Friday, August 28, 2009

Jane's Roosters (and Chickens)

Show Us Your Roosters Party--Friday, August 28thThanks, Barb, for hosting the Rooster Party. Please visit Barb's for more beautiful postings. (

Up until about 4 years ago, I had not particularly cared for least in my home. That all changed as I was walking down the street in Santa Fe, NM and spied a store window decorated with the most hilarious conglomeration of roosters. They were so funny that I broke out in laughter...right there on the street. Of course I had to go into the store.... and I purchased my first two roosters.

These roosters are handcarved and painted by Navajo
folk artists. Each one is signed. The red rooster was created by Edith and Guy John.

And thus began my love of "humorous" roosters and chickens.

These guys were found at Home Goods. The chalkboard rooster has been the recipient of unusual writings.
The polkadot chicken looks as though it's ready to eat...or getting ready to sit on her nest. At Christmas, my DIL fashioned a nest with greenery and placed a few red ornaments in it. It was adorable! and a real conversation piece.

These two chicks were a gift from D and C. They were purchased in Switzerland. A third chick was a part of the set, but she was a snack for Hurley.

The yellow rooster is from Pier One... and it was a gift from C., my daughter-in-law. She thought it would make me laugh... and she was right!

The black and white sugar and creamer were a gift from my sister. She found them at Home Goods.

Below, you will see why everyone decided to give me roosters....

I painted this whimsical rooster when I was housebound... it was the catalyst for my small collection. The translation of the saying at the bottom... Oh what a beautiful morning! Through the fall and spring, this painting decorates our breakfast room.

These two small paintings are also mine... and the last of my
rooster/chicken painting.

Thank you for stopping by today... hope my roosters made you smile!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Day in the Surf

Thanks to The Shabby Chic Cottage for hosting "A Beach Party" and to A Southern Daydreamer for hosting "Outdoor Wednesday". Please visit these two blogs and join in the fun!

Crescent Beach...I am finally back!

After many years of talking about it, my sister and I FINALLY took a long, girls' weekend at the beach.Although most of this trip was designed to meet artists and possible business partners for the

coastal store she is opening in Mt. Dora this fall, we spent copious time on the the RAIN!

Due to the outer band of Hurricane Bill, the surf was spectacular ...and the surfers were out in droves. Along the pier at St. Augustine Beach, we counted 48 surfers waiting for the perfect wave.

All the little black dots in this photo are surfers with their boards!!! The waves were coming in between 6-10 feet... quite unusual along this coast!

The parade of surf fanatics walking along the shore was definitely a mixed bunch...young men with "6 pack" chests and old men with gray hair and beards, young girls in their bikinis and even a dads with young sons. Their colorful attire and surfboards were the only contrasts on this rainy, gray day. But no matter the weather, everyone was having a wonderful time!

On our last day, we finally saw the sun and headed to the sand for some early morning tanning time. The pelicans were out...flying in their long formations. Sis and I counted 32 brown pelicans in one line, coasting along the air currents. Sandpipers were also tripping along the shallows in search of food. What a wonderful way to end a special weekend!

***Check out the sunset over Lake Harris below...that's the end of our sunny day...

Lake Harris

The chain of lakes, located just north of Orlando, include some of the most beautiful lakes in Florida. Most of these lakes are linked together by navigable canals. Several towns are built at the edges of the lakes, including Tavares and Mount Dora. Dotted along the shore, you can find restaurants where you can dock your boat and enjoy a meal. Lake Harris is the biggest of these lakes...covering over 15,000 acres...and the lake featured in these photos.

These photos were taken from the shore and dock at my sister's home on Lake Harris. She and her husband walk to the dock each evening to watch the sun setting over the water. The fishing in this lake is great...must be why Lake Harris is home to many bass-fishing tournaments. Off the dock at my sister's home, BIL hooked "Walter", a 12 pound bass, right after he dropped his hook! (Of course, Walter was returned to the lake.) At this time of day you can spy great alligators cruising the shoreline. Thankfully, they rarely bother humans.

