Friday, February 26, 2010

Did I kill my roses?.... and what about that dog

Dear traveler, welcome to the house in the roses!

Please come in! I'm brewing tea. Would you not join me for some tea? Go ahead, take a sit, and while we sip and enjoy this sweetness, if you care to listen I'd share a few things with you too--secrets about my life, here in Hollow Village.

One would think that life here in the Hollow is a perfect paradise, but this ain't totally true. I get frustrated just like you, and just like you, I do get headaches too. Besides, I’m bound to believe that I’d kill my roses, and that thought is making me feel very miserable... after a week of sunshine and lovely weather, I got “itchy green thumb”, and thus, I decided I wanted to satisfy my gardening desires and pruned my roses... Were the gods laughing at me? One would think so, because that very night the temperature dropped down considerably, and the following day the sky turned grayish-black and few snowflakes drifted off the sky teasingly... as if in revenge.

It scares me to think that I have become the slayer of my own passion, so on looking for a gleam of hope on the Internet this morning, I read that “Mid-February is the best time to prune roses or after the last hard freeze and before new growth appears”, and although I still think that this might not apply to our region, with its harsh and ever impredictable February weather, my hopes are high for the best blooms ever. More tea?

Oh yes, I’m anticipating with much excitement the rebirth of the earth. I cannot tell you how much my soul yearns for the contact with Nature; sunshine warming my back as my fingers work the soil...
I treasure the beauty and stillness of the garden, and work very hard at it too! It is in stillness that I find peace. It is in stillness that I am opened up to Nature’s voice, so when this harmony is in some way broken, or interrupted, I tend to get very frustrated. Barking dogs top my list of frustrations—actually, barking dogs, digging dogs, inquisitive dogs, jumping dogs—they all frustrate me. Can you imagine my annoyance over my neighbor’s dog, who happily meets all the qualifications above listed?

I have proof. Here is "Jumping-Snoop" on top of our 6" high fence! She can be there barking for hours or just observing the panorama on the other side of the fence, and if she happens to be too tired that day to jump, then she goes for the "underworld" as of to speak... she digs under the fence, disturbing roots and bulbs and whatever she finds in her way.

Ah yes, every garden has its own secrets and its own stories to tell. Believing I was the sweet "Fairy" of my garden was a nice thought for a while. But I had got it all wrong. You see, the other day I read that witches dislike dogs as much as dogs dislike cats. That said, then I must be the "Witch" of my garden!

So you beware you little "Jumping-Snoop" you! I could turn you into a mouse, and “Morning” would be here waiting for you: hair smooth, claws like knives, tips of teeth like silver, eyes that shine.... arrrgggg!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tablescape Thursday

Shopping for a square tablecloth for my big square diner table is not easy...

I guess I must be one of the few people in the world with a love for square tables, because square tablecloths are hard to find... the only tablecloth my table had seen for the last four years is a shower curtain, wish by the way, I'm very thankful for... also, have you notice how difficult it is to find a round tablecloth longer, or larger than 70”? They just don’t make them longer enough, so it seems. They’d have to be ordered, and they cost a fortune.

I’m so thankful there are thrift stores! I can always find what I need there. Like this pretty (and long enough) square tablecloth I found the other day! My thanks to whoever made it so that one day it would sprinkle my table with color and charm!

By the way, did you notice my new Rosanna set of 4 spring dessert plates? Lovely, aren't they! Even the sweet little box where they came in, is just too pretty! Now I want another set so that every sit in my big square table would have a pretty dessert plate on it.. oh, I'm starting to feel so annoyed by Ms. Spring. She is way too slow for my taste, you know! Always late arriving here. Do you feel the same way? I can hardly wait for spring to arrive so I can set up my first spring table outside!

In the mean time, while we wait for spring to arrive, we can always visit Susan, at Between naps on the porch for more lovely tables. Have fun embellishing yours!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sitting pretty

There was once a not so pretty chair… some people thought of it as trash, some others passed by it even without offering a merciful glance… but I saw much potential in it. Scruffy, yes, but certainly good looking! And for only $7.99 I knew I had to bring it home with me!

I don’t know what’s in an old grubby thrift store piece of furniture that attracts me so. Of course, it would have to have a twist to it to attract me. Like my old chair here! I knew it would look perfect in my cottage style bedroom. Giving an old piece of furniture new life by cleaning it, repainting it or reseating it to complement my home's character, is just fascinating. It's not only because I love the price, or because I'm trying to find ways to get back to basic living, or keeping costs down. The way I see things, is me creating beauty around my home, rather than some manufacturer. My old dining chair now reupholstered and refinished take pride of place in our master bedroom. I just can seem to get enough of it.. I love the final look, don’t ya!

I'm joining "Do it yourself day", at A soft place to land"

And Metamorphosis Monday, at Between naps on the porch

Friday, February 19, 2010

Here comes the sun

Spring comes slowly here in this region, but although is still cold out there, a cheerful sun is already warming up the land...

Pretty soon sap will be running in the grape vine, spring heralds will be showing new life everywhere, our flowering Cherry and Pear trees will be putting out new leaves, and the garden will be graced by daffodils and colorful tulips once again... I can hardly wait! Oh, my fingers are ready to tease the warm womb of the earth, my hands ready to make contact with Nature... have you ever felt so happy that there was nothing that could bring you down? That's how I feel when I think of the arrival of spring....

