Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Little Bit of This And That

I went out shopping Friday afternoon and picked up a couple of chairs to makeover and put in my booth.

Here are the before pics...

Love the detail on the front feet.  These will be getting a paint job and recovered.  I will show you the finished chairs later this week.


On the gardening front.  My tomato plant has little yellow flowers...that means baby tomatoes are not far behind.


Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Best Antiquing!

As you know, Mary from A Breathe of Fresh Air and Jane from Blondie's Journal were visiting Asheville these last few days.  Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and I met up with them for lunch.
Jane, Mary, Penny and me.

After lunch Jane and her husband had other plans, but Mary, Penny and I went shopping at the Screen Door.  Some of my blog friends will remember shopping there with me a few years ago when I held a blogger brunch.  I think it was a favorite stop for a lot of you.  Here is why.....

As soon as you walk in the door, you know you are in for something special.  I love the Ikat pillows on the old metal chippy porch chairs!


The Screen Door has some great industrial chic items.


This French Bread box wanted to come home with both me and The Other Penny.  Alas, I have no room and Penny is saving her pennies for her upcoming trip to France.


Sweet statuary.


Great bistro chair.


Mary on the left and Penny discussing France.

Santos....

I had so much fun with everyone!  It was a great day, though Mary, Penny and I got caught in a huge rainstorm that actually flooded some of the streets.  Penny and I manage to dash into the Screen Door just as it was starting.  Mary arrived a few minutes later and got quite wet.  

We definitely did not let some liquid sunshine dampen our day!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blessed With Friends and Flowers

Yesterday, Mary from A Breathe of Fresh Air, and her husband Bob came to Asheville.  We always look forward to seeing them, though our chances to get together only happen about once a year.

We met at Needful Things Antique Mall where I have my booth (which by the way is almost empty again!  I need to get busy).  Bob, spent some time reading the newspaper in the mall snack bar area, while Mary and I shopped around.  Though truth be told, we really spent more time talking than shopping!

Mary knew I love hydrangeas and our rental home does not have any, so she brought me some cut fresh from her garden.

Today, Mary and I will meet up with Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and Jane from Blondie's Journal.  Jane is visiting NC from Illinois. 

And speaking of Friends and Flowers, when Penny came over the other night for dinner, she brought these beautiful petunias for me.

Well, I am off....lots of things to do before we all meet.  Hope you are having a wonderful day!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, May 21, 2012

Basements and Butterflies

A strange title for this post, isn't it?

A lot of you asked where my "studio" was going to be in this rental house.  Well, the good news is that this 2000 square foot house has a 1500 square foot unfinished, but heated and cooled basement.

In fact, half of our furniture and decor is down there.

Before I can use part of this as a studio, I need to get down there, go through all of those boxes, sort out what we are keeping and what we are selling or donating.  We realize that we will never have a house as large as the house we just sold and some things are just going to have to go.

Once that is done, then I will set up an area to paint furniture, create lamps and repair items before they go to my booth.

Now for the butterfly part of the post.  When I was in Florida at the beginning of the month, I mentioned that I went to a botanical garden.  They had a butterfly house too, so I took a picture of a pretty butterfly that landed on a yellow flower.


The picture below was in part of the botanical garden.  

Welcome Home,
Penny

Sunday, May 20, 2012

French Dinner With Friends

My friend Penny, from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and her husband are going to France in a few weeks.  They have the most wonderful itinerary planned.

 We invited them over for dinner last night and to celebrate their upcoming trip, I decided to cook a French meal.

We planned on dining outside on our deck, but shorty before they arrived, we had a huge rain and hail storm.  So we dined inside.

For appetizers I made Gougeres, or Cheese Puffs.  This recipe is from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris cookbook.  The are light and fluffy and melt in your mouth.


For dinner, I made Chicken with Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions with white wine.  This is the country version of the fussier coq au vin, which uses red wine.  (recipe follows at end of post)


And for dessert another Ina Garten recipe.  Lemon Meringue Tart.


Chicken With Bacon, Mushrooms, Onions and White Wine
(serves 4)
1/2 pound bacon, diced
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered
6 garlic cloves, sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup frozen small white onions, thawed
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium low heat until crisp.  With a slotted spoon transfer bacon to a plate.  Pour off most of the  bacon fat from pan.  Increase heat to medium. Sprinkle freshly cracked pepper onto chicken thighs.  Brown thighs in skillet on both sides.  Remove to a plate.  Add mushrooms and garlic to pan.  Saute until mushrooms are slightly brown, careful not to burn garlic.  Add wine to pan, scraping up brown bits in bottom of skillet.  Add chicken stock, chicken, bacon, onions and thyme sprigs to pan.  Cover and cook on low an hour.  Check for tenderness.  If not tender cook 10-20 minutes more.  Remove chicken to side plate.  Mix cornstarch and water, add to sauce in pan and stir until thickened.  Add chicken back to pan.  Let heat for 5 minutes.

