Sunday, August 31, 2008

How can I tell if these apples are ripe and ready to pick? This tree rarely has apples. This year it has quite a few.
Old Testament Proverb
Chapter 12
From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.
Have a "fruitful" day!
Love, Rachel

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Today's What! (Updated)

Yes, what is this? Maybe I should do a little research to make sure I know. Remember how last Saturday went?
I'll be back later!
Love, Rachel
Yep! You're right. It is pepper. And my oh my I'd say you got creative with your answers!
Yes, of course, I'd love to have a salsa recipe. And how do you make roasted peppers? They sound yummy!
I hope your day was fabulous! Or can I just say fabo?
See ya!

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Items In The Boutique!

Click here to see these items!

Last night the boys wanted ice cream...homemade ice cream.
"Mom, we'll go buy anything you need for it."
"We definitely need sugar. Just get Great Value brand."
When they returned home I looked and looked for the sugar. There it was sitting on the floor. Uh hello, where else, of course. I picked it up. What 10 pounds? TEN pounds of white sugar. I almost laughed out loud. I could just see the guys putting this in the shopping cart. I've never bought a ten pound bag of sugar in my entire life. Uumm, not that I'm so old or anything, I just haven't.
This bag should last a while.
Now that is my confession for today (never having purchased a 10# bag of sugar). But you just gotta LLUUVVV a teenage boy/son/man?!
"Thanks mom! It was REALLY good!"
That's all I needed to hear!
Love, Rachel
P.S. Do you like the design on this little dessert dish? It is the same one on the broken plated mentioned a couple of days ago. LUV IT!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I know that the sensation of fall is in the air. I feel it. Don't you?
I think Winnie~the~Pooh calls this feeling "hot chocolatey mornings and roasted marshmallowey evenings".

Though the birds are gone, and the nest is empty, I see warm weather and blue skies. I'm still enjoying summer!

Have a great summer day!

Love, Rachel

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oh yum! We've been enjoying fresh homemade salsa and chips!
I've told you how much I love the pattern on this plate haven't I? I've seen it in several variations of color and design, and I love them all. So far I have found three in this design. Weeelll, now I have two! Yes, I know, it's just a plate...but still it was pretty. And though I thought of all the beautiful mosaics and jewelry that all of you creative blog friends could make from the shattered pieces, I forlornly dropped it into the trash. Yes I did. I'm sure I'll find another one to "love".
I hope you are having a wonderful day!
Love, Rachel

Monday, August 25, 2008

To Cheer You On Monday Morning!! ;)

We were driving on the interstate when my husband laughed and said, "Where's your camera when you need it!" "Oh, it's right here in my purse! I have it right here, I do!" I said, breathlessly scrambling for it in the floor by my feet.
"Did you get it?"
"Yes, I did!"
I couldn't wait to show you this amazing photo. I have no idea how all of these pieces were staying on this little trailer. But I suppose he was headed to the local recycle center to sell it since it all appeared to be metal.

I hope this brought you an early Monday morning chuckle. It certainly brought one to us!
Love, Rachel

Sunday, August 24, 2008

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
New Testament Romans chapter 15 verse 13 NIV
OK, so all I know to do is just keep trusting.
I hope your day is joyful and peaceful.
Love, Rachel

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What? UPDATED: The joke is on me!!!!

I know what this is! Do you? Let me know what you think. I'll be back to tell you soon!

Have a fun Saturday! Is it busy today for you, or a lazy fun day?

Love, Rachel


I said I knew what this little insect is! Well after the responses suggested a cicada, I figured I better not be so sure of myself and do a little research. You see where I grew up in the Southern USA, (well it's south if you live in the north, but it's Midwest if you live in the east and it's east if you live in the west!!!) Did you get all of that? Anyway, in Arkansas, we called these little bugs "locusts", and they have always fascinated me. But when I googled a locust, I found a picture and description of a grasshopper! Imagine my astonishment. But when I googled cicada, I saw a photo of you guessed it................this amazing little bug! In my defense though, the nickname for cicada IS locust!

