Monday, September 17, 2018

Dear Daughters: Do You Have An Aretha In Your Life?




Dear Daughters: 

Do you have an Aretha in your life?

Oh my goodness, I hope so.

You cannot travel through life without a voice, a song, or a beat that grabs you so fiercely whenever you hear it (regardless of your age), you have to move.

It is that soundtrack playing in the background, while growing up, that will play in your heart forever.

Somehow that sound connects us to our younger fearless, independent self.

Some day when you are my age, and you hear that special song, please dance- no matter where you are.

As Dad said to me during a recent grocery shopping trip,

"Boy, you really like to dance in the grocery store."

Why yes.
Yes I do.

My next favorite place to dance? In Hauler II (my Tahoe), of course, while driving.

Aretha and a whole host of Motown singers and groups were my soundtrack, as I watched American Bandstand faithfully every Saturday.

As soon as the program was over, I ran down the hall at the ranch, locked myself into my lavender bedroom with the lavender carpet, put a 45 or an album on the stereo and danced in front of the mirror.

I can still picture those Saturday mornings as if they were yesterday. 

It makes me smile as I write this to imagine what Nonnie was saying to Papa as he asked, "Where's Sister?"

"Oh, she's locked up in her bedroom practicing her dancing."

That practicing goes with you as you travel through life. 

It is tied to your own special imagination and creativity and that singular ability to entertain yourself- oh and practicing.

That is the touchstone I hope you have:) 

Now go find a mirror and dance.

Love , Mom




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Monday, September 10, 2018

Kindness From My Garden

I am blessed to say that I have been on the receiving end of acts of kindness too numerous to count.

That blessing, that forever humbles me, and the theme for September's Ten on the Tenth, Random Acts of Kindness, has caused me to really think about what this means.

More importantly, what does it look like when I am the giver and not the receiver of such acts?

Here is what I think:)

I realized years ago that if I follow that nudge to say or do something special for someone, my personal pleasure ( and theirs) is increased when I do it creatively.

That creativity sends a special message.


My favorite source for that creative inspiration is in my garden.
As I have gotten older, I like to think about what my mother or grandmother would do for a friend (long time or new), in need of a little lift.

It may have been the sharing of a cutting, or a basket of fresh vegetables, or something they baked to go along with it.

They were instinctive gardeners and great sharers, so I know they combined the two.

I am so grateful that I can walk out my door to my modest kitchen garden and gather some of my zinnias, find a vase that I have for just such an occasion, and create that lift for someone else.

My zinnias make me smile everyday in amazement, and I know they do the same thing for others.
I know you do this kind of thing as well. 
Bloggers are natural edifiers and act kindly every time they leave a comment or offer encouragement or send an email.

May I mention one in particular ?

Stacey of Poofing the Pillows is the perfect example of such kindness. 

She has offered me encouragement about blogging , encouraged me to return to it when I slip away for a bit, laughed with me when I don't understand the technology in it all, and has always acted as a friend.

Just reading her heartfelt posts on her love of home, family, and life is a special blessing and act of kindness for us all.

And now to an amazing group of bloggers who add their own special dose of creativity to everything they post and do for others.


Please make sure you visit these ladies for their heartfelt posts on kindness.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Flea Market Fashion

One of my greatest joys at the flea market is when I find jewelry and accessories.

It is important to say at this point that I am never looking for anything specific.

For me, it is about the thrill of the hunt, the fresh air, the low prices, the smiling people, and a really cold diet coke.

It is about pulling my cantankerous cart, wearing one of my favorite hats, and wearing my flip flops.

The jewelry treasures I find are never more that $10, which makes them perfect for this month's Ten on the Tenth celebration on fashion.

Here are a few of my fashion favorites from the flea market.
(In the interest of full disclosure there are LOTS more...)

Let's begin with my all-time favorite .

I was standing at the back of Oscar's trailer piled high with boxes one Saturday morning at the McAllen flea market. When he began to open boxes and pull things out, and I spotted a leopard print tote, I tried to casually say, "May I have that?"

It was the like new Consuela bag above:)  Price $5.

How do I use it? As a tote for whatever we all put in totes:)



 And then there was the vendor across from Oscar.

He had mountains of tangled jewelry on 3 large tables every Saturday and Sunday.
Weekend after weekend,I was in heaven, tangles and all.
I found the necklace above for $2 and the jeweled cuff was
$3.

I do love cuffs.

How have I worn these?  The necklace looks wonderful with a white linen shirt, and I wore the black cuff with a black tunic and white cropped jeans.
And then there was the jewelry lady at the Hidalgo flea market.
Each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday she had the most amazing things- all new with tags.

I bought all of the door knocker earrings for $3 a pair.
I am a devotee of door knocker earrings. They look good on everyone:)

Does anyone remember the Anne Klein lion's head door knocker earrings? 

How have I used these?  With white linen or white cropped jeans, or some of my Mexican tops.
And then there are some of my favorite vintage flea market accessories.

