Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Kitchen has "the Blues!"

  While my pizza was cooling enough to eat I started 'tweaking' things in the kitchen  After noticing that everything was in its best place and with the rare occurrence of nothing out that shouldn't be I started taking pictures - at exactly 1:00. ha.ha.   It HAS been awhile since I've shown  much around the kitchen. And, I have added a little more blue.


While we are here at the stove, I wanted to show a close-up of the stacked animals.  Once, when I was visiting my sister in North Carolina, I admired her stacked animals. She drove me to where she got hers but we couldn't find any for me.  Later in the year, DeAnna's Christmas gift to me came in the mail and inside was this stack, along with something more.  I found out later that she had sent hers! She was a very giving person. This item is treasured very much!
I am now going to show some long shots and then focus in closer on a few things. I have way too many pictures to use in one post and it was hard to narrow the number down!

The quality is not what I would like, but it is not because of not trying!  Lighting really presents a problem with my inside pictures.


I know, a lot of stuff in a small area and not the 'up to date' style. I may be the only person who still has some wallpaper border!!!  But it is what I have and I have yet to get tired of it here. 

Only these two walls have border. I painted words, "Every day comes bearing it's own gifts, untie the ribbons" and cut out the flowers from the border to go between those words, for the other two walls.
Part of the 'tweaking' was hanging the old egg basket here. The hook on the ceiling has only had a Christmas decoration one year in all the years since 2004. It's surprising, even to me, that it was there and empty all that time!

Another new tweak.  Why have I not ever thought to do this before!!!

A good place for a bit of blue in this corner and dresses up these old style doors.  I will forever be adjusting the towels though, since these doors get opened often.

Most of you have seen these before but the plate and cup puts a little blue here, too.

I shined up the ladle holding the tiny nest and eggs and added a blue ribbon.

An Old Time Pottery bargain. It blends a little better with the other blues than it looks in this picture.

Blue fabric awaiting another idea.

I need to say, that I ate the pizza (some of it) and took most of the pictures and two days later I got this apron ready to hang. I bought a plain white apron at Michaels and added the blue to the top and made a pocket. It is very hard to get an apron to hang right on a nail. Of course this is showing half of the apron and I used scrapbooking adhesive to keep in in place on the door. Oh, a light just went on! I can add some of that to hold the towels in place, also.

This picture shows closer to the true shade of blue. One more thought, I keep my wide screen monitor set at 125% (larger than normal). The details and words show much better. I just put it back to 100% just to check the difference.  All I have to say is that my stuff must look pretty pitiful to those looking on small screens at the average setting. I keep mine at 125% for Facebook, too.
Now, I am going to need to figure out a way to add some fall looks in the kitchen with the blue, ummm.
Linked to Dwellings 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lemon Verbena Tea Time........

.......I have had a small but healthy lemon verbena plant growing for two or three years. It is a favorite herb of mine because of the great tea that can be made from the leaves - one of my favorite drinks.

So, why have I only made it a couple of times this summer!!! It is a deciduous plant so there are little to no leaves in the winter.
Except for the wonderful sweet lemon fragrance of the leaves and what can be done with them, the plant itself is quite non-descript. It's tiny flowers are hardly noticeable and the leaves are not especially attractive but, I try to keep one at all times just for the tea.
If you would like to know how I make the tea you can go to this post from last year.

So, yesterday I got my things together and went outside and snipped enough leaves for a nice big pitcher full of one of the best tasting teas in the world!

Actually, you don't need any lemons. They are only included here for the topic, lemon verbena tea,  and to make the pictures prettier.  This is one of my favorite types of blog posts to do - setting up a little vignette and taking a bunch of pictures.

I used this beautiful lemonade pitcher which was given to me by a very special friend, Lynda. It has a beautiful design and color.  The glass is also purple but, doesn't show in the picture. Anything tastes better when it is served in a pretty way.

I used all the sprigs of lemon verbena that are showing in the next picture.

