July 31, 2010


This past week has just plain sucked. I haven't been up to par and have dragged around the house feeling flu-ish, achy and exhausted for 5 days now. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm getting plenty of rest, reading and watching movies.
Today we rented "Invictus" and it was a fantastic movie. This is the true story of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) as he was released from prison after 27 years, then became South Africa's President in their first truly democratic election. In his efforts to unite the country, he enlists the captain of the rugby team (Matt Damon) to go all out and take the team to the World Cup in 1995.
I'm not much for politics or sporting events, but this movie had me in goose bumps and tears. During his time in prison, Mandela was fond of reading and quoting the poem "Invictus," written by William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) who suffered from tuberculosis of the bone.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
This movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, was beautifully done, a story well told and so worth watching. I'd highly recommend it!
And now I'm going to go lay down again ...

July 26, 2010

For the Love of Milk Glass

I've had a love affair with milk glass for about 20 years now. I've always loved the way the white glass mixes so well in tablescapes with other dishes and linens. The bright white pops and shows off whatever you're featuring whether it be food or flowers or something precious. At last count, I had over 50 pieces of every variety. The family even bought me the "Collector's Encyclopedia of Milk Glass" in 2002 so I could learn more about it.

Here's a little history from the book ... Milk glass was made as early as 1500 B.C. in Egypt and perhaps even earlier. Probably the first milk glass produced in this country was made at Jamestown, Virginia, about 1609. It was part of the fanciful beads produced to use in trading with the Indians. The peak years of milk glass popularity in the United States were 1895-1910, but of course, many companies continue to produce milk glass today.

So I did a little tour of the house and took some photos of my milk glass collection ...

Of all of my pieces, I probably use my cake stands the most. This square one is the perfect size for Bundt cakes.

We bought a pair of corner shelves at an antique auction when we lived in Denver that sit in our dining room. The dark wood really complements the white of the milk glass.

I have a pair of hobnail candlesticks that I use on the dining table which matches a scale that I've never really figured out what to do with ...

Love the vases and compotes filled with silk flowers and candles ...

I use them to hold toothpicks, salt and pepper mills, the dish scrubber and even fortune cookie bubble bath fizzies ...

I do use my milk glass for serving whenever possible ...

I love these salt dips, which I use for fresh ground pepper as well. Bought tiny silver spoons for them when we were in Acapulco ...

Although I've slowed way down on the collecting, whenever I get a chance to troll the antique malls or find something unique at a flea market, I still snap it up. I've received some beautiful pieces as gifts that are so special and made some amazing finds during vacations. It's always fun to see the different things you can find in other areas of the country.

The two plates shown in the last two pictures actually glow around the points when you hold them up to the light. Couldn't catch it on the camera, though I tried.

We have pieces scattered throughout this antique hutch (that needs some curved glass replaced) and I love the 3-tiered server edged in gold that sits on top.

So that's a little catalog of my collection. Any other milk glass lovers out there?

July 23, 2010

Monsoons and Migraines

Monsoon season is upon us again. I know this for two reasons. First, the sky looks like this ...

And, second, because it makes me feel like this ...

The change in barometric pressure and the high humidity that comes with the storms plays havoc with my migraine headaches. I just have to "weather" them (ha!) and this too shall pass.

The first time we moved to Phoenix was in August of 1990. We honestly had no idea what to expect. The searing heat was stupefying, the desert landscape was puzzling, the electricity bills were downright shocking ... and then came the monsoons. We initially rented a house that had a big wall of windows in the family room. During our first wild ride monsoon storm, Hubby, the two daughters, Buddy the Yorkie and I huddled together on the couch in the family room and stared open-mouthed out the window as lightning tore up the sky, thunder shook the house and rattled the glass.

The powerful winds and driving rain can do a lot of damage. Trees can be uprooted, the streets turn into rivers ... think Mother Nature throwing a tantrum with major PMS. Obviously, the best and safest place to be during one of these storms is tucked into your own home with a flashlight and blankie. But that's not always possible.

I was caught in a storm while driving once and it was an amazing experience. As a self-employed marketing consultant, I was going from one client meeting to the next one afternoon. Sitting at a stoplight on Scottsdale Road, I remember seeing something odd in my peripheral vision, glanced to my left and did a double-take. There was a flash flood of water heading my way down a portion of the Indian Bend Wash and with cars in front of me, behind me and on either side, I just had to wait and see what happened. If you've ever been on one of the rides at Universal Studios where you're in the tram and suddenly a dam breaks and water is rushing at you, that's what it feels like. Except this was real and I was by myself in the car.

