Vintage baby scale & photo

Monday, January 28, 2013


I don't think I ever put up this little cutie's picture. Did I?
I found this sweet baby scale at an antique shop and had to have it. I'm a little picky with props in photos but this one I loved. It was the first one I had seen with an attached basket so I bought it in hopes I could take somebody's picture in it.
Baby Andie to the rescue!
She was the best little baby, letting us mold and flop her around.
The double chin kills me. I wish they were as cute when you get older.

Friday Finds and a week of Randoms

Friday, January 25, 2013

Good intentions to get a bunch of stuff done went down the drain when...

I received a call just as I was about to bite into my chicken Roburrito and was asked to speak in church this Sunday. So all week I have only been thinking, researching and writing about the subject I have been asked to tackle. I have to start this process right away because it seems that all of the thoughts in my head don't formulate and flow the way I'd like until it's crunch time. So today is crunch time. I've been practicing my talk while I am standing at the sink doing the dishes or folding clothes and then something new will come to me so I have to add, omit and re-work the whole topic. It'll come together somehow.


Speaking of Roburritos, we have found a new favorite. They have about 20 sauces to choose from to put on your burrito. Oh yum.


Reese took 3rd place in his division at the Pinewood Derby. He was so happy about that. We were very happy for him.


The flu bug barely touched us, knock on wood. Charley and Reese were out for one day only. Trae had a fever for 4 days but that was it. Blair and Belén have escaped it so far. Time will tell.


I went to a fun baby shower for a girl at church. I am lucky to have so many great women to be friends with and look up to. I've been lucky in every place that I have lived because there have always been these amazing women to know in each place.


After the shower, a friend took me to a yarn shop and I saw the most beautiful yarn. I had no idea there were so many different weights and styles. So now I think I have to learn to knit. Afterwards we went to my favorite antique mall and I found myself an old, round wooden frame. I put it up but it looks a little drab so I see some Rub N Buff is in its future. The carving needs some highlights.

As we were cooking dinner the other night, one of the stove top burners caught on fire. I looked to see if there was something burning underneath that had fallen below but soon realized, nope, those were just flames shooting out. I was going to try to turn off the burner when sparks started flying. It seriously shot up sparks like one of those cones you light off on the 4th of July, so I had to run back. Everytime I thought it was done, I went to the stove and the sparks would fly again. Jon laughed at me flailing about. I think I lost a few lashes. The burner let out a big "pop!" and then it died. What a way to go though - in all sparks and glory! We were planning on getting a new stove anyway so the timing is good.


My toes and hands are constantly cold.


Oh yeah, I did manage to get to one thing - details later but me likey so far.

Have a good weekend!

Delicate Paperwhites

Monday, January 21, 2013

Waking up to a new bloom of Paperwhites on a Monday makes me happy.

These are usually forced before Christmas but I like to wait until after the holidays. For one, they're 50-75% off and two, I like having a flower to look forward to on what can sometimes be long, cold days of winter. Their scent can be strong so it could be a love it or hate it thing. It was an acquired aroma for me but I could never dislike something that's so easy to grow and works magic on the soul.

Happy Monday.

Bessie's book

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What is it about the world of old books that are so interesting?
Is it the multi-sensory experience of holding it in your hands, flipping through their pages or that worn smell of the print? Or maybe in this digital age, an old book makes you feel a little more grounded because of all that's going on around you?

I have yet to read an e-book. I'm sure I will at some point. I have yet to squeeze in much reading time at all over the past couple of years but I can't help picking up an old book or two when they present themselves. I use them to create height on tables, stack them as a way to display or just read them. We are on the hunt for bookshelves to line a wall in one of our rooms because this ever-growing collection needs to be enjoyed.

Last fall I was at the Public Library and came across their basement book sale. All books were 10 cents a pound. I picked up a couple of children's books and then went to the vintage ones. Some of the criteria I look for are intact spines, colorful covers, dates prior to WWII, nice or interesting typography and topics of interest.

While there, I found this book, The Cocker Spaniel, by Ella B. Moffit. The green color caught my eye so I thumbed through it.

