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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Off to Canton

   

     I am off to Canton ladies.  I wish bloggers wore name tags at these kinds of events, showing the name of their blog- which is really how we all know each other best.

     Maybe I will see you there. I hope so.

      I am leaving tomorrow with one daughter, to travel to Dallas to stay with another daughter, to be met at Canton by a third daughter (actually she is the first daughter).

      Three daughters plus Canton.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.

                                       Laura-

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

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It is time for Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer. Go see all of the wonderful outdoor shots everyone has to share.

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Today was finally the day- the canal rider called at 7:00 am and said, “You’ve got water in about 45 minutes.”

He may as well have said-

The eagle has landed.” My husband went into high gear.

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IMGP0318 We just haven’t been able to keep up with our own feeble watering (hoses and sprinklers)- especially in the face of 100 + degree heat. Our yard is a little over an acre and irrigating is the best solution.

Even so, some of my plants (native plants) are really giving it their all-regardless of the drought.

Bougainvillea

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Rose Bush

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Lantana

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Small Lavender Bush

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Caladiums

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Grapefruit

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Good luck everyone with your own watering.

PS. I bought a new camera on Overstock, so I have had fun with taking close-up shots. It was $79.99 with $2.00 shipping a while back.

It is a Pentax Optio M30, and it has settings for standard, macro, or super macro which is fun. The grapefruit, bougainvillea, and lavender photos were taken with super macro.

I wanted a giant, expensive camera that I could wear around my neck with an equally giant lens. Then in a moment of clarity I pictured myself at the flea market and a camera that fits in my pocket suits me just fine for now.

(I am putting a good face on this. I still want a giant camera with a giant lens so I look like a war reporter. The fantasy goes even further… I see myself wearing a wrinkled khaki shirt and shorts, hiking boots, Ray-Bans, and I plan to adopt an accent- sort of like Christiane Amanpour. I did minor in journalism. Sigh…)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Miss Olive Speaks Up

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One day earlier this summer, my father said to two of our daughters who were visiting-

You girls want to go through that closet in the garage?”

That closet in the garage held a treasure trove of my mother’s collecting.

One replied, as nonchalantly as a racing heart rate will allow, “How about right now?” He smiled because he knew exactly what they were thinking.

They are their mother’s daughters.

There are many things to share in future posts about this closet, but I am starting with these- three cookbooks they found.

Disclaimer: I have 3 daughters. One was not here. She is part of all of this in absentia. We have rules of engagement for closet sifting too. Even steven.

These cookbooks were published in 1910. Let’s look first at the Desserts Volume.

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Can you read the first sentence of the last paragraph?

“The chief reason why more women do not give their pastries due personal attention lies in the fact that discouragement so often follows failure…”

No kidding. I have tried to make a pie crust in a food processor, by hand, and at one point in the 80’s by using a large Tupperware bowl, filled with pastry ingredients, which I rotated wildly, in a clockwise direction, simulating hula hooping.

Miss Olive (the author), thanks for taking that monkey off my back.

And then there is this recipe.

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I don’t even know what to say.

However, as irreverent as I can be, I am completely impressed. This one could happen…it could really happen.

One last one.

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I’m going to let you write the last sentence of this post.

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Go by The Gypsy’s Corner to see more three’s!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Supper

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     This morning during church I leaned over and whispered to my husband, “Can we stop at Bob Stark’s after church ,and will you cook this afternoon?”

Silence (except for the sermon).

     “Yes.”

I smiled and re-focused my thoughts on the message.

     Bob Stark’s is a local meat market that has wonderful cuts of meat. These Sunday evening meals always include my father, who is the perfect dinner guest.

     Although he arrives really early, he leaves the minute he puts his fork down- usually saying,

I better go get my shot.” (He is diabetic.)

     My husband is a great cook and our menu tonight included his beans. Oh my gosh. They are amazing.

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     He then barbecued sirloins and pork ribs.

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     I sliced some tomatoes, made a green salad with ranch dressing, prepared some corn and steak fries.

IMGP0298      I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday afternoon.  I am off to clean the kitchen and find some ice cream.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thank You Ivy

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This morning as I watered , I realized how much I had taken the loyal ivy in my yard for granted. It is one of the few plants that rain or shine -and shine translates to drought- has survived and flourished.Ivy (3)

My mind rarely stays put when a thought like that surfaces, so I let it roam while I continued to water.

