Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dish Washing Fun

Today was a good day for dish washing.
It was actually good for a whole lotta things, but like every day the dishes had to be washed and things just seemed to fall into place to make it a pleasurable experience.  I daresay it might even qualify as a sensory experience.  Come along and I'll show you what I'm talking about.
We'll start with a February day with temperatures in the mid 70s ... blue skies with a few puffy clouds scattered about ... fresh, gentle breezes blowing ...  sound good so far?
The sink is filled with hot, soapy water, but there's something missing.  Let's go outside and see if we can find it.

I think we need one of these ...

and a handful of these.

We'll put them right in front of the kitchen sink ... at eye level.
Pretty to look at and that hyacinth will perfume the air and bring to mind thoughts of springtime.  Drifting off to the land of springtime is sure to make the dish washing go faster, don't you think?

Once the flowers are in place, we'll need to open the window.
Those gentle breezes and birdsong will further enhance the mood we are creating.  Okay, let's see ... we can see beautiful blue skies, pretty spring flowers and little birdies at the window, we can hear birds chirping,breezes blowing, and bubbles bursting.  We can smell fresh air, spring flowers and dish washing soap.  We can feel the warm bubbly water and ...

the softness of the dishcloth and dish towel.
Now while we will enjoy the softness... I don't think we will let the dishes enjoy the softness quite yet because these are the special linens that are to look at and not use.  At least not yet.

They were both handmade by two different talented blog friends.
The beautiful dishcloth was made by Karen (aka:  HappyOne).  She had a giveaway for two dishcloths and I wasn't the winner, but at the same time all who entered were winners as she so kindly sent everyone who entered a dishcloth.  You can read about her giveaway here.  Thank you, Karen.

The beautiful dish towel was made by Vee (aka:  A Haven for Vee).  This was another giveaway with a twist.  In this case we didn't even know there was a giveaway until the winner was announced and then I thought I had won a cookie cutter in the shape of a moose (which I did, by the way), but he brought along with him this lovely dish towel that matches my kitchen perfectly, just like Karen's dishcloth.  Amazing and wonderful. 
If I have completely confused you about this giveaway, you may want to read all about it here.  I think I may have even confused myself ;-).  At any rate, one thing I'm not confused about is the kindness shown to me by two special bloggers.

Now, you may have noticed that four of the five senses were covered in our dish washing experience above ... you may be thinking "what about taste?"  Well, since I didn't think dish soap or flowers would taste too good, I think we'll give it a post all to itself and it most likely will involve a certain moose cookie cutter.  Stay tuned ... and since I fear I may be causing more confusion the more I talk, I'll just quit talking and throw in the towel.

I mean ... hang up the towel.
This concludes another spellbinding post from my Happy Home.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Garden Dreams

I'm just dreaming today...

** Photo from Salisbury, NC garden walk 2011 **

Wishing I was sitting here ...

**Salisbury, NC garden walk 2011 **
(note:  this gorgeous garden was owned and fully tended by a couple in their late 70s- early 80s - very inspiring... )

... or even here.
But since it is supposed to rain all day, I'm pulling out my gardening books, my pad of paper and pen and dreaming of ways to improve my own garden this year.  As I do this my husband is outside installing the new raised bed he constructed for our small organic vegetable garden.  The previous one fell apart.  Once the rain stops I will be planting seeds ... lettuce, carrots, radishes & peas.

I'm making a list of new plants I'd like to try, like this one which is a lacecap hydrangea called "Quick Fire".  When I attended the Salisbury, NC garden walk last spring, I asked one of the gardeners if she could only keep one plant out of all of the beautiful ones in her garden, which would it be.  "Quick Fire" was her instant reply.  She said it was beautiful in all seasons.  

We are also looking into a retractable awning for our back patio.  It gets full, blaring, scorching, drenched with humidity in the summer sun all day long.  I know that sounds like a bit of an exaggeration, but trust me ... it's not.  We've lived here 12 years now.  I'm not sure why it's taken this long to learn about retractable awnings.  Later this week we have 2 different sales reps coming to tell us all about them.  I can hardly wait to be able to sit on the patio with a glass of iced tea in the shade.  

It's still a bit early here for serious gardening, but it's a great time to dream, plan & anticipate the beauty and joy of the upcoming seasons.

What are you dreaming about?
Are you making plans for your garden, home improvements, etc?
I'd love to hear them.

Have a Happy Sunday and a Wonderful Week.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hearts @ Home

This morning I spent some time writing out cards for February birthdays and Valentine's Day.  For years I have been buying my cards at Hallmark.  I've just always thought they had the prettiest ones.  Every year for as long as I can remember I'd go there after Christmas when they marked them down and bought my cards for the next year.  When I went to do that after Christmas this past year, I noticed that every single box of cards that I picked up was "Made in China."  I put them down and left.  Right then and there I decided I wasn't sending another card unless it said ...

This is one of the small things I am doing to support American workers.  With our economy in such sad shape,  I'm a bit tired of supporting China.  In fact, all of my purchases are getting closer scrutiny.  Okay, stepping off the soapbox now ;-).

Once I got my American made Valentine's into the mailbox, I debated whether I had any interest in digging Valentine's decorations out of the attic. 

After all, they would only be out for a few days before it would be time to haul them back to the attic.

Hardly seems worth it.

Does it?

What about you?
Are there Valentine's decorations up at your house?

I'm leaning towards leaving that box up in the attic because as I was walking around pondering this big decision, it occurred to me that ...

and I think that is good enough for me this year.

 ~ Kim

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Revisiting an Old Friend

Over the weekend I became reacquainted with an old friend ... cross stitch.  There was a time in my life when I did a lot of cross stitch.  When I was newly married I worked with a girl who taught me and a few other co-workers.  We used to bring our current projects to work and work on them in the lunchroom after we ate.  Happy times as we stitched and laughed and laughed.  The girl who taught us also possessed a fierce sense of humor.
Oddly enough as I was becoming reacquainted with this old hobby of mine I received a call that the girl lady who taught me was presently undergoing a double heart bypass operation. 
As I stitched I remembered all of the fun times we had years ago as we shared this hobby ... making gifts for friends, samplers for our babies nurseries, Christmas gifts for our families, etc...
As I stitched I sent up a prayer for my friend.  She lives in Michigan and I don't see her as often as I would like, but I will forever remember her as one of the truest and most loyal friends I have ever known.
So, the weekend here was spent on my cross stitch.  I haven't done it in years partly because my eyesight just ain't what it used to be.  But, I got myself a stronger pair of readers and gave it another shot and discovered that I really like it. 
Peanut came and joined me from time to time until it was time to get up and make the chili.  Chili has been a Superbowl tradition for years at our house.