Thursday, May 31, 2007

Playin' Hookey...

I stayed home from work today with a very sick young man,(a nasty case of flu). Poor Dustin is feeling a little better tonight now, but I thanked him profusely for getting sick and giving me a day off in the middle of the week. Very nice of him, if I do say so myself.
I've had to move my birdfeeder to the fenced backyard because the deer seem to think it is their personal smorgasboard. Today I observed the giant bird that has been depleting the water in my birdbath at an alarming rate. His name is Brody, he lives next door and wanders the neighborhood at will. What a silly bird!

I just had to add this picture of my little Shilo and her cookies because this kid DOES NOT cook. She came upstairs today and said "I want to make cookies". I almost fainted dead away. Here she is waiting for her very last cookie to come out of the oven. I'm thinking a snack is in order as soon as I head back upstairs...

Standing in line at the store the other day, I looked down and saw my friend, Monica's quilt on the front of this magazine. I knew it was coming, but was so excited to actually see it. I can hardly imagine what Monica is feeling when she walks by this in all the stores. How very very COOL!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

28 Mile Long Garage Sale

A 28 mile-long garage sale is the Memorial Day Weekend activity on the Longbeach Peninsula every year. Riff and I decided to join the crowds and poke and prod around in other people's discardables this year. Shilo and Dustin were both at work, poor things, with very long and busy days for both of them. The garage sale signs began about Chinook, Washington so we slowly crept our way up to the Peninsula, stopping in Ilwaco for a peek at the pirate ships that were docked there.
Aaargh, Maties!

HOLY BUCKETS! Which way do we go? I said right, Riff turned left, and darned if we shouldn't have gone straight! There were SO many that we barely hit the fringe of all of these sales. I'm sure that we missed out on some perfectly good deals. There came a time when my belly was telling my head that we were done until some food was had. Fish 'n chips were the order of the day and we found the perfect plate full at The Dunes in Ocean City. MMM....and the coleslaw! Stop sometime if you're ever passing through. You won't be disappointed.

I'm always "house dreaming" and this is my pick this weekend.

And - WA-LAA!- My stash of little goodies that I managed to come home with. We didn't come away with anything grand and spectacular this time, just a bunch of little stuff, but what fun!

May you all be blessed with a day of backroad exploring, (oh, and fish 'n chips, of course!)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Brittany

Birthday flowers for Brittany...

My sweet little daughter turns 20 today. Just yesterday she was toddling around the park, learning how to walk. I can see her playing in her little blow up swimming pool in the hot California sunshine, looking up to make sure her Mommy was in sight. Now that she is far away and not many months away from having a little angel of her own, she still looks up to make sure her Mommy is in sight, only now it's done with the ringing of the phone. "Hi Mom, whatcha doin'?" She told me recently that I was her hero. I sometimes feel like I failed my children, because as a single mom I worked so very much, but Brittany seems to know that it was all for them, not because of them, but FOR them. I hope I'm always the Mom that my daughter thinks I am...

Happy Birthday, Brittany. We love you lots.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Farmhouse Funk...

Farmhouse Funk. What a fun little antique and gift shop. I just love this place, they always have just the right thing.
I've had a couple of Farmhouse Funk gift certificates lolling around in my sock drawer for several months, just waiting for the right thing that I NEED to pop into my tiny little pea-brain. I decided last Sunday that I needed a bookcase for the corner of our living room behind my chair. Not just any bookcase, it needed to be just the right size, shape and personality. It also had to be white. So off I trotted, dragging Riff behind me, (well, I might possibly need him to carry it, you know!). Upon entering through the front door, the smell of fresh brewed espresso permeated the air. better place to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. Denise, the owner, was in the process of clearing off a gorgeous antique table that an older gentleman had just purchased, so Riff offered to help move it to his truck, then he helped move another piece of furniture to fill the empty spot. He loved it and so did I. Kept him busy while I snooped and poked around. So much to see here. Follow me...

I'm drooling as I walk into this room in the back of the house. What a perfect sign, "There's never enough Thyme". I can think of a million places to put that one.