{smiling smugly ;p}

Last Saturday when I snapped this picture, the bug had just emerged from its' shell to dry and begin an adult life. What amazes me is that we had just parked this car in the driveway a mere 3 hours earlier, and I see no way the "nymph" could have been hanging onto the tire while we drove 65 miles an hour on the interstate. Could it possibly have emerged in 3 hours or less?

So well now, the joke is on me!!! I was going to tell you it is a locust, but instead, I'm now "highly educated" (said as a joke) in this species of insect, and I will tell you it is in fact a cicada! As we'd say in Arkansas, "Y'all were right!"

See it still sitting on the shell? Aren't these wings beautiful?

Love, Rachel

Thursday, August 21, 2008

" Momma, you know what?"
"No, what?"
"I just LOOOVVVE cloud watching."
"Oh really, what's cloud watching?"
" Uh, you know. It's when you lay a blanket on the grass in the back yard. Then you lay down on it and look up at the clouds and say what they look like."
"Oh, this is fun isn't it? I really like that big green fluffy one!"

Giggling. "Momma, that's a tree."

"You're right. It is a tree."

"This one sorta looks like a big chocolate chip cookie!"
"I've had so much fun cloud watching!"
" Now it's time to go in and eat!"
We are savoring the sights, sounds and sensations of summer. What are you enjoying about these beautiful days?
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

House or Home?

Isn't this house adorable? Look at the gently sweeping arches above the porch. I don't know who it belongs to, but I couldn't pass the chance to show it to you.
By the way, when does a house become a home? What makes a house "homey"?
Have a wonderful day.
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thank you for giving me your opinions in the previous posting. The resounding choice among those of you that commented, is to leave the sign red! How neat! It has been fun to see what you "think about pink"!
Several years ago when we moved into this house, there were a few forlorn dusty items left behind in the carriage house. Upon closer inspection, I realized that this sign was among them, and immediately fell in love with it. I dragged it out, scrubbed it off, and a reclaimed treasure was hung with pride right there above the window where it has been all this time. In the spring we took it down to paint behind it and clean it off. Then we hung it again. The back porch just wouldn't be the same without it. I wish I knew where it was used to advertise cotton candy! Hhmmm...I should ask "Mr. Mayor".
I know the sign isn't advertising the color of the candy, but has anyone ever seen red cotton candy?
Love, Rachel

Monday, August 18, 2008

One of my brothers took this photo when he was at our house recently. I love the perspective of this basket in relation to the background. A while ago, I told you I'd tell you about this old cotton candy sign. I haven't forgotten. I keep thinking I will repaint it pink...then I don't know. What do you think?
Happy Monday!
Love, Rachel
P.S. Hey, thanks for the gggrrreeaaat pics, Ray!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Munch Munch Yum!

This corn silk was fresh and shiny. Each cob had rows of neat and crisp kernels. There was one kernel for every piece of silk...weeeelllll, I didn't count them, but that's what the experts say! Isn't the color beautiful? Look at the light reflecting off of the ear.
Oh my, this sweet corn is so delicious. It is the best I've eaten in a long time! On these ears we didn't need butter or salt for this be an unbelievable meal time favorite. Do you love fresh corn on the cob?

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Old Testament Psalm chapter 34, verse 8

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pray on Buggie!

We call this bug Praying Mantis. Or is it Preying Mantis? And who knows what the technical Latin term for it is? I've seen them in several sizes from very tiny (a portion of an inch) to very large (several inches). I showed you a little green one a few days ago, perched on a plant and then he hopped to the porch floor. Can you see this ones green legs and brown body? Doesn't he look fragile? A swat and flick of my wrist would have sent him sailing into oblivion, never to be seen again by man or bird who would probably enjoy this crunchy delicacy. Does he creep you out?
He was perched on the bow that adorns the rocking chair. He would slowly flex his legs which in turn caused him to gently sway from side to side. He meticulously rotated his triangular head back and forth, back and forth. Since he was sitting on the chair in a favorite spot here at "A Romantic Porch", I tried to ask him what he was praying about! Somehow our lines of communication were blocked! All amazing! And another sight of summer. Linger long summer!

