Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 8/22/17

Every Tuesday Elizabeth hosts "Tea Stands for Tuesday".  You can post about most anything as long as it is somehow related to a drink. Be sure to check it out.

This week I'm going to show you some thrift store decorating.  The River House is a second home that is used by our whole family.  It replaced a home we lost in a fire nearly 2 years ago.  Since I was decorating "from scratch" so to speak I decided to do it in a colorful style with hand made contents or things from thrift stores when possible.

Thrift store shopping can be weeks of nothing and then suddenly several finds at once.  Yesterday I showed you a coat hook, today there are some kitchen things.

thrift store - 99 cents

I found this sign.  I was originally going to use it as a base to paint my own sign.  When I got it home I played around with it and decided to use it as is in the kitchen.

It fit perfectly under a kitchen cabinet.  The bowl are thrift store finds as well - 49 and 69 cents.  I'm drinking water from a glass that came from the Dollar Store.  These things are quite inexpensive but somehow make me very happy.

Do you shop thrift stores?  

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse

How many of you are planning to watch the eclipse today?  In our area we are expected to have only 70% coverage of the sun.  Since it will happen here around 9 a.m. we may well have our usual morning marine layer as well.  I'm not sure I will see much.

large cast iron painted coat hook
approx. 8x12"

Coincidentally I recently found this heavy metal "sun" coat hook at a thrift shop a few days ago.  There is a hook there at the bottom but it is hard to see in my photo.  DH is going to hang this in our patio, that is how we plan to mark the day.  It will be a good place to hang a gardening or rain jacket in the future.

Enjoy your day and be careful if you are watching the sun and the moon do their dance.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Thoughts on Friday - 8/18.17

I was recently looking through some of my old sketch books and came across this which I'm not sure I've posted before.  I've been in a semi-arid creative desert for some time.  

Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. This is what she has to say about doing our creative work.

"The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time."

No doubt I need to get out the tools and give creativity some time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday cups and pots

As part of our house update, we had a cement walkway put in the back yard.  For years there was a brick walkway in that area but with weather and earthquakes and aging the bricks were not at all level.  Beautiful but not really safe and we are trying to correct some safety issues here.  We switched the walk to concrete.  

There is room at one end of the walk to place a few pots full of plants.  Hopefully that will soften the look of the concrete.  Here is a pot I purchased.  I was taken with the bird (which barely shows in the photo) and the color.  I'm drinking tea this morning and contemplating what kind of plant to put in it.  Something low maintenance for sure.

A local shop was having a sale.  This is some of their selection.  I think all the pots were $10 which seemed very reasonable to me.

As I drink my tea I will join Elizabeth and friends for Tea Tuesday.

I'm hoping Elizabeth can link me to the party.

Monday, August 14, 2017

What are you reading?

Having a stack of books around makes me happy.  A book that is waiting to be read is like an unwrapped present.  

Van Gough still life
French Novels with Rose

This painting is not as well known as many of the artists works but it makes me smile.  I want to pull up a chair and pick up a book.

My friend Laurie just sent me two books.  "The Weight of Ink" and "The Girl Who Knew Too Much".  Laurie writes a blog devoted to book reviews, you can find it here.  I'm delighted to have two new books-worlds to discover.

Tell me what you are reading or what you last read that you would recommend.  I'd be lost without a book.  How about you?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thoughts on Friday - 8/11/17

Occasionally I have random ideas for a blog post.  Things that don't quite go with the rest of my blog.  I've decided to bunch the posts together and call them Thoughts on Friday.  Maybe it will leave you with something to think about over the weekend.

Usually I feel like I am wearing the cover before I get the whole thing put together.  One of my daughters has a method she uses that goes... something about rolling the cover up and put it on like a pair of nylons.  I wonder if she makes house calls.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Volunteer Cosmos

Planting a garden this year was not possible due to the construction work we were having done on the house.  It was pretty hard for DH to let that activity go but at least some of the yard has more or less permanent landscaping so it doesn't look too bad.

And then there are volunteers.  Cosmos shows up every year much to our delight.

Only one packet of seeds was ever planted and that was years ago.  In the beginning there was more variety in the colors that bloomed, now the majority of blossoms are this lovely fuchsia.  

Do you have volunteers in your garden?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The House by the Bay

The house by the Bay was getting a bit of an update this summer while we spent time at the river.

It's an old house (built in 1938) it is a small house (only 2 br. and one bath).  However it is on a larger than average city lot for our area and we really like the location and the neighborhood.  In years past we gutted and remodeled the kitchen and added a sun room.  

This time it was the bathroom.  We stole a little room from the second bedroom to enlarge the bath and went from there.