I LOVE this vintage tooled leather clutch from Mexico and the Guatamalan belt. If memory serves, the clutch was $4 and the belt was $1.

How have I used these?
With white of course:)
And these Nine West pink suede heels (new with tags) from the Ascarate flea market here in El Paso? They were $5, and they make me laugh when I look at them.

You haven't lived until you have balanced yourself on one foot while trying on heels at the flea market:)

Especially when you wear a size 9.
And if I love cuffs, I ADORE bangles. I have millions.
My philosophy? The bigger the better:)

I like anything with a repousse finish.  

Here are two more examples of favorites.
 

I hope you will visit all of the other wonderful ladies below.They are all so smart, and I know you will love their posts.

The Purple Hydrangea
Bluesky atHome

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Twenty Years In

DSC00152
Today I coined a garden expression that describes how I have recently felt.


Some days I want a garden here in El Paso that is



‘20 years in’.



You know what I mean, right?


How simple it would be if this garden had roses established just waiting for me, blooming riotously just to prove their place in our new domain- as if to say, 

“Hey Lady, what are you going to do about it?”



And how nice it would be if the previous owner had walked outside over the years and realized things needed to be planted.



And then I have a little talk with myself and my heart remembers sayings from my father:



“Get after it.”



“We’re burning daylight.”



“Vamanos.”



“Well then, you better get started.”



And so I have.
DSC00155
And an interesting thing happens when you let common sense speak and you get over yourself.



New gardening ideas surface.



I am planting roses that are hot colored- like the colors in talavera.



So my new Tropicana rose (above) has big plans to show off someday.DSC00159
For now the days of soft pink roses and traditionally weeded and manicured beds are not what calls to me.



It isn’t about the perfectly staged or aligned.



It is back to my roots.



It is back to Rancho Landscaping:), which I defined years ago in a conversation  with my dear friend Anna, at a birthday group celebration held at my house.


I told her I had hit upon a name for how I garden and my kind of landscape design.



I called it rancho.


As in muy rancho.



As in Rancho Landscaping…



literal translation: ranch



my loose translation: imperfect, simple, humble, ‘dolled up’ for special occasions , 

daring, a little shy… jammed in the ground with high hopes and a smile.


This new gardening journey is about Rancho Landscaping, 

and digging holes and planting as many wild colored things as I can find.



It is about bougainvillea and hot colored roses and lavender, and bright 

gold lantana, and the hot colored zinnias planted in the raised bed 

above.



And  now I know it is going to all be ok.

   
Vamanos!


********

Though a tad late :), I am joining a wonderful
Garden Party with dear sweet hostesses.




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Container Gardening


Container Gardening

Would it surprise you to learn that container gardening has a different meaning for me?

For me it is all about finding a unique container I already have, and the story that goes with it.

For the stone retablo in our front courtyard, I pulled purple verbena which was growing wildly in our back yard and 'planted' its roots in a small opening at the retablo base.

Why? Because on an El Paso garden tour of homes this past Sunday, I saw purple verbena everywhere, peeking out of unusual places in beautiful West Texas gardens.

This past weekend I also enjoyed using some of my blue and white pieces as 'containers'. 

After a quick trip to WalMart's garden center, where I found a yucca plant for less than $7, a spike dracena for $4, and a sedum plant for $6 , I tucked them into some of my favorite blue and white pieces in our entry.

It all looked brighter when I tucked a cutting from a pink kolanche I had on our back porch in as well.
When I planted the spike dracena in my new blue and white bird planter, this adventure in container gardening was complete. 

Container gardening is usually much larger in scale than what I created this weekend, and it combines multiple plants.

I have created those as well, but this weekend was about something else:)
Try this. It is so much fun.  

I have planted small plants and succulents in antique Mexican pottery and silverplate pieces and in pots that are already full of plants.

Container gardening should be as simple as combining something 'found' with a small plant that matches that container in quirkiness. 

These smaller plants create the perfect touch in a vignette in the garden and inside as well.

It is affordable and fun which makes it perfect for April's Ten on the Tenth.

I hope you will visit all of the other wonderful bloggers who are sharing their container gardening ideas for 
They are all so creative .




 

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Dear Daughters: Embracing Your Inner Off Trend Decor Self :)

Saltillo Tile


Dear Daughters,

It takes a certain creative courage to embrace and design what you love in a home when it is not the trend of the day.


(Hang in there with me and please stop rolling your eyes. We have NOT talked about this before.)


Maybe it is because I have had more experience doing this, or because Nonnie did it everyday in her home, or because I know you have this inclination too.


We have not always gone the popular or trending  route in home design- even though we love the creativity and the beauty we see in all homes.


I have said before here at White Spray Paint that I love ALL houses because I know what it takes to assemble one.


Back to off trend decor with a case in point-


saltillo tile floors.
Saltillo 2018-1

You know I love saltillo- you know I have always loved saltillo- but it is not a flooring that you often see chosen in today’s world.


