May 30, 2010

this year....
i'm fighting the mosquitoes
off with a homemade household remedy.
a generic brand
in a spray bottle.
covered with bug stickers.
reminds me of my grandparents house.
sounds crazy, i know, but the
smell fills me with comfort.
memories from my childhood.

smile, wink, nod.

May 28, 2010

let's play!

what can you do with this snap?
i'm inviting you to click, copy and paste it and print it off....
then- create something with it!
dig out your decoupage'!
print it off on fabric!
a greeting card?
then, email me a picture of your creation
and i'll post it and share it with others!
now..... pour yourself a good, cool drink... give yourself
permission to just relax and create...leave the
world behind as your creative juices start flowing.
deadline for the snaps is sunday night 9pm...

May 25, 2010

a blogger friend of mine just started a new blog!
it's the best idea i've heard about in a long time!
it's called U.S.A.- American Made.
the title explains it all!
i agree, we do need to help our fellow american's out
and buy locally or nationally made products.
i've added this wonderful site on my sidebar...
you'll want to bookmark it as well!
click below:

May 24, 2010

eye candy in my garden!

what good is a drawer full of vintage aprons if you don't use them?
well, that's what i thought to myself, as i was tying one on.
and i found out, that i really do like wearing aprons around
my gardens! especially when they have pockets!
when i'm playing in the dirt.

for eye-candy in the garden this year... i planted a floor lamp in one of my flowerbeds. i picked up the floor lamp at a sale for $1. then marine glued a few goodies in place!
a candle holder, tea cup and an upside down lampshade.

how about you? are you an apron chick?

May 22, 2010

the hidden diary!

i'm just about wrapping up my latest historical fiction, "the hidden diary of marie antoinette." i can't say it's the best book i've ever read. however, i am pleased with what i've learned about king louis and marie and that wild period of history. much is fiction.. like wise, much is fact, as the author points out. i thought i'd share a handful of facts... that were interesting to me:
1. marie was from austria. her sister became the queen of spain-and she was queen of france.
2. bejamin franklin was adored in france and she spent time with him.
3. that mile-high hair-do? it was so high, she couldn't turn her head or neck for three weeks. it was done special for the coronation.
4. she married louis at age 14. hence the title: teen-queen. louis didn't really want to marry her... it was sort of a political deal between austria and france and repairing their countries friendship.
5. after 7 years of marriage she had her first born front of a packed room of courtiers. --bet that was fun! also... louis had a problem- sexually. he just couldn't-- ummmmm, well, you research that one!
6. she had an on-going affair with a swedish man named axel... who was friends with george washington and fought in the revolutionary war in virginia.
7. the people of france were livid over the way the government was being run. how france's government was falling into "bankruptcy." when she rode through town and villages in her carriage, people would through things and spit on her.
8. king louis and marie and their two children, tried to escape imprisonment, by pretending to be a governess and louis a valet...only to be discovered by the kings former sevant. which sealed the deal for their prison sentence.
9. she and her husband were executed. 9 months apart.
10. she wore purple mules (backless shoes) to her execution.
11. she had been accused of a lot of treason and incest.
here's a really excellent site.... where you can take a virtual tour of versailles, the queen's chambers, the king's tennis courts, the gardens .... and more! worth the click over: take me to france!

May 21, 2010

turquoise paint

this 3/4 full gallon
of turquoise
at our church...
free room!
i have some
plans for it!
hint: not the walls in my house.
smile, wink, nod.

May 20, 2010

the enchanted forest finale.

well today marks the final day of our enchanted forest adventure!
before we ended... we of course had to do a little pond dipping.
one of my favorite hobbies in the spring! we scooped up a bazillion tadpoles (see pic).
they now reside in our pond!

my baby boy likes to dip, too!

there were thousands of bullfrog tadpoles-- darting around while we dipped!
(and, i'm not using this phrase as a hyperbole.)
they too, reside in our little pond!

special shout out of thanks to tom a.k.a. dad number 2.... for letting us tromp around in his forest and pond. and giving us a many good memories!
smile, wink, nod!

