Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Perfect Hostess Gift

Our friends, Anita and Fred, drove down from Pemaquid to spend the day at Applegate with us yesterday. It was their first visit to our "new" retirement condo and they arrived with a hostess gift.

It was a....


Anita and Fred are downsizing too and I had admired this little chair at their yard sale last month. Anita reupholstered it herself but no longer has room for it. She and Fred must have noticed that I kept going back to look at the chair and ...*surprise*... decided to load it into their truck, drive it to Falmouth, and arrive at our door with the most Perfect (and surely the biggest) Hostess Gift ever. I love how it completes the conversation area at the far end of our living room.

 As if a CHAIR wasn't enough, Anita had seen my recent blog entry about Toolbox Decorating and prodded Fred to dig through his workshop for this...

 another vintage tool for my the shape of an "L", of course.
It's already up on the living room wall.

So much for bringing friends a votive candle or bottle of wine as a hostess gift;
Anita and Fred have raised my social expectations to new heights.
p.s. Just in case you decide to drop by for a visit and can't decide on a hostess gift...
I really could use a new 50" flat screen TV!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wedding In Kennebunkport

What a beautiful place for a wedding . . . on the dock at the River Club in Kennebunkport.

What a perfect day for a wedding . . . the quintessential Maine early summer day.

On Friday afternoon, June 20th, our nephew, Christopher married the love of his life, Courtney.

The wedding was held on the deck of the historic Kennebunk River Club, which dates from 1889 and includes among its members President George H.W. and Barbara Bush. The River Club was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

To make the occasion even more special, Chris was married by his mother, my sister-in-law, Carolyn , who is the pastor of Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland.

I loved the colors of the dresses . . . coral with a dash of navy blue.
And check out the groomsmen in their navy canvas Topsiders and coral lobster ties . . . perfect for a nautical wedding on the Kennebunk River.

The bride, who is from Colorado, is a semi-Olympic skier as well an Iraq War Veteran. Her dress had just a little navy blue down the back. Her Mom, who also wore navy blue, didn't look much older than the bride (maybe it's all that mountain air in Colorado)!

 The flower girls were adorable in chevron print orange, white and navy dresses.

Carolyn (the minister and groom's mom) did a beautiful job of personalizing the service. Since she was my "little sister" at Russell Sage College way back in 1967, I'm pretty proud of her, and of our enduring friendship.
Christopher's sisters, Kristen and Kim, read to the bride and groom from Dr. Seuss' classic, Oh, The Places You'll Go! while Chris' brother, Geoff, stood up for him as best man.

It was a beautiful day to be with family and to reconnect with old (old!) friends.

 I'm wishing so much joy for Chris and Courtney...
and a week's rest for Carolyn!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Toolbox Decorating: Incorporating Found Art Into Your Home

I've always been drawn to vintage tools , , , especially those with bright old paint, wood handles seasoned with oil from long-ago hands, or just the right amount of rust on them.

Every time I go to a yard sale of flea market, old hand tools and garden implements seem to call out to me.
This was the "business end" of a broken rake. Screwed to the kitchen wall, it displays my vintage and collectible linens.

I found this authentic tin letter "L" at a moving sale in Kennebunk last year. It's quite large...must have been part of the sign on a store at one time. Since our last name starts with "L" and the price was right (only $10.00), I snapped it up.

My great big rusty "L" is now part of a grouping on a wall near the reading chair in the living room.
To fill in the space next to it, I framed the sunglasses my "Greatest Generation" parents wore on their honeymoon to Wells Beach, Maine in 1946. Not exactly tools, but "found art" for sure.
I found this vintage T-square ruler at the Liberty Tool Shop, an amazing junkers' paradise in the tiny mid-coast Maine town of Liberty.

It too looked like an "L" so that's the way I decided to hang part of another grouping in the living room...

Above my vintage doorknob collection...more "tool bench" finds.
This old planer came from a small shop in Freeport, Maine. I had to have it for the great mustard color on the knob.
I display it with this book that I found in my father's desk after he passed away...

Dad used the book to build our family's first home in Newington Connecticut in 1950. He, his father and his brother, built the house by hand...step by step...using this book and the tools they had.

