Sunday, April 26, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 26, 2015

Let's dive right in, shall we?

{Pretty} and {Happy}

Jo-Ann had this darling vintage-inspired fabric on the clearance tables, so I bought all they had, three yards' worth minus an inch (!).  I used some of it to make a miniature pillowcase for a pillow for our bed.

Cute, isn't it?  The rest will be judicially doled out to worthy projects.  I'm thinking maybe another baby bonnet for starters.

Here is the pillow gracing our bed.


There are bluebirds living in our woods!  I love seeing the flash of blue as they flit around.  I hope they stay and have lots of babies!

They are elusive and hard to photograph!


This is a pretty little spot, excellent for reading in good weather.  Hannah has been putting it to the most use as she reads or writes and soaks up some sun.  She's camera-shy these days, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  The sculpture/plant stand was sculpted by Dave's grandfather.


We planted summer bulbs/roots~ glads, freesias, dahlias, and day lilies~ this afternoon and also some zinnia seeds.  Dave's parents used this place to grow vegetables, but since we have put in a bigger vegetable garden, it is being used for flowers now, which in my book are every bit as important as veggies.  There is still quite a bit of space toward the front.  I think I will plant annuals there this year. Eventually, I want it all to be perennials, but I need to think about it some more before committing to specific plants and a specific layout.

The red stuff is chili powder.  It keeps the squirrels from digging everything up!

Some of the spinach is big enough to eat now.  We also have planted carrots, but they are far from ready, of course.


The soaker hoses clue you in to how much (or little, as the case may be) of the garden we have planted so far.  It's still a little early for tomatoes, beans, etc., but you can see we have a long way to go and a lot of ground to cover!


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Sunday, April 19, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 19, 2015

I'm once again joining Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr}.


Spring has thoroughly and completely sprung around here, so the scenery looks like this:

Sorry for the reflection, but I was taking this from the truck window.  We drive through some pretty nice country on our way to my mother-in-law's about twenty minutes south of town.  It was a perfect day.

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, this is the scenery currently:

This area lies between the house and the pond.  I am loving the wildflowers, which I think are a kind of phlox.  Such a gorgeous color!


Lizzie and family gave Dave, Hannah, and me each a brightly colored mug for Christmas 2013, and I was sad when the handle fell off this one.  It literally just came off in my hand with no bumping or whacking when I was washing it one day.  I knew I could glue the handle back on, but I worried about using it to drink actual liquids, especially hot ones, in case the handle didn't hold.  So I bought this succulent at the nursery this past week and stuck it in the mug along with a little dirt.  I'm happy to have found a use for it at last.


Parts of that picturesque scenery from the pond are not so picturesque.  There are trees that we cut down a few weeks ago littering the landscape.  They will eventually be cut into logs for the fireplace, but in the meantime, here they lie.


Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 12, 2015

Happy Second Sunday of Easter!  Here's to celebrating the Easter season~ all 50 days of it! :)  I have lots to share this week due to my missing last week entirely and the trip we took to West Virginia to visit my daughter and her family. 


Here are two of the prettiest things I've seen in a long time.  Verity, 7 months, is a replica of her mother.  Those blue eyes! *sigh*

 Arane, who will be three in two months (!), looks so sweet and grown-up with her newly bobbed hair.
The smudge on her forehead is from our game of "no-boys baseball."  The term comes from
Best Friends for Frances, and I don't think Arane really understands what
"baseball" or "no boys" means, but we were playing it, whatever it is.  And we had fun. :)


I can't let a {phfr} post go by at this time of year without showing what's blooming around here.  All in all, it's been a warm spring so far.  The yard and woods are surprising us by blooming in places we had no idea would bloom.  Since we moved here last summer, we didn't know what spring would look like, but it's been fun to watch.

These shouldn't have been a surprise because, well, I planted them last fall, but I forgot about them and so was surprised anyway! lol  They are on the edge of the woods and can only be seen through the windows in the back of the house, but I think it's especially nice to have flowers framed by windows and that were put there expressly for the edification of anyone who cares to look out a window. . . if that makes sense, which I'm afraid it doesn't, but hopefully you get my drift. :)

These are sweet miniature daffodils.

