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October 31, 2013

the magic age of Halloween...

My grandkids, at four and five, have hit that magic age for Halloween.  They are finally old enough to glow with the excitement of wearing their costumes, going to parties and oh yes, all that candy and they have a few years to go before the thought of smashing a pumpkin even enters their sweet little heads.

Today promises to be a busy one starting out with the kindergarten parade, followed by the school carnival, candy and pictures at grandma's and then on to a good friends for Nacho Night and trick or treating.  I wish I could bottle up the excitement in those little ones and save if for a gloomy day.

I hope you and yours have a spooktacular day no matter how you celebrate.  Happy Halloween!

xo, Patty

October 30, 2013

domestic arts - yeast rolls

My mother in law made the best yeast rolls.  They were one of the things I most looked forward to when we went to her house for holidays and birthdays.  I can remember exactly how the house smelled while they were baking and watching that yeasty steam as it rose from her glass baking dish hot out of the oven.

She learned how to make them from her mother as did all of her sisters.  She lovingly wrote the recipe out for me before her passing six years ago and to my regret, I cannot locate her handwritten words anywhere.  I have found several recipes in cookbooks and online but none matches hers exactly.  I am sure the basic ingredients are all the same but the love of family she seasoned her with cannot be duplicated.

This year at Thanksgiving I plan on having my daughters come early so that I can show them what she showed me.  There is something about watching the yeast come to life, kneading the dough and anticipating it's rising in a warm spot for a couple of hours, that takes special occasions to a simpler time.

All that being said, there are many times I get a hunger for homemade yeast rolls on an everyday Sunday afternoon.  It's usually as I'm peeling potatoes an hour before dinner and there's is just not enough time to wait for the yeast to rise.  I happened on this recipe for 30 minute yeast rolls that is pretty darn good.  Not as good as the ones my mother in law made but a good substitution in a pinch.  The only change I made is that I cut the yeast down to 1 1/2 TBS and I added it to the warm water before the rest of the wet ingredients.

If you've never made yeast rolls before, this might be a good way for you to get your feet wet, I think you'll find them well worth the effort.  And if you have a great recipe for the real deal, I'd love to hear it.

xo, Patty

October 29, 2013

I may have a problem...

I spent the better part of the last few days cleaning out, sorting through and deciding what to purge in my craft studio.  The amount of fabric, paper, buttons and doo-dads is staggering.  How on earth did any one person ever think she was going to use all of that stuff in one lifetime?

Is there a support group out there for hoarders of all things crafty?  A place where I can stand up and say, "Hi my name is Patty and I am a craft supplyaholic..."?

My intent was to organize and give away, but even in my abundance my mind is telling me I just might need that fabric scrap one day.  What if I decide to embroider something wonderful and I only have three kinds of green floss and the directions call for four?  What if I go to reach for a red button and there aren't any?  What if I really do learn how to make crystal beads from decomposed egg cartons and I don't have any egg cartons in my stash? (Okay, I might have just made that last one up but you get my point, right?)

Why is it so hard for me to give any of this stuff away and why do I secretly dream of buying more?  Truth be told having all this is kind of stressing me out.  I want to have a room that inspires me, not one that gives me the heebee jeebies.  I am sure there is some deep philosophical reason I have all this stuff, some sort of need that I'm trying to fill, some kind of abandonment issue.  Don't tell me it's just cause I thought it was pretty...that would make me feel a bit greedy.

All kidding aside, half of what I have has to go.  Does anyone know of an organization out there that could use fabric and paper supplies?  Or if you'd like me to send some your way in a flat rate shipping box, then email me at lemonlanecottage@yahoo.com and we can arrange something.  I am going back in my room today and I am not coming out until I make a serious dent in there.

If I'm not out by tomorrow, you may need to send someone in after me.

xo, Patty

October 28, 2013

Fashion at 50 Monday

Can you believe it's Monday already?  I had a pretty productive weekend, what about you?  Of course, that doesn't mean I stuck to my to do list. 

I did manage to do a little cleaning and purging in the living room but the wiping down of walls has been pushed to this week.  I got sidetracked in my craft studio (not doing crafty things unfortunately) but cleaning, purging and organizing.  When I took over the closet in the guest room I unhoused a mess of crafting goodies and some less than attractive plastic stacking drawers.

