Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I see things pop up all the time in multiple blogs then later on TV shows.  One item caught my attention...  This white ceramic owl umbrella holder.  Swoon....
 I wanted one so badly that it seemed every where I turned, poof! There was the white owl umbrella stand.  Definitely a little pricey and my budget does not allow for a $149 umbrella stand. 

One day as I was wandering Ross Dress For Less, I saw this!   A white owl vase for only $6.99!  I grabbed it and never looked back!  My infatuation with the umbrella stand over... 
 I set it on the shelf right next to my TV, near all the white books and my camera collection.

I think it fits in just perfect!

Oh the hats!

There was nothing about the recent royal wedding that didn't make me want to make use of these handy bags by designer Lydia Leith, that is except the hats all the women were wearing. And I only admired the outlandish hats as a testement to what can, in the hands of a bunch of rich socialites, go off-the-tracks weird.

I find myself drawn to them, I admit, and the more of them I see the more I am conditioned to think they're stylish. It takes moxie to wear these outlandish hats, which I admire. In my browsing, I may have found one I'd wear if I was invited to some fancy-pants ladies luncheon.

I like the 40s style and the lacy veil, but I'd eliminate the bouquet or go with just one or two flowers in the same shade as the hat. Then again, I like my floppy canvas fishing hat pretty well too!

Monday, June 6, 2011


Every time I helped my sister Laura move I noticed a GIANT map!   She always decorated her walls with a map or two.  Then I came across this amazing DIY! 


She never really knew how truly chic she is!

Compatibility ...

Turns out that compatibility isn't just something couples should be concerned about. I've been struggling with Blogger and IE9 compatibility for the past few days, and it's even tried Regina's and my sisterly relationship. So after much incompatibility, this is a test post.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Serenity and spiders don't go together. 
I have been terrorised for days as a cane spider has taken up residence in my living room.  Hawaii has been graced by my presence for six years now, but I almost flew back to the mainland permanently...  Because I am deathly afraid of spiders.  And no, I will NEVER EVER post a photo of one of these spiders on my blog, because that would mean I have to see it again and again (this would continue the grip of fear that spider had on me).  Some folks can live with a spider and not be bothered.  I can't.  I would sit at work and wonder if the spider had found it's way into my bedroom, even after I carefully tucked a towel around the door.  To be honest it kept me up at night.

I got proactive and made many attempts to kill the spider with Raid (great stuff for the smaller insect varieties).  Every time I got close, he would lunge at me.  I gave up quickly out shear fear.

I can not forget that spiders have a valid place in every eco-system, but please not the one where I enjoy sitting and watching movies.  So I asked my neighbor if he could help... My 6 foot 2 inch neighbor is  more scared than I!  So his teenie, tiny, sweet, wife grabbed a tissue and trudged over to my place.  She tried the traditional spider killing tool, the flip flop. The spider would not give up and die. 

 You see the spider had to die at this point. I was convinced that had we caught him, and relocated him, he would return (my place is super cute and comfy!).  I was deep in a spider psychosis.  Then she grabbed my favorite pair of wedges....

The spider did not stand a chance!  

Now the reason for this lengthy post about a spider....

As I watched the tissue with spider bits and pieces swirl around the toilet bowl then disappear, I realized that all I wanted was serenity...

At long last ... Wine!

It's been about eight months ago that I wrote about my first adventures in winemaking. And last week Ben and I bottled our first batch: Rip Rap Rosehip Wine.
You can see I look a little ragged. We fumbled a quite a bit with the hoses and siphons, and it took some experimenting to learn how to use the bottler (pictured there in front of me) Needless to say, we spilled more of the wine than we wanted to, but we managed to get 10 good bottles in two varieties. One was made with just rosehips, lemon juice and lots of clover honey. The other is made with rosehips, cane sugar and a pound of golden raisins. In our busy-ness of bottling, we didn't stop to compare the two varieties side by side, but, oh well, we'll have company over soon to help us with that.
We sweetened the final product, too, because we thought it could use a flavor boost, but it's still got quite a floral character. Isn't it such a lovely color?
Ben's father, a graphic designer, put together this logo for us for the labels.
We're calling it Rip Rap Rosehip after the location where we found the rosehips. Riprap is the large rock material used to shore up the banks of rivers where erosion is liable to take out a road or stretch of train tracks. We harvested our rosehips from a riprap bank along the Yellowstone near Columbus last fall.
Next batch to come: Plum, five gallons, our first big batch!

Friday, June 3, 2011

My perfect enemy

Our grandmother collected quotations -- little bits of wisdom she came across in her reading. She wrote or clipped and pasted them into empty books. I think it's from her that I developed my love of quotations. Lately, I've been contemplating a quote from Voltaire, a French philosopher and writer. He said,
"The perfect is the enemy of good."
I've never thought of myself as a serious, hard-driving perfectionist, but in my professional life as a writer, I've always been hesitant to publish anything but my personal best. It's why I've been quiet on the blog for so long.
I've lost sight of just how good, good can be. And maybe a steady stream of everyday, ordinary good is perfection -- at least for now.
I read lots of lovely, well-written blogs with beautiful photos, and, even though I'm an accomplished writer and aspiring photographer, I tell myself that I could never do anything as good as that, so I don't even do a good thing by trying.
Whatever comes of it, today I'm going to quiet that inner critic and stop comparing my work to the work of others.
Here's to the good and here's to Voltaire, who I imagine struggled with the enemy of perfect as well.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A simple locket...

A simple locket I found while out shopping, my Grandma would have loved it.

So I had to put my grandparents photos in the locket.  
Both these images are my favorite.
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