April 27, 2012

No Talent or Shopping Required~

Decorating Idea: For even novice collectors/decorators this is a no brainer:  For a centerpiece or accent almost anywhere just select a few distinctive, antique bottles in various shapes and sizes and use weed flowers, small blooms from your yard or stems of herbs and find a mirror for your base.

HOT LIPS SALVIA stems -Use whatever is available. 
A mirror base has more impact than the table
top or a cloth runner.If you want a centerpiece
that runs the length of the table cut mirror to
size and leave room for place settings. You might
 even line up the bottles single file on the long
and narrow mirror base.

The trimmings from the Salvia-
The scent is AMAZING-USE
FRESH then when dry use as you
   would any potpourri

April 26, 2012

Grab & Toss Shoppers~

Grab & Toss shopper describes the lady I had a brief chat with in the Coffee/Tea isle at Wally World today. As we casually discussed the mission we were on I imposed my opinion saying: "You know we are going to have to stop drinking coffee.?" She gave me a 'blonde" blank look asking " uhhh, why?"
She asked so I shared.  I informed her that the price of coffee had increased in recent months by about 28-29%, She was mildly surprised [ like she was mildly interested]. She then told me she is a smoker sooooooo..not quite sure what that meant in this context. Naturally I could not just let that comment lay there and piped in good naturedly that one can buy a LOT OF COFFEE for what a carton of cigarettes cost. I had noticed just yesterday a brand price posted at $34.95.  So where was this pretend conversation going?exactly..Nowhere~ She blindly grabbed a can of coffee and hurriedly tossed it into her shopping cart. Clearly she has not heard about issues with the ECONOMY- I was not going to be able to ruin her day.
We have to be able to laugh at ourselves and I am almost ROFL as I post..That, my dear friends  draws the line between the Grab & Toss shopper and this Gramma who  shops with a list-checks off items when found and places them in organized fashion in the cart-cold things together, H&BA s together, cleaning items together..well you get the picture- and btw if at all possible I group my purchases in the same way..enough time and the bar codes are topside....all in the interest of a faster checkout. 
I can only imagine your remarks that I cannot hear as you read.  One family member no doubt would remark: "WHY?????"

btw/p.s...I may as well expose myself totally now.    I still find it very hard to  checkout without having a reasonably close idea of what my total will be..Old habits die hard. We had four children. Enough said.

April 23, 2012

Decorating-Easier than EASY~

Now who can NOT do this?  If you don't have roses in bloom-cut some
WEED FLOWERS from yard or roadside. This is a great way to make use
of some of those collectible but never used  items/dishes.

Fresh Cut or Dried Blooms~

Soon, there will be beautiful Oak Leaf Hydrangeas to cut, 
enjoy fresh,then enjoy dried~ Another form of beauty. I don't 
hurry to cut them-wait until they begin to turn PINK. They 
don't last long on the bush but well worth it when you can 
enjoy the dried blooms all year round if you like.

My Biscuit [s] Story~

"We are out of biscuits."  So it's time to make biscuits.   The price of that package  of 20  frozen  buttermilk biscuits just keeps going up.

I recall being allowed to "help Mama" make biscuits before I was 5 years old.  Later I  learned to make biscuits in 8th grade  home Ec class.   The teacher taught us a different way..she rolled  then cut them out like cookies.  Naturally I was impressed. Now I knew the real way  to make biscuits.  That didn't make a bit of difference to Mama.  She continued to roll each one in her hand-never did try the modern way I showed her. 
I am not going to tell you I always made homemade biscuits when our children were growing up.  I definitely did not. Homemade biscuits did start showing up again in our farmhouse kitchen the last few years in Texas-even during the times when I was working fulltime and we both had to get a very early start in the morning.  After all..it only takes 20 minutes for them to bake.
In 2006 after the sale of the farm we moved back to Alabama to live closer to all our children and for some strange reason I never made homemade biscuits again..that's almost 6 years ago. Shame on me..I guess.
Back to finish the story that began: "We are out of biscuits."  That was last week and I have now made 3 batches..20 each time; quick frozen & loaded into freezer bags.  It's still quite easy to do..and still only 20 minutes to bake.  Frankly I cannot think of any reason to run to Wal-Mart for more unless I just want to spend more money.  We both think mine are  better than the great store bought product.  In case you are wondering about cost comparison-I will figure that out for you ..update to follow.
updated: April 27, 2012- without all the specific costs I did the math..conclusion= There may not be a big difference in cost [using wal mart Mary B's frozen biscuits] but for sure there's satisfaction of making your own,  controlling  additional ingredients used and if you make them one, even two batches of 20 each time to freeze..you won't have old frozen biscuits to throw away when you are not using them regularly.
Oh, yes another btw:  You have on hand the biscuit product that can be used for quicky/easy dumpling or cobbler or appetizer recipes..just let thaw and shape to size for whatever you are making..sounds like a good idea for a busy Mom with little ones or a working Mom with no time to spare.

