Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Keeping The Home Fires Burning

Well, it started at about 2:00 and it's still coming down.
Yesterday I was enjoying our 60 degree temperatures.
Glad I took the time to fill the birdfeeders.

As you can see the front porch is already covered with a layer of sparkling white... snow white... beauty.
This is our first (and quite possibly last) snowfall of the season.
Always a camera worthy event for us here in the south.

 When Brett got home from work we started up the fireplace and sat down to talk before dinner.
Not long after we sat down he received an S.O.S. call from a co-worker who was stranded in the snow.  Seems his little sports car didn't want to do anything but spin it's wheels, so off Brett went to help him out.
I'm keeping the home fires burning until he returns.
Sometimes the northerners poke fun at the way things seem to come to a screeching halt here when the snow begins to fly.  That's not really fair because it is mainly due to the fact that there aren't the same amount of plows and other snow removing devices here.  With so little snowfall it isn't necessary.

To my way of thinking there's nothing more appealing on a cold snowy day than a nice hot bowl of homemade soup.
Tonight it will be white bean and ham.

 A nice piece of crusty bread to go with the soup.
When I began blogging I was constantly running across posts about the famous artisan bread made in a dutch oven.  So glad I finally tried it.  It's so easy and soooo scrumptious.  It does require some advanced planning, but is well worth it.  Do you make it?
If not, I highly recommend it.

Well, now all I need is Brett and we can warm our tummies and then get back to warming up in front of the fire.  Maybe a little hot chocolate for dessert?

I know so many of you are dealing with serious cold and snow.  I hope you are all managing to keep warm and cozy.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Miles and Miles From Perfect

 I think I would post more often if I carried my camera around and snapped pictures throughout the day.
My posts seem to come about when I'm home for the day and an idea pops into my head.  In my mind are perfectly composed photos.  Out comes the camera.  Snap.. snap.. snap.
With high expectations I upload the photos only to go yuck.. delete..delete..delete.  Rarely do they look anything like what I had in mind.  
Case in point (the above photo).
Yep, there's a glare on them there windows and the weight of the freshly filled feeder is making the shepherd's hook lean to the left.  Oh well, big deal.  I've got bigger fish to fry. 

I bought this flatbread at Aldi's the other day.
I used it to make a wrap and wasn't totally thrilled with the texture.
Today I decided to try a different approach.

Sharp cheddar and some sliced chicken leftover from dinner.
Warmed in the frying pan until cheese melted and the flatbread was crisp.

At that point I added sliced tomatoes, avocado and lettuce.
A little fresh pineapple on the side and it was a healthy and tasty lunch.  The flatbread tasted so much better being a bit crispy.
That pineapple was only 99 cents at Aldi and boy is it ever sweet.
Do you ever shop at Aldi?  We've had one nearby for years but I've only been there twice.  Recently I was reading a blog talking about all of the good deals she finds there so I decided to check it out.  There did seem to be a lot of good prices.  I mostly bought produce.

 Normally when I'm home for the day, I fill up a water bottle and sip it throughout the day.
Today I felt like kicking it up a notch at lunchtime.
I bought these glasses several years ago at an antique store.
For the most part they sit behind my glass cupboard doors looking pretty.

I like the way the sunlight reflects off of the blue glass.
Not only that, but I like the way this glass fits in my hand.
The men in my family seem to think a glass is a glass.
Recently while at my son's house his girlfriend requested a glass of wine.  He brought it to her in an Oscar the Grouch mug.  I had to laugh when she quietly inquired as to whether there was a wine glass.  I guess it's more of a girl thing.

Okay, does anybody remember what this post is about??

Oh yes...
perfect photography... or the lack of it!
blurry birds.

slightly less blurry birds behind winter weary windows..
double sigh!!
I once visited a blog where the bird photos were clear and beautiful.
She even explained her tricks for obtaining such lovely shots.  I know it involved a tripod set up near the window.  I have one of those (somewhere).  I think I read this post a few years ago and still haven't bothered to find my tripod.  
I think the truth of the matter is that it would take a lot of time and effort to achieve perfection in my photographs.  More time and effort than I seem to want to devote to it.
For now I'm glad to know there are so many others who share their perfectly gorgeous photography.  

