"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 29, 2016

Entry Table

I'll show you this tableaux as it evolves.  I had to have a table to go with the new chairs in the entryway.  The fun part will be to style it.  

As a country girl, I have never paid for anyone to mow my lawn.  I've been raking and raking leaves and picking up small limbs.  Probably have done 2/3rds of the yard clean up at the city house.

I had a guy come give me a bid today to get up all the rest as the beds have so many bricks and rocks and little fences to hold up the plants and flowers which catch all the leaves.  He blows them on tarps then hauls them onto his trailer.  I also asked how much he would charge to mow the little backyard and side yard and small front yard.  

He wants $200.00 to get up the rest of the leaves and $85.00 per week to mow.  Am I cheap; is this a ridiculous amount or the going rate?  

Rainstorms coming tonight with possible baseball sized hail.  I don't want to have to move all the boxes and bags of leaves and stuff for the booth to park in the garage, but I don't want my truck all dented up either. Guess I'll go start making a spot in the garage to park.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


One thing you may not know about me is that I detest working with tools. Yet, oftentimes I must.  A carpenter I am not.  Too exact and always trouble; nothing ever goes smoothly.  It turns into the snowball effect and I just can't stand it.  Frustrating is not the term I'd like to use. (Oh, and forgot to mention the time I hit my thumbnail three times in a row with a hammer.) When I go to the hardware stores, I am asking for this little thingy that goes into that kind of thingy that looks like this (my hands trying to draw a shape)...

Anyway.  This is an old Adirondack-style smoking table with traces of haint blue paint (keeps ghosts at bay.)  Itinerants used to make this sort of thing in exchange for food, etc.  The little cabins held the smoker's tools of the trade.  At some point, someone painted the roof of said cabin and put a transfer of a robin on it.  I've never seen one painted so.  I have two left from my antiquing days.  They are all different in design, but basically always have a little cabin on top.

This one needed a few repairs and thankfully, I didn't wish I had a shotgun to blow it to bits like I did with curtain rods last week.  The previous owners put some kind of heavy duty wall bolt thingys in the wall to hold up curtain rods.  They could have held up a ton of bricks instead of curtains.  Working on a ladder, high over my head, it took me one and a half hours to remove four (??!!) screws.  I kid you not.  Breathe deep.  I left the job with four more to remove.

Whatever.  This is going to the booth today.  I love folk art, but the mighty dollar is calling my name.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bigger Than A Breadbox

Found this caned bench for the foot of my bed to put pillows on.  It was at the antique mall where I have a booth.  I have to quit finding stuff there or I'll not make any money.  It had a red polka dot fabric on it and I hoped the caning under the seat was in good condition, but it wasn't.

I went to a fabric store.  Haven't been to one in decades so I was shocked at how much there was to choose from.  Overwhelmed.  After searching through thousands of bolts, I found this map fabric and the fabric I used on my new caned chairs.  Don't have a clue why the map fabric spoke to me.  I cut the fabric wrong and barely had enough to staple around the bottom.

By the way, I found an old majoilica plate at the mall for $10.00.  I couldn't turn that down.

It will sit here until I bring all the chintz and majolica to the city.  I want to stick with my new mantra, nothing bigger than a breadbox.  I really do.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Old Cupboard

One of the first things I learned about antiques was by doing it the hard way.  Each and every time I have to strip and refinish a piece, I say never again.  On this old step back cupboard, I learned they often used different types of wood on furniture pieces and thus, they had to be painted.

I don't know my woods very well, but this cupboard was oak and other woods and weighs a ton.  So, after stripping it, I had to paint it to cover it up since the woods didn't match.  I decided to try a trompe l'oile with a speckled blue graniteware top, then painted tea towels on the side.  

Painted the inside black and the front of the cabinets too.

Nesting doves.

Some hanging herbs and the metal farm set I got at a Paris flea market.  Have always loved them, but wonder about that purchase now.  Anyway.

Basket of apples on the other door.

But my favorite part was this note tacked on the side of the cupboard.  I got a kick out of it back when I painted it, but now, it might not be so funny anymore. 

This went well at the farm, but does not go in the city house.  My son says he wants it someday, but evidently not in the near future.  It is now in the guest room and I wonder how long it will remain?  Forever is my guess.

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Babes

A couple of posts back, I showed a picture of Old Ollie, dressed up with a beard  and yelling to imaginary kids to "get outta my yard!"  Here is young Ollie, or Ollie the Destroyer as we call him.  If it can be broken, he's your little man.  Such a sweetheart even so.  Thought you'd like to see him out of costume and how much he has grown since the picture on my sidebar.  But, there is more.

