Spring, Beautiful Spring

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” –  Henry Van Dyke

Good Morning Everyone:

Wake up – it is the first day of spring ! Spring is such a glorious time of year.  And, I hope where ever you may be, you will take a moment to welcome this day, and the wonderful new season.

So fix your coffee, curl up, and reflect on all the many, lovely days ahead.    Dream,  and become inspired!

Thanks for visiting today.  Wishing you and yours beautiful days, during this most special season!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Photo:  Images of me/Pinterest

Tending our Gardens

“Whether people are fully conscious of this or not, they actually derive countenance and sustenance from the “atmosphere” of the things they live in and with.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Good Morning Everyone:

Even though it may still seem like winter for many of you, take heart, spring is near.  And, she will soon arrive in full, glorious bloom.

This morning, I would like to share the words of someone I greatly admire – Alexandra Stoddard.  My husband and I had the great pleasure of spending time with her and her husband several years ago.  A special and wonderful time, I will write about later.  But, today I want to share her words about “Tending Your Own Garden.”

“Plant your seeds and cultivate your own garden.  Everyone who does so is wise, because happiness is centered here.  Our house becomes a home when we love it.  Our home can always be in bloom, full of springtime, fresh beginnings, plants growing, and happiness flowering.  Paradise is right here, right now, day by day.  Our homes are our ideal earthly paradise.  Give your home your all, feed it with beauty, color and light:  treat all your objects with respect and dignity.  It is here that we create paradise; it is here that we are nourished by our sacred refuge, our physical environment we love that loves us back.  Our homes can be so enriching that we choose not to leave at all and to take our vacations there.”

So today, take a look around your home and decide how well you are “tending your garden.”  Does she need attention?  If so, spring is all about new beginnings and is the perfect time to think about your  special place.  The place which gives you shelter from the world.   And, the place where you derive countenance and sustenance.

Thanks for visiting – have a beautiful weekend !

Au Revoir,

Sandra

ps.  Always happy to assist or answer any gardening or interior design questions you may have.   You may contact me here on the blog under the comment section, or click on Contact and send me a message.

Photo: davesgarden.com/Pinterest

Stoddard quotes from her book:  “Choosing Happiness”

Inside Thoughts

“Everyone has, inside himself…what shall I call it?  A piece of good news!  Everyone is…a very great, very important character.”   – Ugo Betti

Good Morning Dear Friends:

I was doing a bit of Sunday afternoon reading yesterday, and came across the above quote by Ugo Betti.  I believe his words to be true.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel we all believe this about ourselves and others.  But, wouldn’t it be great if we did?  Imagine what could be accomplished in our world if we did look at ourselves and others, as though we were all “very important characters.”

I believe we can choose to swing the pendulum in a new direction and make our world a kinder, more loving place.  Each and every one of us has something special and unique to offer, “a piece of good news.”  And, by using our unique talents, we add joy and a touch of grace to our lives and to the lives of others.

So, as you begin your week, think about what makes you unique.  Perhaps, it has been far too long since you have given that person a thought, but she/he is there waiting for you –  to use your beautiful gifts.  And, in the words of Paulo Coelho, “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they DREAM of.”

Thanks for visiting.  Wishing you a Beautiful week !

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Photo:  Chic Fragments Too/fb

Restoration of our Senses

Good Morning Everyone:  Happy Friday!

The weekend is ahead, and it is time to dream – become inspired!

Even though the weather forecasters have promised winter for our weekend, here in North Central West Virginia, spring is just around the corner.  It is time to watch the earth come alive and to be in the garden.  Being in nature is a dose of medicine for our spirits, it always makes us better.  It provides us with what we didn’t know we needed – beauty.  And, it “restores our senses,” sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.

So, today I am sharing a few thoughts of others.  Thoughts, I have written down over the years in my “pretty little book.” 

Sense of sight:  “There is no spot of arid, bare, or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight.” – Gertrude Jekyll

Sense of sound:  “The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.” – Elizabeth Lawrence

 

 

Sense of taste:  “The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby – how could anything so beautiful be mine.  And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year.  There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown.” – Alice B. Toklas 

 

Sense of smell:  “When I was a boy, I thought scent was contained in dewdrops on flowers and if I got up very early in the morning, I could collect it and make perfume.” – Oscar de la Renta

 

Sense of touch:  “I who cannot see find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch.  I feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf.  I pass my hands lovingly about the smooth skin of a silver birch, or the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. …I feel the delightful, velvety texture of a flower, and discover its remarkable convolutions; and something of the miracle of Nature is revealed to me.” – Helen Keller

“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.” – Hanna Rion

I hope you are inspired to possibly join me in the garden, plant a few flowers or herbs for your deck or patio, or go to the park and simply “be.”  Where ever you are – enjoy the glorious season about to unfold.