It is hard to photograph the space but here is part of the quite large shower.  We had grab bars installed in a couple of places while we were at it.  Neither of  us needs them at the moment but one never knows.

The sink now has a mirror over it.  I don't know why but that tiny arched faucet amuses me.

Remodeling an old house is always a gamble as you never know quite what you will uncover along the way.  Our city is known locally for its many and very strict building codes.  This time we had to replace some under house plumbing that we hadn't planned on but in the long run that is ok.

I know a couple of my blogging friends are building homes, anyone else remodeling what they have?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 8/8/17

Sending out a big hello to all my Tuesday Tea friends.  I've been offline for awhile and was delighted (but not surprised) to find Elizabeth's Tea Party continues.

Today I brought flowers from the garden and a cup of tea.  Now it is time for me to go catch up with everyone.  Won't you join me and the others at the Altered Book Lover blog?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Knock, knock! Anybody home?

It has been a long and busy summer and much of it I have spent without internet connection.  I thought today would be a good day to return - what with the lunar eclipse and all.  

We spent much of the summer at the River House.  While the weather has been setting records for heat, the river is not nearly as low as it was this time last year.

DH has his favorite fishing spot on our property.  That little white bucket is for holding the fish he catches.  

I'll be posting bits and pieces about our adventures later this week.  
Meanwhile I'm off to say hello to my blogging friends.  I hope they haven't forgotten who I am.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Looking for me?

May 12, 2017

Just in case you are wondering, everythng here is fine.  I'm going to be without a computer for awhile.  I do check things occasionally with my phone.  Behave yourselves and I'll catch up with you in awhile.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Ciinco de Mayo

This is another repost from my old blog.  I was looking for this recipe and remembered it was on my blog.  I thought I would share it again.  Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone.

Today is Cinco de Mayo.  The holiday originated in Mexico but has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage by much of the large Mexican-American community here in the Bay Area and other areas.

the glass and the paper mache clown are from trips to Mexico

The following recipe did not come from the book shown. It is one I clipped from the local newspaper some years ago

Serves 4

About 2 cups shredded roasted chicken
1 ½ cups basic tomatillo salsa (see recipe below)
8 corn tortillas softened on griddle or steamed (see note)
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Moisten chicken with ½ C. of salsa. Spoon about ¼ cup of the chicken mix into each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in a greased baking dish. Pour remaining salsa over enchiladas, then drizzle on the cream. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Broil until bubbly and golden brown around the edges. 

Note: Keep softened tortillas warm by wrapping them in foil, cold tortillas do not roll well.


12 small to medium tomatillos (about a pound) husked and rinsed well.
½ tablespoon cooking oil
¼ cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves
3 serrano chiles cut in half
¼ to ½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
½ to 1 teaspoon salt

Place tomatillos on a rimmed baking sheet, broil on med-high heat for about 4 minutes. Turn the tomatillos around a bit and broil another 4 minutes.

Heat oil in small skillet. Add onions, sauté until limp. Push them aside, add garlic and chiles. Sauté until onions are golden brown around the edges. About 5 minutes.

Combine onion mix and tomatillos in a processor and roughly puree. Add ¼ cup broth and the cilantro. Puree. Add more broth if you would like a thinner sauce. Add vinegar and salt to taste.

Yields about 1 ½ cups sauce

Recipe from the S.F. Chronicle

**NOTE: If you truly want to be "rapido" there are some good versions of Salsa Verde on the supermarket shelves. Not as good as homemade but sure quicker.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday/Second on the Second - 5/2/17

Tea and the Second on the same day?  I couldn't miss that.  I will be without internet come Tuesday but I don't want to miss this double day with Elizabeth and the gang.  Wishing everyone a very happy Tuesday.  Here's my post from a few years ago.

TUESDAY, JULY 23, 2013

T stands for Tuesday - Sunflowers

Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover is hosting "T stands for Tuesday".  I thought I would be fun to add a poetry reading to the tea party.  Sip your morning cup of tea and read along with me.

hand painted individual tea set

I even have a coordinating tea spoon holder

by Mary Oliver

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines

creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy

but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather,

the wandering crows.
Don't be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,

which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life!

hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Knitting - 4/26/17

I enjoy knitting in general but the part I like best is learning something new.  Stranded knitting is my latest adventure and this is the second hat I've made.  You can see the first one here.

Knitted with Berroco Ultra Alpoaca

Since the strands of color are carried across the back of the knitting (inside the hat) it nearly doubles the thickness of the knitted object. It makes for a very warm hat. It will be a gift for someone in snow country.

I have quite a bit of yarn left over from the two hats.  I may attempt a pair of mittens.  That would be another first for me.

