Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Is What I Do

I had one can of white spray paint and 8 items to paint. I knew one can wouldn't paint all of this, but I wanted to get the "best bang for my buck" so to speak, so when I have a situation like this, I just stack all of my items together. There are 3 candle holders, a large fork and spoon, (how'd ya like to take a bite with those?!) a four foot long shelf and a small baker's rack and a large baker's rack.
I was able to get the candle holders, fork and spoon and long shelf all painted with one can of paint. The over spray gave a nice thin coat of paint to the other two pieces. Whenever I have another can of paint, I will lay newspaper down, and finish painting the two metal racks.

And so this is how I get the most paint from a can of spray paint. How do you do it?
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Whew! I'm Dizzy!

The days are flying past. Sometimes it feels like a dizzying blur. Even the kiddos are talking about how fast this year has gone! School will be finished in a few days and then we'll have the lovely days of summer break. I hope we'll be able to make it special here at "A Romantic Porch".
If we had the ability to push a pause button on all of this, would we really want to?
I hope you have some dizzy fun things planned!
Love, Rachel

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today and always, honoring those who have served or are serving in our military.
May we never forget the price of freedom.
Love, Rachel

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Remember This?

HE who started a good and wonderful purpose and plan for you life, will be faithful to complete it.
Adapted from New Testament Philippians chapter 1 verses 5&6
Please remember this!
Love, Rachel

Friday, May 22, 2009

Frame It!

Okie dokie! I just wanted to tell you about this inexpensive and quick decor trick! If you keep your eyes open at yard sales, thrift stores, or your own garage or attic, many times you will find fabulous picture frames for a few cents or dollars or even free.
Simply set them on your desired surface and lean them against the wall. Yay! No measuring or hammering or anything like that. You can paint them if you want...this is how I have some of mine right now. I'm sorry my pictures are dark. I'm trying to figure out how to keep that from happening. How do you take bright cheery photos?

Have a picture perfect day, sweet friends!
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Surviving The Hail Storm

On Friday, I mentioned standing on our romantic porch and watching the amazing hail that descended all around us during a Spring thunderstorm.
As the marble size balls of ice pelted to the ground, I wondered if any of our flowers would be damaged.
See the pieces of ice that are along the flower bed? These would be considered to be small hail stones.
They were so cold!
I wanted to pick a huge bouquet of irises and I see that they have survived fairly well!

This large purple bloom was tattered and torn the most of all of the blossoms, but it smelled delicious and its' color was enchanting, so I couldn't help but add it to the vase. Sometimes life gives us a beatin'. Doesn't it? Still I think we have something valuable to give, just like the beautiful color and scent of the tattered iris.
Two blooms on one stem really interested me. I kept looking at them and trying to decide why they are like this. One has 3 fragile petals that rise upward around the 3 thick petals nestled deep inside the flower.
The other bloom has only 2 fragile petals that rise up and surround 2 thick petals, but there are also yellow fuzzy things (for lack of a technical term to call them) on this one too. Since I really don't know a single thing about this, I just stand in amazement at the miraculous beauty of it all.
I found a small pale yellow bloom that has a lavender stripe on one petal.
I'm so anxious for this bud to bloom. I didn't cut it. There are 3 buds on this stem. It is the only stem of its kind in the garden. I want this bud to open outside. After it does, I will cut it and watch the other 2 buds open inside.
So now the house is filled with the yummy scents of Spring.
See my happy dance?
Have a wonderful day.
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Plllllllleeeeeaaaaaaaasssseeee Forgive Me!

Grandma's Apron
The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls. In the fall the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.

Once again, thank you so much. And please forgive me for just now having the opportunity to announce the winner. Y'all are the best. Really!

Love, Rachel

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ssshhh! Don't Tell My Secret! I have a gift for you!

