To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dressing for the ages.

Someone found her way into the antique/vintage clothing tote...and found she loves the style of her ancestors. How far back in history do you have to go before you legitimately call someone an ancestor?
I see items from her Gr. Grandmother (the knit scarf and beaded necklace) who was born in 1935, Gr. Gr. Grandmother (the fur stole and felted hat) who was born in 1915, and her Gr. Gr. Gr. Grandmother (the flowered mesh topper) who was born in 1884. Wow, that's 120 plus years before the Delightful Miss M was born. The stars and moon iridescent drape is a piece of fabric I picked up on the cheap and she's wearing a thrifted belt on her head that we have yet to turn into a headband. I like to think these women from her past would have found joy in her wearing their clothes. Do you suppose they ever wondered if there would be someone like her in their future? Someone with this much sass and style and charm? Someone who is intently curious about the women who wore these clothes before her? Someone who asks me to tell her stories about what they were like? Is she like any of them?
Not sure where this hat came from, but many of the pins came from estate sales or box lots at auctions...and the batman pin belonged to her Uncle. I also see a rose pin that belonged to her Gr. Grandmother. Just this weekend I added a beautiful lace blouse to the box that I wore years ago. I was going to send it to the thrift store, but I realized it was just the sort of blouse that would be a perfect compliment for these hats and scarves. Now I'm in the box as well.

Sort of makes me wonder which of her clothes will be worn by a great great great granddaughter of!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wake up city!

The sun is on it's way.

A morning walk is an event I strive for every day. Sometimes I feel like I do that just to get it out of the way, but the truth is, I love to see how everything changes with the encroaching sunlight. I live in the city, but across the street from a park, and even though a good section of woods and a creek are just at the end of my road, I rarely walk the creek path in the dark on account of the number of transients who call it home. Instead, I stick to the roads when it's dark out. Care to come along on a view of some of the grittier sites?
I love Sycamore trees. I find them fascinating with their distinct mottled, camouflage bark and how they stand so prominently where ever they may be. I first learned what these were when hiking Aman Park a few years ago and I was delighted to find several of them growing in my neighborhood. They catch my attention when I'm walking and cause me to rubber-neck as I walk by. I mean, really! How cool is a camouflage tree??
I found a notable harbinger of Spring, the seed balls of the Sycamore. These pods hang on the tree all winter long and only begin to drop in abundance with the arrival of the spring weather. ~grins~ This might be a bit more reliable than any groundhog.
Not sure why I focused on the 'gritty city' shots today, but I'm sort of glad I did because it is what I see every day. Most of the time I'm focused on the beauty of my walks and ignore the lights and wires and cars, but sometimes, I guess you just have to look at what else is there.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Official Card Carrier

I did it. I've been meaning to for a long time and I don't know why I hadn't, but now I have.

It's been years since I've had one of these. That's so odd for someone like me who loves to read, but the truth is, I got it more for all the arts and activities I want to explore and learn about. I can see that I could easily go broke buying books on watercolor, block printing, upholstery, gardening, drawing, sewing, embroidery, travel, knitting, furniture refinishing and repair, cooking, home repair and remodeling, green health, decorating, and on and on....see what I mean? I needed this and now I'm an official library card carrier. Sweet!

I sort of like that the card takes up much less space than shelves and shelves of book too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Quiet

It was the type of evening I like to enjoy on occasion. The sort where I decide I'm not going to do a darn thing except set on the couch and read. Yes, it was Valentine's Day and I was alone, but I was not lonely. Actually, I was quite content. No radio, no TV, just a few candles, a plush blanket and a good book to get lost in.
Okay, there was also a bowl of Jelly Bellies sitting within reach, but I was lost in the book, I really was, and I paid no attention to the bowl of candy. At least, I didn't think I did until I glanced down and had to laugh at myself. Apparently, I like my candy to be sorted when I'm eating it. Who does this!?! And why are there no watermelon candies left?
Well, that broke my mood for reading and I went looking for something productive to do, but instead I came across a camera lens that I've been considering replacing. Shoot, might as well play with it again to see if I really want to let it go. Let's see, what can I take pictures of...oh yes, there are my four inspirations. I love these women. To me they are no nonsense, 'we stick together' women. Together they can do anything! They inspire me and they are prominently displayed in my living room.
Then there's my lovely rooster. I didn't want to be cliche about having chickens and roosters in the kitchen, but he does hang on the kitchen wall. I found him in one of my favorite shops (the kind with a jingle bell on the door) a few years ago when I was prowling with a friend. It's an oil painting by someone in China and I believe I bought it when Alex was living in China for a bit. I think it made me feel closer to him at the time.
I took many pictures of ordinary items in my home last night. Enough to make me realize I love this lens. I just need to use it more. It's fabulous in low light and it's very fast. My only prime lens. I guess I won't be trading it out after all.

Now for the yummy part of the evening. I was looking in the refrigerator the other day, assessing what ingredients I had on hand that I should use up and noticed there were 4 jars of various amounts of fruit jelly on the shelf. And wouldn't you know that I had three different recipes that I had clipped for fruit squares, but I hadn't taken the time to study them to see how I could make them work for me. These turned out to be a mixture of raspberry jelly and orange marmalade, coconut, oats and butter. There are a couple more ingredients, but I have some tweaking to do before I think they're ready for a shared recipe. For now, they are delicious and there are 2 less jars of jelly in my stock.
Ah yes, I love a quiet evening all to myself. Now, where did I put that book....

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Wipe Out

Life, it's a funny thing. You're going along, everything is rosy, you've got life by the tail and you're thinking, "ain't life grand!" Ha, then this happens...
I'm fact, I'm just fine...but it seems I had a bit of a mental wipe out and now I'm regrouping from it. It wasn't so bad, not like some of the more notorious wipe outs of my youth, and I'm actually laughing about this one, but geez, I sort of like it when life is grand. Oh, who am I kidding? In truth, I love coming out on the other side of wipe outs too. I feel so much calmer and inspired. I suppose the trick would be to stop thinking I've got life all figured out because I'm only going to find that I don't. That's okay. At least I could giggle my way through this wipe out. It would serve no purpose to feel guilt right now as that would only get in the way of my growth. Besides, giggling is way more fun. I wish I could laugh though all life's wipe outs. Then life would really be grand!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Chemist

I found out how easy it is to make my own lotion. No, really, it's crazy easy.

I love how my skin feels now that I've been using this for a while. Miss M fell in love with it when she stayed over to my house so I sent a small jar home with her. She introduced her Momma to it, but now I think P has absconded with the jar. ~grins~ I'm not surprised as I've just made my third batch. This has a lovely texture and blends in so well.

It's so nice to know exactly what I'm putting on my skin. Have you made your own?

Thursday, February 9, 2012


She said if I wanted to overcome my fears I had to become curious. What a peculiar thing to say.
What a profound truth.

Let's just see where this curious adventure leads me to next.