Thursday, March 24, 2011

Waiting for Spring

     It has been a LONG winter!
It has snowed SO much throughout these last few months. I LOVE snow, but my goodness, one does get tired of WHITE! I also get tired of worrying about my Poot, when he has to drive in white out conditions, whipping winds pushing and pulling his box truck, and slush and ice making the roads slick and deadly. I pray, and pray, and call others to pray for him too. It has been a LONG winter.
     But I can whiff a scent in the air, a fresh, muddy, almost GREEN fragrance. It has come and gone over the past week, Spring is a fickle lover, flirting close, then running away, always playing hard to get, but sooner or later, she will settle in, and things will begging to GROW. I can't wait for the french lilac bush to be in full bloom, there is nothing like the perfume of lilacs! Except for the pretty white lily of the valley, who's little bells are silent, yet they ring in the dawn of summer. And grass! Cool, green, fresh cut and whispering GRASS, oh how I have missed it!
     Soon we will be picnicking by the river, with our pretty little gingham lined vintage basket. We'll eat ham and cheese sandwiches, potato salad full of fresh chives, and ripe juicy strawberries. We'll pread our blanket on the grass, and lay side by side and watch children chase the gulls, and read our books while the sun warms our backs.
     We'll go for long "adventures" in the car, maybe to the mountains, or maybe to the coast. We'll find new favorite places, and talk with complete strangers like they are dear friends. Maybe we'll get lost again, like that one time, on the way home from my Grandmother's. We ended up in a tiny town called Effingham (no, I didnt make that up, THATS its name:) where there was NOT ONE public restroom! Shortly after that we found a wonderful shop, a "Curiosity" shop, where I got my much loved spice rack, I wish we could find it again, but we have no idea where it was, so it will always be just a happy memory.
     For my birthday in June, I think I will plan a tea party, and invite all the ladies I know who would enjoy such a novelty. We will wear lace, and hats, and I will make all kinds of dainty treats, and maybe we will have it on my sister's lawn, inside of her gazebo. Oh, I can't wait!
     But, spring is not quite here yet, and there is a dinner to be made, and a bedroom floor needing a vacuuming, so, I should sign out for now,
                                                                          Happy Dreaming,
                                                                                     and God Bless:)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Clean coat closet, CHECK!


     It only took about 20 minuets. I took everything out, vacuumed the floor, and emptied the crate and boxes. Then I threw out old and never used shoes from the shoe box, and put all hats, mittens, and purses in the crate. I folded the table linen (I keep these in here in a covered box) and threw away a few discolored place mats. I hung all my scarves on one hook, and put back the jackets and boxes. Its not any roomier (it is a tiny cupboard after all:) but it does look neater, and it is more organized. Its almost time to put the winter boots back in the shoebox, and now there is room!

Decorating my Home

     I have always had a love of "feathering" my nest. I like pretty things, and old things, and quality things. I don't care for the modern bare essentials style of decorating. I think its cold and impersonal, it would be like living in a Dr's office, not a warm and friendly atmosphere, at least to me. If I had to describe my style when it comes to home decorating I think I would have to say its "fairytale cottage". I love the way rooms look in vintage children's stories, not immature, but very, very cozy,,,,,, thats what I am aiming for! An old fashioned "Grandmothers Cottage" style, with big comfy chairs, warm handmade blankets, lace curtains, framed paintings of the sea and beautifully dressed people. That's what I am aiming for!
     As a child I often wished I could clime through the "window" on the page of the book I was reading and visit the homes and people within. I wondered how great it would be, to have shuttered window and white geese in the picket fence surrounded rose garden! To live in the little wood carved house of the seven dwarfs, or the cozy red walled cottage of Mr Tumnus the faun. I know it probably sounds childish, and I don't care a fig. I am, and always have been, about living in a "cozy" place. Home should be a haven, a shelter, refuge, and a sanctuary. In this world, where bad things are happening at a heart stopping place, we all need a place to retreat to, our own little islands in the storm. This is what I am trying to make for myself and my husband.
     Since we rent, there is nothing I can do about the monotonous white of the walls, someday I will be able to paint and paper the walls of our own home, but for now I make do with these. I am very thankful to have them, no matter the color, for there are many, MANY people right now who have nowhere to go. Always be thankful for what you have!
      OK, so onto the goodies! I find a great deal of things in thrift stores, flea markets, and antique shops.A lot of the things I have, have been given to me by people who know what I like. Cheep is good, but FREE is always best!
This is my newest find (from Goodwill for $1.99) on the back its printed that she is called "Pinky"
She now lives in my bedroom, over a table that holds my jewelry box (from a lawn sale) that displays my small collection of pretty pins
These are also in our bedroom, hung over the desk. We call the one on the right (from Goodwill, $2.99)"Little Boy Blue" and the one on the left in called "Asleep" (given to me by my father) by Harrison Fisher, which is signed by the artist.

