Monday, May 30, 2011

Nothing like a good read

I can’t remember how I stumbled onto this book…..perhaps I read about it in a magazine, or someone else blogged about it….I truly can’t remember. 

I do remember that I requested it from our library and it took several weeks before it became available.

This is the story of Hadley Richardson, a girl (well, not a girl….she is 28 year old spinster when she meets Hemingway) from St. Louis, who was Ernest Hemmingway’s first wife.  Although the cover of the book shows an elegant lady dressed as if she’s from “Mad Men” in the late 50’s, this is set in the roaring 20’s and Hadley is described as being more thick and athletic.

She was the calm to Hemingway’s storm, but alas she is a starter wife who feeds Hemingway’s ego and sacrifices for his art.

The book starts in Chicago and then takes you places with the Hemingway’s such as Paris and Spain…a fictional book based on a true story.

I’ve been devouring it over the 3 day weekend.

Book Description from Amazon:

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Though deeply in love, the Hemingway’s are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.
A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


It’s not always what goes INTO something that makes it great,

as what you do to edit it, so that the greatness shines.

Yesterday, Kenny spent a good part of his day after work editing his garden.

These are pictures of the piles of things that are leaving the garden….I’ll

try to post soon and show you the additions.


We are both collectors….Kenny collects plants, cookie jars (he has not added any in a

very long time), pottery, vintage Christmas tree stands.

I collect salt and pepper shakers (I have not added any in a very

long time), wool, Elsie the cow (I have not added any in a very long time).

We both have an affinity for coats….(our coat closet is packed) and lamps….luckily we live in a home that

has very little overhead lighting.

This year we have started editing our collections….standing back and looking at things and asking ourselves

if we really love these things as much as we did when we first got them. Many items have stayed,

but many have gone.

It makes me wonder, what is it inside of us that gives us that yearning to collect?

Is it the thrill of the hunt?

Is it part of our genetic make-up….the whole hunter/gatherer thing?

Can’t pass up a “good deal”?

Do you collect?

Do you edit?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Little progress

I’ve hooked in a bit more background on the Redbud Runner, but really need to get with it……so much more to hook!

When I was uploading these pictures to my computer, I came across some pictures of my trip to

Maine and Canada a few years ago……loving this picture with all of the moss…….I love green!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What I wouldn’t give

to move like J Lo! If you don’t want to watch the entire video….just forward to about the two minute point!  Amazing!  From American Idol, last night……

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


For all of you who have e-mailed me to see if I am okay, yes, I am.

The tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri is about 70 miles from where I live in Springfield, Missouri.  When we heard about the tornado, we readied our bathroom so that we would be ready to take cover if we needed to. Our house is a single story ranch, so during a tornado you try to go to the center of your house and away from windows….for us, this is the little bathroom.  If you have a basement, you go to the basement.

Kenny put a dog bed on the floor and one against the wall and then put a quilt over the glass shower doors.  Luckily, we didn’t have to take cover.

I was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri and tornado warnings are just a fact of life.  Sad to say, we have them so often, that a lot of times we kind of blow them off and think, “oh it will just go on by us….it rarely hits close to home”. 

Growing up, when we had tornado warnings we headed over to our Grandma Schulze’s house and got in the basement with a lot of our aunts and uncles and cousins…sometimes even a pet or two.  It didn’t matter if it was in the middle of the day or the middle of the night.

At work, we have tornado drills and when we have actual tornado warnings we herd all of our patients downstairs.  I work in an outpatient facility, so most of the patients we work with are fairly mobile.

I have never seen the amount of devastation like the tornado that hit Joplin.  I spent my freshman year in college living in Joplin and attending Missouri Southern State University and I still have a few friends from college who live and work there.  My husband’s cousin lives in Joplin and it blew the roof off of their house, but they are okay.

I’ve heard that we have 90 patients from Joplin at the hospital that I work at (the building I work in is connected to the hospital).  When I walked over to the hospital the other day they had grief counseling rooms set up and you could hear people sobbing……it was so sad.

I’ve seen pictures of the tsunami in Japan and the earthquake in Haiti, but somehow this is more personal to me, because these are my  neighbors.  These people could be me.

I found some before and after pictures of the tornado.

This one is an after photo…..I’m guessing that you know what a Home Depot store normally looks like…..


This is the hospital before

and after

I think of how hard it is to get our outpatients downstairs,  but getting patients who are in ICU and have oxygen and multiple IV’s into interior hallways with about 5-10 minutes warning is incredible. 

So much devastation…..

I try to be positive on my blog, but this just makes me so sad……so many people have lost their lives, lost their homes, everything.  So what happens when a tornado hits and destroys your home and say it destroys the place where you work as well?  What happens?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What I’m loving……at the moment

This bedroom! I can’t even say how much I’ve studied this….

the really busy quilt as the base,

with a more simple graphic quilt folded up at the end of the bed,

simple sheets and a mix of solid, graphic and busy pillows at the top

……am I over analyzing this? 

I can’t help myself!

The art of Leigh Viner

I love how she combines what looks like simple pencil drawing

with the realistic eyes and mouth and then

the digital flower…..


Egg chairs…..I think

they would be great to snuggle into

and read a good book!

