Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trip to Michigan and Indiana

Off to Battle Creek to visit my father, then to Indianapolis to visit my sister:
Driving north on the PA turnpike. I love the Pennsylvania mountains.
Tunnel under the mountain. I keep thinking how many tons of rocks and dirt are over my head!
On route 80 driving west for 11 hours, then turn right onto 69, and on to Michigan. My dad is 83. He had the flu which turned into pneumonia, complicated by Parkinsons disease and the dementia associated with it. He is in a rehab after leaving the hospital and headed for a nursing home. He knew me on Friday night, but the next day was not a good day for him. He isn't interested in participating in physical therapy and wants to sleep all the time. He tossed a beach ball to me, but quickly lost interest. In the afternoon, Dottie, his second wife and I toured a nursing home. She is upset because she can no longer care for him at home. The nursing home was beautiful, but . . . not home.
A Michigan sunset.
Dottie developed a nosebleed that lasted for six hours, and she finally agreed to let me take her to the ER. It took them three hours to stop the nosebleed. Her blood pressure was elevated and she is on Plavix. It finally stopped and we went through all my dad's papers that evening. The next morning he only wanted to sleep and was not interesting in communicating, so I set off for Indianapolis to my sister Mary's house.
Of course it was raining!
Clearing up. My mood is improving as well.
Wow! Is this flat or what?!? I don't especially care for flat. I always feel like something is going to reach down and grab me and carry me away!
Arrived at Mary's house. This is Sadie Rose.
This is Katy. She was my mom's cat and she is ancient, but still does very well, thank you!! Mary and I power-shop when I visit. Antique malls. Flea markets. Home Goods. We have it all planned.
On our way downtown to the Midland Antique Market!!
The Indianapolis Indian is gone - for restoration.
We were sidetracked by this adorable little neighborhood, a couple blocks from the center of the city. All little restored cottages and restored Victorian mansions - and cobblestone streets!
Oliver Wendell Holme's restored mansion is here and right across the street was a little cottage for sale called the Watch House. We did some dreaming.
Then back to antique hunting!

Lunch, along with a Mountain Dew - and a hand-held fan for hormonal women!
Treasures, treasures!!
Home with our loot! I bought a white porcelain compote topped with white porcelain fruit, made in Italy. Mary found an iron table with a glass top but needs to measure. She barely missed a white iron patio table and chairs for $69!!Just as she spied it, a woman - in a cast - hobbled over and sat on it - "I got it first!"
Then home. Mary's entire house is shabby cottage. I'll share photos of her home next post.
Have a wonderful day, Love Linda

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Report - Beverley Nichols

"To achieve an elegant informality in the garden always costs the earth."

Hi Friends!
If you saw my living room in a previous post, you already know I'm a book lover/fanatic. From time to time I'd like to share a favorite author. Since we are beginning the gardening season and are in the midst of the Etsy Cottage Style Garden Party, it's an appropriate time to introduce him to you.

Beverley Nichols (yes, a man), was a celebrated English author who wrote over sixty books, as well as plays, articles and other books. His gardening books are informative, witty and often hysterical. Out of print for many years, they are now being reprinted and can be obtained from Amazon.com
Mr. Nichols on the Chelsea Flower show: "One wanders around in a state of mounting palpitation, ordering dozens of this and hundreds of that, to the great satisfaction of the bronzed young man behind the ropes. Then one goes home, and looks around, and there is nowhere, but nowhere, to put them."

And overcome with his garden, he lapses into poetry: "Oh, that clematis! It is like a silver fountain that springs from a dark green bowl, and hangs on the summer air with a mist of stars."
"The drawback to having too many lilies is that they insist on a party being given for them, and since they are so grand and elegant you have to try to be grand and elegant too, and that means dinner jackets, and hiring masses of very ugly silver, and it is all inclined to be rather expensive."

"I was going through a period of acute fuchsia intoxication . . . and indeed still am. Fuchsias are among my ninety-nine most favorite flowers . . ."

"They were delicately carved in lead, and on the sides of each urn four heads were embossed . . .Whatever they cost, they had to be mine. Repairing the roof could wait mending the cracks in the ceiling could wait; the peculiar smell in the woodshed could, and almost certainly would, wait. I had to have those urns."
He also liked cats and several made their homes with him:  "Well-established clumps of heather are in great favour with equally well-established felines, who like to lie in it, dabbing at the bees and pretending to be lions."

"On warm May mornings, (my first Siamese) would wander to the shadow of an old wall, and dispose himself most elegantly upon the hyacinths. If reproached for squashing the flowers, he merely blinked; the blue eyes and the blue flowers, mingling together, were so beautiful that nothing could be done about it."

So look up Mr. Nichols - several books are in series of three. I think you will enjoy and reread them as I have.

"All great gardeners, are also great ramblers; they spend the happiest and most significant days of their lives prowling and poking about and going around in circles."

Have a garden day. Love, Linda

Friday, May 20, 2011

House Tour Continued . . . The Bedroom!

My sort-of-shabby bedroom -
My patchwork curtains - made by me. (Don't look at the corners!)
My dressing table - purchased in Michigan

One of a pair of china lamps inherited from my mother. My grandmother made the lampshades out of peach silk - by hand!

The first teddy I ever made.
More teddys. These cabinets hold my stash of vintage linens.
Thanks for visiting! Love, Linda

Monday, May 16, 2011


In the field of children,
Flowers stretch overhead;
Bees drone warmly,
Heavy-headed lilacs drench the air.
Under the boxelder tree
A discovery of violets,
Around the corners of houses
Our horses run merrily through the lilies.
Boxelder trees and lilacs
Find a sunny child
Running down tangled paths,
To hide deep in the flowers of memory.
Dream some dreams today. Love, Linda

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another Day in Paradise

"How to be happy when you are miserable. Plant Japanese poppies with cornflowers and mignonette, and bed out the petunias among the sweet peas so that they shall scent each other. Drink very good tea out of a thin Worcester cup of a colour between apricot and pink."
                                                           - Rumer  Godden

I don't know what half of those flowers are; I suspect they grow in England. I am familiar with petunias though. I really think that what this quote means is when all the big stuff is going wrong, find some small, exquisite thing to find joy and comfort in. In this spring season, it can mean growing something.

Basil. Grown from seed, it's inexpensive - not a disaster if it doesn't work out.
Remember the potatoes?? Here they go!
I filled up the pot a little more. Maybe the potatoes are growing under there!
A few annuals in pots. Use sunny colors to brighten your day.
For a small expenditure, you can have the joy of new life beginning.
Then drink some tea from your best china cup.
Or a glass of wine.
Keep looking up. Love, Linda

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Onesies

Today's sewing project:

Buy a onesie and some coordinating fabric. The brighter the better.

Make a little skirt. Put a strip of elastic on the back on the onsie.
Sew on the skirt and add a bow. Ca - ute!  6 month size
Three month size
To be listed on Etsy in the morning.

And now a word from our sponsor . . .
Time for dinner mom!
You gonna feed us??
We haven't eaten for Hours!

Have a fun day! Love, Linda