Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
...but I do so love that color! I hope it did not sound as if I wasn't happy in my kitchen. I am, so very much! Yes, I still see those words on RMS in my head..."Unremarkable, so very unremarkable." It seems that this person was unimpressed with my choice in counter and flooring material. Heck, so am I. I went for less expensive and neutral. As a military family who moved 19 times, we never knew when that next "sell fast and get outta Dodge" would occur. We now know this is where we will remain, well, until our knees and backs totally give out. And yes, we are working on making this a more "our own strange" personality driven home. Still, there are colleges and orthodontists that, for some strange reason, love to be paid! The sweet person on RMS actually asked me why I had yet to "spend my money where it was needed". Ah, but I DID. We adopted our daughter. That perfect floor and counter would have to wait. And, for anyone who thinks for a second that this kitchen is always so clean...let me put that notion to rest! I knew family would be coming by this evening (more on that later) and did a quick clean up. At this moment, there are plates and glasses in the sink, a table full of left overs waiting to be put away and a pile of laundry in the middle of the floor. Can anyone explain to me how 3 people (Daniel does his own laundry) have this many dirty clothes? Sheesh...and it is staring at me, calling to me...wash me...dry me...fold me... Why I let that unremarkable line bother me, I have no idea. I am rather red of face that it DID upset me. Perhaps it annoyed me because I can not imagine why anyone would say something so unkind to another. But you know? I have learned something. No matter what I do or do NOT do to this kitchen, powder room or basement, some will always find it "unremarkable". I have always enjoyed watching HGTV"s Househunters. Recently, however, it has left me miffed. Yes, miffed. To watch one young couple after another spurn a home because it has, and let me say this exactly as the lovely young woman did so eloquently... "Egad! Vinyl flooring! I can not live with vinyl flooring!"... left me a teensy but cold. This remark was quickly followed by the inevitable, "NO granite? NO GRANITE!" She practically swooned. It was a shock to sweetie's delicate sensibilities that some of us barbarian cave dwellers actually suffer the lack of granite counters. We should be shot at dawn. Just today I picked up a copy of a new magazine to read what a young designer had to say about updating my dining room. Well, straight away he said to rid myself of any dark walls...IE, burgundy. Oh yeah, like in the burgundy walls we spent a week painting 2 months ago. Those walls are already dated. Who knew? And I need to lose the *old fashioned* table and chairs. Uh huh. Just like the ones we bought and paid for 2 months ago. I think I will kill myself. So, I was dated before the paint had a chance to dry. Why should this amaze me? I am sorely out of touch with most clothes styles, music and books. Shouldn't my home reflect the me who is out of touch, out of whack and probably out of cumin in the pantry? And so it does...from the burgundy walls in the dining room to the eclectic mix of treasures in our family room. Someday soon I will change this flooring and these counters and will be thrilled to do so. But, until then, I will relax and enjoy being so delightfully unremarkable. You see, being unremarkable isn't tough at all when you are surrounded by the wonderful blog friends that I have. Bless you all... Have a sweet Wednesday...I need to run. The laundry pile calls.
Sweet BJ at Sweet Nothings is hosting a Kitchen Party on her blog this week! So many talented and creative bloggers are sharing their kitchens with us or are sharing one they have found that, in their eyes, is glorious. I have so enjoyed seeing these wonderful spaces and wanted to join in. Then, stupidly, I chose NOT to send in my photos because I was sure my kitchen would be deemed quite unremarkable...and yes, that RMS sting still hurts! So, unremarkable as it is, each photo is *clickable* and it will give you a larger image to see. Just don't look too hard for batter spills or cracker crumbs! The tea towels are really used...and are picked up on trips here and abroad. I have so many of them and they make me smile!
Good question...what IS for supper?
