Monthly Archives: June 2010

Summertime in the South

It’s hot here! This is the hottest weekend of the year so far. As a girl raised in the South, I am used to heat. Heat, mixed with humidity that seems to dew on your skin the moment you step outside. Heat, mixed with humidity that takes your breath away when you open the door. Heat, mixed with humidity that feels as if you are breathing through a wet cloth.

Summer, in the South, symbolizes the beginning of so many things. It means fresh fried chicken with sliced tomatoes straight off the vine, cucumber salad and cantaloupe dripping its melon nectar to mingle with the vinegar of the salad on your plate.  All purchased that afternoon from the Farmer’s Market. A large shed that held inside its walls the best of Summer: fresh vegetables, watermelons, boiled peanuts. Bushel baskets by the door to place your selected items in as you shopped.  The smell of the sun and warmth, on the vegetables, that had not long come in from the fields.

Not all Sundays, but on some occasions after church we would head to the local family restaurant in town.  A place that served Southern food at its finest! No calorie counting here! Turkey & Dressing is always served on Sundays with a choice of vegetables and fresh yeast rolls. That was usually my choice over ham or fried chicken. That lunch mixed with the Summertime heat would often make you sleepy and an afternoon nap on the hammock would ensue.  

When my grandmother was a child in the South the big meal of the day was eaten at lunch, or as people called it then, “Dinner” and “Supper” was a lighter evening meal of cold lunchtime leftovers, sandwiches or biscuits, grits and frizzled ham.  They lived at the top of a big hill and when my great-grandfather Red would come home for lunch, each child would have a turn during the week riding up the hill with him.

He would place his arm out of the window and help the “rider” onto the foot board, holding onto them with his big worn hands as they gripped the open window frame, they would ride up the hill with their daddy, squealing and laughing all the way as the wind blew through their hair.

For that is the South.  Sweat rolling down your back; ice clinking in glasses as it slowly diffuses into sweet tea. The laughter of gossip carrying over the yard as children swing higher on their swing hung on the boughs of an oak to feel the breeze cool their faces.

Harper Lee described Summertime in the South best, in one of my favorite books, “To Kill A Mockingbird”:

Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum…A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer.

 

I love that line: A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. The days did always seem so much longer when you were little, with one day slipping into the next an endless parade of Summer days. Now, time seems to fly, there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. But, that I suppose is how it should be, there is a time to everything and so there should be a time to rest as the sun comes to its end and our pace slows to match the softness of the moon.

(Peach Truck Image: Re-vamped Allman Bros. Album Cover, Pink Tag & Tape on “To Kill A Mockingbird” Image, The Pugly Pixel, Background on same image: The Graphics Fairy, Farmer’s Market & Palm Tree Images, copyright J. Michie)

A Place to Be

It is warm here today, the sun is coming and going as giant puffs of cotton candy clouds pass by. It is the perfect day to find a cool place in the shade and just be. Just be with a book, with music, with yourself. This looks like a good place to just be, but looks can be deceiving. This place to be is actually inside here:

This is one of many adorable pieces created by The Rifle Paper Company. I discovered them a little while ago, while searching for something on Martha Stewart. I went to their website and followed that to their blog and I was enraptured! Look at this stationary:

If this doesn’t make you want to sit right down and write a letter to someone, I don’t know what would! I still believe in snail mail you see. For as much as I write online and e-mail, there is still a magic in sitting down and writing a good old-fashioned letter and posting it off into a shiny red postbox as it begins its journey to be popped into someone’s mailbox on the other side of the pond.

And, I look forward to them as well. Getting a letter from my Mom, my Sister or my Nana in the mail is like a mini Christmas. To touch what they have touched and see what they have written in their beautiful handwriting. Now, that to me, is worth more than gold!

To see this beautiful stationary for yourself, click on the link below:

(All images copyright: The Rifle Paper Company, embellished by: J. Michie, Polka Dot Frames: The Pugly Pixel)

Shirt & Tie

In lieu of the traditional shirt and tie for Father’s Day, I thought this card was quite cute and could hold tickets to a Summer concert or coupons, good for a day out with Dad.

One more day to go, so if you haven’t gotten something yet, this was just too cute not to share. I am loving the Japanese origami techniques…

Directions:

A shirt and tie are a traditional gift for Dad — a card to match is something new. Use legal-size (8 1/2-by-14-inch) decorative paper.