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I have often thought of ivy as something trapped in the 70’s. It could grow without dirt! I had all sorts of jars filled with water and ivy cuttings on my kitchen window sill- plus crazy, giant sweet potatoes sprouting all sorts of vines. My gardening was of the Vacation Bible School variety.

Dressed in my hunter green double knit vest and pants with elastic in the waist, made from a Make it Tonight Wear it Tomorrow pattern, I was the picture of fashion forward, botanical domesticity.

You could make a pair of those pants without ever leaving your machine or cutting a thread. The same ease of care was true for those jars of ivy- when the water got a little dicey- you just pitched it and gave it another fresh drink.

When my mother died in 1996, I kept an arrangement of ivy that our family received, and cuttings from that plant are planted deep within the folds of ivy shown in the above photos.

I have spent so much time trying to coax temperamental fern to grow, when ivy is the plant that’s got my back.

As healthy as it looks in the photos above, it looks sort of like an earnest school picture when fern comes off as a glamour shot.

That’s OK. I get it now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday

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      This morning I was inspired once again by blue and white and the idea of my favorite yet simple breakfast.Foodie Friday (11) IMGP0226

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        Creating this single place setting for today’s Tablescape Thursday , hosted by the amazingly talented Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, gave me an opportunity to combine one of my favorite color combinations: blue, white, and yellow.

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      I started with one of my new dessert plates from Pier I and a Kennex Lace dinner plate.  I first saw the Lace dishes on Marty’s wonderful blog A Stroll Thru Life.  They are from JC Penney’s, one of the world’s best secrets for sale priced tabletop and linens.  Thank you Marty.  They were on sale , and I have wanted bright white dishes with texture for a long time.  I love that the lace looks like fleur de lis, one of my all-time favorite symbols.

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     I have these Franciscan Tiffin crystal goblets in avocado green, but I collected them in yellow off of EBay.  Although they are from the early 70’s, I think their chunky, interesting shape is timeless.  They are heavy, so shipping costs can be a deterrent.

PS.  I originally wanted them in amethyst, a deep purple color, but I said enough already. (unless you know of a bargain set somewhere…)

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     The sterling flatware is my mother’s pattern, Damask Rose. I love ornate flatware, but the simplicity of this pattern is so beautiful.

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     The other table accessories are my bird salt and pepper shakers from Pier I and my hob nail milk glass butter dish that I found in Round Top.  I have had the linens for years. They are from Stein Mart.  When Stein Mart has a sale, there are always some red dot table linens back in a corner somewhere.

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     What’s for breakfast?  Something really simple and delicious.  Take a look. I have never named this recipe, but it is so good , it is almost like eating  blueberry cobbler for breakfast.

Foodie Friday (14)       Microwave 1 cup of frozen blueberries for 3 minutes.  I buy frozen blueberries because I eat this often and frozen is just easier for me.

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     Next microwave 3 tablespoons of oat bran and enough water to cover the bran for 2 minutes.

     Remove from the microwave and add the warm blueberries.  Sweeten with 2 tablespoons of sugar free syrup. At this point I add 1 pat of butter. Stir and enjoy.

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     I also squeezed some fresh orange juice. It was delicious.

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     I bought these juice glasses for my grandsons to use.I hope you have a wonderful weekend. 

     Go to the wonderful Designs by Gollum blog for other incredible Foodie Friday ideas.

To Do List/ We’re Burning Daylight List

*Tell amazing blog friends thank you for the wonderful ideas about redeeming my dish disaster.

*Read tutorials on making mosaics. (Dear Daughters-Stop laughing.)

*Locate these books that are not available at my local library:

Galway Bay  (recommended by Sarah at Memories on Clover Lane)

Mockingbird, A Portrait of Harper Lee (will buy for youngest daughter, also an English teacher)

In the Heart of the Sea:The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (recommended by youngest daughter for her Dad)

*Start reading Julie & Julia. I would like to do what she did.  Could I take one of my wonderful cookbooks and at least prepare a recipe a week? What am I waiting for? I could even look up recipes from a magazine like Cooking Light.

*Stay out of conversations and the planning of my husband and father regarding irrigating our yard tomorrow morning. (Does the invasion of Normandy create a picture in your mind?).  I can do this…I can do this…I can do this… I will take pictures of the event and a picture of me with duct tape across my mouth.

