"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Monday, February 20, 2017

It's A New Day

The old saw, nothing new under the sun, isn't true.  

Gone are the days of holding on to a tree and giving birth.  Today, they paint a painting with your placenta.  They then freeze dry it and grind it up and put it into capsules.  The bottle looks like something you'd purchase at the drug store.  Supposedly, it helps with nursing, postpartum depression and, whatever...

It is a different world we live in - a new day and age.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts

I think I'm going to have to get a frog gig to catch a gopher.  Notice the pile of dirt at the bottom of picture.  It has slung dirt that now fills about a third of my goldfish pond.  

Some of these rocks where it resides are too heavy to move.  I can't get the little devil out.  He is happy to keep digging.  I've tried the sonic beeper to run him off.  Didn't work.  I bought some traps - can't figure out how to use them.  The old trap I used at the farm worked wonderful.  Caught them every time.  I'd resort to poison, but I'm afraid the weenies would get into it. As per the advice from an old-timer, I tried a stick of Juicy Fruit gum, both chewed and unchewed - didn't work.

But, I am desperate.  This little sucker has burrowed down eight feet to the lower yard and has a giant hill built around my Nandina bush that has so many stalks from the ground up, I can't get anywhere close to it.  And, this bush is many years old and I don't want to lose it.

Today, as a last resort, I am going to use one of those gasser things that you light and stick in the hole.  Never tried one, so don't know how that is going to work.  I just hope he comes out of that hole choking and I am going to choke him some more.  They are cute so I feel kind of bad, but I am going to have to drain this pond and shovel out all the dirt, so he's not that cute.  

  Don't know what else to do.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


The north winds are howling today.  I finally got the leaf and limb cleanup crew to come today and I doubt they'll come due to this blow.  It is literally howling.  Wouldn't you know.

The starlings have arrived and are fighting over the suet cakes.  Must be their favorite meal. Though their vocalizations are not as pretty as a songbird's call, I don't mind theirs'.

I took these pictures last year at the farm.  They were everywhere.  It is something to see how they lift off at the same time; a rare treat to see their murmurations.

Spring is coming, though I can't tell today.  The bulbs are finally peeking up through the earth.  I had to water, since the ground was so dry.  The ground needs rain, but I didn't say that.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

New Book

Took the grandkids to Barnes and Noble yesterday.  They love to go there not only for the books, but also the toys.  I do love to spoil them.  I bought several foreign magazines and a new book, drum roll, not this one.  I bought A MAN CALLED OVE on a fellow blogger's recommendation.  Thank you Terra.

I worry I am getting dementia.  Oftentimes, I can't remember the title nor the author of the books I am reading.  Perhaps I need to start reading during the day instead of in bed at night.  Maybe I chose the wrong books for me - forgettable.  The pile of books I couldn't finish, as opposed to the ones I did, is larger.  Last time at the bookstore, I grabbed a pile of Alice Hoffman's books. I used to like her writing and there is always a little magic.  Her latest, okay.  I'm on one of hers that was popular.  It's okay.

So, I'm reading two at once.  ATLAS OBSCURA is entertaining.  Lots of unknown places one has never been to.  Who knew?

Friday, February 3, 2017

A House

I know I shouldn't covet things, but I love this house.

I've fallen in love with modern houses. I've always loved those Palm Springs mid-century modern ones, but there aren't that many around.  Nowadays, they are building new modern ones.

My pictures are terrible, but when you walk in the front door, you see right through to the back of the house.  This stone counter is so long.  Sink and cooktop, plus seating and under the counter dishwasher drawers, freezer drawers and refrigerated drawers. I didn't download these in the right order so humor me.

Halfway down the house is a gorgeous outdoor seating area.  I don't know how I missed the potted trees to the side.  That wall of water is turned off for the winter, but spectacular when on.  All these doors slide open.

I love floating staircases. And as you can see, the walls are covered in the most fabulous stone.

It is polished just on the one side.  I love it.  It's everywhere.

This is looking back toward the front door with three more rooms off to the right.  The doorbell is funny.  When you push it, you can hear large dogs barking. Very clever.

One of the great things about this house is all of the built in cabinets.  Hidden refrigerator and freezer.  Upstairs, which I haven't shown, has all white built in cabinets.  I die.

Another angle.

This is out the back doors.  A pool was going in, but the pool men never got to it, so it was cancelled. Loss for the pool company.

But wait, here comes another of my favorites.  I die for this dining room table.  It is huge and I love the style.  Very modern base and look.  Notice the chandelier?  It is BIG.  I just love it.