Love that darling little aqua pitcher. Monica, for some odd reason it makes me think of you...

Here it is ~ the perfect little bookcase for this corner of the room. Something had been missing and this makes our little cottage living room feel complete. I have filled it with our collection of classics ~ Moby Dick, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Robin Hood, Call of the Wild, Alice in Wonderland, Heidi, Wuthering Heights, Persuasion and so forth. I absolutely love it, it is truly the little things...
And the best part? I brought my purchases to the counter, the bookcase and that cute little porcelain pitcher that sits on the top, presented my gift certificates, and I walked away with $3.00! Thats right! They paid ME! (and Riff got a free mocha for helping them out.) Way to shop, isn't it?!

On a side note, I opened my cap of Honest T this afternoon to find this little known fact:
"Tea was introduced to Europe in the mid-1600's. By the 1700's, it had replaced beer as the beverage of choice at breakfast."
My husband thinks that a grave mistake has been made, and this should be remedied as quickly as possible...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And the Curse Continues...

There has been a "Mothers Day Curse" hanging over my head and attached to my immediate family members for quite some years now. It all began one sunny Mothers Day several years ago. We were living in Wyoming and Shilo and I had driven across the mountains to the beautiful little town of Buffalo where her team was competing in a soccer game. Riff had Kevin and Brittany with him in another part of the state for their games that weekend, so Shilo and I were on our own. Shilo's team played two great games and we headed back home, winding our way through the Big Horn Mountains, down steep switchbacks with huge canyon drop-offs on the side of the road. This is beautiful country where you are more likely to pass more Bighorn Sheep than people. We were chattering about the game and singing along with Mary Chapin Carpenter when I noticed that something wasn't quite right with my Ford Explorer. We just happened to be at the entrance to the Shell Falls parking lot, so I pulled in, we got out to use the facilities and gaze over the canyon wall at the falls. Back in the car, I threw her in reverse...I threw her in reverse...okay, I tried again...nothing. There was not a single gear left working properly. My transmission had decided it was through, no more winding mountain roads, no siree. I didn't have a cell phone and even if I did, you can't get service in the middle of God's country. Not gonna happen. Finally, another Cody family pulled in, so we squeezed in with their family for the hour and a half ride back to Cody. Kind of scary when I look back. Those deep canyons would not have been kind if things had been just a bit worse. YIKES!

The following Mothers Day, Riff and Kevin were in Idaho on a great white water rafting adventure. They had been gone for several days, with Riff checking in by phone every evening. Kevin worked at a local restaraunt and had gone in for lunch the day before they left, sharing a sandwich with his girlfriend. On Friday afternoon, I learned that Jessie, Kevins girlfriend, was in the hospital with Salmonella poisoning, along with quite a few more cases linked to this restaraunt. I waited by the phone for Riff to check in, as he always does, to tell him that if Kevin wasn't feeling well that it was not just the flu and to get him to the hospital. The nightly call never came, nor did it come Saturday. I learned later that they happened to be in a remote camping area and had no phone signal. Well, by Sunday, Mothers Day again, I was frantic. Both girls had soccer games, but in town this time, so I went to the games and raced home to once again hang out by the phone. Dustin had wandered over to our local rec center to go swimming and I decided to work in my flower beds with the doors open so that I could hear the phone. The rec center was only about a half a mile from the house ~ a straight shot down the road. As I'm pulling weeds, I hear an ambulance at the same time that my phone rings. Hoping that it's finally Riff, I race to the phone. "Mrs. Niziolek? This is Rick from the rec center. You need to come over right away. Dustin has just put a pitch fork all the way through his hand. The ambulance is here. HURRY!"
Turns out that Dustin and a friend had gone outside to climb the straw stack that had been used for an archery tournament and there was a rusty old pitchfork hanging out at the top. The friend had reached the top of the stack while Dustin was still climbing, had picked up the pitchfork and dropped it over the edge. It slid neatly through Dustins hand, missing any bones or important tendons. Dustin had pulled it out, leaving rust and what-have-you inside his hand. Surgery to clean it out was in order. I left Brittany at home by the phone waiting for the phone call from her Dad. He finally checked in about 10 pm as they were finally on their way home. Brittany told him that I was at the hospital with Dustin, so he called the nurses station to get ahold of me. Sure enough, Kevin had been sick as a dog for several days now. They rolled in about 2 am, just a few minutes after Dustin and I had gotten home. Back to the hospital, where Kevin spent quite a few hours hooked up to an IV. Everything turned out fine and to this day Dustin is very proud of his scar that is on BOTH sides of his hand.

