Old Sweetwater

Old Sweetwater

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Glorious Leaves

Leaves! Glorious leaves...
Reds, yellows, oranges, browns excite our senses.
Do you ever wonder if other animals enjoy the color?
Last autumn my honey & I went to a historic district where there was an ancient maple in the town center.
Its b
ranches were huge - maybe 20 feet; in every direction, but bent low to the ground -- like a tent!
We stood under it for a long time, and I'm telling you, it was magnificent.
As we strolled out, we met a sweet, elderly man sitting on a park bench.
Autumn leaves brought us together with this living historian...
Glorious autumn leaves!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Growing Pumkins

On a whim, we grew pumpkins last year.
It started when we went to a place where they sell only heirloom seeds and plants.
We didn't get the scary HUGE pumpkins, nor the ones that you can make pies from. These were strictly for fun. And they were.
It was interesting to see them start from a beautiful flower and turn into large, round, orange orbs.
There's something so satisfying about walking out your back door and picking your pumpkin right off the ground under the shade of the sunflowers.
We wanted to hang a sign that says, "We actually GREW these...ourselves!"
Do you buy your pumpkins at the store, pick them from a pumpkin patch or grow them?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pumpkin and Gourd Candles

Crate and Barrel have these pumpkin and gourd candles.
TOO cute, right?
You should be able to click onto this photo to go there.
I always think about the quote in reference to life being short, so burn the fancy candles!
Well, I'm off to buy more candles because I've burned nearly all of mine and enjoyed every minute.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Omelet

It's Sunday.
How about an omelet?
You break the eggs and add a little milk.
I'll dice yellow, orange and red bell pepper.
I'll chop fresh chives I just cut from outside.
Do you mind sauteing the mushrooms?
Let's grate a little Cheddar-Jack cheese to put in and on top.
The coffee's nearly done.
The juice is poured in chilled glasses.
The maple bacon is in the warming drawer.
The table's set.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Farmers Market

It's Saturday & time for shopping at the Farmers Market.
The flowers and produce are brilliant and beautiful.
Shoppers are excited and have renewed energy because it's Autumn.
There's a trio playing music somewhere in the background.
The smell of fresh produce is intoxicating.
In this crazy economy you can find fair prices here.
It's good to meet those who grew the food that will grace your table.
I just discovered there is a an organic farmers market here. Actually, it's been open for 17 years.
They offer fresh picked, locally grown produce, natural specialty meats, honey, edible flowers, herbs, grains, artisan breads and pies, eggs, fresh brewed "fair trade" coffee and more. YUM.
I know where I'm going next Saturday....
They also offer organic hand-made bar soaps and body care items, hand made cards, wood crafts, and candles.
Yep, it's on the top of my list with a heart next to it.
Anyone else enjoy farmers markets?

Friday, September 25, 2009


It's Friday and time to plan the Saturday visit to the local Farmers Markets!
We have Amish farmers in our area who bring beautiful, organic fruit, veggies and home-baked goods. Yum! Here's a squash recipe I hope you enjoy. This is for three acorn squashes or about 3 1/2 pounds. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.


3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. water
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. finely chopped orange zest
1/4 cup maple syrup
(optional) 2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
Cut the ends off squash, then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Cut seeds out (can use a biscuit cutter). Place squash rings in a large bowl and season generously with sea salt & pepper. Toss with 2 Tbs. of the melted butter. Arrange the squash rings in a large ovenproof sauté pan.In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup water, orange juice and zest. Pour over the squash rings. Set the pan over medium-high heat, cover and cook until the squash rings are almost tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1 Tbs. melted butter, 1 Tbs. water, maple syrup, (opt) chopped thyme and cranberries. Pour over squash.
Bake uncovered, until squash rings are tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.
Serves 8. Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bravura Fall

Before the 16th century, harvest was the term usually used to refer to the season, Autumn.
As more people gradually moved from working the land to living in towns and learned to read and write, the word harvest lost its reference to the time of year.
No matter what you call it, it's beautiful in my opinion.
Okay, a little off the subject, but does anyone else watch "Man Versus Food?" He makes me SOOOOO hungry!
Here's a simple, fast, tasty Autumn sandwich recipe.

Roast Beef Sandwich with Horseradish
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared white horseradish (mix together)
  • Garlic to taste if the roast beef does not have garlic
  • 1 12-inch section French-bread baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced roast beef
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch arugula or spinach leaves
  • Onion - Vidalia is best - cut in rings. Tip: if you're going to heat the sandwich, go ahead and saute the onion so it will be caramelized.
  • Optional favorite cheese, such as Monterey Jack, Swiss, Muenster...and heat until melted on sandwich.
If heating the sandwich, add the mayo blend and tomatoes just before eating. Also, toasting the bread is nice.

Whisk mayonnaise & horseradish (and opt. garlic) together in small bowl.

