Sunday, May 31, 2009

Welcome to the Porch Party!

I have been so excited about being able to celebrate and now Rhondi's porch party at Rose Colored Glasses is finally here!!!



Usually when I sit out on my porch, there is a glass of iced tea close by. Isn't this bird house sweet? My son made this for me when he was eight years old - he's now 25. Our next door neighbor at the time cut the wood and helped him with the assembly. It is one of my porch treasures. When we moved in this house a few years ago there just wasn't a place for this sewing machine stand. We left it on the front porch while thinking about a place to put it and decided it was cute right where it was.

To get ready for the porch party I decided to make pillows and cushions with red, white and blue. From Memorial Day through Labor Day it's a color scheme that seems to work.

The rocking chairs were a bargain from Publix (a grocery store) of all places. At the end of the summer season I found these 2 chairs marked down to $50 each!! Notice the swallow's bird nest on the table between the chairs. A sweet souvenir from a spring nest. The swing below was custom made to fit on our porch. At the old Lakewood there was a swing vendor who made a smaller swing to fit our narrow porch.


This little bench is my favorite sitting spot. We used to live in a small town called McDonough. On Saturdays they have a tiny farmer's market and anyone can come and sell their goods. A local retiree made this bench out of treated lumber. It is heavy as all get out but so comfy. I love the side table made from old railings.

I had to show you my porch bug. I was visiting my daughter in Portland and we went to the Bagdad Theater to see Pan's Labryinth. The next morning we stopped in Powell's Books for Home and Garden and oddly we found this beaded bug. It reminded me of the winged creatures from the film so I bought one for both of us. He is my garden faerie.


Don't geraniums look like summer? Our old town was known as the Geranium City and they had geraniums planted everywhere. After living in McDonough for 25 years, the geranium habit is hard to break.



I was walking through Big Lots and spotted these adorable outdoor lights. By day they look like colorful dragonflies but at night they become.....


fireflies.



Porch parties can be fun in by day or night! Y'all come back now, y'hear.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Dishes

A few weeks ago I was in CVS of all places (a chain drug store) when I noticed some dishes on sale. There were assorted dishes, some melamine and some pottery, but all with the same design and they looked like the happiest dishes I had ever seen. It looked like the perfect dishes for an ice cream party with my granddaughters (aka Jojo's joys) and I just couldn't resist the prices. The pottery dishes were on sale for ridiculously low prices plus I had a coupon for $5 off the entire purchase. By the time I got out the door, I paid $15 for 6 bowls and 6 plates along with a dozen matching paper napkins. Notice the ruffled edges of the plates. They're just too cute!


A couple of days later I was in Hancock's Fabrics when I noticed a fabric that matched the adorable CVS dishes. I bought fabric to make matching cloth napkins and I am still asking myself . . . what are the chances?

I am so excited about having an ice cream party for the grandgirls!!!

Announcement

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments over the last few days. I love getting comments and have really enjoyed meeting some new blog friends in the process. Very soon there will be another giveaway to celebrate my 200th post but for now the winner is . . .



A Beach House Dream
. Again, thank you to everyone for joining in the giveaway fun. Stay tuned for information on my 200th post giveaway celebration.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Whoo Hoo!


Can you say Friday?

Manicures and More

If you read my posts very often you know that I enjoy volunteering. For the past year and a half me and a volunteer partner have mentored two women who for some time were homeless but have now transitioned into permanent housing. While they have found a place to live, they have no car and they still face a number of challenges that most of us will never have to face.

Our experiences with these ladies have been so much fun. Over the past many months we have gone out to eat, been shopping (one trip to Target took hours just so they could enjoy looking at everything), watched movies and other been on excursions that provide opportunity for fun and fellowship. This month I was in charge of planning our outing and after mulling over a couple of ideas I thought that it would be fun to go get manicures. About every month or so after a hard day of house or yard work, I will go get a manicure on a Saturday afternoon and it is such a relaxing experience so it seemed like the perfect activity for spring.

My volunteer partner and I picked up our lady friends and headed for the local nail shop. It was funny because the ladies were nervous and very unsure of the process. The shop keeper was even more confused because we came in as a group and she couldn't figure out how we all belonged together. At one point she asked me what was our relationship, though I don't think I provided enough information when I said, "we're all friends."


It was such a fun outing and all of us were so proud our new manicures and soft hands. On the way home we discussed how long it had been since our last manicure. One of the ladies said when she got married and the other lady said, "never." We also had time to plan our summer outing and it looks like we may be headed to a paint your pottery place. Volunteering is so much fun.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Even Though I Dream, I Love Where I Live!

While it's great fun to dream of living in other places, I love my neighborhood and I want to share some photos with you.

We're a front porch neighborhood with lots of really cute houses that come in all sorts of colors.






The houses have some terrific details.


including characteristic lights that hang from trees



that make our neighborhood look magical at night.



We have our own font for house numbers.


and other cute things.


There are lots of gardeners, painters, stained glass makers, mosaic artists, bikers, grandparents, young families, a jewelry maker, army officers, a well-known pastry chef, a bee keeper (we have our own neighborhood honey) and a landscaper. In other words, we are a VERY diverse group of neighbors with diverse interests but with a great appreciation of each other. My husband and I used to live in a small town but we finally found what we were looking for when we moved into our neighborhood. I just remind myself of what Dorothy said - "there's no place like home" and I think we found Kansas.


We call this house our little white house.


I am so glad that you stopped in to visit with me and my wonderful neighborhood.