This display is currently in our bedroom, over our (free) dresser, though someday it will be in the nursery. It's a Florence Kroger print (given by my sister), I love the sweet face of this kitten:)

 This is the bedroom mantle, the frames are $tree, the rose print is a gift from a cousin, the wooden roses I have been collecting, were $.99 ea, and the curio cabinet was a Christmas gift from my sister. I am trying to get a theme going in the bedroom of "roses and lace" with a color scheme of red, pink, and white. Its not done yet, so there will be another post to come!

These pretty ladies hang in the hall and were found at an antique store for around $5 ea
This trio of porcelain plaques are from the $tree and are printed with beautifly dressed people, they hang in the bathroom.
The living room mantle, the wall picture was a gift from my father, along with the candle holder. The flowers and vase are from the $tree, the depression glass goblet was $.50 at a flea market, and the frames on the mantle are $tree as well. (The little one is Poot as a child and the other is his great grandfather as a baby on his great,great grand parents lap) The antique books are from lawn sales and thrift stores, I am always on the lookout for these.
These are new treasures, we got them last week at an antique store on the way to my moms. They were $10 ea (which is more than we usually spend, but we both LOVED them, and this store, the prices were higher than any other we have yet been to, so these were moderately priced for them.)
This is a new acquisition too. We needed a new bookshelf, and found this at Target, we got $20 off, as they had mislabeled the price! The pictures are from the $tree, and all have scripture about home, love, and friends. Silk flowers were $tree and vase was given by my father. The lamp war a $5 find at the Christmas Tree Shop (I love that store!)
     So there is some of my "treasures'. I am always on the look out, though I am trying to get more discerning now. I want to find things that "fit" with the theme of my home. I still need to find window treatments for the bedroom, I am thinking red drapes with lace shears underneath, as I really want to splash some color around! The quilt I am working on for the bed is made with (free) red, pink and white fabrics. I am thinking "valentines" theme, because who doesnt need more romance in their marriage??  :)
     So I will leave it at that for the moment, and hope you have enjoyed this little tour through my home. Have a blessed day, and let me know how you feather your nest's!
                                                                ~Mrs Evans~

Hearts for Home - 22nd March ♥

I join Gea @ her blog,

In today’s busy and aggressive society mothers at home are not given much encouragement to be committed to their role in being home.

In my weekly 'Hearts for Home' post I am encouraging myself and others to commit to thinking about what 4-6 things we can do each week to bring our thoughts, prayers and actions to keeping our 'Hearts for Home'.

I am praying that a spirit of gentleness, generosity in thoughts and time along with loveliness and grace would lead us to be all that God wants us to be.

I pray also that each person involved in 'Hearts for Home' would also pray for any others involved as well.

May you be blessed by this initiative. I pray it brings you and your family many blessings.

So each week list 4-6 things you will commit to that will keep your "Hearts for Home'.

Please leave a you name and a link to your blog (if you don't have one just leave your list in the comment box) and perhaps a comment so we can all see and encourage each other.

If you would like, add the 'Hearts for Home' logo to your side bar as a reminder of your goals.

God Bless you this week.