May 19, 2010

enchanted forest part 4

me and my mom... taking a break under a beautiful old tree.
we are so lucky to have her husband tom.... my second dad in our lives.
if it wasn't for him.... we would not have such a memorable day....
come to think of it... he's given our family many happy days!

count them! 21.
21 morel's. they were so difficult to find at first.
but... look out... when we did... we found the jackpot!

last night, i fried them up for my neighbor... my favorite elderly neighbor who had never tried
them. i sauteed' the mushrooms in olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh garlic and fresh scallions. i mixed fresh asparagus in, too! he gave the recipe a thumbs up.
our family didn't try this dish. but, it sure did smell good!
smile, wink, nod!

May 18, 2010

the ENchaNTed Forest part 3

let's stop a moment and look around... i'd sure like to find a salamander under here. did you know i found two-- a few years ago and they got loose in my house.. and i never did find them! and.... my-oh-my there's a ton of these wild geraniums blanketing the forest floor! note to self: research background and use of them when i get home.

wait now... let me bend over-- i hope my hat doesn't tumble off-- sure glad i wore my wellingtons and skirt for this outing. i feel like tasha tudor. let me pull back this wild geranium and see what's underneath!

can you see what's hiding in there? besides a bit of poison ivy.. which thankfully, i'm not allergic to.... come on now.. looks close!

ta-da! a morel mushroom! if there's one... there has to be more! truth is... my husband found the first one! we don't even like morel mushrooms. but my mom and my dad #2 do! and, of course my favorite next door neighbor. so... why not pick some for them? around this neck of the woods... they sell for $15. for a half pound.
more enchanted forest adventures tomorrow... in the meantime, here's a really nice link for:

May 17, 2010

enchanted forest part 2

come on along with me... into my second dad's enchanted forest!

(not pictured but close by: my mom, my husband, son and dad #2)

well look here... mayapples! they're one of my favorite springtime plants! did you know they're also called: wild lemon, raccoon berry and love apple? and to think the indians used this plant as a laxative? here's a link to more interesting facts: mayapples!

do you hear that? that's my boy tommie calling for us! he found a real treasure... i can tell by his voice~ he found not one treasure... but a pile of treasures! someone, from long ago must of used this secret spot as a disposal area. i wonder who it was? it sure is a good thing we brought along lots of plastic bags.... let's stuff them full of .....

old bottles in cobalt blue, milk glass, clear and brown! and this sweet little tea pot!
today, part of homeschool lessons, was researching the bottles... the cobalt blue on the far right is a noxema jar from the 30's. the one in front of it is a milk glass jar--stamped woodbury... after researching it.. we learned it was for powder based foundation make-up... from the 40's. front row center... is from scuffy shoe polish for kids. date unknown. we also found the sweetest little listerine bottle and vicks bottle and still smelled like camphor. we were actually able to go on-line and find magazine ads with the actual jars featured in it! you can't tell by the picture, but we found a cobalt blue powder bottle from the 30's.

so, what do you think of our enchanted forest hike, so far? aren't you glad you have your wellington's on? me, too. how about if we head over there... east... and see what awaits us!
for more good forest fun... tune in tomorrow!

May 16, 2010

today was a day that i've been anticipating for most of spring!
a wild-flower, bird-watching, tree-identifying, morale mushroom hunting, hike through my second dad's forest! it was all part of our delayed mother's day plan for my mom. followed by a lovely dinner at an area restaurant. mom and i had lobster stuffed w/ tilipia. very excellent.
over the next few days... i'll be sharing some of the amazing treasures we (mom, 2nd dad, brad and tommie and me) discovered in this deep, dark forest!
pull on your wellingtons, grab a hat and come along with us.... i promise... you'll have a blast!
p.s. during dinner the other night... we had an eagle flying above our field. this is very rare in our neck of the woods. this beauty has been hovering around for the past four days... according to our neighbors.
just spectacular!

May 15, 2010

craft on a rainy day!

this past week here in michigan has been rainy and chilly!
so, i decided to fill my time making little gift tags!

they're all ready in an shabby chic-banged up kitchen colander... and ready to head to the next flea market or farmer's market i plan to set up at.
i'll be selling them 3 for $1.

all the images are from the late 50's. this cowboy is my favorite!
happy saturday night, friends!