It is my birthday!
It really is!
And you know several years ago, (oops only last year when I was 27 *wink*) I decided that I would enjoy every birthday that I had.
I mean enjoy the fact that I'd had another year to learn and hopefully mature and achieve a purpose greater than myself.
The ebb and flow of life is sometimes joyful and other times heart wrenching, but still I can celebrate each and every day and birthday as it rolls around again and again. And when I no longer have birthdays,
I plan for my life to have been lived to the best of my ability...shortcomings, flaws, mistakes and all...the best I can do.
I was blessed to be born into a family of 10, the youngest.
As a baby girl, I rounded out the number with 5 boys and 5 girls. Now that I read how that previous sentence sounds, I laugh. I still round out the number with 5 boys and 5 girls...even though I'm an adult! Can't change that fact!
My parents who are no longer living gave me the wonderful gift of life, and I absoluuuuutely do not take it for granted.
I've received cards, emails, blog comments, text messages, messages on my face book wall, voice mail messages, phone calls and hugs and well wishes. Ah, the grandeur of modern technology. With a family as big as mine, and friends that I love so much, I cannot thank you enough for wishing me a happy day!
But most of all sweet blog readers, this blog posting is all about you, not me.
Since it is my birthday, I just wanted to send off a little gift to let you know how much you mean to me.
When I return on Monday, I will announce the winner of this truly vintage apron.
So leave a comment on this posting and your name will be entered into my birthday gift giveaway. One name will be chosen from the comments and I will send the apron to you right away. Just be sure and leave a way to be contacted if you don't have a blog.
And so, I guess it really isn't appropriate to tell you to keep the secret that it is my birthday, since I just published that information to the whole wonderful world. Isn't that what www. stands for?
Yes, I've had a happy day, I planned for it to be no matter what. We had a hail storm full of thunder and lightning. It was breathtaking enjoying it from "our romantic back porch". I'll show you photos next week. But that is the way life is. You take it all. The good and the bad, the storms and the sunshine.
That's just the way it is.
So I will celebrate with joy.
Love, Rachel

P.S. You have until midnight on Sunday to leave a comment and be entered into the drawing.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Girl Can Dream!

There were a couple of situations, in the area where I grew up, of people finding babies...sort of on their door step. I always wished we would find a baby on our door step too! I would go to the front door and check, just to be sure none had been left there for us to find. Recently I realized that one her favorite games to play is when our little girl finds a box that is big enough to fit inside, she jumps in, closes the box and then calls out, "Mommy, someone just rang the doorbell. Come look inside the box!" Then with *great surprise and astonishment*, I open the door, find the box, look inside and behold, there is a baby! Joy and love abound!

I don't remember telling her that I used to look for babies on our door step. Isn't it interesting she likes to play this?
I didn't think of this game for her.
She thought of it herself!
So we play and it brings back memories.

I hope you have a wonderful day.
If you choose to leave a baby on our door step we will feel *great surprise and astonishment*!
I promise joy and love will abound!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just Writing What I'm Thinking!

Did you enjoy your weekend? I did, however we were quite busy.
I don't usually think of Mother's Day being a celebration of "me", even though I have children.
I think of Mother's Day more in terms of my own dear mother who is gone, and my sweet Mother in love who lives several hours away.
Yesterday, I used little note cards and wrote heart felt "mother thoughts" to my children and my husband. I don't know if it meant as much to them to receive it and it did for me to write it, but I never want my Mr. RP or my children to question my love for them. I really don't think they question my love for them, but I wanted them to have a handwritten sentiment, straight from my heart...not something penned by the poetic thoughts of another hand.

As women and mothers it is so easy to fall into the rut of pleasing others, and making sure we meet all the expectations and demands that other people put on us. These expectations may only be perceived as real. As I seek balance in my life, I am reminded that my immediate family is my first responsibility. I'm not saying that other people don't matter. I'm just saying that when I'm faltering to meet ALL those demands, my husband and children stand to lose out the most. They are my first responsibility. If I neglect them...anything I may do for others is a lame victory.
Well, now how did I get off on this? I don't know if it even makes sense because I just kinda went with what started flowing from my fingers.
When I took the photos for this posting I was thinking that I wanted to answer the comment left a few days ago about the color of the paint on our that's another post for another day, because my kids need some breakfast, and in this balanced life I'm trying to live, that comes first!
Oh I hope I haven't sounded harsh or rude. I'm so aware that the things we write don't always mimic what we feel in our heart. When it is printed on a page, if it is not carefully written the interpretation of what we say is at the mercy of the reader. Please have mercy on me today sweet readers! I know your Monday's are crazy busy too, so have a wonderful one! I've gotta scoot!
Love, Rachel

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of my lady readers out there!
Yes, to ALL of you!
The older I get I see that all ladies are mothers, whether or not they have physically given birth to a child.
Their nurturing caring heart gives birth to mothering someone or something.
It may be students or nieces and nephews or pets or parents. Hhhmm, a mother to your parents?
I think that happens too.
So this weekend, celebrate your mothering instincts.
Do something special for yourself.
I enjoy cleaning my house and lighting the candles and fixing yummy food for my family.
Have a wonderful mother's day weekend and I will certainly see you on Monday.
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Flowers In May!

I'm sure it comes as no surprise when I say that I LOVE flowers. I've really tried to "nail down" a favorite and I just can't. Absolutely cannot choose! The intricate qualities of each blossom and the translucent pattern of the petals scattered with a natural sparkle akin to glitter fascinate me. How can something sprout from hard cold soil...dirt...just plain 'ole' dirt and become this? Um, I realize the DIRT doesn't become this...but you know what I mean. Just the whole process...miraculous!
The way flowers hold drops of dew which sparkle like diamonds on the tippy tip of their petals and resist the pressure of wind and rain, all the while showing their beauty, is a phenomenon beyond my comprehension.
Karla called and asked if she could share this story on her blog and I said, "Sure, why not?"
We talked about stuff and giggled like little school girls! Maybe?...I think we did!
So if you wanna read about the memory, it's over there.
Somehow I feel well...? I guess I feel...I can't describe how I feel, but hearing her read this over the phone washed waves of memories over me like sheets of rain over the flowers in a Spring rain.
And I miss my momma!

