Wicked Wednesday….{No. 5}

Ok…who’s been checking their gardens for wicked plants lately?

I have several in mine….I shared last summer about our Bible Garden…..

You can read about it here and here.

I guess I have the flip side…a Wicked Garden, too…and didn’t even know it!

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Ever heard of Mandrake? It grows in Europe, has fruit that looks like small, unripe tomatoes; but the danger lies underground in its root.

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The Romans believed that it could cure demon possession. The Greeks used it for a love potion. In AD 200, in the northern African city of Carthage, Hannibal deserted the city and left behind a huge feast…..with wine laced with mandrake. It caused the whole army to fall in a deep sleep, he came back with his army and completely conquered them.

Shakespeare used it in Romeo and Juliet…..the friar made Juliet a potion with mandrake that would cause her to look “like death when he shuts up the day of life”.

Mandrake attacks the nervous system, slows it down, and induces a coma.

Go on Pinterest and search for Mandrake…..whoa!

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Oleander was once believed to be an antidote for a snake bite. But, alas….it’s no such thing. It is highly toxic…all parts. It is grown in warmer climates {like here in the South} prolifically….hence, there are many tragedies each year. It only takes a couple of leaves to kill an animal.

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Campers have tragically died by using the branches/stems to skewer their food and cook it. Many children have perished from eating the leaves.

Oleander suicides are not uncommon…especially among the elderly. It is grown quite often at many nursing homes……the elderly are quite aware of its toxicity. Sadly, in Sri Lanka, it is the most common way of committing suicide.

We have two beautiful ones in our garden. Please….if you come over…just look.

It is recommended that if you have pets or young children in your home or that visit often….do not have oleander in your yard or garden.

Heading out to put up warning signs in the garden…..

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I Will Always Remember ‘The {Perfect?} Easter Morning’……

I will always remember Easter morning from last year.

I had a great plan….

I got up early on Easter morning

to cook my family some fun, homemade

blueberry pancakes in the shapes of Easter eggs, chicks, and bunnies.

The table was set….and ready for fun.

Everyone’s lovely new clothes were waiting to be donned.

It was going to be a great day.

I started cooking the pancakes….

and it just wasn’t working.

I had beheaded bunnies, chicks with no body, and

completely destroyed Easter eggs.

The eggs burned while I was trying to get the pancakes

working….I wondered if I could convince my family

that it was a new, cutting-edge dish….charcoal eggs???.

I was determined to have fun-shaped pancakes….

but we ended up with plain, round ones.

How I got blueberry batter

in my eyelashes, I’m not sure.

I forgot to cook the bacon.

{But the table still looked really pretty.}

We always get new outfits for Easter…..

we’ve done this since our children were small.

Not to impress anyone; but to be an outward expression

of what Easter stands for: Brand New Life.

Those lovely new duds were all hanging and ready.

My youngest daughter just started wearing mascara….

it’s a learned skill to handle, ya know.

And the make-up remover?

Well, it ended up all over her brand new dress.

And her nails that were chipped and looking

like a mechanic from fun in the yard?

Due to the pancakes…we didn’t get to re-paint them.

My other daughter’s new dress just wasn’t working

with the camisole that wouldn’t stay up….

I hoisted it up with twine and hair barrettes in the back.

She was freezing and put on leggings with her new

dress that had ketchup stains on the knee. ?????

{How does ketchup get on your knees?}

And then donned her winter wool coat.

I love the new nail polish I found this past week

and had painted my toes and fingernails with it.

It will look gorgeous with a tan…..

but with winter white skin?

Yeah, well, I looked like the crypt-keeper.

We’ve been rearranging closets and cleaning some areas

out around here…so somehow all the sheets and blankets

have ended up in my closet….on top of my shoes.  ???

I couldn’t find my shoes for church…you know, the ones that

were perfect with my new outfit.

It was at this point that my prayers turned to:

“Really, God? Really???!!”