April 19, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things~

[copied from my"Down the Lane" blog at  http://mershongeorgiagirl.blogspot.com/  ]

Yes, it really is broken dishes- tea cups-broken
and partially buried in the ground by the front
walk[antique rusted iron gate attached to arbor]
Broken depression era dishes or glassware or pottery chards are difficult to trash. That's why they often end up in flower pots or flower beds [at my house]. 
All Things Natural, Vintage, Antique-Pottery Less Than Perfect-"It's had a Life" - Old Treasures Blended With the New & Modern. Hydrangeas are one of My very favorite beautiful things in the world- fresh cut or dried. I enjoy the challenge of working with a "nothing" and turning it into something. Something beautiful, of course! Sticks, Twigs and branches especially those with lichen/ mosses. Curly Willow branches make a statement all alone. Everyone [like me] needs a curly willow tree and a eucalyptus tree in her yard.  Repurposed less than perfected pieces of pottery, old jars, dishes..Burlap & a stash of distinctive Fabrics  can be life savers in a pinch. I drool over architectural pieces that have been discarded- the beginning of a memorable decorative accent or feature all alone. Wild flowers dug up "roots & all" can become just what's needed for an outdoor wedding.
Did I mention unique antique bottles and very very old windows and old wooden boxes & crates? Yes, I do have just a few 'favorite things.' 

April 18, 2012

The Best Kind of Showers~

No, not the shower your body  kind of Showers- I'm talking RAIN SHOWERS. The 'wake up to' in the morning shower that could easily lull you back to sleep. I could do that with a cup of hot coffee or tea..but then let's be honest -not without brushing my teeth first.  By the time you throw back the covers, face that 'stranger' in the bathroom mirror, brush your teeth and say goodbye to morning breath..not to mention the coffee & tea routine..whatever is the point in crawling back into bed? That's okay-my front porch is for moments like this as I  settle into my fav spot to take notice of Mrs. Nixon as she waves on her way to work, the students hurrying by because they are late for school, do my silent commentary on the squirrels and birds while they scatter about touching base with everything blooming.  Sometimes it's easy to imagine exactly what their chirp chirps are communicating.   On a day like today I am lucky  the rain continues as I grab my cup and find my front row reserved seat.  It's one of those steady more than a sprinkle,less than a shower type rain ...the entire outdoors seems to say it's settling in for the day.  Such a rainy soaking wash the pollen away rain never fails to remind me of a time so far in the past:  I had to be  3  years old. My Dad and I hurried into the old primative farmhouse to get out of the rain and I recall lying across the bed with my Daddy, watching the rain through the window.  Of course we could hear it on the tin roof. I don't remember any conversation but I was enjoying the rain with my Daddy and all was right with the world.

* You might question my memory of an event at such an early age. There was a time when I was sure no one had recall as early as 3 years old.  I discovered that not to be true as I replayed a few clear snapshots in time and did the math using known dates & locations. Surprise, surprise one can have clear recall of events as early as three-well let me clarify-Girls can..I might argue with that being possible with the boys.  I dont think my husband remembers too many things before he was about 12 years old. [ tongue in check/sort of  ]

In case you are wondering If I plan to sit and soak in the environment all day just because I love the rain..or if I shouldn't be taking care of  'house beautiful/housekeeping' chores at this time of day [11:30 a.m.] I will clarify.  No I do not have chores to do around the house. The reason: I have spent  almost two weeks with honest to goodness Spring Cleaning in preparation for hosting a club meeting for April.  That was last night. All my pretty dishes are out of the dish washer and put away and I unashamedly announce that I intend to enjoy my clean house for a while.  Oh dear friends & readers  I appreciate a very clean and orderly even beautiful house but my philosophy is: "When I get it beautifully in order..enjoy  for a while.  [that's a southern phrase: "a while"~ ] What it actually means is I don't do a lot of cleaning for "a while."
All that said ..to say this: 'Grab your cup of hot tea and join me on the front porch-for a while.'