Old Sweetwater

Old Sweetwater

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ring Ring Gift Idea

"Ring-ring," the woman says into the can.   I just adore those Progresso soup commercials!  Do you?

When I was a child I tried to do the can and waxed string thing. It didn't work so well.    Last week a lot of us talked to our friends and family who live all over the world.   It was nice to catch up on each others lives and hear their voices.  Then there were those friends and family we couldn't talk to because they longer live in this world.

In December I may send a few people in my life a tin can with a waxed string attached, along with a note that reads, "Give me a ring."

What do you think? And hey, if you're one of my relatives or friends. Call.

Old GE phone and radio. Anyone remember when we used to have prefixes like TU for Tuxedo, PL for Plaza...? What are some other ones?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

No More Turkey!

It's  Sunday and I'm thankful for the abundance of food we ate at Thanksgiving, even though my silly jeans shrunk A-GAIN!  Hello?   I don't think I take food for granted.  I enjoyed every bite of turkey and all the "trimmings."  But I'm over it. 

We drove by a few Waffle Houses on Thanksgiving night and they were PACKED.   It seemed to be mainly guys who were crowded inside gobbling up waffles and drinking steaming hot coffee from thick, white mugs.   I wondered if those guys offered to run an errand so they could escape the house full of company and avoid turkey leftovers a-gain?

I talked it over with my honey..........in Waffle House. Oh yeah!!!   "Waffles. An egg over easy. Hashbrowns - scattered and smothered. Your best cup of hot coffee. Pronto!"  My honey ordered as he winked at me across the booth.  Yeah, I'm one  thankful gal right now....

Anyone else go to Waffle House? If not, where do you go or what do you eat to "get back to normal?"

Saturday, November 28, 2009


    I have owned a twelve-foot Christmas tree for over twenty years. TWELVE feet of faux tree. That's just ca-razy.   It had to be decorated via a crane an 8-foot ladder.  Oh, it's gorgeous, but I used  - give or take - 25 billion ornaments on it.   Okay, it just seemed like it.   I mean really ---- four to six years, months, hours to decorate it....a lot of ladder work..... I'll just tell ya, no amount of eggnog or carols helped my aching back and legs.  

    Well, peepettes, no gargantuan humongous monster large tree this year.  I did something last year I thought I'd NEVER do. I put up a three-foot tree. Yes, feast to famine, you might say.

    More shocking: I decorated it beautifully, then after Christmas, put it in a large bag so all I'd have to do is "unwrap" it and set it out the next year. And that's exactly what I'm going to do. There,  I admitted it.  

    Now I feel Grinch-y. *sigh*    Are there any other "short-cut" Christmas tree people out there this year?

    A "room" like this would be delightful for guests, wouldn't it? It only takes one wall and a twin or full bed. We did something similar, expect we have a window behind the bed.

    Friday, November 27, 2009

    Autumn and Black Wrought Iron

    I am so thankful for life.
    I enjoy the rainy, wet sidewalks that reflect the stop lights.
    The smell of recent rain makes the air feel clean as you breathe it in.
    The chill is invigorating.
    The black wrought iron is cold.
    My hands find the pockets in my winter white wool coat.
    This is the end of the autumn season, in my mind.
    Farewell, friend. 
    Au revoir, my lovely.
    The whisperings of Winter has now won my attention.

    So what bargains on this Black Friday did you get? Or, did you snuggle down while others shopped?      This photo from Horchow and was the inspiration we used for the walls at the Old Sweetwater Cottage Master.

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Make a Wish

    As kids we always were excited to get the wishbone of the turkey.  Though we really didn't believe that our wish would come true by pulling the wishbone apart, we did it anyway.    I think it was more of a contest just to see who got the longest part of the bone.   

    Pilgrims from England are reported to have brought this custom over with them.   A wish is a desire or strong inclination or prayer-petition for a specific thing. 


    • I wish for you, gentle reader, that today if your heart is heavy, you will discover a spark of joy in the most unlikely place.
    • If your mind is troubled, I wish you find peace in a healthy way.
    • If your body is in pain, I wish that you find relief from your suffering and at the most unexpected time.
    • If today is wonderful and all is well.....I wish you more of the same. 
       This is the stove our moms cooked the turkey in 1968, if they were fortunate enough to have a brand new stove!

    Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Holiday Scents

    Scents affect our mood. I've noticed when my honey smells a pie baking he gets all "giddy."  When I smell expensive perfume, I feel romantic and feminine. 

    This Thanksgiving will be filled with all kinds of scents. Some of us will have the scent of....

