Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Corners of the Dining Room

Here are ome pictures of my vintage dining room. The one green chair's cover was made in needlepoint by my grandmother, Helen. The pottery pictured is called Majolica. It was considered old-fashioned and out of style when Helen collected it, but is now sought after by collectors.

The shelf they sit on is in a style called "tramp art." It was made by itinerent workers durng the Depression out of found objects, in the case of my shelf, it is made of wooden spools for thread and wooden cigar boxes.

I was buying some other vintage items in a thrift shop in Norfolk, VA and the owner threw in the tramp art shelf for free. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


One of the blog decorator girls, maybe Daisy Cottage Kim or perhaps Manuela over at The Pleasures of Homemaking, calls making small changes "fluffing" a room.

I did some fluffing in our bedroom. The headboard was picked up curbside. I spraypainted it 1930 green. The plates were all thrifted. The window is the old chicken house window from Bruce's childhood. The shutters were in my attic when I moved in. I found the white scarf draping over the top on line. Please note that the headboard is too small, so I had to sort of "build out" arond it.

The glass-paned Hoosier cabinet top was left by my neighbor when she moved. The bottom of it is in my dining room.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Most Beautiful Ten Year Old in the World

Look, Ma, no braces! My beloved Piper Claire.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Rooster

I'm crazy about roosters. Or maybe I'm just crazy. In any case, I love roosters and chickens so much that I have a chicken coop, the kind you take chickens to market in, right in my kitchen.

This is the newest addition to the flock. This handsome fellow came from Lowes, of all places. His tail feathers are tin and you can fit a reminder note on an index card right in there.

The cake tin, flour sifter, and enamel-topped cabinet (it is painted white and has a 2 drawers, as well as a door with a medium-sized cabinet inside) were all purchased at a thrift store in Manteo, NC. Manteo is the town where Andy Griffith lives on the Outer Banks of the state. I prefer looking in old junk stores to commemorate a vacation vs. buying touristy things.

That enamel-topped cabinet, and another enamel counter and a back splash sporting a red and white 1950's design (rescued from the curbside) help me fill in for the lack of ktichen cabinets. I use a Hoosier cabinet to store my dishes, pots, and pans.

As you probably know, old houses didn't typically have a lot of cabinets and counters. I was musing about that, since much more prep time was needed for cooking without microwaves and electric appliances years ago. Seems like they would have needed more counter space, not less. I think ladies were less spoiled back then and realized that you could actually use a table for more than one purpose.

My Grandmother Dunn used the kitchen table as a work surface. She was an austere woman who used Fels Napha soap and kept an immaculate home. No dust bunny ever dared form at Nana's. Nana was a great baker and it must have been at that kitchen table that she rolled out all of those cookies.

My grandmother Galvin had a big kitchen with one narrow counter next to the sink and another next to the stove. She filled in some of the space with an amazing copper-lined antique dry sink filled with plants which had quite a lot of storage underneath.

Helen (my grandmother) had a huge pantry which was a separate room, and a built-in ironing board which I would give anything to have now. There was also a wonderful breakfast nook with a window, a shelf with a scalloped edge, and an old radio tuned to WTIC-AM. She used that breakfast nook table as the work surface. I can see her right there mashing potatoes.

A big pot of lentil soup bubbles on the stove, the Noreaster is finally leaving us, and good riddance. Homemade soup is so good on a raw day, but I think I'd rather have Helen's mashed potatoes. They had lumps in them and we liked them that way.

Friday, November 13, 2009

November Noreaster

Welcome to beautiful downtown Portsmouth, where the waves of the Elizabeth River break right over the street!

Our beloved Flagship restaurant is flooded, our friend Jason lost both his personal vehicle AND his squad car, our friend MarthaAnn had to be evacuated by the fire department and our friends Neil and Nancy had water from Scotts Creek flooding into their winterized porch.

We are thanking God. Our basement is slightly flooded, but Bruce is busy pumping the water out before he heads out for Norfolk Naval Base on a two-hour delay. We are okay, but really glad we took down some problem trees in our yard five years ago and had a new roof put on three years ago. You're mighty grateful for those kinds of painful financial decisions at a time like this. We haven't lost power, gas, or the cable for our TV and Internet.

So the storm rages on outside, the wind howls, the rain pelts the windows. Inside, an old black lab is curled up on a blanket nearby with her stuffed bear, the coffee is brewing, and pita pockets with scrambled eggs inside are waiting.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It Is Well With My Soul Part 2


I haven't blogged about the Fort Hood Ambush, but today's televised memorial service really made me sad. My father was an Army physician, so the thought that another Army physician could do such a terrible thing is horrifying to me.

I wept through the entire service for these brave soldiers, but I was really gratified to hear the passage from Isaiah, you know the one, "Whom shall I send?" and the response is, "Send me, Lord." I was glad that our attempts at political correctness, our zeal to remove God entirely from public life, did not prevent Scripture from being read at a government memorial.

