My Blog List

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Passion Flower

Passion Flowers grow wild in our lot next door.
I planted two in the flower garden last year and they were so invasive I had to rip them out.
 I visit them now. Much simpler.

On Olive Out news I appreciate all your honest comments about the new header. I have continued to fiddle with it today and gave the blog a new template in the process. My old Minima Stretch Template needed to go. This is a Simple Template. I am having to downsize all my images and I like large images. My head is aching as it does when I fiddle with the design of this blog. I also have some HTML code to edit but first I am taking a break and will visit with you my friends. Editing code is so over my head it makes me extremely anxious. I have decided I am in charge of this blog and I am learning all the ins and outs of it. Even if it gives me a migraine which it might. 
While the word for the day may be simple nothing I have done is.

Linking with Elaine for Sunny Simple Sundays

joy and peace

Friday, June 29, 2012

Making A Header and The Dining Room

Yesterday afternoon I spent an inordinate amount of time making headers for Olive Out.
 I made collages in PicMonkey until I had a headache. Finally I made the wine bottle filled image above. Do tell me what you think. Does it make the blog look like I am wine loving gal?  I have no problem with wine but I barely drink it. I do find vintage wine bottles interesting in their colors, textures and shapes.

The one above is a rum bottle (apparently new) and I did not notice that until I read the label on the photo. All were purchased at an estate sale including the runner.

I have gone a tad 1970's in the dining room with a high back chair, vintage runner, and orange tray.

Here is the header: let me have it.
 I was a Director of Nursing in a state prison. 
You cannot hurt my feelings. 
Blogging is all gravy for me.

happy friday

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shells On The Buffet

My vast collection of shells has been arranged on our dining room buffet. 
It would be more accurate to say a portion of my collection. 
Maybe I have a shell collecting issue.
The egg basket holds five or six large conch shells and is quite heavy.

The green foot stool was Joe's mothers and I was thrilled when I found it in one of our storage rooms at the old house. The Johnson Brothers Old Castles of Britain pitcher I recently found at an estate sale along with plates. Look for a future tablescape with those.

My collection was amassed over a couple of years of thrifty shopping. 
Many were given to me by kind strangers.

I party on the internet here at:

happy summer

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

~found nest~

 We found a nest on the pine straw in our flower garden. 
It blended in so well with the straw we almost did not notice it.
 I am always intrigued and cheered by a wee birds nest. 
Aren't you?

joy and peace

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peppermint Finally Identified

My sweet Joe had this odd sculptural plant growing in a wine barrel at the old house when I met him.  We moved it to the yellow house two years ago and it grew very large but never bloomed. Joe did not recall if it bloomed or not. Lo and behold it does. 
After two years here is the bloom:

It is a Peppermint Lily. 
 Do you see those stripes?

Here you can see the tall leaves of this lily. 
It is as tall as our lantana which is also tremendous.

The Peppermint Lily as seen through the cast iron bird feeder.

Have you had any garden surprises?

Linking with: Wow Us Wednesday's

joy and peace

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fruited Rice

 We like the many varieties of rice we can find now. 
 Many are organic and combined with quinoa. 
We do not eat white rice often but when we do we prefer jasmine for it's fruity notes. 
Yesterday I showed you my rice station in our small kitchen (scroll down to last post).
 Today let's make fruited rice.
 Do not fret if you cannot find puffed organic rice and quinoa (found at Costco).
 Any favorite rice of yours can be substituted. 
We like jasmine rice with dried fruit, citrus juice and zest.

This is the Fruited Rice above, it also has quinoa in it.
 Quinoa gives the dish added protein.

Step 1: Prepare whatever rice that is to your liking. (I use a rice cooker which I cannot do without)

Step 2: Chop whatever dried fruit that is to your liking while your rice is cooking. 

Step 3: Add dried cranberries and nuts if you so desire to your assembled dried fruit.

Step 4: Zest a citrus fruit and juice it. (I often use the juice and zest of a navel orange or a lemon)

Step 5: Add chopped dried fruit, zest, and citrus juice to cooked rice and stir lightly and fluff

Note: To make a curried fruited rice add the best curry powder you can find about two to three teaspoons to the finished rice. We love a curried fruited rice.

Note a: Dried fruit is expensive and sweet but a little goes a long way in rice

If you do a lot of zesting a microplane is the tool for that task. It is sharp and does the task quickly. I found mine at a garage sale but they are at Williams Sonoma and at

Linking with Yvonne for On The Menu Monday for the first time because y'all know I post recipes every third full moon on a blue Monday (recipes cause me great anxiety). Yvonne is eight kinds of awesome do visit Stone Gables as her blog is lovely and she is as well inside and out.

happy cooking

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rice Station

I created a rice station in my small kitchen last week. 
I removed a large stand mixer, which gets used during holidays, and put the rice in it's place.
 I cook brown rice or quinoa at least three times a week. 
I use a rice cooker which I do keep in the pantry because it is big and 
can make sixteen cups of rice if needed. 
I make eight cups of fruited rice and it disappears at our small group meetings for church.

The jars are organized on a 1970's tray made in Japan that I just adore. 
I have two of them.
 They do not really blend with anything else I have but sometimes it does not matter. 
Live with what you love and it all works out.

