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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hold Everything Lightly #1 {The Lake}

The installments in this series will not be an easy read nor easy for me to write.
 I do not intend to sully the memory of my parents but to tell the story as it was told to me and as I remember it. I am as imperfect as they were and I believe we are all damaged in some way. 
I loved my parents.
I love them still.
Charles and Kay were at Clarks Hill Lake, a large body of water that straddles the states of Georgia and South Carolina. Charles my father, by all accounts, was drinking and Kay, my mama, was hollering because she always was. It was 1964 and they were on a dusty dirt road in one of daddy's old cars. No one used seat belts in 1964. Daddy either hit the brakes or hit a stump in the road or both.
One could hardly tell if he was drunk, he held his liquor well.
 Until he passed out. Either way he wrecked that hot summer day on the Carolina side of the lake and mama's head struck the windshield with force. She was unconscious and he took her to University Hospital about thirty minutes away in Augusta, Georgia. She was admitted to the hospital for concussion. I was two years old and this would mark a seminal event in my life.
We lived on Carey Drive in Beech Island, South Carolina in the second house on the right. They were small houses, not mill houses, but almost with two bedrooms and one bath, most were one thousand square foot or less. My parent's house had a wispy weeping willow tree in the front yard and I always think of that little house when I see a willow tree. Mother's older brother Lester and his wife Vera lived four houses down from us. I went to live with them that day mama and daddy wrecked. Aunt Vera and Uncle Lester took me in during a critical time of my development and heaped love and attention upon me. They built me a bedroom onto the back of the house and bought me girly French Provencal furniture that I still have and will never part with. Mama and daddy loved me but fought frequently and there was a lot of chaos in contrast to my new family's home.

Living four houses from mama she was in and out all the time and is in all my elaborate birthday party pictures. I have few memories of daddy during this time and only two photos. In each photo I am sitting in his lap. My Aunt Vera was a gentle soft spoken woman who delighted in little surprises for me. One day I came home from school and there was string all over the yard and house and I was instructed to follow it. It lead to a pretty doll with ringlets in her hair. Vera was an expert seamstress and sewed most of my clothes and made intricate Barbie clothes too. My aunt and uncle taught me about living a daily life of faith that has never failed me even when I have stepped away from it. One day, when I was in first grade, I came home from school and my beloved Aunt Vera was laying on the sofa and I could not wake her. Vomit was all over the living room floor and my six year old mind did not comprehend what was happening.
I never saw her again.
 She died, at the hospital, a few hours later from a stroke. 

This would be the initial lesson in holding that which I hold dear lightly.
"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts, when God pries your fingers open." 
---Corrie Ten Boom 1892-1983


I have several installments written, as of yesterday, and will post in this series at the end of the month. I will let you know in advance. Thank you for your support and comments yesterday. Your comments mean more to me than you will ever know.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Series A Departure For Olive

I am starting a series called Hold Everything Lightly on Olive Out that is a departure from the routine topics of vintage decor, thrifting and decorating. I am seeking to record, especially for my daughter and my sisters, the story of my early years and what happened prior to them coming on the scene. It will not be pretty or nice. There is death, violence, abandonment, drunkenness, and loss. Embracing, in writing, the dysfunctions I have known all my life is harder than I expected  I use a quote for the series from someone I have admired since I read her book the "The Hiding Place" when I was fourteen. Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian, imprisoned by the Nazis in Ravensbruck concentration camp where her sister Betsie died. I make no claims to any analogy between Corrie Ten Boom and my life. I would never do that. I have not forgotten what she wrote about holding that which you love lightly. It has held true for me as so many close to me have been taken early in life or circumstances have drastically altered my path.
I hope you can stay with me despite the heavy content. I have written the first installment and cried the entire time. I venture to say that I will anger some or all of my family members at one time or another. As the installments unfold it will become apparent that as I grew older I was able to understand and forgive my parents for their mistakes. I do pray my cardiovascular system holds out. I also trust my sense of humor and faith, both of which were born of this story shine through.

The first installment will post on Wednesday 2/29/2012.
I am in the process of deciding how frequently to post in the series.
 This is real work for me while taking photographs, editing, and writing about estate sales and decor is pleasure most of the time.

