Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Well the Hot Weather is Not Waiting for Summer!

Hi All! Hope everyone had a Splendid Memorial Day, We had no plans for this long weekend, just letting Wayne have two days off in a row was special! We usually just have the Sunday together, so we chose to just rest up. Went over the the Daughters to visit just a bit, celebrated a belated Birthday of our Son in Law Scott, and of course always fun seeing the Daughter and the Grandkids. June 3rd Kingsley Graduates High School ! Now that is still something I'm trying to comprehend! Then she leaves in August for College..wha??
Alot of my Friends are going through this too..damnit the time is just going too fast. Grandson Evan will be 21 this year!! Come on.!!..stop it..
We are already in the throws of Summer heat, 90 degrees in the screened room!! We went to the nursery a couple of weeks ago to get a few plants, annuals for their blooms, but the pick'ns were slim! I ended up with Marigolds, Petunias and Coleus, and they were on the skimpy side! And it's May! The thing is, I've planted them and they have stayed the same size, not spreading out being all nice and full like they usually do.. disappointing. Don't know if the early heat is to blame, but the gardener in me will keep trying! Thought I would put a few of my Garden Pics up for your sheer enjoyment! LOL

 Oh and I forgot to mention the prices!! What is on my bench is $13.00!! Y'all do know I Mosaic, well I did this bench years ago and it still looks fantastic!

 Looking through the Heart in my Gate toward the side yard.

 My PomPom Shrimp plant is blooming, I have about four of them throughout the yard, just such a striking bubble-gum pink.

 The yellow Hibiscus is from my Daughters yard, this bloom is the size of a lunch plate! Beautiful  The Lavender Althea Patio Tree is just loaded, bloom'n it's little heart out!


















One of our Kitties, Dixie Boy, rest'n in the Screened Room. Only one Day lily Bloomed this year, but I managed to get this pic before it was gone.
Monday is June the 1st, wish I was a child again, Mom, Me and My Brother heading to Midland City Alabama to spend the Summer at my Grandmom Vera's small farm. Most times it was just the three of us traveling from Florida or Virginia, depending if Dad was out at sea on the Ship, serving with the Navy. We always seemed to arrive at two in the morning, Lord driving down those two lane country roads at night, never meeting another car, Dad would have the Brights on so we could see, and when I say pitch black I mean it,! not a light to be found! Our eyes fixed on the road ahead, straining, afraid a cow or something might run out of the  rows and rows of tall corn! Kudzu Vine covering everything like a carpet, even taking the shape of an old farm house that was abandoned. On one trip, Mom looked over at Dad "Good Lord Jimmy! What's that Smell"? We had passed through a Skunk Cloud!! Whew! even the windows down didn't help! We all laughed the rest of the drive to the farm. It was always fun for us kids. I can remember in the morning I would get one of the stick brooms, and then find a spot to "sweep out" my playhouse. I would find a cool spot under a tree, and start sweeping until I got down to hard pan, take the loose sand and pile it around the edge, making the outline to my rooms, then dash around the yard and get the small chippy blue painted rocker, the small pot bellied stove, bricks and a plank to make like a shelf, then I would find discarded Mason Jar lids, and they would be my plates!  Ahh so much fun, cuz now I got to spend the rest of the Summer "Not" letting my Brother in my house!! LOL! Grandmom would get me a small flour sack , with the prettiest flower print, about the size of a tea towel, fold it in half, then roll it up, take a piece of string and tie it tight,about three inches down from the top of the roll, then she would whip stitch in some eyes, nose and a mouth, then fluff out the rest of the roll, and that was my Dolly for the Summer! Awesome! I have so many fun memories, kinda makes me sad.. But now we all  have this Summer ahead of us to enjoy! I just need someone to whip me up a Doll. ♥

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Missed April! But I'll Catch You Up With May!

May Day, then Cinco De Mayo (that we spent at an Irish Pub!), now Flower Planting and Mother's Day!  Also my Granddaughter Kingsley turns 18! wha?? It's very stressful as she Graduates in June, and then in August, off to College. How did all this happen? I took her shopping for her Birthday , she said she didn't need any new clothes or shoes...?? now who turns down FREE clothes and shoes..well she said she really would like new make-up, so off we went. It was just a wonderful day of sharing, and you don't get those too often, ended our afternoon with a trip to Dairy Queen for IceCream! and the best chat ever..