I just had to include this old movie poster, which is the largest one I have ever seen.

So here is that fabulous chandelier.  It is a show stopper.

This is a smaller version (still large) in the master bedroom closet.  Sigh.  And, I haven't shown you the master bedroom and the upstairs rooms which are beautiful.

I told my friend when she bought this house, that when I die, I want to go to her house and not to worry if she hears me knocking around.  Well, I'll have to find another place to go.

After three years, she has decided to sell it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ivan Day

I have posted about Ivan Day before.  He is an English food historian and professional chef, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of food.  In his latest post at Food History Jottings, foodhistorjottings.blogspot.com, he writes about one my favorite subjects.  I too collect old food moulds, but none as old as these. I am always just amazed when he posts.  It isn't often enough for me. Hurry on over to see his latest.

Here you'll see some of Ivan's collection of antique moulds.

One of his jellies from a macedoine mould.  How gorgeous is this?

Isn't this Belgravia jelly incredible?  I've never seen anyone with the knowledge this man has of all things culinary.  He's been on the BBC and I've seen him on PBS.  Mr. Day is legend in food history.

Monday, January 30, 2017

What A Week

Some things will never change.  Comforting in these times.  I won't bore you with all that happened last week, but when I saw a call on my phone from middle daughter, I thought, oh no, I hope she hasn't gone into labor.  All three of her children have been early, so not such a huge surprise, but the timing was off - for last week anyway.

Cady named the newest member of our family after herself.  I'm going to call her Little Cady for now.

Isobel and Oliver are very happy and will be a lot of help.  

What I didn't mention is that there were many problems with this pregnancy.  The placenta was in a bad position and genetics tests were bad.  There was a one in 16 chance of Down's Syndrome and four other genetic abnormalities.  All is perfect, so our family is very happy with our new little bundle of joy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wearable Art Redux

As per some of your requests, here are a few of the other necklaces I found at the farm.  It was good to see what I had left as I noticed something.  A lot of the ones that sold were paintings strung with pearls.  All different sizes and colors.  There were none left. This one was a favorite - the one in jade I told you about.

When my son was young, I always bought him red boots to wear.  They were the cutest.  I did a series of red boot paintings.  Can't find red ones anymore for the grandkids.

All the little bird nests sold except for this one.  I liked the sunset with the evening star.

At the clasps of some necklaces, I added little silver charms.  The little cowboy hat went on a boot painting, etc.

It is funny about the jewelry.  Coming from a woman that doesn't wear any jewelry except a pair of earrings - studs for winter and a little gold disc for summer.  I like it on others, but just would feel weird wearing jewelry.  Another quirk.

And finally, for those of you that aren't interested in jewelry (and I promise never to speak of it again) here is what's going to the booth today. My original copy of Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones.  I'm a Stone's girl instead of the Beatles, whatever that says about me.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Wearable Art

I found a few of my necklaces.  For scale, the larger paintings are about an inch and the smaller ones about a half inch.  I just finished vacuuming the house and mopping the floors and don't feel like running errands yet.  So I dug around in my old jewelry box supplies.  I haven't made any in years.

This lone tree is painted in gouache and I can't remember what the beads were.  The prices depended on the frames, whether or not the materials were in gold or silver and the cost of the beads and pearls and/or semi-precious stones.  The larger the silver chain links, for instance, the more it costs, etc.  I do have one in jade that turned out pretty, but it must be at the farm.  

This still life of white hydrangeas is made with tiger eye beads, but this isn't in real gold.  I only did some earrings in 14k gold as they were pricey, even before the price of gold went up.

Some were even more detailed than these, so you can imagine how one stroke can change the entire painting.  I did enjoy it, but didn't have the right market to sell them.  That, and back then, it was very hard to find frames that weren't outrageous.  I wanted to make some wooden ones, like tiny framed oil paintings, then gild them, but they were much too intensive and the price would have gone up considerably. Today, there are tons of frames to choose from.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

John Derian

I received this John Derian coffee table book for my birthday in December and have yet to go through it.  I have seen his work in magazines and in stores, but knew little to nothing about him.

It seems he has collected all these pictures and papers for many years. A few years ago, I painted some Victorian eye paintings, like the book cover, in gouache and put them in jewelry frames for necklaces and charms.

I too love ephemera, but never know what to do with it other than stick it in drawers, books and other dark places, occasionally framing some of it.

Wish I had thought of decoupage before he did.  Actually, I did a lot of decoupage in my younger days, but they were more childish things.  I'm looking forward to perusing this book.

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Toy Of My Own

Yep.  Got a toy today.  And, it really works.  It says so on the package.  Barnes and Noble wouldn't lie.

