Thursday, July 31, 2008

Loving Summer

What could speak more eloquently of summer than a fresh bouquet of

wild Sweet Peas and Queen Anne's Lace, picked from the wild grass of a vacant lot?

Even the walk and the "picking" was a summer adventure. It was a time to reflect and explore.

Queen Anne's Lace, exquisite beauty,
truly a work of art.

Another work of art is YOU. Yes, you dear sweet blog friends! Those of you who are so faithful to comment, email and call, I just want you to know how much I appreciate it and I do not take it for granted. So while I've been living all of the summer adventures our life has presented, you've been right there and I just want to give you this "Sweet Pea Bouquet" of friendship. You are special, an exquisite work of art like the "Queen Anne's Lace", beauty in each fragile petal!
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One Step At A Time

Have you ever thought about
how inconvenient life would be without stairs?

No way to go up or come down without jumping, climbing a ladder or simply doing without! What would life be without stairs?

As crazy as it may sound, I'm thankful for stairs, yes...just plain ole' stairs. And in life...well...just one step at a time, will get me from point A to point B. I know that's not a hugely philosophical thought, just a reminder to myself for today, to be thankful for the step I'm on!
Have a wonderful Wednesday, ya'll!
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I love paintings of children, or figurines depicting children...I've shown you some of them in previous blog postings. So when, through a series of events, this pair came into my possession, I have displayed them with pride. And I didn't even need to spray paint them white!! Imagine.

I think they are adorable. In the past when I've seen this pair, I thought it was a boy and a girl, a bust silhouette of Pinkie and Blue Boy, but hhhhmmmm, now I dunno. One of my sisters has a pair, maybe we could get them all together for a visit! Well, that was just a thought. And I'd just love to know what was going through the creative mind of the person who originally thought to sculpt an image and stop it right there...we'd seen enough. Maybe if I was the one with the hammer and chisel in hand pinging away at a piece of marble I'd understand, huh?

We're all a work in progress. Can't stop short!
Happy Tuesday!
Love, Rachel

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's No Secret

It's no secret. I'm pretty sure these are mushrooms of some kind. In our area people hunt for Morales (I have no idea if that is spelled correctly...maybe blogger does). That means they go on a mushroom hunt. I've never been on one, a mushroom hunt, that is. I should put that on my life list of things to remember to do. It sounds interesting...or fun...or is it both?
Anyway when the atmosphere and conditions are such that the Morales are thriving (I suppose that's how it happens...sounds good anyway) it's time for the morale hunters to do their job. Armed with a paper sack, hiking boots, a long bladed knife away they go in the cover of secrecy. Yes, secrecy, and I suppose they also are wearing a full line of clothing, however, I don't know, for absolute certain, if they take a paper sack and long bladed imagination just suggests to me that those would make the hunt more endurable and profitable.
Now back to the secrecy part...from what I understand these mushrooms grow in the wild. But the locations of the best mushroom patches are heavily guarded family secrets, passing from generation to generation. I have a friend who found a "NEW" patch. (Until a neighbor accused him of stealing THEIR mushrooms and the mushrooms were to be returned at once! How was he to know that the newly discovered patch was their quietly guarded generational secret?) Oh great joy! He was able to harvest 5 pounds of mushrooms. Just think of the fried feast. Yes, feast! You see, a Morale hunter batters and fries these mushrooms and eats them. I'm not sure if they share or not! I've never eaten them either. AND I have no idea what a Morales looks like, but just in case "these (in the photo above) are they", (probably bad grammar, but I wanted to say it that way anyway!!!) it is NO secret. I can tell you exactly where they are!

So now if you aren't totally confused by this whole story, I have just 3 questions for you?
...Did I make you hungry?
...Wanna take a woodland hike?
...Make a list of mushrooms to research?

And for some unknown reason, I think maybe I'm about to decide that these mushrooms creep me out. Well whatever you decide to do with your summer Monday, I hope it is happy.
Love, Rachel
P.S. I still don't know if I have spelled Morale correctly (I'm just totally in the dark about these amazing fungi) but if you're a mushroom will be able to correct know, oh, yes, I know you know! This has been so fun to write to research!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blessings and Love

This fabulous brick and stone edifice with magnificent stained glass windows is the home of a Church in our town. It is a half block from our "romantic porch". I took this photo from there. Each day at 10 AM, 12 Noon and 4 PM beautiful music comes from the bell tower. When I have an opportunity to hear the music, I stop and pause to see if I know the words to the tune they are playing. Many times after the last musical notes have floated to an inaudible vibration, the words continue to run through my mind tracing a path across my thoughts as I remember blessings and love.
This week the words playing and replaying were, "Oh God, our help in ages past...our strength in days to come."
Have a blessed and love fill day!
Rest, enjoy!
Love, Rachel

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's A that is!