Construct sandwich with roast beef, optional cheese, onions and greens. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Heat until cheese melts (in microwave, oven or in a skillet). Add tomato and mayo blend. Cut into 4 pieces and serve.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mum = Autumn

Mums = Autumn to me.
Here in the mid-west, mums spring up everywhere.
My honey (husband) and I go out and buy several of them to plant.
We enjoy the beautiful fall colors mums come in -- pumpkin orange, "turning-leaf yellow," "campfire red," rust....
There's a few on the front porch.
A few on the deck and one for the kitchen table.
That just about has it.
Ya know, I've never put mums anywhere like the bedroom or bath?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vogue Knitting

I heart this wrap!
Can't you almost feel the crunchy leaves under your feet and the taste of sweet apple cider?
It's a free Vogue knitting pattern.
You can visit the site by clicking onto the photo.
Of course, a truly organized knitter would have whipped this up during the sultry months of July and August.
Me? I knitted socks. What?
Okay, I only knitted two pair....well....almost done with the last sock.
I'm off to knit a few more rounds so I can start on this wrap.....or another sock.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Barn House

Ya know I've been on the "smaller house is better" soapbox for years.
Now I'm designing a possible future home with 1/3 less living space.
That doesn't sound bad, but it looks a little scary on preliminary blueprints.
I've had the brown paper bag held to my honey's face a few times. ha!
We wrote down a Mission Statement and Vision to help keep our priorities straight & encourage us when we see the square footage.
That will be our compass to help us find the lifestyle we are aiming for.
What are you aiming for in lifestyle?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's Sunday

It's Sunday
Time to worship.
Time to rest....maybe take a drive?
Time to breathe deeply.
Time to be thankful.
Time to refocus and renew for the coming days.
What's your favorite Sunday activity?

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Recognize these?
They're all over the ground on the way to the lake by our home.
Locust tree pods.
Black Locust trees are native to the Ozarks in Missouri and the southern Appalachians.
Seeing these on the ground is a remind Autumn is under way!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kitchen Gadgets

I saw this and thought of Vickie, my SIL. Every year my brother gets her kitchen gadgets as stocking-stuffers.
Don't ya think that's a good idea?
She has some cool things.
I forget what few gadgets I have b/c I tend to use the same things over and over...even when they don't work so well!
I do have one favorite gadget: It is the (free) orange peeler I got at a Tupperware party "100 years ago."
What's your favorite gadget?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Arthur Bryant's BBQ

Happy Thursday!
Bryant's BBQ is "world-famous."
Several of our U.S. presidents have made a special trip to eat here while in the area.
My husband waved to Jimmy Carter one afternoon as the presidential motorcade made its way down 18th.
Why the fuss? The sandwiches are HUGE...not large...HUGE...as in two-fisted; stacked-several-inches-high-huge.
The hand-cut fries are fantastic (and just a little bit greasy, but in a good way). There's enough fries with one sandwich to serve two people with a healthy appetite. Throw two handfuls of dill slices on a half-loaf of bread. Pour on the "BBQ" sauce which is salty, spicy - not sweet. Add your choice of pork or beef, which has been smoked over hickory for hours and hours. You got a meal, baby!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kitchen Cabinet Shopping

My honey (husband) and I went window shopping to price kitchen cabinets -- in the hopes of the Old Barn House idea becoming reality. It it was a lesson in SELF-CONTROL.
Oh, the choices and the price tag.
Of course we have Rolls Royce taste on a "clunker" budget!
That brings me to a Q I have asked for years: Would you rather have good taste and not be able to afford it? OR...Have cheap taste and not know it? To clarify, I'm not talking cheap as in liking bargains, but cheap as in kind of tacky.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pumpkin and Candles

I'm getting all ready for Autumn.
Trees are turning early this year.
The temperatures have been cooler all summer.
Saw this idea at Better Homes & Garden.
It's simple, and and inexpensive.
It would be sweet to have those little decorative pumpkin-looking gourds with a votive in each of them too.
I like the white pumpkins too!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mix Match

More hydrangeas & tomatoes from Sweetwater.
The vase is actually part of my canister set.
About four years ago I saw two "half-sets" at Marshall's. Because both partial sets are white and have same shiny finish, they look like they were meant to be one set.
This canister has a starfish on the lid. See it?
Have you made a set of anything out of mix-matched or mismatched items?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


It's Sunday! Time to plan next week...like maybe going apple picking?
I saw this basket at Gordman's about five years ago.
It's nearly three feet long and 10" high.
I like the shape and rustic quality.
I like it when it's filled with juicy apples or squashes and tiny pumpkins on a bed of freshly fallen leaves.
Do you have a favorite basket?

