Friday, May 30, 2008

What, Graduation? Sigh!

What is this? Where has time gone?
With the wisdom of the profound Dr. Seuss, "I will laugh because it happened, and not cry because it is over!"
Jonathan, I'm so proud of you, my first born. I love you always, Mom

Oops! I forgot!

In a previous posting, I asked you if you wanted my ice cream recipe. Some of you said you did. So here it is for your enjoyment. We are having this tonight! mmmmm good.
Ice Cream
6 eggs beaten until fluffy
2 1/2 cups sugar slowly added 1/2 cup at a time to fluffy eggs
Add 1 T vanilla
Add 1 can evaporated milk
Add 16 oz. half and half
Put the above ingredients into an ice cream freezer
Finish filing the ice cream container to the fill line with milk
Then freeze by putting ice and salt on the outside of the ice cream container, in the freezing bucket.
My freezing bucket freezes best when I layer 4 cups of ice and 1/4 cup of salt repeatedly until it is full.
Happy freezing! It sure has been fun to use this freeze word in so many different ways.
Love, Rachel
P.S. I loved all of your responses about the door. I believe everyone of you said not to paint it! It was fun to see what you thought. Thank you for taking time to let me know.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Front Door

A while ago a man came by and offered us $50.00 for our front door! Another man stopped and told us that he would install a new "up to date" steel door for us, in exchange for our door. Funny guys!
We've been sanding, staining and restoring the door. Oops, I see the stain on the window. Gotta go get that off. Some think the door should be painted. Others think not to paint it. The wood matches our woodwork inside the house. What do you think?

Happy thinking! I'm off to clean the window!

Love, Rachel

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just Because...

Just Because...
...I care enough to want beautiful pictures for you
...I love pink
...I love roses
...I love bunnies
...I am thankful is a new start

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Life Today

It is so interesting to me how we can have "A Things To Do Today" list, a "Schedule of Appointments" and other sundry and miscellaneous things that must be done whether written down or not.

In spite of our best laid plans and most practical intentions, life happens, each day passes, passing one by one and each one at a faster speed than the day before. I want each day I live to have intention and purpose...purpose that makes a difference, not just intention and purpose that fills a schedule planner or check list.

Have a great day! I'm planning to too! ;+}
Love, Rachel

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Today is a day to remember those who have served our country to maintain the freedom that we hold so dear.
Ten years ago on Memorial Day, my family was faced with the grim reality of our Mother's health after an emergency surgery. Fifty-three days later she was gone. Gone, oh how could that be? But I still learn from her and wonderful example. Today as you reflect on the past, and face the future, don't forget to enjoy this moment...the only one we are promised.
Happy Memorial Day!
Love, Rachel

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Racing To Rest

A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.
Old Testament Proverbs chapter 12 verse 10 NIV
Let the sun shine in, snuggle down and be cozy!
Love, Rachel

What Great Guesses

Oh you guys are good! Yes indeed, it is one of our cloth dinner napkins, that was the object to guess in the picture below. Thanks for playing along!
Love, Rachel

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

All The Way Around...cheer with me...

...all the way around, all the way around the house. The first phase of the house project is finished. The "modern" siding is off and the original clap board is painted, as far up as we can reach with a 16' foot extension ladder. Trust me...there's a ton of trim to replace and repair, but at least everything is uncovered, cleaned and repainted, so we know what there is to work with now. The trim will come in time. It feels great to have the "ecosystem" exposed that lived between the shell of the modern siding and the original. This is the inside view of that same window. I'm ready to shake it up a bit, but the outside project is my priority right now.

I was extremely disappointed when I found the decorative trim missing around the bottom third of our living room window, but I cheered myself with the thought that at least, the whole thing wasn't ripped off and boarded over. So I just kept on scraping, painting and cleaning. I'm happy with the results, until we can do otherwise. The signature I showed you a few days ago was on the window trim on the far right hand side of the window. This photo is of our neighbor's window that is similar. You can see how the out line of the trim would match.

This is a close up of where the trim used to be. Isn't it interesting how you can see those kinds of things all these years later?

Ivory the pet ferret says, "Hello fans!" She's enjoyed all the activity around here the last month. April 23, 2008 through May 23, 2008, we worked on our "project" 17 days, and spent approximately 91 hours! Now bad, huh? Phase 2 will start soon. I'll keep you updated. I'm anxious to plant a few flowers next to the house...can't do that till we're finished.

