I have been blessed with many wonderful gifts in my life, and many, many wonderful experiences, but none compare with the blessings of having children. I have three, and they are all grown now and pretty much on their own. One of those special gifts came to me twenty seven years ago today. His name is Tim, and today is his birthday.
We have a new sign in the store that says, There is Always Something to be Thankful For......
Though the sign is a new item for the upcoming Holiday Season, it made me think. We seem to be so caught up in the endless stream of bad news lately.......the economy, the stock market frenzy, gas prices.......ykes! Is there anything good?
Not anymore! Instead of focusing on what's wrong, I am going to focus on what's right! A reminder of sorts...... that no matter what, There is Always Something to be Thankful For!
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I am having a Giveaway. Don't forget to leave your "Thankful Comment"! The 31st person to leave their comment will win that Autumn Pumpkin Arrangement!
Let the Holiday Season Begin....... In celebration of the lovely new friends I have met on my blog, and all of the new friends I hope to meet, I am having a GIVEAWAY! Meadowsweet (my store) is filled to the brim with lovely Holiday Wreaths and Centerpieces, and since this is the Season of Giving Thanks, I thought this would be a lot of fun! I have decided to give away this Pumpkin Arrangement to one lucky winner. I will choose the 31st person who leaves a comment by Halloween! Tell us what you are most thankful for!
Please add me to your Blog Roll, and visit often! I have a feeling this will be so much fun, and who knows what might happen at Christmas!
There are cozy little places, small niches around my home that are just some of my favorite spots. This little vignette in my kitchen is just one of those places. The small rooster lamp was a housewarming gift from my sister, and the "Angel Blessings" sign was a birthday gift from a friend who knows my love of collecting angels. The large pub clock and the sunflower arrangement are treasures I brought home from my store along with the basket of cinnamon scented pine cones, another favorite for this time of year!
I spend my days at the store decorating for other's homes, and sometimes my poor home comes last....... I brought this bronzey pumpkin home from my store and placed it in its new home....... on my mantel! Soon it will be surrounded by dried rose hips, some hydrangeas that I have dried and some dried sunflower heads, gourds and whatever else I can hunt up from my end of summer garden!
Some of you have emailed me asking about the huge dog in the photo with me in my About Me section. So I thought I would share a little story and introduce you to some of the other members of my family.
When my son, Bill, graduated from college he and some friends got their own apartment. One day, while shopping in a local mall, they came across this adorable Bichon/Poodle puppy. Who could resist? So "Bruno" came home to live with the guys. Well, that was only fun for about two weeks when the reality of raising a puppy in an apartment set in. Long story short, Bruno came over on the ferry from Connecticut to live with good old Mom, was renamed "Teddy" and has lived with us happily ever after.
Tim, my middle son, and his fiancee Lara, decided one day that they would like to have a puppy of their own so please welcome "Jet" a Miniature Pinscher named as such because Tim is a pilot. Jet is my grand-dog who spends many days with me in the store and has become our Meadowsweetmascot who's loved and enjoyed by the customers.
And, last but not least, Kobe-- the huge Standard Poodle in the picture. Sometimes life will take you on unexpected turns by literally making the wrong turn in the road. It was the summer before last when my daughter, Tierney, was preparing to leave for college and I was already missing her and facing the empty nest. A wrong turn in the road that summer day led me to a town in the Hamptons where I saw this adorable poodle puppy with a woman. I only stopped to comment on how cute he was and she told me he was for sale....... Need I say more........
Sometimes in the midst of raising a family it's not the big things that get noticed and remembered, but it's the little things like...... Zucchini Squares and Shepard's Pie.
Every summer, after harvesting zucchini from my garden, a favorite in my family was to make Zucchini Squares. A delicious recipe somewhat like a big quiche, but baked in a 13x9" baking pan.
Another favorite, was my Mom's recipe for Shepard's Pie, a layered casserole consisting of browned and deliciously seasoned chopped beef layered with chopped broccoli and then a final layer of fluffy whipped potatoes spread over the top and baked until golden brown and bubbly. When my son, Tim, was asked what he would like for dinner, he would often request Shepard's Pie.
I had two lovely things happen to me this week involving both of my grown sons. Bill my oldest lives in Connecticut, and Tim lives in Northport, the town where my store, Meadowsweet is. Each called home this past week on separate days and requested some of their childhood favorite recipes to duplicate in their own homes. Imagine my surprise when Shepard's Pie was delivered by Tim for my lunch at work the next day. And, this evening, when I checked my emails---- Voila! Home baked Zucchini squares straight from Billy's oven in Connecticut! They looked so good, it was like they were delivered straight to my door! Great job! I love you guys!
