Thursday, April 30, 2009

Public Service Announcement.

Please Don't Do This...

Spring closet cleaning.

Is it still considered Spring? It's Summer here in Florida, but if it's still Spring where you live, I guess I haven't missed out on the whole Spring Cleaning ritual. Look at my baby's Teddy Bear and Pig...oh, there's my little Florida purse that Kathy gave to me. And there's a yellow karate belt. *Note to self: put that belt with the others.

Here are some of MacGyver's clothes. The clothes that haven't yet seen explosions and gunfire. These are his "job" clothes. Every G-man needs a good cover...

Ooooh, maybe MacGyver has his special tools packed in this suitcase. It might be rigged, maybe I'll just leave it alone.

The reason for this frenzied cleaning? We're having a closet system installed in two weeks! Do you think I'll be able to pull it all together? Cleaning it out, sorting the stuff, choosing the paint color for our room...HELP!

*I've discovered that my posts involving baked goods gets the most response out of you...thank you for all the lovely cookie comments, you all made me laugh!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

day of chores.

Help yourself to a cookie, I'm busy climbing a mountain of waiting-to-be-ironed laundry. After a week of goofing off, this week I must pay for my week of frivolity and do some chores that I've put on the back burner .

Have another cookie...just watch out for my son, who is certain to eat your hand should he walk in and find it rummaging in his plate of cookies.

Monday, April 27, 2009

house in an orange grove.

The map of my Estate. Read it and weep, people!

After touring the Riverside Avondale homes, I began in earnest to look for affordable housing for myself and my family. And as luck would have it, I probably can't afford this house, either. Because it's the home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the critically acclaimed author of numerous novels, two of which are Cross Creek and The Yearling, winning the Pulitzer Prize for the latter . Isn't this house charming? It's a lovely little farm house. Small. Quaint. Breezy. With so much history and literary infusion.

This is the table at which the masterpieces were born, right out there on Marjorie's front porch, for all the world to see. Just look at the lovely grove of trees standing beyond the screen, inspiring her, encouraging her...

This is the garden area, just behind the house. Apparently Marjorie was quite the outdoors woman, spending much of her days hunting and fishing, planting and harvesting. Writing and rewriting. Entertaining interesting and famous people, way down yonder in Cross Creek. People like Spencer Tracy, Ernest Hemingway, Gregory Peck, to name a few.

This is the tenant house, which is probably more in-line with my budget. It comes complete with a clothes dryer. See it, over to the right of the porch? And apparently it comes stocked with a maid and butler. No, wait! Those crackers are my parents! Poor souls, they had to go to work on a farm in order to subsidize their social security. They're OK, they'll get breaks... I'll treat them right, s'long's as they don't take advantage of my generous nature.

OK, break's over, on your feet, get back to work!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

little RAP!

Kathy and I just returned from the annual RAP Tour Of Homes, here in Jacksonville, FL. We toured 10 amazing homes, all of which were built in the early 1900's. It was a beautiful day for the tour and while I did not take nearly the amount of photos I had intended to, I did remember towards the end of the tour to snap away.

Here is where I call home. In my dreams. It's a lovely little homestead, don't you agree?

It was a perfect day for walking the hood in search of my dream home. The above house was a nice little place, had beautiful drapes and stunning chandeliers. The kitchen was amazing and the porch, which really is another room, was lovely.

Oh, my! What an amazing idea. Look at this bed's headboard, it looks like the back of a couch. It made me want to jump on the bed and cozy in to watch a little telly. But I didn't, Kathy wouldn't let me!

Mmmm, we stopped in at this adorable catering shop, for some free yummies. WOW! If you live in the Jacksonville area, check it out. It's not a restaurant, rather, "A full service catering and gourmet takeaway shop." She had some amazing goodies, like fried cheese and bacon appetizers, fresh out of the oven. There were some little pork tenderloin sandwiches on tiny buns, a delicious sour cream pound cake and dare I mention the butterscotch brownies?