Serve this with mashed potatoes and oven roasted carrots.

Welcome Home,
Penny

Friday, May 18, 2012

Birds of a Feather

It seems my blog is turning into a nature blog!  Really that is not the case.  I am still a lifestyle blog, but, as you know my life has changed a little bit the past couple of months.

I need to get back into painting my furniture, flea marketing, fluffing my temporary nest etc, but in the meantime I had to show you this.

The first 4 pictures were taken with my Canon Rebel with a telephoto lense.  I am taking these from inside the house through the glass of my sliding door.

  I want to introduce you to the Mama and Papa blue birds that are raising a family in my backyard.


Sometimes they are both there.  Other times one keeps watch and feeds while the other goes hunting for bugs.


You can tell the difference between the male and female because the male has more blue feathers and is brighter.


These next couple of pictures are not quite as good.  They were taken with my Kodak Easyshare point and shoot with out a tripod.

They are brighter though.  It was a different time of day with more light.

In the picture below, the female is flying right at me.  I am inside the sliding glass door.  She spends a lot of time landing and hanging onto our window screens look for bugs.


Do you have bluebirds where you live?
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In Memory of Donna Summer

Mr. Comforts and I met in 1978 and married in 1979.  We actually met on a blind date at a night club.  It was in the height of disco and Donna Summer was  one of the most requested  artists for the DJ.  Her music has a special place in my heart.


She will be missed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Living in the Mountains

One of the wonderful things about living in the mountains in NC is the beautiful trees, foliage and wild life.  

I know I have shown you pictures and a little video of the deer around my temporary home before.  I promise after today, I won't show anymore deer pictures, but today I was able to get some really good pictures to share with you.











I took these pictures from my back deck.  The deer are about 30 feet from me.  They are not the list bit concerned that I am taking pictures of them.

I know if I had a garden or expensive landscaping, I would be upset.  But I don't...and they were here first :-)

Enjoy!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To Build or To Buy



I mentioned after selling our house, we were going to rent for a year and take our time deciding what the next step would be.  Here are some of the questions we are asking ourselves.

Do we build?
  Do we buy a new "forever" home?
  Do we buy an older home and fix it up? 
Do we have "one more" house to whisper to, in us?


If it is our last home, where do we want to be?  North Carolina?  Tennessee?

One of the issue we are facing is that we own a gorgeous piece of property in the mountains.  Here it is, in the picture below.

Summer


 Fall

Aren't these the most gorgeous views?  The blue you see is a small camp lake.  Can you imagine seeing this every morning?  We could too.  That is why in 2004, we bought it.  We had planned on building on it, but life got in the way.  

Fast forward 8 years.  We still have this property.  We actually tried to sell it for a few years, but with the recession and banks tightening their lending belts, it was hard to sell.

If we do build on this property, it will be to live in it for a few years and then sell it.  It is much easier to sell a house, than a vacant piece of land in this real estate market. Why sell the house, if we build?  

Well as gorgeous as this property is, it is an hour from any larger city.   We think we want our forever home to be nearer a larger city.

In the next few posts, I will tell you more of our planning and thought process.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Friday, May 11, 2012

Before and After

There isn't a hose bib on the front deck of this house where I have my little portable kitchen garden.  That meant I was lugging buckets of water out to the front porch from the kitchen.

The deck sits high off the ground, and running up and down the front steps to get to a hose bib and then dragging a hose up and down was out of the question.

I had this old hose container, from our last house.  It was in pretty bad shape.

It didn't matter how it looked at my previous house, because it was hidden in the bushes and not on the deck.

So, I sprayed it a dark hunter green.  What a difference a few coats of paint make!

Mr. Comforts of Home, ran a hose up the back deck support and secured it with clamps.  Now we can leave the water on at the faucet and turn it on and off with a nozzle at the top of the deck.


See how nice it looks below?


Did you notice that there are THREE planters now?  One has a tomato plant.  Seriously, I was not going to have a garden, but a girl has to grow fresh tomatoes, doesn't she?


I restrained myself and only planted one tomato plant.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm Back!

Hi Everyone!  

I am back from my trip to Florida.  I have 4 sisters that live there and it was great spending time with all of them.

Want to see what I did while away?

First stop on the way to Florida was in a charming little town in SC called Beaufort.  Filled with old mansions and trees dripping with Spanish moss, it is set on the inter coastal waterway.

We walked around the town before having dinner to look at some of the beautiful homes.

We had dinner outside on the water, sitting at the table below.


The view below is taken from our room at the hotel we stayed at in Florida.


I went to the Naples Botanical gardens with a couple of my sisters.



We spent a day at the beach.



I went shopping and to the movies with Mr. Comforts..


Played 9 holes of golf.


And came home to crazy growth in my little herb and lettuce containers!!



It was a wonderful trip.  

I have to do some laundry.  Get some groceries and check out my booth at the antique mall to see what sold.

I will be catching up with all of you soon.
Welcome Home,
Penny