We finally made it to the car and headed to church.

And I looked down at my ring.

My beautiful ring that Handsome had made for me by a local jeweler…

my engagement ring…

flanked by two wedding bands that he also designed and had made.

I had meant to clean it this past weekend.

No doubt it had blueberry batter in it!

It’s a very large amethyst….and so it gets all kinds

of dirt, etc. in it that makes it cloudy.

Still beautiful….but nothing like when it’s cleaned.

Sparkly, deep purple, can-see-the-facets clean.

Dang!

So, here we were……

the girls and I looking like the crypt-keeper and her daughters

that had fallen off the apple cart.

{Somehow the guys managed to escape any fashion fiascos.}

Beheaded bunnies flung all over the kitchen…

looking like a crime scene.

A shoe explosion in the bedroom.

My lovely plans to bless my family

blown to bits!

But it was when I looked down in the car at my ring

that I heard a still small voice.

You know….during the time that I was  trying

to get my attitude straight before getting to church.

{So I could smile and say ‘Fine’. Because I was afraid

that someone was going to ask me how I was doing

and I was going to break down and yell something like

“THE BUNNIES DIDN’T WORK!!!!”

And then they would need to call the behavioral

health professionals for back-up.}

It was when I gazed at my ring that the still small

voice said…..

“Daune, you’ve had the perfect Easter morning.

This is why I died. You don’t need to be cleaned

up and sparkly to come to me…..you come just as

you are…wherever you are. No need to clean up first.”

We can bring our mismatched, rag-tag, chipped, cloudy, dirty,

barette-hoisted, bad attitude selves to the cross.

With all our failures and disappointments.

That’s what Easter morning is all about.

He will clean me up to where I sparkle and shine…

with the facets that he has placed within me

reflecting His love to my family and others.

So, that’s when I realized that I had had the

Perfect Easter Morning.

True story.

Blessings to you~

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Fun Easter Projects and Traditions…..

Easter is soooo early this year!

I’m not quite ready to think about it….but I better get with it.

Here are some of the fun projects we enjoy doing at Easter….you can click on the title of each to be taken to the post with the how-to’s, etc.

Just this weekend I gave these to a lovely group of teen girls that spent the weekend with us…..here’s the how-to….

Vintage German Easter Egg Treats

basket of vintage easter eggs 2

This is our favorite way to dye eggs…..I just love the colors:

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

naturally dyed eggs on silver tray

Ever know the stories behind Easter Traditions?

I shared some in this post:

Easter Traditions

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We had fun making these last year, too….

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs main

Here’s the recipe for

Easter Story Cookies

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Have you started looking for the

Pine Tree Crosses

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I shared about our

Easter Egg Tree …… and how you can make your own….

easter egg tree

And we love the yearly tradition of doing a

Passion Tree

passion tree 2011

Well…those are some of our fun yearly traditions that we enjoy…..do you have any special Easter traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

Blessings~

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Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z,  Serenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

Finding the Lovely…..{Week 5}

Where are these weeks going!?

We’re preparing to host about 15 teen girls for the weekend….

so, off I go to the grocery store!

Finding the Lovely

Lovelies from this week….

the hot chocolate station

freshly made salsa

daffodils on the sill

slushy date with a daughter

pansies…everywhere!

and johnny jump-ups!

Handsome..the four-leaf finding king

tie-dye car wash

brushes! Oh, how I love them….

a fun family game of Chinese checkers

the chairs that we are getting ready to paint

putting together some treats for all the girls spending the weekend with us

a yummy dinner

the first clover blossom of the season

paint colors for a daughter’s new bedroom {she picked the top left one!}

a quiet trail

Have a fabulous weekend!

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Movie Madness Bags ::: {Great Gift Idea}

For many years we have had a fun, little gift that we keep on hand. When our children were younger this was the ‘go-to’ birthday gift when they were invited to parties.

