real living space

"For too many people, being happy at home is pretty much an abstract idea,
something they can’t know or imagine, until it appears on some taste maker’s must-have list, 
or in a magazine, or reposted on Tumblr. 
A home sweet home is not curated or produced by acquiring 
a perfect arrangement of chairs, lamps and friends. 
A real living space is made from living, not decorating. 
A bored materialist can’t understand that a house has to become a home. 
It happens, not through perfection but by participation."  
(Andy & Elsa Beach Apartamento issue #07) 
As you can see, it's very "real" at our house!  Our living room
is full and doesn't get sorted out nearly enough.
Our hearts are at home here...

kiddie lit

 Back in "the day" (that would be the late 1960's) I was in college
training to become a teacher.  I'm pretty sure that was when/where
I learned about the Caldecott Award for children's picture books of merit.
In spite of the fact that there is NO room left on our bookshelves for one more book,
yesterday I paid the $.25 price for THIS one sporting a Caldecott medallion 
at my currently-favorite-thrift-store.
 The colorful pictures and clever features amuse me--
along with the bottom line....
You can ALWAYS make something out of nothing.
I shared it with my mother yesterday while visiting her in the Special Care Unit.
She was fascinated with the way Joseph looked over his glasses.
My 87 year old father enjoyed it, too, later.
It's a keeper.

650 miles of sales

 This was the scene at one of thousands (?) of garage sales last weekend
along 650 miles of Route 127 extending from Michigan through Alabama.
We only visited a few miles of it.  At this stage of my life,
I found it overwhelming!
 Now, we already had three other metal cabinets
serving a variety of purposes (the one above, a broom closet).
However, we couldn't pass up one more (below) -- a $5 purchase.
It wants a new paint job, but maybe you can overlook the splotches
to see its charm...
 Before it could be painted, it was pressed into temporary duty - 
serving as a gathering place at church for donations of snacks and beverages
for our local Christian Youth Center.
It will come home next month for restoration and eventual service--SOMEwhere.

sweet lime pickles

 I am blessed to have generous gardeners in my circle of friends.
We've enjoyed beans, sweet corn, kohlrabi, cabbage tomatoes and zucchini this year, thanks to them.
Their garden is producing a great crop of cucumbers.
I made one batch of refrigerator pickles this week using a recipe off the internet.
In talking with Donna one day, I mentioned three types of pickles
that my grandmother used to make.
When I found her recipe, Donna went to work cutting and soaking the cukes.
 Bright and early yesterday morning, I went to her farmhouse for the final steps--
boiling raisins (in cheescloth above) in the sweet pickling juices
and filling the jars.

We chatted a bit and listened to the lids popping.
Later in the evening, she and her husband delivered several jars to us.
Now I'm searching for a sweet pickled watermelon rind recipe.
Unfortunately, I don't have my grandmother's in my collection, 
but it is the SECOND one of my favorites.  The third is a dill pickle that she made...