Have a great day! It's rainy and cold here. I'm looking for another "project" (smile). However, I am also looking for volunteers to scrap the paint from around all of those little tiny glass window panes, if anyone runs out of some thing to do!

Love, Rachel

Please pray for this family! Life Is Fragile...Cherish Each Moment

Steven Curtis Chapman recently wrote and recorded a song entitled "Cinderella". You can see him singing it here and read about the accident in their family yesterday. Please pray for them after they have suffered such tragic loss. Yes, life truly is fragile...treasure each moment.
Love, Rachel

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Cozy Place

Marina from Only Cute Things is sponsoring a fun day today. She asked us to blog about our favorite place in our home. She lives in Argentina and if you click on her blog name in the first line above, you can tour homes all around the world by going to her site and choosing other places to visit. Isn't that fun!?My favorite place changes from time to time. For instance, if it is Thanksgiving...I would probably choose the Dining Room and Thanksgiving table! Or at Christmas time, I might choose one of our other decorated rooms with a favorite Christmas tree. Since we've been working on the house, and I've spent a lot of spare time outside, I will choose this little cozy nook at the end of the back porch.
The "screen door", in the picture above, well now it is in "working order". See it swaying in the breeze? I just tied ribbons around the top board and hooked them over two nails that I put into the porch beam. I used a staple gun and added fabric to the back of the board, then draped it over to one side. It sort of makes a privacy screen. I've got ideas of other things to do to it when I get a chance. This is where I set the door when I first brought it home. But I'm really happy with it at the end of the porch! Of course, there are things I want to change and rearrange, plant flowers and add trim here and there. I'm always doing that, but this is how it is today. I like to sit in this cozy spot on the porch when I take "micro breaks"!

Happy Anniversary Naomi!
Have a wonderful day today. Cherish each moment, each breath!
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Waiting To Hear

Yesterday, our family was surprised to see that one of the comments on yesterday's posting about the Vex Robotics World Championship, came from one of the event planners. Hopefully Joel Carter, Vice President of Marketing, Innovation First, will have some news about the Chinese team soon. If you click here you can go to his web site. The components you see there are the ones that were used in our son's team robot. Needless to say our son was very happy to hear that news. He thinks Mr. Carter spoke at the competition...but not sure!
In other news from "A Romantic Porch" as I was scraping the paint off of a trim board around a window, imagine my surprise to find a "pencil" signature. There is no telling how old that signature is, and obviously the paint over it was very flaky and came right off. When I snapped the photo I was in a hurry and wasn't sure if I got a good shot of it. Apparently I didn't because of the blur, but "Jack Ocker" was there before I was! I didn't think to sign MY name below his for future generations..."Rachel was here"!

A little crop of these popped up unannounced in the yard. We stood over them and discussed what they could possibly be and their origin. It was interesting family conversation I'm here to tell you!

I hope you have a great day.

Love, Rachel

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thoughts and Prayers

Yesterday, China began "National" mourning for the victims of the earthquake in ChengDu, China. Reports that I have seen say there may be as many as 70,000 dead or missing and 5 million without homes. For me this is extremely difficult to comprehend. If you remember my posting about our son's Vex Robotics World Championship, where his team placed 38th...the #1 team was from ChengDu. We have wondered about the team. They stayed in the USA for several days after the competition, and toured New York City. We were told that they went home 2 days before the quake. Our son has searched online to see if he can find anything out about the team, but to no avail. We can't get them off our mind. I think in large part because we saw them be successful and innovative in competition after competition. It was immediately obvious that their robot would take top honors, and then all of the skills in the world are no match for something like this.
When we watched the finals and awards by web cast, that team was so happy and excited! Once they got to the stage, to pose for their picture, they remembered that they wanted their National Flag in the picture so someone rushed it down to them.
My heart is broken for people who are hurting, in pain, and suffering, and the Chinese a world away are no exception. We will probably never know what happened to this team or their families...or their trophy, for that matter! Funny how "things" like top honors and a trophy don't matter when you are faced with trauma and uncertainty.
In spite of the burdens I may bear from time to time, I am thankful that my family is together and safe in an old home with "A Romantic Porch"...well back porch that is!
Have a wonderful day!
Love, Rachel

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Morning Pleasure!

A stroll off the porch to see the flowers on a cool crisp Spring Monday morning, just makes getting up to face the day that much more worth it!
Chives! What do YOU do with chives? I'd like to know.
Oh isn't this iris beautiful? It is the third color that I've had bloom this year. A friend told me that if you take a red tulip, (or any color for that matter) and cut the bulb in half before you plant it, the next time it blooms it will be pink. She called it bleeding out the colors to get new colors. I wonder if this would work with irises, especially since their "roots" are called rhizomes, and not bulbs?
I hope your Monday will be full of pleasure and you will feel the blessings that each moment brings.