The sign over the window reads, "Enjoy the Journey" and I think we do! As you can see, a minimalist I am not!We do not all have large homes or enormous design budgets. I am one of those! But hey. I have a lovely home and am surrounded by the treasures and people I adore. That counts for something right? We have already chosen the flooring and counter tops/tile back splashes that will be added to our kitchen, hopefully, next year. When we bought our home, we chose very neutral colors because we thought we might well have had to move again. When we realized, last year, that we were finally home for good, adding our own personality began...a little here and a tiny bit there. It will all come together someday soon but, until then, this is my kitchen, unremarkable perhaps, cluttered to some, but mine. It will never be featured in a magazine but it is our nest. Our kitchen table has seen it's share of dinners, laughter, hurried breakfasts and tears. Almost every member of my extended family has, over the years, dined at this table. You can see the small indentations from completed homework assignments and a nick here and there from each of our 17 moves. There is even a scorched spot that brings back memories of candlelight dining during our first hurricane. Isn't it wonderful that I love vintage? It was at this table that scores of adoption paperwork was completed and at which Daniel studied for his Senior year finals. It was here I sat after learning that my beloved father had passed away and it was here that we both sat upon learning that we had a daughter waiting for us in China. Yes, I have scores of dishes and glassware, all pretty and of which I am quite fond. I do love to set a sweet table and use the linens and lovely tableware I have. But this is how our kitchen looks on most days...mid afternoon. I have cleaned up from the morning rush and Grace has yet to get home, dragging with her an overstuffed backpack and many papers to check. I am still in the process of aging the walls so don't look TOO HARD! It is a dreary, rainy day so may appear to be a bit gloomy. Of course, odd duck that I am, I adore such days and feel all the more cozy in my little home. Someday soon I will have the brick flooring I crave (Not quite like our pretty Kat's but she WAS my inspiration!) but, until then, our kitchen will continue to be our safe haven. It will still shelter dogs with muddy feet and shedding cats. Young men, and not so young men, will still forget to remove their grass covered shoes after mowing. Watercolor paint will be splattered on the table and pancake syrup will still, somehow, magically find it's way onto the floor and walls. And I will love it all. I will be grateful for it all. Thank you dear, dear BJ for being such a gracious hostess this week! If you have yet to take a peek, please do!
Monday, May 26, 2008
....Happy Birthday To You! Sheila....here is a HUGE wish for you...a teensy bit belated but you were away anyhoo! Right? *smile* I wish I could wrap up Paul or Ringo and have them delivered to your door but, in lieu of that, I offer you this wish...for a year filled with happy smiles and warm hugs. A year full of sweet joy and delightful surprises. You are a special lady and a good friend. Happy, happy birthday Sheila!
In the United States, today is Memorial Day. This day is often considered to be the *unofficial* kick off of the Summer season. There will be family picnics and children happily splashing in swimming pools. Some couples will go fishing, others, to the beach. Many folks will use the day to plant flowers and some will catch the new movie blockbuster. No matter how you choose to spend your day, please try to take a moment to remember the men and women, of every nation, who fought and died to preserve freedom around the globe.
I hope your weekend has been a sweet one. We started ours on Saturday morning with a visit to Rolandia Miniature Golf Course.
Grace and her BFF, The beautiful Ms. K. What better way to cool yourself on a warm day than a Water War! There was the sweetest Mama and Papa Mallard living right in the middle of the golf course. Their little ones seemed happy and healthy and I just had to get a few shots of them!
You first...no, YOU first...noooo...YOU first... Sssh...come on. She will never know we left.... Surf's Up!
