Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A partridge in a pear tree...or, My ill-gotten pears

So....  This has been quite the week.  On Christmas Day, 2 AM, I had the opportunity to shoot off and angry letter to Union Pacific over the train that screeched to a stop & idled outside our home.  At 8 AM I followed up with a second email - merry Christmas, UP district manager!   He promises to investigate, and the train is still idling at 2 pm when we leave for my uncle's.   

The next day I discover my cleaning service is skipping out early while charging me for the whole job.  Great.

And by that night, when my mother called, I was prepped and primed to fight the good fight, wherever it took me.  

She ends the call with a warning:  "You need to call your grandparents.  They say their pears are soft and mushy at the bottom, but never got ripe at the top.  They read me the instructions three times on how the pears should ripen at the stem.  It sounds like they were frozen.  I told them they should call you the company will replace them if they are bad."

I get off the phone with a sigh.  My grandparents do not take things back...and they are not hoping to call me up to say "hey, you know the gift you bought us?  It's not any good..."  Before I call, I need a plan of action.  And if one box is bad, odds are both boxes are bad, so I might as well figure them both out at once.

I call the store and explain it all...the upset grandparents, the trashed receipt, and the need to replace pears from two locations 30 minutes away from me & each other.  The girl is wonderful - call corporate!  They won't just replace the fruit - they will replace the entire basket!  A little excessive, bit these christmas themed towers are already marked down by a third.  Maybe they want to get rid of them fast.

The girl at corporate was not as free and easy with the baskets - she wanted to get rid of me, instead. "They shouldn't have sent you here - this is their responsibility" she barked into the phone, maybe waiting for me to apologize to her for the inconvenience?  

Told that she had access to gift boxes & pears, I pressed my case.  No, they would NOT be giving me an entire replacement tower, she said accusingly.  There was nothing wrong with the rest of it.  They would only replace the pears.

After a while checking on what she could do, she said she would send me gift cards for my home bound grandparents.  

Not helpful.  

Down the highway to the store, determined to replace these pears.  The lady at the counter also thought corporate was a tool, and after thinking a moment she came back with a case of 10 pears.  Would these do?

It would do no good to show up & replace 5 pears if they had come 7 to a box.  I called my grandfather and asked withou so much as a hello how many pears came in the box.

"5 - they were delicious"

Not helpful, grandpa!  I don't have time to tactfully dance around the topic of rotten pears so you can preserve my feelings!   You deserve good pears I deserve good pears for your!  The box of 10 will do - I walk out with the box and four Bon bons, without having to so much as tell them my name & date of purchase.  I've avoided pear-pocalypse - I've saved Christmas with the strength of 10 grinches, plus 2!

Out in the car I call my grandfather again.  No need to worry about rotten pears - new ones will be there soon.  He promptly tells me that upon slicing the pear, they are not rotten at all.  They are fine.  

My ill- gotten bon bons are reflecting the parking lot lights, blinking reproachfully at me.  

I just went across town, talked to three different people demanding replacement pears!  I've practically committed a strong arm robbery of these pears, waking in and recieving them without so much as a confirmatory scan of my credit card.  

My mother just laughed & laughed, and was no help.  

The pears are in my fridge.  Despite their checkered past, they are delicious.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Decorating the dining room

The dining room has taken 3.5 years to come together...  It took 9 months to find the right table and chairs on craigslist ( and another few years to get the chairs reglued - "Richie", described by my husband as chain smoking, shellac covered, with a garage full of furniture is taking care of that now!), and another 6 months for the right china cabinet.  My mother gifted us with her old magnavox case out of her dining room, and she and my grandmother loaned me a china cabinet this summer.

The china cabinet is a bit too big, and will likely continue on to my mother's house, but it is here to stay for awhile.  I'd like to hang up some decorations on the walls, but haven't decided just what.  A big picture of Shawn and I, several little pictures in sepia or black and white, wood frames, white, or silver?  Or use one wall for a pretty plate display or silver platters to brighten up the space?

I found this little, pitted silver plate tray this weekend for 5 dollars, and am loving how it pops against the blue wallpaper.  The yellowed thermostat does nothing for any of this, but... It was convenient & the lighting is bad right now anyways. I'm off to try to build a collection now....  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ozark National Scenic Riverways - Jacks Fork at Bunker Hill

Shawn and I lucked out this weekend, and had the perfect fall weather at the Jacks Fork River.  Bunker Hill is where my family has been going each year since before I was born, where Shawn proposed at Lookout Point, and one of my favorite places, ever.  The bluffs and river change with the seasons, the weather, and the light...and are always the same. 


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stair crazy quilt

have been working on this quilt since I finished the first one in April.  It was a step up in difficulty, with a lot more cutting, piecing, and precision.  I also learned backstich embroidery for this one, which is so simple I wish I had known about it for the first quilt.  Here it is, pieced and ready for a quilt sandwich.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Iron Bed Completed!