Yesterday we saw this amazing creature sniffing around the spot where I put food out for stray animals...string animals as they seem to be called in our household. No, I don't know why "string". It appeared to be a cat with an incredibly interesting color, a long slender neck and large prominent ears AND no tail. See NO TAIL...isn't that interesting? We quickly gave it a tuna sandwich, though the "tuna" was actually chicken! Does that make sense? Oh well, never there you have the answer to the question in the post below. It is a stray Manx Cat.
Thanks for guessing along with me.
Love, Rachel

Yay! It's Saturday!

Take a guess. What is this? I'll be back later to see what you think! Have a fun Saturday!

Love, Rachel

Friday, July 25, 2008

So Happy!

...solid oak, dovetailed drawers...
...a rescued treasure with cheery, chippy old blue paint...

...clean, fresh and happy, holding freshly starched vintage linens...

...they're so happy! so am I!...
What have you rescued lately?
Love, Rachel

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's All Clean

No, I'm not airing our "dirty laundry", it's all clean! Funny thing...the twine that I use for a line, stretches as more and more clothes are added, so I just use the pretty rocking chair from A Romantic Porch, to hold the line up and the clothes continue to dry. Until I get a new line, I love this one! When we replace the dryer, I'm heading to the local auction house to get it. They have some really sweet deals. Don'tcha just love "wind blown" clothes, as my second son aptly calls them?
Have a fun "wind blown" day!
Love, Rachel

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Pitcher Full of Lemonade?

OOps! Nope! That's not lemonade, just a candle. But what could make a lazy summer day more special than fried chicken, yummy food, and a candle burning?
Well, yesterday was a fun summer day. After church yesterday morning we had a mid-summer youth event at our home. It was a blast to have our house bursting at the seams with the energy of about 60 fun friends, teenagers and some adults. The fried chicken in the photo above wasn't from yesterday, but Becky sure served "up" some awesome hamburgers and hot dogs!

At one point a thunderstorm clapped and boomed its way over us, and pelted just enough rain to make the grass slick and sticky. Next time we're all hanging out, drop by, I believe love and fun makes a house grow. There is always room for one more! We found out when we all went inside for the thunderstorm!

Have a fun day!
Love, Rachel

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What Is This?...a porch picnic

You know I love to play a guessing game on Saturday, don't you? What is this? Instead of coming back later and telling you, I'll just give you the scoop right now. How 'bout that!
This is a "porch picnic" prepared by the petite princess here at "A Romantic Porch". That's right, it was her idea, she found the items and packed it, dragged it to the porch, set it up AND called it a porch picnic.

I was quiet impressed by her selection. Where are the chips? "Come on, Momma! This will be SSOOO fun!" All I had to do was show up. And it was fun. It just took a few minutes to share that joy! A little break in the routine.

The big black picnic ant showed up too. I first saw him inspecting the basket, but he scurried along the edge of the quilt so quickly that I caught him in motion here. How did he know? I don't think she invited HIM!
Have a fun day!
Love, Rachel

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Party

It's not a party without popcorn, hey?
Some of you have been asking to see photos of the party we had for our son's graduation. The night before he graduated we had a small party with the family members who traveled in for his graduation. We don't live near most of our family, so that was a very special time for us. I have already posted those photos here.

However, it is a HUGE custom in our area to throw a party for all of the friends of the graduate, called a Graduation Open House. Many graduates have their party on the same day they graduate, however our son and his friends chose to space theirs out across several weekends so they could all go around to each others party.

We had a guest book to sign as a keepsake and a photo framed with a mat for his friends to write well wishes. It was a lot of fun and we had the honor of entertaining 120+ friends on that special day. We served grilled pork loin, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, assorted yummy cookies, cheese ball and crackers, chips and dip, veggies, lemonade punch, bottled water, soft drinks and of course POPCORN as evidenced by the quaint popcorn popper in the photo at the top of the posting.

It is hard to believe that this memorabilia represents a new right of passage in our family, but time passes and we are grateful for the children we have and the love we share as a family.

Thank you to each person who has made a contribution to his life. He is a fine young man. Best of all...he's my son!
Love, Rachel

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My...And So I Did...posting for the day!

Many times in the Fall, I enjoy putting candles in jars and arranging them on the porch steps or in the flower beds. They make such a warm homey glow when lit.
This Summer I've enjoyed lighting candles in this "flower garden". I get candles at yard sales and thrift stores, or after Christmas clearances when they are cents on the dollar, so I enjoy lighting them and using them a lot. There is almost always a candle lit in our home.
They look so pretty casting their glow in the evening.

How could our neighbors do such a thing? They were throwing these fabulous flower pots away. There they were languishing beside the street and trash bins, begging me all the while in a very loud voice, "Rachel, please come rescue us!" There were TWO of them. How could I resist? I asked our neighbors just to make sure they REALLY WERE getting rid of these two prestigious vessels for soil.
"Why sure!" they said. "Take 'em." SO I DID. My heart was pounding with excitement. I think it will take about 50lbs of potting soil to fill them. I don't have that right now, but I'm enjoying them anyway. The ferns look so pretty nestled down inside, but come to think of it, I think I'll go out and set a brick over in the bottom to raise the potted fern up just a bit. What do you think? When I have soil, I would love to have them bursting with color!