This is my new best friend, Allison, the brains of the operation, along with her cousin/helper in the kitchen. Tell her I sent you, we've known each other a long 5 minutes. But I think I can learn to love will too, after you taste her delicious food! Here's her address, if you live in the area and need fabulous food for one of your fabulous events:
2251 Oak Street
Jacksonville, FL
Now I'm off to bartend at baby shower my friend Suzy is hosting...that really doesn't sound right. Maybe it's a bridal shower. I'm not sure which it is, but I get to hang out at the bar, so I don't really care!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

excuse me, please!

I haven't time to post a proper that phrase allowable in Blogland? I'm volunteering today and must hit the grocery store afterward, that I may feed my big monster teen. Tomorrow, I'll be joining my family on a trip to Cross Creek, the homestead of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author of The Yearling. I'll take some pictures and fill you in on the wonderful, rustic world of Ms Rawlings.

Ya'll have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

peek at my week.

My brother Tom and his wife, Melany, are here on a visit from Rochester, NY. Thankfully, the weather here in Jacksonville is absolutely gorgeous. It hasn't been the hot and humid weather it usually is. Rather, lovely warm breezes and glorious sunshine have graced us thus far. Our professional driver, Dad, took us for a ride through Palm Valley along the intercoastal waterway...
and we stopped for lunch at Barbara Jean's. Mom ran in ahead and secured a patio table for us with a beautiful view.

Looking across the intercoastal at the natural beach and fallen trees. Trees have a tendancy to do that in Florida, just check out my yard.

I like this picture. Their kids are all grown up and it's nice to see the reconnection that they're experiencing and enjoying. I love how they're holding's such a tender and loving gesture. I cropped Mom and Dad out of the picture, they were taking away from the romance. Sorry M & D!

But I've included them in this photo...we had a lovely lunch, thanks Mom and Dad. Today, Tom and Mel took off for Savannah, Georgia. It's a lovely town. No kids in tow...I'm betting they're holding hands again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

set of easy tutorials.

I came across this checkbook-cover tutorial from my two babes and thought I'd share it with you. It looks easy enough...why don't you make one right now and when you're finished, send me a photo of your creation. I'll be here waiting for the photo, eating bon-bons. Go ahead, get busy...oh, and while you're at it, visit Randi for a lovely fabric bowl tutorial. Very cute!

MyTwoBabes Tutorial :: Fabric Checkbook Cover

MyTwoBabes Tutorial :: Fabric Checkbook Cover mytwobabes Blogged at: Free Tutorial - If you blog about this, please link back to my blog post. I would love to know where this is posted and how your finished projects turn out! Tag finished items with "mytwobabes, checkbook" THANK YOU!!! ♥♥♥

Monday, April 20, 2009

summer doggy-do.

Before: our furry little beast, sweet B.B.

After: doesn't she look ticked? (No pun intended). I think she thinks that she's thinking she had too much fur cut off. What do you think?

She's acting sassy, frisky, like she did when she was a puppy. Do you feel that way after a trip to your stylist?

Girl, shake that tail, strut your stuff! You know you're looking fine!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

yummy machine.

Have I ever told you that my favorite food in the whole world is popcorn? Not the microwave variety, that stuff tastes funky to me. I'm speaking of freshly popped fluffy goodness. We pop our popcorn in an electric skillet, in two tablespoons of canola oil. Pop, pop, pop, pop...don't burn it! With just a little melted butter and some salt. I ran across this little beauty at sits on your counter. Just how stinkin' cute is it? Of course, I'd rather have the big gun, the big-daddy, the big kahuna of popcorn poppers! I don't own a tavern (my great-grandmother did!) but if I did, I'd have the mac-daddy sitting there popping away. No, I didn't buy this family, we don't roll on impulse purchases. We wait! So for now, I'll just look at this cutie until I find the next appliance to obsess over.

Friday, April 17, 2009

trip to a Fantasy Island.

Today, you and I are hitting the road, back to the place of my childhood, Grand Island, NY. If you'll look straight ahead through the windshield, you'll see that we are heading up the South Grand Island Bridge, over the Niagara River. Our desination? Fantasy Island! Woo-hoo, we're going to an amusement park!

Here we are...but wait! We've gone back in remarkable! And quaint. Yes, my friends, this is how it looked when I was a little girl. "These colorful flags welcome all visitors to Fanatasy Island..." I don't see any color, but we'll use our wonderful imagination, 'cause those flags are colorful! Let's proceed to...