Now the book is grouped with a photo of my Dad and the planer on the bookshelf in the living room. Every time I see this little vignette it brings back so many memories.

I guess a ladder is a tool of sorts...I use this one as a drying rack for damp clothes in my laundry room I just like to look at it!
 I've still got quite a few rusty tools and "found objects" to come up with uses for. I buy them because I like their shapes...then I decide how I'll use them. I think the rake might end up on a wall with some sort of display hanging from the tines. I plan to use the saw handle as the top support for a sea glass mobile, and the horse bridle piece...who knows? Maybe a towel holder.
See how it works? Function follows form...

 Do you collect or decorate with vintage tools?
How do you use them???
I'd love to hear your ideas...
I'm hammerin' this post to the following blog parties this week:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On the Porch
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage

Thursday, June 19, 2014

20 Skills Your Grandparents Had That You Don't?

Browsing through the Huffington Post last night, I came across a feature article in the "Huff-50" (aka "Old Fa*ts") section that really got me thinking. It was called 7 Skills Your Grandparents Had That You Don't. They are...

My grandmothers
1. Cooking from Scratch
2. Sewing (and quilting, crocheting & darning)
3. Canning
4. Ironing
5. Meeting people (without the Internet)
6. Haggling
7. Writing Letters
"Grammy" with my son, Rob, in 1975

I was really close to my grandparents and stayed with them often. Having had so many opportunities to watch them, and learn from them, I really need to add to the HuffPo's list of forgotten skills:

8.  Making crushed ice with a hammer (no fancy ice-in-the-door for my grandmother!)
9.  Saving old buttons (and pins, and thread, and match books, and envelopes, and string, and...)
10. Finding coins in children's ears
11. Making do
12. Wearing a girdle and full slip
13. Drinking Ginger Ale & Root Beer
14. Writing "Thank You" Notes
15. Going to Mass every Sunday
16. Taking the city bus
17. Matching your purse to your shoes
18. Staying married
19. Using a pressure cooker without blowing up the kitchen
20.  Doing a gig while singing "Harrigan" (Priceless!)

Grandpa...always on stage!

How about you?
What skills did your grandparents have that may have been lost today?

This post is linked to:
Home Sweet Home Party at The Charm of Home
Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
What's It Wednesday at Ivy & Elephants
Flaunt It Friday at Chic On A Shoestring Decorating
Friendship Friday at Create With Joy

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

5 Minutes In a Blogger's Head

I recently read an online article that I can't stop thinking about. It was entitled 5 Minutes In a Mom's Head and IMHO it was brilliant. The "Mom", Bumni Laditan, shared what goes through her mind when she is trying to fall asleep. Since I can easily identify, I thought I'd share my own version of Ms. Laditan's anxious musings...