Within seconds, the intersection was flooded and my car was bobbing like a bumper boat. It was absolutely surreal. I could see that the water was high enough to cover the wheel wells on the cars around me. The lady in the car to my left apparently stalled out and I remember shrieking at her as she opened her car door and stepped out into the thigh high water, "What the hell are you doing? Get back in your car!" After a few minutes, the water level subsided just a bit and most cars were able to keep moving through it. A large pickup truck going a little too fast in the opposite direction had us bouncing and bobbing just like when a boat goes by on the lake.

By this time, the water had come into my car and my feet were soaked. I had leather loafers and socks on and my trouser legs were wet. Fortunately, my car did not quit on me and I was able to keep going, ending up a little soggy and shaken at my client's home office where she gave me a towel and we held our meeting as usual. I made it home uneventfully, but the next morning, my car's battery called in sick and we had to purchase a shop vac. It was months before we could get the nasty smell out of the carpets and upholstery, even with all the shampooing and leaving the windows down every night.

Last year, we were getting ready for bed at one end of the house during a storm when we heard a loud bang. We did a little looking around, but didn't find anything out of the ordinary. The next morning, we could see that on the opposite end of the house, the eaves had been struck by lightning. There was a black smudge near the roof and we found wood chips on the ground beneath it.

While monsoons can be pretty scary, they're also kind of exciting. The rain makes everything smell so fresh and you can feel the electricity in the air. Sometimes during a storm, I'll take a cup of coffee out on the covered patio and just sit there, feeling the wind on my face, taking big whiffs of the scent of rain and enjoying the lightning show. It's a whole different kind of entertainment!

July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Just Peachy

To visit other fabulous Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.

July 19, 2010

Post-It Note Tuesday - 07/20/10

Brought to you by

Here are my thoughts today ...

That was from Hubby as he was reading
the subject line in a spam email.
Hubby, sitting in his easy chair in the family room, told me I was a wonderful wife.
As I leaned over to kiss him on the forehead and tell him he's a wonderful husband,
out of the corner of my eye, I see Louie licking the hell out of my flip flop. 
my fortune

hubby's fortune

And, last, I love this quote by Joseph Campbell ... 
Loving me some blue sky post-it notes!

Dinner Napkins and More ...

Linking up with Heaven is a Bookstore for Martha Monday ...

Sorry, but I'm going to continually amaze/bore you with more machine embroidery. This is my new obsession. I am going to monogram anything that doesn't move around here. Run, puppies, hide!

On the clearance table at Anna's Linens, I found dinner napkins for 49¢ each so I bought 20 of them, 10 in a light gold, 10 in burgundy. We redid our dining room last year and have decorated in those colors so they'll be great for entertaining.

Here they are with a couple of napkins rings on them. The silver ones we bought in Acapulco and they're a little tarnished. Something else to put on my To Do list.

I also embroidered some dishtowels for the Youngest Daughter ...

The hoop marks you can see will wash out. There are so many projects rolling around in my head right now, I don't know where to start. My poor knitting is feeling very abandoned. Think I'd better work on my Dynamic Cardi and watch me some Lifetime. 

Speaking of which, I watched a TV movie this past weekend called "Two Weeks" starring Sally Field. Absolutely tragic and sadly funny and I cried through half of it. Sally is a mother dying of cancer and her four adult children come to be with her (and the stepfather none of them really knows) for the end. Lots of family drama amongst the siblings and working out of long-time issues.

Her intestines have clogged up and she throws up anything she eats so she's on an IV for nutrition. In one scene, the family is gathered around the dinner table eating ribs, actually enjoying themselves a tiny bit, laughing, chatting. She comes out of her bedroom, rolling her IV, and when she enters the dining room, they all just freeze, looking very guilty. She says she wants a rib and they debate it for a second, but the daughter has read a book on dying and mentions that she can chew the food but not swallow it. So they make room for her at the table and she takes a big bite of a rib and she's chewing and moaning over how good it tastes. Everyone is quietly watching her and then she hocks it out onto the plate in front of her. Uncomfortable doesn't even begin to describe the atmosphere. One of her sons takes a big bite of something, chews and spits it out. Then they're all doing it. Sounds weird, but it was touching and lovely.

Anyway, if you're up for a good cry, this was a heartwarming movie. Very well done.