*Clean out ‘garden room’ behind garage. I would like to paint a permanent rug on the concrete floor and stencil leaves on the walls. Hang peg board remnant with the high hope that I can always return my often used tools to their assigned place. I can never remember where I left them in the yard.

*Talk to my father about building a pipe grape arbor north of the little house. I grew up with a grape arbor over our patio at the ranch, and I loved it. In fact, I would like a cutting from that same grape arbor. In order for this to happen, I really need to keep my mouth shut tomorrow morning during the irrigating. Just smile and nod Laura, smile and nod.

*Keep exercising even though I am not losing weight as a result. I think it increases hunger. Oh well.  As I am also fond of saying, ‘it is what it is.’

This is a partial list.  We all have our lists, right?  Let’s get to it folks because as my father says,

We’re burning daylight.”

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zumba Part II

Can attending zumba class and *learning* (I haven’t learned anything yet- I am in a sort of embarrassed, sheepish survival mode) 3 new dances yesterday delete all semblance of conscious thought?

Yes.

I haven’t bought the scarf with the coins; I haven’t bought the magic zumba shoes; I don’t have cute, theme appropriate zumba outfits. I have my yard clothes, a chip clip, and hope.

Yesterday I was also the recipient of positive expectations and feedback. One ‘my age’ lady approached me before class and immediately began demonstrating one of the harder steps and nodding encouragingly. The odd thing is that I responded by dancing back- we had a sort of dueling zumba moment.

Then there was the nice lady who smiled broadly after new dance #2 and said, “You have really improved.” As my grandmother used to say,

Bless her heart.”

I shall return- at 6:15 pm today, at our local park’s open air pavillion, where all of the walkers and joggers running by can stop, slack jawed and say,

“Mrs. H. is that YOU?”

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thrifty Treasures and Former Students

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     Saturday morning I just happened upon a garage sale that later required me to ask my husband , “Can I borrow your truck?” 

     He just rolled his eyes.  He has done a lot of eye rolling over the years.  I hope they don’t get stuck some day in that position.

     Anyway, as I entered the yard, a nice woman said, “Mrs. H., is that you?” “I bet you don’t remember me!”

     OK- this has happened to me more times than I can count.  This is obviously a former student.  I have met former students in every grocery store (as I furiously tried to hide what’s in my basket), drugstore, and emergency room in town. 

     The most disconcerting (alarming) would have to be as I was rolled into an emergency room only to look up and see a faintly familiar face saying, “Mrs. H. , is that you?” “I bet you don’t remember me.”

     These meetings are always followed by question #3:

Are you still there?” (said with a little bit of horror-as in how long has it been?)

     On another note, I am not sharing prices today.  Let me just say that garage sales hosted by former students limit one’s bargaining power.  There are rules of engagement for these situations, right?

     So when I saw the table and chairs, I just agreed to the price.  The same for this.

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     It all worked out because she gave me these.

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     Now I can have that Henry VIII banquet I have been planning in my mind.

     Woohoo!

Go visit Miss Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for many more Thrifty Treasures’ entries.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dish Disaster

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     I know in many people’s minds it is just stuff, but I just lost a portion of my milk glass collection, including a large blue and white pitcher with this marking.

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     If anyone knows the value that this hallmark indicates, don’t tell me.  Just say:

I am really sorry Laura,” or

No big deal Laura, they have those EVERYWHERE.”

Then I will be able to read between the lines.

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   And just think…that pitcher may have survived some HUGE historical event but died in my house.

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     All I did was reach for something on the top shelf of this cabinet, which was apparently faking its stability. The entire shelf fell forward, emptying its contents.

     Everything came crashing down around me, shattering on the floor.

My husband, who was watching golf on television, started shouting,

Don’t move, don’t move!” He immediately knew that I was barefoot because I always am.

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     That top shelf held my milk glass creamer and sugar bowl collection, including two sets of Westmoreland. 

     One set survived. One did not.  I am choosing to believe that the set that survived is the set that belonged to my mother. Otherwise, I really wouldn’t be able to stand it.

     After seeing my face, my husband then said- “Well now you can start your quest to replace everything.”

     Bless his dear, sweet heart. He knows me so well.

     One last observation. 

In a real sense , it is just stuff. My mother was not sitting on that shelf in the form of a creamer and sugar bowl set. 

     All is right with my world today. As my husband used to shout at our girls’ high school volleyball games, when things went wrong,

Nobody’s hurt. Let’s go.”

 creamer and sugar

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