Monday, October 11, 2010

What A Month!

Autumn has arrived here in coastal Delaware although the temperature today was supposed to be a high of 84 which is somewhat warm for October.  Pumpkins are cheerfully spreading their color throughout a local pumpkin patch that I drove by today.  It made me happy just to see it.

We are very busy -- my husband is building another mega-house for a client.  It has been a struggle getting it past local town regulations since it is on a canal and larger in height than is usually allowed, therefore needed a variance.  He thinks he may retire after this house.  At 72 it may be time.

I am busy preparing for our annual Realtors' auction in which we raise money to help provide a happy Christmas for needy children.  Our theme is "Winter Wonderland By The Sea."  We will use loaned Christmas trees with white lights and centerpieces of seashells and "snow." We have a very limited budget for decorations so I don't know how much of a "wonderland" it will be!

I attended an Argentine Tango weekend workshop last month and have another one in a few weeks.  I have never done this before and I signed up and went alone.  My husband is not a dancer and since his fall off his boat this summer he is still limping around.  The dance classes were tons of fun -- what a beautiful dance.

We are also in the process of moving to a smaller home not far away.  I am trying to get up the momentum to pack.  I am a clutterer and a collector which makes it difficult.  I am also running into a problem getting boxes from the local liquor stores.  They used to provide an unlimited amount of boxes needed for packing.  Now they don't seem to want to give more than a few at a time.  Other stores crush them as they discard them.  The last time we moved we had movers do it, although I did the packing.  For some reason (husband's decision) we are doing it ourselves with the assistance of his employees.  I don't know how I got all this stuff in this house when we moved here fifteen years ago.  What a nightmare!

Hope you are all having a happy October!

Photo credit:


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Beach Plums

My mother was a "South Jersey girl." She was born and raised in New Jersey until she met and married my father and forever after lived near Philadelphia (his hometown).

We grew up always knowing about beach plum jelly. The beach plum is a shrub that grows along the seashore from Maine to Delaware.  Mom picked the little sweet plums and made her own jelly. The plums were cooked and then strained in a cheesecloth which was tied to a cabinet and hung over a bowl to gather the juice for the jelly. Mom always made her jelly with the paraffin wax over the top before sealing it. I don't usually see canning done this way anymore.

We can buy local beach plum jelly at the farmers market by a lady who picks the plums herself in the sand dunes along the seashore. Today I was at the Lewes Farmers Market and she had a large container of the plums. She said she had not picked these, but purchased them from another vendor who grew cultivated beach plums. She will use these when she runs out of her wild plums.

For more information on this delicious little plum, read

Thanks for stopping by - come back again!


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I Love New England!

I recently returned from a great little vacation in New England.  My sister and I drove to Andover, Massachusetts to visit my daughter and son-in-law and my two grandsons.  The oldest turned 14 while we were there!

We drove to Wolfeboro, NH for a day and visited some of our favorite spots and drove on two separate days to Gloucester, MA (which we loved).  While in Gloucester we drove to nearby Rocky Neck Artist Colony which is and was where some noted artists have lived and worked.  We had planned to drive over to Ogunquit, Maine which is another favorite place, but instead spent the two days in Gloucester.

Here are some pix!

The best clam rolls at our favorite drive-in in New Hampshire.
A working lobster boat in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Dorys hand made in Gloucester.
The Dory Shop
Deep sea creature -- photo taken by my 10 year old grandson in the aquarium at a restaurant where we ate lunch in Gloucester.

I will be back up in Andover at Thanksgiving - this time my husband will go, too! I can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, July 16, 2010


If any of you have been checking in and see that I haven't posted anything for quite awhile -- I will be back soon.   I am just in a blogging slump these days. 

I will back to checking in on other blogs and posting to my own in a few more weeks. 

Hope you all are staying cool in this scorcher of a summer!  (Here are some pictures of my visit last weekend to Bucks County, PA where I used to live.)


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally known as  Decoration Day, was proclaimed in 1868 a national day of remembrance of those who died in the Civil War.  It later included all those who died in any war.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I hope you all have a Happy Mother's Day.

 I won't be able to be with my daughter and grandsons, but the love between us will span the miles.  I will also be cherishing the happy memories of my sweet mother.

Here is a picture of my mother holding me, circa 1945-46 and one of me holding my little girl, 1966.