Our teenage sons were coming home after dark with one of Daniel's two best friends...the one mentioned in the previous post. I had the light on for them...well the candlelight that is. Yes, when they pulled in the drive, there were these candles casting a rosy glow across the porch and steps. No, I don't know what they thought. Remember they are teenage boys. I may never know. Maybe they realize that's just what Mom does. Or yet again, it may be one of those things I'll hear about years later. Who knows? But I like to light them, the candles that is, and SO I DID.
Have a wonderful day.
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Proud To Report Another Birthday

You know from reading my blog that I believe we should cherish each moment. Life is a fragile jewel, a gift.

Nine years ago, our second son developed a friendship that has lasted as a close friend across this time. These 2 boys are best friends. Consequently, this boy's mother has become a wonderful friend to me.
June 25, 2008, after a flurry of testing within a few days, she was diagnosed with ampullary carcinoma, stage 4. This is an incredibly rare form of cancer. We were shocked with this news given to such a strong busy lady, and reeled with grief as humanly speaking, Melody was given a devastating diagnosis.
Time is precious and valuable to this couple and their four children. Three of their 4 children are the same age as ours, so this feels so close to home.

I know many of you believe in the miraculous healing power of prayer...this is her need. If you should feel the urgency to pray for Melody and her husband and her 4 young children, I will be grateful. There are simply no words, but hope, faith and trust, take hold.
Today is Melody's birthday.
Happy Birthday Melody!
I am trusting our Heavenly Father to give you many many more wonderful days of celebration.
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Niece and My Mother's Voice

Today is one of my nieces birthday. I believe I was 10 years old when she was born. Jannell was a real life doll baby and one of those tiny little souls anyone would love with a quiet, compliant and sweet personality.
The bicycle in the photo above is the one I rode for most of my childhood. It wasn't in style then either, but I have many fun memories zipping up and down the hills of dirt and gravel all around my home. It was mostly sky blue with white stripes and quite a bit of rust. I loved this bicycle. In 2000 when Daddy sold the home in which I grew up, it was very important to me to make sure I got this bicycle. Since I've had it, it has continued to rust and now I don't believe there is any blue left on it. I know, that's sad isn't it?
I would put a towel and pillow in the basket for "padding" and sit Jannell down in the pile of fluff. She would hang on for dear life as we rode along with the wind in our hair and the dust covering our sun kissed freckled faces. I can still see her tiny fingers gripped around the upper wire rim. She didn't laugh or squeal, only expressed silent joy with her entire being. My mother would say, "Now Rachel, you be careful. I don't want that baby to get hurt!" I was. She didn't. We're both here and I just want to wish her a very happy day.
Happy Birthday Jannell!
Love, Rachel

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Step By Step

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.
Old Testament Proverbs chapter 14 verse 15 NIV
A friend was getting rid of this adorable shabby pink bench. How could I resist that? I think it makes a perfect "flirting bench" for our "romantic porch"! It's so tiny that you would surely need to sit closely!...and those precious footprints...well, they're just another whimsical touch from one who fills our home with love and laughter! Oh yeah, and the notches in the old tongue and groove fir wood flooring, came from a squirrel who apparently thought it would be a yummy place to sharpen his two front teeth...(or is it four ?)...anyway he notched the flooring in no time flat!
Have a restful day today!
Love, Rachel

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fresh Strawberry Cream Pie

The birthday boy wanted pie!
And so being the doting mother that I am (smile) he had pie! MMMmmm was it ever yummy!! The new driver is doing great. His mother (me) holds her breath and hangs on! It is so interesting to me with riding in a car almost everyday of his life, how there are things he still has to learn. I remember this with our 18 year old. It amazed me then too.

After receiving 100%, on his written test, the reward was the keys to the Yukon and a stint behind the wheel. Now who could tell a kid "no"? Just a few minutes down the road, a dog ran into the road right in front of us, and narrowly escaped with his life. He was so close to the car when he entered the street. Interestingly enough a similar thing happened on our eldest sons second time behind the wheel, only that time, it was three deer. How did the animals know to jump out at the last minute and give the new drivers a scare and test of their driving skills? Needless to say there was a flurry of conversation and comparison of "new driver stories".

Well ta ta for now! Keep us in your prayers!
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Son!

July 8, 8:26 a.m. I heard you cry! And so I cried!
Now your big brother had a permanent playmate. I was happy! What could be more perfect?

But now that you are 16 today, it is time to explore new ideas, options and interests.
You put away your little toy cars. I saved all of them. You will soon drive a real one.

I held you and rocked you until you outgrew my lap. You will never outgrow my love. Happy Birthday, Daniel.
I love you, Mom