Saturday, April 27, 2013


Despite cooler than average temps this year, nature still finds a way to show the beauty of Spring.  I thought I would share some of my garden delights that are not the traditional southern dogwoods and azaleas.

The Cherokee Rose bush. Designated in 1916 as the state flower of Georgia, there is some debate about the origins.  Women's clubs all over Georgia insist it was a flower cultivated by the Cherokees, but today's horticulturists say it was brought over from Asia and should be considered and invasive species.  Regardless, I love it.

Beautiful irises have popped up here and there. I particularly like this old fashioned purple bearded guy. 

The yellow one is not bad either.

And all over my yard is an abundance of Silver Dollar plants. I love their frilly white flowers. They have popped up in the best places this year.

And of course, the short lived, but very pretty and dainty Star of Bethlehem. Considered by many to be a weed and a pest, I love it.

What is growing in your yard this spring?

Sunday, April 7, 2013


I have recently read several blog posts, articles, etc. about Happiness. There are small things we can do everyday to increase our satisfaction with life in general. There is even a grassroots movement based on the book by Gretchen Rubin, called The Happiness Project. I haven't read it yet, but it is on my list.

I want to share a few things that I do that I think increase my happiness. I am sure there are many more but I am limiting my list to five.

1. Make your bed.

Making your bed makes the overall appearance of your room tidy. When you come home from a long hard day and walk into a messy bedroom, your whole attitude becomes one of defeat and despair. Just a made bed provides just enough visual organization to your room to prevent this feeling. And for me, the few times I haven't made my bed, seems like I have drop-in company. Grrr....

2. Clean your sink.

Years ago, I discovered Her original website was very simple and she provided a list of tips on clutter and organization. (Now she has a TV show, an on-line shop, etc. etc., but that is another story.) One of her first tips is "Shine your Sink." At first I thought this was rather silly, but over the years I have practiced this and it does make a difference. Stumbling into the kitchen in the morning to make coffee and be greeted with dirty dishes sets a negative tone for the whole day. It feels much better to fill the coffee pot when the sink is shiny.

3. Grow something.

Grow something, anything. A cactus, a simple houseplant, a pot of flowers by your door. Gardening is an art and something many people are not very good at. It feeds your soul to have something to plant, nurture and watch mature. Just one plant that you can tend to and enjoy increases your happiness.

4. Get fresh air and sunshine everyday.

When I was a child, my mother made us go outside to play. She would say, "go out and get some fresh air and sunshine." Today, so many of us never go outside except to get into our car. You don't have to lay in the sun for hours, but just 15 minutes outside, just sitting or taking a quick walk, can relax you, slow down your heart rate, and put you in an overall better frame of mind.

5. Cookies and milk.

Cookies and milk are good for you. Not a whole box of cookies with a gallon of milk, but 2-3 low-fat cookies and glass of skim milk can give you that satisfied, comfort feeling you had as a child.

Sometimes it is the simple and small things that  can give us so much pleasure and leave us with that warm toasty feeling of contentment.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Victorian Fashion Photos

Like everyone else, I am having Downton Abbey withdrawals.  Why do I love Downton Abbey so much? Well, besides, the house, I love the fashions. The Victorian and Edwardian era fashions will never be repeated as far as I can see. Besides, who would want to wear so many restricting clothes? Not me. 

Despite the prim and proper feminine ideal of the day, fashions of the Victorian period created a mystical, romantic look.

I love the one below. Her hair, her face and her clothes are perfect.

A bridal party or perhaps a cotillion? 

Definitely 1880's or before. Bustles were in.

Love the enormous hats and large corsages and of course, the parasol.

A young woman before age 18. At 18, they could "drop their hemlines."

Edwardian fashion refers to the clothing worn in the early 20th century and features an simpler,   elegant, more tailored look for women.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at some of the these photos. Many are from my personal collection. I never tire of looking at them.