Friday, May 30, 2008

Sonnets And Wild Roses

O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wontonly
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses:
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwood and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves, Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall vade, by verse distills your truth.
William Shakespeare
Sonnet XVIII
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometimes to hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complesion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare

From you I have been absent in the spring,
when proud-pied april, dress'd in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those,
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
William Shakespeare

Sonnet CIX
O, never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify.
As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie:
That is my home of love: if I have ranged,
Like him that travels, I return again;
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be strain'd,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.

Sweet rose, fair flower, untimely pluck'd, soon vaded.....

As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap and birds did sing,
Trees did grow and plants did spring;
Enough of Shakespeare, roses and spring.....
The lovely pink rose bush belonged to my great-grandmother McCain, so it is rather special to me.....


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Essentially Lilly

I just love this very beautiful coffee table book. Even though it has been around for several years, I just found it the other day while shopping for bargins at Burkes Outlet. It was priced at $30 dollars when it came out in 2004. I got it for $9.99 and it has filled me with days of summertime inspiration. This is such a fun book and oh so beautiful. If you have a Burkes Outlet near you, it's a must have book at a great price.
The colorful shift dresses make me want to just buy a sewing machine and make myself dozens of those little dresses.

This is probably a Palm Beach gathering but it could be a Sunday afternoon tea any where in the South.

We could all use a little pampering.....
Photographs by Ben Fink.....
Illustrations by Izak Zenou....

Let's Go "Lilly" Style

And more Lilly to get you inspired for the beach and summer wear. The style is so classic that it never goes out of style. That is what I love about classic pieces. I am not one to be dressed in the trend of the moment but in a simple classic that feels and looks great.
Another Lilly table setting.....

Don't you just love those floral skinny cropped slacks for summer. I have been collecting Lilly inspired clothes for the spring and summer season. One day soon, I'll show you what I found.
Illustrations by Izak Zenou for "Essentially Lilly"
Photographs by Ben Fink for "Essentially Lilly"

More Lilly Inspiration

In my new favorite book, "Essentially Lilly" by Lilly Pulitzer and Jay Mulvaney, you find this beautiful table setting just bursting with color......(Photographes by Ben Fink)
And just look at the lovely illustrations by Izak Zenou, from the Lilly book. Isn't it the best feeling to find a GREAT book that you enjoy looking at and reading over and over again. This book is just so beautiful and inspiring. I love all of the color. It is really putting me in a summer frame of mind. I can hardly wait to get to our little island cottage next week. I have already started packing.

Oh so Palm Beach style.
No rambling thoughts from the country house this is well past midnight and my bedtime. Goodnight to all....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Inspiring Tidbits

Lilly Pulitzer says, "If you save your best china, crystal and silver for special occasions, make breakfast in bed an occasion". I decided a long time ago that I would use all of the good things everyday. It fills each day with that special feeling. I love sipping a glass of wine from my best crystal stem glasses.
Don't you just love the headboard!?! And just look at all of those cushions. Now I feel better about the many cushions I have on every bed. And, isn't she so very lovely. Even though this was years ago, I still love the style. The classic shift dress is something I collect and continue to wear. It's the perfect thing to have in the closet if someone calls up for lunch. Step into the shift dress, pull hair back with a fabric twist, brush on a little bronzer blush, mascara, lipstick...loop earrings and a splash of Joy. Slip into a darling pair of sandles and you are out the door in minutes. Toenails are always painted, of course. Don't forget the bangles and a big ring or two.
Photographs by Ben Fink for "Essentially Lilly"

Two of my favorite things....a box of Country House bath herbs and the "Essentially Lilly" book.

A little pampering for the lady of the house. Wonderful scented herb bags. They are so easy to make. Use material for wedding rice bags...cute into a square and fill with your favorite herbs. Tie and toss into your bath water. I have Lemon Balm, Lavender, Mint and Rosemary in my little courtyard herb garden. There is nothing more relaxing.

A few rambling thoughts from the country house.....
The art of being good to yourself.....
If you ever forget how beautiful you are, call me up and I will tell you.....
How you feel about yourself affects everything that you do.....


Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's All About Our Birthday Boy!

Yaya and lil' Beck, the birthday boy!!! As I said before, he is all about horses so his party theme was "Horses, Cowboys & Cowgirls"....His Yaya was more than happy to dress for the occasion.

Gathering around to sing happy birthday.
Happy Birthday to you.....
Happy Birthday to you.....
Happy Birthday dear BECK.....
Happy Birthday to you!!!!!

What a dahlin' horse cake! Made especially for Beck by his mommy and daddy. It was delicious, too. Horse cake, cupcakes and cookies were enjoyed by all.

Note.....I am loading 2 or 3 pictures at a time rather than putting all of them in one post. For some reason, my system keeeps locking up and I lost my pics and party post. I started over and decided to do the party in several groupings. My spacing is still off, as well. No matter how much I double space, indent or triple space, it puts it all together once it is actually posted.