On the front page was written:
Bessie D. Apgar
Westminster Dog Show
Madison Square Garden
Feb. 10,11,12. 1937

After I lugged home 20 pounds of books (I was on foot) I forgot about them so they stayed in a bag for a week. When I was finally able to look at them, I opened up the dog book first and out fell two calling cards of Bessie's. Besides the fading color, they were in perfect condition. I studied them and turned them over to see if there was any writing on back.

 I wondered if she had gone to the dog show with this book and put her cards in there to give away or if she bought the book there since she was obviously interested in Cocker Spaniels. I wondered if one of her dogs was in the show and the book was a gift from the handler. Suddenly I had all these questions about Bessie so I did a little research.

I found that she was Dr. Apgar, the Assistant Professor of Biology at Elizabethtown College in the 1950's. Her husband, the other Dr. Apgar, was the Professor of Biology. A 1950 yearbook was dedicated to them and the college now bestows a distinguished alumni award in their honor every year.
I know I'll eventually enter the world of e-books but this book adventure tells me I can happily live in both.

Have a good day!

"To Dr. Charles Apgar and to Dr. Bessie Apgar, who have led us through the mysteries of the cell to an appreciation of God's pattern for all living things, we gratefully offer in dedication this 1950 Etonian."

Little excursions

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Spring-like weather in the middle of January begged us to explore so it was a perfect day to see a few things in THE District. We stayed overnight in Rockville and got up early on Saturday to hit the town. One thing I love about DC is that it's a walking town and this unseasonably nice weather made it really easy to do.

Jon took the boys to the Air & Space Museum and I took the girls to the National Gallery. Charley hadn't been there before so I wanted her to see it. It would've been more perfect if Belén could have joined us but her job made that impossible this trip. Blair had her heart set on going to Charming Charlie's (of course we did too) but that wasn't what we came to DC for. I think Jon's exact words were "You're not going to be a girl who just wants to shop all day. Let's go see the museums."

After a few minutes of complaining she realized this could be cool and pointed out some paintings she wanted to see and asked questions like, "How did all these paintings get here?" "How old are they?" She ended up loving it and asked me to take a picture of her in front of Edgar Degas', The Dance Lesson.

Van Gogh is one of Charley's favorites so I enjoyed seeing her get up close to his paintings. She turned to me with a huge grin and said, "The use of texture on his paintings is sick." Spoken like a true teenager; one that loves art anyway.

We talked as we walked around, remembering all the times I would take Belén and Charley, then ages 7 & 5 and Reese who was just 10 months, on the metro to see the city. We lived 16 miles from DC at the time and while Jon was at work, we'd hop the train and go explore, just me and the kids. I was so lucky they were all good and content travelers. Even Reese as a baby would just sit back in his stroller and enjoy the hustle and bustle. I never worried about taking them anywhere. I like to get out and see what there is to do and babies in my house would just have to like it too. Maybe too much at times; it seems I can't even go to the corner store without a car full of kids. Oh well, it makes us all happy.

After we strolled in and out of centuries of art, we met the boys for another hour at the Space museum where they were knee deep in experiments. I love that the Smithsonian has so much for them to do and I love that it's just a couple hours drive from us. Little excursions make me so happy.

1. Young Mick Jagger? photo: Charley. 2. Blair and me admiring Monet. Photo cred: Charley
3. Charley helping Trae with an experiment. 4. Reese helping Blair

A link to The Golden Globes recap

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm all over the Golden Globes for the red carpet fashion but beyond the monologue, and actor/actress/movie/director categories, I don't watch it all. I did check back in a few times because I wanted to see more of two of my favorites, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. They were hysterical; just wish they had been on camera more.

I took a break in watching because the 2nd episode of Downton Abbey started at 9 pm and that is a can't-miss series in this house. Maggie Smith (Violet Crawley on Downton Abbey) won a Globe which was well deserved. I think she steals the show.

Elements of Style always has a great recap of the Golden Globes. Go check it out.