And now the vacuum is calling my name so I'm off to work on perfect vacuum lines in the carpet.

Hope you all are staying warm.
It's almost the weekend.  Anything fun planned?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

For the Winter Weary

~ Pansies Blooming on the Patio ~

 Most mornings during breakfast Brett will read to me the expected weather forecast for Michigan.  Today the newspaper showed a high of 9 and a low of -5.  We looked at each other and said "how did we ever stand it?"
Having moved south 15 years ago, we are freezing when the temperatures dip into the 30s.  Ha!  Yes, we are officially wimps.
While I will admit to missing the beauty of a freshly fallen snow,
I remember how January, February and March could seem to drag on a bit too long for my liking.  Those gray days and cold temperatures began to take a toll.  Some years it seemed like Spring would never arrive.
I know many people love winter weather and I think that's great.
But, if you are looking through winter weary eyes about now, I'm here to tell you Spring is in the air.

After my walk today I went to fill the birdfeeder and check for early signs of Spring.
There amongst the pine needles and dead leaves were tender green daffodil shoots poking their heads up.

Right above the daffodils I noticed plump buds covering the branches of the dogwood trees.

At first glance it seemed like all members of the perennial bed were still fast asleep for their winter nap.
Upon closer inspection I found one early bird getting ready to rise and shine.  It won't be long now.
If you are a lover of long, snowy winters, then don't pay any attention to my ramblings today.  Carry on and enjoy the beauty of the season.
On the other hand, if winter is wearing on you about now...
hang in there.  
Spring is on the way.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Vintage Linen Love

Just when I seemed to be having trouble getting inspired to cozy up my nest after the holidays, along comes a sweet little library book to the rescue.

 Although the Christmas decor was finally put away, the weather had become rainy or gloomy or rainy & gloomy.  It seemed like one gray day after another.
When I started reading this little book, it was like the sun had just come out.  As I read about how EllynAnne Geisel inherited a collection of linens from her mother-in-law and went on to love and appreciate them I no longer cared what the weather was doing.  Inside that little book EllynAnne was sharing the most adorable pictures and stories of the way she and her friends use their linens.  She encouraged those of us who own vintage linens to bring them out of hiding and use them on a daily basis.

After finishing the book I could hardly wait to dig out some of my linens and start using them.
Inspired by a photo in the book I laid out a few of my pastel doilies and took a picture.  Outside it may be cold and damp, but inside I was busy creating springtime with my linens. :-).

 Sometimes the simple touches bring the most joy.
Cooking has just become more fun now that the oils are tucked into a vintage planter with a vintage hot pad peeking over the edge.

 As I look at these vintage linens I feel a kinship to the lady who embroidered these days of the week towels.  
I won them in a silent auction held by our local Habitat ReStore so I don't know who made them or when. But, on this Monday afternoon as my washer and dryer are humming away it makes me smile to see these little bluebirds happily tending to their own laundry chores.

I'm going to a baby shower on Saturday.  The gift is sitting on the dining room table waiting to be wrapped.  I haven't felt like doing it today and now I no longer feel guilty as I see that Thursday is the day for gifts.  Silly me.

I can hardly wait until Saturday when the work is behind us and we can dig into that cake.
This set of towels didn't include a Sunday.  I'm thinking it's because Sunday is the day of rest or maybe it was lost along the way.
I'm thinking one of my antique savvy readers will have an answer to that.  Feel free to fill us in if you do.

Through the years I've collected a lot of vintage linens.
Some of the smaller pieces are stored in here
and . . .

others are stored in here.
 Not to mention all of the others that are stored in drawers.

As much as I love the beauty of vintage linens, I've been a little hesitant to have too many of them gracing my decor.
Maybe I've been too concerned about having my house look like a little old lady lives here.
But, I'm here to say it's a new year and EllynAnne has empowered me to bring those linens out of the closet.
I feel so liberated!
Besides, now that I'm a grandma I fully qualify for "little old lady" status.  I might as well take advantage of the few perks to this stage of life.  :-D.