those good old "buy one get one free" coupons

 They sure come in handy.
 It was a great morning for a great morning!

by candlelight...

Our electricity went out last night.
Rumor had it that it would be 1:30 a.m. before power was restored.
By the remaining light of day, I gathered candles and hunted frantically for working flashlights.
By nightfall, we were comfortably settled in to enjoy a calm, quiet evening.
I think I'll just let these candles sit on the tray and light them now and then
when I want another calm, quiet evening
(and restock our flashlights' bulb/battery supply).
As happy as I am that power was restored,
there is something to be said for the peace and calm of an evening
without all the "artificial" pleasures that electricity enables.

"we need wabi-sabi"

I've got quite a BIT of wabi-sabi in my home
and have found the book Wabi-Sabi Welcome encouraging and relaxing just to read it!
"simply showing up, not showing off"
"live large, open lives"
 "largely about learning to pay better attention"
"uncluttered way of living"
ALL this and so much more..
Especially I like "learning to embrace the imperfect"!

houseplants

 These beautiful succulents sitting on the window sill beside our table
 in a downtown Lancaster PA restaurant last week
 reminded me of how much I enjoy plants
 and missed those back home!
I have only a few -
and the ones I DO have require very little attention.
Still I would miss them if they weren't there...

dress shopping

 It's been a long time since I've shopped for clothes.
I needed a loose-fitting, long cool dress(es) to wear
at a conference we'll be attending.
I have NO luck in stores and shops.
So I turned to the internet where I encountered sticker shock!
Before I took the plunge, I ran up the road to a thrift store.
To my pleasant surprise, I found two dresses that will work just fine,
thank you!
$1.50 each.
Now to dig through my lingerie drawer to find a  suitable slip for the see-through dress above.

and this

...and this.
A $5 3-drawer chest.
My husband added the legs, repaired the top,
painted the frame black and left the drawers natural.
In the process, we discovered someone had etched "Tyler" into on the of the drawers,
so we went to our miscellaneous drawer to find something to cover the inscription.
This handsome piece now sits beside my blue recliner
and provides much appreciated storage space chairside.

yes

"Yes" to free
and thanks to friends, Lynn and Donna!
And "yes" to my volunteer.
Thanks, Dad!
"Yes" to applesauce!
Oh......and that desk in the previous post?
"Yes!" 
And a huge shout out of appreciation to my talented husband.

ready-to-paint

 Just about ready for paint....
the chest above purchased for $5,
repaired/patched on the top left hand corner,
and fitted with some new legs.
This one, I have a plan and a place for in our home.
The desk below was found on a trash pile
covered with maps glued over several - maybe 3 - coats of paint.
My husband rebuilt parts of this desk and added the two legs.
We'll try to sell it since our home is already overrun with desks.
There's always a market for sweet, small desks like this!

tick-tock

I simply could NOT pass up this Baby Ben clock
at the thrift store I visited while on vacation.
Only $1 bought a time piece that works perfectly
and looks charming at the same time!
Nothing soothes like the rhythmic tick-tock of a Baby Ben clock!

perfect fit

 Over the years, I've collected a modest amount of barkcloth fabric--
old curtains, pillow covers, etc.
When we arrived home after a week of vacation yesterday,
I noticed the sun had shifted enough that I needed to come up with a remedy 
to close the top part of the windows overlooking our table to prevent the glare.
I went to my stash and was delighted to find these two panels!
I'm pretty sure they've never hung in these window before.
I'm enchanted with the way they meet the tops of the shutters so perfectly. 
I imagine they'll hang here for quite awhile!

table talk

...cloth napkins with individual rings to identify and (hopefully) reuse from one meal to the next...

Since my father came to live with us, we are eating more meals at home than we did over the past few years.  I am REALLY enjoying planning, shopping, and serving a variety of economical and healthy meals.  I'm thankful for the circumstances that resulted in our at-home mealtimes.

Gary and I don't eat breakfast, so my father fixes his own.  Gary makes our coffee and we gather around the breakfast table to share a devotional time - Bible reading and prayer.  We are generally able to eat our lunches together as well as the evening meal.  After cleaning up in the evening, we linger at the table to play table games.  More than usual, we are also inviting friends to join us around our table.  These times, too,are so pleasurable and rewarding.

After reading some Wendell Berry essays, I realize that community is happening around our table in fresh ways for us in this season of life.  It set me to wondering if there are any ways I can make our table experiences even more delightful.  So, I googled it and found these two paragraphs that encouraged me to keep up my quest. The article also suggested a few ways to perk up an ordinary meal.

All our senses are involved when we eat. When a plate of food is appealing to the eye, has a wonderful aroma, and a variety of flavors and textures, we take note. And we usually rate those meals as not only more pleasant but more satisfying, too. 

If your eating has become routine—and your meals look the same, day after day—that could spell trouble. In an attempt to get more satisfied, you may find yourself eating more but enjoying it less.
Before we find ourselves eating more but enjoying it less,  I'm adding a couple simple, small touches - beyond the foot itself - to our table.  I'll let you know what those "touches" are, if the men I share the table with notice, and how our table experience is affected (if at all).

***
 Meanwhile, what are some of the ways YOU make YOUR ordinary table experience a special one?

a smple grill

Purchased several years ago for $15 at a garage sale,
this simple grill is getting a workout this spring.  
We're using it more than ever now that my father has come to live with us,
and we're eating more meals at home!
Last night (in spite of cooler temperatures), Gary grilled leg quarters -- 3 large ones.
Enough meat left over for at least another meal for three!
I tried something new to me.
Employing a small, old cast-iron skillet, I sliced some golden Yukons
and added onion and garlic salt.  
I poured a bit of melted butter over them 
(probably should have used olive oil), 
covered it with foil, and put it on the grill.
We will definitely do this again! 
And next time, I'll slice one more potato!
So simple.  So delicious.

potting benchless

Good-bye to this.
We brought it 'round from the side of the house
to repaint and sturdy up.
Gary made it years ago from recycled wood.
It LOOKED great
and occasionally we used it to hold picnic buffets.
We decided to see if it would sell on a local Facebook sale site. 
It did within hours of being posted!
So we are potting benchless now (and a few dollars richer)!
No complaints.