There is no need for using much sugar as the leaves are a sweet lemon candy fragrance and taste. It is said that lemon verbena makes some people sleepy. I have never noticed that and I always drink more than one glass on the day that I make this tea.  I think the sleepiness might just come from the relaxing, enjoyable experience!  One of the special little pleasures of my life and made even better by remembering the beautiful friend that gifted me with the pitcher! Is there something you experience occasionally that soothes your soul?
Linked to Mockingbird Hill Cottage - My Favorite Thing

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Color in the shade.......

I saw these pagodas growing in neighbor's yards when I first came to this neighborhood. I didn't know what they were but knew I would like to have them growing in mine. The first attempts failed but, last year I had one get big enough to bloom and this year I have three.

I like it here in contrast to the variegated schefflera.

This  plant is very healthy looking even though it has to share its pot with gnomes and toadstools.


The angel wing begonia has also grown well and bloomed it's heart out! For someone that never has particularly liked red flowers, something I share with Martha Stewart, I sure have ended up with a lot of them!

Sometimes all that is needed for color in the garden is leaves. I have several types of coleus and I like each one....



.......but this one with its lacy leaves might be my favorite.

My newest caladium has filled in it's growing place in a short time. I so wish they would stay all year but they will soon start disappearing and then come back in the spring.

More red - penta

I like the fullness of this lily blossom although orange is not one of my favorite colors either.

I am pleased with how this is looking in my tall "pineapple" pot.

Purple shield, adding lots of color.

Clerodendrum also provides color.

This small tree, (aloysia-almond) doesn't give color but it makes up for it with fragrance.

Looking through flax lily seeds and a couple of bush oregano twigs onto a Gerbera daisy - the first one I have ever kept living for months.

The common geranium which I also use to have trouble growing but this one has lasted for a few years.

A single bloom on a dwarf pomegranate plant.

Not everyone would get as excited as I did when I saw these baby "chicks"!!! About four or five years ago I brought six of these succulents home from my sister-in-law's yard in Pennsylvania. I was making one last attempt to grow these in central Florida. Half of them died, these three stayed alive but didn't reproduce any little ones .......until lately. You don't know how pleased I was when I discovered all these babies!!!!
Thank you for walking through part of my garden, again. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Just Peeping in..........

Early in the morning as I was making my first cup of coffee, I noticed a perfect little rosebud up against the window pane, peeping at me.  My thought was to get the camera and take a picture. By the time the coffee was finished and the drinking began, the thought had disappeared.  When I made the second cup........

.......this is what I saw, an open rose. 

A day or two later most of the cluster of buds had opened into this pretty rose spray. Do you take time to notice the little "blooms" in your life. I hope you do because little things can help to set the mood of the day! A small appreciated thing can turn a 'not so good day' into a different view!
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"
-Van Gogh

I love little buds!!
"If you don't have great things notice the small things in a big way."

And,  just a five-petal rose is satisfying when it is looked at with expectant eyes. 

A little bush with many small roses is more than enough to put a big smile on my face.


As I prepared to leave for two weeks away from home, this big plant, an Agapanthus, had more blooms than it ever has had before but, none were fully open. I regretted leaving it behind and thought I would miss out on seeing it at its best.
"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory"
-Dr Seuss

On my arrival back home I was pleased to see that it was still looking good and had even more open blossoms. Each blossom is about eight inches across.

The Agapanthus, also called Lily of the Nile, might just be my favorite flower!  What could be better.....

.......maby a fully blossomed Lily of the Nile with a hummingbird feeding at it!!!  Do you see the little bird?

They flap their wings so fast, it is hard to get a clear picture.  These pictures were taken through my dining room window.

And, while I was zoomed I thought I might as well get a shot of this cardinal too.  The name of this picture is definitely "I'm peeping at you"!!!
I will be back soon to show several other plants which have been doing so good this summer. Lot's of rain sure does help to make things look their best.