May 14, 2010

after my quick annual mammogram this morning... i stopped at a few garage sales and a nice church sale. what is it about church sales that make you feel so cozy? is it the elderly ladies working? the idea that your money is going to a wonderful cause? the fact that it's all under one roof? i think it's all of these!
i found this really old, vintage baby bassinet at a yard sale. at first i thought it would make a pretty terrific planter for the yard. then i thought... no-- i'd use it for displays at my flea markets. i bought it for $2. and it's collapsible.

i also scooped up a handful of vintage embroidered hand towels. .50 cents each. and the table cloth below for $2. all hand-stitched embroidery and very old!

i kind of felt bittersweet when i went to purchase these. sad because the family who was selling these... made fun of them. "we laughed at these-- we weren't even going to put them out! who'd want them?" giggled the family member. well... there's no giggling here. i will enjoy them and appreciate them... as if my own grandmother stitched them.
smile, wink, nod.

May 12, 2010

perhaps one wouldn't consider waylon jennings and jessi colter the worlds greatest poets. but i have a different opinion. one of my favorite songs of all time-ever is.. a duet they sing titled, "storms never last." i've downloaded it (and other favorite songs of mine) on this blog... so be sure your volume is turned way up! if you haven't heard of this song... scroll way on down on my sidebar and click on the song to play.

today, for a homeschool lesson... i had my son copy the words to this profound song, right here on my blog. and we discussed it's meaning in depth. and, how we should look at life. and, how we shouldn't wallow around in self-pity. and how liberating it is to be self-responsible. solve our own storms and move on. and always... always be the sunshine in someone's life.

while difficult as this is for a hormonal tweenager to absorb... i'm planting the seeds. and that's more then i can say for government run educational institutions.

read on... i think you'll like this, too!

Storms never last do they baby?
Bad times all pass with the wind
Your hand in mine stills the thunder-

And you make the sun want to shine
You followed me down so many roads baby
I've picked wild flowers and sung you soft sad songs

and every road we took God knows our search was for the truth
and the clouds brewing now won't be the last.

Storm's never last do they baby
bad times all pass with the wind
your hand in mine stills the thunder
and you make the sun want to shine.

May 10, 2010

at my party on friday... my family and i made a quick wind chime craft. the idea came from my creative friend cassey. i've collected different shaped, clear glass bottles and jars. they need to have a ridge or lip around the top. we used very easy to work with, welding wire. wrapped one strand around the opening/ridge of the bottle. then cut another piece of wire for the handle. we opted to string beads on them. to give them a little extra boost! all that's left, is to fill them with colored water and hang them in a grouping on your favorite tree...when the wind blows, they should make a serene chiming noise! the jars are easy to find! especially now that it's garage sale time in michigan... i used baby food jars, jelly jars and bacon bit jars. smile, wink, nod.

May 09, 2010

on friday.... i gave my two aunts and cousin a
birthday party! my mom and cousin hali came to celebrate, too!
the table was set with tacky
vintage souvenir china laid upon a chenille bedspread--makeshift tablecloth...
we sipped cheap white wine from large mouthed canning jars. and,
our napkins were mismatched hot pads. all in attendance, were required to wear vintage hats from my little collection and very tacky retro aprons. all were such good sports and without hesitation... choose hats and aprons to wear!

we're holding signs that say hi aaron- my cousin in new york university film school. his gramma and mom are back row left. we sent this through facebook-- in hopes to make his day.

what would a party be... without an antique glass urinal to pour your water from?

lunch was a massive garbage salad... with just about everything in it. and beer bread with herbs sprinkled on top. and parmesan cheese.

between the downpour of raindrops.. i picked rhubarb and baked a rhubarb cake in canning jars.... cool-whip and lots of it...was dropped on top! note: aprons in the background!

after the mid-day feast... i planned a garden craft,
which my new friend cassey told me about. we all sat around the chenille covered table, giggled and made glass wind chimes!
on tomorrow's post.. i'll share the instructions and snaps!
smile, wink, nod!

