Showing posts from May, 2012

Happy Birthday, Rachel

Today she became an official teenager.  13 years old.  

We have seen her maturing over the last few years, this past year especially.  She is becoming a young woman.  Still tenderhearted and gentle, she is becoming bolder in good ways.

While she is quiet, she is not shy.  There were many years that she would not talk in public, but it didn't keep her from participating in things!

She is a delight to our whole family.  I love having a new kind of relationship with her - she no longer needs me to tell her stuff.  She needs me now to help guide her through these coming years.  

She has also reached a major family milestone - she's taller than me!  Of course I am only 5' 1" but she is going to be tall - we think taller than her older sisters.  

Happiest of birthdays, dear, dear Rachel.

The Arrow Verses The Air Conditioning Unit....

Guess which one won....sigh.

It has been hot here, and humid, too.

Sometime during the afternoon on Monday, Lindsay was doing target practice with her bow and arrows.  She shot from a different angle than she normally has been shooting and the arrow glanced off the target and somehow managed to get precisely between the vent slats on the A/C unit and puncture something or other.  She could have purposely shot at this thing for weeks and never done it had she been trying to do it on purpose - there is no mark on the unit at all.

Did I mention that it has been hot here too?

While we were eating dinner on the deck yesterday, a storm moved in.  We were enjoying the much cooler air, but it kept getting darker and darker.  The clouds were billowing downward and then we saw rotation starting.  Dinner was over!  We hustled every one and the dogs to head downstairs....of course we had some photographers who were busy....

Emily shared some photos with me from her iPod....

That portion of the storm pa…


We had a lovely weekend.

Tim only had to work a half day on Saturday and now has two full days off.  It's the first days off he has had in 21 days.  Seriously.  

Saturday morning, I took girls to work and then came home and took Rachel, Sarah and Kyle to pick strawberries!  I found out about a great place just 10 minutes from our home. 

 I have to insert here that everything is either 10 or 20 minutes from our house, unless we are talking NYC or DC and then they are both about 2 1/2 hours! 

Anyway back to the strawberry was a warm morning the day went on to be about 88 degrees and humid, so it was on the warm side.  But as it was 10:30 in the morning, it was not unbearable and the strawberry field was full of berries.  Oh, man!  I would move a few leaves and there would be gorgeous berries, 4 or 5 ripe and ready for me to pick.  I filled up 4 quarts pretty quickly.  Rachel worked steadily along and filled 3 quarts.  Sarah struggled through her first quart but got into th…

Tending To My Home

I love to tend my home.  I love to rearrange furniture *a lot*.  I love to change the pictures on our walls, and move them from room to room.  I guess you could say, I like to make our home feel fresh and new without much expense.

One day when I was at the fabric outlet, I spied a beautiful fabric that had a vintage feel to it.  I pulled it out, looked at it, put it back.  Came back to it and bought two yards!

It has a light green background with cream colored dots and a beautiful floral pattern on it.  It is perfect for Summer.  I used it to make a small valance for my kitchen window - I love to be able to see out the window and to let the sunshine in!

I also made two simple pillow covers...

So fresh and pretty!  These are the pillow forms that I covered with my Waverly ticking stripe - you can find that post here.

I have a bit of fabric left, but am not sure what to do with it...any ideas?

Doing these kinds of small things delight me and help me focus on homemaking in the midst of running…

I Became A Mom

twenty three years ago today, when that handsome young man, surrounded by his sisters and his brother, was born.

He has stretched me in many ways, and I know that I am a better mother, a better woman even, because of him.

Happy Birthday, Nate!

I am so proud of you.

Prettifying My Deck

Saturday I dropped the girls off at Sight and Sound and Fab Fashion and then stopped to buy strawberries.  I left the greenhouse a half and hour later loaded with flowers for the deck.

I took the opportunity to plant some of my herbs, and to plant sunflowers and hollyhocks in my garden.  We'll see how they grow!

Every year I have to have at least one Margarite Sweet Potato vine growing!

This year I chose double impatiens for the baskets.  It is a mostly shady space with my gazebo covering the deck now, but they get enough sunlight.  

Aren't they beautiful?  Like little roses.

I also planted a few of the traditional impatiens...

and these Superbells in Tequila Sunrise...

I was so happy to spend part of my day beautifying, or prettifying as we sometimes say, this space that we love to use.  Our deck now that it has a covering has become and extension of our living space.  We eat dinner out there, or go out after dinner and spend time together.  Now I just have to make sure they get eno…

Food For Thought

"I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of, for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking."  

