March 31, 2016

Dining Table Doings

Hello, Friends,

Today I zipped into Sand Dollar quick like a bunny before it was time for Bible study. I got two books, a Vera Bradley bag, and this,

a bunch of fake succulents in a wooden crate. It's a good size, 16" x 10". With my love of all things succulent and inability to have live plants in the house, it seemed ideal to spruce up the dining room table. After filling in the holes with some extra plants from other parts of the house, this is the result:

It adds a good seasonal touch, don't you think?

A white runner adds some contrast to the wood of the table. 

A birds-eye view, looking down at it. That's my sole effort in decorating today, after going to St. Andrew's, followed by a trip to grocery shop. 

Remember, as my friend Susie used to say, it's Friday eve!


March 30, 2016

Goodwill Good Luck

Hello, all, 

Today was discount day at Goodwill, so it seemed smart to take advantage of it. Because of another errand in a different direction it didn't work out to go to the new, large location, but the one near us had plenty this morning. 

Here is part, but not all of the booty. The extra large cup will be the site of another fairy garden. The jigsaw is for me, ditto the striped tin that will go out in the front with a plant in it, as well as the set of holiday salt-and-peppers. They are new in the box, a Mercury glass Christmas tree and little deer. There is a box of new Kate Spade cards, another game for a family member, two more mugs, an electric pencil sharpener and a wooden box with dominoes in it.

 This table runner and pillow for the holidays are both brand new, never used.

This little jacket will cover up my arms when wearing a gray-and-white sleeveless dress, plus help with too cold air conditioning.

Last, but not least, to go with the update of the new bed quilt, instead of this in a chair in our room:
we now have this instead:
It still had the original tags on it, so a great find. 

Come back again to see the latest news and views of thrifting in Houston!

Have a good one,

March 29, 2016


Hello, friends,

Today I managed to get something done that was important to me, but had gone undone for years, maybe ten or more. Last week after a special push to remember to do it, my wedding ring was dropped at a jeweler to be resized. Monday someone from the store called to say it was ready for pickup, which made it the top spot on my list of errands today.

Yay! But wait, there's more. I had BOLO for a new summer quilt for a while. None in the thrift shops worked. I bought one at Tuesday Morning, but it looked bad once it was here and got returned last week. Last night it occurred to me one place that hadn't been checked out is the Burlington Coat Factory a couple of blocks from home, so I went there this morning. They had a big selection and there were actually three or four that were good possibilities. But this is what came home with me:

Sorry about the cat. They're an ongoing hazard in taking pictures at our house. 

A close up of the pattern. 

It coordinates well with the rug in the room, which was what went awry with the coverlet from Tuesday Morning. It clashed horribly. This is also okay, if not great, with the drapes in the bedroom. 

One last look. Trixie is stoically hanging in there. Design and decor issues are not about to interrupt her nap, nosirree! I am glad to find something with the BoHo vibe that appeals to me and at a surprisingly low price. Now, on to look for a different bed skirt in one of the colors in the print. If that's not available, there's Rit to try. 

Have a good afternoon and relaxing evening. 

Later, Michele

March 28, 2016

What's blooming

Happy Easter Monday, all. I hope your weekend was wonderful.

It is absolutely beautiful here today, one to pity any person in town to interview for a job, with no idea how rare days like these are. Even though it's spring, there isn't a lot blooming at our house so far this, since the things in pots are mostly succulents and Mr. B claims nothing can grow in the back because of lack of direct sun. 

Out front, we have this little cutie:
I think this was bought marked down at the end of summer from the grocery store and it having a bloom came as a total surprise.

We also have some pansies chugging along:
The color in this picture isn't great. They are really lavender and soft apricot. 
Pink oleander on the border between our neighbor's yard and ours. These are five bushes that were around 8'tall when the lady next door hacked them down even with the ground using a machete. Since then in less than a year they've grown nearly as tall as before and two of them are flowering. This is a pretty pale pink. The one next to it has white blossoms that vanished in the picture attempted, maybe because of the sun's glare.

Last, the one indestructible plant I knew would survive in the backyard, no matter what Mr. B predicted:
Porter weed has tiny blue sprigs on the tips of its branches which will increase as we move into summer. 

It's not much so far, but it's a start. What's blooming at your house?


