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Friday, February 12, 2016

A little touch of France

Ever since I took some trips to France I have been in love with adding a few French touches to my home. Throughout the years I have incorporated these little things into my decor.

Sometimes it is just as simple as a ribbon with French script. Here is sits atop a wire tower with fleur de lis. The angel is a reminder of my best friend that passed away last year.


A different ribbon adorns my vase of faux calla lillies.

I even like to set my table with a French theme. This silver and taupe cloth is not actually a tablecloth. It's a shower curtain. When I saw it I knew it would be just right for my French table.


 

I even used the shower curtain rings as napkin rings.

 

I thought this laurel candle holder went well with the theme as well as the little silver ball garland.


My slipcovers from Pier One fit in just right.

 
You can see that I still have my branches up from Christmas time.
Other little touches are in the sunroom too. Little bird houses on the amaryllis, lavendar and a crown on the baker's rack, and a silver trophy urn holding a white tulip arrngement.


I must admit I overdo it a little but I love seeing all the vignettes tht remind me of a wonderful time.




















 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rituals

Do you have a daily ritual? Many people write in their journals first thing in the morning. Or keep a certain schedule throughout the day. And some drink tea. 




 In the winter there is nothing better than tea. I try to have my tea time at three o'clock each day. I'm not a fanatic about it so if I miss it that's ok. But there is something special about fixing a cup and having a little nosh about that time.



Maybe it's the warmth. Maybe it's the taste. Maybe it's the honey but something about pouring a steaming cup just gets in your soul.




I use a small tray with French tiles and wire handles to carry my tea to a chair. I have a certain old silver spoon and a small white ceramic square for my tea bag. I use a cast iron Japanese style teapot which holds just two cups...just right..and keeps the second cup hot until I am ready for it. I love a red square mug with black inside and Chinese figures on the outside. I wonder what it says.








Tea time is nice but if you combine it with a great book it gets even better.

My fitness Pal

Like a lot of people this time of year I am looking to eating heathier and losing weight. I know that tracking what you consume is the only way to really know if you are overeating or eating the wrong things. I've tried a lot of different ways to track from just keeping a diary to printing out pages to check off. But the easiest thing I've ever tried is a website called My Fitness Pal. There is also an app.






It couldn't be easier to have a record of what you are eating. You set your own goal and then daily go to the site and just put in what you eat from a huge list of foods. Over five million foods in their database. All the brands are there. I even found the hamburger cabbage casserole that I had last night for dinner. You choose the meal, choose the food and add it. It's that easy. It also tells you the amounts of carbs, proteins, calories and sugars you have for each meal and totals them for the day. Then it lets you know if you are over or under your requirement for the calories.

It dosn't tell you what to eat, but it makes it very easy to see what you are doing. You can go back and look at previous days. I know being aware is the first step to eating better. Give it a try.

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Watch me whip, Watch me nae nae

I was sent the cutest video the other day I just had to share it with you. I completely missed out on the whip/nae nae craze that went around last summer. All the kids evidently were doing it and adults too. How did I not know that?
 Sometimes I feel I miss out on things because I don't have young people in my house. I don't know much of the popular music, fashion trends or dances. Yes, I'm old...a grandmother..does that mean I'm out of touch? I guess so.

Faith Baldwin


Do you know what I love, love, love about the internet? When I can learn something new. Today I visited Dewena's Window, a favorite blog of mine. She had on a quote from Faith Baldwin that sung to my heart.


"I have grown to enjoy a bad day, even with thick snow and zero temperatures,
if I am indoors.

It is satisfying to sit by a window, nursing a cup of tea,
hearing the fire snap on the hearth,
and watching the wild-white world outside,
kept at bay by good walls and insulation...

The winter weather is conducive to hard work;
I don't want to go anywhere,
and seldom can.

The cupboard is stocked, and the freezer.

So I stay home and work."

Faith Baldwin



I had never heard of Faith Baldwin so I googled her and this is what I found.

Faith Baldwin

 


Born
in New Rochelle, New York, The United States
October 01, 1893

Died
March 18, 1978

Genre



Faith Baldwin attended private academies and finishing schools, and in 1914-16 she lived in Dresden, Germany. She married Hugh H. Cuthrell in 1920, and the next year she published her first novel, Mavis of Green Hill. Although she often claimed she did not care for authorship, her steady stream of books belies that claim; over the next 56 years she published more than 85 books, more than 60 of them novels with such titles as Those Difficult Years (1925), The Office Wife (1930), Babs and Mary Lou (1931), District Nurse (1932), Manhattan Nights (1937), and He Married a Doctor (1944). Her last completed novel, Adam's Eden, appeared in 1977.





She was a little before my time but I like her quotes...




Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Funny weather

 

Do you talk about the weather a lot where you live? My son says I talk about the weather all the time. He lives in Tennessee and doesn't really talk about his weather too much. That's because it is nice most of the time there. Even in the summer when he has rain it doesn't last too long. The same way with snow. He gets it once in a while but it doesn't stay around too long. What a contrast from here.

We talk about it because it affects a lot of what we do. First of all it affects our clothing..scarves, hats, gloves, boots and a warm coat. Ryan doesn't understand why we need so many coats. I have coats for all kinds of weather...very warm and heavy for those freezing cold days, lighter for days when there is sun, and then midseason coats, lights coats, rain coats...I could go on and on. Then the weather affects if we go out of the house or not. Those slippery roads and icy sidewalks can keep us in and keep us safe. I worry a lot more about falling than I did when I was young.