I finally completed my project for the iron bed. 

This was the inspiration:

The expensive Laura Ashley bed:

The even prettier antique version:

And after a meeting with a can of spray paint, this:

Became this!

I think it turned out very well.  : )
The refinished floors look pretty great, too.  The room finally looks like it is coming together.  I need to find something to hang above the bed, I think.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September nights

I was really hesitant to give up summer, though I know this recent cool spell will give way to several more hot, sunny days still.  But more than anything, the cool weather is a reminder that summer is really over - another year of art festivals, Bunker hill, summer vacations, garden plans, and warm nighttime walks are behind us.  It's been a great summer - Shakespeare in the park, the Japanese festival, and a trip to KC to name a few highlights.   And watching it rain this past week while pulling 12+ hour days at work was getting me pretty down. 

But I have this, and many more like them, to look forward to in the next few months.  And despite a mountain of work, everything is pretty nice in this little corner of the word tonight.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

A gift for a new baby on the way

I found a charm pack of quilting squares for a baby quilt, and a few weeks later....

Here it is.

It is made of flannel, machine quilted on the edges in white, and hand quilted in the blocks with pale pink thread.  I used embroidery floss to decorate the edges, add the baby's name, and embellish parts of the design.  I quilted a few animals, so they show up traced in pink quilting on the back.

Hopefully the baby and her parents will get lots of good use out of it!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mom, you are never getting great-grandma's cookie cutter back.

I sent this text to my Mom to explain that she would never see her cookie cutter again:

Dear Linda,

It's been awhile since we have seen each other, so I wanted to tell you about my new life. At first it was hard, leaving the other cookie cutters. But life is good here - I make cookies at Christmas, I sit in a place of honor on the lowest shelf...tonight I even made biscuits! In short(ning) - sorry, biscuit humor! - I've decided to stay here. I will always remember the good times with you and the cookie cutters fondly.
Yours (formerly),
Fluted Cookie Cutter

P.S. Green bowl says hello

Shawn doesn't understand that possession is 9/10's of the law...but we do. 

The biscuits (my first attempt!) are beautiful:
The fluted edges make them that much better.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Extra dining room chairs from Craigslist

My dining room table came with 4 chairs - two are perfect, one needs to be reglued, and one needs to be reglued and repaired.

I reupholtered them early on (except for the one that needs to be repaired) with some pretty blue fabric from JoAnn's.  I bought several yards, because I knew I would eventually want more chairs, and wanted to be able to reupholster them so they matched. 

I have had trouble finding other chairs with the circle design on the back (which I love), so when I saw some flowered Duncan Phyfe style chairs on Craigslist I picked them up. 

They are a bit looser than I would have liked, but I think they will be fine without regluing for occassional chairs.    I think they fit in fairly well, with the matching seats.  Hopefully, one day I can find some that match my original chairs exactly. 


Saturday, February 15, 2014


Today I ignored most of the important things I need to do, and instead focused on this critical task:

I don't know what I am going to do with 36 snapdragon plants, but I am willing to figure it out.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

An Iron Bed

I found these pictures on pinterest - this one is a vintage iron bed, and the other is a Laura Ashley, only available in Britain.  The "Somerset Cream Bed" is listed on Apartment Therapy as "Beds We'd Love to Own", and selling for about 2000 pounds. 

Then I found this:

Notice any similarities?

I bought it from Sears, in US dollars, for a fraction of the cost of the Laura Ashely.  I am going to spray paint it bright white. 

It shipped in four days, and is now set up on my bed.  I only got the headboard, as the room is not huge and I like having the bottom of the bed open to collapse on after work. 

I will paint it as soon as it warms up outside.  I usually don't find great bargains, but I am pretty impressed with this one.


Elder's, Pho Grand, & Gelato in the snow

We braved the cold and the snow to go to Elder's antiques on Cherokee street.  After missing the exit on 44 because we were too busy talking, taking a loop around the city and the baseball statium, we finally got to Cherokee street with about 45 minutes before the stores closed. 

It was still pretty snowy in the city, and cold, but we walked up and down a few stores. 

I didn't see any china cabinets for the dining room or book cases, so we drove back out to Tower Grove for some pho at Pho Grand, and gelato at Gelateria del Leone.

I think Pho Grand may be my favorite restaurant for pho:

And the Gelateria was very cute:

There is nothing wrong with eating gelato in the snow. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Closet problems...

Whoever built in all the closets in the house loved, loved, loved louvered doors. 

I do not.

I do really love this look:

You would not believe how difficult it is to find Shaker style 5 panel bifold doors.  They used to sell them in standard sizes at Home Depot around 2 years ago, but now Home Depot does not have anything similar.  Just ugly raised panels. 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Winter Nights

The past few nights, the sky has been bright red when I come home from work.  I took this from the front of our house.

Happy New Year,