It makes a great teacher gift, neighbor gift, thank you gift, birthday gift, etc.  Well, you get it! It makes a great gift for just about anything.

What is this fun gift, you ask? I present to you……

The Movie Madness Bag!

Movie Madness Bag_Great Gift Idea

You will need:

a clear cellophane bag

some fun candy

a few pieces of loose candy..bubble gum, kisses, etc.

a microwave popcorn

a drink…canned, juice box, whatever

a gift card to rent a movie from your favorite rental spot

Something fun to tie it up…raffia, twist-tie, ribbon, rope

a fun Movie Madness tag

{You can download the free printable of the one we use here.}

Or, you can easily make your own.

Movie Madness Bag items

I usually keep about 8-10 of these made up and in our gift closet…ready to go when needed.  The total cost of this gift is around $7…..and they are so fun to receive. Who doesn’t like having everything they need for a movie night in one bag!?

It’s great for all ages.

Movie Madness Bag...great teacher present

We’ve given them to preschoolers and grandparents.  You can personalize them as you wish….a fun, pink, fluffy ribbon for a girl, some rope for a boy, etc., etc.

Movie Madness Bag_Great Gift Idea

 What are some fun gift ideas that you keep on hand?

Blessings~

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Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z,  Serenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

Wicked Wednesday……… {No. 4}

Each time I type that title I break out into the song from Wicked….you know, the last line…

“I’m feeling wicked!”

If you have not seen the show…by all means…..see it! On Broadway preferably.

Superb!

When the settlers arrived in Jamestown there was a beautiful weed that seemed to flourish. Since other food was scarce…they thought they would add it to their diets.

They died horrible deaths….complete with convulsions and seizures.

The plant? Datura.

Commonly called Moonflower.

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All parts of the plant contains the toxic alkaloids…but the seeds are where they are most concentrated. A woman in Canada used the seeds in a dish she was cooking because she thought they were a type of seasoning….she went into a coma for 24 hours and was hospitalized for 3 days.

In the past many unwise individuals {teenagers} goofed around and made a tea with the leaves….it caused dangerous hallucinations for days, fevers high enough to kill brain cells, and failure of the nervous system….leading to coma and death.

Not only do I grow moonflowers in our garden each year….I give seedlings as gifts. Maybe I should put a warning label on them:

Warning: Do not chew on seeds, use in food, or make tea with any part of this lovely plant. Just look at it.

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Who knew that grass could kill you. There are actually many types of dangerous grasses.

A big one is Johnson Grass…..it grows throughout the U.S.

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It contains enough cyanide to kill a horse. Death is usually very quick….preceded by hours of anxiety, convulsions, and staggering. Oh joy.

Just read a caption on Pinterest that said…’Did you know you can juice Johnson Grass just like wheat grass?’ Yeah. Right.

No, thanks.

Watch what you munch on~

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Paris Grey Etagere {China Cabinet}

I shared last week about the wonderful antique etagere that we found during our barn treasure hunt…..I thought I would share the finished project!

Here’s how we found her…inside the barn at this wonderful place…..

Found treasure - Vintage Etagere

You can check out some more before pictures here.

Painted with Paris Grey Chalk Paint…..

painted etagere

And filled with white dishes……

paris grey etagere main paris grey cabinet white dishes inside cabinet white dishes in etagere paris grey china cabinet

I did not use any wax on this piece, but I did slightly rough it up a bit.

We are loving it! It looks perfect in the dining room, and has opened up so much cabinet space in the kitchen when we took all the white dishes out of the cabinets.

Now…you know what I’m thinking.

Yep.

You’ve got it.

I want to paint the walls.

I have some fun ideas……

This may or may not be a form of insanity.

I’ve always thought sanity was really overrated, anyway.

What are you up to?

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Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z,  Serenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

The Way Things Are Remembered…….

