}“ }

June 29, 2011

garden sanctuary

Do you ever look at something and realize how blessed you are to be right there at that moment?  That's exactly how I feel when I gaze out on my gardens.

They are not the largest, most well groomed, well thought out gardens by far...but the beauty of the flowers...

the colors,

the textures,

the scents,

bring me the most incredible joy and sense of awe...

They are truly my place of sanity and beauty when all else in my world is chaos.

This is the view that I have from my rockers on the front porch.  It is the place I will head to after my work is done for the day...with company or all alone.

Truly my garden sanctuary. 

Do you have such a place near by?  I hope so.

I'm joining Fishtail Cottage for Flora Thursday.

girl time

When was the last time you had the girls over for a visit?  Friday night I did just that.  Nothing fancy, just a few appetizers and a couple of bottles of supermarket wine. 

 It can be easy to lose touch during the summer with schedules a lot looser.  It was so nice to just sit and chat without time constraints and busy agendas. 

I don’t know about you but I really need my girl time and always have.  It’s funny how the subjects have changed over the years, from newly married young women exchanging recipes and trying to figure out how a man thinks…to young moms trying to tame unruly toddlers and then headstrong teens… and now somewhere between grandbabies and decorating we ended up on the subject of aches and pains and sleeping schedules (ours not the babies)!

 If you haven’t met with your girls in a long time, send a quick text, email or pick up the phone and give them a ring a-ling-ling.  Don’t worry about how your house looks or what you’ll wear…

It doesn’t matter what you pour or what you serve…

Just the fact that you took the time to invite them into your home for a little bit of conversation and encouragement is more than enough to offer.

June 27, 2011

penny candy

Happy Monday.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  My hubby was kind enough to take me to Home Depot to purchase the last of the faux wood blinds for Lemon Lane Cottage.  His only stipulation was that they be hung the same day.  I have a tendency to buy them and then let them sit for days weeks on end. 

Hanging blinds is my absolute least favorite job.  I know I could wait for him to do it but we don't work well together on projects and my supervising self can't seem to stay under wraps.  So I usually will get a project started until I am physically not strong enough to finish and then call in the troops to finish up.

But there up, now I can mark a big check off in that to do box.

What does all that have to do with penny candy?  Nothing, at all.  I just wanted a little recognition for finishing that dreaded task and I didn't really receive it here at home (whine, whine).

In between the blinds I did manage to arrange some mismatched candy jars into penny candy central.

Doesn't it all look yummy.

Both my husband and I remember going to our grandparent's homes and having them pull out hard candies for our visits.  I would have loved it all displayed like an old fashioned penny candy store just like this.  We have a really neat candy store in our downtown village and I can see a visit in the near future for gummy bears and pixie stix.

Hope this week holds many sweet things for you.

June 26, 2011

simply spectacular

I was out and about in the garden today and spotted this beautiful sweet pea blooming...


Someone forgot to tell this beauty that her time to shine was in March and yet here she is in all her delicate glory. 

I tossed the seeds in this pot much later than I should have, thinking if they sprout and bloom fine but if not, then there's is always next year.

And her pot partner, Mr. Calla Lilly?  I forgot he was in there, too.  I will usually splurge on one or two beautiful color lillies in the spring and put them in a pot for a season.  For some reason they never return for me like they're supposed to.

 His time to shine was last year and yet here he is, too.

It's almost like they planned it. 
I just love an "I'll show you attitude", don't you?

Each is glorious in their own right but together...they are simply spectacular.

I'm finding the same is true of blogging.  I never thought I would find such a wonderful creative outlet at this stage of my life but here I am.  Learning new things, stretching my boundaries and discovering like minded souls to inspire me and cheer me on. 

Kindred spirits, sharing their love of beautiful things.  Alone they are quite lovely, but shared...they are simply spectacular.

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.  You make sharing a joy!

June 24, 2011

stacks of dishes

I’ve been going through closets, cleaning and purging again and have come across the prettiest dishes that I’ve accumulated over the years.

When I was first married I read and re-read a lovely book by Emilie Barnes about organizing your home.  It had the best system for labeling boxes and color coding index cards so that, when needed, you just cross referenced this with that and voila…poof…you just pulled out what you were looking for.

Well, 28 years of marriage, two children and four moves later, my house is filled with unlabeled boxes of who knows what and cupboards filled with unorganized pretties.

You know what I’ve discovered?  Once my things are out of sight, I forget about them.  I’m just not organized enough to know where things are if I don’t see them everyday. 

For some tormented reason, I’ve decided to finally deal with those boxes and messy cupboards( that I would be embarrassed if any one of you lovely ladies happened to open).  It’s time to pair down to what I truly love and will use.

I’m sure my pretty dishes feel a little like the forgotten toys in Toy Story 3, just waiting to be either played with or given away to someone who will love them.