Friday, May 07, 2010

My Opinion For The Day

I think I have been watching way too much mainstream television.  Dancing With The Stars, Celebrity Apprentice, Access Hollywood and the list goes on.  I have developed a big peeve about some of the interviews and personalities.  Have you ever noticed how they rave about certain older actresses' looks?  Well, who wouldn't look great for 50 or 60 or 70 when you have had a little nip and tuck every once in awhile?  It is like getting credit for something you never did.  I understand that many (most?) actresses have to keep up appearances in order to maintain their careers.  I am not against plastic surgery in general.  I will never have it, but within reason I think it is one's own business.  But, PLEASE, don't rave on and on and give accolades to older actresses for looking young, when it is ARTIFICIAL aging.

Tonight on Access Hollywood, Raquel Welch was given the compliment of being the most glamorous grandma (in time for Mother's Day).  She is a beautiful woman (aged 69) who has obviously had some very good plastic surgery.  She looks natural.  Her skin is not pulled too tight which makes some women look like monsters.  BUT -- she has not aged so beautifully without the help of a talented plastic surgeon.  I want to see someone who has not had "work" done and still looks good for her age be given a compliment or award for aging naturally and gracefully without plastic surgery.

That is my opinion for the day.


Sunday, May 02, 2010


I am joining Little Red House's Mosaic Monday today with photos of my dear little Beau who left this world two weeks ago today.


Saturday, April 24, 2010


I have been trying to write this post for a day or so and am finally feeling like I have the strength to put thoughts into words and onto the keyboard.

We lost our dear Beau on Monday night.  I was away as you know and Ken was walking Beau down our street for Beau's evening constitutional.  Beau was always a little eccentric, shall we say, and one thing he hated in his neighborhood was trucks of any kind -- big or small.  He would bark, he would lunge, and sometimes it took all my strength to hold back his 17 pounds from his effort to get at a truck's moving wheels.  I warned him time after time.  This time, he lost the battle.  The leash either broke or slipped from my husband's hands.  It was over in an instant.  I flew home the next morning. 

Everything has just been awful here at home.  The house is empty and quiet and sad. (We also lost our old Violette cat two weeks ago).   Beau was a great little barker and he guarded his street with a vengeance.  I was home a lot and Beau was always within my sight or at my side.  Almost everything I did was linked to him in some way. 

We have had so many wonderful e-mails, Facebook comments, phone calls, cards and gifts that it has astounded me.  I am so touched and so grateful.

Not a day goes by that Ken and I don't cry over our little guy.  I know it will get better, but for now the pain is visceral.

One of our blogging friends, Barbara at The Clark Homestead, said this:  "What a little warrior, now he will be in Valhalla with the other brave souls."  That says it all.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Where Did The Week Go?

I have been trying to be so industrious about writing on my blog every few days.  I am sorry this week was a total loss.  I just seemed to be so much busier than usual with home and office (I am a Realtor). 

My husband was away all week driving down to Georgia and sailing his boat back up here (do you "sail" a trawler?) with his boat partners and friends.  They never got as far as here because everyone had different schedules and had to get home.  They left the boat at a marina in North Carolina and will make another trip down there to bring it home to Lewes.   Ken had to get home in order to watch our pets while I go to Massachusetts to visit my daughter and grandchildren for a week.   I was supposed to leave today, but I had a client who wanted to see houses and possibly write a contract (yay!), so I rescheduled my flight for tomorrow.  I always get stressed about leaving to go anywhere:  is the house clean or at least fairly neat, is there enough dog and cat food, what am I packing, etc., etc., etc.  Is everyone the same way before a trip?  Why can't I just GO?

I will be trying to catch up on blogs while I am away.  I will try to take lots of pictures while I am away.

Hope everyone has a great week!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Alice In Wonderland

I saw "Alice In Wonderland" this afternoon after having lunch with a good friend.  The weather here is absolutely beautiful today - almost too nice to spend in a movie theater - but we went later in the afternoon.  The movie was excellent.  This wasn't the 3D version, but I thought it was plenty scary!

I was very sad Friday and Saturday after Violette died, but I am feeling a little better today.  I bought some flowers to plant on her grave.  The house seems so empty without her, even with a dog and two other cats.  She was with us for almost seventeen years and was a true member of the family.  The past year has been difficult with her aging issues, but as one Facebook friend commented, she awaits me in heaven.  I like that thought.

I am reprinting one of my favorite poems from Alice Through The Looking Glass which I shared on my other blog, Cabin Dreams, on which I haven't posted for a very, very long time.  (I  can't decide what to put on this blog and what to put on the other blog, so I concentrate on this one.)  When you read this poem, you have to read it aloud to get the full, wonderful effect.

The Jabberwocky

By Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffing through the tugey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jaberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did grye and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrab.