And then we said goodbye.... On Sunday we enjoyed a wonderful sermon at our church and had a delicious brunch at The First Watch, one of our favorite spots. Grace and I LOVE their omelets and fresh fruit. Mom had the spinach Eggs Benedict which looked amazing. Bill usually gets their cranberry pecan pancakes. Yummy! After eating all that great food, we headed over to Cox Arboretum, where we met some friends for walk through the park.Our Grace with the lovely Ms. N. This is Zipp....he is a highly trained Border Collie who lives in and works for the Metro Parks. He keeps the geese at bay, never hurting them, so there is little to no problem with those lovely creatures. Zipp is amazing to watch. He is also a love...he had lots of down time on this day, so was making sure that each of us had a chance to scratch his head and rub his ears! I considered it an honor! There was a wedding in the park this day...how could I not take a peek? I was able to get this shot while the couple were having photos taken. The groom's family is from India and I was able to chat with them and the bride's father. Such lovely people. This little guy was not a guest at the wedding...and he seemed a bit miffed. Grace had been invited to her BFF's Uncle's home for swimming and a cook out this evening. Bill and I jumped at this chance to see "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull". Did I enjoy it? Oh YEAH!! Then it was off to our community's Dog Park. Kipper loves to go and *run with the pack*! I did not take my camera but here is a play by play....Kip gets shy at first, the dogs already there come up for a sniff. They all do the "Bumsniff Mambo" (A term coined by a dear friend!), decide they can all be friends and begin playing. Eventually the big dogs on the other side of the fence begin to taunt the little guys and challenge them to an, "up and down, next to the fence, until the first one drops", race. Then it is off.... Up and down, up and down, back and forth...until all doggies are panting and slurping water and collapsed on the grass. Oh it was sight to behold! Today will find us working in the yard and then hosting a little family cookout.
For those of you here in the US, I wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day. To ALL of my blogger friends, I wish each of you a safe, happy and sunny week!Love and Hugs,
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Lists...not that I love them or anything like that but hey. Here is one I borrowed, er, stole, swiped and pilfered, from sweet Missy. 1. Last Movie you Saw in a Theater: Made Of Honor, last weekend, with Mom, my buddy T, Grace and Bill. Two words, Scotland. New York City. (Yeah, yeah, Technically that is 4 words. So sue me.) Uh huh and throw in a happy ending, buttered, oh so bad for you, popcorn and you have got a great 2 hours. Gonna go see Indy baby this weekend...and remember, "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." 2. Favorite Board Game: Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. Monopoly is also a big favorite here. Daniel has loved it since he was 9 and is very competitive! Of course, I have been known to cheat, um, I mean play in a very aggressive manner. Ruthless, combative and venomous. Do you dare? *evil laughter* 3. Favorite Smells: Lavender, lilac, coffee brewing. I am also a perfume/after shave, bath gel/lotion junkie. I haven't met too many I did not like. Go on. Try me. 4. Favorite Sound: Rain, birds singing, a cat's purr, laughter. Oh, and that voice that says, "Shoppers? We have a blue light special in aisle 7!" 5. Worst Feeling In The World: Being lonely. Feeling helpless. Oh, and that dull ache while watching Brian play Kubla Khan in TV's Marco Polo. Nope sweetie...baaaad casting decision. 6. Favorite Fast Food Place: Chipotle. Mickey D's for french fries. Wendy's for home style chicken sandwiches. Steak and Shake for burgers. Hmmm...I wonder why I have so much trouble losing weight? I will have to ponder that. 7. Finish This Statement. “If I Had A Lot Of Money I’d…”: ...adopt more children, finish adding my own personality to our home, travel to every country in the world and give, give, give, donate, donate, donate. 8. Do You Sleep With a Stuffed Animal? Uh huh. Kip usually chows down just before bedtime. 