Monday, April 9, 2018


If you live in the Midwest like I do, chances are you are starting to wonder where spring is. Snowflakes were flying as recently as yesterday. So what do you do when you desperately need a little spring when it looks anything but outside? You make it yourself. That's why I fashioned this impromptu spring vignette in my parlor. I found the vintage metal planter already painted this cheerful shade of blue, and paired it with equally colorful planters that remind me of the vintage McCoy pots that I own. Once I determine that our cats, Figgy and Winnie, will leave them alone, I will pot them with my African violets. Now when I pine for spring days, I just go into my parlor and soak up the "sunshine" of this lovely scene.

About this time of year I'm especially grateful for my houseplants. My pink-edged episcia is happily growing in its terrarium. These plants, especially the pretty pink ones, are not for the faint of the heart as they are rather finicky. I lost my 'Pink Smoke' episcia a couple years ago and planted cuttings of 'Cleopatra' in this terrarium a year ago.

Despite the terrible weather we've been having, my rhubarb patch is giving me hope that it will eventually feel like spring. All seven of the plants we transplanted from my grandma's garden last spring survived the winter and are unfurling their glorious foliage. I love this stage of the growing process when you can really see its wrinkles. Do any of you grow rhubarb? It doesn't seem like a lot of people grow it around here. Everyone seems surprised—albeit delightedly so—when I bring some of my crop into work to share.

Spring also means that it's time to service our bikes! I got my flower power cruiser (pictured below) serviced a couple weekends ago and my green bike is in the shop now. I'm hoping by the time it's done the temperatures will be more hospitable for a bike ride. 

I continue to turn to tea for comfort, especially during these chilly days. I spent most of last week tied to my computer writing articles and sipping tea. I like to dress up my gong fu tea tray (pictured below) with fun tea accessories. These came directly from China.

Young Winston says hello. My little boy is destined to be little forever. At only 11 pounds, he's much smaller than our dear departed kitties, Poe and Teddy, who weighed in at 17 pounds in their prime. We were concerned that there might be something wrong with Winnie as he is very shy around everyone except for me to the point where he doesn't come out when strangers visit. We found out from our vet that Russian Blue mix cats are often like this and tend to pick one particular person to bond to. I'm hoping I can get him to come out of his shell. If any of you happen to have a Russian Blue mix, I would love to hear if you have encountered the same thing. Feel free to email me at