    1. This week, I will be working on re-organizing the spare room, I want to keep up the enthusiasm about adoption. I found a delightful nursery wall hanging at a Goodwill store while on vacation, as well as two utterly charming knit dollies, I hope to one day have a daughter to give those too. We really want to provide mostly homemade and handmade gifts to our child/children, and raise them the old fashioned way!
    2. I have been doing a good job thinning out unnecessary and unloved "stuff" from our home, and working hard to decorate it in my own unique way. I hope to put up a post this week to show some of the things I have collected over the years, to make our house a home. I want to continue working on this, and love the way things are looking and feeling around here so far:)
    3. I want to work on the quilt I started last year. I have made some mistakes on it, so that means I am going to have to undo the hand quilting I have already done "ugh!" and fix it. It will be worth it though, to have the centerpiece of our bedroom made with my own hands:)
    4. My wonderful Poot bought me something I have been ogling for simple AGES this past weekend, a Williams and Sonoma mini Tea Cakes pan! I want to bake up a trial batch and see how they come out, I can't wait to throw a tea party this spring!
    5. We have been having some allergy issues this winter, mine have been the worst, and I think it has to do with the fact that this apartment is mostly carpeted. Moving is out of the question, as THIS is the year we really want to start the process of adoption, so we are going to have to come up with other solutions. I think a higher quality vacuum cleaner is in order, and a thorough shampooing of the bedrooms and living room as well. I hope that will do the trick, as the almost daily sinus headaches are very annoying!
    6. I think my "big" cleaning project of the week will be organizing and thinning out the coat closet. It is a tiny space and it is VERY full at the moment, so it need some attention!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our stay-cation

     Hello friends! I hope you all have had a pleasant March so far. My hubby took his vacation last week. Originally we were hoping to get down to Texas, to visit with his father and family down there, but that unfortunately did not happen this year. The price of flying is a bit steep for our small budget, and also, who wants to get molested by airport staff, not us! So, maybe next year, when he can get two weeks of vacation instead of one we will be able to drive down. I LOVE road trips, and it would be fun to camp in a different state each night of our trip.
     We started the week out by just relaxing at home. Poot (the hubby) doesnt get to do that much. He really appreciate being able to sleep in, stay in his PJ's and just sit on his duff! We are homebodies anyway, so it was enjoyable. We went up to my mothers on Tuesday, she lives about an hour north of us, way up on a mountain. We are in the midst of early spring here in Maine, what we locals call mud season. Lets just say driving up her dirt (mud) road in our little car was a bit more of an adventure than I bargained on! Poot enjoyed it though, I prayed both on the way up AND down, and we (and our car) made it there and back in one piece, thank you Lord:)
     Then, this past weekend, we went on our annual Freeport trip with my older sister and her husband and two children. This is the third year in a row we have done this and its really something we look forward to every winter. Here in Maine, winters are LONG, and this winter especially so. It snowed pretty much once or twice a week from December on through. In fact, even now its snowing, a slushy dangerous late winter kind of snow. In other words, it is a bit dreary here during the winter, and cabin fever starts to get bad around February. Being of modest income and varied schedules it would be beyond us to take a trip to someplace warm and sunny, so we do the next best thing. We book a couple rooms in a nice (but affordable) hotel with indoor pool and hot tub in the coastal town of Freeport, Maine.
We relax, enjoy the complementary breakfast buffet,

     We swim in the heated pool, and soak in the hut tub,
We walk through the mall, eat lunch (sushi for me, japanese for my sister's family, and taco's and arby's for my Poot, oh and pizza, cause he's a little greedy!)

The carousel at the mall, I wanted to ride in the carriage, but Poot wouldn't go on with me, the pooper!

Poot and my brother in law, just finished eating.
 We go around and act like tourists and stop to take goofy pictures by the local landmarks,

Poot and the big Indian on route1

     We walked through downtown Freeport and went to two of my favorite shops, Crabtree and Evelyn, where Poot treated me to the rosewater body spray for which I been longing after for what seems like YEARS! He also got me a selection of floral soaps and rosewater bubble bath, Oh, I am in HEAVEN!

     We also went to the brittish imports shop and got ourselves some candy (YAY for Fry's Turkish Delight!) and Hob Nobs!
     All in all it was a VERY fun vacation. I finished a book, got some much needed exercise, and spent some wonderful quality time with family. What more could be asked for? Oh,,,and I found some "treasures" while thrifting, but that will be another post!

Still here!

    We just finished a week of vacation, and enjoyed lots of time together, I will be updating on our adventures soon! First things first though, have to get the housework done:) Hope you have been well yourself, thanks for stopping in!
                                               God bless,
                                                     Mrs Evans

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A pretty productive day, if I do say so myself!

