Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Our best gift!
Happy Christmas Eve.
There is a little game that comes from Mr. RP's side of the family that you play by being the first one to say, "Happy Christmas Eve Gift". That's it! I really don't know the background of it, but if you are the first one to say it on Christmas Eve, you are the winner. I don't know who won in our household this year, um, maybe me!
So, happy Christmas Eve gift to you too!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December Featured Porch

When we travel for 10 or 12 hours, over the river and through the grandmother and grandfather's house, this is the romantic porch that welcomes us at the end of a long tiring journey. Today is the wedding anniversary of my mother and father in law. December is a special month for them and I thought it would be so fun to feature the ones who gave my husband the gift of life. For that I have undying gratitude. It is truly a gift that continues to give!
This is what my mother in law had to say about their darling front porch. "The Christmas Season is such an important time of the year to me. It is the time of year that I met my husband and then 2 years later we married, just in time to get our own little tree for our very first Christmas together. My husband and I both enjoy the lights of Christmas so much and enjoy sharing them with our neighborhood, by lighting up our porch and the front of our house, we are sharing goodwill with them. Our neighborhood is so pretty right now.
When one lights their porch and house, it seems to inspire others too. I believe because Jesus is the light of the world, that is why we use so many sparkling dancing lights at Christmas time to show our joy of the season."
So Mom and Dad, thank you for being willing to share your romantic porch with us. Happy Anniversary. I'm sure you'll celebrate. Most of all, thank you that your family included my very own "Mr. RP"! I love you too!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yes, I Am Still Blogging!

No I haven't stopped blogging. Thank you so much for emailing or letting me know you miss me. I miss you too. In fact I think about this a lot and all of the people I've met and great friends I've made. The world wide web is amazing, I tell ya! But you already know that.
I have so much to mind never stops, but how much of it is of interest to all y'all out there, or am I just processing the daily routine of our lives?
And update...
The college son is home for the holidays. He was interviewed yesterday for an article in the February issue of the University magazine.
The high school son is participating in a leadership conference today with one of our US Senators. He's one of two chosen from his high school.
The little girl finally figured out what she wants for Christmas. Ah, the excitement of childhood.
Mr. Romantic Porch feels terribly that we're having such fits with this computer.
Mrs. Romantic Porch is working on a "fund raising idea" to buy a new computer!!!
Since the first of November I've done alterations or redesigns on 45 garments and made 6 window treatments...gotta get off of here and finish up two dresses before 10:45 am for gala/parties tonight and tomorrow.
The dress in the photos only needed to be enlarged by 8 1/2 inches. It was an amazing MILANO creation!
And so, I will be back!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Because I Don't Want to Forget

She said with excitement in her voice that she gets to see a REAL LIVE "vet~re~n" at school today! I just wonder what she thinks a REAL LIVE "vet~re~n" looks like!
I'll find out this afternoon!
Isn't it interesting when the kiddos are tucked in bed and it is time to turn out the lights that they love to talk about their day...the words just seem to flow as though they have to get it all said before you leave the room. At least that is the way it has been across the years in our household.
A couple of nights ago she was talking about her day and she said, "You know how the sun was digesting the water!"
An adult with "proper perspective" would have corrected her and explained how the sun was causing the water to evaporate.
I didn't correct her...because I don't want to forget to see life though the innocent eyes of a child's perspective.
Have a wonderful day.
xo rachel