March 24, 2016

Using a time machine

Hello, all,

Yesterday a charity was going to pick up some discards, so those were set by the front door early in the day. It seemed like a good idea to see if there was anything else to add to the total, so I rummaged around. One thing I checked was a vintage suitcase with stuff stored in it. It provided a real walk down memory lane, as well as a minor mystery. 

There were plenty of papers, pictures, reports and the like done by youngest daughter Naomi. This was a fortuitous find since she and her husband are coming to visit on Easter. A big bundle is ready for her to take home. 

There were some odds and ends of the Huh? variety that were either dumped or went to a bag for donation, but most of the rest were baby clothes. 

This plaid wool blanket was bought before my oldest son was born, while I was working in downtown Houston. It was purchased at the Main Street Woolworth's store. At age 19 it seemed like a perfect layette necessity, with both pink and blue in the pattern. Yes, Virginia, there was a time when no one knew if their baby would be a boy or a girl.

This little cotton kimono also belonged to Cam. It has tiny sprigs of yellow flowers on a white background.

 Several of the children wore these yellow corduroy overalls.

And this batik dinosaur tee shirt from the Museum of Natural Sciences.

The younger girls loved this flowers gone wild wrap dress.

This little corduroy jumper got a lot of wear, too.

This pair of shorts was worn by all of my children, except our second son, plus my niece. Let me add Theo was left out because he was two when adopted, thus too large for the size.

Last but not least, this brightly embroidered dress worn by Naomi. With her black hair and bright eyes she looked adorable in it.

As for the mystery, it's the brown stains that appeared on several of the pieces while stored. The suitcase is leather with a satin lining. What causes random spots like that?  Nothing was wrapped in plastic or left anywhere near a leak of any kind. So, ????? 

With multiple moves made by us and the kids' father a bunch of things have been lost over the years. I'm glad these were saved. It is fun to see them again, even though it feels impossible that any of them were every that tiny now! 

Have a good rest of the day. 


March 23, 2016

More Household Haiku

Observations from everyday life:

An Unfamiliar Situation

Visitors are rare.
People are coming on Sunday.
Now what do I do?

The Appliance Dilemma

If bought by males are
PERFECT. All flaws must be due
to the wife's misuse.

The White Shirt Conundrum

Any new white shirt is
A magnet for spills and spots
The first day worn. How?

Don't Say It Out Loud

A great product is
Vulnerable and may be
Gone if bragged about.

Mr. B and DST

How do I hate thee?
Far too many ways to say.
A week of moping.

Have a good one!


March 22, 2016

No tempest, just tranquility here.

Hello, all.

A few days ago a friend sent me a link to a fairy garden made in a teacup. Our main fairy garden needs a major overhaul after being outside all winter, but one in a teacup seemed doable this afternoon. Don't get excited, it's not nearly as nice as this one:

I started with this, a sturdier version, but cute and colorful:
 added some of this:
and the end result is this:
Right now we have a little gnome visiting until a fairy shows up to stay. These can be personalized in a zillion different ways, so I hope to expand upon this simple beginning soon. 

Have a great evening!


March 21, 2016

Use what you have

Hi, folks,

Last week kind of derailed for me but let's hope this one is going to be better. In the words of the immortal Lauri Ward, it always a good plan to decorate by using what you have. Since this is the week before Easter, this is what's going on here:
The pussy willows got relocated to the library to make room for the fronds brought home from Sunday's service. They actually go well to continue the theme of the tropical greenery on the tall picture behind them. That's as much a project as I could come up with since the morning started with a fender bender, followed by four hours working at Manna.

May your week be off to a wonderful start.


March 14, 2016

Book Review

Hello, friends,

How's your Monday so far? Working at Manna was tiring, but the day went better because I managed to get a number of tasks done before leaving the house. 

We haven't had a book review in a while, so thought I'd tell you about one read recently. 

The story is set in Avalon, Illinois, returning to the residents met in the author's earlier book, Friendship Bread. Family and intersecting lives are the theme. The people of Avalon are faced with  serious health concerns, deception among relatives and loss in various forms, lightened up with the comic relief of a found goat. Gee makes these characters believable, sympathetic and real to the reader. If things are hectic for you, try a break in Avalon, a perfect mini getaway. Immerse yourself in the problems and triumphs of the members (willing or conscripted) of the Scrapbooking Society.  You'll be glad you did. 

Have a good one.


