May 31, 2012

A Purple Dahlia

This is the area right outside my patio door. I can see it from the living room and is an area that I change around quite often. Right now we're having a purple-flower-bunny-roller coaster theme.


I am totally in love with my purple dahlia. This was a Mother's Day present to myself (I'm quite the gift giver when I'm the recipient).


My solar jar light that my sister from Oregon sent me last year. She's also a good gift giver.


Here's where the roller coaster theme comes in. It is an image that I found on Google, printed on to card stock and slipped into my canning jar. It reminds me of the Dick and Jane books. See Jane scream. Scream, Jane, scream!


A wicker basket of violas. Or are these just mini pansies?


They didn't have a stick in them, but I have always called them violas.


I love the barn in the reflection of the glass in this photo. It's a pretty barn from afar, up close, not so much.


OK, run off to some blogs that have something exciting to talk about today. I'm a little light on words. Skedaddle!



Linking with The Vintage Farmhouse's Creative Things Thursday and Fishtail Cottage's Cottage Garden Party

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May 29, 2012

Summer 2012 Front Porch

The staining of the deck is done. The staining of my arms and legs is done. I can paint all day in a formal ball gown, but put stain on my paintbrush and all of the sudden I'm a drippy girl.

But enough about the back deck, which I'll show you some other day, today is all about the front porch.

May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Traditions

While I'm out on my back deck attempting to re-stain it in 95 degree heat, I'm going to replay one of my very favorite posts from last year.

As a kid we would do the cemetery circuit around Memorial Day.


We would start out by decorating one of my sister's graves. She died at a very young age, years before I was born, and is buried in the family plot in my hometown. At the time, the family plot was only occupied by this one small grave, but with time moving on this plot is quickly filling up.


We would start by giving the headstone a cleaning if needed, pulling up any weeds, evening up the edges of the planting bed, loosening up the dirt and then planting an arrangement of drought tolerant annuals.


Geraniums were a staple. Really, to this day I think of cemeteries when I see geraniums. Marigolds and dusty miller were other favorites. You had to stick with plants that didn't need a lot of attention and could stand the blazing summer sun.


Last on the agenda was watering the plants. I loved this part. I would take the bucket and skip down to the pump. My Mom didn't fancy me skipping in a cemetery, but as soon as I was out of her eyesight I was skipping along, bucket swinging, pigtails flying.


This was one of those old fashioned hand pumps that took forever and a day of pumping before water would pour out. It took almost my entire body weight pushing on that lever to move the handle. After maybe five to ten pumps (at the point that I thought my arms would explode) the water would start. Inevitably I would get my tennis shoes wet, because once the water started coming out of the pump, it would gush out with an impressive force. Being a kid, I never minded though. It was almost refreshing to walk back to the gravesites in wet sneakers.


Next up was my Dad's Father's grave a couple towns over. Same procedure, different cemetery. There were a couple people who I didn't know, but who we were remotely related to, buried close by and we would pay our respects.


Then it was off to Pennsylvania to decorate my Mom's family graves and again, a handful of people I was somehow related to, but not sure how.


We would walk around the graveyard and my Mom would point out different people that she had known or was related to. Occasionally, we would stop at one of those graves and, if there were no flowers planted, we would take one of our extras (because we always brought extra flowers) and plant it so that they were taken care of for Memorial Day. I think in these instances my Mom knew that there would be no one else coming along to pretty up their gravesites.


Occasionally we would have lunch in the cemetery. Bologna and ketchup sandwiches. Maybe peanut butter and jelly. I can remember spreading a blanket, getting the picnic basket out of the station wagon and having a relaxing lunch under the tree. And let me tell you there is nothing more relaxing than the quiet and solitude of a cemetery.


Things have changed a little. My cousins in Pennsylvania primarily take care of the graves over there now.

A few years ago, I tried to take my Mom over to my Grandfather's grave a few towns over and believe it or not neither one of us could remember where it was. And I'm not talking about the grave, I'm talking about the town! At this point she had dementia fairly badly and I don't know what my excuse was, but we never made it to the town. We finally gave up and returned home with the geraniums in the back seat.


My Mom died last year, so I decided to plant perennials up at the family cemetery since it is a good 2 1/2 hour drive from my house. It's not quite the same thing as our old routine, but it gets the job done and the graves still look like they have been cared for. I think my Mom would like the simplicity of it all.


So, I will not be driving up there this weekend, but I will make the trip up there later in the summer. At that time I will just add some more mulch, water my sneakers a little and check on the perennials.


I was feeling a little guilty this year that I was not doing a cemetery tour. But you know what? All the photos in this post are from a cemetery I visited this week. I don't know a sole there, but it's a great old cemetery in Columbus that has some fantastic monuments. I went there to take some photos (they actually have a photo contest, so it didn't feel too weird to walk around there with a camera).