As I stood there watching the President stop before a picture of each fallen soldier, I heard the Army band playing "It is Well With my Soul."

I remembered the God who laughs as the nations rage.

When I feel scared about what happenes in the world, I like to listen to this amazing Rich Mullins song.

May the God of all comfort be there for anyone reading this.

Weekend Walk in Virginia Beach

Bruce and I spent a warm November Saturday afternoon over in VA Beach, about 15 miles away from our town. We tend to avoid it during tourist season due to the crowds and difficult parking, but it was sunny, beautiful, and easy to find parking on Saturday.

First we stopped at The Heritage, wonderful natural foods store. They have a discount called the "Age and Wisdom" dicount which sounds so much better to me than "Senior Citizen's" discount. I don't qualify, but another family member who shall remain nameless does!

Then we had a beautiful walk along the boardwalk with Little Bit. It is too far for our other dog, Maxine, to walk with her arthritis. As you can see, the day was simply beautiful.

We stopped to walk around the Cavalier, an old 1920's grande dame which put Virginia Beach on the map as a hot tourist location. I could faintly hear, in my heart, the sounds of "Yes, We Have No Bananas" and "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" playing with a crooner singing through an old-fasioned chrome microphone.

I could almost see the ghosts of women in soft silk flowing to the ankles, marcelled hair smelling of Chanel No. 5 and gardenia corsages float past in a the arms of their beaus.

Then we tucked into some lunch at The Jewish Mother, which right next door to the Heritage. The JM is low on ambiance, but the sandwiches are to die for. They even had birch beer!

We finished our afternoon by driving around through the older, residential area of Virginia Beach and enjoyed the lovely older homes, old-growth trees, and houses that don't all look identical.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yes, in fact I AM the Queen of Sheba

Little Bit could give Miss Maggie from Daisy Cottage a run for her money. Just sayin'...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Autumn Mantle

I change this up every season.

My Office Corner

A few months ago, Bruce re-arranged things and set up this great little office space for me. I needed better light, so I searched and searched for the rooster lamp. I couldn't find the kind I liked, so I ordered one on line for $17 which had a white shade and a brownish, resin rooster. The shape was right, so I spray-painted the colors the way I wanted them.

I am crazy about ceramic birds. I love the two cardinals at my window and if you look carefully you can see my old-fashioned clothes line with the wooden clothespins. I use it all the time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Christmas Cactus

Isn't this amazing? I bought this at a church rummage sale. An old man named Judson Wright, a World War II vet, cultivates these in his green house and uses them to raise funds for his church.

It blooms three or four times per year and as you can see, not just at Christmas.

Nailed to the Cross

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

I often stand in awe of the writing ability of my dear Internet friend Debra from As I See It Now at One of the things I most admire about precious Debra (as all of her loyal readers do) is that she is so transparant, even in her struggles in the Christian life. I wish that other writers, published and bloggers alike, could have Debra's courage. She took a little bloggy break recently as she struggled a bit and then shared honestly with us all when she came back.

Instead of writing that I wish I had her courage, today I will share my struggles, even though I don't really have the courage to do it. I'll do it scared and uncomfortable anyway.

I struggle constantly with my sinful nature. Not only do I beat myself up about past mistakes, made both before and after accepting Christ, but also for simply stupid, confused, awkward and less-than-perfecft things I've done.

Deep breath. For instance, I have been tortured for years about being in a bookstore with my husband. He was wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and a red plaid shirt. I was absent-mindedly looking at a book and we had gotten separated in the stacks. I suddenly came across Bruce, seeing him out of the corner of my eye and took his hand. Only it wasn't him, it was some other guy dressed the same way! I've suffered agonies after that for 22 years.

Or the time in junior high-school, self-conscious goober that I was. I was balancing my lunch in tupperware on my pile of books when it fell to the floor, where the top flew off and splattered all over three of the cool kids. Agonies over thinking of this for over 30 years.

Sins I commit and have committed torture me. Not that still, small loving voice of God telling me I have done wrong, but the shrill, obnoxious, convicting voice of the Accuser of the Brethren. Thinking about something silly I've said that came out wrong. Musing about what someone else meant when I perceived that they had spoken harshly. Frequent thoughts about not being good enough or cool enough or pious enough.

Yesterday after church, I was listening to praise music by Selah on a CD and heard the lyrics I've listed above, from the old hymn, "It is Well With my Soul." I'd never heard that verse listed.

Suddenly an A-HA moment! It is all nailed to the cross! Sins before accepting Christ, as well as after. Not only sin, but my shame, my embarassment for being an awkward teen and an awkward grown woman. My pain of often feeling as though as I do not fit in, that I do not measure up. All of it...nailed to the cross. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul!