Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flowers In The Early Spring House

1:15AM return home from raucous birthday/dinner party, wash face, sleep.

8:40AM wake up, stumble into kitchen, ice some espresso, take picture of flowers sitting on side of sink, hope they get into vases at some point.

9:00AM to 11:45AM..walk dog, eat breakfast, strip bed, run vacuum, plead with GG to hurry up for we have massage appointments at 12:00.

12:00 ahhhhhh

1:00PM  hit up Trader Joes, library and Giant. Rush home unload groceries, eat lunch, stick a gloriousa lily and some curly willow in a vase. Get ready for VIP guest.

3:00PM VIP guest arrives, much hugging, oohing, cooing and ahhing.  Fill two more vases with hellobores, jasmine and blooming branches.  Take a picture.

Take another picture with special guest.

Put new mini phalenopsis orchid in loo; put baby in Lab bed for caretaking.

Was going to put flowers in bedroom but who needs them?

5:00 PM Everybody took a nap, only one person snored.  Or so GG says. Humph!

7:00 PM parents returned bearing carry out.  They handed over dinner, we reluctantly handed over bebe .

9:30 Took a few more pctures of muscari and plants, removed several cactus thorns from thumbs and wrote this post.

Flowers and baby in the house. Could there be a better Sunday?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 Things I Can't Live Without: Wild Acre

I'm pretty sure you all know Belinda from Wild Acre. If not you're in for a treat. 

From my first visit I was totally bowled over by her words and her photos, her garden, her house/barn.  When we Americans dream of lfe in the English countryside I'm sure  it's her life we fantasize about..

Just to turn your eyes even greener, it turns out she can cook, bake and decorate as well as she can turn a phrase or plant a bulb.

If you are new be sure to backtrack to her weekly gardening seminars and you might want to get her recipe for  plum cake.  



10 things I can't live without? Excluding family, friends, unabridged works of W.S. etc, here are the little pleasures and treats that makes life at the Acre that much more lovely. In no particular order:

1. Flowers. flowers. flowers. joy givers all and I love them in the garden and in jugs, bottles and vases in the house. I love that my flowers are air mile and chemical free, and I also enjoy the simple truth that all that beauty wouldn't be there  if I hadn't put them in the earth with my bare hands - it is just such a brilliant feeling. I miss them in January. sniff.
2. Twinings rose tea. So delicious and refreshing. Hands up, I'm addicted and get ratty if I run out.

3. Lip balm, another mild addiction, my favourite is Smith's rose bud salve in a tube, but honestly the rose and almond oil vaseline in a tin will do, and even Boot's spearmint balm is far better than nothing. If I set off on a winter walk, and realise I have forgotten to put some on, I have been known to turn back. I may need help on this one.

4. A decent haircut and eyebrow shape, the two things that make me feel like I am making an effort to look nice. I feel a bit ragged if these two are missing. Shallow, don't say it!

5. A dog in the family. Haven't looked back, such sweet company, makes me walk every day.

6. A good book, getting lost in a world and set of relationships that exist between the pages of a great story, it is the best isn't it? Half of what I think I have learn't from stories.

7. Making stuff with my hands, if I stop they get itchy. Discovering silversmithing has been the most wonderful creative adventure.

8. Big skies. To see a big sky and distant horizon puts almost any woe in its place, or at least in perspective. A big skyscape means freedom to me.

9. Open fires in winter, or outside on cool summer nights - I am a total fan of firelight, infact it makes winter bearable. I like candles but I need proper fires.

10. Writing. I wish I was better at it, but it has always, in one form or another, been the way I sort out my thoughts and explore ideas. I remember reading the phrase, "...gargoyled by grief," by Jeanette Winterson and thinking, I WISH I had thought of that, I wish I could combine words in such an original way that the energy of them exposes the kernal of thoughts and feelings the way she does. Still do.

...and I still haven't mentioned Paris, breakfast in bed, home made bread or music!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

If You're Happy And You Know It....

I had a lovely long weekend.  And as you all suspected, I did as little as possible.

I did make an appointment for massages for next Sunday.  And there were some really good dog walks with much sniffing about.  

And I saw crocuses, daffodils and phlox opening both in our garden and in our neighbor's.

I had several sweet naps and did much spontaneous cleaning. 

Oh and a little clothes shopping and many grocery stores.  

An hour with the trainer and 5 hours with a pork shoulder.  

The dog got a bath and the cat got a blog post.  Not fair cries the Lab, but then I remind her about the pork bits.

I read the Sunday NYT and the new Cottage Living.  I bought the March Martha Stewart magazine and admired the photos of Marie and Vincent and the cat on pages 104-105.

I've read you're not happy unless you know you're happy.

I know I'm happy.  This is the sound of two hands clapping.

xo jane

P.S. I just remembered the point of the post: next Monday is Flowers In The House. Everybody say yeah? 

P.P. S.  And how much are we all loving the 10 Things List?  Wonder who's
coming up this week......

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Further Feline Adventures

Much laughter and head scratching here on S. Ode Street.

Does anyone remember my story of the cat on the box?

The box was eventually moved up into the attic and the cat moved back into the clothes closet in our room.

It's a very small closet and we have 2 bins that technically hold our shoes off the floor and allow for some dusting and standing room.

