particularly convenient kitchen.
There is nothing I can do about that, but I can color it pleasingly!
You can see as you enter the kitchen that straight ahead is the new Strands of Gold wall on which is now displayed some precious plates of Jay's mother. My new blue casserole dish and porcelain 'tea' spoons from Russia, a gift to me from Jay's sister, are displayed on the new shelf.
Upon entering, and just to the left is my new Apron Holder, a la Mary Jane Butters. The old silver spoons, bent backwards, and screwed into the wood is something I drew out for Jay to make for me for Valentine's Day.

The screws Jay used to attach the spoons were some his father had collected. I wish you could see the beautiful, flowery handles. Well, you'll just have to come for a visit, won't you? At the sales room in Moscow where Mary Jane Butters sells her linens and such, she displays aprons like this.
A close-up, below, shows the knicky-knacky stuff beside the new mirror.

In the first picture you can see reflected in the mirror, this old tin advertisement for apples, the old shelf unit that Jay's Uncle Buck made YEARS ago, and my new apple-green casserole dish.

I chose the tin pieces for their perfect color matches to the paint I'd chosen (Dried Tomato).
I love the presentation below; in fact, I could almost climb in the picture!

One more tin advertisement for Cadbury's Cocoa rests above the doorway to the dining/living room. The red is perfect too, and, as you can see, we have very high, white walls and ceilings. So, this fills it in a bit.

Hildi gave us the cross-stitch for a wedding gift, and now it is beautifully displayed is one of the 'Salad Sisters' dish towels hanging on a drawer pull.

Looking back into the kitchen you can see that above the stove remains a blank palette; I'm working on it. I have one more tin piece, and I'll need a shelf for a few things. You can see back in to the entry room where I've hung an old embroidered dresser scarf as a valence.

The valence is hung from a bamboo scarf-hanger I bought from a gallery here in town when they remodeled. That's when I got the blue and apple-green casserole dishes (for CHEAP!) too.

This doesn't show the softness and comfort I feel in my new kitchen. So, you'll need to saddle your horse and c'mon over! I'll put the kettle on so we can have tea and stir some honey in it with those new porcelain spoons.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Faux Pas and the Rug

The new addition to our family is this darling, soft cat.
Not being 'Cat People', and being pressed to acquire one, I decided, with the help of my dear sister Margy, to get a cat that would please my DH and me and those who think we should have one. Lovella came up with the name after hearing about a donkey we had years ago whose name was Donkey Otie (Don Quixote). Lovella is forever interupting our phone conversations to tell me what her cat Oliver is doing and how hilarious it is. Now, I interupt her to tell her that Faux Pas has gone catatonic, but that it is to be expected because, after all, in the cat show yesterday she went all out in her favorite event, the catapult, etc. Today I told her Faux Pas might get a big brother named Claudius Caticus, or she might get a baby sister named Catikitten.
And, of course, there is the ice-skating cousin named Caterina.
You can tell that here in the gray wilds of wind-blown, dusty, small-town G'ville, it is very slow!
My Auntie Lela made a beautiful braid rug years ago, and I ended up with it.
Because it was too big for any room in the house I moved into with Jay, I took some rounds off and gave them to my sister Barb who is so much like Auntie Lela. Then it became too large for the 'Wreck Room', so I took more rounds off and finally sent the smaller rug to my neice Mary whose new home with wood floors is perfect for it.
Now I'm ready to put some of the rounds back together as smaller rugs, but I don't know how. You see the hands of Sweet Rachel who came with her dear girls, Kate and Maggie, to teach me how to do this. Obviously these pictures are backwards in that I wanted you to see Rachel sitting on the floor sewing an end together first. Oh, well.

Her husband, Brian, made the handy lacing instrument she is using in the picture above.

And here she is on the floor in front of me while we visit as she begins the process.
I love this girl so very much for the treasure she is!
And I'm just one person in the long line who thinks the same of her!
You may notice the paint cans by the stove behind Rachel.
My next post will let you in on all the surprising changes in the kitchen...