Friday, February 8, 2019


I have received several questions about the material on the fuzzy clogs pictured in a previous post. The material is a very soft shearling. These loafers are so comfy you can hardly feel them on. You can avoid sales tax if you purchase them in Minnesota where I bought them. Clothing including shoes is exempt from Minnesota sales tax. As you can imagine, we saved a bundle on them! Yay!

In other news we've been tackling one home improvement project (however small) each week since the start of January. This week's project has been repainting one of the parlors. We're saying goodbye to the blue and hello to the pink—a soft historical shade used in antique homes. The more I see it, the more I love it. This was an unexpected project that resulted from our frustrating search for drapery fabric. We're having pleated drapes made for our large bowed window. It was quite a challenge to find fabric in our budget because when you need 30 yards of it, it gets expensive fast. Turns out it was easier to repaint the room to match the one drapery fabric I liked than it was to find a drapery fabric that complemented the old blue paint.

Winnie adores all the plastic tarps that accompany a major paint job (I think he loves the sound of it). He even managed to find some comfort among the chaos.

Over my lunch hour, I've been making lots of goodies to give us energy while we work in the evening. Pictured here are herbal lemon bars made with organic lavender and lemon thyme plus Tom's favorite low-sugar pumpkin cookies.

Monday, January 28, 2019


Anyone interested in some old Blackbird Designs fabric? I've decided to part with the pictured 1-yard cuts from their Chelsea Boutique line for $7.50 per yard (There are actually 2 yards each of the red floral as well as the brown with red dot prints). US shipping only and actual shipping costs would apply. If interested, contact me at


Monday, January 7, 2019


Custom-made Swedish-style clogs under the tree. Santa was very good to me.

The sweetest gift—a hand-felted cat made by a Nepali woman.

Handmade gifts in pretty pink boxes. My mother-in-law knitted three sets of fingerless gloves and packaged them in this pretty pink box.

Shops decked out in holiday finery. I love the felted ball garlands and copper tinsel trees.

Another wonderful Christmas come and gone! It was a blessing to celebrate the season with family and friends. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018



Got a new spiralizer for my zucchini so I'm giving away my old one. It looks like the one pictured in the top photo below. If interested and you can pick it up, email ( or call. I'm just outside the West Des Moines area. As you can see, it makes great "zoodles" for a healthy alternative to pasta. You can also chop them up to make the most delicious zucchini fritters.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


It was just an ordinary day as I dropped off my water payment at the local city hall. As I turned around, I spotted this lovely reminder that beauty is indeed all around if you take the time to notice.

I was also touched by the beauty of the below anniversary gift from my husband and the effort that he put into wrapping it. It was so pretty that I asked him if I could wait to open it another day just so I could admire the pretty wrapping! How can one bear to unwrap such a lovely thing?

My flowering houseplants also paint a pretty picture that I can enjoy on a daily basis. These two violets are putting on quite the show right now. They reside at the top of my home's main staircase, an area that is flooded with sunlight. 

Outside the view from the garden is just as pretty. This fuzzy charmer is a new addition. Too bad it's an annual and won't return to grace the garden next spring.

The zucchini are flourishing and we harvested our first one last week. The photo below shows new little babies coming along. Hopefully they'll be ready in another week or so. Speaking of zucchini, I'd be curious to know what you fellow zucchini growers do to combat squash borers. Please email me your tips/advice at We've lucked out in past years but want to be proactive about them going forward since they totally destroy a plant. 

Our tomato plants are loving all the rain we've been getting. They were about 4 feet tall when I took this photo last week and now they are close to my height. The first of the cherry tomato crop should be ready soon.

If you're like me, you also see the beauty in a home-cooked meal. One of the great comforts to me is making my own soup with our homemade bone broth and leftovers. We threw some of our leftover pork roast and red potatoes into our yummy bone broth, added some broccoli and enoki mushrooms and voila! Dinner was served!

I don't eat out much since I have to fix much of my own food due to my low-sodium dietary needs but my husband took a couple days off last week and we treated ourselves to lunch out both days. While we were in Ames, we stopped by our favorite local restaurant, Aunt Maude's, for some chicken crepes.

The following day we lunched at The Radish in nearby Grimes, Iowa. I had to indulge in their popcorn shrimp, which came with the most delicious green beans (not pictured).

The highlight of our two days together was finally finding the glass pig terrarium I'd been looking for since seeing this planted one at a national African violet convention three years ago. I'd put a call out for one on my blog at the time but never heard from anyone who had one to sell.

As we explored an antique mall, I turned around and saw this glass pig just waiting for me to buy him! At 20 percent off, I couldn't resist him as many like him are selling for more than $100 on in the internet and I have a feeling I won't encounter another one again soon!

Monday, April 23, 2018


Thanks to all who came out to our garage sale as part of our city's annual garage sales event this past Saturday. We couldn't believe how much traffic we had—well over 200 people. This gentleman was our first customer of the day and found all of these goodies. We ended up with a nice mix of antique and new wares. We think we even ended up finding a home for our grand old piano, which we advertised in the sale. Many people oohed and ahhed at the photos of it but only a few people expressed genuine interest. We will wait to say for sure that it's found a home until the person who agreed to give it a home actually comes to get it in a few weeks. I know the best laid plans can fall through and hope they won't in this case.

Although we fell $142 short of our goal to make $1,000, the sale was still well worth our effort since we were able to get rid of so much stuff. The hectic day ended on a high note. When we got back after grabbing a bite to eat (we were ravenous after the sale as we were so busy that we could not break for lunch), we found these lovely daffodils that our sweet neighbor left for us. She has a nice patch of these spring harbingers. It's random acts of kindness like this that reaffirm my faith that there are still good-hearted people out there. It's a wonderful reminder to spread kindness whenever you can. The very next day we had an opportunity to help a neighbor in need. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Adel's annual city-wide garage sale is this Saturday and we decided we had enough stuff to participate in it. You can find us near the XX from 8 to 4 this Saturday. I'm still sifting through boxes and getting things priced like this pretty tea set. I have several other pieces of china--both new and vintage--ready for the sale. We will have new and old housewares, home decor, garden fountains, accent tables, collectibles, holiday decor, cookbooks and garden books, Wardian cases, and much more.

These garden fountains served us well over the years.

I used to love collecting the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks but it's time to part with them. I only kept a few of them. 

I always thought I would find a place for this chandelier but it's just not large enough for our rooms with their lofty ceilings. It even comes with four shades.

And I found a bunch of holiday decor items that I no longer use like this collectible Bethany Lowe old-world Santa. Perhaps he will find a home on Saturday!

And we're still looking for a good home for our antique piano that is sadly no longer tunable but its beauty remains. I fell in love with its craftsmanship and if I had the room, I would keep it as a decorative piece. 

If I have time before the sale, I might post more photos here.