5 Minutes In a Blogger's Head

I really need to get caught up on my blog today. I haven't posted in a week! And there are still three comments from my last post that I haven't responded to. I have to visit Pam's blog..and Linda's...and OMG, I haven't commented on Sherry's in ages. This desk is a mess. I'm going to clean it up after I write those comments. Do other bloggers start to resent you if you never respond to their posts? I'll get to that right after I think of a topic for today's post. Maybe I could write about how I organized the desk. I need more highlighters. But I haven't had time to organize the desk yet. I still have to reframe that pile of pictures to hang over it. Do I have any 5" x 7" black frames? Maybe there are some in the tote under the bed. I could run to Home Goods. I really need to clean out that mess under the bed. I'll do that this afternoon. After I decide on a topic for today's post.
I think I'll write  an update on the "150 Project". After all, I did go to the gym today. But...if I write an update on the "150 Project", I'll have to talk about about the 5 pounds I gained eating Key Lime Pie in Charlotte last week. Maybe I'll update it after I lose the 5 pounds. My sister looks great...she's been so good on Jenny come I can't do better on my diet  lifestyle change? Maybe it's because I quit smoking...she doesn't smoke...that's probably it. Will I be the fattest sister now? I don't think I ate too much this week. How many WW points are in four Margaritas? God, I hate to exercise. Those inchworms this morning almost killed me. Does that mean I'll always be fat? Will I always feel fat? I can't write one would understand. I need to think of another topic for today's post.
How about decorating? I get lots of comments when I write about DIY projects. Heck, they loved it when Joanne and I reupholstered Mom's old chair.  But I haven't done anything blog-worthy this week. I haven't upholstered a chair, repurposed a dog house into a sofa table, made a guest cottage out of doilies, painted a mural on the side of the garage, sewed wrap-around curtains for my deck. How come the stuff I do is never as good as the stuff I read about on other blogs? I did change out the placemats on the dining room table. No...they won't care about that. I know...I'll take a ride to the Habitat Store...they might have some old wood or something to inspire a quick project I can blog about. I'll have to stop for groceries on the way back...there's nothing for supper. Then I'll do the project...and take pictures of it. the time I do all that, I won't have time to blog about it. I still need to think of something to write about...and quick!
Maybe I'll write about organizing...I love to organize. Don't my friends always kid me about my spices being in alphabetical order? Hmm...what did I organize this week? Maybe I'll write about how I cleaned out DH's drawer in the bathroom vanity. Would people be interested in how to hold a butter knife to scrape up hardened toothpaste? How to organize sea glass by color?  How to store lobster crackers so they don't catch on the junk drawer when you try to open it again? Probably not. I really need to re-organize the linen closet in the bathroom. What a mess. Maybe I can do that later today...after I finish working on my blog.
It's gorgeous outside...why am I sitting in here at the computer? I should go out and enjoy the good weather while we have it. Summer is short. I never did move those overgrown perennials on the far side of the house. They look terrible. Will our old hose even reach over there? Would one of those new "scrunchy" hoses work better? I'll hose off the plastic chairs on the deck at the same time...they look gross. I think I'll bring the laptop down to the deck and blog out there while I run the hose on the new hose. That could work! But...
I've still got nothing to blog about!
This post is linked to:
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
Show & Share Party at Coastal Charm
Knick of Time Tuesday at Knick of Time
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Home Sweet Home Party at The Charm of Home
Flaunt It Friday at Chic On a Shoestring Decorating
Friendship Friday at Create With Joy

Monday, June 9, 2014

Frankly, Scarlet ... I Don't Want to Leave

This is our last full day in South Carolina. We flew down for our grandson's graduation from Army basic training at Fort Jackson and treated ourselves to four vacation days here in Charleston.

What a beautiful area...gorgeous beaches, lots of vintage "junk" shops, fascinating history, interesting people, lots of low country culture and crafts, and hot sunny days.

I enjoyed watching the local Gullah women weave sweetgrass baskets. The baskets are sold at farmers' markets and roadside stands along the South Carolina coast...

As well as at the historic Public Market in the city of Charleston.

At Boone Hall Plantation, you drive  through this stand of 300+ year old Live Oaks to enter...I felt like a modern day (albeit slightly older) Scarlett O'Hara!

The live oaks are everywhere down here and they're massive. Their wide-spreading branches provide shade year round...they are actually an evergreen variety of oak, something we don't see in Maine.

This tree on the outskirts of Charleston is called the Angel Oak. It's over 1000 years old and its branches twist and spread to cover an acre of land. We just couldn't stop staring at it!

In Charleston itself, the architecture is beautiful and there is Civil War history everywhere. It reminded us a bit of St. Augustine with its narrow cobble stone streets, small shops and pubs, diverse culture, and busy harbor.

 The best thing about the low country though was the food...she-crab soup, gumbo, grits, crabs, shrimp, fried green tomatos, and...

 Every kind of oyster imaginable.

 Did I forget to mention the Margarita's and Corona with lime?
One of our favorite places was Red's Ice House in Mount Pleasant...right on Shem Creek.

While I enjoyed Red's spicy boiled shrimp, Hank was captivated by a family of dolphins playing in the creek right below our table.

He was very patient and finally scored a photo of one of them...see him? (hint: he's right in front of the pelicans).

 Tomorrow we fly home but I know we'll return to the low country of South Carolina again...
We loved it!

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