Thanks for visiting – have a beautiful weekend!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Photos:  fotki.yandex.ru/pinterest, Davolly59 on flickir/pinterest, Abigail Danner-gardening/pinterest, springs favorites-Midwest Living/pinterest/Budget plants.com,pinterest

Thought for the Day

 

 

 

 

 

“But beauty is a beam from heaven, that dazzles blind our reason.” – Thomas Campbell

I do hope you have a lovely day, Love and Hugs to You!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Photo:  suchprettythings/pinterest

Planning Ahead

 

Good Morning Everyone :   And, Happy Monday !

With bulbs bursting through the ground, buds on the trees beginning to swell and blue skies shining – Easter can’t be far away.  And, it is just around the corner, April 16.  Maybe it is all the years I worked outside the home, or maybe it is just me, but I like to plan ahead.   Planning ahead alleviates stress, and we all know life is happier without stress, especially around the holidays.

When I think of Easter Sunday, I think of a lovely sunny day, a gentle breeze and glorious spring flowers in bloom.  And, I do love to see them blooming on the table.  With the weather being as fickle as it has been this year, it is hard to pin point exactly what will be blooming.  Additionally, if you do not have flowers available to you from your own garden and it is necessary for you to purchase flowers, trying to determine what will be available to purchase in the stores is difficult.

So, let’s think about pansies.  Pansies are readily available at most all garden centers this time of year.  I love pansies, they are so happy and come in such pretty and varied colors.

  

I love to see a small clump of them in a tea cup or mug placed at each setting on the table.  Pop in or tie  a hand written name on a place card and you have added a special touch.  This also makes a sweet gift for your guests to take with them when they leave – memories of the day.  Everyone loves a little present.  So, now is the time to start shopping the thrift stores.  You can find very inexpensive tea cups or mugs at these stores, or perhaps give your cupboards a thorough look, you may have on hand something which would be nice to use.   Unless your china is plain without any pattern,  I would shop for a solid color or colors, which would coordinate with the color of your china and linens you are planning to use.

 

And, for the center of the table you can place several little pots of pansies, with some moss tucked around, in a large bowl or tureen.  Add a candle to either side and you have created something beautiful! Scatter a few votive candles about and you have magic.

Easter is a time of new beginnings.  It is a time to recognize and truly see the beauty God has placed on this earth for us all to enjoy, and to see the beauty in the faces of those seated at our tables. It is a time to savor everything, everyone and every moment.

Thanks for visiting today – Have a gorgeous week – Love and Hugs to you!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

Photos:  Pink Pansy in cup/Fatinia.tumbir.com

Pansy in mug/Petitmilou.exblog.jp 

Pansies in bowl, centerpiece/Rene Zieg-Cottage &Vine/pinterest

Weekend Wishes

Good Morning Everyone:

My post is a day late, due to some computer issues.  Technology is so wonderful when everything works as it should, and it is absolutely maddening when it doesn’t.  And, yesterday was one of those maddening days.

The good news about the day was, it gave me a chance to catch up on some reading.  I don’t know about you, but things seem to fall into my hands.  Really, they do.  And, yesterday, while trying to remain calm and quiet in the middle of chaos, I opened a magazine to the following quote:

“Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” – James Allen

There it was, just what I needed to read.  So, this morning as you begin your weekend, I wish you “calmness of mind.”  Scatter joy, and I hope you find joy in the little things!  Also, I am sending you a treasured recipe.  Just in case, you would like to treat yourself and those you love to a bit of delightful goodness on a Sunday morning.  Enjoy!

English Cream Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbls. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cold butter, diced

1 cup cold whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a baking sheet; set aside.  Handling ingredients as little as possible, in a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Blen in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly.  Add cream, stirring just until dough sticks together.  Turn onto floured surface.  Knead 5-6 times gently.  Divide dough in half and pat each into a 6″ circle.  Cut across (pizza style) each to make 8 triangles.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Serve with your choice of preserves.

Note:  I often make this into one circle, I like the scones a little thicker.

Thanks for visiting today, have a beautiful weekend – Love and hugs to you!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Photo:  Suchprettythings.typepad.com/Pinterest

Spring Musings

“And Spring arose on the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere.” Percy Bysshe Shelley

Good Morning Everyone:

It is time to wake up, scatter joy, listen to bird song, and think of the glorious days ahead!  Yes, spring is almost here.  And, with spring knocking on our door, it is time to begin to think of the garden, projects around our home, family gatherings, and how we want to enjoy this beautiful season.  The list will vary for each of us – but I am sure everyone has their list.

I don’t watch much television, but I do enjoy a few programs and one is:  HGTV “Fixer Upper,” staring Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Mainly, I enjoy the program because, in my humble opinion, Chip and Joanna are “real.”  They are light hearted, and I enjoy seeing their finished product.

All this being said, my husband picked up an issue of their magazine, Magnolia Journal, while grocery shopping.  He is the best man, and he loves to grocery shop.  Truly.  Plus, he always checks the magazines for me.  Just one of those sweet  things that goes a long way, in the long haul.

