Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

This kitchen is both sad and a place that brings back beautiful memories.  This is Cadi's kitchen in Virginia USA.   Cadi, I send you much love during your sadness.  It sounds like you and Brent shared many happy hours in your kitchen.  I hope you continue to find peace there.
Cadi writes:
"This is "my kitchen sink."

We rent a small, old bungalow-style house in Richmond, Virginia in the U.S.A

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


 The beginnings of our new season garden.

From the outside, our simple house belies the fact that such rich lives are being lived here. You can see and feel it in the backyard with the abundance of life evident there, but at the front, well, our small home looks like many others dotted endlessly throughout the urban and rural areas of Australia. But Hanno and I have found the secret of

Garden Whites

Spent Monday and Tuesday in the garden, cleaning up the winter debris
and putting down new mulch. I still have two more afternoons of planting,
(if the winds behave), and I should be ready for the warm weather.
I didn't shoot the full view of the yard, because I still have tarps, bags of soil,
and upended pots scattered everywhere, so I just shot little snippets.

I have old decrepit items scattered all over the yard.

I put this brick path down many years ago. It took me days,
but it was worth it. It was always a little soupy there after the rain.
The assorted birdhouses and containers extend the length of the wall.

Love my wheelbarrows. I have two in the yard.

One of my favorite birdhouses. It is huge.

Yep, it works. I replaced the 16 year old pump yesterday,
after it died on me last winter.
It sits below my living room window and the sound is wonderful.

I am perhaps the only country garden in this city. I have never
heard of another or seen any others around here like this. It is the
only way I can tolerate desert living.

This has a five foot stand and is also a favorite.

No, maybe this is my favorite, see the little door?

Too many empty pots, so much more to do. I had better get crackin'.
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Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm missing you

I've been spending a lot of time thinking, relaxing and reading.  I love blogging, it helps me live life in the way I want to live it, it helps me define my days and identify goals and new opportunities to learn.  I can't imagine giving up blogging but there may be changes in the way I do it.  But the main news I want to pass on to you today is that I've missed being here, I'm ready to come back,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

Today's kitchen is in New Zealand and it features real people living real lives.  This is Charlotte's kitchen.

She writes:
"My name is Charlotte (aka ms lottie of, and I live on a lifestyle block in Northland, New Zealand. I decided to send in my photos, but leave my kitchen in its ‘in use’ state. To send in pictures of it tidy would be a bit of a fib – it

Friday, March 26, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

Everyone knows where Sydney is.  This is a Sydney kitchen and it's part of Cath's home.

Cath writes:"If you were to come to my house for a cuppa this is what you’d see of the kitchen from the lounge/dining area. We’re in a rental so I’ve done my best to make each room welcoming and comfortable without major changes, although we did receive permission to take the solid-core door off it’s hinges

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bird Necklace by Heather French

Here is the original necklace and the companion necklace
designed by Heather French, that I mentioned in the prior post.

They're just, well, dreamy... SO pretty and delicate.
Heather's designs are just wonderful, with perfect wraps,
(that I might perfect in the next 2 years or so.)
Heather is so generous with her time and her knowledge, and her
enthusiasm for this art form is contagious. Uh oh.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Creamy White Pearls

So here is the story.
I am not a beader, but I have several friends who are.
They are incredible jewelry artists and designers.
Heather French, an amazing quilter and bead artist designed a lovely bird necklace.
Several other friends, Suzie, Sarah and Jan were all getting together to make the necklace
and graciously included me, a total non-beader to join them. I had done some
minimal wire wrapping a few years back, but I thought I would give it a go,
besides the girls are fun and we would go to eat after....of course!
So, last weekend we all spent a fun day working on our necklaces and today while we were
together eating lunch (sense a theme here?) at Panera, Jan showed us her finished one.
Jan's is slightly different from the original design because we all used vintage pieces.
The pic was taken on the table top at Panera so please excuse the quality.
I just had to show you how talented and wonderful these gals are and as
soon as I get pics of the other ones I will post. Mine is a work in progress.

Please join all the other White Wednesdays over there-----> at the WW Link,
and congratulate Kathleen on her 500th Follower! Yeah Kathleen!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

Today's we have another Australian kitchen. This is Anita's kitchen in Victoria..

Anita writes: "My kitchen has become a much more important part of my life since I returned to being full-time a stay at home Mum almost 2 years ago. I developed a chronic illness (fibromyalgia) 3 1/2 years ago which eventually made me unable to continue my job as a nurse. In many ways this challenging time has

Friday, March 19, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

Today we return to north America, this time to Nova Scotia in Canada, to Sheila's kitchen.  There is a reference to the weather in Sheila's story so I'll let you know she sent these photos in mid February.
Sheila writes:
"I have attached pictures of my kitchen for you , We built this house about 5 years ago and I really wanted a nice island to work from and I must say it is a pleasure to work

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick's Day WW

This is the Furnessia
Service speed 14 knots, 1,359 passengers
445 feet long, 44 feet wide.
She sailed out of Glasgow, and arrived at Ellis Island Feb 19, 1903
My Great Grandfather Robert Carton(27), his wife Sarah(22), and my
Grandmother Nettie( 9 mo), had left Pumperton, Ireland for a new life.

When I look at this ship and realize what they dared to do, the bravery that was
required, the hope and dreams they must have clung to, I am in awe.
Ireland came to my children from my side and from their father's side.
It is the only place in this world that I yearn to visit. Does Ireland call
all her children home again?

This is not a typical WW I know- but here is why I MckLinky'd anyway:
To make sure you all knew about this site. If you have relatives that came through
Ellis Island, you need to try a search. Please let me know who you find.

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Tis like a morn in spring.
With a lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world is bright and gay
When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, they steal your heart away

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rainbow Dance

Twice a year, the earth's rotation is on the right path, and the lack of leaves
on the ash tree out front allow a wonderful phenomenon to occur.
The sun streams through the front window, passes through these crystals,
and the rainbow dance begins.
This morning was the first day of the show and lasted a mere 20 minutes.

It begins across the floor, and up the sides of the chairs.

Rises up the front of the cabinet and sprinkles across the window sheers.

The rainbow colors expand and stretch across the blinds, deepening in color,

They disappear at the ceiling and are gone.
Now that is the way to begin your day!

Bizymoms interview

According to, I'm one of the five top home and garden bloggers. They interviewed me recently and here is that interview. If you have time, read the other interviews too. The lovely Melinda from One Green Generation is there as well. Thanks Bizymoms.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

Today's kitchen is Tanya's in beautiful Tasmania - the island State at the bottom of Australia.  Tanya, I have the same Fowlers Vacola and we have very similar kitchen cupboards.

Tanya writes:
"I took these photos at dawn hoping not to have too much light exposure but they are still flooded. Through every season, the sun comes streaming through that window and I have never had any curtains or

Friday, March 12, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

One of the things I love about this series is the kitchens come from all over the world.  We can see real kitchens and know that although we are different, we are all basically the same.  Today's kitchen is Marian's in the Netherlands.
"I send you pictures of both my kitchens. In my home in Amsterdam my 20 years old kitchen is most of the time tidy without things on the sink. That's because I

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Liquid soap making - again

I made another batch of liquid soap last week and I found the process much easier this time.  My first attempt last September was a long, drawn out process that went over two days and while I was doing it, I felt it wasn't working out properly and all that time would be wasted.  You can imagine my surprise when from the blobs of what looked like vaseline, a clean and golden liquid soap arose.

Proof of Spring

Woke up this morning to my first feathery cassia blooms.

Little miniature buttercups

When I took the time to look up
on my 17 year old ash out front.
The tree that keeps the morning summer sun from beating down into
the front rooms.
The tree that my kids stood in front of every 1st day of school, complaining
"Hurry up Mom take our picture!"

Everyone who bought a house in this subdivision received one ash tree
and one pine tree for their front yards. Different pines, different ashes.
After 17 years, less than 50% remain.
Seems when people move here from other parts of the country,
they like to shed more than just their winter coats. They also shed the desire for yard work.
I would hear the loud chipper machines early in the day, and I would be so sad that another tree was falling. Over at oldgreymare I was making my yard as green as possible and increasing the yard work every year. My neighbors just shook their heads asking why?

This year, I removed all of my grass.
I did it because I knew it was the right ecological thing to do for desert living.
I did it with a very heavy heart.
It is not easy to grow grass here, and my beloved trees had grown so large for the small lot
that the grass was struggling more every year to stay alive. So I converted to desert landscaping. But I keep as much green and blooms as this small, water conserving, garden can take.

Starting with gazania ground cover with their sunny smiling faces
welcoming everyone to the front door.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

Hello everyone! Today we can all take a peek at Kit's kitchen in Missoula, Montana.

"My kitchen is very small! What one would call a galley kitchen, but I find it is very efficient and I really don't have to move very much to get what I The deciding factor in the colors of my kitchen is the pottery I have collected for years, it is called Rooster and Roses and was something my

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

White Wednesday Recalling Past Gardens

Darling daughter took some of these photos a few years back and when I saw
them today; I decided they were prettier than what I was planning to use.

They are all taken in our back yard garden.

All the roses I have were gifts from my children on my
birthday or Mother's Day, and the three trees in the back
yard are from Mother's Day .

Yes, I collect the pine cones from this tree every year and use them
for crafting and display. I have been known to gather the neighbors
cones also if they leave them too long on the ground.

This rose bush came from dearest son on one summer afternoon when he
was barely a teenager. Very unceremoniously he handed it to me with a
"here Mom, this is for you." It is always the first to bloom every Spring.

This big pine in the front yard is a haven and roost spot to many types of birds.
Every spring and summer it is filled with morning doves that coo
right outside the bedroom windows.

One of my favorite photos. This is at a nearby park

Don't forget to visit all the other WW's at the link over there to the right

Taking a break

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I don't do it lightly, but after Friday's post, I'll be taking a break from blogging for a while.  I'm not sure how long I'll be away, maybe a week, maybe a month, maybe longer. I don't know yet.  I have a few other things on my plate right now and along with my voluntary work, I'll be kept busy.  And the truth is I've been non stop busy for well

Sowing vegetable seeds - tomatoes

Carrying on from the post on sowing seeds yesterday, I'd like to add the following vital information.  While the seed is still covered with soil, it does not need anything other than moisture and warmth to make it grow.  However, when the seed germinates and sends up green shoots, it will need bright light as well.  When it gets a little bigger, the plant will need food; the energy in the seed

Monday, March 8, 2010

Growing vegetables from seeds

We've been slowed down by the rain but it's not stopped us, nothing can.  We're now in our planting season, getting our new season garden going for the year ahead, and seeds need to be planted.  Hanno started this season off by enriching the soil with cow manure, worm castings and compost.  He does it every year and often between crops as well by digging out a hole and replacing the soil with a

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sudsy Surprise

Does anyone else get excited when they see a key in their mailbox.? Here it means you have something too large to fit in the regular mail slot, so they put it into one of the two large package mailboxes that flank the 20 others. Yesterday I got a key because I had a wonderful package waiting from the real soap company.

I had ordered four soaps just three days ago. The aroma that wafted out the second I opened the box, well, we need smellablog. I ordered Valencia Orange. Grapefruit Bergamot ( I think will be my favorite) Rosemary Peppermint, and the one you see here Oats Goats & Honey. I love the homemade look and texture.

I was impressed with the quality and care that Cindy puts into every bar and you must read her section on why she makes soap.

I had already decided that one bar would go into the powder room for my guests to enjoy. It looks wonderful don't you think? The other bars are affordable luxury bars just for me. Maybe I'll watch the Oscar red carpet from my tub with a lovely glass of vino. Oh, geez it's only 3:00. OK skip the vino.