My middle daughter, Cady Summer, with Oliver and my Isobel at the beach.  Loved how the evening light shined on them.  My entire adult life has revolved around my kids and grandkids.  I don't know any other way.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Raring To Grow

The wild jonquils are waving to me alongside the roadways, heralding my favorite time of year, spring.

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Holds Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake
Auguries of Innocence

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Another Day

Someone asked me how my antique booth at the mall looks, and I said, like a turd.  It is so small that to keep it looking like there is any order at all is nearly impossible.  I've covered the walls and every square inch.  I do love the booths with just a few pieces in them, but my theory is, I don't want this dragged out and have to keep paying rent.  If you remember, I sold most of my large pieces of furniture and displays before Christmas. What is left is mostly smalls and some mid-sized pieces.

Anyway, I found these two chairs in another booth.  I'm not sure if I've made money yet because try as I might, things keep jumping out at me, i.e. these chairs.  They were covered in a lime green ikat which doesn't go in the city house.  I found this birdie upholstery and voila.  I am a bird nut. Okay, an animal nut.

What do you think?  Swedish or French?  They are to go in my entryway with a hall table I am using for display in my booth.  The table, a recent purchase, was the first thing someone wanted to buy at my booth.  I said no, it was for display only.  Whatever.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Best And Worst Of Times

This has been quite a week.  Dark days and days of light.

First of all, my heart tests have turned out well.  I am so relieved.  Couple of issues to find out about, but no heart disease.  It has been such a relief and I don't have to go back to the cardiologist for six months.

I was gone to the city for more than a week.  I hire someone to feed the animals or my husband does it when I am gone.  I came home this Wednesday night and all was well.  Teddy, my little man, stays in the house 90% of the time and can in fact open the door to let himself in.  The sweetest and most loving cat ever.  When he was born at the barn, I found him hidden in the shop behind a large shelf. His mother had moved her litter in there when the door was left open.  I found them just in time.

As Teddy grew, about 6 inches long, he would run as fast as he could to the 4 wheeler when we'd ride up to the barn.  From the time he was born, he just stole our hearts and loved us in return.  It wasn't long before he lived with us up at the house.

Here is Teddy in the catbird seat.  Don't know how many birds visited this day.

I love this picture of Teddy as he was balled up in the asparagus patch, playing while I tried to clean it out. Such a playful and loving boy. 

Wednesday night he was in my lap, purring and in my face.  Glad that we were back home. Even bugged the weenies too. He slept in bed with me and the weenies all night.  I put him outside at 8:00 am and by 9:30 I saw him lying on the patio.  I won't go on, but rushed him to the vet and she did all she could to save Teddy.  His lungs were filled with fluid.  The Dr. said from her exam and X-ray 3 things could do that.  Electrocution, heart worms, which are rare in cats or a fungal infection.  She said it was grave.  She tried all day to save Teddy, but he died last night.  She offered to do an autopsy, but it wouldn't bring my Teddy back.  I loved him so.  It broke my heart. 

I sent my husband to pick him up this morning and we buried him. I am going to miss him terribly.

The best part of this week is that my son got an internship this morning at 6:30 am when the results were released.  We've all been on pins and needles waiting on this process. He got his number one pick.  I'll go into the internship selection process later.  It is all computerized now and is a horrible system.  Four hundred students nationwide did not get a match and will have to wait another year to re-apply. He had to fly and drive all over the country to interviews the first part of the month on a salary that is below poverty level. 

 He and his wife are over the moon though.  They will have to move and sell their house.  I won't get to see my Penny Lane nearly as often, but they are so happy and if he is happy, I am happy.  He will do the internship and his post doc at The University of Oklahoma.  He will be working with the counseling center and also with the athletics department, studying the athletes for head injuries and traumatic brain injury.  My boy is ecstatic. After such a long road and hard work, he can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Life at its best and worst.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Scent Of Heaven

Who do you wear perfume for?  Yourself or others?  Ourselves, of course.

In the last couple of decades I have used Antonia's Flowers, with freesia the top note, Clinique's Aromatics body cream and Coco Mademoiselle.  The scent I am most often asked about, by men and women, is Aromatics.  I wear the cream as the perfume just seems too strong.

The perfume counter lady at Sak's says that I should always wear the Aromatics as the ph of my skin...