Dreaming of Other Places to Live

Alchemy Fine Living is hosting a great party today. It's a "Dream of Where You Might Like to Live" party. I have to admit that I do daydream about going to live in other places. The thought of going to live in a different place, even if only for a few months, has always seemed like an exciting adventure and I would love to be able to just do it. Today I would like to imagine living in Lebanon. My husband is from Beirut and we still have family living there so there is added appeal. Here are a few things I love about Lebanon. For instance, the houses,


And the food,

hospitality,

people,

and best of all, the scenery.

Many thanks to Lebanon Houses for the first two photos.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pause

Today our family stopped at 3:00 in a silent to salute to those who have who have given their lives serving our country. In our family we have a long history of service. My dad's father served in WWI. Three of his brothers and one of his sisters served in WWII and my dad along with one other brother served in the Korean War. Six out of 12 children in my dad's family served in the U.S. military. I grew up in an Air Force town and I am proud to say that my oldest son currently serves in the Air Force.

In spite of the constant rain this weekend we still had a small gathering of family to mark the Memorial Day weekend. As I shared with Joycee at Granny Mountain, we don't do Decoration Day as we used to growing up (though I wish we still wore poppies), but when our family comes together, we still pause to honor our family heroes.

Memorial Day

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Bloggers Beach Weekend?

I spent the evening blogging back and forth with Crystal from Olive Rue and Cindy from My Romantic Home, dreaming of a bloggers weekend at the beach. Wouldn't that be fabulous? Please let me know if you are interested. While on our beach trip I picked up shells and used them to make a shell picture frame. Please leave a comment to be entered to win the frame. I will draw a winner on Friday, May 29th.

Whatever you do this Memorial Day weekend please take a moment to remember those who have served our country. Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday.

Thought you might enjoy a clip from our beach visit last week.

video

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Piddlin'

Don't you love taking the back roads when you go on a vacation? There are so many places you can see and visit if you get off the interstate and take the state roads through small towns. Recently as we drove back to Georgia from Florida, and we passed through Luverne, Alabama -the Friendliest City in the South. I had never heard of Luverne but after visiting a well known restaurant maybe I agree. They serve up some great fried chicken, barbeque and home cooking at Annie's. My favorite item on the menu are the hush puppies (Hush Puppies are fried bread made of cornmeal, onions and sometimes corn all mixed together. Great stuff). While we were in Destin we heard the latest trend is to provide cheese dip with Hush Puppies - smothered Hush Puppies. It sounds like a ton of calories, and heavenly!
There is also Brantley, Alabama, which happens to be the Front Porch City of the South. I guess I can agree though I think my neighborhood is the Front Porch Neighborhood of the South. Driving through Brantley there is no doubt, every house has a porch or is adding one.We tried to stop and shop in Florala (it is a town just north of the Florida border, thus the name Florala... a combination of Florida/Alabama). There is a good sized cold-hardy palm tree farm but sadly they are closed on Saturday. Go figure. Beach traffic is typically traveling through the area on weekends but they can't stop and shop for a palm tree. We also missed the chance to eat at the It Don't Matter Restaurant but I guess that shouldn't matter, should it? And we missed the World's Largest Peanut Boil and I love boiled peanuts.
Along the way we passed a great vegetable stand and purple-hulls (my favorite peas) from Florida had already made it to market. I bought a mess of them and shelled peas on the drive home. We also bought fresh tomatoes, corn and crook-necked squash. We had a great Sunday lunch. Don't you just love having fresh veggies straight from the farmers?

We live just 10 minutes from the Georgia Farmers Market and this weekend my grandgirls are coming for a visit. I thought it would be fun for us to go to market so they can do some shopping for some fresh foods for the weekend. We are going to be making biscuits to go with our great food. My neighbor shared this recipe with me and let me tell you these biscuits just melt in your mouth. They are a very easy AND DELICIOUS Paula Dean recipe.
  • 2 cups self-rising flour (must use self-rising or they won't turn out).
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1/2 pint sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients and spoon into small, un-greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

Our neighborhood motto is - Make Biscuits, Not War.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who responded to my post about thrifting for the less fortunate. I am noodling on a way to successfully do something positive via blog.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thinking About Bloggers


Recently I was involved with a really cool design "contest" with an organization that supports refugees. Finders Keepers partnered up with an Atlanta-based organization to help sponsor the competition that involved law firm teams challenged with decorating two-bedroom apartments for refugee families arriving to live in Georgia. The families are fleeing war and usually arrive with no belongings so the challenge is to completely furnish these apartments with less than $300. It took a couple of months but the law firm teams just held their celebration last week.

Almost daily I read blogs with postings about amazing treasures found at local flea markets, yard sales and donation stores. Wouldn't it be incredible if bloggers decorated an apartment for a family in need? My guess is that bloggers could create the most amazingly beautiful rooms and would do so under budget with money to spare for groceries!

Wishing For a Real Summer


After a few days at the beach I find myself wishing for a real summer vacation. As a kid it was the summer we waited on the whole school year long. Oh if only I could have one more summer break!

Being from the Georgia farming belt, summers meant weeding, picking, shelling and shucking along with plenty of briars, peach fuzz that itched like crazy and knats. It also meant eating some of the best home grown all summer long. In between the hard work there was time for playing with the hose, watching ants and making banana sandwiches and lemonade. While my sister and I dreamed of having a pool we learned to make the most of the watering hose. And yes, we wore swim caps. This bathing beauty happens to be my niece in her swim cap. It was refreshing to see her wearing one - I didn't know they were still made. Looks like a good old-fashioned summer in the making for Melanie.

Well, guess its out of the sun and into the fluorescent light of an office tomorrow but it doesn't stop me from wishing for an old-fashioned summer vacation.