Friday, February 21, 2014

Break Time

I'm taking a break from blogging.
Help yourself to a muffin and a cup of coffee in my absence.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Conversation in an Antique Shop

Back here  I shared the story of this children's ironing board which resides in my laundry room.  Despite the fact that I'm all grown up, these little vintage toys tug at my heartstrings.
You may or may not understand this attraction.  If you don't, you may want to mosey on out of here as continuing to read may make you wonder about me.  :D
Okay, now that you've been duly warned...
on with the story.
When my mom was still alive she would sometimes give me a monetary gift with a note included saying it was to be used for something I would enjoy (i.e:  not to buy groceries or pay bills).
Not one to disappoint my mom, this little gem was calling   screaming my name from the antique store shelf recently:

 Thinking I couldn't possible justify the price I remembered a monetary gift I'd received for Christmas.  Hmmm, what would mom say?  

As long as I'm on the subject of vintage toy love...

I've had these child sized clothespins for a long time.
The laundry tub in the first photo above was way too big for this little vignette.
When we were on our recent getaway, we stopped into the local antique mall where I was hunting for one thing...
a galvanized child's size laundry tub.
I searched carefully through every booth with no luck.
Truthfully I didn't even know if such a thing existed.
As I was about to leave one of the sales ladies asked me if I found what I was looking for.  After telling her what it was, she said she had one in her booth.  A conversation ensued.
She told me her parents had sold antiques together after their retirement.  Her mother's special interest was children's  items.
She shared with me that her mother had died unexpectedly last year.
When I told her about my interest in children's kitchen and laundry toys, she said she knew she had a box at home of  children's kitchen items that had been her mom's.
She offered to call me if she could locate them and I could come in before the shop opened the next morning to see if I was interested in any of them.  She told me she would be happy to know that they were going to a good home.

The next morning when I met her at the shop, she was on the phone for a while.  After hanging up she apologized and said that her dad had just fallen.  Since he lives in another state she was trying to assess what to do.  As the middle child she said the decisions seemed to fall to her.  As a fellow middle child, my ears perked up to this.  She went on to explain that he has been falling a lot recently, he has been lost without her mother,  though a very capable man he was nearly useless in the kitchen she said.  We laughed about how with that generation it was so common for men to stay out of the kitchen and laundry room.  
Though we needed to get on the road soon, I knew she could use a listening ear.

As she talked I felt her pain.
Emotions still very raw with the loss of her mother and now she said she felt it was probably time for her to find an assisted living home for her father to move into.
These decisions are never easy.
My heart went out to her as I was reminded of going through a similar scenario with my mom.
As we talked she showed me her mom's vintage kitchen toys.
She said she'd like to offer me a better price on anything I was interested in.  Along the way she told me bits and pieces of the history of some of these treasures.  
A little board to roll cookies on and an angel food cake pan for the little stove remind me of my mom's love for baking cookies and her special angel food cake dessert that we all loved.  They also remind me of the antique store owner's mother.  A lady I never met but feel that I would have enjoyed knowing had our paths ever crossed.
I'm also reminded of two middle child daughters doing their best to support and love their parents til the end of their days.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day to You

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Looks like there won't be any outdoor picnics today.

 Our southern snowstorm brought lots and lots of the white stuff.

This was the scene outside the front door shortly after Brett shoveled.

The cardinals were grateful for a well filled bird feeder and we were thankful to be enjoying their beauty in that sea of white.
He looks like a little Valentine out there


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hi from Hiawassee

Thinking their dad could use a little vacation, our boys gifted him with a weekend getaway.
A little bed & breakfast in the Georgia mountains was the destination and, lucky me, I got to join him.
Having driven through Georgia several times, it had never occurred to us that there were mountains in this state.  But, now we know up near the NC border there are many mountains and in Hiawassee, GA sits a charming destination that offered rest and relaxation for both of us.
We have enjoyed bed & breakfast travel throughout our marriage.
It all began with this show.  In fact that show inspired us to plan a fall trip to Vermont and several other New England states.  We stayed in bed & breakfasts all along the way.  That trip took place in 1984 and still stands out in my mind as one of my favorite trips ever.

I know that this type of travel isn't for everyone, but we enjoy it for a variety of reasons.
One of my personal favorites is the homemade breakfasts.  Waking up to the smells of breakfast cooking and then coming down to this is worth the price of admission in my book :).  Of course not having to clean up after breakfast is nice too.
On this morning we enjoyed a vegetable frittata, fresh fruit salad with Greek yogurt and warm from the oven biscuits with blueberry butter.
After eating this substantial breakfast we felt a bit of exercise was in order.
Which brings me to another reason I like staying at B&B's...
the host(s) are always very helpful in assisting you in making your plans for the day.
We said we'd like to take a hike and see some waterfalls too.
They provided us with a backroads map and told us what to expect as we drove to our destination.
We zigged and zagged up that mountain and even drove through a small stream.  Had we not known to expect this it could have been a bit daunting.  That mountain driving isn't for the faint of heart.  Good thing Brett was at the wheel.  Ha ha.

Traipsing through the forest on the way to the falls I spotted this mossy little abode.
I fully expected to see a little mouse in an apron with a broom in hand.
Can you tell I spend too much time with children's storybooks?

While the hike was only 1.2 miles each way, it was a good workout as it was mostly up hill (mountain) on the return trip.
The sights and sounds of a waterfall are something I always enjoy. 
In case you like them too, I made a little video.  However, I'll have to share it next time.
I loaded all the pictures for this post last night and forgot to add the video.
Now I'm at work and don't have my pictures on this computer.
Just so you know I don't normally blog while on the job.  I'm doing so today because it is s.l.o.w. here today as we are bracing for a BIG snowstorm.  They say we could get 6-12".  In fact I hope to leave for home soon as it's really starting to come down out there.

For some reason I didn't take any pictures of our room.  Interesting how I took several of the food though :-).  I guess you can see where my priorities are.
Anyways, the walls and floor in the room were knotty pine.  The ceiling was white bead board.  Very charming and perfect in a mountain setting.  The first photo above is the bathroom window.  I thought it was so pretty with the sun streaming in.
In case you're interested, breakfast #2 is a puff pancake filled with fresh berries, bacon and an egg (not pictured).  Interestingly the first time we ever had a puff pancake was at the very first B&B we stayed at in Vermont.  When we told this to our hosts they said that the puff pancake originated there and they call them "hootin anni's".  Have you ever had them and if so what do you call them?
I used to make them often, but it has been a long time ago now.
Maybe I'll give them another try as they do make a pretty presentation and are delicious too.

Speaking of pretty and delicious...
we found this in our room upon returning from the hike.
Just one more reason to love those B&B's.