Redbud.  We have some wild and some cultivated, but no matter how much there is, it's never enough to suit me.


(I neglected to take any pictures of the forsythia, but we were delighted to find that in the yard too.)

I don't know that I can say the moss is blooming exactly, but whatever it is doing, it's lovely.


Arane and Verity's mommy and daddy, in the interest of producing non-picky eaters, encourage their daughters to eat all kinds of foods.  This sometimes results in funny faces from Verity, who is relatively inexperienced in the food department.  


My Good Friday hot cross buns minus the raisins because I didn't think ahead.  They were good anyway. :)

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ March 29, 2015

Joining the fun at Like Mother, Like Daughter . . .  I'm a little short on pictures this week, but I've scrounged enough to give it a go.


We often find animal tracks in the yard and by the pond, but we don't often see these shy critters, especially in the daytime:


I have an internet friend who shares many of my interests.  We've "known" each other for over a decade but had never met in person until three summers ago, and then I had the fun of hosting her for a night's stay two summers ago.  I was delighted one day last week to open the mailbox to find a package from her!  Here's what was inside:

She says in her card that her mother made two of these sweet tea cozies, one for herself and one for her daughter (my friend).  When her mother passed away, my friend inherited her mother's too and she decided to send it to me.  She knows I'm a tea drinker. :)  The little soaps are the result of a conversation we had once about soap dishes.  Yes, soap dishes! lol  I have a very pretty blue transferware soap dish that I hate to put big bars of soap in because then the pattern is covered up.  My friend has the same problem with her pretty soap dish and which she solves by using little bars of soap.  So sensible.  So she sent these along to me.  Wasn't that thoughtful?  And is there anything happier than receiving a package unexpectedly in the mail?


The critters who live on this land and in the pond are a never-ending source of amusement for us.  The turtles have been enjoying sunning themselves on the logs in our pond, and we find it intriguing and entertaining how they line themselves up all facing in the same direction, like a rank of soldiers, with their heads stretched upward.  There will be three dozen of them out there on any given day, all lined up like this.  I wonder how they manage to get themselves organized . . .

Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ March 19, 2015

Well, look at this!  I'm posting {phfr} on the actual day, which proves the age of miracles is not over.

{Pretty} and {Happy}

I'm lumping these two categories together, as I so often do.  Truth be told, most weeks it's completely arbitrary what I designate for each category.  The two are usually inextricably connected in my mind.

Remember the bonnet I'm making for my baby granddaughter?  Here's the completed project in all its glory.

I used this easy-to-follow pattern from Purl Bee.  I am a self-taught seamstress with a lot to learn still, and every time I begin a project, I'm sure it's going to be a complete and utter failure.  Then, mid-project, I suddenly feel that it's all going to work out after all.  And lo and behold! A baby bonnet appears!  It was so easy I think I will try another one.


 This was Monday:

So I spent some time outside planting pansies.  I'm always so happy when pansy weather comes. They are such cheerful little flowers with their faces lifted to the sun, declaring that winter is past at long last.


We had a dump truck load of garden soil delivered to our raised bed this week.  It's going to be mixed with the truckloads of manure Dave hauled over the summer.  We have a compost pile, but it would take an awful lot of compost to fill our (new) raised bed.  Hence the soil.  Now if we can keep the deer and other critters out, we may just have a harvest this summer!

This guy is an artist with a Bobcat!

I had feared this lamp was gone forever.  Lizzie and family (see sidebar) gave it to me for Christmas, which was perfect because I have a. . . ahem . . . rather large collection of blue and white transferware.  But it never turned up upon our arrival home.  Well, this past week we were straightening up some of the darker recesses of Hannah's room ('nuff said about that) and there it was mixed up in a bag or yarn!  What, you don't keep your lamps with your yarn?  No?  Well, we usually don't either, but this bag of yarn was something she had been given for Christmas, so it does make some sense, you see?  Anyway, I was thrilled to find it!  Now I just have to find the right shade . . .


Last weekend was more than acceptable weather-wise for March, so this guy burned some brush while reading theology. I think he may have been smoking his pipe as well.  I could tell he was really enjoying himself.