So, back to Magnolia Journal.  If you have not seen or purchased a copy, you might want to do so.  It is lovely, inspiring and a worthy read.  And, there are a couple of things from this issue (Spring, 2017),  I want to share today.  One, is a list of Joanna’s thoughts about welcoming spring.  And, they are as follows:

Make Room for What Matters

Breathe Deeply

Tidy Up

Learn Something New

Choose Simplicity

Keep Growing

When I read her words, my initial  thoughts were:  She is real, and she is a girl after my own heart.  Her advice is wise, and gives one much to consider.  I especially love: Make Room for What Matters, Learn Something New and Keep Growing.  Personally, I believe these are three BIG items.  Our lives often become too cluttered with activities/commitments that really don’t matter.  As well as,  our homes often become too cluttered with “things” that don’t matter.  Both require editing, and often.  And, I know first hand, from my mother and grandmother,  learning something new and keep growing are two secrets toward a long and happy life.

Additionally, I am also sending you a recipe from this issue which is truly decadent, as well as easy.  A lovely dessert, or perhaps a reward for hours spent “tidying up,” or working in the garden.

Affogato Aficionado – ENJOY!

1 scoop of high-quality gelato or ice cream , in a short glass or coffee cup

2 TBLS. hot expresso or strong coffee, poured over ice cream

Drizzle with chocolate syrup, salted caramel sauce, or honey

Suggestions for ice cream:  cinnamon, hazelnut, chocolate or vanilla

Note:  Affogato is Italian and  means, drowned.  Coffee ice cream is also an excellent choice – I know.

Thanks for visiting today.  Have a beautiful week.  Enjoy your own, personal thoughts of spring, and should you need just a wee nudge of inspiration…….

“If you dream it, you can make it so.”  – Susan Branch

Love and Hugs to you.

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Photo:  Better Homes & Gardens/Denny Schrock/Pinterest

Friday Thoughts

Good Morning Everyone:  Happy Friday!

This morning, I would like to share something I feel is beautiful, as well as quite special to me.  The song, “It’s a Wonderful World,” sung by, Louis Armstrong.

Why does this song have such meaning to me?  Many years ago, I had the honor of being part of a staff which opened a grand new middle school.  At that time, it was the largest middle school in the state of Virginia.  Student population of 2,200 and a staff of over 200.  The staff was truly, the finest group of people I have ever seen assembled under one roof.  Such talented, wonderful and caring people, all working together for a common cause – the children.  I often wondered to myself, “How was it I was so fortunate to be part of this special group of people?”  My only answer, God smiled on me, and I was forever grateful.”  The six years I spent with this staff was  life changing –  for me.  Great people change others – it is that simple… they just do.

So, back to the song.  Every August when the staff members returned from their summer vacation, they were welcomed by this lovely song playing over the public address system, as they entered the building.   You see, these fabulous people truly believed it was a wonderful world.  Their positive attitude and extraordinary enthusiasm, for and about, absolutely everything was infectious.   Therefore, this morning, I hope to begin your day with a smile, maybe a joyful tear, as you listen to this lovely piece of music.  And, as you go about your life this weekend, I do hope you will – “Think to yourself, What a Wonderful World.”

Thanks for visiting today – Love and Hugs to you!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

aquieterstorm.tumblr.com/pinterest

Time to “Be”

There are times when we stop, we sit sill.  We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper. – James Carroll

                                                                                                                                                         

 

Good Morning Everyone:

I do hope each of you had a fabulous weekend, with gorgeous weather.  Here, in North Central West Virginia, the weather was simply delightful.  Sixty-two degrees, delightful!  And, that is certainly not the norm for our part of the world.

 

The nice weather found me outside in our garden, pruning our wonderful, weeping Japanese Maple.  Weeping Japanese Maples are beautiful, in my opinion.  They add color, texture and because of their twists and turns, add visual interest in the winter.  However, pruning them is a tedious and time consuming project.  When my back would begin to ache,  I would take a break from my work and wander about the garden, looking to see who was peaking up through the soil.  Yes, it is who.  You see, Cytherea, Abalone Pearl and Sunny Girl are beginning to wake up from their sleep – all peonies.  And, Billy Graham, Pineapple Prince and Rip Van Winkle are awake, up and have blooms set on them – all daffodils.  And, I must not forget King Alfred (also a daffodil) he is in bloom.   Don’t you love the names, I do.  I wonder how one goes about being the person who determines names for these lovely things.  Wouldn’t it be the best fun to look at something gorgeous and give it a name?

In addition to wandering the garden, I also took time out to “Be.”  To sit on my sweet bench, look at the beautiful blue sky, listen to the birds sing, watch my Carolina Jasmine twirl in the breeze, and dream of visions soon to come.  I sat in perfect peace, counting my blessings – my health, my husband and our home.  I also thought of my mom and counted her as such a blessing.  She was a blessing for  many reasons. But, she was a mother who taught me to see.  Such a gift.

So, as you go about your week, take notice of your world waking from her winter sleep.   Because, in the words of  Emerson, “We are all seeking the divinities that are sitting disguised.”  Have a beautiful week!

Thanks for visiting today, Love and Hugs to you!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Note:  Photo – Mary Via/Things That Delight/Pinterest