Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Sewing

It has been very rainy for the past month.  I have to take advantage of dry moments for the garden or my walks.  In the mean time, I get in some sewing.

Last week, when I went to the card making party, I met my friend at a commuter parking lot and drove her the rest of the way.

She was very uncomfortable with the seat belt pressed into her shoulder.  I have noticed that the seat belts are irritating but I hadn't done anything about it.

Well, I felt bad that my friend was uncomfortable so I made some padded wraps for where the belts hit the shoulder.  Much better for driving in summertime clothes.

I also saw a simple shirt on Pinterest and whipped up one for myself.

Ready for a yoga class.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Miracles of Tidy

I am always a bit behind the times, but I finally picked up

You can find it on Amazon or, I am sure, in any bookstore.  It's all the rage.

Now I am not one to be overly attached to things and most people would consider my place quite neat and tidy.  In fact, I have alarmed some family members with my lack of sentimentality towards stuff.

But I have to say this book is over the top.  What a hoot!  I can relate to it actually, but it still cracks me up.

Check out the proper way to store socks.  You know socks work hard trapped there between your feet and your shoes.  They need to relax in comfort in the sock drawer.

My son has his own method for socks--they are all exactly the same.  No matching them into pairs, no rolling them into balls, no need for fancy organizer insets for the sock drawer.  Stack them all up right out of the dryer.  Happy, free-range socks!  Pull any two at random out of the drawer and you have a pair.  He should write his own book.

Even though I am undoubtedly much closer in practice to Marie Kondo than to the writer of this essay, I have sympathy for Carle Wisel.  Mike was a great collector, but he was also very organized and tidy with his collections.

The only thing I can be accused of hoarding is pens and pencils.  I have them in containers in every single room of the house except the bathroom.  Well, even there if you count eyebrow pencils.  I do have a dread fear of not being able to lay my hands on a writing implement when I need it.


living room

office desk top

office desk drawer

antiques pens on office bookcase

bedside table

laundry room

my craft room

That is my confession for today.  I am a pen and pencil hoarder and I am not ashamed.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Room with a view...

I meet with a group of women to make cards, kibitz, share lunch, and laugh. Yesterday, one of the group hosted a Stampin'Up party, adding shopping to the general mayhem of our get togethers.  I had never been to her house before, but it overlooks Lake Champlain.

Imagine waking up to this view on a summer morning, overlooking the treetops for a view of the lake.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lawn Care

The weather here has been damp.

I can't really complain because we are not experiencing floods, but it does get a tad annoying when you can hear the weeds growing.

Google image
Not my lawn by a long shot!

There are breaks in the clouds and I have been able to get out to do some yard work.  Today I mowed the grass...well, the lawn.  I can't really say there is much in the way of actual grass out there.  It is mostly ground ivy, violets, dandelions, and several other weedy things.  The crab grass will take over later in the summer.

I do have clover, white Dutch clover is spreading throughout.  I kind of like clover.  It's good for the soil--fixes nitrogen and encourages earthworms to live in the soil.  Also rabbits are supposed to like it so much they might leave other plants alone.

In spite of the rain and the quick growing, as soon as I mow there are brown patched that make it look as though we are in the middle of a drought.  There could have just as easily been a gravel pit here instead of the neighborhood homes.

In Florida I have noticed places that have little signs in the yards that proudly proclaim them naturally Florida friendly, using all native vegetation.

Think I will make a proud declaration about all the native plants in my yard.  Maybe if I get a nice enough sign, I will be featured in the home and garden section of the local paper.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Food Labels

I start my day with a cup of coffee.  Anything before that is totally on automatic pilot.

This morning I had to open a new container of coffee creamer.

I used to use soy creamer but then I read about soy being bad for you so I switched to almond creamer.  I found I really liked the almond creamer, but them I read about how almonds are sucking up all the California water.  I figured I would do my part and not contribute to the world wide demand (and, boy, that will show those profit mongers, but good!!).  I switched to coconut creamer (a decision that will no doubt crush the coconut industry in some way).

But yesterday I was in a grocery store that did not have coconut creamer...not even almond creamer.  I bought good old half and half.  Local dairy. No artificial growth hormones.

Here's the thing--this morning as I opened the creamer, I got stuck on that proud label: NO Artificial Growth Hormones.

Don't we have this wrong?  I mean shouldn't the default assumption be that our food is just food--that stuff we use to nourish ourselves.  And I mean nourish our whole selves because, let's face it, for most of us food is more than just fuel.  It's taste and memories and comfort as well.

I think the labels should tell us what is in the product, what might be in the product because it was fed to the animal that produced it.  Especially if the purpose of the addition is to increase profit margins instead of nutritional value, the label should be pretty prominent, too.

When I am put in charge of the world things will be some different, I can tell you that.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Flea Market Finds

Mike and I used to peruse a local flea market many sunny weekend mornings. Mike had the eye.  He picked good stuff, as in stuff with value.  He could tell the genuine from the clever fakes.

I, on the other hand, cannot really discern the genuine from the blatantly obvious fakes.  However, I do know what I like, what attracts me or calls my name for some reason.  It is not like I consider my flea market purchases investments.

Carltonware made a line of pottery called Walkingware--because it had walking feet.  After the company closed, as I understand it, at least one company had permission to use original molds.  These pieces may or may not have been marked.  I found these egg cups at the flea market last Sunday.  They are not marked so I won't ever say they are "real," but I think they are cute.

I thought I would start an egg cup collection for my granddaughter.  If she wants, she can use these for jewelry catch-alls.

I also bought four of these plates that were made in Italy.  They are marked Ceramica, which does make Italian dishes and kitchen accessories.  I just really like the colors.  I am a sucker for dishes.  It used to distress Mike because he wanted everything to match--full sets.

It wasn't a big investment and my finds made my happy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Farmer's Market

My sister-in-law, Jeannie, came for a weekend visit and made it a special birthday.

On Saturday, we went to the Burlington Farmer's Market.  I had never even been before and I was impressed with the number of vendors and the variety of food items on offer.

Jeannie bought artisan goat cheese and butter, pea shoots, baby garlic, fresh picked lettuce, strawberries, cookies, chocolate covered salted caramels and a beautiful birthday bouquet.  She made a fabulous dinner--salad with the lettuce, strawberries, and toasted walnuts; fresh fettuccini with mushrooms, pea shoots, baby garlic and goat cheese served with a basil chicken sausage.  SO yummy!

I wish that the salmon color of this peony showed better, but it is a sweet smelling and beautiful bouquet that I was so happy to have on my table.

I didn't take a picture of the lovely meal she prepared, but I had the left over pasta with sugar snap peas, the pea shoots, and goat cheese the next day.

Delicious leftovers.

i felt spoiled for my birthday.  Thank you, Jeannie!