This mild weather and no snow has me hankering for Spring. It is a long ways away here. We don't get leaves full on the trees until the end of May. April brings the flowers. So we have a few months to get through before we can enjoy that lovely warm weather.

But I haven't minded this winter a bit. It's given me a chance to read and work on the computer. And a chance to do some deep cleaning. And I love the stews and casseroles that this season brings. But it does seem strange looking out the window and not seeing snow.

Yesterday Don and I had a day date. We went to Erie for lunch and a little shopping. Tammy, you would be proud of me for I came home with very little. I looked a lot but didn't see anything that I had to have. Either I am getting more picky or you are rubbing off on me..>he he. I did buy some removable labels for the bins and some metal rings to hang up my wreath holders in the attic. I bought some flowers to make an arrangement in a bowl that I had bought a while back. A few suet cakes...and that's all. Can you believe it? So today I need to get all the wreaths hung up after Don makes a rod in the attic for me. And maybe I'll get around to making the arrangement.

 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Everybody has to do it

Yes, everyone has to clean. No matter who you are or where you live things get dirty and have to be cleaned sooner or later. And there are degrees of cleanliness. The OCD people have to have everything in its place and their houses are spotless..no clutter, no dirt allowed anytime. At the other end there are the slobs who live in filth and don't care. Most of the rest of us fall somewhere in between.
   I have always envied those who have this down to a science. They make a schedule and follow it permitting only temporary dirt and clutter and each week continue the practice of making their homes a space where things are managed quite well. Is that you?
   Throughout the years I have tried to work by a schedule but my right brain, creative side soon tires of this routine. I am more of the philosophy...clean it when it needs it. It's a rather hit and miss way of doing things but amazingly things do get done and the house does get clean. 
    I do declutter as needed..picking up my books and materials for various projects. The kitchen stays clean as I make sure each night after supper dishes are put away and counters cleaned. The sweeper gets run, the surfaces dusted and drawers organized when I see they are messy. And Sundays the laundry gets done. so my method does work. 
   But today I decided to deep clean.  Now that is another story. The bedroom was accumulating dust bunnies on the ceiling and more on the floor under the bed and behind the dresser. Now that called for serious work. I washed down the walls, swept up, and cleaned the floor. Everything in the room got a through dusting from ceiling to floor. whew!  Now I am going to sort my jewelry. Just taking a break. Do you find that you can't do as much now that you are older? I need some rest and recuperation after a big job like this. 
  
   

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Zonta card party

It's friends and fun and food...the Zonta Card party, a fundraiser for their scholarship fund. The food was amazing..just take a look at this spread.

 

 

 

 

There was also a Chinese auction of wonderful baskets. Joan won a small Keurig coffee machine.

 

 

 

 

It was a fun day with friends

 

Writing prompt

This writing prompt came from a blog called Paisley Rain Boots.

What were the special foods or meals from your childhood? Describe them. Write everythig that you remember, the smells, the tastes, the last time you remember having it.


My mother was a Southerner who moved to the north but never lost her southern roots. She grew up on a small farm in northeastern Georgia where food was simple and you went out in the chicken yard and caught your Sunday dinner. Naturally we grew up with the taste of the South. Mom was a great cook and meals at our house were always delicious.

Without a doubt a special food in our house was chicken pot pie. Throughout the years the pot pie was a staple on our table for special dinners. The combination of the chicken, vegetables and gravy topped with biscuits or dumplings was always a delight. It is a recipe treasured by my sisters and me.

Another of her recipes was for cherry treat...a simple cobbler. In the south they made it with fresh peaches but we often had it with cherry pie filling. It is easy to make and very tasty.

Cherry Treat

Melt 1/2c. butter and pour into an eight inch square dish. In a bowl mix: 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 1/2t. baking powder, 1 t. salt, and 2/3 c. milk. Pour this over the butter. Arrange fruit (cut up fresh fruit mixed with a little sugar or a can of cherry pie filling) over the top. Bake 1/2 hour at 375 degrees.

Mom and Dad retired back to Georgia and everytime we visited we always loved that she fixed pot pie for us. She passed away in 2000 and we still miss her cooking and the lovely table that she would set.

The last time that I had pot pie was a few weeks ago when I fixed it for us. Several years ago my sisters and I made a trip to Savannah and ate at the Paula Deen restaurant. It was like going back and eating at my mother's table. All the southern foods were represented..corn bread, green beans and potatoes, biscuits, and peach cobbler. It was a walk down a culinary memory lane. asd

This is a page from a family cookbook that I made as Christmas gifts a few years ago. On the pot pie recipe you can see that it serves Cox's army. That was a favorite saying of my mother's. She had a lot of those.

 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Did I say No snow?

In the last post I bragged that we had no snow. I should have known better. Overnight we got about an inch. Just enough to cover everything. As I went to coffee in the morning it was fine for about two miles until I got on the highway. Then I hit a blizzard. I slowed down to thirty mph, the road was covered and looked slippery, and I couldn't see very far. After coffee it had stopped snowing and this afternoon it has melted on the driveways and roads. If this is our little touch of winter I'll take it. 
  Today was our Literary Club Valentine's Tea. It's always a nice meeting and we invite the Current Events Club. Our speaker was from a nearby town and owns a Sweet Shoppe selling candies, ice cream, soups, and savories. She gave us all a little bag tied with a ribbon which contained four square of her delicious candies.