 Ahh I wanna be 18 again! Well actually I'd love to go back to the age of 33, and from that day forward I would just say NO!

                                                                Brain Freeze!

 Here in Neptune Beach we have had a glorious Spring, this Mother's Day weekend it is predicted to be 92 degrees! I baleeze that is Summer weathah!!  It has taken me so long to get all the beds weeded, for one reason I waited too long to plant and mulch, so all the weeds came back and I had to do a repeat performance. Ahh but there is nothing like working in the garden.The problem  is that I have trouble with my right knee, so as I'm weeding I have to do the bend at the waist, with my legs spread eagle, making my ass stick up in the air!! As to not offend any passersby, I make sure said "ass" is always facing the house!! Avert your eyes!! LOL Just a little Southern Decorum..



Things are really quiet in the garden, the Cicadas have not started their endless Summer singing yet, but I did hear one the other day..soon enough it'll be a cacophony of sound!  The top picture shows my Ligustrum Patio Tree blooming it's little heart out, I love the aroma, the bottom picture is a weird plant, the leaves are sawtoothed and it has these fuchsia blooms that just hang all over it. I just don't know the name, but it is over three feet across and about as high!

 18 inch stepping stone I designed and mosaiced about 12 years ago, African Iris are in the forefront.


                                    My favorite Alamanda, cuz it blooms all summer long!

   Close-up of African Iris 

 Shrimp plant blooming, my back side yard is loaded with these! Very prolific plant,  but they do love the sun!
Well we have two birthdays in May, Kingsley and my son in law Scott, Graduation in June , then enjoy the summer...but dreading August..oh I'll be posting all along too. So chat with ya soon!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter is Here! well almost

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, what a beautiful Holiday. When little it was the best, all the kids at Church would get to march in carrying Palm Fronds, waving them in the air, don't think we really understood the true meaning, but for some reason you felt Glorious! So funny how the older we get, the more we think of all the fun times, not so much focusing on the lousy vignettes of our lives, meloncoly.
Well I have been putting up my Easter decorations, kinda waiting till the last moment. Doesn't seem as much fun, no one comes by to see them, not like when the Grandkids were young. Now all are grown, and we go to our Daughters to celebrate. When "The Daughter", as Wayne calls her, was young it was such a fun day, the family would come over, Mom and Dad and The Inlaws, all for a cookout and of course to watch Tiffany hunt for the eggs, snapping pictures like mad. This activity was followed by a very American cookout of HotDogs cooked on the grill, Baked Beans, Potato Salad and of course my Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing, topped with pastel sprinkles. Now that's what I'm talk'n about! Great memories!

I did manage to flood the house with Easter Decor, got my Mantel finished, using basket eggs, spring flowers, ceramic rabbit and blue metallic mesh ribbon.


Set up a Vignette on the Dining Table, using Moms candles with pink roses, and a cloche covering one of her ceramic eggs, everything else are thrift finds .







Love this picture of our Cat Dixie Boy sleeping at the end of the coffee table, next to some of my paper mache rabbits.


Put a few things in the Family Room, one is my little Easter Tree, the Grandkids used to hang the ornaments, but now I get the fun! I put it next to another paper mache rabbit and a tiny tea service for one.


I love my Mellow Yellow Rabbit! I gave this to my Mom when I was about 18 years old, you can tell I'm a teen of the 60"s! Oh and the cute metal wire Carrot with the little white picket fence..too cute!


Last pictures are of Monica our Maid, wearing the visor I decorated about 10 years ago, we were invited to ride on a friends boat to the St Augustine Blessing of the Fleet, and I surprised all the girls with an Easter Visor! Monica is holding a wire egg holder with some of the ceramic eggs I've collected throughout the years. Our Dog is wearing her finest jewels and one of my visors. Doesn't she look proud! LOL



Well I guess you've been flooded with enough of My Easter Pictures, but sharing is part of the fun! Hope You and Your Families have a wonderful Easter Sunday!