In order to get into the back bin and snuggle on top of GG's furry boots , the cat found it necessary to knock 1/2 of my shoes out of the 1st bin and all of the shoes out of the back bin excepting GG's furry boot bed.

Ahhhhhh, sleep.

But then last week she grew tired (?) of the bin and moved to the other side of the closet where a small pile consisting of a sweater and a blouse of mine had grown.  Here she settled.  Ahhhhhh.

This allowed me to move the shoes off the floor and vacuum the closet.  Ahhhh for me.

But about a half hour ago we heard a thumping noise and went into the bedroom to find the sweater and blouse had been moved out of the closet and dumped unceremoniously on the bedroom rug.

By the cat.

How? Why? What does she want from us now?  And why is my shoe in the pile?


For all of you who think ( wink wink) Pokie might be "nesting ", trust me no.  She's about 20 years old, spayed and def been through Menopaws.  Oh my God did I just write that? 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Very Own Happiness Project

 I'm about to blow open and shower the world with happiness....I have a 3 day weekend.

This never happens as I work Saturdays and have Sunday and Monday off as my weekend.

But, since I worked Monday thru Friday this Valentine's week and I use the word "work" advisedly I got Saturday off.

The anticipation of what lies ahead is possibly more exciting that what will actually happen but I don't know that yet do I?

Needed: a massage, a pedicure, a trip to the library, sleep, exercise, time to read sections of the newspaper I've been hoarding all week, dog walks, iced lattes, laughs, naps and a little shopping.

Have I forgotten anything?

I know, cook something delicious, watch a movie, visit some blogs I've been missing, walk around the garden and see what's coming up.

Valentine's day total: 175 deliveries. 75, maybe a 100 pick up arrangements, countless loose bouquets, one caller screaming "Is your truck broken down?".  We ended up with 6 drivers and 6 designers and we were still scrambling to finish our "will call" orders at 5:00PM.

Shaking it off.  Lived to tell the tale one more year.  Sunny Saturday morning.  Door open, crocuses blooming, house scented by one stem of tuberose.

And what song kept me moving?  Ah Yeah!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Who Can Know

Why Blogger won't allow my 10 Things List to show up on reading lists.....but as ever, right below , is a wonderful list full of books and lipsticks.

Read on.

I have an idea go to The Gardener's Cottage first and click on Janet's link to bring you to the post below.

Crazy.  Clearly i am screwing up when copying and pasting from your emails to this blog.

Any suggestions?

10 Things I Can't Live Without: The Gardener's Cottage

 Janet from The Gardener's Cottage is my  catholic soul sister.  A steady childhood diet of nuns and Latin turned us into well mannered foul mouths.

She can decorate a house, dress a body, toss a salad and dig a garden with style and great aplomb on a tiny budget. I spend more on weekly Starbucks than she spends on a dress.

I love these lists for many reasons,certainly finding similarities between myself and my favorite bloggers makes me happy.  Her favorite book? One of my favorite authors.  Who knew.

jane asked me to compile a love list. i told her i would but that it might be hard to come up with 10 things that i love or can't live without. what a lame brain i am. turns out i could write lists like this all day long. just so you know, this is a shallow love list. my faith, my family and friends, all animals, my health, fruits and vegetables, and a small but charming home i love and cherish is not included, that list is a given, right? anyway here is a list of 10 things that i either love or like a whole lot.

1. red lipstick.  my choice for spring is Aveda's poppy.  red lipstick can make the darkest, dullest day alright.
2. a belted herringbone jacket.  my choice is brooks brothers and ralph lauren.  in my book this is a killer combination.  anyone can wear a jacket.  anyone can wear a belt.  put them together and that's style.
3. gloves.  no, not cashmere or wool or ladylike ones.  i'm talking rubber gloves.  the ones that go up to your elbow so you don't have to take off your belted jacket to do the dishes.
4. the royal tenenbaums.  i don't know how many times i've watched this movie but it must be in the dozens.  i can quote it all day long.  there is something about all of mr.anderson's    movies that i adore.  but i relate to the tenenbaums on so many levels it is scary.  if you haven't ever watched it, i highly, highly recommend it.  thems the rules.
5. jack white.  ok, if you read my blog then you know i'm in love with this fella.  i wish i could crawl into his brain and see what makes him tick.  his music has elevated me out of dark moods that i never thought i'd get out of and brighten even the brightest days of my live.  i love jack white like a little brother.
6. a chambray shirt.  my chambrays usually come from thriftshops but j. crew makes some pretty fabulous ones.  from jeans to sequins there isn't anything a chambray shirt cannot make cooler.  it's true.
7. tea and toast in the morning.  a thick slice of homemade toast and tea is one of the greatest pleasures of my life.  it has to be eaten in bed though for the experience to be complete.
8. the catcher in the rye.  my all-time favorite book.  i fell in love with holden the first time i read the line...nobody notices anything.  so true holden, so true.  plus j.d. salinger was supposedly a recluse, another one of my ambitions, but that's another list.
9. sparkling water.  not much to say about it, but i like it a lot.
10. potatoes.  in any form.  my preference is fried of course with lots of salt.  good for the animals and the earth, bad for my bod.  but that doesn't stop me.  i really love french fries.