    • Turkey and pumpkin pie in the oven
    • Fire in the fireplace
    • A brand new baby in the house
    • Coffee brewing
    • Attic boxes (for those who put up their Christmas decorations)
    • Woolen sweaters
    What scents will be in your home?

    The candle in the top photo is "Spiced Chestnut" from Williams Sonoma and the birdcage candle holder is from Mona's. Click on photo to go to their site. 

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Tea Towels and Old Stoves

    I'm thankful for tea towels. Truly. I adore slinging a freshly laundered tea towel over my shoulder while I'm cooking.  A clean tea towel hanging in my kitchen makes me feel "all is well" somehow.  I'm also thankful that cloth tea towels are replacing paper towels (never a fav of mine). I buy mine everywhere, but I've seen a lot of crafty blogging gals stencil their own!  

    Any others who appreciate linen (or cloth) tea towels? What kind -- vintage, modern, loop, linen....?  How about the old Roper gas stove?  Be still my heart!! Anyone got one?

    These are from Williams Sonoma.


    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Monday Night Football

    We enjoy Monday night Football on TV. We've been to a couple of pro games, but couldn't see as much as television. We also enjoy a lighter dinner because we KNOW we'll snack during the game. 

    Okay, chili isn't exactly light, but it IS Fall-ish.
    Okay, so I put sour cream and cheddar cheese on top, but one just bowl for me...usually.

    We sometimes put Fretos on top of our chili in place of the sour cream and cheese!
    And yeah, we enjoy dill pickle slices in our chili.....if we don't put the other toppings on. woooohooo! Don't knock it until you try it.

    Sheesh, I guess it'll be rice cakes for half-time. Yeah, right. What do you put on your chili?

     Oak and Acorn tureens, Williams Sonoma. Napkins, Wal-Mart!

    Sunday, November 22, 2009


    The calories. I know.  It's Sunday though, and most of you have a busy, busy week ahead.  Just one hot croissant with a little home-made honey butter.   The recipe is written below.   
    I made a pot of coffee and one of tea, both steaming.  The cream is icy-cold.  Sugar and its substitute is in the cabinet.   Make yourself at home.   Chilled gingered apple cider is in the crystal pitcher.

    Put the natural linen napkin on your lap.   No, the monograms don't  all match  -- that's their charm.   Relax.  Lean back in your chair and breathe deeply.   Now enjoy breakfast and enjoy the day the Lord has made.   
    Seconds? Of course!  
    Do you have a busy week ahead?    Tell me about it

    Honey Butter
    1 stick real butter, room temperature
    1 stick fresh margarine, room temperature
    1/4 cup good quality honey
    1/4 cup Half n Half

    Mix butter and margarine together with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Beat in honey, a tablespoon at a time until blended thoroughly. Beat in Half n Half a tablespoon at a time until smooth and fluffy. Optional garnish:  candied orange peel. It's awesome!

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    Saturday Before Thanksgiving!

    At first glance, I would pass this pie plate up....snub my nose....however....

    Who would have thought a "floppy" pie plate would  make such a wonderful pie shape?   The real secret: one of these little handy crust pressing tools!   You could probably use any small cookie cutter, but it wouldn't have the pressed design.  

    Do you make your pies simple or fancy?   Are you asked to bring your "special" dish for Thanksgiving dinner or other special occasions? 

    The pie plate and pastry shaped cutters are all Williams Sonoma. I thought this little half apron, available on Etsy, would be the perfect color!


    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Lake Memories

    One of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving didn't involve turkey or a huge gathering. One year my honey (husband); son; brother; SIL and parents all met at an acquaintance's cabin on a Lake Clark Hill.   We packed the car with the planned Thanksgiving dinner.   We wrote down ides for activities.   It was all fun, but my favorite thing was meeting my brother around 3:30 in the morning to fish. 

    The lake was just behind the cabin. I remember us sitting on the little dock, not saying much at all...just listening to an occasional tree frog or splash of a fish.  I also remember how  tranquil it was. I've wished I could relive those few hours many times, they were that special. Maybe some day.    Does anyone else have a favorite "spot" that brings a warm, fuzzy feeling? 

    I have an old Willow Creel similar to this to remind me of that day.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Acorn Muffin Tin

    This time of year there are a lot of gatherings. We recently attended a hay ride where everyone brought food to eat around the bonfire.   Most dinners are buffet-style in my circle, so food must be picked up easily with tongs and it must be plenteous. I saw this acorn muffin pan and thought it a great idea for cornbread, banana nut bread or zucchini bread...   It makes 18 at a time.   They cook in no time flat.  And people get a kick out of eating shaped food, don't they?  