     I had a pretty productive day today, which makes me happy. I feel like I have not been "creating" enough lately. I am in a valley, crafting wise, where I am not in the mood to sew, or knit, or stitch, or crochet,,,, sigh,,, nope, none of it. When I get like that, I end up boring myself to tears, at least until my next "inspiration" or ambition comes along. If I am honest, I really should be working on finishing up a half a dozen or so projects I have in limbo at the moment. Uggg, I think I may have to force myself, then, once I get going on it again I will have the desire to see it complete. Do any of you crafting ladies ever have that problem? I hope not!
     Anyway, I had to make some bread today, as we are out. (ahem, and have been for a week or two, I'm SO bad!) I decided to try something new,,,, or old in fact. My mothers recipe. She made it all the time when  my two sisters and I were growing up. In fact, we ate a lot more of it that store bought bread. We were kinda spoiled that way I guess, I have never been fond of store bread, so that must be why! Its Oatmeal Molasses bread, and my my my, I forgot how yummy it was! Its rich, and chewy, while not being dense. It has all the wonderful tummy soothing benefits of oatmeal, and a light sweetness from the molasses. I think we have a new favorite in our house!
     So, lets get baking!

Moms recipe, in her own hand writing?

OK, lets begin!

    Mom's Oatmeal Molasses Bread

2c boiling water, poured over 1c uncooked oats (I used quick, but rolled would be YUMMY!)
               stir, and let set 2 min, then add,
2T fat (the recipe calls for shortening, but I used oil, and it came out fab, so use what you got:)
1/3c molasses ( it called for 1/2 cup, but I thought that would be too sweet, my bread was just right)
1t salt
               stir all this well, then, when warm, but not HOT, add
1c flour
1 pkg yeast (or 2 heaping teaspoons)
               stir, then add more flour a cup at a time, when a dough form in the bowl, plunk it our onto a floured surface and knead about 10 min, working in up to 5c more of flour. I found I needed around 5 cups in all, not 6, but humidity can be a factor.
     Roll dough in a oiled bowl, to grease the top, then cover with clean tea towel and let rest for 1-2 hours, until doubled.
     Punch down, cut in half, and shape into loaves. Place in greased loaf plans and let rise about an hour, until doubled. (I lightly basted the tops of my loaves with oil and sprinkled them with oatmeal, for a decorative touch:)
  Place in cold oven, turn heat to 450' and bake 10 min, then turn heat to 350' and bake another 25-35 min, until golden brown and sounds hollow when bottom of loaf is thumped. Cool on wire racks, and enjoy!
   And tonight, I made one of Poots favorite dinners, Spaghetti Pie. It is pretty much poor mans lasagna! (Not to mention LAZY wives lasagna, it SO easy, and virtually fool proof, unlike lasagna, which I just can't seem to get right!) We had some salad to go with it, gotta have those veggies! We will have having the rest of the pie for dinner tomorrow night, probably with some green beans.

      So, we are now both full, Poots watching the Celtics, and I am pretty much done this blog, so it must be time to be getting ready for bed! I hope you have a blessed evening, Take care!

Hearts for Home- Ist March

   I am joining in with Gae at Cherished hearts at Home in her weekly Hearts for Home challenge. It is open for any to join, just link back to her page:)
   The idea is to list 5 or 6 things to make your home a Home! Things that will improve life at home for your loved ones, and yourself of course:)

     1. I am going to be paying LOTS of attention to food this week. I'm trying to up my Poots intake of fruits and veggies, as he needs more fiber in his diet. Well, to tell you the truth, we ALL do! Last night I served three veggies with dinner, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. YUM! We do a lot of frozen foods and root veggies in the winter, as fresh produce is a bit dear at this time of year.
     2. Make up a batch of bread, preferable with some whole grains, to make Poot some sandwiches to take to work for lunches. I think I will be making up my mom's oatmeal molasses bread:)
     3. Get up every morning, and prepare some oatmeal and juice for Poot before he heads to work. THIS is gonna be a toughie, as I am not an early riser, and I will have to be getting up at 5am! So far, for the last two mornings, I have been successful. so wish me luck, and pray I can keep at it:)
     4. I want us to start eating the majority of our dinners at the table. Right now we only eat their once in a while, and I would really like to change that. When at the table, we say a prayer, and talk, and enjoy good food and good friends together, and I want that to be an everyday thing:) Plus, Poot likes it, and HE IS the head of our house, so I should be trying to please him:)
     5. I really should clean out and organize out coat closet this week, its a bit of a mess, and that bugs me! I'll do before and after pictures, maybe the "before" pics will be enough to shame me into keeping it neat in the future!