I think I came up with a creative and pretty way to incorporate them in to my studio but it is still a work in process.  One that I will share just as soon as it's done.

Our weather this weekend was picture perfect for early fall in Southern California  It was just cool enough to need a light sweater for church on Sunday.  I decided to put together something using one of my favorite color combos, yellow and blue.  I found a few options on my pinterest boards for inspiration. 

The only thing I splurged on was the pretty yellow and white scarf...less than $5.00 at Walmart.  I love it and I love how it completed the outfit.

Monday's are my house cleaning days and I have to get back to my work in the living room, so that pretty much takes care of today.  I will be making a quick trip to the thrift store some time this week to look for small oil paintings but not until I have a load to donate first.

I hope you have some fun things planned for the week.  Want to share?

xo, Patty

jeans - Kohls
blouse - thrifted
sweater  thrifted
scarf - Walmart
shoes - Nordstom Rack
Jewelry - Kohls

I'm joining the Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday...

October 26, 2013

hello saturday...

Hello Saturday.  This last week has been a bit of a blur as I checked off quite a few things from my "in order to simplify my life" list.  Bringing closure to commitments can be bittersweet.

This coming week will be the first in a quite some time where my focus will be on all things home and hearth.  In true list maker fashion, I have begun a to do list for each room of our sweet cottage.  Things to clean and all things decor.

First up, things to clean in the living room...

decluttering toys
washing windows
thinning out my magazine stash
wiping down walls

You know, the usual fun stuff that can build up over time.  Then I have a rather short list of all things d├ęcor...

replace the faded lampshade
scout out a few thrift store paintings for the wall above the sofa.

I purposely chose this room to start with because it is already one of my favorite in the house and only needs some minor tweaking.  (I am all about a little instant gratification to get me motivated.)

That's it for me.  How was your week and what's on the horizon for the week to come?

xo, Patty

October 24, 2013

mashed potatoes...

I mashed the potatoes at my mom's yesterday.  That may sound like no big deal to you but in my family it is huge. 

Yesterday was my dad's birthday.  He would have been 82 years old.  We got together at my mom's to celebrate his life and to reminisce.  It seems hard to believe that he has been gone nearly two years.  It felt so good to have his presence in the room with us through the legacy he left behind.  There were 18 of us gathered around the table for a celebration that was planned less than 24 hours in advance.  That just goes to show you how much he was loved and is still missed.  From my oldest brother on down to great grandchildren who never knew him, we all gathered on short notice to honor him and to offer comfort to my mom, his bride of nearly sixty years. 

Among his many roles, my dad mashed the potatoes in our family.  I can remember watching him add the butter, canned milk, salt and pepper and then mashing those potatoes by hand with military precision until they were creamy perfection.  When he was done I would stand beside the bowl waiting to be the official taste tester.  He'd grab me a spoon and I'd dip it in pulling out a little spoonful of that white goodness.

You know we did that dance, my dad and I, until his hands were bent with arthritis and his arms were too weak to mash.

So when  I say  I mashed the potatoes yesterday, it was just another reminder that he wasn't physically there with us.  But as we held hands for grace, I looked at that circle of family gathered round and I saw him in each and every one of us he left behind.

xo, Patty

October 23, 2013

stocking up...

It's getting to be that time of the year...

It won't be long now until the baking begins so I figured I may as well start stocking up.  The first thing in my pantry this year are walnuts, chocolate chips and butter.  My mom picked up a case of canned milk for her famous pumpkin pies.  What about you?  What will you stock up with for your holiday baking?

xo, Patty

October 22, 2013

guest room in progress

I finally managed to get a start on our guest room makeover so I thought I would show you a little peek of what I worked on yesterday.

The floral pillow cases have been sitting in my finished sewn projects stash just waiting to be stacked prettily on a bed and the little bouquet was clipped from my garden in the morning.  The closet that I took over is now filled with my clothes and shoes but not quite ready for sharing.

I know it's not much but considering what I started with, you would think this little corner is pretty amazing.  There is still so much more to do but for now it just feels good to be back in nesting mode again.

I am off to spend a little time with my mom which is sorely needed and much looked forward to.