Have a wonderful day.
Love, Rachel

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Guests

Have I shown you this old black and white photo? Apparently it was taken soon after the homes on this street were completed. Our home is second from the right. At the time we purchased our house it was owned by the mayor of our little town and his wife. They had raised their five children here. When we closed on the purchase, she gave us this snapshot. She said, "I want you to have this old photo of the house. I always wanted to restore the front porch. And the house is big enough in which to raise five children!" Thank you JoAnn! I want to restore the front porch too.

We don't have five children. We have three. I'm so thankful that we have been allowed these years to raise them in our home. I think they are special guests, passing through, precious ones worthy of my best hospitality while they entertain us with their wiles and whims, comedy and yes, many times wisdom. I want them to feel loved and safe. I want them to feel treasured and special. Sometimes life can deal us blows that knock the wind out of our sails, but we still have love. Sometimes our best, is far below our expectations! All I can do is my best today.
Tell your kids you love them.
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sights of Summer

Each summer when we drive along the county roads which trace their way through fields of tall stalks of ripening corn, I enjoy the wild flowers along the road. My favorite every year are these beautiful morning glory flowering vines.
Using the cornstalks for support they lift themselves skyward and show their pretty faces. For me, it's a simple joy and sight of summer.

Have a wonderful summer day.
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

School! Already?

Summer sighs. So do I. School begins. Already? Yes, ready or not.
Have I done everything I could with the circumstances I've had to make this summer memorable and fun? I've tried, oh yes I've tried. Today is a new day. A day to celebrate and make more memories. I won't look back and feel the pull of regret. I've done my best. I won't look to tomorrow and feel the fear of uncertainty. I will embrace today. I will find today's joy!

Have a wonderful day too!
Love, Rachel

Monday, August 11, 2008

College and Beyond

My parents had 10 children who went to college. When I as the youngest was ready to leave and go to college, of course finances were part of the discussion. My mother told me when my first brother was ready to leave, and go to college, she was so overwhelmed with having to pay the bill. She said they had just purchased this chest freezer in the photo above, and she thought, "Well, if we need to, we can always sell the freezer to help with the bill." That was in the late 50's and the freezer is still in our family. Of course, it wasn't old and rusty then. I think it looks pretty good to be so old. They never had to sell it.

Isn't life interesting...the ups and downs and highs and lows. "Stuffed bunny" says, "Come on, let's go make today be a great day." Many times it's all in how we look at it, isn't it?

Love, Rachel

P.S. Yes, we do wash our stuffed animals around here...but we use the washing machine instead! Petite princess took this photo, and it made me laugh! I hope it makes you laugh too!

Friday, August 8, 2008

An Update

I think an earthquake is such an amazing phenomenon! Yes scary, but still amazing! As far as I know we were not having one when this photo above was taken!
Many of you may remember when I shared in this posting in May, about the Chinese team who won the Championship for the Vex Robotics Competition, and wondered if they were affected by the quake in China. To the amazement of my family and me, a person who helped to plan the Competition, Mr. Joel Carter, left a comment on that posting. We received a follow up email yesterday. I have copied it to this blog posting for those of you who may be interested.
Sorry for the delay but it’s taken all summer for word to filter back that none of the students on the VEX robotics teams from Chengdu, China we’re impacted by the earthquake. Please pass this good news along to anyone who might be interested. Our thoughts are with those who were less fortunate in this tragic event.

Joel Carter
VP Marketing
Innovation First, Inc.
1519 Interstate 30 West
Greenville, TX 75402

With the opening ceremonies of the Olympics beginning today, I think it is so exciting to be bringing this news to you. And Mr. Carter, I appreciate your consideration in letting us know this information.