Well, I thought about it and I don't wear perfume for others.  I wear it because I like it - for my sensory pleasure.  I got this set of Viktor and Rolf's Flowerbomb for Christmas and just love it.  Like a dog rolling in stink, this is my stink and I'm rolling in it.  I'm usually not around many people so I'll not overwhelm them with my perfume.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Penny Lane Is One

Here is my sweet little Penny Lane at one.  Just had to let you see how big she is now.  So sweet, but shy and here is a little quirk.  She doesn't want her hands touched.  She went to the doctor for her one year old checkup today and got six shots and they pricked her finger to draw pipettes of blood.  As you can imagine, it freaked her out.  We joked that we hope it didn't traumatize her.  Sweetest baby ever.  I've said repeatedly, that we need to name her Smiley because she smiles all the time.

If you notice, no sock and shoes.  We can't keep them on her.  

We went out to a restaurant last night and out of twenty pictures, this is the only one I could get before she turned her head or looked around.  It is nearly impossible to get a shot of her.  Maybe when she is sleeping. You can't see the little pink bandaid she's holding up on her finger.  Her Daddy frets that she is growing up too fast.  Wants to keep her just like this forever.  They love her so.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Never Saw Anything Like It

I never watch the Grammys anymore - not since rap became de rigueur.  Noise, verbiage with a beat, usually objectionable, but not music.  I was busy doing things around the house and didn't have time to sit in front of the television, so listened and occasionally looked at the TV.  Saw that this was coming and watched Lady Gaga's tribute to David Bowie.  I don't know too much about GaGa, nor know many of her songs and have only seen snippets of her performances.

Unbelievable.  An understatement.  There are artists - and then there is Lady Gaga.  I've never seen anything like it.  There should be another word for her performance and talent.  It was something to behold on the big screen. There is another video of her preparing, scoring, practicing, etc. for this performance that is also very interesting.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Funny Valentine

I have no Valentine photos to share so I'll use this one that I have posted before - a very old heart shaped, hand forged stirrup along with a bunch of lollipops for the grandchildren.

Going to Penny Lane's first birthday party today.  It seems like only yesterday and I'll get a current picture so you can see how she's grown.  Dark hair and blue eyes and smiles all the time. The sweetest baby.  She just started walking too.  Can't wait to see it.  It should be funny to see her eat her first taste of sugar.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Field Of Gold

I love Sting's version of this song, but Ms. Cassidy does a good rendition.  

I love the fields around the farm in winter.  The switchgrass is a stunning coppery orange/gold waving in the wind.  This view is looking westward, but to the east, the purple hills as a backdrop makes a gorgeous scene.  The newly edited photos shown here are courtesy of the photographic genius, Monique Campeau. Thanks Monique.  You can see more of her beautiful photos by clicking on her blog, La Table De Nana, on the right side of my blog.

But, oh no.  With a strong west wind and high risk of fire danger, a rancher has decided to burn his fields anyway.  Wildfires are an everyday occurrence this time of year and cover miles in no time flat. It is terrible for the wildlife such as lizards and turtles and all the burrowing and nesting animals.  Makes me mad.  And, it does burn down structures and homes, not to mention trees.  It has happened on land we own. 
Nobody gets sued nor held accountable for their "accidentally got out of hand" fires, at least not that I've heard of.  I have heard of a fine levied during a red flag fire warning.  Is it such in other countries?  Are people able to burn off acreages at leisure? I can't understand how the rancher's livelihood is more important than the lives of the flora and fauna.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

An Apple A Day

My favorite apple, the Red Rome.  I can find it at only one store nowadays.  They have replaced them with all different and new strains of apple.  They told me people want the newest ones.  Well, I want the old ones. They even have a grape scented one which does smell like grape.  Guess it is good for diversity, but I want my Red Rome back.

This tableau was a joke.  If you are old enough, you remember your grannie's Tupperware.  Don't know if it was sold anywhere besides the US, but every household had Tupperware.

I made this necklace to wear to my first visit with the cardiologist yesterday.  My sister went with me and said I couldn't wear that.  Then she dared me to.  I decided not to in case the doctor wasn't of a certain age as he wouldn't get the joke.

Well, he wasn't - a mere babe, young enough to be my child.  But, he made me feel better and scheduled a couple of tests.  Just waiting for the insurance to approve them. What I didn't tell you before, is I am at high risk for heart disease.  I have Syndrome X and am diabetic, etc.  Plus, one of my brothers had sudden cardiac death at age 45.  Another had a heart attack last month at age 49 and had stents put in.  My sister had a silent heart attack at 36 and has tachycardia.  I don't know all the abbreviations and such, but the family history is there.