Last year wasn't quite as climatic, just the old gallbladder surgery the day before Mothers Day. I was a bit sore, (okay alot sore!) but I managed to go to opening day of the Sunday Market anyway, with tiny baby steps. It was a little bit scary, as I was awfully afraid of getting bumped into ~ and of sneezing! That would have hurt!

This year, things were going along quite smoothly. Riff and I went to the Sunday Market while Dustin was at work and Shilo was sleeping. I got that beautiful bouqet of flowers in the picure below, and then we wandered around some of the downtown shops for awhile until we were ravished and had to hurry down to the Bowpicker for fish 'n chips. In the evening, Shilo took me to movie, "Georia Rules". On the way home I mentioned that the curse had not reared it's ugly head this Mothers Day, but coming around the corner to the house, I had an eerie feeling when Riff's suburban was not in the driveway. It's 8:30, where could he have gone? The note on the table explained it all. "Skateboarding accident. Have taken Dustin to the emergency room." The Doctor thought his elbow might be broken. He came home in a soft cast. Turns out the elbow is not broken, but the curse? It continues...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Garage Sale Madness....

My next door neighbors garage sale add said "Saturday, 9-3". This is their drive-way at about 8:15 this morning. The garage sale was set-up and ready to go, but Jerry was very adamant that nobody was coming in until 9 o'clock. It caused quite a bit of mirth at my house to watch these people hang out on the sidewalk for 45 minutes. Too funny!

Because I am the priveledged next door neighbor, whose husbands strong back helped set up the big stuff for sale, I got to shop early. I drooled longingly over some great (and very cheap!) wicker furniture that I passed up in the end. No place to put it since apparently nobody wants to buy our charming little blue cottage, but that's a story for another day. Anyway, these books are some of my treasures that I walked away with. I am a complete book fanatic and absolutely could not pass these gems up. A 1957 version of Pooh, 8 Dana Girls Mystery Stories published in the 1940's, and 5 Cherry Ames nurse stories published in the 1930's. I'm tickled to death! Gotta run and get some reading done now...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Drumroll Please...

My rose-y friendship package will be going out to none other than the wonderful Clarice of Storybook Woods. If you haven't yet met Clarice, pop on by Storybook Woods ~ you will be enchanted with her delightful blog.
Clarice, please email me at with your snail-mail address. This is just a sneak peek at your package. There will be a few more rose inspired goodies tucked inside. I hope you enjoy it!
Thank you to all who stopped by yesterday. You're all wonderful and so much fun to get to know.
Hope you have a wild and crazy friday night (or a tucked in and cozy one, whichever your heart desires!)...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Caring Bloggers Rose Day

Today is Caring Bloggers Rose Day, designated such by Britt-Arnhild of A House in the Woods. So here I am to tell each of you how much I enjoy your company in this bloggy world and how wonderful it has been to get to know you through comments and your blogs. I have actually met three incredible real life friends through this silly little blog that I started and what fun it is when we get together! I would love the chance to meet you all face to face. Laughter and much chatting would be the highlight of the day.
Thank you all so much for stopping by and "visiting" with me. There is going to be a special Rose-y package going out to someone, so leave a comment today (if I have any "lurkers" out there, come out of hiding!) and I will be randomly picking a name to send out some bloggy love to.
Check back tomorrow for the winning name...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Barnyard Diaper Bag

This barnyard diaper bag is ready to be shipped off to my sister-in-law, Gidge, for the new bundle that will be joining her and my brother Todds family in late July. I kicked around the idea of barndoors for the front, but couldn't figure out how to keep my pony in the barn short of velcro so I finally ended up with a barndoor pocket instead. I think it works.