Love, Rachel

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just Relaxin' and Restin'

This my dear friends is Ivory, the pet ferret. She's definitely relaxed. I hope you have a restful day.
...HE makes me lie down...
excerpt from Old Testament Psalm 23
Love, Rachel

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Congratulations! And other points of interest!

Today, my niece Naomi, graduates from nursing school. I'm so happy for her. Here are a couple of candles lit in her honor and the two bleeding heart blooms in the picture are symbolic of the intensity of her efforts. She did this while being a wife to her hubby and mommy to four...and a list as long as my arm of other things. Congratulations Naomi! Celebrate!!
In other news here at "A Romantic Porch", it is time for the birthday give-away drawing. Drum roll please and will the "official winner picker" please step to the podium.
#13!! Scrambling to computer to see which person left comment #13...hurry 1,2,3,4,...let's, yes #13 throwing hands in air...there it is, IT IS SHERI from A Pawsh Poodle!! Yay! Sheri! Email me with your address, and a parcel of things I love will be on their way to you! Congratulations! Thank you for your encouragement to just go ahead and eat the heart shaped brownie!

Thank you each and every one wherever and whoever you are for making my "surprise birthday party" such a fun success!

And in the spirit of Saturday morning...once again, I bring to you ...the guessing game. What do you think is in the picture above?
Have a fun filled action packed super de duper Saturday.
Love, Rachel

Friday, May 16, 2008

There Is Still Time...if you hurry!

The stash is still growing for the giveaway that I talked about yesterday. See here is my beloved "Romantic Homes" and it is the current issue. It has been added along with a vintage hankie, and an old spoon. I'll keep you posted as I add more items. Just leave a comment on yesterday's post, and your name will be entered into the drawing. Now I've added a page of "ME" paperdolls from my archived supply and a beautiful old doily. Can you tell in this picture how beautiful the second page of this old music book is?

Today is my friend Esther's birthday. I want to wish her a happy day. And my sweet niece Amy graduates from High School tonight! Wow! Where have the years gone? Have a fun filled, memory packed, fabulous, wonderful day, Amy!

The adorable little book in the photo above is full of interesting thoughts. I wanted to share a couple of quotes with you!
"Happiness in the older years of life, like happiness in every year of life, is a matter of choice ~ your choice for yourself." Harold Azine

"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest." Larry Lorenzoni

So my dear family and friends. Thank you for all the birthday wishes, whether you left them here, called me or emailed me. I appreciated them all so much. It is a blessing and a joy to be remembered by you!

Happy Day!

Love, Rachel

Thursday, May 15, 2008

SSShhhhh! It's A Surprise!

You're invited to another birthday party! Be really quiet though. It's a surprise. Yes, come right on in!
We have heart shaped brownies and coffee to begin the festivities. I will update you with other details and goodies as the day goes along, so feel free to relax, stay a while, or if you are in a hurry drop back by. You know you are always welcome here at "A Romantic Porch".

Each guest will find a beautiful corsage at every place setting. This is complimentary from my husband, affectionately called on this blog, "Mr. Romantic Porch". Wasn't that sweet of him to get flowers for all of you? Well he's just like that you know. I don't believe I would be able to breathe if he weren't around.
Oh! What? Who's the party for? Well me, of course! Today is my birthday! Yay! The day I turned 29, not so long ago (smile) I decided that I would celebrate every birthday in as grand of style as was possibly allowable with the circumstances that the day presented to me. So have fun with me today. I'm collecting little goodies of things I love and cherish to pass along as a birthday gift from me to you. I will update the picture above as I add more items to it. A name will be drawn on Friday evening from all of the comments to receive the birthday gift . If you don't have a blog, be sure to leave an email address.A sweet friend called and asked me if I felt any older. Well no, of course not! Age is only a number! Don't you agree? I want to live life to the fullest, and not have how old I am determining what I accomplish. But I DO feel much more wise and mature! (that's funny) I've learned so many new things this year, like how to email pictures and post them into this to navigate around the blog. I've learned that I love making friends all around the world and how fun it is to stay in touch with family this way! So I guess I'm off to celebrate my 29th birthday for, let's many times have I celebrated my 29th birthday after all?!

