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Monday, September 18, 2017

Beginning to Decorate for the Fall..... White and Pale Blue Pumpkins




Can you believe it's Monday morning already?  We were away for the weekend. It's good to be home!
         Well, I finally began to decorate for the fall. I decided to use white pumpkins this year. I wasn't so sure when I started if I would like the look...But I have to say I love it!!  It is a softer look for fall.
         I'm still not too sure what I will do outside.





White Pumpkins and Dried Hydrangea
Glass Front Kitchen Cabinet...White Pumpkins and Straw

Dining Room Centerpiece

 Matilda the Witch
There is a story behind this witch..... I purchased her at Home Goods many years ago when the grandchildren were younger. I fell in love with her! I especially loved her satin, velvet and lace dress. And how I loved the feather in her hat not to mention the jewelry around her neck!! I thought she was  so ugly, that she was beautiful!!! I believed the grandchildren would love her as I did. I sat  her on a bench in the kitchen for all to see.
When the grandkids came to visit they didn't love her as I did. In fact they hated her!!! Some where afraid!  but they all found her Very Creepy!!!
So Matilda sits in the kitchen, but has to fly away when the grandchildren to visit. 


xo
 Sue
                                                                                                 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Displaying Old Photographs



Hi Everyone!
    Happy September!
       Do you believe it's already September?
 Here in Northeastern Pennsylvania it's been quite cool. The feeling of Fall is in the air. It makes me want to run out and buy those beautiful colorful  mums and pumpkins that I love. But the flowers in the garden are looking so beautiful at the moment. I can't bring myself to replacing them just yet.



                                         Nothing says Fall like sunflowers in the kitchen!!

              Todays post is about old photographs. Recently we inherited a couple of old photo albums from Phil's mom and grandmother. The albums were in poor condition so we decided to place these old pictures in new albums. Phil worked for months on this project. So many pictures from so long ago. Some pictures of people we didn't even know. Pictures of celebrations and holidays. People laughing and smiling for the camera. I was amazed at how many photos were taken at what seemed to be just an ordinary Sunday dinner. They were photos of different times, times when the whole family came together to share a meal. Much different then the pictures we take today.
      After finishing the albums we decided to take a few of the pictures and display them, The people in these photos were our relatives, our history. Seeing their happy times and realizing how important these times were to them, so important that they needed to capture these moments in pictures. We just knew we had to give them more prominence than being stuffed in a closet until our children inherited them some day.
       We chose to display them on a wall in our hallway. The frames I used were simple and mostly the same. This keeps the display from looking too busy. I also believe that the more simple the frame the more you appreciate the picture We used mostly original photos not copies. I hung them symmetrical, again to try and keep it pleasing to the eye. Most of the pictures were black and white and sepia. This kept the display looking old world. We also had some original birth certificates and wedding certificates that we hung. The pictures go back as far as my great grandmother. Some of them are as old as the early 1900s. My only regret is that the wall isn't bigger.



We still have a few more to add.  We have been waiting for family members to send us some old pictures that we didn't have to add to our wall. I like the fact that it is always being added to.

Phil's Grandparents Wedding Picture 1922
                           
My Grandmother's Engagement Picture 1916
           
Phil's Grandfather WWI
Each time I pass through the hallway I can't help to look at  this display. I am so glad we did it!


xoxo

      Sue


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Summer Tomato Sauce and Penne "Farm to Table"



                 Happy Saturday! Can you believe this week is almost gone?
      This week we decided to search for a farmstand. We know there is a farmer's market not too far away. But it is only there on Monday and Thursday. For what ever reason we never seem to be able to make it on those days. The area in which we live is mostly farm country. In fact that is just what attracted me to this town...Acres and acres of farmland. I am in love with the beauty of the many miles of corn fields. I think There is no doubt this is what sealed the deal for us to move here.
I also think the farmland reminds me of what Long Island was like when I moved there many years ago. All of the farms are now gone from where we lived on the Island. The land became so valuable most farmers sold their land. The farms are now replaced by shopping malls, shopping centers, home developments and condominiums. I know this is progress but I missed them. I loved them!
When I get homesick what makes me feel better is to ride past the miles and miles of farms... the corn fields, the vegetable farms the peach orchards, the strawberry fields, the fields of wild flowers and the rows and rows of greenhouses For those few moments the memories of back home fill my heart. I am in awe of the beauty here. Little by little I am falling in love with this little corner of my world.
        I wanted to buy local produce. There are so many farms we knew there had to be a farm stand. We came across this stand in the middle of nowhere. It looked like it had been there forever. What fantastic vegetables! There is something very appealing about standing in the middle of the farm where you can see the vegetables growing.Smelling the air and the earth and being able to purchase what was in the ground just a short time ago. Buying what is in season and locally grown is not only healthier, but also tastier.
Corn field


       Tomatoes, garlic and basil to make a summer sauce with penne pasta for dinner. The cantaloupe smelled so good we couldn't resist... they were only $1.00.