Monday, February 9, 2015

House of Hearts

Isn't this fun, that this year is passing, just as fast as last year! Here it is right before Valentine's Day! Won't you  be Mine? Usually the Hubs and I really don't exchange gifts on this day, we do give each other cards, but don't tell the Hubs, I've been sneaking in the same card every year for the past 5 years! Well it says just what any other card would say, and I do put it in a new envelope! The only part of the card that counts is the signature saying I Love You, am I right?! And so far he hasn't caught on. grinzzz

Just finished putting up the Valentines decorations, I just loaded up the House with Red Hearts! I always start with the Mantel.


This year I just loaded it with Red Hearts, Red Heart Felt Garland, Red Heart Metallic Garland, Kiss Me Pillow next to my Moms Moss Angel, Heart Ribbons, Hearts spilling out of the tiny drawer along with a little Red Bird and of course Hearts Galore!

                                    Red Glitter..enough said.

This Moss Angel was my Moms, it never comes off the Mantel no matter what Season ♥♥♥


Hearts spilling out of the the tiny drawers, you can't tell from the picture, but the drawers have tiny  porcelain green leaves applied to it, so unusual, I love it.


 Front entryway chest with a Big Red Heart, and Heart Cellophane added to existing arrangement, along with a Heart shaped Candy Dish.


 Dining Room and Living Room with Red Hearts Too!
Well I am done spreading the Love! Hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day!
Check out My Board on Pinterest called Mantel Fetish! I'm on under the name Rena Designs.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mais Oui !

I just love the title of this blog, when I lived in England (ages 12-16yrs) we had French in school just about everyday. Wish I had kept up with it when we came back to the States, it's just one of my favorite languages. I was lucky enough to attend the Convent of The Sacred Heart in Maidstone Kent. An all girls private school, where most of the Nuns were Novices from France, mere teens themselves. I used to love seeing them all walking together, they seemed to have such a lilting laugh, like little bells ringing as they walked along with their white head coverings blowing in the wind. They weren't in full black Habits as they had not taken their Final Vows. Most of the older Nuns were from France also, Sister Mary St Michael was one of my favorites, and Sister Mary Sabine another favorite. The Sisters walked around with little bells in their hands that always seemed to be ringing. They rang the  bells whenever they saw us doing whatever it was we weren't supposed to be doing. Lots of bell ringing! LOL  I came to school everyday on a bus from the US Navy base NAS West Malling, my Dad was stationed here with the Navy. All of us American girls went to the Convent. We had a great uniform of a Navy blazer, long sleeved vee neck sweater, pleated skirt, white shirt with striped tie, that we tied in a half Windsor knot, and a Beret with school emblem right on the front. Sister Mary Sabine would be the first Sister we would greet in the morning, and her duty was to make sure we had on no makeup, wore our Berets right and had our skirts at the proper length. Well being in the early sixties, right at the time of beehive hairdo's, high heels, mini skirts and white lipstick, Sister Mary's job was cut out for her!! We  would of course tease our hair, and not wanting to mess it up with that Beret, we would use a bobby pin to attach it to the back of our necks! Now mind you the emblem on the Beret was supposed to be in the middle of our foreheads! Then we had to roll our pleated skirts just right, so the pleats would lay flat , we would start at the waist band and roll till the hem was well above our knees. Thank heavens for the sweater that would hide the roll. Just as the bus was about to pull up to the school, we would start wiping off our lipstick. As we were leaving the bus we could already hear the bells ringing, Sister Mary would be making the loudest Tsking noise as she rang the bell, pointing to whomever she would catch breaking the dress codes. She always seemed to pay great attention to the American girls, ahem don't know why!? So there we were getting off the bus, Berets flapping on our backs, skirts rolled up way too short, and lipstick stained lips! Sister would come up and grab me by the chin and make me face into the sun, so she could see if there was any lipstick on me, I wore orange. Now all the Nuns were French so what ever they said was in a very heavy French accent. Reeena do you have on zee leepshick? No Sister, I sink I see zum. No Sister. Your Skirt eez too short, No Sister. and as she would bend over to look at my hem, I would lean forward just a bit, making the hem right at my knee. Why do you wear zee Beret like zat? Feex eet. Yes Sister. It was the same almost every morning. I get tears in my eyes just thinking of it. Sister Sabine was always saying Don't be za reqular baybee (don't be a regular baby) I have know Idea..anyway. Lord I have a gazillion stories from the wonderful time at the Convent. How lucky was I. I'll have to tell them some times.