Talk to you later

Love, Rachel

Contents of gift package include, but are not limited to: vintage music book, and cherished decorating magazine (Romantic Homes), vintage buttons, a few tea lights, keepsake honeycomb paper decor, etc

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

LeAnn's Porch

LeAnn, at Pink Icing On The Cake has graciously consented to allow us to enjoy sitting for a spell and visiting on her beautiful porch today. It is also featured on my side bar. PPPssstttt... rush over there and wish her Happy Birthday. Yes, a little birdie told me it is today. Come on ya'll, hurry, let's see how many of us can crowd up on the porch and then with great gusto and generosity sing Happy Birthday to You at the top of our lungs. Yeah, come on up, I think we can fit a few more on here. She's rearranged everything, so there should be plenty of room for us. Does that make about 500 of her closest and dearest blogging buddies? Oh goody this is fun. I see punch and cake right there on the table. Someone must have tipped her off that we were coming. As you run past Teri's house tell her to come on and join the fun. It is her birthday today too.
Wow! All these birthdays to celebrate! I don't know if I can stand the excitement. Now tell me, when is your birthday?
Gotta get out of these paint clothes quickly and fluff up my curly hair...I'll see you over at LeAnn's porch!
Love, Rachel

Happy Birthday To You!

Diane and Laurie, I picked this bouquet for your birthday celebration. I think it will look soooo preeeetttttyyy on your table today! The cake and punch is almost ready, so drop back by in a while! I'm still enjoying the bleeding heart plant immensely. I guess that may be an understatement since I've shown it to you now, what is it, a bizallion times? And I'm so excited...the irises have started to bloom. Here is the first color that bloomed. It is a small blossom, and on first glance it appears to be white, but upon closer inspection you will realize that it is the palest and softest shade of lavender. Have you seen the iris bulbs that bloom in the Spring and again in the Fall? I want some of those. I believe they are hybrids. Maybe...I think?
See the clock tower that rises gracefully above our County Courthouse? For all the years we've lived within a block and a half of the Courthouse, the clock tower still intrigues me. Through the day, when I am busy, I can hear it chime away the hours and at night it is a constant companion during a restless dark solitude...ticking tocking chiming, telling me that time is passing, morning will come.

There have been times in the past when the clock got confused...maybe a little dementia from being so old, I don't know, but the clock tower doctors put a big smiley face over it, and worked and worked and worked to repair its' miscalculating internal organs. You see it just won't do for a clock to chime 14 on the hour!

Morning always comes! It's miraculous! Sunrise, sunset, sunrise! One time my sweet sister in law Joy said, "Sometimes the difference between feeling hope and despair, is nothing more than a good nights sleep." I believe that may be true!

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Toots from Glimpses of our World has provided us with another beautiful Spring view of her porch. Enjoy!
Have a beautiful day!

Love, Rachel

P.S. Do you want the homemade ice cream recipe?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yesterday, THE BEST!

Yesterday was wonderful! A beautiful day. All of the ones that belong in our nest were safely inside, snuggled away. What a fun day to rest and relax and celebrate all things "motherhood related" as the wind blew torrents of cold spring rain to water the not so thirsty ground. The homemade ice cream was "delish" ~ delightful ~ delectable ~ "delovely"!
And at the end of the day who wouldn't want to stand in the cold wind and rain, on the back porch here at "A Romantic Porch" to sort through 6 bags of garbage looking for a receipt that had inadvertently been thrown away a mere 2 days ago, after realizing that the recently purchased shoes listed on the receipt were coming apart due to some defective "gene" in them. Yes sirree I did! There are the blue "garbage digging gloves" to prove it! See right there beside the rescued receipt.

Now who in their right mind would dig through 6 bags of garbage at 10 pm (because the trash collector comes at the unearthly hour of 6:30 am on Monday morning) and take pictures to prove it? Then of all things BLOG about it ~~~ for crying out loud! Well, I guess I would (raising hand timidly), because you see that's just what Mothers do! Well, isn't it?
The week is off to a great start! Come again soon for more adventures from "A Romantic Porch".
Love, Rachel

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Can anyone find a lady of noble character? She is worth far more than rubies.
Old Testament Proverbs chapter 31 verse 10 NIV paraphrase
Happy Mother's Day
I wish this today for every lady who reads my blog, whether you have children or not. I believe every lady has a mother's heart, so celebrate today! Even though there can be pain associated with this day, find something to be thankful for and then concentrate on that . Count your blessings.
You, family, friends and cyber friends are one of my blessings.
Love, Rachel