Meet Flash, the pony that lives in the pocket. He sometimes comes out to romp in the grass and kick up his heels.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday Drive...

It's Sunday and nobody has to tell us to slow down. Lazy mornings on the sunporch with coffee and the newspaper has become our Sunday norm. We discuss what we want to do for the day ~ nothing to intense now. Dustin has his first real job and seems to be working each Sunday, and Shilo is 17 and can't be seen in public with us to often, plus she usually has to work also, so we find ourselves left to our own devices. We generally decide on a drive and a small hike. Today it was Cannon Beach to play in the tidal pools then on to Oswald State Park for our hike. I have decided to grace you with some beach house pictures that I have taken today. Which one do you want?

Whenever we are in Cannon Beach, we stand down on the beach and choose which house we plan to buy once we win the lottery.

This house is cute and cottage-y but it's really the blooming rhodies that make this one pop for me.

Whoops! We don't want this one. Wind and water erosion from the ocean storms have eaten away at the front yard until it is completely gone. See those steel posts. Yep, they are holding the house up now. YIKES!!

I found it! This one is my absolute favorite beach house of the day. I'm sure that I'll change my mind on our next outing and find something else, but this is the one I will be living in in my mind this week. Look at the color of the trim. Too die for. And to make it better this little cottage sits snuggled into the woods with the pacific ocean out its front door. ah, how does the other half live?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Walk With Me...

I'm going for a walk in the woods. It's going to be beautiful with all the wild spring flowers blooming and maybe, if I'm quick enough, I can capture some wood nymphs on film. Put on your shoes and come along. I promise that you'll love it...

That looks like an inviting little path. Lets head this way, alright?

Blackie's listening to all the birds chirping (it sounds like a jungle in here!) and waiting to catch a glimpse of a squirrel running along the ground.

Wow! Do you see that wild bleeding heart growing in the v of branches over there. Look how beautiful it is with the moss from the trees.

Look here! We can catch this little critter on film. He certainly doesn't move too fast for us. Fascinating and slimy at the same time and so much a part of our ecosystem.

Oh, we've dawdled quite awhile admiring our beautiful and lush rainforest and now it's starting to get dark in here under these big tree's. Are you ready to go? I promise we'll come back another time. Thanks for joining me. I so enjoyed your company...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The May Day Fairy

I came home from work this evening to find this incredible May Day basket on my front steps. This creation was delivered by the May Day Fairy, none other than the multi-talented Wende whom I am so lucky to call my friend.It is absolutely gorgeous. My entire house smells of the sweet perfume from the lilacs now, mmm.... Look at the white roses, look at the tea tin, look at that wonderful blue ribbon. I'm beside myself....

Oh, and I have to show you this adorable card that was tucked into all the flowery goodness. Delightful isn't it? I'm one luckly girl. Big Hugs, Wende, I absolutely love it.

Happy Happy May Day!

Happy May Day...

May Day ~ Just that term brings back some great memories. Seems that for many years as a little girl, I would make the little may baskets out of construction paper. They were either rolled colorful cones, taped or stapled together, or actual woven baskets made of springtimey strips of construction paper with little handles. I would fill whichever variety that was made that particular year with any spring flowers that I could find, (and I'm quite sure that a few pretty weeds made it into the mix), walk over to Grandma's house, quietly leave the basket on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run like crazy to hide. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a big brick house with a turret shaped column off the living room. There was an entire wall of lilac bushes that ran the length of the house on one side, which made the perfect hiding spot for little girls. I'd wait all of about 30 seconds for Grandma to gather up her basket before making my appearance. I, of course, wanted her to know that they came from me ~ and there was usually cookies or a piece of Grandpa's off limits, sugar-free candy as a reward. Those were the days, my friend!

May you all be blessed with May Baskets...

A Huge Welcome to Stella...

Remember the diaper bag that I made for little Stella? Well, Stella arrived last evening, all 6lbs., 5oz. of her. Our friends, Darrin and Erin, can't wait to get her home.
Welcome to the world, Stella!!