A Birthday Surprise For Beck

Auntie Jodie arrives at the park with this beautiful baby Labrador. Mose, big brother to Beck, spent the night with his Auntie Jodie, Houston and lil' Gracie. On the ride to the birthday party, they were discussing what to name the new member of the family. Mose said, "JACK" JACK it is. Mose went on to say, "Jack, like Jack Frost"......It seems that the newest member of the family is named after Jack Frost. Isn't he just adorable!?!
Aunt Jodie arrives with JACK and gives the birthday boy a big birthday kiss.

Beck meeting JACK.....
A few rambling thoughts from the country house.....
"Ti amo" - saying "I love you" in Italian.....
What better time to savor the children's giggles than a springtime afternoon in the park.....

Our Little Family

This is our little family....well, all of us but Papa. Papa is our world traveler(and my husband, for those that don't know) and he spends more time in some foreign land than at home. We miss you, Papa, and wish you could have been at the 'Horses, Cowboys & Cowgirls' party for lil' Beck. You were there in spirit and we all loved talking to you via cell phone!!!
On the left is our daughter, Jodie, holding her foster daughter, Gracie. Next you have our daughter, Chastidy with her son and our firstborn grandson, Mose....Mose was named after his great-grandfather on his father's side of the family. Next we have Houston, our lil' foster grandangel and foster son of Mom Jodie. Yes, that blond wearing the big Jackie Kennedy sunglasses and a cowgirl hat is me...Yaya, and I'm holding the birthday boy, our little grandson, Beck, brother to Mose. Beck was named for my father's family and he also carries Papa's name as well. We have never been so honored! And last, but not least, is our plum-perfect son-in-law, Tom. As the kids say, "WOW! We had a blast at the party"!!!!! Thanks Laura, Tom's sister, for taking that photo.
This little buckaroo WOULD NOT pose or be still long enough for his Yaya to get a good picture. I spent the afternoon chasing after the kids but most of the shots of Mose was of the back of his head as he ran away. I did catch him taking a break and eating chocolate horse cake and cupcakes. After that, he was rearing to go, again.

Why, I have nevah seen a more beautiful cowgirl with her handsome cowboy. Little Beck loves to wear hats but, on his birthday, he refused to wear his cowboy hat. Fun was had by all, with or without a hat.
More rambling thoughts from the country house.....
Celebrate everything.....
Be inspired.....
Know the things you love and surround yourself with them.....

All Tuckered Out

Wake up Jack...Wake up!
There is just nothing better than having fun until you drop. Our precious lil' Beck, our grandson and the birthday boy, is all tuckered out at the end of his wonderful birthday party in the park.
Hope you had a wonderful 2nd birthday and all your birthday wishes come true.

A few rambling thoughts from the country house.....
Rainbows and moonbeams.....
Do something fun today.....
Live your dream.....


Friday, May 23, 2008

Here is Prince Jagello (Jag) watching all of the hustle and bustle and goings on at the old country house. There is a certain exhilaration and feeling of delight in the air. Company is coming! Our oldest daughter, our son in law and our two grandangels, Mose and Beck, are coming for a visit from Mobile! We are about to have another cause for a celebration. Beck will be two tomorrow, so off we go to the park for a big birthday party in honor of little Beck. How exciting! He is all about horses at the moment, so his party theme will be horses and cowboys. Yaya may even wear a cowgirl's the really cute kind that you can also wear on the beach, so I'll put it to good use when I arrive at our island cottage in a few weeks. That's all for now but I'll be sure and post pictures of our wonderful party in the park.
A few rambling thoughts from the old country house.....
It's your life. Why not fill it with as much joy as possible.....
Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you are born to stand out?.....
Satisfy your soul.....
All you have to do is look around for something wonderful.....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Don't You Love A Pretty Bargin!?

For those of you that don't know, this is our rather shabby, but very comfortable and cozy little den at the country house. Personally, I love everything old, shabby and gypsy bohemian. Now...notice the lovely yellow flowers on my tiny coffee table. Aren't they pretty!? This is a perfect TJ Maxx tag sale for $7.00. I just LOVE a great bargin. The regular TJ Maxx price had been $24.....And, that's not all....
If you love the old-world look, then you will love this telephone. This is a Kirkland find. It had been $24.99 and was marked down to $14.99. I just love the hunt for bargins!!! So if you are near a TJ Maxx or Kirklands, go check out their sale items!

A few rambling thoughts from the country house.....
Create a beautiful life as if it is your highest calling. Embrace simplicity. Simple beauty.....
Let your imagination soar for it is your soul's blueprint for success.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Magical Energy Of A Full Moon

When the moon is full on a springtime night, there is magic in the air...Go outside into the night, sip a glass of wine, listen to anything enya or "Mythic Dreamer", by R. Carlos Nakai or maybe "Dream Catcher", native flute music by Ron Allen.....Feel the magic in the night.