Any knitters out there doing this kind of work?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

t stands for Tuesday - 4/25/17

Good Morning friends.  I am indeed drinking coffee but I must admit I don't look quite as classy as this dame.  My cup isn't that pretty either. 

I'm in the right spirit though.  I'm thinking "Paris".  My 14 yo GGD is redoing her bedroom and she wants a Paris theme.  I said I'd help. So what did I do?  I went thrift shopping.

First I found this which I thought was very pretty.  It is a good size, about 18 inches high. It was $3.

Then I came across this.  Can you believe it?

(click to enlarge)

A large folding screen with a photo of an iconic Paris street scene. It was in mint condition.  I was nearly speechless.  It was just one of those things that was meant to be.  It was $25 - way over my usual thrift store budget - but I knew it would anchor the room and set the theme.  I was so excited and the young decorator was over the moon about it.

Now won't you join me in visiting Elizabeth's blog where all good Tea Tuesday things appear?

Monday, April 24, 2017


It is "on again, off again" with blog posts as I travel back and forth between the Bay (internet access) and the River (no access).

Our wisteria is blossoming, the vine goes over our front gate.  It was a wonderful greeting as we returned home.

Here is a closer look.  This plant always amazes me because DH grew it from a seed pod he found years ago when we were on vacation.  It grew is a pot for quite awhile and then became part of the permanent garden.  It delights me every time it blooms.

I'm off to catch up with my blogger friends.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Neighborhood Walk - 4/12/17

My early morning walks continue.  Rarely do I miss a day.  
Regulars here know I enjoy a little window shopping when I walk the route that takes me to 4th Street.

I like the colors in this display.  The turquoise necklace is similar to one I own.  The cuffs at the top of the photo are fabric with a variety of charms/buttons attached.  DYI project anyone?

There is lots of greenery and some color but our unusually wet year continues.

Some of the sidewalk containers look quite pretty even without blossoms.

Have you taken a walk lately?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 4/11/17

This Tuesday finds me back by the Bay.  It seems like I've been on the go for a few weeks now.  Perhaps I need to pick a spot and settle down.

I managed to visit a couple of thrift shops between running errands. The River House is basically furnished so my thrift shop visits have slowed considerably.  At one shop I spotted this teapot which fits in with my colorful mismatched china so well.  I didn't have a teapot there. Perfect condition - $3.50.  Sold!

I vaguely associated the name Debbie Mumm with decorative china or maybe interior decor.  I looked her items up online and while I didn't find this exact teapot I did find lots of colorful pieces of china.  Anyone collect Debbie Mumm china? 

Do you use a teapot or do you make your tea one cup at a time? We use a teapot quite often as we generally use loose tea not tea bags. 

Please take your drink of choice and join me in visiting Elizabeth's blog.  She hosts Tea Stands for Tuesday every week and newcomers are always welcome.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 4/4/17

Good Morning friends.  This Tuesday finds me at the river house.  I will be asking Elizabeth to link me up.  Be sure to visit her to see what everyone is doing this week.

I had a big cup of coffee and a cannoli to get ready for the road trip.  

I was quite excited to get to the river.  Once a year they test the draw bridge adjacent to our property.  Our house is behind those trees in the center of the picture (against the left portion of the bridge).  This is our first year at the property so we were all waiting for this event.

If you want to see the bridge in action here's a video.

The bridge was built in 1933.  Back then there was a lot of shipping along this part of the river.  That is no longer the case but the bridge still works.

That's the excitement here.  What is happening at your place?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Second on the Second - 4/2/17

Each month I Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover invites us to go back through our old posts and bring one back for a second look.  

I think it is time to get out my stamp carving supplies.  I imagine I will need to restock my stamp pads if I want to use any of the stamps though.

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

Stamp carving - Round flower

Here is my latest effort in stamp carving. This time I was aiming for a stylized flower. 

The stamp is fairly large, I didn't measure it so I can't tell you exactly how large.  I created this stamp to use in a particular project I am working on but meanwhile I tried it out on a couple of cards.

4"x 5 1/2" cards

The stamp seemed too large to look right centered on the card so offset the image.  I think it is more interesting that way and leaves a bit of room if I happen to want to write a message on the front of the card.

None of the stamps I have carved are mounted on blocks.  That makes getting a clear, precise image difficult I think.  That and the fact that some stamps, like this one, are larger than the stamp pads I own.  I end up having to sort of dab the ink pad around on the stamp.   Any stampers have suggestions?

At this rate I am going to have lots of cards for my Postal Project (mail something every week).

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 3/28/17

We have been on a get away to the Southern part of California.  With the wet winter we have had here at home we needed more sunshine and warm weather.

