Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dirty Little Secrets

It's not really a secret per se, but I have a few addictions that I feel I need to acknowledge for the sake of full disclosure.

I am woefully addicted to really, I need a 12 step (pun intended) program.  My latest loves are strappy high heeled sandals.  So far I've acquired 2 pairs of brown, 2 pairs of black, though technically one of those is a wedge heel, so it doesn't really count right?!  And I'm still on the hunt for a pair of white and maybe some coral colored ones...I think I need an intervention soon!

I thought I had beaten my addiction to footwear, only to realize that it would likely be replaced by a handbag addiction, so for now I will stick with shoes because I find them on the cheap, and I've not been so lucky with finding dirt cheap handbags!

My other not so secret addiction is to flowers.  According to Mr. Tide, who has been doing a lot of genealogy on my side of the family, I'm descended from some fairly notable royals, so I blame them for this particular affliction...and now that I think about it, maybe for the penchant for shoes as well?!

The other day I was having a Marie Antoinette moment as I looked around and noticed that I had 5 separate vases of flowers all around me, and I was in scent heaven!

If someone were to peek through my windows, they would see me sniffing the wind like a bloodhound, soaking in every single bit of their delightful fragrance!  The peonies have been especially fragrant this year, and one small bouquet made almost my entire house smell like a French Palace...minus the negative 18th Century smells! :)

And I have been known to walk visitors around my yard (sorry family and friends) to make them smell each variety of rose in our garden, while giving them a running commentary of what "I" think each one smells like.  It usually goes something like this..."oh, see that one, it smells like Pez candy!"  Thankfully, no one seems to mind too's not as though I'm saying, "hey, wanna smell something weird?!"

So that's the deepest, fashionably darkest, and smelliest secrets revealed!  I could probably go to therapy or try and break my addictions on my own, but why on earth would I want to do that?!

I'm off to bed, where it just so happens I can open my windows and have the smell of my New Dawn climbing rose waft into the room since it is growing up the wall by the window on my side of the bed.  

I think my ancestors would be proud...happy that I can still appreciate the finer things in life, all these generations later!

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Remembrances of those who went before us, and laid down their lives for us.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Worth The Wait

Aside from my family, friends, and pets, there are few things I love more in this world than flowers.  I think it has something to do with the fact that my mother loved flowers and that one of her closest friends was a florist, so flowers were always an important design element around our house.

Flowers were used to adorn the exterior of our house, and inside they held a place of honor atop antique and vintage tables made of cherry, walnut, and tiger maple.

People used to stop and tell my parents how beautiful their yard was, especially in the spring when it was dressed in the latest finery of daffodils, tulips, cherry and plum blossoms, plus an array of other colorful blooms.

And on the farm property we own, my father decided to plant a half acre of Cosmos one year in shades ranging from deep fuchsia to white with just a hint of pink.  It was a show stopper, and something I intend to attempt at my own home this year...I have a bag full of Cosmos seed that promises to cover an acre!  All I need is someone to plow up the area and I'll be set to create my color explosion.

But of all the flowers my parents, grandparents, and friends all nurtured over the years, roses were never at the top of the list.  Sure, we had ramblers that managed, against all odds, to find their way into the nooks and crannies around various outbuildings, but formal roses just weren't on the menu for my family.

And yet my mother would drool when we visited historic homes and their formal rose gardens.  But I think she saw her house as a more humble abode, not worthy of such a prim and proper flower.

I think I likely had that notion for many years as well, until I met Connie of Hartwood Roses.  One short email exchange, or better yet, an in-person convo and visit to Connie's beautiful gardens will convince even the faintest of heart to grow roses.

There is just something about a rose that is unlike any other flower, and I'm a devoted fan of LOTS of flower species, but I am now addicted to roses!  Maybe it's their scent, or it could be their gorgeous shades that change as they mature and later wane...I don't know, but I do know that I love them.

I also love that their blossoms last well beyond my beloved peonies, lilacs, cherry blossoms...the list goes on and on.  And it is no surprise that royalty have prized, perfected, and pursued these delicate flowers for centuries.  I now join their ranks of admirers, and I bought 2 new David Austin rose bushes yesterday at a local nursery.  I had just left the nursery when my sister texted me with a picture saying she had also bought a David Austin, her first, just a half hour before at the same nursery.  I told her congratulations and gave her the "now you've gone and done it" talk, knowing she too will turn into one of those crazy rose loving gardners! :)

Some things need to be anticipated, like a big bunch of rose blossoms to grace your desk as you work, or a bowl of fresh, ripe strawberries grown organically and locally!

