Monday, April 21, 2014

Eternal Soap

Part two of the "You can't Take it with You" series.

All the wonderful fragrant gift soaps that have been tucked into dresser drawers making our unmentionables smell like...goats? eggs? seaweed? and well, roses and lavender too, need to be used NOW. 

In the past our occasional attempts to use fancy bars in the bathroom shared with the four males in this household resulted without fail, in a nicely scented glob of  sudsy goo stuck to the bottom of the tub, where it had fallen and was left to do what sodden soap does. 

No more! It's out of the closet and into the shower for this collection. You won't be finding these at the estate sale. And that goes for the hotel soap stash too. 

To aid us in our mission we would appreciate your only commenting when we smell fresh as a flower and holding your tongue, and your nose if necessary, should any farmyard odors be detected  wafting around our personal airspace. 

Thank you very much.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Season's Musings

The plan was for a relaxed holiday weekend with a low fuss Sunday meal menu. 

It seemed like it would be uncomplicated until, as we were digging out the recipes and starting to make a grocery list we got to wondering... 

is it wrong to devil the Easter eggs?

Image from The Graphics Fairy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Plant Therapy

May we suggest pansy pots for peace of mind and soul soothing Springiness on a cold April day? 

It's working for us.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rogues' Gallery

The Frigidaire Gang. They're a shady lot. We suspect they are guilty of all sorts of crimes and misdemeanors.

But perhaps that is because of some unfair profiling on our part.

Could it be the mustache? It seems to make anyone sporting it look like they are up to something.

Our littlest suspect. Just one year old today. 

Guilty of rendering grownups mute or turning them into babbling idiots solely by being totally too cute for words.

Next up. The little sister. Need we say more?

And her sidekick. 

Together they possess combinations of sibling superpowers able to drive otherwise sane and rational parents to the city limits of Crazytown. 

That is of course on the rare occasions when they are not being  model citizens.

And finally, the fun-uncle-in-training. No actual infractions of the law yet, but we're keeping an eye on him. 
Don't let the disarming smile behind the stache fool you. 
He is already scheming, and practicing the art of getting-little-beings-to-adore-him-even-though-they-don't-really-know-why-they-do on his roommates' pets, and small woodland creatures that have no sense.

We suspect bacon has a lot to do with it.

Take away the facial hair and it is a very normal assemblage.

So who is real criminal here? Could it be NDL herself for the crime of messing with photos (there is precedent - see above teething ring mischief that we had nothing to do with officer) and acquiring the accoutrements of hipster culture? 

Guilty as charged. Highly entertained. And not one bit sorry.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mary's Chickens

So, you think you were cooped up over the winter?

Just imagine how these girls have  been feeling.

Fortunately they haven't let their situation keep them from being productive.


Looks like Mary will be all ready for an Easter Egg hunt without the help of a Paas kit this year. 

Henrietta here is guarding two pretty, cappuccino-colored eggs under her ample breast. 

Even though it is apparent that Charlie has built a hen house using the blueprints from Fort Knox, one can't be too careful with naughty raccoons, the West Hill fox, and  intrusive bloggers,on the prowl. 

We hear that hens lay better if their home is quaintly accessorized. 

Of course Mary would do that for them even if it weren't true. She's just thoughtful like that.

Keep up the good work ladies.

Our invitation to an omelette brunch depends on you!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Today's the Day!

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."  

Predicted temp of 54F. Partly sunny. 0% chance of snow.

We hereby proclaim this the first spring day.

We will get out in it and look for signs of the season while we try to build stamina for upcoming long walks on the Cornish Coast. 

It has been a long, weird, winter. Many distractions resulted in lack of focus.  
There was alot of almost literal naval gazing. 

But really, absolutely nothing to complain about. Our pipes didn't freeze, the slippery sidewalks didn't take us down, our cars faithfully served us with a minimum of deserved crankiness, cabin fever did not reach levels that led to calling the cops, an attorney, or even Dr. Phil.

We came out of the deep freeze with a new roof, a rehabbed kitchen and bath, and tuned up innards. 
Trips are planned. Kids are doing well. Elders are hanging in there. 

And around the neighborhood....houses are selling, which means old neighbors can move on to the next exciting thing and new neighbors are arriving to start the adventure that is home-ownership.

Soon,  we expect to see new babies who have been quickly shuffled through the frigid temps from house to car finally available for some leisurely goo-gooing in the great out of doors. The neighborhood toddlers have surely been learning some new words and tricks since we saw them last fall. We hope to see some of them out splashing in the big puddles in the alley today. One of the truest signs of spring!

So, today is the day! The birds are announcing it loudly enough to hear through closed, 
and still storm-windowed windows.

Here we go!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring (Not to be Mistaken for the First Spring Day)

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.    
- Henry Van Dyke (Looking out our window we see what you mean Mr. Van Dyke.)

In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.    
- Mark Twain ( Maybe in Missouri Mark, but that is a low-ball estimate for Wisconsin. )

Winter lingered so long in the lap of Spring that it occasioned a great deal of talk.    

- Bill Nye (You said it, Science Guy. Please give us something else to talk about in the grocery line.)

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.   
- Hal (not Al) Borland (Thank you for the reminder.)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Aw Shucks, Target

Gee, you're awesome too.

We always thought we were your favorite. Don't worry, we won't tell the other kids. 

Oops, looks like you already did. It wasn't really necessary to use a mass mailing to tell everyone. Hurt feelings you know. 
A personal note to tell us would have been fine, but hey, thanks for the huge shout out.

We always knew you saw in us what others failed to.

Oh how you do go on. Stop now. Really.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happier Hour

It's a Wisconsin thing. The Old Fashioned

We are happy to announce that the quintessential cocktail  has now been bottled for your convenience.  This is really good news for those of us who keep a pathetically under-stocked liquor cabinet. 

We came late to the Wisconsin supper club scene, but quickly learned that if you want to blend in you better be ordering beer or an Old Fashioned on fish fry or prime rib special night. And if  you go with the OF it would be well to decide before you are asked whether you want it sweet or sour.

We suspect that many OF aficionados in our age group learned how to expertly make one back in the 60's or 70's when it was still okay for a kid to bartend the parents' cocktail party. Or they just picked it up from hanging out in bars, which is still okay for minors in Wisconsin, and observing the ritual of creating the OF.

We have always let the professionals mix our drinks and now they have made it even easier for us. 

Pick up a six pack and a jar of maraschino cherries and just like that it's a party with Arty's.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Doctor (Laura's) Orders

A full cup of coffee, a comfy chair, a bit of time with no distractions, and a reliable internet connection are the only things prescribed for a session of
Happy Therapy with Amy.

So much color after so many months of so much white might have you reaching for your shades as you browse the eye-popping images in 
Amy Butler's color and design-saturated online magazine, Blossom.  

View as needed. No limit on refills.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Like a Room Without a Roof

Does the world seem like a happier place these days?

It should be.

This incredibly uplifting video has been seen more than 100 million times. That's a lot of happiness shared.

We are responsible for at least a dozen of those viewings.

It just might be the way we start every day from now on. Or at least until spring arrives and we have the sky for a roof again.

And then, if you catch us clapping in the garden don't be surprised.

"Here come bad news talking this and that,
Well, give me all you got, and don't hold back,
Well, I should probably warn you I'll be just fine,
No offense to you, don't waste your time."

Saturday, March 1, 2014

No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

This tidy, little colon is standing in for a really disgusting piece of anatomy that goes by the same name.

We present this image today to draw your attention to a topic for which we have recently become the unofficial poster child. 

If you are over 50 years old it is  time to have a colonoscopy.

If you have a family history of colon cancer it is time to ask your doctor when you should have a colonoscopy.

If you  have a personal history of polyps and were told to have a recheck it is time to have a colonoscopy.

Colon cancer is very preventable. 

As is ending up with a semi-colon.

Colons are gross. 

We have spared you the graphic images, but if we hear that you haven't taken this message as seriously as we should have, look out! 

We will spill some guts across this space to illustrate our point.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Silver Linings

It has been difficult to find anything to appreciate about this cold, cruel winter. But thousands are trying by flocking to the Lake Superior shore to experience the ice caves of Bayfield County.

NDL official real photographer Sam Plasch ventured out across several miles of 18" thick ice to capture these beautiful images and has graciously agreed to share them with those of us not able or intrepid enough to make the trip ourselves.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Local Love Lingo

Seen at a local auction house.

A fitting sentiment for today and everyday no matter how youz say it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Groovy, Possibly Gravy-Stained, Valentine

Perfect for that big Valentine's day date.

In 1968. 

For people living somewhere that has above zero temps on February 14. 

Who aren't afraid they might show up at the restaurant in the same dress their table is wearing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

You Can't Take it with You, but You Can Pass it On

Here, from The Pristine Kitchen Towel Collection is an example of some very clever thinking.

This thoughtfully gifted dishcloth with cuke recipe is from Kite Flying Society of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

If you are looking for a very special gift for family or friends consider placing a custom order to have towels made featuring an heirloom recipe of your own. Think of what a hit it would be at your next family reunion, bridal shower, or multi-generational Christmas cookie bake!

And while you are at the Kite Flying Society Etsy site check out their original creation, the Blank Canvas Bib for the little abstract artists in your life. Fun!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

You Can't Take it with You

A recent sort out of the kitchen drawers uncovered a surprisingly, one might even say embarrassingly,
 large trove of beautiful dishcloths in mint condition.

We do love linens with great graphics. Others know this and have gifted us many pretty and useful cloths for special occasions, as souvenirs of trips to areas known for their textile tradition, or just because. We of course have helped the collection grow. 

These kinds of purchases are relatively inexpensive, very packable in both luggage and kitchen drawers, and easy to rationalize. It is a small sacrifice to have to jettison a sad pair of undies to make room in the suitcase, or relegate a dingy old towel from an overstuffed pantry shelf to the rag bin*. 

That's how the cotton plant circle of life goes. 

We can see that these examples are indeed lovely and could be useful, if we would actually use them.


"It's too good to use", is the sentiment that has allowed us to find brand new items at estate sales again and again. 

So obviously we are not the only ones saving our best for some "good enough" occasion, and although it might be nice of us to help out someone's future eBay enterprise by leaving pristine period pieces for them to buy at the sale of our own estate, we have decided that it's time to cut the tags and enjoy!

Even if we could take our fine collection of linens with us, we dearly hope that wherever we are going after this there are no dirty dishes.

*This seldom happens however as the same five awful towels are used and washed repeatedly so that the good ones remain perfect in the drawer waiting for hmmm... a visit from the queen?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Double Monkey Wrench

Known to many as a Churn Dash block, we are choosing to call it by one of its many alternate names. Churn dash doesn't mean much to anybody anymore. Monkey wrench probably doesn't either. But anytime one has the option of choosing a monkey related anything why wouldn't they?

The patterned fabric is American Jane by Sandy Klop for Moda. In its several incarnations it has been called, or been part of lines called - Peas and Carrots, Magic Beans, Potluck, and in a mono color version, Pezzy Prints.

Please don't look too closely for imperfect corners. There are plenty and many more to come when the blocks are fit together. 

This is a reverse Double Monkey Wrench. 
We will throw in a few of these negative space blocks just to see who's paying attention.

There have been many challenges to quilting lately, but spring is a long way off....