Mr. and Mrs. Goose seem to have moved into our neighborhood on a semi-permanent basis.  We think they are scouting around for the perfect place to set up housekeeping and start a family.  We've been feeding them cracked corn, which seems to have bolstered their courage because they've been wandering all over the yard.  Today, they took a fancy to the garden especially.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ March 8, 2015

Squeaking in under the wire with just about an hour before {phfr} closes for the week at Like Mother, Like Daughter!


Doesn't this melt your heart?  Look at that fuzzy head, those bright eyes, those rosy cheeks, and that adorable toothless grin!  This is my six-month-old granddaughter, Verity, who is the spittin' image of her mother at this age.  And I haven't seen her (or her equally adorable sister) since Christmas.  Boo!  Lord willing, that will be remedied at Easter.

Photo taken by Lizzie


My mother turns 85 today, and we celebrated with a party yesterday.  Let's see, there were her four daughters, two sons-in-law, five of her grandchildren along with four spouses, three great-grandchildren, a nephew and his wife, two great-nephews plus one wife and one significant other. And a partridge in a pear tree.  It was just the kind of celebration she likes.  For so many decades my mother has been the memory-maker for the extended family, and her service to us all has earned her much love and respect.


The geese seem to have forgiven us for the frozen pond last week.  They returned to a fair bit of open water two days ago.  Sections of the pond were still covered with a thin layer of slushy ice, but that didn't stop this goose, you broke through like an ice-breaker.  See the path he left in his wake?

And speaking of the pond, we saw the turtles sunning themselves today for the first time this spring!


This little guy ran into our window and sat dazed on the ledge for about ten minutes.  He eventually flew away, though, so I guess he was all right!

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ March 1, 2015

All Too {Real}

First, let's start with the snow that came down yesterday and overnight and into this morning.  Normally, I like snow and enjoy winter, but once the calendar turns to March, I want it over presto.  No more snow and I want temperatures at least in the 50's for the highs.  It's an unreasonable expectation, I know, but there it is.  Happily, this snow is not going to last long and we will be getting temps in the 50's by Tuesday.  (I know I shouldn't be complaining at all when we've gotten off pretty easily this year, especially compared to the Northeast!)

This is about an hour after the snow started.

And this is the view from our screened-in porch.  It reminds us of stepping through Lucy's wardrobe. We joke that we ought to put a lamppost back there.


I teach music classes for The Potter's School.  I almost always manage to get my schoolwork done on weekdays so weekends are free, but circumstances conspired against me this week, and I was doing class prep on Saturday.  Alas and alack!

Once again, shame on me for complaining.  I love teaching for TPS, and I feel like I'm doing my part to transmit the treasures of Western civilization to the next generation.  I am acutely aware of the blessings of working for TPS and all that it entails, and I am thankful they keep me on year after year!


Or perhaps {mildly amusing} is a better description.

The pond has been frozen over on and off all winter.  When it's frozen, the geese go elsewhere, presumably to someplace warmer and with open water.  So I was surprised to see them walking through the yard today, clearly perturbed that the pond was iced over.  But they left funny little footprints in the snow.

They walked all the way up to the deck.  I'm sure they would have lodged a
formal complaint if they could have found anyone to tell.


I like to sew, though I'm not very good at it yet.  I've never taken a class.  Mostly I succeed because I can follow instructions and I know how to find things on Youtube when I am truly stumped (like the time the instructions said to "stay-stitch" something~ I had no idea).  But I like fabric and I like making pretty and useful things out of little more than a piece of cloth and some thread.  I like the process and the way the item begins to take shape.  I remember sewing a doll dress several years ago~ one of the first things I ever made~ and being so excited when it actually began to look like a dress!  It was then that I knew I could learn this.  The time I spend sewing is restorative and relaxing.  I ought to try to make time for more of it!

Right now, I'm making a baby bonnet for my six-month-old granddaughter, Verity, following these instructions.  The fabric came from the scrap bag and I already had the interfacing, so it is essentially free.  

I'm at the point of sewing the pieces together, and so far, it is coming together pretty quickly and easily.  If it turns out well, I'll probably make a couple more in different colors.  Is there anything sweeter than a baby in a bonnet?  I don't think so!


Okay, so I will reluctantly admit that the snow is pretty, even if it is March 1!


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