Monday, July 30, 2012

Flowers In The Hot House: July 2012

First off, did everyone remember to plunge yesterday? Hmmmph.

Sundays are my favorite day of the week.  It is the only day GG and I have off together.

We tend to pack a lot into one day.

This Sunday started by turning off the airconditioning, opening all the doors and windows and icing down the espresso.

We baked our weekly granola ration and roasted eggplant, red onion and peppers for a delicious spread we seem to have eaten in its entirety. We made a  lemon syrup for our sparkling water and boiled some eggs for breakfast.

We ran out for Tahani and the Sunday NYT and liberated a begonia leaf for rooting.

We have a jar full of wandering jew ready to plant.

We pulled weeds, watered plants and picked flowers.
I filled a vintage robins egg blue vase with zinnias, rudbeckia, fennel stalks, black and blue sage, montbretia, painted fern and viburnum foliage.

And because I could, I filled a jar full of herbs and coleus.

A true " nose gay".  Its many scents make my nose very happy.
Of course there were dog walks and loads of laundry, v. ripe peach eating and time with the neighbors.

I believe we also found a moment to celebrate my 9 months smoke free ( it's a miracle, a freaking miracle) and there may have been a meet and greet between the lab and 2 kittens.

Did she say kittens?

xo Jane

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pre Party

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, it's party time at SmallButCharming.

Come Monday, the last Monday of the month it's FITH, or Flowers In The House to the uninitiated.

If you're like me you'll sneak out in the a.m., clippers in hand and cut as many flowers as possible before the temperature hits 100 degrees.

Then you'll rush inside, plunge them in pitchers of tepid water and let them drink to their hearts content before you fill your favorite containers full of summer and place them about the house.

Or maybe you'll drop by your farmers market and grab an armful of hydrangea or zinnias, bring them home and plunge know the routine.

But join us please for this monthly event.

We've had some sad times here this past month and you've graciously read and commented on them.  Now I'd like to celebrate the good times the way I know best: with flowers.

I'll be posting what I'm celebrating along with my arrangements next Monday.  Maybe you'll do the same?

Here's a little something something I'm bringing to an Olympic party tonight.

Say it with your heart, say it with flowers.

xo Jane

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Was Here

Sorry for the radio silence.  One of our neighbors died very unexpectedly last week and I was loath to write about it and become known as the 'death blog". But two deaths in as many weeks have left us shaken.

Our neighbor Ron was the first to welcome us to the neighborhood in 2001 and the first to offer sympathy wishes for Pokey.  In the summer he brought over paper plates of fried green tomatoes and armfulls of peppers and squash and tomatoes.  In the winter it was loaf after loaf of zucchini bread and all the newest movies to watch in a snowstorm.  If one of us was out of town he'd mow our lawns or shovel our driveways.

He  has left behind a wheelchair bound wife, a one and a half year old German Shepherd pup that looks like and has the energy of a kangaroo and many broken hearted friends, co workers and neighbors.
I'm reminded of when my father died and my mother was left adrift, not driving or ever having paid a bill.  She had a steep learning curve.

Our neighbor Donna has the same.  But now the bills are all on line, pass words unknown and she is hindered by cerebral palsy.

This is where the rubber meets the road I thought.  This is when you come when called.  This is when we realize how good our lives are and we have no problems.

And thanks to those of you who emailed and wondered how and where I was, this is when I come out of hiding, put down the book and write about my world.  Swear to God the next post will be happier.

xo Jane

Monday, July 16, 2012


I feel so.....nourished.

All your comments, emails and text meant the world to me.

My flesh and blood people have sent flowers and cards,given me big hugs and allowed my eyes to fill with tears whenever necessary.

Then there are the "just cause" gifts.

Lat week I received a charming creamer ( pitcher? jug?) from a shop in Hudson, New York, a souvenir from my bosses vacation. A few garden roses and a clutch of camomile flowers sit by my right hand as I type.

The last two books I read and the next one up are pass ons.  Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead (meh) from my female boss, Spies of the Balkan by Alan Furst  ( haven't read it yet) from my male boss and The New Work Of Dogs ( loved it, made me weepy in chapters) by Jon Katz sent to me by Jen. 

And in case the books are a little spicy there's a jar full of Haribo gummi bears for GG from her grandmother  Mr. Baby went to Germany to meet his Great-Great Grandmother and brought back the bears and many chocolate bars. Yesterday our neighbor Nelda gave us a jar of honey from Orange County, Ca .  It comes from Backyard Bees Company. A delicious souvenir of her week away.

Books, hugs, honey and words of comfort.

A very full life indeed.

Thank you.

xo Jane

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Goodnight My Someone: Pokey 7/12/12

The baddest cat in the whole damn town , Pokey Pokerson was laid to rest under her beloved boxwoods today.  She was covered with flowers from every corner of her yard. The stone that marks her spot was adorned with sprigs of fresh rosemary.  There is a pot of basil by the boxwoods this summer and she would crawl out smelling like a big bowl of pesto. 

We will remember her.

The condolence notes are already coming in.  Here's one from my former partner Tony:

" I am surprisingly sad to hear this news considering she was possibly the meanest ( or fiercest) cat I've ever known..."

 20 years old, only the good die young.

Sleep tight my someone. Sleep tight my fierce little love.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sneak Peek

Just in case Design*Sponge doesn't come calling.........

What I love most about my home, especially after returning from vacation is:

I can walk outside and pick a handful of flowers to bring some summer in.

I can unpack suitcases and do the laundry setting my very OCD heart at rest.

I can find just one last teeny tiny space and squeeze in GG's highchair  that we brought home from Connecticut.

And when all the chores are done and the evening rolls around I can relax and do a bit of yoga with Mr. Baby.

Child's pose,  Happy Baby Pose.  Oh I get it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Roadtrip: 95 North

Miles of highways, drinking iced lattes, eating cherries, 80's hits on the radio.  The dog napping in the back seat, me snapping pictures with my phone.  All the best pictures are on Instagram. 

We dropped off the Lab in Connecticut where she spent the week with 2 cocker spaniels, swimming in the Sound and barking at a pin dropping.  Cocker spaniels= noisy excitement.

Off to the Cape with the two of us to stay with 3 white dogs, my ( why doesn't she have her own blog) friend Susan, who dined us, let us read for hours, dished up a granola I liked better than my own, poured my lemon syrup recipe into tall glasses of sparkling water, drove us to get the "best" lobster roll ( a pound and a half of meat on a toasted bun, oh my god) and the "best" ice cream made with fresh cantaloupe.  Her lamb kebobs were also voted "best" on the Cape by us.

She and her husband live on an airpark.  GG hitched a ride in his plane.

I documented.

We beached ( is that a verb?) shopped, slept, picked our own vegetables at a local farm ,got pedicures for ourselves and a haircut for the the little ones.

No wonder I was unplugged all week.

Now we're back.  GG's back to work and I'm back to the laundry.  And back to blogging.  
I'll be by to visit shortly.  Missed you all.  Wish you were there.

Wish we were still there.  Thank you Susan and Jerry.  Love you Alfie, MacTavish and Mutley.

xo Jane