March 11, 2016

Have mercy

Hello, friends,

While outside to check the mail I noticed a poor plant in sad need of help. It seems as if this was one marked down for quick sale at the grocery store last year. Clearly, it was grateful to be saved and grew a lot after being rescued from the manager's special shelf. 
A lot, all in height. Meet Mr. Lanky and his partner, Ms. Scraggly. Obviously, that urn has been too small for a very long time. 
Some of this, and a large pot later, we have this:
Much more scope for growth now, don't you agree? That's my good deed for the day.

It's fun to think about filling more pots and separating succulents now that spring seems to be well and truly arrived, since we don't have much space to plant in the ground here. Are you also daydreaming about what's going to bloom at your house this year? 

Have a wonderful weekend!


March 10, 2016

Some more decor.

Hello, friends,

We've been having some wild and woolly weather here. Thunder and rainstorms and sun, oh, my at repeated intervals. Interesting and we always need rain, so it's okay.

Staying in this afternoon once home from Bible study I set out a few more items. On the gallery wall, a plate with birds was swapped out for one with bunnies:
It's a soft green with rabbits running around the rim.

Also in the living room this cross egg was relocated from the top of the chest where religious items are kept:
The white patch behind it is just glare from the French door adjacent to it. The area is actually the tan shade on the rest of the wall.

Meanwhile, in the dining room on the buffet:
In the terrarium a suitcase filled with grass and eggs. It was while taking that picture it occurred to me to put the plate out where it could be seen.
A little close up.

That's all I've been up to besides the normal chores and errands.

Have a good one!


March 9, 2016

Sprucing for Spring


We're getting our April showers early this year, which makes it a good time to stay inside and celebrate the new season. 

By the front door, a small arrangement that's not specifically Easter, so can stay for a while:
A loose, floppy basket is just the right size for the small table in the entry. As always, because of the cats, it's filled with fake plants. 
Above the desk in the library, a giant paper mache egg in a baby buggy and an egg cup filled with carrots. 
On one bookshelf, a metal box with a bunny on it and a special card from a special friend, Betty.
In the living room, a few more eggs and objects.
In the dining room, eggs galore under a cloche with one acting as stopper on top.

Those are my seasonal efforts to date. I hope you're seeing signs of spring where you are, too. 


March 7, 2016

Late doesn't mean never.

Hi, folks,

As some of you loyal souls are aware we moved here in June, 2014. Since then the library has acquired furniture, lamps and a rug, but the windows were still covered with rock bottom cheapest mini-blinds on the planet. That sad situation is no more. On the way back from Bible study last week my car all on its own pulled into the parking lot at Value Village, and that's a good thing. Or, more correctly, A Good Thing. Because, you see, there in the linens section were discovered a batch of Martha Stewart velvet curtains, five panels for $24.50. Velvet curtains were the goal for that room all along, but until Thursday my luck was abysmal. I'd found velvet exactly once, and then there were only two pieces for sale, so this felt like hitting the jackpot. 
Mr. B had to cut the rod down to fit the space and we had to buy rug hooks to hang it on since he didn't bring the brackets that came with it, but they're in place at long last. 
It's really nice to finally have something that looks nice on the windows and it only took almost two years! There is even a spare panel if it's ever needed. Plus, it should help keep the room cooler in the summer. 

That's my big news. Have a good week.


March 4, 2016

Dragging on Friday

Hello, friends,

My great cleaning project failed to deliver completely as of today, when the dining room proved as difficult as expected. In light of that failure at one point I gave up and went outside to fiddle with the plants out there. They were entirely compliant, unlike the last holdout of insurgent grime inside, where all the remnants of other dirt armies and mess battalions holed up to fight to the end. No, outdoors it was cool and breezy, a beautiful day. I brought out some little bits of color here:
The bright blue, yellow and white feels just right for now, at least in Texas.

Miniature rain boots as a planter. How cute is that?
Lastly, I set this plant in the cute bunny bucket found last year at Sand Dollar. 

Have a wonderful weekend!


March 3, 2016

A little switch

Hello, all,

Today was Bible study, plus continuing my room-by-room cleaning project. It's our bedroom for Thursday and more of a challenge than anticipated. Thus, its just as well inspiration struck early on, before I got bogged down in the War on Grime. The flowers saved from the funeral were starting to fade, so it seemed a good idea to switch them for something that's synonymous with Spring:
What could be more seasonal than pussy willows? These are dried, since they don't grow down here, but still totally suitable for March, don't you think? Note to self: put away the red doily and find one that's pastel.

Take it easy!