Friday, April 30, 2010

Brilliant, I say!

If you don't care to watch the whole thing and want to skip to the best part, watch part two for Alton's homemade popcorn device and ideas for seasonings. I highly recommend the entire thing, though. Just watch it!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The lilacs are blooming! The lilacs are blooming!

They're probably blooming or have already bloomed where you are, but my little sapling takes her sweet time.

All of my Columbine is back this year, and with it come the new varieties planted late last season and at the beginning of this one. This is the first of them to favorite, wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis).

There are all sorts of new things popping up that I planted last year. Can't remember what half of them are, but that's the fun part. One of these days I'll start a garden journal and keep track. One of these days.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

thank you

Just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words. It's been really hard to grasp that she's gone and the support from everyone really helps a lot. So thanks.

Not much to say here today, but mostly I just wanted to bump that last post down. I get hysterical every time I sign in and see her fuzzy little face sitting there at the top. I just can't accept it yet.

The next post will be much cheerier, I promise.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Our sweet little velveteen cat left us today. She died late this afternoon and luckily we were able to say goodbye to her as she passed. I adopted her from a shelter when I got my first apartment and she's been at my side ever since. Not sure how old she was when I took her home, but she lived with me for fourteen years. Feels like something is missing from our house already. She will be missed.

Little A

(photo courtesy of Kate's Flickr stream)

I had the chance to spend a little quality time with Miss Amelia last night at my house. Had a bunch of company over for dinner (steak, burgers, shrimp, roasted potatoes and cupcakes), some relaxin' time, a sit around the fire pit in the back yard, and just good old fashioned catching up. Kate and Dave brought the baby with them and she's just such a delight to have around. It got me thinking...I have no regrets whatsoever about not having kids of my own, but maybe other people's kids aren't so bad after all. Especially this little lady. How adorable is she???

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Someone else's giveaway!

(photo courtesy of Hartwood Roses)

So, I've been a loyal reader of Christina's blog, The Oak Leaves, for a while now. Love her photos, love her stories, love the blog overall. Popped in there today to see what was new and her most recent post linked to her friend's blog where a fantastic giveaway is going on. I want to win this climbing rose so badly I can taste it. To enter, simply leave a comment on her blog. And for an extra added bonus, if you link to the giveaway on your own blog, she'll enter your name for a second chance at winning. Yes! I'm feeling lucky. I've been fantasizing about some sort of climbing plant growing up the side of my little brick bungalow lately, and this would be perfect! Head on over and check it out. And be sure to check in on The Oak Leaves, too. Great stuff.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

it could happen to you

I have the worst luck.

A customer stopped by yesterday to ask if I’d be interested in taking her old sewing machine. It still works, is in great condition, and I’m certainly not one to turn down a backup machine for those all-too-common times when mine decides it’s too good to work for me anymore. The customer asked if I wouldn’t mind getting the machine out of her car (she had recently suffered from a back injury and couldn’t lift it herself), and walked with me to show me where she was parked. I grabbed the machine out of the back seat, thanked her thoroughly, and made my way back to the shop, smiling the entire way.

And that’s when it happened.

My underwear fell off.

And I was wearing a skirt.

I swear these things only happen to me. I’m pretty sure no one saw it happen, but as I was standing at the sink last night washing the dinner dishes, I had an awfully vivid image in my head of the one solitary person who witnessed the event telling his entire family the story, all while choking on a full-bellied laugh.

Yeah. I’ll never understand life. But I still swear by Weight Watchers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So, here's the completed room...or at least I think it's completed. The only goal I didn't accomplish was the painting of the fireplace, and I'm okay with that for right now. With the new, brighter paint color and the much brighter, lighter curtains, the room just pops now where it just kind of drifted off into darkness before. I love it. The fireplace can wait. If I get sick of the brick all over again, one Sunday with a paintbrush should do the trick. What do you think? Any pointers for me? Anything you can't stand? I love how much the paint color changes with the time of day. In the morning the paint has a green tone to it and yet it's very blue at night.

Oh, and yes, my floors are dirty. Don't judge me. We're in the process of buying a new vacuum after our old one bit the dust. Meh.

More photos here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

new room

Does my mantle look too crowded to you? It's a crappy picture, I know. I could seriously fuss with the arrangement of this thing for hours and hours. I'm starting to go a bit mad, I think. I don't want it to look too cluttered. I've added a lot and then taken it away. I just don't know when to stop. Is this too much?

