Friday, January 20, 2012


There's a lot going on around here.  Dad is getting re-married tomorrow and getting him pulled together and off on his honeymoon is going to be the challenge of the next 48 hours.  I'm sure I'll be posting some wedding pictures in the near future.

That being said, I don't want to talk about that right now.  Instead, I'd like to share some images of other things in my life.
I bought this little key ring at a craft fair a couple of weeks ago in Sebastian, Florida.  The man who makes them takes thick pieces of plexiglass and draws on them with a dremel drill.  The tree limbs are on both sides of the plexiglass to give a 3D effect.  It's really remarkable art.  He said he learned how to do it from his Mom, who learned from her Dad, who learned from a man in Hawaii while he was stationed at Pearl Harbor.  They practiced on the plexiglass windows of the airplanes at the base during WWII. 

 I love the little cardinal at the bottom right of the tree and all the exquisite detail of the plants around the trunk. 

This is a great deal I got at Cinci Estate Sales. I check their site every now and then.  It's an online auction, like eBay, but local and you have to go across town and pick up any merchandise you buy.  This is a pewter coffee set made by Woodbury. I picked it up for $16 and the coffee pot, alone, lists for $287.50.  The cream and sugar list for $112 and the tray for $190.  Of course, these are not new items and they can use a good polishing, but they're lovely and worth a lot more than $16.  I was particularly pleased get them because it resolved a potential conflict.  When we were going through Mom's things last weekend, I was happy to let Kathryn have Mom's pewter coffee set because I had gotten this one.  Good karma?

This is a comparison of two eggs.  The one on the right came from Kroger and the one on the left came from Kathryn's chickens.  I'm amazed at how different they are.  Kathryn's chickens are happy chickens who are allowed to run around and scrounge for themselves in addition to being fed chicken food and table scraps.  The yolk of their eggs is darker and much harder to break.  I don't know whether that's due to their living conditions or just a difference in the breed of chicken or maybe the freshness of the eggs, but Kathryn's chickens are very cool (and useful!).

My orchid is actually blooming AGAIN!  This is the first orchid I've ever tried to grow, but I remember when I was little Mom tried to grow an orchid in the bathroom.  It just sat there.  For years.  It didn't die, but it didn't bloom.  It was just green and completely unimpressive.  So, I concluded that orchids were too hard. Last summer, Kathryn, however, went to some sort of lecture where she was told all about orchid care and she pulled an orchid out from under the porch where she had abandoned it, brought it in and made it bloom.  So, I decided I'd try one.  I think this is a moth orchid and Southern Living magazine says they're the easiest to grow.  Last summer, it gave me a glorious show for months -- it just kept adding new buds to the end and adding new flowers.  When it finally petered out, I was ready for a long -- if not permanent -- dormancy.  A few weeks ago, though, I noticed a shoot coming up.  I wasn't sure whether it was a flower stem or an errant root, but I tied it to a support and it shot up and produced buds.  Now three of those buds have blossomed!  Success!

In other plant news, my heirloom tulip magnolia cutting on the windowsill has come from the grave like Lazarus.  You may remember that I had 13 cuttings from Kathryn's tulip magnolia that came from Mom and Dad's tulip magnolia in Lexington that came from my grandmother's tulip magnolia on the old family farm in NC.  Well, almost all of the cuttings either failed to sprout or died.  I only had two left, so I planted one of them outdoors to see if it could brave the winter and put one on my kitchen windowsill.  The one on the windowsill soon dropped its leaves and apparently died. In denial, I continued to water it  and, lo and behold, it sprouted some new leaves and it may live after all.  As Jeff Goldblum says in "Jurassic Park," "life will find a way." 

Friday, January 6, 2012

The View From Vero Beach

 This is the view from my window this morning.  Jeff and I have been down in Florida since the day after Christmas.  The girls were with us the first week and then they had to go back to college -- Ally, in fact, went all the way to Greece where she's taking a class this term. 

The time away from home has given me a chance to relax without the stress of everyday life.  I haven't really accomplished much -- I've done a little knitting, fooled around with Photoshop, read a little, watched the ocean, cruised the Internet, hit the area thrift shops, and just generally vegged out.  While I'm here, no one really expects me to accomplish anything and that's a good feeling. 

I'm about ready to go home though.  I've been away long enough.  I want my dog and my bunnies.  I need to get to work on all the things that went undone while I was trying to work a 40 hour week. 

Now that I'm liberated from that, I can get my house in order.  I hope.  By nature I'm a very orderly person, but you'd never know it from the way my house looks.  It would be such a joy to have a place for everything and everything in its place -- not in a rigid German way, but in a peaceful zen way.   I know you can never win against the entropy, but it would feel really great to get a leg up on it.  And if it takes a week devoted to each room in my house, that's only about 10 weeks.  I would gladly give three months to have an orderly house at last.

  ... And, then, there are the storage units to tackle. 

Well, I can dream, can't I?