"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts, when God pries your fingers open." 
---Corrie Ten Boom 1892-1983


Monday, February 27, 2012

Correction and Goat Soap

An astute reader notified me that I had left an ingredient 
off the list of the strata recipe I posted last week. 
See, that is why I cannot be trusted with posting recipes. 
Anyway add 3 cups milk. 
 I corrected the original.
Thanks Teri you are wonderful for telling me and for actually trying a recipe of mine. 
So much responsibility, scary.
Here's that  recipe post.

Now onto the pretty, pretty goat's milk soap. 
If you have never used goat soap do not let the price inhibit you as it is worth every dollar. 

Joe likes it too.

I think a bar or two would make a fine gift.
Some of these are scented and some are not.

I did not mean to snap this image above but I like it none the less.

I could not help but put an antique filter on that ironstone platter.
How about that cute goat on the soap above?

After fiddling with all these soaps I piled them into a cloche for Marty's next cloche party. 
Cloches are terribly difficult to photograph. 
If someone has figured out how to do it better please tell me.

Now I am off to my ironing board to iron vintage linens.
I consider that fun by the way.
I am a freak and know it.

Linking with:

Table Top Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

joy and peace

Sunday, February 26, 2012

~moving sale, turquoise chairs, red hydrangeas~

I attended a moving sale on Friday in Augusta, Georgia. 
The house had fine bones and after I made my purchases they allowed me to take photos.
 It was a cloudy and thunderstorm filled day.

The staircase is not too big and not too little.
 I would have it.

The turquoise chairs were full of whimsy but five hundred dollars for the set was way more than I would ever consider paying.

The rear of the property was filled with hydrangea bushes and having lived all my forty nine years in the South why oh why have I never seen red hydrangeas before? Are they hard to grow? Expensive? Need odd soil conditions? Do tell someone? I want one.

What did I buy?

The only items I could afford. 
I bought Turkish cotton sheets, vintage sheets and pillow cases. 
They have been OxyCleaned and are air drying now.
Then much ironing to do which counts as exercise.

joy and peace

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Friday

Happy Friday My Fine Feathered Friends

From this point until the weekend {March 2-4} the TEN TEENs are with us 
a whole lot of auto posting will be going on here.

Please say a little prayer for us that we will care for these kids in the best way
 possible and have fun doing it.

I will visit and comment between baking, planning, and more cleaning.

joy and peace

Thursday, February 23, 2012

House Plants

I spent yesterday fiddling with this and that.

 Sunny, sunny 74 degree weather. 
Perfect for digging in the garden.

Potting houseplants.

I placed this Kimberly Queen fern in the Haeger planter. 
It had no drainage hole so I shattered a chipped terracotta pot and placed about two inches 
of the shards in the bottom of the planter creating some drainage.
Indoor ferns do well in low filtered light, about what you would require to read a book.

The odd pictures in the fireplace were found at a local thrift store and are from the 1940's we believe.

I bought this curly variety of snake plant at a neighbor's plant sale last year. 
It has tripled in size and filled the planter I placed it in. 
It really is effortless to care for. 
I water it once a week.

It is in the window seat at present but it has been in a darker room and was happy there as well.
I also planted more ivy. We shall be over run with ivy very soon.

joy and peace

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I have been testing breakfast recipes in anticipation of the arrival of TEN TEENAGERS on the weekend of March 2-4. Joe is the taste tester. He suffers through it if he must. The strata above was adapted from a Country Living magazine recipe in the January issue this year.

Tomato-Cheddar Strata with Broccoli
  • 4 1/2 cups 1-inch bread cubes (about three quarters of a French loaf)
  • Butter, for greasing dish
  • 6 ounces shredded Cheddar (about 1 1/2cups)
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk ( I left this out of the original post edited on 2/26/12 see why I should not do this?)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1/2 cup
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  1. Place bread in a buttered 9x13 baking dish. Top with 1 cup cheese, broccoli, tomatoes, and 1 tablespoon parsley.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture over bread and gently press to soak every cube. Add dollops of ricotta over top. Sprinkle strata with herbs de Provence and remaining Cheddar. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or up to overnight.
Remove strata from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about one hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until strata is puffed and lightly golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

My Notes:

I used mozzarella because I had a lot and it is lower in fat. 
I had no ricotta cheese or parsley so I left them out. 
 It tasted light and delicious and Joe loved it.
It was quick and easy to make.
I cook all the time but sharing recipes makes me anxious for some reason.
Must work on this.

