Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eagle Eye

Ok, first of all you guys are so sweet to leave such lovely comments about both Misty Belle and my daughter...thank you!!!

The past few days I've been working like crazy!  Not on decorating my house like most of you...oh how I wish, but on stories that are due very soon.

The crazy thing about freelance writing is that it's often feast or famine, and when you do get assignments they are often on a tight turnaround schedule, sometimes just a few weeks.

I don't really mind the tight deadlines because it gets me motivated, and if I have too long I will sometimes put things off.  So when I'm in the zone for writing, I really do prefer to just keep at it until everything is done and sent off to the editor I'm working with at the moment.

What it does mean though is that everything else gets put on the back burner.  I don't reply to emails, except work related ones, I can't do my usual blog reading, and worst of all I can't vacuum the tumbling tumbleweeds of dog hair floating across the floors in my house!

Ok, that last part about not having time to vacuum is a bit of a stretch, I mean I could vacuum if I wanted to...but I like to use the ole' I'm "on deadline" excuse!  Eventually even I won't fall for this ruse though and I'll have to get this place shipshape and ready for Christmas, but not until I'm done with at least 2 of the 3 stories I need to write.

I may not have time to vacuum, but I did steal away from my computer for a few minutes to snap some photos of Mr. Eagle who was visiting our big dead tree today.  We haven't seen much of the eagles since one of the big branches they liked to perch on broke off in the wind.  Today, this one decided to land on the osprey nest.  It's funny, the eagles never go inside the nest, and up until the branch broke recently, they wouldn't even stand on the nest...they aren't too fond of osprey, either the birds themselves, or apparently even their empty nests!  But I was happy to see him fishing and standing on the nest today.  He had his eagle eye on me the whole time and I'm pretty sure he was saying "hey shouldn't you be working young lady?!"  What a nice eagle to call me young right?!

The other person keeping their eye on me is my daughter, yes that sweet looking one in the pictures in my last post.  She has decided that we need to go to a Scottish Walk up near DC this weekend, since we've recently discovered some very strong Scottish heritage on my side of the family, so she sends me emails every so often reminding me to write, write, write!  I told her I would have to wait and see if my stories were done before committing to come and spend the weekend with her, but she's not taking any chances and is keeping me on task so that we can go to the parade.  She assures me that it will all be worth it, this non-stop writing marathon I'm on, because there will be a 50 foot Loch Ness Monster float in the parade.  Now who wouldn't try to get their work done in order to see that?! *rolls eyes*

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Header That Ate New York

I decided to change the header photo on my blog over the weekend.  So I ran around my house in my pj's and snapped a few shots of the things I had already put out for the holidays.  I think I do some of my best photographic work before I'm dressed actually! ;-)

Some of the items will stay right where I shot them, others will be moved when I actually drag all of the big bins out of the garage this week and begin the task of decorating my house for the holidays.

I also added a whole bunch of Christmas music to my play list on my sidebar.  I've included some time worn favorites from my own childhood.  But I tried to include a few new versions of the classics to try and spice it up a little, I hope you enjoy the tunes!

I love cotton ribbon, well any ribbon actually.  I found all of these at Michaels.

This snowflake glass ornament came from a local shop and it looks so pretty when the light hits it.  It's a little bit heavy but I still think I'll try and hang it on my tree, I think it will be beautiful with Christmas lights dancing all around it!

I did a story for a holiday magazine last year and the homeowner had decorated several trees in their home all in various themes.  One of the trees was dripping in glass icicles, and I vowed I would buy some if I ever came across any.  I found these at Studio Three in La Plata and I bought every one they still had left after their open house...I wish I could have gotten a few more!

I have spreaders for nearly every holiday.  I've collected the ones pictured above over the years, and after Christmas I will switch these out for my snowman spreaders.  I keep them in a vintage glass container that belonged to my mother, and they sit on top of the hutch in my kitchen, ready to spread a little lemon curd on a scone!

I found this little marabou topped bootie ornament while out shopping with Connie of Hartwood Roses a couple of weeks ago.  It will go perfectly with some marabou mitten ornaments I have!