Often, my passion for flowers, gardening and designing takes me on day trips to nurseries and flower shows. Nurseries are wonderful places to visit, not just in the planting season, but in all seasons. Autumn is a wonderful time for choosing bulbs to be planted so they can later be enjoyed in the spring. Sometimes, to be at my favorite nursery, Martin Viette in East Norwich, NY in the dead of winter can also be a treat. Often looking through gardening books and planning my own gardens, or browsing through the wonderful assortment of seeds just brings me a bit closer to spring.
It was on one of those day adventures to the conservatories at the New York Botanical Gardens for the Orchid Show, that I was bitten by the Conservatory Bug! To be in a glass room in the dead of winter and feel the warmth of the sun and smell the damp, freshness of the earth and be among fresh plants all the while looking out onto the snowy landscape was like heaven to me. I knew then, that someday I would have a conservatory of my own.
It is my own secret garden where I sip my morning coffee and enjoy each season no matter what the weather!
I usually start some sort of knitting or crocheting project right around this time of year. This year, it is an afghan. Don't you just love a new project to work on. I can't wait to come home from work, and after the dinner dishes are through, I head for a nice hot bath, my warm flannel pajamas and slowly work my way stitch by stitch to what will become another treasured heirloom in years to come.
Lately, I have just gone crazy for that new shade of deep lime green that seems to be popping up everywhere in home decor. We recently purchased a charming vacation house on the eastern end of Long Island in Westhampton Beach. I am so anxious to sprinkle bits of that color throughout the house. I have decided on a color scheme of lime green and brown for the living room, so imagine how thrilled I was when I came across the perfect yarn for my winter project. I thought I would share how lovely all of the skeins of yarn looked piled high in an antique basket from Meadowsweet. I will keep you posted on my progress!
I don't know about you, but I love the changing seasons. Today, there was a bit of a chill in the air, and the leaves are just gradually beginning to change. Jack and I took a drive out to the eastern end of the island today and stopped along the way at some farm stands where we found the perfect pumpkin and some huge golden bronze mums in bushel baskets that later found a new home on my front porch. I always love to change the entrance to my home to reflect the changing seasons. Gone are the brilliant pinks and purples that clothe my gardens all summer, the bright yellow sunflowers that arrive just as the summer is beginning to say its last farewell, and now the deep autumn jewel tones reflected in the wreath on my front door-- a huge circle of deep burgundy hydrangeas, green apples, anjou pears, dried thistles and pods, berries and autumn leaves. Change is good!
What is it like to fall out of the sky at 13,500 feet? Awesome!
Ok, so I must admit it! When I woke up yesterday morning, and there was a complete overcast of clouds, I was secretly relieved that our plans to skydive would probably have to be postponed..... forever, I secretly hoped! No chance! A quick call to the skydiving institute and we were told to come on over that the clouds would pass and we would be underway. Great!
After some preliminary instruction, and signing waivers understanding that we could die, we got all geared up and we boarded the plane. It took about 15 minutes to climb to altitude and as the anxiety is building I'm thinking it's not too late to change my mind! As we're climbing, my instructor is making the last minute adjustments to my gear.... oh please don't forget to attach those buckles! It's time........ The door slides open, Ben explains that I will hang my legs outside and under the plane and on the count of three....... one, two..... threeeeee......... I hear myself scream as I tumble out the door...... and soar. I wasn't prepared for how loud and how cold it is at 13,500 feet and within a few minutes poof the chute goes up....... and suddenly there's an unbelievable silence as we fly through the sky and begin to make our way down. Closer, closer, closer and as I slide on the ground and the chute falls over me....... I sit there and laugh, and think.... just another Meadowsweet Day! I loved it!
My passion for flowers began as a little girl when my grandmother inspired me to plant my first flower garden. I remember her growing breathtaking zinnias in huge old tomato cans sitting on her porch. She didn't have money for decorative planters, so she just used her imagination. I would love to have those old vintage cans with zinnias in glorious colors spilling from them. That passion for flowers and designing with them has followed me my entire life, and eventually was the inspiration behind starting my own business and opening a flower shop 10 years ago when Meadowsweet was born. Today, my days are spent creating beautiful floral arrangements and wreaths, and helping others beautify their homes on the North Shore of Long Island where I live
Please visit my website at www.MeadowsweetLiving.com
Follow me on Facebook.... Meadowsweet