Doesn't everyone have jewelry in their powder rooms? No?

Please visit Cindy at the real soap company soon.

In praise of the domestic

Even without the overcast sky I think it would have been cooler this weekend.  We've passed through the time when hot turns to warm and now we're getting closer to when warm becomes cool.  Perfect!  I want it to be March and April all year.  Hanno and I had a traditional, for us, Sunday.  He ventured out to the wet and squelchy garden to put up trellises for the cucumbers, I baked and did some

Saturday, March 6, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

Today's we are in Mrs Mac's kitchen in North Idaho.  She writes:

"Enclosed are a few pictures of my kitchen.  We built our home from the ground up and moved into it three years ago.  It was a giant undertaking but worth the effort in the end.  Our kitchen is open to the great room and includes a dining area; all of which are the 'hub' of our home.

The built in spice cabinet is actually a

Friday, March 5, 2010

hulu hooray

I may be the last person to come to hulu, but my addiction is first rate.

"Eventually I ran to Minneapolis, where it's cold and I figured I'd keep better". Rhoda:Rhoda and Joe, season 1, full screen on my Mac. One after the other.

Last evening, discontented with regular tv fare, I remembered darling daughter telling me about hulu and checked it out. I am not a fan of cop shows, murder shows, investigative after the murder shows, ( I do enjoy white collar but that is FBI) reality tv, teen comedy, teen pregnancy. OK you get the picture.

Now, do not misunderstand; I in no way consider Rhoda to be quality tv. But, just for the few hours I watched last night, the world felt calmer and safer and oh I don't know, I almost felt a tad bit younger.

There is photographic proof of me in my Rhoda days, head wrap scarf and all, the salvation for bad hair days. Those years were actually pretty cataclysmic for me so why they would seem soothing now, eludes me. Perhaps, even then they were escape.

I will be back there this evening, there are 25 episodes on hulu. What about after Rhoda you ask? aw c'mon you know "How will you make it on your own?" meow

You, me and the kitchen sink

Today's kitchen is in South Australia and it's Sue Joy's.  She writes:

"We built this kitchen onto our house around 7 years ago. I designed it and I love it probably more today than I did back then. On my sink is my first knitted dishcloth (I am the world's slowest knitter) and the produce plucked from our garden this morning; chillies and heirloom tomatoes to go into pasta sauce and a basket

Cindi weighs in on TJ's post 3/1

"Agree on most. But also ... the Trader Ming gyoza dumplings, stuffed with veggies, pork, shrimp etc. and just as good when you steam or microwave them -- they don't have to be fried to be yummy quick snacks. And the Greek yogurt. And the organic Chocolate milk. and the lovely cheeses. Can you tell I just got back from there????? "

I do love the cheeses too and the Greek Yogurt. I will try the dumplings my next trip. Anyone else?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A journey with no end

If I could, I would send all of you the magic words that would change your life to what you wish it to be.  I don't have those magic powers, all I can do is write what I know and hope that the way you understand those words helps you towards a better life.  The best I can do today is to say: slow down.   I received an email from a reader saying that she wanted the kind of life I'm living but

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

You, me and the kitchen sink

Hello everyone!  Today's kitchen belongs to Jen who lives in Michigan.  She has added a nice touch that I've never seen in any other kitchen.  Well done, Jen!
She writes:"I'm really excited to share my photos as we recently did a little fixing up of our kitchen. Ours is a small space, about 9'x11', so it is difficult to get good pictures of it, but I hope these will work for you.

The first

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A capable husband

I think most of us become more selective as we age.  When I was younger I wanted to experience everything I could so I would know rather than surmise. I'm happy enough now to leave things I'm not interested in.  The ability and the sense to do that came to me with age, although I think many people are like that all through life.  Now, at this point in life I know that it would have been prudent

A bit of white, a bit of wood

The cubbies are filling up

Smaller cubbies already filled years ago
It's all about the texture
New Quilt
Old Hat


Old Quilt
Older Quilt

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