Monday, November 9, 2009

November Featured Porch

Hello sweet blog friends. It is with great joy and extreme excitement that I am able to share with you another blog post and the November 2009 Featured Porch. Due to patient and heroic efforts of Mr. Romantic Porch, he was able to get our "elderly" computer to be cooperative and Sharon at Rose of Sharon is our featured porch. So take a look and enjoy her gorgeous photos and what she says about her romantic porch." I love fall and I love to decorate, so what's a girl gonna do? LOL!
A few years ago I found this fabulous old cast iron pot at a church rummage sale. It was all rusty and beat up, but I thought it would go perfectly on the front porch for fall with floating candles in it.
I added acorns to the water for an added fall touch. We don't have an acorn tree, so I went down to the high school where there is an oak tree and got down on my hands and knees and picked up all these acorns. People probably thought I was going nuts! Get it...nuts....hee-hee! :0) I was a bit disappointed that most of them sunk to the bottom, only a hand full of them floated, but you can still see them and they add a little drama!
I stacked some old wooden fruit crates to create this little display area by the front door. Most of these items are just things that I found in our garden shed.
Here's what our porch looks like at night with the candles lit.
I know I have a lot of things on the porch, but it is nice because I will leave it all up until I bring out my Christmas decorations. It is very fun and rewarding for me to decorate my home for each season and holiday. I love the homeyness it brings and my family appreciates it too."

Sharon, thank you for sharing your beautiful porch with us. It truly casts a romantic atmosphere for those who come to your front door.

Please visit
Sharon and tell her you saw her beautiful porch.
Have a wonderful day. I'm so excited to finally have another blog posting!
xo rachel

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Let's Try This Again!

Well, the computer still isn't new, and neither is this car, but I thought I'd try again to navigate the computer and see if I can do a blog posting. Besides I thought it would be fun to take a little drive around our neighborhood and show you just how beautiful it is this time of year.
Our neighbor set their pumpkins out a few days ago.

I absolutely love seeing these fabulous buildings through the branches of this beautiful tree.

This tree simply glows with color.

And inside...I had the privilege of working on a "fall color" evening gown. You know, the kind of work that the "professionals" told them was impossible.

Don't let my seam ripper hear anyone say impossible!

She was thrilled with the results. And on a side note, I've never been one to take photos of the things I work on. One of my friends has told me for years to take pictures, and so has Mr. RP...I'm trying y'all. Really I am! Now I've been asked to "bring in" my portfolio. What? Me, a portfolio? Oh, yeah, sure! I'll be right in. So I'm trying to make one online.
Can you tell where I fixed the gown? Neither could she! Yay! That was the goal!
Doesn't it just crack you up when you see how easy this is? Just take it up under each arm 1 and 5/8 of an inch! That. is. all!
The "professionals" could make a new one start to finish, but it was impossible to change this one.
Well, I could make a new one start to finish too, but why not make this one work just fine? So that is what we did!
It was fun!
I guess it doesn't take much for me to have fun, does it?
But back to the neighborhood... in the summer this tree above our next door neighbor's carriage house, just looks like one huge green puff. Each fall, it is fun to realize that it is actually two trees growing extremely close to each other.
This area of our street takes my breath away in each season. I've taken photos of it laden with ice and snow and bursting forth with the new life of spring. Sometime when I have nothing else to do, I need to go through all of my photos and put the ones of just this view all together!

Look at this glorious color. I see it everytime I look out my kitchen window. Yes, I know the fence needs paint, but it is easy to overlook when you spend your time contemplating the wonders of the miracle of autumn.
I hope you enjoyed our little trip around the neighborhood. Now I'll see if the computer will let me truly show you!
xo rachel

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just So You Know

I haven't quit blogging!
We are having problems with our computer.
I am very careful about what I do and when I am on it.
Our computer's main purpose it to produce survey drawings with an AUTO CAD program. She is very very old, ten years old in fact.
Yep, I know we need a new one.
Until then we're taking care of what we have.
So she gets pampered a lot! She doesn't like me to leave comments or follow or scroll through blogs that have a lot of fancy things to do. Sometimes I think she makes me look "plum stuck up"!
And for all of you who have asked to be my friend on Facebook...she growls about that too. Just says, "Hrmph!" and grinds down to a stop. But I love you anyway!
I still have a gillion things I want to tell you, and all kinds of things I want to show you. As soon as I can I will! I promise.
Thank you for following me and visiting me anyway!
I don't know why you keep coming back, but I'm so grateful that you do!
Just so you know.
xo rachel

Friday, October 9, 2009

This Really Works!

It would be rare to visit our home and not find a bowl of fruit or fresh veggies!
Ugh, oh my the fruit flies.
They drive me crazy this time of year.
I've even kept the fruit and veggies on the back porch to keep the fruit flies out there!
Sharon shared an idea that works wonderfully.
Ah, bless her!
This is what you do:
Put a few drops of Dawn dish detergent in the bottom of a glass and then add about 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to the Dawn. My family gags with the smell of vinegar...but I did it anyway! Poor dears! But they haven't missed the little critters one tiny bit!
I used one of my vinegar cruets. I think they are cute and aren't mistaken for a dirty glass sitting on the counter. You don't even have to have the mixture by the fruit. I actually like to have it in a obscure place so the flies are attracted to go over there instead.
The fruit flies go right to it and sink to the bottom of the glass. In a couple of days, if I start seeing flies again, I add a tiny bit more vinegar.
This is amazing. It makes me so happy.
And so, I hope you have a happy day too, even if it takes a little bit of vinegar and dish detergent to do it!
xo rachel
p.s~please spare me the embarrassment if I'm the only one in the entire world with fruit flies and sympathize with me anyway ;)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ladybug Fly Away Home!

And so we were out doing a boundary survey. Of course there was ample opportunity for me to observe nature and look at the bark on trees and such interesting things as that. Why oh why didn't I have the camera? I used my phone camera instead in an attempt to show you this colony of Ladybugs that have clustered onto the bark of these two trees and the fence that goes between them. Yep, those little blurry red dots are gobs and gobs of really really red Ladybugs! It was 47 degrees. Were they trying to get warm?
Then there was the Preying Mantis so perfectly camouflaged on the fence post that I almost put my hand on him. He twisted his triangular shaped head from side to side and did a backwards dance away from the uncertainty of what my pink phone camera might do to him. Ah, see those huge black walnuts (yep~those green little balls) lying all over the ground. I wanted to take every single one of them home with me. But I didn't pick them up. No not one. Oh, such discipline!
I just wanted you to see what I saw. I knew you'd find it interesting too!
When you were a kid did you chant this rhyme?
Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home.
You're house is on fire
your children will burn!
We did!
Where in the world did that come from?
Have a great day, however you spend it...chanting rhymes, observing insects...whatever makes you happy...
xo rachel

Monday, October 5, 2009


The guidance counselor at our daughter's school is such a neat lady. I've enjoyed the times that I've had an opportunity to chat with her and our daughter thinks she's great. She writes for our local paper. In a recent article she told of her father's involvement with "The Optimist Club" across his adult life, then she shared the optimist creed. Until then I'd never read or seen it.
I've pondered it a lot since then. It is interesting "food" for thought.
The Optimist Creed
"Promise Yourself
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble."
The next to the last phrase...fits me to a "T"! I definitely don't have time to be critical of others. I'd better scram and get this day on the move! Have an optimistic day!
xo rachel

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30th Really?

September oh, September! Where are you? You've come and gone in a flash. My head is spinning you've gone so quickly. I just can't keep up!
xo rachel

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Didn't Mind

Thank you for your sweet comments about progress here at "A Romantic Porch". Remember a couple of blog postings ago when I told you about a summer thunder shower that blew over with great fury? I'd just finished painting a small section of the dark shingled area up high. The rain washed part of the wet paint away. I sat on the back porch while the rain pelted to the ground and savored watching the rain drops bounce as they landed. Our little girl ran around with the umbrella laughing and twirling. Our son went to the street and pulled leaves from the metal grate that was restricting a large volume of water from gushing into the city storm drain.
Soon the rain was gone, the sun appeared and then slowly in the eastern sky this beautiful miraculous bow arched its' way across the horizon. In fact there were 2 rainbows that day, but for some reason our son only got this photo of one on his cell phone camera. We stood in the back yard and watched in amazement as their colors slowly painted the sky and then as they reached peak brilliance, they lingered for probably half and hour as we enjoyed them.
So the next evening I repainted the small section of wood that had the paint washed away. But I didn't mind...not one little bit.
Who would complain after witnessing such brilliance after a thunderous rain shower?
It was a great reminder to keep watching for small joys and blessings. Sometimes the reminders are written across the sky.
xo rachel

Friday, September 25, 2009

Here It Is!