So there you have it, a few bits of Christmas Cheer that I used to create my new ginormous banner picture!  Is it too big?!  I couldn't get it to be smaller for some weird reason, so if it's screaming at you each time you visit my blog let me know, and I'll try and figure it out.

I have a busy few weeks ahead of me, like many of you so I'll leave you with a little puppy goodness in addition to the Christmas pictures to tide you over!

Little Misty Belle turned 10 weeks old on Saturday, and our daughter couldn't get quite enough of her over the holiday weekend, she held her ever chance she got!

Little Misty didn't seem to mind one bit and would go bounding down the hall whenever she heard our daughter's door open each morning.

Does that look like the face of a pampered pooch?  She's not getting one little bit spoiled....nah not at all!

I hope you have a wonderful week, and I'll be checking in and quietly visiting your blogs to see all of the festive transformations going on in each of your homes!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

One Last Look

I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving got your fill of turkey and pumpkin pie!  We had a wonderful day filled with family and too much food, but it was good to all be together again!  Even the dogs had a great time visiting with so many people!

I know many of your have already begun decorating your homes for Christmas, and some of you probably braved those crazy Black Friday sales...but I did neither of those things.

On Friday I stayed in sweat pants and a sweat shirt all day, and took the dogs out to play and watched a movie with Mr. Tide and my daughter.  Our son went out to dinner with friends and is camping out at the cabin with no electricity and only a small wood stove...brrr!

It was so nice to just have a day to hang out and do nothing, so even though I was tempted, I left all of the bins of Christmas decor in the garage.  And I even left all of my pumpkins and turkey stuff up.

I was completely unplugged for the past few days and it was truly wonderful!  Now I'm trying to get caught up on emails and work stuff...3 stories due in just 2 weeks, so I'm back online.

I've really been enjoying seeing everyone's beautiful photos on their blogs of all of their Christmas decor and clever crafty ideas...so inspiring!

So I think today I will attempt to put away my fall decor and break out a little Christmas cheer!

The other day I had to drive an hour from home to pick up fresh greens for my garden club.  The greens hadn't been delivered by the time I got there, so I decided to kill a little time by driving to a particularly beautiful church up that way called St. Ignatius Church at Chapel Point in Port Tobacco, Maryland.

It is a gorgeous old historic Catholic church founded in 1641, and it sits atop a hill overlooking the Port Tobacco and Potomac Rivers.  The whole area of Port Tobacco is full of interesting history, it was once a wealthy colonial port town which rivaled Williamsburg, Virginia in it's importance to the colonies.

There is also a gorgeous old manor house which is attached to the church and was built in 1741.  Known as St. Thomas Manor it was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War.  And just down the road near Port Tobacco proper is where John Wilkes Booth was hidden before crossing over into Virginia after assassinating President Lincoln.

I've never been inside either the church or the manor house, but I find the whole property to be simply breathtaking and have been here before to take pictures!

Today, parishioners still worship at this church the way they have for hundreds of years, I'm sure that those who helped build and found it would be happy about that.

With southern Maryland being a land of large tobacco plantations years ago, there were once slaves on this property as well.  Their accommodations were far more meager, and this little white house would have been their home while living and working at Chapel Point.

In the bottom left corner of the photo above you can see a reddish metal cellar door.  The doors are a 20th century addition and are now locked, but underneath and just inside the wall of the building are the remnants of an old tunnel that led all the way down to the water's edge.  Some say it was used to hide priests from the British, others believe that it was used to smuggle goods and escaped Confederate soldiers to or from Virginia during the Civil War.  And some believe it was part of the Underground Railroad.  

Whatever its use, this place is an important part of Maryland's history and a beautiful place to take one last look at autumn.  I'm now ready to join the rest of you and break out my candy canes and cookie making supplies.

I have savored fall this year in a way I never have before, and I wasn't quite ready to let it go until today.  I think we all do that a little more as we get older.  Where we once couldn't wait for the school year to end or for Christmas Day to arrive, now I just like holding on and taking one last look.  So goodbye sweet autumn and hello Christmas!

