Wednesday, March 28, 2012

~The little trees that could~

"Like clouds that bent down and touched the ground"

That's what I always thought about my beloved little Flowering Crab Apple Trees

Here they are in all their glory, several years ago.
They really were quite the show stoppers.
Their branches reached out and intertwined  with one another creating a natural arbor, a bower of blooms over head.

My little concrete bench tucked between the two, has always been a favorite spot

Then we were dealt a cruel blow. The ice storm of Jan 2007
Brrrrrr.... makes me shiver just to look at the pictures

Then a tornado

Of course I thought they were goners....and I cried
Ahhh, but Mr. Wonderful never takes no for an answer. He came up with a cure, in his indomitable McGyver fashion.
So this is a testament to the power of Mother Nature to heal  herself, and also to the steely determination of Mr. Wonderful who coaxed and cajoled these two trees into believing that they would be ok.
A  shadow of their former selves, maybe, but I love them all the more for it.

Here they are the very next Spring. A little less proud and a little less showy
but standing none the less
You can see there are still several dead branches where the two trees meet that still had to be removed.

and now here they are this Spring 2012
Getting a little stronger every year

No natural arbor, no bower overhead
 Standing as tall as they are able
 and blooming for all they're worth.
And I am grateful for every blossom.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

~It's Official...~

Yes, it's official, it's Spring.

 And not a moment too soon either. Although I must say it's refreshing for once, to have Mother Nature and my calender agree.  We have been blessed this year with a mild winter
 ( unless something evil blows this way at the last minute,
which is NOT unheard of here in Missouri).
After a few years of killer ice storms and harsh snowy winters, we are happy to partake of a quieter winter. But that being said...........winter is winter. Winter is brown, and bare. Winter is not Spring, with her billowy blossoms. The trees are wearing their Easter bonnets of spring blooms, and the slightest breeze causes a 'snow shower' of petals upon your head. This kind of 'snow', I love.

I don't do a lot of fussy seasonal decorating, but as we look around The Dressed Up Cottage, we can see sure hints that Spring has arrived

there are birds chirping

there are bunnies hopping

and little lambs have wandered in

I've brought in a touch of blue and white, to 'lighten up' the look for Spring.

 the tulips are reaching for the sun.

 Standing at attention like proud little apricot soldiers

the nights' rain still clinging to the petals, glistening
in the early morning sun.

I love Spring, the promise of something new.
And every Spring is God saying, "Alright, I'll not give up on you yet."

Happy Spring

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

~Hankie Panky~

Yoo Hoo.................

 Throughout recent history we can find pictures and references to women and their hankies.
I have always had a fondness for hankies. I adored my Grandmother on my Mother's side, (the only Grandmother I ever knew), and so I adored everything about her. She loved hankies.......I loved hankies.

Hankies were my introduction to ironing. Back then, you ironed everything!
My Grandmother ironed: hankies, pillowcases, and my endless parade of dresses with all their little details.

My favorite dress

So I learned about hankies while learning to iron. I did have to stand on a little stool to have the proper height. But I thought it was all great fun. And of course you couldn't just iron them any old way.....oh no....there was a 'certain' way that things had to be done, mind you.

So I used the 'sprinkler bottle ( does any one remember these?)
just like Grandma showed me, and I took great pride in ironing all the hankies for her and my Grandfather.
It must have been then, that I fell in love with these little scraps of cloth. Monogrammed, or with bits of embroidery in the corners. Flowers and a touch of lace here or there.

I must have tucked this memory away in the back of my mind somewhere, to be brought out years later. Now, I am the Grandmother, who has all the pretty hankies. I am very sensitive to 'scents' and 'perfumes', so more often than not, I find my eyes watering a little while sitting in church, or some other confined space. My allergies usually cause my eyes to tear up.  But I always have a lovely hankie tucked into my purse for just such an occasion.

And the added benefit to that is,  I cannot help but be reminded of  MY HISTORY with hankies and the love of a wonderful woman in my life.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

~Chick days~

Where would we be without our girlfriends?

to share our secrets with?

 or to talk about boys with

or to talk about.....everything with?

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive. And it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.   "
                                                                                                             -Anais Nin
Best friend and I love our time together, we call 'Chick Day'. For the two of us that usually means we meet for a little retail therapy

Then a  nice long lazy lunch, where we catch each other up on all the ins and outs of our daily life.
Over iced tea ( always)

This last get together was at one of our favorite spots: Milles Century Cafe. In a wonderful old restored building in the heart of downtown. Original tin ceilings, but with a modern touch, such as this whimsical chandelier.

Good food.........and on this day.......dessert too, yippee!!

"There is nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate."
           -from Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Then we find our way, like two homing pigeons, to Barnes and Noble.

There we sit amid books and magazines and wile away the next several hours.
Chatting, and sharing and laughing and solving the worlds' problems over ....
More Iced tea.

The world would be a better place if world leaders would sit down together over a cup of tea.
Don't you think?
I thumb through home decor magazines and a book about Queen Elizabeth

What's Best Friend up too? Ooooh looks like she's on her Kindle looking at......

'The Dressed Up Cottage'.
How quaint.

'It's one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.'
                                                               -Ralph Waldo Emerson

And even though we have had the entire day ends all too soon.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
                                                                     -C.S. Lewis

If you are blessed with good friends, treasure them.
Nurture those relationships, so that they will continue to grow.
Anything left untended, withers and dies.