Here is what was in the little tupperware bowl.  Aspirin. I thought it was funny, but now I find out that the little bowl was for pills.  Couple of things to pass on.  He told me not to take the whole 325 mg. aspirin, but a baby aspirin.  And,  the recent studies about Prilosec and heart disease in older patients is a misnomer as they still prescribe it for their patients to deal with the effects of their heart meds.  I was glad to hear that as I have been taking it for years and can't go without it.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

To Know Or Not To Know

Oh good grief!  I have always prided myself in the knowledge of medicine: I used to read medical books for fun, and in fact,  early on, wanted to be an internist. Anyway, cut to the chase.  Do you want to know the answers to medical questions regarding your health?  The queen of anxiety ought to know better.

In regard to my recent heart referral, I thought maybe I should know a little of what's going on in there.  Wrong. The reader in the posts' picture should have her eyes open wide after reading the page; bugged out as mine were last night.

I decided to look up entropy last night and watched a Khan Academy video on the subject.  Too technical though I got the disorder part spiraling into chaos (as I did also after reading all that stuff.)  So, next, I typed in entropy in relation to heart disease which took me to a site with scientific articles I think must have been for the professionals.  Still too much information so I hit on PVC's, which I have, and OMG.  They can lead to cardiomyopathy (no one ever said a word about that), then, I clicked on diabetic cardiomyopathy and shit.....  

I have decided I am of the ilk that doesn't want to know what is going on down in that chaotic closed environment.  Jeez.  It's enough to give me a heart attack.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

To Be Or Not To Be

Sometimes, things come and go, as in my beautiful bed I ordered from Anthropologie.  They sent a gray bed; I ordered an ivory one.  It is still beautiful, but for the cost of an arm and a leg I think I should get what I ordered.  That, and it gave me the excuse to get my money back.  Just too much to spend on a bed I've decided.

See, I'm not the kind to return things: I usually keep it instead of going through the hassle of a return. Not this bed though.  First, wrong color, second, it is slatted and can only use the top mattress.  The use of a bottom box springs leaves the headboard nearly covered up when the pillows are added and I still need new pillows.  At the footboard end, the bed sticks up too high if both mattress and box springs are used. The delivery man said, Señora, you need a bungbid.  A what, I asked.  A bunyaup he said.  It went on and I finally gave up trying to figure out what he was saying.

It was beautiful though.

 I found these two night tables at a decorator's assignment store and just loved them.

With a drawer and a cabinet on spindle legs, it had glass inserts atop old velvet where I could put an old Rolling Stones concert stub and antique postcards.  Just love these night stands.

I still have not put hardly anything up on the walls.  Vexing.  I think the strangest thing about moving to a new house, is how most of the stuff you have doesn't work anymore. This large old trumeau mirror that I've had for a long time just doesn't fit anywhere in the new house.  The picture at the top is chickens scratching around in barn hay.

This large dressing mirror, though it matches the bedroom perfectly, doesn't fit, literally.  It sticks out about a foot from the wall because of its legs/footing.  With one wall all windows, there isn't room for such a large piece. As I said, vexing. 

Nevertheless, the bed went back and after the initial angst, I don't regret the decision. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Old Ollie

Today was dress up like an old person day at Ollie's school.  He's telling kids to "GET OUTTA MY YARD."  My daughter says he walked in to school with a shaky leg and was really playing it up.  They painted Cool Old Dude on his cup and that is a pill carrier in his front pocket and he has a wadded up cross word puzzle in his back pocket. He loves being a ham and I wish I could see him trying to sit still in class all day.  My sweet six year old Oliver.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I have posted before that you have to drag me kicking and screaming to the doctor.  Infantile behavior I know.  I do the necessary checkups and tests, and I take all my medications religiously, but I don't like to.

After the fall, filled with too much stress; my husband's chronic/serious illnesses and hospitalizations while moving from one house to another back to back, then the holidays and just life, I have neglected some health issues.

That pain, in my back between my shoulder blades radiating around my side, was due to packing and  moving, carrying around bales of hay and feed bags.  At least that is what I wanted it to be.  And that was back in October.  Then just the feeling that something isn't ticking like it's supposed to; something just doesn't seem right.  Vague symptoms to sweep under the rug with crossed fingers.

So, I finally got tired of worrying about it (remember I have an anxiety disorder so worrying is my middle name and impossible for me not to.)  I have some time this week and went to see my internist yesterday.  She did an EKG and said she was concerned and was referring me to a cardiologist in the city at the Heart Institute.  She said they will be doing lots of tests.  Just the thought of it all is going to give me a heart attack.

I will share the journey with you, just so you won't wait if you are having symptoms, and February, coincidentally, is Heart Health month.  Childlike, I am sure nothing is wrong and hoping that all of this is just in my head and due to stress.  I hate having to go through it all, but it could be worse.  My family still needs me and would be heartbroken. And, like I said, I ain't going gently...