Friday, April 09, 2010


R.I.P.   Our dear, sweet Violette.   1993-2010

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Sweet Violets - A Walk Around The Neighborhood

As you can tell by my blog title, violets are my favorite flower.  I seldom find white violets, though. While I was walking Beau around the neighborhood today I found a lovely nest of them next to someone's mailbox.  I picked only a few since Beau was impatient to get going and when you have an impatient poodle on the end of the leash, he's the boss.

The blossoms even have a sweet scent.  You have to have a good smeller though, since the scent of violets is so faint and delicate.



Sunday, April 04, 2010

Chocolate For Me

One of my favorite places to visit (when I get the chance) is the Harbor Candy Shop in Ogunquit, Maine.  It is a charming old fashioned candy shop with homemade candy.  I haven't been there for a few years now, but I started thinking about one of their specialities. They are called Nut Wreaths or "Mendiants" as they are called in France and Belgium.  They are delicate dark chocolate wreaths, decorated with nuts, dried fruits and candied violets.  According to the shop, the colors represent the four Roman Catholic mendicant orders (Dominicans in white, Franciscans in grey, Carmelites in Brown and Augustinians in deep purple).

I decided to treat myself this Easter to a box of these nut wreaths to be shipped directly to me.   The package came festively wrapped in a red box with lavender velvet ribbon.  Luckily, my husband does not like dark chocolate, so I have tucked these away in a drawer as a special treat for me alone!

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it from here in coastal Delaware.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Show and Tell Friday -- Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail

I am joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for her Show and Tell Friday.  Stop over and see some pretty things.

Here are some of my little vintage rabbits who hopped in just in time for Easter.  Two are authentic Limoges boxes as is the carrot.

Violetlady xo

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Visit To A Local Antique Store

A few days ago I visited one of my favorite local antique stores, Heritage Antiques. There is so much stuff there that you can spend hours browsing. The sellers all have booths set up so it is really a consignment antique store. Thought I would share some photos of the beautiful things.

Can you tell how I focused on the china displays?  I love those delicate teacups and the red and white transferware (Britain Castles pattern) are among my favorites. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mosaic Monday

Mary at Little Red House is hosting her Mosaic Monday.  Here is mine this week -- all my kitties.  The large photo and the second one down are Pierre (about 20 lbs.), there is old Violette (17) third down, and there is also one of Pierre and Chloe who are true buddies.

Stop over and visit Little Red House and see all the beautiful mosaics people have created.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What Happened To Spring??

I thought Spring had arrived last week.  Temperatures neared 70 degrees for a few days, then the rain came and now it is windy and very cool.  Is March supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb?  Looks like it is the opposite here.  I went over to Lewes Beach which sits on the Delaware Bay right near the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware River.  It is a great little beach for families because the water is calm, they rent umbrellas there and the Dairy Queen is a short walk away. 

I am waiting for Spring again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Show and Tell Friday

I am quite a bit late for this, but it is still Friday anyway.  I am joining in Cindy's weekly Show and Tell at My Romantic Home.

I think I wrote about this a few years ago, but here it is again.  This is one of my very, very favorite things.
This little dish was made by a good friend of my parents as a baby present for me (64 years ago).   My first name is Meryl and as you can see, it says "This is Meryl's Dish."  I was named Meryl after my mother and my middle name is Kristina.  This was given to me before they decided to call me Kristina or Tina instead of Meryl.

Stop by and visit Cindy at My Romantic Home and see her beautiful post for her Show and Tell and see all the other people who have entered theirs.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Our little Beau, first, five years ago when we got him, and now.  Isn't he a handsome little man?  He rules the roost around here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mosaic Monday

The Little Red House hosts a Mosaic Monday every week so I thought I would join in this week. This is not really a Spring theme since there is one of snow on a tree, but I like the combination of colors. Stop over there and visit the other mosaics -- they are lovely.

Also Barbara over at My Painting Room is offering a lovely giveaway just in time for Spring and Easter.  She is celebrating her 100th follower and has a lovely blog-stop by.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Is Here

I took these pictures last year at our local lavender farm. I look forward to another visit there when everything is in bloom again.

It was a beautiful day here in Delaware. Hope it was the same where you are!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The River Queen, A Memoir -- by Mary Morris

This may be your new favorite book.  At least that is what one reviewer said.  I did totally enjoy it -- it was my kind of story:  true, adventurous, sentimental, bittersweet.  From the book jacket:  In the middle of her life, Mary Morris went home, to the heart of the country and the river that runs through it.  This is the story of a journey that transformed her life.