It is still raining. See the rain dripping off my umbrella?
But I took this photo to show you.
When I was going through all of my house photos, I realized that I did not have a single photo of the front of our house, except this one that I took last year after we took off a layer of cement siding and painted the original siding. This is the reason my blog is called "A Romantic Porch" and I love to feature other porches. Some day we hope to have our own "romantic porch" restored to the front of our home. Years and years ago, probably 70 or so, our home was converted into an upstairs and downstairs apartment, and the porch was ripped off...gasp!

Mr. Romantic Porch spent his birthday money on trim boards for our house. They were torn off when the "modern cement siding" was put on! He could have paid bills or bought himself a new pair of jeans, but he's sweet like that, so he just bought wood! And he bought himself several hours of hard work. smile sigh
This is where a door for the apartment was. The hole obviously was quickly repaired before the modern siding went on.
Before the door was put in for the apartment, a beveled window like you see on our neighbor's wall was taken out. I hope we can find a window to put back in our wall, sometime.
But for now, the wall is all fixed nice and smooth. I painted right along behind them as quickly as they could get the wood up. Yes, we worked as late as we could, Saturday and Labor Day and a few other evenings since then.
He found the wires for both doorbells, downstairs and upstairs. Our downstairs doorbell works.

Looks like they were walking on the wall up there doesn't it?

So that's it...3 sections done. The side, front, and right side that wraps around to the chimney. I didn't take a photo of that. We don't have safe ladders or scaffolding to do the top part yet, so we will work on another section of the, I guess when we have more birthday money! And someday, there will be "A Romantic Porch" right here on our house.
Have a great day!
xo rachel

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Can Almost See

On Tuesday evening it rained so hard it washed the fresh paint away. Uugh!
I love to sit on the back porch with the candles lit while a summer thunderstorm rolls overhead.
On Wednesday, neighbors periodically came by to look and talk and eventually darkness set in before I had the final photo.
And so I will ask you to wait just one more day. I'm sure the suspense is killing you...or not!
xo rachel

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just A Hint

Mr. Romantic Porch had a birthday a few days ago. He received some money for his birthday. I will show what he spent it on in a day or so. I just have to take one more photo...when it stops raining! ;)
But we need rain AND it's supposed to rain for 3 days. However it has been raining in short bursts, so there's still hope!
I'm really not teasing you. OR am I?
xo rachel

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Contented As A Cow

I climbed the fence, tiptoed past piles of cow plops, sloshed though a muddy little creek, walked up a tiny hill along a path cut by the hooves of the cattle. Mr. RP, a land surveyor, knew that there was an iron pipe nestled up against a fence post to which he needed to shoot a distance. Our instrument is extremely sensitive and though I could stand by it and push the buttons to measure distances and turn angles, what if something scrambled or messed up the accuracy of the numbers, with Mr. RP way over there by the fence post? The survey when completed would be incorrect. So I'd rather climb, tiptoe, slosh or walk...whatever the situation requires.
As I stood there with the prism pole exactly where he told me I'd find the iron pipe, I looked at the cows. They were so contentedly swishing their tails and chewing their cud. I chuckled and through the walkie talkie could not resist making this completely ungrounded comment, "These cows over here think I'm cute! He said, "How do you know? Are they mooing at you?" "No" I replied, "they are swishing their tails and batting their eyelashes at me!" Oh my have you ever seen a cow's eyelashes? They must be at least
2 inches long!
Old Testament Psalm (NIV) chapter 50 verses 7 - 10: Hear, O my people,...I am God, your God. I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
Have a restful day as you enjoy HIS creation.
xo rachel

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fragile Sparkles

I couldn't resist showing you this. I was completely amazed to see tiny drops of dew clinging to the soft and fragile petals of a dandelion puff. Our little girl calls them wish berries.
We were out in the absolute middle of nowhere working on a boundary survey. The dew was "soakingly" (I know that's probably not a word, but it works here)heavy that morning. I wish my camera could have captured the majestic beauty I saw.
I knew you'd love to see this! Does dew amaze you too?
xo rachel