I really was going to start this post off with a collection of perfume bottles. Don't you just love them, I've seen some absolutely beautiful bottles on some of the sites that have been showing their collections. Mine is a very humble collection, but who cares, they are MINE! lol  Perfume has always been a very big part of My life, I can't remember when I didn't wear it, Thanks Mom. My Mom always had fantastic perfumes on her dressing table, Joy, Arpege, Lanvin, Chanel no 5, and Shalimar, all I believe are the bases to every other perfume to follow.Then in the years to follow, Avon's Topaz, Revlons Intimate, but she ended up with Estee Lauders "Estee" as her favorite. My favorite was given to me by Mona Martin, the Mom of the boy I was dating at the time, she gave me Germaine Montiel's Royal Secret at the age of 19, I have never stopped wearing this wonderful, beautiful, sensual, sexy, only made for me fragrance. Sadly Germaine Montiel went out of business and now I have to buy on line and it is made by Five Star, same bottle and box, their Royal Secret is really close but not Germaine's, but I just can't give it up. Shalimar is extremely close to Royal Secret fragrance.

Do you know that I combine my Fragrances? Well I do, My Daughter kinda laughs at this when I talk about it, but that's ok.  My Main Frangrance is Royal Secret, this has a very heavy vanilla and sandalwood base. So I like to chose complimenting aromas. I might start of spraying Vanilla Fields or Emeraude by Coty  just on my neck, they are all vanilla, Emeraude is better in the Winter, it's a little heavier. I will then spray a little Shalimar on my Shoulders, then a spray of Patchouli right at the outside bend of each arm. My Royal Secret is then sprayed right on the front of my neck and face up into my hair. I know this sounds like a lot of perfume, but these are just lilting sprays, not heavily applied. This is a wonderful way to use your perfumes, they work in layers, and as your body heats and as you go through the day, it is ever changing, but yet it is more intriguing . The warmth of your body will heat up the Emeraude, and a rich vanilla will be released to mingle with the musky Shalimar on your shoulders, and having the chrispness of the Patchouli at your elbows, is just the right scent to waft in the air as you are being led to your table while out to dine, as anyone closes in to kiss you on the cheek or give you a hug, they are greeted by the fabulousness of Royal Secret. Gotcha! Men always want to nuzzle my neck and tell me how good I smell, BONUS! My Grandaughter can tell you that no matter where we go, even if it to the grocery store or MicD's, someone always asks me what perfume I'm wearing, we've always joked that we could lay bets before we enter the stores!

Man am I side tracked, back to the Perfume Bottle collection (meager). One of the first times going to the base with my parents when we first got to England, there was an office that had a small thrift shop area, Mom said I could go in and look while they did their business. I spotted two cut glass perfume bottles and just had to have them. One was broke in the long trip in moving back to the States. I was 13 when I bought them. I think they were $2.50 for the pair! So I just have the one left. it is the one on the right.

My other perfume bottle has sterling silver cluster of flowers as the stopper, beautiful simple lines in crystal. It has a name on it, but I still can't tell what it is, can you?

Then the one in the back is in the gilded cage base, with flower stopper (that was Mom's)


My Petite bottles are, Salvador Dali, I love the noses as stoppers and lip shaped bottles, In the middle is a little clear bottle that just says on the bottom "French Bottle" (no idea) and of course L'air du temps.


This is a Valentino jar, matte glass with Bakelite Top, it is dated 1986.

Well now that you are totally tired of reading, I will say Adieu, Au revoir, till we meet again.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wishing You a Happy New Year! (in the middle of the month)!

Well we all survived the Christmas of 2014, and I think we are the better for it! whew! New Years Eve  parties, yep survived those too!
 So I've finally taken down all the Christmas and packed it away! Wow the house looks so empty without all the Red and Bling! But it's kinda like a breath of fresh air, hmm I think I need to shop! Gotta fill all those empty spaces! LOL Oh and guess what?! my whole closet that holds all my Christmas, Fall, Halloween, Valentines, Easter and Patriotic holiday decor came CRASHING DOWN! Yep my guest room looks like a storage room at Walmart! Boxes are stacked everywhere, and I lost quite a bit of my Fall things, but the saddest was my Moms three tier cookie cut glass server, it broke too. Wayne is now going to build me a new closet system (uh one of these days) at least the room can be closed off for now. Honestly is scared the bajeeezus out of me, what a noise! oh well..
Thought I would share Wayne's Pomtini recipe, this is my favorite Martini and I just think it is so delicious!