There dwells a goddess in every woman...She is all that is womanly possible - trust her: She is the ultimate you!

Remember to always shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you'll be amoung the stars...

Golden rays of moonlight danced across the meadow and the front porch of the old country house. The weather was perfect and beautiful...the moonlight dappled thru the leaves. Springtime is here and what a divine time for a few weeks in the countryside. Quiet uninterrupted country hours.......The comfort of a spring night in the country. The bottom sheet is woven of cool, crisp Egyptian cotton, the top sheet feels like silk. the tumble of covers consists of a silky cotton blanket, a Marseilles cotton spread and a duvet filled with just a touch of down. The scent of honeysuckle is in the air and the night creatures sing you to sleep.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rural Southern Tradition

Decoration Day
If you were raised in the rural South in the 1950's and before, then you have experienced Decoration Day. Everyone dressed in their Sunday best and after church, the picnic baskets were carried over to the wooden tables, all placed in a long row under the shade trees. Colorful tableclothes were placed on the tables and the most wonderful home cooked food was spread out for all to enjoy. Southern fried chicken and Southern fried chicken, mashed potatos, fried okra, green beans....the food list went on and on....and the very best homemade cakes and pies you have evah put in your mouth! My favorite was always chocolate cake and chocolate pie.
This was the time of the year, and still is, to place beautiful flowers on the graves of your beloved family members who have journeyed on. Yes, it was a Southern event...a place to see and be seen. Why, everybody and their third cousin was there and all those relatives that moved off up North came home. Folks came from far and wide.
Shortly after noon, the gospel music would start. The adults sat in lawn chairs and visited with family and friends while all of us children scampered around playing games like hopscotch, jump rope, bob jacks or red rover. What wonderful memories of yesteryear and my childhood in the 1950's.
We still place new flowers on the graves, and Decoration Day is still the third Sunday in May, however, it is no longer such an event as in my childhood. The flowers above are for my dad's headstone, continuing the tradition.
On the day before Decoration Day, I carried my flowers over to the old family cemetary. There are many very old headstones there and this one caught my eye. A cemetary can tell such a history.

Just another Southern Sunday tradition in the old South....sitting on Grandmother's (Yaya's) front porch after eating fried chicken. Actually, I didn't cook it because we ate out. Times have certainly changed, haven't they?

Pretty little Gracie looking for wild flowers and four leaf clover.

Pretty pretty wild flowers....and oh, the scent of honeysuckle. She got her first taste of honeysuckle juice.

" And more flowers, Yaya"........The grandangels have also learned to say....."Do you have any chocolate cake, Yaya"?
Aunt Bobbie's Chocolate Cake
2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
1/2 C shortening
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 C. water
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. powdered cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick butter
4 Tbsp. cocoa
6 Tbsp. milk
1 box confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped nuts
Sift together in large bowl the sugar, flour, and salt. In saucepan place butter, shortening, cocoa and water. Bring to rapid boil and pour over flour mixture; stir well. Add, mixing by hand, the remaining ingredients. Batter will be quite thin. Pour in greased 16 x 11 inch pan, or two smaller pans and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Icing....combine butter, cocoa and milk. Bring to a rapid boil. remove from heat and add confectioners sugar, vanilla and nuts. Beat well. Spread icing over cake in pan while hot. Cool thoroughly before cutting. Makes 32 two-inch squares.
A few rambling thoughts to ponder...
Graceful values of the old South.....Don't separate your words you speake from the life you live.....Being kind is more important than being right.....A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks, bless your heart.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thank You!!!

Thank you, to all of you who posted comments and sent such sweet emails! I love your comments, so please feel free to add your thoughts and I hope you continue to enjoy my little blog.

The Fragrance Of May

The month of May in all of its glory brings us pretty blooms, wild and beautiful. As I take my daily walk around the country house, I breathe deeply and take in the scent of spring. The trees have dressed themselves in green and the air is full of elusive fragrances. I am finding that I actually enjoy 'talking to a stump'. It seems to listen to everything I say.
Even the old wooden fence seems to come to life with vine and beauty.

Oh little tree growing wild...How beautiful you must be beneath the light of a full moon.

Pretty purple flowers, wild and free...I don't mind you being here blooming just for me.

Walk through an orchard or near a meadow filled with honeysuckle and breathe, just breathe. There is nothing like the sweet smell that fills the air.

I love this old wild rose bush. It bloomed for my great-grandmother, my grandmother and now for me. Pretty little rose bush, full of pink buds, how old must you be? Is there something to be learned from you? I think so. True beauty is ageless and lives on and on...such as the beauty of one's spirit.

Flowers of gold and birdsong.
Is that a sunbeam through the cloud?
Gifts of beauty are everywhere if only we take the time to see,
but there are those who would not even notice a sunset.
Thank you, our Lord, that is not me........Yaya..May 15, 2008.