What have you needed to take one last look at lately?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

I hope that those of you preparing for Thanksgiving are taking time to enjoy the process of getting ready for the holiday.

I will be spending the next few days cooking, cleaning and getting ready to have a house full of people here on Thursday...13 to be exact!

I will finish cleaning tomorrow and then set my table, but the rest of my Thanksgiving decor is in place and ready to welcome friends and family.

Thanks to my friend Doug Vogel, I have a beautiful centerpiece...all I had to do was add the pumpkin and I was set!  I'll add some fresh flowers throughout my house, not so much for the guests, but because having fresh flowers around always makes me happy!

I've collected Thanksgiving decor ever since I was first married.  It was much harder to find turkey day decor 20 years ago!

And of course you have to have acorns to commemorate the holiday!

I gave my parents this turkey from Williams Sonoma about 8 years ago, my mom had an amber one like mine above, but wanted a red one too!

My parents were married on November 27, 1953, so every year they were busy preparing Thanksgiving for our family right around their anniversary.  We always managed to have a few close friends, or even some stray military folks join us who were too far from home to celebrate it with their own families. 

I think the largest crowd we had was 26 one year, and my mother always managed to cook WAY more than we could ever need, but oh the leftovers were wonderful!

Thursday will be a little reminiscent of those happy gatherings.  It will be the first time that all of us kids will be together again since my father's passing 3 years ago.  And today I received a crazy phone call, one of my sister's best friends accidentally called my phone number while trying to reach her realtor, who has the same first name.  When I asked what she and her husband had planned for Thanksgiving she said they were going to a little French restaurant near their home.  I asked if they wanted to make the drive to spend the day with us, and after calling her husband, she called back to say they would love to!  So it will be like old times in many ways!

But if I stay on here much longer, all of those people will arrive to a messy house!  Contrary to popular belief, dust bunnies are not edible!  And I'm thinking they might want some food while they are here.  Thankfully, everyone will be bringing something.  But after I finish cleaning, I still have to make a turkey, lots of corn pudding, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and peas...so I better quit procrastinating and get crackin'!!!

I know I'm crazy to host such a high work load holiday right after getting a tiny puppy, but hey no one ever accused me of being sane! ;-)  I'm just thankful that we will all be together again!

I hope each of you celebrating Turkey Day this Thursday will be surrounded by family, whether biological or chosen, and that you'll save room for dessert!

Monday, November 22, 2010

True Love

I love this picture of Mr. Tide and Misty Belle.  She was learning the "come" command when I took this, and just a few seconds after I snapped the picture she came bounding over to see me.

Can a puppy who has only lived with you for a little over a week be such a part of your family already?....in a word YES!

I wish you all a stress free week!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

This time last week, I was feeling a lot like the leaf above.  Like I was barely holding on to the branch while the wind tried its darnedest to rip me off and send me crashing to the ground.

Then this guy decided to chill out and that puppies aren't so bad.

And this one got her meds squared away and even though she's still not healthy, she's much better.

Which all resulted in this...sweet harmony!!!

And my friends Michelle and Suzanne graciously did thoughtful and intelligent guest posts which gave me some much needed encouragement and time to enjoy this...

And this! 

Then on Saturday, my dear friend Connie came to visit and we spent the day chatting, lunching, and shopping and life was good again.  A day with Connie is always a day filled with calm and wisdom.

And although it took more than a day to make a difference...a difference was definitely made.  Your heartfelt words of encouragement and understanding taught me a valuable lesson this week.

Because of you all, I will continue to blog, but things will be different around here.  I will be taking a cue from Misty Belle and will spend much more time laying on my back in the grass and enjoying the things around me.  

I learned some things this week...

That I miss visiting other people's blogs instead of just trying to maintain my own.

That being outside when the weather is sunny, or even rainy is good for the soul.

That putting decor out in my house doesn't always mean I have to do a photo shoot...unless "I" want to!

That taking pictures is something I do not only for my blog, but also just for me.

That bubble baths are a lost art.

That puppies make everything better...and so do pets in general.