Thank you for your comments yesterday about the camellias 
and yes they came from our flower garden.  
Our red ones are just about to bloom.

joy and peace

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Pink Camellias have made their way inside to the kitchen island.

One delightful outcome of adding this humble vintage piece is that 
 it is in a fabulously sunny spot for photographs.
You have been forewarned my darlings.

Last night I ironed those tab cafe curtains in the window. 
We found them at the Catholic Thrift Store for a few dollars. 
The window needed some softening.
They need hemming but for now they can be as 
caddy wampus as the island and me for that matter.

Here is a close up of the pattern.
 I like it and they are from Ikea from the worn label.

 The camellias almost look like three fluffy cupcakes.

We feel as if our little kitchen received a mini low budget make over. 
It feels very cozy and we both can chop vegetables within a foot of the sink and cook together.
And Dear Lord, I might share a recipe tomorrow. 
That scares me by the way.

joy and peace

Monday, February 20, 2012

Horsetrading, Thrifting, and Fiddling

I have been horse trading again. 

I traded my friend a little chippy blue shelf for this chippy bust and vintage frame.
 Horsetrading at it's finest.
Chippy for chippy.

She had painted the old frame white and that worked for me.

These mini teapots under glass make me feel six years old again.

Joe and I have been shopping all over the place to restock my inventory at the three consignment stores I sell at and we found these vintage watercolors above behind the fern. I am fiddling with the pair of them in the hearth at present. Not selling them right now. Perhaps another post on these later.

This is my second vintage clock and it does not work. 
It was one dollar at a garage sale.
I would like to amass a whole shelf of them.

The next two weeks at the yellow house are going to be busy as we are going to host ten Teenagers from our church for the entire weekend of March 2-4. I need to get going and clean the upstairs where they will be sleeping, on the floor and any place they can find. We are providing breakfast and our small group is providing supper. They will be at meetings during the day. We think this will be fun. We bought this house to share it with our family and others and this is one way to do that.

Linking with:  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday's

joy and peace

Saturday, February 18, 2012

~~kitchen island~~

We have been looking for a long narrow piece of vintage furniture
 for our small kitchen. At every estate sale, garage sale, and consignment store I keep my eyes peeled for any unconventional piece that might possibly work.

Last week I was talking to one of my friends at a consignment store for about an hour before I saw it and then I realized this was the one.
It came from an old house and is old and quite humble. 
The price was excellent at fifty dollars.
Nothing fancy needed in this little working kitchen.
 We like pieces with history and a story.

The top is made of two pieces of wood and someone later added the veneer. 
The legs are a sort of catty wampus but I think that adds to it's charm. Joe at first said it looked "rickety" but it has grown on him although we just placed it in the room last night.

 In the middle of the kitchen and the dining room sits the enormous bar. 
It is not part of the work triangle and I plan to use the island to improve the efficiency of the kitchen.

 That bell pepper is about to be in our salad. 
Don't you love Clovis's cat bowl's?

Linking with:

may joy and peace surround you

Thursday, February 16, 2012


 One should always expect the unexpected.

The freezing temperatures last weekend have knocked back the blooming flowers, our lily of the valley, daffodils, and camellias are all burned by that freeze.

The lily of the valley and purple vinca vine are in the back yard at our old house.

 The ghost plant was thriving in a strawberry jar and was toppled over and smashed 
 to bits but is still managing.

You cannot kill a ghost plant.

When I arrived at our yellow house yesterday there was no heat.
 The heat pump was trying to come on but was not working. We have a friend and neighbor who knows the person to call for every thing and sure enough she had a heat and air man who was related to her son in law. He was here fifteen minutes after I spoke to him, on my cell, and repaired the heat pump quickly for a very reasonable fee. 
Of course we can always heat with wood in the wood stove and we do that often but we need the central system to work.

That was unexpected.
It is good to know people who "know" people.

Any unexpected happenings going on with you?

joy and peace

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Color Engraving

Another tabletop at the old house.

A milk glass bowl and some pictures of CC and other bits 
all put into the color engraving filter by Photoscape.

CC as the the bee looks like a cartoon character above.
The silver rattle is CC's baby rattle and the pink box with the lid askew
 was made for me by my big sister in the 1970's.

I am traveling today, with Clovis, to our yellow house for the long weekend
 where Joe will join me on Friday.

Linking with: Wow Us Wednesdays

joy and peace