Maybe if we had these things at our disposal all year long we wouldn't appreciate their flavor, their scent, the magical impact they have on our senses.  Worth the wait? betcha!

Other things I've been waiting on that are now here...

1. Peonies
2. Hummingbirds
3. Lightning Bugs (just a few so far)
4. Sleeping with the windows open at night
5. Wearing shorts and flip flops
6. The smell of freshly mown grass

How about you, what do you wait for each spring?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

In Good Company

Last fall I received a lovely email from one of the editors at Artful Blogging asking if I would like to be featured in their spring 2014 issue.  I was on deadline at the time, and had too many things on my plate, so I politely declined and let them know how appreciative I was that they even asked!

Much to my surprise, instead of saying "ok thanks, see ya later," the editor asked if I would consider being in the summer 2014 issue instead as it would give me more time to write my piece.  I immediately said yes, and though I still wonder why the heck they picked me...let's face it there are some truly Artful blogs out there, that blow mine WAY out of the water, I am so thankful they did include me.

When I received my contributor copy a couple of weeks ago, I was tickled to see one of my images on the cover.  If you've read my blog for awhile, then you know how much I LOVE tea, especially the Laduree Marie Antoinette tea I picked up in Paris, so I was thrilled to see that they selected that image for the cover.

The spread inside the magazine didn't disappoint either, and they did a great job of grouping my images together to compliment the story.  I was also super excited to see that Mr. Quinn and Misty Belle made the cut...I wonder if they'll start getting fan mail?! *winks*

I have to say that the Summer 2014 Issue of Artful Blogging is full of beautiful images, talented artisans, and inspiring stories that have introduced me to a whole new group of talented folks I might never have found on my own.  I am in very good company in this issue!

Thank you Artful Blogging and your wonderful staff for letting me be a part of your beautiful publication...I am humbled and appreciative!

The weather here today is beyond gorgeous, and I wish everyday could be just like this!  My neighbor gifted me with some lovely Persian Lilac blossoms and with the windows open and a cool breeze blowing through, my entire house smells divine!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

A little flower love is being sent your way to say...

Happy Mother's Day! xo

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


This is still one of my all time favorite images I have ever taken.  I don't know why, there's nothing extraordinary about it, and I've even featured it here on my blog before.  

I think it may have something to do with Mother's Day fast approaching that makes me feel connected to all creatures who are mothers.  And this year we are once again gifted with a nesting pair of bluebirds in our backyard box.  The female bluebird is steadfast in her quest to turn those 3 tiny blue eggs into successful young bluebirds, and later, productive adults...not unlike ourselves as we raise our young.

My own mother will have been gone 10 years this August, and though I fair well with it 99% of the time, I can't help but think of what a wonderful influence she was on me in so many ways, and how I wish she could see the things I've accomplished, both personally and professionally.  I know that she can see me and my accomplishments, I feel her all around me, but to pick up the phone and be able to tell her that I'm older and wiser now, that I get some of the things about her that would, on occasion, drive me batty, would be priceless.

We sometimes take things for granted, like being able to tell someone how much they mean to you, or even how much they drive you crazy!  The assumption is that that can wait until later, but often it can't.  My mother was fiercely loyal, a worrier by nature, and someone who would have laid down her life for any one of her children...these are just some of the traits I inherited from her.  I am also too mouthy for my own good sometimes, opinionated, and a bit overbearing...also some traits I can attribute to her...but ones I cherish none the less.

I stumbled across this wonderful video tonight as I was surfing for nothing in particular, though somehow I think I was meant to see it, meant to share it!  I know it's a few days too early, but then again waiting until Sunday may just be too late, so I want to wish each of you who have taken on the demands, the worry, the sleepless nights, but most of all, the indescribable joy of being a mother a very Happy Mother's Day!  It's not a job that everyone wants or that some should tackle, but it is the most important position I have or will ever hold!

You can watch the video by clicking HERE as it won't let me embed it!