I hope you've been able to do a little nesting lately, too.

xo, Patty

October 20, 2013

Christmas Makerie

*Edited 10/30/2013 - Christmas Makerie is now full.  Email me to be put on the waiting list.  If you have given me a verbal confirmation, you are included in the event.  A confirmation email will be sent one week prior to the party.

The Christmas Makerie craft party at my home is scheduled for Friday, November 15, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.. We will be making two Christmas themed projects and enjoying each others sweet and savory appetizers and desserts plus a whole lot of laughs. 

Based on your pinterest votes, one craft will be bottle brush inspired and one will be some sort of embellished stocking.  You know me well enough to know that I haven't come up with the final design yet, but it will be fun (and cute, I hope) no matter what.

The fee is $20.00 and once again, I am asking you to bring either a sweet or savory dish to share along with twelve copies of the recipe.

I have added a Pay Pal button to my sidebar to confirm your spot.  Space is limited to 12 people so don't wait too long.  Hope to see you there.

xo, Patty

fashion at 50 Monday

My husband and I decided to grab some Mexican food at a local restaurant yesterday.  We don't go out to eat often so it was fun getting fixed up just for him for a change.

He has noticed a change in my wardrobe for church and things I do with friends, so I think he thought it was nice that I put some thought into what I wore to go out with him. I must confess that the days I stay home I still reach for elastic capris pants and T-shirts.  One step at a time, is all I can say, one step at a time.

This was the first time he caught sight of me taking pictures of myself and you should have seen the look on his face when I told him what it was for...suffice it to say, he walked away scratching his head and wondering if I totally lost my mind.

My grandson was totally on board with the whole thing and even managed to sneak into a few pictures.

I am heading upstairs today to do a little work on my guest room/dressing room which found itself on the back burner while my life was in overdrive.  It is a hot mess and I am really wondering where to even start.  Don't you hate it when you let things get to that point?

Better get off this computer and get to work.  Hope your Monday is a happy one.

xo, Patty

jeans - kohls
top - North Style
tank - Walmart
Shoes - clearance Target
Necklace - Cookie Lee
Earrings - not sure

I'm joining the Pleated Poppy for WIWW and Get Your Pretty On...

October 19, 2013

hello Saturday...

Hello Saturday with your promises of blue skies and 88 degree weather. 

I have finished my second (or is it third?) cup of coffee and am ready to take on the day.

It's been a busy but productive week.  I laid out the ground work for some changes in my life that I think will serve my family well.

My calendar for the coming week is wide open and I am relishing the fact that I will be spending the majority of my time at home nesting.  Getting the garden in order is on the top of my list.  We are expecting a week of weather in the low 80's so spending time pulling weeds and dead heading doesn't sound so bad.

What about you?  What's on your agenda for the week?

Have a wonderful weekend.

xo, Patty

All pictures taken at Woeste Garden Center in Los Olivos, California.

October 18, 2013

on being the older woman - faith walk friday

I wasn't sure I was ready to be her...the older woman.  Like physically I had a choice, right?  But even emotionally.  I wasn't sure I had the spiritual chops to offer up what the younger women are hungry for.  Truth be told I was even a little offended by the whole idea that I was now apart of the generation that laid the groundwork and not in the generation that is ready for change. 

But everywhere I went, everyone I encountered and everything that I read kept leading me to younger women.   In our study of Gideon we are learning that waiting until we feel totally equipped for our calling is not an option.  That God uses us not only in spite of but because of our weaknesses.  That when we feel the least adequate is when He is most glorified through us.

So I went to scripture to remind myself of what the older woman is supposed to look like according His word. 

"Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness.  By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives.  We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior."  Titus 2:3-4 MSG

And I put myself out there and they are coming or maybe they have always been there but my eyes were just not open to see them.  They are everywhere...in my family, in my church, in social media, daughters of friends, and they are looking for older women who were not raised in this sex crazed, media driven world to show them how to be lovers of husbands and children and to show them that you can still dress cute and be virtuous and that the love of pinterest inspired homes and holidays must first start with learning to keep your home.

Am I totally ready?  Do I have it all together?  In my flesh, certainly not but the One who called me is and so like Gideon I will venture forward with the unlikely tools he has given me and I will make myself available because now more than ever, this world is in dire need of obedient (not perfect) older women.

xo, Patty

I'm joining the following links today...
Faith Filled Friday
Bible Love Notes

October 17, 2013

the final stretch to a simple life...