Saturday, September 12, 2009


This stately gentleman is in our grand room at Old Sweetwater.
I had a similar one made of concrete when we lived in the South. It had the natural patina from being left in the weather for 14 years ---- beautiful.
The movers accidentally left "him" behind, still guarding the back garden. *sigh* Or was it because "he" was so stinking heavy????
When I finally figured out "he" was missing, I was nearly 1,000 miles away and too absorbed with life to cry or whine about it.
About two years ago, to my surprise, I inherited this statue. My mom was an avid statue-lover. I was so happy to have a replacement for "David," (my other bust's name).
However, I realized this guy doesn't have a name.
Any suggestions?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Monkey Business

I bought this monkey lamp about nine years ago and it continues to be a favorite.
This bronze lamp is just the right height to set on a desk (where he is now @ Old Sweetwater).
He's practical. Oh, I've found jellybeans, paperclips and bits of paper in the basket he carries on his head. I won't mention the dust...lol.
He's just cute. Whenever I get perplexed or overwhelmed about something I'm working on, I just glance over at his silly smile.
Do you have a favorite lamp?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paris Time

I bought this inexpensive clock at Hobby Lobby a few years ago
They have some cute "French" things.
As the evening sun casts a glow on its face, I wondered what time it was in Paris
On my web homepage I have a widget that shows the temperature in Paris and current air fair.
Maybe I should just set this one clock on Paris time?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I don't have much to say this Wednesday except my neighbors at Old Sweetwater have horses.
For me it's the best of both worlds.
I get to watch the horses and colts graze, prance and run without lifting a brush, hay bale or saddle.
Thank you, good neighbors.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


My MIL planted a white hydrangea bush over 50 years ago at Old Sweetwater Cottage and it still provides several huge bouquets of flowers each year.
I picked these green and they dried naturally in the vase over the following week.
This winter as I look at them, it will remind me of summer of 2009.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Living With Light

I found a couple of books you have probably read already, "Living With Light" and "Living With White."
I found myself sighing out loud as I turned the pages.
It was so relaxing to see photos of WHITE and LIGHT.
A new friend asked my advice on what to do with her old wood parquet floors because I used to have my own interior design business.
"Paint them white!" I said immediately knowing she was a lover of vintage. "White?" she squinted. "White? Paint my floors.....white....I may give it a try," she said.
A few weeks later when she completed the task. She showed me a photo and exclaimed, "I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my white parquet floors! Now I'm redoing everything."

Sunday, September 6, 2009


An 87 year old man said to a group, but no one in particular, "There are a thousand people who would give anything to sit where you're sitting and do what you do."
My natural smarty-pants side wanted to whisper, "Name me ONE." But before I could take my next breath, I realize he was right.
Why? Because before I was here, I had wanted to be where I was sitting and do what I am doing.
He's right and in my limited thinking, he stated a profound thought.
It's easy to become bored, tired, feel unappreciated, see greener grass, feel you're capable of so much more, get antsy...you get my drift.
Today I am taking inventory and deciding to be truly appreciative of where I am and what I'm doing.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Plate Display Ideas

This is a good idea from Better Homes & Garden showing what to do when you don't have a window directly above your sink.
Yes, some people have this "challenge." In our first home we didn't have a window sink because the garage was on the other side of the sink wall and the layout of the kitchen was so, we couldn't change sink locations.
Click on the photo to link to the site that has 26 other plate display ideas.
Don't you like the kid's folding wooden chairs hanging on either side?

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Friday, September 4, 2009

French Doors

Aren't these french doors with working shutters beautiful?
If it came a big thunderstorm and it began to hail, you could close these and feel snug & safe inside.
Can't you imagine getting up and opening the doors; and then the shutters, to see the sunrise and feel the morning breeze? Aahhhhh.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


A few years ago
a friend
bought me this
sweet metal basket
filled to the brim
with white tulips.
After gazing at
them for several
days, I planted
them in the yard
in hopes of
seeing these
beautiful flowers
next Spring.
But what to do
with the
for what?

Put the dry
in it, of course.
I've put my
laundry detergent
in a glass
for YEARS.
I found that
this metal
basket was
good because
it was wide enough
to easily fill and
scoop out
the powder.
If you live in high
humidity, you can
put "Stretch and
Seal" over it or sew a clear, soft plastic cap to keep on it
when not in use.

the one
I've used
for a
very long
The hat
was my
garden hat
before it
got a hole
in the crown,
[not too useful
when keeping
the sun off your
One of these
days I'll get a
new hat.
Whattya think?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

White Chandelier

This old metal chandelier was going to be thrown out, so I brought it home.
It got a light coat of white spray paint, allowing some of the metal to show through.
Then I added Austrian crystals everywhere -- and then some.
Even when there's only a thread of light, it sparkles!
We put it up in the master bedroom of the Sweetwater Cottage and installed a dimmer. It makes the room feel so romantic and special.
I'm thinking about making one of the other three I have like it into a non-electric chandelier using candles. Don't you think the beautiful crystals will probably look amazing by true candlelight? I must always remember to get DRIP-LESS candles. I'm off to write that down.....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Sit down and let me fill your cup with fresh brewed coffee.
Let's peel an orange and talk about the approaching autumn.
We'll make a list of "must do" things like taking the scarecrow from the attic and buying fresh apple cider.
Tell me what you want to accomplish before the cool weather turns COLD [in North America].
Give me a list of things to stop and enjoy during this beautiful time of year.
Need a refill?