The grandchildren are out of school Monday and you know who is taking care of them.  We are going to build this toy of mine, then, I am going to terrorize them.  Just kidding, but I bet I do get a few bald faced lies out of them.

Would love to try it on my husband, but he knows better.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Vase

Sometimes I just can't help myself.  I spied this Weller pottery vase at the mall and just had to have it.   And yes, it was an impulse buy, but I have found that oftentimes, if you don't get it, it won't be there when you go back. The vase is in perfect condition, from around 1920, and I bought it as a gift to myself. I need a form of emoji here.

  The little pockets that hold the flowers, are in the back of her skirt and her colors match the white horse painting above my fireplace.  Sometimes, you just gotta go for it.

BTW ~ I have many beautiful pottery vases and dishes in my booth and cannot give them away.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


I've always used 'old saws' or sayings.  When my kids were growing up I used them as teaching tools.  Once in awhile, I'd have to tell them I didn't make that up.  Sometimes I did.  If they'd do something I'd tell them not to do, I would adapt something they would relate to, i.e., then don't cry for me Argentina, or there's gonna be big trouble in Little China.  

Between the devil and the deep blue sea - I like that one.  I have always loved The Wave painting and recently bought this 3D postcard that moves the water around.

Love is blind...  Oh, how we could all have heard that more.  A few others I have used ~

Devil is in the details

Waste not, want not

Measure twice, cut once (I thought my husband was going to have a stroke when I used that one on him.)

There are literally thousands and not just in English.  For instance, kick the bucket, means to die.  It is humorous, in a slightly disrespectful way.  Kind of. The version in Arabic, wad'aa" means, he said goodbye (sounds kind of sad.)  Reminds me of 'whadup'.  In Lithuania, instead of kick the bucket, they say, pakratyti kojas,
or to shake the legs (doesn't sound quite as funny.)

In this computer age, they have become common, in the form of memes. 
BTW ~  It took me years to figure out what a meme was.  LOL meant lots of love, or so I thought. I'm hopelessly ignorant of modern day lingo or computereze.

What are some of your favorite idioms? I know you have some, or is it just a generational thing?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Movies To See

This preview is from the movie Ashes And Snow.  Let me just say my head exploded.  I ordered the dvd from Amazon.  I have a list of other films to watch for these winter days and staying in.

I haven't watched them all so I will be trying to find places that show them.

Feel free to comment if you've seen them.

Nowhere In Africa
Man On A Train
The Widow Of St. Pierre
Usual Suspects
The Visitor
Cairo Time
Snow Flower And The Secret Fan
Wings Of Desire
The Consort - The Virgin Queen (rated HE, head exploded)
Cherry Blossoms (HE)
The Killing (HE)

And, I am waiting to see the new film Silence.  Love Japanese culture.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Auld Lang Syne

The decorations are stored away.  The process snowballed, but it is finished. We did have a nice Christmas celebration, but I like to clean up before the new year arrives. 

 I am finishing the planting of bulbs.  Yes, not done with that job.  Our fall was so late without a freeze, I kept waiting for my porch flowerbed to die off so I could clean it out and plant the bulbs.  Last year tulips - this year grape hyacinths, snowdrops, ranunculus and many alliums.  We have hardly had any rain and the ground so hard, I think I'll have to water the bed.  Of course I didn't wear gloves and blistered my palms before I realized it. I have been getting coffee grounds from Starbucks to scatter on top of the bed to discourage the squirrels and enhance the soil.

I haven't made any resolutions for the new year.  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.  Sometimes they work and oftentimes they don't. One year I taught myself to knit.  I usually don't celebrate, nor wait up until midnight.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you this beautiful cup.  My friends across the pond might be able to tell me what they would have drunk from it.  It is huge and I doubt they would have filled it with coffee, but would they have had such a large cup of tea?  I think it would have gotten cold before you could finish it.  It must hold at least two cups.  

I love blue and white pottery and the saying on it too.  The back and front also have beautiful scenes.

So, I guess my new year's resolution might just include a spiced tea and a cursory think of times gone past, and sing the little poem/song Auld Lang Syne.

PS ~ I found that it is a Roland and Marsellus wassail cup or mush cup.  That's is all I'm going to find out as it is mind-numbing looking at all those maker's marks.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happiest Holidays

Though most of my tree collection is old, this little Japanese tree with the tiny paper cranes is a favorite.  

