Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yesterday, Tea was served at Bramble Berry Cottage and I have never been so unprepared! In the past I've always made a list of tasks that needed to be completed before "Tea Day." This time was no different but, for some reason nothing got done as planned. So the morning of my tea I was scrambling to get everything made. I had prepared the Sponge Cake the night before so the only thing left to do for that was make the whipping cream and assemble the cake. I had no sandwiches made and none of the spreads prepared, I completely forgot to buy the White Chocolate for dipping Strawberries and I'm extremely picky about my chocolate so I couldn't just send my husband off to buy it at a nearby store. I forgot to cook the bacon for the salad, and didn't think to pick the soup up from Trader Joe's when I was at work. I work right next door and live 20 minutes away. I do not even know where my head was that morning. All I knew was that these two ladies had never been to my Crumbling Cottage before and yard work needed to be done, the screen porch needed to be repaired (thrown away is more like it)! And a million other little details that needed to be accomplished. By the time they arrived 20 minutes late (Thank you Lord) I at least had the table set and my hands stuck in a bowl of gooey dough (scones). To my utter horror, when I went to cut the scones into wedges I found a piece of my hair. What is a girl to do when she has ladies from church over and the scones have grown hair? Well, I decided to tell them instead of letting them possibly find the hair on their own. They both laughed and said they'd eat the scones anyway. Even though there was no soup, no salad, no strawberries dipped in chocolate, or any chocolate whipping cream to dip the strawberries into we had an absolutely wonderful time. Next time I'll start my preparations two weeks in advance.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I am the master at growing plants
in cracked concrete.
I even have a whole row of Hollyhock
growing in the cracks.
I'll post those later as they haven't
quite opened up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sheer Bliss


Sheer Bliss

Monday, March 24, 2008

Graced by her beauty

At the beginning of every spring I wait for the day when my beloved Wisteria stirs from her winter slumber.
There are two vines that are intertwined in one plot of soil. One purple and the other white. Last year the white bloomed first, but this year it was the purple and her blossoms are beautiful! They seem to grow longer with each passing season and the scent is everywhere.
As I was inspecting my garden this evening I noticed several large fuzzy Bumble Bees. You know the bright yellow ones with the furry pantaloons?
They were buzzing around my head like little kamikaze pilots dropping their pollen bombs everywhere they flew.
The earth truly does rejoice in spring.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. It's Good Friday and it was a beautiful day outside. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping in the trees and all was well in our world, at least here at Crumbling Cottage.

We started our day by attending the funeral of my husband's dear friend's mother. I only met her twice but, she seemed to be a kind lady. While I only knew her son my heart ached for the entire family and the hole that would be left in their lives due to her absence. The Pastor gave a wonderful message about death and Resurrection which seemed fitting for today.

From there we went out to breakfast at Mimi's Cafe and then on to church for our annual Good Friday service. The message... death and resurrection and the final words that Jesus spoke on the cross, "TELESTI!" It is FINISHED! There is nothing more that we need to do because everything that needed to be done was completed to finality.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Come thou font of every blessing
tune my heart to sing thy grace.

Streams of mercy never ceasing
call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet
sung by flaming tongues above.

Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer
hither by thy help I'm come.

And I hope by thy good pleasure
safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger
wandering from the fold of God.

He, to rescue me from danger
interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be.

Let thy goodness like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.

Prone to wander Lord I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love.

Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Prone to wander Lord I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love.

Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

This is one of my favorite hymns that was
written in 1757 by a man named Robert Robinson.
The first time I heard the lyrics was about four
years ago at a women's retreat.
The guest speaker was reciting them and when she
read the part that said,
"Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love"
I felt as if someone had pierced my heart.
That was me...prone to wander.
But, there is hope in the next line...
"Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above."
Today I was reminded of this song and how it stirs
something in my heart. Today I had to ask myself,
"where have I wandered and is my heart
bound to Him?"

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Yesterday afternoon my husband and I started our spring cleaning in the yard. We are so late! There are about 30 rose bushes, several wisteria vines, tons of nasturtiums, and holly hock growing in every crack of the concrete. What a mess! There is so much to be done and never enough time so we try to work a little each day.

It's tough living in Southern California without an automated sprinkler system because everything suffers. The weeds never seem to mind and the puppies could care less what the yard looks like as long as there's a yard to run and play in.

Those two little white balls of fluff are my children. Coco Noel is on the left and Elmo Teasdale is on the right. They love to lay on the Adirondacks in the shade, when there is shade. The three of us are still waiting for the wisteria to bloom.
Oh! The handsome guy with the bucket...that's my husband. I had to get his permission to post his picture on my blog. He's so silly!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

My friend, Janet, and I went to see "The Other Boleyn Girl" this morning and thought it was an absolutely gorgeous film!

The costumes were so beautiful and feminine that it made me sad to think of the clothing available to women in this day and age. But then, who wants to be laced into a corset everyday? I do! I do! Oh to wander through gardens fair in dresses of silk with ribbons so rare! That's why I go see movies like this. To ooh and awe at all the beauty I've been deprived of due to the fashion world. Come on people, let's design something beautiful for a change! But seriously, it was beautifully filmed, the sets were amazing, and it was interesting to see how the two sisters interacted with each other considering their circumstances.

After seeing the film I came home to do a little bit of research. I love to spend hours following "threads through the ages" so I thought it would be fun to see if there really was a Mary Boleyn. I new the whole story about Anne, but had never heard that she had a sister.
Sure enough she did however, it's unclear as to whether she was the eldest of the two or the youngest and it appears that she was also mistress to the king of France before becoming Henry's mistress. So the two sisters were both intimate with the king...disgusting! But then, we all know that monarch's are not known for their virtuous behavior.

Anyway, the information I was reading said that Mary had two children, one boy and one girl, and it is believed that Henry the VIII sired both. The daughter's name was Catherine who was a red head. I know this all sounds strange and you're probably wondering where I'm headed with this thought but, just the other day I was reading a magazine (I don't remember which one as I read so many) and it was an article on Jane Seymour's country Estate in England. I had read an article years ago in Victoria Magazine about the estate and how it had been built for one of Henry the VIII's illegitimate daughter's by the name of Catherine who was a read head.

While Jane Seymour was filming at the particular estate she fell in love with it and inquired as to whether it was for sale. The Estate keeper said that it was not available and if it was it could only be sold to a Catherine with red hair because that had been the way it was for centuries. Jane Seymour just happens to have a red headed daughter named Catherine so she was able to purchase the estate. So, could the Catherine of the king be the same Catherine of Jane Seymour's estate...I wonder?
I know that was long and probably way more information then you wanted but, if you have the opportunity to see the movie please go. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Every year I wait for the first sign of spring to arrive in my garden and I'm always amazed at what blooms first.
This year it was the Iris planted at the base of the picket fence surrounding my rose garden. Year after year I neglect them, and year after year they grace my garden with their delicate beauty and sweet scent.