Speaking of the Olympics, I hope and pray that all of the athletes and spectators at the Olympics will be safe, and these next days will truly be a celebration of mental focus and physical skill and endurance.

Have a wonderful Friday.

Love, Rachel

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Does this make you think of a lazy summer day?

This hot air balloon floated over our home yesterday.
I've never ridden in one. Have you?
Enjoy your day.
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Healthy Living

About 9 years ago, through a series of events, I quit drinking AS MUCH (key words there) pop. Now I don't know if that is a grammatically correct way to say it or not, but I just quit "living on" Dr. Pepper, and Pepsi. Don't know why...I just loved the stuff. But I realized that it was not good for me and cut WAY back...sometimes not drinking any for extended periods, other times drinking very little. Around here, many times days are measured in how many days it's been since drinking pop.

During the season of lent the "thing" my sons and I would generally give up?...yep, pop! Pop that's what we call it in our family. It's never been an issue with Mr. Romantic Porch. He can take it or leave it. But I crave it! Unless we are entertaining guests, I don't buy it anymore for our home. If we have it we have to go somewhere to get it. That way it is an effort to indulge!

I'm so proud! Both of our sons early this year quit drinking pop. All on their own they started drinking water. One son does have it occasionally, but the other one is drinking exclusively water. We never told them to do such a thing. We've just tried across these 9 years or so to make healthy choices, and it is so neat to see them grasp the concept too.

OK, so now you know way more about us than you asked for, but there it's healthy living posting!
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Today we had an early morning thunderstorm. In the darkness of an infant morning I heard the majestic sounds of thunder rumbling, lightning flashing and rain hitting the roof in a soft and persistent patter. I wanted to curl up like Ivory, our son's little white ferret, and nestle back to let nature lull me to a drowsy slumber.

But alas, morning has spoken, peaking over the horizon, calling me to embrace a new day!
So here I am! I will try my best to listen with more intensity, laugh with more joy, and love more deeply!
Happy Birthday Linda! I hope it is a wonderful day for you!
Love, Rachel

Monday, August 4, 2008

August Featured Porch...or Romantic Terrace!

You know how much I love romantic porches. As the sweltering heat of August and beautiful rays of intense summer sunshine begin their ascent toward fall, I have a perfectly refreshing and cozy place of relaxation and repose to share with you.
The photo above shows what Kathryn Bechen calls her Tea Balcony by the sea, which overlooks the beautiful Hyatt resort in the center of sunny San Diego, CA. For the 28th anniversary of her marriage to her husband Steve, she prepared this delightful private dinner and served it here on her "tea balcony." I ask you, "How could anything be more romantic?"
Kathryn's blog inspires me in many ways. I have learned she is a professional organizer and I'm inspired to glean tidbits of organizational skills from her. She is also a published writer who inspires me to be a better writer and more "in touch" with those who read what I write.
If you love to visit Bed and Breakfast Inns, Kathryn is the friend and B&B advisor for you! She and Steve have visited 63 Bed and Breakfasts in 17 U.S. states, and she has recently started a new blog called Bed and Breakfast Bliss to share those adventurous occasions. Since I have never had the opportunity to visit a B&B, I enjoy living those experiences vicariously through her, and the last B&B she shared with her readers was the ultimate!

I know you will enjoy meeting this lovely lady and learning about the diversity of her life experiences. Kathryn has given me permission to use the photographs of her terrace, and you will see them on her blog also.

Have a wonderful August day sweet readers, and if you get too hot, just drop by Kathryn's "Tea Balcony," for a cool refreshing breeze and maybe some yummy strawberries!

Love, Rachel

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
Old Testament Psalm chapter 3 verse 5 NIV

Friday, August 1, 2008

A New Day

Morning light.
The dawn of a new day.
A fresh start.

The day awaits.
Happy Friday, sweet friends.
Love, Rachel