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

Friday, January 29, 2010

Show and Tell Friday

It is a very cold evening here in Southern Virginia and we anticipate a significant amount of snow  I hope that I never grow so old as to complain when it snows.  I can't wait!  Even though I'm planning some snow angels Saturday morning,   I always love to have fresh flowers around the house.

I've had my old sewing machine table so long that I no longer remember where it came from.  I spray painted it off-white several years ago. The picnic basket was recently thrifted at Goodwill.  Today I filled with cut flowers and plants from Food Lion.  The lacy fabic you see coming from the basket was tatted by my husband's grandmother, Irma Fodge.

Please visit over at "My Romantic Home" for more Show and Tell Friday ideas at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together!

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I loved old suitcases.  Maybe it was something I saw in Victoria Magazine.  It was so long ago that I don't recall.  For the past five years or so, I've been picking up vintage suitcases at church tag sales, from the curb waiting for the trash, and, most recently, for $4 from Goodwill.

Finally, I have enough to make the stacked vignette I've been planning for my stair landing for all these years.  That's my grandmother Dunn in the flapper-esque picture.  I believe this was her engagement photograph.  The little orangey box  came from her dresser set from way back then.  There was a mirror, long gone now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stormy Weather

Greetings from damp Tidewater area, Virginia.  I sipped my morning Earl Gray, listening as great gusts of wind rattled our windows and wet tires outside whooshed their drivers to school, to work at the shipyard, the Naval Hospital, the Norfolk Navy Base, and parts unknown.

When the weather rages ugly outside 256, I always think about the storms, weather-related and metaphorical, that this old house has witnessed over all the years.  World War I, the Depression, Jim Crow Laws, World War II, Korea, the Civil Rights era, Vietnam, and on and on and on.

Today's reading in my "The Journey" devotional?  Coincidence?  I think not.  "And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had been built upon the Rock."  Matthew 7:25

Mixed Messages

I spent time yesterday "fluffing," but noticed when I'd finished that I'd given some mixed messages.  I have hopeful spring flowers out front and I'm bemoaning a cold winter in the front hallway.  C'est la vie

That's Little Bit in the doorway.  She runs the household.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Seek Ye First

So I was finishing up my eye make up, shower done, hair done, when I heard my sink making this ominous glug, glug, glug sound that I imagined as Jabba the Hut's voice.  I was about to run downstairs to tell Bruce, when I felt the Spirit tell me, "No, wait.  Don't worry about it until after church."  I'm generally not quiet long enough to hear that voice, so it is a true miracle that today I was praying while I put on brown eyeliner vs. worrying about something or thinking about the smart-alecky things I could have said the last time I got mad.

Then Bruce came up with a grim look on his face and told me not to use the water, that the plumbing was all backed up.  He said he needed me to got to church by myself while he called a plumber.  Instead of just giving my un-asked for opinion, as I often do, I asked him if he wanted some input.  He agreed that he did.

I brought up the Scripture that we'd recently read in our devotional, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you."  We talked about how this would apply to our situation.   We made the decision to go to Sunday School and church and worry about the darn plumbing later.

The sermon, by the way, was based on Jesus' admonition to Martha that "she was worried and upset about many things, but Mary has taken the greater part," which was to sit with Jesus.

And when we came home, all the plumbing worked.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

'Twas a Dark and Stormy Night

It was the proverbial dark and stormy night this evening, the stuff about which melodramatic and lurid Victorian novels were penned.  But we were just dropping our godson off at home and getting some gas at Wawa.  That name always cracks up people unfamiliar with the chain convenience stores.  Think 7-11 but better.  However, saying, "I'm going to Wawa" still makes me feel faintly infantile.

Tonight was one of those serendipitous evenings.  Sometimes you can plan to do something, look forward to going to a restaurant for a week and not be too impressed. OR you can get gas in the pouring cold rain and happen upon the best Mexican food you've eaten east of San Diego.

I had zuccini fajitas and Professor Bremer had the Mexican burrito.  The food was superb...fantastic guacamole, our waiter Luis from Guatamala was lovely and the bill didn't break the bank.  The best part was that I left feeling that I had not only had a delcious meal, but I had eaten in a way that is kind to my body as well.

And the evening didn't seem so cold and dreary after all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Old pirates, yes, they rob I;

Sold I to the merchant ships,

Minutes after they took I

From the bottomless pit.

But my hand was made strong

By the 'and of the Almighty.

We forward in this generation


Won't you help to sing

These songs of freedom? -

'Cause all I ever have:

Redemption songs.          Bob Marley

I really don't have the mind to encompass the horror of Haiti.  I don't really have the words.  I haven't been able to post about it for a week.  Somehow, my little life seems all too easy, my solutions all too few, and my bargains at Goodwill, well, not too important. 

All I can pray for the people of Haiti is, "mercy." 

They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long?" Rev. 6:10


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Time for Flowers

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

Albert Camus

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thrift Love - Goodwill

I sure do love the Goodwill close to my house. I'm not a big garage saler. It makes me uncomfortable to haggle But at Goodwill, I get a punch card for donations that enables me to accumulate 20% off all my purchases after making four donations. My Mom often gets rid of things, hates to go to Goodwill to donate, so I do it and get my discount.

Yesterday, there was an amazing shadow box from TJ Maxx with the original price tag still on it, marked way down, which I purchased for a few bucks. I already had the items I put inside. I'm crazy about birds, skelaton keys, old silver, and white-on-white decorating. Strangely, Blogger doesnt see to have the pic function available. Will post one when I can.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Frozen Laundry

Okay, I've been cold before. I grew up in New England and New York State, for Pete's sake. I'm not one to complain about the weather In fact, I far prefer cold weather to hot weather.

However, there IS a limit. Our laundry room is off the dining room and is not insulated. I've never noticed that it was particularly frigid before. Just now, when I picked up the Tide, it wouldn't pour out, despite feeling quite heavy. I peered into the spout. It was FROZEN. That's ridiculous!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Before and After - Dining Room Hutch

I NEVER remember to take "before" pics. Except today...for once I remembered!

A woman named Beth used to live next door to me, in a little white, run down but charming, Craftsman bungalow. She was hard-drinking, attractive in a sort of hard way, with an enormous tattoo of a phoenix which covered her entire back. Beth's mother was a decorator and Beth had an amazing shabby-chic home. Beth was full of contradictions, to be sure.

Then the owner decided to renovate the house and Beth moved out. Kate, the newspaper reporter, moved in. Things were much quieter, more gentrified, and quite a bit less interesting, if you know what I mean.

However, before she left, Beth gave me the bottom of a Hoosier cabinet. It had been painted a truly hideous seventies green. It had great "bones" and I covered most of it with a crocheted tablecloth. It has great storage.

Beth said she might be back for it, but we both knew she never would be. Still I waited 7 years before repainting it. Which I finally did this weekend.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Good Evening and Happy New Year from 256!

We are spending the first night of 2010 quietly, having dinner with our dear friends, Neil and Nancy. They like a block away in a wonderful Queen Anne style Victorian Home. Nancy loves all things vintage. Her father was an antiques dealer and she has so many wonderful things in her house. She's always up for a walk or a bike ride.

We are having twice-baked yams, an Indian main dish called "dal," which is based on legumes and vegetables, a black bean salad, and a green salad.

I challenged myself to spend very little money on my table. The candles are from the dollar store, as are the silvery decortions. The tray is from Goodwill, as are the white pillars for the candles. The silver is inherited and the plates and chargers were given to me by someone who didn't want them anymore. They are Mikasa.