...the giant book! Yes! I loved this book. It was near the front entrance of the park...I wonder if it's still there and I wonder what the mommies and kiddies are doing now. Look at those strollers. They're like the Model T of today's strollers...our little tushes must have been tired after sitting in non-padded seats. But no one cared or worried about our comfort, we were at Fantasy Island! Read the book...

...let's add some color. Wow, what a difference! This is the doesn't look much different from those black and white days. There was a Western Town, a Can-Can Dance Review in the Saloon, a train, roller coaster, all kinds of wonderful rides. Those are really happy memories...thanks, Mom and Dad.

Oh, and one more thing...I loved the park so much that once I grew to a teen, I found employment in our beloved Fantasy a Potty Princess. Yup, I cleaned the bathrooms! Best job in the whole park...I spent most of the day socializing, as my partner and I slowly made our way to the next bathroom. And once in awhile, we even cleaned a toilet. Jealous?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

stalking opportunity.

OK, my friends! Here is your chance to become an official stalker of Pepperberry & Company. There's very little work standing outside in the rain, looking through windows. No sitting in a car, waiting and waiting for your target to come out of the building. No phone calls with tissue over the receiver, trying to disguise your voice...not that I've ever done any of those things. Maybe...or not. Head on over for a visit, learn how you can become her own personal stalker and possibly win this lovely notebook cover. AND make a new friend!

referral & contest.

The Farm Chicks is having a lovely giveaway, 2 yards of this Pixie Dust fabric is up for grabs! You have until April 17th to head over and get in on the action. And please, don't stop at the contest...check out the rest of the blog, it's really as cute as pie! They also have a website, but I refuse to accept any blame if you end up spending too much $$$ on country cuteness.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

blustery day.

See Winnie up there, doing his best to hold onto Piglett, lest the wind blow the little pink guy away? That's exactly what was happening in our back yard this morning, minus Pooh and his friends. It would have been cool had those cuties been back there, but then I would have had to run out in the wind and rescued the gang. And I might have gotten bonked on the head by...

this guy. Oh, he doesn't look so menacing in this amateur photo taken by my very amateur photographer, but it would have hurt, alright! The funny thing is, we had all our big trees cut down four years the neighbors trees fall into our yard. Not their yards, our yard!

A gust of wind came by and picked our patio table off the pool deck and into the yard, landing topsy-turvy onto the umbrella. The umbrella was destroyed...

and so was the glass top. This was where we were going to do our weekend dining when my brother Tom and his wife, Melany, came to visit this coming week. Hmmmm, maybe one of the neighbors could spare us their patio table...pipe dream!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

list of excellent blogs.

I've been hoarding some of my favorite blogs...selfish, I know. So in the spirit of Spring and all things new, here are just a few inspiring blogs that I love:

~Annie's Eats: hold on to your pants, you'll explode just looking at her concoctions.
~Cotton and Cloud: handmade in England, all sorts of lovely goodies, and cats!
~Betz White: a very talented artist, she makes all kinds of goodies out of felted wool.
~NieNie Dialogues: her love of God and family are endearing, you'll rejoice over each new hurdle she clears
~Raggedy Old Annies: she makes cute, cute dolls. I've bought one of her patterns, but have yet to make.
~Taylor Made: it's a great site, with tips on photo editing, great ideas and interesting links. Visually beautful!

joyous day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday.

She too, gave us her son. As a mother, imagine her pain, her grief in His great loving sacrifice...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

friendship recipe.

I have a new friend, Annie. I acquired her at PF Chang's two Saturdays ago. My girlfriend Suzy has a charming tradition of bringing a hostess gift to an invited party. Being an independent thinker, I decided to put a twist on Suzy's little tradition and bring a gift to Annie, kind of a "you're my new friend" gift. Upon meeting Annie, I was thrilled to discover that she was fun, talkative and charming. Hi, Annie. Thanks for being my friend. I had fun at dinner, you and Russel made me laugh.

A few days later, Jason came home with this bag of "stuff" and directions. How wonderfully clever, what a from-the-heart gift from Annie. Amish Friendship Bread Starter. Hi, Annie, I adore this gift. Thank you so much, it's like having a piece of you right here on my counter! I mix it every day and let the gas out of the bag (not me!).

You see, you have to take care of this starter and follow the directions. Which makes me think of Annie and the fun we had at dinner. And what a cute couple Annie and Russel are. And how I can't wait for the day to make the bread. Isn't that the way of friendship: taking care of the starter and over time, watching it bloom into a beautiful loaf of bread.

***And yes, my counter tops are turquoise. Jealous?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Riverside Arts Market, Jacksonville: Part I

You're acquainted with these two ladies...Ivy and Irene. Or is it Irene and Ivy? One is my mother-in-law, the other, her sister. I know who's who, but do you? I met them this morning, down at the Riverside Arts Market, a new "happening" here in Jacksonville. Today was the Grand Opening and boy, was it a huge success! Ivy is the unofficial mayor of this event. She knows every brick by name, every plant as it was planted. We checked on its progress at least twice a week and sometimes Ivy would sneak down there on her own, just to see what changes had occurred while she slept. It all takes place under the two bridges, complete with an open-air "theater."

Here is a lovely young woman, who's name escapes me. She makes extraordinary jewelery, tiny beads intricately woven into wonderful shapes and designs. She was very friendly and filled me in on the process of getting set up in the Market. She also has an Etsy store,
Here's another friend, I don't remember his name. Oh please, give me a break! I want to call him Clyde, I can't imagine why! He sells homemade cakes. What a smile! I couldn't resist him. He was as charming as his smile, I promise you that. Yummy cakes for sale, but all I could seem to focus on was his smile. Check out the sweet story of how this cake business came to be, right here.

OK. These are amazing soaps. And I did ask for a business card, but I don't think they had any. And the man was kind of grumpy, so I didn't take his picture. So there! That'll larn 'ya to be cranky with me! But the soaps were lovely.

So many, many people. So many, many dogs on leashes. Two twins. Two curious, lively & energetic twins. Need I even mention that we got separated? No, I didn't think there was a need for that...anyway, after searching high and low, I found the two darlings on a bench, eating some just-purchased English pasties and people-watching. I was tempted to sternly warn them about the dangers of walking away from my side, but they were so cute sitting there on the bench. So I sat with them and marveled at their treasures...

**Tomorrow, Part II of the Amazing Riverside Arts Market adventure.

Friday, April 3, 2009

lacey day.

A new purse is on the table. I love this fabric...easily, the most requested bag of last summer.
This was going to be a square tote, but I cut it up and it's going to be a different, more "exciting" shape. Now I'm off to scour the stores for some special requested fabrics for some custom wristlets...

I'm hoping to be able to update my web site and add a few items on Etsy. I'm not sure how Etsy will work out for me, but I'm going to give it a try.

Have a lovely Friday!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

party in my sink?!

Hazel didn't show up last night to unload the dishwasher. And she didn't show up again this morning. And she didn't show up while I was away from 8 AM to Noon. I think I'm gonna have to fire her! Do you think she's even still alive? Do you remember Hazel? If you do, please leave a comment and I'll be forever thankful and grateful that you remeber and are reminiscing with me. In fact, here's a link to the TV show and that indomitable red-head...I loved her.

Do you have a maid? A cleaning service? An indentured servant and/or teenager? I rarely leave dishes in the sink...I wonder what happened this time? If it happens again, I'll take another picture and you can keep track of my laziness. I have to admire how artfully my fiestaware is stacked...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Faith, hope & love...but the greatest of these is love.

It's simply amazing how God leads us, especially in the tiniest matters in life. All I did was to visit my friend from Tales From the Cookie Jar and read her post about this amazing family and their incredible little gift from God. I clicked the sidebar button entitled "Pray for Stellan" and was transported to a blog so fresh and real and uplifting, in the midst of their pain and uncertainty. And I cried. For the baby, for the parents, for the siblings. The outpouring of love and prayers from all over the world is beyond measure...

I ask you to pray for this baby and his sweet family. Please click that sidebar button and visit Stellan's family. Take the time to watch the beautiful movie/prayer they made for Stellan and God. To have such incredible faith in the face of such pain is an incredible witness for their love of God, faith in God and hope.

How a little baby can unite a world in prayer...

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