Sally Cummings Shisler

Dreama Tolle Perry

Elizabeth Fraser

Paintings with big bold chunky strokes…..

I think this will be my next experiment with rug hooking

….to try and replicate this look in a rug.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Now I’m a little freaked that I’ve made such a “to-do” over my new technique that I’ve been working on that you’re going to be looking at this and going…



“You got us all excited about THIS?!”


Okay, well, here it is……

The series of garden rugs that I’ve been working on have areas of flowers and leaves that stick out beyond the normal border of the rug.

Once this was hooked and I was thinking of hanging it, I was wondering how I was going to get it to hang without having the flower and leaf parts just “flopping”.

I took my rugs to “Pelican Gallery” here in Springfield, MO and talked to the owner, Dan, about the best way to hang the rugs.  He came up with the idea of the wire.

Genius actually….he had me use a small gauge wire and twist it to a double thickness to make it stronger…..this way you get a strong wire, but due to the smaller gauge, it is still easy to bend to the shape of the flowers or leaves.  He suggested stainless steel  or galvanized steel, so that the wire would not rust.  He then had me attach it with fishing wire….I used a 12 pound test weight fishing line that Kenny had here at the house.

He also suggested bringing the wire more towards the center of the rug, to give the “sticky-outy” parts more stability once the rug is hung.

So now I have all of the flowers and leaves wired on all 3 garden rugs.  This weekend I will be returning to “Pelican Gallery” to work on the hanging mechanism.  I’ll post more on that process once it gets under way.

Dan approaches everything from an archival point of view, so he is very interesting to talk to about hanging textiles….I’m learning a lot!

Monday, May 16, 2011

New technique?


I’ve used the pliers to help me twist the wire to make it a bit stronger and shape it.  I’m also using some fishing line and a needle……..I should have the “reveal” tomorrow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bits and pieces


Why would I have out wire, snips and pliers to work on a rug?  Stay tuned…..


Kenny got a great new fern this past week…..I think it’s called a “compacta fern”.  I think it looks charming sitting in the birdbath, so neat and round.



One of the poppies from the garden, got to show off in all it’s glory inside the house this week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sweet and Spicy

Wednesday night’s supper


Marinate chicken breast in teriyaki sauce, then grill it to a nice golden brown.  When it’s just about finished, throw some fresh pineapple on the grill and cook until caramelized.


Add some pickled jalapenos for heat and slap it between a bun! (I used a ciabatta bun…..a little too hearty for such a big sandwich…next time I’d choose a softer bun)

Left-overs? Chop up the chicken and pineapple and toss it into a salad!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reader questions

Odd, just this week I’ve had a few questions from readers…..odd, because that doesn’t happen very often.

However, I LIKE it and I’m always willing to share.

One reader asked about my slate floor.  She saw that I had slate in my kitchen and wondered how it transitioned into the hardwoods in my dining room…….

here are pictures of that……

There is a bit of trim that makes the transition between the height of the slate and the hardwoods… is a close-up

The slate is “earth gouged” slate….it’s rough on both sides and I think it was a b*tch to lay….but, it’s down and I love it!  It’s really not as cold as you would think it might be….perhaps because it’s a natural product.

I had another person on Facebook ask about a close-up of the “pea-pods” on my runner……no, they are redbud tree pods, but I know they look like pea pods.  I got the wools for the peapods from Searsport Rug Hooking when I was on vacation in Florida….thanks Julie and Chris!

Some of the pods look like this, with just two colors of wool.

….and then some have more than the 2 colors of wool…..what can I say….I get bored when I hook!


Here is the progress I’ve made so far….I swear, one day last weekend I hooked and hooked and hooked…..


Here’s a close-up of the area where I have a little bit of everything hooked in next to each other…


I went by the library last night and I swear that going in there is just the most wonderful thing! I got a few new books to read….


Tonight I’m making a sandwich from the ”Big Book of Food”….it’s basically grilled chicken that's been marinated in teriyaki sauce along with grilled pineapple and jalapenos (it’s supposed to be on a whole wheat bun, but I went to Breadsmith and they had these wonderful garlic and rosemary ciabatta rolls (not whole wheat, but the girl at the counter got me with the free sample….to die for!)  If it turns out pretty I’ll take a pictures for you!

Nigella’s cookbook has a recipe for a Maple Pecan Bundt Cake that looks sinfully delicious

as well as some African drumsticks….drumsticks with ground ginger and apricot jam as well as other ingredients….making my mouth water just thinking about it!

My co-worker is making one of the recipes out of Bethenny Frankel’s book tonight….grilled pork chops with grilled nectarines and then I think you sprinkle bleu cheese over that…….okay, on that note, I’m going to head out and fire up the grill!

Wow and WOW!

Haven’t had much time to blog, but did see this today and thought my readers might be interested……very inspiring!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fruits of his labor

When Kenny is not delivering the mail he is reading of gardening,

dreaming of gardening and working in the garden.  This morning he took some time out to photograph what is going on in the garden.




agave plants and Colorado pancake rocks






Japanese maple


vintage headboard





bird feeder make from vintage cup and saucer




tree peony




black iris






Cleopatra’s last day to play on the pool “trampoline”


She likes to step on it and then drink the water


tri-colored beech






cinnamon fern




Go forth and be creative,