At home and Friday Finds next week

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's been 5 days since I've been staying home full-time and I must say, the break has been nice. It probably won't be this way for long but for now it's good to not have to run-off anywhere and concentrate on getting a bunch of things done around the house. It's really hard for me to cram all the chores on a Saturday when I'd rather be playing, which is what we'll be doing this weekend. I love to hit the road and go on short excursions. Who doesn't?

And since blogger is throwing a tantrum, face-down and is not letting me upload any new photos, I'll save my Friday Finds and this little makeover for next week.

Until then, have a happy weekend!

Expanding ideas

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I have been thinking a lot lately about writing and crafting essays and stories and how I've kind of missed it.  I still have a children's book that I wrote in college with my professor's note on it saying, "I look forward to seeing this published. May I have a copy?" It's still sitting in a box. I'm not sure why I never did anything about it. It just seemed like there was always something more important for me to do but I really enjoyed the process of writing.

So this year on my blog I decided that I would explore a few more subjects that are of interest to me and share my thoughts on them. So many times I just randomly write down something so I have a post for that day. While random can be good, I'd like to put some more thought into it and maybe with it, have an easy exercise we can apply to our lives. There will still be the regular vintage finds and projects, like the cool sweater pillows I was working on this weekend, but adding a little extra could be fun.

Have a happy weekend!

Probably the worst movie critique

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I am not a movie critic nor do I play one on my blog. Writing critiques doesn't really interest me and I don't know enough about movies to offer much of an opinion anyway. While a professional critic has merit, their overuse of words such as intoxicating, ostensible, visceral, unapologetic, and genuine sometimes feels tedious to me. Do you feel that way? I think I'm just more of a "get to the point" person.

Really, I'd rather see a little check box, "Is this movie good? Yes or No." Kinda like the notes passed to you in sixth grade from a boy named Bobby. It was suuuper embarrassing when the teacher would catch you and you had to read it out loud, though. Oh, the humiliation.

Yes, Les Misérables, I like you. alot.


The magic of Christmas

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The build-up to Christmas was really exciting for us. Not just because of presents and the anticipation the kids have of seeing them under the tree in the morning, but because of the family time that we get for a few days straight without interruption. No school, no sports practice, no work for Jon and myself, no having to run kids around anywhere. Just time in the house - playing board games and charades, drinking hot chocolate, watching movies and eating tamales until we can't eat anymore.

The snowfall on Christmas Eve made things even more exciting.  Jon read from the scriptures and I read a story that a friend from church had given us. We try to make sure the right perspective about what Christmas means to us is included in the season but we're not militant about it. Kids are kids and they are going to be crazy excited for gifts and will talk non-stop about Santa coming to town. We're okay with that. In fact, we enjoy and encourage it. These moments for me to see their belief in this part of Christmas is so very short and I like to enjoy it all. I fully expect them to grow up with happy memories of Christmas and come to understand the deeper reason for it all, just like I did.

And with that, we told them it was time to spread some Christmas cheer so we ventured out to do a little caroling. Now, we in no way think our singing will ever bring anyone cheer. As we practiced in the car we kept laughing at how bad it sounded and would scratch that particular song off our list. So we kept it simple and asked that the Spirit would drown out the song.

We pulled up to one friend's house and saw their family walking down the sidewalk. Jon rolled down the window and told them we were coming to their house to carol. They were actually heading to their neighbor's to do the same so they asked us to go along. This neighbor's adult daughter died in a car accident a few years ago so the holidays can be especially tough on them.

Between our two families there were 15 people standing at the door. You can imagine their surprise.
Trae stood at the very front and on the porch steps. When we were done singing, the woman asked him to come to her. He hesitated a little but went up as she held out her arms. She hugged him tightly - not once, but twice and kissed him on the cheek. It was the sweetest thing. It was like a grandma's hug; something Trae has never experienced. They both exchanged big grins and for that moment, I knew she felt close to her daughter. I mentioned something about it in the car and Blair asked how she could feel that way when Trae was so little and isn't her child and her daughter was older. Jon told her that no matter a child's age, they will always be our babies and she was really missing her baby then. I told Blair that it was comforting for her to be around someone who could fulfill that longing for family and in this case, just a hug from a child was all that was needed.

"Oh, the magic of Christmas." she said.