So simple and so good, 1 shot of Rose's Cocktail Infusions in Pomegranate, 1 shot of Vodka, pour in your shaker filled with ice, give about 30 fast shakes, then strain into a Frozen Martini Glass (I always keep Martini glasses in the freezer) and Enjoy! Rose's also comes in Mango, so try the Mangtini (made the same way) it taste peachy!

I also made cookies the other day, that is something I really don't do very often, well actually kinda never, but I saw this recipe in Epicurious for Oatmeal Cookies and I knew I had all the ingredients, so to the Kitchen I went! (Wayne was clapping his hands!)The only thing I changed in the recipe is I did not add the 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon, and I added 2/3 cups Chocolate Chips and 2/3 cups chopped Pecans.


Recipe for Oatmeal Cookies (Epicurious)
Preheat oven 375 degrees
1 3/4 cup Oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks of softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla ( I used 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I omitted)
If you choose add in 2/3 cup Chocolate Chips and 2/3 cup Pecans, even Coconut might be good too
Stir together first 4 ingredients  ( oats, flour, baking soda, salt)
In bowl beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar till creamy
add in egg and vanilla and cinnamon beat till all incorporated.
now add in your dry oat mixture  and any additions you might want, example chocolate chips, and stir till all blended. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet then lightly flatten out the tops and bake for  12 minutes.

Hope you enjoy these simple recipes, Wayne and I can vouch for both! A good way to start the New Year! 2015! (still trying to wrap my head around that!)




Sunday, December 21, 2014

Got Me to Think'n

Remember the old Decorating shows on HGTV? You know the ones that got us all fired up! Taking our old things, rethinking their purpose and REPAINTING THEM!! Wow what a concept!! Adding a Fringe!! or (wait for the Heavens to Part) ADDING GLITTER!! Bringing the Outside In! Actually validating the love we always secretly had for old weathered window frames, rusty garden shovels, and actually using TWIGS!! yipes! and Painted no less. Oh yeah, Decorating Cents, Christopher Lowell, Carol Duval, and Design on a Dime, Winners All!! That is how I discovered my love for Mosaics, Painting and loving Trash to Treasure! Oh we were right on the fringe of this new movement, not quite hoarding, but now there was no excuses for not shopping the roadside trash piles! "Honey pull over"!!
Well while watching Christopher Lowell, he had a guest on that was showing Faux Painting, she had wadded up Saran Wrap into a loose ball, dipped into paint then blotted on a paper towel before she started pouncing it all over an old Grandmothers dresser, I was totally Hip-mo-tized! I think I actually held my breath as she pounced away, creating this NEW VISION!! First the Sanctity of desecrating anything of antiquity, and Secondly...pouncing!!! Oh this was so exciting! I jumped up and started looking around the house, what could I desecrate...then I spotted my Dad old Dresser that I had already sawed the legs off of. I was using it in my entryway as a foyer table. Well I knew I wanted to make it look just like her's (the pouncer),, kind of an antique gold look, discovered I had no Saran Wrap, but I did have a stash of plastic gloves (thank you Clairol) snicker...they would have to do. Then I only had spray paint, nothing in a can that I could dip into...hmm..then I thought, well I'll  just put the glove on and spray the paint on my hand and pounce away!!
So that is just what I did...and I instantly LOVED IT!! pat pat pat pat, Done!
Now the cute part of this story is that once I stepped away from the dresser, I discovered that my finger prints were all over the dresser, no I mean my whole finger prints!! Well it was too late, I already Loved it, and what a fitting Tribute to Dad, to actually have my touch all over it. So that was at least 20 years ago, and I still use that wonderful Chest of Drawers in my Entryway, Touched only by Love, pat pat pat pat

Do you see my Fingers!!! LOL