If you could have anything right now, what would you have? I'm happy as is.
Happy weekend, every one!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Through the garden gate

Like light peeping through the clouds, looking at photographs of beautiful gardens—on wintry days like these—brightens the outlook of my barren garden. If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the garden I’m about to show you.

There is nothing more delightful than going by a beautiful garden and be able to sneak a peek at what lies beyond the garden gates. For those who yearn to peer beyond the garden gate of this glorious garden, here is your chance! Click here to experience the serene aura of these gardens and see every treasure that is normally off limits...

Our Enchanted Garden gates are now open!

I'm also participating in "Outdoor Wednesday". Please visit Susan for more garden delights.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tablescape Thursday

I love to decorate our dinner table—every season a different look, a different feel, but I also keep it pretty every day. It's such a joy to come into the house after a busy day and see the table looking nice, ready for our evening meal. The simplest meal takes on the feeling of a festive occasion if the table is nicely set, right down to a centerpiece. Think this is rather an expensive proposition? Not in the least when the things you gather are items from around the house... and in many instances cheap everyday gorgeous thrift store treasures.... like some of what you see here!

Don't forget to visit Susan at Between naps on the porch for more lovely tables.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Regrets or no regrets?

Have you ever let an ingenious moment make you do something that you knew was stupid?

Oh yes, I tend to do that very often. “Live life with no regrets”--I keep reminding myself, but sometimes, that doesn’t work... You see, wanting to transform that which is already perfect, is simply stupid... like what I did to this chair I bought a while ago...

It only cost me $5.00, and yes, it was tattered, and weather worn, and yes, it was imperfect... but so lovely just the way it was. Unfortunately, I thought I could make it look prettier than it already was...
And the transformation kept going... 

And going...

I try so hard for perfection that I usually tend to forget that imperfection is happiness... Yes, some things are better left untouched... don’t you think so? I sure do! A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.

Which is more like you? Do you usually regret the things that you have done, or do you usually regret the things that you have not? Perhaps, it’d do me some good if I stick to the wisdom of Rabindranath Tagore: I leave no trace of wings in the air, but I am glad I have had my flight.”

I'm participating in "I made it without my hubby"

Friday, February 5, 2010


A northwestern wind must have escaped its frontiers, because last night I heard it whistling along the roofs and chimneys, swirling and spouting... It was the wolf in the fairy story who said he'd huff and he'd puff, and he'd blow in the house where the little pig lived; yet last night his humor was less savage—almost comforting.

Then this morning we are lashed by wind and an almost warm rain.... going for coffee before coming to work with the rain blowing in our face and slashing on us, was another fairytale; a romantic fairytale... down below the darkened street I could hear the rain gnomes, fairies and goblins laughing, as they danced under the rain. Apparently, they’d decided to join the wind out already with his mischief.

When the wind rattles at this season, it’s the paffs and puffs of his mischievous mouth trying to blow us away. If a tree is overthrown, it is his jest. Tomorrow we shall find the sun shining once again, but today it’s a rainy day.... rain, and its lovely promise.... Oh how I love rainy days!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tablescape Thursday

February is yet another month for snow and winter storms and cloudy days, it is still the beginning of a new year and, along with January, the quietest month in the garden. But just because it looks quiet out there doesn't mean that I can’t enjoy a colorful view, or have flowers on my table, and just because Thanksgivings is either in memories past, or still ahead in the future, doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy a yummy piece of pumpkin pie.
So because it’s still a long way before we enter the merry months of April and May, I’m going to ooh and aah over my colorful flowery table and my yummy piece of pie....
Pink floral fabrics are the perfect compliment for a wintry day. Placed on my table, pink and flowers welcome family and friends and give me hope with the empowering vision of a soon-to-be-here spring.
Enjoy the comfort of your home and make it a merry refuge for you and your family!
And don't forget to visit Susan at Between naps on the porch for more lovely tables.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The world through my eyes

7:00am... a magical glow breaks through the darkened window, and although it has taken me by surprise, I know what it is...
Our world has been awoken to yet another white morning. It’s dark outside, but the garden is magically wrapped in this amazing ice-blue glow that only snow can cast...

Tiny snowflakes are fluttering lazily from the sky, like exquisite frozen butterflies. If one thing amazes me about winter and a winter’s morning is the silence and sacredness that seems to blanketed the land... it isn’t unusual this binding, metaphysical and ubiquitous power of Nature in me... I hear it calling me.... a force beyond my power urging me to be one with the earth, as a bride becomes one in unity with her groom. And so I set out to the garden again... to the treasures hidden in the ice....

This wonderful world of mine has become a beautiful and desolate island... there is something almost mystical lingering in the chilled air... no lullaby fairy or imaginary creature this time... peace abide in a real garden, in the heart of a real woman in a real world forever immersed in a magic whose secret will always elude us...

Oh the hallowed sound of silence... and this white vastness filling every corner inside... nothing moves, nothing to disturb the sacredness that has descended upon the land...
I see angels dancing down the path, white sea-foam clumps in wind-tossed tree branches, and then, behind my back a soft fluttering of wings.... something takes flight behind me; perhaps an intruder myself in this wonderful wonderland of silence... a winged friend.

It’s wonderful... the leaping free spirits of birds, the dream of a snowy land, and to sense the miracle of life in everything which is natural...

And behind my back, though it is a cold dreary time of year, a safe and warm nest to call my own. Home! The place where my imagination can always metamorph and fly as a bird.

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver