Saturday, May 30, 2015

Porch Settin' and No Frettin'

Sitting on our front porch is a fine thing to do when the Kousa dogwood is in bloom.

I call it my bridal bouquet because I left my own on my bed when R.H. and I were married. I was so flustered that I didn't hear a word the preacher said. I just said I do when he paused and looked at me.

Do you think we're really married? I guess I won't fret about that, not after 5 decades.

I've stopped fretting about my unkempt garden too and have decided to just enjoy it.

Not going to worry about the concrete floor needing painting and patching.

Just going to enjoy it and clip the herbs grown in pots now that I can't weed anymore.

Yes, those are weeds there but I'm hoping the hostas on either side will keep spreading and crowd those weeds out.

Not going to fret about the house needing painting again either.

I'm going to rest on my laurels as well as the black and white stripe rocking chair cushions and just direct readers back to the years when I did garden.

If you have time on your hands, which you most likely don't, you can go back to my former blog Across the Way and read the 3 posts about our Dooryard Cottage Garden.

Part One here

Part Two here

Part Three here

As for me, I'm gonna sit on my front porch and not fret.

I'm gonna take Ray Bradbury's advice:

"Go sit on your porch with a glass of vodka lemonade,
a pad and pencil,
and truly think."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Clematis and Rue

In a desire to make life less complicated,
I'm using my phone to take more pictures.

Remember, R.H. has been my cameraman most of the time.
He gets better quality but I know what I want in the frame.

And the poor man is often pooped after a day at work.
The last thing he needs is a list of things I want photographed.

I clipped one spray of clematis.
It was all I could reach without a ladder.
I don't climb ladders anymore.

Oscar Wilde wrote this about clematis:

"In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis,
and year after year the green night of its leaves
will hold its purple stars."

That's lovely but his The Picture of Dorian Gray
sounds far too depressing for me to enjoy.

I also clipped a few sprigs of rue,
an astringent herb
that reminds me of a book I love,
Elizabeth Goudge's Pilgrim's Inn
the middle book in Goudge's trilogy
of the Eliot family.

In Pilgrim's Inn, the Eliot family moves to an old inn
called The Herb of Grace, referring to rue,
Herb of Grace O' Sunday is its old fashioned name.

Doesn't this herb remind us of Rue

Here's another vase I arranged in my bedroom,
some pretty pink astilbe.

And Nora is perfect with the pink astilbe,
don't you think?

I'm seeking a less complicated world.
Taking pictures with my phone is one change.
There will be more.

Everything doesn't have to be perfect, does it?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May View from Dewena's Window

I go into my dressing room and pull the blinds up.

I look up the green hill to where our firstborn
lives with his sweet wife.
When they moved in he would hang Christmas lights
from the deck for me to see and fly Old Glory.
Now, without the Black Angus that once kept
the grass cropped,
nature has taken over and I only catch a glimpse
of his rooftop in winter.

I begin my prayer for the day with this firstborn
and his family.

I look to see what is in bloom today;
it changes throughout the seasons.

And then I pray for our other three children
and their families.

I look at the wall enclosing the white crabapple,
two varieties of wild azaleas we bought
in the mountains of North Carolina.
These have already bloomed,
their beauty so fleeting,
as are the tulips and daffodils that bloom first.

I think of my husband who built the bed
across the creek from my window
and planted it all
just so I could have something beautiful to look at
when I pull the blinds in the morning
and when I do my ironing.

I pray for him.

I notice that the yellow rose continues to struggle
among the larger pink bushes,
but there are always a few blooms.

I pray for my 90 year old mother,
matriarch of our family.

I pray for my sisters and their families.

I look to the left,
towards the road leading to the barn,
and notice that the white mountain azalea
is still blooming.

She's past her peak, her beauty fading,
never very noticeable anyway,
but she's there and will be back next May,
God willing.

I pray for myself and
give thanks for another May morning.

Friday, May 22, 2015

R. H. at the Ritz

R.H.--this is a Ladies Only trip to Paris!

What are you doing here?

Did you miss me?

Aww, of course we'll all meet you.

You're at the Ritz bar now?

Just people watching?

Hmm, sure you are.

Okay, we'll meet you in the large dining room.

See you there.

But R.H., Parisiennes bring their dogs
with them when they dine out.

Everyone finished?
Shall we show R.H. Paris, girls?

How about the Place de l'Opera?

No? You'd prefer to go to the Folies-Bergere, R.H.?

And see Josephine Baker dance?

My, that was fun!

What are your plans for tomorrow, R.H.?

You thought you might drive to Deauville?

Bathe in the sea?

We'll go along too, won't we, girls?

Oh yes, R.H., I see the sea.

Shall we join him, ladies?

Thank you, ladies,
for helping me celebrate my May birthday.

Girlfriends are great…
and yes R.H., you are too!

Adieu, everyone!

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Don't Have a Thing to Wear

Here we are in Paris of the 1920s through 1931
and I don't have a thing to wear!

Time for some serious shopping,
don't you think?

Shall we start with French perfume?

I believe I'll wear this Quelques Fleurs lotion
by Houbigant Paris that my sister Deb ordered
from Vicki Archer's French Essence shop,
thinking that it would be perfect for
my Paris birthday.

You're right, Deb, it is divine!

Come on girls, choose your perfume and let's go on to the rue  de la Paix for lingerie by Mirande. I'm a simple gal so I'll buy a day set of underwear trimmed with hand tucking and Irish crochet. Sister Jenn's getting a sports set for tennis of white linen.

My guess is that my daughter Christy is choosing alluring lingerie to wear for her husband, but sister Teresa may just be planning on dropping quite a few francs at Hellstern's. Do I see two handbags on her arm? (There's a family story behind this, folks!)

A brown crocodile bag (and matching heels), and a black antelope bag by Patou with a turquoise clasp? Teresa!

(Remember, dear readers, your consciousness wouldn't have been raised far enough in the 1920s to be against wearing fur coats or crocodile shoes. I even remember a pair of brown crocodile high heels my mother wore in the 1950s and her silver mink stole.)

Our sister Deb didn't leave without buying a black Crepe de Chine evening bag and heels to match by Hellstern. And then she bought three bracelets by Patou of onyx, turquoise, and coral!

My sisters are always chic!
Here they are at Jenn's son's wedding in Palm Springs.

Hurry, girlfriends, before we go to the boulevard Saint-Germain  to order handkerchief linen monogrammed sheets sent home, let's go to Schiaparelli's to buy scads of stockings!

Now it's time to visit a few little dressmaking houses. Maybe they'll do a rush job for all of us traveling with Dewena's Window.

I expect to spend a little birthday money here as some of these birthday cards had money tucked inside.

Speaking of birthday cards, thank you, dear Poppy, for your sweet one! Is your beautiful daughter Liberty here with you on our trip?

Honora, so glad you left Pondside to join us! Since you and I share the same birthday, why don't you go first and show us your silver lame (can't get the little mark on that e) wrap by Louiseboulanger, worn over your dress of navy-blue moire. You're so elegant, Honora!

Your time now, Lorrie and Tanna. Lorrie from Fabric, Paper, Thread wears a Venitian red velours de Lyon coat and dress trimmed with blue fox by Paquin.

And Tanna of The Brick Street Bungalow wears Paquin's pale pink satin coat trimmed with Kolinsky over black crepe. Terribly chic, ladies!

Jemma of At Home with Jemma, is that you in the House of Worth gown of pale pink embroidered net? You say you are wearing a flesh-colored satin slip under that lovely creation? I hope so!

Marcia Pilar, how utterly soigné you are in your Mainbocher navy-blue faille!

Step up, Sheri, the oh, so lovely mother of the mother/daughter trio of Red Rose Alley. That Augustabernard violet-blue crepe dress with the narrow fuchsia sash is so feminine, and I won't even ask who the man is. Nice touch with the white carnation worn at your waist, Sheri!

Here's Rue of An Old-Fasioned World wearing Cheruit's yellow satin evening gown with a brown sash. And Deb of  Frugal Little Bungalow, is that you with Rue wearing Cheruit's midnight blue chiffon gown with the green and gold sash? Are you girls flirting with Maurice Chevalier? 

Kimberly of the Nutbrown Cottage, I see you're stashing away as many diamonds on this trip to Paris as a squirrel does nuts in autumn! 

Sandra of Thistle Cove Farm is a seasoned world traveler and knows that this robe d'interior by Chanel of heavy gold satin will see her through any number of at-home supper parties.

Debbi of Debbi's Front Porch, my new Beach Gypsy friend, I haven't learned your taste yet but surely a beach gypsy would like to wear this Chanel tea gown of bud-green chiffon? What do you think?

Ah, my girlfriend of mystique from Nib's End, you with the silver words flowing from your pen, tell me what designer you would choose. Your wish is my command.

I know I must have forgotten someone who expressed a wish to travel to Paris with us. Please forgive me! And surely at least one of my friends here doesn't care for the gown I've pictured on them, or with their likeness? Do you know how difficult it is to find a pretty Parisienne model from those long ago days, especially when I'm only using pictures from the vintage fashion magazines in my personal collection and not pictures from the internet?

The choices were getting slim. There is this one…

Or would anyone prefer this one?

Maybe someone would want to claim this danseur? 

Did you girls enjoy shopping in Paris? Personally I think these sun suits that Nora and CC are wearing are darling, and I bet they make it to Paris someday with their mom of excellent fashion sense.

Oh, what about me? I forgot to choose a dress in Paris!
And I just don't have a thing to wear.
Only this robe d'interior of my childhood.

Au revoir until the next post when a special guest will join us.

[Again, all fashion pictures were from my collection of vintage Harper's Bazar and Vogue magazines, and from a treasured book, Paris in the Twenties.]

Friday, May 8, 2015

Awake In Paris

We're here!

I can't believe we're all waking up in Paris!

Shipboard life on the Ile de France was fabulous!

and Doreen of House Honeys,

met all the girls in New York and helped us shop.

We bought sports shoes for daytime aboard ship…

sports clothes (don't you love the French

fisherman's shirt and the Basque beret?),

frocks for days on deck,

(I wonder who chose this Poppy dress?)

and shoes for dances…

--love those sparkly paillettes!

And dance gowns…

But now we're all in Paris,

our trunks are unpacked…

Wake up, ladies and get dressed!

Let's get my birthday party started!

[by Van Dongen]

No party would be complete without

my beautiful daughter

Christy is such a busy woman,

but I simply could not do Paris without her!

And I must wish my sweet mother

a Happy Mother's Day!

I love you, Mama!

[All illustrations were from my collection of Vogue magazines from the 1920s to 1931,
the era in Paris that I wanted to visit, or from a prized old book called Paris in the Twenties.]