George MacDonald

Lessons, Musical and Otherwise

Rachel had been talking about learning the cello for a few years.  She had taken piano lessons, along with Emily, but we stopped for a break  over the summer one year and never started again.  They were not really interested at that time in starting back up.  However, she kept mentioning the cello.  

I hesitated because we tend, thanks to me, to be dabblers, not masters of anything.  I didn't want to invest in a cello just to dabble.  They're kind of expensive.

But we have friends whose son plays cello, and another friend who plays, and she takes lessons from another friends' daughter....And one of our friends who plays just upgraded their cello and had one to sell for a very good price.

So it all came together and Rachel has now had two lessons and loves it.  I haven't had to remind her to practice at all.  Being a beginner she is not using the bow yet, but mastering her fingering and playing the Twinkle Variations.  I think she is doing very well, and her instructor thi…

Peonies and Roses

My peonies are in bloom!  This is my absolute favorite flower.

These have an old fashioned roses smell - so heavenly.

The only problem with peonies is that they don't last long.

That's why I have a second favorite flower.  The rose!

This is my only one in bloom right now, it is Zephirine Drouhin.  The color is a pink deeper than the photos show.

It is a sweet climber and I am trying to train it on my picket fence.

The beauty of these flowers makes me happy.   Sometimes I sit on the front step of our house, enclosed in my cottage garden, just to savor the beauty.  

My Feverfew is getting out of hand...I am going to have to cut it back.

I am in the store today, so I am taking some of the beauty of my garden in with me.  I am going to clip some of my peonies to bring.  I will be able to enjoy them and it will be a good conversation starter with people who pop into the store.  It's a win-win for me!

What's Been Happening At Home

So I have talked a lot lately about our business - it is a daily part of our lives.  But today I wanted to post about the non business part of our lives.

For Mother's Day the guys grilled steak that had been marinated for days and it was amazing!  Fortunately for us there were some steaks left over, and several went into the fridge.  Monday I decided to make fajitas for dinner, so I took those steaks and thinly sliced them up, sliced up a bunch of peppers and onion, marinated some chicken and then using an electric griddle, I cooked it all up.

I make my own marinade for fajitas.  Here it is the best I can give it to you as I don't measure...

About 1/2 cup of oil ( I use light tasting Olive oil)
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp of garlic salt
2 + Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano

I like to let the chicken marinate for as long as I can, but this time I didn't have the time to do that.  So I marinated it for a bit and then while cooking it on the griddle, I poured it on to the chicke…

Note Card Party

Vee hosts us every 3rd Wednesday of the month.  I can't believe it is the middle of May already!  

I decided to edit a few photos that I took on Mother's Day of my Zephrine Drouhin rose bush.  It has been blooming like crazy but with all the rain, it is starting to get black spot.  Boo!

These are such sweet and beautiful flowers....

They would make perfect blank cards....

I love their color...

and delightful buds....

These are simple but sweet photos....I am looking forward to visiting with all of you tomorrow!


New Products

When you have a business you have to work the business all the time.  Isn't that profound?  I am learning that I still haven't fully transitioned in my own mind to 'business owner.'  We had a fun and encouraging breakfast with a guy Tim works with named Kendall and his wife Chris, who own a wonderful pet shop called "Little Paws Dog Shop."  

It was great to share ideas and thoughts about owning a business and customer service with people who also own a store.  

When we came home, Lindsay got busy setting up to shoot some new handbags and rings that we have available.  She will be putting them on the website this morning in the store.  Since it is pouring here, I have the feeling it will be a quiet day in the store.

This is what the product looks like when in the light box.  This is a coral colored purse called Julia on

Sometimes when shooting the product you have to hold down the edges of the paper insert or have a small but heavy item behind…

Yesterday Was A Lot Of Fun (tons of photos!)

My Mother's Day autographed balloon!

The gift I gave my mom. Made by Lisa Pennington, a blogging friend, who owns Shop 24 on Etsy.  The 17 is how many grandkids, grandkid in laws and great grandkids she has!  It is the perfect gift for the mom/grandma/greatgrandma who has everything!

The surprise of it all is that as you get closer to the pillow you realize that all their names are embroidered on the pillow, too!

Ryan, Alicia, Cayden and Camden...

Nate, Kayleigh, and Kamryn...

Rodney, Jill, and Logan...Evan....

Kaitlin, Lindsay, Emily, Rachel...

Sarah and Kyle....

Mom loved it.

 An up close view....

Beautiful Flowers...

My son and his daughter...

The girls and I attempting a group photo...

Everyone trying to be the tallest...

by being on our tippy toes.....

All my precious kids....they are turning out pretty nice...