The brown rice is organic.
 The quinoa and puffed rice mix is from Costco but you could easily just cook quinoa by itself.
 The mushrooms are dried shiitakes. 
The McCoy cookie jar holds our coffee filters.
 Every item on this part of the counter must have a function.

If I can get it worked up {I throw random amounts in there my darlings} I will share my fruited rice recipe soon. 
I simply do not use recipes really unless I bake.

Linking with Elaine for Sunny Simple Sundays.
Kim for Wow Us Wednesday's

have a blessed sunday

Friday, June 22, 2012

It All Happens On The Deck

We have coffee, eat, and watch hummingbirds on the deck. 
Not to mention we enjoy the gazillion plants I have growing in planters.
Shelley and Clovis lounge and sun bathe on it.
Shelley destroyed a sweet potato vine in a planter yesterday.
But we are not talking about that right now.

I have said it before and it is worth saying again Petunias take the heat. 
When they get leggy cut them back and they will bloom again.

Look at this sweet baby....

....teething on Joe.

Sheldon Cooper Shepherd thinks the chaise is his.
Imagine that ya'll.

My old man kitty.
Clovis is still not tolerating Shelley much.

happy friday

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hold Everything Lightly #13 {The Baby The Hard Way}

To want a baby and not be able to have one can drive a woman to the edge. Over the edge. When I was in my late twenties I went through an expensive infertility work up.  I prayed the prayer of Hannah of old many times. To anyone going through this process now keep waiting for the miracle. Here is my story.

I was married to Stephen, working full time as a registered nurse at the medical university and going to college at night to get another nursing degree. If you work in an institution of higher learning it is expected of you to get advanced degrees. It is a matter of status and prestige. Yet my heart was not in it. I wanted a baby. Going to class for hours each evening was making me miserable. My pay would increase perhaps a dollar an hour which was not entirely worth the effort. I have never been concerned with prestige or status. I was concerned with providing excellent patient care and advanced in my field based on that principle alone.

I started seeing what would turn out to be numerous doctors about our inability to conceive. Eventually we ended up with a well known French doctor. We both had an exhaustive physical that cost the earth. We both had medical issues and were prescribed medications. I took daily Prednisone. I had many diagnostic and surgical procedures. I had fifteen vaginal ultrasounds. They were appalling. After the doctor would see an egg on ultrasound she would say " Go be nice to your husband." Eventually my labs indicated a possible pregnancy and an ultrasound found a beating yolk sac. To say I was thrilled after about twenty negative pregnancy tests is an understatement. I was more numb than anything else. I made them draw blood because I did not believe the urine dip. The French doctor saw something he did not like on an ultrasound and I had more surgery while pregnant to sew up my cervix. A few weeks after that I was hospitalized with kidney stones. Because I was pregnant I passed two stones with no pain medicine. I hit a doctor, with my fist, when he was palpating my abdomen in the emergency room. Pain, untreated, does breed violence. In me anyways.

 At some point in the summer I was sent to a High Risk OB/GYN doctor and he said I was his patient from then on and could not work anymore. I cried when I told my head nurse. I had home health nurses come to the house for a time.  I had to lay on my left side for seventeen days because I was very sick with HELP syndrome. It was formerly known as toxemia of pregnancy.  I had acute kidney failure, liver damage, hypertension, and was starting to have total organ failure. There was no choice but to deliver the baby to save my life. My platelet count was so low I was bleeding out of every injection site on my body. A C-Section was done and CC was born at 2 lbs 9 ounces. They had a full neonatal ICU team in the operating room. CC, at 32 weeks gestation, because she had been under such uterine stress was SGA (small for gestational age) and IGR (intrauterine growth retardation). She lost the 9 ounces and had to start over from two pounds. I spent the next twenty four hours in ICU and have no memory of it.

CC spent ten weeks in the NICU. I had worked in the NICU but when it is your baby in that isolette it is an entirely different matter. Stephen was wonderful with her and not scared of the tubes and IV's.
She came home weighing 4lbs 5ozs. She had to be holding her heat and feeding well. I was able to breastfeed her until she was one years old. She remained smaller than most kids her age and I always thanked God for giving me a baby for just a little longer.

CC is now a young adult, in college and and I would do it all again and more to have her. 
She is my advanced degree, in life.
 She is a joy for any and all who know her.

Keep praying for the miracle

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

thank you for reading 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hotel Lamps

I have a fascination with lamps and buy and sell them every week.
Joe and I can just about completely rebuild one too. When we recently stayed in a hotel for a quick weekend trip the lamps in the lobby caught my notice. The entire lobby was done in a mountain lodge look. The hotel was a national chain but was uniquely decorated for it's mountain setting.

Here are a few of the lamps and other features:

This was a dark corner but I like this textured knobby lamp.

A canoe coffee table.

An enormous single piece of pine used as a table top.


The bird lamp is charming too.

A pair of these flanked a water feature on the mantel. 
This was a Hampton Inn where I like the beds and Joe likes the breakfasts.
 We are a member of their points club and stayed one night for free.

Linking with:

joy and peace