A while ago I was telling my 3 children about the wonderful, huge closet I had when I was young.  I explained how it was so tall I couldn’t see the ceiling…and I pretended it was my castle. I told them that it was so big sometimes I felt like I got lost in there and that I created entire worlds.  It was so big that when I pretended it was a store….I had departments! I was sharing how I wish we had closets that big in our cottage so they could have fun in them like I had fun in my huge closet.

My Mom was there when I was telling this story.

She chuckled and I asked her what she snickering about.

She said that she thought that was so special that I remembered my closet that way.

I was perplexed….I mean it was the ONLY way to remember it. It’s how it was.

And then she said that she thought it was so special that was my memory of my magical closet…….because in reality that closet was so teeny that her and my Dad had to bend down to get in…and there was not even enough room for them to fit in it without turning sideways.

I said “Uh. uh. !!!”

“No. way.”

And she said ….. “Oh, yes…that’s how it really was.”

Wow.

Even after being faced with reality…..I still remember how big that closet was. I was the princess of the entire kingdom. I knew my kingdom, after all, you  know.

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After that conversation it got me thinking….I wonder how my children will remember things. Will the teeny closets be huge? Will the things Handsome and I see as hindrances, inconveniences, and ‘less-thans’ be remembered to them as wonderful things?

When we remember we are seeing with the heart. Our heart always overrides our eyes when it comes to memory. We remember not so much how things were or how they happened….but how they made us feel.

That teeny closet made me feel like the princess of the castle….so it will always be remembered that way.

I see our growing as a family over the years as a necklace. From the very beginning each special memory is a bead. As our children grow and eventually launch out on their own I hope we will be sending them out with a beautiful, full necklace.  Full of gigantic closets, feelings of being Princes and Princesses, having the best home in the world………not because of how it was decorated, but how they felt inside it. Loved.

I hope they will maybe remember those days over the years that I’ve thrown a crazy MomFit as their Mom was so fun she actually put on a circus for them. {OK. OK. I know, that’s pushing it…but memory is a powerful thing…and it could be possible. Right?}

I hope to send them out with a beautiful necklace…years of wonderful feelings of being loved no matter what. Years of great memories. A necklace they will cherish all the years of their life. One that even when I tell them how small the closet actually was it will not tarnish or lose its shine. It may even get brighter.

Your closet Princess~

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Finding the Lovely…. {Week 4}

Yesterday while posting about my Spring Fever….I checked the forecast.

20 degrees. Ice storm on the way.

So, I went out and bought pansies.

I’ve gone into total denial. I’m not turning back. ;)

Much loveliness was found this week….here’s just a bit…..

Finding the Lovely Week 41. Our first snow in 2 years. All the snowmen had more pine straw than snow. ha! I think we got a whole 1/2″ !

2.  Garden path dusted in snow.

3. Snow boots all lined up….keeping hope before us all. ;) They would more appropriately be called slush boots this go ’round.

4.  A lovely daughter making us a lovely dinner…homemade chili and cornbread. {A double lovely!}

5.  Something warm to sip while finishing up taxes.

6.  This little kitchen gadget makes me smile when I look at it. It’s so fun. hee!hee!

7.  One of the many acorns we have hanging around Oak Cottage.

8. Handsome and I went to dinner last night…in a very busy part of town. When we came out 2 lovely horses were tied to a tree. It was the funniest lovely all week. Great way to save gas? Would have loved to meet the owners ….. I have a feeling I would like them. ;)

9. Pansies. Enough said.

I hope your week was full of lovely….and your weekend will refresh your heart and soul.

Blessings to you~

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It Has Struck……{Spring Fever}

It has officially struck.

Spring Fever.

I’ve begun walking places and forgetting where I’m going.

Daydreaming of what lies waiting at the garden centers.

Searching for sprouts under the pine straw.

So, I forgot what I was going to write today…..these kind of images were distracting me….

You may not see me…but I was in every one of these pictures today.

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Anybody else there with me?

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