    Does anyone else think acorns are adorable? Do you have a favorite shaped pan?  And, how about baking them in a delightful vintage Alcazar gas-wood stove??? Be still, my heart!  One day soon, I'll share my *wonderful* experiences cooking on a vintage wood stove for about 45 people!

    Williams-Sonoma does it again.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    T is for Thanksgiving

    I'm thankful for...Teddy Bears                      


    Tea pots and tea cups...

    Tabby cats...

    And Tranquility...
    What are you are thankful for?

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Give Away Gift Box!

    Dawn from Cottage State of Mind had a give-away and I won!!!! Here is her FAB gifts that arrived right on time. What's in the box? You'll see...LOTS of wonderful goodies. Thank you so much, Dawn, for your generous spirit!   I also appreciate you had a 'no-strings-attached' drawing. Yay!   Every gift was perfect. Dawn would probably appreciate if you take a moment to say "hello."   Have you ever won a give-away or won contest gift?

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    All His

    "Honey, aren't they sweet?" I said as I was snapping the sheep's picture from the car.    "Okay, now pull up a little farther...."     

    Then the picturesque silence was broken by the mad barking of a dog charging the fence at us. The sheep's dog; their protector. And excuse me, it's his fence.  
    He let us know he didn't appreciate us looking at his pasture, looking at his sheep, and especially taking photos of his sheep.   He didn't like that we were even taking up space on the his road next to his fence in front of his house where his owners lived. Don't even think you can do more than a passing glance of his grass and his trees.   So....we drove on, but not before I got a quick photo of him and his sheep to share on my blog.

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Thankful Sunday

    It's not bad enough I'm a "sap" for dinnerware, but so is my honey. Now, I am very thankful my honey likes dishes as much as I do, but...we have nine complete sets of dinnerware/china.   Nine.    We'd have more but I (never my honey) have to say "no," when we see plates like these Pheasant salad plates from Pottery Barn.

    Last year we bought brown transfer dinnerware plates of wild turkeys to go with our two sets of white dishes for autumn meals. I actually was thinking of getting brown leaf bowls to 'marry' the colors...Argh! I need help.

    "Hi. I'm Janean and I am a dish junky....."

    However, I read Between Naps on the Porch blog about a dish room!    Okay, so why not put a dish pantry into the barn house plans @ Old Sweetwater?   My honey's eyes lit up.  Yeah, we're pretty hopeless.    Any other dish junkies?


    I like monogrammed anything...these napkins would look good at the Thanksgiving table. Who out there has a sewing machine that can monogram and embroidery?

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Visiting A Historical Town

    My honey had talked about Hiawatha, Kansas for years because of their maple trees in autumn. We finally made time to visit during the peak leaf season a few weeks ago.  In fact as you enter, the town sign says, "Welcome to Hiawatha, the city of the beautiful maples."   Did you notice how the maples above form a natural gradient palette?    This little paradise, population 3,000, is filled with historic homes just beginning the renovation process. Here are some photos I hope you  enjoy. The town was named after the poem by Longfellow and the name means "I am looking far away."   Though the trees are barren now, I thought you might like to see what it looked like in all its glory.

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    The Mercantile

    The 115 year old main store welcomes you with the aroma of freshly ground coffee and a cheerful woman in an apron asking if she could get you a mug of coffee or tea...not a Styrofoam cup....a ceramic mug. Nice.
    • As you walk on the old plank wooden floors, you notice there's beautiful copper hanging on the tongue and groove ceiling overhead and on several shelves. (photos 1 and 2) Notice the old grates in the ceiling in photo one?
    • There's a huge selection of gourmet foods, including those from Rothschild Farms, Jake and Amos, Wind and Willow and Olde Westport Spice. Did I say a HUGE selection? Huge.
    • It's a kitchen gadget mecca. And here is a wall about 20 feet long crammed with aprons of every description for adults and even a few for children (center photo)
    • And there is dinnerware from floor to ceiling  - room after room after room. 
    • Sure there are fragrant lotions and soaps, cookbooks, teapots and unbelievable tea selections.
    • Of course they carry cookware that absolutely makes you drool.  
    • But it's the owners, Becky and Chris Glaze that keep CM a favorite of so many. Becky will be found welcoming you, stocking shelves or waiting on customers. Today her daughter who had a half day off from school was helping out. Chris walked in the back door, probably on his way to the next item on his list that needed to be done.
    • They don't have online orders yet, but maybe someday. In the meantime, I'll just have to "represent" and shop there!