Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cafe Curtains and Beans

Well, after the theft of my computer, I decided to put up some curtains that will give us a little more privacy. I splurged on these Irish lace curtains years ago...and I still love them. I prefer them down so you can see the beautiful pattern across the bottom. However, these days I feel I want something no one can see through. So I found these Martha Stewart cafe curtains at Kmart and put them up in the dining room. I bought some vintage tie backs that I'd like to use here, but I can't find them at the moment.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm thinking about painting the dining room a lighter color. I loved the red, but I've had it several years and I'm kind of craving light.

Now I'm thinking of adding muslin cafe curtains in place of the lace curtains in the living room. What do you think?

If you know me, you will know how odd this is...I put up beans today! I love a lot of things about homemaking, but cooking is not one of them. I can cook pretty good meals (because I like to eat them), and I actually don't mind baking, but I'm ashamed to say you won't usually find me freezing or canning. I know it's fresher, better for us, cheaper...but you's messing with food. Just not at the top of my list. I'd rather weed the flowers, sew something, or (I know this is hard to believe) clean. And really, cleaning is not high on my list of favorite things to do.

But I have a wonderful brother in law who grows veges, freezes, cans, makes jam....I'm telling you ladies, he is one in a million. He grew these beans and picked a bunch of them for me. So today I blanched and froze them. And you know, it really wasn't that bad!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cottage Living

It's my favorite kind of living. One day I hope hubby and I will retire to someplace on a lake. Our little cottage still looks much like it did after my grandparents did a little renovating in the 1950s. We feel so fortunate that our grandparent's bought the cottage and passed it on to future generations.

Many of the original old cottages like ours were built with single wall construction and no insulation. I'll try to dig up some interior photos and share them with you...they are interesting old places....but you sure can't use them in the Michigan winters.

Here's my mom doing what you can find us doing on almost any day it's not raining.

We moved around a lot as kids, but we always came to the cottage in the summer. We have had the same neighbors for 30+ years (some of our families have been here generations..ours for 5 so far), and it's the one place where we see friends from when we were little. Now our kids have grown up playing with their kids...such a nice thing.

Even the pup likes to float!

Mom and Dad on a boat ride.

Here we're going down "the channel." It's a long channel cut into the woods many years ago, and now it's home to a few cottages and a lot of turtles, frogs, dragonflies and deer. On this day we actually caught sight of a deer drinking.

My nephew loves to help Papa drive.

The lake is very populated with cottages....much more so than when I was a kid. The old cottages are being bought up and torn down or renovated beyond recognizing. I understand this, but I miss the old cottages and the quaint atmosphere. Views like the one above, with huge new houses next to small older cottages are common.

There is a whole row of little cottages that are much as ours was when Nana and Granddaddy bought it. I love the little old cottages. Since they are disappearing so quickly, I'm collecting pictures of the old ones. This row of about 25 cottages is a treasure.

This is my sister Jennifer working on a project on the front porch. We got inspired by a book we were reading to do an art project. Mine is not quite finished yet...when it is I'll share it with you in post. Hopefully by the end of the week!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fun in South Haven, Michigan

Two days after my laptop was stolen, we left for a vacation at our family's cottage in Michigan. I'll share some pics from there later, but I thought I'd share a day when we went to the little lakeshore town of South Haven. It's a charming little town with all kinds of wonderful little shops and historic places to visit.

Most of my pictures from that day are from a garden shop called Sweet Summer Gardens just to the south of South Haven on M140. The lady who owns this shop has the sweetest garden surrounded by picket fence. Don't you just love the little fanciful greenhouse? They are building another one out of salvaged materials but I don't think it will be done until next summer. If you click any of the pictures you can see them in more detail...I left them fairly large because there is so much to see.

They display and sell the work of several area artisans in their garden as well as selling plants. I loved this tin man.

And this one too! Wonderful garden junk! I think this one one is 175.oo.
Another view of the garden. Some of the paths were bark lined with bricks and some were all brick.