9. Storms-Cool Or Scary?: I love a nice, rolling thunder storm. I LOVE to be snowed in...and yes, I AM odd. That said, I have been right in the midst of a Category 5 tornado and I do not wish to relive the experience thank you very much. I have hunkered down in hurricanes and run from 3 Category 4s and 2 5s. I have been in an ice storm that left us without power for more than 2 weeks and 1 major flood. I have experienced one 6.2 earthquake and one 6.8. I was near a London intersection when a small bomb was detonated. I have also lived in an area where locusts were a problem...so, am I just bad luck or is God trying to tell me something? Wait. Maybe I don't want to know... 10. Favorite drink: Water, brewed ice tea, lemonade, Coca Cola and a good margarita por favor. Especially during a hurricane, tornado, earthquake and locust swarm. 11. Finish This Statement, “If I Had The Time I Would …..” Dance a jig and actually get a project finished! Whoo Hoo! 12. If You Could Dye Your Hair Any Color, What Would Be Your Choice? If?? IF?? I am almost 52! Do you think these "natural looking golden highlights" in my "oh so natural ash blond" hair are N.A.T.U.R.A.L? 13. One Nice Thing About The Person Who Sent This To You: Hmmm...well, since I actually swiped, or purloined if you will, this list...I will only say that Missy is one of the true sweethearts of this old world. 14. What’s Under Your Bed? Cat hair? Dust bunnies? Is this a truck question? 15. Would You Like To Be Born As Yourself Again? Oh, now THIS is a trick question right? Who are you offering to have me born as the next time? 16. Morning Person Or Night Owl? Night owl. Always have been. I think I am part vampire or something... 17. Over Easy Or Sunny Side Up? Neither. How about a nice Western Omelet? Who's doing the cooking? 18. Favorite Place To Relax: At a sidewalk cafe in Florence Italy...huh? Oooohhhh. Reality...on the deck, reading a book, while watching Bill do all the edging and weeding. Okay, okay...so that is a dream too and much less likely to happen. 19. Favorite Pie: Who's baking? Surely you do not think it will be ME! Oh, well then, if that is the case you will get no pie from me. You will get cheesecake and like it! 20. Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate, chocolate chip, chocolate swirl, chocolate chunk, chocolate mocha, chocolate fudge, chocolate ripple..should I go on? Now, I have these questions that some very sweet (And oh so nosy) blog friends sent a while ago to answer. I am going to begin that today....ain't ya all a twitter with excitement? No? Well, reading them will be more fun than a swarm of locust or watching Brian D. as Kubla Khan. See you all soon!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
As you all know, much of the last 5 weeks has found our family absorbed in our robins. Mama Robin laid the last egg on April 26th. They were the most beautiful shade of blue. Of these 5 sweet little eggs, 3 hatched. This photo was snapped on May 8th. Don't you love the little tufts of fluff? This is nature's way of keeping them warm when Mama is off foraging for worms. And poor Mom and Pop Robin kept up a dizzying schedule of feeding! On May 12th...Dear, tiny fuzz balls but their little feathers are beginning to form! May 14th...Yes, they now look like *real* birds as Gracie said! They are also getting much more active! May 16th..."Hey guys! When that lady with the camera comes out, let's all MOON her! On three..." May 18th..."Ssh. Here she comes again. Pretend you are sleeping. Maybe she will take the hint!" May 19th..."Hey lady! If you are gonna check on us so often, at least you could bring a worm or two! We are HUNGRY!"May 20th...This was the biggest baby and the most active. I knew he would be the first to leave the comforts of home. May 21st...I knew he was making his move. He was so active all day. Up and down, fluffing those wings, puffing out that chest. Mama and Papa Robin sat in our trees and called to them, over and over, for hours. I decided to go out and take another picture. I snapped this photo and, just as I went in to take another (more clear), out this little guy flew and landed on top of my head! I think it surprised him as much as it did me! In a wink of an eye, he was off again and flew straight down and into our neighbor's yard. Papa Robin joined him and the two sat there chattering away. "Well, son. I am so proud of you. Good work! You were so brave. Ah, and no matter what your Mom tells you, you DO take after me you know. I hope your brother and sister will follow your example! Your mother needs some R & R. She is still mad at me for letting Mother's Day slip my mind! Nag, nag...well, you know women...oh. You don't do you? Son, we need to have a little chat..." Mama remained in our tree *pleading* with the other two to join their brother! "Okay now. I am sick and tired of catering to you ungrateful children. It is time you grew up and went out on your own! You make a mess of the nest, expect me to feed