These photos were taken on Sunday afternoon, from the shore at my sister's home in Tavares. Although it is difficult to determine distance in this would take almost 30 minutes in the boat to reach the shore across the lake. The sunsets are absolutely spectacular....

Please visit Barbara Jacksier's Waterside Wednesday post!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hurley... My Best Friend

Due to a spontaneous trip across the state to St Augustine trip , I am taking a short break from Tablescaping... Food...etc. as I get ready. Hooray!!! My sister and I are hitting some of the local artists as we search for ideas for the shop in Mt Dora. So....Rowdy, the wonderful Goldie mix from my last post, is taking to the keyboard... Jane

Hi! I'm Rowdy. We met last week when I went to the beach with my mom and dad. That was such a fun day! I only wish that my best friend, Hurley, was with me. So since she was not able to go and you did not get to meet her, I am going to tell you about her.

This is Hurley, my very best friend. When my "brother #3" and his girlfriend brought her home, she weighed about 7 pounds and had the funniest ears. They stuck straight out from her head like those noisy helicopters I sometimes see when they fly over our house. And they were so BIG! At first, I thought she was a snack... or a toy (I used to love playing with baby rabbits and Hurley was about the same size!) But when she walked over to me and curled up between my legs, I knew that my life was going to change!

Hurley is a "Boggle"...that's one of those stupid designer dogs which cost way too much money (She's really a mutt, like me). She is a mixture of a Boston Terrier and a Beagle...or as my Dad says, "a support system for a nose". During the first few months she lived with us, she was always getting into trouble. She tore up all my favorite know those soft ones that are just right to sleep with. Then she moved on to carpets and doors. My parents tried to put her in a kennel but she cried and threw tantrums and actually hurt herself. Then they tried putting her in my gold pen...She jumped right over the top and caught one of her toes on the side of the pen . She hung upside down! It WAS kind of funny, but I did not want her to be hurt. So all we could do was close doors and try to keep her in just one room. Hurley was real smart though, and as little as she was, she learned how to open some of the doors.Thanks to Hurley-Girl, Mom finally got the new floors she had always wanted. (I like them...they're cool to lay on and my feet slide when I lay down. That's fun!)

Here's Hurley, when she was still a puppy, standing on the bass drum from her daddy's drum kit. She didn't like it when her daddy stepped on the drum pedal!

Hurley is my best friend! She likes to cuddle with me. I think it's to make up for all my snuggle toys that she ate. We sleep on the couch together and play together. She's always stealing my bones and chewies. But she brings them back to me. I am teaching her to swim and to watch football and baseball. Hurley loves cheering for Auburn and the Rays...or maybe she just likes those dumb outfits her mom gets for her to wear during the games.
My brother #3 (Hurley's daddy)and his girlfriend got married last year and Hurley moved to her new house. I was real upset when Hurley moved away. But she comes to see me almost everyday. And sometimes we even have sleep-overs!

I hope you liked meeting my best friend, Hurley. If you're nice, she will shake hands with you. Just be sure you don't mention her funny E-A-R-S. She's kind of sensitive about them since the don't flop over or stand straight up. You don't want to hurt her feelings.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon

It was a dark and gloomy day... the perfect day to walk on the beach. Beach...did I really say beach? My lazy, four-legged friend heard the word and bounced off his bed, ran to the door and barked to go out. (This is the dog who hates to ride in cars!). Once outdoors, he headed straight for the car and begged to get in. Although DH and I had to change into appropriate gear, we let Rowdy into the car, where he sat patiently waiting for us to FINALLY come out. Our destination.... Honeymoon Island. This is a Florida State Park right down the street from our house. It has a wonderful "dog beach" where Rowdy, our 7 year-old Goldie mix can revel in sand and water...and play with doggy-friends.

Due to the gloom, there were few cars in the parking area... just dog people, like us, out for a romp on a "cool" afternoon (meaning it was in the mid 80s). Walking on the path through the savannas, we met several hearty souls...and their dogs. The stroll to the beach was punctuated by the happy sounds of pups playing in the surf. As anxious as DH and I were to reach the beach, Rowdy spent countless minutes sniffing every blade of grass, every bush, every inch of the path... in other words, it took a half hour to reach the sand ( on a path that normally takes 5 minutes)!