So while I continue to sort and purge, my house has become a bit cluttered with stacks of pretty dishes.  How do I decide which toys go to college with me, which toys go up in the attic, which are given to family and friends and which are off to daycare?

The sorting continues…

June 22, 2011

early summer afternoons

The mornings and evenings are still cool and crisp here in Southern California even though the afternoon temps have begun their steady climb toward triple digits.

I just love early summer afternoons when the breeze kicks up enough to make you smile a sweet thank you for nature’s breath of fresh air.

I remember my mother in law (pre-air conditioner days) turning the sprinklers on in the backyard to cool the house in the afternoon.  She knew the breeze would soon be blowing and she’d quickly open the windows to refresh the warm house each evening. 

While the house cooled down, we would sit outside on lawn chairs in the grass under the shade of the large maple tree.  We’d drink ice tea and just visit, talking about nothing and everything at the same time, brushing ants off our legs and swiping at mosquitoes as they buzzed around our heads. 

Life would slow down for a short while and you could just be present…

in. that. moment. 

Such a sweet memory, one that’s definitely worth passing on to the next generation.
It’s time to slow down, ladies.  Don’t you agree?

I'm joining Fishtail Cottage for Flora Thursday.

June 21, 2011

gathered for display

I love checking things off my to do list and this weekend I managed to finish one project and make good headway on another.

My open shelving is finally up in the kitchen.  I really wanted to take the doors off a couple of cupboards and just have the cabinets exposed to display my everyday dishes but my husband put his foot down on that one.  (Don't you hate when they do that?)

So I decided a couple of open shelves would be a good compromise.  The pretty scrolled brackets are from Home Depot as is the pine shelf.  I still need to trim the shelf edge out but overall, I just love the look.

Most of the pretty pyrex on the top shelf was given to me and now I have the perfect place to display it and any future pyrex finds.  The sweet little cuppa canvases up top were in the dollar bin at Michaels.

The tray was a treasure I found quite a few years back in Old town Temecula and the vintage scale is my latest find at our new Goodwill in town.  It was on the rolling cart to be placed on the shelf when I promptly snatched it up.  I found the teal gravy boat that same day. It's not pyrex but it looks pretty along side it.

I love having my pretties all gathered together, front and center where I can enjoy them all the time.

June 19, 2011

daisy love

He loves me,  he loves me not…

Is there anything sweeter than innocent summertime love?

Do you remember your first summer crush? 

For me, his name was Francis and he was my older brother’s best friend.  I chased after him at the ball park all summer long.  Looking back, I’m sure I was never more than
"the kid sister" but my heart thought otherwise…Oh, the heartache of it all!

Remember, if the daisy petals end wrong…pick another daisy!

Hope your week is filled with moments of sweet, daisy love.

I'm joining these lovely ladies...

House in the roses for Show off Your Cottage Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphis Monday

thanks dad

When I was born, Father's stayed in the waiting room until babies were born, cleaned up, and presentable.  Dads had a specific "man" role that did not involve changing diapers and midnight feedings.

The first girl born after three boys, I'm sure my dad was hoping for his little princess.  When it was clear I preferred cowboys and indians to dolls and tea parties he didn't skip a beat.  I always knew he was in my corner...he encouraged me to become anything I wanted...to never give up because I was special.

For that, and so much more, I say, "Thank you dad...I love you more than words can say."

Happy Father's Day!

June 15, 2011

hello summer

It seems summer has finally decided to make an appearance here in Southern California. We’ve been experiencing cooler than normal temperatures all spring but we’ve managed to hit the 80 degree mark the last couple of days.

I noticed the nasturiums smiling faces on the way out to the vegetable garden this morning.

 The tomatoes have a little hint of orange to them and the pumpkin and cucumber vines have decided to make their slow crawl to flowering and hopefully, a bounty of vegetables.

Can you see my tiny little bell peppers? These and the ripening tomatoes where purchased from my local nursery. 

The pepper and tomato plants I started from seeds in early spring where just put into the vegetable patch out back last weekend. They are way behind schedule, the cooler temps have everything in a state of confusion.

Hopefully by next week I’ll have some pretty flowering pictures of my seeded larkspur, zinnia and cosmos. I can’t promise anything because the sun has been very persnickety this year and it just might decide to hide out a while longer. How’s the weather where you are?

I'm linking to the following fun parties...

June 14, 2011

a writing desk

I’ve been inspired by so many beautiful blogs to create my own special place to correspond with others. 

I cleaned off the desk in my craft room and started gathering pretty things from around the house. 

A lovely blue letter holder and a misfit piece of stemware...

Add to that a chippy bird candle holder, a dollar tree rose painted jar, a piece of aqua pyrex and a magnetic dry erase board...

Now, whether it’s a handwritten note, a handmade card or even a quick email, taking the time to sit and string kind words together is such an enjoyable experience. 

What about you, do you have a little space to call your own?

It is so easy to be an encourager when you’re surrounded by such pretty things.  

Don’t you agree?