you at all hours of the day and night. And then there is your Father. No wonder you two are so lazy. Just like your Father. No one in this family thinks I have needs...I have wants, I have desires..." The other two seemed to be having none of this *leaving the nest* silliness. Mama Robin sat in our tree and *begged* them to follow their sibling. Oh yes. She pleaded for hours! It was well after dark when she quieted down. The "Timid Twins"? They got all cozy and said, "No way Ma! It is cold out there. We like it here. Um Ma? How about some dinner? Pass me the remote Ma. Dancing With The Stars is on the tube tonight..." Just before sun up today, May 21st, Mama and Papa Robin began their begging in earnest. Grace and I sat just inside the front door and watched the show. Mama flew back and forth, nest to tree, tree to nest. She begged, she pleaded, she PUSHED! This Mom had had enough. She had a yoga class at 10 and, by gosh, she was not going to be late! Right before the school bus arrived, Twin #1 sat up, fluffed his feathers and flew! He was quickly followed by Twin # 2. I think it surprised them both! They sat on the curb and Grace, afraid that the bus would hurt them, ran outside and flapped her arms, ran in circles in front of them and pushed the twins back into the yard. There they sat, watching her. She did look familiar. Grace knelt down and the twins drew close. For just a few precious seconds, it was as if they were thanking her for our hospitality. Then, in answer to Mama R's calls, off they flew. So this is what we were left with tonight. The two unhatched eggs. Bill carefully removed the nest and placed it in a glass container I have on our deck. The eggs he buried in our garden. Our daughter made a tiny cross for it. Ah, yes, I know. Sweet kid huh? Silly, but I miss my 3 little ones already. I hope they will live a long life and stay well. Fly my little ones, fly high. Mama Robin? The last I heard, she was hitting the blackjack table at the Argosy Casino.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Photo from: About The Cake Inc.
A belated, but only a wee bit, Happy Birthday to sweet Kathy! Kathy is a dear lady, creative and talented. I have become a huge collector of her oh so precious, handmade hearts. Kathy? May this year be one filled with beauty and joy, laughter and smiles, blissful moments and hugs from loving friends and family. Happy Birthday!
...and again. I have been reminded (rather politely I must add!) that I never mentioned Bill's birthday or Mother's Day! I will just add a few pictures of that weekend... On Bill's BD, we were volunteers at a Welcome Spring party for families of deployed servicemen and women. The party was held on Wright Patterson Air Force Base. My family worked with the little ones and oh, you should have seen one precious tiny girl. Brooke decided she was enamored with Bill and would not leave his side. It was so sweet. I was pretty sure I was going to be pushed straight out of the picture by this younger woman...her Mommy said Bill looked a lot like Brooke's Daddy. *Just a wee bit older*. Yes, she DID say OLDER! But heck, for an *old* man of 52, he is still kinda sexy. Of course, he is NO Brian Dennehy but who is? I doubt that even Brian himself is always *Brian Dennehy*! Just think about that now! That evening we met our friends, T & R, for dinner at Abuelo's. Great food and great conversation. A perfect combination. On Mother's Day, Mom wore the most darling rose corsage that was a gift from her oldest grandson. We went to church where the minister said to warmly greet each Mom. Now, how to tell which ones are Moms, he asked. Look around for the women who seem the most tired and bingo! You have got yourself a Mom! We then headed to my brother and sister in law's home for a cook out. Yes, it was raining but the guys were still able to grill up some tasty goodies! We had 3 kinds of salads and fruit and veggies and chips and dips and a German Chocolate cake with chocolate chip ice cream. The cake was for Bill, at his request! We all sang the standard tune as he blew out 7 candles...5 for each decade and 2 for, well, the additional 2 years of course! There were sweet gifts for Bill and for each Mother...movies to watch and dogs to cuddle and smiling children and, well, not a bad day huh?
My treasures Bill's German chocolate birthday cake! His special request... Boo and Grandma My brother...the shirt says it all! Boo and his Mommy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am still catching up, here and with all of you! I may be slow but, like that old proverbial turtle, I WILL get there. Love and Hugs, Susie Q