blooming arizona!

i recently spent a week in arizona and was captivated by the desert landscape. never before had i seen cacti lining the roads as abundantly as trees line ours.  it was absolutely beautiful and i couldn't stop trying to seek out more and more types of cactus.  at night i'd google their names so that i'd be able to identify them the next day. 

we were lucky to hit arizona just as everything was in bloom.  i was entralled with all the colors and sizes and shapes of the flowers.  it seemed like every plant, tree and shrub was blooming.  i first fell in love with the yucca plant.

every day i said i'd take its picture and every day i forgot my camera.  so the only shot i got was one i took as we were leaving to catch our 7am flight.  what a shame too b/c it was truly a stunning shade of salmon.

but then
i discovered
 the cactus flower

oh my.....

to see a plant that looked so menacing with its harsh lines and sharp points 
produce a flower that was delicate and soft
was pretty breathtaking

and then there were the other agave plants with spears of flowering towering over their thick leaves

don't get me wrong - pennsylvania has its share of beautiful blooming plants and trees and springtime is magical here too.  but you kinda expect it - with everything being green and grassy and woodsy............but it was a magical experience to find that beauty in an area where you don't expect to find it.  i wonder if i would have felt the same thrill had i visited mesa when blooming season was over...... 


my favorite corner.......

we have a decent sized sunroom on the back of our house.  its not tiny but its not too big either.  it is the perfect place to hang out in the spring and fall months b/c the breezes that come through are just heavenly.  we put a little tv in there for my husband who loves to have his breakfast in there.  mostly i'd come in and read while he was watching tv...but i really wanted a place to set up my computer.  i sat there last year but it wasn't very personal to me.  i was determined to change that this year.

(that pic just doesn't do it justice)

i bought a hanging lamp at ikea about a year ago and finally decided to put it up yesterday.  that table held a fountain that we didn't use b/c we couldn't really see it) so i moved that to a different section of the room so we can really enjoy it and i pushed the little bistro table right up against the corner.  the only thing the space still needs now is some cute little pics hanging on the wall directly in front of me.  finally i added some plants and it is now my favorite place to sit and write. 

 i have such beautiful views of my backyard from that spot...

but my favorite is the view of my veggie garden directly below me.  sometimes i feel like i can actually hear the veggies growing.....

in the early mornings i grab my tea and sit there to read my daily blogs and answer my emails.  the sun comes in from the garden window and the morning breeze is just perfect.  (if the boys are still asleep when i slip down then its pure heaven!!)  it was at that spot that i started reading all your blogs and decided to take the leap myself.   its the most perfect corner in this home.


Pentecost Sunday banners

i FINALLY found my camera cable and i uploaded all my pics! i was so giddy it was silly - but why not dance a happy dance for something silly like that!  i have so many posts to catch up on and not much time tonite so i will simply show the banners i was asked to make for pentecost sunday. 

this first one was made with red felt as the background and burlap for the cross.  the flame was made out of an old tye dye bandana and some scrap orange/red fabric i had.  the white words were an afterthought and that is why the placement is off.  "spirit" is too far below the flame..if i had done the words from the start i would have centered the flame more.  i stared at it all during Mass b/c it bothered me!  are you too critical of your stuff??

this second one i love b/c it feels so 70s to me - big abstract dove and flame.....i cannot remember the artist but we have a painting of his of a seagull........anyway

this is my favorite part of it.  i tried machine embroidery for the first time and i used that stitch that you can use in you don't have a serger.......can you tell i am a very novice sewer??

i also used that stitch to highlight parts of the flame in both banners

so there are my banners.  i was very pleased with how they turned out and i loved that i was able to use all fabric i already had in my stash.

many more projects ahead........


good food ahead

i was very fortunate to have an organic farm right down the street from me but unfortunately last year was their last year being open year round.  luckily they were able to open this year for strawberry season.  pick your own starts hopefully next weekend.  while the boys enjoyed picking last year - they informed me that i can go by myself this year and that would be ok with them. 

that's not a bad idea....since my goal is to pick alot more than last year...........

another favorite for me is asparagus.........fresh harvested - not cooked (although roasted is divine) - light green stalks of heaven.  i refuse to buy asparagus in any month other than may - why bother?  once you eat truly fresh asparagus i can't imagine insulting my palate with anything else...and rarely do i make it out of the market with a full bunch...absentmindedly eating stalk after raw stalk as i browse the market.

its CSA time.  i didn't join one for the past couple of years because of the organic market down the road from my house - but since it is closed this year i decided to join one again. even though i have a garden its nice to get different produce from what i grow myself -- which i have to admit was a pretty pathetic bounty last year.

and finally fruit - lots of fruit - all kinds of fruit - juicy fruit - flavorful fruit!!!......no need to explain further....

what a great time of the year.....i feel so blessed to have all this around me. 


St Anthony, St Anthony.........

please come around
something is lost
and can't be found!

i may not be a catholic girl anymore but when i can't find something i still turn to st. anthony

ever since i was a little girl he was the "go to" guy for when i lost something....and today is no exception.  i've been saying that little prayer over and over.  but he appears to be busy today so i may have to try again later.

 lately i am losing a bunch of stuff.  like my camera cord for one.  that is still mia and it is completely wigging me out...esp since i have a camera full of beautiful pics from arizona. who knew there were so many different types of catcus? and agave plants? and yucca?? and how quickly i'd learn their names?

the house is still in shambles from the water damage and my son's birthday party and our week away.  some of the stuff i can put away - some i really can't yet b/c the insurance guy needs to come out - and within those piles of stuff scattered around my house - i'm assuming - is my camera cord........

but i am back after a long week away and slowly i am getting my act - and my house - back together!

on a side note - i have some cool projects in the works and i can't wait to share! for one thing  i've been asked to make banners for Pentacost Sunday which both excites and frightens me! and lately i've discovered - air plants, tea towels and spray paint.....good stuff to come!!

now off to say my prayer again............



i'm in arizona for the week
i had grand plans of taking pics and uploading them
and blogging about all the excitement around me....

but alas,
i have no camera cord
and the internet is in the lobby
on a public computer

so i may have to wait a week to share

so bye until then!


enjoying the ride.......

today i find myself smack dab in the middle of one doozie of a week!  i knew it was going to be a very busy week with each day carefully planned to fit it all in..........then we had one unexpected POW hit us - adding yet another task to an already overpacked week.  but its all ok.

i realize that i enjoy the ride of a crazy week.  during the days leading up to it...and while i'm barreling through it...i'm stressed and tired and complaining about it - but when its over - i find it miss it.  dont get me wrong - i enjoy the day after...when there is nothing to do...i can revel in the void of activity (esp if its on a day when i'm not working and the boys are in school!) but i soon find that i am itching for something to get started again.  i find i'll want to plan a get together - or organize an event - or start a project...just to get that rush of adrenaline that comes from zooming towards a deadline.

i just can't decide whether that is a good thing or a not so good thing.

hmmm - even as i am sitting here at the computer pondering this - i can't decide.

so i'm not going to think about it - i'm just going to buckle in and go