Beautiful wood floors are everywhere now, along with tile that looks like wood, or other kinds of tile.


They are all beautiful.


But in my heart of hearts I keep going back to what I know and love.
Saltillo 2018-2

Maybe it is because of this young couple, your grandparents, who began their married life together on a great adventure in Mexico.
NonnieandPapa_thumb1

I have always loved all things Mexico, and I know you do too.


It is about what calls to you. Don’t ignore that call. It is your heart speaking.
Saltillo 2018-3

And so , we are having saltillo tile in many areas of Casa Golondrina.
Casa Golondrina Entrance 2

It is far from perfect, it doesn’t exactly match the previous saltillo installed in the house, it all needs to be sealed, and on and on.


As the list of imperfections grows, my smile gets wider.



I love you.

Mom

Casa Golondrina Logo 2


















Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Rose Panic

 
Roses From My Garden
There is so much to learn about rose gardening.
I feel so often that I am making it up as I go along, and I have so many questions, even though my roses previously grew and bloomed in spite of me.

I wish I could talk to my Grandmother Mills.
She grew all of her plants from cuttings and in coffee cans, and everything grew.



I went to the nursery this morning to look at rose bushes, and they were ALL gone.
I panicked and asked why?


A nice young man said, “M’am, people have already planted their new roses.”
“But it is still cold,” I said.
“M’am, that’s when they like it.”


So I went back home and looked through my giant stack of library gardening books for Southwest gardening (note to self: get ONE book next time), and I quote:
In January, roses transplant easily on cool days. Choose a cool cloudy day. Lift the plant and inspect the roots carefully. Remove any diseased or dead roots.

Dust the roots with sulphur to help heal small lesions and prevent rotting problems.  (Month by Month Gardening in the Desert Southwest)



At which point my roses from our old house shouted across the miles:

“Mister- she’s not going to do all of that!”
Well, I never.

*****
Linking to:

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Zinnias and Ten on the Tenth



I have written often here at White Spray Paint about my love of zinnias and the connection they create to my farming heritage and my father,
my wonderful friends and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds, and to who I am.


If I may be so bold, I want that for YOU.


To that end, below is a simple, direct invitation in honor of our (Ten on the Tenth celebration today) printed here just for you:


You are cordially invited to join the
Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds


Why?  Because all women need a sisterhood and gardening is the best common ground for that.
The guidelines are simple and the cost is low:)


You do not have to have gardening experience.

All you have to do is say I'm in so I can imagine you planting your zinnias this spring .
How do you proceed? It is so simple:)



Step I.       

Buy a packet(s) of zinnia seeds. I buy my seeds at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Wal Mart, and at any small town local nursery or hardware store I drive past.

Small town hardware stores are the best. I love shopping for seeds!  This is usually the point I realize I bought too many packets, and I share them with friends.


Step 2.      
Read the planting information on the back of the packet to determine the best time to plant. If I am ever unsure,  I call  the county extension office and ask them questions (they may be screening my calls at this point).

Step 3.
Find the sunniest area of your yard and prepare your soil. I enjoy planting in raised beds because I need to be able to mow the grass around the bed.

For preparing the soil in a raised bed, I remove as much debris and grass as I physically can, till the soil with my trusty hoe, cover the area with newspaper or light cardboard that I have dampened, and then pour in bags of gardening soil.

Note:  I am not a gardening purist. I am a slinger.  

This imperfect method has worked for me , and I can physically do this myself.


Step 4.
With my index finger or the end of a trowel, I draw in furrows.  If you have a raised bed, make sure you draw the furrow the direction of your bed that is shortest.

You need to be able to reach the zinnias in the middle of the bed.
Step 5.
I sprinkle in the seeds by hand and once dropped, I spread them even further apart. I tend to overplant spaces.


Step 6.
Cover the seeds with soil by moving your hand gently back and forth over the planted row.


Step 7.
Lightly water what you have planted. Do not over water.


Step 8.
Start buying small vases at the flea market to share bouquets of your zinnias with your extended Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds friends and family.


This is a very forgiving kind of gardening, and I promise you will be successful.


Why did I name this the Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds? 


Because after my father passed away in 2015, I took the seeds from my fathers’ dried zinnias that were left in his garden and shared them with friends:)

Today I am virtually sharing them with YOU.

Are you in?  I hope so, and I hope you will tell me all about it as the spring months progress.
 My El Paso Zinnias, Fall 2017

*****

Using Spring as our topic this month, the following bloggers are all sharing spring inspiration today at 
Ten on the Tenth.
As always, visit everyone for wonderful projects and ideas.
 
 
The Purple Hydrangea
At Home With Jemma
The Bookdocks Blog
Exquisitely Unremarkable
Pandora's Box
White Spray Paint
Patina and Paint
Poofing the Pillows
Cottage at the Crossroads
Let's Add Sprinkles
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