Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Saturday, April 19, 2014

lunches, surprises, pain patch and rain

Last weekend I seemed to fall into the 1950s TV "The Donna Reed Show".  Bug had never seen it and as we were flipping channels, there she was, Donna.  She was wearing a fitted front button blouse with a peter pan collar and what in black and white looked like the same color a 9 gore skirt with a thin belt.  Her little bow in the perfect curl on the right side of her head, and comfortable short heeled pumps.  She was sitting in an easy chair reading the newspaper.  The Dad was trying to teach the son a lesson and through a series of misunderstandings the boy actually taught the Dad the lessons and Donna was there between her two "boys" so pleased and happy.  It seemed to short circuit my DNA and that day I made a pound cake, candied orange peal and sugar violets.  I made the cake for Garden Circle and sprinkled candy orange peal and then then sugar violets and it was a perfect cake for the Garden Circle.  There were only four of us at circle, but we had a lovely time and since I had made the cake for Carolyn's birthday, and she was not one of the four, I stopped by her house after the meeting and cut her a couple of pieces making sure she got lots of the orange peal and violets.  She was delighted and sufficiently satisfied that I had baked her a birthday cake and pretty sure that I would drop it.

But no, not me.  I had already lined up some of the ladies from the Opera House Stage Company.  Carolyn and I were in our first play there together.  I played the first man shot and she played the bankers wife, the first woman with lines in the play.  The play was Casa Blanca.  We have been in other plays together, murder mysteries and radio plays.  We used to work setting up the dinners and sat around the table at the end of a play and laughed with our fellow stage company friends.  I sent out one email just suggesting we have our first monthly ladies out to lunch on Wednesday early at Carrie Ann & Co.  Wednesday morning I had a message from Carolyn, her plans had changed and she would not be able to make the lunch.  But all the rest of us knew this was a surprise birthday party for her.  She had no way of knowing, because I apparently excel at surprising people.  I called her cell phone and she finally called back.  I thought about just letting it go, but I had brownies waiting with a candle in them at Carrie Ann's and people wanting to have lunch and celebrate this special friend of ours.  So, since I had nothing to loose I said "Surprise! This is a surprise birthday party for you."  "What?" was her response.  I tried again, "Carolyn, this is not just a lunch to get together, we are throwing you a surprise party."  The lady on the line with Carolyn starting laughing, and since it was her fault that Carolyn's schedule had changed, she made arrangements to work out things with Carolyn so she could attend.  Once we were all there I explained how the day had gone so far and Carolyn drove to Tallahassee, back so we could hug her and eat brownies (and they were wonderful) together and then she drove back to Tallahassee.  Bless her heart, but she did seem touched that we had all gotten together in her honor.

The next day was the Spring Garden Club Luncheon.  I made a spring Quinoa salad packed with fresh cut herbs and violets from my garden.  I also added lots of lovely veggies and since it had flowers in it, everyone knew immediately I had made it.  Our Circle was doing half of the ways/means table and I had made ribbon woven scented sachet/pincushions.  I painted thimble sized terra cotta pots and then planted blooming purple violets and ran ribbons around the pots.  Finally I dug up some white butterfly gingers and filled bag fulls and then tied ribbons around the bags, writing the color and type of flower it was. 

Three of us from our circle started putting out the ways/means and pricing.  All of the items brought from our circle had been priced prior to getting there.  The other circle placed their unmarked stuff on the table and walked away.  I got a little terse with one woman who kept insisting that she had donated this for the club.  All of us had donated our items.  She had done a nice packaging on her products, but she seemed to miss the $5 limit.  She did not like what we were doing, so we told her that we were not in charge of the world and she could do as she wanted.  She ended up basically giving it to a few woman and did not make any money for the club the way she handled it.  I felt a little bad that she wasn't going to get the price she thought was fair, and I have no doubt, but she still could have made money if she raffled them, but oh well, that was her choice.  We were able to raise $80 on the raffles and $70 on ways/means.  Kay was able to sell and trade her plants, and it seemed like our circle did 75% of the work.  Isabelle baked the ham, she helped set up the tables, she took the money.  Jane took the lead on the ways/means and Maureen and I joined in.  Then Maureen and I sold raffle tickets and finally we worked the ways/means table as people were getting ready to leave and got about half of the stuff off of the table.  We managed to pack all the rest of the ways/means things that have been on that table for a couple of years, back in the boxes.  Most of it is now priced, so depending on who handles this table in the fall, they might have an easier time.  Then we stayed behind to clean up.

Thirty one of us met for the spring luncheon and I had a lovely time sitting at our circle's table.  My friend Beulah, whose sister Mary I knew at LSU in the pesticide safety group, sat with us.  She is one of my favorite people and every time she talks to me her sister comes up, and Mary is such a hero of mine.  It was a lovely day.  I always feel so 'grown up' when I sit in these luncheons.  I used to sit with my Mother at these events and loved it.  I can't believe I am now the one doing things like this.  I felt like such a Southern lady.  Crocheting, making candy orange peal and sugar flowers, weaving and sewing, digging and packaging.  It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it so much. 

Friday I spent the day sick.  I slept until after 11:00am.  I got up and decided I was fine to go help Bug at the Casa Bianca house.  We got there and I got sick, so he had to drive me back home.  I Spent the rest of the day either sleeping or staring down porcelain.  The dawn had broken with lightning and thunder and rain drenched the water sodden soil bubbled in puddles and pools and runs like creeks across the streets.  The water table is filling up with all this rain during our dry season.  If the summer is as wet as the Farmer's Almanac says, we should fill all the aquifers up.  All in all the house and rock driveway are doing just fine.  There is some standing water in the yard, but no more then Labrun. 

Today I had planned on dying eggs with my Mother in law, but I am not feeling well.  Am I sick?  Slight warmness, but I have been sweating like a horse and had to keep getting up yesterday to change out of wet bed clothes.  I would wake up and pull the sheets and blankets back to dry and air, but I wasn't well enough to change them.  I would dry off, change bed clothes and lay down again to go into shivers into a fitful sleep only to wake up an hour so later and repeat the process.  Is this sick?  Or am I simply having my typical problem with meds.  I have had on the pain patch since we picked them up Tuesday when we drove to Valdosta to Moody AFB.  Bug thought I might be having problems since I was a day overdue in replacing it.  Maybe.  I was more afraid that my body was saying "NO MORE"  But last evening I had to give it a chance and I changed out the one on my left arm and put a new one on my right.  Still have some stomach issues, but no worse than yesterday, for sure.  I am still taking it easy and Bug is going to pick up the paint, but I just can't go.  I showed him the yellow I want for the office.  It is named joyful yellow.  Hello, is that my color or what?  It is a lovely soft creamy yellow that will match my linen material for the curtains in that room.  Now to feel well enough to start sewing.

I have painted my butterfly hooks for my closet.  I am still more focused on making things for my closet then worrying about the rest of the house.  Bug has such a clear view.  I am sure that he will surprise me and I will be very happy.

Right now, my Luna is asleep in my lap and her sister, Stella is asleep next to us.  Bob and Harley sleep at my feet but leap up and run outside every once in a while, barking and sounding tough.  Then back to my feet and they curl up like a couple of puppies, making happy noises when I rub their ears.  Edna is in her hidey hole behind the toilet in the guest bath room.  The older chickens have been freed from the mud bog of a chicken coop.  George and girls with Willie and Lily are more used to the mud and they have full run of the coop.  About 3 weeks ago I came out one afternoon to find the door in the middle had been pushed open and ducks and peeps and John C and the older girls were all mingling around each other.  The older ones still peck at the wee ones a bit, but they have been raised with other babies so they are being extremely patient.  Lily likes to swim in their water bucket, even though we have given her and Willie a little bigger pool.  I have seen Lily swim one time in the bigger pool and she swam in a tight circle under water and then splashed up and flapped her wings and quacked and had such a lovely time.  I hope that we can work out a way for them to swim at the big pond and keep them safe.  We will see.

Yesterday Bug picked up our new chicken coop.  It is basically a raised house with laying boxes.  But it can be cleaned up and add on a little more cover for when it rains and then a run area for them.  But the house is sitting behind our house waiting to be painted white and the green metal roof to be put on.  It will look like a mini house like ours.  It will be lovely when it is done.  I am so excited.  The sheet rock is up, most of the list of to dos is done and we are hoping to start painting as early as this weekend.  Who  knows, we might be able to move in by the end of May.  Bug has been working so hard, and I have been pretty useless. 

The rain should pass leaving Easter Sunday and Monday sunny and warming back up.  It got into the 30s again this week.  No freeze, just cold.  But it is the middle of April.  I am waiting for one more cold snap.  Not a freeze, but just a cooling rainy week and then summer, maybe.  Bug plans to go fishing with his Dad on Monday.  I hope to be able to do something.  To just not be sick.  I really want these patch things to work.  They are less then a square inch big.  Just tiny things that disappear on my skin, but slowly releases narcotics slowly into my blood system.  I felt one day like it might be working, but then I got sick, so now I am just seeing if I can get back on my feet and adjust.  Maybe I can get used to this and not have to take the other pills also.  maybe.  I have high hopes, high apple pie in the skyyyyy hopes.  Just love that song.

If I can get to feeling better I am hoping to make a strawberry cheesecake for Easter dinner.  I have some gorgeous berries.  We will see.  I have boiled eggs, I hope we can dye, even tomorrow.  It is a day of eggs and bunnies, peeps, marshmallow and little bundles of fluff.  It is a time of returning outside and sunshine and flowers and hope. 

I am filled with hope for these patches. 
It is not working so great yet, but I need to give it time.
I feel like such a part of this lovely little community.
A place where I can be me and where my little crafts like weaved ribbons sachets and candy violets, seem perfectly placed. 
I love my little Brigadoon community
and so many lovely people in it.
And a surprise birthday party
and a spring luncheon
and plant sale woohooo!
and lovely candies
and creativity
and life


  1. How do you make your sugared violets? I've tried several different ways lately and wasn't impressed. Something tells me you have a quick and easy way! Plus, I'd just like to be able to say I learned it from you!

  2. I use just whites, a pasturized, dehydrated egg white. I mix the recommended amount of water and white according to the label and then using my fingers I lightly coat both sides of the flowers. The lighter the prettier. Then I have a shallow plate with granulized sugar. I don't put a lot of sugar on the plate at one time, because as it gets damp it also clumps on the flowers. Then in a 200 degree oven on a silicone pad on a cookie sheet until crispy. Sometimes they come out beautifully. sometimes a little clumpy. I would love to learn other techniques. Thank you so much for commenting.

  3. Thanks so much Kathleen, I will give it a try and I'm sure it will turn out better than what I've done. I tried this way first:
    Out of about 30 violets, five turned out beautifully and the rest were unrecognizable as flowers, lol. Then I got a brainstorm to spray with milk, dip in dyed sugar and let air dry overnight. I used a piece of screen to slide each stem through, which held the heads up nice and pretty. Horrible results. Thanks for sharing your way, can't wait to try it.