The gent who lives here makes wonderful chimes and whimseys from bottles and jars found on the property. Somehow he makes many of them look like beach glass....maybe with a rock tumbler?
Now how is this for a cute, cute fence? It surrounded a sweet little cottage in a South Haven neighborhood. Each post is topped by a dutch shoe.....and Holland MI is not far from here.
Here's one of the many charming shops in the downtown area. It's a lovely downtown with plantings that are very inspiring. There are a wide variety of shops and a wonderful upscale doggie boutique called Decadent Dogs. If you want to spoil your dog, that's the place. You could spend a fortune there or just buy your pooch a treat that looks good enough for us to eat! I didn't try to take Hawkeye into the shops, but I was pleased to see that many of the shops had a dog bowl with fresh water right outside their entrance.

If you are looking strictly for beaches I would recommend St. Joseph instead of South Haven. The beach in S. Haven is not bad, but not as beautiful or as big as Silver Beach in St. Joe.

I'm happy to be back up and running online again. I guess I got quickly spoiled having a computer I could tote anyplace I want.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some bad luck....

I will be away from my computer for a few days...or rather, my computer will be away from me. The one I keep with me all the time was apparently stolen from our home tonight. Lock your doors folks, there are some bad people with a lot of nerve out there. I will be back online in about a week. And don't worry, I'm sure I will be having more fun than the guy above...and I'll share it with you then.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hanging a Vintage Quilt-Tackle It Tuesday

The weekend I went to the auction, I also went to another auction where I only bought two things. One of them was this vintage's the perfect light and bright quilt I was looking for for our room. I tried it on our bed, but decided that the Rachel Ashwell quilt would probably hold up to washings better. I hadn't figured out what to put over our bed, so I hung the vintage quilt there. I just put up a rod from Walmart and used some curtain clips I already had to hang it. It seems like a pretty good way to hang it since I put a lot of clips across there to distribute the weight. I did it tonight....Hubby is working some weird hours so he's sleeping during the day.
You can click on the image to see it larger. The quilt has a wonderful appliqué border and such pretty prints. It also has some red in it...though I didn't catch any in this shot. I love red and pretty much every room has at least a little red.
Tackle It Tuesday Meme
To see more Tackle It Tuesday projects click here.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Stars and Stripes Everywhere!

Today after work I drove around admiring all the flags. This is not a pretty bridge, but the town decks it out with flags on the holidays and that makes it beautiful and fun to drive down.
They've also started putting flower boxes all along the bridge and it does make it look nicer.
I stopped on the other side of town to take a picture of a whirly gig that I saw while garage sale-ing. Bicycle wheels and funnels...I love it. The lady who lived here was nice to tell me I could take a picture.
Back home again on the patio, having a Coke. My little fountain needs a bigger's splashing quite a bit. I'd love to have a good sized fish pond to put him in. And a picket fence..I think that would be very cute all around our yard. What do you wish you had in your yard?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I'll never wear Crocs!

That's what I always said....Crocs are so ugly, I'll never wear them. Well, the other day we were visiting a friend (the one who owns the farm where we got the cherries) and I tried her's on. Oh. My. Goodness. They are so comfy. Better than going barefoot because of the cushy, cushy soles. The next day I was out picking up a pair for me to wear to the shop. And I got a pair for my mom too, because she can never find a comfortable pair of shoes. We've been wearing them nonstop ever since.

My other favorite shoes are also ones I thought I'd never wear. No way was I going to spend the big bucks on ugly sandals like hikers wear. Now that's pretty stupid....since I do hike and bike and my Tevas are perfect for that! I wear them so much they are probably the cheapest shoes in my closet if you go by cost per wearing.

And you know, now neither one of them looks so ugly anymore. I think they're kinda cute!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Life is a Bowl of Cherries

My mom and my aunt went to a friend's farm to pick cherries. They got a bunch and they are beautiful!
This is my mom. She's the greatest. And such a good cook!
Sisters. They're a blast to hang out with. They are both in their 60s and today they were up on ladders in the trees picking all of these. So why don't I have wonderful photos of this? Because this young 45 year old was at home taking a nap. They totally show me up! In my defense, I don't get to be home much during the day any more and when I do....I cherish it and hate to leave my house and yard!
Yum, yum, yum!!! Tomorrow I'll probably be having a wonderful piece of cherry pie with a sugary, crumble top. I can almost taste it now.