1. Place paper facedown. Fold in half vertically; unfold. Line up left edge with centerline fold, and crease; repeat with right edge. Unfold, and lay flat.

2. Fold top-left corner in to line up with outermost crease, forming a triangle; repeat on top-right corner. Using index fingers and thumbs, pinch together outside points of each triangle so they meet, and crease.

3. While still pinching triangles, fold down top edge (this will make sleeves).

4. Turn paper upside down, and flip it over. Fold down top edge 3/4 inch.

5. Flip paper over. Fold top left and right corners so tips meet at centerline.

6. Tuck bottom edge under collar, and flatten by creasing. For the tie, cut out an 8-by-1/2-inch strip of decorative paper. Knot paper. Snip close to knot on one side; trim other to a point. Glue to shirt.

(Images and directions copyright Martha Stewart)

Granny Knot vs. Wreath Knot

Now that I have my lovely new Birthday shoes (see: New Shoes), the question that begs to be answered is: Granny Knot vs. Wreath Knot?

Put This On, Episode 2: Shoes from Put This On on Vimeo.

After seeing this video, I think I will never go back… no more double knots for this little lady. You have to wait to the end too see what I am talking about, but it is worth it!

P.S. If you do not have Instapaper you should definitely get it, I have become an Instapaper junkie for those times I don’t have time to read what I want, I can instantly save it and I can then, go back to it at a later time or date. Now that, is just happiness!

P.S.S. Instapaper is not paying me to advertize for them, I just like their product!

Mile High Banana Cream Pie

In lieu of a traditional Birthday Cake this year, I decided to make a MILE High Banana Cream Pie!

And it was Delicious! I even had a piece this morning for breakfast! Now what could be better than that? It could only have been topped by getting to share a piece with you!

(Images with my new Birthday Camera by J. Michie embellished with the Dot Freebie from The Pugly Pixel)

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to ME! Today is moi Birthday and my little feast of surprises have not stopped, since my venture out to the Quilt Exhibition on Saturday (more to come on that)! I am being very spoiled!

This morning I was awoken to chocolates, which I munched away on as I opened this beautiful wise ol’ owl card:

The postman delivered this to my door, and we all know how much I love gnomes!:

I must be a very deserving Birthday Girl, because I have been saving for something big for a little while now and cheerily wrapped in pink paper with polka dots was this:

So get ready, I am going to be going picture crazy! I already have plans to sew a fabric cover for the neck strap and I have the perfect scraps left to sew it with. I could just die from happiness! But, I won’t because I have more surprises to come today!

I was torn between making strawberry shortcake cake or banana pudding, but, after a Twitter conversation with the lovely Susan Branch the other evening, I have decided to make a banana cream pie, so I am off to start whipping up cream and slicing bananas and hopefully I will get to soak up a little sunshine before I have to go into work.

My windows are open and the most delicious breeze is making my curtains dance around, Mr. Blue Sky is out and it is a gorgeous day! Hope you are having a beautiful day wherever you are!

**Update: Thank you everyone for all your well wishes, I am off to eat some Birthday Banana Cream Pie…

(Birthday Children Party Image by: Dagmar Wilson, 1957)

New Shoes

“Hey, I put my new shoes on today and suddenly every-things right!”

That is the song that played in my head this morning as I put my new shoes on! My crystal ball was correct, they did jump onto my feet yesterday afternoon after a glorious day wandering around the Quilt exhibition!

I have so much to share, but for now, I am off to bed, the rain outside is lulling me to sleep on this lazy-dazy Sunday evening!

Let the Weekend Begin

We are kicking off the weekend with a bang tomorrow and I can’t wait! Next week is my Birthday and we are starting the celebrations this Saturday. In our house Birthday celebrations are not limited to just the actual day, they are an ongoing feast of little surprises. So, tomorrow I am being whisked away to one of my favorite museums, the V&A to see the Grace Kelly:Style Icon exhibition and the Quilt Exhibition.

Then off somewhere fun for lunch and a bit of shopping in the afternoon. I am looking at my crystal ball and I see a trip to Anthropologie in my future! I am gazing harder into my ball now and if I am lucky I see these jumping onto my feet:

My pink pair are sorely in need of a break and I love the bright happy color of these. So, the house has been cleaned this morning and made ready for the weekend, the only thing to do now is sit back and enjoy the ride….Hope all of you have a wonderful happy filled weekend too!