We stayed at the Oasis Resort in Palm Springs.  A favorite place and one we have visited a number of times over the years.

We did get out and about a few mornings but lunch time found us sitting beside the pool everyday.  Water, grapes, suntan lotion and a good book beside the pool.  For me it doesn't get much better.

Here is the entry to our unit.  You can see the pool is right outside our door.

Another view of our large two bedroom unit.  Daughter and SIL were with us.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, Palm Springs,CA is in the desert and surrounded by mountains.  It is about a two hour drive East of Los Angeles.  This photo shows some of the desert landscaping the resort uses.

Now lets take our favorite drink and visit everyone at Elizabeth's Tea.  I have lots of catching up to do.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Knit *Norwegian Star* pattern.

While I've knit a fair number of things there is always a new stitch of a new technique I want to try.  This time around I learned the basics of "Stranded Colorwork".  

The design is probably familiar to many of you.  It is called *Norwegian Star* and I think it is very traditional.  I chose to make a hat because it is a small project.

The yarn is a Berroco worsted wool and the hat is quite warm.

I enjoyed the learning process and will probably use the technique again in the future.

Have you tried something new recently?  A new recipe? A new plant in your garden?  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Good morning friends.

I hope you have a wonderful day and a great weekend.  I will be heading to warmer weather for a bit but will check in when I can.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hillbilly Elegy - (book)

This book was written before Trump's election and was on the NY Times best seller list for quite awhile.  It was said by many to be a good book to read to understand part of the political scene in the U.S. 

I read the book awhile ago and seem to have a hard time reviewing it.  The author himself had conflicts, disliking his "hillbilly" upbringing, which he seemingly left behind, but loving his family who's faults he lays out pretty clearly.

Hillbilly Elegy
J.D. Vance

Here's what Wikipedia says about the book -

The book reached the top of The New York Times Best Seller list in August 2016[3] and January 2017.[4] Journalists wrote that the book was of specific importance during the 2016 United States presidential elections, as Vance compassionately describes the white underclass that fueled the campaign of Donald Trump and a resurgence of outsider politics.[1] The New York Times wrote that his direct confrontation on a social taboo is admirable regardless of whether the reader agrees with his conclusions. The newspaper writes that Vance's subject is despair and his argument is more generous in that it blames fatalism and learned helplessness rather than indolence.[1] John Podhoretz described the book as among the year's most provocative.[5]

You can find a long and informative review from the NY Times here-

I'm hoping someone has read the book and will comment on it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 3/14/17

It is beginning to look like spring may be just around the corner at the river.  Thank goodness!


Here is the river along our property.  It is still very high and likely to remain so for awhile.  Much of the snow melt from No. CA travels down this waterway.

A friend captured  this shot of the sunrise over the bridge.  Our property is at the right, near where the bridge ends.

My drink for today is coffee from Philz.  Did I hear a collective gasp?  Yes, I cheated on my favorite.   On that note, lets go visit Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover and see if the rest of the gang has been behaving.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Living - (book)

I have enjoyed Annie Dillard's writing in the past.  This book is no exception.  Dillard lives (or has lived) on the Lummi Island off the Bellingham coast about 90 miles north of Seattle.  The story, published in 1992,  takes place in that area.

This is the story of the lives of the people who settled at Whatcom on Bellingham Bay.  They built the town of Bellingham in what later became Washington State
From the very beginning the pioneers had many difficulties but they persist.  The book spans several generation and offers many plot threads.  I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction.  It would be a great gift for anyone in Washington or the Pacific Northwest.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 3/7/17

When Tuesday rolls around I look forward to joining Elizabeth and friends for tea (or drink of choice).

Another cup has been added to the mix of colorful thrift store china at the river house.  

Several friends have recently asked about our situation on the river. We are located down river from the Oroville dam which was on the news.  Our area was not evacuated but there was a town meeting to discuss evacuation and we were advised to be on standby.

Our house is fine.  We have lots of standing water, after awhile the ground just couldn't absorb more.  We had one tree fall but fortunately it was far from any structures and only did minimal damage to a fence.

I tried to find some photo's with the same river view to compare

This was taken in about May of 2016

A similar shot of the river this month.

Here is the current view right behind the house.  Local  people say they haven't seen the river this high in about 30 years.

California has been in a drought for at least 5 years.  Right now in Northern California we are at 200+ percent of normal for rain/snow.

The rainy season for the area is said to end mid April.  Of course the river is the major carrier for all the snow pack and run off for a huge part of the state so I imagine it will remain high for quite awhile.  I think the flood danger has passed but there is still some concern about the levees holding back so much water pressure for so long.

Thanks to those who were concerned.  We hope to be enjoying our cup of tea on the front porch again real soon.