Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunlit Sunday...Winter Wishes

Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.

                                                                                      -Ralph Waldo Emerson-

Gulf of Mexico ~ St. George Island, Florida

None of my photos this week were blog-worthy so I thought why not follow my heart, check my files for a photo of a beautiful sunlit cloud over a deep blue ocean?  Wishing to be there... even in Winter, my heart longs for the beach... the sand, the sea, the sun. 

Good wishes to all for a pleasant week. I have scheduled Wednesday and Thursday to substitute in a pre-k classroom with 20 fantastic, four-year-olds. Thankfully, I am subbing for the teacher's assistant so I'll follow along and ad lib as needed. Now, where did I put that Teacher's Bag of Tricks?

Join us and see where the sun is shining over at My Little Home and Garden.

Monday, January 20, 2014

As We Were... A girl and her cat

The little yellow kitten was irresistible! My brother's friend was happy to see another of the barn kitties go to a good home...he was mine! Winks came into my life just after my 10th birthday. He was my playmate, cuddle buddy, my companion, leaving us peacefully while napping in one of his favorite spots after many wonderful years. The 10 years he was part of our family were memorable. A favorite memory includes Mama, a cake, and a cat. Winks made his way unnoticed into the dining room where Mama had just placed a freshly baked 3-layer pineapple cake. Winks decided that cake was too good to pass up. After eating almost the entire top layer, we had a very sick kitty and very angry Mama! Am sure he used up at least one of nine lives on that little indiscretion!

The love of ginger, yellow, or orange... whatever you happen to call them... cats is deep seeded and long held. Jane's Gus and Lucy remind of my dearest Winks. I do love reading about their antics. Jane, thanks for sharing! 

Please visit Jane's As We Were to see more of who and where we were... back then.

The picture is courtesy of a life long friend. She scanned and sent this to me several years ago on my birthday... a dear, thoughtful friend! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunlight & Shadows

Very early this morning, the pavement was wet from last night's rain. Now, the sun is shining and the sky is a glorious blue. The next door pine trees provide a lovely mix of shadow graphics and the softest dapple effect in the moss along the fence line.

Glimpses of sunlight and shadows against the azure sky
Leading graphic shadows
Dappled sunlight

I couldn't resist a couple of photos from inside. I am eagerly anticipating the bloom of the white hyacinth bulb.

The pretty lime green spider mums are still holding on! I transferred them to my favorite vintage cobalt blue bottles. Moved these lovelies into the light from their perch on my kitchen windowsill. Anything to bring a smile while washing dishes and doing kitchen chores is a blessing!

I hope you enjoyed my little bits of sunlight today. Smile at the next person you see.. add a bit of sunshine to that life! Please visit My Little Home and Garden for her offering and links to the other participants. Happy week ahead!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Thankfully...Flowers in the House

Joining Jane at Small But Charming for Flowers in the House. I have learned so much about flowers, photography, and people from Jane's flower parties. First, I am very limited in pretty or unique container department. Second, I tend to go for much the same flowers, especially  since I did not have very many varieties good for cutting in my garden last year. Third, the natural light in my house isn't the best. So now, with all these little obstacles, I still love to see that Jane is hosting Flowers in the House! 

Yesterday was Sunlit Sunday at My Little Home and Garden so I played around with my camera, the flowers, and the afternoon light. Those photos will miraculously reappear within this post! My little $7.88 bouquet from Walmart has brought much joy. I made a vain attempt to make them look good in a pretty purple vase received from son one Valentine's Day. Did not work.. too tall, too bunchy... again, a "learning" experience! However, the closeups were pretty. The lime green Spider Mum was a favorite!

More experimentation with light. The white vase in front of the window with most of the background completely washed away. The flowers definitely draw your eye!

Here we are again... window light and flowers!

So... a bit of photo juxtaposition.. Springlike flowers as the centerpiece of the old oak dining table set with snowman china. A bit quirky, the colors don't coordinate, but I was going for the whimsy!

This is the nearest we usually get to snow. So the little guy and I appreciate you stopping by. Hope you will visit Jane and Friends for Flowers in the House. Funny, how these little parties bring folks together from all over the world giving us a glimpse into the heart and soul of each other. Did I mention I had learned a lot from these little get-togethers? Thanks Jane for being a great hostess! 

OH MY GOODNESS... I forgot the retro pic! My very first roses from a very special guy friend on my 17th birthday! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunny, Sunlit Sunday!

We were almost giddy with delight... a lovely, sunny Sunday. After the unusually cold temperatures earlier in the week and the rainy, dreary days at the end, the sunshine and 70 degree temp was most welcome! A good time to play around with the camera and the bit of light shining in on the flowers all ready for Jane's Flowers in the House over at Small But Charming on Monday.

Linking up with Sunlit Sunday at My Little Home and Garden to brighten these Winter days! Hope you will visit and get your dose of Sunday sunshine.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vegetable soup, homemade cornbread, and the polar vortex

 The polar vortex arrived… or at least the freezing temps a result of the pv arrived…and temperatures dropped to unfamiliar levels here in our little piece of paradise. Folks in the South begin to get fidgety when the weather forecast mentions below freezing temperatures in the teens. A good frost or two around the mid-thirties is doable. We know that by lunch it could be tee-shirt weather. But when the temperature begins with 1, we go into over-anxious mode. 

This homeowner in town made an awesome ice tree.

Seriously, I am not whining considering the unbearable conditions that many have endured. Just emphasizing the need to hunker down and enjoy the fact that we did not have to be anywhere but tucked safely and warmly inside.

It seemed to be a good day to throw together a big pot of soup so I scrounged the freezer and the pantry for every vegetable suitable for the pot. I came up with sliced okra, butter beans, and a bag of mixed vegetables. The pantry yielded cans of diced chili-ready tomatoes, whole kernel corn, and green beans. The lovely jar of broth saved from the New Year's ham was just the ticket to add that needed "down South flavor." The DH here likes a meaty soup so I browned a pound of ground beef with diced onions, garlic, and bell pepper. The DH doesn't like to “see” okra in the soup so that meant a bit of prior boiling and “mashing” to disguise the dreaded vegetable. However, I maintain that okra adds a very important taste to the soup… so it is mashed and stashed underneath the remaining veggies! Into the pot it went to simmer away for a couple of hours or so.

I could not bear to serve this wonderful concoction with a sandwich or cracker so out came the cast iron skillet and the cornmeal. Homemade cornbread from scratch was on the menu, too! A delicious meal with enough left over for later and the DH did the dishes...ahhh! 

So reading, a crochet project, a night at the local art's center crafting a cute snowman door hanger, and some quality kitchen time... that's how I spent my time this week. What about you? Hope you are all thawing out and are safe and warm! 
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Listening to Life



Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.
William Stafford
I have long given up making New Year's Resolutions. This year I decided on a list of words to emphasize during the year. Keeping it simple...something that has taken me a life time to learn.
Words for 2014
Happy 2014!