That although I share a lot on here I don't share everything so sometimes only I really know everything I have going on...and I don't have to explain myself as long as I'm doing the best I can.

That guilt makes you tired.


That friends, in real life or online, understand when you feel overwhelmed and just want to throw in the towel and they will be there to help you through the rough spots.

So I won't be blogging nearly as much as I once did.  It may be a post without words and only a picture I love for that week or day...and I won't feel guilty and will post whenever I feel like it.  But I know you all will understand, and that, my friends, is what a difference a day... or week makes!

Now...onto the winner of my latest Giveaway!  Thank you again Studio Three Flowers for your generous Lampe Berger Gift Set!

The winner is lucky #26, Grace from Sense and Simplicity!  I am always interested to see what number the old random generator picks and then I go to the comments section to see who has won...it's kind of a little bit of excitement for me...yeah I'm weird like that!  So when I saw it was Grace I had to smile because she was one of my very first blog friends...so congrats Grace...all I need now is your address and I'll put this in the mail sometime this week!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Helpful Friends Guest Post - Privet and Holly - Small Bites

Thank you Michelle from Emerald Cove for your wonderful guest post yesterday!!!

I'm am so lucky to have friends that are not only fun, pretty, smart, and caring, but also super talented! Suzanne of Privet and Holly is another one of those friends.  She has a way with words and has created a special guest post just for LTHS entitled Small Bites...enjoy!

What a treat to be
guest posting here
at Low Tide, High Style.
Thank you, Kat!

This dreamy arts and crafts studio is also a treat.
Found it here.
I've been thinking
a lot lately about
the balance between
my job as a home-
maker mom and my
wish to express myself
through my projects.
There never seems
to be enough time
to do it all, or at 
least, to do it all

But I've discovered a secret.

Before kids {BK}, I had 
a full time career,
commuted 40 minutes each way...
yet still had time to 
garden, can, sew, craft
 and go to flea markets
in addition to the normal chores 
of a young married professional, 
like errands, cooking, cleaning
and spoiling our dog.


Even after kids {AK},
when they were very young,
I still pursued ways to fluff the
nest despite what the experts

Sleep when the baby sleeps!

Never listened.

I learned how to 
smock clothing
make lined curtains
stencil walls
weld garden sculptures
finish unpainted furniture
flood sugar cookies
and make every single 
birthday invitation
by hand.

Then, somewhere along the way,
{probably about the time the
chauffeur’s cap came out}
all of this get up and go….
got up and went!  
{Hey, isn’t 
that a song?} 

There goes my get up and go....bye-bye!
However, since discovering
blogs such as Kat’s, 
my dormant creative 
aspirations have been 

Yes, I’m still wearing my 
driver’s cap, but I realized
that I can pursue imagination,
as long as it's in
 small bites….

That's the secret.
{Okay, maybe not so secret.}

Like photography

I took this in Washington State this summer.
I always have a camera
with me!

New recipes

Goat Cheese with Pistachios and Cranberries

Fast fast fast,
but they'll never know : )
Get it here

Home improvement

{This happened in small steps over two days.}
Fun upgrade to the 
door that leads from 
our garage into the house.
Find my muse here.


I re-purposed a trug to hold my current projects.
It's being used for Christmas cards at the moment.

I was inspired here.

And dearest to me….


{And blogging!}


Are you able to
have delicious
long stretches to
create, or do you
work in short
sessions, like I do?

Found this lovely work room here.
And how do you keep
your get up and go….

I {and I'm sure, Kat} 
would both
love to know!

You must not for one
instant give up the effort
to build new lives for yourselves.
Creativity means to push open
the heavy, groaning doorway to life.   
This is not an easy struggle.
Indeed, it may be the  most difficult
task in the world, for opening.

~Dais aku Ikeda,
Buddhist philosopher and peacebuilder

2-3, 5, 7, 12 Flickr
{click for attribution}
4, 8, 10-11 Privet & Holly
6 Martha Stewart
9 Real Simple
1, 13 noted above

To read more of Suzanne's wonderfully poetic words of wisdom stop by her beautiful blog Privet and Holly.  Thank you Suzanne, from the bottom of my heart!