The author, Mary Morris, embarks on a trip down the Mississippi River with two river rats, a dog named Samantha Jean and a quirky houseboat.  She is looking for her own story in her past and how it brings her to the present.  The story centers on her recently deceased father (at 102), his life along the Mississippi and her complicated relationship with him.  The story is not difficult to hear, however -- it is thoroughly engaging.  The author meets memorable characters along the trip, she learns to pilot the boat, swim in rough currents, and visit places her father lived. As the author states, "My father played jazz piano years before I was born.  In the 1920's, he lived on the banks of the Mississippi and I was raised on his river tales.  All my life, I've thought about the river."

The River Queen is actually not the christened name of the houseboat, it is the name of this particular type of boat.  But, they call it River Queen anyway.  I especially like the title, being not only the boat, but who the author becomes.  Mary Morris has written many books and I will be reading them.

Note:  If you look for this book, there is also a book called River Queen by another author.  This is another true story about a woman piloting a tow boat.  Also, the cover pictured above is a different edition, not the one I had from the library.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Fess Parker died on Thursday.  His most memorable role on screen was that of Davy Crockett.  Oh, how I loved that weekly television show in the 1950's.  All the kids, including me, wanted that coonskin cap.  My parents bought me the yellow t-shirt with Davy on the front of it, along with the tan pants with the fringe up the side.  I don't think they could afford the coonskin cap, too.  I remember that shirt and those pants like it was yesterday.  I wore them when we played outside in the woods, pretending I was the girl version of Davy Crockett. 

Even at that young age, I thought Fess Parker was absolutely dreamy!  Of course, I also thought Liberace was.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


One of my favorite things to do at my favorite Rehoboth Beach auction is to wait until the very end. That is when the auctioneers go around to the tables with the leftovers and take bids. Usually you can get a batch of things for $5-$10.

I got this little gold china set at a recent auction.  I bid on something else and this came with it.  I am not sure what it is for because the pot is quite small, as are the little cups and saucers.  The six cups and saucers could be demitasse cups for strong coffee or hot chocolate, but the pot would only hold a small amount.  It is labeled "encrusted gold - Stouffer's" on the bottom.  The color is a little gaudy for me, but charming in its own way.  I have it sitting on a thrift shop find -a little hand painted tray that says on the back "Occupied Japan" which I guess dates it to around the late 1940's.  (You can also see in the corner one of two carnival glass bowls that came with something else I bid on at the auction.)  I am not sure what to do with this set except display it...if I had room.

To see other Show and Tell posts visit our hostess, Cindy, at My Romantic Home.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010



Tuesday, March 16, 2010


There is an e-mail going around showing this menu from Woolworth's from 1957. It got me remembering how I loved this store. We didn't have a Woolworth's 5&10 in Willow Grove where I grew up, but we did have a G.C. Murphy's which was similar. We used to go there as much as we were allowed to walk the mile there, starting when we were about twelve years old. I even had my first little job there when I was fourteen. I remember getting "working papers" in order to allow me to get a job. Do they still have this process for kids? I worked after school at the baby counter, selling little baby clothes and other items.  Murphy's. Soft pretzels, Tangee lipstick, Evening in Paris cologne, boys.

The big Woolworth's that I loved was in center city Philadelphia. It had two floors and the best one was on the ground floor with the lunch counter. I attended medical secretarial school in Philadelphia after I graduated from high school and rode the train from Willow Grove everyday. Whenever I could, I would go to Woolworth's. What wonderful, inexpensive stuff you could get at Woolworth's.

Woolworth's is gone.  Murphy's is gone.  They are replaced by Walmart and KMart and dollar stores.  But they just aren't the same.  Even today I look for an old 5&10, preferably with a lunch counter, in a small town. There are a few around. If you know of any, please let me know.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Today is the Ides of March.  While it has come to be known as a day of foreboding, it actually was no such thing during Julius Caesar's time, nor even when William Shakespeare wrote his famous play.  The 15th of any month was known as the "ides" during Roman times.  So you needn't beware of today -  after all it is just another day!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Here is my recent purchase at my favorite local thrift shop. It is a triangular shaped bottle with a shaker style metal cap. The bottle is about 6 1/2 inches long and about an inch wide. It says "OWENS" (my last name) on two sides and on the bottom it has an "O" in a triangle. My research tells me this is from the Owens Glass Company, maybe before 1939.  What I do not know is what this bottle was used for. Was it a salt and pepper shaker? A laundry sprinkler bottle? Some kind of bottle used for medicines? I think it was meant to be kept on its side because of the triangular shape and the narrowness of it.

Does anyone have a clue?

Saturday, March 06, 2010


I do not have a chandelier over our dining room table and have been looking for one for a few years.  I think I have found just the thing.  This is made by a company called "Jellio" and sells for $9,500 for one of a limited edition of ten.  It is comprised of 5000 acrylic gummy bears.  I love gummy bears.

Hope you are having a delicious Saturday!