Anyway, I'm putting the finishing touches on that room now and I expect to be finished within the next few days. As you can see I haven't touched the fireplace yet and I may not...more on that later. Stay tuned for shots of the finished product.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Once upon a time, in a town called Troy,

A group of men gathered together on a dark and stormy day,

To show the world

How much they love and respect women.

They all agreed to walk one mile in women's shoes,

No matter how awkward

Or painful that might be.

Some shoes were fancy.

Some plain.

Some had buckles.

And some were too sassy for words.

But no matter how fancy or plain, buckled or sassy,

The men walked happily,

To show that violence against women is wrong,

And all was right with the world.

From this year's Walk A Mile event, Samaritan Hospital, Troy NY...

We had a blast this year, guys. Thanks to all of you who showed up to walk!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

for you*

*you know who you are.

And another one of my faves, just because:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

floral beer

I love beer as much as the next person, but with the diet and all, well, it's not exactly on my list of easily consumable foods. After reading this month's issue of Food Network magazine, though, I may have to allow myself to cheat a bit.

From the magazine:

"Scotland's Williams Bros. Brewing Co. is celebrating its 20th birthday with a special edition of its Fraoch Ale (fraoch is Scottish Gaelic for "heather"). Brewers add fresh heather flowers to boiling malt to give the beer a spicy, herbal flavor. $16 for 750ml."

"Tart, Cuvee de Fleurs beer, from Long Island's Southampton brewery, might as well be made in a meadow: It's infused with a blend of chamomile, rose hips, marigold and lavender. $12 for 750ml."

"Chateau Jiahu, a sweet, complex brew from Delaware's Dogfish Head brewery, is a reinterpretation of a 9,000-year-old beverage from China, made with mum buds and wildflower honey. $12 for 750ml."

Seeing as how Dogfish Head is a beer staple in this house (Ben loves the 90min IPA), I think the Chateau Jiahu may be the first I try, but man, that chamomile beer really sounds like the one to really knock my socks off. Have you tried any of these???

Monday, April 12, 2010


What the hell is wrong with these people???

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This very well may be the first Sunday I've waded through where I actually enjoyed myself and embraced every single second. This is also the first Sunday in a long, long time where nothing was scheduled, nothing seemed urgent.

I had planned on taking the morning to sleep in and get some much needed rest, and instead awoke a little after 8 to a sleepy faced, smiling husband, and a grunting (yet smiling) squirmy black dog. We stumbled out of bed and Ben made breakfast, something that never happens often enough, but something I've adored since the day we met so many years ago.

I found myself grinning while puttering around the house...washing dishes, straightening rooms, doing laundry. Simple chores that normally find themselves crammed amidst the daily clutter of life were little blessings today, and I found myself enjoying life for the first time in far too long. I planted seeds and tended to the garden. Daydreamed and schemed up ideas for Randi's wedding...candles in canning jars and vintage tea-colored doilies, ocean colors and twinkly white lights.

We walked, my two loves and I, one on a leash, one at my side, and breathed in the spring air. A bit of love must have been mixed in with the pollen because we noted several amorous couples along the way, tucked in on park benches and walking hand in hand along the paths.

I sprawled out in the sunlight this afternoon, soaking in the warmth and taking in little bits of this book, slowly, so that it didn't end too quickly...not before I find myself ready to turn the last page. Snippets of stories from one woman who decided to leave the hustle and bustle of city life and all of its conveniences, replacing it with the wild forests and coastlines of Maine and bare-bones living. I envy such a life change, and long for it most times. But it dawned on me, while I was listening to the wind blowing through the trees and the birds chirping on our quiet, dead-end street, that life is what you make it, and perhaps it's possible for me to live that same simple life right here, where I am, and where I already call home.

Tonight we'll feast on roasted shrimp, mushrooms with a balsamic glaze, and the remainder of last years fiddleheads, and enjoy each other's company. For now, I'll embrace what I have and be grateful for this day, and the peace it brought me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

paper, scissors, glue

Working on the spring/summer window for the shop. The winter window was filled with flying paper geese and an illuminated moon, and boy was it pretty. But seeing as how the geese have gone and come back already, I figured it was time to change things up. Paper Sparrows, paper leaves and yarn nests this time around (all assembled on real branches). You likey? I can't get a decent picture of the finished product no matter how hard I try. This is the best I can do.