So I guess I did do a cemetery tour this year, just not in the traditional sense.


So what are you doing for Memorial Day weekend this year? Any plans for visiting the cemetery?



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May 25, 2012

Birdbath or Planter?

I love my birdbath. It was my Grandma's. Well, at least the bottom was.

When I was a kid, my brother and I smashed into the birdbath in an epic sledding accident and the top was broken in two. I was able to find an almost identical replacement top at a pottery store in Zanesville, Ohio a few years ago though, so we were back in the bird bathing business.


BTW, my birdbath was last seen in a Halloween post HERE when I decided to use it as a fancy jack-o-lantern holder.


See, birdbaths aren't just for birds!

I was getting a little tired of the endless cycle of filling my birdbath up, watching the birds splash around in it, the water turning fifty shades of grey green, me washing the disgusting gunk out of it (worms, poop, slime) and starting the whole process over again. I just couldn't commit to it this year.

So I decided to make it a planter.


Nothing permanent. The plants are growing in a tray normally used for the bottom of a huge clay pot and is just placed in the birdbath.

I thought it was a lazy woman's fix for my birdbath dilemma.

In the planter I used Angelina Sedum,


Red Carpet Sedum (it's a Sedum parade today)


and the ever popular Hens and Chicks.


Sorry birds, you'll have to fly twenty feet to the left and swim in the pond. This pool is closed for the summer!


Speaking of pools, when we opened the hot tub this year (flash back to the 80's), we found a family of frogs had taken up residence there. Sort of gross. It's going to take a lot of spa chemicals to make me want to get in that water this year.

Do you have any swimming plans this weekend? Do they include any amphibians?



Linking with Saturday Night Special.

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May 23, 2012

What's Blue And Pink And Not A Dead Animal?

Although I had decked out my fancy shopping cart for the antique show this weekend, I only ended up buying one thing. And I could have just carried that around with me.

Was it the naughty Santa? The pink toilet? The taxidermied raccoon?

None of the above. It was a blue wooden ice cream maker! Love that paper label on it.


Non-functional, but I would probably never in a zillion years make ice cream in something like this (old, wooden, dirty). Who am I kidding, when they invented Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream, all ice cream makers became obsolete.


I'm using it as a vase right now, but I'll probably put flags in it for 4th of July.

(roll mouse over photo to see original photo SOOC)

For my photo effect above, I used one layer of Kim Klassen's Subtly Yours texture in Soft Light at 70%. You can roll over the photo to see what it looked like straight out of the camera (SOOC), before I started messing with it. For those that subscribe to my blog through email, the roll over thing unfortunately doesn't work. You have to be on the actual blog post to see it (it's really not all that exciting, just take off your glasses and forget about the French words on the bottom and that about sums it up).



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May 22, 2012

Shopping My Way Through Springfield

I went to the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market this weekend and had a great time.

On Thursday, I had asked my Facebook followers for suggestions on what the heck to do with my little old granny shopping cart that I was planning on taking to the show. I had wanted to sew a cute liner for it, but had run out of time and energy.

Polly had mentioned a grain sack and since I had one just sitting here doing nothing, it sounded like an easy fix. I just clipped the sack to the inside of the cart with binder clips (who knew Office Max was vintage now) and then whenever I bought anything small, I would put it in the sack. That way things wouldn't get lost through the holes of the cart. It would have looked so much cooler if the sack was large enough to cover the entire inside of the cart, but this was all about making do with what I had.


They had a new section at the show this year that featured higher end vendors. A lot of store owners. This photo happens to be from Sue Whitney's booth (Miss JunkMarket Style herself).


And Folk Magazine had a whole barn set up.


If these guys would have fit into my shopping cart, I would have brought them home with me. Every girl in Ohio needs a cow or two.


Remember last year when I was dying to find an old croquet set and looked all over and then finally found one. Well, I found at least 30 of them at the sale this weekend. Everywhere I looked, my husband would point out another one. Someone must have heard me last year and decided that this summer would be the year of the croquet set.


There were thousands of chairs around the show. With my chair fetish, you would have thought I would have come home with one or two. But no, I was chairless.

Not sure who would buy this, because it's basically just a used toilet, no matter what color it is. You are buying something that people used to doodie in!


I was this close to buying this guy. Plus it was late in the show and I was a little hungry for a snack, so it would have killed two birds with one stone.


This Santa was very expensive. The tag said it was stuffed with horsehair.


I can't imagine why Santa is in jail though. He does look a little shifty.


Oh no, Santa! How could you?


All in all, it was a great day. Great weather, great eye candy and great inspiration.

And nothing fell through the bottom on my shopping cart! Oh, a wheel did fly off though. My MacGyver husband fixed it on the spot though with one of the binder clips. I knew I had those binder clips with me for a reason.



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