Friday, February 27, 2009

I love love

How adorable is this story?

Shortly after Jeff and I were married a big manilla envelope showed up with my brother Scott's very distinctive handwriting on it. The envelope was addressed only to Jeff with "personal & confidential" ablaze in big red letters. Well, my first thought was...what dark family secret is my brother sharing with his new bro-in-law? I am sure there are a few, nothing juicy or scandalous that I am aware of, although I am sure they exist.

Nervously I wait as I place the envelope in Jeff's hands as soon as his feet pass the threshold. He looks puzzled. I am puzzled. He opens in and out comes this drawing I did when I was 6. That is me in my scratchy easter dress pulling a "heart cart" filled with love. Come on, is that cute or what? How long had Scott been holding on to that?! I love my family. Old and new.

First in Show

First to show. I got hooked on these spring blooming iris a couple years ago.

The iris histrioides 'Katharine Hodgkin'...unlike the tradional garden iris i.e. siberian, bearded or dutch (what you buy at the market or florists) they are only 5 inches or so tall. They are such amazing little early spring surprises in the garden. Bloom with the snowdrops. Small tearbrop shaped bulbs make them VERY easy to plant. Inexpensive. Create little colonies in no time. Rodents, deer, etc wil not eat them. What else do you need to know?

you need to know that there is also the 'iris reticulata'..looks the same, although they come in many shades of blue, purple and white. They are easier to find, available at the box stores even.

Now is the time when I start keeping a list of all the things I wish I planted last fall. What has been on my list every year? Plant more dwarf iris! Trust me, if you take your tea for morning walks around your yard/gardens you can never have enough of these super early bloomers!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring??! Hello?? Are you out there??

I am so ready for spring, nothing like a 'real' winter to get you ramped up for some green. Green sprouts of crocus, galanthus and daffodils poking thru the still frozen soil. Actually as I am writing this it just started snowing!!!! Click here for bulb mecca.

To keep me optimistic I checked out the new offerings at White Flower Farm where I have a $25 gift certificate from Fine Gardening magazine that I have been saving for this very moment .  I think this David Austen rose will look gorgeous, that red matches the color of our house, with some gooseneck loosestrife planted by the stone wall. I wish this was a scratch and sniff screen.

Rosa Tradescant

I love WFF and have been acquiring interesting and unusual specimens from them since I started gardening about 15 years ago. Jeff and I went there on our first 'real' date, I knew from that moment on he was the one for me. What a fun way to spend a spring saturday, grab the catalog to peruse on your way up to Litchfield, CT (unless you are driving of course) and create your wish list. Often they will have varieties that you can't purchase throught the catalog or online. We picked out a car load of ferns...japanese painted, branford, ostrich, lady ferns....and started our obsession with ferns which work so well in our woodlands and rocky acidic soil. Ferns create a beautiful foil to hide the dying leaves of daffodils. Cute little restaurants up in Litchfield to grab a little lunch before or after your White Flower Farm adventure.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Me, throwing panties?! Depends.

Funny how people keep asking me if I threw panties on stage last night. I was tempted to throw up a Depends but thought Sir Tom Jones would not find that as funny as I do. Still think it's funny.

Got my mind off bingo for a minute or two when my friend Rita (from wfuv the greatest radio station in the world) brought me along to Terminal 5 in NYC to see the legend Tom Jones last night. Hello! He is amazing and still exudes more sex appeal than Brad Pitt, Sean Connery and George Clooney combined. That welsh rarebit is a freak of nature. It was the liveliest show I have seen in ages. I have not screamed like that in ages either.

Don't just take my word for it. Check out the New York Times

If he is coming to your town, see tour dates, I recommend you grab your girlfriends, sisters, mother, grandmother, gay guy friend, daughter and check this hottie out. Ouch! That's hot!

I can wait to see him again, I hope he calls....just kidding. click here, unbelievable! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bingo Part 2 - Buckle my Shoe

The young ladies jumped up on the custom calling stand, spun the wheel and screamed the numbers to the 20 or so guests. With dabbers in hand we were ready to win!