I am on the last leg of operation wrap things up and stay at home more.  It feels so good to be nearing the final stretch.  I am so looking forward to finding the simple life I imagined when I retired last year.

One of the last commitments I have left is to my favorite local craft store. I will be teaching my last card making class there this weekend and have been busy designing, prepping and putting together kits the last couple of days.  My dining room table (which is were I go when I can't find room on my actual craft table to work) is covered in all manner of paper loveliness. 

Teaching has been such a great experience and I have learned things about my giftedness that I know will be used again someday.

I have happily agreed to continue doing a little design work for the store but the pace will be less hectic and putting together one sample is certainly less time consuming than turning that design into 20 precut kits twice a month.  It will still allow me the opportunity to play with pretty papers, lace and ribbons, something that is needed to satisfy my creative soul.

The year and half since my retirement has taught me much about myself, both good and bad.  But as trying and exasperating as it has been, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  If I have learned anything it's that it is okay not to have anything planned and it's not necessary to be busy all the time.  Time spent reading a book or talking with a friend is more important than being busy just for busies sake.

Living a simpler life means different things to different people, for me it about availability and balance something that's been missing for a while now.  Time at home, with the people I love sounds like exactly where I'm meant to be.

xo, Patty

October 16, 2013

circling the wagons...

I have been in a re-prioritizing mood lately and have been trying to whittle down my extra activities so that I can spend more time at home caring for the people I've been blessed to serve. 

Trying to decide what to give my time and energy to has actually been easier than I thought.

I think I've known for a while that I was over committed so scaling back has provided me such relief .  My family knows that when I have too much on my plate it can make for one grouchy wife/momma/grandma/daughter/friend. 

That doesn't mean that I won't miss some of the things I'm giving up, like teaching at my local craft store, but for now, that creativity is better served at home.  By letting go I have more energy to spend on feathering my nest, cooking healthier foods and writing, which I have dearly missed.

My renewed mind has provided me with plenty of words and ideas to share with you and to spend some time rekindling online friendships that I have been neglecting as well as in the flesh relationships that haven't gotten all of me for a while.

Do you ever feel the need to circle the wagons and regroup, too?  I know I can't be alone in this...

Happy Wednesday.

xo, Patty  

October 14, 2013

fashion at 50 Monday

Happy Monday all.  I had the nicest weekend with incredible weather and good company, topped off with a little time in the kitchen baking.  Now that my scheduled has slowed considerably, I am looking forward to many more weekends just like it.  I don't know why it takes me overbooking myself and nearly losing it, to realize that I function best when I have more days at home than out on the streets.  Even good, fun stuff can cause burnout if I'm not careful.

It's time for another fashion at 50 Monday and like always, I started with my pinterest board for inspiration.  With the weather cooled to the 70's I thought it was time to pull out a scarf as my focal point.

Last year for my birthday my husband gave me an interesting menagerie of items (with deep subliminal meaning I am sure) one of them being this leopard scarf.  I am definitely not your typical leopard wearing girl so like any good wife I thanked him with a sweet smile and moved on to the next gift in the bag.

Well here I am six months later, over twenty pounds lighter and proudly wearing that darn leopard scarf.  Maybe it was just the motivation I needed to start making how my husband saw me and how I saw myself collide.  That's a story for a whole other post...

It would be impossible and impractical to recreate pinterest outfits exactly (and where would the fun be in that anyway) but using them for inspiration can be just what you need to think outside the box a little bit and try something new...like my leopard scarf.  By pairing it with a few things I am comfortable with like jeans and a simple white blouse I actually really love it.

So what about you, what have you purchase on impulse or been gifted that is not usually something you would wear?  I challenge you to head over to pinterest or your favorite style magazine and see how you could incorporate it into your everyday wardrobe.  You might just find a side of you that you didn't even know existed.

Have a wonderful week.

xo, Patty

jeans - kohls
jean jacket - steinmart
white blouse - thrifted
boots - kohls
watch - kohls
bracelet -  target
earrings - vacation purchase
scarf - walgreens (yes, my husband shops for me at walgreens, lol)

I'm joining The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday...

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