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy our daily or weekly visits.  Though we've never met, I have gained so much from our friendships.  I hope each and every one of you have the best holidays ever and I look forward to the new year and sharing our lives with each other.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Silver And Gold

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  I have one gift left to buy and then the baking and candy making.  But, if you are going to use nonpareils or dragees on your holiday baking, think about my tooth crown first.  These little goodies are like little rocks.

I called my dentist's son yesterday, to glue my crown back on, and he had had an emergency appendectomy the night before.  So, put in perspective, I'll take the crown mishap. 

By the way, the silver dragees now cost nearly $17.00 a bottle, say non-edible on the directions, but look oh so pretty atop the confections.  With only a few days left to get ready for Christmas, my friends are taking me out today to celebrate my birthday.  Love my friends.  We've been together for over thirty years now.  True gifts - the best kind.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Old Man Winter

Winter is not for sissies.  We had a mini blizzard yesterday; just a dusting of snow, but I thought the wind would blow my roof off.  The snow was blowing sideways.  It is so cold outside this morning, I am not going to go out to take a picture of snow on this little Christmas decoration.

It got down to 3 degrees last night; it hasn't been that cold since 1983. The lake out back is frozen over.  When I raised the blinds this morning, the ducks came in for a landing and slid around like ice skaters.

 I stayed holed up in the house and there were many car wrecks on the highways.  I worry when it gets this cold - about the water lines freezing and bursting, the animals - everything.  Those brave souls that live up north must be made of stronger stuff than I am.

I made my first batch of peanut brittle yesterday for Christmas and guess what happened?  It pulled a tooth crown right off.  Now, I have to see if I can find a dentist to cement it back on as I'm not going back to the farm until after the holidays.  If I can't find a dentist in the city to do it, I guess I'll superglue it back on.  An expensive piece of candy. Aye yay yay! And, I'm not through shopping, wrapping and baking for Christmas.


Friday, December 16, 2016


As Christmas approaches, I need to remember those whom defend our countries and can't be with their loved ones during the holidays.  After all that is going on in the world, I think I'll re-post this for the men and women that have given so much.  This song, I'm Dreaming Of Home, is from the movie JOYEUX NOEL, if you haven't seen it, the movie is one not to miss. It is based on a true story.

On December 24th, 1914, during World War I, in the trenches, amidst the carnage, the Scottish, French and German forces called a truce to celebrate Christmas together.  This old Scottish hymn is sung in the movie by the Scottish soldiers.  Here, a precious rendition by a French boys' choir, but you can hear the beautiful song from the movie soundtrack on youtube with some of the original footage of the time. 

L'Hymn des Fraternises
(I'm Dreaming of Home)

I hear the mountain birds
the sound of rivers singing
a song I've often heard
It calls to me now
so clear and so loud
I stand where I am
and forever I'm dreaming of home.
I feel so alone
I'm dreaming of home.

It's carried in the air
the breeze of early morning
I see the land so fair
My heart opens wide
There's sadness inside
I stand where I am
and forever I'm dreaming of home
I feel so alone
I'm dreaming of home.

This is no foreign sky
I see no foreign light
but far away am I
From some peaceful land
I'm longing to stand
a hand in my hand and
forever I'm dreaming of home
I feel so alone
I'm dreaming of home.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

For The Little Ones

It used to take a week or more to decorate at the farm when the kids were growing up.  The trees, the spiral staircase, outside - I even cut various sizes of lace paper doilies into snowflakes and glued them on the front and back windows.  That was the most beautiful part. I have two closets full of Christmas decorations, many antique, that my kids don't want as it is not their style or they don't have room for.  Wish I had had the forethought to go through them and sell them in my booth.  Here are the little dolly ice skates I bought recently.

But, I am become Scrooge.  I didn't decorate after they grew up as they didn't come to the farm and I didn't want to haul out all of the stuff and put it back up.  Too much trouble.  We had to go to the city so Santa would come and visit and I just did a minimal job at our other city house for the grandkids.

Last year I found these birch trees from Restoration Hardware.  Already lit and easy, with brown paper packages tied up with string.

I have house collections, trees too, and a Snowman collection I couldn't find room for, so maybe another year.  I did put out a few on this table and you'll notice the baby skis and child's skis along with the ice skates I recently found.

So, I had this old wood tree-shaped store display I brought up to the city to sell in my booth.  I thought I probably wouldn't find anything else like it and used it to display my Christmas village.  Didn't have to spread the village out and it went perfectly there.  All the little people and things were quickly removed by my baby granddaughter, Penny Lane.  She had a ball with it.

So maybe, I have not become such a Scrooge.  If not for the grand babies, I still wouldn't decorate, but just for them, I am.  Now, I've got to start baking and candy making and shopping for presents too.