Personally, calling out the response to the numbers was my favorite part. Number 30 - Dirty Gerty!
You can get a list of call outs here

Dressing up in a ridiculous fashion always gets people in the mood. We adorned tiaras and party hats with sharpies, dabbers, old bingo cards and glitter. Bought some incredibly obnoxious sunglasses at the party store. Asked folks to dress up. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fun On A Budget

We love to entertain and with our party budget not what it used to be I am always looking for new ways to have friends over for a night of fun without spending a lot of money.  First I look for theme inspiration. A couple months ago I unearthed a box I bought at a tag sale years ago, filled with old bingo cards (from 1941!) and the classic hamster wheel bingo cage with balls. I think I paid $5 bucks for it, you can also pick these up on eBay for little money.
I wanted the decorations to be fun and colorful so I purchased some crepe paper streamers and balloons at the grocery store and recruited some teenagers (my step-daughter Hannah and her roomie Janet) to help turn the the barn a bingo party hall! 

Well what is a bingo game without some prizes? I bought some brown paper lunch bags and filled them with some ungiven gifts I had around the house, bingo themed items I bought on ebay for little money, Starbucks cards along with the free song download cards they have at counter, some homemade soap from my friend's farm in Ohio, fancy french candle, a jar of local honey, some classic DVDs and CDs, a NYC compass I bought at the Museum of Natural History, a box of cute stationery to name a few. Put one gift in a bag along with some candy, folded the top and placed them under the bingo table to pass out to the lucky winners grab bag style.

Stay tuned for more barn bingo party pictures. Guess who won the grand prize?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bingo Lingo

do you speak Bingo Lingo? we'd like to know. 

Pre Bingo Bingness

Welcome to ...The Age of Bingo. Went hog wild at Strauss Paper and Party Supply in Port Chester today buying up some finishing touches for our first bingo barn bonanza. The first of many. Wait 'till you see the stuff I bought on eBay! Will get some photos up of all that and the process. This is a great activity to get multi-generations together and have a blast...on a budget. I am tired now and must go to bed, need to be completely renewed to stamp my heart out tomorrow. 12:29 how divine.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ghetto Film School on NPR

I mentor some kids at The Ghetto Film School in the Bronx, what a rewarding experience. Was thrilled to hear that they are doing a story on them on NPR All Things Considered this Sunday at 5:30pm NYC wnyc 93.9  check these kids out, they are so talented and inspiring. 

Two Paws UP!

Just finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Excellent. I highly recommend it to all you dog lovers out there. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring a Ling a Ding Dong

I keep adding to these pristine white tulips every year, especially lovely when the alliums start blooming in between them.
one of the 8,000 or so bulbs we have planted in the past five years..mostly narcissus and daffodils. 
the long shot of the rock garden looking up towards the driveway
Korean Spice Viburnum. Delicious.
Ice follies maybe? with some muscari peeping through. The purple foliage of the heuchera 'Purple Palace?' and penstemon are a really nice counterpoint to the pale cups of the daffs. 

more spring things

the muscari river runs through it
these sweet violets were transplanted from Silver Living Farm in VT.
Fringed Yellow Tulip, reminds me of an old straw hat
we loves our ferns..and the birds and the bees
incredibly fragrant and gorgeous Frederick Law Olmsted Lilac under the birdfeeder Jeff made me

I don't know about you but my spring has sprung!

Strrrummmmm...lookie here, it's Garden Boy serenading the digitalis and forget-me-nots. I purchased garden boy at a Braswell's Auction about 20 years ago. and he has graced every one of my gardens ever since. I half expect him to sing out "ding fires are done" every time I walk by him.
Spring fresh ramps and the first real harvest from our three season old asparagus patch. I can not wait 'till this year!!! Can a foraging party be that far away?
Pretty houseplant from Cupcake.
Daffodil Alley by the blueberry bushes. I divided these the year before so last year was not our best showing. Wait 'till the 2009 spring explosion! That lovely bird bath was our wedding present from Jeff's parents. Made by Beverly Seamans of Marblehead from a piece of Maine beach rock and a bronze of her pet dove. The birds love it and so do we. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vail-entine View in Vail


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day with LOVE!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Heading West!!!!

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