                                                 Summer Tomato Sauce with Penne

            1 lb. ripe cherry tomatoes (vine ripened are best) rinsed, dried, and cut in half
            1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling over finished pasta
            1 teaspoon sea salt
            pinch of crushed hot pepper
            4 cloves garlic peeled
            10 fresh basil shredded
            1/2 lb. bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella) cut in half
            1 lb.penne
         
Toss the tomatoes, oil, sea salt, and crushed red pepper together in a large bowl. Whack garlic with side of knife and toss into bowl. Let marinate at room temperature, tossing once or twice for at least 30 minutes.
While the tomatoes are marinating, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8 quart pot over high heat.
Stir the penne into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi covered 10 to 12 minutes,
Remove the garlic from the marinated tomatoes and toss in basil. Drain the pasta, and add it to the bowl, and toss well to mix. Check the seasoning. adding salt and more crushed red pepper if necessary. Gently stir in bocconcini and serve.
Serve with freshly grated cheese (Grana Padano)


                                  Enjoy!!                  
                                     
                                        Sue




Thursday, July 20, 2017

A French Chateau in the Pocono Mountains


         Since we moved to Pennsylvania two years ago we spend a lot of time traveling to new towns. It began as a way to learn our way around, but now it has become an adventure. We both love historic towns where main street is full of small shops and great restaurants. Some of the towns we have traveled to have been a big disappointment. But last week we traveled to a town called Milford, Pa.
A neighbor's father heard we liked historic towns and he told us we had to go to Milford. He assured us that it was exactly what we were looking for.
         Milford is about one and a half hours northeast of us. I don't think either one of us was setting our expectations too high. All we could think of were the many times we drove for hours only to find a town that was called historic, but was a run down town with abandoned buildings and a few mom and pop stores.
          Much to our surprise it was Beautiful!! Milford was everything that was promised and then some. A town filled with such beauty and history. The streets were lined with antique shops, gift shops, a cupcake shop, an old fashioned candy and ice cream shop. I was in my glory!!!!  And oh, the beautiful Inns, Bed and Breakfasts and Hotels. I was most impressed with the warmth and friendliness of the shopkeepers. They seemed to want you to enjoy all their town had to offer. That's how we found out about the Historic Site Grey Towers.
           Grey Towers was built in 1886 by James Pinchot. Architect Richard Hunt designed the summer home to utilize local materials and to reflect the French heritage of the Pinchot family.
       
                                                                           Grey Towers
                                              

                                     View of Pocono Mts. from front porch of Grey Towers

                                                              Antique shop in town
One of the Inns in town
  
   We missed the last tour of the house and  garden. So we will return!!!! I can't wait!!!! I also didn't get a chance to check out all the antique shops. So I have to go back, right???

Have a great weekend!!
                              xoxo,
                           Sue

Friday, July 7, 2017

Blue and White Con't......Teapots



      I can't believe it's Friday already! The time seems to just fly by, Do you believe it's July already?
We have a very busy July. Friends coming from New York for a few days. Also, our grandson,Ryan is coming to spend a few days. I just can't contain my excitement!!!! We're so glad they are all getting old enough to spend time with us. I can't wait to spoil them all!!!!
Antique Children's Teapot Willow pattern
      Todays post is a continuation of the post from last week. After finishing last weeks post I realized just how much more blue and white pieces I have. Today I would like to focus on blue and white transferware teapots. There is something very special about these teapots. They are so pretty!! I can't seem to get enough of them even though I'm not a tea drinker......
Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles
Wedgwood  Romantic England
Teapot For One


                      xo
                   Sue










Friday, June 30, 2017

Blue and White Love!


      I was shopping for groceries yesterday and spotted these beautiful lilies in the garden section. This supermarket usually doesn't have nice flowers. These lilies seemed to stand out ! They were not the usual ordinary half dead flowers I usually find.They were so pretty! I just couldn't resist!!
I decided to put these magnificent flowers on the dining room table in the blue and white ginger jar I always use for large flowers. The beauty of this simplistic arrangement inspired this post...you just never know where the idea of a post will come from.
      Blue and white Chinese porcelain has been a part of decorating for a long time. It began as vessels used by the Chinese to store spices and herbs. Their vivid cobalt blue and white patterns and  unique shapes brought them into homes as decorations. They have never lost their popularity because of the beauty they add to any room. Blue and white Chinese porcelains come in many different patterns, shapes and sizes.
I have found that no matter what your color scheme, using the blue and white porcelains as an accent brings a bit of elegance and style to any room. The cobalt blue seems to make all the other colors in the room "pop". I have used this blue with red, apple green, and yellow. It's amazing how beautiful it looks with almost any color. Just yesterday I saw a display of blue and white plates against an orange wall on nancysdailydish.blogspot.com. Just Stunning!!!
                              You can never have enough blue and white....

Blue and White Centerpiece
Foyer
Large Ginger Jar and Happiness Jar on Table
                                                       
Blue and White Planter
This is the piece that started it all for me. I found this planter in Chinatown in San Francisco many years ago. I fell in love! In fact I carried it on the plane and it sat on my all the way back to New York.

Blue and White Planter


Blue and White Garden Stool in Bedroom


Happy 4th of July! Have a Great weekend!


Sue


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Making The Most of a Small Yard



         So glad the summer has finally arrived! We have had a week or so of beautiful summer weather.
The plants in the garden are flourishing. I guess they needed the sunshine, just as we all did. Did you ever notice how much better your mood is on a sunny day?
         Townhouse living doesn't give you a lot of garden space. I have tried to make the most of the little space I have. There isn't too much space for a lot of gardens, but I tried to use ever inch of space I could find.

Annuals in planters on the deck railings

Small Deck Garden


                         Using large pots throughout the garden makes up for limited space.


The Deck

            Decorating is always a challenge. It doesn't matter if it's inside or out. We have to learn to make the most of what we have. Well,what fun would it be if everything was easy?
                                              Have a great weekend!!!


                                     xo
                                         Sue