Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day.  I am intending to spend mine in contemplation of the time I have shared with my beautiful daughters, who are fast becoming grown women.  I am so proud of them both.  Raising children takes more effort and energy and pure dedication than you ever comprehend when you first have those little bundles of love, but it's one of the greatest things you can do in life.  To repeat my sister, 'I like the way they turned out.'

My darling family got me a new camera for Christmas, and I knew there must be some way to make those photos less underexposed than what I'd been able to do.  Five months after I received it, I finally come across the button setting for 'lightness'.  Admittedly, I wasn't doing much research on it, the find was more a mistake than anything else.  Since I had my afternoon free this beautiful spring day, I worked with that setting, and am happy with the better quality of my photos.  Now my pictures of my new plantings on my patio actually bring out some detail.

The paint job on my little bird is fading out, but he is still very cheerful amid the colors in my hanging basket.

I tell myself I'm not into cherubs, but I do have my little gardening angels.  This sweet thing is just one of those small resin statues plucked off the shelf of a local chain drug store during a half price sale.  Doesn't she look happy to be here?  I'm happy she's here, too.

Have a blessed weekend!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Return to the Hunt

With things being so busy lately, I've not been doing much as far as shopping at my favorite Goodwill.  Life has finally slowed down enough to where I have my evenings mostly free, so last week I finally stopped by my old treasure hunting ground and looked around.  I am being very particular lately about anything I bring home, considering that we're supposed to be downsizing in anticipation of a late summer move.  It's not that I never walk out of there empty-handed, either, I leave with nothing more often than I purchase something. That day, I desired something, something that made a connection with me.  I was disappointed in what I saw on the shelves, though, and after taking a final perusal through the back wall shelf, moved to leave.  Then I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye.  There - on the bottom rack of the cart they use to stock the shelves, sat a large deer.  It was white ceramic, but so filthy as to be encrusted, yes, encrusted with dust.  I've still got areas to scrub the final layer of grit off him.   I suspect he is a soup tureen, though he could just as well be a cookie jar.  The cashier asked if it was a reindeer, but his form is so delicate and well-wrought, it's almost mystical.  I could picture him resting on a bed of fall foiliage as well as Christmas ivy.  He was marked at $5.98 and had just arrived in the store that day - had not even been shelved yet, and I was very happy to bring him home before anyone else had a chance to see him.  I know nothing about the origins of this beautiful piece, on the bottom there is a 'made in Italy' marking, and you can see where an emblem label used to be.  I suspect the antlers are gold gilded, as they had some green around the base.  The ceramic glaze does have fine crackling on it, which I believe just adds to his charm.  One of these days I'll figure out how to get a good photo without the light reflecting off the white finish, there are a lot of details going unseen in this picture.

I was so excited about my find, that I stopped by that Goodwill every day on the way home for the next week.  I did not see anything near the appeal of my large deer, tho I am kicking myself for not buying this very large white birdhouse I couldn't think what to do with when I was considering it, but a day later knew it would be gorgeous on my patio.  Of course, 24 hours later when I went back it was gone.  That's the way it is with the good stuff.

Okay, I brought home one more find.  It's not of the same quality that the deer is.  In fact, I bought it mainly because it amused and entertained me.  I still haven't figured out whether I think this banana cake cookie jar is cute or just so homely it's cute. Layers of what is meant to be spicy banana cake separated by whipped cream and half rotten bananas on top.  Seriously, those bananas are more than a bit overripe, but that's how you use them in baking, heehee.  My intent was to keep it out on our counter and put our sugar in it, placing it next to the coffee pot for easy access on our busy mornings.  In a pique of cleaning, though, my husband put it away in a closed shelf where he had cleared out mismatched tupperware, old jars and other items we were hoarding.  When I asked him about it, he pointed out that our counters are already cluttered past the point of practicality, so I said no more and left the banana cake creation in the cupboard.

When we relocate into that next home with the garage and garden, I'm hoping for both a kitchen with an eating nook and a formal dining room.  I'm hoping for room to put a china cabinet in the formal diningroom and a baker's rack in the eating nook, or somewhere near the kitchen.  I'm rehearsing in my mind where to exhibit these treasures.  I'll let you know when we find our perfect spots.

I am linking with A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday.