Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finding the Simple Life.

Tasha Tudor

Yesterday was Tasha Tudor’s Birthday.  You can see how others celebrate her life by visiting Storybook Woods.

As a little girl I remember looking at her ‘A is for Annabelle’ Alphabet book and being enchanted with her whimsical art. 


Then as a young mother I remember viewing articles and pictures of her and being envious of her simple living…

tasha's gathering

her gardens…

tasha's garden

her nostalgic style, and again her magical art.

 tasha's art

It seemed her pencil and paint brush elicited the feel of the simple life she lived.  And I was saddened that pursuing her dreams of those virtues had cost her two marriages and estrangement from some of her children.  She was human after all and as human wasn’t perfect.

Today I choose to celebrate the good things she enjoyed.  The pleasure from a simple life.  One of Tasha’s favorite quotes happens to be one of mine.  

“If one advances confidently in the directions of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”             ~Henry David Thoreau

Of my dreams, somehow they have changed with the years.  I used to dream of being a photographer.

And in doing so I found happiness in spending make-believe time with my young boys.


I used to dream of being totally self-sufficient and having a huge garden from which I would nourish my family year-round.

 Summer 1942

Today I am grateful for the things I do grow well, and even if I can’t find the time to preserve all that I grow at least I have friends with which to share fresh zucchini and tomatoes.  And in sharing I’m blessed with the kindness of others.  One sweet friend brought me a dozen beautiful brown and bluish eggs fresh from her chickens.

 Summer 1959

I also discovered I grow weeds better than anyone I know. 

Summer 1948

But in growing weeds I recognize the beauty in the strength of those plants that survive them.

Summer 1950

And I vow to keep fighting those pesky weeds as well.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy taking a stroll while barefoot.


And even though I’ve been a rough and tumble tomboy my whole life, I’ve a funny quirk – I’m a tomboy who loves wearing dresses, skirts and aprons.  Even when gardening, weeding or playing in the park with my kids.  One neighbor thought me quite unusual when she found me weeding while wearing a dress.  I guess what I love about them is they make me feel like a lady, even when my daily actions are more of a worker.

I love Tasha’s quote about the subject.

I’m very fond of men. I think they are wonderful creatures. I love them dearly. But I don’t want to look like one. When women gave up their long skirts, they made a grave error…" ~Tasha Tudor

It seems the older I get I’m finding how to be less attached to things.  I’ve been fighting the clutter monster for years.  It’s a dreadful battle still.  But just look at the grand pile I’ve got going for a future garage sale.  

Summer 1924

I can’t wait to see and feel how my home feels after it’s lost many of the things that clutter it’s rooms.

 Summer 1925

I tackled my mudroom again this week.  I had it wonderfully set up last year.


With a bench and shoe storage containers.  But the kids could never seem to find a way to put their shoes away.  So the floor became cluttered and soon you couldn’t get to the hooks to hang your backpacks and coats.  And before too many months had passed it again resembled my typical mess.

Summer 1894

I really needed this room done before school started again so that after school routines could be in place on Day 1.

Summer 1893

So I tossed the shoe storage units and brought in a crate per child to hold their shoes. 

Summer 1974

This room is now dedicated to shoes, coats,  and school supplies.  It might not look as fine as it did last year but I’m convinced it will be easier for the kids and I to maintain.

Summer 1971

Baskets, now filled with back to school supplies, will hold all the papers and homework that they bring home.

Summer 1970

So I’m trying to really focus on the simple life.  Funny thing is, what I’ve found through all my dreams, my favorite isn’t my garden, or my art, or my quest to find the beautiful, or cut the clutter.  My favorite all time dream is a happy family.  Loving my husband, children and helping them learn to love each other.  That’s my favorite dream.

Second Star to the Right Treasure Give-Away

The sound of a drum roll starts softly and increases in strength and sound.

Fairy Fawn:  I’m here to announce the winners of my Mounds of Treasure.

Heralding Trumpets sound a dramatic Fanfare.

Fairy Fawn:  In honor of all the wonderful Second Star to the Right Participants and loyal commenter's to our Adventure,  We now present the lucky winners.

Cheers erupt throughout the land.

Fairy Fawn:  The winner of Hook Verses Pan is…

‘Myrna of My Enchanted Home.’

The cheering reaches a deafening roar.

Fairy Fawn:  And the winner of the Enchanted Maidens Pack is…

Summer 1335

‘Melissa of Fairy Child Heirlooms Weblog.

Stomping of feet and clapping now takes on a rhythmic pattern.

Fairy Fawn:  And finally the magical winner of the Fairy Treasure is…

[Summer 1344[3].jpg]

Harly Dee of Koala Fuzz.

Fairy Fawn:  But a wish I could bestow a gift on all the gracious people whose participation and left delightful comments.  You have made this my most magical party ever.  Thank you again.  And please visit me next year around the same time. 

And congrats to the winners.  Please email me your addresses so that I can send the goodies.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thwarted by the Internet

My apologies all you wonderful blog friends.  I’m without internet for the weekend and I’ve just got a second to let you know that I promise to post my Tasha Tudor post and Blog Party Treasures winners as soon as I get back up and running.  Whew, I must be the queen of long sentences.  I’m Hopefully by Sunday.  Sorry!   Be back in a wink!



Thursday, August 27, 2009

I’m done with technology! DONE!

One of these sweet machines is not like the others.  Can you guess which one works the best?

Summer 1859

This is a tale of the three mowers.   The first push mower (on the right) was bought 12 years ago costing less than $50 in an effort to be eco-friendly.  Sadly the 1/2 acre lot that it needed to cut was too time consuming for whomever was tagged the lawn mower of the week.  So after much pleading and several other non remarkable gas mowers were purchased and lost their life to the jungle we call the back yard - Mower number two was purchased 2 years ago for the measly sum of $240-ish something.  With it’s self-propelled, 6.5 powered engine it was quick and reliable.  The purring engine was a thing of beauty – until mom someone put bad gas in it earlier this summer.  Stupid fuel!   No amount of carburetor rebuilding and tinkering could save it.  So less than one month ago mower number 3 was purchased – on sale, for $350-ish something (choke).  It ran like a dream for one tank of gas.  Lawn worries over???  Until we added the second tank of gas. 

Splutter, cough, DIE! 


And the gas was clean and new.  You can’t say I didn’t learn my lesson.  What went wrong?  We used regular and clean unleaded gas like it called for.  Then we noticed a little sticker next to the gas cap that said fuel with over 10% ethanol could damage the engine.  Who checks the ethanol level on their unleaded?  We quickly ran down to the gas station only to discover our local unleaded ethanol level was around 18%.  So dies the most expensive mower.  Freaking hunk of worthless technology.  I guess instead of berating the equipment I should knock myself for not reading the super fine print.   UGH!  Kind-of sad when the machines are smarter than their operators.

So this week I’m channeling my inner Green and using the only mower we have that works.  Maybe I’ll work off some of those gazillion pounds I’ve gained from comfort food.  You know emotional eating due to all the other newish things we’ve bought like the Washer from Hades, that turned possessed and threatened to launch itself through walls before we exercised it right out of the house.

Summer 1852

I guess the oldies are the goodies.

And tomorrow I’m scraping the (only worked four times and cost  more than a pretty penny) pathetic tool someone thought should be called a weed-whacker.

Summer 1873

For this little beauty.

grass sythe

No I won’t scrap the vehicles for bikes and horses, or give up indoor plumbing which is another story, but I’m tempted.

I guess the timing couldn’t be more perfect.  All this is happening around the same time everyone is celebrating this sweet lady of simple living.

 Tasha Tudor

I’ll be celebrating the simple life on Saturday with Story Book Woods.  I’m still on the simplify, simplify, scrap crap and simplify phase of life.  Hummm…  Wonder if it will ever end?  I guess it took years and years to acquire all the junk I have so I shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t just disappear over night.  This is a long process.  But I think you’ll like some of my before’s and after’s that I plan on showing Saturday. 

Now I’ve got to rest my weary muscles so I can get up and go plow that green mower through the rest of the grass jungle.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back from Never Land.


Wow, what an enchanting trip.  I so appreciate all the sweet comments everyone has made.  And I’m taking my Fairy Flower Petal Hat off to everyone who participated and shared their own little adventure in imagination with us all.  I’ve had soooo much fun that I’ll already planning my next Adventure to the Second Star to the Right next year – Same month.  It just get’s more magical.

second star1 

Over the next couple of days I’ll try and link your Second Star to the Right posts directly to my side bar.

I’ve convinced Abner Hook to hang around long enough to choose my three different Mounds of Treasure winners. 

Summer 1724

Hook was such a good sport at playing along with my little girls.  It wouldn’t have been the same without him there.

Summer 1698

I’ll announce my treasure winners first thing Saturday.  So you have through Friday to leave comments on Second Star to the Right Adventure.  

Guess what?  I had so much fun, I’ve decided to force my family, our family is going to continue the Peter Pan theme for our Halloween costumes.  And this time I won’t hoodwink  Prince Erik into being Tinker Bell. Poor chap.  He’s blog fodder for life because of that mishap.


I’ll reserve the honor of Tinker Bell for myself.  That way Hope won’t continue to think of me as the Wicked Witch of the West.  Well I can hope, can’t I?

Picture 1150

Hopefully I can narrow those pesky hips down a bit before October.

  tinks hips

Prince Erik, well he’s going to just have to settle for being Peter Pan.  Poor Chap!  But for those who know my Prince they know he’ll always have the heart of a boy who loves to have fun.

Once again,  Thank you to all the wonderful adventure participants, for your imagination, your beautiful post and for sharing your youthful heart with us all.



Saturday, August 22, 2009

Second Star To the Right!

"And straight on till morning."
That, Peter had told Wendy, was the way to the Never land.


Welcome, welcome to my adventure in staying young at heart.

Be sure to visit all the other wonderful adventures of participants listed here on the left side of this post.

There are a few things that are key to having a youthful heart. The first of which, is the ability to DREAM!

Summer 1790

‘To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. ~Anatole France

And sometimes if we dream hard enough we might actually be able to fly.

Summer 1764

This summer my children and I took our adventure to Never Land. Here is my Lost Boy and I as we discover the second lesson in staying young at heart is the courage to EXPLORE!

Summer 1452

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain

And chances are good that while you’re exploring you’ll find ways to save those memories. Lesson Three in Staying Young at heart – CREATE!

Don’t just daydream, Create those dreams.

Summer 1823

Make those dreams a reality.

Summer 1822

All it takes is Faith, Trust and a little Pixie Dust.

Create a place where your imagination can soar… where you can remember all of your adventures both real and imaginative.

Some pursue happiness - others create it.” ~Author unknown

Look at what magic a few discounted garden trellis’s, clothes pegs, thrifted sheets, curtains, and a few fairy lights and wings can create. An outdoor room perfect for learning the fourth step in staying Young at Heart. - IMAGINATION!

Summer 1773

With a little Imagination you can be anything you want to be.

Summer 1732

Princess as Tiger Lily and her garden.

Summer 1774

Believe me the garden is real, as is the Princess and her dwelling.

Summer 1737

As for Itchy the Dog, well she can only dream she’s as helpful as Nana. Personally I don’t think she quite has the imagination skills to make that dream a reality.

Summer 1814

With a little Imagination and an enchanted shell necklace…

Summer 1696

Maybe, just maybe you’d grow a mermaid’s tail.

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the classic little mermaid pose.

Summer 1674

Hope loved being a mermaid and even insisted on acting out the Fifth Lesson in Staying Young at Heart – FINDING JOY!

Summer 1685

And you bet she enJOYed every moment singing like Ariel.

Joy is not in things; it is in us. ~ Richard Wagner

Ever notice how something as simple as blowing bubbles can entrance and entertain a toddler for hours. For them it’s Magic!

And MAGIC is our Sixth Lesson in Staying Young at Heart.


Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.” ~Author unknown

And finding ways to make the magic last is a talent and gift to be cherished.

Yesterday evening in the parking lot of our grocery store I spied two children pointing at the sky. I stopped loading my groceries and looked up to see the most beautiful pinkish popcorn shaped clouds in a brilliant blue and lavender sky.

It’s Magic to witness the beauty in the small moments. The Sunset, the twinkling stars, the smell of a rose.

Sadly, the two children and myself were the only ones in the entire busy parking lot that embraced the magic and soaked up it’s beauty and joy. How much of this magic do we miss as we hurry through life?

Lesson Seven in Staying Young at Heart – DISCOVER!

Try new things. I’ve honestly never made a Sand Castle until this last week.

Summer 1633

With just a bucket to scoop wet sand and a stick I made a Discovery.

Summer 1651

I discovered what kids everywhere know - that it is actually quite fun to build and create and discover new things. I’m already planning Castle number 2.

Summer 1653

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ~Plato

Lesson Eight – PLAY

When was the last time that you played an enjoyable game? If you quit playing because it is a child's sport, then you are wrong. As George Bernard Shaw said, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

Summer 1816

And while you’re playing – Beware of HOOK!

Summer 1817

Hook was so focused on being number one and squashing anything and anyone that annoyed him he lost sight of the true treasure life can bring us.

Summer 1728

And that true treasure isn’t gold, wealth or high esteem from your fellow pirates.

Summer 1766

Sometimes we bury that treasure, neglect it, and forget about it.

Summer 1711

Thankfully, there is usually, and band of people willing to help remind us of the importance of Lesson nine – FRIENDSHIP

Summer 1713

“If out of all mankind one finds a single friend, he has found something more precious than any treasure, since there is nothing in the world so valuable that it can be compared to a real friend.” ~Andreas Capellanus

Summer 1721

More often than not some of your dearest friends are family.

The adventures you have with your friends and family can either help you become more like Hook or they can help you stay young and nourish your happy heart. So do you surround yourself with leeching pirates or magical fairies who constantly sprinkle pixie dust on your head and take you for enchanted adventures?

My wee fairy girls helped me create a magical village in the branches of a cedar tree in our backyard.

Summer 1309

Filled with fairy homes reminding us of some of our families past fun adventures.

Summer 1299

We couldn’t resist adding a Mermaid Lagoon as well.

Summer 1297

So many fun memories from a truly unforgettable summer.

Summer 1310

I promise our adventure to a Youthful heart is almost done. It does take a little work to be a kid. Don’t forget lesson number ten - BELIEVE

Summer 1328

Believe in dreams, joy, magic and everything else and no matter how dark the night, how bitter the trial, you’ll be surrounded by peace, comfort and hope for a brighter future.

Summer 1518

Isn’t that what being a child is?

Summer 1512

I do believe in fairies, I do! I do!

Summer 1525

I believe in Light. It’s enchanting.

Summer 1835

And helps us find the way when life is dark and worrisome.

Summer 1847

Michael: Mother, can anything harm us after the night lights are lit?
Mrs. Darling: No, Precious. They are the eyes a mother leaves behind to guard her children.

The final and most important lesson in staying Young at Heart is LOVE! To Love Life and Family is the truest source of joy and happiness we can ever find.

Summer 1808

So the secret to staying young and having a happy heart is simple. Dream, Explore, Create, Imagine, Enjoy, Magic, Discover, Play, Friendship, Believe, and Love.

Now if your a kid, this post was unbelievably long, probably a wee bit boring and your itching to visit all the wonderful other party participants listed on the left hand side of my blog. Check them out then go create some youthful magic of your own. But before you leave drop me a comment. Say Hi or Tootles? Whatever floats your make-believe boat and you could win a little fairy packet. I'll pick a winner next Saturday!

And Thanks for letting me share my adventure to a youthful heart!