Once there, Rowdy made a beeline for the water...pulled the leash right out of DH's hand and swam into the waves. He was actually body-surfing! Oops...there's a bird...Rowdy has to chase it NOW! Frantically grabbing for the leash, DH raced after Rowdy...before the Park Rangers caught us with a "loose" dog.

The biggest attraction at this beach is the companionship of other dogs. We visited with Boxers, Labs, Goldies, Wire Terriers, Great Danes, and mixed breeds, like Rowdy. All became fast friends after a bit of sniffing. Notice the wet Chocolate Lab... he was pulling his young owners through the water like a jet ski. It was hilarious! The little wet Wire Terrier was experiencing her first time at the beach. She was a bit hesitant with the gentle waves and kept running back to the sand, but once she was wet, she loved it. Soon she began jumping into the waves.

While man and dog bonded with the new playmates, I walked along a tidal stream, formed at high tide. At this time, the tide was going out and the water in the stream was furiously making its way back to the gulf. Shells, rocks, and little creatures were rolling along with the power of the current. Oh to have a little boat to sail! Notice the right side of the stream...the sand has been cut away by the current and is actually eroding with the onslaught of the flow. Large chunks of packed sand are breaking away, much like the glaciers and ice bergs we see in the National Geo films. I stood a little to close to the edge...and the sand washed out underneath my feet. Oops...there I was, laying on my ___ in the sand. Too bad there wasn't a film of this. It would have made a top contender for Funniest Home Video!

As the water receded, the sand crabs began appearing. You could see little holes all over the beach...and if you stood still long enough, you could catch a glimpse of the crabs dancing along the sand. The slightest movement and there they go...
into their hole. The pellets of sand you see in
this photo are the bits of sand that this little crab has dug from his hole. If you look closely you can also see footprints of a rather large wading bird who had just walked along this path.

This is a dune, just above the tidal stream. You can see signs of erosion here, too. This erosion was caused by a coastal storm. But as you see, the plant life is already growing back and holding the dune together. Nature often heals itself.

This bit of driftwood is actually a 16 foot post...part of the old break. Most of the post is buried under several feet of sand. Darn it!!! I was so hopeful that I had found a new piece of driftwood to add to my beach finds. It is truly awash with sand and tiny bits of shell.

I did find 2 additions of driftwood... once aired out, these will become a part of my coastal tablescape and used as part of a centerpiece. I love the treasures found at the beach!!!

Benches like this one dot the landscape at Honeymoon Island. They are placed at the edge of the dunes, in the tidal pool area - like this one, and up near the paths. All have been donated as memorials to family and friends... and all are facing west to catch the best views of the sunset over the gulf. The back of this bench is carved with a name... and "Beloved Grandpa... His Favorite Fishing Spot". What a wonderful tribute to a lover of the sea....

Time to head home...the pup is exhausted from romping in the waves with his friends. Once in the car, he closes his eyes...and rests. At home, he heads for his bed where he dreams about his wonderful afternoon at Dog Beach.....

Thanks, Susan, for giving us the opportunity to share our outdoors with others.
Visit Susan and the other "bloggers" at
[Outdoor Wednesday logo[4].png]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mexican Fiesta

Thanks, Susan, for providing this opportunity to share ideas with each other. Be sure to visit Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch, for a beautiful treat! And many thanks to Gollum for Foodie Fridays. To both of you, I had problems this week with adding your links. Just know that I appreciate what you do for all of us bloggers.

"Mexican" Fiesta...

During our many years in Texas, the whole family developed a love for Tex-Mex foods... the spicier, the better!!! Our boys, in fact, loved the spicy flavor of Tobasco sauce so much that when we tried using it as punishment for nasty words, (thanks Dr. Dobson) they kept begging for more! We loved experimenting with salsas, marinades, and searching for the BEST enchilada recipe. We discovered some great recipes...
from native Texans, from transplanted Mexicans, and even from some of the New Yorkers brought to Plano by JCP.

Today we love to treat our friends to these wonderful flavors and foods and of course, we set the table to match the mood.

This weekend, we're having a "Mexican Fiesta" feast with friends. This fabulous dish for a crowd combines both classic and unusual toppings. You will find the recipe at the end of this post. We'll be serving up cold beer, Margaritas, and sweet tea (we're Southerners, after all!) as our beverages of choice. Come on over.... the more the merrier!

Remember when you were in elementary school and your class made tissue paper flowers for May Day or Mother's Day? That's what these flowers are. Just stack several sheets of tissue paper and begin folding, back and forth, like an accordion. Secure a pipe cleaner (chenille strips) to the center and begin unfolding, shaping as you go. VERY SIMPLE! These flowers are resting in blue bottles...part of my meager collection of bottles waiting for their final resting place as a "BLUE BOTTLE TREE". (Blue bottles are hard to find...especially if you are not a fan of Reilsing!)

Antique Cheese Box: gift from a TX friend
Serape and Sombrero: costume box (who knows where they're from)
Blue bottles: saving these for a bottle tree
Tissue Flowers: made from tissue paper (;-)
Peppers: Publix
Terra Cotta pots: garden shed (some natural, some painted with acrylic enamel paints)
Woven Plate Charger: Wal Mart
Green Glasses: hand-blown from Mexico - bought in Dallas
Red Plate: Ross
Patterned Plate: Home Goods
Flatware: who knows...had this for years
Chickens: The duo at the top of the page were carved by a Native American I met in the old market in Santa Fe, NM. The others are from Home Goods

It's time for a Mexican Feast! I hope you are hungry!!!
This taste extravaganza was first shared with me at a couples' Bible study. It's the ultimate "pot luck"! As the host, you provide the meat and rice... and a dessert. Ask each guest to bring 2-3 ingredients.

Mexican Fiesta

serves 12

3 cups raw White Rice (1 cup raw rice = 4 servings)
4-5 lbs. Ground Beef: browned, drained
2 jars thick, chunky salsa (for ground beef)
(I use Pace medium heat, and add extra crushed red pepper to taste; or 2 pkgs. taco seasoning)
3 cans Refried Beans
3 cups grated Cheddar Cheese
1-2 Onions, chopped
7-9 Tomatoes, chopped
1 head Iceberg Lettuce, shredded
2 cans Black Olives, chopped or sliced
I jar dry roasted Peanuts, chopped
1 bag Coconut, shredded
1 bag Fritos, crushed
1 1/2 pints Sour Cream
2 jars Salsa
(I either make my own or use Pace Picante or Thick and Chunky, Medium heat)
Lime wedges, 1-2 per person

Lay all the ingredients out, buffet style. Beginning with the rice, serve a little of each ingredient onto each plate. Be sure you add the foods in order. And encourage your guests to try a little of each ingredient (unless there is a food allergy). It's amazing how these tastes combine!!! Also warn your guests that the food really piles up...start small and come back if they want more.

A delicious and SIMPLE dessert with this meal is just a scoop of plain ol' Lime Sherbet over an assortment of melons. Serve with a praline or Pirolene cookie. Or perhaps you might like this oldie, but goodie...

Freezer Lime Pie

1 premade Graham Cracker Crust
1 large container Cool Whip, thawed
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 small can frozen Limeaid
Lime Juice (optional)
Limes, sliced (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the Cool Whip with the Sweetened Condensed Milk and the Limeaid. Add additional lime juiced to taste (if desired). Pour all ingredients into the graham cracker crust. Cover the pie and place in freezer for several hours. Before serving, let the pie sit for a couple of minutes. Garnish with sliced lime and a sprig of mint, if desired.
¡Tenga un fin de semana maravilloso!
(Have a wondeful weekend!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First Anniversary!

It's hard to believe that my son...the youngest (and the only one married!) celebrating the first anniversary of his marriage to our darling daughter-in-law. Congratulations to D and C for surviving the first year. May they have MANY more!!!

Check out this week's Tablescape Thursday. I will be sharing the reception tables, then and now. Think orange... and green... and gorgeous!