Thanks for being my "friend" Karla!
Love, Rachel
P.S. Oh and if you love the way my blog looks...tell Karla. She did it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Meet Joni and See Her Beautiful Porch

It is a delight to have the opportunity to introduce you to Joni who is another old home owner and old house lover. So read along and see what Joni has to say about her porch that is featured for the month of May here at "A Romantic Porch".
Hi, my name is Joni!
Welcome to the porch at our Old Centennial Farmhouse. This old porch was one of the main reasons this home appealed to me so much when we first pulled in the drive to look at the old farmhouse one fall afternoon in 1991. Our home is a fairly typical Michigan farmhouse and is a Designated Centennial Farmhouse because the original farm was farmed by the same family for one hundred years.
There's a process that the original family had to go through with the state of Michigan to get this special certification and a sign on the land, all once they proved the farm's longevity with the same family. It was built in 1898, by a carpenter who earned a dollar a day for his work.
Fortunately, we were told a lot about our old house by a gal who was born here and grew up here with her family. She is now ninety years old and lives just a mile across the field out front in her own farmhouse! We are still in the process of restoring the place. Luckily for us, most of the home had not been altered or any of the original woodwork destroyed or covered with multiple layers of paint and the basics of the home are mostly as they were in 1898. We happen to be just the third owners in 111 years! The porch had been restored before we bought the house, but due to using the wrong materials, rot took over because of Michigan's heavy snows and improper draining from the floor of the porch. About eight years ago, my sweet husband tore it all off and patiently remade all the gingerbread and redid it again. I think of the porch as one of the treasures of our home. It's sad to me that new homes often overlook one of the most pleasant places to spend some time on a spring, summer, or fall evening. This porch is pleasant mostly because of the big silver maple planted here by our ninety year old neighbor when she was only eight years old and living here as a child. The maple shades the porch and is home to many birds, and provides a pleasant sound when a breeze is in the air...which is most of the time here on the "prairie" of open land of farm fields surround us. Many evenings we can sit in the wicker rockers and watch deer or wild turkey or pheasant in the surrounding fields. It's a favorite place to sit and share a glass of homemade lemonade and visit and rock in the wicker with a friend. The porch overlooks our front flower garden and an expanse of green lawn, and when the crops are in the fields, those are pleasant to watch grow up and mature. We enjoy this porch in the daytime, or at night when the stars are out and the fireflies flit around the yard on a summer evening. If you're chilly, just pull a small quilt or throw off the back of your chair and cover up! (That patchwork one came from a garage sale for $3!) Of course, I have a lot of fun decorating this old porch with found treasures, either those found here at the farm as we tore down old barns, or finds from our own attic used in a new way, or from pleasant days spent either at flea markets, antique stores or yard sales. There's always a flag flying year-round, and I try to keep it bright and cheerful. I like to have a small wind chime to provide pleasant music that you can hear in the living room, dining room, or the bedroom overhead. In the summer it changes with a whim, as the pole barn has a stock of neat old props like an old red tricycle, a wooden carriage wheel, barrels and galvanized items and old crocks. The shade-loving annuals and the hostas provide lots of color during spring and summer in the border surrounding the porch. Spring is wonderful with lacy leaves and bright emerging bulbs and the carpet of emerald velvet to feast your eyes on after a long, dreary winter. What you see in the photos for spring are some fun vintage displays in the corner and one near the main door. For Flag-day and the Fourth of July, there are buntings to drape the railing and a special old '76 flag from our country's centennial celebration. I fly it from the front railing and place small garden flags down near the steps to carry a patriotic theme. In the fall, there are lots of maple leaves drifting in to kiss your cheek while you enjoy the bright colors of pumpkins, scarecrows and corn shocks. As I change what's on the porch with the seasons or the holidays, Christmas stands out as a favorite time when the railing is adorned with real evergreen garland and old-fashioned Christmas lights and red bows, as well as evergreen wreaths and vintage sleds and snow decorating the porch railing is a perfect bonus. I'm glad you stopped in, let's take our lemonade to the porch and get to know each other!

Joni, thank you so much for giving me the privilege of featuring your beautiful porch for the month of May. I have enjoyed hearing all about it and I know my sweet blog readers have too.

Hey y'all, drop over and pay Joni a visit on her blog Old Centennial Farmhouse!

You'll be glad you did.

Love, Rachel