May 08, 2010

my oh my oh my oh my! do i have a ton of things to share with you! i can't get into all of it now-- i'm minutes away from setting up at a mother's day flea market for the day. just you wait until you see what the next post will be! smile, wink, nod!

May 05, 2010

yesterday, was homeschool day at the capitol.
we went.
i was trying to have a really good attitude and learn. why, i even took a few notes... i was "showing," my son how this really was going to be fun! even though i had no clue what the workshop speakers were saying. and for sure, my boy didn't.
and of course, my mind started wandering.... first, looking around noticing that most of the students eyes were glazed over. then i started daydreaming and thinking of garage sailing. next, i noticed the families which-- at first glance, looked like they might be representatives for purina animal chow... all dressed in red gingham-- like the purina motif. another family, followed in the duggar trend, by dressing all 10 of their kids in matching polo shirts. i do have to admit... these parents have done a stellar job of parenting... all of the children were super well-behaved. very attentive. no wiggles. and no silliness. after noting their behavior... i couldn't help but turn my head over to my tommie.... who was lining up little spit wad balls in a perfectly straight line... and pretending that he was going to randomly blow them through his straw.
it was then i knew, this workshop wasn't for us.
i passed tommie a note and said... now, it's time for me to teach you what a non-conformist is! let's split.
i explained to tommie what a non-conformist is. and when you do need to conform. you know, like traffic laws, authority, the 10 comandments and other moral issues. but, darn-it.. there are just times when you need to know... it's okay not to conform. to break free. to listen to your own drummer. drive your own bus. seek out your own adventure and make the best of a really boring situation.

after our brown bagged lunch (i saved $10. for packing our own), i told tommie we were going back into the capitol and see if i could talk someone into giving us an exclusive tour. it worked. we had a private tour from an elderly man-- who took us behind the scenes where the public isn't allowed. there, we even learned more... little things that you would never think about. i can't tell you here... security reasons. but, wow. god bless this man for taking time with us.

we also experienced some serious lobbying going on. white and blue collar workers, who were voicing their opinions in the rotunda, about the stimulus money being spent on michigan's debt, instead of the promise to fix michigan roads. the most impressive thing, was a truck driver, who had driven his peterbilt and road grader and parked it right smack dab in front of the state capitol. i salute him. and agree... if michigan roads were repaired... it would certainly employ more people.

the public was lined up above-- on the rotunda balconies, in support for "fix michigan roads." never in 45 years have i witnessed lobbying.
after our private tour... we decided to explore lansing. my son spotted 3 huge chimneys and asked me to seek them out.... so i did. we drove a short distance to discover this was the power plant for the city of lansing. at security, i asked if they gave tours...the answer... not usually. however, God blessed us with a security guard who gave us a private tour. where we learned a wealth of information... "on our level."
we encountered another angel, who i want to tell you about...
you see, before all of this started... we had to find parking in lansing. i spotted a parking garage, right next to the capitol. thinking this was a public garage... i pulled in... only to find that it was for government workers at the capitol. looking in my rear view mirror, i noticed a line of cars behind me... suddenly, a really beautiful black woman, smiling, jumped out of her car, punched in her security code and said... just go on in now... and park at the top... you'll be just fine.
in closing... i just want to say, there are still more good then bad people in this world. and, had we not broke free from the mundane workshops we were signed up for...if we would of conformed and followed the homeschool crowd, if we would of rode the school bus like the other children... we would of missed the good. and believe me... there is lots of it! smile, wink, nod.

May 03, 2010

one of the many great things about homeschooling is, you can justify most any activity under different subjecst. you just have to get a little creative. example.... calculating pi, using a hot dog counts as math and creative arts.

a review of calculating pi... above and below, we took turns tossing a hot dog into the center of a circle for the radi and used a dog leash careful laid into a circle shape. how divine is my homeschool son's outfit? no peer pressure to wear abercrombie and hollister here! it's salvation army for my boy!

and check out his teacher... (me). wellingtons and shorts and an inside out sweatshirt.

afterwards, my boy had this great idea to wedge turkey feathers into the side of the hot dog, hook it onto a fishing pole and flip it over a tree branch! see first picture. who needs a brick building and workbook for this? not us. smile, wink, nod.